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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway!  Enjoy!

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Carving and Sculpture

Mepkin Abbey Christmas Creche

Mary May, Woodcarver - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 8:04am

Mary May - Woodcarver

Last year I had the wonderful opportunity to carve a half-size creche scene for Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner, SC

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Finished face of Jesus.

Finished face of Jesus.

It was carved in Paulownia wood – a very lightweight, but strong wood.

Mepkin Abbey has a yearly Creche festival where they collect 40+ Creche scenes from around the world – mostly hand made. If you ever have an opportunity to see the festival, it is really quite beautiful.

The carving was a real challenge because I only had about a month to complete all 3 figures. Grinders removed most of it. And then I used an electric carver to get closer to the final shape. Then I hand-carved the final details. I really enjoyed the challenge of the whole project. Since I do not carve figures much, that added to the adventure.

The Log.

The Log.

More carving face.

More carving face.

Here is a link to a recent newspaper article.

Last day for Christmas Sale

Mary May, Woodcarver - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 7:58am

Mary May - Woodcarver

christmas

Joy to the World… The Lord has come…

Over this past weekend Stephen and I put up our Christmas tree – working on getting our minds and hearts into this wonderful season. We will be hosting between 25 and 30 people for Christmas dinner, and were told (in no uncertain terms) that we had better decorate for Christmas. Not to put any pressure on us…

So here is a photo of our tree. We decided to decorate with a “theme” this year (blue and silver). We have never done that before (we are feeling quite trendy). Usually we take out many boxes of old Christmas decorations, attempt to use the garland that continues to lose it’s tinsel more and more each year, and just pack the tree with as many lights and ornaments as possible. We go through the old lights and see which have survived from the previous year.

Well, this year we started from scratch AND we actually got a real tree this year (it’s been at least 20 years).

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Just a reminder…

Today is the last day you can get the Christmas discounts.

Monthly membership – $8.99/month instead of $9.99/month (recurring payment by Paypal or credit card)

Yearly membership – $99.99/year instead of $109.99/year (one time payment by Paypal, credit card or check)

10% off individual downloadable lessons (prices vary, depending on length of lesson – and you don’t have to be a member of the school)

10% off all DVDs and resin castings.

 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

New Video on Carving a Christmas Candle

Mary May, Woodcarver - Sat, 12/06/2014 - 8:15am

Mary May - Woodcarver

What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to carve a Christmas Tree Ornament! I have a new video lesson on youtube – http://youtu.be/VE7c6B9wraA

This lesson is on carving a wonderful little Christmas candle that you can hang on your tree, give as a gift, or make several to string along your tree. It is carved in mahogany attached to a backer board as I carve, so it is one-sided. I drilled a hole in the side of the flame so I could hang it on my tree (which still needs to be put up). Here is a template – Christmas-Candle-template.

Merry Christmas and Happy Carving! I hope this helps bring a little of that Christmas cheer early.

 

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Cartouche for a Philadelphia Highboy

Mary May, Woodcarver - Sat, 12/06/2014 - 5:02am

Mary May - Woodcarver

Philadelphia Highboy that I carved details for 8 years ago.

Philadelphia Highboy that I carved details for 8 years ago.

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Several weeks ago I carved a cartouche for my Philadelphia Highboy project in mahogany. What a fun piece to carve! So much going on in such a small pediment.

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This is just one of many styles of this ornament that is seen on the top, center pediment of a Philadelphia Highboy.

I carved a second cartouche and filmed the process for my online school. It will also be available for individual purchase. I will start publishing the 5 episodes December 17 (I will be adding one per week through January 14).

Now I need to carve 2 more in walnut!

 

Online Carving School Christmas Special!

Mary May, Woodcarver - Sun, 11/30/2014 - 4:13pm

Mary May - Woodcarver

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I just made a huge pot of soup with all leftovers thrown in. I call it Thanksgiving in a Pot. We’ll be living off this for the next week :)

So, with Thanksgiving behind us, it’s onward and upward towards Christmas.

Everyone has that friend or family member that is difficult to buy Christmas presents for. How about giving him or her the gift of woodcarving? Or at least woodcarving lessons?

Or if you are wanting to learn to carve yourself, you can take advantage of these specials.

I am offering membership discounts to my online school through December 15. $99.99 for a year membership and $8.99/month for as long as you (or they) remain a member.

I am also offering 10% discount on all DVDs and resin casting orders and individual lesson purchases.

Follow this link to see how to get the discounts and happy shopping!

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.

 

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