Finally got that video I mentioned about spoon carving up. I was having some trouble with youtube, but it's solved now.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
|Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Montreal.|
|Ah the Schtroumpfs, also known stateside as the Smurfs. Interesting translation.|
|The French Pirates, quite good.|
|Dovetails hidden by molding.|
|Drawbored mortise and tenon in a cabinet door.|
|Blanket chest (or tool chest?)|
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Below I included a picture to show the variations in side profile I tried with this batch. The deep one is the flat front scoop pictured above, and the straight is one of the small spoons near the hook knife.
For these spoons I took down a small Maple sapling, maybe 3-4" diameter at the base, and roughed out this batch within the first hour of having it down. Sometimes I forget how much easier greenwood is to work than the dry or semi-dry stuff I have laying around. With these small, fairly straight spoons I can get close to the 10 minute mark for a halfway decent spoon. I might do a video later today in real-time of carving one.
The trouble with working in an outdoor "shop" as I prefer to do in the summer is that it's hard to get much done when it rains. I could buy one of those cheap pop up tents, to keep the sun and rain off, but that just doesn't appeal to me that much. And it's not critical that I can keep working on my little projects day in and out, since they're not making me any money.
So, because I have no pictures and only unedited video of the thing I've been working on the last few days, here is a great video of (I believe) Swedish woodworking in the late twenties: Link This includes a clog maker, spoon carver, and chair makers. They all work with a great deal of efficiency and precision, and with a fairly small tool kit. Enjoy!
Sunday, August 07, 2011
After I got back from NH, I decided that I needed a couple of things. I ordered up a plane sack for my Veritas plow plane, because it's a bit awkward to store safely. I'm thinking about getting sacks for my other planes as well now that I've seen that these are pretty nicely made. I could also just buy gun sacks, made from the same stuff (3 for $15), and cut and stitch them to the appropriate lengths. Because I left my framing square up north, I also decided to try out one of the Japanese squares that Lee Valley sells, in addition to a nice precise 12" rule (made by Shinwa, not pictured). While I was on the site, I saw that Lee Valley was running a special on Narex bevel edge chisels, with even lands. I could use a decent set of chisels, all of mine are crummy butt chisels I've collected. I decided to pull the trigger, since I have the Narex mortise chisels and have been pleased with them. I went for the set of four, because I don't need any more (and these four are probably more than enough).
You can see here after a couple of flattening strokes on each what kind of shape they were in. Apart from the 3/4", all of these flattened up relatively easily. The 3/4" will flatten out gradually as I sharpen it in the future, but for the time being I used something resembling "the ruler trick" to just flatten a narrow strip right behind the cutting edge. I sharpened up to 600 grit DMT, stropped and packed them away in my new canvas roll. Interestingly, the 1/2" felt the best in my hand as far as balance...hard to put into words, but it just feels incredibly elegant and nimble. The lands aren't quite as narrow as I was hoping (and as appeared in the renderings on the site), but they will do. I also wouldn't mind seeing a steeper angle on the bevels, as it is they wouldn't go too far for clearing the insides of dovetails, which is the only joint that I commonly cut where a bevel edge is a boon. But maybe I'm asking too much of a set of chisels that I paid less than $10 a piece for.
A few words on the square: I bought this thinking it would make a nice lightweight framing square. As soon as I went to use it to lay out some datum on a stick, however, I discovered that it's no good for the way I work. In NH where I learned to lay out datum (the ideal reference planes projected through the timber), we worked from the inside of the square, using the scale on the inside of the tongue for marking the top and side measurements. The Japanese square is only graduated on the outside edges, making it difficult to use in this fashion. It will still be a handy small square, but will probably see a lot less use than my regular framing square because the framing square will be around for other tasks anyways.
I handled a couple of the Shinwa 12" rules in NH, and so when I decided I needed to replace my Staedtler rule (nothing inherently wrong with it, but it's not ideal for carpentry) I thought first of the Shinwa. I decided to go ahead and order the Lee Valley cabinet maker's rule, and when it arrived I was surprised to see that it was in fact the Shinwa. Very nice rule. Precision graduations to 64ths on one scale, just in case, and overall a nice precision stainless steel rule. I forgot that I had ordered it at all, until I was pulling my receipt out from under the packing paper in the box and discovered it, hence the exclusion from photos. I even got to put it to some use setting the fence on the table saw at work, much more accurate than the tape measure.
Monday, August 01, 2011
Sorry for the gap in posting. We started to get down to the wire, working upwards of 12 hours each day, and I didn't have the energy or the particular inclination to get on to post. So I'm going to put up the last few days in one post.
We assembled one truss, got it upright and stabilized, then assembled and righted the other truss. The trick to these was making sure they went up on rollers on the timber track that some of the crew constructed earlier in the week. Once they were both up, we could install the tie beams with the knee braces, install the floor joists and decking, and finally install the rafters. We got the roof sheathed in 1x, and got some good bracing in place for the locals that will roof the bridge. All of this done, the riggers Grigg 2 and Grigg 3 prepared to roll the bridge over the falseworks and drop it in place. Stable on the rollers and rigged up to a Tirfor, a large winch-like device, it slowly crawled into place. It was jacked up, the falseworks removed (the timbers from which became a raft and a log rolling game for me and a few others), and it was settled into place on some Black Locust blocks.
Will Truax, professional bridgewright, trimming a joint with a Gransfors forest axe.
The Timber Framer's Guild, looking on.