Do you make custom wine racks and furniture?

I do indeed. Custom work can be an involved process to ensure the finished piece meets your needs, your vision, and your home. To get started, contact me with details about your project and your budget. From there, we can determine how best to proceed to make your one-of-a-kind project a reality.

Can you make larger wine racks?

Absolutely. I’ve made built-in racks that hold 50+ bottles and free-standing racks that are considerably taller than my standard racks and hold 8 or more bottles.

How large can you make the wine racks?

In theory the answer is, “as big as you’d like.” But in practice, there can be limitations depending on either design or materials.

For free-standing racks, taller designs require heavier and wider steel bases to stabilize the greater height and weight of wine bottles. Bases are not the only option for stabilizing these taller wine racks, though. They can also be stabilized from above, below, and sides in a number of ways.

These are all options we can discuss when designing your custom wine rack. If you have a special project in mind, let me know through the contact form.

How do I care for my new bowl, cocktail muddler, cutting board, or rolling pin?

Care is as simple as wiping clean with a soft sponge (with mild dish detergent, if needed) and towel drying. Do not soak in water. Do not put into a dishwasher. Periodically refreshing with a natural oil (walnut, mineral, nut oil mixtures or “butcher block” or homemade wax pastes all work well) will keep these items beautiful and useful for years to come.

What kind of finishes do you use on your bowls? How do I know it’s safe for me and my family?

All my bowls (and kitchen and barware) are finished with completely natural, nut and seed oils that are food safe, as well as solvent-free, petroleum-free, and VOC-free. Most of these pieces are finished with several coats of 100% pure tung oil with a topcoat of my own, homemade paste made from heat-treated walnut oil and beeswax. I occasionally use either heat-treated walnut oil or pure hemp oil on smaller pieces that have lighter use. Some decorative pieces are finished with a VOC-free water-base varnish, but these items are clearly marked in listings.

Isn’t varnish more protective and durable than natural oil? And don’t they make food-safe varnishes?

An argument can definitely be made that varnish is more durable for table tops and other furniture. However, for bowls, barware and kitchen items, I’ve found that natural oils actually provide more protection in the long run and are much simpler to maintain. Varnishes will chip with regular use, exposure to water, and changes in the wood over time. Natural oils are more flexible to the wood's natural seasonal changes. And because they protect the wood “from the inside," any damage or imperfections can be fixed simply by refreshing with more oil or an oil/wax paste.

Yes, some varnishes are approved and marketed as food-safe because – once they are fully-cured – the VOCs, chemical dryers and other additives have evaporated. That said, I personally prefer to not expose kitchen items to these additives in the first place. And considering how well natural oils perform in these applications, I see no reason to use varnishes in these applications.

What’s so great about tung oil? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that down at the hardware store next to other regular finishes.

This is a common confusion, even among many experienced wood workers. Pure tung oil is very different from off-the-shelf "Tung oil finish" or "Danish oil," both of which include varnish, chemical dryers, and other additives. The term “tung oil finish” often actually refers to varnishes that do not even contain real tung oil.  This misleading marketing practice began decades ago and continues today. Pure tung oil, by contrast, is just that – a natural oil extracted from the seed of the tung tree. This oil has been used for centuries in China and Asia to protect and enhance the beauty of furniture and wood. It is both natural enough for a completely non-toxic, food safe finish and protective enough that it is often used to protect wood flooring.