Thursday, August 25, 2016

To fret saw or scroll saw

In the studio I have a window bench that is in its final stages before finishing and install. Currently in the project there is the need to cut rectangular sections from the cherry plywood that make up the facade of the paneling to receive vents openings. This lead me to decide how in the hell am I going to cut the pair rectangles quickly and effortlessly. 

So what are my options... I could use the table saw and figure out starting and stopping points on the fence while referencing max blade height. While this is a clean and quick option there is some risk involved. Option 2 is to bore a hole in the plywood and fret saw the rectangles by hand. Option 3 and  the option I chose is to bore a hole and just use my Delta Milwaukee variable speed scroll and cut right on the line. 

It was amazing how quick and easy this procedure went and with very little to zero clean up necessary.  As always there is more than one way to do a particular method, but most often there is only one correct, safe, and easy way.  So choose wisely.    

Next is to rabbet the opening to receive the vents.



A restorative painting procedure focusing on reestablishing color, sheen, and texture to areas of loss on the historic surface of artifacts. This cosmetic treatment attempts to return aesthetic unity to an object. It is differentiated from “overpainting” by limiting the introduction of paint medium to areas of loss only.

The power of color

Finishing and color is by far the most important aspect in furniture making. I use to think it was all about joinery and wood selection, but boy was I wrong.  You will never hear a client tell you boy those dovetails are tight or that they love the piston fit of the drawers. Most often client are going to rub their hands on the piece and say they love how it feels,  or tell you they love smell of the wood -really its the wax, and 9 of 10 they are going to say they love the color.  

How I approach finishing is simple. If it took me 40 hours to make an item I expect to spend 15-20 hours working on the finish. I look at it as 50/50.  Don't skimp on the finish for there is no way one layering of color is all it going to take to make your piece look good.  

Open your eyes to color.....

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Generous Gift From Mike Mascelli

Mike Mascelli is one of my mentors and friend. I can't ever thank him enough for all that he done for me. I don't know how I will ever repay him for his time and generosity. Today Mike passed by the studio to say hi and give me a gift. Boy what a great eye catching advertising gift.  A gift I will cherish till the day I die.

I thought I did everything right.

Sometimes it doesn't matter the hours of planing, scraping, power sanding, raising of the grain, hand sanding with a series of grits. For there is still that chance something can up. So what do you do if this occurs? Simply swallow your pride and start over. The life of a maker & restorer.

The efforts to dye furniture

I am in the mist of getting a commission of 4 chairs and table done.  The material choice for the commission is American white ash. A wood that I have a love hate relationship with.  I love the white appearance, but having to add color to it can be a real pain. It is amazing how different it is from its cousins the white and red oak.   

As I get ready to water dye the piece and apply finish I first need to go through the surface prep process. I first sand with my Festool sander with 100 grit, raise the grain with water, and than 150 grit.  Next came the hand sanding with 220 and 320 grit.  

Once the surface prep is done I apply my custom mix of transtint colorants with a rag first and than with a foam brush.  Finally when the dye has dried I can start applying varnish.  A lot more work than most may think.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Lets joint some wood!

The jointer! I can't imagine life without it. Well I don't use the Stanly jointer plane as regularly as I do the Powermatic jointer.  Especially since I installed a helical head in this bad boy. Time is money as I like to say. Grain direction? What is that. There really isn't grain direction with a spiral helical head with solid carbide inserts.  I like to teach students how I learned my craft. First master the hand plane and than the machine. Learn the limitations of both. There are plenty of moments one jointer is faster than the another. But always end with a sharp plane. This is what craft is all about, a balance between machine and power.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Custom banding made and sold

The time has come to share with the world my talents, cough, cough.  Well lets stay humble.  I love what I do as an artisan.  One of my specialities is making banding. I have made 100's of different banding. Most are period inspired while others are custom.  While banding isn't difficult to make there is large learning curve. So why not just order some.

I make many of the banding to order with many are on hand.  My goal is to have about 25-30 different banding on hand. If I don't have it on hand than there is a short waiting period and there is a minimum order to justify spending my time making them.

I will posting my banding at first on my Etsy store which I am making currently. I'll write another blog post when the store is open or full.  In the near future I will have my own e-commerce store, but right now this is just easier. I have too many irons in the fire currently.  

I make many of my banding in 40" inch lengths, which ideal for all projects.  The strips are all sawn 1/16" heavy for easy of install, planing, scraping, and future repair.  I make them out all domestic and exotic woods. Please note there is a 50% waste factor when making banding. The waste factor is the saw kerf.

Stay tune for there will be a ton of offerings.