Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Little Something

Finished the sister plane from a tulipwood blank I had at IP. I build the first little one for softening edges and other small tasks. This one is a gift for my sister who just accepted her first teaching position as a high school shop teacher.

Friday, January 20, 2012

No More Excuses...

...except for being trapped behind a computer all day to generate the funds to be able to set up shop. Amazing how draining a desk job can be.

Anyway, below are some photos of our workspace as set up as it is going to be for now. There are still a few things that need tweaking and I don't know if everything has found a permanent place yet or not. I guess it is an evolutionary process that only really happens once one starts using the space. Otherwise I am sure that we could spend another year setting up.

Machine Room

There are issues letting go of off-cuts, even other people's.

We were the benefactors of a friend's recent move to the opposite coast. A pile of local maple.

Said friend's leg.

More adopted wood and future kiln site.

My corner.

Setting up seemed endless, and are still many things that we need, but I know at some point you just have to start working with what you have. Having not known any other shop than the one at school it is hard to separate the 'needs' from the 'wants'.
After so much time going by, rough milling some wood to make sawhorses was super exciting, and the more time I spend here the more my hands start to remember what to do. I am going to officially start work the same way I started the first days at school, sharpening!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I have been meaning to post something for a while just to save the blog from death but haven't been doing much in the way of woodworking. Thought this may be worthy of posting.

Earlier in the year we took an upholstery course from a local upholsterer who is in the very early stages of setting up a school. There is more to it than I would have thought. Like wood, you have to be aware of the grain direction of the fabric and the matching of color, patterns and types.

Some photos of the dining chairs I used as my project:

From our local Danish Modern dealer. Covered in black vinyl and a ton of staples.

Hours of staple-ripping to get down to this:

The finished product:

Oh, and just to prove that I do intend to get back to wood... new bench freshly flattened and oiled this weekend.
I did intend to build a bench but this one came up on Used-Victoria for just about the same if not less than the cost of the wood, hardware and mostly the time it would have taken me. It is an Ulmia, made in Germany. Couldn't have asked for a better find. The surface was well used and had a pretty deep dish lengthwise down the middle, but a couple hours of planing and scraping took care of it. Now to get all the hand tools out of boxes!
Will have more photos of the shop to post next time. Want to get it all presentable first;)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Keeping Crafty

Since leaving school I have had to take a desk-job to counter the after-effects of going two years without an income. At times it feels as if staring at the computer screen is slowly shriveling my soul into a rasin (at least it's not a chickpea). To help keep my hands busy with something I took some quilting classes to get me back into sewing until I can do some woodworking again. Here is the result:

Not bad for my first, although looking at the photos here I see some not very straight seams, heh. Its probably the most colourful thing I own.

Too Long

Too much time has gone by since I have done anything post-worthy. I thought that I would share the official photos of the cabinet (done by Ingeborg Suzanne) and the first few tools in the basement. The cabinet is currently at the Northwest Fine Woodworking Gallery and will be there until January. They have told me that there has been lots of interest but no serious bites. I'm not surprised, its not exactly priced to sell. Honestly I am kind of happy it will be coming home as it gives me something to show as evidence that the last two years actually happened.

Here are some shots of the machines in the basement so far:

We found this old Beaver drill press on Craig's List...actually Junior found it and we beat him to it. Sorry Junior. It is in great shape, previously owned by a young metalworker who had three of various sizes.

Yellow case we forget what it is.

Lord Godfrey pointed us to the boring machine (thank you Ian). A former IP student was selling it just around the corner from where we are living. It came with a brand new Felder XY table, new Jacobsen chuck and new motor. (sorry about the blurry photo)

I guess Michal likes his fingers or something, he was dead set on getting a Stop Saw. We got to see the demo done in the store with a smokie. Pretty crazy! We haven't turned it on yet, so all I can say about it so far is I don't like the colour scheme

Wee dust collector.

It's still a way away from being functional but just seeing it start to happen is pretty exciting.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Finally finished off the piece on Thursday, save for a little refinement on the fit of the doors. Here are a few quick shots, will be getting professional photography done in May.

On the same day of finishing, Fine Woodworking finally came to the Coast, featuring Jason's letter from the students to JK and a photo of me working on the cabinet.

The photo wasn't at all staged.

Thanks for the great letter Jason.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Silver Pulls

Talking to Robert about what to do for the pulls led to using drop pulls to keep with the 'elegant' look of the cabinet. Usually we make drop pulls in the shop out of brass but while flipping through a book on craftsman-style furniture I saw a cabinet where silver wire pulls were used. I thought silver would go well with the silvery shimmer of the Curly Sycamore and liked the light, airy look of being able to see through them.

Some sketches:

After meeting with Erin Dolman about the silver, she advised me that the gauge of the wire we would have to use to keep with the scale of the cabinet would be too thin for practical use. So we came up with another design, keeping lightness of it and the shape of the Sycamore keys that I wanted.

Unfortunately using silver for the posts that attach to the cabinet was impractical as well, financially. So I decided to use brass and shape it to be mostly hidden by the seed part of the pull.

Using a jig made of maple, the mortise was cut into the brass on the shaper with a slot-cutter. The hole to receive needed to be ever so slightly proud of the top of the jig so that screwing the top piece of wood in place would hold the brass securely. This was done by drilling the hole close to the top of the jig then hand-planing the surface just until the hole is visible. (note: the other two holes are mistakes)

A tenon had to be cut on the back of the round post to prevent from rotating in the door. That was done on the table saw using a square piece of wood the same dimension of the post with a tenon that fit tightly in the brass piece. This gave me a reference to cut a square into the end of a cylinder.

A hole was carefully drilled from the back of the post and tapped, which allowed it to be screwed into the door from the inside. The screw head will be inset and the hole plugged with a small piece of Olive, the same wood used for the consoles, flipper-floppers and levelers. The hole was centred by drilling a hole in a piece of wood the same size as the post, then with the pit in place on the drill-press, clamping the piece of wood down. The post was then inserted into the wood and the drill bit changed to the appropriate size. A kerf was cut from the end of the jig to the hole to allow for enough clamping pressure to hold the brass down while drilling.

With the silver and brass pieces glued together with hot glue, a hole is drilled for the pin that the silver pull will pivot on.

To secure the pull while drilling, I used the same jig as used on the shaper. This held it in place, gave me a place to easily mark the hole location, and kept the bit from walking off the side of the post as it had to be drilled a bit off centre.

The pieces were then separated by soaking in acetone.

Drilled into the front of the door to sink the post about 1/16 in, and a hole to accept the screw from the back. Then chiseled out a mortise to accept the tenon.

Some detail shots:

 It was a lengthy, finicky process (as you can see by the wordy post) but I am really happy with how they turned out and I think they really suit the piece.