A friend of mine showed me a bottle of Franklin/Titebond Liquid Hide Glue with an old expiration date and he thought it was still good. I looked at the date and it was 7-01 and I thought there was no way it was any good. So I did the finger/thumb test and sure enough it exhibited ‘legging’ or ‘cottoning’ indicating it was still good.
So the following day I conducted the only sanction test for testing the usefullness of liquid hide glue, a bead of glue on paper, cooked in a 150 degree [F] oven for 15 to 20 minutes and allowed to cool. To my surprise it cracked indicating it was still good.
It had not been stored in special conditions although the shop never got real hot. Good idea to test before you throw it away.
A friend for whom I have done repairs on spinning wheels brought me a loom she had got from India made of teak. The problem was that it would not lock adequately into the upright position. I examined the loom and determined that the slotted machine screws just spun as the wingnuts were tightened.
The loom was actually quite well made, except for the white plastic parts, but they just couldn’t or didn’t figure out all of the details. So I decided that two of the four machine screws in question could be replaced with simple carriage bolts. I used a square file to make the bolt go into the hole without splitting the wood, and that worked out fine.
However the other two machine screws could not be replaced with ordinary carriage bolts, so I had master blacksmith Mark Schramm weld on tabs on both sides of the square top of the carriage bolts. I had to remove one of the shed spacers in order to remove the old screws and insert the new tabbed carriage bolts.
Once they were in place I repositioned the spacers in the proper location, put it back together and low and behold it works. And the happy customer brought me this hand spun dishtowel that she had made on the loom. Thank you.
Other side view
Eight and 1/2 inches long, 4 3/16 inches wide, and 2 3/16 inches thick, plus or minus a bit as it is 300 years old. Sent to me by my friend Sir William from the East coast as an ingredient for an old recipe for cutler’s cement that calls for brick dust.
It is a very hard brick and if you look closely you can see the shells from the lime making process in the matrix of the brick. The brick weighs 5 pounds. Seems a shame to grind it up, but it will give me a chance to test out my new cast iron mortar and pestle, and there apprently are more available.
I will report the results of the cutler’s cement recipe trials as they happen.
Yes it does match my other maple octagonal tapered handles on my chisels and dovetail saws. This has been on my list since childhood.
It is not a caliper, it is not a tuning fork, it is not a truncated trident, it is not a gimble, it is not a frog gig, it is not a boot jack, it is not an oar lock, it is not a pattern for a flyer [although I did use a flyer for the layout], it is not a crutch, it is not a stirrup, it is not a gun rest, it is not an equitorial mount and it is not brought to you by the letter ‘Y’. What is it?
Alas after nearly 10 years my ‘hand of death’ flyswatter is getting a bit limp in the wrist. I personally take a hand in the demise of the flies.
It has a hickory handle, waxed linen thread ‘netting’ the handle with a one piece leather strap. The leather hand is held to the hickory handle with an iron staple that is clinched. I straightened out the staple, removed the old hand and replaced it with a new one.
Now it is ready for the nasty flying bugs.
The first picture is of an accurate copy of the Hudson Bay Fur Company trade awls sold by the hundreds to Native Americans in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in North America. It was made several years ago by my friend Richard James, I handled it up and made the leather sheath.
The one pictured below is made by master blacksmith Mark Schramm for me, like I need another awl.
I also handled up 4 awls for him to sell, the handles are curly maple. I rough shaped them with a rasp then scraped them smooth. The hole is drilled with a small gimblet bit, drills great in end grain and makes the proper shaped hole. I then heated up one of the awls to cherry red and burned the tapered hole for a perfect fit.
They are finished with Moses T’s Gunstocker’s Finish. Mark will be selling them at an upcoming event over the Fourth of July Weekend.
This is a wheel that a friend found at the dump and gave it to me to restore.
The wheel will eventually be for sale, it is on the back burner, as other jobs are in the queue first. Here is a photograph from Southern Antiques and Folkart by Robert Morton showing a tin distaff cup.
I asked master blacksmith and tinsmith Brian Westover to make one for my wheel and also some for sale.
Here is what it looks like on the lower part of the yet unfinished distaff, a small peg slides out under the distaff to hold it in place.
I will work on it when I get some free time between other projects.
You can order a distaff cup here.
I initially posted this as ‘Bobbin Shaped Object‘, but I was wrong apparently there was a family that made bobbins this way, just not for CPW’s. so I borrowed an original CPW bobbin from a friend to copy. I did repair the broken bobbin.
I also finished the whorl repair, I used shellac and burnt umber pigment and was able to match the original finish.
I also applied a couple coats of Moses T’s Gunstocker’s Finish to the cherry bobbins and put them in the sun to give them a bit of a tan.
Also included in the order was a Chicken Nut, to finish out the restoration. I put it in the post this morning.
A customer sent me a flyer, whorl, and ‘bobbin’ for repairs to the whorl and requested three  new bobbins for her Canadian Production Wheel. When I received it in the mail, I took off the whorl [it has left hand threads] and the ‘bobbin’ came apart like no other bobbin I had ever seen before and you can believe I have seen a lot of bobbins.
As you can see from the picture the center shaft of the bobbin is butt joined to the pulley end rather than the traditional round socket holes and tenons on both ends? I found this very curious and thought that whoever sold the wheel put this ‘bobbin shaped object’ in place in order to sell the wheel. I notified the owner, who contacted the seller, who got in touch with me.
Apparently the seller had purchased it from a known collector on the East coast and had made sure the wheel was functional and did not notice the suspect bobbin prior to selling it to my customer.
I am convinced it was not done to deceive and I think everything is smoothed out with the seller [who wants me to do some work for them] and the project progresses. I contacted a local friend and she lent me an original CPW bobbin to copy, so the new ones will look right and are constructed using original techniques.
You can see the chip in the whorl in the above photograph. I marked out a dovetail Dutchman repair on the whorl, then using a small sharp knife cut the end grain birch to the right shape.
I then cut a piece of end grain birch to fit into the dovetail and glued it in with Fish Glue.
After the glue dried I shaped it to match the original whorl.
I will stain it to match the original color.
Here is the first of three bobbins, I still have to glue them together and finish them with Moses T’s Gunstocker’s Finish. The bobbins are made out of cherry and I will put them in the sun for a tan, no stain.
Yes this one has been on my list ever since I saw it illustrated in Salaman”s book and I did a more detailed sketch on page 48 of Shepherds’ Compleat Early Nineteenth Century Woodworker originally published in 1981.
Richard McDonald did the turning in hard maple for me, and Mark Schramm made the special long spokeshave blade, similar to these but 4″ long with short 1″ tangs. [If you are interested in one of these blades send me an email.]
The layout was interesting and a bit challenging to get the cutting edge near the center line of the turning. I drilled the through holes with gimlet bits starting with my smallest and working up a couple of sizes. I then worried the square holes with a small 1/8″ chisel and used the ends of the tangs to scrape the holes to their final shape.
I then had to cut off some of the lower tang so it did not protrude from the wood on the back side. I waited until it was fit up before I sharpened the blade with a file and honed it on a whetstone.
I had to make a recess for the chips to escape and not clog up the works as it cuts the taper. I used a small gouge to carve the shape then one of my Tombstone Scrapers to smooth it out and deepen the channel.
All in all, I am happy with how it turned out and how well it works, even though it was not the easiest tool I have ever made it is finally off the list.
Now where is that list to see what is next up?