Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hand Cut Mortice & Tenons - Fall 2011

By hand....
Developing this class formalized our (or rather Jim's) thinking on cutting mortices by hand. The notion of tool slaving (using sets of hand tools of the same dimension together - 1/4 mortice chisel with a 1/4 plough plane) can quickly form strong and accurate joinery is compelling. 

Mortice chisels really do a good job of chopping a mortice quickly - may be just three end to end passes. Tenon saws do a great job of creating the tenon. The router plane and the shoulder planes make quick work of clean up. 

Need to make your own pins? A batoning chisel and a dowel plate work remarkably well.

Beginning Furniture Making - Fall 2011

Happy graduates
We're coming to realize that Beginning Furniture Making is our most comprehensive single introduction to woodworking and that any graduate of this class is ready, with a little practice, to participate in any other of our classes. 

In this most recent class we began to explore more of Jim's proportional design techniques more and you can see the results in the above image. Simple whole number rations of dimensions just look good.

This was also pretty hand tool intensive - even though we went through a full introduction to machine dimensioning!

The biggest request from the three students - "Can you make the class longer?"

Laura Tayne's Tea Box

Laura Tayne's Tea Box
It's somewhere between awe-inspiring and gob-smacking (a fine anglicism) what our students manage to make after our classes. (We're not going to claim full credit because Laura has been working hard on her own to learn woodworking.) This is an elegant tea box that Laura finished after taking Jim's Hand Tool Heaven last summer.

I'm really stuck by the gorgeous handles/legs and hand made hinges. Congratulations Laura!

Some more views of the Tea Box:

Hand Cut Dovetails - Fall 2011

Jim Tolpin's Demo Dovetails
We've been further developing our ideas about hand tool woodworking - every time we teach a class we learn more about the techniques. The questions students ask force us to clarify our thinking and understanding of the theory and practice. Dovetails are a case in point - Jim's exploration of the artisanal techniques of design and layout lead quick ways of using dividers to figure out the spacing of dovetails - no need for maths here.

We've also been looking at the difference a sharp saw makes - Jim spends time before these classes making sure that the saws are really sharp. Sharpness and quick layout - both factors significantly increase the efficiency of working with hand tools.

Now the slideshow: