Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Coming along...

tall cabinet drawer detail
A little late, but the cabinet is almost done now. I just finished fitting the drawer and I'm please with how it is coming along. Still left to do: Make 2 shelves, the door catches, attached the top, and add door handle. I hope to have all of that done by next Wednesday (when I'll be going home for Christmas).

This week we've been making veneered table tops with Darryl Keil (President of VacuPress Systems). It's been a fast paced couple of days packed with a ton of information, and lots of tips and tricks on using and pressing commercial veneers onto man-made substrates. The practice tops we're making are shaping up nicely and many of the students are so please with them that they are talking about building tables to take them (me included).
Veneering class
One more day of this class left and I'm of the mind that we could have used another week to cover all of the material.

Next week we're on to marquetry and turning (although I'll miss two days of it as I'll be flying home on Thursday).

As always, there are many more photos posted to flickr

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Review of the Festool Domino


Twin Domino tenons
Originally uploaded by Mark Juliana

My case piece project in the 9 month program here at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship has been largely assembled using dominoes.


After using the Domino system for a bit of time, here are a few points I'd like to share:

1. The quality of the Domino screams Festool--it is a precision tool that's well built with all of the bits and bobs you'd expect on such a tool and none of the plastic, turbo, neon-BS that the marketing guys talk everyone into including on so many of today's handheld power tools.

2. The speed of using the Domino is truly amazing. You can cut a mortise in the two mating pieces, spread some glue, slip in a domino all in just a few seconds.

3. Putting in two or more dominoes into a rail that meets a leg can be tricky if the spacing doesn't allow you to use the built-in registration pins. You need to make a registration jig to use on both parts.

4. Twisting has been an issue--pieces don't always line up exactly as you'd like. I've had to smooth over several parts to get the surfaces flush. I think this is more to do with my inexperience with the machine rather than an idiosyncrasy of the Domino system. I'm going to do more experimentation to figure it out.

5. The Domino cutters cut very clean mortises. In fact I've used it to cut through mortises with great success. They were cleanly cut, both front and back with no break-out whatsoever.

6. The Domino has other uses! I drilled hinge screw holes in the wrong location and needed to plug them. Rather than stuff a small piece of wood in the hole and hope the end grain would hold up, I cut a mortise using the Domino, rounded the ends of a domino, slipped it in the mortise, let the glue dry and then pared it with a chisel. Worked great and I had nice long-grain beech to drill into for my hinges.

7. Work in metric. It will make things much easier--every little thing about the Domino is measured out in metric. It makes laying out joints so much easier to just give in and use the metric system. I did and after this one project I can say I'm staying with metric--it's much easier than fractional inches!



After building several minor projects and now this one big project here at school with the Domino I feel I have a pretty good understanding of what it can do. First I have to reiterate that working in metric makes working with the Domino system much easier. The speed of laying out and cutting simple single mortise joints can't be beat. Using the Domino on a panel instead of biscuits is also very easy and fast. Laying out and cutting complex joints requires a bit of planing and often some creative jigging--but no more than cutting a traditional M&T or to use a slot mortiser.


So, is it worth the price? If you are planning on making a lot of M&T joints it's definitely worth the price.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The sides of the tall cabinet being finished with an oil finish


I'm using an oil finish for the cabinet. Here are the side after a couple of coats. The finish is 1 part tung oil, 1 part mineral spirits, 1 part Waterlox (around here they call this, Korn oil as it's what Peter Korn uses as an oil finish). This picture was taken in the drawing/finishing room of the Satterlee building (9 month program @ Center for Furniture Craftsmanship)


Edge gluing veneer to a rebate


This is what it looks like when you rebate a panel too deeply and have to glue a bit of veneer onto the edge so it doesn't rattle in the door. About 3-4 hours worth of work that I couldn't really afford in the last week of this project--but I did learn a lot this last week. Like how to dovetail in a door rail to an already assembled door to take a 5 millimeter bow out of it.


Monday, December 3, 2007

A design opportunity

That's what David Upfill-Brown (our lead instructor) calls a mistake. Today I got a great design opportunity to apply veneer to my door panel. I got this opportunity by cutting the rebate on the panel too deep--yesterday when I setup the shaper, my test piece was slightly thicker than the actual panel by about 1/2 a millimeter. Now that doesn't sound like too much, but it's enough to make the panel loose enough to rattle in the door frame (and that ain't good).

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mason at his bench


Mason at his bench
Originally uploaded by Mark Juliana.

Here's a photo of Mason McB. at his bench--he's got most of the pieces for his solid-wood case project stacked on his bench. His project is a graceful sideboard made from spectacular curly maple. Look for future photos of the completed piece.


By the way, you'll notice Mason has a choice bench location--living 5 minutes away from the school has its benefits :-)

Tool cabinet


Tool cabinet
Originally uploaded by Mark Juliana.

This is the tool cabinet I built as the second project of the 9 month course. All of the students built cabinets of the same design. You can't really see it in the picture, but the cabinet is pretty complex--it was designed to teach us a lot and boy did it. The doors are coopered which meanse the top, bottom and shelves in each door are curved. The main cabinet is put together with finger joints and the middle shelf in the doors and cabinet and through mortised. Another thing that amazed me was the amount of wood it took to complete it.



Tools on the bench
Tools on the bench
Originally uploaded by Mark Juliana.

This other shot is of tools sitting on my bench--I like stuff like that so here it is. The bench room has a lot of windows and the day light coming in is great--it makes working in the bench room a real joy as well as making pictures look better. And, it will be nice to have that much sunlight during the short days of winter. It's already getting dark here at 4:30.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

My bench at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship


It's been almost 3 weeks now (of what will be 9 months) here at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship and I've completed the construction of the first project. (pictures to follow after finish has been applied).


This picture here is my workbench which oddly enough is in the bench room. The bench room has 13 student benches, a demonstration bench, an instructor's bench, 4 assembly tables (in which each student gets three drawers) and a sharpening station. It also contains various school owned planes, chisels and saws.

I must say these tools are definitely a cut above the loaner tools I saw at Rosewood Studios--with many Lie Nielsen planes available for student use. Of course you'll want your own planes so that you can keep them tuned up just the way you want them (or tickity-boo as Andy Woods would say).

Monday, September 17, 2007

Camden Harbor, Maine


Camden Harbor, Maine
Originally uploaded by Mark Juliana.

So here I am in Maine. After 1 week of the course, I've chopped some mortises and cut some dovetails. All stuff I've done before, but interesting to see how other folks do it and it's great to get some practice before starting the bench project next week.


I'll write more this week ...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Heading to Maine in September

Well, it's official. I'll be off to Rockport Maine in September for a 9 month stint at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship.

I'm hoping to be able to take lots of photos and write this blog while I'm there. I wasn't able to find a blog from anyone who has attended the CfFC so it might generate some interest and perhaps future students will find it useful.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Detail of dovetails


Detail of dovetails
Originally uploaded by Mark Juliana.

While preparing an application for admission to the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, I took several pictures of some existing woodworking projects. I've posted them to flickr. This one here is from the final project from my 12 weeks at Rosewood Studio. It's an asymmetrical bow front drawer (Maple and Jarrah). It's one of only 2 drawers that survived the shipping back from Canada. The project itself was completely destroyed.


Tuesday, February 6, 2007

CR's Fine Woodworking program


Originally uploaded by Mark Juliana.

On Friday I visited the College of the Redwood's Fine Woodworking program in Fort Bragg, CA. I'm considering attending this program or the Center for Furniture Craftsmandship (9 month program) in Maine.


You can see more photos of the CR program in my flickr photostream.