|Project by Alan||posted 11-11-2014 02:19 AM||1897 views||0 times favorited||5 comments|
So I am obviously very, very new to woodworking, having only gotten into it over the past year and a half or so since my dad passed away. Knowing that I know nothing, I have busily scoured the internet trying to cram my brain with information. So I follow Chris Schwarz’s blog(s) pretty religiously. Well, when he started blogging about late Renaissance/early Modern woodworking squares found in the works of, among others, Albrecht Durer, it really grabbed my attention, for two reasons.
One, the Ph.D. dissertation I was working on until last spring was on the development of early geometric counter-gunpowder-artillery forts in 16th century Europe, so the name Albrecht Durer was one I with which I am quite familiar.
Second, he wrote those blogs at pretty much the exact same time I was on the hunt for a better woodworking square or squares. Like every other n00b woodworker, I have a cheap combination square (mine’s a Craftsman, I think) that I use for most everything. It has its advantages, but let’s be honest – a 12” combo square isn’t the handiest or friendliest thing sometimes. Also, I’m really interested in doing a lot of mortise and tenon work, so I really wanted a square with a stock that was deep enough to also function as a saddle square on standard “2x” construction material. And of course, I have absolutely no money for tools.
So this seemed like an ideal solution. I didn’t have any molding offcuts that I could use for the stock, which is what you’re ‘supposed’ to use. What I DID have is some offcuts of an 8/4 oak plank that I had drilled a large hole through with a hole saw – giving me a couple of curved ends I could cut off. I also had some 1/8” milled walnut I bought from… somewhere? Woodcraft, probably? for making Krenov-style shoulder plane bodies. So I took my two bits of oak, slapped ‘em face down on the table saw and ran them over the blade to cut the kerf for the walnut blades. I glued both oak stocks onto opposite ends of the piece of walnut before cutting it apart with a coping saw. Unfortunately, that’s where I went wrong. See, what I wanted was two mirror image squares, so one could be used on one side of the work, and the other on the other side. I needed to have the oak stocks upside down relative to each other, but sometimes my abstract spatial reasoning isn’t so good.
So now I have two Melancholia or Wierix style saddle squares that are absolutely dead dog square, beautiful (I have to get a glamour shot of the medullary rays on the underside of the stocks) and I don’t like either of them.
But hey, I learned something.
-- I have no idea what I'm doing.