Some people asked how did I get the deep, nice finish on my latest cherry projects. Some of you might know the answer: potassium dichromate. Since the information I see on the web about the use of this “magic substance” is inconsistent...
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351 posts in 3397 days
Location: Gainesville, Floirda, USA
I am a Computer Science Professor (assistant professor actually) at University of Florida and I spend my professional life doing some teaching and a lot of research (see my professional website at www.cise.ufl.edu/~adobra if you are curious).
As opposed to most people that get good with woodworking, I did not work with wood all my life and, as a matter of fact, until I got my Ph.D in Computer Science, I had little time for any hobby or even handy work. My father is a very good handyman though and my grandfather was a carpenter at home and a machine supervisor at a mill most of his life. Neither of them taught me any woodworking since getting a good education seemed more important at the time.
I started working with wood only in 2004 when my wife suggested I build some bookshelves (she owns about 4000 books). After acquiring some tools (the first real one a Grizzly table saw in the summer of 2005) I started getting more ambitious with my projects. In the fall of 2005 I discovered Kelley Mahler's video on building a shaker table. After that there was no going back since this lead to hand tools, hand cut dovetails, etc. In Spring 2006 I purchased a small Jet lathe to use for the occasional turning for furniture making (or so I thought). One year and a half latter, I still have to do some serious spindle turning. Instead I discovered woodturned bowls and I specialized in natural edge end grain bowls.
I am a self-taught woodworker (lots of books from the library and Fine Woodworking articles). In any case, I'm way too impatient to take a class anymore (I have been taking classes for 22 years so it is understandable).
I am mostly working in the weekends and afternoons, trying to balance family life and passion for wood. What attracts me towards woodworking is th fact that it is the exact opposite of my professional activities. It requires a lot of physical work, patience for seemingly boring tasks and concrete thinking as opposed to highly abstract, very intellectually demanding and mostly sedentary work I have to do as a computer scientist. Nothing relaxes me more than two hours spend in the garage working on a project after writing papers full of math and talking to students all day. The fact that my woodwork is very accessible -- my scientific work really is not since very few people get to ever understand it and appreciate the finer points of it -- allowed me to interact with significantly more people, people that I would have never talked to otherwise. I find no greater satisfaction than showing a piece of my work to new acquaintance and see them marvel.
-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida
Latest Activity | view all »
|commented on||Killer Finish on Cherry (and other woods)||05-24-2016 12:08 AM|
|commented on||Broken heart||08-03-2013 04:50 AM|
|added project||Broken heart||08-03-2013 04:15 AM|
|commented on||Nightstands||07-19-2011 04:30 AM|
|commented on||TV console||07-19-2011 04:26 AM|
|commented on||Pecan Twinsize Beds||07-17-2011 10:16 PM|
|added project||Pecan Twinsize Beds||07-17-2011 09:00 PM|
|added project||Bathroom vanities||07-17-2011 08:51 PM|
|commented on||Cherry Kitchen||07-17-2011 08:44 PM|
|commented on||TV console||07-17-2011 08:43 PM|
|commented on||Vanity||07-17-2011 08:36 PM|
|commented on||Dining room table and chairs||07-17-2011 08:31 PM|
|added project||Cherry Kitchen||07-17-2011 08:29 PM|
|added project||Dining room table and chairs||07-17-2011 08:17 PM|
|added project||Vanity||07-17-2011 08:05 PM|
Latest Projects | view all 44 »
Latest Blog Entries | view all 7 »
The design of this entry in the Challenge04 contest is based on a bookshelf I build for my son ( you can see the project here: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/3968 ) This design and the actual bookshelf I build for my son try to address a numbe...
Vlad, my (almost) 6 year old son’s biggest dream since I started woodturning is to learn how to turn. I build a work table for him 1 year ago and bought him a handplane but I convinced him at the time that he is too small for woodturning. ...
As I mentioned in the first blog entry in this series, I will mostly focus my attention on end grain natural edge woodturning. In this blog entry I will explain how I prepare the wood for lathe work and how I mount it on the lathe. These blog entr...
Some of you sent me private messages or posted comments asking about the kind of woodturning I like to do. My first reply was a video with 20 minutes summary of how I turn a goblet (the blog entry containing the video is here: http://lumberjocks.c...