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Our last two days of Ripplemania 1 were spent in trying to fine tune the older machine into a real working tool, and tinkering with the design for the new one into a working device.
While John and Travis and I were fiddling with the new machine, Sharon was trying out the new cutter on the old machine. She was able to raise a huge pile of shavings, but the wear between the pattern rail and the follower bar (the rod protruding from the cutter head in order to allow the latter to rise up and down, cutting the ripple pattern in the work piece) was getting too bad to bring about a satisfactory result.
Meanwhile we were trying to perfect the carriage and cutter head for the new machine. In the end we got to within an eyelash of getting a ripple molding to completion, but we definitely had “proof of concept.”
John and Travis fabricated a carriage that was compatible with ripple patterns (up and down), wave patterns (sideways motion), and even a simultaneous ripple/wave action.
In order to test the carriage and cutterhead, we had to have a pattern to work with, so I dove into that undertaking. I was rethinking the need for a metal pattern rail in favor of a wooden one, so I began by assembling a long rail sandwich consisting of southern yellow pine on its length as the outer laminae to serve as the backing for the pattern and bearing surface, with end grain black cherry as the contact surface.
With the pattern rail sandwich assembled it was time to cut the ripple chatter pattern into the rail. Using half round rasps, floats, and carving gouges we were able to create several feet of pattern on the blank sandwich.
I ripped the sandwich on the table saw, resulting in a matched pair to install on either side of the box to induce the pattern on the workpiece via the undulating cutter head. (I will certainly give it a try to have a CNC machine create any new pattern rails).
With the pattern installed, we gave it a try. It sure looked like it was working, but still we had some hurdles to jump in order to make it a reliable high-function machine. Cranking it by hand was interminably slow even though the movement at the point of cutting was fine. We decided to motorize the device to take it to the next level so we attached a motor to a stool and hung a belt around the motor shaft and the pulley we made for the drive screw on the machine. The motion was certainly accelerated without any obvious loss of performance, although there was the issue of an unprotected motor and belt drive.
Travis demanded a protective cowl for the drive unit, so he installed one. We found this to be much safer.
Like I said earlier, in the end we came within an eyelash (or a half day) of getting the new machine to operate with efficacy. Given my continued and growing interest in the capacity to produce ripple moldings for clients I will certainly expend more energy to make it happen.
Many thanks to Phil Sylvester for his suggestion and referral to Larry’s old articles. Larry Williams went through the same dilemma as I have until he saw the lean and that’s why I said his measurements are wrong. I didn’t know about the lean, yes I did view the video several times but somehow the subject of lean passed me by. Now this has opened up a pathway to a successful build, this means that I will have to change all my drawings so I’ll be taking taking those links I posted offline. However, should you wish to use them they will still work as I’ve built a no.16 and it works well. The issue is when you go down in size it gets frustrating. Now I’ve got it finally.
I never got to meet John Brown. Truth be told, I didn’t hear of his name until several years after his death. But I’m starting to feel like I know the man.
My first introduction to John Brown, and to Welsh Stick Chairs, was as I imagine it was for many woodworkers, a blog post Chris wrote. These unusual chairs were nothing like I’d ever seen before – theirs was a dynamic form, suggesting a feral energy coiled within the sticks, waiting to spring out. I was intrigued, but at that time focusing on lutherie, so I mentally filed the chair away for another day. A little over a year later and John Brown was again mentioned on the Lost Art Press blog, this time in the context of his influential, if hard to find, book Welsh Stick Chairs. Then I bought a copy of The Anarchist’s Tool…
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Over two months ago, I lost my everyday knife. I looked everywhere and came up empty. I decided it either broke off the strap, and fell, or got dropped into a bag of shavings & went the way of all things. I have lots of slojd knives – so I could keep carving spoons without any discomfort. But usually I like wearing one for everyday use. I finally gave up looking, and ordered some new blades. I tried to be positive about it, thinking maybe someone found what would become a really good knife for them.before it was lost
I had the blade since about 1992, it was on its 2nd handle. (I split the first one using the knife like a little froe). When I replaced the handle, I made the sheath. That was about 12 years ago. A friend at the museum made the leather work. Once the new blades arrived, I made a new knife and sheath. It was OK, but not the same. This one, I tried my hand at the leather, but for one thing my model was gone! Here I am boring out the blank for the handle, to fit the knife’s tang.
Paring the new handle.
here is the end result, works fine. But doesn’t feel right one way or another. The leather I used was too thick for one thing, so it didn’t conform quite as well as I wished. Handle is the only piece of boxwood I had. Why did I try that?
Here’s the knife out of the sheath. It works, I was carving spoons yesterday with it. Clicks into the sheath like it’s supposed to do. I was thinking I’d do it over at some point, but things are getting busy around here right about now.
Today I was sorting & cleaning inside & out. In the shop, it came time to climb up & hang this year’s Greenwood Fest poster. I’m not a huge poster fan, but Greenwood Fest is a pretty special affair for me, so up it went. Right above last year’s version. While I was there, I grabbed that basket for the tools & materials in it. I made some basket rims & handles from the hickory I wrote about last time, and this week I’ll install them. Needed the clips and other bits in there.
And don’t you know – in the basket was my old knife. Made a good day a great one.
It’s always the last place you look, my father used to say.
Matthew a 17 year old student sent me these pictures of some of his recent work. He is just completing his level 3 qualification in furniture and design and the vanity mirror above is his assessment piece, as well as a present for his girlfriend.
This walnut corner cabinet has a well executed veneered panel with diamond inlay. I'm sure with this standard of work he has a long future ahead in furniture making.
It’s difficult to argue against perfection in woodworking. That’s because the counter argument is something like: “You’re a hack and can’t get it right, and so you say that your imperfections are intentional.” Or put another way, you can’t be too rich, too thin or have joinery that is too perfect. Here’s how I think about perfection: We now have the technology to abolish time zones. Each person’s phone could […]
Some people have the vague notion that when you’ve been a woodworker for decades, you know how to do everything. If only. No one knows how to do everything. Experience in a variety of techniques may be transferable to new forms, but just because a technique will work does not mean it’s especially good in structural or aesthetic terms, let alone efficient to use in specific circumstances.
When faced with a woodworking mystery–say, a look I want for a finish, or some convincing 3-D effect I’d like to produce in an 1/8-inch-deep relief carving–I like to try to answer the question for myself before I seek the answer from others. The effort of thinking a problem through will often give me deeper insight into methods others recommend, and it’s especially satisfying when I find that “my” method is the one used by other woodworkers I respect.
I’ve enjoyed a few…
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What’s saddest of all is what I said about new woodworkers picking up the saw. There is something thats true about all of us when we start any creative craft. We tend to think buying something less expensive will match our amateur-status skill level and that “it will do until we find out of we …
|there was a bench underneath all the crappola|
|trying out my 8000 grit Japanese stone|
|chisel is ready but this isn't|
|appears to be square|
|it was the small rabbets|
|chiseling away at 45°|
|I trimmed this miter with the template|
|now it is where it should be|
|a little better fitting|
|now that is a gap|
|right side is gappy|
|chewed up a little|
|new miter template stock|
|rift sawn at this end|
|got my 45 laid out|
|I've got a good feeling about this|
|the opposite face that was down|
|pretty good on the top too|
|the other face|
|the first step|
|one teeny hump in the middle to remove|
|problem with the new miter template|
|it's rolling outboard|
|sawing the 45 first|
|two strokes and I was through|
|squared the sides to the face|
|no rolling and no gaps|
|one small and one big|
|my stash of good brushes|
|roll back brushes from Wally World|
What is duende?
answer - the power to attract through personal magnetism and charm
I have finally finished all the drawings from No.18 – No.1. That’s 36 planes in total or 18 pairs. The No.18 has a radius of 1 1/2″ and so it goes down to No.1 which has a radius of 1/16″.
I have based these drawings but not entirely from Larry nor even entirely from James Celeb. These drawings were most difficult to complete, the reasons being that Larry’s dimensions are not accurate. I’ve had a friend of mine who is a doctor of engineering try to make sense of those dimensions and came to the same conclusion that they are innacurate. So I’ve had to change them to make it all work, James Celeb drawing of a single moulding plane is correct but he too had to deviate from Larry’s dimensions a little. Matt Bickford’s planes follows very closely if not identically to Larry’s planes, unfortunately those dimensions he uses are unavailable to me.
The initial base design is the same as Larry’s, Bickfords and Celeb, those base dimensions is an agreed upon consensus since the 18th century and on 18th century planes only. The issue I had was getting the blind side matching the bodies fullness while maintaining the radius profile. Believe me this was one mind boggling thing.
While I’ve stuck to the planes typical 18th century design, I’ve opted to change the finial from the typical circular to an elliptical shape with a lamb’s tongue. In the 18th century there are about 5 different designs for the wedges if I’m not mistaken and the one that appeals to me the most is Thomas Walker’s design. The elliptical shape is taken from those poxy shoes they used to wear, you know the one with the heels. To me that looks most elegant for the wedge and it’s not the same shape though but very similar to the 19th century style. The lamb’s tongue yet adds a touch of further elegance.
18th century planes are slightly longer than 19th century moulding planes, but they are in no way more functional than 19th century planes, it’s very much an aesthetic thing. To my eyes 18th century planes are a lot more pleasing in design than the 19th century style.
So here’s the thing guys and gals, I’m sure you would want to have all the working drawings for these but I won’t release them all until I have built these planes. Even though I have double and triple and quad triple checked my work, I still need to see whether or not changes could be made as an improvement. So far I’ve build one plane the No.16 based on these drawings and it works fine but I want to finish off the rest and if all goes well then I can safely offer them to you and sleep better knowing they are 100% correct.
However, I will not be offering them for free, I don’t know how much I will charge for them but it will be affordable. I’ve always had good intentions for this blog but considering how expensive this country of mine is, I’m really doing it tough. I’ve invested a considerable amount of time and knowledge to draw these up, and to offer them for free would be ludicrous. As far as I know such plans are not available anywhere on the net, I will be the first. So have a look at the sample No.15 plane, see for yourselves just how accurate and well drawn they are.
A friend asked if we would like to join them on a sailing trip watching the Windjammerparade* at the end of the Kieler Woche*.
Living in Kiel for 22 years, I've somehow managed never to have sailed here.
So no pics of saw making today (and none of sailing neither). But a very happy and refreshed saw maker.
* Windjammerparade is a parade of tall sailing ships
* Kieler Woche is the biggest sailing event of the world and the biggest folkfest in nothern europe (and I think the third biggest in Germany after Oktoberfest in Munich and Canstatter Wasn in Stuttgart)
Warning: The following is not about woodworking, so if you wish to limit your reading to that subject, you may prefer to substitute an installment of Routers I Have Loved (my personal favorite was my 1980 Elu) or wait for Chris’s next post about Roman Workbenches (which I am, in all seriousness, eagerly anticipating). This anecdote was excised from Making Things Work on the grounds that too much of a good thing is, well, sometimes too much. It will be included in a future collection. Also, you probably won’t want to read this story while eating.
A few days after Thanksgiving, my phone rang. “Oh, hello, Nancy.” It was Andrew, my client at the time. His tone was suspiciously cheerful considering our recent contretemps over the installation of his 1.6 gallon per flush toilet.*
“Look, I hate to ask you, but there’s no one else I can call. I had…
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If workbenches were like automobiles, then I’d consider the tail vise to be like the heated seats in a car. They’re an option, of course, but they are by no means standard equipment, like tires. Out of economic necessity, my first three workbenches didn’t have tail vises, and so I was thrilled when I was assigned to review a full-size European workbench with all the bells and whistles, including a […]