Monday, October 07, 2013

Cats and Wood

A little while ago, I started a woodworking apprenticeship. Meep thinks that's old news. It is, but I've been too busy to write about it.

Woodworking is something I've enjoyed for a while. My friend Dan and I plotted to make electric guitars way back when. He made his pretty quickly while I hemmed and hawed and realized I didn't really have the woodworking skills to get started. He ended up making an electric bass for me and I did the inlay and staining. Dan is now master luthier at Born Guitars and I'm still plotting to make guitars. I did learn how to do inlay pretty well doing that first bass. Since then I've taught myself a few more things. My first spinning wheel is functional.

 And so far, the recipe bookcase I built for the kitchen remodel is holding up well.

It's great to be able to design something and build it, but I've been wanting to take my woodworking to the next level. It was the perfect opportunity when a local Davis woodworker put out an ad for an apprentice. Even better, Joshua makes fine furniture and art mainly from salvaged urban wood.

Frank gets logs from local arborists, so the trees that he mills are not cut down just for their wood but are removed for other reasons. Normally they would be mulched or just used for firewood, but Frank mills them into boards.

Hank the dog is very helpful except when he is distracting.

After the logs are cut into boards, they're sprayed with boric acid to keep insects from eating them and stacked to dry with stickers (spacers) between them to allow air to circulate.

Some of the wood is spectacular. It's hard to look at it and know it will be a year or two before it will be dry and useable. Walnut is my favorite wood and Frank mills a lot.

It gives me wood envy, so to distract myself today, in between helping spray and stack wood, I took pictures of the very photogenic Nigel.

He was not at all helpful, as he likes to get in the middle of things.

He is disarmingly cute.

And he likes to use wood as a scratching post.

But he is very very very handsome and cuddly.

Which is not to say the new Davis shop kitty is not equally affable. Joshua is moving shop from Frank's place in the country north of Woodland to Davis. Lester has made himself comfortable in the new shop.

And the shop is taking shape. Very exciting.

With moving the shop, we haven't been getting a ton of woodworking done, but I have been scavenging from some walnut burl we brought in and made this little necklace.

Here's some eye-candy...a corner of the burl that's waiting to be made into something magnificent.

And finally, a plug for my boss: Joshua just launched his new Kickstarter project today: the Urban Shelving Collection. Really beautiful pieces out of really beautiful and sustainable local woods. Woods include Claro Walnut, Valley Oak, Mulberry and Silver Maple and I can't wait to work with them. There's a bike shelf, a bookshelf, an entry shelf as well as smaller items. Check it out and spread the word!

1 comment:

Mel said...

Wow! That sounds like so much fun, and right up your alley! I can't wait to see what that burl chunk becomes...