Jeff Miller: Modern With an Old-tool Streak
In my book, Jeff Miller might just be one of the keys to the future of woodworking.
The furniture he’s built during the last three decades is decidedly contemporary. It has clean lines, simple curves and impeccable joinery and wood selection. Yet Miller manages to fold a surprising number of traditional tools into his tool kit – stuff that you normally see sitting on a half-finished Chippendale highboy.
He has a half set of hollow and round planes. Router planes. Lots of spokeshaves and a full arsenal of planes. Yet his furniture looks like the sculpted stuff turned out by the angle-grinder-and-belt-sander enthusiasts.
This week I got to spend an afternoon with Miller to interview him for an upcoming article in Popular Woodworking Magazine, plus I got a peek at the table he’s building for an upcoming issue of of the magazine. It’s one of Miller’s signature pieces – heck, the design is even his shop logo.
With the table’s parts arrayed around his shop in varying stages of completion, Miller discussed the project and how it was an interesting combination of challenges and surprisingly easy operations. I shot the following short video of the interview.
Look for an article on the table and Miller in upcoming issues of the magazine. And if you are interested in chairmaking or contemporary design, then you should definitely check out Miller’s blog: http://furnituremaking.com/wordpress/
He’s also the author of several great woodworking books that I have on my shelf:
• “Beds” (Taunton) is one of the bestselling books on the topic. A great book with a variety of designs and construction options.
• “Chairmaking and Design” (Linden) is the only good book I’ve ever found on constructing modern frame-style chairs.
— Christopher Schwarz