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This morning the crew gathered at 7:00 and devised a plan for raising the next three bents. The members between the bents are connected to each other with a 24’ long joist and so it was assembled as a unit and raised into place with a manual lift. The next bent was assembled on horses on the ground and carried into place by Matt via telehandler. This process continued all the way through to the fourth and final bent. Happily, there is little to report on because everything went so smooth. Even the twist in the joist between bent two and three was easily pulled into proper alignment.
By the end of the day, we had all four bents assembled. Tomorrow, we plan to put a temporary deck on the second floor and install the 26’ long plates with their braces onto the eve walls. With the plate in place, we can finish pegging the bents together and release the come alongs. After that it’s rafters and ridge pole! We’ll see how far we get tomorrow.
Tonight we feast and then rest before the next exciting step!
One of my best woodworking tools is one I don’t write about much: my sketchbook. It’s an inexpensive spiral-bound thing I get at the grocery store, right by the romance novels. It’s always in my bag when I travel, and it’s on my lap when I’m “encouraged” to watch “Project Runway” with my lovely wife. I keep a mechanical pencil clipped to its metal spirals and use it to solve […]
Editor’s note: Sorry, this post is not about “Game of Thrones.”
George and I often get asked which book should be read first, and we don’t have a quick answer. Because our research has been a quest, we didn’t write them necessarily in the order a beginner should take them up. We both agree, though, that our most recent “From Truth to Tools” would probably be the one we’d suggest reading first. It will go a long way to help you visualize space with practical knowledge of how our tools fit into the picture.
The second pick depends on how you like to learn. Read “By Hand & Eye” if you like to know the “why” as well as the “how” behind design and proportions. Otherwise, we suggest starting with “By Hound & Eye” if you tend to learn more by doing, and you just want to get down to it. Whichever way you begin this journey, we are confident you’ll come out seeing the world – and your craft – in a whole new way.
— Jim Tolpin, byhandandeye.com
Filed under: By Hand & Eye, By Hound and Eye, From Truths to Tools, Uncategorized
Mandolin and ukulele duo.
Improve the Comfort in Your Shop with the Benchcrafted Hi Vise Hardware!
In this video, Guy Dunlap explains how the new Benchcrafted Hi Vise hardware can dramatically improve your approach to carving tasks, cutting and paring dovetails or any detail work, allowing greater control. Guy also reviews the easy installation of this valuable addition to your shop.
Find out more and purchase your own Benchcrafted Hi Vise Hardware at Highland Woodworking.
The circumference of a 12” bowl (2πr) is about 38”. Multiply that to a lathe’s speed and you’ll realize that wood turners are making almost a mile of shavings a minute. I think it’s fair to say that turners sharpen more than any other woodworkers. Like other areas of the craft, religious sects have developed around sharpening in the turning world. Yet few fanatics outside of skew maniacs ever discuss […]
The post Diamonds are a Turner’s Best Friend: My Favorite Slipstone appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
|Tom on the right and me on the left. Paul Nyborg is a good friend in the middle.|
He's demonstrated with us in years past but won't make it this time around.
But next week Sunday Sept. 24th. I get to do something I've come to like even more. For the past few years Tom Latane and I have partnered up in ap presentation called "Forest To Furniture" We show the process of taking logs and producing furniture from the rough parts. In the past we've tackled, general techniques, joined stools (to varying degrees of success), and a small corner shelf, (the two produced are used in the museum)
This year I'm extra excited, we are working on a three legged staked stool based on patterns found in numerous Viking Age archaeological digs. Here's a LINK to google images. It's a simple stool in a staked furniture fashion but I rarely like the reproductions I see done. Last spring I revisited the form myself using Chris Schwarz's work on staked furniture as a guide and I was able to create a prototype I felt better about.
This coming Sunday Tom and I will go about improving on my prototype as anyone who wants to come can sit and watch us sweat and talk sawdust and anything else. The show does cost a nominal fee for the museum but the bad jokes are all free.
Please consider joining us!
Ratione et Passionis
With our ambitious agenda awaiting us for the Man Week at the barn, our first task was to begin the Tetris game that always seems to be on tap for any type of reorganizing the shop. The ripple molding machine was easily accessible for John but I had to move a ton of stuff to get to the FORP I workbench parts that were behind the parts for all the other workbenches that are not yet finished, and a large pile of old oak salvaged from the shack deconstruction that we were working on when I crossed paths with the cranky wheelbarrow that put me out of commission for the better part of a year.
The first thing I noticed from the pile of salvaged oak was the presence of frass in between each piece of the stack. It might have been old frass from a no-longer-active infestation or it might not. It was not an extreme amount but I was not going to take a chance as I was going to be making furniture for the cabin from it.
I mixed up my typical batch of insecticide with a gallon of marine anti-freeze and two 8 oz. cups of dry borate-complex powder (Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate), then mixed with a paint stirrer in my cordless drill.
I used a cheap garden sprayer to saturate the boards and stacked them under plastic to let it all soak in thoroughly. After 36 hours I set them against the barn to dry, and two days later moved them inside and will put them to use when that project moves to the top of the pile.
Japanese chisels hold their value. This well-used set of chisels are still completely usable. That’s because the hard layer of steel in a Japanese chisel goes all the way across the bottom layer to the area where the blade transitions into the neck of the chisel.
(Pictures from eBay.)
I had promised myself that I would have a good look round all the show, but as usual it didn't happen! Here is the main barn just before customers were let in and here's what happened afterwards.
So unfortunately I only have a few shots of those near to my stand.
Camera shy Phil Edwards from Philly planes, gotcha!
Bill and Sarah Carter with a fine selection of his wonderful planes as well as a few other rare antiques.
Ollie Sparks with a good selection of his master pieces. More on Ollie later.
And below Richard Arnold with lots of 18thC planes along with some very nice 21st interpretations made by himself. Richard gives his time very generously and is extremely knowledgeable.
I am not going to put saws in the toolbox. I had watched a toolbox presentation on the evolution of them from about 1660 up to the late 1800's. According to the person presenting he said saws were not commonly kept in toolboxes. I found that hard to understand when all the tools a craftsman needed were supposedly in the toolbox. How did he saw anything? The presenter said saws were kept in a separate saw till. Although he did show a few chests with saws stowed in the lid and in the interior bottom.
I like the idea of a separate saw till to hold Miles saws. I have a crosscut and rip saw for him already and I am going to get a dovetail, carcass, and tenon saw too. Making a saw till for him will free up that space in the toolbox for other tools.
|blue tape to the rescue|
|I can't see it|
|cleaned and flushed up the top|
|gluing on the bottom|
|glued, clamped, and cooking|
|the before and after|
|found some screws|
|set my 4" square to the depth|
|screw holes done|
|should have erased that pencil line|
|laid it out right on this side|
|they work well|
|I don't like the flat look on the ends|
|my backyard maple tree|
On the Bob Newhart show (1970's), what was the apartment number he lived in?
answer - 523
I was talking to Peter Follansbee about life, woodworking and this blog when he asked my why I didn’t take pictures of anything really old? My threshold for old is pre-McKinley (1900) while Mr. Follansbee’s is 16th century. The obvious answer is that the places I have access to don’t often have anything old. The number of Empire chests-of-drawers far exceeds the number of jointed English stools in the retail/auction market.
To address Mr. Follansbee’s concerns, I offer here two dealer-confirmed old pieces. I completely trust antiques dealers. What possible incentive would they have to lie or deceive?
Is it a cupboard if it was built before cups were invented? Could it be a jelly if all they had was preserves? It’s that old:
Equally old or even older is this chest:
Today was the first day of the shop raising and, wow, was it momentous. The day started with finishing the new sill Luke, Matt, and Isaac began the day before. This 8” wide by 10” tall sill sits on top of the deck to raise the ceiling height. It is joined in the traditional manner with pegged mortise and tenon joints. After the sill was assembled and bolted to the deck, we began assembling the first (rearmost) bent.
We assembled the joints on sawhorses and drilled and pegged each tenon. Peg sizes varied from 1-3/8” to 1” to 3/4” depending on the joint. Because the pegs Luke purchased weren’t available in the odd 1-3/8” size that this frame was made with, Mike and I spent a good chunk of our day shaving the pegs to final size. Once the bent was fully assembled, Luke and Isaac measured the tenon spacing and braced the assembly with 2x4s to keep them in position.
Matt carried the bent with the telehandler as Luke directed it into the mortises. It was pretty incredible to watch these two work together. Their subtle but effective communication showed that they’ve been doing this for a long time. With each tenon slipping seamlessly into its mortise, the first wall was standing.
Between the physical labor these guys have gone through and the stress of crucial measurements working out, I think everyone working on this project was feeling wiped at the end of the day. But the day went off without a hitch. Tomorrow, bright and early we begin assembling the second bent.
The thing that really hooked me on "The Anarchist Tool Chest" when I first opened the book was the title to the prologue.
Those two words, impossible to follow one way or the other, distilled most of my attitude for this world. I was fortunate I traversed my public school education when the term Attention Deficit was only beginning to gain traction and understanding. If then were today I'd probably carry the boat anchor labels of Oppositional Defiance Disorder, or Rage Disorder, and most certainly ADHD. To be clear I don't believe I'm any of these things, I'm simply more willful, emotional, and free thinking than your average bear.
Whatever you tell me might be right, but I pathologically refuse to accept things without taking my own punches and learning for myself. If I'm wrong I'm happy to admit it, but I have to find out I'm wrong first. Sometimes it takes me a long time to figure it out.
When I went to install the hinges on my version of The ATC I was mindful about the hardware I was using. I knew Chris advocates slotted screws in furniture and the best argument I've heard from him for it is "because they look right." I debated in my mind for a little bit and came to a thought that went something like this:
"F U Chris, this is a modern take on a traditional tool chest. Slotted screws are the right thing for replacing or replicating an older or period piece, but this is my take built today and I'm gonna use the phillips screws that came with the hinges"
I've been working out of this chest nearly everyday since 2011 and at first my decision didn't bother me, but in the last six years I've changed. Maybe it was the impetus of building the chest itself, maybe it's just the natural progression of the way my mind works, but soon after I started really studying furniture and woodworking on a deeper level than what the magazines were feeding me. I started finding books recommended by woodworkers I admired and then combing the bibliographies of those books to find that source material. The size of my personal library grew, now somewhere in the range of 250 books.
And the more I've read, and the more I've paged through volumes of furniture, the more I've realized that god dammit Chris you're right, alongside the nail head, the clocked slotted screw just looks like it belongs and the rest, phillips, square, torx, or hex, they stand out like a red devil in a crowd of nuns.
A few days ago I picked up some replacement slot headed wood screws, and I replaced the crappy phillips screws, and now my obsessiveness can move on to a different victim. Oh until I have a chance to redo to redo the compartments in the bottom level of my chest. turns out over time I was wrong about them too. . .
Ratione et Passionis
I had no ready answer, for I too struggle constantly to achieve accuracy and "squareness" in my work.
There is no one way to achieve accuracy; one has to constantly work at it. Perhaps practice and experience makes working more accurate. Today, my work is far more accurate than it was a few years ago although, as I mentioned, I am far from perfect.
Inaccuracies can arise due to various reasons including inaccurate cutting or measuring tools, incorrect marking or measuring, wood movement and so on.
|Get accurate measuring tools and be careful about how you measure|
A few tips could make cutting and sizing wood more accurate.
1. Get good measuring tools
Most of us rely on the tape measure, which unfortunately is not always accurate, and this is true of other cheap rulers, squares and so on. I prefer to use folding rules when I need to measure something for cutting. When choosing rulers and squares the best are the "satin chrome" ones because they are easy to read and non-reflective. When marking, place the edge of the rule on the work to avoid parallax.
|Instead of relying an a tape masure for accurate measurement switch to a rule of some king|
2. Gang up your pieces
When I need to cut two pieces to the exact same length, I find it easier to gang up the two pieces by clamping them together and cutting them at one go. This is better than measuring each piece individually and cutting them one by one.
|When marking or cutting two identical pieces, gang them up|
3. Use a Marking Knife and Gauge
For joinery always use sharp gauges and marking knives and not rely on pencil marks.
|Good quality marking tools such as a marking gauge and knife are essential|
4. Use a hand Plane
A saw is often not a tool for fine work. Even a circular saw with guides can be a few millimetres off; a cross cut might not turn out to be perfectly square. The best way to fix minor inaccuracies is with a sharp hand plane. A shooting board can guarantee squareness more accurately than even the average chop saw.
5. Check for square
Once your pieces have been cut, check each one for squareness on all sides. At times, I have been frustrated by joining pieces of plywood that are not perfectly square and ending up with twisted or ill-fitting assemblies. Don't assume that plywood cuts are square - only two sides (top and bottom) are parallel to each other but the sides and ends are often not square or perfectly flat. Double check and fine tune with a hand plane if necessary.
|Keep a large saw of some kind at hand to check for square at every stage|
6.Correct bows and Sags
Board material especially plywood is prone to bowing, cupping and sagging. An unnoticeable bow can cause problems of squareness and ill-fitting joints. These problems can be corrected by clamping a straight piece of wood to the bowed piece prior to measuring, cutting or assembly.
|If a board bows its length will decrease; adjust for this or try to straighten the piece|
7. Repair Errors
Gaps, misalignments, protuberances and so on can all be corrected with a bit of imagination. I do not hesitate to fill gaps with wood slivers and glue when needed and often plane down protruding sides. Thin sheets of wood can be glued on to misaligned parts and then planed down to produce the desired surface. Fixing errors is part of the woodworker's craft and rather fun too.
I hope this post helps Kaushik Nath. Good luck to him .
18 September 2017
Note: This is the second of a series. The third will deal with mitered and rounded corners. Measure Be sure you take into account any desired overhangs at the front or end of a cabinet run (or table base) as well as radiused corners, and be sure you note the farthest points in all cases (such as areas along the length of a wall where the wall dips in), to make […]
You can now order a pre-publication copy of “From Truths to Tools” in the Lost Art Press store. The book will ship in early or mid-November 2017. The book is $25, which includes free shipping to customers in the United States and Canada. All customers who order the book before Nov. 7 will receive a free and immediate pdf download of the entire book.
You can download an excerpt of the book via this link:
Here’s what the book is about:
Good books give you a glimpse of small truths – about workbenches, joinery or sharpening, for example. Great books, on the other hand, stitch together seemingly disparate ideas to present a new way of looking at the world as a whole, from your marking awl, to your hand or to the line of the horizon.
“From Truths to Tools” by Jim Tolpin and George Walker is a hand-illustrated work that masquerades as a children’s book. There are funny drawings. There aren’t a lot of words. You can read the entire 208-page book in one sitting.
But “From Truths to Tools” somehow explains the craft, the entire physical world, our language and geometry in a way that makes you feel like the authors have revealed a huge secret to you. One that has been sitting in front of you your entire life.
The book begins with an explanation of a circle and a single point and show how those simple ideas can be used to create an entire set of layout tools – a try square, a straightedge, dividers etc. that allow you to build furniture.
Once you understand the language behind your tools, very complicated things become easy to understand. Compound joinery. Fitting odd miters. Making curves that taper.
And once you get those ideas in your head, it’s a short hop to how those same ideas can be applied to building anything of any shape imaginable – skyscrapers, boats, bridges. When you can calculate if a tree will hit you when you fell it in the forest you’ll be able to calculate the circumference of the earth.
“From Truths to Tools” is the third book from the geometry-loving team of Jim Tolpin and George Walker. Their first book “By Hand & Eye” makes the case that simple whole-number ratios are the underpinning to the built world and our furniture. The second book, “By Hound & Eye” gives you the exercises that open your eyes to the way geometry and ratios govern our world. And the third, “From Truths to Tools,” shows how geometry creates our tools and, once understood, leads to a deeper grasp of the things we build, the world around us and even our language.
“From Truths to Tools” is printed in the United States to exacting standards. The pages are sewn and glued so the book will last a long time and can rest flat on your bench. The pages are protected by heavy paper-covered boards. The book is designed to last several generations.
As always, we hope our retailers in North America and elsewhere will carry the book, but the decision is up to them. So as of today, we don’t know which retailers will stock it.
— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com
Filed under: From Truths to Tools, Uncategorized
If you’re paying attention you might know by now I will be one of the presenters at the upcoming Colonial Williamsburg annual conference Working Wood in the 18th Century, January 25-28, 2018.
I have two time slots, the first being a discussion of the acouterments of a Parisian woodworking atelier in the late 18th century, including Roubo workbenches and ripple molding machines. If all goes well we will be demonstrating these machines, making ripple molding right there on stage. My second session will be the concluding presentation of the conference IIRC, reviewing and demonstrating the practice of woodfinishing of the era.
I hope to see you there. Say “Hi” if you make it.
Varnishers of The World, Unite!