|Project by BillG||posted 01-02-2014 05:46 PM||2282 views||3 times favorited||14 comments|
I was inspired on a trip to Plymouth, MA when we visited Plymouth Plantation, a 17th century re-creation of the original settlement. Everything that exists here is done in the style of the late 1600’s using tools and craftsmanship of the period. Peter Follansbee is the joyner in the community and builds furniture from riven (split) log sections to create boards to build furniture from.
I have been working hard to improve my hand tool skills and saw an opportunity for a project at home. Peter Follansbee and Jennie Anderson wrote a book on building a joint stool from a tree. After purchasing the book, I began the process of preparing to build the stool. fortunately, a large oak was taken dow just up the street from where I live. I contacted the owner and procured a piece of the tree 36” long and 33” in diameter.
This was a heavy chunk of wood and gave me a good work-out to split and rive out the necessary sized pieces. Riving wood splits it radially and provides the best ray-fleck to be found in quarter saw wood. Next came further chopping and splitting to eliminate the sap wood and the juvenile wood at the center of the tree. Now it was time for my next work-out, planing the slabs and making boards. This took a couple of days. I stickered the boards and gave them about four to five weeks to dry a bit. Ideally, I would have access to a pole lathe to turn the legs, but I do have an old Delta lathe and compromised here to turn the legs. The rest of the project was done by hand. The stool has mortise and tenon joints and does not use glue to hold it together, rather,it is pegged using the draw bore technique which did an excellent job of pulling all the joints tight.
This was a very rewarding project that challenged me on several fronts. I learned much and I am sure my new skills will inform my work on future projects.
-- Bill G - West Springfield, MA