Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Fine Line

I haven't been getting enough time lately to horse around with my chair designs, so for the last week or so, I finished up a walnut occasional chair that I started a while back. I wanted to bring it along to the meeting of the Rochester Woodworkers Society that I am speaking at this weekend.

I've learned a lot about walnut lately. It can hold a crisp visual edge just about anywhere, and I have a nasty reaction to it (sinus infection). So I donned my full face respirator and plugged in the air filter and had some fun. I can't count the number of times that I've intended to create a seat like this, but for some reason, I just couldn't let it go this time.

The walnut has all the right properties for this kind of fine detail.

It requires near perfect shaping of the facets as they flow around the seat and interact. It was tough at first until I focused on making one facet geometry fluid and then "cut" the other one up to it. The key is not to fuss about with scrapers too much, but to get the fine edge with handtools and get out fast!

The detail at the top of the back posts also seamed ripe for change, so I played around until this detail emerged, with a heavy nod to Mr. Maloof.

Here you can see that the facet on the corner is a bit concave, and full of gouge marks.

I think that the line on the seat interacts nicely with the arms, plus it lets you know where your rear is supposed to go, very inviting.

And the obligatory rear view.

I had quite a full shop recently. There is Dan working on a walnut chair for himself and in the back is Tim working on turning a reamer body and Claire making a travisher. After years of working in a solitary shop, I love the hustle and bustle of having so much going on, even though space is a bit tight.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cool Cases

I have obviously been thinking a lot about tools lately. When I was teaching at Marc Adams School a few weeks ago, the students brought perhaps the best array of drawknives that I'd ever seen. But all to often, I saw these lovely knives knocking around in a bag or milk crate.
Of course, with Chris Schwarz teaching in the next room, I started thinking about solutions. Chris already posted about my students tool chest, based on his book. I won't go into detail (I'll leave that to the mean experts), but between watching his class unfold and having a wicked case of tool chest envy, I started seeing tool case options in my dreams.

Here is Rich's tool chest. Not practical for my airplane travels, but I could spend all day sliding those tills around.

For the first time in years, I felt inspired to work with flat wood, of course, by the time that I can get around to it, the feeling will have passed, but it was exciting to have it.

On the more realistic note, this little drawknife case might just actually get reproduced.

I though this was a cool way to honor a favorite drawknife, while protecting the edge.

 The lid slides in a tapered sliding dovetail. 

I have a few drawknives, alright, more than a few, but last weekend I displayed my wares at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, where I'll be teaching next year, and I bought one of the sweetest Barton drawknives that I've come across. While I'm still basking in the glow of this acquisition, I might just make one of these.
Have you got an interesting drawknife storage solution? I'd love to see it.