A handcrafted tiller for a sailboat, so beautiful to see and to hold. "It is your connection with the water" says my husband Steven, featured here with the hand shaped tiller he made for his friend Pat's sailboat. Laminated from cherry and oak that came from my father's stash of wood, each piece tapers over the full length of the tiller so the lamination continues from the thick back that attaches to the rudder of the boat, to the tapered handle where your hand fits.

"The difficult part is creating the taper on these pieces of wood" says Steven. "It required two separate, complicated handmade jigs for the cuts. I had read an article saying - if you are making a laminated, tapered tiller, taper each laminated piece so that the lines continue all the way through the piece. I found the technical challenges of making a tiller this way intriguing and at the same time that I was thinking about doing this but did not have a boat that needed a tiller, Pat asked if I could make him a tiller for his boat! Great timing! I loved doing this project so much, I only charged him a case of beer for the Tiki Hut at Lucas Boatworks."

Steven said this tiller took every skill he has learned from my dad and he almost gave up, but he kept going and figured it out. He says my dad would have been very proud of this project, "He would have loved this tiller." Before we came to Florida to spend time with my dad who passed away October 1, Steven did not have any of the woodworking skills he has now and says he would not have been able to make this!

: ^) a collaborative blip from lenna & steven

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