A friend of mine picked this up at a local swap meet and I don’t think he gave too much for this Brazilian Rosewood 3 beam marking/mortice/tenon gauge. Here is a link to Christian Sholl’s Patent. It is American made and Sholl also patented a 4 beam marking/mortice gauge and some of these are actually made and judging from the prices are quite rare.
I have seen a lot of marking gauges in my time, this one is up there in curious designs. I fiddled with this for a while and it is most difficult to set, the mortice slide adjusts easy enough but getting all three sides in the correct position is a handful.
This view shows the triple beams and the pentagonal shape.
It has several round brass discs on the opposite side of the fence for wear, two are missing. It is brass mounted with iron screws and iron/steel scribing pins.
At last I got the entire prototype built and dry assembled and it functions as expected. The first photograph shows the two shapes I will offer, both U-shape and V-shape flyers. The flyers, whorl and mandrel vary slightly with each wheel and each complete unit is made to fit existing wheels where these are missing. A simple measurement between the leather bearings is provided and the assembly is custom made to fit.
The second photograph shows one prototype finished, I am working on the second whorl, the mandrel, and flyer are done and fitted together. I will roughen up the surface of the metal, wash it with soap and water, then alcohol before etching with garlic. I will use hot hide glue to attach them together.
The mortise in the flyer is not that easy to make as it is endgrain and the unusual shape of the mandrel makes this a challenge. I used charcoal to cover the mandrel, which transfers to the mortise to show where wood needs to be removed. I don’t use graphite as that will interfere with the glue and the charcoal will not.
Will have the pricing soon.
and the Bobbin is in the queue. The mortice or hole through the maple flyer was fashioned to the proper taper and square shape with files and a small carving knife. The hole for the shaft was drilled before the piece was turned. This provides a center for the terrorizing turning process, this is a real knuckle duster.
The waste material is removed and the wings thinned down. This is the first flyer and while I will use it on the wheel I am restoring, the next and future versions will be more of a ‘V’ shape than this ‘U’ shape. Apparently spinners like the wider flyer shape to get more thread on the bobbin.
As you can see from the two different size mandrels that all wheels vary it the spacing of the maidens; the important measurement is between the two [leather] bearings. I will roughen up the mandrel where it goes through the maple flyer, then etch it with garlic to prepare it for hot hide glue.
The Whorl [double pulley that powers the mandrel] is end-grain maple, with two different size pulleys for two different speeds. The mortise for the nut was difficult to chop, being end grain and is slightly undercut to hold the nut in place.
The nut is made from some pure tin tubing a friend gave me; I split the tube and hammered it flat, then using a pair of compasses I marked out the size and cut it to shape. I then drilled a hole and used one of my new/old rinders to make the hole the proper size.
Forcing the left hand threads of the mandrel into the hole and used it to form the threads on the soft metal nut. I then peened the tin around the edges to expand it into the undercuts of the mortise.
Now it is on to the Bobbins, which are made of three pieces, the ends being end-grain, the V-groove is deep and should be interesting.
because of nails in all of the joints. Nails do nothing to increase the strength of the chair, but do weaken the wood where the nails were used. This chair belongs to a friend, it was ‘unfinished’ furniture, table and chairs in oak. Why the original manufacturer used nails is beyond my comprehension.
Not being able to disassemble the chair to deal with the break or perhaps replacing it, it was necessary to repair in place. I clamped the stretcher then cut a small mortise across the break to receive a loose tenon to strengthen the fracture.
The depth of the mortise is to the end of the cross stretcher. This is an inherently weak joint, exacerbated by the through nail weakening the joint even further. The above picture shows the break spread open to receive hot hide glue.
I used 192 gram strength ground hide glue from Joel at Tools for Working Wood, high quality ground hide glue; 1/2 teaspoon glue, 1 teaspoon distilled water. This is the smallest batch I make, put it in the glue pot, the pot on the stove and when the water jacket boils over, the glue is ready in minutes.
I used a tourniquet and a couple of wood end cam clamps as well as a wedge of pine between the front legs to close up the fracture, not the easiest clamping job, but I accomplished the task.
Using a flat chisel I pared the excess oak away to bring the tenon down to the curve of the stretcher. Then some shellac with yellow ocher and burnt umber to get the color match and a bit of beaumontage to optically hide the fracture and joint around the loose tenon.
Cursing the inappropriate use of nails.
Gary Roberts over at Toolemera has done it again and reproduced a fine tome from the nineteenth century. The book has many full color plates, hand colored engravings and Mr. Roberts has reproduced the entire book in color, so the pages appear as they would in an original edition.
Mr. Stokes has done an excellent job at assembling material from his peers and predecessors, which I won’t call plagiarism as it was common practice. Some of the engravings have the long f for the s, indicating an earlier time.
The book is however full of very useful information about lay out, perspective, drawing, design and construction of furniture, with an emphasis on finishing, which I found fascinating. This is a great hardbound edition of an historical work that is a pleasure to hold in ones hand and read about the past and the ways of old. Add this one to your bibliotheque.
This is the first book review of my first book that was originally published in hardbound in 1981. This review appeared in Smithsonian Magazine April 1982.
I found this while doing research at the University of Nevada, Reno at their excellent library.
Now I need to find the reviews in Workbench Magazine, Soldier of Fortune Magazine and Museum of the Fur Trade Quarterly.
Available at Tools for Working Wood
and The Full Chisel Store or from Amazon. Amazon also has original hardbound editions for sale.
On an English style Joyner’s bench by an American with a Japanese chisel. Have I covered all the bases? I was in need of a large 1 inch square mortise in my workbench to accommodate my new anvil. After a discussion over at WoodCentral I decided to chop the mortise near the support leg of my workbench using the manner of Roubo pictured here.
Everything from the grip of the mallet to the grip on the chisel is how I did the mortise. And while the stance pictured in the illustration may be good for shooting a rifle, it just doesn’t work for mortising. I tried and I just didn’t have any balance, so I just widened my stance to the width of my shoulders and pounded away. I laid out the mortise with a pencil and chopped it with my modified Japanese chisel and it took 15 minutes.
It was square, right next to the leg with blow out on the bottom. But I didn’t take a picture of that because no one will ever see it anyway. I think I will have to reevaluate the old engravings with a better eye as everything may not be correct.
I am making this for a friend and with the help of George Merrill, I got it done in record time. Here is a picture of the quilting frame bench. You can see the frame here, and the gears in an early stage here.
Constructed of knotty alder, the legs are mortised and tenoned into the seat and held with wedges, all construction is glued with hide glue. It is finished with Moses T’s St. John’s Oil.
Here are the gears and pawls, I will drill, countersink and install a stand off washer of leather. The gears have to be timed or clocked so they match up on both sides, I will mark them so they can be installed in the proper position when set up.
The gears come off for storage, so it is important they go back on the the proper position. Need to make arrangements for the cloth to be tacked on both axles and it is ready for delivery.
If anyone is in need of a traditional wooden quilting frame, please let me know.
Sure you have heard of dovetail chisels, how about a fish tail chisel? I became aware of this tool when I was an apprentice. I had asked my master about the large European hinges I had seen on old armoires and other large cabinet work. He said that they were called ‘fiche eisen’ or fish iron not for the hinge but for the tool to make the hinge.
On my recent visit to New Orleans and the Historic New Orleans Collection I saw many examples of this hinge and the reason for the name ‘fiche’ was that it was French for pin. I then related my story about the name of the hinge and it was well received.
This type of chisel makes the long narrow mortises necessary to install this type of hinge. Once it is secured in the mortise it is held nails or screws. When using this type of chisel, frequently the inside backs of the case would have blow out where the chisel emerged. This damage doesn’t show [not on the money side] and is evident when you examine a number of old pieces.
The chisel would be pounded straight into the work and the waste is forced to the middle. Small pilot holes were sometimes drilled to give relief for the chips. A slight wiggle of the chisel and another blow with the hammer and it continues to cut the narrow mortise hole for the hinge leaf. For longer mortises, the chisel would be positioned to cut any length mortise for larger leafs on the hinge.
A long day today but I finished the Roubo Workbench, I have yet to put a ‘finish’ on the bench tomorrow, Moses T’s St. John’s Oil, a coat or two. I finished the dovetailed drawer, half blind on the front and through on the back, in pine. The bottom is a single piece of maple, feathered on the edges and inserted in the groove on the sides and front.
As I said before all of my material was to dimension before I started, hence the speed with which I finished this project. All joints, dovetail mortise and tenon were glued with Fish Glue. Here is a picture of all of the parts for this project.
Grueling work, big pieces and I had to bend over a lot. But I am happy to get the job done. I will now put it up for sale. Here is the finished bench.