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New Face Vises; New Title for a Book

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 7:31am


Before heading out for Charleston, S.C., to visit my dad, I added a couple face vises to my circa 1505 Holy Roman Workbench. These vises have no screws and no real jaws. Instead they clamp the work with a wedge.

The vises are merely large notches in the benchtop, so “installing” them took about an hour of time.

These “vises” – if you can call them that – are based on paintings and drawings of workbenches that Suzanne “Saucy Indexer” Ellison and I have dug up during the last 18 months for my next book. In this case, I’ve made a notch in the end grain of the benchtop and in the edge of the benchtop. Both sorts of notches are shown in paintings and I want to sort out if there’s any difference between them.


I cannot say yet if they work differently, but I can say the notch on the edge grain was much easier to saw and bash out. When I return home on Sunday, I’ll get to work installing a wide variety of other long-forgotten bench accessories that Suzanne and I have unearthed.

As I mentioned earlier, the scope of this book has expanded far beyond where it began, with Roman workbenches. The workholding schemes we have found are ideal for both low benches and high benches. And both sorts of benches – high and low – have always existed side-by-side, as they do today.

I’m also exploring how low benches developed lots of accessories for building chairs (both shaved and turned), boats, baskets and all sorts of items that require steam-bent wood. I think I’ve also convinced Suzanne to write a chapter of the book that will detail the paintings we’re exploring and the socio-economic conditions in which they were made.


Oh, and the book is also part travelogue. It begins at the summit of Mount Vesuvius and ends below the ground in a German forest.

Believe it or not, all these disparate elements are stitched together without any Kierkegaardian leaps.

So, after a lot of thought, I’ve decided to title the book: “Ingenious Mechanicks: Early Workbenches & Workholding.” We’re on track to finish writing it by the end of 2017. So we should have it released by March 2018.

— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com

Filed under: Roman Workbenches, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Repairing a Saw Handle Horn

Paul Sellers - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 6:51am

The saw handle on my R Groves rip had been damaged and poorly repaired. It happens and it’s not uncommon at all to find a saw horn damaged. The repair popped off at some time and I have put off the repair proper until I found the right time; that’s something I rarely do because […]

Read the full post Repairing a Saw Handle Horn on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Making a set of eccentric drawbore pins.

Mulesaw - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 6:44am
I like to drawbore. But I haven't got any drawbore pins. This hasn't stopped me in any way, but once in a while I have thought that it might not be a bad idea to have some, so that I could test fit the joint before gluing and inserting the pegs.

I read a bit up on the various ideas behind it on the Internet, and it seems as there are a two models normally employed, both tapered along the length of the protruding part of the steel:
One version has a cylindrical shape of the tapered part  all the way.
The other version has got a not completely rounded shape of the tapered part. (popular called eccentric)

I guess that the eccentric model can either be of an elliptic shape, or it could just be a circular shape with part of the perimeter moved inwards.

I am going to try to make a set of drawbore pins based on the last idea. I can't really see any advantages of a pure elliptical shape over the flattened circular shape, but there is a lot more work involved in making a tapered elliptic piece of steel compared to the flattened model.

After a bit of testing to try our some ideas I had regarding how to do it, I ended up with this way of getting the wanted result:

First a piece of steel is mounted as usual in the 3 jaw chuck, and the far end is supported by the live center.
I adjust the compound rest to a 1 degree taper, meaning that the including taper will be 2 degrees.
I then take some passes only using the compound rest, to make a tapered section. I stop when the thin end is approximately half the diameter of the steel rod.
I then have to move the main apron to continue the taper. That is because the travel distance of the compound rest is only 2.75".  Once I have completed the taper to its final length, I stop.

The next step is to remove the old hole for the live center, so I can make a new one.
The new hole is made eccentric by adding a distance piece under one of the jaws in the chuck. In this case the distance  piece is an old washer.
I leave the washer in place and make sure to orient the steel bar in the same way, and again use the chuck and the live center.
The eccentric mounting of the live center and the washer between the steel bar and the jaw now causes the entire piece to be wobbling in the lathe. Or more correctly it is eccentric mounted with a throw equal to the thickness of the washer.

I bring the turning tool into contact with the piece and repeat the process of making a small taper. I removed 0.6 mm (3/128") while making this second taper.

The result is a nice and shallow taper and if the piece is rotated there is a slight difference of the aforementioned 3/128".
As far as I have understood the idea of this is that you insert the flattened part into the drawbored holes, and then you twist the tool to tighten up the joint.

I am going to try to  harden the drawbore pins before making some octagonal handles for them.

So far I have made two sets, 4 - 8 mm (5/32" - 5/16") and 5 - 10 mm(25/128" - 25/64")

Eccentric drawbore pins

Turning the taper

Getting ready for making the pin eccentric.
Note the washer between the left jaw and the workpiece.

This should show that there is a flattened ace on the pin.

Categories: Hand Tools

7 Tips for Tricky Glue-ups

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 2:00am

Glue-ups are always a stressful moment – you have a short timeframe to correctly align the parts you’ve been working on for some time, and failure to do so can compromise your results. So, I figured I’d share some tips that I’ve learned over time, through many a stressful and suspenseful glue-up. 1. Do a dry-run. You can set aside all the clamps, look at your project and feel good […]

The post 7 Tips for Tricky Glue-ups appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

till box glued up........

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 12:44am
The goal tonight was to get the square till box glued up and I got that done. Before I did that I went through one more dry clamp run. I didn't have or see any problems with that so did the glue up. I had time left over  so I did some preparatory work on the holders for the squares. I didn't get them all done but I made a dent in it. That is all subject to change as what I am thinking might be different in the real world.

for the people from Missouri
6mm thickness is just shy of a 64th from being a 1/4". 6mm plywood will be loose in a 1/4" groove.

metric reading
I am not sure if the 6mm plywood is nominal or not. Measuring the thickness of this read from a low of 5.95mm to this reading of 5.98. I did it at several points along all four edges and got nothing lower then 5.94 nor higher than 5.98.

I'm not liking this corner
On the outside it looks ok. I can close it with hand pressure but I have this gap on the inside. The other 3 are tight and I want this one to match.

maybe this is the problem
The end of the plywood is a frog hair or two past the end of groove where it ends on the miter face. This is where the edge of the plywood should be. I trimmed a 32nd off and checked it with my new 12" square. It was off on one corner - square from one long side and out of square from the opposite long corner. Planed it square and checked the other panel to make sure it was square and it was.

dry fitted
All the miters are closed up and I'm checking it for square.

diagonals are the same so it's square
I double checked it with my new 12" square and it confirmed the reading of the sticks.

found a piano hinge
In all of the years I've been woodworking, I have never used a piano hinge. I like the thought of using one on this box because it will open like a book to reveal the two sides with squares. A piano hinge would distribute that stress better then a pair of butt hinges would. Food for thought but I may buy another one with a wider leaf. This one is only a 1/2".

using hide glue and sized the miters first
while the glue sets some
This was $79 and it was just sharpened. I thought it would be a good dovetail saw Miles.

it's a Spears & Jackson which I think was good saw maker
made some test tails
The saw tracks good and didn't wander or feel like it wanted to. No problems sawing these tail cuts. The only beef I have with it is the set on the teeth leaves a wide kerf for doing dovetails.

more test cuts on the opposite end - there were dovetails here too
it's loose here
Just noticed a crack in the handle at the top. I tightened the nuts and they are solid but there is a bit of looseness still evident at the area by my fingertip. I can feel it while sawing and it has to be found and eliminated.

see the line under the spine
The plate on this is canted now but when I got it the plate was parallel to the spine. There was a tapered line underneath the spine too but most of it is gone now.

how I got the canted blade back.
I whacked the spine on the workbench at the toe and the heel. I didn't go nutso or Cro Magnon on it, 3 or 4 sharp raps seated the plate again where it was originally.

handle still has square holes for the nuts

the saw nuts and bolts are in good shape
The threads are still crisp looking and not deformed. The shoulders are still square and the slots in the bolts aren't chewed up. I don't think that these have been taken off much in it's lifetime.

left side of the plate
What did the old masters use to make the holes for the saw nuts? I tried drilling a saw plate once and I broke two drill bits trying to do it.

right side has some rust
I left this broke down and I'll try and clean it up this weekend. I will also investigate that crack and see if I can glue it and tighten up top between the spine and the handle.

successful glue up
I glued up the box with hide glue. I also glued the panels in all four of the grooves. After this has set up by the furnace I'll put splines in it on either side of where I'll saw it apart.

square spacers
If I was hanging these squares vertically in a cabinet I would be skipping this step. These squares will be laying flat in a box. Without a space under the blade it could bow along it's length. The spacer is as thick as the space between the handle and the blade.

had enough scraps for all the squares except one
I'll french fit this one
I got one piece done and I called it quits here and shut the lights out. My wife came home and decided we wanted to go out to eat.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was the first US President born in the 20th century?
answer - John F Kennedy

First ribs in place...

Owyhee Mountain Fiddle Shop - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 3:48pm
... little to show for what is actually a fair amount of progress.

What has happened to get to this point?  Form selected.  Blocks squared and installed.  Outline traced onto the blocks.  C-bout curves cut into the corner blocks.  Curves cut on the neck and end blocks.  Ribs thinned to proper thickness and trimmed to starting height.  Bending iron fired up and curly maple bent into shape.  Glued and clamped into place.

Not shown -- the top and back plates are joined (individually, that is).

I find the other ribs much easier to deal with, so basically this fiddle is moving along into its second trimester.  Once the ribs and linings are in place, the outline can be traced onto the plates, and serious carving begins. 

This is my Hardanger, so it will have typical Hardanger f-holes -- a new adventure for me.

Note also in the photo, just right of center at the top, the plastic handle of a cheap chisel.  Even so, probably older than many of you reading this.  I bought it in the 1970s, just out of high school, working as a carpenter.  It is not what one would call a good chisel.  I had a good friend who would chastise me, if he could, for including such a piece of sh*t in my photo here, but he can't. 

And I use this cheap thing all the time.  Need to slice some old, gnarly glue out of a mortise?  Here you go.  Works as an old-glue scraper, too.  Split some wood into blocks?  Whack!  Won't stay sharp for a long, long time, but takes a good edge quickly and is just dandy, in this instance, for working blocks down to the point where my good gouges and scrapers can take over. 

What works, works.
Categories: Hand Tools, Luthiery

Bogged Down No More…

The Kilted Woodworker - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 2:04pm
Sometimes I have so much going on that nothing ever seems to make progress. Right now, I’m working on… well, I’m working on several projects all at once, it seems. That’s not unusual, is it? One of them is another collaboration with my friend, Rab Gordon, of Rainnea Ltd. It’s an interesting project in that […]
Categories: General Woodworking

Meet PopWood Writers Mary May & George Walker

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 1:01pm

On December 9, two Popular Woodworking Magazine authors – woodcarver Mary May and Design Matters columnist George Walker – will be in Covington, Ky., to give presentations and sign copies of their new books, at a free event at Lost Art Press (7-10 p.m.). Don’t wait to reserve your tickets – space is limited. And while this is not nearly as exciting as meeting Mary and George, I’ll be there, too […]

The post Meet PopWood Writers Mary May & George Walker appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Sharpening Narrow Chisels (the Problem & Solution)

The English Woodworker - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 11:48am
Sharpening Narrow Chisels (the Problem & Solution)

A video version of this post has been added to our sharpening series.
All ‘Get Sharp’ customers can LOGIN to watch now.
Or You can Learn More about the Series here.

We’ve all done it.

Turned a smashing chisel into a left-handed skew.

Getting a 90 degree edge on narrow chisels can be troublesome.
Particularly if you’re free handing the job.

So I thought I’d give you a couple of tips that may help with sharpening narrow chisels squarely, (ish) freehand….

Continue reading at The English Woodworker.

Categories: Hand Tools

Tickets for Our Dec. 9 Book-release Party

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 9:00am


You can claim your free tickets for the Dec. 9 book release party with Mary May and George Walker using this link. The event is 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at our storefront: 837 Willard St., Covington, KY 41011.

Each author will give a short presentation on their work, answer questions and sign books. Drinks and snacks will be provided by Lost Art Press.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Lost Art Press Storefront, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Words for Woodworking that Make me Barf

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 7:38am

I love to look at websites of woodworkers – amateurs and professionals – and see photos of their work. But when they describe their work using the following words, I think: This person is a pompous wee-wee head with a fake underbite and who walks like they are carrying a corncob without using their hands. You might disagree – that’s what the comments are for. But here is my list […]

The post Words for Woodworking that Make me Barf appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Perch Stool Part 3.5 Stretchers

The Renaissance Woodworker - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 6:28am

Size the Stretchers from Your Assembled Stool

In this video I figured out the sizes and turning profile for my 2 stretcher and I even lay those dimensions onto my template board for easier turning. However, I say this in the video and I’ll say it again. You must capture the dimensions for the stretchers from your own stool as they will mostly certainly be different. For that matter they will probably be different with every one of these stools that you build. So laying out the template once shouldn’t be an excuse to turn everything to that same size.

Have no fear though, there is a fair amount of wiggle room here since there are no shoulders on the tenons and if necessary some additional shaping either at the lathe or with a spokeshave can finesse an errant fit.

Let's Finish the Perch

    Next Live Broadcast will be 2 PM on Saturday 11/18/17

    I’ll be boring the holes for the stretchers, assembling the whole thing and cleaning up in preparation for finish.

Categories: Hand Tools

We Keep Pressing On!

Paul Sellers - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 5:44am

When your life’s work becomes a reflection in the lives of others – when you see others learning your craft from you and you can watch from a distance as they grow – there is something unique taking place that defies the status quo. Leaving North Wales two years ago seemed yet another big step […]

Read the full post We Keep Pressing On! on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Gentle Reminder: Still No Public Email

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 5:03am

LAP_logo2_940In 2015, I closed my public email address to preserve my sanity, though some would question whether I succeeded in my goal.

Lately, a lot of people have attempted to seek advice, feedback or whatever through my personal site: christophermschwarz.com and through help@lostartpress.com. I’m up to about five messages a day now.

Please don’t waste your breath, your fingers or your 1s and 0s. These messages are all simply deleted.

I know deleting them might seem rude. And some of you have told us how rude you think it is in long rants… which get deleted.

Trust me. It’s not you. It’s me. I had multiple public email addresses for 17 years and answered every damn question sent to me – no matter how odd or how much research it required. I helped lazy students with their papers on hand craft. I found links for people too lazy to use a thing called Google. I answered sincere but incredibly time-consuming emails from people who wanted to tell me their life story and get detailed advice on the steps they should take to become a woodworker.

And those weren’t even the ridiculous requests. It’s too early in the morning for me to even think of those.

It was all too much. I was spending hours each day answering emails. It cut into my time researching, building, editing and writing (not to mention time with my family). And then one message snapped my head in two. Out of respect for the individual who sent it, I won’t go into detail because he would be identifiable.

The email he sent was longer than my arm. It was going to take me hours to formulate even a half-a$%ed reply.

I deleted it. Then I deleted my inbox and my old email address.

So now I’m half-sane.

— Christopher Schwarz


P.S. If you really want to ask me detailed questions, the best way to do that is to visit our Covington storefront on the second Saturday of every month. I’m happy to talk to anyone about anything. I know some of you will whine that you are too poor to travel (while typing on your $2,000 computer…), but people have made the trip from almost every state in the country.

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Book Giveaway: Mackintosh Furniture

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 5:00am
Mackintosh Furniture

This week’s book giveaway is for a copy of “Mackintosh Furniture” by Michael Crow. Filled with shop drawings for 30 furniture designs by architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, it’s a must-have for fans of his work. Furniture forms include chairs, tables, bookcases, dressers, sideboards and more. You’ll also find 2 complete step-by-step projects that showcase some of Mackintosh’s signature furniture details. One copy is up for grabs. Simply post […]

The post Book Giveaway: Mackintosh Furniture appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Dovetailing Machine of 1890

Journeyman's Journal - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 4:57am

The year was 1890 and the first ever dovetailing machine was patented by the Britannia Company, Colchester for £2 2s. It’s a dovetailing jig as we would understand it which is used on a foot powered table saw.

It was an unfortunate year, the beginning of the end of yet one more skill, but in the interest of gaining historical woodworking knowledge we shall read more about it and how it’s used.

A pine board 24”x 18”x 3/8” is clamped at each end on the table saw. A spline fitting the groove in the table saw ensures accurate movement, with a slot exactly in the centre of the two frames when in their places, for the saw to work through as shown in Fig.1.fig1

Fix on the gauge, (Fig.3) which is a piece of wood with slots at intervals, according to the size of dovetails required- upon platform, (Fig.2), of frames, as shown. These gauges are generally fixed upon the lower ledge, but for some work the upper ledge may be more convenient.  These gauges can be easily made by an amateur, or are supplied with the dovetailer.

The appliance in Fig.2 is to be fixed upon the board as shown, so that the saw may run clear when the movable frame is at either end of the segment.fig2Put in the screw through the frame Fig. 2 and screw down so as to allow the frame to move backwards and forward. The frame is to be fixed as shown 2 ¾” from square line of saw. To cut the mortises, place the wood upon the inclined plane, having adjusted the table so that the saw will cut the correct depth. Bring the front edge of the wood up to the end of the gauge, holding the marker in the left hand so that it falls into the various slots s the wood passes up the incline. The positions of the operator, the movable table, the frames, gauges, inclined plane, wood, marker and saw are all very clearly indicated in Fig.1


When one row has been made, turn the wood round and take the marker in the right hand and follow each cut up the incline until the cuts are completed. To cut the tenons or pins, adjust the saw table so that the saw cuts the required depth. Fix the gauge on the lower ledge of platform, the inner end of gauge forming the distance for the first cut.

Of course, it will be understood that the cuts only are made by the saw. The clearances of the mortises and the wood intervening between the pins must be affected in the usual manner with a chisel. The merit of the entire appliance lies in the presentation of the edges of the wood to the saw in such a manner and in such a position that the saw kerfs, first in one direction and then in the other, are made with such sure and certain regularity of distance and direction, and perfect parallelism, that an operator who is comparatively an unskilled hand can be enabled to perform work which, if done by the hand, must be the outcome of long practice combined with the utmost care in execution.

England has been at the forefront of invention of engineering marvels since their creation of the Industrial revolution in 1830. I’m in midst of writing an article on the industrial revolution and its effect it had and still has on human lives.  All I’m going to add is that this machine or appliance eliminates the need for a skilled dovetailer. I’m sure it would only take two minutes to train anybody to operate it and produce flawless dovetails.

For the sake of skill and of course profits, we have traded something more valuable in fact something priceless; skill.

Something to ponder, we marvel at how skilled they were, but how many of these skills were actual hand work or machine work.  I think it’s safe to bet that our craftsmen in the 18th century were machine free and therefore truly skilled at their jobs.  It would be grossly unfair if I said the opposite about craftsmen in the 19th century, but how many of those dovetails we see in antique furniture of that period were made by hand or by the patented dovetailing machine.

Categories: Hand Tools

rush hour traffic........

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 1:27am
My wife has been away all week keeping daughter #2 company in NC. She came back home tonight and I had to pick her up. It must be love because I was looking at driving up and down Post Road during rush hour. I would rather dribble a basketball in a mine field or drive through a neighboring state to avoid traffic. But I had no choice tonight so I bit the bullet and did it. I did all my swearing and hollering at the morons going to the airport but not on the way back. She objects to me pointing out all the faults of other drivers.

It made for a short night in the shop tonight but I was able to decompress. It seems that there are a lot of vets going on to the final resting place lately.  I like knowing that what I do helps my fellow vets but I don't like reading the obits on them.

one day later
 Nothing groaned, crept, said ah, or otherwise moved when I took the clamps off.

time to see if the lid fits
it doesn't
This is the only spot where I could slip the lid over the bottom. It is very snug and just the corner of it is caught.

cleaned the inside
The glue and epoxy on the inside has nothing to do with this fitting. But it will once I plane the bottom to fit the lid and I can finally seat it.

just need to remove a sliver of air on this side
same on this side
planed most of the proud off and finished by sanding it
evened the top of the banding with the bullnose plane
planing at the top only
stopped once the pencil lines were gone
it's loose
I should have checked it after I planed one side. Instead I planed both sides first and then checked the fit. It fits both ways loose and it won't stay on by itself. There isn't any way I can get a friction fit now.

used a sanding stick to round over the edges
The oak was very sharp and holding the lid hurt a bit. I planed a small round over on the edges and smoothed them out with the the sanding stick.

might have to go sans the lid
I like this but I'll try to think of some way of securing the lid. I am tossing around a belt and buckle idea right now.

short sides done
Faces cleaned, smoothed, and shot to length. Repeated on the long ones.

dry fit looks good - one more tap closed this corner
All the miters look good. They are all closed up and fairly gap free. I'm sure once I have the clamps on I'll be gap free.

sample corner
I used bar clamps on the first run and I wasn't happy with how the miters looked.With the bessey's larger clamp face, it spans the width of the sides and applies equal  pressure across it. I got 100% coverage on the corners by going under and over with the besseys.

sample face
All the top and bottom faces are all flush. My panels were sawn to the right dimensions and this is ready for glue up. I'll do that tomorrow because I have to go to the airport and hurry up and wait for my wife's flight which as been delayed twice already. Looking for a bright side to this, I didn't have to drive in the worse of the rush hour traffic.

I didn't want to chance gluing this up tonight
It would be my luck to try and do this and run into a major hiccup. Tomorrow I'll have all the time I need to do it.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What do you have if someone gives you a clew?
answer - a ball of yarn or string

Tradition and Innovation: M&T Podcast Episode 02

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 6:22pm


Our new podcast episode is up and can be listened to above. In this episode, Mike and I discuss the relationship between tradition and innovation in our woodworking culture. This topic is near to our hearts and something we talk about often. Based on our interactions with readers about this over the past few years, this conversation touches on defining “tradition” and “innovation”, the advantages to one over the other, and how our individual and personal motivations for woodworking inform the way that balance plays out in our lives.

Theme Music by: Austin V. Papp and Jesse Thompson 

You can subscribe to our Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or Soundcloud.


Notable links from this podcast:


Comments, Questions? Leave your thoughts below!


Categories: Hand Tools

Raking light, great carvings. Not mine

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 5:47pm

Took the kids for a walk in Burial Hill, Plymouth recently. Was a great sunny morning, perfect raking light. Cold though, up on top of that hill.

This is a well-known gravestone, among those who talk about such things. Patience Watson, d. 1767. Very nice carving, in fabulous shape.




These days Daniel is five-feet and change; so that’s a large stone above ground there. I wonder how deep it is below ground to be standing so long…

I went there for a decorative arts outing; but you end up reading the stones & get another angle too. This one is a sad story, a 2-week old child…

But the lettering! We owe Dave Fisher a trip to this cemetery when he comes up in June… https://davidffisherblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/learning-from-lettering/


one more:

This one is a family – husband, wife and child, all died within 3 weeks of each other. Has a great skull, with wavy hair/feathering/what-have-you behind it. Scrolling leaves along the sides. 1730.

Here’s the same carver – better condition. Better lighting…same year.

This one’s 1715, it and the one above were encased in new stone at some point. Being the home of ancestor worship means Plymouth’s graveyard gets some attention over the years. So many old graveyards suffer from neglect…

I dug out a couple stones from elsewhere – Henry Messenger, 1686. He was a Boston joiner, this stone is in the Granary Burying Ground, a famous cemetery in Boston

This one I’ve never seen, photo was given to me by my friend Rob Tarule. Thomas Dennis, joiner of Ipswich. Died 1706.


Here’s an ancestor of ours; Ebenezer Fisk of Lexington Massachusetts. Died 1775. Yup, that Lexington. One of the battles was on his farm, but he was pretty old and apparently dying. so probably of no concern to him…other things on his mind I bet.

I haven’t read too much about gravestones, but there is an excellent book I recommend “Graven Images: New England Stonecarving and its Symbols, 1650-1815, by Allan I. Ludwig. Wesleyan Univ Press, 1966. My copy is dated 1999, so reprinted at that point.

The Woodworking Joint Used in the Arms of Ming Dynasty Chairs…

Bridge City Tools - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 2:27pm

Drivel Starved Nation-

My latest trip to China was my favorite to date. When you are on an informative trip, fun is easy to find. When the weather is perfect, trips like this become magical.

The highlight for me was the gift Mr. Yang, the Hong Mu Master presented to me. It is a sample of the joinery used in his masterpiece pictured below;

As explained by Mr. Yang, his students are not allowed to build a chair until this joint is mastered;

Incredibly, mastering this joint can take up to a year. The rosewood supply he has is finite, so there is no tolerance for waste when it comes time to make a chair. And because there is no finish, the joints need to be perfect to become invisible. It truly is an amazing display of craftsmanship. The joint itself (I wish I would have asked if it had a name) is a thousand years old I am told.

Here is a short video by Academy Award Winning Cinematographer Wanna Be Consuelo;

Each chair arm has 6-8 of these joints. They are incredibly strong and could be completely functional without adhesive… they are that strong.

Pretty cool yes/no?


The post The Woodworking Joint Used in the Arms of Ming Dynasty Chairs… appeared first on John's Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools


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