Full Chisel Blog

September 19, 2015

We Are Back

Filed under: Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 8:02 am

We are back and enjoing it.

Stephen Shepherd

July 25, 2015

Update on Stephen Shepherd

Filed under: Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 12:08 pm

Here is a quick update on Stephen Shepherd and this site. Stephen had a stroke last December and just recently had open heart surgery. He is doing well and recovering considering everything he has been through. Stephen currently resides at St Joseph’s Villas in Salt Lake City Utah and I have recently gained access to his website and accounts so I can continue to assist him in selling books and answering all of your questions about his work. Apparently Stephen has been greatly missed and I apologize it has taken this long to gain access and answer all the responses to his web page and orders of his books and other goods. Please bare with me and be patient while I wade through all of the orders and responses.

If you are interested in Stephen’s books I can accommodate all orders. If I have not responded to your emails or messages yet I will in the next week or two as there were over 2000 responses. I have had each of the books printed and ready to ship. As for other items I am working with Stephen’s close friends to see if I can accommodate those. Some I might be able to help and if not will make sure you are refunded any funds sitting in Paypal. If you have questions for me please contact me at 801-726-2598 or via email kmbingham92@msn.com. I am also looking after Stephen’s email so you can send me a message at Stephen@fullchisel.com.

I want to thank everyone for all the support over the past seven months. I will update the web page and store as I find out what I can and cannot provide to everyone at this time.

Kelly Bingham

November 25, 2014

Spinning Wheel Repair Book has arrived.


Right on time for mailing next week as planned.  I am very happy with how it looks.  Order here.


November 22, 2014

New Distaff for an old wheel

My friend and Master woodcarver and turner Richard McDonald picked this wheel up at a local flea market.  It is in excellent condition and appears to have never been finished, it is ‘in the white’.


All that was missing was the distaff and the pitman (footman) needed to be replaced.  I designed the new distaff and pitman from turning details on the original, Richard turned the pieces and I assembled the parts.



I got very little spring back or recovery from the bent dowels.

The ribs are 1/8″ diameter birch dowels, the rest of the wheel is also made of birch.  I made a bending jig, boiled the 5 dowels, hoping to get 4 good ones in boiling water for 20 minutes, clamped them to the jig and carefully and quickly bent them to shape.  I allowed them to dry overnight and as expected I had one failure, but the four turned out fine.


I drilled 1/8″ holes in the distaff at the proper angles and spring the ribs into position.  I will glue them in place with hide glue.


No finish on this piece, still have the pitman to finish.  This wheel will be for sale when it is completed.


October 22, 2014

Dry Powdered Pigments for Restoration Work

I have received several requests for the dry powdered pigments I use and having mentioned them in my forth coming book, I decided to offer them for sale as a set.

dry powdered pigments

Black Iron Oxide, Red Iron Oxide, Yellow Ocher, Burnt Umber, & Zinc White.

These are the traditional pigments from the nineteenth century and earlier, zinc oxide is substituted for white lead, as some people won’t allow the sale of lead for some reason.

All natural earth pigments ground 900 fine, they are non-fugative and will not fade.  They are compatable with any medium: linseed oil and turpentine, shellac or spirit based varnish, oil based varnish [to make enamel], and water based finishes such as gum arabic or for distemper [hide glue size], etc.

Five one ounce (by weight) glass jars with metal lids, they are available here.


October 17, 2014

Pre-publication Sale of The Spinning Wheel Repair Book

I am offering a pre-publication sale on the Spinning Wheel Repair Book which is going to the press soon.  I will be delivering these by the first week of December 2014.

Here is a mock up of the cover, color being added as we speak, original artwork by Tim Burnham.


For the first 25 orders I will include an 8.5″ by 11″ hand impressed copy of the hand set title page by Lauri Taylor of Loose Cannon Press, along with your order.

lauri title page3

The book is 8.5″ by 11″, 77 pages with 160 illustrations and 25 photographs.

The book can be ordered here at the Full Chisel Store, the price is $20.00 plus $6.00 domestic shipping.  International shipping charges apply.  The book will be shipped by early December, 2014.

Thanks to all of those who helped with this publication.


October 7, 2014

The Spinning Wheel Repair Book

First of all I want to let everyone know everything is fine here, because I haven’t posted recently I have been receiving a lot of inquiries.  I have been busy finishing up my next book on Spinning Wheel Repair.

Here is a mock up of the hand set type title page, still in need some adjustment, it is being done by a friend.  The forward was written by a friend.  I am having the cover art finished up by another friend and one more technical part being done by another friend, thank goodness for friends.

lauri title page1

The book will be out in time for the holidays, but I am thinking of taking orders earlier.


August 17, 2014

Expired Liquid Hide Glue, good after 13 years!

Filed under: Alchemy,Hide Glue,Historical Material,Of Interest,The Trade,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 4:28 pm

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.

glue test

It had not been stored in  special conditions although the shop never got real hot.  Good idea to test before you throw it away.


August 8, 2014

Loom repair

Filed under: Hardware,Historical Material,Of Interest,Restoration,Techniques,Uncategorized,Wood — Stephen Shepherd @ 9:16 am


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.



July 31, 2014

300 year old Brick

Filed under: Alchemy,Finishing,Historical Material,Of Interest,Techniques,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 1:21 pm


Top viewbrick2

Side viewbrick2a

Other side view


End 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.


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