Full Chisel Blog

April 10, 2014

Canadian Production Wheel – Bobbins

A quick job came in the shop, a request for two additional bobbins for a Canadian Production Spinning Wheel.  Also made a peg to hold the crank and provided a ‘chicken nut’ and bolt for the clam shell tension mechanism.

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The first coat was a mixture of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil and red iron oxide and yellow ocher.  I allowed this to dry overnight, then a light sanding.

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I then sealed it with shellac followed by a coat of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil and burnt umber.  The weather was so nice I put them outside to dry.

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Then a thin coat of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil and black iron oxide.  Turned out fine and the customer was happy.

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Stephen

March 18, 2014

Lazy Kate

One more thing regarding the Black Beauty spinning wheel restoration, the owner decided she wanted a lazy kate for her wheel as it had the existing upright which from its design was not for a distaff but to hold extra bobbins on the wheel.

lazy kate

I got a rough sketch with the dimensions for the spacing of the iron bars [courtesy Mark Schramm] and did a drawing for the turning.

I then drilled holes, upset some burrs on the ends of the iron rods, washed them down with alcohol, then etched with a fresh clove of garlic and used Fish Glue to hold them in place.

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The birch turning was then stained using Moses T’s St. John’s Oil and burnt umber pigment and allowed to dry overnight.  Next was shellac with black iron oxide for the final finish.

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I will have the owner shoot a picture of the complete wheel and post it later.

Stephen

March 16, 2014

Double Table Spinning Wheel Restoration

 

While I have restored probably well over 100 spinning wheels, this is my first double table spinning wheel restoration.  Of Scandinavian origins this wheel is a close match to this one featured on a Catalogue from a local Daughter’s of the Utah Pioneer Museum.

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Sometime during its history the original pitman was replaced with a homemade folk art replacement.  I do think because the pitman was rigid that it caused damage to the two uprights holding the wheel; the sockets in the lower table were both broken.  These were easy to repair as all of the parts and pieces were there, so using Fish Glue I filled the joints, clamped them and washed off the excess glue with a wet cloth.

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There was an interesting piece of wood in one of the maidens, apparently to keep the flyer in place.  I had to remove this when the proper sized spindle, flyer, whorl, and bobbin were added.

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The treadle also needed some repair as the end where the pitman is attached had a piece missing.  I shaped a new piece and glued it into place.

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I also had to make new leather bearings for the maidens; first a paper pattern to fit the mortise and the leather bearing.  This is for a new spindle, flyer, whorl and bobbin that replaced the missing set.

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I replaced the pitman with one influenced by the one on the original in the local museum.

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The drive band is hemp cord that I washed, stretched, and allowed to dry.  I then treated it with Drive Belt Dressing.

Here are two views of the finished restoration.  This one belongs to a friend of mine who purchased it for $35.00 at a local swap meet and now that it is restored he intends to put it up for sale.

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Stephen

 

 

March 3, 2014

Walking Wheel Spindle Head Repair III

The walking wheel spindle head repair is complete and now that I have a proper size mailing box I will put it into the post soon.  Here is the first part, and here is the second part.spindle head12This is the small pulley repair with its first coat of stain to match the original.

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This is the pulley with the final stain and ready for the installation of the whorl, end, or flange of the iron spindle.  I first roughened up the area where the whorl will be fixed, then I washed it down with alcohol and etch the metal and the inside of the maple whorl with a fresh clove of garlic.  It is attached with Fish Glue.

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The whorl glued in place with its first coat of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil and yellow ocher dry powdered pigment.  I allowed 24 hours to dry before moving on to the next step.

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A coat of thinned shellac and a coat of burnt umber dry powdered pigment with a bit of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil.

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Another thin coat of shellac then some Oil with black iron oxide which was allowed to dry overnight.  The final coat was thin shellac.

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I had prepared the braided corn husks for the bearings and attached them with hemp string.  I will include a couple extra braided corn shuck bearings for future replacement when and if necessary.  I also included a hemp drive band treated with Drive Belt Dressing.

Job done.

Stephen

 

February 19, 2014

Walking Wheel Spindle Head Repair II

I started talking about this restoration here.   I made a drawing for making a new maple whorl [head or flange] on the spindle.spindle head4

This is the whorl temporarly fit to the metal spindle, I will later roughen the spindle slightly, etch with garlic and glue in place with Fish Glue.  spindle head7

Here is what the mother-of-all looked like when it arrived, I discussed replacing the obviously newer maiden with a proper one.  My client said that would be fine but insisted as much of the original should be maintained, music to my ears.

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Here is the new replacement in birch to match the original.

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In order to get the finish to match the original it took several steps, the first is a mixture of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil and yellow ocher dry powdered pigment.

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The next step is a coat of shellac with some burnt umber dry powdered pigment.

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Then a bit of black iron oxide dry powdered pigment with shellac to get near the final color.

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Then some abrasion of the shiny finish and a coat of wood ashes makes it a good match to the original, there is no way to do this in one step to match the old finishes.

Here is the damaged pulley on the shaft together with the replacement part and the pattern that matches what is remaining on the original.

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Having fit up the two pieces, I etched them with garlic and glued them in place with Fish Glue.  It was impossible to clamp so I held it in my hands for 10 minutes then set it aside to cure.  A little work with a chisel and I gave it a coat of shellac with burnt umber pigment.  I will add a bit of black later.

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I still need to braid up a couple of corn shuck bearings and tie them onto the maidens.  This is an unusual method of attaching the bearings, most are secured through a hole and fixed with a wedge.

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I was able to fit the pieces back together to determine just how they were tied on.  This job is nearly complete.

Stephen

 

November 18, 2013

Turned my Peg Board into a finish drying rack

I made this several years ago for clamping odd shaped object using pegs and wedges for tension.  I also have a couple of threaded pegs that allow screw pressure.  I have used it for restoration and repair work as well.  It is 16 1/2″ wide, 36″ long and 1 1/2″ thick yellow poplar with one inch holes spaced over the surface.  I can also use holdfasts in any of the holes.

Recently after finishing with Moses T’s Gunstocker’s Finish some curved stretchers for a table I am working on for a friend, I needed somewhere to place the pieces for the finish to dry with good air circulation.  So I stuck a couple of 1 inch dowels into the holes and they worked to hold the pieces spaced apart.  The weight of the pegboard was sufficient to hold the weight of the stretchers, even set out on the ends of the dowels.

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An already handy tool has a new ability as a drying rack.

Stephen

November 9, 2013

Panel Gauge repair

This came into my shop from a follower of my blog that lives in Salt Lake City. He purchased it from a reputable dealer in the East and it was broken in shipment; the dealer offered to take it back but this fellow liked the design and was going to do the repair himself. He said he ‘chickened out’ on the repair and brought it to me to do the restoration.

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This panel gauge is made of Cuban Mahogany for the arm and fence with a boxwood locking wedge, an ebony pin holder dovetailed into the arm and a cut wrought iron nail as the scribe. The asymmetrical handle is identical to one illustrated in Salaman’s Dictionary of Woodworking Tools on pages 204-205.

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I had to enlarge the hole in the broken ebony pin holder so the nail wood fit better and the two pieces of ebony mate properly. I etched the surfaces of the ebony with garlic prior to using hot hide glue for the repair. One half teaspoon of ground hide glue and 1 teaspoon of distilled water, and I had glue left over; it was a small repair.

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Clamping was a problem, so I borrowed a pipe clamp from a neighbor to apply a little end pressure then a few more clamps to keep everything in place. The nature of the fracture provided some locking when the break went back together, the other clamps to hold things tight until the glue dried. It was a fairly clean break but a couple of small chips of wood were missing.

 

I mixed up some Beaumontage [beeswax, tallow and rosin] and added a bit of red iron oxide; heating gently on the stove to mix. I then used an alcohol lamp and a thin blade pallet knife to burn in the Beaumontage. I smoothed it out with a clean hot knife, and then gave it a coat of shellac.

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When the shellac dried, I lightly sanded the surface and did some touch up work with a fine brush and some shellac with black iron oxide to over grain the lighter Beaumontage filler. Followed by another thin coat of shellac. I then used some Moses T’s Gunstocker’s Finish and a bit of burnt umber dry powdered pigment to blend in the repair, followed by a light coat of Gunstocker’s Finish.

Here is the completed repair.

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Stephen

September 23, 2013

Spinning Wheel Restoration – Well Documented

This is the first Spinning Wheel restoration on a well documented wheel; I know who made it, where it was made, and when it was made.  It is an unusual wheel in that it is a 20th century interpretation of a much earlier wheel, without the benefit of knowing how old wheels were actually constructed.

When the client brought in the wheel to have a new crank made [the previous one was soldered onto the shaft] and it was missing a garter on the tensioner; they also brought in the documentation including a set of blueprints from Popular Mechanics from which this wheel was made.  It was made by a family member in southern Utah from local black walnut.  Black walnut is not native to Utah but many trees were planted in the early pioneer period.

This paper pattern was also with the documentation materials.

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The plans for this spinning wheel were ordered in 1962 for $1.55.

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Here are the blueprints.

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After Mr. Croft finished the spinning wheel it was featured in a local newspaper.

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Master blacksmith Mark Schramm made an iron crank, from the original blueprints, it is threaded into the brass shaft and will not break off like the previous crank.

I made a small walnut garter to hold the tensioner, but I also had to file down the hickory shaft where the threads on each end as the walnut had shrunk a bit and was too tight to function, reducing the size where it was in the walnut made if work smoothly.

I then put a coat of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil on all of the parts, made a few adjustments and the wheel was finished.

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Interesting project, great documentation and a working wheel.  Also available spinning wheel parts here.

Stephen

 

June 24, 2013

Restoring a Coach-maker’s Brace

I have a few coachmaker’s braces, those with wooden knobs and handles and iron bodies, I also have one all metal Fray&Pigg brace, they are called coachmaker’s braces as they don’t break when you step on them.  Frequently coach shops floors were covered with shavings and stepping on a wooden brace hidden in the shavings would indeed break.  That is the story, sounds good to me.

This particular brace is made of iron and cherry, there is a brass bearing between the head and the iron body.  It has seen enough use that the inside of the handle had been rind out making it fit poorly on the metal body.

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I used a fine blade in a jeweler’s fret saw to cut the glue joint and unfortunately one of the iron pins added for additional strength to the split handle.  It is necessary for the center handle to be split in order to attach it to the iron drill body.  The center section had some rust and pitting and was quite rough.  I used a file and some emery cloth to remove the rust and smooth out the metal to prevent it from further rinding out the wooden handle.

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Using a sharp gouge, rasp, file and small tombstone scraper I smoothed out the center that had been rind out in order to make the replacement wood fit properly so it could be glued into place.  Holding an egg shaped object in the hand while using sharp gouges was a dangerous operation, I paid close attention.  When using the round rasp I did manage to rasp myself.

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Making the replacement part I had a couple of failures; my first was that the drill drifted following the grain of the cherry.  The next one split the minute the pilot screw entered the wood.  I then double clamped a piece and got a good hole through the end grain of the new piece of cherry.

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Once I had it apart I had to use my small prick to excavate the iron pins, one from one side the end and the other pin from the through pin.  I then had to add material into the excavation, I chose to make a small square mortise on one side and after that tedious process I did the other side with a round bung plug.

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I then had to cut the new bearing in half in order to glue it into the two halves of the handle.  I used a clear plastic block and a wooden clamp to get them in the correct position and allowed the Fish Glue to dry overnight.  The next day I used a toothing plane to smooth the surfaces flat prior to gluing it back together.

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With a round rasp and round file I made the wood fit the metal then glued it together and clamped the egg shaped handle with an upholstery spring clamp and allowed to dry overnight.  I then made new iron pins, flattening them out on the end like the original.

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A coat of Moses T’s Gunstocker’s finish and a bit of black iron oxide dry powdered pigment I got the filing marks that smoothed the wood to match the un-filed surface.

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Stephen

 

March 21, 2013

Dyeing Maple with Iron Buff

Iron buff is an interesting dye, the fact that the liquid is clear and can still instill a blue-grey color to hard maple and a green color to soft maple.  So it is also an indicator to determine if the maple [Acer spp.] is hard or soft.

Most folks say to place steel wool into vinegar.  The problem with steel wool is that it is covered with oil from manufacturing so I find it better to use iron filings [I save from saw sharpening] to make the solution known as ‘iron buff’.

I mixed up a small batch to stain the handle of a touch hole prick, also known as a vent pick, used to clean the touch hole of a flintlock rifle or smooth-bore.  A friend who is a blacksmith said he wanted me to make him one as he admired the one I had made several years ago using iron buff to color.  It has some age to it as can be seen in the photograph.

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I will set the piano wire needle in the handle using Cutler’s Cement.  I first etch the end of the wire with garlic and as you can see the end also has some ‘upset’ marks on the shaft to help give the cement a key to improve the grip.  After it has cured for a week or so I will finish with Moses T’s Gunstocker’s Finish.

Everyone needs a little prick.

Stephen

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