Month: October 2011

6′ Band Saw

My daughter presented this to me today when she got back from hiking with her mom at the Gun Powder trails on this rainy day. It’s a monster of a Poplar leaf and its doing what so many trees in the north county are doing, bidding farewell until next spring in a most elegant way. The Poplar leaf has been the inspiration for my chair seats, the shape of it and the wood makes a great seat.

While at Hearne Hardwoods last weekend they demonstrated the process, no procedure of milling a log with their almost 7′ band saw. Wow what a showing, I’m not big on the exotic woods what we have around here suit me just fine. Our domestics have much to offer and I think there is something to keeping a wood in the climate it grew in when it becomes furniture BUT I really appreciate all trees and what Mr. Rick Hearne had cued up on the sled is forever burned into my wooden brain. A Koa log. Apparently it only grows in Hawaii, this one came from the big island. The soil there is arguably the best in the world and this one came from land that backs a national park. To harvest trees especially the Koa from the park land is practically unheard of and when it has happened the wood went to Polynesia for reproduction work.  That area is mostly cattle farming and obviously severe storms  blow through often enough knocking down fencing, when the cattle get out and into the thick mountain vegetation its almost impossible to get them all back. They’ll eat the barks off a 12″dia Koa tree then move on to the next one, wild pigs are a problem as well.

You can see the laser line on the end grain, try to follow that to the other end to see the blade clicking on the pics make them bigger.

These guys are so careful handling this wood but I bet it goes for all the logs they mill, they don’t let the slab slam down on the rollers or floor they lay each one down by hand.

Then swing this contraption over, each disc is a suction cup, and move each board with an airy ease, no fork lift. They would pour denatured alcohol to show even more of the natural brilliance. the stuff was pretty wet to begin with. Not as wet as the Oak I rive and split.

This is a sacred tree and should be treated as so, I feel lucky to have witnessed this. Their web site is neat the passion I saw at the mill transfers to the site with interesting info about the trees they mill.

some blades

Hand Tool Event

This coming weekend Oct. 14, 15 2011 in Oxford PA at Hearne Hardwoods   Toms gang along with guest demonstrators will be showing there wares in the best possible way, through demonstration and letting the common civilian have a go at one. Personally I hope they have the new Draw Knife  and a copy of the new Follansbee dvd on how to carve a “S” scroll since I have tried an embarrrrassing amount of times to recreate since taking the class. It’s getting the spacing of the es, I cant seem to line it up properly, and the DMT lapping plate, what a time saver that would be, I have the Norton thing it’s my second one and although a lot of people on the intranet seem to hate on it I’ve managed with it. Like anything woodworking you have to keep it flat and that is time consuming, its amazing, it might be 3/16″ thick and hasn’t snapped every time I go to use it I think it will be the last….. no I wont miss it. What else…. OH that bench, that looks nice. If I was to buy one, that or that style would be it.How many years have I threatened the bench I have with making a new one?, I have the wood you know….. I COULD DO IT! ……..but i haven’t i aint got two grand either, so me and benchy get along alright, were good for a while longer.

Nuff ramblin my point is if you are interested in hand tools and are having trouble making say your hand plane  sing, go to one of these events and just listen to what Deneb (or any of the demo guys, Deneb is the guy at the ones I have been too) is saying while setting up and using these planes, and the questions asked, I have picked up little bits that helped me out. And of course ask em if ya got em.

I’m not trying to sell these tools I think what works for you is best, you can get great tools like the old Baily’s planes from auctions and your parents basement but they will need some lovin, flat sole, flat back, good bevel and sharp, all things  I have heard mentioned and demonstrated at these events.

VPC SHOW

Today is the last day of the “Art for land’s sake” show at Halcyon Farm in Lutherville MD. If you haven’t already you gotta come  and check out my stuff. I’m super excited about a couple of pieces and getting great feedback on them. This is the best compilation of local art I’ve had the pleasure to be around. In the top of the barn there are paintings and some blown glass and pottery, amazing photos too. A great mix of North County, Chesapeake and East Coast scenes.

I’m downstairs with a fun group of jewelers, textiles and photos. There are pit beef sammies  too that are awesome so come hungry.

My settee is so comfy you wont want to get up and this set of three counter stools seem to be just as inviting I wish you all could be here to see them.

I’m still working on better pics of these guys but the seats are Apple wood and the undercarriage  Red Oak. The Apple is one board cut into three sections so the grain runs through each seat to the next. This effect does not jump out at you like I had hoped but its a nice subtle detail. I feel like all the pieces I make do this, the more you look at it the more detail you see, not necessarily my doing the treats are in the wood;  grain pattern, ray flecks, shadow and light.

Lots of art to look at and be inspired to dream. gotta check it out.