Sunday, December 16, 2012

New Addition, Little Kitty

A little over a year ago, Eva convinced me to go along with welcoming a furry friend in the household. One problem was that she hardly knew what cats look like. Lucky for her, I have been familiar with them.

Meet Howard Montgomery. He is a male Champagne Burmese who happens to be a Tonkinese outcross. We just got him home a week ago at about 4 months old. By the looks of it he'll grow up to be a handsome cat. I hope we can train him in furniture conduct. One can understand why I may be particularly sensitive to the issue!

If you have ever been in the market, you may know there is not an abundance of "clean" looking cat furniture. I spent a little effort in putting something together that may work with the Scandinavian sort of thing we have going on. Hopefully he will use it.
Don't worry, it's tied into the wall under the second platform.

Eva is pretty happy about her miniature heated blanket, and Howard seems to feel the same about his heated bed.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bits and Blurbs

Hey folks. I have been a bit quiet lately, I have a couple small projects going along with other things keeping me from my shop.
You've probably all seen the piece by now, but I figured I'd mention the new Fine WoodWorking issue's readers gallery with their, turning up to be annual, highlight on the MN Woodworker's Guild show. Kind of neat.

Here's the "bigger" of the projects I've been working on. A small Medicine Cabinet to go with the bathroom that Eva had recently done some revitalizing in. The feature wood is Douglas Fir, the accent will be some bits of air-dried Maple I have left for the back panel and drawer boxes.
There is one or two more small projects I have simmering, I'll mention those at a later date.

Maybe two years ago I took a little trip down to Spencer Iowa to help mill a couple logs into lumber. I'm very happy to have received one of those logs pictured here! Walnut, and it's air dried! A little more than 8 feet long, the tree had a diameter of about 22", and cut into 9/4 planks.
I still have roughly 2/3 of another Walnut log from Iowa in addition to this log. Lovely lumber waiting for some great projects!

My Inventory Sale is still in effect!
The Oak Wall Display has gone to a good home, but I still have the Pedestal and Coffee Table!

Frame-Top Pedestal - Now $375!
36.5"H x 16"W x 14"D
Air-Dried Cherry, Air-Dried Maple

Frame-Top Coffee Table - Now $575!
17"H x 48"W x 26"D
White Oak, Glass, Unryu

Please send me an email if you have interest!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Inventory Sale!

I believe in seeking meaningful experiences and relationships. My work is authentic, enduring, harmonious, and sound.

Not only am I looking to make some room in my shop but am wanting to find homes for these lovely pieces and perhaps encourage enriching experiences for the people who surround them. In that process I would be pleased to raise awareness and appreciation of well crafted goods made with the eye, hand, and heart.

Frame-Top Coffee Table - Now $575!
17"H x 48"W x 26"D
White Oak, Glass, Unryu

Frame-Top Pedestal - Now $375!
36.5"H x 16"W x 14"D
Air-Dried Cherry, Air-Dried Maple

Oak Wall Display - now $375!
12"H x 42"W x 6.5"D
White Oak, Chinese Elm, Ash

If you are interested, please email me.
Help me help you, and my shop too!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Liquor Cabinet Photos

Finally. Delayed, but as promised here are some photos of the finished Liquor Cabinet.
Walnut, Oak, "Negro Laurel"

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Little Trip to Asheville

Hey folks, it has been a while. I have been working on and completed the liquor cabinet with photos soon to follow. However I thought I might share from a little trip Eva and I took to Asheville, NC.
If you don't happen to know, Asheville is a relatively small town (compared to the Twin Cities) located among the hills of the Appalachian Mountains on the west side of North Carolina. It is a hotspot for craft, particularly furniture.

If you don't like trees, don't bother coming to the area.

If you have no desire for the occasional scenic river, you may be wise to go elsewhere. Note: more trees.

If the thought of sleepy hills and mountains in yonder background make you ill, best not come around here.
Thus far, it's pretty nice for me.

But wait! Laboriously barbequed ribs and southern comfort food around the river arts district!? (at 12 Bones) The kind of meal I might now need to live?

Why not follow that up with what some may call a Kentucky Arny Palmer? Done.

The trip wasn't all nature and food though. One of the reasons we went to Asheville was to visit a benchmate of mine from Inside Passage, Jason Dingess. He has a moderate sized shop which he rents space not a terrible distance from that fabulous bbq joint.

I spent a couple hours adding some dust to the shop helping Jason out with a shelving project. I was right at home with his DBM-64.

Sorry for the blurry photo, but it's going to be a nice little set of shelves. Perhaps I'll be able to see them one day.
That about raps up the quick and short of the trip. Before I sign off for now...

I thought it would be nice to share this sensual photo endorsing this camp site in Appalachia.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Consoles & Door Panels

Well now, what to do while some oiling is going on with the carcass? Door panels.
I finally decided to make the door panels veneered. Here are the substrates. If you haven't guessed why I have four substrates, you'll see in a bit.

Veneer is made and selected. Here I'm shooting an edge for gluing pieces of veneer together.
After they are joined, back to the press they go.

The carcass is still being patient with oil and the door panels are being pressed. I can do consoles in the meantime.
Consoles can also be called shelf supports. I tried a little different set-up for making these little guys and it seemed to work out nicely. I milled some stock wide enough to get two "rows" and to final thickness. Cut that to a length to get two "columns" so that there would be four consoles able to come from one work-piece at this stage. Bored a hole in the middle of that bit as can be seen above. The round hole will become part of the profile of the console.
Then ripped that piece a little less than half on both sides. I like a console that is a bit longer than tall and for the rounded profile to not come to "90 degrees" vertical.

Cut the shoulders on the table saw. The little square "tenons" will become round pegs to go into the holes drilled into the cabinet sides previously.

Cleaning such small shoulders is pretty difficult just referencing off a shoulder. I came to this conclusion a while ago and have been happy with the results/workability. Make a hole in a piece of ply-wood that just fits the small work piece. Put the work piece in a vise on the bench, in this case I use my tail vise. Put the ply-wood over the work piece and adjust the work piece to the desired depth of cut and angle. Then just use a plane iron on the ply-wood to take that thin cleaning shave.
Not fool proof, but it works well with care.

Add a little shaping with a knife and file. Hey presto! A console. Well it did take a number of hours to complete all of them. I need four for the one adjustable shelf in the cabinet, but I like to make extra in case any should get lost.

Alright, fast forward to some door panel fitting here. I have the frames clamped vertically and shot the height of the door panels to fit with a small amount of friction.

Some more finessing, doweling, and yet more finessing the doors will look something like this. Yes, there is certainly more finessing to come.
This is where those four substrates come in. Two panels per door with thin vertical gaps between them and the door frames.

That's all for now, till next time.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Continuing with some joinery after another "break," the grooves for splines were next. This spline joint is for a horizontal partition creating the drawer pocket on the right side of the cabinet. I am always nervous about this kind of operation. If you biff a cross grain cut like this, it is very difficult to come back from.
Luckily it worked out fine and dandy.

With that horizontal partition fit, this makes up the main body of the cabinet. To make the stand integrate as the cabinet bottom and to make a clean flush back, this portion will be assembled before assembling to the stand.
I feel it is a trickier and a bit more time consuming way to build a cabinet but it will yield a cleaner aesthetic overall. A little more literal interpretation of "less is more."

With the edges treated and other details done, I got taping and pre-finishing. I am only finishing the interior of the cabinet at this point. The exterior will need a little more work after this assembly. The finish on the inside is a few light coats of extra blond shellac. I'd like to keep the Oak lighter and would really like the fragrance of the Oak to come through. Not sure if that will work out yet but I'm hoping for that nice detail.

After pre-finishing the interior I first glued the left side to the back and the middle partition to the back too. Although it was a bit of a gamble, I felt more comfortable with a lager glue-up for the last this time. The left side to the back, the drawer division to the middle, back and left side all at the same time.
This would allow for the kind of clamping I would normally like to utilize. It all had to fit well and easily with little pressure for a successful glue-up like this. Though I normally wouldn't recommend it, it worked out this time. Phew!

This is what I meant by a little more work to the exterior. I joined the sides to the back so that the side will end up a little proud of the back. A little work with a plane and the back is nice and sleek. Neat.
A couple more details attended to I've started pre-finishing the exterior with oil. Looking forward to finishing the big assembly.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Time Squeeze

Greetings folks, it has been a while. In the past month plus I have had plenty of work on my plate, little of which is/was wood work unfortunately. I haven't gotten much, but I was able to squeeze a little shop time in on the whisk(e)y cabinet.

I know this photo is difficult to extrapolate but it is in fact part of the vertical partition on the interior of the cabinet. This is the front few inches of said partition which will be only a couple inches high opposed the the rest which goes to the top of the cabinet. The reason I cut it apart was that I wanted to add a curving transition to the main partition, you can see the applied edge being glued on the curved side. Though it may sound complicated, this was the best way I found to achieve my goal.

While the partition was being glued back together I got on to door frame joinery, always something I get a little tense about. I'm glad that part is done and came out well.

Also I got to the last veneer pressing, at least for the carcass of the project. I have yet to decide if the door panels are going to be solid or veneered.

Another part that I tend to get hesitant about is making mortises for the little bits like flipper-floppers, hinges, levelers and such. If you slip up, it is often difficult to cleanly come back from!

One of the non-shop-time projects I've had (though this one is woodworking related) asked me to provide a head and shoulders portrait. Thinking about going with this charming number. Yes?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cabinet Starts

While some of the remaining stand business was going on I could get on to veneer work for the sides of the cabinet. The top had already been done while the bottom was made.
Veneer matching is always trickier than I suspect given a material to work with. The technical and mechanical processes I know I'm capable of. Picking the "right" match, and where to cut is the tricky part. It would certainly be easier, take less time, and effort to just throw them together or say "hey these look kind of close." I can understand, but it's not for me in this work.

This was a longer series of veneer joints for the back panel. For this surface I had to plan out grain graphics to work with a vertical partition that has yet to be place, though I know where about it will go.
The joint with the tape across it is a book match which I generally prefer to avoid. You can see the different "shades" at the joint but is actually due to orientation of the wood fibers themselves refracting light in different ways making them appear to be different shades when in fact they are the same. Well, that seam is where my vertical partition will go.

After the veneer was "pressed," smoothed, sides trimmed, and doweled... the cabinet starts to take shape.
Feels like I have put so much time into all of these parts already. Coming out with such a "basic" form as this at first feels a little discouraging. There is much time and effort put into the "front end" of construction like this. Making sure all the details will work later on, planing strength and accuracy into all aspects. I know it will come together to make whole more than the sum of its parts. However, one can't help but to stand back a ponder a bit.

Moving on. Time for the back panel.
The back for this piece will be assembled with the sides before the whole assembly will join with the stand. After cleaning up the back I've done some minimal doweling between the back panel and the sides. The three dowels are mainly for location but certainly don't hurt the structure, with the long grain edge joint I don't need to worry about more robust strength.

The main assembly will look something like this though the back is not completely fit yet.

Also, somewhere along the line I was able to locate the door frame components. I do not believe I have spares, fingers crossed!