Annual Spring Symposium
PRESENTS: Bob Van Dyke
Get More From Your Table Saw
Cutting Dovetails by Hand
The Basics of Using Hand Planes
Beyond the Basic Sand
Bob Van Dyke
April 6th – 7th 2019
Weekend Paid Presentation
Saturday, April 6
Bob Van Dyke
After 18 years as an award-winning chef in French restaurants Bob left the business to begin a career in woodworking and teaching. Furniture making had provided an outlet to the pressures of the restaurant business until 1993 when he started the Harris Enterprise School of Fine Woodworking. In seven years of operation the school gained national exposure and recognition.
In 2000 he formed a business partnership to open the Manchester, CT Woodcraft store and the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. The school was an instant success and the demand for classes was so great that a second shop was built to allow two classes to run simultaneously. He continually strives to expand his skills and knowledge by working on a variety of commission furniture pieces and new projects for upcoming classes. He has been featured in Fine Woodworking Magazine and Woodshop News.
Bob’s approach to teaching centers on the belief that people learn “by doing rather than by watching”. Successful contemporary furniture making also depends on utilizing a sensible combination of machine woodworking and handwork. Bob’s classes feature hands-on woodworking projects that require mastery of a combination of handtools and machines.
Demonstrations will provide information useful to all skill level woodworkers, novice and expert alike.
No – Your table saw is NOT trying to kill you!
This shop workhorse is frequently misunderstood and rarely used to its fullest potential. Bob will begin with a review of basic table saw techniques for safe and effective use of the saw but will concentrate on the many uses of a little known table saw fixture called an “L” fence. With this simple jig, tasks such as cutting any angle, flush cutting to a pattern and cutting concentrically larger or smaller shapes become safe, accurate and incredibly easy. Cutting accurate tenons (straight, angled and tenons on curved parts) are important furniture making skills to master, and we will explore those along with safe and efficient ways to cut bevels on large panels without burning.
This comprehensive demonstration will leave you wondering – “It is so simple! Why didn’t I think of that?”
Not Just Another Hand Cut-Dovetail Demonstration
In woodworking (like in most things) there is no one “right” way to accomplish a task. There are numerous ways to do the same thing and that is what this demo is all about. Van Dyke draws from over 25 years of teaching to highlight the everyday stumbling blocks that students come up against and, more importantly, how to get around them. Essential skills like using a cutting gauge correctly, paring to (and not beyond) a line, cutting straight lines with a handsaw, using a sharp chisel and even simple layout techniques are crucial to successful dovetails.
This demo is much more than just cutting dovetails by hand. “Machine assisted” dovetails give you the hand-cut look, but they remove many of the variables that contribute to poorly cut dovetails. Techniques using the table saw, trim router, band saw will be used to increase your accuracy and speed. Commercial router dovetail jigs are NOT a part of this demo. Bob has no idea how to use those tools…
The Basics — and The Not So Basics — of Using Hand Planes
Hand planes are an essential tool for furniture making, but used incorrectly they can be extremely frustrating. What makes a good hand plane and which hand plane is right for a particular job? How are they “tuned up”? And most importantly, how are they sharpened? Bob will demonstrate his easy and extremely fast technique (under 2 minutes) to re-sharpen a dull iron or chisel.
After covering the basics Bob will quickly get into advanced techniques unfamiliar to many users. The hand plane is one of the most precise tools available to adjust and fine tune joinery, flatten stock perfectly, adjust squareness, create or remove a taper, and create precisely accurate edge joints that will yield dead flat panels. Smoothing a surface (with or across the grain without tear-out), controlling tear-out by varying sharpening bevel angles, creating a spring joint, and then gluing up a panel using one clamp are techniques that are sure to open your eyes and change the way you work with wood.
Beyond the Basic Sand Shaded Fan
Shaded fans were a common decorative motif in Federal style furniture They were often inlaid into the corners of table tops and drawer fronts and were made in many different styles and sizes. The segments of the fan are shaded using hot sand and then put together to create a three dimensional effect. After making the basic quarter fan Bob will get into variations including creating circles, half circles and ovals with interesting curved segments. The process is fascinating, and the inlays can be used in all sorts of projects, from table tops, door panels, drawer fronts, boxes or trays.
Don’t miss this chance to learn some new techniques that you can add to your woodworking projects.
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