Let's Talk Wood
A forum for discussing woodworking, specifically furniture making. Feel free to post comments and questions about your current projects, tools, studio set-up, or whatever is on your mind. This blog is moderated by Jamie Yocono, owner of Wood It Is! Custom Cabinetry in Las Vegas, NV. Her website is wooditis.com. If you need to speak to an actual human... call 702-672-8981! Now...let's talk wood!
Sunday, January 29, 2023
Sunday, January 08, 2023
I'm back in the saddle again.... sort of....
Don't read too much into this - but I'm back teaching for a short while!
I've been building a ton of furniture lately, like this armoire.
And this low credenza, which I love, love, love.
Here's a funny one - the first time I cut dovetails, I cut them backwards. (We love to share our mistakes, don't we?) The mechanics of a dovetail make it impossible to pull the drawer apart, but with my amateur skills, I reversed the tails and pins.
Uh-oh, but here's the good thing about mistakes - we rarely make them a second time. (I scrapped the drawer and made a new one , BTW.)
I just started the doors for this cabinet, and it got me thinking about the Intermediate class that I used to teach - it's a good one. The class is more focused on learning techniques than actually building projects - and that's really important.
To me - the whole key to woodworking is practice, practice, practice. I know - practice can be boring, and most people want something to show for their efforts. But practice is what makes us better.
Oh - here's another good story - I was once building 25 drawers for a kitchen I remodeled and didn't pay attention to what I was doing when cutting the drawer box parts. So there should have been 25 left drawer sides, and 25 right sides... well, I accidentally cut 35 lefts and 15 rights.
All this is to say - if you want to grow your skills, I hope you'll join me as a guest instructor at Wood It Is - for the Intermediate Woodworking class. Here's a link to read more, or to register.
Saturday, December 17, 2022
Supply chain issues
These holidays feel ever so slightly more sane than in the past - and I appreciate the slower pace.
Sure, people still want the things that they've ordered ASAP. But I've long given up on the idea of promising that something will be done by a certain date. Deadlines take on a different meaning when you are partially retired.
Lately - some of the materials and supplies that I need are unavailable. It took me three trips to the lumberyard to get a few boards of walnut for an upcoming project. I'm OK with that - the world isn't going to fall apart if there is a delay.
All this means I get to build on a slower pace, a more deliberate one. I've quit counting my hours on any given piece, and just enjoy the process. It's really a lovely slamming of the brakes, and I highly recommend it to anyone feeling overly stressed right now.
I'm nearly done with a mirror that I'm making to match a table that I built a few years ago.
The table featured one of my ceramic tiles in the top of it, it has a lovely Waterfall Green glaze on the tile, and the combination is really nice.
Sunday, November 27, 2022
This is a little embarrassing, but I've been working on this cabinet for (maybe?) five years. I remember what inspired it - I'd purchased a small stained glass panel from my friend Gayle, and thought it would look great in a cabinet door.
So I built the door.
Assembling wood grains perpendicular to each another is often a recipe for disaster, so I built the door and let it rest.
And rest even longer.
Five years of resting...
It wasn't like I was sitting around, waiting for it to crack. Life got in the way, and it was put on a shelf. I'd look at it every so often. One thing I've learned - wood does what it wants to do, regardless of what we want it to do!
And finally - three things happened.
One - I decided it had rested long enough, and it was stable. It was ready to have a cabinet built around it.
Two - I was tired of having it dangle around in my brain - and worrying that it would be damaged.
And three - I decided that this tall narrow cabinet was perfect for holding the Martin backpacker guitar that I'd purchased. So I built a cabinet for it.
Saturday, November 19, 2022
Made with love, with tools that I love
Woodworking is a curious hobby - it starts out with passion and excitement, and as you learn more about it, it morphs into something different.
I’m in that “something different” stage, where the process is slower and more deliberate, with fewer tools, but much better skills.
With the sale of the school a few months ago, all of my equipment and a lifetime collection of accumulations were gone. Do you even realize how much you've amassed until it is gone? Probably not.
But if you take a look around your shop, you’ll find all sorts of tools and jigs and “must haves” that clutter up your drawers, along with some invaluable things thrown in there, too.
I’ve pared down my arsenal, and let me say - it’s liberating! After working in my shop for the last few months, I realized that there were a few MUST HAVE tools that I needed to re-acquire - including this scraper, made by Kunz.
This time around - I’m building pieces I really want to build, as opposed to ones I HAVE to build. It’s liberating to have those choices, rather than let finances dictate what I have to build.
These two boxes hold cremains, and my client and I designed a double urn to hold them. That's always a little emotional, and I'll be honest - a few tears were shed. But it's an honor to build urns, and I take that very seriously.
Monday, October 17, 2022
OK, so my blog feels a little stagnant... I get it. I haven't posted in over a month!
But - I'm busier than ever. I don't know where I managed to find the time to teach woodworking classes before my semi-retirement.
I recently wrapped up this small commission in record time - I had just two weeks to make a walnut breakfast tray, with folding legs. The fellow who ordered it for his wife's BD (hence the deadline!) wanted it modeled after a tray used in Downton Abbey, a show I've never watched.
That particular tray seemed a little fragile to me, so we beefed things up a bit in our design. There wasn't much time to make the top
I've also been trying to get back into my ceramic studio, to start making custom tile again. I'm building a bookcase right now, and I think some tile added to the top would be perfect.
This bookcase was made years ago, and featured inlaid tile in its top, which is really nice when you want to put your cup of coffee down, or have a potted plant or two that need a resting spot.
So I've been finishing up this bookcase and trying to come up with some tile designs.
I don't remember where it ended up - probably left it in Ohio when I moved west. Anyway, retirement is anything but boring!