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I’m back in Boise to finish the projects I started – a wall of bookcases for Noel Sr’s studio, and a pantry/laundry/work space for Noel Jr. The cabinets are assembled – it was time to mill the hardwoods for the doors, drawer fronts and face frames. The bookcase is entirely maple. The pantry is mahogany, with maple interiors.

I’ve been using the CNC router at the shop more and more and I like it. I was around to spy on and sometimes assist with jobs in production – from signs to wine racks, concept to finish. The sweetest application for this machine has been to cut out little dinosaur party favors for Alisdair’s 4th birthday party.

Alisdair’s mom, Julianna owns and manages a shop with business partner, Chelsea. Bricolage is a boutique full of inspiration and fabulous gifts – and it’s in the process of moving to the Webers’ studio compound in August. Also part of this conglomerate is Boise Art Glass. Great things are happening and the crew is gearing up for First Thursday – a gallery walk for the public to check out and support local artisans.


Later in the week, I assisted Noel with work at a new restaurant.




I love Boise. There are lots of great shops and restaurants. The Flying M Coffee House is one of my favorite stops. I think Noel and I spent a little too much time at Red Feather and Bitter Creek, and I adore the Modern Hotel and Lounge. People are fantastic, the sun is out until 10PM, and retreats into nature are just minutes away. We worked day and night – we broke production for Boise’s finest.

It’s challenging to work with my portable tools and produce fine carpentry – I don’t have the systems and controls that I have at my shop. I make it work and I like the challenge. I was counting on Noel to fill some voids in my portable arsenal. A tool neither of us has is a jointer! This machine planes rough lumber on two sides at a right angle. Having two sides at a perfect 90 degrees allows you to cut the other two sides to form square/rectangular pieces. I planed the faces of each plank and used the CNC router to true up the edges so that I could make doors and glue up pieces for drawer fronts.


While I was milling lumber, Noel was making a form to cast a concrete sink surround for a cast iron, enameled work sink.


The maple slabs were cut to fit around the concrete slab. All wood surfaces were hand rubbed with boiled linseed oil.





Noel Sr. also has a rough maple slab as a countertop, but his had a big split at one end and it was just a few inches too short. To lengthen the board, to attempt to keep the board from splitting further, and to give the open end of the built-in the natural edge that the rest of the piece has, I came up with this and I hope for the best. You just can’t control how a giant slab of solid maple will behave over time. Give it room to move.



Both guys need to get glass for their doors. Noel Jr plans to sand blast his. I’m looking forward to seeing both projects completely finished and put to use.

I spent the fourth of July in Boise – Noel and I caught the parade after a delicious brunch. Then we biked around to a few celebrations. Lawn explosives!




I’m sad to leave, but I must keep truckin’. I had a blast in Boise. Thanks Noel, Noel & Lucy for a wonderful stay! Noel Sr made an appointment for my old truck to replace the squeaky serpentine belt and put new shocks on her rear end. Now I don’t look like I’m about to take off into the galaxy! Thanks again!

Now, off to San Francisco. I might stay in Reno along the way…



  1. I’m not sure if you make me want to travel more or become a woodworker more.

  2. Wow! I’m envious of what you are able to do with wood! Looking forward to seeing you on your trip home.

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