Tools for Working Wood

 The Work Magazine Reprint Project

WORK No. 131 - Published September 19, 1891  

09/19/2014






Hi everyone. Now and then we'll have an article appear in work that prompts me to reiterate our Disclaimer. For those of you just tuning in there's a disclaimer below that begins: Articles in Work describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today.

Cultural hindsight being what it is, we tend to look gravely upon historical industrial practice, lest we doom ourselves to repeat licking radium off paintbrushes or delousing each other with DDT. It's extremely important to admit to ourselves that humanity's track record with dangerous materials is fraught with unwitting tragedy and overconfident bungling, so we can approach new technology with due care and respect.

Then again, this gig would be no fun if we didn't allow ourselves a chuckle at the bad idea potluck. The long nonsense to our left is an asbestos-cloaked chain for plumbers to use when making lead joints. Genius. It stops one from having to clumsily spoon and splash lead into a hastily formed gasket of clay. It's probably not as bad as it sounds. (I found a better looking video here but the plumber makes a bad joint) Nowadays we run lead joints with fiberglass.

For my next trick, allow me to to direct your attention to the Timed Incendiary Device that you can keep next to your bed! You build it yourself, and it masquerades as something of an alarm clock-cum-teakettle! Guaranteed to serve up your morning cuppa with a blazing house fire. This from the same country that brought us Lloyd's. Even if you don't incinerate yourself you run the risk of being late for work because your alarm clock ran out of fuel.




If you're rather done being sickened by the the antics of suicidal tinkers, by all means check out the article "Notes On Hand Saws." It's full of wisdom and good sense. Choosing, Sharpening, and Setting hand saws are all covered by none other than Manfred Powis Bale, the author of Woodworking Machinery as well as other no-nonsense titles. He does wax ecstatic about the miracle mineral on page 265, even going so far as to proclaim that the best asbestos may be found in the Italian Alps. -T



PS: Learn more about lead from my new favorite YouTube channel, Periodic Videos.


Disclaimer: Articles in Work describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.
The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.
The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.
You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.


• Click to Download Vol.3 - No. 131 •




Tags:Woodworking Tools and Techniques,Historical Subjects,Misc.
Comments: 1

WORK No. 130 - Published September 12, 1891  

09/12/2014









Disclaimer: Articles in Work: The Illustrated Weekly Journal for Mechanics describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.
The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.
The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.
You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.


• Click to Download Vol.3 - No. 130 •




Tags:Woodworking Tools and Techniques,Historical Subjects,Misc.
Comments: 0

WORK No. 129 - Published September 5, 1891  

09/05/2014








Dovetails! Are they played out, or is the most famous joint in woodworking about to be fun again? I don't know. I've groused about woodworkers' dovetail fetishism at the same time as standing in awe of the results. What is my problem? I guess I don't have one any more.



Dovetails, like most of woodworking, are a means to an end. That logic holds up no matter what end you're aiming at, and is proved out by the existence of hidden dovetails. The article calls them "secret" dovetails. If you can see a reason for painstakingly chopping out interlocking pins and tails that will never be seen, then you can imagine the whole spectrum of intent and outcome between that and flashy, puzzling dovetails that cause eyes to cross in wonder. Within such a spectrum, my assumption is that everyone can find their own balance point between function and fetish. If you can't, maybe it's time to come talk to us about a new saw.

Sick of dovetails anyway? You say you don't read Work for contemporary opinions on otherwise straightforward joinery? Fine. There's also a bit about BOILER EXPLOSIONS and STRAIGHT RAZORS, you Victorian dandy, you.



If you're wondering whether this is another case of the firebox calling the boiler black, it is. Find pictured below a photograph of my new straight razor; a gift from my beloved. The plan is to set the edge and put it into action whilst somehow keeping my beard. Before you ask, yes, I gave her a coin. -T






Disclaimer: Articles in Work: The Illustrated Weekly Journal for Mechanics describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.
The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.
The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.
You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.


• Click to Download Vol.3 - No. 129 •




Tags:Woodworking Tools and Techniques,Historical Subjects,Misc.
Comments: 0

WORK No. 128 - Published August 29, 1891  

08/29/2014






Whether or not you intend to get knee-deep in circuit-bending or you just find yourself dabbling with a soldering iron once in a blue moon, circuits like the Wheatstone Bridge seem to be major cornerstones to understanding, as well as sophisticated tools in their own right.



I know there are plenty of readers and resources out there in a better position to explain the the construction and application of the Wheatstone Bridge using modern components. By all means consult and compare! Still, I think there is unique and intense value in taking the time to understand how such circuits were constructed in an era before mass-produced components were a staple of the hobbyist tinker.



For a duffer like me that needs a refresher course every time he picks up a volt/ohm meter, the act of puzzling over these instructions is a rather enjoyable way to shake the dust. That said, I won't pretend that I didn't look to you tube for reinforcement. There I found this amazing video produced only this year by MIT students:



Oh look! You could just buy one of these on ebay. The auction will be over soon but the item has a metre-length scale as described below.






Disclaimer: Articles in Work: The Illustrated Weekly Journal for Mechanics describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.
The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.
The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.
You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.


• Click to Download Vol.3 - No. 128 •




Tags:Woodworking Tools and Techniques,Historical Subjects,Misc.
Comments: 0

WORK No. 127- Published August 22, 1891  

08/22/2014







I adore torch work: especially brazing and soldering. I find it intensely relaxing. If the joint comes together nicely, it's like a little opera singing a tale of clean surfaces, properly fluxed and lovingly heated.

I also adore cycling, especially if the bike runs silent. If, in the course of my not-so-regular maintenance, I manage to quiet all the creaks, clicks, and squeaks, then I feel like I've done a good job and my bike likes me. I tend to pedal harder and faster if my bike likes me.



So this week we get an article about brazing together a bike frame. I am having some difficulty containing my glee. However, despite the cool picture of the Fletcher Blowpipe, the article explains how to do the job with a charcoal fire. I'll repeat that for emphasis. This article gives detailed, step-by-step instructions for brazing — a bike frame of all glorious constructions — over a charcoal fire. How's that for a party trick?

Before you go geeking-out all over this thing like you should, I will mention that I had to look up "Spon." It's at the end of the first paragraph depicted above, and used in much the same manner as one might refer to Machinery's Handbook or Salaman. I found that not only had one Ernest Spon produced a compendium of workshop recipes, but that it is now entirely free to read. It's brimming with every kind of useful concoction from casting metals to draughting ink. You're going to want a digital copy on your virtual bookshelf, but don't take my word for it.



Incidentally Spon's grimoire is entitled Workshop Receipts. This would be the quaint but confusingly outmoded usage of the term. Recipe would make a lot more sense but it's not a problem one encounters often unless you work at Tools For Working Wood where they happen to sell a Universal Receipt Book. Jerks. -T


Disclaimer: Articles in Work: The Illustrated Weekly Journal for Mechanics describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.
The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.
The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.
You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.


• Click to Download Vol.3 - No. 127 •




Tags:Woodworking Tools and Techniques,Historical Subjects,Misc.
Comments: 0

WORK No. 126 - Published August 15, 1891  

08/15/2014













Disclaimer: Articles in Work: The Illustrated Weekly Journal for Mechanics describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.
The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.
The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.
You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.


• Click to Download Vol.3 - No. 126 •




Tags:Woodworking Tools and Techniques,Historical Subjects,Misc.
Comments: 0
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blog's author and guests and in no way reflect the views of Tools for Working Wood.
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Recent Blogs:
WORK No. 131 - Published September 19, 1891-09/19/2014
WORK No. 130 - Published September 12, 1891-09/12/2014
WORK No. 129 - Published September 5, 1891-09/05/2014
WORK No. 128 - Published August 29, 1891-08/29/2014
WORK No. 127- Published August 22, 1891-08/22/2014
WORK No. 126 - Published August 15, 1891-08/15/2014
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