Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Finishing a Windsor Bench

These shots show a few of the final steps of building a piece such as this 6' Windsor bench. Japanese saws are used for trimming off rails and also for cleaning up wedged tenon joints. The grouping of tools are some that are used for mounting rails and for cleaning up before final sanding and finishing. These really are the most important tools in the shop. I can pretty much go into any shop and make do with their power tools but if I do not have a razor sharp chisel, cabinet scraper and proper measuring tools then I feel quite handicapped. One develops a feel for any tool but feel of a chisel of the weight of a mallet are very special. I feel very clumsy if I do not have the tools that I am used to using. I made the mallets in the image and have used them for years. One is for delicate strikes and the other is for a more powerful blow. The blue chisel is more than 20 years old and the metal is polished to a silky smoothness from years of handling. A new chisel has rough edges and milling lines that feel awkward in the hand.
Below is a movie clip of trimming the wedged tenon joints at the underside of the seat. These are the ends of the back spindles coming through the seat.

To see the finished bench go to
Have a good one,

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cherry Windsor Bench and Fall in the North East

I am finally ready to assemble a 6' Settee that I have needed to finish up for a while now. Here it sits with a finish sanded seat and back rail. The next image is of the back spindle ends being super-dried to shrink them down before assembly. This is the key to a long lasting Windsor piece that will withstand years of changing seasons. Click here to see photos of the finished 6' Settee.

Fall is always a busy time in the North East as we get ready for the snow to come. I finally cleaned the chimney and stacked the rest of our firewood for the season. Our straw bale house stays pretty warm so we do not need a whole lot of wood. It still seems to take me forever to get it stacked. The rear blade is on the tractor and garden is put away for the winter. Winter is my most productive time of the year as the evening darkness makes it easy to stay in the shop and work longer hours.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

President and Michelle Obama's Wedding Anniversary

The Obama's celebrated their wedding anniversary at the Blue Duck Tavern at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. a week or so ago.

They were among my furniture that I made for the Hyatt a couple of years ago. Here, you can see my Waltham Rocker- , and here you can see the 29' Windsor bench that I made for the the hotel .

There are eight of my rockers at the Hyatt and six of them are spread around the common areas on the first floor. The long bench is in the Blue Duck Tavern and there are also eight 4 1/2' benches in glass walled booths in the Tea area. For info on these pieces, take a look at my website.