29 September 2010

Woodworking course - 4

We finished our lap joints,  T-lap and end lap and tried out a slip joint

After that we made a first try to make a machined haunched tenon joint
Lay out:  We work with fifth for the haunch height and the depth of the mortise,  where the tenon is made a tenth short to allow some room for glue.  The tenon gets over one third of the thickness of the wood.  In this case 10mm for 25mm thickness (3/8" and 1" ).
This is different from for example Rodale's Illustrated Cabinetmaking where a tenon goes probably half the stile width and uses half the thickness. It allows for 1/16" clearance.  The shoulder gets 1/3 to 1/4 of the tenon thickness  and a cosmetic shoulder 1/8".  The difference can be due to the machines used,  with a horizontal mortiser it is easier to go deep and once you go deep you need more thickness to support the sides.  And I guess that the ideal tenon becomes narrower in depth giving a good section at the shoulder without cutting the whole stile away.
Maybe deep tenons are more appropriate for flat frames like doors and windows,  where stiffness is important and half deep tenons for furniture where a tenon is mostly limited to half the depth.

First the horizontal mortiser

And then the tenon machine.  To see this machine working I have to refer to Roy Underhill as he shows a more advanced version of a tenon machine on his shows episode Old woodworking machines.

To finish the tenon saw to cut the haunch and probably a rasp or a chisel to round the tenon.

23 September 2010

Woodworking course - 3

woodworking exercise 1
Done, we finished our first exercise, leaving some room for improvement.  What I missed was a 6 mm chisel (1/4")  I found one in the classroom grinded on both sides and I kept it that way as I don't see how to grind it down without investing much time or see the chisel burn.

Then some theory:  markings.

marking stiles
marking rails
marking a frame

To end we started a second exercise: make a lap joint (L or T) with a 60x25mm piece of wood.  We went through the whole cycle again: Arm saw - Table saw - Jointer - Planer and the tenon saw and chisels.

15 September 2010

Workshop - Cabinetmaker

I made a short visit to a cabinetmaker (European style) on a quite day.  He offers 30+ standard models of cabinets with no set dimensions in 30+ finishes through the use of finished panels and edge banding. Stock management and grouping is important here as only few finishes are in stock. Assembling cabinets is not a problem, he offers the same price for the panels with hardware as for assembled cabinets.

There are only four 'machines' visible on the workfloor:

1 The tablesaw (panelsaw) does not see much use any more and is only there as a spare.
table saw

2 The panel beam saw.  Here again in a more recent setup the machine is not really necessary as todays CNC machines can cut down the panels.
Panel beam saw

3 The CNC machine.  On front you can see the safety mat,  the machine stops when there is someone on it.

4 Edge banding

14 September 2010

Woodworking course - 2

Second evening of my woodworking course.  We spend the whole session sawing cut after cut,  sharpening our chisels and cutting out wood. Slow as we are our first exercise piece is still unfinished.  Grinding is a classic hollow bevel on a (hot) powered stone, finished freehand on an oil-stone.

Woodworking exercise 1
When I asked about which chisel size to use, I was said that using the widest possible was correct.

12 September 2010

Woodworking course - tools

I started looking for a tenon saw and some chisels for my woodworking course.

stanley backsaw
The tenon saw was not a problem as I have an older 14" stanley backsaw that I probably bought to serve as mitre saw (in the eighties?).  Over the decenia it has accumulated some rust, so I did a first attempt to sharpen a saw on this one using a triangular file. To keep the operation simple I did file at 90°,  with those small teeth and the rust there is not much to see about the original setting.  By lack of saw vise, setting the back in a vise and holding the blade with my hand. After that I made a comparative test with the usable saws of my shop, it's a winner and my new frame saw clearly needs to be sharpened,  only the Veritas dovetail saw cuts 20%? better.   The only potential problem I see is that I am not sure it cuts as straight as before sharpening. There are alternatives, in the Axminster catalogue a more modern hard poited 12" Stanley the  FatMax Tenon Saw goes 10€.

bahco 414
For the chisels I decided to buy a Bahco 3 chisel (12, 18 and 25mm) promotion, delivered free of cost. And to probably complete it with a 8mm mortise chisel later on, MHG probably as they can be cheaper than others.

After that I repaired my marking gauge replacing the small nail that serves as pin with a steel nail. And added a folding rule to the whole.

Having found my tools I went on internet for a search about woodworking courses related hand tools lists.  I only found two of them the one of David Savage and another from the Errington School.  The list of David Savage is interesting as it was probably build up by a person with opinions faced with an endless stream of advanced students trying out various tools and makers.

The David Savage list
David Savage starts his list strongly when he favors Lie Neilson planes,  as it is aimed to full time students and professionals it is understandable that he can go for high cost planes and besides he limits his choice to a set of three bench planes.  The saws section is also limited to three saws:  After binning his Disston he goes for a cheap hard pointed Stanley panel saw. Next a rip cut carcass saw with a 14 tpi blade (Lie Neilson) and to finish a small back saw.  And maybe a coping saw as a number four.

Measurement is done with a number of steel rules (1000, 600, 300mm) of similar scale.  Here I agree that a steel rule is better than a folding rule and I am likely to add a 300mm steel rule, as it fits in my folding rule pocket, and a small combination square to my set.  For marking gauges he says: .... .... three simple gauges will do it.

Chisels get more attention,  Lie Neilson for example offers (heavy) fully bevelled bevel edge chisels,  where  my Bahco bevelled chisels have very high straight edges,  and this can give a problem for example when dovetailing, as would a mortise chisel.  Here I have to wait and see if any problem arises.

10 September 2010

Woodworking course

Seeing my monday evening is free,  I made a last week decision to try to follow a woodworking class.  I found two of them, one 10' from home but fully booked (that's the nature of last day decisions) and one at 30'.  The course is the basic professional woodworker course and that's nearly all I know.  It can be followed by specialisation classe: massive furniture making,  panel furniture making, restoration, ....
The class is given in an industrial hall filled with pairs of large machines (two tablesaws, two planers, two jointers, two horizontal mortisers, ...) and rows of workbenches.

First exercice is to cut down and size a piece of wood to 30x150x450mm (1.2'x6'x18'). Using in sequence, a radial arm saw (length to 470mm), a jointer (2 square faces), a planer (thickness set to 30mm), a tablesaw (size set to 450 and 152mm) , a planer (width set to 150mm).

radial arm saw


table saw
The radial arm saw is there to unload the tablesaws for rough cross cutting.  The jointer is huge.  The tablesaw has a 3m (10') long table sliding along the blade,  no problems to cut down panels here.  The planer is wide with a digital setup to the tenth of mm and takes wood down to 15mm (5.8") wide, although it is better to set first the width and then the thickness to avoid tilting while planing.

folding rule
The exercise was continued with the manual oriented techniques: layout with a folding rule, a naked square, a marking gauge and a pencil. To finish we started a large number of shallow cuts with a 12' tenon saw. The hand tools used are refreshingly basic. For deeper cuts we have tenon saws without backs.
The workbenches are traditional,  with tooltray and diagonal backleg, and a (missing) planing stop. But no hole for a bench holddown.  The surface showing it's years of use, but no racking.
To end the tools were discussed.  No need to buy tools,  but we are free to bring in our own 12" tenon saw (hard pointed) and some chisels if we are in for more, and less beaten down, tools.

Arriving home I discovered that I had left the folding rule in the folding rule pocket of my trouser, oops.