About Us (okay, maybe not the whole story!)

DSC_0238 BC cropped 4 (Large)DSC_0190_edited BC (Large)I have had a love for woodworking all of my life, from helping my father in his garage shop, to turning my first project (a walnut lamp) on a lathe in Middle School shop. In college I helped log dead wormy chestnut trees and build an a-frame house on the top of a mountain in western North Carolina with Robert S. Brunk. A few years later I moved back to Barnardsville and lived in a geodesic dome next door to Bob, who by then had become quite well known for his furniture making and the handicrafts of the southern highlands. I apprenticed him and learned a lot about the properties of wood and the art of design. I also learned to appreciate the beauty of highly figured wood.

DSC_0193_edited AF (Large)By the late 70’s I was married and built my first shop. My wife, Pennie, joined me in the shop. Her specialty is finish sanding but she helps in some way with almost every project we do. We began working with Bob again, making “quilters puzzles”, as they were often called. They were sold in guild and craft shops around the country as well as craft shows. We still make these puzzles and they are available here on my website. During this period I had my first one man show at Cedar Creek Pottery near Raleigh, NC. The feature piece was a fiddleback ambrosia maple coffee table in the style of James Krenov.  My company name was Sanders Woodworking.  That continued to be the name of my business until we started the website.  It turns out that Jim Sanders in Texas had registered the name Sanders Woodworking as a web address before I did.  Reluctantly we became Sanders Fine Woodworking.

DSC_0236_edited AF (Large)We continued to do commissions and turn bowls. By 2007 we realized my 1200 sq. ft. shop was too small to hold all of my tools and the enormous amount of wood I had collected for 35 years. There wasn’t room left to work. The only solution was to build more shop space and, of course, buy more tools, among them a new lathe. In January of 2008, we doubled the size to 2400 sq. ft. We upgraded my 1940’s lathe with a new Powermatic 3520b. While I have made many bowls over the 45 years since middle school shop, the new lathe made me want to turn bowls full time. In 2012 we added another 1728 sq. ft. and three more lathes.

DSC_0237_edited AF (Large)My wife Pennie spends most of her free time with our four kids, their wives and husbands and our seven grandchildren but still finds time to help in the shop.  Her main jobs these days are keeping my shop organized, an impossible task, and finish sanding puzzles and cutting boards.  She helped me build the shop and did most of the work on the walls, insulation and wood racks in the new addition.

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My new Great Dane puppy, Henrietta Grace, our fifth Great Dane, is becoming a shop dog.  She likes the shavings and the air conditioning.