Monday, July 28, 2014

Frankly, Windows are a Pain by Jim Tolpin



Well now I know why windows are called panes...because they are truly a pain to make. Especially when you are challenging yourself as I am to do all the molding profiles, rabbets and joinery entirely with hand tools. (I’m not quite crazy enough to do all the stock sizing with rip saws and foreplanes).

Why I’m making the sash for my new stand-alone shop with hand tools is another story for another day---suffice it to say that I’m driven to extend and refine my self-education in woodworking (as opposed to wood machining).

Today I’m making the rail-to-stile joints for the big, 24-pane front window, which are franked (rather than haunched) through-wedged mortise and tenons. I was going to do my usual draw-bore pinned M&T, but a bit of research--especially in Charles H. Hayward’s book on joinery--convinced me otherwise. So I’m going down that road---and I have some theories about why this choice is typical of traditional sash joinery.

I’m pretty sure about the through tenon: With typical usage (sliding up and down in the case of double-hungs), strain on the pins would likely lead to enlarged holes and loose joints. Also, due to the sash’s exposure to the elements, the wood is going to undergo a lot of seasonal movement--again leading to loose pins.  The through-tenons are much less subject to these symptoms of wood movement (no holes to enlarge for one thing). And unlike the pinned mortises---which eventually would have to be disassembled and re-bored--the wedged mortises could be tightened up by simply driving in (or possibly adding) the shims.

As far as franking goes, this is, according to Hayward, the joiner’s typical choice while cabinetmaker’s go with haunched. (see his illustration on the left). I think this is due mostly to the fact that cabinet frame joinery usually encases a panel, which means the stiles have a groove and the tenon is simply haunched to fit in it.  In sash joinery--which is traditionally in the realm of the joiner--there is no groove worked into the rails and stiles. So its then a matter of chopping back the tenon to fit the ridge left on the stile stock when the molding profile is cut away. There does seem to be a clear advantage of franking in this application: The side of the tenon that will be angled by the wedges will be longer than it would be if there were a haunch. This allows more bearing surface for the wedged tenon, and therefore more strength and more resistance to loosening.

Friday, May 23, 2014

FS2014 - 50% Discount on Day Passes for Locals

Furniture Society Conference - FS 2014 (June 19-21, 2014)


The Conference, which starts June 19,2014, is a full three day event at Fort Worden. The 3-Day pass is great value giving you access to all the events and includes all meals (even the Saturday Banquet!).

We encourage locals (woodworkers, furniture makers, furniture enthusiasts or the just plain curious) to join us at the conference. Meet the Society's members; check out the events, presentations, and galleries. See all the great reasons to join the Furniture Society.

We're delighted to offer you a 50% discount on one-day passes for the Conference. Use the discount code Local50 when you register.

Be quick: this offer expires on June 1, 2014

Please note: a day pass does not include food, you will need to bring a lunch or buy lunch at the Commons.

Whats Happening at the Conference:

The Conference has three presentation tracks, six on-going events - including digital and very traditional methods of work, on-site galleries, pre-conference tours, bandsaw mill demonstrations and more. (Click on the links on the left hand side of page for more information). Conference Event Grid (opens a .PDF file).

At the popular Slide Wars event, conference attendees attendees can get their minute of fame as images of their work are shown on screen in the Wheeler Theatre.

The Member's Gallery and Faculty Selects exhibitions will be open to the public in the Chapel to Fort Worden (right by the entrance to the Park). Several of Michael Cooper's stunning chairs will be on display in the Chapel too.

The Northwest Woodworker's Gallery, where Pike Place Market meets Belltown in Seattle, is presenting "Sense of Place" - an exhibition of Pacific North West Furniture Society Members' work during June.

Explore Digital Design and Fabrication in a pre-conference work shop with Randy Johnson of Shopbot (now full).

Whether you are professional maker, aspiring furniture maker or educator this conference is sure to inspire as you learn, mingle, and make connections.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Northwest Woodworkers Gallery jurying new makers

Here's an opportunity to get your work shown, and maybe sold, at the Northwest Woodworkers Gallery in Seattle.



There's a jury process and members of the cooperative are both welcoming and fair. They'll accept good pieces or give you great feedback on what you need to to to meet their standards - a great learning process and possibly your road to a first sale in a gallery.

You'll need to apply by November 22nd.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New Lathes! Thank you AAW!

Shrieking in the title may seem a little excessive but we are deeply thankful to the American Association of Woodturners for a second Education Opportunities Grant. 

We've used both grants to invest in buying lathes and we've just added three more lathes. Two 10" and one 12" mini lathes. We now have seven lathes. We've been given some big architectural turning lathes too but we're waiting for a larger facility before we bring those on-line.

The new lathes will be christened in Bonnie Klein's woodturning classes this fall. Bonnie is with us for seven days, teaching her signature topics (spindle turning and lidded boxes) in the Intermediate Turning class (September 10-14, 2012) . This is the first non-beginner's class Bonnie has taught at the School and we're looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and some new faces.

Bonnie will also be teaching her Beginning Bowl Turning on September 15-16, 2012 - a fabulous class to get started in turning. No experience necessary - just enthusiasm.

Rafter Tail Table with Darrell Peart

Darrell Peart is teaching his new Rafter Tail Table class at the School this week (6/25-6/29, 2012). Most of the students are making a couple of tables and will have the templates to make more when the go home at the end of the week.

Everyone seems to be really enjoying themselves. Darrell's excellent preparation of stock and thoughtfully designed jigs makes the setup and running of this class straightforward. The progress is impressive.

If you are in Port Townsend this week feel free to stop by and say hello to Darrell and the class. If you're not able to make it here - enjoy the slideshow. We're adding more pictures each day.

On Friday, as with all our weeklong classes, we hold a potluck lunch at noon. It's open to everyone - feel free to come along. Salads from the Coop or bread from Pane D'Amore are always welcome. Home cooking scores big brownie points!


Late update: we're going to the Banana leaf downtown instead of doing the potluck at the School. Join us there.