Friday, August 28, 2009

The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship

Here is the campus at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship where I recently taught with Curtis and Nick Cook. It was a two week fan back side chair class. The location in Rockport, Maine and the campus was beautiful. I'd be hard pressed to name a better equipped and organized school. Happily, they've invited me back to teach a 5 day class next June, more info on that as it comes!

Here's Curtis demonstrating a technique that we developed for measuring the angles at which the center stretcher is drilled into the side stretchers. I was chatting with Curtis about not being satisfied with any method that I'd seen and off the cuff mentioned that we should just cut some dowels as stand ins for the stretchers and measure from them. The next thing I knew, he appeared with some dowels that he scrounged and we cut them up.
By using this with his method of placing a straight edge along the front legs (then the rear ones of course) and then setting a bevel square to the angle, we were able to get a stable easy read. Then we marked the angle on a board. Next we measured the back legs and marked it on the board as well. A quick visual averaging (right side with right and left side with left) of the marks and we've got our angle. No numbers! (If all went well with the reaming, the angles on either side should be relatively close anyway)
So, as usual, the cauldron of the classroom has yielded results that neither of us would have probably reached for, and now, combined with my drilling method with the angled boards for the leg mortises, we have a no number undercarriage!!

Here are a few shots of the guys in action (that's right, no ladies this time)

Below is Nick Cook giving some turning advice. We spend three days on turning and most of the students produced the turnings that went into their chair.

And here's the result. We had a hard working crew of folks, most in the shop by 7 am and many staying into the evening.

If you aren't already familiar with the school, I'd highly recommend checking it out, the tuition is incredibly reasonable and the level of focus and craftsmanship that I saw in the other programs was top notch.

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