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Thread: A visual guide to my first year of woodworking, very picture heavy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Edmonton AB
    Posts
    54

    A visual guide to my first year of woodworking, very picture heavy

    Hello all,

    Lets start with a little about myself. My name is Justin Byers, I'm a cardiac and transplant anesthetist friom Edmonton Alberta. I finished my exceptionally long academic career at the ripe ol age of 34. I've always loved the idea of woodworking, and being fairly good with my hands I decided that I would take the plunge and give it a go last May. I figured my 2 car garage would make an adequate first shop, so I spent the first couple months setting it up de novo. That was a humbling lesson on the importance of accuracy, as I was a framer before medicine you can probably imagine that I perhaps wasn't the best with being perfect, but we got er done.

    First projects- Got my feet wet with some side grain cutting boards (I cry to think i used my first quilted maple for this, but oh well). Also made some side tables and a matching tray out of some beautifully figured walnut with wenge accents.
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    First box (July 2019)- Learned the importance of accuracy with miters, moved past finishing only with oil wax combos. This box is tiger maple and walnut, finished in danish oil.
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    August 2019- My friend asked me to make his parents a bench. I used this opportunity to learn some new joints, specifically a tusked mortise and tenon. For that I figured I needed a mallet too, so I made one of them as well. continued...
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Edmonton AB
    Posts
    54
    August continued- The bench is made from one piece of 8/4 white oak, all traditional joinery. The mallet is curly maple and crotch walnut.

    Attachment 432067Attachment 432068
    September 2019- My second box was an urn for my Grandpa, my first project that really meant something. I wanted high gloss so I took the time to learn the art of shellac. This box is walnut and padouk, finsihed in padded on blond shellac.
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    September bar tray- Verawood and walnut
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    October to december 2019- I figured by this point I was good enough to make my Christmas presents. So I made a lot of them. The jewelry boxes are as follows- Claro walnut on walnut, dyed quilted maple on curly cherry, birdseye maple on walnut with maple inlaid dovetails. The crib board is quilted maple and claro. All finished in arm-r-seal varnish, polished to a medium lustre.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Edmonton AB
    Posts
    54
    December to Feb 2020- More boxes and my first endgrain board. The first is for a friends wife, its a walnut and rosewood wine box with a dovetailed insert. The second is a champagne box, also rosewood and walnut. The third box is a tea box for the wife, its quilted maple and curly bastogne walnut finished in shellac. The second is my first humidor. spanish cedar box with shop sawn quilted maple veneer and a cocobolo trim. I used the opportunity to learn how to hide glue (definitely worth the time), also this was my first go at high gloss. Its finished in Emtech 6000 lacquer sprayed with an HVLP gun and polished with Menzerna compound to glass. The end grain board is walnut, padouk and wenge. Its the reason I now have a drum sander, haha.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Edmonton AB
    Posts
    54
    Feb 2020- The crib boards proved popular, I was asked to make a bunch for some friends birthdays. The first two are curly maple, walnut and sipo mahogany. The last one, with the new design, is bastogne walnut and maple. I also whipped off a loupe box for a plastic surgery friend of mine, its made of east indian rosewood and quilted maple, finished in high gloss polished varnish for durability.
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    Last couple months- Despite an ongoing pandemic, and my hospital being in absolute chaos, I've managed to be quite productive in the shop. It helps keep my mind at ease. I finished two humidors. The first is pomelle sapele and mun ebony, finished in garnet shellac and emtech 6000 lacquer. The second is being used as a memory box for my wife's father, he died when she was 20 and loved cigars, so the cedar is apropos. It's shop sawn brazilian rosewood veneer and mun ebony. Also in there is a sipo mahogany silverware case, an ash end table, a sipo-maple-cocobolo nespresso box and a quilted maple-ebony and walnut jewelry box on the next post.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Edmonton AB
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    54
    continued

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Edmonton AB
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    The culimation of this journey thus far has recently come to pass, I'm due to welcome my first child into the world in November. This was an opportunity for me to build something truly special. I made this crib from a single piece of 12/4 walnut. Its all mortise and tenon, the stretcher is a sliding dovetail. Finished in rubio monocoat. It was the first project I branded, I truly hope this becomes a family heirloom and someday someone down the line will bring up great grandpa Byers and his fanatical woodworking.
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    So, all in all what have I learned? First, it never pays to stick with the same approach. I've finished projects in almost every finish possible, learned tons of new joints, failed countless times and redesigned and redone all my designs. And I feel I'm better for it. With such an amazing, knowledgeable, online community you can truly pick up any of these skills. Second, there is no substitute for accuracy. Third, the wood I've had the pleasure of working with is so stunning that it does the work for me, so I try to just let it shine with simplicity. Thank you for reading this, I'll try to reply with any specific queries. Thank you so much people of sawmill creek, theres no way I would be where I am without your collective knowledge.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Edmonton AB
    Posts
    54
    Sorry for the formatting disaster this post is, Its my first post... still learning the ropes.

  8. #8
    Wow, for your first year, you've been busy. It's obvious you have a bright future ahead as a woodworker. And I wish you success as a cardiac and transplant anesthetist, also.

    You obviously have a lot of energy and drive.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Posts
    92
    Beautiful work!! What type of maple is that for the box or humidor for pictures 5 and 6? And what finish do you use on that box as well as your curly maple? It looks fantastic!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Mt Pleasant SC
    Posts
    655
    Justin, is your father a woodworker too?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Edmonton AB
    Posts
    54
    Sorry guys, I kind of missed these replies, work has been a little nutty lately. Nick, if you're referring to the maple and cocobolo humidor, its called blister quilt, really nifty figure (albeit a little over the top). Finish on that guy is as follows: BLO (quick wipe on wipe off), immediately followed by 3 coats ultra blond dewaxed shellac, then after 24hrs 10 coats of sprayed on target coatings emtech 6000 water based "lacquer". After that i give it a couple weeks to fully cure, then sand to 2000 grit wet and polish with mirka polarshine with a porter cable polisher. The curly maple box (the first one posted i think you're referring to) is finished in danish oil and wax.

    Bruce, my pops owned was in agriculture before he retired, now he's a hobbyist metal worker. He's also a beautiful leatherworker, makes lovely saddles and things. I honestly don't know what drew me to woodworking initially. I got my hobby start with fiberglass work on my first truck, I couldn't afford to pay someone to make me what i wanted, so I taught myself how on the interwebs and went about it. pic attached for how that turned out. Something about woodgrain and figure, the flow of the whole thing, is whats so appealing to me.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South Coastal Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,628
    Your work is spectacular.

    In particular, your sensitivity with Walnut stands out.
    The serving tray, with its low sheen finish is my favorite.

    *****

    Please bottle whatever it is you're feeding Connor McDavid and send some to my Habs.

    Kudos

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