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Re: [medievalsawdust] X-chairs Cheap!!

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  • Joseph Hayes
    ... I guess that depends on your market. I made one for myself from 1x2 red oak trim and a few hours in the shop. I don t remember the price, but it wasn t
    Message 1 of 16 , May 4, 2003
      --- Tim Bray <tbray@...> wrote:
      > Guess I won't be making any of these... can't compete with a price
      > like that!

      I guess that depends on your market. I made one for myself from 1x2
      red oak trim and a few hours in the shop. I don't remember the price,
      but it wasn't anywhere near $100.

      Ulrich


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    • Tim Bray
      ... Oh, yes, materials cost would be nowhere near $100. But I m trying to make a living here, so the labor isn t free. I doubt I could make one
      Message 2 of 16 , May 5, 2003
        >I guess that depends on your market. I made one for myself from 1x2
        >red oak trim and a few hours in the shop. I don't remember the price,
        >but it wasn't anywhere near $100.

        Oh, yes, materials cost would be nowhere near $100. But I'm trying to make
        a living here, so the labor isn't free. I doubt I could make one
        start-to-finish, at the level of finish and detail that I'm happy with,
        fast enough to sell it for $100 and still make a living wage. (I'm
        guessing the people who assemble these are making substantially less than
        USA minimum wage...)

        Cheers,
        Colin


        Albion Works
        Furniture and Accessories
        For the Medievalist!
        www.albionworks.net
        www.albionworks.com
      • Tim Bray
        ... My wife found them in a catalog (Marshall Fields) that we received in the mail. I think they have some link with Amazon. Cheers, Colin Albion Works
        Message 3 of 16 , May 5, 2003
          >Just curious, what were you looking
          >for when you found these?

          My wife found them in a catalog (Marshall Fields) that we received in the
          mail. I think they have some link with Amazon.

          Cheers,
          Colin


          Albion Works
          Furniture and Accessories
          For the Medievalist!
          www.albionworks.net
          www.albionworks.com
        • rmhowe
          ... Good point. I hadn t thought of starting one with something that simple. I suppose it s because I was used to getting the lumber out of the rough with
          Message 4 of 16 , May 5, 2003
            Joseph Hayes wrote:
            >
            > --- Tim Bray <tbray@...> wrote:
            > > Guess I won't be making any of these... can't compete with a price
            > > like that!
            >
            > I guess that depends on your market. I made one for myself from 1x2
            > red oak trim and a few hours in the shop. I don't remember the price,
            > but it wasn't anywhere near $100.
            >
            > Ulrich

            Good point. I hadn't thought of starting one with something that
            simple. I suppose it's because I was used to getting the lumber
            out of the rough with large industrial machines. I suppose
            the bottoms might be something a bit wider and the tops made
            from turning squares - with a back slotted in.

            I showed my wife the web-page and the improvement needed
            for most folks, particularly us older ones is back support. If
            she'd wanted one I would have bought it for her. No back? Uh-uh!

            Thanks for sending the page though Tim, I forwarded it on locally.

            Magnus
          • rmhowe
            ... One of my oldest friends spends half of his time these days taking furniture orders (and NC furniture jobs) to China. Used to go to Argentina. There is no
            Message 5 of 16 , May 6, 2003
              Tim Bray wrote:
              >
              > >I guess that depends on your market. I made one for myself from 1x2
              > >red oak trim and a few hours in the shop. I don't remember the price,
              > >but it wasn't anywhere near $100.
              >
              > Oh, yes, materials cost would be nowhere near $100. But I'm trying to make
              > a living here, so the labor isn't free. I doubt I could make one
              > start-to-finish, at the level of finish and detail that I'm happy with,
              > fast enough to sell it for $100 and still make a living wage. (I'm
              > guessing the people who assemble these are making substantially less than
              > USA minimum wage...)
              >
              > Cheers,
              > Colin

              One of my oldest friends spends half of his time these days taking
              furniture orders (and NC furniture jobs) to China. Used to go to
              Argentina. There is no doubt in my mind that they are probably
              being made overseas having made furniture for a living as a
              former shop foreman.

              Retail is usually double wholesale, which hopefully is double labor cost
              and materials. Or it was when I did it. Around 1980 one of my 7 hour
              products usually went for about $400+ retail. We had about thirty six
              designs I frequently worked up. Some took as long as five days.

              Having made the jigs to set up that particular stool I could probably
              do three a day if I had to or possibly more with a thickness sander
              or more modern self feeding equipment.

              I was not including finishing in my production estimate for an
              ordinary shop. A shop I sub-contracted parts for once made oak
              furniture for ship deck chairs and they simply dipped everything in
              boiled linseed oil and let it drip over a welded steel sheet tank
              and cover.

              If you were to go back in the Medieval Encampments list you
              would find a post by me on how to do tenons very quickly by
              hand on a tablesaw. I did hundreds per day once by hand.

              You could also go the easier route and make the seats out of doweling
              for the parts other than the seats though. I have seen that done.
              A Drill Press, some drill & forstner bits, glue, and a bunch of 1x2"s
              cut to length and tapered where they hit the other leg struts.

              Of course if you did use dowels for the seat too you would get that
              lovely grill embossed look. I wonder what it does for cellulite?
              I mean if you can see panty lines - what's that got to look like? ;)

              The hard part is all the tenons and -mortises- which modern
              computer assisted machinery makes somewhat simple. At that point you
              only need machine operators and sanders/finishers which is where most
              labor is these days with one or two skilled machine set-up men in
              the U.S.A. at least. Finishing can be done, and is, on roller
              platform lines with up to thirty separate people doing specialised parts
              of it. If you are not doing high-end custom work you cannot compete
              with factory work. Chinese mainland labor is 1/8th of Taiwan's.

              Some of their products though are quite nice. For example I bought
              a fine hardwood (mahogany or something very similar) trestle table
              and matching trestle seats for about $450 two years ago at a
              World Market when they were on sale. I don't think I could buy
              the materials for much less than that here. No particle board anywhere
              and virtually flawless. Fingerjointed but very hard to see under
              the uniform finish. Not one knot in it. I think it came from Malaysia.

              The only happy converse of all this may be that some hardwoods may
              decrease or stabilize in cost as the demand lessens, although a whole
              lot of our hardwoods are shipped overseas now.

              For those who may never have heard of such things there are actual
              factory ships at sea for long times producing plywood which is then
              sent back to our markets made out of our trees.
              These are similar to the whaling ships/fishing ship canneries
              where everything is done off shore. Usually Japanese, but I
              imagine they have competition now. My source for this was Woodshop
              News I think a few years back.

              This is one reason why veneer is so thin on much of the hardwood
              plywood you see these days. It used to be about 1/40" thick but
              is thinning. I've seen some you could see the under-layers or glue
              through. You really have to be picky and do minimal sanding on this
              stuff. Some of it I have used had the lovedly scent of dog doo when
              you cut it too. I don't know what that is exactly they used. I hated
              it on the rare stuff we bought I encountered it on.

              If you rub three spread fingers over a sheet you can usually detect
              voids by ear or feel. Before you buy the clunker. I've sent whole
              shipments, or a good percentage of them right back to the suppliers.
              Reputation is everything. Especially when your average job runs into
              thousands of dollars.

              Incidentally, before you get caught in this one - most plywood
              suppliers guarantee squareness on only three corners. Mathematically
              it doesn't make sense, but sheets being out of square quite a lot
              are quite common. If you are doing cabinetry and you let one of
              these things into your cabinet in a central location - you're screwed
              trying to fix it after the fact. Use a square and compare measurements
              to oblique corners. I think you will be very surprised.

              Oversize sheets are not unknown either. This is a good reason to have
              a table saw that will cut half way through lengthwise [48"+].
              It's generally best to have your pieces cut between a fence and
              blade whenever possible. The most accurate tablesaws to have are
              -outside- or left tilting blades, if you are right handed. The
              reason is with a blade that tilts - towards the fence - any rise
              in the material while it is being cut is deducted from your piece.
              With a left tilt blade you can always press a bit harder down to
              make it lie flat with the table and true up the edge with a follow
              up cut.

              It also helps to have a good straight edge you can rout a square
              corner to begin with if you find yourself very much out of square.
              For myself I have long had two aluminum extrusions of about 4 and
              10 feet, and I have a set of tile setter's straight edges as well
              I can clamp on and rout to. There is a company called Joint-a-bility
              that sells these jigs as an alternative to jointing huge boards.
              It simply is a legged jig that clamps a straight edge down on top
              of your board and you use a router to run a straight edge or an
              angled one if you have the bits. Woodshop News generally sells them.

              Magnus
            • Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart
              If you were to go back in the Medieval Encampments list you would find a post by me on how to do tenons very quickly by hand on a tablesaw. I did hundreds per
              Message 6 of 16 , May 7, 2003
                If you were to go back in the Medieval Encampments
                list you would find a post by me on how to do tenons
                very quickly by hand on a tablesaw. I did hundreds per
                day once by hand.

                two questions...

                Medieval Encapments list? Where? How?

                and ( just in case I't something I haven't
                thought of ) how do 'you' do tenons on the
                table saw.

                I've done it a couple of differnt ways,
                I'm curious how you do it....



                =====
                Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart
                Aude Aliquid Dignum
                ' Dare Something Worthy '

                __________________________________
                Do you Yahoo!?
                The New Yahoo! Search - Faster. Easier. Bingo.
                http://search.yahoo.com
              • Scott Lane
                ... I was sure you were on it! It s only one of the best lists around! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MedievalEncampments/ In Service, Lord Aodhfin Seibert
                Message 7 of 16 , May 7, 2003
                  >Medieval Encapments list? Where? How?
                  >Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart
                  > Aude Aliquid Dignum
                  > ' Dare Something Worthy '

                  I was sure you were on it! It's only one of the best lists around!

                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MedievalEncampments/

                  In Service,
                  Lord Aodhfin Seibert
                • Adam MacDonald
                  Good evening, folks! That would be the Medieval Encampments Yahoo group - founded by Dame Mira Silverlock (of Medieval Pavilion Resources fame) and now run by
                  Message 8 of 16 , May 7, 2003
                    Good evening, folks!

                    That would be the Medieval Encampments Yahoo group - founded by Dame Mira
                    Silverlock (of Medieval Pavilion Resources fame) and now run by me - Sasha
                    (Mykola Shlahetka). Here's some pertinent info for the group:

                    Post message: MedievalEncampments@yahoogroups.com

                    Shortcut URL to this page:
                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MedievalEncampments/

                    We're nearly 900 souls (and growing daily) - some of the worthies on *this*
                    list also play over at mine (hi Magnus, hi Colin!). The focus is on
                    improving the camp aesthetic (whatever that means for you) furniture,
                    pavilions, packing strategies, weatherproofing, et cetera....

                    Stop on by!

                    Sasha
                    Owner - Crescent Horde Tent Company - specializing in non-Mongol yurtas

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart <baronconal@...>
                    To: <medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2003 1:47 PM
                    Subject: Re: [medievalsawdust] X-chairs Cheap!!


                    > If you were to go back in the Medieval Encampments
                    > list you would find a post by me on how to do tenons
                    > very quickly by hand on a tablesaw. I did hundreds per
                    > day once by hand.
                    >
                    > two questions...
                    >
                    > Medieval Encapments list? Where? How?
                    >
                    > and ( just in case I't something I haven't
                    > thought of ) how do 'you' do tenons on the
                    > table saw.
                    >
                    > I've done it a couple of differnt ways,
                    > I'm curious how you do it....
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > =====
                    > Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart
                    > Aude Aliquid Dignum
                    > ' Dare Something Worthy '
                    >
                    > __________________________________
                    > Do you Yahoo!?
                    > The New Yahoo! Search - Faster. Easier. Bingo.
                    > http://search.yahoo.com
                    >
                    >
                    > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                    > medievalsawdust-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • stefan_of_kiel
                    Hello Colin, I want to start by saying your web page has fantastic wood furniture. I ve made a few knockdown trestle tables using slots and datos but they get
                    Message 9 of 16 , May 12, 2003
                      Hello Colin,

                      I want to start by saying your web page has fantastic wood furniture.

                      I've made a few knockdown trestle tables using slots and datos but
                      they get loose quickly and wobble. I believe you have a picture on
                      your webpage of a trestle where the cross piece is aligned up and
                      down and your pin passes through side to side. Last night I was
                      working on this wobble problem and cut a mortise for the pin to go
                      top to bottom. The way it holds over a larger area of the leg and
                      seems sturdier than the cross pin. The other thing I did was cut the
                      pin's mortise at an angel to match the pins angle. This gave a
                      larger area of contact inside the mortise and the leg stopped
                      wobbling. The material I'm using is 7/8" maple. The cross piece is
                      5" wide and the tenon is 3" wide x 4" long. I didn't cut a shoulder
                      for the tenon because I felt the material is too thin. Once the
                      mortise was cut in the leg, I then cut a 1/4" mortise in the tenon
                      from top to bottom. Having the mortise go straight through and using
                      an wedge shaped pin meant that only one small spot of the pin was
                      contacting the instide of the mortise. I then took out more material
                      to make the mortise angled and I recut my pin to match the angle and
                      keep it short enough to stay below the tabletop when in place. Now I
                      have a lot of contact in the mortise which puts pressure on the top
                      and bottom of the tennon. This removed most of the wobble. There is
                      still a little side to side wiggle, but I will probably glue small
                      blocks jsut below the base of the tenon to act as shoulders and that
                      should reduce that movement.

                      I'll try to post some pics on my webpage this evening.
                      http://www.dwarvenaxe.com The link will be in the Woodworks
                      section. Assuming this test works successfully, I'll be fixing or
                      replacing my existing trestles to this design.

                      If someone else tries this or sees an obvious issue this this design,
                      please let me know.

                      Stefan



                      --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, Tim Bray <tbray@m...> wrote:
                      >
                      > >Who has made the 'sawhorse' style trestle tables?
                      >
                      > I have made some, in a knockdown style.
                      >
                      > >What angles and sizes did you find worked best?
                      > >
                      > >Did you make 3 or 4 legged trestles?
                      >
                      > Mine are tripods. Both the front and back legs are angled, at
                      about 4 degrees.
                      >
                      > >I made a prototype legs from scrap plywood
                      > >( 3 legged )
                      > >and didn't like the way it came out.
                      >
                      > I'm not completely satisfied with mine, either. They look nice and
                      work
                      > well... up to a point. A couple of customers think they are too
                      > wobbly. This comes of making them knockdown.
                      >
                      > I don't think most of the medieval versions were made to come
                      apart. Most
                      > of them look like they have pretty thick legs, permanently joined
                      to the
                      > horizontal support. This would be a lot sturdier, but almost
                      impossible to
                      > pack for travel.
                      >
                      > I'm still trying to solve this problem: how to make trestles that
                      are
                      > sturdy and stable, but can be taken apart and packed flat.
                      Suggestions
                      > welcome!
                      >
                      > >( My wife found out that
                      > >only the poor didn't cover up their tables
                      > >with table clothes
                      >
                      > Yes, which makes documentation of these things extremely
                      difficult. 90% of
                      > the time, the trestles are hidden by the tablecloth. (Simliar
                      problem with
                      > beds, btw.) I do have a few details from paintings and
                      illuminations; maybe
                      > I'll try throwing them onto a Web page so we can all discuss them.
                      >
                      > Cheers,
                      > Colin
                      >
                      >
                      > Albion Works
                      > Furniture and Accessories
                      > For the Medievalist!
                      > www.albionworks.net
                      > www.albionworks.com
                    • Tim Bray
                      Stefan, ... Thanks! Compliments are always nice, and those from other woodworkers are especially treasured. ... Yes. ... That s the way my tripod trestles
                      Message 10 of 16 , May 13, 2003
                        Stefan,

                        >I want to start by saying your web page has fantastic wood furniture.

                        Thanks! Compliments are always nice, and those from other woodworkers are
                        especially treasured.

                        >I've made a few knockdown trestle tables using slots and datos but
                        >they get loose quickly and wobble.

                        Yes.

                        > I believe you have a picture on
                        >your webpage of a trestle where the cross piece is aligned up and
                        >down and your pin passes through side to side.

                        That's the way my tripod trestles were made.

                        > Last night I was
                        >working on this wobble problem and cut a mortise for the pin to go
                        >top to bottom. The way it holds over a larger area of the leg and
                        >seems sturdier than the cross pin. The other thing I did was cut the
                        >pin's mortise at an angel to match the pins angle. This gave a
                        >larger area of contact inside the mortise and the leg stopped
                        >wobbling.

                        Yes, that's the way I make the bed rail-to-post joint. See the "beds" page
                        for a photo.

                        >The material I'm using is 7/8" maple. The cross piece is
                        >5" wide and the tenon is 3" wide x 4" long.

                        This is actually very close to the dimensions of the bed-rail joint! The
                        rails are about 7/8 thick, a little over 5" wide, the tenons are 3" wide,
                        and the posts are made from 8/4 stock so they are about 1-3/4" thick.

                        >I didn't cut a shoulder
                        >for the tenon because I felt the material is too thin.

                        (I think you mean you didn't cut _cheeks_; there are 1" shoulders on either
                        side of the tenon, right?) And it turns out to be unnecessary, I
                        think. With 7/8 wide stock the shoulders are sufficient, especially with
                        the power of that long wedge.

                        Basically what you describe is a very traditional way of making 'trestle
                        tables.' I've made them that way myself and it is definitely the best. I
                        think the vertically-wedged tenon is the strongest and best knockdown joint
                        there is.

                        However... the question is how to use that joint on the 'sawhorse' trestles
                        that we were originally discussing. (Apparently there is a terminology
                        problem; what we call a 'trestle table' does not use 'sawhorse trestles.' )

                        The problem I'm having with my tripod trestles isn't vertical wobbling,
                        it's side-to-side wobbling. Using a vertical wedge instead of a horizontal
                        pin might improve that a little; but I suspect a big part of my problem is
                        that the front pieces are only 1/2" thick, which means there isn't much
                        bearing surface between the tenon and the mortise. I'd like to rotate the
                        top stretcher, so it is flat/horizontal (which is the way the medieval ones
                        seem to have been done), but then there's no room for knockdown
                        joinery. (Maybe I need to post a photo showing the detail of this joint?)

                        What I think I need to do is make the front as an A-shape (two legs with a
                        horizontal stretcher) out of 6/4 stock so there is more depth to the
                        mortise, and maybe use 6/4 for the top stretcher as well so I can put wider
                        shoulders on the tenon. But all this drives the cost way up, and the
                        weight, too. I don't think I'd sell many of them.

                        Thanks for discussing this. Any more ideas?

                        Cheers,
                        Colin
                        Albion Works
                        Furniture and Accessories
                        For the Medievalist!
                        www.albionworks.net
                        www.albionworks.com
                      • Stefan von Kiel
                        Hello Colin, More thoughts on period style trestle tables... ... I agree. ... I ve been calling the sawhorse trestle a period tressle and the commonly seen
                        Message 11 of 16 , May 14, 2003
                          Hello Colin,

                          More thoughts on period style trestle tables...

                          >Basically what you describe is a very traditional way of making 'trestle
                          >tables.' I've made them that way myself and it is definitely the best. I
                          >think the vertically-wedged tenon is the strongest and best knockdown joint
                          >there is.

                          I agree.

                          >However... the question is how to use that joint on the 'sawhorse' trestles
                          >that we were originally discussing. (Apparently there is a terminology
                          >problem; what we call a 'trestle table' does not use 'sawhorse trestles.' )

                          I've been calling the "sawhorse trestle" a period tressle and the commonly
                          seen
                          trestle a standard trestle. I made a standard trestle out of 4/4 hickory
                          and use it
                          as a work table. It is heavy and very sturdy. If there is a better name
                          for the two
                          types of trestle tables, I'd like to know so I can call it by it's proper
                          name.

                          >The problem I'm having with my tripod trestles isn't vertical wobbling,
                          >it's side-to-side wobbling. Using a vertical wedge instead of a horizontal
                          >pin might improve that a little; but I suspect a big part of my problem is
                          >that the front pieces are only 1/2" thick, which means there isn't much
                          >bearing surface between the tenon and the mortise. I'd like to rotate the
                          >top stretcher, so it is flat/horizontal (which is the way the medieval ones
                          >seem to have been done), but then there's no room for knockdown joinery.
                          >(Maybe I need to post a photo showing the detail of this joint?)

                          I've seen drawings and illuminations with the horizontal stretcher but
                          couldn't
                          see a way to make it break down and be sturdy. Maybe if the legs had a
                          tenon
                          and went into a mortise in the horizontal stretcher, but no way to secure it
                          with a pin.

                          >What I think I need to do is make the front as an A-shape (two legs with a
                          >horizontal stretcher) out of 6/4 stock so there is more depth to the
                          >mortise, and maybe use 6/4 for the top stretcher as well so I can put wider
                          >shoulders on the tenon. But all this drives the cost way up, and the
                          >weight, too. I don't think I'd sell many of them.

                          For the front leg, I have tried using a triangle with the legs going up the
                          sides
                          and meeting at the top. I wasn't using a mortis/tenon joint but it would
                          have
                          worked well. Now I'm cutting a 15 degree angle on both parts of the leg for
                          a 30 degree spread. I don't make the top a point. I cut it back so the top
                          is
                          flat and about 2 " wide. I've used 30 degrees a few times and it seems
                          sturdy
                          enough.



                          Stefan von Kiel
                          Dwarven Axe Armoury
                          www.dwarvenaxe.com





                          ----Original Message Follows----
                          From: Tim Bray <tbray@...>
                          Reply-To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                          To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [medievalsawdust] Re: 'sawhorse' trestle tables
                          Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 13:09:53 -0700

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