Saturday, February 18, 2012

Off to Carving Class

     Depending on whether or not I can get WiFi and how much energy I have left after 5 days of 9-5 classes, this may be my last post for a week!  I'm headed up to San Rafael to take an extensive carving class from Ian Agrell  If you're unfamiliar with him and his work check out the link to his website.  I'm looking forward to this with some apprehension.  My carving is pretty much self taught from books, dvd's, and lots of trial and error. I plan to walk away from this class with much more knowledge about proper carving techniques.  Notice I'm not saying I'll have it, just some sound background and then practice, practice, and more practice!  The only other time I've enrolled in an extensive 5 day workshop like this was to study water gilding in Scottsdale.  I was pretty amazed how tired I was after each day of concentration on the techniques -- I'm anticipating that this won't be any different!
     In a recent post I talked about making the new throat plate and the problems I had reconfiguring the MJ ProSteel splitters.  The problem was compounded by the fact that one of them had bent and another  had a pin break off.  Well, I contacted  MicroJig with an email and explained the situation to them.  Very encouraged by the quality and concern from the company since they replied to my email quickly and offered to send me the two splitters I needed to configure them correctly.  I also learned from them that for some reason when you use a throat plate made on phenolic material the splitters are difficult to insert and remove.  I found that to be the case when I tried to use them in that type of material.  The bottom line is that they mailed me the two splitters I was missing at no charge to me.  Companies like that are pretty rare so I'll whole heartedly recommend them to any of you if you need any of their products.  If you're not familiar with them check out my link and see what they have to offer.
     The Wednesday after I return will be the first session of the class I'm teaching on making wooden, Krenov style, planes.  Also looking forward to that one as it should be lots of fun working with my students.  I know one of them wants to make a scrub plane similar to my design and another plans to make a block plane for herself.  Looks like we'll have the full gamut of sizes and purposes going on in that class.  I expect that everyone will enjoy the work and walk away with a tool they made themselves.  It's always cool to use a tool  that you personally made, I'm excited to guide them in that process.

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