WHEN IN GERMANY...
A portfolio from a displaced Yankee with a German woodworking degree.
by Glenn Andersen
LOCATION: Miltenberg, Germany
So, where should I begin? I have been living and working in Germany as a civilian for nine years, and for the last six years as a woodworker. To be a woodworker in Germany you have to go through an apprenticeship program for two years which includes a vo-tech school.
One part of the final test phase is that you have to design, draft and build something. That`s where the trunk (lead photo) comes in. My something was the trunk.
The trunk is made out of solid American oak. (There is a visual difference between American and German oak.) All four sides and the top are made with stiles and rails. They are joined with tenons. All five frames are then filled with raised panels. The drawer can be lifted out and is dovetailed together. (I passed the test with a B.)
If you want to start your own woodworking business in Germany you have to go back to vo-tech school and get your master's degree. (I went, I got.) Once again, part of the final testing phase is that you have to design, draft and build something. Which brings us to the buffet. My something this time was the buffet.
The buffet is also made out of oak. Both the top and bottom cabinets are through-dovetailed together as are the drawers and kickboard. The top of the top cabinet is also solid oak. It took me about 12 hours to make it. The counter top is Italian granite. (I passed this project with a C; I think I got ripped off.)
The briefcase was a practice piece that turned out well. The sides are openend-dovetailed (through-dovetailed), with the two outer pins mitered. The inlay work was a learning experience.
I made the backgammon board (right) for my daughter for Christmas. The light wood is figured birch veneer, and the dark wood is figured walnut veneer. The solid wood trimming is "tipito" (a walnut substitute without grain that is imported from Africa).. . . Glenn Andersen
(Lost in Germany)
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