Monday, March 2, 2009

Small stuff.

So, I've been reasonably busy with small projects.

One project is a pair of platforms for someone who wanted their cat to be able to look into their window and let them know she wanted to come in... but I call them plant stands, because cat stands just sounds a bit perverse. And that cat doesn't seem to like me very much anyway.

Still, it was a good excuse to play with the bandsaw, and practice fancy joinery, as seen in the photo. Chris and Don wanted to know what the inspiration was, and I honestly don't know, but it's clear that I've spent way too much time reading about timber framing, and Japanese joinery.

The other project is a bookcase that I'm still in the middle of, and wishing I'd chosen a more stable wood. It's going to be a painted bookcase, so I went with poplar, but the wood has been cranky, and it's been trying to twist on me. Last thing I need is a twisted bookcase, so we'll see how it turns out. I'll post pictures once it's looking better. Part of the problem is probably being caused by the fact that I resawed the boards out of a larger plank, and I should have known, looking at the grain, that this part of the tree had been a little stressed out over the course of its life, so it was bound to be a little odd inside. Still, I think it's working out so far. And the good news is that the resawing part went well, thanks to the little rolling table I made a few weeks ago.

Lastly, I decided recently that while shop efficiencies generally dictate the use of machines to get things done, I really want to keep my hand tool skills well honed, so I've started doing night-time "after hours" projects. The first project is basically a regression for me. It's a small (12"x12"x18") chest of drawers, modeled after a small tool chest that I built years ago in a workshop at North Bennet. I started it on Wednesday night, and by Thursday night I got the dovetails for the carcase finished, and the dadoes for drawer dividers cut. So I was able to do the glue-up on Thursday night. This box is from the wonkiest of the poplar left over from the bookcase job, (hence the pile of clamps in the picture, to hold it all straight and square during the glue up) and it's really just an over-wrought exercise in cutting dovetails. Still, it'll keep me out of trouble for a few more days, and be one more thing to put up in the portfolio, so it's not a completely wasted effort. And, it'll be a place to put stuff. You know, stuff? Then it's on to chair building experiments and tables... so stay tuned.

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