Sunday, February 21, 2010


there comes a time in every step when enough is enough...

enough cutting

enough shaping

enough smoothing

that next step will hold back further progress until it is accomplished

a Cleveland glue-up is a menacing task. It does seem I get more time in the shop during the winter, but it's impossible to glue. Everything gets hauled inside; parts, clamps, chisels, rasps. You'll only know you've forgotten something when you need it most. Care must be taken to ensure the optimum temperature of the wood is achieved before the extreme climate change readjusts all your joinery. After everything is glued, the whole damn thing needs to be transported again, upstairs for the glue to find its happiest set. Then it's out to the shop again to prep for the next glue-up, and it's deja-vu all over again.

I couldn't continue to shape the piece until it was solid, now I can focus on those lines which will flow through the whole thing...

It's seriously sturdy, was so even before the glue-up, but now there's no creaking, less flex, it feels rock hard. At this point I'm more worried about material failure than insufficient joinery.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


There are two ways to see a piece; one with your eyes and one with your hands...

This chair has tested my limits of vision in both senses, a curve feels right but looks odd, and another is visually perfect but has a tactile bulge.

I sit now, astride the piece, atop my saw bench. All the pressure is off the legs, but the joinery is tight. I can work all the parts as one or separately.

Now comes the music, Muse has been mine for the day. The rhythm matching my tools.

This is sweeping work, from simple form, to overall shape, past little details, I see now only the lines, the connections, transitions, breaks, the piece becomes.

Oh yea, and there's a rock...

Monday, February 8, 2010

to glue...

or not to glue...

I've read that designing a chair is the single most difficult of wood working undertakings. A table needs only to be as structurally sound as that which it faced with.

Remember; glass tables do shatter in movies, but then again shooting a hole around your feet to fall through to the next floor works too.

A chair requires the deftness of shape paired with the strength of joinery and bulk.
Much like a sand sculpture, you can only create within the boundaries of physics. It has to be able to withstand several hundred pounds, awkwardly.

I'm there, I've removed as much bulk and retained enough. I've assemble and deconstructed.
I've eaten breakfast atop the dry fit and checked the lower back support. It feels right, it looks right, but there's still the lap, the hole, the focus. Then again there's still the further deconstruction for documentation, rounding, smoothing planing, and the seat needs to be carved. I'm 100% daunted by that task, but filled with anticipation of its fruition.

Till then, here it is, closing yet further, I really have no deadline.