LumberJocks

How to Build a Chevalet From Scratch #2: Blade Clamps, Sliding Mechanism and Adjusters

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by shipwright posted 03-06-2011 07:07 PM 5328 reads 7 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: How hard can it be? Part 2 of How to Build a Chevalet From Scratch series Part 3: Some Chevalet Modifications A New Friend »

IMPORTANT NOTE: Almost everything on this page has been improved and updated in my second build , Chevy II.

I am leaving this blog intact as a record but if you are building from these blogs please read the updates.

.............................................................................................................


At the end of this blog series I will post some measurements for those who want to build one and also some more photo details but for now I will go on to an overview of how I built the “works” of the chevalet.

This is my version of a blade clamping mechanism. I have limited metal working tools and capacity here in my AZ. shop so I kept it simple. I started with a piece of 3/8” square bar and a piece of 3/8” square tubing. I drilled and tapped the square tubing for a thumb screw (8-32 I think it was), then over-drilled a recess hole in the bar to keep the pieces together when the screw was loosened. Then by grinding away a little of the bar opposite from the screw, I made room for the blade. Next up I ground the square bar roughly round on the other end by hand on a bench grinder and threaded it for a 3/8” wing nut on one piece and a barrel nut on the other. The barrel nut threads into the handle knob.

Two square holes in the saw frame and you have a cheap simple clamp that works. I did beef up the saw frame arms later as they were too flexible.

On to the sliding mechanism. This is a shot of the adjustment tightener. It’s just a piece of 3/8” rod with it’s ends threaded, run through the center of the carriage base. The dado along the length of the bottom of the base locates it on the support post squarely. Square is very important on these parts if you are going to be able to square the blade to the work.

This is the basic carriage (again, my term) setup. The round bar made alignment a problem and will be refined later. The vertical ends each have a slot for the adjustment rod. The one on the front of the machine is vertical and the one on the back is horizontal. This was an early mock-up using 3/8” steel pipe for bushings.
The small wooden parts clamped to the bar are called “tumblers”. These are probably the most critical parts and are usually machined metal parts, but I’m not a machinist, I’m a wood guy
.

This is the whole sliding mechanism mocked up with steel bar and pipe from HD. The saw frame is clamped firmly to the shaft and the shaft slides through the tubes. All you have to do to make the chevalet work is to insure perfect alignment of the two bearings. My, that was easy to say! Doing it may prove a little more of a challenge. Once tuned and with a little wax added, this setup actually worked reasonably well. You can also see the vertical adjustment slot in this photo.

When I received my linear motion bushings and precision shaft in the mail things really started to improve. As you assemble this piece and try the sliding motion it becomes very obvious that no wiggle at all is allowable. I started with a clamped together mock up and as I decided on correct positions and glued pieces up, one at a time, I could feel the improvement in sliding smoothness each time a clamp was replaced by glue. I always wondered why these were so massively constructed to do such dainty work. I think this is the answer.

The second last step in achieving the perfect alignment I needed was to make the bushings self aligning. I did this by over-drilling the mounting holes almost to the center but not quite.

Then when I assembled them I shimmed the clamps with washers so as to leave very little pressure on the bushings, allowing them to align with the shaft. The final clamping pressure was actually so light that I used narrow strips of double sided carpet tape to retain the bearings in the tumblers. It works, they align perfectly.
Try not to notice the cracks in the tumblers. ..over tension. The final step in wiggle elimination was to fill the square holes in the tumblers, where they fit over the square tubing with epoxy and reassemble them, square them to the tubing. and let the epoxy set for a rigid fit. I did wax the tubing first so that I can still disassemble it.

Here’s what the final setup looks like. It works just fine and I probably won’t change it because I want to work with the chevalet, not on it. That said it shows signs of being a prototype and could be done, knowing what I know now, a fair bit more tidily. The round rod didn’t give enough alignment control so I slipped a piece of square tubing over it and locked them together the same way as the blade clamps above.

There you go, you too can build a chevalet and have lots of fun making cool stuff with it.

Next entry, as I said above, I’ll try to give you some measurements and tell you what I might do differently if / when I build another one.

Comments and questions welcome.

Paul

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/



20 comments so far

View sras's profile

sras

3905 posts in 1848 days


#1 posted 03-06-2011 08:05 PM

Another enjoyable blog Paul. I like to think that the time will come when I can tackle inlay work. I’m looking forward to seeing what new wonders you can now create!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3198 posts in 1557 days


#2 posted 03-06-2011 08:47 PM

What is this for and what would you do with it? Sorry- I’m clueless. Nice pics though. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View shipwright's profile (online now)

shipwright

5216 posts in 1517 days


#3 posted 03-06-2011 08:51 PM

rivergirl See this blog: http://lumberjocks.com/shipwright/blog/series/3746
It should explain what it does.

Thanks

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3198 posts in 1557 days


#4 posted 03-06-2011 09:37 PM

I will check it out. Thanks!

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View HorstPeter's profile

HorstPeter

117 posts in 1548 days


#5 posted 03-06-2011 10:35 PM

A big thank you for this. Maybe I’ll dare build myself one too sometime. Although right now I wouldn’t know where to put it without causing me more trouble than joy I’m afraid.

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1834 days


#6 posted 03-06-2011 11:15 PM

thank´s for a great picture book :-)
I have no trouble following the build but I have a Question to it
since my Brain isn´t the sharpest in the drawer
why is there two axels cuoldn´t one bee enoff to slide on
and is there an advance in it to have two vers. one

take care
Dennis

View shipwright's profile (online now)

shipwright

5216 posts in 1517 days


#7 posted 03-06-2011 11:33 PM

Thanks everyone.

Dennis, I imagine that there were advances and developments when it was first introduced but this is pretty much the standard design that I’ve seen and represents what they have looked like for about 200 years. The two shafts joined by the tumblers is, one can only presume to afford you the ability to move the saw a little bit laterally (left or right). In use it becomes obvious that this is a great advantage especially in sawing curves.

Horst, By removing the bottom two bolts it can be stored in a little less space, but I agree it’s a bit bigger than a scroll saw.

Thanks again.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1664 posts in 1607 days


#8 posted 03-06-2011 11:56 PM

Hi Paul.

Nice to see folks today keeping the traditional methods and tools alive.

Is this based on the ones in the Boule school in Paris? It looks much similar.

Paul (not you, the other one)

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1834 days


#9 posted 03-06-2011 11:56 PM

Thank´s , the curve explanation I can buy :-) makes alot of sence
when you don´t need to move the piece all the time and it just hit when
I write this that it goes for the straight sawing too …. thank´s paul for being a patience teacher :-)

take care
Dennis

View shipwright's profile (online now)

shipwright

5216 posts in 1517 days


#10 posted 03-07-2011 01:43 AM

Paul (not me, the other one), Yes it’s based on photos and write ups I found online and they are the original parisian Chevalet de marqueterie that is used in the boulle school. My main photographic aid was Yannick Chastang’s site here: http://www.yannickchastang.com/tools/Marquetry+donkey/ plus the short grainy video on Patrick edwards’ blog here: http://wpatrickedwards.blogspot.com/2010/09/chevalet-video.html. They both studied there I believe and Patrick’s machine in the video is a genuine antique.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

635 posts in 2549 days


#11 posted 03-07-2011 07:24 AM

Paul, I also believe that Patrick Edwards chevalet is pretty much taken straight from the plans shown in Pierre Ramond’s book Marquetry. Your’s is very similar, and certainly looks like it cuts equally well.

I’m not sure I quite understand how drilling the holes for the linear bearings almost to the center of the tumblers helped make the bearings more self aligning? I would have thought that you wanted a good solid contact between the tumblers and the bearing with no room for play whatsoever. It looks like what you found though was that you needed only slight pressure on the bearings to allow them to slide easier?

Could you please provide some details on the bearings and precision shaft you used?

Mat

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View shipwright's profile (online now)

shipwright

5216 posts in 1517 days


#12 posted 03-07-2011 07:36 AM

I’ll look up the bearings in the morning. The holes almost to the middle- It allows the bearings to tip a little in the holes while still being wiggle free at the center. It’s because without accurate machine work it’s pretty well impossible to get the actual holes lined up perfectly. Am I explaining it? It’s not about pressure on the bushings.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View Dez's profile

Dez

1120 posts in 2796 days


#13 posted 03-07-2011 08:07 AM

Very Cool! Much appreciated!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1664 posts in 1607 days


#14 posted 03-07-2011 09:40 AM

As I mentioned elsewhere, Ronaldo over on www.thomasjmacdonald.com is a student at l’echole de Boulle in Paris. He would be tickled pink to see this chevalet of yours. Maybe you could drop in there some time and post it for the guys there?

Paul (the Winnipeg one)

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View shipwright's profile (online now)

shipwright

5216 posts in 1517 days


#15 posted 03-07-2011 10:38 AM

I just signed up Paul. I’ll check the site out tomorrow. I’m on two forums now… that may be enough…. or maybe too many.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

showing 1 through 15 of 20 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase