November 29, 2012

Turnings: Curvilear Bowls

Having never turned a bowl or plate before, I decided to try a form of segmented bowl with splines intersecting in the bowl blank. Wait, what?!? 

Yep, that's kind of a them for how I work. Never done it before? Just sketch something up that thought in your head and go for it. It does help that I've got a decent eye for how stuff works and I work with CAD on a daily basis. Admittedly, the CAD really only helped me with dimensions. I had a decent idea what I was going for when it was still in my head. 

 I had some 8/4 stock laying around and started by cutting out roughly 6"x6" squares. The splines were all cut at a 45 degrees, one at a time. After each cut I glued a thin piece of opposing colored wood. Rinse. Repeat. 

blanks stacked, waiting to go out to the
garage for the next round of cuts 
two of the blanks after the last cut showing the other
splines already glued in

 For this to turn out perfectly, I should have ensured the inserted spline matched the kerf of the cut. Meh, I wasn't too concerned. Even on the ones that are off, you have to look for a bit to see it.

glue-ups were fun on the angled ones
it gets difficult after on the 3rd and
4th cuts to line everything back up
doesn't look like much now
the series of splines appear woven

 The fun came in turning to bowls. Depending on how the bowl curved from its rim to its bottom, the resulting visual spline will swim this way and that.

you can already see the curves appearing
on the bottom

A perfect spherical bowl would produce splines that would appear like the lines on a basketball. Curve a lip on the top of the bowl and you might get the splines to do an 'S' curve. Pretty cool.

 I was pretty pleased with the results on these and they were well received.

November 10, 2012

WIA 2012 Spotlight: Frank Klausz

Frank touching up his work
Frank Klausz came to WIA to spread his knowledge in dovetail joinery.  As an extremely talented and successful cabinet maker, he knows a thing or two about joinery.  His Hungarian accent and stern sense of humor makes for an enjoyable lesson.

If you're new to dovetailing you may not know of the age old argument of: which end is correct to cut first, the pins or the tail?  The truth is that it really doesn't matter.  No matter what way you go about it, the end result is the same, a mechanical joint, that, if done well, fits tightly and square. Frank's way is pins first, and he'll argue that it's the right way.  Why, Frank?

"Because that's how my grandfather taught me." He'd say.

He'll go on to show that transferring your cut to the adjoining piece is easier when you've got gravity assisting you to hold the pin board down onto the tail board as you trace what you've cut onto it.

This is the opposite of how I had been practicing my dovetail joinery, but I'm a good student and am never one to  not listen to a person in the know.  I've been posting a series of my practice joinery on twitter under #dovetaildaily and can safely say that pins first has produced tighter joints that are, indeed, easier to transfer lines.

The second pins first dovetail I had ever cut.
Thanks, Frank!

If you ever get a chance to hear Frank speak, do it.  He's a wealth of knowledge and very entertaining.  He is, by his own admission, too old to join the Modern Woodworker's Association, though.

Tom Iovino doing his best to recruit Frank into the MWA

Frank, Paul Schurch, and Chuck Bender discussing the finer points of veneer saws

November 6, 2012

Woodworking in America - Midwest Edition 2012

The MWA crew pose on Megan's 'Gloubo'

Well, WIA was a blast again.  It was a whirlwind of fun, games, and woodworking.  I'm still processing all that I was exposed to.  I need to go thorugh notes and photos and hopefully make sense of it all. Stay tuned . . .