Sunday, 20 July 2014

Custom Bench

I hope to do another post soon showing off some other benches, but I need to take some pictures first. Stay tuned and keep your eyes peeled for that, and also be thinking about any ideas you may have for a bench to fit your own needs. 

This was a custom project for a big city customer. I had a small sample bench (more of a stool really) with me at a Farmer's Market and the customer approached me and asked if i could make a custom bench. I assured him that I could and he took a card and told me he would email me some measurements. 

A few weeks later he emailed me the specifics. I found out later that he and his wife had gone around looking at benches that felt right and took measurements to get the best of all worlds. He also wanted something that would match a table that was already in his home. 

We were able to match the colour to his satisfaction, give him a firm price on the finished project and meet his measurements exactly. He was contacted and we arranged pickup.

He arrived on the specified day and was very happy (I could say thrilled, but we men are a bit more emotionally reserved when it comes to furniture) to see the final product. Sturdy, level, just the right colour, much better quality and a longer life expectancy than something from a box store (did I mention it's made from solid wood?) and all for a reasonable price. 

I like wood. Whether it's pine, cedar, poplar, oak, maple, cherry, walnut, mahogany or sumac, I like wood and I like working with wood; and my experience is that most folks out there like the way that wood looks and feels and even the way it smells.

I work with my clients to get them the best product for their money to meet their wants and needs. That might mean an indoor bench made from pine to keep the cost down, or a bench made from black walnut and curly maple to show off a dining room set or to sit in a living room. Maybe it's a cedar bench to sit on a deck with a good exterior finish, or maybe it's an oak dining room bench built to survive lots of rambunctious children at dinner time. 

Pricing is relative to size and materials but price estimates are free. Contact me at for a no commitment consultation for a bench or any other woodworking need. 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Custom Signs

Inside or outside, sometimes you need to advertise a little bit. Maybe it's a family name sign to tell friends where you live, maybe it's a company or small business sign or maybe it's a bit of fun like a mancave sign. 

No matter what you're looking for, we are happy to try and meet your requests with signs tailored to your needs and tastes. To help you decide, here's a few options:

Basic Signs: The basic sign has basic information, and is pretty, well, basic looking. Typically made from 3/4" pine and left unstained so you can paint, stain or finish it yourself, or leave it unfinished and keep it indoors and let a soft patina build up over time. 

Extra Option #1: Extra Information: Have a street number, address or other information added above or below the basic sign. This option will include fastening hardware unless otherwise specified by the customer. 

Extra Option #2: Stain: If plain pine isn't your thing then you may be interested in adding some stain to your sign. Choose from a Minwax stain or another specified stain, dye, etc. I don't typically like to paint, but it is also an option (I suppose...if i have to).

Extra Option #3: Chains: Attach your sign to a post, tree or hang from a beam with chains. Typically this option includes 2 12" lengths of chains along with removable links. Chain lengths can be provided at different lengths as desired.

Extra Option #4: Finish: Exterior finish will provide considerable weather resistance to your sign and both interior and exterior finishes will bring out the colour and the grain of the wood. Interior finishes are available in matte, satin and gloss, exterior finishes are a blend of Helmsman Spar Urethane and teak oil, and are available in satin, semi-gloss and gloss. 

Extra Option #5: The Post: Posts are made from 4"x4" eastern white cedar and finished with a blend of Helmsman Spar Urethane and teak oil which both brings out the colour and adds to the already considerable weather resistance of cedar. Crossbeams are attached with notches and screws. I like to accent the posts by routing a cove into the edges. 

Extra Option # 6: Materials: Other woods can be used in lieu of those mentioned above depending on product availability. Costs will vary depending on the wood used. Western red cedar may be substituted for eastern white cedar if available. Cedar (white or red) may be used for signs, as well as various hardwoods. Please note that some woods may not perform as well in exterior conditions as pine. 

Why not add a little something to your front yard to give it a personal and distinguished touch?

For pricing and other information, contact Don at

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Custom Shelf

I was contacted back in the fall to do a custom wall shelf that would be a Christmas present. After spending some time getting specifics worked out, well, this was the eventual result. Since much of my work revolves around a scroll saw it's a bit on the decorative side. 

Above is the finished shelf as viewed from the front. It's made from pine and stained with Watco Cherry Danish oil. This one has two shelves; I have a similar one with 3 shelves holding up my DVD collection at home. Potentially, more shelves could be added as needed/desired. Note that each shelf has a spot for 2 screws to fasten it to the wall so more shelves don't increase the risk of it falling off the wall. Holes are spaced at 16" so they can be fastened into wall studs. 

One of the details that was worked out was what pattern or design was to be cut into the middle brackets. The customer decided on the hummingbirds and flower. Other designs are available or customers can provide their own. 

The roses cut into the bottom were probably my favourite little touch. They went along with the flower motif on the sides. I was really happy with how they came out. Again, almost any small pattern or picture could be cut into this spot, or it can be left out entirely if desired. 

A close up on the middle bracket. Note the Roman Ogee on the edge of the shelves. I was going to just use a round over but felt it needed a bit more. 

When all was said and done the customer was happy, the recipient was happy and I was fairly pleased with how it came out. For custom shelf pricing information or to ask about anything else please email me at

Monday, 17 February 2014

New Rustic Wood Products

So back in the late fall we cut a bunch of wood cookies (slice off the end of a log). Below are the results from some of those cookies. 

This is a new type of product that I am hoping will do well this year. I will caption the products below, but here's a quick synopsis of related products that I hope to make that follow in these styles and out of different woods: Coasters, cake stands, cutting boards, trivets, candle holders, bowls, dishes, accent and conversation pieces, and more. 

Shallow bowl made from spalted birch

3 candle holder from sugar maple

Single candle holder from spalted birch

4 candle holder from sugar maple sapwood

2 candle holder from sugar maple heartwood

Conversation/accent piece from spalted birch

Candle holder from staghorn sumac

All of the wood used in these projects has been gathered from fallen trees, effectively making it "reclaimed" and definitely sustainable. Each of these is completely unique. More kinds of wood and more variety of projects will be showing up throughout the year, especially once the snow melts and i can find downed trees again!

Back at Last...

Well, we're halfway through February and I haven't posted since December...

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and holiday season. I took a few weeks off from the shop to spend some time with the family and recover from the Christmas rush. Things have been busy nonetheless and so I find myself a bit behind posting some new things.

If you were a Maple Ridge Creations customer last year, or if you have been a regular blog follower, you should be aware of some changes that will be coming (some are already here) this year. Here's a quick breakdown of what to expect:

1. Product changes. From the beginning of June through to December this past year, we managed to turn out at least one new product every week. Some of those were very successful and some weren't. I will continue to experiment with new products this year (since there's a million things you can make out of wood) but the variety will likely not be growing quite as fast as it did last year. So some of the things you might have seen last year will likely not be returning this year, but they will continue to be available as custom orders.

Also related to product changes: Last year a lot of our selection was stained pine. Due to the amount of time involved in properly applying stain to every little hole, I am hoping to use a lot more hardwood this year, so expect to see more in maple, beech, cherry, walnut, mahogany and more. Hardwood is considerably more expensive than pine, but by saving time by not staining I hope to keep costs from increasing too much, while at the same time increasing quality and durability of many products.

2. Prices: I hate rising prices. Absolutely hate it. Sadly, however, some prices will be going up. For one thing, last year was a bit experimental. We have had some time over the holidays to examine a bit more closely our profit margins and the amount of time involved in certain products and we feel that we are still charging a fair price for the products and services being offered. The other factors are, unfortunately, government related. As electricity costs in Ontario continue to rise, and with food prices already going up in expectation of rising minimum wage, I need to make more money to maintain the same standard of living (which isn't all that high).
Shipping prices will continue to be done at estimated cost when made directly by email or phone, but shipping costs have gone up with Canada Post earlier this year.

3. Where to find us: Last year my bread and butter location was the Marmora Farmer's Market, and I will be there again this year on Saturdays through the warmer months. I plan to also spend some Saturdays at the Madoc Farmer's Market. How often I am there will depend on the reception of the community. I will continue to visit other venues as they become available, whether craft shows, fairs, fundraising events, etc. And of course you can find us here on the blog. Custom order inquiries can be done through phone (613-473-5408), email ( or in person. Shop visits are by appointment only, but can be arranged. I am always happy to sit down with you and work out what you want before you make a commitment to have me make it for you.

4. A real website (?): Nothing concrete is in the works quite yet, but we would like to have a proper website by sometime later this year where you can browse a gallery, make inquiries and order directly from the website. If there's anything you would like to see, please let me know.

Why am I telling you all of this? Quite simple. You are my fans, followers and customers, and many of you are friends as well and I value you and your input. I want to include you in the (not so secret) workings of Maple Ridge Creations.

On a quick final note: I will be putting another post up almost immediately after this one featuring some new products that I've been playing with over the Christmas break, so be sure to check that out too.

It's good to be back! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

End of the Year...

So here's where we are: there are eight (8) days until Christmas, two (2) weeks until New Year's Eve and that means that you have seven (7) days left to get quality unique products from Maple Ridge Creations before having to wait until the new year. Fear not, gentle blog reader, fear not...there is yet hope...

The 2013 craft market has effectively ground to a halt. However, to give everyone a chance to do some last minute Christmas shopping, Maple Ridge Creations (that's me if you haven't been paying attention) and Amazing Coffee in Madoc are teaming up to bring you a great Christmas shopping experience. Imagine being in a comfortable little coffee shop, enjoying your favourite hot beverage while the snow gently falls outside, and casually perusing custom hand crafted wood toys, home decor items and novelties and chatting with friends and thinking of the wonderful days to come.

Now, you might have to bring your own friends, and Maple Ridge Creations does not in any way guarantee the degree of wonderful which your coming days may be, but, along with Amazing Coffee, we feel we can pretty much assure you of the delightful hot beverages and hand crafted wood part anyway. Also, we make no promises about the accuracy of the weatherman (weatherpeople?) but then, neither does he.

Regardless, this coming Saturday, December 21st, 2013, Maple Ridge Creations will be set up for the entire day (or until they kick me out) at Amazing Coffee. I expect to have my entire in stock inventory with me, including a few things which have not been for sale anywhere else before. It will also be a good time to chat with me about custom projects for the new year (January is already starting to back up).

After Saturday, I will still take orders for in stock items until December 24th. They can be shipped or picked up (by appointment only please) as per usual.

The shop will be closed until the new year concerning production, but I will ship in stock products after Christmas. I don't guarantee how quickly they will get shipped but they will get shipped.

I expect to reopen by January 6th, so any custom order made by then will begin to work their way through then.

Since I am about as busy at present as I would want to be, I doubt I will be making any further blog posts until Christmas, so:

On behalf of myself and my family, we would like to wish all of our followers, customers and Facebook and google+ friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

30 Market Tomorrow

To my friends in Peterborough and area: I'm coming to see you tomorrow!

I will at the 30 Market sale tomorrow in the public library building on Aylmer St. from noon until 7pm.

If you 're unfamiliar with 30 Market, everything is under $30, which if you're still doing Christmas shopping, is probably very helpful to your bank account.

In addition to great prices, there will be more than 20 vendors in attendance, drawings for prizes and more. So whether you're into "buy local", making final purchases for Christmas or just looking for some great deals on quality products, stop on by and see what's going on.

Saturday I may go to the new flea market in Belleville (at Bridge and Sidney in the Giant Tiger plaza) or i may just stay at home. Haven't decided yet, but there's a good case to be made for both. Since the beginning of June I've been spending the whole week making things in my shop and then selling them on Saturday. Since then I've had one (1) Saturday off. But the end (for this year) is nigh!

The reason being that I have only one show left after this weekend and it will be a great show. If you haven't read it elsewhere, I (Maple Ridge Creations) will be at Amazing Coffee in Madoc for the whole day on December 21st. Probably from open until close (or almost anyway). This is a special collaborative event: you can come to see me and try some truly great coffee (or tea or hot chocolate), or you can come in for the coffee and take a look through what I have left in stock.

In particular, this may be a good time for those of you who have ideas for projects for the new year to come in and talk those ideas out with me. I don't expect to be taking any pre-Christmas special orders (who knows...someone may get lucky) but a sit down consultation over coffee is a great way to work out details on those ideas for custom stuff and see what I can (or can't) do for you.

I could go on about plans for the new year, but then what would I talk about next week?