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|I bought them all|
What surprised me about both sellers, was how clean the screws were. I usually get parts like this all rusty and ratty looking. These are all rust free and shiny. The slots aren't mangled and the screws all have good looking, well defined threads.
|these 3 are all set now|
|everything has set up|
|removed most of the proud with the chisel - I then planed it flush|
|flushed the walnut to the bottom|
|checked my desk stock|
|lightweight but sufficient|
|ugly even if they won't be seen|
|found a lot of 3/4" screws|
|found a piece of poplar long enough|
|sawing 1/2 x 1/2 notches|
|my senior moment|
|I will have to use a wide piece after I fix this|
|I wanted to use walnut here|
|padauk is another choice|
What is a folivore?
answer - an animal that eats leaves
Over the next six weeks I will be blogging about Handworks 2017 a lot, or at least my preparations for it to be sure. I think we are at T-minus 52 Days before departure.
Over the winter Mrs. Barn prepared two full cases of packaged beeswax in anticipation of the event. If all goes well I will not bring any back home. One thing down, a bazillion to go.
I intend to demonstrate wax and shellac finishing during the event, so come by and say “Hi.” I’ll be in one of the center aisle booths at the Festhall.
I’ve been slowly working my way through a pile of cherry spoon wood. All but one or two of this batch is from the same tree. And most all are crooks, bent/curved sections which lend the spoons their shape.
A couple of these got picked by people on a waiting list for spoons. I never intended there to be such a thing, but sometimes I get requests between postings of spoons for sale.
spoons listed are here https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-for-sale-march-2017/ or at the top of the menu on the blog’s front page. Leave a comment here (the page for some reason doesn’t accept comments…) if you’d like to order a spoon. Paypal is the easiest way, or you can send a check. Let me know which payment method you prefer. The price includes shipping in the US, otherwise, we’ll calculate some additional shipping costs.
All the spoons are finished with food-safe flax oil. If for some reason, anyone is not happy with their spoon, just contact me & we can do a return/refund.
thanks as always,
Below is an advance of my editor’s note from the May/June 2017 issue (which mails to subscribers April 12 and is on newsstands April 25). I want everyone – subscriber or no – to know that we welcome queries from any and all woodworkers, and that I’d love to see more diversity in our pages. But it’s a two-way street. I’m about to break a self-imposed rule about keeping “politics” […]
I nixed getting the VA supplied stand up desk version because it won't work for me. It will elevate the monitor and keyboard/mouse up and down but that is it. There is no provision for working on paperwork at the same time at an elevated position. If all I was doing was computer work this would work. But over half of what I do doing the day is dealing with paperwork first and then feeding all that into the scanner and onto the computer.
|oh dark thirty sunday morning|
This will go into the wood pile to be used from something else. For the desk it's use is toast and I'll buy another 2x4 sheet of plywood.
|monitor base frames|
|blurry pic of a proud tenon|
|possible big desk base stock|
|flushed and cleaned up the frames|
|the monitor base top|
|trimming the first two pieces flush|
|not a problem now|
|cutting and fitting the last two walnut strips|
|quick, easy, and I got a clean edge|
|the proposed bracing|
|two pieces of 3/4" plywood|
I went through every single piece of both of these plywood bins and I only found one flat and straight one in each. The one I bought yesterday came from Lowes and I don't remember if I checked it for being flat. I was more interested in getting a nice grain pattern. I got that but a pretzel for a board.
|the top brace details|
|flush fit on the through dado|
|labeled the bottom|
|wee bit off on this side|
|I have a boatload of planes|
|rounding over the corners on the monitor top|
|the 3rd one|
|I had striped walnut|
|removing glue with a carbide scraper|
|marking for the brace|
|now it's square|
|used a story stick|
|kept things from dancing around as I sawed|
|the moment of truth|
|too snug for me|
|the last of the walnut trim pieces|
|left it proud on this side|
|flush on this side|
|proud on this side|
What were the first names used by Sir Arthur Doyle for Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson?
answer - Sherringford Holmes and Ormond Sacker
Just when you think we know everything about gaming tables, more information surfaces. I was at the preview of a local auction house when I came across this rather chunky example:
Georgian Game Table
Description: 19th century, mahogany, mahogany veneer, oak secondary, unusual dual hinged top with storage compartment, gate leg, cabriole legs with pad foot.
Most game tables have some style or elegance, not this one.The heavy apron and the graceless pad feet lack a pleasing aesthetic.
But that’s not why I called you here.
It is a four-legged table with the fourth leg being a traditional gate leg:
Note the sprung hinge on the right side. This is important.
The hinge is still sprung. Also note the screws on the lower table surface.
What caused the crack? The lower table section is hinged to the frame covering the storage below:
This isn’t the only design challenge. If one tries to access the storage area with the table closed, the sections stacked, when the sections are opened beyond around 30°, the table falls over. Empirically determined. The table is not very deep and when the weight is shifted too far to the back, bad things happen. If I recalled my vector analysis, I could calculate the tipping point.
I did not bid on this table.
On a more positive note, I found two examples of another method of table support. I reveal to you the extension gaming table:
I found the above at the Raleigh Antiques Extravaganza.
A few hours later I found this one at a Raleigh consignment shop:
On the back rail was this label:
The dealer believes that these tables are from the 1930’s. A search for the patent shows that Patent 2,153,262 was granted April 4, 1939. There were simple practical and novel improvements in extension tables in Patent 2,316,448 on April 14, 1943.
I couldn’t find much on the Big Rapid Furniture Mfg. Co. of Big Rapids, Michigan other than by their own admission they are Manufacturers of Medium Priced Furniture. They obviously survived beyond 1939.
Several weeks back I reported on the Maslow CNC that costs just $500. Here’s Part One and Part Two if you missed it. This is a Kickstarter project, which means that it’s a crowd-funded product still in its development phase. Being a backer means you’re not so much a buyer as an investor enticed by the opportunity to get in early at a lower price before it’s released to the […]
The woodworking world in which I participate is slowing moving toward minute measurements – everything needs to be precise. Users of handplanes brag about shavings in the thousandths of an inch, and calipers in some woodworking shops carry measurements three decimal places or more. We are trying to work in exacting dimensions using a medium that does not support infinitesimal details. Wood moves. The idea in woodworking today – as it was in the previous centuries – should be to make it fit.
That was plan 1, iteration 3b, change 9, upgrade Z21-A, that quickly got flushed down the toilet. The reason why plan #1 didn't work was that I couldn't drill the holes for the new screws because the jamb for the screen door was in the way. And the door was drooping so I couldn't line up the holes in the hinge with the ones in the door.
|size of the screw in the hinges|
The one thing I didn't want to do was take the door down. It is an old, solid wood door and it weighs as much as battleship. I know this because I had to take the door off the hinges. I also blew out the lower hinge on the jamb. So I had to fix those screw holes along with the ones on the top of the door.
From start to finish this adventure took me over 3 hours and I'm still not done. I'll be replacing the door and the jamb later on this summer. Part of the problem with blowing out the bottom hinge was due to rot. The door has been sagging for years, and I've putting band-aids on it for years, and now I have run out of them. The rot at the bottom of the door jamb is only going to get worse and contribute more to the door sagging. The rot is on the lock set side of the jamb but the hinge looked like it had some too.
|brought a problem home|
|I'm two lines off|
|had to check it to make sure|
The monitor base will be 13" up from the desk. The monitor will adjust upwards another 6". Between the two of them I can dial in a height where I can look straight into the monitor without bobbing my head.
|all the joints are trimmed, dry fitted, and ready to glue up|
|glued up and cooking|
|the main desk|
|I won't be using this|
|hiding the plies|
|2nd piece glued on|
|new ebonizing method|
|distilled water first|
|about 1/2 of a 1/4 cup|
|lots of breathing holes|
I took a break here and did my second non workshop wood related chore. I found some pruners and filed them sharp and went outside in the rain. I spent the next hour pruning my 3 lilac bushes. I removed all the dead wood and last years blooms that didn't fall off. I'll have to make another trip tomorrow with the big ass pruners to get a few crossed branches that are rubbing against each other.
After I came back in I was going to work on the big desk but that didn't happen. When I looked at it on the bench I saw that it was noticeably bowed. Bowed to the point of being useless to use as the desk. I clamped it down to bench and we'll see tomorrow if there is any joy in Mudville.
What is the width of the train tracks in America based on?
answer - the width of ancient Roman cart tracks, 4 feet 8 1/2"
|going with the pencil lines|
|rough bandsaw work done|
|planing it smooth and square|
|first foot done|
|I got lucky|
With the feet done, I can make up the iron part of the ebony solution. That will take a few days to cook and in the interim I can finish up the rest of the bookshelf.
|straightedge isn't touching the opposite corners|
|it's dragging on these two corners|
|my sighting table|
|dealing with a defect|
|#120 spin wheels|
|my threads have better definition and aren't worn|
|swapped them out|
I tried both wheels in their respective lever caps and I still didn't get any stripping action. Both locked down on the iron without any problems. I swapped them out and got the same results. I couldn't get either one to 'strip' out.
|Matt's plane in action|
|5 tries and 5 different shavings|
|finally got it to 'strip'|
I'll keep an eye on that and for the time being I'll leave the wheels on their respective lever caps. If the stripping action comes up again, I'll swap out the wheels.
I would have done the planing on the sides to thickness tonight but I was tired. The one thing I didn't want to screw it up was the thicknessing because I was tired. I probably would have made a mistake and not caught it until the next day. Grrr!. No rush or deadlines on this, so I'll pick this up on Saturday.
How teaspoons are there in a cup?
answer - 48 (3 teaspoons to a tablespoon and 16 tablespoons in a cup)
Given the right tools, expert instruction and hours of practice I believe I stand a good chance of becoming a mediocre carver. It’s something to which I aspire. Eventually. Aim for the stars…
I was watching the famous and talented Mary May do another carving demonstration today. Not for the first time and not, I hope, for the last. We are at a furniture seminar at MESDA (Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts) in Winston Salem, NC.
I have a special relationship with MESDA, I give them money and they let me into the museum. I give them more money and they let me come to seminars. With food. All very civilized.
Knowing that it will be a while before I create my own most excellent carvings, I choose to honor them with the only way I know, take pictures and share skilled people’s work.
This is a set of pictures of carved shells and shell-like objects I have dcoumented between January of 2016 and now.
Shell-like carved objects come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and styles. There is:
You can see the entire flickr set HERE.
The task for the second day of training at the Library of Congress rare book conservation lab was for each of the specialists to emerge at the end of the day with a perfectly prepared matched set of oak bookboards in order to create their own model of the art form. Considering that this was an assembly of gifted folks with near-zero woodworking experience, that is no small feat.
Re-sawing in the vise, crosscutting, and trimming on the bench hooks was what consumed the entire day.
I let them try any number of re-sawing methods, ranging from my vintage 4tpi carpenter’s rip saw, my own bow saw or their bow saw, a range of Japanese saws they had in-house, my French style frame saws, etc. I have to say that by nearly unanimous confirmation the Japanese saws came out the favorites.
Following the re-sawing, and the flattening of one face of each of the two bookboards, I asked them to mark the desired 1/4″ thickness with a gauge and shoot a rabbet around the perimeter for the final thicknessing by hand plane.
Off they were to the races. After the boards were to the proper thickness they were sawn to width and length on the bench hook with back saws or Japanese saws, and all four edges shot also on the bench hook, mostly with either block planes of small bench planes (most of the book boards were in the 5″ x 7″ range). The final step was slightly beveling the edges.
As I packed up at the end of the second day I think everyone was well on the way to having their own pair of boards ready for making their model book.
It was an unmitigated delight to introduce them to the tools and processes of making their own bookboards and I look forward to getting reports of them applying their new skills to projects in the future. The virus of hand toolism was planted, and some of them even went to the recent PATINA tool sale two weekends later.
Now I just gotta see to fixing their orkbench problem.
I am not a piano repairman. But when our piano tuner told us that it would be pretty expensive to fix our 1950s-era spinet piano (for which we paid $60), my wife urged me to try it myself.
A couple weeks earlier, one of the younger kids had been pounding on the keys, and the dowel rod holding one of the hammers snapped right off. My wife found the broken piece inside the piano. It was the B-flat above middle C–so not exactly a note that we could do without.
It’s easy to forget that a piano is both a stringed instrument and a percussion instrument. Press a key, and a small hammer strikes a string held in tension over a soundboard. There are 88 of these hammers, most of which strike three strings at once. The dowel rod that held this hammer somehow snapped in two–perhaps there was a flaw in the wood, or perhaps the key was just struck too hard. That happens sometimes when you have little kids.
Regardless, fixing this hammer was going to be tricky. Open up the bottom of the piano, and this is what you see:
All those vertical, wooden pieces are part of the action–the mechanism that connects each key to each hammer. The broken piece was deep inside this very complicated mechanism. (Pardon the funny lighting, but the ambient lighting in my living room is abysmal, and I was working mostly by LED flashlight.)
Looking in from the top, this is what I see:
Somewhere down there is the other end of a broken dowel rod. My first thought was that, if I could get the stubby end out, I could surgically insert a new dowel without having to disassemble anything. Some older pianos, I knew, were assembled with hide glue, which will release when moistened. I tried it out on the free end of the broken hammer, but no luck. It’s PVA, i.e. yellow wood glue. The whole thing was going to have to come out.
All the way out.
I had heard from pianists that it was possible to remove the entire action assembly from a piano. I looked over the inside of the piano for quite some time, trying to see how the action assembly was attached. Fortunately, the internet had a helpful tutorial by a professional piano repairman. I’m not sure I would have gotten any further without his help.
Once I located the points of attachment, I started carefully removing nuts and screws.
At one point, I ran across an odd little nut that looked like this:
I recognized it as a “split nut,” which is used on many old handsaws. Getting one loose can be quite a trick, unless you have the right tool.
Which I did.
It’s an old spade bit ground down to a screwdriver shape and a notch filed into it. I made this split-nut driver several years ago when I started working with old handsaws.
When I made it, I didn’t think I’d get to use it on a piano.
In order to remove the action assembly on a spinet piano, it is also necessary to remove ALL the keys. And piano keys are NOT interchangeable. The keys on our piano are numbered, but I still kept them all in order so as to make it easier to put them back in later.
Once the keys were all out, I was able to remove the last few bolts and screws holding the action in place. I carefully lifted the whole thing out.
Here is the now-an empty piano with the keys lined up on the floor and the action assembly at the very bottom of the picture. (Side note: you can probably imagine how much dust accumulates underneath the keys over sixty years. It took us quite some time to vacuum it all out.) The keys fit over those metal pins and rest on felt pads. It really is an ingenious design, very complicated in some places and dirt-simple in others.
It was time to carry the whole action assembly out to the workbench.
If the soundboard and strings are the soul of the piano, this is its heart. I sort of feel like I’m doing open-heart surgery here. One false move, and the patient may not survive.
With the action on the workbench, I carefully un-hooked and un-screwed the very-complicated mechanism that had the broken piece.
Each key is connected to a mechanism like this. From this perspective, it looks a little like a Rube Goldberg machine. Press the key, and a whole sequence of levers, straps, and pads moves to strike the strings.
Take a moment to appreciate how many individual pieces there are in even a small piano. I count 14 wooden pieces all together here. Some of the higher notes have fewer parts, but there are 88 keys total. There over 1,000 little wooden pieces in the whole action assembly!
You can see here where the dowel supporting the hammer broke–right at the base where it was glued in.
Replacing the broken dowel was, I think, the easy part. Once it got down to cutting and shaping wood, I felt that I actually knew what I was doing. But order of operations was critical.
I first sawed the broken dowel off flush at the base. Then I carefully re-drilled the hole. The replacement dowel I’m using is a hair thinner than the original, but it’s dead-straight hardwood and should hold up to household use.
It took me three stops before I found a suitably tough hardwood dowel at a local hardware store. The original one was, I think, maple or birch. I’m not sure what species the replacement is, but it’s not poplar, which was too soft for this application.
Dealing with the other end was more tricky. After close inspection, I noticed that the dowel went into the hammer’s head at an angle. I would need to drill out the old dowel at the same precise angle. So before cutting off the old dowel, I made this little jig:
In a squared-up piece of scrap, I cut a small dado to fit the hammer and wedged it in upside down. I then inserted a long, pan-head screw into one end of the underside so I could raise the whole jig up at an angle by turning the screw. I sighted the dowel along an upright square and, by trial-and-error, found the precise angle at which the dowel was inserted.
I sawed off the old dowel and took my jig and workpiece down to the drill press.
It was easy to drill the hole at the correct angle.
I glued in the new dowel and went and had a cup of coffee while the glue dried. (Sorry, no picture of the fixed mechanism. I was so tired that I forgot to take one!)
It wasn’t easy getting the repaired mechanism back into the piano. Having one or even two people to help guide it in was very helpful. The more you bump things inside a piano, the more out of tune it will be. And I sure didn’t want to break any more pieces on this action assembly!
My oldest daughter kindly helped me put the keys back on, too.
Keys, nuts, screws–all had to be reinserted exactly as they had come out. It was especially annoying to reattach the damper and sustain pedals.
Finally everything was back in place. It was a lot of work to fix a little piece. It kind of reminded me of car repair–and not necessarily in a good way. I had to remove so many components in order to replace one little piece without which the whole thing wouldn’t work. At least it leaves my hands less greasy.
Now, of course, the piano needs to be tuned again. But it plays. And I fixed it all by myself.
Tagged: drill press, piano, piano hammer, piano keys, piano repair
We got out early on the vernal equinox, to see the sunrise over the trees on the riverbank. While we waited, these red-breasted mergansers came along, chasing the fish along the river. The other fish-chaser, great blue heron left the scene, water was too high for him.
The sun hit the workshop before it hit us down at the river.
Inside, I’m a sucker for raking light.Now that I finished the chest with drawers, this one is next. Needs some trimming here & there, and fitting the lid. Then when someone buys it, initials carved in the blank area on the center muntin.
Here’s the first 2 (of 8) panels I carved for a bedstead I am making for a customer.
A couple of boxes underway. The front of this one was a carving sample for my recent class in North House Folk School.
Here it is, test-fitted. Next is to make the till parts, and assemble it.
we went to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston the other day. the kids are studying Greek myths, and we went to look at Greek art, mostly sculpture & pottery. I saw patterns everywhere. I probably hadn’t been in those galleries since the 1980s. Amazing stuff.
I rolled that around for a while until I was able to get my hands on a resaw and kerfing plane kit from Bad Axe Toolworks last early fall. Mark Harrell had recently revisited and retuned the kit as a whole and had all the parts and pieces up to his usual over the top quality. The man doesn't know the meaning of the word compromise.
Since I was just setting up shop yet at the time I decided working on the kerfing plane part of the package was where to start. Tom Fidgen really is the pied piper of the resurgence of these tools in hand tool woodworking circles and the kerfing plane is the key to making resawing a more reliable operation. the shallow grooves made by the kerfing plane help keep the resaw blade on track and reduce the skill buy-in factor.
The original kerfing planes I saw had arms and an adjustable fence like a plow plane. This seemed ok but a little fiddly to make in my shop. But I'd also recently snapped up a set of match planes and tuned them up to work on 3/4" stock. Now I was inspired.
I wanted to make a dedicated width kerfing plane, but I wanted to be able to also cut kerfs for three different common thicknesses I use. The answer is to make three different plane bodies and just be prepared to swap the plate out from one to another.
Since I like those match planes so much I decided to use them as the pattern for the kerfing planes themselves. I pulled some walnut chunks off the pile and milled them up in preparation.
I used my tablesaw to consistently set the repeated cuts to remove big swats of the stock. I completed all the cuts with handsaws and cleaned things up with some chisel work.
Once the basics were done I recreated a couple details from the match planes. This little finger groove along the top of the fence is a nice touch that figures into the comfort of using these tools. Those old planemakers really knew what they were doing and I'm lucky to be able to stand on their shoulders.
There were still a couple problems to work out, shaping the handle and fitting the blade square to the fence and I'll write about those things soon.
Thanks for hanging out while I took a break. It's good to be back and re-energized
Ratione et Passionis
One of our newest books comes from Windsor chair expert Mike Dunbar. The book covers woodturning from a furniture and cabinetmaking perspective. If you’d prefer to make your own furniture components rather than buy mass-produced factory-made parts, then “Woodturning Techniques: Furniture & Cabinetmaking” may be of interest to you. You’ll need access to a lathe, of course – but the rewards of learning how to use woodturning tools to create your own chair […]
The post Book Giveaway: Woodturning Techniques for Furniture & Cabinetmaking appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
|24 hrs later it's green|
|Matt's came out a little cleaner|
|Ouch! switched to using my right hand|
|rinsed and driedof any water with the hair dryer|
|the plane adjusters|
|my iron is a Sweet Heart one|
|Matt's iron has writing on but I need help to see it|
|it's faint but this is what I saw|
|how the blade is adjusted|
|all the way down|
|all the way up|
|my lever adjust doesn't work|
|Matt's plane works|
|my serrations are kind of flattened out|
|Matt's serrations are better defined|
|side view of my adjuster|
It looks like I'll be rehabbing Matt's plane and not mine. I'll keep mine as is and use it as a paint remover plane. I'll paint Matt's plane, sand the sides and the sole, and make it look as brand new as I can. I put these two aside for now and I'll come back to them later on.
There you go Bob. This is all I know about these. When can I expect a #120 blog post?
|feet stock - this face is flat and straight with no hump|
|sawed off the front and back pieces|
|I am pretty damn happy about it|
|the front is dead nuts|
|I can't plane the two of these as one|
|need a bigger fence|
|used my small block plane|
Tomorrow I'll saw off the tops to the feet and see how well I can do planing them separately and end up with the two of them the same.
What did ancient prospectors use to collect grains of gold from streams?
answer - the fleece of sheep
The windows in our house aren’t much to talk about. Just 36″ square vinyl windows in a typical ranch. I’m not sure how old they are as I know they aren’t original to the house, but were here when I bought it fifteen years ago. My wife, Anita, wanted to jazz them up a bit and give them some character, so she asked me to make trim to go around them.
The first thing we did, was to take out the marble sill, which was the hardest part. Sometimes they get stuck inside the frame, so I had brake them apart in order for them to come loose. If I was lucky, I could cut the sealant around the sill and jimmy it loose.
I made a new sill out of 7/8″ thick maple. I tried to get rift sawn material so it wouldn’t warp too bad. I cut notches on both sides of the sill so it would stick out on the wall so the 1×4’s could lay on top of it.
We wanted the header to have character so we took a 1×6 of pine and attached a 1×2 on the top. We then laid a cove molding on the 1×6.
Using my small miter box, I was able to cut the tiny pieces of cove for the ends.
I then took a piece of pine 1/2″ thick and used my block plane to shape the corners and ends to create a bullnose. I pinned everything together with my 18 gauge pneumatic nailer to complete the header.
Back at the window, I measured, cut, and nailed the rest of the pieces to the wall using a 15 gauge finish nailer. I trimmed the maple sill so that there would be a 3/4″ overhang to sides on both ends.
Here’s the close up of the header nailed to the wall. The 1/2″ thick bullnose hangs over 1/2″ on both sides of the frame.
After filling the nail holes with putty, Anita caulked, primed, and painted the window trim. We did both windows in our bedroom the same way. The next step is to frame around the closet, paint the room, get a new headboard, new blinds, ceiling fan, rug, etc… I don’t know, ask Anita, she’s the designer. haha
Some time last year I was contacted by the ancient book caretakers of the Library of Congress (LC) to inquire about some in-house training they needed in woodworking. Yes, that’s right, ancient book caretakers needed to know about woodworking. Actually I knew that because many, many years ago I had helped a colleague in the same department with a project having to do with very large format book (about the size of a Roubo original edition) that was having problems with its bookboards, or cover boards, which were made of oak. You see, the the world of old books, especially those from about 1500 and older, wooden book covers are simply part of the equation. While the specialists at LC were expert in the care of the paper contents, and their bindings, they were a bit hazy on the details and practices of fashioning the wooden boards.
Having participated in a number of collaborations with LC over my career, they asked if I could come and teach them. Of course the answer was “Yes” and we began the Dance of the Conflicting Calendars. Combined with the political brinkmanship that is endemic to Mordor on the Potomac it took many months for the training to occur last month. One of the items looming overhead was the sub rosa blustering about “shutting the government down” to accomplish some partisan goal or another. (My own attitude on that matter as a skeptical non-partisan Strict Constructionist Declarationist I wished the government would shut down, or at least retreat to its Constitutionally mandated activities, which by my count means elimination of ~90% of FedCo.)
The goal of the two-day session was to impart the knowledge and implant the muscle memory so that each member of the ancient book posse could fabricate a technically faithful book model as a practice exercise in preparation for the next time one of the ancient wooden board books needed re-binding.
So, on a bitter cold and blustery February morning I pulled up to the doors of the elegant LC Jefferson building, my CRV filled to the brim with tools and materials for them to use under my tutelage. In a caravan of carts all of these were wheeled down to the book conservation space underneath the Madison Building across the street, and I set up shop.
Only one of the crew had experience in woodworking (the fellow using the bow saw in the picture below) so I needed to start at Point Zero to review the nature of wood, tools, and the processes used in planing, sawing, etc. I brought plenty of 5/4 white oak to work with, and we got down to bidnez.
The first assignment was for everyone to use the bench bench hooks I made for them to saw a single piece to the size they needed for their book model’s boards.
Then came the flattening of one face of that board to provide a reference surface for the resawing. Given the human scale involved (this crowd was for the most part more petite than a typical woodworking gathering) they were particularly pleased with #4 planes, which are too small for my routine use.
With the flat reference face completed, next came the resawing. I’d made a Fidgen-style kerfing plane to leave with them, and they took to it like me and bacon. The final product was to be a 1/4″ thick book board, so I made the kerfing plane to create a 3/8″ thickness.
One of the more serious challenges for the exercise is that as a book conservation unit they were not well equipped for woodworking in the bench category. Their only bench was an ancient and wobbly Sjoberg hobby bench.
I have one exactly like it that I got out of the trash many years ago. Frankly if I had to use one like this every day it would end in the trash too. I completely remade mine, mounted it on some 4″ slippers to get it to a decent working height, and screwed the entire thing to the floor, resulting in a very nice and oft-used work station. Mine is currently ensconced in the corner, perhaps not coincidentally closest to the propane furnace, and is dedicated to the finer work of decorative objects conservation, gunsmithing, etc.
I will do my best to address their lack of a decent workbench, hoping to make and donate a mini-Roubo in the coming months. But for now, all we had was a wobbly little bench and some mobile work tables.
Then the resawing began with a variety of saws, and thus endeth Day One.