January is a mostly dismal month, this year being no exception, only worse. Snow, rain, ice, snow, thawing, freezing and more snow. Did I mention mud?Blue and depressing about sums it up. However, I try not to let cabin fever interfere with my food life. Although this is not a food blog, I can’t help showing my latest creation, spicy baked potatoes. Red potatoes, cut in half, scored and rubbed in olive oil mixed with Shaker Bouquet Garni. Tasty, especially with a few Brats.One more item of interest. As a woodworker I appreciate the work of other crafts people. In my opinion, a handmade piece, created by a master in his/her craft, beats any off the shelf, factory made piece every time. Our home is full of beautiful works of art, made by folks I admire. Recently I purchased one of Tim Christiansen’s small cups decorated with salamanders. Tim makes black and white porcelain pottery incised by a method known as sgraffito. My daughter loved it, and so I passed it on to her. I asked Tim if he could make me a cup decorated with a Kestrel. This is the finished product. I love it. Yes, single malt scotch can be quaffed out of a porcelain cup.
Back to the original intent of this blog: wood, furniture and goings on around the shop. I finished and worked in a few small projects and then started a wall shelf. The one with two drawers. It’s a fun and a challenging piece to build.
The customer requested small granite pulls, as I had made on the prototype. Drilling granite is not my idea of a good time. Diamond bits are expensive and must be run fairly slow, with lots of water to keep the bit cool. Not easy on the drill press. I used a glass tub with a wooden insert, a plastic clamp and two hold downs to keep everything in place. One hand operates the drill press, the other squirts water.After the drilling is done, and the stone has dried, I snip off the end of a stainless wood screw, and epoxy it into the hole. It’s then ready to be attached to the drawer front, like any other knob.A few days ago, I started a matching set of two small Shaker side stands. They feature a rather tricky turning often found on pieces from the Enfield, NH, Shaker community. Just below the square portion of the leg, a cut is made straight in, to form a small ring, and then the swell taper is formed down the rest of the leg. It takes a steady hand to bring the lathe tool into a spinning square, without knocking off any of the corners. I figure that nine legs (I always make one extra, just in case) is a pretty good mornings work, even with phone calls and coffee breaks. The scribe line at the fullest diameter of the swell taper is really cool. Those Shaker craftsmen knew what they were doing.
My schedule of Events for 2017 is now listed on this site.
C.H.Becksvoort © 2017