The Editors Mailbox

The Editors Mailbox

Small Scale Woodworking with a Big Imagination

comments (0) September 26th, 2013 in blogs

Ben_Blackmar Ben Blackmar, Contributor
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The tiny pine door... with some fan mail from visitors inside.
The new door, a hobbit-inspired wooden design, updated to meet city code.
 - CLICK TO ENLARGE Photo: Tony Powell /

Some interesting woodworking has been appearing in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Tiny mill work made by mini-woodworkers? That might make sense, but the real maker finally stepped up. It's the handiwork of Tony Powell, a woodworking hobbyist and father of six-year-old boy, Rio. He came up with the plan as a fun activity to do with his son, and to bring a little whimsy to thier favorite outdoor setting. The first door was made from pine and finished with varinish, according to


The tiny dwelling has inspired the imagination of both his son and the local community, even attracting national media coverage. There are different opinions on who lives inside, but whether it's fairies or elves, everyone agrees that they like the new addition to the park. The idea has gotten my wheels turning too, to find a good place for a miniature abode on my favorite hiking trail...






Because all new developments must be up to code, parks dept. officials have said that while it may remain for a time, the tiny door will eventually have to go. The door violates a park regulation against attaching objects to living trees- but this hasn't dampened Tony and Rio's creative spirit; they have a new plan.


A new door has been installed in a eucalyptus log in a more secluded area of the park. The door will be allowed to stay this time, because the log is no longer living.


You can read more about it at a website created by the door's maker at

posted in: blogs, , carving, turning, pine, rustic, built-in, oil, polyurethane

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