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Featured work

Small table, bubinga & curly maple

Craftsman style end table in walnut and maple burl

Gong stand in cherry & bloodwood

Cutting board in maple & Br. cherry


Lots of interest in the GMC wheel alignment kits I designed & build

Over the past few months I have been busy developing a new wheel alignment kit for the iconic 1970's GMC motor homes.  You can see more info on the GMC page.

This all started with I found that even quality professional alignment shops struggled to do a correct job of aligning the six wheels on these unusual motor homes.  The combination of a self leveling rear air bag suspension and a torsion bar front suspension are a bit out of the norm for most alighment shops.  The root cause issue is these GMCs need to be driven for several miles any time the wheels or the frame are jacked up before the coach will settle into the ride level it will have going normally down the road.  

The typical alignment shop will drive the coach up onto their alignment rack, measure the front wheel camber, caster and toe without first checking to see if the rear and front ride heights are at the factory specified settings.  If they see a need for an adjustment, they will jack up the coach to make it easier to reach the front and rear of the upper A arm where camber and caster adjustments are made.  Once they make what they think will be the correct setting, they drop the coach back down on their rack, bounce it a bit and take the readings again.  If it looks like it is within spec, they hit the button to do a print out and think they are done.

The customer sees the very accurate looking print out, thinks all is well, and drives off.  A few miles later the coach has settled into a lower attitude than it had on the rack and camber, caster and toe are all three now incorrect.  The alignment tech thought they did the right thing, but did not account for this phenomina of the ride height changing within the first few miles of driving so everything is off.

The answer came in the form of very low to the ground turn plates that allow the coach to be pushed or driven up onto the turnplates WITHOUT lifting the wheels or the frame off the ground so the ride height is whatever it will be while the coach is going down the road.  Now the measurements of camber, caster and tow will be correct for that ride height, even if it is not set to the factory spec.  

It is best to first measure the rear ride height and set it to the factory spec with the go/no go gauge I include with the alignment kit.  If the rear is not at the correct ride height, the user can add or subtract air from the rear air bags until the correct factory ride height is achieved.  Once the correct ride height is set on both sides at the rear, then and only then can you properly measure front ride height.  If the front ride height is off, it can only be adjusted by using a special tool to unload the front torsion bars, move the adjuster bolts and retensioning the torsion bars.  To do so requires lifting the coach off the ground, so you need to drive it five or so miles before rechecking.  Once you have the front and rear ride heights set properly, then checking the alighment using the kit is easy for anyone to do on any relatively level surface.

Read all about the simple proceedure on the GMC page.  You can do all six wheels to better than commercial alignment shop tollerances, even if you are a bit mechanically challenged.



It has been an unusually strong time in the gallery

Going into this year we thought we would see a slowdown in the larger pieces and in the commission business just due to the economic uncertainty that seems to be on the tip of everyone's tongue.  In fact we did not.  We had an unusually strong gallery year with both large and smaller pieces selling equally well.  At the moment, the gallery is looking quite bare.  The pieces I had built for the one show a year we like to do all sold so we will not be showing at the Siskiyou Woodcraft Guild show in Ashland, OR, over Thanksgiving weekend.  I have several pieces under construction at the moment and will show those on the web site once they are done.

We always look forward to your comments, suggestions and interest in having a special piece designed for you and your family, and I will be taking a limited number of commissions for Christmas delivery.  Thanks for coming by.....




The website is now largely populated but lots of editing still to do

The page structure is now complete and each page is populated, some more robustly than others.  There are now hundreds of images loaded into the various pages but a lot of work remains to get descriptions for each and to flush out the This Old Building page.  It is close enough to warrant repointing my http://jerrywork.com URL to this site instead of the previous site.  I will do that later in the week.


Designing a new website

A few weeks ago I began the process of selecting a new means for building and managing my website.  The previous site will remain available until July, 2012.  The previous site is a bit dated so I was looking for a way to build a cleaner, more modern looking site that would also be easier to keep current.

I looked at a number of host based software offerings as well as web browser based content management systems.  I wanted to be sure the selected system was tightly integrated with a quality hosting service and easy to update whether I am at home in the studio or on travel.  It also needed to have a fast and efficient resource management facility because the resulting website would have a large number of photographs.  

I organize, adjust and manage photos using Apple Aperture.  Some of the host based software systems allowed direct selection of photos from Aperture and that was a big advantage, but they also required me to have my Mac PowerBook Pro laptop computer, Aperture library and the website resource files with me while traveling. Often it is easier to just take my iPad so that favored the browser based CMS systems.

In the end I selected SquareSpace.com.  It is both a robust and fast hosting service and also features a powerful blog/website builder application that is browser based.  Unlike many of the browser based systems, this one supports all the standard web browsers (Firefox, Safari, Chrome and IE8) and seems to pay lots of attention to industry standards and site optimization for the search engines.

I selected a very simple template with lots of white space and little in the way of distracting background or fill colors and patterns.  I wanted the photos of my work to be the main focus.  Let me know what you think and what I can do to improve your experience even more.  Thanks.

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