Two, Very Interesting Projects + Diane’s Picture Frame

Fig Leaf Frame Corner Sample

Fig Leaf Frame Corner Sample

After the crib to desk project I wondered if I would get called to do some other interesting things — well I did!  Designing and building heirloom quality furniture is what I really enjoy doing but to be honest, anything that challenges me and keeps me in the shop is fair game.  I’ll do a more in-depth blog about the corner sample I’m doing for the picture frame but here’s a teaser picture until I get that one written.

Beer Boots

BeerBoots

BeerBoots

While we were in Rome on vacation I received request via the website contact form asking if I’d be interested in creating a serving paddle for beer samplers.  Hmm, pretty intriguing so once we returned I checked things out before replying.  He produces various sizes of beer mugs shaped like boots that are used for advertising and gifts for the groomsman of a wedding party.  Here’s is a LINK to his website so you can see more.  The role I could see myself in was mass producing an item that he would market and sell on his website which, if you know my style of work; is not one I’d enjoy.  In any case, we set up a meeting at his office and I came home with the boot and the paddle you see at the right!

It was obvious that he is aware of off-shore work since he has the glassware made in China and Europe.  We discussed how something like this serving paddle would be more efficiently made by a CAD/CNC production shop which I’m definitely not.  His point was that for a production shop to produce an item like this they really need a prototype to go from and that’s where I would come in.  Well, that was convincing and the job was intriguing so we agreed that I would make a small run of them.  He will take them to his clients and gauge their response to decide whether or not he wants to go into production with them.  The way I went about making them is similar to  how I produce the eyeglass cases, here’s a short slide show of that:

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Of course, we’d like to have that first pattern be the one that fits and works perfectly but that usually isn’t the case.  the boot has quite  a “bulbous” shape at the bottom so the sole has an undercut.  The pattern is a little too sloppy for my tastes, the glass itself is top heavy so I feel it should have a tighter fit in the paddle.  Also decided to put the boot at a slight angle in the paddle.  Although this makes the paddle a little bit wider it also shortens the over-all length and seeing it an the angle makes it read more like the boot it is.  On to template #2!

Selig Chairs from Denmark

SeligButtonThe other intriguing job has to do with this small, trademark button you see here at the left.  It may be a bit hard to make out but it was the clue that led to a successful, internet search!  A interior designer I work with here in Las Vegas, Durette Candito of Urban Ranch asked me if I’d meet her at a clients house to look at some chairs.  I was told they were family heirlooms and they needed to be re-webbed and cleaned up a bit.  It just so happens that the dining chairs I made for Diane and I need the same work so I thought it would be a good job to take on and gain more experience in that area of work.  We met at the house and here is what I saw, a beautiful set of Danish Modern chairs which included an ottoman, chair, and recliner.

Selig chairs at my home

Selig chairs at my home

Recliner Mechanism

Recliner Mechanism

Over the years, the original webbing had been replaced by plywood panels which obviously are not nearly as comfortable.  The initial plan was for me to make an insert with traditional webbing and fasten them to the chairs without ruining there aesthetic.  Before I committed to that though I wanted to do some research and found a company in San Diego that specializes in replacement hardware for these chairs!  A unique feature of them is how the recliner operates.  The owner of them couldn’t remember how they worked.  There is a slot and bracket at the front of the chair, a lever on the side releases a pin and the entire seat slides forward.  There are a series of holes under the seat frame to lock the seat into different locations.  I also noticed that in the recessed area there is a long, narrow slot and wondered what that was for.  My internet research indicated that these chairs used a system called Fagas Straps which consists of  elasticized webbing with angled metal clips at the ends.  These are woven through the seat opening and pressed into position.  The Evans Company in San Diego still imports these from Denmark!  After calculating the size and number of straps needed they were ordered over the weekend so now it’s a waiting game to see how long it will be before they arrive, hopefully it’s not a slow boat from Denmark!  In the meantime the plywood bottoms will be removed and the  chairs will be carefully cleaned to maintain their 50+ years of patina and character.

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Carving, Italy, & Picture Frames

RomanCarvingAs you know, I like to do some carving from time to time but after experiencing the antiquities of Rome last week can only say that I “dabble in carving” at most!  Diane and I were able to spend a week there and see works that are totally unbelievable in their scope and execution.  This photo is one of many illustrations to emphasize that.  I’m trying to work primarily with a soft material; usually basswood.  The sculptures and carvings I experienced there were granite and marble and thousands of years old!  No hi-tech metals or computer aided design —– this is man at his best and I was in total awe at the amount and quality of art work we saw.  I could go on and on but if you look at the detail in the picture I think you’ll understand my amazement.  Can you imagine living at such a time as that?  I doubt there was such a thing as minimum wage back then but I’m guessing that just like now, working at an artistic endeavor probably paid less than the minimum wage.  Who knows, many of the people working at that time to create the buildings, sculptures, architectural moldings, and frescos may have been slaves brought from foreign lands the Romans had conquered.  I may never achieve the expertise and level of work seen on our vacation but am blessed to be able to enjoy the process of my hand work and strive for whatever level I can achieve — there’s always a new goal to aim for!

I’m really happy that my wife has picked up her paint brushes again.  When the economy soured in 2008, galleries that she was in closed as people’s disposable income became less.  One aspect of her painting was that I could collaborate with her and do her frames. She had custom moldings cut by Foster Planing Mill which I would cut, join, carve, and gild to complement her paintings.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve had the opportunity to do that so it’s good to do it again.  On our evening doggie walks we pass by a fig tree.  I really admired the shape of the leaves so one day took a knife to take a few home with me to use for inspiration.  A short length of the molding was modified and joined to create my sample corner.  Another thing I’ll be experimenting with on this frame is a red, variegated leaf.  I’ve gilded with Dutch gold, aluminum and copper leaf, and also precious 22 karat leaf.  This frame will be oil gilded and I plan to do a short tutorial on the process.

Fig Leaf Template

Fig Leaf Template

The first step though was making a template from the proper sized leaf that I cut from the tree.  When using an image to create the template it’s easy enough to simply scan it, size it accordingly, then cut it out of a piece of metal.  As you can see in the picture at the right, laying an actual leaf on the scanner and making a copy resulted in a fuzzy outline.  What I ended up doing was to take a piece of plastic from some packaging and covering it with double stick tape.  The leaf was then pressed onto it and cut out, the pencil is pointing to that template.  It’s better and easier to have a template that can conform to the curves of the picture frame than trying to lay a piece of carbon paper and tracing it.  Also, you can flip it over for a mirror image on opposite sides of the frame.

Initial Carve on Sample

Initial Carve on Sample

My carving is a work in progress, actually I suppose everything we do is something “in progress” if it’s the process we’re interested in as much or more than the final project.  Carving on the mitered corners of a frame has its own set of challenges because of the grain directions but I think this fig leaf turned out pretty nicely.  This fig leaf will be an embellishment to each corner.  The wow factor will be the variegated leaf I intend to use.  Even though I’ve never used this type of leaf before I can tell that it’s going to be the star of the show!  It’s pretty amazing in appearance and I just hope it won’t overshadow the painting the frame is intended for.  I noticed on the package that it’s made in Italy which seems fitting seeing how we just vacationed there!

If you’re unfamiliar with gilding there are two basic methods.  One is referred to as water gilding and it is used with precious metal; 14k to 23k gold, also silver.  The process uses many coats of gesso to seal the frame and then adds multiple coats of colored clay as background for the thin sheets of gold used in the process.  Very time consuming and exacting and with the price of gold not one I can afford.  The other type of gilding is oil gilding.  In this process you use what’s referred to as Dutch or schlag metal which is a composition of brass, copper, tin, and other metals.  After the wooden frame has been sealed with a clay like primer, a thin coat of oil based adhesive is applied to the entire frame.  This is referred to as gilding size and is available in quick set (1-3 hours) and slow set (24 hours).  For the sample  I’ll use the quick set but for complete frames prefer the slow set.  Once the size has reached the proper tack you lay the sheets of schlag metal on them — sounds easy enough but there is a certain skill level required — hope I still have it!

After thoroughly stirring up the burnisher/sealer it is applied to the frame.  It’s important to lay it down as smoothly as possible, brush marks will telegraph through the leaf.  Once it’s dry you can lightly sand if needed followed by 4/0 steel wool that will burnish the surface.  In the oil gilding process, the leaf mimics the texture below it so the more you burnish prior to leafing the nicer your surface will appear.  With water gilding and precious metal, you can burnish the gold leaf itself with an agate to make it shine like gold does.  You’re actually pressing the gold onto the gesso and bringing out it’s natural luster.

If you’re not familiar with frames and gilding this may seem confusing to you.  A 22k gold leafed frame could be priced at $1000.00 while a similar sized frame done in metal leaf may be 1/5 of that cost.  Can you see the difference in the frames?  absolutely!  When viewed side by side the metal leaf will appear brassy or garish compared to the precious gold frame.  Metal leaf also needs to be sealed to prevent tarnishing.  I will explain the process as my work on this frame continues.

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Crib to Bed: What it’s really All About!

No matter what the project, in my opinion the bottom line is the end result!  When it turns out as you planned it to and you’re satisfied with the results that justifies any all of the work and effort you put into it.  Here’s a little slide show to illustrate that point:

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If you’ve been following this blog you know that this project had lots of unknowns going into it.  It wasn’t like other commissions I’ve done where if I made a mistake I could easily get another piece of wood.  My client understood that going in and put their faith in me to complete this.  Delivered it Sunday and the husband and I brought it upstairs to where it belonged — perfect fit under the window for light and a focal point in the room.  They have a really cool antique wooden chair which fits the character of the desk completely.  As you can see by her reaction, she’s happy with her new desk.  The top crib side (writing area) was chosen to highlight her children’s teeth marks!

Gorilla Glue removed easily

Gorilla Glue removed easily

Everything went according to my plans, thanks goodness!  Applying a coat of wax to the sides before reassembling them with Gorilla glue was a wise choice as the foamed out glue simply peeled off without damaging the finish. Although finishing with paints and stains is a usual part of my work the stretchers and apron looked like a decent match.

Stock preparation

Stock preparation

Prior to using the Sherman Williams Pickled White finish, the pieces were prepared with a smooth plane.  You can see the tenons on them, these were taped over during the finish process to protect them from the finish.  Final glue up was done on the top of the tablesaw to keep everything level and square using liquid hide glue.  Again, my choice for longer assembly time and ease of clean up.  Diane helped get this project assembled.

Here’s one last photo of the completed desk.  The garage door isn’t  the most glamourous of backgrounds but it does show the desk off.  The front apron matches the profile of the side legs and the I was able to orient the sides so the mechanism for raising and lowering the crib is on the outside of the left leg.  This one is against the wall when the desk is in its place.  Good project — glad I took it on and they trusted me to do it to their liking!

CribtoBed-WoodworksbyJohn-LasVegasFurnitureMaker-Final-3

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Crib to Desk Part II

No matter how often I try to not get so intense on one project and do more than one at a time it must not be in my make-up.  I have a request for a custom box on Etsy, a shirt carving in progress, and a picture frame waiting for me to carve and gild — this crib to desk project has me so intrigued that it’s my main focus, at least until the temps hit 100 degrees in the shop.  Today was very productive and I reassembled one of the sides.  In my first post about this project I discussed my concerns/thoughts about the joinery for this.  I did a practice glue up and destruction test on a couple of pieces I used to set up for the lap joint, you know the fun type of test where you glue up and then take a mallet it to it to see what’ll happen!

Considering that this joint hadn’t been planed and prepared like the ones for the sides, I was happy with the results.  You’ll always hear that the glue bond will be stronger than the wood itself and this proved true.  If you look closely at the broken joint, wood from one piece is still glued to the other, the wood, not the joint; gave way.

CribtoBed2-WoodworksbyJohn-LasVegas-FurnitureMaker-4After cutting the mortise and tenon joinery for the stretchers one side was glued together.  I’m so glad that years ago I made two torsion boxes for assembly table.  Here’s how I managed to glue this together. There really isn’t a lot of strength from the slats so each mortise had a bit of liquid hide glue applied to it.  The main strength comes from the lap joint.  By separating the assembly table I was able to put an F-clamp right on the joint.  Wax paper on the bottom, a piece of polyethylene as a caul, and a light coat of paste was should make clean up of the Gorilla glue easy.  CribtoBed2-WoodworksbyJohn-LasVegas-FurnitureMaker-5This is a close up of the joint.  Gorilla glue is my choice for laminating pieces together for tops or book matched panels.  It cleans up easily and doesn’t show under the finish.  Hopefully, the foaming of it will be easy to remove from the painted finish with a sharp chisel — don’t want to mar the finish on the crib!

Before assembling that section, all of the mortise and tenon joinery was cut first.  There will be two stretchers at the back which will have one crib side section attached to it.  The stretcher in the front will be larger and shaped to mimic the bottom of the side pieces.  It was kind of a challenge figuring out how to hold them in place for the mortiser but that was the first step.  After preparing the stock, tenons were formed on the table saw and then fine tuned with rabbet plane and saws.  The front apron is 4″ wide so twin tenons were used there.

As you may imagine, a project like this requires lots of measuring and calculations so I was very happy to clamp the back stretcher in place and check my math to see that it was correct.  Next up was forming the front apron to mimic the shaped bottom of the crib sides.  Whenever I do something like this I find it beneficial to first make a pattern so that both sides are symmetrical.  The pattern is traced onto the wood then band sawn close to the line.  This is followed by reattaching the pattern to the piece and pattern routing it to shape.  Machines just don’t leave the kind of finish I want so this was an ideal area to refine with spokeshaves and a block plane.

After some edge work and planing the flat surfaces these parts will be ready to fit to the crib.  First thing in the morning will be to re-assemble the other section before the temperatures get too hot in the shop and the glue sets up before I can get it all clamped.  I have some pickling stain from Sherman Williams and will do my best to match the finish on the crib.  It’ll be much easier pre-finishing them before the desk is put together.  The only visible part is the apron, the back stretchers have a crib side piece in front of them.  You know I’m not a finisher, preferring a natural oil or shellac finish on my work but I’m up to the task!  The next blog should be of a finished project except for the glass top, I’ll leave that for my client.

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The Challenge — Crib to Desk!

If you know me you’ll know that I do like to challenge myself in my creative endeavors and before the botched knee surgeries, running endeavors as well.  I mean, what’s life if you don’t throw in some different stuff from time to time — certainly isn’t meant to be spent on the couch waiting for something to inspire you or happen!  I received a phone call last week from a man who was given my name by Woodworkers Emporium.  He and his wife had this very nice crib that all of their children had used and they just hated to part with it.  The idea of turning it into a desk for her without drawers and having a glass surface.  The thought of seeing her children’s teeth marks while doing her paperwork had a certain appeal.  After mulling it all over and knowing how special the crib I made for my grandsons is to me I decided to meet with them and see what this project could be all about.

CribtoDesk-WoodworksbyJohn-UniqueProject-1I met with them and after discussion and a picture of a similar type of project they had found, I decided to go ahead with it and took their crib home.  As you can see, the basic parts are the front and back slatted sides plus a headboard which is taller than the footboard.  Both of them are much taller than the standard desk height of 30″ so the first step was figuring out how to “section” and still maintain the integrity needed.  The construction is short, stub tenons that were probably glued, clamped, and then pinned to hold everything in place.  Disassembling everything could be disastrous so decided the best way to go about this was with a lap joint.  A mortise and tenon would have been ideal but I was leery about attempting that by hand, the pieces are so large and awkward that clamping them securely didn’t seem feasible.  Like the song says, the first cut is the deepest and I might add; the hardest!  Although my client understands that with work of this nature there is no guarantee my own pride and work ethic makes me want to end up with a successful, end product.

Repairing a loose joint

Repairing a loose joint

The way the this crib is constructed is that the top of each slat was simply glued into a machine cut mortise but the bottoms of them were also pinned.  Since they’re on the bottom, inside of the crib you wouldn’t see that small pin hole.  The tops were fairly easy to remove, desert heat and shrinking wood weakened that joint so that after a bit of wiggling the slats came free.  Working as carefully as possible, the bottom slats were freed with some tear out due to the pin.  I noticed that one side was kind of loose so decided to try some CY glue and clamps to tighten things up.

Next step was creating the lap joint to put it all back together.  Because of the awkwardness due to the size of the crib I decided to make a jig to guide a plunge router to the proper depth and length.  The purpose of the lap joint is to get as much face grain to face grain surface in each leg to create the strength.  A simple biscuit or dowel (neither of them my choice of joinery) just wouldn’t have given the strength required — you just can’t glue end grain to end grain and expect any kind of lasting integrity!

One of the legs drove me crazy!  You would assume that since this is a piece built in a factory and on an assembly line that everything would be exactly the same but no so!  One leg was about 3/64″ thicker than the others so when the lap went together there was quite a difference.  Thankfully that wasn’t the one I made the initial cuts on or everything could have been way off.  What I need to do here is fit the joint from the inside because it can’t be leveled from the outside after assembly as the finish would be destroyed.  That’s were the hand tools came into play.  Each joint is acceptable as of now but I will fine tune them just prior to gluing them up.

Next is sizing the slats.  After following the “measure twice, cut once” philosophy and also making some mockup pieces for testing they were cut to length.  This is followed by forming the tenon on the newly cut slat to fit the factory mortise.  They are rounded so a file was used to ease each corner and things fit as planned.

CribtoDesk-CustomWoodworkProject-WoodworksbyJohn-FurnitureBuilder-LasVegas-6This is the results of a couple of mornings work.  We’re having a bit of a hot spell right now so once the thermometer  gets close to 100 degrees it’s time to head inside.  When I get into a project though it’s hard to relax and sit back so after lunch I just had to see how things may go together, warm temps or not.  Yes, that’s my bare feet — no boots or safety considerations at this point; it’s hot out there!

The plan is to make stretchers for the top front plus two more top and bottom at the back.  One of the crib side sections will be attached to the top and a piece of 3/8″ of glass will rest on that to create the writing surface.  The two stretchers in back will have the other crib section attached to it.  Those stretchers will be made from Maple and assembled with mortised and tenon joinery.  It’ll be easier to cut the joinery before reassembling the  pieces but still a challenge due to the size of the pieces.

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Tapping into my Artistic Side

ArtisticWoodCarve-WoodworksbyJohn-BeginningsBefore I explain the title of this blog let me stress that my wife, Diane, is the definite artist of the family.  She has spent most of her life as a figurative oil painter, been represented by several top galleries, and her work has received many awards. Name an artistic and creative endeavor and she will conquer and excel at it!   As for me, I’ll come up with ideas and with her input and advice will be able to achieve “something”.  I suppose my strength is more in the practical construction of things rather than the artistic creation of them.  That brings me to the picture at the left, one of my favorite shirts ruined by the curse of the leaking pen!

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with carving basswood to make it appear to be cloth.  You may of seen that in this recent blog of mine.  This free form style of woodwork is pretty relaxing compared to the precision required when cutting joinery, measuring, marking, and making sure everything fits together as designed.  I thoroughly enjoy that entire process but this gives me another avenue to explore.  I’ve found that with carving having a model of what I’m trying to transform the wood into is something I need.  There are folks out there that have the experience and knowledge that when you ask them to draw or carve an object can just pull it out of their mind and do it — not me!  I cut the main part of my ruined shirt out and diluted some expired glue and water to soak it in.  Next project I’ll need to actually buy some starch, I’m all out of expired glue.  A glued up piece of Basswood dictated the size of the carving here is the beginnings of the project:

RuinedShirt-CarvedCloth-WoodworksbyJohn-Artistic-4At this point the main features have been added and as you can see, it’s not a line for line or crease for crease representation of the cloth.  According to Diane, as an artist you need to distill what you’re trying to represent to a simpler form and have the viewers’ mind  fill in the details.  I recall that she never thought it to be a compliment if someone told her: “your painting looks just like a photograph”; that isn’t her interpretation of art.  My goal was to recreate the way the collar flips over and emphasize the area where the shirt is buttoned.

RuinedShirt-CarvedCloth-WoodworksbyJohn-Artistic-2Here is my work area set up for this project.  The shirt is so stiff that it’ll stand up on it’s own with the aid of some clamps!  I absolutely love having my portable bench, not having to be hunched over the bench at my age allows me to work at a more comfortable level for my back plus I can see (pretty much) what I’m trying to carve.  Lighting and being able to hold the wood in any position is important as well.

Something that’s always difficult is knowing when to RuinedShirt-CarvedCloth-WoodworksbyJohn-Artistic-3stop!  I can’t tell you how many times I’d tell myself “okay, just a little off here, a little deeper there” but 40 minutes later find myself still laboring over the same area.  Stopping and comparing the wood to the shirt was how I tried to develop my eye and see what’s going.

RuinedShirt-CarvedCloth-WoodworksbyJohn-Artistic-1Doing this “artistic style” of woodwork is a new experience and I’m learning as I go.  I subscribe to the theory that once you begin to use sandpaper on a piece of wood you should never use a cutting tool again.  Abrasives imbedded in the wood could damage the tool so I put away the cutting tools and began the process of sanding the left side smooth. Diane pointed out that dividing objects into thirds is an almost natural inclination but to make things look more random, something to avoid.  Unfortunately, there is a series of sap pockets that throw your eye off on the right side of the shirt but that’s beyond my control.  Where the two pieces of Basswood were joined together is also obvious, again; beyond my control but something to keep in mind for future projects.   So things are progressing nicely in my opinion.

Buttons are a small detail that will be important.  So far they’re only drawn in.  One thought was to use a forstner bit to create a flat bottomed hole so that an actual button could be glued in.  That just didn’t seem natural so decided carving one was the right thing to do. I asked my carving mentor, Randy, for advice and he suggested carving a circle and then undercutting it which would make it appear as an actual button.  Well, to outline a circle with a knife and have it be symmetrical is a challenge to say the least!  I found that a small, #8 sweep gouge could be used to outline a circle that was 7/16″ in diameter.  Next, a #4 gouge can undercut that circle being very careful not to chip the sides of it.  Four small punches with a scratch awl completes the button and now it looks pretty authentic.  The sample piece below has also been waxed which is the finish I intend to use.

Who's got the button?

Who’s got the button?

How much time has all this taken?  Don’t even want to know but it has provided lots of good shop time and after all — isn’t that what it’s all about?

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Hand Tool Work = Relaxation

Cloth for Model

Cloth for Model

You may recall this picture that I posted a while ago.  After the intense furniture work on the media center I felt the need to take my woodworking in another direction for a while. A new woodcarvers club started here in Las Vegas which has re-ignited my spark for carving.  I’ve always been intrigued by carvings that resemble cloth or clothing so that’s what I’ve been playing around with.  Seemingly mindless and with no definite purpose but a great way to spend time in the shop — at least until the temperature tops 104 degrees!  This piece of cloth was the model for the carving and was made by soaking it in a glue/water solution.  More on that later but I needed a stand for it so decided to hone my hand tool skills to make it.

Here are a couple of pictures of the completed project.  Since the carving is on all sides I wanted to be able to rotate the piece.  I’m not sure if the stand is too large and over powers the piece so open for your opinions.  The main goal of this little project though was honing my hand tool joinery skills.

I’ve been asked to create a hand tool class for WoodItIs to teach later this summer.  Jamie’s focus is more on power tool furniture work and she mentioned that students have asked for skills they can use at their own home without having to purchase a lot of expensive power equipment.  She has a fantastic program at her school, after a student completes the basic course they are able to participate in her Open Shop Saturday program.  For an hourly fee they not only get her expertise but also are able to use any of the power equipment she has.

Milling Stock

Milling Stock

The design of this little stand uses a lapped joint and a bridle joint.  To mix it up and challenge myself, the bridle joint at the top is angles about 65 degrees.  A couple of quick cuts on a table saw with or without a dado head could have accomplished this in less than an hour but hand tool work is so much more relaxing.  The material used is Poplar, ripped to about 3/4″ x 1″ then milled square with hand planes.  The first step was laying out and cutting the tongue on the upright piece.  I recently ordered this beautiful marking knife from Czeck Edge Tools but was having difficulties getting a crisp line with it.  This is the beauty of buying from an independent tool maker — I emailed him with my problem and he responded within a day and suggested lowering the knife angle which worked well for me.  The craftsmanship and materials used in this knife are excellent and it does allow me to scribe the longer dovetails I like to use.

Once that line was established it was time to cut the piece to size:

The tongue was then squared up with a rabbet block plane, even the shoulders can be squared this way.  A medium sized, Lie-Nielsen shoulder plane is on my wish list but the funds aren’t!  Now it’s on to the other side of the joint.  Having never cut one of these at an angle before I wasn’t 100% sure of how to go about it.  After cutting on the waste side of my lay out lines the shoulder line was chiseled in at the approximate angle.  A line was drawn on the face to help me achieve that.  The remaining material was removed similar to taking the waste out between dovetails.

Now that the bridle joint is complete the upright was attached to a base piece with mortise and tenon.  I left it long not knowing how long it would need to be to support the carving.  A lap joint is used to join the cross piece to the base.

Just a couple of notes on that process.  Before cutting the scribed lines a shallow V was made with a chisel.  This creates an easier starting place for the saw.  Once both sides are sawn you would chisel out the sides at an angle creating kind of a hill in the center of the area you’re removing.  It’s a process of cutting the sloped sides, flattening out the middle, and repeating until you get close to your bottom line.  A small router plane is ideal for flattening out this cut but not everyone has one of those.  A technique is to clamp a scrap piece of material right at the scribe line which is used to guide the chisel as you carefully pare the bottom flat.

Like I said earlier, this entire stand could have been produced in an hour or so using power tools but using hand tools is so much more relaxing.  My philosophy has always been to utilize power as the apprentice for the grunt work.  It’s very rewarding to have a properly set up and sharpened tool gently bringing your materials to shape and size.  If the class at WoodItIs gets the required enrollment I’m looking forward to sharing that with the students.

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