recent projects-in-the-works

A long stretch here without a blog post. That means I wasn’t shooting many photos in the shop. well, not woodworking photos anyway. The shop has been a bird blind lately, more about that later. But I have done some woodworking, mostly stock prep. Sorting the hickory, I’ve been splitting and shaving it into chair parts.

some of the hickory

The photo above shows just some of it. In that heap are parts for shaved windsor chairs (Curtis Buchanan’s “democratic chair”), some ladderback chair rungs, tapered legs for brettstuhls, some shaved stuff to make basket handles and rims, and some oak for a joined stool. There was more work that didn’t make it into this photo, some back posts bent on forms for ladderbacks and two pitchforks from Drew Langsner’s Country Woodcraft: Then & Now. https://lostartpress.com/products/country-woodcraft-then-now

a few baskets woven

During the recent heat wave (we had it easier here than most, but it was still pretty warm) I wove a few baskets from some ash splints I had stored. Easy work and you slosh around in a bucket of water. Next I’ll finish off the tops of them, then make handles & rims from the hickory.

kids’ chair & full sized version

These two chairs were kicking around, so I wove hickory bark seats on them from some of the last bunches of old bark I had around. The kids’ chair had a boring error that needed plugging, so I experimented with coloring it to hide my sins. The chair behind it is hickory with oak slats. It has been in the loft for a year or more, and I finally decided it was either getting burned or getting a seat. It too had a boring error, no real harm other than to my pride.

hickory bark seat

Also down from the loft is this box.

carved oak box

The box was maybe #12 of 11 boxes I made last fall (or 11 of 10, I can’t remember). I got the body made & then stuck it up in the loft. There it sat til I was cleaning up there last week. Found a wide piece of pine and glued up 2 quartersawn boards for the lid. So this is sort of the first box for 2021 – except I made the box in 2020. It’s a big one, I’ll get the measurements when I do proper photos in the next few days.

OK – the birds. Out one window has been the house wren (Troglodytes aedon) nest in one of the gourds Maureen grew last year. They kept me pretty occupied with their comings & goings. Here’s an adult with a chick in the gourd, mouth opened wide.

begging for more

out the same window, but closer to the shop, a robin (Turdus migratorius) was building its nest for a 2nd brood of the season.

working on the nest

I also kept an eye out on the other side of the shop for the great blue heron (Ardea herodias) who was hunting in our yard for chipmunks and other critters.

looking out from the hurdle

This strike was a mole or vole down in the shavings pile by the garden.

gotcha

It’s gone on like this for a month, day in & day out. The wrens have fledged but I hear the male singing again. Time for a new mate for him and a last brood of the season. The robins hatched just one chick this time, and it’s growing daily. The heron keeps coming back. There’s no shortage of chipmunks.

6 thoughts on “recent projects-in-the-works

  1. I love the design on the box, It has nice proportions and all, for some reason I think it sticks out from your others. Is it your design or something you seen around? Your lucky to have a nice shop to disappear in and make a nice pile of hickory chair parts. Im jealous of that and the furry & feathered animals that come to visit you. Enjoy Todd

    • Thanks, Todd. It’s based on works from Dedham Massachusetts, c. 1640-1700. I adapted it by carving the sides of the box too, usually that shop/those shops just carved the fronts.

  2. Great bird shots. I’ve been spending some time in northern Michigan and saw some wonderful birds on the Platte River. Beautiful herons and was lucky enough to see a Kingfisher grab some breakfast out of River about 30 feet in front of us. It was rather exciting.

  3. In the summer, I wade and fish a local river. This time of year the water level stabilizes and all the wildlife is out. As evening approaches the resident Blue Heron takes it’s spot on a Stump in he middle of the river and waits. Its always one of my favorite parts of the evening, sort of like a friendly dance. He (or she) lets me get surprisingly close, then gives me a squawk. It will fly off and and take a temporary spot, until I pass by and then returns to the stump. They are beautiful.

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