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August 2007 Newsletter


Brooks Woodworks Newsletter                                                                         August  2007 ____________________________________________________________________________________


August, the month of heat.  While July starts the really hot days, August has the hot August nights.  The days heat up, and the nights do not cool down.  The next day gets hotter, and the night does not cool down.  Luckily, this year August has not lived up to its usual reputation.  The end of the month has seen some warmer nights, but not the long string we usually have in California.  Yea, there is nothing like having a 100+ degree day, and then only cooling down to 75 at night.  By the time you get up the next morning, you are already sweating away.  But, as they say here, it is a dry heat.  

But, August is also known as a month of change.  The days have begun to shorten noticeably.  The days and nights are hot, but the highs do not seem to be quite as intense the longer the month goes on.  The geese are beginning their fly by exercises, in preparation for their long trip south.  And even the trees are beginning to turn.  Not much, but just enough to let you know that change is in the air.

In the shop, the hot days and hot nights have not kept the progress away.  I completed one large project, and two small ones.  One large, two small.  That sounds like a drink order at the local restaurant.  The large project was a Potting Table for outdoor use.  The small projects were a picture frame and a box with stacked drawers.  All good projects for this time of the year.

As with last month, 
I would ask that if you enjoy reading this newsletter, please forward it to a friend.  I still hope to double the number of regular subscribers by the end of the year.  With your help, that will be possible.

So, as they say in Hollywood, on with the show.

Shop Notes

First on my list was the completion of the large project.  A customer who does entertaining outside was looking for a table to hold dishes and drinks.  Their space was limited, and they did not want just a plain table.  Instead, they found plans for a potting bench they liked, but needed a few minor modifications.  The result is this Potting Table .  This table is made of Redwood, with thick legs and large planking for the top and shelves.  The planks are spaced similar to a redwood deck, so rain and spilled drinks will not be a problem.  There is no sides or backing to allow for easy access and visibility.  With a counter top and two lower shelves, the table has a lot of storage room for a limited space.  The entire table was finished with spar varnish, a polyurethane varnish made for outdoor use.  While Redwood is bug and decay resistant, it will turn gray without protection.  The spar varnish protects the wood and allows the wonderful coloring to show through.  Overall, the customer was quiet pleased with the final results.

My second project was a picture frame for our local artist.  If you have ever shopped for frames, you know there are a lot of different styles, colors, prices, and quality to choose from.  Since the artist likes to paint on pre-stretched canvas', I made a frame that they could drop in the canvas when it was complete.  Simply insert the canvas, tighten the turn buttons, and the picture is ready for hanging.  This also makes it easy to change the picture when you paint a new one.  This frame will be displayed soon, once the artist finishes their picture.

My third project was a box with stacked drawers.  The box was made to hold all of those little things we have laying around, but not sure just where to put them.  It can be hung on the wall, or left sitting on a counter. 

Looking ahead to next month, I have a few more projects already underway.  I created a simple cutting board that will likely be put to use soon.  I will also be making a few more picture frames of different sizes, again for those pre-stretched canvas'.  I will also make a few for photos as well.  I was also asked if I could donate a piece for the local Chamber of Commerce event next month.  Now if I can just find a nice design that I can complete on time.  All of that, and I need to get started on those Christmas items too!

Keep watching this newsletter for updates on all of these projects.


The Potting Table is complete and posted on the web site.

The Picture Frame is also complete, and pictures will be posted soon.

The Stacked Drawer Box is also complete, and will be posted soon.

Be sure to check our web site for pictures of all the items built to date.


The Potting Table and Picture Frame were both well liked.  Each will find use very soon with their new owners.  The Stacked Drawer Box will be put to use around here, in an attempt to help me get organized.

I was asked by someone if I make entertainment centers.  Can I? Yes.  Have I?  Not yet, but I can.  Entertainment centers have traditionally been something like a cabinet that you could by at the store, take home, insert your TV and you were set.  Now, with the wide screen TVs, the music and speaker consoles, etc,. each one is almost a custom job.  I see two trends underway for these pieces.  The first, is to make the center in a modular fashion.  That was, you can expand the TV space to hold that new wide screen you bought.  The other trend is to make these more as built-ins.  Thus you can customize the arrangements to meet your own needs.  Which trend will win out?  I think both will to some extent, though one may be more prevalent than the other.  It will be interesting to see how it goes.

I have not forgotten all the other items people have been suggesting.  The list seems to grow faster than I can complete them.  I will be working on some more picture frames for pre-stretched canvas', and in different sizes as well.  While I have started on a cutting board, there will probably be more of those in the next few months as well.  Still on the list are planters, storage boxes, and home decorating items.  All this, and time to get busy on those Christmas gifts too!  Hmm, I wonder how everyone would feel about a cutting board for Christmas.....

If you have any additional product recommendations, send your suggestions to  Hopefully, I can build some of these dream items in 2007.


As always, we like to thank you for reading my newsletter. If you have any suggestions on items you would like to see added to the newsletter, please let me know at

Until next month, stay well and enjoy.



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Last Updated: Sunday August 26 2007