10 September 2010

Woodworking course

Seeing my monday evening is free,  I made a last week decision to try to follow a woodworking class.  I found two of them, one 10' from home but fully booked (that's the nature of last day decisions) and one at 30'.  The course is the basic professional woodworker course and that's nearly all I know.  It can be followed by specialisation classe: massive furniture making,  panel furniture making, restoration, ....
The class is given in an industrial hall filled with pairs of large machines (two tablesaws, two planers, two jointers, two horizontal mortisers, ...) and rows of workbenches.

First exercice is to cut down and size a piece of wood to 30x150x450mm (1.2'x6'x18'). Using in sequence, a radial arm saw (length to 470mm), a jointer (2 square faces), a planer (thickness set to 30mm), a tablesaw (size set to 450 and 152mm) , a planer (width set to 150mm).

radial arm saw


table saw
The radial arm saw is there to unload the tablesaws for rough cross cutting.  The jointer is huge.  The tablesaw has a 3m (10') long table sliding along the blade,  no problems to cut down panels here.  The planer is wide with a digital setup to the tenth of mm and takes wood down to 15mm (5.8") wide, although it is better to set first the width and then the thickness to avoid tilting while planing.

folding rule
The exercise was continued with the manual oriented techniques: layout with a folding rule, a naked square, a marking gauge and a pencil. To finish we started a large number of shallow cuts with a 12' tenon saw. The hand tools used are refreshingly basic. For deeper cuts we have tenon saws without backs.
The workbenches are traditional,  with tooltray and diagonal backleg, and a (missing) planing stop. But no hole for a bench holddown.  The surface showing it's years of use, but no racking.
To end the tools were discussed.  No need to buy tools,  but we are free to bring in our own 12" tenon saw (hard pointed) and some chisels if we are in for more, and less beaten down, tools.

Arriving home I discovered that I had left the folding rule in the folding rule pocket of my trouser, oops.