the Carpentry Way: Coming Up For Air                                                          

Coming Up For Air

It's been nearly three weeks since my last post. Time can fly by when you're completely absorbed in a project. I'm making some pieces for an artist in New York and after 11 months of inactivity following a prototype I built last year they decided to proceed with 'phase 2'. And of course, it needed to be done right away. I worked the last 30 days straight, and completed the piece within a day of the deadline, and delivery went very well. They are totally happy with the piece, and I can proceed with the next phase of the project, however (for now) with a much more relaxed deadline. Suits me fine!

After a work blitz like that my shop ended up in shambles, so I spent a few hours yesterday cleaning up, putting things back where they belong, restoring some semblance of order.

I've got some ideas about constructing a floor-to-ceiling lumber storage rack, in an effort to condense my pile of material, and improve its accessibility. Like a lot of woodworkers, dealing with off cuts is a major source of vexation. I'm already long past the phase where I saved nearly every off-cut, thinking such noble thoughts as, "oh, I could make some pegs out of that", and such. Follow that strategy for a while and you will bury yourself in a pile of the stuff, and as an added bonus won't be able to readily find specific pieces when you needs them, which often seems to be at moments of time pressure. Right now my challenge is in dealing with sticks that are about 2' long. I can readily toss out stuff that is 1' or less in length, but 2' is a sticking point. Seems too valuable to toss on the firewood pile, but they do accumulate quite rapidly, so eventually a solution needs to be found that doesn't involve renting a storage locker or warehouse space. So, I'm going to be researching storage ideas for dealing effectively with little pieces like that, and if any readers have good ideas in that regard I'd be all ears.

I feel most fortunate to have a good spell of work lined up, and anticipate that I will be able to afford another large machine this year. It will probably be a sliding table saw. I've been looking for a while and it will be a matter of the right saw coming on the market at a time when I have the funds set aside. Most sliders are used for processing sheet goods and have 8' or longer sliding tables on them. I don't use plywood or the like too often - and certainly not for furniture - and thus the long slider, with its large footprint and need for operating space is not what I'm after at all. Also, most sliders have a 12" max. main blade and come with a scoring saw.. I have no need of a scoring saw, and would prefer at least a 14" blade. At least. So, I guess what I'm after is a slider with a 6' stroke, a 14"~18" blade capacity, no scoring, and a well thought out miter fence system. That's the main reason I'm after a sliding saw - precision cross-cutting and compound joinery work. The search continues.

Blog-wise, I will be continuing on with the 'tools of the Trade' series, on at least an intermittent basis, and anticipate moving the Mizuya build along in the next while, which I intend to photo-document and post in a build-thread fashion. I've got to obtain a spot of quartersawn bubinga for that project, and plan to visit a hardwood dealer up in Maine later this month  to see what they have. The other projects I have on the go right now are all subject to non-disclosure agreements, so I can't share any details. There is a large potential project looming for later this year which will not be likely subject to non-disclosure, but I'll count those chickens after they have hatched, so to speak.

The tow online study groups are still rolling along. The fundamentals group and I are working on the andon project, while the drawing study group is working on a Japanese regular hip rafter study. I have had to put that on the back burner for the past month and look forward to moving those projects forward in coming days.

All for now, over and out. Thanks for your visit!