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Woodworking blog entries tagged with 'gary rogowski'

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A Strategy for Woodworking #4: Forgiveness

06-26-2014 08:06 PM by Gary Rogowski | 3 comments »

Human all too human to quote Fred N. Yes we makers are too human. We’re too ready to find error in our work. The voice in our head keeps repeating: Not good enough, not perfect enough. We are always so ready to point out our mistakes, to find the tiniest of errors. When our client never sees them. When another maker doesn’t see them nor care. They see the whole, the entire piece and they’re delighted. So I say, keep your standards high but learn to forgive yourself for your errors that no ...

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A Strategy for Woodworking #17: Getting Right

08-11-2014 03:31 PM by Gary Rogowski | 3 comments »

It is far easier to talk about than to do, but you have to get right in order to do good work. You have to think straight, to get your concentration right, to get your mind working with your hands and not against them. Now this can take hours for me some days before I finally get focused enough to work. But when I do then the work just flies and the time whizzes by and I get something done. It feels great. But it’s a matter of concentration and when we enter the shop our mind is in a hundr...

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A Strategy for Woodworking #18: Education

08-14-2014 01:16 PM by Gary Rogowski | 3 comments »

I got involved building chairs with the Lumber to Legacy project in Albany, OR. Here’s the story in their local paper. Lumber to Legacy Some high schools kids helped us build this cafe chair design. I wrote to the paper explaining my involvement. “I wanted to respond further as to why I did this class for the kids. I love to teach and this was another opportunity to be with a group that doesn’t get the attention they deserve. Education in the applied arts is mostly for...

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A Strategy for Woodworking #13: A Neatness and Precision

07-28-2014 04:31 PM by Gary Rogowski | 3 comments »

In Pete Dexter’s book Deadwood, Wild Bill Hickok’s partner, Charley Utter, is thinking to himself, “He liked having a drawer, it was a neatness you could see just sliding it open.” Making drawers requires a precision and calm missing from some other jobs around the shop. Cleaning out the dust collector comes to mind. Or hand planing some misbegotten wood like a rowed grain khaya. Drawer building on the other hand needs careful measuring, straight parts, and clear thinking to do a good job....

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A Strategy for Woodworking #6: Design Opportunities

07-07-2014 01:48 PM by Gary Rogowski | 3 comments »

A Mastery student of mine came through town to visit. Over 10 years ago he studied with me and he’s building still. Not as much as he’d like but it’s a tough game this woodworking world. Not everyone understands how much time it takes and how much skill. Nor do most people appreciate how long it takes to develop that skill. This isn’t a new hobby for folks that they get good at in a couple of weekends. It takes work. It takes dedication, commitment, practice. I have always found it interes...

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A Strategy for Woodworking #14: Making the Connection

07-31-2014 01:25 PM by Gary Rogowski | 3 comments »

Tools are meant to be used by humans. I think that we learned to think by using them. By using tools, our hands made a connection to our brains and then our curiosity gene dove in and our minds grew because of this. We discovered so much about the world poking about in it with our hands. And by using the power of the wedge, we learned to do all sorts of things from carving to cleaving to sawing and planing. We are humans and that means we need to keep making that connection between hand an...

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A Strategy for Woodworking #44: Hand Tools

02-23-2015 04:10 PM by Gary Rogowski | 2 comments »

Spending time with the hand tool crowd this past weekend brings to mind some ideas about utility. And why not? The right tool for the job depends on many factors like skill, economy, and cost. Not just the quiet of the shop alone gets weight in this decision. How many times does a jig get made on the saw and drill press in order to work later on by hand? These choices we make to use hand tools or powered ones are driven by our need to build work. Sometimes building the product wins at...

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Trestle Table #44: Battens Fastened

11-20-2016 04:50 AM by HappyHowie | 2 comments »

I wiped each part. I then fastened the battens by aligning them to the knife marks I had made before applying the BLO finish. Three #6 – 1 inch flathead screws for each batten. I also decided to add another thin coat of BLO. I may wait another 48 hours before assembling the table.

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A Strategy for Woodworking #34: Benched

11-04-2014 09:42 PM by Gary Rogowski | 2 comments »

Benches can be practical or symbolic. They can hold us up at dinner or be our viewing spot for the entire game. They imply community and congeniality. Come sit next to me on the bench, is a friendly invite. Where is your head? Go sit on the bench, is my old coach talking to me. This season we worked with the City of Albany’s Parks and Rec department and the amazing Mark Azevedo, botanist and sawyer, to build furniture for a Benefit Auction. Lumber to Legacy Benefit Auction This 1st T...

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A Strategy for Woodworking #53: Why Not Dovetails?

05-26-2015 07:53 PM by Gary Rogowski | 2 comments »

Hand cut dovetails are a pain in the butt. So some would say. I say differently. They are a giant . . . delight. Consider the dovetails below, cut by John in last year’s Resident Mastery Program. This drawer is pretty small. Dovetails are overkill for its strength requirements. And yet they add so much beauty to the piece. And these half blind dovetails are actually easier to cut than through dovetails. Hmm. Also think about the value of this hand cut work. It’s not just to hold som...

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