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“In The White” Furniture

360 WoodWorking - Mon, 01/16/2017 - 6:16pm
“In The White” Furniture

Not sure what “in the white” is all about? You should read our latest release. This past Friday, 360 woodworking posted a 45-minute webinar-like video from Mike Mascelli on upholstery. (See Mike’s credentials, here.) In “Soft Sculpture Upholstery: A Lost Art,” Mike demonstrated a hybrid approach to adding the soft sculpture to a lolling chair while explaining historical methods used when upholstery was more than foam and fitted coverings. Mike believes that we are about to lose another piece of quality craftsmanship if we allow the old methods of upholstery to fade away.

Continue reading “In The White” Furniture at 360 WoodWorking.

Ask M&T…

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Mon, 01/16/2017 - 2:04pm

We get a lot of questions through social media and email about all sorts of stuff that we can’t necessarily fully address. Also, we naturally get a lot of repeat questions from readers. In order to help answer these questions as well as encourage others to ask more, we have decided to begin an “Ask M&T” video series. These will be concise answers to direct questions from you all. Ask whatever you want about what we got going on here… We’re pretty transparent folks. “What’s your favorite tool?” “What’s the most essential hand plane to have?” “What power tool do you secretly wish you had?” “Why don’t you guys publish the magazine more frequently?” “Why don’t you make a digital version?”

We don’t pretend to know it all but we think opening ourselves up to questions will make for a good time. So, there we have it. We’re open for questions, folks. Leave them below in a comment or email them to info@mortiseandtenonmag.com. (We will only share your first name.) What questions would you like to hear us answer?

- Joshua

 

Categories: Hand Tools

Ask M&T…

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Mon, 01/16/2017 - 2:04pm

We get a lot of questions through social media and email about all sorts of stuff that we can’t necessarily fully address. Also, we naturally get a lot of repeat questions from readers. In order to help answer these questions as well as encourage others to ask more, we have decided to begin an “Ask M&T” video series. These will be concise answers to direct questions from you all. Ask whatever you want about what we got going on here… We’re pretty transparent folks. “What’s your favorite tool?” “What’s the most essential hand plane to have?” “What power tool do you secretly wish you had?” “Why don’t you guys publish the magazine more frequently?” “Why don’t you make a digital version?”

We don’t pretend to know it all but we think opening ourselves up to questions will make for a good time. So, there we have it. We’re open for questions, folks. Leave them below in a comment or email them to info@mortiseandtenonmag.com. (We will only share your first name.) What questions would you like to hear us answer?

- Joshua

 

Categories: Hand Tools

Tot Ziens

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Mon, 01/16/2017 - 2:00pm

When you’re a guy like me, and you woodwork at the back of a one-car garage, space is at an ultimate premium. The battle to remove clutter, create storage, and make the work area “work” is never ending. Generally, I keep my work space fairly clean and organized, yet, whenever I am working on a project, I always seem to notice something else that could be improved. And the past weekend was no exception.

This past Friday my daughter wasn’t feeling well, so I took the day off to stay with her. While she slept, rather than continuing my project, I decided to remedy something that has been bothering me for months.

My garage is “L” shaped, and the “L” section usually contains leftover paint, gardening supplies, and countless other items from countless other projects. Many years ago I built a three tier shelf from leftover “two-by” stock and slowly that shelf became more and more cluttered, no matter how-often I cleaned it. Most recently, my Dutch Tool Chest found its way there, and I decided to finally do something about it.

A few years ago Dutch Tool Chests were all the rage. I personally built two, one for my dad and one that I kept for myself. In fact, one of those chests actually made it to the daily top 3 on Lumberjocks. It was a fun project and contained all of my favorite joinery: dovetails, tongue and groove, mortise and tenon, and dados, as well as decorative cut nails. I enjoyed building it immensely.

BUT…

I found that I did not enjoy actually using the chest; it always seemed to be in the way, and once I made wall racks for my woodworking tools, the chest became a storage bin for rags and cleaning supplies, the only tool it contained being the head of an old ball peen hammer that I found. Considering that just a few weeks back I purged my wall cabinets of hundreds of magazines, I had plenty of room for those supplies, and considering the chest takes up a lot of space, I made the decision to put it into my attic and cover it with a sheet.

Even though I spent a lot of time on that chest, the decision to put it into storage was surprisingly easy. Just as I said goodbye to the Moxon vise without any regrets, I am now saying goodbye to the Dutch Tool Chest. I am not impugning either project, as I’ve seen many blog posts describing their virtues; they just didn’t work for me. Both were trends in woodworking that I mistakenly followed without doing enough research, and now both are just side notes in my woodworking history. And though I do regret the money I spent on the hardware for the Moxon vise, I do not regret building the Dutch Tool Chest. As I said, it was fun to build and the construction process made me a better woodworker.

The back corner of my garage is now a little more roomy, and a little better suited for my needs. I even took some of the leftover lumber from the shelf and made a quick little workbench to hold my grinder and drill press, two of the power tools I still actually use on occasion. It is a space I can put to good use. In fact, I hope to turn it into a dedicated sharpening station.

In the meanwhile, I did learn a lesson, and that is to avoid woodworking trends. Maybe there was a reason that items like the Moxon Vice and Dutch Tool Chest disappeared for such a long time. For my part, I found out the hard way that they weren’t for me. But then again, I would never have known if I hadn’t tried in the first place.


Categories: General Woodworking

Bracewood for Guitars from Reclaimed Construction Lumber

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Sun, 01/15/2017 - 1:39pm
The United States is the world's largest producer and consumer of wood products harvesting about 350 million tons of round wood annually.

Forest Products Laboratory, USDA Forest Service




When I dismantled the old workshop I made sure that I inspected every stick of wood that came out of the building to see if it could be used in making a guitar.

There wasn't much, most of the Douglas fir 2x4's were too knotty or had amazing amounts of runout to be used, all of that went into constructing the new tool shed. I did find a couple of 2x4's that were white fir, abies concolor, that showed some promise.


I cut out the parts that looked good and split them, the failure rate was pretty high, lots of run out. One piece that is suitable has the old sawmill stamp on it, I believe it is a West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau stamp. I went to their website, click here, and found that Mill 74 is no longer in operation. This piece of wood is definitely white fir! The old workshop was constructed about 1964, which means this stick of wood is two years younger than me!



This is from a new 2x4 that I used to frame my new workshop. As you can see it is stamped Doug Fir-Larch and was milled at Priest River, Idaho. Go to the Western Wood Products Association webpage to see a listing of all the mill currently in operation. I am not sure if this piece is Douglas fir, it's a little too light in weight and really doesn't have the pitchy Douglas fir smell to it, it could be Western Larch.



Check out the medullary rays in this piece of white fir! The Douglas fir/larch piece also has some glorious medullary rays.



Here is a guitar top made from redwood that I purchased from Redwood Bears and Burls in Gasquet (Gas-key), California. You can also find their products on eBay, just look for "renobird". The "fan" braces are from the old piece of white fir and these braces are surprisingly stiff and light. When I was single and living in Northeastern California, I cut and splits cords of white fir for firewood, even then I thought that it would make good brace wood for guitars.


Today was also baking day! I started baking bread again, I forgot how much I enjoy it!

Categories: Luthiery

Spoons posted for sale

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sun, 01/15/2017 - 7:14am

spoons-january

I’m still slowly getting sorted after moving into the workshop. Posted some spoons for sale today. This hopefully will get back to being a regular occurrence. The link is here, or on the header of the blog page. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-for-sale-jan-15-2017/

If there’s something you’d like to order, leave a comment and we can take it from there. Details on the page..

back to work for me…

dsc_2111


Plantations – Day One.

The Furniture Record - Sat, 01/14/2017 - 6:52pm

I recently spent a few days in New Orleans for no other reason than to avoid my family over the holidays. I was accompanied by my wife. The Marriott points were hers. It’s useful to have a place to sleep, even in New Orleans.

I have nothing against my family but I think we are all happy we live where we do. Elsewhere. You can now bicker by text and Skype remotely where in the past a physical presence was required. My wife and I did spend four days with the family in Missouri. The family moved there via Denver after I left for college. Visiting a place for almost 40 years does not make it home…

New Orleans in a great food town and we ate our way through it as only we can. The free breakfast at the hotel is almost worth what you pay for it. I’ve been told they’re not powdered eggs but instead arrive in a plastic bag. A lukewarm comfort at best.

This leave us time to fill between meals. We have already hit most of the museums, historic houses and antique shops on Royal during past visits. The antique inventory may change but the character remains consistent. To find new thing you need to go to new places.

This time we rented a car and headed out to the plantations west of town. We have avoided renting cars in the past in that overnight hotel parking runs $40 per night. A local lot allows you to park overnight for the discounted rate of $26.50! This is as much or more than the car rental. This trip we found a hotel three blocks from an in town car rental agency and rented one for the day as needed. About as fast as waiting for the valet.

The first plantation we visited was the Nottoway Plantation,  now the Nottoway Plantation and Resort. Apparently have around 200 enslaved workers kept you from attaining resort status in the day.

img_3509

Nottoway Plantation, a Greek Revival and Italianate-styled mansion built by John Hampden Randolph in 1859.

It is the largest extant antebellum plantation house in the South with 53,000 square feet of floor space spread over three floors in 64 rooms.

Architecturally, the most interesting feature is the white ballroom. Everything is white. The floor is white. Walls are white. Trim is white. Window treatments, white. And one of the interesting feature in the ballroom is this alcove with the curved wall:

img_3515

Apparently we were there around Christmas

Eavesdropping on the guided tour, I heard the claim that the wall were made from bent cypress. To bend the cypress, the wood was soaked in the Mississippi for one year per inch of thickness. No claims were made as to the thickness of the cypress of the length of time soaked. The mansion was built in three years from lumber harvesting to move in so the wood must only be about 2″. Our Audioguide made similar claims so I will have to accept this as the truth, at least as they see it.

The furniture is not surprisingly mostly Empire and Regency with some Biedermeier/Belter style furniture thrown in as accents:

img_3519

A blocky yet handsome secretary.

We can’t forget the French influences throughout Louisiana:

img_3549

Try as we might.

Another bed seen in many of the grand southern houses is the half tester bed:

img_3577

Draperies not included.

If you are curious about the meaning of half tester, there is an informative blog HERE.

The last piece I am including in this preview is this carved chair:

img_3583

I’m sure at this point in furniture making history some automation/mechanical assistance was available.

Still, it amuses me:

img_3584

Though I am easily amused.

The rest of the pictures can be found HERE.


557 The New Workbench is Here!

Matt's Basement Workshop - Sat, 01/14/2017 - 5:34pm

For years I’ve been saying I was going to build a new workbench for the basement workshop, and after just as many years of not doing it, it’s finally happened!

old and new workbench

The old and the new side-by-side during construction

The “design” of the bench is simple, and the dimensions are perfect for a smaller shop like mine considering the goal turned from making a monster bench like we’ve seen in magazines, or elsewhere and instead turned to constructing something that would simply help me build projects easier than ever before.

new workbench

Already hard at work!

Today’s episode isn’t a construction video for “HOW I built the bench” but instead it’s a “TOUR” of its simple features, materials used in the construction, and a little bit about how I determined the dimensions and joinery.

Items mentioned in the video:
WoodRiver Tail-Vise Screw – Amazon.com
Veritas Tail-Vise Screw – Lee-Valley
Workbenches: From Design And Theory To Construction And Use – Christopher Schwarz

If you’re wondering about the episode I mentioned regarding building the plywood top for the old bench, you can find it by clicking here to visit episode 290.

Episode available for download in the following formats:
|1080HD Video||720HD Video||SD Video|

Categories: Hand Tools

New T-Shirts and Hoodies: “Craftsmanship is Risk”

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Sat, 01/14/2017 - 1:46pm

Front Design 

To celebrate the release of Issue Two, we are announcing new M&T apparel. One design. Two items.

  1. The hooded sweatshirt is a pre-order only item. From now until February 4th (three weeks), we will be taking these pre-orders ($50) for hoodies. We will order a few more of each size just in case there are issues but after February 4th, there is no guarantee of getting this hoodie. If you want one, it’s now or never. It’s not marketing hype… we just don’t want to store boxes of hoodies.
  2. The t-shirt will be a regular in-stock item for the foreseeable future (just like our last shirt) They’ll be available to purchase when they arrive in February.

 

Back Design

Now about the design…

It’s not news that the term “workmanship of risk” has made David Pye famous in woodworking circles. The term was coined by Pye in the mid 20th century to describe workmanship that depends on the skill of the maker rather than complex jigs which ensure “perfection”. This is seen mostly clearly in tools like hatchets, chisels, and even to some degree hand planes.

This concept has been passed around woodworking circles for years but what is less known is that Pye developed the term as a definition for the word “craftsmanship”. On page 20 of his Nature and Art of Workmanship, he writes,

“If I must ascribe meaning to the word craftsmanship, I shall say as a first approximation that it means simply workmanship using any kind of technique or apparatus, in which the quality of the result is not predetermined, but depends on the judgment, dexterity, and care which the maker exercises as he works. The essential idea is that the quality of the result is continually at risk during the process of making; and so I shall call this kind of workmanship ‘The Workmanship of Risk’: an uncouth phrase, but at least descriptive.”

We think seeing the essence of craft bound up with the “riskiness” of working with unregulated tools is dead on. There is a lot of skillful workmanship in the world but the one that we at M&T particularly want to celebrate is the one called “craftsmanship”.

This shirt is for those who want to celebrate handcraft and so we wear it with pride to know we are part of a rich tradition of woodworking passed down from our ancestors. We hope you wear this shirt along with us on this journey to relearn how to work with our hands by the sweat of our brow.

 

100% cotton. Incredibly comfortable and soft vintage feel.

Printed in Alabama by fellow woodworking enthusiast Shannon Brantley (http://flannelandfloral.com and @nubthumb). We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from readers about the quality and feel of these shirts. We think you’ll love it too.

 

You can pre-order your hoodie here.

The T-shirts will be available to order this February.

 

Categories: Hand Tools

New T-Shirts and Hoodies: “Craftsmanship is Risk”

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Sat, 01/14/2017 - 1:46pm

Front Design 

To celebrate the release of Issue Two, we are announcing new M&T apparel. One design. Two items.

  1. The hooded sweatshirt is a pre-order only item. From now until February 4th (three weeks), we will be taking these pre-orders ($50) for hoodies. We will order a few more of each size just in case there are issues but after February 4th, there is no guarantee of getting this hoodie. If you want one, it’s now or never. It’s not marketing hype… we just don’t want to store boxes of hoodies.
  2. The t-shirt will be a regular in-stock item for the foreseeable future (just like our last shirt) They’ll be available to purchase when they arrive in February.

 

Back Design

Now about the design…

It’s not news that the term “workmanship of risk” has made David Pye famous in woodworking circles. The term was coined by Pye in the mid 20th century to describe workmanship that depends on the skill of the maker rather than complex jigs which ensure “perfection”. This is seen mostly clearly in tools like hatchets, chisels, and even to some degree hand planes.

This concept has been passed around woodworking circles for years but what is less known is that Pye developed the term as a definition for the word “craftsmanship”. On page 20 of his Nature and Art of Workmanship, he writes,

“If I must ascribe meaning to the word craftsmanship, I shall say as a first approximation that it means simply workmanship using any kind of technique or apparatus, in which the quality of the result is not predetermined, but depends on the judgment, dexterity, and care which the maker exercises as he works. The essential idea is that the quality of the result is continually at risk during the process of making; and so I shall call this kind of workmanship ‘The Workmanship of Risk’: an uncouth phrase, but at least descriptive.”

We think seeing the essence of craft bound up with the “riskiness” of working with unregulated tools is dead on. There is a lot of skillful workmanship in the world but the one that we at M&T particularly want to celebrate is the one called “craftsmanship”.

This shirt is for those who want to celebrate handcraft and so we wear it with pride to know we are part of a rich tradition of woodworking passed down from our ancestors. We hope you wear this shirt along with us on this journey to relearn how to work with our hands by the sweat of our brow.

 

100% cotton. Incredibly comfortable and soft vintage feel.

Printed in Alabama by fellow woodworking enthusiast Shannon Brantley (http://flannelandfloral.com and @nubthumb). We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from readers about the quality and feel of these shirts. We think you’ll love it too.

 

You can pre-order your hoodie here.

The T-shirts will be available to order this February.

 

Categories: Hand Tools

Benched

Northwest Woodworking - Sat, 01/14/2017 - 9:25am

I found a piece of wood once on the back side of the house I was living in. About 3′ long and 3″ thick, it looked like it had fallen off a tree as it was still round on the outside and scooped on the inside. The shape of it was like 3 fat inches of growth rings had fallen off the tree. It was perfect as the seat of a bench.

I didn’t know what to do with it at the time because I didn’t know squat about woodworking. But I kept it. I said to myself, I’m gonna use that some day. And I did. And I still have it. It’s so much fun to build this stuff and then you look up and it’s years later and it’s not a perfect piece or anyone’s idea of pretty except mine. Because I built it.

Come join us and build your own bench starting Jan. 23rd. Cool Projects: Shaker Bench

1-bench-end

 


Categories: Hand Tools

Angled Dovetails - Furniture and Cabinetmaking Magazine

David Barron Furniture - Sat, 01/14/2017 - 3:47am

The latest edition of F&C magazine is out now containing my article on angled dovetails if anyone wants to have a go. Other interesting dovetail projects will be appearing in the coming issues.


As usual there is an excellent exploded drawing as well as a full cutting list.


Also inside is a very good feature on Kevin Glen Drake from Glen Drake Tool Works, he makes some great tools.

And the last ever article on the last ever plane by the legend Karl Holtey who has now retired from plane making after 25 years at the forefront of his field.
If you don't already subscribe to F&C, you should, wherever you are in the world.


Categories: Hand Tools

From my telegram channel (1)

Dal mio canale Telegram (1)




The new Quangsheng double marking gauge from Workshop Heaven (no affiliation).

Il nuovo truschino doppio di Quangsheng da Workshop Heaven (nessuna affiliazione).

http://www.workshopheaven.com/quangsheng-twin-stem-marking-gauge.html
Categories: Hand Tools

Early Influences

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 1:38pm
              
As we think about our woodworking influences during National Mentoring Month, I’ve been pondering my roundabout journey so far. I suspect that my story isn’t terribly uncommon in that the most formative teachers I have had are folks I’ve never met.
My grandpa was a strong influence on me in regards to fixing things, pounding nails, getting cars running, and the like. He helped me to see that the materials that you have on hand or can scrounge up from the basement are often enough to get the job done effectively. Because of what I learned from watching him, I have never been afraid to tear into a project, to disassemble a complicated doohickey just to see what’s going on inside.
Tinkering, of course, isn’t necessarily a skill unto itself but it can be a jumping-off point for learning many useful things. There’s been much written and said about “crossover skills” in regards to woodworking, about how precision learned in working leather, or mechanical understanding from repairing a lawnmower, or even how whittling a stick with a pocketknife can be applied practically in hand-tool woodworking.  This is entirely true – but we need a framework on which to hang these skills. Where to begin?
Norm Abram and The New Yankee Workshop drew me right in. Yes, I was a 12-year-old “Normite”. From a pile of hardwood plywood, planed cherry lumber, and a bit of MDF, there arose majestic creations: corner cabinets, secretary desks, trestle tables. All that was needed was a pneumatic brad gun, various powered saws, a bazillion routers with accompanying bits, and safety glasses (the most important safety rule). I was in awe, but also quite intimidated. Norm made it look easy, but the sheer quantity of power tools and jigs (and noise!) seemed unapproachable.
However, the next show on the weekend morning lineup starred this hilarious guy named Roy Underhill. Roy invited us into The Woodwright’s Shop to rive our lumber straight from some log he’d just cut behind his house. Between telling old fables about “hoop snakes” and nicking his hand with a sharp hatchet, Roy made beautiful and useful things – often similar to Norm’s work on the surface, but without the din of dust collectors and shapers and jointers. All in a single take, with that old hat on his head and a grin on his face. This looked like fun!
I tip my hat in gratitude to these men, who kindled in me a great desire to learn more and to simply create.  Even though the machine mentality has faded from my way of viewing woodworking, I still have a special place in my heart for The New Yankee Workshop. And St. Roy has taught me many things, but most importantly, to be careful with sharp tools!
Continue the conversation – use the tag #woodworkingmentors and share your stories.
~Mike Updegraff
Categories: Hand Tools

Early Influences

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 1:38pm
              
As we think about our woodworking influences during National Mentoring Month, I’ve been pondering my roundabout journey so far. I suspect that my story isn’t terribly uncommon in that the most formative teachers I have had are folks I’ve never met.
My grandpa was a strong influence on me in regards to fixing things, pounding nails, getting cars running, and the like. He helped me to see that the materials that you have on hand or can scrounge up from the basement are often enough to get the job done effectively. Because of what I learned from watching him, I have never been afraid to tear into a project, to disassemble a complicated doohickey just to see what’s going on inside.
Tinkering, of course, isn’t necessarily a skill unto itself but it can be a jumping-off point for learning many useful things. There’s been much written and said about “crossover skills” in regards to woodworking, about how precision learned in working leather, or mechanical understanding from repairing a lawnmower, or even how whittling a stick with a pocketknife can be applied practically in hand-tool woodworking.  This is entirely true – but we need a framework on which to hang these skills. Where to begin?
Norm Abram and The New Yankee Workshop drew me right in. Yes, I was a 12-year-old “Normite”. From a pile of hardwood plywood, planed cherry lumber, and a bit of MDF, there arose majestic creations: corner cabinets, secretary desks, trestle tables. All that was needed was a pneumatic brad gun, various powered saws, a bazillion routers with accompanying bits, and safety glasses (the most important safety rule). I was in awe, but also quite intimidated. Norm made it look easy, but the sheer quantity of power tools and jigs (and noise!) seemed unapproachable.
However, the next show on the weekend morning lineup starred this hilarious guy named Roy Underhill. Roy invited us into The Woodwright’s Shop to rive our lumber straight from some log he’d just cut behind his house. Between telling old fables about “hoop snakes” and nicking his hand with a sharp hatchet, Roy made beautiful and useful things – often similar to Norm’s work on the surface, but without the din of dust collectors and shapers and jointers. All in a single take, with that old hat on his head and a grin on his face. This looked like fun!
I tip my hat in gratitude to these men, who kindled in me a great desire to learn more and to simply create.  Even though the machine mentality has faded from my way of viewing woodworking, I still have a special place in my heart for The New Yankee Workshop. And St. Roy has taught me many things, but most importantly, to be careful with sharp tools!
Continue the conversation – use the tag #woodworkingmentors and share your stories.
~Mike Updegraff
Categories: Hand Tools

Carpenters, Electricians or Plumbers?

WPatrickEdwards - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 10:54am
I have quite a few clients who are doctors.  Now that I think of it I also have had quite a few doctors as students.  Years ago (many years ago) I taught a series of classes on Decorative Arts at my alma mater, U.C.S.D.  In one of these classes I had a distinguished looking gentleman who always sat in the front row, directly in front of me, and asked very intelligent questions.  After several lectures, I asked him who he was and he responded, "I'm Dr. U".  It impressed me, since he confirmed that his last name was the singular letter "U".  I asked him what kind of doctor he was and he replied "brain surgeon."

As my degree was in High Energy Particle Physics, I thought this was interesting.  I can see the headlines now: "Rocket Scientist teaches Brain Surgeon."

In conversation after class, I asked him why he would take the time to sit through my lectures, as he must be rather busy with his profession.  He complimented me very much when he simply replied, "You are a good teacher."

Some years later I noted in the news that a difficult medical case had been treated at UCSD Medical Center, where a tumor was removed from a patient's brain in a 23 hour procedure.  The doctor who stood in one position for 23 hours and patiently cut away the tumor, stitching each vessel with 10 microscopic stitches was Dr. U.

When I taught my first class at Marc Adams School of Woodworking I had the school make 8 chevalets, and I thought they would be in different sizes.  However, they made them all the same size, 61cm tall, which would be perfect if the student was 6'2".    Naturally all the students were different heights, so I had to make risers for the seats.  In that first class I had a very enthusiastic woman who was 4' 11" tall.  Her name was Pepper and she was a medical doctor.  Doctor Pepper.  She was an exceptional worker and impressed me with her attitude.  Out of the 8 students 3 were medical doctors and one was a medical nurse.

At some point (I can't remember who or where) I had a client who was a doctor tell me that "We're all either carpenters, electricians or plumbers."  I thought that was a rather humble description of one of the most important professions on earth.  "Carpenters" fix broken bones, "Electricians" repair damaged nerves and "plumbers" solve leaky pipes.  (I don't want to be more specific...)

If I had entered the medical profession I would be a good doctor.  I would be a "Carpenter" since I understand how to repair structural damage, with the least invasive methods.  When I fix something it is fixed.  I spend a lot of my work repairing the damage caused not only by the accident but also (and much worse) the damage caused by amateur attempts to repair it, before it was brought to me.

I have posted before about Vector Clamping.  It is my way of teaching about proper methods of applying pressure on a glue joint.  When the joint is straight and even and the clamping surface is parallel to the joint, it is obvious where to clamp.  However, when the repair involves complicated curves and many different breaks it becomes more difficult to visualize where to apply the clamps.

This is where amateur woodworkers get in trouble.  Either they don't have enough clamps or the proper clamps, or the proper glue, or they try to just flood the break with glue, thinking it will fill all the gaps.  In any case, the repair is usually horrible.  By understanding Vector Clamping theory the repair will be easy, and the minimum number of clamps will be needed.

Vector Clamping means that a single clamp must be applied in the center of the joint and perpendicular to its surface.  On curves this means an additional scrap piece of material must be attached temporarily to properly provide a place for the main clamp to do its work.

Repairing a curved leg on a tripod table is a good example.  This nice early table came in last week with a broken leg.  An effort to repair it involved a large dowel going sideways, lots of yellow glue and a lot of missing wood.  The person who had attempted to repair it had damaged much of the surface of the joint so that it was no longer useable.

I used a toothing plane to clean up the glue residue.  You must glue to clean wood.  You cannot glue to dirt, old glue (unless it is a protein glue), or any other contaminant.  The success of the repair depends on the wood to wood surface contact.  This is why dowels are not as good as tenons.  Dowels present a circular surface which contacts as much end grain as side grain.  Tenons contact a larger area of side grain than end grain, so are stronger.

To begin the repair I fashioned pine clamping jigs, which are attached to the leg and foot.  If you study the photo you will see only two of the clamps do the actual work on the repair.  The vertical center clamp holds the piece in position while the diagonal clamp (on the back of the leg, difficult to see) is pulling the foot towards the leg. The rest of the clamps are used to hold the jigs.

Wood Elements Added for Vector Clamping 

I used a pattern to determine the shape of the new piece.  In this case I used a piece of recycled Cuban mahogany, as the table was made in that wood.  Note the tenon extension I provided which fit into the foot element, as there was not enough end grain on the foot piece to guarantee strength.

Foot on Left Photo, Leg on Right Side, Pattern for Repair

This shows the repair after the clamps were removed:


Cuban Mahogany Element Before Shaping 
Looking at the leg from the end to be sure it was straight:

Looks Straight To Me
A second piece of mahogany was added to the bottom of the leg for extra strength across the weakest part of the repair:

Second Piece of Mahogany Added to Bottom of Leg
This is the repair before finishing:
Note The Curve Is Continuous and Smooth
I actually don't like the term "Carpenter".  I am not a "Carpenter".  Carpenters build houses and use nails to fasten wood together.  For the purposes of this post I will not complain.  It is a metaphor.

I am a Problem Solver.



Categories: Hand Tools

The Krenov School Mid-Winter Show 2017

The Sharpening Blog with Ron Hock - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 10:48am

The Krenov School Mid-Winter Show opens tomorrow, the 14th, for just 10 days. It’s at Town Hall, 363 No. Main Street in Fort Bragg, California. The reception will be next Friday, the 20th. This show is always a stunning display of the finest woodworking in the universe. Not to be missed.


Categories: Hand Tools

Lie-Nielsen Saw Sharpening Workshop – Warren, ME

Blackburn Tools - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 8:02am

If you’ve ever wanted to sharpen your own saws, but didn’t know where to start, I can’t think of a better setting to learn the skill than at Lie-Nielsen’s headquarters in beautiful Warren, ME. Lie-Nielsen has a well-deserved reputation for being first class hosts, and this is sure to be no exception.

Lie-Nielsen Saw Sharpening Workshop, May 13-14 in Warren, ME.

Lie-Nielsen Saw Sharpening Workshop, May 13-14 in Warren, ME.

Over the course of two days, I will cover the basics of saw tooth geometry before moving on to practice filing both rip and crosscut teeth.

 

Lie-Nielsen Workshop – Warren, ME

Saturday & Sunday, May 13-14

9:00 – 5:00 (Saturday), 9:00 – 4:00 (Sunday)

Lie-Nielsen

 

Warren, ME 04864

Registration and further details are available on the Lie-Nielsen website. If you have any questions, please contact either myself or Lie-Nielsen.

Categories: Hand Tools

Shop Update for 1/13/17: Gearing Up for a Bookcase

The Renaissance Woodworker - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 6:05am

Streaming Live, A Bookcase!

Several of The Hand Tool School community members have embarked on a group build of a bookcase taken from Christopher Schwarz’s Anarchist’s Design Book. So I figured I had better build along too. But since I hadn’t planned on this project, I figured I would have some fun with it and stream the build live via my YouTube channel. I imagine the whole build will take about 6 hours and I’ll be streaming for 3, 1 hour periods which should cover all the primary stuff and the repetition can go on off camera.

I will be posting the recordings of these live sessions here as well.

Live Build Schedule

  • Saturday, January 14th 11am – 12 pm eastern time: breaking down stock and making panels
  • Sunday, January 15th 11am – 12 pm eastern time: Dado and Groove Joinery
  • Monday, January 16th 12 pm – 1 pm eastern time: Assembly and Finish

Best laid plans right? We’ll see how I stick to this schedule

Categories: Hand Tools

Saddling My Horse

Hillbilly Daiku - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 8:07pm

Through a strange sequence of events and serious risk to my health and wellbeing, I was able to work at my shaving horse for several hours yesterday.  Sounds great and it was, but the back-of-my-front is pretty dang sore today.  I have a good bit of work yet to do at the horse so a remedy for comfort was now top priority.

Let me back up a bit.  A while back I built my shaving horse using Jeanie Alexander’s plans that can be found on the Greenwoodworking site.  I remember that the plans mentioned something about a sliding seat…I won’t need that.  I was waaaay wrong.  Way wrong!

IMG_2266

Straddling a board, for hours on end, takes a toll on the backside.  So I did a little research on my lunch hour today.  I wanted to see what the folks who make a living using a shaving horse do for a seat.  The general consensus is that you need one, it should be tilted forward slightly and cushy is a good thing.

As soon as I got home this evening I went straight to the shop to see what I could come up with.  My plan was to make a seat with two guide rails that would slide along the main beam of the horse.  I came up with a piece of plywood and a few bits of pine.  I sketched a simple seat shape on the plywood and went to work.

img_2858

To achieve a slight forward tilt, I planed a piece of pine into a wedge shape.

img_2859

I sawed the rough shape of the seat and refined the shape with a plane and sandpaper.

img_2860

img_2861

Assembly was simple.  The wedge was glued and nailed in place.  The two 2x guide rails were glued and screwed.

img_2862

img_2863

To get the cushy, I used the last bits of my upholstery foam and a piece of black vinyl.

img_2865

I have to say, it is very comfortable and I cant wait to put it to use.  To keep the seat from sliding when in use, I simply cut a small square of shelf liner to put between the seat and rail.  It locks the seat down solid.

img_2864

Anyway, just a quick little project and public service announcement. Saddle your horse, trust me!

Oh yeah, the risk to my health and wellbeing.  Yesterday the shop was cold and I was home alone, management was at work.  So I took it upon myself to move the whole shaving horse operation into the house on the nice warm sun porch.

img_2857

I did put down a couple pieces of ply to protect the carpet.  Anyway, management took it pretty well and working on the sun porch is now sanctioned.  Who woulda’ thunk it?

Greg Merritt


Categories: Hand Tools

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