Saturday, May 21, 2016

Mr. James Krenov.....

Masters who have develop a style of furniture are far and few in between. A few master that come to  mind are Jere Osgood, Tage Frid, Sam Maloof, George Nakashima, Silas Kopf, James Krenov. All of these makers have left their stamp for all of us to enjoy and some still are. That said it is up to us as craftspeople to help carry their name for the next generations. 

Just recently foundations for passing masters have been established. The most recent is the Krenov foundation, which is working hard to have the voice of James Krenov be heard, cherished and remembered.  This is very exciting news for me, I love period furniture but boy do I love Krenov style furniture as well. 

This pass week a new video was posted on youtube by the foundation. The short video gives us a glimpse of the man the legend James Krenov.  I never got to meet Mr. Krenov, but boy do I know many craftspeople who can share his love and wisdom. 

Now enjoy this new video and the voice of James Krenov. 

Fire wood they say!

Just fire wood they say. Oh these pieces are a pain to split they say. Why would I want these chunks of wood, they are junk.  

Well folks I think other wise. These pieces have a name and its the fork of the tree or the "crotch" of the tree. The fork of the tree is where two branches form/split. This is also the location where the two trunks of the tree fight to gather minerals, water, and form a compressed figure. This figure is known as "crotch" please photos below. Isn't mother nature amazing!!! As they say a picture is worth a thousand words. I like to say these pieces will add thousand(s) to my work. 

I was able to split two small pieces of crotch birch and maple on the bandsaw, joint them with the helical head and then resaw them to veneer on the bandsaw. The bandsaw blade of choice is the wood slicer from Highland Hardware in Atlanta, Georgia. I only jointed the boards once and than sliced 1/16" thick pieces. It was amazing to see every slice cut so beautifully. I can't wait to add these pieces to my work/line of furniture. 

So I leave you with this. Think before you split or burn. Think about the future. Quality wood or even  certain species of wood are getting more difficult to find. Every piece is worth saving and using. Mother nature is amazing but she can only produce so much.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

I was fooled.

Grain direction is key when working wood by hand. When I am teaching you can always hear me preaching the wood will speak to you. Light cuts. Sharp tools. Focus. Remember its only wood, and it grows on trees. Now if the wood doesn't speak to you than it will point to you how it wants to be planed/worked. That said there are always exceptions to the rule. Perfect example is cherry board showcased above.  The grain is pointing from left to right. This tells me to push my plane left to right. Well think again my friends, think again.  I went left to right with a sharp plane and tear out city is what I got.  For some odd ball reason I said well I'll take my low angle jack from Lie-Nielsen and come right to left and see what the results will be. Well the results were amazing. The edge was smooth and glistening. Who knew!!!

Today's lesson is, don't be fooled. There is always an exception to the rule.