17 January 2014

Zyliss vise

I got hold of a Zyliss vise. As usual for those vises, it is unused.  Upon checking on the web I think I have a complete  4x1=1 version.  If I go for Scott Landis description of the Zyliss vise in his Workbench Book it dates back of the late fifties and was developed as a field vise for the Swiss army.

This could solve my winter quarters woodworking problem.  If I add a hardboard cover to my most stable table, I have  something to work on. For those unfamiliar with the product the workpiece is mostly supported by the table and held by the jaws and it can also work as a tail-vise with benchdogs.  Of course things are never simple, the table is rounded and the vise only works fixed in the corner of a table.  Later models avoid this problem with a quick release system allowing to work without much cranking,  not this one. That's the curse of most Zylisses: Unused by design.  For a functional description the siren song of the Zyliss is still available on youtube.

After some internet research I found different names for the vise: z-vise, vunder vise, grip master and swissrex

In picture:

An original from the fifties with wooden handle, used and maybe still under guarantee

The Vunder Vise,  looks similar but also distinctive from mine, the lettering on the parts is for example different.  I also see an extra jaw allowing to put a jaw to the extension piece and go for any jaw width.  Maybe I miss the extra jaw.

The Zyliss Profi-King Plus,  I think it was later or elsewhere called the z-vise 2, with added quick release and numerous extra's.

The Clark National Grip Master has replaced red for black,  but for the rest it looks the same.

The Swissrex, Swiss, but probably from a different stable,  dates back from 1984. The Swissrex also sings its own song. It is a more-with-less-parts solution, so it looks interesting and it is still sold on shows in Switserland. But maybe it is technology from another age, looking too flimsy for our heavy tastes.

27 December 2012

La colère de Roubo

Roubo's anger.  That's Winter Sales #3  started in May I think.

Having acquired a copy of the original Le Menuisier en Meubles from Roubo and more importantly having started to read the book,  I difcovered first the s and f confufion and to a leffer degree the long phrafes,  but most importantly his dislike of the furniture makers.

What you see is the first sentence (it's readable) of an interesting footnote taking most of page 601.  His opinion about carvers is similar: ..., ces sortes de sculpteur étant pour l'ordinaire de fort mauvais Ouvriers dans leur talent, & pour la plupart sans dessin, ne travaillant que par routine, ... translates to: ... this kind of carvers are mostly workmen of poor talent, & most of them clumsy, working only by routine .... & merde had I known that I would not have bought that book. 

Furniture makers are distinct from ébénistes who use precious woods like ebony and do all things veneering.  Where furniture makers do frame-and-panel structures and even lesser frame only structures. Those are covered with fabrics or carved by other trades.

He gives himself different reasons for his dislike.
Industrialization as furniture makers are specialized in making specific frame or frame-and-panel structure based on templates, where most artisans are unable to design anything. They also work together with other trades loosing the ownership of there products as the end product is sold mostly cheap by merchants, making these their only custommers.
Industrialization and fashion.  Fashion makes that good furniture is thrown away and that the furniture makers forget all but the current fashion.
Industrialization, fashion and stubbornness.  Stubbornness of the furniture makers who uses only a limited number of techniques mainly sawing with precision - their sole expertise,  using a rasp when needed and avoiding planes whenever possible. Leaving gouges and profile planes mainly to the carvers whom will never work on assembled furniture and make poor transitions over the joints.

So?  If I am looking for a career, forget about the furniture maker trade, I better go for finish carpenter or carriage maker.

01 November 2011

Compound angle mortice and tenon joint - 2

Thanks to Kari Hultman, who refers on her blog to a French Woodworking Video from 1912 of the Ina: La fabrication d'un siège à l'école Boulle, I saw a manual method for making compound angle tenons.

The video shows many interesting details in the making of a Louis XV style seat,  that has by its form only angled joints. Early in the video a wooden leg vise is presented standing proud of the surface of the workbench

[edit] Through a post of the Part Time Woodworker I discovered an image of the same leg mobile vise (étau) in a Chris Schwarz post displayed in a catalogue from La Forge Royale

When it comes to cut a tenon a square frame-vise is attached to the vise.  The top surface of the frame is used as a reference plane for cutting the tenon as it stands square to that surface and the shoulders are set parallel to the top surface.
The tenon shoulder height is set above the frame top to leave room for saws and sawing.  Then a template is used to mark the tenon.

Sawing the shoulders is done with a plane like block saw,  with a horizontal blade on it side,  resting on the horizontal frame-vise. The block saw seems to have symmetrical handles to work on both sides and has most probably symmetrical teeth.
After that a frame saw is used for the vertical cut. Just straight down,  and not a safer three step method with reclamping as proposed by for example Robert Wearing.

During the whole tenon cutting process the piece is attached only once and that's even before most of the markings. After seeing mainly router solutions for compound angle tenons,  I was happy to find at last a hand tool method.  

26 May 2010

Stanley 13-050 vs Veritas Small Plow Plane

After saying in a first post that: the Stanley 13-050, being a last generation model combination plane, has nearly everything covered and is well thought over, I want to make the comparison with a recent plow plane the Veritas Small Plow Plane (VSPP).  To compensate the fact that I don't have access to a Veritas plow plane,  I look at the excellent article from Derek Cohen staging a comparative test between Veritas and Record #043 and #044. What I miss in this line up is the Record 050C which has the same rounded body as the Veritas plane.

The 13-050 is nearly two times heavier than the VSPP, this is due in part to the second skate and part to the heavy, square construction.  Derek Cohen says that the VSPP has the perfect weight being in between the  #043 and #044.  Adam Cherubini favours even lighter planes,  saying that the lighter wooden planes have a distinct advantage over their heavier metal counterparts.
To counter this, I look at traditional irons.  The two I have weight as much or more than a 13-050, respectively nearly 3 and 4 pounds, even if they were used intensively by the 'weaker sex' of those days. I think that, as long as I am not planing balsa, weight does not matter that much.

Left - Right
The VSPP has a left and a right hand model.  This can be important, as Peter Follansbee remarks in his plow plane, up one side & down the other post, having only one sided plow plane is sometimes a problem.  The 13-050 is nearly fully symmetrical, as the fence and depth gauge can be set left or right.  The 13-050 gets asymmetrical when using small blades as only one skate is used, allowing for only one spur when cutting cross grain

The 13-050 comes with 18 blades, including beading profiles. The VSPP comes with one blade, but extra metric and imperial blades are available which depending of the model used are set left or right.  Better than the 13-050, the VSPP narrow blades won't fall out of the plane when setting the depth as they have an enlarged body.
Both the 13-050 and the VSPP align the blades with the skate, where the #043 and #044 have no blade alignment. This can be important when after setting the fence to a certain value,  adjusting the blade will not change this value.

Fence and grip
Derek Cohen likes the 4" long curved fence of the VSPP and the warmth and solid feel of the Veritas grip.  The 13-050 has also a 4" fence, but square. The grip is big, bigger than my stanley-like #5, and it is not in metal :).
The VSPP claims a better fence stability than the #043 - #044.  For the 13-050 I did not see problems here,  the body, fence and screws are big and sturdy,  all that extra weight is buying me something.

Nothing stops Derek Cohen, after cutting grooves and rabbets, he even cuts dados with the VSPP to show it is possible, preferring in the end his router plane.  The 13-050, has spurs and skates to cut dados and fillisters.

At first sight the VSPP and the 13-050 have good setup possibilities.  With small differences, the VSPP has maybe better fence arm clamping screws and the 13-050 has a two screws depth gauge.

In the end it does not matter what plane you use: All the planes performed at an equally satisfactory level says Derek Cohen talking about the VSPP and the #043 - #044
And yes the 13-050 has also a little extra,  there is always a depth gauge hole left open where a straw will fit to indicate if the plane stands plumb