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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway! Enjoy!
Do you have a suggestion for a hand-tool woodworking blog you would like to see here? Tell me via the CONTACT page. Thanks!
These visions were further reinforced by all the original Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Lost in Space (we all knew who the villain was), Star Trek, Time Tunnel, and even the Jetsons, who combined to provide a weekly dose of extra terrestial reality.
The movies were even better and Robbie the Robot became my iconic friend. Forbidden Planet is still one of the most important movies I have ever seen, as it deals with the essential struggle between the ego and the id. I must admit that when I see Robbie I see Freud. What does that say about my early years?
My passion for science was fed directly by The Day the Earth Stood Still, the Blob, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the Fly, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing, and most significantly, the Incredible Shrinking Man. After all, didn't the exposure to radiation cause him to continue to shrink to the size of an atom? Of course I would study particle physics!
However, the more I studied physics and worked in the highly specialized field of technology the more I wondered about my place in the universe. In college I spend a lot of time in philosophy classes trying to determine my cosmology and the "meaning of life." Fortunately, that was in the 60's and there was a wide selection of "stimulants" which could be used to test reality.
At some point, a few years out of college, I decided to abandon my chosen career and consciously turn away from technology. Instead of working to smash atoms and search for "strange" particles (pun intended), I looked to history to understand how we ended up in this situation.
I became a modern Luddite.
Furniture and craft provided me with the tangible objects of that search. I wondered what furniture Jefferson used tin his daily life, how the Kings of Europe lived, how Napoleon influenced a global style of design and what emerging technology did to the Victorians and their furniture.
These were the thoughts in my head as I walked to work, inspired by the movie this morning. What would I do if I had a time machine? Backward or Forward?
(Did I mention how I loved Dr. Who??) "It's bigger on the inside!"
Tonight is Oscar Night and last night CNN ran a long special on the history of the Academy. During that show I saw Charlie Chaplin as he was awarded honors for his contribution to film. Thinking about his generation and what technology has changed during the 20th century, I did some searching on the computer and found this clip.
It summarizes perfectly my belief that technology for technologies' sake is a troubling waste of time and intellect. We need solutions to serious global issues, starting with clean water and air. We need to focus on easing human suffering and natural food. The time and money the world spends on weapons of destruction is about as necessary as this machine which "feeds men".
As they said in the Twilight Zone episode, "To Serve Man", it's a recipe book!
Here is a short video I took of the original Victorian dressing box with secret drawer and the crude plywood mockup of the system we will be using in our Treasure Boxes.
Note the springs are strong enough to throw a piece of wood several inches. You cannot get this action with normal spiral springs. They do not have enough travel or force.
The reason I spent the money to have a professional spring company duplicate these springs is that I wanted the exact metal quality, dimensions and consistency that a company with modern equipment can produce.
I did talk with several metal artisans and realized that to produce a limited run would be expensive and the tension would vary among "hand made" springs.
I trust this very amateur video helps to understand how this system works. Contact me if you want to get a few of these for your own projects.
|Victorian Dressing Box (Button At Back Edge)|
During the Summer Institute at Winterthur in 1978, I went out of my way to do favors for the docents who were working there. In return, they allowed me a certain "discretion" in my efforts to examine furniture in the collection. That meant I was allowed to actually open drawers, crawl underneath and generally handle objects (with a great deal of care.)
I spent three months at Winterthur that year and was allowed to live in my camper on the parking lot, just a few hundred yards from the museum and library. Each day at 8:00 am I was waiting at the door for it to open and each day at 9:00 pm I was the last person to leave when it closed.
During that time I had the pleasure of spending time in each of the 115 rooms studying the furniture at my leisure. One day I opened a slant front Chippendale desk and began to remove the usual "secret" compartments. As I continued to explore, I found an unusual cavity which had not been opened before (as far as the docents were aware.) Inside that compartment I found a neat $100 bill (in 1930 Monopoly money!) Of course I replaced it and I am sure it is still there today.
During the Victorian period there were lots of things produced which used secret escapements. Quite a few of them were lap desks. Since these were portable and often contained letters or money which was valuable, they included catches, moveable panels and springs which would open hidden compartments.
|Damaged Victorian Dressing Box|
|Secret Drawer Open|
Thus, since we are currently working on the second series of the Treasure Boxes, and designed these with a secret writing surface, it seemed like a good idea to use this method as a way of opening the trays. We are creating a gilt leather writing tray which will hide inside the box and be pushed out from the side. We needed a way to open the tray without a visible pull.
|Brass Catch Under Drawer|
|Antique Box Spring System Inside Drawer Opening|
|Prototype Tray System Test|
|Tray Pushed Open|
|Brass Catch under Tray|
|For Sale! $25/pair or $100/5 pair|
Talk about a niche market! You can't get these on Amazon!
|The Third Hand, Made in Paris|
These things are my "friends." They are always around, waiting to help me with my work.
I thought that I should mention them in a post, so that others who do this kind of work will start thinking about adopting similar shop aids. These are not exactly the things you will read about in woodworking books. They are just shop fixtures or tools which are handy and normal but serve to really make life easier.
|Better than the Kitchen Sink|
|Always Ready to Sit On|
|Rolling Work Table|
|Multi Purpose Work Stands|
|Got Glue Blocks?|
|Sorted by Species and Size|
|Maxwell's Paper Hammer|
|Follow The Money|