thanks to my fantastic design network, i found out about community woodshop in the keystone arts spaces in glassell park just a few months after they opened. community woodshop is both a workspace and a learning space for people who want to learn about and work on various techniques in wood working, but maybe don’t own or have space for all the equipment. after taking the required safety class, you can join various levels of membership to work in the shop, or take classes. since i’m a beginner, i opted to start with the cutting board class.
we were given all the samples in the above photos for inspiration of what we could create, though we were discouraged from cutting too many angles, since it would complicate the gluing process for those of us with less experience. we could do straight cuts, cross & flip, round corners, cut handles, or route a trench. cool!
we were provided with maple, alder, walnut and mahogany pieces, squared on 2 sides. to get a feel for the process, we were told to smooth the other sides. here are 2 students using the planer and joiner to get perfectly-smooth starting pieces.
our teacher, bob, reminds us of all the safety precautions of the table saw. there are many. when cutting with wood grain, the wood goes through the blade effortlessly, but going against grain can be a much more tricky cut. we cut all our on-grain 1″ pieces, and bob cut all our against-grain requests for us. then we went to worktables to arrange our pieces and design our boards.
gluing is the fun part. you get big clamps and glue paper and turn all your pieces on their sides, run the glue down the center, and stick them one by one to their neighbor. then tighten the clamps and watch the glue squeeze out the seams.
finally, we let the glue set and cleaned it from the surface. my board looks oddly plain here. the table saw burned the maple wood as it cut, which is normal since it is a very hard wood, but leaves it looking dirty. all of that will be sanded away though, it will oil up nicely and all the grain details will show through. i’ve heard we use some sort of beeswax to do this. we’ll find out in next week’s class when the beauty of our projects are revealed!