Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shavings & Dowels

All right, a bunch of images for such a little cabinet. I figure with such a "simple" pieces it would be a good platform to cover more of the process bases in a more simple context. I think there's at least one person out there who may be interested :P.
As basic as the Key Cabinet is I am doing a fair amount of shaping. Kind of my "thing" I guess heh. I'm giving the sides a rounded (convex) and splayed shape, the door is also convex in shape from a solid cut of Walnut.
Above I shaped the outside first with a little "whoopdie-doo" lip that will act as the pull. It's nice to have different sized radius planes around :) for the outside I used my smoother, a 1-1/4" coopering, and 1" coopering planes. For the inside I used a 1-1/2" coopering plane (3 of my 4 coopering planes for this little door heh).

Roughing out the inside concave curve of the door on a table saw. One can hog it out by hand perfectly well and sometimes I choose to do so but I had already done so much planing my arms were a bit tired. Also as a man who looked too much like Kid Rock for his own good said "there's no art to waste removal." Whether you agree or not is a personal matter heh but I am looking for a balance somewhere between machine and hand.

With the door roughed out it doesn't take too long to get to that final shape.

The major shaping done it's time for some cross cuts! Cross cut one side of the sides and door where desired then clean and square up those edges! THEN set up the good old stop block to make the final cross cut. This order is particularly important/helpful when using a lightweight table saw such as the one in my shop.
Get those ends cleaned up and the same size and on to doweling.

Little doweling jigs for little sides. I plot them out and drill the jigs on the drill press before going to the boring machine, do whatever you like heh.
Ah the Davis & Wells boring machine. Probably my favorite machine I have. Not nearly the most used or versatile but I like it. I love its simplicity. A motor, a belt, a spindle, and a chuck brought together by about 220lbs of cast iron!
Anywho I mark the drill bit as to how deep I want to drill. This comes in handy when switch drill bits for the same jig. For these little guys I have four 1/4" holes and one 3/16" hole.
Oh yes, little nails hold the jig in place.

Next the top and bottom. Here I'm once again using a template for the jig set-up. I prefer this to drawing lines. Just cut a scrap the size of the internal space of the cabinet. Square up the sides. I plane a little taper towards the front (putting "let go" into the cabinet). I'm not making a drawer for this cabinet but I am fitting a partition, and it's good practice.
Place the template on surface where desired. I'm using a block to register the template and jigs at the back. Nail one jig one, hold the other jig snug and nail that one on. Take to the drill press to drill, and repeat for the top.

After fitting dowels this is what I have thus far. It will be a cute little guy I think. It should have a name like Wilbur or Wally... damn I like Wally if not for the pun >:/.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What Next?

With events and business all said and done in Toronto and Milwaukee (not to mention a couple 12 hour drives alone) it's time to get back to work. - pictured above, somewhere around 100 miles from Minneapolis/St. Paul.
I would have liked to stay longer and further enjoy the company and food of Milwaukee but I get a bit irritable when not being "productive" for a period of time. After getting used to the work, flow, and experience of the shop I find it difficult to be without. It's times like these that I am glad the branching of my path lead me to working this way though it will never be an easy road ahead.

Which leads me to the work ahead.
Before participating in any more exhibitions/shows I think I should have another "show-piece". I witnessed my fears and assumptions in front of me in Toronto. People skimming over my quite work to the next dazzling piece. I don't mean this in a demeaning way. All the work was impeccable and a joy to experience. But even in a room of "Krenovians" the work I brought was quiet. It's the show atmosphere. I think if the pieces were put into context of an owner's home I may stand a better chance. Perhaps the "right" person(s) just weren't there but it wouldn't hurt to have something of more "presence".
A while ago I drew a sketch of a showcase cabinet on a stand that I think I will work on. It will still be within my relatively quiet aesthetic but a larger floor standing piece utilizing glass and some chatoyant wood should help me out :)
It's a kind of piece I have been wanting to do/try. Looks like now is the time!

While I let that stew, I had wanted to work on something simple when I returned. I had wanted to work on some saw-horses and other shop things but I can't even afford the Ash for the horses!
Turns out a friend and old band-mate of mine is getting married soon. Good timing for him!
I have decided on a little Key-Cabinet. One door, one partition, no drawer. I have about 8 b/f of some nice Air-Dried Walnut to work with. I even have an extra pair of wall hangers I made.
With no offense I would like to see if I can get this done in a timely manner as I have no one pitching in on this project :/. I thought about making the cabinet flat and square but I am just not terribly interested in that ha, so curves it is again.

Re-sawing a selection for the door first. It will be a solid surface door with a convex curve. I was a bit over generous with the thickness I cut. I still haven't completely gotten to know this little band saw. This cut is about 1/8" under it's total capacity with a blade that is not newly fresh and a wood I have not cut into. There could be tension, varying moisture, blade bowing/wandering... any number of things. From experience I found it better to be generous than go through twice the lumber if something should happen.

There's the first rough pieces. Door at the bottom, sides, then the top/bottom on top.
Happy to be working again :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

SFS Exhibition

Slow Furniture Studio Exhibition June 2010 - Arta Gallery, Toronto, ON
The show came and went. The Event space was beautiful. Lots of room for lots of incredible work!
Unfortunately no sales came my way. It was a good learning experience and it was good to reconnect with some of my classmates, and get to meet some of you out in interland :)
Big thanks to Daisuke, Anjali, and everyone else involved to make it happen!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hit the Road

Ha it's a tight fit! The clearance of the crate corners are withing a 1/2" to the hatch windshield yikes!
So off to Toronto (Tranah) for the Slow Furniture Studio Exhibition June 12th & 13th at Arta Gallery!
But not before I make a stop in Milwaukee to visit some awesome friends :)
Hopefully I, my pieces, and my little car make it back in one piece.

Should be fun.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Vanity Cabinet photos!

Phew! Done and time to get some photos! This time around I was able to borrow my friend and classmate's lights. Thanks Craig! (and Carol!) I'm still not a professional photographer but these lights were much better to use than the ones before. No head-aches on account of the lights :).

Vanity Cabinet - Swiss Pear, Maple, Jatoba, and Ornamental Maple (and glass mirror).

Hmm the side shelf... I am still undecided about it. Partially because it turned out so much darker than the cabinet. Came from the same plank... thems the breaks?
I like how it turns "just" a cabinet into more of a scene with more ambiance but I just don't know... any thoughts?

I also have to pick just 3 of these photos for my physical portfolio. Gah! I hate choosing!

On to the fine art of crate-making hah.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Little Bits

Onward with pulls. The post and bail uses little round tenons both for the joint to the door and the bail to posts. I knew the shoulders were going to be the tricky part, particularly for the bail shoulders. I came to perhaps a "crude" but effective solution pictured above. A planer surface to register a plane blade on to shave the shoulder clean. Worked like a champ. The tenon itself I shaped with files.

The necklace hangers for the inside of the doors got the same treatment. I've probably said it before but I just get a kick out of the simplest "jigs" that work so damn well ha.

Alright, pulls and hangers done, Flipper-floppers and levelers done, Mirror installed... The main cabinet is ALL DONE!!! :) I still have time to work on some extras.
Such as a divider for one of the drawers. Maple dividers using half-lap joints, no glue needed here. I'm a little torn here. I really like both the feel and look of both the drawers open. One can see the beautiful continuous Bird's Eye Maple flow from one drawer to the next. However part of the whole concept of this piece, being a Vanity Cabinet, is to have it be used as such heh. almost 2" deep open drawers doesn't really make sense for jewelery such as earrings and rings. I am however making the fit of the divider loose enough that it can be taken out without marring up the insides of the drawer.

Going into the same drawer is a little tray that will sit atop the divider. The tray will fit against the sides of the drawer but will be able to slide front to back allowing access to the first row of divisions while the tray is in the drawer and be able to be taken out of the drawer while the drawer is still in the cabinet pocket.
The tray sides there are about 7/32" (1/32" less than 1/4") and about 7/8" tall, pretty small dove tails heh. Not as small as some of Barb's but hey.

And here are some random scraps I had from the carcass. They are a bit checked but it looks like I can get just enough nice material to make a little side shelf :) I just about put these in the burn pile but second guessed them.
I don't know if I will really like the shelf up with the cabinet but I like the idea. There's one way to find out... do it ha.

Ok I might be able to get some photography in before heading for Toronto but that presents it's own problems I haven't dealt with yet. I also need to make crates for the pieces I'm taking. So maybe there will be another post before then, maybe not. But the finished Vanity Cabinet will be there, assuming things goes fine at the border.