In a recent newsletter from Fine Woodworking they talked about how computer controlled woodworking is coming to the small home and professional shop. Just like any other technology the price has come way down. This opened a discussion as to whether or not we (fine woodworkers) would embrace it or say that it belongs in manufacturing only. Several had put their two cents in and I'm still deciding if I want to or not. Technology is pretty much about doing things faster, repetitively, and accurately -- bottom line for me is GREED! One person made the point that if we can produce things quicker we are also using our natural resources up quicker which really goes against the whole green movement. My personal feelings are that the process of designing and making "stuff" is what brings satisfaction. Saying that though, I also realize that to make money you need speed and efficiency and technology can give that to you.
The other thing that happened is that a couple of my neighbors came over and asked how long I've been working on the stools. In spite of the movement limitations caused by the knee surgery I told them about 40 hours. Now that's quite a while, especially to the 20 somethings who are accustomed to the microwave society and instant everything. They did admire the work though.
Here's a little photo essay to help illustrate some of the process. I'm currently fitting the curved backs to the square uprights of the stool.
|Dovetail Saw and Flush Saw used to cut an angled notch.|
|Back is carefully laid out and notch is pared to match the curve|
of the back using spokeshave and chisel. Tape is used to locate
the center of the back in stool.