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I’ve written an article on Chinese furniture for Popular Woodworking which should come out at the end of the year or the beginning of next year, if all goes well. One of the things that I didn’t have space for in the article was a motif called “cracked ice”. It’s a random pattern of triangles and other polygons that is mounted on the inside of a frame. They can be small scale as in the window above, or larger, as in the panel below.
They can incorporate an interior frame, as seen below.
The cracked ice pattern shows up in furniture pieces as well.
This pattern is meant to resemble cracks that form in ice covering a pond as the temperature goes up. This pattern also appears in other Chinese art, most notably in ceramics. In this case, the glaze naturally cracks during the firing process, resulting in the pattern on this vase.
Besides being a design motif that I find very attractive, I’m also intrigued by the process of laying this design out. Intrigued in the sense that I’ve been thinking about how I would lay out a pattern like this for at least 5 years now, and I still have no idea how to do it. It’s easy to lay out a random pattern of triangles and polygons. It’s much harder to do that in a way that looks good, and in the case of woodworking, good enough so that you can look at it for a few decades and not find it annoying.
I’ve had a number of conversations with George Walker over the years, and more recently Jim Tolpin, about this design. They haven’t figured it out, either. We’re all sure that there are some sort of guidelines that can direct how to lay out this pattern. We just don’t know what it is.
Two weeks ago I was on vacation in Barcelona. And when you’re in Barcelona, you wind up looking at a lot of things built by Antoni Gaudí, designer of the Sagrada Família, the Park Güell, and other famous Barcelona landmarks. One of the buildings we visited was the Palau Güell, which is a fabulous seven-story mansion in the heart of Barcelona. As we headed to the top, I was quite surprised to see this.
These are interior stained glass windows that face the top of a hall used for social events and musical concerts. It is said that Asian design was an early influence on him, but I don’t have any evidence that Gaudí deliberately was using the cracked ice design. In any case, Gaudí wasn’t the only Barcelona architect to use this sort of element in his architecture.
This is a stained glass panel in the Palau de la Música Catalana, designed by Lluís Domènech I Montaner, Unlike how Chinese woodworkers used this pattern, the cracked ice pattern is identical from panel to panel. In Chinese design, each panel would have had its own cracked ice pattern.
Even if Gaudí and Domènech I Montaner weren’t cribbing directly from Chinese design, they both were interested in incorporating design elements from nature into their work, so it may not be completely surprising that this design pops up in turn of the century Barcelona, given the natural inspiration for this design.
|this corner is wee bit off|
|even if I don't use a molding|
|1/8" beader was the $29 deal|
|someone has done a bit of work on this|
|it has one large flat bevel|
|my bead on the right|
|the bead profile is a wee bit off|
|reason two I bought this|
|my cornice plane from Hyperkitten|
|back of the iron|
|looks like a large micro bevel on the edge|
|as good as sole as the beader|
|I like this profile|
|ripping it out|
|nope, it's too big|
|It would look good here|
|too big for the bottom base|
|planed and ripped out one more|
|this will work too|
|close but not a match|
What was the name of the first movie released with the NC-17 rating (no children under 17)?
answer - Henry and Jane
I’ve done an extensive article on this glue and there’s no need for me to repeat it again. Last night I was gluing up some very thin panels for another project, it’s 1/8″ thick, as always I use hot hide glue but I wasn’t paying attention and over cooked it which ended up in the bin immediately. So instead of making another batch I heated up OBG in hot water, clamped it and left it to dry. I left it for a couple of days as I had other projects to attend to. What shocked me was that the glue broke along the glue line, the glue is coming to the end of its shelf life it will expire in two months time. However, to me that means nothing because I always go by smell. You’ll know when your glue is ready for the bin. This has only happened to me once before but anyhow I thought I’d give fish glue another final trial run and reglued the two panels. It hasn’t been 24 hours clamp time that you normally would do with this type of glue and its rock solid, I must be a weakling because I cannot literally break the panel apart. It’s only an 1/8″ thick just tad over 3mm and I cannot break it apart, now that’s impressive. What I also love is how it’s light in colour which makes it possible to make a seamless edge join.
I’m sold, I just placed an order from Lee Valley for a 500ml bottle but what gets me is how bloody picky we are. We know that the best fish glue comes from Sturgeon and this fish is almost extinct which is why they’ve banned fishing it. There are some places that do sell fish glue made from Sturgeon, maybe it’s banned to the rest of the world except the Russians I don’t know but I do know it cost $500 for the flakes. Lee Valley fish glue is made from cod, this is a lower quality type of fish glue but it more than does the job, it really does. They say it has a shelf life of two years but that’s crock, fish glue can last for many, many years as long as it’s kept either in a fridge or even more convenient as there’s no wife to jump down your throat for using her fridge to store your glue, if you keep it in a cool dark non damp spot like your drawer in your cabinet or keep it in your cabinet. Remember I’ve had this small bottle for over 5 years kept in a drawer and it still hasn’t gone off. So there it is in a nutshell and should be great news for all those instrument makers who’ve had nothing but trouble with their fish glue. We don’t need the best of the best, why pay for more when you can pay less for something that works really well. If I can’t break it then somebody explain to me why I need to pay $500 for something else I can’t break either. Fish glue works.! Give it a try and you’ll never look back.
Btw I’ll never replace my hot hide because it spreads easy, fish glue is thick and you can thin it down but I don’t. I love hot hide and I love fish glue and I will definitely be using fish glue for dovetails and more often for other types of joinery. I’m so torn between the two. I love them both equally.
On the bench is a curly walnut dulcimer having its head attached with hide glue.
It is important to attach a head onto a dulcimer, because if you don’t, it will go searching the night to find a head and the one it chooses could be YOUR HEAD!
But I digress.
This dulcimer is one of three I am currently working on. The other two dulcimers are ready for final preparation before receiving the finish and tomorrow this dulcimer will be ready to join them.
I wait until I have 3 or 4 dulcimers ready to go through the finishing process at the same time. I put the woodworking tools away, clean the shop, and dedicate the space to finish work for about a week.
After all coats of finish are applied the dulcimers hang on the wall for several days so the finish can further cure before being rubbed out.
While the finish is curing I start work on the next 3 or 4 dulcimers.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
You can see my work in progress by following me on Instagram.
Quite often the correct answer will be please.
But sometimes please just doesn't do it. A stronger more magic word is required.
Back in 1992 I spent some months in Minnesota, and I had the privilege of being allowed to help out at auctions held by the then oldest auctioneer company in Minnesota: "Fred Radde and sons, auctioneers and realtors"
Fred the main auctioneer knew the magic word for Minnesotan auctions was "Fish house". If an old crappy sofa or chair was unsaleable, calling it a fish house chair would instantly spark the interest in the crowd and someone would buy it for their fish house for the coming winter season of ice fishing (a great sport by the way). Fred's next comment would usually be in line with: "buy it now and leave it on the ice, in the spring it will be gone".
He really knew how to make a good atmosphere and that stimulated people to buy, and all in all it contributed to a nice event with lots of laughter and good deals.
Now in my case "fish house" wont do it. "Please" works sometimes, but "HORSE" works every single time.
If I need to start a new project:
"Honey, I'll go mill some wood to make some saw dust to spread in the stable for the horses to sleep in".
Such an approach will be greatly appreciated, in contrast to e.g.:
"Honey, I'll start building a new workbench"
There are a number of situations where you can use the magic word, tool purchases, classes etc. the imagination is the limit.
In reality you want to say: While I don't really need this tool, I am sure it would impress someone reading my blog.
Chances are that my request will be frowned upon and quickly be discarded as not essential for the household.
If I on the other hand say something like this:
"If I buy this tool, I could make a really nice cupboard for the saddle room, so you can easily organize the tendon boots for the horses."
I am sure you get the idea.
So I am thinking that a lot of the advice offered for aspiring woodworkers start in the wrong place such as:
Advice for a beginners tool kit.
What planes to buy and when.
The first saw you should get.
And so on....
A much better place to start would be by finding the magic word. The very word that will allow you to invest time and money in your hobby and being thanked for it. Now that is something that isn't described in a lot of "how to posts" for people wanting to get into woodworking.
We are not talking complicated psychology here, a good look at your wife's hobbies will most likely give an idea of what the magic word could be, Here are a couple of suggestions that might work, but remember like in Harry Potter, there is always the risk of a magic spell backfiring on you, so be careful!
Gardening (this one is dangerous because you could end up using a shovel all day long instead).
Bespoke baking supplies.
Doll house (this one might make it difficult to justify getting a portable saw mill)
Finally, you shouldn't feel bad about using a magic word, because I am fairly certain that we are under their spell most of the time anyway.
My work on the expanded edition of “Roman Workbenches” continues. I need to build one more bench (oh, if I had a dime for every time I’d written those words) and then sort through the pile of research I’ve accumulated, plus the mass of images and links that that researcher Suzanne Ellison has sent me.
Here’s the surprising/not-surprising thing we’ve found so far: These benches are everywhere. It doesn’t matter what time or place you are researching. If you look long enough at a society’s paintings and material culture, you’ll find a low workbench. It might have vises, stops, dogs or holdfasts. It might have none of these things. Or all of them. The Christ child might be tenoning (as shown) or he might be using a chalk line (not shown).
But whenever I encounter these benches, I am both amazed and thankful that Jesus was a carpenter and not a shoe salesman.
Recently Suzanne dug up the example at the top of this blog. (“La Segrada Familia” by Juan del Castillo, 1634-1636. From the Museum of Fine Arts Sevilla.) Of note: The massive top, the face vise (we see these first in the 1300s) and the stretcher at the end between the legs.
Also, two people tenoning? Is this something the artist made up or had seen before?
Time for bed.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Roman Workbenches, Uncategorized
Veka 29. mai – 2. juni var eg leiar for ein busstur med studentane på teknisk bygningsvern og tradisjonelt bygghandverk for å besøke stavkyrkjer, mellomalderbygg, gardar og interessante restaureringsprosjekt. Vi starta på Kongsberg og køyrde vestover med mange interessante og lærerike stopp undervegs. Onsdagen vart vi møtte på Voss av Ola Fjeldheim, generalsektretær i Fortidsminneforeningen. Han tok oss fyst med på Lydvaloftet som eg har høyrt mykje om frå tidlegare. Det er antyda at loftet er frå fyrste halvdel av 1300-talet, men eg kan godt tenkje meg at delar av det kan vere noko eldre. I dette loftet er det så mykje spennande å sjå på at det ikkje er råd å få med meir enn ein liten brøkdel av inntrykka. Eg vil likevel gjerne vise noko av det eg beit meg merke i for at de skal få eit lite inntrykk av kvalitetane i dette loftet.
Sjølv om loftet i seg sjølv hadde enormt mykje spennande å by på så la eg merke til ein gamal høvelbenk som stod i ei mørk krå i andrehøgda. Kor denne benken stammar frå og kor gamal han er veit eg ikkje, men han er ein del av inventaret som Fortidsminneforeningen har i loftet. Benken har føter som er tappa inn i ei kraftig benkeplate ca 2 meter lang, ca 14″ brei og ca 3 ½» tjukk. Føtene er tappa gjennom benkeplata med ei tappskulder som støttar under. Føtene har tverrtre som er tappa gjennom og nagla. Framtanga er eit krokvakse emne av lauvtre, truleg bjørk, som det står ein treskruve i.Høvelbenken på Lydvaloftet. Foto: Roald Renmælmo
Høvelbenken er i prinsippet veldig enkel med berre framtang. Eg har ikkje funne spor etter høvelstopp framme på benken. I bakkant er det nokre runde hol som kan vere til høvelstopp eller ronghake, men det er høgst usikkert. Benken kan ha stått mot ein vegg, men det er ikkje spor etter at den har stått fast mot noko. Det kan vere grunn til å gjere meir nøyaktige oppmålingar av benken ved eit høve. Benken var kring 74 cm høg.
Arkivert under:1700-tal, 2,0 - 2,2 meter, 74-76 cm, Framtang med skrue
On June 23-24, 2017, a bunch of YouTubers converged on a field in Oklahoma to abandon technology and go old school. The “Skiatook Adventure” differentiated itself from other events via its complete lack of agenda. There were no tool vendors, no pitchmen, no schedule. Visitors weren’t coming to buy, learn or try new things. The event was all about getting past the information highway and socializing “IRL.” The event was […]
The post VideoWoodworkers – Skiatook Adventure with Shawn Graham appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
My name is Molly Bagby and I have been involved with Highland Woodworking since I was a mere 7 days old (or maybe even sooner than that). Once my Mom, Sharon Bagby, recovered from pregnancy she started back to work right away and brought me with her. While I don’t remember much from those early days, growing up at Highland Woodworking has contributed to my passion for learning new things, as well as my crafting skills. But despite being around tools for most of my life I have never actually taken the time to learn basic woodworking. Now that I am more involved with the business side of helping to run the store, I figured it was about time to actually learn some woodworking skills.
An amazing opportunity recently came along to take a 2 week Basic Woodworking class at the Center for Furniture Craftmanship in Rockport, Maine. These classes fill up months in advance and when I called back in April to sign-up I was told that the class was full, but I could be put on the waitlist. I remained on the waitlist for several weeks. About a month before the class was scheduled to start, I gave them a call to see where I was on the waitlist. There were still 2 people ahead of me, so I figured my chances were pretty slim this close to the start. Last Tuesday, I got a voicemail while at work and saw that it was from the Center for Furniture Craftmanship. I called them back right away and they said a spot had just opened up due to a last minute cancellation and it was mine if I wanted it. It didn’t take me long to decide and I said yes right away. I mean, wouldn’t you have said yes to an opportunity to escape to Maine for 2 weeks and become fully engulfed in woodworking?
During these next 2 weeks I’m looking forward to learning as much as I possibly can about woodworking so I can become a better, more educated employee at Highland. I’m also looking forward to beginning a new hobby. Judging from what I’ve been able to see through the shared experiences of our customers, I’m sure it will be a very rewarding one.
Stay tuned to this blog to hear about my journey as a beginning woodworker! You can also follow me and my experiences on Instagram @highlandwoodwoman.
The post Intro – Basic Woodworking Class at Center for Furniture Craftmanship appeared first on Woodworking Blog.
Some woodworkers like to keep the hollow on the back of Japanese plane blades and chisels as wide as possible, resulting in the outside edge being really thin. Apparently this blacksmith wanted to frustrate those woodworkers.
(Photos from Nobori Hamono.)
|I found out what it is|
|Ohio Tool catalog page from ?|
|no spring lines|
|removed the tip on the right|
|planed it off|
|some more molding plane work|
|this one was smaller|
|the original bottom piece with a test molding on top of it|
|this is what I am going to do|
|tried several more profiles|
|one my several breaks upcoming|
|a couple of hours later|
|and full width and length shavings too|
|the sole and port side|
|new bottom piece|
|tried the same molding that is on the bookshelves|
|last molding look see|
|working on the top horizontal beaded molded|
|new way of clamping|
|top frame done - this is the easiest one to do|
|side frames are next- rough sawing the miters|
|I chiseled the flat flush after I did the miter|
|layout is done on the back|
|sawing the miter|
|last miter done|
|bottom and side frames glued and nailed|
|some flexing in the sides|
|right side dry fit|
|right side fit|
|rough sawing the base parts to length|
|forgot to plane the top edge straight and flat|
|round two for base stock|
On round two I thought I had screwed up again but I hadn't. I cut off a new piece 33" long off a long board but I took the off cut from that which was shorter than 33". I got the right piece and marked out the front.
|how to connect the back?|
What was the name of the pilot of the first Presidential airplane?
answer - Major Henry T Meyers
I am working on another desk box; an oak box with a slanted lid. Mainly I need this for the photos, for an article in the works. The annoying part is that the photos I needed to shoot were the slots/dadoes/what-have-yous on the inside faces of the box’s end boards. But…I don’t like to do the carving after cutting voids into the board. So first, I had to carve them.
This time, I made up the design, drawing from my research (and others’) into the varied carvings coming out of Devon, England. The same style appeared in Ipswich, Massachusetts during the last 3rd of the 17th century. I carve this stuff more than any other grouping, mostly because of its variety. Once you learn the “vocabulary” it’s easy to make up designs willy-nilly.
The desk box ends are weird shapes though. Took a little sketching with some chalk, and some wiping away with a damp cloth – but I got something I like. So then the front board is simple enough – a plain ol’ rectangle. There are three boxes from Devon that seem to be the same carver, or the same general pattern anyway. One of these I photographed back when I worked at Plimoth Plantation, the other two are from a website I subscribe to, Marhamchurch Antiques – http://www.marhamchurchantiques.com/ Paul Fitzsimmons there is a magnet for this Devon/Exeter oak furniture.
I’m going to carve the box front at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on Sunday July 9. from noon to 3pm. I’ll be demonstrating the carving, and some joinery and other oak-y stuff. http://www.mfa.org/programs/gallery-activities-and-tours/early-american-furniture-carving
Here are a few details from the Devon boxes that were the inspiration for my sketch – (the first two from Marhamchurch Antiques, thanks Paul, the 3rd is my photo).
This one had a later escutcheon on it, covering up the pattern. I took it off, so we could see the shape. At that time, I had never seen the previous two.
But before I go to Boston to work on Sunday, I’m off to Maine for the Open House at Lie-Nielsen Friday & Saturday. https://www.lie-nielsen.com/hand-tool-events/USA/146
These events are legendary; the lineup this summer is killer. I try to do this show every July…it’s like old home week, seeing all my friends from the hand-tool circus. I guess I was there last summer – found my picture on their Facebook page –
This time I’ll mostly be carving oak for a bedstead I’m working on. But I have a talk on Saturday about green woodworking, so I’ll do some spoon carving too. See you there I hope.
|I put this aside|
|plane iron for the LN 51 shooter|
|bottom piece is batter lead off|
|bottom is done|
|thinking of mitering the side into the bottom|
|good practice too for doing the top ones|
|this isn't going to work|
|got my new camera|
In 1933, what did a room at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City cost?
answer - a single $6, a double $9, and a suite $20
I paid $30. Online prices are all over, so I don't know whether this is a good deal or not, but I am pleased to have the set.
An interesting and puzzling, to me at least, sidenote is where the 32 1/2 comes from. The bits are graduated from 1/4" to 1" by sixteenths and, if you add up the thirteen bits, the sum is 130/16. Dividing the numerator and denominator by 4 yields (32 1/2)/4. Odd.
The next test I conducted was to see if they would bore a hole in 5/4 dry white oak. The Stanley and Russell Jennings bits did fine but the Stanley stalled. Looking at it, it appeared that the threads on the snail clogged up. I then used a trick that Bob Rozaieski shared. I bored a hole in the alder just to the depth of the lead screw and covered the threads on the lead screw with green honing compound. Then I threaded it into the hole and worked it back and forth several dozen times. I re-attempted to bore a hole with the bit and it worked fine. Clearly the snail needs to be clean and polished to do its job well.
So what's up? It's not clear to me whether one design is superior to the other. I cannot provide a technical explanation of the relative merits of double threaded and single threaded snails on auger bits. The most important thing seems to be to make sure they are tuned-up very well. Looking back, I think the problem I had with the Irwin pattern bits in hardwood was a result of maintenance not design.
This post is presented annually on this date – DCW
As we consider the world around us it is worth reflecting seriously on the document encapsulating the ideas that founded the greatest nation ever known to man (the US Constitution WAS NOT a founding document for the nation, it merely established the rules for its governance [admittedly now generally unknown and ignored] which is not the same thing). I pray you will read and reflect on the ideas expressed by men who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to pursue the path of liberty. Reading it is like reading the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament; more up-to-date regarding the human condition than tomorrow’s headlines.
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Robert Treat Paine
I like to run. Specifically trails - the steeper, the better. Few things make me giddy like bombing down a rugged, mossy, meandering mountain path, or cresting the last rise before the summit and seeing the horizon burst into view. But as family and work obligations take precedent, almost all of my running takes place in the early morning hours. 5 a.m. is a lonely time, even in a place as predictably bustling as Acadia National Park in the summertime. I rarely see another soul.
What this means practically, though, is that when I happen across someone else out on the trails, I feel an instant connection with that person and the experience that we're both engaging. I want to stop and chat; I'm probably quite annoying. There is something intrinsically human about sharing effort, struggles, hard work, and in enjoying the reward of a task accomplished. We're not only wired to create, to strive, but to do so together.
Social media can feed into this impulse, for better or for worse. Taking the cynical view, one can see platforms like Instagram or Facebook as superficial means of self-promotion: a world of fake community and artificial avatars, where woodworking projects are presented in photoshopped perfection and my amazing breakfast omelette is studio-photographed. This can certainly be the case, and the stereotype of staring zombielike at your phone, thumbs sharing furiously on "social" media while ignoring all the real humans around you, is tragically common. But there can be real benefit here, too. I can't begin to number the folks who have told us of the inspiration they've received in following M&T online, and Joshua and I have received orders of magnitude more encouragement from people we'd have no chance of connecting with aside from this technology.
I was reflecting on this very fact during our Nicholson bench build with our new friend Robell, who hails from Georgia. While we worked, we discussed such weighty matters as barefoot running, the surpassing excellence of Ethiopian coffee, family life, even a bit of hand-tool woodworking... all thanks to a connection made via social media. I personally have stepped into uncharted waters (for me) in regards to pursuing different hand skills thanks to folks who know what they're doing and who generously share their knowledge through social media.
But we have to keep things real. Don't count your community in numbers of Instagram followers. Make every effort to meet folks face-to-face. Organize spoon carving get-togethers. Seek out your local craftspeople, and look for ways that you can help aspiring woodworkers nearby. Handworks 2017 was wonderful for me in this regard, being able to actually shake hands with people I knew vaguely from digital images. I can truly count some of those folks as friends now.
The fulfilling sense of community that comes through working together is the reason behind our building those huge workbenches. We have a vision of sharing our new space with handfuls of fellow woodworkers, generating massive piles of shavings while discussing the merits of single-origin coffee or double-iron planes. We want to grow this hand tool woodworking community in a way that's genuine, that's real.
With that in mind, come see us at the Lie-Nielsen Open House this coming weekend, July 7th and 8th! It is a terrific opportunity to connect with fellow craftspeople and to check out skillful demonstrations and really, really cool tools. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote about the 50 or so essential hand tools you need to make furniture in “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” I neglected to include my cork sanding block in that list. I think the reason I forgot was that the block is as essential as my marking knife. I know the tendency today is to eschew abrasives and finish projects straight from the tools, but that’s a pretty new […]
It’s amazing how unaware most people are of what’s involved in running a business that makes things, especially if that business involves the design and building of custom commissions, as opposed to mass- or even limited-production manufacture.
Start your own business and you’ll find yourself hit up regularly for donations to schools and nonprofits. “That Arts and Crafts wall shelf you did for Fine Woodworking would make a handsome contribution to our auction,” read an email several years ago from an acquaintance who was on the board of a local organization. “And if you wanted to throw in a copy of your latest book, that would add a warm personal touch.” Never mind that I had $1,200 worth of labor and materials invested in the wall shelf, or that, as author of the book, my discount was just 40 percent off the cover price, meaning that I would have to spend $18.95 plus tax and shipping to buy the copy he was inviting me to give away. “Your donation will bring you invaluable exposure to just the kind of clientele you seek,” his message continued: “people who have a household income of at least $100,000 per annum: pillars of the community who are active in civic affairs.”
“OK,” I’ve thought on occasion. “It’s a good cause. I’ll make this donation.” But do so a few times, only to learn that your work was purchased for not much more than you paid for the materials alone, and it gets old. “What? They bought that thing for just two hundred dollars?” I asked my acquaintance when he called with what he thought would be joyful news.
“Well, what did you expect?” he replied. “No one goes to an auction expecting to pay full price. Auctions are all about getting a bargain. Tom and Sylvia know your work and love it. That’s why they made sure that theirs was the highest bid. They told me they were overjoyed at the prospect of getting their own Nancy Hiller. “And such a steal!” Sylvia said. You should feel honored.”
“But I thought the whole idea was to raise money for your organization. I would have expected these pillars of the community to pay the full price for any item in the auction, maybe even more, knowing that their donation was going to such a worthy cause.”–Excerpted from Making Things Work
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I spent some time yesterday hewing and carving out a bowl from a too-large-for-a-spoon crook. Cherry. It was great fun, so now it will dry and perhaps I’ll even finish this one. I dug out another that is now dried, and worked that along a bit too. I have collected a range of bowl-carving gouges, and recently I re-purposed an unfinished box with a drawer to house them.
The box is from a few years ago, and involves much conjecture. Not my favorite way to build furniture. Tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera). It’s about 8″ high, 10″ wide and 15″ long.
Here is the sliding lid slud back a bit…
Inside this section is a cross-piece with slots to fit individual gouges. this piece is just friction-fit into the box right now.
Here you see there are two end boards nearest the camera – the carved one slides upward to access the drawer below the box compartment. It has a tongue/rabbet at its back face – riding in a slot cut on the inside faces of the box sides. A little hollow gouged out gives a place to grab it to lift it up.
here is that piece removed, showing the bottom of the box compartment, and the drawer below.
Now a view showing the gouges in the box and those underneath in the drawer. No divider in the drawer. (yet, or maybe never)
requisite drawer detail.
Unfinished chip carving. it’s all over the box…some finished, some not.
someone will have fun when I’m long gone trying to figure out what happened here. Why was this box not finished, but it looks like it was used…
If I get to make another of these sort of boxes, I’d like to see an original first. One thing I’d change is I’d plane the stock just a bit thinner. This is 3/4″ standard issue boards – I’d aim for 5/8″ thick. this seems clunky. Part of why I gave up on it. But it makes a nice place to keep the bowl gouges…