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Winter is perhaps really over here – it better be, I put my hat & scarves away.  

The day started out in the woods, looking for birds. Daniel & I saw many, he counted 18 species; but we only got a few shots of them. 

 

wood ducks

wood ducks

 

bluebird

bluebird

 

turkey

they don’t call this a turkey for nothing

Back home we ended up with spoon carving lesson # something-0r-other. I have to teach a bunch of students at Lie-Nielsen next month, so started practicing with Daniel. His knife work is excellent, given his strength.  (the May class is full, so we added one as soon as we could – which means October! here’s the link 

http://www.lie-nielsen.com/weekend-workshop/1-ww-pf-sc14

 

 

DF grip 1

 

DF grip 2

 

Working one-on-one meant I got some carving in too. 

pair of spoon carvers

 

Meanwhile Rose did the 19th-century-Swedish-immigrant-in-the-garden routine. All around a busy day here. 

rose as immigrant gardner

 

When one of the household  is a knitter and the other is a basket-maker, that means knitting baskets. I don’t get to make baskets much anymore, but have several that have lingered for quite a while. I finished this one the other day.  It’s a form I have only done once before; a double-swing-handle design. Basket is ash, handles, rims, and feet are hickory. Lashing is hickory bark. 

knitting basket

inside basket

basket skids

 

Then Daniel went in the house & started a self-portrait carving his spoon. Sometimes these pictures never get done, like my baskets. So I am posting it now in case it’s an orphan drawing. 

df self portrait as carver 001

 

Now onto another subject. If you’re inclined to help support some young people doing what they love, remember Eleanor Underhill? Maybe you know her father? In addition to illustrating Roy’s most recent Woodwright book, she did some drawings for mine & Alexander’s Joint Stool book – but her main gig is music – and she’s part of a trio making “heartfelt country soul” – they’re using Kickstarter to fund their next album. I’m in. 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/underhillrose/underhill-roses-best-album-yet

 

 

I usually do it this way:

 

 

But this spring I’m doing it the other way:

 

pound 1

This ash log is a little weird. It has one large knot on one side, and someone started to cross-cut it with a chainsaw. Michael Burrey gave it to me, and I have been pounding & peeling it when I’ve had time. Ordinarily, I like to split the logs into billets, then pound those. That way I can harvest some wood from the log for furniture. But in this case, I don’t need the furniture wood, so just started in pounding.

pound 2

 

after the first couple of layers are removed, it gets easier. Here, I’m prying (carefully) with my knife to start lifting the splint.

 

start peel

Then peeling it…

peel 1

If you get to a part where it’s not lifting, you might need to hit it some more…

peel 2

The knife is not doing anything here, except being ready in case it’s needed to snip some stray hangers-on.

peel detail

Rick McKee shot that video in 2012, but now he’s been replaced by an eight-yr old photographer, my son Daniel. Who insisted that I pose…

posed

He then shot a self-portrait. I refuse to use the word “selfie” – there’s only so far I’m willing to go.

photos by DRF

 

 http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/?s=ash+basket

People have asked about the chip carving on my spoon handles. 

spoon 14-15 carving

I mostly learned this through trial & error. I had seen Jogge & Wille demonstrate it in their classes, but as I recall we didn’t really spend much time on this aspect. I cut mine deeper than what I have seen on theirs…and there’s folks who do it closer to what Wille does. I think of Jan Harm ter Brugge -   http://www.houtvanbomen.com/HoutvanBomen/English_text_spoons.html

Chip carving is something I’ve never addressed here, principally because it’s hard to photograph – all the shots I used to take in the workshop were easy to stage, then shoot with a remote to trigger the camera. Here it’s all tight shots, and hard to tell what I’m going to get because I hold the spoon and knife in my hands…and they shift around. Oh well, that’s my excuse anyway. I got some of it last night. so here goes

The tools first of all – from top to bottom:
Del Stubbs’ detail knife, 5/8″  - my favorite for this work. 

A Frost sloyd knife I’ve had for 26 years. This used to be the only tool I had for the carved decoration. it works. 

A Svante Djarv detail knife. I’m still getting the hang of this one. Called an “engraving knife” 

another Del Stubbs knife – I don’t see it in this form on his website right now, maybe it’s the same blade as his kolrosing knife. I got it from Country Workshops, where Drew calls it an engraving knife. 

 

detail knives

First tool I use is a pencil – I know, I’ve chased some of you away in joinery class for using pencils, but here they’re allowed. 

pencil

So I used the Frost knife just to show you can cut this stuff just with the tip of your knife. It HAS to be as sharp as you can get it, out to the tip. Usually I oil the spoon first too, that helps. This particular spoon is birch, and sometimes it almost looks like cow horn. The knife was working fine, I was not too thrilled with the texture of the wood… I wear a visor w magnifiers that I got from Lie-Nielsen. I get older every day. 

sloyd knife detail

Just hold it like a pencil, and make two cuts angled towards each other to create a V-shape shaving coming out of the wood. I stab in stop cuts at each end of the line first. 

sloyd detail 2

Here I’m using the Stubbs detail knife to cut 3-sided chips, this is what I think of as “real” chip carving. This knife has a very thin blade. Fragile, but outstanding. 

stubbs detail knife

a detail. 

stubbs detail closer

 

Here’s another shot, on a different spoon. 

 chip carving

Now the other Stubbs knife. this one has a curved blade, pointed at the top of the blade. The curve helps guide into long arcing cuts. 

stubbs 2 detail knife

Between the previous photo and this one below, I have swung the knife along the line. 

outlining

and here’s the shaving I removed. 

shaving

——————

A couple of spoons are left from last week. I’ll then have more soon. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-for-sale-march-pt-2/

here;’s the links to where I got my knives

http://countryworkshops.org/knives/knives.html

http://www.pinewoodforge.com/catalog.html

 

 BIRDS

 

The Great Horned Owls are sitting higher up, I wouldn’t be surprised if the chick(s) have either hatched or are about to… I haven’t had much time to hang out there to see what’s up. 

GH Owl

 

 

 

And have it on Highway 61.

Wooden Bowl Turning with Robin Wood

Yup – i’m going to Minnesota this June to meet Robin Wood & learn some bowl turning. Got my packet from North House yesterday.

If you’ve read my blog awhile, you know I’m a fan. If you’re just getting here, be sure to read Robin’s blog. His was the inspiration when I started mine back in 2008.

Great stuff. Well done & very thoughtful. http://www.robin-wood.co.uk/wood-craft-blog/

The school looks to be a gas, I’ve heard great things about it. http://www.northhouse.org/

Won’t that be something.

 

 

Bowl of March spoons

Bowl of March spoons

 

Well, I just got March pt 2 in under the wire. But tonight I posted a bunch of birch spoons, with one or two others besides. If you’d like one, leave a comment about which one you’d like. Then we can do the paypal business. I will accept checks too, if someone wants to go that way. Here’s the link, and it’s at the top of the blog front page.

http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-for-sale-march-pt-2/

There’s always more coming, so don’t worry if you miss out. I keep on carving. Some folks have asked about ordering spoons, and if you’d like to do that, we can work it out.
Thanks as always,
Peter Follansbee

3 Landing Rd
Kingston MA 02364

Peter.Follansbee@verizon.net

 

 

 

 

PF fore plane

PF fore plane

Our friend Martha is studying local ceramic history for some degree or other. She sent this note the other day. Me, I’m a vegetarian. But I do use a fore plane from time to time, so in the interest of tool-use, I will post it here…

 

“I was reading in an 1851 New England Farmer journal (as they frequently preach against the evils of lead glaze there). There was a sausage recipe submitted by “a subscriber” who makes sausage meat by freezing it, then “I take a fore plane, set rank, and plane it to shavings” Apparently the meat needs very little chopping after that.  It wouldn’t hurt the blade, only add some grease- rust prevention through sausage! Yikes! They didn’t actually leave a name so you don’t really know if it’s by a man or woman, but they put the recipe in the “Ladies Department.”  What exactly is a “fore plane” ? 

Martha”

So – we all use Moxon’s description to understand this tool:

It is called the Fore Plain because it is used before you come to work either with the Smooth Plane, or with the Joynter. The edge of its Iron is not ground upon the straight, as the Smooth Plane, and the Joynter are, but rises with a Convex-Arch in the middle of it; for its Office being to prepare the Stuff for either the Smoothing Plane, or the Joynter, Workmen set the edge of it Ranker than the edge either of the Smoothing Plane or the Joynter; and should the Iron of the Plane be ground to a straight edge, and it be set never so little Ranker on one end of the edge than the other, the Ranker end would (bearing as then upon a point) in working, dig Gutters on Surface of the Stuff; but this Iron (being ground to a Convex- Arch) though it should be set a little Ranker on one end of its edge than on the other, would not make Gutters on the Surface of the Stuff, but (at the most) little hollow dawks on the Stuff, and that more or less, according as the Plane is ground more or less Arching.  Nor is it the Office of this Plane to smooth the Stuff, but only (as I said) to prepare it, that is, to take off the irregular Risings, whether on the sides, or in the middle, and therefore it is set somewhat Ranker, that it may take the irregularities the sooner off the Stuff, that the Smoothing Plane, or the Joynter, may afterwards the easier work it Try. The manner of Trying shall be taught, when I come to Treat of the use of the Rule. 

 

One of my best moves in recent years was to finally make the time to go visit Bill a couple of times. They are having a celebration of his life in May. I’ll miss it, my schedule is full-tilt already. But you might be able to fit it in…

Bill notice

pole lathe

pole lathe

I know what you’re thinking…

What if Salvador Dali was a 17th-century turner…

dali 2

 

 

 

Dali Van Vliet

 

Here’s what you’d get…

penpoint stair

 

swash stairs

 

Here’s the machine. Now someone get to it, please.  Reference for this image is: Theatre des Instruments Mathematiques,

Jacques Besson (c.1571)

german swash

I have much to write about, but this one’s easy for tonight…

Denne handsaga laga av Jan Arendtz var ein del av leveransen av verktøy i 1664. Tilsvarande handtak finnast mellom verktøyet frå Vasaskipet. Også Rålamb har teikning av ei tilsvarande sag. Det er eit fantastisk fint handverk i både bladet og skaftet. Foto: Roald Renmælmo

Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, just get over to Roald’s blog & see the Skoklosters Slott tools in detail like you’ve not seen them before. If you are new to the story, it’s about a castle built in Sweden 1650s-1670s. They ordered a slew of woodworking tools from Holland, and they are still there. with the paperwork.

Roald Renmælmo posted his photos from a recent trip to study the tools. I have linked before to his workbench blog; along with his colleague Tomas Karlsson. Good stuff, they’ve even posted some stuff in English for us uni-linguists!

here’s the link - http://hyvelbenk.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/verktoy-pa-skokloster-slott/

I’m out the door in the AM heading off to MESDA (the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, that is)

so I had no intention of posting a damn thing tonight. Until I opened the physical mail & in it was a tube from Curtis Buchanan – more chair plans. This time his continuous arm chair. I made one of these (I made quite a few of them, but we only have one) in 1992 following plans Curtis gave me then. This photo’s his -

Curtis Buchanan continuous arm chair

For those of you keeping track of this sort of thing – I didn’t order these from Curtis. He just sent ‘em to me. We’re old friends, and he’s a generous guy. So yes, he sent me freebies, and I write about them so you can know about it. BUT he did’t ask, “hey will you write these up?” – he’d never do that. But, I figure you want to know about great hand-tool woodworking. that’s why you’re reading here. If you don’t know Curtis, you will enjoy getting to know him. By now, many of you have seen his home-made videos on Youtube. He just added a slew of them about sharpening. Curtis’ approach is real straightforward. His work is outstanding, just beautiful.

go. you’ll be glad you did. Here’s the links:

youtube videos  https://www.youtube.com/user/curtisbuchanan52/featured

website  http://www.curtisbuchananchairmaker.com/

Here’s Curtis telling you about the continuous arm plans.

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