Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Crashing the Party

Last week when Christopher Schwarz was here, I only got to attend his bowsaw class.  It was fantastic.  There was a couple of extra spaces in his class for the Roorkhee chair, but unfortunately I could not get out of work.

The good news was, I had a couple of mornings during that class where I could sneak away.  I totally crashed the class, and snapped a couple photos for the couple of hours I was there.

Chris started the class with a presentation on Roorkhee chairs.  Many of us had already sat through the presentation at the beer garden the night before.

A word about marking parts.

You can totally tell who has seen this presentation on sharpening before.

Chris started out one day with a primer on sharpening.  This photo is funny because there are several people in this class that have been in Chris' previous classes at Dictum.  Everyone in the back who looks like they aren't paying attention have heard this class before.  Don't misunderstand, it is more like they are making room for those new guys who haven't seen it yet.

I really wish I would have been able to take this class, the project looks like a lot of fun, and I have zero experience with leather.  I think I will make one of these at some point, though.  If I get stuck, I know a couple people that were in the class that can show me what to do.

One other amusing anecdote from the class, one day Martin, a student that was also in the bowsaw class with me, was setting his tools up when he arrived.  I started to make fun of him a little bit when he was carrying his tool kit around in a blue IKEA bag.

My mouth dropped when he showed me what he was carrying in there:

Chris wrote about these planes on his Lost Art Press blog.  I didn't get a chance to use them much, but I could hardly quit gawking at them.  These are some seriously heavy planes.  And pretty.

Martin's tool porn wasn't only relegated to planes.  He also had a beautiful Two Lawyers saw.  It turns out this saw is on their homepage, as their header.  Lucky thing, because I forgot to take a picture.  It is spalted Correlian birch, with 17 tpi.  It is just as stunning, if not moreso, in person.

It turns out that Martin is WoodWurm, and has his own webpage where you can see much of his tool porn. 

I think this is one of the great things about taking woodworking classes, you never know who you are going to meet.  A few of the woodworkers I have been to classes with over the last couple years have wood blogs.  Check them out:

The Plane Doctor
Wood & Glue

I probably missed a couple, so feel free to post links in the comments.


  1. A $2 plane bought at a flea market does the same thing.

    1. And, technically you can drive to the Oscars in a $500 Toyota.

  2. Hi Brian,
    did you use the TFFW kit to make your bow saw? If so, were your pins tight in the handle's holes?
    Mine are loose but TFFW says it's fine to just epoxy them in. I think it's a little too much to ask epoxy to fill.

    1. Hey Ralph,

      Yes, we did use TFWW for the hardware. Chris did adjust the design to make a bit simpler, though.

      My pins were a bit loose, too. If you go back to my original post, I mention it and a few readers actually suggested some fixes. Mine seems to have tightened up a bit over the last week by just leaving it alone.

      I would be reluctant to epoxy the pins, too. I think if you do that, the handle would no longer turn, reducing the flexibility of the saw. Let me know how it turns out!

  3. What TFWW means is epoxying the pins into the HANDLE! Not into the frame holes.

    1. Duh (head slap), you are absolutely right. What was I thinking. I actually did epoxy the pins into the turned handles, just like everyone else. What was loose on mine were the pins in the frame holes.

  4. Work always seems to get in the way, no matter what. I like the bowsaw and the course seems to be well worth it. The Roorkhee chair I don't really have strong feelings about one way or the other, though I would take the class more for learning new techniques and spending time with other woodworkers rather than for making the chair.

    As far as those beautifully machined planes go, I love to look at them but I probably would never own one, even if I could afford it. :)

    1. I think I'm with you on all counts. Except, having spent a little time with Chris and the guys in the class, the Safari chair they built has grown on me. I am definitely going to build one soon. I just have to get my wife on board with keeping it in the house. :)

  5. Good post Brian. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Nice post Brian.
    These planes are awesome!
    How will you turn the safari chair legs in your shop? are you going to build a lathe?
    Do you by any chance know if Chris is going to teach a class a dictum next year? My understanding from a recent post on his blog is that he is going underground to write (finish writing) 1 or 2 books for the next year or so. I wish he will teach a campaign chest class...

    1. Hi Aymeric,

      Thanks. And yes, those planes look even better in person.

      I will turn the legs at the Dictum workshop or perhaps with the lathe at the shop on the Army base. There isn't room for much of a lathe in my shop unless I ditch the Frau's storage cabinet. :)

      I'm pretty sure Chris will be back next year. It would not surprise me at all if there were some kind of campaign furniture in his class. Whatever it is, it is bound to be fun!

    2. great! I will try to make it then...