Tag Archives: Nakashima

Thicknessing Fir

wide old-growth fir

Face jointing fir for a Nakashima-inspired build.

I try not to hoard wood, though odds and ends do accumulate. I did buy some wide fir boards circa 2015 for a solid version of the Juhl coffee table. The death of my jointer-planer put a stop to that build, so the stock, most of it still rough, lingered on a shelf.

A new commission for a compact media stand caused me to revisit that fir, and with the dead machinery banished from basement, I was forced to surface it by hand. I don’t enjoy jointing or thicknessing by hand, nor do I recommend it. But it is a viable option for board too wide to fit a powered jointer and planer. And whoosh of a sharp blade across a board and the scent of fresh-cut fir do offer a certain pleasure. Still, I was more than happy to finish stock preparation and move on to the build.

Nakashima at the Met

A butterfly key binds a split in a slab table by George Nakashima.

A butterfly key binds a split in a slab table by George Nakashima.

Unlike other makers represented in the Metropolitan Museum’s collection, the work of George Nakashima is not on display in a gallery. Instead, it furnishes the entry room to the museum’s Japanese galleries. Consequently you can sit at a large conference table in a sculpted chair and run your hands over the glassy smoothness of the slab top or inspect the inlaid butterfly keys. Continue reading