Sunday, December 28, 2008

Break Time


The Holidays are upon us and the school is on a short break. The last day before break there was a gallery showing of the student first pieces along with pieces from students past. There was a pretty good turn-out considering the weather conditions and much wine and smiles were had! I can image the year-end show in May will be much more crowded and with a number of new larger pieces to see, touch, and ... buy?


Yes, I had finished my project a little while back but I have been busy. I made a new set of irons for my little bronze spokeshaves. The "irons" that came with those don't do a whole lot of good. I went out and bought a large file and took it to the torch. It was a bit of work but now the tools can give me respectable results. Also a nice little polishing plane was made.

The main thing I had been working on was the mock-up for my next project...



Here it is. I don't really know what genre to put it in... sideboard display divider hall cabinet table? Lets just say cabinet for now.



The mock-up is about 34" tall, 36" long, and 12-13" deep. It's set on a tapered curve (...again? heh) the front being convex, and back concave. The middle space will be enclosed and the two outer will be open from 3 sides potentially with some shelving.



The curve comes from the grain of the plank that I will be using for this piece. I spotted this particular cut early on in coming to the school and got my name on it to ward off the other hunters.
Working with such "irregular" shape I knew was going to be a bit of a challenge to find spacings and proportions that felt right. I started with a cardboard mock but anticipated the need to do a more extensive one. Also in dealing with a selection of wood that I can consider precious and the fact that this form belongs to this one particular cut of lumber, I didn't want to chance that I'd find it along the way as much as I usually do. Yes, a very similar piece could be made from another plank but the specific size, proportion, weight, spacing, and shape are unique.



This is the plank that the main cabinet body will be made of. Chinese Elm, another non-commercial tree. The heart wood is a lovely mellow golden brown with some "forte" in the grain lines. The stand I have not found wood for yet though I'm leaning toward Burmese Teak. I plan on taking a trip to Gilmers lumber company before returning to class to see what I can see. We will have 2 weeks of fundimentals when class starts again. I don't know hom much work will be done on this project in that time but hope to get images from a photo-shoot of the first pieces.

Until then, happy shavings.

8 comments:

Nick Brygidyr said...

Hey Nick, that new cabinet of yours sure looks interesting...veneered..solid wood..both? Can't wait to see you starting to work on it. I'm still working on my pear cabinet...the holidays sure arent helping me finish it either!

I noticed you got the 3 bronze spoke shaves from lee valley...just wondering if theyre worth picking up or not? im looking to get a round bottomed one..after trying out their lo angle spoke shave, i just wasnt too happy about it, and im not too happy about spending 100$ for theirs...

jbreau said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jbreau said...

hey nick brygidyr, lee nielson makes a curved bottom spokeshave as well. they are more expensive, but i think there worth it. they need a little tweaking of the cap so that the chips don't all jam in there like mofo's, but they're still nice tools.
nicholas, that's some pretty looking wood you got there. can't wait to see it started. are you gunning for three pieces this year?
i can never remember how to spell things.

na.nelson said...

Hey Nick, on the spokeshaves... They are not actually made by Lee Valley/Veritas and they are much smaller than either the Veritas or Lie-Nielsen ones. If you are wanting a "general purpose" compass bottom I would not suggest the little guys. I got them because I needed something smaller for my box... and I kind of think I might be a spokeshave collector?
The low-angle spokeshaves work well for end grain but for myself I prefer 45s for the majority of work. I have both a Veritas and Lie-Nielsen flat shaves (the brass one from LN) I like them both. For the kind of work done at the school I'd say the LN is generally a better choice but I came from doing larger scale work where I like the heavier and wider Veritas... if that helps any.

na.nelson said...

Oh on the project heh...
Veneered cabinet, solid legs, probably laminated stretchers, haven't decided on construction of the door(s) or back, maybe some glass shelving.
3 projects? Well I came there anticipating "only" 2 but Robert seems to think that I can get 3 done... which would be nice. The next if it happened would be a chair :)

Nick Brygidyr said...

Yeah i guess i'll just return my Low angle one and pay an extra 30 bucks and get the Veritas round bottom. The low angle one just grabs hold of the grain and rips it out if you even think of going in the wrong direction!

evanbb said...

chairs are stupid, make an airplane

LORD GODFREY said...

airplanes are stupid, make a time machine.