Thursday, February 2, 2012


Handcrafted oak music stand by author. 

Creativity runs in my family.  My great-grandfather was a German immigrant who came to America and made a living pin striping auto bodies in the car factories of Detroit.  His son my grandpa also used paintbrushes in a lifelong career as a sign painter.  The best memories I have of my grandfather are spending time in the summer watching him ply his trade in the small shop he kept behind his house.  He would hand paint beautiful script with drop shadows on wooden signs for local businesses or on the sides of delivery vans and work trucks. 

Thirty-six years ago my dad started a screen printing business printing decals for local manufacturers.  The business slowly grew over the years and is now sucessfully overseen by my sister and I.  The creative influence didn't just come from the men in my family.  My mother encouraged us artistically from the youngest age providing us with materials and mediums to explore.  I believe that some people are lucky and have inherent talents of one kind or another but I don't consider myself especially gifted.  I attribute my skills and accomplishments to the "Get off your ass and do something!" ethic instilled in me by family, teachers and later officers in the military.

By the time I reached my high school years I found I had a knack for using machine tools to make things out of wood.  I developed these skills under the guidance of my shop teacher Mr. Craig, a stern yet fair man who also coached the basketball team.  While I was in the Air Force I started slowly acquiring woodworking tools one at a time knowing that one day I would have some garage or basement space where I could set up a small workshop.   These days with job, family and all my other hobbies I don't make much sawdust but as a homeowner I keep my tools sharp and use them for various household projects.

The oak music stand pictured I made from scratch and of my own design turning the spindle on my restored 1940-50's Sears Craftsman lathe.  A planer, jig and tablesaw helped fabricate the other pieces.  I made the stand for my mom's theater group as a stage prop where it recieved rave reviews.  Eventually she gave the piece back to me (thanks mom!) and I proudly display it in my hamshack-music studio-man cave.


  1. There isn't any moss growing on you Mike. The workmanship looks great and the design really sings. Hoping to see some pics of your workshop. AB9NZ

  2. Beautiful stand. You have a lot of talent. Although I teach history, wood shop was my favorite subject in school. I remember making a set of bongos like the ones in the photo when I was in school. My oldest son just brought home a cajon he made with extra time in class. I was unfamiliar with the instrument, but it seemed like an easy project and it sounds pretty good.

  3. Thanks guys. No fancy wood shop here just a few tools in the garage. Cajon -Great Idea another thing to put on the list of stuff I'll probably never get to!

  4. One can never have enough toys in the cave! Nice work!!