ANDY RAE CHAT
April 4, 2004 [EDITED]




Ellis: I'm pleased to have an old pal and former associate, Andy Rae, as our special guest tonight. As most of you know, Andy has been very active in the past several years as a woodworking author, including such titles as Taunton's Complete Illustrated Guide to Furniture & Cabinet Construction and Choosing and Using Hand Tools.
Ellis: Andy currently has two other major Taunton projects underway, including a mega-project called The Complete Illustrated Guide to Working with Wood and another called the Workshop Idea Book, for which he is actively soliciting innovative or wonderful shop features. Welcome, Andy.

SpenceDePauw: Hi, Andy

Andy Rae: Greetings, early woodworkers!

Russ: Hello Andy.

TonyReynolds: Hi Andy

Dustmaker: Howdy Andy

Andy Rae: Hey, Spence!

SpenceDePauw: Remember me?

Andy Rae: Of course I do, Spence. Am I gonna see you in Nov at Sycamore? I'm teaching a tool cabinet class.

Termite: So Andy how hard is it to write a book

Andy Rae: It's easy, Termite. You just sit down, slit your wrists, and let the blood flow.

SpenceDePauw: You bet! looking forward to it.

Termite: Andy don't think I want to cut my wrists

Andy Rae: Cool, Spence. Looking forward to it.

Andy Rae: Then forget writing, Termite.

Andy Rae: I fully agree, Termite.

Termite: I think I will stick to the skills improvement Andy and will keep reading from you and other that offer there great expertise

SpenceDePauw: Did you get the new house and shop off the ground you were working on last year?

Andy Rae: New house, yes. Shop, still waiting. But I have a good design down.

Termite: Hello Frank

Termite: Hello Slim

Andy Rae: Hi, Frank, Hey, Slim!!!

Slim_P.: How ya doin' pal?

Termite: Hello Wally JohnP

Andy Rae: Is that the Slim P. I'm thinkin' it is?

JohnP: Good evening all

Slim_P.: Yer probly right.

Russ: Slim Pickens??

Slim_P.: Yep

Greg: Hello All!

Andy Rae: Yup, I see Paul Anthony, another fantastic writer/woodworker, has joined us. Yahoo. Diret all Qs to Paul, please.

Slim_P.: Uh oh

Paul: Is it hard or easy to write a woodworking book?

Ellis: Have you all seen Andy's books?

Termite: Yes I have the Furniture book

TonyReynolds: ditto

Andy Rae: That's great to hear, Term and Tony.

Andy Rae: Hey, Andy! How'z tricks?

AndyLincoln: Good Andy, been fettling a 5 1/4 I just picked up.

Andy Rae: Neat, Andy. Got a shaving yet?

AndyLincoln: Not yet,just cleaning and lapping the sole..

Ellis: Andy, do you get a chance to do any woodworking anymore, or is it all writing?

Ron_MacKenzie: Evening all

Andy Rae: I'm always getting my hands dirty, Ellis. Been finishing two projects of late. A little wall cabinet, and a cherry side table with a curly maple drawer front with ebony knob. Oil finish.

JohnV: hi captain

FrankJ: I have two and actuly looked at the pictures.... LOL they have been a big help I keep them in the shop as reference.

SpenceDePauw: Have the construction title, and the hand tools book. That started me down the slippery slope... What's next?

Ellis: Any particular style?

Andy Rae: Next, is Complete Illustrated Guide to Working with Wood, Spence. Paul, who's with us tonight-- of all people-- is my editor!

Ellis: Well whaddya know. :-)

Andy Rae: "Style" is something I've always resisted, Ellis! But I'd have to say simple, fucntional, with clean lines and minimal decoration.

SpenceDePauw: That ought to be a HUGE book!

Ellis: Yeah, that's what I said, Spence. Andy always had ambition.

Ellis: Andy is working on a couple other major book projects. When can we expect to see them in print?

Termite: Andy I have been extremely happy with the furniture book and how it is laid out

Termite: Very easy to follow and well planned

Andy Rae: Yeah, Spence. But no book is ever big enough. They're all just slices of a bigger pie.

Andy Rae: Thanks, Termite.

Ellis: Do you have publication dates lined up for the next books, Andy?

Andy Rae: The Wood book is coming out (don't laugh, now Paul) around this time next year.

Slim_P.: If we're all lucky, that is...

Andy Rae: A second book, The Workshop Idea Book, is due the fall of 2005. (6 months later. Yikes!)

AndyLincoln: Choosing and Using Hand Tools was the chair lift that knocked me down the slippery slope of hand tools. The layout and style of the book showed me I CAN do it!!

Ellis: That should be good. I could use some hints right now.

Dustmaker: Andy you coming out to Seattle to teach again in Everett?

AndyLincoln: I can't wait to read the next offerings

FrankJ: Andy what will the Wood book cover? Just dwscripitions or details and suggestions for us.

Termite: I would like to read that one Andy L as that is what I found out in the furniture book

Andy Rae: That's great to hear, Andy. Dust: No plans right now. To be honest, I'll probably be busy building a shop.

SpenceDePauw: Choosing and Using, along with Andy's class in plane tuneup set me off. I've even started Ebaying for planes, not the mention the odd LN and Veritas...

Ellis: Andy, do you get a lot of questions forwarded to you from readers?

AndyLincoln: Termite,you'll love it,but the desire to aquire hand tools is a side effect.

Termite: Spence there is a Coffin plane for you to bid on at the benefits Auction

Russ: Keep a secret bank account Spence, and never let your wife see the statement

SpenceDePauw: Not to mention the LN dovetail saw. Come to think of it, that plane class has cost me a fortune!

Ellis: The voice of experience, eh Russ? :-)

Termite: I have a problem already with acquiring tools Andy L

Andy Rae: Go look at "Looking For Something" on WoodCentral's messageboard area, Frank. I posted a message describing the Workshop book, and I'm looking for photos from ya'lls shops.

Ron_MacKenzie: here here!

gabe__janderr: so < andy How's the old nasal drip

Andy Rae: I get a few, Ellis. Not many though. <>

Andy Rae: LOL, Spence!

Andy Rae: Gabe!!!!!!

Russ: You don't want a photo of mine!!

TonyReynolds: I could give ya some photos of how not to do it!

SpenceDePauw: I want to wait for pictures until I have my new tool cabinet this fall...

Ellis: For any newcomers, our guest is Andy Rae, author and editor.

Andy Rae: Gabe Aucott is here, a fellow woodworker in Asheville, Yay! Everyone ask Gabe Qs (along with directing them to Paul, of course.)

AndyLincoln: Andy, when can we expect to see you near Michigan again?

Termite: C'mon Russ maybe Andy want's photos of real working studios

Slim_P.: Hey, quit trying to slough off your work, Andy.

TomS: Andy, what type of photos/shops are you looking for in the pictures?

Ellis: Well now. lotta good talent in Asheville, it seems.

TomS: and by when do you need them?

gabe__janderr: got tired of burning wood and thought we might stop in to watch whats going on

Andy Rae: Yes I do, Russ. If I don't use it, I can always return it. Whaddya got to lose? You might get your shop in a book!

Andy Rae: I don't go to Michigan, Andy. Too many Andys live there.

Dustmaker: Andy does it have to be a completed shop or a work in progress will do

Termite: Gabe I would be interested in getting your address and stopping by for a visit sometime as I sometimes visit the Asheville area would that be alright

Andy Rae: Tom, go to "Looking for Something?" on this site for a description. I've left a message there about the book.

TomS: Thanks, I'll do that

gabe__janderr: certainly

Greg: Welcome!

Andy Rae: Ellis, Asheville is a rockin' craft town. Lotsa woodworkers and other craftspepople.

SpenceDePauw: I'll check out the picture needs too!

MacS: Hello all

gabe__janderr: 109 Roberts St. in the PMS building

Greg: Hi Mac

MacS: Hi Greg

Termite: I agree Andy I loved it

Ron_MacKenzie: Hey MacS

Andy Rae: Work in progress could show some very cool stuff, Mike. Anything is fair game at this point.

MacS: Hello Ron

Termite: Asheville that is.

FrankJ: My shop is built for a handicap. Special needs, you would find it hard to work in

jimC: A rockin crafts town????? Isn't that kind of a controdiction in terms? LOL

Andy Rae: Spence: I saw photos of your shop here at WC. You definitely gotta send me some pics.

gabe__janderr: yes indeedy, and that would be the Phil Mechanic building

Ellis: Andy has agreed to send a portion of his book royalties to WoodCentral as a token of appreciation for all the good material he's harvesting here. :-)

SpenceDePauw: I'll do that. I've got some upgrades in mind for this summer if money works out, but I'll send some of what's there now.

Andy Rae: Hanicap would be very intersting to see, Frank. Might be a neat story in the book.

jimC: My shop is also built for handicap accessibility

TomS: Ellis, if Andy has made that prominse, then I will, too

Termite: Thanks Gabe Perhaps this summer

MacS: Hi fishbone

Russ: I bought my 23rd utility knife today. If I clean out the shop, I might find the other 22

gabe__janderr: that's what he told us! andy's a generousfellow

fishbone: greetings all....

MacS: Hi Andrew

Andy Rae: Now, now, Ellis. Not only do you lose blood with writing, you have to work hard to make money, too. I'm keeping the green stuff to put two kidz through college, or hell, the dentist.

AndrewF: hi all.

TonyReynolds: LOL I know the feeling Russ

Ellis: I'm working on him, Tom. :-)

Andy Rae: Jim: Send me some pictures. (Go see my message, first, though)

Ellis: So, how did you get started in woodworking, Andy?

TomS: Andy, how old are your kids? How long until they are in college?

Andy Rae: Gabe works with 2 other woodworkers in a great shop. Lotsa solid wood stuff, with lotsa mortise-and-tenon joinery goin' on.

jimC: where do I go to see your message???????/

Andy Rae: Hi, Andrew. (Jeesh, Andy. Looks like Michigan in here.)

Ellis: You have a great following in MI

Russ: Another Andy

Andy Rae: Russ: You might wanna take close-up shots, No pull backs, please.

Andy Rae: I "fell" into woodworking, by landing a job in Geroge Nakashima's shop.

Russ: That gives "falling" a new meaning

Termite: Great landing, Andy

TomS: Andy, tell us some of your favorites as in styles, woods to use, tools, techniques

Andy Rae: Tom: 14 and 7. Got a few years yet.

fishbone: I like the openess of that style of woodworking.....

TomS: what trend in woodworking you like and some that you find less appealing

Andy Rae: JimC: Go to Messageboards, then Looking for Something?

TomS: My tw sons are at 18 and 20...two in college next year. Ouch!

Andy Rae: Big Q, there Tom. How about one? Favorite style is good-looking, solidy-built designs. Doesn't matter, really, what "style."

Ellis: But you don't do much period repro stuff, do you?

Andy Rae: TomS: my heart bleeds for you (as your wallet bleeds for YOU.)

Termite: I was just going to ask that Ellis

Ellis: Do you have time for any private commissions these days?

Andy Rae: I've done some, Ellis, and really enjoyed the challenge of building it. But I prefer cleaner, more modern lines for the stuff I have to live with in my house. However, I really like old, beat-up crap. Heavy timbers; old and wrinkled is somethimes best.

Slim_P.: He had better not be working on private commissions when I need that chapter.

Ellis: Yes, the design problem often has unexpected solutions.

Andy Rae: Ellis, that's a vert good way of putting it. Yes.

Andy Rae: No commissions, and I turn 'em down. No time to build for others but friends and family.

Greg: LOL!

Termite: So Federal stuff is out of the question

gabe__jan: we do take commissions:::tooo tooo many

gabe__jan: andy also builds our shop cabinetry

Andy Rae: Hi, Jan! That IS you! Jan is here, another of Asheville's prominent furniture makers.

Ellis: Well, Andy what sorts of revelations have you had regarding teaching woodworking? What do you think is the area where beginners and intermediates meed the most help?

Lester: Hi every one

gabe__jan: having andy stop by is a powerful resource

MacS: hi tony

TomS: Is there a particular section of Asheville that houses all these craftsmen?

Andy Rae: Ellis, I think the basics are what's missing with most of my students. Things like sharpening, hand tool use, thinking through the building process. Stuff that students used to learn in school, but don't anymore.

Ellis: Ah. Exactly.

TomS: Andy, what one techique is most lacking in the students?

TomS: What should they know, but don't

TomS: 'cause I'm going to go learn that....

AndyLincoln: JimC look here: http://www.woodcentral.com/cgi-bin/looking.pl?frames;read=1907

Ellis: Andy, let's talk about the building process.

TonyReynolds1: lot's of them can't read a ruler

Andy Rae: TomS: Asheville has a long history of attracting craftspeople. Don't come here: the weather sucks, the people are angry, the sky is always black, and the southerners run northerners off.

Ellis: Do you know Fabs Corte? gabe__jan: fabs is the premier sapele and african black wood source in town

TomS: Sounds like the perfect place to me

Jim_C: Thank you Andy Lincoln now I was able to see it

Russ: And it rains at 5 every afternoon during the summer

Andy Rae: JimC: I worte is last week, but is should be there. Ask Ellis to find it for you.

Ellis: Ellis is pretty busy, Andy :-)

Slim_P.: And the music scene is horrible.

TomS: Tony, a story board will help get around that ruler deficiency, won't it?

Termite: Hmmmmm My kinda Place

Andy Rae: Thanks, Andy L!

TonyReynolds1: true, but still

MacS: I found it..its there

gabe__jan: although since gabe has come into the shop we have tuned into the timber conversion scene and now learned to really love those appy hardwoods

Andy Rae: The building process is sometimes 50% thought.

Ellis: So, back to the building process.... How do you teach something like that?

AndyLincoln: Your welcome Jim C ...and AndyR...now quit slammin' MI...:: -)

TonyReynolds1: I don't know that you can teach that

Andy Rae: Gabe works in all kinds of woods, and some of them are really big. He loves to chop down big stuff, and make bigger stuff from it!

TomS: From what I've seen the aesthetics of putting the pieces together would be a tough thing to teach

Jim_C: I'm just much slower than most it could have somthing to do with the " A" word "age"

crackerjack: there's alot of info online about sharpening and hand tool use but hardly anything about building methods

Termite: Andy having bad habits how would one go back and try to correct themselves such as the building process and design and then build

gabe__jan: biiiiiiig stufffff

Andy Rae: One way to teach it, Ellis, is to have students go through it. They get to see that you have to study a single board before ever picking up a tool. That's a good start.

Ellis: I don't think we're talking about the aesthetics so much as the process itself, Tom.

SpenceDePauw: Thought is right. I made some beds for grandkids, and I think I spent more time planning than building and finishing!

Andy Rae: By taking a class, Termite. Every class is a revelation to every student, because there is ALWAYS something new to learn in woodworking, a new way, a new tool, a new thought process.

Ellis: Ok, Andy. Doesn't the process begin with the stated need for something?

TomS: I think a good lesson is in the critique of a piece, learning from what others have done well and adopting that

SpenceDePauw: Amen on the classes, Andy! I learned a huge amount from yours, especailly studying the boards::cool

TomS: I hate to see someone spend time and money on a project just to have it not be pleasing to the eye

AndyLincoln: Andy, I just acquired the blueprint for your toolbox. Anything you would change or do differently if you were to build a second masterpiece?

Andy Rae: Well, all I can say is I usually start by thinking of a need. I love the idea that form follows function. But not always. Sometimes you just wanna fart around and see what comes of it, and that's OK too, because all the time you're learning something about woodworking. Every time you build, you learn more.

SpenceDePauw: And, I've learned lots from every class I've taken.

Termite: I totally agree Andy and if it were easier for me I would be at every class that I could take but it isn't because of distance and location nont the less is there something that you could tell one that could not get to the classes that are easier for others

SpenceDePauw: Second AndyL's question, I've got the plan too!

Andy Rae: TomS: I agree. 99% of what I know I stole from others who were there before me. The best way to learn is to copy, then make it your own by stamping your own thoughts/techniques/tooling/ad naseum into it.

gabe__jan: andy, how would you address that pecan top regarding tooling the surface

Ellis: Yeah, I was just thinking that the building process is usually more directed.

Andy Rae: I change the level of craftsmanship, Andy. Because today I'm a better craftsman. But the essential design I still am happy with.

Ellis: Right, Andy. Nothing is really new under the sun.

TomS: Doug, where in WV are you?

Andy Rae: Which pecan, Gabester??

gabejan: the big slab for the base you saw friday

Doug_in_WV: Near Clarksburg in the center of state

Andy Rae: LOL, Ellis! Me, too. Jeesh, ther's a whole lotta red on my screen. Whew!

Ellis: Our guest tonight is Andy Rae, author and craftsman.

TonyReynolds1: Some folks just tend to be able to visualize the end result and the path to get there better than others is this a teachable trait?

Ellis: No answer, Frank. Gremlins.

MacS: Hello Andy

Ellis: Excellent question, Tony

jesse_m: Hello Andy, Ellis

FrankJ: Andy a book on the building process would be a big help.

Andy Rae: The top should reflect the base, gabe. Make is compatible somehow.

jesse_m: I'm guessing it's a free form discussion, true or not?

Ellis: We're getting Andy warmed up. He has a lot of good info he's dying to share with us. All you have to do is ask him whatever questions you like. It is an open discussion, Jesse. Please make your questions to the point.

TomS: Tony, from the limitations of both the material and the skill level of the worker, it is a path of continual growth

Andy Rae: The building process is usually best if directed, true, Ellis. A plan is the best way to get there, such as drawing a sketch of what you wanna build. And then making a step-by-step plan of how you're going to accomplish it. Like choosing tooling, deciding woods, colors...

TomS: and I say that from my experience...things I built a decade ago...sheesh, what a mess

Ellis: Agree with that, Andy.

TomS: Andy, so do you have a complete set of working drawings when you set out to build?

Andy Rae: Tony, I think some definitely are born with talent, yes, But you CAN become better at the design process by trying your hand at it a couple times. And then trying your hand again. Over time, you begin to lean a little more...

Ellis: Hmm. Practice makes perfect.

jesse_m: I'm looking into purchasing a dust collection system for my garage. I have small room dedicated for woodworking (8'x16') and the rest of the garage when needed. What would be the appropiate cfm's to start with?

SpenceDePauw: MAybe not perfect, but better every time, I hope

MacS: and perfect takes lots of practice

TomS: I've had the discussion that there are not specific 'talents' to woodworking...just developed work ethic, habits and approach that are applied to woodworking

JohnP: There is a line of thought here about design. Yet, magazines have little about design because that is not what sells magazines. Seems like somewhat of a paradox to me.

gabejan: that whole piece is an example of something that has evolved during construction pretty far from the original concept. I guess sometimes, no matter how well you can visualize the end result, plan revisions are often nessecary to get your best work.

Greg: Mac, is there ever perfect? Masters just have more skills to correct their flaws when they occur?

Andy Rae: Not usually, Tom. But I'll start with a visual idea in my head, then sketch it wuick on paper. Sometimes I'll sit down and draw it to scale, using an archtitects ruler, to get a real sense of proportion. And I often make lil' sketches on scrap paper as I build, to fgiure stuff out like, how is that tenon going to cross paths with that other tenon?

MacS: greg, everyone has different eyes..

TomS: Andy, that is good to know, as I seldom, if ever, have a 'working drawing' but more like a semi-workable sketch

Andy Rae: Read Sandor's book on dust colleciton, Jesse, to get the actaul numbers. But I bet a 2-3 hp unit will do what you need, depending on how many machines you want to run at one time.

Ellis: Greg, experience helps keep you from making the same mistakes again.

jesse_m: Thanks Andy

TonyReynolds1: I rarely build from a set of plans. Usually just a rough sketch, and figure out the proportions and wing it from there.

TomS: and Sandor's last name, just for reference?

Slim_P.: Even with carefully rendered drawings, it's important to allow yourself the flexibility to change the design once you start building.

MacS: Tony, try Andy's method

SpenceDePauw: That's a nasty question, TomS::surprise

Ellis: Nagyszalanczy

TomS: Ellis, I thought I had thrown out a 'stumper'

Ellis: I edited his book. :-)

TomS: I should have guessed you would know

crackerjack: that was a test

Andy Rae: Gabe, sometimes that's you best work. But other times a fully-executed set of drawings is, for me, the only way to succeed. For example, if I were designing and building a wall-to-wall library for a room, I would draw the entire thing to scale.

jesse_m: On the topic of design and scale of projects, CAD software can help with conflicts before you start building?

Andy Rae: TomS: it's spelled NGSSZZZCCNNCYY, or something VERY close to that!

Neal: Sandor did the photography for my article, and I still can't say his last name!!

Ellis: Random consonants

TomS: Andy, that is exactly how I would have spelled it

Andy Rae: Did you spell that, Ellis, or cut and paste?

Ellis: Spelled it, why?

TomS: Ellis, lol, is that the key to remembering?

MacS: What article, Neal/

Ellis: Nahds-a-lans-zy

Carole_in_VA: Glad I'm not married to him...I wouldn't be able to say my own name!

Andy Rae: Jesse, many many people speak highly of CAD. I don't use it myself, but others swear it saves time and really opens up the design process.

Slim_P.: Yeah, well spell Wajszczuk! Oh...

Neal: Chapter 4 in Taunton's "Dining Tables" by Kim Carlton Graves

MacS: Ok

MacS: Ok

Ellis: CAD is particularly useful for changing dimensions without redrawing everything. So I've heard. I'm still a 'board

Andy Rae: It's pronounced, Notsa-Lonts-Cee, Neal.

Ellis: 'man

SpenceDePauw: Jesse, I use some CAD where dismensions are critical, but mostly sketches.

Ellis: Ok, we have solved that.

jesse_m: Some websites (I don't know of any off the top) offer shareware versions.

Neal: Fortunately, he answers to Sandor.

Andy Rae: Neal, what's your last name? Do I know ya?

Neal: White, and no, I don't think so, darn it!

Ellis: Andy, will you be doing any of the WoodWorks shows this season...?

TonyReynolds1: This may sound bad but building from a manufactured set of plans with cut list is to "put tab A into slot B" for me. I enjoy the figure it out as you go process.

Ellis: You're not alone, Tony.

gabejan: we do that too but there are always little things that come up. The way I see it; if you're not making mistakes, your not trying hard enough. The best woodworkers I know are the ones who can fix their inevetible mistakes and keep moving without getting all feaked out.

Andy Rae: So, back to the building process. One of my main concerns is to figure out the joinery before cutting anyhting. In the end, it saves me time, and often wood.

TomS: Tony, I couldn't agree more. The challenge of working wood and the reward is the entire process

FrankJ: Tony its the fun part

Ellis: Right, Andy. And how do you do that?

Tex: I find most manufactured plans don't satisfy me and I end up changing them quite a bit. They end up being just an idea of how it will end up generally.

jesse_m: Without struggle there is no progress

Termite: Kinda like a food recipe Tex?

Andy Rae: Tony, I couldn't agree more. It can get boring doing that (and I've done a lot of it). But having a set of drawings never means you have to stick to 'em. When you see a better curve in the road, you can take it if you want.

TomS: jesse, I thought it was, 'there can be no justice until we share the same pain'

Ellis: You're in the majority on that, Tex.

TomS: or is that a song lyric I remember from my youth

Andy Rae: Yeah, Ellis. I'll be at 5 of the WoodWorks shows this coming season. Not in Ft. Washington <> however.

TomS: UB40, actually

Ellis: Again, you're not alone. The trick is to work smart.

Tex: I find I change joints a lot from the written plans. I prefer to use hand techniques and solid wood where possible.

TonyReynolds1: I see what you're saying Andy

SpenceDePauw: I'll sure second the "fix mistakes without freaking out! I'm proud to say Andy taught me that!

Andy Rae: By thinking about what the most appropriate joint would be in any given situation. The one that's strong enough (but not too strong), doable to cut with my tooling, and works visually with the design in my head.

Andy Rae: Tex, it's good to change plans!!!

Ellis: Good summary, Andy. Makes sense.

TomS: Andy, and why don't students know about this approach?

Andy Rae: I think it was Rasputin that said that, Jesse.

MattinIowa: Any dialectical materialist would have said "without struggle there is no progress" that was in contradistinction to the progressive Hegelians which believed "ideas" were the engine of progress...

Andy Rae: I LOVE UB40. Great tunes.

Ellis: Keep in mind that if a plan was good to begin with, you should consider why you are making changes and take care not to compromise any engineering decisions.

TomS: Andy, one of our favorites here

Ellis: So, Andy, I have sketches and joint drawings, now what? Measured drawings? Parts lists?

Andy Rae: Because they don't know where to start, Tom. You have to give them a strating point, such as a need (do I need a medicine cabinet), or a challenge (build a table from a 2x4) or a look (I want it to look like water, perhaps with fish in it). Take you pick, and then start!

SpenceDePauw: My guess would be a cut list next

Ellis: Right, Andy. Define the problem

TomS: Andy, what directs you to the choice of joining techiques?

TomS: Is this a major weakness in neophytes?

Ellis: Experience is the best teacher, Tom. You learn to know what joints and proportions to use just by looking at the whole picture.

gabejan: there are far too many approaches to the rendering of wooden articles to fit one construction process formula....Andy, it's back to our discussion on african furniture building.

FrankJ: will the type of wood influence the type of joint?

TomS: I was lucky enough to have parents that collected antiques and spent a lot of time explaining how things were put together and how that affects the value

Andy Rae: So, after sketches, you can do one of two things: Start building the main structure as you go, or sit down and make a measured dwg, which is typically a front, side and top (or bottom) view. If you need a cutlist, make a cutlist. But you can't make a cutlist without having a drawing of some sort.

TomS: I've been making reproduction furniture for years now

Dustmaker: I would think it would be the look that has the most effect on the type of joint

jesse_m: Andy, what is your opinion on biscuit joinery?

TomS: or pocket screws?

Tex: In my case, how I build furniture influences what joints I use. I don't use biscuits or a lot of power so my joints are dictated by tools and techniques.

Andy Rae: frank: Good question. Yes, of course it will. Some woods are stronger, some weaker. Weaker woods, like pine, need beefed-up joints. Thicker parts in some places, such as shelves.

Ellis: Excellent, Tex.

TomS: My furniture is copied from antiques, so the joining is from that 'old' school

TonyReynolds1: If I'm making a one up of soemthing I won't take the time to do drawings etc. If it's a producton piece I will.

Andy Rae: Yeah, Gabe. Ultimately, there's nothing but a world of choice out there.

Doug_in_WV: .

Greg: Andy -thank you for your time and patience tonight. Look forward to having you return for more visits with us.... Good Night all!

Andy Rae: I love biscuits for thier simplicity, but I wouldn't use 'em where a mortise and tenon would go. For example, in a heavy door that gets a lot of use.

Ellis: Glad you said that, Andy.

TomS: Andy, do you commonly use bicuits in your work?

TomS: other than the heavy doors, that is

jesse_m: I follow

Andy Rae: Good night, Greg!

Dustmaker: What about lose tenons for heavy use items

TomS: Andy, could I ask how long you've been a serious woodworker and how old you are now?

Ellis: How do you feel about loose tenons, say, compared to biscuits or regular M&T jjoints?

Andy Rae: I use them a lot, Tom. They're great for aligning lippings to shelves or case edges. And they work great for small stuff, like some of the miniature cabinets I make. Great for joining face frames that will get glued to a case front, cause they hold some of the joint, while the case does the rest.

Andy Rae: A loose tenon is just as strong-- and can be STRONGER-- than tradittional mortise-and-tenon, Dustmaker M.

Dustmaker: Should they be made of the same wood ?

Andy Rae: Tom, I'm in my mid-40s, and have been working wood since age 20. You do the math!

TomS: Andy, I'm in my early 50s and math is one of those skills that has left me some time ago

Slim_P.: LOL

Andy Rae: That's the cool part, Dust. You can make the tenon stock from a stronger wood than the frame species. So it's even better than were you to cut the tenon integral with the rail.

Ellis: Okay, are there any other lines of questioning we want to pursue tonight, before we let our guest go?

Slim_P.: Yeah, when am I getting that chapter?????????

Andy Rae: Is that all you've lost, Tom. You be doing good, my man.

SpenceDePauw: Andy, have you picked a wood for the tool cabinet this fall? Going the follow the pucished plan for size and style?

TomS: I suppose we could discuss reggae at another time

Ellis: What have you lost, Andy?

TomS: and that isn't all I've lost, I just can't remember the other stuff right now

TonyReynolds1: Are he new books coming out as hardback like the furniture book or softcover like the resent releases in the series?

Andy Rae: Slim chance of having it tonight, pal. Maybe-- I said MAYBE-- you'll get a section or two early this week.

Andy Rae: Not picked the wood, Spence. What would you like to make it from?

Andy Rae: Ellis: Lost: Vision, hearing, sensitivity, money, time. Gained: Hair... in all the wrong places.

TomS: Ellis, I think that older woodworkers are more prone to accidents due to reduced depth of field...

Slim_P.: But he has kept his sense of humor

SpenceDePauw: Just something pretty. I assume plywood for the carcase. You pick. I'd thought about making a base cab, but I'll wait until the toip is done

jesse_m: Woodworking as a profession, thinking about making a transition, frustrated with my career as an cad architectural draftsman!

TomS: jesse, and in what area of woodworking would you specialize?

Ellis: Wow, Tom, if you ever find any serious evidence of that, forward it to me, eh?

Hhundley: Nite all

Ellis: S'long, HH

Andy Rae: Tony, the book on Wood will be a hardback, in the same series as my former Taunton book, The CIG to Furniture and Cabinet Construciton. The Workshop book--- who knows? Hardbound, I hope.

TomS: other than my trips to the ER lately?

Ellis: And, what e-mail address should people use to send you shop ideas?

TonyReynolds1: great

Andy Rae: Watch out, Jesse. If you enjoy money, don't go into woodworking as a profession.

jesse_m: Well TomS, cabinetry? My interests are many.

SpenceDePauw: You make life tough, Andy, how to choose betwween another book or two, and another plane (or three)

Termite: Andy thank you very much for taking out of your personal time to be with us tonight

Andy Rae: Spence: I was thiniking solid wood, with doevtaield corner joints for the case.

SpenceDePauw: Outstanding!!!!! I need more practice at those.

TomS: jesse, how are you going to advertise yourself? Not in the medium, but as a.......?

FrankJ: Andy: Thank you YOUR BOOKS ARE GOOD

Andy Rae: They can send 'em to my editor at Taunton, Ellis. But she need hard copies; no electronic stuff. So mail all those photos! You'll get 'em back if you send a SASE.

Termite: Now all you Flat siders go to the Benefit Auction and put something in for the Server so that we can have more of this type of thing

Ellis: We should have a new chat server by next week, thanks to your generous support. Thanks to everyone.

Andy Rae: Thank you, Frank. That means a lot to hear that, case I work in a vacuum sometimes.

SpenceDePauw: Andy, digital photos OK on a CD?

jesse_m: TomS, I would first start by using some of my architect/engineering contacts and start local

TomS: jesse, and you would build anything within reason?

FrankJ: I live in a vac.

Andy Rae: Yes, Spence. Digital is fine. Go for it!

jesse_m: Toms within reason, within my limitations or take on that challenge

TomS: jesse, when will you make a decision on your future plans?

jesse_m: Thanks Andy

SpenceDePauw: Thanks a million, Andy and Ellis. Glad to connect with you again! I'll sign off now.

Andy Rae: Thanks, Tony. C ya.

jesse_m: TomS not immediately, I'm also looking into North Bennet School. I live in Chicago

AndyLincoln: Thanks, Andy..don't be such a stranger around here. Your wisdom is always helpful

Andy Rae: North Bennett has an excellent rep, Jesse.

TomS: There isn't a school here in the Midwest where you could train?

Andy Rae: Thanks, Andy. It's hard to find the time, what with books, classes, kids, and a wife. Plus a shop I have to build.

Ellis: Just a note: There is no time limit here tonight. Andy tells me he's feeling strong, so as long as you all want to carry on, please do..

AndyLincoln: And Ellis,thanks for setting up yet another special guest chat

Larry_Clinton: Thanks for being on tonight Andy, Thanks Ellis for arranging the chat. You are a GREAT writer Andy, I have read a lot of your books and articles.

TomS: jesse, I'd go for it...as I get older, it is the things I wish I would have tried

Ellis: I does what I can, Andy L.

Andy Rae: Larry, tells us something special about building a hand plane!

jesse_m: TomS, Last year I took 8 week course in the Chicagoland area, I won't mention names, after five weeks, I grew frustrated at what we accomplished. I looked into schools locally, Hey maybe after North Bennett, can open something (Ya right)

Ellis: Don't they have any decent woodworking schools in Chicago?

Larry_Clinton: I don't build new ones - but do refurbish a lot of old Stanleys..

Andy Rae: Ooops, Larry. My bad. I had you confused with Larry Williams, a great plane maker!

jesse_m: Ellis, not that I'm aware of. If you know of one...??

Andy Rae: Jesse, try the school of hard knocks. That's where I first learned, bu working for cabinetmakers.

Larry_Clinton: Yeah - I wish I were that good.

Andy Rae: Old Stanleys are good Stanleys.

AndyLincoln: Ellis, is there a schedule out yet of WoodWorks2004, yet?

John_W: Jesse, The Marc Adams school is south of Indy

Ellis: Yeah, they must have decent shops there. I always was hiring ambitious woodworkers. Most of them are still at it.

jesse_m: Here, Here Andy, there's no experience like taking your lumps

Ellis: New schedule is coming in about two weeks, Andy.

Andy Rae: You can pick up some good stuff at Marc's school.

Ellis: Novi isn't on the list.

Ellis: Indy is.

John_W: Cool

John_W: for Imdy that is...

John_W: Indy

Ellis: OK, here's a question. Is a one week course really valuable? Do you need a whole semester or more?

Larry_Clinton: I probably ruin the planes for collectors, but they sure are great tools when tuned right.

jesse_m: JohnW, Maybe on the weekend. His school fills up pretty quick. I think there is a waiting list

Ellis: Personally, I'm into user planes, Larry, so I can relate to what you're saying.

jesse_m: Ellis Novi, please clarify?

Ellis: Hi Mark!

FrankJ: Is there a good school in south jersey?

John_W: Marc has a Masters Program where you take many classes over a couple years

Ellis: Woodworks events are not going to Detroit/Novi next season.

MarkKauder: Sorry I am late; remembered at 6pm and then forgot until now.

Andy Rae: A week-long course can teach you some bits. But you gotta go home and make more to really learn. The problem is, there's no subsitute for learning the entire process, other than building a major piece from strat to finish, which you cannot do in a week.

John_W: They do fill up fast

Ellis: Hmm, Frank. You might have to make it into Philly for that.

gabejan: Evenwith the exellent programs at Penland, Haywood Tech and John C Campbell, here in the craft saturated asheville area, we are in desparate need of anothe educational facility for woodworkers. Maybe Andy will open one soon.

jesse_m: I just realized Marc was in the house, Hi Marc, my apologizies.

Ellis: Lonnie has one over in Knoxville.

Andy Rae: Nice hint there, Gabe.

jesse_m: I feel like Linda Blair right now!

FrankJ: What is in Philly? Besides muggers

Andy Rae: I bastardize my planes if necessary, Larry. If that's what I need to get 'em running, then I do it.

Ellis: Hmm. Isn't University of the Arts still in business?

Ellis: Right you are, Andy.

FrankJ: ? will look for it

Ellis: Andy, do you like to use replacement irons, e.g., Hock irons, in older planes?

Andy Rae: Frank: try looking inot Peters Valley. They sometimes have some excellent programs. Bit of a rusticn experience in terms of living arrangements, however.

jesse_m: I need to save up the funds to attend either, obviously there's a lot of knowledge out there I can tap into, present company included

gabejan: Mark Sfirri at the Bucks County community college- another exellent program. Some of the absolute finest equipment and instruction for turning anywhere

John_W: Andy, I missed the early discussion, what kind of "tips" are you looking for?

Andy Rae: Yeah, Ellis. Hock blades, Clifton blades, aLee valley blades, and Lie-Nielsen blades are all MUCH better than stock blades. Thicker, flatter, better made.

FrankJ: gabejan> to far.

Larry_Clinton: I picked up an old Boyar Schultz 6 by 12 surface grinder a few weeks ago. Just used it on a junk plane to square it up and flatten the base, also ground the blade - wanted to try it out before I used it on decent Stanleys - did a great job - took quite a while to setup.

8Fingers: .... is this thing on? Did I get in to late?

Larry_Clinton: Going to try to make my own blades - looking into steels now. have A2 & O1 and hardening facilities at work.

Ellis: You made it, eight.

jesse_m: Thanks gent's, sandman is calling

8Fingers: Wish I'd thought about this sooner...

Ellis: The archives will be there tomorrow, 8fingers

8Fingers: I just thought of that, I'll take a look

FrankJ: Sorry lost my connection

Ellis: Folks, it has been a great chat tonight. I thank Andy for being such a good, forthcoming guest. I hope we can expect you back again some time later in the year Andy.

Larry_Clinton: Goodnight Andy, Ellis - everyone - Hope you return soon Andy

FrankJ: I bought a nice rosewood plane -- 22"long -- from w/c I have redone the blade 3 times and it will not cut. What am I missing or should I get a new blade?

Ellis: We'll see you all on line soon. And watch for a turning chat with Ernie Conover in a couple weeks.

FrankJ: Andy. Ellis Thank You

Andy Rae: OK, guys. Time to hit the hay.

Andy Rae: It's been a pleasure talking wood with everyone.

gabejan: Hey Andy....will the book include some suggestions for our current wood storage dillema?

Andy Rae: Nope. You're on your own, pal.