First week at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking. This is the beginning of the Foundations of Woodworking course, which focuses on traditional hand tool skills. We began by riving green wood – splitting logs from a recently felled Douglas Fir – and made three-legged stools. In the process, we got familiar with basic tools for shaping wood, including the shaving horse, drawknife, spokeshave, and pullshave. We learned how to cut tenons by hand and to fasten the tenons with wedges.
We continued to split the pieces into halves, to make pieces about 2″ in diameter for stool leg stock.
We then drilled the hole through with a hand drill, 1 1/4″ diameter (smaller than the counterbore hole).
Using a ripsaw, “kerfs” are cut into all the tenons (up to one thumb distance from the shoulder) to receive wedges.
Fit-up: Legs are slightly removed from seat while all stretchers are fitted into place. Then all pieces are gradually pushed together.
Then seat wedges are driven into place, followed by stretcher tenons. The protruding tenons and wedges are shaved off.
Leveling the stool: legs are shimmed til stool is level on the table. Then blocks (sitting here by the front leg) are used to draw a line around the legs at the desired height, and then the legs are sawn at the drawn lines.
In a couple months, we’ll come back to the stools and likely re-wedge the tenons to firm up the loosening that will occur over time as the wood dries.