How it all started with the Catsperch Observing Chairs
I got my first dob in 2005 and quickly realized the I needed an adjustable observing chair. Bending over just doesn’t work. I started researching the different chairs on the internet and keep landing on the Catsperch as a highly recommended design but was no longer available. So, being a wood worker I made one going by the pictures on the Catsperch web site. Made such a huge difference in my observing experience. The design was so solid and well thought out. After a couple weeks of using my new chair and realizing the importance of being comfortable at the eyepiece, I started thinking about building these chairs and making them available to the astronomy community again. I contacted Jim Fly, the originator of the Catsperch, to see if I could help him get the chairs back on the market. He sent me a set of plans and I built a couple proto-types of “The Original Catsperch” and “Catsperch Frazier Pro”. After working through the long list of backorders the chairs were again on the market. Over time I have expanded the offerings with the “Summit” and the Miniperch”. The power of the internet is truly amazing as I’ve shipped chair from coast to coast as well as around the world.
How it all started with the Eyepiece Case
Just like many, after a while, the gear you take out on a night of observing grows. Eyepieces, filters, charts and documentation … I found myself with many cases, bags, and boxes I was storing my “stuff” in and on some nights would no doubt forget one. While making chairs I started thinking about building a case that would hold it all and I literally thought about the design of my case for about 2 months. Thinking about how to keep charts and documentation dry, how to store all the gear so it would be easy to find. I knew I wanted a design that offered compartments for organization. Then there was the flashlight in the teeth that needed to be addressed. The piece of the puzzle in my mind was how to support the drawer in a pull out fashion. This came to me while making a batch of chairs and just put everything aside and built a proto-type out of plywood. After using my new case a number of times I decided to make one from solid oak. I went to a star party and someone talked me into selling it to them and I brought my stuff home in a cardboard box. I really didn’t think about making this a product, just a case for all my “stuff” and made another one. The same thing happened at the next star party. The rest is history!
NEAF Display Booth
Wood Wonders Work Shop!
I have always heard “Look to Your Passion in Life” and making wooden creations is a passion I have carried my entire life. I have been involved with wood working since I was 6 years old, just tall enough to use a jig saw. My father, a toolmaker by trade, had an extensive wood shop and passed on the knowledge of a craftsman. He also passed on the core belief that everything I made must be of utmost quality, and attention to detail is the key. I start at the sawmill by hand selecting boards that have the best and most characteristic grain. I then make certain that attention to detail and quality are top priority. I always strive to make works of art, to be passed on to the next generation.