The day started simply enough; I was working on a computer desk I was building for my Mom and having trouble deciding how to place the hutch on the desktop. I’m only a novice at furniture so every detail is an exploration in how I understand the plans I designed. See a fundamental problem there ? Blind leading the blind, comes to mind. I had this gorgeous birch plywood I wanted to use for the desktop; it’s patterning in the grain was so sweet that I had simply looked at it for...
I frequently hear from my partner Keith that I create projects and then “make work” for myself. He says this because I am not really satisfied with creating one version of a project. If I envision the projects several different ways, I can’t help myself but to make them all. I know that isn’t the most efficient way to work, but it is part of me that can’t be helped. I figure if I can picture it several different ways, then others will appreciate having the ch...
I’ve started designing my router table that I plan to build. The idea is a conglomeration of other router tables I’ve seen. Overall dimensions are 35” wide, 35” high, 22” deep. Tabletop will be 37 1/2” x 24 1/2”. The 2D figure in the model is roughly 5’ 11” (my height) Construction will be out of 3/4” birch plywood. Face frames and tabletop edge banding in something solid like maple or walnut. Table top will be 3/4” MDF o...
I am writing this blog last night because we decided to high tail it to Halifax in the morning for probably our last trip into the city before winter hits. Today, we went to a new wood place that our friend Bernie recommended today and got some incredibly low priced and high quality hard woods. Among our finds were some nice ash at $2.00 per board foot, some flaming birch for $3.00 per board foot and some curly maple which was also only $3.00 per board foot. We didn’t get a lot bec...
This blog entry was inspired by Mark Kornell’s query about my approach to waxing. I’m no expert on wax finishing and would never represent myself as such. I enjoy the learning and improvement process, and that is where I take the most reward from working with wood. Wax is a simple and easy to maintain finish which seems to live and age gracefully with the workpiece rather than trapping it in time. Furniture and guitars (my other problem) live with us as companions, picking up expe...
The project for my photographer friend is coming along, at least far enough to bother documenting it. He’s fallen in love with making ambrotype images. He’s got all the developing equipment in a dark room setup in his garage, and he’s asked me to make him a portable dark box that will enable him to develop images anywhere. His idea is to start a side business doing portraits at conventions, fairs, and whatnot. I decided that a frame and panel box would be fun to try, s...
When my chainsaw broke the other day, halfway through a log, I reached for a secret weapon I’ve not really brought out into the light in the exactly 6 months (as of today) since it arrived: my 36”, German, hand-hammered, regular-tooth, one-man crosscut saw from Traditional Woodworking. Here are pics from early October that I’ve had squirreled away. The saw was so much bigger than I’d even imagined, and I had imagined it even bigger than I would ever have imagined it to...
When some friends from church learned I was a wood worker they brought me a box of samples they had left over from building their house. These were squares of finished wood, about 5 to 6 inches a side and around 3/8 inch thick. Some were stained, some painted; some were milled, some flat. There was alder, oak, birch, mahogany, walnut, hickory, cherry. “We were sure you could find something to do with them,” they said. It was an interesting pile. But what o do with it? I mad...
I have a client that lives close to me, and we have had a lot of fun designing and building things for their home. They sort of “pushed” me into quitting my day job by offering a long term commission to transform their home with functional-art pieces one at a time, according to an overall game plan. They had a general idea of what they wanted, but needed someone to turn the dream into wood. They were willing to adapt their ideas to mine, and vice versa, and I have really appr...
Here are some shots of the imitation Pottery Barn bench I constructed for my wife for Christmas. I wasn’t satisfied with the finish so I still have some work to do. Luckily my wife is looking forward to helping me (re)finish it. I think I want to add some faux wear to this front corner before I re-stain.
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