Category Archives: SkunkWorks

Sketches of projects yet to come…

iPhone made into a classic flip-number alarm clock!

If you grew up in the 70s or 80s, chances are you, or someone in your family had a clock radio with the flip-numbers.The numbers flipped down, changing the time, which I found, for some reason, to be fascinating. I guess it’s because I never saw a clock like that, only the standard analog type.

Then of course, is the faux wood grain and the basic radio and alarm.

So I was watching the movie “Groundhog Day” recently when the waking up scene kept repeating over and over -there is one of those old clock radios in the scene.

So I thought I’d like to get one again – off eBay of course – just for old times sake, feeling a twang of nostalgia.

Then I was playing with my iPhone.

Then a few ideas started brewing in my head…could I make it all come together?

Every night – like tens of millions of Americans – I put the charger cable in my phone and set it on my nightstand, so it’ll be ready for tomorrow.

On a lark, I looked for an app that simulated the old clock radios – and not only did a find a few flip-number types but a very cool rectangular one as well.

Using my skills at SketchUp – a drafting program – I came up with a simple to make, yet very cool clock radio that harkens back to the days of classic clock radios, yet includes the new twist of a smartphone – and doubles as a charger as well!

There is info there on how to order the plans for this as well!
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Posted by on August 6, 2017 in SkunkWorks


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Sewing Cabinet

Sewing cabinet This wall hanging, open face cabinet is for the stylish seamstress. Maple and Walnut. Plenty of room for spools of thread, ribbons, and pull out boxes for notions. About 3′ tall by 2′ 10″ wide.



sewing cabinet

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Posted by on July 23, 2014 in SkunkWorks



Challenge: What Did I Build from ONE 2×4?

ForkedUpArtI’m always a bit fascinated by what some people can do with what others would consider “junk” or “run of the mill” or ordinary. When someone can take something considered a throw-away, and make it much more than it was, so called “up-cycling” like this guy does on Etsy, using…forks. You can get forks for just about free at a garage sale, or new ones at the dollar stores. He has take materials, probably less than $4 worth, and with a little imagination and welding, turned it into something he can sell for almost $30. That is pretty cool.

Well, forks aren’t my thing, but wood is.

Now, the rage these days are furniture, or furnishings, from wood pallets – again, overlooked utilitarian wood. Usually trashed or used again and again. You can see examples of what can be done with wood pallets on my Pinterest page. There is also reclaimed lumber being used for flooring and furniture as well. My take is it’s just a passing fade. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for recycling and using materials in different ways, but I just don’t see the staying power of pallet furniture.

So, as a little intellectual challenge to myself, I was wondering, what could I make out of ONE lumber yard 2″x4″x8′ – the common stud you’d find in any home’s wall?

So over I went to my local Home Depot, and found a 2×4, the straights, knot-less one I could, a premium fir stud, for about $3. It was actually quite pretty, with a cream color, and growth rings of a pale red.

Now, what to make with this? I had my eye on this plant stand by Limbert out of oak and ebony:


Limbert Ebon-Oak Fern Stand With Square Top So, I set about trying to re-create it in Sketchup. Problem was, there was just not enough material in a 2×4 to do it (incidentally, a 2×4 is not actually 2″ x 4″; it’s 1.5″ x 3.5″). I took into account waste from the kerf of the saw, and tried every which way to make it happen.

Wouldn’t work.

BUT, I was able to make it work when I did it at 3/4 size.

After flattening the board, taking off the rounded edges, and just making a plain piece of lumber, I lost about an 1/8″, and took those dimensions into account in my Sketchup drawing. The project would take precision cutting, and there was no room for error – not even a 1/16″.

I had a little bit of scrap left over, a few little blocks, and I guess if I did it over, I would have tried to work those in somehow, so I had virtually NO waste, save the sawdust…

But anyway, here’s how it came out….

I ended up painting it a brown color with a black top, because staining pine is a nightmare!


Bare 2x4 table








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Posted by on July 22, 2014 in BlogNotes, Sketchup, SkunkWorks


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Modern Mission Desk

I challenged myself to design a modern mission style desk. The contrast between the two styles was challenging. I enjoy designing with Sketchup (and the rendering engine, Kerekythea) as much as actually being in the shop.

Some specifics: The drawer pulls are hammered copper, and sunk into cutouts in the drawer, as contrasted to being attached through the drawer front by a screw. All cherry and ebonized cherry. 6′ 4″ long by 32″ at the deepest. The top is 30″ high, and has 25″ of leg clearance.

Modern Mission Desk

Back CLose Handle close upOblique 2 Overhead

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Posted by on November 14, 2013 in BlogNotes, Furniture, SkunkWorks


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Grand Mission Desk

Grand Mission Desk


This wonderful Mission (Craftsman, Arts and Crafts) desk is for the person that wants a real showpiece in his or her office or den.

The top is a commanding 1 1/2″ thick piece; the legs are stylish, yet solid and massive in feel. They are capped top and bottom as well. The bottom arched vertical pieces in the middle panel, and corbels add stylish flair. Real Harvey Ellis reproductions of inlays are featured in the middle panel (they are other styles that can be chosen). In this current rendition, it is a computer workstation; there is no drawers or shelving in the back end.

Top is a huge 1.5″ thick slab, 84″ wide, by 30″ deep, 28″ high. All quarter-sawn white oak.

NOTE: The configuration o this desk can be changed – wood type, stain, wood combinations, as well as adding drawer or shelving in the back (currently there are none; they would cost additional). I would create a new Etsy listing for your approval, in that case.

SHIPPING: Paypal will add $500 automatically for shipping. This is an approximation only. Actual shipping will vary. If you are with 6 hours of Rochester, NY, I will deliver personally for a nominal charge. You are also welcome to pick up the pieces yourself, or arrange for a carrier to do so. I will also ship outside the USA, but again, shipping charges will be different from the $500 cited.

Oblique 1 Front Grand Mission Desk

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Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Furniture, SkunkWorks

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