#Woodchat’s Picture Inspiration! Design Game

#Woodchat on Air is a weekly online woodworking program hosted by Matt Gradwohl of Uppercut Woodworks, Scott Meek of Scott Meek Woodworks, and me. Watch it Wednesday nights at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern (duration: approximately 1 hour).

Last year, we at #Woodchat on Air ran the #Woodchat Telephone Game Design Experiment.  We started with one design that was handed from one participant to another to be slightly redesigned as they imagined it. It was a lot of fun to see the different designs and insightful to see how other people perceive a design, and how they would modify it.

#Woodchat’s Picture Inspiration!

Last week at #Woodchat on Air, we debuted our new design game.

This is how #Woodchat’s Picture Inspiration! works.

  1. During #Woodchat on Air, we share one or more images for inspiration. These images are taken by us, the hosts, or are shared with us by any #Woodchat on Air participant.
  2. If you choose to play, you have the next week to develop a design (or multiple designs) inspired by the image. The design can be sketched, modelled in clay, built using toothpicks, rendered in CAD, or whatever you choose.
  3. At the following #Woodchat on Air, we share the designs and invite the designers to explain their design and how they developed it.

Here is the first image that we are using, provided by Scott Meek.

PI1

I have a few ideas for a design. Tune in to #Woodchat on Air Wednesday April 23 at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern to see what I come up with for #Woodchat’s Picture Inspiration!

I will be sharing all the designs on my new page: #Woodchat’s Picture Inspiration!

Links:

Two New Cribbage Boards

I’m very excited to release two brand new cribbage boards.

Each board has three tracks that follow the live edges, and the signature orange/cream contrast of the Pacific Yew is evident in each. Number 11 includes a scoring field whereas Number 12 does not.

You can find more photographs and details on their respective product pages.

Cribbage Board 11b

Cribbage Board 11

Cribbage Board 12a

Cribbage Board 12

Links:

  1. Cribbage Board #11
  2. Cribbage Board #12

How to Make Furniture that Sells

When I had the chance to make a living as a furniture maker, it was a dream come true. However, I soon realized that my chosen path was a very difficult one and found that I needed to adapt my designs to appeal to consumers.

In this video, I share some of my best tips for making furniture that, in my experience, people really like and are willing to buy. (Duration – 12:09)

Here is a link to the two templates I use. You can download them for free for your own personal use here. Download templates.

 

The Lights are Still On at Flair Woodworks

Not often does an entire week pass (let alone two!) without a new article here on my blog, but this month that happened. Let me assure that I am still here, and the lights are still on in my shop. In fact, I’m as busy as ever with a wide variety of projects.

Cribbage Boards!

There is an ever-increasing amount of demand for my live-edge cribbage boards and I am working hard to build inventory. I am waiting for the finish to cure on the latest boards so that I can rub them out for an ultra-smooth finish. (Cribbage Board #9 is currently still available at the time of publishing!)

Cribbage Boards

Kaboom!

I am part of the organizing committee for Kaboom! The Port Moody Art Explosion. It’s going to be:

“a true artists happening, an explosion of self-made fun and entertainment, a historical moment in our fair city where we bring together in one room, a Who’s Who of artists in a surprise-filled, creatively-combustible evening of art and entertainment”.

The event takes place in eight days and we’re working furiously to ensure everything is just right. (Register to attend the event here.)

KaboomSign

As part of the Kaboom Decor subcommittee, I fabricated a pair of lighted columns for the entryway and helped create two giant mobiles which will hang from the ceiling.

Lighted Column

Moulding Planes!

At Time Warp Tool Works, we are adding two new sizes of moulding planes to our lineup. Currently, we offer #6 (3/8″) and #8 (1/2″) hollow and round moulding planes. I’m working on the bodies for the new #4 (1/4″) and #10 (5/8″) hollow and round moulding planes.

Making Moulding Planes

De-Stressing!

It’s pretty insane having weeks full of days that are packed from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. Sometimes, I find myself literally running from one meeting or task to the next. As someone who finds it very difficult to take breaks – especially with an immense workload – I find it helpful to at least switch gears and do some kind of work just for fun – like taking half an hour to turn a bowl.

Black Locust Bowl Blank

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More Multi-Layer Jigsaw Puzzles

Big or small – I make them all!

Last year I made two large, complex and challenging jigsaw puzzles with 90 and 140 pieces, respectively. Making a puzzle involves cutting out sections of pieces, turning them on edge, cutting them again, turning each section another time and making more cuts. The result is a pile of very intricate and highly unique puzzle pieces.

90-Piece Puzzle2

90-Piece Puzzle

140-Piece Puzzle2

140-Piece Puzzle

The large puzzles were impressive and the sheer number of pieces would have intimidated even a die-hard puzzler (or even its maker!). For that reason, I decided to make some smaller puzzles.

18-Piece Puzzles

These puzzles are smaller (roughly 2-3/4″ x 2-3/4″ x 1″) and have fewer pieces but are no less intricate or tricky than the larger ones.

A single is a great introduction to my multi-layer puzzles, and the difficulty can be increased by disassembling two or more into one pile of pieces.

I am offering them individually for $30 each, or $75 for three.

By the way, the two large puzzles are still for sale at this time as I write this article.

18-Piece Puzzles

18-Piece Puzzles

Links:

Push to Open

This cabinet is called Push to Open.  It was started with the idea to make a fine cabinet – something I haven’t done since 2010.

I had a few pieces of figured cherry left over from another project and I let their sizes provide an indication of the size of the cabinet.

The front panel was bookmatched for a symmetrical pattern. I chose straight-grained material for the rails and stiles and joined them with tiny floating tenons.

Push to Open Front

At some point in time while working on the cabinet, I got the idea to make the cabinet so that instead of pulling the door to open it, it had to be pushed. To achieve this, I built the cabinet a little narrower than the door. When I installed the door, I made it overhang the right side, beyond the pivot point of the hinge. Pushing on the right edge of the door swung it open.

Push to Open High

Inside the cabinet, I built some dividers using three thin pieces of cherry cross-lapped together. They were friction fit and required no glue for their assembly or installation in the cabinet.

Push to Open, OpenI also included a small drawer in the bottom of the cabinet. I made a small “drawer pull” and chamfered the edges. But true to the name and nature of Push to Open, you couldn’t open the drawer by pulling. Instead, the “drawer pull” was actually a button that, when pushed, prodded the drawer forwards.

Note the wavy, waterfall grain visible on the edge of the cabinet side, which is indicative of the figure on the adjacent face.

Push to Open Drawer, Closed

Here is what the drawer looked like, opened.

Push to Open Drawer, Open

This video shows the operation of Push to Open. (Duration – 0:46)

Check out the product page for more information on the cabinet, including dimensions and purchase details.

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A Day of Infinite Frustration, but Success in the End

My primary task on Monday was to build a sample project for a seminar I’m teaching later this month called Make an Infinity Mirror Clock.

Despite a number of unexpected complications, one miscalculation, a few mistakes, and a spring clamp launching itself right past my ear (wear eye protection when using clamps!), I got the clock finished and photographed in one day. I was happy about that.

Infinity Mirror Clock

The design relies on LED tape lighting and a special set of mirrors to create the illusion of infinite depth. Its actual depth is only 1.5″.

I will be leading a class through the process of making one of these Saturday, March 22nd at Lee Valley Coquitlam. You can find more information on the class on the page linked at the bottom of this article.

Links:

The Start of Black Walnut Cribbage Boards

It’s been a wild few days on the west coast. Saturday it began snowing, and two days earlier I spent the day in warm, sunny weather.

It was a beautiful Thursday morning when Dave Kilpatrick and I set up to cut some small, live-edge walnut pieces, destined to become cribbage boards. I positioned the chunks of walnut on a jig, which holds them steady, and told Dave where I wanted him to make the cuts.

Milling Black Walnut Cribbage Boards-001

The quality of his cuts was impressive as always and I left with a lot of beautiful slices of black walnut. I stacked and stickered them on a pallet in my yard and coated the ends with wax to control the drying process.

The walnut will dry there for at least a year before I bring it into my shop to continue the drying process. Perhaps in 2016 or 2017, you will see the first cribbage board made from this material. I guarantee that it will be worth the wait!

Experience Twisted Art

Join me from 6-8pm tonight (Wednesday, February 19th) at the Port Moody Art Centre for the Opening Reception of their newest exhibit, Twisted. The exhibition runs until March 13.

cropped-twisted-header.jpg

See twisted art from across Canada, including three of my pieces.

One of my newest pieces was created just for this show. It’s called Chair with a Twist and it’s so new, it doesn’t even have a spot in my website’s gallery yet (coming soon!).

Chair with a Twist

Chair with a Twist

Also in the show are two pieces that I built last year – Wireframe Cabinet and Pacific Yew Sculpture.

Wireframe Cabinet

Wireframe Cabinet

Pacific Yew Sculpture

Pacific Yew Sculpture

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