Sunday, November 6, 2016

DCBE 2016, Conclusion

After one week of a shop that feels a lot emptier and quieter, I have gathered some thoughts about the DCBE this year.

I am able to fit 5 people in my workshop, but in order to do so, I need to borrow yet another workbench from Olav, or I could make an extra one myself.
This time we had three workbenches for four people, but since there was always someone busy at the lathe it was fine that way.

We spent a lot more time than anticipated doing noisy stock preparation, but that was mostly due to our very ambitious goals of making a lot of chairs.
Once the turning had also stopped, the workshop was fairly quiet save for the pounding on the copper rivets.
Compared to the last DCBE, where we made Welsh stick chairs, there was a lot more machine work involved this time. But I think the results are well worth it.
We skipped lunch some days, but the daily intake of cake and tea or coffee plus beer made up for that. Having the supper supplied by a catering company was a great success. It meant that there was one thing less to concentrate on, and instead of making supper, Mette baked rolls for breakfast every day, and kept a steady supply of cakes coming our way.

Hosting an event like this is no trouble at all with such nice attendees. Pedder and Brian brought beer and Alex brought some softdrinks called Almdudler that our kids really liked,
Asger proclaimed at the end of the DCBE, that he had not been sick since he started drinking Almdudler. When we said that he had just had them for 6 days, he quickly responded that he knew that, and he had felt great all those days, so he suggested that we should continue like that. But we are back to drinking milk again for the everyday meals, and the soft drinks are reserved for Friday evening.

Everyone also had some gifts for me, and something for Mette as well, so I feel almost ashamed that I could only supply a meagre selection of wood and some beds to sleep in.
Alex and Pedder brought some nice homemade marmalade and a type of pickles, wine and some syrup.

For me, Alex brought the most beautiful set of dowel plates that I have ever seen. They are made especially for him by the company BLUM in his hometown that produces hinges and other sort of brackets.
The company has their own training department for machinists, and they made a small production run of those dowel plates. Each plate is precision milled with a sharp entry side and tapering exit side of the holes for the dowels. The plates are 2.25" x 10" and a bit over ½" thick. I guess they are made out of tool steel.
These two plates cover the hole sizes from 11 mm to 20 mm in diameter (7/16" - 13/16")
Alex told me that the company will also make a plate with holes ranging from 6 to 10 mm, but they hadn't made it yet.
Given that I really like timberframing, a dowel plate with such large holes is really useful for me.
I think that I might make a recess in my workbench for them, and then I just need to make a bunch of dowels.

Pedder  gave me an absolutely magnificent dovetail saw.
The saws from Two Lawyers Tools don't just look good. They are incredible to use as well.
Mine has a rosewood handle and a heavy brass back. There is a very slight hang of the saw, and the saw feels just like an extension of my arm. I have used it for cutting some small dovetails in the drawers for the travelling bookcases, and it is just perfect. I can highly recommend their saws if you find yourself in the market for a custom made backsaw.

Brian had brought some old turning gouges and a new blade for my Ryoba saw.
So all in all it felt a lot like Christmas eve to me.

If you are considering organising an event like this, I suggest that you do it. It is a special experience to work together in a smallish shop, and learn from each other as you go along. This time we had the benefit of Brian actually being an expert in Roorkees, having made quite a few of them, but when we made the Welsh stick chairs, none of us had tried it before, That too was a fun experience.
My best advice is to have some of the food organised, and it is better to start with a small group of people, and then perhaps invite more if you find there is room for it.

Thanks to everyone reading and commenting on the posts from Danish Chairbuilding Extracaganza 2016 on this blog and on Toolerable and on Old Ladies.
I better start thinking about what to build for DCBE 2018.
The best looking dowel plates I have ever seen!

These plates from BLUM are amazing.

My new Sunday saw from Two Lawyers Tools.

A bit of progress on the travelling bookcases. Lining the drawers with felt.


  1. Those drawers look great! Elm is such a nice wood.

    Thanks to you and Mette for being such great hosts.

    1. Elm is indeed such a nice wood :-)

      Thanks for taking the trouble to drive all the way up here.
      I really appreciate that you went through all that trouble with cars breaking down etc.

      I hope to see you again for the next DCBE.


  2. Hi, thanks for sharing the experience. It was fun to read the different blogs to see how you guys were doing. Looked like a time of good fellowship!


    1. Hi John

      Thanks for reading along and thanks for commenting.
      I guess I wasn't as diligent this year in writing the blog while the event was going on, so it was great to have someone like Brian who posts pictures from the entire shop each day.
      It really was a great time, with plenty of laughs and admiring techniques and tools etc.
      My wife Mette commented that it seemed like there was no jealousy or envy, but only true admiration for each others abilities and tools etc. and I think she was right about that. It is just funny to have someone else noticing that.


  3. Hi Jonas,

    so glad you like the saw a bit.

    I had some wonderful days and really regretted leaving early. But it was nice to meet Brian and Alex in my shop again!


    1. Hi Pedder.

      I like it a lot :-)

      I hope that you have been able to make some more progress on your stool at home. I have mostly been working on the book cases since the DCBE. But now I have to go back to the sea again tomorrow, so I'll have to think of a project to do out there.

  4. Sounds like you guys had an awesome time! I wish I knew somebody in the region who hosted a similar event, or more ambitiously, I wish it is something I could host myself. Either way, you guys did a great job.

    1. Hi Bill
      We had a blast :-)
      I don't know if anyone else does these kind of events. I am lucky to know Brian Eve. He sort of talked me into the first DCBE, and then we just agreed to repeat the event. Last time he was nominated as the expert, because he had a copy of Peter Galberths book about chairmaking, But none of us had tried it out at that time. This time he really had some experience in Roorkees, so I guess I'll have to find something that I can be an expert in for the next gathering.
      Thanks for the support. Building a Roorkee is not very hard, but in Europe leather is stupidly expensive, so that is sort of preventive for making more of them. There isn't much wood in the chair, and I have seen pictures of some that were made with square tenons instead of tapered round ones. So I guess that you can build them any way you like, but you need either leather or canvas for the seat and the back, and leather for the thigh strap and the armrests plus all the small belts.

    2. It wasn't really too hard to talk you into it. If I remember correctly, I joked about it and all of a sudden you were talking about inviting 12 people!

      I think a group build like this would be great in just about any place. There needs to be some space with the ability to put in a couple benches, and a couple machines wouldn't hurt, some lumber should be available, and participants can bring whatever tools they have. Perfect for a maker space, or even just a shop with some space.

      Part of the fun is in not having an instructor, but learning from each other and watching each other work.

    3. I agree that I wasn't too hard to talk into it :-)

      Group build is a pretty correct description, and I think that you are right about the fun part being that there is no instructor. that also leaves a lot of options open for each person to customise his/her project as they wish. That might not be so easy to do if there is one instructor that would like to see everyone go home with some completed project that look the same.

  5. Looks like you had another great event. I'm hopeful that someday I will be able to do something like this. Just last weekend, a friend came over to my shop, it was quite enjoyable, but our ambitions were overshadowed by our limitations of just having one day together in the shop.
    Great saw dowel plate and boxes too.

    1. Hi Jeremy.
      I am certain that you will be able to do something like this. The most important thing is to think that it would be fun to do it. The rest is just details.
      But to make it easy, a good idea is to start with one or two participants, and a project that is not overly complicated. There has to be a bit of room for chatting and laughing, and if the project is too difficult there is a greater risk of screw ups.
      I think that you are already on the right path, by having a friend coming to your workshop for a day.