Friday, August 23, 2013

More Shed Raising Pictures from Fell Merwin Photography

Fell Merwin's pictures.

Prep Work

This week I am preparing for a road trip to help Peter Galbert once again teach at Marc Adams School of Woodworking in Indianapolis. I have been taking apart sugar maple logs and turning them into blanks for legs and stretchers.

 As you can clearly see behind my lathe how high the shavings grow and this isn't even half of what I need to round up.
 The clear green maple rounds up fast and I air dry them before turning the final chair parts. I don't have much time since I go to Marcs the first week of September. These legs will egg shape a little but should still make fine chairs. I need to turn enough for 15 chairs.

Here is a quick video of the simple process of rounding blanks. When I am finished I just shovel the shavings out the window into the back of my truck.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Negative Space

The shed raising was an amazing success. Two hours of hard lifting and hammering in pegs and there she stands, hopefully for many decades or centuries. 
 I've always heard it said that when viewing windsor chairs you were really looking at negative space or just a silhouette. This really applies to a timber frame too. As much as I like looking at the frame I know that soon it will be covered and this view will only be a memory.
 This frame went together with very little fuss and pretty square. I had a good crew of friends to help.
 Forty-seven pegs.
 View from the house.
 Thanks to all who pitched in to make this happen. I'll post some photos of assembly when I get them from my photographer who documented the whole thing.

Now would be a good time to rest.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tree Nails

The bents are finally coming together which is a good thing because I have a barn raising scheduled for this Saturday. They are going together with very little fuss. I have been waiting so long to drive in these pegs. Look close and see the little spider building a bridge between the pegs.

 I put linseed oil on the pegs before I drive them home to help them ease into the holes. The draw bore method has paid off because these joints are tight! Some of my furniture doesn't come out this nice.

 I was able to get two bents assembled before sun down. At first light the third will go together.
 The roof rafters are complete and here is the open mortise and tenon joint that will be pegged at the peak. These will be assembled and raised up top after the frame is together.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Barn Raising

Just a quick reminder of the barn raising this weekend August 17th at 2 p.m.
The Cumberland Furniture Guild is having the summer meeting here so there will be some quick guild business then the raising. Afterwards we will have pot luck and barbecue. I hope to see everyone here.

Interesting Chair Video

I saw this on Ellie Richard's blog and had to pass it on. Ellie is the artist in resident at the Appalachian Center for Craft.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Appalachian Center for Crafts Weekend

 This past weekend I spent at the Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville, Tennessee teaching a Windsor bench class. I modeled the class after this walnut bench I made years ago. My son Logan helped design the bench. I use it beside my shave horse to hold tools and spindles.
 Here we are at the end of the class. Everyone finished their bench and Cathy (pictured in the middle) made two benches. What a great group of students. Not pictured is Ellie Richards who is the artist in resident who was a great help all weekend. She is a very talented artist and teacher.
 Here is Curt at final assembly with Marks assistance. All the students helped each other. That always makes my job easier.

Almost finished bench!

Today I made timber frame pegs for the garden tool shed. Split from green white oak, they must dry in the kiln before raisin day next Saturday. Notice the walnut bench holding the pegs. Very handy.

A short video of the peg construction using the John Neeman draw knife.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Apprentice

My son Logan who starts high school tomorrow (gasp) turns 14 next month. He has really grown lately and more and more wants to be involved in what I am doing. I've always thought that he needs a little more upper body strength to make his own windsor chair. Well he has proven that can be done and tonight he started expressing interest in timber framing.  I went through all the steps on how to cut mortises in the top plates. He patiently listened to all I told him and took to the tools with relative ease. I think he's a keeper. I guess I'll train him to be a master woodworker only to lose him to some college someday. 

He wrestled a bit with the chain mortiser but really liked how it cut square holes.

Here is the pile of timbers comprising of the 3 bent sections ready to be assembled.
Saturday I mounted the two 16' top plates to be worked on the saw horses. These babies are pushing 500 pounds easy. These are the last of the big timbers to be made then I'll make all the braces and roof rafters.
Logan got a shot of me finishing up the mortises on the top plates tonight.

Here is a post that I almost did not use from all the bark but it has become my favorite piece from all the character it has.
I had to remove all the bark to keep out the bugs and now it favors more of a log home feel. It is much harder to reference off of non square surfaces but anything will work if you just pay attention and get creative with the framing square.
I have pre-drilled all the 1'' peg holes. All the holes in the tenons are moved closer to the shoulder about 1/8'' to benefit from draw boring. This was common practice back in the day. Don't forget August 17th is raising day. I should be ready.
I had a chance to play around with the new John Neeman draw knife that they made from my design. The quality they put into everything they make is unmatched.
This is a big knife but I like the power it has to skew and slice chair seats.
Jacob did a fantastic job making the handles and the hand made leather sheath.

The edge came razor sharp and the back is polished like a mirror. Some fine honing will make this knife sing many tunes. Please check out these guys from John Neeman tools. The web site link is on my blog. Check out the promotion videos they offer on forging tools. Very well done.