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An aggregate of many different woodworking blog feeds from across the 'net all in one place! These are my favorite blogs that I read everyday...
Earlier this year, a nice ash tree came down on a nearby back road. The butt end is a solid 24″ across, and there is about 20 feet to the first fork. While I would love to cut the butt up for lumber, it does not lay in a good position for doing so. The first crotch, on the other hand, was easy to get to. So, even though the wood larder is brimming, I grabbed an 18″ section containing the crotch.
Now, I have not cut an ash crotch before, and could find no online pictures of one, so was not sure what to expect. But the wood looked sound, and the bark pattern looked promising, so I had some hope. After trimming the branches and cutting back some of the main stem, I opened it up and found some nice figure. Not as showy as some of the walnut and cherry I have cut, but still very attractive. The wood is very solid, with no visible voids or cracks, and I have high expectations of it surviving the drying process.
I like to trim crotch slabs back as much as possible before drying them to lessen the chance of cracks appearing as the wood dries, pulling the crotch apart. It was not until I stepped back to take the picture below that I noticed the shape I had cut the slabs into – just in time for Halloween.
I’m not sure what this wood will end up in. I’d like to try a saw handle or two out of it, but part of me says that the grain is too coarse for that. Perhaps door panels for a Krenovian cabinet would be a better use. Or maybe I will think of something else in the year or two it will take to dry.
The runners and rails for the drawers to rest and slide on are quite a headache. Here’s what needs to be considered:
- Each drawer (except the bottom one in my case) needed two runners and two rails – that’s a lot of pieces to cut and plane to size.
- Be prepared for a mortise and tenon marathon! Each rail needed two tenons (to attach to the carcass) and two mortises (to accept the runners). The carcass sides needed mortises to accept the rails. Each runner needed two tenons.
- To accommodate expansion and contraction of the carcass sides, the tenons of the runners were not be glued to the rails.
Lastly, any bowing or inconsistency in board preparation of the carcass sides will make the installation of rails and runners more difficult. I found that one of my sides bowed slightly, meaning that the drawer opening was 1/8″ wider for the middle drawer than the top and bottom ones.
Now the carcass is complete, I’ll turn my attention to the drawers…
Filed under: Drawers & dressers, Projects Tagged: drawers, rails, soft maple
I wish I had thought of this Halloween costume for my kids when they were helpless. These days it’s a struggle to get my 18-year-old daughter to wear a handlebar moustache.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Leo, who is dressed today as Roy Underhill.
And it looks like Roy approves of the costume.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!, Personal Favorites
Over the years a common question I get is in regards to shop location, specifically, garage versus basement. I know a lot of you have some very strong opinions on why you can’t or won’t have a shop in the basement. All of which are valid as far as I’m concerned.
Probably the number one reason I hear is dust, quickly followed by noise, and then there’s the concerns about moving materials/tools down the stairs and into the shop. Then on the flipside, there’s the issue of moving large projects back out.
I can say without a doubt, I’ve struggled with each and every one of these concerns, so I’m not just brushing them off and suggesting they’re not that big of a problem. Because they can be! For most of these there’s ways around them, they’re not always easy, but there’s ways to handle them.
But perhaps the number one reason for me to find ways to make a basement workshop work is that I can woodwork year round! It’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I can more easily control the humidity in the basement than I can in a garage, which means my tools are a little less prone to rust issues and my lumber is more stable (not that I’m worried about wild fluctuations anyways.)
Perhaps another reason I like having a basement workshop is that my wife and I are a little crazy in liking the idea of having our cars safely tucked in the garage. Sure a limb can break off and spear a hole in the garage roof, almost taking out the driver’s side of the car (real story from a couple of years ago.)
But if you lived in a neighborhood filled with tall oak trees, one on either side of our driveway, you would be familiar with the sound of falling acorns like rain on the roof. Or the constant oak sap that covers your windshield, so much in just a few hours that you have to scrap it off in order to drive. To avoid dealing with these issues, I’ll gladly take the inconveniences of a set of stairs versus having to rearrange the garage floor to accommodate one or both vehicles.
At the heart of it, there is no right or wrong answer to Garage versus Basement for a workshop location. They both have their pros and cons and all that matters at the end of the day is that you’re in them enjoying this shared passion we have for woodworking.
Perhaps the happy medium in this debate is a detached shop? I know I’d love one, how about you?
Where is your shop? If you had to list the top reason why you chose it (other than because it was the only thing available) why did you? And what is the biggest complaint you have about it (other than wishing you had a larger version LOL?)
Leave your comments below, and in two weeks we’ll randomly select one to win a “Your Brain on Matt’s Basement Workshop” t-shirt.
Twenty seven Ashley Iles carving chisels for sale as job lot. Nearly new condition, one or two loose ferrules, some tiny marks, no big deal. I can email you more pics. Selling these on eBay.
We have another small run of hand-forged holdfasts available. If you missed out on the first run, now's your chance to pick one of these up. These are completely made by hand, no trip hammer, no power hammer, just a forge, anvil, hammer and human. And they are beautiful. Made in rural Georgia exclusively for Benchcrafted.
$189 plus actual shipping. To order, send an email with your shipping address to email@example.com
For more info, click.
During my last few visits to Kolkata I was intrigued to hear from local furniture makers that their prefered timber is Mahogany. They claim Mahogany is easy to work, is cheap and extremely durable. They seem to prefer it to Teak, which is a much harder wood and more than three times the price of Mahogany.
I was amazed because Mahogany is a rare and expensive wood which is not readily found in most parts of the world. How on earth could it be so cheap and easily available in Bengal? Moreover, as far as I knew, Mahogany only grows in Latin and Southern America from where it is sourced.
According to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), Mahogany is admired "for its high quality, beauty and durability, mahogany is made into luxury furniture, boats, expensive panelling, musical instruments and other wood products. One cubic metre of big-leaf mahogany can fetch some USD 1,300 (about Rs 80,000) on the international market and one tree alone can produce more than USD 100,000 worth of high-quality furniture."
Clearly Bengal Mhaogany was a mystery that required some investigation.
Some quick research on the Internet assisted my friend Dinabandhu Mitra in Kolkata revealed that the timber called Mahogany actually refers to the wood of three principal species, two of which are commercially extinct.
|Felling a giant mahogany tree - courtesy CITES|
The three officially recognised Mahogany species are Swietenia humilis (Pacific Coast Mahogany or Mexican Mahogany), Swietenia macrophylla (big-leaf Mahogany) and Swietenia mahagoni (Caribbean Mahogany, Cuban Mahogany, American Mahogany or West Indian Mahogany).
Swietenia mahagoni is native to southern Florida and the West Indies and was once used extensively to make guitars and fine furniture. Very few sources remain today just as with Swietenia humilis.
The problem with all three species of Mahogany is huge demand which has led to over logging and a thriving illegal trade. Today, all species of Swietenia mahogany face near extinction.
Currently, all three species of Mahogany have been placed in the list of protected species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and efforts are on to conserve these species.
The original Mahogany, which so excited the imagination of European cabinet makers and the public in the 18th century, was from Honduras. This was the real mahogany and classified as Swietenia macrophylla, a beautiful, lofty, evergreen tree that could reach a height of 130 feet (more than a 13 storied building).
Giant Mahogany trees growing in the Honduran jungles were located, felled and shipped to Europe and North America. These trees were relatively rare even in those days and specialised tree hunters were employed to find and fell them.
Today, many countries in the world are helping to revive the species, mainly Swietenia macrophylla. One problem is that Mahogany is very finicky and refuses to grow in most places. Apart from south and central Americas, the species so far has been successfully grown only in some parts of Asia.
The main Asian countries involved in the rejuvenation of Swietenia macrophylla include Bangladesh (ca. 2000), India (ca. 1994), Malaysia (ca. 1998), and Taiwan (ca. 2002). Mahogany takes 30 to 35 years to mature and commercial harvesting is still many years away.
In Kerala, planting of mahogany, both S. macrophylla and S. mahagoni, was initiated in 1872 and was continued in different localities subsequently. Plantations of both Swietenia macrophylla and Swietenia mahagoni were raised as early as in 1893 at Edacode in Nilambur. Very little Mahogany of the original plantings remained and a fresh impetus was required to boost the spread of the species.
The research wing of the Kerala forest department has initiated research trials of this species from 1994 onwards at Olavakkode research range at Dhoni to evaluate the growth performance of this species.
According to Dr P Sujanapal at the Kerala Forest Research Institute, Mahogany is being promoted in being promoted in Kerala in a big way by his organisation and a number of small scale plantations are growing the tree. Farmers are also picking up seedlings to plant in their homestead and as shade trees.
In India the tree grows quickly and attains a height of 30-40 feet in 15-20 years and is harvested once the girth reaches about two feet.
My enquiries in Kolkata suggested that the Mahogany available locally was neither imported nor procured from Kerala. So where is Mahogany in Bengal coming from?
Further research showed that India and Burma were two places where the big-leaf Mahogany was successfully grown by British colonial era botanists. In India, Mahogany was first planted in 1795 in Bengal and as far north as Saharanpur (UP).
In 1865, under a major initiative as many as 8,000 Mahogany seeds from the West Indies were imported and planted all over India. Most of the seeds did not germinate but hundreds did and they grew well in the hot, humid Bengal climate. One tree planted in 1795 and uprooted in a cyclone measured 14 feet 3 inches in girth - huge by any standard.
The British wanted to propagate Mahogany all over India but one problem appears to be that the Mahogany tree refused to flower and produce seeds in the north. The tree did well in Bengal, Bihar and Burma but here too it was difficult to get the trees to seed. As a result, seeds continued to be imported from the West Indies.
In his 1878-1879 report, Dr Brandis, the Inspector-General of Forests remarked: "Of the exotic trees which are cultivated by way of experiment, mahogany is the most important, and its success seems not improbable, though it is too early yet to form final conclusions upon the subject. Mahogany is also cultivated as an experiment in Burma and the Chittagong district of Bengal. The tree is known to thrive well near Calcutta, and every effort should be made to cultivate it in those forest districts where climate and other circumstances are favourable."
After the departure of the British, Mahogany plantations in Bengal appear to have declined and supplies eventually dried up. Seed imports from the West Indies stopped a long time ago.
After some more sleuthing, I discovered that the so-called Mahogany so prized by furniture makers in Bengal is not Mahogany at all but a somewhat similar species called Bengal Mahogany or Red Cedar. The scientific name of the tree is Toona ciliata (synonym Cedrela toona), which grows all over southern Asia (including many parts of India) and in Australia.
In Bengal the tree is commonly known as Maha-limbu, lim, mahalim, mahanim and so on. The Tun, as it was commonly known in colonial times, provided the best planking wood for making boxes, especially tea boxes.
The wood is easy to carve and work and has a nice texture. The wood is said to be durable and not attacked by termites. It also looks a bit like Mahogany and takes a fine finish.
Sadly, even this wood is fast becoming scarce because it is slow growing and over-logged. Soon even supplies of this wood could end.
|Plank of roughly planes Cidrela toona from Kolkata|
I asked a friend in Kolkata to send me a sample of the wood. It arrived a couple of days ago and I planed the piece to see how it worked and looked.
The wood was incredibly easy to plane and looked nice too. It has a pinkish red tinge and reportedly turns darker red with age.
The wood is light and has a tendency to warp and twist. I wouldn't rate it as good as Teak, Sheesham or the original Mahogany but it is a lovely, easy to work wood that deserves to be promoted and protected.
31 October 2014
Lie-Nielsen just released a few new videos; mine among them. https://www.lie-nielsen.com/ (Mary May has a new one; Steve Latta too. There are more in the pipeline…)
You can order directly from them, or I have a limited number for sale here http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-and-more-oct-2014/ I added a paypal button on my page for it; hopefully it will work correctly. I fumble around through this sort of stuff…leave a comment or email if you have a problem.
17th Century Wainscot Chair
with Peter Follansbee
The Wainscot Chair is one of the hallmarks of 17th century joinery. In this DVD, Peter demonstrates how to prepare material from a section of oak, shape the chair pieces using bench tools and a pole lathe, and join them together with drawbored mortise and tenon joints. He also offers two traditional approaches for making the angled joints of this chair.
Peter Follansbee specializes in 17th century period joinery and green woodworking. He spent over 20 years making reproduction furniture at Plimoth Plantation, the living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts. In addition to teaching the craft at schools around the USA, Peter co-authored the book, Make a Joint Stool from a Tree: An Introduction to 17th Century Joinery, with Jennie Alexander. He is also featured in three other Lie-Nielsen DVDs: 17th c. New England Carving (2010); 17th c. New England Carving: Carving the S-Scroll (2011); and 17th c. Joined Chest (2012).
218 minutes (2 discs), Lie-Nielsen Toolworks Productions, 2014.
Chris had been studying A.-J. Roubo’s writings for years, but lately there was something strange about the three volumes. He couldn’t put his finger on it; sometimes he thought he heard voices near the books. It was creepy and unsettling and he had avoided the books for several days. His fascination overrode any unease he felt and soon he was back on the couch poring over all those cool plates of tools and furniture. The tiny voices he heard had to be his imagination.
“Cool,” he exclaimed as got to the series of plates showing 18th-century coaches. “These are so cool!” He heard a murmur coming from the book. “No, it’s just my imagination.” As he turned a few more pages and said a few more “cools,” the murmuring grew louder. It seemed to be coming from the plates showing chairs. Chris leaned close to the book and was astonished to hear a heated conversation.
“How many times can a human say ‘cool’ in the space of one hour?”
“He could try ‘remarkable,’ ‘wonderful’ or ‘extraordinary.’ We only get ‘cool!’”
“He is the ass of a Jacques!”
“I think it is said that he is Jacques’ ass.”
Chris flipped quickly to the plates featuring chairs. “What? These plates shouldn’t be side-by-side!”
He was met with pages of complaints about his overuse of “cool.”
“But you are cool, so very cool. I can’t help myself,” he tried to explain. The chairs, and some of the other furniture, were not listening.
“We can’t take it anymore!” they shouted back. “We want out!”
“You want out?” Chris roared back. “I have been protecting you – admiring you – and you want out AND you call me an ass of a Jacques?! I’ll give you out!”
And with that he held the book upside down and shook it. There was a cacophony of shrieks as the tiny furniture fell from the book.
Coming to his senses, Chris stopped shaking the book and exclaimed, “What have I done? Have I ruined them? I’ll put them back and everything will be all right.” He put the book down and looking at the floor saw none of the tiny chairs or tables. “Where are they? They were there. They yelled at me and called me the ass of a Jacques. It was real, wasn’t it? Wasn’t it?” He stood stunned not able to comprehend what had happened. Chris ran from the room.
“That was fun. We haven’t been out of the book in decades!”
“He has the head like a block.”
A while later and back in the book….
— Suzanne Ellison
Editor’s note: You can order “The Book of Plates” in our store now.
Filed under: Personal Favorites, To Make as Perfectly as Possible, Roubo Translation
CONTEST ALERT: The game is afoot, everybody. This week, amidst the usual wealth of tips and techniques, came a design for a very tweaky bowsaw frame. Frequent contributor "Opifex" is squarely on our turf here, so the Work junta at TFWW determined such a revelation demands an appropriate response. Here are our terms:
The first three people to build the saw frame pictured below and submit a photo of their work will receive a free Gramercy Tools Bow Saw Kit (blades & pins). Scroll on for details.
It would be silly to ask loyal workateers to buy pins and blades to build a saw for the purpose of maybe winning pins and blades, so we'll happily accept photos of your bowsaw without these parts, provided your assembly looks like it's otherwise complete and ready to rock. We just want to treat the first three brave sawmakers to some free hardware.
Pics or it didn't happen: Tools for Working Wood maintains a Facebook Page and a Twitter Feed. Post your photos to either of those places with the hashtag #tfwwworkblog and then come back and let us know in the comments below.
If you have any questions, ask them in the comments too. We have some related resources detailing the design and construction of the Gramercy Bowsaw here and here but none of it explains exactly how to make Opifex's articulated, deep throated contraption. That's up to you and you're on your own. Good luck!
ARTICLES FOUND IN THIS ISSUE:
A CYCLE HOUSE
REPAIRS TO FLUTES, CLARIONETS, ETC., THAT MAY BE DONE BY AN AMATEUR
BOOT AND SHOE REPAIRING
A HANDY ROW OF HAT-PEGS
A BOW SAW FOR DEEP CUTTING
A NOVEL USE FOR PHOTOGRAPHS
THE SAFETY BICYCLE: ITS PRACTICAL CONSTRUCTION, ETC.
OUR GUIDE TO GOOD THINGS
Disclaimer: Articles in Work describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.
The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.
The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.
You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.
Christmas in the US starts after Thanksgiving Thursday for the busiest shopping day of the year (USA), but for those of us living around the rest of the globe making gifts and decor begins when we find half a day to do it. To give you a heads-up we made this video for Woodworking Masterclasses last year and thought you might like to see how making beautiful stars from hand-made thin stock can be easily done with dead-on accuracy. These stars make stunning gifts for family trees and table decor too and scraps cost nothing to make them.
Here is the link to the YouTube video for stars above. I hope that you enjoy this one!
You may also be looking for unique Christmas gift for friends and relatives and the YouTube series on making the wall clock is fun series too, especially at the gift-giving end of it. Here is the link to the first one we did via Woodworking Masterclasses last year.
I’m not big on working from plans. There are many reasons why. But one reason is that frequently I’ll get interested in the process of making a particular feature and then, after watching that feature gather dust for a period of time, I decide to incorporate it into a piece of furniture. Quite some time ago I made a set of ogee bracket feet, departing a little from the most conventional methods of putting them together. I secured the feet to a frame and have, quite literally, been tripping over it for…maybe two years. The frame and feet have been setting next to a window for so long that they have become sun bleached. (They’ll require a little walnut husk stain to put them in order.)
So, a couple of months ago I decided that the whole kitandkaboodle was either going to be pitched or made into something useful. This is the beauty of “case on frame” cabinetmaking. You can make a whole bunch of stuff using standard components, 18th century, mix and match construction. First it was going to be a tall bookcase. But it quickly became clear that the feet were so large that any bookcase made with them would be uncomfortably deep. “Too deep” bookcases are just “not cool”. Then I weighed the possibility of a sixty inch high chest of drawers.
My wife asked a truly pertinent question, where are we going to put another chest of drawers? Alright. Good question. I mean, we’re at that part of our lives where we’re preoccupied with “lightening our load”. So what else could I make out of this stuff? We could certainly use a new TV stand. Nah, too big. Well, how about a piece that could used for dining accessories and linens (along with myriad “other stuff”)? That may be the answer. Drawers. Drawers. But not a high chest. Okay. Maybe some kind of commode. Simple enough. Cut down the sides. Couple of rails to hold the thing together “in the dry” and give me a little time to think.
Hmm…three sets of rails, some drawer bearers, got some pine for a ship-lap dust ceiling. Could do flush drawers with cockbeads or just some easy, “self-stopping” lipped drawers. Maybe a little stringing here and there. I mean the possibilities are limitless. Hey, I could drop a small block V-8 in this puppy, jack up the ass on top of a 456 rear end and, bingo, I’m off to the races! Well, on further consideration…
Let’s see what it becomes. If nothing else, we’re entering the “bonfire” season and I know from past experience that walnut burns clean and bright. But, something tells me that things just might work out.
I’ve been working my way through the thousands of images to select the several hundred I want in VIRTUOSO: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley (submitting the manuscript to LAP in a few days) and I came across this one Narayan shot last year. It is the dovetail set on the edge of one of teensy ebony-front mother-of-pearl inlaid drawers at the top of the drawers section of the tool cabinet.
If you make it to the exhibit of Studley’s ensemble next May you can see it in person. Almost this close.
On the stage at his last speech, Matteo Renzi had not one, but two workbenches.
Sul palco del suo ultimo discorso, Matteo Renzi aveva non uno, ma due banconi da falegname.
I know weird people. There’s an outfit formed around Plymouth Massachusetts this year that proves it.
The fledgling non-profit Plymouth CRAFT is getting up and running; the website is being developed now, it will get fleshed-out soon – http://plymouthcraft.org/welcome/
The whole gig will be worth watching, or better yet, worth participating in. The word “craft” in the title stands for Center for Restoration Arts and Forgotten Trades. It is a loosely-knit group of artisans and craftspeople who will be offering workshops, demonstrations, expertise and other whiz-bang crafty know-how to students, amateurs, professionals, and other interested parties.
The other day a few of us assembled at Michael Burrey’s place to shoot some photos and video to be used in our fund-raising and as a general introduction to the question – “what goes on? “
First up, woodworker Michael Burrey, working clay. You’ve seen MIchael on these pages some before; http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/who-you-gonna-call/ and if you read Rick McKee’s blog Blue Oak, http://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/ (you do, don’t you?) then you are familiar with the scope and range of Michael’s work. On this particular day, Michael was molding bricks for a building on Nantucket. These go down low, around the perimeter of the building, with the ogee shape towards the sky to shed water…if I had paid more attention, I would have the name & date of the building, and more detail about the source for this brick shape. Once he has enough made, he’ll fire them in his wood-fired kiln, just beyond the edges of this photo.
Paula Marcoux http://www.themagnificentleaven.com/The_Magnificent_Leaven/Welcome.html was mostly the ring-leader, but she also dove in and was teaching passers-by how to make “shrak” a flat-bread found in her book Cooking with Fire… http://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/product-placement/ this stuff was good. Give Paula a 5-gallon bucket, and a few sticks & she’ll whip out her gear and some flour and off you’ll go…
I only know the tip of Pen Austin’s iceberg. Her work is astounding, catch a glimpse of it here http://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/playing-marbles/
and when I saw this rig on Saturday, I knew I had to hang around to see it happen… it looks like a “sweep” (that’s what Joseph Moxon called it, for making an arch from wood, sans lathe) – a scratch stock on a trammel essentially. Pen has a whole different vocabulary for it, here she was working plaster – gooping it up right quick…then swinging the molding scraper across the mess- out comes architecture. (the first shot is a rope of clay, to bulk up the demo piece – usually it would all be plaster…)
Midway through the process – these folks got to work quickly, before the stuff sets too much.
At this point, there’s a lot of refinement; filling in gaps with wet mixture, then swinging another pass.
she made this archway just for a demonstration – what work! It was a gas to watch that form come together…
Charlotte Russell came by with some drop-spindle stuff, some carded wool and Maureen sat right down for lesson # 1… Charlotte has been a textile artisan for over 50(ish) years -she spins, knits, weaves, has a passion for history and craft, and is a skilled teacher in all things fiber.
I took a quick stab (Oh, poor choice of words for teaching knife-work) at teaching one of the photographers some of the knife moves for working on spoon-carving. I have no idea if it was sinking in, there was lots to keep track of that morning…but his moves were right, and no blood was shed…
When we get further along with this endeavor, I’ll be writing more about it here, Rick will too on Blue Oak – so you’ll hear about it. There’s way more people and crafts involved than what we previewed the other day…that was just what we could round up on short notice. Have a look at the website, and stay tuned. You’ll hear more.
I think of Bill Coperthwaite’s quote – “I want to live in a society where people are intoxicated with the joy of making things.”
If Daniel hadn’t had a baseball game, we woulda stuck around Burrey’s for the rest of it. Just as regular order of business, it was apple-cider-making day…
Now that the layout for the dovetails has been done, it’s time to start cutting! I am using a Moxon vise to hold the boards in place for two reasons, one it gets it up to a more comfortable cutting height and two, it supports it nicely across the entire width. I start by […]
You may notice the handles on the drawers. I had some round wooden ones that I intended to use but, in the event, they looked wrong. I decided to make some instead. To you these may look like handles, but in fact they are my version of Greene and Greene cloud lifts, another of my attempts to sneak in influences from the brothers:
I started out with versions that were far too big, then not shaped right before I finally got the design I like that you see here. The tools I used to create them are these:
I am in awe of woodworkers who can create a detailed design in Sketchup then go into the shop and execute it. It reminds me of this:
‘In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.’—MichelangeloI look at a block of marble and see ... a block of marble. This ability to conceptualize a finished piece in your mind before you begin is completely beyond me, so I am left to plod about until I stumble on what looks right. I am quite pleased overall though, because this desk seems to be coming together with a coherent design that is appealing. The gallery was rather plain and rectangular as you saw the pieces in the last post. I cut a curve in the top which is identical to the curve on the sides of the desk base and will keep my son from hurting himself too badly when he beats his head against it during moments of lawyerly frustration. I think the pillowed box joints and the handles of the drawers create focal points that will draw the eye away from the rectilinear outline of the gallery. As the A Team used to say, "I love it when a plan comes together." Now if I can just do a decent job of putting finish on the desk, something else I am not good at.