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LostArtPress on InstagramFace vises show up on workbenches about the 14th century. The first image of a face vise I’m aware of is in a northern Italian drawing of woodworkers building Noah’s Ark. The vises on low workbenches hold the work for planing edges, ripping, cutting tenons and many other tasks. It would be tempting to think that vises this massive were used for large-scale work only, but the historical record tends to differ. Take a look at the nuts and chop on (the above painting), “La Sagrada Familia,” by Juan del Castillo (1634- 1636), a Spanish baroque painter. This bench has a remarkably massive benchtop supported by stubby legs that are joined with end stretchers. The vise chop seems to run the entire length of the benchtop and is driven by massive ellipse-shaped nuts. From the painting, it appears that you rotate the nuts counterclockwise to tighten the vise screws. This is reverse from the modern “lefty loosey; righty tighty” scheme, and is a fairly common in early representations of bench screws. I’m fascinated as to when (and how) screws became standardized. But that’s for another book. In this scene, Jesus and Joseph use a frame saw together to either rip a board or saw a tenon’s cheek. This activity is interesting to me because it echoes the way French menuisiers are shown ripping veneers on a low workbench in the 18th century’s “l’Art du menuisier.” Also worth putting in your craw: When you start looking at a lot of New World workbenches from areas conquered by the Spanish, you’ll see lots of these massive vises and the screws will be longer, sometimes freakishly long. Why? I have no clue. — from “Ingenious Mechanicks” by Christopher Schwarz #Ingenious_MechanicksOne of my favorite woodworkers and persons in the general sense. He has passion, good humor and a sharp tongue in spades. And we are pleased to announce that you can now pre-order the new book, “Joiner’s Work,” from @peterfollansbee in our store.I’m checking the final proof of Peter Follansbee’s (@peterfollansbee) new book “Joiner’s Work” this morning. It should be available for pre-publication ordering this evening for $49. Pre-orders will get a free pdf of the book at check-out. It’s a big and spectacular work.
- Let Follansbee be Your Guide davidffisherblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/20/let… via @wordpressdotcom 18 minutes ago
- How to Sharpen a Curved or Flat Scraper blog.lostartpress.com/2019/03/20/how… https://t.co/iHYNdAC3tZ 2 hours ago
- Timeless Design blog.lostartpress.com/2019/03/19/tim… 1 day ago
Category Archives: Welsh Stick Chairs by John Brown
This is an excerpt from “Welsh Stick Chairs” by John Brown. Having cut out the seat, the first job is to clean up the sawn edge. Here is a wooden jack-plane in use. I very rarely buy new tools. They are … Continue reading
Earlier this week I was interviewed for the Fine Woodworking podcast by Ben Strano, which was a hoot. (I’ll post links to it next week when it’s released.) Ben and I are always a bit goofy when we’re together, and … Continue reading
OK, so that’s not going to happen. When Chris Williams came here in May 2018 to teach his first U.S. chairmaking class, he tried to help me pronounce a few Welsh proper nouns. This is what it sounded like (to … Continue reading
For better or worse, my chairs tend to flirt with stretchers. Should the chair have them or not? While common sense might dictate that all chairs should have stretchers between their legs for added strength, the historical record disagrees. Early … Continue reading
This is an excerpt from “Welsh Stick Chairs” by John Brown. Probably the first record of a back chair is in the manuscript of the laws of Hywel Dda (Howell the Good), a 10th century Welsh king. The surviving document, inscribed in … Continue reading
One of the things I love about how chairmaker Chris Williams works is that he tries – at every turn – to reduce the tools and contrivances needed to build a chair. One of the big things he offers is … Continue reading