21 January 2012


One of the victims of the last storm here was a large poplar (populus) at the arboretum of Groenendaal.  According to wikipedia the genus has a large genetic diversity, and can grow from anywhere between 15–50 m (50 to 165 ft) tall, with trunks of up to 2.5 m (8 ft) diameter. The new king of the wood is a beech with a circumference of 5.8 m where it was 6 m for this one.  As no roads are involved the tree is there to stay.

The tree is the small one on the sign dwarfed by American counterparts and the Atomium. As this is a small country,  there is not much big here.  The Atomium (1958 Brussels) 102 m,   was still bested  by Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal (Antwerp) 123 m. That became the new champion when the cathédrale Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Lambert 134 m (1200-1795 Liège) went down for its 300000 pounds of by then French revolutionary lead. 

But to stay with wood, beech forests are sometimes cathedrals on their own .

20 January 2012

Image and sound

Last weeks I saw some interesting videos on the web.  First as Roy Underhill made his season available. It was interesting to discover Peter Follansbee live.  It is maybe not so different of what is to be found in his blog but it added a new dimension,  certainly  as Peter Follansbee promotes a very direct approach to woodworking.

A second video presentation was that of Paul Sellers. I was unaware of Paul Sellers blog and videos until the Close Grain blog post reviewing the video.  "Working Wood. The Artisan Course with Paul Sellers".  Although interesting I perceive the price for the videos as high.  If it is 140$ for the 7 DVD on amazon.com on amazon.co.uk the dollars become pounds and this gives an equivalent of 214$.  Luckily some demo videos are to be found under  http://paulsellers.com/videos/  What is most impressive in Paul Sellers demos is the apparent absence of visual control.  Be it by touch or experience every step is pushed through in a rush.

Looking at the whole of the videos I get an interesting series about tenon and joints:

- With  Elizabethan Joint Stool with Peter Follansbee I get a back to basic view on jointing.   Peter Follansbee focuses on the front side of a joint and gets in the end tight and solid by drawborring.

- Paul Sellers shows with  Mortise and Tenon in Oak most of the basics and the details of mortise and tenons.
I am nevertheless still there with a problem,  when a tenon does not fit in width a mortise I know that there is an error on at least  one of the four following points:  front or back of the tip of the tenon and front or back of the top sides of the mortise. I can from there start paring with a chisel,  but I lack any way to know what to do. An interesting aspect brought up by Robert Wearing is the possibility to make a tenon fitting with a router plane,  giving me the possibility to straighten a tenon where it must.

- Roy Underhill's  English Layout Square with Chris Schwarz gives an evocation of Robert Wearing (and Chris Schwarz) router plane usage on tenons.

- A last video is La fabrication d'un siège à l'école Boulle of the INA already presented in a previous post.  If the fine details are absent in the movie,  I still find the routine very impressive.