Monday, December 27, 2010

Stuck in New Hampshire and Stocking Stuffers

These are some of my pens that I made for stocking stuffers this year. Below are two made of curly maple and one of mahogany.  It is fun to have something that I have made and that is so useful that I can carry in my pocket.  I love them and my family seemed to really like them.  Let me know if you are interested. 

We came to New Hampshire for Christmas and may be here for another day. The snow storm is still going strong at about 11am on Monday.  I have things that I want to get done in the shop but I don't think it is worth having a hectic 8 hour drive home that would normally be 3 hours. 

Below is a project that I need to get back to.  It will be 4 custom High Work Stools with walnut seats and a 28" height.  The ash legs are all shaped and ready, the seats are rough cut and drilled.  The seats still need to be sculpted and the stretchers will need to made. See my High Work Stool here.

Happy Snow Day.

Friday, December 24, 2010

'Twas the Night Before Christmas... Stealth Windsors

Just a few shots to show the progress on my 10 Waltham chairs.  

A few hanging in the raw awaiting their first coat of milk paint.  10 chairs in the shop take up a lot of space, so hanging them up helps clear up the floor quite a bit.

All lined up after the first coat of paint, The arm chairs in the foreground have been buffed. You can see that they are a bit more grey looking.  Before the buffing, they are very flat black and rough.  They remind me of stealth bombers at this point. They almost absorb light.  Maybe I can get a lucrative contract making Stealth Windsors for the Pentagon.

 Have a Merry Christmas,


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Time to make the spindles...

Below are shots of the shaving horse and some of the 90 spindles that I am making for a set of 10 Waltham chairs.  I rough them out on the table saw and jointer but the final rounding and sizing is done on the shaving horse with a hand plane.  In order to make them match, they are laid out side by side.  If one is larger than the others it will be evident.  The eye is very good at detecting something that is not like the others.  The image at the bottom is a clump of ash shavings  (don't say this at home).  Ash is chosen for spindles because of its strength along the grain.  Even the shavings can be molded into a ball.  If you were to try this with cherry, you would end up with a pile of dust.

Our first real snow came yesterday. We got enough to plow. Today, I managed to get the chains on the tractor.  Each one weighs around 70 lbs so it is not an easy task. It seems that there is always a project get in the way of paying work. Especially this time of year.
Happy snow.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Making Some Progress on 10 Waltham Windsor Chairs

I have just finished assembling the seat and legs for 2 Waltham arm chairs and 8 Waltham side chairs.  These will be painted with black milk paint.  The seats on my painted chairs are made of Poplar which is not very pretty but it is strong and it paints well.  The legs are made of ash.  The chair on the table saw still has all of its wedged tenon joints untrimmed.   That chair is having its feet marked for leveling on the table saw. Then I have it in the vise in order to saw to the marked lines and to clean up the other joints on the legs.  The backs will go on soon. First I have to finish shaving the 90 plus spindles.
See my chair page on my website to see all of my chair designs.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

More Wining?

I am actually getting some work done on furniture orders even though it may not seem like it. Sometimes in the evenings though, I would rather take a break and work on the lathe.  Here are some of my latest designs for wine stoppers.
Let me know if any of these strike your fancy. These are headed to the Art on Main
Gallery in Bristol and to the Studio V Holiday Sale in Vergennes.    I was right that the black background made the photos come out a lot better.  If I knew more about photography maybe I could make a white background work but all I know is that the camera does not like it.  Too much brightness I guess.  Enjoy the nice weather.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Stop the Wine, Hand Turned Wine Stoppers

Each year I search for a new small project that will work as stocking stuffers for my family.  Well, here is this years project.  I am also offering these for sale through some local galleries as well as directly through my website.  I turn them from native Vermont hardwoods and each one is a bit different from the last.  The actual stopper part is solid stainless steel.  Most stoppers of this type are made from chromed steel that will eventually pit and corrode. These will not.  The rubber stops are designed to fit various sizes of wine bottles. 
A few examples are below.  I believe that they will make great gifts and I will ship them to you for $30. each.  $55. for 2 stoppers.  $80. for 3.  (or $25. each plus $5. for shipping)
Send me an email if you'd like to place an order.

Let me know if you are interested or if you have any ideas. A few examples are below. Click the images to make them easier to see.  Next time, I will photograph them against a dark background. That should make them jump out a bit more.

Happy Fall,

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cherry Pencil Post Bed

The defining elements of the pencil post bed are the posts that go from a square to about mattress height and then switch to an eight sided taper.  These are a lot of fun to make as there is quite a bit of hand and eye work involved.  The posts are sawn to a four sided taper on the table saw and then marked with a spar makers scribe.   Then the lamb's tongue is chiseled and finally the new four facets are hand planed to the scribe lines.  You can see the other beds on my website here.  Lately,  I have been asked to do cherry beds with a milk paint finish.  They really are nice. The milk paint is worn off a bit at the edges of the facets which really lets you see the geometry of the parts but also lets the red high lights of the cherry come through.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival in Woodstock, Vermont

A bunch of Guild members spent the weekend in Woodstock at the Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival on Sept 25 and 26.   We had a group booth that included work of around 15 members and a handful of members also has their own booths at the show.   At this point it is hard to say if the show was a financial success or not.  Selling furniture is different from selling scarves and such as usually there is some back and forth before a sale of furniture is made.

 For me, the opportunity to chat with members and other furniture makers and woodworkers was well worth the effort to do the show.  We spend so much time on our own that this can be a great opportunity to recharge the mental batteries.  Having the opportunity to bounce ideas off of each other over a couple of days is a great thing rather than through an email or short phone call. Mostly just laughing together.  Being a member of the Guild has financial reward for me by feeding customers to my website from the Guild site but has the even greater reward of community in an otherwise solitary endeavor.  Even though many of us are potential competitors, we actually have a good time when we get together.

Why be a member of the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers? The Guild is great. Long live the Guild.


Below are some shots of members and member's booths and our group booth.  These shots are taken during the quiet times at the show when I had a chance to leave my booth. (That is why there are so few extra people around)

David Hurwitz featured in his own work.

Janet Collins hard at work on some of her inlay work that she demonstrated at the show.

Janet's daughter, Lauren was a cheerful addition to the group.

Jim Becker

Bill Laberge had his own booth

David Hurwitz and Dan Mosheim

David Boynton helped man the Guild booth

Walt Stanley wondering where he left his shoes.

My (Timothy Clark's) shaving horse (center) that allowed me to demonstrate and get some work done.

Timothy Clark's booth

Janet Collins answering questions in her booth.

David Hurwitz's booth.  David , center, his dad , Art , right and winner of the Studio and Custom portion of the Design Comp,   Doug "sideboard" Clarner.

Jim Becker in his booth

Charlie Shackleton in his booth.

Walt Stanley's booth.

Janet Collins carving one of her turned bowls.

McGuire Family Furniture Maker's booth
Dave Boynton and Dan Mosheim in the Guild booth

Guild booth

Guild booth,  Kit Clark's chair center

Guild booth, Timothy Clark's bench.
Guild booth