Full Chisel Blog

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 10, 2014

Liquid Hide Glue – freshness test

A foolproof [if that concept is possible] method of testing the freshness of liquid hide glue, that works every time.

Simply put a bead of liquid hide glue on a piece of porous paper and place the paper in a warm oven [150 to 200 degrees [F]] for 15 to 20 minutes, then remove and allow to cool.

When you bend the paper the bead of glue will break if the glue is fresh.  If the liquid hide glue is not fresh it will bend without breaking.

hide glue freshness test

The samples are from left to right liquid Fish Glue, fresh Franklin/Titebond liquid hide glue and finally Franklin/Titebond Liquid Hide Glue that is over 5 years old [two years spent outdoors year round] and the results show the cracking in the two fresh samples and wrinkles and flexibility in the old sample.

An excellent test, the two fresh glues also passed the legging, cottoning, or stringing test, the old glue did not.

Stephen

February 9, 2014

Getting down to Brass Tacks

This term comes from the upholstery trade; brass tacks are the finishing touch and final job of an upholstered chair, settee, sofa, lounge, etc. as well as leather covered trunks.  So ‘getting down to brass tacks’ is the last part of the job.

tack

Here is a link to the website selling decent traditional brass tacks.  This link shows about the brass tacks.

brass tacks

My artwork [above] from 1994 was used by the site, I contacted the owner, proved I did the art and he sent me these tacks.  While they are not completely accurate, the originals were cast one piece, these brass tacks are the best available on the market.  They do pass the magnet test, which is a way to determine if the shanks are iron or steel.

If you are making 19th century accurate reproductions such as leather covered trunks, an upholstered piece of furniture or a brass tack knife sheath [the clinch looks correct] these tacks fit the bill.  I highly recommend them.

Stephen

January 17, 2014

Lace Drop Spindle

Just need to put the finish [walnut oil] on this lignum vitae lace drop spindle and it will be ready to go to its new owner, if it is not too heavy.  The first picture I weighed the rough turning and it weighed 2.75 ounces.  The flash on the camera was used on the first photograph.

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After I drilled the hole for the iron wire hook, I cut off the ends and the overall weight is 1.45 ounces.  I like the bamboo motif on the shank and the bell shape at the bottom.  Hook prepared with garlic and glued in with Fish Glue.  Natural light was used in the photograph below, still getting use to my new camera.

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I also have a couple of lignum vitae whorls for larger drop spindles in the works.

Stephen

January 12, 2014

Storage of Pliers, pincers, shears, snips and scissors

I have a good collection of box joint pliers and use them regularly, however they were stored with their working ends down in holes in a block of wood that also holds my files and rasps, so they needed a place of their own.

Then I remembered a quote from my first father in law and mentor when it comes to old things, he said ‘don’t forget the great unused storage space in the sky’.

Using some 1/2″ thick pine I cut a length of the 11″ wide board to 18″, drilled holes in the end grain for the pivot hinges, drilled a hole in through the top of my tool cabinet and manufactured a bracket to hold the lower pivot hinge.  I used white oak for the dowels/pivots and there is a single slotted screw holding the bracket to the side of the tool cabinet.

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I then laid out the pliers/ pincers on one side, they are held with 1″ fine cut headless brads with room for expansion, I already found another pair of box joint pliers to add to the collection.  Then on the other side I put my snips, shears and scissors that I use regularly.

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This arrangement works nicely, everything easy to see and a place for storage out of the way.

Stephen

November 27, 2013

Spinning Wheel leg[s] repair

This is a wheel I have been working on for a while, it is a painted lady, base coat of green paint followed by a coat of black paint and lots of grease [lanolin] on some parts.  It had suffered from powder post beetle infestation and the bottoms of the legs were in bad shape.  The legs and other parts are made from beech.

I needed to replace a large part of one leg and add on to the other two legs.  The long repair took place after I removed the damaged portion of the leg, this included the hole where the treadle axle pivots.  The damaged axles had rinded out the pivot hole and will require replacement and repair, this I will show in a later post.

I posted about the turned leg part here.  Here is the photograph of the cut being made; the turned leg is held in V-blocks held in my patternmaker’s vice.

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I actually got a fairly square cut considering I was eye-balling the cut, it took just a little work with a chisel to get a good joint.

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There is still some worm damage in the leg but the wood is not as punky as the lower part of the leg.

I used the V-blocks to hold the leg upright so I could drill a 1/2″ hole down the center {I wish I had my new doweling jig}, using my Fray & Pigg coachmaker’s brace.  I eye-balled the hole by sighting down at 90 degree angles.

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Then a little chisel work and it came out fine.

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The replacement part is extra long and will be cut off later.

 

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When gluing up some of the Fish Glue came out one of the worm holes.  Also note that the new part is a bit proud.

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I took care of the proud part of the new turning with a chisel, it was easy working down the grain, I smoothed off the chisel marks with a card scraper.  I will do a bit of sanding before painting, which I will do when all repairs have been made.

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I used my miter block to cut off the damaged ends of the other legs and will scarf on new pieces of beech on the bottom of each leg, the angle worked out at 45 degrees.  If you look closely you can see the thin wafer of wood I removed to get to sound wood.  Note the rinded out axle hole from the treadle.

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This photo shows how the scarf joint will look, the piece is longer than it needs to be.

More later.

Stephen

 

November 25, 2013

Interesting Brazilian Rosewood 3 beam marking/mortice gauge – C. Sholl, Pat’d March 6, 1864

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.

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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.

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This view shows the triple beams and the pentagonal shape.

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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.

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.

pegboard

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

November 4, 2013

Repairing worm damage on Spinning Wheel leg

This European spinning wheel has seen a lot of use and some neglect over the years; the current owner is interested in having her [I think all spinning wheels are female, I could be wrong] put in good working order.  Already have made two additional bobbins to match the original, now some work on the structure itself.

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The original leg is marked with a white pencil where it will be cut off to receive the new foot.

Made of beech the legs have some wear to them, I will scarf on some beech on the other two feet of the legs; however on one leg the damage and wear is too great and must be replaced.  I will use hide glue to attach the new foot after I drill the hole for the tenon.  [I wish I had my new doweling jig!]  Once it is in place I will determine the proper height and cut it off and drill a new hole for the foot treadle axle.

The original is painted green then black and the new part will be painted to match.

Stephen

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