Wednesday, January 21, 2015

irish stone hut

In 2007, I traveled to Ireland.  This is one of the houses I photographed there.  I have more pictures here.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

invest in yourself

Anne Truitt is a fine artist who wrote the memoir "Daybook".  One piece of advice that stayed with me from the book was invest in yourself.

Another writer mentions this in an article on her website.  I've taken the advice to heart, spending money for courses and lodging during this winter break.  This also applies to spending money on quality tools, and to investing time in myself.

Speaking of time, if I just spend 30 minutes in my workshop tonight, I may complete a dovetail joint that would allow me to re-assemble my table.  The pegs will have to wait until next week.  Not sure how long it will take me to figure out the table top, and most challenging, installing the vise.  But bit by bit I'm moving forward.

Below is my workspace with one of the legs.  One mortise done and one drilled in preparation for chiseling.

And the next photo is the tenons, stacked and ready to assemble.  I found that very little adjustments were needed when I put it all together.  It was very exciting to assemble the table and see all the pieces FINALLY come together!

I'm still procrastinating putting the pegs in--nervous about draw boring, because if I screw it up I feel like there is no turning back.  Perhaps in my course this weekend I can ask for some advice.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

new year

It's healthy to take time off during the dark months of the year.  Time to reflect, and recover.  I've dug into my journals and been reading back into my mindset from ten and more years back!  Wow.  I am getting reacquainted with myself.

Yesterday I drove to Philadelphia to take a sharpening class at the Philadelphia Furniture Workshop.  I learned how to sharpen my chisels, plane irons, and my new cabinet scraper (a tool I'd never heard of until this fall).

I don't have a grinding wheel at home so it was good to get familiar with one.  I learned that the grinding stone can get clogged with metal debris and needs to be "dressed" with another tool that freshens the surface of the stone.

I learned how to hollow grind, even though my timber framing friends say not to do it (they grind their chisels flat).  But then again, they're often working on oak and really hard antique timbers.   If I'm working on green wood, and especially softer woods like pine and poplar, like I have been, I may be ok with hollow grinding my chisels.

I watched how carving tools are sharpened, and decided that carving a spoon would be fun!

Two of my chisels are very low quality (they were hand me downs).  Of course my timber framing chisel is the best I could find.  It and all my planes are now sharp.  Between other obligations, I'll spend time this week working on my table.

Then I can get to making the toy box/bench that friends want me to make for their daughter.

Happy New Year, friends!