Posted tagged ‘pattern makers vise’

Annual Report

April 15, 2019

Well…  It’s a year since my last post.  Quite a lot has happened.

In October of 2018, my good friend and workmate, Les Elsie passed away.  He will be missed by his “brothers”.  For the past few years Les and I worked together at least one day a week, trying to get several of his unfinished projects completed.  We were often joined by our friends, Chad Stanton and Scott Midgeley.  The last project was nearly completed at the time of Les’ death.  Sadly, I don’t know if it will ever be finished.

QA Highboy

After moving more than a year ago, my shop is finally beginning to take shape.  Insulation, heat and, yet, another work bench have made life a little more comfortable and productive.

Trimming the place out a bit has allowed for a little practice carving.  (I take any chance I can to practice.)

tool cabinet

My wife suggested that I get to work on a TV table for the guest bedroom.  The style I chose doesn’t accommodate the digital hardware very well.  But it will just have to do.

I don’t think this will be my last post.  It’s hard for me to keep my mouth shut and my fingers still.

Walnut Pattern Makers Workbench Gallery

December 15, 2012

The beauty of the Emmert’s Vise

August 11, 2012

As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.  Here’s the reason folks love the Emmert’s Patternmaker’s Vise:

Straight hold on a cabriole leg

Rotating the vise up to 360 degrees

“Tilting” the vise up to 90 degrees

Holding a taper (an auxiliary jaw allows vertical holding of even greater tapers)

Holding above the jaws with dogs

Reversing the dogs makes holding rounds and irregular shapes a simple task

This is why I went to all the trouble.  For anyone doing work that requires the ability to hold the workpiece in many different positions to facilitate hand work, the Emmert’s vise is a thing of rare beauty.

Just a few more details and the bench will be ready for service; tail vise, storage shelf, tool tray and rack.  This thing might weigh 450 before it’s all said and done….

Is that a “Lamb’s Tongue” or Gene Simmons in the distance

July 27, 2012

The new workbench is going a little slower than I’d like.  And one of the reasons for the delay is my decision to include some absolutely useless decoration on the base.  The decorative effect I’ve chosen to use is an old, and very traditional, edge treatment known as a stopped chamfer with a “Lambs Tongue” terminus.  You don’t have to have a fantastic imagination to understand why the terminus picked up its common name.  And you would only need to see Gene Simmons and the “KISS” gang to understand why our younger brethern (and sistern) might identify it with something seen on the concert stage.

This was a very common edge treatment for posts, beams, balusters and other architectural details.  So in times past, carpenters and joiners, alike would have been very familiar with its use.  Upon closer inspection, it’s obvious that, viewed from the side, it is simply an ogee shape that has been rotated 45°.  Some folks go to a great deal of trouble, laying out small ogee patterns on both sides of the chamfer, then shape the “tongue” with rasps and files.   Believe me, if you were a carpenter or joiner on a job site with dozens of posts and beams to complete, or a joiner with hundreds of balusters to shape, you’d take a somewhat more pragmatic approach.  You would simply mark the length of the tongue, then, with its bevel down, you’d tap a bench chisel through the cove, then the bead.  That would be that.  Practical craftsmen simply didn’t “overthink” things like this.  They were busy, trying to make a living.

Turners also employed the “Lamb’s Tongue” on pommels that would lead to a full cylinder or simply an “eased edge” shape.  It’s a wonderful little “touch” that still “holds up” and all serious woodworkers should get familiar with it.


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