July 16, 2007

Artisan A Hand & Machine Tools from Left Robert, Neil, Craig, Ryan, Dita, Taran, Nerissa, Kevin, Luc & Ian.

Craig, one of our six-week Artisan Program students set the knives on the Jointer. Craig has really embraced the hands on approach at our school. He has spent a great deal of time refining and tuning his hand tools proving that finely tuned tools are easier to use and give exceptional results.

Luc takes end grain shavings. Luc, also a six-week Artisan Program student is a carpenter from Alberta. Luc has a keen interest in entrance door construction. In an effort to address students specific need we will be adding the door joinery presented in the Craftsman Program to Artisan D Joinery as both Luc and Dita intend on pursuing door making once they complete the Artisan Program. Luc treated the class to a case of mangos this past week.

Writing on the bathroom wall during the planing exercise.

Ian demonstrates the adjustment of on of our two domestic General Planers.

Taran takes initial shavings with his finely tuned spoke shave. Taran is from northern British Columbia where he has been a university student. Taran is very new to our craft and is already enjoying his new acquired set of skills.

During Robert’s lunchtime walk he came across a hand grinder being given away at a yard sale. The grinder was brought back to the school and a draw was held. Dita, another of our six-week Artisan Program students won the draw. Students are required to grind their first iron on the school’s hand grinder after which time they may use the power grinder if they choose. To date students have remained with the hand grinder and many have sourced them out for their own shops after leaving the school.

“I live in a beautiful place, I work at something I love and my demands on the worlds resources are very meager. What is so unusual about this idyllic circumstance is that there is plenty of room for more to join.” John Brown.

Artisan B Plane Making & Surfaces from left Robert, Bill, Luc, Craig, Neil, Ryan, Dan, Nerissa, Kenje, Taran, Ian, Dita, Ryan, Kevin & Kevin.

Very sweet first shavings from Dita’s first wooden hand plane. Dita and her partner Francis operate Victoria Wood Studio and are the makers of fine gates and passageways. For more information visit their website at www.victoriawoodstudio.com.

Bill takes his first shavings with his wooden smoother. This is Bills second visit to our school. Bill was here for Jim Budlong’s Drawer Making & Fitting last August. After leaving our school last summer he made a workbench where he continues to develop his skills as a craftsman.

Kenji takes first shavings with his wooden smoother. Kenji is here for two weeks and came on the referral of another of our students with whom he works. Kenji has been a good fit with our most enthusiastic group.

Ryan begins shaping of a plane. Ryan is here for the six-week Artisan Program and has been fascinated with woodworking most of his life and it shows in his work.

Neil dry assembles first plane. Neil is from Sechelt and is another six-week Artisan Program student. He just completed five years of University and really enjoys working with his hands. He has a great deal of enthusiasm and has been a pleasure to teach.

Kevin cuts shoulders for his cross pin on the bandsaw. This is Kevin’s second visit this summer. Kevin is an avid woodworker originally from Zimbabwe.

Nerissa with plane ready for locator pins. Nerissa is from Whitehorse Yukon where she owns and operates a large Artisan Cooperative. Next week she will be the first student to complete the six-week Artisan Program over separate sessions.

Happy Birthday Kevin! A special thank you to Kevin’s sister for giving us the heads up!

The Mandela, described as a geometric or pictorial design usually enclosed in a circle, representing the entire universe. It is used in meditation and ritual in Buddhism and Hinduism. Each summer in Roberts Creek a group of local artists and members of the community create a masterpiece just five minutes from our school. The outline is now complete, watch for updates in the coming weeks.

After Hours

Elephants was held on Friday afternoon after class. This week we had a special guest. Owen, one of the first Artisan Program graduates and his wife Susan from Alberta joined us for our Friday night gathering. It leaves me with a great sense of gratitude to have alumni of our school and their families visit.

Student’s in our Artisan Program are given access to the school on Saturdays, generally for hand tools only. As a bonus for enthusiastic students Robert offered a chair scrape making class.

Next Week

Dovetails and Tool Making

Drawer fitted to one of our student cabinets.

Paring chisel made from tulipwood and file.

The Benchroom This Week...

July23, 2007

New addition to the machine room at Inside Passage. A vintage Poitras shaper outfitted with a router collet. Poitras was a Canadian company who merged with General Canada who produced this shaper until 2004. We are very fortunate two have two of these simple yet very sturdy and functional machines.

Resident Craftsman

Kevin resaws veneers on the bandsaw. Kevin who is a graduate of the College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking Program has joined us for a second year of study. Kevin hit the ground running and is in the midst of a cabinet on a stand of doussie, Port Orford cedar, spalted and figured local maple.

Juan Carlos with glued up panel. Juan Carlos and his wife Beatrice have returned to Venezuela for the summer before he returns to complete his second year of study at the school.

Kevin discusses wood graphics with Artisan students. One of the many benefits to having resident craftsman around is the sharing of knowledge.

Juan Carlos’ wall cabinet with drawer fitting underway. Juan Carlos has a few days of fine tuning when he returns before this piece will be available in our gallery. Juan Carlos has a fine eye for design and has developed into an outstanding craftsman we are expecting big things from him this fall. Juan Carlos celebrated his 40th birthday this past month.

Doug Ives, our third resident craftsman, has recently bought a lovely heritage home in lower Gibsons and will be joining us at the school next month.

Schedule 2008

Artisan Program May 19-June 27 Inside Passage Faculty

  • Artisan A Hand & Machine Tools May 19-23 Inside Passage Faculty
  • Artisan B Plane Making & Surfaces May 26-30 Inside Passage Faculty
  • Artisan C Dovetails & Tool Making June 2-6 Inside Passage Faculty
  • Artisan D Joinery June 9-13 Inside Passage Faculty
  • Artisan E Veneers & Curves June 16-20 Inside Passage Faculty
  • Artisan F Hardware & Finishing June 23-27 Inside Passage Faculty
  • Guest Faculty June 30- July 4 Ric Allison Design
  • Guest Faculty July 7-11 Michael Burns Joinery
  • Guest Faculty David Welter to be announced

Artisan Program July 14-August 22 Inside Passage Faculty

  • Artisan A Hand & Machine Tools July 14-18 Inside Passage Faculty
  • Artisan B Plane Making & Surfaces July 21-25 Inside Passage Faculty
  • Artisan C Dovetails & Tool Making July 28-August 1 Inside Passage Faculty
  • Artisan D Joinery August 4-8 Inside Passage Faculty
  • Artisan E Veneers & Curves August 11-15 Inside Passage Faculty
  • Artisan F Hardware & Finishing August 18-22 Inside Passage Faculty

Craftsman Program September 9, 2008 - May 17, 2009

Since announcing the 2008 Schedule last week, we have already received a number of registrations for next years Artisan, Guest Faculty and Craftsman Programs. For More information or if you would like to register please call:
Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking: 1.877.943.9663

Registrations can also be faxed to: 1.604.885.9711 fax line

The Benchroom This Week...

August 20, 2007

During evening hours, Kenji carved the crosspin of his jointer plane with a leaf. Kenji embraced the attention to detail aspect of the Artisan Program. We look forward to his next visit.

Artisan C Dovetails and Tool Making from Left Mark, Kevin, Robert, Luc, Kenji, Nerissa, Dita, Craig, Dan, Neil, Melinda, Taran, Ryan and Ian.

Knives made by JK out of old rifflers. This week students learned the simple process of taking old files and giving them new life by making them into chisels and knives used during the program.

Mark lays out his half lapped pins with his shop made bevel gauge. This was Mark’s third program at the school this summer and always a pleasure.

Kenji with his first ever set of hand cut dovetails. Beautifully done!

Melinda fits her shop made paring chisel with a handle. Melinda is from Victoria and did some beautiful work while at the school. We look forward to her next visit.

Neil pares his pins with a shop made chisel. Neil is from Sechelt has shown real dedication to the program by working a full time job in the evenings so that he could attend classes during the day.

Nerissa cleans up a set of tails. Nerissa is our first student to achieve the Artisan Program certificate out of sequence. Nerissa donated a special phone and speaker system to the school to help better facilitate JK’s lectures. Her smiling face has been dearly missed around the shop since her departure. Once students have completed the Artisan Program they can complement their education with guest faculty or our Craftsman Program. Next year's guest faculty includes Michael Burns, Ric Allison and David Welter.

Ryan cleans up a set of pins. Ryan is a perfectionist and has an amazing attention to detail. He has developed some very fine hand skills. If we had room this fall we would take him in a second. We are pleased that he will be joining us for next year's Craftsman Program.

Luc’s shop made bevel gauge and Dita’s shop made paring chisel. During the Artisan Program students explore tool making. During Artisan C Dovetails and Tool Making students make a bevel gauge and paring chisel, both used to make their drawers. Many go on to make several chisels and knives.

The bottom and back of Craig’s drawer. The very kind of workmanship we have come to expect from Craig. In this program each student learned the process of cutting through and half lapped dovetails by hand, making and fitting a drawer as well as tool making which included chisels and knives and bevel gauges.

Jim’s lecture this week dealt with drawer making and fitting including stock selection and preparation, cutting dovetails, assembly, making and fitting the bottom and fitting.

Carter, Robert’s nephew cuts some sweet dovetails. On the Sunday between classes, after he and Tadi helped to clean the shop, Carter received a lesson in dovetailing.

Tadi, Robert & Yvonne’s daughter standing next to her painting with the community Mandela completed on a rare overcast day on the Sunshine Coast.

Artisan D Joinery from left Kevin, Ian, Robert, Luc, Dita, Craig, Taran, Dan, Ryan, Francis and Robbie.

Jim’s first lecture this week dealt with Mortise and Tenon construction including, stub, haunched and through.

Roberts first assembly for his chair glued up. In keeping with the topic of joinery, Robert brought the group into his benchroom to discuss dialing in the fit of mortise and tenon joinery.

Taran positions his doweling jig for doweling exercise. This week, the students learned this very simple yet accurate method of cabinet joinery.

Ian demonstrates cleaning out of groove for frame and panel exercise. Ian is in the process of pouring the floor for his shop and has already begun to acquiring machines including a restored vintage Davis & Wells jointer.

Luc fits twin double haunched mortise and tenon for sample entrance door. In the Artisan Program we have built in flexibility so that students can focus on the aspects of the program that are most important to their future aspirations. Luc and Dita both are exploring the possibilities which exist in entrance door making.

Dita makes adjustments to her twin, double haunched mortise and tenon sample door joinery. The finished joint provides the student with a very effective marketing tool. The sample joint can be presented to clients when discussing integrity of our work.

Dan rips drawer sides to width on the bandsaw. This is Dan’s fourth program this summer. Already an accomplished woodworker, he has been a good fit given the philosophy of craft taught at our small school. We enjoyed very much having him attend our school.

On the Sunday between programs, it brought back memories having Yvonne assist me on the front to back assembly of my chair.

Entrance door joinery by Dita and Luc underway. This joinery is based on doors that Robert built and was originally presented during the Craftsman Program. Given the interests of our Artisan students, it was reintroduced as an optional exercise.

Craig’s doweling and frame and panel exercise complete. During this program each student uses dowel, frame and panel and spline joinery to make a small wall cabinet.

Craig’s stub, haunched and through exercise joinery. Nicely fit with final cleanup of through and wedged tenon remaining. We make a concerted effort to introduce students to a variety of woods and their properties while at the school.

Jim lectured twice this week. His first lecture dealt with mortise and tenon joinery, the second with doweling and frame and panel. The cabinet pictured covers many of the aspects covered in our Artisan Program including surface preparation, doweling, splines, mortise and tenon, frame and panel, drawer making and fitting, hardware making and fitting and finishing.

Artisan E Veneers & Curves from left Neil, Craig, Jim, Jerry, Mac, Taran, Kevin, Luc, Dita, Ian and Ryan.

Jim’s second lecture this week dealt with veneer. Each time Jim presents a topic at our school he includes new ways to accomplish the task at hand.

In keeping with the topic at hand this week, resident craftsman and teacher Kevin Kelly edge glues the doussie veneers for his cabinet

Following the coopering exercise, Kevin demonstrates setup of bandsaw for cutting veneer.

Jerry cuts his veneers on the bandsaw. Jerry has a shop full of wood at home which he will be making the most of when he returns to Idaho. This was Jerry’s first program at Inside Passage. We will look forward to his return.

Mac shoots the edges of his veneer with one of our student jointer planes. This is Mac’s second visit to our school. We will look forward to his next visit when he returns for Artisan D Joinery next summer.

Jim who is from Sarnia Ontario cuts laminates for tapered lamination exercise. Jim took full advantage of his time here at the school taking part in the optional Saturday hours. Jim made a chair scrape of jatoba and brass.

On the optional Saturday, students made shooting boards. A useful jig in any shop.

In Artisan E Veneers and Curves students are introduced to tapered laminations on of the more advanced methods taught during the Artisan Program. Each of our student’s leaves the program with a form and tapered lamination, both made using a sensible combination of hand and machine tools taught at the school.

Students are taught how to make a coopered door including edge jointing which is a wonderful segue to form making where students make a curved form and use it to create a curved veneer panel complete with shop sawn veneer, baked in and applied edges.

Next Week is Artisan F Hardware & Finish. In this program students are introduced to hardware including the making and fitting of hinges, flipper floppers, consoles, pulls and finishing including oil, polish and wax. This program will wrap up our Artisan & Guest Faculty for the summer of 2007.

The Benchroom This Week...

August 27, 2007

Ryan roughs out curved veneered panel form on the bandsaw before heading back to the tranquility of his bench and wooden hand planes. Ryan intends on remaining on the coast and attending next year's Craftsman Program. We wish we had room for this fine young man this fall. He showed great focus and progress while at the school and asked thoughtful, intelligent questions. His warm smile and gentle nature will be missed at the school. He is also a fine cook. Francis, Dita’s partner shared with the group some banana bread he made for her after she did some grocery shopping for him. It was so nice watching this group bond. One of the most enjoyable parts of being involved with our small school is the strong sense of community. Ryan and his classmates are welcome additions to our family.

Ian assists Taran with the setup of a new plane. Taran will be returning to Environmental studies at the University of Northern British Columbia this fall and will be setting time aside to do some woodworking including carving which has become a focus for him. Taran began making a handle for an antique traditional Polish walking stick axe for his partner in his final week at the school. Taran enjoyed the hands on approach taught at our school. One the final day he told me that he feels a close connection to the craft. This brought a smile to my face.

Dita shapes the handle of her chair scrape, an optional Saturday exercise. This week students made wooden spoke shaves after hours. Dita and her partner Francis operate Victoria Wood Studio. Dita is a graduate of the Camosun College Fine Furniture Program and the maker of fine passageways. She will use some new and refined skills to expand her product line including passage doors. Francis, runs the business side of things, allowing Dita to concentrate on the craft. Since arriving at the school Dita has ordered a traditional European Bench like the ones used at our school and a slot mortiser. She is returning to her shop with the intention of setting up a separate benchroom for handwork. If you are in the market for a fine passageway or passage door visit their website at www.victoriawoodstudio.com. Dita was another of our students who took full advantage of their time here at the school including optional evening and Saturday hours. Dita, Francis and Robbie, their beautiful golden lab, will be missed by this community.

Kevin with his veneered back panel out of the press with seamless edge joints. Kevin has been a tremendous asset to the school and has been very well received by our students. His warm, patient nature and attention to detail has made him a welcome addition to our teaching staff. Kevin is using his carpentry skills this to install a wood floor in our benchroom making it easier on our student’s legs and backs not to mention cutting edges that have the misfortune to hit the floor!

Neil practices installation of shop made latches and hardware. Neil showed a lot of dedication by working evenings so he could attend classes during the day. Neil’s mother Victoria and her family are showing an amazing amount of support by assisting him in setting up a small shop at their Sechelt home. Victoria informed me that a close friend of the family is buying Neil a bench, a very thoughtful gesture.

Luc bores the screw holes for his shop made brass knife hinges. Of all the students who have walked through the doors of Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking none will be missed more than Luc. Always willing to lend a hand, he truly exemplifies what this school is all about. He enjoys his work and it shows in his work. Luc plans on incorporating many of the skills learned at the school in his own work when he returns to Edmonton Alberta. His has talents extend beyond the bench; he makes a fine salad not to mention an exceptional cup of coffee (which got me through one tired afternoon). On the last day of the Artisan Program he even volunteered for the hideous job of vacuuming out the filters on the dust collector. I am sure his girls will be glad to have him home but his bench, and I will miss him.

One of Craig’s completed shop made hinges. In the final week of the Artisan Program, Artisan F Hardware & Finish students are introduced to the making and installation of shop made hardware including hinges, flipper floppers, pressure buttons, pulls and consoles. Students also are given the opportunity to experiment with the simple finishes taught at our school including oil mixtures, polish (shellac) and wax. Artisan students are given the opportunity to practice many of the topics covered in our Craftsman Program without having to commit to a program lasting several months.

Ian demonstrates finishing methods during the final week of the Artisan Program. Ian’s shop is progressing well. It will be strange not having Ian at his bench at the school this fall as he has been with us since the school's inception (He was our first registration of the Craftsman Program in our first year). Ian has been and will continue to be a significant part of our school. He will continue teaching two days a week and will work out of his shop just down the road from the school.

Craig opens the mouth on one of his wooden planes made during the Artisan Program. Craig took full advantage of his time here at the school arriving each morning from Monday through Saturday at just after 7am and seldom if ever left the school before 9pm in the evening. I am sure if we opened the shop on Sundays he would have been there. We all need one day to process and catch up on the things that go undone while we concentrate on our craft. He completed each of the exercises including all optional Saturday activities at an extremely high level and did with it all focus and a gentle smile. Craig’s karma will be dearly missed.

Artisan Program August 2007 from Left Ryan, Taran, Neil, Kevin, Luc, Robert, Dita, Ian and Craig. Every once and a while a special group of people come through our doors. This has been one such group, it was a wonderful way to finish out this year’s summer programming at our small school.

Robert’s chair with arm joinery underway. The chair will unfortunately not be ready in time for the College of the Redwoods Twenty Fifth Anniversary Show but will be completed early this fall and presented to this year's Craftsman Program Class and exhibited along side student and faculty work at our third annual open house on January 26th 2008 at the grand opening of the Jim & Britta Krenov Gallery in Roberts Creek. Watch for more information in future editions of Benchroom this Week.

Please note that our school will be closed the week of August 27, 2007 while we have a wood floor installed in the benchroom. Yvonne will not be in the office this week as she and Robert will be taking a few days to go camping with their family before their son starts college and the Craftsman Program begins. We will be returning voice mail and e-mail the following week. Thank you for your patience.

Be Well,