Christian Becksvoort’s new book, “Shaker Inspiration” is hot off the press (if you’ve already ordered, look for it in your mailbox soon) – and he’s making the trip from Maine to the Lost Art Press Shop in Covington, Ky., for a book release party on Jan. 12, from 7-10 p.m. (plus he’ll be in and out during the Lost Art Press open house that day).
Christian will give a presentation on his work, and a short reading from his new book (and sign copies of it and his other books if you like!), and we’ll feed and water you (snacks, beer and wine, and non-alcoholic choices).
If you plan to come to the “Shaker Inspiration” book release party, please send me an email at covingtonmechanicals.com. You are welcome to bring your family – just let us know how many people will be coming.
And, Christian is teaching a one-day class on Friday, Jan. 11: All About Dovetails. Registration for that goes live at 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 3. Note that if you’re one of registrants (six only!), we’ll ask that you bring a check or cash for Chris ($190) to the class – so with no pre-payment to help hold you to it, we’re trusting you’ll show up! (If you get into the class on Monday but later find you can’t make it, please send me an email (to firstname.lastname@example.org) right away, so we can offer it to the first person on the waitlist.)
A sense of orderliness in woodworking is an important factor contributing to good work. For instance, the bench should be clear of tools, excepting those in immediate use, and when a tool is no longer required it should be replaced in the rack or tool chest. By far the most convenient arrangement is to have a tool cupboard fixed to a wall at the back of the bench and above its level so that shavings are not swept into the cupboard. With such an arrangement, the tools are within easy reach of the worker and, when not required, can be safely stored.
In the tool cabinet shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the tools in frequent use are arranged so as to be close at hand. The heavy tools are accommodated in the cabinet proper, and the relatively light ones in the boxed-in-doors; thus, no undue strain is placed on the latter. The three drawers are intended for screws, nails, and various small tools. As most workers prefer to use a combination plane instead of separate tools for such operations as ploughing, rebating, etc., a space is provided for the box in which the tool is usually kept. It will be noticed that the saws are placed edge-wise in the cabinet.
This effects considerable economy in space as compared with the usual method of laying them flat. Incidentally, the tools shown comprise a useful kit, enabling a variety of work to be done.
As chisels are more in use than gouges, the former are placed on the right hand side of the cabinet and the gouges to the left. It will be seen that the setting-out tools are together on the right hand side, excepting the marking and mortise gauges. All of the tools will be easily recognised, except perhaps the bevel shown at Fig. 3 (a).
The tools shown in Fig. 3 are all drawn to scale and the cabinet is dimensioned to suit the layout of the tools.
Construction. The carcase, Fig. 5, can be made from 7/8 in. stuff, finishing 3/4 in. As the cabinet is divided by shelves and partitions, a good fixing for the back can be obtained; therefore this may be of 3/16 in. ply. It is not possible to form the carcase and door frames in one and separate one from the other, as would be done in making a box, since the two doors frames have to fit closely where they meet centrally. If they were made with the carcase, sufficient material would not be available for cleaning off, to obtain a good fit. If possible, it is advisable to true up the stuff for both door frames together and rip the stuff down for the sides and ends for each frame. Rebated joints will suffice for the sides and ends of the carcase, and also for those of the door frames. The parts, of course, could be dovetailed.
The partitions (b) and (c) are secured by stop housing; as also are the shelves (d), (e), (f ), and (g). Although this may seem an unnecessary elaboration, it is well worth while since, if the grooves are set out accurately, the shelves will be found to be parallel and no trouble will be found in fitting the drawers. This might not be the case if the parts were nailed together. The plywood back is fixed and pinned in a rebate, as shown in Fig. 6, and it will be necessary to reduce the width of the shelves and partition by an amount equal to the depth of the rebate. The drawer rails which can be 1-1/2 in. by 3/4 in. are ploughed on their near edge, as shown in Fig. 7, the ends of the runners being tenoned into the grooves. The rails and runners are glued together and pinned to the side of the cabinet and the partition (c).
Drawers. The construction of the drawers is shown in Fig. 8. The fronts are made from 3/4 in. stuff and the sides 3/8 in., the back being of similar thickness. For the bottom 3/16 in. ply is suitable. This is ploughed into the front and sides and pinned from underneath to the back. If it is desired to have one or more partitions, it is best to stop house them into the front and back, as shown, rather than nail them in position.
If the worker is uncertain of making a success of the lapped dovetails, the fronts could be rebated at the ends and the sides secured in the rebates by gluing and nailing, using 1-1/2 in. oval nails. If possible, 3/8 in. or 5/16 in. ply should be used for the door panels, as ply of the thickness stated will enable the outside edges of the doors to be rounded which will have the effect of improving the appearance of the cabinet.
Tool Supports and Racks. The profile of one of the spokeshave racks is shown in Fig. 9. In order to avoid short fibres, the grain should run lengthwise. The semi-circular rests can be formed by boring with centre bits according to the size of the spokeshaves, and then cutting to shape with a bowsaw and finishing with scribing gouge and chisel. Fig. 10 shows one of the supports for the hammer. The two are made together by boring a central hole and then cross cutting.
In order to position the rip and handsaws in their pocket a block is positioned centrally, Fig. 3, the blades of the saws resting in saw cuts in the block. The block is shown in Fig. 11. The tenon and dovetail saws are hung on a wooden peg which should be slightly recessed on its upper surface in order to prevent the saws slipping off the end of the peg.
The formation of the other supports and racks will be clear from Figs. 3 and 5. As it will be difficult to obtain a good fixing for the supports and racks from the front, it is a good plan to first glue them in position and then when the glue is set pin or screw each from the back, taking careful measurement in order that the pins or screws will enter each part.
Finishing the Cabinet. A pleasing form of handle for each of the doors is shown in Fig. 12. A recess is cut with a gouge on each side and the projecting edges of the handles are rounded. The handles are secured by gluing and screwing from the back. A satisfactory finish to the cabinet can be obtained by sizing and then applying two coats of knotting, or, alternatively, the cabinet can be painted according to the taste of the worker.
As the cabinet with its tools is of considerable weight, it would be as well to support it on two iron brackets, the attachment to the wall being effected by plates positioned towards the top of the cabinet.