11 months have gone by…

east-end
weather schmeather

It’s coming on a whole year I’ve been building the workshop. I hope to finish just under that measure.

Lately it’s been windows – 15 windows in a building 12 feet by 16. It’s like I’m Tom Lie-Neilsen or something. They’re all in now, keeping out the dreadful wind and rain.

I’ve been making frames, (Justin Keegan made the first batch) fitting old sash to said frames, and trimming them inside & out. Work I know nothing about. Once I got going, I only had to re-do a small percentage of the work each day…Still more battens outside, some trim framing here & there inside. The battens need doing, the trim can wait til a bit later.

I did get to use planes a good bit, a relief from hammers, screwdrivers, etc. Reminded me of joinery.

plow-filetster

With that many windows, there’s lots of light. Here’s an old box, fresh out of a 2-year stint in storage.

raking-light

raking-light-box-front

More pictures. The place is still a jumble, but each day it looks different. After this next photo, I cleaned it out. The floor is next, so I needed to get stuff out of there. Here, looking past the lathe, towards the river. In this photo, the lathe is just a place to pile junk.

river-end-mess

Turning around, looking the other way, towards the door. Loft above. Main bench on our left.

door-view-longer

 

more raking light.

more-rake

begun hanging things here & there. Some will move when I find out they’re in the wrong spot. 

window-untrimmed

As soon as the loft was done, it got filled. A couple of times. Here’s loft-left:
loft-left

And loft-to-the-right:

into-the-loft

There’s carvings scattered around the outside too. Mostly under the window frames, but the red-painted one got temporarily hung above where the door will go. When the door goes in, it will come down to get trimmed, then re-hung.

temporary

A recent one under one of the front windows.
window-trim

Today I started working on the floor boards. Two layers of 7/8″ white pine. Insulation underneath. First, I’ve been cutting tongue-and-groove joints on the finish floor boards. Bought this really nice pair of planes from Patrick Leach. All I had to do was sharpen them.

tg-planes

A test-run.

tg-sample-two

The floor boards are 16′ long. Got to work both edges of 18 boards. I’ll walk some ways in this task, but what fun. The near end of the board sits in a notched stick held in the end vice. It works.

board-planing

 

 

 

Up to Lie-Nielsen and back home

Unloaded some photos off my camera today. Now I see where I’ve been.

After Greenwood Fest, I scooted up for a quick trip to Lie-Nielsen to teach a 2-day class in 17th-century carving. The project is/was a carved box. Most of the emphasis is on the carving.

They’ve moved the classroom there, now using benches back-to-back. Seems like a nice arrangement. 
double bench LN

Dwight got the “coolest shirt” recognition. 

dwight cool shirt

Bill brought an old  brace for show & tell. I have no way to know its age. 17th/18th century? who knows…it’s really well done, no matter when. 
hand forged brace

brace

chuck

I dragged JoJo Wood along. Decorative carving is not her bag, but she took to it like gangbusters. 

jojo carves decoration

jojo carving decoration

She told me Edale is as far from the sea as you can get in England, so after all that time in the car, we had to see some Maine coast. Here’s Owl’s Head

owls head

sunset

Back home I have several things underway. I know this is stupid, but I assembled my workbench inside the unfinished shop. It’s stored here, was going to sit under a tarp, so why not have it assembled? we’ve never really looked at how it’s built – so here is the white pine top, approx. 4″x 17″ x 8′. On an oak frame. Wedged through tenons on the long rails. The frame runs 24″ deep. I have an oak shelf/plank that fills in the space to make up the rest of the bench top.

bench assembly

The front leg at my right hand-end. Holes for holdfast in the leg. A blind tenon at the top of the leg into a mortise in the underside of the bench. It just goes “thunk” and is done. Just 2 mortises in the bench top. It rests on the top edge of the side aprons behind the front legs.

bench end

Before I positioned the back shelf/plank. I have no recollection of why I framed the rear legs the way I did. But the loose block that rests between the back leg and the rear edge of the workbench top is a spacer to support the shelf. Weird, but it works. Once the shelf is in place, I never think about it again.

back leg

shelf is pegged down to the two spacers, and has one registration peg between it & the bench top.

peg

The bench in situ. A sliding deadman occasionally gets some use. Chopping block moves to the left hand end of this view. Now to finish the shop around the bench & lathe.

in situ

 

 

 

 

Roubo, take that

Here’s another reminder to watch the blog posts by Roald Renmælmo and Tomas Karlsson  – I’ve put links to their work before, but just want to remind folks that there’s very interesting work going on in Scandinavia that’s not spoons! Imagine –  PhD work on carpentry crafts. Today Roald added an English post about their reproduction of a bench from the shipwreck the Vasa – doesn’t it look great?

The almost finished workbench of the Vasa model are set up in our improvised workshop in Mariestad. Photo: Roald Renmælmo

If you like workbenches, etc – there’s lots more pictures here: http://hyvelbenk.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/the-vasa-workbench-rebuilt/

 

 

Go see Roald’s Vasa photos of the wooden bench hook

UPDATE: I wrote this, then kept going further & further on Roald’s blog, which he does with Tomas Karlsson. It’s amazing stuff. You like old benches – get to it! Great stuff, Roald & Tomas – I’ll keep watching http://hyvelbenk.wordpress.com/

here’s what I wrote first:

This ol’ world just keeps getting smaller & smaller…

Back in 2010 I wrote a bit about 17th-century workbench fittings. In that post https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/workbench-fittings-17th-c-style/ I mentioned the wooden bench hook used for sawing and other tasks.

Here’s my all-time-most beat-up version, since then replaced..I shave pegs on mine in addition to backsaw work, etc.

I had never seen a period example, nor even really a good image of one. There’s a sort of miter-box version in Moxon, with his characteristic lousy detail engraving. But today I got this comment from Roald Renmælmo from Norway:

January 16, 2014 at 9:31 am e

I was inspecting the Vasa bench deadman this week in Stockholm. I was also trying to fit it correctly. In my opinion the front surface of the stiles and the Vasa deadman are in the same plane. It might have been mounted wrong earlier?

I did also find at wooden bench hook from the Vasa wreck. It was 24″ long and had also been used as a simple “mitre box” for small stock. I will post some pictures of that on my blog soon.

Roald Renmælmo, Norway
http://hyvelbenk.wordpress.com/

And so he did, so head over to Roald’s blog to see the excellent photos of this bench hook/miter box. When I get my shop back up & running, (more on that hideous story later) I hope to make a new version myself.

Thanks, Roald. I’d mail you 25 cents, but it would cost more than that to get it to you!

Felebien

I haven’t written here in a while. It’s a long story, another time perhaps. Meanwhile, I’m knocked out with something just under the flu. One thing on my to-be-done list has been  learning how to convert JPEGs to PDFs, not for woodworking, but for the many books Rose has written.

But I practiced on Felebien first. So as a thank-you to all the blog readers here for their patience while I was busy bungling the latest tool sale, I’m posting the Felebien stuff I have here. The PDF here is the chapter on joiner’s work, from a reprint of the 1699 edition. Felebien’s first edition was 1676, i.e. pre-Moxon.

So while you’re waiting for Chris to finish up on the Roubo volume, now you can reach back to an earlier time in Paris, and see what Moxon was copying some of his stuff from…

plate 30

Felebien PDF

Now, somewhere I have some attempts at translation done for Alexander & I almost 15 years ago. Paula Marcoux (now the Magnificent Leaven http://www.themagnificentleaven.com/The_Magnificent_Leaven/WELCOME.html ) took a whack at it for us… so here is a “warts n’ all” translation. this is done as a Word document, I have had enough, so I’m not converting it to anything. Have fun.

Felibien w edits accepted

the cat’s out of the bag: that old joiner’s shop you saw here this fall….

Once again, remember this place? I’ve posted it a couple of times, https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/workbenches-lathe/ and https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/tool-racks/ and one more: https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/photos-from-a-great-day-of-study/

 

18th-century shop

 

Now you can read part of the story, from today’s Boston Globe:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/south/2012/11/23/eighteenth-century-woodworker-shop-found-duxbury-said-one-kind/ou50acy7YQ5xwTlEFI05XK/story.html

(Ahhh…the link now only gives me a preview – says I need to subscribe. If the link fails you, do a search for “Luther Sampson Duxbury shop” or something like that. Might be that I reached the monthly limit on freebies at Boston.com…)

I hope you can read it, it’s exciting stuff. Kudos to Michael Burrey for seeing it for what it is…and to the many who have worked thus far on documentation, research, etc.

 

 

photos from a great day of study

Last week I wrote about a day I spent at the 18th & 19th century joiner/carpenter’s shop that was recently found. It wasn’t really missing, but it took a trained eye to see it for what it was. It has been a long time since I’ve been involved in that kind of research, I used to tag along with Plimoth’s historic carpenters to study old buildings whenever I had the chance.

This day reminded me of some of the best things about museum work. Among the crew that day were folks from Colonial Williamsburg, the University of Delaware/Winterthur and others. The building was first identified as something significant by my friend and colleague Michael Burrey, formerly of Plimoth, but for ages out on his own as an historic restoration carpenter.

Jeff Klee of Colonial Williamsburg sent me his very nice photos of the shop. Have a look. This building is of major significance, and its story will be told at some point, but for now it’s time to record it and assess its future.

For me, the highlight was to be reconnected with some of the core ideas behind museum research in this sort of field. I got quite a charge out of it, in the sense that it brought back the fun and excitement I felt back when I was new to museum work in the mid-1990s, making field trips to record all kinds of evidence of what happened, way back when. I’ve been away from research for a while, and it was exciting to get involved again. It makes my work in the shop and with the museum’s visitors better.

Back in my shop, I have been looking closely at the evidence I have left over 19 years, wondering if people would ever be able to tell – “he kept his hatchet here, chisels there…” etc.  What we are trying to do in this shop is to read signs on the wind really…but it’s fun just the same.

Thanks to the involved parties for including me.