Woodworking Antiques

If you’re a regular reader, you know I love antique examples of woodworking. I still do, but some “antiques” I happened across this past weekend took be by surprise.

Take a look at the photo that appears below. It’s obviously a set of wooden fruit in a wooden bowl, setting on a wooden platter. It’s all lathe-turned, and there’s no hiding the fact that it’s the work of an amateur. Well, the amateur was me.


According to the date on the bottom of the bowl, I made these for my mom when I was a freshman at Western Hills High School in Cincinnati. I made the fruit, bowl and platter in my first-ever woodshop class under the instruction of Mr. Gausman. I don’t want to say just how long ago that was, but my favorite song at the time I made these was the classic Beatles oldie “Eight Days a Week.”  It wasn’t an oldie at the time.

The platter in the photo is cherry and walnut, and the fruit bowl a laminate of multiple species. The fruit also encompasses several species: cedar for the red delicious, maple for the pear, Osage orange for the lemon, cherry for the cherries (of course) and grapes, mahogany for the plums, yellow pine for the banana.

My dad is in the planning stages of a move to a smaller condo, and as part of the process of downsizing asked if I wanted these. They’ve seen a lot of wear over the years since I made them, as evidenced by broken-off stems and some dents and dings in the wood. But my mom used to love that fruit, and as probably the earliest thing I’ve ever made that still exists there’s a lot of history there. Of course I wanted to have it.

Considering their age, these old projects definitely qualify as antiques. It’s nice to know, though, that after all those years I’m still woodworking.

And, considering those years, I guess that makes me a woodworking antique.



  • Lee Gordon says:

    Nice fruit.
    Now, can you turn a couple of donuts?

  • Larry Watson says:

    Ya, I now repair my own “antiques” – reproduction pieces damaged that I made for Old Fort William 30 years ago. When repairing their artifacts it’s called “Conservation” work. I like to think when repairing my work it’s called “preservation” work, for my sake.

  • Chuck says:

    Nice column – well written as always. You write every bit as well as you speak, which is why you were such an excellent DJ in your radio days. For some reason the picture is not appearing as I write this.

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