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First a disclaimer: This is a recollection of impressions following the installation and test running of our new 6” Grizzly spiral Cutterhead jointer, that we bought at full price this fall. As many of you know, I teach woodworking at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan. Our program is mainly geared towards hand tool work. To help us prepare stock for projects, shop furniture and to create projects for our […]
The post Grizzly 6″ Spiral Cutter Head Jointer – Impressions from Yoav Liberman appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
Editor’s Note: This heartfelt story was submitted by Lynda Cheldelin Fell, the wife of one of our customers. The moment we read it, we knew it needed to be shared with the rest of our woodworking community!
In 2009, our 15-year-old daughter, Aly, a competitive swimmer and straight-A student, was tragically killed in a car accident while returning home from a swim meet.
Overcome with grief, my dear sweet husband, Jamie, buried his heartache. Managing commercial development projects, he escaped into 80-hour work weeks, more wine, more food, and less talking. His blood pressure shot up, his cholesterol went off the chart, and the perfect storm arrived on June 4, 2012.
Just minutes after we returned home from town, Jamie began drooling. A strange look came over his face. I asked if he was okay, but no words came. He couldn’t answer.
My soulmate and hero, my strong adorable, funny, brilliant partner in life, father of our children, and rock of my world was having a major stroke. At age 46, he was suddenly unable to speak, read, write, or walk. My world had come to a complete standstill.
Jamie was hospitalized for 17 days. When he finally came home, we faced an uncertain future of outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapies to help Jamie relearn activities of daily living. Our days became filled with appointment after appointment with catnaps in between.
Little by little, Jamie’s hard work and determination paid off. He graduated from the wheelchair to a walker to a cane to solid footing. He relearned how to feed himself, bathe, pour a glass of water, and change his shirt.
It’s been five years now since the devastating stroke that robbed us of so much. Although Jamie has regained mobility, his entire right side remains numb. The speech center in his brain, which was destroyed by the stroke, is permanently affected. But his mind remains keen, and his intelligence isn’t wasted. He keeps it active by puttering around in his workshop—a workshop that once sat neglected due to an overworked scheduled. Now with nothing but time on his hands, my dear sweet hubby turns his pain into passion by making beautiful one-of-a-kind gifts for family and friends.
Slow moving and frequent rest periods prevent Jamie from making gifts as gainful employment, but delighting others with his woodworking brings joy to his day. A natural craftsman at heart, his attention to detail is unparalleled, and it’s evident that everything he creates with his hands comes right from his heart.
The American flag table below was a wedding gift to our niece. It took Jamie nearly a year, but his patience and determination produced a wedding gift unlike any other. A second American flag table is now underway for another newlywed niece.
Through losing our daughter and Jamie’s devastating stroke, his workshop has become a symbol of our own personal silver lining: what once sat neglected due to an overworked schedule is now a source of pride and joy—and serves as a powerful reminder that obstacles are often opportunities in disguise.
In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking writer, furniture maker and instructor Steve Latta is back to talk about Fine Woodworking Magazine. Listen as he talks about the various editors he has worked with at the magazine throughout the past 30 years, and learn about a few of the articles he is most please with writing. Plus, he shares his method of work. Are you “process” oriented, or “project” oriented?
Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more).
|my miter saw|
|pit stop at the post office|
|out of the clamps|
|the opposite kitty corner|
|marked my saw line|
|carcass rip saw|
|the lid has some twist|
|bottom is twist free|
|both parts planed|
|the backside looks good too|
|miters rough sawn to length|
|tight fit with the miters - time to see if the lid mates|
|this side slipped on|
|back side isn't cooperating|
|pulled the lid off and the walnut came with it|
|a bit of fussing and I got it to go|
|got wax on the walnut|
|where I left off|
What is the longest river in North America?
answer - The Missouri River ( it beats the Mississippi by over 20 miles)
I've struggled with whether or not to write this, but things will be obvious over the next year, and because I do my own stunts in front of the camera here at the Oldwolf Workshop there will be no hiding the changes. So this is an effort to cut past a hundred separate conversations to one.
Next week I will be undergoing a surgical procedure known as Gastric Bypass. Essentially the intention is to surgically shrink the size of my stomach by ninety percent. If you want to know more the Wikipedia entry is very thorough. Because of this I should see significant weight loss in my near future,and admitting it now will lessen my immature (and inappropriate) response to claim I'm undergoing chemotherapy or high colonic cleansings.
But why do that, just eat a salad fatty. I can hear it even if it isn't said out loud, but it's only half the story. i've always been a big bruiser of a person. As a senior in High School I was strong and svelte with a six pack and still weighted in at 190#. After high school I gained weight, but was able to stay active and comfortable. Several years ago I blew out my knee and it was the start of a bad cycle.
The thing about the weight isn't just social acceptance or fitting into an airline or auditorium seat. The thing no one discusses is the pain. Up until a few months ago I had reached a point where everything I did hurt. I know cry me a river snowflake, but the pain isn't short term "oh I passed a kidney stone" it's chronically grinding and never ending. It makes every effort cost you twice as much and alters the scale on which you weigh just how much anything is worth it.
The toughest challenge is admitting you're not enough all by yourself to keep slogging through and gain any measure of sustainable success. I can see the lighthouse but I need help to turn this ship around. After several years of discussion with my doctor and my wife, this is my best option and once the decision was made to pursue surgery it was still almost a two year process to here.
This is anything but a rash and quick fix decision. I work in surgery, I have for almost 20 years. The only outcomes I ever see are bring back complications and usually bad ones. If I'm honest I'm scared to death about this, but I'm so tired of battling the grinding pain everyday I will face anything. The upsides of losing weight, resolving diabetes and high blood pressure and living a more comfortable, possibly longer life seem better than a poke in the eye too.
After next week I will be on weight lifting restrictions for four weeks. That limits what I can really do in the shop. Maybe I'll sharpen a few saws. I also picked up some models to put together in between scheduled walks and high protein meals. I'll keep myself busy and it's possible I'll write more here too, catch up with some of the things I've accomplished without recording here. Mostly I hope I can mangle my concentration down to read. I haven't managed to do more than scan the newer Roubo Tome from Don Williams and company. It's time I fixed that.
So from here on out it will still be the Oldwolf Workshop, only concentrated, with less fillers.
Ratione et Passionis
Soon my two oldest are cosplaying the Moon Sisters from the movie "Kubo and the Two Strings" They have the hats and masks and are finishing up cloaks made of feathers, but one of them needed a replica of a magic pipe.
I split off a section of riven red oak, mostly because I have a ton of it. and before I put it on the lathe I did what I considered would be the most difficult thing, drtilled a hole through the center. Well not exactly center, that is nigh impossible, but I drilled it close enough. Then I located the drill hole in the center points as I chucked the piece into the lathe.
I understand common sense thought that the conical points would spread the holes and cause the wood to split. I figured what the hell I'll try it and if it fails, I'll try something different. Turns out it worked just fine. This time. Will I be lucky in the future, I don't know. Probably not. But it was a cool way to center a hollow hole in a spindle.
A little time at the lathe and I worked down the bamboo-ish look of the movie pipe. A lot of skew chisel work which I find to be a fun challenge. After sanding I rubbed on and buffed off some lamp black oil paint.
I finished up the end of the pipe with my sloyd knife. Then turned my focus to the bowl
I chucked a small section of 1 1/2" diameter maple dowel into the lathe. Turned a 1/2" round tenon on one end and shaped a bowl shape on the other.
Then it was off to the drill press, Using forstner bits I drilled a 1/2" round mortise into the stem. Deep enough to expose the hole passing down the center. Then I drilled up from the bowl's tenon with a 1/4" bit, about half the thickness. Then down from the bowl's top with a 3/4" forstner bit.
The above pic shows the inbetween of the finishing. The bowl is done, the stem is about to get re-chucked on the lathe to undergo the final finishing stages, For the gold I used some gold buffing wax my daughters found at the local art store. It was very dried out and difficult to apply but kind of gave the burnished, well used and weathered look I liked. I finished over the wax with a coat of CA glue to give a shine finish, a fake Japanese Urushi if you will.
I assembled everything then passed my long drill bit back down the end and into the pipe bowl's tenon. This opened up the air passage between the stem and the bowl. I suppose you could really smoke out of this thing if you wanted but I'm certain it wouldn't be that pleasant.
I used a propane torch to burn and blacken the bowl and bubble the wax and CA glue finish. The weathering and wear this provided was spot on.
Best of all, Number 2 daughter was very happy with the result. And with stealing my sweatshirt to hang out in the shop on a cooler autumn night.
An enjoyable couple hour build, that kept me occupied and made a minimal mess because the shop was already prepped for the next day when . . .
. . . TA DA!!! The electricians showed up to run copper from the house to my new sub-panel. Four new outlets inside, one outside, and lots of room to run more in the future. I can become 220 capable now should I choose to be.
Very exciting times in the shop.
Ratione et Passionis
I’ve been back & forth lately. Maine, here, North Carolina – now here, then Martha’s Vineyard. Then here for a few weeks. Here’s some non-woodsy shots, mostly. This flock of shorebirds wheeled & spun – moments later Marie & I spotted a peregrine falcon bearing down on them. I love how they turn this way & that – and the color changes. this is the backs of these birds:
Semipalmated plover (Charadrius semipalmatus)
Dunlin (Calidris alpina) silhouetted against the water.
Those were at Plymouth beach. We went to Maine to see the Common Ground fair – took the kids for a walk one evening. The ocean is always the best place for playing – no place we go is more consistently engaging.
This is an island reached by a causeway. Lots of driftwood, which we don’t see at Plymouth much. Daniel peeked inside. I noted what happened to this log – the growth rings are separating completely. Some mad twist too.
Spoons growing everywhere. No cutting allowed though…
Back at Plymouth Beach, stretching is important. This is, I think, a Laughing gull (Leucophaeus atricilla)
And we hit the beach just right to see a bunch of migrating butterflies – many were monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus)
A couple weeks later, I was at Roy Underhill’s to teach a spoon carving class. Long drought has dried up the creek at the dam. Fish were dying, and black vultures (Coragyps atratus) came to clean up. There were turkey vultures there too – but these were the smaller black vultures.
Earlier, at home, found this cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii) under the bird feeders one day.
and a rare moment when the blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) was quiet and still.
Our friend Rick DeWolf has been infected with the horror vacuii – and made this gate to keep his dog in (or out, I forget which). Despite being able to make this, Rick is still coming to our hurdle-making class later this month. A couple of spaces left. there will be no carving though. https://www.plymouthcraft.org/riving-hurdlemaking-weekend
File this simple project under quick things to do with a couple of offcuts. A martial artist friend of mine asked for a candle holder for the sword class she teaches at Cincinnati Taekwondo Center. Students are challenged to put out the candle flames with their sword without striking the candles. The holder needed to accommodate 7 candles and include a way to adjust each candle’s height (the tops need […]
Are you thinking of upgrading the sharpening in your shop, but don’t want to break the bank? Consider the Tormek T-4 Sharpening System, available at Highland.
And for a limited time, you can get the Bushcraft Limited Edition T-4, that includes a $40 Knife Jig, $20 Axe Jig and a $49 Mora Kansbol knife, all for $425 while limited supplies last (a $93 net savings!)
In the video below, Steve Johnson takes a closer look at the Tormek T-4, walking us through the new sharpening process he has adopted for his shop.
One of the aspects of finishing that has occupied the interests of woodworkers for centuries has been the quest for executing a smooth and glossy surface. Part and parcel of that effort has been to diminish the texture of the wood itself, hence the need for grain filling. Its importance and vagaries were such that I have introduced two disparate exercises into my teaching, both of which were pretty explicitly described in the historical literature. As done by the ancients, the quest for a non-contaminating grain filler with both enough hardness and flexibility to fulfill the task led them to employ purified beeswax as the backbone for the fill material.
The first exercise was to prepare the base for spirit varnish pad polishing, sometimes known in our vernacular as “French polishing.” In this instance the objective is to flow molten beeswax onto the surface, then scrape off any excess in readying for the pad polishing. Historically they would have used a tool similar to a roofers’ soldering iron, albeit a bit more flattened at the end such that it resembles more closely something like our modern electric tacking iron.
So that is what I use. First the molten wax is drizzled onto the surface by rubbing the hot iron against the block of beeswax, followed by working the iron over the entire surface.
When the entire surface has been saturated with molten wax, the heel of the iron is used to squeegee off any excess and the piece is allowed to cool. Then using a scraper sans burr, the surface is cleaned fully down to the wood fibers. Historically this scraper would have been steel or brass, but equally viable now is a piece of plexiglass with a nicely prepared edge.
With a final buffing with a piece of coarse linen or something similar, the end result is a surface ready for the spirit varnish pad polishing to come.
Tomorrow night (I am writing this on Monday evening, October 9th), I will be teaching dovetailing. This Saturday I will be teaching a free class called "Introduction to Hand Tools" for the first time. So I have teaching on my brain. I've taught the dovetailing class before, so I know what's on tomorrow night. It's the second session, and we'll be learning about body movement and sawing straight. This afternoon I checked to make sure that all the wood we need is ready, and Tuesday need to double check that class saws are ready to rumba.
It's the Saturday class that preoccupies me a bit. The class is in response to the many people over the years who have come to our showroom, for themselves or looking for a gift, who are trying to wrap their heads around the idea of using hand tools. They sincerely want to expand their horizons. Sometimes they are familiar only with what Home Depot stocks and hand held power tools. This applies to professionals and amateurs alike. Many are perplexed by the idea what you can actually build anything by hand. Of course, misconception about hand tools are formed by never seeing the tools in efficient operation. You can drill a hole with an electric drill even if the bit is dull and the drill is noisy. But it isn't patently obvious how to work a brace or a bit so it's fun. We have a reputation and a lot of showroom and warehouse space devoted to hand tools, so the curiosity is natural.
What can I do to give people what they've come to discover? I have to get and hold people's attention. I have to make hand tool skill look like obtainable. I have to show the distinction between cheap knockoff tools that don't work well and quality hand tools. And - particularly for the amateurs - I have to show that the basic operations of woodworking by hand, operations that can be performed in a small apartment or shop, don't have to be painful, and can result in good results.
I try to be practical, not (just) philosophical.
I should teach how to measure accurately but I am afraid it isn't sexy enough to keep a class engaged. People want to see sawdust!
I think I want to teach people how to start a cut with a handsaw. That's a big problem people have. They try cutting something and since they can't start the saw they never get to the joyous moment when they can advance easily through the wood.
I think I want to teach people how to set a hinge because that gives me a chance to demonstrate marking out and chiseling to a line. And it's easier than setting up a router.
I think I want to show people how to clamp their work. It's not very sexy but it's pretty useful. I know some tricks with a few clamps that let you set up anywhere even at the kitchen table.
I will have to plane something - wood shavings are sexy. And if I rub the shavings on the wood I can show a wonderful burnished surface.
And of course I plan to drill a big hole with a brace and bit, showing how to not splinter out at the end and also how a ratchet brace really helps with those large holes.
I think that's all I can do in a couple of hours. My main goal, of course, is to inspire. I hope that at least a few of the attendees will look at what I am doing, try it themselves and then go home, take the plunge and start building stuff.
If you are in the area this Saturday, you're invited to the class! For more details click here.
I made a mitered box tonight and I made one with a method I have seen many times before. I had thought of making it in the past but I felt it was something beyond my capabilities. That was mostly due to the box being mitered. The other part has to do with how the lid is secured, sans hinges or some other contrivance of that ilk.
|find a couple pieces of 1/2 stock|
|marked where the 5/8" dado will go|
|this isn't carved in stone|
|used the 043 to make the dado|
|last dado done|
|two long sides done|
|can't forget to mark the dado|
|all the parts are sawn and I'm ready for a dry fit|
|wee bit too long|
|this is ready to glue up|
|glued with hide glue|
Tomorrow I'll saw it in two and fit the bottom piece in the dado.
The President of the United States rates a 21 gun salute. How many does the Vice President get?
answer - 19
I’ve decided to trek to Covington KY this coming Saturday to sign Roubo and Studley books at the Lost Art Press storefront open-house (and pick up my own copies of the Deluxe version of the new Roubo volume). I should be there from mid-morning through mid-afternoon if you want me to sign your book.
Actually, I’ll be there even if you don’t want me to sign your book.
This is another situation were we need some Federal regulation as to the standardization of furniture terminology to avoid confusion and indicate the actual use and derivation of a furniture type. It is commonly called the corner chair but there is not indication that these types of chairs were used exclusively in corners:
There is speculation that this design was meant to allow men wearing sword to sit comfortably. Many doubt this. It can also be called a writing chair, a smoking chair, a roundabout chair or simply Edgar. My personal belief is that exist to promulgate manspread.
There are many variations of corner chairs out there. The common design elements are that the legs are rotated 90° from typical, the side legs continue up to become the arm supports and that the chair arm goes from one side leg to the other. I now believe that some of those odd chairs I came across are just corner chair variants.
Some are more functional:
Some are more elaborate than others:
Some aren’t rounded:
Some are less than utilitarian:
Some are more modern in their approach:
Whatever they are and however they’re made, you can find more in a photo set HERE.
Do we ever reach an age where we become too old for heroes? And I don’t just mean every day heroes such as firemen, policemen, and teachers (not that they aren’t important), but legendary heroes such as King Arthur or Babe Ruth. Maybe you all have, but I haven’t.
Growing up in Philadelphia, stories about the American Revolution was pretty much second nature for me. Some of my earliest memories revolve around Valley Forge Park, the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin, and the Liberty Bell. The battles of Brandywine and Germantown were fought basically at my back door, so it was just a normal part of growing up, for me, to learn as much as I could about the War for Independence.
However, of all the legendary names from the War for Independence that I can spout off automatically, George Washington stands atop the list.
As a child, Washington was a mythical figure, a larger than life titan, a legendary demi-god who descended from Heaven, led America to a glorious victory, and rode off into immortality in a chariot of fire. As I grew older, my hobby of researching the American Revolution turned more towards the battles and tactics of the time. I loved the political intrigue, the clandestine spy operations with code names and invisible ink, and the sacrifices of the common soldier. Yet, I always found myself coming back the Washington, even if in passing.
Fast forward into married adulthood. Four years ago my family was going through a difficult time. A very close family member had become ill, I was not feeling so hot myself, and it was quite frankly very difficult on all of us, in particular my wife. Living so close to Valley Forge National Park, I found myself there often, taking long walks just to ease my mind. And though I had been to VFP many times, and though I had known the story of the park since before I could read, the park was still to me in many ways a place of legend, in much the same way that George Washington had become a legendary figure. But it was during those walks that began to look around, and not just inwardly. I found myself reading the many marker stones and inscribed monuments to those who served there; I spoke to park rangers and historians, I attended park events, and soon after I found myself once again engrossed in history. It saved me.
I read at least 50 or more books on the Revolution. I volunteered at the park whenever possible (and still do to this day). I took it upon myself to become a steward of history, learning whatever I could whenever I could. And in doing so I came to admire George Washington more and more, not just for his war time exploits, but as the leader of a new nation.
I don’t know how many books I’ve read just on Washington to be honest. I now count 22 on the book shelf right behind me, and at least that many more in my Kindle reader. A few of those books were little more than fluff pieces, but the majority of them are true in-depth studies, and just as I chose those books specifically to de-mystify the legend and learn more about the man, instead his legend grew in my eyes and I now hold him in greater esteem more than ever. He was far from perfect, and I am not implying that he was; he had faults like all of us do; I am only doing my utmost to understand the man in context to the era he lived in, and I found perhaps the greatest leader of men the world saw in the entire millennium.
So this is a woodworking blog, right, and not an ode to historical figure? Why then post a fanboy crush diary entry on George Washington and his ragtag band of rebels? Glad you asked.
A few weeks back I went with my family to the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. It was a geek-out heaven for me, and among the thousands of artifacts were some of George Washington’s personal belongings. Of course, there were also replicas, and among those was a desk that was believed to be similar to the furniture that would have been used by the officers, and perhaps Washington himself, during the American Revolution. I made the decision right then and there to build it myself.
It just so happens that I have been planning for the past year to dedicate a section of our family room to my love of history. I have collected dozens if not hundreds of historical artifacts on the era: artwork, newspapers, broadsides, books, lamps, and tools. Admittedly, most of those artifacts are replicas, but they are of high quality. As of last month it was my plan to restore a desk which belonged to my father-in-law’s family and use that to house my collection. Though I still plan on restoring that desk, I have decided to make the “Washington” desk my centerpiece.
Even better news is that in doing some more research, I’ve found that most of Washington’s campaign furniture was made from walnut, which I thankfully have plenty to use ( I had planned on using it regardless). I’ve recently consulted with my first and best woodworking mentor, his excellency Chuck Bender, on some of the construction details, and he was, of course, a huge help.
With any luck I am hoping to not only have the final measurements down, but the material milled and the desktop panel glued up this weekend. The top I will make using breadboard ends. The legs may be a bit of a challenge in that I don’t plan on making them foldable because I have no intention of moving this desk throughout the colonies. So I may make those using a ship lap joint, which is a joint I’ve generally only made perpendicular. Otherwise, I plan on staying pretty much true to the photo.
I’m hoping this turns out well, because even though it may not be my most ambitious project, I can already guarantee that it will be my favorite thus far. George Washington has inspired me much of my life, even more so as an adult than as a child, and I cannot think of a better way to adorn my home and continue my research than to create a piece of furniture inspired by the man himself.
Amish furniture has been present in North America since 1737 when the first Amish families arrived from the Netherlands. As more Amish settled in America and applied their gift of wood craftsmanship, they soon made a name for themselves as master furniture makers. It wasn’t until 1774 that the arrival of Shakers from England began to change the way the Amish designed their furniture.
The Shaker brought with them a style of furniture that was simple, unadorned and visually appealing to the way of life the Amish chose to live. Amish furniture makers adopted this new style, aptly named Shaker style, and began to craft this type of furniture. The long history of the Shaker style amongst the Amish communities is reason why this particular design is most often associated as the classic Amish furniture type. However, there is another type to consider.
The second style of Amish furniture is Mission style. Mission furniture was adopted by the Amish in 1898 and appealed to craftsmen that wanted that heavier, dark look in their work. This style was adapted from the furniture commonly found in Spanish missions. Despite being so heavy looking, overall the designs of Mission furniture are very simple, similar to why the Shaker style is so beloved.
While both Shaker and Mission style furniture are made by Amish craftsmen, and they’re both very similar in terms of simplicity, there are some significant differences between the two. If you plan on investing in something like an Amish living room furniture it is important you understand what sets these two styles apart from one another.
Features of Classic Shaker Furniture:
Tapering and Turnings
In effort to keep furniture as light as possible tapering and turning of furniture, especially the legs, was done. Tapering is the graduation of the wood piece to a small size while turning is the removal of excess material, often on the inside part of table and chair legs. When tapering is done it is very gentle and gradual, not ornately or sharply tapered.
Wooden Drawer Pulls and Knobs
Shaker style is most often finished with wooden drawer pulls and knobs. This maintained the overall simple, understated look for the furniture. It also allows the craftsman to use one product for the entire piece of furniture.
Plain Wood Finish
Majority of Shaker furniture is made of light colored woods like pine, maple or cherry. These were sealed and finished but never stained dark. The purpose of this is to allow the quality of the wood to speak for itself without relying on a heavy stain to show the beauty.
The Amish are not prideful and do not do work to appeal to the ego, which is the main reason why their furniture is fairly basic. Joinery requires meticulous skill and is often hidden from sight. For example, a half-blind dovetail will be used on drawers, which could only be seen when open.
If you’re purchasing a dresser, buffet or some other type of Shaker furniture with drawers you’ll notice that, more often than not, the drawers are graduated. This means the drawer at the bottom will be the largest while the drawer on top will be the smallest. This design is practical and also looks appealing.
Features of Classic Mission Furniture:
Thick Wood Stained Dark
Oak is one of the more common types of wood used for Mission furniture, but regardless of wood type Mission work tends to consist of thick pieces. Mission furniture is also stained dark, varying from a rich brown to a deep stain close to black. This really makes the furniture stand out and look even stronger.
Rather than having hidden joints Mission furniture tends to really showcase the joinery. The mortise and tenon joint technique is very common with Mission furniture, and for good reason. This joint is incredibly strong and also very beautiful to look at.
Most Mission furniture relies on straight lines, with very little tapering or curvature present. This is an even more simplistic design than Shaker, though it requires just as much skill to design.
Since Mission furniture is thicker the use of parallel slats on open portions of furniture, such as the back of a couch or chair, to make it lighter. Slats are very popular and highly requested on custom Mission furniture.
While not exceedingly common, some Amish to incorporate the use of leather into their Mission furniture. This was done in the Spanish style and has been carried over in some shops. Most often you will see leather touches on chair seats or perhaps even on a headboard.
Choosing a Style
Shaker furniture is the epitome of Amish craftsmanship. It retains the very original designs of tapers, all-wood construction, and plain wood. In a way Shaker furniture settles more into the room and is more neutral. Mission style furniture is bold and stunning, easily becoming the statement pieces in the room. The use of hardware is more traditional of what most Americans are accustomed to in their furniture.
Both Shaker and Mission style furniture are beautiful as well as equally appealing to anyone that appreciates minimalistic, handcrafted furnishings. Choosing to go with Amish-made furniture is a guarantee of quality, expertise and traditional design.
I often come across people who are confused about the difference between a stain and a finish. They’ll use a phrase such as “I want to stain the wood,” or “would you stain the wood for me?” when what they really want is some color added to the wood and a finish applied to deepen the color and protect the wood from moisture. They’re including the finish within the word […]
My wife, Anita wanted me to make some custom floating shelves for the dining room. We had some floating shelves from Ikea, but she wanted something that would match the coffee bar I made her.
Making the shelves were super easy. I grabbed 3/4″ pine and a couple of 2 x 2 select pine from Home Depot. I made the width of the shelves 3 1/8″ thick so that the 2 x 2 would fit inside nicely without getting jammed inside.
I used my miter jack to make sure the sides were a perfect 45 degrees so all the pieces would fit nicely together with no gaps. Most people make these shelves with simple butt joints on the ends, but I didn’t want end grain showing so I took the time to miter the corners.
After making sure everything fit together well, I glued and clamped the whole assembly together. Anita then stained the shelves with apple cider vinegar, steel wool solution and gel stain to match the coffee bar.
When it came to install the shelves, I attached the 2 x 2 frame to the wall by securing it to the studs making sure it was level.
I then slid the shelf into place and secured it in place from the bottom into the 2 x 2 frame. I then did the exact same thing on the second shelf.
Here are the shelves installed with a bunch of Rae Dunn pottery on them. Anita was planning on writing messages on the chalk board wall to give it some pizzazz, but decided the wall is too dark and will eventually paint it back normal. What do you think? Should she give the chalk board wall a shot with fancy chalk board writing on it?