AMERICA NEEDS MORE CABINETMAKERS!

kitchen 2

“This country needs more cabinetmakers!” So says Kim Wagner, a Pennsylvania cabinetmaker and Woodmaster Molder/Planer owner. The first reason is America needs skilled men and women to carry on the tradition and the trade. The second reason is purely practical: there’s a lot of work out there! “We’re getting more calls than ever for cabinetry. We could use another employee right now if we had the right person,” says Wagner. “It was slow for a couple years but things are better now,” he says. 

“I’ve been doing custom cabinet work for about 20 years now, building custom cabinets of all kinds. I work with my son and one part time employee. We’re about 50 miles from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; 50 miles from Baltimore, Maryland; and 50 miles from Philadelphia. There are a lot of high end homes around here, but we do kitchens for farmers, doctors, we get all kinds of customers. My shop is about 3,200 sq. ft. I buy rough cut lumber — I saw it and plane it on my 18” Woodmaster 718 Molder/Planer.18 3

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25-year old Woodmaster, brand new Spiral Cutterhead – working great

I got my Woodmaster about 25 years ago; so long ago that Woodmaster doesn’t have a record of my purchasing it from them. I just put a Spiral Cutterhead on it and it’s really working great.

Kim has owned his Woodmaster Molder/Planer for 25 years. He added the Spiral Cutterhead, shown here, and reports it creates a finish that is  "literally as smooth as glass, even on very hard woods like walnut.

Kim has owned his Woodmaster Molder/Planer for 25 years. He added the Spiral Cutterhead, shown here, and reports it creates a finish that is “literally as smooth as glass,” even on very hard woods like hickory.

Woodmaster's Spiral Cutterhead has dozens of carbide-tipped inserts that shave and shear wood surfaces perfectly smooth.

Woodmaster’s Spiral Cutterhead has dozens of carbide-tipped inserts that shave and shear wood surfaces perfectly smooth. Very quiet, too.

Right now, we’re making kitchen cabinets made of hickory. Hickory dulls planer blades pretty quickly. But the Spiral Cutterhead makes the surfaces as smooth as anything I’ve ever seen. It’s literally as smooth as glass with very little chip-out.

My 18” Spiral Cutterhead has 122 carbide-tipped inserts, each with four cutting faces. The spiral makes it work: each little cutting face is overlapped by the one next to it. The cutterhead is very quiet and I’d recommend it to anyone.

(Editor’s Note: Each insert has four cutting faces. When one face dulls, simply rotate a new cutting face into position. But because they’re carbide-tipped, each face stays sharp a long, long time.)

More calls than ever

I ran the business by myself for a year, then my son came in with me and he’s been here ever since. We hired help; at one time we had five employees. It was slow for a few years but things are better now. We could use another employee right now if we had the right person.

These days, we’re getting more calls than ever. We have a showroom with a computer that plays a video of our work. It shows the work we’ve done so people can see what we do.

1 belt change in 20 years

The Woodmaster Planer has handled all the wood we’ve used to build cabinets for over 20 years. I think I changed the belt only once in 20 years, and I changed one bearing. I changed the feed rollers about four times but I expected that. This machine has exceeded my expectations beyond what I thought it would do.

I’d looked at getting a Woodmaster for years before I bought one. I read the flyers Woodmaster sends out. I wanted the Spiral Cutterhead and we’re making enough now to justify it. It’s not inexpensive but we’ll make the money back on just a couple kitchens because we won’t have to spend time sanding the workpieces. The time savings will pay off the cost of the Spiral Cutterhead.traditional

Home Depot? No competition

We do mostly residential work and some work for retail establishments. All hardwood, all high quality work. We can’t compete with Home Depot and Lowes prices. We don’t even try; we don’t want our name connected with something that’ll fall apart.

We specialize in doing things other people don’t want to do. People come in with ideas and ask us to build them. For example, a customer came in with an idea for a desk in his head and asked if we could make it work. I’d never seen anything like it, but we built it. We’ve done lots of custom projects like that over the years. High end custom work.

We draw the plans using a computer software program; we’ve used it for years. My son draws it on the computer and it generates a cut list. We cut the pieces and they all fit perfectly. Some of the custom work we have to sort of ad lib.

I chose Woodmaster the same way I do everything else I buy. I looked, read all about it, I read the testimonials. Also, it was less expensive than other machines. I bought it before we went into business. I’d gone to school for cabinetmaking but had a job as a supervisor for 26 years at a manufactured housing factory and when I had enough of that I got back to making cabinets.

This country needs more cabinetmakers

My advice for others is do a good job. If you don’t do good work, how are you going to stay in business? People tell other people. That’s where most of our business comes from — people telling other people. Or people see our work someplace and contact us. We have a display in an appliance store near here. We built about 60 lineal feet of cabinets for them to display and we get a lot of business from it.

I highly recommend the Woodmaster Molder/Planer. I graduated from a trade school that’s now called Stevens College of Technology. They still teach cabinetmaking and other trades. This country needs more tradespeople, not just people who work on computers. About 98% of people who graduate from Stevens have a job when they graduate.

The Woodmaster company’s been very good when I call them and ask for information. They tell me what I need to know and I really appreciate that. If you’re thinking about getting a Woodmaster, I’d say go for it. I’d kind of like to own a 725 Woodmaster but that’ll come someday.

— Kim Wagner, Cabinets By Wagner, Woodmaster 718 Owner

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ED SAYS HE’S A HOBBY WOODWORKER but his Woodmaster projects have “pro” written all over them

Here's a 12' gazebo Ed built using his Woodmaster Molder/Planer. "It's made from rough sawn Redwood I planed with my Woodmaster," he tells us. "It's my own design and I put lots of work into all the details, dado joints, curved rails, and CNC-carved star medallions."

Here’s a 12′ gazebo Ed built using his Woodmaster Molder/Planer. “It’s made from rough sawn Redwood I planed with my Woodmaster,” he tells us. “It’s my own design and I put lots of work into all the details, dado joints, curved rails, and CNC-carved star medallions.”


Ed Vitanovec tells us he’s a “home hobby woodworker.” But we think he’s being modest. The work he does is of far higher quality than anything you can buy in stores. His curio cabinet, below, is but the latest in a long line of handsome, well-made woodworking projects he’s created, many with his Woodmaster Molder/Planer.

A man and his Woodmaster! Here's Ed with his 718 Woodmaster Molder/Planer. He's ready to make molding and trim with the machine set up as a molder and plenty of cherry blanks on hand.

A man and his Woodmaster! Here’s Ed with his 718 Woodmaster Molder/Planer. He’s ready to make molding and trim with the machine set up as a molder and plenty of cherry blanks on hand.

“My wife wanted a curio cabinet for our home but everything we saw was imported and not of great quality. I decided to build something special for her, something you can’t find in stores.

I designed and built her the curio cabinet in the photos out of 4/4 solid cherry. I have the 18” Woodmaster 718 and used it to plane the boards and rip them to width. All the stiles and rails had rabbet cuts in the back sides to hold the glass and mirrors. I assembled all parts into panels that I glued together with biscuits. It has a sliding door rather than one that swings.

I also used the Woodmaster set up as a molding machine to make the cabinet’s base and crown molding. I finished the cabinet with a cherry stain and several coats of oil. I have 60 hours into building this and the Woodmaster made it easy to rip the boards and make custom molding.

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I like to keep busy – saves money, gives personal satisfaction

Professionally, I’m a mechanical designer but I’ve been a home hobby woodworker for nearly 30 years. I’ve done lots of home fix-ups and made everything from coffee tables, to cabinets, beds, pergolas, gazebos, whole workshops; a little bit of everything including making molding for my home with the Woodmaster. I always like creating things. I like to keep busy. Doing projects myself saves money plus it gives me personal satisfaction.

Here's a sample of the cherry crown molding Ed made and installed in his home.

Here’s a sample of the cherry crown molding Ed made and used in his curio cabinet.

More of Ed's trim, made on his Woodmaster Molder/Planer -- cherry molding.

More of Ed’s trim, made on his Woodmaster Molder/Planer — cherry molding.

Ed's finished curio cabinet houses his wife's collection of "1,001 Dalmations" collectibles and memorabilia. Note the cabinet door SLIDES sideways to open. Nicely done, Ed!

Ed’s finished curio cabinet houses his wife’s collection of “101 Dalmations” collectibles and memorabilia. Note the cabinet door SLIDES sideways to open. Nicely done, Ed!

I’m serious about my tools. I like having the right tools because it makes any project easier and safer. I got my Woodmaster to do planing and to make molding for our home. I made cherry and oak baseboard, casing, and crown molding. I started with rough lumber, planed it, ripped it to width, and then set up the molding head. I ran blanks through to make the back cut, then ran them through to do the front detail.

He may make money running molding for others

Ed built this pergola as a home for his auto. Slatted roof provides good ventilation and protection from the hot Texas sun.

Ed built this pergola as a home for his auto. Slatted roof provides good ventilation and protection from the hot Texas sun.

In the future, I may do some side work and make some money running molding for others. It’s nice that Woodmaster’s custom knife service lets you duplicate old molding patterns or make your own new designs. I’ve ordered custom knives for baseboard and crown molding. Woodmaster did a good job making the knives and delivered them quickly.

4 beefy machines in 1: planer, molder, sander, saw

How about a new kitchen? Ed built and installed all the cabinetry.

How about a new kitchen? Ed built all the cabinetry using his Woodmaster Molder/Planer.

I chose Woodmaster because it’s beefy. I’ve used smaller machines but this is really beefy, beefier than the pictures show. I’ve been in manufacturing a long time so the fact that this is made in the USA is important to me. It’s rigid, heavy duty and I like that. It’s US-made, easy to work on, easy to change functions.

For me, the 12” 712 would probably have been fine but the 18” 718 has more capacity. I got the Pro Pack with it so I can set it up as a drum sander, molder, planer, and gang rip saw.

Best feature? The Variable Feed Rate

The best feature is the Variable Feed Rate on the drive system. The head turns at a constant speed but the drive belt has a separate motor. You can tweak the feed rate — speed it up or slow it down and get more cuts-per-inch. That gives you a very good quality finish. If someone’s looking for this kind of machine, I’d recommend Woodmaster. It’s easy to set for planing, ripping, and making molding.

I’m 100% satisfied with my Woodmaster machine as well as the service and parts I’ve bought from the Woodmaster Tools company. I’m really satisfied. It’s an all around excellent product. I’ve had no problem with the motors and everything works like it should. It’s beefy and doesn’t require adjustments to keep the head parallel with the bed. Maintenance is easy; the belts don’t slip; knives are all good quality. Everything’s really good.”

— Ed Vitanovec, Woodmaster Molder/Planer Owner, Richmond, Texas

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DAD CONQUERS TOUGH ECONOMY with USA Planer-Molder at His Side

It takes a family to start a business! Here's the whole Mayer crew of Vern's Wood Goods, from left to right: Joe, Dorothy, Vern, Mary, Peter, and Paul. Sister, Julie Drews was not available during this crew gathering!  Upper left: Vern brands his logo into every piece he makes.

It takes a family to start a business! Here’s the whole Mayer crew of Vern’s Wood Goods, from left to right: Joe, Dorothy, Vern, Mary, Peter, and Paul. Sister, Julie Drews was not available during this crew gathering! Upper left: Vern brands his logo into every piece he makes.

81 years young, Vern Mayer has always been handy with tools but never a woodworker. Now he runs his own woodworking business. And business is booming!

81 years young, Vern Mayer has always been handy with tools but never a woodworker. With his son’s Woodmaster Molder/Planer, ow he runs his own woodworking business. And business is booming!

Paul Mayer’s a talented woodworker and Woodmaster owner. When his dad, Vern, got laid off at 75, Paul and his whole family pulled together and cooked up a plan to help Dad get going in his own woodworking business. Today, at 81, Vern turns out a steady stream of high quality handmade cutting boards, serving trays, kitchen utensils and more with Paul’s  718 Woodmaster Molder/Planer.

Here's one of Vern's popular pieces — a handsome cutting board.

Here’s one of Vern’s popular pieces — a handsome cutting board.

The result? “Vern’s Wood Goods is one of our dad’s proudest professional accomplishments,” says Paul. “It’s given him a lot of financial freedom and a real sense of pride. Using my Woodmaster, Dad can work as much or little as he wants, and we can sell everything he makes.”

But the story about Vern’s Woodmaster woodworking business gets even better. “Dad’s business is blossoming. This adventure,” says Paul, “has been a catalyst to drawing us all together as a family.”

“My dad, Vern Mayer, worked skilled trade jobs all his life. He retired at 65 but things got a bit lean financially and he got bored, too. He went back to work at the flooring store from which he’d retired. Then the economy tanked and he got laid off at 75 years old. My family and I thought his working days were over but he still wanted to work.

Vern makes sets like this handsome laminated serving tray with pie server, stir fry paddle, and spatula.

Vern makes sets like this handsome laminated serving tray with pie server, stir fry paddle, and spatula.

My siblings and I had many discussions and brainstorming sessions about how to help Dad keep working like he wanted to. But it had to be something that would give him flexibility and autonomy. After kicking around a lot of ideas, we’ve helped him start his own woodworking business, Vern’s Wood Goods.  He’s the boss for the first time in his life, and his business is absolutely blossoming.

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Always handy, but Vern was never a woodworker, never a boss

He’s always been a handy guy. He worked in the flooring business for 55 years, always made a living using tools, but never had fine woodworking experience. We suggested he try woodworking as a hobby but, no, he wanted to try it as a business.

After the glue dries,  Vern will run this cuttingboard through his son's Woodmaster Molder/Planer to create a smooth, even surface.

After the glue dries, Vern will run this cuttingboard through his son’s Woodmaster Molder/Planer to create a smooth, even surface.

It so happens I’m a woodworker so I started showing him how to make a few things. He’d come to my shop once a week or so and we’d go over tool safety, basic use of tools, and so on. He started making things like wine bottle holders, serving trays, kitchen utensils, and more.

Free website

I set up a free website for him using Yahoo. My brothers and sister and I went around to stores, coffee shops, the local community center and got them to take some of his work. Then we put some on Etsy,  a website where craftspeople sell their wares. We sold Dad’s things to our friends, mostly around Christmas.

All this has been tremendously gratifying for our whole family. Everybody helps. We all put notices up at our workplaces. My brother Peter is a musician. He sets up a table of Dad’s wares at his performances. My sister Mary is a finance person and gave good guidance on pricing. I keep the website running and answer emails. Mom is the packing and shipping department!

I can’t believe the volume of wood Dad goes through!

Dad’s the boss of his business and sometimes we have to remind him of that. We help him but it’s his business. I order rough-cut lumber for him, mostly rock maple, walnut, and cherry. I can’t believe the volume of wood he goes through!

Another day on the job for Vern Mayer. "Dad spends a lot of time in front of my Woodmaster," says his son, Paul.

Another day on the job for Vern Mayer. “Dad spends a lot of time in front of my Woodmaster,” says his son, Paul.

Dad uses my Woodmaster to plane boards. And he runs his glue-ups through it to finish them. Everything comes out perfectly flush and level. All this has been a catalyst to bringing our family closer together. All us kids have gotten together to help our dad do something creative and his business is blossoming.

This is Dad’s proudest accomplishment

Professionally, Vern’s Wood Goods is probably our dad’s proudest accomplishment. He’s always been a blue-collar worker, never a boss. Today, he’s designing and making his own creations, developing his own artistic process. This has really jazzed him up a lot. To see him watch people buying his wares at shows is almost intoxicating for us. Customers have even asked him for his autograph!

Simply beautiful? Or beautifully simple? We think Vern's serving tray is both.

Simply beautiful? Or beautifully simple? We think Vern’s serving tray is both.

Dad says this business has given him a lot of financial breathing room and ‘fun money.’ He also appreciates the satisfaction he gets out of all this. We kids see it’s really increased his sense of self and self worth.

Sam Maloof, the famous furniture maker, worked into his 90’s. He said he couldn’t wait to get out in the shop every day. Dad says the same thing.

Vern loves using the Woodmaster

Dad spends a tremendous amount of time using the 718 Woodmaster and he loves it. He was using a small planer and you could hear it four doors away. This machine is quiet. Ordinary planers took him six passes on each side because they don’t have much power. He can do the same work in one pass through the Woodmaster, though he likes to take two lighter passes on each side to get the best surface quality.

Vern's son, Paul, is an accomplished Woodmaster woodworker, author, and frequent contributor to the Woodmaster Tools Blog.

Vern’s son, Paul, is an accomplished Woodmaster woodworker, author, and contributor to the Woodmaster Tools Blog. Read Paul’s post, “Best Kept Secret in Fine Woodworking.”

The Woodmaster’s variable feed rate is perfect for him. He does rough planing at a fast feed rate, then slows it way down for a finish pass at maybe one-third of full feed rate. The result is a mirror-smooth finish that requires only light sanding.

Our whole family thinks what he’s doing is great. He can work as much or as little as he wants, make as much or little money as he needs, and we can sell every single thing he makes. He’s gotten so good at it, and loves it so much, he has no plans to do anything different.

Readers, how about YOUR dad?

If anybody else out there is thinking of helping your dad start a business as our family has done, here’s my advice. Pick something you think he’ll enjoy doing. Make sure he knows it’s his business and it all depends on him. You’ll help him, of course, but he has to view it as his business.

There have been many, many fun twists and turns along the way. Working side by side, Dad and I have spent more time together than we did in 20 years prior. This adventure has reenergized our father-and-son bond!”

— Paul Mayer, woodworker, Woodmaster Molder/Planer owner, Minnesota

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“I’M BUSY & PRODUCTIVE IN RETIREMENT — THANKS, WOODMASTER!”

SN852086

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Abe and his wife designed and made this handsome box for their youngest granddaughter.

Abe and his wife designed and made this handsome box for their youngest granddaughter.

Abe Taylor grew up in a family where Dad made the home’s furniture. Abe lent a hand and decided he liked woodworking, too. He’s been at it ever since, especially now that he’s retired and owns a Woodmaster Molder/Planer. Sure beats sitting around watching TV!

Abe laid out a few cutoffs from molding he's made with his Woodmaster. He's been a busy boy!

Here are a few cutoffs from molding Abe’s made with his Woodmaster. He’s not just keeping busy — he’s productive!


I can’t stand just sitting around watching TV!”

“I retired in 1995 and I can’t stand just sitting around watching TV! I need something to keep me busy. I started doing woodworking when I was just a kid. My dad made furniture for our home. I helped him and realized I liked working with wood a lot.

In retirement, I’ve been doing quite a bit of woodworking. Using my Woodmaster Molder/Planer, I make  a lot of picture frames, blanket boxes, jewelry boxes, chess sets, and more. We built our own house in 2000 and I made a lot of molding for it.

Abe redid his dining room with log cabin siding he made on his Woodmaster. His wife calls the room, "Abe Lincoln's log cabin." And, yes, Abe's middle name is Lincoln!

Abe redid his dining room with log cabin siding he made on his Woodmaster. His wife calls the room, “Abe Lincoln’s log cabin.” And, yes, Abe’s middle name is Lincoln!

“Woodworking’s very rewarding”

I find woodworking very rewarding. I like seeing the look on people’s faces when I give them something I’ve made. My brother took a great photo and I framed it with picture frame molding I’d made on my Woodmaster. He had goosebumps when I gave it to him.

I’d always wanted a Woodmaster and they had a special sale going on. I got the 25″ 725 Woodmaster Molder/Planer and the Pro Pack — the whole setup. I got a discount and a special offer: when I bought the offer was 90 days same as cash.

Here's the framed photo that gave Abe's brother goosebumps. Abe surprised him with this gift -- Abe made the frame molding and framed the photo.

Here’s the framed photo that gave Abe’s brother goosebumps. Abe surprised him with this gift — Abe made the picture frame molding and framed his brother’s photo.

25” is a big advantage

Having a 25” wide molder/planer is a big advantage. I’ve got a 14” planer and it doesn’t come anywhere near doing what the Woodmaster does. The 14” one is imported and it kicks back. It’s almost dangerous to use sometimes. My Woodmaster never kicks back.


I’ve got a kitchen countertop to do the edge on – about 100’ of edging. I’m looking to make some tongue and groove flooring, I may make some for my office.

My plans for the future? I’m taking it day by day. I do plan to make an old time, farm style plank dining room table to replace our dining room table. I’ll start with rough cut wood — look out, Woodmaster, here I come!

“If you use a little common sense…”

I have no negatives about the machine. If somebody’s thinking about getting a Woodmaster, I’d say go for it. Don’t have second thoughts. It’s made in America, it does the job it’s supposed to, just like Woodmaster says it will. It’s easy to set up and easy to operate. If you use a little common sense, it’s no problem at all. I can switch from planer to sander to molder easily.”

— Abe Taylor, Woodmaster Molder/Planer Owner, Tennessee

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“Woodmaster’s the BEST KEPT SECRET IN FINE WOODWORKING — combo molder, planer, drum sander, saw in one small footprint.”

"This is the Woodmaster Advantage," says Paul. "This is a curly maple tabletop running through my Woodmaster. Making a finishing pass on a glued up tabletop is normally a bad idea. The only reason it worked here is because of Woodmaster's Spiral Cutterhead."

“This is the Woodmaster Advantage,” says Paul. “This is a curly maple tabletop running through my Woodmaster. Making a finishing pass on a glued up tabletop is normally a bad idea. The only reason it worked here is because of Woodmaster’s Spiral Cutterhead.”

Here's Paul in his shop with his 18" Woodmaster Molder/Planer. He's a man on a mission to make great furniture!

Here’s Paul in his shop with his 18″ Woodmaster Molder/Planer. He’s a man on a mission to make great furniture!

  Paul Mayer’s one hard-workin’ guy. He works a full time job, writes articles and makes videos for the Woodworkers Guild of America, started his own side business, AND builds excellent furniture evenings and weekends with his Woodmaster Molder/Planer! We caught up with Paul recently — here’s his story…

curly detail

Here's Paul's completed table. Curly maple tabletop, the rest is walnut. "I planed all the components on my Woodmaster," he says.

Here’s Paul’s completed table. Curly maple tabletop, the rest is walnut. “I planed all the components on my Woodmaster,” he says.

“I feel like the luckiest man in the world. My wife gave me a table saw for my thirtieth birthday; I built my dream woodshop for my fortieth; I have a passion for woodworking; and I always have a project going. My day job is Product Management in a software company with over 20,000 employees. There’s a lot of stress but woodworking is my stress reliever.

I’ve been woodworking for 18 years and I’m probably an upper intermediate, serious hobbyist. I work in a variety of styles, building furniture, cabinetry, and more for my family and friends. I also hope to take on more commissions once I get caught up on my family’s furniture requests!

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"I built these matching dressers for my two children. I used solid maple and cherry as well as cherry plywood. All solid wood was planed on my Woodmaster," says Paul. "Now I'm jealous because these are much bigger and nicer than my rickety old dresser!"

“I built these matching dressers for my two children. I used solid maple and cherry as well as cherry plywood. All solid wood was planed on my Woodmaster,” says Paul. “Now I’m jealous because these are much bigger and nicer than my rickety old dresser!”

“Woodmaster gives you 4 machines in 1 small footprint.”

I have an 18”, 718 Woodmaster Molder/Planer. It has power and pizzazz others don’t. There are three main things I like about it. First, It’s USA made. Second, it’s one-tenth the price of industrial planers.

But the third thing is the biggest performance advantage: it’s four machines in one. You get four woodworking machines in one footprint. With simple changeovers, you can set it up as a molder, planer, drum sander, or rip saw. Most of the time, I use my Woodmaster set up as a planer, occasionally as a drum sander. I’ve used it as a ripsaw, too — it’s slick.

Fewer machines means more open workspace

"I built this bench of walnut, planed on my Woodmaster. I based it on a design by woodworking legend, Sam Maloof," says Paul. "This piece demonstrates that you can make 'non-boxy' furniture with a Woodmaster."

“I built this bench of walnut, planed on my Woodmaster. I based it on a design by woodworking legend, Sam Maloof,” says Paul. “This piece demonstrates that you can make ‘non-boxy’ furniture with a Woodmaster.”

BenchOpen shop space is important. I have a big shop but there’s no way I’ll take up space with a lot of equipment. My shop could fit twice as many tools as I have but I won’t do it. For example, I’m testing a lathe right now but I won’t keep it — it just takes up too much room for the use I’d get out of it. That’s why Woodmaster is such a big win. It gives me three or four times the functionality in one machine, one small footprint.

I got the Spiral Cutterhead, too, and I love it. I used it on the curly maple table in the photos. Most of the wood I buy is $2 to $5 a board foot. This curly maple was $25 a board foot, a very special piece of wood with an intense pattern. Woodmaster’s Spiral Cutterhead worked perfectly and a trip through the Woodmaster turned it into a $400 tabletop.

“Best kept secret in the fine woodworking community.”

I think Woodmaster is the best kept secret in the fine woodworking community. Sure, lots of guys are earning money by making molding with their Woodmasters — it’s easy to see the return on investment. But any woodworker who makes furniture or cabinetry will be amazed by the increase in capabilities this machine gives them. As one small example, I can make molding of the same wood as the furniture I’m building. 99% of woodworkers have to match molding as best they can. In my experience, the color and grain patterns never quite match unless you make the molding yourself from the same wood.

Paul, a 14" maple plank, and his Woodmaster. "This is one of the first test runs I did on my Woodmaster."

Paul, a 14″ maple plank, and his Woodmaster. “This is one of the first test runs I did on my Woodmaster.”

I think of the Woodmaster as a combination planer and drum sander for the small to medium shop. And it’s priced for small shops. Industrial machines are up to $25,000. Woodmaster’s a great planer and, with incremental cost, you get a drum sander, too. Plus, it’s the only American-made planer on the market.

A true Woodmaster fan

I love woodworking and I love writing about it — I write regular articles for the Woodworkers Guild of America’s website. Readers contact me about the Woodmaster Molder/Planer quite a bit because of the articles and videos about Woodmaster I’ve put together. I’m getting well known as a zealous advocate for Woodmaster!”

— Paul Mayer, Woodmaster Molder/Planer owner, Minnesota

See Paul’s videos on our Woodmaster Tools blog, and his posts on the Woodworkers Guild of America website. And visit Tool Metrix, his tool testing and evaluation consulting business.

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Charles builds an AWESOME 17,000 sq. ft. homestead with his Woodmaster Molder/Planer

THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT CHARLES BUILT with help from his 25" Woodmaster Molder/Planer and his 50″ Woodmaster Drum Sander: over 17,000 sq. ft. of living space…76 interior doors…4 kitchens…12 bathrooms…7 fireplaces…miles of molding and trim…and more!

THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT CHARLES BUILT with help from his 25″ Woodmaster Molder/Planer and his 50″ Woodmaster Drum Sander: over 17,000 sq. ft. of living space…76 interior doors…4 kitchens…12 bathrooms…7 fireplaces…miles of molding and trim…and more!

 

Charles gets some serious use out of his  Woodmaster Molder/Planer, shown here. He has everything he needs to turn roughcut lumber into finished trim and molding. And that’s exactly what he did.

Charles gets some serious use out of his Woodmaster Molder/Planer, shown here. He has everything he needs to turn roughcut lumber into finished trim and molding. And that’s exactly what he did.

For Charles McCullough, home is 13,000 square feet big in the style of an English country home. Throw in a 1,000 square foot guest house and a 3,200 square foot workshop and you’ve got over 17,000 square feet of living space. But besides the sheer size and scale, the remarkable fact is Charles built all this himself. With help, of course, from the best contractors in his area, and his Woodmaster Molder/Planer and Woodmaster Drum Sander. Here’s what Charles emailed us recently when he entered our Photo Contest…

Dear Woodmaster,

Can an entire house be considered a ‘woodworking project?’ It was, for me, the biggest woodworking project I have ever undertaken.

We broke ground for our ‘dream home’ in 2004 and I convinced my wife that she should let me build my dream workshop first so I could make all the interior woodwork for the home right here on site. She bought into that idea so we built a 3,200 square foot workshop, sawmill shed, and dry kiln before starting the 13,000 square foot home.

I bought a new sawmill from TimberKing, a Nyle L200 dry kiln unit, a Woodmaster 725 Molder/Planer with all the options and a boatload of knives, a Woodmaster 5075 Drum Sander, and your Big Max DB500 dust collector.

I hired the best craftsmen this area had to offer. We bought truckloads of logs from the local area and began sawing, drying, and milling lumber. The house has 76 interior doors, four kitchens, around a dozen bathrooms, and miles of crown molding, trim, cabinets, bookshelves, 7 fireplaces (with mantles, of course) and we made it all right here on site.

The project was completed in June, 2007. The home has been featured in “Avenues” magazine, and has been the site for several charitable fundraisers, a couple of weddings, and lots of entertainment.

The Timberking mill and the Woodmaster machines performed very well throughout the construction period. Support from your staff was excellent and prompt throughout and I highly recommend your products to my woodworking friends.

Regards, Charles McCullough

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The McCullough homestead seems to be straight out of the English countryside. It’s amazing what a serious D-I-Y guy can accomplish!

The McCullough homestead seems to be straight out of the English countryside. It’s amazing what a serious D-I-Y guy can accomplish!

Charles tells the rest of his story…

“I’ve always been a ‘wannabe woodworker’ but never had the opportunity to spend the time or money on woodworking. My wife and I had built half a dozen homes in our 43 year marriage. This is the biggest but we were comfortable doing it.

We have three grown children who come up for weekends. We wanted a home big enough to have everybody at once including our grandchildren. My wife and I decided now was a good time to do it.

Biggest & best equipment for this BIG D-I-Y project

Here's a man with an eye for detail and the hands-on skills to bring it all to life. Charles says this outstanding bar was inspired by a bar in Boston. Cheers!

Here’s a man with an eye for detail and the hands-on skills to bring it all to life. Charles says this outstanding bar was inspired by a bar in Boston. Cheers!

I got a TimberKing sawmill to saw trees into lumber. I got the 25” Woodmaster 725 Molder/Planer to dress and size the lumber. I got the 50” 5075 Woodmaster Drum Sander primarily for sending doors – all 76 of them and all the cabinet doors throughout the house. I wanted the biggest and best machines you sell.

Our home is 13,000 square feet. The guest house is 1,000 square feet. There are 76 interior doors, four kitchens, and about a dozen bathrooms. There are miles of crown molding, trim, cabinets, and bookshelves. There are seven fireplaces (each with a mantle, of course!).

We’ve been planning and saving blueprints and articles for years. I realized that the millwork I’d need for this home would bust the budget so I build a workshop and stocked it with really good tools including a Woodmaster Drum Sander and a Woodmaster Molder/Planer. I figured making the millwork myself could save enough to pay for the workshop.

The first year, we ran our TimberKing Sawmill and sawed out 200,000 board feet of lumber. We dried 6,000 board feet at a time in our dry kiln and kept it running around the clock for 18 months. We broke ground in 2005, hired the best contractors in our area as I built, and we moved in two and a half years later.

Extraordinary details everywhere you look

How do  you sand 76 full size doors without spending a lifetime doing it? Simple — do what Charles did: run 'em  through a 50″ wide Woodmaster Drum Sander.

How do you sand 76 full size doors without spending a lifetime doing it? Simple — do what Charles did: run ‘em through a 50″ wide Woodmaster Drum Sander.

 

The building with the green roof is my workshop. The house itself is styled as an English country home. Outside, its exterior is Arkansas limestone. The beams and curved arches are cypress – there are 36 of them!  Inside there’s a study with walnut paneling. The main kitchen has an island made of black cypress from the Black River Swamp in Black River, Arkansas.

The bar is modeled after a bar in Boston. It’s solid walnut, cabinets and all. The guest house kitchen is made of 100-year-old barn wood from the corn crib from a dairy farm. It’s probably red oak. It’s not stained, I just used tung oil to bring out the natural color.

Foreign machines can’t compare with Woodmaster

I looked at foreign-made equipment but there was nothing to compare with Woodmaster machines. Plus, foreign machines use metric measurements – 9mm, 11mm, and so on. Woodmaster is American made and I’d rather deal with American dimensions like ½”, 3/8”, etc.

Here’s Charles’ walnut paneled library. He made the paneling himself with his Woodmasters and saved a bundle.

Here’s Charles’ walnut paneled library. He made the paneling himself with his Woodmasters and saved a bundle.

Both my Woodmaster Molder/Planer and my Woodmaster Drum Sander have fully variable feed rates. Other machines have just two speeds. This is a very good feature because you can slow it down to a crawl to get an excellent surface.

Commercial duty

I wholeheartedly recommend the Woodmaster Molder/Planer and Drum Sander and . I have nothing but good things to say about them. I use them as hard as if they’re in a commercial manufacturing environment.”

—  Charles McCullough, WoodmasterMolder/Planer & Drum Sander Owner, Missouri

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Old World Woodworker says, “IF YOU WORK HARD IN AMERICA, YOU WILL MAKE IT. NO OTHER COUNTRY IS LIKE THAT”

Nick with Planer If you put your back into it, you can make it in America. That’s the American Dream and it’s coming true for millions of American woodworkers. Here’s an inspiring story of a post-WWII German immigrant – an old-world craftsman – who grew up appreciating the value of work. These days, “Nick” Schwickerath is completely renovating his home with his Woodmaster Molder/Planer. His dream? Starting a woodworking business in retirement.

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“I was born in Germany at the end of World War II. I immigrated to America 45 years ago with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Over the years in the United States, I added Mechanical Engineering and a Masters Degree in Biblical Teaching. But woodworking has been my passion since the age of 12.

Nick plans the work...

Nick plans the work…

...then he works the plan.

…then he works the plan.

I learned woodworking after World War II from master woodworkers in a shop down the street from me. They did everything by hand and with machines driven by waterpower. The men there were true professional craftsmen and worked very hard. I learned a lot from them and from my father who was a machinist and a hands-on guy.

In 1976, I moved to America where there is lots of opportunity. If you work hard, you will make it. No other country is like that.

On your Woodmaster blog, I saw the article about the woman woodworker who’s starting a business. My hat is off to that woman. I respect people like that.

Three years ago, I bought a vacant house. The structure was good but everything else was run down. The kitchen was 100 years old! I ripped out everything. I had a Ryobi® 12” planer but using it was like pulling hair. I looked at the Woodmaster website and saw all its attachments and 4-in-1 capabilities. I got an 18” Woodmaster Molder/Planer. It keeps my hands safe.

“I only wish I’d gotten a bigger Woodmaster”

Nick added Woodmaster's 3-Side Molding System, shown here with one of its two routers in place

Nick added Woodmaster’s 3-Side Molding System, shown here with one of its two routers in place.

Besides the Molder/Planer, I bought Woodmaster’s 3-Side Molding System, the system with two inline routers. It’s unbelievable what you can do with it. I saw it online and the light went on. I said, ‘I’m going to get it!’

Today, I’m making interior and exterior doors. I’m making each one in one-quarter the time it takes with a router and by hand. I only wish I’d gotten the bigger 25” Woodmaster.

Like a kid at Christmas

Here's a closeup of a router from Woodmaster's 3-Side Molding System. It's set up with bits that cut perfect mullions.

Here’s a closeup of a router from Woodmaster’s 3-Side Molding System. It’s set up with bits that cut perfect mullions.

I’m expecting another shipment of parts from Woodmaster, I am waiting for it like a little kid on Christmas! I also bought a Freud router bit set to make interior and exterior doors. That is what I am building now, wooden windows and doors. I can do it with the Woodmaster, and with a lot less effort and more precision than with a hand router.

Here in Washington State, buying finished lumber is very expensive, but not for me thanks to having a Woodmaster.

Next, a retirement woodworking business

I’ve made my house livable and I’ve done it all myself, nobody else. I’m taking it room by room. When I’m finished, this will look like a log home. I’m making log cabin siding with my Woodmaster and Log Cabin Siding knives. My intention is to eventually go into a retirement woodworking business and make money with my woodworking.

The Woodmaster is extremely functional, an extremely good machine. You can make any kind of trim, even custom profiles with knives and patterns not shown on their knife website.

No other machine out there can do what the Woodmaster does. I looked at many online and narrowed it down to Woodmaster. I work with a lot of fir and that’s a hard wood to plane without creating tear out. Joe in Sales at Woodmaster suggested their Spiral Cutterhead. I ordered one and even wood that’s moist comes out unbelievably smooth. It looks like you’d just sanded it. The grain is gorgeous.

Wood emerges from the Woodmaster Molder/Planer...

Wood emerges from the Woodmaster Molder/Planer…

...planed smooth, with a handsome grain, and ready to go!

…planed smooth, with a handsome grain, and ready to go!

I also got the Super Pro Pack. It has everything I need. I used to use a palm sander; now I set up the Molder/Planer as a Drum Sander. I’ve been running it for days on the same paper.

“I give Woodmaster a 10. That’s my strong opinion!”

I give Woodmaster a 10 out of 10. As soon as I got it, I started using it seven days a week and I can build what I want to. If you’re a woodworker, you’ll begin to realize what I did: there’s nothing better out there than Woodmaster. That’s my strong opinion and I put my name on it!”

— Werner “Nick” Schwickerath, Woodmaster Molder/Planer Owner, Humptulips, Washington

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Traditional Woodworker says, “I DON’T USE DETAILED PLANS.”

David with his WoodmasterWoodmaster owners come in all shapes and sizes, all ages, all skill levels, and with every imaginable form of training. We recently spoke with David Huneycutt, woodworker from North Carolina. He learned his craft and honed his impressive skills with traditional, “old school” training. Now that he’s retired, he’s keeping his skills sharp making hand made furniture with his Woodmaster Molder/Planer.

Huneycutt Letter

“I’ve always been a woodworker — never a job, always a passion. I had an ‘old school’ woodworking teacher who taught me to build things as they were done in the 19th Century, things like hand-cut dovetails. My grandfather was a cabinetmaker and I have his old machines and tools, like his old Delta radial arm saw from the 1920’s.

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David, Doctor, DeskNow that I’m retired (for the second time!), I make furniture for my family and friends. Tables, desks, clocks, entertainment centers, and more. I do it because I enjoy it, not for money. And I enjoy keeping up the skills I learned as a young man.

Old school woodworker & traditional craftsman

I think of myself as a traditional style craftsman. I build furniture by hand and it’s always an interesting challenge. I don’t use detailed plans. I do sketches and get basic measurements of height and width, the size of the drawers, how tall sections should be. It’s always a work in progress. Sometimes there are design changes. It’s an ongoing process when you’re building from scratch!

The desk in the photo has no screws. It’s all wood joinery except for some staples in the back. There are sliding dovetails in the door partitions and hand-cut dovetails on the door front and desktop. I built in hidden drawers, too.

4 woodworking machines in 1

I have a 12” Model 712 Woodmaster Molder/Planer with a Pro Pack. That gives me four functions in one machine. The Pro Pack lets me set it up as planer, a molding cutter, a ripsaw, and a drum sander. The Drum Sander head is very helpful on small parts because I can sand them down to 1/64 of an inch.

PastedGraphic-2I saw a demonstration of the Woodmaster on YouTube and it looked like something I’d like to have. I do a lot of picture framing and I thought it would make picture frame material easily. I started investigating and found Woodmaster is economically feasible. It’s something a person doing the kind of work I do can afford. Some machines are $10,000 and much more. My Woodmaster was far less expensive.

“When I need a custom molding knife, Woodmaster makes it”

The other thing that attracted me was Woodmaster’s custom profile knife service. I need molding from time to time to match old trim. If I need a custom profile, Woodmaster makes a knife to match it.

“Buy 1 machine instead of 4”PastedGraphic-1

If anyone’s thinking of getting a Woodmaster, here’s my advice to getting the right tool for the job. Look at the cost of your investment. Pair that with your need and the flexibility of the machine. Woodmaster does a variety of jobs. You have the flexibility to change functions so you can buy one machine instead of three or four.

I’m totally satisfied. I’ve used a lot of equipment and I’ve never seen one that can cut molding in one pass like my Woodmaster can. I don’t even have to sand the molding the Woodmaster makes because the Variable Feed Rate feature lets me run molding with thousands of cuts per inch. The Variable Feed Rate is a huge advantage — the only sanding I do is ‘breaking’ the corners of picture frames with 220 grit sandpaper.

Customer Service? Excellent

David and DeskWoodmaster Customer Service is great, excellent. They even know which profiles I’ve ordered. When I first got the machine, I called and the first person talked to knew exactly what I was talking about and exactly what I needed to understand.

I don’t have to call them – the machine is of such quality I don’t have breakdowns. The way I operate, I have no need for maintenance. The Woodmaster is excellent quality, easy to operate and understand. It’s very powerful, and it’s designed with woodworker in mind.

People like myself, doing the kind of woodworking I do, can use a machine like this to make their lives easier, produce better work, gain flexibility and versatility, and at a reasonable price. It’s a great machine to have.”

— David Huneycutt, Woodmaster Molder/Planer Owner, North Carolina

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(Editor’s Note: After we posted David’s story, he corrected one point we reported inaccurately: he hand-cut dovetails on the drawer partitions and drawers sides, not on the door partitions. Sorry for the error!)

5 years and a Woodmaster — FAMILY BUILDS THEIR OWN EXTRAORDINARY OFF-THE-GRID HOME

Eric Esiason purchased the plans and logs. Then he and his family started a 5-year project to build this beautiful home with their own hands. They cut their own trees and made all the flooring and trim with Eric's Woodmaster Molder/Planer.

Eric Esiason purchased the plans and logs. Then he and his family started a 5-year project to build this beautiful home with their own hands. They cut their own trees and made all the joists, flooring, and trim — plus log cabin siding for their garage — with Eric’s Woodmaster Molder/Planer.

Eric Esiason ran thousands of board feet through his Woodmaster Molder/Planer. Here he's planing oak trim for the new home he and his family built.

Eric Esiason ran thousands of board feet through his Woodmaster Molder/Planer. Here he’s planing oak trim for the new home he and his family built.

Here’s the story of what may be the ultimate D-I-Y project. Woodmaster owner, Eric Esaison, his wife, Linda, and their two teenage sons took on the massive task of building their own off-the-grid home from scratch on 60 undeveloped acres in Massachusetts.

Central to this gigantic project was Eric’s Woodmaster Molder/Planer. He and his family cut their own trees, sawed them into lumber, and created THOUSANDS of board feet of flooring, siding, and trim.

Eric and his two sons, Justin and Jordan, install decking on the home they built from scratch.

Eric and his two sons, Justin and Jordan, install decking on the home they built from scratch.

“I’m an IT guy (information technology) and a serious do-it-yourselfer. I’ve always wanted to build a log home and in 2007 my wife and I bought 60 wooded acres near Sturbridge, Massachusetts. We decided to build our log home ourselves. With five years of hard work and a Model 725 Woodmaster Molder/Planer, we built our own very private 4,500 square foot log home at the end of a ¾ of a mile driveway. We call it the coolest home nobody will ever see!

“Woodmaster can handle big volume, big projects”

I got the planer specifically to make finished lumber for our home. Finished boards are expensive; we had 60 acres of woodland and I knew we could make our own lumber and trim with the right equipment. We saved hundreds of dollars on red oak trim. Besides saving money, you just can’t buy the custom materials we made ourselves. We ran my Woodmaster pretty much continuously during the building process.

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It paid for itself in no time and cost us nothing beyond the initial purchase price. It’s one of the few woodworking machines that could take the volume of wood I put through it. Woodmaster’s how-to videos are great, a real big help. This machine doesn’t have a big price tag and it does great work. I chose Woodmaster because it has a really good reputation. I did a lot of Googling and read a lot of product reviews. I never saw even one negative comment. I totally concur with everything I read online. This machine is absolutely stellar.

I ran a ton of wood through it! It’s done everything I wanted it to do. We built the road, a bridge, the house, a big garage, and more. We cleared the land, cut trees, sawed them into boards, surfaced them on my 725 Woodmaster Molder/Planer, and used the finished lumber and trim to build our new home.

“Here’s what we did with my Model 725 Woodmaster…”

wood comes outWe made the 5/4” x 14” fascia trim around the roof line from our white pine trees. We manufactured 2” x 6” tongue and groove floor boards for the loft from our hemlock trees. We made roughly 1,000 1” x 8” x 14” T & G white pine boards for the ceilings, cut from white pines that were knocked down in a tornado that went through the Sturbridge area in June of 2011. We created all the interior window and door trim from a couple of 200 year old red oaks that were removed from the house site. We made the mantle over the fireplace. It’s a 4” x 12” hunk of the same red oak. We sided our new 24’ x 32’ garage with log cabin siding we made on the Woodmaster. And our next project will be sawing wide oak planks for the main floor. And we’ll surface them, of course, on my Woodmaster!

Solar panels help make the Esiason's new home self sufficient. They're totally off the grid.

Solar panels help make the Esiason’s new home self sufficient. They’re totally off the grid.

Totally Off The Grid

We’re totally off the grid. The only wire connecting us to the outside world is 3,200’ of armored fiber optic cable we use to access the internet. We have a wood furnace, a 12,000 watt solar array, a 2,000 watt windmill, and a big bank of storage batteries. We generate our own electricity, heat, and hot water. Since we moved into our new home in 2012 we’ve paid $0 for utilities.

Ordinary folks, extraordinary undertaking

We are homeowners and do-it-yourselfers, not professional builders. I was the general contractor. My wife Linda and I, with our two sons, Justin and Jordan, were the building crew. Logs came from a company in Maine. I hired local companies to put in the foundation; plumbing, and septic; and assemble the log building shell. We did everything else!

There’s a big benefit to doing a big building project like this: it’s a great opportunity to buy big boy toys. I bought a sawmill, a bulldozer, tractor, an all-terrain forklift, and a Woodmaster Molder/Planer!

Our home’s joists are all 3 x 12 hemlock. There are 2,000 individual 14’ 1” x 8” white pine boards. A tornado came through here and we salvaged downed trees. The decking in the loft is 1” x 6” tongue and groove hemlock; the loft floor forms the ceiling of the kitchen and bathroom on the first floor. All the fascia boards are 5/4 x 12” white pine. All the interior trim is cut from 200 year old red oaks.

“I got the biggest Woodmaster — price difference between models is not that much”

I got the biggest Woodmaster Molder/Planer, the 725, for its capability. I wanted to be sure the model I chose would do everything I wanted. The price difference between the big 725 Woodmaster I bought and a smaller Woodmaster is not that much money. I also got the 3-Side Molding System and used it for all the tongue and groove work. The Woodmaster saved me tens of thousands of dollars.

Eric's whole story

Trouble free
Woodmaster’s a great tool, I have nothing but good things to say about it. It’s important to me that it’s made in the USA — that influenced my decision to buy one. Foreign-made machines don’t hold up, and I like to keep my dollars in America. The only thing I’ve bought for my Woodmaster is a new set of knives.
My advice for others? Building your own home is doable and worth it if you’re willing to invest time and sweat. With the power of today’s internet, there’s really nothing you can’t figure out how to do if you really want to. If you want to build your own home, fear nothing and plan on it taking a long time!”
— Eric Esiason, Woodmaster Owner & one serious D-I-Y’er, Massachusetts

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He turned his passion for surfing into a UNIQUE & PROFITABLE WOODWORKING BUSINESS

Dana's wife, Lisa, (front) and her friend, Emily, strike lovely poses for promotional photos on Dana's beautiful hand crafted wooden surfboards.

Dana’s wife, Lisa, (left) and her friend, Emily, strike lovely poses on Dana’s beautiful hand crafted wooden surfboards.

Dana's Koa surfboard is a prime example of the excellent craftsmanship that can be achieved with Woodmaster Molder/Planers and Drum Sanders.

Dana’s surfed half his life. When career opportunities led him to a crossroad, he started manufacturing surfboards. Dude!

Five years ago Californian, Dana Blocksage, got laid off from his job as a territorial sales manager and wondered, “What’s next?” He wanted to do something that was both enjoyable and meaningful. Having been a California surfer half his life, Dana did what came naturally: he started building surfboards under his own brand name – Dana Surfboards.

“My wife, Lisa, and I started manufacturing surfboards out of a garage. Today, business is great and we have a 2,000 square foot shop. We make two kinds of surfboards: solid wood, decorative boards and hollow, functional ones you can surf with. We own a 25″ Woodmaster Molder Planer, and a 38″ Woodmaster Drum Sander.

Dana's koa wood surfboard is a prime example of the aesthetic beauty that can be achieved with the Woodmaster Molder/Planer and Drum Sander.

Dana’s koa wood surfboard is a prime example of the aesthetic beauty that can be achieved with the Woodmaster Molder/Planer and Drum Sander.

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2 surfboard lines – decorative and functional

"Please be sure to sign our...surfboard!" Guest books are so yesterday. Guests at weddings and affairs sign  one of Dana's surfboards.

“Please be sure to sign our…surfboard!” Guest books are so yesterday. Guests at weddings and affairs sign Dana’s surfboards.

Our decorative surfboards are beautiful to hang on the wall. Many are used at weddings — guests sign the surfboard like a guest book. We also make surfboard furniture: surfboard shelves, bookcases, coffee tables, and more. Our clients are surfers and non-surfers. We’ve done work for big corporations, foundations, Fortune 500 companies, and more. Anything surfboard-related, we’ve made it and people are buying it. Business is great. We’re getting orders every day and shipping around the world. We’re constantly adding products to our lines. We’ve been very blessed.

We also make functional, hollow wooden surfboards you can surf with. These are very time consuming and very expensive. They have a rib structure inside with a quarter-inch thick wood skin top and bottom. We run the skins through our Woodmaster Molder/Planer and Woodmaster Drum Sander. We glue them to the top and bottom of the surfboards, add rails, hand-shape them, and fiberglass them.

Only 5% of the boards we build are hollow, functional surfboards. Most are solid Redwood decorative surfboards. An eight-foot hollow, fiberglassed wooden surfboard is around $1,500. An eight-foot, solid wood decorative surfboards goes for $429.

Renewable Redwood from managed forests

This is one guest book that will never get tucked in the back of a drawer!

This is one guest book that will never get tucked in the back of a drawer!

Wooden surfboards go back to the 1800’s in Hawaii. They were often made of Koa, a wood that’s native to Hawaii. We use Redwood that’s native to California. All the Redwood we use is grown in managed forests and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. We start by hand-selecting all our lumber. We accept only about 20% of the wood we look at. We laminate our solid wood surfboards from Redwood boards with narrow, lighter colored wood ‘stringers’ in between.

Then we run the laminated wood through our Woodmaster Molder/Planer, cut the profile, and add the rails — the sidepieces. Then we add the nose and tail details — nose and tail ‘blocks’ made from a variety of exotic hardwoods fromaround the world. Next, we run the surfboard through our Woodmaster Drum Sander. We do a final palm sanding and put on a water based polyurethane finish. Finally we add the fin and ship it out.

Early hassles ‘til he got his 26” Molder/Planer

A southern California bar wouldn't complete without Dana's stand-up surfboard bar tables.

A southern California bar wouldn’t complete without Dana’s stand-up surfboard bar tables.

We started with a narrow benchtop planer and I had to make surfboards in two halves, lengthwise, then join the halves together. That was too time consuming. Then I found a woodworker about 75 miles away who would plane whole laminated surfboard blanks for me. I’d take 20 or so up to him every couple of weeks and he’d plane them.

I got to the point where we had some money and it made sense to get a planer of our own. I chose Woodmaster because I liked the price, the customer reviews, and that it’s made in the United States. I called Woodmaster and the reps were friendly, they had good financing, and I liked the five-year warranty. I thought about getting a used planer off craigslist but I figured a new one fit my needs better because of the 5-year warranty.

Paid for itself in gas money saved

Ever see a memorial plaque like this one? Dana's boards are popular among businesses and organizations to commemorate events and accomplishments.

Ever see a memorial plaque like this one? Dana’s boards are popular among businesses and organizations — they use them to commemorate events and accomplishments.

The 725 Woodmaster Molder/Planer paid for itself as we used it. When we considered we’d no longer have to pay for gas to drive 75 miles each way to have our boards planed, we figured our planer paid for itself. But even more than that, it was great to be able to plane on our schedule, not when another guy was ready for us. I chose the 725 because most of our surfboards are 24” wide so this was the right size. For my purpose, it’s very good. I have two sets of planer knives. I send in my dull ones to be sharpened and mount my sharp ones.

Multi-tasking with his Woodmaster Drum Sander

I have a 38” Woodmaster Drum Sander, too. Sanding is the last step before the boards are finished. I got it with the Reversing Switch. I love it; I couldn’t imagine sanding without being able to send the wood through the machine, then flip the switch and bring it back. I sit in a chair beside the planer and run the wood back and forth while I’m on my smartphone checking orders, updating our Facebook page, emailing customers, and so on. I have a mask on, my ear protection, and do some multi-tasking.

We used to use a disk sander. It created a huge amount of dust and didn’t give a uniform finish. The Woodmaster is a lot less work and it creates a better finish. I can change the feed rate to match the wood I’m running. Both the planer and sander are very powerful machines.

Thousands less than others

Woodworkers talk about "putting their mark" on their work. Dana does exactly that. His remarkable wooden surfboards bear his logo -- Dana Surfboards.

Woodworkers talk about “putting their mark” on their work. Dana does exactly that. His remarkable wooden surfboards bear his mark, his logo — Dana Surfboards.

I don’t see how other woodworking equipment companies can justify their prices. Some are several thousand dollars more than Woodmaster. Even so, buying two Woodmasters was quite an investment. But now that we have them, my wife and I ask ourselves all the time, ‘Why didn’t we do this sooner?” These machines let me do more than surfboards. I’ve made big conference tables and I’ve run work for others. A local hardwood supplier just asked us if we would do milling work. People call us for small jobs. These things aren’t our core business but I’m happy to help others and make a few dollars.

If someone’s thinking about getting a Woodmaster, I’d say it depends on where you are in your business or your hobby. Me, I’m the kind of guy who’d start
small with Harbor Freight equipment, then maybe buy a bigger, better, used machine. But looking back, I wish I’d bought Woodmaster equipment from the start. Woodmaster machines are not inexpensive, but they’re a lot less than others. Customer service has been good. If somebody wants to buy a planer or sander and are looking for something in this size, I would feel comfortable recommending Woodmaster based on my own experience.”

— Dana Blocksage, Dana Surfboards, Woodmaster Molder/Planer & Woodmaster Drum Sander Owner

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