Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Woodworking Weekend - June Chair Build, Henning Norgaard Couch Table Part V, Visit from Pedder

My weekends lately have been on Mondays and Tuesdays. While this is a bit of a bummer, it makes for some good woodworking days. This weekend a bit more eventful than most:

I'll start in reverse order and walk you through what a great weekend this was for me.

First (or last, depending on how you look at it), I have been a very bad boy on eBay lately. If you have been trying to buy an Ohio bench plane, I apologize for your lack of luck, as I now own them all.

Most of them have been sitting sadly rusting in a plastic crate, but I have had some luck with an O4. Tonight, I got to try out an O7 with a blade that I did my best to rehab today. I think I really like these planes.
A curly full length shaving with my Ohio O7.
Full disclosure - One of my Ohio O7s.
Big news in the way of my 2nd Annual June Chair Build - I have an amazing piece of wood to make chairs with!
14 board-feet of not exactly traditional Windsor chair material.
That's right, it is zebrano, or zebra wood (Microberlinia brazzavillensis). A good friend in Munich that I met on InstaGram has a lot of great lumber in his shop. I had to twist his arm a bit, as he had plans for this piece, but I convinced him to part with it. It is 8/4, about seven feet long and a foot wide. I'll have to laminate two pieces together to get a seat blank, but if I'm careful I should be able to get two stunning seat blanks from this board. I can't wait.

The only problem is the Frau decided this board would make a perfect console table. I told her she had until I started to break this board down into seat-blank sizes to come up with a design.

Whatever she comes up with, I'll try to tell her it would be more appropriate to build in ash.

I was kind of steering toward making some painted staked patio chairs, but now that I have this board, I think something spectacular is in order.
Not something I am particularly proud of.
As far as the couch table goes, you'll remember from the last post that I have the base assembled and a coat of finish on it. I have been doing a lot of thinking about this, and I have decided I am not content with the gappy joints resulting from re-arranging where they all go. I had fit every single joint, then after that it became clear the sticks had to be assembled a different way. This resulted in some of the joints looking like the one above - not good enough.

Today I ran out to the Dick shop and milled up enough ash to re-do it. This batch is just as straight and perfect as the last. I did all of the milling on machines this time, and finished in about an hour and a half. It took that long as I fiddled with the angle of the saw blade for every rip in order to get perfectly rift-sawn stuff resulting in the grain looking the same on every face of every stick.

Now that I know how to build it, it should go much faster. I can gang cut some of the parts. The long ones are all exactly the same, and there is a left version and a right version of the short ones.
A freshly milled do-over. I'm glad I had some extra wood.
And finally, the first thing I got to do this weekend - meet Pedder!
Me and Pedder.
Pedder is half of the extremely talented duo of saw-wrights at Two Lawyers Tools. If you haven't been to either Pedder's blog or the TL website, go there now for some major drool-ocity.

Pedder and I spent some time in my tiny shop talking saws. He is a cheerful guy and passionate about saws. I love talking to guys like him because you can learn so much.

He brought a couple of saws with him to show off.
The butter knife.
This cute little saw had perhaps the smallest teeth I have seen, and a very thin blade. It even works!
That is a narrow kerf. Alex should post the photo of me making this cut.
He also brought along his modern saw in pear. Not only is it beautiful, but it fits the hand like a glove.
For some reason the only photo I have of this saw is this artsy one.
We met a couple of local woodworkers and had a nice time at the local guesthouse. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate for the Biergarten plan.
Alex showing off a Bavarian half-beer.
It's always fun meeting up with a group of like minded crazies craftsmen.
Peter showing off with the pear saw.
Pedder also brought along his personal ebony dovetail saw. I also didn't get a proper photo of this, but it is a stunner.
Perhaps the empty beer glasses had something to do with the lack of proper photography.
Also there was Martin. Enjoy this portrait of him:
Martin is a photogenic chap.
Great fun was had by all. Except, perhaps, the poor waiter.
Peter, me, Pedder, Alex and Martin.


  1. Sound like you had a great time, very cool. Enjoy these moments

    Bob and Rudy

  2. Thanks, Bob! We can do this again when you come to visit!

  3. Unfortunately the Frau may have a point. That would make a spectacular table top. Maybe a chair with zebra seat and painted spindles and a table with painted base with zebra top.

    1. That could be an idea. But, don't you think an ash console would be much better? :)

  4. Hi Brian,
    looks like a great time.


  5. Some lads are missing in your woodbro fraternity reunion!.. wish I was there...

    1. Next time. Make sure you come to visit soon!

  6. Note to self: Brian's photography skills deteriorate with beer consumption.

    Is that one of those zero-kerf saws? It looks to be about as close as anyone has ever gotten, anyway. Very jealous; it would have been cool to be there, Brian. Although... was it all in German? That might have made it less enjoyable. But... still enjoyable.

    1. The saw was very, very fine. So fine, he had a hard time setting it.

      Everyone could speak English, which made it much easier for me. I can follow along with the German until they start speaking very fast or in a dialect. But, beer makes it much easier to communicate. You would have had fun.

  7. So happy for you. You have so much fun!