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Wanting to do something different, I recently went out to visit a few antique shops. I discovered many things wonderous and mundane as is typical. These three are not as they seem and I find them worthy of being shared.
First up is a desk with a secret. I haven’t seen one of these in a while. I’m not sure if it is my declining skill in finding them or there just hasn’t been one to be found. Whichever, here is the desk:
The main drawer bottoms are made of several board that over a few hundred years were not dimensionally stable:
An appropriately handsome gallery:
A lot of wood in the drawer fronts:
Nice prospect door:
Nothing within the prospect:
I reached in to see if there were finger notches to push out the letter boxes on either side of the door. I made a discovery:
An it turns out that the letter boxes come out the back:
There is also a less than obvious drawer above the door:
Next is the deception. This deception might have worked better when young and the doors hung true:
The press is actually an armoire:
And now, the mystery. I speak of this large, two piece press, shelves and drawers:
The upper section is shelved:
Now, here’s the mystery: how do you access the area between the shelves and drawers? Storage space was always at a premium. I do not believe that the builder would have left the space unused. There are rough sawn board internally above the drawers so the space was not intended to be unused.
I don’t think the only access to the space is by lifting off the upper section. The carcass is pinned frame and panel construction so nothing comes off or is hinged.
My only conclusion is the access was gained by lifting out the bottom shelves of the upper section, the top over the lower section being left open. Those bottom shelves did seem loose and not part of the carcass. Inconvenient but workable. I didn’t have the time, patience or chutzpah to try so I don’t know.
Then the question is is it a secret or mystery or just something we don’t know because it is not now in common use?
Picking out the wood for a project always brings with it surprises. How often do we woodworkers mention to people that we are woodworkers and hear the exclamation, “Oh, I love wood!” My own take on this has changed through the years in that at one time it would have been wood that they loved …
I'm still at a loss for deciding on some kind of a handle for any of the tills. The two small tills (or trays) on the top aren't a high priority. The bottom, big till, needs some kind of handle help. This one has to come out in order to get to the bottom of the toolbox. Miles isn't going to be using this for quite a while so I have time to cook up a few ideas.
|plywood bottom glued on|
|the original toolbox banding|
|two braces done|
|first batter after lunch|
|one thing I didn't want to see|
|change 2 to the bottom|
The second change was gluing the braces down. At first I was going to glue and screw them and changed that to just screwing them. My reasoning was it would easier to replace any one of them if needed. On change 3 I went back to glue and screwing them due to the increased strength. Replacing them is still doable but it will involve some chisel and planing I'm sure.
|made the screw holes before gluing the braces on|
|5 screws per brace, all of them clocked|
|Miles's Stanley 71 box|
|braces are fine|
|figuring the size of the tills|
|stock for the two tills|
|roughly 3/8" above the till|
|till side and bottom|
|single tail tills|
|kept them together|
|chopped the pins|
|nutso glue up|
|the smaller till|
How much does a ten pin bowling pin weigh?
answer - 3 pounds 6 ounces
I have to admit, it was an interesting week on popularwoodworking.com. The contributors to the Shop Blog brought up a few topics that typically stir conversation. On Monday, Nancy Hiller started a three part series on Linoleum countertops. We had at least one commenter ask, “why?”. Nancy shared her point of view about the historical precedent and the vintage style that many seek in remodeling. I have been eyeing Linoleum as […]
After Mike and I got all the granite blocks squared and leveled on the gravel pad, we fit hardware cloth over the ventilation spacing between the blocks to keep critters out. This cloth was bent around top and bottom of the blocks and glued in place with construction adhesive to ensure there was no way anything was getting under there.
We laid six-mil plastic over the gravel inside the foundation to seal off future moisture release. Then, on top of the granite we half lapped a pressure-treated 2x6 to overhang the blocks by 1” on all sides. The conventional TJI deck was then constructed on top of that. These man-made joists are unpleasant to work with but are functional and quick to assemble. With the I-beams in place, we cut ½” plywood to lay between them. These were then screwed to the beams. On top of that, we laid 2” blue foam that we then sealed with Great Stuff spray foam to close up air gaps. I’ve seen this blue foam/Great Stuff method called “poor man’s spray foam”.
With the blue foam installed, we laid the subfloor. After applying a bead of construction adhesive, we screwed 3/4” Advantech down to the framing. We were happy to find that at every stage of the process things turned out square. We joked that all our mistakes must have compounded to cancel each other out.
Despite the purist strain some of us may have, I think we made the right choice. With this floating block foundation, it seemed best to avoid a central support point and so, to be able to span the 25’ of the deck without sagging, TJI joists made the most sense. Although not particularly fun to do or interesting to discuss at length, this deck system will give us a solid, draft-free floor. Once it’s buried in top floor and exterior sheathing I’ll never have to look at it again. I’ll just enjoy the benefits of its performance for the rest of my life.
Luke and part of his crew arrived from Vermont this afternoon with the final trailer loads of the frame. We spent time getting to know each other and they looked over the site before heading off to their rental house. They’ll be spending tomorrow putting a few finishing touches on the frame’s sills in preparation for Monday. Then, over the following few days, it all goes up.
Our lives are hectic enough without to need to filter through fake comments from spammers. If you’re not already moderating your comments you need to start. These idiots use a program that’s getting better and better at mimicking human replies or what a person would say. None the less they’re still robots and can’t get it right all the time, but sometimes they do and when you let one in they just flood your message board with fake comments.
WordPress has caught 200 spams this month, this is an increase of 100% from the last month. This increase of spams is due to a word I used “women” in my last post. Fake commentators were with female names.
Thought I would make this post to give you a heads up if you haven’t already been made aware of it.
I have put sound ports in the sides of my dulcimers for a few years and have been very pleased with the results.
Sound ports are nothing new in the guitar world but I had not seen them used on dulcimers though perhaps someone has thought of this before.
There is no standardization of dulcimer design or “right way” to go about getting the results one wants. Dulcimer builders whose work I admire each have a unique way of getting the sound they want. Materials and design elements that work on one maker’s design may or may not work well on another builder’s dulcimers. This is part of the adventure and part of the fun!
My dulcimer design is in a state of constant evolution. Over the last few years I was looking for ways to increase the volume without losing tonal quality and even response along the fingerboard.
It is easy to make a loud dulcimer but I do not find it easy to listen to many loud dulcimers I have heard. Many loud dulcimers have little sustain and/or often have uneven volume and response along the fingerboard.
The tone I prefer is somewhat traditional; long sustain and a slightly nasal quality with warmth and even response. I did not want to trade that sound for volume.
As I made design changes to make my dulcimers louder I was on the edge of losing the tone I prefer. It became clear that if I made louder dulcimers and wanted to keep the tone and responsiveness I prefer I would also need to give the dulcimers larger sound holes.
The size of the sound hole(s) on a stringed instrument play an important role in which frequencies get emphasized or minimized. The most critical element is the total size of all openings on the instrument. One large hole will produce sound like two holes that are each half the diameter of the large hole, etc.
Dulcimers have relatively little soundboard as they are long and thin instruments. I wanted the effect of larger sound holes but I did not want to lose any more of the wood that makes up the soundboard. The obvious choice was to put added sound holes somewhere other than on the soundboard. The sides were the obvious choice.
And it worked! I got more volume, balanced tone, birds were singing, flowers smiled, and all was well with the world.
During the last decade I’ve amassed hundreds of images of early workbenches as part of my research into pre-industrial woodworking. Inevitably, some of the images don’t make a lot of sense and now populate a folder named: X-Files. These workbenches are from paintings and their features might be the result of a painter who doesn’t know much about woodworking. Or they could be a clue to a simple and neglected […]
Like nearly every other woodworker on the planet, I built a “Dutch” tool chest a few years back; in fact, I built two. I enjoyed both projects, and it was a good chance to work on several different skills: dovetail joinery, dado joinery, mortise and tenon joinery, joinery, joinery, joinery.
One of those chests I gave to my dad, the other I kept. For quite a while my chest was in my garage with most of my woodworking tools placed inside it. It sometimes sat on my bench, or under it, or under my feet. I bumped into it quite often, every now and again I would trip over it; I bent over countless times to get stuff out of it. Eventually, I smartened up, hung a cabinet and some tool racks on the walls near my work area, and put my Dutch tool chest in the attic.
Here is the plain truth that nobody wants to hear: working out of that chests sucked. It wasn’t a size issue; the chest was easily large enough to hold the bulk of my woodworking tools. It is a simple matter of logistics, too much bending over, reaching, stretching, dropping, knuckle banging nonsense.
I found the best way to work out of the chest was to put it on my workbench so that everything was at eye level. The problem there was it got in the way too much. Of course, I could put it back on the floor after I got everything out, but then all of that stuff was on the bench too. And who feels like picking up and putting down a 100 pound + tool chest four or five times? Not me.
I’ve seen videos where the woodworker removed all of the tools he/or she needed at the beginning of the project and put them on the bench. I suppose that works, but then all of the stuff is on the bench and in the way (unless you have a recessed tool tray, but they are bad news, right?)
Okay, I’m complaining, so what solution am I offering? The same one that has been around forever: mount your tools on a wall rack and store them in a wall hung cabinet.
Everything is at eye level, out of the way, easy to see and easy to reach. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: since I’ve mounted my tools on the wall I’ve become a more efficient woodworker. AND, my back feels a whole lot better.
So here is my expert advice: If, for some reason, you travel a lot with your woodworking tools, make a tool chest for transportation. And if you are like the overwhelming majority of amateur woodworkers with tools that very rarely leave your work area, mount your stuff on the wall over your bench. Nothing bad is going to happen to your stuff if it’s out in the open. I live in a high humidity area and I’ve had very few rust issues. Keep your tools oiled (as you should be doing anyway) and they’ll be just fine.
So why rehash a topic I know I’ve already covered? Well, a few weeks ago I was getting some things out of the attic and I saw my tool chest sitting on the floor. It still looked pretty good, and it will certainly still hold tools, so I brought it down the stairs, dusted it off, and sold it for a few bucks.
I mentioned a few posts back that I had sold off some tools (mostly duplicates) and how I surprisingly had no sentimental attachment to any of them. But when I sold my Dutch tool chest I very nearly backed out of the deal. My second thoughts didn’t stem from the sell cost, I was just very reluctant to let go of something I had built myself.
I’m hardly a great woodworker, but I put a lot of time and effort into my projects. For whatever it’s worth, and for all of it’s shortcomings, I thought that my tool chest looked great when I finished it. When I brought it down the attic stairs and briefly back into my garage, it seemed to “fit the scene”. But then I remembered why I put it into the attic in the first place, so I put sentimentality aside and did what I know was the right thing to do. And though I pride myself on being a person who makes the right decisions, the right decision in this instance wasn’t an easy one to make.
This post is in great part my celebration of a grand circle of friends who provided me with the wood I needed for the project.
In correspondence with the client for interpreting the c.1820 writing desk, it was clear that he wanted something made in the manner of craft technology of the period, and if at all possible, using wood of the period, or at least very old wood. Since the task of acquiring verifiable 200 year-old mahogany was at best an iffy proposition I simply determined to find the oldest, best wood I could find. In fact I already owned about half the wood necessary for the project thanks to my own acquisitional proclivities.
Among my inventory was a superb piece of dense, lightly figured mahogany I needed for the veneers that would wrap the box of the desk. It was one of the three critical pieces I needed.
The desk writing surface was a second vital component and I sent out requests to everyone I knew who might be able to supply my needs. Before long a UPS truck bearing the piece I needed showed up in the driveway. Then a second. And a third. And a fourth. Sean, Ben, and Alf all contributed spectacular pieces to the venture.
One last look through my inventory uncovered the final piece of this particular puzzle, a wildly figure slab of flame crotch that was needed for the veneers on the outer leg elements.
But that was not the end of it. My friend John brought a small pile of vintage mahogany with him to the next MWTCA gathering, and I took it off his hands. Josh emailed me about a stash he had, and delivered it to me.
Then my orthopedic surgeon told me he had a storage unit full of pre-WWI era lumber including some prized mahogany. I loaded all that was there and headed for home.
In the end I would up with enough vintage, unused dense swietenia to make at least two additional desks and, thanks to the willingness to part with some of their holdings by my circle of friends, I probably will.
Plans done? Check. Wood in-hand? Check. Ready to dive in? Uh-h-h-h-h.
All photographs by Jessica Smolinksi. Courtesy Yale University Art Gallery.
Last Friday’s visit to the Yale Furniture Study went off without a hitch. The seven-hour drive was pleasant and quiet, bringing me into New Haven 45 minutes ahead of schedule. I hauled my tools and sample table parts down into the Study’s workshop and got things set up.
I began the presentation by exploring three table examples from Yale’s collection. We had the tables upside down so that everyone could take a turn looking at the joinery under the table. I had the attendees specifically examine the tenon layout lines and the tenons’ pins protruding to the inside. To illustrate that these tables are constructed in the same way, we chose two vernacular painted tavern tables as early as 1730 to compare to a mahogany inlaid drop-leaf table made somewhere around 1810. The construction was the same: drawbored rails into four legs with a top.
Then we went into the shop and I showed them how that is done. I had a small table under construction and demonstrated each stage of preparing legs, chopping a mortise, planing the taper, prepping the rails, cutting the tenons, fitting the joint, and drawboring it together.
It was fun to hear feedback after it was over (I went well beyond the allotted time). The attendees expressed how seeing these originals and then watching the process was eye-opening for them. I trust that the speed of this handwork was conveyed. One of the biggest disservices these kinds of presentations can give is to feed the myth that craftsmen were slow and careful artists or that hand tools are slow. Nothing could be further from the truth and so I think it’s important that anyone demonstrating these skills should have sweat on their brow. It’s only when people see this kind of hustling shop practice that they can begin to get a picture of how period artisans worked.
I was honored to be invited back to this place for demonstration and look forward to next time. If you haven’t been to the study yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. Prioritize a visit. My interview with museum assistant, Eric Litke, in Issue One discusses this place in depth. 800 items of furniture all arranged by form chronologically. You’ve never seen anything quite like it.
Over the recent season of political and social angst I’ve been finding solace in research and development work with my co-author George Walker. While our fellow countrymen argue the gray areas of morality and policy, George and I have immersed ourselves in the immutable truths that underlie the first principles of geometry. While there might be some gray areas in a few of the tradesmens’ layout shortcuts (which we explore at length along with the fundamentals in our forthcoming book “From Truths to Tools”), the core geometric constructions of reality that flow from the intersection of line and circle not only represent perfection – they are perfection.
For example, two intersecting circles that share a common radius will present us with two rim intersection points to which we can connect a line that automatically – and unequivocally – “bi secare” (cuts in two) the shared radius line.
The intersection of the lines at the bisection point form a “rectus” (right) angle with the radius line. We know it’s a right angle because the other angles are “co-rectus” with one another and any two of them form a straight line.
A further “proof” of the correctness of the four angles can be had by using dividers to “demetiri” (measure-out) between one circle’s focal point and a rim intersection point. This dimension will be exactly, precisely, perfectly the same at each of the other three point spans. This immutable truth provides us with the geometric construction we need to make a try square as well as the key to testing the tool for true. We now have in hand the ability to accurately lay out everything from a cradle to a coffer to a cathedral with little more than a bunch of sticks.
— Jim Tolpin, ByHandandEye.com
Filed under: From Truths to Tools, Uncategorized
There comes a time in every project with doors and drawers called “pull-gatory,” when the struggle of sticking something onto the front of the beautiful piece you’ve just made grinds progress to a halt. I’ve been there a few times, and I’m there now with a little wall cabinet that I’m in the process of finishing. Time to think about drawer pulls. When I get to this point, I try […]
The fitting of the till went off without any hiccups in spite of me soaking my T-shirt. I'm regretting now that I didn't stop and get the 1/4" birch plywood for the bottom. I could have glued it on tonight and moved on to making the moving tills to put into it. I'll get the plywood first thing in the AM. What kind of sucks is I have three 4' x 4' pieces of underlayment plywood. But this stuff isn't meant to be used for drawer/box bottoms. They will do for cabinet backs but not for my till bottom.
|solid wood bottom|
|cleaning the long sides|
|new piece of plywood|
|left side of the toolbox|
|used my grandson's #3|
|labeled the bottom|
|I planed both sides of the long sides of the toolbox|
|got it fitted|
The size of an egg tells you the minimum required net weight per dozen eggs. It does not refer to the dimensions of an egg or how big it looks. How much does a dozen large eggs weigh?
answer - 24 ounces
I’ve recently come across some more furniture that is similar/the same as in some previous blogs. No one piece is worthy of its own blog but taken as a whole, it’ll do.
In April in There are No Rules, I wrote of this chair with this unique leg layout:
In the past two weeks, I have come across the following:
And in Georgia, I found:
In the metal-for-wood category we have:
Two more Wooton rotary desks:
Another in Monroe, Georgia:
A Hitchcock chair:
A Hitchcock settee?
And a gout rocker:
I take copyright and permissions protocols seriously. It’s a simple matter of the Golden Rule: I write and design stuff, and if someone’s going to use my words or designs, I’d like my part in the process to be acknowledged. I have no right to expect this consideration from others if I’m not willing to give it myself.
So I paid attention to what the museum staff told me when I visited the marvelous Wilson Museum in Cheltenham last winter to measure one of their Voysey chairs. I signed a bunch of forms agreeing to their terms, which require written permission to publish photographs of their holdings, even in a blog post.
In early July, as I neared completion of my manuscript for a book on English Arts and Crafts furniture*, I thought readers might be interested in seeing some of the details I found while peering under aprons, stretchers, and such in the course of my research – you know, stuff like through tenons, decorative gouging, and artfully chamfered rails…but also the occasional cupped table top, gap at a tenon shoulder, or split stile. It’s tempting to attribute perfection to our craftsperson-heroes, but one of the things I love most about furniture is its decidedly human imperfection; I’m intrigued by the question of what we’re willing (or not) to live with.
So I dutifully wrote to my museum contact, requesting the necessary permission.
“Dear Nancy,” he wrote back. “Thank you for your email. Permission would need to come from our decorative arts curator, however she is currently away from the office until [a date ten days later], so I will be unable to get a response to you before then. I shall pass your message on to [her] and bring it to her attention when she returns. I hope that this helps.
Ten days later I received another missive. “Hi Nancy,” he wrote. “Thank you for your patience whilst the decorative arts curator was away. For using images of our collections in blog posts there is a small charge of £16.70 per article/blog post. We also request that you would send us a link to the blog post so we can have a record of how the collections are being used.
Please let me know if you are still interested in proceeding. If you are interested in proceeding please let me know and I will send the relevant forms and arrange payment.
I hope that this helps.
I wrote back immediately. Of course I was happy to pay to use the images. Museums — especially those, such as The Wilson, which don’t charge visitors an entrance fee — depend on this kind of revenue. A few days later I received the form by email, which I completed and signed. A week went by. Then:
Apologies for not getting back to you… We are currently experiencing issues with our payment facilities so we cannot accept payment just yet. How soon do you need to use the images?
Many thanks for your patience whilst we are working on resolving the payment issues.
I told him that I wouldn’t need to use the images for at least the next three weeks. “Hopefully we shall have this rectified before 31st August,” he wrote back. I hated to think of a museum not being able to take credit card payments over the phone in this day when plastic is the coin of the realm.
A month later B wrote back. The problems were ongoing. “We can accept cheques if all else [should] fail, although I understand the postage from America would inflate the real price at your end.” It wasn’t the postage that troubled me, but the fee a bank would charge for any form of payment other than a credit card. I’d already called my bank. They no longer issue checks in foreign currency but said they could wire the money for a $50 fee. Screw that.
The next week the ever-charming (truly) B wrote again.
The cost…was £16.70 plus VAT so that would be £20.04 overall [about $27]. I have been talking to the finance department and they believe they have resolved the issue, they are checking one final thing and have assured me that we should be able to take card payment over the phone by Monday. I shall email you again on Monday with the hopefully happy news. Again, please accept my apologies for the ongoing delays.
Just to be on the safe side I gave it a few more days. On Thursday morning I was ready to call. The landline seemed a better bet than a cell phone. I dialed the number but got a sound that clearly signified a problem. I repeated the process several times, omitting various prefix digits in case they were unnecessary. Still no joy. I called the phone company again.
“All calls to international numbers are blocked at present,” the clerk informed me. Can this really be happening? I wondered. It seems that fraudsters overseas have been calling US households and threatening the vulnerable among us with harm to their relatives if they don’t return the call and fork over thousands of dollars. “So you’re blocking ALL international calls because a few people have fallen for this kind of scam?” I asked. Apparently so. “Is this just you, or all phone companies? Because this seems like serious overkill. I am just trying to make a business call to England.” She couldn’t say whether our phone company was alone in taking this paternalistic tack.
“You can bypass the call block by using this code,” said the clerk, reading out a symbol and three numbers. I thanked her and tried the call again, this time with the code. The call dropped as soon as I dialed. I tried again. Same thing.
I called the phone company back. Another clerk this time; he said I’d have to make some kind of different arrangement, aside from the code, to call overseas. “I am trying really hard not to pepper your eardrum with expletives,” I answered, taking a deep breath. “I just want to make a simple business call to England. England! Not Nigeria. Not Myanmar. I just need to make a credit card payment to a museum. In the past, all I had to do was dial the number. I’m not willing to go through yet more steps. I’ll use my cell phone.”
So I dialed the museum’s number on my cell. The call was answered by a woman whose first language was clearly not English. “I need your name,” she said after the usual pleasantries. I stated my first name and she proceeded to type, reading the letters back – incorrectly. I corrected her, knowing that the charge would be declined by the credit company, were the merest detail garbled. Then we got to the address. Between the spotty quality of the audio (even with Wi Fi calling) and our linguistic disjunct, it was taking forever. We got through the four digits of the street address, but the word “South” caused a problem. “Was that ‘ah‘?” she checked. “No, SOUTH,” I said. At this point I was not prepared to attempt the Himalayan peak of the next word, “Garrison.”
“Can I just email you this information, then call back?” I asked.
“Sure. That would be good. Thank you.”
So I sent the email, and she replied that she was ready to take my credit card information in a second call. I called her back at once. The phone was answered by a machine informing me that no one was available but I could leave a message if I would like.
I checked the time. 4 p.m. GMT. Perhaps they had just closed? I wrote back to her straight away, dreading the prospect of having to repeat the process with someone new the next day. But lo! Five minutes later I got a reply. The long-suffering staff person had been busy with a visitor, and so, unable to take my call. I called back.
Miraculously, we get the job done. I have the receipt to prove it:
All of which is to request that you refrain from blithely copying and reusing the images you will find in my post about the museum visit, which will arrive in your inbox a few days from now.
Please note: Although this post concerns one particular institution, I have enjoyed remarkably similar experiences with several others. I am a huge fan of The Wilson and highly recommend a visit.
*scheduled for publication by Popular Woodworking in May 2018. In the meantime, you can read Making Things Work
Filed under: Uncategorized
I am building both the prototype and the first edition bedside nightstand for our next new masterclasses project. This one follows the stepladders and the fly swatter. It’s been a busy enough week with developing the idea and then the construction of both the prototype and building the piece for filming. Hannah went with me …
A Visit to Takuji Matsuda’s Kiribako Shop: Part 2 – Planing and Shooting Platform for Japanese Planes
My friend and neighbor, Takuji Matsuda, enjoys the advantages of a western workbench. You read part one of my workshop tour here. But when it comes to planes, Takuji prefers traditional Japanese planes which are pulled towards the body, whereas the Western plane is pushed away from the user. To help Takuji plane surfaces and true up crosscut end grain while working on a simple table that is devoid of a vise, Mr. […]
When I joined the woodworking team a few of years ago I found myself thumbing through a couple of books in the Furniture Fundamentals series. Exploring those two books,“Chairs & Benches” and “Tables,” – as well as a book that I edited as an addition to the series, “Casework” – made for a great jumping off point for my work with Popular Woodworking. The series offers a lot of great information on how to build some of […]
My recently scheduled barn workshop, “Make A Traditional Workbench,” was mercifully “cancelled” due to the fact that all four of the scheduled registrants notified me they were not coming. No students, no workshop. I say “mercifully” because it would have started the day after Barndaughter’s wedding weekend, and I was already worn to a nub. Nevertheless, my friend John, who participated in the workshop last year and was scheduled to be my teaching assistant for the week, decided to join me anyway for a grand week of man-time in the man cave, a/k/a The Barn.
We had a delightful week of fellowship and working on projects; John concentrated on modifying and tuning up the Moxon-style ripple molding cutting machine while I emphasized bringing my FORP workbench from many years ago closer to completion. In addition, John being a trained theologian and well-engaged citizen of The Republic, our conversations were vibrant and varied, and by the end of the week we were almost sentimental about our shared experiences.
The success of the week can be summarized in the observation that by Friday afternoon it looked like a tool-and-shavings bomb had been detonated there. I’ll recount our adventures in greater detail in coming posts. Stay tuned.