Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
Today, Mike and I are packing up for Lie-Nielsen’s Open House. This is always a highlight in our year because Tom throws such an awesome party. He is incredibly generous to us and we get to catch up with so many great friends we only get to see a few times a year. If you haven’t had a chance to try one of the tools you’ve been eyeing up from one of your favorite toolmakers, this is a great opportunity to do so. The list of vendors is huge - it seems like it gets bigger every year.
If you are going to be there, make sure to drop by our booth. We’ll have magazines, DVDS, t-shirts, posters, stickers, etc. And for those of you dying to see what’s in store for Issue Three, we are also going to be revealing the Table of Contents at our booth. We’ll have a display with the list of articles along with some sneak peek photography. No one besides our editorial team has seen this list. There, in person at Lie-Nielsen, is the first time this list will be revealed. After we get back next week, I’ll begin blogging about the articles. So, if you can’t make it to Maine this Friday or Saturday, hang tight until next week.
Pre-orders for Issue Three open August 1st.
This is an excerpt from “Chairmaker’s Notebook” by Peter Galbert.
Using wood fresh from a log has a number of advantages for the chair and chairmaker. But that being said, lack of access or experience with green wood should not prevent you from exploring chairmaking. Once you understand the concepts behind the use of green wood and the advantages it imparts, you’ll see there are ways to use dried wood with the same or similar results. Ideas for starting with dry wood are included at the end of this chapter. The process may not be as easy using dried wood, but I recognize that for some woodworkers, the plunge into chairmaking and green woodworking might take place in stages. With a little success in chairmaking, I have no doubt that the excitement will nudge you ever closer to the log.
Why Split Wood?
While the softness and flexibility of the green wood is obvious, you might wonder what the advantage is of split wood. Working from split wood can be a tough concept to grasp, even for the experienced furniture maker.
Trees don’t have any flat or square parts, and wood is not a homogenous material that’s indifferent to the way it is cut. Trees are a bundle of fibers, and once the tools and techniques to split and shave these fibers come into play, hand-tool jobs that would be difficult or tedious with sawn planks become simple and fast.
One way to compare sawn wood to split wood is that a saw blade ignores the fibers and cuts across them. Splits follow the fibers, which yields strong parts that display amazing flexibility without a loss of strength. But there is more to this story.
Whenever sawn wood is shaped, shaved or cut with hand tools, the direction of cut is of primary concern. A smooth surface can be created by cutting or shaving the fibers in the direction that they ascend from the sawn board. Cutting in the opposite direction, where the fibers descend into the board, will cause the cutter to grab the exposed end grain and lever out small chips. This “tear-out” leaves a rough, undesirable surface and takes more effort to cut.
On sawn boards, the direction can change from one area to another, especially if the tree didn’t grow straight. The showy grain patterns so prized in cabinetwork are the result of milling across the fibers, whereas split and shaved pieces will have uniform – perhaps even boring – figure.
But showy grain can force you to constantly change your cutting direction to avoid tear-out, which slows the process. Plus, when shaving round parts from sawn wood, you will usually have to change direction as you shave around the surface. On the lathe, changing direction is impossible.
But when parts are split and shaved to follow the fibers, the direction of cut is simplified. You always head from the thick area to the thin. On round parts, this allows you to work around the entire piece without changing direction.
This enables you to rely on the shape of the piece to dictate the tool’s cutting direction instead of constantly interpreting the surface for clues.
Split wood can be worked in either direction when shaved parallel to the fibers. Once the fibers are carved across, the direction of cut is always toward the thinner area.
This simplifies and speeds the shaping process. Trying to shave a sawn spindle that has fibers that are not parallel to the axis of the spindle requires a constant changing of the cutting direction, which renders the process impractical.
— Meghan Bates
Filed under: Chairmaker's Notebook
The program for this year’s Groopshop of the Professional Refinisher’s Group was an embarrassment of riches, with wide ranging presentations and demonstrations that were edifying to all in attendance.
As was the usual for our events, the several dozen folks in attendance were held in rapt attention as every single session provided nuggets of knowledge for us present.
Golden Artists Colors technical guru Mike Townsend gave a reprise to his presentations at the very first Groopshop almost two decades ago with two spectacular demos on color theory and airbrush techniques. I am a bit of a color theory maven myself and found Mike’s presentation of the idea and practice of color decoding and matching to be superb. He has a real sense of how to connect to an audience of varying experience, and his own background as an artist really comes to light when he is discussing appearance. He provided blank panels to everyone and we followed right along as he showed how color interact with each other.
His no-nonsense demo of airbrushing was a huge hit, and as is often the case with Groopshop demos the audience was soon crowded around him trying all the things he was showing us. One of the highlights of the session was his use of an almost century-old mini air compressor to drive his airbrushes.
John Coffey also had two sessions, sharing the lessons of several decades’ worth of successful experience. His first session was an excellent discourse on dealing with curvalinear and heavily carved surfaces, and his second was a demo of gilded borders on leather tops. To say the least the interest was high for both of them, and he found himself in the center of a mosh pit.
Len Reinhardt was attending his first Groopshop and absolutely stunned us with a recently completed project of conserving a pair of giant valances from a famed historic mansion in Nashville. It really was a first-class project and presentation.
Dan Carlson regaled us with the mostly-unsuccessful fad of repainting countertops in situ, along with many other home remedies for damaged furniture. Given that many in our cohort will be called on to deal with these failures it was timely instruction.
Mike Mascelli and Tom DelVecchio somehow snuck in some discussion of caring for and preserving aged upholstery. Tom is the inventor of The DelVe Square that is made by Woodpeckers, and one of my very favorite tools.
John Szalay and Christine Grove were given an open mike for the after-dinner session on the first day, and as usual had our jaws hanging open with the inventive amazingness of their projects, ranging from furniture restoration to restoring vintage soda machines to casting metal parts for vintage motorcycles to rebuilding vintage woodworking machines. Jon is better known to the outside world as “Jersey Jon” from the American Pickers” television show. Christine has a passion for old-time machines, and of course high fashion.
Al Lopez recounted the progression of his shop from small furniture restoration outfit to a large project, mostly architectural restoration enterprise. I was so busy listening to his talk that I forgot to take pictures. Sorry Al.
Other presenters who I also failed to photograph were Mark Faulkner and Val Lennon from Besway/Benco, briefing us on new regulations about solvents and chemical safety and disposal. (I took advantage of their proximity to pick their brains about my upcoming dive into the production of Mel’s Wax.) Freddy Roman evangelized us by cataloging the role of social media in his business plan. His talk was simultaneously awesome and terrifying to a sixty-something minarchist like me. I gave two shorter talks, one on our recent adventures in ripple moldings, and one on the technology of emulsions and the design of Mel’s Wax. I distributed free samples of the latter with the extracted promise that everyone who took a sample was required to give me constructive feedback, which has begun to flow in.
Even with all of this I m sure I forgot to mention some of the learning opportunities there, and for that I apologize.
And the fun was not over yet.
In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, we spend time with Matt Furjanic of inlaybanding.com. Matt discusses how he he got started in the business – it’s a great story that is probably more common than you think – and shares some of his thoughts on woods and glues used to make bandings of all kinds.
Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more).
The latest edition of F&C is now on the shelves. It follows Fine Woodworking in it's retro, understated cover layout and looks very professional.
I've done an article on the twisted dovetail showing the method in detail. It's not as difficult as it may look, unless of course you want to emulate Theo Cook's wonderful version, see above.
The American theme continues with a good article on plane maker Matt Bickford.
An very interesting article on adding curved platens to a belt sander.
And part three of 'stack marking'. Maybe I'm missing something here, but in all three articles I'm left thinking this seems a great way of making a simple task complicated! Anyone else any thoughts?
I’ve written an article on Chinese furniture for Popular Woodworking which should come out at the end of the year or the beginning of next year, if all goes well. One of the things that I didn’t have space for in the article was a motif called “cracked ice”. It’s a random pattern of triangles and other polygons that is mounted on the inside of a frame. They can be small scale as in the window above, or larger, as in the panel below.
They can incorporate an interior frame, as seen below.
The cracked ice pattern shows up in furniture pieces as well.
This pattern is meant to resemble cracks that form in ice covering a pond as the temperature goes up. This pattern also appears in other Chinese art, most notably in ceramics. In this case, the glaze naturally cracks during the firing process, resulting in the pattern on this vase.
Besides being a design motif that I find very attractive, I’m also intrigued by the process of laying this design out. Intrigued in the sense that I’ve been thinking about how I would lay out a pattern like this for at least 5 years now, and I still have no idea how to do it. It’s easy to lay out a random pattern of triangles and polygons. It’s much harder to do that in a way that looks good, and in the case of woodworking, good enough so that you can look at it for a few decades and not find it annoying.
I’ve had a number of conversations with George Walker over the years, and more recently Jim Tolpin, about this design. They haven’t figured it out, either. We’re all sure that there are some sort of guidelines that can direct how to lay out this pattern. We just don’t know what it is.
Two weeks ago I was on vacation in Barcelona. And when you’re in Barcelona, you wind up looking at a lot of things built by Antoni Gaudí, designer of the Sagrada Família, the Park Güell, and other famous Barcelona landmarks. One of the buildings we visited was the Palau Güell, which is a fabulous seven-story mansion in the heart of Barcelona. As we headed to the top, I was quite surprised to see this.
These are interior stained glass windows that face the top of a hall used for social events and musical concerts. It is said that Asian design was an early influence on him, but I don’t have any evidence that Gaudí deliberately was using the cracked ice design. In any case, Gaudí wasn’t the only Barcelona architect to use this sort of element in his architecture.
This is a stained glass panel in the Palau de la Música Catalana, designed by Lluís Domènech I Montaner, Unlike how Chinese woodworkers used this pattern, the cracked ice pattern is identical from panel to panel. In Chinese design, each panel would have had its own cracked ice pattern.
Even if Gaudí and Domènech I Montaner weren’t cribbing directly from Chinese design, they both were interested in incorporating design elements from nature into their work, so it may not be completely surprising that this design pops up in turn of the century Barcelona, given the natural inspiration for this design.
|this corner is wee bit off|
|even if I don't use a molding|
|1/8" beader was the $29 deal|
|someone has done a bit of work on this|
|it has one large flat bevel|
|my bead on the right|
|the bead profile is a wee bit off|
|reason two I bought this|
|my cornice plane from Hyperkitten|
|back of the iron|
|looks like a large micro bevel on the edge|
|as good as sole as the beader|
|I like this profile|
|ripping it out|
|nope, it's too big|
|It would look good here|
|too big for the bottom base|
|planed and ripped out one more|
|this will work too|
|close but not a match|
What was the name of the first movie released with the NC-17 rating (no children under 17)?
answer - Henry and Jane
I’ve done an extensive article on this glue and there’s no need for me to repeat it again. Last night I was gluing up some very thin panels for another project, it’s 1/8″ thick, as always I use hot hide glue but I wasn’t paying attention and over cooked it which ended up in the bin immediately. So instead of making another batch I heated up OBG in hot water, clamped it and left it to dry. I left it for a couple of days as I had other projects to attend to. What shocked me was that the glue broke along the glue line, the glue is coming to the end of its shelf life it will expire in two months time. However, to me that means nothing because I always go by smell. You’ll know when your glue is ready for the bin. This has only happened to me once before but anyhow I thought I’d give fish glue another final trial run and reglued the two panels. It hasn’t been 24 hours clamp time that you normally would do with this type of glue and its rock solid, I must be a weakling because I cannot literally break the panel apart. It’s only an 1/8″ thick just tad over 3mm and I cannot break it apart, now that’s impressive. What I also love is how it’s light in colour which makes it possible to make a seamless edge join.
I’m sold, I just placed an order from Lee Valley for a 500ml bottle but what gets me is how bloody picky we are. We know that the best fish glue comes from Sturgeon and this fish is almost extinct which is why they’ve banned fishing it. There are some places that do sell fish glue made from Sturgeon, maybe it’s banned to the rest of the world except the Russians I don’t know but I do know it cost $500 for the flakes. Lee Valley fish glue is made from cod, this is a lower quality type of fish glue but it more than does the job, it really does. They say it has a shelf life of two years but that’s crock, fish glue can last for many, many years as long as it’s kept either in a fridge or even more convenient as there’s no wife to jump down your throat for using her fridge to store your glue, if you keep it in a cool dark non damp spot like your drawer in your cabinet or keep it in your cabinet. Remember I’ve had this small bottle for over 5 years kept in a drawer and it still hasn’t gone off. So there it is in a nutshell and should be great news for all those instrument makers who’ve had nothing but trouble with their fish glue. We don’t need the best of the best, why pay for more when you can pay less for something that works really well. If I can’t break it then somebody explain to me why I need to pay $500 for something else I can’t break either. Fish glue works.! Give it a try and you’ll never look back.
Btw I’ll never replace my hot hide because it spreads easy, fish glue is thick and you can thin it down but I don’t. I love hot hide and I love fish glue and I will definitely be using fish glue for dovetails and more often for other types of joinery. I’m so torn between the two. I love them both equally.
Quite often the correct answer will be please.
But sometimes please just doesn't do it. A stronger more magic word is required.
Back in 1992 I spent some months in Minnesota, and I had the privilege of being allowed to help out at auctions held by the then oldest auctioneer company in Minnesota: "Fred Radde and sons, auctioneers and realtors"
Fred the main auctioneer knew the magic word for Minnesotan auctions was "Fish house". If an old crappy sofa or chair was unsaleable, calling it a fish house chair would instantly spark the interest in the crowd and someone would buy it for their fish house for the coming winter season of ice fishing (a great sport by the way). Fred's next comment would usually be in line with: "buy it now and leave it on the ice, in the spring it will be gone".
He really knew how to make a good atmosphere and that stimulated people to buy, and all in all it contributed to a nice event with lots of laughter and good deals.
Now in my case "fish house" wont do it. "Please" works sometimes, but "HORSE" works every single time.
If I need to start a new project:
"Honey, I'll go mill some wood to make some saw dust to spread in the stable for the horses to sleep in".
Such an approach will be greatly appreciated, in contrast to e.g.:
"Honey, I'll start building a new workbench"
There are a number of situations where you can use the magic word, tool purchases, classes etc. the imagination is the limit.
In reality you want to say: While I don't really need this tool, I am sure it would impress someone reading my blog.
Chances are that my request will be frowned upon and quickly be discarded as not essential for the household.
If I on the other hand say something like this:
"If I buy this tool, I could make a really nice cupboard for the saddle room, so you can easily organize the tendon boots for the horses."
I am sure you get the idea.
So I am thinking that a lot of the advice offered for aspiring woodworkers start in the wrong place such as:
Advice for a beginners tool kit.
What planes to buy and when.
The first saw you should get.
And so on....
A much better place to start would be by finding the magic word. The very word that will allow you to invest time and money in your hobby and being thanked for it. Now that is something that isn't described in a lot of "how to posts" for people wanting to get into woodworking.
We are not talking complicated psychology here, a good look at your wife's hobbies will most likely give an idea of what the magic word could be, Here are a couple of suggestions that might work, but remember like in Harry Potter, there is always the risk of a magic spell backfiring on you, so be careful!
Gardening (this one is dangerous because you could end up using a shovel all day long instead).
Bespoke baking supplies.
Doll house (this one might make it difficult to justify getting a portable saw mill)
Finally, you shouldn't feel bad about using a magic word, because I am fairly certain that we are under their spell most of the time anyway.
My work on the expanded edition of “Roman Workbenches” continues. I need to build one more bench (oh, if I had a dime for every time I’d written those words) and then sort through the pile of research I’ve accumulated, plus the mass of images and links that that researcher Suzanne Ellison has sent me.
Here’s the surprising/not-surprising thing we’ve found so far: These benches are everywhere. It doesn’t matter what time or place you are researching. If you look long enough at a society’s paintings and material culture, you’ll find a low workbench. It might have vises, stops, dogs or holdfasts. It might have none of these things. Or all of them. The Christ child might be tenoning (as shown) or he might be using a chalk line (not shown).
But whenever I encounter these benches, I am both amazed and thankful that Jesus was a carpenter and not a shoe salesman.
Recently Suzanne dug up the example at the top of this blog. (“La Segrada Familia” by Juan del Castillo, 1634-1636. From the Museum of Fine Arts Sevilla.) Of note: The massive top, the face vise (we see these first in the 1300s) and the stretcher at the end between the legs.
Also, two people tenoning? Is this something the artist made up or had seen before?
Time for bed.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Roman Workbenches, Uncategorized
Veka 29. mai – 2. juni var eg leiar for ein busstur med studentane på teknisk bygningsvern og tradisjonelt bygghandverk for å besøke stavkyrkjer, mellomalderbygg, gardar og interessante restaureringsprosjekt. Vi starta på Kongsberg og køyrde vestover med mange interessante og lærerike stopp undervegs. Onsdagen vart vi møtte på Voss av Ola Fjeldheim, generalsektretær i Fortidsminneforeningen. Han tok oss fyst med på Lydvaloftet som eg har høyrt mykje om frå tidlegare. Det er antyda at loftet er frå fyrste halvdel av 1300-talet, men eg kan godt tenkje meg at delar av det kan vere noko eldre. I dette loftet er det så mykje spennande å sjå på at det ikkje er råd å få med meir enn ein liten brøkdel av inntrykka. Eg vil likevel gjerne vise noko av det eg beit meg merke i for at de skal få eit lite inntrykk av kvalitetane i dette loftet.
Sjølv om loftet i seg sjølv hadde enormt mykje spennande å by på så la eg merke til ein gamal høvelbenk som stod i ei mørk krå i andrehøgda. Kor denne benken stammar frå og kor gamal han er veit eg ikkje, men han er ein del av inventaret som Fortidsminneforeningen har i loftet. Benken har føter som er tappa inn i ei kraftig benkeplate ca 2 meter lang, ca 14″ brei og ca 3 ½» tjukk. Føtene er tappa gjennom benkeplata med ei tappskulder som støttar under. Føtene har tverrtre som er tappa gjennom og nagla. Framtanga er eit krokvakse emne av lauvtre, truleg bjørk, som det står ein treskruve i.Høvelbenken på Lydvaloftet. Foto: Roald Renmælmo
Høvelbenken er i prinsippet veldig enkel med berre framtang. Eg har ikkje funne spor etter høvelstopp framme på benken. I bakkant er det nokre runde hol som kan vere til høvelstopp eller ronghake, men det er høgst usikkert. Benken kan ha stått mot ein vegg, men det er ikkje spor etter at den har stått fast mot noko. Det kan vere grunn til å gjere meir nøyaktige oppmålingar av benken ved eit høve. Benken var kring 74 cm høg.
Arkivert under:1700-tal, 2,0 - 2,2 meter, 74-76 cm, Framtang med skrue
The material that I chose to use is fibre rush. This is a paper product that imitates the look of natural rush and has been in use since the early 1900’s. I had planned on researching and writing a thorough post on fibre rush, but Cathryn Peters (wickerwoman.com) has a “history of” article on here site that covers it. Jump over there and have a read and then come back. I’ll wait…
…to understand the weaving process I read through the articles on Ms. Peters’ site, bought a small booklet on the subject and watched a bunch on YouTube videos. The most helpful video, by far, was Ed Hammond’s (peerlessrattan.com) video.
Having prepared as much as I could, there was nothing left to do but jump in and do it. So I gathered my supplies and tools and settled in for a long afternoon.
The pattern is a simple over-under and progresses counter-clockwise around the stool.
While the pattern is simple, the nuances that are the hallmarks of skill and proficiency are not. As with most hings handwork, these must be earned with time on task. Where to push and where to pull? How hard? How large a coil of material can I work with? On and on. The thing that I struggled with the most is how to handle and turn the coil as I weaved. The loose coil of rush must be continually rotated, in the correct direction, else the strand will untwist and leave you with a string of flat paper. I fought this all afternoon! Constantly having to stop and re-twist the strand.
There is a rhythm that began to reveal itself as the afternoon wore on and I became more and more comfortable with the process. Over the rail, up through the middle…over the rail up through the middle. Even so, my progress was clumsy at best, but I managed to get the first seat completed.
This first seat is presentable and I’m confident that the next one will improve in both execution and speed. This first round of weaving took me six hours! I also woefully underestimated how hard this process would be on my fingers. My thumbs and index fingers are raw and sore. So either tape or gloves will be needed for the weaving of the next seat.
Part 3 Greg Merritt
Some woodworkers like to keep the hollow on the back of Japanese plane blades and chisels as wide as possible, resulting in the outside edge being really thin. Apparently this blacksmith wanted to frustrate those woodworkers.
(Photos from Nobori Hamono.)
|I found out what it is|
|Ohio Tool catalog page from ?|
|no spring lines|
|removed the tip on the right|
|planed it off|
|some more molding plane work|
|this one was smaller|
|the original bottom piece with a test molding on top of it|
|this is what I am going to do|
|tried several more profiles|
|one my several breaks upcoming|
|a couple of hours later|
|and full width and length shavings too|
|the sole and port side|
|new bottom piece|
|tried the same molding that is on the bookshelves|
|last molding look see|
|working on the top horizontal beaded molded|
|new way of clamping|
|top frame done - this is the easiest one to do|
|side frames are next- rough sawing the miters|
|I chiseled the flat flush after I did the miter|
|layout is done on the back|
|sawing the miter|
|last miter done|
|bottom and side frames glued and nailed|
|some flexing in the sides|
|right side dry fit|
|right side fit|
|rough sawing the base parts to length|
|forgot to plane the top edge straight and flat|
|round two for base stock|
On round two I thought I had screwed up again but I hadn't. I cut off a new piece 33" long off a long board but I took the off cut from that which was shorter than 33". I got the right piece and marked out the front.
|how to connect the back?|
What was the name of the pilot of the first Presidential airplane?
answer - Major Henry T Meyers
I am working on another desk box; an oak box with a slanted lid. Mainly I need this for the photos, for an article in the works. The annoying part is that the photos I needed to shoot were the slots/dadoes/what-have-yous on the inside faces of the box’s end boards. But…I don’t like to do the carving after cutting voids into the board. So first, I had to carve them.
This time, I made up the design, drawing from my research (and others’) into the varied carvings coming out of Devon, England. The same style appeared in Ipswich, Massachusetts during the last 3rd of the 17th century. I carve this stuff more than any other grouping, mostly because of its variety. Once you learn the “vocabulary” it’s easy to make up designs willy-nilly.
The desk box ends are weird shapes though. Took a little sketching with some chalk, and some wiping away with a damp cloth – but I got something I like. So then the front board is simple enough – a plain ol’ rectangle. There are three boxes from Devon that seem to be the same carver, or the same general pattern anyway. One of these I photographed back when I worked at Plimoth Plantation, the other two are from a website I subscribe to, Marhamchurch Antiques – http://www.marhamchurchantiques.com/ Paul Fitzsimmons there is a magnet for this Devon/Exeter oak furniture.
I’m going to carve the box front at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on Sunday July 9. from noon to 3pm. I’ll be demonstrating the carving, and some joinery and other oak-y stuff. http://www.mfa.org/programs/gallery-activities-and-tours/early-american-furniture-carving
Here are a few details from the Devon boxes that were the inspiration for my sketch – (the first two from Marhamchurch Antiques, thanks Paul, the 3rd is my photo).
This one had a later escutcheon on it, covering up the pattern. I took it off, so we could see the shape. At that time, I had never seen the previous two.
But before I go to Boston to work on Sunday, I’m off to Maine for the Open House at Lie-Nielsen Friday & Saturday. https://www.lie-nielsen.com/hand-tool-events/USA/146
These events are legendary; the lineup this summer is killer. I try to do this show every July…it’s like old home week, seeing all my friends from the hand-tool circus. I guess I was there last summer – found my picture on their Facebook page –
This time I’ll mostly be carving oak for a bedstead I’m working on. But I have a talk on Saturday about green woodworking, so I’ll do some spoon carving too. See you there I hope.
|I put this aside|
|plane iron for the LN 51 shooter|
|bottom piece is batter lead off|
|bottom is done|
|thinking of mitering the side into the bottom|
|good practice too for doing the top ones|
|this isn't going to work|
|got my new camera|
In 1933, what did a room at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City cost?
answer - a single $6, a double $9, and a suite $20
I paid $30. Online prices are all over, so I don't know whether this is a good deal or not, but I am pleased to have the set.
An interesting and puzzling, to me at least, sidenote is where the 32 1/2 comes from. The bits are graduated from 1/4" to 1" by sixteenths and, if you add up the thirteen bits, the sum is 130/16. Dividing the numerator and denominator by 4 yields (32 1/2)/4. Odd.
The next test I conducted was to see if they would bore a hole in 5/4 dry white oak. The Stanley and Russell Jennings bits did fine but the Stanley stalled. Looking at it, it appeared that the threads on the snail clogged up. I then used a trick that Bob Rozaieski shared. I bored a hole in the alder just to the depth of the lead screw and covered the threads on the lead screw with green honing compound. Then I threaded it into the hole and worked it back and forth several dozen times. I re-attempted to bore a hole with the bit and it worked fine. Clearly the snail needs to be clean and polished to do its job well.
So what's up? It's not clear to me whether one design is superior to the other. I cannot provide a technical explanation of the relative merits of double threaded and single threaded snails on auger bits. The most important thing seems to be to make sure they are tuned-up very well. Looking back, I think the problem I had with the Irwin pattern bits in hardwood was a result of maintenance not design.
This post is presented annually on this date – DCW
As we consider the world around us it is worth reflecting seriously on the document encapsulating the ideas that founded the greatest nation ever known to man (the US Constitution WAS NOT a founding document for the nation, it merely established the rules for its governance [admittedly now generally unknown and ignored] which is not the same thing). I pray you will read and reflect on the ideas expressed by men who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to pursue the path of liberty. Reading it is like reading the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament; more up-to-date regarding the human condition than tomorrow’s headlines.
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Robert Treat Paine
With all of the parts complete, it was time to bore some holes. There are (24) rungs which left me facing (48) holes that needed to be drilled plumb and square. It’s not that difficult of task really, but one errant hole can mess up the whole works. Actually, a little variance can be beneficial by way of adding tension into the frame. Too much variance though will either split a post or make it impossible to assemble the frame.
So I cautiously began marking out and drilling each mortise holes. To add a little extra stress, I had to be diligent with my depth. These are blind holes and need to be as deep as possible to form a strong joint. I used a standard auger bit and had to pay careful attention to the lead screw. Half a turn too far and the lead screw would come through the opposite side. To control the depth of bore you can count turns, strap on a vintage depth stop contraption or, as I did, wrap a bit of painters tape around the bit.
The process was to mark out the centers by sighting across the post at the top and bottom locations and connect those with a straight edge to establish the intermediate location.
The best way I have found to hold an individual leg is to place it in joiner’s saddles and clamp it to the bench with a holdfast.
The drilling is straight forward, but I checked my progress with a square.
No matter how careful you are, sometimes the point of the auger makes it through to the other side.
Sometimes though, it validates your skill with the brace and bit.
And so I progressed, first with individual frames and then the entire frame.
The glue up was a bit stressful. It was a lot of parts to assemble and hot hide glue doesn’t wait. I was given a few extra seconds though, due to the high temp (88F) in my shop. So no pics of the glue up. All of my concentration was on the task at hand.
The glued frames with a second coat of Tried & True Original. The first coat was applied while the pieces were on the lathe. That first coat of the individual pieces saved me a good bit of work when cleaning up the glue squeeze out.
A note about the grain orientation of the pieces. I set the rungs so that their grain was perpendicular to that of the posts. I also set the posts so that none of the rungs inserted directly through the long grain of the post.
Now all I need to do is figure out how to weave the seats.
Part 2 Greg Merritt