Perceived Value

We are in the thick of the Woodworking Show Season having finished the first six shows leaving seven more to go. I love this time of year because I get to see so many folks I know from over the years. I am amazed at the pictures of their work and the stories of how I have had some small influence. There are many stories to share and sights to see. America is a truly great and diverse land and Sweet Janice and I are getting to see much of it in all of its winter splendor. Although winter was very late in arriving this year, it did finally get here with snow and ice covered roads, travel delays and our share of slip and slide at highway speeds. Only one mechanical mishap so far this year and it wasn’t too bad. I am very thankful that we have yet to be stranded beside the road waiting on a tow truck in sub-freezing weather.

I would like to revisit the perceived values of some of the items we make. This past weekend we were in St. Louis at the sixth woodworking show of the season. You need to know that I spent many hours gluing up about twelve Laser Cut Kits into Christmas Ornaments as examples for the show before the season began. They are complete with very intricut genuine ebony finials and are finished with my finest time consuming CA finish. The shine is brilliant. None of them are for sale and I am very proud of every single one. A customer approached me holding one of my finished sample ornaments in his hand having taken it down from its place on display asking where he could pay for it; an easy mistake. I told him they were samples and not for sale then he dropped the bomb.

Here is the ornament he was holding:

He said “What do you mean it isn’t for sale? It clearly has a price right over there. It is priced at $19.95!!!” When I let him know that he was holding an ornament that would sell in a gallery for $200 he seemed incredulous and handed me the ornament with some hint of disgust. Obviously his perception of value and mine were on very different levels when it comes to handmade Christmas ornaments of that quality.

Allow me to paraphrase one of my good friends, Chris Stott from England now living in Southwest France. I owe much of my technical prowess on a lathe to Chris. In his book “Turned Lidded Boxes – 50 designs” Chris tells about overhearing a couple of older lady customers at a craft fair discussing his offerings. They were heard to say “We’ll not go in there. There have only things they have made themselves.” Certainly not worth of much in their eyes.

Whether it be a simple or elegant pen, bottle stopper, bowl, goblet or other turned item, the perceived value will run the entire scale from worthless to priceless. The perceived value truly is in the eye of the beholder. Don’t be offended if someone doesn’t understand the value of your item or appreciate the many hours and level of skill required to produce such an item. Also don’t believe your own press when someone tells you an item you have made is worth hundreds of dollars, unless they are actually willing to hand over the cold hard cash! (And they are not your momma). Grow a thick skin and be happy with the making. Turning is more about the journey than the destination. Because wherever you go, there you are.

Here is my inspiration for this week’s message:

Prov. 20:14 NIV “It’s no good, it’s no good!” says the buyer— then goes off and boasts about the purchase.

Prov. 18:2 NIV “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.”


We will be home between shows for the rest of the show season. We are able to make available some of the very popular items that we had to remove due to our busy travel show schedule. That includes the incredibly popular laser cut kits and Made by Medallions. In April I will be offering Custom Edge Lit Signs for your shop and businesses. More on that later.



Tim Yoder From Popular Woodturning

Turns a Laser Cut Christmas Tree Ornament

YouTube Screen Grab

Tim Yoder S2-Ep13

Tim Yoder, Star of the Popular Woodworking Magazine sponsored program “Woodturning With Tim Yoder” and a new friend, just released an episode featuring one of my Laser Cut Christmas Tree Kits. Tim will use one of my Laser Cut Christmas Ornament Kits and turns an ornament for you. If you don’t currently receive the email notifications and would like to, here is the link to subscribe:



Christmas Tree

This Week's Sale Items:

We will continue our 10% off sale one more week.



More Kits Here

Retail Selling Price is $29.99. Sale price is $19.99 each plus shipping. We do have a few of the patterns at the shows, but not nearly the entire selection. If you have a special request, please email me a photo or logo. (No copyrighted designs or protected logos please)

The Response to our Laser Cut Kits has been overwhelming! We are going to continue this sale for a while longer even though the laser is glowing a dull red from over use.

Tim Yoder will has devoted a whole show using one of these kits. It was released Fri Oct. 22, 2015

20% to 50% Off Retail*


YouTube Video Clip Here


Hello friends. Well it’s early October and we have a few turning symposiums under our belt now after we introduced our new kits. The response we have received to our new laser cut glue up Line has been really fantastic. With the Christmas season quickly approaching I’ve decided to go all out and extend a special offer.

Imagine the reaction you’re going to get from dear friends and relatives when you present them with these extraordinary Christmas ornaments this year. The most popular pattern by far has been the butterfly and I can certainly see why. Followed closely behind that is a Christmas tree which really pops with the Gold star and the bright green acrylic Christmas tree.

Jesus Christ is the reason for the season and you might wish to order a single cross or a triple cross like I have here. By popular request I have just introduced a single cross also.

And of course popular year-round is anything with a heart. And just in case you would actually like to make something other than a Christmas ornament here are a couple of examples of hollow forms using these exact laser cut kits. You can probably imagine the OH’s and Ah’s that I get when folks see these two pieces.

The Fleur-de-lis is an astoundingly popular kit since this pattern is a New Orleans Saints football logo, used as the Boy Scout logo, is also popular with folks of the Catholic persuasion and numerous other groups.

We are currently offering a total of about 20 different designs so I would encourage you to make this Christmas special was something that has just hit the market, something you can’t get anywhere else, and something which will make your gift that much more special and memorable.

I invite you to consider this week’s sale prices as there will never be a better time to take advantage of these fantastic new kits from Ron Brown’s Best with savings of up 50% off regular prices.

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and God’s Blessings this Christmas Season.


More Info Here

Announcing Even More New Designs:


Lighthouse - Now in White

Nativity Scene

Nativity Scene



Single Cross

I have the proofs made and they are beautiful. I will post pics on the web site as soon as I can turn a sample ornament of each design. The Nativity scene is cherry in a maple panel.


African Blackwood Sale

Perfect for Christmas Ornament Finials - Icicles

I have secured a very limited supply of African Blackwood turning blanks 1" x 1" x 5-1/2". The photo shows a finial I just turned from one of the squares. Similar to Gabon Ebony, but easier to turn and much less brittle, this material is almost identical to ebony when turned. I recorded a couple of short videos for you including "Finials for Mortals". Tis the season for Christmas Ornaments.

Also wonderful for pen blanks, miniature bird house finials, etc.

Click Here for short video on African Blackwood (4 min)

Click Here info on ordering African Blackowood

Click Here to view "Finials for Mortals" (13 min)

Fancy Christmas Ornaments & Laser Cut Glue Up Kits How-To DVD set $29.99 (see below)


Answering Machine Debacle

My answering machine has eaten all of your messages. I can't explain exactly what happened and Verizon doesn't have an explanation either, but they are gone. I'm not ignoring you. I don't know you called. Email still works and that is the most reliable way to contact me. I apologize for the frustration you feel. It isn't me.




In case you didn't already know, I have posted tons of "Free Download" stuff on my web site.

"Free Downloads HERE"

Including Bottle Stopper Designs - 50 Plus classic designs. Free PDF