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Blog entry by stefang posted 02-06-2011 05:26 PM 772 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I haven’t been in the shop since Thursday and even then only for a short time. You might know that I wasn’t happy with my first bucket attempt because the diameter I planned wasn’t happening. I will still finish that first bucket, but I started a new one hoping to come in on target this time.

On Thursday I only had time to make up a bottom for the new ancient bucket, then I started fooling around trying out a new way to get the correct angles on the edges, but this time with a method that would cater to different widths in the stave’s. So at the risk of boring everyone or creating some controversy I will show you what I came up with. First our logo pics of the bucket we are making and the shop made tools we will use to make it with.

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A METHOD TO DETERMINE STAVE EDGE ANGLES USING ONLY STRING
Judging from the feedback of my last blog where I attempted to show primitive methods for determining stave widths and edge angles, it was a consensus that my suggested methods which I implied could have been used where probably not valid.

Everyone did seem to agree though that the ancients had string, so I’ve come up with a new theory for how they might have used it to determine edge angles. I thought this method might amuse you if not impress you, but of course I am naively hoping for both.

Step 1. Revised string theory
As you can see in the photo below I have tacked a piece of string to the center point of my bottom circle. I’m using the old bottom. (the ancients had nylon string didn’t they?). Just ignore the radius markings you see. as we won’t be using those. they were part of the old theory.

As you can see, I’ve already place the first stave mock-up in place.

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Step 2. calculating the angle for the next stave
I’m using different stave widths for this experiment, and I’m placing the next one again using the string to give me the angle needed.

To do this I had to first put the string at the angle of the first stave, then keep the string in position while moving the first stave away and placing the new stave on top of the string and otherwise lined up with circle as shown in the photo below.

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Step 3. Marking the angle to match the prior stave
As shown photo 1 below, I have marked off the angle on the next stave and cut it as in photo 2. It worked.

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Step 4. Marking the angle on the other side of the 2nd stave
Again I used the string to mark the other edge and cut then cut it as shown in photos 1and 2 below. I then continued in this way until I had enough to prove the accuracy of my method, as shown in photo 3 below.

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MAKING THE NEW BOTTOM
I did this a little differently. I just wanted to show you in the photo below that after planing the bottom boards and jointing them, I taped them together on the back side, which helped to hold them in place while I marked for the dowels. My marks were a little off on the old bottom and I didn’t get my dowels perfectly centered either. The new bottom turned out a lot better with the tape and I took pains to make sure my dowel holes were centered and drilled straight. But I did it all freehand (using my ancient Dewalt cordless drill which is one whole month old).

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So that is it for today. Your comments on this method are invited (as long as you don’t swear). I hope you are all enjoying your weekend. I’m back to the shop to work on my bucket tomorrow so I can catch up with Mads. Although I see that Mads is actually making a basket, not a bucket. Buckets always have handles that swing. No matter, it will be made with the authentic lag method, so I’m just having a little fun at Mads expense here. I guess I’m a little jealous of his stylish handle and the long stave’s it’s attached to.

Thanks for reading.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.



9 comments so far

View mafe's profile

mafe

9543 posts in 1745 days


#1 posted 02-06-2011 06:47 PM

Hi Mike.
I’m sure you are wrong!!!
Ok I try again;
I’m impressed, this is a method I can believe in, and most of all can imagine could have been used.
Less is really more!
I will round the end of my handle and make round holes in the long stafs, in this way it can swing! You can’t hold me down, I’m like a wine cork in a bucket… lol.
Well done Mike, I enjoy to see your effort.
Best thoughts and a big smile,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14750 posts in 2331 days


#2 posted 02-06-2011 09:02 PM

Another interesting blog. Looing at the original bucket from a couple blogs back, most of the staves seem to be different widths. IMO, they probably made the staves, then fit a bottom to them. That would have been much easier in their crude working conditions without any complex calcutations or layout.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View daltxguy's profile

daltxguy

1373 posts in 2569 days


#3 posted 02-06-2011 10:02 PM

Hi Mike. Impressed and amused!

It’s not that any previous methods were implausible- in fact you now have quite a list of plausible methods. Any or all of them or combinations of them are likely to have been used. as Mads said, less is more – so it is more likely that a method would be refined and refined until it cannot be simplified any further. This is the same process you are going through. We have the benefit of some historical documents, so we can build on the experience of others before us but what a thrill it would be if Sony had been around in 1050, not just Ikea!

From my diagram on your previous entry you can see that no matter how the angles were derived initially, eventually jigs were likely to have been used for marking out subsequent barrels/buckets for repetition and consistency.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View mafe's profile

mafe

9543 posts in 1745 days


#4 posted 02-06-2011 10:36 PM

Look guys,
I made yet another suggestion:

Here you can find the PFD in high resolution.
http://lumberjocks.com/mafe/blog/21077

Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View mafe's profile

mafe

9543 posts in 1745 days


#5 posted 02-07-2011 01:18 PM

Wauuu Mike look at this:
Think we might do a bendwood box session also later.
http://jandersonwoodworks.com/Portfolio.aspx?Id=1238
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View stefang's profile

stefang

13044 posts in 1990 days


#6 posted 02-07-2011 02:19 PM

I agree that my new string method is not practical or fast enough for a productive bucket maker. I love Mads solution which to me is much more plausible. However, I am glad we are moving away from the eyes only theory as it just seems natural for woodworkers to use helpful devices to insure accuracy.

It is true that often repeated tasks can be done using just the human senses, but put yourself in the ancient master’s shoes.

He would probably have at least one apprentice. the apprentice would probably need some kind of help similar to Mad’s invention to get the angles right, at least in the beginning. And once you have a great device like that, why take the risk of using your eye?

Eyesight fades and distorts and there weren’t many opticians around way back when. I would also assume that many of these vessels were made by farmers who didn’t do this work day in and day out and so would be more than willing to use jigs to make the work easier.

Another point is that it isn’t enough to just get the correct angle. You also have to make sure that you are planing off the same amount at both ends of the stave. It’s very easy to get angle right, but to plane off too much at one end. This results in a poor joint with leaks. You need to have consistent stave widths to get a good fit, and that applies not just to the straight sided vessels, but also to the tapered ones.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View stefang's profile

stefang

13044 posts in 1990 days


#7 posted 02-07-2011 02:37 PM

Good idea Mads. I wouldn’t mind giving it a try. There is plenty of inspiration to draw from where I live. These boxes are called ‘tine’ in Norway. They are thin wood which is bent and sewed together with roots or ‘tagger’ as they are called here. These boxes were very common in the old days, and some where very beautiful and artistic. They were used to carry a lot of different things, but I think mostly food items, like a meal to take along to work in the fields on a farm for example. In the old days they were usually painted a solid color and then decorated with painted on designs like rose painting, etc. My son made one of these in his wood shop class many years ago which we still have. There are quite a few craftsmen still making these, but they are usually left unpainted these days to show off the wood. Some are really fantastic.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View stefang's profile

stefang

13044 posts in 1990 days


#8 posted 02-07-2011 02:40 PM

Bob. No, they made the bottom first. From that they derived the radius of the staves, the number needed etc. and also the size of the vessel.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14750 posts in 2331 days


#9 posted 02-07-2011 08:07 PM

Geez, if they were that smart, i would have thought my Viking ancestors would have moved to a warmer area before teh 1880s ;-)) Guess we have too much common knowledge. Hard to do anyting without using it now.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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