the rest of my teaching schedule for 2016

An update about classes remaining for 2016, and slightly beyond.

spoons & bowl

First up is spoon-carving at Lie-Nielsen, on Sept 24 & 25 https://www.lie-nielsen.com/workshop/USA/126

hatchet

I have lots of new tricks I learned at Spoonfest and Täljfest, so come to Maine & we’ll explore all kinds of ideas. I also have some new spoons by outstanding makers to study, as well as a couple old ones.

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October begins with the opening of the full-tilt chest class at Bob Van Dyke’s Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. http://www.schoolofwoodworking.com/class-schedule/29-speciality-weekend-classes/534-build-a-17th-century-joined-chest-with-peter-follansbee.html    We did this last year, one-weekend-a-month, for five months. One by one, students from last year have finished their chests, here’s one from Dwight Beebe:

This class is the best way to learn all the steps in making a joined chest with drawer.

This year, we’ll include a trip down to the Yale University Furniture Study, to examine the chest we’ll base ours on. Riving, hewing, planing, joinery, carving – the whole thing. One weekend at a time. First class is coming up, Oct 1 & 2.

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Later in October, we’ll do the riving class with Plymouth CRAFT – right now we don’t have it listed yet, but a weekend in October, I think the 15/16 . (I’ll post it here, and Plymouth CRAFT will send out its email as well, if you’re not on their list, you want to be, even if it’s just for Greenwood Fest next year! http://www.plymouthcraft.org/  )

UPDATE: Here is hurdlemaking: http://www.plymouthcraft.org/?tribe_events=riving-now-two-days
We are excited to be returning to the wonderful venue we used for Dave Fisher’s bowl carving class in July. That massive marsh should be gorgeous in the autumn light.

shaving

In this class, we split apart an oak log, learning how to “read” the log for best results. Then using a froe, we further break the stock down, and make garden hurdles. So, riving, hewing, shaving at a shaving horse, mortising – a busy weekend full of old techniques still applicable today.

test fit

THEN – Paula Marcoux reminded me about the spoon carving at Plymouth CRAFT on Dec 10 & 11,  at Overbrook house in Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts.

stay tuned to Plymouth CRAFT for details… http://www.plymouthcraft.org/

UPDATE: And here is spoon carving: http://www.plymouthcraft.org/?tribe_events=spoon-carving-with-peter-follansbee
For this one we’ll be back at our beloved winter home, Overbrook House. Always cozy; always fun.

a lot of photos of the 3-legged stool assembly

the 3-legged/footed stool is done.

assembled

here’s some of how it went. I do the joinery in two halves. Here, the leg is propped in the “joiners’ saddles” (V-blocks) to hold it steady. Line up the centerline on the end grain with a square, and then fire away. Because the stretchers are at three different heights, you need to keep track of which one’s which. I tend to make the front stretcher the lowest one. the other two don’t matter which is which. Align the bit against the square propped on the bench.

boring

My half-inch mortise chisel is packed away somewhere. I had to use this short firmer chisel. Makes it harder to steer, and can’t whack it as hard. I chop half-way, then turn the leg over & come in from the other side.

chisel

test-fit the rectangular tenons.

test fit

Sub-assemblies, ready for the next holes to be bored through the rectangular tenons. 
threes

I drew the seat plan full-scale on a piece of cardboard, then copied the angles from that. Set the adjustable bevel and tilt the inserted rail so that where I’m boring is plumb. Then go.

bore plumb

Same idea, different setup with the bevel.

bore plumb 2

beveling under the seat. Like a joiner’s beveled panel, feathered down to fit the grooves in the seat rails.

bevel seat
seat

the front seat rail & stretcher have spindles between them. Knock this together, then insert one rectangular tenon into each post/leg.

sub assembly 2

Keep in mind the rectangular tenon is a through tenon, the stretcher is not. So the seat rail enters the post ahead of the stretcher. Here’s the front section on the saddles, don’t want the rectangular tenon to bump into the bench top.

v blocks

Here, catching the stretcher tenon before the seat rails get too far ahead. Gotta keep things open enough to install the seat. 
starting final assembly

I once was putting one of these together in front of a crowd, pounding away on the joinery, when my friend Ted leaned over & said “you forgot the seat!” Not this time…

tip seat in

Knock it together.

knock it together

 

Up to Lie-Nielsen and back home

Unloaded some photos off my camera today. Now I see where I’ve been.

After Greenwood Fest, I scooted up for a quick trip to Lie-Nielsen to teach a 2-day class in 17th-century carving. The project is/was a carved box. Most of the emphasis is on the carving.

They’ve moved the classroom there, now using benches back-to-back. Seems like a nice arrangement. 
double bench LN

Dwight got the “coolest shirt” recognition. 

dwight cool shirt

Bill brought an old  brace for show & tell. I have no way to know its age. 17th/18th century? who knows…it’s really well done, no matter when. 
hand forged brace

brace

chuck

I dragged JoJo Wood along. Decorative carving is not her bag, but she took to it like gangbusters. 

jojo carves decoration

jojo carving decoration

She told me Edale is as far from the sea as you can get in England, so after all that time in the car, we had to see some Maine coast. Here’s Owl’s Head

owls head

sunset

Back home I have several things underway. I know this is stupid, but I assembled my workbench inside the unfinished shop. It’s stored here, was going to sit under a tarp, so why not have it assembled? we’ve never really looked at how it’s built – so here is the white pine top, approx. 4″x 17″ x 8′. On an oak frame. Wedged through tenons on the long rails. The frame runs 24″ deep. I have an oak shelf/plank that fills in the space to make up the rest of the bench top.

bench assembly

The front leg at my right hand-end. Holes for holdfast in the leg. A blind tenon at the top of the leg into a mortise in the underside of the bench. It just goes “thunk” and is done. Just 2 mortises in the bench top. It rests on the top edge of the side aprons behind the front legs.

bench end

Before I positioned the back shelf/plank. I have no recollection of why I framed the rear legs the way I did. But the loose block that rests between the back leg and the rear edge of the workbench top is a spacer to support the shelf. Weird, but it works. Once the shelf is in place, I never think about it again.

back leg

shelf is pegged down to the two spacers, and has one registration peg between it & the bench top.

peg

The bench in situ. A sliding deadman occasionally gets some use. Chopping block moves to the left hand end of this view. Now to finish the shop around the bench & lathe.

in situ

 

 

 

 

wainscot chair

PF copy KP chair

I finished this wainscot chair and delivered it to the Martin House Farm in Swansea, Massachusetts yesterday. I should say I “completed” the chair, I applied no finish to it. They are looking into having it stained to look like the original. Speaking of  which…

side view chairs

I don’t often get to compare my results to the originals that I study. I sometimes don’t want to see the contrast. It can leave me feeling like I missed some obvious feature, muffed another one, etc. There’s a couple of things I’d do differently next time, but not too drastic.

chairs side by side

I added some height to mine, to bring the seat more level, or slightly canted to the rear. The original tilts forward now.

new & old

The original chair descended in the Cole family in Rehoboth and Swansea. Maybe dates from 165-1700. All oak. Some think it was made in Providence, some think it’s a Plymouth Colony joiner. Hard to say, there’s so little to go on. One very distinctive feature of this chair is the rear of the large panel. Instead of just beveling it to fit, the joiner made a tabled” or raised panel.  Here’s mine before assembly:

back of the back

Unusual in New England wainscots, but very common in Wiltshire, England. I have seen many wainscot chairs there done with a tabled panel in front, then the raised area carved. Here’s one from Salisbury, not a great photo but you can just make out the tabled/molded raised area, then carved.

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Salisbury wainscot chair

A post about the raised panel, and the circular decoration on the carved side.

https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/the-wainscot-chair-panel-more/

here’s where I got this week

working on the shop this week. In this view, you can pretend it’s finished inside. Except if it was, I’d fill it with stuff.

 

looks done

 

I did take one day to re-assemble the lathe, and turn some chair stiles. I hadn’t turned ANYTHING in 17 months! Thus, it went slowly. But this is generally where the lathe will reside; yes – my back to the river view.

temp lathe setup

Here’s about the last time we’ll see this mistake-brace, until the shop is re-sheathed, or taken down.

 

carved brace evidence

We sheathed the corners, so the building wouldn’t float away when we did the roof. Spaces left so we can figure out which windows go where. sheathing begun

from below

Pret has a huge supply of various windows, seemingly all rescued from inevitable trips to dumpsters. so lots of head-scratching to figure which ones where & how.

window shopping

The shop space brings me closer to the birds – here’s one of the spring’s first catbirds in our yard.

 

catbird

and an un-flummoxed chickadee.

chicadee

When he isn’t guiding me through all phases of building the shop, or helping every workshop at Plymouth CRAFT, or playing banjo in the band The Dinghys – Pret Woodburn is doing other stuff. This week, he built a bowl horse for Dave Fisher’s class at Greenwood Fest – just awaits tweaking directions from Dave now. You’ll see Pret at the Greenwood Fest – and you’ll be amazed. He’ll be working with Rick McKee – whom you know but might not know you know – https://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/

bowl horse

 

bowl horse detail

 

detail head etc

 

 

the wainscot chair panel & more

Some catch up about the wainscot chair underway. First off, the back of the panel is decorated, unlike most (all?) New England wainscots – in this case a raised/tabled panel. The raising is quite distinct, leaving a high rectangle (the table) that is then set off by scraping a molded edge to it. Here, I have the panel on the bench, pausing in mid-bevelling.

raised tabled panel

Here it is, test-fitted into the rear stiles & crest rail. The stiles still need moldings scraped along their long edges. This section is leaning against the front section, so you see the scrolled apron peeking through behind. I can’t wait to work in the new shop, where I hope to have some room for photos!

back of the back

 

The front of the panel has 4 “crop circles” (I had to give them some name…) – you might have seen an earlier post where I showed a couple of period examples of this decoration.

front of the back

I had no evidence regarding what tool might have made these shapes – I’ve only seen the circles a few times… so I made a tool much like a wooden brace, or “wimble” as it’s sometimes called. But instead of a boring bit in the bottom, I inserted a scraper, like we use on scratch stocks for molding.

crop circle wimble

Here’s the head. I left it loose, thinking I might like to use this head for an actual brace (that’s what I cut it for ages ago, was just lucky I could find it now, & thus didn’t have to make it)

head of wimble

Here’s the scraping profile, and the result. If I had time to spend, I would have rounded the end of the tool, and installed a ferrule to keep the cutter in place. I tried a screw like I use on scratch stocks, but it split the maple. So I temporarily clamped the end closed, cut the circles & moved on.

crop circle & cutter

Our neighbor Sara invited us to see Sara & Brad, fish monitors from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries checking the smelt coming up the river. We had quite a time. Birds I know because they fly right around where you can see them, but the fish rarely poke their heads out of the water…

here’s the fyke net:

fike net

Here’s one of the smelt. I think I heard them say they caught 190 overnight, and over 400 in 4 days this week. They told us it has been the best year (out of 14 or so) they have had for smelt. they do the whole “record-them, measure them, toss them back” thing.

smelt

some chair making in between all the excitement

crest

In between the raising and moving & stacking roughly 160 white pine boards I got some work in on the wainscot chair(s) I have underway. Soon, I’ll set up my lathe (yes, even before the shop is closed in) and get on with turning the front stiles in these chairs. But before that, I can do all the joinery and other decoration. There’s some rather pedestrian carving, some scroll work on the lower edge of the aprons, and top of the crest, and some scratched moldings on the rails and stiles.

The scroll work on the aprons is simply a matter of boring a few holes, connecting some dots with a turning saw, and clean-up with a chisel. One nice feature almost every time I see this detail is that the scroll work is cut into an angled rabbet on the bottom of the rail. This tilts the scroll work upwards to the viewer’s eyes, and thins out the piece to be pierced. Those old guys knew what they were about.

scrolled apron
One detail on the carved panel of the original chair is something I have only seen a few times before – these little round bits (bottom corners in this photo) – they look like turned decoration, but that’s nuts of course. They aren’t carved, that’s for sure. They seem to be made like “scratch stock” moldings, but around an axis.

back panel

Here’s a detail of some on an English box I saw years ago:

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Carved box detail

After some head-scratching, I decided I’m going to make a wooden brace fitted out with a molding scraper, like a scratch stock. Now that the pine boards are all stickered, I can go back to working  on the chairs. If the brace does the job, you’ll hear about it