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Yes, I realize the ’300th observations’ just keep coming from the UK, but here’s more, this time from the BBC. -CH The BBC has unveiled full details of Eighteenth-Century Britain: Majesty, Music and Mischief, a…
I listened to a man describe his advancing deafness in terms I had not heard described before. He said that in his case it was not so much that voices and sounds become quieter but that surrounding sounds becomes ever louder and that through the months and years those sounds make it impossible for him to tune in on the sound he wants to hear. In a sense, to him, it was a general and overall noise pollution whereby he was less and less able to focus.
At The Woodworking Shows show in Dallas in 1995 I was mocked by reps from Bosch and Makita because I was demoing using hand tools. I was the only one in those days and this day it was a quiet Sunday close out and their sales were non existent. Losing interest in their booth they were looking for entertainment I supposed and took a walk. One big noise from Bosch made a loud laugh and shouted, “Now let’s see what have we here?” As he launched himself towards my booth. A small group gathered as I demonstrated hand cutting dovetails in under two minutes and soon the mockery slowed down as I could see that their uniformed shirts made them feel less and less comfortable. The dovetails were perfect, thankfully, as I passed them around and when the Bosch guys took hold of them they seemed, well, speechless. Deprived of their money-making toys, the reps stayed with the new interesting English guy and watched me cut some pretty healthy dadoes with a knife, a chisel and a mallet. The bottom of the dado looked good but a little uneven from my chiselling. “Should have used a Bosch” the big voice said, laughing. Well, sometimes things happen that just somehow flow together and I pulled out my Record hand router already set and waiting for action. It was one of those moments I could not have engineered and as I pulled the router across the bottom of the dado the wood peeled away like an onion peel. The crowd was bigger now and the reps stood alongside them gob smacked as for some reason the inner surface was a smooth a surface as any I had ever prepared. “Gentlemen!” I said, “Let me introduce you to the first ever cordless router.” The ice broke and humour filled the aisles.
Just as noise pollution often starts with sounds we barely notice, so too the birth of industrialism and the resultant invasion became pandemic in our culture. The results of it lead to deafness for some and, well, blindness for others. Just as noise pollution drowned out the man’s limited hearing to the point of deafness in a head filled with noise, and street lights conceal the bright and sparkling stars in cities all over the world, woodworking machines can disguise the art of working wood and the blind and deaf seem to laugh at those who see and hear with clarity of sound and vision? They did all enter into my de-industrial process without knowing that, for just for a few moments at least, I was able to turn out the lights.
I’m getting more & more spoons lately. The first batch for March is just now posted – here http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-for-sale-march-2014-pt-1/ or the banner at the top of the blog’s front page.
If you’d like one, leave a comment & we’ll get it sorted. Payment through paypal is easiest; but you can send a check if you’d like. Just let me know. Woods this time are birch and cherry, and one each of apple & lilac. Flax oil finish. If for any reason a spoon is not as you envisioned, you can return it to me for a refund. No questions.
Thanks for all the encouragement,
Well, I’ll get to do some woodworking at least – I’m going down to the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) on the 20th of March, to get set up for the Furniture Seminar on the 21/22 of March. The subject is turned work, so I’ll be taking a shot at the lathe from Old Salem. It’s a nice lineup, 2 days’ worth. Includes my friend Brian Weldy from Colonial Williamsburg/North Bennet Street and once from my shop too!
Look at the raking light that Brian and the other guys in the Anthony Hay shop get - http://anthonyhaycabinetmaker.wordpress.com/
We know, the German products frequently offer inusual features but often effective.
This is the case for a wooden jointer of my collection. It shows a somewhat particular wedge.
It is retained in position by a steel pin and has on its upper face a metal plate of which the position can be varied along its height. The plate is kept by a little screw and a washer, inserted into the wood by two nails, also used as guides.
Two little wings avoid to the screw of touching the steel pin.
A first function has been evident: avoid that the rounded pin can damage the wedge wood and decrease its grip. But why the plate is adjustable? Playing a little bit with it I understood that in this way the wedge can be adapted to blades of different thickness and/or cap iron of different shape, providing always the optimal grip.
A relevant advantage in case of blade and/or chipbreaker substitution.
The first words of “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” are “disobey me,” a paradoxical expression that underlies much of my favorite absurdist Russian literature. You can take the expression at face value, or you can think about it for a minute and consider that perhaps Gregor Samsa has not really turned into a cockroach.
When I finished writing “Campaign Furniture,” I wanted to begin the book with Alfred Korzybski’s dictum, “The map is not the territory.” But I decided to just play it straight and not include any discussion of semantics. The book itself is a straightforward discussion of the furniture and how to build it. I don’t think this book will get me in trouble like my last one did. So I didn’t include the Korzybski quote.
That doesn’t stop me, however, from talking about my unspoken motives for the book here on the blog. While the book (the map) is about campaign furniture, the uncharted territory it describes is far different.
After 15 years at Popular Woodworking, I concluded that our craft is strapped into a stylistic straightjacket (Shaker and Arts & Crafts) that does more harm than good. Now before you get your panties in a bundle, let me be clear about a couple things: There’s nothing wrong with either of those styles. I love them both. I also love Oreos, but an exclusive diet of them is a bad idea. Also, I was part of the problem. I wrote, approved and encouraged the publication of hundreds of pieces dealing with Shaker and Arts & Crafts.
So I also want to be part of the solution. “Campaign Furniture” is part of that. “Furniture of Necessity,” my next book, is the next step in that direction.
I want readers to explore other styles, even if it isn’t campaign style or vernacular furniture. There is a world of furniture styles out there that are begging to be built. And it’s furniture that beginners can handle. Danish modern, Bauhaus, Japanese Tansu, Chinese furniture (a fricking world of Chinese furniture) are just a few of the styles out there that don’t require an 18th-century apprenticeship to build and are beautiful.
And I’m willing to take a personal hit to my income to try to open your eyes.
If I were smart, I’d write a book on birdhouses, which usually sell twice as many units as any traditional woodworking book. Or I’d do another book on workbenches, Shaker furniture or Arts & Crafts.
Writing a book on an obscure furniture style is economic stupidity. If people don’t like the style, they won’t buy the book, no matter how good it is. Books on a furniture style (even Shaker) will always sell worse than books on skills, tools or workshops. Books on an obscure furniture style usually go from the printer right to the bargain bin. (Ever seen the fascinating book on Mormon furniture? That’s exactly my point.)
Today I received my copy of “Campaign Furniture,” and it doesn’t completely disappoint me. The printing job is nice. I like the end sheets. The binding looks good – not too much glue and the stitching is solid. So I’m drinking a Stone “Old Guardian” right now to celebrate the release of what could be a monumentally unsuccessful book.
I also take a sip to hope – that some of you are willing to step outside the narrow confines of our craft and start to explore the immense uncharted territory ahead of us.
“Campaign Furniture,” for better or worse, has a map inside.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Campaign Furniture
This coming weekend we start another nine-day workshop where we make dovetailed boxes, a bookshelf unit and an oak table. It’s my standard Foundational Course developed for those who take hand work seriously and want to master the exact same skills and techniques as those used by the masters of old. The course has changed very little since my first one back in the late 1980′s. Hard to imagine we are here, 4,500 students later, still teaching the same foundation I developed 25 years ago and one I followed back in the mid 1960′s when I apprenticed. I suppose it’s not really that strange when you think abut it. In hundreds if not thousands of years, wood is still worked the same way. That’s if you still use hand tools of course. The ancient Egyptians used hand planes cast from bronze and of course chisels and saws span the same number of millennia. That being so, the joints and methods of working the tools and the wood have changed only minimally. Whatever is being used to make what we use today mirrors that of ancient peoples around the world. It makes sense then that the techniques I teach are many centuries old. Few things have changed and so teaching the traditions is a given. There are no new methods of working wood that haven’t been with us as long as man has been fashioning wheels and boats, ox yokes, hand planes and all that which we need to make life as easy and as comfortable as possible.
This Week’s Workshop at Penrhyn
On Saturday the course starts around my bench and I work firstly to dismantle the many misconceptions people have about woodworking, their own abilities, the tools and of course how we view the many different spheres of working wood today. For some it is of course a brand new beginning. They may never have worked with wood, never used hand tools and may know nothing at all about the craft. In an hour, maybe two, we will have demystified several lives and opening doors they didn’t even know existed.
The De-Industrial R-evolution – We Begin with Sharpening and Chisels
My first objective is to tech-down the technical industrialism of internet influences that so confuse life today. In about ten to fifteen minutes we will have flattened and sharpened a chisel from Aldi (or somewhere else) to create a pristine edge paralleling the very best chiselling tool any modern maker makes bar none. That means that from that lesson on they will be capably developing their own chisel edges for the rest of their lives without needing a Tormek or any other sharpening machine.
Dismantling and reassembling a #4 smoothing plane regardless of the maker suddenly makes sense when you must make the plane shave off a thousandth or two dead parallel to the surface. It makes sense to dismantle the plane and reset it straight from the start. Again, sharpness is the key and so we cover this first and then we work on how to set up bench planes.
With proper guidance visual stimuli around the workbench knocks the socks of anything else I can offer and my students quickly seek that their success means that they must master the hand plane as early as possible in their training. Smoothing planes and teaching people how to use them has never grown old for me. In a matter of one hour, everyone will clearly understand exactly what they can expect from their smoothing plane. An hour after that they will be planing their wood four-square.
Joint Making and the Art of Joinery Becomes Simple and Clear
That’s always been my goal and how better to make it all the clearer than making three joints as you make three great training projects. before we tackle the joints using in the projects, we spend time making certain every attendee can see just how joints are made, what they do and how best to make them. The box, the wallshelf and the table incorporate the three most commonly used of all joints. At the end of nine days they will have completed three projects, but, the three projects are the byproduct and not the objective. The mastery of skill, the development of knowledge result in the finished examples of their understanding and skill. That’s my goal in deindustrialising these new-genre woodworkers. I’m looking forward to the weekend and we still have a couple of places left if you can make it.
Tomas has posted about holdfast in Sweden where he present old original holdfasts from the southern part of Sweden, Skåne or Blekinge. There are two different patterns of holdfast and the one that seems to be the oldest are on the picture above. The blacksmith Mattias Helje in Lima in Sweden have tried to analyze how it could have been made. There are at least three different ways to forge a holdfast. One is to forge it from a single piece of iron with a dimension thick enough to forge the stem and then stretch out the arm. This is the method used by Øystein Myhre that forged the Norwegian patterns of holdfast. The same method is also demonstrated in a video of Peter Ross and Roy Underhill. One other method is to use a similar dimension of iron and forge it from two pieces, one for the stem and one for the arm and forge weld the two pieces together like the one below from Nordmøre in Norway.
There is also a third way to forge a holdfast. You could start with a dimension that is more like the thickness of the arm and then make the stem by forge welding a piece on to it.
This are different patterns and different ways to make holdfasts in Sweden and Norway. Tomas and I has also done some research of what the holdfast are, or was, called in our languages. I have seen the post about this matter on the Lost Art Press blog, How do you say “holdfast”? The Norwegian names I have posted there are these:
Kjellingfot – if translated to English – goat kid foot
Benkehake – bench hook
Hallhake – hold hook
Hake – hook
Hallfast – holdfast
Ronghake – crocked hook.
Bukkefot – rams foot, this word is from Øystein Myhre that uses the holdfast in his work as a Norwegian blacksmith.
In Swedish there are the names “bänkhållare” (bench holder) and “knekt” (could translate to bracket or something?) in the book “Träslöjd”, Hallén & Nordendal (1923).
In inventories in workshops in Stockholm in the early 1700`s there is several mentions of “stämhake”. That could be the same as holdfast. It could translate to “stem hook”.
Tomas has also learnt the word “fans tumme”, that means “devils thumb”. That is a parallell to the Norwegian joiners “killingfot” (goat kid foot) and blacksmiths “bukkefot” (rams foot). Both refer to a goat foot and the goat and the devil are considered as related in folklore. The devil is usually equipped with rams horn.
Arkivert under:English, Killingfot / hallfast / ronghake, Tilbehør høvelbenk, Tomas og Roald snikrar høvelbenk i Mariestad, Tomas snikrar høvelbenk, modell Vasaskipet
A foolproof [if that concept is possible] method of testing the freshness of liquid hide glue, that works every time.
Simply put a bead of liquid hide glue on a piece of porous paper and place the paper in a warm oven [150 to 200 degrees [F]] for 15 to 20 minutes, then remove and allow to cool.
When you bend the paper the bead of glue will break if the glue is fresh. If the liquid hide glue is not fresh it will bend without breaking.
The samples are from left to right liquid Fish Glue, fresh Franklin/Titebond liquid hide glue and finally Franklin/Titebond Liquid Hide Glue that is over 5 years old [two years spent outdoors year round] and the results show the cracking in the two fresh samples and wrinkles and flexibility in the old sample.
An excellent test, the two fresh glues also passed the legging, cottoning, or stringing test, the old glue did not.
Alex Knappenberger of the “KillerSoundz” YouTube channel built an air cleaner for his woodshop. The most expensive thing in the project was the 8″ 800cfm blower.
Over the years people have asked for alternatives to an expensive pre-manufactured air cleaner, and typically I recommend something as simple as a box fan with a furnace filter and then setting it near where the work is happening.
Alex’s design is taking that idea a few steps further and making something a little more permanent and a lot more powerful! Checkout his two part series on the build.
That’s my objective, and that’s my happiness — to find this relationship with the tree.
Let the boy learn a trade. Watch him at his work and at his play; study his likes and dislikes; place him in a position where he can exercise his talent— if he has any—or his creative genius. Place him where he can learn a trade for which he is best adapted, mentally and physically, and if in after years, he chooses to follow any other line of endeavor, business, law, polities, literature, the stage, the lecture platform, or whatever he considers himself best adapted for, he may do so.
Then should his efforts prove a failure he has always a trade to fall back upon which will at least give him a chance to earn more than the pay of a day laborer. This argument was much in vogue years ago, and we sometimes hear it today, but the obstacles placed in the way make it impossible of achievement. Times have changed, and more’s the pity.
Under present day conditions the greed of the employer is the most serious handicap with which a boy learning a trade has to contend. Put him in a building or in a factory and if he proves an adept in any one particular line or any particular machine, the employer considers it his sacred duty to keep the boy at the one particular task that proves most profitable to the firm. This makes the boy a specialist in one line of endeavor and gives him no opportunity to become an all-round mechanic.
The boy himself is not entirely blameless, as the boys of today are in too big a hurry to earn a man’s salary and in many cases have not the patience to apply themselves to one particular trade; when they see an opportunity of earning ten or twelve dollars a week in some other line of business, they do not consider that the training they are receiving on the buildings and in the factories is fitting them for better times in the future.
They do not consider that this is equivalent to a college education, or the apprenticeship a man must serve to become a member of the bar, or become a doctor. They want their wage now and have no patience to gather material for the future. Speed seems to be the keystone to success and success they are convinced, must be achieved at once.
The employer insists upon keeping a man at high speed at all times and thinks the same should apply to the boy, with the result that the initiative is gone. Many of the boys of today have ideals and a desire to create something useful and beautiful. They like to handle the tools of the various trades. They like to exercise their ingenuity and manufacture something of their own design; make it with their own hands; take pride in it. Under present conditions this is impossible.
The boy’s youth is gone and he finds himself a drudge, a one machine man, or a man whom no employer will hire except when he has that work to be done to which the man or boy is best adapted. When that work is done the man is discharged without hope of further employment until something in his own line presents itself.
There is no question in the minds of many of the old-time mechanics of today, but that if our boys were given an opportunity they would develop great talent and become great architects and builders, but their ambition is killed at the start and as someone said long ago, “each year more talent is burled than is developed.” We, who have followed the trade for many years, know this to be true. We know it from experience and all we have to look back to is “what might have been” had we been given a chance and the man who cannot learn in the great school of experience is a hopeless case and a poor citizen.
Therefore, those of us who have the interest and welfare of our fellow citizens at heart, ask that those who follow us in the trade of our choosing be given an opportunity to broaden, to develop, to become big men if it is in them; and, if it is in them and opportunity presents itself, we are satisfied that our boys will make good.
We have tried to convince the employers that our methods and our ideas are correct and in negotiating a working agreement we asked that provisions be made for the boy. Sympathy was expressed and laws forbidding the indenture of boys as apprentices—or alleged laws—were cited, which, if in force, could easily be repealed or amended by unity of action upon the part of both employer and employe. Sympathy is a good thing but when inoperative it is not of much assistance in accomplishing the end desired.
The vocational school is not a desirable feature in the economic life of the workers although our national organization is on record through one of its highest officials as favoring industrial schools. Our candid opinion is that these schools turn out numbers of “handy men” and but few mechanics. Attendance keeps the boy out of mischief and amuses him, but no practical knowledge of actual building construction is obtained.
The trade school gives a boy the theory of construction and that is all. In theory buildings are plumb, floors are level, and he is taught this must be so if the various mechanics engaged know their business, but Dame Nature has a word or two to say in the matter as experienced men well know. Foundations will settle, so will walls, with the result that more is found to contend with than mere theory and that “more” is, to make matters look right whether they are right or not.
In a trade school—so it seems to many of us—the boy starts where he ought to finish. Let him begin at the foundation and work up. Let him learn the practical side through actual experience and supplement that with the theoretical and the technical and nine times out of ten the boy grows into a finished mechanic and is complete master of both practice and theory, and best of all, he faces the world absolutely sure of himself and with a self-confidence that is a greater business asset than either money or “pull.” There is but one conclusion to which we can arrive and that is that actual experience in the building, the shop and the factory, is essential to the well-being of the boy.
The trade school gratifies the boy’s desire to create, to build something with his own hands but it carries him to no greater heights than a toy house or a toy boat or something else in miniature. The experience in buildings or shops shows things as they are. He learns the nature of the material with which he works and how to treat that material. How to allow for shrinkage and to prevent warping and twisting, therefore it seems to us that trade schools should make it an object to select pupils actually engaged in the business of building or constructing and no doubt these philanthropic institutions would be glad to do so, but the unfortunate feature is that the average employer will not bother with an apprentice.
The question is many sided. The philanthropist in riding his hobby, the trade school, wants no interference from outside interests. The employers’ greed for gain deprives the boy of his chance and the boy’s resentment at being kept on one machine or one class of work prompts him to seek other employment, all of which brings about a condition which seems impossible of adjustment. We have always had to fight for wages and conditions and it looks as though we would have to fight for the boy.
E. H. Neal
The Carpenter – March, 1916
Filed under: Uncategorized
The passing away, recently, of Gabriel Edmonston, that well-known veteran member of our organization and its first President, held an interest for us quite apart from the element of personal loss which it was only natural that all keenly interested in the affairs of our organization should feel, for his death, in a manner, marked a definite breaking with the past—or to be more precise, with that period when our organization was as yet unborn and the plight of the average journeyman carpenter in the world of American labor was comparable with that of one of the lost tribes of Israel.
Edmonston, picturesque figure that he was, in recent years, more and more appeared to stand out as one of the last links in the chain which bound us to the unorganized, or shall we say, the disorganized past, when the carpenter was almost a pariah wandering over the land, the victim of miserably low wages, excessively long hours of toil and wretched working conditions. One might say that in his later years he became a living testimonial to the efficacy of the instrumentality which brought about the amelioration and betterment of the carpenter’s condition—and that instrumentality was organization.
This was due no less to the fact that he was prominent in trade union affairs than that his life was fairly evenly divided between the two periods, the period prior to the organization of the U. B. and that which succeeded it, and few were better fitted then he to testify to the permanent value of organization and its immense power for good where the interests of the workers are concerned.
Some interesting reminiscences, now worth recalling, appeared from his pen in “The Carpenter” a few years ago, in which he told of having witnessed when quite a small boy the parade of the journeymen carpenters of the city of Washington who had been driven to go on strike to bring working hours down to a ten-hour minimum.
“Up to that time,” he said, “the hours of labor were from sunrise to sunset. In the long hot days of summer the work was as hard and exhausting as that of a field hand in harvest, before the days of the reaper, with a low hanging cloud just appearing above the horizon.”
“The parade was unique and creditable both as to numbers and deportment. Each carpenter carried some tool that marked positively the distinctive character of the demonstration, broad axes (now obsolete), saws, bench planes, adzes, augurs, hatchets, and a cabinet maker’s bench mounted on a wagon drawn by two black horses chalklined fore and aft. On the wagon were carpenters making shavings that marked the line of march. The parade accomplished its object and ten hours became fixed as a day’s work, but no union grew out of this peaceful victory.”
But even this initial success did not force the value and efficacy of real organization upon them. Shortsightedly, they were satisfied with their measure of success and “failed to see any use for an organization that called for the payment of regular dues.” Accordingly we learn that the benevolent orders, the Odd Fellows, the Red Men and others “attracted the more provident and influential among them where the payment of sick and death benefits were the inducement, but in the main a general air of poverty pervaded the ranks of the journeymen carpenters. Only the practice of the most rigid economy enabled the married man to keep out of debt.”
“The numbers of days employed during the year was about the same as at present. Piece work was introduced for a winter job when outdoor work was suspended. Nearly all well established bosses could make up a large stock of doors, sash and blinds of standard sizes for the next season’s use. The prices were based on what an average hand could do in ten hours work. All work was by hand from the rough as labor-saving machinery had not been introduced to any great extent nor had it even been invented.”
“A four panel door, raised panels both sides, for instance, was considered a day’s work and brought the journeymen $1.25 for his labor, the lumber being furnished. Piece work was originally a help for the journeyman as it gave him employment at a time when he needed it most. It afterward became a menace to his livelihood when unscrupulous bosses cut the prices to the bone in order to gain an advantage over their competitors. Instead of being a winter job, piece work became the rule on a certain class of work the year round.”
Such was the situation in the decade that immediately preceded the Civil War, and with it, as one may very well surmise, “there had grown up many abuses that had a tendency to humiliate both bosses and journeymen.” The most serious of these was enumerated by Brother Edmonston as “the lack of a decent lien law which was an incentive to the dishonest contractor to adopt sharp practices. The poor journeyman was his chief victim, with the material man a close second.”
“The scarcity of real money, the use of a depreciated currency and store orders as a medium of exchange were demoralizing. As regards liquor, the temptation to dissipation was accentuated by the fact that whiskey was only three cents a pint, while a cheaper grade could be had for twenty cents a gallon.”
These demoralizing influences naturally bore hard on a class of workers that saw no future for themselves except incessant toil without sufficient remuneration for any better showing, so we can well imagine, from the words of the departed veteran, what the conditions in the trade were at the outbreak of the Civil War.
Touching on the effect of that great war on the industrial state of the country and particularly in regard to trade unionism his reminiscences of the period are illuminating and are of an especial interest at this critical time.
“The outbreak of the war,” he tells us, “and the call for volunteers so depleted the ranks of skilled labor that wages took a sharp upward turn and more than doubled. But at the close of the war the return of the soldiers to the trades caused the labor supply to exceed the demand and wages suffered a relapse to former conditions, which reached its lowest ebb in 1880.”
“The rough school of army life had proven the value of organization and discipline which was applied to the industrial field not by the masters alone, but by the workers. The conditions became so bad that something had to be done to avoid anarchy. It was an easy task to convince carpenters in a personal chat that the fault lay with them, and their only hope was in union. The call for the journeymen carpenters to meet for the purpose of organization was a surprise. Instead of two or three dozen expected, the hall was crowded. The rest is the history of the Brotherhood.”
Gabriel Edmonston lived to see a great change come over the status of the carpenter, a change almost revolutionary in its scope, and all of it thanks to constant and unremitting organization under the banner of the U. B. of C. and J. of A. He lived to see the organization he helped to found grow into an institution of great strength and influence. It has accomplished much since he became its first President, and will go farther in the future.
Before closing, it is well to draw attention to the last paragraph we have quoted from the deceased veteran’s reminiscences regarding trade conditions at the close of the Civil War. Organized labor is strong today, a power to be reckoned with in the national life, but we shall soon have to face a situation somewhat analogous to that outlined by the late brother Edmonston, though we fervently hope, by no means as dark.
Our boys now in the army and navy upholding the honor of America will come back when peace is declared and we must see to it that the release from military duty of the great numbers now in our national army is not allowed to demoralize industry as it did following the Civil War. The task in this direction is one the solution of which will tax the best thought of the labor movement and of our government. Let us give the utmost consideration to it now.
The Carpenter – July 1918Gabriel Edmonston was born in Washington D.C. on March 29, 1839. During the Civil War he served in the Virginia infantry, Longstreet’s corps of the Confederate army, and was taken prisoner on four occasions during the war and was twice wounded. After the war he returned to civil life as a carpenter and became an ardent advocate of trade unionism. He was one of the two delegates from Washington, D.C. to the convention held at the old Trades’ Assembly Hall, at Chicago, in August 1881, at which the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America was organized. He was honored by the delegates with the office of President. He died of a stroke on May 15, 1918, six months before the close of World War I.
The provided image is a scan of a UBC dues booklet from my collection. It was issued to Chas E. Stewart (born July 19, 1888) during the summer of 1918, three months after Gabriel Edmonston died. You may see the entire booklet here (pdf).
Filed under: Uncategorized
The hardware for this saw has three functions. It must hold the blade in tension, accommodate blade rotation (when desired), and hold a turned handle. Of these, the first and last are nearly trivial. The second, to allow rotation, yet lock securely when tensioned, is a little more troublesome.
My first design placed an O-ring between the handle and the arm of the frame, hoping that it might provide enough friction to lock the blade in place when it was tensioned. I had some reservations concerning the viability and durability of this design, but went so far as to make the tooling for cutting the O-ring seat.
I had read in the past that some (or maybe most) old frame saws used tapered pins to prevent rotation, but could not think of a good way to make them. When Tony (of Raven’s Edge Toolworks) brought up tapered pins on the WoodNet Hand Tool forum, I started considering them a little more seriously.
The traditional pin is tapered over most of it’s length. Presumably, the hole it fits into is also reamed out with a matching taper. Now, I have a few tapered reamers, but the idea of using wood as the bearing surface for the pin does not appeal to me. I know that this design has worked well for hundreds of years and millions of people, but still…
Last night, I finally realized that a flanged sleeve with an internal taper (to match that on the pin) might be an even better solution. The flange of the sleeve bears on the outside of the arm, preventing it from being pulled through, while the sleeve eliminates metal on wood wear.
I spent several hours this afternoon at my lathe, and came up with the prototype below. For two reasons, the taper is shorter and steeper than is usually seen. It is easier and faster than turning a long taper, but I also hope that it will be less prone to sticking when the blade is loosened.
The pins are made from two pieces of brass. The blade end is bored out to receive the smaller (handle) end, then the two are soldered together. This is faster and easier than machining the entire part from a solid bar.
The flanged sleeve is made from steel that was heated to 550 degrees in an oven, then wiped down with mineral oil. This heat “bluing” provides some measure of protection against rust.
…it’s just that I haven’t made any lately.
But I have been sticking my nose into some furniture books.
Every winter, it’s time to re-new membership in the Regional Furniture Society. I have written about their organization before, it’s a great one. Their journal goes back more than 20 years – while you’re poking around, look at their website http://regionalfurnituresociety.org/
I like the newsletter as much as or more than the journal – it’s there I found out about this next book – “Coffres et coffrets du Moyen Age”. What a book. 2 volumes, great photos, including details of construction, decoration, wood ID, tool marks – it’s all there. In French! It’s mostly chests and boxes (I know that much) but also includes some trestle tables, a folding chair & other bits. These pieces are, as we say in southern New England, “wicked” old. How’s 13th century? They go up to the 17th or 18th century as well. The objects are Swiss; just astounding stuff. I forget where I eventually bought it, but found it on the web somewhere. It took some doing.
Remember it was through RFS that I found out about a similar book last year http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/der-henndorfer-truhenfund/
Another annual journal that is a stand-by is American Furniture, edited by Luke Beckerdite. I got the most recent one the other day, & it’s not brown! A first. It’s the usual production that we’ve been spoiled with since 1993. I always urge furniture makers to buy their copies of this journal, don’t be lulled into reading it on line. Even when it’s furniture I don’t particularly care for, I read it & keep it. You never know…
The big one at the bottom of the pile is the Lost Art Press edition of Roubo’s book. If you missed it, where’ve you been? I read this one standing up, but they have a smaller version, for a smaller price too. http://lostartpress.com/collections/books/products/to-make-as-perfectly-as-possible-roubo-on-marquetry
For those keeping track, there will be spoons for sale this coming week…I’m aiming for Tuesday.
AND, here’s a red-shouldered hawk I found the other day, just up the road from the house.