30 September 2011

Beam saw

Closing ranks,  I spent the day working with a beam saw,  for me it was a first.  Compared to a table saw it is of course bigger,  most values are x3.  Three air flotation outfeed tables for example.  There is also less to see,  I didn't see the saw(s) once.  As long as no mistakes are made there is nothing difficult here apart from following the instructions.  Of course I didn't do that all the time. The easiest mistake being: feeding a panel in the wrong direction, and with a feed capacity of 3m by 3m (10' x 10') and a cutting speed of 1m/s such a mistake is easily done. That's probably why there is an attempt to make the steering of the machine fool proof:  the work pieces are shown with their correct  orientation on the screen.
Feeding the machine with a new panel  is by lack of a panel lift to move 70 and more kg panels, a two man job. After the first cuts the weight and sizes are more manageable for a single operator.  My estimate is that I was cutting something like 20m² an hour when everything went fine.

06 September 2011

Book fever

A short visit to the lumberjocks site,  has raised my recurring book fever.

The anarchist tool chest is reviewed time and again on the site.  Apart from unresolved shipping problems, I already sidestepped the need for the TATC with The complete book of woodworking by Charles Hayward.  So no problem here TATC remains unread.  Apart from a small table model, locked in a work in progress state, tool chests are most probably not my thing anyway. And the table model has a fixed top,  that's not the best way to make a chest and the main reason the project is in extended evaluation.

But now I hear about a book The Complete Woodworker by Bernard E. Jones.  Less than 2£ on amazon.co.uk  Most probably it roots the tradition followed by Charles Hayward and Robert Wearing (The Essential Woodworker).  And maybe even James Krenov (The Impractical Cabinetmaker)

Roubo's l'Art du Menuisier is also mentionned. If the language is dated, it is much more accessible than Foucault's writings,  those left me thinking that I kept half my brain unused.  Through amazon I can get it for 33€ on .fr or 29£ on .co.uk, with free shipping.  For me the free shipping aspect counts as often halve the costs of foreign tools or books go to shipping, with Amazon being an exception.  For this price 600 pages of in-folio format is a bargain. But will I read it. It is certainly a different track than my usual English spoken book,  so I should and it's a good occasion ( panic, is a good occasion a Gallicism based on une bonne occasion? a quick Google check shows 1,020,000 results, that's OK ) to do a French workout.

And then there is Jim Tolpin's book The New Traditional Woodworker,  also mentioned in one of the treads. I liked his toolbox book.  I disliked his Measure Twice, Cut Once: Simple Steps to Measure, Scale, Draw and Make the Perfect Cut-Every Time as it felt too much as a Veritas catalog.  After reading Leonard Lee's The complete guide to sharpening, where his own catalog is nearly absent,  the difference was marked. The excerpt of his hand tool book showed a project I disliked, but a good attention for technical details. Of course there is also his upcoming design book with George Walker that seems very interesting.

Speaking of design,  checking prices on Amazon I found out that Get Your House Right: Architectural Elements to Use & Avoid discovered via ThisIsCarpentry is at last out. I ordered the book with a delivery time is more than two weeks.  Perfect, I filled the pipeline, other books need to wait their own turn.