Monday, July 25, 2016

Impossible joint and instagram

I'm still alive.

I got sucked into the sub-world of instagram to connect with fellow chilean woodworkers and that made me lazy to write and gave me lots of input to practice. I see a joint I haven't tried, and go to the bench to make one similar.

Today saw the "impossible" joint in the column and could not figure out the drawing, so went ahead and cut a test joint:

This is the drawing:

I cannot see the numbers. After lots of thought and the aforementioned fucked up test cut, I discovered the numbers. The dovetails  on the big side have sizes of 240-188 and 188-134. The slope of the dovetails are not the same (as I was expecting since the mitres are at 45 degrees), one is 52/200 and the other 54/200. I guess that's allowance so they can slip into each other.

The test I made had the upper dovetail going inwards instead of outwards, so it doesn't work. But I think I know how it works so I will try it again tomorrow or the day after.

Furthermore, I've came to realise that working only with handtools is a lot of physical work. I'm making a "small" 1.5 meters box for julia for 2 months already, and I doubt it will be finished any time soon. The thing is too heavy and the wood is to hard to handplane it to thickness.

So I've been doing more smallish stuff.

I brought some bows with me last time I came from Germany, and I've started to play with them. Broke the head of one while trying to re-camber it, and I'm working on a frog of Curupay since don't have ebony at the moment. I'm practicing the movements, procedures and tools you need to make the bow hoping that I can spend some time at a bow maker next year if I go to europe for summer.

I've also done some work in Cumala, something like mahogany but softer and oily, a pleasure to work with. Here is a poorly designed stool that falls of you touch it on the wrong place. Should have kept the 3/10 slope of the japanese.

The tools for violin making are slowly arriving, have new small planes and japanese scroll gouges. The cheap chinese planes are kind of nice, if you like to file your tools before use. These are the ebay ones, thing of them as rough casting and you won't be too disappointed.

The pin on the left one was bent, so I complained and they sent another pair of planes.  Still waiting for those though. For 15usd each you cannot complain.

Got also a new kiridashi real thin and fragile, perfect for f-holes

and that's pretty much it, the things in Chile with the woodworking community are moving albeit slowly, but have met a few really nice people interested in learning the dark arts.

Finally, I think the next course will be a week long class making a small stool, sharpening and eating. People have complained about not having enough time and doing only exercises without a final result. my idea was that people didn't want to pay for repeating the same joint several times in a project but seems that the joints in abstracto are not so interesting as for me. This class will be far more expensive than previous ones and will require a basic toolset and sharpening gear. I will provide dimensioned wood for the project. Lunch will still be a community thing.


  1. Hej Sebastian, what is it you find so interesting in instagraham? I'm just curious being not so experienced. Did you see that nice film from Patricio Guzman, Battle of Chile?


    1. Hi Don

      in fact I don't really like it. All the closed environment thing and he fact that is not indexed by google makes it a sink for information. I had some good discussions with people over there but it's something that other cannot really access to since it's difficult to find. What I do like is the constant seeing of what other people is doing, each time I see something I like I go and copy it. That had made me try a few things, like different joints, put shellac on more places and make stuff on a more regular basis. More than anything I like to see pictures of the making process, they can be very informative. All that will depend whom you follow thought. Cats and sixpacks and selfies are sadly everywhere.

      Haven't seen the movie, I do have my own personal battle with the place though.

      Hope things are well chez vous.

  2. Just following up. I guess I'm not so attracted to instagraham then. Well, it's going good here, working on the house, tending the animals mostly. I got a daughter spending her "summer" in the USA, that kind of stuff... Hello to Julia.

  3. Ah, that explains it! I too will admit to being on instagram in order to put myself out there more. I'm finding there's more liveliness in instagram than the blogosphere.

    I really like it. I can find a lot of ideas on there, I can get posts out more (though life is still busy) without needing to stop my work. It does seem like there's thousands of woodworkers, though- which kinda helps pierce the echo chamber I sometimes find myself in, but also overwhelms me sometimes. Gabe is on there too.

    The only thing I don't like is the constant politics that have filled my search feed. Both sides. I can't escape the campaign anywhere...