Cedar Whistle

Handmade because you're worth it.

Our “Border” Wall Is Complete

I didn’t campaign on the rhetoric of building it.  I didn’t say I was going to build it and then turn around and not do it.  Have I heard a situation play out like this in the recent past.  Maybe?  And the most important aspect was that I didn’t build it and expect my neighbor or anyone else to pay for it.

After a long day of sawing and driving in just south of seven hundred screws the final side of the privacy fence was completed the day before yesterday.


I now have just a little clean up and some rehab on the yard and the project will be completed except for sealing which I’ll do in about three months.  I think all in all it turned out OK for an amateur fence builder that realized how hard the work of building a fence can be.  Now I realize why custom fence work is so expensive to have done by a professional.  Those guys and gals earn their money.

Now get over and like our Designs by Desira Facebook page.  Just click the like button in the right column on this blog page.  It’s painless and there are things shared there that do not get blogged about here.

Thanks for reading.  Be good.  God bless.


by:  Steve

Is “Fencing” an Olympic Sport?

It appears that my next wood working project will not be using fine toothed scroll saw blades and sandpaper but instead will be an outdoor adventure in completing the privacy fence around our backyard.  Yippee.

With the back constructed by a friend hired by us and one side built by a company contracted by my neighbor I figured I would complete the encirclement of our yard myself.

We made the hour drive out to a saw mill in Taylorsville KY yesterday to secure the rough cut cedar posts and the quarter sawn cedar two by fours for the stringers to attach the pickets to.  We chose cedar for its resistance to pests and its resistance to succumbing to rot after being exposed to the elements four seasons a year for possibly decades.  In what is only a cost saving move we are going to put pine pickets on the fence for they are about a third of the cost of cedar pickets.  I feel it is much easier to replace a picket every couple of years than to go with pressure treated pine and have to replace a post in a few years or replace a warped or split stringer every couple of summers.  And maybe eventually we will replace the pickets with cedar but the budget for this project doesn’t allow that call right now.

Let me plug the saw mill we used just in case you are reading this and are local to me.  Glasscock Sawmill is in Taylorsville KY about a half hour from Louisville.  They are off the beaten path but are a family run mill with a good selection of species and a lot different dimensions in cedar.  From the posts and two by fours we bought to huge slabs with live edges they had it there at reasonable prices.

If you don’t already follow our Facebook page go to the tab on the right side of the blog and give our Designs by Desira page a like and follow us there.  I post things there that don’t always get blogged about here.  I’ll be posting pictures of the progress on this project on that page too.  So if you want to see Olympic “fencing” at its highest level go over and follow our page.

Thanks for reading.  Be good.  God bless


By:  Steve


The Birds and the “Beaves”

This is just a short post this morning after the 4th.  I picked up this beaver themed bird house from a peddlers mall in Leitchfield KY a few weeks ago.  Well I finally got around to setting into motion my plan for it when I purchased it.  That plan was to disassemble it and use it as a router template to make more of these curious bird dwellings.  And change a couple of features and make dog or bear houses too.

This thing was in rough shape.  It is constructed from what looks like scrap wood.  Which is fine because a lot of my stuff is made from scraps.  But condition wise it had seen better days.  As soon as it was apart a couple of pieces were glued and clamped for repairs and nails were pulled out by the dozens.  I believe this thing was hurricane proof from the sheer number of nails holding it together.

It also needs a hinged panel for cleaning it out each season after the birds finish hatching their flock in it.  I’ll design that in before I begin routing the pieces.

I’m going to rout these abodes from 3/4 inch cedar.  The beaver parts will be stained a dark walnut hue while the house panels will be left their natural color.  After that the whole house will be given a weather proof clear coat.  With the cedar and the weather resistant finish these houses should last for many years out in the elements with no problems.

Thanks for reading.  Be good.  God bless


by:  Steve


I’m A Big “Fan” Of This Coat Rack

Old cast iron hard barn wood is one of the latest trends in wood working.  I guess it’s always been hot but it seems the last few years it has been the talk of the town.  I’ve had a piece or two here and there but never really did much with it.  Until a few weeks ago when a good friend brought me a large chunk and wanted to make a display for a couple of wild turkey fans he had preserved.  I jumped on the opportunity to create a one of a kind wall mounted coat rack out of an antique piece of history.

Working barn wood is a test on the ability for you to keep your tools sharp and a test of your patience.  Not only is barn wood typically a hardwood species (here in the Midwest it’s usually oak) but it has been seasoned for maybe a century or more turning it into a petrified shell that is very hard to bend or work with.  With that said it makes it perfect for flooring or cabinets or in this case a coat rack.  It is almost impervious to changing levels of humidity or temperature which sometimes warp other woods or newly milled lumber.

20170605_182253The actual piece that would be the rack and hold the hooks and fans was not a problem to work.  I keep a fairly fresh blade in my saws at all times.  It makes for fast, easy and in my opinion safer work.  The hard wood would test the edge of my flush trim bit in the router table though.

After a little design work from the dimensions sent to me of the fans I set out to make the router templates to use for making the mounts that the fans would set behind.  These mounts are there to cover the fleshy middle of the tail left attached to the fans and it gives the fans a clean look by only exposing the round shape of the tail feathers.  I finished off the mounting pieces with another trip around the router table for a nice roman ogee edge to soften the edges so they didn’t appear so thick.

In the midst of all this wood work I had to find a suitable looking hook to attach to this rustic piece.  My first thought was cast iron would be perfect for this.  After a couple of hours of scouring the internet a cast iron turkey hook was just a figment of my imagination.  Damn the luck.  Until I ran a cross a guy named Sid Bell.  He makes animal hooks out of pewter and had three different ones to choose from.  We decided to go with the hook featuring the strutting turkey seen here.


As far as the main board goes I decided not to rout the edges of it.  As seen in the picture above it has nice checks in the ends.  It has nail holes.  It even has a splintered chunk missing out of one of the corners.  All these flaws give it the perfect rustic look this friend was looking for and routing it would have taken away from that look.  All in all I think it turned out nice and will be a beautiful addition to his wall.

Thanks for reading.  Be good.  God bless.


“Bearly” Done In Time

Just a short caption with a picture on today’s post.  This is the tops of the finished torch burned tables we did for Mother’s Day.  They are constructed entirely of pine and held together with brads and glue.  Very solid.  The finish is all natural and is a mix of orange oil,  bee’s wax and carnauba wax.  It should be a durable finish that will last for years.  

Getting These Tables Done…but “Bearly”

I posted a couple of weeks ago the sketches of the torch templates for burning the outlines of a bear and bear paw into a pair of tables I was constructing.  Well finally I am posting the pictures and short post of those images burned into said tables.

These first two images are the bear paw being scrolled out of my quarter-inch plywood stock.

20170331_131842This image is the two templates covered in foil tape and ready to be used to burn the images onto the wood.

These three images are what the images look like after being burned into the table top and bottom shelf.  They turned out nice and I will post more pictures of these tables when they are finished.

Thanks for reading.  Be good.  God bless.





A Little “Sketchy”


Recently I posted a short blog and photos of a table I built.  A simple design and the only thing special was the burn design in the top.  Enter my Mom and her love of the Smokey mountains and Gatlinburg.  The idea of a couple of these tables on a little bit smaller scale with the image of black bears burned into one or both of them has been set into motion.

Yesterday I started the process by collecting the building supplies needed for the construction of the tables.  But the one thing I didn’t have lying around was the image of a black bear to scroll out to make the foil tape template for the burning by the torch.  These templates are things I dream up and scroll out.  I can use them over and over again.  Some of the items you have seen on here such as the owl key hooks, the bear door harps and the horseshoe door harp were routed using templates.  The only difference being I route along the outside edge of a template on the router table and I burn on the inside of a cut out image with the torch.  So I set out to sketch the images that are going to appear on the tables and below are the two I came up with.  The bear will be on the table top and the paw will be on the bottom shelf.

They should turn out great and will look nice with the cedar slab lamps I made her last year.

Thanks for reading.  Be good.  God bless.

Picture Gallery of Guitar Table

Recently the itch hit to build a larger piece of work.  I really like doing scroll saw pieces and small toys and trinkets but every now and then I want to build a more substantial item.

The idea for using a torch to burn a guitar into the top came from a Facebook post in which the artist was using one to create portraits.  He was talented and his work was amazing.  I’m not so talented because I just scrolled out my own guitar outline I created for door harps, covered it with foil tape and blasted it with a bottle propane torch until it was the darkness I liked.  As for the table construction it’s fairly basic with no fancy joints or inlays.  The top, aprons and bottom shelf are pine.  The legs are stair balusters turned from oak.  The finish is a water based toffee colored from Minwax with a spray lacquer over that.

I hope you enjoy looking at my work on here and I really like seeing your feed back.

Thanks for reading.  Be good.  God bless


Sawmill Toy Photo Gallery

These are some of the pictures I snapped while in the process of making a few of these toys this morning.

The sawmill toy is a simple contraption that was used all the way back to ancient times to entertain people.  Often called whirligigs or button toys, all these names refer to the same type of toy.  

People suffering through the Great Depression played with these as they were inexpensive to make and free to play with after they were made.

Recently I seen a story about how these were being used in desolate locales that lacked electricity.  The people there helping the poor would put small vials of blood in the toy and spin it.  The center piece spins so fast it acts as a centrifuge and separates the blood allowing diagnoses of malaria, HIV and other diseases.  In fact the sawmill toy when measured by RPM’s is the fastest human-powered machine on earth.

Make sure to go over to our Designs by Desira Facebook page and check out some of the other things we make.   I also have a Youtube channel called Shecks 812 where there is a video of this toy in action.

Thanks for reading.  Be good. God bless.

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