Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Good Stuff

I recently came across this fellow working in Japan, making some great stuff and taking the time to share it on his blog. 
His name is Dennis Young, he's an American, trained in England and living in Japan, if you like it here, I think you might find his site worth a visit. He blends Japanese and Western tools to get some fine results.
This post about his "master" is absolutely fantastic.



And speaking of things Japanese, I was asked a few times about my oil jar that was featured in a post recently. It's a Japanese design that holds oil in a reservoir and wicks it through a felt to the top. It's available at Highland Woodworking and I'm sure other retailers as well. I use camellia oil in mine.




Here is a pic of the latest chairs made by Steve and Jerry in my shop. Nice work guys!

Monday, June 25, 2012

"Smarthead" Shavehorse Plans


Here are the plans and some notes about the procedure for building the "Smarthead" shavehorse.
While it can be built with a saber saw and hand drill as I've shown, a bandsaw and drill press can improve the accuracy of the assembly which will make for less "play" in the structure.

To print the plan from the blog, try saving it to your desktop first by right clicking on the image. If you experience difficulty printing these out, email me and I will send you a PDF of the plan.



* On the plan, there is an arrow pointing to the gap between the top and bottom outer pieces. If you are using tools that will allow tighter tolerances, this gap can be eliminated to gain another bearing surface. Beyond the small line that connects the two lines, cut both parts to the lower line.

This design as presented will hold a piece up to 4 1/2" thick. I you need to hold larger pieces, simply extend the top components from the "shoulder" of the tenon upwards.
The hole for the pivot in the shavehorse should be 9 1/2"-10" back from the front lip of the "stage". The mortise where the arm passes through the "stage" should have a tight tolerance, but move freely. If you use a heavy wood for the "dumbhead" piece and a light one for the treadle, the arm may lose counterweight when the head is in in the most forward positions, a small clamp just below the treadle can balance it to open automatically.


  •  Print out 7 copies of the plan to glue onto the boards, aligning with the correct side of the boards
  •  Get 10 feet of board, at least 4 7/8" wide and 5/8"-3/4" thick, depending on species
  • Locate the parts of the interior laminate with the teeth so that you might have a second chance at cutting them, then cut them out
  • Use screws or tape to sandwich the outer laminates and cut out on bandsaw (or separately with a saber saw). Cut out the capsule shaped piece.
  • Remember to transfer the alignment marks from the template to the side of the pieces
  •  Drill 5/8" and 7/16" holes in the outer laminates and 5/8" hole in capsule shaped piece
  •  Lightly plane the area of overlap of the lower inner laminate, a tight fit is essential to preventing wracking
  • Clamp together top and bottom laminates to check fit, predrill for screws
  • Glue top and bottom laminates and let dry completely
  • Screw or dowel top laminate at designated spots
  • Plane capsule shaped piece until it fits snugly in opening, but slides nicely
  • Set top portion onto the bottom and insert capsule shaped piece and 5/8" dowel
  • Mark position of 7/16" dowel on capsule shaped piece and drill. 
  • Set screws for bungee cord and cut notch in lowest tooth to guide it
  • Chop mortise in "dumbhead" piece and place on tenon to mark top
  • Drill a hole at a 4 degree downward pitch through the tenon, clipping the line by about 1/16"
  • Make wedge by shaving a dowel
  • Make treadle and check the height by placing a clamp underneath it. 
  • Mark the desired height and drill for a peg to hold the treadle in position
  • Make a mark on the side of the arm when there are only two teeth engaged for reference
  • If Head hangs up when returning to the full open position, use a screw in the location shown to set the gap so that it falls easily into place 
Here are the various parts outlined.   Please let me know if you discover any trouble spots or difficulties, Thanks!


Inner Lower Laminate

Outer Lower Laminates (Two Pieces)

Capsule Shaped Piece

Inner Top Laminate
 
Outer Top Laminate (Two Pieces)






Friday, June 22, 2012

Finishing the Shavehorse!

Here is the final video of building the adjustable shavehorse. I will be posting the plans for it next week. All in all, the project went smoothly. As I built it, I was reminded of the importance of accurate drilling and tight tolerances between the parts within the adjustable arm, as well as between the arm and the shavehorse body. If I've left any details out, or glossed over them, feel free to ask me to clarify, it might help someone else out as well!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Smarthead" Shavehorse Part 4

Here is the video showing the glue up procedure for the shavehorse arm. We're just about there!

Monday, June 18, 2012

"Smarthead" Shavehorse Pt.3

Here is the next installment of the shavehorse videos. Cutting and drilling the rest of the parts is not very tough, but the drilling does require accuracy. In the video, I use a cordless drill, but a drill press does a fine job of it.
I will be posting plans for this project at the end of the series!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Soup to Nuts

Before I show the next installment for the "Smarthead" shavehorse process, I want to mention that I will be teaching a two week intensive chairmaking class at the North Bennet Street school in Boston starting July 9th. This class does it all. The students will turn their own legs and split and shave their way to a Comb back rocking chair, one of my favorites. There are openings, so tell come on down and tell your friends, it promises to be a great time.

Here is the video on cutting the toothy parts of the arm. Hopefully you'll see that it's rather simple.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The "Smarthead" Shavehorse

I know that it's been a while since I posted about the shavehorse designs that I've been playing with, but I wanted to get some experience with it before showing the details on building it. Here is the first video in the series on building the new horse.