Michael Sweet, University Place, Washington

Retired Designer/Drafter. I have been woodworking now for about 25 years. My favorite and most challenging projects have been an 8' Western Red-Cedar totem pole, Southwestern chair (carved panels & mortise/tenon joinery) & a scaled dollhouse. I am currently working on a 19 x 19 grid GO game with woodburned & painted Japanese scenes, a driftwood wizard, cypress knee santa and a large planter box. Of course I also have numerous other projects laying around in a half-carved state. I carved mostly by hand. The totem pole was carved entirely by hand with authentic crooked knives from Kestrel Tools. I also have a Foredom carving machine. I own a Powermatic 66 5HP tablesaw, when they used to be USA. Delta 12" bandsaw, large Craftsman drill press, Delta 6" joiner, Delta Mortiser, Shopsmith and Shopsmith scrollsaw. Delta 10" chop saw, Craftsman 8" sliding bevel saw. Assorted compressors, nailers and the usual power equipment.

Gender: Male

Birthday: 12/13/1952

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I carved this for a client in Japan who wanted a picture of something to do with music to put by her piano. I had a 1" thick cabinet door made out of plywood. I never carved plywood before but I...

Carving Knives

I am a woodworker/woodcarver. I own several carving knives but the best ones I own I make. I used hacksaw blades and hollow-ground the shapes. I used a steel epoxy and aluminum rivets, if necessary...

Santa Rat Carving

I carved this for my future daughter-in-law for Christmas. It is pine with leather ears and tail. Pounding the tail and ears took almost as long as the carving. It is based on a carving from the book...


I developed this from some plans in a book. Of couse I had to deviate to suit my tastes. It was a labor of love. Now adults want to have one.

Recent comments

Re: UPDATE: Making Drawers by Hendrik Varju

Re: UPDATE: Weekend Woodturning Projects: 25 Simple projects for the home by Mark Baker

It was 0 comments when I started! No fair!

Re: UPDATE: Handmade Furniture: 21 Classic Woodworking Projects to Build for Your Home by Rafael Nathan

Looking forward to reading it when I win.

Re: UPDATE: The Creative Woodturner by Terry Martin

Didn't know there was any other way of woodturning but creative! But I will still accept the book.

Re: UPDATE: Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman by Peter Korn

I have to make things. I am a woodcarver/woodworker. I need that creative process in my life. I am a retired draftsman and love the whole process. The planning, ddesigning, drawing, creating and painting. It is part of me.

Re: UPDATE: Turning Toys with Richard Raffan

I have a couple of his videos on VHS. Love his method and speed of turning. This book would be perfect for me because I make toys and I have a mini-lathe. I wish they had more turning shows on tv

Re: UPDATE: In the Greene & Greene Style: Projects and Details for the Woodworker by Darrell Peart

I love the Arts & Crafts style. Would be a great addition to my library.

Re: UPDATE: Turning Wood with Richard Raffan, 3rd edition

I bought one of his turning videos on VHS years ago and it is one of my favorite shows to watch. Watching him turn at high speed and turning out balls to throw out on his lawn is a pleasure to watch. I would love his book

Re: telescope 6 inch-F-6 Dobsonian

That is amazing work. I've got some mirrors from a rear-projection Tv that I have thought of using for one of these. What type of wood is it?

Re: UPDATE: Carving in the Round by Andrew Thomas and How to Carve Wood by Richard Butz

Rick Butz's book was the first carving book I purchased. It is a great book. I loved watching the show he had on PBS.

Re: UPDATE: Rough Cut - Woodworking with Tommy Mac by Tommy MacDonald and Laurie Donnelly

Love the show, especially the road trips.

Re: Woodcraft to Acquire Japan Woodworker

I loved that magazine/store. Really different stuff. High quality too

Re: UPDATE: Routers & Router Tables from the editors of Fine Woodworking

Don't know why my previous post said "I" because what I wanted to say was I have four routers and a table. My most used tool.

Re: UPDATE: Sharpening & Tuning Hand Planes and Chisels by Hendrik Varju

I could use this DVD. I am a woodcarver and woodworker. I don't have any fancy sharpening equipment - just stones and a couple of grinders. You need to learn to sharpen tools to do anything.

Re: Hawaiian Steel Guitar is ready to make music

Mango wood! Sweet. I would love to make this project. I used to play a 12-string until an accident severed some fingers (not a woodworking accident!). Fingers were re-attached but one is permanently bent at a 90. Have thought of using my 12-string as a steel but hate to harm it. This one is beautiful. Nice job!

Re: UPDATE: Refinishing Furniture Made Simple (with DVD) by Jeff Jewitt

Would love to have this book. I am always refinishing furniture and wondering what is the best way to do it. Hope I win this book/DVD combo!

Re: UPDATE: Arts & Crafts Style Coffee Table with Gregory Paolini

I love the Arts & Crafts movement. Simple yet elegant

Re: A Woodworker's Musical Masterpiece

That is one of the most creative things I've ever seen. Very, very cool. You have a Beginner's mind.

Re: UPDATE: Back to Basics: Fundamentals of Sharpening from Fox Chapel Publishing

There is something "zen like" when you sharpen. I think it is the fact that you are only concentrating on the subject at hand. You are creating - an edge. I find myself getting out my sharpening stones, buffing wheel,strop and spending a couple of hours making a sharp edge. Not just on the tool I am working with but all the knives. Being a woodcarver I always strive for the razor-sharp edge. Plus I make my own blades so it almost becomes my goal instead of a means to make a tool for my carving.

Re: BOOK GIVEAWAY: 500 Tables (Updated with winner)

What would Norm do in this situation......

Re: Dollhouse

Thanks Stephen.
I made dado joints and pin-nailed a few things. The paint was actually real latex house paint sampler cans that I bought last year for my house. Almost 90% of the materials were from wood stored in my basement.
I used the book "Making Dolls' Houses in 1/12 Scale" by Brian Nickolls. A beautiful book with awesome photos. The plans have some parts that are difficult to figure out so I had to "engineer" it. I am a retired draftsman but there were still a few things that were difficult to follow. I used the engineering scale at my previous job but I prefer to work in 1/16" of an inch.
The only equipment I wish I had was a Proxxon miniature saw. I have a large 5HP Powermatic 66 and it was difficult for me to make the cherry trim.
I have looked on the web for various supplies but given the fact that I am cheap - I made everything myself. The shingles were poster board that I had to measure and cut - a real pain.
I was going to make a scaled replica of my granddaughter's house but I thought for the first one I should try plans. She is only 9 years old so I thought it probably would not matter.
My future daughter-in-law, who is Japanese, wants one too!

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