Month: August 2010

47th Annual

Havre De Grace  is a neat town with lot of character, its old and on the banks of the Chesapeake….

The Skipjack “Martha Lewis”  stayed busy

as did the crabbers.                                                                     

I didn’t get any pics of the event but some notable news could be that I sold a carved box to a woman who’s husband recently passed away, her daughter and her went right to the boxes she had a piece of paper with some measurements on it I think she had been carrying it around for a while just in case she saw a box she liked. They were laughing a bit questioning to themselves “do you think he will fit in that box?” and ” he is in a cardboard box in a paper bag by the bed now.” I went through my schpeel about how they are made with riven Red Oak and joined the way they were in the 16 and 17th century, they complemented it and walked off, that was pretty much the routine on Saturday. But this was Sunday and a few minuets later they came back and bought it, that ment a lot to me, that she was going to use it for that purpose.

   Sunday it kinda rained……..in the morning, when I got there it was poring really hard. This pic was during a break in the rainy action, the park relieving itself down the steps into the parking lot. Amazingly it stopped by the time the festival was scheduled to start. I had fun and the venders that do these shows are great people, fun to be around.Its alot of work you figure they are bringing their store to your town, unpacking it displaying it very nicely then packing it all up for the next one.

                                                             Saturday I worked on spoons with the chopping stump and shaving horse, I wanted to set up the portable bench on Sunday but the weather was to crazy. It really helps folks to understand the methods behind the things I make. The other day I got to use it on the job.  I needed to remove a section of  loose lattice and horse hair plaster in a stair well I put it in the truck. I wanted to replace the section with a board, it’s over a door way at the bottom of the steps so it’s legal, it looks like the header over the doorway. I cut this White Oak board to length and hand planed the saw marks out, chopped a pin wheel and some sea gulls into it .Under the plaster was a hand hewed beam from the mid 18oo’s when the house was built and I left some of it exposed and used cut nails to attach it to said beam and wall studs.                                                                     

The bench works well it is fun to use but needs to be dialed in a bit,  leg stretchers would help to get some wobble out when heavy planing or adzing a bowl. Thanks for coming out Saturday and Sunday.

Havre De Grace Art Show – 47th Annual

This weekend is the Havre de grace art show, forty-seventh year, I think that says a lot about its popularity.This picture is taken from my spot at the show last year space #303 I ll be there agin this year. It overlooks the top of the Chesapeake Bay just below the mouth of the mighty Susquehanna. This pic is from last year, we are looking east-southeast across the bay, comfortably under the shade trees, and behind the photographer(me) is a path that winds through booth after booth of craft people from all over the U.S. Proceeds go to the local community, hows that for a sales pitch?, really its a fun way to spend a weekend in august.

I m working in an old farm-house mid 1800 and I saw the lightning rods the other day stowed away in a spare bed room, I don’t know if they are original to the house. its rare to find them intact. The design on the globes caught my eye immediately. I am reminded of the carvings from the 17th century, very simple but so timely an appropriate and there is something else going on I can’t put my finger on it but it speaks to me some how.I think its the proportion in the depth of the detail in the glass globe and the size of it compared to the size of the globe.

The weather vane is so cool it has the full moon, a half, couple stars, a great arrow-head and some ornamental stuff and none of it is too busy.

I’m hoping for a big turnout this weekend I ‘ll have firewood carriers, some bowls and spoons, a bench with cabriolet legs, ladder back chairs, post and rung coffee tables with walnut tops and a carved box or two.  All made from local woods using green woodworking techniques, that’s the riven wood from a “green” or wet log, woodworking not “green” with the  sole purpose of being environmentally friendly although it inherently is very low on using energy from the grid and nothing goes in the trash.

Howard County Woodworkers Guild

Yesterday I spoke and did a demonstration at HCWG I think it went well no one fell asleep or threw tomatoes. Hopefully I spurred some interest and motivated some to give green woodworking a go. It’s a good group of people, its nice to have so many resources available, the internet is huge help, its possible to reach so many and locate guilds or meetings of like-minded folk where you can ask questions and handle tools bounce ideas and get inspired. It’s a beautiful weekend here in the north county, I hope it is where you are and can get out and enjoy it. Mom is working all weekend so it’s just me and the bean, we went for a bike ride on the N.C.R, we always have to stop and see how the rocks in the river are doing. I didn’t take a pic of her in the Ibert today this is from a ride we did in the spring.

Baltimore hand planes

The wait is over. Way back on May 7th I bid on a lot of three wooden planes made in Baltimore that Martin Donnelly auctioned off last Saturday. I was way thrilled to find out I won and super excited to get them in my grubby hands, they arrived three working days after the sale,pretty good I think considering the amount of business they did over the weekend.You take a chance any time you by online and especially at auction and wow the jointer is huge boasting a 3″ that’s three inch’s wide iron and the body is 22″ long, I’m gonna have to get a running start.Its very heavy too, not what I was expecting. The descriptions are minimal at best, so I know going in I could easily be surprised, this is the first time I have won anything through mjd tools.

Maybe a 22″ body is a dead giveaway to the planes character to some. I don’t know I’m not that versed in the world of wooden planes. Looking forward to tuning it up and using it. I wont have to get a running start to make shavings. I think I can get it to sing.

Its kinda hard to tell but this pic is the underside of the plane , the sole, with two winding sticks on it, the stick in the back ground it high on the right side exaggerating the twist in the sole, it can be hand planed out. And its real flat along the length, on quick inspection they all seem in good shape not cracked or super twisted.I have wanted a wooden jointer for a long time now so here we go.

I looked at this lot because of the jointer the other planes were just extras to me and the fact that the maker Macubbin resided in Baltimore although I havent been able to find any info about him, her…… The other two are a Kendall dado, and a Kendall bead.Kendel is a plane maker in Baltimore. Again I am going by what Martin Donnely put in the description and what is stamped on the planes, I would really like to know more about these makers, I’ll keep digging. This is the dado by Kendel, it cuts a 3/8″ wide grove to accept a raised or carved panel or for stretchers to fit into in case construction. I have never seen one of these and its interesting.

The iron on the left acts as a nicker to cut or nick the fibers on cross grain cuts so the iron on the right wont creat tear out. The piece in between goes all the way through the plane body and appears to be a depth stop. The wedges have swollen and the irons need work but it looks like it will handle well.

The bead plane has the box wood piece in the front of the plane lose, it fits properly, not to lose or tight and lines up with the box wood piece behind the blade and flush. The cutter needs some work.

We’ll see they are gonna collect dust for a while been real busy here lately and that’s a good thing.

Rockers Two

The rockers have been drying in the bending press for 12 days we have had good drying weather lately. I measured from end to end in the press, when the clamps were loosened there was an 1/8 inch of spring back, a sixteenth for each side, not much at all. The outside moister content was 23%. What was square has now distorted a bit. It’s fatter on the compression side so before I rip it in half I want to get it back to square, hand planing the sides, I don’t want to mess with the bottom curve of the rocker. Then to the band saw and rip it in half. I didn’t bother with cleaning any saw marks out or planing it to final thickness I’ll do that after it dries and stops shrinking. at this point the inside moister content was 38% that’s about as green as it gets. Four days later and we are at 19% mc all the way around. I’ll dry it down some more and put it in the kiln to really dry it out so when it’s fitted in the mortised legs it wont shrink radially(along the ray plane) and potentially come loose. Until then clamp it the way it was sawn so any movement will be in sync. I feel this is just insurance because green wood is quartered and will shrink and warps the least of any section from the log. Riven wood follows the grain and the two pieces were one so in theory any movement in one should be equal in the other and the clamping should not be necessary. I did saw the blank to it’s final dimension instead of using a draw knife and following the grain more closely opening the door for shenanigans to come and stay. I didn’t stray far from the natural curve of this blank so I’ll be ok, shenanigans go home. Next Saturday August 7th I will be talking about and demonstrating green woodworking techniques at the Howard County Woodworkers Guild, a Maryland based guild with lots of members doing many different types of woodworking, hopefully I can inject some more interest in green woodworking to the woody’s of Maryland, DC and Virginia. So if you’re in the area check it out.