Tools for Working Wood

 The Work Magazine Reprint Project

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

WORK No. 125- Published August 8, 1891  

08/08/2014






This one goes out to all the armchair Van Leeuwenhoeks out there. You think you can draw better than this? I kid. Seriously, the Camera Lucida has drawn an interestingly recent and sudden spike in attention. The NeoLucida being among the more famous examples.

The old art school kid in me would like to believe that it's because people still enjoy drawing, despite whatever hangups we might succumb to regarding talent, identity, and artistic endeavor. The camera lucida has a nice way of cutting through that emotional garbage. You get to the fun part of drawing right away. Sure this is the microscope-specific edition, but either way you get to ink up some paper. -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. 125 •




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

WORK No. 124- Published August 1, 1891  

08/01/2014






A running gag in the 1966 Fred MacMurray film "Follow Me Boys" is that Fred— the founder and scoutmaster of a Boy Scout troop— cannot tie a sheepshank. At one point Fred's inability to demonstrate his Achilles' knot lands him in dutch with some MPs vis-à-vis his scoutmaster alibi.

Precisely how the scoutmaster and the US Army cross paths is not a plot point I can recall. I haven't seen the film since I was an impressionable tenderfoot. However, the takeaway for an impressionable tenderfoot watching Fred struggle to prove his identity is: "Don't be like that guy! Tie sheepshanks all the time!"



So here I am today, an Eagle Scout removed from those days by about two decades and a thousand miles, terrified that someday I will have to prove who I am by tying a sheepshank. At some point I learned that most people who tie knots don't dread the sheepshank like I do. I wonder if any other scouts who saw the film are afflicted in this manner. Fred & Walt have a lot to answer for.

As personal hangups go, I suppose things could be worse. Still, if I was going to pick a rope hangup, a far cooler knot would be the icicle hitch.

I know, I know. I'll see myself out. -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. 124 •




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

WORK No. 123- Published July 25, 1891  

07/25/2014






I've spent a good chunk of the day asking myself if we have a bona fide tool mystery on our hands or if I'm just stupid, or both, or all three. Either way, I can't find anything representing this tool in Salaman's Dictionary of Woodworking Tools which is my go-to volume for solving these kinds of riddles.



Having access to as-yet un-PDF'd originals, I sped through the upcoming SHOP sections to see if there was a reply from any of the magazine editors or correspondents. I got bupkis, and as result, I'll be obsessed with this thing until I find the answer. I put it to you, loyal workateers. Does anyone know how to use one of these? I imagine that in many ways, it's similar to a sliding t-bevel, except I'm uncertain how the addition of the position-adjustable steel rod is put to use. Further, it is written that the instrument is used "in connection with the best kind of American framing squares." Perhaps someone familiar with the act of setting-out joinery for handrail wreaths will be able to enlighten us. There's a comments section below the entry in case you didn't know.


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. 123 •




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

WORK No. 122- Published July 18, 1891  

07/18/2014





If you've been following this blog for a while, you'll have noticed that every once in a while we post an issue so crammed full of awesome as to defy description. This is another one of those issues. I've posted a load of pictures below to give you a sense of the thing. All the same, this week I feel compelled to point to a gem among gems and proclaim it required reading for anyone engaged in the act of making.



If you have skip everything else this week but still manage to read this article, that'll be just fine by me. The reason for this is simple. Or maybe the reason is simplicity. I haven't decided yet.



In either case, this little chat about finishing is great because it isn't filled with hacks or secrets. It may not even be about finishing in the long run. No, what we have here is a wonderful and rare compilation of generalist remarks: the tempered advice of an old pro set against the normal tide of tips and techniques.



Alright so it quite a bit about finishing despite my earlier remarks to the contrary. Still, I insist that a larger case is being made. Without putting too fine a point on it, the key thing separating a novice from desired results is experience. Among makers and crafts people, it is a popular diversion to overvalue the multifarious elements of a given task, often to the detriment of the attempt itself. Call it what you like, our humble polisher does well to point us on the straight and narrow.



I'm sure some might consider the tone akin to a wagging finger, but to my ear this guy sounds like all of my favorite shop techs and teachers. They never knew what I was going to make next. They only knew that if they did well, I'd never stop, and that a good foundation of guiding principles would serve me better than a grimoire of gimmicks. -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. 122 •




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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WORK No. 107- Published April 4, 1891-04/04/2014
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