Woven Ash Panels - splitting top rail

For all those other associated crafts.

Moderators: jrccaim, Bob_Fleet, gavin, Robin Fawcett, HughSpencer

Re: Woven Ash Panels - splitting top rail

Postby ToneWood » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:38 pm

rofl Nice attitude Monkeyboy :D

Not sure about sycamore (a.k.a. "great maple") - I reckon it would be fine to work with but not sure how long it would last outside. Oak (especially) and sweet chestnut both contain quite a lot of blue-black tannin which I believe acts as an inbuilt natural preservative, so they tend to last quite well outside. I've been using sweet chestnut recently (from an abandoned coppice which is being cut down and will, perhaps, re-coppiced) and it splits beautifully - proper small coppiced sweet chestnut would probably be even better (I've been unable to find any locally - but I believe that it is coppiced locally, which is frustrating.)

That said, I made a rather rough gate hurdle from some silver birch (all I had available at the time) and that has a reputation for not lasting long outdoors (somebody predicted maybe 2 years), 1 year on it is still fine.
ToneWood
Regular
 
Posts: 1846
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:21 pm

Re: Woven Ash Panels - splitting top rail

Postby AndyT » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:44 pm

monkeeboy wrote:
AndyT wrote:Oh and Mike, aren't Westmorland panels only Westmorland panels if they're made within the bounds of Westmorland? If they were made in Manchester (for example) then they'd be Mancunian panels? I prefer the name: Split ash/Hazel panels but hey, I can't get this pedantic hat off, no matter how hard I try...


Well, I'm Irish so I don't really give a toss where the borders are!
Borders are all just part of the government mind control program.


Aye, just lines on a map...
AndyT
Regular
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:21 pm

Re: Woven Ash Panels - splitting top rail

Postby AndyT » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:50 pm

ToneWood wrote:rofl Nice attitude Monkeyboy :D

Not sure about sycamore (a.k.a. "great maple") - I reckon it would be fine to work with but not sure how long it would last outside. Oak (especially) and sweet chestnut both contain quite a lot of blue-black tannin which I believe acts as an inbuilt natural preservative, so they tend to last quite well outside. I've been using sweet chestnut recently (from an abandoned coppice which is being cut down and will, perhaps, re-coppiced) and it splits beautifully - proper small coppiced sweet chestnut would probably be even better (I've been unable to find any locally - but I believe that it is coppiced locally, which is frustrating.)

That said, I made a rather rough gate hurdle from some silver birch (all I had available at the time) and that has a reputation for not lasting long outdoors (somebody predicted maybe 2 years), 1 year on it is still fine.


No doubt Ash & Hazel are used in panels/hurdles more than other species for a reason. When I get to making cleft gates and fences I look forward to experience with other woods. Sweet chestnut round here is like water in a desert, I hear so many good things about it.
AndyT
Regular
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:21 pm

Re: Woven Ash Panels - splitting top rail

Postby ToneWood » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:05 pm

My guess would be that ash is used because it is very common, strong and springy. Perhaps it lasts well outside too? Hazel is a traditional, fast growing coppice tree, that produces lots of straight rods. I'm a little surprised by how widely hazel is used though. We use it for bean poles (and used it for bows when children) and, within a year, it has becomes hard, brittle, light, weak and prone to snapping. Yet hazel products seem to last decades, sometimes longer.
Last edited by ToneWood on Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ToneWood
Regular
 
Posts: 1846
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:21 pm

Re: Woven Ash Panels - splitting top rail

Postby jrccaim » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:15 am

Finally ly got the gist of the thing. Looking at the picture of the split rail, either the hole is too small or the tenon too big. But wait. Your tenon is not really round. Before I go further let me say Monkeeboy is right on the money. But there is another problem here. When the tenon has sharp edge it acts like a wedge and splits the rail. And there are sharp edges on that there tenon, sorry. My recommendation is this. Get yourself a short chunk of wood from the same source as your rail. Find a piece of 6mm or so plastic. Drill exactly the same hole in both as you intend to drill for the rail. Now shave the tenon. You use the hole in the plastic as a gauge. Do try to get the tenon circular as you can. I go (followng Jenny Alexander) square, octagon, and 16-sided (hexadecagon?). The selection of drill bits is always limited. So one ends up shaving the tenon instead. Shave it to a very tight fit on the plastic gauge. Reason you use plastic is because if you used wood the tenon would ream out the hole for you and you would have a sloppy fit. So you want something harder than wood. Plastic very good. Use a spokeshave at the last bit, this stuff is a little beyond drawplates. Now see if you can drive (with reasonable force and no more, sorry to be so vague but it is a matter of feel and not science) the tenon into the hole you bored in the test piece of rail. If it splits, tough, but you haven't ruined the rail. Shave it some more. If it is too loose I would suggest an inconspicuous piece of beer can, AKA a shim. We modern bodgers have but a limited amount of time. I do not hesitate to shim. It takes quite a lot of practice to make hole-and-tenon fits. If it were science I would tell you to make the fit .05mm over the hole size but unfortunately this is not metal and there are a lot of variables!

If you have ever tried to build a chair or a stool, all hole-and-tenon joints, all this stuff will seem elementary. But note: as the wood dries the joint will become looser. Sorry about that. So your tight fit will become looser as the wood dries out. I hate this but it is a fact of nature. So the many pointers in this thread as to letting the wood dry out a bit are right on. The chair rule which I learned from Jenny Alexander iand Mile Abbot s to make the tenon as exact as you possibly can (plastic gauge) on dry wood and let the rail dry out "a bit". Then drill it. This will shrink it on. Maybe. Go read Mike Abbot's book.

This post getting out of hand but I must add one more item to Monkeeboy's list of things that can go wrong with a hole-and tenon joint. It is very easy to shave the tenon so's it looks like a cone. Usually cone tip points to you, because it takes some doing to shave the outboard (as you sit on a horse) end than the end nearest you. Spokeshave is pulled towards you. If you make a rounder plane, so much the better. But if you didn't make a cylinder, once again you have a created a wedge, guaranteed to split your rail. This is yet another reason to use a plastic gauge.
User avatar
jrccaim
Regular
 
Posts: 1082
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:53 am
Location: Willow, Alaska USA

Re: Woven Ash Panels - splitting top rail

Postby AndyT » Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:05 pm

ToneWood - I chose Ash as it is said to outlast Hazel outside (by just a little), and it splits a hell of a lot easier! I also like the choice of material/finish/colour that Ash gives.

That is really very, very interesting. I see the point (from a number of angles!) even better now. The tenons I carved were of the knock-it-together-quickly type, I didn't realise that the protruding edges of the tenon would contribute to splitting rails... now I know, and can see why - it's obvious! (but not for one who doesn't know...)

Thanks all for the great replies, I have enough here to make some A1* panels! - gonna get me some ash rails drying/seasoning - don't get me started on splitting Hazel for rails, is corkscrews 9 times out of 10! - Ash is much more workable, but with Ash Die-back disease taking hold, cutting back Ash could be seen as irresponsible.

I have a few large bundles of hazel rods mellowing, and this coming week I am gonna hold up in the woods for a few days and get making some more! Maybe even do some guerilla green-woodworking ;O)
AndyT
Regular
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:21 pm

Re: Woven Ash Panels - splitting top rail

Postby jrccaim » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:51 am

AndyT wrote:ToneWood - I chose Ash as it is said to outlast Hazel outside (by just a little), and it splits a hell of a lot easier! I also like the choice of material/finish/colour that Ash gives.
...
I have a few large bundles of hazel rods mellowing, and this coming week I am gonna hold up in the woods for a few days and get making some more! Maybe even do some guerilla green-woodworking ;O)


Guerilla (literally "little war" in Spanish) is extremly effective :) More power to you.
User avatar
jrccaim
Regular
 
Posts: 1082
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:53 am
Location: Willow, Alaska USA

Previous

Return to Greenwood crafts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 7 guests