Full Chisel Blog

July 31, 2014

300 year old Brick

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

brick1

Top viewbrick2

Side viewbrick2a

Other side view

brick3

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.

Stephen

July 20, 2014

New Shop Tool

Filed under: Historical Material,Of Interest,Proper Tools,Shop,Uncategorized,Wood — Stephen Shepherd @ 11:33 am

new shop toolYes 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?

Stephen

July 15, 2014

Emergency Tool Repair

Filed under: Historical Material,Of Interest,Proper Tools,Restoration,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 1:40 pm

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.

flyswatter1

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.

flyswatter2

Now it is ready for the nasty flying bugs.

Stephen

July 1, 2014

Five Awls – Hudson Bay Company trade awls

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.

hudson bay awl

The one pictured below is made by master blacksmith Mark Schramm for me, like I need another awl.

5 awls

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.

Stephen

June 26, 2014

Distaff Cup – for sale

This is a wheel that a friend found at the dump and gave it to me to restore.

dumpwheel

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.

distaff cup

I asked master blacksmith and tinsmith Brian Westover to make one for my wheel and also some for sale.

distaff cup1Here 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.

distaff cup2

I will work on it when I get some free time between other projects.

You can order a distaff cup here.

Stephen

June 23, 2014

CPW Spinning Wheel, whorl repair and 3 new bobbins

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.

whorl repair4

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.

finished job

Also included in the order was a Chicken Nut, to finish out the restoration.  I put it in the post this morning.

Stephen

June 13, 2014

Spinning Wheel Repair – Bobbin Shaped Object

A customer sent me a flyer, whorl, and ‘bobbin’ for repairs to the whorl and requested three [3] 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.

bobbin shaped object

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.

whorl repair

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.

whorl repair1

I then cut a piece of end grain birch to fit into the dovetail and glued it in with Fish Glue.

whorl repair2

After the glue dried I shaped it to match the original whorl.

whorl repair3I will stain it to match the original color.

first bobbin

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.

Stephen

June 8, 2014

Tapered Reamer with a spokeshave blade

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.]

spokeshave tapered reamer

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.

spokeshave tapered reamer2

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.

spokeshave tapered reamer1

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?

Stephen

June 1, 2014

Spindle Wheel – New Mother-of-All, and Spindle, finished

I have completed the new mother of all and spindle for the spinning wheel from Florida, time to pack it up and ship it home.

The flange and power pulley are turned of maple, then fit and the pulley turned to its final dimension.  The metal spindle from master blacksmith Mark Schramm was roughened up where the flange and pulley are attached, then washed with alcohol and etched with a fresh clove of garlic.  I used Fish Glue to attach them together.

spindle head4

spindle head5

With the parts all turned up and fit, I drilled the holes for the braided corn husk bearings and started the finish schedule.  The first coat is yellow ocher in Moses T’s St. John’s Oil followed by a sealing coat of burnt umber and shellac.

spindle head6

Then a coat of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil with burnt umber, then a thin seal coat of straight shellac.

spindle head7

The last color is of course black iron oxide in Moses T’s St. John’s Oil and allowed to dry.  Both the Birch and reclaimed Chestnut match the original color now.

spindle head8

Ready to pack up and ship.

Stephen

 

 

May 29, 2014

Boycott this Movie

Filed under: Documentation,Historical Material,Of Interest,Spinning Wheel,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 9:08 am

This is the partial dedication to my next book on Spinning Wheel Repair.  I have not mentioned the company by name but you can figure it out; I did this to avoid any legal problems.  Do not support this movie!

Dedication

This book is dedicated to the loving memory of the 44 spinning wheels, new and antique that were destroyed by fire in the production of a recent movie of a classic French/German fairy tale. Those Forty-four will be remembered and lamented as a senseless waste of historic material culture that can never be replaced. There are only a limited number of ‘antique’ spinning wheels and they are just not making them anymore and this large movie production company has eliminated forever these examples. This hits home for me because I restore old spinning wheels and I have done sets and been a property master on movies and commercials and it is indeed possible to make reproduction spinning wheel props that could have served the purpose without sacrificing heirlooms. At least they could have used computer generated images and ‘burned’ those instead of removing from our history extant examples and forever depriving those in the future of their legacy, enjoyment, educational value and historical significance. Had the filming been done in certain countries that have antiquities laws the large company would be criminally liable for their thoughtless actions. This is simply an act of historical vandalism done by the large heartless corporation and they should be held responsible for this tragedy. For a company that is dedicated to animal conservation and preservation, apparently historical objects can be destroyed with reckless abandon. The audacity of this studio is an absolute disgrace This dastardly deed cannot be undone nor forgiven.

Stephen

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