Month: April 2013

Green Woodworking Classes

IMG_2011Spring classes are filling in nicely. If you’ve ever had an urge to try some woodworking from the beginning, like starting from the log but thought it to hard or overwhelming I can ease that feeling and you’ll find its a quite natural process. I have some good Red Oak bolts to work with now. The spoon and bowl stock is getting a bit thin thanks to Annie and myself. She came and took two separate spoon carving classes about a month apart and the Cherry chips added up quickly. A great example of this kind of wood working, she had never done anything like this before. The first day was slow the second was much easier and the hand holds came together as did the concept surprisingly fast. Next Elliot and Johnathan, two guys that contacted me separately and attended at different times, took the “Green wood and the shaving horse” class. It was fun to share this kind of woodworking. These are great introductory classes and additional days can be added at your convenience for the best learning experience. Elliot has some projects he wants to do on his own but wanted a jump start in riving and working green wood with the shaving horse. He bought one of the shaving horses I made and use in the class, to expedite his work process at home. I try to supply tools at the classes with the option to use and buy. Johnathan wants to make a ladder back with me and can come random days or maybe spend a week of vacation. He follows Peter’s blog a bit and has his book with the goal to make something using those techniques and also wants to make a river paddle split out of Ash. These one day classes are designed to teach the basics and then hone those skills at home or add more days for a more saturated experience. These are just a few examples of how these classes can be beneficial.

Riven post squared using the draw knife.

Riven post squared using the draw knife.

Alexander always said “Wood is Wonderful!” I couldn’t agree more! Arbor Day is the first Wednesday in April in Maryland, go hug a tree! IMG_2018 IMG_2013

Carved Boxes and Bowls With Lids

IMG_1910This is a box I made for a fifth wedding anniversary gift my sister in law was giving to her husband, the box is white oak that I sawed from the log with my chainsaw mill, it’s one of the quarter sawn boards, and the top and bottom are from the Bernudy road pine, a 200+ year old pine that I milled a couple years ago with a friend’s swing blade sawmill. IMG_1914I learned the basic techniques in a class at Country Workshops that Peter Follansbee taught in 2007, from here the only limitation (within reason) is your imagination on the size and scope of this construction and carving. This one is kinda small 9″ long 7″ deep and 4″ high. So it got me thinking about making a carved bowl with a lid. How could I do it with out using a metal hinge and having it made entirely from the same piece of wood.IMG_1919It’s a green (wet, freshly cut) piece of poplar that I split in half , straightened and removed the pith with an axe and smoothed with a plane then the adze to hollow and more axe work. Until I was happy with the shape and idea in my head of how to achieve this. Then hand sawed the top off, back to where the hinge is to be. If it would have fit I would have done that on the band saw but since it’s wet and poplar, a pretty soft wood, it was no big deal to hand saw. I kind of messed up here, the hinge is above the deck of the bowl, if you look at the box the hinge pins are level with the deck or top of box. IMG_1921That’s how I saw it in my heads so…. I got some ideas but it means a lot more fussin with making it work. Now the next thing that I don’t like to admit to is I went to far carving the bottom, easy to do but frustrating when it happens.IMG_1925This is a close up of the bottom inside of the bowl, that orange is the light coming through. I didn’t carve completely through but it’s just as bad, it wont hold up. In an effort to save this prototype I tried something Ive been thinking about for a long time, gluing veneers to the sore spot. I have glued new bottoms on bowls that this happened to in the past and it made it a functional piece but left a bad taste in my mouth, not literally, I just don’t like having it happen and any fix is a blatant reminder to me.IMG_1923Those are the shaving from when the deck and top of bowl were hand planed flat. Using scissors and selecting the whitest of the shavings I cut patches or veneers, used a chip brush dipped in water to wet the bottom of the bowl and painted white glue on all surfaces, also wetting the shavings with water first and limbering them up helped a lot.IMG_1924IMG_1928and just kept layering them up.IMG_1933Here it is dried and ready to be sanded, something I haven’t had time to do. The unforeseen danger, and I new there would be some, is with the water and glue drying off and shrinking the already thin ass area, stresses are created. I may have gotten lucky it wasn’t worse but it wrinkled up the underside real good.IMG_1931I was able to hand plane most of it out but I think I’m gonna cut my losses and stop there, work on the inside before I plane any more.It sits flat the way it is so no need beyond aesthetics to go farther.IMG_1984I’ll let cha know when it’s done.