Full Chisel Blog

October 30, 2010

Can the Sun run any slower?

Filed under: Historical Material,Instruments,Nautical,Of Interest,Proper Tools,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 7:35 am

I know it happens every year at this time.  You pull out your trusty sundial, set the gnomon, orient to north and you get a reading that is over 16 minutes SLOW.  It has to do with the position of the sun everyday at noon.  When plotted over a year it forms an irregular figure 8.  And this time of year it is at its slowest.  In order to get an accurate reading you need the equation of time or an analemma, like the one below.

The vertical numbers are the declination of the sun and the horizontal numbers are minutes.  On the horizontal scale to the right of 0, it is plus or fast and to the left of 0, is minus or slow.

So keep this around to correct your sundials.

And yes it will run a bit slower before it starts to speed up.


October 28, 2010

In a quandary

Filed under: Hide Glue,Of Interest,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 2:02 pm

As well as being perplexed as to what to do with the last obstacle in the middle of my shop floor.  Now I must prepare you for this first photograph.  While the shop may look messy to some, it is actually in real good shape and within a day or two of being used.  I have done a couple of small projects, glued a jag on the end of a ramrod, etched the metal with garlic; stained the hickory yellow with yellow ocher dry pigment and linseed oil/turpentine mix.  The next day I stained it burnt umber in the oil mix and allowed to dry for two days.

But this is the shop and the problem I am having is where to put the three boxes, standing on their sides in the middle of the shop.

This is the heavy problem: three boxes, about 40-50 pounds each of piano wire.

It is great stuff and I couldn’t resist the price:free.  I have several sizes and plenty of each.  It is high quality steel and is flexible enough to twist a loop in the end, yet stout enough to make hat and bonnet pins, also makes good vent [pricks] picks for muzzle-loading weapons.

I have to find a place to store it and I don’t want to move them around a lot, did I mention they are heavy.  I will find a use for much of it and if anyone needs some I will send it to you for postage.


October 15, 2010

Nevada Woodchucks

I was a member of this club when I lived in Reno in 2002.  If there was a woodworking club like this one in Salt Lake, I would join, they have a great clubhouse [albeit on a flood plain] and are a great group of people.  I have done several workshops for the Nevada Woodchucks and they have invited me back to teach a class on Painting and Graining.  As usual they schedule the workshop the second weekend of the month and I do a presentation to the entire club during their monthly meeting on the second Thursday of the month, which was last night.

I answered some questions about hide glue and talked at length about paint and painted finishes that were popular during the early nineteenth century.  And because of the arid conditions and abundance of softwoods all of the furniture made out here during the pioneer period [ending in 1869 with the coming of the railroad] was of pine, fir, cedar or spruce and painted and grained to imitate the fancy woods unavailable out here.

I also brought my new laminated steel plane blade made by Mark Schramm and showed it off, there was some interest as I explained why I thought they were superior to modern all steel blades.

The workshop starts this evening when we will paint up the samples that we will grain in tomorrows day long workshop.  As a bonus I am going to teach them to French Polish and the workshop should also help them in doing touch up work and matching colors.

We stopped by Woody’s Bar and Grill [how appropriate] for dinner before the meeting, 7 or 8 folks showed up and a few of us stopped by after the meeting for some adult beverages.


October 8, 2010

Why I think Laminated Steel Tools are better, now.

At the risk of repeating my self, or stating again what I have already stated, or mentioning again what I have alluded to in the past, i will again reiterate why I think laminated or laid steel tools are better.

For one reason I have a brand new, state of the art technology [from the nineteenth century], tapered laminated plane blade made by Mark Schramm, the master blacksmith at This is the Place Heritage Park here in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Not many of these around, oh wait, it is the only one of these around.  Until now. 

Have a look, drool cups at hand and start saving your money because these blades are available.

And yes they are tapered.

I just got the blade today and forgot to move my grinding wheel over to my new shop, but when I get it I will put an edge on this extremely hard [not tempered] blade.  I am giddy.

Here is another reason I like laminated steel tools.

My 1850’s Birmingham Double Barrel 12 gauge shotgun, nice wire inlay on the rib.


October 1, 2010

Why I haven’t posted lately…

Filed under: Of Interest,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 6:00 am

I have received a number of inquiries about not posting for a month, so I would like to set the record straight.  I have been moving, both my house and shop. 

The house move was only 15 feet, I moved into the place in front of where I lived.  My shop will be moved over to fill the space where I use to live.  My shop was about a 1/4 mile away, my commute time [on foot] was about 7 minutes, now it will be 7 seconds.

I will be moving the shop over next week, moving my house required a lot of work, cleaning and sorting and it has taken nearly a month.  The shop will only take a day or so to move, loading it up in a big trailer and then unloading.  I am still working out the arrangement of my new shop, but it will have a very minimal set of tools and I will be sorting out the collection and selling what I don’t use.

So be patient and I will post something as soon as I actually do something.


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