Saturday, March 19, 2016

Benchwork Week At the Woodwright School!

Y'all.  I have not posted in over a year.  Like, maybe almost two years?  And there's so much to catch up on...I may not (probably won't) cover everything in whatever posts I post next, but this was just too awesome not to post.
Anyone here watch PBS?  This school was founded and is run by Roy Underhill, the Mr. Rogers/Julia Child of ye olde woodworking tools and methods.  He uses a foot-powered lathe and a hand-powered just-about-everything-else.
And for five days, he and his co-teacher Bill Anderson taught us ten students to do the same!  I used hand saws, hand planes, chisels, and hide glue (the same stuff that's been around for 6,000 years) to do everything from squaring a board to ripping it to size, cutting dovetails and shaping decorative molding.  And I came home with this.

It's a box.  And I gotta admit, I wasn't that excited about the actual project (it's a box), but when you break down all the individual tasks that went into making this box with zero power tools, I must say I am pretty darn proud of this box!
I was awfully busy during class, and it felt like I was behind the pace of everyone else about 80% of the time, but once I finally got to point where I was waiting for glue to dry, I had a chance to take a few pictures.
Roy is performing surgery here.  One unfortunate soul cut half of his pin board backward, a mistake that would have resulted in the front, side, and back of his box making an "S" shape instead of the more practical "U."
This is hide glue.  It comes in crystals that must be soaked in water and heated in this hot-pot sort of thing.  I'm guessing that's where the CrockPot people got their start.  Don't accept that as fact.
This student (above) is truing the 45 degree miter on the end of one of his skirt boards with a handplane and a jig.
That's Mike on the left and Warren on the right.  Mike stayed at the same B&B as Dave and me, so we had breakfast together every day.  Warren was taking this class for the third time.
This lady is exactly 200 years older than me.  She was the only female carpenter in France at the time of this photo.  Roy hung her over my bench so she could look out for me as I worked.
And this lady is running a handplane IN A CORSET.  And a BUSTLE.  And, I'm sure, HIGH HEELS.  The horror!
Roy, being a ham.
Everyone paired up to nail our bottom boards on with traditional cut nails.
Breakfast with Mike on the morning we left.
We nearly finished our boxes in the five days...but not quite.  We got our lids built...
...but not trimmed, glued, or, obviously, finished.  And no hardware applied.
Once I have my finish applied, though, I'm ready with the cast iron handles!
This is the bottom interior.  It is tongue-and-groove with a bead running along the tongue.
This is a tongue-and-groove plane, in case you wanted to know.  It's one of several styles.
This type has a pivot fence.  I fell in love with it, so it came home with me.  Paid for, of course.  No one's stealing anything over here.
These came home, too.  The one on the left was a freebie from Aunt Carol who David spent a day visiting in South Carolina.
This is called a router plane, or sometimes a Hag's Tooth.  It routes a groove, but it is unique in its lack of it's perfect for running a groove down the middle of a wide board, like on a bookcase.
And this corner clamp came from an antique shop somewhere between Pittsboro and Pittsburgh.
Bill Anderson, me, and Roy Underhill.  Again, being a ham.
This class...I can't say enough good things about this class.  I'm going to go back.  Someday.  Maybe to the class that builds the foot-powered lathe...or the window sash class...or the knock-down Moravian workbench.......

1 comment:

  1. Hey Heidi !!
    Mom just handed me the!! It looks like a great class and the pics helped give us a good idea what you were learning. Congratulations!!
    Love Mom and Dad


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