I remember when I didn’t even know who Chris Schwarz was…the last time I had an apprentice at the museum, (2008, Quinn the Eskimo) he kept harping about some B&W magazine that I should read and the hand-tool nut who runs it. I have a filter built into my head that is triggered by the words “You should…” – it kicks in & I never hear the end of a sentence that starts that way…so I dismissed the suggestion out of hand.
Anyway, after some time my resolve buckled & I looked into this Schwarz character. Read some blog about his work…as I recall he was working quartersawn oak when I read it…but it was Mission stuff or something like that.
Now, a few years later, & look at me. I got Popular Woodworking & wrote articles for them. Went to their WIA gigs. Got a Lost Art Press hat,
and a Lost Art Press T-shirt.
I even got a Lost Art Press book:
I read the book about tool chests & after 20 years in one shop, I took most of my tools off the wall & built a chest after reading the Lost Art Press book The Anarchist’s Tool Chest.
I’m like a sheep or lemming or something. Next is probably a Lost Art Press decoder ring …
Then when Chris wrote about his “layout” square, I balked. I had never heard that term before for one thing. Squares are squares, unless they are “iron squares” or “wooden squares” in the period I study. Plus his thing looked more like a level to me than any practical joiners’ tool. Moxon has a level in the section on carpenters’ tools. (top left, below) But I don’t need a level. Moxon’s level doesn’t look like a giant letter “A”.
But Andres Felebien’s does, 1676 in Paris.
I had long known this Dutch painting of a weaver’s loom and surroundings. I studied this for the busted-up chair and the simple cupboard, but had noted the level hanging on the wall behind the loom.
I sent it to Chris a few weeks ago, & he posted a bit about how he uses the his square. Then I started to see it differently. So with some idea of how it’s used, and the Felebien engraving – I jumped on the bandwagon & decided to make one of the fool things.
But it’s so boring a device. I used (no surprise) riven quartered oak. I thought the “ogee everywhere” bit was too much, so I deleted 2 ogee cut-outs on the top edge of the brace. I cut the ogees with a backsaw, chisel & knife. I can’t be bothered with a rasp or file.
I still thought it was painfully dull, so I carved it. Now it looks like something.
If you are a woodworker who’s been living in a cave – here’s the LAP website. Buy their stuff. You’ll be glad. http://www.lostartpress.com/Default.asp