Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Current Shop Happenings

Because I know that all of you often wonder what is happening at the Lohr Woodworking shop on any given day and, lucky for you, I am here to appease that wonder.

All this week we have been juggling three projects. The first of those projects is the on-going preparation for the advanced class that will fill our shop next week. The pile of milled, cut, and ready parts for the tables is growing by the day. Let me tell you, if the jointer, planer, and I weren't friends before last week, we wouldn't have much of a choice by now. We have legs, table tops, shelves, the makings for breadboard ends, drawer parts, and much more neatly stacked and sorted awaiting the eager students that will be awarded them starting on Monday.
The second project in progress is the Zelli Bar. You thought I had forgotten to keep you up to date on the Zelli Bar, didn't you? No fear, we are still moving forward on the creation of this stunning live edge bar.

The three parts that come together to form the L-shaped bar top have been fitted together and today, Jeff took to it with the belt sander to level the surface. After the sanding, we were able to see where there were holes and knots in the wood that hadn't been 100% repaired with epoxy yet. Naturally, the next step was to stir up some epoxy and mix some walnut bark and sawdust into the adhesive. As I have mentioned, the only repairs we make are those that are necessary. Beyond that, repairs are done keeping the material as similar and true to how nature created it as possible.

Another bit of progress that has been made on the bar is the joinery that will keep the bar top together. The handmade splines will slip into their router-cut slots. The slots were cut to be longer then the splines themselves so that they have room to expand and contract with the weather and levels of humidity. In this case, the splines behave a lot like biscuits in that they will keep the pieces aligned but, the splines add more and necessary strength. Materials have been purchased (and some even cut!) to start in on the base of the bar. Keep reading and keep an eye out for another Zelli Bar post soon!
The third project underway are hand mirrors. I had drawn and cut out the shapes of the mirrors on the bandsaw weeks ago but, until this week, they sat on a shelf awaiting out attention again. I spent an entire work day filing, planing, and sanding the four mirrors I had started.

After cutting out the design and taking to the edges with a rasp in order to shape and round the mirrors, I sanded them with 80 grit paper and then used the Sand-O-Flex to get rid of any scratches. That machine is ideal for smoothing out rounded edges and more tricky corners/crevasses. Then, I finished each mirror off with the 220 grit sand paper and covered them with boiled linseed oil.

Here, Rob is spraying the mirrors with lacquer as the finish. It shouldn't be much longer and a few finishing touches before we have four completed walnut hand mirrors!

I hope you enjoyed a little preview into the happenings at Lohr Woodworking today. Stay tuned for Zelli Bar and Advanced Joinery updates next week!


  1. The advanced joinery class was terrific. Everyone at JD Lohr did a great job preparing for the class and executing to make it a great experience for us.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Chuck! You were a wonderful student to have in class. Best of luck on all of your future woodworking endeavors!