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About Eli

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  • Woodworking Interests
    upholstery, design
  1. I agree with Vic's reaction. Everything is well executed, but the parts feel inconsistent. The trestles seem architectural while the legs, rails, etc. are animated. The top, though beautiful, doesn't really tie into either. It's "organic" but not in a lively way, like the legs. Can you tell us more about your design process? What were your goals in making this piece? Good work handling the adversity. Eli
  2. Ok. Let's see if I can make this make sense. I'll give a little explanation first, then go with the pictures. I'll start once you've established the butt joint. I can go over that, too, but I'd like to ask permission from Steve. It's his technique that I use. So, the main trickiness with the compound angled dovetails is that we take a lot of things for granted with normal dovetails. I think of pins being perpendicular to the end, but really, they're parallel to the edge. The same thing occurs with the shoulders, I check them for square to the face, really they're parallel to the end. When all of the angles are 90º, it's all the same. With compound angles, the distinction matters. Beyond just checking shoulders and cheeks, this also manifests in the layout. The dovetail angles should be thought of relative to the edges of the board, parallel with the grain, NOT perpendicular to the shoulder. Doh. My pictures are too large. I have to go play frisbee. But I'll reduce them and finish up this post when I return. Eli P.S. I just cut them by hand. The principles apply no matter how you cut them.
  3. Hidden splines can also be done on the table saw. You have to set up a stop that covers part of the blade, then you just run the pieces in to the stop. Eli
  4. Steve Brown wrote a great article in Fine Woodworking called "Compound Angles without Math." Basically, you make a block that represents the angled box you are trying to make. It has all of the compound angles on it. You then use the block to setup the saw and mitre gauge. If you are getting Rough Cut in your area, episode 9 is a compound angled tray. I don't see any clips on the site yet. Once you get through the angles, the dovetails aren't so bad. You just have to remember that your square doesn't do you any good anymore. It is replaced by bevel gauges. Also, layout the dovetails relative to the grain of the board, not the end. I'll try to throw together some photos if you'd like. Eli
  5. My shop is actually in Canton, MA. It's about 30 minutes south of Boston. My mini-shop is in the North End, in my living room. Eli
  6. Hello, It looks like you're making fast progress on this, so well done. There are a couple of things I noticed that you might want to consider in the future. The 1/2" tenons are probably overkill, but there's nothing wrong with that. The stretchers at the bottom will stabilize the table a lot, so the upper tenons aren't doing that much work. The problem I did notice is that the mortises, and tenons, are meeting within the leg. You want to avoid that. Although the extra length does add glue surface, you need to consider the leg strength as well. A 1/2" mortise is a large void, and having them connect inside the leg weakens the top of the leg. My rule of thumb is to leave 1/8" between the mortises. You should be alright, but think about this on the next one. Regarding your idea to miter 4 pieces to make the shelf: this will cause a wood movement issue. As the boards shrink, the angle becomes sharper. Since the outside corners can't move inward, the inside points are pulled outward. The result is a curvy x-shaped gap at the center of the shelf. If you're building in the winter, the opposite will occur. The boards will expand from the center, forcing the outside of the miters apart. This is a dilemma with any wide miters, not just the 'X'-shaped glue-up. Wood movement changes the angles and forces the miters open. Finally, don't forget to account for wood movement when attaching the top. Leave plenty of slop in those screw holes. An end grain top absorbs and loses moisture easily. Also, it moves in both directions. You're looking at the end grain of an 18" wide 18" thick board. Sorry this is coming a little late. Eli
  7. Hi, Excellent job on the cradle, documentation, and posting it here. You clearly do great work. My first thought was to do dovetails instead of box joints. They would add some of the strength you were looking for with the pegs. Regarding the pivot beams (?, I can't remember what you called them), are they shouldered on the outside? I like the idea of wedging them, but it's a fairly short tenon. I'm just trying to picture how it will work. I agree with nixing the pegs, though. The woods complement each other so there's not a disconnect between the cradle and legs. The curves tie it together particularly well. The rocking/locking mechanism is very well conceived and executed, too. I don't see the issue with the masculinity of the grain, although it is an important consideration. I can't wait to see it come together. Sorry about the short critique. I'll give it some more thought, but I really wanted to comment on this. It's lovely. Eli
  8. Hi, Get the board close to flat going across the grain (it sounds like that's the plan with the toothing plane). The 4 1/2 should be good enough. Make sure the blade is very sharp, and move the frog forward, closing the mouth. If you can increase the blade angle, it will help, too. Skewing the plane (holding it at an angle) helps with tear-out and also makes the cut thinner, so you can avoid crossing into another ribbon. After the plane, a scraper can get you where you need to be. Even when cleaning up the toothing, dont' be afraid to attack the board from different angles. A sharp plane will give you a fair cut even cross-grain. Eli
  9. Hello, I'm making the rounds on the forums spreading the news of this show. Tom MacDonald (furniture maker, host of Rough Cut, man about town) has a large space at the 2011 New England Home Show and he’s opened it up to any and all furniture makers. We’re calling it the WoodExpo and it’s an opportunity for makers to reconnect with buyers. Woodworking is often seen as impractical or esoteric and this is a chance to let the public know what exactly we do and the value of our craft. Aspiring or established furniture makers will benefit from the over 30,000 visitors the Home Show receives each year. These people are all shopping for their homes and serve as an ideal match for custom designers and makers. In addition, the show attracts a number of designers and decorators looking for a unique item to add to their arsenal. There is NO FEE to enter a piece into the show. Entrants are welcome to both the OPEN and SEED categories. The show is February 24-27, 2011 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, MA. Details and entry forms are available through the website at: www.woodexpo.us . Feel free to contact us with any questions. Hopefully, we'll be able to feature some great work by some little known makers. We want everyone to have a chance, so spread the word. Eli
  10. If you try planing or sanding, just take material off of the front-right and back-left corners. Those are the "high" spots. You can always shim it up, then scribe around it with a level line. That will give you a line to go to. Eli
  11. Hi, everybody! My name's Eli and I'm from Boston, MA. I graduated from the North Bennet Street School last year and I've been working since then. I grew up in Atlanta, GA, so if I sometimes seem extra nice, it's not sarcasm. I've been on these forums a couple of times in the past, but never consistently. I'm usually on the 207 Forum. There's a lot of great information on here. I like a lot of the podcasts, too, though I haven't seen nearly all of them. I'm trained in American period reproductions, although my personal tastes don't really coincide. I do have a good grasp (hah) on hand skills. I prefer hand tools, because they are quieter, but I also prefer making a living, because it gets me more food. I share a shop with Tom MacDonald, whom some of you probably know or know of. I am the Eli from Rough Cut. I love to talk about furniture making, so if you're ever in or around Boston, feel free to contact me. Eli