Thursday, July 13, 2017

First of all  - many apologies for the delay in getting this blog posted! I could write a bunch of excuses, but the bottom line is - I should have attended to it earlier. 

We had a small but informative meeting this month, despite our heat wave. We switched rooms, heading all the way back into the last warehouse unit, to beat the heat. Our first topic of discussion was the AWFS conference, which is a month away. If you've never been to this event, you're really missing something.

We started off talking about our Christmas project, and decided that this year we will go back to having a 2 x 4 challenge. This was one of the best contests we've had, and since it was five years ago, we decided to revisit it. There are a lot of new faces in the crowd, which means we should be getting some interesting entries.

The rules of this contest are that everyone who enters it must build something out of a 2 x 4 x 8. No additional wood is allowed, but you can add other things like hardware, metal, and other materials.  

Our meetings always include a show-and-tell, and Beth's chair in Cherry, Ash, and Hickory was another winner. 

Her steam bent pieces, turned legs, 

ebonized seat slats, and  turned buttons made this an amazing example of her talents. 

It was comfortable, which is always a plus! 

Beth continues to knock it out of the park with her designs! 

John brought in one of the live edge tables that he recently built in Andrew Moore's class, held at the shop. This table, complete with alligator juniper top and walnut legs,  was a challenge for John. Working with slabs for the first time, he explained his process for epoxy-ing the voids and sculpting the edges.  

The leg design and the shelf below also posed quite a challenge for him  - that's what woodworking is about– stepping outside of your comfort zone, solving problems in wood. It's amazing to watch his progress as a woodworker.

Very nice work, John!

 Lupe also finished her live edge project - this massive desk maid of Claro walnut. It featured a waterfall edge on one hand, and a beautifully built drawer pedestal on the other. 

Her Maloof influenced leg snuggled up against the drawer box, added a wonderful addition to this desk, 

not to mention all of the dovetailed drawers and amazing details.

It seems as if every month, we feature one of her pieces. Her energy (and voice) in wood is nothing short of remarkable.

And finally it was on to the lecture of the night–machining dovetails using a Leigh dovetail jig.  This jig is the Cadillac of all dovetail jigs, and quite difficult to master. 

Lupe handled it without any problem! 

The first step is labeling all of your drawer parts, and knowing how to set up both the the router bits and the jig itself. 

Luckily, the Leigh jig comes with a decent amount of instructions, and there are even videos you can purchase, if you get stuck. Lupe took us through all the steps - 

setting up the fingers in the jig, positioning the wood in place,  

and setting the correct height of the router bit - all critical steps for ensuring that you'll get a perfect dovetailed box. 

And really - once you get everything dialed in - you can create perfect boxes, time after time. This demo box was tight and a good example of what you can accomplish with the Leigh jig.

 But there is so much more - like angled dovetails that Lupe used in her Walnut desk. Here's her practice drawer.

That's where the true value of this tool comes into play - and yes, there is a learning curve to hurdle, but damn, once you master this tool, there's no limit to the great dovetails you can produce!

Thanks to Lupe for the great demo!

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