MASW Student Gallery

Celebrating Your Achievements

It’s one thing, to consider learning the craft of woodworking so that you can make furniture “someday”; it’s another thing entirely, to commit to a series of woodworking classes and make that goal a reality today.

We, at Marc Adams School of Woodworking, would like to celebrate the achievements our students who have not only are making that commitment, but have grown through the process, and are now capable of creating these beautiful wooden masterpieces.

Won’t you all join us, in this rotating gallery, as we celebrate the achievements of our alumni. Better yet, why not send us a few pictures of your latest achievement. After all, that’s the reason we are here.

Click Here to Learn How to Submit Your Masterpiece.

This Year’s Winners of the 2016 Excellence in Education Scholarship

This edition of our Student Gallery is devoted to the winners of our 2016 Excellence in Education scholarship awards. First announced in our school newsletter, we felt it necessary to include some more details of the winning pieces and to hear what the students had to say about their projects. We’ll be continuing our coverage of our Excellence in Education submission in the coming months. Hopefully this will spur you to consider submitting your own entry when we begin accepting submissions for our 2017 awards in November! Each winner received tuition to the class of their choice and $225 towards their room and board.

Winner of the Professional Category: Al Spicer

Bessemer City, NC

Tilt-Top Table with Intricate Veneer WorkClose Up of Veneer Work on Pedestal

Al won this year’s competition with this fantastic tilt-top table entry. Here’s what Al had to say about the techniques and challenges he encountered while crafting this winning entry…

Objective: To build a high quality furniture piece showcasing an intricate pattern/design and challenge and broaden my veneering skills.

The Process: The dimensions of the table are: 30” D and 30” H. Several challenges were encountered with this self-initiated project. The first challenge, how to cut and assemble all 20,400 pieces of veneer. Each piece has tapered sides and the top and bottom radius of each is different. It took a couple of days to develop and test a system for cutting the pieces and for assembling the sections to then cut the tapers. Three different veneers are used in creating the top and the accents on the stand: mahogany, fumed eucalyptus, and bloodwood. All veneers were first cut into wedge shapes then placed between sheets of MDF and cutting them on the band saw using a trammel. The pieces were then reassembled into sections where the pieces were placed in the desired color order. Once reassembled, I recut each section at the appropriate angle with a veneer saw. The final sections were then placed into the design in a prescribed order to achieve the desired effect.

Challenge number two was to create a stand continuing the theme of curves and tapers in the tabletop. Using the stich-n-glue method on 1/4” MDF, I created the final shape of the stand. I had never used this method before and I found it to be fairly easy.

Challenges continued … I didn’t have a vacuum bag large enough to accommodate the stand for veneering. So, I built a frame to hold the stand while adhering the veneer to each side. Molding on the corners and bottom of the stand were ebonized along with the feet.

Unique to this project was straightforward joinery, nothing fancy. The arm, on which the top pivots, has a tapped piece of steel mounted on the bottom to accommodate a threaded rod. The ½” rod runs from the bottom of the pivot arm through the stand and is secured through the base with a washer and nut.

Other design accents include stringing I made by sandwiching maple and dyed black veneer. It was then placed vertically in a groove routed in the top and base using a template as a guide. The top and base are accented with a waterfall edge of sapele.

I think we can all agree he succeeded admirably in accomplishing these goals (and then some…)!

Winner of the Amateur Category: Rafi Israeli

Cleveland, OH

Pedestal Dining TableEdges and Pedestal Details

Rafi took the Amateur category with this pedestal dining table made of Cherry, Maple and Walnut. It was a challenging piece, with carving and large scale woodturning figuring prominently in his design. His goal was to attempt several advanced techniques while making this table to add new skills to his mental toolbox. Rafi details some of the techniques he utilized in its construction below.

This pedestal dining table is composed of cherry, maple, and walnut and measures 74“x 40 1/4”, with an additional 21 1/2" extension leaf. The table was built in sections, and assembly occurred after finishing.

Base: A section of particle board was sandwiched between 2 large glued-up panels of 1“ cherry stock.To apply pressure to the glue- up,I parked my Honda Pilot over the sandwich! When dry and edges cleaned, I glued upright cherry boards over the edges. These overlapped each other at the corners. After finding the base’s center point, I cut a rough circle with a jigsaw and shaped the base on the lathe. The base’s size necessitated outboard turning. I subsequently hollowed out a 4” mortise for the pedestal to attach to. Overall, the base measures 30“ diameter and is 2 1/2” thick.

Pedestal: The pedestal was turned out of a glue-up of a maple core, a walnut middle layer and a cherry outermost layer. The resulting square block had a 16“ diagonal. The corners were trimmed with a reciprocating saw so the block would fit on the lathe. This was then turned into a 12” diameter cylinder. After turning a 4" tenon, I shaped the pedestal to create the swirled pattern. In retrospect, turning such a large pedestal was a very dangerous operation. I used speeds that were too high, and almost got seriously injured. My face shield saved me from harm! I waited until Alan Lacer’s class before using the lathe again, as I needed to learn how to properly and safely use a lathe.

Table Top: The table top is comprised of two glued-up panels and one leaf insert, bordered by a walnut breadboard with maple pins. A stub tenon runs the length of the panel, with full tenons attaching into the breadboard’s mortises. The panels are all cherry boards. The breadboards were first grooved on the router table using a 1/4“ straight bit, stopping the cut before each end. To hollow out the full mortises for the tenons, a drill press with a 1/4” Forstner bit was used. They were then squared with chisels. A router then removed 1/8“ off the top and bottom of the panels’ ends.Tenons were cut narrow, with the exception of the center (anchoring tenon)to allow walnut at the end. This creates the appearance of a walnut border. The dimensions are 37” x 401/4“. In retrospect this design decision was incorrect. Anchoring should have occurred at the center of the table, not the center of each panel. Now, the gap between the panels changes with the humidity changes, as opposed to the ends. A shoulder and block plane were used to fit the tenons.To drawbore the breadboard, I drilled a 1/4” hole in the center of each mortise using a Forstner bit on the drill press. I assembled and clamped the 2 breadboards on either end, and marked the tenons using the Forstner bit’s point. I disassembled the panel and drilled my holes slightly closer to the panel. I widened all the holes except for the center’s. During assembly, I only glued the center mortise. I then drove 1/2" maple dowels into the holes, and cut them flush. I planed the breadboards flush with a smoother plane.

Aprons: These hand-carved aprons are 3“ wide and 3/4” thick. S and C scrolls were continuously drawn along the aprons; a bandsaw removed waste. Carving gouges were used next. To join the aprons I mitered the corners and biscuit-joined them. Finally, they were glued and screwed to the underside of the tabletop.

Finish:I first applied boiled linseed oil. I then color matched the cherry boards by first applying a washcoat of shellac to the entire piece and then placing clear glass over the sapwood to help determine the amount of color needed. I painted Transtinted shellac over glass for a color match. I then tinted the sapwood. Next, the walnut carvings were glazed. I then brush-applied several coats of Waterlox. After the table dried, I could not level the finish. I therefore stripped the entire finish and redid the finish. This time Waterlox was applied by hand. Wax was then applied and buffed. Assembly: The pedestal was placed in the base, and 2 countersunk screws were then driven from underneath. On top of the pedestal I screwed together 2 small sheets of plywood, 3/4" each. I then screwed on adjustable Veritas table slides. I then leveled and attached the tabletops. Window latches were used to attach opposing panels to each other.

Rafi’s hard work paid off with a new appreciation for the lathe, new techniques in his woodworking repertoire and a meaningful addition to his dining room.

Winner of the Women’s Category: Jeanne Douphrate

Helotes, TX

Photographs by Raleigh Mead

Sideview of Sharing SpiritFront View of Sharing SpiritBackview of Sharing Spirit

Jeanne’s work definitely earned her place as winner of the Women’s category this year! Her piece “Sharing Spirit” was made of Maple Burl, Mahogany and compressed Walnut with airbrushed detailing to mimic the aesthetic of water in motion. Here are her comments on her winning entry.

“Sharing Spirit” is made of Maple burl, Mahogany, compressed Walnut with oil varnish and acrylic airbrush painting applied. It measures 26“ x 10” x 12"

This sculpture is composed of three main parts. The inverted bowl-shape base is lathe-turned Maple burl. The open-form bowl is lathe-turned Mahogany. Both of these elements are finished with Daly’s Profin, a wipe-on oil varnish, and buffed using a three part buffing system.

The “water” was assembled from six pieces. The “water” base was turned on a lathe and carved. Five long, straight spindles were turned from Walnut that has been through a compression process. When wet, the wood bends, but maintains its shape once dried. The spindles were attached to the “water” base using dowel rods and epoxy. They were carved and sanded to conceal the joints. CA glue was also used to help conceal the joints in some places. The “water” was painted with acrylic paints using an airbrush. The “water,” bowl and base are connected with a dowel rod and epoxy.

There were many challenges in making this piece. One of the most time-consuming parts was digging the dust out of all the little worm holes in the burl base. Another big challenge was the hand sanding involved where the spindles connect to the “water” base. Working with the compressed hardwood was a challenge in itself. I discovered that water-based acrylic paints can cause the wood to become pliable again. After being painted, the spindles shifted slightly as it dried due to positional pressure from lying on its side. This caused the painted spindles to touch one another in a couple of places, which was not what I wanted. Once the paint was dry, I could not safely rewet the spindles to fix the shape. I was able to “retrain” the spindles by leaving foam spacers between them for several days. They are no longer touching each other, and the final form is what I had intended.

This very challenging piece is an absolute success as far as we are concerned!

Be sure to stay tuned towards the end of October when we feature the work of our 2016 Runner-Ups…