Sunday, February 13, 2011

Preparing for Class

Once again I have the honor of assisting Peter Galbert with the chair class at Kelly Mehler's school this spring in Berea Kentucky. We had a great class last year and the responce to this years class prompted Kelly to add another class. So we have 2 weeks and 2 different sets of students. Pete is flying in from New York so I'll be responsible for all the materials. No pressure there, right?

I've aquired a nice oak log for spindles and a nice sugar maple for all the turnings. I sawed the maple into 5 foot lengths and then sliced them up into 8/4 on the sawmill following the grain as close as I could.

Then I brought the 8/4 slabs into the shop and cut to length and ripped into billets on the bandsaw. It's funny how you cut a round tree into squares only to round them up again.I sealed the ends with anchorseal wax to prevent cracks. As you can see below I have a lot of work ahead of me rounding and turning enough stock for about 20 chairs. After rounding the blanks they must dry for several weeks before I can turn the legs, stretchers, and back posts. I'll get some pics of this operation later.

Logan worked on one of his favorite projects of splitting wood. My stove only accepts 12" lengths of firewood so the short sections of red oak blow apart with relative ease. I always seem to have scraps of logs to split up. Nothing goes to waste. You can see the nice stack of wood Logan has already split. Maybe this will get him ready for baseball next season.

I hope by now some of you have tried the laser method of drilling angles. I wanted to show Pete Wiens below drilling a stool leg for box stretchers. With only one of the lasers set up shooting down the center of the leg(hard to see the laser in the photo) it gives you the true center to start drilling. The laser is also set 90 degrees to the bench (checked with a square of coarse) which shoots a beam up the drill so you can drill perfect 90 degrees. I still use the mirror for the the other angle which is easier to see. The stools that Pete Wiens built were drilled so perfect using the lasers that the footprints of each stool matched perfectly. Please let me know if you try the laser method and what you think of its accuracy and simplicity.

1 comment:

  1. Greg,

    I tried the laser yesterday drilling the legs and posts on a fan back side chair. I only had one laser to try with so I used it for the site line for drilling and for reaming. I worked great. So simple. I still drill with a spofford stile brace and a gedge bit, so with the laser it was an interesting mix of technology.

    I will be getting another laser soon to try the full setup.

    Keep it up.