Here are a few quick updates on things you might care about.
“Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!” by Roy Underhill will ship from the printer on Nov. 10. So we’ll be getting that out in plenty of time for Christmas (whew). As I mentioned yesterday, the “Book of Plates” is a wee bit delayed at the bindery. So if you want that book for Christmas, please place your order as soon as possible.
Sweatshirts are back in stock, except for the XXLs. Those will be in stock next week. As to sizes, take a look at the charts provided by American Apparel for the sweatshirt here. Some people are reporting they fit a bit snug. I haven’t found that to be the case, and I’m on my second washing.
George Walker, one of the authors of “By Hand & Eye” is teaching a class at The Woodworkers Club in Rockville, Md., on Nov. 3-4. And there are a few openings. Want to be a better designer? Talk to George. Details here.
Peter Galbert is depleting the world’s supply of pencils with his new book. If you want a peek at the illustrations, follow him on Instagram here.
Building a project in front of an audience is one thing. Designing it and building it on the fly is enough to drive me to drink.
Earlier this year I did a two-day seminar for the Alabama Woodworkers Guild where I designed and built a six-board chest. While I usually do a lot work beforehand for classes, I was in the final stages of editing “Campaign Furniture” and was a bit task-saturated. Here was my prep work for that class: I threw some boards and tools into my truck and drove south.
Luckily, I’ve built a lot of six-board chests, and the resulting piece turned out well. In fact, I like this particular chest so much that I’m using it in “Furniture of Necessity.” As a result, I had to create a SketchUp drawing and cutting list after building the project.
As I was drawing the chest yesterday, I was amused to see that I had fallen into using some typical ratios while designing the project, even though I didn’t use dividers or a tape measure. I just looked, marked and cut. It really was “By Hand & Eye.”
The elevation of the case is 3:5, one of my favorite ratios. And the ends of the carcase – minus the legs – are 1:1, which is what I almost always use for my tool chests.
While these ratios make the chest’s appearance simple, they complicate the cutting list. If you have ever developed a cutting list from an antique piece of furniture, you probably asked yourself: “Why did they use these odd measurements?” You can chalk up the weird measurements to wood movement or the metric system, or you can realize that perhaps they weren’t measuring as much as we measure.
Here, for example, is the cutting list for the chest as built:
Six-board Chest Cutting List, Furniture of Necessity
No.NameT x W x L 1 Lid 3/4 x 14-3/4 x 35-1/8
2 Battens 3/4 x 1-5/8 x 14-3/4
2 Front/back 3/4 x 14-1/4 x 33-3/8
2 Ends 3/4 x 14-1/4 x 19-1/4
1 Bottom 3/4 x 12-7/8 x 32-3/8
1 Moulding 5/8 x 1-1/4 x 33-3/8
4 Feet 5/8 x 5 x 7-3/8
Yeah, I know. This cutting list could be simplified to use some rounder numbers. Or you could make this mental leap: There is no difference between hitting 35-1/8” or 35” or 35-7/64”. They are all numbers that are available to us.