My Woodworking

Besides Genealogy, and History of SE Saskatchewan,
my other hobby is woodworking.
Now, after many years, I have a nice Workshop,
and a nice selection of basic wood tools
that I can do major damage with.


My Latest Creations

Dec 2014

Wood Toys for my Grandchildren

Roller Derby Whirly for daughter-in-law

Giraffe Puzzle in book form for Grandchildren.

Tardis anyone?

Unique Crib Board from a Hazelnut branch
for my Grandson

Aug - Sept 2010

Love Spoon
 for a wedding gift
for my son Terry, and his new Bride Jillian

made from a piece of Honduras Mahogany,
various items carved in the spoon
that they both like.
My first attempt at this art style.
Turns out Jillian's parents bought a love spoon,
with the Ukrainian Triad, and Elk
carved by a master carver,
down in southern BC.
It was carved in yellow cedar.
(picture above shows a table runner quilted by my wife.)

I also made a wooden box from aromatic cedar,
with box (finger) joints, to hold the spoon.

Whirly, made for my brother Don,
carved from red cedar,
with cedar strips, and painted with acrylic paints.
Eastern Collieries Shovel and Truck
"Mining 42 Coal" ca 1945

This scene I carved is important to our Gent family,
as my Dad worked underground at the Eastern Mine,
his brother, Jim Gent was Superintendent there,
and his brother in law, Herman Widdifield,
was a mechanic, who worked on this 75B shovel.

made a 12 x 14 x 6 in. high Red Cedar Memory box,
with box joints for my niece Cindy Gent.
no pics yet.

made in April 2010
for my brother Wayne as a special birthday gift
M&S Train Whirly

this is my version of the M&S coal train
located at Bienfait Sask.

Grain Elevator Bird Feeder
made for my niece in Vancouver
these are her pictures.

Pictures of my other Whirlys
 I have made for friends and family

These whirlys take very little wind to spin
and provide hours of enjoyment watching them.
I use a fairly long nylon string to hang them,
using no spinning joints,
which enables them to spin in one direction with very little wind,
then they unwind the string, and spin back with no wind.
If you shorten the string, or use fishing spinners,
you loose this reversing effect.
Some have shortened the strings which is their choice.
Tools I use, are a dremel tool for the carving and fine sanding,
and a scroll saw for the outline shape of the center piece,
and top and bottom pieces.
Table saw makes all the slats,
and a portable belt sander finishes them off.
Drill press makes all the holes for the dowels.
I love the carving and painting part,
and hate making the slats.
They are just too boring to me to make
and even more of a pain to sand.


This was a whirly I made for friends
Dean and Sue Bergstrom in Terrace,
in the summer of 2009,
Since Dean is a moose hunter,
and has given us bones for our dogs,
and samples of the meat which is great,
I decided to carve a moose in the center for them.
The center is carved from one piece of cedar,
which is the same on all my whirlys.
I never carve the same image twice. Not yet anyway!
I use scrap cedar for all my whirly work.
I am a recycler wood worker for sure.
Learned that from my parents.
Another persons scraps, are my treasures.


Bell 206B Jet Ranger, made for my son Andrew.
Since he worked for Hayes in Duncan at that time,
it was painted in their colours.
The main rotor and tail rotor all spin.

Sunflower whirly under const photos,
made for my daughter
This one only spent a short time outside.

Canadian Theme Whirly for my niece in the States
She asked for some Canadian stuff, so she got the works,
Maple Leaf, Flag, and even a relief carving of a Beaver.
She tells me it gets the attention of
and they all know where she is from.

Zephyr Dog Whirly for friends Rod and Sue
This whirly was actually constructed twice...,
it endured a small accident, and actually broke in half,
I had to glue it back together,
including reconstructing a missing leg for the dog.
After reinforcing the sides, with black walnut splines,
removing the fancy mirror reflective tape,
and installing more mirrors,
it turned out better than the original version.
I tried as an experiment some car prism reflective tape,
which looked great, but did not stand up at all outside.
I have since gone back to small 1"square mirrors
which are embedded and glued in the cedar
These stand up to all the elements,
and provide the reflecting effect as they spin.

Spring or Chinook Salmon,
for a neighbour.
In my opinion one of the better ones I made.

One for my next door neighbour,
Looked easy to make, but was one of the harder ones to carve
Those letters are close together, trust me!
and of course it's carved the same on both sides.
You can guess what he

Killer Whale for a niece
First experiment with a solid wood dowel
through the whole piece.
Now I use 2 pieces, and reinforce the sides of the center.
I like the look of the open area better.

Bottom of the Kermodei Bear whirly
 I made for friends in Estevan
no picture of top
finished product
It hangs at River Bend Nursery in Estevan,
I heard it blew down in a major storm,
and survived the 8ft fall with no damage.
Not sure if it survived the flood!

1957 Ford Crown Victoria
pictures under construction,
made for friends, The Richeys
no pictures of finished product
This was my first attempt at a wider center portion,
than the 1 " wide slats, top and bottom.
Since this whirly, I have used this wider technique
as it allows a more 3d look, rather than a 1" wide squished look.
This one has never been outside.

Basic Double Elevator Whirly,
the first one I made for myself
Nothing fancy carved here,
just a very basic shape cut out with a jig saw.

Hummingbird for my wife
2nd one I made, and first one in more carving detail.
I might remake this in the future,
using my newer methods.
In the first 2, I used a coat wire in the center
which didn't work out as well as I thought.
Since then I use a 5/16 wood dowel,
glued to each slat, in the center.
I also nail each slat as they are assembled,
which makes them a lot stronger now.
Still I recommend they are only outdoors in the summer,
and brought indoors in the winter months.
I use standard acrylic paint, coated in at least 2 coats
of a quality outdoor varathane.
Still being made out of wood, they will deteriorate over time.

Made an Eagle head whirly for my son Terry, no photo

Made 2 elevator whirlys,
one for my Mom, of the Estevan Mathieson elevator,
my grandfather, her dad, Gus Gesell operated.
It spent one summer spinning in the gazebo
at Hillview manor in Estevan
then a couple years hanging from the ceiling of her room,
until she passed away. 

I made another one for the Ingrid Beahm family,
of the Bienfait SK. Elevator,
given to them for their work on the Bienfait 2005 reunion.

Other than the salmon,
this Bienfait elevator is my other favourite
and possibly my very favourite one,
and Ingrid tells me it has never seen the outside,
so should be in just like new condition.
This is one I will be trying to recreate one day.

Made one for my other neighbours, Rick and Brenda
and it got a battery clock for an insert.
I noticed it does need some refinishing now.

Forgot to get photos of some of the last few.

Misc Items I have made

Something different
Wooden Flower Vase

This was a flower vase I made in Dec 2009,
from a piece of natural diamond willow
The tulips and bull rush flowers
and assorted length leaves, I made from scratch.
This was made as a gift
I used just about every tool in the shop to make this project.
The base was recycled from an old solid mahogany plant stand.
The tulips from old 2x4 stock,
from a recycled glass window shipping crate,
and the bull rush heads from an old broken broom handle,
the only bought item was the wooden dowels (flower stems).
All the flowers and leaves I painted with acrylic paints,
then all was varathaned, so they could be dusted easier.
These flowers never die, and no watering required,
and for those with allergies, no need to worry either!

Washoes game

Fairy Theme tray for my wife
made from recycled panelling plywood
with black walnut splines on the corners

Sudoku board for my daughter Amber
Never need a pencil for this one.

Noah's Ark Toy for my Grandson Liam
complete with around 30 pairs of animals inside

Home School Desk for my Grandson Braiden
made to fit on top of a wooden TV table

King Tut bird feeder for my Aunt Dolly
lid lifts off and hooks on top rail,
to make 2 handed filling possible
Everything but the rope was recycled materials

I called it the "Acrobat Man", an old toy,
My dad made me one of these when I was a boy
So I made 3 of them, 2 as gifts, one for myself.
Squeeze to short part of the handles,
and the wooden man does spins in the top portion.
I now have found plans for a acrobat clown,
which one day I will make.

Helicopter Logging Toy Set, for my grandson Braiden
Lots of hours went into this set,
and almost kept it myself to play with.

I have made other items, but no pictures available yet.



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