How It Is Measured
When an inch is not an inch : Lumberyards measure a roughsawn boards thickness in 1/4 in. increments, so 4/4 (four quarter) stock is 1 in.thick, 8/4 stock is 2 in. thick, and so on. If your project calls for finished pieces 1 in. thick, you will want to buy 5/4 roughsawn stock to allow for losses as you mill them smooth. When you buy boards that have already been surfaced, the stated thickness will match the boards original roughsawn thickness. The actual thickness will typically be 3/26 in. to 1/4 in. less. When A Foot Is Not A Foot : Lumberyard operators say one of the biggest challenges new customers face is in understanding the board foot - the basic unit of measurement for roughsawn stock. The board foot (144 cubic in.) is confusing because it measures a boards volume, not its length. This means that a piece of stock 1 ft. long can contain more than 1 board foot of material. A good visual way to understand 1 board foot is to picture a board 1 in. thick by 12 in. wide and 12 in. long. Add an inch to the boards thickness, and you now have 2 board feet. To calculate a planks board footage, multiply its thickness by its length and width (all in inches) and divide the result by 144. In contrast, surfaced lumber is typically sold by the linear foot, a simple measurement of a boards length. The price per foot will vary according to the boards width and thickness.
Furniture Varnish That Works
Another Idea Place
Wood Worker Specific Emergency Medical Help
Suggestions on Becoming a Quality Furniture Worker
No Runs, No Drips, No Errors
Finding Quality Wood is (Not Always) a Pain
The Advantages of Finishing Wood Furniture.
Something New Under the Sun.
A Disturbing Trend in Furniture Production.
A recent report mentioned on a USDA Forest Service web site suggested that by 2010 "little will remain of the domestic wood industry". Furniture being manufactured in China, Canada, and Italy will continue to take an increasingly large bite out of the U.S. industry. As an example of this trend, Boyhill has closed its last remaining U.S. factory and is importing furniture from China. It looks like studio furniture will be some of the last American made furniture left.
Furniture Design and Particleboard
Particle board has had an enormous influence on furniture design. In the early fifties, particleboard kitchens started to come into widespread use in furniture construction. However, in many cases it remained more expensive than solid wood. A particle board kitchen was only available to the very wealthy. This did not last long though. Once the technology was slightly more developed, particleboard became much cheaper. Its low price has enabled more furniture to become available to many more people. Large companies such as Freedom and Ikea base their strategies around providing well designed furniture, at a low price. In almost all cases this means particleboard. Ikeas stated mission is to "create well designed home furniture at prices so low as many people as possible will be able to afford them".They do this by using the cheapest materials possible as do most other major furniture providers. As a result, solid wood furniture has become an expensive luxury and particle board the norm. Another factor to consider is that people who are sensitive to organic solvents and other chemicals such as formaldehyde may not want to be around particleboard furniture. Particle board is not very durable and will produce carcinogenic fumes.
How do you remove water stains from wood furniture?
There are a few suggestions on how to go about taking care of those nasty rings left on your coffee table. They appear because moisture penetrates the wax on a wooden surface and breaks its bond with the wood. Try the following: 1) Apply a small amount of non-gel toothpaste to a damp, clean lint free cloth 2) Rub toothpaste over the water spot 3) Remove film with a clean, damp cloth 4) Dry with a clean, dry cloth 5) Polish A similar solution involves baking soda and toothpaste, but caution needs to be taken to use this method only on wood with a good finish. Another fix for dark wood plagued by water stains: apply brown shoe polish to cover the stain. For antiques gentle buffing with a very fine steel wool and a soft wax polish. Follow with another buffing using kitchen paper. Whatever you try, the trick seems to be gentle and prolonged rubbing. It can take quite a while to remove the stain without harming the wood. If all else fails you are left with three options: cover it up with a strategically placed book or picture frames, refinish the furniture, or start shopping for you new coffee table.
Art Modern shows a strong relationship with Art Deco. It began after the end of World War II. In furniture it is identified by bent metal tubes, vynil, concentration on bright colors and simple shapes. Natural materials such as wood lost out to man made materials, especially plastic. Cars and even eye glasses from this time sprouted gull wings, fins, port holes and anything that suggested airplanes, space ships, or movement in general.
Art Deco refers to a period dating from about 1920 to at least the 1940s. It strongly influenced the artistic style of the 1950s, but had lost much of its edginess. Artists sought to suggest motion by taking streamlined elements from trains, planes, and submarines. The major features of Art Deco style are a concentration of geometric shapes especially mechanical influences rather than features from nature. In Southern California, Florida, and some other areas art deco designs also took on rounded corners and even port holes suggestive of a submarine.
Art Nouveau was a movement that began in the late 1880s and was replaced by the Art Deco movement. Artists sought to incorporate elements from nature such as flowers, vines, leaves, and even insects. Artists sought designs that evoked a mythical reality. To this end, they stretched their techniques abilities. Wood furniture was so heavily sculpted as to suggest vines or dripping wax. Surface carving was a critical element. in the Decorative arts such as glass and jewelry, iridescent glass or stones that suggested insect wings were highly prized.
The Arts and Crafts Movement Part 1
In the 1880s, Mr. Mackintosh working in Glasgow, Scotland began the Arts and Crafts movement as a reaction against poorly made mass production furniture that was streaming out of factories. This mass produced, slipshod furniture lacked style, grace, and a sense of uniqueness that can only be produced by a master craftsperson. Furniture made in the Arts and Crafts style is understated, elegant, and a joy to experience. Mr. Mackintosh developed a clean style that stripped away the exuberance of the Votorian Age at a time when people were beginning to appreciate an uncluttered look. Yet, to produce works in this style can not be achieved without years of training. Subtle uses of carvings replaced the ornate massive neo Gothic works then popular. Furniture was no longer stained, dyed, or heavily inlaid. One goal of Mackintosh was to elevate all the decorative arts into the realm of fine art. His building designs and furniture are some of the finest examples of this style. Early in the 20th century, Alfred Stickley began making Arts and Crafts style furniture. Working from his New England factory, he wholeheartedly borrowed the idea of Mackintosh and established an artist community in which craftspeople could explore the limits of their crafts and talents. One feature that characterized all Arts and Crafts furniture is a strong appreciation for the beauty of the material. Rather than relying on poo grade wood, Arts and Crafts furniture revels in the beauty of interesting grain patterns. Stickley was especially fond of quarter sawn oak with its flowing lines. His furniture was characterized by its square designs, strongly suggestive of Amish furniture.
The Arts and Crafts Movement Part 2
Within 20 years of Stickley making furniture in New England, furniture makers in California adapted the Arts and Crafts style. At first, they combined it with the very boxy stle of furniture made for the California Missions. These furniture makers lightened the proportions and added a bit more grace to create the Mission Style. However, a new style quickly developed when the Pan Pacific Exposition opened in California. This was the first time that Asian art was seen on a massive scale in California. The furniture makers, architecs, interior decorators, and craftspeople breathed in this influence and produced what came to be called California Arts and Crafts. In this style, every aspect of the home was designed to be a united symphony of color, texture, and form. Graceful yet simply flowing lines of Asia quickly were translated into buildings, furniture, metalwork, textiles, glass, ceramics, and much more. Most notable in the development of this style were the brothers Greene and Greene who designed some of the finest California Arts and Crafts homes. They even developed the bungalow design that is found throughout the U.S. Their desire to create a unified look in the home was another reaction against Vicorian clutter, and possibly also agains the often uncomfortable designs of Frank Lloyd Wright. California craftspeople also combined elements of the French Art Nouveau movement and other movements. Another characteristic of the California Style is that it can be mixed with many styles to create a modern sophisticated look. Sadly this movement was quickly replaced by the Art Deco and Art Modern movements. Fortunately, for the disconcerning customer, the California Arts and Crafts movement was revived in the early 1960s by Sam Maloff and others. Today, many of Sam
Switching from Wax to Oil bases Polishes and vice-versa
If you have waxed your furniture and want to switch to an oil based polish or vice-versa first clean the furniture with mineral spirits or a solvent based wax remover. Do this in a spot with plenty of ventilation away from any heat sources or sparks. First test the product you are using in an inconspicuous spot. When the piece is clean and dry, wax or polish. If you accidentaly mix wax and oil, the finish will turn cloudy. In that case, wipe the finish off and clean with mineral spirits or solvent based wax remover. Wax or polish when the finish is dry.
Woodworking Classes in the Area!
Here is a list of locations where woodworking classes are offered for people not necessarily interested in becoming furniture makers. Other locations surely exist within community colleges and recreational community centers. One feature that is an absolute must is shop safety. Even professionals make mistakes. Consider taking a beginning shop safety instruction before even plugging in power tools. Inclusion or exclusion from this list is not any indication of quality. This list is merely offered as a beginning point for finding more information. SAN CARLOS woodworking classes www.woodcraft.com/educationclasses.aspx?storeid=561 THE SAWDUST SHOP IN SUNNYVALE www.sawdustshop.com/index.asp WOODWORKER ACADEMY IN ALAMEDA woodworkeracademy.com CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO, ALEMANY CAMPUS www.ccsf.edu/offices/research_planning/pdf/edplan03section111.pdf JERRY KERMODE SCHOOL OF WOODTURNING www.jerrykermode.com JIM RODGERS WOODTURNING www.jlrodgers.com
What is Spalted Wood?
Spalted wood is the result of a fungus that infects a tree while it is still alive. The fungus if left to its natural course kills the tree. If the tree is cut down sometime before this happens the fungus leaves a black spider web pattern throughout the wood. The fungus also stains the wood in curious ways. Sometimes trees are cut down that have a light fungus attack resulting in minor figuring while occasionlly we get luck and recieve wood from a tree that has been infected for a while resulting in a very rich pattern of black lines throught the wood. The fungus dies when exposed to sunlight or air. Once a tree is cut into boards no additional spalting occurs. The fungus can infect almost any wood. The strongest patterns are produced by light colored woods such as maple, poplar, buckeye, and holly. Heavily spalted boards are highly prized by woodworkers. The more dramatic the spalting the more expensive the wood will usually be. Another nice aspect of spalted woods is that no two boards of wood are ever alike. Few furniture makers use spalted woods partly because of its rarity,expense, and dependable availability. but the effects can be amazing. Another problem is that spalted woods are usually only available in small boards or limited batches. Gallery M usualy has some examples of furniture, ornamental turned pieces, or clocks made with spalted woods. Come to the gallery and see what might be growing in your neighborhood.
Protect Furniture From Ultraviolet Rays
Bright summer sunlight slanting in through your windows can damage furniture just as a sunburn can damage your skin.It is a goog idea to take protective measures, especially for valuable or heirloom pieces. The only real solution is to place furniture away from direct sunlight. Many polishes say they have ultraviolet protection but any layer of polish applied is so sheer that it will not have that much effect. It is like wearing sunglasses that are 3 percent darker than your regular glasses and assuming you have protected your eyes from the sun glare. If moving the pieces is not an option, put a protective layer of film on the windows to filter out ultraviolet rays. Marine finishes and spar varnishes are made to withstand weather but often are unsuitable for formal furniture.The way furniture stands up to sunlight also depends on factors like the position of the house, orientation of windows, wood types and constuction methods. A solid wood piece may be able to withstand some temperature and humidity fluctuations, but the goal is to make the range of changes less broad and not as abrupt. A piece with a veneer surface or delicate mother-of-pearl inlay and metal pieces that expand and contract at different rates make things more problematic. Heat, humidity and light are all enemies of fine finishes. In the summer, open windows or fans used for breezes which put moisture in the air that can swell wood and contract it as it dries. Polish will peel, crack or become opaque and dull under such conditions. Fragile pieces should be away from entrances and exits. Opening and closing doors 20 times every day has temperature and humidity fluctuating effects. Do not put a console table under a window exposing it to light because it will degrade over time. Try to plan ahead.
Carefully Choose Wood Care Products
Store shelves are stacked with countless brands of wax, polish, spray and oil. No wonder there is a lot of confusion about which products to use. Unless your furniture is sold as unfinished, or the finish is deteriorated, when you clean your furniture you are actually cleaning the finish, not the wood. Proper care can prolong the life of a finish, making the surface of furniture slippery so that objects slide along it without scratching. One common myth is that wood furniture is alive. It does not breath so do not worry about clogging up pores with wax. It does not need to be nourished or fed with oily polishes. Changes in humidity, not lack of oil, cause wood to crack. Paste Wax has been used for centuries as a finish material and a furniture care product. If used properly it will provide a thick, hard, lasting finish. Liquid wax is similar, but typically provides a thinner coating. Waxes dry hard so they do not attract dust and dirt and do not smear. Paste wax typically lasts six months to a couple of years, depending on how much the furniture is used and how many coats are applied. Paste wax will help delay the formation of water rings, giving you a little extra time to wipe up moisture. Some people, especially antique lovers, prefer the soft sheen provided by waxes. Wax will not interfere with future refinishing.
Dry Dusting Versus Damp Dusting
Many professionals believe that dusting with a dry cloth is abrasive and will ultimately dull the finish and will not really remove dust. What is typically recommended is sprinkling a few drops of water onto the dusting cloth. It should not be so damp that it wets the wood. If you can see any trace of water on the wood after you wipe, your cloth is too damp. Some conservators recommend using distilled water for heirlooms or antiques. You may want to use a spray on dusting aid or polish. If so, consider whether you want to apply silicone oil to your finishes. This type of oil is uesed in most commercial furniture sprays and polishes. To find out if your product contains silicone oil, consult the label or call the manufacturer.
Cleaning and Caring for Solid Hardwood Furiniture - DUSTING
Your mother was right. Dust frequently. Do not use a feather duster because it will only move dust around, flinging it into the air. Feather dusters can not be washed, and a quill could scratch the wood surface if a feather breaks off. Dust is abrasive so infrequent or improper dusting can create a worn, dull surface over the years. Dust can accumulate in carvings, cracks and grooves and make wood look dark and unattractive. Dust buildup eventually becomes hard to remove. Use a clean, washable cloth made of soft, lint free cotton that does not have snaps, buttons, zippers or thick seams that could scratch furniture surfaces. Wipe of dust using gentle, oval motions along the wood grain. Turn or fold the cloth as soon as dirt is visible in any section. Keep various rags around so you do not transfer dust. Lift, don
Hardwood Furniture Shopping: A Quality Checklist
For furniture that will last a lifetime, or more, look for these indications of quality workmanship. FINISHES You can tell as much by touch as by sight. Run your fingers over the surface. Is it smooth and free of drips and bubbles? Are corners free of streaks and finish material? Are hard to reach areas near joints and carvings smooth and free of glue. Be aware that certain terms can be deceiving. For example, just because the coffee table you are considering looks like cherry and the tags bear the phrase cherry finish, does not mean that the table is authentic, natural cherry. Cherry finishes may simply refer to that color applied to another less familiar species, or even to the color of the photographic reproduction of the woods grain. Fruitwood is a catch term for a finish that means to resemble certain hardwoods. Less expensive furniture may look like solid hardwood at first glance, but may actually have artificial laminate surface of plastic, foil, or paper printed with photographs of wood grain patterns. These surfaces are then bonded to composites such as particleboard or medium density fiberboard. CHAIRS If possible, turn them upside down and take a good look. Are joints snug and free of excess glue and filler? Are joints reinforced by nails or are they secured by srews? Do slats and rungs fit snugly? look for arm and leg or back and leg components that are crafted from single pieces of wood. Of course, the piece should feel sturdy, free of wobbles and creaks. DRAWERS Look inside, behind and underneath to assess materials and workmanship. Are interior surfaces smooth and free of excess glue? Do drawers move freely yet have automatic stops? Are drawer frons attatched with dovetail joints? Are there support blocks on drawer bottoms? is the hardware straight? TABLES If the table has leaves, make sure you can add and remove them easily in the store. See that corners are reinforced with blocks and legs are attatched securely. Obviously, the table should not wobble or bend under pressure.
Advantages of Solid Hardwood
Solid hardwoods, as building and furnishing materials, go against the grain of a mass produced, throw away age. Although every hardwood board will predictably share characteristics of its species such as oak, ash, alder, maple, cherry, hickory and poplar, each board displays a face which is uniquely its own, having been formed over the long lifetime of the individual tree from which it came. Solid hardwood furniture, flooring, cabinetry and woodwork offer the potential for many generations of hard use. Their beauty is not skin deep. They can live with nicks and scratches, are easily repaired and refinished, and their value is lasting. When you are choosing for a lifetime, and maybe two or three, you should choose wisely. Solid hardwoods are genuine, not imitations. They are natural, not synthetic. They are classic, not artificial. What may look at first like solid hardwood flooring, cabinetry, or millwork may be something else. It pays to ask and take a hard look at materials. Aside from aesthetic considerations, substitutes can not compare to solid hardwoods when it comes to holdig nails and screws and withstand the stresses, loads, shocks and abrasions of daily life.
A Grandfather Clock Revival
Grandfather clocks are gaining renewed popularity with a younger generation of homeowners. Clock makers are catering to married couples in their mid 30s to mid 50s, offering a range of styles that will fit into virtually any room in their home. Enduring, rich hardwoods like cherry, walnut, or oak remain the material of choice for these timeless timepieces. Grandfather clocks come in many styles, from traditional to Mission and Shaker designs. Flat topped clocks with low sheen, distressed woods are designed to fit into casual, contemporary settings.Some consumers are even customizing their clocks to create personalized heirlooms for future generations. Prices for grandfather clocks range from $800 to $15,000. With an average height of 80 inches, most clocks are designed to fit easily into the typical home with 8 foot ceilings. Grandfather clocks originated in the 1600s when London clockmakers invented the long case model, which was about 6 feet tall. Owning a tall clock, as it was first known in the U.S., conveyed status. In the 1880s, Americans named the clock "grandfather" after a popular song about a clock that stopped when its owner died.
One For The Wood Nut
Bubinga or Kevazingo? The timber of three closely allied species of Guibourtia, namely G. demeusei, G.pellegriniana and G. tessmannii are similar in character and usually marketed together. These species are known as bubinga in Cameron and as kevazingo in Gaboon, and both names are used in international trade. Kevazingo is considered to be more highly figured than bubinga, and the tendency is to use the name kevazingo for highly figured timber, irrespective of origin. The heartwood is a medium reddish brown or purplish brown with dark veining, similar to some types of rosewood but finer in texture. It is of the same order of density as Brazilian rosewood. The grain may be straight or interlocked but some logs have very irregular grain which gives a highly decorative figure to rotary cut veneer. It has been used mostly in the form of veneer for decorative purposes, and would seem to have further possibilities as an alternative to rosewood for high class furniture and cabinet work, and fancy turnery such as knife handles and brush backs.
More American Hardwood Now Than 50 Year Ago
Harvesting levels of American hardwoods are far below the level of growth. Nearly twice as much hardwood grows each year as is harvested. Therefore the volume of hardwoods in American forests today is 90 percent larger than it was 50 years ago. Hardwood foresters follow professional best practices that mirror natural forces. individual trees are selected for harvest, encouraging forests to renew and regenerate themselves naturally and prolifically. In addition to providing wildlife habitat and filtering the water supply, trees produce oxygen, remove carbon dioxide and store carbon, reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Virtually every part of the log is used as lumber or by products, and finished products are reuseable, recycleable and biodegradable. Collectively, across all hardwood trees in all American forests, there is nearly twice as much new growth as there is wood removed through harvesting. We are not running out of trees. The volume of hardwood in our forests is 352 billion cubic feet, and they are adding growth of 10.2 billion cubic feet yearly. This compares to annual removal of 6 billion cubic feet. With hardwood growth well exceeding removal, the U.S. supply of hardwoods for flooring, furniture, cabinetry and millwork is sustainable now and for future generations.
Common Ways In Which Lumber Is Cut
Plain Sawn: They are produced by cutting tangentially to the growth rings of a tree creating the familiar flame shape or cathedral pattern. This method produces the most lumber from each log, making it the most cost effective design choice. This lumber will expand and contract more than boards sawn by other methods. Quarter sawn: This meand cutting a log radially (90 degree angel) to the growth rings to produce vertical and uniform pattern grain. This methof yields fewer and narrower boards per log than plain sawing, boosting their cost significantly. These boards are popular for decorative applications such as cabinet daces and wainscoting. Less expansion than boards cut by other methods. Rift sawn: This is done at 30 degree or greater angel to the growth rings and produces narrow boards with accentuated vertical or straight grain patterns. They are favored for fine furniture and other applications where matching grain is important. This type of lumber is available in limited quantities and species.
Terms Related To Hardwood Species
Figure: The pattern produced in a wood surface by annual growth rings, rays knots, deviations from regular grain, such as interlocked and wavy, and irregular coloration. Hardwood: A description applied to woods from deciduous broad-leaf trees (Angiosperms). The term has no reference to the actual hardness of the wood. Sapwood: The outer zone of wood in a tree, next to the bark. Sapwood is generally lighter than heartwood. Heartwood: The inner layers of wood in growing trees that have ceased to contain living cells. Heartwood is generally darker than sapwood, but the two are not always clearly differentiated.
Natural Variations in Appearance
Why does what you bought not look like the sample in the showroom? Unlike factory made, artificial materials, each hardwood board has a unique life story. During the approximately 60 years it takes for a hardwood to mature, each tree develops a one-of-a-kind grain pattern and texture. Natural hardwood products are never as uniform as plastic laminate or wallpaper from a catalog. Solid hardwood products, like silks, leather and precious stones, are shaped by natural forces and they may display a variety of character markings. Knots are character marks, telling the story of tree limbs that grew and fell to the forest floor as the tree matured. Even boards from the same hardwood tree will show significant variation in color. For instance, "younger" wood closer to the bark (sapwood), will be lighter than that which comes from the central portion. You also can see the effects of the minerals and other essential elements that the tree has absorbed as it grew. No pieces of hardwood are alike. Because of this, your particular item looks like no other in the world...including those in the showroom.
What are American Hardwoods
Hardwoods are deciduou trees that have broad leaves, produce a fruit or nut and generally go dormant in the winter. Our forests grow hundreds of varieties of hardwood trees that thrive in such temperate climates. These varieties, or species, include oak, ash, cherry, maple, and poplar. Softwoods are conifers, evergreen and cone-bearing trees. Widely available in the U.S, softwoods include cedar, fir, hemlock, pine, redwood and spruce. In a home, softwoods primarily are used as structural lumber such as 2x4 and 2x6 sizes, with limited decorative applications. All the commercially available U.S. hardwoods are crafted into furniture, cabinetry, woodwork and built-ins. It is simply a matter of taste, preference and availability. Certain hardwood species are not recommended for flooring because they are not hard enough to withstand heavy wear and tear.
The Expansion and Contraction of Wood
Expansion and contraction of wood is perfectly normal during changes in the weather. Wood is a natural material that seeks to be in balance with its surroundings. Hardwoods destined for use in home furnishings are carefully kiln-dried for that purpose, and they will take on or give off moisture with extreme changes in relative humidity. When air is excepetionally warm and humid, solid hardwoods will absorb moisture and expand. Likewise, with much cooler, drier air, wood will give off moisture and contract. This is completely natural, and craftsmen design fine solid hardwood products to accomodate these changes. Here are a few tips for the weather-wise: 1) Maintain a relatie himidity of at least 50%, use a humidifier in the winter and an airconditioner in the summer, if you have to. 2) Table leaves should be stored as close to the table as possible. An upstairs closet is better than a damp basement. When close, the table and leaves are adjusting to the same humidity conditions. 3) If you are planning a hardwood floor, cabinet or moulding project be sure to understand hardwoods
The history of the Rose Engine Lathe.
Guilloch is a type of engraving using a machine that produces wavelike patterns of parallel and intersecting lines - circular, oval, or straight - on surfaces of all kinds of materials and objects. The machine is called a rose engine lathe or guilloch machine. They were manufactured for the jewelry trade in England, Germany, Switzerland, France, and even the United States. Rose engine work dates back to the 16th century in materials such as ivory, horn, and wood. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, guilloch work found application in architectural detailing and in the decoration of precious metals. The cuts became finer, covering broader surfaces in more intricate patterns. besides being exquisitely attractive, it had practical value in that the guilloch obscured scratches and tarnish. It became a common decoration for watch cases. Rose engines were also used for designing the patterns on bank notes, securities, and stamps. The first adhesive postage stamp was designed from an engine turning. Guilloch reached a state of high art under the influence of Carl Faberge (1846-1920). His technique combined the use of enamel, and his products included boxes, cigarette cases, compacts, picture and mirror frames, vases, knives, letter openers, and of course the famous, extraordinary Faberge Easter eggs. The picture shown is a sample of a piece made by a master on such an engine.