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recommendations for wood to use for projects

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  • Joe Gibbs
    Hello, This is my first official post and I have a question. How do you know what type of wood to use for various projects ? In my case I want to make some
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 29, 2005
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      Hello,

      This is my first official post and I have a question. How do you know
      what type of wood to use for various projects ?

      In my case I want to make some take down chairs for our Pennsic camp,
      and the plans call for plywood, however there are multiple types. What
      do people on the list use for their various projects ?

      This is the link to the chair I am going to try first
      http://www.greydragon.org/furniture/chairs/index.html


      Joseph
      fledging wood worker,
      Oaken Region, Mugmort and beyond
    • Trevor Payne
      I use a 4x8 sheet of 4ply double smooth sided Birch plywood. I found that it takes stain and sealant very well and can be easily stained to look like other
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 29, 2005
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        I use a 4x8 sheet of 4ply double smooth sided Birch plywood. I found that it takes stain and sealant very well and can be easily stained to look like other woods.

        Aiden
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Joe Gibbs <joegibbs@...>
        Sent: Mar 29, 2005 8:42 AM
        To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [MedievalSawdust] recommendations for wood to use for projects


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        <tt>
        Hello,<BR>
        <BR>
        This is my first official post and I have a question. How do you know <BR>
        what type of wood to use for various projects ?<BR>
        <BR>
        In my case I want to make some take down chairs for our Pennsic camp, <BR>
        and the plans call for plywood, however there are multiple types. What <BR>
        do people on the list use for their various projects ?<BR>
        <BR>
        This is the link to the chair I am going to try first<BR>
        <a href="http://www.greydragon.org/furniture/chairs/index.html">http://www.greydragon.org/furniture/chairs/index.html</a><BR>
        <BR>
        <BR>
        Joseph<BR>
        fledging wood worker,<BR>
        Oaken Region, Mugmort and beyond<BR>
        </tt>

        <br><br>
        <tt>
        <br><br>

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      • Bill McNutt
        Joseph, Welcome to the wonderful world of sawdust, woodshavings, splinters, and the occasional attractive, useful piece. First, my bit of ceremonial advice to
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 29, 2005
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          Joseph,
          Welcome to the wonderful world of sawdust, woodshavings, splinters, and the
          occasional attractive, useful piece.

          First, my bit of ceremonial advice to new artisans in this medium: keep
          your hands out from in front of the pointy bits.

          Whenever you start to apply pressure to a tool, ANY tool, ask yourself:
          where is it going to go if it slips. You will find, 9 times out of ten,
          that a part of your body is in the flight path. Everyone on this list has
          scars on his/her off hand from not following the rules. Be the exception.

          Hm. Where did that soapbox come from?

          Anyway, to answer your question, I am a firm believer in the "it was handy"
          school of thought. All other things being useful, I believe that medieval
          craftsman worked on the wood that was easiest to get. That's why you see a
          lot of walnut out of Italy and Oak out of England and Flanders. So if I'm
          trying to make a Flemish side table (my current design project), I will
          probably make it out of oak. On the other hand, if I'm doing a reproduction
          of an extant piece, I use whatever the original artisan made it out of,
          adjusted for what is available on my continent at a reasonable price. Since
          I've done a lot of English pieces, I tend to use a lot of red and white
          north American oak. I think that the grain pattern is very similar to
          English brown oak, and it's a LOT cheaper. That gives me a finished piece
          that looks like the original, without having to take out a third mortgage on
          the house to get the English to cut down a lump of Sherwood forest and ship
          it to "the colonies."

          The gothic break-down chairs are not a bad choice for a first project. I
          would use a birch plywood or other "cabinet grade" plywood, as the finished
          product will be much more attractive when finished. This will substantially
          increase the cost, though.

          Here's another bit of unsolicited advice. Before starting a project, ask
          yourself the following three questions:

          Who is going to load it?
          How am I going to haul it?
          Where am I going to store it?

          The chairs you are making, while they pack flat, call for a minimum 2' x 4'
          x 8" of your hauling space and storage space. Be sure you have room for
          them.

          My "masterwork," a 3 panel 16th century linen fold chest, is being retired
          from SCA service because I didn't ask these questions. It weight 60# dead
          empty, and I will soon be too old to be lifting it in and out of my truck.

          Master Will
          http://tech.cls.utk.edu/wood

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Joe Gibbs [mailto:joegibbs@...]
          Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2005 9:42 AM
          To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [MedievalSawdust] recommendations for wood to use for projects


          Hello,

          This is my first official post and I have a question. How do you know
          what type of wood to use for various projects ?

          In my case I want to make some take down chairs for our Pennsic camp,
          and the plans call for plywood, however there are multiple types. What
          do people on the list use for their various projects ?

          This is the link to the chair I am going to try first
          http://www.greydragon.org/furniture/chairs/index.html

          Joseph
          fledging wood worker,
          Oaken Region, Mugmort and beyond



          Yahoo! Groups Links
        • Ralph Lindberg
          For a similar design (see http://dragonslaire.org/images/cm05goodtobebaron.jpg ) I used baltic-birch (roughly 1/2 by 5ft by 5 ft). It was a joy to work as it
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 29, 2005
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            For a similar design (see
            http://dragonslaire.org/images/cm05goodtobebaron.jpg ) I used
            baltic-birch (roughly 1/2 by 5ft by 5 ft). It was a joy to work as it
            had no voids.
            The basic difference is that only the streacher has pegs. The seat
            has two cleats, the sit into dadoed 2x4s, that are attached to the
            side boards. Also the back rests on cleats attached to the side
            boards. The pegs for the streacher actually store in pockets cut into
            the underside of the seat. Which, is two sheats of plywood rather then
            one. I design -every- chair I make to allow Grendal to sit on it, in
            armor (I guess though only AnTirians will know that Master Grendal is
            a man so large he can play his volia, by placing it under his chin).
            Following Master Will's rule, these store into an area that is
            30inchs by 50 inches by 10 inches. Each piece is light enough to be
            carried by almost anyone. However we only pack them to local events.
            Non-local events get smaller, lighter chairs.

            TTFN
            Ralg
            AnTir
          • Dianne & Greg Stucki
            ... From: Bill McNutt To: Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2005 10:06 AM Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust]
            Message 5 of 10 , Mar 29, 2005
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Bill McNutt" <mcnutt@...>
              To: <medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2005 10:06 AM
              Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] recommendations for wood to use for projects


              >
              > Joseph,
              > Welcome to the wonderful world of sawdust, woodshavings, splinters, and
              > the
              > occasional attractive, useful piece.
              >
              > First, my bit of ceremonial advice to new artisans in this medium: keep
              > your hands out from in front of the pointy bits.
              >
              > Whenever you start to apply pressure to a tool, ANY tool, ask yourself:
              > where is it going to go if it slips. You will find, 9 times out of ten,
              > that a part of your body is in the flight path. Everyone on this list has
              > scars on his/her off hand from not following the rules. Be the exception.

              I am the exception, (so far) but I will add, if you have long hair, tie it
              back. Ask me sometime what happened to the motor of my first jigsaw.

              Laurensa
            • Ralph
              Welcome Joseph! I think the advice that you have received so far is great, And Ralg has done justice to Master Grendal s size. Both designs are good ones to
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 29, 2005
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                Welcome Joseph!

                 

                I think the advice that you have received so far is great, And Ralg has done justice to Master Grendal’s size.

                 

                Both designs are good ones to start with, just remember to take your time, and don’t measure once and cut twice. :>

                 

                If you want to use other than plywood you might try searching the various lists for ideas and plans. Goodness knows there are lots of good ideas out there to work from.

                 

                Anyways, have fun and be safe.

                 

                Alfric

                 

                 

                 


                From: Joe Gibbs [mailto:joegibbs@...]
                Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2005 6:42 AM

              • Siegfried
                ... Well, besides the fact that I do have scars on my hand, let me add to not just think about where the tool will go, and of course to think about where YOU
                Message 7 of 10 , Mar 29, 2005
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                  > First, my bit of ceremonial advice to new artisans in this medium: keep
                  > your hands out from in front of the pointy bits.
                  >
                  > Whenever you start to apply pressure to a tool, ANY tool, ask yourself:
                  > where is it going to go if it slips. You will find, 9 times out of ten,
                  > that a part of your body is in the flight path. Everyone on this list has
                  > scars on his/her off hand from not following the rules. Be the exception.

                  Well, besides the fact that I do have scars on my hand, let me add to
                  not just think about where the tool will go, and of course to think
                  about where YOU will go (ie, stationary tool, moving you)

                  However, do also think about where the WOOD will go.

                  I will share my embarassment, and give a good example from this weekend:

                  I was using my miter gauge on my table saw to cut off 7/8" slices, of
                  a 1.5" wide, 1/4" thick board. I was using the table saw instead of
                  the chop saw, because, well, I now have a much better table saw than
                  chop saw and it was going to leave nicer edges for something I was
                  just going to paint as tokens and didn't want to have to finish that
                  edge any after cutting.

                  I of course knew enough that I needed to install a partial fence, just
                  for gauging purposes, so that these small cutoffs wouldn't get stuck
                  between the blade and fence. I did so.

                  However, I still needed to clear each piece after cutting so that they
                  didn't hang around and pile up and cause themselves to do into the
                  blade.

                  I had a scrap thin piece of wood, and made the mistake (you were
                  waiting for this weren't you?) of pushing the rectangle of wood
                  forward, away from the blade, instead of pulling it away from the
                  blade.

                  Of course, after doing a few, I pushed one and it twisted while being
                  pushed and caught in the blade. It went flying backwards, hard. I
                  was smart enough to keep my body away from the blade path, but my arm
                  still was there, and I got a nice bruise/cut on my arm where it
                  impacted. Of course, I recoiled with that arm, and slammed my head,
                  above my eyebrow, with the wood stick in my hand, giving myself a nice
                  cut on my forehead.

                  *sigh*

                  So also do remember to think about where the wood might go, as well as
                  any pushstick/etc that you are holding.

                  Siegfried



                  --
                  ___________________________________________________________________________
                  THL Siegfried Sebastian Faust http://crossbows.biz/
                  Barony of Highland Foorde Baronial Web Minister & Archery Marshal
                  Kingdom of Atlantia Deputy Kingdom Earl Marshal for Target Archery
                  http://highland-foorde.atlantia.sca.org/ http://archery.atlantia.sca.org/
                • msgilliandurham
                  ... I have a scar from a deli meat slicer (don t ask), but not woodworking tools. The wall of the university woodshop, OTOH ... I am reminded of a blacksmith
                  Message 8 of 10 , Mar 29, 2005
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                    --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "Dianne & Greg Stucki"
                    <goofy1@s...> wrote:
                    > I am the exception, (so far) but I will add, if you have long
                    > hair, tie it
                    > back. Ask me sometime what happened to the motor of my first jigsaw.

                    I have a scar from a deli meat slicer (don't ask), but not
                    woodworking tools. The wall of the university woodshop, OTOH ...

                    I am reminded of a blacksmith from the Midrealm who had beautiful
                    long blond hair (think Fabio)

                    (Actually he resembled Fabio in the face as well ...

                    but I digress)

                    One day he showed up at an event with *short* blond hair, and all the
                    women moaned and complained, "Oh, *how* could you cut your beautiful
                    blond hair??!!"

                    And he replied each time he was asked (well, moaned at) "I finally
                    had to face the fact that

                    I could have long hair and be a blacksmith

                    I could have *clean* hair and be a blacksmith

                    or I could have long clean hair."

                    We had to allow as how we could understand his choice ...

                    (He was a very good blacksmith)

                    Gillian Durham
                  • Ralph Lindberg
                    ... Actually my scars are from wood working tools, all on the left hand. Of course I also have a nice dent in the shop door, or why I -NEVER- stand down range
                    Message 9 of 10 , Mar 29, 2005
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                      --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "msgilliandurham"
                      <msgilliandurham@y...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > I have a scar from a deli meat slicer (don't ask), but not
                      > woodworking tools. The wall of the university woodshop, OTOH ...
                      >
                      Actually my scars are from wood working tools, all on the left hand.

                      Of course I also have a nice dent in the shop door, or why I -NEVER-
                      stand down range of the table saw. I knew the rip was risky, which was
                      why I did it from beside the table saw.

                      Ralg
                      AnTir
                    • James W. Pratt, Jr.
                      I would recomend that you use the wood recommended in the plans. Different woods are used for different things. For camp chairs that get beat around and packed
                      Message 10 of 10 , Mar 29, 2005
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                        I would recomend that you use the wood recommended in the plans. Different
                        woods are used for different things. For camp chairs that get beat around
                        and packed plywood is fine. A book case that holds 1400C books...you might
                        use something better.

                        James Cunningham
                        >
                        > Hello,
                        >
                        > This is my first official post and I have a question. How do you know
                        > what type of wood to use for various projects ?
                        >
                        > In my case I want to make some take down chairs for our Pennsic camp,
                        > and the plans call for plywood, however there are multiple types. What
                        > do people on the list use for their various projects ?
                        >
                        > This is the link to the chair I am going to try first
                        > http://www.greydragon.org/furniture/chairs/index.html
                        >
                        >
                        > Joseph
                        > fledging wood worker,
                        > Oaken Region, Mugmort and beyond
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
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