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Full Chisel by Stephen Shepherd
This will be the first in a series covering the restoration of this late 19th century rocking chair that belonged to my friends grandmother. He remembers the chair as brown so we will be removing the white paint, repairing any broken parts and re-caning the seat and backs with factory woven cane.
The cane on the seat and lower back are secured by the standard spline, however the top back with its double curves is secured in a wooden framework, I have never seen this method of attaching cane in 40 years of doing repair work.
Here is a photograph of my ‘apprentice’ Woody working on removing the seat and spline. Boiling water was used to soften the spline. Today he will be learning how to strip off paint. It is good to have someone interested in learning and he likes the work.
I have posted about this hacksaw before during a workshop with the Nevada WoodChucks, and thought I would post the original influence. Charles Plummier’s L’art de Tourner published in 1749, this is a photograph of an original edition in the collection of Ray Wilson of Indianapolis. I shot the photograph in 1977.
I have made and sold several of these including a couple of replacement arms, it is remarkably easy to break the end by overtightening the tension. An iron version would not have this problem. Very handy tool which I find I use on a regular basis.
I used the shape of the iron version on the upper left as I liked the looks of the arms, the wooden version is on the upper right. Did you know the paint on hacksaw blades is actually a lubricant?
I am in need of some scorching sand for heat shading veneer and for hardening goose writing quills. I got a couple of cups of sand from a friend, it was left over from an out door cook oven. It is coarse construction sand and was in need of cleaning.
I first ran it through a coarse sieve [12 wires per inch], the stuff that didn’t make it through went into the garden. I then ran the sand through fine brass screen [20 wires per inch]. The stuff that didn’t make it through I separated out and saved it for future use, thinking I would still need to wash it when I was done.
Everything that fell through the fine brass wire screen contained all of the fines and dust, which I assumed I would have to wash it and dry it out. As I was pouring the sand from one container to another the wind blew some of the fine dust away. Now I was winnowing the sand and in about 15 minutes it was very clean. I didn’t have to wash it after all.
The size of the sand really does not matter for scortching wood or hardening quills, but it is nice to have two different sizes of winnowed sand.
Gary Roberts over at Toolemera has done it again and reproduced a fine tome from the nineteenth century. The book has many full color plates, hand colored engravings and Mr. Roberts has reproduced the entire book in color, so the pages appear as they would in an original edition.
Mr. Stokes has done an excellent job at assembling material from his peers and predecessors, which I won’t call plagiarism as it was common practice. Some of the engravings have the long f for the s, indicating an earlier time.
The book is however full of very useful information about lay out, perspective, drawing, design and construction of furniture, with an emphasis on finishing, which I found fascinating. This is a great hardbound edition of an historical work that is a pleasure to hold in ones hand and read about the past and the ways of old. Add this one to your bibliotheque.
Master Blacksmith Mark Schramm made this specialty glue scraper for a friend that makes wooden blanks for snowboards and skies. He has a rack of specialized bar clamps to clamp the blanks of aspen together. In the coarse of gluing the pipes get covered with glue, making alignment of the boards difficult, so he needed a solution.
My friend and his young son that he is teaching to turn made the handle and used a piece of copper pipe for the ferrule and the wood came from a pallet. The blade is made to fit the curve of the pipes and makes quick work of the dried glue.
Nice work Mark.
Not to be confused with a cast iron ink well, this is actually a double boiler glue pot from Landers, Frary & Clark. This particular glue pot is the very one illustrated on Page 30 of Hide Glue – Historical & Practical Applications, a signed and annotated copy of the book which will be included in the purchase price. One of a kind, so to speak.
I thought I would give people who follow my blog the first chance at this before I list it at an auction site. The glue pot I am selling does have a missing lifting handle on the lid and some rusting. I am in the process of cleaning my other one and it is a nightmare which I will discuss later on this blog.
This is a collector’s item, but it is also a usable glue pot that has served me well for several years.
The price is $150.00 plus $15.00 Domestic Shipping or $30.00 International Shipping for the glue pot and book. Gnomon is for scale only and is not for sale. If you are interested it will go to the first person sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Went with a friend yesterday to a local Antique Mall and had not intended to make a purchase. I did examine a pair of scissor type candle wick trimmer but determined it was plate and had a couple of missing feet, a nice trimmer none the less. I passed.
I finished going through the booths and was waiting on my friend when I spotted the little lidded cast iron glue pot in a locked glass case. I couldn’t see the price tag, so I had one of the people open the cabinet.
Still a little old hide glue left in the bottom of the pot. There is some remnants of tinning on the inside of the glue pot itself. The water jacket has some surface rust but no pitting.
It was a little pricey, did get 10% off the tagged price, but I couldn’t get any more off even when I told them it wasn’t a ‘cast iron ink well’ as marked. But this one is the first one I have seen [I have only seen 2 in person and 2 or 3 more photographs] that had its delicate opening handle on the lid. All I have seen and the one I already own have the handle broken off.
I believe that it is marked L,F & C, although the last letter may be a G.
I do plan on selling my old one, the very one featured in Hide Glue – Historical & Practical Applications. I will be offering it for sale with a copy of the book.
The best source of reliable ground hide glue in various gram strengths is Tools for Working Wood.
I built this particular vise back in 2002 and it has been in constant use since that time. The photograph below was taken in 2005 and it had seen some use since then and was in need of an upgrade.
I used a toothing plane to smooth off the saw marks, chisel marks, etc that had marked up the top of the maple chops. I then used a card scraper to remove the toothing marks and the surface was ready for the upgrade.
Using my one inch ruler punch I marked off a ruler a little over 5″ in length on the top edge. I first used a cold chisel to mark the one inch marks, then used the punch to fill in. I then used my old number punches to mark the increments. [I didn’t think I needed to include the gnomon on this picture.
I should have done this when I first built the vise as I have already found it to be very helpful.
Although I am not sure how to pronounce the name, he is a precursor of Roubo and published his work on Architecture [slightly misleading name] in 1690! This style of clamp keeps getting older and older. The link is a pdf of his book, which is written in old French but the pictures are in English.
This is the second pair order and will be shipped out in the morning. I also used my bow saw to enlarge the notches in my clamp extension for my personal clamp.
Clamps can be ordered here. Contact me by email if you desire longer sizes.
This one sets a record. The last spinning wheel [See Montana Spinning Wheel] I had in my shop was there for about 15 months, a couple of months for the repairs and over a year in storage. This one I purchased [from a friend at the Fort Buenaventura Rendezvous, of all places] on Saturday, made a phone call, did the repairs and it was sold on Monday. I would have posted this yesterday but no one would believe the story.
I was contacted last week by a local who asked if I had any spinning wheels for sale, I told him I had one damaged one but the replacement parts and restoration would make it expensive. Then at a Mountain Man Rendezvous I found this one and bought it on speculation. Upon returning I made a call, they came by on Monday and made the purchase.
I did have to replace the flyer bearings as the eye bolts/screws didn’t seem appropriate, I used quebracho bark tanned leather, very durable stuff. I also had to replace a couple of wedges, repair a small crack in the whorl and make a replacement pitman, yet another wire pitman is replaced [I am getting a good collection of old wire].
This wheel is probably from the New England area, the base, treadle and wheel are made of quarter sawn white oak, the turnings are of birch, the washer on the maiden is sycamore and one replacement piece on the distaff is cherry. The distaff itself is made from a hickory sapling with an unusual walnut finial. The wheel is in remarkable condition considering its age [ca 1820-30] and when I was taking photographs I noticed the multi colors used in decorating. There are red bands in the middle of most of the turnings with black bands on the ends.
I think the flyer, whorl and bobbin are from another wheel, the hooks are all on one side and they are looped toward the spinner not toward the bobbin which I found unusual. The detail on the flyer is excellent.
I measured the growth rings of the quarter sawn white oak base to about 28 rings per inch, definitely old growth, a modern piece of oak on my table has 4 rings per inch.
Fun and quick project.
Well what do you know, it’s a Roubo! Here is part of the page in Andre Roubo’s work from the 18th century. Even shows the clamp extension which I first mentioned in Shepherds’ Compleat Early Nineteenth Century Woodworker originally published in 1981 and available in paperback here.
Here are the final iteration of the original with some ‘improvements’ made from the prototype. Not really improvements more like matching the original as closely as possible. These two are for the first order that has already been placed and shipped.
Slightly longer that the original prototype they just fit in a Medium Flat Rate postal shipping box. The slight increase in length allows for 12″ between the jaws of the clamp. The increase in the size of the short bar together with the increased size of the top tab makes loosening the clamp a breeze.
These clamps not only work great but look wonderful hanging on a shop wall. You can purchase yours here. Thanks to master blacksmith Mark Schramm for making these and redoing them until we got them right.
Well it looks like Gary Roberts has done it again, bringing back for our enjoyment another traditional title from the nineteenth century. Toolemera is offering this large volume of Thomas Martins opus on the trades. You can order it here at a discount.
Weighing in at over 4 pounds it has many plates reproduced in color of the period. I have just started to read this tome and it is fascinating. The stuff on hardening and tempering is excellent as is the information on paint and turning is worth the price of the book. I strongly recommend you add this to your bibliotech.
I have one for my small set of Tombstone Scrapers out of some nice brown pig hair cell leather I picked up from the local leather supply store. I also made a wallet for my graining combs. This stuff is very durable, I have a tobacco wallet that has lasted very well, although I will need to repair some of the linen thread that has worn away.
I did the pattern with a piece of paper 8 1/2″ by 11″ then added another piece 4 1/2″ by 8 1/2″ to provide space for a half a dozen assorted card scrapers. The goose-neck scraper determined the size of the center pocket. I used a ponce wheel with 10 teeth per inch to layout the stitching spacing, using every other mark and an awl to make holes. I had the awl backed up with a scrap piece of soft wood. I temporarily clipped the leather together to insure good alignment before making the stitching holes.
Using waxed linen thread I double stitched with two needles, pulling the thread tight and pounding the thread flat as I progressed. The stitching between the pockets is spaced every 3/8″ apart. I cut out wedges of leather between the three flaps so they lay flat when closed.
It was a fun project that I should have done much earlier. My appologies to Tom.