Saturday, December 24, 2011

Slow but Steady

Work on Chair #1 progresses in between bathroom reno madness. Some in-progress pics: a big load on the crescent; joinery cut & fit; bent lamination.  Time to shape parts & start some pre-finishing & glue-ups.

Also a note about the mortiser set-up to avoid getting tangled up with double mortises (with floating tenons): spacer milled to correct thickness, so no need to adjust the table height which keeps the double mortise consistent; tape on all pieces to mark which side up, again so the double mortise is consistent accross pieces; "little buddies", one to set the angle of the workpiece, another to set the depth of cut stop on the table.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

...and so it begins...

I'm wondering if I can squeeze one more into 2011. I've been wanting to take my first run at a chair for some time. A Safari chair might be the easiest place to start, basic frame, saddle leather for the seat & backrest. Pretty cool chairs but never seen one with decent lower back support, so perhaps there's room for improvement. Also got talking to a local artist who does some great work with leather...

So this all got me thinking. Using Stool #1 as the foundation, I've done a brutally rough mock-up, some full scale drawings, made a couple templates, and started laying out cuts on a couple slabs of Elm that have been sitting patiently in the shop. For the curved back legs I need to hit rift grain off the bat, so did some scouting around with the block plane, & it looks promising.

Here we go...

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Upgrade

from this:

to this:

Sometimes crossing one of those little things off the 'to do' list can feel like a giant leap forward. oh yeah - no sandpaper was used in building the sandpaper storage cabinet, hand planes only - the sandpaper is just for backup Robert. It's just for backup.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Table #3

It pained me to delve back into rustic. but I guess sometimes it's nice to keep the planks close to the tree without too much interference. I made this for a buddy who wanted something really rustic. although I gave it a little refinement & dressed it up with hand planed surfaces. also nice to work with slabs Dan & I harvested. 'Death Elm' for the table top & 'Shaughnessy Elm' for the legs.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Table #3 WIP

My little soldiers. My dad recently sent me the smoother & jointer. I stripped them down, tuned them up & they're both performers. There's a great article on FWW on flattening the sole, frog, chipbreaker, lever cap etc etc. The smoother is an old UK Stanley; proving to be an absolute gem. The 22" jointer, also made in England is a Record; wonderful to finally have a long plane in the regiment (especially for those workbench flattening sessions). According to some guy's website who's seriously into Record planes, I dated this big guy to 1931-1939 pre WW2! My dad reckons his 'Uncle Wolfie' gave it to him when he started his apprenticeship.

Cleaned up the slab top with the hand planes following the router. I left the bottom rough just wire brushed, hence the wedges. nice to see the chainsaw mark patina; a reminder of the blood sweat & tears milling & hauling & watching these things dry.

Geez I gotta build that F clamp rack.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Flattening jig

I'm making a slab hall table & thought I'd try using the Offerman router jig on FWW. Flattening a surface too wide for the jointer or planer comes up now & then. This method does an excellent job flattening a surface. but I need to figure out some form of dust collection, it sprays dust everywhere, leaving a full shop cleanup in it's wake.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Picnic Table

The picnic table. 8 footer. ready for a serious apres-ski picnic party. and I think it makes my deck look bigger.

Picnic Table WIP

Somebody said aluminum was difficult to weld. but they were lying. it's EXTREMELY difficult. My welds range from very ugly to reasonably poor. but definitely improving. This is an aluminum & cedar table & benches that i'd designed ages ago with my skills being the stumbling block. The aluminum has been cut & sitting in the shop for over a year (throughout the shop reno) & and whenever I'd see it or have to move it (yet again) I would hang my head in shame & promise myself to do better. nice to finally have it on the bench.

Cubby shelf

Here's a couple pics of a small wall mounted shelf I made as a gift for a buddy. thought he might find a use for it at his fly tying bench. Catalpa (that dan may recognise) & black walnut.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Stool #2

Here's some pics of a slat stool that I managed to build amoungst the summer distractions.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Stool #1

Here's a link to photographs of the stool. First pictures taken with my ghetto knock-down photo studio.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Stool WIP

Some in progress pics of the stool I've been working on. standing over a slot mortiser for hours can be a back killer, so I've found sitting down next to the arm gives good visibility, control & comfort. notice the dust collection rigged up; zero chips on the floor & the top pipe kept the mortise clean which resulted in nice crisp mortise walls.

parts on the bench; arbutus bookmatched seat & rift sawn walnut for the rest. Lots of hand cutting & fitting of the double bridal joints, especially the mitered ones, perfect exercise to get the hand tools swinging again.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rifting & Re-sawing

Working on a simple stool design to get back into things & hopefully learn something about chair making. Here's some arbutus resawing & Walnut chunks getting rift sawn. Once again, nice figure in the arbutus. Rough cut the walnut with a small chainsaw, but once it was milled 4 square cleaned the ends up on the radial arm; 3" thick, single pass, didn't skip a beat, clean cut, incredible machine. Rifting the walnut gives beautiful straight grain on all 4 sides, but tragically does result in lots of waste.

Also some re-sawing of a piece of catalpa with a buddy, this first real test for the Crescent, came off the bandsaw so clean it left us shaking our heads.

Yes, machines are running well & settling in, hand tools are in need of some love.

The Studio

Here's a slideshow tour of the '2010 - year of the studio' upgrades: outdoor workspace; bench room; shop doors; insulation walls/cieling/doors; permanent heating, machine upgrades, central dust collection.