Ralph Kolva


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Torii nightstand

Nightstand in a style that is partly Asian and partly Greene and Greene. The arched breadboard ends and arched rail are reminiscent of the gate to Shinto temples, thus the name Torii. Made of hand...

Torii Nightstand

This piece started out as a small cabinet for my wife's office while also helping me build my portfolio.  I wanted a small case that would lend itselft to small production runs while still being...

Recent comments

Re: Torii nightstand

Thanks for the feedback BenchMarc.

The door stiles and rails are bridle joints so the rails are a good bit longer than they appear and have a good area of glue surface. Most of the joinery on the case is slip/loose tenon with the mortises cut on my router table with a Paolini type xy table and the router mounted on a vertical plate.

So far with our low humidity here in Colorado the gaps have been OK, they do tighten up a smidge but not bind. If I ever send a piece like this to Houston I'll have to do some adjusting and maybe bring a humidifier into the shop. The only movement I have in the doors are the stiles (outside of the floating panels) and calculating max movement it's only about 1/16". Could do better if I used quarter saw stock. All the other panels are floating with space balls in the dado.

I love the Art Nouveau case, fantastic work!

Re: Bent curio cabinet

Nice design and obviously well made. The thing that I noticed is the grain selection on the upper door rail and apron above it. The grain seems to be fighting the graceful curve of the door.

Re: STL 58: Is Woodworking an Art

I've had students with new japanese chisels have this issue with brittle metal at the tips but with my Matsamura, Fujihiro, and Masashige chisels I've never had the tip chip off. Do these blacksmiths remove that brittle steel or have I just been fortunate that I haven't experienced it?

Re: A Bread Board made by a Blue Collar Bread Winner

Still using a 10" x 18" x 1.5" cutoff of Poplar I had from a project about 30 years ago. Still if somebody wants to pay me $100 for some scrap glued together I'll put some bird eyed buzinga in there!

Re: UPDATE: Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman by Peter Korn

We Have Peter Korn's "Woodworking Basics" listed as one of suggested texts for our FIW 101 students, it's fantastic book, would love to add this book to our woodworking library as well.

Re: Bubinga and walnut coffee table

Interesting design. How did you accommodate for seasonal movement in the captured shelf? Guessing at the shelf width of about 14" wide and typical season conditions in the Mid-Atlantic you would be looking at about 1/4" of seasonal movement in that shelf.

Re: Torii Nightstand

Thanks for the feedback,

Changing the rails is something I've been considering. I'm working on a desk design of similar style but have changed the rail profile, more of a Asian scalloped detail that follows the line of the rail between the drawer and doors but not an exact match.

I originally intended to use the drawer handle on the doors but thought they over sized and when I scaled them down didn't quite fit either. Still struggling with handles. I found some metal hardware that might work in place of the hand made handles.

I'll have to play with different species in the door panels as well as most art glass and maybe play with some leaded glass designs.

Re: UPDATE: Wood Bender's Handbook by Zachary Taylor

I do a bit of bent lam work but that's the extent of my wood bending experience, would love to have this book to learn some new techniques.

Re: UPDATE: The Foundations of Better Woodworking by Jeff Miller

Love Taunton books and magazines, like to see "Home Furniture" back. Jeff Miller's book looks like a great companion to Rogowski's joinery book for our intro students at Red Rocks Community College's Fine Wood Working programs, would love to add this book to our program's library.

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