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Peter Sandback will tell you he’s not a great woodworker. And maybe he’s not a handcut dovetails kind of guy. But every time you turn around he seems to have developed another innovative and dynamic technique and designed a whole slew of great pieces around it.
When I first saw his work ten or twelve years ago, he was building impeccably crafted tables with concrete tops and selling them all over the country. He had developed a method for casting a thin shell of concrete around a core of foam, making the tables light enough to ship. For good measure, he had also come up with a surface treatment that made the concrete stain resistant–a problem most concrete countertop makers had yet to solve.
By 2008 Sandback was pushing in a very different direction. After years of experimentation, he had figured out how to make thin end-grain log slices, glue them to a plywood substrate, and create tables with what looked like inch-thick slabs of tree–but without the threat of warping or cracking. He has made a lot of great pieces using that method, and you can see them and his concrete tables on his website, www.petersandback.com
His current specialty, which is featured on the magazine’s back cover and in this audio slide show, is making elaborate inlaid patterns using aluminum nails. The slide show presents a range of pieces he’s decorated with the technique and explains how he creates a pattern step by step.
More Masters of the Craft Slideshows
• Liam Flynn: Virtuoso Vessel Maker• John Reed Fox: The Uncompromising Craftsman• Jere Osgood: Modesty and Mastery• Ulrika Scriba’s Marquetry: Risk and Reward• Adrian McCurdy: Furniture Riven from the Log• Geoffrey Warner: Assembling a Life• Peter Shepard Turns the Page• Curve It Like König• Partners in Craft: Harold Wood and John O’Brien• Tool Chest with an Arts & Crafts Legacy• Adrian Potter: Thinking Furniture• Hank Gilpin: Exploring the American Forest• Doug Mooberry: Kinloch Woodworking• Michael Hurwitz: Planks into Poetry• Brad Smith: Story of a Stool• Hank Holzer and Judith Ames: Labor of Love• Michael Fortune: The Clever Chair• John Cameron: A Musician in the Woodshop• Allan Breed: The Past Recaptured• Kintaro Yazawa: Joint Wizardry• Grant Vaughan: Subtropical Virtuoso• William R. Robertson: Micro Maestro
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The artistry of wood and nail is remarkable and elegant in its simplicity. The photography and narration was likewise excellent. Both made a inspiring presentation. I think I'll try something similar ! ! !
Sorry, should have been R.J. Leahy. Call them, they were great on the phone to work with. here is a link: http://www.rjleahy.com/store/nails/aluminum1.htm
I found copper and aluminum nails at RH Leahy in California. Great price, sold by the pound and they ship.
Where did Peter source the aluminum nails, and what size nails does he use?
Great piece. just got my recent mag and saw the back cover. I like when people think out of the box and do innovative things!
Excellent woodwork, excellent story and very effectively presented. This was good. Thanks.
Hi can anyone tell me where i can find designs similar
to what peter use to create his nail art.
Sir, you did a superb job on your narration. With your discription and Peter's talent showing his labors. It was a pleasure in both relms. Thanks to the both of you.
Jonathan and FWW,
Thanks for your wonderful back cover pieces. Peter's work is inventive and beautiful. Thanks for sharing a new way to do surface treatment on wood.
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In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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