Sunday, February 1, 2009

PFW Open House

Mario Rodriguez and Alan Turner (left to right) of The Philadelphia Furniture Workshop, hosted a 2-day open house this weekend that featured vendors, demonstrations, and hands-on tool use.

Fox Chapel Publishing had a booth filled with woodworking books and dvds. And the discounted prices were enough to make my grumpy friend, Scott, smile.

Several [gorgeous] pieces of furniture that had been class projects were displayed within the work areas. Jigs, miter jacks, handsaws, power tools and wall hung tool cabinets that were filled with handtools & planes, provided some nice eye candy for event-goers.

Joel Moskowitz of Gramercy Tools had his wares on display and also gave presentations on grinding chisels. He recommends creating a very slight camber on the wheel, so the corners of chisels don't overheat. This way, you can concentrate on sharpening the middle, thicker section of the blade while the corners are not in contact with the wheel. He uses a 46 grit friable wheel which he dresses with a multi-tip diamond dresser.

Bill Grumbine, who teaches woodturning classes from his shop in Kutztown, PA, and has produced two dvds, showed us some smooth moves on the lathe as he turned natural edges bowls.

Nancy Anderson, owner of Londonderry Brasses, Ltd., opened for business 11 years ago and offers period reproduction hardware, cast from originals, and imported mainly from England. Perusing her products, it's immediately obvious that they are exquisitely crafted.

Harrelson Stanley and Jim Blauvelt, of Japanese Tools.com, exhibited an array of Japanese planes, saws, chisels, measuring devices and sharpening stones. Jim worked at his bench while we woodworkers stood mesmerized.

Mario gave a demonstration on making shaded fan inlay. A metal pan which was filled with sand and heated by a hotplate was used to burn the edges, thereby creating the shading for the pie shaped pieces. He made a template with compass and pencil and then cut the piece to fit. They were glued together with veneer tape, then trimmed to shell shape. He then scalloped and removed the ends of each piece and cut contrasting wood to fit the spaces. These were also glued with veneer tape, then trimmed with a large, shallow gouge to final shape.

If you weren't able to make it to the show, tour the shop, and talk with other woodworkers, you might consider signing up for a class at PFW. They offer beginner and advanced workshops in a roomy, well-equipped space.

12 comments:

Jamie Bacon said...

Hi Kari. My wife and I made the 3 1/2 hour drive up from southern Maryland to go to the open house. Well worth the drive! I think it's great that there seems to be more events like this springing up. I personally spent most of my time there watching Adam Cherubini's demonstrations, as I am finding myself drawn more and more to the 18th century methods and away from the noise and dust of my power tools. Anyway, just wanted to concur that this was a great event and I hope to see more like this. Great blog you have by the way!

Tony Z. said...

Kari,

Thanks for the "snapshot" of the event. I'm about 4-1/2 hours from Philly, and couldn't find time to make the trip. I see you are a graphic designer (I have one daughter who is also a graphic designer and another who is an architect. The third still wants to be a singing scientist). Anyhow, the quality of the work you do is great--did you take any WW'ing course work such as that offered by Alan and Mario?

Thanks!

Tony Z.

Shannon said...

Kari,

Did you make it to this or is this all Scott's input? I guess he went on Friday because it looks pretty uncrowded. I was there on Saturday from 10 until the end at 4 and it was packed! I spent a lot of time watching Adam Cherubini and Chris Storb doing the carving. It was a great event, but was so crowded that I wasn't able to get as many photos as I wanted. I'll be doing a spot on this event in my podcast this week. Got some great footage of Chrubini in action!

Joe said...

I attended the Open House on Saturday and had a real good time. Ate probably more of my fair share of Philly soft pretzels than I should have... ;-)

I agree with Shannon's comments. I felt it was almost too crowded. It's amazing how such a large space can seem so small.

Watching Jim Blauvelt work on his Japanese bench was a delight. And Adam Cherubini was quite entertaining as well.

I'm wondering if there any openings left in this coming weekend's Hand Cut Dovetails course. I'm going to give PFW a call tomorrow.

The Village Carpenter said...

Jamie, glad you had fun! I had wanted to see Adam, but wasn't able to go on Saturday. One good thing about going on Friday--it wasn't all that crowded. :o)

Tony, it sounds like you have three talented kids! Although I had no idea there was a vocation for "singing scientist". ; ) I have taken ww courses at several places—mostly having to do with handtools— but have not yet taken one at PFW.

Shannon, I took the day off on Friday to attend the open house and wrote this post. I'll look forward to your podcast!

Joe--they didn't have soft pretzels on Friday!!! I did eat a fair share of cheese, though....
Hope you are able to take the handcut dovetail class. It makes such a difference when you can learn techniques directly from fine woodworkers.

Vic Hubbard said...

If only I could transplant some of the culture from your area to mine.
Does Nancy do traditional wax casting?

Woodfired! said...

Love that shaded fan work! Must work out a way of incorporating that into a contemporary piece.

Woodbloke said...

Kari - looks like you had a really good day out...interesting displays and demos - Rob

Pete Owen said...

Hi Kari-- I meant to track you down to say hello, I figured I'd catch up with you on Saturday but I guess you didn't make it. My wife Emily and I met you down in KY, I wasn't suprised to see you in Philly. :) You snapped a picture of my brother and I getting a test run of the mortise chisels with Joel looking on, I didn't notice you there with your ninja camera-woman skills!

Pete

Pete Owen said...

Hi Kari-- I meant to track you down to say hello, I figured I'd catch up with you on Saturday but I guess you didn't make it. My wife Emily and I met you down in KY, I wasn't suprised to see you in Philly. :) You snapped a picture of my brother and I getting a test run of the mortise chisels with Joel looking on, I didn't notice you there with your ninja camera-woman skills!

Pete

The Village Carpenter said...

Hi Pete! I remember you and your wife very well. In fact, I snapped your picture and posted it on purpose, because I know you read this blog. ; )

I was going to say hi but you always seemed to be deep in concentration. :o)

Pete said...

I see-- well, it's too bad you couldn't make it on Saturday, I know very little about carving, but Christopher Storb's presentation was great. I'll send you an email with a link to the pics I took before my battery died.