Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Japanese end joint (Kanawa tsugi)

Inspired by a comment from Sylvain yesterday I found out that I had actually earlier installed a Japanese joint the "wrong" way.
According to the book "The complete Japanese joinery), most of the end joints are supposed to be mounted with the scarfed part vertically. This makes a lot of sense to me, but traditionally in Denmark and it seems also in the USA, those joints are positioned to the scarfed joint is horizontal.

No matter which way you orient it, it is still a pretty cool looking joint in my eyes.

The Kanawa tsugi is translated in the book as a: Half blind tenoned, dadoed and rabbeted scarf joint.

I made four of those in 2011 when I built the interior of the stable. I needed a beam of 14.2 m length out of some 6x6" timber. It doesn't hold any load, but it had to look sturdy to blend in.
The beam holds the upper ends of the posts that form the front corners of the boxes for the horses and also the door openings for the boxes (stalls).

Back when I made the joints, I didn't take any pictures of them, since I hadn't started blogging. But here are a couple of pictures that shows them installed.

Complete joint with cobwebs and dust on 6x6" timber.

The upper beam is made out of four individual
 lengths each joined with Kanawa tsugi end joints.

Japanese end joint (Okkake daisen tsugi)

For the porch I am going to need some planks that are longer than what I have on hand.
I could go the easy route and just bolt, screw or nail some together, but this is part of what I really like to be doing, so I didn't want to cheat myself from trying out a nice carpentry joint.

The Okkake daisen tsugi is also sometimes called Wari tsugi. In English it would be called a "Dadoed and rabbetted scarf joint".

My main source of inspiration for these joints is the book: The complete Japanese joinery, published by Hartley and Marks.

That book is an absolute treasure trove of information on the subject. There is even a description of the religious ceremony to be held prior to building a new home.
I can highly recommend the book to anyone interested in the subject of Japanese timber framing joinery.

Using hand tools only, it takes me roughly one hour and fifteen minutes to complete both joints on a set of 3x6" planks to be joined.
I need to complete a total of six long planks, so I might even get a bit faster when it comes to the last joint.

Today it is raining, and all the concrete pillars have been poured, so it is a welcome change to do some work in my workshop.

The female part of an Okkake daisen tsugi.

The set up, sawhorse and shop stool.

Halving the dado.

The completed joint. 

This is about the maximum length that is workable inside the shop. (6.5 m)

The tools used to make the joint.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Building a porch.

At long last I have started the actual building of the porch.
So far I have milled most of the wood to be used for it, though I still need a few more boards and joists.

Today the plan is to remove the old tiles and mark out where the holes for the concrete pillars are going to be.

I have contacted an equipment rental shop and tomorrow I will pick up an earth auger. That should hopefully save my back from a lot of work and also be a lot faster.

So far my plan is as follows:

Clear the area
Drill holes for the pillars.
Cast concrete for the pillars.
Mill the remaining wood needed (while the concrete sets and hardens).

The porch will be the same level as the floor inside the house, so it will be approximately 40" above the ground farthest away from the house.

The principal dimensions are:
Main porch: 5.5 x 5 meter (approx. 19' x 17')
Connecting porch: 1.2 x 2.5 meter (approx. 4' x 8')
South porch: 2.0 x 5.2 meter (approx. 6.5' x 17')

The main porch will be on the east side (garden side) of the house. Form that porch a small porch will form a connection to a porch on the south end of the house.

The South end of the house.

The sticks symbolises the porch.

Friday, June 5, 2015

A peg board for rugs (for horses)

The local horse club have arranged an event. It is in essence a competition, but with the small difference is that it will be possible to discuss the result with the judges after the class, so you can get an idea of what could be improved upon, and most importantly how you should improve on it yourself.
At normal events you get a critique, but you can't discuss it with the judges to get some tips to help you move on.

I have told my wife that I would like to sponsor a prize. Due to the time restraint (the event will take place Saturday), I have decided to make a peg board for rugs.

Organizing rugs is a well known challenge for people with horses in climates such as ours. A horse is expected to have the same amount of rugs as a modern city woman has got pairs of shoes..
A couple of years ago I made two peg boards for our rugs, and it is by far the most efficient solution I have seen. If the peg board is placed high enough on the wall, the rug can just hang like a normal persons coat without touching the floor. It makes it easy to see the different rugs and find the one you need.

The pegs were turned on the lathe from ash. Each peg is around 7" long and ends in a turned tenon of 1" in diameter.
A kerf is sawn in the tenon to accommodate a wedge.

The board itself is a 5" board with a thickness of 1.25". I have used one of my newly rehabbed moulding planes on the edge to make it look nice.
First I start by planing the moulding on the ends. To avoid the grain from tearing out, I mount a piece of scrap board of the same height behind the area I am planing. That way the plane starts in the actual board, and ends in a sacrificial board and tear out is avoided.
There is still a bit of tear out, since the plane is not designed to cut across the grain. But looks OK.

6 holes were drilled in the board to receive the tenons of the pegs.
The pegs were glued in and secured with a wedge.

I didn't make any holes in the board for mounting it, because those will need to be established on site.

Peg board for horse rugs.

Moulding on the end and close up of a peg.

Length 6' 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Canvas tool roll for regular chisels 2

After sewing on the two major parts that will form the base for the individual pockets, I laid out the sizes of each individual pocket.
I graduated the pockets in size, so the narrowest one is approximately 3/8" wide and the widest one is a full 2".
Off course it is possible to put a narrow chisel in a wide pocket, but if the size fits - the chisel won't shift around, and it looks better in my opinion.

For closing of the roll I would have liked to use a leather strap with a small belt buckle, but I didn't bring any leather with me, and I wanted to finish the project. So instead of waiting for home, I sewed a strap out of canvas, and made two rings that will form the closing mechanism.
If this should later turn out to be a bad decision, it will be a fairly small job to remove the strap and go the leather route instead. But I think this will be a viable solution.

The strap was made by folding two edges and then fold the strap once more, so there wouldn't be any loose sides that could fray. This actually meant that it was basically quadrupled. Therefore the rings also needed to be a bit larger than the D-rings I used for the tool roll for the mortise chisels.

The rings for this tool roll are made out of 3 mm (1/8") bronze rod that I wound around a shaft and then silver soldered.

A benefit of alternating the handles of the chisels is that the tool roll will be more round once rolled up. Since there is thin blades and thick handles in both sides.

The re-handled chisels now rest in the tool roll, and that should provide a safe haven for them during travelling and storage.

Sewing a tool roll out of heavy duty canvas is possible, but it does take some time. The stitches are a lot more coarse than what can be attained using an industrial sewing machine.
The good thing about such a project is that it can be carried out basically anywhere. It doesn't take up much space and it doesn't make any noise.
In theory you can do it in the living room with the rest of the family, so it is one of those projects that can be carried out if the weather makes it difficult to get into your workshop.

For the record, I do not have a Speedy Stitcher, so that is why I have used regular sail makers needles and a sail makers palm. From what I have heard, the Speedy Stitcher can be used on a project like this, but you would have to find a description on how to use it somewhere else.

Chisels neatly tucked into their pockets.

The wrapped up roll.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Canvas tool roll for regular chisels

There are plenty of designs to choose from when it comes to tool rolls. Some are designed in a way that will have you insert the handle of the chisel in the pocket, and others are designed to keep the blade in the pocket instead.

I suppose that each method has got its advantages and drawbacks, but I feel most comfortable with the blades being protected individually, so that was the route I went.

Most chisels can be divided into categories such as sharp/dull, rusty/clean, broad/narrow etc. for my design there are two categories that are important: long/stubby + the width of the chisels.

Looking at the chisels I have provided with a new handle, I can see that either the length of the blade is around 4” or 5.5”. I don’t want the chisels to seat all the way into their pockets, and risking that they cut a hole, so all my pockets are made a bit longer than the blades.

I am making two rows of pockets, one which is for the stubby chisels, and one which is for the longer chisels. Both rows have the same number of pockets of graduating width.
The pockets are placed a small distance from the side of the tool roll, to enable the side to fold over the handles of the chisels, thus preventing them from accidentally falling out of the roll during transport. 

Since this tool roll is likely to see a lot more action than the roll for the mortise chisels, I decided to fold over the edges of the canvas, and make a seam all around the perimeter, to prevent the fabric from fraying.  It looks nice, but it takes some time to sew it all by hand.

I have tried to make my stitches a bit longer on this tool roll, due to the amount of sewing that I have to do. There is no need to make it any harder than it has to be.

The way the pockets are going to be placed, means that I can't fit a chisel in each of them, but I can alternate between a long and a stubby chisel, or stay with one type. 
Hopefully the idea will be OK, if not - well then someone else might be able to learn from the experience.

Outer shell and the deep pocket piece.

Outer shell with pocket pieces sewn in place.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Moulding planes from Johann Weiss & Sohn in Wien + a clever user made plane.

Yesterday I pulled myself together and took a look at the moulding planes I have brought with me.
They were actually all in a pretty decent shape after all, but they could use a bit of sharpening.
I decided that it was probably better to wait with the final sharpening til I was back home, I can use the grinding stone from the circular saw sharpening machine to do the contours of the rounded parts of the blade.

I think I bought them a couple of years ago at a flea market, for something like 4$ a piece.

Since I decided not to sharpen the irons, I just started checking if the sole was straight. Two of them were sanded lightly, and the last one just a bit more.
I didn't want to do anything to the actual body of the planes since they weren't damaged. They just showed some nice signs of age.

The irons had a bit of surface rust, but I didn't want to mix up a batch of sulfuric acid since it will be a small job to remove the irons and immerse them in vinegar at home. That is a lot harder if it is a chisel which has been handled.
So I took the easy road and cleaned them a bit with some sandpaper and a steel brush.

At first I couldn't figure out what it said on the iron, but I decided that it didn't matter anyway.

I then suddenly discovered a tool stamp on the top of the plane. It said: Weiss & Sohn in Wien.

My curiosity took the lead, and I headed for the computer to find out what it was.
Like the case was concerning the mortise chisels, I again ended up at the site of the Wolfgang Jordan small tool museum
The description is in German, and gives the story of the "Weiss and son" factory in Vienna.

Judging from the pictures and descriptions of the planes in the collection, I sort of guess that the age of the plane is around 130 years. This is based on the stamp which doesn't contain the clamp that was later used as part of their logo.

The stamp on the plane looks like this
And the iron has a similar looking logo, just saying Weiss& Sohn Wien

The next plane from Weiss  Sohn is a bit newer, since it has got the C-clamp as part of the logo.
The iron has got a stamp like this one on the iron: JOH. WEISS SOHN, D.FLIR F.WERTHEIM
From what I could reason, the age of this plane is just around the beginning of the century (the 20th).

The last plane looks like it is a user made plane.
The details are not so crisp, But all in all the plane seems to be well made.
Looking at the ends something is wrong. They have not been cleaned up after sawing. Actually one end is quite a bit out of square too. I think that the ends might have been sawed off by a later owner, maybe so it could fit inside his tool chest or cabinet?

In a way it is the most interesting plane of the bunch because it is rather well thought out and well made (except for the rough ends). I like to see how people earlier on have used what they had to make some working tools,
The iron for this plane is made out of an old smoothing plane iron, that has been sawed through, to give the correct size. I find such an approach admirable.

To overcome the difficulties making a diagonal mortise for the iron and the wedge, the plane is made with an open escape. Brian Eve and Jeremy are currently working on making some of those planes,

But the maker of this plane apparently didn't like the look of an open escapement, so he made a rabbet on the top side of the plane, where he later glued on a piece of wood. This should help to keep the plane body straight even if the wedge is hammered in a bit hard.
I think it is a pretty smart solution. First you saw the sides of the wedged mortise escapement, then a rabbet is made. The waste is chiseled out of the mortise, and finally a piece of wood is glues on.
At least that is how I would have done it.

Johann Weiss & Sohn in Wien

Profiles of the Weiss planes

Weiss & Sohn, Wien logo on old iron.

Reused iron from smoothing plane 

Rabbet with glued in piece on the user made plane.

User made plane from the side, length 23 cm (8.5")

Escapement from user made plane.

Iron of user plane.

Here is evidence that the piece was broken off.
There is also a crack all the way across the surface.

User plane from the top.