Recently I was interviewed by Chris from the Youtube channel Chop with Chris. I was lucky enough to meet Chris at the Atlanta Woodworkers Show in 2016. Chris makes project completely by hand, and usually starts a project by taking a trip into the woods for his materials. Below is the video interview and a little more information about Chris and what we talk about.
Chris’ content covers a wide range of projects and plans from tables and chairs to foot powered machines, bows, arrows, crossbows and other related bushcraft videos as well as tool education. He is a maker and has a passion to share his knowledge with others and while having fun doing it!
Learning Through Contests
One of my favorite ways to experiment with making things is by participating in building / making contests. A lot of times these are challenges put out by various Youtube content creators. What makes these great is there is usually a constraint like the one I just did for Bill Lovolsi’s channel, One Car Workshop. He challenged people to make a pen without a lathe. If you look at the No Lathe Pen Contest playlist you’ll see great example of people stepping out of their comfort zone.
Sashimono techniques and furniture are a little over a thousand years old. The pieces look relatively clean and simple in design. It may look simple from the outside, but the complex special techniques that hold the piece together without using nails or metal fasteners are anything but that. If you’re interested in learning more, the Mogami Kougei site has an excellent article on the origins of sashimono.
Experimenting with Textures
You experience texture optically and physically. If you are looking at an art piece, optical texture could be the way the artist paints an image to look life like. With physical texture it could be expressive brushstrokes. Before I continue, let me say I am no expert in in the visual elements of art. I’m just trying to explore different ideas when it comes to making something. When I made the box in the video I tried to play with these concepts of texture.
When you think in terms of making something physical the obvious aspects of physical are things like the smoothness of the finish. If you watch people who pick up things you’ve made, the first thing they do is check how smooth the finish is. While most of the box I made had a smooth finish, the fish carved on the top has ridges to possibly entice someone to feel the different texture.
This project was originally made by cutting strips of wood from a 2×4 you’d find at a big box store. To emphasize the linear nature of all these strips I made some black glue by mixing white glue and black acrylic paint.
Japanese Whaleback Saw
About a year and a half ago I was lucky enough to get a maebiki nokogiri, or whaleback saw, from Ebay. It is a timber saw used to rip lumber from a log. There are two videos below. The first one is a comparison between the whaleback saw and a curtis 42 inch saw I have, and the second one is me cutting a piece of lumber from a 6 foot pine log.
My shop is probably like yours. It’s mostly a garage where a car actually needs to be parked in after I’m done building something. Any larger power tools like a tablesaw is on rollers so it can be tucked to the side of the garage when not being used.
Links From Interview
- Chop With Chris – Projects made with all human power from harvesting the wood to building the furniture
- One Car Workshop – Fun project and host of the No Lathe Pen Challenge
- NHK – Learning about Japanese Culture and the different regions
- Sashimono history
- Sashimono videos
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