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By Jacob
#946929
Baldhead wrote:
Jacob wrote:Looks good.
It might be easier, and you might have less waste, if you cut to length first, before any ripping or planing.

My old woodwork teacher (I went to school when woodwork and metalwork were taught) used the same two phrase's over and over again, measure twice cut once and leave your wood as long as you can as long as you can.

Baldhead
Yes but easily misinterpreted.
I say it as; always cut to length (close to desired finished size) for longest components first, from shortest pieces available. But no ripping or planing until cut to length (though very short lengths could be combined in one piece of course).
User avatar
By AndyT
#946935
Hmm... best way to do this deep rip cut. Interesting question and maybe an example of how so many ww books cover the same ground as each other but leave things out.

The only useful picture I can think of is this one from Ellis Modern Practical Joinery. It's of cutting tenons but if you just imagine a bit more wood it's similar.
Image[/url]

Some other observations:

What really really matters is having the wood rock solid. For me, with my bench screwed down, holding it in the vice like this works. It's quick and easy to adjust up or down in the vice so that the working height is comfortable. (The earlier rip cuts, bearing down on the Workmate, were harder because of the relative wobbliness.)
Keeping the pieces full length makes it easy to grip and adjust the height. I think that if I cut these into three first, I would struggle to hold them as half of the wood I need to cut would be locked up in the vice.

I can't work off the end of the bench as there is no room.

Overall, I was pleased how relatively easy and quick it was.
Under 10 minutes on the second and third cuts.

And thanks all for the enthusiasm - I may need it if this project slumps into being too much work or goes too badly wrong.

I'm off to the workshop to do the next instalment.
Last edited by AndyT on 29 Jul 2017, 10:59, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By bugbear
#946938
AndyT wrote:Hmm... best way to do this deep rip cut. Interesting question and maybe an example of how so many ww books cover the same ground as each other but leave things out.

The only useful picture I can think of is this one from Ellis Modern Practical Joinery. It's of cutting tenons but if you just imagine a bit more wood it's similar.

Image


I hate to disagree, but...

I don't think that's similar at all; that is a joint cutting operation, for which precision and visibility are the priorities. A high position (think Moxon vise!!) makes sense.

Ripping is just work, and lots of it. body position and ergonomics become the new prioirities.

I certainly agree on the importance of having the workpiece solidly held.

BugBear
User avatar
By Graham Orm
#946941
AndyT wrote:Image[/url]

I'm off to the workshop to do the next instalment.


Hope you're not copying the attire Andy? He'd soon get a lather on ripping, wearing all that clobber. I bet there's a shirt and tie there somewhere too!
User avatar
By AndyT
#946950
Graham Orm wrote:
Hope you're not copying the attire Andy? He'd soon get a lather on ripping, wearing all that clobber. I bet there's a shirt and tie there somewhere too!


Graham! Have you not seen my avatar picture? I'll have you know it was taken from the life, with one of those newfangled Daguerreotype contraptions! :wink:
User avatar
By Graham Orm
#946955
AndyT wrote:
Graham Orm wrote:
Hope you're not copying the attire Andy? He'd soon get a lather on ripping, wearing all that clobber. I bet there's a shirt and tie there somewhere too!


Graham! Have you not seen my avatar picture? I'll have you know it was taken from the life, with one of those newfangled Daguerreotype contraptions! :wink:


:mrgreen:
User avatar
By Sheffield Tony
#946999
At the last bodger's ball I watched some attempts at rip sawing rather larger timbers. A Thomas Flinn two man pit saw was used with a scaffold tower, with much difficulty. A combination of a wobbly tower, high winds and quite possibly a poorly set up saw made it all look hard work. But what did seem to do the business was something like this one:

http://giantcypress.net/post/1386903490 ... s-is-a-saw

A maebiki if that page is correct. I'm not normally a fan of Japanese saws, but that was the ticket. I guess the nice deep blade avoids wandering off. If you set off in just the right direction, of course ....
User avatar
By AndyT
#947001
Sheffield Tony wrote:At the last bodger's ball I watched some attempts at rip sawing rather larger timbers. A Thomas Flinn two man pit saw was used with a scaffold tower, with much difficulty. A combination of a wobbly tower, high winds and quite possibly a poorly set up saw made it all look hard work. But what did seem to do the business was something like this one:

http://giantcypress.net/post/1386903490 ... s-is-a-saw

A maebiki if that page is correct. I'm not normally a fan of Japanese saws, but that was the ticket. I guess the nice deep blade avoids wandering off. If you set off in just the right direction, of course ....


A bit like this maybe?

Image

(from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sawyers_by_Hokusai.jpg)

I may need a bigger basement!
User avatar
By AndyT
#947356
So after all that ripping fun, let's get down to plane facts again.

Quite a bit of the thinking behind this project is about which bits of wood to use, how much I will need to cut them up and what sizes to make the finished components to suit the wood that I have. Mentally, it's a bit like the planning stage where you try to lay out a cutting list onto waney edged boards, hoping that you've bought enough, but in this case there are even more variables to juggle with.

I've decided pretty definitely that the sides for the chest will come out of this piece:

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It's the top of an old office bookcase that I must have salvaged about twenty years ago, when they were chucking out all the accumulated old fashioned stuff to get the full plastic coated chipboard effect into every room.

I noticed for the first time that it even has remnants of an old maker's transfer on the back edge:

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There's not much left, but I'm pretty sure that the bottom line was WILDER ST BRISTOL. Wilder Street is still there - a short stroll with a handcart from the old office - but as far as I know there are no furniture factories there now. I can just about remember that off nearby Portland Square, just near the end of the M32, there used to be a sprinkling of little basement workshops making frames for upholstered furniture. That was in the 80s before wholesale redevelopment changed the city so much. If anyone can identify the maker from this fragment, do say!

Regardless of pedigree, it's a good enough and big enough piece of oak, so you get some exciting shots showing that it got planed a bit:

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and you probably want to see some other planes from time to time:

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That big lump of iron and boxwood has no maker's name at all but works nicely for this sort of job. I'm not just planing for the sake of it, I need to prove to myself that the wood will look good enough to use, and I also need to get it slightly flatter than it is. I wouldn't normally bother with this sort of measurement but you can't assume old wood is flat enough without a little treatment:

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This piece then got marked out to the right width

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and to cut into two

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I thought this was a sensible dodge to hold the free end up when working on my own:

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- it was certainly more reliable than just grabbing the end with my left hand.

One end needed a bit more trimming to just miss some holes

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and then a touch of planing on the end grain

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And so we get to the end of a few more happy hours in the workshop, pottering, planing, sawing and thinking. More soon!
Last edited by AndyT on 29 Jul 2017, 10:59, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By AndyT
#948570
The old bookcase top has several holes in, from where it used to have some vertical dividers on top, to make some paper sorting trays. They were just fixed with screws up from underneath. I can avoid most of them, but some need to be patched. This is all ordinary work when recycling timber. I cut some thin strips about 1/8" thick from the strip of oak that I had trimmed off the width, and sawed some little squares out, holding the saw a few degrees off the vertical to make the sides slightly bevelled:

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Then I marked round each one, chiselled out a hole

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and plugged it

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and waited for the glue to dry

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I then chiselled and planed the excess wood:

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and tidied up the sides a bit

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Now I realise there is a sort of convention that says any shot of a smoothing plane making wispy shavings needs a measurement: these seem to be about 2 - 3 thou thick, whether measured the easy way

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or the way that needs no batteries

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The various patches are not invisible, but they are smooth, and when the finished piece is in use they will be hidden in the shadows under the top, and between the side of the bed and the wardrobe, so I'm not going to agonise about disguising every line.

Meanwhile, planning continues in some more detail. I've done a full-size drawing so that I can try and get the proportions right. This is on lining paper on a bit of mdf board.

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The vertical sides are drawn 3/4" thick, so I think the runners and rails need to be 3/8" thick, with the drawer fronts 3 1/4" deep. (That should give about 3" internally which is plenty for the sort of stuff that will go in there.) I've drawn one drawer in cross-section to plan how the bottom and sides will go. That tells me that the rails and runners will be big enough if they are about 1 1/4 or 1 1/2" wide. I'm well aware that elements that are in hardwood, on a small scale piece, will look awful if I leave them too thick, so I want to slim everything down as much as I can.

All these dimensions have to suit the wood that I shall be using. This is what will be the rails and runners - old bed slats, currently about 9/16" by 3" or 3 1/2"

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so there will be a fair bit of planing to do.

But I've had a rethink on the drawer fronts. I want conventional lapped dovetails but the wood I have set aside for the fronts is under 1/2" at the moment and will lose at least 1/16" in planing. I don't think I can squeeze a functional lapped dovetail into something that thin.

Fortunately, there is enough wood in these two remnants of an old shelf unit that I found in a skip a decade or two ago, which now get their chance to come into the limelight:

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so they will be the source for the drawers; I should be able to finish them at 3/4" thick, which should be enough for the lapped dovetails if I am careful. I should be able to plane out or avoid the ink stain now I know I am only making five drawers, not six.

Time to sharpen a few cutting edges and get planing!
Last edited by AndyT on 29 Jul 2017, 11:00, edited 1 time in total.
By JanetsBears
#948717
What a thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring thread!

My problem is that I have so many projects that 'need' doing now that I can't find time to do something like this using just hand tools. Hopefully, I'll get the time when I retire in a few years time :)

Chris
User avatar
By AndyT
#949032
Thanks for all the interest and encouragement - it really does help!

Back to the stack of old bed slats.

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These are about four foot long, 3 1/4" wide and 9/16" thick. I now know (from my full-sized drawing) that I need strips of around 12" long and 1 1/2" wide, to make the rails and runners. I want them to be only 3/8" thick, and I'm planning to use stub tenons to join the runners (which support the drawers) to the rails (which span the cabinet from side to side).

That sounds ok in theory and looks ok in a drawing but I've not actually made anything this small and fiddly before, and want to be sure before I spend ages getting it wrong, so decided to do an experiment first.

So here's a slat in the vice, getting ripped into two strips. This worked, though I had to kneel on the floor to do it, which is not so good.

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Here it is on edge on the bench, getting one long face edge

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This project throws up some interesting workholding challenges, especially as many of the pieces are quite small. To hold this wood on its edge for planing, I used this simple plywood device, which I think I probably saw on here first - so thanks if you posted it. In my case it fits over the bench stop and is helped with a holdfast. The wedge holds well and is quick and easy, just needing a tap from a mallet.

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For this first strip, I planed the thickness with the wood all in one long bit, using the same device, but without the wedge:

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I had thought that keeping this part in one length would make workholding easier, but in this case it just made it more awkward.

Anyhow, with a thin piece ready for an experiment I could try making a mortice at one end and fitting a stub tenon into it.

I marked the width of the tenon and planed down with a Record 405 as a plough, to make a sloping cut:

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which I then deepened to a square ended mortice with a matching 1/8" chisel

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- not at all tidy! That won't do.

However, with a tenon sawn on the end of another piece, they do at least go together

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Thinking about it further, the obvious technique is to plough the grooves all the way along. I don't need a groove - I'm not fitting dustboards - but I think that having the groove is no disadvantage. As Jacob often reminds us, the best way to answer design questions like this is to look at old work, which I did. There are three examples of Victorian hand made drawers available in our house - but they all have dustboards!

So I went back to the test piece and ploughed the groove all the way along.

I think these will be ok looking like this:

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So, the experiment confirmed that my plan was ok with the proportions of 3/8" thickness and a groove 1/8" x 1/8".

It was time for some more planing. Having switched to working on pieces only about a foot long,

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I needed to work out efficient ways of holding them, on a bench with no tail vice.

I have some dog holes and a Veritas surface vice - but it's designed for thicker timber, over 1/2" thick, not under.

It was ok with a bit of plywood in between,

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but it still gets in the way of the plane, so I settled on a simpler system instead.

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It's just a holdfast, a scrap of ply, a wedge and a wooden bench dog. The ply is only 1/4" but is stiff enough. The wedge is nice and quick, so I can check progress or turn the wood round easily.

I soon got into a routine. Gauge 1/8th from the flat side, take thick shavings off with a wooden Jack plane, then switch to a medium thickness shaving with a 5 1/2, and finish up with a no 4. Gauge to 3/8" and repeat.

The wooden Jack took really quite thick shavings:

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I did have to keep stopping, to sweep up:

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and to re-sharpen. Let's not get distracted into sharpening, but thicknessing oak does go a lot better with sharp edges :wink:.

So, after quite a few hours, I had got into a nice working routine and could plane down a piece in about ten minutes. I successfully turned some of this

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into this

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And yes, that is a table saw the bits are standing on. I don't need it on this project, but will be using my little bandsaw where it makes sense to do so. I like using hand tools but don't have any dogmatic objection to power tools, where appropriate. The hand planing has been quite a nice work-out and might even help get me fitter if I do enough of it. Sometimes "the hard way" is easier overall; sometimes it's not.

After several days of preparation, I am getting closer to the point where I can start to cut joints, but am not quite there yet. All this time, I am still mulling over the details of dimensions, joints and choices of materials. I know that I am very fortunate having the time and opportunity to do this the way I please, without having to worry about making a profit on the job or satisfying anyone other than myself. More of the same will follow soon!
Last edited by AndyT on 29 Jul 2017, 11:00, edited 1 time in total.