Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Holiday gifts 2018

Each year, we try to give friends and family a small handmade item along with an Oregon product.  This year we decided on hazelnuts, or filberts.  The US is the third largest producer of filberts after Turkey and Italy and virtually all of the US crop is grown in Oregon.  I wanted to help the local farmers out because hazelnuts are caught up in the trade war.

That meant that some sort of small dish or box would be a nice item to accompany the hazelnuts, but I have grown tired of making and giving dovetailed boxes.  One day I got one of my infamous brainstorms.  I went out to the firewood pile and selected nice looking douglas-fir pieces with a wide live edge.  Then I split them out with an ax so they would be approximately 3" deep and 6-8" wide.  Cut about 12" long, this would form the outside of a box. I jointed the bottoms flat but left the split edges and long sides as is.

To create the bowl, I hogged out a lot of the waste with a large forstner bit, which gave me nice rounded corners.  Then I used a chisel and gouge to remove the rest of the waste.  With a wiped-on finish, they're done:

These obviously don't suit everyone's taste but I like them.  They are quick, easy and fun to make, so a dozen isn't a big deal.  I have come to dislike the commercialism of holiday gift giving and think a handmade item better reflects the spirit of the season.  However modest, "I made this for you" is special.


  1. Could not agreed more with you Andy

    Good on you...and the lucky recipients


  2. I really like the bowl! It is the perfect and thoughtful holiday gift.

  3. Andy,

    Good job and thoughtful. And I couldn't agree more.