Medieval woodworking part 2

If I’m to demonstrate C13th woodwork I’ll need a bench. There’s no evidence, as far as I’m aware, that the waist-high joiners’ benches we know today existed in those time. Staked benches, both low and high, certainly did.

Once again Chris Schwarz’s Roman Workbenches and Vires’ Woodworking in Estonia provided some inspiration, measurements and guidance.

I’m not making any great claims to historical accuracy with this. It’s a fairly pragmatic step. People almost certainly sat on low benches and removed small bits of wood from bigger bits of wood. They still do. We’ll get to the interesting stuff (chests and chairs) soon but in the meantime here’s what I built:

 

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Rotary trimmer

A few years ago I picked up an oddity. I assumed it was for trimming mouldings. I was wrong.

This week Jonny Ditchburn, a furniture designer and maker from Boston (the old one, not the one with the hatred of tea) posted a picture of the, for want of a better word, thing he’d just found. He asked for any information anyone had. I proffered mine and Oli Sparks told us what it was. Oli knows a thing or two about planes so I’ll believe him. He was backed up by Alex Holden, who seemed to know a little more.

I have no use for a lead trimmer but it works well for mitring small trim so I’ll be hanging on to it.

 

Scrubber

Planes and shavings
I’m flattening glued panels of Douglas fir for the garden box. The timber arrived rough sawn and though nominally an inch it was anywhere between 7/8″ and 1 1/4″. Plenty to do!
I usually start with a small Jack plane with a heavily cambered iron: a scrub plane in essence. Then a toothing plane and finally a jointer. Because the fir is tearing out so horribly I’m only using the scrub to take off the highest points, then I’m doing the bulk of the work with the toothed low angle jack.
It seems to do magic…