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Miscellaneous

大烟山之旅 – a old farm

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好久没有更新blog。度过了一个繁忙的夏天。在孩子暑假结束前全家去了一趟大烟山(Great Smoky Mountains). 以前听到过周围朋友无数次的推荐,这次终于得以成行。全家决定搞一个road trip, 开上F150,选择住在山上的cabin。

在大烟山某天,全家参观了一个保留相对完好的farm. 这是一个很老的farm, 没有任何的电力设备和电动工具。让我特别最印象深刻的是farmer 的房子和家具. 他们的房子是就地取材,用山里很粗很长的log, log的两端切出燕尾形状,加强强度。 从木工结构上讲,整个房子就是一个大的dovetail盒子。

家具也是保持的相当完好,明显都是用传统的手动工具做出来的。家具设计没有fancy的细节,风格相对简单明了,以功能为主,很接地气。因为不让靠近,更不许触摸,没法搞清楚家具用的finish.

当地南部的人非常热情地向我介绍用于做房子的木料。1900以前当地的房子大多用chestnut, 直径4‘-5‘英尺的chestnut以前当地非常常见。后来所有的chestnut都感染上了一种fungus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chestnut_blight), 存活下来的chestnut都长不高,也长不大,而且这种fungus到现在都没法彻底消除。所以现在在北美再也见不到大的chestnut树了。

选择用F150做road trip 是因为我早都听说great smoky mountains有非常好的做木匠的木料,这么好的机会当然不能放过。回程运了将近300bf的lumber 回了德州。

Miscellaneous

Woodworkers’ Club of Houston

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我是休斯顿木工俱乐部的一员,.俱乐部作为休斯顿地区最大的木工俱乐部,大概有300-400个成员,在每个月的第二个星期六都聚会和交流。成员相互介绍木工经验,交流木工信息,展示自己的木工作品,非常有意思。俱乐部还常常邀请木工界的专家举行讲座。比如下周要邀请 Matt Cremona。

这个组织有几十年的历史了。有正式的组织结构, 包括management team, 董事会。每年都有选举来决定董事会成员和management team. 这个俱乐部是一个美国注册的非营利组织。俱乐部下面又分为很多小的兴趣小组, 包括手动工具兴趣小组,家具制作兴趣小组, 数控加工兴趣小组,伐木/干木兴趣小组等等; 这些小组每个月也有聚会。

我是俱乐部比较年轻的成员。大多数俱乐部成员都已白发苍苍,这让我感觉不错:)

Miscellaneous

Woodworking is fun, but…

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I started to be interested in working with wood at an early age. I remember at an age of 10, after seeing a wooden model of a navy battleship built by two brothers in neighborhood, I spent a whole summer building a similar one; on a small balcony of my parents’ apartment, I did drafting, wooden board measurement, handsaw cutting, and assembling and gluing all by myself. It was a lot of fun. However, the wooden battleship ends up falling apart terribly after putting in water. What I did not realize at that time was 1) yellow glue won’t be able to hold the boards together in water 2) proper design of joinery is critical for the integrity of the structure 3) water proof paint is necessary to prevent warping and cupping of the boards.

I guess doing it to have fun and really knowing the stuff are two different things. Like everything else, mere enthusiasm isn’t enough to succeed in making a high-quality product; learning the trade through books is an effective way of getting there. A partial list of my favorite woodworking books include: 1. Joinery, by Gary Rogowski. 2.Furniture & Cabinet Construction, by Andy Rae. 3. Illustrated Cabinetmaking – How to Design and Construct Furniture That Works, by Bill Hylton. 4. Shop Drawings for Greene and Greene Furniture:23 American Arts and Crafts Masterpieces, by Robert Lang