Our first couple weeks at the school have seen us all experience a lot of firsts...first real work bench, first time sharpening to a razor's edge, first time making a wooden plane and most importantly, first shavings with our new planes! It is a wonderful feeling, to make a tool with as much care and precision as you possess and then to see it carve off a beautifully thin, "full width, full length" shaving that gently floats to the floor. When it's really thin Robert exclaims something like, "That's less than half a thou!".
On our first day we were asked to introduce ourselves and say a little about why we were here. I said that I was here to learn how to slow down and enjoy the process of doing my work, ahead of thinking about the product. Three weeks in I'm quite pleased with the results I've achieved but I don't think I've slowed down much, if at all. After the last few years I'm hardwired to work efficiently and I'm struggling with the pace. I take solace however in a quote I found by James Krenov. He said, " Good work makes its own pace." I look forward to further working on this, especially as the tasks we are given become that much more complex and challenging.
I'm going to attach a bunch of photos of various things such as the making of our smoothing plane, our jointing plane and our coopering plane. We have also done an exercise with grain graphics and the shaping of a "gumby" leg. For now I will spare you too many details but perhaps will get into it more later on.
Our first lesson in grain graphics was amazing. We started with a 4 by 4 piece of wood and n order to get the grain to cooperate with the curve of our leg we had to cut it out so that the end grain ran diagonally across the top.
Then, when you cut out the concave shape to the leg, the grain is manipulated into following the shape. Almost like magic, so simple but so cool! Notice how in the first photo the grain curves upwards? Then in the second, the grain has been altered to curve down along the shape of the leg....
Ok, goodnight. I'll share more soon.