Thick Skin

Creative, energetic, sensitive, artistic, idealistic, stimulating, tasteful, imaginative and stylish are just a few of the adjectives often used to describe folks who turn wood and create works of art. So when someone doesnít appreciate our efforts, it is very easy to become offended.

I seem to be that guy that learns most of the important lessons the hard way. Many years ago I remember trying to be more than fair with a customer for whom I had done some custom woodwork. The job needed to be done regardless of the cost so we had not set a price up front. When it came time to settle up on the bill, I simply said just pay me whatever you think it is worth. . . HUGE mistake! Iím pretty sure he wasnít trying to take advantage of me, but his idea of the value of my time and energy was miles from my idea and in the wrong direction. I simply chalked it up to a valuable lesson and have not made that mistake again.

I donít sell finished goods very often anymore because there just isnít as much time to make things as there used to be. But occasionally Sweet Janice will talk me into selling something special, or a customer at a show will see an item Iíve turned and will really try to talk me into selling it.  When I quote the price I would be willing to sell an item for, the most common reaction is something like ďThat seems a little high.Ē Or, ďI didnít realize it was that expensive.Ē Or, ďAre you out of your #$@^& mind!Ē. Sometimes, however, I get the opposite reaction and they either buy it for the price I asked for, or make a reasonable counter offer.  I was recently offered $20 cash for one of my finished Christmas Ornaments about an hour before I actually sold the same Ornament for $150. The first fellow didnít understand the value I had placed on it.

Either way, Iíve learned not to be offended whatever the outcome. Sometimes Iíll overhear customers examining some of the display pieces I have at various events. They are not always kind and full of praise. Some folks act like Iím invisible although I may be standing right in front of them and can clearly hear every word. Believe me, after demonstrating in front of about a million folks during the past 10 years, there isnít much I havenít been asked or overheard. And yes, some people even question the validity of my answers and advice. Hard to believe, but itís true. My advice to you is to smile and keep your mouth shut. Donít react and say what you are actually thinking; you canít take it back once you say it.

If you watch much of the news or internet news sites, it seems that everyone is so easily offended these days that you canít say anything without offending someone. How about we all grow up, grow a pair, and not get emotional when someone says something we disagree with? I remember the phrase ďLive and let liveĒ and a little thing called the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. If you will adopt the ďI have Thick SkinĒ attitude, you will fret less, worry less, feel better about yourself and just generally enjoy life more. Because, wherever you go, there you are.

Here is my inspiration for this message:
James 3:2 NIV
We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
Psalm 119:165 KJV
Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

More info at www.ronbrownsbest.com



This Week's Sale

Although our Memorial Day sale ends at Midnight Monday Night "D-Day" June 6th, 2016, I am offering a 20% discount on all Laser Cut Kit related items. That includes the new designs described below, along with core blocks, gluing guides and African Blackwood blanks for the icicles.

We will be out of the office beginning Wed June 8th through Monday June 13th in connection with the AAW Symposium. Please make allowances.

New Laser Cut Kits

Dragon Fly

Similar to our very popular butterfly kits, the new dragon fly ornament features multicolored acrylic wings with a white acrylic body. The brightly colored acrylic is particularly eye catching. You may also consider using this kit to make a turned lidded box, vase or hollow form. Dragon flies are always hits when featured in a bowl, plate or platter.

95% Kits

These kits are mostly line drawings or letters. There are no inserts. They are called 95% because they are not cut completely through and will hold together during turning. You can turn something with writing on it removing a lot of material around the edges and still enjoy the full pattern. I can laser cut names when you order and with this method, the name won't go away when you turn your item. Normally, one would have to do the laser engraving after the item is shaped. I have figured out a way to do very deep engraving before you turn the ornament. I would encourage you to ask questions and make special requests for the events you wish to remember.

These panels should be stabilized with CA glue before turning to secure the very small parts and insure that they don't break out during turning.

Categories to consider are Birthdays, Anniversaries, Baby's first Christmas and all military seals; Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard, or any other event which is special to you. See the web site for more info.


We are sold out of the Amazing Flat Compass and are discontinuing it until further notice. Thanks for your patronage for this item.

AAW Symposium Coming Soon!

Donít forget the AAW's 30th Annual Int'l Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia, June 9-12, 2016 at the
Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart. If you have never been to a National Symposium it is hard to describe the experience. If you are local and just want to visit the Instant Gallery Exhibit, or the huge vendor area, there is no charge to get into those areas which makes it perfect for the family including the kids and grandkids! Many of the vendors will have live demonstrations throughout the day. There is a ton of stuff to do in downtown Atlanta within walking distance. Sweet Janice and I hope to see you there. We have teamed up with the folks at Peachtree Woodworking Supply and will be in their booth.

Note: Thank you for the tremendous response to this new item. I severely underestimated the demand for our new "Core Blocks". I will probably make this a stock item if the demand continues. If you need special sizes or lengths up to 2-1/2" thick and up to 10" long, please drop me a note HERE. My source is for Kiln dried black walnut only.


Kiln dried black walnut 1-3/4" X 1-3/4" X 4-1/2"

These are the core blocks I use to make my own Laser Cut Christmas Ornaments you see below. They turn very dark when finish is applied so don't be fooled by the light color in this photo. I have sized them to work perfectly with the Gluing Guides sold at www.ronbrownsbest.com. So many folks have requested this item that I finally decided to make it available. Often there isn't a source for thick kiln dried lumber nearby, or there is no table saw available, etc. If this piece of the Christmas Ornament Pie has been holding you back, now is the time. I also have limited quanties of African Black Wood available for the finials. The holiday season is just around the corner. It isn't too early to begin getting ready. Don't forget art and craft fairs as fine hand crafted Christmas Ornaments are great sellers.

These are eligible for the 20% off sale currently in effect.



Edge Lit Signs


I am also taking this opportunity to introduce a new product line. I made a bunch of them for my own use and got so many comments on these signs out on the show circuit that I decided to offer them to my loyal customers as well.

These signs are clear acrylic with very bright LED's along one edge which make the message glow like NEON!

Perfect for display on mantles, desks, shelves, wherever you celebrate service.


Click HERE for more information

If you are interested in something special, I can probably make it just for you at very reasonable prices.

Drop me a note HERE

Recent examples designed for desktops:


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