Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
Mike and I have finally settled on a logo for M&T. We’ve spent two years going back and forth trying every idea under the sun: plane shavings, hand planes, joinery dissections, etc. None of it worked. We needed something dead simple that eluded to (but didn’t clobber you over the head with) the heartbeat of M&T. We knew the most effective logos (such as those of Apple, Nike, and Target) can be drawn in a few lines and are recognizable from across the room. After many abandoned designs, we decided on the one above. This drawing is from the title page of London-based painter and engraver William Hogarth’s 1753 book, The Analysis of Beauty. The image is simple, powerful, and beautiful. But what does it symbolize?
The Meaning Behind the Symbol
In 1745, William Hogarth painted a self-portrait with his pug. Lying on the painter’s palette prominently set in the foreground was an S-shaped three-dimensional line with an explanatory caption below: “The Line of Beauty”. Hogarth later said that “the bait soon took” and many artists came to him to inquire of the meaning resulting in “freequent explanations and disputes”. Hogarth made the case that the waving line, found all throughout nature, was “ornamental and pleasing” requiring a “lively movement of the hand” to draw. It was the Line of Beauty.
Hogarth expounded his case in The Analysis of Beauty which he said was “written with a view of fixing the fluctuating IDEAS OF TASTE”. The book set forth six principals of beauty: FITNESS, VARIETY, UNIFORMITY, SIMPLICITY, INTRICACY, and QUANTITY. He explained that these elements work together to create true beauty. In his view, although all these principals were to be balanced together, the waving and serpentine lines made the biggest visual impact. Hogarth’s biographer, Ronald Paulson, has explained that the Line of Beauty was “a synecdoche for his theory and its crucial terms of variety, intricacy, and pleasure. It was his theory reduced to a hieroglyph.”
Not all waving lines are created equal, however. To illustrate the ideal curvature, Hogarth showed seven cabriole chair legs, the first three of which were “mean and poor” (too straight) and the last three of which were “gross and clumsy” (too curvy). The ideal curvature for a cabriole leg was depicted as number four.
Because of the importance of the waving line in his system, Hogarth composed an illustration that sat on the title page of Analysis. This emblem depicted the serpentine Line of Beauty set inside a transparent glass pyramid atop a plinth inscribed with the word “VARIETY”. Of the pyramid shape, Hogarth wrote, “Observe, that a gradual lessening is a kind of varying that gives beauty. The pyramid diminishing from its basis to its point [is a] beautiful form… There is no object composed of straight lines, that has so much variety, with so few parts, as the pyramid: and it is its constantly varying from its base gradually upwards in every situation of the eye.”
One scholar has said this symbol was “emblematic of and embodying Hogarth’s ideas espoused in his work” and was “a synthetic visual demonstration of the argument of his text.” In his preface, Hogarth explained how the two elements in the logo come together to symbolize the essence of beauty: “the triangular form of the glass, and the serpentine line itself, are the two most expressive figures that can be thought of to signify not only beauty and grace, but the whole order of form.”
We at M&T celebrate the SIMPLICITY of historic craft process, eschewing elaborate machining processes and complicated jigs. A major part of that includes embracing the VARIETY (in dimension, tool mark texture, etc) inherent in hand tool work. We’ve decided to adopt the drawing (sans the plinth) as M&T’s official logo because it perfectly depicts the beautiful fusion of SIMPLICITY and VARIETY.
This logo, shown on the first page of Issue Three, will also be featured on our merchandise in the future. Yes, stickers and shirts are coming.
This clock is called a Pomeroy Wall Clock. It was first built in 1886 by CT. Hartford, there are only three originals in existence. The original is only 3/16″ thick and from memory if I’m not mistaken about 27.5″ long x 10″ wide but don’t quote me as I reproduced the original almost 19 years ago.
I did about two reproductions before I decided to make some changes to beef it up as I felt it was too fragile looking and in needed of a serious upgrade.
My dimensions and these are only in the ball park were 60″x 18″x 3/4″. The whole Clock was scrolled and being so thick I broke a ton of blades in the process. I used sandwich parts that were identical which would make it even thicker and harder to scroll. There were plenty of corners that needed to come to a sharp point and only a thin blade could do it, that’s why I broke a lot of blades in the process.
You see many people using CNC machinery for their scroll work. I never went in that direction for two reasons, my clocks had to be done by hand, it needed that personal human element to it. The other reason is that cnc burns the edges and cannot create sharp corners and points, only a hand can do that. The scrolling takes about 8 hours solid going at it very fast or 12 hours at a steady pace. The whole clock would take about a week and half to complete including the finish.
There are about eight through tenons and mortises that held this clock together. The lower half where the stalk is had the longest shoulder as the tenon was smack in the middle. This shoulder had to be perfect as gaps would show on the show side.
Unfortunately a battery powered chime movement was used which made it affordable for the average person. If one wanted to use a mechanical movement then the whole clock would have to be redesigned to accomodate it. You build clocks around the movement your going to use, battery powered movements eliminates that need.
This clock you see in the picture was one I built a couple of years ago for a customer in Switzerland. I made countless of them as they were one of most popular wall clocks. I still have plans for many more I never got to build as the popular ones were mostly in production so I couldn’t introduce anything new to the market.
I would normally build a mockup and just look at it and see what changes need to be made. You can make one in 3D on screen but nothing beats one in real life. If I was satisfied with its looks I would go ahead with its production. At first I used to ask people if they like what they saw. I eventually stopped that because everyone has different tastes and you can’t please everyone.
I don’t know when it happened, but at some point in the research for the book on Roman workbenches, it became a text that would feel at home in the “art history” section of a bookstore.
Researcher Suzanne Ellison, who has a deep love of art, and I spent months poring over texts that discussed Roman and early German tools and woodworking for the letterpress edition of “Roman Workbenches.” After we completed that book, I switched gears to finish up work on other authors’ books (and some furniture commissions).
Suzanne, however, expanded the scope of her research and began finding paintings, drawings and mosaics that dealt with the low-style workbench that I had never seen. And not only were they from Europe, but they also came from the New World, especially South America.
I could barely keep up with the pace of her research. Before I could fully digest a series of paintings to sort through their interesting bits, she had already dumped another load in my inbox. This crazy pace has continued for the last nine months.
After discussing hundreds of paintings, we narrowed our scope to ones that were truly representative of a long-term pattern. Or ones that showed methods of workholding that were, quite frankly, shocking to me.
As a result, this book – an expanded edition of “Roman Workbenches” – has become something far greater. It is a survey of early workholding methods that were used on simple and low workbenches for almost 2,000 years. Many of these workholding devices are incredibly simple – like the doe’s foot – but also incredibly effective. If you’re reading this blog, you probably agree with the statement that early artisans were incredibly clever and resourceful.
And this book has gotten much bigger. So big, that I wonder if I should even call it “Roman Workbenches” anymore.
During the coming months I’m going to share some of the gold that Suzanne dug up, along with some of the dead ends. The painting at the top of this entry was right up the road from me in Indianapolis and almost made me wet myself.
— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com
Filed under: Roman Workbenches, Uncategorized
In the last online course released from 360 Woodworking (Inlaid Tea Caddy), hot sand was used to shade pieces of veneer to make rays for quarter, round and oval fans. This past week I was back at it to make a different hot-sand inlay for an upcoming project, a Pembroke Table. The legs of the table are strung, have a small inlaid circle to cover a pivot point for the stringing and have a cuff band, in addition to the sand-shaded inlay.
This week we recieved a lot of great feedback from the propane forge video that we posted to facebook. It’s a simple project to get you started forging for under $100. If you enjoy that clip, you must check out the rest of the video, Build a Viking Tool Chest. We also announced the winner of the Popular Woodworking Magazine Excellence awards. The Editor’s Choice went to Al Spicer for […]
|Ohio tool catalog|
|stock to complete the dust seal|
|I chamfered the overhang|
|leaves a gap I don't like|
|the first cut on my left forearm|
|removed the back hinge rail|
|this is not a scratch|
After I opened the second nice sized wound, I did take my head out of my arse and put it on the bench.
|a couple of hours later|
|planed the inside too|
|ledge, hook, thing-a-ma-bob, what is this called|
|second profile done|
|profiles match up perfectly|
|back to the box|
|3/8" stock for the tills|
|UPS on a saturday|
|Lee Valley free shipping until the 11th|
|1/4" and 1/8" irons|
|the Lee Valley irons are about a 1/2" longer|
|tried two more molders|
|a flat, a bead, and a fillet|
|another grecian ovolo (bottom)|
|the two ovolos|
|the two ovolo plane soles|
I may not be able to resaw worth a bucket of spit, but using molding planes is picking up for me. I tried five of them today and I went 5 for 5. The downside to that is I'm running out of room to stow them. My plane till is getting awfully crowded and making another one may get promoted to the A list.
|Stanley 71 depth shoe|
What is the largest single drop waterfall in the US?
answer - the Ribbon Waterfall in Yosemite National Park
Recently when I was visiting plane maker extraordinaire Steve Voigt I had the chance to use his Sterling plane setting hammer, and I liked it and said to myself, “Self, you gotta have one of those. Right now.” Since even in the era of the interwebs, on-line purchasing does not provide instantaneous delivery so I got up the next morning and made a plane setting hammer for myself, using scrap from my inventory of stuff.
My first step was to take a piece of brass and turn one end of the head on my wood lathe, which is easy enough to do when using turning chisels set up as scrapers rather than turning gouges (virtually all of my turning is with beefy scrapers with very rare use of gouges; it’s an old habit from my early years in the pattern shop). I then turned a wooden end of the head from a scrap of lignum vitae, then drilled and tapped both sections and screwed and epoxied them together.
Then I grabbed a piece of exotic wood from the waste bin (probably bubinga) and made a handle in about ten minutes. I drilled the hole in the head through which the handle passed, then used material from an ivory piano key as the wedges for the handle in the head. All told I spend maybe 90 minutes on this hammer.
The result was immensely gratifying and its weight and proportions and performance have made it my “go to” tool for this purpose, and several folks I have shown it to have expressed interest in purchasing one. Who knew? I guess I will have to get set up to do it. I might have to actually order some supplies.
I’ve stumble upon by chance on YouTube a husband and wife team living the dream producing outstanding reproduction and custom furniture.
Before they became furniture makers, Mathew was a carpenter building custom homes and his wife Moriah was a landscaper/gardener. Their interest in furniture making sprung from their love of the craft as hobbyists. They studied the art of joinery and furniture construction .
Now they work from home, commuting across their driveway into their dream shop building truly exquisite looking furniture.
From 2011-2014 they were selected as one of America’s Best Craftsman and were listed in Early American Life magazine.
As I sat watching through most of his videos I was amazed at the speed he was working at, even though the video was mostly sped up there were moments when it was shown in real time. 95% of his work is handwork, he uses basic machinery for the monotonous and laborious tasks however, all the initial shaping, carving and tons of planing are all done by hand. The skill this guy has just blew me away. I’m not sure how long he studied furniture making before beginning his business, but the skill he displays is just mind boggling.
I hope you enjoy his videos as much as I have as there are plenty of tips to pick up in them. He doesn’t offer any lessons in the video, but if you sit through each one from start to finish without skipping through them there is plenty of lessons in there to be absorbed.
This year we have been so busy working on new books that we’ve barely had time to tell you what we’re working on. Two books are just weeks away from heading to the printing plant so here are some quick details.
We’ve just finished up the design work on Mary May’s massive and fantastic “The Acanthus Leaf: A Rite of Passage for the Traditional Carver” (still working on the book’s title a bit). This is the most visually complex book I’ve ever worked on. Mary has poured her heart and hands into this book. The result is a fascinating trip through history, different cultures and her long career as a professional carver.
My hope is to have this book in our hands by Thanksgiving.
Also on the verge of publishing is “From Truths to Tools” by Jim Tolpin and George Walker. This fascinating book was illustrated and hand-lettered like “By Hound & Eye” and is just as mind-blowing and fun to read. In this book, Tolpin and Walker demonstrate how geometry is baked into the tools you use every day. And then they use that geometry to create and explain other tools and techniques you can use in the shop (or on the job site).
Even if you have been woodworking all your life, this book will surprise you. It will give you deeper knowledge of how our basic tools (such as a try square) function in the universe. And it will teach you practical methods you can use in the shop.
Again, let’s hope for Thanksgiving on this one.
We’re also working on a bunch of other books as well. Details to follow as we can squeeze out the time to write about them.
— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com
Filed under: Uncategorized
Forget plastic or metal pans – a wooden one looks nicer and works better. June 2017 Pages 38-41 by Christopher Schwarz Some time during the last 25 years of prowling around workshops, museums and antique stores, I spotted a wooden dustpan. The encounter made me slap my forehead – why do I have a plastic pan when I could build a wooden one from scraps? After studying commercial dustpans and […]
Spatulas arrayed on the kitchen floor… It starts with a spatula, or something like a whirligig, usually, woodworking with hand tools, I mean; for children. It’s how I started my children working with hand tools in woodworking. You know, you’re three or four years old and your dad’s a furniture maker. You want to be …
|changed my mind on this|
|1/8" plywood bottom|
|forgot to flush the bottom and check it for twist first|
|still no ideas on storage for these|
|practice till stock|
|not a good start|
|the side I started first|
|this is crappola|
|I might be able to salvage the left one|
|not much room left|
|I like this better|
|some of the tools for the till(s)|
|sometimes you get lucky|
|derusting a molding plane iron|
|loose piece of boxing|
|warming up the hide glue|
|got a hump on the back|
|back is flat now|
|coarse sharpening done|
Who is the only US President to have a national park named for him?
answer - Theodore Roosevelt
Mark Twain, American writer
I realized the other day that I started this blog ten years ago!
My first post was on September 2, 1997.
My wife was the one who encouraged me to start a blog, she thought it was a good venue for me to become known as a guitar maker, to sell my guitars and to connect with others in the woodworking world.
I have met several wonderful people who are professional woodworkers through the blog, but I am still waiting for my first guitar sale because of the blog. All of my sales have resulted from people actually seeing and playing my guitars, either at guitar festivals, lectures I give at universities, or when players stop by my shop because someone told them I make wonderful guitars.
The Internet has done much to disseminate woodworking information, it's a little scary to see how much information there is online! When I started woodworking, if there was anything that I wanted to know I had to go to a library and look up the technique in a book or woodworking magazine!
Now, all one has to do is to surf the plethora of YouTube videos and websites to find the woodworking technique that you want to learn.
One thing I have noticed lately is there doesn't seem to be as many people blogging about their woodworking experiences and adventures. I find it a little sad these days to go to my favorite woodworking blog aggregator and see only three or four new postings. Maybe no one cares to write a full sentence or paragraph anymore because stringing together 140 characters is the most anyone can do. Instagram is a very easy platform to display yourself on.
Or is it that people just want information, but don't want to share it?
I know that it can be hard to write a weekly post for a blog, making time to do something can be a hard thing to do and accomplish.
In my experience, not knowing if I am reaching/connecting with anyone on Internet can discourage me from writing more posts, I don't get many comments about my posts these days, nor does anyone engage me in some kind of text dialogue. I stopped offering how-to information on basic woodworking several years ago because teaching online through my posts is not my intention. I noticed that when I stopped the how-to no one commented.
That said, visitation to my blog is up this year and I think it is because people want to learn more about the guitars I make. This is great for me, because if there is one thing that I will talk about passionately is making beautifully voiced guitars that will play beautiful music, that in turn will encourage young people to take up the classical guitar.
I will offer this advice about blogging -- don't be afraid to use what you learned in your college freshman English composition courses! Start writing today about what it is you are doing! Make stuff and share it and don't think you have to be the next Roy Underhill or Charles Hayward.
Get into your shop, make shavings and blisters!
Job Centres were government-operated employment agencies intended to help people find gainful work instead of spending their days watching telly while sponging off the dole. At least, such was the image of their unemployed compatriots entertained by many supporters of Margaret Thatcher, prime minister at the time. Her cabinet ministers (well, some of them) were less dismissive regarding the plight of their jobless constituents. There were jobs out there, they insisted; you just had to put some effort into finding one. “Get on your bike” became an oft-heard exhortation after Norman Tebbit, Secretary of State for Employment, told attendees at the Conservative Party Conference in 1981 that he’d grown up in the 1930s with an unemployed father. “He didn’t riot,” Tebbit said; “he got on his bike and looked for work and he kept looking ‘til he found it.”
The Job Centre certainly made it more convenient to find employment. But I would have found a job with or without it. I was raised by parents who, despite the haziness of their hippie years, impressed on me the importance of hard work and self-reliance. At the same time, they also supported the provision of social services and safety nets, knowing that things can go wrong for anyone, despite diligent work and the best-laid plans.
My friend Beatrice, on the other hand, had graduated from Cambridge with a degree in drama. Finding herself unable to secure paid employment in her field, she didn’t hesitate to sign up for the dole. “But surely you could get a job at a sandwich shop, or cleaning houses?” I offered, shocked that this bright, resourceful, relatively well-off friend had sought government assistance.
“If I take a job unrelated to my area of expertise it will count against me the next time I apply at a theatre,” she explained over Lapsang Souchong in her cozy London flat. Seeing my stunned expression, she added that taking just any job “would suggest that I’m not serious about my profession.”–Excerpted from Making Things Work by Nancy Hiller
Filed under: Uncategorized
|all checked out|
|small flat head screw|
|depth shoe screw|
The fence screw I did get in today's blog post. It's a 10-24 x 3/8" and I think it is too short. I ordered some 10-24 x 1/2" & 3/4" screws, along with #10 washers, hex nuts, and wing nuts. I'll get them next week.
|these are the same size|
I would bet the ranch that these screws and the one on the depth shoe would have been all the same size.
|this one is hard to measure|
|the stud is a 1/4-28 so the thumb wheel is the same size|
My friend and neighbor, Takuji Matsuda, is an untraditional traditional Japanese woodworker. He is one of a few remaining makers of a special kind of Japanese box called Kiribako, and perhaps the only North America based maker who is an expert in building dedicated Kiribako for Buddha statues. While well rooted in the traditions of Japanese woodworking, Mr. Matsuda, a graduate of the sculpture program at Pratt Institute in New […]
Here is an extract I painstakingly copied word for word from a magazine published in 1891 called work. They contain projects for home amateur enthusiasts who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. It covers projects for woodworking, talks about metal working lathes, the latest foot powered scroll saws, brick laying just about every trade. It’s like the readers digest when they once printed useful things. Anyway I thought it would be nice to get a real glimpse into the past.
DRAWING BOARD FOR DRAFTSMEN ON WOOD AND IMPROVED INSTRUCTIONS FOR CIRCLES
BY JOHN W. WHITFIELD HARLAND
A GREAT inconvenience arises in drawing upon wood blocks which are 15/16 of an inch in thickness, owing to the absence of a rest for the hand and the difficulty in using squares (T or set) in drawing accurately perpendicular and horizontal lines, a difficulty still increased when drawing architectural or other subjects to perspective points where great care and accuracy are requisite.
To obviate these drawbacks and ensure ease, convenience, and extreme truth of drawing the writer designed made, and used a board, which has stood the test of twenty years’ use most satisfactorily, not only for wood but drawings on paper, if to a very small scale, the paper of course mounted.
First make a 3/4in. drawing boards A clamped at ends 24in. by 15in. over all, and plant upon it a 1 in. strip B. 4 in. wide, 24 in. long, glued and screwed from the back, with a groove ploughed in its face 1/2 in. from edges, of a dovetail form ( see a in section) and rebated 1/2 in. by 1/2 in. on its upper edge, next to A, so as to leave a soffit of 7/16 overhanging 1/2 in. beyond where the rebate is jointed on A Fig. 1. To the right hand side of drawing board A fit and plant with glue and screws a strip c of 1 in. stuff, 6 in. wide, 11 1/2 in. at back, rebated at one end to 11 in. Long at face so as to fill the rebate in strip B. Note that this strip must be made absolutely square with B, or more explicitly with the edge b of B, c, with the edge of C, forming a perfectly true right angle with it. Next fill a similar piece of 1 in. stuff of same dimensions called the “follower” so that it correctly fit the rebate of B, and its edge d made perfectly square with b. Half an inch back from its edge d plough a groove parallel to d 1/4 in. deep, 1/4 in. wide at top by 3/8 in. at bottom exactly as groove before mentioned at ( a in sections). This strip must not be glued or screwed, but is utilised as it’s name, follower, implies to slide square with B all along from the edge of c, also square to the full extent of the uncovered portion of A. At e e cut a groove through the drawing board as a slot 1/4 in. at face and 1/2 in. at back of a T shape parallel to B, but 5 in. From it, to receive a stud and thumbscrew f, or what is called a camera – backscrew, and on underside of the follower D let in and screw the plate g (see f in section also).
Now the board is so far complete that a block can be placed upon the uncovered part of A against B and C, and the follower D pressed against its side until it is firmly held; whilst the thumbscrew secures the follower in its place, the surface of the block will be flush with the surface of B, C, and D, thus fulfilling the first condition: convenience for the rest for the hand of same level as the block itself. Now fits exactly to the dovetails grooves strips of wood (boxwood for preference) of the section shown at h, Fig. 2, respectively 9 in. 6 in. long, made so accurately as to slide readily but not loosely in the grooves (see a in section). Having fitted these slides h, h, which stand up 1/8 in. above the level of the block they can be slid along and used as straightedges for set squares to slide against, the longer giving perpendiculars, in the groove in B and the other, horizontals in groove in D, with a right-angled set square, but when not so required they may be pushed along their grooves out of the way of the hand when drawing.
At any point on the horizon of the required perspective where the vanishing points fall, a needle may be driven into the strip C and the follower D, and all vanishing lines can then be drawn with a straight edge to these points with microscopic accuracy, the slides being pushed out of the way and pushed back again when vertical or horizontal lines are required; the width of strip and follower, 6 in. each, being ordinarily sufficiently distant for the vanishing points. In certain instances this is no the case, however; the writer therefore, provided and fixed (see plan Fig.5 “looking up”) two sliding grooves in back of A ( which can be taken out and hung up when not in use), having a thicknessing piece at their outward ends glued and screwed on with a fixed point or needle in each, so placed as to be in the same horizontal line.
As the horizontal line varies in various drawings, it’s distance should be first ascertained, and the block to be drawn should be pushed up to the fixed horizontal line of these sliders, and the vacuum, so to speak, between base line of block and the edge b should be filled with a strip boxwood block of the exact size to maintain the block to be drawn in its right position with its perspective horizontal line coincident with the normal one of the board. The sliders being drawn out to the required mdistance on each edge, ought to remain n position through accuracy of fit, but as wood shrinks in time, and they may thus become looser, and thus be apt to slip, the sliders may be marked with inches and eighths like an English rule (or centimetres or decimetres etc., on the French decimal scale of lengths, which we like better), and when the point is found a note can be made of it, to check any subsequent shifting. By this means, before photography and process work came into vogue, the writer has produced for The Builder perspective architectural drawings which for accurate detail have not being surpassed, an accuracy due entirely to the means employed. A careful tracing put down on the wood gets obliterated in the shading up on Indian ink and it’s exact angle lost, but if the vanishing point is there it can be regained in the ruling up with mathematical precision. But the draughtsman on wood – perhaps we ought to say nowadays – have not only to draw upon wood have very frequently to trace from very indifferent photographs, which is best done by light being transmitted through the print or glass photo onto the tracing paper. Our drawing board offers convenient means of doing this in the following manner.
Make a frame of 1 in. stuff 1 1/2 in. broad (see Figs 1 and 4) 24 in. inside measurement, tenoning one piece of the sides E into the ends F, F, which are 15 in. long. Before gluing up into the mortises cut in ends, plough a 1/4 in. by 1/4 in. groove about 1/8 in. from face in the four pieces of frame, and then make the fourth a sliding piece G, to fit the groove accurately, so that it will move therein to any desired position; then glue up and wedge the end pieces and the tenoned side; when dried and finished off, slide the piece G into it. At K, K, in F, F, bore screw holes countersunk and screw into the ends of B, so that when level with face of block, the strip C and follower D shall at their top ends be in contact with their inner edge of G when it is pushed close up to the tenoned side of frame E.
These screws form pivots, or hinges, on which the frame can be raised to any angle, or allowed to remain flush with top of block and board. In the frame ends f, f, passing into the grooves in which the sliding piece G moves should be made every 1/2 in. or so from 3 1/4 upwards, so as to maintain G with a photograph covered with tracing paper, or glass plate, with a paper print and tracing paper mounted upon it, put into the grooves of E and G (see section Fig.2), which will hold it whilst being traced. A mirror being put at the proper angle behind it through reflect the rays of light through it, the frame F E F G being inclined to a convenient angle to the plane of the board supported by the following means.
The top of the frame F E F G should be, when down, flush with the surface of the block, i.e., with the surfaces of b, c and d; when up; at a convenient angle, say, for instance, at 45 or 50 degrees to these surfaces or planes. By making two strips of wood I, I, with screw holes bored and countersunk at one end, and screwing them onto their sides of A below the frame which is screwed to B (see end view Fig.3), leaving them 9 in. long, and putting screws, in position shown, into A to perform pivots support for the frame F E F G is at once provided in the position shown in the perspective view, Fig.6. But these pieces or levers, when not in use would fall on their pivots; we halve them at their ends, as shown, and save the pieces, so cut away – to plant onto A with a single screw each, in the same places they would have been occupied had they not been cut off. The levers I, I, when not in use, are thus locked into normal places by these “frogs” but they are capable of another use, namely, that of forming hind legs as it were to slope the drawing board to a suitable angle when blocks are being drawn (see dotted lines perspective Fig.4).
Having now completed the construction, we may to it’s perfection as a “tool” rounding the edges of B, so as not to fray the sleeves or irritate the wrist as shown in the drawings, and add to its appearance by polishing it with French polish or oiling it with raw linseed oil; or the parts where friction exists may be rubbed with powdered talc (Pudding Stone), the French shops of oil shops, the boot makers, or glover’s.
Whilst on the subject of drawing to fine scales, probably we may usefully suggest simple means of keeping the radius of compasses always the same with pencil as it is with pen, the pen never wears away; the graphite gets shorter with circle turned. Instead of using a lead pencil cut to a diameter suitable for the holder in a pair of compasses, procure a propelling pencil case (see Fig.7) and break away the outer case; this costs but a few pence, and will save hours of time wasted in sharpening leads and altering legs. You have only to propel he lead further out, by turning the nose piece to always keep the length of the leg of he compasses the same as the other leg. Another plan, useful principally for bow pencils and spring pencil bows, is to obtain, or make, split tubes to carry Faber’s moveable leads which are made in all degrees of hardness (Fig.8).
As the lead wears it may be pushed further through the carrier and always kept to length, without altering the angle of the legs. Another alternative is to gum a strip paper and roll it around a piece of Fabre’s lead until it is thicknessed out to fit the carrier of the compasses, and keep pushing it further and further through as the graphite wears away.
Let Me Tell You a Story about a Sharpening Journey
I sincerely appreciate everybody who hung out with me live and asked questions. Sharpening is always a topic you can expect people to have confusion. And my tour and subsequent redesign of my sharpening bench is the perfect example of how we as woodworkers can overcomplicate what is actually a very simple topic. We live in a wonderful world now with many fancy gizmos and sharpening aids and when you are unsure they all look like game changers. I hesitate to say I fell into these traps as each method I used only added to my understanding of sharpening and what works for me and what doesn’t. I stress what works “for me” because I feel that it is a personal thing and often times the journey is what is needed to figure out what you need and don’t need. These days my sharpening regimen is very minimal and I look at it not as a task to be performed but merely a breath in the woodworking action. Sharpening is less event and process and often I don’t even realize I’m doing it. That sounds very zen but think about the last time you got into a groove on something and how you don’t realize how much time has passed nor can you clearly remember each individual task that you performed during that time.
Anyway, I’m waxing poetic now. I’m always open to more sharpening questions and stay tuned for the build of my new sharpening bench. If for no other reason than to see me use a track saw and maybe some pocket screws!!
The Questions You Asked
- 1:40 Sharpening Bench Talk
- 28:05 Sharpening Narrow Chisels
- 32:17 Hand Cranked Grinder and the Wheel
- 33:50 What’s a Good Brand of Rasps & Files
- 37:14 Would you have been able to understand what sharp is without jigs?
- 40:30 Why Do my blades go cloudy when changing stones?
- 43:56 Sharpening a Router Plane blade
- 46:34 Sharpening a Spokeshave blade
- 49:43 Scary Sharp?
- 52:20 Thoughts on Squares?
- 54:18 Hand Tool School Orientation
- 54:40 How do I sharpen drill bits?
- 59:42 Experience with Irwin Auger Bits?
- 1:01:42 How do I set rake and fleam when saw sharpening?