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An aggregate of many different woodworking blog feeds from across the 'net all in one place! These are my favorite blogs that I read everyday...
Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes
There is now a kickstarter fundraising site set up to help get the film about Wille Sundqvist underway. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/761142325/the-spoon-the-bowl-and-the-knife-craftsman-wille-s?ref=recently_launched
I’m in a rush right now (clean up shavings in the kitchen from last night’s spoons, help get the kids off to school, me to work, etc) – so I will write at length about this later. But let’s get it together to raise this money pronto. Shouldn’t be hard. When you get to watch this video, you will be amazed. Here’s a snippet from the kickstarter blurb
“The biggest risk this project is that Wille Sundqvist is 87 years old. He is getting tired of age but still he is working with craft everyday. Last week when I talked to Wille he said he was in good shape and that he was eager to start with recording the film in June. He told me he is refusing all orders just to make bowls and spoons for the most generous donors. This tells us how he looks upon his own status. But of course everything can happen with a man at his age.”
If you are leery of using kickstarter, you can send a check to Drew Langsner.
Make it out to:
Country Workshops – Sundqvist video project
990 Black Pine Ridge Road
Marshall, NC 28753
If you read Chris Schwarz’ recent post about a possible 17th-century image of a shaving horse http://blog.lostartpress.com/2013/05/21/a-17th-century-shavehorse/
Here’s how it came about. When talking with the EAIA crowd last week at Plimoth, part of what I discussed was our research over the years. Way back when, Plimoth had many shaving horses in the 1627 village. I first visited there in 1989 or so, and it looked like they all rode in on them.
By the time I got to working there (1994) they were gone. All gone. They had done some re-evaluation of the research behind that, and came up empty with 17th-century references. The best-known early images are the 15th-century German ones from the Mendel Hausbuch, etc. (these portraits are now online, Chris Schwarz recently posted the link to them, here it is again: http://www.nuernberger-hausbuecher.de/
There is a well-known 16th century one, also German, from a book on mining, De Re Metallica. (the only time you will see the word “Metallica” on my blog) – I think 1566 is the date, or thereabouts.
18th-century versions are well represented; Roubo, (copied here from one of Roy Underhill’s books) and Hulot…maybe even Plummier. Hulot as I recall isn’t properly a horse/vise arrangement, but a low bench with a notch to brace the far end of the workpiece against, and the near end bumps into a breast bib. ( I can’t find my picture of that right now…)
For the 17th century, what do we have? Moxon’s uncomfortable description of how to use a drawknife:
“…When they use it, they set one end of their Work against their Breast, and the other end against their Work-Bench, or some hollow Angle that may keep it from slipping, and so pressing the Work a little hard with their Breast against the Bench, to keep it steddy in its Position, they with the handles of the Draw knife in both their Hands, enter the edge of the Draw-knife into their work, and draw Chips almost the length of their Work, and so smoothen it quickly. “
Years later, I found an Essex County, Massachusetts court record that mentions an accident in which a ship’s mate injures himself while shaving or drawing hoops.
“Unice Maverick, aged about forty‑three years, deposed that riding to Boston with her son Timothy Roberts, they met with Richard Hollingworth upon the road, who inquired for a man to go to sea with him. Her son told him he would go and thereupon Hollingsworth shipped him at 35s per month. The voyage was to Barbados, thence to Virginea, thence to England and home to New England, and in case he received any of his wages in England, then he was to be allowed part of his wages for his payment there. He was upon the voyage about eleven months. She further testified that Hollingsworth only desired him to carry his adze with him, which he yielded to, but utterly refused to be shipped cooper. Sworn in court.
Moses Maverick, aged about sixty years, deposed that upon Hollingsworth’s return from Barbados, he met him at Boston and told him he was sorry for what had befallen Timothy Roberts on his voyage…
John Cromwell, aged about thirty‑five years, deposed that on the voyage “one morning Timothy Roberts comeing Auft upon the house Mr Hollingsworth asked him why he did not draw the hoops or shaue some hoops. Timothy told him he could not the vessel did roule soe. Mr Hollingsworth spoke Angerly to him and bid him make a horke or a galloss or some such like word he spake and timothy went forward againe and a little while after came Auft upon the house crying and sed O lord I am undone I have cutt my kne.” Sworn, 24:4:1671″
So the boy tore open his knee. If only he had a “horke or galloss or some such word” – so not only do we have what might be a weird case of transcription, but even the man making the deposition says “some such word” – so not a term known to him. Ahh, well.
Randle Holme discussed a wooden rig for coopers to shave stock with, the paring ladder. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/?s=paring+ladder
1688 or so:
Early 20th century:
a couple of years ago, Plimoth
I know of one documentary reference from the 18th century, there must be many more. “a coopers horse” is listed in a 1773 inventory from New York. No drawknife interestingly. I saw this in New World Dutch Studies: Dutch Arts and Culture in Colonial America, 1609-1776 (Albany Institute of Art, 1987)
Nineteenth century is beyond me, but there are images and documentary references. This one’s from Nancy Goyne Evans’ book Windsor Chair Making in America: From Craft Shop to Consumer
So there’s the background. Jeff Burks came up with a possible 1690s French one, but it might be 1720s too. So if anybody can find it, Jeff can. We’ll see.
Then, when did the English style come in? The only images I know of this one historically are photographs, not very old then! Here’s Daniel years ago using mine…
I got an email today from Brock Jobe at Winterthur about the website for a very involved project that is a collaboration between several museums. It’s called “Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture”. Here’s the link: http://www.fourcenturies.org/
The Winterthur Forum that I was part of in March was the inaugural event – but there will be more exhibitions, lots of web content and more.
It’s very much worth the time to explore the website, and come back to it for additional content as it expands.
well. I’ve been swamped lately. Just back last Sunday night from a week in Maine at Lie-Nielsen,
Here’s their tiny blurb about it:
“Just finished shooting our fourth DVD with Peter Follansbee, “17th Century Great Chair.” Details coming soon…”
Because it is May, I got some osprey shots in Damariscotta.
Then finished up there with a two-day class in riving, planing & carving. First thing Monday morning it was off to work, trying to get the shop organized, then jumped right into prepping for a talk I gave today to EAIA whose annual meeting was at Plimoth. It was simple enough to do the lecture; but then all day in the shop there were toolies who stuck around and asked questions that were more in-depth than some of my usual fare. It was great, but now the lawn needs mowing, we’re trying to fence out some groundhogs; the kids’ weekend activities – (horse-back riding & baseball) are coming up and the ordinary dump run, etc.
Oh, and it’s been still almost sweater weather at some recent points, but now it’s hot. so out with the woolens, find the window screens, etc.
so that’s why no blog lately. I hope to get back to it pronto.
here’s photos from the class at Lie-Nielsen, it was a great group of people – I always have a good time there. Also a link to their facebook page about it. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151424181563016.1073741844.100708343015&type=1
My blog is not noted for its variety. I keep saying the same things over & over again. Drawboring. Green wood. Carved oak. Hand tools. My kids. Today’s bird. (Great Horned owlet, thanks for showing it to me, Marie. Look at the feet on this creature!)
And Drew Langsner.
If you have read this blog, you know how I feel about Drew and the work he and his wife Louise have put into Country Workshops over the past (maybe 34, 35) years. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/how-did-i-get-started-country-workshops-the-langsners-is-how/ Today I got a new copy of an old book by Drew called, of all things, Green Woodworking. The original 2 versions of this book have been out of print for some time, but now Drew has brought this one back in an Author’s Reprint Edition.
The book first came out in 1987, by which time I was a “repeat offender” at Country Workshops; i.e. I took classes there regularly. I remember a couple of years making 2 trips down there per year. (900 miles each way). I devoured the book when it was new. I still keep the hardcover edition in the shop, and still refer to it from time to time.
Spoons, they’re here. I learned to make them from this book and its predecessor, Country Woodcraft, before meeting Jogge & Wille Sundqvist at CW. You can make a spoon right from the book, I just re-read the chapter a week ago. Drew outlined the book by devoting each chapter to a technique, Hewing, Riving, Shaving and so on. Each chapter then has a project that highlights that particular technique. At one time or another, I have made most everything in this book. Just the other day, I was talking with my wife about making the firewood carriers again. I used to make lots of them. The seeds of my joinery work are in there too – Drew profiled several woodworkers in one section, including Alexander. Mention is made of the beginnings of JA’s study of 17th-century joinery.
If you don’t have this book, now’s your chance to get it direct from the horse’s mouth. Drew sells them from Country Workshops, $35 plus $7.50 shipping & handling. www.countryworkshops.org
Of course, I am biased – I’ve known Drew since I stumbled down there in 1980 as the greenest 22-yr old you can imagine. So read what Chris Schwarz said in his post “10 books that changed the way I think” – Drew got 2 of the 10…
“Green Woodworking” by Drew Langsner. This book is like visiting a foreign country, a delightful foreign country. Even if you have been woodworking for decades, this book offers surprises and insights on every page. It will make you more intimate with your material.
“The Chairmaker’s Workshop” by Drew Langsner. While John Brown’s book made me want to build chairs, Langsner’s gave me the information I needed to actually do it. Though I build chairs differently now, I could not have gotten started without this book.
You’ll remember I used to constantly badger people about a blog called ”The Riven Word”. Well, it is no more. My friend Rick McKee is no longer at the museum, as they say. But the good news is he has landed with some old cohorts of ours and is up to some pretty interesting hijinks. And has started a new blog about it. Right now, it’s off to a slow start, but I know he’ll bring some interesting stuff to the web…so sign up and drop Rick a note. Maybe we can guilt-trip him into writing frequently. Of course, I should speak, with my one-post-a-week of late.
here’s Rick’s new site: http://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/
Recently, I got photos from two students showing the boxes they’ve made. First, Dennis Liu sent this shot of a box he started in a class we had at Country Workshops. He ended up taking his box apart at home, so he could add a till. His note said “it was a bit fussy to fit…” – Which is why I don’t do tills in the workshops! While he had it in for surgery, he decided on oak for the lid & bottom. Great look. Extra work, but well worth it.
Then came Seth Kelley. He took a 2-day carving class at Lie-Nielsen in which we split apart an oak bolt, planed our stock & carved some patterns. Afterwards, Seth wrote to ask me about a desk box in an article I wrote in 1996 about furniture from Braintree, Massachusetts. So I sent some notes and a couple of shots of the desk box. Nice thing about these is junk doesn’t pile up on the slanted lids as easily as on a flat-top box.
Buried somewhere on the blog is the article about making these boxes – http://pfollansbee.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/pf_box_articl.pdf
Thanks for sending the photos guys. Seth wins the real estate prize by sending more photos than Dennis. But both are nice work. Next carving class is coming up at Lie-Nielsen in Warren Maine, May 11-12. http://www.lie-nielsen.com/?pg=35
Hope to see some of you there.
By now, you know I am a big fan of this style of carved oak furniture. This chest is being offered at an auction in North Carolina, http://www.brunkauctions.com/lot-detail/?id=94982
It’s in pretty beat-up shape, lost its feet, top is trimmed and patched here & there, etc. But so what? The carving is all there. What fun. This is listed as attributed to the Mason/Messenger shops in Boston, but that’s a mistake. It’s Thomas Dennis from Ipswich, Massachusetts; 1660s-1700. It has never been published before in any of the numerous treatments on Dennis’ work…this one literally came out of the woodwork.
I noticed they have added a few more pictures from when I first saw it two weeks ago. These two show each end of the chest. Clearly one set is oak, with the ray-fleck pattern from the riven quartered stock. The first pair here seem very plain for riven, quartered oak. Now it’s really difficult to judge a piece by the photos; and these are snapshots rather than the good quality shots above..but if I had a chance to see this chest, I’d look at these end panels to try to understand why they are different from one set to the other. It almost looks like the figured set are sycamore/plane tree.
Someone will get a nice chunk of New England joinery history at a discount price. The condition will keep it from getting into the stratosphere. Me, I’ll have to carve my own – after the wainscot chair I have underway now.
First off, I want to thank all those that ordered spoons last summer and fall. It is a great pleasure to have something I make reach so many folks. I appreciate your interest. I didn’t have much time for spoon work in the past few months, but did manage to collect some branches. Many branches. Too many went into chippers, I’m afraid, but I could only handle so much wood…so I have been carving spoons again for a while. I got some cherry and apple, two favorites of mine for spoon carving. It’s especially nice to have the apple, I don’t often get it. Now that I have a few finished, I posted them here – I kept a couple new ones for the kitchen, but there’s some serving/cooking spoons, and a couple for eating.
As before, the finish is food-grade flax oil. I soak the spoons in it for a week or so, then wipe them down and let them dry. With use, they become a bit faded, you can brighten them up with another coating of flax oil, or some other edible finish. Or just watch them change and get broken in…
If you’d like to order any of these, use the comment function. That way others can see what’s available and what’s spoken for. I can send paypal invoices or you can mail a check. Shipping in the US is $6.
any questions, drop me a note. email is Peter.Follansbee@verizon.net
here’s the link, the page is listed at the top of the blog home page too.
Well, now it’s April, which means it’s practically May. Might as well be June, which makes me wonder what you’re doing this summer.
What you could do is come to Pittsboro, North Carolina to make a joint stool at Roy Underhill’s Woodwright’s School. http://www.woodwrightschool.com/elizabethian-joint-stool-w-pet/
Out at the mill, we’ll split out an oak, and get to use a lot of wedges, hatchets and other big tools.
Maybe the owls will come out to watch.
Next, we’ll take the pieces into the school’s bench-room in town and get to planing.
If we make enough shavings, the Bag Man appears.
Mortise & tenon joinery, drawboring, chamfering (turning for those full-tilt crazies) – it’ll be like the book come to life. I don’t remember what’s in the book, so I’ll be making it up as I go along.
There’ll be tools galore, I’ll bring mine, Roy’s school has tons, then there’s Ed’s store upstairs!
If you wanted to know about green woodworking, then a week with me & Roy ought to do it. It reminds me of Twain’s quote about Kipling: “Between us, we cover all knowledge; he knows all that can be known, and I know the rest.”
Seriously, it’s a great week there. if you are interested in learning the craft of oak joinery with old-style tools, here’s your chance. My box-carving class at Drew Langsner’s is full, with a waiting list – so this is the only other week-long class I have this summer. Unless you’re in Germany in June! http://www.mehr-als-werkzeug.de/course/KU1631301/Carved-Box.htm
So get going. Get over to Roy’s website: http://www.woodwrightschool.com/elizabethian-joint-stool-w-pet/
Isn’t it a coincidence that my next workshop at Lie-Nielsen just happens to fall in early May, when the warbler migration will be hitting down-east? http://www.lie-nielsen.com/documents/Workshop13_Follansbee.pdf
If you’d like to come to Maine to rive, hew, plane & carve some oak for 2 days, I promise we’ll have great fun. I was just a student there myself last weekend at Matt Bickford’s class on using hollows & rounds. It was great.
First-rate facility, nice group of people and as you know from reading this blog, I’m a fan of Matt’s work…so it was a winner all around. He’ll be back there teaching later in the summer, I think. https://www.facebook.com/lie.nielsen.toolworks/photos_stream
My class last year made the largest pile of shavings I have seen in some time, and even got a bunch of carving done too. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150825497703016.396964.100708343015&type=3
So – May 11 & 12. Will I see some of you there? Here’s some stuff I have carved this past week…
I drove home from Maine last night, (507 miles round trip) and was thinking about many things. One was my upcoming trip this summer to Drew & Louise Langsner’s, and what that connection means to me. Then this morning I got the Country Workshops newsletter with the official announcement about this project; …a film about Jogge’s father Wille. So before I go to work, I wanted to let you know about it. Drew Langsner and Jogge Sunqvist told me the gist of it last fall. You can read it from this link. willeproject
When I know more about the fundraising, etc I will post again. This is a film I really am looking forward to.
Got a new snipe photo today, so I will refer you to an earlier post about hinges…this snipe photo is better. Somewhere I have a great one- but no time to look for it now. We saw about 6 of these guys rooting through the grasses in Marshfield this morning. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/setting-gimmals-you-might-know-them-as-snipe-bills/
I’m all grown up now & I know right from wrong. And the spindle in the bottom of this photo is wrong. These are for a bedstead I have to make in ash. About 12″ long, there’s a row of them at both the head and foot of the bed.
I blame Curtis Buchanan. I watched him turning his chair parts last week, and all those curves got in my head. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/how-to-make-a-comb-back-windsor-chair-w-curtis-buchanan/
The bottom one is more curvy than the piece I am supposed to be copying. With such short lengths, I can turn plenty of extras and pick & choose which I want.
Here’s an original:
I need five large & five small, so I’ll turn a bunch and get there in the end.
Meanwhile I carved some parts for a wainscot chair I’m building. My great big carved one finally sold & I miss having it around. I had some great wide quartersawn white oak to do the panel, 14″ x 16″ or so. I have carved these designs so much now that I make my own patterns by combining bits of this & that. Thus this panel is not a copy of any particular piece, but is firmly rooted in that Ipswich, Massachusetts/Devon England style. (so yes, David Cawthray, air-dried timber is fine & dandy. Quartersawn is best, but if you must use flatsawn, don’t let that stop you http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/about-flatsawn-stock-again/
I haven’t been just goofing around. I have started several things in the shop. One of which is resuming my dovetailing practice. It’s not a joint I have used much over the years; but I have done several in the past two years. The 2nd toolbox is well underway; I started the sliding trays the other day. This time in pedestrian tulip poplar. Oak clapboards for the bottoms.
Last time I put scrap carvings in as the bearers for these trays, I liked that result so much I did it again. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/it-was-the-rust-that-got-me/
Cutting dovetails is much different than my usual mortise-and-tenon work. Much less physical. Here’s the deep drawer for the chest of drawers I’m working on. I pin the drawer front to the bench with a holdfast in the bench’s leg.
Last year I bought a knife & awl from Dave Jeske at Blue Spruce Toolworks http://www.bluesprucetoolworks.com/ . When I ordered the tools, Dave asked me what wood I wanted for handles. I said it didn’t matter…but was pleasantly surprised when I opened them and saw oak!
But dovetailing ain’t like mortising. The chopping is about the only time I sit in the shop. Feels funny. Back to mortising next week…
Here’s the mocked-up drawer corner. Good enough for me. I think of the translation of Felebien, http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/felebien/
speaking of joints “blind in one eye.” It’s a big drawer, about 10 1/2″ deep, by 36″ wide. I’ve made smaller chests! Pine front, oak sides. The front gets moldings & turnings. First, it’s off to Matt’s class this weekend…to learn moldings from someone who actually knows what they’re doing. http://www.lie-nielsen.com/documents/Workshop13_Bickford(April).pdf
Here’s the help, laying out carving designs on the next batch of spoons. They were like a hurricane; blew in, a bit of a concentrated frenzy, then gone to the next thing. Spoons soon.