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Wooden sea monster discovered in The Baltic

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This wooden sea creature, recently discovered by divers, is what’s left of a Danish warship that caught fire and sank in 1495.

A Danish warship anchored in the Northern Swedish town of Ronneby sank after it caught fire in 1495, bringing along with it, among other objects, a wooden sea monster.

On Tuesday, after lying on the sea floor for more than 500 years, the figurehead of what looks like a ferocious creature with the ears of a lion and mouth of a crocodile was lifted from the seabed.

The 660-pound object stood at the prow of the ship and was carved from the top of a beam measuring 11 feet in length.

Experts at the Blekinge museum who took part in the recovery efforts said that the wooden monster was part of the 15th century warship Gribshunden, which belonged to the Danish King Hans.

Only a few wrecks from the 15th century were able to escape the ravages of the sea worm. The ship, which dates back to about the same period as Christopher Columbus’ Santa Maria, is considered the best preserved example of a ship from the period albeit the ship’s hull has suffered extensive damage.

Researchers said that the hull is well preserved because the Baltic Sea’s brackish waters do not do well with sea worms.

The newly emerged figurehead is also unique. Experts say that no other similar item from the period has ever been found anywhere in the world. The carved monster was intended to scare the enemy.

“It’s a monster. It’s a sea monster and we have to discuss what kind of animal it is,” said Johan Ronnby, from Södertörn University. “I’m amazed. We knew that it should be a fantastic figure, but it was over our expectations when we saw it now. It’s a fantastic figure, unique in the world.”

Ronnby, who thinks the intricately carved object depicts what looks like a monstrous dog, said that the figure appears to have something in its mouth.

“There seems to be a person in its mouth and he’s eating somebody,” Ronnby said. “It may depict the very ‘Grip Dog’ that the name of the ship—Gribshunden—reflects.”

Researchers hope to bring back more of the wreck from the sea bed to the surface in the future. Parts of weapons and armors have already been recovered and are now on display in museums.

Experts believe that since there were no ships left from the period, the wreck can provide researchers with information about how ships were made and constructed.

Check out a video here.

Written by cabinettrends

August 25, 2015 at 7:00 am

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Wooden headphones among the most accurate in the world

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High-quality headphone-maker Audeze has just released its most expensive pair of headphones yet – and they are made from wood.

The headphones’ $2,000 price tag not only incorporates complex manufacturing techniques, but also allows for luxurious design — with each individual ear piece hand crafted out of zebra wood.

“I think it took us about 6-7 months to find the correct lumbers that we needed,” says Jesse Zamora, who makes the ear pieces in a small woodshop North of L.A.

“We had to find wood that had the correct tones … so that they wouldn’t color the actual sound of the headphones themselves. We had to find very dead tone woods,” he added, “We wanted to make sure that it was very beautiful. That’s why we chose zebra wood.”

Aside from the handcrafted design, the headphones provide excellent sound quality. But is $2,000 justified?

“Most of the headphones that you see in the market use cone drivers. What we do is use a type of driver called a planar driver,” said Thiagasamudram. “It’s a very small, thin transducer placed in a magnetic field which then produces sound.

“The diaphragm is about two microns thick, which is about one tenth of a human hair. Because of its incredibly quick, incredibly accurate low distortion, this allows people to hear sound as if they are in a [recording] studio.”

It takes four days to test and assemble each set of headphones — but sales have been anything but slow, doubling in the last year thanks to key markets in the U.S., Germany and Asia.

“We have everybody from sound engineers to students to musicians,” says Thiagasamudram of his buyers, “From China to Micronesia to Australia.”

“The headphones that we make are probably the most accurate headphones in the world,” he added.

Check out a video of the headphones, and the full CNN story here:

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August 18, 2015 at 7:00 am

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Woodworker publishes fifth book in series

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Windsor chair maker and woodworking author Mike Dunbar recently published The Eternal City, the fifth book in the Castleton Series (, a time-travel, adventure saga.

In the books, seven generations from now, an island slowly rises out of the Atlantic Ocean, revealing the ruins of an ancient and unknown city. Archaeologists from the University of New Hampshire are astounded by the complex construction and sophisticated architecture. Furthermore, the city is built of granite quarried around the world. The archaeologists are plagued by hypnotic trances and cannot remain at the dig long enough to identify the place.

Castleton’s time travel team, now sophomores at Atlantic Academy in Hampton, N.H., is sent back in time to locate the city before it sank into the sea. They are joined by Allie Tymoshenko and her crew. Their quest takes the teams to the dawn of humanity where they discover an unknown human species. They also encounter a set of triplets – called the “triumvirate” – that has enslaved the thriving and breathtakingly beautiful city. Realizing time travel will make them invincible; the triumvirate seizes the crews’ technology and heads to UNH and the Time Institute to take over. The two teams pursue the triplets and fight back, unaware of the terrible price they will have to pay.

Along with the Castleton Series, he has published eight woodworking books with Rodale, Sterling, Taunton and Hastings House. His ninth woodworking book will be released in the fall by F+W Media Group.

Written by cabinettrends

April 22, 2014 at 7:00 am

Flakeboard to buy three SierraPine panel plants

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Flakeboard America Limited, a U.S. subsidiary of Arauco, has agreed to buy the western U.S. panel assets of SierraPine, a California limited partnership  consisting of two particleboard plants located in California and Oregon, and an MDF plant in Oregon.

Upon completion of the acquisition, the Arauco plants in North America will have an installed panel capacity of 2 billion feet square feet (¾-inch basis) or about 10 million cubic feet. Arauco also operates composite panel plants in Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

According to Flakeboard president Kelly Shotbolt, “We are extremely excited about our proposed purchase of SierraPine and specifically the benefits that additional western facilities add in terms of product offering, manufacturing locations, and employee experience. Combined with existing Flakeboard mills, the transaction will bring new opportunities for our customers, our combined employees, and the communities in which we operate.”

The two companies are planning for a closing during the first quarter of 2014. The transaction is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Written by cabinettrends

January 21, 2014 at 7:00 am

Florida Storm chaser develops career in woodworking

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Al Holmes got into storm chasing in his late 20s after several hurricanes dried up his business as a fence contractor, Highlands Today reports.

Holmes found there was money to be made in cleanup efforts and also in taking photos of natural disasters for the National Weather Service.

“I’ll tell you what, it was a wild ride for a long time!” Holmes told Highlands Today. Holmes never suffered any injuries during that period of his life, but he “went through a lot of cars,” he told Highlands Today. Hail and debris that flies around during a storm can cause significant damage to vehicles. Holmes told Highlands Today that tornadoes sound like a freight train. “It’s the loudest thing you’ll ever hear,” he said.

However, a year ago, Holmes got tired of travelling and wanted to be closer to his aging mother. So he used the money he made doing cleanup work to buy a piece of property in south Sebring, Fla., and started Big Al’s Custom Wood Works.

A self-taught woodworker, Holmes makes rocking chairs in king, queen and double sizes out of pine or cedar. He also makes swings, benches, whiskey barrel mini bars with four stools, patio sets and more. To accentuate his designs, he often uses style elements such as wagon wheels or two colors of wood for a butcher-block aesthetic appeal.

Written by cabinettrends

December 17, 2013 at 7:00 am

Virginia woodworking novice crafts extraordinary clocks

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If you saw the intricate details of the wooden clock that Powhatan County, Va., resident Fred Cole recently completed, you would be amazed to find out that he discovered woodworking only about four or five years ago, according to Powhatan Today.

Cole, an 82-year-old West Virginia native, has lived in Powhatan with his wife, JoAnn for 15 years. His son David, who lives in Kansas, gave him the idea to go into woodworking, which is what got him started. His first project was a bird house. That bird house took first place at the Powhatan County Fair in 2009, and the following year he won first place in arts and crafts at the State Fair of Virginia for another bird feeder he built.

“It meant a lot,” Cole told Powhatan Today. “That’s what you expect when you take it up there, you know, to win.”

Now Cole specializes in wooden clocks. Behind his home is a storage shed where he works on them a few hours a day. JoAnn Cole, 81, told Powhatan Today that her husband is hyperactive and so it’s good that he has a hobby like woodworking. She added that it’s wonderful, and that she’s very proud of her husband’s talent.

The Cole’s love where they have settled in Virginia.

“Powhatan’s a good community,” Fred told Powhatan Today. “It’s quiet, peaceful and friendly.”

They also think it’s a great place where Fred can hone his woodworking skills.

“It’s a pastime really,” Fred said.

Cole is a fantastic example of C. S. Lewis’ words of wisdom, “you are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”  He told Powhatan Today that he takes a great deal of pride in his work and it’s the satisfaction with the end result that is the most rewarding.

“Just to say I made it and by myself and that was it,” he said.

Written by cabinettrends

October 16, 2013 at 7:00 am

Woodworker produces urns for indigent veterans

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Paul Schofield of Eastham, Mass., has been an amateur woodworker for decades, making most of the tables in his home and giving away about 40 pieces of furniture to family members as special gifts for graduations and weddings, reports.

Now he has focused his interest in making urns for indigent veterans after being inspired by an article about a Florida woodworker. Although Schofield isn’t a veteran himself, many of his friends from his hometown of Plainville fought in the war in Vietnam and did not return to a hero’s welcome, he told Cape Cod Online. And now many of them are dying.

Schofield, a retired residential and commercial appraisal company owner, isn’t yet set on how he will distribute his urns. He is currently in the process of researching how to get official nonprofit tax status. But he does know that he wants to provide the urns to Massachusetts veterans who cannot afford funeral costs. He is looking for donations of money and materials, and is interested in collaborating with other woodworkers to build the urns.

It takes approximately one or two days for Schofield to complete one urn. He told Cape Cod Online that gluing them together is the most difficult part, but he recently constructed his own jig, which he said, “holds the urns square for glue-up.”

Each urn is inlayed with a fabric patch for the branch of the military of the deceased. As of now, Schofield has made nine. Urns with a military theme can run between $150 and into the thousands of dollars.

“I figure we are giving a $300 gift,” Schofield told the site.

Schofield uses mostly oak in his woodwork, and all of his pieces — including his urns — receive an inlaid acorn. “Oak,” he said, “is a symbol of strength.”

To contact Schofield, send him an email at

Written by cabinettrends

September 6, 2013 at 7:00 am

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