The following blog post contains artistic (no, that’s too strong a word), um, renderings of the female human body that might offend if you are the kind of person who blushes while visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art or viewing other high art, such as “Porky’s II: The Next Day.”
Click at your own peril.
“I teach people to see using a motorbike analogy. ‘Imagine you are riding a nice powerful bike, the sun is shining and you are driving along this winding country lane your partner is on the back and you are going quite quick but safe. You approach a series of shallow S-bends you flick the bike left and right with no conscious movement of your body. Sawing down a line is like that.’ Hold that saw handle light like a child’s hand, don’t rush the stroke, don’t press down, just do it. Watch yourself uncritically, your body will adjust your stance to achieve your goal if you allow it. The moment we get tense, the second we seek to control, it goes to hell. Like raising a child.”
— David Savage
David’s e-mail newsletter is one of the things I most look forward to in the morning. As a writer, David is willing to take risks and go places I wouldn’t dare. As a woodworker, he kicks all of our butts. Sign up for his newsletter by going to his home page at http://www.finefurnituremaker.com/. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see a box where you can sign up. Highly recommended.
— Christopher Schwarz
For those of you who missed my blog entries on Pégas blades (here), the bad news is that Tools for Working Wood is temporarily sold out of these outstanding, durable and less-expensive Swiss-made coping-saw blades.
The good news is that Knew Concepts now has 60 packages of the 18-point skip-tooth blades, which they are selling for only $5 per dozen. Go here. I cannot say enough good things about these blades.
Also, ShopWoodworking.com now has the four-volume set of “The Practical Woodworker” in the store in paperback. The set is $65 and will ship in late October or early November. If you missed out on the hardback set, which was excellent, this is your chance to add these books to your library.
“The Practical Woodworker” is a collection of writings from early 20th-century authors on handwork. Just about every aspect of the craft is covered in the four books. Need to build a crate? A chicken coop? Learn French polish? It’s all in there. It’s one of the first places I consult when I’m looking for a technique or plan.
Oh, and the other stuff? “l’Art du menuisier: The Book of Plates” goes to the printer on Monday. And Roy Underhill’s “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!” is about a week away from the printer. Megan Fitzpatrick, the editor of that book, will post an update on the cover this weekend (right Megan?).
— Christopher Schwarz
Continuing with the series on pit sawing; this is my translation of André Roubo’s description of the process from L’Art du menuisier (1769-82). Roubo offers us a unique view of pit sawing not yet covered in the other passages, that is, the pit sawing of seasoned wood into dimensions more suitable for joiners work, which differs from the process of converting green timber into salable lumber.
The long sawyers were used by the joiners as a kind of jobbing sub-contractor. It was not uncommon to have a shop owner buy thousands of feet of seasoned wood from a timber merchant and then pay the long sawyers to rip and resaw the wood to set dimensions, rather than pay skilled joiners to do the same, when the specialists would produce better results in the same time, and the joiners could be more profitably used elsewhere.
Like my previous translations, this is not polished work, though I have endeavored to make the passages easy to understand. Many of the sentences are left in their original format, and can be understood even though they read awkwardly, whereas others have been rewritten to better communicate their meaning in English. If you want a better translation, you will have to wait for the professionals.
The Pit-ſaw is a great Saw fitted into a ſquare Frame; as in Plate 4. M is the Pit-ſaw.
The Pit Saw, is Set ſo Rank for courſe Stuff, as to make a Kerf of almoſt a quarter of an Inch, but for fine and coſtly Stuff they ſet it finer to ſave Stuff, The Whip-Saw is ſet ſomewhat finer than the Pit-Saw; the Hand-Saw, and the Compaſs-Saw, finer than the Whip-Saw; but the Tennant-Saw, Frame-Saw, and the Bow-Saw, &c. are ſet fine, and have their Teeth but very little turned over the Sides of their Blades: So that a Kerf made by them, is ſeldom above half a half quarter of an Inch.