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Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes
Before I tell you all about last week’s class out at Heartwood, (a great time. what til you see it) = I have a bit of stuff to run down about next year’s classes. First off, two new places. Three new places I mean. All begin with vowels.
Alphabetically, Alaska comes first. I think I won’t drive to this one. Late April, just a tiny bit early for migration, but there should still be lots of stuff to see. Oh, & we’ll make some boxes, but from boards, not logs. Might do a one-day spoon class there too…
Another in the series of classes in places that begin with vowels, England. http://www.newenglishworkshop.co.uk/
Seems I’m there for 2 weeks, teaching the log-to-box version twice. Once in Somerset, once in Warwickshire. WOW. These classes are part of an I-don’t-know-how-many ring circus. Me, Chris Schwarz, Roy Underhill, Jeff Miller, Tom Fidgen – mostly all at the same time. I know Chris & I are on the same schedule – I got lost eventually trying to map it all out. I haven’t been to England since 2005 – can’t wait. Somerset – where they carved stuff like this:
The last vowel destination for now is also a new one for me, Marc Adams (Indiana) – so the only venue in the lower 48 where we’ll do the carved box from a log in 2015. They’re working on the schedule now, I’m there in late Oct, the 19th-23rd. http://www.marcadams.com/
There’ll be more of the usual places; Lie-Nielsen, Roy’s, Bob Van Dyke’s – I hope to be at home some too. And I’m working on more new places too. I’ll post more of it soon so we can get 2015 sorted. As always, thanks to the students who put aside time, money etc to come out to these classes. It makes it possible for me to have fun for a living.
to add a bit more to the previous post about chip carving, here are some details. When you isolate parts of the designs, you see things differently. Here is just one repeat of the compass-generated motif.
Then when you shift it another way, and look at the squares instead of the circles, voila.
I have have great fun with these ideas, and I always joke about my high-school math teacher rolling in her grave when I teach geometry. I was the typical wise-guy “what do I need this for?” -incredulously. Nowadays I like to think if there had been an application for it, a use for it, I might have listened better. Maybe not. Here it is drawn out on paper first, something I rarely do with gouge-cut 17th-century century carvings.
. This shot is for Bob Van Dyke.
It begins with this little box I made. Had been practicing chip carving in butternut & pine. Turned it into a box that right now holds small sharpening stuff. Nailed construction.
That led to this one. Not very practical for holding carving tools; which is what it’s doing right now. they slide around when you open the drawer. It will be re-assigned soon.
Then, two things happened. No, three. I finally met Winston James Burchill, who has been kind enough to send me some of his chip carvings – and I saw these two boxes; the Pennsylvania one in a book, the Swedish one on the web.
The minute I saw this box in the book Paint, Patterns & People I knew I would make some. It’s just taking me a while to get to it. http://villagecarpenter.blogspot.com/2011/03/paint-pattern-people-book-review.html
This Swedish one is slightly different; its removable end board is at the same end the lid slides out from. Makes construction a little easier, I think.
Now, I have one underway that will be chipcarved instead of painted. But I am going to make more; and will paint one too. Because I have never seen one in the flesh, I am making up the construction. I haven’t made the drawer yet.
Gotta run out to Heartwood & teach the oak boxes. I still love them, too. Don’t worry.
I did some more work on the box with drawer that I started the other day. First of all, this is as close as I get to having drawings to work from…and shortly after I begin, these are out the window.
Today I had to finish cutting the housings for the till, and then bore the pilot holes for nailing the box together. These nails are the real thing, i.e. handmade nails. Rectangular in cross-section. Thin, wedge-shaped. Makes boring pilot holes tricky. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/for-some-work-cut-nails-dont-cut-it/
One of the great things about oak is that it splits so well. One of the drawbacks of oak is that it splits so well. Here, I used a tapered reamer to open up the pilot holes. I wedged it back & forth more than reaming it around & around. Have to be very careful here, it’s easy to break out the wood beyond the holes.
I have sometimes hit on the idea of installing the gimmals/snipebill hinges into the rear board before assembling the box. Makes it easy to get at them, and reduces the chance that you knock the box apart while setting the hinges. (for more on these hinges, see http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/setting-gimmals-you-might-know-them-as-snipe-bills/ )
I didn’t get a lot further than this – I assembled the rear-to-sides, then temporarily tacked the front board in place so I can measure for the till parts.
Then I cleaned up & went home. Won’t get back to this til the 29th or so. Off to Heartwood School this weekend for next week’s class in box-making. Here’s the test-fit, with some Atlantic White Cedar that will be the till side.
I have a collection of bits & pieces of oak that I have carved over the years. One is a panel 7″ x 24″ – I wrote about this design way back when = http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2009/07/27/incised-wgouges-versus-v-tool/
When I started planning for my next spate of joinery projects, it seemed logical to warm up with something simple, a carved box. I’m off next week to teach a class in fact; so the timing was perfect. But then I dug through some oak I have stashed, and found the carved panel above; begging to be a box with a drawer. This is something I’ve never made, and have wanted to build for some time. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/i-had-been-wanting-to-see-this-box-for-years/
So right away, I’ve made it more complicated than originally intended. Mine will follow the format of the Thomas Dennis box; but different decorative details. When I briefly studied the the original, I didn’t record all the pertinent details of construction. So I have to make some stuff up – I learned on another project recently that when you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy to make mistakes.
I gathered up some wood, carved new sides to go with the existing front.
Usually on a box, the carcass is fitted together, then the bottom nailed up to the lower edge of the carcass. In this case, the front is the same height as the side and rear. So I planed a rabbet in the inside face of the front board, for the box bottom to fit into.
Can’t have a box with this much pizzaz and not have a till, so I sawed & chiseled trenches for the till. Bored a hole for the till lid.
The front of the box is only 7″ high, but the sides and rear boards are 11 1/2″ high. On account of the drawer. The sides are glued up from narrower stock; as they were on the original. But the rear board I used a solid piece of 12″ riven oak – from this log http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/i-dont-have-time-for-this/
In this shot, I was fine-tuning the rabbets with a shoulder plane. I was going pretty quickly it seems.
Then I plowed a groove in the rear board to further capture the bottom. This is one of the conjectural construction pieces – I didn’t handle the original box to see how the box bottom really fits.
It’s a lot of fun being back at the task of joinery…and photography.
When I left Plimoth Plantation in June, I wrote that I would be pursuing other aspects of woodworking beyond 17th-century joined oak furniture. But I also laid out that I wasn’t giving up the oak stuff, just adding to it. Bowls, spoons, baskets, weirdo boxes (coming soon) and more…
And I have had the best summer ever, picking away at aspects of woodworking both old and new to me…but now it’s time to bring back to the blog some joined oak furniture, carved all over.
I dug my “real” workbench out of storage, and some tools and borrowed a work-space from my friend Ted Curtin – who thankfully almost never makes joined furniture anymore, (he’s a school teacher now – that’s good, because he’s better than me at oak stuff!)
Today I shuffled some stuff around, and will start in soon on shooting carved boxes, chests and more for an upcoming book on joinery.
Between travels that is…
I’m rendered in oils! It’s like having my name up in lights. While travelling this summer, I stopped to spend a day with my friends Heather & Pat in Pennsylvania. Heather posed me for this painting, part of her on-going teacup series.
Here’s the link to her blog; I’m always amazed at Heather’s work…
Don’t forget box-making http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/make-a-carved-oak-box-sept-22-26/
We just had a cancellation in my up-coming class in making a carved oak box – so if you would like to tackle this sort of work, September 22-26 in the Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts, Heartwood School is the place to be. http://www.heartwoodschool.com/
This is going to be a really small class – so we will be able to really delve deeply into these boxes. I usually do this with 10 or 12 students; this time we’re hoping for 5! Lots more attention to carving patterns, and come hell or high water – tills! Students always ask, “can we put tills in our boxes?” – and the answer is usually “maybe” which really means “no.”
This time – yup. I bet we will.
come on, fall in the Berkshires? Send Will Beemer a note – it’ll be great. http://www.heartwoodschool.com/coursefr.html
I greatly appreciate the notes & emails, etc that I get from readers, students and more. It’s nice to hear that my work inspires some folks to go shave wood. Woodworking has saved many a man’s life (woman’s too…) – and I am glad that my work sometimes gives others a nudge. Likewise, when I hear these things, it inspires me to keep posting my stuff here – someone might get something from it. Co-inspiration.
I’m very late as usual with this post. I owe some of you answers; and had promised to show your stuff to the blog readers. Keep ‘em coming, I like to show this stuff you folks are making. That way, someone else might be inspired to have a go at it. How hard can it be?
In absolutely no particular order – here’s a stool-in-progress from Jason Estes of Iowa. Look at his details; nice chamfers; and square “turned” decoration. Great work, Jason.
Jason had a question about seats = it’s probably too late now (sorry Jason) – but for next time here goes.
“If two boards are used for a seat, are they fastened to each other in any way, or just to the aprons or stiles?”
Alexander & I did them just butted up against each other in the book, but in period work, usually they are glued edge-to-edge, sometimes with registration pins between them. I have seen chest lids done with splines in grooved edges of mating boards. No tongue & groove in chest lids, table tops, etc – they are used in chest bottoms, however.
When I make a wainscot chair seat, I usually edge glue two narrow riven boards together. sometimes w 5/16″ pins between them; maybe 2 in the whole seat.
“If I elect to go with a single board of quartersawn oak, it will likely be kiln-dried – does that require any accommodation, or can it go on like a tree-wet board?”
Nope – if it’s well-quartersawn, it should behave perfectly well.
Sean Fitzgerald (I think I got that right) of parts unknown made a joined & chamfered dish rack…why didn’t I make one of these? Here’s a case I often talk about – my work is 17th-century reproduction, but you can adapt these construction and decoration ideas in new formats; designs, etc – the mortise & tenon is timeless, as is oak.
Here’s a bunch from Matthew LeBlanc – we finally met this past July up in Maine. We had corresponded many times, then finally connected. Matt’s made a slew of stuff – great going. For a teacher to have students like these, I’m a lucky person.
Matt stretched out his stool, made it wider side-to-side. Poplar & sawn oak. If you have no green wood, don’t let that stop you!
Matt also made one of Jennie Alexander’s post & rung chairs – or maybe it’s from Drew Langsner’s book. either way, all the same gene pool. Nice chair. Looks like red oak to me.
And then he sent along this trestle table w carved stretcher. & these were a while ago – I bet he’s kept on going. Nice work, Matt.
Here’s Matthew making a pile of shavings while we were at Lie-Nielsen this summer..
this showed up last week.
so here’s one direction I’m headed – some large crooks in these piles.
and more. Some baskets & bowls to finish…
And soon, some furniture work! Imagine it…
For now, some stuff left from the last “for sale” posting – http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-more-august-2014/
I might have confused some folks the other day with the post about the young Little Blue Heron that is white (Egretta caerulea) – and I wrote a note/comment to one reader to steer him towards some heron ID work. Most of the white heron-type birds we see here on the east coast are egrets – small ones are snowy egrets, and the large ones are great egrets. Used to be American egrets, so when I’m birding with Marie, I expect her to call them that…
(some Great Blue Herons are white – but I think mostly just in Florida. Reddish egrets are white sometimes too…but I’ve never seen either up here. Them’s southern. Generally, white heron-ish birds are egrets. Except when they’re Little Blue Herons, who are southern birds, slowly becoming more common up here in New England).
then today, my day was book-ended with a great egret (Ardea alba) fishing in the river. One of many nice things about working at home now is I get to see a lot of what goes on here on the river. While lashing & fitting basket-rims and handles, I got these shots.
Egrets like to fish in the shade. Sometimes you can see them spread their wings to shade the water…but this guy just hung out at the end of the wall…for over 1/2 an hour.
I saw him get a fish this morning, then one or two in about 6 attempts this afternoon.
Great Egrets have black legs; Little blue herons have greenish-yellow legs. But snowy egrets can confuse you too… I found a page by Sibley about the distinctions
For some reason, I have always referred to these things as “ears” – musta heard that term somewhere. They are the bits that a swing-handle fits on for a basket. I make them from white oak or hickory, white oak is the 1st choice. Those on the right in this photo are semi-perfect; those on the left are perfect; the middle ones might make it, they might not. They tore up on the outside of the bend. Might be enough wood to shave away & still have something left behind. Bending white oak basket stuff is what I did today; after running around doing chores first.
I didn’t take shots of the process – it’s too hard to do it & shoot it too. This photo shows some ears and other handles. I rive & shave them from green wood, then steam them in a steambox, a pretty simple one I cobbled together back in my windsor chair days.
Here’s an un-bent ear; for an idea – these are 3/8″ squares; the shaved portion is 3″ long. Quite small.
Here’s my newest swing-handle basket = a big one, about 14″ in diameter; about 10″ high to the rim. White ash & white oak.
This style of swing handle is one I learned from a book – The Legend of the Bushwhacker Basket, by Martha Wetherbee & Nathan Taylor
Here’s mine with the handle propped up, as it will be in use…
And here are the ears in detail; they cross the basket from inside to outside; and fit in a hole bored in the handle. Then the ears are notched, and the rims fit into the notches inside & out. the ends of the ears are shaved thin, and slide under the basket’s weaving. Then the lashing binds it all together.
As soon as I got the bowl lathe done – we finally got real summer weather; mid-to-high 80s, humid. So I’ll wait some on the bowls. Back to doing basket stuff – soaked in water most of the day, easy to do in the heat.
I’m about as interested in amateur video-making as I am in performing home lobotomies. But I have tried a couple times to get one particular basket technique on video – peeling the splints. I had written about it before – http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/peeling-ash-splints/ with still photographs – but you can’t get how this really works without either seeing it or doing it.
You can peel the splints bit by bit, between your knees, working it with your fingers – inch by inch really. In the earlier post, I showed a wooden jig that you pull the splint through to do it quicker. I have no idea what it’s called. I have seen old ones in photographs, usually of Native basketmakers. The old ones are configured differently; but the function is the same. I made this one to be held in a vise; the old ones were held between the basketmaker’s knees. Think of it as a mini-riving brake – there’s a groove in the middle of this 2-piece wooden jig. The splint slides loosely through the groove.
As I said in the earlier post, I soak the splint for a short while, score part-way through its thickness with a knife, and slide it up through the “brake.” Then pull the tabs apart, dividing the splint. Here’s a case where video really helps. You can’t believe how effective this is. see how quickly you can pull the splint, dividing it into two perfectly smooth splints.
[the video is one of those "press the button, walk into the scene bits" so wait a few seconds. then it's over in a heartbeat. But then you divide the next splint, then the next...]
I took a break from basket making last week to finally build myself a dedicated lathe for turning bowls. Mine is based on the ones we used when I was a student this spring in Robin Wood’s bowl-turning course at North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/bowl-class-tip-of-the-iceberg/
I think I first saw this style of lathe in the book Wood and Woodworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York, by Carole A. Morris (York Archeaological Trust/Council for British Archeaology, 2000), then in the work done by Robin Wood and others…
First off, I jobbed out the long slot cut in the 3″ thick beech plank. I traded Michael Burrey some carving work for his labor – I coulda done it, if I wanted to…
Then came boring the hole for the legs. Legs like these angle out in two directions; to the side, and to the end. I mark out two angled lines off a centerline to help me sight one angle for these legs. Then use an adjustable bevel aligned on this line to get the other. This is based on the ideas I learned from Curtis Buchanan and Drew Langsner in making windsor chairs. (Drew is teaching a session at Woodworking in America that covers in detail this notion – setting the geometry to get these angles right. http://www.woodworkinginamerica.com/ehome/woodworkinginamerica.com/WIA2014/?&& )
In a case like a bench, or this lathe – I’m not too concerned about these being “just exactly perfect.”
This spiral auger is probably a nineteenth century one; it’s about 1 1/4″ or so…some now call it a T-auger, but it’s really just an auger. The ones that fit in braces are auger bits.
A detail showing the bevel to help line things up.
Here’s a bird’s eye view – showing how the auger aligns with the scribed line on the bench. So you sight that, centered on the line, then the bevel takes care of the 2nd angle.
Here’s the two poppets set into the slot. One taller than the other, these could have been longer still, but I worked with what I had. These are oak cutoffs from timber work.
Now wedge from below. I just eyeballed the angled mortise, then made wedges to fit.
The shorter poppet gets a bent pike inserted in the top. Then I slid this over to the taller poppet, to mark where I’ll bore for the straight pike.
Jumped ahead a step or two – here’s the tool rest arrangement. The tool rest support is just wedged into a slot cut in the outside face of the taller poppet. The too rest is pivoted into the top of the smaller poppet. Simple.
a 14′ sapling, lashed at its bottom end to a small tree on the bank above me, then resting in the cruck of two 2x4s – Now, the transition from the relatively still craft of basketmaking, to the aerobic craft of bowl turning. I need some practice.
Business first = I spent part of a recent evening blabbing about me & woodworking to Cory Mickelson http://craftsmansroad.com/ . I understand why it’s a “-cast” but I don’t know what the “pod” part is… I couldn’t get to it from the website; and used Itunes to hear it. Once it started, I shut it off. I can’t listen to me. Cory was very nice – some of you might want to hear it. for some reason.
But finally – birds. Daniel & I have been making some early morning trips to try to get shots of the glossy ibis and Little Blue Heron that our friend Marie told us about over in Marshfield. Today we had great views of 2 of the ibises; the Little Blue Heron – which you will note is white – was not too far, but still far enough that we couldn’t get good photos. The young LB Herons aren’t yet blue/purple like the adults.
To really see these birds; let’s swipe photos from Marie – hers are great…she had a Great Blue Heron one day she was there – Daniel & I saw him there one morning, but not today. then the ibis & the Little Blue Heron.
Basket bottoms. Two of our household baskests; c. 1987-90. The one on the left is a standard item; square bottom, round top. Ash with hickory rims; hickory bark lashing. The one on the right is our colored-pencil basket. Gets lots of use. A rectangular basket, all ash, rims either oak or hickory.
Here’s the bottom of the square one. Typical weave, resulting in openings between the uprights. Probably most splint baskets are like this.
Here’s what I call a “filled” bottom – thin and narrow filler strips woven between the uprights.
The filled bottoms of baskets are made a few different ways. One is to make a round basket, with “spokes” laid out to form the bottom and sides. I do these with 16 uprights; laid out in 2 batches of 8 spokes. Here’s the underside of our laundry basket; showing this spoke bottom from below.
Each upright, or spoke, is cut into an hourglass shape; so its middle section is narrower than its ends. This makes it easier to weave these things all close together. One spoke is cut in 2, down to the middle. This photo shows these first 8 pieces; the one my left hand is on has been cut down the middle to make an odd number of uprights.
I then take a thin, narrow weaver and start to weave these 8 pieces (9 really…) together.
Once the weaver makes a few trips around you get out to the point at which you can add in the next 8 pieces. I add these pieces one at a time, the weaver catches each one in turn and binds it to the section already woven. No need now to split one of these; things are up & running now. Around & around this goes, and you bend things upright after a certain point, to begin to form the basket’s shape.
The other filled bottom is a rectangular (I guess it could be square too, but I always made then rectangles) bottom, with filler strips laid in between the uprights. In this case, there’s 3 different pieces to deal with – the short uprights, the long dittos, and the thinner filler strips. These are just a bit longer than the finished bottom of the basket. So I start with laying the long uprights down, with filler strips between them. Then alternate in the short uprights over & under the previous bits. It gets a little complictated – it’s like when I teach joinery and carving – now for 2 consecutive thoughts, and sometimes 3.
This photo shows the first 3 of each upright, with 2 narrow thin fillers between the long uprights (those that run across this photo horizontally) Then I add in each kind of splint in pairs, the longs/shorts/fillers- as the case might be. I always work out from the center. Easier to keep things even that way. Usually.
I’ve got the polished satin-y finish of the fillers inside the basket – they appear bright white in the photo. Remember, all this stuff is very wet as I weave it.
This is the finished laid-up bottom. Next is to tuck the filler strips in.
I bend them back on themselves, and tuck them under the the 3rd upright -they have to go over the first two because of the weaving pattern. It just is. Then pull it tight, and trim it off just under the upright.
I wove two bottoms like this, then piled up some weaving material; and will re-soak these and weave up the bodies next time I get the basket stuff out. Maybe tomorrow, it’s nice work for a hot day.
Last week was basket week – and today I’ve started some new work, but I’ll show you what I did last week. Basket work will go on, but as a time-filler. I have enough baskets woven, or started, that I can pick them up here & there for an hour or two. Like many woodworking projects; most of the effort in basket-making is preparing the materials. I have written before about pounding the splints from an ash log – here’s links to old posts on the subject. I have some new posts coming up about peeling the splint, but in the meantime…
But right now, this post is about weaving up the basket bodies. Handles and rims are for another time. The basket itself is made up of the uprights and weavers. “Uprights” is something of a misnomer, because although they bend up to be the sides of the basket, they also form the bottom.
Uprights are generally heavier (thicker, and wider most often too) and weavers thinner and narrower. So a big part of the work is sorting and sizing the material.
If the splint is too thin to divide (or peel) then I scrape it smooth. This makes it less fuzzy, and also thins it some. Better for weaving. These pieces are uprights in the basket. To scrape it, I pull the splint across a piece of leather on my knee – then hold the knife in place to scrape it as I pull back…don’t do it w/o the leather! My them braces the knife blade so it stays stationary.
Then you have to trim them to the desired width. The baskets I was working on last week had around 25-30 uprights. Round baskets have 16, another time. those pictures are on a different camera.
Once you have all your uprights and weavers; you lay them out, this basket has long and short weavers; to form a rectangular bottom. I start with 3 going each way, and weave them one under the other, this way & that. Then add pieces side to side, and north & south. Here, I am weaving a single thin weaver around the perimeter of the basket’s bottom. This binds them together, keeps them from shifting around as I begin weaving the body. Some refer to this piece as a “keeper” – it keeps the uprights in place.
Some baskets have independent weavers – each horizontal row is a separate weaver. This is easy to do, but wastes a lot of material. So there’s lots of ways to weave a continuous spiral around the basket. But to do this and keep alternating where the weaver goes under and over the uprights, you need an odd number of uprights. You can split one, or add one. (or do one of several other approaches – but I usually split or add) – Here I added an upright, and tapered it to become the first weaver too. It’s towards the upper right hand corner of the photo – follow that bendy upright, and you see it weaves into the others. Then you just keep adding & overlapping each new weaver as one runs out. I overlap them for 2 uprights.
Then you just keep on weaving. I periodically dunk everything in the water, especially outdoors in summer. I want this stuff damp. Once I’ve gone around a bit, I gently bend things up and then cinch the weaver in tight as I go.
A basket like this has an “open” bottom – there are spaces between the uprights. That’s the most common form I make. but there is one we have around the house that is closed or “filled” in the bottom.
Next time I’ll show you how I lay that up.
Don’t forget – the spoons are posted and ready to go. The spoon rack I had sold, and one reader asked if I would make another – of course I will! Anytime you see something like that – if you missed it, and would like to order one, I’d be happy to oblige. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-more-august-2014/
The spoons, a frame-and-panel and one spoon rack for sale now – the top of the blog, or this link. . http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-more-august-2014/ If you’d like to order something, leave a comment. I can send a paypal invoice, or you can send a check. As always, I appreciate everyone’s interest in my work.
Meanwhile, but here’s today’s blog post. I have some stuff underway that I haven’t put on the blog much, because I haven’t made more than a few baskets a year in 2 decades. This is the scene these days. Baskets, and more baskets. I used to make these a lot, before there was joinery. It really is exciting to explore them again; but I’m having to re-learn stuff I used to know pretty well. Today I had to make a slitting tool too, to slice up the narrow horizontal weavers. I’ll shoot it tomorrow when I use it again. I had one once, but it got lost in the shuffle 20 years ago I guess.
I decided to dedicate a whole week, maybe more, to making baskets. It’s been so long since I made more than one or two…and the only way it’s going to come back to me is for me to do it over & over.
Earlier in the week, I was shaving and bending some white oak for handles & rims. I’ll fit those on this weekend. I like the white oak even better than hickory for bending. The King of Woods, Daniel O’Hagan used to say…
back to the week that was…when we attempted to make 10 or 11 joined chests in no time at all. Knuckleheads.
after all the riving and hewing; we hauled some of the stock into town to begin the task of planing it into boards. I’ll just bop the pictures in, then add whatever I can remember about it. Here’s Steven planing just like I showed him…
Roy was astounded at the amount of shavings produced by working green wood
One of our un-named students works in a pointy building on the east coast, and to help him out, Roy put up surveillance cameras throughout the classroom..
A broom wouldn’t do it, so Roy got out a pitchfork…
Elia couldn’t stand the idea of sending those shavings to the landfill, so we piled them in his truck.
We did get further along eventually; chopping mortises, over & over & over again.
Then plowing grooves, cutting tenons, test-fitting.
There was lots of documentation,
until the last couple days, when I lost track of all – I spent 1/2 of the last 2 days with a checklist, “do you have all your muntin stock?” I never did get it all straight. it’s hard to keep track of 250 piece of oak that all look pretty much the same.
Then one day Steven emerged from Ed’s store upstairs and everyone ran to his bench like it was Xmas morning – “whaddja get?” – so we had a show & tell…
Just another week at the Woodwright’s School…
For those keeping track, some spoons and things for sale tomorrow…including this new piece:
This fall I’ll be teaching a class at Heartwood in making one of my carved oak boxes; and this might be the best shot yet at this class. The class size is small, about 6 students. As of right now, we are short of that number – we could use a couple more, so you could sign up and get in on a chance to delve into this subject in greater-than-usual detail. The class is Sept 22-26. The fall is my favorite time of year…
We’ll be riving, carving and assembling boxes such as this:
Maybe this is the class to finally fit a till inside their box!
The setting is out of this world – I often get asked “when are you teaching in Massachusetts?” and this is my one-and-only right now. But it’s not eastern-MA with its congestion, noise, strip-mall mentality; this is bucolic western, far-western Massachusetts. It’s at the Heartwood School for the Homebuilding Crafts in Washington, Massachusetts. Those of us out in eastern MA have to look Washington up, because we’ve never heard of it. It’s that nice. It’s all uphill for me, Washington in in the Berkshires, near the highest point of I-90 east of South Dakota. I live on the Jones River, about 15 feet above sea level.
I was a student in a timber-framing class there in 1984 – Will Beemer dug out a photo to prove it. Bottom center, head down, arms up. skinny, scruffy me.
Here’s more about the school – it’s quite a place.
Here’s the photo tour of the place:
Fall in the Berkshires – I’m bringing my binoculars too. Come join us.