Six guys signed up to build their version of Wharton Esherick’s Library Steps here in the 360Woodworking shop. Before they arrived, they knew Esherick was an accomplished artist. As of Tuesday at noon (the second day of class), they now also know that Esherick was twisted, at least when it came to the sculptural post at the center of his steps.
In a couple of quick hours the guys had the handrail posts notched and mortised. They then began sculpting the 3″ x 4″ pieces of lumber. That’s when the work on the projects started to slow. To remove all the material that’s not necessary takes a bit of work. Spokeshaves, rasps and files (including a couple of Shinto rasps), saws, chisels and mallets were all put to the test. Any one tool is not enough.
Not only is there a lot of waste material to remove, but the work requires thought to get the twist right. You cannot go at it willy-nilly. But once the posts are complete, the remaining steps should be easier.
Check back later in the week to see how these six woodworkers are making out.