Gluing up a table top

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wrote:

Not here.

You mean that nice stable flat stuff that makes such a good substrate for veneer ?

So don't use it. Slide your biscuit jointer sideways to cut a slot, then stick a solid timber spline in there. Now that's pretty much "fine furniture" and it barely takes any longer.
--
Smert' spamionam

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I'll bet you don't use pocket screws either ;)
I don't have a problem using anything that makes the job easier or faster. IMO, non-visible accessories don't detract from the beauty of fine furniture. I admire the guys that do hand cut dovetails. Maybe that is because I can't do them and therefore appreciate the skills of those that can. I've made a few pieces and have been proud of the fact that I did them with no metal fasteners. Where I'd have a dowel exposed, it could have just as easily been done with a screw that was countersunk and plugged, but I chose otherwise. Better? Probably not, just more fun to do.
What is important is that you're enjoying the journey, not just the destination. Keeping traditions alive is a wonderful thing.
I wonder what some of the old masters would do if faced with a modern shop. Ed
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wrote in message

Sure I do. In fact, I'm about to put some into a footstool I'm making for the little ones so they can stop fighting over the one they have. Then they can go on to fighting about something else.

My deal is that I generally find them unnecessary for the work I've done up to now. Now, if I was trying to churn out production, that would probably be a different story and some sacrafice might have to be made for speed.
todd
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Exactly what they thought was best. Like putting hand-sawn precious wood veneer over a cheap substrate.
As biscuits are not structurally important in a glue-up, they wouldn't take the time to put them in.
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I handcut all the dovetails for the drawers of a desk. Not half bad if I do say so myself. I agree with those who assert that that you can't see (and isn't a shortcut that will shorten the live/durability of the piece) has a place in the modern construction of "fine furniture" IMHO.
bob g.
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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wrote:

Ten to one says most of them would break out in a big old grin, and latch onto anything and everything that works well and makes the job easier. Because something is "tradtional" does not always mean that it is better. Quality is Quality, regardless of the method used to produce it, and I just can't believe that a well-jointed, solidly built piece of furniture with a fine finish and attention to detail made with some manufactured materials and power tools could be considered somehow inferior to an equivilent piece of work crafted in a more tradtional fashion. After all, I doubt those old masters turned up their noses at chisels because back in the mists of time, people had to use broken bits of rock to make things.
Sure, there's plenty of fun to be had sticking to nostalgic ways of doing things, but there's nothing wrong with using what you've got!
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On Fri, 24 Sep 2004 23:37:22 -0500, Prometheus
<snip>

Well said!
Mac
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

OTOH if your definition of 'fine furniture' includes pieces in the early medieval style, you're going to use _lots_ of metal fasteners. (I'm less enamored of their habit of nailing things together.)
Thinking about it a little more, I believe that for me the matter comes down to how I feel about the piece I'm making. If a technique doesn't 'feel' right for the piece, I'd prefer not to use it. Thus, I prefer loose tenons to biscuits and handcut dovetails to routed ones.
Of course I can afford this attitude because I am strictly a hobbyist when it comes to furniture. For me the most valuable product of that sort of woodworking is the time spent working wood. We have so little room in our house that any major pieces I make have to be given away.
--RC
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On Sat, 25 Sep 2004 05:22:37 GMT, Rick Cook

No you're not ! Early medieval nails are few and far between. You'll see more treenails than iron nails.
The ark I did yesterday has no glue nor iron anywhere near it.
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lol... you guys getting a lot of rain over there?
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On Sat, 25 Sep 2004 12:05:38 +0100, Andy Dingley

Hmmm, is it raining heavily over there?
-- Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ---- --Unknown
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Andy Dingley wrote:

I was thinking of the strapwork and hinges. In fact it's difficult to do replicas of early medieval chests and most other kinds of furniture unless you have access to a blacksmith shop.
--RC
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On Mon, 27 Sep 2004 01:08:18 GMT, Rick Cook

You mean like this ? http://codesmiths.com/shed/things/boxes/sarah /
I'd still regard that style as late medieval though. That chest itself is more like typical 18th century work in England, although it's based on a 13th century Baltic example.
Most chests, and almost everything early medieval, were devoid of ironwork. No strapwork, and hinges were often just a nailed leather strip, or a couple of snipe bill hinges (interlocked hairpins).
I took a look around the Red Lodge again last week. http://www.bristol-city.gov.uk/mus/redlod.html Lots of chests, almost no metal in any of them. A few had the bases nailed on, but in at least one of those cases that was later repairwork after a grooved side had split out.
The idea of the heavily strapped chest doesn't really show up until the Armada chests (there's a nice example in Abergavenny castle museum). These were the paychests of the Spanish Armada and had hugely complex locks that filled the entire lid, with strapping all around. 16th C though.

http://codesmiths.com/shed/armour /
The other problem is finding some iron to work. For those helms it's easy enough to cheat with steel, but strapwork doesn't really look right unless you used iron.
I was also working on a chest for LARP-camping last week. An old 1900-ish joiner's chest that I was given, with a bunch of repair work to it, some forged steel drop handles at each end and an upholstered top as a bench seat. Pictures when I've done the upholstery.
--
Smert' spamionam

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Andy Dingley wrote:

Actually more like this:
http://www.medievalwoodworking.com/champeaux/champ04.jpg
We have a number of examples of this sort of chest with the elaborate ironwork from pre-14th century England. (See also Daniel Diehl's 'Constructing Medieval Furniture' for additional examples of ironwork on furniture, including a chest from Oxford.)

Well, I don't know about 'most chests', but certainly not all of them by a long shot, judging by the examples remaining in cathedrals, colleges, etc. You'll also note that most of the strapwork, hinges, etc. was held on with nails. Undoubtedly there were a lot of chests and other pieces made without ironwork of any sort.

Well, no. In England at least the heavily strapped chest is a design that goes back before 1000 AD

Nice work! However you can make a barrel helm of that pattern without access to a blacksmith shop. The metalwork is pretty straightforward and mostly bending, drilling and some punching. (The punching is better done hot, but it doesn't have to be.) We made a several of them 30 or so years ago with not much more than hammers and an old stump. (The first one we cut out with cold chisels. The next one we used a saber saw with metal cutting blades. I really envy you with the plasma cutter.)
Unless you're willing to settle for really simple designs for the strapwork, you need the ability to work the metal hot, especially for the splitting and bending. In other words, a blacksmith's shop.

That is a problem indeed. Around here there's just about none to be had because this area wasn't settled until after 1850. (Well, there was one maniac I knew who used to get iron by pulling the spikes out of the supporting timbers in old mines. That takes more -- ah, 'dedication' than I've got.)

Looking forward to seeing it.
BTW: I always understood that an 'ark' was simply a chest with a peaked top, like a roof. Is there something more to the definition than that?
--RC
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On Mon, 27 Sep 2004 20:27:36 GMT, Rick Cook

There are plenty of examples of _elaborate_ ironwork, just not many of simple ironwork. Strapping like the example you showed is like studded iron nails in the door of your castle - it's not for use, it's for decoration. Conspicuous consumption to show that you were rich enough to spend money on expensive ironwork.

Not a very good reference, IMHO. It's OK as a constructional guide to one or two pieces, but it does nothing to put them in a greater context.
I'd also never buy any book that encourages the making of yet another bloody Glastonbury chair ! I know chairs weren't common in period, but there was more than one style.

There's also a certain skewing as to which examples survived.

There are strapped chests back into the Norse period, but I've not seen anything like an Armada chest until then. They're pretty much solid iron - not just strapping to hold it together, but an interlaced close-spaced strapping that would prevent you smashing it with an axe. The entire lid is also filled with multiple locks.

Even though I worked these cold, it's a blacksmith's shop where I did them. http://codesmiths.com/shed/things/sundial / http://codesmiths.com/shed/things/smithing /

No punching for these - the breaths were plasma-cut from a stencil. I'm too lazy to punch holes !

Not as far as I know. It's a top that's not flat, but has protruding end plates rather than being coopered.
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wrote:

I'd love to have the skill and knowledge to make things like dovetail and finger joints, but IMHO, biscuits make the use of fancy joints more of a trim or appearance thing than a necessary skill to assemble projects.. I love looking at other folks galleries and seeing the contrasting color joints and inlays, but I doubt that I'll ever develop the skill or patience required for those... I guess they're what I consider "fine" woodworking, a level I'll probably never reach..YMMV
Mac
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@comcast.net says...

bit in a router table. Provided all boards are the exact same thickness it works well. Much better than the results I got from biscuits and butt joints.
--

Phillip Hansen
Skil-Phil Solutions
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On 22 Sep 2004 10:47:48 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (tfk) wrote:

I made a little cedar tabletop last week, and glued 3 6" planks at one time by using dowels to keep them aligned. No doubt this would work for any number of planks, as long as your joints are square and you don't clamp the piece too hard.
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