Episode #007 – An Interview with Greg Coker – A great source for Wood


An Interview with Greg Coker

A great wood resource for Woodworking projects

I first met Greg about 3 years ago.

Greg Coker

Greg Coker

I had been hunting for something build my new desk at the office, and kept coming up short.  I went to a local lumber store known as Peach State Lumber.  They essentially introduced me to Greg, and I have been thankful ever since.

Greg has an uncanny ability to see what many might see as a nuisance or firewood like this:

2 hardwood 2 Hardwood (2)

And pull an amazing piece like this out of it:

3 Poplar for sale 3 Hardwood for sale


These pictures really do not do the wood justice.  I took it at 6:30 in the morning with low light on my iPhone.  It was also less than 32 degrees and there was frost on the wood hiding much of its beauty.

These pieces had blue, purple, yellow, and red grains flowing through them.  I really had never seen anything like it in person before.  If I wasn’t already buying two 12 foot slabs of Walnut, I would have picked up these pieces too.



Example of the Advantages of a Simplified Woodworking Shop

After I simplified my shop, I had so much more room to work.  I knew where everything was, including my wood.  When mother’s day was coming around the corner, I could not think about what to get my mom.  So, I asked myself, “What can I make that she could use, and make it quickly (since Mother’s day is around the corner).”  I don’t like buying something that she may or may not use.  I build this stool for her in just a few hours on a Saturday and then finished it during the course of the week.


Here was the process  . . . 

Episode #006 – Keeping your tools sharp to speed up your Woodworking


The Avid Woodworker – Episode # 006 – Keeping your tools sharp to speed up your Woodworking

Knowing that I was getting ready to build my sharpening station in my shop, I though it might be helpful to take a class on hand sharpening.  I signed up for a class with Terry at my local Woodcraft store this weekend and it was great.  We spent three hours going over hand sharpening tools and techniques for chisels, hand planes, and card scrapers.

Why is sharpening so important to woodworking productivity?  Read the old Irish Legend of the Lumberjack:

 Story of the Lumberjack

 There is an old Irish legend, a story of two lumberjacks.  Both men were skilled woodsmen although the first was much bigger, welding a powerful axe.  He was so strong that he didn’t have to be as accurate for he still produced due to his sheer size.  He was known far and wide for his ability to produce great quantities of raw material.

In spite of his size, the second woodsman’s fame was spreading for his skill and accuracy.  There was very little waste in his efforts so his customers ended up with a better product for their money. Soon the word spread that his work was even better than his larger competition!

Upon hearing this, the larger man became concerned.  He wondered, “How could this be? I am so much bigger that I MUST be better!” He proposed that the two compete with a full day of chopping trees to see who was more productive.  The winner would be declared ”The Greatest Lumberjack in all the land.” The smaller man agreed and the date for the bout was set.          

Episode #005 – The Final 2 Steps to Simplify Your Workshop to Get More Woodworking Done


The Avid Woodworker – AW Episode # 5 – Simplifying your Workshop  To Get More Woodworking Done

 As a reminder:  The Five steps towards simplifying your shop

1)     Survey your existing workshop and decide what you really like to do in your shop

2)     Analyze your woodworking flows

3)     Clean House

4)     Organize, design, or re-design your shop

5)     Develop new rules and systems to maintain the simplicity in your shop

Step 4 – Organize, Design or Re-design your shop

Well, finally, we are at the organize and design phase!  It only took two previous episodes to get here.  I know as woodworkers, this can be the best part of this process because it gives us excuses for shop wood working projects.

I am not going into great detail on this or step 5 for a couple of reasons.  In some respects, after you design the look of your overall shop, the organization of your shop can really be broken down into zones.

For instance, I am going to build a sharpening station in the next few weeks so I can quickly sharpen my plane irons and my turning chisels I use on my lathe.  I am going to build it out of scrap wood to save my money for wood I want to use on my projects.  Mainly MDF left over from Cub scout projects like cub mobile

Start with a sketch.  It does not have to be in Google sketch up.  A piece of graph paper will work just fine.  Break out where you are putting certain stations, even the ones you have not built yet.