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I use a combination of traditional hand tools and modern machinery to create my works. There are some woodworking purists who insist all high-quality furniture must be made strictly with hand tools, flattening boards with a #7 jointer plane, a hand drill, and dovetails cut by hand. There are others who only use machines and never touch a chisel. I believe there is room in woodworking for a more hybrid approach using modern machines when it saves time and produces a stable joint, but still using hand tools for refining and finishing.
One thing many people do not realize about building furniture is how much the original design can evolve during construction. It is quite common during my development process that several iterations are made and discarded. Sometimes it is as simple a reducing a part by 3mm in thickness for a better proportion or sometimes it’s fixing a mistake and discovering a totally new view of the piece.
I work in hardwood local to the mid-Atlantic region cherry, maple, walnut and oak. To create interest, I sometimes incorporate metalwork into my furniture. An example is the “Gazelle” table I designed even before becoming a full-time woodworker. The wide tabletop is made from a single piece of flame maple. The underside has been beveled to lighten the feel of the piece but still retain its strength. The base with its long narrow turned legs are in black walnut. The tabletop floats on six stainless steel pins connecting the top to the base with no additional joinery between the two. This piece took first place at the Washington Woodworker’s Guild annual competition in 2018 and has been featured on Fine Woodworking Magazines Facebook page.
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