|Project by dclark1943||posted 06-15-2014 04:19 PM||2267 views||10 times favorited||14 comments|
I recently returned from a 5 day workshop with Andrew Crawford http://lumberjocks.com/hingeman in the Shropshire hills of England. The trip was awesome ! This is something I had been contemplating for some time, and the trip did not disappoint. I shared the workshop with a couple other fellows, one from England and one from Texas. The course walked us through the basics of box building, at the knee of a master. As Roger Bean said in his blog on his time with Andrew, working with him is experiencing the “gold standard”. The course was structured around building a pretty straight forward box from the bottom up. The process brought out the details of working with veneer, inlay, mounting hinges, locks, escutcheons, lining with leather building the tray and finishing. Going over there, I felt pretty confident I had a pretty good grip on those process’s. But the insights and process’s took on a whole new light when put into the structure of his class.
Each morning started with a cup of espresso ! how cool is that? Andrew is a musician, so of course music in the background was an essential part of the day as well. Lunch at the Station inn in Marshbrook included a Pint of Ale (half pint for me) and a lively exchange of experiences and idea’s with new found friends. The days started at 9:30, with lunch at 1:00 and then finishing up @ around 5:30 to 6:00. My bed and breakfast was about a mile away, and I had planned to walk to the shop each day, but Barry had a car, so he provided the transport – Thank you Barrry ! As Roger also said in an email: about every 10 minutes you have one of those ” Aha” moments, well so true. all the way from construction technique to shop idea’s.
We chose our timber ( walnut or cherry) first thing, then launched into the intricacies of the veneer top – laying out the bookmatch, and refining the seaming technique to produce a flawless seam. The bottom was also veneered at this time. The machining of the timber was next with the rabbets for the top and bottom and the corner joinery followed by glue up. The top was separated on the bandsaw, and the banding was next. I chose Walnut timber and sycamore banding. The process for mortising the lock and hinges was explained in detail and then completed with Andrew’s own “Smarthinge”, and new “Smartlock” installed. This hardware is exquisite, and I have become a convert and will continue to use them. These items are available on his website : http://www.fine-boxes.com/
I chose mother of pearl for the escutcheon, cutting it to shape, drilling and installing again with lots of advice and processes to produce a perfect fit and finish. The box interior was completely lined with pigskin, and the tray included ring rolls and had corner keys of costello and brass pins to fasten the dividers. The exterior finish was three coats of danish oil, and the only exterior machining was a small 45 around the top and the bottom.
I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to “up their game” The class will do that, but the experience is priceless.
If anyone is interested, my pictures are on Flickr : https://www.flickr.com/photos/124367248@N08/sets/72157644773477179/
-- Dave, Kansas City