Semester 4

After taking a break in semester 3 to strengthen our skills, it is time to take a leap forward in semester 4 to learn some new skills.  This semester we will tackle some compound joints, some unusual specific use joints, an introduction to simple carving, and a detailed look at wood species.  I hope you all enjoy what is to come.

Lesson 1 Hand Tool Wood Species Tour

What are the best woods for hand tool work?  How do they work?  What are the pros and cons?  In this lesson I will discuss in detail 10 species of North American and Exotic woods as well as draw comparisons to similar species.  The world of wood is vast but I will try to hit at least 6 continents.

Lesson 2 The Road Tool Kit

It is rare that we ever leave our shops, but when that happens it is good to know what tools you need to tackle most jobs.  If you ever take a class or want to bring along tools to play on a vacation this kit will allow you to keep working no matter where you are.  This lesson dovetails nicely into our first project, the Tool Box.

Lesson 3 Compound Dovetail Joinery

Just when you thought you had a handle on dovetails, I’m going to throw you an angle or two.  Compound angle dovetails are no harder than regular dovetails if your sawing skills are sound.  The difficulty comes in proper layout and wrapping your head around how the parts fits together.

Lesson 4 Compound Tenon Joinery

Those of you still struggling to cut a mortise and tenon joint that is square will love this lesson.  Time to abandon square and create angled shoulders for splayed table legs, trapezoidal chair frames and more!  Welcome to whole new style of construction.

Lesson 5 Introduction to Carving

We will tackle some simple decorative forms and letter carving.  The focus will be on starting with a very minimal set of tools and adapting them to create many common forms that can spice up and personalize your projects.

Lesson 6 The Rule  Joint

This handy joint is used for creating drop leaf tables.  It will rely upon the moulding plane skills we learned in Semester 2 and add a level of precision to your skill set for the hinge setting.

Lesson 7 Resawing by Hand

While we have briefly covered this in semester 1, this lesson will take a much deeper look at the methods to make an accurate resaw cut.  Keep an eye out for a special side project where I will build a great dedicated resawing frame saw.

Project 1: Toolbox

Inspired by the great toolbox created by Tom Fidgen in his book “Made By Hand” and crossed with a classic popularized by Roy Underhill we will make a toolbox capable of taking all your necessary tools on the road, offer some work holding assistance, and not break your back moving it around.  Finally we will personalize it by applying our carving skills.

Project 2: Splay Leg Drop Leaf Table

Inspired by a beautiful table built by Thomas Moser and spruced up a bit to include a drawer, this table can be made strictly in the Shaker style or contemporized to your tastes.  We will apply our newly won knowledge of compound joinery, rule joints, and resawing to make this great table.