I don’t know what I want to do with furniture or where I’ll be once I finish school, but I do know that the LA Box Collective is doing really cool stuff with wood. It’s a group of woodworkers in Los Angeles that are working to put LA on the map for beautifully designed, well-constructed furniture that is environmentally conscious. They’re doing a great job. Check them out!
David Johnson is part of the LA Box Collective. He’s a graduate of College of the Redwoods Fine Furniture and owns Sidecar Furniture. He builds beautiful chairs and cabinets, among many other things. I particularly love his writing desk. David spent hours with me on the phone and in-person discussing furniture, what it means to be a furniture maker, the CR program and various other things like bikes and LA. Visit his site too.
If you're wondering when I'm going to start posting about the work that I'm doing, don't fret! I haven't had my camera for the past couple weeks, but I'll have it next week, and I'll take lots of pictures of the many exercises we're working through. Here's a sneak preview just to keep you interested.
Our very first project was to build two hand planes. We started by flattening and sharpening the iron, which you can see sticking out of the rear ramp of the plane. We then constructed the plane itself, and spent hours (or in my case days) tuning it up. The plane in the picture is a smoothing plane. You use it to remove small amounts of material from a board. We also built a joining plane. This plane is used to flatten a board. After we built the smoothing plane, we used it to do an exercise called the perfect board—perfectly flat, perfectly parallel, perfectly square, perfectly smooth.
After getting our board perfect, we ripped it in two and then did an edge joint. We've also worked on various mortise and tenon joints.
Our most recent exercise has been dovetails: the romance joint. I'll talk more about these later because I love the mechanics and beauty of the joint. In the meantime, here's a photo of my first attempt at dovetails. I did everything entirely by hand.