There was a period of time when I was a kid that I thought I wanted to design cars. Then I learned that it wasn't just making models out of clay. And also you had to know math and stuff.
The drawknife: not just for green woodworking. I find it a super handy tool for wasting material - it's basically just a really wide chisel, after all. I'm chamfering the insides of the front legs on the chairs here, and I'll smooth it out with a spokeshave. Easy peasy and done before I could have changed bits in a router.
Final piece of the puzzle about done. Lots of shaping on deck -- unless everyone thinks the arms look good like this, then I'll just call it good.
@meredithhartfurniture is claiming it looks like there is a herd of chairs strutting around making inappropriate hand gestures. But I think that is just reflective of some sort of condition or something. 😘
Ah, I love the taste of veneer tape in the morning.
Soap box: I find veneering gets a bad rap sometimes. Probably in part because the word "veneer" has sort of become a euphemism for cheap or fake, something pretty that's only skin deep. But there are times when it is really the better option for fine work; you can do things with veneer you shouldn't with solid lumber. And it certainly isn't necessarily easier. It is still wood after all, so there is material prep/flattening, layout, joining, etc. And skimping on any of it will result in shoddy looking work. (That said, the piece in this video is just for finish samples, so I actually didn't spend the 4 days flattening it that I did for the real piece. Whoopsy.) You don't have to love the way it looks, but let's not assume it's inherently of lesser quality just because it isn't "solid wood."
These are the checks I run through when fitting this important little piece of the puzzle. (And for those concerned about the strength of this joint there are a few more elements that will cinch it up before all is said and done - it really becomes a rigid little chair.)
Two in Mahogany, two in Walnut, one painted and an old one to help remember.
Here's my highly professional, draft filing system. I suppose I should consider and upgrade. But for now I'm looking at you "tub chair 8/15."
Form and shadow lines. It's amazing how a little paint can distill a piece.
Two more... I promise dining tables aren't the only things I build. But on the subject of tables, I'd like to say something (and be forewarned, this may skew a little cornball): they probably aren't the most expressive pieces of furniture from a design point of view, nor the most complicated form of construction, but I do believe they are likely the most important piece in a home. Think of all the people you've sat with at your table, the conversations, the laughs, tears, the lessons you were taught. It's the place that keeps bringing us together. And one made well will absorb the scratches and dents of life, it will hold on to those stories for years, even generations, to come. I guess this metaphor is maybe a little too easy, but I feel it every time I send one into the world. It is worth being aware of, and I believe they are worth getting right. I know it's not "save the world" stuff, but a good table wouldn't be a bad place to try to figure that out.
I honestly think it was easier to make this detail than to take a picture that sort of shows what's going on.
I probably could have made this easier on myself.
Tables, tables. I think I'll name this one, "The Riff From ZZ Top's 1983 Hit 'Sharp Dressed Man.'" Sound good?
The clients and I really explored a lot of territory before we landed on this relatively straight-forward base. There was the desire for curves and a bit more formality than some of my other tables, but also a subtly and restraint that wouldn't clutter the space with their chairs (stay tuned for those). I think we found a nice balance of structure and elegance, form and details.
Every single time the mortiser gets fired up "somebody" brings me a gift.
I just want everyone to know two things: 1) just how quickly oak oxidizes with the ol' vinegar+steel wool concoction and 2) what the top of my head looks like.
Surface off a hand plane and surface off a sander. See the difference?
I've been at a family reunion all week, but it's back to work today where these legs have my undivided attention.
The lumberman cometh. (And is more impressive in person.)
I have a bunch of work that's just waiting on a few little logistical things before I can jump in, so I figured I'd make something weird. I've seen something like this in cermamic and thought it'd be fun to try on the lathe. Anyone need a replacement head for their voodoo doll?