Article Series on Japanese Joinery

George Crawford:

A nearly lost art. Thanks for posting this great connection to Japanese joinery.

Originally posted on GREG MERRITT - BY MY OWN HANDS:

If you have an interest in Japanese joinery or joinery in general, then I would like to point you to an article series by John Bullar.  Mr. Bullar is writing this article series about Japanese joinery for:

Furniture & Cabinetmaking magazine.

Mr. Bullar begins the series with a look at Japanese tools as well as pointing out that a person can execute these joints with traditional western tools.

jp_joint-fc-03 Photo used with permission of Furniture and Cabinetmaking magazine. Also note the article title in the lower left corner… Just saying…

Let me say this, there is nothing magical about Japanese tools.  They are just tools and are solely dependent upon the skill of the user.  Now I’ll admit that their exotic nature is what first drew me to them.  The quality of the steel and ergonomics is what really hooked me.  The Japanese chisels and saws I absolutely enjoy using.  The kanna…

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Bark Basket

Bark - 1While sorting staves in the barn a long section of bark separated from a quartered trunk.  While this one is not from one of the usual species used for bark containers I decided to give it a try.  Bark is used as a raw material for making water resistant hats, bowls, quivers, and other containers far back into the mists of time.  From at least as far back as Mesolithic Europe to Pre-Columbian America, this type of “basket” has made it’s way into the human tool kit.  While this is not a tutorial proper, I took a few photos of the finished product.

Bark - 3The body is made from the whole bark of Osage orange (Maclura pomifera) and sewn with rawhide from deer.  The rim is constructed from a mesquite shoot split, steamed into a hoop, and sewn with rawhide.

Bark - 4It’s not perfect and probably won’t last forever as bark can be fairly brittle over a long time but will serve to hold some demonstration goodies for quite a while.

Bark - 2Have a look at a simple tutorial for a similar container by Ken Peek HERE.

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Make a Shop Apron

ApronsShop aprons are not as widely used as in the past.  I believe this is related to our modern view on clothing and how it has changed over the past century.  Not only are we training less in the trades, our clothes are ridiculously cheap in the modern world.  Low prices and availability keeps our incentive to protect them pretty low.  As I have reduced my quantity of clothing I have grown to appreciate the humble shop apron more than ever.  In the past, my only incentive was for protection when grinding metal or welding but now I begin to understand the real role a good apron can play in the shop.

A good shop apron can cost quite a bit of money ($40 – $100 or more) so I present the above catalog page as a starting point for construction.  Heavy canvas or leather are the obvious choices for material.  Although heavier, I prefer leather as is it is fireproof and offers some protection against cuts.  As for protection, here’s an image I found when looking for designs.  It’s from a Navy singlestick exercise.  Somehow the design seems familiar.

navysinglestickDSC_0003

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Earth Day

YukoshimaForest“The world, we are told, was made especially for man — a presumption not supported by all the facts.”
John Muir, A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf

John_Muir_Cane

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The Last of the Mammoths

George Crawford:

A small amount of perspective on TIME.

Originally posted on BLACKWATER LOCALITY #1:

Dwarf Mammuthus primigenius, cousin to our own Columbian mammoth.

When the pyramids were being built, there were still wooly mammoths.  A few anyway.  Probably more on earth than there are rhinoceroses NOW; today!

Keeping time in perspective is the most difficult task when talking to or writing for the public.  Way back in college I kept notebooks of correlating timelines from around the world.  I still do this to some degree but it grows too fast to be really useful.  Twenty-plus years ago I started a project in Adobe Illustrator (that alone should give some perspective of technology) to create a graphic concordance; but it was too big to handle without making it a job.  Anyway, facts like that above are very useful for keeping a perspective of time.

A few other tidbits from this interesting blog post*:

Oxford University was over 300 years old when the

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