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Re: Johann's Woodshop

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  • 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 1 of 6 , Apr 26, 2013
      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!

    • 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 2 of 6 , Apr 27, 2013
        --- 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)

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