Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Category Archives: College

Spot the Difference

I don’t think I ever got around to showing you any finished photographs of my curved oak cabinet before it went in to the Furnish exhibition, the other week. As a measure of how far my skills and ambitions have progressed in the last two-years, I’ve set it up alongside the ‘apprentice piece‘ sycamore cabinet that we were all required to make at the end of year one (2007-08).

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FURNISH, Bristol – 8th-13th July 2010

This evening (or, late-afternoon, if you prefer…), the FURNISH Exhibition kicks off in Bristol. A few of us began setting up yesterday, without everyone else arriving around midday today. I had to unload my pieces in two trips, partly because my chair and the curved cabinet were both awaiting a final coat of polish! So, I’ve been in and got my space set up. As of 6pm, the punters will start rolling in…

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Wall Cabinet Woes

With one-week left to go on my course at college, I’ve almost exhausted the allocated twenty-six hours allocated to work on this wall cabinet and yet, I’ve still got the doors to fit and hang. If all had gone as according to plan, I probably would’ve had it all finished by now, but for Thursday, which was a pretty horrendous day for making mistakes…

Just the doors left to hang...

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Holy Cramp, Batman!

Just in time for the half-term break, I got my arm chair all glued up at college. It’s quite a relief to finally reach this stage of this build in particular! Even though, I still have a bit of sanding and tidying up to do. To be honest, I’m not sure I would have had enough cramps, had I decided to do this one in my own workshop…

Do you think there are enough sash cramps?!

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Wall Cabinet Design

With barely one-month left to run on my college course, there’s just enough time to squeeze in a wood-machining project (practical exam) before we say goodbye. This year, it’s the wall cabinet – some of us were hoping we’d be making these twelve-moths ago. Second-years’ have it easy; all the wood is machined for them… They only have to cut all the joints, assemble and prepare it for finishing within the allocated twenty-six hours… For those of us at Level 3 though, we’ll have to machine all our own timber and, first of all, come up with a design!

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Carving for Comfort

Two travishers; one seat.

This week at college, I’ve managed to get the English walnut seat carved out to a comfortable formation for my own bottom. While I spent the best part of both days (thirteen hours) on this, including endless amounts of sanding and applying a coat of oil, I have to say, carving a chair seat isn’t complicated at all. There are a few basic guidelines for getting started, that you may come across in a couple of woodworking books but, the most important thing is to check it regularly (literally – sitting down on the job!) and work evenly on both sides. I also borrowed a couple a travishers for this task as it’s really all you need for something like this.

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Building for Comfort

Lately, I haven’t been able to spend much time online to update my blog (apologies for that). Though, I have been able to spend a good amount of time in the workshop (at least that’s something!) and I have continued making progress on the chair at college.

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Wood Machining Project 2009

About a year ago, I finished this relatively simple table, which was the wood-machining project for all second-year students in 2009. We were given twenty-six hours within which to complete the table and sand it ready for finishing – despite having to re-veneer the top and cut two new legs at one point (!!), I still managed to finish well within the allocated time (which equates to two full weeks or four-days in college, excluding breaks), although I did lose a few marks, as a consequence. We were only recently allowed to take these home and this has now given me a chance to think about finishing the piece…

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