Monday, September 26, 2011
Because my car is dead right now, I took a train into Boston and met up with my friend Emma and her dad, and we all drove up to Lancaster. Saturday morning we were treated to a wonderful breakfast, including bagels cut on the shop's bandsaw. The main events of the day were a talk presenting load considerations when designing a timber frame structure, followed by either scribing a small trailside shelter or a guided tour or a historic barn nearby. I decided to stick around for the scribing workshop, which began with mapping out a scribing floor.
At the Chester bridge project that I worked on, we did not use a scribing floor or any other similar locating techniques, instead measuring diagonals and pulling off of reference points to locate our timbers in the lay-ups. In this case, however, we had the luxury of a scribing floor built before hand. This floor is level and flat, and has the full scale blue print for the East bent drawn onto it using points and chalk lines. Using this floor, putting the timbers into position is quick and easy. All that needs to be done is line the timbers up over the lines on the floor using plumb lines, no math or checking diagonals or anything else necessary.
Another bent was laid-up in the workshop at the mill, with a map drawn on the floor in there.
With very few additions to this tool kit, I could build anything from a dovetailed box with a frame and panel lid to a house, given some time. The biggest trick would be working out solid holding methods for working smaller pieces without a workbench (as is necessary if traveling with a toolkit). Toshio Odate's book on Japanese Tools and Their Use helps to solve this issue.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Below is a pair of Maple spoons that I roughed out tonight. I'm attending a wedding this coming weekend, and I think a few spoons will make a suitable gift. I have to carve at least one more, because I realized too late that the groom is a lefty, and I made these both righty. These are pretty good sized, that's about a 4" knife blade. Perfect for cooking or serving. I'll let them dry out for a couple of days and then finish them up. You may notice the funky handle on the one-sometimes, despite my best intentions, the wood is just too stubborn. It will get some more shaping when I finish them, so it looks less like I cut off a chunk by accident and more like a cool, funky handle.