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Tuesday, May 09, 2006
  Trip Highlights.

Wow, Onterrible sure is big! We didn't hit the Manitoba border until day 3. They sure do have an unnecessarily funny-shaped province.

This distance impressed my travelling companion more than I, when he realized we had driven across Manitoba in only one day. Traffic really thinned by the SK-MB border, where it is possible to do several push-ups in the middle of the highway, before risking vehicular mishap. Note the random Saskatchewan highway trash can in the background. This is something a native Saskatchatwitchiwanian, such as myself, fails to observe because of familiarity: there are actually signs on the highway directing drivers to trash cans 2 km ahead. We would prefer it if you would not litter on the prairies, thank you very much.

This last photo is for Texas. You know who you are. Perhaps a visit to Saskatchatwitchitwain is called for in your future!

All-in-all it was an excellent trip. We fared much better than our fellow-furnyture-students whose engine seized in Dryden, where they had to have the car shipped the rest of the way to Calgary. I'm sure their characters needed the building.

I've turned a corner in my profession, and so have decided to forego this furnyture blog in favour of the next chapter: Lumber Bums, where me and "Beatrice" trade experiences, stories and gossip between furnyture school and honest-to-goodness-I'd-better-make-some-freaking-money-at-this-furnyture-stuff career. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. Wish us both luck.
Saturday, May 06, 2006
  Ah, the flatness.
I surely did miss the big sky here in Saskatchewan. We arrived safely and although the truck now sounds like I drove the shit out of it for 2,000 miles, it did not fail. More later.
Friday, April 28, 2006
I am moving. Goodbyes are moving. How did the word moving get to mean such varied things? ... such as, relating to or involved in a transfer of furnishings from one location to another and arousing or capable of arousing deep emotion.

Today was emotional. I'm really going to miss these Ontarians. They're O.K. Luckily, I had a higher than usual number of belly laughs to ease the melancholia. I am a rock. I am an island.

On the upside, I'm thinking I may need a new blog, for a new start. Saskatchewan Shop.?..or Shop-a-Rama.?..OR Swish and I may collaborate on a furnyture dish blog to trade exciting furnyture gossip...with assumed names (or names changed to protect the guilty), of course. A shop vs. school sort of blogger war of words and works. Yep, I think we have a winner. Now we just need a blog title.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
  Final Critique.
Our final critique was Tuesday and, somehow, my life hasn't slowed down since then. I think our second year group produced some very good work this term. Below, starting with the photo on the left, is Jeremy's CNC router waste material cabinet (wall hung), Trish's veneer factory waste material boxes (wall hung), and Stan's bigger-than-the-10-cubic-feet-assignment-limit elliptical wonder dresser with pulls he designed and made himself. Yes, it rocks.

The next photo has Jed's truly modular Change Table (goes from change table to child's desk to grown-up desk just by moving a few boxes around), Martin's garage-inspired dvd cabinet, my wheat grass marquetry cabinet, Lucas' round-with-an-offset-glass-portal TERRARIUM. Hilariously gutsy and wall hung, although I took my photo too early in the day.

Next, another shot of the round cabinet, with Rob's table-cabinet, and Nari's sculptural and beautiful scarecrow-inspired cabinet to hold old photographs.

Next up is Nari again next to Leslie's extremely lovely mini-production cabinet inspired by a weaving pattern. Each identical box (with slightly curved fronts) has a drawer which holds CD's. At this point it is clamped together as it isn't assembled yet. Last is Paul-Michael's solid poplar cabinet of wonderment.

Unfortunately, there were late arrivals that I missed photos of. Notably, Lee's wall-hung squiggle cabinet. I'll try to snap some more shots at Open House this weekend.
Monday, April 24, 2006
  Wrapping it up.

Remember this chair? Thought I'd thrown it in the metal recycling bin, didn't you? Today I had a few hours to kill waiting for the epoxy to dry on my drawers, so I finished off my main welding project. Last week I sandblasted the frame and put a patina on it, turning it this odd, army green. I had a nice chunk of 8/4 ash left from my commercial furniture table, and it was just enough for this seat and back. In keeping with the quality of the metal frame, I am leaving the wood unsanded, and with lots of machine marks from the angle grinder and bandsaw. Somehow, it works.

My very favourite thing about this chair is that it's wonky; and because the square tubing has ripples in it from improper bending, when you set it in a gentle rock on a cement floor, the entire chair visibly vibrates slightly. Sweet serendipity.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
  Infinite horizons.

Yes, the inside of the cabinet is frought with horizontal lines also. Here's where I was this morning, trying to decide on drawer pulls. I was swayed in favour of the brass, which will look something like this:

Meanwhile, the drawers are gluing up overnight. I opted for the stressless glue-up with epoxy instead of white glue. You get a whole hour to get things together and square; much better than 2 minutes. The downside is the 24 hours you have to leave it in the clamps. Oh well, I'm run-down and could use the break anyway. Two more work days until the critique; one more day for the third year students. Our normally jovial crew is very tense and everyone has hair trigger tempers. I cannot be my usual sarcastically cutting self, and that is very hard.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
  Half-blind, indeed.

I only bled a little on the last corner...a result of the back of the chisel rubbing the skin off one of my fingers over the last two days. On the up side, it took me 5 hours last night to cut the pins on 3 corners, while tonite I hit my stride and cut the remaining 5 corners in a record 6 hours. And although I certainly don't want to cut anymore dovetails in the near future, my quality of fit actually did improve with practice. Because I have hand cut dovetails only once before in my life, I began with the back corners of the drawers. Normally, one would not bother dovetailing the backs of drawers -- because no one will ever see them. I'm glad I did though, because the first few sets look like they were cut by a half-blind furniture maker, while by the time I got to the drawer fronts, I was getting the hang of it.

This last photo shows why these particular dovetails are called half-blind: because the tails only penetrate about two-thirds into the face of the drawer, you will not see the joinery on the drawer face. At least, once I hit this joint home, you won't. I don't think I'll do that until glue-up, because I want the fit to stay nice and tight.

After I sleep past noon tomorrow (it's 4 a.m. -- my body clock is a mess), I'll go back in and cut the grooves for the drawer bottoms, cut the drawer bottoms to size and then start sanding the inside faces so I can pre-finish before assembly. Here's where you can help: by Sunday I want to glue up, so before then I have to decide on a drawer pull. Since I wanted something recessed or a cut-out, I purposely left minimal clearance between the drawer front and the cabinet door. So no sticky-outy-screw-on pulls. I'm torn between drilling a simple hole through the drawer face (maybe an inch, inch-and-a-half), OR using a manufactured recessed pull such as this one. The cabinet hinges and inner door catch are both brass, so something like B might work. But oval or rectangular? I'm leaning toward the simple circular cut-out, because the inside of the cabinet is as crazy-horizontally-striped as the outside, and perhaps there is already enough brass on the thing. Come on, I know it's the weekend, but I want second and third opinions!
Herein are the day-to-day successes, insecurities and intellectual vomitings of a furnyture student trying to make something of herself...or at least, trying to make something.

September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 /

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