January 15, 2007

Ian's laminations for rockers. Notice the thick top laminate which was steam bend prior to glue up. This was done to accommodate the sculpting joinery which is currently underway.

Scott's cabinet with back panel fit. The frame is beech with panels of Spanish cedar. Scott managed a tremendous save when during his final glue up he neglected to insert one of the panels. Mortises were cut through from the outside to free the rail. Floating tenons were inserted with the panel in place. This was a compromise free repair with exceptional results.

One of Jacques' handmade hinges fit. Notice subtle shaping of hinge corresponds with the side of his cabinet of English Brown Oak. Detail, soften edges of mortise and holes for screws tapped allowing alignment of slot of screw with hinge.

Stephen's dovetails nicely fit, in walnut with first coat of oil on exterior of box. The frame and panel lid is underway featuring a curly Claro walnut panel which was sawn a few weeks ago to allow for settling.

Back of Lael's wall cabinet, as lovely as the front. Almost a shame to hang on a wall. This piece is exquisite and the workmanship exceptional. Lael has a promising career ahead of him as a maker of fine things.

Interior of Lael's wall cabinet of pear awaiting curved frame and panel doors and curved front drawers. The drawers are nearing completion and the doors are fit. Lael has finish fit the doors and has shop made wall hangers to install prior to the show.

Ian dialing in the fit of of twin open mortise and tenon joinery. In this joinery "Anything effects everything". Ian has all the personal attributes which define a craftsman and it show in his teaching. We are very fortunate to have Ian as one of our teachers.

A lovely smile.

Juliette's dovetail joinery complete for a spice box in a imbuya, appropriately in a wood with a spicy fragrance. Juliette has really enjoyed our school emphasis on hand skills and it shows in her work.

Scott's frame and panel doors dry fit. Notice the careful attention paid to the graphics and the details. The workmanship of this piece is spot on. Scott will be making a chair for his second piece which will include tapered laminations and compound angled joinery.

Federico's cabinet dry fit. This piece is simply stunning, which is the only thing simple about it. The workmanship and attention to grain graphics is precisely what we strive for at our school. We are very fortunate to have Federico as a second year student at the school and will has been a source of inspiration to all of our students and faculty.

Scott sneaking up on scribe line. Square foreground shows scale. Scott maybe heading back to the metal work area to make a few tools to facilitate getting into those tiny sockets.

Lael's drawers fit and awaiting pulls. Curved front dovetail joinery was covered by Robert in last weeks demo. These joints are extremely well done and the pulls are now underway which consist of a recessed pull in a carved socket.

Juan's drawers ready for bottom grooves. Juan has an wonderful eye and personal aesthetic, this combined with the fine hand and machine skills he has developed since arriving at the school make him someone to watch in the coming months and years!

Jacques' cabinet complete with initial mockup for stand to be made of wenge. The mockup is painted poplar to help establish weights, as darker woods tend to relay lighter weights. This has been a very ambitious first piece which, he has had to make use of many of the additional hours made available to him in order to complete for the show. The piece all I would hope for from a student. Jacques' in addition to being a fine craftsman keeps the mood light and has been a pleasure to have around.

Cole's cabinet complete awaiting door and shelf. Cole has made his wall hangers and will need to install them, the door and finish his pull to have his piece ready for the show. Well done Cole.

The Benchroom this week ...

January 1, 2007

Lael's back panel partially dry fit showing joinery. Lael has done a wonderful job in the selection of materials and craftsmanship of this piece. Pictures never seem to do justice with a piece like this. The craftsmanship and selection of materials are so important in our work. Come and enjoy the many details of this piece and others with our open house and student show which takes place at our gallery on January 27, 2007. The open house runs from 1-4pm with Student Show at 7pm. If you are unable to attend but would like a tour of our facility call Yvonne to arrange a tour.

Lael's cabinet in Swiss pear, awaiting back panels, doors and drawers. The drawer fronts which follow the curves of the of the cabinet will be shaped of solid wood, in this case red cabruva using planes, spokeshaves and chair scrapes which were made and tuned by each student earlier in the semester. Cutting dovetails on a curve will be the topic of Tuesdays lecture where Robert will demonstrate the complete process from shop drawing to drawer.

Jacque's cabinet prepared for installation of drawer pocket partitions. The workmanship of this piece is exquisite and we are expecting wonderful things from this young man from the Maritimes.

Jacque's back frame and panel during initial glue up. The frame is of english brown oak with panel of local spalted curly maple. The maple was a gift from Robert who purchased the wood locally several years ago.

Scott's back beech frame with measurement sticks for panels. Students are encouraged to use story and measuring sticks to avoid mistakes caused by relying on measurements.

Bruce shares his experience with tapered laminations with the group. The three tapered lamination components in wenge will form the wall bracket for his hall table of kwila. Bruce is taking part in our journeyman program, which offers graduates on Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking or the College of the Redwoods and opportunity to work and share their knowledge and experience with our craftsman students. Next month we will be joined by Jason Klager one of last years graduates who in addition to completing his piece for our year end student, faculty and alumni show will be demonstrate marquetry to this years class. Todd Sorenson, a College of the Redwoods graduate, who just finished teaching a semester at the College of the Redwoods will be joining us in March and April. In addition to providing some teaching relief, which will allow Robert to spend some time at his bench, Todd will be working on a chair for the upcoming College of the Redwoods twenty fifth anniversary show which takes place in September. Robert also intends to have the chair he is making prepared for this show.

Juan's back scratcher another side project and a small plane, made by Jason Klager during last years Craftsman Program set up late one evening for photo. I am beginning to think that our students have far to much time on their hands. In addition to the required hours of the Craftsman Program which runs from 8am-5pm Monday through Saturday, students have access to the shop in the early mornings from 6am-8pm and the evenings from 5pm-9pm. This combined with the required hours provides students with access to the school for up to 90 hours per week. And while we do not recommend students take advantage of all of these hours it does provide students with flexibility of working with their body rhythms.

Ian's tapered laminations for upholstered frame component. Precise workmanship is required for this Danish inspired chair, something we have come to expect from one of our Resident Craftsman & Teachers.

Cole's planelette made for edge treatments. Cole has developed a keen interest in tool making which he has taken full advantage of since arriving at our school.

Scott's panels of Spanish cedar underway and will receive a few light coats of shellac prior to assembly prior to assembly which will protect them during handling but leaving the lovely fragrance of the wood to be enjoyed.

Side of Federico's compound curve veneered parquetry cabinet in macassar ebony and wenge. The applied edge was removed prior to veneering and carefully applied after aligning with grain on sides. While our school is inspired by the teachings of James Krenov and much of our work is influenced by his and our teachers, students are encouraged to find their own voice in their work.

Jon's practice joinery in ash for meditation stool. Some pretty complex joinery that requires a sensible balance of hand and machine tools. The actual piece is to be made of kwila, a sustainable wood native to New Zealand.

Ian's practice joinery for side frames of chair in ash before moving onto the East Indian Rosewood. We encourage students to complete practice joinery in inexpensive wood before moving onto precious materials.

Bruce's tapered laminations settle in parts racks, a side project began by Ian and completed by our students as a mortise and tenon fitting review. This week we will be reviewing topics covered in the first semester before moving onto second semester topics the following week.

Lael during final glue up of drawer compartment glue up in pear. In behind, not shown is Jacques who is assisting Lael. Students are encouraged to have glue up buddies assisting or standing by. Remember, glue changes everything! Pear is a friendly wood but very unforgiving. Joinery needs to be done exceptionally well if the piece is to be considered a success. Lael returned to Alaska for break to be with his wife who has been very supportive of Lael as he pursues his passion. Lael arrived in Roberts Creek just weeks after they were married.

Steve uses a Oberg cut file to gently soften the edges of his dovetailed box. A few weeks ago during one of his lectures Jim Krenov reminded students of the importance of kindly edges, a defining characteristic present in the work of Jim and his students. Steve returned to Powel River for the break and enjoyed his time reconnecting with his family who have shown tremendous support for him as he pursues his education.

Juliette's dovetails in Imbuya. Juliette had very limited experience prior to attending this school. Her progress has been remarkable! She is considering an acoustic guitar for her second piece. Robert has instrument making experience which he will need to brush up on if he is to be in a position to assist her. Juliette shares one thing in common with all our students and faculty, a love of the material and the process of working it with refined hand skills.

Students often have side projects to balance the intensity of their pieces. Juliette has really taken to carving. This spoon, carved of local yew has been carved using carving tools and a fine knife made and given to her by Cole, one of her fellow students.