Friday, March 23, 2012

Lamb's Tongue and Other Happenings

     Our monthly meeting was held at Rich Daugherty house in his beautifully equipped and laid out shop.  Many of us made the field trip and I'm sure were impressed with not only Rich's demo but also with the lay-out and collection of tools.  While we were waiting for the meeting to begin, we socialized and just talked wood amongst ourselves.

Here's the thing.......

Somethings got us chuckling!

Dovetail Lament (do 'em by hand)
     We had some normal business to take care of before Rich started his demo, one of them had to do with the yearly dues for the club.  Jamie will collect them at the next meeting and at $20.00 for the whole year I'm sure you'll agree it's a bargain!  Remember too that if you do a demonstration you can waive the dues and possibly have two chances for the end of the year drawing during our Christmas meeting.
     Jamie was looking for the person with the roughest hands and for some reason she picked on Dennis.  He is our official "smooth hands" Guinea pig for a product called Helping Hands.  A representative for the company saw a blog Jamie had on trying to find a good creme/lotion for working hands and generously sent a bottle of it -- I guess Dennis will have to start a daily blog and have random neighbors evaluate the condition of his hands!  Jamie mentioned another product available at Home Depot which is called Working Hands.  It's made by O'Keeffe's and I have it on my typing digits as we speak.  Found it in the paint department.
     Ted, who's pictured on the right in the top photo, told us about an upcoming swap meet that will be held in the parking lot of Woodworker's Emporium on Arville.  The date is Saturday, March 31 and the time will be from 9-12.  It sounds like a good way to get some money for those tools you're not using plus an opportunity to pick something up that you may want.  In any case, it'll be an opportunity to mingle with other woodworkers and talk wood with one and other.
    For show and tell, I brought in the acanthus leaf I carved in the workshop with Ian Agrell.

     The workshop was a 5 day one and this honestly took about half of that time.  It's all hand work, no sanding and an hour or so was spent drawing -- definitely not my strong suit.  It's a piece of African Mahogany which Dennis told me he'll avoid at any cost because of the interlocked and otherwise crazy grain.
     Before the Rich started his demonstration he showed a few books that he enjoys.  One that seemed to generate a lot of interest is authored by Jim Tolpin, an author I've been aware of for at least 30 years.  He goes through a series of projects and exercises designed to hone your hand tool skills.  Many of the things he covers are ones that I taught in traditional classes that were called Industrial Arts.  Here's an Amazon link to that book, it has the Look Inside feature so you can see what's in it for yourself.
     Rich also showed the layout and rational as to how he designed his shop.  On one wall there is a collection of plywood panels and he has a variety of tools mounted to that with French cleats.

Tool Storage Wall
    Then, someone just had to ask what he had in his drawer's and to quote Lupe, it was just "Frickin' Amazing!"

     Richard is one of the hand tool aficionados' of the group.  I happen to fall into that category as well but if you're more into power tools it was really educational to see what he had and how they were used.  As an example, here is what's called a hold fast.  A fairly simple tool to hold your work without the use of a vise:

Hold Fast
     As the name implies, it holds your work fast (in this case a Kreg Jig) by simple putting it into a hole on your bench and securing it with a tap from your mallet.  If you ever decide to get one the quality of the steel is important.  There are some cheap, cast ones that'll break when you try to get them to hold.
     Let's talk about his demonstration.  A Lamb's Tongue is a decorative way to end a chamfer.  It's much more elegant than just stopping it short.  Here are some of the tools he used to accomplish it:

From Left; Float, Chisel, 2 Auriou Rasps, Carcass Saw, Stanley #90 Rabbet Plane
Although it didn't show up real good, there is a lamb's tongue cut on the board and you can just barely make out the pattern he made to draw it onto the board.

Additional Tools

     You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words?  Well, thanks to Lupe a video is worth much more than that!  Here's a link to the video she made that is now on YouTube:

     Essentially the process is to first lay out the profile with the pattern and waste out the majority of the wood with a saw.  This can then be smoothed with either a rasp or float.  Since the tongue profile is laid out on both sides a series of cuts are made with the backsaw to the layout lines.  Chisel and mallet is used to rough out the profile which is then completed with files, rasps, or floats.  Carving chisels can be used as well but your objective is to make a smooth, decorative end point for your chamfer aka A Lamb's Tongue.
     I'm sure I'm speaking for all of us when I give him a big Thanks!  Great demonstration and it was good to see one of our members shop.  Maybe we should have field trips more often, anyone want to volunteer their shop?

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