New Work: Reign

Prior to this one, I had created three shelves of this style: Black Locust Wall Table, Artifact of, and There is Not Always Light at the End of the Tunnel. They are characterized by tall vertical elements with long tusk tenons mounted to the wall. The shelf slipped over the tusk tenon and was locked in place with a wedge.

The design was simple and practical with bold lines. I liked how the mechanics of the design were in the open and appreciated the freedom I had in shaping the three visible elements – the shelf, upright and wedge. Apparently, the public appreciated the design as well since the two I offered for sale sold quickly (one remained in my workshop next to my bench).

Reign was the fourth in this family of designs. I was going to tell you why I like it, but instead, I decided to just show you.

Let me know what you think about it in the comments section.

Reign1 Reign3 Reign2

Links:

Deconstructed – Finished Shots and Reflective Thoughts

Today, I completed Deconstructed, making it the first piece of 2013.  Although there are a couple of things that didn’t go the way I wanted, I am very happy with the result.  I find myself loving it more the longer I am around it.  (The same can be said with most of my woodwork.)

The shelf is 23″ x 7″ x 3.5″ thick.  The Crystal Clear resin is 1″ thick.  You can see some air bubbles in the back right section of the casting where it meets the wood which are a result of the resin curing too quickly.

Deconstructed1

The transition between the wood and resin is perfectly smooth – the seam is indistinguishable to the fingertips.  I am particularly happy with this result.

Deconstructed2

When viewed from below, it is more obvious that the three wood pieces were actually one piece at one time but are now separate.

Deconstructed3

At the left, you can see that parts of the end grain are darker because resin was allowed to penetrate the surface.  (Next time, I will prefinish the wood parts to prevent this.)

Deconstructed4

You can read about the build process step-by-step in the following five Tweet-Along sessions:

I have not decided whether I will list this piece in my Store, but it is in my Gallery (which showcases my past work regardless of whether or not it is for sale).

Deconstructed, Session 5

In Session 1Session 2Session 3 and Session 4 I began working on an exploded shelf I’m calling Deconstructed.  I finished the last session by filling in air bubbles with epoxy.

IMG1591

Today, in the final session of this Tweet-Along, I completed the shelf, including applying the first coat of finish.

As always, I documented my progress live on Twitter using hashtag #FlairWW (follow me @FlairWoodworks) which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  I attempted to record my build in time-lapse as usual, but due to a technical glitch, that didn’t work.  I compiled the photos and Tweets into a video (duration – 2:16).

Deconstructed, Session 4

In Session 1Session 2, and Session 3 I began working on an exploded shelf I’m calling Deconstructed.  I finished the last session by pouring clear resin around the wood parts set in a mould made of waxed melamine.

IMG1509

Tuesday, I unmoulded the casting.  If everything had gone perfectly, all that would have been required would have been to apply a finish.  Alas, that was not the case, so I continued work.  This was my first time working with resin (Crystal Clear by Smooth-On) and, considering that, I’m happy with the results.

As always, I documented my progress live on Twitter using hashtag #FlairWW (follow me @FlairWoodworks) which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  I also recorded my build in time-lapse and compiled the photos and Tweets into a video (duration – 9:36).

In the next session, I expect to complete the shelf.

Deconstructed, Session 3

Earlier this month in Session 1 and Session 2, I began working on a new project.  I had cut parts for the mould and begun waxing them.

Yesterday, I finished waxing the mould and poured the resin.  As always, I documented my progress live on Twitter using hashtag #FlairWW (follow me @FlairWoodworks) which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  I also recorded my build in time-lapse and compiled the photos and Tweets into a video (duration – 7:15).

In the next session, I’ll unmould the casting and find out if my first attempt at casting was successful and to what degree.

Deconstructed, Session 2

Last week, in Session 1, I began working on a new project.  I finished the day with three parts for a shelf and the task of researching casting resins.

Yesterday, I bought Smooth-On’s Crystal Clear resin and proceeded with the build.  As always, I documented my progress live on Twitter using hashtag #FlairWW (follow me @FlairWoodworks) which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  As I did last time, I also recorded my build in time-lapse and compiled the photos and Tweets into a video (duration – 8:57).  This time, I added more time to the still frames.

This is a new format and I would appreciate your feedback, especially regarding the duration of the still frames (if they are still too quick, you can click on the video to pause it).

In Session 3, I complete the mould and pour the resin.

Deconstructed, Session 1

Yesterday, I went down to the shop with the intention of completing a piece of furniture.  I had no idea what I was going to build, but knew it was likely to be sculpted.

As always, I documented my progress live on Twitter using hashtag #FlairWW (follow me @FlairWoodworks) which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  For the first time, I also recorded my build in time-lapse and compiled the photos and Tweets into a video (duration – 10:20).

This is a new format and I would appreciate your feedback, especially regarding the duration of the still frames (if they are too quick, you can click on the video to pause it).

When I finished for the day, I left believing that I had been working on an exploded shelf.

I now need to do some research and pick up some special materials before I continue the build in Session 2.

Wall Brackets for Hollow Chisel Mortiser

Yesterday, at 2:05 pm, I decided that I needed to get my benchtop mortiser off my bench.  I documented the process of building and mounting wall brackets live on Twitter and what you see below are the updates.  This was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, the @ symbol indicates a username.  Every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username and they are the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you will see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you will see is #, which serves as a category.  I tried to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

@FlairWoodworks: I need a pair of brackets to mount my mortiser on the wall here. Follow along with #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:05 pm

@FlairWoodworks: This is my mortiser. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:06 pm

@FlairWoodworks: These are some hardwood scraps I had in the shop. The wood on the right is interesting but there isn’t enough. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:13 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I use a short fence on my sliding tablesaw to cut the parts to length. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:17 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I used the jointer to flatten one face, then used the bandsaw to make the other face parallel. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:22 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I used the smallest of my seven bench planes to clean up the bandsawn surfaces. This wasn’t really necessary though.
January 10, 2012, 2:34 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I dry-fit the bracket and marked the cuts for the cross-brace. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:38 pm

@FlairWoodworks: Some of the cuts for the cross braces were angles greater than 45 degrees. This is how I cut them. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:50 pm

@DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworks great, simple strategy.
January 10, 2012, 2:50 pm

@FlairWoodworks: Here’s your first look at what they will look. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:52 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I’m using 8mm Dominoes for the joinery so I had to switch the bits from the last time I used the Domino Joiner. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 2:56 pm

@FlairWoodworks: To get this mortise accurately cut, I clamped a stop 10mm down from the centerline. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 3:08 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I forgot to readjust the depth setting for the angled ends. I’ll plug this cavity with a Domino and try again. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 3:14 pm

@FlairWoodworks: One glued up! #flairww
January 10, 2012, 3:26 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I use Extractor nail pullers to remove the Dominoes after dry-fitting. #flairww
January 10, 2012, 3:41 pm

@DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworks good idea. I use pliers.
January 10, 2012, 3:55 pm

@FlairWoodworks: @DyamiPlotke The jaws of the Extractors remain parallel for a better grip.
January 10, 2012, 3:56 pm

@DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworks yeah. I’ll try an extractor next time.
January 11, 2012, 4:00 pm

@FlairWoodworks: The glue is dry now so it’s time to continue making the brackets for wall-mount the hollow chisel mortiser.
January 11, 2012, 5:20 pm

@FlairWoodworks: The next step is to flush up the joints. #flairww
January 11, 2012, 5:22 pm

@FlairWoodworks: If the brackets are out of square, I use the tablesaw to cut them square. #flairww
January 11, 2012, 5:34 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I drilled two angled holes at the top and one straight at the bottom. #flairww
January 11, 2012, 5:45 pm

@FlairWoodworks: I attach one bracket at the measured height on the wall and use a level to determine the vertical placement of the second.
January 11, 2012, 5:58 pm

@FlairWoodworks: Finally, I hefted the mortiser onto the brackets and bolted it down. #flairww
January 11, 2012, 6:16 pm

@woodbard: @FlairWoodworks Well done, Chris! The mortiser has found a permanent home, out of the way of other tools. Support planned for long boards?
January 11, 2012, 6:20 pm

@FlairWoodworks: @woodbard And it only took two months! When I need outfeed support, I will probably just set up a sawhorse.
January 11, 2012, 6:24 pm

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

A couple days ago, I started building some shelves on which to display some of my smaller projects.  They will be floating shelves, with no visible attachment point.  I could have made them a basic rectangular prism, but if you know me, you know there’s no way I would leave them that simple.  I decided on a simple carving along the edges that captures the eye with the subtle shadows it throws.  The white paint emphasizes the shadows.  Before jumping into production, I made a prototype to make sure I was happy with it.  Here is the prototype test-mounted to my shop wall.

Happy with how it looked I went forwards with production.  The shelves are actually 1″-thick torsion boxes (more on torsion boxes in a later post) and are edged with 1/2″ poplar.  I laid out the wave design using the largest French curve in the set of three and carved away material from either side of the line, saving the line.  My #3 gouge was the right size for this job.  I decided to continue the wave design around to the ends of the shelves in my production run.

I particularly enjoy carving because it is a quiet activity that I can do without disturbing anyone else.  Carving is something I can do for hours and completely lose track of time.  As a result, I found myself turning in at 2:15 am yesterday morning.  Tonight (or should I say this morning?) I worked in the shop late again.  I shut down the shop and wrote this entry.  Just now, I remembered to look at the clock.  Wow, it’s late and I have to get up early tomorrow morning.  I don’t really have time t