Archive for the ‘Products’ Category

Thirsty anyone?

Pimp cup goblet

Recently I made a goblet for my wife.   She has been always wanting a pimp cup so I was thinking about the best way that I could make one for her out of wood.  I settled on a design as shown.  Zebrawood on the outside, because no pimp would be without zebra print something, Purpleheart because purple is a stereo-typical pimp color and canary wood because is contrast nicely with the purpleheart.  These are treated  with an epoxy finish to keep it water tight.  A cup that any pimp should have handy.  Of course I can make it out of a variety of woods, or just a solid piece of wood.

Another option is the wine glasses with the wooden stem.  This one that is shown here is made from laminated cherry, not a solid piece of cherry.  Ideally I would make them out of a single block of 3” square wood, like maple, oak, cherry, or walnut.   The glass top gives it a nice contrast to the  wood.

I hope to make a few more glasses in the near future, and maybe a few other goblets out of solid wood, I have some extra Walnut turning blocks to use up.

If anyone has some interest in something  like this please let me know!  Add it with a matching wine stopper and have a complete drinking set!

Until next time,


Right frame of mind

So far I’ve shown you the pens and wine stoppers, all fun lathe items to make.  Now I’m going to take you to the world of flat work… but just for now.

I  first made a picture frame out of necessity.  I was given a water color art piece of a martini, a fantastic drink that keeps getting better with every olive.  It was purchased at one of the local art fairs here in Michigan (Arts and Apples), and given to me as a present (birthday, I think…).  While I probably could have found a store bought frame that would have been the right size, but I thought that this would be a great time to make my own.  So I made one out of curly maple, see the non-professional picture of it…

In the corner is a mahogany spline which reinforces the frame and I love the look of contrasting the woods.  You don’t need a spline on a miter joint, but you do need to reinforce it… a miter joint is not very strong and additional reinforcements are needed.  If you don’t like the look of the contrasting wood, a spline can be made out of the same material as the frame, or an different type of reinforcement can be used.  Nails could be used… but seriously??  I like to try and stay with traditional joinery when possible.

Here are some unique frames that I came up with:

This 5-picture picture frame was one that I thought would be cool to make.  It is created with half lap joints which are nice and strong.  I get a lot of inquiries about this frame, which can be custom made for all kinds of pictures sizes, but this is an expensive frame, prices vary but they are usually north of $150, which include glass and backing.  It is just a labor intensive frame to get all of the joints fitting nicely, but you get what you pay for!  If you are the type of person that needs to have an abstract, unique frame… then look no further.

This next frame came about as a custom order from someone looking for a way to house high school diplomas’, a picture, and the tassel.  It uses a combination of miters joints and half lap joints.  The half lap joints strengthen the frame enough that the miters don’t need to have splines, but they could still be added.  This frame runs around $110, which includes glass, backing, and a custom cut matte to fit the picture size that you might want.  This also allows you to use the frame for a college degree as well.

Walnut Graduation Frame

This final frame was custom made for a 30th “Pearl” anniversary.  I added a channel and inlaid some fresh water pearls and outlined them in some maple, which matched the splines.  The frame itself is made from exotic Jatoba.  The idea for the design was a collaboration between me and the buyer.

If you have something special you would like a custom frame for just let me know and we can try to get you what you are looking for.


Winos only –


2 Jatoba and 1 Oak wine stoppers

Another product that we offer are these hand turned wine stoppers. Like the wood pens, these don’t use a lot of wood (just thicker wood) so it gives you the opportunity to use expensive exotic woods without breaking the bank and they are a great way to cap off your left over wine – functional and stylish!

Some people say that they don’t need a wine stopper because they always finish their bottles of wine…. And to them I say “Show some restraint!” 🙂   No, not really.  But I like red wine and if my wife wants white… and it’s a work night… are we really each going to finish a bottle that night?!   If you answered “yes!” then maybe you need to be a regular visitor to  But for us, not so much, so why not cap it off and save it for the next day?

Jatoba wine stoppers with inset fresh water pearls

There are several different styles of wine stoppers out there ranging from cork, to silicon, to chrome plated, to stainless steel. I have only really dabbled in the chrome plated ones, they are more affordable then the stainless ones and look a lot nicer then the silicon ones. I personally won’t do the cork ones because they can transfer the taste of the wine from one bottle to another – bad news there if you are even a little picky about your wine. You can see them offered on our website here:

Custom personalization available!

I am also working on a special order for a large amount of wine stoppers to be used as wedding favors with a custom wood brand on the top. Of course in cases like these it can make financial sense to personalize them, but if you are getting just 1 or 2 then it would be cost prohibited.

If you are interested in having something like this done for your wedding, or other special event, email me at and we can discuss the details of what you want and volume discounts!

But of course, if your wine comes from a box then you really don’t need one… but thanks for reading along!


Wood Pens… the monster at the beginning

A sampling of some of the various pens that we can make

Hello once again.  We are now officially a few days into the new year and all the Christmas decorations are coming down and we are preparing for 3 months of a bitter cold and snowy Michigan winter with no work free Holidays in sight!

So I thought I would take a minute to showcase the item push me over the edge and down the path that we are on right now.  That is these hand turned wood pens!  I will go into deeper detail on different styles another time, as there are many of them with a wide range in cost.  Pens make great gifts for groomsmen, graduates, doctors, pastors, and anyone else that still uses old fashioned paper to write on.

Cocobolo gold slimline pen with cross clip.

Pen’s peaked my interest because they don’t use a lot of wood so it gives people the chance to use and see woods they otherwise may never know about.  For example, the piece of cocobolo I’m holding in the last post had a retail price of almost $20 on it… and that isn’t a very big piece of wood.  But cocobolo for pens can be very affordable, and beautiful (see picture on the right)!  So because of this I was able to experience dozens of woods from all around the world and put them into the hands of people that had never heard of them.

But being a woodworker at heart and seeing all the natural beauty of exotic woods, I couldn’t just stop at doing pens….

Until next time,


Get to know us

Starting off this New Year I thought that I would try and give a little different feel to the website by adding a blog to let you all out there get to know us better and understand the passion that we have for fine woodworking.  Also, maybe you will get to know us a little more and actually like the people that you are planning to purchases from.

Derek and Cocobolo

Cocobolo is about as pretty as it comes and the guy in the Faygo shirt is ok too

In this picture is me, Derek.  My wife is a little camera shy, so in her place is my second love…. a piece of exotic Cocobolo.  This is the wood that I first fell in love with when I started woodworking.  This picture does not show the detail of the streaks of red, yellow, and orange… shocking that something like this is naturally produced!  Cocobolo is my favorite exotic wood, and my favorite domestic wood is Maple Burl… maybe I’ll have a picture of that next time.  So the moral of the story is that I want all of you to see who is behind HandmadeWoodGifts.  I like to refer to myself as the “creative mind” and my wife as the “voice of reason”.

I hope to update the blog on a regular basis so that all of you out there in cyberland can get to know us and see some of the projects that we are working on… maybe we will feature a piece that you have custom selected for yourself!  If you have any questions or comments that you would like answered in the blog, go ahead and email us at and maybe well will answer your question in our next blog.

We are already starting off the year with some special order pens and will be updating the website with some new items real soon too!  So here’s to a safe, healthy, and prosperous New Year.