28 May 2011

Modern Joinery

This Is Carpentry has an article by William Thomas about the construction of a number of historic cabinets.  The cabinets are all made out of solid wood,  with mortise and tenon joints and tongue and groove panels.

What caught my attention was that he compares the more traditional approach to alternatives.  The two and more days to make the frames with a mortise and tenon are compared to a 4 hours pocket hole job or a full day Domino job. Domino needs this extra time for clamping.  A dowel job with his unused Newton double spindle borer is estimated to a day and a half.
Looking for other similar systems,  Mafell has the Duo-Dowel System with a very good positioning system,  I see no reason it would not perform as well as the Domino.  This gives a good positioning system half a day advantage over the more traditional spindle borer . And a biscuit joiner is probably in the same time line, positioning happens here partly after cutting.

There is also the new Lamello P-System with its T profile biscuits, making clamping unnecessary.  Lamello seems to say it is so fast that it can be the cheapest.

Not much new here but the article started by mentioning SenClamps (Senco small corrugated fasteners SC1),   I had never heard about them, so I looked further.  I found an article by  Paul Allen Senclamps: The Faster Fasteners (p4) and another setting pocket holes and the Senco corrugated-fastener (SC2) side by side by Jesse Wright  Fast Job-Site Joinery,  with a youtube complement. Both fasteners clamp and hold the workpiece while the glue dries.  The Senclamp can work in corners, and favors harder woods and when set along the grain is very clean.  The corrugated fastener is probably at its best in MDF. And even if the joint can look cheap and I read somewhere that they look unprofessional compared to the workmanship of pocket holes (...),  they must be faster than anything else.

What about me?  With cheaper biscuit joiners, pocket-hole kits and maybe Miller dowels as an exception ,  most of these tools are too expensive for the occasional use and user or it should be that it fits well a style one intends to use repetitively.  I also can justify the acquisition of a Festool Domino if it means that it makes the acquisition of a tablesaw, dado blade, tenoning jig, hollow mortiser, ...  unnecessary.

15 May 2011

Medieval carpentry - 4

Fourth posting in a series about medieval carpentry.  This is more than ever an evocation of medieval carpentry  and not the real thing.

The oldwolf workshop mentioned  that for a demo medieval - viking carving reenactment, he referred to Peter Follansbee techniques as Peter focuses on the 17th century with his work but in truth there was not a very significant advance in furniture or decoration of furniture from 1000 AD up to the middle to late 1600's.  I agree with him not much changed over the centuries,  but that does not mean that medieval carving could not be outstanding.

Two days later I took a few pictures in a medieval church (1305+).  The medieval carpentry is there although hidden by a modern 17th century ceiling. (That's to keep up with the tradition of the previous posts,  I have not much to show about medieval carpentry).

The church has also carvings from 1660

I went for an example I imagined was from an earlier period but, checking further, it is from the 18th century setting it in line with the oldwolf.

Ok, I need to look elsewhere for medieval carvings. I have an example from the local late medieval stone carvers (inspired by the goldsmiths),  and I can imagine that the wood carvers guild still tried to outshine them.

To keep in the viking spirit of the oldwolf workshop.    After the siege of Paris (885-887),  this is September 891, a large viking army occupying and by then defending the town, lost ground 50 m west of the church and ended in the river maybe 200 m further.  Just imagine, the dismounted cavalry facing a palisade following the small river arm where the small bridge now stands, covering boats and row upon row of mocking vikings and then ... they pushed through - a rugby with different rules.  'Nam instantibus ex altera parte ... they were forced to throw themselves into the river, and, grasping at each other in heaps by hand, neck and limbs, they sank in hundreds and thousands, so that their corpses blocked the river bed and it seemed to run dry. In that battle two of their kings were killed, that is Sigfröðr and Guðröðr, and sixteen royal standards were carried off ... tanta milia hominum ex altera parte perierunt.' 
Maybe I get carried away after seeing the second episode of Lord of the Rings yesterday.

The same men seen in Paris in 1883