Friday, October 23, 2015


When life gives you spruce, you make violins with it, isn't it?

All the japanese planes are packed. So why not to use a few real rabbit planes?

 A closer look to the rabbits. The brass was patinated before I started using it, and my arm was ok. It's real slow and real nice to work with such planes. I missed a proper japanese iron and the lightness of a white oak body, but it was fun.

 You start feeling the curves, seeing the smell and hearing the shavings.

You walk with your fingers over the skin, and think that god may have felt this way when making the first woman's tits. Take a bit here, a bit more there... now, it's perfect.

 or not so perfect and you need to keep working

 And this is how it looks after an afternoon. I started  from the rough gauged surface and planed away what was not a violin. The shapes on the left help  a bit, but more than anything is the feeling of it all. It feels right, or it doesn't it. Or you don't know and somebody tells you.

 I thought of all those days spent planing away wood for no reason at all besides the planing itself. And now making a violin top becomes a particular instantiation of a general principle.

I like the way I've learnt. A year ago piece of wood I touched it was mostly certainly destined to fire, but now it's ok. Ich kann dass machen. And I can sharpen the blades, and change the blades to get the result I want, and modify them if they don't work as I know they are able to work.

Opa likes to make fun of me and say that I'm just a sharpener. His way of teaching is more violin centred and he gives you a violin and shows you what to do and you try to imitate it. It's very difficult and frustrating, since you cannot make what the master can and have no idea why.

I try to promote a tool based approach to making. You need to understand your tools and know in which way they realise the principles at play for any given task before trying to accomplish the task for its own sake. It's never about the result, but the process is as, if not more, important than it. And while you work you think "a plane with such and such shape would come real handy here... and a better iron with exactly this curvature would make everything so much easier. This part I would take with an spokeshave and this a gouge of the right size." Making becomes then a conversation, a story, a very creative act despite reproducing the same curves that del Gesu made three hundred years ago. The process cares about itself and thinks itself.

So... it seems that arriving in Chile I cut to pieces an old kanna-mi and make some violin planes out of it. I like the Ibex but cannot stand these western irons that never let the burr go.

add to my to make list: small planes 22, 18 and 12mm wide; 60, 30 and 25mm long. (In case you wonder what else is in my to make list there is another bench (damn students like to work standing) a log table for the grinder and the anvil, a pond, and a table for Julia's sewing, that may be just a planed piece of wood on top of saw horses since we will move first to santiago and then to valparaiso when we find a place.)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Universal Dozuki

Long time with no teeth pictures isn't it?

I got myself a disposable dozuki from dictum to check the shape of the back and the teeth geometry. And more importantly, so my students don't break the teeth of my hand made saws.

The one I got is a 180mm. All the others I have (1 new, 2 buyee) are cross cut 240mm and they feel a bit large for most of the cross cut I make, to not mention for cutting dovetails in a normal 7/8'" piece.

Part of my diabolical plan with this dozuki is also to make replacement blades out of old ryobas I got. I'm thinking in particular in 2 thin ones that broke at the rip side.

Anyway, here it is. I keep on packing my stuff so no much workshop work or cutting pictures, I just let you know the geometry.

The teeth are cut like rip, ie 90 degrees to the plate with a third bevel that changes direction as the set does.

Fairly fat and slightly negative rake they should have no problem with hardwoods. As in tropical woods, not normal hard woods. Tried it in rosewood and cuts fine if a little rough on the cross cut. Didn't try dovetailing since had to make lunch.

And this is what I find most interesting:

A very fat and large top facet.

I didn't manage to catch on picture but there is a subtle blue at the very tip of the teeth on the sides. However the top facet doesn't seem to have it. My guess is that after a few months of use I will be able to sharpen with a normal file. That is, if I manage to find a one sided pack of files for then in Japan.

A few months ago I sent a mail to Gabe, Mark and Jason asking how we could turn a rip saw into a diagonal cutting one. Something like the madonoko but starting from a rip. Maybe this is the path albeit in the case of a rip saw the teeth increase in size along the length of the saw, and who knows how well this geometry works for larger pieces. What I want to say is that I haven't seen this in large saws, so there may be a reason for it.


Me misses workshop and saw vice.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Two months and counting — a look from the other side of the pond

This is a post I never finished writing in Chile, so here it is: what I've learnt moving to a third world country with tools as your luggage, with some comments written now in italics. 

Call it the immigrant's tool list oder so:

in Graz, ca 1 year ago.

I was talking with a friend, about how this time here in Chile has been, and I was telling him that it's a bit difficult: there are no manuals to open a workshop in a third world country.

This doesn't mean that you cannot get things, but getting them takes you ages and the shipping is expensive, far more expensive than to the first world. I call them poverty taxes.

So, this is a list of what I have learnt in these two months, and what kind of tools I used most and which one haven't seen any use.


Everything I have in 55mm to 65mm is used everyday, changing only because one has been sharpened that day so the other pass to reserve. I have 6 planes on those sizes and I could use 3 more or so. That way I could have 3 sets of planes always sharp, and sharp roughly once a week for a few hours.

From the joinery planes only the internal angles planes have been used, a lot. I miss a rebate plane so at the moment I'm using the crappy grazian one I have here. At least has a laminated iron but the body is crap. I have also 2 metal bullnose plane but haven't got any paper to put under them.

No chamfer plane, moulding or rounding pl
ane has been significantly used. I haven't made any dai for all the blades I brought — correction I made one of chilean oak and didn't like it. That's because I haven't found any nice wood to make them. I payed 15usd for a piece of american oak with the right grain pattern but it's not too appealing. For that price I may get white oak from japan, I saw 2x2000yen in buyee.

Hammers: I have used all my hammers and constanly. I should make a bronze hammer in a squar-ish shape, the cross pein I got doesn't fit the style of the kanna (plus is not symmetric and it's too long/not heavy enough). I got a cheap genno here. I'm glad I bought the expensive hand made, they are so much nicer. Shorter handles are also a good idea. Don't waste your money in a cheap hammer, save your pennies and get a(nother) hand made.

Saws: Man, what a bunch paper weight I brought. Who needs 15 ryoba in the same size? Not me. The only handle I have made in these two months is the one for the madonoko, and took 15 minutes. (It cracked too.) If you bring saws, bring them with a handle. Also, get the biggest one you can get, the madonoko has seen hours of use, in fact, is the only one I had to re-sharpen in this time. The cross cut that arrived yesterday seems to follow the same path. So, big large saws and one or two joinery saws.

In general, an azebiki is nicer than a ryoba, and a dozuki is only for shoji. A disposable universal cut is good enough for almost anything. And you can lend it to people. Gosh, these people, they cannot saw and don't listen to you when you say don't push it, just do it gently. People do not get to touch hand made saws btw. I guess 5 saws would be a reasonable number to bring. And bring them with handle, you will be lazier, busier and tireder to make handles here.

BUY MARKING SUPPLIES. Seriously, you should have got all your marking supplies before coming here. Fixed that with 2 sashigane, a starret square, japanese mitre squares and ink line. 

Chisels:  Bring them ready to use, you are not going to make the handle here, see saws. From the ones that are functional 15 seems to see all the use. If you have two in similar sizes, the lighter one will be chosen 90% of the time. 3mm chisels are scarce. Paring chisels in 5 sizes. Slicks are not used unless you timber frame. They look cool though, and chicks dig them.

I need more starrett squares by the way. The 6in combination square is lighter than the 15in, thus I use it more.

Preston spokeshaves are heavy. Japanese spokeshaves get sharp(er, but actually sharp means japan sharp for me, so just sharp).

The sushi knife doesn't see much use without a wife to cook for. Marking knives haven't seen use. If you don't knife-wall your joints, they are useless. Can you live without knifewalling your joints? Maybe, but I haven't made anything real yet. They see lots of work in classes though, and if I want to make guitars, they will come handy. 

Sharpening gear: Get more red stones. Seriously. People will want to use your stones, you better have something cheap to lend them. Most of the time is spent in the lower grits, they wear faster than you thought. A kilo a year? maybe more... Need to think of a solution for that, one cannot sharpen a sharpening stone. I use all the stones I brought, plus the ones I had here, plus one I found. Buy more stones, they are like wine: eventually you will drink it all, and still you will be thirsty.

Files you can never have enough.

Did I say that metal planes are heavy and not pay they place in the bag? I'm not missing my record No4 but I do miss my rebate plane.

A good straight edge would be nice. Chinese rulers are convex in one side, concave on the other. Solved with a japanese ruler.

I should have brought at least 3 decent clamps. But they are heavy, so need to make them once I'm back in Chile. 

You will never find time, nor a excuse, to finish that roubo workbench. That's like 4 japanese workbenches worth of lumber, just on the top. If you don't have a warm shop, having a workbench is retarded. Unless you make some friends and do the glue up over a few beers, thanks Keiran!

A nail takes more than 2 months on growing back, so be careful. 3 months in fact.

A kanna can plane regardless to where gravity is pointing.

Inertia is a strong force, perhaps the strongest. Changing several things at the same time is a difficult process. Moving from place to place means changing your diet, light cycles, people you are around... if you woodwork after your 9to5, that means you are only trained to work after 5pm. Think about that. You only can achieve what you are trained to do, so you need to start by the simple fact of not being sitting in an office the whole day. It's not so easy, you will want to make more than what your muscles can take and you can injure yourself. So take it easy. You need to see the little achievements, a sharper blade, a straighter line, and you need to get faster too.

Beech gets dirty, japanese white oak shinny. Why?

It would have been different if I knew what I wanted to do here. Say, violin making. You know the tools you need, the space, the process. Finding 1 thing to do and sticking to that is reasonable. But I am not a reasonable man, thanks god. Moulding wood is nice, but working with other people's souls and bodies is way nicer. 

Most of the work is actually getting rid of stuff, not making new things. We live in the future of Keynes' grandchildren, and the economic problem is solved, even here in Chile. Our war is spiritual, or so they say. Who could have ever thought that there was people in this country who wanted me to teach them some japanese carpentry, and that actually they learn something here.

A dai is only a piece of wood as long as you have them around you. They are very very special pieces of wood. They don't grow on trees.


In "Just Enough", my bible on simple cool living, the author talks about location. "Location, location, location" he writes. The most important thing to build a house is where to put it, since it will determine everything. Where does the sun go, the winds, the water. For a tool list it's the same: location, location, location. Where are you moving to? Does it have electricity? Otherwise you don't want screws but nails. Do you have big trees lying around near you waiting to be turned into lumber? then get an a big whale saw. How wet it is, there is salt in the air, are there dogs eating your tools in your house?

Maybe a better way of putting is that you should bring your friends. Sharp and well set up tools are friends, rusty blades waiting for a dai are problems. You don't move with problems form one place to another, there are problems everywhere and you need friends to deal with them.

I moved with 75 kilos, and I guess that 50 would have done. Moving each extra bag was 80 euros and 160 the second, so you also can just ship the stuff directly to your arrival country from japan for that money. Now I that I know I would do the following. Order the sharpening gear again and ship it directly, also some big saws and axes. Take the small stuff with you, 20 kilos, and make do. You are moving to a place that has plenty of resources, just not the ones you are used to, or the ones you expect to find. So have fun, look around, observe. Meet people, locals and immigrants, one knows what it's there, the other wants to find out, you need both. 

Tools are important, but people are more. Go out, drink wine, coffee, have good talks. You are leaving your old country to find new things, and they are not going to come knocking at your door unless you put an ad in craiglist. 

 I just got a mail and I won the postdoc position I was applying in Chile. That means institutional support for 3 more years and this blog will continue running on my wallet. It also means I can easily put 100usd apart each month to keep the japanese tools coming at a steady rate or start organising my trip to Japan in 2016 and bring 20 kilos at once.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

frikin math

last one today since I just got it and want to write it before I sleep and forget. I copy the test and put comments on italics, ok?

Figure c) demonstrate how to layout the lateral pitch on the top surface of the hip rafter. The plane BCD on figure c) is parallel to O2B1G in figure b), that is, the roof plane which is at 45 degrees is parallel to the chamfer made on the rafter. That much is clear since you are going to nail boards on it and last time I saw boards are flat and go parallel to themselves. Oh, by the way, why not to draw the rafter in a complete different direction in figure b) and c)? Yeah, that's a great idea, otherwise is too simple. So remember, the rafter in c) goes down to the right, and in b) it goes down to the left. Great. The lateral pitch of the top surface is given by the ratio of EF/BF (the rise and run seen from the perpendicular cut of the rafter) on figure c). AD is the centre line of the hip rafter btw.

Assume AC = h. Since C is an arbitrary point we can take any triangle whatsoever, this is a good one. 

CB = 2h. What? Oh yeah, the slope there is 5/10 or 1/2. The line AB goes at 45 degrees.

AB = Sqrt(5)h. Five? Oh yeah, Sqrt(2^2 + 1^2) = Sqrt(5)

CD = 2Sqrt(2)h. That's easy no? The line CD is 45 degrees from DB

AD = 3h = Sqrt( 2^2 sqrt(2)^2 h^2+h^2) since to go from A to D you can go via AC and CD

BD = 2h Seems that CBD form a 90 degrees angle doesn't it?

AB^2 -BE^2 = AE^2 So this is 90 degrees on the chamfer plane

And the rest follows clearly...

if not so clearly, you apply pitagora's theorem to each and every triangle formed. We are interested in the BFE triangle but for that you need first ED, then EF. F' is used so you can use pitagoras theorem on each part of the triangle and to show that BFE is actually a right angle and then you can get the slope with happens to be 1/3. 

It's not difficult but confusing, at least for me the last time I called a triangle for its points as in ABC was 15 years ago in high school.   

So, do you need to know this? Not really. You could make 153 roofs with a regular slope and simply jigging the chamfer at 1/3 all the time. But what if you change the angle? The steps are the same, just replace the sqrt(5) and all the other numbers by what corresponds there.

I know this is an incomplete description, but part of the process is doing the thinking yourself, watching a video of how to use an axe is not learning to use an axe. Same with geometry.

Off to bed, got a cold with this lovely weather and feel like shit. Tomorrow will read the jack rafter section and continue packing my bags, we are off this land in 7 days.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sashigane addiction

Travelling again, enjoying the German autobahn and it's punctual train and lovely buses. Irony of course, god I'm starting to hate this country.

We visited first Pauli in Essen, then moved to Münster to plane some oak and "Platane" with Till (Pauli's bf) and then I was picked up to help a friend with some restoration work in his family farm. He said it had to do with wood so I said yes, but he didn't mention powertools and dust, then I said no and spend saturday in the kitchen making pizza and sunday mostly in bed playing with my sashigane. Not in a masturbatory way that is.

I didn't bring my computer and my fingers were itching for writing some posts about this magical little tool and all the stuff you can make with it.

It seems to me that this sashigane thing will go for a long time, together with the mathematics/geometry of roof explained by a phisicist so I'm making a new tag for it: sashigane.

Let's go to it then.

First picture: How to draw a given slope. Say 5/10. You take the edge of timber, mark 5 on one side, 10 on the other, and you got it.

If you don't get it the why (as I didn't) maybe you can use some trigonometry.

The two triangles, the one with sides 5 and 10m and the other with sides 10cos(alpha) and 10sin(alpha) are equivalent, they both have the same slope. Homework, prove this.

Now, for Gabe's last joinery layout the half-roof pitch was not explained so here it goes.

Since the rafter is angled at 45 degrees the run becomes 10sqrt(2) You take a perpendicular to it that connects with the edge (same length since it's at 45 degrees) and the hypotenuse of that triangle is the new run for the side cut of the keta. Look here if you don't know what I'm talkin about:

and check this picture in particular:

In Gabe's case the slope is not touching the edge but it's parallel to the line I draw, thus has the same slope. Questions just ask, I don't know your level of geometry so I assume you got the basics as pytagoras, thales theorems, and sin, cos, tan notions.

So, why addiction? well look at this. You just move your sashigane around and the joints start to appear by themselves. Crazy shit.

 Here I was playing with slopes and realized that the splayed leg problems is trivial with a square and some approximations.

So this is the second lesson of today, and it's how to compute the square root of a number without a computer (great, written in a computer, I see the irony).

So, first of all why you need to compute square roots? Because we live in an eculidian space in the local universe. What do I mean? That the shortest line between to points on the world is equal to the square root of the sum of the displacement in each dimension squared. (That is, Pytagoras theorem is not a theorem but an axiom about what kind of world we live in. In you draw a triangle on the surface of a sphere instead of a plane it does not hold anymore. {I told you that learning geometry from a physicist was crazy, they always take detours to explain things.})

Anyway. Sqrt(100) = 10. That is, 10*10 = 100. Sqrt(156) = ????

Let's say we have a splayed leg with the following diagonal slope of 8/10.

First we need to know the length of the leg eh? So by pitagoras the hypotenuse is sqrt(10^2+8^2).

EDIT: thanks to jason I found my math was horrible. 8*8 is not 56 but 64, so now I edit the approximation accordingly. sorry for that.

Exactly, sqrt(164). 13 times 13 is 169. So let's write it like this: Sqrt(164) = Sqrt(169*(1 - 5/169)) = Sqrt(13^2)*Sqrt(1 - 5/169) = 13 * (1 - 0.015)


The last equal sign is not actually an equal sign but an approx. I use the following formula: sqrt(1+x) = 1 + x/2 when x is way smaller than 1. That's called Taylor expansion but doesn't matter a ball the name, just bear with me or google it.

So now that we know the length of the hypotenuse we can compute how much to decrease the square leg so once splayed appears with a square cross section on the plan.

Say we have a 10x10 cross section beam. The new diagonal length needs to be 10/13 so when it's splayed it's again 10.  Let's write 10 = 13 - 3 so 10/13 = 1 - 3/13  = 1 - 1.5/13 - 1.5/13

So you divide the side in 13 parts by using your sashigane in diagonal so it covers 130mm and mark one vertical line every 10mm then you take 1.5cm from each side and pass it to the diagonal with compass and not a vertical line as I did in the drawing.

Now go and try it for a slope 7/10 and tell me the answer. I go and try to cut a gothic roof in the meantime.

Thanks Jason for catching the error and hope this solve your doubts. I may draw the triangles again so they show the right numbers

Monday, October 12, 2015


I continue reading to our friends:

"No society, then, but worlds. And no war against society either, to wage war against a fiction is to give it substance. There's no social sky above our heads, there's us and the ensemble of ties, friendships, enmities, and actual proximities and distances that we experience. There are only sets of us, eminently situated powers, and their ability to ramify throughout the endlessly decomposing and recomposing social carcass. A swarming of worlds, a world made up of a whole slew of worlds, and traversed therefore by conflicts between them, by attractions and repulsions. To construct a world is to create an order, make a place or not for each thing, each being, each proclivity, and give thought to that place, change it if need be. This is why the first duty of revolutionaries is to take care of the worlds they constitute."

This reminds me of windows being fixed, logs being cut and lunchs being cooked. We are taking care of this located worlds, our little worlds, half a world apart, that we may or may not drop by next week or next year. Nevertheless they remain ours. A little bit of each one is there, here, in a saw, in an inkline, in a certain way of doing things that we picked up from each other.

I went out today to buy food for tomorrow's pizza and took the camera with me, I wanted to take some pictures of Celle's Fachwerk. The light was not good and all the pictures suck. Or rather, they don't reflect the world I see when I look at these buildings.

And then I thought, actually, it's not the buildings what I want to take with me once I leave this town for good. Not the chamfers you put on the beams or the joints that you use and how much of a gap you allow. It's trying to understand what makes you to organise yourself in such a way as to produce so much beauty in a way that becomes "natural" for you. Where does this need to build properly come from, and how can you cultivate it and pass it along? Why do you develop so much diagonal bracing in a country with no earthquakes while in japan you use none?

I think it's about listening to what the world has to say. Which sound like something Heidegger would have said. So why not end today with a quote from the little german then?

But those who wish to transform must bear within themselves the power of a fidelity that knows how to preserve. And one cannot feel this power growing within unless one is up in wonder. And no one can be caught up in wonder without travelling to the outermost limits of the possible. But no one will ever become the friend of the possible without remaining open to dialogue with the powers that operate in the whole of human existence. But that is the comportment of the philosopher: to listen attentively to what is already sung forth, which can still be perceived in each essential happening of world.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Yosemune no Sumi II

Ok, before you complain for the poor fits and the fast cut joinery (and the use of band saw) let me tell you one thing. This thing is addictive. I could just not wait too see if it was actually going to fit.

But it kinda did.

The ga is because the distance between the two points under the hip rafter was computed along the plane and not the pitch... I see it now. But that's close enough for a first trial.

Some pictures of the drawing:

I made just the nose, since I wanted to understand the rafter I didn't need the back part. Once it's in place I draw the lines. Now you need to pass the centre line of the rafter to the beams... at 45 degrees and sloping. The slope you see on the sides.

It took me 3 trials to find out which pitch was the one going there. Half roof pitch, triangle marked line according to yesterday's drawing.

Sorry for the poor lighting.  Looks cool isn't it?

I kept on marking the lines to keep track of where I was. 

 And another poor light photo. I make the other dovetail and post it later.

 From the back side.

Remember that I draw the lines with the dovetail in? Well, I also chiseled it and broke it a bit, that's why the nose is bent a bit now.

Naked joint:

 and disassembled.

This part was real fast. I did use the band saw to speed up the cross cuts, and even tried the other dovetail in it. It sucks.

I'm a bit on an adrenaline kick, feel like having reached the top of the mountain and now you can say "it wasn't that hard, was it?"

Oh, and something I wanted to comment on after reading a piece of Chris Schwarz about learning. I also had it in the university, all the homeworks that made you feel really stupid, overstressed and depressed. You learn like that, it's true. But it's a bit stupid to pay people to enslave you so you can learn just because you are not free enough to teach yourself something. (Maybe this doesn't apply to medicine though.) What university (and courses) does is to organise time for you. From 9 to 12 lectures, then you need to eat, and homework. It kinda works. ( One of the professors I was assistant of used to say that 90% of the people didn't learn anything in the university... and then proceeded to blame the people and not university. I dated his daughter too.) But there are ways of learning otherwise... programming for example. I do not know any good programmer who had learnt in classes what he knew. They read, program and make mistakes. And document the whole thing. That way they made linux.  That's because they know they can do anything they want in the computer, they just need to learn how to write it in code. I'm starting to think that the world is the same. We can do whatever we want with it, and just need a few tools to do it. We just need to learn the how. And document it, so it's not lost.

Enough bla bla. I need to get larger timber to make the real model.

EDIT: I moved the model where there's more light. I should look like this

This is how Chilean standards for construction work: if it can hold a beer, it won't fall in an earthquake.

The line of the pitch.

And the oversized cut... I planed a bit too much that part.

The problem with the gap at the was that I put the base where the point should go. So I took it out and fitted "perfectly" (I made another mistake at measuring the depth of the cut, that's why you need a 160mm height piece...

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Yosemune no Sumi: Rpoject Mahyem intermezzo

You know that that is, isn't it?

While we wait for Jason to finish his joint I decided to start with something more complex. Or rather, something I don't understand well how to make. Once you learn it they are all the same easy joint. 

This is what I want to make this week:

The horizontal members are easy to make, dovetailed on into the other. Once they form a T (or an x, depends where you look from) you need to put the hip rafter on top. That was the part I had trouble with. 

I remember o have studied this joint in some airport, I managed to understand the geometry and the square roots of the pitch, but one thing is to understand on the paper, a ver 2D being, and other completely different to pass that into 3D timber. At least for me. 

It took me around 4 hours to understand what pitch was the one I needed to put on the rafter. 

I even had a nap in between to activate my brain zones that have to do with mathematics and sleep. 

(Now you see that the mathematics problem from the last joint was useful?)

Of course, once I understood which pitch was the one needed there, I found a small legend:

I was complaining why it was nowhere written the pitch of the line... but it was the whole time in front of me, I just wasn't seeing. 

There are a lot of square roots of 2 going on in this joint, that's because the pitch is regular, so the same on both sides of the roof. 

This was another difficult one. But I don't want to give too many details so you can find out by yourself.

I also got my sashigane today. Looks small and doesn't come with sqrt(2) marking on the other side, so I'm thinking of filing a notch at 10.14cm. Shit, I meant 14.14, I'm a bit dyslexic.  I guess I have a mistake on my layout.

Using the sashigane was like meeting an old friend. It's light, flexible, square. It's easy to use. Like in EASY!!!!! I really don't know how I lived without one before and I may get a 50cm one. It's one of those tools that once they go into your hand you don't want to let them go

And another square. I was a bit short of squares for the course. I know, I should make some for the students, lousy excuse. I just love starrett squares. They fit so well in the hand. I will go down and make a wooden square now as punishment for buying another tool. (There was some roosewood left from the sashisen of last joint.)

 Anyway, after 5 or 6 hours nap and walk in the city included, I started to cut the joint.

 Exactly, first cut and went over the line. Idiot.

Chopping was easy and fast

 and later had to sharpen Opa's 1" chisel again, western steel lasts nothing. I should have brought one of my paring chisels.

I'm working here with a 3"x3", but the drawing is for 120x160mm so I need to visit the home centre before making the real model.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A frame for Frauke and Summer School News

Hi ho.

That's a citation to Kurt Vonnegut in case you didn't know.

Today I made a frame for Julia's mother. She wanted to hang this painting Julia made years ago and Sebastian needs to work on that. Frauke said you can just screw it. I said, "I literally can not."

So haunched mortice and tenon had to be, with a dovetailed middle bar

 It's a small tenon, 5mm width or so

The pieces where a tad different, but the good thing of working with hand tools is that you make the whole frame oversized 2 or 3mm, and then put it through your planer, ie yourself. This works for any size.

I realised, when taking the picture, that it looks quite similar to a window. So I guess I can make windows now. This is the painting.

Not my favourite from Julia's but her mother likes it.

Now for the summer school news.

I wanted to be sure that I will have people in Chile to help me with this crazy idea before giving more details about it. I hope at least 2 of my ex-students can join so there's hope already for the school happening with more than myself there. The kiwi has already confirmed for the two weeks while the chilean only goes for a weekend.

The place? Somewhere around here: -36.807075, -71.639315

What's there? There is a river next to the place, 5000 m^2 of forest that we can use, and hot springs 4 hours walking.

If I'm not mistaken there was also a saw mill next to it, and a slate quarry near by. But pretty much is like Jason's piece of land, somewhere where man hasn't put his hand yet.

What's my idea? Stay there camping 1 or 2 weeks in february. Build a structure. Maybe something as simple as a deck to sit and chill out, or if we are more people and have more time, a roof and some beds to sleep during summer afternoons.

If we have some time we could cook some charcoal, build a fuigo, and start making saws right there.

At the moment I don't have a car to go there so maybe we need to hitchhike or walk with the tools in the back or what not. But we should be able to arrive there somehow. We will need to carry food since there's nothing around where to buy. (Maybe we can buy a small animal and make a big bbq but that we need to see once there.)

For sleeping you need to bring a tent and stuff to put you inside of. Or wire and an axe and make your own shelter. If you are coming from abroad and don't want to bring too many tools, a good axe, a few stones and big saw would be helpful. Small tools I have enough for all. I will try to buy some japanese axes for then too. No electricity I'm aware of, so leave your computers and cellphones in Santiago.

The weather should be lovely by then, around 30 degrees at midday, perfect for a swim in the river. The nights may be a bit cold but there is wood to make a fire. Arriving there we need to build a table, a compost toilet, and some forks. Maybe a lathe to turn some plates?

God knows what we will make.

But we will know the why and the how. And that's what matters most.