03 August 2013

Tea shelf

This project began as the focus of an 8 week course given by Jay van Arsdale out of Oakland, CA. It has taken a bit longer than that to complete. The basic design parameters (3 shelves, 4 stringers/legs, overall dimensions of about 24" x 24" x 8" deep, in cherry) were laid down by Jay but the final dimensions, shelf spacing, added features, and finish were left up to the students. 

18 January 2013

Resaw primer - with a kataba rip saw

Here is a short episode about resawing boards into thinner boards. In this case I tried my hand at a 3/4" x 14" x 24" piece of reclaimed Port Orford cedar.  The saw was a 300mm rip kataba. Turns out I could have used a larger one.

08 January 2013

Recycled cedar - tea tray

This project was straightforward once the resawing of a 14" wide piece of Port Orford cedar with a hand saw (300mm rip kataba) was out of the way. The wood came out of a California Victorian house where it was formerly shelving. The shelves were 1" x 16" x 6' and made of a mix of redwood and POC - all clear, not glued up. Worth taking the time to resaw with care. Note the two tones - the darker face was near the original surface, lighter color is the interior of the board. Port Orford cedar darkens with age.

06 January 2013

Product Review - Mitsukawa Juntaro saw set

This is a bit of a departure from my usual project-driven posts but maybe it will help somebody debating a tool purchase, plus there are not many reviews out there that I could find.

Mitsukawa Juntaro is a third generation sawmaker in Japan who creates a wide range of saw types. His saws span from machine sharpened semi-production up to traditionally forged, sharpened, and tuned works of blacksmithing art. This set is handmade (at least partly) but I do not know exact details. Usually this is a set of 5 saws, but the little shop in rural Japan I went to only had these 4: Flush trim, rip, crosscut, and hybrid (crosscut with raker teeth). Price for the set of 5 is approx $250 and you can get them at Hidatool.com and elsewhere. 

24 November 2012

Low sawhorses

Here is a set of low (18") sawhorses that are made of some 2" S2S red oak I had onhand from an earlier project. I had just enough for the pair but there are some spots where there was not enough material to remove some forklift scars. I expect there to be other scars soon enough. 

In true neanderthal fashion I used hand tools for all cuts and planing and an electric drill for hogging out the through mortises. Red oak is on the hard side but sharp tools get through it just fine.  

28 October 2012

Shoji panel lantern (andon - 行灯 ) - Part II

 Here is the exciting conclusion of the lantern design started way back in nevermind. The challenges this time related to:
  • the handle design - wood, bamboo, mixed? Then what?
  • the top panel
  • the electronics 
  • mounting the electronics and creating a switch
  • the bottom panel.
  • pinning the through tenons (because they needed it). 

15 September 2012

Shoji panel lantern (andon - 行灯 ) - Part I

trial assembly, more to do

The andon lamp (wood and paper variety) these days is usually powered by a blazing incandescent bulb and is hopelessly tethered to a wall outlet. But the basic forms and materials have not vastly changed and you can get good results with a little bit of experimentation. 

13 June 2012

Built-in Oak Bench

One of my neighbors had a bad experience with a well-meaning contractor recently while attempting to get a bench built into a corner below an open staircase. Result was: no bench. I am not very good as a finish carpenter but I offered to do my best in exchange for some old redwood beams. Anyway, here is how it went:

The design mandate was to match the staircase in look and feel and make the overall dimensions of the "L" shaped bench legs 60" long by 36" wide, with a seat depth of 14 inches. 8/4 red oak, stained with Minwax English Chestnut and sealed with satin polyurethane was agreed to. The bench was to rest on 4 or 5 "T" shaped braces protruding from the wall.

finished bench top with square