Monday, October 31, 2011

Woodworking Classes--Eric Johnson's Furniture

I am pleased to announce that if you are in the Central New Hampshire area on weekends and are interested in learning woodworking, that I am now offering classes. 

In this first class session we will be constructing an 18" cherry side table.  We will cover tool usage, wood movement, mortise and tenon joinery, tapering legs and finishing techniques.  When the class is over, you will be able to take your table home--just in time to enjoy for the holidays--or even give as a gift.

This class will cover three weekends beginning Saturday,  November 12. 

Cost of the class is $325, including materials.

Call or email for more information, exact dates & times, & specific questions.  I am limiting the class size to 3, once it is full, I will be happy to put you on a waiting list and let you know about future classes.

Until next time,


Friday, October 21, 2011

Adjustable Shelf Supports--Eric Johnson's Furniture

Hello again,

Here is the blog that I have been meaning to write the past couple of weeks--the exciting world of adjustable shelf supports!

You all have seen them.  Simple little metal clips that have a round post on one end and a flat surface on the other.  You push the round post into a hole in each corner of the case and viola', adjustable shelf support.

ImagesWhen I started getting serious about building reproduction furniture, I quickly realized that this wasn’t acceptable. I looked for other ideas--preferably antique ideas.  I found a bookcase that was build in the early 1800’s that had a type of saw tooth cut into a board that was attached to the case sides.  There where four of them.  Two facing each other--front to back--on one side and a matching set on the other side.  In between was another board that fit into the saw tooth.  The shelf fit onto this board and then was adjusted to the desired spacing. 

Here was my answer; however, it looked quite time consuming to build.  In a fit of clarity, I happened upon the solution.  Now I am sure I did not invent this idea, but I did come up with it on my own. 

Shelf supports002

My solution is to take a board that is about a 1 ½” thick (you can glue two boards together if you would like) and about 3 ¼” wide by however long I need.  I then start about 6” from the bottom and drill a ¾” hole in the center of the board every 1 ½” along the length.  I use a paddle bit or a fostner bit in my drill press.  Don’t use a hand held drill for this.  Once I have this done, I can then re-saw it on my table saw and cut them in half through the center of the holes. I now have four individual pieces.  Before I cut them apart, I label them A,A B,B, as you can see in the drawing.  I then attach them to the case with A,A facing each other on one side and B,B on the other.  In between I make a 5/8” thick board to fit as a shelf support.  You can see this in the picture.

Bookcase adjustable shelfI have been making this type of shelf support for about 10 years and I am really happy with it.  It’s elegant, quick, works flawlessly and fits the style of furniture I build.  This is a small detail in the whole scheme of the piece but I feel it is an important detail in separating a custom furniture maker from a factory.  This type of adjustable shelf support will last 250 years as opposed to the factory way described earlier. 

If you would like to see a video demonstration of this or some of my other techniques, leave some feedback or send an email and I will think about working on some of those.

Until next week,

Campton, NH  03223

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Eric Johnson's Furniture -- Recent News

Old Fashioned Milk Paint Contest Winner!

Are you one of those people who can honestly say "I haven't ever won anything in my life?"  Well, we were too until last week! 

What a kick to learn that we were the winners in a Facebook contest hosted by The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company!  We won a generous credit towards milk paint by posting some photos of a variety of projects we have used their great milk paint on!  We are looking forward to having a nice supply of milk paint on hand and using it with upcoming projects. 

Milk paint
In the meantime, a big thank you to Anne and all the crew at The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company in Groton, MA!  If you need a durable and non-toxic paint that comes is a variety of beautiful historic colors and is the easiest paint you could ever want to use, we hope you will look into their American-made product!  Below you can see a sample of some projects on which we have used milk paint.


Tiger/Milk Paint Hutch

Pine Cupboard

Laker Home Article Recently Published

We recently had a very nice article written in the Home Edition of a local paper:  The Laker

Thank you to Christine Randall for the great coverage and featuring New Hampshire Craftsmen! 

Enjoy every minute of fall!

Eric & Debbie Johnson

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ships on your wall not in a bottle

If you love the sea, think its romantic and captivating, mysterious and awe-inspiring, fun and adventurous, then you probably have nautical and marine mementos and art in your home and office.

A reminder of the days when shipwrights designed and built boats are small scale models.

Before computers and design applications, ships were built using a scale model.

The model was carved out of wood and showed one half of the ship's hull in profile.

The model was then reproduced in full size with the two halves needing to be mirror images of each other.

This wonderful craft is practiced today by one of our artists.

Sam Coes III makes half hull models beautiful enough to be works of art.

Sam recycles wood and finishes them to show off natural grain and color.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Artistic Roots Selects New Executive Director

Cheryl Johnson will get to follow her passions again - painting and teaching.  Cheryl gets to become a regular member once more because Artistic Roots has a new Executive Director.   Her name is Monique MacIntosh and she starts this fall.

Monique is a paper artist and Coop member.  She has worked many years keeping front offices working efficiently.  She is also a writer and has experience in public information and grant writing.

While the Coop warmly welcomes Monique, it isn’t saying goodbye to Cheryl at all.  Artistic Roots will hang onto her for dear life.  Cheryl is a valuable and dedicated member.  As the Coop's first Executive Director, she successfully led the move from its old basement location to the current bigger, brighter, more accessible space.  She has also spearheaded the education and community outreach activities of the Coop by organizing classes and encouraging fellow members to share their knowledge and experience.  Cheryl loves to teach, and inspires others to get involved.

Then there are the intangibles.  With her quiet persistence, calm demeanor, good humor, creative thinking, and positive outlook, Cheryl has united the members to take the gallery from one milestone to another.  And with her characteristic grace, Cheryl has been generous with her time and money for all manner of causes related to the Coop.  After she transfers responsibility to the new ED, she still plans to stay involved with the management of the Coop by continuing to organize classes and help secure grants for key programs.