After Marco Terenzi completed his quarter-scale replica of my “Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” Paul Mayon of the New English Workshop conducted this short interview about the making of the chest. He interviewed Marco and then (briefly) me about the chest.
While watching the video I was struck by how Marco kept staring only at the chest. I kept thinking: Marco – look at the interviewer! Come on!
Of course, the entire time I’m on screen I can only stare at the chest myself.
We are working like mad to finish up a DVD on the H.O. Studley tool cabinet and workbench so it can be released at Woodworking in America in late September. We’ve hit a little snag, and we hope you can help us.
The DVD is being edited by the ever-capable Ben Strano, who has cleaned up the audio on all of our electronic projects (“The Naked Woodworker” and the audiobook of “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker”). After reviewing the rough cuts of the DVD last week, Ben and I agree we need two things. One is necessary; the other would just be cool.
Necessary: Do you have any video footage of the Studley exhibit in Amana, Iowa, in May? We don’t need much. But a little video of the crowds, the workbench and the chest itself would be a huge help in fleshing out a transition point in the DVD.
We can’t offer you money, but we will be happy to credit you if we use your footage. Contact Ben at his e-mail address: email@example.com if you think you can help.
Very cool: Do you have a photo of the original Fine Woodworking Studley poster on your shop wall? Or can you take one? We’re hoping to build a montage (a montage!) of these photos as part of the DVD.
Andy, who is studying woodworking in Germany, alerted me to the fact that Dictum also sells the Roman-style nail sold by Objects of Use and Rivierre Nail Factory. These nails are sold under the brand “Sonstige” but appear identical to the others I’ve encountered.
I’ll know shortly if that’s the case – I’ve ordered 1,200 from Dictum. They are very reasonably priced.
If you go to the Dictum site you will see they sell two kinds of Roman nails in five sizes. Which do you need? That’s why you pay me my exorbitant salary.
All of the steel nails that Dictum sells are headed nails, meaning they are designed for holding on cabinet backs or bottoms. Or they are used to hold casework together when nailed from the outside. These nails are meant to be visible. Don’t use them to attach mouldings.
When you nail things together you have a top board and a bottom board (or outside board and inside board, if you please). The top board is the more important one for calculating the size of nail you need. Here is some quick translation work.
Dictum Door Nails The door nails are sold in two lengths: 30mm and 40mm. The 30mm nails are equivalent to our 3d nails and are used for fastening 3/8” thick (10mm) stock. The 40mm nails are equivalent to our 4d nails and are used to fasten 1/2”-thick (13mm) stock.
The 50mm nails are similar to our 6d nails are are used to fasten 3/4” (19mm) stock. The 60mm nails are like 7d nails and are used to fasten 7/8” (22mm) stock. The 70mm nails are like 9d nails and fasten 1-1/8” stock (29mm).
Note that the sizes of wood above are approximate. Use your intelligence. If you are nailing pine, try going up one size of nail. If you are nailing oak, try one size down for starters.
Roman-style nails such as these are best preceded by a tapered pilot hole. Use one of the tapered drill bits you use for wood screws and you’ll be in great shape.
By the way, Dictum is a great company – I have taught there many times. So order with confidence. But I’d never noticed that they carried these nails. Get some. Get a lot. These are a good find.
This post is bound to anger some and delight others. Oh well. I just work here.
While in England earlier this month, a student came in with a curious bag of nails that his parents had bought him as a gift. They looked like blacksmith-made Roman-style nails. But they were all perfectly alike. And too smooth. Close examination revealed they were machine-made.
We experimented with them vs. cut nails and were impressed. Though these “forgeries” had smooth shanks, they held quite well. And once the nail was in, you had to be about 6” away to tell it wasn’t a genuine blacksmith nail.
Where did these nails come from? Well the student’s parents had purchased them in a shop in Oxford called Objects of Use. The nice clerks there are happy to ship to Americans for a price. I bought a bag of each of the three sizes and they were shipped out the same day. However, if you buy more than three or four bags, you’ll have to make special shipping arrangements with the company.
(By the way, the shop was running low on the nails when I placed an order, so don’t be surprised if they are out for the time being. David Savage needed a bunch for my upcoming tool chest class. Sorry – my fault.)
The price of these nails compared to a blacksmith nail is quite good. A 50mm nail is about 13 cents (before shipping). A blacksmith nail of the same size is about $1.25 to $1.35 per.
But surely these “forged” nails aren’t made in a little shop in Oxford.
I dug into my browser’s bookmarks, which is a giant cesspool of unorganized information – thousands of bookmarks from hundreds of dead-end searches. Something about these nails looked familiar and… French.
Then I found it: diamond-head nails from Rivierre Nail, the last nail-making company in France. I am about 95 percent certain these are the same nails. The only thing that is odd is the price. If you buy the 50mm nails from Rivierre, they cost 36 cents each (before shipping). That’s a huge price difference compared to Objects of Use.
Perhaps the French company offers a good break to wholesale customers. I sure hope someone out there starts importing these nails to the United States. Here’s the contact form for the company (hint, hint). Rivierre Nail makes many forms that are difficult to get here and would look great on pieces of reproduction furniture in styles that pre-date cut nails or wire nails.
Since returning home Saturday I have been pushing hard to get “By Hound & Eye” to the printer so we will have it out in time for Woodworking in America – yes, we are attending, and yes we will have a booth this year.
We are still cleaning up some 192 scans for the press, but this morning I finished work on both the front cover (above) and back cover of this fantastic workbook.
“By Hound & Eye” is, as I said, a workbook. If you follow the instructions of Journeyman and his sarcastic dog, Snidely, you will get a first-class education in the basic geometry required to design well-proportioned furniture. To do the exercises, which are fun, all you need is a pencil, a compass and a straightedge.
Even if you have nearly memorized “By Hand & Eye” (I have), you will find amazing new things to explore, especially when it comes to drawing fair curves. The explanation in this book is the best I’ve seen. And it’s even better that you are being schooled by a cartoon dog.
If you struggled with the concepts in “By Hand & Eye” or didn’t do the exercises, I think you’ll benefit from this workbook. If your nickname at the woodworking club is “Euclid,” then skip it.
The entire book is hand-printed and illustrated by Andrea Love, an artist in the Pacific Northwest. “By Hound & Eye” marks many “firsts” for Lost Art Press. Here are the details.
This is our first softcover book. The authors, George Walker and Jim Tolpin, wanted it to be something you would feel comfortable drawing in when doing the exercises. So we chose a paper that takes pencil marks nicely.
The authors also wanted the book to be durable so it wouldn’t fall apart while you are working. Most softcover books are merely glued together and the covers are ironed on. We wanted better.
So we are using our traditional sewn binding – plus glue and a woven fabric tape – to keep the pages together. You will be able to bend the binding so the book lays flat.
The book is 192 pages, 8.5” x 11” and produced entirely in the United States. The price will be $20. Sorry, but we cannot offer the workbook in a package deal with “By Hand & Eye.”
We are still trying to calculate if we can offer free shipping during the first 30 days it is on sale. Stay tuned.