Interesting Woodworking Link

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Episode #74 - Folding Rule on Vacation

Mountains, Bears & Bison
with a "bit of Woodworking"
while on Vacation!

Grand Tetons National Park

We just returned from a driving vacation from Portland to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. This was our second visit, but I am again struck with the majesty and beauty of our country.

Thanks to a wonderful suggestion from fellow woodworker, Todd Clippinger, we checked out Fighting Bear Antiques in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. True to owner Terry Winchell’s website mission statement, Fighting Bear Antiques is a marvelous opportunity to see some fine antique home furnishings. I could tell from the metal wall sconce on the porch wall and the gently worn Stickley-style front door knob that this was going to be a special treat.

Inside Fighting Bear Antiques we found a wonderful collection of American Indian beaded artifacts and Navajo Rugs. Scattered about the store were Western fishing and National Park style collectibles.

My attention was immediately drawn to the furniture collection. The underlying fabric for displaying the artifacts and collectibles was a remarkable selection of Stickley and Limbert furniture with the occasional Old Hickory pieces and a beautiful Thomas Molesworth sofa. Interestingly, Stickley and Old Hickory were frequently commisioned by the Natioanl Park Service to furnish early park lodges. Gallery manager Christopher Moran kindly honored my request to take a couple of close-up furniture photos (they normally do not allow photography in the gallery).

Thomas Molesworth was a Cody, Wyoming artist, who is best known for popularizing the “cowboy furniture” style of the 1930’s. His whimsical Western-inspired style features peeled Douglas fir pole furniture accented with stretched red or black leather, bright red Chimayo Indian weavings, and carved or routed Western silhouettes. This highly collectible furniture was recently featured in a recent episode of The New Yankee Workshop (Program #1906) where Norm built a Molesworth-inspired Sideboard.

Thanks Todd for a great tip!

A Rare Dramatic Moment - Yellowstone National Park
Look closely and you will see a Gizzly Bear (center)
guarding an Elk carrion(right) with a Grey Timber Wolf (left)
patiently waiting in the background.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Episode #73 - You Can Make the Cut with Shellac!


This is a video follow-up from Episode #71 - Shellac, Can You Make the Cut? Well, tag along with me in the shop and you will see in fact you can make the cut and add this fascinating finish to your reportaire. This episode covers mixing shellac from dry flakes (1# cut amber shellac) and reducing a premixed cut to a thinner cut (1/2# cut spit coat).

Download a shellac chart for your shop and consider using shellac on your next project.

Be forewarned . . . the only thing more boring than watching someone mix shellac is watching a pot of water boil or perhaps watching your lawn grow!

• • • UPDATE 10/07/08 • • •

The following tips are paraphrased from an email by Jeff Scharver, an organic chemist and fellow woodworker.
  • Use Zinsser SealCoat as a 1# cut as a wash coat prior to finishing to help prevent blotchiness in cherry and uneven stain/dye absorption in soft woods like fir and poplar.
  • Dewaxed Zinsser SealCoat is warranted to have a 3-year shelf life after which it may begin to degrade (chemical jargon is esterification). Zinsser has a proprietary formulation which slows down degradation.
  • Plain household aqueous ammonia is perfectly fine for cleaning up syringes, containers, brushes, and wipe on rags. It's a lot cheaper than denatured alcohol for this step.
Thanks Jeff!

• • • • •

Coming up in future Folding Rule episodes:

  • Why you might want to consider getting a hot water pot for your shop.
  • A primer on safety & first-aid for the woodworker.
  • A review of my current sharpening system.

Got an iPod, iPhone, Apple TV or just want to see a better quality video on iTunes? Well check out The Folding Rule Podcast! I am slowly posting new and previous video content in a format appropriate for the Apple iPod, iPhone and Apple TV.