I've worked on and off on some designs for furniture in a quiet spot of the workshop in my spare time, actually I don't think I'm going to call it 'the workshop' anymore, I think I'm going to call it 'the design studio' It seems to be what people are doing nowadays. You know the fixed gear bike riding, beard wearing, plaid clad guys and gals you see designing and woodworking popping up everywhere? I'm going to be one of them and get creative in my design studio, 'design studio au l'hairy visage un plaid chemise wearing fella'
Before I get into the furniture pictures I'll show you what happened last week, I wanted to buy the Festool watch, for anyone who doesn't know, Festool is a tool make from Germany and once you buy one you can't stop buying everything they do, a bit like Apple but its tools, not phones and computers. So anyway..... they had 2000 watches sent to dealers for 90 years in the game or something like that, I found out about the whole watch thing on Instagram when a picture popped up, it was Leza of Belgium that posted the pic so me being a fan boy weirdo sent them an email. Before I knew it I had got it all sorted and paid for the watch. It wasn't too expensive, I don't spend a lot of money on things like watches or anything actually, I found 2 shirts in Next (plaid of course) one was £22 and one was £20, went to pay and she said £30 so I was pretty delighted with that - seriously I was delighted, Im not joking!! So I only wanted the watch but these nice Belgians sent me loadsa' stuff, I got a systainer 2 (Festool tool box) a few measuring sticks, a festool pad and a festool mag-lite. They Belgians know how to give, I was really pleased and surprised - I don't get any goodies from the dealers in the UK!!
Then on Sunday I woke up and saw I had a wee notification on Twitter from Brighton Tools - I only went and won a Festool Grand National sweep thingamajig! I had saw Brighton Tools put on a tweet a while ago asking if you want in on the sweep to email your name to such and such, Im not into the races or anything like that and didn't know what they were on about but I thought I wouldn't mind being entered into a sweep for some Festool goodies. So the past week I've been well Festool'd up. Ye cannae' beat it.
I've been speaking to a lot of designers recently, well at least 3. you know when you've been watching too much American telly when they ask you if you can do such and such and you reply with "Pffff, I'll make it rain out here bro" Then you realise that you're a dad with a dodgy fashion sense and have no right to be talking like that.
So onto the furniture - I've been doing some bits from spare materials and is some spare time I've had between other workshop work and overseeing a couple of renovations that are going on. I squeezed out this bar stool from some left over oak. It's put together using mortise and loose tenon joints. 32 loose tennons in total I think. It's pretty high, I made it the size of a bar stool that you'd find in a pub. I don't know if everyone has their own style or you find it as you design and build more and more but I know what I like and will try to get as real as I can when venturing further into making furniture. The mortise and sliding tenons along with glue are the only fixings in the stool, no screws or anything like that. Its been ran through the quality control/punishment department (3 boys under 8) and is still in one piece with no movement. I'm happy with it, I tried to shape the seat a bit. I only did that because I had just watched a documentary on Sam Maloof, if you search YouTube you will find it, it's a great documentary on him and his work. I wondered how I would be at shaping the seat with an angle grinder and a 40 grit sanding disc, it worked out well but next time I'd go a bit deeper and get 'right in abooot it' with the grider.
I'll probably come back to this design once I get more time and go about building up a range of handmade furniture - I have a design studio now, that's what you do when you have a design studio, didn't you know that duh!!
Another bit I've been working on was done because I have a friend who is a tree surgeon and he had some planks for me. I had saw a river table done from a few different people and thought I'd like to try something like it. I wanted to use 2 slabs and I'd have the grain flow from the top down onto the sides. That was fine but I didn't have enough length on one of the slabs so I used some birch ply end grain as a leg. Because I used the end grain on the leg I used it over on the other side of the table to join the legs. I kinda' like it and I suppose its just one of those pieces that I done to practice on. I still need to get around to finish it and template the glass that will go in the middle, if you've not figured it out, the glass is shaped to the live edge and fits in the recess. I'll get to it at some point. It's pretty low, maybe about 350mm maybe 400mm, that was down to the length of timber I had to use. Like I said it was just a practice piece. Furniture makers have my respect, it's a real skill to make solid handmade furniture that lasts.
I'm doing a wee barter system project for a jeweller that I know. A display stand for her degree show. I got sent the drawing of the tree on 100mm by 100mm graph paper and just scaled it onto some spare MDF I had. If you fancy going to see her stuff the opening night is on the 29th May 6pm - 9pm at Glasgow Kelvin College. I should check that people can walk in to the opening night but I'm sure it'll be fine, Google it and make sure!
So that's that, if you've got any furniture you fancy just get in touch, or if you want a piece for somewhere but don't know exactly what you're looking for, let me know, I have a few ideas for some nice big TV cabinets and a credenza sideboard thingy that I'm hoping to get around to making soon when I get some free time. Remember to support your local woodworker and his 'design studio'
In other news - I've only just found out about the band The Black Keys, they're great and I don't know why Ive not heard of them before now, I'm so out of touch with the kids nowadays!!