Make a Blanket Chest
June 22-26, 2020
$950 + $50 materials
All Skill levels welcome
This 5 day workshop concentrates on traditional solid case-construction and hand-cut dovetails. Whatever
your level of skill this piece will improve and enlarge your general woodworking techniques as well as providing
you with an heirloom chest to be proud of.
Preparing stock and gluing up solid boards without the use of clamps is just one of the traditional methods that
high-end furnituremakers use to gain more control and choice. Let Graham show you how easy many of these
methods are with the right techniques.
Similarly, cutting dovetails by hand can offer more choices in terms of design and construction, and can be
surprisingly easy—and fast—when done the way Graham was taught years ago in England by a British
cabinetmaker of the old school.
This is by no means an exclusive handtools class, but if you bring along a couple of planes and a couple of
western-style saws, and learn how easily the experts tune them up and use them with the appropriate jigs, your
woodworking vocabulary will be doubled and you’ll end up a cut above the average furnituremaker.
Layout, proper wood selection, milling, joint preparation, and assembly will be covered in detail, along with
edge treatments, plinth construction and optional drawer inclusion.
We will cover not only design and working proportions that are right for you (it is unlikely that any two chests made in the class will be identical), but also how to use most efficiently the tools you use. Note this is primarily a handtools class, and if you bring along a couple of planes and a couple of western-style saws, and learn how easily they can be tuned up and used with the appropriate jigs, your basic woodworking vocabulary will be doubled.
The school will have a variety of pine on hand for purchase, but feel free to bring your own lumber if you prefer
depending on the size chest you would like to make; rough dimensions will be similar to the illustration (approximately 3ft x 2ft x 2ft — width, depth, height, plus bottom, lid and plinth).
Here's a sketch of the basic idea. Each chest may vary.
More Info for Sign-ups:
Tools To Bring:
Bold = essential, non-bold = optional but very useful
Rule or tape measure
Single-beveled marking knife
Marking or cutting gauge
Pencil or chalk
SAWS: (Western-style saws are greatly preferred for this course, and instruction will be offered for those who need to learn how to sharpen and use them.)
Backsaw (tenon saw)
Optional saws: Any basic second-hand hand (long) saw, crosscut or rip
1/4in., 1/2in. paring chisels (paring chisels are usually bevel-edged and thinner than all-purpose or firmer chisels) (a wider selection of both paring and firmer chisels can be very useful).
Smooth plane, block plane, jack plane
Maine Coast Traditional Arts Workshop has extra sets of the
above tools if needed.
Cove, quarter-round or similar moulding plane
1/4in.–3/8in. beading plane
Feel free to bring any other favourite tools
For plane and chisel sharpening, a diamond stone and
a couple of waterstones (medium and fine) is ideal.
Bring what you prefer to use.
Graham Blackburn was born and trained in London, England. He built his first house in Woodstock, NY over
twenty-five years ago. Since then he has published several novels and more than a dozen books on all aspects
of housebuilding, interior carpentry, and basic woodwork, as well as books on traditional woodworking,
cabinetmaking, furnituremaking, handtools, and design, together with books on philately and sailing.
While running his own custom furnituremaking shop he also became a regular contributor to leading
magazines such as Fine Woodworking, Popular Woodworking, and Woodwork — of which he was also the Editor-in-Chief for a number of years.
As well as being a prolific writer and illustrator, he has been the subject of several books on crafts and design.
He was featured in Maxine Rosenberg’s Artists of Handcrafted Furniture at Work (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1988) and Jane Smiley’s Catskill Crafts: Artisans of the Catskill Mountains (Crown Publishers, 1988) and has made numerous television appearances, including serving as the national spokesperson for Boyle-Midway’s media campaign: Secrets of the Master Craftsmen. He was a featured speaker at the nationwide Woodworking Shows from 2001 to 2011 and a frequent lecturer at Guilds and colleges from coast to coast.
BOOKS by GRAHAM BLACKBURN
New: Traditional Woodworking Handtools: A Manual for the Woodworker';
Recently republished in paperback, 2019, by Spring House Press
A copy of this wonderful book will be available for perusing at the shop and Graham may bring autographed copies for sale.
Overlook Press 1974, republished 1990 as part of THE ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF HOUSEBUILDING &
CARPENTRY (see below)
THE ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WOODWORKING HANDTOOLS, INSTRUMENTS &
Simon and Schuster 1974; John Murray 1975; revised edition: Globe Pequot 1992;
3rd edition: Blackburn Books 2000
ILLUSTRATED BASIC CARPENTRY
THE POSTAGE STAMP GAZETTEER
ILLUSTRATED FURNITURE MAKING
Simon and Schuster 1977; Robert Hale 1978
ILLUSTRATED INTERIOR CARPENTRY
Bobbs-Merrill 1978; Evans Bros. 1979;
Overlook Press 1979, republished 1990 as part of THE ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF HOUSEBUILDING &
CARPENTRY (see below)
THE ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SHIPS, BOATS, VESSELS, & OTHER WATER-BORNE
Overlook Press 1978; John Murray 1978; I.B.Tauris 2003
THE OVERLOOK ILLUSTRATED DICTIONARY OF NAUTICAL TERMS
Overlook Press 1981; David and Charles 1982
THE PARTS OF A HOUSE
AN ILLUSTRATED CALENDAR OF HOME REPAIR
QUICK AND EASY HOME REPAIR
Ballantine Books 1986
FLOORS, WALLS, & CEILINGS
Consumer Reports Books 1989
THE ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF HOUSEBUILDING & CARPENTRY
Gramercy Press 1990; Overlook Press 1998
Consumer Reports Books 1990
YEAR-ROUND HOUSE CARE
Consumer Reports Books 1991, Blackburn Books 1998
FURNITURE BY DESIGN
Lyons and Burford 1997
TRADITIONAL WOODWORKING HANDTOOLS
Blackburn Books 1998
TRADITIONAL WOODWORKING TECHNIQUES
Blackburn Books 2004
FURNITURE DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
Spring House Press 2014
JIGS & FIXTURES FOR THE TRADTIONAL WOODWORKER
F & W Media 2014
ANDANTE (Graham's autobiography)
BLACKBURN BOOKS 2017
FOR LOVE OR MONEY?
Blackburn Books 2012
THE CASTILIAN SUITE
Blackburn Books 2012
Blackburn Books 2014
VIDEOS by GRAHAM BLACKBURN
WOODWORKING IN ACTION
a quarterly videoMagazine series
Toolbox Productions, Inc. 2005–2010
FRAME & PANEL I: MAKING & JOINING THE FRAME
Taunton Press 2000
FRAME & PANEL II: PANEL RAISING
Taunton Press 2001
Graham's book site: http://www.blackburnbooks.com