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Jacob

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Gerard Scanlan

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I (almost) agree with you Jacob :D . Only joking I think you are bang on.
Paul Sellers is a trully generous man, he really wants to help people learn how to work wood with hand tools.
I have learned a lot from his writings and video's and am looking forward to his workbench build tutorial.

Gerard
 

Pete Maddex

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Yawn, come on Jacob its been done to death, there is more than one way to skin a cat.


Pete
 

Jacob

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But if you were skinning cats for a living you would almost certainly end up ignoring 99% of the other ways.
 

Corneel

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A small detail on which I don't agree with Sellers. In Europe, beech was used a lot for workbenches. Probably for the same reason. Beech was plentifull and cheap, because it wasn't of much use for furniture making at that time, nor for anything outdoor because it fauls so quickly.
 

Argus

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At the risk of putting my head over the parapet, there are woodworkers who can work wood and writers who can write, but seldom both together in the same personage.

And whilst I agree with much of what Paul says once I've worked out what it is, ............... he's very good at the former.


.
 

Jacob

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Corneel":30tbdldu said:
A small detail on which I don't agree with Sellers. In Europe, beech was used a lot for workbenches. Probably for the same reason. Beech was plentifull and cheap, because it wasn't of much use for furniture making at that time, nor for anything outdoor because it fauls so quickly.
Well yes, anything reasonably tough and available in big pieces will do for a bench, so cheap beech would be spot on for the top beams, but redwood has taken it's place.
 

snikolaev28

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Hello Cornel!

I should disagree with you regarding beech as material for bench making in Europe.
I'm living in Ukraine and we have a lot of beech, but the price is enough high.
For example 1 cubic meter of pine (transport humidity - 16-18%) - 1300-1400 UAH and 1 cubic meter of beech 5000 UAH (175 USD for pine and 625 USD for beech).
Feel the difference!

And moreover, almost all beech has been exported to Europe. So in my big city Dnepropetrovsk (more than 1 million habitants) I've found only 4 salesman who sell hardwood, local hardwood, of course.
 

Corneel

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Yes nowadays Beech is a valuable material. But say, a hundred years ago, not so much. Beech is a lively wood that fauls easilly in the wet. Not so desirable for furniture or buildings. Since the Scandinavian fashion of light colored furniture, beech became much more desirable.

I can usually buy beech at 1400 euro /m3. While pine or spruce runs about 600 euro/m3. So beech isn't extremely expensive and because it is available in large sizes without the pith of the tree, it is still a good choice for a workbench. Large sized pine or spruce often had the pith in the middle and is thus cracked and warped all over the piece.

My own bench is made from spruce. It holds up fine.
 

Phil Pascoe

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I was told when at school (45yrs ago) that the reasons that beech is used is that it is stable, reasonably damage resistant (hard) and above all that there is very little spring in it, so there is no "give" when chopping huge mortices etc..
With very few people doing work of any weight (in that sense), what the bench is made of is probably of less importance now.
 

Benchwayze

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Gerard Scanlan":28858aqx said:
I (almost) agree with you Jacob :D . Only joking I think you are bang on.
Paul Sellers is a trully generous man, he really wants to help people learn how to work wood with hand tools.
I have learned a lot from his writings and video's and am looking forward to his workbench build tutorial.

Gerard
Gerard,

I am sure you are right in your assessment of the man.

But chopping a mortice with the stock held in the vice; and using a bevel-edged chisel to do it?
I would have earned a clout around the ear from my woodwork teacher for either of those sins.

I know there are many ways to do things, (I HAD to use bevel-edged chisels until I could afford mortice chisels.) But there are some things that will forever be of the 'No-No' variety.
Abusing a woodwork vice in such a way is definitely one of them. That's my opinion of course, but no one would persuade me to chop a mortice like that.

:wink:
 

AndyT

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I'm with you there John on the mortising technique. It's odd, isn't it - I too have been following his blog since Jacob first drew attention to it and a lot of it makes refreshing sense. But I would much rather rest the work on a firm surface and use a deep mortice chisel, or at least a firmer with square edges, to avoid twisting. If he means it as a way of showing that you don't have to have a lot of specialist tools, you'd think he would leave out the vice.
 

woodbloke

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Benchwayze":19ixtkht said:
I am sure you are right in your assessment of the man.

But chopping a mortice with the stock held in the vice; and using a bevel-edged chisel to do it?

I know there are many ways to do things, (I HAD to use bevel-edged chisels until I could afford mortice chisels.) But there are some things that will forever be of the 'No-No' variety.
Abusing a woodwork vice in such a way is definitely one of them. That's my opinion of course, but no one would persuade me to chop a mortice like that.

:wink:
I haven't read these particular words of wisdom and have no intention of doing so, but if this is what's being advocated in the blog, then it's even more reason not to. If a mortise is being chopped, the job should be on top of the bench and even then cramped to the most solid part, which is directly over the leg. The correct position to stand to cut the joint is then at the end of the bench so that the chisel can be gauged accurately for vertical, assuming of course that the bench surface is horizontal...which of course all our benches will be, won't they? :wink: - Rob
 

AndyT

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Well, that's at least three of us in agreement that mortising in the vice is NOT the best way to go. I wonder if Mr Sellers is reading this and will want to give an alternative view of why he likes it?
 

Gerard Scanlan

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Dear John,

I hear what you are saying. However Paul Sellers is showing how he does it, how he would like his students to do it, but he is not ordering anyone. Although I could understand some people might find his style has that air. Like all teachers/instructors he tries to introduce clarity and exclude noise by explaining how he does something quickly and effectively what works for him and not explaining every variation on the theme. I do not agree with/like everything Paul does/explains but so much of it makes perfect sense that I learn from what he says more that get wound up by him doing things in a way that is different from me. He hates honing guides. I think the Keil guide I have is terrific. Perhaps if I had been taught to sharpen by hand by my wood work teacher at school I could have managed to learn to sharpen without training wheels. But after years of struggling I am now producing razor sharp edges. At the end of the day it is about getting a really sharp edge very quickly so that you can get back to cutting timber. When I watch a video of a Japanese craftsman planing towards himself I do not think - what an silly person that's not how you do that- I go wow so that is another way to do that. Why should I get annoyed by a homegrown master cabinet maker when he does things his way. I find his blog really entertaining and his videos are not only brilliantly instructional I find his dry sense of humour very funny too. I reckon Paul Sellers is the Peter Kay of woodwork (presentation). That is where the comparison stops of course because Paul works a lot harder.
 

Benchwayze

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This is where I got it gents.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPBkO2chZxk

I think he mentions the vice IIRC.

Gerard,
I'm not suggesting that PS is an silly person for doing things his way. He works in ways that he has found suits him.

But to me, it is just anathema to maltreat a vice, by using it to hold timber in which you are chopping a mortice. As Rob says, it should be clamped to the bench, and over the leg is the best place. That way the force is absorbed by the leg, and you get maximum result for minimum effort. No need to bash away as if you are digging an escape tunnel!

Hope you see what I was getting at.

:)



:)
 

Jacob

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woodbloke":1ffkd40k said:
...... If this is the measure of the man, .....
I don't think it is the measure of the man. Nobody is perfect!
He'd still get good marks overall compared to most of our modern writers and woodwork circus performers - many of whom are severely over-rated IMHO.
 
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