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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

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...

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Carving and Sculpture

Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking Class

Mary May, Woodcarver - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 6:19pm

Mary May - Woodcarver

About a week ago I was in Manchester, CT at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking (one week before the cold!) teaching a carving class. This class was sort of a unique one in that everyone came with a different project they wanted to work on.

There were 2 beginning carvers, so they worked on some of the basic carving projects that I start many beginners on – the donut, the camellia flower, and the scallop shell – in basswood. Those three projects cover so many techniques that are necessary when first starting to carve.

Other projects that students brought in to work on – a large Art Nouveau mirror, a fan carving on a front of a drawer, a Celtic knot design picture frame, a shell on the knee of a cabriole leg, a large acanthus leaf, a very tiny relief carving of an elephant scene, and an acanthus leaf on a turning.

Large Art Nouveau mirror in mahogany
Fan design in drawer front in cherry.
Celtic Knot design in pine
Tiny little relief carving of an elephant design.
Camellia flower and shell carving in basswood.
Large acanthus design - basswood
Shell on a cabriole leg
Coca Cola Bottle Acanthus Leaf?

It was so much fun helping people through some really challenging projects. The most amazing thing was that most of the students happened to choose very difficult wood to carve in – cherry seemed to be the most popular, then there was red oak, pine and mahogany. It has been years since I carved that much in cherry. It is a difficult wood to carve, but you can get some amazing detail and crisp carvings. It just requires some physical effort, control of the tools, and patience.

I am now home until early February. It will seem strange to not be preparing for a trip to some far away location to teach. I think I’ll carve…

New Basic Woodcarving Techniques Video through Lie-Nielsen

Mary May, Woodcarver - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 6:58pm

Mary May - Woodcarver

Last year I spent several days at Lie-Nielsen Toolworks in beautiful Warren, Maine filming for a basic woodcarving video. It is now available on their web site and will soon be available on mine.

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One of the carving projects that is included in this DVD

One of the carving projects that is included in this DVD

This DVD starts from the very beginning – showing how to sharpen tools, how to transfer designs to wood, tool identification, safe use of tools, and the entire process of carving 2 shallow relief carving projects – a celtic knot (photo above) and a Phlox flower (photo below) modeled from a flower that was picked out of the garden that day. This is a video that covers the basics to help you get started in woodcarving with a minimal set of carving gouges.

Several months ago we filmed another more advanced carving DVD at Lie-Nielsen. The lessons are much deeper relief carving projects of carving a Lily and a Rose (see photo below) and should be available within the next few months.

The lilly, rose (intermediate video) and phlox (beginning video)

This photo shows the phlox flower that was carved in the Basic Woodcarving Techniques DVD and the Lily and the Rose that are carved in the Advanced Carving Techniques DVD (to be available soon).

 

 

 

New Basic Woodcarving Techniques Video through Lie-Nielsen

Mary May, Woodcarver - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 6:58pm

Mary May - Woodcarver

Last year I spent several days at Lie-Nielsen Toolworks in beautiful Warren, Maine filming for a basic woodcarving video. It is now available on their web site and will soon be available on mine.

10561813_10152417832523016_8230116507919587477_n

One of the carving projects that is included in this DVD

One of the carving projects that is included in this DVD

This DVD starts from the very beginning – showing how to sharpen tools, how to transfer designs to wood, tool identification, safe use of tools, and the entire process of carving 2 shallow relief carving projects – a celtic knot (photo above) and a Phlox flower (photo below) modeled from a flower that was picked out of the garden that day. This is a video that covers the basics to help you get started in woodcarving with a minimal set of carving gouges.

Several months ago we filmed another more advanced carving DVD at Lie-Nielsen. The lessons are much deeper relief carving projects of carving a Lily and a Rose (see photo below) and should be available within the next few months.

The lilly, rose (intermediate video) and phlox (beginning video)

This photo shows the phlox flower that was carved in the Basic Woodcarving Techniques DVD and the Lily and the Rose that are carved in the Advanced Carving Techniques DVD (to be available soon).

 

 

 

Video Lesson on Transferring Designs to Wood

Mary May, Woodcarver - Tue, 11/04/2014 - 7:54pm

Mary May - Woodcarver

Last week’s video lesson (new lesson every week) shows how to transfer carving designs to your wood. This is a FREE video to all members, and is also on youtube. I demonstrate various techniques I use – templates, carbon paper, transfer paper – even a clothes iron (not sure what else it is used for – besides removing dents in wood). There are many methods of transferring designs, but these are the ones I use the most.

Title Still for web

Video Lesson on Transferring Designs to Wood

Mary May, Woodcarver - Tue, 11/04/2014 - 7:54pm

Mary May - Woodcarver

Last week’s video lesson (new lesson every week) shows how to transfer carving designs to your wood. This is a FREE video to all members, and is also on youtube. I demonstrate various techniques I use – templates, carbon paper, transfer paper – even a clothes iron (not sure what else it is used for – besides removing dents in wood). There are many methods of transferring designs, but these are the ones I use the most.

Title Still for web

Ball and Claw class at Ben Hobbs & SAPFM chapter meeting

Mary May, Woodcarver - Tue, 11/04/2014 - 8:57am

Mary May - Woodcarver

Last week I spent 2 days teaching the Edenton style ball and claw foot at Ben Hobb’s workshop in Hertford, NC. Ben’s little “enclave” has several small houses that they rent out and various outbuildings (jail, dairy house, smoke house) that have been relocated and many are restored to their former glory – the buildings ranging from 1750s to 1850s. It definitely makes you feel like you have stepped back into another era.

The main difference with the Edenton foot is that the back talon has quite a unique shape where it is more like one large, sharp talon (claw) that stretches up the whole length of the talon (about 1-3/4 inches). The edge of the web is also different in that it comes to more of a point rather than a rounded shape. The web itself is also not as pronounced as a Philadelphia style foot.

Original Edenton chair leg with sharp back talon.
Great t-shirt!

Saturday, the SAPFM Tidewater chapter had their meeting at Ben’s shop. I demonstrated how to carve 2 shells on a Thomas White desk and also the details on the foot. Ben also spoke about the history of the desk and some of the building and finishing techniques he used to build his reproduction pieces.

Small shell from original Thomas White desk
Center shell from Original Thomas White Desk
Original Thomas White desk foot detail
Thomas White reproduction by Ben Hobbs
Shells carved by Mary May

I will be adding videos on carving these shells to my online school this month (starting this week). Each lesson will have 2 episodes and will be a total of about 1 hour long. These are great little shells to add to any piece of furniture or keepsake box.

Next weekend I’m off to Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking to teach a class on carving whatever you want to carve. I think there are still a few spots available.

And then I’m home for several months before the next season of teaching starts. Maybe I’ll clean up my shop… or maybe not…

 

 

Ball and Claw class at Ben Hobbs & SAPFM chapter meeting

Mary May, Woodcarver - Tue, 11/04/2014 - 8:57am

Mary May - Woodcarver

Last week I spent 2 days teaching the Edenton style ball and claw foot at Ben Hobb’s workshop in Hertford, NC. Ben’s little “enclave” has several small houses that they rent out and various outbuildings (jail, dairy house, smoke house) that have been relocated and many are restored to their former glory – the buildings ranging from 1750s to 1850s. It definitely makes you feel like you have stepped back into another era.

The main difference with the Edenton foot is that the back talon has quite a unique shape where it is more like one large, sharp talon (claw) that stretches up the whole length of the talon (about 1-3/4 inches). The edge of the web is also different in that it comes to more of a point rather than a rounded shape. The web itself is also not as pronounced as a Philadelphia style foot.

Original Edenton chair leg with sharp back talon.
Great t-shirt!

Saturday, the SAPFM Tidewater chapter had their meeting at Ben’s shop. I demonstrated how to carve 2 shells on a Thomas White desk and also the details on the foot. Ben also spoke about the history of the desk and some of the building and finishing techniques he used to build his reproduction pieces.

Small shell from original Thomas White desk
Center shell from Original Thomas White Desk
Original Thomas White desk foot detail
Thomas White reproduction by Ben Hobbs
Shells carved by Mary May

I will be adding videos on carving these shells to my online school this month (starting this week). Each lesson will have 2 episodes and will be a total of about 1 hour long. These are great little shells to add to any piece of furniture or keepsake box.

Next weekend I’m off to Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking to teach a class on carving whatever you want to carve. I think there are still a few spots available.

And then I’m home for several months before the next season of teaching starts. Maybe I’ll clean up my shop… or maybe not…

 

 

Video lessons now available for individual purchase.

Mary May, Woodcarver - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 4:38pm

Mary May - Woodcarver

Options, options options…

In an endeavor to try and make my woodcarving lessons accessible to all , my videos are now available for individual purchase. This is an option for those who, for various reasons, do not wish to become a monthly member of my online school.

The prices start at $9.99 and vary depending on length of the complete lesson. These will be available for download so you can watch them in your workshop if you do not have internet connection (or if you decide to watch videos while hiking up a mountain or on a Caribbean cruise or…)

Here are some things to consider when deciding which is best for you and your particular situation:

Here is what you get with the monthly membership option at $9.99/month (or $109.99/year):
– full access to all video lessons as many times as you want (currently 73 unique video lessons and 151 total episodes)
– new video episode added every Thursday morning (like a TV show!)
– ability to download up to 10 episodes/month to view off-line
– ability to make and read comments and contribute to discussions about particular lessons
– printable templates for each lesson

Here is what you get if you choose to purchase individual lessons:
– you get to pick what individual video lessons you purchase
– one-time purchase with credit card
– ability to download entire lesson to watch off-line
– printable templates for each lesson

I know, I know… too many decisions. Just trying to keep everyone happy :)

 

Video lessons now available for individual purchase.

Mary May, Woodcarver - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 4:38pm

Mary May - Woodcarver

Options, options options…

In an endeavor to try and make my woodcarving lessons accessible to all , my videos are now available for individual purchase. This is an option for those who, for various reasons, do not wish to become a monthly member of my online school.

The prices start at $9.99 and vary depending on length of the complete lesson. These will be available for download so you can watch them in your workshop if you do not have internet connection (or if you decide to watch videos while hiking up a mountain or on a Caribbean cruise or…)

Here are some things to consider when deciding which is best for you and your particular situation:

Here is what you get with the monthly membership option at $9.99/month (or $109.99/year):
– full access to all video lessons as many times as you want (currently 73 unique video lessons and 151 total episodes)
– new video episode added every Thursday morning (like a TV show!)
– ability to download up to 10 episodes/month to view off-line
– ability to make and read comments and contribute to discussions about particular lessons
– printable templates for each lesson

Here is what you get if you choose to purchase individual lessons:
– you get to pick what individual video lessons you purchase
– one-time purchase with credit card
– ability to download entire lesson to watch off-line
– printable templates for each lesson

I know, I know… too many decisions. Just trying to keep everyone happy :)

 

Kerfing Plane – Done

Bob Easton - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 8:20am

photo of completed planeThere are a lot more pictures this time because I read that a lot of people avoid saw making, rehabilitation and sharpening. I want to show that it’s within easy reach of anyone who wants to try and doesn’t care to wait while saws take long trips to the sharpener and back. We can find many sharpening guides and tutorials online. Nearly all are very useful. For this particular saw plate, I followed Paul Seller’s recent tutorial about cutting saw teeth. The method worked wonderfully!

The plate itself is roughly 10″ by 1.5″, recycled from an old Disston that I cut down to make my frame saw a few years ago. Cutting to this shape was simple hack sawing. The tooth edge was smoothed “flat and straight” with a simple single-cut mill file. I decided to cut it to the same pattern I use for other resawing work, 5 TPI, zero rake, no fleam … just a dead simple aggressive rip pattern.

My ever handy Stanley No. 36 1/2 R rule has multiple scales in  8, 10, 12, 16 parts to the inch. The 10 scale made easy work of laying out a guide. The slideshow walks through a number of steps, with notes about each.

The 10 to the inch scale of a Stanley rule is used for marking out 5 TPI.
The little no-name saw was OK for cutting the guide but gave up when it came to the plate.
After making the tooth spacing cuts
Which to use, the one with 6 moving parts and adjustments that can sometimes loosen, or... ?
Saw filing setup. The adjustable lamp is the most important part.
When looking from the edge doesn't show what you expect, look from the side and seek those glints of light from unsharp teeth.
Coarse tool, set for a gentle #8.
Finished plane - toe end
Finished plane - business side - What big teeth you have.
Finished plane - fence side
First cut. The angle is off a bit.
Kerfed all around. The slight angle is noticeable at the corners.
First resawn board. Close enough for government work, but not for me.

 

photo of first test resultEnd result? A small piece of pine became the test victim. I set the fence to produce a kerf 3/32″ from the edge and went at it with only casual concern. What will this thing do without a lot of fussy attention? Cutting was easy once the initial grabbing was overcome. Hint: start from the far end as one does when planing a molding. You can see in one of the pictures that the kerf is not absolutely square. It’s tilted slightly. Despite that, I ended up with two boards that have less than 1/32″ of roughness left from the cut.

It will be perfect after I make an adjustment to either the face of the fence or to my right elbow.

 

Categories: Carving and Sculpture

Kerfing Plane – More carving

Bob Easton - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 6:04am

photo of leaf like carvings…and here’s the curvy side.

Next up: cut the saw plate…

Categories: Carving and Sculpture

Spaces still available for class in Connecticut

Mary May, Woodcarver - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 4:11pm

Mary May - Woodcarver

You can still sign up for a class I am teaching at Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking November 8 & 9 (changed from November 7, 8 & 9)

The class is going to be an open class where you can bring whatever you want to work on. If you have a particular project you are working on or have dreamed of starting a certain carving, bring that. If you want me to bring project ideas, I can do that also. This is open to beginning and experienced carvers. Flexibility is the key!

These are always fun classes to teach, as you just never know what people will bring. It keeps me on my toes!

Spaces still available for class in Connecticut

Mary May, Woodcarver - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 4:11pm

Mary May - Woodcarver

You can still sign up for a class I am teaching at Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking November 8 & 9 (changed from November 7, 8 & 9)

The class is going to be an open class where you can bring whatever you want to work on. If you have a particular project you are working on or have dreamed of starting a certain carving, bring that. If you want me to bring project ideas, I can do that also. This is open to beginning and experienced carvers. Flexibility is the key!

These are always fun classes to teach, as you just never know what people will bring. It keeps me on my toes!

Sign up for Monthly Newsletter

Mary May, Woodcarver - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 6:34am

Mary May - Woodcarver

I have a new monthly newsletter that I send out at the beginning of every month. It lists the recent lessons that have been added to my online school and gives a preview of the lessons that will be added the next month. It also has a free template that you can download, tips and tricks on carving techniques, my class schedule, and any news or changes happening at the school.

You can also sign up for a weekly e-mail that announces when a new video is added to the school.

Here is the link to sign up.

Sign up for Monthly Newsletter

Mary May, Woodcarver - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 6:34am

Mary May - Woodcarver

I have a new monthly newsletter that I send out at the beginning of every month. It lists the recent lessons that have been added to my online school and gives a preview of the lessons that will be added the next month. It also has a free template that you can download, tips and tricks on carving techniques, my class schedule, and any news or changes happening at the school.

You can also sign up for a weekly e-mail that announces when a new video is added to the school.

Here is the link to sign up.

COMING SOON – Individual Video Lessons Available for Purchase

Mary May, Woodcarver - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 4:41pm

Mary May - Woodcarver

NEW WILD AND CRAZY THINGS HAPPENING AT MARY MAY’S ONLINE SCHOOL OF CLASSICAL WOODCARVING!

We will soon be adding a new option in how to watch video lessons on my online school. Individual video lessons will be available for purchase. In November, we will start making each lesson available to purchase and you can download it to your computer. To use this option, you do not have to be a member of the school.

Some reasons you may be interested in this new option:

1. You just don’t have a lot of time to look at all the videos on the site and can’t justify paying for a monthly membership

2. You are only interested in particular lessons – for example, you are building a  Newport desk and only want to learn how to carve the shells, or you are building a Chippendale style chair and are wanting to learn only how to carve the ball and claw feet.

3. You like to focus on one lesson for several months, perfect it, carve it over and over again and then go on to the next one.

4. Just because…

The prices will depend on the overall length of the lesson – starting at $9.99 (cheaper than most DVDs).

Stay tuned…

Kerfing Plane – a Little Carving

Bob Easton - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 5:51pm

“Hey, aren’t you done with that thing yet?” You know I can’t make something without a carving decoration.  So…

photo of carving on the fenceHere’s the harder one first. Carving straight lines along the grain line is harder than carving curves. While I’m never satisfied with a carving, this one is done enough to set aside and wait for its partner.

It’s all Shannon’s fault. During his review of a Bontz saw, he mentioned an Art Deco feature in how the saw’s back was shaped. That sparked an old interest and I was off to re-explore the genre and come up with a couple of designs.

The curvy one is next. And yes, I’ll cut a saw plate some day.

Categories: Carving and Sculpture

Rockville, MD Carving Class

Mary May, Woodcarver - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 5:06pm

Mary May - Woodcarver

Last week I taught two, 1-day beginning classes and a 2-day intermediate class at The Woodworker’s Club in Rockville, MD. Such a great group of people there – both the people that work at the store and the students. I really had a wonderful time. The students worked through some very challenging projects – and some tough wood (sapele and walnut) and had great success (and fun!).

It took me nearly a week to get caught up when I got back home (thus no blog posts), but I’m back! Going to spend the next few days doing a LOT of carving. Yeah!

Such concentration!
Camellia carving
That good ol' reliable camellia flower - beginning class.
Diligently working!
Oscar working on his linenfold carving
Delicate carving on a rosette.
More rosette carving
Acanthus leaf and rosette

Finished Sunburst Fireplace

Mary May, Woodcarver - Sun, 10/19/2014 - 2:11pm

Mary May - Woodcarver

The Sunburst fireplace is finally installed and painted. Here are the carvings just after I finished carving it. This was carved in poplar.

DSCN3228

Other blog posts on this project can be seen here,  here and here.

Here is the finished fireplace:

Leath finished

Unfortunately the photo is a little small, but it shows the general finished look. The customers are happy!

Carving a Rosette for a Philadelphia Highboy

Mary May, Woodcarver - Sat, 10/11/2014 - 7:11pm

Mary May - Woodcarver

I am still working through all the components of the carving details for the top of a Philadelphia Highboy. So far I have carved the acanthus details and the rosette. I am just about finished with the center shell, and next week I hope to work on the cartouche.

Center shell that will eventually be a lesson on the online school.

Center shell that will eventually be a lesson on the online school.

This is the actual carving I did for the video lesson.

This is the actual carving I did for the video lesson.

 

So far, I have the acanthus leaf video lesson on my online school, and this week I just added the complete lesson for the rosette.

still rosette for web

Since I am definitely NOT a wood turner, I did not shape this on a lathe first. I attempted, but failed miserably. I resorted to using my trusty woodcarving gouges to get the general shape of the rosette before carving the details. It would have saved about 20 minutes (which I have included in the video lesson for those who don’t wish to tempt fate on the lathe) and one day I WILL learn the lathe – in my spare time…

One of my students on my online school, David Piazzo, recently worked through this lesson and decided to turn the shape on a lathe first. He was much more successful than I was and here is a link to his blog about how he successfully achieved a lovely turned piece – and a beautiful finished carving also!

David Piazzo successfully turned rosette and finished rosette

David Piazzo successfully turned rosette and finished rosette

I am teaching a carving class at The Woodworkers Club in Rockville, MD at the moment. Having a great time! Better get some sleep or I won’t be able to be one step ahead of the students!

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