”Bench Dogging Before Greene and Greene”
....ah yes, and then it all starts coming back into focus, as i relax my grip upon this place of fields and greens, where imagination comes calling and selling herself to the highest bidder of foolish dreams….
—-and i realize now, that i am one of those foolish dreamers with pockets full of golden star dust, who could never quite adjust to walking this place of earthen dust, by giving up my right to silently slip away to wooden dens….
—-woods of living trees is where i fit in, past the outskirts of those pre-packaged cities, where asphalt eats the souls of men at daily routine, and children learn of steely eyed godscrapers that plunder the clouds of heaven….
—-and yet in all my screaming of useless mind-clutter, i am soon recognized to be the antediluvian beast, who has only self to blame for much demise in this forest of wooded dreams, where the bullish-ness of moose bellows soon carried me away….
—-and so yes, it is time to awaken from this sleep of a rustic wood spirit, and in so doing i slip back into my zip suit of leathered skin, and rising once again i start to make my way back again to the workshop of men….
Here is a fun piece that I started this past weekend and so I will post a few shots of this work in ‘the process’.
I found these, (or maybe I should say, they found me) tongue-in groove 3-1/2’’ thick and 8-1/2’’ wide planks some years ago in an old movie theater. They where being used for a platform of the stage area and the folks who had the place then, wanted to get rid of the stage. Well that’s how it works, while what followed next was the ringing of my phone….”Frank, we have some wood planking over here that you might be interested in, if so, come and get it….!” Ha!....one might call me a dreamer but one will never be ale to call me slow to pass up an opportunity when wood comes calling, and so this story of wood now has a beginning.
So starting out on this un-encumbered and beauty-full morning all filled with sun-shine, star-brite…. I looked in my cellar where I found this piece of pine waiting to be asked to join in a wood-full dance. Carrying the slab up to the front of my barn, I sat the piece down on these two wood cuts of rock maple. Now that spring is here my workspace has increased to three hundred and sixty degrees of heavenly temple universal outside space. That’s right, from spring to fall, if at all possible I will do a lot of my work outside and since the shop is right there behind me, well I can also go inside if the condition of circumstances should call for it. Ha!....have not yet figured how to get my table saws or band saw and other assorted machinery out and in with no sweat, but hand tools, no problem.
....tongue-in-groove pine slab, rock maple, willow slab doing outside drying time while developing character and my plow truck for those winter snows, which I will soon be removing the plow from and then this one becomes my wife’s favorite farm truck….
One point of interest that I have noticed about the Greene and Greene side table is the height factor of twenty two inches and how this height relates and fits in so easily with timber framing. In timber framing I have often used what I call bench dogs, to support the timbers on while I am marking and cutting my joints. Since a timber will run around 8’’-12’’, the perfect height for a bench dog is 20’’-22’’, which brings all totaled up to height of 30’’-32’’....and saves on back and leg wear and tear. I will also make my sawhorses in the range of 20’’-22’’ for supporting timber and no, the sawhorses in this picture are not ‘timberhorses’. Kind of makes me wonder how many Greene and Greene side tables I have made….just never knew them to answer to that name.
....first cut through is with the skill saw and then I follow up with the pull saw before going inside and running the wood through my planner for a couple of passes till I come out with a thickness of 3-1/4’’....
....next in order is ripping the tongue of the wood on one slab and then ripping the groove clean on the other slab, again this accomplished with the skill saw, and then I clean the wood up some with #80 grit sandpaper….
....to be continued....
-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/