Reader Showcase: Issue 112

James Kromm

Baltimore, MD

Basswood blues. A longtime woodworker and birdwatcher, Kromm has carved dozens of birds and their habitats out of North American and exotic softwoods, including this pair of lifesize basswood bluebirds. After rough shaping with an electric vibrating chisel, he switched to gouges and knives to fine-tune the shapes. Finally, Kromm burned in feathers before finishing the avians with oil paint. Then he set the birds in a hand-carved version of their natural environment. Even the leaves and flowers are carved and painted wood.

Lynn Kirsteatter 

Conover, WI

Benchmark. Inspired by the bench featured in Issue 107 (June/July 2022), subscriber and veteran woodworker Kirsteatter crafted this bench for his eldest daughter. He used teak that had spent its former life as the countertop in her kitchen prior to a remodel. He says it was pretty ugly when it came out of the kitchen, but when he gifted his daughter the finished bench, there was no way it was going to stay outside. With thinner stock than called for, Kirsteatter opted to attach the benchtop with dowels. He finished the bench, appropriately, using teak oil.

Rick Waldrip Sr.

Bargersville, IN

Rural address. In need of a new mailbox, Waldrip crafted this two-level barn around a store-bought metal box. The hay loft houses three bird roosts—one on each end and one in the middle. The barn measures 14 × 22 × 30" and is topped with a 3⁄8" plywood roof. After painting and sealing the barn, he attached it to a trellis made of 4 × 4" posts surrounding hog-panel mesh. Waldrip says it was a small project that just kept growing; he sure didn’t mail this one in!

Dan Menke 

Strong City, KS

House of bird-ship. Menke, a hobbyist woodworker, reached back into the archives for the plans to this country church birdhouse (Feb/Mar 2011). He used oak scraps liberated from a local cabinet shop, then painted the finished structure. He says sawing the siding and roof on his old equipment was the most challenging part. The finished birdhouse was auctioned by his church and bought by a young couple.

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