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Off the Saw wood shop is launched in downtown L.A.

Laura Zahn at Off the Saw, a new collaborative wood shop in downtown Los Angeles,
Laura Zahn at Off the Saw, a new collaborative wood shop in downtown Los Angeles,
(Molly Mahar / Caprina Creative)

Inspired by what she describes as a “return to craft,” Los Angeles furniture maker Laura Zahn has launched Off the Saw, a collaborative wood shop for furniture makers.

Woodworking collaboratives are not new. In 2010, Los Angeles furniture designers Cliff Spencer, David Johnson and William Stranger, among others, came together to form the L.A. Box Collective, prompted by their desire to create environmentally conscious designs.

Zahn, however, is taking a more populist approach. She’s offering work space in downtown Los Angeles to both full-time furniture makers and part-time “hobbyists,” who will have access to power tools and bench space in the evenings and on weekends. Two of four full-time spaces and three of four part-time spaces are available. Applications may be submitted on the Off the Saw website.

Additionally, Zahn will offer workshops to the public, beginning with daylong introductions to woodworking June 28 and July 26 ($200 a class, including tools and materials). Other classes include a July workshop on making tree swings, an August session on weaving a Danish cord seat, by David Johnson of Sidecar Furniture, and one in September on making lamps.

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Zahn described hobbyists as “people who have full-time jobs but want to be able to make furniture in their spare time.” The idea, she said, is to maximize the use of the space and assist people who may not have access or be able to afford quality tools. Zahn’s wood shop comes equipped with a Sawstop table saw, 20-inch band saw, 12-inch jointer, 6-inch jointer, 15-inch planer, industrial drill press, router table, sliding miter saw, sanders and many other tools.

“I really think there is a return to craft right now,” Zahn said. “Whether it’s knitting or sewing or furniture making. It’s an interesting time to be in L.A.”

Off the Saw, Allied Crafts Building, 407 E. Pico Blvd., 10th Floor, Los Angeles. lisa.boone@latimes.com


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