I am pleased to announce that Lee Valley Tools, Lie-Nielsen Toolworks and Tools for Working Wood will be carrying Christian Becksvoort’s first book with Lost Art Press: “With the Grain: A Craftsman’s Guide to Understanding Wood.”
The book should be in our warehouse (um, John Hoffman’s garage) in the next two or three weeks.
You can order “With the Grain” from the Lost Art Press store for $25 with free domestic shipping until Feb. 20. After that date, shipping will be $7.
If you haven’t read about the book, check out our announcement here. And I wrote a follow-up here.
Today my daughter Katy was home sick and asked to give me a hand in the shop building a prototype of the Andre Roubo campaign stool.
We made the prototype using 1-1/8”-diameter dowels made from some spongy wood from Southeast Asia. We’ll make the real campaign stools from mahogany spun on the lathe and leather scraps leftover from the Roorkhee chairs.
Today was all about getting the hardware working with the holes and the sticks. When everything is tuned correctly, the legs fold out without flopping out.
Today I taught Katy to use her first machine: the drill press. She drilled the holes in the legs. Her holes looked great because she drilled in from both ends and her holes met in the middle. My hole was so ragged that Katy was compelled to take a picture for you.
Note that we threw this one in the garbage and used her legs instead.
The hardware is the interesting thing. I’ve resisted making these stools in the past because the old books show making the hardware by soldering some round steel stock together and then threading it manually.
Instead, we’re using 5/16” all-thread rod that is bisected by an eye bolt to make a three-way joint. It works very well. The hardware is secured by washers and brass acorn nuts. Tonight my leather-loving shop assistant, Ty Black, is going to stitch up some different seats for us to try.
I hope (and also don’t hope) that Katy is sick tomorrow.
I finished up an Andre Roubo try square last night – this one in row-grain mahogany,
The funny thing about this square is that it is the first one I’ve made in a species that Roubo himself might actually have used. All the other French squares I’ve made have been using North American species: American beech, maple, walnut and cherry.
What’s funny about that? Of all the squares I’ve made, I like this one the least. The square’s blade is perfectly quartersawn and has that row grain that is a result of the interlocked grain. I think it’s visually distracting, even though it’s proper, and I’ve seen many wooden tools that look this way.
The bridle joint also has a small gash at the baseline when my chisel slipped. But the square is square and is nice and lightweight. So maybe I’ll come to like it after it gets grungy.
On the docket today is a full load of Roubo. I’m editing the last chapter of “To Make as Perfectly as Possible: Roubo on Marquetry.” I’m also building a three-legged campaign stool from his original 18th-century text.
This should be a fun build, and an opportunity to use up some of the small leather scraps from our last run of Roorkhee chairs. The only trick to the stool is the hardware. I found a way to make it without welding, which was the traditional method.