Sunday, 24 February 2013

Woodworking #1

I intended this blog to be about all aspects of my experience in Denmark, and here I am talking about cinema trips, food and the weather, but very little to do with my wood crafting experience. I think that needs to change. So just what have I been up to since I moved over here? I've been attending a technical college in a place called Rødovre (you don't want to know how it's pronounced) on a 6 month basic introductory course.

Our first task was to make a chair. Yes, no prior carpentry experience, barely able to measure things, certainly not able to draw. I was sceptical that this was a good idea, to say the least. Never the less, we split into groups of three, and successfully designed and made a chair in five days. It was a great introduction to the use of saws and chisels (even though they were baby ones in comparison to the ones we're using now).

Our chair was star-shaped, and we had a lot of practice doing fairly tricky joints. The first fifteen or so were shockingly bad. I didn't actually understand the principles of using a saw, and I was lucky I didn't cut an artery using my chisel. Gradually though, I got the hang of it, and by now I'd like to say I can cut a reasonably accurate joint.

I very much stayed in the background of the project- it was my first time working with wood, working to a design, using hand tools. I had no idea what I was doing, really, so I was willing to let more confident hands and minds do the planning.

I did enjoy taking a hands on approach to preparing the wood we used, though. We collected large planks of wood, sawed them to the correct measure (33x21, I am told) and planed them. Planing was pretty cool. To be honest, the whole experience was pretty cool.

Here are some pictures, of the finished product, and of myself at work. All of the pictures were taken by my team-mate, August and his lovely camera.

All the laths on top of one another before being nailed and glued together

Dowel twirling extrordinaire
If you look behind me, you can see all the breaks we get. Truly, we are in Scandanavia

Finished Product

Maybe one of the tidiest joints I cut

Next, more on the tools I've been learning to use, and the bench we made.

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