Sunday, December 2, 2012


As the favorable season for finishing wanes to a close, the days begin to fill with more important matters


yea, you know...

but there are moments, when the planets align, the weather is warm, and there are no social engagements to otherwise be enlisted

it can (and does) take weeks to get a chair ready for finishing
scraping, sanding, checking the champher, defining and redefining lines and edges and contours
when there's not a single damn square surface (ok there's two, see if you can find em)
it can be tough to keep it all together

I sometimes spend only a few minutes
maybe fixing a bulge, embellishing a detail
some days I get caught out here working when I should be getting dinner ready
getting lost really is the reason I do this

one more chair is ready to be moved inside, the back rails glued, the cut-through prepped and finished and then I may go back to the second chair and make a small tweek.
the fourth chair will just have to wait, holidays are heading in fast, other people need to be attended to and I am usually WAY too selfish

even wonder what a tree thinks when it learns you're a woodworker?

so until the next time we converse...
here's a taste of what monotony makes me do: bathroom sink...

Saturday, October 27, 2012


yea a whole set of chairs is nice

four of them that match
but the desire to actually finish the second, then the third then the fourth
oh man

one is glued up, I've been sitting in it for about two weeks
it leans a little to the left and
I can't quite figure if it bothers me or not

another just needs some work on the undercarriage
then it too will get the glue up

well, the last
it is still in rough form
but in the meantime too many projects have inserted themselves into their path

behold; a most amazing exhibit from New Zealand!

and a whole new driveway

and finally a day off to breathe

Sunday, September 23, 2012


 My crazy, hectic schedule has left little time for the shop
but I manage, nonetheless, to find a few moments here and there

I've discovered that my new travisher makes a great scrub plane for curved surfaces
with it I can hog away material at a phenomenal rate 

this walnut splinters and tears out so fast when paring
I have to be very careful as these joints will be highly visible

tenons; not so much
but it is exciting to split the pencil line on such a small piece!

I'll keep the crest rail solid till after glue-up then finish cutting the hole when there's less chance for failure

and just for giggles, I put together this little video to hone (start learning) the process of video shooting and editing with my new GoPro HD

Saturday, September 8, 2012


oh bless you holy band saw
oh slicer of endless curves
wherefore would I be without you

morticing; you've seen this before

I'd still be sawing those friggin legs
that's where I'd be

cutting tennons; you've seen this too

in addition to all the cuts for the legs I forgot entirely about the crests
and the back slats

ok, so this is new

so much resawing
and none of it straight

instead I am creating the crest rails
each one has to be fitted to its individual chair
every blurb in the geometry amplifies by the time it reaches this point
so I had to devise a way to measure and translate each chair at critical points

a metal ruler slipped through the mortices makes a great curved straight edge
and a platform to begin all the measurements
because the tennons are in plane with the slats I could also fine tune the mortices with a chisel and rasp

with this many compound angles and gentle curves and abrupt directional changes
I don't even know how you would lay this out from a drawing alone
there are steps that can only occur in the midst of the process

transferring those observations onto a curved rail  presents yet another challenge

when that tennon slides home and the opposite falls into place and the legs are slowly drawn into their sockets and there's no weird popping or creaking
all those hours of layout become gold

all that's left is to join the back slats to both the seats and the crests

and just in time; Peter Galbert's hand made travisher has arrived
this little gem is exquisite!
I took a couple quick passes on the first seat
wanting to add some interest to what was previously rather blah
and I really like the major change to the saddling

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I want a pony!

what I really wanted was a horse
but there just isn't space in the garage

last time I did one of these chairs I clearly recall
how much fun it is trying to do draw knife and spokeshave work with a bench vice

so I borrowed a page from an antique Schwarz magazine

made some shavings

checked for wind

created piles

and made more shavings

this is how you know if you got it right

and there it is
twenty hours from slab to tool

another couple for handles

I'm ready for those chairs!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

one small step

busy is good
money-making busy
but it does detract from creative busy
that which does not earn money
at least not often

the last hibiscus bloomed this morning
coinciding with the third chair being joined
six morticses for the crests
and six for the back slats
are all that remain

a shaving pony is my next little adventure
and my travisher should arrive soon
so the real fun can begin

I have some new ideas for the shape of the seat
hopefully making the side view more interesting
and the exposed joinery will make them all the more dynamic

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


This process of three, to match the first
fails to bring me any new revelation
there's no way in hell I could do this for a living
making the same piece over and over
or worse still
in series

don't get me wrong,
it's still the process I enjoy the most
though the lack of mystery leads me to sloth

deja vu
I've been here, done this,
it's even hard to get new pictures

so these are a sort of fill in the blank

can you figure out where they go in the past few posts?

they are in order chronologically

and then there were two

sorry, I just had to share this magic moment, this little feller posed for a good ten minutes