February 2017

Carving the Credo

Jay Oyster's picture

Finished up tails on the endcapThe last update was getting too long, so I'll finish the rest of that here. After I finished fitting the dovetails of the front piece of the front to the endcap, I then worked on carving the credo I had long planned to grace the front edge of my bench. The main reason I left the front board off of the benchtop lamination was so that I'd have a separate piece to carve. It's also a lot easier to carve on a  piece resting on a benchtop than sitting on the floor attached to a 250 pound hard maple benchtop.

The entire message pattern attached to the front board. A pair of long lines along the length of the board allow me to slide the words back and forth slightly, maintaining a  continuous baseline.  The word kerning here can have a strong impact to a view on whether it's easy to read or not.Here, you can see how I've used a spray adhesive to attach the paper pattern to the front board. I'm actually showing some confidence here by making this mixed case. There's a reason why much of the gross carving of the ancient Roman monuments used all capital letters. Capital Roman letters have fewer curves, and curves are alway harder to cut so that they look consistenct. (Think of the letter E and T.) Still, I've carved several signs in the last couple of years, so I decided I liked the more classically elegant look of lower case serif lettering .  .  . and I had just enough confidence to try.

The letters are about an inch and a half tall. One thing that's important about laying out your message is to size your lettering to fit your carving gouges and chisels. At this size, I could use my 6 and 10mm wide chisels, but 12 and 20 were way too wide. This somewhat limited my choices in gouges since I mostly have only one width in each curve size. In carving chisels, a number 1 is a flat chisel. Each higher number indicates a tigher curve, all the way up to a number 12 which creates a very tight curve of diameter of approximately a quarter inch. This curve numbering is known as "sweep".  Actually, No. 11 and No. 12 are usually not circular, but rather more U shapped, with the sharpest curve at the bottom of the arc. 

Carving my credo on the front board of the benchtop, to be attached next

Project Ideas in the New Home

Jay Oyster's picture

We've been in our new house for about eight months now. Frankly, after moving four times in five years, I was just too worn out to consider new woodworking projects. But I've caught my breath.

I'm heading toward the finish line on the Roubo workbench, and I owe a completed jewelry cabinet to my wife. But along with those, I'm starting to think. Things to tackle. New wood challenges to try. 

I've taken to listening to the WoodTalk PodCast. (I was also briefly listening to The Woodworking Podcast, but their verbal tics finally just got on my nerves enought that I had to give them a break. "I made it to where . . . ", ) The WoodTalk podcast is nice. It's funny. It inspires me to try things that are new and challenging. Shannon is a naturally entertaining presenter, and the new Matt is nicely "aw-shucksy" authentic and enthusiastic. Mark is there. If he can be a little less cynical and snarky, I'd like it more, but I'm still impressed by anyone who can take this hobby and make a business out of it.

Multi-level play fort idea for our backyard. The shed already exists in our yard. I'm using it for scale.So . . . two project ideas. One is a playset I've promised my boys. If you look back in history on this site, you'll see that I built a really big playset for my first son at our home in Florida. But then we lost that place, and I've told my younger son ever since that I would work to replace it. They're really getting too old now for a 'playset', but they both would love a backyard fort. So that's what I'm going for. I have two types of projects . . . the kind I conceive of and take forever to build (see Roubo, jewelry cabinet), and the kind I think of in a weekend and build in a month (see the aviary, and the hanging tool cabinet). I have to make this backyard fort into the latter. Still, I want it to be something special. I've been thinking more and more about post and beam construction, so I'm going to use home center materials, and the tools I've mostly got already, to build a multi-story fort. 

Steady Progress on the Silver Maple Roubo

Jay Oyster's picture

Benchtop endcap with the mortise to be cut laid out in pencilIt's not that I'm not doing anything. I haven't been posting to the site due to too much work at my day job. I've been slowly and steadily making progress on a couple of projects. Mostly I've been working on the Roubo workbench. Six years and counting on this project.

So where were we when last I left the narrative? I did the mortises for the leg stretchers. I've been working on getting the top ready to  attach to the base. So this meant:

  • Attaching the end cap
  • Fitting the front leg vice to the leg
  • Cutting the front part of the benchtop to dimension, and then dovetailing it into the endcap
  • Carving my credo into the bench front

I still need to do two more things before I can attach the legs to the top. I need to cut the mortises for the leg tenons into the top itself. And I need to install the Benchcrafted wagon vice onto the bottom of the benchtop.

 

Cutting the pins on the endcap and the tails on the bench frontispiece