Thursday, October 27, 2011

You Cannot Crosscut With A Rip Saw But You Can Rip With A Crosscut...

Just not economically and not if you intend to remain friends with the person on the other end.

I spared you the picture of me being up on a ladder while doing this. I wouldn't want you to laugh, after all.

We were definitely craving the frame saw that the Minnesota SAPFM guys has at WIA.

I didn't have high hopes. The saw was hanging in my buddy's house. But we stayed on target and didn't go off by even 1/16". We went about 12" deeper than what you see on the far side. It would have worked, but I found access to a bandsaw with nearly 19" resaw capacity. 

Here are a few pictures of other pieces that are being worked on for NWA 2012.

Don's chest of drawers.

Chris' chest of drawers.

And of course, more progress. I will be done with the carving of this next week and will pick at it/clean it up for a night after that.

Don't forget the SAPFM deadline of Oct. 31 for submitting pictures of your work to enter into:

A Tradition of Craft: Current Works
by the Society of American Period Furniture Makers

I went down to Don's last week to take a couple pictures of the three pieces he has entered. Here's a sneak preview of one...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Progress Continues On Dressing Table

Our group met for the third time last night. You can see the night's progress on the right.

Everything looks smooth until you see a picture.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

An Idiot Guides Through Moulding Planes

I started writing this blog for a few reasons:

-I like talking about these planes and I work alone.

-I travel to a lot of shows. I spend a lot of time with a few people. I often throw a lot of information at a small group in the span of 20 minutes and I'm genuinely concerned that what I explain, despite being understood at the moment, is not always remembered.

-I wanted to show people my work and myself.

By now you have heard that I am writing a book that is going to be published by Chris Schwarz' Lost Art Press. We do not yet know the exact release date, price, binding, color scheme, etc. You now know my original title, which is above. It was rejected.

The book is the following:

-An explanation of the process of using and maintaining the planes that fascinate me in a manner much more comprehensive than this blog. (Again, if you're reading the blog for the first time start at the beginning.)

-The book will show you what things look like when things go right.

-More importantly, the book will illustrate what things look like when they go wrong.

-An introspective justification for the same planes.

The book will be separated into two sections. The first section details the process: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. Everything I've concluded and excluded is in it.

The second section is a test. "What will you do with these profiles?" vs. 'What I've done.' I've measured approximately 75 different mouldings from real pieces. They're all in there with a step-by-step process that starts with a blank profile for you to test yourself and ends with how I would execute.

The book will likely lay flat on your workbench so that you can bring it to the shop and try. The goal of the book is for you to read it twice and unload it because there no longer any need for it.

You will turn this.

into this.

and then into anything in any of these and more.

The process is simple. The reason is simple. My next month is overwhelming.

P.S. My other title was "No Tails but Perfect Rabbets"

Good Night!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Ultimate Portfolio

I've spent quite a bit of time around Chuck Bender and The Acanthus Workshop, but it's not enough. I've flipped through the pictures in his portfolio a lot too. Again, it's not enough.

Well, Chuck has updated his website and made it more streamlined. The pictures he has online are easier to get to now. It's well worth a look.

Rumor has it that he has 200+ more photos that he will be putting up when he decides we're worth it.

If you ever make it to his shop (like, say, for a class on moulding planes in March or September of 2012) you will be overwhelmed by the number of patterns hanging around. 

While at his site I noticed that Chuck is also starting an online school, NoBSWoodworking:

"NoBSWoodworking is a weekly show available only by membership. When you join, you’ll have taken the first step in opening new doors to better woodworking. Each week, from November through April, you’ll see some of the best tips and tricks of the trade available. You’ll also see woodworking techniques explained in detail as well as complete projects and unbiased tool reviews (we even test tools right on camera so you can see what works and what doesn’t). You’ll  get to meet craftsmen in other mediums who’s work can enhance your own projects and we’ll visit some of the Nation’s finest museums, collections and furniture craftsmen in order to learn more about the craft we love and enjoy. Throughout the year members will receive exclusive content, project builds, live demos and question and answer sessions with Charles Bender and some of the Nation’s best woodworkers. All of this comes to you commercial free, in the privacy of your own home or shop. If you’re as passionate about woodworking as we are, you will most certainly enjoy our show."

Why force yourself to work without a bandsaw? Seems weird.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Barn Raising in Haddam Neck

I went to my first barn raising Saturday. A house is being erected upon the old footprint of a house and marina that burned several years ago. Our small volunteer fire department proudly boasts that we have yet to lose a foundation! You can see the result of our work below (twisted metal beams and all). 

I had planned to go to the barn raising for 3 one hour segments throughout the day. I knew that I would be staying for the entire thing about 5 minutes into it. I really had a great time.

The company that built the frame is The Barn Raisers. Brendan Matthews has been making post and beam houses on his own for 15 years. This was his 62nd structure. His first was across the street from this venue. Many of the people here on this day were there 15 years ago, including my wife and her brothers.

There were 40-50 people from the Haddam Neck community actively helping at any given time with many more watching from the sidelines. 

Before (the metal structure in the foreground will be a shop for the marina, the post and beam house will be on the foundation behind.)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Haddam Neck Woodworkers' Guild

The Haddam Neck Woodworkers Guild met for the first time last night. This will be a group of local craftsmen that meets once a week after work in an effort to force ourselves to produce things for ourselves. The group will meet, work, and exchange upwards of 6 sentences. I'm happy that 75% of the local woodworkers have joined.

In classic Haddam Neck form, a tree fell on a wire in the middle of a perfectly clear and windless day, knocking out power to half of the town. The location had to be changed and one third of our group (of three) couldn't attend because there was a tree across the only road.

I made this practice piece a while ago. It was very difficult to pick this up again.