"Design and Construction Strategies for Hand Tool Woodworkers"
"A small but growing number of woodworkers are embracing traditional tools and methods as an attractive alternative to machine-centric and industrial-based woodworking.
We are rediscovering the pleasures of working wood with hand tools and the joy of mastering skills from a craft tradition that reaches far back into antiquity. Its about time, too: the industrial revolution not only snuffed out hand skills and replaced them with automation but it also silenced a common design language that artisans had shared through an oral tradition for centuries.
This revolution, moved by the need to produce numerical cutlists for the efficient indexing of machines, moved the furniture design process away from the artisan's building trace (focused on objects that occupy space) and towards the graphic art language of engineers. Woodworkers saw not only hand work migrate away from their workbenches, but lost hold of the very act of design itself."
Excerpt from the jacket text of By Hand and Eye
This class is based on the research that Jim Tolpin is doing for his forthcoming book, By Hand and By Eye, with George Walker on the design and layout techniques used in the 17-18th centuries. These traditional techniques use basic, simple geometric techniques to create designs for well proportioned furniture. The notion of well-proportioned is ingrained in the human eye and is rooted in the different elements of the piece of furniture having whole number proportions (like 1:3 or 3:5). These proportioned dimensions are easy to create using dividers and a sector, a simple tool which you'll make in class.
You can, in fact, create a whole design without needing to reduce the dimensions to feet and inches (or millimetres)! This can be liberating for the hand tool woodworker - it can help you escape the tyranny of the machine or getting overwhelmed by a drawing program on your computer.
Jim also looks at how your design and layout of joinery should be slaved to your tools. Making simple decisions during this stage can greatly simplify the process of dimensioning the stock and cutting the joinery.
Since using these techniques in the Beginning Furniture Making Class in November 2011 and in the 2012 Foundations of Woodworking Intensive, we've been receiving a very strong and positive reaction.
- Foundations of Proportional Design
- Working with Dividers and Sectors
- Making sectors
- Geometric construction of angles and regular forms
- Drawing Ellipses
- Creating Moulding Profiles
- Designing a Side Table
- Designing a Chest of Drawers
Tools / What to bring:
- Clutch Pencil, leads (we recommend HB or 2H) and sharpener
- Drawing pad (14x17" or 18x24")
- Good eraser
If you can bring any of the following drawing instruments . We're building up a supply of dividers and compasses so any extra you bring along for the class will help.
- Two pairs of dividers (7-9" and 12-15")
- Pair of compasses (8-12")
- Drafting shield
- 24" ruler (as a straight edge)
More about this class
Class Information and Registration
Class starts at 9:00am on the first day.
Please read our What to Expect page for general information about the School.
Please also read out registration policy.
When you click on the Register link you will be able to register for the class or, if the class is full, sign up for the wait list.
The February 2013 class is sold out.
| October 26-27, 2013
By Hand and By Eye