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Re: Johann's Woodshop

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  • Ralph
    I take it then you will not be attending AnTir-West? Ralg
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 25, 2013
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      I take it then you will not be attending AnTir-West?

      Ralg

      --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, John LaTorre <jlatorre@...> wrote:
      >
      > Greetings to the Medieval Encampment and Medieval Sawdust lists!
      >
      > As some of you know, I've been taking my woodshop to the major west
      > coast wars I've attended (Estrella War and Great Western War) for the
      > past few years, in hopes that it might draw fellow woodworkers into
      > doing on-site demonstrations. The response so far has been underwhelming.
      >
      > It's a hassle to transport and set it up, particularly when my household
      > also attends the war and I have to do set-up for them as well. There's
      > also the problem, when I am not camping directly behind the wood shop,
      > of making sure that the many tools I've brought don't go walkabout. So
      > I've decided to curtail this activity except under the following
      > circumstance:
      >
      > I will consider bringing it when other people organize a woodworking
      > demonstration and invite me to participate. I feel that it's time for
      > others who want this to happen to "step up to the plate" and assume
      > responsibility for it. There's still plenty of time for those who are
      > planning to attend Great Western War or Estrella to arrange a
      > woodworking demo with the event coordinators.
      >
      > Yours in service,
      >
      > Johann von Drachenfels
      >
    • K
      to Johann von Drachenfels greetings from THL Kai SaerPren please allow me to pick your brains. I live in East Kingdom. (previously of/from AEthelmearc) I have
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 25, 2013
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        to Johann von Drachenfels
        greetings from THL Kai SaerPren
        please allow me to pick your brains.
        I live in East Kingdom. (previously of/from AEthelmearc)
        I have been thinking of doing what you had/have been doing for a couple of years. I keep putting off getting together a medieval kit completely acceptable for SCA Demo's.
        I have many tools that are similar in design and function to medieval tools but they are all of less than 200 years old/style or vintage.

        EG braces, I have several that date from the 1800's very nice and functional but definitely not medieval. they work nearly the same but are not the same. I have spoon bits, manufactured less than 30 years ago in central NY. they are spoon bits, they work just like spoon bits, but again not hand forged, not medieval-ish at all.
        same goes for my drawknives, axes and saws etc.
        I can make more medieval-like handplanes, but what did you do about drills? I think I can imitate saws, but I like my saws that I use. a froe is about the only tool that I have that wouldn't stand out as "out of place"

        So: what tools did you use for demo's? (do you have photo's you could share)
        what "modern" tools would you consider inappropriate?
        is it inappropriate to demo woodworking with more or less modern tools at an SCA event?

        My current thoughts center about making a barrow and a KD workbench and tool tote. Not a complete shop.

        yours in service
        K
      • John LaTorre
        ... I don t know. I haven t made it to the Antir-West War in many years, because a family function usually happens at that weekend. Whether or not I attend
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 26, 2013
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          Ralg wrote:
          >
          > I take it then you will not be attending AnTir-West?

          I don't know. I haven't made it to the Antir-West War in many years,
          because a family function usually happens at that weekend. Whether or
          not I attend this year depends on the health of my mother-in-law, who's
          suffering from cancer; this may be the last year she has left, and it
          wouldn't do for me to skip the function. But if she doesn't feel up to
          partying, the family may well skip the function altogether and leave me
          free to make other plans.

          What sort of thing do you anticipate having at the war? I remember Alex
          talking at one point about having a woodworking demo there, but I don't
          know whether any progress has been made on that front.

          Johann
        • John LaTorre
          ... I ve always thought of my woodshop as a work in progress, each year getting a little closer to authentic but never quite reaching there. Some of the
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 26, 2013
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            THL Kai SaerPren wrote:

            > I have been thinking of doing what you had/have been doing for a couple of years. I keep putting off getting together a medieval kit completely acceptable for SCA Demo's.
            > I have many tools that are similar in design and function to medieval tools but they are all of less than 200 years old/style or vintage.
            I've always thought of my woodshop as a work in progress, each year
            getting a little closer to "authentic" but never quite reaching there.
            Some of the tools I carry are modern, like braces and Scotch bits, but I
            try to replace these tools with more period ones like gimlets and bow
            drills. It's an extension of the "Out with the new, in with the old"
            philosophy which I have developed over the years (and which may be found
            here: http://midtown.net/dragonwing/periodencampment.htm ) The point I
            made in that article is that it's a gradual process, not an overnight
            re-tooling. One of the nice things about the SCA is that it's an
            organization which doesn't require instant authenticity. You do the best
            you can with what you have, and gradually make it better and better.

            If I have not replaced a tool yet, at least I keep it in a period-style
            box, out of sight, until the moment I use it. Then I put it away again.
            The advantage of period tools to me, lazy person that I am, is that I
            can leave them out in plain sight. When I'm using it while people are
            watching, I'm careful to explain that it is a modern tool, and that
            folks in period would have used something different, or found another
            way to achieve the same result.

            > I can make more medieval-like handplanes, but what did you do about drills? I think I can imitate saws, but I like my saws that I use. a froe is about the only tool that I have that wouldn't stand out as "out of place"

            I've been using gimlets and bow drills. I made the bow drill, but bought
            the gimlets from Lehman's, the Amish hardware source in Ohio. They
            aren't really period in the design of their biting part, but they aren't
            jarringly modern and will do until I get a friendly blackmith to make me
            more period ones. As for the saw, it's a frame saw I made. It's very
            easy to make these using a section of a discarded bandsaw blade, or you
            can get the proper blades pre-made (I think Lee Valley sells them). Or
            you can do what I did and buy an old pruning saw from a thrift store,
            grind off the teeth, and cut your own ... a fine way to while away a
            spare week or two.
            > So: what tools did you use for demo's? (do you have photo's you could share)
            > what "modern" tools would you consider inappropriate?
            > is it inappropriate to demo woodworking with more or less modern tools at an SCA event?

            My basic kit contains a wooden straight edge, a wooden square, a box
            plane, a mallet, a frame saw, the gimlets and three double-screw clamps,
            all of which I made myself. I also made a workbench, which I believe
            are pictured in the files section; for the workbench, I have bench dogs
            and holdfasts (which I haven't been able to document, but seem
            appropriate to the technology of the late Middle Ages). And I use a set
            of wooden-handle chisels I bought at Harbor Freight many years ago, when
            they actually sold decent tools. I carry a lot of other modern tools,
            mostly for woodcarving and such, and these go into a wooden chest which
            stays closed most of the time.
            >
            > My current thoughts center about making a barrow and a KD workbench and tool tote. Not a complete shop.

            That's pretty much how I started. The main thing is to demonstrate how
            wood is worked, and show people how easy it is for them to do it, too,
            with a minimum of power tools. I've come to an event with a six-foot
            one-by-twelve pine board and left it with a stool created on site with
            just the tools I've mentioned above. (Plans for the stool, by the way,
            are at http://midtown.net/dragonwing/col0003.htm )

            As my friend Cariadoc likes to paraphrase from Voltaire: "Don't let the
            best be the enemy of the good." In other words, being satisfied with
            nothing less than perfection usually means that you'll never be
            satisfied at all, and consequently nothing is done. It is better to
            produce what you can, always with an eye to making the next thing better.

            Happy woodworking!

            Johann
          • Ralph
            ... I don t have a feel, I know that a friend -had- planned to bring his stuff but nature intervened (Matush will be released from having a heart-bypass today)
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 27, 2013
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              --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, John LaTorre <jlatorre@...> wrote:
              >
              > What sort of thing do you anticipate having at the war? I remember Alex
              > talking at one point about having a woodworking demo there, but I don't
              > know whether any progress has been made on that front.
              >
              >
              I don't have a feel, I know that a friend -had- planned to bring his stuff but nature intervened (Matush will be released from having a heart-bypass today) and he will not be coming.

              My wife is in charge of the A&S area and she has heard nothing from anyone planning on bringing any woodworking stuff and wanting room there.

              We hadn't talked about trying to bring the treadle-lathe, it would be, difficult with our regular gear. (I bring it to our local demo, but we sleep at home for that event)

              Ralg
              AnTir
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