Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Simpler Sighting

I just finished teaching the continuous arm class at Highland in Atlanta and as usual, the cauldron of the classroom helped with the evolution of technique.
Chair started popping up everywhere on the last day!
 But first, here is a cool photo that Seth Weizenecker took of one of the students.

Seth was indispensable helping me teach this class and now I am recharging at his home in Asheville before our class next week. I'm told that there is still one opening if anyone wants to jump on it, it will be a load of fun. Contact Bill Palmer at herebrooks@aol.com if you want more info.

Watching students work through the process is always fascinating and gives me a chance to rethink or retool to make it simpler. This isn't a dumbing down, it's about expanding what is obvious to me so that I can bring folks onboard. Evaluating the results while reaming is one of the most important jobs in making chairs this way. The trouble is that I have to describe not only what I do, but what I see. During this last class, I thought about the bevel square that I use to sight whether the reamer is at the correct angle and realized that it might be made easier with a very simple tweak.

Here is the bevel square retrofit with a nice wide blade so that you can easily sight down the flat plane. And by cutting out one side of the bevel square base, it's easy to see the alignment line when looking over the top of the blade. The photo below shows looking over the top of the bevel square a bit too far.
Looking over the top at the wide flat face of the bevel square
Here is the correct alignment for assessing the position of the reamer. The arrow on the square touching the line makes seeing, and thankfully teaching, the correct alignment easier.
Lining up the face (and arrow) with the base line shows that the reamer is too far forward

 It's a little thing, but Seth and I saw a marked difference in the ease with which it helped the students "get it", and that's enough for me. I will be refitting all of my square, that I use in the shop, and to teach.

The side view of the set up

As usual, thanks to my friends at Highland for all their help, especially Ed Scent, who makes it all happen.


Anonymous said...

I have been struggling with this aspect of drilling a hole for years. This makes sense. I can't wait to get home and see if it works. Thanks.

Jim Dillon said...

I would like to second your endorsement of Ed Scent's work at Highland. I have taught classes there for years, and as you say, he makes it ALL happen, in a very unassuming but thoughtful way.

Sean@twinoaks.org said...

Pete, I made it back home and am starting a second chair using somered oak I have and tulip poplar. Would it be possible to get on the list for a travisher? I've been dreaming about those shavings ever since! Thanks for everything. I look forward to trying out the things I've learned.

Caleb James said...

Interesting as always. :)