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Hi there! Im Ray Ladouceur, aka the Dogwood (okay, so I just made that up and no one really goes around calling me by that, but it sounds good doesn't it?). I am yet another family man stricken with the woodworking bug. It started out innocently enough by buying a house, soon followed by the honey-do projects.

Before long came projects for the children and making simple gifts for them. Then I came home from work one day and my wife said something to the effect of, "Honey, so-n-so asked if you could make a doll bed for her daughter like you made for ours, so I told her you would. Is that okay?"

I said," Hey, no problem honey. My buddy at work said he would love to have some chocolate cake, so I told him you would bake one for him. Is that okay?”

Doll beds led into doll armoires and play tables and dinning room tables. People referred my name around and before I knew it I was making a home office furniture set comprised of three gigantic pieces in a step-back-hutch style. Each one of these pieces was too big for my small garage workshop! They stood 8 foot tall and my workshop ceiling is only 7 foot from the floor. Meticulous planning and measurements resulted in a successful first, complete assembly at the customers home.

A few years ago I went from doing woodworking as a hobby and occasional part-time business to a full time business. To compliment the woodworking I added hardwood floor refinishing. I have refinished hardwood floors of my own as well as was commissioned by other people over the years and so found it to be a great compliment to woodworking and refinishing. The basic concept in hardwood floor refinishing is much the same as in woodworking and refinishing. Sand the wood and apply the finish. Hardwood floor refinishing just involves heavier machinery and more square footage. Now hardwood floor refinishing, which was originally intended to be a compliment to woodworking, has become the greater part of my income. However, I still do plenty of woodworking and refinishing as well to include woodworking projects as repairing old chairs and tables to making custom bookshelves. Also included are larger custom construction projects such as building a storage shed.

What's in the name "Dogwood Tales"?

Growing up in Albany, NY my parents had a dogwood tree in their front yard. There, that's where the name came from in short.

That dogwood tree stood in front of their house for just over 50 years. A local aborist was amazed to find a dogwood tree that old. However, it was showing it's age and it was requiring more pruning and special care. In short, it had lived out it's life and was slowly on its way out. So in 2004 we decided to cut it down. Of course as a woodworker I couldn't let all of that precious wood just go to the dump or a fire wood pile! I saved the larger parts. My brother in law saved some of the tree branches. He cut some of the branches into biscuit style slices and then he and my sister worked together to turn them into Christmas Tree ornaments - what a great idea. I used some of the dogwood I had to turn wooden pens for everyone in the family. Another great idea. I have used the dogwood for various small projects such as the handles on a side table I made foy my niece and for the splines and the name plate of the flag case, which honors my father. I still have some of that dogwood left and will only use it for the most special, personal projects. Whenever I do work with the dogwood I think about how it lived in front of a house, which was built from the foundation up by my father, and the stories (tales) it could tell of a household filled with children. Additionally, woodworking itself is a pasttime in which every project is a story unto itself. Thus the name - Dogwood Tales.

As a side note I will add that dogwood is HARD wood. Litterally. Not just as an angiosperm, but the wood itself is very dense. In fact the wood from a flowering dogwood tree has a rated density of 0.796 - more dense than hard (sugar) maple, which has a density of 0.676. Additionally, it is rated in harder than 90 other wood species out of 112 wood species rated on this site.

So I guess you can say that if I'm a dogwood, then I have a pretty hard head. I’m sur emy wife would agree with that assessment.

Well, no. I didn't actually say that and I never made such a request - probably a good thing for my own sake that I never had.

Doll beds led into doll armoires and play tables and dinning room tables. People referred my name around and before I knew it I was making a home office furniture set comprised of three gigantic pieces in a step-back-hutch style. Each one of these pieces was too big for my small garage workshop! They stood 8 foot tall and my workshop ceiling is only 7 foot from the floor. Meticulous planning and measurements resulted in a successful first, complete assembly at the customers home.

About me and the name Dogwood Tales