So time is at a premium and I am due for a post, so this is going to be a short one. I'm very busy with my current project, a bench. I have been having problems with the white oak I have purchased due to its thickness. My studio space at Rochester Institute of Technology is very, VERY dry, causing many of my white oak boards to check and crack. I only have 3 weeks left to make this bench and I am very far behind. As far as my current process I have documented some of the models and samples made
thus far. The picture on the bottom left was taken from the barn I am purchasing my lumber from. It was 6 degrees that morning when I took the picture, I was cold.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Friday, January 18, 2013
I have been reading about French Polishing for some time now and finally dedicated the beginning of my thanksgiving break to finding a good source for how to apply this classical finish.
Shellac is a very finicky finish and is hard to REALY get right. Although this site is for guitars it seems to be and excellent guide to French Polishing.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Clark Little's Photography is probably one of my greatest sources of inspiration. I am a huge beach bum and love to surf, but my passion for the ocean goes further then just enjoying it, I am inspired by it. Here are just a few of Clark Little’s Photos that inspire me the most.
To see more of what I am inspired by check out my Pinterest. I'm starting to document my inspiration per project as well.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
"First Look: Upstairs, Downstairs" Wendell Castle talks about his most recent work, work I feel is his strongest yet. This is definitely a must read and I find myself short of words to describe it...Just look for yourself.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
A very interesting article on the history of plywood furniture. Eames, Saarinen, and Alto all had a dramatic impact on furniture design of today. I find it fascinating how the Eames translated their work from medical splints to furniture. Seeing the alto chair reminded me of my time studying this summer in Scandinavia, I was fortunate enough to see Alto and Saarinen's studio. This article is a definite must read.
|This picture is from my visit of Alto's studio in Finland|
Friday, December 28, 2012
Sapele Dining Chair".
I did not use any plans to make these, just a plane one of my peers had already made himself, using his construction as a starting point. They are quite simple to make, especially after you have made a few. There are two thinner side walls, a wider "infill" piece, and the sole.
Now join and plane it flat and you can start working on the sole of the plane. The sole needs to be a very dense and durable wood such as Bubinga or hornbeam. Place the still square sole under the plane to mark the opening and transfer your angles as well, so keep your bevel gauge set. Chisel out the opening maintaining your angles and it should be ready to glue. The sole can be chiseled close and finalized once it is glued on. You should not have cut any profiles at this point as it will make the sole difficult to glue on.
Once your sole is glued hand plane it to the curve of the blade. This curve will not be the radius of the iron, it will be whatever that radius is while rotated at the angel of the infill. You should wait until the very last minute to sand the sole if at all, otherwise your sole will not be flat and will not maintain a consistent radius. If you have a CNC router this process can easily be more accurate as well. Now you can flush any unfinished edges and cut the profiles.
The wedge should be a low angle otherwise it will not stay in place, but not too low where it will pop out unexpectedly (think of this similar to a door stop). Also make your wedge out of a hard, dense material so it can withstand the pressure. A nice additional touch is to add or inset metal into the back of the plane. This will prevent damage when you knock the iron out with a hammer.
That's it, your ready to plane!! Don't forget it will inevitably take a few more tweaks to get everything fine tuned, the rest is for you to customize and finish as you would like.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
|The roughed out doors|
To make the curved doors I started with a single piece of wood, thick enough to achieve the final curve. I drew these curves on the end of the board with accurate templates made from 1/4 MDF. These templates also allowed me to make sure the curve was uniform throughout the piece. To shape the curves I used flat and curved hand planes, the curved plane I made myself. While shaping the door I took an even, small amount off the front and back of the board daily. If I were to take off too much material too quickly, or only from one side, the piece would warp and easily be ruined.
Next was scraping then sanding to finish the surface. In order to make sure I was creating a highly uniform surface, I made a sanding block to match both the inside and outside radius of the curves. The door was then split in two by bandsaw and carefully shaped by hand to ensure a perfectly parallel gap.
I have a great little Japanese dovetail saw I use for all my smaller dovetails. It is extremely rigid and leaves a fine cut with a thin kerf. I usually do not need to true up these cuts with a chisel, allowing very small dovetails to be much easier.
|See the finished piece|
The image below shows the dovetails that make up the drawers. I was chopping all four pairs of tails at once, the other side is the same. Luckily I was able to cut more then one set of the matching pins at a time by, doubling and even tripling up the pieces as I cut them.
|Its hard to tell in this picture but each of the |
four pieces are less then an inch in width (31/32”),
so these dovetails are very small.