April 2018

April is usually pretty drab; not spring yet, but not winter anymore, either. There are still piles of dirty snow here and there in shady corners.  But spring is definitely on the way.  Snowdrops, spring snowflakes,  and  crocuses are out in full bloom.I usually take two walks a day, to try to clear my mind, relax and get some exercise.  No more than a mile or about a half hour, depending on the weather and how I feel.  A ways down the road, they’ve cut a few trees for a house lot.  A big white pine was taken down, and I thought I’d share this picture of sapwood ( it’s pine pitch, oozing out of the sapwood).Woodworkers, especially FWW readers,  love April.  Again this year we had FWW Live at Southbridge, MA.  We all had a great time.  It was well organized, interesting and most informative.  It’s always a time to re-connect with other woodworkers, friends, fellow editors, and the staff of FWW.What a crew!  Great people, all. This years keynote speaker was Peter Galbert, chair-maker extraordinaire.  For a young kid, he sure know what he’s doing.  What a  wonderful talk and slide show he put on.  I was severely impressed.

My two courses were on wood movement.  My favorite axe to grind!  I started with the basics, wood tech 101, then on to water and wood, predicting movement for any given wood, any time of year.  Finally, how it all relates to solid wood furniture construction. I brought my little teaching cabinet, completely disassembled, and put it all back together, explaining how to account for wood movement for each step in the process. Oh yes, there were things to make in the shop.  Another round table.  In keeping with the wood movement theme, here is a shot of the underside, showing how the top is attached; anchored in the center, with expansion washers on either side.  the trick of course, is to know where in the slot the screw goes, depending on current and anticipated moisture content.I finally finished the figured maple side table.  Most of it was made from one 12/4 re-sawn plank.  I had to use a different wood for the top and bottom dividers and the back, but the rest is all that nice dark, curly, heartwood.  It looks good with the two drawers.  The drawer fronts are two 3/16″ pieces, re-sawn and book matched, to make the wood go further.As an added note, my dearest got into woodworking this past week.  Made her first spatula.  Rather nice, I must say.  C. H. Becksvoort © 2018

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