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|I bought them all|
What surprised me about both sellers, was how clean the screws were. I usually get parts like this all rusty and ratty looking. These are all rust free and shiny. The slots aren't mangled and the screws all have good looking, well defined threads.
|these 3 are all set now|
|everything has set up|
|removed most of the proud with the chisel - I then planed it flush|
|flushed the walnut to the bottom|
|checked my desk stock|
|lightweight but sufficient|
|ugly even if they won't be seen|
|found a lot of 3/4" screws|
|found a piece of poplar long enough|
|sawing 1/2 x 1/2 notches|
|my senior moment|
|I will have to use a wide piece after I fix this|
|I wanted to use walnut here|
|padauk is another choice|
What is a folivore?
answer - an animal that eats leaves
Over the next six weeks I will be blogging about Handworks 2017 a lot, or at least my preparations for it to be sure. I think we are at T-minus 52 Days before departure.
Over the winter Mrs. Barn prepared two full cases of packaged beeswax in anticipation of the event. If all goes well I will not bring any back home. One thing down, a bazillion to go.
I intend to demonstrate wax and shellac finishing during the event, so come by and say “Hi.” I’ll be in one of the center aisle booths at the Festhall.
Saturday 25th March 2017 So what do you do if a tenon snaps off when you least expect it? Such things happen, after all, and you have already invested good time in the buying and milling wood, forming tenons and even shaping the wood for its place in the whole. I have had it happen …
Today Narayan Nayar and I took the train to Pompeii to look at a fresco that features Perdix, a Roman workbench and some adult content suitable for Cinemax. (“Oh my, I don’t think I have enough money for this pizza.” Cue the brown chicken, brown cow soundtrack.)
As we got off the train, my heart was heavy with dread. Yesterday, our visit to Herculaneum blew my mind but was disappointing in one small way: The House of the Deer was closed that day to visitors. The House of Deer had once housed a woodworking fresco that has since been removed and has since deteriorated. So all I was going to get to see was the hole in the wall where the fresco had been.
So as I got off the train this morning, I fretted: What if the House of the Vettii is closed? After a not-quick lunch that involved togas (don’t ask), Narayan and I made a beeline to the House of the Vettii. And as I feared, its gate was locked. The structure is in the midst of a renovation and was covered in tarps and scaffolding.
I peered through the gate and saw someone moving down a hallway inside. He didn’t look like a worker. He looked like a tourist. Then I saw another tourist.
We quickly figured out that a side entrance was open and they were allowing tourists into a small section of the house. I rushed into that entryway and waved hello to Priapus. After years of studying the map of this house I knew exactly where to go. I scooted past a gaggle of kids on spring break and into the room with the fresco I’ve been eager to see for too long.
It’s a miracle this fresco has survived – not just the eruption of Vesuvius but also the looters and custodian that decided (on behalf of Charles III) which images to keep and which ones to destroy. (Why destroy a fresco? According to the Archaeological Museum of Naples, many were destroyed so they didn’t get into the hands of “foreigners or imitators.”) The royal collection preferred figurative scenes or ones with winged figures. For some reason, this one stayed in place and has managed to survive.
Narayan spent the next 40 minutes photographing the fresco in detail. The photos in this blog entry are mere snapshots I took with my Canon G15. His images will be spectacular.
OK, enough babbling. I need some pizza. Thank goodness they’re only about 4 Euro here.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Roman Workbenches, Uncategorized
Just a heads up in case you're in the market for a Crisscross Solo and you're coming to Handworks.
We'll have a few blems available at the event for a discount price of $79. We usually don't have to offer blems or seconds because we usually catch them early on in the process. This time a few Crisscross arms made it all the way through powder coating. Here's the issue with these. During the casting process the moulds get transported from the mould-making area to the pouring deck and every now and then a mould gets jarred and makes the lines in the castings you see above. It's completely cosmetic. The arms function as intended. A few of the arms got the royal treatment at the powder coaters as well. The middle one above shows the result. You may need to run a file or drill bit through the holes to get the pins to pass. These will be priced at $79 and are available only at Handworks. If we have leftovers, we'll post them here for sale after all the hubbub is over.
I’ve been slowly working my way through a pile of cherry spoon wood. All but one or two of this batch is from the same tree. And most all are crooks, bent/curved sections which lend the spoons their shape.
A couple of these got picked by people on a waiting list for spoons. I never intended there to be such a thing, but sometimes I get requests between postings of spoons for sale.
spoons listed are here https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-for-sale-march-2017/ or at the top of the menu on the blog’s front page. Leave a comment here (the page for some reason doesn’t accept comments…) if you’d like to order a spoon. Paypal is the easiest way, or you can send a check. Let me know which payment method you prefer. The price includes shipping in the US, otherwise, we’ll calculate some additional shipping costs.
All the spoons are finished with food-safe flax oil. If for some reason, anyone is not happy with their spoon, just contact me & we can do a return/refund.
thanks as always,
I nixed getting the VA supplied stand up desk version because it won't work for me. It will elevate the monitor and keyboard/mouse up and down but that is it. There is no provision for working on paperwork at the same time at an elevated position. If all I was doing was computer work this would work. But over half of what I do doing the day is dealing with paperwork first and then feeding all that into the scanner and onto the computer.
|oh dark thirty sunday morning|
This will go into the wood pile to be used from something else. For the desk it's use is toast and I'll buy another 2x4 sheet of plywood.
|monitor base frames|
|blurry pic of a proud tenon|
|possible big desk base stock|
|flushed and cleaned up the frames|
|the monitor base top|
|trimming the first two pieces flush|
|not a problem now|
|cutting and fitting the last two walnut strips|
|quick, easy, and I got a clean edge|
|the proposed bracing|
|two pieces of 3/4" plywood|
I went through every single piece of both of these plywood bins and I only found one flat and straight one in each. The one I bought yesterday came from Lowes and I don't remember if I checked it for being flat. I was more interested in getting a nice grain pattern. I got that but a pretzel for a board.
|the top brace details|
|flush fit on the through dado|
|labeled the bottom|
|wee bit off on this side|
|I have a boatload of planes|
|rounding over the corners on the monitor top|
|the 3rd one|
|I had striped walnut|
|removing glue with a carbide scraper|
|marking for the brace|
|now it's square|
|used a story stick|
|kept things from dancing around as I sawed|
|the moment of truth|
|too snug for me|
|the last of the walnut trim pieces|
|left it proud on this side|
|flush on this side|
|proud on this side|
What were the first names used by Sir Arthur Doyle for Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson?
answer - Sherringford Holmes and Ormond Sacker
Just when you think we know everything about gaming tables, more information surfaces. I was at the preview of a local auction house when I came across this rather chunky example:
Georgian Game Table
Description: 19th century, mahogany, mahogany veneer, oak secondary, unusual dual hinged top with storage compartment, gate leg, cabriole legs with pad foot.
Most game tables have some style or elegance, not this one.The heavy apron and the graceless pad feet lack a pleasing aesthetic.
But that’s not why I called you here.
It is a four-legged table with the fourth leg being a traditional gate leg:
Note the sprung hinge on the right side. This is important.
The hinge is still sprung. Also note the screws on the lower table surface.
What caused the crack? The lower table section is hinged to the frame covering the storage below:
This isn’t the only design challenge. If one tries to access the storage area with the table closed, the sections stacked, when the sections are opened beyond around 30°, the table falls over. Empirically determined. The table is not very deep and when the weight is shifted too far to the back, bad things happen. If I recalled my vector analysis, I could calculate the tipping point.
I did not bid on this table.
On a more positive note, I found two examples of another method of table support. I reveal to you the extension gaming table:
I found the above at the Raleigh Antiques Extravaganza.
A few hours later I found this one at a Raleigh consignment shop:
On the back rail was this label:
The dealer believes that these tables are from the 1930’s. A search for the patent shows that Patent 2,153,262 was granted April 4, 1939. There were simple practical and novel improvements in extension tables in Patent 2,316,448 on April 14, 1943.
I couldn’t find much on the Big Rapid Furniture Mfg. Co. of Big Rapids, Michigan other than by their own admission they are Manufacturers of Medium Priced Furniture. They obviously survived beyond 1939.
Although Roman furniture is well represented in frescoes, mosaics and sculptures few pieces of wooden furniture survive. The pieces we have for study survived in wet environments such as ship wrecks and wells or were carbonized and buried during the eruption of Vesusius in 79 A.D. Most of the carbonized pieces are from Herculaneum and were preserved and sealed in place by meters-deep pyroclastic material. Pompeii was not entombed as deeply as Herculaneum and contemporary records tell us that some residents (and looters) were able to go back and retrieve household valuables. From Pompeii we have a few plaster casts of the impressions left behind by wooden pieces.
Another source of Roman furniture came to light in 1930 in Simpelveld in the Netherlands when a man digging a foundation for a house uncovered a sarcophagus. The outside of the sarcophagus was not decorated, but the inside revealed a furnished villa for the deceased.
The Simpeveld Sarcophagus is in the collection of the Rijiksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden, is dated between 175-225 A.D., made of sandstone and measures 205 cm (about 81 in) in length. It is presumed the sarcophagus was made to hold the (cremated) remains of a wealthy woman.
The woman is resting on a three-sided paneled couch, or lectus. Each end is angled outwards to facilitate a cushion and aid in the comfort of the recliner. A lectus (with variations to the number of sides) might be used for sleeping or dining, or both. As you can see they had turned legs.
At the end of the lectus is a roofed structure that some researchers think may be a depiction of the deceased’s villa. It may be something else entirely. The last piece is some type of open cupboard.
On the other side of the sarcophagus there is a sturdy stand with three large containers, an ornate round table, another stand with crockery and jugs (one with its neck turned outwards), a cupboard with doors, an open space and a cupboard with five niches.
The round table is a mensa delphica with three legs ornamented with lion heads and claw feet. In the photo above, right, is a similar table from Herculaneum.
The cupboard has frame and panel doors. Here also we have a similar example from Herculaneum with hingles made of a series of wood cylinders, similar to a piano hingle. And a drawer!
At the end, closest to our resting resident, are a curved-back chair and a chest with a keyhole. The chair may be a cathedra, which was known as a woman’s chair. Based on other sculptural evidence a cathedra may have been made of wickerwork.
Every home had a chest for storage of valuables. They were often bound with iron straps and were locked. Above is a chest found in Herculaneum.
I did not find any full photos of the opposite (short) end of the sarcophagus. It looks as though there are two other open pieces.
Without all the missing contents we don’t know which of the pieces would have been the lararium, or household shrine. If I had to guess my choice would be the open cupboard with the the five niches to accomodate a lamp, incense, salt and dishes for offerings.
One thing to consider is each piece of furniture may not be to scale. For instance, if the cupboard with the frame and panel doors were of a larger scale it might be an armarium, for the storage of arms, and would typically be found near the entrance of a home. The armarium is the ancestor of the modern armoire.
The Simpelveld Sarcophagus is unique. Usually the decorative work on the outside of a sarcophagus is what interests us. There are often depictions of heroes from mythology, a bacchanal in progress, or scenes from the life of the deceased. For the Simpelveld Sarcophagus we have to look inside the thing and what do we find? A cosy Roman home packed with household goods and a reclining resident.
Filed under: Furniture Styles, Historical Images
My day in the shop didn’t go as I has planned. It’s not that anything went wrong, but I had gotten the order of operations a little out of order. Originally I was going to cleanup the uprights and chop the mortises for the rail wedges. As I was about to plane off all of my layout lines it dawned on me that I had better cut and fit the pivot arm first.
The pivot arm installs in a slot in the taller upright and rides on a 1/2″ diameter steel axle. I also installed a bronze bushing to protect the soft wood of the pivot arm. I purchased both the steel rod and the bronze bushing from the big box store. Both needed to be cut to length
Since I was in metal working mode I thought I would have a go at fashioning a strap that will eventually connect the, yet to be made, spring poles. In his book, “By Wedge and Edge“, Roy says the strap can be fashioned from a copper pipe that is cut in half along its length. Ideally I would have a metal cutting blade for my turning saw, but I don’t. So I was left to use my hacksaw with a fixed blade. By loosening the blade I was able to twist the blade enough to cut away about a quarter of the 12” long piece of copper pipe. Then I worked the remainder flat. Just like that, I had a copper strap.
The pivot arm is fashioned from a piece of clear pine that I bought specifically for the purpose. When I went to the big box I culled through the pile until I found a piece that had the grain running in the same direction as the taper of the arm. I was really lucky and found an almost perfect match.
The axle partially installed.
The rest of my day in the shop was spent planing the uprights clean and chamfering every exposed edge. I then reassembled what I have so far and manged to actually mark out for the wedge mortises. The chopping of those will have to wait until tomorrow.
Part 2 Greg Merritt
|Made By Shaker Hands|
During one of my visits she opened a desk and took out a simple piece of wood. It appeared to be a ruler, but it had no visible markings at all. It was made from a wonderful piece of highly figured birdseye maple with a shellac finish.
She said to me, "I want to give you a gift. This is something I picked up from the Shakers at Hancock many years ago. It has always made me wonder what it was used for. It must have a purpose, but I cannot figure it out. Maybe you can."
As she handed it to me I immediately knew what it was designed to do. I pointed out to her its specific features which proved my conclusion.
As I thanked her for her kindness, she said, "I knew you would know what to do with it."
|End View Showing Profile|
If this object was recorded into a museum collection, the Registrar would note:
Solid wood rule, 14 1/4" long 1 1/8" wide 1/4" thick, birdseye maple, shellac finish. Parallel sides in length, tapered profile on end from 1/4" to 1/8". No visible markings on any surface. Each end has 5 small notches at regular intervals on each face. Origin: Hancock Shaker Village. Function: unknown.
|5 Spaced Notches on Each End|
Can you identify its function and finish this entry? Send Your Comments.
No matter how much you read about a person, a piece of furniture or a place, the real thing is always different. Today, Narayan Nayar and I visited Herculaneum, the doomed coastal city in Italy that has changed the way I look at woodworking workbenches.
There are no workbenches at Herculaneum. But there was an image of one. Once. But it was cut from the walls of the House of the Deer, shipped to Naples where it deteriorated to the point where almost nothing of the bench is now visible. Still, the image (actually an image of the image) is incredibly important to me. It’s the first drawing of a holdfast that I know of. And it shows a low workbench being used for sawing – another critical clue.
So I had to visit Herculaneum and other sites involving the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius. Not that I expected to discover “new” information about woodworking, workbenches or tools. But to give me some context for everything I’ve read for the last 20 years.
What was shocking? For me, it was the paint and the painting. I now need to do more reasearch on the surviving frescoes at Herculaneum, but I was struck dumb by the detail, clarity and color of what I saw today. Was it restored by modern hands?
As Narayan and I walked around the ruined city it became clear that that modern people are both the saviors and sackers of the now-exposed stonework, plaster and frescoes. Narayan and I saw a little girl rummaging inside an ancient clay vase. Other frescoes were covered by Perspex and clouded by the sun and humidity.
I tried to tread lightly all day because Herculaneum is a non-renewable resource. But my tiptoeing is a drop in the bucket against modern air pollution, adventurous little girls and 2 million other visitors. Ultimately, everything turns to dust.
So the best I can do is to provide an account of what I saw that is unprejudiced by cultural or temporal bias so that future woodworkers will know why Herculaneum is a pile of rubble to be remembered.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Roman Workbenches, Uncategorized
|I added a Coke can to this shot|
to give you some perspective
regarding this saw's size.
|It has a super clean plate with a clear etching.|
|The second side is as clean as the first.|
|This photo is trying to|
show how straight
the plate and
|It's a good looking saw...|
|...from any angle.|
|It still shows a super-strong etching.|
|Ok, my lamb is a little mute.|
|It isn't talking to me from this side either.|
|This was in the piece of Apple Wood that I made the handle|
from. It does not go all the way through the horn. I liked
this, which is why I made sure it was included.
That was plan 1, iteration 3b, change 9, upgrade Z21-A, that quickly got flushed down the toilet. The reason why plan #1 didn't work was that I couldn't drill the holes for the new screws because the jamb for the screen door was in the way. And the door was drooping so I couldn't line up the holes in the hinge with the ones in the door.
|size of the screw in the hinges|
The one thing I didn't want to do was take the door down. It is an old, solid wood door and it weighs as much as battleship. I know this because I had to take the door off the hinges. I also blew out the lower hinge on the jamb. So I had to fix those screw holes along with the ones on the top of the door.
From start to finish this adventure took me over 3 hours and I'm still not done. I'll be replacing the door and the jamb later on this summer. Part of the problem with blowing out the bottom hinge was due to rot. The door has been sagging for years, and I've putting band-aids on it for years, and now I have run out of them. The rot at the bottom of the door jamb is only going to get worse and contribute more to the door sagging. The rot is on the lock set side of the jamb but the hinge looked like it had some too.
|brought a problem home|
|I'm two lines off|
|had to check it to make sure|
The monitor base will be 13" up from the desk. The monitor will adjust upwards another 6". Between the two of them I can dial in a height where I can look straight into the monitor without bobbing my head.
|all the joints are trimmed, dry fitted, and ready to glue up|
|glued up and cooking|
|the main desk|
|I won't be using this|
|hiding the plies|
|2nd piece glued on|
|new ebonizing method|
|distilled water first|
|about 1/2 of a 1/4 cup|
|lots of breathing holes|
I took a break here and did my second non workshop wood related chore. I found some pruners and filed them sharp and went outside in the rain. I spent the next hour pruning my 3 lilac bushes. I removed all the dead wood and last years blooms that didn't fall off. I'll have to make another trip tomorrow with the big ass pruners to get a few crossed branches that are rubbing against each other.
After I came back in I was going to work on the big desk but that didn't happen. When I looked at it on the bench I saw that it was noticeably bowed. Bowed to the point of being useless to use as the desk. I clamped it down to bench and we'll see tomorrow if there is any joy in Mudville.
What is the width of the train tracks in America based on?
answer - the width of ancient Roman cart tracks, 4 feet 8 1/2"
I’m offering my smoother for sale click on the link for more information and pictures.
From time to time I will post tools for sale, I’ll notify you when I do but it’s also a good idea to check periodically the items for sale page.
Confession time…if you follow me on Instagram, then you know that I started this lathe project a week ago. I’m little behind on my blogging, but I’ve been running a little time management experiment this week.
It is exactly five minutes between my house and my work. As a result, I come home for my lunch hour most days. Usually I eat something, check the news and catch up on reading blogs (another thing I’m behind on). Anyway, I decided to try getting in twenty minutes of shop time while on my lunch hour. So every day this week I set a 20min timer on my phone and headed for the shop. Its been a nice break in my day to get in a little wood working. More importantly, it has been surprising how much I can get done in that short twenty minutes.
Once I had the mortises in the uprights I turned my attention to the three rails. Two will be the ways and form the bed of the lathe. The third rail serves to stabilize the assembly. Each of these rails will eventually be secured with wedges in a tusk tenon arrangement. The two bed rails have single-shoulder tenons and work in unison when wedged tight to keep them square to the uprights. The lower rail tenons have two shoulders that will keep it square.
Once I had the tenons laid out, I sawed the shoulders. I opted to split off the bulk of the waste. In hindsight, it would have been quicker to saw it off. This SYP is stringy and will not split work a darn! Which will make for a strong assembly, but tedious going for waste removal.
Next I worked on the feet. I made these feet much taller than Roy’s version. Which is part of how I’m gaining a little extra height. The remainder of the extra height is in the uprights themselves. The connection between the upright and the foot is a thru, spit tenon. Which ment that I needed to chop a mortise through 180mm (7″) and keep it square and plumb. Not my best design choice. This depth is the limit for my chisels, but I managed to pull it off in both feet.
The tenon was formed as I described above for the rails.
I’ll be glueing these feet in place, but also opted to add square drawbore pins. These aren’t actually necessary, but a little extra structure never hurts. Plus a little practice never hurts either. To chop the required square holes I fashioned a plug to fit into the mortise. The plug adds backing and keeps the inner wall of the mortise from being splintered out. I should have waited on this step though. I’ll explain why in a minute.
I’m shaping the feet with a Japanese inspired shape. My original plan was to have a shallow arch at the bottom center of the foot. (This is why I should have waited on locating the square pegs). I saw that I had a couple of knots in these pieces, no big deal. What I hadn’t noticed is that one of them was dead and loose. I saw that I could eliminate the knots by changing the shallow arc to a deeper shape. Ideally the drawbore pins would be closer to the shoulder of the tenon than to the end of the tenon. Changing the shape of the cutout will shift my pins about 12mm(1/2″) closer to the end of the tenon. Not a big problem, I’ll just have to lessen the offset so as not to over stress the tenon.
At any rate, I laid out my desired shape with a compass and cut it out with my turning saw. The shape was then refined with a sharp chisel and spokeshave.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Finally, I ended my day in the shop today by fashioning the required pins and wedges. I made these from white oak.
OK…that brings this blog and you up to date.
Tomorrow I’ll chop the mortices in the rail tenons and fit the wedges. I also hope to clean up the uprights and feet with a plane and assemble them.
Part 1 Greg Merritt
Klaus war so nett und hat schlitze für Blatt und Rücken in zwei Griffen gemacht.
|Sehrfeinsäge in action|
|Schnitt 0,2mm - cut 0,2 mm (0.008")|
Jesper from Denmark sent me these pictures of a little oak box he made for his partner.
After making a dovetail alignment board, this was his first attempt at a dovetail project and he looks to have done very well.
The box was used to present a gift certificate as congratulations for passing her PHD in architecture, very touching.
Here is Jespers dovetailing kit of tools, he looks to have everything he needs there.