Thursday, January 12, 2017

Wall Shelf Build-Off

I think of Chris Wong, of Flair Woodworks and Time Warp Tool Works, as one of a very few people I have interacted with online whom I feel I'd consider a real friend if I met them in person. Lots of folks I've only encountered online provide valuable information, or giggles, or inspiration. In addition to his design sense, industry, and craftsmanship, Chris conveys a strong sense of humanity, kindness, and likeability with his online presence. 

So I was delighted to see this on my Twitter feed:

I participated in #SSBO two years ago and had a great time; in the process I built myself a piece of shop furniture which is not only supremely functional, it's also the envy of my woodworking buddies. In fact it's out on loan right now, in the shop of a budding young carver.

Here are details about #WSBO:

As luck has it, Ms. Lee and I are updating the master bath at Chez Lee, and we could use a wall shelf as we button things up. A wall shelf to coordinate with a frame we need around the wall mirror . . . so there's a chance I'll participate in this Build-Off, too. We'll be brainstorming this weekend, to see if we come up with anything worth entering. Ian Kirby comes to mind; we'll see what Ms. L. thinks.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Carving Spoons

Here are a few spoons I've completed recently. Most have some areas that are sanded, many have some areas that are knife-finished. One thing I'm learning is that even if I plan to sand the spoon, sanding time is cut way down if I do some careful finishing knife work after the spoon is thoroughly dry. (I guess I assume you know that it's easiest to do most of the carving while the wood is as wet as possible).

All of these spoons are finished with raw flax oil.

The spoons pictured are spoken for by their new owners. Others will be available in the weeks to come; watch this blog for news on that.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Build a Workbench in a Weekend

This past weekend was my second “Build a Workbench in a Weekend” class at Highland Woodworking. Five students and I put in two very full, very busy days of work and produced 6

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Long Workpieces on a Short Workbench

If you don't have a long bench but need to work on the edge of long boards, here's a trick (or what the computer-semi-literate call a “hack”). I have a good iron tail vise on the end of my short but heavy bench. This works well for the typical work I do and the space I have to do it in. The photo shows how I handle workpieces too long to rest on the bench lengthwise.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Rust Removal Recommendations

Here's a dual product recommendation. If you have rust to deal with, this is a pretty good way to go.

The photo below shows two sections of the same casting,

Monday, November 14, 2016

Pivoting Joint for Folding Furniture: A Quick Prototype

After work today I tested a concept I thought of recently. It possibly solves a problem posed by Sally Schneider on her website, The Improvised Life.* Sally wrote a post about the folding mechanism of chairs and tables by Roger Tallon.

She went looking for the hardware and couldn't find it, so has been seeking a viable substitute. 

It might be possible to do the job with a plain old butt hinge, but doing that gracefully and attractively is fairly difficult. So I mulled it over in my daydreaming time, and came up with

Thursday, November 10, 2016

November 10th, 2016: Kiln Visit

Today I left work early to beat the traffic, and did a bit of work on our solar kiln. It has been neglected for several years, and Reed and I both want to get back into the habit of always having something drying in the kiln, either for our own use, for sale as lumber, or as custom drying for paying guests. I put some blocking over the biggest air gaps I could find . . .

. . . and started adding some rolled/pregummed adhesive flashing to the seam where the glass box rests on top of the roof:

More of both remains to be done, then some exterior stain, then some venting so we can control the entry (or exclusion) of fresh air, then mounting the fans, and we'll be ready for the first load in version 4 (or is it 5?) of the old kiln. Maybe I can spend a day out there this weekend and get all the way through that list!

It was a beautiful fall day, and as the sun got low I was joined by an unexpected assistant. Usually these hard-working immigrants are too busy getting run over by motor vehicles to be much help, so I felt lucky to be spared a moment.

Then it hopped off into the underbrush and left me alone with the sunset. When you see the way the tall grass lights up in the raking low-angle sunlight, you see why they call it the golden hour. 

It was pleasant to finish my work and sit on the tailgate of the Nissan, munching a pb&j, drinking some ice water, and watching the November light fade.

Here's to more pleasant, peaceful afternoons like today.