stool making & assembly part 1 - pic heavy

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stool making & assembly part 1 - pic heavy

Postby gavin » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:55 pm

This series may inspire others to share their processes. I prefer not to use cordless drills and like the horizontal drill fixing for holding the Veritas tenon-cutter
1.2.1980-01-01 00.03.04 (WinCE).jpg
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1.1980-01-01 00.01.34 (WinCE).jpg
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1980-01-01 00.03.50 (WinCE).jpg
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1980-01-01 00.05.26 (WinCE).jpg
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1980-01-01 00.07.19 (WinCE).jpg
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IMG_0110 (WinCE).jpg
Rings cut from plastic pipe can help you visualise the likely yield.
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IMG_0116 (WinCE).jpg
insert a wedge before or after the froe helps drop the froe a little further - this makes a big difference!
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IMG_0122 (WinCE).jpg
The cleaving brake here is Mike Abbott's "Champion the Lumber Horse"
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continued in part 2
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Re: stool making & assembly part 1 - pic heavy

Postby nic » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:50 pm

Gavin- unless you know the axe has a softened poll I really wouldn't hammer it with the sledge/Maul. If you burnt the handle out of the head though it would be safe enough. Even still eventually it will mushroom over, possibly workharden and still throw out a chip.

My father hammered an axe and a bit of the axe shot out so fast it buried itself in his leg deep enough that A&E thought it safer to leave it in. A few years later he got a pipe detector for christmas- we could locate the chip because it beeped when we ran it over his leg. But then I know exactly how big the chip is as I have the axe it came from. I use a wooden mallet on it now.
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Re: stool making & assembly part 1 - pic heavy

Postby gavin » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:16 pm

nic wrote:Gavin- unless you know the axe has a softened poll I really wouldn't hammer it with the sledge/Maul. If you burnt the handle out of the head though it would be safe enough. Even still eventually it will mushroom over, possibly workharden and still throw out a chip.

Fair comment. I do like to drive with a metal sledge hammer, and will stop using the ax head for this. I have some special metal timber wedges which I presume are ok to drive with sledge hammer.
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Re: stool making & assembly part 1 - pic heavy

Postby nic » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:06 pm

They should be fine- when they start to mushroom and crack grind it back. I am careful to do this with anything I use to demonstrate to the public with. It is hard steel against hard steel, such as axes against hammers that really causes problems though.
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Axe splitting

Postby ToneWood » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:55 pm

Surprised to see the axe head being used as a splitting wedge - the Gransfors axe book [P32] goes out of its way to recommend not doing this (with images of the consequential damage to the axe head you might expect*), except with one or two of their mauls that have been specifically designed and manufactured with this unusual use in mind. [Baggy just posted a link to another on-line book that covers this too on P29: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2686 ]

If you feel the need to use an axe for splitting wood in that style (i.e. as a wedge/froe rather than as an axe), as I have and other forum members do (I recall the images) and Wille & Jogge Sundqvist do in their book(s)/video - better to use a big, heavy wooden froe mallet/beetle, wooden mallet or other soft mallet instead of a sledge hammer. That way the mallet takes the damage rather than the axe [P32 in Baggy's book link]. For the log in pics above, I might try splitting it with a large froe (12"+) if I needed to split it accurately (e.g. for a bowl) - especially if is a wood that splits well, e.g. ash. Yes, I know a froe is a leverage tool but you start it with split.

*The eye hole "squidges" out inside, also the main weld can start to break open on some axes, such as Kent-pattern axes, & the poll can mushroom. I don't think removing the wood from the handle would help, as you'd loose support from the eye - it would probably make things worse.
Last edited by ToneWood on Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:09 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Splitting Wedges

Postby ToneWood » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:40 pm

...But for big stuff you often need a big metal sledge hammer. Splitting wedges are designed to be used with a sledge hammer like that but will mushroom eventually (you've seen images of my inherited old splitting wedges), so they should be kept filed down & sharp to avoid shrapnel injury. But I think you taught me that Gavin. My wedges were originally used with a big 10lb sledge hammer but I now find that a 4lb lump hammer is usually adequate, and more fun - but you end up working closer to the wedge/blow, so wear safety glasses/a visor.

My father usually used 2 wedges for big rounds, I usually use 3 wedges on large blocks mainly to keep the split straight (for bowl blanks) - or 2 wedges and a piece of wood. Splitting wedges are fairly cheap, about £6 new (except fancy ones from Gransfors, Husqvarna, etc.) - about the same as a vintage axe head.

BTW Jogge's book shows aluminum wedges for splitting. I've looked for them but can only find aluminum felling wedges - so perhaps that is what he uses. I guess they would be lighter, softer and possibly less likely to break off dangerous shrapnel.
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Re: stool making & assembly part 1 - pic heavy

Postby Donald Todd » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:18 pm

Gavin, you are always safer to hit metal with wood. Do not use a side axe for splitting. I use a small conventional axe for small pieces as you show, and metal wedges for the big stuff. The froe is designed to split long pieces in combination with a cleaving brake.
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Re: stool making & assembly part 1 - pic heavy

Postby ToneWood » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:33 pm

Donald Todd wrote:...The froe is designed to split long pieces in combination with a cleaving brake.
They're also traditionally used to cleave roof shingles/shakes too (more common in USA than UK these days), which are not so long.
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Re: stool making & assembly part 1 - pic heavy

Postby Donald Todd » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:03 am

They were probably used for shingles because the length of the blade allows a wide piece to be split. I don't know how long the shingles would be, but the blade of mine is relatively thin giving less wedging action than an axe or purpose made wedge when driven straight.
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Re: stool making & assembly part 1 - pic heavy

Postby ToneWood » Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:00 pm

Donald Todd wrote:...I don't know how long the shingles would be...
Rougly 18" - 2' I would estimate. I made a shed that had cedar shakes about 10 years ago - I didn't make the shakes though, they came bundled with the raw timber kit. My house at the time had similar roofing, it's still quite popular around the Seattle area.
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