Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sewing Box Christmas Present

I recently finished this sewing box. It's a Christmas present for my sister-in-law Naomi. It's loosely based on an antique box I saw on the web.

Wait a minute - a Christmas present done already? Why, it's not even December yet! What gives?

Well...err...you see...umm...okay - it's a Christmas 2010 present.

But like I said, it's not even December yet...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mystery Mallet With Roy Underhill

What? It's the end of November already! Okay, okay, here's the Mystery Mallet post that was supposed to be up about three weeks ago! Sheesh!

In an effort to actually post this tonight, I'm going to keep the text to a minimum. This class was the Saturday after the Friday dovetail class. It was quite a bit smaller, and more relaxed, for me anyway. It was awesome!

The Mystery Mallet - of myth and legend - dovetailed in all directions, guaranteed to never come apart - or go together...

The beginnings of mine. Roy provided the stock, with the hickory (or was it ash?) handle already turned.

The first through mortise:

The double rising dovetails:

Jonathan, wielding his fantastic Wenzloff tenon saw:

The completed mallet head - bottom view:

And top view:

The Master, fine tuning a handle:

Due to the crazy stresses involved in assembly, clamping the handle to reduce the chance of epic failure is advised:

Layout complete - starting on my handle:

And the handle complete:

Roy, and Scott driving Scott's handle home with his "Osage Commander". His survived and gave hope to all still laboring in fear of heading home with jagged shards in a box as the day's final outcome.

My handle and head ready to go!

Roy giving my work the once over:

A very trusting Woodwright and El Kabong!

Success! Yeah baby!

Mugging in triumph!

The best day in a long, long time!

Oh, and one more shot of the mallet after cleaning it up a bit:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dovetail Class With Roy Underhill

If you've spent much time reading this blog, you've probably figured out how I feel about Roy Underhill and what he does. Just in case you missed it, click here for a brief summary of his impact on my woodworking. That first time was back in 2003. Since then, and especially after he opened his school, I've been dreaming of taking a class from him. But, North Carolina is pretty far from Alaska, and now with two little ones, spending time away is not easy.

But then, last weekend the Alaska Creative Woodworkers Association (ACWA) hosted a fantastic weekend of woodworking with Roy Underhill, in Alaska! Wahoo! Thank You!

I ended up in both the dovetail class and the mystery mallet class, plus I went to Roy's presentation at the University of Alaska. All in all, it was an amazing weekend!

Here's a photo summary of the dovetail class:

The recommended tool kit (of course I took more):

We did through, half-blind, and rising dovetails, but in reverse order of difficulty. So rising came first.

I bought a set of the new Stanley 750 chisels, and was pleasantly surprised at their quality. They don't compare to either Lie Nielsen or originals, but I think they are a good deal for the price.

Yet another awkward work holding challenge solved by a handscrew clamp - with an assist by two Gramercy holdfasts - quiet a team.

The finished joint:

Still another use for the handscrew - it makes a perfect dovetail transfer jig - especially with the holdfast keeping everything still.

My first ever half-blind dovetails. Cool!

Some shots of Roy. Check out his camera tripod!

Hamming it up!


Roy is a great teacher, and it was really fun to spend time with the other woodworkers. Thanks again Roy and ACWA!

I'll post the mallet class next...