Out of hibernation…

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“Time to get back to work…”

 

Hey everybody, welcome back!  The weather is warming up and the workshop is thawing out, so I’ll be back to woodworking soon.  Over the winter I’ve been taking care of a lot of house projects and automobile work… but spring is here and that means Faire season is not far behind!  This year I will be doing all three weekends of the Central Missouri Renaissance Festival, where I am helping out with the craft guild again as well as helping plan the new children’s area.  I’ll also be demonstrating at Yanda Log Cabin day in Glen Carbon IL this October.

At the June CMRF, I’m going to be having an “old stock” sale.  These are items that I’ve been carrying around for a while now and that I’d like to see go on to their next home.  This sale will be in person, first come first served only.  No online sales and no “holding”.  This isn’t something I’ve done before, but I need to make room for the new stock I will be having this year.  So, come out in June and check out the markdowns!

Look for more activity here and on my FB page as Faire draws closer.  Thanks!

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Just a quick word…

Yes I am still alive.  Yes, I suck at having a blog.  I’m thinking of changing some things up at the website so if it looks different next time you come back, don’t worry.  I might not get around to it till November though…

😉

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Life, Death, and the River

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Wow, here it is April already.  The last half of winter and the beginning of spring have been very hard for us.  My mother-in-law’s health took a turn for the worse in February, and she passed away March 21st.  We had spent a lot of time and emotional energy on dealing with that, and I had to make the decision to back out of the Renaissance Faire of the Ozarks this upcoming weekend.  After we got back from the funeral trip I had a hard look at the calendar and the list of things I had left to do and there was only one conclusion: I wasn’t ready, and in the few days I had left I couldn’t be ready.  I’ve never had to cancel on an event like that, and it wasn’t an easy thing for me to do.  So if you were planning on seeing me in Arkansas, I apologize that I won’t be there and I hope you understand.

We had a vacation planned for the first part of April with my sister-in-law and her family, a chance to bond and spend some quality time with people we usually only see once a year.  We decided to go ahead with it and it was a great experience.  It was the first real vacation Lucinda and I have had in five years and we both really needed it.  We rented a cabin in the Red River Gorge area of Kentucky, a beautiful part of the country.  We got to spend real time with the kids, hiked, cooked, did some touristy stuff, and just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves.  On the last day we did a canoe trip, during which I flipped the canoe and broke my toe.  It has been an inconvenience.  A painful inconvenience.

But now it’s back to work and obligations and real life again.  I still have the Central Mo Renaissance Festival to get ready for in June.  Due to all that’s gone on recently I’ve had to put my plans for a permanent building there on hold, but I do have something else up my sleeve.  And I haven’t exactly been idle since January either.  I filled an order for a matching table to one that a customer purchased from me in 2015, and I also made a set of bed steps and a big girl chair for our sweet little friend Eleanor, who outgrew her toddler chair many moons ago although she didn’t know it.  I’ve also volunteered to organize the Craft Guild at CMRF.  So lots still going on in the world of Jason Sinco Woodworks.

The river will carry me past many joys and pains and sorrows before I reach its end.

 

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2017 Year In Preview!

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“I have seen into the future… I’m going to need more wood.”

 

So, I thought about doing a “year in review” for 2016 but realized that didn’t make much sense because it was all right there on the blog if you wanted to read about it.  Instead I’m going to do my first “year in preview” to talk about what to expect from Jason Sinco Woodworks in 2017.

More Events!

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This year I am planning on doing five weekends of vending and demonstrations, a new high for me.  Starting with the Renaissance Faire of the Ozarks in April, two weekends of the expanded Central Missouri Renaissance Festival in June, an unconfirmed event in September (more on which later), and back to CMRF for their harvest festival in October.  This is ambitious on my part just because of the shop time involved in building stock for an event, so we’ll see at the end of the year if five weekends was too much for me.

Vardo 2017!

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So I did get the vardo built even though I neglected to finish writing it up, somewhere between busy Fall and too lazy.  Short story on that though, the trailer I used was not up to the weight and I bent the tongue and cracked the frame.  So I’ll need to replace the trailer out from under the vardo which should make a fun and entertaining entry.  And I will get the build pictures and such up on the vardo 2016 page.  Eventually.

Special Historical Project!

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I’ve undertaken to make a replica of St Edward’s Chair, the coronation chair of Great Britain, which has a fascinating history.  This is purely a project for my own joy and edification, and when finished it will be displayed at the Central Missouri Renaissance Festival in my shop for people to oggle at, sit on, and be educated by.

A Chance for a Permanent Shop!

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I have the opportunity to build an actual shop building at Central Missouri this year, which is exciting to say the least.  This is a growing Faire that has just expanded to three weekends, so building makes sense.  The details are still being worked out, so more on that later.

So that’s the highlights of my upcoming year.  I’ve got lots of new design ideas and things I want to try out for product in 2017, so expect to see some of that here and at my events.  And as always, all the household projects and things that will crop up as I go along.  This will be interesting to take a look at come the end of 2017 and see how the year ended up.  Hopefully I’ll make a couple posts between now and then…

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Central Missouri Renaissance Festival 2016

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We had a great time this past weekend at the 11th Annual Central Missouri Renaissance Festival in Kingdom City, Missouri.  This was our second time doing this Faire and the amount of growth it had this year over last year is amazing!  It is growing so much, in fact, that next year they are going to do three weekends (two in June, one in October) and I plan to be at all of them.  I was pretty busy in the shop, met lots of new folks and saw some old friends.  Also, I got to check up on some of my previous pieces and talk to their owners to get feedback, which I always like to do.

It was also the first test of the Vardo.  Sadly, it didn’t go as well as I’d hoped.  I overloaded it (my mistake) and my truck just couldn’t handle it.  But, camping in it was fantastic, and it handled fine when empty.  So it needs some tweaking.  And I guess I’d better start shopping for a bigger truck!

This was my last event for the year, so now it’s time to focus on more around the house stuff and start planning for next year.  I’ve got lots of irons in the fire at the moment, to borrow a blacksmithing phrase, and next year is looking to be very exciting!

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The Vardo Project has begun!

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I’ve started on the Vardo, you can follow my progress on that project here.

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Olde English Faire 2016

Here’s some photos of the Olde English Faire at Wildlife Prairie Park in Peoria, IL.  It was a new Faire for me and a good experience.  We were set up next to a Blacksmith demonstration and I got him to make me a period correct nail!  The camping at the Park was amazing and it felt like more of a working vacation.  Except for the HEAT!  It was really too hot, dangerously hot.  Lucinda and I bought bags of ice and kept cold wet towels around our necks and heads.  In the afternoon my demo tent was in the full sun, and my tools would quickly become too hot to touch.  We downsized our shop tent for this one, and I was happy with the results.  I think we had a great looking setup.

 

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A different kind of woodwork…

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Ok, so I totally dropped the ball on my last post and didn’t follow up with pics and a rundown of RFO 2016.  Shame on me.  I had a great time, stayed busy, sold some stuff, made some stuff.  Didn’t hardly take any pics.  I did deliver two wainscot chairs for the royalty of the Faire, which were a big hit.

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Also, a combo folding table and benches, and a peg loom.

 

But the fun REALLY started when we got back.  Y’see, back in February when we got our occupancy permit from the city, it was “conditional” on addressing a few exterior things that needed to be done.  They understood that winter is an awful time to do that, so they gave us an extension.  May 9th.  Which was roughly three weeks after RFO.  So, in between rain and working two jobs, I had to tear out and rebuild the front porch steps, replace the handrail at the sidewalk steps, fix a roof leak on the front porch, and paint the porch… as well as a few other things that have cropped up since.  Here’s what that looked like.

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So now I’ve got to get ready for the Olde English Faire in a few weeks.  Excited but nervous at the same time.  First time doing this one, and I think it’ll be different than the others I’ve done.  Plus I’m up against the time crunch again, as usual.  When will I ever learn?  Oh, and I had to rip out the upstairs toilet and surrounding floor today.  Excelsior!

 

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RFO 2016 was a success!

Had a great time at the Renaissance Festival of the Ozarks this past weekend!  Thanks to everyone involved.  More to come soon…

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Jason Sinco Woodworks has a new home!

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Well, it’s not perfect and I’m a couple of weeks behind schedule, but the new shop is up and running!  I’ve got a few boxes still to unpack, and one more workbench that needs to make its way out of the storage unit, but I’ve got it essentially set up the way I want and functional.

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Here it is as I found it, just bulging with potential.  There were already two handyman style workbenches along the back wall, some cabinets up on the wall, some funky old pegboard that needs to go, and miles of shelves.  I had to throw a few tools in it and get to work on some house essentials before we could move in.  It also became the repository for all the debris that needed to go in the trash.  So First I had to make a trip to the dump.

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Next, all of the shelving along the wall had to go to make room for my wood rack.  Most of it was repurposed for shelving in the basement.  I was very excited about the Port-A-Mate wood rack system I bought, but once I unboxed it and put it together I realized it wouldn’t hold a tenth of the wood I needed to store.  Then I looked at the pictures on the box and saw the obvious photo trickery they used to make their product look like something substantial instead of a cracker jack toy.  So those will be going back to the store, and I had to build my own wood rack after all.

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Then moving day came before I was quite ready, and everything just got dumped inside.  I’ve been working it around like a slider puzzle for a week and a half to get things sorted out.  Yesterday I finally made sense of it all, set my tools out, swept the floor, and hung up my sign.  It’s a HUGE improvement over my shop in Springfield, both in size and layout.  And it has windows, how cool is that?  My first project was a cabinet for the kitchen, to go between the fridge and the stove.  I saved all the cabinet pieces and drawers that we took out, so it was a cinch to piece one back together.  But it was the perfect project to break in the new space and get me back in the saddle.  It feels so good to be working in my own space again, and a big thank you to my wife and all my family that helped along the way.

So I’ll leave you with a few photos of the new shop, and keep you posted as I make improvements and adjustments.  New lighting is on my short list, as well as getting rid of the last few things hanging around in there that don’t belong.  But I’ll have time for all that.  Hopefully I’ll be making furniture in this shop for many years to come.

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