This letter was sent to me by an old friend. Hi, Gary! May I give you a story, as promised? The story is told that if you were a young person in medieval France embarking on a spiritual quest, if you were fortunate you might meet up with someone older, perhaps a teacher, who would say this to youI think I understand what you are seeking. Let me give you the name of someone I know, a cobbler, in Dijon. I think that it might work out well if you were to become his apprentice. If that h...
As a furniture maker of a few years time, I realized something important about my work. Oftentimes my clients wouldn’t notice the extra work I had put into pieces. Some times they noticed things that were just so automatic for me that I barely thought of them and they missed the really fine work I had done somewhere else! My realization was that I had to pick my moments on some pieces. Sometimes I needed to do the extra work to make it just so, whether or not the client would see it. Other...
Joinery is the art of knowing what wood to remove and what to leave behind. Reductive & simple, yet seductive in its intricacies balancing negative space with strength. Take too much wood away and you leave no strength. Take too little and you’ve compromised the tenon. You are the joinery designer/ engineer. There are several important details to know about wood and its properties. Double a board’s measure in height and it is twice as strong as doubling a board in its width. Hmm. Wood ...
Got any log slices laying around with nothing to do? Put them to work in your kitchen holding wine bottles! I can’t seem to get the video to show up in this tutorial. To see the video tutorial, please CLICK HERE. Thanks.
I know I am kind of late to get into the Craft Shows this year but first I need to decide if doing Craft Shows is the thing for me. Do I want to tie up my weekends with the shows. But first I guess a little background on me. I love woodworking. Seeing a finished project that someone likes and uses is enjoyable. As I am sure most do I hate sanding and I constantly work at trying to cut down on the sanding. I work full time in IT for a large company. I am leaving at the end of the year...
Since my last muse of writing a blog, a lot has happened in my life and business. All of it has been good, I’ve just been so busy that I have not taken the time to write much. For instance, I went to North Carolina last June to teach a woodworking class at the John Campbell Folk School. I had a wonderful time away with the family, met some great guys, and had a wonderful time…...but have not taken time to document the adventure with the photos and stories I gathered while the...
The table assembly is now complete. Since the leaves store in the table, the aprons needed to be hinged. I used short piano (continuous) hinges from hardware source.com. The hinges are 4.5” long, and lock at 90 degrees, similar to jewlery box hinges. I used inset rare earth magnets to lock the hinged aprons in there in-use positions. Felt lines the frame, which creates a nice little nest for the leaves. The table extends to accept two 12” leaves v...
Craftspeople, Artists, Artisans! Are you concerned about the state of arts education in our schools? Does your craft have an application to primary or secondary schools subjects? My name is Rodney Hopkins; currently I am working towards my Master’s Degree in Education at Prescott College. Specifically, I am investigating the classroom applications of crafts. Since many minds are smarter than one, I am conducting a survey of craftspeople and artists to see where they have...
Had I not been laying in bed in pain from overdoing it yesterday at my home construction site on what had already started as a high pain day, I would have been much more excited when Woodcraft called to tell me my saw had arrived. I got a log cabin kit delivered out at my property yesterday. Center-cut oak beams with dovetailed corners to build my new house, but that’s a whole other story. Anyhow, I finally got to go pick up my saw when my friend who’s carrying the loan got off...
The project is not made of exotic wood. It is not a complicated piece of furniture. It does not have sophisticated joinery. It is finished only with house paint. Normally, I would consider a project like this to be a simple throw away project made for the fun of it but not very important at all. This time was very different though. It would be turn out to be the most important project of my life. The project was commissioned by my six year old daughter, Jacqueline. She came t...
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