David Marks on Rough Cuts

Watching TV this morning I ran across a Rough Cuts episode that featured David Marks. He was showing Tommy Mac how to make one his famous turned vessels with an applied chemical patina. I’ve been a big fan of David Marks ever since I first saw him on his TV show Woodworks which was on HGTV and DIY Network many years ago. In fact, it was the main reason I ordered cable when I first moved into my house. I watched  his show religiously for about six years until HGTV and DIY pulled his show off the air by not renewing another season. I always thought that if Woodworks was on PBS, it would probably be still on the air today.

Woodworks was an awesome woodworking show where David made some awe inspiring modern looking furniture. David did a lot with bent wood lamination which helped me figure out how to build the back on my Windsor chairs since I had no access to fresh green lumber and a wood steamer. One episode David showed how to make your own plywood which motivated me to buy a vacuum press. It seemed that there was nothing that he couldn’t make. While he did have some nice tools, it seemed that everything he made was within a modest woodworkers budget. However, I still long to own one his Multi-Routers.

When I saw David today, it made me wish he still has his TV show. Maybe some PBS station out in California where David is from will offer him his own show again. Lord knows we could use another one. You can watch the episode of David on Rough Cut here.


At one time you could watch old episodes of Woodworks online for free, but I haven’t been able to find the link. However, you can buy an entire season of his episodes on his website. If you’ve never heard of David Marks, or seen his work, I highly recommend you check him out.


A $6.00 Side Table

This is the side table I just made last week painted and all finished. My wife painted it with chalk paint and added a stencil to to the top. I think it turned out really well. It was made with from a 2×8 southern yellow pine board I bought from Lowe’s for $6.00. We plan on giving it away to our local PBS station so they can auction it off in their annual pledge drive Action Auction next month. We’re going to split the donation; I as the builder, MVFlaim Furnituremaker and my wife Anita as the painter, Bella Chic Decor. It’ll be intersting to see how it does.

Since when do woodworkers buy furniture from other woodworkers?

I have to admit, I’d never thought that a woodworker would buy a piece of handmade furniture from another woodworker. After all we’re woodworkers, we could just easily make it ourselves. But what has happened over the past few months has changed my opinion.

It started a couple of years ago when I made four Shaker side tables out of cherry. I had plans of listing them on Etsy and turning a handsome profit. At first it seemed easy with a sale within the first week. The problem was that the person who had “bought” the table was a scammer trying to pull some over payment cashiers check trick and then have me send him the difference back. Luckily Etsy saw the scam and cancelled the transaction.

I had the tables out on Etsy for a few months with no other bites so I decided to delist them. I was them stumped as to what to do with them so I had the idea of donating one to my local PBS station’s Action Auction. The auction went well and I had my table on TV for several minutes as well as MVFlaim Furnituremaker listed on the PBS station’s website. So, the next year I decided to do it again. Even though I didn’t get any money for them, I felt good about the exposure and helping out my local PBS station with the donation.

Then last summer I got a call from one of the people who had won the auction for one of the tables. They wanted another one! So I gave them a price and went over to their house to deliver it. I met with the woman’s husband and he started talking about woodworking and took me out to his shop. I looked around in his shop in confusion. The man obviously had a nice set up. Nice enough to be able to build the table himself. Why was he buying mine? I asked him why and he told me that while he dabbles in woodworking, he doesn’t possess the skills that I have to build the table as nice as I did. I was extremely flattered by that.

Three tables down one to go. My wife decided to stick the last one in our spare bedroom and use it for a few months. It looked nice but didn’t quite match the French country decor she was going after so she listed it on Craigslist. A couple of days ago a guy called and asked if he could have it for a certain price. My wife and I agreed to the offer and told him to come pick it up. The man came to the house, introduced himself and started asking about what type of joinery I used to build the table. I couldn’t believe it. Another woodworker! Here’s another guy who would rather buy a nice handmade table than make himself. What is going on? He told me that he spends all his time at work and really doesn’t have time to build things he wants but appreciates nice furniture when he sees it. He even told me that he went down to Tennessee to Lonnie Bird’s school to take his Dovetailing class a few years ago so he definitely had a passion for woodworking.

All I know is that I learned something new today. Even though people possess the skill to build something themselves, they’ll still pay a fair price for the work of others. I didn’t get rich from the sale of the tables. In fact, I barely got my money back from the cost of the wood, but it still felt good helping out my local PBS station the past couple of years and meeting new friends.