16 Jun 2016

The Key Cabinet is Done, off to Brooklyn for the summer!

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Well folks, I’ve been busy these past 10 days. I rented bench space at the school a few days each week over the past two weeks and finished up the key cabinet. With this completed, I have finished all of the required North Bennet Street projects. (almost got them all done in 2 semesters)  Without further adieu, here’s it is :

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16 Jun 2016

NBSS Week 36: Key Cabinet, oh Key Cabinet… and the end of this semester (plus a move)

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This week marks the end of year one for me here at NBSS. The short week started with a day off from school to move my new Boston digs. My wife and I loaded up a U-Haul with all of our belongs and made a short drive (2.2 miles) from Back Bay to Jamaica Plain to start a new page in our Boston experience. The new apartment is a bit bigger, a bit nicer, and we now have a parking spot so maybe, just maybe, we’ll bring our car up and get to experience a little more of the northeast.

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16 Jun 2016

NBSS Week 35 – Some more key cabinet details and a field trip to New Hampshire

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Two more weeks to go, time to get cranking on the key cabinet. With all of the interior grooves cut last week I spent the first half of this week pre-finishing the pierced panel. With that completed it was time to glue together the case. The process was a bit stressful as all interior pieces fit together like a puzzle and had to fit correctly during the glue-up or the mitered corners would not close completely. I experienced some problems gluing in the splines and learned a valuable lesson about the process: Don’t try to slide the splines in from the top (like I did when dry fitting the case) once the glue is applied, because the tackiness of the glue will not allow the tight tolerance splines to fully seat. I had to take apart the case and insert the splines fully while the slots on the edges were exposed and then assemble the sides together. (Four sides coming together all at once made me wish for a few more hands!) Read more

14 Jun 2016

NBSS Week 34 – Continuing the key cabinet, the Annual Celebration of Craft show begins, a clam and lobster boil, some golf, and a few surprises!

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This week began with a little key cabinet work. Now that the door is veneered it was time to miter the 4 sides of the cabinet itself. This involved first applying some 45 degree MDF pieces to the outside corners of each of the 4 sides

(to help with clamping later) and then cutting the 2 sides and top and bottom to final length. I then made a few test cuts at the table saw to ensure that the cut was truly 45 degrees. After a few minor adjustments I set up an auxiliary fence and cut miters on all 8 corners. I then set up to cut the reverse 45 degree angle needed to cut the groove for the splines. The spline is a small piece of face grain wood that not only helps to align the miters during glue-up but also provides a better glue surface than the end grain miters would otherwise have. I then cut the spline material to fit and took everything back to the bench for a test fit. It all looked pretty good.

Up next it was off to the router table to cut the dado for the interior pierced key hook panel. These were stopped cuts on the side panels so I did a little setup work and then cut away. While in the machine room I hopped on over to the table saw and cut the rabbets on the 2 sides and the top and bottom that will house the rear panel as well as the rear cleat for wall hanging later on.

Back at the bench I assembled the case and took some inside measurements and returned to the table saw where I cut the pierced interior key hook panel to fit as well as the rear panel. I then test fit these pieces… looking good!

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Next up was to cut the curved profile on the top and bottom of the case. This involved using the template for my sanding cauls to pattern rout the curved shape. Here’s the result after some quality time at the router table.

Monday marked the opening day of the “Annual Celebration of Craft” student and alumni show. We spent Monday and Tuesday helping set up the displays of all the work throughout the school in preparation for the opening night gala and catered dinner on Thursday the 19th. NBSS was transformed with lights, dinner tables, music, and great displays from all the NBSS programs.

 

The scales table was set up on the third floor and received many compliments, and of course a few people poked a bit of fun at me and began to hum the “Game of Thrones” theme the next day. The show runs from May 16th through June 2nd with a “meet the maker” night on Thursday May 26th. Stop on by and check it out if you’re in town!

Speaking of shows, I found out this week that my submission into “Radius,” the Society of Arts and Crafts first exhibit in their new seaport location was accepted. To be in the show, makers within a 1 mile radius of the new location submitted their work and I’m very proud to be selected for this event. The exhibit will run this October and November so make some time this fall to go and check it out.

Instead of a Thursday lecture this week we all took a day off (and boy what a great day it was) to head up to Steve’s house on the North Shore for a clam and lobster boil. A few of us even played a round of golf at the Cape Anne golf course before the festivities began. The boil itself was delicious and marked for me my first time eating clams and only my second time eating a whole lobster. We also got to sit on some of the nicest lawn furniture ever (some of Steve’s Chippendale chairs) and play a few rounds of corn hole. It was a great event and I look forward to attending again next spring!

And one last surprise this week. My efforts last week to find a summer apprenticeship were successful and I was able to secure a summer position with Brooklyn furniture maker John Fischer. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. My wife and I spent the week looking for a summer apartment for me to rent and I found one just a few minutes away from work. I can’t wait for the opportunity to see what it’s like to work daily making furniture, and see how well the past two semesters have prepared me for the job!

Up next week, more detailed construction on the key cabinet, a social media lecture, and a field trip to some local woodworking shops, until then…

28 May 2016

NBSS Week 33 – Key cabinet work, my toolbox and candle box review, and some summer work preparations

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This week began with shaping the coopered door for my key cabinet. After glue up it was quite close to my drafted radius of 24 ½ inches so I had just a little work to do to fair the curve inside and out. I started by using a spokes shave across the grain to knock down the high spots. I then made a sanding caul using a router circle cutting jig and setting it to cut a portion of the radius of the circle to match both the inside and outside surfaces of the door.

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25 May 2016

NBSS Week 32 – Applying finish to complete the scales and basket weave table, completing the candle box and more work on the key cabinet

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This week began on Saturday with a little spray finishing. The spray booth was available and both the scales and basket weave tables were ready to go so I put on some music and spent the day spraying. After a few days drying I finished the finish with a little light sanding and some wax.

Up first here’s the finished basket weave table:

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23 May 2016

NBSS Week 31 – Finishing the basket weave and scales tables, plus starting the candle box and key cabinet

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This week began with some more veneer work on the scales table. I finished the pattern over the weekend and on Monday I brought in the assembled sheet taped and ready for gluing to the tabletop.

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07 May 2016

NBSS Week 30 – Drafting the key cabinet, parquetry and veneer work on the scales table

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This week began with some drafting. I pulled out the full size drafting board, ripped off a big ol’ sheet of drafting vellum and began to layout and design the key cabinet. My overall dimensions are going to be 16”L x 12”W x 5”D. The front curvature is going to be based on a coopering form that another student made with a radius of 25 ¼”.

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07 May 2016

NBSS Week 29- The basket weave table drawer, the scales table, and the design process on my case piece

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At the end of last week I had prepared all of the drawer pieces to begin cutting the dovetails on the basket weave table.

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02 May 2016

NBSS Week 28 – Furniture Shows, the chair is finished, and the basket weave table gets glued together

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So if you thought I’ve been busy these past few weeks… well this week, oh boy! Monday started the beginning of Boston Design Week and I had two pieces in two different shows: the Rasta Stool in a show at the Design Center in the Seaport on Monday, and the Modern Chair in Design 20/21 at the Cyclorama for four days starting Thursday. So… probably a good time to actually finish the rest of the upholstery on the Modern Chair, don’t you think?

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