\

Walnut Timber Mantelpiece

The six and a half inch thick, 13 foot long walnut slab filled the shop as it came from the chainsaw mill.

Beam cutter on the old worm-drive

“rough-sawn” to the max

Using the “beam-cutter” to rip the slab into a six inch square timber

Pulling the saw at the end of the cut to save the last bit of slab for the corbels

Aluminum C-channel as a guide

start of the smoothing

a jack plane with a radius set to take heavy shavings

Now the joiner

pretty obvious

chopping out for a patch over a rotten knot

the same, fitted

filing the edges of a little copper butterfly template

bench-top with tools for making butterfly templates

variety of butterfly templates

Scribing the timber for butterflies to bind the main check

Routing out the waste

chopping the rest

right up to the knife line

ready for the joining

carving the corbels (my documentation fell off for most of this process)

mating the various natural edges of the corbels to the mantel

a little further back

fitting the opposite corbel

rough-cut cove on the left corbel

both corbels with coves-cut and awaiting final shaping

apply the final touches on the ends of the timber

“C” for the covenant

installed over the fire box, and the home-owner’s sandstone work.

I look forward to seeing it with the stone work done

Sister Hog, Brother Tree, and the Voice of Copper: a Celebration of Long Labor and Process

sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper01 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper02 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper03 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper04 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper05 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper06 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper11 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper07 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper08 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper09 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper10 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper14 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper12 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper13 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper15 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper16 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper17 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper18 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper19 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper20 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper21 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper40 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper22 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper23 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper29 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper30 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper27 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper26 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper28 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper24 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper25 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper42 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper41 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper31 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper32 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper39 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper33 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper35 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper34 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper36 sister-hog-brother-tree-and-the-voice-of-copper37

Wood Vessels

etsy bowls12.jpgetsy bowls17.jpgetsy bowls04.jpgetsy bowls23.jpgetsy bowls11.jpgetsy bowls21.jpgetsy bowls03.jpgetsy bowls16.jpgetsy-bowls01etsy bowls13.jpgetsy-bowls07etsy-bowls09These bowls are all for sale in our Etsy Store if you are interested.  Thanks for looking.

There Is A Season

there is a season10 there is a season07 there is a season15 there is a season14 there is a season16 there is a season17 there is a season03 there is a season22 there is a season23 there is a season09 there is a season13 there is a season19 there is a season05 there is a season08 there is a season01 there is a season21 there is a season11 there is a season12 there is a season04 there is a season20 there is a season24 there is a season06

The Champion Table

After about five months the Champion Table is finished and in its new home outside of Chicago.  The woods in this table are Kansas Black Walnut and White Oak (the base uses oak from Kansas, the top uses oak of lesser known origin, beyond my friend, the lumber man), the top features also a small amount of Ebony and sulfur.  The design is original, and evolved throughout the building process.  Central, is a crucifixion theme and the arc.  There are other symbolic elements as well, throughout.  I am deeply grateful to the Champion family for the opportunity to build a significant piece of furniture for their home and living.  I am also humbled and thankful for all the encouragement I have received throughout the building process.  Ultimately I am glad in my heart, laboring to make something that celebrates the goodness of God.

Champion table final04Champion table final12

Champion table final14 Champion table final11Champion table final23 Champion table final15 Champion table final20Champion table final01 Champion table final21 Champion table final02 Champion table final19 Champion table final03 Champion table final18 Champion table final05 Champion table final22 Champion table final16 Champion table final32 Champion table final06 Champion table final07 Champion table final24 Champion table final25 Champion table final08 Champion table final09 Champion table final30 Champion table final26 Champion table final27 Champion table final29 Champion table final31 Champion table final28 Champion table final10 Champion table final33 Champion table final13

Champion Table Build, Part 4: Base & Arc

base arc01

preparing to fit the base to the leg assembly

base arc03

defining a semicircle with 3 saw cuts

base arc02

3 saw cuts get refined into facets with a paring chisel

base arc04

and again

base arc05

then shaped with a rasp

base arc06

the base of one of the leg assemblies after the 1/2 lap-tapered dado has been cut

base arc07

here, mated with the white oak leg

base arc09

a different piece of white oak being shaped with a rasp, one of three slats joining the top of the leg assemblies together and to the table top

base arc08

the slats also receive a long bevel

base arc10

the slats will rest in the notches being cut into the top of this leg section

base arc11

clearing out material from the notch with a 1″ chisel

base arc12

establishing the final depth with a router plane

base arc13

here the slats are temporarily in place

base arc14

an arsenal of shaping tools to begin sculpting the legs

base arc16

shaping inside-curves of the leg assembly with an aggressive rasp

base arc17

forming a radius where the legs meet the base

base arc18

the preliminary drawings had a horizontal stretcher connecting the two leg assemblies at floor level. Having rough-shaped the components and taking a look, I started visualizing an arc instead. PVC pipe (already bent from a previous life in some low garden tunnels) offered a quick prototype to help see how it would look.

base arc19

the arc made sense, so now setting about squaring up a white oak timber for re-sawing

base arc20

re-sawn white oak and a glue-lamination form ready to make an arc

base arc21

the glue lamination in the form- my 8 year old son was indispensable in this process, helping to roll glue, assemble, and clamp

base arc22

rhythm is in unity to woodwork

base arc23

the white oak timber, reconfigured as a messy arc

base arc24

work for the jack plane

base arc26

now the smoothing plane

base arc25

cutting the tapers along the length of the arc at the band saw

base arc28

marking the taper at the width

base arc29

cutting the taper at the width

base arc30

more elbow grease with the smoothing plane

base arc31

shaping the many curves and facets along the arc, first with a drawknife

base arc32

then with spokeshave

base arc33

establishing details with knife

base arc34

facets ease into curves

base arc35

test fitting- some refining-shaping to go yet

base arc36

setting the location of the chamfers on the leg-base

base arc38

shaving away rasp markings

base arc39

carving corner transitions

base arc37

so many details to bring together- here the leg base is about done.

That’s it for this round- next week there will be lots of sanding, also carving and inlay work as the table finally starts to become unified. Thank you to everyone for following along, and for your encouraging comments.

The Champion Table Build, Part 3: Leg Joinery

champion table 301

flattening walnut stock with a wooden joiner for the top rails of the leg assembly

champion table 302

using winding-sticks to make sure there is no twist in the board

champion table 303

finishing up with a #7 jack plane

champion table 304

squaring up the remaining edges and dimensioning the walnut on the bandsaw

champion table 307

layout lines

champion table 308

initial shaping of the curves on the top rail of the legs

champion table 309

testing it against the table-top

champion table 310

sawing lengths of white-oak for the vertical posts of the leg assembly

champion table 311

the white oak after squaring-up

champion table 312

testing the concept and a few angles before committing

champion table 316

laying out the leg joints

champion table 317

establishing the sliding dovetail angle with a knife

champion table 318

cutting the front of the sliding dovetail

champion table 319

all the bandsaw work done, now the hand-tools will finish

champion table 320

paring the back cheek of the tenon

champion table 321

the joint is most of the way there- the waste between the mortise and the dovetail is yet to be removed

champion table 322

the four white oak legs all cut

champion table 323

the arsenal of tools to accurately transfer the dimensions of the tenon/ dovetails onto the walnut rails

champion table 306

marking

champion table 324

starting the cut for the sliding dovetail socket with a carcass saw

champion table 325

another view cutting sliding dovetail sockets

champion table 326

chopping out the waste in the socket

champion table 327

paring the sidewalls unreached by the saw

champion table 328

using a router plane to achieve an accurate floor of the joint- the leg on the cutter allows it to reach the angled corners

champion table 329

another view of the router-plane

champion table 330

starting the mortise with a 3/4 mortise chisel

champion table 331

the first row is delicate- just establishing the shape and protecting the corners

champion table 332

going the full depth of the mortise with an auger – you can see the round-topped sliding dovetail socket parallel to the mortise

champion table 333

squaring the mortise the rest of the way with the mortise chisel

champion table 336

cleaning the sidewalls with my extra-big paring chisel

champion table 334

thank God, they fit!

champion table 335

step one is successful- to get to this point took endless drawings and two complete practice joints and a lot of patience

champion table 313

marking the leg rails for some shaping/ sculpting cuts on the band saw

champion table 337

the top rails post rough-shaping, and the taper of one of the white-oak legs marked with blue tape

champion table 338

dry re-assembly just to make sure

champion table 339

the glue-up

champion table 340

next week will concern the joining of the bottom rail and the final shaping of the leg assemblies