Thursday, February 15, 2018

I.A.M.V.O.

I hereby call this officially unofficial meeting of the International Association of Moxon Vise Owners (IAMVO) to disorder. Before we begin with the important nonsense let us say the customary pledge of the organization. Please rise, hold your dovetail saws over your heart, cross your fingers behind your back and repeat the sacred words.

We who were once hunched in joinery
Can now stand tall in victory
We who were once bound to the bench 
Can now cut dovetails anywhere
We have been liberated by Moxon
Lead by the prophet Schwarz
To the holiest of all workholding wonders.
Whether atop our Roubo or on the shelf beneath
Let us never wish for a Leigh Jig again. 
Amen

Thank you brothers and sisters, before you find your seats please greet one another with the secret handshake.

Ahem . . . Norm . . .Mr. Abram. . . It's ok you can shake Mr. Underhill's hands. Well he's a little intense but he is a nice guy.

What? No you can't catch "Brace And Bit Fever" from a simple handshake, that's a nasty myth. Besides Mr. Abram I'm certain your electron shots are all fully up to date and you're in no danger.

See, we can all get along and play nice. Oops, it seems Roy has managed to cut himself on your beard, well that's never stopped Roy from going on with the show and I suppose we should follow his example.

To the reason I've called you all here. I want to announce we have acquired a new member! Several evenings ago I had the young James Martens to the shop. He'd found a lonely pile of maple alongside a back country highway, oddly already glued up into turning blanks. The maple was cold so he invited it into his warm cargo van, the one with the blacked out windows, and offered it a job in his shop.

Mr. Martens knew I had a lathe and the threading box and tap needed to make a moxon, (Though we all agree how elegant the less folksy options are hailing from Iowa and Texas) and he asked my assistance and I was happy to give it.



I set him up on the lathe and let him go to town and before the evening was over another glorious miracle of wood mashing mastery was brought into this world and I congratulated Mr. Martens on his new membership to our exclusive club.


We both held back tears as the vise attempted it's maiden clamping. I am happy to report it was a success.

So, fellow members of the IAMVO, when you spy the young James, whether in the wild shopping for major appliances or at his usual station sharpening and building saws for Bad Axe Tool Works greet him warmly, offer him the secret handshake, and ask how his vise is doing.

I hereby declare this meeting at an end. All in favor?

Ratione et Passionis
Oldwolf

P.S. This was fun but it seems to me T-shirts and stickers may be in order. If you're interested make a comment or send me an email at oldwolfworkshop@gmail.com so I can roughly judge the interest in such nonsense.   -D

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Outlier


Mrs. Wolf and I were determined to waste a day together in downtown La Crosse. There was a good sushi, a stop in the comic book store, a walk downtown, coffee, and a couple hours inside our favorite antique mall. Of course a few comic books followed me home but the other orphan was this unique turning saw I couldn't pass up.

If you've been reading here more than a second you know I'm enamoured of the old ways of working wood, not for love of the labor but in the belief there was something known that's been nearly forgotten. Turning saws and frame saws are not a new obsession. Making one has been on my "list" for too long. I have the hardware and blades sent to me by a friend, but other things seem to bump it off the top of the list.

Still when lifted this saw from the peg board hook to have a look I wasn't sure at first I was seeing it right.




I've only ever seen these saws with tenons on the ends of the cross arm and mortises in the uprights. This outlier turns that assumption on it's head. And I'll admit the construction in this way seems more straight forward than the more traditional route.




The cross arm falls on a small flat on the upright and is balanced on a moulded "button" (for lack of a better term)


I decided I had to bring it home and give it a test out to see if this was actually a usable form or if it was a ticking time bomb of tension. After replacing the two wraps of supplied bailing twine with some heavy duty linen cording, giving the saw teeth a light brush pass sharpening and tensioning the works up I was very happy to find I had a useable tool in my hands instead of just a tool shaped object.

The tensioning paddle is an obvious later replacement, probably added simultaneously to the bailing twine's arrival, but the rest of the piece carries all the layout lines and subtleties of being made with hand tools. Clearly the maker/owner J. Tonning was proud of the work as he stamped his name on each part on nearly every surface.


I'm more than happy to add this weirdo to my nest of saws and given time may make another just like it. Enjoy the photos.













Ratione et Passionis
Oldwolf