29 August 2013

Who's that man?

Last week I was in Italy.  Looking, from the St.Peter square, to the apostle statues on the facade I saw St.Andrew.  At that distance one of the few saints easily identifiable by a large X cross.  For the rest ... St.Thomas holding a lance, that's the second or third  on the right hand side?
But where is St Peter?  He normally holds keys. He should have been there,  so maybe the early Benchcrafted Criss Cross description gets things right, a X cross is a St Peter's cross and he's there standing on the left (?) hand side.

Once I got back to the real thing (that's on-line) I was able to sort things out.  I found the site of the place: It's St.Andrew.

As for St.Peter he's standing in front of the building with St.Paul. The statue of St. Peter is 5.55m in height, on a pedestal 4.91m high.  That's 35 feet high and I missed it.  I should have made the effort to cross the square.

My favorite part of Rome are the 7 Egyptian obelisks.  The one on the square (1835 BC, moved to Rome in 37 BC) is in some ways the least impressive as it is devoid of hieroglyphs.  Taking a closer look at my picture of the obelisk, the statue of St.Peter is visible on top of the black screen more to the right.

01 August 2013

How did Roubo do

After letting Roubo outsource his massive mortises to carpenters in the previous post,  I discovered a different idea reading the Lostartpress blog.  Chris Schwarz drilled then saw his mortises with a jigsaw and finished with a chisel.

Jigsaw joinery can be fun, fast and sometimes appropriate. For example used in exterior structures like guardrails. The tenons are in this case best cut on the spot and mortises come where tenons end. I made a test piece a few years back while developing my technique, from right to left.
  1. first try with a circular saw and chisel but the tenon is all jigsaw as it involves upwards diagonal cuts
  2. drilled through with jigsaw 
  3. stopped with a short jigsaw sawblade and drawbored
  4. No. 3 is ok, more of that
  5. angled 
Back to Roubo,  I don't expect that he used a jigsaw but a frame saw is a good idea for a through mortise.  Looking at plate 12 fig.5,13,14 we can see a scie à tourner a frame saw with a 1/2" blade.  After drilling a hole it is quite easy for a trained professional to cut out the mortise to the line.  If the Vagnmakeri på Söder movie from 1932 is an indication (at 15:00) it will take only a few minutes to do the sawing .

Nowadays it is uncommon to find through mortises in a bench top. Probably with reason as seeing for example tenons come and go through the top with seasonal changes offers little added value.  Up to now I have two reasons to do it: It is sturdier,  Roubo for example wedges the tenons at the top.  It is easier to make,  by lack of a chain mortiser or something similar through mortises are sometimes simpler.