Author Topic: Summary: Fall 2011 Meeting of SAPFM Chesapeake Chapter  (Read 5032 times)

Mark Maleski

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Summary: Fall 2011 Meeting of SAPFM Chesapeake Chapter
« on: November 24, 2011, 05:05:43 PM »
The SAPFM Chesapeake Chapter held our 2nd meeting on 12 Nov 2011 at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with 33 people in attendance.  Our agenda was divided into four areas: (1) chapter business, (2) working groups, (3) show and tell, and (4) our featured presentation from Chuck Bender.

Chapter president Bert Bleckwenn kicked off the meeting with an announcement that our spring 2012 meeting has already been scheduled for Saturday, 21 April at the J Gibson McIlvain Lumber Company in White Marsh, MD (~20 miles NE of Baltimore).  Don Williams will be the featured speaker/demonstrator.  After a few more announcements, it was onto the working groups.

Fred Walker presented a proposal for the formation of a new working group, focused on the methodology of reproducing a museum piece.  Fred suggested that Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) is a likely source for the ultimate piece to be measured and reproduced, as in his experience they have been willing and generous with their time when contacted by serious period furniture makers.  He also explained that they have a vast warehouse of period pieces to study.  He offered to lead a preparation session with any interested participants to choose a type of piece to reproduce, discuss the piece ahead of a visit to the museum, lead a group trip to the museum for the purpose of photographing and measuring it, and then producing plans as a group.  A signup sheet was distributed (and quickly filled in) at the meeting; anyone not at the meeting but otherwise interested in this working group should contact Fred directly.

Next, Fred led a report-out of the Benjamin Randolph Chippendale Chair working group.  Fred has been leading 10 others in the construction of a B. Randolph chair housed in the PMA (and described as a masterpiece in Fine Points).  Below is a photo of Fred?s reproduction of this chair.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 05:09:03 PM by Mark Maleski »

Mark Maleski

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Re: Summary: Fall 2011 Meeting of SAPFM Chesapeake Chapter
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2011, 05:12:30 PM »
Fred brought the chair he built through the working group sessions, and other working group participants brought their works in progress.  He discussed construction techniques, potential pitfalls, and techniques he employs to layout and carve the details on the chair.  Below is a photo of Fred leading the discussion on this chair, with my work-in-progress in the foreground (Fred's completed chair is in the background).
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 10:24:52 AM by Mark Maleski »

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Re: Summary: Fall 2011 Meeting of SAPFM Chesapeake Chapter
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2011, 10:29:48 AM »
Next, Bert Bleckwenn discussed his approach to carving the feet for his chair.  He and his wife Kathy each have used this working group as the impetus to carve their first ball & claw feet, and he showed the progression of their abilities through several sample/practice pieces.

Mark Maleski

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Re: Summary: Fall 2011 Meeting of SAPFM Chesapeake Chapter
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2011, 10:31:50 AM »
Pete Owen also described his experience with shaping the chair's front legs and carving the feet.  

Mark Maleski

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Re: Summary: Fall 2011 Meeting of SAPFM Chesapeake Chapter
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2011, 10:32:46 AM »
Finally, Ken Smith discussed his experience cutting shaping, and carving his crest rail.  Doug Moran and Bob Elser were the other chair working group participants in attendance, and also described their experience to the chapter.  The working group has not met recently due to Fred's busy fall festival schedule and conflicts in participants' schedules, but will reengage soon.  We'll plan another report-out for the spring meeting.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 10:39:36 AM by Mark Maleski »

Mark Maleski

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Re: Summary: Fall 2011 Meeting of SAPFM Chesapeake Chapter
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2012, 10:07:15 PM »
(Sorry for the lengthy pause between postings...will now pick up where I left off)

The meeting next shifted to the Show & Tell.  Jamie Bacon began by showing his saws, firmer chisels, and toolchest.  He built the following saws from scratch:
 - 19" Tenon Saw, Beech handle, 8ppi rip
 - 22" Panel Saw, Beech handle, 7 ppi rip (patterned after saw in Seaton chest)
 - 20" Panel Saw, Walnut handle, 10 ppi Crosscut

He also made 1", 3/4", and 9/16" firmer chisels with beech handles, also from scratch.  These were fitted with beech handles, and hand-tapered in the manner of the chisels in the Seaton chest.

Mark Maleski

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Re: Summary: Fall 2011 Meeting of SAPFM Chesapeake Chapter
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2012, 10:11:31 PM »
In this picture, Jamie is holding the longer panel saw, and you can better see the chisels and tenon saw.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 09:37:36 AM by Mark Maleski »

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Re: Summary: Fall 2011 Meeting of SAPFM Chesapeake Chapter
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2012, 10:14:55 PM »
Next, Larry Barret showed a joined stool he built using wet Red Oak, drawbored Mortise & Tenon joinery and milk paint.

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Re: Summary: Fall 2011 Meeting of SAPFM Chesapeake Chapter
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2012, 10:18:31 PM »
Here's a picture of the underside of Larry's stool.  Note the marks from the scrub plane, the pegs from drawboring, and the peg through the top and rail.

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Re: Summary: Fall 2011 Meeting of SAPFM Chesapeake Chapter
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2012, 10:22:34 PM »
Fred Walker next presented his Queen Anne tea caddy built of walnut and finished with shellac.  He challenged the group to find the hidden compartment.

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Re: Summary: Fall 2011 Meeting of SAPFM Chesapeake Chapter
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2012, 10:26:34 PM »
Jeff Saylor presented the final show & tell item, a tiger maple miniature blanket chest.  Jeff modeled this miniature version after an original chest from Centre County, PA circa 1830.  In the photo below, Jeff's miniature blanket chest is on the right, Fred's tea caddy is on the left.

Mark Maleski

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Re: Summary: Fall 2011 Meeting of SAPFM Chesapeake Chapter
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2012, 10:51:13 PM »
Chuck Bender provided the feature presentation, titled "The Good, Bad and Ugly of Furniture Design." He began with an overview of English artist William Hogarth's book "The Analysis of Beauty" and discussed how to use judgement and an artist's eye focused on proportion and use of negative space, rather than rulesets and calculators, to discover beauty in furniture design.  He presented a slideshow of period pieces and reproductions (most his own) and led the group through an analysis of each piece to assess the good/bad/ugly design features.  

He supplemented the discussion with about a dozen pieces he brought for demonstration purposes.  Chuck is pictured below with two windsors: one of his reproductions and one from a modern factory.  His emphasis with this particular comparison was on the slight inward curve where the back on his reproduction meets the seat; this small element creates a substantial difference in the overall shape of the piece, giving it much more elegance and is more consistent with Hogarth's definition of beauty (e.g., adding a cyma element that is lacking on the factory piece).

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Re: Summary: Fall 2011 Meeting of SAPFM Chesapeake Chapter
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2012, 10:55:42 PM »
The meeting ended after Chuck's presentation, as Bert thanked the presenters and participants and many of us rushed to pick up our loot from the silent tool auction.  The chapter will meet next on 21 April 2012 at the J Gibson McIlvain Lumber Company in White Marsh, MD (~20 miles NE of Baltimore).  Don Williams will be the featured speaker/demonstrator.