Supporting our troops: Woodcraft Turns Pens for U.S. Troops

Woodcraft is a paid sponsor of Sonoran Living Live

This is the third installment in the Trash to Treasure contest and we here at WoodCraft are really pleased with the participation and response to the contest.  We're looking forward to the next winning entry.
This month's winning project comes from Carl and Mary Young.
This was a 60 x 42 inch drop leaf table with three chairs; the set was purchased by Carl's grandparents new, about 70 years ago. However, about 20 years ago the grandparents passed and left the table and chairs to Carl and Mary where the table found itself in storage and sometimes made an appearance and then back into storage. The table was falling apart the chairs were weak and ready to break, the finish all but gone on the table and chairs.
A new life for this birch table and chairs is born. We took this project and ran with it by tuning the table and chairs into a bakers rack. All the pieces of the bakers rack came from the table and chairs, we did use some veneer for the inlay in the rack top. We started by disassembling everything and sanding all the pieces to bare wood, we used hand held power sanders and a lot of hand sanding. On the legs of the table we did use a non-toxic, green product made by Franmar called Soy-Gel to strip them before sanding.
We laid out all the pieces we had and started cutting and fitting all the spindles for the rack cut the table down in size and used the two drop leafs for the base of the rack. After all the parts were cut and glued into place we used a gel stain made by General Finishes.  The color is Prairie Wheat which we thought gave the rack a nice warm feeling and then for a top coat to add some richness.  For the finish we choose to use another General Finishes product Enduro Var a water base urethane with an amber tint semi-gloss finish.  Two break up the field of the top we choose to put in a little inlay to do this we used veneer and Titebond Cold Press Veneer glue. We used several veneers: curly maple, wenge, walnut, walnut burl, ash and a grey dyed maple wood.  
To cap off the rack we used the chair backs. In the backs of the chairs we carved the names Delbert and Genieva who are the grandparents of Carl. We thought that this would be a nice touch and tie the piece two the original owners.  
The design of the rack incorporates the old set of chairs and table into one piece of furniture that looks great. The rack was done with the use of hand held tools drill, saw, sander and a router.  A few screws and some glue plus time and any one can make this.
To submit your project for consideration to be on the show, submit your story and photo to

"Turning" the Tables for Injured Vets and Service Members

In a valuable collaboration between the veteran/service member community and the woodworking community, Project Victory and Rick Bragg manager of the Woodcraft Store, came together for an afternoon of wood turning and morale boosting through the connection made by Steve Nye, PTA.  Project Victory, a brain injury rehabilitation program for injured military, strives to find innovative ways to get its client's involved in community activities that benefit them therapeutically.   Now, along with sailing, kayaking and fishing, decorating ceramics and visiting museums, the service members and vets can make their own beautiful pens out of exotic woods while learning to use a band saw, drill press, sander and lathe.  Working at the machinery helps them to use the energy conservation and posture techniques they learn in therapy.  They practiced hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, safety awareness, and visual attention during this activity.  While all of these skills benefit our patients they are trumped by something greater and harder to measure; an increased sense of confidence.   For men and women who have served our country and now struggle to overcome injuries that are often accompanied by a diminished sense of self worth, being able to make something with their own hands restores a sense of their competence, confidence and hope.  It's pure pleasure to hear a veteran say, "My wife's never going to believe I made this! It's the coolest thing we've done so far."

Woodcraft is located in Chandler on the N.W. corner of Arizona Ave & Elliot.  
3002 N. Arizona Ave  #12
Chandler, AZ 85225      
Phone 480-539-9663

Woodcraft is a paid sponsor of Sonoran Living Live

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