Friday, July 18, 2014

fuzzballs in box

Yesterday I became concerned about how it would be best and most accurate for me to tell how to cut a small dado for sliding lids in Froebel boxes. I thought of making a small scratch stock, but after consultation with Larry Willams and Don McConnell at Old Street Tools, here in Eureka Springs, decided that my first inclination was the best approach, that is to simply use a marking gauge to lay out the edges of the groove, and then use a 1/8 in. chisel to cut between the lines. This approach works best with straight grained woods. I've also made (this morning in about 15 minutes) a small solid tool steel clean out plane for clearing the grooves.

Larry Williams gave me a piece of 1/8 in. thick steel scrap left over from making plane irons, and by grinding one edge at a 10 degree angle and having sharpened it,  I hoped to pass it through the grooves to make them more uniform in depth, but so far the experiment is unsuccessful. The steel blank is too hard to hold in my hand if any pressure is applied. I'll need to grind it to a sharper angle and add a wooden grip and depth guide. When faced with academic stuff, smart kids will say, "yeah, I know that." But when doing real things, there is no end to the learning.

While visiting with Larry and Don, I also met their visitor from Finland, Tuomo Rinne. He is a preservation carpenter who discovered that the use of traditional hand tools adds value, integrity, and efficiency to his work. He is here for his 5th visit with Old Street Tools. He had met Larry when he was attending a class on making planes at Marc Adams School, and learned that he wanted more of the kinds of hands on learning that he could acquire in a more direct apprenticeship. I find it remarkable that old country craftsmen would come to the US to restore the tradition of hand work that set them apart in the first place.

In any case, meeting Tuomo was  pleasant opportunity for me.

Make, fix and create...

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