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Thread: Woodworking with Garrett Hack

  1. #1
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    Woodworking with Garrett Hack

    As most of you already know if you have seen some of my recent posts, last week I traveled to Port Townsend to Jim Tolpin's woodworking school there (Port Townsend School of Woodworking). << School Link >>

    Garrett Hack was a guest instructor for two classes that I signed up for. << Bio Link >> One was Decorative Details (two days) and the other was Precision with Handtools (three days). Both of these classes were short versions of what are normally full week classes of each. Garrett does not have a woodworking school of his own, as he prefers to travel with his wife and be a guest instructor all over the U.S. and beyond. He is traveling to Japan later this year to teach. He squeezes his teaching in between making fine furniture and working his farm in Vermont. More on Garrett and the classes later in further posts, but first a little background on Port Townsend and the school there.
    Last edited by Bill Satko; 09-24-2009 at 04:22 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Satko View Post
    As most of you already know if you have seen some of my recent posts, last week I traveled to Port Townsend to Jim Tolpin's woodworking school there (Port Townsend School of Woodworking). << School Link >>

    Garrett Hack was a guest instructor for two classes that I signed up for. << Bio Link >> One was Decorative Details (two days) and the other was Precision with Handtools (three days). Both of these classes were short versions of what are normally full week classes of each. Garrett does not have a woodworking school of his own, as he prefers to travel with his wife and be a guest instructor all over the U.S. and beyond. He is traveling to Japan later this year to teach. He squeezes his teaching in between making fine furniture and working his farm in Vermont. More on Garrett and the classes later in further posts, but first a little background on Port Townsend and the school there.
    OK, you got my attention Bill

    I wonder where I can find out more?

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    Port Townsend

    Port Townsend is a Victorian seaport North and on the other side of Puget Sound from Seattle. It is at the convergence of the Strait of Juan De Fuca and Puget Sound. During the turn of the last century they built a fort there (Fort Warden) and placed large guns there to protect the entrance to Puget Sound. That fort is now a beautiful state park with all the original buildings still there. The school leases space in what was the old Boiler building.

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    The hillside above the town has many old Victorian houses that draw a lot of tourists to visit during the summer and fall. Port Townsend is basically a tourist designation for much of the year, but many artist and craftsmen live there. There are many furniture makers and wooden boat builders around the town. It is a very laid back place. For you rednecks out there, it is the granola, latte drinking, freeze-dried hippy capital of the world.

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    Here is where we stay when we are over there. It is a mother-in-law apt that we rent. I am unable to disclose the location, or my wife will kill me. It is hard to get a vacancy. The view is what we see out the large picture window. No wonder my wife supports these classes in Port Townsend.

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    I will leave you with a true flavor of Port Townsend. Larry Merlau, he is looking for an addition to his band and I told him you were a great drummer.

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  4. #4
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    PM sent, Stu.

    For the rest of you, I will post later on the actual classes.

  5. #5
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    I always loved to visit that part of the contry. Very quant little town. I couldn't take all the wet weather though. They say people in the Northwest don't get sun tans... They just rust..
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Don Baer View Post
    I always loved to visit that part of the contry. Very quant little town. I couldn't take all the wet weather though. They say people in the Northwest don't get sun tans... They just rust..

    Not true....but they do grow webs between their toes!
    Ken
    ------



  7. #7
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    and some of us grow fur for the winter and its just easir to leave it on rather than change it out in the spring as for the new job not needing one yet bill but dont tell hi i am not intrested i may be next week wish i were in your shoes those classes and so close to home is a great thing to have..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Baer View Post
    I always loved to visit that part of the contry. Very quant little town. I couldn't take all the wet weather though. They say people in the Northwest don't get sun tans... They just rust..
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    Not true....but they do grow webs between their toes!
    Yes, the weather is terrible here as you never see the sun and we still are not fully settled out here, as grizzly bears and cougars will snatch your dogs and/or children from your yard. So don't pay any attention to those newspaper and magazine articles claiming it is one of the best places to live. Please, don't move here. As for the rest of us who are already here, it is too late. We are now addicted to the drizzle and the latte stands on every corner and a move elsewhere would probably kill us.

  9. #9
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    Decorative Details

    The first class with Garrett Hack was called Decorative Details. I think the course description on the school’s website explains it very well:

    “Over three millennia ago Egyptian craftsmen were decorating their work with inlays of small intricate patterns of ebony, ivory, and other exotic materials. We will learn the same technique, after first making some of the necessary tools — micro chisels and scratch stocks.
    This class will cover delicate string or line inlays, larger surface inlays such as panels, making and inlaying patterned bandings, and using non-wood materials such as silver and shell. We will also focus on complementary decorative edges, side beads and proud cockbeads used to highlight the edge of a table apron or drawer.
    We will work almost entirely by hand, so naturally sharpening, tuning, and using hand tools will be an important emphasis. Students will work on sample boards to practice designing and using these decorative techniques.”
    That is what we did, but we could have spent all week just doing this class. Here are some pictures of that class.

    A shot of some fellow students and a glimpse of the benches in the school. They are very solid and do not move. The school is very well equipped with Lee Valley tools, but Garrett had suggested that we bring our own tools. We had access to a tool list that he suggested for the class.

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    Garrett working away at his bench demonstrating different techniques before we head to our benches to try.

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    Here he is demonstrating the different ways to make a fan.

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    The next two photos show his scratch stock (we all made our own) and his sample boards. He makes all of his own banding. The class collectively made some banding.

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    A shot of something he was working on using some of the band the class made plus some shell. He was making it in honor of being in the Pacific Northwest and it does have that kind of look.

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    It is really hard to capture everything we went over, but I was really surprised how easy it was to lay a strip of inlay. That is not to say there are not difficult aspects to all of it, but the class took the mystery out of it. As I will explain in a later post, Garrett was constantly discussing the design aspects of everything and I do mean everything. At the end of the day, I thought my head was going to explode. He was constantly explaining the ramification of design decisions, how they affect construction details and vice versa. In this class he emphasized how a small detail, like cock beading or a simple inlayed line can dramatically alter the look of your piece.
    Last edited by Bill Satko; 09-25-2009 at 04:40 AM.

  10. #10
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    I am posting the link to Port Townsend Woodworking School's web page where they have Garrett Hack's recommendation of handtools for the class. It is very informative in that he describes his preferences. << Link >>

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