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17 September 2011

Furniture Class

Over the summer I took a woodworking class (at IIT) with Frank Flury. He's been at my school/in the US for about ten years and he runs a design build studio. Here was his last project which he and his class won an AIA award for. It's beautiful. Needless to say he's pretty okay at woodworking and building in general.

This walnut box with maple splines was built in 2 days.

The dimensions are: 7" (17.5 cm) wide, 9.5" (24 cm) long, 6" (15 cm) tall, and the walnut is 1/2" (1.3 cm) thick.

These are just some scraps from wood world. It cost less than $10.

It's hard to overstate how easy it is to screw up in woodworking. One wrong cut and you have to start over and lose money. Marking everything out, taking your time, not cutting corners (no pun intended), and staying organized are the only way to screw up less.

I had to buy one of these. It's a digital angle finder. If only I knew these existed when I was pipe fitting/building concrete plants.

A good glue joint is actually stronger than the natural bond between wood fibers.

This is the spline jig.

In this application the spline doesn't add too much strength - you really need thicker boards to have a big effect. The idea is to add more gluing surface and in another direction.

The maple splines are cut off with a japanese saw and the box was sanded and finished with teak oil. After a few coats of oil I alternated between #0000 steel wool and teak oil. The result is a buttery smooth finish. The lid is a little warped but oddly it acts as a kind of spring to keep the action of the lid semi-tight.

This is actually the first thing we built. It's a somewhat simple chair. It's called an Ulmer-Hocker Stool and was designed by Max Bill. It's red oak with finger jointed tops and sides, dominoed feet, and a polyurethane finish. The original dimensions are 40 cm x 28.5 cm x 45 cm and was made of beech and spruce.

The dimensions are: 15.5" (39 cm) wide, 11.5 (29 cm) deep, 19" (48 cm) tall, and the oak is 5/8" (1.7 cm) thick.

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