|Chris Schwarz at work|
On Sunday, I had the good fortune to take a day-long class with him at the Atlanta Woodcraft store. The goal was to build a traditional English layout square, copied from an antique tool and published recently in Popular Woodworking Magazine. Think of a wooden framing square and you'll have the right idea.
Here is how the class felt for me:
This was an 8 hour brain dump on all sorts of topics. We talked about lots of tools and practiced a bunch of techniques. Sharpening plane irons, planing stock square, sawing tenon cheeks, using shoulder planes, laughing at router plane "depth suggesters", fairing curves with rasps, cutting tenon shoulders cleanly, paring with a chisel, and even simple things like gluing end grain. This class was full of great content, and well worth the time and cost to spend the day soaking it up.
After 4 hours of work, here is what was on my bench. Three sticks of walnut that really don't look much different than when I first picked them up hours earlier. All I can tell you is that this stock was as flat and square as I could make it, which is a critical first step toward making tight joints.
|Halfway done, but not looking like much!|
For the rest of the class, we rallied and worked toward cutting a bunch of half lap joints, roughing out curves on the detail areas, and making tight joints. I don't think anybody finished the square, but some folks got pretty close. Here is a picture of my project as I was marking the joints in the stretcher.
|My progress toward the end of the day|
Thanks to Chris for making the trip, and to Steve Quehl for bringing him to our local WoodCraft.
It is always humbling for me to interact with very experienced woodworkers, but I learn so much more than I can by just reading about it or going solo. How do you connect with the woodworking community? Do you take classes, or just try to figure things out for yourself?