Hand Made Christmas Gifts for the Bears

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Bearcarver

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Original poster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Sep 12, 2009
45,280
18,121
Macungie, PA
Hand Made Christmas Gifts for the Bears


Bear Jr was a Busy Elf for the last few weeks.
He made his Mom & Dad some Awesome Gifts in his new Woodshop.


A little “Bear Jr” Background:
He went to Tech School for Cabinetmaking, and graduated in 1990, as “Most Outstanding Cabinetmaker” in his class. He was also the First, Second-Generation Student to graduate from that tech school, since Bearcarver graduated from that same school in 1966.
During his Senior year, he worked in a Solar Sunroom Shop in the afternoon of every school day.
So when he graduated, since he was going to go Full Time, he asked for a raise, and they offered to move him from $4.25 to $4.50 per hour, so he gave them 2 weeks notice. They told him he might as well leave now, so he came home. Hearing that, I was fit to be tied, and Mrs Bear begged me not to go over there, and kick some Butt. I was already on my way out to my Truck!!! I raised that kid to do the right thing, so even after the insulting move to give him a 25 cents an hour raise to go full time, they take the Kid’s “2 weeks notice” that he gave them, and shoved it back at the Kid “right up where the sun don’t shine!!” I was not a Happy Bear!!
He started at another shop the next day——Making & installing Spiral Stairs. So he worked there for about 6 months, and since he was young & the newest guy there, every time they got slow, he’d only be working 3 or 4 days in that week.
So he ran into another guy who had a Spiral Stair place, and he hired Him to be a Foreman @ $14 per hour, because of his experience. Then a few months later the one partner ripped the other partner off & left the state, and they went belly up.
So Bear Jr knew I wasn’t getting Rich, and He was getting kinda tired of these low paying woodworking jobs, and he knew I only needed him for a few hours a week in my own Cabinet Shop.
Then he saw an ad in the paper for “Tower Climbers”. He checked it out, and he loved it. It wasn’t long until he became “Crew Chief”. That made me awful nervous, because my only Son was dangling from ropes @ places between 200’ and 800’ above the ground nearly every day.

It wasn’t long before Sprint complained to Bear Jr’s boss that his Crew was the only Crew doing their jobs right, and that they should either send Bear Jr & His Crew to do their Sprint Jobs or don’t send anyone—They’ll get another company. Meanwhile the head guy at Sprint told Bear Jr “If You start your own Tower Business, I’ll make sure you never run out of work”.

So We borrowed $20,000 from the bank to get him started, and off he went. He was able to pay us back in full in less than 6 months, and his Tower Corporation swelled to 13 employees, 7 Trucks with 4 tower crews on the road. He built a 6,000’ Pole Barn for the business, and was doing Great.
His biggest problem was keeping help. It’s hard to find young guys who aren’t afraid of height, who aren’t either drunks or on drugs, but he managed for about 20 years. Then about a year ago, he cut back & changed to only doing a few of the jobs, and Subbing most of the work out to other Tower Companies, and just overseeing the jobs to make sure they’re getting done right.
So now he’s down to 5 employees, including Mrs Bear (Accountant-Secretary), 3 Trucks, 2 warehouses, and since there’s very little climbing by anybody working for him, he no longer has to worry so much about one of his guys falling from a tower. That was a headache he wasn't fond of.


Back to His Roots:
So now Bear Jr is in pretty good financial shape, so he started playing around with some of my Old Woodworking tools & machines. He’s been really getting into it, and decided to start a sideline of Specialty woodworking items. He bought some new machines, including a CNC Router (I never had one of those!!). He also took in a Buddy as a Partner/Employee, who knows a little computer programming, and between the 2 of them they got that Router doing pretty much what they want it to do. Since it’s a Sideline, he doesn’t have the pressure you would have if it was your only way of making money, and he seems to be having fun doing something similar to what I used to do for a living.
Now he put up interior walls in his pole barn, and some dropped ceiling, so he could reasonably heat the shop, so they could work there in the Winter.
So he’s making “Live Edge” Tables, Charcuterie Serving Trays, Cutting Boards, and other high end types of things, and He started an LLC for his New Business, and calls it
“Rustic Legends Woodworks”.

Bear’s Christmas Present:

So Bear Jr made His Old Dad a Beautiful “Personalized” Cutting Board.
It really is Beautiful !!
It weighs about 10 pounds, @ 1 3/4” Thick X 14" W X 18”L.
It’s all End grain on the top & bottom surface, and highly polished.
The outer ends are made of “English Walnut”.
The massive center-main portion is “Black Walnut”.
And the Light colored accent pieces separating the 2 Walnuts are all “Sassafras”.
It has a nice Blood Groove on all sides of the cutting surface.
He also Routed My Handle
“Bearcarver”, and a Couple of Bear drawings into the Cutting Board, and filled it with Black Epoxy. (Personalized)

Bear's Cutting Board:
IMG_4537.jpg


Close-Up:
IMG_4538.jpg


Another Shot:
IMG_4539.jpg




Mrs Bear’s Christmas Present:
So Bear Jr delivered another Christmas Present, this time to his Mom.
Here’s the story on that thing—Our “Family Heirloom” Park Bench.
Mrs Bear’s Grandfather was a Lithuanian Blacksmith, and he originally made the Metal parts of this Park Bench.
He made that more than 80 years ago, and we got ahold of it about 40 years ago.
The wood was all rotted, and it was in the barn under a pile of other junk.
So I cleaned it up, and painted the metal parts, and put Pressure Treated wood on the seat, back boards, and the bottom runners.
For the last 15 years it’s been down at Bear Jr’s house, because he had a nice pond in his back yard.
So Along comes 2019, and Bear Jr strips it down, repaints the Metal parts again, and replaces the Pressure Treated Wood with an even better wood
Product—Thermally Modified “Thermal Ash”, with a 25 year Life Span.
The treatment makes the Ash end up looking like Beautiful Walnut Boards.
So Bear Jr did all this and gave it to his Mom, The lovely “Mrs Bear”, for one of her Christmas Presents.


Mrs Bear's Bench: (with Thermally Modified Ash Wood)
IMG_4534.jpg


Slightly Different Angle:
IMG_4536.jpg


I hope you guys enjoyed the stories & pictures.


Bear
 
Last edited:

xray

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Mar 11, 2015
4,609
3,138
Northeast PA
Everything looks absolutely beautiful! That cutting board is stunning!

Great story too, Bear. Guess those $4.25/hr guys don’t know what they missed out on.
 
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gary s

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
Jan 6, 2011
26,256
4,695
You are right "I loved this one" When you do something you Love , it's not a job.
He just keeps getting better and better. Tell him your old buddy from East Texas is Proud of him to.
And thinks his work is beautiful.

Gary
 

Winterrider

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Sep 29, 2018
5,186
3,131
North Dakota
Personalisation is a lost art these days. Those gifts look fantastic, and will be cherished every time they are looked at. Congratulations Bear Jr., well done.
 

Bearcarver

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Original poster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Thread starter
Sep 12, 2009
45,280
18,121
Macungie, PA
Great story bear. Your son obviously makes you proud. The gifts look top notch!

Thank You Jake!!
Yes he does Make us Proud!
And Thanks for the Like.

Bear


Everything looks absolutely beautiful! That cutting board is stunning!

Great story too, Bear. Guess those $4.25/hr guys don’t know what they missed out on.


Thank You Xray!!
I believe it was Good Mrs Bear Simmered me down that day!!
And Thanks for the Like.

Bear
 

Hawging It

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Jan 1, 2019
2,827
1,711
Southeast Mississippi
Hand Made Christmas Gifts for the Bears


Bear Jr was a Busy Elf for the last few weeks.
He made his Mom & Dad some Awesome Gifts in his new Woodshop.


A little “Bear Jr” Background:
He went to Tech School for Cabinetmaking, and graduated in 1990, as “Most Outstanding Cabinetmaker” in his class. He was also the First, Second-Generation Student to graduate from that tech school, since Bearcarver graduated from that same school in 1966.
During his Senior year, he worked in a Solar Sunroom Shop in the afternoon of every school day.
So when he graduated, since he was going to go Full Time, he asked for a raise, and they offered to move him from $4.25 to $4.50 per hour, so he gave them 2 weeks notice. They told him he might as well leave now, so he came home. Hearing that, I was fit to be tied, and Mrs Bear begged me not to go over there, and kick some Butt. I was already on my way out to my Truck!!! I raised that kid to do the right thing, so even after the insulting move to give him a 25 cents an hour raise to go full time, they take the Kid’s “2 weeks notice” that he gave them, and shoved it back at the Kid “right up where the sun don’t shine!!” I was not a Happy Bear!!
He started at another shop the next day——Making & installing Spiral Stairs. So he worked there for about 6 months, and since he was young & the newest guy there, every time they got slow, he’d only be working 3 or 4 days in that week.
So he ran into another guy who had a Spiral Stair place, and he hired Him to be a Foreman @ $14 per hour, because of his experience. Then a few months later the one partner ripped the other partner off & left the state, and they went belly up.
So Bear Jr knew I wasn’t getting Rich, and He was getting kinda tired of these low paying woodworking jobs, and he knew I only needed him for a few hours a week in my own Cabinet Shop.
Then he saw an ad in the paper for “Tower Climbers”. He checked it out, and he loved it. It wasn’t long until he became “Crew Chief”. That made me awful nervous, because my only Son was dangling from ropes @ places between 200’ and 800’ above the ground nearly every day.

It wasn’t long before Sprint complained to Bear Jr’s boss that his Crew was the only Crew doing their jobs right, and that they should either send Bear Jr & His Crew to do their Sprint Jobs or don’t send anyone—They’ll get another company. Meanwhile the head guy at Sprint told Bear Jr “If You start your own Tower Business, I’ll make sure you never run out of work”.

So We borrowed $20,000 from the bank to get him started, and off he went. He was able to pay us back in full in less than 6 months, and his Tower Corporation swelled to 13 employees, 7 Trucks with 4 tower crews on the road. He built a 6,000’ Pole Barn for the business, and was doing Great.
His biggest problem was keeping help. It’s hard to find young guys who aren’t afraid of height, who aren’t either drunks or on drugs, but he managed for about 20 years. Then about a year ago, he cut back & changed to only doing a few of the jobs, and Subbing most of the work out to other Tower Companies, and just overseeing the jobs to make sure they’re getting done right.
So now he’s down to 5 employees, including Mrs Bear (Accountant-Secretary), 3 Trucks, 2 warehouses, and since there’s very little climbing by anybody working for him, he no longer has to worry so much about one of his guys falling from a tower. That was a headache he wasn't fond of.


Back to His Roots:
So now Bear Jr is in pretty good financial shape, so he started playing around with some of my Old Woodworking tools & machines. He’s been really getting into it, and decided to start a sideline of Specialty woodworking items. He bought some new machines, including a CNC Router (I never had one of those!!). He also took in a Buddy as a Partner/Employee, who knows a little computer programming, and between the 2 of them they got that Router doing pretty much what they want it to do. Since it’s a Sideline, he doesn’t have the pressure you would have if it was your only way of making money, and he seems to be having fun doing something similar to what I used to do for a living.
Now he put up interior walls in his pole barn, and some dropped ceiling, so he could reasonably heat the shop, so they could work there in the Winter.
So he’s making “Live Edge” Tables, Charcuterie Serving Trays, Cutting Boards, and other high end types of things, and He started an LLC for his

“Rustic Legends Woodworks”.

Bear’s Christmas Present:

So Bear Jr made His Old Dad a Beautiful “Personalized” Cutting Board.
It really is Beautiful !!
It weighs about 10 pounds, @ 1 3/4” Thick X 14" W X 18”L.
It’s all End grain on the top & bottom surface, and highly polished.
The outer ends are made of “English Walnut”.
The massive center-main portion is “Black Walnut”.
And the Light colored accent pieces separating the 2 Walnuts are all “Sassafras”.
It has a nice Blood Groove on all sides of the cutting surface.
He also Routed My Handle
“Bearcarver”, and a Couple of Bear drawings into the Cutting Board, and filled it with Black Epoxy. (Personalized)

Bear's Cutting Board:
View attachment 425428

Close-Up:
View attachment 425429

Another Shot:
View attachment 425430



Mrs Bear’s Christmas Present:
So Bear Jr delivered another Christmas Present, this time to his Mom.
Here’s the story on that thing—Our “Family Heirloom” Park Bench.
Mrs Bear’s Grandfather was a Lithuanian Blacksmith, and he originally made the Metal parts of this Park Bench.
He made that more than 80 years ago, and we got ahold of it about 40 years ago.
The wood was all rotted, and it was in the barn under a pile of other junk.
So I cleaned it up, and painted the metal parts, and put Pressure Treated wood on the seat, back boards, and the bottom runners.
For the last 15 years it’s been down at Bear Jr’s house, because he had a nice pond in his back yard.
So Along comes 2019, and Bear Jr strips it down, repaints the Metal parts again, and replaces the Pressure Treated Wood with an even better wood
Product—Thermally Modified “Thermal Ash”, with a 25 year Life Span.
The treatment makes the Ash end up looking like Beautiful Walnut Boards.
So Bear Jr did all this and gave it to his Mom, The lovely “Mrs Bear”, for one of her Christmas Presents.


Mrs Bear's Bench: (with Thermally Modified Ash Wood)
View attachment 425431

Slightly Different Angle:
View attachment 425432

I hope you guys enjoyed the stories & pictures.


Bear
Wow, Beautiful work. First class items.
 

GaryHibbert

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Wow, John. You can rightfully be proud of Bear Jr., and he can sure enough be proud of his work.
That is one gorgeous cutting board--I'd be scared to use a knife on it for fear of marking it up.
And that ash on the bench is the most beautiful ash wood I've ever seen.
Gary
 

Jabiru

Smoking Fanatic
Mar 5, 2019
774
418
South Aus
Thanks for sharing that great story. By the looks of the cutting board gift your son has amazing talent for working with timber.
 

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