Slipper, Pad, Cabriolet…


Dennis learned to turn this charming furniture leg from the late Allan Batty.  It was a common request in Batty’s day in the English turning shop.

The turning requires cutting off the pommel (square section at top), tapering the leg, and then offsetting it enough to create a dainty ankle just above the foot.  It has been identified as a cabriolet leg, or a slipper foot, but it is most accurately described as a pad foot.

This little lady’s stool is just 10′ square, with a 2″ deep cushion to comfort another dainty ankle or two.  The wood is American cherry from the NW region of Missouri where Dennis grew up.  Greg at Paige Woodworking helped Dennis with the pocket-hole joinery.


Hollowing(v)   Dennis is making a new round of urns to restock the inventory.  In addition to the urn on the lathe, there are other groups of roughed-out vessels all over the shop–on the floor, in baskets, and upside down on the drying rack.

The photo shows the arm brace and the 1″ diameter boring bar that is needed to hollow a vessel as large as a burial urn.  This one is still very wet wood.

After the initial hollowing, and several months of drying out, Dennis will remount the vessel and turn the walls to the final, even wall thickness of about 1/4″.  He adds threaded inserts and turns a lid from the same wood.

The final stage is sanding and finishing the urn, often with the multi-step patination.

Of course, for the best selection, it is wise to buy a burial urn in advance of the need for it.




Burial Urns now available for online orders

MarsUrnWeb     The Mars Urn is an adult-sized burial urn with a threaded lid.

The  broad pattern of the patination reminds us of Martian fantasies.  The urn is turned from Colorado pine, which you can still smell inside the urn.

$375 includes shipping.    Buy it through Square:


Snowmen Acting Up Again…

B&WSnowmen   Some of the aspen snowmen made by Dennis were caught here in newspaper black and white by Nick Agar.  They appear to be plotting something nefarious while vigorously puffing on their turned pipes.   This year’s fellows all have names and distinct personalities.  They will appear this winter at the St. Peter’s School Holiday Botique, and then again at the Broadmoor’s Christmas House holiday weekend, November 27 and 28.

New finish available for burial urns


Earlier this summer, Dennis met with Richard Pankratz, a bronze sculptor, to develop a convincing patina on urns made of wood.   The happy result is this finish in aged bronze.

The advantage of the faux bronze urn is that the urn itself is lighter in weight, and the use of pine keeps the urns in a very reasonable price range.  Many customers contact Dennis to find a bio-degradable urn that is still beautiful enough to display at a memorial service.

Dennis will probably use this finish on more turnings done in plain woods.  It does not, however, qualify as a food-safe finish for bowls.

Upside-Down Saltshaker class at Woodcraft 10/31


Dennis will teach a class for turners of all skill levels on Saturday, October 31st, at the Colorado Springs Woodcraft store.

Students will make one or more of the two-part salt shakers that continue to delight the public with the mystery of getting the salt in and out of a shaker with just one hole in the bottom.  It makes a great gift for family and friends who may not understand the woodturning obsession.

This class will also hone skills with the parting tool, spindle gouge, and even the skew, for those turners who have been primarily bowl makers.  Dennis will help you sharpen your own tools correctly if you bring them to the class.

Call Woodcraft to reserve a spot, or to buy a class for your own aspiring woodturner:  719-266-9889.   The class will be over in time for trick-or-treating.  Recommended costume is personal safety gear – safety goggles or face shield.


A nice ride at the RollBikeArt show!


Dennis has been to see the Bike Art Show here in the Pikes Peak Region for at least five years.  This year, he made a bowl to commemorate the 7-Eleven Velodrome in Colorado Springs.  It is a clean hard maple with inlaid crushed stone in the shape of bicycle racers.

This may be the first bowl ever in the Bike Art Show.  It follows a long tradition of decorating bowls with arena events.   Picasso painted the bull fight arena on ceramic bowls fifty years ago, and now we have Dennis Liggett and bicycle track racing.

A highlight of this year’s show wasn’t an entry–it was an ice cream maker churned via stationary bicycle.

Keepsake Urns

Urn2Web  In the Spring of 2014, Dennis purchased wet blocks of Ambrosia Maple while visiting woodturning friends near Atlanta.  He has carefully dried and hollowed a series of burial urns from this extraordinary wood.  The tops are threaded, so they stay on securely.     Most of these urns will be sold privately to folks who love wood or need a lightweight urn.    It is a nice alternative to storing ashes in plastic boxes in the back of the closet.     Dennis sizes the urns for a mid to large-sized person by measuring the internal volume of each one.

Prices and more photos are available by request:  719-481-8754

Bowl emerges as a new demonstration

emergingbowl2Web   This little bowl of ambrosia maple is struggling to emerge from its block of wood.

The woodturner also faces some challenges turning this piece!  Like the Roman Canteen, the Emerging Bowl requires turning on two different axes.  Dennis has chosen this project as a companion to the canteen for the intermediate woodturner.   It is well within the range of most intermediates, but it has a more advanced ‘wow’ factor.

Like the Roman Canteen, the emerging bowl requires careful planning.  It also introduces some extra safety considerations.  Surprisingly, turning two of them is only a little more difficult than turning one.

Most of the things that Dennis makes have roots in traditional woodturning.  This one goes back to the way Hans Weissflog developed many of his forms in Germany, and has also been popular with turners in Canada and Australia.


A spring in his step

DennisWebDennis is standing at the lathe with several spring demonstrations and classes.  He was at the Kansas City Woodturners’ Club in February, demonstrating and teaching the upside-down salt shaker and the Roman Canteen.  In March, he demonstrated for the Pueblo Woodturning Club.  March 14th,  he spent a Saturday at the Good Earth Garden Center’s Homestead Fair with other members of the Pikes Peak Woodturners.

In April, he will teach the upside-down salt shaker for the Colorado Springs Woodcraft store (April 18th).  This popular project is a great way for novice turners to improve skills.  It is also a good introduction to spindle-wise turning for those woodturners who have only worked in the face grain direction making bowls.  The tools and techniques differ for the two orientations of the wood to the lathe.   The week of April 19-25th, he will visit two woodturning clubs on the Western Slope of Colorado.

In addition to his public appearances, Dennis also gives private lessons for skills like thread chasing, cutting twists, and hollowing vessels:  719-481-8754