Thursday, June 16, 2016

Greenwood Fest 2016

Eating spoon collaboration with JoJo Wood (left)

"I want to live in a society where people are intoxicated with the joy of making things."

- William Coperthwaite

And for a few brief and amazing days I lived in this world at Pinewoods Camp in Plymouth, MA. I've spent several days thinking about how to write about the experience of Greenwood Fest.

One could certainly look at the instructors, a collection of true woodcraft masters from the US and Europe. The opportunity to study with one or several of these people would be an amazing opportunity for any craftsperson.

Jogge Sundqvist shares stories of craft in the carving forum

Another point of view would look at the venue: Pinewoods Camp. An isolated retreat perfectly suited to an exercise in woodcraft and simple living with rustic cabins, wholesome food, and limited connectivity to the world. Greenwood Fest would not have been what it was without Pinewoods Camp as the setting.

Perhaps it was the attendees, taking a break from their lives to gather here. One hundred sixty crafts people sharing their passion for woodcraft. They readily shared techniques, stories, philosophies, and demonstrations with friends old and new.

But I believe that it was not one, but the intersection of all these things that made Greenwood Fest 2016 a gathering that we will all cherish. I'm sure that if you asked those members of Plymouth Craft that worked so hard to put it all together they could point out flaws, but to me it was perfect and for just a while they made it possible to experience Bill's words in our lives.

Peace, Love and Sloyd

P.S. Paula Marcoux, Ella's was excellent! Thanks for the recommendation. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sawing Skills Followup

It seems like saws follow me home sometimes.
I really enjoy doing these followup posts to the workshops at the Landmarks Preservations Resource Center. Everyone that attended the Sawing Skills workshop wowed me with their attentiveness, interest, questions and effort. I'm going to try to add some stuff here that I think you all will find useful and interesting.

First off, there was a good deal of interest in the saw benches that we were using. Here are links to the two designs that I had with me. First up is the one I built for myself years ago, featuring mortise and tenon joinery on the stretchers. (link here) This second on is the one we built for another class at the LPRC. I'd use better fasteners than I did, either the cut nails mentioned in this article or screws and I'd definitely use glue either way. Whichever one you build will aid your sawing and while they are awesome and useful alone, a pair is amazing.

Second, the bench hook. I know quite a few of you took some material from the class to make one of your own and that was awesome! Here's a little more info for you. The ones I made are a little different from this one as I make the fence even with the edge of the base. Both work fine.

Third, the holdfast. If you read the first saw bench link you can see that a holdfast is handy on the saw bench. It's especially so if you don't have a workbench in your shop yet. I recommend the ones I had with me, the Gramercy Tool Holdfast, from Tools for Working Wood. Just get the pair even if you only think you'll need one.

Did I miss something? Let me know what I left out in a comment below and I'll take care of it!

Hopefully everyone had as much fun as I did. Next class at LPRC is Planes on July 16th. We'll cover bench planes for truing stock and perhaps some special planes if time allows. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sawing Skills Saturday

Backsaw and Handsaw
Hopefully you'll be able to attend the sawing skills workshop this Saturday, May 21st beginning at 10am a the Landmarks Preservation Resource Center in Wilkinsburg, PA. We're going to work on learning a wide variety of saw related skills, both for breaking down stock into parts as well as finer saw work at the bench. 

We'll crosscut and rip wood, learn techniques to saw accurately on the line, and learn when you might want to use a knife line instead of a pencil line. Emphasis will be on good sawing techniques for accurate sawing of all types. 

We'll also learn how to tell if a saw is sharp enough to use and how to correct problems when the saw won't saw straight. 

Looking forward to seeing you there!