Interlude Jan 2019

I’ve started a full time furniture making course at John Lloyd’s which is a very convenient 3.5 miles from where I live. This also means I no longer write software or commute to London or sit in an office all day. I reckon that’s a major step forward in life.

There are 7 students in the workshop, 3 of us started last week and the others are either in their second of third terms. So while us new boys are honing our basic skills the others are designing and building pieces of furniture.

The course started as you might expect with some lessons in sharpening plane blades and chisels. No surprise there then. In 4 days we’ve also covered planes and planing. Getting stock flat, square, untwisted and to size. We’ve done some practice chisel work and we’ve visited English Woodlands timber and had a guided tour with the very knowledgeable Tom. Plus dovetails 101 this afternoon.

Having some real live tuition and constructive feedback is a big step forward from beavering away in the garage with only YouTube and a few books to point me in the right direction.

Back in the garage, I spent Sunday reviewing the Ottoman project in light of what I’d learnt last week. In particular some re-planing of the side panels was required as my perception of what was flat has changed. I’d already dispensed with the planing jig I mentioned in the Morris chair post as I found when planing the rails for the doors that this wasn’t getting consistent enough results. Spending time getting the face side really flat allowed me to also get the width consistent. I’ve been trying initially to get variations in the width to <0.1mm and sometimes I’m succeeding  For the side panels slight variations in the width doesn’t really matter all that much but it’s a good opportunity to practice.

I have finished the frame of the Ottoman but haven’t go round to writing it up yet. Maybe I’ll get it done this week.

I added a stop to my benchtop so I can plane small thin pieces on top of the bench rather than in the vice where they tend to get distorted, and I ordered some Veritas dogs and pups.


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