31 October 2010

Woodworking course - 8

One more
A last joint,  where we combined a profile in the front and for the back a groove at the bottom and a rabbet at the top.  On retrospect it was intended as an exercise about manual feeding the profiler but I just made a heavier use of my tenon saw.  I even avoided the tenon machine as the two machines where in use by using my saw.  Of course hand sawing tenons gives problems on straightness.  It is probably better to finish with a router plane or a router to get correct alignment. Apart from that I left a large gap in the mitered profile.  Before I try this on a real project,  I need to exercise my skills on a number of test joints.

The joint with only tenon and mortise. To avoid any confusion about side and the like, I now draw every joint detail before cutting.:

The joint with all the grooves and cutouts:

I looked for a first project and found one.  I intend to make a small frame and panel chest based on the dimension of a rectangular stool.  Dimensions 45cm-45cm-30cm (18"-18"-12").  If I stick to the stool model the chest is tapered. Of course this strongly reduces my chances to produce tight joints.  As material I probably go for the cheapest pine,  even if the traditional material here are oak and beech.

21 October 2010

Seeing - Rococo

I made a short visit today to an administrative building.  Build in 1760 as an university college, it became an institute in cellular biology (microscopy) in 1890 and is used now by the administration after a renovation in 2000(?).

After the context some woodworks.  For the last renovation they apparently removed the plaster and the low ceilings in the roof.  The rust spots of the nails holding the old plasterwork on the oak beams can be seen.  Surrounded by flat white walls only the woodwork shows some baroque curves.

18 October 2010

Woodworking course - 7

I started with a succession of mistakes, confusing left, right, top and bottom.  I ended drawing all the cuts on the piece before cutting and even then I messed up by cutting the tenon to deep.  I also discovered that the tenon should not overlap with the rabbet.

room for improvement

too long that cut

lay out problem

Next a tenon joint with a profile on the front and an extended shoulders. Even with the help of a copper plated parring jig,  I came 10 minutes short to finish it (or to mess it up).

That's it for today,  I hope that we start some real project pretty soon.  After today I feel confident that I will mess up just any project I will undertake.  Therefore I plan to mill 30% extra profiles to be able to correct mistakes without bothering about precise shaper setup.  
In another galaxy, Steve Branam of the Close Grain blog shows how in just a weekend he mastered Ball And Claw Carving, impressive.

14 October 2010

Woodworking course - 6

This session we discovered the last main machine of the workshop, a shaper.

 With this we were able to make a groove and a small profile (rabbet) in the face  of our joint.  As the picture shows there is room for improvement. I did improve it a little afterwards by paring the back shoulder and cutting the style to length.

After doing (messing up) this joint I looked online for a shoulder plane.  Axminster had a cheap copy of the Record 311 to sell until last week .  But now there is only the more expensive Clifton 3110 (3 in 1) in the catalogue and the much cheaper Axminster No. 19 (Stanley 92) Shoulder Plane.  But alas, Derek Cohen is not very happy with the Stanley 92, as remove for honing means "undo the main screw… undo the small screw… remove the lever cap… wiggle out the blade. All settings are lost."

The better mouse trap
That's it for machines,  we have seen all the major machines of the workshop.  There are some more like a bandsaw and large sanding machines.  But the main activity is centred on the classic five that are also present on combination machines:  tablesaw,  jointer, planer,  horizontal morticer and shaper.  Where the tenon machine is more specialised.
On the long run it is a mouse trap as I become dependent of professional workshop machines.  One solution is to look out for a used combination machine, most are tri phased and that is an extra problem.  The feeder on the profiler is a safety must and is certainly complex and expensive.   The other solution is to focus on routers,  the woodrat for example goes a long way to cover most problem operations if the limited mortice depth (< 5cm 2") is not seen as a problem.

Still standing on the side line,  bandsaw and sander.

06 October 2010

About the blog

I decided to structure my internet wood related stuff, by setting the more interesting sites into Google Reader.  When inserting a site I got the number of Reader inscriptions to a blog.  There is probably a better way to see this,  but I have not found it yet.  Not counting magazines and the like, many have 20+ subscribers,  some get 100+ and the champions go over 500.  With Matthias Wandel from woodgears.ca and The Village Carpenter in the champion category.

As out of the common blogs I see: Chris Hall, the kitchen carpenter, with his 34 irregular joints sawhorse;   Mathias Wandel,  the engineer woodworker and Anxo Mosquera (yes Google translate please) a all capital woodworker.

Me, I pass the 9 months,  52 posts mark, have 0 subscribers and my presence is only to give others a good feeling about their achievements.  Visits are mainly Google directed for the st_nley thirteen fifty (no Google,  nothing to index here) pl_ne.  Besides that, my notes about the cellulose based vacuum powered engines from Mathias and my poor attempts to document medieval wooden artefacts.

Woodworking course - 5

We went through haunched tenon and then a mitered haunched tenon.  The gap at the front is due to a bad alignment of the cutter heads.

haunched tenon

mitered haunched tenon

Then we went for something new,  a  tenon joint with a groove and a profile in the front.  The profile will be mitered where the back stays normal,  this give a tenon of unequal length.  We started with the mortise, then the tenon,  then most probably the profile and to finish cutting everything in place with handsaw and chisel.

For reference Sean Hughto and Charles Stanford documents the creation of the same joint, much more elegantly, using handtools on Derek Cohens site

It was a fast start, and I got the length of the tenon wrong (I think).  The cut is made with the front against the table to get a good fit at the front.  Next week we probably discover profiles.

03 October 2010


Moving a pair of old beds (1930?) with my car, I was surprised to see a succession of 3 chisel marks on the wood. A pneumatic chisel gone wild? Looking further I could see that the 8 joints were paired with roman numerals from I to VIII, a nice idea.

Looking at the joints I see nails with a X section used to pin the joint. I see two advantages to these pin-nails: On soft wood there is no need to drill a hole, and the lengthened section of the nail avoids that it can be pulled through the wood or easily bent.