Yearly Archives for 2011
It has been a very busy fall at the school. Our second year students are nearing the completion of their chairs and first years students have begun the Upward Spiral exercise.
The Resident Craftsman students have been carefully fitting the live compound angle tenons of their back splats to the crest rail and lumbar rails while dialing in the fit between the crest rail and legs at the same time. This coming week they will move onto fitting and shaping the arms, which evolves fitting an angled, mortise and tenon on the curve of the back leg. Then onto finish and wrapping the seat.
Our Craftsman program students have completed their fundamental exercises and have moved onto the Upward Spiral exercise, the reproduction of the Andaman Padauk box that JK made in 1969. While the wood and the fittings will differ from the original, all other details no matter how insignificant will remain unchanged. All materials for this exercise are provided including the wood, hinges and lock.
Each of woods they will be using, have their own properties, and I mean this in the most unscientific way. More »
We have just returned from our annual pilgrimage down to the Gilmer Wood Company in Portland Oregon. Recent changes with Canada Customs have made the process of importing wood a difficult proposition. While our student as individuals do not seem to experience the same challenges as the school as a commercial entity; we will be working with Canada Customs and Agriculture Canada in streamlining this process. We will continue to stock our wood from several sources. Having the access to the resources at Gilmer’s is not something I am welling to let go. Jim came in on his day off to share with our new students his knowledge of wood and lumberyard etiquette. He joined us for a late lunch at the local Mexican restaurant.
We also returned Powell’s Books where we bought all remaining copies of JK’s books, new and used for our reference library. A few new additions to our library More »
Since my last entry our Craftsman Program students have completed their sawhorse exercise and have begun the Wabi Sabi cabinet exercise. We began with the coopered door; each student beveled and edge jointed the staves for their door, using planes made in the second week of the program. We then selected the material for their top, bottom and sides and edge jointed material as required. Joining material with an imperceptible joint is very gratifying, especially using a tool that you made and tuned yourself. We have doweled our carcasses, flushed the back and ran a rebate to accept the back panel we will be making in the coming weeks. We fit the door to the sides of the cabinet, an exercise in flexible accuracy. We ran the slots for partitions and milled and drilled for the fittings. We have shaped the sides, a subtle curve with a little pinch toward the edges of the concave door. This week we will be making and installing knife hinges, and complete the surface preparation and edge treatment. More »
We are entering the fourth week of our Craftsman and Resident Craftsman programs at Inside Passage School of Fine Cabinetmaking.
Last week our Craftsman program students began the sawhorse exercise. The exercise begins with the selection of the material. For each element of the sawhorse, we are looking for straight, rift-sawn grain. Each student is provided with a piece of flat sawn 16/4 eastern hard maple approximately 150mm wide and 300mm long. The end of the billet is layed out and the initial cut is made on the bandsaw with the table tilted and again later as the grain rotates on the curve. Each piece is sawn oversize and allowed to settle. Because we are taking many little pieces out of one large piece it is perhaps even more important, to allow the material to settle at the bench. More »
We are beginning the third week of the Craftsman and Resident Craftsman Programs at Inside Passage School of Fine Cabinetmaking. We had a week of making planes, and shavings. We also began preparing our chisels for the fine work we will do with them in the coming weeks. We discussed and observed the setting hoops and tapping out Japanese chisels and the Krenovian chisel modification.
On Friday after class, Gary Kent hosted an Elephant at the Co Housing. A beautiful evening with a beautiful people.
Craftsman Program students have completed their smoothers and are all making lovely shavings and leaving behind beautiful surfaces. They are in the process of completing their jointer and coopering planes, which we will be using next week when we begin the coopered door for our Wabi Sabi exercise. More »
We have just completed the first week of the Craftsman and Resident Craftsman programs at Inside Passage School of Fine Cabinetmaking. This year’s class consists of students from Japan, Belgium, Israel, Mexico, United States and Canada, including five second-year students, three Artisan program alumni including one Resident Artisan program alumni.
The Craftsman program students began with the graphics and shaping exercise. Students are guided through the sharpening, tuning and use of spokeshaves and block planes, tools essential to fine cabinetmaking. Students then complete a millwork and grain straightening exercise, which includes the use and safe operation of the bandsaw, jointer, planer and dimension saw. Students are then introduced to grain graphics, templates, shaping, surface preparation and edge treatment. More »
Tomorrow morning at 8am, we begin our seventh Craftsman and Resident Craftsman Programs at Inside Passage School of Fine Cabinetmaking. Since the school’s inception, I had set aside my own work until which time I was confident that the programs presented at the school best reflected Jim’s teachings and encouraging a sensitive and sensible approach to our craft.
This year’s class includes students from Japan, Israel, Belgium, Mexico, United States and Canada. This fall, we have the largest group of returning students. We have five second year students, three Artisan program alumni including a Resident Artisan program alumni. I think this confirms we are on course. I have returned to my bench, and while my progress has been slow, I am finding my way back to the craft that is so dear to me. More »
After my last entry, I had a bit of a dilemma. With the drawer joinery complete, I was reluctant to assemble the drawers, as I was still unsure of my pulls. The cabinet has four drawers and a door. The small door has a keyhole and does not require a pull. As the drawers spacing is irregular, pull placement became a bit of an issue. I tried mocking up each drawer with a single pull with no success. I tried two pulls on each of the wide drawers aligning with a single pull on the narrow drawer, this was better but still not what I was looking for. I kept moving the pulls out until they were on the outside of the drawer where they just felt right. I tried curving them out. Ergonomically this worked, however it would have made the fitting difficult. Aesthetically, the only issue here was where the bottom two drawers met. I reversed the curve and there it was, what I had been looking for all along. More »
This past week, I continued to work on with the drawers for my little cabinet. The doussie, while a bit brittle, was really a delight to work, not hard to see why it was one of Jim’s favourite woods. I have sketched a few pulls and I have begun looking at material for the stand.
We have begun to prepare the school and ourselves for the Craftsman and Resident Craftsman programs, which begin two weeks from this coming Monday. This year, we have a full compliment of students joining us from Japan, Belgium, Israel, Mexico, United States and Canada. Five of our students are returning for a second year of study with our completely revised Resident Craftsman program. Our wood room has been stocked with exciting new planks from around the world. During the final weeks of our break we will be tuning each of our machines and prepare the exercise material for the first few weeks of the program. It is an exciting time at Inside Passage School of Fine Cabinetmaking. More »
“I live in a beautiful place and work at something I love. I make enough money to live and my demands on the worlds resources are very meagre…”- John Brown
‘Our House’ a painting by Sharon Danroth of Gibsons British Columbia inspired by a photograph taken of our house back in 1948. Life had other plans for me this week, I spent very little time in my shop. Instead I spent my time with people and books, two aspects of my life, I have been neglecting.