Join the Charcuterie movement

There is something magical how food has a way of bringing us all together, in every culture, holiday or not, we all gather when food is brought to the table. Not only has food become an art form, our table-top decor has also upped the game! So even if you can’t spell charcuterie, you can at least make one!

I wanted to make this as simple as possible to show that anyone can do it, so you have no excuses!

  • Pick a Wood Species. I love white oak and had a piece laying around so I went with that, it does not have to be a hard wood since this isn’t meant to be used as a cutting board but we know that one person who’s going to take a sharp knife to it anyway. Now this is the only time I had to cheat and use machinery but it’s only because my piece of oak was in the raw, straight from a sawmill. The piece you buy will more then likely already be milled, so go easy on me!

*Affiliate links are used on this page.  See my disclosure page for info on affiliate programs.

  • Sand. I used grit 100 – 180 – 220 and sanded on both sides and the edges. Pay close attention to your sander by keeping it flat to avoid any dips, we want our board to stay as flat as possible. I used a rotary sander, this sucker gives off some serious sanding power so you will be done before you know it!
  • Fill. I have to get a little fancy with my board due to all of the cracks and splits mine had, you may skip this step if you do not have this issue. Some use wood fillers or glue but I am going to use Epoxy since my cracks are fairly deep and this way I can add some color to my charcuterie. Be sure to read the directions well, use protective gear and be sure the area is well ventilated. I had to tape the backside of my board because that was how deep my splits were, so to prevent the resin from dripping through it, the tape will keep it where we want it to cure.
  • Sand Again. If you added resin, wait until it’s completely cured and then you will sand it all off. This is my favorite part! I love to see how the resin cured in the cracks, because of the color I went with my board now looks like it has streams of water running through it!
  • Treat. Now is the final reveal!! Watch your board come to life after applying food safe oil & wax. Be generous, wood is thirsty and no one wants a dried out board!

Pat yourself on the back, shoulder where ever you can reach! You did it! But here’s the hard part, ask yourself would you spend your own money on it? If you answered yes then it’s time to make some money from this simple craft!! Or imagine the gifts you can create! The possibilities become endless once you realize you can do it!


Preparing for Seasonal Movement

How devastating is it when you pour your heart out on a build just to get that horrible and embarrassing call from a client telling you it warped? Or maybe it warped before even leaving the shop, “Sorry Karen, your project is being rebuilt due to warpage”. Yup, we’ve all been there!

Every build, big or small should use these steps to prevent what every maker has nightmares over= MOVEMENT.

*Affiliate links are used on this page.  See my disclosure page for info on affiliate programs.

  • Use a Moisture Meter. Don’t waste your time using woods with a meter reading greater then 10-12%. Plain and simple.
  • When joining boards, offset the grain pattern.
  • Insert metal strips on the underside of the top. I route out the space and insert heavy duty C-Channal metal strips to reinforce the top. I cringe every time I have to do this but with larger builds, outdoor furniture or for peace of mind DO IT!
  • Secure your top using Z-Clip fasteners. Hands down, this step is an absolute MUST. These fasteners allow slight movement rather then the wood fighting to move then possibly creating more damage.

  • Stain/Paint and seal your finished product EVERYWHERE. Top and bottom, inside and out! Not only are you doing this to minimize any movement, offering a completely finished product to your client is key! No one is paying to see your dirty handprint under their new tabletop.

There you go! These are the steps I take to help prevent seasonal movement for my furniture. Don’t forget to always communicate with your clients about this and how if may affect their piece!

Get Jiggy

As a maker you tend to run into speed bumps often, you have two choices when that happens. Face it head on or solve the issue! If you’re like me, I just don’t have the time to face certain issues over and over again.. so lets go ahead and punch it in the face and solve that beast!

This particular jig is a bandsaw sled and has been an absolute NEED in my shop. I wanted a way to get a precision cut on large blocks for table bases. You can’t attach a table top to your base correctly unless the block is square, right?

Oh and that amazing wood you see above is Spalted Teak used for my handle and a Pecky Cypress block! Yes, it’s all drool worthy!!!

Using the Jig

If you have also ran into this issue, fear no more! I also made DIY Plans!


*Affiliate links are used on this page.  See my disclosure page for info on affiliate programs.


Trust me when I say, taking the time out of your busy schedule to make this will help you tremendously.

Below are few other jig ideas that continue to help me in my shop.

DIY Farmhouse Dining Table

We take all the guess-work out for you! We know you don’t have the time but we also know you DO have the skills to build with our DIY Plans. So make the time to either start a profitable side hustle or level up your craftsmanship skills! Our plans are designed for all skill levels and no, you don’t have to own industrial machinery- YOU’VE GOT THIS!

*Affiliate links are used on this page.  See my disclosure page for info on affiliate programs.

With our plans you will receive a downloadable PDF which will give you step-by-step directions, material & tool lists and photo’s along the way.

Is it Buff Enough?

It’s all about the end result! After all of your hard work with building or refinishing a gorgeous piece of furniture, don’t you want that premium look and feel? What’s the first thing your client does when you deliver the custom piece they ordered? -That’s right, they feel it! Talk about first impressions.. make it a good one by buffing your projects after the finish work is complete. Here’s what I use:


After your finishing process is complete and dry, its time to seal the deal and polish away!

-Lightly sand with a high grit, I use 1500 grit.

-Apply the buffing compound to the polisher and let the fun begin!

-That’s right, buff away. Be generous with the compound and be sure it is dry before repeating. Repeat until you get the look and feel you want to achieve.

-Put a clean buffing pad on the polisher, put it on high speed and let it do its magic.

-The result is a fine finish with high gloss and say goodbye to any fine scratches.


Building a Tabletop

Let’s face it, woodworking is full of trial and errors. We can’t improve without failing, we can’t level up without a life lesson and we certainly can’t build a seamless table top until you’ve built it hundreds of times! I’m not going to tell you that I’ve mastered it but I have learned important lessons with every warped, twisted, split, and cracked tabletop.

Most of the Oooh’s and Awe’s we receive as feedback is usually due to the table design/base but here I am standing tall because of the top! An outsider looking in would think, that’s easy.. all a table top is are flat boards joined together, right?

Here is everything I used for this demonstration:

*Affiliate links are used on this page.  See my disclosure page for info on affiliate programs.

It doesn’t matter what shape top you are making, all the same rules apply.

Here are a few things to take into account when building a tabletop:

  • Weather- If the air has a lot of moisture in it, be prepared for movement. If the air is dry, watch out for cracks.
  • Moisture Level- Is the wood kiln dried? Get a moisture meter, I’d recommend between 6-9% is good for building.
  • Tools & Supplies- Make sure you are prepared, skipping a step may bite you later.

Now that you’ve come this far, watch the benefits of using Z-Clips while attaching your tabletop to the base!

Attaching Z-Clips

How to Whitewash Furniture

Here’s our #1 requested finish! Impress your customers with this whitewash technique and turn your builds into art!


Material List


The Art of Spinning

No we’re not going to spin class, although I would love to try it! We are turning blocks of wood into bowls & bases, trying to get creative because I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one with one of these (wink, wink).


The Flower

What is it with these flowers and why am I so drawn to them? I know this isn’t something you see often from me but lets just say I have had a thing for this flower for many many years!


I Have a Surprising Confession..

Would you believe me if I told you this gorgeous Waterfall Live Edge coffee table was created to look like the real thing?


Meet Donnie!

Designs by Donnie specializes in giving new life to old wood, creating custom furniture and home decor made from reclaimed and salvaged wood.

While our focus is on creating one-of-a-kind custom furniture pieces using a variety of designs, we also offer DIY plans and templates, You Tube tutorials and are also social media influencers.  We work with designers, retailers, and tool companies across the country.  Let’s get in touch to chat about your next project!


We finally dusted off the Scroll Saw and put it to good use for the holiday season! Whether you are a maker, hobbiest or just testing your skills, I assure you, YOU CAN DO IT!