This note from Craig D touches on just why we used a joint stool as the project in our introduction to 17th-century joinery book…you only need a short section of a log. Many find it daunting to go out & secure a large oak log. But Craig says he used an “urban” white oak that had already been cut to firewood lengths. Here’s his note & stool:
Hi Peter – I thoroughly enjoyed the Joint Stool book and used the information to build this stool from an urban white oak that had been cut into long firewood logs. Quite enjoyable and very informative.
Thanks to you and Jennie for writing the book and your blog.
Readers of the blog know that I try to regularly include period examples, for a couple of reasons. One is the basic premise that the study of period artifacts is essential to learning how to make this stuff. I’ve been very fortunate in having access to many collections for study. Along those lines, I know it’s not practical for everyone to get to see these objects in detail, curators, collectors, etc just don’t have the time and resources available to accommodate everyone who wants to crawl around their furniture. So I try to let you see some of it here.
Some collectors and collections (most maybe) distinguish between American and English furniture – and either focus on one or the other. Me, I like them both. The sheer numbers of surviving English pieces makes it much more interesting than sampling American pieces. In the book we show some New England stools as well as some from old England.
Here’s a photo of two joined forms sent to me last week by Bob Trent who often searches auction listings on line…this one’s from Bonham’s. (to be able to zoom on the photo, go to their website: http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20404/lot/288/
These are interesting because of their central stretcher, instead of the usual arrangement all around the frame. This central stretcher has never been seen on any known American stools or forms, not even on tables. I like this framing though. It is easier to sit at, I did it for my kitchen table. On the forms from Bonham’s auction, the joiner made the framing simple by planing the side stretchers to the same thickness as the stiles. This means the center stretcher’s shoulder-to-shoulder dimension is the same as that of the long aprons. On my kitchen table I foolishly didn’t do it that way, and had to do a test-fit to get the length of the center stretcher. Learn by mistakes, next form I did this way I equalized the side stretchers and stiles and got on quite well.
So this is another variation on joined stools and forms, After you’ve read the book and made your first stools, then you can do # 2 with a central stretcher. Send your photos of your stools here & I will put them on the blog…
See Chris Schwarz’ blog of a week ago or so to see some other variations on joined stools…
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.
Long-time readers of this blog know that I follow closely the work that Robin Wood does over in England. Robin’s blog was the one that inspired me to do this one…
Just last week, he (and many others) finished the first-ever spoon fest in Derbyshire. Robin posted a bunch of photos, as well as links to other blog posts about the event. I wished I could have gone, but I deserted my family enough this year with woodworking travels. Be sure to follow the link that takes you to the audio portion of Jogge Sundqvist’s talk that opened the event. Great stuff, thanks for making it happen, Robin et al. Sounds like a good time was had by all.
Now, another piece that you folks that have been here a while might remember is these fabulous drawings from Maurice Pommier.
They came with very kind words from Maurice. His work intrigued me, so I looked up his books. He had a children’s book that I added to my list, and I finally ordered it. I couldn’t read a lick of it mostly…but I loved it. I showed it around at a Lie-Nielsen gig one time, & described it as a cross between Mad Magazine & Eric Sloane. I sent images to Chris Schwarz, and he replied that he already had the book in the works. Now it’s ready to go, so trot over to Lost Art Press and see for yourself. I assume that Chris never sleeps. http://blog.lostartpress.com/2012/08/26/new-from-lost-art-press-grandpas-workshop/
I had read the book in a near-finished draft, and was knocked out. Even if you haven’t used molding planes, or especially if you haven’t, this book will make you want to. Hollows & rounds are some of the next batch of JA tools here, later this week. Matt’s book makes the use of them so basic & simple. He really has demystified the use of these tools. If you have ever seen Matt at one of the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Events, then you understand. A nice guy, a great book. Lost Art Press, the hits just keep comin’.