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In the next four postings I will be highlighting the contributions by the CW craftsmen to the Working Wood in the 18th Century gathering. They work under the burdensome (?) expectation of excellence on our part, as for years they have not only put on the show as the impresarios but are expected to be stellar in their on-stage performances. It’s a lot of weight on their shoulders, and they pull it off every time! You can tell they are comfortable with audiences, I don’t mind folks watching me work, but the contant interruptions they endure must be maddening. It disrupts any work flow and extends a project’s timeline by a logarithmic factor.
First up of the Colonialista soloists was Brian Weldy, demonstrating the steps to designing and building a late Baroque (aka “Queen Anne”) chair in walnut. As with all the presentations I found much to be learned from the project, although it is unlikely I will ever build one. Nevertheless Brian’s dealing with the sumptuously curvilinear form was instructive.
His layout of the serpentine center splat was particularly of interest to me as I have a pair of 16th Century Chinese horseshoe chairs on my bucket list.
He called on Kaare to provide a second pair of hands for the assembly of the chair seat rail and legs. I was fascinated by the wooden blocks left on the serpentine seat rail to provide striking anf clampning surfaces. These would be carved off once the assembly was completed. I thought it was an ingeniuos and efficient solution to a problem. Maybe everyone else already knew it, but it is a technique now residing firmly in the memory bank.
With the chair assembled Brian addressed the seat construction and lofting, and his time was done.
Along with 64,000 or so (at least as of today) other people, I follow Goebel & Co. Furniture on Instagram. The furniture pieces coming out of this St. Louis-based shop are well-built and beefy, with imaginative designs that in many cases make use of live-edge tops that are stabilized with epoxy. (And take a look at some of the table bases – they’re pretty astounding!) So when we were looking […]
The post Use Epoxy for Filling Gaps & Bark Inclusions – Martin Goebel appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
|mind is made up now|
|changed the pattern a bit|
To trace it out on the crest rail board, I lined up the lines on the two on the left side. I flipped it and did the right side. Using a half pattern ensures both sides should be reasonably the same.
|cut the crest rail on the bandsaw|
|cleaned up with rasps|
|the top of the side|
|finding the gallery rail center|
|found center of the shelf|
|FYI for me too|
I had to run few errands after work tonight so my shop time was short. The big surprise was the post office. It was empty when I stopped in to get some flat rate boxes. I know that when I go to ship out the irons it'll be packed. Tomorrow I'll get back to finishing up the tequila box.
How many Grammy categories are there?
answer - there are 30 fields with 83 categories in them
I’ve been trying to finish off this chest with 2 drawers lately. I’m close, but have to go to North House Folk School soon, so the last bits will be in 2 weeks. Today I spent making the last 12′ of moldings – out of a total of over 45 feet! Rabbet plane first…
…followed by hollows & rounds….
Late in the day I still had some daylight. I have been using the last 30 or 45 minutes each day to hew some spoons for evening carving…but today I split some reject joinery-oak and started shaving the rear posts for some ladderback chairs. Must be because I’ve been thinking of Drew Langsner lately…
Here’s the inspiration – one of the last chairs from Jennie Alexander’s hand…and Drew’s book The Chairmaker’s Workshop. I had to look up a few things to remind me of what I was doing.
The last time I made these chairs was some shrunk-down versions for when the kids were small, December 2009. These chairs are put away in the loft now, outgrown…
I hope to bend the posts Friday, then leave them in the forms while I’m away. Hopefully there will be some chairmaking going on in March…
I’ll interrupt my jaunt through the CW confab to mention some new things in the mail.
Yesterday saw the arrival of the new Popular Woodworking with some intriguing contents.
In addition to an excellent article on bench chisels from The Schwarz Hisownself there is a wonderful piece by my pal Jameel Abraham on making and using plywood. Solid.
And immediately subsequent to Jameel is my latest article, which was about the most fun writing I have ever had.
To top it all off I received a sample of some shellac wax from the producer in India. It is excellent and I am going shortly to the bank to make the bank-to-bank transfer to order several hundred pounds. This steady supply will allow us to begin manufacturing Mel’s Wax shortly. Stay tuned.
It is very easy to install thin plywood splines in mitered corners of boxes and frames But, to do so successfully, you will have to design the placement pattern of the splines and spend some time carefully laying out your design on the corners. (Read part one of the micro splines story here) Design Above (in the lead image) you can see a few optional designs that can be easily […]
The post Thin, Good Looking & Strong – Micro Plywood Splines, Part 2 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
This blog entry wass derailed - in a good way.
I was totally in the midst of working on a post about mitre plane geometry when I made a discovery that totally put me in another direction. In the picture above are 4 mitre planes. I had laid out four planes in what I thought was chronological order, using what I knew about the planes and their makers.
From left to right:
Spiers - Latter part of the 19th century.
I Smith - Mid 19th Century (1860's?)
??? - Very early 19th century - Unmarked, possibly by Gabriel.
Christopher Gabriel - late 18th century.
The maker's stamps on the Spiers and Smith planes are on the lever cap or bridge. This is sort of what we would expect from any iron plane after the 1820's. It was pretty easy to stamp the bridge, and it's a spot that didn't get a lot of wear.
In the very early iron planes - such as the first two on the right - the steel stamps used for stamping wooden planes weren't that hard and wouldn't last very long stamping wrought iron. They were designed for wood. So Christopher Gabriel stamped his name on the inside of the front infill. On wood. On the side of the front infill which is nearly is nearly impossible to stamp once the plane is assembled so it won't be over-stamped by owners over the years. This particular plane has some numbers stamped in the bridge, which was not unusual for a Gabriel plane, but number stamps were easier to replace than a custom-made name stamp. Why Gabriel stamped numbers on the planes has been a subject of much speculation over the years.
I pegged the second plane plane from the right as early because of its construction, and possibly by Gabriel, but it's unmarked where it should be - on the wood. There's also some discoloration on the bridge. Since the plane shared some styles with Gabriel, I thought it might have been one of his. The wedge is a replacement. The dealer who sold me the plane back in 2000 thought the same about all the dating.
Now, putting the planes in order for this blog entry shook everything up.
As I put the planes in order for the photograph, I saw a stamp that the dealer overlooked -- and I overlooked for nearly twenty years. The plane bears a stamp just under the hole in the front of the plane. The "WATER" part was pretty easy to read, but it took awhile to suss out the "BY" at the front. "BYWATER."
Richard Bywater made planes in London from 1790-1814. Christopher Gabriel owned a large firm that was also in London.
The chances of Bywater not knowing of Gabriel's iron planes would be zero. One characteristic of Gabriel's planes is the long toe. Like the Bywater plane. But why is the maker's name stamped on the toe?
Maybe it's not a maker's stamp but an owner's? It's possible, but I don't think so. I think the random chances of an unmarked early plane being stamped with the name of a planemaker isn't zero but it's small. (Even if the stamp doesn't exactly match any of the marks included in Goodman and Rees's "British Planemakers from 1700.") And if we are talking about Bywater the planemaker, it's more than possible he didn't make the plane himself as the tools of metalwork are different than the tools of woodwork. The reason the plane would have been marked on the toe is that there are very few planes on an assembled mitre plane where you can swing a hammer enough to mark the metal deeply without running the risk of bending something. I certainly wouldn't risk it.
If Bywater didn't make the plane, who did? Craftwork in 18th century London was done by small independent Little Meisters who either worked in their own small quarters or worked in a larger shop, working on their own but buying parts from the master, all paid on piecework. Did this plane come out of the Gabriel shops, wholesale, to be retailed by Bywater? Was it made by a Little Meister working for Gabriel, made on the sly to sell to Bywater?
I don't know: it's all speculation. Do you have any ideas?
|two coats on it|
|the bottom of the lid|
|one of three rabbets|
|right side stopped rabbet|
|closed throat router|
|finishing up the other side rabbet|
|clean and tight fitting joint|
|the failed bounce test with Mr Concrete Floor|
|the gallery rail|
Who was Grace Hooper?
answer - she wrote the first compiler for a computer programming language
Like most amateurs in any craft, I rely heavily on my maestros and gurus, and for me, help comes in the form of YouTube videos more than anything else. When it comes to hand tool woodworking, I invariably turn to the likes of Paul Sellers and Tom Fidgen. When I need advice about woodturning, my ‘go to’ guys are Mike Waldt and Martin Saban-Smith.
The latter of these chaps is the developer of Hampshire Sheen, a woodturning finishing wax which I highly recommend, and he has recently opened a woodturning workshop at his family’s garden centre called The Black Dog Workshop. The workshop provides tuition for beginners, as well as a place to turn for those who may not have their own facilities. It is also designed to cater for people who suffer with depression and other mental health problems, focussing on the therapeutic benefits that any creative pastime can provide.
I have followed the progress of the workshop on its dedicated YouTube channel since it began, and I think it is a fantastic idea. I wanted to show my support for the project, as well as my gratitude to Mr Saban-Smith for the help his videos have given me, so I decided to make him a gift.
As he is an accomplished woodturner, there seemed little point in turning him something, so I decided to go down the hand tool route. In the past, I have made a fair few mallets, and I suppose they are the closest thing to a speciality that I’ve got. And, every workshop should have a mallet. The Black Dog Workshop mallet is made from walnut and beech, and I dabbled in some pyrography and added the workshop logo.
Here are a few photos of the build (click to embiggen):
I finished the mallet with three coats of my home-made varnish/linseed/turps blend, and packaged it off this afternoon.
I hope it goes down well.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Today’s parable of the movement of wood concerns this George III Linen Press:
Description: Circa 1800, two-part form, high-grade burlwood mahogany veneers, mahogany, pine secondary, applied arched cornice with ebonized line inlay above a vertically veneered frieze, upper cabinet with two hinged doors, center with an applied reeded brass mount, each door featuring a rectangular panel with an inset square to each corner, interior with four pull-out linen drawers, base with two over two graduated cockbeaded drawers, raised on French bracket feet with a shaped skirt. (Thus sayeth the auction house.)
The maker of this press made an interesting choice when they made the doors. A large, wide board would have been a bad idea. The wide board would move and be highly unlikely to stay flat. A four-panel board would have been a common construction for a press in that era. Or any era. What is unusual is that they veneered over a four-panel door. A bad idea:
If you have ever read about, seen a video about or (God forbid) actually made a panelled door, you know that if you are using real wood for the panel, you don’t glue the panel to the frame. With our 20th/21st century sensibilities we know that the panels will move, expand across the width of the board. If glued, the frame may crack or glue joints may fail.
I have to believe that a 19th century cabinetmaker would have known about wood movement and the perils therein. Yet they choose to glue veneer to a panel that is guaranteed to (and did) move. With the expected results. To their credit, they did a really good job gluing the veneer down. No glue failures here. And the doors still exist in one plane, no warps. Impossible to say how long the veneer held it together.
Now, on to the drawers. I do like the pulls. They seem to be original:
The dovetails again are unique:
They seem to have left a pin off. Then again, symmetry is so overrated.
In Part One, I introduced a class of machines in this group of CNCs that fit and perform well in home and small professional shops. What they have in common is the 2’ x 3’ to 4’ size range, engineering, design, specifications and build quality. Let’s have a look at that list again. Axiom Precision Pro Series AR6 Pro 24” x 36” & AR8 Pro 24” x 48” Laguna Tools […]
I went to three different craft stores to get some gallery rail spindles. All three of the craft stores didn't have any and none of them knew what they were. One had an assembled gallery rail that I showed to him so he now knows what they are.
There is a wood item store in Greenville that sells them so I headed out to see them. But before I stopped there I went a wee bit further up the road to Stillwater Antique Mall. It's been a while since I've been there and they must be undergoing a inventory turnover. Pickings were sparse but there were two humongous 90° picture framers clamps. They must have had a 8-10 inch clamping width. I've never seen any that big before. For $45, I was tempted to take one home but I didn't.
On the way home I stopped at the wood store but it was closed. The sign said they would be closed from Feb 12th to the 21th. Today is the 20th and I was left standing at the door. Since I had no intention of driving back here, when I got home I ordered some on line.
I bought 20 maple spindles for $3.85 with $7.90 S/H. Ouch, I dislike paying more for shipping then the merchandise. The first site I looked at was selling one spindle for $2.35. I hope no one bought any of these from them and looked further.
|30 minutes past oh dark 45|
|artist linseed oil|
|using the 4:1 ration|
|brought it to a boil|
|took about 15 minutes to melt the wax into the linseed oil|
|about 10 minutes after taking it out the water|
|used two shooting boards|
|all 3 dead nuts even in length|
|marked the shelf width|
|left the line end to end|
|using the gauge line again|
|3/8 longer than the dado|
|I have my finish|
|it's solid looking and it feels solid too|
|left knife line|
|right one is just as clean|
|bottom back stretcher|
|I like this better already|
|left side done|
|right side had some hiccups|
|rubbed on one coat of the linseed oil and wax finish|
|unfinished big box|
Al Capone, the gangster, had an older brother who used the name Richard "two gun" Hart. What did he do for a living?
answer - he was lawman in Nebraska serving as a marshal and a state sheriff
Of all the thing I learned at the recent Working Wood in the 18th Century shindig, two come into clear focus: 1) Peter Galbert is a rock star, and 2) even though I am not a Windsor chair sorta guy I somehow have to figure out a way to budget the time and finances to attend a workshop he is teaching.
While I am not even a chair builder per se, Samuel Gragg chairs notwithstanding, I had been awaiting this presentation with great anticipation since I learned of it. Pete’s book on chair building was a thing of great beauty and erudition; the highest compliment I can give it is that I wish I had written a book this good. When reading it I found myself smacking my forehead with every new nugget of enlightenment, which meant every couple of minutes or so. In much the same way as Krenov’s original trilogy, Chairmaker’s Notebook is a snapshot of the craftsman’s soul.
And here he was on stage, unfolding his methods of work. As my friend MikeM remarked, Pete’s performance was perhaps the most amazing example of cogent non-stop talking and non-stop working either of us had witnessed. Next to both “peripatetic” and “loquacious” in the dictionary is a picture of Pete, and with great elan he walked us through the processes he uses to build his chairs, and his reasoning behind them. It was a beautiful thing to see.
Beginning with the splitting of the green stock needed for the fashioning of the steam bent pieces and finishing with the assembly of the chair’s elements, I found this to be as grand a learning experience as any I have encountered in furniture making.
Along the way he showed how he lays out the geometry of the chair spindles and legs, steam bent the continuous arm/crest rail (I was too engrossed in watching to remember to take pictures), and even turning the green wood legs on a treadle lathe, he did not miss a single note.
His assembled base with the arm attached was a great hit with the attendees as it was on display out in the vestibule of the auditorium.
Well done, and thanks Pete.
When it comes to turned furniture components, you only have a few options. You can buy mass-produced factory-turned components that do not accurately recreate the fine details in period furniture; you can make friends with a turner; or you can invest in a lathe and turn your own. If you decide to go with the third option you’ll need some woodturning tools (in addition to your lathe). This can seem like […]
I didn't think much of it and thought that after a good night's sleep, life would be wonderful in the morning again. I went to bed and before 2100 I was in agony. My hip had never hurt this much before. Not even when I built the garden shed a few years ago. I got up to get some motrin and that was trip through hell and back. Constant stabbing aching pain, and a 10 second round trip that took me 10 minutes to do.
My wife looked up something on her cell phone and she told me take some motrin. Duh! I just took that. I somehow managed to get back into bed without passing out. She put a heating pad on my hip and that felt wonderful. The pain started to subside and I fell asleep. I woke up a few hours later and I was pain free. I'm not complaining but the previous couple hours are ones I don't ever want to revisit.
Today I kept in mind what I did yesterday and took it easy. I'm having a plumber come in and do the water pipes. I may call him back and have him do the sink hook up too. I spent the rest of the day trying to finish up the rehabbing of the #3. That shouldn't involve a lot running around.
|Siegley iron and chipbreaker|
|back of the iron has been flattened|
|this needs some work|
|this side is off a bit|
|prepped my sanding belts|
|#3 sanded with 180|
|changed where I cut them|
|look at what I found|
|finish polishing with 600 grit|
|all 600 grit|
|I think readers know that I like shiny|
|#3 sanded and shined up|
|the 4 hand planes I did today|
|doing a plane iron inventory|
|10 1/2 and # 8 irons|
|2 5/6" wide irons|
|#4 and #3 irons and extra chipbreakers|
|Stanley block plane iron|
plane failed the bounce test with Mr Concrete Floor but I saved the iron.
|spare iron for my Lee Valley rabbet plane|
|toothing iron for my LV BU Jack|
|iron from Tools from Japan|
|#8 iron in front, Tools from Japan iron in the back|
The only plane I haven't actively sought to get a replacement iron for is my #5. I don't use it that often and it's the same size as the #4 irons. So if I get more #4 irons, I will have a spare for the #5. I use my Lee Valley BU Jack more than the Stanley.
|an old tapered iron|
|won't fit in any metal plane I have|
|The bevel side|
|offered up for sale|
The third iron from the left is a Lee Valley A2 iron and chipbreaker. It's 2 3/8 wide and I had bought it to use in my #7 but it wouldn't fit. With the frog backed up as far as it would go, I had no more adjuster to turn to move the iron in or out. I used it in my LN 51 for over a year before I put a LN 0-1 back in it. $20 including shipping to the lower 48 in a flat rate box. Same blurb as above applies here.
The last one on the right is a Hock iron and chipbreaker that was in my #5. Hock was the only after market iron I bought that didn't need the mouth widened nor involved having the iron shoved back to the heel. I have gone back to using Stanley irons in all of my planes and I intend to stay with them.
Offered up for $20 including shipping to the lower 48 in a flat rate box. Same blurb as above applies here. ****This iron has the corners rounded off so it won't leave plane tracks.**** Both the Hock and the Lee Valley iron are sharpened straight across - they are not cambered and neither iron has a secondary bevel.
|fixing the chipbreaker|
|sharpened the bottom edge|
|another 150 year old patent date|
|I'm liking this runway sharpening|
|trying to remove my fingerprints|
|cleaning up the level cap|
|got the last of the rust spots|
|working on my mini anvil|
|my best friend too|
|where my shop day ended|
Who was Whitcomb Judson?
answer - he invented the zipper
|I felt an omen|
|working out of the corner|
My kitchen floor has a 3/4" hollow just to the left of the center of it. Which puts it right where the corner and stove cabinets are going to live going to the right. Since I thought it would be near impossible to shim and corner cabinet, I worked on getting that level and square in the corner.
|kitty corner on the corner cabinet|
|from the corner to the front - out of level|
|three stooges plumbing|
|this is turning out to be an armpit level liquid fecal matter job|
|stellar joinery - both sides look the same|
|more award winning joinery|
|the other side is held with 5 staples too|
|removed all the staples and screwed the corner back together|
|one hour later|
|never heard of Siegley, you?|
|Stanley on the left, Siegley on the right|
|can't argue with this|
I have started looking out for other makers irons because I can't seem to find good Stanley ones. I know Stanley made planes/irons for others and they are usually cheaper to buy. I would buy a whole plane just to salvage an iron.
|much joy and rejoicing in Mudville|
|my 4x36 belts came in too|
|just thought to check this|
|5 hours after I started|
No quality time in the shop today. I was tired and way too sore after this fun adventure. Tomorrow should be a topper for today because I get to play Mr Plumber. I'll have to shut the water off to whole house when I do that. The one good thing in my favor for that is the temperature. It is supposed to top out in the low 50's. I won't have to worry about heat loss because I will also have to shut the boiler down too while I play Mr Plumber.
How long did the Battle of Waterloo last?
answer - about 10 hours
I know I said I would be finishing with the Barcelona Design Museum but there is just so much to process that I need to take a break from it until I figure out how to properly report on it. That and I am in week three of a cold I brought back from the Philippines. Oh, yeah, I was in the Philippines for about a week. I got per diem so it must have been for work. That’s the difference between a business trip and a vacation. If you get per diem, it’s a business trip. If you choose where you’re going, it’s a vacation. Something to be said for both.
Fortunately, the local better auction house has provided me with topics so plentiful that I should be able to enlighten and amuse you for quite a while. Eh?
First up is this American Hepplewhite Sideboard:
Description: Early 19th century, probably Mid Atlantic, mahogany, mahogany veneers, white pine and poplar secondary, concave central section with single drawer above two small cabinet doors, flanked by rounded corners, with cabinet doors, raised on square tapered legs. Size 38.5 x 64 x 23.5 in. (From the auction house.)
The curves were what caught my attention. There are many ways to bend or curve wood. We learned from a recent plantation visit that you can bend certain species by soaking them in a river for one year per inch of thickness to make the wood pliable. If you don’t have a convenient river, you can use steam for a more practical one hour per inch.
Then there is bent lamination in which thin layers of wood are glued and placed in a form of the desired shape. (Think freeform plywood.)
If you want to know about kerf bending, you can look it up.
If you can’t bend, you can always make it look bent or curved. There is the brute force method requiring a block of wood that is large enough to contain the curved part and cutting away the parts that fall outside the curves. This method leaves a lot of wood on the shop floor assuming, you can locate a block of wood that is large enough to contain the part. Then you need a saw (hand or powered) that is large enough to accommodate the blank.
A common variation is stacked lamination in which you do as above but one inch in height at a time. Start with a one-inch block of wood: work it to the desired contour. Glue another block atop it and contour to match. If you are into power tools, typically it’s a pattern router bit with bearing or a flush trim bit with bearing. And a router.
Repeat until you reach the desired height.
The downside of this technique is that, unless you like the striped look, you need to veneer it. Not a problem if veneering is where you are going. I can see some modern studio furniture using this technique unadorned.
Breadboard ends on the curved door provide stability and hide the end grain:
The center doors are also stacked laminations, just in the opposite direction. The interesting feature is how the gap between the doors is handled. Typically when doors meet, there is some device to minimize the gap between the doors, a rabbet, a molding or one door overlapping the other. On this server they used beveled edge. The doors do not meet with a 90° butt joint, they are angled:
I’ve seen this in other case pieces but this is the first time I’ve seen it used on curved doors.
No blog of mine can be considered complete without an examination of drawer construction. The veneer hides the truth but I believe the drawer front was cut from a thick block of wood:
The thickness of the drawer front does provide for some really interesting through dovetails:
As we saw in recent blog, the thick veneer allows the maker to use through dovetails instead of the fussy, annoying half-blind dovetails.
If you’re at the point to where you’re at least thinking about the idea of adding a CNC to your shop, then you’ve likely done some research. If that’s the case then you’ve certainly noticed there’s a huge range of sizes and prices of machines to consider. With CNC routers from as small as 12” x 18” to as large as 5’ x 10’ in size, and prices from a few […]
The post Small Shop CNC: A Class of Machines Designed to Fit appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
I got started on installing the bottom cabinets but I still don't have any installed. I found my high and low spots, struck some lines, stood around looking at it, and took a whole lot of breaks. I had some errands to run so my wife and I decided to do them and go out for lunch.
During lunch we decided to make a left turn on the counter top. My wife was going to order it from Home Depot. Here's the kicker - if we get just the counter top, it's $700. They will deliver it and haul away the old one. That's it.
If I want them to install it, cut out for the sink, and attach the plumbing, the cost is now $3000. WTF? It shouldn't cost an extra $2000 to do this work which shouldn't take more then two hours, 3 at the most. Lowes is basically the same too. No one will do the whole nine yards without me coughing up a wheelbarrow full of money.
I will be doing the sink install myself. As much as I hate contorting my old, fat body to maneuver under the sink, I refuse to pay that kind of money. I will also be making my own counter top. My wife and I decided (mostly her) that it should be tiled. It's bit more work for me but I feel better taking it on than paying the exorbitant fees.
|got real lucky here|
|an inch difference on the right|
|left side coming out of the corner|
|Evaporust bath this time|
|the original 4 1/2 chipbreaker|
|the one in the Evaporust now|
|it is a gentle curve|
|my oldest Bailey dated anything|
|my low studs from Bill Rittner came in|
|new knob on my first #3|
|the yet to be finished rehabbed #3|
|getting the size for the crest rail|
|went back to the rehabbing #3|
|almost forgot this|
I still haven't chopped the pins on the tequila box. I think I'll try to squeeze it tomorrow. I would do it in the morning but I don't want to risk waking up my wife. It should only take about 15-20 minutes to do, if and when I do it. I want to get this done so I can get the tequila out of the shop. I don't want to risk inadvertently breaking it.
What are the 8 Rocky Mountain States?
answer - Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico