Wille Sundqvist’s tools

I spoke to Jogge Sundqvist last week about the outcome of the auction of his father’s tools. I had asked him if I could post something about it – and he told me “of course.” The short version is – Jogge was able to save/rescue/preserve a lot of his father’s things due to the generosity of the “slojd community” – all of the wonderful people who responded when we asked for help. Thanks everyone, well done.

some of Wille’s carvings & tools

When I asked if I could post something, Jogge told me that Kara Gebhart Uhl from Lost Art Press had interviewed him & was going to write about it. I knew I would rather read Kara’s reporting on it than mine, so I didn’t even bother. If you want the full story, here’s the link to Kara’s post – well worth the read. https://blog.lostartpress.com/2021/09/02/the-outcome-of-the-auction-to-preserve-wille-sundqvists-tools/

Wille Sundqvist’s tools

Wille Sundqvist

Help Jögge save his his father’s craft heritage

Since Wille Sundqvist passed away in 2018, I have from time to time talked with Jogge about his tools – what will happen to them, etc. It’s a long story but right now the pressing part is that there is an auction in a few days. Ty Thornock has set up a GoFundMe page with the idea that we’ll help Jogge get these tools so he can then do with them what he sees fit. Time is of the essence – if you can help Jogge preserve his father’s incredible legacy, follow the link below. thank you very much

https://gofund.me/28bec702

An on-line spoon carving class in January

I’m going to try the online class routine in January. Not that it will be that hard a stretch, I’ve opted to go with the most relaxed task-master going – Elia Bizzarri. He & Curtis Buchanan struck a pretty casual pose in their chair class, which I learned a lot from.

It will be 2 sessions, on Saturday afternoons. Then usually Elia makes the video of it available shortly thereafter. So you can watch it live, watch it later or both. One nice feature they’ve cooked up is the “pay what you can” notion. Details here: http://handtoolwoodworking.com/online-classes/

Country Woodcraft: Then & Now

In 1978, I had never even been to the country. I was born & raised in the suburbs. When I was little, we had to come in when the streetlights came on…so what was I doing reading a book called “Country Woodcraft” by Drew Langsner? Unknowingly, I was re-directing my just-dropped-out-of-art-school life.

then on the left, now on the right

Drew’s updated version of this book is now available through Lost Art Press, and what a brilliant move to update it rather than just reprint it. Now we get the culmination of 40 years’ worth of workshops held at Drew & Louise’s Country Workshops. I wrote a bit of an introduction to go with this book and in it I mentioned how often you’d hear the words “life-changing” regarding students’ reactions to their experiences there. Fits me to a tee. I’ve written many times over the years about my experiences there; and the impact Drew & Louise have had on my life and career. The book was the seed of that, along with Jennie Alexander’s Make a Chair from a Tree (the 3rd edition of which is in the works at LAP, don’t worry.) 

spoon carving

First off, the new one won’t fall apart – I have 2 broken paperbacks of the 1978 book. For the spoon-crazies – this is where America first heard of Wille Sundqvist and carving spoons with axes and knives. 9 pages in the old book, 43 pages now, something like that. Similar story with the “half-log bowls” as they are called in the new edition. And on & on – I’ve just got it this week, and am looking forward to reading both the old and new parts again & again. 

bowl carving

And my connection to Drew & Louise is only part of this heap-o’-praise. I’m completely biased, having worked with Lost Art Press now for quite a few years. They have done their usual great job – read Chris’ blurb about the book, including how LAP & Drew both agreed to keep the price of the book accessible for beginners & students – did you ever hear a publisher/author say that? Get it here

title page

Spoons for sale; first batch this year – SOLD OUT more to come

the combination of dark walnut & light birch is too confusing for my camera today

I just today turned the page on my calendar in the shop. That’s how ignorant I am of time this year. And I’m just getting to my first spoons of the year. I wrote about some of these the other day, the walnut ones in particular were carved from dry wood. The birch and rhododendron were carved in the more typical green wood. Not that it matters in the finished product. These are for sale, if you’d like one, leave a comment and I’ll set up a paypal invoice for you. Prices include shipping in the US. Flax oil finish.

UPDATE: THESE SOLD OUT, THERE WILL BE MORE TO COME. THANKS FOR THE INTEREST AND SUPPORT OF MY WORK. PF

Spoon # 1 – black walnut – SOLD
L: 11″ W: 2 3/4″
$100

This & the other two walnut spoons here were leftover furniture stock, radially-riven black walnut hanging around in a corner of the shop.

spoon # 1 overall
spoon # 1 side view
spoon # 1 carved handle

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Spoon # 2, black walnut SOLD
L: 11″ W: 2 3/4″
$100

spoon # 2, carved handle

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Spoon #3, black birch – SOLD
L: 10 5/8″ W: 2″
$90

I found this black birch while I was sorting next year’s firewood. It was still sound, and when I split it open, still fairly green. Some nice radially-split spoon stock came out of it instead of firewood.

Spoon # 3 overall
spoon # 3 side view

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Spoon # 4, SOLD
L: 9 5/8″ W: 2″
$90

As soon as I started carving this recent batch of spoons, my wife brought home some rhododendron branches a gardener friend of hers had just cut…my favorite wood for spoons. And this is my favorite spoon of this batch.

spoon # 4 overall
spoon # 4 detail

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Spoon # 5, rhododendron SOLD
L: 8 3/4″ W: 2 1/2″
$80

spoon # 5 overall
spoon # 5 detail

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Spoon # 6, black birch SOLD
L: 9 1/4″ W: 2″ +
$80

Most every batch of spoons I carve has one (or more) of these – a weirdly impractical spoon shape. From the side view, this could pass as a normal spoon. But it had both a crook and a bend. I just followed it.

spoon # 6 overall
spoon # 6 top view
spoon # 6 side view

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Spoon # 7, rhododendron SOLD
L: 9 3/8″ W: 2 1/2″
$80

spoon # 7, top view
spoon # 7 carving detail

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Spoon # 8, rhododendron SOLD
L: 7 1/4″ W: 2″
$70

spoon # 8, overall
spoon # 8 carved handle

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Spoon # 9, black walnut SOLD
L: 12″ W: 3″
$110

spoon # 9 overall
Spoon # 9 carved handle

Tim Manney’s shaving horse at Plymouth CRAFT

Last weekend Tim Manney came down to Plymouth from Maine to teach 6 Plymouth CRAFT students how to make his shaving horse. Tim;’s version is well-known now; he had an article in Fine Woodworking about it, (issue #262, Jul/Aug 2017) and in the same issue Curtis Buchanan was quoted as saying that he thinks he’s spent over 20,000 hours at a shaving horse, and that Tim’s is the best he’s used.

Tim’s main focus is that the horse can be built with everyday materials; but carefully-selected everyday materials. It’s almost all 2 x 6 or so material, some thinner stuff and a little bit of hard maple. This course was a bit of a departure for Plymouth CRAFT in that some of the work was prepped ahead of time by Tim, and there were even some machines invovled. Mostly a drill-press. Here’s some of the shots I got during the class.

Stacks of parts prepped by Tim.

Jake trimming some of the first glue-ups, the leg-to-rails.

Tim sneaking underneath, showing how to adjust the leg assembly prior to clamping the glue-up.

Tim marching down the line, checking on progress.

Winding sticks helping to line up the front & rear legs.

This was our first time running this class. We kept class size small. That gets a lot of attention, and lots of detail. Here David and Andy work together to line up the clamps on Andy’s horse. Craig must be on deck.

Half of the dumbhead assembly set up in place – to check its placement and glue-up.

This is the next step – the full dumbhead base now. It gets wedged below the “bed” of the horse.

Tim demonstrating layout for the wedge mortise.

Craig cleaning up the mortise with a chisel.

David has a small smirk on his face, as his horse is coming together.

Diane was amazing – absolute new woodworker, dove in the deep end. Now she’ll be off to a great start.

Not quite done, but nearly so. This one still needs the work surface under the head.

We got done in time to bring in some green wood & distribute some drawknives so everyone could test-drive their creation under Tim’s direction. Paula Marcoux & I shot photos of the group as they worked their horses for the first time.

Tim has measured plans available for his shaving horse, and we’ll get him back sometime to do this class again. First he has to recover. Here’s his shaving horse plans web-page https://www.timmanney.com/work/shavinghorseplans 

Plymouth CRAFT’s website – so you can sign up for the newsletter for future workshops – https://www.plymouthcraft.org/

 

Plymouth CRAFT’s weekend of spoons & bowls

It’s taken me a while, but here’s my post about Plymouth CRAFT’s recent weekend of woodworking. We had JoJo Wood back for her Pocket Spoon class; and Darrick Sanderson came back to help folks dive into bowl turning on pole (really bungee) lathes. That’s JoJo’s students above, deep in concentration, also following the sunshine as the day went on.

If Plymouth CRAFT had a spiritual home, it would be Overbrook House. http://www.overbrookhouse.com/  It was here that we had our first workshops, and we’ve returned many times. In real life, it’s a wedding venue & more, but we turn it into something altogether different. The Ingersolls, our tolerant hosts there, are the greatest. The students know they’re close when they see this sign by our board member David Berman http://trustworth.com/index.shtml

It points them up to the house; which is the center of our world there. Paula’s lunches happen here…

All right, back to the woodsy bits. JoJo’s pocket spoon is a revolution in the making. Go read what JoJo says about it, I don’t need to repeat all that. She started the whole idea of pocket spoons, as I recall…  https://pocketspoon.co.uk/

Here, she’s showing (at my request) the 7 blanks she just split out of this one quarter section of black birch. She squeezes out a lot of spoons from a small section of wood.

Hewing the shape with her hatchet.

A new pocket spoon in the making.

Meanwhile, down at the dance hall, the bowl turners were hewing out blanks

Darrick Sanderson showing them how to rough-turn the outside of the bowl.

A shot showing the hook as Darrick comes up toward the bowl’s rim.

We (well, Pret really – I had nothing to do with it) recently adapted our 8 lathes so they could work without a pole. Two uprights are dropped into mortises in the bed, then heavy-duty bungee strapped between them. The lathes worked very well, and the students worked very hard. Two full days of kicking that treadle is no joke.

Our friend Marie Pelletier always shoots photos at our events, and they end up here: https://www.facebook.com/PlymouthCRAFT/

still doing to-be-dones

In between teaching and other commitments, I’m still plugging away at unfinished projects. This morning I went out to the shop and had a look around. I’m back to working on this chest of drawers. The morning sun created a visual assault on the moldings and turnings.

I’ve been cutting the joinery in the lower case – it’ll be three drawers of just about equal height. Then the upper case (above) is technically three as well, but two shallow side-by-side drawers, over a very deep single drawer. The lower case is just about done framing now. I have two horizontal pine panels to make for the rear. Then it’s onto the drawers. The side panels are re-sawn Spanish cedar, to match the side panels of the upper case.

There’s mortises chopped into the top edges of the lower case’s upper side rails. Tenons will project above the rail to engage related mortises in the bottom edges of the upper case. This will keep the cases aligned. Gravity does the rest.

I’ve sort of made up the format of the drawer fronts. I stumbled across a quilted/rippled board of maple one day ages ago. So I’ve resawn it as well, making thin plaques that get housed flush in the drawer front. Then Spanish cedar moldings will frame around them. And I’ll have leftovers of both that I’ll make into small boxes…

Meanwhile, I’ve been following along with Curtis Buchanan’s democratic chair videos – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLL_KlogKd1xf9GYjSfBVLKTp8KngC8q7j and I’m almost caught up. Next up is  boring for the stretchers and assembling the undercarriage.

For that I just got this Millers Falls 18″ bit extension – it fits both auger bits and the more modern straight-shank bits. (or the ones I’ve tried so far, at least.)

An auger bit and an old (30 year old?) Stanley power-bore bit, with the business end of the Millers Falls extension.

I thought it said No 3; but I put my glasses on and see that it’s No 35. I think they came in other sizes too, 24″ maybe…

and last, this amount to just about my entire summer’s worth of spoon carving – 3/4 done rhododendron spoon. I’ll add it to the “to be finished” stuff.

furniture & woodenware for sale July 2019

I have the first big round of items for sale from work I’ve been finishing up during the past month or more. Prices include shipping in US; beyond that, additional charges apply.

Click the photos to enlarge.

I’m challenged when it comes to setting up stuff for sale; I’ve tried to insert paypal buttons right on the page, but it never works as easily for me as they say it is. So after wasting 2 hours, I ditched it once again. Leave a comment here if you want something; that way we have a timed record in the off-chance there’s more than one person interested in the same item. Then I  will send a paypal invoice, or you can mail a check.

If you miss out on something, I regularly take orders for furniture, and to some extent woodenware too. Just email me if you’re interested in ordering something.

Any questions, fire away. thanks for looking, PF

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Carved oak box. This one is made from red oak, with a white pine lid & bottom. Wooden pins and glue securing rabbet joints, wooden hinges. Till inside.

H: 6 3/4″  W: 18 3/4″  D:  12″
$850 including shipping in US

 

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Bowls – There’s several bowls I’ve re-carved recently. I had started them while working with Roy Underhill; we had a class at his school, and shot an episode of the TV show. I ended up with several “bowls begun” that got stashed in the loft. Four straight years of watching Dave Fisher each June really drives home what  bowl can be. So I had some time this spring/summer and tackled “fixing” these bowls.

Butternut (Juglans cinerea) bowl:
H: 5 1/4″ (to handles)  L:  17″  W:  9″
$450

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Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) bowl #1
H: 5″  L:  15 1/2″ W:  8 1/2″
$400

Carved on top of the handles, and along the sides/rim. This pattern is one I’ve been using on spoons a lot lately; it’s either half-round lunettes, or diamonds – depending on whether you look positive or negative. Or is it right-brain/left-brain?

 

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Poplar bowl #2;
H: 5″  L: 15″  W:  8 1/4″
$400
Poplar often includes streaks of dark blue/purple in the heartwood. Over time all the colors fade a bit, and turn a mellow brown. But the streaky bit stays streaky.

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Poplar bowl #3
H: 4 1/2″  L: 16 1/2″ W: 8″
$400

This bowl is one of the times I learned the lesson “leave the finishing touches for last.” I had carved the handles way before I had the shape the way I wanted it. So when I re-carved the bowl recently, I had to go over that carving and cut it anew. Fortunately there was enough thickness left for it to work. I added the textured background, just like on furniture carvings.

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Joined stool; oak with red wash

H: 20 1/2″ top is 14″ x 15″
$850

This stool is like a pair I made recently for an historic house museum in that the stiles/legs are plumb, not canted in one direction like many joined stools. I added carving to the aprons of this one; two different, but related patterns from Connecticut.

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Ladderback chair (what I usually call a “JA chair” after Jennie Alexander, whose design it follows. Somewhat)

H: 34″ W: (across front) 17 1/2″  ”  D: 14″ (at seat)  seat height: 18″
$1300 (includes shipping in US)

I caught up on my orders for ladderback chairs, and made one or two more. Here’s one in ash & red oak, with a hickory bark seat.

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Spoons

One picture; 3 spoons. There’s other views below, showing the shape, particularly of the crook. The handles are all carved, as usual. Here’s the lowdown.

top – #1; apple, crook  $130 –  SOLD

middle #2; birch  $100

bottom #3; birch  $100

Lengths are 10 1/2-12″

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Walnut spoon – SOLD
I couldn’t throw it in the other photo, it was wreaking havoc with the lighting.
L: 11 1/2″  W: 3″
$100

 

 

Baskets – I make baskets from white ash, pounding the log apart to make the splints. Usually I use white oak or hickory for rims and handles. Lashing the rims is either hickory bark or more ash splints.

Basket #1:   SOLD

This round basket has no handles, making it an excellent choice at the table.

Diameter: 11″  Height: 3″
hickory rims inside & out, hickory bark lashing.
$200

 

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Basket #2  SOLD
A small ash basket with a length-wise handle done in white oak.
H: (to rims) 5″ L:  10 1/2″  W: 8 1/4″
$200

 

“Such a long, long time to be gone…

And a short time to be there…”

[I wrote this & forgot to post it. Re-phrased a little bit today. I boosted a number of photos from Marie Pelletier and Rick McKee – and Paula Marcoux did too, but that’s what they shoot them for. So more are on Plymouth CRAFT’s facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/PlymouthCRAFT/

Last week we finished up several woodworking classes and our first-ever “Spoon Day.” Plymouth CRAFT is really lucky. We have a very receptive and generous audience. We didn’t even know what Spoon Day would be & we knew it they’d flip out over it. The one-day event was wedged in between two 2-day courses taught by Dave Fisher and JoJo Wood. The venue for Spoon Day was Bay End Farm; http://www.overbrookhouse.com/bay-end-farm an idyllic spot down in Bourne, Massachusetts. As far as I we can tell, it all went swimmingly. The responses that we’ve heard were glowingly positive.

Image may contain: tree, plant and outdoor

Here’s the class photo from JoJo’s class for women

Tim Manney did his sharpening scene at Spoon day; they were lined up all day to work their edges with him.

Some of the spoon carvers…

I worked with some folks on knife grips at one point –

JoJo beaming during one of her classes.

And with one of her students.

An overview of the tent for spoon day.

Dave Fisher showing his adze work.

 

I wish my first bowl looked that good…

Group photo for bowl class # 2.

Running even a smaller-scale event like this – one day instead of three, about 75 attendees instead of 125 – still requires a lot of setup and breakdown. One by one our instructors trickled in; and it’s always a highlight of our year when we get to spend so much time with our far-flung friends. Tim Manney arrived and he & I immediately launched into a long discussion about chairs, chairmaking friends, and all things related. We could have gone on for hours, and in fact picked right up again a day later and did. And we all had multiple interactions like this over & over during our days together. Some were here longer or shorter; and one-by-one they trickled out as they had come in. Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped us set up & break down.

And just like that, it was over. Thanks all, for a great time.