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A Minimally Invasive Strategy for Removal of Decorative Wrapping

  Fig. 1 Before Treatment Abstract This paper addresses a concern heard more than once from readers of Mortise & Tenon Magazine. The kraft paper and waxed thread wrapping has presented many a vexing conundrum: although anxious to explore the contents of the publication, they are hindered by the desire to preserve the physical integrity of the artistic wrapping. Several readers have commented that they even spent days perplexed by the matter until finally their desire for the contents outweighed the preservation of the pretty paper. This essay points out that, during original fabrication, shipping practitioners occasionally found need to safely disassemble said wrapping for adjustment, etc. Currently accepted opening practice is surveyed and a newly developed minimally invasive removal...

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 A Prerequisite to Benchwork

Yesterday my family spent the morning stacking firewood for the coming winter. Having both my seven-year-old and my (almost) two-year-old handling so much split wood I think embeds within them a deep awareness of the nature and properties of wood as a material. Eden (7) has known for years which logs make great splitting stumps and which ones are great for riving. He watches out for crotch wood and knows the implications of knots. Besides serving as a basic introduction for kids, I think all woodworkers should have some of this experience. Straight grain is understandable in theory but seeing how grain runs on a split burns it into your mind in a way you’ll never forget. If you haven’t...

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Indebted and Grateful

Wow. Thank you, readers. So many of you have clearly been excited about this next installment of M&T. Some of you were even crazy enough to stay up late or set your alarm to put in your order at midnight - the moment Issue Two came up for sale! What dedication! Thank you for your enthusiasm. Then, all day as I’ve been finishing up my last day teaching the SAPFM group in Atlanta, orders have been pouring in. There truly is a growing desire for understanding better and celebrating woodworking handcraft. I will be getting on a plane tomorrow morning to head out of Atlanta to kiss my wife and boys and sit down to dinner with them. The trip...

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Pre-orders Launched!

  I’ve just opened pre-orders for Issue Two! Get free shipping by putting your order in here:  http://mortiseandtenonmag.com/collections/magazine/products/issue-two     Check out the Table of Contents here.   

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Only a Few Hours Until Issue Two Pre-orders!

  Everything is all lined up to begin taking pre-orders starting tonight at midnight (Eastern time). As I’ve been editing through the material for months now, I have been getting more and more excited to get this issue in your hands. The table of contents, frankly, blows me away. How in the world was I able get such top-drawer folks to write such unique and enlightening material for this issue? I never thought I’d be part of a publication along with the names Don Williams, George Walker, Chris Schwarz, Peter Follansbee, Tim Garland, Zach Dillinger, Dave and George Sawyer, Skip Brack, and Michael Updegraff. As I’ve said before, M&T is simply the magazine I always wanted to read: No ads,...

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Maybe There is Hope For This Generation

It’s been really rewarding being able to spend a few days with the Peach State SAPFM crowd. These guys are highly skilled and very passionate about period furniture and have been doing it longer than I’ve been alive. This fact is obviously humbling to me and so I am grateful to be invited to come down here. The whole time these kind gentlemen have received me as one of their own.  I’ve heard several times this weekend that seeing a younger generation taking interest in our woodworking heritage is an encouragement to them. They’re excited to see that Mortise & Tenon Magazine and all my rambling about period tolerances and hand tools has struck a chord with folks outside of...

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First in Your Head

Late last night I arrived in Atlanta, Georgia to present to the Society of American Period Furniture Makers Peach State Chapter for four days. I was hired to come out to talk about and demonstrate furniture conservation theory and practice. Saturday and Sunday have been reserved for lecture while Monday and Tuesday will be lab time. Today’s presentations went well and mostly according to plan. I talked about the history of the conservation discipline, definitions of restoration and conservation and basic conservation principals. The principals were then worked out by showing how shellac can be manipulated and worked to facilitate long term finish survival. I demonstrated some of this on pieces in need of a little TLC that a few...

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The Unvarnished Truth About Shellac

Before I started working with Joshua in the studio doing conservation work, I spent over 10 years with some very pretty and very expensive boats. My primary gig was marine varnish, a seasonal process of sanding off last year's gloss, touching up, taping, cleaning, brushing on a coat of varnish, letting it dry, then sanding again and getting even more fussy about cleanliness in preparation for a final coat. Typically, the cleaning process involved thoroughly vacuuming the boat, washing with water, a wipedown with mineral spirits or alcohol (depending on my mood that day), then hitting everything with a tack cloth before finally beginning to coat. For new boats, this process is repeated 8 or more times over a period...

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Let’s Make This Thing Usable

While Mike has been hard at work giving a face lift to various pieces in the studio, I've been working hard to polish things up here on the website. See, when I migrated my blogging from the Workbench Diary to here back in March, it took a little getting used to. Not only did I already have my writing and photo editing process down but I also had slowly developed a sidebar to have the features I felt were most helpful to my readers. I always like an “About” section. Being able to search the blog for keywords is helpful. Then I had a blogroll which I loved because it served as a one stop shop resource to check in on all...

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The Parts You Don’t See

I just finished making some red oak battens for the bottom of my tool chest. They came from some scrap that has been kicking around my woodpile for a year and they are by no means fancy, but they are essential. They support the chest, protect it against abrasion and strengthen the carcase. They’re also the first line of defense against the damp cement floor of the garage and if they do their job correctly I’ll never have to think about them again. I confess that making them might just be my favorite part of building the whole chest. My work with Mortise & Tenon magazine is very much like those battens. If I do my job well, you will...

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