Monthly Archives: April 2022

Hickory Bark and Ash Stool

Hickory Bark Stool

I recently attended the Greenwood Wrights Fest 2022 and took the “Stool Making with Terry Ratliff” class where we made a Hickory Bark and Ash Stool. This was a very informative and fun class and Terry was an excellent instructor. I ended up finishing my stool at home by weaving the hickory bark seat. Thankfully, I had exactly enough bark to seat my stool ( my stool was a fair bit larger than the example stool). These are made with a very few and basic tools (Axe, Maul, Wedge, Draw knife, Shaving Horse, and sloyd knife) but the design is highly evolved.

We started by splitting and then riving out the billets for our legs. We shaped the legs with and axe and then on the shaving horse with the drawknife. You start by making a square leg a little larger that an 1 1/2″ on a side. The you make the square an octagon and your done. You make the rungs about 3/4″ from smaller stock and make the ends 11/16 round. The top rungs (where the seat is woven) you make in a wing like shape.

After getting all the pieces done, it’s time to drill the holes and assemble the frame. Finally, I wetted the hickory bark and wove the seat. Hickory bark is very supple when wet, but tough as leather when it dries. It makes a beautiful seat and only gets better with age.

Peter Follansbee, wrote a great article for Fine Woodworking on making a Post-and-Rung greenwood stool here.

Now for my next greenwood project…

Peace,

Aaron

Plane Catalogs – And Other Resources

Lets face it, I love my planes. They do so many jobs from rough stock prep with the scrub or Jack plane to fine surface smoothing with the No. 3 or No. 4 Smoothing planes. The plucky little Block plane can take off end grain with gusto.

I wrote a blog post about my planes here “Tools series part 3 planes” where I go into detail about types of planes I own and New vs. old Planes.

Parts of a Stanley Bailey Plane

This entry is to just remind everyone that there are some really good resources and references out there about vintage planes, one such resource is Archive.org You can specify a topic like “Hand Planes” and you will get lots of results. There have been a lot of old and new texts added recently, so if you’ve not visited this site in a while, it may be time to go back and check it out.

When searching, you may want to narrow your search, just put “subject:”hand planes”” in the “Search” field and check the ”┬áSearch text contents” radio button and and you’ll get a large number of texts listed. When you get there on the “Sort By” bar, hover over the “Date Archived” and click “Date Added” menu item to get the latest texts added first.

There are generally two types of texts, “Books to Borrow” and “Community Texts”. You can borrow books from the Books to Barrow section if you create an account. You can freely download most books that are in the Community Texts section without an account. Just click on the text you’re interested in and it will be displayed on it’s own page. I like to right-click and choose “Open Link in New Tab”.

After the page loads Archive.org shows a preview and reading section at the top and text information and download links in the bottom section. I like the PDF format to portability so I usually click the “PDF” or the “PDF WITH TEXT” links to get a text searchable PDF link.

These search techniques apply to any subject on Archive .org. This site can be really fun to explore. So go find some cool references and if you find a particular gem. leave a comment so other folks can see it too.

You can also order a new copy of the Stanley Tools Catalogue No 34 (cover at the top of this article) from Lost Art Press.

These are fun to pursue on days when you just can’t get into your shop. I have found the old Stanley, Record, Millers Falls etc. catalogs invaluable for helping me identify and sometimes help me repair old planes.

Until next time, keep making shavings and sawdust.

Peace,

Aaron