Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The last lunch


Last day of school
Originally uploaded by Mark Juliana.

Just unloaded a few photos from the camera and thought I'd post them to the blog. Here's one of our class at our last lunch. We're eating leftovers from our graduation dinner the night before.


And now with a bit of perspective I ask myself would I do it again? Yes, without question. The time for me in Maine was exactly what I needed--I don't know if I'll become a designer/maker of furniture as my sole source of income, but I hope it will definitely be a big part of the rest of my life.

A note to the guys in my class:
Thank you for all of your support and encouragement. Your work was inspiring and your wit and energy made the class what it was--great.

A note to the CFC staff and instructors:
You guys are fantastic. Everything about the school is top notch and the love of teaching this stuff shows in how well the school is run.

Friday, May 30, 2008

And then you're done...

Nine months gone in a flash.

A bitter-sweet parting of ways.

A long drive ahead.

Would I do it again? No thought required--a definite yes.

See you back in Ashland.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

9 Days to go

Wow, it's gone by so quickly. Counting today, there are only 9 days of school left and then it's time to head home.

This past 9 months has been jammed packed with woodworking and learning all things wood. In fact, I would have to say that for me, it's been too much. It seems almost every student was behind on almost every project. I think there were only a handful of projects that were 100% done when they were supposed to be done. And that's with many students working nights and weekends.

For me, this past 3 weeks has really been a time to catch my breath and relax. I know I'm supposed to working on a 'final' project and I have been, sort of... but man, I'm cooked. I have been working on a couple of boxes and built a wall cabinet for Jim and Misty (my friends/landlords)--but I'm having a hard time keeping the motivation up.

On another note... I met my cousin Herb Smith on Sunday. He's my dad's cousin (not sure what that makes us) and I grew up hearing about him from my Grandmother (his aunt). He's built 6 wooden schooners (all 40ft or larger) and sailed 2 of them around the world. He wrote 2 books about those trips. His current boat, the Eastwind is in Boothbay Harbor and is two masted 68ft schooner. The 2 hour sail was fantastic! and Doris and and Herb are two of the nicest people you'll ever meet.

I should probably get back into the shop (I'm in the CFC library avoiding work as I write this). Oh, and hi Brycen.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tall cabinet detail


Tall cabinet detail
Originally uploaded by Mark Juliana.

Here's a shot of the the drawer in the tall cabinet. I had it photographed on Saturday along with the demi-lune table. All of these shots will go into my furniture making portfolio.


This week in the shop we are all furiously working on our chairs--which are supposed to be done on Friday. I think mine will be 95% there so I'm not too worried about it. Although I seem to remember saying that about each project so far and missing the mark.

Also, this Friday the 9 month students are have the opening to our show in the Messeler gallery. My demi-lune will be in the show.


Demi-lune in better light


Originally uploaded by Mark Juliana.

After months of delay, here is the final professionally done portfolio picture of the demi-lune table. There are a number of detail shots out on flickr. Let me know what you think.


Thanks- mj

Monday, March 31, 2008

It's done!


Demi-lune playing surface
Originally uploaded by Mark Juliana.

After a fair amount of delay, here for your viewing pleasure... the demi-lune gate-leg card table.


The last few days before the show were very busy! I spent a lot of time on the finishing (French polish). I also mortised in the hinges and applied the suede to the playing surfaces.

Here you see the card table with the top 1/2 opened to show the playing surface details.

I'll post more photos soon of the booth and such. Of course you can always hop on over to my flickr account to see them there.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Detail of leg banding on the demilune table

We're in the last week of our multiples project here at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship and I've been alternating working on my multiples (carved wooden spoons) and finishing the demilune table.

On the spoons... for me, I've pretty much determined that unless I can automate/mechanize much of the carving or get much better/faster at carving, the spoons are not going to be a profitable item for me to make. As it stands it takes me about 40 minutes to make one spoon with a materials cost of about $1.50. Now I don't know about you, but I don't often spend $30-40 on wooden spoons so I'm thinking that the most I could charge for them is around $20-25.

With the lesson of shop rates still fresh in my ears, the spoons just aren't going to cut it as a multiple for me. Oh well, I still like making them--I guess they'll just be gifts.


detail of leg banding
Originally uploaded by Mark Juliana.

On the demilune front:
Here is a nice shot of the banding that wraps around each of the table legs about 5 inches above the ground. The table itself is finaly coming together... both tops are now veneered top and bottom and now just need the ultra-suede playing surface applied.


That will involve routing a slot around the short grain edging and I'm a bit worried about break out. I may apply a bit of hide glue to the surface of short grained edging to help prevent that. I recently read that hide glue doesn't inhibit the absorption of finishes and if that's true, it could be a huge benefit--I'll try it and let you know.

I keep saying "I hope to have it finished by x-date" so I'll just say it's still coming along and leave it at that.

Oh, BTW I used the vacuum press I made to press the veneer on the 2nd top and I'm happy to say it worked perfectly. I'll post some pictures of it soon. I just added up the cost of the system at $370 (without the price of the bag) which is quite a savings over commercial systems. I'm happy I built it and look forward to working with it for years to come.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How to add banding to a table apron


I thought I would post a brief description of the method I used to add the banding to the bottom of the demilune table.


What I didn't do:
I was considering using the router and making a curved jig to fit the table curve, but the thought of that much power at 10-14k RPM made me a bit nervous--any little glitch would quickly remove wood that I'd rather have still attached to the table apron.

Another approach I considered was using the shaper--but that would have required too much time making a jig--since I wasn't planning on making a dozen of these tables, I didn't want to invest the time making a single use jig.

So I settled on a handtool approach that worked wonderfully. Using a Tite-Mark marking gauge, I scored a line around the bottom of the apron that matched the width of the banding I was going to use.

I then set the fence on a Lie Nielsen skew block plane to cut to that line and after that it was a trouble/stress free process of planing down to the depth I wanted. It was actually kind of meditative and I was never worried about things going wrong.

If you are ever searching for a method of adding banding to a project, I would highly recommend you give this one a try.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

And still more work on the demilune...

The last bits of the demilune table are coming together. I've just started to apply the inlay to the legs. Here you can see that the holly is going to contrast nicely with walnut.
Inlaying in the table leg

The top veneer has been glued down.
The demilune table top

Still to do:

  • Veneer the playing surface side of the primary and secondary tops

  • Scratch the bead and cove into the edge of the tops

  • Hinge and attach the tops

  • Finish the inlay on the legs

  • Apply the lower bands to the table legs

  • Glue the legs to the apron

I hope to have it all wrapped up by the end of the weekend--but the toboggan races are this weekend and we're competing!



Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Work continues on the demilune card table

This week in the 9 month program at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, we students are rushing around and staying late to get our curves projects completed by the end of the week.

For me, that has meant a lot of hours working on the demilune card table I'm building as well as a few rush orders of last minute supplies (like ultrasuede for the playing surface and holly string inlay).

So here are a few more pictures showing the progress of the table. In this one you can see I've finished cutting the dovetails and the apron and rear rail are now together.
Rear table rail dovetailed into the demilune apron

Here is a view of the wooden hinges that make up the gate-leg table joint. I wouldn't cut them this way again (especially in white oak!!!).
Gate leg table joint

So those little blue bits in this photo are a rather big mistake. They were on the back of the veneer and are used to hold it together until the white veneer tape dries. You must take them off before you glue your veneer down. if you don't, you'll need to chisel off your veneer to remove them--that's what you see here.

A little hide glue and a bit of hammer veneering to fix it up and voilà, she is as a good as new (of course it took about 3 hours to chisel it all off and get new veneer back on it).
Hammer veneering the table apron

And this last photo shows the inlay going on (or is it in... I don't know). The inlay is a commercial inlay I bought at Rockler. On the right you see a finished bit, on the left, the place where the next bit of banding will go. You might ask what that big black arrow is for in the leg joint--that's to keep me from cutting the wrong edge of the apron.
inlay banding on the table apron

That's all for now--should have more pictures on Friday as that's when the project is due (not that mine will be completely done as I won't have the Ultrasuede or the string inlay by then.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Demilune Table Apron

Wow, when I settled on this project I thought it was going to be fairly easy--that hasn't really been the case. As I've been working on this project many things have come up that I totally didn't foresee as I set out. But, if you are going to take on something that will stretch you as a woodworker, this is definitely the place to do it. All of the instructors and staff are so supportive and the great energy you get from your fellow students is really encouraging.

This group of photos shows the evolution of the apron as it goes from a bunch of straight pieces of wood to a curved, veneered table apron.

The brick-built apron. You can see that the front has already been run by the shaper to curve it.
Brick built curve

Here's the apron now that it's been cut with both the inside and outside curves.
The table apron

And here it is with a couple layers of mahogany veneer applied to it. The finished apron will have a fancy veneer put on after all of the joints and such have been cut.
Veneered apron

This picture shows the back of the table apron with its dovetails cut.
Getting ready to dovetail in the back of the table apron

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Curves and veneer

Our current project in the 9 month class here at The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship is a table--but not just any table--it needs to have a veneered surface and feature some sort of curved element.

Now some folks find this kind of open field exciting and come up with all sorts of ideas. I, on the other hand, really struggle with so much design freedom. I cast about trying to think of furniture that I personally want (which is not much)--so finally, after some forced sketching, meager designs, and much frustration, I come up with something that isn't really what I want, but more designed to explore areas of building that are new to me.

So... that being said, I'm building a folding demilune card table with as much federal styling as I have time for. Right now I'm brick building the apron out of poplar and will veneer it later this week. Pictures to follow soon!