Friday, 20 July 2007

What’s with all the "General green"?

My last three large tools have all been painted “General Green”. Now one was supposed to be – the General 130 thickness planer… but the vintage jointer and this workbench… well, it's not natural.




I should back up a bit.

I have just returned from co-piloting a one day mad dash to Edwardsburg, Michigan to pick up two amazing items. One is this incredible workbench. It was buried at the back of John Sindelar's shop. In a previous entry, I mentioned disappointment in missing an Emmert patternmakers vice at the auction. This bench was the remedy. To be honest, I am not sure what I am more excited about – the Emmert or the 32 drawers in the base. Storage is always an issue, and these 20” deep drawers are going to hold a lot of stuff - a veritable batcave in the bench really.

Riley was on hand this morning to help remove the dust and a few remaining screws and washers from the drawers. And, as seems to be a new trend at the Sauer household - he found a few rodent nests. He commented “at least they weren’t squirrels!”


The top is maple and the base is oak. The drawer fronts and exposed surfaces of the drawer cabinet are also oak. There are two pocket doors that pull forward and cover the drawers. An amazing bench to say the least! My best guess is that I have about a week of restoration work. I have posted some more pictures here and will update as the restoration progresses.




Last, but certainly not least – the second item. This is a Black Acacia rocking chair made for Jill and I by our good friend Russ Filbeck. I met Russ in January 2006 at the PAST event in San Diego. We connected quite quickly and began making plans to demonstrate at the 2007 event. We were set up beside one another and every spare moment I had, I would wander over and admire his chairs. The rocking chair stole the show for me.


Every spring, Russ makes a trip from San Diego to Pennsylvania to hand select logs and oversee their milling. He then returns back to CA with his prized timber. On his way to PA, he dropped off this rocking chair at John Sindelar's shop. Russ sent me progress photos as he built the chair, but I have to say, seeing the real thing was magic. It exceeded my every expectation. Russ and I made arrangements to combine our two crafts and all the pegs in the rocker are African Blackwood off cuts from one of his planes. I have posted further photos here.


Ok. So back to the General green for a moment. As I restored the jointer, the green paint seemed to fall off quite easily... like a snake shedding some old tired skin. And as the jointer shed - the original black japanning was revealed. When I got to the lettering, little flecks of gold paint appeared. Some quick drybrushing with gold model paint, and it was looking pretty sweet.


I am not expecting the restoration and removal of the paint from the bench to go quite as easy, but there are already a few clean spots where the oak is shining through. Like the jointer, I know that there will be gold hidden behind the tired surface of the bench, now I just have to bring it out. Stay tuned.

5 Comments:

Blogger jyatulis said...

Great bench! The drawer cabinet is very interesting. I'm jealous of all that storage. What kind of shape is the Emerett vise in? Looking forward to more pictures.

BTW excellent new web site and blog. I enjoy reading about the plane making process and seeing new designs.

cheers, Jay

21 July 2007 at 22:06  
Blogger jyatulis said...

Great bench! The drawer cabinet is very interesting. I'm jealous of all that storage. What kind of shape is the Emerett vise in? Looking forward to more pictures.
BTW excellent new web site and blog. I enjoy reading about the plane making process and seeing new designs.
cheers, Jay

21 July 2007 at 22:08  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Jay,

Good to hear from you.

I just came in from the shop a few minutes ago - taking measurements for the 10 missing drawers I need to make. That and taking another look to decide just how much rebuilding I want to do. I guess I only have myself to blame.

The Emmert appears to be in great shape. Everything moves freely. A good cleaning and I should have a better idea. Smells like an ebony handle is in order:)

Cheers,
Konrad

22 July 2007 at 00:41  
Blogger Chris said...

What a gorgeous old joiner. Glad to see it being restored--and I enjoy th e blog so keep it up!

26 July 2007 at 11:29  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Chris,

Glad you are enjoying the blog.

I am working on an entry with further photos and details of the jointer restoration. It should be up in a few days.

Cheers,
Konrad

6 August 2007 at 07:06  

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