Chair stories: The flaky-bark oak

My student Christophe from Australia commissioned three Pete’s Stools with white oak legs and butternut seats.  Here’s the story about his chairs:

I like the log yard when it is quiet, and the three-man crew is waiting for trucks to arrive. At those times, Junior might come down from the knuckleboom truck to talk. He’s a tall man with white bushy hair, blue jeans and a John Deere ball cap. Mostly he talks about wood — how it grows, how it’s cut, and how it’s sold. Read more ›

Posted in Chair Stories

Milk Paint Viscosity Measure/Studio Tour

The viscosity of milk paint directly affects the ease with which the paint can be applied and the smoothness of the painted surface.  True milk paint only comes in powered form and must be mixed with water before use (“pre-mixed” milk paints are really acrylic paints). Thick paint doesn’t flow off the brush easily and the resulting surface is rougher.  Extremely thin paint leaves bubbles on the surface and is runny.  Paint manufacturers often recommend a mixture of paint that is thicker than what I like.

For my milk paint DVD,  I discovered you can make a viscosity measuring cup from a pepsi bottle.  Drill a 5/32 hole in the lid of the bottle, remove any drilling burrs from the hole and cut the bottom of the bottle off.  You now have a rough equivalent of a #4 Ford viscosity cup.  It looks like this:
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Posted in Chairmaking Tools and Supplies, Chairs For Sale, Finishing, How-To

Turner’s Gate/Class Cancellations

I prefer to size stretcher tenons with a Turner’s Gate (Sorby calls it a Sizing Tool). It’s major advantage over dowel plates and tenon cutters is that the tenon shoulder can be easily removed using a skew, plus the tenons are always in line with each other.

A turner’s gate fits over a parting tool or bedan and can be adjusted through trial and error to cut whatever size tenon is required. Or if you want to get fancy, Tim Manney has come up with a way to add a micro adjust. If the tenon can be twisted 1/3 to 1/2 the way into the mortice without hurting your arm, the tenon is a good fit. You only drive the tenon in once, since you’ll never get it back out without breaking the stretcher.

Read more ›

Posted in Classes, How-To

Ring turning video

I had forgotten about this video till one of my students mentioned a similar idea in my class last week. This is a pretty cool greenwood cottage industry and an amusing video:

Posted in Craft Films

32″ Bandsaw for Sale


I have traded for a newer bandsaw and am selling my old one. It’s a Crescent 32″ Bandsaw built in 1919, babbit bearings, wooden table (old, but probably not original), new carter roller guides, new rip fence. The motor mounts on the floor/wall so you can easily put whatever motor you want on it. I will sell the 5hp single-phase motor that I’ve been using with the saw if you want it. The bandsaw is currently disassembled and will fit easily in a small pickup truck.  It’s a really pretty machine – everyone who walks into the shop wants to know about it. Read more ›

Posted in Chairmaking Tools and Supplies

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