About J. Leko

J. Leko is the principal of J. Leko Furniture Maker, LLC., where he designs and builds specially commissioned custom furniture and woodwork. J. studied woodworking with some of the world’s best craftsmen at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking where he is completing the Michael Fortune Fellowship. He has taught furniture making classes at the Jane M. Hughes Arts and Crafts Center on Redstone Arsenal, and his articles have been published in WoodTalk On-Line, and Fine Woodworking magazine.

2016 Classes at Marc Adams School of Woodworking

This coming year I am scheduled to teach two classes at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking (MASW):

Details of each are given in the description links above.

If you haven’t yet attended, you’re in for an intense experience! There are many reasons to consider MASW:

  • there’s a full-time professional staff of knowledgable, experienced woodworkers (each of which are instructors themselves!),
  • two fully equipped, well-maintained machine rooms with almost every power tool imaginable,
  • three spacious bench rooms with Lie-Nielsen workbenches,
  • snacks and beverages available at no extra charge,
  • prepared lunches so you can focus on learning, and
  • one of the largest collection of clamps (of all types and sizes) that you’ve ever seen!

Marc and his staff pay attention to the details. One example; two HD cameras project the action to large screens during bench demonstrations. This provides students with up-close perspective without crowding around the instructor. Students can comfortably take notes, assured they’ll catch every nuance from the comfort of their seats.

Public Registration begins on December 1, 2015.

Mechanisms have arrived!

Lower rack , guide, and drive mechanism dry fit

Lower rack , guide, and drive mechanism dry fit

The rack and drive hardware necessary to make the table operate have arrived!

They came in the post a week ago Friday. I couldn’t write about it any quicker as I’ve been moving into my new (temporary) studio, and engaged in a client project. These are the work of Jon Spencer, the talented machinist responsible for translating my drawings into functional brass and steel. He also created the main box latch.

Detail of a drive barrel mechanism

Detail of a drive barrel mechanism

I am anxious to get back to work on this piece. My plan is to complete the current commission on which I’m working, then the one behind it. (Fortunately, several furniture commissions occupied me while waiting for these mechanism pieces.) With both of these addressed, I look forward to starting back on the marquetry prototype for the top, and beginning installation of the mechanisms into the prototype (not necessarily in that order!).

Main Box Latch

On Saturday, I received these pictures from Jon Spencer, the machinist fabricating the mechanisms for this project.

The main box latch assembled, side view.

The main box latch assembled, side view.

Jon is, as you can see from these images, extremely talented. Concerned about the integrity of the long lever, he re-engineered it to withstand the load.

View of the bolt end of the main box latch

View of the bolt end of the main box latch

A quick refresher:
This is the latch that gets everything started. A key is inserted into the right side of the table, as you look at it, and turned. The tooth on the end of the key connects with, and lifts a hook on the end of the lever. This, in turn, withdraws the bolt from a mortise in the main box. With nothing holding the main box in place, the spring drive mechanisms in each side of the carcass propel the main box forward and the top rearward simultaneously.

A view of the key in the lock end of the main box latch.

A view of the key in the lock end of the main box latch.

A view of the key engaged in the main box latch.

A view of the key engaged in the main box latch.

This piece looks fantastic! I can’t wait to install it in the prototype. Unfortunately for us with high quality craftsmanship such as this, Jon is in great demand. This is a special commission for him, which he continues to work alongside his other projects. I will post updates as he makes progress on the remaining parts.

It is really a shame that no one will ever see this piece inside the assembled table…