Sunday, March 20, 2016

Quarter sawing

The video below showcases how logs are quartersawn today. Long ago there was another method known as true quarter sawing. This term was taught to me by old timey sawyers. True quarter sawing is a very labor intensive and rarely is it cut today. True quarter  sawing involves every board to first be angled and a wedge cut. The wedge varies in thickness but often it can taper from zero at the center of the tree to 1/4 of an inch thick on the bark side. This method of cutting allows the maximum medullary rays to appear.  This form of quartering especially in oak is known as tiger oak. I was lucky enough to cut a log using this method and I must say it is by far the best method.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

What is a conservator?

As a maker and restorer of wooden artifacts I truly enjoy reading publications like  Mortise and Tenon Magazine. Every article is engaging and informative. The issue leaves me yearning for Issue 2.
One of my favorite excerpts from Issue 1 comes from Martin O'Brien. Martin who is a dear friend, mentor, and one of the best best conservators I know. The willingness Martin has to share information and educate is simply unheard of.  I have been blessed knowing two other conservators who are this kind and are worthy of mentioning since they may read this blog, Sir Don Wiliams and Mrs. Chris Thomson.


What is a "Conservator"?

"The labels conservator, restorer, Refinishers, etc. have caused confusion among consumers of our services and divisiveness within the trade. To add to the dialogue and hopefully not muddy the waters, I'd like to say that I believe a conservator is someone who thoughtfully balances the needs of the object with long-term maintainability of thier treatments. Why an object needs treatment to begin with is the first question anyone who fixes things should ask. Knowing that you will not be the last person to treat an object should force you to consider hi to make the next conservator's work easier.

I believe conservation is more a mindset than its prestigious trading program and that this mindset should be driven by a passion for studying a wide range of topics in order to have a comprehensive understanding of how and why our material culture was created and how to best preserve it. I say this not disparage those with degrees, but to rather encourage those wanting to enter the career of 'fixing things 'who may not have the opportunity to attend a full-time program, but have the attitude/aptitude for learning primarily on their own. With that said, I do Believe that it's important to work alongside experienced practitioners whenever possible and that at least some formal education (even a week aling seminar) is vitally important to anyone who wants to do this work well."

Marin O' Brien

Thank you Martin! I truly believed when reading this excerpt that Martin was describing me. Thank you to Martin and everyone from the Professional Refinisher's Group other wise known as GROOP. My past 3 years would not have been so successful if it wasn't for you.

I believe what Martin shared with is true and I'm happy to mention several other outstanding world renown conservators have expressed similar opinions. In the end this leaves me with hope.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Woodworking Talent

I often get complemented on my work, skill, and knowledge. The word "master" has even been thrown around. Really I'm just a skillful 34 year old journeyman that has a ton still to learn.
I have failed miserably countless times. But I have always get up, lift my head, and I keep fighting for what I love. I have the desire, the determination, and dedication to be the best at what I do. It's about the craft and making a solid living doing what I love.

Here is a few of my favorite inspirational quotes of failure:

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." - Robert F. Kennedy

" Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not defeat, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing." - Denis Waitley

" There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure." -Pablo Coelho

"We are all failures at least the best of us are." - J.M. Barrie

Thoughts from a fellow friend.
"After a project has been completed, a viewer or customer will see "things" as character, patina, even as expectations or maybe not even be aware and see perfection......meanwhile, we, as builders/makers see these "things" as "could have done better", mistakes, blunders, or failures.   
     We are our own harshest critics by far. We see only the mistakes, and failures. While others see perfection, success.       It's the maker who bridges that gap and builds on those mistakes, failures, that learns and expands his/her skills, striving to become a "Master"
    Looking at a piece I've done...all I can see are the flaws or mistakes, not the success or beauty. It's not easy...Sometimes stepping back and "blurring" our vision, allows us to see more clearly..."  Joe Mayday 

Sunday, March 6, 2016