The Woodshop Shed

adventures in woodworking and home maintenance, from my shop in an oversized backyard shed

August 2022
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Made a Chair from a Tree

Furnished content.
(from Lumberjocks.com)


Made a Chair from a TreeI took a chair-making class in July 2022 with Kenneth and Angela Kortemeir at their Maine Coast Craft School, off-grid in the Maine woods. Kenneth makes beautiful stuff and knows how to gently help you do the same. We followed the method in the Make a Chair from a Tree book pretty closely. Each student completed a chair in seven days, using hand tools only, starting from a green oak log and ending with weaving the seat.We started splitting a large fresh oak log with starter wedges. You could see the moisture squirt out as the wedges went in. We used froes to further split the wood to try to get close to the size of the posts and rungs.Then the main work began with drawknives and shave horses. It took a while to turn out usable parts. We squared the posts, then made octagons, being careful to follow the fibers in the wood. This took days of intense work.We steam-bent the back posts to get a comfortable back angle. We chopped the back slat mortises with chisels. We bored the rung mortises with a brace and bit using levels and other tools. I tried to make a perfect tenon with a spokeshave, but quickly switched to Kenneth's hand-powered tenon cutter, which gave perfect results.On the last day, in the morning, we split the back slats, shaved them to 3/16ths, steam-bent them, and installed them with walnut pins. In the afternoon we wove the chair seat from Shaker tape. This was the best class I have ever taken. Finish is pure tung oil with a little citrus solvent. Thanks for looking.

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Thirteen Happy Mushrooms ( refrigerator magnets)

Furnished content.
(from Lumberjocks.com)


Thirteen Happy Mushrooms ( refrigerator magnets)I got this idea from watching a video of Slab City, Ca and some of the art displayed there. There were drawings of some of these happy mushrooms. My great granddaughters like magnets and they like mushrooms so I thought I should make them some. I pulled various scraps out of the wood storage room and I wound up with 13 after getting as many as I could from the scraps.
They are made from walnut, chestnut, Osage orange, box elder and 150 yr old cedar from a pickle vat. I finished all of them with Danish oil and then buffed and waxed them today.I added the last shot with all of them on my “refrigerator” display I use at craft shows to show what they are. They have a 3/4” x 1/8” rare earth magnet in the bottom held in with #6 SS wood screw.Cheers, Jim

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Vintage Pharmacy Cabinet

Furnished content.
(from Popularwoodworking.com)


An Homage to the Past by Embracing the Present. Over the years it has become apparent that all projects are not created equal. Although, they all seem to come with their equal share of challenges and complexities. It never fails, …Source

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Avery's Carved Mirror

Furnished content.
(from Lumberjocks.com)


Avery's Carved MirrorHi:Today I completed a project I've been working on for the last 4 months. It is a carved mirror frame for my grand daughter Avery. She's 12 years old, and a fan of her “Grumps's carvings.Avery chose the images and sent them to me via email. These images were printed in color and used to produce a full sized pattern for the carving.Dimensions: 20 x 26 x 2
Wood: hard Red Birch
Paint: acrylic
Top Coat: Varathane Professional clear finish – satinTop left: Avery's name (of course). Yellow and violet are her favourite colors.Top Right: The family motor home, which is parked at a nearby lake resort.Right: A portrait of one of their Schnauzer puppy, and a Rubik's cube, because last year Avery has learned to solve the cube in 2 minutes. Her Dad taught her.Bottom right: The family outboard motor boat, parked in the marina.Bottom left: Portrait of Dad, Mom and Avery at the lake.Left: Avery's favourite bird, and of course maple leaves, cause they live in Canada.This is a complicated carving for a number of reasons:First, the panel needed to be assembled in two halves, and then the pattern was traced onto it. Then the centre of the panel was cut out on the bandsaw. The two sections were then glued together. A plunge router was used to set the depths throughout the carving. After that, everything was carved by hand.Second, the objects around the mirror sit on what I call a supporting background. This means some of the objects extend outside the background of the frame. This gets a little tricky as these parts of the carving are hard to get into, and they are often fragile.Third, all the objects are undercut to add to the illusion of shape and depth. This means working in awkward and difficult spaces, and a whole lot of bull-work.Fourth, the painting was time consuming and precise. And I'm slightly color blind, so my wife was invited to offer advice on colors.I really enjoyed carving this project. I am retired now and not under the restraints of time and income. So I could take my time and enjoy the process.God willing, this carving will become a life-long heirloom for Avery.BTW, I have one more grandchild to carve a mirror frame for. But he's only 6 years old, and will need to be a little older before he appreciates this type of thing.All the best,Bill

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