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Re: [MedievalSawdust] Tooling for 6BC

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  • conradh@efn.org
    ... lot ... Herr Thomas, Are there _any_ period woodworkers within a reasonable travel time that you could arrange to learn from? A lot of this stuff isn t
    Message 1 of 101 , Dec 2, 2010
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      On Wed, December 1, 2010 10:25 am, Thomas von Holthausen wrote:
      > 6BC= six board chest
      >

      >
      > I have some inherited planes, from two
      > to twelve inches long, but I do not know how to sharpen or set the depth
      > correctly. I have saws, knives, screwdrivers, hammers, mallets and chisels
      > in several widths and some gimlets and a brace type drill and a small set
      > of scrapers. I don't think I have anything else I can describe as
      > period. I have darn little experience in using most of these for anything
      > except rough household repairs.
      >
      > There is so much I don't know. I
      > follow directions well and am not a klutz with tools, but I don't know a
      lot
      > of the terminology. I certainly do not know much about shaping wood
      > between cutting with a saw and finishing with sandpaper.

      Herr Thomas,

      Are there _any_ period woodworkers within a reasonable travel time that
      you could arrange to learn from? A lot of this stuff isn't rocket
      science: a basic orientation to a plane, frex, will show you how to
      sharpen it and how to set it, and what jobs that particular plane is made
      to do. You can learn that in an afternoon, for two or three tools, if you
      take good notes. You won't be anything but a beginner, still--but that
      will make you a beginner who _knows what to practice_. Also note: "period
      woodworker" doesn't have to be SCA, because about 90% of the tools used in
      1800 go back to 1500, and half of them go back to the Roman Empire or
      before. That Roman carpenter adjusted his plane iron and sharpened his
      spoon bits pretty much the same way as the Viking shipwright or the
      Chippendale chairmaker did his. So your resource person could easily be
      someone at an 18th or possibly even 19th century living history site...or
      a hobbyist from one of the later reinactment groups.

      If you can't find a coach, you could do a lot worse than pick up 2 or 3 of
      Roy Underhill's books. Or Moore and Sithole's _How to Make Carpentry
      Tools_, which is the only beginners' manual I've ever seen that includes
      _all_ the steps, even the little baby ones! (ISBN 1-85339-406-8)
      >
      > For example, what does this mean?
      >
      >
      > "cutting a T&G (piece of cake with a rabbet plane)

      A rabbet is a rectangular-cross-section cutaway along the edge of a board,
      usually made as one half of a joint with another board. You can have a
      rabbet that's just the width of the other board, which then fits into it
      unmodified. Or two rabbets can interlock, with each board reduced to half
      thickness (or other combinations) at the joint. Rabbet joints can be held
      together with glue, nails, etc. If glued, one advantage is that they
      increase the surface area that's gluable inside the joint. The interlock
      also adds plain mechanical stability. You can also lay one rabbet over
      another and join boards at their edges, to make a wider surface.

      Rabbets can be cut on table saws, or by hand with chisels, or a
      combination where you saw the edge line and trim away the waste with a
      chisel. In period, they were mostly made with special rabbet planes,
      planes whose blade goes all the way to one side of the plane body so they
      can cut to the side as well as downward. You can buy them, antique or
      new, or make one. (The first plane I ever made was a rabbet plane as per
      the Moore and Sithole book. It was fun, and the plane works very well.

      The "T&G" above is another kind of joint--tongue and groove. That's one
      you may have seen on siding boards or flooring and the like today. Each
      board has a tongue cut on one edge, the middle third of its thickness left
      to stick out as a ridge all along. The other side has the two outer
      thirds left, and the center third scooped away. You slip the tongue of
      one board into the groove of the next, and you can make a wide top for
      your chest or table. Or you can make a groove just above the bottom of
      your chest, and set tongued bottom boards in place that are supported by
      the joint. You can leave the joint a little loose, and the wood can
      expand and contract without splitting when the humidity changes.

      You can make the tongues, at least, with a rabbet plane, by using it on
      both sides of the board's edge. The grooves require a different sort of
      plane, the plow. See below:

      or even plowing a
      > groove and splining."

      A plow plane makes a rectangular-sectioned groove in a board. Like all
      planes, it's really just a chisel set into a jig to control it more
      easily.
      >
      > Is my box project feasible? What is
      > the simplest way to hold things down while planing or other work? What
      > other period like tools are needed?

      The simplest way to hold work _down_ while planing is simply your own
      weight. You need a bench with a really flat top, low enough down that you
      can put a good portion of your weight onto the plane. The other
      workholding thing you need is a "planing stop"--something to keep the
      board from shooting away sideways as you use the plane. A planing stop in
      the West is usually a piece of wood that comes up through the bench top,
      or comes up at the left end of the bench, and can be locked at different
      heights. You set it a little lower than the board is thick, and that's
      usually all the holding you need. In Japan the planing stop is nothing
      more than a couple of nails driven into the top of their workbench, which
      is more like a beam than a table. Be _really_ careful if you use nails or
      any other sort of iron planing stop! As the wood you're planing gets
      thinner, you're getting the blade closer and closer to the top of the
      stop. If it's wooden, no big deal. If it's iron, you can truly clobber
      your nicely sharpened plane blade!

      All this is for surfacing the flat sides of boards. To work on edges,
      secure them to the edge of the workbench, or clamp them in a vise.

      You could build a 6-board chest with what you have, as long as you also
      have some layout tools. A square and a marking gage, plus a pencil or one
      of your knives to actually make the layout marks. A square and a marking
      gage are two of the early projects in the Moore and Sithole book.

      Later period chests have fancy joinery like panels set into plowed
      grooves, or corners connected by dovetailing. The earliest ones often had
      simple butt joints held by nails. The nails often split the wood after a
      seasonal cycle or two, and they would just go to the blacksmith and get
      some iron straps and corner brackets to hold everything together. The
      skill in those days wasn't joinery, it was more in knowing how to take
      trees and make things out of them. (A great oversimplification, but I'm
      trying to give you the baby-step version.)

      There are online tutorials for many of these operations.
      www.bodgers.org.uk is one place to find some of them. Roy Underhill has
      clips from his TV show online. Googling some of these topics will turn up
      info you can use.

      Hope this helps!

      Ulfhedinn
    • Bill McNutt
      Odds are, Brendon is not talking to me. From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Brendon Sent: Sunday,
      Message 101 of 101 , Dec 12, 2010
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        Odds are, Brendon is not talking to me.

         

        From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Brendon
        Sent: Sunday, December 12, 2010 1:19 AM
        To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] RE: Guild restrictions

         

         

        did you have a good flight back babe?

         

        On 2/12/2010, at 12:54 PM, D. Young wrote:



         

        Some examples of what I was referring to....


        Viking age ring hinge (which I suspect would be forge welded)
        http://www.asbrand.com/pics/projects/mastermyr_chest/mastermyr_chest_hinge_02.png
        http://codesmiths.com/shed/boxes/norse/strap_hinges.jpg

        By contrast 16th and 17th century gimlet or ring hinge:
        http://www.abbey-web.net/6536%20%284%29.jpg
        http://www.mmarkley.com/chests/1034-chest-hinge.jpg

        Butterfly hinges with screws:
        http://www.tewkesburyiron.co.uk/admin/images/Half_Butterfly_Hinge_2_11344.jpeg (replica but shows how screws were used, being somewhat counterintuitive to the modern mind as easily removable....but screw drivers and such tools were not necessarily readily available as they are today, minimizing theft)


        --Drew

         


         

        Fine Armour and Historical Reproductions

             Custom Commissions Welcome....!

        www.partsandtechnical.com
        (Well Formed Munitions Catalog Coming This Spring)

         




        To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
        From: furnaceplans@...
        Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2010 18:42:02 -0500
        Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] RE: Guild restrictions

         

        "Surprisingly, many common woodworking techniques were not as ubiquitous as one might think throughout SCA time. There are often subtle differences that can help identify a specific time, region or culture for a piece."

        --I agree with this absolutely.

        My angle was that it can be tricky to weed out later repairs from period construction.   As a good example my 1640 chest has screws in the hinges.   Some antique dealers feel the use of screws indicates a repair or replacement of the rivets as screws were not widely used until the 18th century.   However I have found more than ample evidence in wooden pieces from the 1500s such as gun powder horns, and screws and bolts were used on armour since at least the 15th century, so clearly screwed technology (ahem) was around.

        Now the point here is that screw drivers were not as common, and so removing a screw was not quite as easy simple as it is now.   Ive seen screws over lock plates to that very end, suggesting that a technique we deem as commonplace or anachronistic may have been employed.   

        Another example is ring hinges.....these drive me crazy because we see them on well made joyed boxes with heavy carving....clearly an expensive chest.....yet using a very primitive type of hinge.   I have theorized the ring hinge may have something to do with green wood furniture not yet having "settled" into place....or possibly just a vogue in something retro....whats old is new is a reoccuring theme we do see at least in the Renaissance period (heck the very word means rebirth).    So while we see viking chests like the Mastermyr chest with ring hinges that seems to fit with that era, we also know standered barrel hinges were used as well.    And because of that duality I cannot, at least right now, see any clear pattern or reasoning for why some pieces used barrel hinges and why some used ring hinges or gimlets.  


        --Drew



         


         

        Fine Armour and Historical Reproductions

             Custom Commissions Welcome....!

        www.partsandtechnical.com
        (Well Formed Munitions Catalog Coming This Spring)

         




        To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
        From: ewdysar@...
        Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2010 22:03:47 +0000
        Subject: [MedievalSawdust] RE: Guild restrictions

         

        I believe that the point that was trying to be made with guild restriction was not about who might or might not be doing the work. I think that guild restriction were being used as proof of accepted techniques. If the guild restricited a given technique's use, then it was obviously a common or accepted technique for that time period and location.

        Since this group is interested specifically when and where certain techniques were used, this can be good information. I'll throw out a topic that comes up now and again as an example.

        Is dovetail joinery correct for 10th century Britain? This question immediately falls to finding the earliest extant example of dovetail joinery from the area. I know that there are extant examples of sliding dovetails in Norse woodworking finds (various box lids), but I have yet to see an example of pin and tail dovetails in any Norse chest. Some 90 deg lap joints have an angled shoulder, but I don't really consider that to be dovetailed.

        Surprisingly, many common woodworking techniques were not as ubiquitous as one might think throughout SCA time. There are often subtle differences that can help identify a specific time, region or culture for a piece.

        Eirikr

        --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "D. Young" <furnaceplans@...> wrote:
        >
        > Im not saying guild rule and restrictions were not held many times. To that extent I agree Will.
        >
        > What Im saying is that there is ample extant evidence that such rules were bent on occasion particularly outside of a major city, the long arm of the law and that of guilds was weaker.
        >
        > Or with respect to a client who wanted something that fell between say joyners and boarders.
        >
        > Now I approach this from an armouring point of view in which I can assuredly say that there is able reason to believe guild restrictions were not as hard and fast as we might think.
        >
        > If companies often get away with substandard things today....recalls constantly for safety and crappy products.....I believe this only proves my point.
        >
        > People have been trying to skirt the rules since the first guy got busted but the temptation remained. Human nature.
        >
        > If it happened in the armour world, which is arguably the highest craft of the middle ages due to its skill level and critical importance.....I have no doubt it happened with furniture on occassion
        >

         

         

         

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