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Woodworking vacation

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Blog series by Betsy updated 07-31-2010 09:23 PM 21 parts 39279 reads 128 comments total

Part 1: Getting ready to go

05-16-2008 03:12 AM by Betsy | 6 comments »

I’m getting set to go to Kelly Mehler’s school. Plan to blog about the class and hopefully will have some sharp chisels and plane irons when it’s over.

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Part 2: Off to a rough start

05-18-2008 04:26 AM by Betsy | 9 comments »

Well day one of my grand adventure did not go so well. Just got past Hope, Arkansas (for those not in know—that’s President Bill Clinton’s hometown)——going along nicely making good time. Then WHAMO – I got hit from behind. Mind you I was going just at 70 on cruise control! Guy behind me fell asleep (noon) and I guess he hit the gas and ran right into me – I saw him at the very last second in my mirror but had no time to do any evasive actions. Pushed ...

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Part 3: Made it to Berea!

05-19-2008 01:26 AM by Betsy | 5 comments »

Well guys I’ve made it to the little town of Berea, Kentucky. The after effects of the accident are that I’m having muscle spasms and a headache but hopefully a good night’s rest will help. I’ve decided that even if I can’t fully participate in the class that it’s worth being here to get what I can get out of it. The class is close enough to my hotel that if I start to not feel well I can go lay down. So wish me luck! I’ll try to take good notes an...

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Part 4: Day one of hand tool class

05-20-2008 01:12 AM by Betsy | 13 comments »

Two miracles have happened first thing in this class. Miracle one is that I am not the only woman in this class!!!! Very odd occurrence. Miracle two is the other woman is an orthopedic surgeon! Just what I need. She’s been very nice and has given me some tips on what to do to make my back feel better. So that’s a blessing. So onto the class. This is Kelly – the school’s owner. You can tell right off that he is a very nice man and runs a good school. This i...

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Part 5: Day two ---- small shooting board with options and angle setting gizmo

05-21-2008 02:35 AM by Betsy | 6 comments »

Another good day in the shop. I’m still not 100%, but am feeling better and participated more today. One question that came up from yesterday’s blog entry was why do the 180-220-400 then 180-220-400 sequence the way we did. The usual thought is to do one grit until you have consistent scratches over the entire surface. Deneb does 10 or so strokes on one grit then moves to the next working through 400 and then comes back to 180 and starts again. The rationale is that the more yo...

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Part 6: Day three ----- planes, chisels, sharpening..... lots of shavings

05-22-2008 03:45 AM by Betsy | 1 comment »

Having trouble staying on the net. But will try to load the few pictures that will explain a little of yesterdays classes. Setting angles for chisels and plane irons—- set your protractor to angle desired. Set protractor on edge of board/flat surface Slide the chisel/plane iron, which has been loaded into the edge guide up to the protractor’s blade. This next picture shows the edge guide with the filing done on the top. You can see it’s only the middl...

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Part 7: Day three -- 2nd entry.

05-22-2008 04:08 AM by Betsy | 3 comments »

A quick summary————FUN, FUN, FUN, FUN, FUN, FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Worked a lot on chisels today. I’m having to apologize again for not taking pictures—- I got caught up in the doing and not the documenting. Sorry. Chisels—- usually only get a primary and a secondary bevel. Generally not necessary to do a tertiary bevel. If you need a bigger cut, go to a steeper angle. The whole back of the chisel needs to be flat—- not just the first 1 or...

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Part 8: It's been an expensive day!

05-23-2008 01:11 AM by Betsy | 10 comments »

Well, I came to this class to learn to sharpen my plane irons and chisels. I’m leaving with a whole lot more! I’ve become convinced that my plane selection is no where near what it should be to do the things that I want to do and do them well. So I’ve purchased a few planes. But, and this I find amusing, the thing that I think I have found that I needed the most was a shop apron. I’ve never used one – but Kelly gave me one to try out to see if I’d like it b...

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Part 9: Final day ---- always a sad day.....

05-24-2008 01:28 AM by Betsy | 1 comment »

Well guys today was the final day of our hand tools class. I must say this is the day I like the least when I take classes because that means I must leave new friends and head back to the real world. Before I get into today’s class though I wanted to make sure that I tell you all that if you ever want to go to a good school with good people, Kelly Mehler’s is the place to go. That’s not saying other schools are not good, but I throughly enjoyed the atmosphere, the people,...

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Part 10: Final day - second entry

05-24-2008 01:53 AM by Betsy | 0 comments »

Sorry for the interruption – I’m on a timed system at the hotel. Back to the spring joint. The spring joint makes for an almost invisible glue joint. I’m sure someone else can explain why this joint works so well, but I can tell you it works. I’ve made plenty of panels without spring joints and I have spent countless hours trying to clean them up. I’ve got an invisible joint on this board and spent about five minutes cleaning up the board as a whole. After ...

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Part 11: Final day - third, and final entry

05-24-2008 02:11 AM by Betsy | 5 comments »

Sorry for that second interruption. I’ve never been at a hotel with a timed system – but it is what it is. The bread board ends are designed with three tenons/mortises that are “haunched.” I kind of fizzled out when we got to this point so I did not get this accomplished. Just plane tuckered out. I’ll do this at home and take pictures to explain it as I’m sure pictures will do more to explain than anything I can write. One thing that was brought home ...

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Part 12: Full circle

05-30-2008 06:43 AM by Betsy | 3 comments »

I know that some of you have been following my “adventure” of a woodworking vacation which started with a car accident. Well tonight I’ve put it to rest and bought a replacement car. I had forgotten how horribly boring and draining looking for a car was. I’m glad it’s not something I experience every day. I was leaning toward the Honda Civic Coupe—- but after driving it, I did not like how it felt or how small I felt behind the wheel. So in the end I set...

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Part 13: Starting to plan my next vacation.

01-03-2009 09:01 AM by Betsy | 5 comments »

Considering that my last two woodworking vacations have had more excitement than I anticipated – I begin the process of planning my next vacation with a little trepidation. Don’t tell my boss about this——he’s told me I can’t take another vacation because I always get in trouble! So – mums the word! I am thinking of doing another hand tool class or a rocking chair class. I’m starting to gather up some information and pricing hotels, etc. I&#...

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Part 14: Dovetail vacation

09-09-2009 03:52 AM by Betsy | 9 comments »

In a couple of weeks I get to take part in a week of dovetailing with Frank Klauz at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking in Berea, Kentucky. I could not believe my luck when I saw that Frank’s class still had a spot in it when I finally decided I could do a school this year. I’ve understood that Frank is a wonderful teacher and is a joy to just talk to. Besides hoping to learn a little woodworking, I’m very hopeful that I’ll get a chance to hear Frank talk a li...

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Part 15: in advance of dovetail class with Frank Klauz

09-27-2009 10:57 PM by Betsy | 13 comments »

Well I made it to Berea today. YEAH! Had no travel troubles this year. The weather was perfect, the can ran well, and no college student tried to introduce himself to me through my back bumper. What more could a girl want? My brother tells me that I’m not really on a vacation unless it involves a little hiking or a museum trip. So when on my way outside of Nashville and just past the state line I saw a sign for a Shaker Village museum I decided to take a side trip. Round trip it was...

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Part 16: Day one - dovetails with Frank Klauz

09-29-2009 02:44 AM by Betsy | 8 comments »

First lets just say that Frank is a very interesting and entertaining person. Woodworking aside, I think you could spend quite a lot of time with him discussing everyday things and never be bored. He knows what he knows and has strong opinions which he backs up with good reasoning. Here’s a bad picture of Frank if you have never seen him. I have to admit to being in stitches quite a lot today. So onto to the class. The first thing Frank tells you is his four main areas o...

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Part 17: Day two - dovetails with Frank Klauz

09-30-2009 01:34 AM by Betsy | 8 comments »

Wow – another productive day. Most of us actually have the box together and close to ready to cut the lids off! I apologize first that I left my camera and notes at the school. Too tired to go back for them so I’ll try to do the best I can from memory. I think I left off on having just finished the pins and getting ready to mark and cut the tails. My first issue with my pins is that they are really steep – way to steep – but workable. The problem with steep pi...

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Part 18: Day three - dovetails with Frank Klauz

10-01-2009 02:53 AM by Betsy | 5 comments »

It only keeps getting better and better. Today was a very interesting day – not just for the woodworking but for the conversation and friendly interaction. Kelly always has a “reception” on Wednesday evening – just sit around a talk with one another with some wine or beer and some great finger food to share. Tonight was extra special as we had a well known woodworker drop in for some chat. Don Weber dropped by and it was fascinating listening to him talk about his work...

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Part 19: Day four - dovetailing with Frank Klauz

10-02-2009 02:18 AM by Betsy | 5 comments »

I realized today that I’ve failed to mention the multitude of things that we have been discussing during the day beside dovetails and box making. Frank is a wealth of information. Actually that is really an understatement. Frank has more to teach than he possibly has time to share. I whole heartily recommend taking a class with Frank if you ever get half the chance. Some of the things we have discussed are sharpening, finishing, sanding, scraping, planing, different types of dovetail...

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Part 20: Day 5 - dovetails with Frank Klausz

10-04-2009 01:06 AM by Betsy | 7 comments »

Made it home safe and sound. Always great to get away and have a good vacation – but also so very nice to be home. The last day in class was such a good time. Someone asked Frank to talk a bit about his life in Hungary and his ventures to the US. Frank essentially gave us a two hour talk on history and it’s a talk I very much enjoyed. Frank is a genuinely nice man who has a lot to teach besides woodworking. He spoke in great detail about his apprenticeship and how it worked in Hungary, h...

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Part 21: Staycation - it's what you make it.

07-31-2010 09:23 PM by Betsy | 6 comments »

No yearly trek off to wonderful places for an exotic woodworking vacation this year. Between my health, my schedule and just simply not finding a class that I really wanted to take, I decided to stay home and just take a few classes at my local Woodcraft. I decided this for several reasons, but the most important was that I really needed some refresher courses to get me feeling comfortable with my tools again and to make sure I’ve not forgotten all the rules of safety. So far I’...

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