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I want to apologise to all my readers of HANDWORK for not releasing the third issue in a timely fashion. It’s very hard to do so because of my current job. It’s a juggling act and the balls are falling all over the place.
Writing this magazine is probably the best thing I have ever ventured into. I know firsthand the benefits in terms of knowledge I have personally gained, and the many benefits others have gained according to the emails of support I have received since releasing the first issue.
It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination. Dedicating the time needed to build then write about the build is most difficult.
As we near Christmas things get busy at work and I may have to work 7 days a week for the next couple of months. It’s crazy I know and the money isn’t so incredible either. It sure is no way to live.
I’ve started this magazine with good intentions and I had no idea that its popularity would rise so quickly. May be because it’s free or may be this is what people really want. But it isn’t possible for me on my own to continue the way I am without ending up in a hospital bed due to exhaustion and being financially strained as well, even though, I’m working inhumane hours to do both and be expected to not walk around looking like a zombie or end up being a corpse.
I have given this much thought and I think I ought to take a leap of faith, go out on a limb and turn it into a business and work it full time. Ha! easier said then done due to lack of finance. Giving up my job till I can earn enough from the magazine if any for that matter to sustain my household is a big risk I’m not willing to take. Instead, I would like to take baby steps. With that I mean setting a price on the fourth issue. With the income earned from that I can expand and pay contributing authors for the fifth issue. The money earned from subsequent issues I can begin with some prize giveaways and I’m not talking about some cheap shabby cruddy cheap tool either. I’m not going to be stingy about any of this.
If you’re all willing to give this a shot, we will have a good hand tool only woodworking magazine. I cannot do this without your support. The price I’m contemplating to be around US$5.00. Please don’t gruel me out for charging in US dollars as Veritas is a Canadian company and they only charge online in US dollars as their dollar isn’t worth much just like the Aussie dollar. I think this price is fair and much less than current woodworking magazines on the market.
Let me know your thoughts it would be interesting to hear them.
P.S. All the articles besides the moulding plane build is finished. I have just begun writing the article because I have finished the build only last week. Yes I know its been slow but blame it on my job and also blame it on the high cost of shipping O1 tool steel. The shipping costs are twice and in some cases three times the price of the steel. I’ve also devoured just about every engineering place in my locality hoping to lower the costs a bit and they too made a hefty profit from me. I wore the cost. So what I’m saying is that I had to stash a little aside every week just to pay the high costs of shipping and there’s the conversion rate and credit card fees on top. Geez have I missed any other fees?
I got an email yesterday from someone saying I didn’t make those mistakes on purpose. Seriously, do you have nothing better to do with your life than call people liars? Just to prove mines bigger than yours I made some new dovetails. Well moron did I pass? Am I a craftsman now? Will you be sending me a merits badge? You should be happy I named the pictures after you, moron_1 and moron_2.
I know I should ignore people like that but today was a test of patience day and I ran on empty.
You may look at the photos and say wow dude that looks like crap. Sure does and intentionally. I purposefully made some gaps in these dovetails as an experiment to see if Hot Hide Glue would fill up the gaps.
I filled the gaps with saw dust first and then covered the surface with the glue. It took somewhere between 30-60 mins before the glue hardened. I know from experience with liquid hide that it should remain gummy for a couple of day if left on the surface, I think the urea has something to with the slow curing but I’m not entirely sure. However, this isn’t the case with HHG and I actually didn’t know that before.
The glue has been hardening for about 5 hours now and I didn’t want to wait till tomorrow to see how it’s going. So I’ve done the finger nail test and pressed into the gap. Sure enough it’s rock solid.
I know it’s appalling and none of us ever wants our dovetails to turn out like this, but it is nice to know that on the off chance we make a small blunder and have a small gap nothing as big as this I hope, that if packed with a little bit of saw dust covered with HHG that it will work. I also sanded most of the glue away and the glue is still holding the dust as it seeped through the gaps and solidified the dust.
Well another effective examination wrapped up, another myth demystified and something new learned.
I see innumerable recordings on YouTube innocently giving out the wrong information on the ratio mix of water to granules. Why are there so many mislead? My own particular musings to this is were all gaining from each other. In the event that one source puts out deluding data, at that point it spreads like an infection tainting thousands consistently. My issue with some YouTube recordings is the mundane, relentless, unconcerned, easygoing, detached demeanor they take towards the art.
For this situation I will just allude to shroud stick. You hear words like “oh I don’t measure how much water I use, I just pour it in and cover the surface.” That’s not by any stretch of the imagination how it goes and the reason they say this, is they don’t realize what is the right proportion blend.
On the off chance that you’ve perused my magazines you will see antiquated articles revealing to you the right proportion blend is 1:1. It doesn’t state what looks great to the eye. They additionally don’t take this nonchalant disposition towards the art where I’ve heard some say on the off chance that if it looks square then it must be square. I believe this attitude is just an exterior facade to influence the viewer into believing or at least make it appear that hand tools are a no fuss operation. Rip it and tidy up the edge with a couple of swipes of your plane and Bob’s you uncle. This is implausible, unrealistic woodworking.
Today is my roster day off so I don’t want to spend too much time on this as I’m under the gun to go back to the build for the third issue. So I’ll simply demonstrate to you a progression of photograph’s and afterward you’ll realise what the right proportion blend resembles.
Lo-and-behold I didn’t take a photo of it mixed! Unbelievable. I’ll try to describe it to you, but if you mix 1:1 you’ll see what it looks like. The water level should just cover the surface of the granules. Not flood it or drown it but just cover it.
What’s additionally imperative is the nature of the granules and I’m referring to its quality. I purchase mine from Patrick Edwards; he gets it from Milligan and Higgins. I don’t know Behlen items whether they utilize Milligans and Higgins and simply slap their own particular mark on it or on the off chance that they make their own. In any case, Milligans and Higgins is a trusted and experience organisation and if it’s sufficient for Patrick an incredible Marqueter with 40+ years of knowledge and experience at that point it’s adequate for me.
If I’ve offended someone in this post then toughen 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.
The heading is a little misleading as I don’t know the correct word for it, but the picture will put you in the know as to what I’m referring too.
I’ve been cleaning up my bench top, you know flattening it and taking out as many scores as I could. This morning I decided to replace the timber on my vice and locating the holes with the vice installed got me stumped for a good 5 mins. Measuring in from the side and top was an option, but then I remembered I had these dowel centre finders, but they were a little too small and kept falling out. So I used masking tape to temporarily hold them in place while I pricked the board. It takes the guess work out of locating the holes which may lead to potential misalignment.
Now isn’t she pretty. I couldn’t take out all the knife marks, chisel marks and drill holes and but she looks better than what she was before. I’m such a pig of a woodworker.
Time for a new decent workbench is long overdue and I’m going to start saving up for it. I know it’s going to be close to 2 metres long, space permitting. I also know I want a tail vice and since I’ve never built one I rightly don’t know if I should attempt it or just buy this neat little one from HNT Gordon.
It looks OK and I reckon it will do the trick, but I think a traditional vice would suit me better. To make moulding planes I can clamp them them vertically, also if I needed to bore a hole in the end grain I can clamp them vertically. For carving they also work like a dream and I’m sure I would find many more uses for it. But there’s a catch I won’t be able to install another face vice as the tail vice will be in the way for re sawing or clamping large panels. Having a bandsaw suffices 99% of my re sawing needs, but what about those wide panels where it’s too wide for a bandsaw? I may have to make a small bench just for that like the one Roubo shows, but that also means eating up precious shop space for something that won’t be used on a regular basis unless I sell my bandsaw which I don’t foresee that happening in this life or the next. In fact, I’ll take it with me to the afterlife, that’s how useful that machine is. The only two useful machines I have in my shop is my lathe and bandsaw. I don’t ever use my portable thicknesser and I don’t know why I still have it.
I will keep the current going through the lathe until I can figure out how to make a treadle lathe spin 2000 rpm. I’ve seen many foot powered lathes work and I don’t how people are not frustrated with it. Greg Merritt recently built his and he’s having a ball with it, but who knows maybe if I tried one I too would like it.
Here is a picture of a model bench I found on the net I would like to base mine on.
Lastly on vices, I still haven’t decided if I should make one or buy one with a quick release. My current vice is a quick release dawn, but it’s making a clicking sound since I did that glue test of trying to snap the board with it. Amazing isn’t it how strong this glue is. Ever since I figured out that it needs thinning it’s been my go to glue.
I’ve been blogging a lot lately and that’s because I’ve had three weeks off work. Sadly I haven’t won the lottery to make it permanent so I’m back on this weekend. I won’t be as active as I was but that’s life ain’t it.
Just to let you know I still have a fair way to go in finishing Issue III. I’m going to include the moulding planes build which I hope you will enjoy. I’ve been reading some of the comments people are writing about the magazine on other forums. Many people like it, but there are some who want a magazine that’s written for advanced woodworkers. I have always stated from the very beginning at opening this blog that I’m not catering towards the beginners. However, I do realize that we were all beginners at one stage and I should and will cater for all. In truth, there is only so much one can write about the craft before you end up repeating yourself. What I don’t want to do is write about how to saw, or using reference edges for your squares.
I have included many useful articles in the magazine about various topics. I understand not every topic would be of interest to everyone and advanced or not you will learn something new. I know I have and still do everyday. The topics written by me are my own experiences and findings I have learned and discovered over the years through use, the topics written by others are their own and the topics written by our ancients are the most experienced and most beneficial to us. I have said this in the past, who can know more about working with their hands than those guys who worked it everyday 150 years and more ago. That’s why I put them in and will continue to do so as long as this magazine is active.
I will include many projects from clock making to building furniture. I’m not a wonder boy but I will do the best I can. However, finding new contributing authors has proven to be more difficult than I had previously thought. I thank Greg, Brian and Josh for their contributions and I also thank Matt for his contributions. These guys really gave it all they had for the love of the craft. “Give and you shall receive.” I would love women to also contribute articles, I know according to the statistics on this blog and my YouTube account that it’s only 3% that are actively viewing. I’m sure this percentage is probably larger elsewhere and if it is why not showoff your skills and contribute.
One last final point I really need to make clear. I’m not interested in portraying myself as a know it all. I know people on YouTube and other blogs where they are deriving an income from it, have to make themselves appear that they are flawless and a walking encyclopedia of woodworking knowledge. I never want to head down that road irrespective I’m making money from the craft or not. I think that image portrayal is bullshit, it’s the biggest load of crock and I don’t want it. I’m me, I’m down to earth, I’m honest, hard working and fallible. I make mistakes like everyone else and I certainly don’t know everything, but I learn something new everyday. I want to be the best I can be and genuinely want the same for you.
So there it is in a nutshell, nothing is perfect, no one is perfect and this magazine is not perfect, but I did pour my heart and soul into it. If given the financial resources and time to put into it, I know I could make it better.
Is that wishful thinking, I wonder.
This afternoon I was gluing a part of the grip I sawed off back on the moulding plane. While I was gluing up I thought to myself, how much simpler it is to use these small dispensable bottles than it would be using those large ones that come with the glue.
It’s easier to hold in my hand and I actually use less. Old Brown Glue on the right will expire on 17th of this month, however it doesn’t mean that it will go off in three days. I’ve kept in a cool dark place for the last 12 months. If it’s runny out of the bottle and it isn’t a hot day then it’s probably gone off, but that still isn’t a good indication if it has. I usually go by smell and hide glue if gone off has the smell of a dead carcass.
I buy 50 ml (1.75 ounces) bottles from a $2 store, not sure what you would call it overseas. For hide glue, heating it up in a small bottle is quicker than it is in the large standard bottle. It’s also cheaper to buy the large 20 oz bottle than it is to buy their smaller ones. I know people prefer to buy small bottles of the stuff but it’s not good economics to do so. If you use the stuff regularly then you will have many refills at a fraction of the price and your not throwing your money on what costs a lot and that is shipping fees.
Once the bottle empties don’t throw it in the bin, unless you’ve emptied the large ones. If you have, don’t refill the smaller bottles with newer fresh glue because these glues are organic and you don’t want to contaminate fresh glue with old glue.
Here’s something that’s going to blow your socks off. I just had a delivery from Star Track. The driver is an owner driver (contractor), he told me that a small parcel costs $1.40 to deliver in my case it was a DVD. I paid $12 for this delivery! So think about it, I pay $40 for shipping for the fish glue and $20 for OBG because it was within Australia. Imagine how much I save because I buy the larger bottles than if I had of purchased the smaller one several times in a year.
If you’ve read issue two of HANDWORK you’ll understand why it’s a pain to sharpen thick A2 and O1 irons. It’s a necessary evil, but one that can be slightly minimised though.
After re sawing a board you’re left with a rough surface and I can’t tell you how painful it is to put a freshly sharpened thick iron it. So, by chance I happened to find a cheap Stanley in my shed. I don’t know when I got it or how much I paid for it but it was there sitting in the bottom of my old toolbox in OK condition.
I cleaned it up and flattened the bottom and didn’t do anything else to it. The iron sharpened in a jiffy because it’s thin. I don’t do any finish planing with it, I use it just to take the roughness out and then finish the board off with the rest of my planes.
I still have to sharpen several times in a day, but prepping the board with this cheapy means I save on a couple of trips to the sharpening station.
One of the topics that will be covered in the third issue of The Lost Scrolls of HANDWORK will be moulding planes. I’ll show you step by step method of building a pair of No.4 hollow and round using the French build method of the 18th century. It’s a lot easier building a pair of no.14 than it is the more useful smaller ones like the no.4.
The French method is about the cutting a Rebate/Rabbet so you can make the mortise and then laminate that cut off part back on. So there will be some sawing to do and that part isn’t all that easy. For one you need to sset the saw kerf perfectly straight and then maintain a vertical angle throughout the cut. One way you could do this is to use a kerfing plane, but since I don’t have one and really don’t need one a shoulder plane works very well. I do plan on making a kerfing plane in the future, but for now I know I don’t need it.
The first thing you need to do is strike a line about a 32nd in from the desired depth.
Then with the shoulder plane or a rabbet plane if you have one lean the plane to the left side to create a kerf for the saw to rest in. Do this a few times but not too many unless you’ve allowed plenty of over hang which I’ll go into more detail in the article.
Once your satisfied that you have a deep enough kerf, place your saw in it and very lightly pull back whilst maintaining an upright vertical position. Use the saws reflection to judge by eye if your vertical or not. I’m refraining from using the word “perfectly” vertical. I know it’s not possible to be perfectly anything working by hand so do the best you can and try and be 90° to the surface.
Tip: If you need aid use a small square and lean your saw onto it as you pull back.
Repeat this two or three times and start sawing. Remember you bodies posture to ensure your keeping your saw straight. Don’t force the saw and don’t press down either. Let the weight of the saw do it’s job. Always keep an eye on both ends, another words stop periodically sawing and check to see if you are straight. The first 1/8″ is the most critical, if you get that right then the saw will continue to be straight throughout the rest of the cut. Unfortunately what I just said only applies when your sawing the cheeks and not to the shoulder. The cheek is the longest part and the material has sandwiched the saw which is serving as a helping hand to keep your cuts accurate. You can still stuff up though and wonder in the cut so keep your wits about you at all times.
Your saw will tell you if you begin to wander off your line, that’s the beauty of hand tools. The saw will begin to hang or bind in the cut, that’s an indication that you moved or are moving off the line.
You’re also need to clean out the dust between the teeth as you periodically stop to check on your progress, and don’t forget to blow out as much dust from the kerf as you can. Oil or use candle wax a gazillion times to make sawing easier. Remember the saw plate is sandwiched and there is a lot of friction going on.
As you can see in the picture below I’m 32nd off the line and straight as a ruler. I’ll finish it with a small shoulder plane. In fact this method is no different to when your make a knife wall for your crosscuts.
That is nice and straight. If you don’t achieve that first go, don’t fret too much over it as I don’t make perfect cuts all day everyday. We do stuff up and it’s all fixable. Remember though “practice makes permanent.” If you don’t know what I’m talking about read the second issue.
In the picture below you repeat the same for the cheeks as you did for the shoulder.
There will always be a need to clean things up with a shoulder or rabbet plane. You can even use a block plane and then finish it off with a chisel.
The point is though that you’ve cut down on a lot of cleaning and rabbeting woes using this method. It’s fool proof in my view, but that’s my view and probably you have a different opinion or better yet, a much better method of executing this operation.
In case you do don’t hesitate to offer your suggestment. I’m always open to learn a better way of doing things or just learning something new.
Maybe you’ve heard of him or maybe you haven’t. His name is Bill Carter an Englishman gentleman, 77 years old and still makes planes by hand.
He makes wooden planes of all sorts including miniature moulding planes and he also makes infill planes and once again all by hand. No machinery used to cut the metal dovetails. A simple hacksaw, a blunt chisel and a file is all he needs to produce beautiful and very antique looking planes.
They’re not cheap though and I wouldn’t expect them to be, but as an investment if you could afford them they’re worth every penny.
On his website he shows how he makes them, a lot of great tips so worth a look.
After he’s gone these planes will be worth 4 times the price and it will only increase in value. It will be a sad day though as he’s probably the last tool maker who purely works by hand.
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’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.
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.
I built this for my wife oh about two decades ago for her 20th birthday, how time flies. My daughter has this now and it’s in tact and it hasn’t fallen apart nor has the stain faded. It looks the same as the day it was made.
I made it from radiata pine and stained it with rosewood mahogany. The finish I used was my dad’s 15 year old automotive clear lacquer. They say old paint won’t stick but it hasn’t worn off after 20 years unlike the gloss I bought 15 years from a big box store. That’s the difference between industrial made finishes and the finishes made for the DIY’s.
Some of my woody friends said the rails will snap because there isn’t much meat due to the scrolled leaves. I suppose they would of snapped if you stood on the table or even sat in the middle, but if you use it as it’s supposed to be used then it won’t and it hasn’t and never will.
The moral of this story is:
Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Don’t fret too much over structural integrity, even nails (cut nails) will hold a toolbox together for a couple of hundred years.
I build a table back then that 5 ft square, it was a split top hinged lidded table. We used to place DVD’s in one half and children’s toys in the other. It was held together with wooden nails and the tabletop was doweled at 2″ spacing. My kids were jumping on it, dancing and even I who was overweight then stood and jumped on it several times, the darn thing never broke.
If the table was built from chipboard it would of snapped like a twig. If it was built from MDF it would’ve snapped like a twig. That’s why IKEA furniture and any furniture made from chipboard and MDF rarely last very long.
Here is a short video of fish glue flowing off the stick. Watching is sometimes the best description.
I just purchased a Bahco file set from workshopheaven. I chose this set because it was cheaper to buy as a set than individually plus you get a tool roll with it with an additional two pockets to fit my other two files.
I usually avoid sets of any type as you don’t get what you want, but I was very lucky that they offered exactly what I wanted.
The set comprises:
- 150mm Smooth Cut. A high quality double-cut smooth hand file, made from alloyed high-carbon tool steel. 6″ (150mm) from shoulder to tip, 15.7mm wide, 4.0mm thick, with parallel sides, one safe edge and one single cut edge.
- 150mm Engineering Second Cut Round. A true rat tail file, straight for 1/3 of the toothed surface at 6mm diameter, and then gently tapered for the remaining two thirds, down to about 4mm diameter at the tip. Second cut toothing provides rapid material removal and, with care, a surface that requires little or no further finishing.
- 150mm Engineering Second Cut Half Round. Possibly the most versatile file you will ever own, for flats, hollows and sneaking into corners, the perfect combination of efficient cutting and a clean finish.
- 150mm Smooth Cut Feather Edge File. Strictly speaking the Bahco ‘wasa’ feather edged file is designed for sharpening saws, but it is one of those tools for which you soon find a multitude of other uses. The combination of shallow profile and very fine teeth create a superb finish in places that other files cannot reach.
Each file is fitted with a wonderfully comfortable Holtzapffel pattern Walnut handle with solid brass ferule.
Free 6 pocket Canvas Tool Roll to keep your files clean and tidy, with room for a couple more.
What interested me was the feather edge file aka “wasa” what ever that means. The seller claims it’s designed to sharpen saws. What type of saws? It got my eye when I browsed through his website and am lucky it appeared in the set. It looks interesting and I’m looking forward in seeing first hand as to how it performs. It has very fine teeth and they claim it gives and unbelievably smooth finish. I wonder? The only file I forgot to add to the list was a square cut. Oh well next time I suppose.
Files are really one of the most useful tools in the shop and not just for metal work.
It cost me with shipping around AU$85 (British pounds 52). I noticed PayPal currency converter isn’t correct or they choose to charge you more. I took a gamble and used my card’s currency converter as they didn’t state how much it would be. Ironic isn’t it? It paid off as I saved $5.
It’s a shame I cannot locate individual Bahco files in Australia. Bahco files are as good as the old Nicholson’s once were. Nicholson today produces rubbish. I bought some over a year ago and not only didn’t they perform well, but blunted very quickly. After Paul Sellers recommended Bahco I never looked backed since.
The sad state of many tool shops and probably this is a worldwide epidemic of the uneducated clueless salespeople, is that they don’t know the quality of the tools that their selling. If they did, they wouldn’t stock Nicholson and therefore it would force Nicholson to improve their standards. Clueless salespeople mislead clueless people and if a clued on person challenges them, then they’re ignored and brushed off to the side.
I could of kept my money within Australia but instead I was forced to go overseas. Financially it’s a loss for both, materialistically I got the best. I will always buy the highest quality tool I can afford, and if I can’t afford it now then I will patiently save up for it and buy it when I can. I will never settle for second best, those I leave for everyone else.
24 hours has passed since I edge glued a test piece with Lee Valley’s Cod fish glue.
I must admit I was nervous that it would fail because I thinned it. I tried squeezing it in my vice and I think I may have buggered my vice, it’s now making some clicking sound. I changed the strategy and placed the panel flat in the vice and got some multi grips. Finally I managed to break it and it was no where near the glue line as you can see in the picture below. Also notice in the second picture that it’s virtually impossible to spot the glue line.
I think the results speak for itself. Fish glue is truly as good as any PVA on the market strength wise however, it does take a full 24 hours to fully cure and I don’t think that in truth is any different to any other PVA on the market.
I am also of the opinion that instrument makers who have not had much success with it either, used an inferior version or didn’t thin it and therefore the glue had lumps. Lumps will not allow a join to completely seat itself and also the glue won’t be absorbed by the timber.
For us blokes going bald or are bald a simple towel will suffice, but they’re not just for drying hair.
We use them on wood too. Don’t let your wife or daughter catch you using her’s just buy a cheapy.
So what can they be used for?
If you’re using animal protein glues and you know your glue up is going to take a little longer than usual that ‘s where a hair dryer can be useful. Heat up the parts that need to be glued. The open time will be slightly longer and the adhesion will be better.
If you’re using Fish glue, the recommended clamping time is 12 hours. Once 12hrs has passed you sometimes notice the glue line feels a little tacky. That’s normal with fish glue as the exposed glue line hasn’t fully cured to a hard state. It’s still structurally sound, bonded and workable. Not much different to some PVA’s where you only need to clamp for 4 hours before you can begin working on it and the same rule applies to fish glue. It will still take 24 hrs before the glue has fully cured. However, to get rid of the tackiness a hair dryer works quickly. You only need to use it for less than minute to dry it.
I wouldn’t recommend using it to dry your finishes even though some people actually do.
In regards to yesterdays post on thinning fish glue. This morning I unclamped the test pieces. 12 hrs did pass and the glue line was tacky, so I used the hairdryer to dry it to the touch. The results are no gaps due to lumpiness, I thinned it to the right consistency, and the bond is super strong. I will let it sit for another 12 hrs to fully cure and then try to break the edge bond. I’ll use a clamp or stick it in my vice to break it apart. If it breaks along the glue line then it failed, but if it breaks anywhere else, then it’s a success.
This will be my final test with fish glue. I really don’t expect it to fail.
Here is a jointer plane for sale in Oz, it’s a steel at $100 because it’s in mint condition. I laughed at his reason for selling it ” because he has too many planes and he doesn’t use a jointer very often.” Really? Sounds like a machinist and has several smoothers.
This is going to be a very short post, but I want to share a finding with you. I purchased 1 litre bottle of fish glue from Lee Valley. The day it arrived was the day I put it to use. The glue’s consistency is very thick, and I tried it as is on two moulding planes I made. The results were poor. It’s not that it’s not doing its job, that part is fine. It held on strong and still holding strong, but it needs thinning prior to use. I knew that all along but since I’ve had previous success with it with their tiny bottled version I didn’t think it would make any difference, but I was wrong. Like any glue it should flow like maple syrup as they say, I’ve never actually seen maple syrup but I know what it should flow like as I use hide glue.
So, today I thinned it by eye, I can’t say exactly how many percentages you should thin it by, but it should flow off your brush or stick or whatever you’re using like maple syrup. Not too thick and not too thin.The results immediately showed a remarkable improvement. It flowed and spread easily with no lumps that caused the two pieces not to fully close. Another words not show any gaps. By adding water to any glue your taking away it’s strength, but to render it useless would be to add too much water.
Remember you have to add water to hide glue but only enough to take away the lumps. I’ve set the pieces aside to dry and will check it in the morning. It’s spring here, and it’s slowly warming up so I’ll see if it’s still holding strong in a weeks time. I don’t have any reason for it not too.
You may wonder why all the fuss with fish glue as I normally use hide glue. Well, to be honest it’s sheer laziness on my part. The part about preparing hide glue and heating it up, OK I have liquid hide glue as well and that too is a pain as I need to heat it up and keep it heated to 140° F (60°C). It’s easier to use liquid hide than regular hide because it’s open time is longer.
With fish glue you use it in it’s cold state just like regular glue and if I’m confident in it’s holding abilities like I am with hide glue, then I’ll make the switch. So far this glue hasn’t let me down but I need to use it for a while to be certain of all it’s pro’s and con’s.
Is all this fuss really necessary? White glue and yellow glue work fine.
I think the fuss is necessary if your building fine items that’s going to end up in some antique roadshow or shop in a hundred years time. I glue all my clocks with hide glue and furniture I built prior to clocks I used regular glue. None of it was reproduction antiques except for the hotel I built for.
You have to ask yourself. Are you building furniture that it recyclable or furniture that is exquisite and made to last?
In this modern age of consumerism, women mostly like to replace their furniture every 24 months and many would like to replace it every six months if they could afford it. So when you think about it; do you really think it’s going to end up in some antique shop or someone is going to bother themselves to repair it? No, it will end up at the city dump like most items.
Like I said earlier, unless your building something extraordinary like a secretary, highboy, fancy clocks or you do veneer work, all this unnecessary extra expenditure on glue pots and paying the ridiculously high costs of both fish and hide isn’t worth it. Rather invest your money into timber or a new tool or even some video or book where you will learn something that will benefit you in the long run than on these glues.
You know how much I love these glues and I won’t stop using them, but the truth is the truth and there’s no point in deluding yourselves to think otherwise.