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bruce stapleton's Profile

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I have been working with wood since age 12, when I started helping my father build folding ladders based on an invention he patented and turned into a profitable business. Whenever I'm close to finishing a piece, I think of that last step in making those ladders – coating them with a blend of linseed oil and turpentine – the same as I do now with my wood art. Ironically, we did it then mainly to protect the wood from nature; now I do it mainly to enhance what nature has already given it.

Actually, woodworking has always been a hobby for me, and an on-again, off-again one at that. Several career changes have taken me from journalist to public administrator to college professor and finally to software trainer. Along the way, I was able to earn a PhD in Public Administration at the University of Texas-Arlington. A Disabled Veteran, I also served 23 years in the Army, mostly as a Reservist…

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  • Male
  • Born on December 7
  • Joined October 2, 2011

Favorite materials

interesting wood

About

I have been working with wood since age 12, when I started helping my father build folding ladders based on an invention he patented and turned into a profitable business. Whenever I'm close to finishing a piece, I think of that last step in making those ladders – coating them with a blend of linseed oil and turpentine – the same as I do now with my wood art. Ironically, we did it then mainly to protect the wood from nature; now I do it mainly to enhance what nature has already given it.

Actually, woodworking has always been a hobby for me, and an on-again, off-again one at that. Several career changes have taken me from journalist to public administrator to college professor and finally to software trainer. Along the way, I was able to earn a PhD in Public Administration at the University of Texas-Arlington. A Disabled Veteran, I also served 23 years in the Army, mostly as a Reservist but with a number of active duty tours and a lot of traveling. I've written 3 books on American Indian-related subjects.

Due to health reasons, I retired from civilian and military work several years ago while we were living in northern Virginia. My wife and I settled near Lake Whitney in central Texas to be near her parents who live in Clifton. When we bought our house in the country, a major requirement was that it have a shop suitable for woodworking. The hobby has become a passion and has gone through several evolutions – from the more traditional (desks, valets, shelving etc.), to driftwood sculpting, and now back to the traditional, but with more emphasis on innovation and creativity.

With recent renovations, the focus of my shop is now almost entirely on ergonomically-correct all-in-one stands and holders for ebook readers and tablet computers. My items are especially designed to make it easier to hold and mount electronic devices for handling and viewing.

Kindles, ebook readers, iPads, and tablet computers are handy devices and a true blessing for those of us who love to read. With my disabilities, however, I’ve found it awkward and tiresome to hold them by their narrow edges. My thumb intrudes on the screen and suddenly I’m looking at an unwanted menu or have skipped ahead or back a page. With my Handy Holder, you hold the reader either by the attached handle, in the base provided, or on an easel. You touch the screen with your finger or pencil eraser only when needed. Blending style and functionality, the solid wood holder and base weighs less than a pound and most are painted with glossy black enamel.

The easels are very versatile and can be used with edevices or for displaying a multitude of other objects, such as picture frames, small mirrors, letter holders, wreaths, even portable DVD players. They're a great alternative to wall hanging. The dowel-at-the-bottom design makes them especially well-suited for irregular-shaped objects or for devices which have buttons and other controls on the edges.

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