It was a busy woodworking weekend for me this past Saturday and Sunday. While I didn’t get any work done at home in my shop, I did have a great time in two other shops.
Saturday I attended the spring meeting of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers. We had probably about 25 or so folks show up for the event, and it turned out to be a very full, but interesting and informative day. If you have any interest in period furniture, you should definietely check out a chapter in your area. SAPFM is a great organization with a lot of really talented individuals.
We started out the day with a great demonstration on workholding strategies and shaping cabriole legs by William Duffield. William is a very talented woodworker with years of experience. He’s a member of SAPFM and the CJWA, and has also been an instructor at Woodcraft.
After William’s demonstration, we got a demonstration in sawing trees into lumber on a Woodmizer from Tyler Emerick, who also hosted the meeting at his shop and warehouse in Alpha, NJ. Tyler took a 24″ diameter walnut tree that had come down last winter in the ice storms that hit northwestern NJ and turned it into some beautiful 8/4 and 4/4 slabs. Then he gave the lumber away to whatever members wanted it and had the means to get it home. There were a couple of guys who scored some beautiful 24″ wide 12′ plus long 8/4-10/4 slabs that will air dry to some really good boards over the next few years. Tyler was exteremely generous giving this lumber away and letting the chapter use his shop for the meeting.
After lunch, I did a demonstration on building frame and raised panel cabinet doors using hand tools. I was pretty satisfied with the way the demonstration went, though after the fact I realized that there were a few things that I had forgotten to point out while doing the demo. It’s amazing how fast time goes and how much you forget once you get up there and start speaking and going through the steps. I really need to start making notes for these demonstrations. Overall I think it was a pretty good demonstration though and I think most folks enjoyed it.
Finally, to close out the day, Frank Vucolo did an amazing demonstration on Federal stringing, banding and inlay styles and techniques. To say Frank is an excellent speaker is an understatement, and his work speaks for itself. Frank is an amazing craftsman and he did a really great demonstration that left me really wanting to build a Federal period piece. Frank is also the president of the CJWA.
Besides the demonstrations, there was also a great “show-and-tell” of projects that fellow members had completed or were in the process of working on. I think the level of talent of these folks speaks for itself in their work. Absolutely stunning craftsmanship. If you have any interest in this kind of furniture at all, or even just in traditional joinery and construction methods, you should really join SAPFM. You can’t help but learn from these kinds of events.
On Sunday, I spent the afternoon with another bunch of great guys in the joyner’s shop at Pennsbury Manor. It was my first day volunteering at the shop and I had such a great time being there and meeting and conversing with all of the other joyners and visitors in the shop that I completely forgot to take any pictures. Perhaps I’ll shoot a few in July the next time the shop opens. If you’re in the area and you’ve never been to Pennsbury Manor before, you should definitely check it out. Touring the grounds and the manor house and checking out some of the historic crafts interpreters and out buildings is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.