Saturday, July 24, 2010

Michael Fortune working with students on chair design


This past week (and the one coming up), I'm assisting in the 2 week Michael Fortune chair design class here at the CFC. Michael is wonderful teacher who clearly loves sharing with students.


As the class assistant I am absorbing a lot of great stuff  watching him work with students on their designs, models and mock-ups.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Workshop Bldg. at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship

Workshop Bldg. at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship
Here I am again at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship--this time not as a student but as an assistant in the summer workshops. I'll be here until mid-June working in the various classes offered during that time.

It's already the middle of the second week and I've been helping Peter Korn and Craig Satterlee with the 2 week Basic Woodworking course.

The 12 students in the course are done with practice joints in poplar and have moved on to the final project of their own design (within reason--they only have about a week in which to build them) in the wood of their choice.

Right about now (10:20pm on Wednesday) the dedicated (or overly ambitious in project scope) are still in the shop working on dovetails. To the left is Barrie who came all the way from Wales to take the course. He's deviated a bit from the proposed bench project and instead is building a little bookcase with dovetailed corners.

When I left the workshop building around 9pm he was hard at work chopping out the waste of his tail boards. This was shot with a very wide angle lens so that giant chisel in the foreground that looks longer than Barrie's arm is a distortion (it's about the same size as the one he is holding).

This past weekend, David Upfill-Brown and I went fly fishing on the St George river. He has a canoe so we paddled up the river a couple of miles and fished along the way. We caught (and released) a few really nice smallmouth bass and a pickerel. We also saw 5 or 6 beaver (a first for me), bald eagles, blue heron, and too much beauty to recount in text. The day was perfect at about 70 degrees with very little wind and few bugs of the human biting persuasion.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Center for Furniture Craftsmanship summer workshop assistant

Just heard from Peter Korn! This summer I'll be in Rockport, Maine working as an assistant in the summer workshops at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship! I can't wait to get back to CFC (read about my time in the 9 month course 07/08) and I hope to blog about the experience of being a summer assistant.

Between now and then, I'll continue volunteering at the Ashland High School woodshop 2-3 days a week. There are a number of really talented students producing some great work in the class. One student is making a very nice hand-cut dovetailed box. He's been working on it for a few months now and it's looking great.

I'll get some pictures of it next week and post them here.

Going on in my much reduced shop: Still setting things up post move. The new shop space is a tiny 1 car garage that also contains quite a bit of camping and other gear.  I'll post some pictures of it soon (did I mention it's really small?). I've been working primarily with hand tools--including hand ripping with a panel saw. It's been fun, but it definitely slows down the pace of work. Although it has given me quite a bit of time to tryout Lie-Nielsen's new panel saws. Here's a mini-review:

Review of Lie-Nielsen Panel Saws
After using the crosscut (12ppi) and rip version (7ppi) of these new saws from Lie-Nielsen for about 6 months, I feel I have a fair understanding of how well they perform--in a word: They are FANTASTIC. Both saws track well and cut fast. They came from LN ready to work and have held their sharpness well working in domestic hardwoods.

In use, I've ripped several 80 inch long 1/4 inch edge strips for cabinets out of red oak and had just a few minutes of work with a handplane to get the cut line up to finish quality. The tote fits nicely in my hand and the saws are light enough to use for extended periods of time. My only complaint, and it's really more of a product request, is that they would make a full size version of each saw. I've pulled the rip saw out of the kerf several times while I adjusted to its length.