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Thread: Creeker interview: Rob Millard

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Plano, TX

    Creeker interview: Rob Millard

    1. Name (and nick names)
    Rob Millard.

    2. Age/DOB
    40, 10-8-65

    3. Location (present and previous):
    Dayton, Ohio, I've never lived more than 10 miles from where I was born.

    4. Tell us about your family:
    Not married, no kids

    5. How do you earn a living, woodworking or other, any interesting previous occupations.
    I've worked as an office furniture installer, carpenter, plumber, part time electrician, and production a worker in a machine shop, before turning to woodworking full time.

    6. Equipment overview (hand tools and other):
    Band Saw ( the most used power tool in the shop), bench top planer ( my favorite power tool), bench top drill press, lathe, shaper ( rarely used, but handy) Table saw (also rarely used), scroll saw, jig saw, RO sander, various routers ( I hate routers, but they are useful), a couple of hand held drills, miter saw.

    Stanely 4,5,6,7, 78, 80, 151, 386 ( used once) 923 and a cheap dovetail saw. Clark & Williams Jointer. L-N 4, large shoulder plane, miter plane, block plane, tenon saw and dovetail saw and one chisel. Lee Valley scraper plane, low angle spoke shave. Couple dozen Pheil carving tools. Several Japanese chisels. A few Starrett layout tools. A couple of Marples making gauges. 2 handmade wooden planes. Several Disston handsaws, of varying vintage. I don't have a lot of tools, because it doesn�t take many to make furniture.

    7. Describe your shop:
    That's easy, too cold in winter, too hot in summer, too small and dusty all the time. Actually it is a one car garage that must house the car a night. I have one work bench that I do most of my planing and joinery on, and it has storage below. I have another bench, again with storage below that I plane large boards on, but most of the time it is stacked high with materials (junk). I do have a small room that I can keep heated 24/7, for finishing, gluing etc. The bandsaw shaper and surface planer are on casters. The other power tools are stored in a closet. I�m not really bothered by the small work space, but I'd like to have more storage room for materials.

    8. Tell us about the hand planes you own, and your favorite one(s) to use:
    I have two favorites, the Stanley/Bailey No.7, I purchased new in 1979, and the L-N 4. I'm also impressed with the L-N miter plane and shoulder plane. My homemade scrub plane gets a lot of use.

    9. You favorite chisels:
    I like the inexpensive Japanese chisels I purchased at Woodcraft; they take and hold a great edge and are pretty well balanced. They are a snap to tune because of the hollow ground backs.

    10. Your favorite handsaw(s):
    My old Disston crosscut saw c. 1925 that was my Grandfather�s. I also like the L-N dovetail saw, and my cheap Stanley dovetail saw.

    11. Do you use western tools or Japanese, why do you prefer the ones you use:
    As noted above, I like the Japanese chisels, but other than that I use western tools. I learned with western �push� tools and I feel comfortable with them.

    12. Do you have a woodworking home page:

    13. Do you have any influences in your work? Certain styles or designers you follow/prefer:
    Yes, John and Thomas Seymour, in particular and Federal furniture in general. I lack any design ability, so it is essential for me to have influences for my work.

    14. Do you have any ancestors who were woodworkers that served as inspiration?
    Yes, My grandfather was a carpenter, but he died when I was very young; so I never saw him work, but I believe I inherited my interest in woodworking from him.

    15. What is your favorite neander project, or part of a project, you have ever done and why:
    I have two, a Seymour basin stand, and a Seymour tall case clock. The basin stand with its tambour door and marble top, was a striking piece, showing the genius of the Seymours. The tall case clock, at 112" tall would have been a commanding piece even without all the inlay work. While neither were a total neander project, I did a considerable amount of hand tool work on them.

    16. Do you believe there is any spiritual dimension to woodworking with hand tools:
    I'm not sure what spiritual means. In my case, furniture making came to me naturally, so that ability came from somewhere. I don't know if you'd call that spiritual or from God, but my guess is the latter.

    17. How much of your work is done by hand tools. Do you use whatever is best for the job or do you use hand tools even when they are less efficient:
    In order to have my reproductions look and feel like the originals, I often use hand tools, where power tools would be more efficient. I don't hesitate to use power tools to accomplish other tasks such as cutting mortices, or rough planing/sawing stock to size, but every visible surface inside and out is finished with hand tools.

    18. What is your single most favorite tool, and why.
    My homemade, and somewhat crude veneer hammer, because it is central to the signature part Federal furniture. Of all the aspects of furniture making, I enjoy veneering the most.
    The means by which an end is reached must exemplify the value of the end itself.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Overland Park, KS

    Nice to see you being interviewed. You turn out beautiful work and are always more than willing to share and teach others about it. I have appreciated your comments and ideas for a couple of years now and always look forward to your next piece.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Philadelphia, Pa
    Nice to see a truly great furnituremaker interviewed. Any chance of a shot of that veneer hammer?
    Alan Turner
    Philadelphia Furniture Workshop

  4. #4
    Excellent interview. Great to hear a little more about you Rob. Your furniture is always beautiful, and your posts are inspirational. Great job.
    "When we build, let us think that we build forever." - Ruskin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Sterling CT
    nice interview with rob. he is an example to all of use aspiring furniture builders.

    best wishes

  6. #6
    Good to learn more about you, Rob. I went to your web site and was just blown away by your work. Really impressive.

    How about a couple of pictures of your shop?


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Laguna Beach , Ca.
    Great to hear about you....great backround information and the use of tools is interesting...
    "All great work starts with love .... then it is no longer work"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Spokane, Washington
    Rob---Nice to meet you, have always enjoyed your posts and the beautiful work you do. You are in good company here.

    Eternity is an awfully long time, especially toward the end.

    -Woody Allen-

    Critiques on works posted are always welcome

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Brentwood & Altamont, TN
    Hi Rob,

    As another Federal Period devote, I have admired your work and productivity. I also think your website is top notch. I look forward to seeing more of it posted here at SMC!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Grand Marais, MN. A transplant from Minneapolis
    Shop full of tools for sale! I quit. I'll never get there.
    Well done Rob.
    Beautiful stuff.
    Live Like You Mean It.

  11. #11
    Rob, the fact that you do all that gorgeous work in a one-car garage just blows me away. Thanks for the interview.

    - Vaughn

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