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A Visit to College of the Redwoods, fineFURNITURE Program

You may have heard of James Krenov or the fine furniture making program at the College of the Redwoods. Deb and Brian have gone there this year to get woodworking training in the 9-month program. On Feb 3, 2006 they have a reception at the Town Hall in Fort Bragg, CA, where students of the fine furniture making program were exhibiting their work. Cabinets, stands, cabinet-on-legs, boxes, chairs, tables. The workmanship is truely remarkable.

Everyone is working hard in the shop, even the day after the reception of the exhibit. Deb cleans up the lap joint for the additional door for her tool box, which is being remodelled into a display/wall cabinet. Is the can holding beer or soda? or shellac?
Good ol' daikudojo plane blade now sits snuggly in the newly made dai. You may think the Japanese white oak is chiselled in the traditional way to make the body. But Deb has found a way to use the Krenov-style construction method for it. A lot easier, she says. Clever girl.
Brian looks good here. His workbench is jacked up 4" to fit his body height better.
The piece Brian exhibited at the show was based on this design.
Drawer for the cabinet. The drawer pulls at the corners are hare to see. The knives were made by Brian just for the purpose of scooping out wood on the underside of the pull.
Hammers, saws, waterstones. Some legacy of Brian's Japanese woodworking days.
Center of the shop/classroom. Instructor of the CR fine furniture making program probably gives lecture, demonstration here on blackboard and workbench.
Brian is making layered steels nowadays. The chisel is made by him. Isn't that something?
Do in Rome as the romans do. You can use the Japanese planes or you can use the Krenov-style planes (plus/minus a few Lie-Nielsen planes). Brian's choice is obvious. Japanese planes are not usually meant for jointing.
Marquetry? or is it parquetry? or in-lay? Anyway, Brian is showing me all kinds of things he's been learning.
The inside of the Town Hall in Fort Bragg, where the exhibit of students' and faculty's work is taking place.
At the entrance, a few things were noted about the work in this show.
Using solid wood to build a stool that looks like it's made of bamboo (look at the legs)? Well that's hard! But I'm glad it looks like a traditional Chinese stool.
Dovetailed drawers, knife-hinge doors, clean, crisp lines.
Through mortise/tenon joints with double wedges. Flair legs.
slender, curved rails. A little Chinese influence here?
Clean and gracious.
  Does anyone showing a drawer without dovetail joints here?
  If you put your dirty sandasl in this shoe rack here, you will

a. go to abu graib

b. eat it

c. build one yourself
  This cabinet is by Jim Budlong. I took a summer class taught by him at the College of the Redwoods in 2003. 
  Compound angle dovetail and coopered lid.
  The joints are very clean. You can't get that in the regular furniture stores. 
  Ah, a Chinese style display unit.
  This cabinet is small. Probably less than 2' wide. Every aspect looks just right. 
  How difficult can it be to make a cabinet? Well, let's see here, is any thing square or straight here? But it sure looks pretty.
  Deb's cabinet.
  This piece, by a second year student, has an interesting feature. 
  See what's here. When the door is open, bottom drawer taken out, you see the frame-and-panel construction on the left side the drawer space?
  It's a hidden drawer there!
  This piece is titled "Calm"
  It may be hard to be calm thinking about what you may find inside the drawers
  Convex or concave?
  It's those dovetail drawers again.
  Back to the shop/classroom, students are working on the new projects.
  Krenov-style planes. One student is making all these for his plane needs.
  Some are just sketching figures and making cut lists for the next project
  This piece will have parquetry, if it's chosen to be the next project.
  Claro walnut, sliced for verneers. The bandsaw must be finely tuned to give you these slices.
  Now stepping into the machine rooms, which is adjacent to the bench/classroom, I take these photos to record the equipment they have. This bench grinder, along with the toolrest jig, enable them to sharpen their chisels, plane blades to a very fine edge.
  Aggazi bandsaw, remember the walnut verneer slices? probably cut here.
  Davis Wells horizontal boring machines. Specializing in mortises/ dowel holes.
  Marble slab and sandpaper. To flatten the sole of you planes.
  Dust cover on the cross-cut cradle? Yeap, they got it here.
  Festool's routers are available here too. But maybe the trim router is something different.
  A big bandsaw is what I like. The girl is cute too.
  Back to the benchroom. Looking from the top of this piece-in-progress, it's probably laminate-bend.
  The front face of this cabinet is concave. Very pretty. If flat-screen TV is concave like this, the TV will be prettier, I think.
  Mockups everywhere
  Because the door is coopered. the shoulder of the tenon is not exactly square. Just one more place to mess things up.
  Actual piece-in-progress.