24 Jan 2016

NBSS Week 17 – Windsor chair class Part 2, some more toolbox work, and a lecture on tambours

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I began this week by fitting the drawer bottoms to my toolbox drawers. This involved first cutting them square then fitting them for the width of drawer grooves in the bottom of the drawer. The next step was to cut the bevels on the underside of the four 3/8” drawer bottoms so that they fit tightly and slid into the ¼” drawer grooves. Read more

24 Jan 2016

NBSS Week 16 – Completing the Shaker night stand, Windsor chair class part 1, and more toolbox progress

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We returned on Monday after our holiday break and jumped right back into things, for me that meant putting the final touches on my shaker night stand. Over the holiday break I managed to put 3 coats of water based polyurethane on the base over the milk paint, and I also completed French polishing the top and applying shellac to the drawer. With these steps completed I moved on to sanding the final surfaces with 600 then 800 grit sandpaper and applying wax to buff the surfaces out to my desired sheen level. For this project I chose semi-gloss. Drumroll please…… and here’s the finished project! Read more

05 Jan 2016

NBSS Week 15 – Applying finish to the shaker nightstand, turning a drawer pull on the lathe, and preparing the drawer stock for the toolbox… and a Christmas party!

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This week began with finishing. After sanding all of the shaker nightstand components through sandpaper grits up to 180, we applied our first coat of milk paint to the base of the table.

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20 Dec 2015

NBSS Week 14 – Final fitting of the shaker night stand drawer, attaching the top, final surface preparation for finishing, and a primer on milk paint and shellac

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This week began with the final drawer fitment of the shaker night stand. We began the process by hand planing the 2 sides and the back free all of surface machine marks. For many, just this little bit of material removal created enough clearance for the drawer to fit tight within the drawer opening. Once this tight initial fit was achieved we began to refine the clearances to allow for seasonal wood movement and smooth drawer operation.

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20 Dec 2015

NBSS Week 13 – Shaker nightstand drawer bottom, making the top, gluing up the toolbox carcass and a lecture on wooden toys and puzzles

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We jumped right in this week continuing our drawer construction for the shaker nightstand. Last week we cut the grooves for the drawer bottom so Monday and Tuesday we learned how to construct and fit that bottom.

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20 Dec 2015

NBSS Week 12 – Making the drawer for the Shaker night stand, cutting stopped dado’s in the toolbox, and a lecture on mirrors

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This week was a short 3-day week for us that started out with a lecture on fitting the drawer front for our shaker nightstand. After lecture we began the process by first cutting the drawer front blank to a wee bit over the measured height of the drawer opening and also cutting one edge square. We then went back to our workbenches and hand planed the drawer height until it press fit into the drawer opening of our tables. Once fitted for height, we press fit the square corner into each side to determine if the sides were square.

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30 Nov 2015

NBSS Week 11 – A field trip to Haverhill, shaker nightstand part 3, the spring joint, toolbox dovetails, and NBSS career day and open house

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This week began with a field trip to the Historic New England’s furniture storage facility in Haverhill, Ma. The warehouse is where they store furniture and other historical items like art, jewelry, clothing, etc. currently not on display or in need of repair. We visited with the artifact conservationists and discussed the difference between conservation and restoration, and how the processes to perform each differ. Read more

28 Nov 2015

NBSS Week 10 – Shaker night stand part 2, beginning the NBSS toolbox, half-blind dovetails, a visit from Peter Follansbee, and some carving practice

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We began this week learning how to cut the shaker night stand aprons to length, width, and final thickness. This involved learning how to rip on the table saw. “Ripping” is any cut where you are sawing the board along its grain. On the table saw this cut must be performed with at least one face flat and one edge square so that square edge can ride the fence and cut the other side parallel at the width you choose. Adjusting the fence adjusts the width of the cut. Read more

26 Nov 2015

NBSS Week 9 – Milling lumber and building the Shaker nightstand, part 1

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We started this week with a lecture on how to lay out our Shaker night stand cut list in preparation for sawing and milling the various components out of our rough lumber. We learned how to achieve the best yield as well as the best grain and color match with smart placement around any unusable sections of the board (such as cracks, knots, and sapwood). This concept of project layout for yield, color, and grain match is a very important part of what will separate our work as skilled furniture makers, as well as having an impact on our ability to control cost and quality as we build.

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11 Nov 2015

NBSS Week 8 – Making an oilstone box, drafting our shaker nightstand, some more chair design, and our first trip to a lumber yard

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This week began with another exercise to help continue to build our hand tool skills: making an oilstone box.

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