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Title: Woodworking for Beginners - A Manual for Amateurs
Author: Wheeler, Charles Gardner
Language: English
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    A Manual for Amateurs



    "Know what thou canst work at and work at it like a Hercules."



    G.P. Putnam's Sons
    New York and London
    The Knickerbocker Press

    COPYRIGHT, 1899


    The Knickerbocker Press, New York

    TO THE



The aim of this book is to suggest to amateurs of all ages many things
which they can profitably make of wood, and to start them in the way to
work successfully. It is hoped that, in the case of boys, it may show
them pleasant and useful ways to work off some of their surplus energy,
and at the same time contribute toward their harmonious all-round

It is not an attempt to teach the arts of architecture, carpentry,
cabinet-making, or boat-building. Although not intended primarily to
impart skill in the use of tools (something which can only be acquired
from experience and observation and cannot be taught by any book), still
no one can go through the processes indicated without gaining at least
some slight degree of manual skill as well as a fund of practical
information and experience.

Many books which give directions for mechanical work (particularly those
addressed to boys) have several serious faults, and can be grouped in
three classes. Some seem to be written by practical workmen, who,
however well fitted to do the work themselves, lack the pedagogical
training or the psychological insight necessary to lay out such work
with due regard to the mental and physical capacity, experience, and
development of youth, or to the amateur's lack of experience in the
rudiments of the subject. Others are written by teachers or amateurs who
lack the trained mechanic's practical and varied knowledge and
experience in serious work. Others (and this last class is, perhaps, the
worst of the three) seem to be made by compilers who have apparently
been satisfied to sweep together, without requisite knowledge or
sufficient moral purpose, whatever they may have found that would be
interesting or attractive, without due regard to its real value. All
these writers are constantly falling into errors and making omissions
harmful alike to the moral and the manual progress of the readers.[1]

Effort has been made in the preparation of this book to avoid these
evils, to keep in line with the advanced educational ideas of the time,
and to look at the subject from the standpoints of the _teacher_, the
_mechanic_, the _boy_, and the _amateur workman_. The treatment is
neither general nor superficial, but _elementary_, and no claim is made
that it will carry anyone very far in the various subjects; but it aims
to be thorough and specific as far as it goes and to teach nothing which
will have to be unlearned.

Great care (based upon an extended experience with boys and amateurs)
has been taken to include only what can be profitably done by an
intelligent boy of from ten to eighteen or by the average untrained
worker of more mature years. It is hoped that from the variety of
subjects treated he may find much of the information for which he may
seek--if not in the exact form desired, perhaps in some typical form or
something sufficiently similar to suggest to him what he needs to know.

It is hoped and confidently believed that a work so comprehensive in
scope and giving such a variety of designs, with detailed and practical
directions for their execution, will be not merely novel, but may serve
as a _vade-mecum_ and ready-reference book for the amateur of
constructive tastes.


    BOSTON, June, 1899.


[1] These criticisms are meant to apply to the class of manuals,
compendiums, and so-called "Boys' Books" and "Amateurs' Books," in the
_popular_ sense of the word, and not to the many admirable works on
sloyd, manual training, and the various special branches of



  CHAPTER                                                        PAGE

  I--INTRODUCTORY                                                  1

  II--TOOLS                                                        9

  III--WOOD                                                       29

  AND ESTIMATING                                                  49

  V--THE WORKSHOP                                                 56


  VI--INTRODUCTORY                                               103

  VII--A FEW TOYS                                                106

  VIII--HOUSES FOR ANIMALS                                       126


  X--FURNITURE                                                   175

  XI--A FEW MISCELLANEOUS OPERATIONS                             218


  XII--SOME ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES                                238

  XIII--SIMPLE SUMMER COTTAGES                                   271

  XIV--A FEW SIMPLE STRUCTURES                                   291


  XV--A FEW SIMPLE BOATS                                         298


  READY REFERENCE                                                344

  ABOUT WORKING DRAWINGS, ETC.                                   507

  INDEX                                                          539


It has seemed best to address parts of this book particularly to boys,
because the majority of beginners are boys, because boys need more
suggestions than men, and because a man can easily pick what he needs
from a talk to boys (and perhaps be interested also), while it is
usually unprofitable to expect a boy to take hold of a technical subject
in the right spirit if it is treated in a style much in advance of his
degree of maturity. It is hoped, however, that the older reader also
will find enough of those fundamental principles of successful work
(many of which do not readily occur to the untrained amateur except as
the result of much costly experience) to be a material help to him.

    "It is not strength, but art obtains the prize,
    And to be swift is less than to be wise;
    'Tis more by art, than force of numerous strokes."

    HOMER, _Iliad_.






When one has made up his mind to make something, he usually wants to
begin work at once; so, as I wish you to read this chapter, I will make
it quite short. There is a great deal in getting started right, and
there are some things to bear in mind if you wish to do good work, as of
course you do.

One thing is not to be in too much of a hurry to begin the actual sawing
and pounding. The old Latin phrase, "_Festina lente_" (make haste
slowly), is a capital motto for the beginner. Do not wait until your
enthusiasm has oozed away, of course, but do stop long enough to think
how you are going to make a thing before you begin to saw.

The workman who thinks first and acts afterwards is the one who usually
turns out good work, while the one who begins to work without any
reflection (as boys, and even men, have been known to do) is apt to
spend much of his time in undoing his work, and usually does not get
through till after the one who laid it out properly in the first

If Homer, in the quotation at the head of this chapter, had been writing
about the way boys' work is sometimes done, he might, perhaps, have
reversed the positions of some of the words and made "swiftness" and
"numerous strokes" the subjects of his emphasis. He has expressed well
enough, however, the way that your work should be done, and it is one
aim of this book to give you useful hints to that end.

Do not spend your time in working out a lot of set exercises, like
joints and odd pieces that do not belong to anything in particular,
merely for practice. You will be much more apt to put the right spirit
into your work when you make complete and useful articles, and you will
get the same practice and experience in the end. There is no need,
however, to go through a deal of toilsome experience just to learn a
number of simple little things that you might just as well be told in
the first place. Begin the process of learning by experience after you
have learned what you can from the experience of others. Begin, so far
as you can, where others have left off.

Before you begin work it may be interesting to look for a moment at the
way boys did their work from fifty to one hundred years ago. Have you
read the books by Elijah Kellogg? The reason for speaking of these
old-fashioned books is because of the picture they give of the time, not
so very long ago, when boys and their elders made all sorts of things
which they buy to-day, and also because of the good idea they give of
how boys got along generally when they had to shift more for themselves
than they do nowadays.

The majority of the boys of that time, not merely on Casco Bay, where
Mr. Kellogg places the scenes of his stories, but in hundreds of other
places, had to make many things themselves or go without. Of course
there was a smaller number in the cities and larger towns who had no
good opportunity to make things and were obliged to buy what they could
afford (out of what we should call a quite limited variety), or to get
the carpenter or other mechanic to make what they needed. But the
majority of the boys of that time made things well and had a good time
making them. The life they led made them capital "all-round" boys. They
could turn their hands, and their heads too, to almost any kind of work,
and do it pretty well.

Boys did a good deal of whittling then. This habit, as you doubtless
know, still clung to them after they grew up, and opening a jack-knife
and beginning to whittle was a common diversion whenever the men rested,
whether at the country-store or in the barn or dooryard or at their own
firesides. You can see the same habit to-day in some places. The boys
whittled splint-brooms of birch in Colonial days in almost every
household.[3] Among some of the minor articles made by boys and young
men were axe-helves and handles of all sorts, wooden rakes, wooden
troughs for bread and for pigs, trays, trenchers, flails, rounds for
ladders, bobbins, reels, cheese-boxes, butter-spats or -paddles, wooden
traps, and dozens of other articles, not to speak of their handiwork in
other materials than wood.

For that matter much of the same life can be found to-day in the remoter
regions, and I have known young men brought up to this kind of life, who
(within my recollection) have, as a matter of course, done all the farm
work of good-sized cultivated farms with live stock, cut and hauled wood
from their wood-lots, done a good deal of sea-fishing and salting down
and drying of fish, tended and mended their fish-nets, weirs, and
lobster-traps, and sailed or rowed twenty-five miles to market with
their produce and back again with their supplies. They also built their
sheds, barns, and houses, and part of their furniture, their dories, big
scows, and capital sailboats; made their own oars and rigged their
boats; made many of their farm tools and implements; built their waggons
and "ironed" them, their ox-sleds and small sleds, and shod them; made
some of their tools; did their own blacksmithing, mason-work,
brick-laying, and painting; made their own shoes, and did I do not know
how many other odd jobs--all with but a limited supply of common
hand-tools. This work did not interfere with their going to school
through the winter months until they were twenty-one years old, and they
still found time for the usual recreations of the period.

Now a young man must have been pretty well developed after going through
all that, even if he did not know much about Greek or calculus or was
lacking in superficial polish. And it is only the truth to say that
quite a number used to tackle the higher branches of study too, with
success made all the more assured by their development in other ways,
and many, in addition to all this, paid their way through college by
teaching or other work. How did they do so much? Partly, I suppose,
because their life was so much simpler and less complex than ours. They
did not have so many wants and there were not so many interests to
distract their minds. Partly because when they wanted something they
knew they must make it or go without. They did not draw so much as we do
now, but they did a great deal of observing. They examined things like
what they were to make and asked questions, and, knowing that where they
had so much to do they could not afford to keep trying things again and
again, they learned from their relatives and neighbours what was
considered the best way to do their work, and having thought it out
carefully they went at it with great energy.

To-day we have only to go to a large factory to see a man standing
before some machine and doing some simple piece of work, requiring but
little thought--the same thing over and over again, hour after hour, day
after day, year after year, until he seems to become almost a part of
the machine itself, and is not fitted for doing much else. That is the
other extreme. Of course we get things cheaper (even if they do not last
so long) because of the factory; but how about the workman? Which of
these two types is the better-developed man? First you want to be
well-developed all-round boys, so that you will not become machines or
badly one-sided men. After that--each to his special bent, of course.

Now because we no longer cut down trees ourselves, haul them to the mill
to be sawed, or rive or saw or hew them ourselves, leave the wood to
season, and then laboriously work it up into whatever we have to
make--because we no longer do that, but go instead to a lumber-yard and
a mill and have a large part of the work done for us--it is a good thing
for us to pause a moment before we begin our work to take in the fact
that _all_ the advantage is not with us now, and to think what a capital
gymnasium that former life was for strengthening a boy's muscle and
mind, not to speak of his morals.

You could not go back to those days now if you wished to, of course
(except, perhaps, when you go to some of the remoter regions in
vacation), and you are doubtless better off for all the advantages you
have now and for all our time-saving contrivances, but the advantage
depends partly on _how you use_ the time saved from their laborious
tasks, does it not? You can, however, get inspiration from the example
of those older boys and from some of their methods, and can put their
self-reliant, manly zeal, grit, and perseverance into your work, and
have a capital time making the things and more sport and satisfaction
afterwards for having made them.

This book does not try to show you a royal road or a short cut to
proficiency in architecture, carpentry, cabinet-making, boat-building,
toy-making, or any other art or science. It does not aim to cram you
with facts, but merely to start you in the right way. It is for those of
you who want to take off your coats, roll up your sleeves, and really
make things, rather than sit down in the house and be amused and perhaps
deluded by reading enthusiastic accounts of all the wonders you can
easily do--or which somebody thinks you would like to be told that you
can do. It is for those of you who do not wish to have your ardour
dampened by finding that things will not come out as the book said they
would, or that the very things you do not know and cannot be expected to
know are left out.

It does not aim to stir up your enthusiasm at first and then perhaps
leave you in the lurch at the most important points. I take it for
granted that if you have any mechanical bent or interest in making
things, as most boys have, and are any kind of a real live boy, you have
the enthusiasm to start with without stirring up. In fact, I have even
known boys, and possibly you may have, who, strange as it may seem, have
had so much enthusiasm to make something or other that they have
actually had to be held back lest they should spoil all the lumber
within reach in the effort to get started!

What you want is to be told how to go to work in the right way--how to
make things successfully and like a workman--is it not? Then, if you
mean business, as I feel sure you do, and really want to make things,
read the whole book through carefully, even if it is not bristling with
interesting yarns and paragraphs of no practical application to your
work. You will not find everything in it, but you cannot help learning
something, and I hope you will find that it attends strictly to the
business in hand and will give you a start in the right
direction,--which is half the battle.

     "Man is a Tool-using Animal.... He can use Tools, can devise Tools;
     with these the granite mountain melts into light dust before him;
     he kneads glowing iron as if it were soft paste; seas are his
     smooth highway, winds and fire his unwearying steeds. Nowhere do
     you find him without Tools; without Tools he is nothing--with Tools
     he is all."--CARLYLE, _Sartor Resartus_.


[2] An old gentleman whose help, on account of his accurate
workmanship, I once frequently obtained when "rushed," was an extreme
example of this systematic way of doing work. I would give him perhaps
three hours' work, which he would agree to have done at the end of that
time. Looking in after an hour or so I would find the work apparently
untouched, which was a little provoking, of course, as the average
workman would have had it perhaps one third done. But instead, this old
gentleman would be apparently only "puttering around," touching up his
saws, fixing his planes, whetting his chisels, looking over the wood,
and not getting ahead a bit. Going off in disgust (until I got
acquainted with his ways, I mean), I would return at the end of the
three hours, to find that the work had been ready some time and done to
perfection. While he was at first apparently accomplishing nothing he
was really getting everything in perfect shape to do the work and laying
out in his mind every detail of the whole process, so that when he began
the actual work it almost did itself, and he forged right ahead of the
average workman, who would either have been behind time or slighted the
work in order to get it done, and in most cases have made some mistake
to be corrected in some part of the process. I never knew that man to
make a mistake. Why? Not because his ability was extraordinary, but
because he concentrated his mind on the work and thought it out clear
through before he began. Now I know the average boy too well to expect
him to have the patience to do just as this workman did. It would be
unreasonable. But it is the true way to do good work, so try to think it
all out as far as you can and to get ready before you begin. The work
will go ever so much more quickly and easily.

[3] "It has been said that the snow-shoe and canoe as made by the
Indians could never be improved. To these might be added the split birch
broom, or splinter broom, also the invention of the Indians, but made in
every country household in New England in Colonial days. The branch of a
large birch tree was cut eight feet long. An inch-wide band of the bark
was left about eighteen inches from one end, and the shorter and lower
end was cut in fine pliable slivers up to the restraining bark band. A
row of slivers was cut from the upper end downward, turned down over the
band, and tied firmly down. Then the remainder of the stick was smoothed
into a handle. These brooms were pliable, cleanly, and enduring, and as
broom-corn was not grown here until the latter part of the past century,
they were, in fact, the only brooms of those days. They were made by
boys on New England farms for six cents apiece, and bought by the
country storekeepers in large numbers for the cities' use."--_The



You can do a great deal with very few tools. The bearing of this
observation lies in "the application on it," as Jack Bunsby would say.

Look at the complicated and ingenious curiosities whittled with a
jack-knife by sailors, prisoners, and other people who have time to kill
in that way! Have you ever seen the Chinese artisans turning out their
wonderful work with only a few of the most primitive tools? But of
course we cannot spend time so lavishly on our work as they do, even if
we had their machine-like patience and deftness acquired through so many

We cannot hold work with our feet and draw saws towards us or do turning
out on the lawn with a few sticks and a bit of rope for a lathe; carve a
set of wonderful open-work hollow spheres, each within the other, out of
one solid ball of ivory; and the rest of the queer things the Orientals
do: but it is merely a matter of national individuality--the training of
hundreds of generations. We could learn to do such things after a long
time doubtless, but with no such wonderful adaptability as the Japanese,
for instance, are showing, in learning our ways in one generation.

Examine some of the exquisite work which the Orientals sell so cheaply
and think whether you know anyone with skill enough to do it if he had a
whole hardware-shop full of tools, and then see with what few simple and
rude tools (like those shown in the following illustrations, or the
simple drill, Fig. 1, still in use) the work has been done. Mr.
Holtzapffel describes the primitive apparatus in use among the natives
of India as follows[4]:

[Illustration FIG. 1.]

     "When any portion of household furniture has to be turned, the
     wood-turner is sent for; he comes with all his outfit and
     establishes himself for the occasion at the very door of his
     employer. He commences by digging two holes in the ground at a
     distance suitable to the length of the work, and in these he fixes
     two short wooden posts, securing them as strongly as he can by
     ramming the earth and driving in wedges and stones around them. The
     centres, scarcely more than round nails or spikes, are driven
     through the posts at about eight inches from the ground, and a
     wooden rod, for the support of the tools, is either nailed to the
     posts or tied to them by a piece of coir or cocoanut rope. The bar,
     if long, is additionally supported, as represented, by being tied
     to one or two vertical sticks driven into the ground. During most
     of his mechanical operations the Indian workman is seated on the
     ground, hence the small elevation of the axes of his lathe. The boy
     who gives motion to the work sits or kneels on the other side of
     it, holding the ends of the cord wrapped around it in his hands,
     pulling them alternately; the cutting being restricted to one half
     of the motion, that of the work towards the tool. The turning tools
     of the Indian are almost confined to the chisel and gouge, and
     their handles are long enough to suit his distant position, while
     he guides their cutting edges by his toes. He grasps the bar or
     tool-rest with the smaller toes and places the tool between the
     large toe and its neighbour, generally out of contact with the bar.
     The Indian and all other turners using the Eastern method attain a
     high degree of prehensile power with the toes, and when seated at
     their work not only always use them to guide the tool, but will
     select indifferently the hand or the foot, whichever may happen to
     be the nearer, to pick up or replace any small tool or other
     object. The limited supply of tools the Indian uses for working in
     wood is also remarkable; they are of the most simple kind and
     hardly exceed those represented in Fig. 2; the most essential in
     constructing and setting up his lathe being the small,
     single-handed adze, the bassoolah. With this he shapes his
     posts and digs the holes; it serves on all occasions as a hammer
     and also as an anvil when the edge is for a time fixed in a block
     of wood. The outer side of the cutting edge is perfectly flat, and
     with it the workman will square or face a beam or board with almost
     as much precision as if it had been planed; in using the
     bassoolah for this latter purpose the work is generally
     placed in the forked stem of a tree, driven into the ground as
     shown in the illustration."

[Illustration FIG. 2.]

If we are inclined to feel proud of the kind of wood-work turned out by
the average wood-worker of this country or England with his great
variety of tools and appliances and facilities, we might compare his
work with that done by the Orientals without our appliances. Read what
Professor Morse tells us of the Japanese carpenter[5]:

     "His trade, as well as other trades, has been perpetuated through
     generations of families. The little children have been brought
     up amidst the odour of fragrant shavings,--have with childish
     hands performed the duties of an adjustable vise or clamp; and
     with the same tools which when children they have handed to
     their fathers, they have in later days earned their daily rice.
     When I see one of our carpenters' ponderous tool-chests, made
     of polished woods, inlaid with brass decorations, and filled to
     repletion with several hundred dollars' worth of highly polished
     and elaborate machine-made implements, and contemplate the work
     often done with them,--with everything binding that should go
     loose, and everything rattling that should be tight, and much work
     that has to be done twice over, with an indication everywhere of
     a poverty of ideas,--and then recall the Japanese carpenter with
     his ridiculously light and flimsy tool-box containing a meagre
     assortment of rude and primitive tools,--considering the carpentry
     of the two people, I am forced to the conviction that civilisation
     and modern appliances count as nothing unless accompanied with a
     moiety of brains and some little taste and wit.... After having
     seen the good and serviceable carpentry, the perfect joints
     and complex mortises, done by good Japanese workmen, one is
     astonished to find that they do their work without the aid of
     certain appliances considered indispensable by similar craftsmen
     in our country. They have no bench, no vise, no spirit-level,
     and no bit-stock; and as for labour-saving machinery, they have
     absolutely nothing. With many places which could be utilised for
     water-power, the old country sawmill has not occurred to them.
     Their tools appear to be roughly made and of primitive design,
     though evidently of the best-tempered steel. The only substitute
     for the carpenter's bench is a plank on the floor, or on two
     horses; a square, firm, upright post is the nearest approach to
     a bench and vise, for to this beam a block of wood to be sawed
     into pieces is firmly held (Fig. 3). A big wooden wedge is bound
     firmly to the post with a stout rope, and this driven down with
     vigorous blows till it pinches the block which is to be cut into
     the desired proportions.

[Illustration FIG.3.--A JAPANESE CARPENTER'S VISE. From Morse's
_Japanese Homes_.]

[Illustration FIG. 4.--CARPENTERS' TOOLS IN COMMON USE. From Morse's
_Japanese Homes_.]

     "In using many of the tools, the Japanese carpenter handles them
     quite differently from our workman; for instance, he draws the
     plane towards him instead of pushing it from him. The planes are
     very rude-looking implements. Their bodies, instead of being
     thick blocks of wood, are quite wide and thin (Fig. 4, D, E), and
     the blades are inclined at a greater angle than the blade in our
     plane. In some planes, however, the blade stands vertical; this
     is used in lieu of the steel scrapers in giving wood a smooth
     finish, and might be used with advantage by our carpenters as a
     substitute for the piece of glass or thin plate of steel with
     which they usually scrape the surface of the wood. A huge plane
     is often seen, five or six feet long. This plane, however, is
     fixed in an inclined position, upside down; that is, with the
     blade uppermost. The board, or piece to be planed, is moved back
     and forth upon it. Draw-shaves are in common use. The saws are of
     various kinds, with teeth much longer than those of our saws, and
     cut in different ways.... Some saws have teeth on the back as well
     as on the front, one edge being used as a cross-cut saw (Fig. 4,
     B, C). The hand-saw, instead of having the curious loop-shaped
     handle made to accommodate only one hand, as with us, has a
     simple straight cylindrical handle as long as the saw itself, and
     sometimes longer. Our carpenters engage one hand in holding the
     stick to be sawed while driving the saw with the other hand; the
     Japanese carpenter, on the contrary, holds the piece with his
     foot, and stooping over, with his two hands drives the saw by
     quick and rapid cuts through the wood. This style of working and
     doing many other things could never be adopted in this country
     without an importation of Japanese backs.... The adze is provided
     with a rough handle bending considerably at the lower end, not
     unlike a hockey-stick (Fig. 4, A).... For drilling holes a very
     long-handled awl is used. The carpenter seizing the handle at the
     end, between the palms of his hands, and moving his hands rapidly
     back and forth, pushing down at the same time, the awl is made
     rapidly to rotate back and forth; as his hands gradually slip
     down on the handle he quickly seizes it at the upper end again,
     continuing the motion as before. One is astonished to see how
     rapidly holes are drilled in this simple yet effective way. For
     large holes, augers similar to ours are used."

When you are obliged to work some day with few and insufficient tools
(as most workmen are at times), you will quickly realise how much you
can do with very few in case of necessity, and will more fully
appreciate the skill of those Eastern people who do so much with so
little. We do not need so many hand-tools for wood-work as our
grandfathers and our great-grandfathers, although we make a greater
variety of things, because machinery now does so much of the work for
us. Wood-workers of fifty years ago had, for instance, dozens of planes
for cutting all sorts of grooves, mouldings, and the like, which are now
worked by machine at the nearest mill.

=Suggestions about Buying.=--Do not start in by buying a chest of tools,
certainly not one of the small cheap sets. They are not necessarily
poor, but are very apt to be. Get a few tools at a time as you need
them. In that way you will get all you need in the most satisfactory

Besides the fact that you _can_ do good work with few tools there are
various reasons which make it _better_ to begin with but few. You will
probably take better care of a few than of many. If you have thirty
chisels on the rack before you and you make a nick in the end of the one
you are using, there is a strong chance that instead of stopping to
sharpen it you will lay it aside and take one of the remaining
twenty-nine that will answer your purpose, and before you realise it
have a whole rack full of dull tools. If you have but few chisels, you
will be _compelled_ to sharpen them, and so get into the habit of taking
proper care of them--not to speak of the time which is often wasted in
putting away one tool and selecting another unnecessarily.

The longer you work the more you will get to _rely_ on a small number of
tools only, however many you may have at hand for occasional use. After
you have worked for some time you will be very likely to have your
favourite tools, and find that certain tools do better work in your
hands than certain others which perhaps someone else would use for the
purpose, and you will naturally favour the use of those particular
implements, which is another less important reason for not starting in
with too great a variety. I do not mean that you will imagine you can do
better with one tool than another, but that you really can do so. That
is where individuality comes in--the "personal equation."

Watch a skilful carver at a piece of ordinary work. See how few tools he
spreads before him, and how much he does with the one in his hand before
he lays it down for another. You would think it would take twenty-five
tools, perhaps, to cut such a design, but the carver may have only about
half a dozen before him. He gets right into the _spirit_ of what he is
doing, and somehow or other he does ever so many things with the tool in
his hand in less time and carries out his idea better than if he kept
breaking off to select others.

This shows that confidence in the use of a tool goes a long way toward
the execution of good work, which is one reason for learning to use a
few tools well and making them serve for all the uses to which they can
advantageously be put. In short, if you have but few tools at first you
get the most you can out of each tool and in the way best for yourself.

Now I do not mean by all this that it is not a good thing to have a
large kit of tools, or that you should not have the proper tools for the
various operations, and use them. I mean that you should get your tools
gradually as you find that you need them to do your work as it should be
done, and not get a lot in advance of needing them just because they
seem to be fine things to have, or because some carpenter has them in
his chest.

Do not place too much reliance on the lists of tools which you find in
books and magazines--the "tools necessary for beginners," "a list of
tools for boys," etc. Such lists are necessarily arbitrary. To make a
short list that would be thoroughly satisfactory for such varied work as
a boy or amateur may turn his hand to is about as impracticable as the
attempts you sometimes see to name the twenty-five greatest or best men
or the one hundred best books. When you can find half a dozen
independent lists which agree it will be time enough to begin to pin
your faith to them. The most experienced or learned people cannot agree
exactly in such matters. It depends somewhat, for one thing, on what
kind of work you begin with, and, of course, somewhat upon yourself

Now while, as we have seen, most wonderful work can be done with the
most primitive tools, the fact remains that you are neither Chinese nor
Japanese, but Americans and English, and you cannot work to the best
advantage without certain tools. "Well, what are they? Why don't you
give us a list to begin with? That's what we are looking for." Simply
because a quite varied experience has taught me to think it better to
give you suggestions to help you make the selection for yourselves.

Just as the great majority of boys would agree upon _Robinson Crusoe_,
for instance, as belonging in the front rank of boys' books, but would
make very different selections of second-rate or third-rate books, so
there are a few "universal" tools, upon the importance of which all
agree, such as the saw, hammer, hatchet or axe, and a few others; but
beyond these few you can have as many "lists" as you can find people to
make them, up to the point of including all you are likely to want. So
let your list make itself as you go along, according to your own needs.

It is safe to say, however, that if your work is to be at all varied,
such as is given in this book, for instance, you cannot get along to
good advantage for any length of time without a _rule_, a _try-square_,
a _straight-edge_, a _knife_, two or three _chisels_, a _hatchet_, a
_gouge_, a _smoothing-plane_, a _spoke-shave_, a _panel-saw_, a _hammer_
and _nail-set_, a _bit-brace_ and three or four _bits_ (_twist-drills_
are good for the smaller sizes), a _countersink_, a few _bradawls_ and
_gimlets_, a _screw-driver_, a _rasp_ and _half-round file_ for wood, a
_three-cornered file_ for metal, an _oil-stone_, a _glue-pot_. An
excellent and cheap combination tool for such work as you will do can be
bought almost anywhere under the name of "_odd jobs_." Of course you
will need nails, screws, sandpaper, glue, oil, and such supplies, which
you can buy as you need them. A section (18 inches or 20 inches high)
from the trunk of a tree is very useful for a chopping-block, or any big
junk of timber can be used.

You will, however, quickly feel the need of a few more tools to do your
work to better advantage, and according to the kind of work you are
doing you will add some of the following: a _fore-plane_, a
_splitting-saw_, a _mallet_, a _back-saw_, _compasses_, one or more
_firmer chisels_, one or more _framing-chisels_, a _block-plane_,
_pincers_, a _gauge_ or two, one or more _gouges_, a _steel square_, a
_draw-knife_, a large _screw-driver_, a _scraper_, a few _hand-screws_
(or _iron clamps_), a few more _bits_, _gimlets_, _bradawls_, or
_drills_, _cutting-pliers_ or _nippers_, a _bevel_, a _jointer_ (plane),
a _wrench_. An iron _mitre-box_ is useful but rather expensive, and you
can get along with the wooden one described further on. A _grindstone_
is, of course, essential when you get to the point of sharpening your
tools yourself, but you can have your tools ground or get the use of a
stone without having to buy one for a long time.

The following list makes a fair outfit for nearly and sometimes all the
work the average amateur is likely to do, excepting the bench appliances
and such contrivances as you will make yourselves and the occasional
addition of a bit or chisel or gouge or file, etc., of some other size
or shape when needed. This is not a list to start with, of course,
unless you can afford it, for you can get along for a good while with
only a part, nor is it a complete list, but merely one with which a
great amount of useful work can be done to good advantage. You can
always add to it for special purposes.

For further remarks about these tools and others and their uses, see
Part V., where they will be found alphabetically arranged.

    1 two-foot rule.
    1 try-square (metal-bound).
    1 pair of wing compasses.
    1 marking-gauge.
    1 mortise-gauge.
    1 steel square (carpenter's framing-square).
    1 bevel.
    1 "odd jobs."
    1 chalk-line and chalk.
    1 knife.
    5 firmer chisels (1/8", 1/4", 1/2", 7/8", 1-1/4").
    2 framing-or mortising-chisels (1", 1-1/2").
    3 gouges (1/4", 1/2", 1").
    1 iron spoke-shave (adjustable).
    1 draw-knife.
    1 hatchet.
    1 block-plane.
    1 smoothing-plane.
    1 long fore-plane (or a jointer).
    1 jack-plane.
    1 rabbet-plane (3/4" or 7/8" square).
    1 cutting-off saw (panel-saw, 24").
    1 splitting-saw (26").
    1 back-saw (12").
    1 turning-saw (14").
    1 compass and keyhole saw (combined).
    1 bit-brace.
    3 auger-bits (1/2", 3/4", 1").
    3 twist-drills (1/8", 3/16", 1/4").
    A few bradawls and gimlets.
    1 screw-driver for bit-brace.
    1 countersink.
    1 hammer and 2 nail-sets.
    2 screw-drivers (different sizes).
    Files of several kinds (flat,
    three-cornered, and round
    for metal, and half-round
    and round for wood).
    1 large half-round rasp.
    1 cabinet scraper and burnisher.
    1 mallet.
    1 pair cutting-pliers.
    1 pair of pincers.
    1 wrench.
    1 oil-stone and oiler.
    2 or 3 oil-stone slips (different
    1 glue-pot.
    2 or more iron clamps.
    2 or more wooden hand-screws.
    2 or more cabinet clamps (2' to

     An adjustable iron mitre-box will be a valuable addition to this
     list, and a grindstone is of use even when you get most of your
     grinding done.

     A few carver's tools are also convenient at times if you can afford
     them, as a skew-chisel (1/2"), a parting-tool (1/4"), and a small

     General supplies, such as nails, screws, glue, etc., specified in
     Part V., will of course be required.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are still more tools than those given above, as you doubtless
know, but by the time you have become workman enough to need more you
will know what you need. Ploughs, matching-planes, and all such
implements are omitted, because it is better and usually as cheap to get
such work as they do done by machine at a mill. I also assume that all
your heavy sawing and planing will be done at some mill. It is not worth
while for the amateur to undertake the sawing and planing of large
pieces, the hewing and splitting of the rougher branches of wood-work,
for such work can be done almost anywhere by machine at very slight
expense, and stock can be bought already got out and planed for but a
trifle more than the cost of the wood alone.[6]

Be sure to get good tools. There is a saying that a good workman is
known by his tools, and another that a poor workman is always
complaining of his tools, that is, excusing his own incompetence by
throwing the blame upon his tools. There is also another saying to the
effect that a good workman can work with poor tools; but it is simply
because he is a skilled and ingenious workman that he can if necessary
often do good work _in spite_ of inferior tools, and of course he could
do the same work more easily and quickly, if not better, with good ones.

So do not think that because you sometimes see a skilled workman making
shift with poor tools that you are justified in beginning in that way,
for a beginner should use only good tools and in good condition or he
may never become a good workman at all, so make your tools and their
care a matter of pride. If your tools are of good quality, and proper
care is taken of them, they will last a lifetime and longer; so good
tools prove the cheapest in the end.[7]

There are some cases, however, in which it is as well not to buy the
most expensive tools at first, as a cheap rule will do as well as an
expensive one, considering how likely you are to break or lose it, and a
cheap gauge will answer quite well for a good while; but this does not
affect the truth of the general statement that you should get only the
best tools. There are also quite a number of tools, appliances, and
makeshifts which you can make for yourselves, some of which will be
described. I advise you not to pick up tools at second-hand shops,
auctions, or junk shops, except with the assistance of some competent

=Care of Tools.=--Keep your tools in good order. You cannot do nice,
fine, clean work with a dull tool. A sharp tool will make a clean cut,
but a dull edge will tear or crush the fibres and not leave a clean-cut
surface. You can work so much more easily and quickly as well as
satisfactorily with sharp tools that the time it takes to keep them in
order is much less than you lose in working with dull ones, not to speak
of the waste of strength and temper.

I assume that you will not attempt to sharpen your tools yourselves
until you have had considerable experience in using them; for sharpening
tools (particularly saws and planes) is very hard for boys and amateurs,
and not easy to learn from a book. So, until then, be sure to have them
sharpened whenever they become dull. The expense is but slight, and it
is much better to have fewer tools kept sharp than to spend the money
for more tools and have them dull. When you get to the point of
sharpening your tools, one lesson from a practical workman or even a
little time spent in watching the operations (which you can do easily)
will help you more than reading many pages from any book. So I advise
you to get instruction in sharpening from some practical workman,--not
at first, but after you have got quite handy with the tools. You can
easily do this at little or no expense. For further points, see
_Sharpening_, in Part V.

It is a good plan to soak tool handles, mallets, and wooden planes, when
new, for a week or so in raw linseed oil and then rub them with a soft
rag every day or two for a while. If you use wooden planes give them a
good soaking. They will absorb much oil and work more freely and
smoothly. You can save tool handles from being split by pounding, by
sawing the ends off square and fastening on two round disks of
sole-leather in the way adopted by shoe-makers. If there is any tendency
to dampness in your shop the steel and iron parts of the tools should be
greased with a little fat,--tallow, lard, wax, vaseline,--or some
anti-rust preparation.

=Use of Tools.=--It is very important to get started right in using
tools. If your first idea of what the tool is for and how it should be
used is correct you will get along nicely afterwards, but if you start
with a wrong impression you will have to unlearn, which is always hard,
and start afresh.

If you can go to a good wood-working school you will of course learn
much, and if you know a good-natured carpenter or cabinet-maker or any
wood-worker of the _old-fashioned_ kind, cultivate his acquaintance. If
he is willing to let you watch his work and to answer your questions you
can add much to your knowledge of the uses of the different tools. In
fact, so far as instruction goes that is about all the teaching the
average apprentice gets. He learns by observing and by practice. Do not
be afraid or ashamed to ask questions. Very few men will refuse to
answer an amateur's questions unless they are unreasonably frequent.
There will be problems enough to exercise all the ingenuity you have
after you have learned what you can from others.

But the day for the all-round workman seems to be rapidly passing away
and the tendency nowadays is for each workman, instead of spending years
in learning the various branches and details of his trade, to be expert
in only one very limited branch--or, as sometimes happens, a general
botch in all the branches; so unless you find a real mechanic for a
friend (such as an old or middle-aged village carpenter, or
cabinet-maker, or wheelwright, or boat-builder, or carver), be a little
guarded about believing all he tells or shows you; and beware of relying
implicitly on the teachings of the man who "knows it all" and whom a
season's work at nailing up studding and boarding has turned into a
full-fledged "carpenter."

If you can learn to use your tools with either hand you will often find
it a decided advantage, as in getting out crooked work, or particularly
in carving, where you have such an endless variety of cuts to be made in
almost every possible direction, but "that is another story." A bad
habit and one to guard against is that of carrying with you the tool you
may be using whenever you leave your work temporarily, instead of laying
it down where you are working. Edge-tools are dangerous things to carry
around in the hand and there is also much chance of their being mislaid.

For directions for using the different tools see Part V.

=Edge-Tools.=--Bear in mind that all cutting tools work more or less on
the principle of the wedge. So far as the mere cutting is concerned a
keen edge is all that is required and your knife or other cutting tool
might be as thin as a sheet of paper. But of course such a tool would
break, so it must be made thicker for strength and wedge-shaped so that
it may be pushed through the wood as easily as possible.

You know that you can safely use a very thin knife to cut butter because
the butter yields so easily that there is not much strain on the blade,
but that when you cut wood the blade must be thicker to stand the strain
of being pushed through. Soft wood cuts more easily than hard, because
it is more easily pushed aside or compressed by the wedge-shaped tool,
and it does not matter how keen the edge may be if the resistance of the
wood is so great that you cannot force the thicker part of the tool
through it.

You will understand from all this that the more acute the angle of the
cutting edge the more easily it will do its work, provided always that
the angle is obtuse or blunt enough to give the proper strength to the
end of the tool; and also that as the end of the tool encounters more
resistance in hard than soft wood, the angle should be more obtuse or
blunter for the former than for the latter. Theoretically, therefore,
the angle of the cutting edge, to obtain the greatest possible
advantage, would need to be changed with every piece of wood and every
kind of cut, but practically all that can be done is to have a longer
bevel on the tools for soft wood than for hard. Experience and
observation will teach these angles. See _Sharpening_ in Part V.

When you cut off a stout stick, as the branch of a tree, you do not try
to force your knife straight across with one cut. You cut a small notch
and then widen and deepen it by cutting first on one side and then on
the other (Fig. 5). The wood yields easily to the wedge on the side
towards the notch, so that the edge can easily cut deeper, and thus the
notch is gradually cut through the stick. The same principle is seen in
cutting down a tree with an axe. You have only to look at the structure
of a piece of wood when magnified, as roughly indicated in Fig. 6, to
see why it is easier to cut with the grain than across it.

[Illustration FIG. 5.]

[Illustration FIG. 6.]

[Illustration FIG. 7.]

You can often cut better with a _draw-stroke_, _i.e._, not merely
pushing the tool straight ahead, but drawing it across sideways at the
same time (Fig. 7). You can press the sharp edge of a knife or razor
against your hand without cutting, but draw the edge across and you will
be cut at once. Even a blade of grass will cut if you draw the edge
quickly through your hand, as you doubtless know.

If you try to push a saw down into a piece of wood, as you push a knife
down through a lump of butter, or as in chopping with a hatchet, that
is, without pushing and pulling the saw back and forth, it will not
enter the wood to any extent, but when you begin to work it back and
forth it cuts (or tears) its way into the wood at once. You know how
much better you can cut a slice of fresh bread when you saw the knife
back and forth than when you merely push it straight down through the
loaf. You may have noticed (and you may not) how much better your knife
will cut, and that the cut will be cleaner, in doing some kinds of
whittling, when you _draw it through the wood from handle to point_
(Fig. 7), instead of pushing it straight through in the common way, and
you will discover, if you try cutting various substances, that as a
general rule the softer the material the greater the advantage in the

Now put the sharpest edge-tool you can find under a powerful microscope,
and you will see that the edge, instead of being so very smooth, is
really quite ragged,--a sort of saw-like edge. Then look at the
structure of a piece of wood as roughly indicated in Fig. 6, and you
will understand at once just what we do when we cut wood with an
edge-tool. You see the microscopically small sticks or tubes or bundles
of woody fibre of which the big stick is composed, and you also see the
microscopically fine saw to cut them. Now if the edge of the tool is
fine you can often do the work satisfactorily by simply pushing the tool
straight through the wood, but do you not see that if you can draw or
slide the tool either back or forth the edge, being saw-like, will do
its work better?

This stroke cannot be used of course in chopping with the axe or
hatchet, splitting kindling-wood, or splitting a stick _with_ the grain
with a knife or chisel. In these operations the main principle is that
of the wedge, pure and simple, driven through by force, the keen edge
merely starting the cut, after which the wedge does the rest of the work
by bearing so hard against the wood at the sides of the cut that it
forces it to split _in advance_ of the cutting edge, as in riving a log
by the use first of an axe, then of an iron wedge, and finally a large
wooden wedge (Fig. 8).

[Illustration FIG. 8.]

Practical directions and suggestions about the different _Tools and
their Uses_ and the various _Operations_ will be found alphabetically
arranged in Part V.


[4] Quoted, by kind permission, from _Turning and Mechanical

[5] Quoted, by kind permission, from the valuable and entertaining work
on _Japanese Homes and their Surroundings_ (copyright. 1885), by Edward
S. Morse.

[6] If you are so situated, as possibly a few of you may be, that you
cannot get the benefit of modern methods, but must do all the rough
work that your grandfathers did, you will require a few additional
tools, but these you can readily select from the descriptions given
farther on.

[7] There are many reliable makers of tools. Among them the following
can be named, and their tools can be obtained almost anywhere:
Saws--Henry Disston. Chisels and gouges--Moulson Bros.; Buck Bros.
Planes--Stanley; Moulson Bros. (plane-irons); Wm. Butcher (do.); Buck
Bros. (do.) Files--P. S. Stubs. Rules and squares, levels, gauges,
spoke-shaves, etc.--Stanley Rule & Level Co. Braces--Barber.
Bits--Jennings. Knives (sloid)--Taylor. Carving tools--Addis; Buck;



Before you can make anything successfully, you must have not merely
wood, but the _right kind_ of wood for the purpose. There are, also,
"choice cuts" in lumber, as the butcher says of meat, and judicious
selection of the stock often makes all the difference between a good job
and a poor one; so let us examine a log and follow it through the

You have, of course, seen the rings, or circular lines, on the ends of
pieces of wood (Fig. 9). These are called the _annual rings_,[8] and
each ring marks a new layer of wood added to the tree, for, as perhaps
you may have learned, the trees we use for wood-working grow by adding
new layers of wood on the outside. Examine the ends of pieces of wood of
various kinds. In some pieces these rings will be very plain. In others
they will be quite indistinct.

[Illustration FIG. 9.]

Notice that the wood nearest the bark, known as the _sapwood_, usually
looks different from the inner wood, which is called the _heart_ (Fig.

In some trees you will see rays, or lines, radiating from the centre,
and known as the _medullary rays_ (Figs. 9 and 10), because they spring
from the pith (Latin _medulla_). Sometimes these lines are too fine to
be noticed.

You will see from Fig. 10 that the layers of wood are also shown in the
lines of what we call the "grain" on the surface of a piece of wood cut
lengthways, and that the lines of the grain are continuations of the
annual rings. You will also notice at the ends of timber, after the
seasoning has begun, cracks radiating from the centre, showing the
natural lines of cleavage or separation.

[Illustration FIG. 10.]

[Illustration FIG. 11.]

The way the log is sawed is important, though you might naturally think
that the only thing is to saw it any way that will give pieces of the
required size and shape.

Why is green wood heavier and softer than dry wood, and the sapwood of
green timber softer than the heart? Because of the sap or water
contained. The amount of water is sometimes even as much as fifty per
cent. of the weight of the wood, but the quantity depends upon the kind
of tree, the season, etc. Now the more water the green log contains, the
more it will shrink. It begins to dry and shrink as soon as the tree has
been cut down. The sapwood shrinks more than the heart because it
contains more water, and faster because, being on the outside, it is
more exposed. The log shrinks most in the line of the annual rings, that
is, _around_ the tree. It shrinks much less in the line of the medullary
rays, that is, _across_ the tree. Shrinkage lengthways is too slight to
be considered[9] (Fig. 11).

The result of all this unequal shrinking is that the log tends to split,
or crack open, at the circumference (Fig. 12), the cracks running in
toward the centre, in the line of the medullary rays. If the log is
halved or quartered, so that the inner parts are exposed, the drying
goes on more uniformly throughout, the cracking is not so bad, and the
parts of the log will shrink somewhat as shown in Figs. 13 and 14.

[Illustration FIG. 12.]

[Illustration FIG. 13.]

The beams, joists, planks, or boards cut from a log have the same
tendency to shrink unevenly that is found in the log itself. This causes
them to be irregular in shape and to curl or warp more or less,
according to the part of the log from which they are taken. A piece cut
from the centre of a log will thus hold its shape better than if cut
from one side (Fig. 15).

[Illustration FIG. 14.]

[Illustration FIG. 15.]

[Illustration FIG. 16.]

When a log is sawed into boards or planks (Fig. 16) the middle board
shrinks but little in width and in thickness at the centre, but becomes
thinner towards the edges. It does not curl, because it is cut through
the centre of the log and has no more tendency to curl one way than the
other. The outside board shrinks least in thickness and most in width,
and all, except the middle one, shrink differently on one side from the
other. They become convex toward the pith, or heart, and concave toward
the outside. Different kinds of wood shrink and warp to different
degrees. You can learn something about these matters by examining the
stock in any lumber-yard.

Now to come to the practical application of our brief study of the log
and the sawing process: if you merely wish to get the most that you can
from a log in the form of boards or plank, have the pieces sliced off in
the simple way just shown (Fig. 17). This is the usual way of sawing
for ordinary purposes. Boarding for the outside of a house, for
instance, cut in this way answers every purpose. By this process the
central boards will be good and the outer ones inferior,[10] as just
shown (Fig. 16), but for common work all can generally be used.

[Illustration FIG. 17.]

[Illustration FIG. 18.]

[Illustration FIG. 19.]

If you wish the highly figured grain[11] often seen in oak, ash,
chestnut, etc., you can get it by sawing the log as just shown in Fig.
17. The figure of the grain will be most marked in the outer boards
(Fig. 18), because the annual rings are cut more obliquely in them than
in the boards at or near the centre. These boards (Fig. 17) will tend to
change their shape, as just shown (Fig. 19), but if they are to be
firmly fastened in some way, or confined (as in a panel), handsome grain
effects can be obtained.

[Illustration FIG. 20.]

[Illustration FIG. 21.]

[Illustration FIG. 22.]

If you wish the beautiful figure formed when the medullary rays show on
the surface of the board, as in "quartered" oak, the log should be cut
in the direction of the radii, that is, along the lines of the medullary
rays (Fig. 20). The more exactly the side of a board is cut on the
radial line the more richly the figure of the medullary rays will be
shown, as in Fig. 21. This method of sawing is more expensive than the
first way, of course, as it requires more labour and wastes more of the
wood. The wide board shown in Fig. 21 and either of those in Fig. 22 are

If you wish boards that will shrink the least in width and remain as
true as possible, then the log should be sawed on the radial lines as
just shown, so that all the boards will be from the middle of the log.
Wood shrinks but little in the direction of the radii, as just shown,
and middle boards will be alike on both sides as regards heart- and
sapwood, etc., and, therefore, have the least tendency to change of
shape. The middle board by the method of Fig. 17 will be a good board in
these respects.

[Illustration FIG. 23.]

[Illustration FIG. 24.]

[Illustration FIG. 25.]

Various methods of radial sawing, or in which part of the boards are so
cut, are shown in Figs. 20 and 26, Figs. 23, 24, 25, and 26 showing the
log quartered and various ways of sawing into boards. Thus we see that
the middle boards, those passing through or near the centre, are the
best for most purposes.

[Illustration FIG. 26.]

[Illustration FIG. 27.]

Split or rift stock is stronger than sawed. If you wish a piece
especially tough and durable, as for an axe handle or a stout pin, it
should be split out rather than sawed, unless the wood is very
straight-grained, because the splitting is sure to be in the line of the
fibres, thus avoiding "cross-grain," which cannot well be entirely
prevented in sawing. If the grain is straight, there may be no practical
difference in the result between sawing and splitting, as in the
so-called rift flooring, which is really sawed, but with crooked-grained
pieces the difference is marked in such cases as the block shown in Fig.
27, from which four pins can be sawed, while but one can be split out.
That one will be straight-grained, however, and stronger than the sawed
ones, which will be cross-grained.

Try your best to get well-seasoned wood for your nice work. If it is not
dry before you use it, it must of course dry afterwards, which is likely
to cause cracks, warping, opened joints, and often the entire ruin of
the article you have made. You will have to trust the dealer, or some
friend, until you have had enough experience to judge for yourself, for
it is no easy matter for an amateur to decide, except in case of very
green stock, which is of course wet and soggy.

There are two ways of drying wood in common use. One is the
old-fashioned way (commonly known as _seasoning_, _weather-drying_, or
_air-drying_) in which the wood is gradually seasoned by the natural
process of exposure to the air (but protected from the weather), that
is, letting it dry of itself.

       *       *       *       *       *

Do not believe the statements so common in books that it "takes lumber"
some definite time, as one year or two years, "to season." It all
depends on the kind of wood, its shape and size, the condition of the
atmosphere, and various circumstances. For some rough work (a pig-pen,
for instance) there is no advantage in seasoning at all, because the
stock can just as well dry after the work is done as before. For many
kinds of common work one or two years is sufficient for some kinds and
sizes of wood; for a nicer grade of work two or three years is none too
much, while for very nice indoor work four years or more is not too long
for the stock to season. There is very little danger of its being kept
too long. It never will get perfectly dry (see Appendix). Whether it is
dry _enough_ or not depends on what you want it for.

       *       *       *       *       *

To save time and money the artificial way (known as _kiln-drying_) of
shutting it up in a room and drying it quickly by steam or other heat
is now used, and, so far as drying the wood is concerned, this process
can do the work well and much more quickly than the old way--sometimes
too quickly. It is no exaggeration to say that in factories where cheap
furniture and other common articles are made nowadays, a standing tree
is felled on Monday, the log rolled into one end of the factory, and
before Saturday night the finished articles made from it, all varnished
and complete, are sent out from the other end of the shop--and some
articles are turned out even quicker.

In the natural process of air-drying the moisture gradually and slowly
works out to the surface and evaporates, until the wood is _seasoned_,
though never absolutely dry, and the stock is firmer, more elastic, and
less affected by heat and cold, moisture and dryness, than if
kiln-dried. The latter process tends to dry the outside and ends of the
lumber too fast for the inside. It certainly lessens the elasticity of
the wood and weakens it. Making it so unnaturally dry (as if baked), as
is often done, only makes it more susceptible to the atmosphere when
taken from the kiln, and, unless it is at once protected from the air in
some way, it will reabsorb moisture until it gets into a more natural
condition; but that will not fully restore the loss of elasticity (see
Appendix). The deterioration in the quality of the wood can be plainly
seen by any wood-worker, and is often a subject of remark in regard to

The kiln-drying "takes the life out of the wood," as workmen express it,
but just why this is so is not easy to explain, for the structure and
properties of wood are very complex. I have seen too many illustrations
in my own experience and that of others to have any doubt of the fact,
however, and lumber left for years to season naturally, "stands," as the
expression is, better than if kiln-dried--a fact which is, I think,
generally conceded by wood-workers who have had experience with both

The gain by kiln-drying, in time and money, is, therefore, more or less
offset by impairment of the quality of the wood, so if you can find
stock that you know has been seasoning for years by the natural process,
buy it by all means for your nice work, even if you have to pay more,
regardless of what the dealers in kiln-dried stock or the makers of
articles for sale may tell you about the advantages of kiln-dried wood.

On the other hand, if a dealer brags of his new patent "chain-lightning"
dryer that will make green wood "dry as a bone" in two or three days, go
elsewhere to buy your stock, for wood dried in a few days is not the
kind to use for good work. You will probably have to use kiln-dried
stock for most, or, perhaps, all of your work, but get it from a
slow-drying kiln and keep it for further seasoning as long as you can.

Even if wood has been well seasoned, it is best, before putting it into
nice work, to cut it up and dress it approximately to shape and leave it
in a dry place for some time for a final seasoning, particularly in the
case of thick stock. Do this with kiln-dried stock fresh from the
dry-house. Let it have a little time to get into harmony with the
atmosphere. Whenever wood has been exposed to damp air, as in a wet shed
or cellar, let it stand in the warm shop a while before using it for
nice work.

The stock is arranged for seasoning so as to allow the air to circulate
around and between the pieces. A common way is simply to arrange them in
piles, each piece being separated from those above and below by strips
or sticks laid across (Fig. 28). These sticks should be placed directly
over one another, and so that the lumber will lie straight, else the
weight of the pile, which should tend to make the pieces dry straight,
will have the opposite effect and make them permanently crooked. There
are other ways of arranging wood for drying, but this method is common
and illustrates the most important principles. Stock is sometimes
stacked upright, and small pieces are occasionally hung up for such nice
work as billiard cues and bows.

[Illustration FIG. 28.]

Seasoned wood is lighter in weight than green, dryer to the touch,
usually has a different odour, cuts differently when you whittle it (and
the piece you whittle off breaks differently), and it shows a difference
when you saw it. It is impossible to define these differences and you
will have to learn them by actual work. It is not always easy even for
an experienced person to tell with certainty about some pieces until he
has "worked" them, so much do the characteristics of different pieces
vary. One test is to rap the boards sharply with a hammer. A green board
and a dry one of the same kind will "rap" differently,--that is, will
have a different vibration and give out a different sound. Of course
this cannot be described, but you can judge quite well in this way. It
is one of the many things you can learn only by experience. You can
ascertain much about the character and condition of lumber by sawing or
planing or whittling a piece. This is a good test for dryness,
toughness, and elasticity (which you can tell about by breaking the

Weather-dried timber is usually somewhat darkened from exposure, but
kiln-drying lightens the colour of some woods.

Stock with a bright lustrous appearance and of dark hue is generally
superior to that of a lighter colour and duller appearance, but such
characteristics depend much upon the kind of wood. Green wood is tougher
than seasoned wood, but the latter is more elastic. To subject seasoned
wood to moisture and heat brings it back, to a certain extent, to its
original condition, and renders it for the time being tougher, hence the
process of bending wood by the application of steam or hot water (see
_Bending_ in Part V.).

Reject "wany" lumber, or that of which the edges or corners have not
been squared (Fig. 18), and also boards and planks which have not been
sawed to a uniform thickness. It is not uncommon for a board to be
considerably thinner than it should be in some part of its length, due
to irregularity in sawing.

For plain work avoid "cross-grained" stock, as well as that having knots
(which are sometimes "tight" and sometimes "loose"), as it is harder to
work and to smooth, is not as strong, and does not hold its shape as
well, as a rule. Sometimes it is desirable, however, on account of the
beautiful figure of the grain shown in many crooked-grained pieces, as
in mahogany for furniture (see Appendix). Bear in mind that when
especial strength is required rift stock is best.

Reject wood which smells musty, or has rusty-looking spots, which are
signs of decay, or of the attack of fungi, which may spread and under
favourable conditions attack other pieces which are sound (see

[Illustration FIG. 29.]

[Illustration FIG. 30.]

Reject crooked stock. The worst form is _winding_ or twisting. Of course
no one would take such an extreme case as Fig. 29, unless for some very
rough work, but even a _very slight_ winding may make much trouble in
your nice work. So look particularly for this defect, which you can
often detect at once by the eye, but if your eye is not well trained use
winding-sticks (see Part V.). _Warped_ or curled stock, with the surface
rounded or hollowed (Fig. 19), is also bad, but you will need no
instructions to detect this defect by the eye or any straight stick.
When boards are rounding on one side and hollowing on the other, it is
due either to the way the log was sawed, as we have seen, or to one side
having been more exposed and so having dried faster and shrunk faster
than the other, causing that side to be concave, while the other became
convex. Stock is sometimes crooked lengthways,--either a simple bending
in a curve or at an angle, or wavy (Fig. 30), or both,--often due to
careless "sticking" (Fig. 28) while the wood was green. Sighting
lengthways will of course show these defects.

Reject stock badly checked at the ends, or cracked. There is apt to be
more or less of this in most lumber. In seasoning, the pieces dry faster
on the outside than in the middle, which causes checks or cracks,
usually worse at the ends of the pieces, where the drying takes place
most rapidly. The ends of valuable boards and planks are sometimes
painted or cleated, which in a measure prevents this result.
Occasionally, when the cleat is removed a crack will suddenly extend
and even split the board.

Do not take a cracked or partly split board, thinking that you can use
the sound end from the point where the crack _appears_ to stop. Possibly
you can, but oftentimes and in some kinds of wood it is impossible to
tell before the stock is cut where the cracks end. In mahogany, for
example, they sometimes are found to extend, or develop, several feet
beyond where they appear to stop. Sometimes you can buy wood with such
defects at a discount. Unless you are _sure_, however, that there is
enough sound, clear wood outside of the cracks or knots, and unless the
discount is pretty large, it will usually be better to buy clear, sound
stock for nice work, as the waste is very apt to offset the saving, not
to speak of the extra time and labour it takes to work up such material.
(See _Shakes_ in Appendix.)

Reject sapwood as far as possible, because it is usually inferior to the

       *       *       *       *       *

In the case of elm and young ash the sapwood is, however, superior to
the heart. The heartwood is usually harder and more durable than the
sapwood, heavier, of better texture, and commonly of better colour.

"The sapwood is, as a rule, darker in the whitewood class than the
heartwood, whether seasoned or unseasoned, but is paler in colour in
most hardwood trees which have had time to season. In some of the white,
or softer woods, when fresh cut, the difference is scarcely perceptible;
but exposure to the air quickly gives to the outer layers a greenish
tinge, due to a species of mould fungi which attack them."--LASLETT and
WARD. (See also Appendix.)

       *       *       *       *       *

When buying, do not take boards just as they happen to come from the
pile. Select them yourself. Most good-natured dealers will let you do
this if you do not expect them to unstack a whole pile just for one or
two boards. It is better to do this for nice work even if a slight
charge should be made for the privilege. When you come to pick out
boards you will see the application of what has been said about the ways
of cutting the log, and you can tell by the annual rings at the ends of
the boards, by the sapwood (when visible), the grain, etc., from what
part of the log the pieces were sawed.

Use good, clear stock for everything but rough work. Of course in rough
or temporary work you can save expense by using wood from packing-cases,
boxes, old fence-rails, or anything that will serve the purpose, but as
a rule avoid trying to make nice, new things of wood taken from old work
or boxes. The quality of the wood used for boxes nowadays is apt to be
poor and hard to work. The wood taken from old cabinet-work is, however,
often better than you are likely to buy, but you need to be very
cautious about working over old material, for the dirt which has been
ground into it is apt to dull your tools, and, moreover, the presence of
concealed nails, etc. (which it is sometimes almost impossible to
detect), will often injure your tools so much as to more than offset
what you save in expense.

Do not buy thick stock with the idea of sawing it into thinner pieces
(unless necessary). Of course it can be sawed into thinner or smaller
pieces, but you cannot always be sure that these will be as true as the
original stock. Suddenly exposing the middle of a piece of wood to the
air in this way sometimes plays queer pranks with the shape of the
pieces (see Appendix). If you want to use boards for good work buy those
which have seasoned as boards, instead of splitting up thicker lumber;
and always try to treat both sides of a board alike so far as you can.

Bear this in mind: If you take an inch board to the mill to be planed
down to three eighths of an inch, for instance, have it planed equally,
as nearly as may be, from both sides. Ignorant hands often simply smooth
off, or "surface," one side, and then plane the board down on the other
side, when it will sometimes warp badly at once and be useless, perhaps,
for the purpose intended.

If you carefully pile and "stick" the stock you have bought (Fig. 28),
it will tend to keep the pieces straight and true. Never lay good boards
down flat directly upon one another unless they are _thoroughly_
seasoned. It is the best of all ways, however, to _keep_ a pile of
thoroughly seasoned stock, but not the way to season it. The top board
will warp. Never lay a single board of nice stock flat on its side. Keep
short pieces of nice stock standing on end where they will be equally
exposed on both sides to heat and cold, moisture and dryness.

The best way to learn about any kind of wood is from the wood itself. It
is a capital idea to make a collection of specimens of as many kinds as
you can.[12] You will be surprised to see how varied, interesting, and
handsome a collection you can make at little or no expense. (See

The kinds of wood which you are likely to use are commonly known as
either _hard_ or _soft_, the former class from trees with broad leaves,
as the oak, the latter from the coniferous or needle-leaved trees, as
the white pine. This distinction between hard and soft wood you may find
somewhat puzzling at first, for the common whitewood of the hardwood
class you will find softer and easier to work than hard pine of the
softwood class, but the distinction is based on botanical reasons. The
hard woods are usually more durable as well as stronger than the soft.
For various woods see Appendix.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Timber._--The word timber is applied in a general way to the log and to
the material itself, and to the standing trees. It is also applied more
specifically to the larger squared pieces, or "dimension" stock, such as
sills, beams, etc.

_Lumber._--As the term is used in the United States, lumber consists,
according to Webster, of "timber sawed or split for use, as beams,
joists, boards, planks, staves, hoops, and the like."

       *       *       *       *       *

Lumber may be either _undressed_ or _dressed_, that is, rough (as it
comes from the saw) or planed. It is usually sawed in regular
thicknesses, and for stock which is in steady demand, such as joists,
floor timbers, etc., in regular widths, as 2" x 4", 4" x 6", etc. It is
commonly sold in lengths varying from 10 feet to 20 feet. Twelve feet is
a common length for boards. Planing (by machine) rough or undressed
boards on both sides will usually reduce the thickness of an inch board
to about seven eighths of an inch. Other thicknesses will of course be
reduced correspondingly. Bear this in mind. The terms 1" board, 2"
plank, etc., apply, as a rule, to the stock in the rough state as it
comes from the saw. When you buy planed or dressed lumber it will be
thinner--that is, the "inch board" that you wish to get for a shelf will
not be one inch thick (unless you get it unplaned), but seven eighths of
an inch.

       *       *       *       *       *

You must make allowance for this when you figure on _dressed_ lumber. If
for example the board must be one inch thick when planed, you will have
to get a thin plank and have it planed down, or pull over the pile
until you find a board which happens to be sawed as thick as one inch
and one eighth. You can sometimes find boards planed one inch thick, but
as a rule you will find the thickness seven eighths of an inch. A
similar statement will apply to the various thicknesses of planks also.
The sawing is often very irregular, however, and frequently some boards
or planks will run thick enough in sawing to give the required thickness
when planed, so it is well to look for such when you need pieces a
little thicker than planed stock usually runs.

[Illustration FIG. 31.]

       *       *       *       *       *

For such work as you are likely to do you will chiefly need boards,
planks, and joists. Other forms will be referred to farther on.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Boards._--These are one inch thick or less.

_Matched-boards_, or "sheathing," have a groove on one edge and a
corresponding tongue on the other (Fig. 31.) Any number of boards can
thus be joined to make a wide surface. The edges of these boards were
formerly tongued and grooved by hand with "matching-planes," but now
this is done by machine, usually with some form of bead or moulding at
one edge (and sometimes in the middle) to render the joint less

_Planks._--These are _thick_ boards,--more than one inch in thickness.
Both planks and boards can be of any width or length, the distinction
being merely in thickness.

_Joists._--These are the same as narrow planks, but of some fixed width,
as 2" by 3", which is the same as a 3" strip sawed from the edge of a 2"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration FIG. 32.]

[Illustration FIG. 33.]

Most of the lumber you will require is sold by the square foot, at so
much an M (1000 feet), or so much a foot. The square foot has an area of
144 square inches and is one inch thick, or contains 144 cubic inches,
regardless of the shape or size of the piece. That is, Figs. 32, 33, and
34 each equal one square foot by board measure.

[Illustration FIG. 34.]

       *       *       *       *       *

     Thus a board 12' long, 12" wide, and 1" thick, contains 12 feet,
     board measure. A board 12' long, 6" wide, and 1" thick, contains 6
     feet. A plank 12' long, 12" wide, and 2" thick, contains 24 feet. A
     plank 12' long, 6" wide, and 2" thick, contains 12 feet, or the
     same as the board first mentioned. You can bear in mind that in
     case of boards 12' long the contents in feet is indicated by the
     width in inches, as you will see from the examples just given. A
     board 12' long and 7" wide contains 7 square feet. So all you have
     to do to measure 12' stock is to find the width in inches. If the
     board tapers in width, measure at the middle. The same is true of
     planks, only the width in inches must be multiplied by the
     thickness of the plank. A plank 12' long, 7" wide, and 3" thick,
     contains 21 square feet. Of course this principle can be quickly
     applied to pieces whose length is any convenient multiple or
     fraction of twelve. Thus a board 18' long, 8" wide, and 1" thick,
     contains 1-1/2 times as many square feet as one 12' long, or 12
     feet. A plank 9' long, 6" wide, and 2" thick, contains 3/4 as many
     square feet as if 12' long, or 9 square feet.

       *       *       *       *       *

Boards less than one inch thick are usually sold by the square foot of
surface, regardless of thickness--the price varying according to the
thickness, except in cases where an inch board is planed down, when, of
course, inch thickness is charged for. There is no distinction made in
_measuring_ between a rough board 1" thick and a planed board 7/8" as,
of course, they represent the same amount of lumber. The cost by the
foot of the planed board is greater because of the expense of planing.
In cities, and sometimes in the larger towns, you can find thin boards
(1/2", 3/8", 3/16", 1/8" thick) already planed, and even scraped, for
nice work.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some of the rarer and less commonly used woods are often sold by the
pound, as ebony, leopard wood, tulip wood, etc. Pieces turned out in
quantities for special uses, as strips, mouldings, etc., are often sold
by the "running foot," meaning simply the length, the price varying
according to the amount of lumber and labour required. Certain regular
sizes and shapes of lumber are sold by the hundred or by the piece.
Shingles, clapboards, laths, and the like, are sold in bunches or

       *       *       *       *       *

For other matters relating to wood, see Appendix.


[8] So called because in the common trees of temperate climes one layer
is added each year.

[9] Although the shrinkage lengthways is not usually noticeable as
affecting the length of a board, it shows slightly by its effect in
causing the pieces to spring, or become bowed lengthwise, as you will
see in many boards which have been left free to spring while seasoning.

[10] In addition to the curling, the outer boards will be poorer
because they contain a greater proportion of sapwood, which is usually
inferior to the heartwood.

[11] By this is not meant the figure or flashes shown by the medullary
rays, or "silver grain," seen in _quartered_ oak and some other woods,
but the figure of the grain without the medullary rays, as seen in
_plain_ oak, etc.

[12] The forests of North America, exclusive of Mexico, are now
believed, according to Sargent, to contain four hundred and twenty-two
species of plants, besides numerous varieties, which can fairly be
considered trees.



=Working Drawings.=--A simple drawing will often give you a better idea
of an object than you can get from any description in words, for drawing
is not only a very ancient form of language but one readily understood
by people of all countries and all times. It is one of the chief tools
of a workman in these days, so of course the quicker you become familiar
with it the better, for the day for "rule-of-thumb" work and feeling
one's way along step by step is fast giving way to the guidance of the
working drawing, which shows one not only exactly what is to be made but
exactly how to make it.

When you wish to make some particular thing, you should begin by making
rough sketches to express your idea, and from them an accurate working
drawing in which every detail and measurement is clearly given. Make all
your working drawings carefully to scale (see Appendix), and whenever
you can, make them _full size_. Do not guess at the height, width, and
length, but measure, and measure very carefully. Never mind if it takes
time. Learn first to do it right, and practice will soon teach you to do
it more quickly.

The time to make changes in your plans is when you are making the
drawings--particularly the rough preparatory sketches. Making the
drawings will, if you make them complete and accurate, show you what you
know and what you do not know about the subject. _The working drawing
should be complete and final._

Begin the making of sketches and detailed drawings with the first
article you make, no matter how simple it may be. You can go about the
work with confidence, which goes a long way toward success, when you
know that you have thought it out to the end and have it all done on
paper. For practical suggestions about working drawings, see Appendix.

=Laying out the Work.=--Try to get the measurements and lines exact, and
do not be satisfied with coming within an eighth of an inch. You cannot
do good work unless it is laid out right, and cutting exactly to a line
will do no good if the line is in the wrong place. It makes no
difference how accurately you saw off a board if you have marked it half
an inch too short, nor how nicely you make the two parts of a joint if
you have laid them out so that they can not fit together. The work is
spoiled in either case.

Go over all your measurements a second time. It is a good plan to check
them by measuring back in the opposite direction, just as you prove your
addition of a column of figures downward by adding again upward. Nothing
is easier than to make mistakes in measuring. No amount of experience
will prevent the chance of it. It takes but little time to measure
twice, much less time than to correct mistakes--as you will discover
when you cut off a mahogany board five inches too short and have to go
half a mile to the mill and pay a dollar or two for a new piece.

In getting out stock for nice work it is best to make plenty of
allowance for the pranks which expansion and contraction may play with
the pieces (see Appendix). How to arrange the various parts of your work
with regard to this swelling and shrinking, warping and winding, is a
matter of practical importance, for a piece of wood can no more keep
still than an active boy can, and, although its movements do not cause
so widespread havoc as the motions of some boys, you will have to keep a
careful eye on its actions if you wish to turn out good work.

This applies not merely to the way green wood shrinks, as we have
already seen, but particularly to the way _seasoned_ wood acts. Many
people think it is only green wood that causes trouble with wood-work,
but there is much difficulty with dry wood--that is, what we _call_ dry
wood. It never is really absolutely dry, except when it is baked, and
kept baked (see Appendix). The moment you take it out of the kiln or
oven, it begins to take up some of the moisture from the air, as we
have seen, and swells. If the air becomes more damp, the wood sucks in
more moisture and swells more. If the air becomes dryer, it sucks some
moisture from the wood, and the wood becomes dryer and shrinks. It is
thus continually swelling and shrinking, except in situations where the
amount of moisture in the air does not change, or when the wood is
completely water-logged.

"What does such a little thing as that swelling and shrinking amount to?
Use more nails or screws or glue and hold it so tight it cannot move."
Well, it amounts to a good deal sometimes when you cannot open the
drawer where your ball is, or a door or a window, without breaking

       *       *       *       *       *

In the days of high-backed church pews with tall doors to every pew,
each pew door would swell in damp weather, of course, and in continued
dampness the doors of a certain church fitted quite snugly. There was
usually no special trouble, however, for, many of the doors being open,
the pew frames would give way a little so that the closed doors would
open with a slight pull; but if all the doors were shut the whole line
would be so tightly pressed together that it would take the utmost
strength of a man to start a door. Some boys one day catching on to this
idea (though they were not studying wood-work), got into the church one
Sunday morning before service and by using their combined strength
succeeded in closing every door. They then climbed over the top into
their own pew, where they awaited developments, as one after another
sedate churchgoer, after a protracted struggle, finally burst open his
pew door with a ripping squeak or a bang. You will understand that those
boys always remembered the expanding power of wood. I feel sure that I
am not putting any boys up to improper mischief in telling this story,
because pews are not so often made in that way now, and there is slight
danger of their having any chance to try it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Did you ever see stone-workers split big rocks by drilling a row of
holes and driving dry wedges into them and then wetting the wedges, when
the stone will split?[13] Do you think nails or screws or glue will stop
a force which will do that? You cannot prevent the swelling and the
shrinking any more than you can repress a boy's animal spirits. You may
be able to crush the wood, but so long as it remains a sound, natural
board it must swell and shrink.

What shall you do then? Why just the same as with the boy; give it a
reasonable amount of play, and a proper amount of guidance, and there
will be no trouble. You must put your work together so as to allow for
the expansion and contraction which you cannot prevent. You will find
abundant examples, in almost every house, of work which has split or
come apart or warped because proper allowance was not made for this
swelling and shrinking. So try to avoid these errors so common even
among workmen who should know better.

[Illustration Fig. 35.]

For instance, if you were to put cleats on one side of a drawing-board
three feet wide, and were to firmly glue the cleats for their whole
length (Fig. 35),--you sometimes see such things done,--you would
probably not have to wait many weeks before you would hear a report
like a toy pistol, and the cleats would be loosened for at least part of
their length, because of the expansion or contraction of the board.
Similar cases are continually occurring. In such cases the cleats should
be screwed, the screws having play enough in their holes to allow for
the changes in the board (see Appendix).

You must also make plenty of allowance for planing down edges and
surfaces and for the wood wasted by sawing. No rule can be set for these
allowances. If you do not leave enough spare wood, the pieces will
finally come out too small. If you leave too much you will increase the
amount of planing or shaping to be done, but of the two extremes it is
better to err on the side of allowing too much.

A rod (any straight stick), say six feet long, and another ten or twelve
feet long, with feet and inches marked, are very handy to have when
laying out work roughly, or for measuring outdoor work approximately.

Lay out your work from only one edge or one surface of a piece of lumber
unless you are _sure_ the edges or surfaces are exactly parallel. Having
selected the best edge for a "working edge" and the best surface for the
"face," mark them with an X or other mark to avoid mistakes (Fig. 36).
This is quite important in laying out a number of pieces, as before the
stock is accurately worked into shape you cannot usually rely on the
edges being parallel. One mark like a V as shown in Fig. 36 will
indicate both the working edge and the face.

[Illustration FIG. 36.]

=Estimating.=--You must, of course, learn to make your estimates
yourself, often a very important preliminary. Prices vary, and you
cannot always rely on other people's estimates for your own work. It is
a matter of simple arithmetic and of making correct allowance for waste
and incidentals.

You can always get the prices easily. Figure the amount of wood
required, the number of square feet (see page 47) of each kind, or
running feet, as the case may be, and multiply by the price a foot; but
after this comes the allowance for waste, etc., which cannot usually be
figured exactly, but must be estimated.

       *       *       *       *       *

For instance, if you wish to make a double-runner, with a seat ten feet
long, the board from which to make it will very likely be twelve feet
long, in which case you must, of course, buy the whole board. Perhaps
you can use the two feet left over somewhere else on the sled, perhaps
part may be checked or injured.

There is almost always some defective wood (worthless, except for fuel);
some pieces are too short or small to be of use; and very often some
quite good-sized pieces are left over, which, so far as the particular
job is concerned, are waste,--that is, you must buy them in order to get
enough. Such pieces can be used on other work, and are not really wasted
in the end.

Just how much to add to the number of feet to cover waste varies, of
course, with every job. Some people add a fixed per cent. to their
measurements or calculations, which, although not exactly correct for
any one job, strikes an average for a good many. It would not be easy to
state any such per cent. for the varied work you will do, but the main
thing to bear in mind is that you must make a liberal allowance. Just so
with the other materials. Remember to allow for waste and for unforeseen
extras. Even with experienced people things are very apt to cost more
than the estimate.

Make a neat schedule to take to the lumber-yard or mill, specifying the
kinds and dimensions of the stock required.


[13] The peculiarity of the wood is that the water is not simply drawn
in to fill up what we call the pores, as in chalk or any ordinary porous
inorganic substance, but enters into the very fibre of the body, forcing
apart the minute solid particles with an extraordinary force which does
not seem to be fully understood.



If you have a place where you can build a workshop you will find one
described in Part III. If not, try to find a well-lighted shop, both on
account of your eyes and your work; one that is dry, or your tools will
rust and your work be injured; and one that can be heated, for there
will be no time you will wish to use it more than on cold, stormy days.

As a rule, an outbuilding is better than a basement or attic, other
things being equal, because a basement is liable to be damp and dark,
and an attic is bad about carrying materials and finished work up- and
down-stairs. Noise in the top story of a house is usually more
disturbing to the occupants than noise in the basement; but all these
conditions vary in different places.

Have a lock on the door of your workshop, partly to keep small children
from getting cut if they should come in without leave, and partly to
prevent your work being interfered with in your absence and the
edge-tools used for various domestic purposes by your feminine
relatives, who might, in their innocence, mistake your best gouge for a
tack-puller or the quarter-inch chisel for a screw-driver.

Of course you will have overalls and jumper or a work-man's apron made
of denim, ticking, or some strong cloth. If you use an apron, have a
pocket in it. A small slip of a pocket on the outside seam of your
overalls above the right knee is also useful for holding a rule. When
you have a long job of dirty work before you, a good way is to change
your clothes for any "old duds" that you may have. This saves your
clothes, and in warm weather is more comfortable and healthful than to
wear overalls.

[Illustration FIG. 37.]

Your shop can be all fitted up for you by a carpenter, but it will be
better, and better fun, to do it yourself. After the workshop itself is
ready the first important thing is the work-bench.

=The Work-Bench.=--A very simple one (Fig. 37) will answer your purpose
for a long time. When you become a pretty good workman and feel the need
of something better (for a first-class bench with the best attachments
is really a great help toward doing good work), you will still find this
first simple affair very useful in some part of your shop.[14] There is
no need of a bench being made of stock of exactly the dimensions given,
so if you have a pile of boards and joists to draw from without buying,
you can, of course, substitute other-sized pieces, provided you use
stock heavy enough to make a firm bench. Heavier legs and top (front
board) would be better, and in fact _there is little danger of making a
bench too solid_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning to work read carefully _Marking_, _Square_, _Rule_,
_Saw_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

The design is for a small bench, 5' 10" long, 2' wide, and 2' 6" high. A
larger one can be made on the same principle.[15]

You will require for stock:

    1 piece of 3" X 4" joist 10' long.
    1 board, 7/8" thick, planed, 12" wide, 12' long.
    1   "     "     "      "     10"  "    12'  "
    1   "     "     "      "     10"  "     6'  "
    1 plank, 1-1/2" or 2" thick, planed, 5" or 6" wide, 2' 9" long.
    1 strip, 1/2" to 7/8" thick, 3" or 4" wide, 15" long.

Pine is good, and almost any cheap wood can be used. Hemlock is not very
suitable, unless for the legs. Spruce is cheaper than pine or whitewood,
and can be used for economy, but is prone to warp and twist and should
be thoroughly nailed.

First make the legs and fasten them together. To do this, take the joist
and lay it on two boxes or old chairs (Fig. 38), which you can use
temporarily for horses, until you make a pair. See whether either end is
cut off squarely. If neither is, mark a line by the square a short
distance (perhaps half an inch, according to the condition of the end of
the joist) from one end, on one side of the joist. Carry this line
around the joist by applying the square to each side successively, and
saw off the waste end with the cross-cutting saw. Having one end square,
measure from that end 2' 5" and mark a line around the joist as before.
Saw this piece off, and using it as a measure (but not as a square),
mark and saw off three more pieces. These are for the legs.

[Illustration FIG. 38.]

[Illustration FIG. 39.]

Next, from the short 10" board, mark and cut off two pieces 1' 10-1/4"
long in the same manner (Fig. 39), seeing first that the end from which
you begin to measure is square. You do not need to mark the under side
of the boards, but only the top and the edges. Now square a line 1" from
each end of each of these short boards, and start three nails on each of
the lines by driving them nearly through the board (Fig. 40). (See
_Nailing_.) Next, place the end of one of these boards on the narrow
side of one of the legs, and, holding it firmly in position, nail it
securely to the leg. You must take pains to keep the leg and the
cross-piece "square." Nail only one nail first and then adjust, testing
with the try-square before driving the other nails (Fig. 41). Then nail
the other end to another leg, and repeat the process with the other
board and the remaining legs. This will give two frames like Fig. 42.

[Illustration FIG. 40.]

[Illustration FIG. 41.]

[Illustration FIG. 42.]

[Illustration FIG. 43.]

[Illustration FIG. 44.]

[Illustration FIG. 45.]

Next, fasten the sides to the legs. Take the 10" board and mark and
saw off two pieces 5' 10" long in the same way as before (Fig. 43). At
distances of 7" and 12" from each end of each board, mark lines across
the side with the square and start nails between these lines (Fig. 44).
Then, fitting these lines at the outside edges of the legs, nail the
sides securely to the legs, as shown in Fig. 45. But drive only one
nail through into each leg at first, until you are sure that the frame
is coming together square and true throughout. Test the angles with the
square. Stand the frame on as level a surface as you can find and sight
across the top endways and crossways to see if either corner sticks up
or down. If the top is not true, twist the frame enough to make it so,
which you can easily do if you have but one nail in each corner. When
the top is true and the legs at right angles, drive in the rest of the
nails (Fig. 45). Be sure to test the top for winding, as just said (see
Part V.), rather than to trust to the way the legs stand on the floor.
Floors are often uneven, and the legs may not be cut exactly the same
length. Make the top true and the legs can easily be made to fit the
floor afterwards. The piece of 10" board left over you can fit to slip
in between the sides, as in Fig. 45. If you nail through the sides and
top into this piece, it will stiffen the bench. In making a long bench
after this pattern, it is well to insert a few pieces of plank or joist
between the sides in this manner.

[Illustration FIG. 46.]

[Illustration FIG. 47.]

[Illustration FIG. 48.]

Next, put on the top. Cut two lengths of 5' 10" from the 12" board. Lay
them in position, square lines across as guides for the nails (as
before), and nail them down to the legs and cross-boards. Also drive
carefully a few nails at the edge down into the sides of the bench. Sink
all the nail-heads well below the surface (as much as 1/8") with the
nail-set (see _Nail-Set_).

       *       *       *       *       *

A better bench can be made by using a plank (say a 2" plank, planed) for
the front of the top (Figs. 46, 47, 48). This bench with plank front is
much better than the common carpenter's bench just described, and the
difference in expense is but slight. It is easier to do good work on, as
it is stiffer, steadier, and much better to pound on.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of course a thicker plank can be used if available. Hard wood is best.
Maple is excellent for a bench-top. Take particular care to select a
good sound plank, from the centre of the tree if you can (see Chapter
III.), as straight and free from winding as possible, and have it planed
so as to be straight and true. This can easily be done at any properly
equipped planing-mill.

To make this bench with a plank in front, you can proceed exactly as
with the bench just described, except that the front legs should be as
much shorter than those at the back as the plank you have is thicker
than the 7/8" board used for the top of the bench just described. That
is, if your plank is 1-7/8" thick the front legs should be 1" shorter
than the back ones. Pieces must be cut out of the cross-boards in order
that the top may be even (Fig. 46).

The simplest way, however, is to make the bench just like the preceding
one until you come to the top. Then, after putting on the front plank,
raise the back top-board to be flush with the plank, instead of lowering
the plank to be flush with the board. You can do this by putting small
pieces of board of the required thickness under the back part of the top
(Fig. 47).

Some workmen prefer having the back board of the bench top lower than
the front by an inch or so, with a strip fastened on the back, and
sometimes at each end, so as to be level with the top of the front
plank, thus forming a sort of tray (Fig. 48) where tools, nails, small
bits of work, etc., can remain when in use, keeping the front plank
clear for the actual operations. The work, if large, can be rested on
the back strip as well as the front part, both being on a level.

The bench can be all filled up underneath with shelves, drawers,
cupboards, compartments, or in any way that you wish, but at first, and
for a simple bench like this, it is as well to have only one shelf, as
shown in the frontispiece. You can easily put this shelf in after the
bench is put together. You can tell better whether you want drawers and
compartments after you have worked for some time and wish to make a more
complete bench.

       *       *       *       *       *

A nice bench should, of course, be built independently of the
shop,--that is, be complete in itself, so that it can be readily moved.
But a common bench can sometimes be best built against the wall, using
the side of the building to support the back. Sometimes one or both of
the ends of the bench can be advantageously carried to the walls of the
room, thus requiring legs only in the middle or at one end. But such
arrangements are not to be advised if you are likely to wish to move the
bench before you have used it enough to pay for making it.

[Illustration FIG. 49.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Figure 49 is merely suggestive. The process of construction is the same
as already shown, except that you omit some of the legs and the back
side-board, a saving sufficient to allow you to use a plank for the
front of the top. As the floor is likely to be uneven, you can first saw
the posts a little too long, stand them in line, stretch a cord or a
chalk-line (see _Chalk-Line_) along the line of the front edge of the
bench at the proper height for the tops of the posts, cut the posts off
where this line crosses them, nail on one end of the cross-boards at
right angles, and then fasten the other end to the wall-studding,
sighting and testing to have the top straight and true, as in the case
of the bench already described. If instead of vertical studding the
joists of the wall run horizontally (as is often the case), you can
easily nail cleats on the wall if there is no horizontal timber at the
right height to nail to.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration FIG. 50.]

=Bench-Vise.=--The kinds shown in Figs. 50, 56, 57, though not as good
as some more improved forms, are in common use by carpenters, and will
answer your purpose very well for ordinary work--until you get to the
point of building a first-class bench.

       *       *       *       *       *

At a distance of about 14" from the end of the bench and in the middle
of the side board mark the point _a_ (Fig. 45). Bore a hole at this
point (see _Boring_) if you have a bit a trifle larger than the screw of
the vise. If not, using this point as a centre, describe a circle (see
_Compasses_) with a diameter a trifle greater than that of the vise
screw, and remove the wood within the circle (see _Boring_ and
_Paring_.) Now take the piece of 1-1/2" or 2" plank which is to make the
movable jaw of the vise, and mark a line lengthways along the centre of
each side (Fig. 51). At a distance of about 8" from one end mark a point
upon this centre line and make a hole for the vise screw as before. The
nut for the screw must now be fastened in position on the inner side of
the bench, the vise screw passed through the movable jaw and the side
board, and the handle plate fastened upon the face of the jaw.

[Illustration FIG. 51.]

[Illustration FIG. 52.]

You can now open and close the vise by the screw, but the movable jaw
needs to be made steady and the end projects above the top of the bench.
Screw the vise tight together and slide the movable jaw around until it
is in the position shown in Fig. 52, when the centre line on the back
side of the jaw will cross the edge of the leg a few inches from the
floor, according to the width of the jaw and the degree of slant given
it. When the jaw is in this position, mark from the back side the lines
indicated in Fig. 52, and saw off the projecting ends of the jaw by
these lines, which will give the shape shown in Figs. 37 and 50.

Next take the small strip, and marking points upon its side as shown in
Fig. 53, bore holes with a 3/8" or 1/2" bit. Screw the end of the strip
to the edge of the movable jaw (being careful to get it at right angles
with the vertical edge of the jaw), as shown in Figs. 50 and 53 (see
_Screws_). Just above and below where this strip crosses the post of the
bench nail small blocks (a trifle thicker than the strip) so that it
will pass easily between them. Cover these with a longer piece, making a
slot, as shown in Fig. 53, through which the strip can slide freely. If
the two blocks are no thicker than the strip, you can put pieces of
paste-board between them and the post to make the slot wide enough to
let the strip slide through freely. Fit a pin or piece of dowel to the
holes in the strip. The use of these holes and the pin is to keep the
face of the jaw approximately parallel to the side of the bench.
Contrivances for this purpose can be bought. After the jaw is all
fitted, bevel or round the edge on the face side at the top (see
_Bevelling_), and you can also bevel or round all the front edges if you
wish. The vise is now in working order.[16]

[Illustration FIG. 53.]

[Illustration FIG. 54. RIGHT.]

[Illustration FIG. 55. WRONG.]

[Illustration FIG. 56.]

The important point with this vise (and in fact with any vise) is to
have the inside surface of the jaw parallel with the surface of the side
of the bench, so that the wood will be pressed equally at all points,
else it will slip just when you wish it to be securely held. Be sure
that the vise is not open more at the top than at the bottom (see Figs.
54 and 55).

[Illustration FIG. 57.]

[Illustration FIG. 58.]

[Illustration FIG. 59.]

The holes bored in the side of the bench are to support the end of a
long board (Fig. 50).

If you cannot afford to buy a vise, or have to work where there is none,
there are a number of makeshifts with which you can get along quite
well, though not as rapidly or conveniently.

Carpenters often nail a piece on the side of the bench (Fig. 60), which
holds boards for planing fairly well, for common work, but tends to
bruise the ends of the boards a little against the cleat, and requires a
knife, or something, driven in at the other end of the boards to hold
them with any degree of security. Another cheap substitute is shown in
Fig. 61. This holds boards of regular sizes quite well. Thin pieces can
be held tighter by wedging, as shown.

[Illustration FIG. 60.]

[Illustration FIG. 61.]

[Illustration FIG. 62.]

[Illustration FIG. 63.]

Another simple contrivance, and more of a vise, is easily made by boring
a couple of holes in a board, say 6" wide and 12" long, and screwing it
loosely to the side of the bench (Fig. 62), making the holes in the
board larger than the diameter of the screws so that it will be free to
play. By inserting the piece to be held in the end and double wedging
the opposite end (Fig. 63) the piece will be held fairly well (see
_Wedges_). For thin boards, blocks can be inserted to make the jaw
parallel with the side of the bench. An upright vise made on this
principle is often used to hold saws for filing.

If you can find an old wooden hand-screw, you can use one jaw (sawing
off the ends if necessary) for the nut to go inside of the bench,
leaving the other for the movable jaw, using one screw to tighten or
loosen the vise and the other to keep the jaw parallel with the side of
the bench. You will require no description to contrive something of
this sort. Vises on somewhat this principle can be bought, attachable
and detachable at will.

[Illustration FIG. 64.]

[Illustration FIG. 65.]

The jaw in Fig. 64 can be hinged upon the strip at the bottom and the
latter fastened to the side of the bench. The jaw can then be tightened
or loosened by the screw. This gives a square grip only when the jaw is
vertical (Fig. 65). You can put in blocks, however. The longer the jaw
the less objectionable the slanting grip becomes, of course.

Always try to devise some such expedients, which you can think up for
yourself, when you are without the regular appliances, for even a poor
vise is better than to hold pieces in the hand or to push them against
chairs or tables or the wall.

       *       *       *       *       *

For nice work by far the _best vise of moderate cost_ is that shown in
Fig. 143, which has been in use for a long time by wood-workers of the
better class.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are a number of excellent iron vises (some with jaws of wood, and
also with an "instantaneous grip"). Some of them are admirable, but
quite costly compared with the common screw.

You can work quite well with a good-sized common iron vise by fitting
wooden blocks or leather or rubber to the inside of the jaws, to save
marring your wood-work, though a regular vise for wood is much to be

       *       *       *       *       *

Bear in mind when doing work that requires to be held at unusual angles,
or in fashioning odd-shaped pieces, that you can usually get the angle
or position required by a combination of hand-screws or clamps with the
bench-vise as suggested in Figs. 66 and 67.

[Illustration FIG. 66.]

[Illustration FIG. 67.]

[Illustration FIG. 68.]

[Illustration FIG. 69.]

[Illustration FIG. 70.]

=Bench-Stop.=--You must have something on the forward end of the
bench-top to push your work against for planing and other operations. A
simple and good way is to use one or two stout screws (Fig. 68). These
can be screwed in so as to project about a quarter of an inch, which
will answer for the greater part of your work, and the height can be
changed when necessary with the screw-driver. The heads of the screws
will be sharp enough to hold the work, and a stop of this kind will
answer your purpose very well for common work. The wooden stop (Fig. 69)
has the advantage of not making any nicks in the end of the wood, which
is important in nice work, such as furniture, but for common work screws
are just as good, except that, as they are left permanently sticking
from the bench, you may dull your tools against them or scar your work.
This applies to a common bench. Of course for a really nice bench with a
tail-screw the regular stops should be used (Fig. 143).

       *       *       *       *       *

Carpenters sometimes nail a small piece of board, with a V-shaped notch
at one end, to the top of the bench to hold boards or joist for planing
on the edge (Fig. 70). Simply nailing a strip across the end of the
bench (Fig. 71), and setting the nails well in, will do to push boards
against for planing for common work.

[Illustration FIG. 71.]

[Illustration FIG. 72.]

[Illustration FIG. 73.]

Iron contrivances (which can be raised or lowered) can be bought for a
small sum and are convenient for common work, especially for thin
pieces. Sink them deeply enough in the bench-top so that when lowered
nothing will project to injure the tools or the work.

The old-fashioned bench-stop shown in Fig. 69 consists merely of a
square stick of hard wood, one or two inches square, fitted quite
tightly to a hole in the top of the bench, so that it will slide up or
down by a blow from the mallet or hammer. This stop will not damage the
work or the tools. To make the mortise for this bench-stop, see
_Mortising_. Take care to keep within the lines, so as not to make the
hole too big. You can easily make it larger if too small.

The stop should fit tightly and should be set with a very slight slant
toward the work (Fig. 72),--that is, the mortise should be cut slightly
slanting. The stop should be of hard wood, such as maple. If the top of
the bench is only of board thickness, screw cleats of hard wood on the
under side to give more bearing surface (Fig. 73), or the continued
pushing against the stop will be liable to get the hole out of shape so
that the stop will slant the wrong way, when the work will be apt to
slip or, in case of a thin board, jump over the stop (Fig. 74). If the
stop wears loose in the hole, a saw kerf is sometimes made lengthways in
one side and a bent piece of springy wire inserted, or a flat spring
fastened on the side (Fig. 75). A loose stop can easily be wedged
(preferably from underneath), and it is sometimes made loose on
purpose, the wedging tightening the stop and at the same time giving the
required slant (Fig. 72). An iron plate with teeth can be screwed on top
of a wooden stop (Fig. 76), or a screw can be inserted (Fig. 77).

[Illustration FIG. 74.]

[Illustration FIG. 75.]

[Illustration FIG. 76.]

[Illustration FIG. 77.]

Two strips, like Fig. 78, can be nailed or screwed on the top of the
bench so as to separate V-fashion (Fig. 79). Two wedges, like Fig. 80,
can then be made of such a taper that when fitted between the strips
their inner faces will be parallel. By tapping in the wedges on each
side of the work to be held (Fig. 79), it will be securely fastened
without injury. If the inside edges of the strips and the outside edges
of the wedges are slightly bevelled, which you can do with a plane or a
knife, the wedges cannot jump out of place. The best way to fit this
contrivance is to make the wedges first, place them in position on the
bench with the square sides inside (facing each other), and then fasten
the fixed strips outside of them. Pushing the work tends to tighten this
vise. This is much better for permanent use than the notched board shown
in Fig. 70. If you have a good vise you will not often have occasion to
use such contrivances, but they are sometimes useful as makeshifts.

[Illustration FIG. 78.]

[Illustration FIG. 79.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The top of a good bench should be as true and as smooth as possible (see
_Plane_ and _Scraper_). Rub it with linseed oil, wipe it off with a rag,
and after a few days give it a couple of coats of shellac (see

[Illustration FIG. 80.]

You should place your bench so that when you stand at it you will face
the light and not have it come from behind you. If it can come from the
forward end of the bench and also from behind the bench, as shown in the
frontispiece, it will be best, for a cross-light is often very useful,
not merely that you may have light enough, but also that when testing
your work with the try-square, straight-edge, and the like, any
inaccuracy may be detected by the light passing through the crack
between the testing tool and the work, and also when sighting by the eye
alone. Fasten the bench firmly to the floor (and wall if you can) with
screws, cleats, or L irons.[17]

Avoid chopping on the bench top or whittling it or boring holes or
marring it by saw-cuts or chisel-marks. Do not use paint, varnish, or
glue at the bench if you can help it. If necessary to do so, clean the
bench-top carefully when you get through. Lumps of hardened glue will
hinder you and deface your work.

[Illustration FIG. 81.]

=Filing-Bench.=--You cannot do much of such varied wood-work as you will
undertake without having to do a good deal of metal work. It is a poor
plan to do such work at the vise you use for your wood-work, or even at
the same bench. It scars and defaces the wooden vise and the bench, and
the particles of metal are bad for your wood-work and for the tools. It
is much better to have another bench--if nothing more than a wide shelf
or a box--for such work (Fig. 81). You will find suggestions in the

An _iron_ vise is the proper thing for holding metal. There are many
different kinds at various prices, but one of the simple patterns will
probably answer every purpose. If you have room for only one bench this
vise can be put at the back part of one end.

[Illustration FIG. 82.]

[Illustration FIG. 83.]

[Illustration FIG. 84.]

A small vise can be made of a hand-screw, the hand-screw itself being
held in any desired position in the large bench-vise, but metal jaws are
better for working on metal. You can make a rough sort of vise for
metal-work with a piece of stout board or plank (Fig. 82). Find a couple
of pieces of iron with screw holes, as you can probably do in a pile of
waste iron junk, and screw them on the board and the bench to form metal
jaws. The vise can be tightened or loosened by means of a big screw or
bolt; or the board can be loosely fastened in the middle and tightened
by wedging below (Fig. 83). A screw with a handle to turn it by and a
nut for the thread is better, of course. Another form, such as you will
find in use by leather-workers, can be easily made (Fig. 84), and works
with the foot, the connection between the jaw and the treadle being made
by a strap or rope. You can make a vise in some of these ways that will
answer quite well for most of the metal-work you will have to do for
some time, although such contrivances are less reliable and less
convenient than a regular iron vise.

An _anvil_ is often useful and is sometimes combined with a vise. It
should have a flat steel surface and also a tapering rounded (conical)
point. An old flat-iron does quite well. You can easily find some way to
keep it in position on the filing-bench. You should have some sort of
anvil, even if nothing better than a junk of old iron (which you can of
course find somewhere), for you will be continually wanting to
straighten nails, bend wire, and pound pieces of metal. Try to find a
flat plate of thick sheet iron--1/4" thick if you can--to fasten on the
top of the filing-bench (Fig. 81). It is very handy for many anvil
uses, straightening metal and nails, and for much pounding.

=Finishing-Bench.=--Have also a finishing-bench (Fig. 91) if
possible,--if nothing more than a shelf or box,--to keep the regular
work-bench neat and clean for its proper uses, for even a skilful
workman can hardly avoid making a mess when it comes to using paint and

       *       *       *       *       *

Now, while there are many of you who can afford either singly or by two
or three clubbing together to fix up a shop in first-rate style, there
are also many who cannot afford even so cheap a bench as that just
described. What can you do in such a case? Only one thing--patch up a
bench out of whatever old stuff you can find. Patched-up makeshifts are
not to be recommended, except in case of necessity, but when it comes to
the pinch, and a matter of having a bench made of whatever old materials
you can find or having no bench at all, by all means make one of boxes
and anything that can be worked in. For of course the boats, skis,
squirrel-houses, and so on, _must_ be made!

But, whatever you patch up, make it solid and strong. Do not try to work
at a rickety, shackly apology for a bench that shakes and jumps and
sidles all over the room every time you saw or pound or plane. You can
probably get all you need in the way of boxes, packing-cases, and such
material, at very little or no expense. The illustrations (Figs. 85 and
86) are merely suggestions, for you must use your own ingenuity,
according to the materials you can find. Most experienced workmen have
often been obliged to work at much worse benches than these, frequently
with no bench at all.

[Illustration FIG. 85.]

[Illustration FIG. 86.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Those of the boxes which you do not use whole you should take apart
carefully (see _Withdrawing Nails_). This will add to your supply of
nails. Use nails freely in fastening the boxes and boards together and
to the wall or floor wherever allowable. A few screws will add much

The bench shown in Fig. 86 calls for one good board for the front of the

       *       *       *       *       *

Some of you live in the crowded parts of the city, in flats or small
houses where there is no possible chance for a shop of any kind.
Whatever wood-work you can do must be carried on in the kitchen, or some
other living-room, where even a small bench may be out of the question.
Still you would like to make such small work--model boats, for
instance--as can be carried on in such limited quarters. If you are
forced to use the kitchen table for a bench, try, for the first thing,
to brace or block or screw it to make it steady, for unsteadiness is the
greatest hindrance to doing good work at such a bench.

[Illustration FIG. 87.]

[Illustration FIG. 88.]

       *       *       *       *       *

You can fit a good board to the table-top with cleats, and a stop to
hold the work (Fig. 87). If you can now get a common iron vise, you can
get along quite well for small work, and the board and attachments can
be quickly taken off and put away when the table is needed for domestic
purposes. You can easily contrive some way to attach wooden pieces or
leather or rubber to the inside of the jaws of the vise, to save marring
your wood-work. A fairly good bench can often be made from an old table
(as a kitchen table) by screwing a plank on top and a board on the front
side, and bracing the legs (Fig. 88). The plank should be screwed on
from underneath.

If you can get hold of an old bureau or chest of drawers you can arrange
a serviceable and compact little "parlour shop" for small work. If you
cannot fasten permanent attachments to the bureau, you can fit a
removable board (Fig. 87), and you will be equipped for such work as can
be suitably done under such circumstances--and that includes quite a
long list of small things. The drawers can be fitted with compartments
and trays, according to what you have to keep in them and your own
ingenuity, but make the arrangement _simple_. Figs. 89 and 90 are merely

[Illustration FIG. 89.]

[Illustration FIG. 90.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The best way to arrange your tools and supplies depends somewhat upon
the circumstances, but the main point is to have the _most convenient_
place for each thing and always to _keep_ it in that place when not in
use. The first part of this proposition is almost as important as the
last. It is nearly as bad as being disorderly to keep the glue-pot in
one corner of the shop, the glue in another corner, the glue-brush in
the third corner, and the water in the fourth,--which is no exaggeration
of the way some very orderly people stow away things, and is about equal
to the arrangement of the person, of whom you may have heard, who always
kept everything in its place and that place the floor! The workshop
interior shown in the frontispiece and in Figs. 91 and 92, and the
various other illustrations, furnish suggestions which may help you in
the arrangement of your shop.

[Illustration FIG. 91.]

Have everything where you can lay your hand on it in the least possible
time, the tools used the most the nearest to you, tools that go
together, as bit-brace and bits, kept near together. Have all the common
tools right within reach, and not put away in chests and out-of-the-way
drawers, just because you have seen somebody pack away his tools in a
highly polished chest, inlaid with forty kinds of wood, and containing
ninety-three separate compartments and trays and seven secret drawers,
the whole cornered and strapped and decorated with shining nickel plate!
Do not be dazzled by that sort of thing, which is not an evidence of
true system and orderliness, but merely shows poor taste and a great
lack of appreciation of the value and importance of time. Time may not
be exactly money in your case, but it may be even more valuable, and
can be spent much better than in running around after tools and
supplies, and making ingenious tool-chests. To be practical, five
minutes a day saved by having things convenient and in place means about
_twenty-five hours_ in a year--which means a boat, a sled, or a lot of
Christmas presents. So study out the best arrangement for your
particular shop and then keep things in order. When working keep only
the tools in actual use lying around on the bench. As soon as you are
done with a tool for the operations actually in hand, put it back in
place, and so avoid the confused litter seen in so many shops.

[Illustration FIG. 92.]

Hang _saws_ against the wall on pegs, or nails, or at the end of the
bench. Hang all tools which you put on the wall well above the bench, to
be out of the way.

Lay _planes_ on their sides or ends, for obvious reasons, or arrange a
little block to raise one end of the plane slightly from the surface of
the bench or shelf. The last way is usually more convenient than to lay
the plane on its side or end. Keep planes either at the back of the
bench or against the wall, or on a shelf under the front of the bench.

Such tools as _squares_, _bit-braces_, and the like are usually most
accessible on the wall, in some such arrangement as shown in the
frontispiece. A convenient way to arrange such tools as _chisels_,
_gouges_, and the like, is to keep them in racks either against the wall
or fastened to the back edge of the bench, according to circumstances.
Keep each tool in a particular place in the rack and you will soon learn
to reach for it instinctively without any waste of time.

[Illustration FIG. 93.]

_Bits_ can be kept in a drawer or box, care being taken to arrange them
in racks or between partitions, or they can be stuck on end in the racks
at the back of the bench. A good way is to stick each bit point
downwards in a hole bored by itself. Various forms of _tool-racks_,
which you can easily arrange for yourself, are suggested in Fig. 93.

[Illustration FIG. 94.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Fig. 94 shows a rack to fit on the back of the bench, an excellent way,
in common use with movable benches. Get a board, say 3" or 4" wide and
the length of the bench, a strip from 1/4" to 1/2" thick, perhaps 1"
wide, and the length of the bench, and a strip 1/2" thick, perhaps 1"
wide, and perhaps two thirds of the length of the bench. Saw from this
last strip a number of blocks from 1" to 2" long. Arrange these along
the top edge of the board, according to the kinds and sizes of the
tools, as shown in Fig. 95. Then lay the long strip on them (Fig. 96)
and nail it through each block with wire nails long enough to reach
perhaps two thirds through the large strip. You can put this rack
together by first nailing at each end. Then all the intermediate blocks
can easily be fitted in place and nailed one at a time. The whole can
then be screwed to the back of the bench so that the tools will be at
the back (Fig. 94). You can make part of this rack solid and bore small
holes of various sizes for bits, gimlets, nail-sets, and such tools,
which would drop through the larger spaces. Good metal tool-racks and
holders can be bought, but the home-made ones answer every purpose.

[Illustration FIG. 95.]

[Illustration FIG. 96.]

[Illustration FIG. 97.]

[Illustration FIG. 98.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The large _steel square_ can be hung very well with nails or small
blocks of wood bevelled toward the wall (Fig. 97). For the _try-square_
nail a rectangular block against the wall (Fig. 98). A smaller block
nailed in front will hold another smaller square. Slanting saw-kerfs in
another block will hold _scrapers_ (Fig. 99). Always keep your
_oil-stones_ in shallow boxes for protection from dirt. You can easily
make one, or cut a depression in a block to fit the stone, with another
for a cover. Fasten one end of your _strop_ to a strip of thin board
(Fig. 100) with a hole by which to hang it. You can then use the strop
lying flat on the board or loose in your hand for curved edges.

[Illustration FIG. 99.]

[Illustration FIG. 100.]

Do not keep _nails_ and _screws_ after the usual domestic fashion,--all
sizes, shapes, and kinds mixed up promiscuously with a lot of metal
rubbish and carpet tacks in some old box or pail. You will waste twice
as much time trying to find what you want as it takes to keep them in
separate boxes, or trays with divisions. A good way is to use either
small open boxes or flat open boxes with divisions, so that they can be
reached as conveniently as possible. Tin boxes or canisters or pails (of
various sizes), such as cocoa, coffee, lard, and such substances come
in, are good. Put labels on them and arrange them neatly in some
accessible place, as on a shelf over or at the end of your bench, or in
a cupboard or a drawer.

Keep scrap boxes for old pieces of metal (iron, brass, etc., in separate
boxes), so that you will know just where to look for what you want. Keep
a brush for cleaning off the bench and the work, a broom for the floor,
and a box for shavings, sawdust, and chips.

Any workman is liable to cut or pound his fingers, so have a small box
in a handy place with some neatly rolled bandages of cloth, some
surgeon's plaster, and a bottle of witch-hazel (_hamamelis_) or some
other preparation for cuts or bruises. In case of a bruise, or if you
pound your nail, put your finger at once in as hot water as you can
bear. Do not, as is often done, put glue on a cut, because of danger of
infection, for the glue is made, as you know, from animal refuse and is
not always in a pure state.

Do not leave oily rags lying around in your shop to get wadded into a
pile in some corner and catch fire by spontaneous combustion. Either put
them in the stove at once, or, if you want to keep a few, put them in a
stone jar or covered tin box. Matches should always be kept in a
covered metal box in a wood-working shop.

Lay in a supply of strips, waste junks, and odd pieces of wood, which
you can usually get at any shop at little or no expense. They will be
very useful until you accumulate a stock from your own work.

=Chopping-Block.=--A good solid chopping-block is a great convenience,
so watch for a chance to get a section of a tree, which you can often do
when one is felled.

=Straight-Edge.=--You should have at least one; two are very useful--one
two or three feet long and another five or six feet long. Making them is
simply a matter of skill in planing. When you can plane well enough make
some yourself of well seasoned, straight-grained white pine or mahogany,
or other wood which holds its shape well. Until you can do it
_accurately_, however, get some good workman to make one, for a
straight-edge that cannot be relied on is really worse than none at all.
(See _Straight-edge._)

=Bench-Hook.=--The bench-hook (Fig. 101) is very useful to hold work
firmly for sawing, planing, etc., and also saves some marring of the
bench-top. Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_,
_Square_, _Saw_, and _Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other

[Illustration FIG. 101.]

[Illustration FIG. 102.]

[Illustration FIG. 103.]

Take a board, say 15" long x 6" wide, of some good wood like white pine,
making both ends square. The surface should be planed true (see _Truing
Surfaces_). With the square mark the line _a b_ (Fig. 102) accurately,
say 2" (or the width of any blocks you may already have for the end
cleats) from each end, but on opposite sides. The cleats _c_ (Fig. 101)
must be true and the edges square. Bore the holes in the cleats with a
bit a little _larger_ than the screws (see _Boring_). Hold the cleats
exactly in place at the cross-line _a b_ and start holes in the board
with a gimlet or bit a little _smaller_ than the screws. Countersink the
holes (see _Countersink_). Use screws long enough to get a good hold on
the board but not long enough to go through it. If board and cleat are
each 7/8" thick, 1-1/2" screws will be suitable. Screw _one_ of the
middle screws in each cleat firmly to a bearing (see _Screws_), keeping
the cleat as nearly on the line as possible. Adjust each cleat exactly
in place, in case it has slipped, hold it firmly, and drive the
remaining screws. Before screwing on one of the cleats mark a line
around it in the middle with the square, as shown in Fig. 103, marking
first across the edge _o_ (against which the work is to be pressed),
from that line squaring across the top, and then across the outer edge.
After this cleat is screwed on, carefully saw it in two exactly on the
line. By letting the saw run in the kerf thus made, you can cut pieces
off square. Sometimes one cleat is made shorter, so that you can saw
clear through a piece without damage to the bench (Fig. 104). See
_Mitre-board_, page 92. Two bench-hooks are useful for long work.

[Illustration FIG. 104.]

       *       *       *       *       *

=Horses or Trestles.=--These are to lay stock on for marking and
sawing, to put large work together on, and are convenient for various
uses (Fig. 105).

[Illustration FIG. 105.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, and
_Saw_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

The proper height for your horses, as for the bench, depends somewhat on
your own height, and may be anywhere from 18" to 2' 3". Experiment with
boxes to find the most convenient height. If too low, you will have to
stoop over too much. If too high, it will be awkward to rest your knee
on a board, to saw, and to fit work together.

[Illustration FIG. 106.]

If you have a piece of fairly good joist, from 1-1/2" × 3" to 3" × 6",
you can use it for the tops of your horses. Saw off two pieces from 2'
to 3' long. Mark the best sides for the top. Mark each end like Fig. 106
(showing top and bottom) with the pencil, measuring carefully so that
the bevel or slant will be the same for both legs (see _Bevel_). Holding
the work in the vise, with saw alone or saw and chisel remove the pieces
marked, so that the end will have the shape shown in Fig. 107. If you
use the chisel, look out for the direction of the grain at each corner
and cut well outside of the line, until you find which way to push the
tool in each case (see _Paring_, etc.). Trim these cuts as accurately to
the lines as you can. Get out eight pieces for legs, of such a length
that the horses will be of the height decided on. First make them all of
a width, then saw one piece off the right length and mark the others by
it--not each new piece by the one last marked. Nail or screw these legs
in place with 2" nails or 1-3/4" screws, keeping the inner edges of the
tops of the legs even with the tops of the horses (Fig. 108). See
_Nailing_ and _Screws_, and look out for splitting. Get out the
cross-braces of board and saw the ends at a bevel to correspond with the
slant intended for the legs. See that the ends of these cross-braces are
cut at the same bevel. Use the bevel if you have one. If not, first
square each end with the square and pencil, and then measure carefully
equal distances on one edge before drawing the slanting lines (Fig.
109). Nail or screw these on (Fig. 110), adjusting the legs to the
bevels just cut. Saw or plane off the projecting ends of the legs on
top. If you plane, do so both ways to avoid splintering (see _Plane_).

[Illustration FIG. 107.]

[Illustration FIG. 108.]

[Illustration FIG. 109.]

[Illustration FIG. 110.]

[Illustration FIG. 111.]

Now stand the horses on their legs (Fig. 111). If they _should_ happen
to stand firmly and evenly, see first if it is not due to unevenness of
the floor. If the floor is true, and they stand steadily in different
positions, you can throw up your caps, for you will have beaten the
average workman. To make them stand evenly, see _Scribing_,
_Winding-sticks_, etc., in Part V. Make the tops of the horses as smooth
as you can. Scrape them and _keep_ them scraped (see _Scraper_), for you
will be continually dropping glue or varnish on them, to harden and
deface your nice, smooth work. Wipe them off as carefully as the
bench-top. These easily made horses will answer your purpose for a long

[Illustration FIG. 112.]

[Illustration FIG. 113.]

[Illustration FIG. 114.]

[Illustration FIG. 115.]

       *       *       *       *       *

=Mitre-Box.=--Great care is necessary to make an accurate wooden
mitre-box (Fig. 116), although the process is simple. Do not make it of
spruce or any wood liable to warp or twist. Pine or mahogany is good.
Use stock from a middle board if you can (see Chapter III.). A mitre-box
can be of any desired size.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
and _Plane_, and look up any other references.

A good size is from 1' to 2' long and from 3" to 6" square (inside),
according to the work for which it is to be used, and of stock 7/8"
thick. The pieces must be prepared with care, so that the edges shall be
square and the surfaces true, particularly on the inside, for when the
box is put together the sides must be parallel and square throughout
with the bottom, on the _inside_. Test each piece with the square. Use
care in screwing the sides to the bottom to keep them exactly in place
(see _Screws_). Nails can be used, but screws are better. Lay out the
lines for the sawing from the _inside_, with the steel square if you
have one, or with the end of the tongue of the try-square. Mark the line
_a_ on the inside of the side _x_ (Fig. 117), squaring from the bottom.
Mark the point _b_ at a distance from _a_ just equal to the distance
between the sides. Square a line at this point from the bottom, on the
inside as before. Carry this line across to the side _y_, squaring from
the inner surface of the side _x_, and mark the point _c_ on the inner
side of the side _y_. Also from the point _c_ draw a vertical line on
the inside of _y_ corresponding to the line _a_. Carefully mark the line
_g h_, which will give the mitre. The lines should be laid out from the
inside, because it is against the inside surfaces that the pieces to be
cut in the mitre-box will bear.

[Illustration FIG. 116.]

[Illustration FIG. 117.]

[Illustration FIG. 118.]

Another way is to square a line _m n_ (Fig. 118) across the top side of
the bottom piece, before putting together, and to lay off from one end
of this line a point _o_ on the edge, at a distance equal to the width
of the bottom, thus fixing the points _m_, _n_, and _o_. Next fasten on
the sides, square upright lines on the inside of one side from the point
_m_ and on the inside of the other side from the point _o_. The diagonal
line _pq_ (Fig. 119) will represent the mitre.

[Illustration FIG. 119.]

[Illustration FIG. 120.]

The cuts for the saw to run in should be made with a back-saw or a
panel-saw. In a similar manner square on the inside two upright lines
opposite each other, draw a line across the tops of the sides to meet
these lines (squaring from the inside as before), and make a saw-cut, as
shown by the middle line in Fig. 116. This will be very useful to saw
strips squarely across. You can put buttons on the outside near the
lower edge to catch against the front edge of the bench-top if you wish,
or use the mitre-box on the bench-hooks when necessary to hold it

[Illustration FIG. 121.]

A very useful _mitre-board_ for sawing strips, mouldings, and the like,
can be made with two short boards, one wider than the other, being sure
that the surfaces and edges are true and square (Fig. 120). This can be
of any size. A good size is from 1' to 2' long, 6" wide (in all), and of
stock 7/8" thick, but it is better to make the narrow piece thicker,
perhaps 1-1/4" or 1-3/4". Mark the lines first on the bottom of the
narrow piece, then on the edges, and lastly on the top, as with the
mitre-box just shown, to ensure the lines being at the correct angles
with the surfaces against which the wood to be sawed will rest. An
excellent plan is to make saw-kerfs for mitres in the cleat of a
bench-hook (Fig. 121), in the way just shown.

[Illustration FIG. 122.]

[Illustration FIG. 123.]

       *       *       *       *       *

=Shooting-Board.=--This is useful for squaring edges and small surfaces
and ends with the plane, and for jointing edges, the plane being pushed
forward on its side (see _Shooting-board_, in Part V.). It can be of any
wood which holds its shape well. Clear white pine or mahogany is good.
If carelessly made it will be of but little use. The stock must be
planed free from winding. Several forms are shown in Figs. 122, 123, and

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references. The construction
is plain (Fig. 122). Approximate dimensions are given, Fig. 122 being
made of 7/8" stock, Fig. 123 of 1/2" and 1/4" stock, and Fig. 124 of
7/8" stock. Screw the pieces together from the under side (see
_Screws_). See that the stop or cleat _a_ is put on at right angles to
the edge _b_. Mark the lines for this accurately with knife or chisel. A
groove is sometimes cut for this stop, but this is a refinement that is
not at all necessary if you do your work well. This board must have a
rabbet or groove cut out of the upper piece, as shown, to give room for
shavings. In Fig. 123 the top board overlaps the ends of the cleats a
trifle, which (with the spaces between the cleats) allows the escape of
the shavings. Arrange some way to hold the board firmly on the bench.
Care is necessary in using the shooting-board not to plane slices from
your left hand. Guides, to attach to the plane to ensure square edges,
can be bought and used instead of the shooting-board. Some of them are
serviceable, particularly those adjustable at various angles.

[Illustration FIG. 124.]

[Illustration FIG. 125.]

A _mitre shooting-board_ (Fig. 125) is also useful. It requires to be
made with even more care than the board just given, but on the same
principle. The angular stop or stops must be fitted to make the angles
exactly 45°. A sawed mitre holds glue better than a planed mitre, but
sawed mitres often require trimming with the plane to get a perfect fit.

=Form for Rounding Sticks.=--You will be continually wanting to make
sticks eight-sided or round. A form to hold the pieces for planing is a
great convenience.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Gauge_, _Plane_, and
_Nailing_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

[Illustration FIG. 126.]

[Illustration FIG. 127.]

[Illustration FIG. 128.]

[Illustration FIG. 129.]

Take two strips and plane off (or even chisel or whittle) one corner of
each, first gauging lines equidistant from the corner for a guide. Then
nail the two strips together, with the bevels facing each other, to make
a trough as shown in Fig. 126. Put a screw in one end to push the work
against, push the form against the bench-stop or screw it in the vise,
put the piece to be "cornered" or rounded in the V-shaped trough, and it
will be firmly held with the angle upward. Two or three of these for
larger and smaller pieces will be very useful. They are quickly made of
waste strips. If you think 2' the right length for one of these forms,
for instance, make it a foot or so longer, and after it is made saw off
the extra length in one or two pieces, which will serve as an extension
for holding a long stick (Fig. 127). If your bench has wooden
bench-stops you can make some stops with notches in the top (Fig. 128)
for this purpose.

For making pieces tapering, as well as eight-sided or rounding, you have
only to modify this idea by planing off the corners in a tapering way
(Fig. 129). See _Rounding Sticks_.

=Level and Plumb.=--Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_,
_Rule_, _Square_, _Gauge_, _Saw_, and _Plane_, in Part V.

To make a plumb like Fig. 130, take a piece of straight wood from 3" to
5" wide and 4' or 5' long with the edges straight and parallel. Gauge a
line down the middle of the side, exactly parallel to the edges, and cut
the notch shown at the bottom. Make a saw-kerf at the upper end of the
line and another beside it in which to catch the end of the line, or
fasten the line around a nail. (See _Plumb_.)

[Illustration FIG. 130.]

[Illustration FIG. 131.]

To make the level shown in Fig. 131, it is essential that the bottom
board _c d_ be straight on the lower edge. The two braces _a c_ and _a
d_ should be of the same length. The strut _a b_ should be nailed across
at the middle of _c d_ and at right angles to it. The essential thing is
to have the line _a b_ exactly at right angles to _c d_, the object of
the braces _a c_ and _a d_ being to stiffen the board _c d_, and to keep
the lines _a b_ and _c d_ at right angles to each other. The plumb-line
is hung and used as in the case just given, the board _c d_ being used
for horizontal work. (See _Level_.)

=Cabinets, etc., for Tools and Supplies.=--A tool-chest, though a very
convenient (and in fact necessary) thing for a workman who is moving
around from place to place or who needs a safe receptacle in which to
lock his tools in a factory, is not at all necessary in a private shop,
nor half as convenient as to have the tools where they can be more
readily reached. It is quite a piece of work to make a good one, and it
will be better to defer such a job until you feel the need.

An old case of drawers, or bureau, or cupboard, or some such receptacle,
if you can find one, will be useful in your shop. A bureau, in fact,
makes a good tool-cabinet or substitute for a tool-chest, but if you
keep tools in drawers make compartments, trays, or divisions, else the
edge-tools may be damaged, not to speak of the inevitable confusion.

You do not need a tool-cabinet for half a dozen tools, but when they
begin to accumulate it is a good thing to have and a good thing to make,
if there is occasion to keep your tools locked up or if you have limited
room. Otherwise it is just as well to keep the common tools as already
shown. A cabinet is fully as useful for miscellaneous articles like
brads, hinges, etc., as for tools.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, and _Screws_, and look up any other references.

[Illustration FIG. 132.]

Perhaps you can find a good box, wide and shallow, all made, or if deep
you can saw off part to make it shallow (Fig. 132). This will answer
perfectly for a shop. For the house you would of course make a cupboard
of new wood. The size must depend on circumstances. Get two boards for
doors that will just cover the open side of the box, unless the box
cover will do, which is unlikely. If the edges are not good you must
allow extra width for jointing. Lay these boards in position and mark
the lengths (on the side next the box) by the box itself, not with the
square, for the box may not be square. From the lines just made mark the
edges with the square, and, with the straight-edge, connect these edge
marks by lines on the face sides. Saw off by these lines. Mark the box
and each door in some way (Fig. 133), as "top," and "R" (for right) and
"L" (for left), or by marks, as X, O, #, etc., to prevent finally
putting them on wrong side out or wrong end up, as is very likely to
happen if you neglect to mark them.

[Illustration FIG. 133.]

[Illustration FIG. 134.]

[Illustration FIG. 135.]

[Illustration FIG. 136.]

Now for hinges. The best thing, on account of the weight to be hung on
the doors and the poor quality of the wood generally used for boxes,
will be iron strap-hinges made for work of this sort, screwed on the
outside (Fig. 134). Two will do for each door. Next to this come the
common iron hinges. If the sides of the box are thick and firm, three of
the common long and narrow kind (Fig. 135) will do for each door. If the
sides are thin and flimsy, nail or screw a strip inside of each edge and
use wider and shorter hinges (Fig. 136). To fit the hinges, see
_Hinges_. The doors being hung, take them off while fitting up the case.
Gauge a pencil line around the outer edge and each end of the inside
surface of each door, where it fits against the edge of the box, as a
limit beyond which racks or tools must not project or the door will not
shut (Fig. 137).

[Illustration FIG. 137.]

The fitting up of the cupboard must depend on its size and what and how
many tools or supplies are to be kept in it. Shelves you can simply make
of the right size and nail into place from the outside, using the rule
and square to get them in the right positions. The illustrations are
merely suggestions which you can alter or improve upon to suit your
particular case. Fig. 138 shows another form, and Fig. 139 a small
cabinet with one door, with suggestions for the arrangement of the
tools, but the matter of fitting up you must, of course, contrive for
yourselves, according to the circumstances. Do not attempt to put
full-width drawers into these wide, shallow cabinets, as is often done.
It takes an expert to fit drawers that are wide and short (from front to
back) and they are not always satisfactory even then. If you wish
drawers, either put in a row of narrow ones, or use the simple device
described below (Figs. 141 and 142), and shown in Fig. 139. (See
_Drawers_ in Part V.)

[Illustration FIG. 138.]

[Illustration FIG. 139.]

To fasten the doors you can hook one on the inside and put a button
(which you can whittle out) on the outside to hold the other. If you
wish to lock, hook one door inside and lock the other to it (see
_Locks_). A padlock with staples and iron strap is easier to put on. To
make a cupboard of boards instead of using a box, you simply make a box
yourself (see _Box-making_ in Part II.) and then proceed as above.

[Illustration FIG. 140.]

Fig. 140 shows a good form of cabinet. Make a tight box, perhaps 2' × 3'
× 6" to 9", the sides and ends of 7/8" stock, and the top and bottom
(_i.e._, the front and back of the cabinet) of 1/2" stock. Saw it open
carefully on the line _a b c_ about 2" or 3" from the top or face,
according to the thickness of the box, first marking the ends or the
sides so that you can finally put them together again in the same
positions. When nailing the box together omit all nails which could
interfere with the sawing. They can easily be put in afterwards. (See
_Box-making_, in Part II.) Carefully smooth the edges after the saw.
Reckless and hasty planing will spoil the joint. Fit two strap-hinges,
or three of the common kind. Fit up inside as you wish, and fasten with
hasp, padlock, or a lock working on the principle of a chest lock.

All these cabinets must be firmly fastened to the wall, for they will be
very heavy when filled. Do not trust to a couple of nails or screws, the
way amateurs so often put up shelves and cabinets in the house. A ledge
of some sort below is a great help (Fig. 140) to relieve the screws or
nails of the weight. If the back is not very strong, do not trust wholly
to it, but add cleats outside or inside. If in the house, stout
screw-eyes of heavy wire in the sides of the cabinet, through which you
can screw to the wall, are good (Fig. 140).

Good shelves can be made by arranging empty boxes one on top of another,
or by taking a wide, thin (flat) box and fitting shelves across it, like
a bookcase, and then fastening the whole to the wall.

A small drawer can be fixed under a shelf, anywhere in your shop, on the
principle often used in sewing-machine tables and the like, by taking a
small box of suitable shape, strengthening one corner if necessary (Fig.
141), and pivoting it with a screw at that corner (Fig. 142).

[Illustration FIG. 141.]

[Illustration FIG. 142.]

       *       *       *       *       *

=First-class Bench.=--You can do all the work you will be equal to for a
long time on such a bench as has been shown, but some day you will want
a first-class bench, such as Fig. 143. Do not attempt anything of the
sort at first, however, though if you can afford it, such a bench is
good to begin with. A few details are given in the Appendix.

[Illustration FIG. 143.]

=Other Appliances.=--A number of other appliances and contrivances will
be found, under their respective headings, in Part V.


    _Do one thing at a time. Finish one job before you start two or
    three others._

    _First learn to work well, then ability to work quickly will come of

    _Plan your work to the end before beginning to use your tools._

    _Make drawings carefully to scale before beginning any but the
    simplest work._

    _Lay out the work carefully on the wood with sharp, accurate lines,
    according to the drawings, measuring everything with exactness at
    least twice._

    _Cut the work accurately with sharp tools to the lines you have laid

    _Keep testing the accuracy of the work with the square,
    straight-edge, rule, level, or plumb._

    _Keep your tools sharp and in good order._

    _Have the most convenient place for each tool and always keep it in
    that place when not in use._

    _Do your work thoroughly and strongly. Do not half make it. Do not
    half fasten it together. The only time you will regret thorough work
    is when you have to take it apart again._


[14] If you can afford to buy one ready made, you cannot do better than
to begin with such as are sold for sloyd or manual-training schools, but
do not get a very small one unless you are only going to do very small
work. Get one as large as you can afford. A second-hand bench can often
be bought for a small sum, but be sure that it is firm and steady.

[15] The reason for making this bench 5' 10" long, instead of cutting a
12' board into two lengths of 6' each, is that it is hard to get boards
sound and square at the ends, and so it is best to allow a few inches
for waste. Of course your bench can be of any desired length. Six or
eight feet is suitable for ordinary work, but there is no objection to
making it as much longer as your space and material will admit. The
height should bear a proper relation to the height of the workman. No
definite height can be given. Try moving a plane back and forth. If
your right elbow, when holding the plane, is slightly bent and your back
about straight, the height will be not far from right. Do a little
simple work at a table, trying different heights, and you can soon tell
what will be satisfactory. If the bench is too low, you cannot manage
your work well and your back will get tired from bending over, not to
speak of becoming round-shouldered. If the bench is too high, it will be
hard to manage your work, you cannot plane well, and your arms will be
tired from holding them up unnaturally high. A bench for heavy work like
carpentry is usually rather lower than one for cabinet- or
pattern-making, while a carver's bench is usually higher.

[16] This vise is fitted slanting, so that the slide at the bottom
comes on the outside of the leg and at the same time in the centre
line of the movable jaw in line with the screw. A common form has the
movable jaw upright, the sliding bar being mortised into it and sliding
through a mortise cut in the leg, as shown in Figs. 56 and 57. If you
wish to make this kind, study _Mortising_, in Part V., and lay out
and cut the mortise in the leg before nailing the cross-board to it
(Figs. 41 and 42). This is the most difficult part of the bench to make
nicely, and you can spend a good deal of pains upon it. If you have
not yet the proper tools to make this mortise you can mark it out and
have it cut for a very small sum at a wood-working mill or shop. When
nailing the cross-board upon the legs, bear in mind to put this leg in
the right place. Fig. 58 shows a simple arrangement with an additional
post, or two posts can be put together and one half the notching done
in each (Fig. 59).

[17] In case your bench is in the house and you wish to deaden the sound
and vibration from your work you can put rubber cushions under the legs.

[18] Fig. 112 shows a nicer pair of horses. Take two pieces of pine, or
any wood not likely to warp, 2" × 3" (or 4") × 2-1/2' or 3', mark with
rule, square, and gauge (see _Gauge_), and cut with saw and chisel the
shallow gains (Fig. 113) for the legs. Make them the same depth at the
top as at the bottom (Fig. 114), and clean them out as accurately to the
lines as you can. Get out eight legs, and regulate their length as
before. Saw the upper ends on a bevel (Fig. 114) corresponding to the
slant they are to have. Nail or screw them in place. You can glue the
joints for additional strength. Fit on cross-pieces and finish the work
as described above. If you ever need horses for very heavy work you can
make the legs of plank or joist with the tops cut like Fig. 115.

"The labor is small, the pastime is great."--GOETHE.




Even if you are able to use tools quite well, you may still not know how
to go to work to make some particular thing, so it is quite important to
know how to lay out, put together, and finish different kinds of work.

The number of things you _can_ make is legion. The number it is _worth
while_ for you to make is much smaller. Amateurs often say that the work
they do themselves costs more (even counting their own labour as
nothing) than to hire the work done, and it is one aim of this book to
prevent that undesirable result, in some cases at least.

The number of things which you can make more cheaply than you can buy
grows smaller every year. Many things can now be bought ready-made for
less than you would have to pay for the materials. It is foolish to take
the time and money to make many of the games and toys, for instance,
sold so cheaply nowadays. A wheelbarrow is in itself a good thing to
make, but it can be bought so cheaply that it is hardly worth while to
make one. It is true that some of these things you can make _better_,
although not cheaper, than you can easily buy (a sled perhaps); but, as
a rule, your time can be better spent than upon this class of objects,
and you will find but few such given here.

Things like whistles, pea-shooters, and clappers, which are so familiar
to every boy and require no more instruction to make than is handed down
and around from boy to boy, are not given here, as a rule. A few other
things which you might perhaps look for, such as tennis rackets and
snow-shoes, are omitted, because they require more special knowledge and
skill than most beginners can be expected to have. It is easy enough to
see how to make a tennis racket, for instance, so far as the general
idea is concerned; but simply bending a loop, fastening it to a stick,
and lacing the loop, does not make a tennis racket. The holes for the
stringing must be made in a particular way, the stringing must be done
properly, and the whole affair must balance or "hang" right, or be of
little use. It is better to buy such things.

You boys, and many of your elders, like to try all the new-fangled ideas
as fast as they come out, and it is well that you do, but you (as a
class) accept them "for keeps" only after they have stood the test of
many trials. A large book could be filled with descriptions of the
novelties which have appeared within my remembrance, but out of this
number I can count on my fingers all that have come to stay. You will
find all the novelties you can attend to (and more) in the magazines,
etc., so I have been rather conservative in my selection, knowing that
you will permanently accept but the best of the new ideas and come back
in the end, year after year, to the same old things, with only such
additions as have stood the test of actual use.

The objects included embrace a sufficient variety of types to form a
basis of experience and practice, in different kinds of work and in
various details, from which you can launch out into any of these new
plans, or any experiments of your own which you may wish to try, and
thus supply for yourselves the information lacking in many of the
popular descriptions.

Before you make anything bulky measure your shop door or window to see
that you can get it out after you have made it. This may seem a
superfluous caution, but there have been many cases where people have
spent much time in making things which could not be taken from the room
in which they were made without tearing out the door or window casing.
Even Robinson Crusoe, you know, built a boat so far from the water that
he could not launch her.

Do not be deceived by all the complicated, new-fangled variations of
familiar things which abound in the popular publications. Try to make
everything as _simple_ as you can. Look askance on contrivances that are
all tangled up with springs, and levers, and complicated mechanism, and
study them well before you begin to make them.

First figure the cost of the object you intend to make. This book is not
to do your work for you, but to put you on the right track to do it
yourselves, so read _Estimating_, page 54, and the whole of Part I had
best be read before you begin to make the things described hereafter.



[Illustration FIG. 144.]

=Wooden Swords, Knives, and Daggers.=--Before beginning work, read
_Marking_, _Knife_, _Whittling_, _Paring_, _Rounding Sticks_, _Rasp_,
_File_, and _Sandpaper_, and look upany other references. The
construction of those shown in Fig. 144 is too obvious to require
special description. First cut the general outline as shown, then round
or pare or shave to the thickness required. If you have a bow-saw or
scroll-saw, it will save much time in shaping the outlines, or you can
have them sawed at the mill. If you stain these weapons with various
colours, as red, black, yellow, etc., and in various patterns, and
shellac them neatly (see _Finishing_), you can turn out quite a
formidable array of awe-inspiring weapons. They should be made of some
straight-grained and easily whittled wood. Nothing is better than white

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration FIG. 145.]

To make a sword like that shown in Fig. 145, first select a piece of
straight-grained wood (ash or any strong wood) about 2-1/2' in length,
3/16" thick, and 1" wide. About 4" from one end make a mark. From this
mark taper the edges to the other end. Do not taper the stick too
gradually. Then draw a line along the centre of each side and taper from
this centre line to the edges, leaving the edges about 1/16" thick. Next
get out two pieces of wood 1/8" thick and 4" long (some dark-coloured
wood can be used for contrast). Nail one of these pieces with brads on
each side of the 4" space left for the handle. Next get a piece 4"
long, 1/4" thick, and 3/4" wide (see Fig. 145). Mark it as shown, making
the marks for the holes (3/16") so the outside edge of one will be just
1" from the outside edge of the other. Then bore these holes carefully
(see _Boring_) and cut out the wood between them with a knife or chisel
(being careful about splitting) and shape the outside as marked. Slip
the blade through the hole in the guard you have just made up to the
handle and nail the guard to the blade.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Wooden Snake.=--This imitation reptile (Fig. 146) if well made will
(when grasped at the middle) by a slight movement of the hand undulate
and writhe in a very lifelike manner, as you may know, so do not be
eager to terrify your feminine relatives, or those of other boys, too

[Illustration FIG. 146.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration FIG. 147.]

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Knife_, _Saw_,
and _Rounding Sticks_. The snake can be of any size--say from 2' to 6'
long and from 1" to 2" in diam. Select a piece of straight-grained
wood,--white pine or any wood easy to work. First see that the stick is
square, then make it hexagonal (six-sided), then taper it to the general
shape of the snake, and finally round and smooth it (Fig. 147). Remember
not to use sandpaper in the smoothing, as the grit will dull the tools
yet to be used. The head you must whittle or carve according to your
ingenuity and skill. The mouth can be cut with a fine saw.

The snake having been shaped, mark pencil lines lengthways along the
middle of the top and bottom (except at the head), and cut with a knife
a little slit or groove merely wide enough to hold a fine cord (like
fish-line). This can be done with a fine saw (as a back-saw), using the
teeth only at one end of the saw blade, but much care is required and
the stick must be firmly clamped or held in the vise. You will probably
do it more easily with the knife. Mark equal spaces (Fig. 148) of 1/2"
to 2", according to the diameter of the snake, from the neck to within a
short distance of the end of the tail. If you make these marks as near
together as 3/4", the snake will look more natural, as the notches will
not have to be so wide, but you will have to cut more of them. Number
these sections so that you can finally put them together again in the
right order. With the knife or chisel notch in to the centre from each
side at each of the marks, or use the saw and knife or chisel, until the
body of the snake is cut into sections (Fig. 148). Put the sections
together again by sinking a fine strong cord in the longitudinal grooves
in the top and bottom. Set the cord in place with glue (see _Gluing_),
and fasten with little staples (which you can make of bent pins), or
something of the sort, at the end of each section.

[Illustration FIG. 148.]

Set beads in the head for eyes. Sandpaper the whole with fine sandpaper
(see _Sandpaper_). Paint in imitation of whatever kind of snake you
prefer (see _Painting_), using red for the inside of the mouth.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Windmills.=--These are made in a great variety of forms. A few patterns
which can be readily constructed of wood are given below. Bear in mind
to make them strong, as they are under very great strain in a violent
wind, and, also, that the larger they are the stronger they must be; for
little models, you know, are much stronger in proportion than large
structures made after the same designs. Dimensions are given merely to
help illustrate the principles of construction. The windmills will work
just as well if made larger or smaller, within any reasonable limits.
They should be made of _straight-grained_ white pine, whitewood, or some
wood easy to work.[19]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration FIG. 149.]

[Illustration FIG. 150.]

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Knife_, and _Paring_, and look up any other references. In case of
using heavy stock, see also _Draw-knife_, _Spokeshave_, and _Plane_. To
make a very simple form (Fig. 149), take two sticks, say 8" x 1" x 1",
and halve or notch (see _Halving_) each piece at the centre (Fig. 150),
so that when put together they will form a cross with arms of equal
length. Bore a hole through both pieces at the centre to loosely fit the
pin upon which the vanes are to turn (see _Boring_). Upon the ends of
each stick mark diagonal lines (Fig. 150) slanting in opposite
directions, or so that, if you revolve the cross edgeways and look in
turn upon each of the four ends, the lines will all slant the same way.
This is essential, for the next operation is to shave each of the sticks
down towards these lines until perhaps 1/8" thick (Fig. 150), and you
can readily see that if these vanes are not turned the same way the
windmill will not revolve. When this shaping is done fasten the sticks
together with brads (see _Nailing_). The remaining part is very simple
(Fig. 151), perhaps 1' long and 1/2" thick, with the broad vane made
thin, as the only object of this is to act as a weather-vane to keep the
windmill headed toward the wind, and if made thick and heavy the whole
affair will not balance well.

[Illustration FIG. 151.]

The revolving cross you can now fasten with a nail or screw upon the end
of the part last made (Fig. 151) so that it will revolve freely. Find
the point at which the whole windmill will balance over your finger or a
stick, and bore a vertical hole through the horizontal stick at this
point. Through this hole loosely screw or nail the windmill on the end
of a stick, slightly rounded to prevent friction (Fig. 151). Sandpaper
the whole with rather fine sandpaper (see _Sandpaper_).

You can paint in one or more colours, if you wish (see _Painting_). The
vanes can be painted in light and dark bands crossways, causing an
appearance, when revolving, of concentric rings (like a target). By
having two axles or spindles (Fig. 152) two sets of vanes can revolve at
once, and, by slanting the vanes of the two sets in opposite ways, the
two will revolve in contrary directions.

[Illustration FIG. 152.]

[Illustration FIG. 153.]

The weather-vane can be made of two pieces (Fig. 153).

A more elaborate affair (Fig. 154) is made on similar principles, but
requires more care. The construction is obvious. Before beginning work
read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_, _Plane_, _Knife_,
_Spokeshave_, _Drawshave_, _Rounding Sticks_, and look up any other
references. The general dimensions of the one illustrated are: length of
main frame (in which spindle turns) 9", height of one end 4-1/2", height
of the other end 2-1/2"; length of weather-vane (from main frame) 10",
width at end 4-1/2"; length of revolving fans 1', width at ends 2". The
spindle is held in the main frame on a slant (Fig. 155) to lessen any
tendency to slip out, so the hole through which it passes should have a
corresponding slant (see _Boring_). The revolving fans or vanes are
reduced to round pins at the small ends and fitted tightly into holes
bored in the head of the spindle, all the vanes being turned to have the
same slant. Care will be required to bore these holes so that the vanes
will be equidistant and revolve in the same line.

[Illustration FIG. 154.]

[Illustration FIG. 155.]

The weather-vane is set in a slanting groove cut in the bottom of the
main frame (Fig. 155), and fastened with a couple of nails or screws.
You can cut this groove by making two saw-kerfs and paring out the wood
between with a chisel. The bent nail or wire shown on the top of the
spindle in Fig. 154 is to keep the latter from jumping out of the frame
from a sudden change of wind. The vanes should all be shaved down until
they are quite thin at the ends.

Set up and finish this windmill like the one just described.

[Illustration FIG. 156.]

A form which is good practice in whittling, and upon which you can also
exercise your artistic faculties, is the "Happy Jack" shown in Fig. 156.
Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Knife_, _Rasp_, and _File_, and look up any other references. Fourteen
inches is a good height for the figure itself. The outline of body and
head can be sawed from a 3/4" board and the edges trimmed and rounded
and the details cut with a knife, or rasp and file can be used for the
edges. The arms are made of separate pieces. Bore holes in the outer
ends of the arms to hold the paddles (see _Boring_). Also bore holes
lengthways into the arms, from the ends next the body, and into these
holes tightly drive the ends of a stiff metal rod long enough to also
pass through the body at the shoulders (Fig. 156). Before actually
driving this rod into both arms you must bore the hole through the body.
The holes in the arms should be smaller than the rod, so that it may
drive in tightly without danger of getting loose, but the hole in the
body must be larger than the rod, that the latter may revolve easily in
it. Bore in from the centre of each shoulder as carefully as you can,
until the holes meet, rather than attempt to bore clear through from one
side. Put in the rod and drive on the arms, but not quite up to the
shoulders. In driving on the arms be sure to keep the holes for the
paddles in the right positions, so that the paddles will be in line as
shown--that is, so that when one points directly upwards the other will
point directly downwards. Also bore a hole upwards between the legs for
the rod upon which the figure turns, and screw or nail a piece of metal
(Fig. 157), with a hole for this rod, on the bottom of the legs (Fig.
156). Fig. 158 shows a way to put on the hat. The paddles can be made
from a shingle, which will save the labour of tapering the thickness
towards the ends. The paddles must be set obliquely, or turned part way
around, as in the case of any windmill. When set at the proper angles
the man will spin around while the paddles are revolving. Sandpaper the
whole (see _Sandpaper_), and paint in various colours (see _Painting_).

[Illustration FIG. 157.]

[Illustration FIG. 158.]

A set of boats to sail around in a circle is not hard to make (Fig.
159). Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_,
_Saw_, and look up any other references.

Take two sticks from 2' to 4' in length, and from 3/4" to 1-1/4" square,
of any fairly strong wood. Halve these sticks at the middle (see
_Halving_) and fasten them together in the form of a cross,
strengthening the joint (weakened by the halving) by nailing or screwing
on a piece of board above or below, as shown in Fig. 159.

[Illustration FIG. 159.]

The boats can be whittled from a piece of board on edge and fastened to
the ends of the sticks by halving (Fig. 160), as well as nails or
screws, or they can simply be flat pieces of board shaped as in Fig. 161
and screwed or nailed on top of the sticks. In the first case the
halving had best be done before the sticks are fastened together. One
mast with a simple leg-of-mutton sail will answer for each boat. A
little experimenting will show you how much to haul in the sheet. Each
boat must, of course, "come about" and "jibe" once in every rotation of
the apparatus. Sandpaper with rather fine sandpaper (see _Sandpaper_),
and paint as you wish (see _Painting_). The whole affair is balanced and
pivoted on top of a pole in the same manner as the windmills just
described, which see.

[Illustration FIG. 160.]

[Illustration FIG. 161.]

[Illustration FIG. 162.]

[Illustration FIG. 163.]

[Illustration FIG. 164.]

A steamer with screw propeller can be made from a piece of board on
edge, shaped as shown in Fig. 162, a small windmill with short and
broad fans (Fig. 163), serving for the screw. Before beginning work read
carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_, _Knife_, _Spokeshave_, and
look up any other references. This boat must be made of a board so as to
give a thin section (Fig. 164), in order that the screw may not be
shielded from the wind, for this vessel must always head to windward or
the screw will not revolve. To ensure this the fore and aft sail must
always be kept set and the sheet close-hauled. This sail answers the
purpose of the weather-vanes of the windmills just described. It can be
made of tin or any sheet metal, or even of thin wood. The rest of the
rigging and the smokestack you can arrange as you wish. The bottom of
the rudder can be supported by a little strip extending aft from the
keel. For the other details of the work, see the windmills already

       *       *       *       *       *

=Water-wheels.=--An undershot wheel, turned by the water passing beneath
(Fig. 165), can be easily made. It can be of any desired size, and of
any wood readily worked.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
and look up any other references.

[Illustration FIG. 165.]

[Illustration FIG. 166.]

[Illustration FIG. 167.]

One like Fig. 166 can be made by simply nailing a set of small boards or
paddles in a radial arrangement between two disks of wood. A dowel or
broomstick will do for the shaft and should be fitted tightly in the
hole bored through the wheel (see _Boring_), but should turn freely in
the bearings at the side. It will make a rather neater job to shape the
paddles as in Fig. 167, so that when put together the wheel will look
like Fig. 166, but this is not at all necessary, and it will work just
as well to make plain rectangular paddles and simply nail the disks on
the outside edges (see _Nailing_). If you have no saw with which to get
out the disks you can have them sawed at the mill, or you can work them
out by describing the required circles and sawing a hexagon outside of
the line with a common saw, when the circle can be finished with shave,
hatchet, chisel, or knife (see _Paring_). Divide the circumference of
each disk into as many parts as there are paddles and draw lines on the
side to the centre, by which to nail the paddles in the right position.
Start the nails on these lines and drive them nearly through before
placing the paddles in position. Then nail one disk to the paddles, turn
the wheel over and nail on the other disk. It is essential to a neat job
that the paddles should all be of the same width. First make one edge
straight. From this edge gauge the desired width on all the pieces (see
_Gauge_) and saw or plane or trim, with knife, chisel, or shave, exactly
to the line. If you make the paddles as shown in the cut, first square
lines across at equal distances from one end (Fig. 167), and with a
gauge set at a point equal to the thickness of the disks make lines
parallel to each edge, and with the saw or saw and chisel, or even a
knife, remove the pieces marked (see _Paring_).

[Illustration FIG. 168.]

[Illustration FIG. 169.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The overshot wheel (Fig. 168) is harder to make, but is a livelier
wheel. It is put together upon the same principle as the wheel just
shown, except that the paddles, which do not project beyond the
circumference of the disks, are not placed radially, but so that, with
the addition of another set inserted to connect them, they form buckets.

       *       *       *       *       *

To lay off the lines for the buckets, divide the circumference of each
disk as before, and from the centre describe a small circle, as shown in
Fig. 169. From the points on the circumference draw lines tangent to the
small circle. These lines will give the positions for the bottoms of the
buckets. To complete the buckets mark from the circumference equal
distances on these lines, and from these last points draw lines as _ab_
to the next points on the circumference. First, nail together with only
the bottoms of the buckets (on the lines _ca_). Then fit in the other
pieces, to complete the buckets, on the lines _ab_. The ends of these
last pieces should properly be bevelled (see _Bevelling_) to make a
fairly tight joint. The rest of the work is the same as for the
undershot wheel. A larger form (but harder to make) is suggested in Fig.
170. See note under _Windmills_, above.

[Illustration FIG. 170.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration TOTLET TOWN.]

=Play Village.=--It is capital fun for several young people to design
and build a miniature village, and it is certainly an instructive and
quite inexpensive pastime. Such a village, planned and made recently by
a family group of half a dozen youngsters, and facetiously named "Totlet
Town," was constructed entirely of old boxes and packing-cases of all
sizes up to three feet long, waste pieces of board, shingles, etc.; but
when painted and arranged in a corner of the lawn, with dirt roads, and
paths, small evergreen shade trees and hedges, well-sweeps, miniature
fences, and other accessories, it made so pretty a picture as to be the
admiration of all who saw it. If you have as good a time in making such
a village as these young people did, the experiment will be a success.
You can easily think up many additions to the suggestions here given.

[Illustration FIG. 171.]

The buildings were made by selecting boxes of the desired proportions,
sawing out spaces for the doors, adding the roofs and any other
alterations. The chimneys were made of blocks painted red. The doors
were made of pieces of board and hinged with leather. Bay-windows and
the like were made of blocks of the required shape nailed to the boxes.
The windows and blinds were represented by painting. Some of the roofs
were shingled with pieces of shingles. A suggestion for a light-house is
shown in Fig. 171.

Considerable care in the use of the tools is called for to make these
buildings neatly. Much of the effect depends, also, upon the care with
which the painting is done (see _Painting_), and the taste used in the
selection of the colours. Brighter colours are suitable for a little
village of this sort than would be in good taste for real houses. White
with green blinds is good, of course; or yellow can be used. The roofs
should be painted. Red roofs are very effective.

Before beginning work, read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_,
_Saw_, _Plane_, _Nailing_, _Withdrawing Nails_, etc.

[Illustration FIG. 172.]

=Dolls' House.=--The house shown in Fig. 172 is quite easily made, and a
shallow affair like this has the advantage of being more convenient than
a deep one about arranging the contents.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, and look up any other references.

Pine and whitewood are suitable, or any wood can be used that is not
hard to work.

It can be made of any desired size. Three or four feet wide and a little
higher in the middle will probably be suitable for ordinary cases, and
twelve or fifteen inches will be a good depth (from front to back).

The construction is plain. The roof and sides are to be cut from dressed
stock of uniform width, and from 1/2" to 7/8" in thickness.

Carefully true one edge, if it is not already true, and get out the
bottom board, then the upright sides, and then the roof. The bevels at
the highest point of the roof and where the roof joins the sides you
must mark with the bevel (taking the slant from your drawing), or you
can find it by arranging two strips to cross at the desired angle and
marking the bevel by them (see _Bevelling_). To saw these bevels
requires much care. Draw lines by the square on both sides, as well as
the angle on the edge, and putting each board in the vise saw carefully
and steadily.

The three floors should be narrower than the outside of the house by
just the thickness of the stock to be used for the back, and rectangular
openings must be sawed from one of the back corners at the head of the
stairs to allow the dolls to pass from one story to another. If the
sides of the house are 14" wide, make these floors 13-1/2" wide, and use
1/2" or 3/8" stock for the back. Also mark and saw out the windows. To
do this, first bore a series of holes inside of the line (see _Boring_)
and cut out whatever wood may be necessary until you make a slot in
which to start the saw. Any roughness left from the holes can be trimmed
with knife, chisel, or file (see _Paring_). Nail these parts together,
just as in making a box, carefully sighting across the face to see that
the front and back do not wind, or use _winding-sticks_ (_q. v._). Also
test with the square to see that the sides are at right angles with the
bottom. Get out stock for the back carefully (with the boards running up
and down) so that the boards will be square at the bottom, and when
these pieces are fitted in place to form the back they will ensure the
house being square. The slant by which to cut the top of the back can be
laid off by measurement from your working drawing or the back can be put
in place and the lines marked directly from the under side of the roof.
When fitted, nail the back securely in place, first cutting the windows
as before. Then fit in the upright partitions, first cutting the
doorways. The staircase can be made easily if you have, or can saw from
the corner of a larger piece, a triangular strip which can be cut in
short sections to use for the steps. Nail these to a thin strip of board
(from the under side) and fasten the whole in position (Fig. 173). The
chimney can be made of a block with a notch sawed to fit the roof, or it
can be made of four pieces, box-fashion. Glass for the windows can be
held in place by gluing strips of cloth or paper around the edges, or
thin strips can be nailed around with fine brads. Thin strips can be
nailed around the window openings on the outside, if you wish.

[Illustration FIG. 173.]

All the pieces should be neatly planed and scraped before putting
together, and, when entirely put together, the whole should be carefully
sandpapered with fine sandpaper. The parts coming on the inside had best
be sandpapered before putting together, however, but be sure not to do
this until all cutting with the tools has been done. Set all the nails
carefully (see _Nail-set_). The whole can be painted in one or more
colours (see _Painting_), and portieres, window drapery, etc., can be
added according to your taste and the materials at command. The inside
can be papered, if preferred.

A more thoroughly workmanlike way is to groove the bottom into the
sides, the upright partitions into the floor boards, and to cut rabbets
around on the back edge of the sides, roof, and bottom, into which to
set the backboards. This involves a good deal more work and care in
laying out the work (see _Grooving_). If you have the pieces got out at
a mill it can be easily done, however.

[Illustration FIG. 174.]

It may be a convenience to screw castors on the bottom. A door (with a
door-bell or knocker) can be added to the front of the hall, if thought

A house which can be closed is shown in Fig. 174. The construction is
quite similar to the preceding. A strip must be fastened above and below
the large doors, as shown, that they may open without striking either
the roof or the floor on which the house stands. The little door,
representing the entrance to the house when closed and shown in the
closed half, can be made to open independently and can have a bell or

If this house is made quite deep (from front to back) it can easily be
divided lengthways by a partition and made into a double house, the back
side being made to open in the same way as the side here shown.


[19] You can attach your windmill to a building or set it up on a pole,
or you can easily make a small trestle-work tower, built of small
sticks, on the top of which you can place the windmill, with a small keg
(to represent a hogshead or tank), and thus have a very good imitation
of the large mills used for pumping water. Small windmills, if you wish
to go further into the subject than comes within the scope of this book,
can be used to do any light or "play" work by having them turn a bent
shaft (or any eccentric movement), connecting with a piston-rod or
revolving drum; or various other attachments can be applied, according
to your ingenuity.



The sizes and shapes of these houses and cages will depend upon the
animals for which they are built and the places you have to put them.
Frequently they can be built to advantage against the side of a
building, or a fence, or in a corner, and boxes can be utilised in
various ways.

Make the houses, cages, and runways as large as you can afford, for
there is much more danger of the pets being cramped and crowded than of
their having too much room.

Wire netting or wire cloth (held in place by staples) should be freely
used, as ventilation is very important for the health and comfort of the
animals. Special openings should always be made for cleaning the houses
or cages in case all parts cannot be conveniently reached from the
doors, for cleanliness is of the utmost importance in all such
structures. The floors of the larger houses should always slant or have
holes provided for drainage. Covering the floors with sheets of zinc
will promote cleanliness. In the smaller cages removable pans or trays
can often be used (Fig. 190). Houses and cages with wooden floors should
always be raised from the ground on posts, blocks, or stones, to avoid
dampness. Clean sand scattered over the floor and frequently renewed
will contribute much to the cleanliness of the cages. The bedding should
also be changed frequently.

In the case of those animals which use their teeth for gnawing, the
corners and angles can be protected by tacking on strips of wire cloth,
tin, or zinc, but there is no need to do this over the flat surfaces. In
the case of cages or houses (and the runways) which have the ground for
the floor and are to be inhabited by animals that will burrow or dig
their way out, the wire netting should be continued underground to a
considerable depth, or it can be carried down a little way and then bent
to lie horizontally, forming a sort of wire floor, over which the dirt
can be replaced, and the animals will be unable to tunnel their way out;
but in all such cases care must be taken to proportion the mesh of the
netting and the size of the wire to the strength and escaping powers of
the animals.

Houses for animals often look pretty when made in imitation of real
houses, but when you do this choose simple types of good proportions,
and do not try to copy all the little details of the large houses. Avoid
"gingerbread" work, and do not cover your houses with meaningless
jig-sawed scroll work and rows of towers and pinnacles, and do not use
all the colours of the rainbow in painting them.

For houses, hutches, boxes, cages, etc., which are to be kept out of
doors or in some outbuilding, ordinary machine-planed stock of fair
quality is sufficiently good, and planing and smoothing by hand is
usually a waste of labour; but if you wish to make a small cage or box
to be kept in the house, and to be nicely finished or painted, good
clear stock should be used, and the final smoothing done by hand.

In case you wish to make several cages or boxes of the same pattern, as,
for example, like Fig. 178, it is much less work to go through the
process with two or more at a time than to make each separately.

A house for pets should not be built, as is sometimes done, on a
platform or base projecting beyond the base of the house, as this tends
to collect and retain moisture and dampness, but should be clear of any
platform, like an ordinary dwelling-house, so that the rain will be shed
directly upon the ground.

When two or more boards are required for each side of the roof it is
usually better to lay them up and down, as in Fig. 187, rather than
horizontally or lengthways, because a roof laid in this way is better
about shedding the water, which tends to collect in the cracks if the
boards are laid horizontally. For the rougher structures the hinges can
be screwed flat upon the outside (as shown in Fig. 179), but for nice
work they should be fitted in the usual way. (See _Hinges_.)

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work upon these cages and houses, read carefully
_Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_, _Plane_, _Nailing_, and look up any
other references.

[Illustration FIG. 175.]

[Illustration FIG. 176.]

Cheap and serviceable cages and houses can be built by simply driving
posts or stakes into the ground and fastening wire cloth or netting to
them, much as you would build a fence. This wire-fenced enclosure can be
covered with a wooden roof if desired. A runway and playground can
easily be made in this way.

A more portable arrangement can be made by putting together wooden
frames covered with wire. Very simple forms are shown in Fig. 175. By
putting together four or more of such frames a cage can readily be made
which can be covered with a wooden roof or with wire (Fig. 176). If
these frames are fastened with screws or screw-eyes and hooks, the whole
can quickly be taken apart if desired.

A very simple cage can be easily made, on the principle of the common
chicken coop, with a few boards or slats and a little wire netting (Fig.
177), but a house of this sort is not especially desirable except for
economy of materials and labour. The construction is too simple to
require description.

[Illustration FIG. 177.]

[Illustration FIG. 178.]

[Illustration FIG. 179.]

A much better form is that with upright sides, or with one slanting
side. Figs. 178 and 179 show an excellent arrangement, easily made. It
can be made any desired size or proportions and is suitable for quite a
variety of animals. If small, 1/2" stock will be thick enough, but if
large, 7/8" stock should be used. The construction is similar to that
of a common box (see _Box-making_, page 219). One corner of each end
should be sawed off slantingly (Fig. 178), and a rectangular piece cut
from the opposite corner, as shown, before the box is nailed together.
The bevelling of the edges of the top and front boards can be done after
the box is put together (see _Bevelling_). For making the door, see
_Doors_, in Part V. The hinged board at the bottom gives access for
cleaning. If for indoors, and to be finished or painted, clear stock
should be selected and the outside carefully smoothed. (See _Plane_,
_Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, _Finishing_, and _Painting_.)

[Illustration FIG. 180.]

For something more like a house, the design shown in Fig. 180 is good
and of simple construction. This can be made of any size from that of a
small box to a small house. For the latter, see _Part III.
(House-building for Beginners)_.

To make a little house of this pattern first get out the bottom of the
required dimensions, and then the ends, which are alike and to be nailed
to the ends of the bottom. Take pains to be accurate in getting out the
pieces, or the house will be askew when put together. The construction
of the sides is plain. The door can be made as in Fig. 180 (see
_Doors_), or the sides can be entirely of wire and the door placed at
the end (Fig. 181). The roof is simply nailed down in place, one side
being got out as much wider than the other as the thickness of the
stock, so that one will lap over the edge of the other at the ridge. If
the angle formed at the top is not a right angle, however, the edge of
the narrower roof-board must be bevelled according to the angle (see

[Illustration FIG. 181.]

A house of this sort can be made with one end closed, while the other
remains open (Fig. 182). This is a good arrangement for many animals.
First get out the floor, then the pieces for the closed end, cutting out
the doorway and a window, if one is desired. These openings can be cut
as shown on page 122. Next get out the framework for the open end and
fasten it in position. A door can be fitted wherever desired and the
roof put on, as just shown.

[Illustration FIG. 182.]

[Illustration FIG. 183.]

A house or cage, chiefly open-work, with two sleeping-boxes or nests
(Fig. 183) is similar in general construction. This is suitable for
indoors (as in an outbuilding). If to be left exposed to the weather, a
solid roof can be added, or it can be covered with canvas or something
of the sort when necessary. The construction is similar to that of those
already described. This cage can be used for pigeons and other pets, and
can be made of any size, according to circumstances. For the door, see
_Doors_ and _Hinges_, in Part V. The box attachments can best be made at
the same time, just alike (see _Box-making_, page 219), and fastened to
the sides of the house, the doorways having been cut in the sides before
the house was put together. If these boxes or nests cannot be readily
reached for cleaning, they should be hinged to the main house, or have
special openings with lids or doors, so that they can be kept clean. The
ridge-pole is simply a strip of board placed horizontally between the
upper ends of the rafters.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Rabbit Hutch.=--A simple rabbit-house, or hutch, can be made by putting
together a good-sized box, partitioning off one end, to be closed by a
door, and leaving the rest open, except for the necessary wire sides
(Fig. 184).

[Illustration FIG. 184.]

       *       *       *       *       *

This is made just like a box (see _Box-making_, page 219), the other
details being similar to those already shown. A sliding-door (Fig. 185)
can be inserted, if desired, to cover the hole between the closed and
open parts. The hutch should be raised from the ground to avoid
dampness, and proper arrangements for cleanliness made, as referred to

[Illustration FIG. 185.]

       *       *       *       *       *

A more elaborate hutch (Fig. 186) can be constructed in a similar manner
to the houses already shown. Access to the open part can be had by means
of the doors or lids on top. For the doors, see _Doors_ and _Hinges_.
The slides for the door at the end can be made by cutting a rabbet at
the edge of a square stick, as shown, or the rabbet can be formed by
using strips of different widths, letting the wider lap over the
narrower so as to form the rabbet. Both doors can be made to swing in
the usual way, of course, if preferred. Where the two sides of the roof
meet at the top, the edges must be bevelled (see _Bevelling_).

[Illustration FIG. 186.]

       *       *       *       *       *

=Kennel.=--There are many kinds of dog-houses, and the style and size
must, of course, depend upon the dog and the situation.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration FIG. 187.]

A good kennel (Fig. 187) for a small dog can be made very much as you
would make a box (see _Box-making_, page 219). If for a very small dog
the ends, sides, floor, and sides of the roof can each be made of one
piece, but ordinarily these parts will each be made of two or more
pieces. Matched boards are suitable. First get out the bottom, then the
sides and ends. If you use boards with square edges you must of course
use pieces of different widths, so that the cracks between them will not
meet at the corners, or put posts at the corners. This is the best way
to do with matched boards, if the house is at all large. Nail these
parts together. It will be easiest to cut the slant at the top of each
end--the gable--so that the sides of the roof will meet in a right
angle. This looks well and saves the need of bevelling the edges of the
roof-boards. An opening for the doorway should be cut in one of the ends
before the roof is nailed on. If you do not use matched boards, a strip
should be nailed on the inside at each side of the doorway, to keep the
boards together. The roof-boards for one side should be as much longer
than those for the other as the thickness of the stock. The same applies
to the width of the saddle-boards which cover the extreme top. If the
roof is not made of matched boards, battens should be nailed over the
cracks as shown in Part III.

       *       *       *       *       *

For a large dog a kennel should be built more like a real +house+ and
not so much like a box. A structure with a frame (Fig. 188) can be
built of any size suitable for a kennel, and will be more durable than
the preceding form.

[Illustration FIG. 188.]

       *       *       *       *       *

For the frame, small joists, or strips of plank of any size from 1-1/2"
× 2" to 2" × 3" can be used. First get out the sills or bottom pieces of
the framework, nailing them together at the corners to form a
rectangular frame, as shown in Fig. 189.

Then get out the corner posts and fasten them in place, and on top of
them fasten the plates (a second horizontal frame like that at the
bottom); and see that all this framework is rectangular and free from
winding. The sills and plates can be halved at the corners (see
_Halving_), but this is not really necessary in so small a house, as the
boarding adds strength to the joints. The frame can be temporarily held
in place until the boarding is put on by nailing on as many diagonal
strips (Fig. 189) as may be required. Two rafters at each end should
next be put in place, their ends having been cut at an angle of 45° (see
_Mitreing_) and the upper ends being nailed to a strip of board which
serves for a ridge-pole. An intermediate rafter on each side will add
stiffness to the roof. The floor should next be laid, as it will be
inconvenient in so small a house to do this after the sides are put on.
The sides and ends should be boarded with sheathing or matched boards
laid vertically, cutting out the doorway and a small window in the back
gable for ventilation. The roof can next be laid with the boards running
horizontally, or lengthwise, as this house is to be shingled. The
shingles can be dipped in creosote stain or paint to good advantage
before laying. After the roof has been shingled the saddle-boards can be
put on and the house will be ready for painting (see _Painting_).
Another form of doorway is shown in Fig. 189_a_. For the various details
of a framed structure of this sort, see _Part III. (House-building for

[Illustration FIG. 189.]

[Illustration Fig. 189_a_.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The author of _House and Pet Dogs_ gives the following suggestion:

    "The best device is an ordinary single kennel forty-eight inches by
    thirty-three inches, with an A roof, but with a detached bottom of
    the same size as the outside ground measurement of the kennel. This
    bottom is hinged by two stout strap-iron hinges to the side of the
    kennel, and is provided with two wooden axles, to which are fitted
    four wooden wheels, say four inches in diameter. When closed it
    looks like any other kennel on wheels. It can be easily moved by one
    person from damp spots, etc.; and by turning the kennel back upon
    its hinges the bedding can be daily sunned and aired and the kennel
    washed and purified without trouble. The wheels also serve to keep
    the bottom clear of the ground, and allow of a free circulation of
    air beneath."

=Squirrel House.=--The small squirrel house, or cage, shown in Fig. 190,
is made like a box (see _Box-making_, page 219), with the exception of
the roof. The construction is similar to that of the houses already

[Illustration FIG. 190.]

       *       *       *       *       *

It can be made of 7/8" or 3/4" stock. The dimensions of the bottom can
be made to agree with those of any baking-pan you may have, as shown.
The slide in the roof can be made of zinc or tin. That in the side can
be of either zinc or wood. After the wire cloth has been nailed on a
strip of wood can be nailed around the front edge as a moulding. The
little sleeping-box in the upper corner can be readily reached from the
slide in the roof and connects with the floor of the house by a little
door and a flight of steps (Fig. 191). The latter can be made as shown
in Fig. 173. The most difficult part of this house to make nicely is the
joining of the roof-boards. These must be bevelled at the ridge and the
tops of the ends must also be bevelled where they join the roof (see
_Bevelling_). For other details, see the houses already described.

[Illustration FIG. 191.]

       *       *       *       *       *

A more +elaborate+ affair, shown below, can be made quite large and will
give room for a whole family of squirrels. This house is, however,
considerably more difficult to make than the others shown in this
chapter, and if you have not already acquired some skill as a workman
you had best be content with a simpler design.

       *       *       *       *       *

Four or five feet by about three feet will not be too large for the
ground dimensions of the main part of the house. Regular sills can first
be nailed together for the bottom of the main house and ell in the way
shown in Fig. 189. These sills can be from 1-1/2" × 2" to 2" × 3".
Perhaps an easier way is that shown in Fig. 192, in which three cross
cleats or sills are laid and the floor nailed directly to these. When
the lengthways boards shown in Fig. 192 are nailed to the floor boards
and the sills the bottom will be sufficiently stiff for a squirrel
house. The sides and ends of the ell can be made of boards nailed
together like a box, the openings for the doors, windows, etc., being
first cut out; but the main part of the house should have posts at the
corners to which the boarding at the ends is to be nailed. Rafters
should also be put in at each gable. Plain sheathing will look better
for the outside of this house than that with beads. After the outside
has been boarded and the upper floors put in, the roofs and the cupola
can be added. If the cupola is too difficult it can be omitted, as it is
a luxury to which the average squirrel is unaccustomed.

[Illustration FIG. 192.]

The stairs, the openings in the floors, the doorways, the sleeping-box,
the revolving wire cage, the tree, and the swing in the cupola, are
shown in Fig. 192. The stairs can be made as shown in Fig. 192; strips
nailed vertically at the outside corners of the house, as in a real
house, will give a more finished appearance. The window casings can be
made by nailing strips on the outside. The glass can be held in place by
strips, or small rabbets can be cut as in a window sash. For the
shingling of the roof, see _Part III_. (_House-building for Beginners_).
Each door can be made of a single piece of board, cleated (see _Doors_).
For any other details, see the houses just described and also _Part
III_. (_House-building for Beginners_), and _Painting_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration FIG. 193.]

Several cages of various sizes can readily be built together, as shown
in Fig. 193, which is merely a suggestion, for, of course, the shape,
size, arrangement, and number of compartments must depend on the number
and kinds of animals and the situation. Various combinations will
suggest themselves as occasion calls for them.

If you have such creatures as frogs, turtles, lizards, etc., a
water-tank should be provided. This can easily be made by taking a
tightly made flat box and caulking the cracks, or pouring hot tar or
pitch into them and also tarring or painting the whole surface of the
outside. A board can be fitted slantingly from the bottom to the edge,
at one or both ends, to form an incline by which the users of this
miniature pond can crawl in and out of the water. The box must, of
course, be sunk in the ground inside of the cage.

For larger houses, as for hens, etc., see, also, the principles of
construction of somewhat larger structures in Part III. (_House-building
for Beginners_).

       *       *       *       *       *

=Travelling Cage.=--A small box (Fig. 194) in which to carry a kitten, a
squirrel, a bird, or any small animal, when travelling, is often very
useful and much better than the bags and baskets so often used for the

[Illustration FIG. 194.]

       *       *       *       *       *

All that is necessary is to make a small box of 1/2" stock (see
_Box-making_, page 219), with one side open (to be covered with wire
cloth or netting), and the opposite side made in two parts, the upper of
which is hinged to serve as a door or lid. Strips of moulding can be
nailed on with brads along the edges where the wire is fastened, the
door can be fastened with hook and screw-eye or catch, and a handle
fastened upon the top. It is a good plan to round the edges of a box
which is to be carried around. If this box is neatly got out and put
together and carefully smoothed and finished it will look well and serve
for many years.



=Stilts.=--There is very little to say about the manufacture of stilts.
The construction is obvious (Figs. 195 and 196), the size and
arrangement depending on your own size and skill. The handles can either
be long, or reach up as high as the hand, or short and strapped to the

[Illustration FIG. 195.]

[Illustration FIG. 196.]

=Tilt or See-Saw.=--One of small size is shown in Fig. 197. The exact
proportions given are not necessary, provided you make it strong and so
that it will not tip over.

[Illustration FIG. 197.]

[Illustration FIG. 198.]

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Nailing_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

[Illustration FIG. 199.]

[Illustration FIG. 200.]

First make the standard (Fig. 198) of any sound plank 1-1/4" to 2" thick
and 12" or more in width. Get out the pieces to the dimensions before
beginning to put together, the ends of the braces H being cut at a mitre
(see _Mitring_). Square the line EF across the plank B at the middle
(Fig. 199). Drive three or four stout wire nails (3" to 4" long,
according to the thickness of the plank) nearly through the plank on
this line. Stand the piece A on end under these nails and drive them
through firmly into it (Fig. 200), keeping the two boards at right
angles. Bore holes with a 1/4" bit (see _Boring_) in each end of the
pieces H, as shown, taking pains not to get them too near the edge.
Screw these braces in place with screws from 2-1/4" to 3-1/4" long
(according to the thickness of the plank), keeping the piece A at right
angles with the plank B (see _Screws_). Screw this frame on the
cross-pieces C and D, as shown. Nails can be used throughout, but screws
are better. With plane, draw-knife, or spoke-shave (see _Part V._ for
these tools), round the top edge of A.

[Illustration FIG. 201.]

The tilting-plank should be of spruce, ash, hard pine, or any strong
wood, and had best be from 1-1/2" to 2" thick, according to the length,
which can be 12' or 14'. It should of course be planed. Next get out a
few cleats 7/8" square, or thicker, and screw them on the under side of
the tilting-plank at the middle (Fig. 201, which shows the under side of
the plank), so that the spaces between them will be a little wider than
the thickness of the upright piece A--just enough to allow the plank to
tilt freely. Nail strips on the edge, to keep the plank from slipping
off sideways, shaving a little from the edges of A at the top if
necessary. Finally run over the edges with a plane (see _Plane_), and
sandpaper the plank to prevent slivers.

Simply paint or oil and varnish (see _Painting_ or _Finishing_).

A larger and more elaborate affair, adjustable to different heights, is
shown in Fig. 202.

[Illustration FIG. 202.]

       *       *       *       *       *

First get out the main pieces to the dimensions (Figs. 203, 204, 205).
The upright pieces should be mortised into the planks on which they rest
(Fig. 206) (see _Mortising_). Gauge a line lengthways along the centre
of each side of the uprights (see _Gauge_) and mark points (say 6"
apart) on these lines for holes for the iron rod on which the
tilting-plank rests, taking pains to place them alike on the two
uprights. Then bore 3/4" or 1/2" holes (see _Boring_), according to the
size of rod you can get. Next fit the cross bar at the top. This can
simply be nailed down or fitted between the uprights (Fig. 207), or made
with a shoulder (Fig. 208), which will add to the stiffness of the
frame. The rest of the construction of the standard is plain, and
similar to that just described.

[Illustration FIG. 203.]

[Illustration FIG. 204.]

[Illustration FIG. 205.]

[Illustration FIG. 206.]

[Illustration FIG. 207.]

[Illustration FIG. 208.]

Iron rods can be used for braces, if you wish (Fig. 209).

The tilting-plank should be 16' or 18' long, and of 2" plank. A thread
with nut on one end of the iron rod on which the plank rests will keep
the rod from slipping out of place. The plank can be fastened to the rod
by iron straps or even staples, or a box-like bearing can be quickly
made (Fig. 210). Washers can be placed between the plank and the
uprights if necessary. Smooth the edges with a plane (see _Plane_) and
sandpaper the plank. Simply paint or oil and varnish (see _Painting_ and

[Illustration FIG. 209.]

[Illustration FIG. 210.]

       *       *       *       *       *

=Skis.=--To make as perfect skis as possible they should be of rift
stock, that is, split out instead of sawed; but this may seldom be
practicable for you and is not really necessary. Good straight-grained
sawed stock will answer, but be sure that you get clear, strong
stock--_air-dried_ if possible. Always avoid kiln-dried stock for
anything which is to be put to sudden and violent strain, if you can get
that which has been naturally seasoned (see Chapter III.).

Ash is very good (white ash the best); spruce, light and strong; oak,
strong but heavy. Any strong and elastic wood will do, if not too heavy.
If you can get stock which is naturally sprung in a good curve upward
and is satisfactory in other respects, take it, for a convex curve
upward underneath the foot gives spring and elasticity and helps prevent
the skis from becoming hollowed too much by the weight of the body. This
curve is not necessary, but the better ones are purposely so made. Skis
are sometimes used in very rude forms--as two strips of wood with the
front ends shaved down and bent up at an angle. Small ones can even be
made of staves from barrels, but these are very unsatisfactory.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_,
_Draw-knife_, _Plane_, _Spokeshave_, in Part V., and look up any other

[Illustration FIG. 211.]

[Illustration FIG. 212.]

[Illustration FIG. 213.]

[Illustration FIG. 214.]

First get out the pieces of the required size. The length for a man is
usually about 8' and the width about 4", though they are used even as
long as 12' or 13'. From 5' to 8' long and from 3-1/2" to 4" wide will
probably be right for you, but the dimensions depend on your size, of
course. Next taper the forward ends, as shown in Fig. 211. You can mark
both edges alike by drawing the curve free-hand or with a spline (see
_Spline_) on a piece of stiff paper, from which you can cut out a
pattern for drawing the curve on the wood. Next make the pieces thinner
towards the ends (Fig. 212), noticing that the forward end is thinner
than the after end and is shaved down more quickly so that the stock may
be thin where the toe bends up. This requires great care unless the
grain is very straight, for a little hasty slashing will make too deep a
cut (see _Paring_, etc.). Good forms are shown in Figs. 213 and 214, the
former showing sections at the middle and the latter nearer the ends,
but as the toe is approached the top should become flat for ease in
bending. This shaping can best be done by the draw-knife, spoke-shave,
or plane.

[Illustration FIG. 215.]

[Illustration FIG. 216.]

[Illustration FIG. 217.]

Bend the points of the toes upwards about 6" above the horizontal line
to ensure their riding clear of obstructions, but there is no gain in
curling them up a foot. For the process of bending, see _Bending Wood_.
Then turning the skis over, gauge (see _Gauge_) parallel lines for the
grooves on the bottom. Work the grooves out with the gouge or with the
saw and chisel (see _Gouge_ and _Grooving_) unless you chance to have
the plane designed for this purpose.[20] Make these grooves shallower as
they approach the toe, leaving no groove where the toe bends up.

[Illustration FIG. 218.]

[Illustration FIG. 219.]

[Illustration FIG. 220.]

[Illustration FIG. 221.]

Balance the skis lengthways on a stick or your finger and put stout
leather straps just forward of the balancing point. These can be riveted
or even screwed to the edges of the skis (Fig. 215), but a better way is
to put them through slots cut in the wood (Fig. 216). Gauge accurately
for the slots, marking on both edges, and bore in from both sides (see
_Boring_). The slots must then be cleaned out with chisel and file (see
_Mortising_). An easier way and fully as strong is to cut grooves (Fig.
217) with saw and chisel and cover them with thin strips securely
screwed on (Fig. 218). Some use a second lighter strap to go above the
heel. This can be screwed to the edges if you use it. Strips screwed
across under the instep (Figs. 219 and 220), or behind the heel (Fig.
221), to prevent the foot sliding back are sometimes used.[21] For
racing the Norwegian skis are turned up at the rear end also.

[Illustration FIG. 222.]

The pole, like the skis, must be of light, strong stuff, and can be
round or eight-sided (see _Rounding Sticks_). To shape the tapering end
make the stick uniformly eight-sided for the whole length first and then
plane each side down at the end to get the taper. The hole in the disk
must not be quite so large as the diameter of the pole, so that it
cannot slip up farther than the tapering part (Fig. 222). Many dispense
with the disk.

Finally smooth skis and pole with scraper (see _Scraper_) or glass, and
sandpaper (see _Sandpaper_), and finish with plenty of raw linseed oil
or with oil, shellac, and varnish, in successive coats (see
_Finishing_). If open-grained wood is used it can be filled to good
advantage with a coat of good wood-filler well rubbed in (see
_Finishing_), and the bottoms can also be rubbed with wax or tallow, if
you wish.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Toboggan.=--This is now commonly made of narrow strips, in principle
much like several skis placed side by side--an easier form to make than
the older pattern, formed of one or two wide pieces, as originally made
by the Indians.

White oak and hickory are probably the best woods. Ash, maple, birch,
basswood, or any hard wood which can be bent and has elasticity can be
used. As in the case of the ski, to make the best possible the pieces
should be rift, or split out, rather than sawed, to ensure straight
grain; but, as this may be out of the question for you, be sure to
select the straightest-grained clear stock you can find, for, besides
the bending of the ends, there is great strain put upon it in coasting.
For the same reason use air-dried stock and avoid kiln-dried if

Probably the best and most scientific way to fasten the parts of a
toboggan together is the old way adopted by the Indians of binding or
lashing with thongs. This gives great elasticity and allows the toboggan
to adjust itself to the inequalities of the surface to a greater degree
than is possible with the tightly fastened joints now in use. You can
try this way instead of that given below, if you prefer, but be sure to
cut little grooves in the bottom for the thongs or cords to fit in, or
they will be quickly worn through.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

[Illustration FIG. 223.]

The size can vary from 3' long by 1' wide to 10' or 12' long by 20" to
22" wide; 4' long by 15" or 16" wide is good for a single toboggan; 8'
long by 18" is a good size for three or more persons. You will probably
find the stock most readily in the form of 12' boards. One-half inch in
the rough will be thick enough, though you may have to take inch (rough)
or 7/8" (planed) boards. Let us make an 8' toboggan (Fig. 223). Have the
stock planed and sawed in strips about 10' long, 2-1/2" wide, and not
less than 1/4" nor more than 3/8" in thickness. If they are tapered a
little in thickness for 12" or 15" at the forward end they can be bent
more easily, but do not shave them down too much (see _Plane_ and
_Drawshave_). Smooth the bottom surfaces of the strips with plane and
scraper (see _Scraper_). It is hardly necessary to plane the upper
surfaces by hand, as the planer will leave them fairly smooth, though
they will look a little nicer smoothed by hand. Plane the edges. Next
get out eight cross-bars or cleats 18" long × 3/8" thick and from 1-1/2"
to 3" wide. If wide they can be tapered at the edges, and if narrow, the
edges should be rounded (Fig. 224). Get out also two or three cleats 18"
long, 1/4" thick, and 1-1/4" wide, and one piece 18" long and about 3/4"
× 7/8" (half of a hardwood broomstick will do).

[Illustration FIG. 224.]

The long strips must now be bent at the forward end (see _Bending
Wood_). After they are bent take the eight cleats and, laying one across
the strips as it is to go, mark points for three holes at each strip
(Fig. 224). Bore 3/16" or 1/4" holes in the cross strips and countersink
them very carefully (see _Boring_ and _Countersink_), so that the heads
of the screws will be very slightly lower than the surface--sunk barely
enough to prevent any corners or edges from sticking above the surface.
Take great care not to countersink too deeply, for the long strips are
so thin that the screws may come through on the under side. Mark and
bore the other seven cleats by this first one.

Now take one cleat, to be put on at the rear end 8' from the beginning
of the curve. Screw one end of this cleat in place (see _Screws_), test
with the square, and screw the other end. Then put in the intermediate
screws, driving them all firmly home, and saw off the ends of the long
strips just beyond this cleat. Square lines across every foot to the
curve at the front, and screw on the other cleats. The length of the
screws (which can be quite stout) should be such that they will almost,
but not quite, go through to the under side of the toboggan. Be careful
about this or the points will have to be filed off. Then screw the
smaller cleats on the inside of the curve. Screw the remaining (stouter)
cleat on the outside of the curve at the place where the curve is to
end, and then saw off the projecting ends of the strips by this cleat.
By thongs, belt-lacing, or strong cord at the ends of the cleat last put
on fasten the curve (which will naturally tend to straighten somewhat)
in the required position to the cleat beneath (Fig. 225).

[Illustration FIG. 225.]

Side hand-rails can be fastened at each side on top of the cross-cleats
(Fig. 223). A common way is to make every other cross-cleat thicker (say
7/8") and fasten the side bars to these with large and stout screw-eyes,
or notches can be cut on the under side of these thicker cleats before
they are screwed on, and by passing thongs or cord through these notches
the side-bars can be lashed in place. The side bars you can plane round
or eight-sided (see _Rounding Sticks_) out of strips of any strong wood.

Sandpaper the bottom and finish with plenty of raw linseed oil, or with
oil, shellac, and varnish, in successive coats (see _Finishing_). If
open-grained wood is used it can be filled to good advantage with a coat
of good wood-filler well rubbed in (see _Finishing_), and the bottom can
be waxed or rubbed with tallow, if you wish.

[Illustration FIG. 226.]

If you are willing to put in the labour you can bevel or slope off one
side of each of the long strips (except the two outer ones) so as to
leave the strip thickest in the middle (Fig. 226). Unless you are
willing to take pains enough to do it nicely (which will take some
time), it will be best not to attempt it at all, or to have it done at a
mill. If you have a good hill you can go well enough with the flat
strips and it is not important to round them unless you are scoring
fractions of a second against time. Another way is to curve the
cross-cleats slightly (Fig. 226), leaving the long strips flat.

Some toboggans are made with low runners about an inch high.

[Illustration FIG. 227.]

You can, as you may know, patch up a sort of toboggan of barrel-staves,
with which, though not a very workmanlike arrangement, you can have a
lot of fun at no expense. You can get a high speed with this simple
contrivance (Fig. 227) on a _steep_ hill. It is not good, however,
unless the pitch is steep. You can even get a good deal of sport from
this apparatus in the summer on a _very steep_ grassy knoll.

=Wooden Guns and Pistols.=--A gun on the principle of that shown in Fig.
228, the projectile power being furnished by elastic (rubber) cord, is
easily made.

[Illustration FIG. 228.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square,_, _Saw_,
_Spokeshave_, _Knife_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

First saw the outline of the gun from a straight-grained pine or
whitewood board. This can be quickly and cheaply done at any
wood-working mill. The gun can then be finally shaped with the
spoke-shave and knife. The rasp and file can be used (see _Rasp_ and
_File_.). Much of the shaping can be done with the draw-knife (see
_Draw-knife_), and, in fact, the whole can be whittled out with a knife
if other tools are wanting.

[Illustration FIG. 229.]

[Illustration FIG. 230.]

The most difficult parts of the work are the groove for the arrow and
the arrangement of the trigger. Much care is needed to cut an accurate
groove with a gouge (see _Gouge_), and, unless you are skilled, you can
get a truer result by having this done by a carpenter or at a mill. A
mortise (see _Mortising_) must be cut for the trigger long enough to
allow it sufficient play (Fig. 229). The arrangement of the trigger is
shown in Fig. 229. The elastic underneath the barrel (at the lower end
of the trigger) must be sufficiently powerful (combined with its
additional leverage) to balance the elastic which propels the arrow, so
that the trigger will remain in position and hold the upper elastic
drawn, until the pressure of the finger on the trigger releases it.

[Illustration FIG. 231.]

[Illustration FIG. 232.]

[Illustration FIG. 233.]

The barrel of the gun is sometimes built of three pieces (Fig. 230,
showing section) of thinner stock, which obviates the grooving but makes
more work otherwise. The groove can be left open on top (Fig. 230) or
covered with a thin strip (Figs. 231 and 232). In the latter case a
depression must be made in the barrel, so that when the strip is put on
there will be a long slot in which the string can play back and forth
(Fig. 232). With this arrangement you can make a notch (Fig. 233) to
hold the cord when drawn. The trigger can be of wood or wire, pivoted on
a screw or nail, so that when pulled the string will be pushed up and
released (Fig. 233).

A tube is sometimes fastened to the barrel, as in a real gun, and a
plunger is sometimes fitted to the tube to start the arrows, or bullets
in case they are used (Fig. 234).

[Illustration FIG. 234.]

[Illustration FIG. 235.]

[Illustration FIG. 236.]

The ends of the elastic cord can be fastened to screw-eyes at the
muzzle. A piece of leather thong or cord inserted at the middle of the
upper elastic cord will wear better than the rubber at that point.

Another form of trigger is shown in Fig. 235, which can also be made of
stiff wire (Fig. 236).

[Illustration FIG. 237.]

To finish the gun nicely, it should be scraped (see _Scraper_) and
sandpapered with fine sandpaper (see _Sandpaper_). It can then be
finished with oil and shellac or varnish (see _Shellac_, _Varnish_,

These same methods of construction can, of course, be applied to a

[Illustration FIG. 238.]

A bow-gun or crossbow (Fig. 237) can be made on the same principle,
using a bow instead of the elastic, and inserting it in a hole made
through an enlargement of the under side of the barrel (Fig. 238).

=Sleds.=--Common sleds can be bought so cheaply that it is hardly worth
while, as a rule, to make them. Many are so poorly made, however, and
will stand so little rough usage, that a few suggestions may be of value
if you should wish to make a really serviceable one yourself.

Take the dimensions from any sled which suits you. Avoid making your
sled too high, however, as one ten or twelve inches high will coast no
better than a low sled, and requires much more bracing to be strong.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
in Part V., and look up any other references.

[Illustration FIG. 239.]

The runners and cross-pieces should be of straight-grained oak, maple,
ash, or other strong wood; 7/8" stock will do. Mark the runners
carefully on the wood, according to your working-drawing (Fig. 239), and
before sawing them out bore the holes for the rope (see _Boring_). Saw
out the runners, or have them sawed by machine, and see that the curves
are the same on each.

[Illustration FIG. 240.]

Get out three cross-pieces (Fig. 240) about 2" wide, and from 7/8" to
1-1/4" thick, with a shoulder at each end as shown. Mark and cut the
mortises (see _Mortising_) in the runners (Fig. 239).

Put these parts together, forming the frame of the sled (Fig. 241),
driving a pin through each mortise and tenon and adding the L irons
shown in Figs. 241 and 242.

The seat may be thinner than the runners, and is to be fitted between
them and to be screwed to the cross-pieces (see _Screws_). The thickness
of the stock for the seat must be borne in mind when laying out the
mortises in the runners.

[Illustration FIG. 241.]

[Illustration FIG. 242.]

Machine-planed stock is, of course, as smooth as is necessary for a
sled, but smoothing by hand (see _Plane_, _Scraper_, and _Sandpaper_)
will give a nicer surface. The runners can be shod at the blacksmith's
with half-round irons, or round steel can be used with iron at the ends.
In case of steel spring irons the runners can be slightly grooved on the
edge, so far as may be necessary to keep the irons in place. The irons
can be 1/2" to 5/8" in diameter.

Finish with paint (see _Painting_) or with oil, shellac, and varnish
(see _Finishing_).

       *       *       *       *       *

A "double-runner," "bob," or "traverse" sled can be built to good
advantage. The sleds can be made as just described, or ready-made ones
can be used. See that they are well put together, of the same width, and
securely braced, as the strain upon them is great. The length of the
double-runner is a matter of choice, of course. As to the height and
width, however, if the coasting is straight, smooth, and comparatively
safe there is no objection to a high seat, with a comfortable foot-board
on each side for the passengers' feet, if you wish. But if you are going
to coast on long, rough hills, with sudden curves and pitches to be
taken in uncertainty and at whirlwind speed--the kind of coasting for
real fun and exhilaration--avoid the luxurious top-heavy double-runners
frequently seen. Make the sleds rather broad (18" is not too wide for
the "track" of a 16' sled; which is a very long sled, however), and keep
the height of the top-board down to about 10" or less.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
in Part V., and look up any other references.

[Illustration FIG. 243.]

The seat-board can be from 8' to 16' long, and about 12" to 14" wide.
Board thickness is sufficient for a short seat, but if long a 1-1/4"
plank should be used. If you have in mind to make a very long sled you
should consider, before beginning, that you must either use a quite
thick plank to get the necessary stiffness, which will add to the weight
of the double-runner, or the plank must be stiffened or "trussed" with
rods beneath like a bridge, which will add to the expense and labour. It
should be of strong, elastic, straight-grained wood, free from bad knots
or defects, as the strain upon it is great. It should not be too
yielding and springy, however, or it may sag inconveniently. Clear hard
Southern pine or ash is good. A plank of stiff spruce of good quality
will do. The rear end can be rounded, as shown (Fig. 243).

Machine-planing is sufficient for the sides of the seat-plank, but the
edges should be planed carefully (see _Plane_), and the angles slightly
rounded off with the plane, spoke-shave, or rasp and file (see
_Spokeshave_, _Rasp_, and _File_) to prevent splinters.

[Illustration FIG. 244.]

[Illustration FIG. 245.]

To enable the front sled to turn properly, get out two pieces of 2"
plank, as shown in Fig. 244, about 3" wide and as long as the width of
the sled, one being tapered toward the ends on the under side. The
tapering is important, as it diminishes the friction when the front sled
is turned. Screw one of these pieces firmly across the top of the front
sled and the other across the lower side of the seat-board (see
_Screws_), a hole being bored through the centre of each cross-piece (as
well as through the seat-board and the top of the front sled) for the
king-bolt upon which the front sled turns. Find these centres accurately
and bore carefully with a bit 1/16" larger than the king-bolt (see
_Boring_). The front sled should turn very freely and easily, and have
plenty of play, but the bolt should not fit loosely enough to make the
double-runner rickety.

A washer can be inserted between the cross-pieces. Sometimes a thick
rubber washer is used to lessen the shock (Fig. 245).

[Illustration FIG. 246.]

To give the ends of the rear sled freedom to play up and down (without
turning sideways) in passing over the inequities of the surface the
arrangement shown in Fig. 243 (and enlarged in Fig. 246) is good. Do not
make this of 7/8" stock. Pieces of plank should be used, the dimensions
being so arranged that the seat-board will be equally raised from the
front and rear sleds. The pins at the ends of the cross-piece should be
not less than 1" in diameter (1-1/4" is better) and should be carefully
cut (see _Paring_ and _Rounding Sticks_). The best way is to have them
turned to fit the holes in the rocker-shaped pieces. The latter should
be long enough (about 1') to prevent danger of the wood breaking apart
near the hole and to allow for screwing firmly to the seat-board.

[Illustration FIG. 247.]

Another way, sometimes adopted, is to use two cross-cleats with two
bolts (queen-bolts) and thick rubber washers (Fig. 247), the bolts being
loose enough in the holes to allow the necessary amount of play. Ropes
or chain can be fastened from the rear sled to the seat-board, to
prevent too much dropping of the former.

[Illustration FIG. 248.]

Many arrangements for steering have been invented. A cleat at the
forward end of the seat-board to brace the feet against, the sled being
guided by the ropes held in the hand (Fig. 248), is a simple way, though
requiring more strength and steadiness of arm, when the coast is rough
or dangerous, than is possessed by many steersmen. The brace for the
feet should be bolted to the seat-board or strongly screwed from above
and beneath. Another equally simple way is to screw the brace for the
feet upon the forward sled (Fig. 243), cutting a shallow gain in the
tops of the runners to hold it more securely. In this way of steering
the arms can reinforce the legs, or the steering can be done by the legs
alone. It is a very effective method, which gives a high degree of
control of the forward sled without cumbersome tackle and leaves the
seat-board free of obstructions.[22]

[Illustration FIG. 252.]

[Illustration FIG. 253.]

In case of a high double-runner, running foot-boards along each side can
be added. A simple way to fasten these is by means of pieces of
strap-iron bent as shown in Fig. 252 and screwed to the under side of
the seat-board, with the foot-boards fastened to the projecting arms
(Fig. 253). The dimensions to which the irons should be bent depend upon
the height and size of the double-runner, but you should take pains that
the space between the edge of the seat-board and the foot-board is such
that the feet cannot become caught.

The problem of contriving a perfectly successful brake for a
double-runner has not yet been solved. Like all other apparatus for
emergencies it should be as simple as possible. Unless it is _sure_ to
work it will be worse than not to have one, as you will come to rely on
it. The steersman is usually the one who first realises the need of
braking, and when practicable he is the one upon whom it naturally
devolves. If he steers with the hands he can brake with the foot against
a lever as shown below, but if he steers with the feet it is pretty
risky business trying to brake also with the foot and, unless you can
contrive some way by which he can safely and quickly brake by hand (not
an easy thing to do), the brake had best be worked by the rider at the
rear. This has some obvious disadvantages. A few ideas are given below,
but are not recommended as thoroughly satisfactory.

[Illustration FIG. 254.]

[Illustration FIG. 255.]

The simple and primitive way, so often used in the country by drivers of
heavily loaded sleds, of dropping a chain under the runner is an
effective method of braking, provided you have some sure method of
dropping the chain under the runners. Fig. 254 shows a method which can
be worked from either the forward or rear end of the double-runner. In
the plan, or top view (Fig. 254), the details of the arrangement (being
beneath the seat) would ordinarily be represented by dotted lines, but
in this case, on account of the small size of the drawing, they are
shown by full lines, as they would look if the seat-board were
transparent. A way of holding up the middle of the chain is shown in
Fig. 255. A small block _a_, perhaps 3" long, is screwed to the under
side of the seat and the chain is held against it by the pivoted bar _b_
(which is pivoted to the seat-board by a bolt and is kept in position by
the spring), and on the under side of which a piece of metal is screwed
at one end, which prevents the chain from dropping. The end of the bar
_b_ is connected by a wire with the lever in front. When the lever is
pushed by the steersman's foot the bar _b_ is pulled away from the block
_a_ and the chain falls by its own weight under the runners of the rear
sled, which quickly brings the double-runner to a standstill. Fig. 256
shows the bar held in position by the spring. Fig. 257 shows the
position of the bar after the lever has been pressed, with the open
space which allows the chain to drop. The same apparatus can be worked
from the rear end of the double-runner by simply having the wire to be
pulled led back (Fig. 258), where it can be worked directly by the hand
or you can contrive a lever to be raised.

[Illustration FIG. 256.]

[Illustration FIG. 257.]

[Illustration FIG. 258.]

A method of braking sometimes used is by means of a crooked lever formed
from an iron rod, one end of which is pulled up by the hand while the
lower part has one or more prongs which dig into the surface and stop
the sled. Fig. 259 shows a form sometimes used, and Fig. 260 a top view
showing position of the handle and prongs when not in use. Any
blacksmith can arrange this apparatus, which is attached to the rear
sled. A similar arrangement can be contrived to work by the steersman's
foot if desired. One prong, attached to the under side of the
seat-board, can be arranged as suggested (side view) in Fig. 260a.

[Illustration FIG. 259.]

[Illustration FIG. 260.]

The double-runner should be thoroughly oiled, and a coat of shellac,
followed after a day or two by a coat of varnish, will add much to its
durability as well as to its appearance. Lubricate the working parts
with soap or tallow.

If you have a gong, it should be worked by someone other than the

The rear sled is sometimes arranged to swivel like the front sled and to
be steered by a second steersman, somewhat after the fashion of a long
hook-and-ladder truck. This gives good command of the double-runner on

[Illustration FIG. 260a.]

       *       *       *       *       *

=Gymnastic Apparatus.=--It will, in most cases, be out of the question
for you to attempt to put up any building roomy enough for a "gym," but
sometimes a number of you can club together and get the use of some
vacant room in which satisfactory apparatus can be fitted at moderate
expense. Some of it may be rather primitive compared with the mechanism
of a modern college gymnasium, but will answer the purpose so far as
getting up muscle is concerned. Most of you can find a place for one or
more pieces of apparatus, either indoors or out. Much outdoor apparatus
can be supported on posts driven into the ground, or even by fastening
to trees. The outdoor apparatus is usually easier and cheaper to make,
but has the obvious disadvantages of not being usable in bad weather or
winter, to any great extent, and will not last so long on account of
exposure to the weather. If, however, you fix things the right way and
take the movable parts indoors during the bad weather, such a "gym" will
last until it is outgrown, or until the next generation grows up to
build a new one. If indoors have the room well ventilated. Often the
second story of a barn makes a capital gymnasium. The few simple pieces
of apparatus given here will be treated independently, as it is of
course impossible to tell how you will be obliged to arrange them. You
can vary the designs or proportions to suit the circumstances.

White ash, hickory, oak, hard pine, and for some purposes fir, spruce,
and white pine, are suitable for gymnastic apparatus. For everything
which is to stand violent strain or wrenching, as the horizontal bars,
vaulting poles, and such things, use _air_-dried stock, if possible,
avoiding kiln-dried, as the latter is more brittle and inelastic, and
often utterly unfit for such uses (see Chapter III.). Of course for such
parts only the toughest woods should be used, as white ash, hickory,
oak, spruce.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Parallel Bars.=--A useful form (and not beyond the skill of an amateur)
is shown in Fig. 261. The height must, of course, depend upon the
gymnast, and can range from 3' 6" to 5' 6", the width inside (between
the bars) from 14" to 19", and the length from 6' to 8'.

[Illustration FIG. 261.]

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

The base of the apparatus can be simply made of 2" × 6" planks, as shown
in Fig. 261, and fastened by screws (see _Screws_), or, as shown in Fig.
262, the pieces can be halved at their intersections (see _Halving_), in
which case thicker stock may be used. For a small pair of bars the
planks for the base can be somewhat lighter.

[Illustration FIG. 262.]

The upright posts should be of strong wood not less than 2" × 4" (unless
for a very small pair of bars) and should be mortised at top and bottom,
as shown in Figs. 263 and 264 (see _Mortising_). These joints should be

The bars themselves should be of the best white ash (hickory, oak, hard
pine can be used), not less than 2" × 3" (unless for a small pair of
bars). The arrangement and object of the iron braces is plain.

[Illustration FIG. 263.]

[Illustration FIG. 264.]

After the apparatus is all fitted together, take off the bars and
carefully round the top edges for the entire length (see _Rounding
Sticks_). The ends which project beyond the posts can also be rounded on
the under side (_i.e._, made elliptical in section, as shown), if

Machine-planing is sufficient for this apparatus, except for the bars
themselves, which should be carefully smoothed by hand (see _Plane_,
_Scraper_, _Sandpaper_), although, of course, the whole will appear more
nicely finished if smoothed by hand. The square edges should be "broken"
(_i.e._, slightly bevelled or rounded) so as not to be too sharp in case
of contact with them.

The whole apparatus can be simply oiled thoroughly, or can be given in
addition one or more coats of shellac or varnish (see _Finishing_), but
a coat of oil is sufficient for the bars themselves, as they will be
polished by use.

This arrangement has the advantage of being portable, but of course the
base can be omitted, if desired, and the posts fastened directly to the
floor. If mortises cannot be cut in the floor, blocks can be screwed to
the floor around the base of each post so as to form a socket into which
the post will fit.

Parallel bars can be readily made for outdoor use by simply setting four
upright posts (not less than 3" × 4") firmly in the ground, at the same
distances apart as specified for the movable bars described above, and
fastening the bars to the tops of the posts by mortise and tenon, as
already shown (Fig. 263). The posts should reach 3' or more below
ground, both on account of the frost and to give increased steadiness,
and the earth should be thoroughly tamped down around them with a
sharp-pointed bar or stick. This apparatus should be thoroughly oiled
and can be varnished (see _Finishing_). The posts should be of good
thickness at the ground, but can be tapered toward the top, on the
outside, to the thickness of the bars.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Horizontal Bar.=--A design suitable for the =amateur= wood-worker is
shown in Fig. 265.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

First make the upright posts or guides. These are somewhat like a trough
in shape, side boards about 6" wide being screwed (see _Screws_) on the
sides of a 2" × 3" joist. Fig. 266 shows sections in the middle and at
each end, blocks being inserted at the ends for strength. The joist can
be of any strong wood. The side boards, which serve as guides for the
bar, had best be of hard wood. Hard pine, oak, maple, ash, or any strong
wood can be used. You will require two of the joists and four side
boards, all sawed squarely off the exact height of the room.[23]

The usual way would be to get out the pieces a little too long and,
after they are fastened together, to saw off the ends so as to give the
required length. Gauge lines on each side of the upright pieces (see
_Gauge_) and intersect these lines at regular distances by others
squared across and around three sides of the uprights, thus determining
the places for the holes for the pins which hold the bar in position.
These can be bored from each side with a 3/8" bit (see _Boring_).

[Illustration FIG. 265.]

[Illustration FIG. 266.]

Another way sometimes adopted when you have one or two stout timbers on
hand or already in position for the posts is to screw two upright cleats
of plank to the inner side of each timber, thus forming the groove for
the bar, as shown in section in Fig. 267.

[Illustration FIG. 267.]

The uprights can now be fastened in place, taking care to have them
exactly vertical and in line with each other. The distance apart will
depend on the length of the bar. The uprights can of course be mortised
into the floor, or the wood-work above, if the conditions admit, but it
will usually answer every purpose to hold each end in place by four
cleats firmly screwed to the floor or ceiling. It is usually simpler to
have these uprights extend to the ceiling, but this is not necessary,
and in some cases it may be advisable to brace them to the floor only,
by wooden or iron braces, in some of the ways already shown, or they can
be guyed with wire rope and turnbuckles.

The bar you had best have made or buy already made, in which case you
can arrange the dimensions and position of the uprights to fit the bar.
It can be from 5' in length to perhaps 6' 9" (6' is a good length), and
should be not less than 1-3/4" in diameter, +nor over+ 2".
It should be of the best clear, straight-grained white ash or hickory
(air-dried, not kiln-dried). One having a steel rod for a core is the
best. The ends can be left square and bound with a square ferrule or
band of iron of the right size to slip easily up and down in the grooves
of the upright guides (Fig. 268). Any blacksmith can arrange this, as
well as the pins to hold the bar. This apparatus can be finished in the
same way as the parallel bars just described.

[Illustration FIG. 268.]

[Illustration FIG. 269.]

A suggestion for a post for outdoor apparatus is given in Fig. 269. The
post should be set in the ground at least 3' and the earth well tamped
down around it with a pointed bar or stick. The lower ends of the braces
can themselves be set in the ground or abut against heavier posts set in
the ground. This apparatus should be protected from the weather as in
the cases described above.

=Vaulting Apparatus.=--You can buy iron standards or bases, and of
course the whole apparatus, for high jumping and pole vaulting, but it
is a simple matter to make a pair of uprights that will answer the
purpose satisfactorily (Fig. 270).

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

Take two straight sticks 10' or 12' long and about 2-1/2" square. Taper
each piece with the plane until about 1-1/2" square at one end. Make
each base of two pieces of board about 4" wide and perhaps 3' long, as
shown in Fig. 270, or halve two pieces of plank (see _Halving_). Mortise
the larger ends of the posts into these bases as shown in Fig. 271 (see

[Illustration FIG. 270.]

[Illustration FIG. 271.]

Before fastening the posts to the standards, mark a line along the
middle of one side of each post. On this line lay off feet and inches
from the bottom and carefully bore a quarter-inch hole through the posts
at each of these points (except, of course, those near the ground) for
the pins which are to support the cross-bar or cord (see _Boring_). Then
fit the posts in the mortises and brace them by three braces each. The
ends of the braces can be cut at a mitre and screwed in place, or the
blacksmith will make iron braces for a small sum (Fig. 271). Finish like
the other apparatus already described.

Vaulting poles should be round, very straight-grained, from air-dried
(not kiln-dried) stock of light, strong wood, as spruce, free from knots
or any cross-grained, weak spots. The thickness should of course depend
on the length, but should not be less than 1-1/4" for an 8' pole (which
is quite short), and the pole should taper toward each end (see
_Rounding Sticks_).

       *       *       *       *       *

=Spring-Board.=--A form not difficult to make is shown in Fig. 272. The
framework can be made of any strong wood, but the spring-board itself
should be of the best quality of clear, straight-grained white ash.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

First make the base or framework. Get out two pieces of 2" × 3" plank
for the outside pieces (to stand on edge) and +screw blocks+ of
the same plank at each end to raise the pieces from the ground as shown.
Place these pieces so that they spread apart slightly at the forward
end (Fig. 272), being about 22" apart at the rear end. Fit a cross-tie
to connect these stringers at about 2' from the forward end.

[Illustration FIG. 272.]

Another cross-bar, resting on the stringers, is placed nearer the rear
end, and about 1' from the rear end a piece of 3" × 4" joist is fitted
between the stringers and held in place by a bolt passed through it and
the stringers. This should be loose enough to allow the block to turn.

The spring-board can be made of five strips of 7/8" stock, 4" wide and
6' long, screwed to a cleat at the forward end, and securely bolted to
the block at the rear end.

This apparatus can be finished as in the cases described above.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Vaulting-Horse.=--A simple affair (Fig. 273) can be easily arranged by
making a box, perhaps 5' long and 8" or 10" square, which can be
supported by flaring legs of joist as shown in the illustrations.

[Illustration FIG. 273.]

[Illustration FIG. 274.]

First make the box (see _Box-making_, in Part II.). The corners and
edges should be rounded (Fig. 274), and the whole padded and covered
with such materials as you may have at hand or can afford for the
purpose. Laying out and sawing the bevels for the tops of the legs is
the hardest part of the job. Transfer the bevels carefully from your
working drawing to the wood, and saw as exactly to the lines as you can.
See also _Scribing_. Unless you have had much experience some paring
will probably be required to make all the legs fit. To make the horse
stand evenly see _Scribing_, _Winding-sticks_, etc. The other general
directions given for the apparatus described above will suffice for this

[Illustration FIG. 275.]

A horse for outdoors (Fig. 275) can be simply made of a log, perhaps 1'
in diameter, smoothed and with the ends rounded, and mounted (by
mortising) upon posts set in the ground (see _Mortising_). The top can
be covered with rubber, as indicated in the illustration.

The posts should be set at least 3' in the ground, and the earth well
tamped around them with a pointed bar or stick.

The apparatus can be finished as in the cases given above.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Giant Swing.=--This piece of apparatus is excellent for outdoors, and
affords considerable sport (Fig. 276).

[Illustration FIG. 276.]

[Illustration FIG. 277.]

[Illustration FIG. 278.]

You must have a pole or mast from 15' to 25' long and from 6" to 10" in
diameter at the lower end. At the smaller end there should be an iron
ring or ferrule. This can be heated and driven on, when it will shrink
so as to fit tightly and save the end from splitting. The upper end of
the pole should first be squarely sawed off (see _Saw_). The swing
ropes, of which you can have two or four (as you wish), can be fastened
by hooks to a pivot set into the top of the post (see _Boring_), the
latter being firmly set up in the ground. The blacksmith can quickly fix
a pivot with hooks or pins and with a washer, to which you can fasten
the ropes (Fig. 277). The lower ends of the ropes can be fastened at the
proper height to sticks for handles. Loops can also be made in which to
rest one leg if you wish. Of course you must have plenty of room for
swinging around. In setting up the pole dig a hole 3' or 4' deep and
after placing the pole tamp the earth compactly down around it with a
pointed bar or stick.

A cheaper way, but hardly as good, is to drive a 1" or 3/4" rod in the
top of the pole, and get out a stout piece of hard wood, 3" or 4" square
and 1-1/2' or 2' long, with a hole in the middle to fit the rod, and
smaller holes near each end for fastening the ropes by a knot (Fig.
278). A washer can be put under the wooden bar, or the top of the pole
may be slightly rounded.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Other Apparatus.=--There are, of course, other useful forms of
apparatus involving more or less wood-work, such as hanging poles, fixed
upright and slanting poles or bars, and various contrivances which you
can readily arrange without more special instruction than has been

       *       *       *       *       *

Ladders are of course good, but it is usually as well for the amateur to
buy these. A suggestion for a framework for hanging rings, trapeze,
poles, rope ladders, and the like, with fixed ladders and horizontal
bar, is given in Fig. 279.

[Illustration FIG. 279.]

Do not make such framework too light. Fasten the joints with bolts
rather than screws or nails, and suspend the hanging apparatus from
eye-bolts passing through the timber and with washers under the nuts.
The dimensions for such framework must depend upon the circumstances.
The suggestions about the construction of the other pieces of apparatus
given above will assist you in designing and constructing something to
suit the circumstances.


[20] All of this work can be done cheaply at any mill, leaving the
rounding or bevelling of the edges and the bending of the ends for you
to do yourself, and for that matter the rounding or bevelling can be
done by machine.

[21] Mrs. Alec Tweedie says of the way skis are worn in Norway:

"The toes are fastened by a leather strap. Another strap goes round the
heel in a sort of loop fashion, securing the foot, but at the same time
giving the heel full play. A special ski boot is worn over enormously
thick horsehair stockings. This boot has no hard sole at all, and,
instead of being sewn at the sides, the large piece of thick leather
which goes under the foot is brought well over the top and secured to
what might ordinarily be called a leather tongue. At the back of the
boot is a small strap, which is used to fasten the ski securely to the
boot. Once fixed on the ski, the boot is so secure no fall can loosen
it, and the only way to extricate the foot is to undo the three straps."

[22] Various contrivances for steering with a wheel or cross-bar are
sometimes used. These work well if properly attached, and for reasonably
safe coasting can be recommended, but where a "spill" is likely to
occur, it may be well to consider the chance of being injured by these
obstructions in front of the steersman.

[Illustration FIG. 249.]

[Illustration FIG. 250.]

[Illustration FIG. 251.]

Fig. 249 shows the king-post squared at the lower end (and tapering) to
be fitted to a tapering mortise in the cross-cleat of the forward sled
and held down by the screw and nut at the extreme end. A wheel is
attached to the upper end. Any blacksmith can make an arrangement like
this, or the bottom of the king-post can be split (Fig. 250) and screwed
to the front sled, and the top can be made with a bar instead of a wheel
(Fig. 251).

[23] You can get this height by taking two sticks whose combined length
is somewhat greater than the height of the room. By letting the ends lap
over one another in the middle, the sticks can be slipped along on each
other until they just reach from floor to ceiling. Hold them tightly
together (or fasten them with a clamp) when in this position and you
will have the exact length required.



Some article of furniture is frequently one of the first objects upon
which the beginner (particularly the amateur of mature years) tries his
hand; and boys, as well as their elders, sometimes confidently undertake
pieces of cabinet-work which would tax to the utmost the skill of an
experienced cabinet-maker, only to be discouraged by the unsatisfactory

Do not be beguiled by the captivating sketches and descriptions in the
popular magazines and papers which tell you how someone, at an expense
of perhaps only $2.98, easily made a roomful of desirable furniture out
of packing-cases, old bedsteads, barrels, soap-boxes, broomsticks, and
the like, with only the household hammer, saw, and screw-driver, and a
liberal supply of putty, coloured varnish, and the occasional help of
the "village carpenter."

That sort of work does very well for your feminine relatives if they
wish to amuse themselves in such ways or to contrive makeshifts to save
the expense of furniture made in the usual way. You can very well help
them in such work, or do it for them, and some very neat, cheap, and
serviceable things can be made of such materials (particularly with the
use of cloth)--but that is not the way for _you_ to begin your
cabinet-making. Learn to do good, plain, simple, useful work in the
simplest, most straightforward, practical, _workmanlike_ way. When you
can do that, if you wish to exercise your ingenuity in patching up
useful articles from discarded ones you will know how to do it properly.

Be sure to begin with simple articles, avoiding attempts at elaborate
decoration. Do not spend your time in making a useless object merely
because you think it is pretty. Think first whether your design is
suited for the purpose intended. If you start to make a case for your
books, select or make your design accordingly, and do not be misled, by
the multitude of overelaborated articles with which the market is
flooded, into making a parlour bric-à-brac cabinet, all built up of
turning, and jig-sawing, and machine-made carvings, too complicated and
fragile for practical use, with the result that the books continue to be
stored on a closet shelf or on the floor.

Next look to the block-form or general proportions of the object. The
importance of this is often wholly overlooked by the average
amateur,--sometimes because he is too engrossed in trying to make the
details pretty,--but it is essential in making a handsome piece of
furniture. No amount of exquisite carving, inlaying, or decoration of
any kind (however beautiful in itself) will make an ill-shaped, badly
proportioned article a thing of beauty; while a well-shaped and
well-proportioned object will be pleasing to the eye even if free from
decoration of any kind.

Of course, no rule can be given for designing a handsome piece of
furniture any more than for painting a beautiful picture, but when you
have sketched out the general shape and proportions and think you have
done as well as you can, there is one thing it is well to bear in
mind--that the average amateur is much more likely to spoil the
appearance of his work by adding too much so-called ornamentation than
by leaving the work too plain. When you become proficient enough to add
carving, or other form of decoration, to your work, by all means use any
skill you may have in such ways, but even then remember not to use such
ornamentation too freely. Avoid "gingerbread" work, meaningless
jig-sawed decorations, and machine-made carvings, turned out by the

Look at some of your great-grandmother's furniture (if you are fortunate
enough to be able to do so) and think how long it has lasted, and
compare it with the cheap modern furniture after the latter has been in
use for a few years. How much of the latter would be in existence now if
it had been made when the ancestral articles were? The durability of the
old things is partly due to the quality of the wood and its seasoning.
The use of whole pieces (instead of scraps of all kinds of stuff glued
up with cheap glue), the way the articles were put together, and the
generally honest work put into them had much to do with it.

Bear in mind in undertaking a piece of cabinet-work that you must hold
yourself to a higher standard in the matter of accuracy of detail, in
order to produce a really satisfactory result, than is necessary for
much of the other work often done by amateurs. Many slight inaccuracies,
which are of little consequence in the rougher kinds of work, become
such gaping and conspicuous defects in cabinet-work as to detract much
from the satisfaction that should be taken in home-made articles.
Remember, then, that while it is easy to make your furniture strong, it
is by no means easy to produce close, accurate joints, smooth, true
surfaces, square, clean-cut edges, and a good, smooth finish. Choose,
therefore, simple forms, easily put together, for your early attempts;
for it is much better to make a modest and unpretentious article well
than to make an elaborate one badly.

First and foremost, when you come to the actual work, use thoroughly
seasoned wood. This is essential to making permanently satisfactory
furniture, as you will learn after you have spent much time in making an
article out of half-seasoned stock, only to see the ruin of your
carefully executed work begin as soon as the finish is dry, or even

Although it is very easy to tell you to use nothing but properly
seasoned stock, you will doubtless sometimes be deceived, however, as it
is by no means an easy matter for the beginner to determine; but you can
at least try your best to get wood in suitable condition, for it will be
time well spent. (Read the remarks on seasoning in Chapter III.)

Be content with the more easily worked woods in your early attempts. Do
not buy highly figured, heavy, and hard San Domingo mahogany (no matter
how beautiful) for your first table or bookcase--nor even quartered oak,
nor mottled walnut burl, nor wavy maple--but begin with plain,
straight-grained material, easy to work.

White pine is often considered rather cheap and common in appearance,
but it is suitable for many things in the way of furniture. It is one of
the best woods to "stand," or hold its shape, and if not desired of the
natural colour (which, is, however, suitable and attractive for some
objects) it can be painted. It can also be stained, but is not to be
compared with whitewood in this respect.

Whitewood is, like pine, easy to work, durable, can be obtained in wide
boards, can be painted, and takes a stain exceedingly well.

Black walnut is good to work and is well suited for furniture, though
its sombre hue is not always desirable.

Cherry, when soft and straight-grained, is easy to work and is often
(when highly figured or wavy) one of the most beautiful woods. It is
easy to finish.

Mahogany is a wood of great beauty and durability, and holds its shape
exceedingly well, but the beginner should confine himself at first to
the lighter, softer, straight-grained varieties, which can be easily
obtained. You can then try the more highly figured and harder kinds,
which will tax your skill in smoothing them.

Oak in its softer, straight-grained forms is well suited to the work of
the beginner. It is durable, and an article made of oak will stand more
abuse without serious defacement than most of the other woods used for
furniture. When quarter-sawed it is more difficult to smooth than plain,
straight-grained oak, but as you acquire skill you will find quartered
oak one of the most satisfactory woods. Oak can be stained if desired.

Many other kinds of wood are sometimes used, as sycamore, ash, birch,
beech, maple, rosewood, butternut, ebony, etc., but these woods you can
try for yourself, if you wish, as you progress in skill, and thus learn
their peculiar characteristics.

An important point, not always realised by the amateur, is that the
stock for good furniture should be planed true, that is, free from
winding. Buy stock that is as true as you can find (see Chapter III.)
and have it planed to be as true as possible. Have as much of this
truing done by machine as you can afford, for it is not worth while to
spend an hour in working down a surface by hand (see _Truing Surfaces_,
in Part V.) when a machine will do it in five minutes. There are, of
course, cases in which this accuracy is not essential,--and judgment
must be used, as in all intelligent work,--but, as a rule, it is highly
important that the surfaces should be reasonably true if you wish to do
your work as it should be done. The pieces, when fitted, should come
together easily and naturally, and not require to be sprung or twisted
or bent in order to be able to put the article together.

Your furniture should always be hand-planed and scraped, for, though the
slight hollows and ridges left by the planing-machine may not be
noticeable while the wood is in its natural state, as soon as the
surface is finished and begins to have a lustre these inequalities
become conspicuous. This applies to any small irregularities of the
surface. You cannot get the surface too smooth. You will be surprised at
first to see how noticeable slight defects in the surface become in the
finished work.

Curved edges occur often in furniture. Many of these curves can be cut
with a turning-saw or a keyhole- and compass-saw, but the easiest way
(and the most accurate, until you have acquired considerable skill with
the saw) is to have them cut at a mill by a jig-saw or band-saw at but
slight expense. Have a piece of waste wood put on the under side to
prevent the burr, or ragged edge, left by the sawing. These curves can
be smoothed with the spoke-shave alone, or spoke-shave and file, or file
alone, according to the conditions, as you will soon learn by
experience, the final finishing of the surface being given with fine

Put the different parts of your article of furniture completely together
once (without glue or nails) to see that everything fits right, that the
joints close properly, and that the whole job is as it should be, before
putting together permanently.

This often seems to the amateur a needless precaution (and it
occasionally is), but, although it takes some time, it is the practice
with skilled workmen and therefore a precaution which should not be
neglected by the beginner. You will discover the importance of this when
you carelessly assume that all the parts of a writing-desk, for
instance, will come together properly, or that you can easily correct
errors as you go along, only to find, when you have the work nearly put
together that something is wrong. In the effort to mend the trouble you
will be apt to loosen the parts already fastened, or will have to take
the whole apart, which, when glue or nails are used, is particularly
discouraging, and apt to damage the quality of the work.

Be particular to clamp the parts of your work together thoroughly when
using glue and to allow time enough before removing the clamps (see
_Clamps_ and _Gluing_).

Care should be taken in putting your work together to get it "square,"
that is, to prove the accuracy of the right angles. In some cases this
is of course essential to having the work come together at all. In
others, the appearance will be much injured if the article tips to one
side or is slanting or twisted. In all cases it is essential to the
proper closing up of the joints. It will not do to assume, as the
beginner often naturally does, that because the parts of the work seem
to be accurately made that the whole, when put together, will,
therefore, be square. It must be tested. You will be surprised to see
how much "out of square" and how winding the result of your most careful
work will sometimes be if you do not test it as you put the parts
together. In addition to the obvious way of applying the square (see
_Square_) to the angles, using the large steel square when you can:
there are many cases in which measuring diagonals is a good test,
altering the angles of the work until the two opposite diagonals are
equal, when the work will, of course, be rectangular. This is a good way
for large "case" work, using a stick, or fitting two adjustable sticks,
after the manner described on page 167, between the angles, when the
latter can be altered until the diagonals are equal.

At the same time that you are testing for squareness you must also look
out for winding, by sighting across the front or back, using
winding-sticks, if necessary.

When your work has a back fitted in, as in the case of a bookcase or
cabinet, this will help you much in the final adjustment.

Do not attempt to put your case work together in an upright position,
but upon horses horizontally, or flat upon its back or face.

It is well to use corner-blocks in the angles of your furniture, in
places where they will not show (see _Corner-blocks_, in Part V.).

After you begin to acquire some proficiency in your work, a little
beading or chamfering can sometimes be used to good advantage, but it is
well not to be too lavish with this kind of ornamentation.

Wall-cabinets and other articles to be hung on the wall can be neatly
attached to the wall by brass mirror-plates screwed upon the back. These
should usually be sunk into the wood so that the back will be smooth.

Your furniture can be finished with oil or wax alone, or with shellac or
varnish, as described in Part V. In the case of articles to be hung
against wall-paper or where any delicate fabric will be exposed, it is
well to avoid finishing with oil alone unless the greatest care is used,
for a very slight surplus of oil will quickly soil the paper. For the
work of the amateur nothing is better than shellac.

When your work is made of parts which can be readily separated, such
parts as are joined without glue or nails, it is best to take the work
apart before finishing. Unhinge doors and take off locks, escutcheons,
mirror-plates, handles, and the like. Take out removable shelves, backs,
and all detachable parts. Finish all these parts separately and then put
the work together again. You can finish the separate parts better and
more easily, but of course this can only be done with such parts as are
readily separable.

In some cases it is desirable to stain your furniture, but as a rule you
cannot improve on the natural colouring, which deepens and mellows with
age. If you wish mahogany-coloured furniture, use mahogany, or, if you
cannot afford that, simply paint or stain some cheaper wood of the
desired colour, but do not try to imitate the grain of the mahogany.
There are two objections to these attempts at imitation. First, they are
not honest; and, in the second place, the deception is usually a

Finally, be simple and honest in all your designing, your construction
(which above all things should be strong and durable), and your
finishing. Do not put in your room an object which appears at a distance
of ten feet to be a mahogany or black walnut centre-table, but which on
closer examination turns out to be a pine washstand in disguise.

There are, as you know, hundreds of articles of household utility, other
than those here given, which are suitable for the amateur to make, but
it is hoped that the suggestions about those which are included in this
chapter will be of service in the construction of other objects.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration FIG. 280.]

=Book-Rack.=--A simple rack for books (Fig. 280) can be of any length
desired, about six inches wide, and of half-inch +stock+ (or slightly
thinner), but the dimensions can be varied according to circumstances.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

Be sure that the bottoms of the ends are accurately cut. The other edges
can be rounded if you wish (see _Spokeshave_ and _File_). The hinges
should be sunk in the wood, so that they will not injure the books (see

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Desk-Rack.=--An easily made arrangement to put on the back of a table
or desk is shown in Fig. 281, and can be made of stock of from 1/2" to
7/8" thickness, according to the size of the rack.

[Illustration FIG. 281.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

First make the two boxes (see _Box-making_, page 219), and then the
shelf above them. This can be fastened to the tops of the boxes by
screws from underneath. The edge can be slightly rounded. The rail or
guard at the back and ends of the shelf should be made independently.
The back and ends can be joined as shown in Fig. 282, and the whole then
fastened to the shelf by screws (see _Boring_ and _Screws_) from
underneath before fastening the shelf to the boxes, or it can be
dowelled on, as shown in Fig. 282a (see _Dowelling_).

[Illustration FIG. 282.]

[Illustration FIG. 282A.]

Partitions can be fitted in the boxes, forming pigeon-holes or
compartments, if desired. These partitions can be nailed in place or, to
be more workmanlike, can be fitted in grooves (see _Grooving_ and

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Hanging Book-Shelf.=--A wall-shelf (Fig. 283) is useful and good
practice for the amateur. It should not be made too deep (from front to
back). Half-inch stock is heavy enough, if the shelf is not more than
two feet long.

[Illustration FIG. 283.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

This shelf can be simply put together by nailing, setting the nails
carefully (see _Nailing_ and _Nail-set_). Carefully mark lines (using
the square) by which to nail the pieces in their proper places. It is
not worth while to use glue if the parts are put together in this way. A
stronger and more workmanlike way is to groove the lower shelf into the
sides and the sides into the upper shelf (see _Grooving_). In this case
glue should be used and the work tightly clamped (see _Gluing_ and
_Clamps_). It will be much stronger to fit a back between the two
shelves and the sides. This should properly be set in a rabbet cut
around the space, as shown in Fig. 284 (see _Rabbet_).

[Illustration FIG. 284.]

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Wall-Cabinet.=--An open cabinet or hanging case for books, magazines,
or other small articles (Fig. 285) can be of any desired proportions,
but should not be very large. Half-inch stock is sufficiently thick.

[Illustration FIG. 285.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

This case should have a back. Rabbets should be cut to receive the back,
as in the case of the wall-shelf just shown (see _Rabbet_), the top and
middle shelves being narrower than the lower shelf by the thickness of
the back.

This case can simply be nailed together (see _Nailing_ and _Nail-set_),
but it will be better to groove the shelves into the sides (see

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Hanging Bookcase.=--A simple and useful case for the wall (Fig. 286)
can be made on much the same principle as the small case just shown. It
is well not to make such cases very large, and, unless quite small,
stock from 3/4" to 7/8" in thickness will be suitable.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

Instead of a back, strips can be screwed on vertically (Fig. 286), being
sunk so as to be flush with the back of the case (Fig. 287).

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration FIG. 286.]

[Illustration FIG. 287.]

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Wall-Shelves.=--An easily made arrangement is suggested in Fig. 288.
The design can easily be varied if you wish.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

The construction is extremely simple, the shelves being merely screwed
on from the back.

[Illustration FIG. 288.]

Get out the back and the shelves, and smooth them. Mark lines across the
face of the former at the places for the shelves, bore holes through the
back from the face for the screws (see _Boring_), and countersink the
holes on the back (see _Countersink_). Screw the shelves in place (see
_Screws_) to see that everything is right, then take apart and finish.

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Pipe-Rack.=--A modification of the shelf arrangement just described
makes a good rack for pipes and other articles for smoking (Fig. 289).

[Illustration FIG. 289.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

This differs from the article just described only in the shape of the
shelves, which have openings in the edge for holding pipes. These
openings can be made either with a fine saw or by boring holes and
cutting in to them from the edge (Fig. 290).

[Illustration FIG. 290.]

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Wall-Shelves.=--A quite simple form is shown in Fig. 291, having a
small box with lid. A combination of this form with the design for a
pipe-rack can easily be made if desired.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

The construction is plain from the cases already described. The hinges
should be sunk in the edge of the lid (see _Hinges_).

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

[Illustration FIG. 291.]

       *       *       *       *       *

=Wall-Cabinet.=--The cabinet shown in Fig. 292 should be rather small,
for if large it will look clumsy. It can be made of half-inch stock.

[Illustration FIG. 292.]

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

The construction is quite similar to the preceding cases.

If you have no board wide enough for the back, two can be joined (see
_Jointing_ and _Gluing_).

The cupboard is simply a box without front or back (see _Box-making_,
page 219) screwed to the back from behind (see _Boring_ and _Screws_).
The shelves at the sides of the cupboard and the bracket underneath it
can be screwed from the back and from the inside of the cabinet, as in
the preceding cases.

The door (see _Doors_) can be fitted and hung (see _Hinges_) after the
whole has been put together.

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Corner-Shelves or Cabinets.=--A simple form of hanging corner-shelves
is shown in Fig. 293. This can be of any size, of course, but such
articles look clumsy if made very large. Half-inch stock is heavy enough
unless the case is quite large, when 3/4" or 7/8" thickness can be used.

[Illustration FIG. 293.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

[Illustration FIG. 294.]

One of the sides can be made wider than the other by the thickness of
the stock, so as to lap over and secure a tight and strong joint at the
back. The top board (with rounding front) can simply be nailed down on
the sides (see _Nailing_ and _Nail-set_), or, to be more workmanlike, a
rabbet (Fig. 294) can be cut around the edge of the top on the under
side into which to fit the sides, which can be screwed in place (see
_Rabbet_, _Boring_, _Countersink_, and _Screws_). This rabbet should not
come quite to the front edge of the top.

The shelves can be screwed in place from the back (see _Screws_),
carefully marking lines with the square, for boring the holes, before
putting the case together, and countersinking +the holes+ upon
the back.

This case (being fastened by screws) can be taken apart for finishing.

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration FIG. 295.]

A standing cabinet like Fig. 295 can be made in the same manner as the
hanging cabinet just shown, but can, of course, be larger. Stock from
3/4" to 7/8" in thickness can be used. The rail at the top can be made
and put on as directed for the desk-rack shown in Figs. 281 and 282.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Medicine-Cabinet.=--Any small cabinet can be used for medicines by
simply arranging the shelves in any convenient manner. A simple way is
to have a series of horizontal grooves on the inside of each side, into
which the shelves can be slipped at any desired distance apart. A design
for an easily constructed medicine-cabinet for the wall is shown in
Figs. 296 and 297.

[Illustration FIG. 296.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

A good size for a small cabinet is to have the main box-part, the
cabinet proper, about 15" wide, 20" high, and 7" deep. It can be made of
1/2" stock. The construction is like that of the other cases already
shown. The joints should properly be grooved (see _Grooving_ and
_Gluing_), but the whole case can be nailed together, although the
result will be inferior (see _Nailing_ and _Nail-set_). The back should
be set in a rabbet as in the cases already shown. The arrangement of the
hinges is shown in the illustration (see _Hinges_).

The partitions can be of thin stock (1/4" or 5/16"). The doors can have
thick cleats, shaped as shown in Fig. 297 (enlarged in Fig. 297a), with
holes bored down from the top for homoeopathic phials. Care must be
taken not to bore the holes through (see _Boring_). Stop boring before
the spur comes through and clean out the bottoms of the holes with a

A small drawer can be fitted to one of the small compartments, as in
Fig. 297 (see _Drawers_). If the edges of the doors are made to lap
slightly where they come together, rabbets being cut on opposite sides
of the edges (Fig. 298), the joint will be tighter, but a little space
must be allowed or the doors may bind. The rest of the details are like
those of the cases already described.

[Illustration FIG. 297.]

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part. V.

[Illustration FIG. 297a.]

[Illustration FIG. 298.]

       *       *       *       *       *

=Bookcases.=--A plain case (Fig. 299) can be made of any desired size.
If quite small 3/4" stock can be used, but ordinarily 7/8" thickness
will be best. The method of construction is practically the same as in
the cases already described.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

The shelves can all be fastened in, if desired, but a good way is to
groove the top and bottom shelves into the sides and make those between
movable (see _Shelves_, in Part V.).

[Illustration FIG. 299.]

[Illustration FIG. 300.]

The back can be fitted by simply cutting a rabbet on the back edge of
each side for the entire length (see _Rabbet_), and making the shelves
of such a width that they will not project beyond the rabbet. A narrow
piece can be screwed from the back lengthways, above the upper shelf, as
shown in Fig. 300. The rest of the back can then be screwed in place
(see _Boring_ and _Screws_). The back, being too wide to be made of one
board, can very well (for a plain case of this sort) be of matched
boards or sheathing.[24] Do not force the back too tightly into
place,--that is, crossways of the boards. Allow a little play for the
expansion and contraction.

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

A "knock-down" method of putting together with tenons and wooden pins
(Fig. 301) is not very difficult, but requires care and accuracy. In the
case of the bookcase just shown, the upper and lower shelves can be
pinned through the sides, which will hold the case firmly, and the other
shelves can be movable (see _Shelves_). A case fastened in this way can
be readily taken apart. This method can be applied to other designs for
bookcases and cabinets.

[Illustration FIG. 301.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

The general principle is that of the mortise and tenon (see
_Mortising_). If you cut the mortises for the pins before cutting the
tenons on the ends of the shelves you will avoid the liability of
splitting the tenons. The pins should taper and the angles of the pins
and tenons be very slightly bevelled, that is, the sharp edge taken off.

The ends of these shelves can be slightly "cut under" or bevelled
inwards (see Fig. 302, which is exaggerated), on the same principle that
the ends of floor boards and the like are sometimes slightly bevelled,
to ensure a closely fitting joint.

[Illustration FIG. 302.]

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

A good form for an open bookcase suitable for the beginner to make is
shown in Fig. 303. This design is suitable for a low, or dwarf, bookcase
of whatever length may be desired. If of quite small size it can be made
of 7/8" stock throughout, but in most cases a thin plank (perhaps 1-1/4"
to 1-1/2" thick) had best be used for the ends.

A curtain can be added if desired.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

The curves of the ends can be sawed by hand (see _Turning-saw_ and
_Keyhole and Compass Saw_), or better by band-saw and jig-saw at a mill,
and smoothed with spoke-shave and file (see _Spokeshave_ and _File_).
The shelves (at least the upper and lower ones) should be grooved into
the sides and glued (see _Grooving_ and _Gluing_), although, as in the
other cases already described, nails can be used, but the result will be
inferior (see _Nailing_ and _Nail-set_).

The plainness of the upright edges of the ends can be relieved by a
little beading (Fig. 305), which you can do yourself or have moulded at
the mill (see _Beading_).

[Illustration FIG. 303.]

Little brackets, screwed under the lower shelf at each end, as shown in
Fig. 306, add to the stiffness of the case. A back can be fitted into
rabbets as described above, but in this case it had best not come above
the top shelf, a rabbet being cut on the under edge of the latter as
well as in the sides. The bottom shelf can simply be made narrower and
without a rabbet.

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

The bookcase shown in Fig. 304 can be of any desired size and
proportions. It can be of 7/8" stock, although the upright ends can well
be of thin plank.

[Illustration FIG. 304.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

This case can simply be nailed together (see _Nailing_ and _Nail-set_),
but the more workmanlike way is to groove the sides into the top and the
bottom shelf into the sides (see _Grooving_). The second shelf from the
top can be grooved into the sides, and the upright partition forming the
cupboard can also be grooved in place. This process involves careful
laying out and accurate cutting. The other shelves can be removable. The
base-board can be bevelled or curved on the top edge (or moulded by
machine) and can be mitred at the corners. It can be fastened with fine
nails (see _Nailing_ and _Nail-set_). The front piece can be glued as
well as the mitred joints. A moulding can be nailed around the top as
shown, being mitred at the corners.[25]

The other details of construction do not differ from those of the cases
just given, except in the matter of making and fitting the door, for
which see _Doors_ in Part V.

A common way of making the sides of such cases is to make the side
itself of board thickness, and to face the front edge with a strip
(which can be glued on) from 1-1/4" to 2" wide, according to the size of
the case, in the way shown in Fig. 305 (see _Gluing_). This gives a
wider edge to the side and the shelves can fit behind the facing strip.

Beading can be worked on this strip, as shown (see _Beading_).

[Illustration FIG. 305.]

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Desk and Bookcase.=--Various combinations of book-shelves with a desk
can be arranged. A useful form for a small one is shown in Fig. 306. The
height is of course regulated by the necessary position of the desk-lid
when dropped. The general principles of the construction are the same as
those of the cases already shown.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

The wing, or attachment at the side, can be grooved into the side of the
main part.

[Illustration FIG. 306.]

The back should reach across from one part to the other, which will give
stiffness to the whole.

The desk-lid, which should be set in perhaps 3/8" from the front edge of
the case, can be prevented from dropping too far by chains fastened
inside to the lid and the sides of the case. Various other arrangements
can be bought for holding a desk-lid in the proper place.

The inside of the lid must of course be smooth. If panelled as in Fig.
306 the panel must be thick enough to be flush with the frame on the
inside (see _Doors_). There will be more or less of a crack around this
panel, but this is unavoidable. Lids of this sort are sometimes made
with a smooth surface (without frame or panelling), but this requires
some form of cleating to prevent warping (see _Cleats_).

The small brackets under the lower shelf will help to stiffen the case.

A few shelves can easily be arranged in the desk compartment. If you
wish a number of pigeon-holes and compartments, a good way for the
amateur to fit these is to make an independent case of pigeon-holes and
compartments, without front or back, of thin wood (perhaps 1/4"), and of
such outside dimensions that it will just slip into the desk-space. This
open box-like arrangement can be nailed together with fine brads.

The best way to make it is by fitting all the divisions into grooves,
but to do this by hand requires more work and care than can be expected
of the ordinary amateur. The grooving can be done by machine. A
convenient arrangement is to have rows of parallel grooves into which
the division boards can at any time be slipped to form compartments of
any desired size.

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Music-Case.=--The construction of the form shown in Fig. 307 is like
that of the examples already shown. The sides, top, and bottom should be
of 3/4" or 7/8" stock, but the shelves can be thinner.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

This case can be simply nailed together (see _Nailing_ and _Nail-set_),
but the more workmanlike way is to groove the bottom shelf into the
sides and the sides into the top, as in the cases already shown (see

A moulding at the top can be made as in the bookcase shown in Fig. 304.

For various ways of putting in the shelves, see _Shelves_, in Part V.

The back can be thinner (1/4") and should be fitted in a rabbet cut
around, as already shown in the illustrations.

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

[Illustration FIG. 307.]

       *       *       *       *       *

=Plant-Stands.=--The form shown in Fig. 308 is of quite simple
construction and is useful to hold a large flower-pot. It should be made
of 7/8" stock. The top can be from 8" to 12" square.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

[Illustration FIG. 308.]

Simply make a box (see _Box-making_, page 219), without top and bottom,
with the grain of the four sides running up and down. Before putting
together saw the curves at the bottom. As the grain of the four pieces
all runs up and down, these sides can be glued together without nailing
(see _Gluing_). Screw four cleats around the inside of the top (Fig.
309) with holes bored in them for screws with which to fasten on the top
from underneath (see _Boring_ and _Screws_). Round the top edge as shown
(see _Spokeshave_ and _File_), and smooth the surfaces. Then, having
shaped the edge of the top as shown in Fig. 308, fasten it in place and
the stand is ready to finish.

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

[Illustration FIG. 309.]

The form shown in Fig. 310 is made upon a similar principle, and can be
of a larger size than would be satisfactory for the first pattern.

       *       *       *       *       *

Much care must be taken to so lay out and cut the slanting edges of the
sides that the pieces will come together accurately. After the top has
been fastened on, a little piece of moulding can be put around beneath
the edge of the top as shown, provided you have the skill to do it
neatly. The corners must be mitred, and the moulding fastened on with
fine brads, which must be set (see _Nailing_ and _Nail-set_).[26]

[Illustration FIG. 310.]

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

=Tables.=--A plain table, which although not especially ornamental is
serviceable for many purposes, is shown in Fig. 311. It can be made of
any size and proportions and the details can easily be varied.

[Illustration FIG. 311.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

The construction is too simple to require special description. The legs
and the cleats at the top should be of plank thickness, the rest of 7/8"
stock. The legs can be halved where they cross (see _Halving_), or for a
rough job can be simply nailed (see _Nailing_). The cleats at the top of
the legs should be nailed or screwed to the legs, and will act as cleats
to the top, which is fastened to them. The boards forming the top can be
simply laid with the edges touching, for a rough job; but where a good
surface is required the joints should be glued (see _Jointing_ and
_Gluing_) and the surface smoothed afterwards.

Extra cleats can be put under the top if needed for stiffness, and
additional lengthways stretchers can be added to connect the upper part
of the legs.

The whole should be planed and sandpapered and can be shellaced or
painted. The remaining details do not differ from those of the subjects
already shown.

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

A table of simple construction and neat appearance (Fig. 312) can be of
any desired size and proportions.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

[Illustration FIG. 312.]

The legs can be from 1-1/2" to 2-1/2" square, according to the size of
the table. After being squared and cut to a length they should be
tapered toward the bottom by planing down two opposite sides and then
the other two. The tapering, however, should not extend to the tops of
the legs, but to a point a little below the bottom of the rails, or
cross-bars, which connect the legs. On the two inner sides of the legs
mortises must be cut to receive tenons on the ends of the rails which
connect the legs, as shown in Fig. 313 (see _Mortising_). These rails
can be of 7/8" stock, the curves on the lower edge being cut with the
turning-saw or compass and keyhole saw, and finished with spoke-shave
and chisel or file. The curves can be omitted, of course, if preferred.

[Illustration FIG. 313.]

Do not try to put this table all together permanently at one operation.
First put together two legs and the connecting piece, then the other two
legs and the connecting piece, and finally join these two sides by the
remaining rails. Glue the joints (see _Gluing_) and the parts should be
securely clamped (see _Clamps_) until dry. Corner-blocks can be put in
at the angles (see _Corner-blocks_).

Holes must be bored in the rails by which to fasten the top. If the
rails are not too deep, vertical holes can be bored, countersinking
deeply if necessary. Deep countersinking can be done by first boring a
hole large enough to admit the head of the screw to the depth required,
when the hole can be continued with a smaller bit. If the depth of the
rail is too great for this process, the hole can be made by a species of
counterboring, making first a larger hole in the side of the rail (on
the inside), an inch or so from the top, and boring down into this hole
from the top. A slanting cut can be made from below with the gouge to
allow the screw to be slipped into the hole (Fig. 314). Another way is
to screw cleats on the inside of the rail with a vertical hole through
which the top can be screwed on (Fig. 315).

[Illustration FIG. 314.]

[Illustration FIG. 315.]

The top, if too wide for one board, should be glued up before being
dressed off (see _Jointing_ and _Gluing_), and the edge shaped and
smoothed. Then, laying the top face downward on the horses or bench,
place the frame upside down upon the top. When in the exact position
mark a line around the inside of the frame, continue the holes in the
frame a little way into the top, using a bit a trifle smaller than the
screws, and then screw the frame securely to the top (see _Boring_ and
_Screws_), measuring carefully to see that you use screws which will not
protrude through the top of the table. Depend entirely on the screws to
hold the top on. Do not fasten a table-top on with glue (see _Laying out
the work_, in Chapter IV.). If the table does not stand even, see
_Scribing_ and _Winding-sticks_. The final scraping (see _Scraper_) of
the top can well be left until the table is put together, when the
whole, after being scraped, can be carefully sandpapered with fine
sandpaper (see _Sandpaper_).

The remaining details do not differ from those of the articles already

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

An excellent centre-table for the amateur to make (Fig. 316) is useful
for many purposes. About three feet square on top is a convenient size.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V. and look up any other references.

[Illustration FIG. 316.]

Get out four legs, from 1-1/2" to 2" in diameter, according to the size
of the table. They can be tapered slightly, as in the preceding case.
Groove one side of each leg to receive the end of the cross-partition
shown in the cut (see _Grooving_). These partitions can be 1/2" to 3/4"
thick. One of them can extend across (diagonally) from post to post. The
other can be in two parts, reaching to the centre; or the partitions can
be in four parts, meeting in the centre. This framework of legs and
cross-partitions can be bound together at the top by cleats screwed on
top (Fig. 317), holes being made in the cleats by which they can in turn
be screwed to the top of the table. The lower shelf, or shelves (being
made in four parts), can be fastened up from underneath, cleats, also,
being used if necessary. The shelves can be of 1/2" stock. The upper
shelves can be fitted after the rest is put together and can rest upon
cleats underneath, to which they can be fastened. The shape of the top
is shown in Fig. 317a.

[Illustration FIG. 317.]

[Illustration FIG. 317a.]

The remaining details do not differ from those in the preceding cases.

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Small Stand.=--A simple arrangement shown in Fig. 318 involves more
difficulties than many of the other articles shown, but is not beyond
the skill of the careful amateur. A good size is about 13" or 14" across
the top and 17" or 18" high. Such a stand is useful to hold a

[Illustration FIG. 318.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V. and look up any other references.

The top can be of 1/2" or 5/8" stock and the legs of 7/8" stock, the
lower part tapering in thickness to 5/8" at the bottom. The curves can
all be sawed at a mill for a small sum, and smoothed with spoke-shave
and file (see _Spokeshave_ and _File_). The underside of the top can be
bevelled at the edge (Fig. 319). This can be done with the spoke-shave.
The file can be used to good advantage in the rounding of the extreme
edge, finishing with sandpaper, but not until after the top surface has
been finally smoothed (see _Spokeshave_, _File_, and _Sandpaper_).

[Illustration FIG. 319.]

The curved frame under the top and connecting the legs is to be made in
four pieces, the legs being fitted between them (Fig. 320). These curved
pieces should be got out a little too long and the ends carefully sawed
to make a tight joint with the legs. Be sure that all these parts fit
accurately before you finally put them together. Screw them together,
toeing screws into the legs. Use glue at the joints of the curved frame
and the legs, but do not glue the frame to the top.

[Illustration FIG. 320.]

The remaining details do not differ from those in the preceding cases.

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Small Table.=--Fig. 321 shows a good form for a small stand suitable
for various purposes, which, although not as easy to make as it looks,
is not too hard for the amateur who has acquired some familiarity with
his tools. It can be made of any desired height or proportions.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

Get out the top as in the small stand last shown. The thickness can vary
from 1/2" to 7/8" according to the size of the table. The legs should
not be fastened directly to the top, but to a cleat framework to be
screwed to the top (Fig. 322). This helps prevent the top from warping.
The legs can be round or six-sided and should be tapered (see
_Rounding-sticks_). A tenon or dowel should be made at the upper end of
each leg to fit into a hole in the cleat framework.

[Illustration FIG. 321.]

[Illustration FIG. 322.]

[Illustration FIG. 323.]

The hexagonal shelf at the bottom can be of 1/2" stock and should be
notched or grooved into the legs, the extreme angles of the shelf being
cut off (Fig. 323). A fine screw toed from underneath through the shelf
into the leg (Fig. 324) will strengthen the joint, and after the whole
is fastened together, little brackets can be screwed with fine screws in
the angle between the lower shelf and the leg. All the joints should be
glued except where the cleats are fastened to the top, in which case
screws alone should be used. Much care is required to make all these
joints accurately, and to put the whole table together properly.

[Illustration FIG. 324.]

The remaining details do not differ from those in the preceding cases.

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Footstool or Cricket.=--A common low seat or cricket (Fig. 325) can be
made of 5/8" or 7/8" stock and of any desired size.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

[Illustration FIG. 325.]

The hardest part of this job is to cut the bevels where the sides meet
the top and at the ends of the stretcher between the sides (see
_Bevelling_). You will probably find it easier to lay out and cut the
ends of the sides before they are tapered. The edges of the top can be
slightly rounded.

After the parts are nailed together (see _Nailing_) set the nails (see
_Nail-set_). The remaining details do not differ from those of the cases
already described.

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Out-Door Seat.=--The construction of the plain chair shown in Fig. 326
is too obvious to require special description.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

This seat can be made of thin plank. The most difficult part is the
bevelling of the joints (see _Bevelling_).

[Illustration FIG. 326.]

The remaining details do not differ from those in the preceding cases.
For the painting see _Painting_, in Part V.

=Bookcase and Lounge.=--"Combination" articles of furniture are, as a
rule, frequently undesirable on the ground of taste, and often are not
as convenient as to have the parts made separately. But the amateur may
sometimes find it desirable to join two or more different pieces to fit
some particular spot or for some special reason. Examples are given in
the bookcase and desk (Fig. 306), in the combination for a corner (Fig.
328), and in Fig. 327. These are given as suggestive of the kind of
combinations that can be suitably undertaken by the amateur, and many
simple arrangements can readily be contrived when desired.

[Illustration FIG. 327.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

The new principles involved in this design are merely in the
combination. The bookcase and the cupboard (which can be open if
desired) are similar to those already shown, and the lounge is simply a
shelf or box-like arrangement connecting the two. The back of the lounge
is merely a board fastened by screws. The appearance of the article
depends much upon the upholstering. This should not be done until after
the finishing of the wood-work.

The remaining details are not different from those of the articles
already shown.

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

[Illustration FIG. 328.]

Another combination, suitable for a corner, is shown in Fig. 328. The
principles involved are the same as for the other articles already
described and the construction is obvious.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Table and Settle, or Chair-Table.=--This is an excellent form of table
for the amateur to make and is useful for many purposes (Figs. 329 and
330). If of moderate size, it can be made of 7/8" stock, but if large,
and to be subjected to rough usage, thin plank will be more suitable for
the ends and top. Another good form of chair-table can be made on the
same principle by making a narrower seat, or a heavy chair, and
attaching a circular top by hinges to the back of the arms of the seat.

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_,
_Saw_, _Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

The framing of the lower part is similar to that of a box. Get out the
upright ends and the front and back of the box part and fit them
together as shown in Fig. 331, a rabbet (see _Rabbet_) or groove being
cut to receive the bottom. The lid, which forms the seat, can be
arranged as shown (see _Hinges_). The top, made like any table-top and
fastened by screws to the deep cleats shown (see _Screws_), is pivoted
to either side of the upright ends by pins when a seat is desired. When
you wish to use the table and the top is lowered, it can be held in
place by inserting pins in the other two holes also. The pins should not
be less than 1/2" or 3/4" in diameter. Care must be used in laying off
the points for making these holes (see _Boring_).

[Illustration FIG. 329.]

[Illustration FIG. 330.]

The remaining details are not different from those of the articles
already shown.

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

[Illustration FIG. 331.]

=Cabinet for Guns, Fishing-Rods, Etc.=--A convenient form is shown in
Fig. 332. The construction is similar to that of the bookcases and
cabinets already shown. The stock for the case itself can be 7/8" in
thickness, for the larger divisions 3/4", and for the small partitions

[Illustration FIG. 332.]

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_,
_Saw_, _Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

If you make the doors with glass panels, as shown, these can be set in
rabbets cut on the inside of the door frames and held in place by strips
of "quarter-round" moulding. The doors can be fitted between the sides
or can lap over the edges of the sides, as you prefer (see _Doors_). The
drawers can be omitted if too difficult to make well (see _Drawers_),
and small boxes of various sizes stored upon the shelves can be used as
a substitute.

The remaining details are not different from those of the articles
already shown.

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Picture Frames.=--These are often undertaken by the amateur, but
making them well is much more difficult than it seems to the beginner.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

If you buy the prepared mouldings so much in use, they will, in most
cases, have to be mitred at the corners, which is an operation by no
means easy for the beginner, particularly when the moulding is sprung or
twisted, as is often the case. Those joints which do not close properly
must be trimmed with the plane, for which purpose the mitre
shooting-board is useful (see page 94), and all four joints should fit
accurately before finally putting together, so that none will have to
be sprung or twisted in order to close up. At the same time you must
guard against winding by sighting across the face, and the angles must
be tested with the square. The clamping together is important in such
work. This can be done by laying the frame flat, nailing strips a short
distance outside of each of the four corners, and driving in wedges
between these strips and the frame until the joints are firmly held
(Fig. 333). This can also be done by putting blocks at the corners and
passing a doubled cord around, which, by inserting a stick, can be
twisted until the frame is held tightly. But making mitred frames of
moulding is not suitable work for the beginner and should be deferred
until you have had some experience (see _Mitring_).

[Illustration FIG. 333.]

For a plain frame nothing is better than a joint with mortise and tenon
(Fig. 334), the rabbet (see _Rabbet_) at the back being cut through to
the ends of the shorter pieces (those having the tenons), but being
stopped before reaching the ends of the longer pieces (those having the
mortises), as shown. The latter should be got out too long, so as to
overlap a little at the ends (Fig. 334). This enables you to take the
frame apart more readily when fitting, and with less danger of injury to
the work. The projecting ends can be sawed off after the frame has been
glued together (see _Mortising_, _Gluing_, and _Clamps_). The final
planing and smoothing of the front surface and the edges should be done
after the frame is glued together, careful attention being paid to the
direction of the grain (see _Plane_, _Scraper_, and _Sandpaper_).

[Illustration FIG. 334.]

After a frame of this kind is all done, an inner moulding with a row of
beads, or some other simple form, can easily be fitted to the rabbet,
if desired.

See end of introduction to this chapter for directions about smoothing,
putting together, and finishing. See also _Finishing_, in Part V.


[24] This method of putting in a back answers very well for the
beginner, and is often used in cheap work, but, unless quite small, the
really workmanlike way is to make a panelled frame, which is screwed in
place as one piece. The degree to which the panelling is carried depends
upon the size and shape of the back. When you become able to make your
work more neatly and accurately than can be expected of the beginner,
you will do well to construct the backs in this way, but it involves
much more labour and is hardly worth while for such simple work as you
will do at first.

[25] A more workmanlike way is to work all such mouldings on the edge
of the top, making it as much thicker as may be required, thus avoiding
putting on the moulding across the grain of the piece to which it is
fastened, which is not a scientific form of construction; and for that
matter it is a more thoroughly workmanlike way to work all mouldings on
the solid wood.

The top can be made of two thicknesses, the moulding being worked on
the edge of the under piece before the two are glued together. Various
forms of moulding can be worked on the edge by a moulding machine at
almost any wood-working mill.

[26] See footnote on page 198.



=Wooden Chain.=--White pine or any other easily whittled,
straight-grained wood can be used. Take a stick of any length and from
1" to 2" square. If very small the whittling is more difficult.

[Illustration FIG. 335.]

[Illustration FIG. 336.]

[Illustration FIG. 337.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Knife_, in Part

[Illustration FIG. 338.]

Mark as shown (Fig. 335), and remove the wood at the corners, forming
four rabbets, giving a section of the piece the shape of a Greek cross
(Fig. 336). Next lay out the links, alternating as shown in Fig. 337,
and allowing space enough so that they can have some play when cut. By
notching in from the outside and finally cutting away the wood within
the links, they can be separated. The whittling must be done carefully,
of course, and wholly by _cutting_ with a _sharp_ knife. If you try to
do it by prying or twisting with the blade, you will be likely to split
the wood. Finally, round and smooth the links (Fig. 338), doing as much
of this as you can before the links are separated. Use fine sandpaper
(see _Sandpaper_). Leave the chain in the natural wood or oil and
shellac (see _Finishing_).

       *       *       *       *       *

=Ball and Block.=--White pine or any other easily whittled,
straight-grained wood will do for this whittling exercise (Fig. 339).

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Knife_, in Part

First get out a cubical block, each edge of which may be, perhaps,
1-1/2" or 2" long. Gauge a line around each side parallel to the edge
and about 1/4" from it (see _Gauge_). Cut straight in on these lines and
then make slanting cuts to meet those first made. Remove the wood on the
same general principle as in cutting a notch, gradually shaping the
middle part into spherical form; while the cuts which are parallel with
the sides finally meet and form four posts between the top and bottom.
The wood must be removed by cuts, not by prying. Trim the ball to be as
nearly spherical as you can. If you wish to make the ring or handle
shown on top, additional length must be allowed in getting out the
original block. The whole can be sandpapered with fine sandpaper (see
_Sandpaper_) and finished with oil or shellac (see _Finishing_).

[Illustration FIG. 339.]

       *       *       *       *       *

=Box-making.=--In laying out common boxes, bear in mind that the sides,
top, and bottom usually lap over the ends,--the sides over the ends, and
the top and bottom over the sides and ends (Fig. 340). Sometimes,
however, to avoid joints showing on the front, the front and back are
made to lap over the top (Fig. 341), occasionally the ends lap over the
back (Fig. 342), and other arrangements are sometimes made. Do not rely
on glue for these common square joints in box-work, but place your
dependence on nails or screws.

[Illustration FIG. 340.]

[Illustration FIG. 341.]

Either lid or bottom or both can sometimes project slightly to good
advantage (Fig. 343). In nice work, however, the bottom is more often
set in so as not to show, either simply fitting in between the sides and
ends or into a rabbet (see _Rabbet_) cut in the lower edge (Fig. 344,
showing box bottom up).

[Illustration FIG. 342.]

[Illustration FIG. 343.]

The lid or cover can be hinged to the top edge of the back of the box,
or a narrower lid can be used and hinged to a strip fastened at the back
of the box (Fig. 345). Plain lids of this sort, for everything but rough
or temporary work, should be cleated, either by end cleats, by framing,
or simply by cleats on the under side (see _Cleats_ and _Doors_).

[Illustration FIG. 344.]

[Illustration FIG. 345.]

Remember that the joints will be held more tightly (for a permanent box)
if you "toe" the nails (see _Nailing_).

Mitring is a common way of making box-joints. It is, however, one of the
poorest of all ways in point of strength, and unless done with much
skill,--more skill than the average amateur usually acquires,--the
joints are very liable to come apart, or at least gape open, and be
weaker and look worse than the common, squarely fitted joint first

       *       *       *       *       *

Glue can be used and is a help. Mitred joints can, however, be
strengthened by splines or keys or pieces let into saw-kerfs (see

A mitred box is hard for an amateur to put together, particularly when
it is to be glued. The whole process should be rehearsed before gluing.
Everything must fit exactly before you begin to finally put the box
together. If you get one corner out of place, all four will probably be
thrown out of position before you get through puttering with them, and
the glue become cold and the operation be spoiled. Only a skilful
amateur can make a box with nicely fitted mitred joints that will hold

       *       *       *       *       *

There are various other ways of making joints by machine (see _Joints_).
The rabbeted joint shown in Fig. 346 can be made by hand very well, but
so much quicker with a circular saw that you will save much time by
having it done at a mill. It is a good, strong, neat joint and shows
less wood at the end than the common way. When it is allowable to round
what little end wood there is (Fig. 345) it makes the joint quite
inconspicuous. Glue can also be used to advantage with this joint on
account of the shoulder.

Dowelling the corners is a method sometimes used. It is easier than
mitring, but by no means a strong joint, unless skilfully made. The
principal advantage of dowelling is in cases where it is objectionable
to have nails show. But, as a rule, there is not much gain in trying to
_conceal_ joints. Certainly not unless you can do the work in the best
of style.

[Illustration FIG. 346.]

Learn first to make the common, plain joints accurately, and you can
then attempt the more difficult ones with some chance of success. The
joints can sometimes be reinforced to good advantage by triangular
corner-pieces or posts, glued and screwed in place.

There is no better or more workmanlike way of putting boxes together
than by some form of dovetailing (see _Dovetailing_), but this process
is hardly one for the beginner to undertake, and should be postponed
until he has acquired considerable skill, for, though the principle of
laying out and cutting dovetails is easy to understand, much exactness
is required in the execution.

Where the box does not open at the top but lower down, as in Fig. 347,
the best way is not to make the two parts separately, but simply to put
together a tight box and then saw it apart wherever you wish to have it

Be careful to gauge accurately the line by which to saw it open (see
_Gauge_), and not to drive any nails too near this line. Any which you
omit can easily be added after the sawing. Saw the box open very
carefully on the line. Smooth the edges after the saw, but take pains
not to plane away the wood too hastily, for a very little carelessness
will spoil the joint and necessitate a general truing of the edges.

[Illustration FIG. 347.]

[Illustration FIG. 348.]

A good form for a plain chest is shown in Fig. 348. The construction is
the same as in the other cases. The bottom can be fitted to a groove cut
around on the inside and can be inserted when the box is put together,
or for a rougher job can be simply nailed in place.

A simple form of tool-chest is shown in Fig. 349. This can be made of
any size desired and of any wood. It is usually as well to make a
good-sized chest, for the cost is but little more than to make a small
one. Hard wood will be much more durable than soft. Stock from 3/4" to
7/8" in thickness will be suitable.

       *       *       *       *       *

Unless you have had considerable experience you had best be content with
the simpler joints rather than to attempt dovetailing the corners, as
shown in the cut. It is not necessary to cut a rabbet for the bottom,
because of the base-board or moulding which is to be nailed around the
bottom, and the latter can be nailed or screwed directly to the edge,
before the moulding is put around. The rest of the construction of the
chest is obvious and like the cases already shown. If the moulding
around the lid is to be arranged as shown, it will be best to fit the
lock first, as it will be easier to attach the hasp of the lock before
the moulding has been added (see _Locks_ and _Hinges_).

[Illustration FIG. 349.]

At about two or three inches from the top, fasten a ledge on the inside
of the front and back. This can be about 1/4" thick by 1/2" deep and is
for the sliding-tray, shown in the cut, to rest upon. This tray can be
of soft wood, from 1/4" to 3/8" in thickness, and can be divided as you
wish. It will often be advantageous to arrange the lid and the top tray
so that tools can be fastened on the inside of the lid. Saws and various
flat tools are often thus disposed of, being held in place by straps,
blocks, and buttons. You can also arrange a rack around the inside of
your chest for such tools as chisels, gouges, etc. When kept in trays,
such tools should be separated by divisions. The various details of
making such a chest do not differ from those of the articles just
described in the preceding chapter on Furniture.

       *       *       *       *       *

In nailing together rough boxes for packing or some temporary purpose,
you do not need to devote much thought to the arrangement of the pieces
with reference to the direction of the grain, so long as you put them
together in a way that your common-sense tells you will be strong.
Examination of a few packing-cases will show you all you need to know
for such work. But when you make a better grade of box, to be glued,
regard must be paid to the direction of the grain and the matter of
expansion and contraction. In the majority of boxes and chests the
grain of the sides and ends should run in the same way--horizontally or
around the box, as shown in the illustrations.

       *       *       *       *       *

This gives a strong edge all around at the top of the box and permits
the use of glue (with some joints) where the sides and ends meet, as the
parts glued will thus naturally tend to expand and contract alike. When
the grain goes in opposite directions (_i.e._, at right angles), such
joints, unless short, should not be glued. Where the top board is
fastened to the sides and ends of the box, as in Fig. 347, it should not
be glued, except in the case of a small box, and the grain should run
lengthways, so that there will be as little change as possible due to
the expansion and contraction (see Chapter IV. on Laying Out the Work,
and Appendix).

When several boards are required to cover the top or bottom of a box,
if you wish to have as few cracks as possible and to avoid the swelling
and shrinking across the grain as much as you can, lay the boards
lengthways of the box, but if you merely wish for strength, lay them

       *       *       *       *       *

Care must be taken about testing the angles with the square, and
guarding against winding (see _Winding-sticks_), in making nice boxes,
as with all framed work. If the bottom and top are got out accurately
they will, of course, assist in the matter of getting the box square,
and for common work carefully fitting the bottom (or bottom and top) in
place will be all the "squaring" required. In nice work where the joints
are glued, waste pieces should be placed over the joints (across the
grain of the sides) before applying the clamps, not merely to prevent
the work being marred by the clamps, but also to distribute the pressure
and ensure as close a joint as possible (see _Clamps_).

The final smoothing of the outside of a box should be done after it is
permanently put together, allowing plenty of time, if glue is used in
the joints, for it to dry before dressing off the surfaces. The inside
must, of course, be smoothed before putting together.

The variety of forms in which boxes are made is too great for all to be
specified, but the same general principles apply to nearly all forms of
box-work. In the case of chests or large boxes, you will often see them
with the sides and ends panelled, but this is rather an elaborate form
for the beginner to attempt and had best be avoided by the inexperienced
worker. A form which is not too hard for the amateur is shown, however,
in Fig. 350, the sides and ends being fitted to grooves or rabbets cut
in posts at each corner.

[Illustration FIG. 350.]

The work of getting out the stock for boxes and making the joints can be
done so quickly and accurately (and usually cheaply) by a circular saw
or other machine that much time is saved, when making nice boxes, by
having the parts sawed at a mill. The remarks made at the end of the
introduction to Chapter X. (on Furniture), in regard to getting out your
work, putting together, smoothing, and finishing, apply equally to
making the better class of boxes and chests, and the general details of
the work do not differ from those of the articles shown in that chapter.
See also, _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_, _Plane_, _Nailing_,
_Nail-set_, _Screws_, _Hinges_, _Locks_, _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_, and
_Finishing_, in Part V.

=Toy Boats.=--A few suggestions about the wood-work of the hulls of toy
boats may be useful to the beginner. The details of rigging and
discussion of the merits of the various types and designs are matters
which do not come within the scope of this book, and you can easily find
information upon these points.

Making your boats yourself is half the fun, of course, and capital
practice with tools as well as a valuable introduction to the building
of model yachts, which you may undertake later, and to the general
subject of boat-building and sailing. Making different types and sailing
them is both interesting and instructive.

You will quite often see little boats fitted up as exact copies in
miniature of real vessels, with all the complexity of fittings, rigging,
and minor details found in the larger boats. These models are often
interesting specimens of skill,--as pieces of handiwork,--but the time
can usually be spent to better advantage in some other way. If you wish
actually to sail your boats, leave out everything which is not essential
to successful sailing.

Very little skill, and no instruction, is required to make the simpler
forms of toy boats familiar to the small boy who lives near the water.
Almost any scrap of shingle or piece of wood upon which a little mast
can be raised will sail, as the small boy well knows. The difficulties
begin when something more like a boat is attempted, and the first and
greatest of all difficulties is that of the design, as you will discover
later if you attempt scientific model yacht-building. But advanced model
yacht-work requires much skill--more than can be expected of a beginner.
At first, in beginning to make toy boats, copy any successful boat as
nearly as you can.

After you get beyond making boats of shingles and scraps of board, you
may very likely make something like Fig. 351, which is too simple to
require special description; but when you begin to build regular boats
you will find enough to tax your wood-working skill to the utmost. You
had best begin with simple forms and not make your first attempts too

[Illustration FIG. 351.]

One way of making the hull (as of course you know) is to cut it from a
solid block of wood of the required size. Another way is to build it up
of layers of board laid on one another horizontally (Fig. 352).[27]

[Illustration FIG. 352.]

The greatest care must be taken in the selection of the wood. It should
be free from knots, checks, and bad grain, and above all things must be
thoroughly seasoned. Nothing is better than the best quality of clear
white pine. Mahogany is excellent, but is more costly and harder to

       *       *       *       *       *

Take a simple model of the fin-keel type (Fig. 353). First you must have
the design or drawing giving the different plans or views. If the
drawing is smaller than the actual size you wish to make the boat, it
must, of course, be enlarged and a full-sized working drawing made.[28]

[Illustration FIG. 353.]

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Chisel_, _Gouge_, _Spokeshave_, _Paring_, etc., and look up
any other references.

[Illustration FIG. 354.]

To cut the hull from a solid block, first prepare the block of the right
dimensions, and plane it, making sure that the sides are true and square
with one another. The sheer plan must now be transferred to the sides of
the block, either by copying it on the wood by the use of transfer paper
placed between the drawing and the wood, by cutting out a pattern, or by
fastening the drawing itself on one side of the wood and a reversed
duplicate on the other side. In the same way transfer the half-breadth
plan twice to the top of the block, on each side of a line drawn along
the centre, reversing the pattern for one side, of course. Also continue
the centre line down each end and along the bottom.

If the top and side outlines can be sawed to the lines marked with a
band-saw or jig-saw, the expense will be but slight and considerable
labour will be saved. Saw down on the lines 1--1, 2--2, 3--3, etc. (Fig.
354), nearly to the sheer line shown in Fig. 355. In your first attempts
at making small boats it may be well to omit the deck sheer, leaving the
top flat (Fig. 354), as this simplifies matters in the beginning. Also,
saw off the superfluous wood shown by the shaded parts of Fig. 355. Now
clamp or wedge the block, bottom up, firmly on the bench, in case you
have no vise arrangement by which it can be properly held, and rough it
out approximately to shape with a wide chisel (see _Paring_) or the
draw-knife (see _Draw-knife_).

[Illustration FIG. 355.]

The operation of shaping and hollowing out is slow work and requires
much care. A little haste may spoil the work of hours. As the bottom
begins to approach the desired shape you must have something more than
the eye by which to gauge your cutting, for a very little deviation from
the true curve may spoil your boat. It is very important to get both
sides of the boat alike. On card-board or stiff paper, mark a series of
patterns of the different sections shown on the body plan. Cut out each
of these patterns so as to save the part which is the reverse of the
shape of the section of the boat, thus forming a series of templates,
which you can apply to the hull at each section to test your cutting,
until the templates just fit the wood at their respective sections, when
the shape of the hull will, of course, agree with the plan.

The spoke-shave, and sometimes the plane, can be used to good advantage
in the final shaping (see _Spokeshave_). Especial care is required not
to slice off too much, and you will, of course, work, as a rule, from
the centre (or amidships) towards the ends. The block can be held in the
lap or between the knees for this shaping, but it is better for all
kinds of crooked work to have the material firmly held by a vise or some
other contrivance, so that not merely the hands of the worker are free,
but the whole body as well.

[Illustration FIG. 356.]

This form of hull is simple to make, in that the curves of the outside
are all convex. There are no concave surfaces and reversed curves. The
surface can be finally shaped by the use of the rasp, followed by a
file, and finally smoothed with scraper or glass (see _Scraper_). Do not
use sandpaper until the hull is finished.

The inside must next be hollowed. Gauge a line around the upper side,
1/2" from the edge, except at the bow and stern, where a greater
distance should be allowed (Fig. 356). The hull must now be held firmly
in some way. If you cannot contrive to clamp it firmly without bruising
the outside, you should arrange some blocks (padding them with cloth or
leather) in such a way that it can be held securely. It is better to
spend an hour in fastening the block firmly than to attempt to steady it
with one hand and to cut with the other. In all the shaping of the boat,
both hands should be free if possible. Grasp the blade of the tool with
the left hand, or lay the hand across it, so as to exert a back-pressure
on the tool. This gives great control of the tool (see _Paring_).

Bore one or more holes (according to the size of the boat) downward from
the top (Fig. 356), being very careful not to bore too deeply, but to
leave at least half an inch of wood below the hole (see _Boring_). Now
run a groove with the gouge around the deck, inside of the line marked,
and hollow out the inside with the gouge, cutting towards the middle.
The holes bored will help in this process. Cut down straight from the
line marked on the upper side until the thickness of the sides of the
hull is reduced to perhaps 1/4 of an inch (Fig. 357). The object of the
increased thickness at the gunwale is to stiffen the sides and give a
better bearing for nailing down the deck. Below this point make the
thickness as uniform as you can, except for a narrow space at the very
bottom where the keel is to be fastened, where it is often well to leave
a thicker ridge (Fig. 357).

[Illustration FIG. 357.]

[Illustration FIG. 358.]

Extreme care is required in hollowing the inside. It is best not to
attempt to make the sides thinner than one fourth of an inch, unless you
are a pretty good workman with a fair degree of patience, for it is hard
to repair the damage if you cut too deeply. Templates can be made for
the inside. You can tell quite well whether you are making the thickness
uniform by the sense of feeling, gauging the thickness between the thumb
and finger. Do not try to cut away too much at the bow and stern, as it
will weaken the boat, but leave a sufficient body of solid wood. Smooth
the inside neatly with a flatter gouge (if you have it) than that with
which you removed the bulk of the wood.

Next, with a thin strip or batten, mark the line for the sheer of the
deck by the saw-kerfs already made and remove the wood carefully to
this sheer line. The outside can now be thoroughly sandpapered, first
with, perhaps, No. 1-1/2, and finally with No. 00. Get the surface as
smooth as possible (see _Sandpaper_). Next paint the outside and inside
with two coats of white lead and oil (see _Painting_). It is a good plan
to apply a coat of hot oil first.

[Illustration FIG. 359.]

[Illustration FIG. 360.]

[Illustration FIG. 361.]

Now to make this same simple model by the method of layers you will
readily see that if you take a piece of board of a thickness equal to
the distance between the water lines in the sheer plan (Fig. 353), and
cut from it pieces of the shape of the water lines as shown in the
half-breadth plan (Fig. 353), and also cut out the centres of the two
upper pieces as shown in Figs. 358, 359, 360, and then fasten these
pieces one upon another as shown in Fig. 361--you will see that you have
built up the general form of the boat, and saved much of the labour of
shaping and hollowing.

Before cutting out these layers, a centre line must be accurately marked
along both sides and at the rounded ends, so that the layers can be put
together in the correct positions. Also, for the same reason, mark the
midship lines across each side and on the edges, as shown. In drawing
the inside lines (for the part to be cut out), care must be taken to
leave sufficient thickness at the sides to allow for the final shaping.
The sawing of the layers had best be done at a mill with a band-saw and
jig- or scroll-saw, but can be done by hand, of course.

The boards or planks must be accurately dressed so as to make as perfect
joints as possible when put together. If not convenient to make the
thickness of the boards agree with the water lines of the plan, you can
easily draw in new water lines to agree with the thickness of the board
you may have--say, 3/4" or 7/8" apart. Glue must now be applied to the
joints, and the pieces firmly clamped together between boards, or laid
flat (bottom side upwards) and weights applied. It is best not to cut
out and glue up more than two or three layers at a time, lest they
become bent or sprung. Care must be used in applying the pressure to
make it uniform and not cause the somewhat flexible sides to be sprung
or twisted out of shape (see _Gluing_ and _Clamps_). Do not delay this
building-up operation needlessly. Do not leave the pieces lying around
for a fortnight. Keep them all clamped up in the proper position, or
under pressure, if you can, until the whole form is glued together, as
such pieces spring out of shape very easily.

After the glue is thoroughly dry, complete the shaping of the outside
and inside as in the case of the solid block, care being taken to pare
off the projecting angles on the outside gradually, so as not to cut
within the curve marked on the plan.

The fin (when flaring at the top and not too thin) can also be made of
wood, glued and screwed on, the lead being screwed to the bottom with
brass screws.[29] Be sure that the fin is in line with the centre line
of the boat.

Unless the boat is quite small it is best to fit in two or three deck
beams to connect the sides and support the deck (Fig. 357). These should
be of thin stuff (perhaps 3/16" thick and 1/2" wide), set on edge and
very slightly arched, the ends being fitted into gains cut in the sides,
and nailed with fine brads. They can also be glued.

The deck should be of thin stuff (perhaps 1/8" planed). Mark carefully
on the piece the deck outline and cut it approximately to shape, but
well outside of the line. Fasten small blocks of wood to the under side
of the deck wherever any attachments for the rigging are to be fastened.
Paint the lower side, and when dry bore a row of holes with a very small
brad-awl (see _Awl_) all around the edge, 1/8" inside of the line. Smear
the top edge of the hull with thick white lead, or white lead putty, and
nail the deck in place with very fine wire brads, perhaps 1/2" in
length. Care must be used not to split the deck or drive the nails
through the sides of the hull. Fine brass screws can be used if
necessary. The overhanging edge of the deck can be trimmed down
carefully with chisel, plane, or knife. The outside of the deck can now
be painted.

The rudder can be fixed in a brass tube, the ends of which can be set in
lead. The mast can also be stepped in a brass tube, or simply pass
through the deck to the bottom, where it can be stepped in a smaller
hole, which must be bored with care lest it go through.

When you come to making models of less simple form--those having
hollows and reversed curves in their outside form, as the majority of
boats do--the difficulty of shaping accurately is much increased and
more care is required, but the principle of construction remains the

[Illustration FIG. 362.]

Suppose, for example, you are ambitious enough to undertake such forms
as those which compete for the _America's_ Cup, for instance, you will
find it difficult to carry the process of building by horizontal layers
below a certain point (Fig. 362) but the keel and lower part can be
added by gluing (or gluing and screwing) a piece of board or plank on
edge (or two pieces, if necessary) to the bottom. The lead can, in turn,
be fastened to the lower edge of the keel by screws. Models of such
yachts are not always the best forms for toy boats, however desirous you
may be to reproduce in miniature these famous boats.


[27] Still another way sometimes used for model yachts is to build the
hull much in the same way that a real vessel is built--making a
framework or skeleton and covering it with little planks, but this
method (though a good one in some respects) requires more skill than can
be expected of the average amateur, and this mode of construction should
not be attempted until you become a skilful workman and accomplished in
the building of regular model yachts.

If your boat is quite small it will probably be easier and better in
most cases to cut the hull from a solid block; but if much more than
two feet in length it is usually better to build it in layers.

Either of these methods can be used in any case, but for a small boat
the building in layers is more difficult, while for a large one it is
hard to find a block that will be sufficiently free from defects.

[28] In making the plans for a boat, three views are usually drawn,
known as the sheer plan, the body plan, and the half-breadth plan. These
correspond to the "front or side elevation," "end elevation," and "plan"
in ordinary drawings, and give side, end, and top views of the boat,--or
of one-half of it, which is all that is needed, as the sides are of
course alike. Several equidistant horizontal lines are drawn across the
plans. One of these represents the line of the water when the boat has
its proper load. It is called the load water-line. The other lines being
parallel to it represent other imaginary levels, at equal distances
apart--like the lines which would be made by the water if the boat sunk
deeper or floated higher. Other lines are also added to show vertical
and horizontal, longitudinal and cross-sections, at regular intervals,
and also other longitudinal sections, but these details you will find
fully described in works on yacht-(and model yacht-) building.

[29] The fin can be cut from sheet metal (brass or sheet-iron) and
inserted in a thin saw-kerf cut exactly in the centre of the bottom,
being set in thick white lead, or it can be riveted to thin plates
screwed to the bottom of the boat, or lips can be bent over alternately
on either side of the upper edge of the fin and screwed to the bottom.

The amount of lead required for the bulb at the bottom of the fin can be
determined by loading the hull with weights until it is sunk to the
water line. The weights will, of course, represent the weight of lead
required. This can be cast in a mould and riveted to the bottom of the




House-building in its simple forms, and on a small scale, is very
suitable work for the beginner in wood-working.

One of the most important things to bear in mind is not to be too
ambitious in your early attempts. Content yourself with the simplest
forms until you have attained sufficient skill to undertake more
difficult buildings.

All the work of such structures as are here shown can, in case of
necessity, be done by one person alone; but--unless, perhaps, in the
case of the smallest and simplest houses--it is much better for two or
more persons to join forces, as much time will thereby be saved, for the
lumber can be handled much more easily and quickly by two than by one.
This will be the best way if the building is to be done by boys, in
which case by all means have some system for carrying on the work.

You know men usually work under the direction of a head man, or foreman,
and, when there is no head man, they defer as a matter of course to the
one of their number who is the best fitted to take charge of the work.
Choose one boy master-builder, foreman, or boss, letting him assign to
each his part of the work and leaving to him the decision of questions
that arise in regard to the details. If one of you is clearly more of a
mechanic than the others, choose him foreman; otherwise it will be a
good plan to have the office filled by each in turn for perhaps one day
apiece. Let the foreman divide the work as fairly as possible. That is,
instead of having one boy saw off all the boards while another drives
all the nails, arrange regular "shifts" at short intervals, letting the
two change places and work perhaps every hour. This plan will prevent
much confusion and perhaps disagreement, which might even cause the work
to be given up--an unfortunate result which sometimes happens to boys'

It is not simply starting in with an understanding that you are to take
turns when one may think he is tired of what he happens to be doing, but
it is the regular rotation of work and responsibility at fixed intervals
that will ensure harmony and a successful completion of the work.

The situation is a very important matter which will be spoken of in
treating of the larger structures farther on, but there is one thing
which should be borne in mind for even the smallest play-house in the
back yard of a town lot, and that is not to build it in a hollow where
the water will collect to make it damp or uninhabitable. A flat roof
should also be avoided, as it is much harder to keep tight than one
which has sufficient pitch to shed the water freely.

You can determine the kind of a house to build and its general
dimensions according to the requirements of the case, but you will, of
course, wish it to be attractive in appearance, however small it may be;
and therefore, in making the drawings, it is essential to have in view
the block-form, or general shape and proportions. If these are not
pleasing and agreeable to the eye, your house will be unattractive, for
nothing you can do in the way of ornamentation or elaborate details will
make up for poor shape and proportions.

To design a building (however small) with a pleasing and attractive
exterior is, however, no easy task. If you can make a perspective sketch
of your proposed house with reasonable accuracy, it will be a great
help, as the regular working drawings (the plan, elevations, etc.),
however well made, often fail to give one a clear mental picture of how
the structure _as a whole_ will look.

A little model will be of the greatest service in determining whether
the shape and proportions of your house are good. A model is easily made
of paste-board with sufficient accuracy for this purpose. It is quite
remarkable how different many objects appear when actually made, from
the way one thinks they will appear, in spite of the most careful
drawings; therefore do not despise this simple precaution of making a
model in cases where attractive appearance is an element, for it may
save you from putting up a structure which will be a continual eyesore.

The amateur (like many professional builders) is much more liable to
make his work too elaborate and with too many attempts at ornamentation
than to make it too plain. So give your first attention to the
block-form, and then to the details. Do not cover your house with an
embroidery of jig-sawing, fanciful turning, superfluous brackets, and
the like, in the effort to make it pretty or to imitate the vulgar
details of inferior summer cottages. The amateur is also liable in the
case of very small buildings to make them too tall in proportion to
their ground dimensions. A tall, narrow house is seldom homelike or
attractive, whether it be six feet square or sixty.

Finally, be simple and modest in your designing, avoid meaningless
"gingerbread" work, do not set your house up on stilts, as it were, but
hospitably near to the ground; have generous doors and windows, avoid
flashy and gaudy colours in painting, cultivate plants and vines to run
over the outside, and keep the surroundings neat and tidy.

The variety of small structures from which to select for your early
attempts is almost endless. You can find many ideas for your designing
and the construction in every town and in various publications. Only
simple types will be treated here, involving merely such principles of
construction as you can readily apply to such other designs as you may
wish to carry out. As it is impracticable to repeat all the suggestions
and details under each structure treated here, the prospective builder
who should begin with any of the later examples had best read these
chapters through from the beginning before starting on the actual work.

One of the simplest and most easily built small structures that you can
make is that with a single-pitched or shed or "lean-to" roof; that is,
with the roof slanting only one way. This style of construction, though
commonly applied to a rather humble class of buildings, is by no means
to be despised, the ease with which it can be built by boys or amateurs
being one of its marked advantages. You will find this simple form of
building capitally suited to many purposes, and a good type with which
to begin.

=A Play-house or Play-store.=--You know that an ordinary wooden building
has a framework of timbers,--a kind of skeleton upon which the boarding
is nailed. This will be shown in the following chapters, but a very
small house or cabin, like that shown in Fig. 363, suitable for a
play-house for boys and girls, can be built very well in a simpler way
by making the four sides separately and then nailing them together as
you would do if making a box. There is no floor (except the ground),
and the roof is to be nailed down on top of the four sides as you would
nail the cover on the box.

[Illustration FIG. 363.

    A little house, with trees a-row,
    And, like its master, very low!--_Pope._]

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Nailing_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

Fig. 365 shows one of the sides (inside view). It is made of boards
running horizontally, with an upright cleat at each edge, and another
cleat at the top.

Fig. 366 shows the back (inside view), made in the same way as the
sides, except that each cleat is set back from the edge 1-3/4", thus
forming a rabbet in which to fit either side when the house is put
together. The third, fourth, fifth, and sixth boards from the top are
not nailed to the cleats, but are omitted, to leave space for a large
open window.

[Illustration FIG. 364.





[Illustration FIG. 365.]

[Illustration FIG. 366.]

Fig. 367 shows the front (inside view), four upright cleats being used
and a large opening left for the doorway.

[Illustration FIG. 367.]

First estimate the stock you will require (see Chapter IV.),[30] and try
to get dry wood without too many large knots.

You can get along very well for such work as this on the floor, or even
the ground, with a couple of boxes for horses, but a bench and horses
are a great convenience.

Make the sides first, disregarding the slant for the roof. Take a
matched-board and square off one end of it, if it is not already square.
Then measure 5' 10"[31] from that end, mark across by the square, and
saw the piece off. Use this piece (5' 10" long) as a measure to mark
the lengths of enough pieces to make the two sides. If you saw them off
as you measure them, one by one, be sure to mark all the lengths by the
first piece, and not by the one last sawed, or they will probably, vary
in length.

When you put the boards together to form the sides, be sure that the
ends are in line. Use the edge of a straight board for a straight-edge
to get them in line, or drive them against the side of the room, if that
is straight, or temporarily nail a straight-edged board to the floor and
keep them driven up squarely against it.

Make sure, also, by testing with the square or by measuring, that each
side of the house when made is a rectangle and not a rhomboid, or the
whole house will be askew when put together.

When you fit the matched edges be sure to make the joints as tight as
you can, but do not pound directly on the tongued and grooved edges with
the hammer. Take a short piece of waste boarding, fit it to the tongue
or groove wherever you wish to strike, and hit this waste piece with the

You will see that there is no need of sawing out a square hole for the
window, as you can put in short pieces at each side of the window-space.

Nail the upright cleats at the edges with 1-1/2" nails, driving two into
each board in the way shown in the cut, bearing in mind that the cleats
must all be on the inside of the house, and also to have the tongues of
the boards uppermost when the house is put together. Mark the front edge
of each side in some way to prevent any mistake. The reason for putting
the tongues upward and the grooves downward is because the joints will
shed the water better, as otherwise each groove would be a little trough
into which the rain could soak. Measure 5' 6" from the bottom on the
front edge of each side and 4' 6" on the back edge. Draw a straight line
on the outside between these points and it will give the slant for the
roof. Saw the boards and cleats by this line and then fit and nail the
top cleats as in Fig. 365, or nail the top cleats first and saw the
boards off by them.

Next make the back in the same way, setting the cleats 1-3/4" away from
the edges. Leave out the boards at the window-space.

Make the shutter, and trim off its tongued and grooved edges (see
_Paring_, etc.) before nailing the back of the house together, as you
can thus determine more easily the space to be left open. Also trim off
the tongued edge of the board coming next below the shutter. Leave the
open space a little wider than the shutter (say 1/4" wider) to allow for
possible swelling of the boards. When you nail the cleats on the
drop-shutter, be sure to use nails long enough to clinch (see
_Nailing_), or use screws (see _Screws_).

The front is to be made in the same way, the width of the door-space
being 27-1/2", and of the boarding at each side, 21-1/4". Have the two
inner cleats project about an inch inside the edge of the doorway for
the door to hit against when shut (Fig. 367), and "toe" or clinch the
nails for these cleats, or use a few screws, so that the slamming of the
door will not loosen them.

Now the four sides are ready to put together. Find a spot as nearly
level as you can for your house. Do not, however, put it in a hollow
where the floor will be flooded with water when it rains. Hold up the
front and one side in the right position, press them closely together at
the corner, and drive in a couple of nails to hold them until you can
get the other parts in place. Then fit on the other side and the back in
the same way. Try the four corners with the steel square, and when you
have them right nail all the corners strongly with 2-1/2" nails. If you
have no large square, measure the diagonals with a stick, altering the
angles at the corners until the diagonals are equal. Toe the nails at
the corners, and, in fact, if you can do it neatly, it will be stronger
to toe the nails throughout the work.

Now get out boards 6' long for the roof, to run from side to side. When
you nail them on have them project 1" all around. Cover the roof with
roofing- or sheathing-paper. Lay it in strips from side to side,
beginning at the back and letting the second strip overlap the first, as
shingles are laid. Three strips will cover the roof once. Of course you
can cover it with as many layers as you wish to pay for. Fasten the
paper with roofing nails or tacks. Drive them close together, but only
where the strips lap and at the edges of the roof. You can bend the
edges of the paper down over the edge of the roof to cover the joint
underneath and nail neat strips of wood outside to cover the edges of
the paper, or you can simply nail the paper around the edge of the roof.

In making the door (Fig. 368) clinch the nails which fasten the cleats,
or use screws, and trim off the tongued and grooved edges, as with the

Now hang the door and drop-shutter with two strap-hinges each. Place the
door and shutter exactly in position (shut), and tack them temporarily
in place with a few nails, or wedge them. Then carefully placing each
hinge so that the pin on which it turns is just in line with the crack
between the door and the door-frame, mark points for the screws. Bore
holes for the screws and fasten the hinges in place (see _Screws_).

Put a latch, a catch, or a hasp and padlock on the door, and a hasp or
screw-eye and hook on the inside for the shutter. Also fix a brace to
hold the shutter when lifted, or you can arrange a rope to pass up from
the outside of the shutter and around a pulley to the inside of the
house, where it can hang down and be used to hold the shutter up by
fastening it round a cleat or a couple of nails.

[Illustration FIG. 368.]

You can fix a shelf inside under the open window at the back (Fig. 364,
Plan), resting on cleats nailed to the sides of the house, and also put
in a seat at one or both sides, supporting the middle by a short post or
a short piece of board on edge.

A few strips will serve to hold the lights of window-glass in place. The
house is now ready to occupy.

Of course you can save a good deal of labour (and lose some experience)
at slight expense by having the boards sawed off squarely of the given
lengths at a mill,--often where you buy the wood. In this case, remember
to make a list of the number of boards of each length to take to the

If you would like to be able to move your house or to take it apart and
store it during the winter, you can fasten the four sides and roof
together with screws, or hook them together on the inside with stout
screw-eyes and hooks. You will find this way in very common use by
builders and contractors in the little portable tool-houses, offices,
and shops which they take apart and move from place to place.

[Illustration FIG. 369.]

=Play-store or Booth.=--A good form for a simple play-store or booth
(Fig. 369) can, if small, be constructed on the same box-like principle
as the little building just shown, and the details of construction are
so similar that special directions for this design are unnecessary. If
large, it should, however, have a frame, which you can readily pattern
after that shown in Fig. 371.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, _Screws_, _Painting_, in Part V., and look up any
other references.

By using heavier cleats, as 2" × 2" or 2" × 4", on the ends, those on
the front and back can be omitted, and the boards nailed directly to the
sides. An arrangement for one end (that with the door) is suggested in
Fig. 370, 2" × 2" or 2" × 4" joist being used.

[Illustration FIG. 370.]

A shelf or counter can be fitted inside the drop-window for the display
of your wares.

       *       *       *       *       *

This general shape can often be advantageously used for a quite
good-sized building--a little cottage, for instance--and when an
addition to a larger structure is desired, it is sometimes the best form
for the purpose, for its shape renders it more easily attached than any
other form of ell (Fig. 391).

A building of this style, however suitable as an attachment to a larger
structure, will not be an attractive object in some situations. It will
not stand alone, regardless of the surroundings, as well as some other
forms. Therefore it is well to consider, before deciding to build
anything of this kind larger than the play-houses and stores just shown,
whether your house will have a building, a fence, or a wall for a
background; or a steep bluff or ledge under which it will nestle, or
trees or shrubbery behind or around it. In such cases it will often be
attractive in appearance. If, however, it is to be put in a prominent
place where it can be viewed from all positions, it may be better to
select some other type.

=Frame for Larger Building with Lean-to Roof.=--While the simple
box-like arrangement described above is suitable for a very small
structure, it must be discarded for a frame of some sort when you
undertake a larger and more permanent building.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_,
_Saw_, _Plane_, _Nailing_, _Screws_, _Painting_, in Part V., and look up
any other references.

This frame can be put together as shown for the framed structures
described farther on, the only difference being at the top. A simple
method of framing is shown in Fig. 371.

Fig. 382 shows a simple way of fitting boards around the edge of the
roof where it overhangs, and other arrangements for this detail can be
found in the various illustrations. It is not necessary to have roofs
overhang, even for a large building, but it is usually desirable on the
ground of appearance and for shedding the water away from the walls.

[Illustration FIG. 371.]

For matters relating to the foundation, see pages 259-264.

=Play-house or Cabin.=--The house shown in Fig. 372 can be put together
in the way already shown.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, _Screws_, _Painting_, in Part V., and look up any
other references.

The ground dimensions can be 5' or 6' × 7' or 8'. The ends must be made
higher than the sides, as shown, to allow for the slant of the roof.
Mark lines, using a straight-edge, to give the slant for both sides of
the roof, and saw the boards off by these lines. A short cleat can be
added at the top in the middle to stiffen these top boards.

After the sides and ends are put together, get out two boards, of the
shape shown in Fig. 373, to rest in four rectangular notches cut in the
front and back sides of the house. These pieces are to support the
roof-boards, and their upper edges are to be cut at the same angle as
the top of either end of the house. Nail these pieces firmly in place at
each end (Fig. 374).

[Illustration FIG. 372.]

Now get out boards for the roof, to run from end to end and about 4"
longer than the house. Begin to nail them on at the top, and have the
roof overhang the sides and ends 2" all around.

You can easily put in the window-sash, either by hinging it so as to
swing open, or by having it slide to the right or left on strips nailed
above and below it, as shown in Fig. 369.

[Illustration FIG. 373.]

The roof-boards can also be laid the other way by putting in a
ridge-piece in the form of a piece of studding or joist of any size not
less than 2" × 2" (Fig. 377), or even a board on edge, to which the
upper ends of the roof-boards can be nailed.

[Illustration FIG. 374.]

Another form of roof, but arranged in the same way, is shown in Fig.

You will require a compass-saw for the curves, or you can have them
sawed by a band-saw, or the wood can be trimmed to the line with the
hatchet and draw-knife or chisel (see _Paring_).

Another way to put any such little structure as this together is to have
the sheathing run up and down and the cleats horizontally. This makes a
neater structure than the way just given. The general principle of the
construction is the same, the four sides being made separately and then
fastened together.

[Illustration FIG. 375.]

=Play-house, Store, or Cabin.=--The design shown in Fig. 376 can be
carried out in the manner already described.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, _Screws_, _Painting_, in Part V., and look up any
other references.

The ground dimensions can be 6' or 7' × 8' or 9'. In making the ends
where they are cut off at the top to give the slant for the roof,
inside cleats should be used. Mark lines, using a straight-edge, for the
slant for both sides of the roof, and saw the boards off by these lines.
It will be convenient and will look well to make the angle at the top a
right angle. At the top saw out a notch in which to rest the ridge-pole,
as shown in Fig. 377.

[Illustration FIG. 376.]

After the sides and ends are fastened together, nail the ridge-pole in
place and get out short boards for the roof. Cut these for one side of
the roof so as to be about 2" longer than the slant of the end of the
house, and make those for the other side of the roof as much longer as
the thickness of the boards, so that they will lap over at the top, as
shown in Fig. 377. Nail them on, beginning at one end, so that the roof
will overlap the ends and sides 2" all around.

Nailing upright strips at the corners, as is commonly done on wooden
houses, and as is shown in the picture, will give the house a more
finished appearance. The other details are similar to those already

[Illustration FIG. 377.]

[Illustration FIG. 378.]

[Illustration FIG. 379.]

This house can have a floor, which can be made of 2" × 4" studding
simply nailed together and floored over (Fig. 378), forming a sort of
platform to which the sides and ends can be nailed when the house is put
together; and the best way to make the whole structure is that shown in
Fig. 377, the boards running vertically and cleats horizontally. In case
of using a platform floor with this last method of construction, the
lower cleats can be raised from the bottom so as to rest on the floor,
as shown in Fig. 378. This makes the putting together of the house quite
simple, as the fitting of the sides and ends and floor in their proper
places obviates the need of testing with square or measuring diagonals.
The lower cleats on the sides and ends are not really necessary,
however, except for convenience in putting together and taking apart, as
the vertical sheathing can be nailed directly to the floor-frame or
sills, as shown in Fig. 377.

[Illustration FIG. 380.]

[Illustration FIG. 381.]

The whole can then be levelled (see _Level_ and _Plumb_), being blocked
up underneath as may be required.

The design is also suitable for a larger structure, in which case a
frame should be made as shown in Fig. 389.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another very, similar design is shown in Fig. 379, and can be put
together according to the principles already shown. The boarding runs
vertically and the cleats horizontally, as shown in Fig. 377.

[Illustration FIG. 382.]

Figs. 380 and 381 show other simple arrangements, the ground dimensions
of which can be, perhaps, 8' × 12', and which can be put together in the
same way as the preceding cases, with or without a floor, and with the
boarding running vertically or horizontally.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration FIG. 383.]

[Illustration FIG. 384.]

[Illustration FIG. 385.]

If a stove is to be used, the smoke-pipe can be arranged to pass through
the side of the house, as in Figs. 382, 383, etc. If to pass through the
roof, it should be soldered or riveted to a sheet of metal, as
galvanized iron, the upper edge of the latter being slipped under the
roof covering while the lower edge laps over it (Fig. 384), on just the
same principle that shingles are laid, the idea being, of course, that
the water will run down over the metal without leaking through, just as
it runs down over the shingles. This simple principle must always be
observed whenever metal is used to prevent joints leaking. With such
small houses as these it is usually easier and safer about leakage to
have the pipe run through the side of the house. If to go through the
roof (particularly when there is no special roof covering but boards),
it is a good plan to have the pipe pass through the roof near the ridge,
so that the upper edges of the metal sheet can be slipped under one of
the saddle-boards (Fig. 385). In any case, an air space must be allowed
between the smoke-pipe and the wood, and it is always well to have a
collar an inch or two outside of the pipe. Any tinsmith or metal-worker
can arrange these details.

Round drain-pipe set in cement is often used for a cheap pipe or
chimney, and answers the purpose very well.

Fig. 383 also shows the way to lay sheathing- or roofing-paper in case
you wish to use it for a temporary structure. It also gives a suggestion
for a window-shutter to be raised by a cord passing through to the
inside, where it can be fastened to a cleat.

=A Workshop.=--A small building, like that shown in Fig. 386, from 8' to
12' wide by 12' to 18' long, will be suitable for a workshop or for
various other purposes.

[Illustration FIG. 386.]

While it will do for a little play-house without a floor, like those
described at first, to rest directly upon the ground, a better structure
like this should have some sort of underpinning.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is not customary to lay a stone or brick and cement foundation for
such a structure as this, because the building is not usually worth it.
It can very well be rested upon stones at the corners and middle of the
sides or upon posts set in the ground. If the soil is sandy and large
stones abundant, it can be rested upon piers of stones. So far as
supporting the building for one season is concerned, simply resting it
upon stones laid on top of the ground is sufficient, but the action of
the frost will move the stones and heave the building more or less out
of place, which will require it to be occasionally levelled and blocked
up. A hole can be dug to a depth of about three feet, so as to be below
the action of the frost, and a pier of flat stones built up. If the
soil is of clear, well-packed sand, a pier of this sort will last for
some time before being thrown out of shape by the frost, although, of
course, if laid in cement (or if bricks laid in cement are used), it
will be much more permanent. If the soil is clayey, the foundation, of
whatever kind, should be carried to a depth of three feet or more and
cemented, and even then it will be liable to be heaved by the action of
the frost. This involves considerable labour and perhaps expense, and
for such a small building it will usually be better to rest it upon flat
stones laid on the surface, or to block it up in some way so as to be
clear of the ground, and then level it whenever necessary, which is not
difficult with so small a structure.[32]

       *       *       *       *       *

While brick piers built upon a foundation of stone laid in cement and
carried to a depth of three feet or more is doubtless the best
underpinning you can have (next to a regular foundation wall), it is not
always advisable to incur the necessary expense and labour, and a common
and usually satisfactory way for a building of this sort is to rest it
upon posts set in the ground. But before placing the posts the exact
position of the building must be determined.

       *       *       *       *       *

Having fixed upon the position of the building, proceed to stake it out.
First measure off with the tape, or rod, or even a string, the length
of one of the sides of the building, and drive a stake at each end of
the line. Stretch a line between these stakes and measure off the length
of the end of the building from each stake, as nearly as possible at
right angles with the first line. You can do this approximately with the
help of a "mason's square," or large triangle, which you can make
yourself of thin strips of wood nailed together in the form of a
right-angled triangle with sides 6', 8', and 10' long, or the sides can
be 3', 4', and 5' long.[33] Whatever method you use, be sure that the
figure is rectangular, and move one or two of the stakes, if necessary,
until the diagonals are of equal length.

If the ground is uneven, keep the tape horizontal when measuring, and to
determine the points required drop a plumb-line from the end of the tape
which is raised from the ground.

Having in this way accurately fixed upon the lines for the four sides of
the house, continue these lines a few feet (perhaps 4 or 5 feet) beyond
the corners to the points marked E (Fig. 388), and drive a stake at each
of these points. You can easily get these eight stakes in line by
sighting from the four first driven. Next drive in one of these outside
stakes (the one where the ground is the highest in case the surface is
uneven) until it sticks out of the ground a few inches, and then drive
the other seven until their tops are level with the top of the first.
This you can determine by applying the level to a line stretched taut
from the top of one post to the top of another. Drive a nail into the
top of each stake to hold the string, or cut a notch for the same
purpose. Now if strings are tightly stretched between these stakes, they
will intersect over the four stakes first driven at the corners of the
house. These four stakes you can now remove when you dig the holes for
the posts, and the exact position of each post and its height above the
surface will be determined by the intersection of the strings from the
outside stakes. The strings can be taken off while you are digging and
replaced when you are getting the posts in position.

[Illustration FIG. 388.]

Next dig a hole at one corner, about 18" in diameter and about 2-1/2' or
3' in depth. In this hole set a post about 6" in diameter, sawed off
squarely at the upper end, and of such a length that when pounded down
to a firm and upright bearing the top of it will reach the string
stretched between the levelling stakes. When you fill up the hole put in
only a little earth at a time, "tamping" each layer compactly around the
post with an iron bar or stick before adding more earth. Contrary to
what one might naturally think, the earth can be tamped more compactly
with a bar or stick than with a heavy joist.

Set another post in the same way at the next corner, fixing it
accurately in position by means of the strings, as in the case of the
first post, and seeing that the distance from the outside of this post
to the outside of the first one is that required by the plan.

Set the other corner-posts in the same way, testing all the distances
(including the diagonals) as before. You can try the height of each post
now and then as you dig, and thus avoid making too deep a hole.

If you prefer, you can set all the posts in the right positions at
first, but without trying to level the tops, merely seeing that the tops
all stick up above the line. You can then strike a horizontal line all
around with a cord, and saw all the posts off by this line--a process
which you very likely have seen when watching the work on a pile-bridge
or wharf. Sawing off the posts squarely will be much easier, however,
before they are set in the ground.

       *       *       *       *       *

The posts may be of locust, cedar, cypress, or chestnut. Locust is
considered very durable, but is the most expensive. Cedar is excellent,
and will be perfectly satisfactory. Chestnut will do very well for a
house of this sort, and is comparatively cheap. If you do not mind the
slight increase in cost, cedar is better. If you wish to be as
economical as possible, chestnut will answer.[34]

The reason for selecting wood of greater natural durability for the
posts than for the rest of the house is to withstand the greater
exposure of the posts to alternate moisture and dryness. Timber will
last for centuries if placed in a sheltered position and exposed to a
free circulation of air. It will also last for a long period when
immersed in fresh water or sunk underground, so as to be beyond the
influence of atmospheric changes. But the alternate exposure to dryness
and moisture, as in the case of posts partly above and partly below
ground, or piles for a wharf or bridge, causes decay in a comparatively
short time (see Appendix).

If your site is too rocky for posts, you will be saved some digging, but
must provide a level and stable foundation in some other way. It rarely
happens that the surface will be quite level, and you must use stone or
timbers for underpinning. If there are one or two corners that must be
raised, owing to inequality of the surface, and you cannot find large
stones that will be sure to stay in place, you can rest the raised parts
of the house upon posts securely braced. Rock is not the most desirable
foundation for a building with a regular underpinning and cellar--the
biblical parable to the contrary notwithstanding--and there is no
foundation superior to sand or gravel (only the sand or gravel must be
confined and not free to slide or move). But as your house merely rests
on the surface, and has no cellar to be dug or drained, there is no
disadvantage in putting it on a rock, provided you support it properly.
Do not rest one end of it on a pile of loose cobble-stones, five feet
high, only to have the stones slip some wet, stormy night and let the
building down.

Having the foundation set, the next thing is the frame, which for a
small building of this kind can be made of almost any kind of wood which
you can readily obtain, provided, of course, that it is dry enough and
not weakened by large knots or other defects.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, _Screws_, _Painting_, in Part V., and look up any
other references.

[Illustration FIG. 389.]

The sills, or the lower timbers of the frame which rest upon the
foundation, should be got out first, and can be of 4" × 4" stock, and
halved at the ends (see _Halving_) (Fig. 389). Upon these sills is to be
set up a 4" × 4" post of the desired length at each corner.[35]

On top of these are placed the plates, which can be of 2" × 4" studding
laid flat and halved at the ends. Be sure to get out these pieces before
beginning to put them together. Toe-nail the posts to the sills and nail
the plates directly down on top of the posts, keeping the latter in a
vertical position by temporarily nailing on strips of board diagonally,
adjusting these until the posts are vertical and at right angles to the
sills (see _Plumb_ and _Square_).

Next put in vertical studding (2" × 4") at each side of the door-space,
and at the sides of the window-spaces, allowing a little more space than
the exact widths of the door and window-frames. In the same way
horizontal studding should be fitted in above the door-space and above
and below the window-spaces, and in any places where it will be a help
in stiffening the frame or for nailing on the boarding. Another way is
to first fit in pieces of joist horizontally, either midway between the
sills and plates (except at the window and door-spaces), or running the
entire length above and below the windows. Just where and how many of
these pieces are to be put in depends upon the arrangement of the doors
and windows, and pieces of vertical studding can be fitted in at each
side of the door and window-spaces and wherever advisable. Short braces,
with their ends sawed at an angle of 45°, can also be fitted at the
corners, where the corner-posts meet the sills and plates, and be nailed
in place to help stiffen the frame.

It will be a convenience in working to lay the floor next. For this you
will require a number of floor-joists. If the building is only 8' or 10'
wide, 2" × 4" studding will do; but if the width is as great as 12', 2"
× 6" will be better. These are to be placed on edge on top of the sills,
as shown. Place one at each end against the corner-posts (to which it
can be nailed), sawing off each end so that it will be flush with the
outside of the sill. Distribute these floor-joists so that they will be
about 18" apart, and hold them in position by "toeing" a nail through
them at each end into the sill beneath, or nailing them to the studding
when practicable. Before laying any of these floor-joists trim them off
on the under edge, which will rest upon the sills, if necessary to
ensure a level surface on top for the floor. Do not neglect this, as
such joists frequently vary in width. Now measure the diagonals again,
before laying the floor-boards, to be sure that the base of the house is
rectangular. If one diagonal is longer than the other, push those
corners towards each other until the diagonals are of equal length.

Next lay the floor-boards, lengthways of the building, driving them
together tightly by pounding on a waste piece, and nailing them firmly
to each floor-joist with two nails. If your floor-boards are not long
enough to reach the entire length of the house, you will take pains, of
course, to saw them of such a length that the ends of the boards will
meet over the middle of one of the floor-joists, arranging the joints so
that they will alternate or come at different points of the floor. Saw
off neatly all projecting ends of the floor-boards.

You will frequently wish to use more force in driving the floor-boards
to a tight joint at the edges than you can easily apply with the hammer.
You can easily apply all the pressure required by using two short boards
on the principle of the toggle-joint. Arrange these as shown in Fig.
390, one end resting against a temporary cleat or any firm object and
the other against the edge of the floor-board. By stepping upon this
toggle-joint at its apex, the floor-board will be forced into place. A
common way is to pry the board into place with a chisel driven down at
the edge.

[Illustration FIG. 390.]

If the building is to be used in cold weather, by all means lay double
flooring. The under floor can be of cheaper stock and laid less
carefully. Between the two lay sheathing- or roofing-paper, and you will
have accomplished much towards keeping the room warm.

The frame is now ready for the roof-timbers. These can be of 2" × 4"
studding, except the ridge-board, which can be any common board about 6"

To obtain the length of the rafters and the angle at which the ends are
to be cut, you can easily make a full-sized pattern on the floor by
simply laying off a right-angled triangle of the required height and
base, which will give the length of the rafters and the angle at each
end, after cutting off a little piece at the upper end to represent one
half the thickness of the ridge-board; or two pieces of the rafter stock
can simply be laid on the floor in the right relative positions for the
roof, when their points of crossing can be marked on each edge and the
bevel marked on the sides of the pieces. The bevel at the lower end can
be found in a similar manner. Take off enough at the upper end to allow
for one half the thickness of the ridge-board, and saw off one rafter as
marked. This will serve for a pattern by which to mark the others. The
end rafters and the ridge-board (which should first be sawed the length
of the house) can easily be nailed in position by two persons, one at
each end, being temporarily stayed in place by a board nailed outside
(Fig. 389).

The roof-boards can be nailed either lengthways, or up and down. If the
former way, the rafters must be put quite near together to give
sufficient support to the boards. If the latter, purlins, or lengthways
stringers, should be added between the ridge-board and the side-plates,
as shown. If the roof is to be shingled, the boards can as well be laid
lengthways--otherwise they should be laid up and down. If not to be
covered in any way, matched-boards (or battened joints) should be used.
If well painted, such a roof will last for some time, but shingling is
much better.

Saddle-boards should be put along the ridge, as they add much to the
tightness and durability of the roof.

The sides require to be sheathed before covering the roof, leaving open
spaces for the door and windows. Shorter pieces can be used above and
below these spaces. The boarding can be put on vertically and battens
(narrow boards 2" or 3" wide, or strips of "half-round" moulding) nailed
over the cracks, as shown in Fig. 391, or, of course, the sides can be
clapboarded or shingled if preferred, in which case the boarding can be
put on horizontally.

The door can be made of boards, cleated, as already shown, or one can be
bought ready-made. A casing should be nailed around the door-space,
previously putting at the bottom a threshold upon which the lower ends
of the casing can fit. This you will at once understand by examining the
arrangement of these details in almost any dwelling-house. The
arrangement of the windows (which you can buy ready-made of almost any
desired shape and size) does not differ from the cases already shown.

The smoke-pipe can be arranged as shown on page 258.

A few floor-beams put across on top of the plates and wholly or partly
floored over will provide a loft useful for storage. If the building is
for a shop, this will be a good place to keep lumber.

The roof can be covered according to the methods already shown, but
shingling will be much better. If a building is worth shingling at all,
it is usually best to use a good quality of shingles. The cheapest ones
are apt to be unsatisfactory for a permanent building, but, on the other
hand, for such structures as these it is not necessary to get an extra
quality, for some knots or defects at the thin ends where they will be
covered by two or three layers may do no harm. Cedar shingles are better
than spruce.

It is a good plan to lay roofing-paper over the roof before shingling.
Begin the shingling at the eaves and work upward. Lay a row the length
of the roof, letting the butts slightly overhang the edge. Directly on
top of this row lay another, breaking joints with those underneath; that
is, lay the first row double, taking pains that the spaces between the
shingles of the lower layer are covered by the shingles of the upper
layer. Leave a slight space (perhaps 1/8" to 3/8") between the shingles
in laying them. This gives room for swelling, and allows the water to
run off freely. If the edges are close together at the lower end, the
tendency is to dam up these water-courses and retain the moisture, which
is injurious. Some people pare off the edges to make the butt-ends
narrower, in order to obviate this; but simply laying the shingles
slightly apart answers the purpose. Fasten each shingle with two shingle
nails (one near each edge, within perhaps 1"), far enough up from the
butt to be covered by the next row of shingles. Common shingles can be
laid about 4-1/2" to the weather, that is, with that portion of the
length exposed at the butt. If shingles of extra length are used this
distance can be varied accordingly. Lay the butts of each row by a
chalk-line or against the edge of a narrow board, which can be adjusted
and temporarily held in place by two strips nailed to the board and to
the ridge of the roof. The upper ends of the top row of shingles can be
trimmed off and saddle-boards can be put on at the top, letting the edge
of one overlap the other.

It is doubtful economy to paint shingles after they are laid. The paint
tends to clog the spaces between them. It is better to dip them in paint
before laying. A much better way is to dip them in some one of the
prepared "creosote stains," which can be had in a great variety of
colours. These are excellent, although, except to obtain some desired
colour effect, it is hardly worth while to use any preparation on the
roofs of such buildings as these. Cut nails are considered better than
wire nails for shingling, on the ground of durability. Take pains to
keep the lines of the rows straight and at equal distances apart.

For the painting, see _Painting_, in Part V.

If this building is for a workshop, various suggestions about the
interior arrangement will be found in Part I.


[30] To find the number of square feet in the cleats, first find the
number of "running" feet, that is, the total length of the cleats if
they were stretched out in a long line, like one of the rails of a
railroad track. Then, as the cleats are 3" wide (or one fourth of a
foot), it will take four running feet to make one square foot. Therefore
divide the number of running feet by four and the quotient will be the
number of square feet.

[31] Boards twelve feet long will be the best to buy for this house,
because you can get two lengths from each board without waste. You could
not be sure, however, of getting two lengths of exactly six feet from
each twelve-foot board, because the ends are frequently checked or
damaged in some way; so it will be safest to make the length 5' 10", as
given above.

[32] If you have only small stones or blocks upon which to rest it, the
building can be put together directly upon the ground, the sills being
rested temporarily upon any material at hand, and then the supports
adjusted underneath.

[33] You can mark a point on one string 3' from one stake and a point on
the other string 4' from the same stake, and then increase or decrease
the angle made by the two strings until another string exactly 5' long
will just reach from the marked point on one string to that on the
other. This process is based on the principle of mathematics that if the
two sides of a right-angled triangle are respectively 3 units and 4
units in length, the length of the hypothenuse will be 5 units. Another
way, if you are fond of mathematics, is to find the length of the
diagonals of the plan of the house by extracting the square root of the
sum of the squares of the two sides. (The square described on the
hypothenuse of a right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the
squares described on the other two sides.) You can measure the diagonal
directly from a plan if you understand mechanical drawing well enough to
make an accurate plan on a scale of perhaps 1/2" or 1" to a foot. Then
take one tape, or string, measuring the width of the building, with one
end held on the stake C (Fig. 387), and another tape measuring the
length of the diagonal, with the end held on the stake D. Drive the
stake A at the point where the two tapes meet when brought together.
Reversing the positions of the tapes will give in the same way the
fourth corner B. The distance A B should equal C D.

[Illustration FIG. 387.]

[34] The part of the post which is embedded in the ground is sometimes
charred or painted to preserve it from decay. This can be easily done,
but the process is advisable only with thoroughly seasoned wood. It
is highly injurious to green timber, as by closing the pores and
obstructing evaporation from the surface it prevents the seasoning of
the wood and causes fermentation and decay within (see Appendix).

[35] These posts, and even the sills, can be built up if necessary
of 2" × 4" studding, two pieces being placed side by side and nailed
together, but this is not so desirable as regards strength, its only
advantage consisting in the readiness with which the joints can be made
by simply cutting one of the two pieces shorter than the other.

     "The cottage is one of the embellishments of natural scenery which
     deserves attentive consideration. It is beautiful always, and
     everywhere; whether looking out of the woody dingle with its
     eye-like window, and sending up the motion of azure smoke between
     the silver trunks of aged trees; or grouped among the bright
     cornfields of the fruitful plain; or forming grey clusters along
     the slope of the mountain side, the cottage always gives the idea
     of a thing to be beloved: a quiet life-giving voice, that is as
     peaceful as silence itself."--RUSKIN, _The Poetry of Architecture_.



"=Cottage Row.="--The little houses shown in the accompanying
illustrations[36] afford excellent examples of what can be done by the
beginner. These were built by boys, and form, with others, a most
interesting little village or street, known as "Cottage Row." They are
small, but have many of the details of larger houses. They are shingled
and clapboarded, have regular doors and windows, and are very
attractively fitted up inside with curtains, cupboards, shelves, tables,
chairs, lounges, bookcases, and other articles of furniture. The walls
are hung or covered with prettily figured cretonne or calico.

These little structures are good models for boys' first attempts at
house-building, in that they are simple, modest, and unpretentious, and
have a homelike air which does not pertain to many more elaborate and
pretentious houses. The visitor is attracted by their neat, trim,
inviting appearance, and wishes to enter.

Houses of this character can easily be made by two or more boys working
together; and by the united forces of a number of boys a very attractive
little village can be built (and much simple carpentry be learned at the
same time), in which many pleasant hours can be spent.

Such houses as these can be framed and put together without difficulty
by the methods already shown. It will not add very much to the expense
to have the parts of the frame which show on the inside of the house
planed by machine, and this will much improve the appearance of the
interior. Shingling the roofs, putting casing around the windows and
doors and at the corners of the houses, and clapboarding or shingling
the sides, adds much to the attractiveness of such small structures, as
you can see from the illustrations.


The windows and casings you can buy ready-made, or the latter you can
make yourself. The doors and casings you can also buy, or make. The
door-casings and window-casings should be nailed in place before the
sides are clapboarded. The tops of these casings should always be
protected by strips of sheet lead, the upper edges of which are slipped
up under the clapboarding (Fig. 390a), thus covering the crack where the
casing joins the side of the building and shedding the water--on the
same principle as shown in Figs. 384 and 385. This is important, as the
rain will drive through such cracks, even though they seem very tight.
Tonguing and grooving can be used in such cases, but flashing with lead
is a simpler process. The same precaution should always be taken where
roofs or attachments join a building in such a way as to expose a crack
through which the water can leak. Zinc, or even tin, can be used, but
are inferior to lead. The corner-boards and the water-table (the
horizontal board at the bottom of the house) should also be nailed in
place. The latter should have the top edge slightly bevelled, to shed
the water. All these pieces having been carefully nailed in place, the
clapboarding or shingling of the sides can be done.

[Illustration 390a.]

It will cost but little to sheath the outside with sheathing-paper, and
the house will be much tighter and dryer. This should be put on under
the casings, corner-boards, etc., so as to avoid a crack where these
boards and the clapboards or shingles meet.

       *       *       *       *       *

Laying clapboards, unlike shingling, is begun at the top. Lay the upper
row by a line, as in shingling, keeping the clapboards in place by a few
nails in the upper part only. Then slip the clapboards for the next row
up from underneath under the first row until only the desired amount of
the clapboards is exposed. The first row can then be firmly nailed near
the lower edge with clapboard nails. This will hold the next row in
position while the third row is put in place, and so on. The thin edge
of the upper row can be finally covered with a strip of board or
moulding. The clapboarding can be continued to the very bottom of the
house. If, however, a water-table is used at the bottom, the lower edge
of the bottom row of clapboards should be slightly bevelled to fit
closely down on the slanting upper edge of the water-table. Be careful
to lay the clapboards in line and at equal distances apart, as
variations in the alignment are quite noticeable. Examine the clapboards
of any house on which they are used. In arranging them break joints at
the ends, that is, do not have the joints of one row directly under, or
very near, those of the rows above and below. Do not saw the ends by
eye. Mark them accurately with the try-square and knife and saw them
carefully with a fine saw, trying to make as close joints as possible.


A fair quality of clapboards should be used, but a few defects near the
thin edges which are to be covered may do no serious harm for such
structures as these.

When you begin to attempt more ambitious structures, such as modest
summer cottages for camping in vacations, for hunting- or
fishing-lodges, or for family use,--such houses as are often undertaken
by older boys or men with a taste for amateur carpentry,--there are a
number of things to be considered before beginning to do any actual


Do not begin a house you cannot pay for. If you find that the more
elaborate plans suggested will exceed your means, do not let them tempt
you to run in debt, but content yourself with the simplest plan.[37] You
will find it perfectly comfortable, and whenever you can afford the
expense you can easily add to it and improve it. That is the best
principle to go on, morally as well as financially.

In addition to points already spoken of in the preceding pages, bear in
mind, in making your plans, to use only simple forms for your first
efforts. Avoid dormer windows and complicated roofs (especially
combinations producing "valleys") and bay-windows, and the like, at
first. Such arrangements add many difficulties for the beginner. When
you can make a plain, simple building, with everything snug and tight,
and can lay a plain roof that will not leak, you can then attempt such
variations of form with a fair chance of success, but do not be too
ambitious in your first attempts. A simple piazza can often be added to
good advantage, if desired.


It is well to ascertain the sizes of the ready-made doors and windows
which you can buy in the place where your house is to be built, before
drawing your plans.

If there is a choice of situations in which to place your house, a few
suggestions about the selection of a site may be of value.

       *       *       *       *       *

If you are going to build in the mountains, or the pine woods, or on
rocky islands or promontories in the ocean,--in places where there are
almost no unsanitary conditions, where the climate is so invigourating,
the air so purifying,--there is no need to think of many precautions
important in a cleared and settled country. As much sunlight and
circulation of air as you can get, pure drinking water, and the simple
precaution of not building in a hollow or on the edge of a swamp, are
about all the sanitary points you need consider in such places.

In selecting a site in any ordinary country or seashore region, first
make sure above all things of _dryness_, _sunlight_, _pure air_, and
_pure water_.

Avoid building a cottage for regular occupancy in a dense thicket, not
merely on account of the mosquitoes and other insects, but because the
thicket shuts out the sun and cuts off the free circulation of air which
there should always be in summer around and through a house. Of course,
for shooting or fishing, a lodge, camp, or cabin must be built wherever
required by the circumstances. Sunshine is very important in securing
dryness and in purifying the air.

You will naturally reject wet land. Avoid also soil that retains
moisture,[38] even though it may not be actually wet to step upon, for
land saturated with moisture may be the unsuspected source of serious
diseases. There is air in the ground, which may be the means of
spreading dampness and foul gases.

Do not place your house in a depression or in the bottom of a valley
where dampness is likely to settle. At the seashore there will, of
course, be fogs from the ocean at certain times and places, but they are
not harmful, except to navigation; and at the mountains more or less
dampness at night is very common. Do not try to find a place where there
is no dampness at all, but except at the seashore or mountains reject
situations where there are mists at night, avoiding particularly the
vicinity of wet marshes and swamps, stagnant pools of fresh water, boggy
ponds, sluggish rivers and brooks, on account of the malarious vapours
which are liable to hang over them.

Do not try to keep cool by hiding your house where the sun will not
shine upon it. The southern or south-eastern slope of a hill usually
affords a most desirable site as regards both coolness and sunlight. If
you can also find a site on the top of a little mound or knoll, so as to
secure the free drainage of the water in every direction, it will be

The main points in regard to water are to have it pure and to have
plenty of it.

In regard to pure water, and pure air also, if you are planning to build
in a little settlement or near other cottages the question of drainage
(sewerage) from the neighbouring houses becomes of the utmost
importance. A breeze from the sea, the mountains, or the pine woods is
pure in itself and to a certain degree a scavenger, but do not throw
upon it the work of purifying a naturally unhealthful situation.

This matter of drainage you can arrange for yourself on your own land,
but the arrangements of your neighbours you will have to take as you
find them; therefore guard carefully against contamination of your
drinking water and of the air through proximity to the cesspools,
privies, or sink drains of the neighbouring cottages. Exactly how far a
well or spring should be from such sources of pollution it is impossible
to state without knowledge of the particular spot, for it depends upon
the slope of the ground, the kind of soil, the direction of the
underlying strata, and other circumstances. In some cases a distance of
twenty feet might be perfectly safe, while in others two hundred would
be highly dangerous. One hundred feet or more is near enough under
ordinary conditions. There is no greater danger than that from
defective sewerage, and the danger usually begins before the senses are
aware that there is any trouble. This subject is better understood now
than formerly, but still, until the subject forces itself upon their
attention, the majority of people pay but little regard to it. It is a
fact well established among medical men that some of the worst forms of
sickness are nothing but filth diseases, to which the dwellers in summer
cottages are sometimes even more exposed than those in town houses.
Remember that air as well as water is an active agent for spreading the
germs of disease.

As to the position in which to place the house itself after the spot has
been chosen much will depend on circumstances. Consider the sun, the
prevailing winds, and the views in relation to the rooms, the windows,
and the piazza. An unsheltered piazza facing the west is apt to be very
hot at the time of day you are likely to use it the most, though, of
course, the wind or other considerations may make such a position

       *       *       *       *       *

The subject of the necessary underpinning for such simple structures as
are here shown has been already treated in the preceding chapter. In
most cases you will find posts set in the ground, as there described, an
excellent way (except, of course, upon rocky ground), but brick or stone
piers are almost always more desirable, if you can afford the cost of
the materials (which can be obtained almost anywhere), and the work of
laying piers for such a purpose is not very difficult; but whether to
use posts or piers should, of course, depend upon the character and
permanence of the building.

Having fixed upon the position of the building, proceed to stake it out
(including the piazza if there is to be one), as shown in the chapter
immediately preceding.

The foundation being ready, the frame is next to be considered. You have
probably noticed in the old houses built by our forefathers their
massive construction,--the great size of the timbers and the way in
which they are heavily braced and mortised and pinned together. With the
modern facilities for cutting wood into small pieces by machinery has
sprung up a style of building of which you will see examples on every
hand, and which when carried to its extreme in the cheapest houses makes
a structure so flimsy that it is literally held together by nothing but
nails. A scientific modification (adapted to modern conditions) of the
old-fashioned "braced" structure, retaining its advantages and remedying
its defects, is undoubtedly superior (_expense being no object_) to a
"balloon" frame that will only hold together by having the outside
boarding nailed on to it as fast as it is put up. If the more cheaply
built "balloon" structures of to-day had been put up in the days of our
Pilgrim or Puritan ancestors not a stick of them would now be standing.
A lighter arrangement than the old-fashioned frame and one more easily
built is, however, in our day probably better adapted for the
construction of a large class of buildings of moderate size and moderate

This is said about braced and framed structures that you may not be led
to think that the light construction advocated here for you would be the
best for _all_ wooden structures. Your house will be so small, and the
construction of a braced and mortised frame is so difficult for
amateurs, that a lighter and easier arrangement will be best for you to
use, however ill-suited it might be for a large mansion or ware-house.
This system of construction will be perfectly satisfactory and
sufficiently durable for a little summer cottage.

A little house well suited for summer use, or for a winter camp, is
shown in Fig. 391.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration FIG. 391.]

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, _Screws_, _Hinges_, _Painting_, in Part V., and
look up any other references.

The main house (which contains the general living-room) can be framed as
shown in Fig. 389. The "lean-to" addition (which contains the kitchen)
can be framed as shown in Fig. 371. If both parts are built at one time,
only four sills should be used for the entire structure, and the
corner-posts and upright studding of the "lean-to" on the side next the
main house should be omitted.

The sides of this house are battened, _i.e._, the joints of the vertical
sheathing are covered with strips nailed over them--in this case with
strips of "half-round" moulding. This is an easy and quite inexpensive
way to finish the outside, and while hardly equal to clapboarding or
shingling in some respects is a very good way for structures of this

As you will see from the illustration, the rafters of both the house and
the ell project or overhang at the eaves. This is not really a necessity
for any structure, and you will sometimes see quite large buildings
without any overhang of the roof whatever, but, as a rule, it improves
the appearance of the house, and is a help in shedding the water farther
from the walls. It is only necessary to let the rafters project at their
lower ends, making all project equally, and to nail a board to their
ends, as shown. The overhang at the ends of the house can be arranged in
the same way, short pieces of studding being nailed in the outside angle
of the roof and ends, with strips nailed upon these.

If the ground slopes, as in this case, lattice-work is good to cover the
space below the sills.

The remaining details have been treated in the preceding cases.

       *       *       *       *       *

The simple structure shown in Fig. 392 is suitable for various uses, and
can be constructed in the way already described.

       *       *       *       *       *

The piazza is, however, a new problem, but not a very difficult one
after the processes already described. A simple way, suited for rustic
structures or rough cabins, is to set the piazza posts in the ground to
a depth of two or three feet, sawing the tops off at the height of the
piazza roof, and simply nailing a system of floor-timbers for the piazza
floor to these posts and the side of the house and flooring it with
boards, while the roof of the piazza is supported on the tops of the
posts. This is not a good way, however, for a carefully built house.

[Illustration FIG. 392.]

A strip of joist or plank can be spiked to the side of the house at the
proper height, and to this can be nailed a system of floor-timbers for
the piazza floor (see page 287), the outer corners and middle resting
upon stones or posts in the same way as the rest of the building. This
is then floored crossways, the whole having a slight slant outwards to
shed the water. Upon this platform are raised the piazza posts, and at
the top of these is nailed a roof system, which is covered with boards
in the same way as the floor beneath. Enough slant should be given the
roof to enable it to shed the water freely.

The other details do not differ from those already described.

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, _Screws_, _Hinges_, _Painting_, in Part V., and look
up any other references.

       *       *       *       *       *

An excellent form for a small structure is that shown in Fig. 393. This
has a hip-roof, which is the only essential difference between it and
the types already shown.

[Illustration FIG. 393.]

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, _Screws_, _Hinges_, _Painting_, in Part V., and look
up any other references.

[Illustration FIG. 393a.]

This roof is somewhat more difficult to make well than the simple kinds,
but is not beyond the skill of the amateur. Up to the plates the
construction is the same as that already shown. In this roof, however,
the ridge-board is short and the end rafters (called hip-rafters)
incline towards it (Fig. 393a). Laying out the upper bevels of these
rafters will require careful planning. After you have succeeded in
laying them out, cutting the bevels at the ends, and fitting them in
place, the shorter jack rafters can readily be put in place.

[Illustration FIG. 394.]

[Illustration FIG. 395.]

The shingling is more difficult at the corners than in the other roofs
shown, as the shingles must be cut. It is well to cover each hip with a
line of shingles, laid parallel to the hip and along each side of it.
Boards can be used to cover the hips, as shown in one of the
illustrations of "Cottage Row."

Another form, embodying the same roof construction, but larger and
correspondingly more difficult, is shown in Fig. 394.

       *       *       *       *       *

A small cottage for summer use (Fig. 395) is not more difficult than the
cases already shown, except in the matter of size.

[Illustration FIG. 396. END ELEVATION.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, _Screws_, _Hinges_, _Painting_, in Part V., and look
up any other references.

The process of staking out and setting the foundation has been already
described under _A Workshop_, pages 259-264.

The frame can be built upon the same general principle as shown in Fig.
389, the dimensions of the stock depending upon the size of the house;
but the directions given in these chapters are intended only for small
structures. The sills should be 4" × 6" or 6" × 6", the corner-posts can
be 4" × 4" or 4" × 6," the floor-timbers and rafters 2" × 6", although,
if the house is quite small, 2" × 4" will do for the rafters, which can
be braced by "collar beams," or simply horizontal pieces of board
nailed across in the upper part of the roof.

Arrange the studding according to the doors and windows. As this house
is not to be lathed and plastered, it is not essential that the studding
should be at any exact distance apart.

The essential difference between the frame of this house and that shown
in Fig. 389 consists in the projection of the second-story floor-timbers
over the piazza, the ends resting upon an outer plate on top of the
piazza posts (Fig. 396). The arrangement of the attic floor-beams, the
rafters, and the side-plates is shown in Fig. 397.

[Illustration FIG. 397.]

The frame for the piazza floor can be arranged as follows: Fasten a
strip of 2" × 4" joist along the side, spiking it through into the sill.
On this fasten an arrangement of floor-timbers, such as is shown in Fig.
398, the inner cross-beam and lengthways stringers resting in gains, as
shown in Fig. 399. The details of the arrangement can be varied
according to the height you wish the piazza floor to be relatively to
the floor inside.

For a quite small structure, or for a temporary one, it will answer to
make this piazza-floor system of 2" × 6" stock simply sawed square and
spiked together, on the principle shown in Fig. 378, but for a good
house which you wish to be permanent, it is better to put a little more
labour into the piazza.

[Illustration FIG. 398.]

[Illustration FIG. 399.]

Another way is to have the main sills extend under the piazza as well as
under the house proper. This is a more thorough way as regards
stiffness, but extra pains must be taken to prevent the water working
down on the sills where the house and piazza join, as this will tend to
rot this portion of the sills. With this arrangement of sills an extra
sill, or cross-sill, should be added under the juncture of the body of
the house and the piazza. The ends of this sill can rest in gains cut in
the end-sills, and the middle can be supported by one or more posts.

For the stairs, which can be put wherever you wish, take two pieces of
plank, 2" × 9" or 10", and of sufficient length. Having determined the
points for the top and the bottom of the stairs (by laying off on the
floor in the same way as for the rafters, page 268), lay one of the
planks on the floor in the proper position and mark the notches for the
steps and the bevels for the ends. After these "notch-boards" or string
pieces have been cut and put in place, you can easily get out and nail
on the "risers" and "treads." Examination of any common stairs will show
you how to arrange these details without difficulty. You can mark on a
stick the height from the top of the lower floor to the top of the
upper. Divide this distance, on the stick, into as many parts as you
wish to have steps, and you can use the stick as a gauge by which to
determine the points for sawing the notches for the steps.[39] It is
best to have the treads not less than 9" wide, and 10" is better, while
7-1/2" or 8" will do for the risers. A "header," or cross-piece, must be
securely fastened between the second-story floor-beams where they are
cut off to make the opening at the head of the stairs.

The partitions inside require no directions, being simply made of
studding to which sheathing is nailed.

The remaining details do not differ from those of the preceding cases,
and the interior fittings you can arrange without further instructions.
A regular brick chimney will, of course, be a desirable feature if you
can afford it.

       *       *       *       *       *

By the slight modification of having the roof overhang on each side, two
piazzas will be provided and space given for larger chambers (Fig. 400).

       *       *       *       *       *

The construction differs from that of the design just shown only in the
arrangement of the framing for the second story.

[Illustration FIG. 400.]

The floor-beams of the second story will overlap at each end and the
rafters be correspondingly longer, and the end-plates can be omitted and
the end-studding continued up to the rafters, except where interrupted
by the window-spaces. This house, like the others, can be clapboarded,
shingled, battened, or sheathed, as you may prefer.


[36] Obtained through the courtesy of Mr. Charles H. Bradley,
Superintendent of the admirable Farm School on Thompson's Island, in
Boston Harbour, where this little village was built.

[37] If that is too expensive, some of those given in the preceding
pages will probably answer your purpose.

[38] "Soils which are naturally porous, from which rain rapidly
disappears, are known to be the healthiest for the sites of houses. In
this the action of the soil oxidizes all organic impurities, the
resulting product is washed away by the rain, and the soil remains sweet
and wholesome."--LATHAM.

[39] To find the number of steps for a given situation, find the height,
as just shown, from floor to floor, 102" for example. Assume, for trial,
a satisfactory height for each step, as 7". Divide 102 by 7, which gives
14-4/7 for the number of steps. To make the number even, call it 14, and
you have only to divide 102 by 14 to get the exact height of each step.



=Summer-houses.=--A form which is quite easy to build, and which is
attractive when overrun with vines, is shown in front elevation (Fig.
401) and in side elevation (Fig. 402).

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, _Painting_, in Part V., and look up any other

The construction is simple. The frame can be of 2" × 3" stock (planed),
except the sills, which had best not be smaller than 2" × 4" (on edge).
Cross floor-beams can be inserted, as in the floors of the little houses
first shown.

The upright members can, however, rest upon posts set in the ground and
the floor be dispensed with. Where the parts of the frame cross they can
be halved (see _Halving_). The square joints can be nailed together. The
roof can be solid or made of slats several inches apart, resting upon

[Illustration FIG. 401.]

The strips for the lattice-work can be about 3/8" thick, and from 7/8"
to 1-1/4" wide. These can be got out at any mill in long or short
strips, which you can cut off as you put them on. Do not lay them too
closely together. Put one strip on at the desired angle. Then cut off
one or more short pieces by which to gauge the distance for laying the
next strip, or get out a piece of light thin boarding of the width of
the space between the lattice strips and hold it beside each strip as a
guide by which to lay the next one.

This lattice-work, although each strip is so slight, will give the frame
great stiffness and strength.

[Illustration FIG. 402.]

The joints of such framework as this should properly be painted before
being put together (see _Painting_), and it also is a more thorough and
neater way to lay the lattice-work strips on supports of some kind and
paint them before putting on. They will then only require touching up
with paint after the house is done.

       *       *       *       *       *

The rustic summer-house, or arbour, made of sticks in their natural
form, shown in Fig. 403, is in some respects more difficult to build
than the preceding, because the ends of so many of the pieces have to be
cut at an oblique angle.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, _Screws_, _Hinges_, _Painting_, in Part V., and look
up any other references.

First make a platform, as for the other floors, or the upright posts can
rest upon posts set in the ground and the floor be dispensed with.
Plates can be placed on top of the posts, and rafters extend from the
plates at the top of each post to the apex of the roof. These plates and
rafters will make a framework on which to nail the sticks which form the
roof covering. The remaining details are apparent. Much care is
required, however, to put this house together properly, not merely in
cutting the angles at the joints, but in sighting, measuring, and
testing to ensure its coming together without twisting or winding.

[Illustration FIG. 403.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Instead of making this house six-sided, it can, if desired, be made
rectangular like the preceding one, but keeping the same arrangement of
the details. This makes a very pretty design, and in respect to joining
the pieces is much easier to make. Another pretty plan is to build a
hexagonal, octagonal, or circular house of this sort around a tree
trunk. If the roof is fitted too snugly to the tree trunk, the growth of
the latter may split the roof apart before the rest of the house is past
its usefulness, so you should arrange this part to allow for the growth
of the tree.

=Bath-house.=--A plain bath-house (Fig. 404) can well be made with a
lean-to roof and put together on the same simple principles already
shown; so that additional instructions for this design are unnecessary.
A good way for such a building is to sheath it vertically as shown, but
any of the other methods can, of course, be adopted.

[Illustration FIG. 404.]

[Illustration FIG. 405.]

=Boat-houses.=--By using the same simple system of framework shown in
Fig. 389 you can make an inexpensive boat-house (Fig. 405).

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, _Screws_, _Hinges_, _Painting_, in Part V., and look
up any other references.

The inclined slip or platform upon which you haul the boats up from the
water requires simply two or three timbers for stringers, running down
towards the water, with 2" planks nailed across, as shown. The simplest
way to square the ends of these planks is to nail them in place,
allowing a little extra length, and then saw the ends all off at once by
a line.

[Illustration FIG. 406.]

A house of this kind can be built to extend over the water (for boats
which are to be kept in the water) by arranging a foundation of stone or
piles in the water, or by digging a little dock into the shore under the

In these cases there must, of course, be an additional door of the
ordinary kind for entrance on the shore end of the house, and it will be
convenient, if the house is long enough, to floor over this end. A
narrow floor or platform can also be extended along one or both sides to
facilitate handling the boats and getting in or out of them.

The sill at the water end will have to be omitted, of course, a piece of
studding being fitted in at each side of the door-space, but these
details you will have no difficulty in arranging if you have studied the
preceding examples.

       *       *       *       *       *

A larger and more elaborate boat-house, or club-house (Fig. 406), having
a loft for storage as well as a balcony, can be constructed on the same
general principles already explained.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, _Screws_, _Hinges_, _Painting_, in Part V., and look
up any other references.

[Illustration FIG. 407.]

The end-plate for the end shown in the illustration cannot run across
from side to side, because of the doorway opening on the balcony, but
can be made in two parts to extend from the sides to upright studs at
each side of the doorway. A simple way of arranging the frame at the
floor of the second story is shown in Fig. 407.

Unless this building is very small (in which case it can only be used
for the storage of oars, rigging, etc.), the sills should be of 4" × 6"
(on edge) or 6" × 6" stock, and the floor-beams of 2" × 6" stock. 4" ×
4" or 4" × 6" will do for the corner-posts, and 2" × 4" for the studding
and rafters for such a small structure as is advisable for the beginner
to attempt.

If you should, however, build anything large, the posts, the lower
floor-beams, if unsupported in the middle, the plates, and the rafters
should be heavier. If your house is to be used by many people and heavy
boats are to be hauled in and out, it is much better to err on the side
of having these timbers too heavy rather than too light. But these
designs are only intended for comparatively small structures.

The outer floor-timbers for the balcony had best be mortised into the
posts (see _Mortising_). The top rail around the balcony can be of 2" ×
4" studding, laid flatways, and with the upper angles bevelled (see
_Bevelling_). The balusters can be simply square pieces nailed into
place. The rail and balusters can, however, be obtained in a great
variety of forms at a wood-working mill, if you prefer to buy them. The
braces under the balcony can be of 2" × 4" stock. All these outside
parts should be planed by machine.

The remaining details do not differ from those of the houses already




Boat-building, like many other kinds of work, can be done (even in its
simplest stages) more quickly, more easily, and, of course, more
cheaply, by two persons than by one, so it will be economy of money,
time, and labour to find someone to join forces with you. Do not,
however, give up your plans for lack of a fellow-workman, for nothing is
given here which cannot be done by one person with, perhaps, a little
help once in a while about holding or lifting something.

If these boats seem rather simple compared with many which you have
seen, and you fail to find here some form you have in mind to build, it
is to be remembered that boat-building is by no means easy, and that
many an attractive design would prove too difficult for the average
beginner to finish successfully. The experience gained in building such
boats as these will help you in more difficult boat-building. These
simple models are not offered as being in themselves the best there are,
nor are the ways shown for building them in every case such as would
always be used by a regular boat-builder; but boat-building involves a
variety of difficulties, not merely in the designing, but also in the

It takes a good workman to turn out a really successful round-bottomed
boat (except by the use of canvas), therefore a few simple types of
flat-bottomed boats are all that are treated here. When you have become
skilful enough to attempt the more advanced forms, you can easily find a
number of excellent books on boat-building from which to gain the
needed information. The intention here is to show wood-working processes
which you can use in making these simple craft, but not to go into the
details of designing or of rigging, subjects which are far too complex
to be satisfactorily treated, even for the beginner, in a hand-book on

While it is practicable to make a good punt, or flat-bottomed rowboat,
entirely by rule of thumb, or "cutting and trying" as you go along,
still you should accustom yourself, even in the simplest forms, to lay
the work out on paper correctly first, as this is really essential, in
order to work to good advantage when you come to the more advanced

=Scows and Punts.=--A flat-bottomed boat, if made with care, may be not
merely good-looking, but light, strong, and useful, and sometimes
superior for some purposes to a round-bottomed boat.

Boats of this class are easily and cheaply built and by no means to be
despised. They are safe, capacious, and comfortable, and the flat bottom
permits much freedom of movement by the occupants, making them good
boats for fishing and general use on ponds and rivers, as well as for
transporting loads.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, _Painting_, in Part V., and look up any other

The process is to first get out the sides, then the ends, next to fasten
the sides and ends together as in making a box, then to nail on the
bottom, and finally to put in the seats and any other fittings. Almost
any kind of soft wood can be used for a boat of this kind. Pine is
excellent. Care should be taken to select clear, straight-grained
stock, free from knots, checks, and other defects, and thoroughly dry.

[Illustration FIG. 408.]

For the sides, take two boards, for example, 14' long, 14" wide, and
7/8" thick, planed on both sides. Both edges should be "jointed" and the
ends squared and sawed accurately. Mark, saw, and plane the slant at
each end of these boards as shown in Fig. 408. The ends must next be got
out. In this case they can be 4' long and 4-1/4" wide. Nail together the
sides and ends just as in making a flat box. Use three nails (3" or
3-1/2" long) at each corner. It is safest to bore holes for the nails
(see _Boring_). Copper nails are best for boats, but galvanized iron
answers very well for common boats of this kind. Next place this frame,
bottom up, on horses or boxes or a flat floor and plane down the
projecting edges of the end pieces to agree with the slant of the sides.

Pieces for the bottom are now to be sawed from boards about 6" to 8"
wide. Mark and saw one piece and use it for a pattern by which to mark
the lengths of the remaining pieces. You can take the length directly
from either end, allowing a trifle (say 1/8") to spare, for planing the
ends after they are nailed. Having sawed the required number of pieces,
which will depend on the width of the boards, nail them on carefully.
Before nailing, thoroughly paint the bottom edge to which they are to be
nailed with thick white-lead paint. See that the edges of each board are
straight, paint the edges as you lay them, and nail thoroughly with
2-1/2" nails. Do not put the nails so close to the edge as to cause
splitting. The edges of the pieces which come together at the angles of
the bottom must be fitted carefully with the plane (see _Bevelling_), to
make as tight joints as possible. The boards should be pressed closely
together as they are nailed. They will assist in keeping the sides and
ends of the boat at right angles, but it would be well to test the
angles with the large square, or by measuring the diagonals, when you
nail on the first two boards.

A quicker way is to nail on all the boards (not sawing them accurately
to a length) and then to saw the ends all off by a line.

A good way is to use, for the bottom, plain sheathing or matched boards,
if obtainable without the bead or moulding commonly worked on the
surface, which would be apt to cause leakage. The sheathing can be
planed down on both sides to a thickness of 5/8", which will remove the
moulding, but this is rather thin for the bottom of a boat as large as
this, though an excellent way for a narrower boat.

When the bottom is all nailed on, turn the boat on each side and plane
off any irregularity in the ends of the bottom boards, so that they will
be flush with the sides.

A cleat from 4" to 6" wide should be laid along the middle of the bottom
to stiffen it, as shown. The nails should be driven through the boards
and clinched. Wrought nails, or some kind that will bend over and not
break, must of course be used for this. This cleat is often nailed on
the outside instead of the inside.

Nail a seat at each end directly on top of the sides and ends as shown.
From 12" to 18" in width will do. The seat for rowing (about 8" or 9"
wide) can rest on cleats, as shown.

Next screw a cleat, about 2" deep, 7/8" thick, and 10" long, to the
insides of the gunwales at the places for the rowlocks (see _Screws_).
Common iron rowlocks can be bought almost anywhere, and the way to put
them on is obvious (see _Boring_). A substitute for them can be arranged
easily by simply boring two holes, 3-1/2" apart, for the insertion of
round thole pins of hard wood. Another simple way (Fig. 409) is to make
two mortises or slots, 3-1/2" apart and 1-1/2" long × 5/8" wide, to hold
thole pins (Fig. 410). The cutting can be done wholly in the cleats by
sawing and paring.

[Illustration FIG. 409.]

[Illustration FIG. 410.]

Insert a ring-bolt at the end by which to fasten the boat, or a staple
can be driven in, or a hole bored at the end of the seat.

If care has been taken to make close joints, the wood will swell on
being put in the water and in a short time the boat should be tight.
Unless made for some temporary purpose, however, a boat that is worth
making at all is worth painting. It should be painted carefully with
lead paint, both inside and out, two or three coats, being careful to
work the paint well into the wood and the cracks (see _Painting_).

Instead of laying the bottom boards tightly together, as directed above,
they can be laid slightly apart, so that the cracks between them will be
about 1/8" wide. These can then be caulked with oakum, cotton-batting,
or wicking, or something of that nature. Roll or twist the material into
a loose cord, unless already in that form, and force it into the cracks
with a putty-knife, screw-driver, case-knife, or anything of the sort. A
regular caulking-iron is not at all necessary for a small boat. A piece
of hard wood will do. Be sure to fill the seams thoroughly and tightly
with the oakum or other caulking material. Then apply white lead
plentifully to the caulked seams. But the method first given is usually
satisfactory if you do your work with care.

Pitch or tar can be used in making the bottom of a boat of this kind

       *       *       *       *       *

A form which is a decided improvement on the preceding is shown in Fig.
411. The process of making this punt will be first to get out the
cross-board which goes in the middle, and next the sides and ends. These
pieces having been put together, the bottom is nailed on, and finally
the seats and other fittings are added.

[Illustration FIG. 411.]

The one here described is small, but large enough for two good-sized
boys. The dimensions are given merely to help illustrate the process. As
much larger boat as may be desired can, of course, be made upon the same

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, _Painting_, in Part V., and look up any other

Care should always be taken to select clear, straight-grained stock,
free from knots, checks, and other defects, and thoroughly dry. Pine is
excellent, but almost any good wood can be used for a boat of this sort.

First get out carefully a board, perhaps 3' long, or the width of the
boat (at the middle), and of the shape shown in Fig. 412, removing a
small piece at each lower corner, to allow for the passage of any water
which may leak in. Get out each side of the boat, 10' 4" long, of 3/4"
stock, carefully squaring the ends. After these are cut, mark a distance
of 3' from each end towards the centre on the edge of one of the boards
and a distance of 3" on the ends, measuring from the other edge, and
mark the curves shown in Fig. 413, which should sweep easily from the
edge of the board without any abrupt turn. If you cannot draw a good
curve free-hand, take a spline or thin strip of wood, bend it on the
side of the board towards one end till you get a good curve, hold it in
position, and using it as a ruler mark the line with a pencil. You can
cut this curve and use it for a pattern by which to mark the other
curves. These curves can be band-sawed or cut with the draw-knife or
hatchet and plane (see _Paring_). Whatever method you adopt, the curves
should finally be run over with the plane to remove irregularities, and
care must be taken to keep as accurately to the line marked as possible.
The top edges must also be jointed, although it is not material that
they should be absolutely straight. Mark a line with the square across
each board at the centre. Next get out the end pieces, 2' long, 3-3/4"
wide, and of 7/8" stock (Fig. 414). Bevel the ends of these pieces at
the same angle as the centre board already sawed, from which you can
mark the angle.

[Illustration FIG. 412.]

[Illustration FIG. 413.]

[Illustration FIG. 414.]

An easy way to put this boat together will be to put the sides and ends
together, and then, by spreading the sides apart, to put the middle
board in its proper place. Bore holes for 2-1/2" screws at each end of
the sides (see _Boring_) and screw the sides and ends together loosely
(see _Screws_), not driving the screws home, but leaving their heads
sticking beyond the sides perhaps an eighth of an inch. Now lay the boat
(so far as made) bottom side up on the horses or boxes, or even with one
end on the floor and the other raised by a box, and, spreading the sides
in the middle as much as may be necessary, push the middle board up into
place, getting it exactly opposite centre lines previously marked on the
sides and so that the bottom edge of the board is just even with the
_inner_ edge of the bottom of the sides. This piece can now be nailed in
place by three nails at each end.

Now, on looking at the ends where the sides are screwed, you will see
that spreading the sides has caused the joints (purposely left loose) to
open slightly at the inside, and that the ends require to be slightly
bevelled or trimmed to make a close joint. Unscrew one end, do the
necessary trimming with the plane, replace the piece, and screw it into
position again, driving the screws home and adding one or two nails. Do
the same with the other end and the boat will be ready for the bottom.

But before the bottom is nailed on, the lower edges of the sides must be
bevelled with the plane, owing to the sides flaring outwards. The degree
of bevelling required can be determined by laying a board across (Fig.
415). At first it will only touch the outer angles of the edges, and the
planing must be continued until it bears flat on the entire edge.

[Illustration FIG. 415.]

Now get out of 7/8" stock the bottom boards, the edges of which should
be carefully jointed to fit together as tightly as possible. These
boards should be thoroughly nailed to the sides of the boat with 2-1/4"
or 2-1/2" nails, care being taken not to nail too near the edges of the
boards, lest they split. As the sides are only 3/4" thick you will have
to be careful in driving the nails or they will split the sides. Before
you finish nailing the first bottom boards, test the symmetry of the
frame by measuring the diagonals. These should be equal. If not, you can
easily make them so with your hands, and tack a couple of strips
diagonally across the gunwales to keep the frame in position until the
bottom is nailed on. Also sight across the gunwales to see that the
frame is true. If it winds, correct the error by blocking it up where

Sheathing can well be used for the bottom of this boat, as for the one
just described, if you can get it without the moulding. The bottom can
also be caulked (see page 302), but if you cannot get the sheathing the
way first described will answer every purpose.

After the bottom is nailed on, turn the boat on each edge and plane off
any irregularities at the ends of the bottom boards, so that they will
be flush with the sides.

Next nail a strip, about 3" or 4" wide and 3/4" thick, lengthways on the
middle of the bottom, on the inside. Fasten this to each board with a
couple of nails driven through and clinched on the outside. This will
serve to stiffen the bottom.

Next deck over each end with a seat 12" wide nailed directly on top of
the sides. Put in a seat, or thwart, 9" wide and 7/8" thick, next to the
middle brace, as shown. Cleats can be nailed to the sides under this
seat. This should be a fixed seat, nailed to the cross brace and to the
sides of the boat, which will assist in stiffening the sides.

You can nail a gunwale strip, 2" wide by 7/8" or 3/4" thick, on top of
the sides and reaching from one end seat to the other, or you can put a
somewhat smaller strip around the outer edge of the gunwale, which is
quite as good a way. It is not really necessary to put any gunwale strip
on so small a boat, but if omitted a cleat must be screwed on for the
rowlocks (Fig. 409). If you put the gunwale strip on top, it will make a
more workmanlike job to first plane the edges of the gunwale so that
they will be horizontal across the boat, in the same way that you planed
the bottom edges to receive the bottom boards.

Put the centre of the rowlocks about 12" aft of the centre of the boat,
raising them an inch or so above the gunwale by means of a cleat (Fig.
416), as shown.

[Illustration FIG. 416.]

At a distance of about 28" from the bow, you can, if desired, put in a
6" thwart between the gunwales or a little lower, and in the middle of
this thwart bore a hole for a small mast, putting below and slightly
forward upon the floor a block with a smaller hole. Sailing does not
amount to very much in a boat of this sort, but a small sail is often
very useful when going before the wind and adds to the fun.

This makes a very useful and safe boat for a couple of boys for river or
pond work.

If you wish to make a larger one you will have no difficulty after
studying the process given above. The only difference need be in the

For one 12' long you could make the beam at the gunwale (outside) 3' 6"
and at the bottom 2' 10", the beam at the bottom of the ends (outside)
2' 10" (same as amidships)--the ends to flare upward at the same angle
as at the centre, the boards for the sides being 14" wide.

For one 14' long, you could make the beam 4' at the gunwale, 3' 4" at
the bottom, the same at the ends, and the sides could be made of boards
15" wide. Stock 3/4" thick is sufficiently heavy for the sides of a boat
14' long.

The seats for a larger boat than that described can be arranged to rest
as shown in Fig. 417, and an extra mould or cross-board not far from
each end can be used, as shown.

[Illustration FIG. 417.]

[Illustration FIG. 418.]

A piece of keel or skag can be added at the stern end, if desired, as
shown in Fig. 418. This will assist in rowing straight. Fit a piece of
7/8" board to the curve of the bottom, keeping the straight edge
parallel with the top. Square off the end in line with the stern, nail
the skag firmly to the bottom, and nail a stern-post, 7/8" × 1-1/4" or
1-1/2", securely to the stern and the skag. A rudder can be hung to the
stern-post if desired. A centre-board is sometimes added to a punt,
being arranged in the way shown on page 330. A lee-board is often used
on punts and scows. It is merely a centre-board lowered outside of the
boat instead of in the centre.

[Illustration FIG. 419.]

=Small Rowboat.=--A simple form of skiff, or common flat-bottomed
rowboat (Fig. 419), called by various names, is similar to the punt at
the stern, and the mode of construction is similar. The boards for the
sides are not cut away on the bottom at the bow, as in the punt, but are
left full width and drawn together to form a sharp bow. The ends are
usually, but not always, cut off with a slight slant at the bow, which
gives a rake to the stem (Fig. 420).

[Illustration FIG. 420.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, _Painting_, in Part V., and look up any other

Care should be taken to select clear, straight-grained stock, free from
knots, checks, and other defects, and thoroughly dry. Pine is excellent.
Any good wood can, however, be used.

Make a middle mould (Fig. 421), as in the case of the punt just
described, and proceed with the construction in a similar manner, until
you come to the bow.

[Illustration FIG. 421.]

[Illustration FIG. 422.]

Screw the sides to the stern-piece (Fig. 422) without driving the screws
completely in, but leaving a little play to the joint (see _Screws_).
Next put the middle mould in place by lines previously squared across
each side. Nail the middle mould in position. Then, letting someone draw
the bow ends of the sides together (or if you are alone, binding them
together temporarily), release the stern-piece and plane its ends to
make close joints with the side pieces, as in the case of the punt
already described. When these joints are fitted, paint them with white
lead and screw or nail the sides securely (and permanently) to the stern

Draw the fore-ends together and fit a piece of hard wood in the angle at
the bow as shown in Fig. 423. You can cut this piece approximately to
shape with a hatchet and then plane the surface down until you get an
accurate fit. When you have made it fit, paint it and also the sides
where they bear against it. Afterward screw or nail the sides firmly to
this stem-piece, letting each end of the stem project a little. Screws
are best (brass screws if for salt water), but nails can be used. Do not
drive them all in line, but add a second row farther from the edge and
alternately arranged. If a piece of hard wood is not available, a block
of soft wood can be used, but it should be somewhat larger.

[Illustration FIG. 423.]

Another pattern of stem-piece can be used (Fig. 424). Much pains should
be taken in making this post. The rabbets on each side should be cut
with care, trying to get the sides alike and to cut accurately to the
lines marked. When the cutting is nearly done, put the piece in place
and you can then note any changes which may be required to make tight
joints. When you finally have a good fit, paint and fasten in place as
described above.

[Illustration FIG. 424.]

[Illustration FIG. 425.]

Still another form of stem-piece is shown in Fig. 425. One side of the
boat must be got out longer than the other to allow for the lapping over
at the bow, the stem-post being first fastened to the shorter side and
then trimmed if necessary, until the side which laps over fits

When the boat is fastened together to this extent, it will frequently be
found that the bottom has too much curvature lengthways, according to
the degree to which the sides flare outward and bend up at the ends.
This you can remedy by trimming off the sides in the middle, first
carefully marking the desired line. Measure accurately, in doing this,
to be sure that the two sides will be alike. In removing the superfluous
wood do not attack it hastily with hatchet or draw-knife, for wood often
splits in a way surprisingly different from the direction in which the
grain appears to run (see _Paring_). It is sometimes best to remove the
wood with the splitting-saw, but stop all such processes some distance
outside of the line, and rely upon the plane for the final shaping.

The lower edges must be bevelled off accurately, ready for the bottom
boards, the same as in the case of the punt (Fig. 415). Next nail on the
bottom, using common boarding or sheathing as in the case of the punt
just described, and put in the stiffening strip of board along the
middle of the floor.

If the middle mould comes in such a position that it will be in the way
if left in place permanently, you can simply tack it into position with
a couple of nails at each end, leaving the heads protruding enough to
draw them out easily. When you have put in the seats and any other
braces necessary to ensure the sides keeping their position, you can
draw the nails and take out the centre mould.

Fit seats at bow and stern, putting them two or three inches below the
gunwale and resting them on cleats.

In case you use the stem-piece shown in Fig. 423, saw or plane off the
projecting ends of the sides at the bow smoothly and screw (or nail) on
a cutwater made of some hard wood and with a sharp edge. Fasten strips
along the gunwale,--"wale strips,"--as already shown.

A skag can be put on at the stern, if desired, as described on page 307.

Such a boat can be sailed by adding a centre-board (see page 330) or by
bolting on a keel several inches in depth. A small sail-boat can be made
in this way by making the stern narrower, proportionately, the sides
higher, and decking over the bow and stern. The decking can extend over
all the top, if desired, except a well-hole around which can be fitted a
coaming or wash board. The keel can be of plank fitted carefully to the
shape of the bottom, its lower edge being horizontal towards the after
part, which will make it quite deep at the stern. A rudder should be
added for sailing.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration FIG. 426.]

=Skiff or Flat-bottomed Canoe.=--A double-ended skiff, batteau, or
flat-bottomed canoe (Fig. 426), known by various names, can be easily
made by simply carrying the process already described a little further,
and drawing the sides together at the stern as well as at the bow, thus
forming a boat sharp at both ends. This is an excellent type for the
amateur, whether in the form of a small canoe or a quite good-sized boat
for rowing, or even light sailing. Such a boat is light, easily
propelled, buoyant, does not pound the waves when meeting them so much
as the punt, and the sharp stern is good when running before a sea.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_,
_Saw_, _Plane_, _Nailing_, _Painting_, in Part V., and look up any other

Care must be taken to select clear, straight-grained stock, free from
knots, checks, and other defects, and thoroughly dry. Pine is excellent,
but almost any good wood can be used for a boat of this sort.

The sides can be bent into place around a mould in the middle and
brought together at _both_ ends and two end-posts fitted. In other
respects the process differs so little from the preceding that complete
description is needless.

The two stem-pieces, which you can fit in the manner already shown,
will, theoretically, be alike. Practically, there should not be more
than a very trifling difference required in their shape. Having found
the shape for one, get the other out just like it. If it does not fit
perfectly, it can be trimmed until it does fit; but if the first one
fits right and the second fails to do so by more than a trifling degree,
you had best look the boat over and verify your work, and you may find
that you have cut something too long or too short or got something in
the wrong place. Paint the ends of these sides where they will be in
contact with the stem and stern with white lead.

The sides and ends can be put together as follows: Take either side,
screw it securely to the stem-pieces at each end. Dip the screw points
in white-lead paint. Next screw either end of the other side to the
corresponding stem-piece, which will leave the sides separated at an
acute angle, with one end of one side not yet fastened to its
corresponding bow- or stern-post. The ends being alike it does not
matter which is called the bow or stern. To fasten this remaining joint,
it will be necessary to spring or bend the sides. If you have someone to
help you, you can easily put the midship frame into position and bend
the sides around it until the unfastened end comes into the correct
position against the stem-piece, to which it can be held and screwed
firmly. If you can get no help, you can hold the sides in position by
using a rope doubled and inserting sticks at top and bottom by which the
rope can be twisted and shortened (see _Clamps_).

Another way is to put a box or joist, perhaps a couple of feet long,
between the sides, to prevent making too much strain on the end
fastenings, and, having secured the unfastened end, the frames can then
be laid flat, the sides drawn farther apart, and the midship frame
forced into position. The latter will be in position when it agrees with
the lines previously drawn on the sides and when the bottom is flush
with the inner corners of the lower edges of the sides. Nail the sides
to it with 1-3/4" or 2" nails, or it can finally be removed if not
needed for stiffness.

The remaining details do not differ from those previously described. The
rowlocks can be placed wherever desired in the way already described,
but if the boat should be too narrow for this arrangement, they can be
fastened to outriggers, which the blacksmith can easily contrive.

       *       *       *       *       *

A flat-bottomed canoe can be made on this same principle, the only
difference being to have less beam and to use a paddle or paddles
instead of oars.

       *       *       *       *       *

A very successful small canoe, suitable for quiet waters, can be made of
quite thin wood (perhaps 3/8" to 1/2" in thickness), the outside being
covered with canvas. In case of building so light a craft as this,
however, it is best to insert regular ribs at distances of about a foot
to give the necessary stiffness, and to lay the bottom boards
lengthways. The ribs can be bought in any large town on the water, or
you can fashion them yourself. Natural bends are always preferable, but
you can make knees (on the general principle shown in Fig. 433) of
straight-grained stock, which, though clumsier and not so strong, will
serve the purpose. Care must be taken in fastening on the bottom not to
split either the bottom or the sides. But the canvas will be the main
reliance in keeping the boat tight. The canvas can be put on in three
pieces, first the sides, and then the bottom. Cover the sides down to
the bottom and let the bottom piece lap up over the sides two or three
inches and the edges be turned under. Stiffen the gunwale by a strip.

A light, removable board, or grating of slats, should be laid inside
along the bottom, on the cross-frames.

If well made and kept well painted so as to protect the canvas from wear
at the exposed points, a light canoe of this sort will last many years
and be a very useful boat. It must be kept out of the water and under
cover when not in use.

[Illustration FIG. 427.]

       *       *       *       *       *

A simple and cheap flat-bottomed canoe (Figs. 427 and 428), but not
canvas-covered, is not difficult to make by the process already
described. First make the frames and the stem- and stern-posts, then get
out the sides. These parts are put together and then the bottom is put
on, the well-hole coaming fitted, the boat decked, and finally the minor
fittings added.

[Illustration FIG. 428.]

       *       *       *       *       *

First make the centre frame like Fig. 429, the bottom strip being of
7/8" stock, 1-1/4" deep, and the side pieces of 3/4" board. Screw the
pieces together with two screws at each angle. Care must be taken to
make this frame symmetrical or the boat will be one-sided. You can draw
the outline of the frame carefully on a piece of stiff brown paper,
drawing a vertical centre line and measuring both ways for accuracy. Lay
this pattern on the bench top, or on a smooth floor, and place the
pieces for the frame on the drawing so that the outer edges just
coincide with the outline of the drawing. Hold them firmly in position
and screw the angles securely together. Tack a waste piece across near
the top to help keep the frame in shape until in position. Next get out
two frames like Fig. 430, taking the dimensions from your plan, two more
like Fig. 431, and two like Fig. 432. To make the stem- and stern-posts,
take two pieces of joist, about 2" × 4" and of sufficient length, and
with the chisel and saw cut a rabbet on each side of each piece, on the
principle shown in Fig. 424. Give these rabbets a good coat of
white-lead paint.

[Illustration FIG. 429.]

[Illustration FIG. 430.]

[Illustration FIG. 431.]

[Illustration FIG. 432.]

The sides are got out in the way already shown. On them mark the
position for the centre mould. Insert and nail into place the two next
largest frames, at the proper places, and so on until all are in
position. All, except the centre one, will require to have their edges
slightly bevelled with the plane to fit the sides. You can do this best
as you put them in place. Paint the edges of the frames with white lead
before nailing them in position. Next fit pieces of 1/2" board to form
the coaming around the well-hole, and fasten them to the three middle
frames. The details of this you can easily arrange for yourself. The
general idea is expressed in Figs. 427 and 434.

Before proceeding further with the deck, thoroughly paint the whole of
the inside of the boat with white lead, working it well into all the
joints and cracks. After giving it a few days to dry, look the inside
over carefully for any holes or defects to be stopped. After filling any
there may be, give the entire inside another coat, working it well into
all crevices as before. Do not neglect this part of the work, as it will
not be easy to get at the inside (except in the middle) after the deck
is put on.

On the middle of the deck stretch strips of 1/2" wood about 4" wide from
the coaming of the well to the stem- and stern-posts, tapering the
pieces as they approach the ends and resting them on the tops of the
frames, to which they should be firmly nailed.

If you wish to sail, a stiff brace or thwart can be put in for the mast,
with a block for a step.

One or more strips, 1" × 1/2", can now be placed longitudinally on each
side of the deck and nailed to the frames.

Additional deck-beams, running from gunwale to gunwale, and having the
requisite arch or convexity, can be put in if needed. A few brackets can
also be put under the deck, reaching from the sides to the coaming, if

A keel about one inch square, or deeper at the centre, if desired, can
be fitted along the entire length of the bottom. It had best be fastened
on with screws. If your boat is to be used in deep water only, you can
make the keel 3" or 4" deep in the middle, rockering it up towards the
ends, and the boat can be sailed without a centre-board.

Cover the deck with canvas, fastened with small tacks to the coaming and
to the sides. The edges of the canvas can be drawn down over the gunwale
for about half an inch, the edge being finally covered by a gunwale
strip screwed from stem- to stern-post. A piece of half-round 7/8"
moulding is good, although any small strip will do. Dampen the canvas
and then give it at least two coats of paint. A wooden deck can be put
on if preferred.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Canvas-covered Canoes.=--To make a really good canoe wholly of wood
requires a degree of skill much greater than can be expected of the
beginner, or than is attained by the average amateur. Any boy or amateur
can, however, with the help of canvas and with a very few tools and at
slight expense, make some simple varieties which will serve the purpose
satisfactorily. The canoe is sharp at both ends, requires only a paddle,
and is light enough to be easily handled ashore. If carefully made, a
canvas canoe will be strong, durable, and not difficult to mend, though
repairs are seldom necessary if proper care is taken. If canvas of good
quality is used, it will not be easily punctured or torn as one might
think, but will stand an amount of banging around, running into snags,
dragging over obstacles, and abuse generally, that would badly injure
any but the best of wooden canoes.

The variety of designs for canoes which has developed or been evolved
from the more primitive forms is in these days almost endless, and the
number of types from which to choose is confusing. The purpose for which
the canoe is to be used will help you somewhat in selecting the
type--whether for paddling only, or sailing, or for cruising and general
use, and whether for a river or small pond, or for the deep and rough
water of a lake or bay. All these matters must be considered in
determining the beam, depth, shape of the midship section, the draught,
degree of sheer, whether to have keel, centre-board, or neither, and
other points. This is too complex a subject to be treated in a hand-book
on wood-working, and you can easily obtain the desired information, as
well as detailed instructions for drawing the plans, from some good book
on the subject.

A caution against making the framework too light and without sufficient
stiffness may not be out of place. One frequently sees canoes, made by
young boys, of such flimsy pieces and covered with such weak cloth that
one is surprised that they can live in the quietest mill-pond, which is
really testimony to the tenacious strength of a canvas-covered boat when
properly made. A certain degree of flexibility is one of the desirable
features of these boats, but they should always have sufficient
stiffness to maintain their general shape in all weathers and in all
waters to which a canoe is suited; therefore be sure to make a frame
which will keep its shape of itself without relying upon the canvas to
hold it together.

It is quite common to see these boats which (otherwise well built) lack
stiffness lengthways--that is, in the longitudinal vertical section.
Such boats after a little use become bent up in the middle, or
"hog-backed." This is entirely unnecessary. Be sure, before putting on
the canvas, that your frame is stiff enough lengthways to keep its shape
permanently. If by any fault in your planning you find that it is not
so, be sure to add extra stiffening braces inside before putting on the
canvas, or your boat will probably be a failure.[40]

Canvas-covered boats should always be kept out of the water and under
cover when not in use, as long-continued exposure to the water will be

An easily constructed paddling canoe, 14' or 15' long, and with beam
about 30", will first be described.

It should be understood by the novice that this first form of
construction here given is not that adopted by the professional
boat-builder. It is given simply as a process by which one untrained in
the more regular methods of construction can turn out a cheap and
serviceable canoe, and at the same time acquire experience which will be
of use if he should later attempt the more scientific, but also more
difficult, details of construction used by regular boat-builders.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, _Painting_, in Part V., and look up any other

       *       *       *       *       *

Care should be taken to select clear, straight-grained stock, free from
knots, checks, and other defects, and thoroughly dry.

[Illustration FIG. 433.]

Having made your working drawings for a canoe of the size and
proportions which you may think best to adopt, begin the actual work by
getting out moulds (Fig. 433) upon exactly the same principle as in the
case of the flat-bottomed canoe just described, except that they will be
of curved outline, as this is to be a round-bottomed boat. Get out also
a bottom strip or keelson with stem- and stern-pieces, which can be

[Illustration FIG. 434.]

[Illustration FIG. 435.]

The arrangement and method of fitting these parts is evident from the
illustrations. The keelson can be laid along the edge of a plank or some
flat surface and blocked up towards the ends to give the desired degree
of curvature or rocker. First fit in place the centre mould and then the
two at the ends of the well-hole (Fig. 434), with the stem- and
stern-posts (Fig. 435). These can be temporarily tacked or stayed in
place until you are sure the positions are right. The coaming frame or
wash board around the well-hole can now be put on, which will hold the
three middle frames securely, and the two deck-strips running lengthways
from the well-coaming to the tops of the stem- and stern-posts can be
attached (Fig. 435). Next fit the two gunwale-strips, putting in also
the remaining moulds or frames. After this the lengthways ribbands are
to be fitted around the moulds from bow to stern (Figs. 435 and 435a,
showing section at end of well). This will complete the shape of the

Great care must be taken with all this adjusting of the framework,
measuring, sighting, and testing in every way you can think of, to see
that all the curves are "fair," without sharp or irregular turns, and
also to see that both sides of the boat are alike. This is very
important. The pieces may be all of the correct lengths, but still the
boat may be one-sided, or twisted, or have a list.

[Illustration FIG. 435a.]

[Illustration FIG. 436.]

A glance at Fig. 436 will show (as an exaggerated example) that pieces
of the right dimensions can easily be put together in such a way that
the boat may be ill-shaped,--an unfortunate result which is sometimes
seen in home-made boats, due to lack of care in testing the angles and
curves when putting the work together.

The ends of these strips will be more securely fastened to the stem- and
stern-posts if depressions or "gains" are cut in the posts to receive
them (Fig. 437), but this is not absolutely necessary if the ends are
properly bevelled and carefully screwed to the stem- and stern-posts.

[Illustration FIG. 437.]

For additional stiffness, insert a series of ribs (Fig. 435), from 3" to
6" apart, according to their size and stiffness, from bow to stern.
Barrel-hooping can be used and if sound is excellent, or strips of ash,
oak, or elm, about 7/8" × 1/4", can be used. It will not be necessary to
bend these around a form. Those near the middle can be at once bent into
place. As the ends of the boat are approached, the ribs will require to
be rendered more pliable before being put in place (see _Bending Wood_).
The ribs can be nailed or screwed to the keel and finally be fastened to
the ribbands, at their intersection, with copper nails clinched or
riveted. Cheaper fastenings can be used, however, but copper is the

To hold such pieces in place temporarily, clamps can be easily made
which will be sufficiently strong for the purpose (see Fig. 548).

When all these parts are fastened together, the frame will be complete.

To make a first-class job, the entire frame should be thoroughly
painted, or at least given a soaking coat of oil, or it can be

For the canvas, get firm, closely-woven duck or sail-cloth of good
quality and of sufficient width to reach from gunwale to gunwale. It is
not necessary or advantageous to get the heaviest-weight grade, but
beware of covering your boat with light drilling or the like, which,
although you can make it water-tight, will not be sufficiently durable
for anything but a boat for temporary use.

Find the middle of the canvas, lengthways, and stretch it on this line
directly along the keel, the frame of the boat being placed bottom up.
Tack at each end, and then, starting at the middle, strain the canvas
around the boat, working along a little way at a time towards each end
alternately and tacking to the top or inside of the gunwale as you
proceed. Do not try to cover the top with the same piece as the bottom.
If you can get a large needle and some stout cord, you can pull the
canvas into place by lacing the edges across the top or deck of the
boat, working from the middle towards the ends. In lieu of a needle use
an awl or a nail. By lacing in this way and by manipulating the canvas
with the hands you can, if you are careful, stretch it to fit the frame
so that it will be smooth to a point considerably above the water-line.
At the upper part, as you approach the deck line or gunwale, you may be
unable to prevent some fulness, which you can dispose of by pleating if
necessary. At the ends some little folding under may also be required,
but you need have no great difficulty in adjusting the canvas neatly and
so as to make tight joints. It is a good plan to cut a shallow rabbet on
each side of the stem- and stern-posts, just deep enough so that when
the edge of the canvas is folded under and tacked, the surface of the
canvas will be flush with the side of the post (Fig. 437). Small tacks
should be used--not large carpet-tacks. Copper are best, but galvanized
ones can be used. In all parts where leakage could occur, the tacks
should be driven closely together, so that their heads touch, seeing
that a good coat of lead is laid on the wood underneath. After the
bottom of the canoe has been covered, the deck can be treated in the
same way.

When the canvas is all on, dampen it slightly and paint thoroughly,
painting, also, the coaming around the well-hole and the exposed parts
of the stem- and stern-posts (see _Painting_). The dampening is supposed
to cause the first coat of paint to penetrate the canvas more thoroughly
than if the canvas is quite dry. Oil is sometimes applied before
painting. After it has dried thoroughly, apply another coat. Do not
spare the paint, for though the canvas absorbs a great deal, which adds
to the weight of the boat as well as to the cost, it is really essential
in making a good canvas-covered boat that it be well painted.

A light removable flooring, or grating of slats, should be placed on the
bottom of the well, resting on the frames.

       *       *       *       *       *

To make a canvas canoe with a keel, you have only to make the keel of a
piece of 1-1/4" or 1-1/2" stock (with a depth of, perhaps, 1-1/4" or
1-1/2"), thinning it somewhat towards the ends so that it will join
smoothly with the stem- and stern-posts. It can be fitted to these posts
as shown in Fig. 438, and screwed directly to the keelson.

[Illustration Fig. 438.]

Particular care must be taken that the keel be got out straight and that
it be fitted exactly on the centre line. In this case the canvas may be
put on in two parts, being nailed to the keelson on each side of the
keel; or the canoe can be made as previously described and the keel
simply screwed on outside of the canvas, the latter being first
thoroughly painted. Oak is excellent for a keel, but is rather heavy for
a light canoe. Ash will do. Pine can be used. The keel will wear better
if got out so that the concentric rings (annual rings) of the wood will
be horizontal or parallel with the bottom of the boat and at right
angles to the screws with which the keel is fastened on. If these layers
incline slightly upward at the bow the keel will wear better.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration FIG. 439.]

A more advanced form of construction, and one more in line with the
methods of a regular boat-builder, is shown in Fig. 439, the essential
difference between this and the form previously described being that
regular bent ribs are substituted for the frames made of board, and the
latter, after serving as moulds around which to build the boat, are
taken out, the bent ribs being sufficiently stout to ensure strength and

If you attempt this method the ribs must be carefully bent (see _Bending
Wood_). Oak, ash, or elm is suitable for ribs. If a cooper's shop is
within reach you can get the material there. It must, of course, be of
good grain and free from flaws.

       *       *       *       *       *

The process of construction is similar to that already shown. A
suggestion for the arrangement of deck timbers (which can be of oak,
ash, spruce, or any strong wood) is shown in Figs. 439 and 440, and for
putting in a curved wash board or coaming in Fig. 440. For the latter a
thin piece of straight-grained oak, elm, or ash can be used.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration FIG. 440.]

[Illustration FIG. 441.]

An excellent way to make a canvas-covered canoe is shown in Fig. 441.
The essential principle of this consists in having a stiff gunwale,
stiff keelson (inside the ribs), and ribs stout and numerous enough to
ensure a permanently strong and stiff framework without the assistance
of the lengthways ribbands. The outside is then sheathed with very thin
strips of basswood, pine, or any reasonably strong and light wood
(perhaps 3/16" thick and 2" or 3" wide), fitting them carefully to the
shape, but without any attempt to make water-tight joints. If this boat,
which is complete in all respects except that of being water-tight, is
then covered with canvas as already described, the result will be a
strong, smooth boat, without the irregularities of surface which are a
necessary feature of the unsheathed form.

This method is adopted in making canvas-covered canoes after the model
of the birch-bark canoe, and the result is an admirable boat, which,
while perhaps hardly equal to a genuine "birch" of Indian manufacture,
is certainly the next thing to it for an open paddling canoe. Of course,
if you can work up your design after the model of a real birch, you will
have accomplished as much as you could wish in this line--but to design
and construct a good canoe upon the birch model is not an easy thing for
the beginner to do, and had best not be attempted until after
considerable experience in simpler and less graceful forms. This mode of
construction can well be applied, however, to a canoe of almost any
type. The sheathing can be painted and the canvas laid on the fresh

Another form of construction is to omit the keelson and fasten the
frames and ribs directly to the top of the keel, having previously cut a
rabbet for the canvas (as in case of the stem- and stern-posts) on each
side of the keel at the top; the canvas by this arrangement being put on
in two parts, one on each side of the keel.

It is, of course, possible to construct a canoe with nothing but two
gunwale-strips, stem- and stern-posts, a strip for a keelson, and a
number of barrel-hoops for ribs; and such affairs are quite often put
together by boys, but they are apt to be of light and flimsy
construction and to lack sufficient stiffness to keep their shape after
being used for a while. A certain degree of flexibility and lack of
rigidity is desirable in a canvas-covered boat, and, in fact, it is to
this quality that it owes much of its merit; but it should have enough
stiffness to hold its general shape permanently.

An extremely simple method is to omit the stem-pieces and simply bend
the keelson up at each end to meet the gunwales at bow and stern, where
all the lengthways pieces can be fastened to a block, canvas being
stretched over the whole as already described. A canoe which turns up so
excessively on the bottom at bow and stern has some disadvantages, but
still a useful and cheap boat can readily be made in this way. It should
have a quite flat cross-section in the middle.

Most canoes can be sailed on the wind, often very successfully, by
having a deep keel--which can be rockered or increased in depth towards
the middle--or by adding a centre-board. But the latter is quite a nice
operation, particularly so in case of making your first boat (see page

       *       *       *       *       *

The holes and the steps for the masts should be arranged before the
canvas is put on, fitting extra thwarts across if needed, and it is a
good plan to fit tubes for the masts. In case of sailing, the steering
can be done with the paddle, or a rudder can be used (in which case a
straight stern-post should be put in, for which a knee is good) and
lines be led forward to the well-hole from a yoke at the top of the
rudder. Many arrangements have been devised for steering sailing-canoes,
but these details, as well as those for the rigging, can be found in any
good book on the subject. If you are a novice, begin with a simple
leg-of-mutton sail (Fig. 448).

       *       *       *       *       *

It is better to buy oars than to try to make them. You may, however,
have occasion to make a paddle. A good shape is shown in Fig. 442, but
you can choose from a variety of forms.

[Illustration FIG. 442.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The length can readily be determined from some paddle which suits you or
you can experiment with a strip of wood. Five inches is a good width,
and 5' to 5-1/2' a good length, but these are matters of individual
preference. Spruce is a good wood for your first attempt at
paddle-making. It makes a good paddle and is easier to work than birch,
beech, or maple, or any of the harder woods. Pine can be used. Use a
centre line in making your pattern. After the pattern is marked on the
wood have the outline sawed at a mill or do it yourself with the
turning-saw, or make a series of saw-kerfs to the line with the hand-saw
and remove the superfluous wood with the draw-knife, spoke-shave, or
chisel (see _Paring_). Having the outline correct, mark a line along the
middle of the edge of the blade, and gradually and carefully shave the
surfaces down towards this middle line, also tapering the thickness
towards the ends. The draw-knife, spoke-shave, plane, rasp, file,
scraper, and sandpaper can be used (see all of these tools in Part V.
and also _Paring_ and _Rounding Sticks_). Great care is needed to trim a
paddle nicely to shape. A little hasty cutting may ruin the work.

[Illustration FIG. 443.]

The double-bladed paddle can be made of a single piece, or two pieces
can be joined by a ferrule (Fig. 443). The double-bladed paddle can be
from about 7' to 8' or 9' long and the blades are made broader and
shorter than that of the single paddle. A couple of round rubber rings
on each end of the handle will stop some of the dripping of water from
the blades as they are raised.

=Small Sail-boat.=--The boat shown in Fig. 444 is a good form for the
amateur to attempt, and makes a serviceable craft for sheltered waters.
From twelve to sixteen feet is a good length, and the beam should be
wide, as shown. The depth can be from twelve to sixteen inches.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

Care should be taken to select clear, straight-grained stock, free from
knots, checks, and other defects, and thoroughly dry. Pine is excellent.

[Illustration FIG. 444.]

The general principle of construction does not differ from that of the
flat-bottomed boats already described, and detailed directions are
therefore omitted. The sides should each be of one 3/4" or 7/8" board.
The arrangement of the details is obvious. Knees can be used to good
advantage. The deck should be of wood, the boards (1/2") resting on
cross-beams or carlins, reaching from gunwale to gunwale (as already
shown) and slightly arched. Around the well-hole, brackets can be used
(Fig. 445). The deck can be covered with canvas.

[Illustration FIG. 445.]

This boat, as shown in the illustration, is planked across the bottom
like the other flat-bottomed boats already described, but the bottom
boards can run lengthways instead, if preferred. In this case knees
should be inserted, or cross-frames of some kind, to reach across the
bottom and to which the bottom boards can be nailed. The bottom boards
should be not less than 3/4" thick and the edges must be carefully
jointed (see _Jointing_). They can be laid slightly apart and the seams
caulked (see page 302). Strips of flannel laid in thick white-lead paint
can be placed between the edges of the sides and stern and the bottom
boards, or the edges can simply be painted.

[Illustration FIG. 446.]

[Illustration FIG. 447.]

The construction of the case or trunk for the centre-board can be
understood from Figs. 446 and 447. By either method of construction the
trunk consists of two upright posts, or "headledges," cut with shoulders
at the lower end, and sides of board screwed to these posts. A slot is
sawed through the bottom of the boat of sufficient width and length to
give the centre-board free passage--that is, of the dimensions of the
opening at the bottom of the trunk. To cut this slot several holes can
be bored close together until an opening is made sufficiently large to
start the saw. By the arrangement shown in Fig. 446, a plank is taken
and a slot is cut in it enough longer than that in the bottom of the
boat to include the lower ends of the headledges, which should fit
snugly. The sides of the trunk are screwed to this plank from
underneath, and the plank is in turn screwed to the bottom of the boat.
The headledges can be additionally fastened from the edge of the plank,
horizontally. Unless the bottom of the boat is straight, the plank must
be accurately fitted to the curve on the under side,--not an easy task
(see _Scribing_ and _Paring_). All the joints should be laid in thick
white-lead paint, and at the bottom flannel can be laid in the seam,
with lead, or caulking can be resorted to.

By the method shown in Fig. 447, the headledges and sides are fitted to
a board on the bottom, or to the keelson, and, after being put in place,
strips of plank are fitted lengthways on each side at the bottom and
bolted or screwed to the bottom and to the sides of the trunk. The lower
edges of these strips must be fitted to the curve of the bottom and the
whole made tight, as just shown. Much care must be taken with this work
to make tight joints. The inside of the trunk should be painted before
putting together, and holes be bored carefully for all the screws (see
_Boring_ and _Screws_).

The centre-board itself can be of wood or of galvanized plate iron and
is pivoted at the forward lower corner, and can be raised and lowered by
a rod attached to the after corner.

Remember to paint the inside of the boat carefully with at least two
coats before putting on the deck, and also that copper nails and brass
fittings are better than those of galvanized iron (particularly for salt
water) if you can afford them.

The coaming or wash board can be of 1/2" oak, ash, or elm. The deck can
first be laid, lapping slightly over the space to be left open. The line
for the coaming can then be marked on the deck, and the projecting wood
sawed or trimmed to the line, when the coaming can be bent into place
and fastened.

The gunwale-strip, like the stern-post, the rudder, and the tiller,
should be of hard wood, as oak. Hackmatack is good for the stem.

The mast should be of spruce. A strong thwart, with a hole in it, can be
fitted across between the sides, just under the deck, and a block with
another hole fastened to the bottom. The place at which to step the mast
must depend upon the style of rig you adopt.

One who is used to sailing a boat will not seek for information on this
subject in a manual on wood-working, but for the novice it may be well
to state that a leg-of-mutton sail (Fig. 448) is undoubtedly the
simplest, easiest, and safest rig for the beginner, and it will be wise
to learn to manage this rig first. The spritsail (Fig. 449), with or
without the boom, is an easily managed sail, which works well with this
boat. Either of these rigs can be unshipped in a moment, the mast, sail
and all being lifted out when desired. For other styles of rigging you
should consult someone used to sailing or some book on the subject.

[Illustration FIG. 448.]

[Illustration FIG. 449.]

For the painting, see _Painting_, in Part V.

=Small Ice-Boat.=--The main framework of even the most elaborate
ice-boat consists merely of a lengthways centre timber or "backbone" and
a cross-piece or "runner-board" (Fig. 450), the whole resting on three
runners, one of which acts as a rudder.

Before beginning work read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

[Illustration FIG. 450.]

[Illustration FIG. 451.]

A small boat can be made as shown in Fig. 451. The dimensions can easily
be altered. The particular rig given is merely for illustration, for
this is not a book on sailing, and you can find all the facts you need
about rigging in any good book on the subject. If you are a novice you
had best be content with a simple leg-of-mutton sail (Fig. 448), which
is, for the beginner, the safest and most easily managed. A spritsail
(Fig. 449) or some other simple form can be used if desired. If you know
how to sail a boat, you can adopt such rig as you think best.

[Illustration FIG. 452.]

[Illustration FIG. 453.]

First get out the backbone. Get a piece of clear spruce, or pine,
perhaps 12' × 3" × 4". A round spar may be used. Be careful to select
good lumber, as great strain is put upon it. A piece which has naturally
sprung lengthways should be placed with the convex edge upwards. Next
get out the runner-board, perhaps 6-1/2' × 2" × 9", of spruce. Pine is
also good, or any strong wood will do. Choose a clear, sound plank. If
naturally sprung in a bow-like curve, put the convex side upwards.
Smooth the pieces sufficiently to avoid splinters and roughness. Thin
the runner-plank on top each way from the centre down to about an inch
in thickness at each end, if you can have it sawed at the mill. It is
hardly worth while to do this by hand. Fasten the runner-board, at
exactly the middle of its length, across the backbone, at a point
perhaps 6-1/2' from the stern end, with a strap-hanger (Fig. 452)
screwed up with nuts and broad washers on the under side. If you cannot
afford this, put a bolt through both pieces (see _Boring_), tightening
underneath with nut and washer, and putting cleats on the runner-board
(Fig. 453). Be sure that one edge of the runner-board is straight and at
right angles to the backbone. Nail a piece of board, 18" long and 3"
wide, across the stern end of the centre timber. Add the two side pieces
_a b_ and _c d_ (Fig. 450), of 2" spruce joist, nailing them firmly in
place, thus forming the sides of an irregular box (see _Nailing_). Turn
the frame over and nail a bottom on this box, laying the boards
crosswise and nailing to the backbone as well as to the sides and end.

Next, to make the runners, get out six pieces of oak, or other hard,
strong wood, 9" × 3" × 4". Mark with the square from the straightened
edge of the runner-board the positions for the inner blocks, equally
distant from the backbone, screwing them in place (Fig. 454), with one
screw in each. Measure across with a stick from one to the other at
each end to see that they are just parallel, and also test their being
at right angles to the runner-plank, which in turn must be at right
angles to the backbone, in order that the runners may be parallel and
not slewed sideways. Having tightly screwed these inner blocks, brace
them with angle blocks, as shown. The outer blocks can next be fitted,
leaving just space enough for the runners to play freely, but not
loosely, between the blocks. The holes for the pins for the runners can
be bored in the outer pieces before they are screwed on. Then, using
these holes as a guide, those in the inner blocks can be bored in line.
The runners themselves should be carefully made and fitted, for they are
a very vital part of the boat. On the large boats they have usually been
made of oak, with a shoe of cast iron at the bottom attached by bolts,
but this is quite a piece of work for a small boat and you can get the
blacksmith to work out the whole runner, with a hole bored for the
pin-bolt. Make a pattern about 18" or 20" long, rocking _very_ slightly
in the middle and more quickly near the ends. The hole for the pin
should be back of the middle, so that more of the shoe will be in front
of than behind the pin. This is to lessen the shock when the runner
strikes an obstruction. The cutting edge may have an angle of about 45°
for trial (Fig. 455). If too blunt or too sharp you can alter it. It
will take considerable filing to get the edge true, straight, and
uniform (see _Filing_). Finish with an oil-stone.

[Illustration FIG. 454.]

[Illustration FIG. 455.]

The rudder-runner can be a little shorter. Screw a piece of 2" oak plank
on top of the rudder-blocks and on top of this fasten a plate or socket
to which is attached a piece of gas-pipe about a foot long, for a
rudder-post. At the top of the rudder-post screw an elbow and a short
piece of pipe for a tiller (Fig. 456). If suitable gas-pipe cannot be
found, the blacksmith can fix an arrangement that will answer, but it
must be strongly fastened to the rudder-blocks, and there should be some
kind of metal bearing between the wooden top of the rudder and the under
side of the backbone, if nothing more than a washer. The two surfaces of
wood should not rub against each other. Wind the handle of the tiller
with cord, cloth, or bicycle tape.

[Illustration FIG. 456.]

[Illustration FIG. 457.]

Stay the bowsprit (or forward end of the backbone) by stout wires to the
runner-plank. These can best be of wire rope passed through eye-bolts or
attached to iron straps and tightened with turnbuckles, but to save that
expense strong wire can be used. Notches can be cut at the edges of the
runner-plank and the backbone, and wire be wound around to hold rings to
which the wire guys can be fastened, but it is hard to make such an
arrangement taut and to keep it so. Next fasten a mast step with square
hole to the backbone (Fig. 457), forward of the front edge of the
runner-plank. Put in eye-bolts at ends of the runner-plank and at the
bow for shrouds and a few inches from the stern of the backbone for the
main sheet. Wire rope is best for the shrouds, but common wire or rope
can be used. For the mast and spars use natural sticks of spruce. The
sides of the box can be built up higher at the stern with boards, if you
wish, to prevent being thrown off by the sudden movements of the boat. A
rubber washer under the backbone where the rudder-post passes through is
sometimes used to lessen the jar when passing over obstructions. A
curved piece of wood fastened on the under side of the backbone just in
front of the rudder will act as a fender for the rudder, in case of
slight obstructions.

The whole boat can be oiled, painted, or varnished if desired (see
_Finishing_ and _Painting_).

If you use a cat-rig, spritsail, or other rig without any head-sail
before the mast, it would be well to place the runner-plank further

[Illustration FIG. 458.]

The latest and best way to brace the frame of an ice-boat is to strain
guys of wire rope (Fig. 458), tightened with turnbuckles, omitting the
side pieces, and fastening a car or box to the backbone, but this
arrangement, though lighter and more elastic, is more expensive and not
so easy to make for a small boat as the one just described.

A somewhat simpler way to arrange the framework is shown in Figs. 459,
460, and 461. In place of the runners already described a cheaper
arrangement can be made by the blacksmith of 5/8" bar iron, steeled, and
bent up at the ends, as shown in Fig. 461.

A much smaller affair can be made by simply arranging two pieces of
joist or plank in the form of a cross (bracing them so far as may be
necessary), putting cleats under each end of the shorter cross-piece or
runner-board and fastening common skates to the cleats, using another
pivoted skate at the stern for a rudder. The runners of the skates
should be ground, or filed, as shown above.

[Illustration FIG. 459.]

[Illustration FIG. 460.]

[Illustration FIG. 461.]

The details of such a small ice-boat you can work out for yourself by
modifying and simplifying according to your ingenuity the suggestions
for a larger boat given above. The hardest part to fix is the
rudder-post and tiller. Some iron arrangement is best, but something can
be contrived in the following manner, which is not, however, recommended
as very satisfactory. Fasten the rudder skate upon a piece of board in
which is cut a mortise. Into this mortise a short piece of hard wood,
like a large broomstick with squared end, is fitted for a rudder-post.
The upper end of the rudder-post, squared just like the lower end, is
fitted into a mortise cut in the tiller piece. A washer should be placed
between the skate-block and the backbone, and the rudder-post should
turn freely in the hole in the backbone, but not loosely enough to
wobble around. Cut the mortise in the tiller and fit to the post before
cutting off and shaping the tiller, to avoid danger of splitting. An
extra block may have to be put under the backbone at the rudder to level
the boat so that the skates will bear properly on the ice, for if the
stern is much lower, so that they drag by the heels, the boat will not
sail properly. Wooden arrangements of this sort are, however, only
justifiable as makeshifts, and require good workmanship to be strong and


=House-Boat.=--A house-boat consists of two parts, one of which (the
boat) is essentially like the scow or flat boat already described, and
the other (the house) is usually much the same as some of the little
structures described in Part III. (_House-building for Beginners_),
however expensively and elaborately it may be arranged and fitted up.
The advantages of the house-boat for camping, shooting, fishing, and for
some kinds of excursions are too well known to require explanation. It
is an excellent thing for two or more to build together. It may not be
out of place to suggest that, in the desire to have the house
sufficiently large and convenient, you should not be misled into making
plans which will necessitate building a large boat. Dimensions (on
paper) for such things are quite deceptive, and to build a large boat,
even of such a simple type as the scow or flatboat, is quite a serious
undertaking for the beginner--as regards both labour and expense.

       *       *       *       *       *

If you can find a scow or flatboat already built, of suitable dimensions
and which is sufficiently tight, or can be made so by caulking, you have
only to proceed to build the house upon it. If, however, the boat as
well as the house is to be built, you can proceed to build the boat in
the way already described (page 299). Additional suggestions may be
found in Figs. 462 and 463.

Before beginning read carefully _Marking_, _Rule_, _Square_, _Saw_,
_Plane_, _Nailing_, in Part V., and look up any other references.

[Illustration FIG. 462.]

Two-inch plank should be used for these boats, which are intended to be
from 14' to 20' long. After putting together the sides, ends, and
bottom, as already described, 2" × 4" joists can be laid lengthways on
the bottom, as shown, which will afford an underpinning for the house,
will distribute the weight over the bottom, keep the floor raised above
the water which may leak in or collect from the rain, and also stiffen
the structure of the boat. Before laying these joists, notches should be
cut on the under edges with the saw or hatchet, in several places, to
allow the water to pass through, as in the case of the boats already

[Illustration FIG. 463.]

The illustrations show a general system of construction for the house,
which can be followed, or you can make such alterations as you think
desirable. In addition to the suggestions in the accompanying
illustrations, further details and suggestions will be found in Part
III. (_House-building for Beginners_). Most of the details are matters
of personal preference, and can readily be arranged without more
detailed description. The roof had best be covered with canvas, put on
as one piece (being sewed previously if necessary). If laid in paint and
then given two or three coats of paint, much as in the case of the
canvas-sheathed canoes already described, a tight and durable roof will
be the result. After the edges of the canvas are tacked under the edge
of the roof, strips of moulding can be nailed around under the edge.

An even simpler way to make the roof is to have it flat, but slanting
slightly towards either bow or stern. An inclination of 3" is enough,
with tight canvas roof, to shed the water.

The remaining details of the construction of the house have already been
treated. The interior arrangements you can contrive as desired.

Either, or both, of the ends can be decked over, or the whole can first
be decked over and the house built on the deck. In this case, access to
the hull, for stowage, can be had by hatches, or trap-doors inside the
house. If both the ends are to be decked, the hull can very well have
one or two lengthways divisions of plank, for stiffness and
strength,--that is, insert between the ends one or two pieces of the
size and shape of the sides, in which case the lengthways joist already
spoken of will be omitted. This is a good way. In case of decking, nail
a strip of moulding on the outside along the juncture of the house and
the deck, so as to make a tight joint, which should be well painted.

If one or both ends are undecked, a removable grating of slats (a part
of which is shown in Fig. 462) will be useful.

It is well to have at least one window at the bow end of the house, for
the boat will of course lie with bow towards the wind and it will be a
good thing when housed in a storm to be able to see to windward, as you
cannot well keep the door at that end open, while the after door will
usually be sufficiently sheltered to be left open. Many modifications of
these simple plans can be made. The roof can be extended over either
end, which is easily done without altering the system of construction.
This is very convenient under some circumstances, and will add but
little to the expense. The frame can even be covered with canvas, but
this will be inferior to wood, except in point of lightness. A solid
roof is best, however, in any case.

Sweeps must, of course, be provided for rowing, sculling, or steering,
and a mast can easily be added, on which sufficient sail can be hoisted
to be quite a help in going before the wind. If a mast is used, the door
at the bow end of the house can be at one side of the end so that the
mast can be close to the house, to which it can be fastened. A rudder
can be added, if desired, with a skag.

The whole craft should be thoroughly painted (see _Painting_).

Houses are sometimes built on rafts. This will do very well if the raft
is a good one, like a float. A float can be easily made, if you have the
materials, by laying a thick flooring on logs or heavy timbers and
providing greater buoyancy than such a platform naturally has by
fastening under it, between the timbers, as many empty and sealed
barrels or casks (oil-barrels are good) as may be necessary. When the
float is stationary and under ordinary circumstances, there is, of
course, no need to fasten the casks in any way except to fence them
around so that they cannot roll or slide out, as their buoyancy will
prevent their escaping, but it is easy to fasten them by chains or
otherwise if needed. This makes an excellent foundation on which to
build a house, and has some advantages over a boat for a stationary
arrangement, but is obviously not as well suited for moving around as a
scow or flatboat.


[40] Unless too heavily loaded, a canvas-covered canoe will float in
case of a capsize, but some form of air-chambers is desirable and a safe
precaution in any small boat. It is hardly safe to rely upon your
ability to build water-tight compartments in the ends of canvas (or
wooden) boats, as is sometimes recommended--that is, as a part of the
regular construction of the boat. It is not easy for an amateur to do
this. It is better to have the air-tight compartments made separately
and independent of the boat itself. Copper boxes or air-tanks fitted to
the space at the ends are the best and the only really reliable
expedient, but they are expensive. Light wooden boxes covered with
canvas and thoroughly painted can be used, as well as galvanised boxes
or even varnish cans sealed and painted. Any such contrivance can be
made tight at first, but is always liable to become leaky (except by the
use of copper tanks), particularly as it is usually concealed from




=Anvil.=--An anvil is often useful and is sometimes combined with a
vise. It should have a flat steel surface and also a tapering, rounded
(conical) point. An old flat-iron does quite well.

=Auger-Bit.=--See _Bits_.

[Illustration FIG. 464.]

=Awl.=--The _Brad-awl_ is the simplest boring tool you will use. Unlike
gimlets and bits, it does not take out any wood, but merely presses it
aside out of the way, which is good for nail and screw holes, because
the elasticity of the woody fibres tends to make them spring back and
close around the nail or screw, thus helping to keep it in place. The
awl should always be a trifle smaller than the nail. Bore with the
cutting edge across the grain of the wood, on the same principle as in
driving nails (Fig. 464), lest the wedge shape of the tool cause the
wood to split (see _Nailing_). Press the awl straight down in this
position until the point is well into the wood, when you can twist it a
little, at the same time pushing it further into the wood. There is
always risk of splitting thin wood near an edge, unless you use great
care. The brad-awl can be sharpened easily. See _Sharpening_ and also

Do not buy combination awls with "tool-chest handles," filled with an
assortment of awls and little chisels, gouges, screw-drivers, saws, etc.
Such affairs are sometimes useful, but the loose tools are apt to become
lost or broken, and the money can be used to better advantage in other

It is well to have a variety of sizes of awls, fitted into _hardwood_
handles. An awl handle into which awls of various sizes can be fitted,
somewhat as a brace holds bits, answers very well, if you have to carry
your tools from place to place, but for shop-work it is more convenient
to have each awl in a separate handle.

The _Marking-awl_ or _Scratch-awl_ is simply an awl with a round, sharp
point used for marking in carpentry, but for very close work a knife or
chisel is better. See _Marking_.

=Axe.=--This is such a common tool that it needs no description, and is,
moreover, seldom required for amateur work.

=Back-Saw.=--See _Saw_.

[Illustration FIG. 465.]

[Illustration FIG. 466.]

=Beading.=--A tool for scraping beading, reeds, and the like, can be
made by filing the reverse of the shape required on the edge of a piece
of saw-blade steel, taken from a broken saw or scraper, and inserting
this blade in a kerf sawed in the end of a piece of wood (Fig. 465). To
change the position of the blade, one or both of the screws can be
loosened and then tightened after the blade has been adjusted. This tool
is pushed forward with both hands, much like a scraper, the shoulder of
the block bearing against the edge of the board as in using the gauge
(Fig. 466). Tools for this purpose can be bought.

It usually produces the best effect not to carry this beading to the
extreme ends of an edge, but to stop a short distance from the ends and
with a chisel cut the beads to a square and abrupt end (Fig. 305). See

=Bending Wood.=--To bend a piece (without steaming or boiling) which is
to be fastened so that but one side will show, make a series of
saw-cuts of equal depth (Fig. 467) across the piece, and partly through
it, on the back side (the side which will not show), first running a
gauge line along the edge (see _Gauge_), that the cuts may be of equal
depth. This will practically, so far as bending is concerned, make the
piece thinner, and it can readily be bent and fastened in position. The
nearer together and the deeper the cuts are the more the piece can be
bent--that is, up to the breaking-point. Hot water can be used on the
face side. Such curves can sometimes be strengthened by driving wedges,
with glue, into the saw-kerfs after the piece is bent to the desired
curve (Fig. 468).

[Illustration FIG. 467.]

[Illustration FIG. 468.]

To make a small piece of wood pliable, so that it will bend to any
reasonable extent (which, however, depends much upon the kind of wood),
soak it for some time in boiling water, when it can usually be bent into
the desired shape. It must be securely held in position until the
moisture has entirely left it, or it will spring back to (or towards)
its original shape. This drying will take from several hours to several
days, according to the size of the piece and the condition of the
atmosphere. There is almost always a tendency to spring back a little
towards the original shape, so it is well to bend a piece a little more
than you wish it to remain, except where it is to be fastened so that it
cannot spring back.

Wood which naturally bends easily (particularly thin pieces) can often
be made pliable enough by simply soaking in cold water, but hot water is
usually more effective. Anything which you cannot manage with the hot
water you can take to a mill or a ship-yard and have steamed in a
regular steam-chest, which is really nothing, in principle, but a big
wooden or iron box, with a steam-pipe running into it, in which the
pieces are kept until the steam has made them pliable. Wood is now bent
for many purposes by "end pressure," but this is impracticable for the

To bend the ends of pieces like skis, hockies, etc., a big kettle or
common wash-boiler full of boiling water can be used. An apparatus for
long sticks, as ribs for a canoe, can be made with a piece of iron pipe
of suitable size. Plug one end tightly and stick it firmly in the
ground, so that the pipe is fixed in a slanting direction. Put water in
the pipe, build a fire underneath, put the sticks in the pipe, stuff a
rag loosely in the upper end and the apparatus will be in working order
(Fig. 469).

[Illustration FIG. 469.]

You must often have some sort of form or mould for bending the piece and
for holding it while drying. For some kinds of bending, where there is
no occasion to be accurate, you can often bend a piece around some
corner or common object, as a barrel, log, etc., and tie it in place
until dry, or fasten it with cleats, but for nice work you should make a
form or mould. If you wish to bend ribs, for instance, which should be
accurate in shape, you can cut a piece of board or plank to fit the
concave side of the desired curve. Fasten this piece upon any flat
surface, as an old plank, and bore holes for wooden pins around the
curve at such a distance from the pattern piece or mould that the piece
to be bent can be firmly wedged against it, as shown in Fig. 470; or you
can attach blocks instead of pins--any arrangement by which the bent
piece can be wedged in place. A strap of hoop iron or other metal or
even a thin piece of wood can be placed outside of the stick to be bent,
to prevent the wood splitting or splintering on the outside, as it is
liable to do if bent much, unless of good quality and straight grain,
but there is no need of doing this in many cases.

[Illustration FIG. 470.]

[Illustration FIG. 471.]

Another way is to have the mould or form in two parts, as the two parts
of a board or plank through which the curve has been sawed (Fig. 471).
The piece to be bent is put between the two forms, which are then
pressed together by clamps, wedges, or a lever. This is a good way for
short pieces which cannot easily be bent, or which do not readily cling
to the required curve.

Another form of bending-mould is shown (an inverted view) in Fig. 472.
In this case the pieces to be bent are held in place by easily made

[Illustration FIG. 472.]

[Illustration FIG. 473.]

A simple way to make a form for bending strips is to cut the curve out
of a piece of plank, or boards nailed together (Fig. 473). The end of
the strip is then caught against the cleat and the piece bent around the
curve. If it tends to spring off the curve, you must contrive some way
to clamp, wedge, or even tie it in place. As a piece must be left on the
form until dry and set, if you have a number to bend, it may be better
to make a form wide enough to bend them all at once. Take any boards,
or build a curved addition on the end of a box, and contrive a wider
form on the same principle (Fig. 474).

For ribs, and the like, the stock should be got out so that the annual
layers will be at right angles to the direction of the nails with which
the pieces are to be fastened, or parallel with the curved sides of the

[Illustration FIG. 474.]

=Bevel.=--This is similar to the square, but with a movable blade which
can be set at any angle. When permanently fixed at an angle of 45°, it
is called a _mitre-square_. The bevel is useful, not merely to mark any
desired angle, but to repeat some angle already formed, to which you
apply it, moving the blade until it fits the angle, when the tool can be
applied to another piece and the angle repeated. The directions about
holding the head of the square close to the edge apply also to the use
of the bevel (see _Square_).

[Illustration FIG. 475.]

To obtain an angle of 45° with the bevel, place it against the inside
edge of the large steel square (Fig. 475), setting the blade at such an
angle that it will intercept equal distances on both arms of the square.

On this same principle, for other angles, observe the figures
intercepted by the blade, as shown in Fig. 476. Note that for this angle
the figures are 2 and 4, and you can get the angle again at any time by
setting the bevel at those figures. You can also set the bevel by laying
off the required angle with compasses on a straight-edged board, to
which the bevel can be applied. The angle should be so laid out on the
board that it will not be necessary to try to set the point of the
compasses exactly at the edge, which is of course impossible. See

[Illustration FIG. 476.]

=Bevelling.=--To bevel the edge of a piece with the chisel, draw-knife,
spoke-shave, plane, or even knife, first mark parallel lines to work to
with a pencil-gauge (see _Gauge_) rather than a spur-gauge, so as not to
leave a scratch to disfigure the work after the bevel or chamfer is cut
(Figs. 477 and 485). Then pare the edge down gradually to these lines,
or prepare the way by first scoring the wood with cuts (Fig. 615), being
sure to trim off in the direction of the grain; but in bevelling both
end and side, as in Fig. 478, first cut the end, because of possible
chipping at the corner, and in cutting the end you can work from each
corner towards the centre. In paring a bevel across the grain, push the
chisel as shown in Fig. 479, as it is the easiest and cleanest way to
cut, and prevents splintering.

[Illustration FIG. 477.]

[Illustration FIG. 478.]

[Illustration RIGHT. WRONG. FIG. 479.]

A simple bevel (Figs. 477 and 478) is usually best made with the plane,
whenever there is room to use it. Plane bevels in end wood from both
edges and you can often slant the plane to good advantage like the
chisel in Fig. 479. See also _Chamfering_.

=Bit-Brace or Bit-Stock.=--This tool requires no description. The
_ratchet_ brace is useful for boring in awkward places where it is
difficult to use a common bit-stock. There is also a contrivance for
extending the bit-brace to bore in places which cannot be reached by the
common brace alone, but this you will seldom require. An angular
bit-stock, with a "universal angle" adjustment, is useful. By this the
bit can be pointed in different directions, while the bit-stock is
turned continuously in the ordinary way, thus enabling a hole to be
conveniently bored in an out-of-the-way corner. See _Boring_.

=Bits.=--The _auger-bit_ (the sizes of which are arranged by sixteenths
of an inch) so commonly used with the bit-brace, consists, at the
cutting end, of a spur, two scoring-nibs, and two cutting-lips. You will
see from Fig. 480 that the spur _a_, acting like a gimlet point or a
screw (which it is), starts the bit by drawing it into the wood so that
the scoring-nibs _b_ make a circular cut around the circumference. As
this cut deepens, the cutting-lips _c_ slice away the wood to be removed
in the form of shavings, which are brought to the surface as the boring

This bit can be sharpened with a file, the scoring-nibs being sharpened
from the inside, lest they be made to score a circle too small for the
rest of the bit, while the cutting-lips are filed from the under side.

[Illustration FIG. 480.]

[Illustration FIG. 481.]

The _centre-bit_ is a useful tool, particularly for very thin stock. The
spear-like point _a_ (Fig. 481), acting as a centre, the point _b_ cuts
a deep ring, and the edge _c_, which is bent so as to form a flat
chisel, scoops out the pieces of wood, and so a round and smooth hole is
made. This bit does not cut very well with the grain. It can be
sharpened with a small oil-stone. It is well to bore a trial hole with
this bit in a piece of waste wood when exactness is required, because
the spur is not exactly in the centre, so that the hole cut is a trifle
wider than the diameter of the bit.

The _expansion-bit_ has an adjustable contrivance that enables it to
bore holes of various sizes, but such tools are hardly necessary for
beginners, though very convenient and often used by carpenters.

The _gimlet-bit_ is a common form, but is easily dulled and bent and is
likely to split delicate work. The _quill-bit_ is excellent, except for
end grain. _Shell-bit_, _gouge-bit_, _pod-bit_, _spoon-bit_,
_duck's-bill-bit_, etc., are names applied to simple tools good for
boring small holes. They are easily sharpened with a stone, work quickly
and leave a smooth hole, but do not cut so well in end grain. They are
not as much in use as formerly, the twist-drill taking their place for
many purposes.

_Reamers_, or tapering bits (half-round, square, octagonal, conical),
are useful to enlarge holes and occasionally to make them conical.
Reamers for metal are also useful.

For other forms of boring implements, see _Awls_ and _Twist-drill_. See
also _Boring_ and _Countersink_.

=Block-Plane.=--See _Plane_.

=Boards or Planks, Laying Exposed.=--In laying boards or planks to be
exposed to the weather, place them (unless they are from the middle of
the tree) so as to have the outer side exposed--that is, the side
farthest from the heart should be put outside or uppermost. If put the
other way the action of the atmosphere, water, etc., will tend to
separate and loosen the layers and fibres (Fig. 482).

[Illustration FIG. 482.]

=Boring.=--In boring with the bit-brace, after the bit has gone a short
distance into the wood, stop and, keeping the brace in position, test
carefully from in front and from one side to see whether the bit is at
right angles to the surface. Repeat this test and alter the position of
the brace as many times as may be necessary until you are sure that the
bit is going through at the right angle. A common way to do this is to
stand squarely in front of the work and judge by the eye whether the bit
is at right angles with the work, and then to stand at either side at
right angles to the first position and judge of the angle again. The
direction of the bit can be tested more accurately by applying the
square. Few people can bore accurately without some such test.

[Illustration FIG. 483.]

Some workmen rest the chin on the left hand on top of the handle of the
brace, to steady it (Fig. 483), and to increase the pressure, and
sometimes the shoulder is applied.

To remove a bit from the wood, give the brace a turn or two backward,
which will loosen the spur, and then either pull the bit straight out,
if it can be done easily without turning the brace, or, as you pull it
out, keep turning the brace as if boring, thus bringing out the chips,
which, if you remove the bit by turning the brace backward, will be left
in the hole.

In boring through a board or timber, watch to see when the spur of the
bit begins to come through on the other side; when it does, turn the
piece over and bore in from that side, or clamp a piece of waste wood on
the other side and bore right through into it. Either way will prevent
splintering or a ragged or "burred" edge, where the bit leaves the wood.

In boring a hole of any depth with the grain, _i.e._, in the end of a
piece of wood, withdraw the bit, after it has entered the wood a short
distance, to clear the chips from the hole, reinsert, bore, and withdraw
again, and continue in this way until you reach the required depth. This
will save injuring the bit, and will make the boring easier.

In boring with small bits, particularly when there is danger of
splitting, as with the gimlet-bit, draw out the bit and chips once in a

When the position of a hole must be exact on both sides of the wood it
is well to mark the position accurately on each side and bore from each
side until the holes meet.

Frequently holes must not be bored through a piece, but must stop at a
certain depth. Suppose you have to make a dozen holes 2" deep. Take a
wooden tube if you have one, or bore a hole through a block of wood of
such length that when pressed against the jaws of the brace two inches
of the end of the bit will project beyond the tube or block (Fig. 484).
Then bore until the end of the tube touches the surface of the wood,
when the hole will, of course, be 2" deep. Metal attachments can be
bought for this purpose. See _Awl_, _Bits_, _Twist-drill_.

[Illustration FIG. 484.]

To cut a hole larger than any bit you have, bore a series of smaller
holes just within the circumference of the desired circle, and trim to
the line with the gouge or finish with keyhole or compass-saw.

=Bow-Saw.=--See _Saw_.

=Brad-awl.=--See _Awl_.

=Bruises, To Take Out.=--Small bruises in wood can be taken out by
wetting the place with warm water, or even with cold water, and rubbing
down the grain with sandpaper if necessary. If that is not sufficient, a
hot iron, as a flat-iron, held near the bruise, the latter being covered
with wet blotting paper or several thicknesses of brown paper, will
often remove a quite large dent. The operation can be repeated until it
has no further effect.

=Brushes.=--It is well to have a brush of some sort for cleaning off
work, the bench, etc. A sash brush is good.

For most of your painting, shellacing, etc., you will usually get along
better with small flat brushes than with large round ones, except for
very coarse work. Those with flattened handles are convenient. From one
to two inches in diameter will usually be large enough, unless for such
work as painting the outside of a house, when something larger will save
time. For painting small or narrow surfaces, the brushes used for
"drawing" sashes are good, and for drawing lines "pencil" brushes will
be required. A good brush for glue can be made by soaking one end of a
piece of rattan in hot water and then pounding the softened part, when
the fibres will separate, making a stiff brush.

=Bull-Nosed Plane=--See _Plane_.

=Calipers.=--Calipers, which are "inside" or "outside," according to
whether they are to find the diameter of a hole or the outside diameter
of an object, are very important in some work, as turning, but, though
very useful at times, are not nearly as important for the work of the
beginner as compasses.

=Carving-Chisel.=--See _Carving Tools_.

=Carving Tools.=--A few carving tools are often very useful for general
wood-work. It is convenient to have these carving tools fitted in
handles of a different pattern from your other tools. An octagonal shape
is good. A _carving-chisel_ is very useful in working on odd-shaped
pieces, because the cutting edge is bevelled on both sides. A carver's
_skew_ chisel will be, perhaps, more generally useful for your work than
one ground squarely across. A _parting-tool_, sometimes called a "V
tool," is occasionally convenient, though hardly a necessity for most
plain work. A small _veining-tool_ (like a very small gouge) is often

=Centre-Bit.=--See _Bits_.

=Chalk-Line.=--See _Marking_.

=Chamfering.=--A chamfer is the surface formed by cutting away the angle
made by two faces of a piece of wood.

[Illustration FIG. 485.]

In cutting the _ends_ of a stop-chamfer (Fig. 485), take care not to cut
quite down to the line at first, as you will be very apt to cut a little
too deep and leave a tool mark which cannot be removed. In the case of
long stop-chamfers, use the plane whenever you can, so far as it can be
used without hitting the wood at the ends. The draw-knife can often be
used to remove the wood, being followed by the plane. The plane can be
used slantingly, so as to cut nearer the ends, and a bull-nosed plane
will cut nearer still, but the extreme ends will have to be trimmed to
shape with the chisel or other tool. See also _Bevelling_ and _Paring_.

=Chisel.=--The _firmer-chisel_ is meant for light hand-work, for paring
off wood and trimming to shape, and can be used for light mortising,
though the mortise-chisel is intended for that purpose. It is often an
advantage to have the long edges of such a chisel bevelled on the same
side as the cutting basil, as it can be used more conveniently in some
places. Taking off the corner of the basil when grinding, often answers
the purpose.

The _framing-chisel_ is stouter than the firmer, has a stronger handle
to stand heavy blows of the mallet, and is meant, as the name indicates,
for framing, mortising, and other heavy work.[41] See _Mortising_.

[Illustration FIG. 486.]

[Illustration FIG. 487.]

The _straight-bent chisel_ is shaped as shown in Fig. 487, and is very
useful for cleaning out corners, grooves, and other places where the
common firmer-chisel cannot be used to advantage.

A _skew-chisel_ is simply ground slanting, instead of squarely across,
and is useful for corners and odd work. See _Carving Tools_.

There are other forms, seldom needed by the amateur, as the
_corner-chisel_, which is used for cutting or paring angles and corners.

Those chisels and gouges which have the handles fitted into sockets at
the upper end of the iron, instead of the iron being stuck into the
handle, and with ferrules at the upper end where they are struck by the
mallet are, of course, the strongest for heavy work, although the
lighter handles are just as good for light work.

Do not let your left hand get in front of the edge of the chisel while
working, for the tool may slip and give you a bad cut, and in most cases
the left hand should be kept on the lower part of the chisel to help
control it, which is not easily done with one hand. In some cases, as in
paring the edge of a piece directly downward towards the bench, it may
be proper to hold the work with the left hand and use the chisel with
the right; but as a rule, particularly for beginners, first see that the
work is securely fastened or held from slipping by vise, clamp, or other
expedient, and then keep the left hand on the chisel, which will steady
and guide the tool, and, incidentally, prevent the hand from being cut.
See _Paring_ and _Sharpening_.

=Circular-plane.=--See _Plane_.

=Clamps.=--Long clamps (cabinet-clamps), shown in the accompanying
illustrations, are extremely useful in making glued joints and in
various clamping operations. Many, of different lengths, are to be found
in wood-working shops. Although much work can be accomplished without
them, if you can afford a pair or more of medium length, or longer, they
will be very useful. Wooden clamps will answer every purpose, although
steel ones are better, but more expensive.

[Illustration FIG. 488.]

To clamp two or more flat pieces together, as in making a "glue-joint,"
or in clamping framework, as a door or picture-frame, lay the work
across the horses, which should be so placed that their tops will be as
nearly level, or in the same plane, as possible, and apply the clamps as
shown in Fig. 488, always putting pieces of waste wood between the edges
of the work and the clamps. Place the clamps so that either the flat
side of the bar or the corner, as shown, will lie against the surface of
the work, thus keeping it from bending towards the bar when the screw is
tightened. The number of clamps to be used must depend on the size of
the work, but there is not usually much danger of an amateur's work
being clamped too securely.[42]

If you have to glue a flexible strip, put a stiff piece outside between
it and the clamp to distribute the pressure.

You will often find by sighting across the surface of the work as you
tighten the clamps, particularly in the case of door-frames,
picture-frames, and the like, that the surface is winding. When this
happens, move one or more corners of the work up or down, as the case
may be, in the clamps, and thus take out the winding. A little
experimenting will show how to do this. In the case of framed work, such
as doors or picture-frames, test the angles with the square as soon as
the joints are brought to a bearing. If the angles are not right, as
will often be the case, move one end of either one or both of the clamps
to the right or left, as the case may be, and you can easily change the
angle until the square shows it to be right, when the screws can be
tightened and the joints should close accurately. In clamping nearly all
kinds of "case" work, such as bookcases, cabinets, boxes, and the like,
these directions about moving the clamps until the angles are correct
and the work free from winding are applicable.

In such cases as that shown in Fig. 488, waste no time in trying to get
the surfaces _exactly_ flush with each other at the joint before
partially tightening the clamps, lest the glue become set. Any slight
alteration can best then be made by tapping with the hammer near the
joint, whenever either piece needs to be raised or lowered, putting a
block under the hammer if the dent will not be removed by planing (see
_Gluing_). The clamps can then be screwed tighter.

[Illustration FIG. 489.]

[Illustration FIG. 490.]

In such cases as gluing the joints of a box, put stout blocks or cleats
over the joints before tightening the clamps (Fig. 489), to distribute
the pressure. This applies to all cases of clamping where the pieces to
be glued are not heavy enough to resist the change of shape from the
pressure of the clamps, and pieces of waste wood are almost always
required in any case to prevent bruising of the work.

You can contrive home-made clamps out of any strong pieces of wood of
suitable length, by nailing or screwing a block at each end (Fig. 490),
when the work can be tightly wedged to a close bearing by driving home
the double wedge shown, using, if necessary, one or more blocks, B, when
you use the clamp for smaller work than that for which it was made. By
keeping such clamps for future use, you will soon have enough to answer
very well until you can afford to buy the regular cabinet-clamps.

On the same principle, a simple clamp, derived from the Orient, can be
made by boring a series of holes in two stout strips--just as the holes
are bored in the sides of a ladder, but nearer together. The work to be
glued is laid on one of these strips in the same way as shown in Fig.
490. The other strip is then placed directly above and stout pins put
through corresponding holes outside of the work, which can then be
wedged against the pins in the way just shown.

Another way, which can be applied to many cases, is to put a stout
cord, doubled, around the work, and inserting a stick between the two
parts of the string, turn it around until, the doubled cord thus
becoming shortened, the parts of the work are drawn together. This can
only be done where there is room to swing the stick around, as, for
example, to tighten the rounds of a chair by drawing the legs together
(Fig. 491).

[Illustration FIG. 491.]

[Illustration FIG. 492.]

You can often apply pressure, when no more convenient means are at hand,
by making use of the elasticity of a board or pole. Suppose, for
example, you need to press two blocks tightly together, as shown in Fig.
492. Place them on the bench or floor and spring in a board or pole
between the top of the upper block and a beam of the floor above, as
shown. Of course this board must be a little longer than merely to reach
between the two points, as it must be sprung into place bent, when in
the effort to straighten itself out again it will cause pressure on the
blocks. Pieces should be placed outside the blocks when scarring of the
surface is to be avoided. The pressure can be applied in any direction,
always supposing that you have something firm to press against.

Pressure can often be obtained by a lever, and many applications of the
wedge will suggest themselves in your work. Even if you have a shopful
of clamps and hand-screws and vises, these applications of the simple
mechanical powers often come into play (see Fig. 390). See also page 71.

Adjustable wood-carver's clamps can be bought for holding pieces in
position on the bench, and are useful, but by no means necessary, as
common clamps, or various devices, can be used.

The small iron clamps which can be used in place of hand-screws are very

For other suggestions about clamping, see _Hand-screws_.

[Illustration FIG. 493.]

[Illustration FIG. 494.]

=Cleating.=--A simple way to join two or more pieces of board or plank
to make a wider piece is to cleat them. If short, they can be cleated
across the ends. This can also be done to keep a single board from
warping (Fig. 493). Such a cleat should not be glued unless the width is
very slight, on account of the expansion and contraction across the
board being so much greater than that lengthways of the cleat (see pages
50-53). Screws (which are best), nails, or dowels should be used, as
they will give some play to the pieces. A groove can also be made in the
cleat, into which a tongue on the end of the board is fitted. Grooves
can be cut in both cleat and board and a tongue or spline inserted (Fig.
494). These are operations best done by machinery. This end-cleating
does very well on small work and where the tendency to warp is not too
great. For heavier work, as doors, cleats on the side are better, but
they are sometimes in the way, and not always desirable on the ground of
looks. This is a strong way. Side cleats should be fastened with screws
(see _Screws_) or clinched nails (see _Nailing_), but not with glue, for
the same reason as in the case of end cleats. If the cleat is wide
enough, do not put the screws in a straight line, but "alternate" them
(Fig. 368). See _Jointing_ and _Doors and Panels_.

=Clinching-Nails.=--See _Nailing_.

=Compasses.=--Wing compasses, or those with arc and set-screw, are easy
to adjust accurately and will not slip, but, whatever kind you get, be
sure that the points stay where you put them and do not spring away or
wobble around.

The chief uses of this tool are to strike circles, to lay off angles and
arcs, to take off measurements from a rule or some object, to lay off
measurements, and to "scribe" in places where a gauge can not be used
(see _Scribing_). In using compasses, particularly those which are not
set by a screw, hold them and swing them around by the top at the hinged
joint, rather than grasp them near the points, which may cause them to
move or slip.

[Illustration FIG. 495.]

Circles or circular arcs can be struck roughly, as you doubtless know,
with a string and a nail at the centre, the string being loose around
the nail. This method is not very accurate, for obvious reasons, and is
only suitable for rough work. A more accurate way is to drive two nails
through a strip of wood at a distance apart just equal to the radius of
the required circle, one nail being driven into the wood to act as the
centre, the other doing the marking (Fig. 495). Instead of the marking
nail a hole can be bored for a pencil. You can use a stick of this sort
repeatedly by changing the position of the centre nail, or of the
marking point. The same can be done with a brad or stout pin and a
pencil, using stiff paper, card-board, or zinc instead of a stick. By
such expedients you can do a great deal of work without buying

=Compass-Saw.=--See _Saw_.

[Illustration FIG. 496.]

=Corner-Blocks.=--These are merely small pieces of pine, or other wood
which holds glue well, with two adjacent surfaces at right angles. Hot
glue is applied to them and they are rubbed into interior angles of
cabinet-work, to strengthen and stiffen the work (Fig. 496), and are
very useful for this purpose. They are got out in short pieces,
lengthways of the grain, and can be freely used in places where they
will not show, as inside of the base-board in Fig. 304. The shape can be
varied according to the conditions of the joint. Apply hot glue
plentifully, place the block where it is to go, and rub it back and
forth several times, when it can be left for the glue to dry.

=Corner-Chisel.=--See _Chisel_.

=Countersink.=--This tool, to be used with the bit-brace, for enlarging
the outer part of a hole, thus forming a cavity or depression for
receiving the head of a screw (Fig. 497), is quite important, as being
much more convenient than to use gouge, chisel, or knife for the
purpose. See page 205.

[Illustration FIG. 497.]

The rose form of countersink is common and good. The Clark double-cut
countersink (for wood only) cuts smoothly and is easily sharpened. A
countersink for metal is useful.

=Cracks, To Stop.=--See _Holes_, _To Stop_.

=Cross-Cut Saw.=--See _Saw_.

=Cutting-Pliers.=--A pair of these will often be useful in connection
with wood-working operations.

=Dents, To Take Out.=--See _Bruises_.

=Dividers.=--See _Compasses_.

=Doors and Panels.=--It is important to have some understanding of the
theory of framing panels, doors, and the like. The simplest form of door
is, of course, a piece of board. This will do for some cases, but it is
liable to warp or wind,--if a large door, sometimes to such a degree as
to be useless. It is also, if large, liable to swell or shrink so as to
be either too loose or too tight, and to break. Cleating can be resorted
to (see _Cleating_), but will not prevent the swelling and shrinking,
nor is a cleated door especially ornamental. Besides, there are limits
to the width of ordinary boards. Several boards can, however, be joined,
edge to edge, and cleated on one side, in which way a large door can be
made (Fig. 405), and, if the boards are not fitted too closely together,
there may be no trouble caused by the swelling and shrinking. Another
way to make a very _strong_ door is to make it of two thicknesses, or
layers, one running up and down and the other crossways, or diagonally,
the two thicknesses being firmly nailed or screwed together.

[Illustration FIG. 498.]

[Illustration FIG. 499.]

[Illustration FIG. 500.]

[Illustration FIG. 501.]

[Illustration FIG. 502.]

[Illustration FIG. 503.]

All such arrangements are, however, suited for the rougher class of
work. When we come to nicer work we must have something more scientific,
that will swell and shrink as little as possible and that will look
better. So, instead of using a broad flat surface with the boards all
running one way, we try to overcome the faults of the flat door by
framing the pieces together. Suppose, for a theoretical case, that you
make a door like Fig. 498. It will not warp or curl because of the
cleats at the top and bottom, but it will swell and shrink in width
because there is such a wide surface of board to be affected by the
atmosphere, etc., and it may become winding. To lessen these objections
the middle part of the board can be removed--all but a strip at each
edge (Fig. 499). It will not now swell and shrink much in width because
most of the board has been removed. This frame will hold its shape quite
well, but it is only a frame, not a door. How can you fill up this open
frame to make a door, so as to avoid the trouble about warping, winding,
swelling, and shrinking? First, however, as this frame is considerably
taller than it is wide, you will readily see that it will be a better
arrangement to make it as shown in Fig. 500, with the cross-pieces
between the uprights, according to the usual custom in such cases.
Suppose, now, that you fill up the open space with a _thin_ board,
fastened on one side (Fig. 501), instead of the thick wood which
occupied the space at first. The thin board will tend to warp and twist,
but, being thin, it will not exert force enough to change the shape of
the thick frame. That will prevent the warping and winding from doing
much harm. If the screw-holes in this thin piece are reasonably loose,
they will allow play enough for the board to expand and contract without
putting any strain on the frame. This arrangement does not, however,
look very nice on the side to which the board is screwed, though it can
be used in some situations. Suppose, finally, that you cut a groove
around the inside edge of the frame of the door (Fig. 502) into which
this thin board can be fitted loosely, making the groove deep enough to
give the board room to shrink and swell in width without dropping out or
pushing against the frame. You now have a complete door (Fig. 503), and
the warping, winding, swelling, and shrinking will do as little harm as
possible. That is all there is to the theory of framing doors, panels,
and the like.

[Illustration RIGHT. WRONG. FIG. 504.]

The panel should fit closely into the groove, but at the same time be
loose enough to slide in and out as it expands and contracts, and should
not be wide enough to reach to the bottom of the grooves, but room be
left for all possible change in width, as shown in Fig. 504, which shows
sections on the line AB. All this is important and has many applications
to other things than doors. It is not very uncommon for amateurs,
ignorant of these simple principles, to make a door-frame properly, but
in fitting the panel to make it the full width of the space from the
bottom of one groove to the bottom of the opposite, and also to make it
such a snug fit in the groove as to be stuck tight, all with the idea of
making such a good fit as to prevent any of the gaping cracks so often
seen, but really taking the very course to ruin the work. So important
is it that the panel should have play, that it is quite common in nice
work to rub wax or tallow around the edge of the panel, lest some of the
glue from the joints of the frame should cause it to stick when the
frame is glued up. If the panel is badly fitted or stuck, it may buckle
or split, or the frame be split or forced apart at the joints.

There are many more elaborate ways of arranging the details of
door-framing and panelling (too numerous to be described here, as they
will not often be required by the beginner); but if you understand the
general principles upon which this simple door is put together, you will
understand the principles upon which all panelling is based; and, though
you may never do much of it, it is quite important to have a clear
understanding of the theory, which is really quite simple--for it has
many applications which may save you much trouble, labour, and expense.

The best way to fasten the frame of a door together is by mortise and
tenon (see _Mortising_). This method is almost invariably adopted for
house doors. Dowelling is often used for smaller doors, but is inferior
to the mortise and tenon.

A common way nowadays to make light doors, and such as are not to be
subjected to much strain, is to run the grooves in the stiles through to
the ends and cut tongues or short tenons on the ends of the rails to fit
these grooves, as shown in Figs. 508 and 509. The whole door, panel and
all, can thus be quickly got out and fitted accurately with a circular
saw at any wood-working mill, without any hand-work being required,
except the smoothing of the pieces and the putting together. In this way
you can have a door made for a small sum, smoothing and putting it
together yourself. Such a door is not fitted, however, to stand great
strain. A house door made in that way would last but a short time. Any
heavy door, or one to have much strain, or liable to be slammed, should
be framed with mortise and tenon. You can have grooving for a door-frame
done at the mill very cheaply and do the mortising yourself, or you can
have the mortising done by machine at slight expense. Sometimes the
grooving and mortising are combined,--an excellent way (Fig. 592).

In using any of these methods mark distinctly one side of each piece for
the "face" and lay out all the work from that side only. If the job is
to be taken to a mill, see that the work is all gauged from the face

[Illustration FIG. 505.]

[Illustration FIG. 506.]

In laying out such work never cut off the stiles (Fig. 505) to length at
first. Leave them too long (Fig. 507). The projecting ends will be
useful when you knock the frame apart for gluing, after first putting it
together to see if everything fits. Besides, the extra length makes the
ends stronger for the mortising and less likely to split out. The rails
in door-framing and panelling are usually wider than the stiles.

In laying out a door or panelled frame, place the stiles together, with
the inside edges uppermost, and square lines across the edges to mark
the positions for the rails (Fig. 506). Carry these lines across the
faces of the stiles, and mark the rails and stiles with some symbols to
indicate the way they are to be fitted together (Fig. 507).

[Illustration FIG. 507.]

The whole should be put together once to see that everything is right
before beginning to glue. Before putting together permanently, the panel
and the inside edges of the frame (the edges which come next the panel)
must first be planed and smoothed, as this cannot well be done

Then fit the panel in the grooves of the rails (Fig. 508), glue the
tenons of one end of the rails and the grooves or mortises of the
corresponding stile (see _Gluing_), taking care not to put any glue
where it may cause the panel to stick, and fit these parts into place
(Fig. 509). Drive the rails home. Then glue and fit the other side of
the frame in the same way (Fig. 510)--all being done as quickly as
possible. Finally clamp the frame securely (see _Clamps_). The tongued
and grooved joint represented in the accompanying illustrations is not
as good as a mortise and tenon, as already stated, but is shown as a
simple way for making a light door. Leave the work to dry, and when dry
remove the clamps. Saw off the ends of the stiles, and dress off the
surface of the frame with the plane (see _Plane_), after which you can
smooth with scraper (see _Scraper_) and sandpaper (see _Sandpaper_), and
the door or panel will be done. When there is objection to the end of a
tenon showing on the outside edge of the stile, and a blind mortise is
not desired (see _Mortising_), the end of the tenon can be cut a little
short and the mortise-hole on the edge plugged with a piece of wood,
with the grain running the same way as that of the stile. Fit the piece
with a very trifling bevel on the edges, glue, drive tightly into place,
and when dry smooth off (Fig. 511).

[Illustration FIG. 508.]

[Illustration FIG. 509.]

[Illustration FIG. 510.]

[Illustration FIG. 511.]

It is hardly worth while to work out the grooving or grooved and tongued
joints by hand in these days when it can be so cheaply done by
machinery. If obliged to do it by hand, you should have the proper plane
for the purpose, as it will be very difficult and slow work otherwise.

A panel is sometimes made flush with either side of the frame, by having
a deep rabbet on that side, as in the case of a desk lid, for instance,
but this is a form which can well be avoided by the beginner.

=Dovetailing.=--This is an operation requiring considerable skill to do
well and, with the exception of an occasional single dovetail, is not
frequently required in the work of the beginner. It is, however, a
valuable, workmanlike accomplishment and a thoroughly scientific method,
of which the amateur should have some understanding, even if he should
never use it.

[Illustration FIG. 512.]

[Illustration FIG. 513.]

The _common_ form, such as is used in joining the sides of a box (Fig.
512), can be done as follows: Mark the lines _ab_ (Fig. 513) completely
around each piece, at a distance from the end equal to the thickness of
the stock. Lay off the lines _cd_ on the end of the piece A. Lay off the
oblique lines _ec_ on both sides of the piece. With the back-saw cut by
these oblique lines (_ec_) to the lines _ab_. Fasten the piece in the
vise, end upward, for the sawing. With the chisel, cut out the parts to
be removed (marked _m_), as in cutting a mortise (see _Mortising_),
undercutting very slightly at the end (Fig. 302). When this cutting has
been cleanly done, lay the piece A on the end of the piece B in the way
it is finally to go, so that the pins just cut will rest exactly in
position across the end of the piece B. Mark around the pins, forming
the oblique lines _fg_, from the ends of which square the lines _gh_ on
both sides of the piece. Remove the wood as before, taking care not to
cut on the wrong sides of the lines which mark the pins, or the
dovetailing may come together too loosely. When exactly fitted, apply
glue, fit together, and when dry smooth off with plane, scraper, and
sandpaper, as may be required.

[Illustration FIG. 514.]

_Lap_ or _drawer_ dovetailing (Fig. 514) is similar to the preceding
form, but the ends of the pins or dovetails on the piece forming the
side of the drawer are shortened, and the recesses in the front piece
which are to receive them are not cut through. First the side piece A
(Fig. 515) is marked and cut on the principle just shown, the pins being
shorter; then the piece B is marked and cut to fit.

Practised workmen in dovetailing usually (unless symmetry of the pins is
required) determine the bevels for the pins of the first piece by eye,
but the beginner would best not attempt to lay off angles or saw by eye.

[Illustration FIG. 515.]

_Mitre_ dovetailing (_blind_ or _secret_ dovetailing) is used in cases
where it is desired to conceal the dovetails, the result looking like an
ordinary mitred joint, but this is difficult work for the beginner.

=Dovetail Saw.=--See _Saw_ (_Back-Saw_).

=Dowelling.=--Dowels are merely round sticks of different diameters and
usually of hard wood. They can be bought ready made and can be used
instead of nails or screws, or instead of mortising, dovetailing, etc.
They can be used simply as pins or in many cases can be split and
wedged, though the holes must be tapered with a gouge if wedges of much
thickness are to be used (Fig. 516).

[Illustration FIG. 516.]

A common use of dowels is to fasten the frames of tables, chairs,
bedsteads, and various domestic articles.

The use of dowels for such purposes is not to be recommended, however,
although very common in cheap work and in much work which is not cheap
in price. The mortise and tenon is usually much to be preferred.
Dowelling, to be really good, has to be skilfully done, while it is a
very common way to stick the work together in any manner that will look
right on the outside. A dowelled joint is not, as a rule, as scientific
a form of construction as a well-planned mortise and tenon,--a statement
which you can easily prove for yourself by comparing some article of
your grandmother's or great-grandmother's time, and which is still
strong, with some modern dowelled chair, which is in so many cases all
to pieces and thrown on the woodpile after a short term of service. The
gaping joints and dropping apart of modern dowelled work can be seen on
every hand. There are some cases, however, where the use of dowels is
scientific and just what is required. For example, split dowels, wedged
dovetail fashion like wedged tenons, are often very useful (see

[Illustration FIG. 517.]

[Illustration FIG. 518.]

To find the centres for boring, so that the holes bored in the two
pieces shall be in line, you can cut off the heads of some small wire
brads so that they will be pointed at both ends. Stick the brads into
one piece where the centres of the holes should be. Then press this
piece against the other in the position it is to take when the work is
done and the brads will of course prick holes in the second piece
exactly corresponding to those in the first piece (Fig. 517). Instead of
brads, small shot can be used in a similar manner. It is well to take a
round-pointed awl, or some such tool, and carefully prick a small hole
with it at each of the points marked. This is to start the spur of the
bit exactly at the point, as the spur sometimes has a way of working off
to one side, so that the hole may not be in exactly the right place. The
hardest part, however, is to bore the holes exactly at right angles to
the surface, as a slight deviation in either or both may make a bad
angle where the two holes meet. You can sometimes lay the pieces flat on
the bench and arrange boards or blocks so as to guide the bit straight.
The dowels must be thoroughly dry. It is better to have them a trifle
too large, rather than too small, for you can easily trim them down to a
snug fit. Scratch them lengthways with the toothed-plane, or with the
edge of a file. Countersink a little hollow around the opening of each
hole (see _Countersink_), to catch the surplus glue which would
otherwise form a rim around the dowel (Fig. 517). Before gluing you
should fit the work together once, as it is very awkward to make changes
after the gluing is begun. When the parts fit accurately, take the joint
apart for gluing. Brush a little glue around the inside of one of the
holes, dip one end of a dowel in the glue and drive into place. Wipe off
the superfluous glue and repeat the process with each of the dowels in
that half of the joint. Leave this to dry a day, or more if you can.
Then clean any hardened glue from the dowels and glue them, as before,
into the other piece, this time putting glue on the flat surfaces which
are to come together. The whole should be firmly clamped and left to dry
(see _Gluing_ and _Clamps_). Dowels are sometimes used in joining the
edges of pieces, as in Fig. 518, and in many other joints too numerous
to be specified (see _Joints_ and _Jointing_).

Dowelling looks very easy, but it is usually hard for the beginner to
bore the holes straight and to make the pieces fit accurately.

=Dowel-Plate.=--A steel plate with various holes of such sizes that pins
made by driving blocks of wood through them will drive snugly into the
holes made by the corresponding bits. This is useful in fitting dowels.

=Drawers.=--The making of well-fitting and smoothly running drawers is
an operation requiring much skill--more skill than can be expected of
the beginner, or, in fact, than is attained by the average workman. The
beginner should, however, have some understanding of the work, even if
he does not attain a high degree of skill in its execution.

Bear in mind that it is much easier to make a drawer which is narrow and
long (from front to back) run smoothly than one which is wide across the
front, but shallow from front to back.

The more accurately the case which holds the drawers is made, the easier
it is to make smoothly running drawers. In good work having more than
one drawer, a horizontal frame is fitted beneath each drawer for it to
run on. These frames, as well as the whole case, should be free from
winding, and it is also important that the stock for the drawers should
be true. The front and sides of a drawer should be got out to fit very
snugly in their places. The piece for the back is narrower than the
front piece, to allow for the bottom (Fig. 521), and is often cut off at
the top also. The front, sides, and back can be put together with any
suitable form of joint. Dovetailing is by far the best way, but it is
difficult for the beginner (see _Dovetailing_). The joints shown in Fig.
519 can very well be used for ordinary work. These can be quickly made
by machinery (see _Joints_). See also _Gluing_ and _Clamps_.

[Illustration FIG. 519.]

A groove for the bottom must be cut on the inside of the front and of
the sides (Fig. 520). The insides of the pieces must be smoothed before
putting the drawer together. When these parts are fitted, slip the
bottom (previously fitted) into place. It should be got out with the
grain running across the drawer, or parallel with the front (Fig. 521),
and should be glued at the front edge _only_, the rest being free to
swell and shrink, which saves the drawer from injury.

[Illustration FIG. 520.]

[Illustration FIG. 521.]

Be sure that the drawer is rectangular (putting in the bottom will
assist in this) and free from winding. When put together and dry,
carefully smooth the front and the sides. A little trimming with the
plane may be required to make the drawer run freely, but care should be
taken not to plane away too much. A drawer which is a trifle larger at
the back than at the front will run better than if larger in front, as
it will be less likely to bind or catch. Small slides, between which the
drawer runs, are fastened at each side outside the drawer, at the
bottom, and must be adjusted carefully.

Thin blocks or "stops" can be fastened on the cross-frame so that the
inside of the drawer front will strike against them when the drawer has
been pushed in as far as it should go, or the drawer can be stopped at
the back.

A simple way to attach a drawer under a shelf, bench, or table is shown
in Fig. 143. The contrivance shown in Figs. 141 and 142 can sometimes be
used in place of small drawers.

Bayberry tallow is excellent to rub on the sides of drawers.

[Illustration FIG. 522.]

[Illustration FIG. 523.]

=Draw-Knife= or =Draw-Shave=.--The draw-knife or draw-shave is very
useful for slicing off large pieces and for trimming wood into odd
shapes. It can be obtained with folding handles, adjustable at different
angles, for use in places which can not be reached by the blade of the
old-fashioned draw-knife; but the latter is good enough for all ordinary
purposes. Choose a medium-sized or large one. It is in principle simply
a knife or very wide and short-bladed chisel with a handle at each end,
and can be used with the flat side or the bevel against the wood as the
character of the work may require. Having but a short bearing surface to
guide its course, it is very prone to follow the grain and cut deeper
than you wish, so you must take special pains to cut with the grain,
stopping and cutting the other way, whenever necessary. Attachments can
be bought for guiding the draw-knife in chamfering and such cases.

The draw-knife can often be best used with an oblique stroke--either
drawing it sideways across the work at the same time that you pull it
towards you (Fig. 522), or holding it obliquely across the work and
pulling it straight towards you (Fig. 523).

It is one of the most dangerous tools if carelessly left lying around,
and should be kept hung up out of reach of all small children. See
_Paring_, _Bevelling_, and _Chamfering_.

=Draw-Shave.=--See _Draw-knife_.

=Drill.=--Drills for metal only are often useful to the wood-worker, but
the one most important for the amateur is the twist-drill. See

=Drill-Stock.=--There are various patterns of drill-stocks, some of them
automatic, for holding drills of different sizes for small holes. _Hand
drills_ with revolving handle, like an egg-beater, can be used for small
drills. See _Bit-brace_.

=Duck's-bill-Bit.=--See _Bits_.

=Expansion-Bit.=--See _Bits_.

=File.=--The file is a piece of hard steel with rows of ridges or teeth
cut obliquely on the surface. When cut in one direction only it is
called _single_-cut, but when there are two oblique rows of teeth
crossing each other it is called _double_-cut. These ridges incline
towards the end or point of the tool, so that the file, like the saw,
plane, and scraper, cuts when pushed forward. Files for wood have wider
teeth than those for metal, so do not use a wood file on metal or a
metal file for wood. The slab-sided shape (Fig. 524) is perhaps the most
useful, if you can have but one file. A round "rat-tailed" file is also
useful, and various other shapes if you can have a variety. For metal,
the triangular, flat, the half-round, shown in Fig. 525, and the
rat-tail are best. Files are very important for smoothing or rounding
edges and curving surfaces.

[Illustration FIG. 524.]

[Illustration FIG. 525.]

Before beginning to file, be sure that the wood is firmly secured so
that it will not slip and so that you can use the file with both hands.
Hold the tool with the right hand, thumb uppermost, and steady the end
with the left hand, thumb uppermost (Fig. 526), or with the fingers or
palm. To file squarely across, push the tool steadily and evenly
straight forward, without rocking up and down, and pressing only on the
forward stroke.

[Illustration FIG. 526.]

In filing rounded surfaces, a rocking motion is often helpful and the
way and direction in which to file in such cases must depend upon the
shape of the work and the grain of the wood, as you will quickly learn.
See _Rounding-sticks_.

Press lightly the first time you use a new file, until the fine edges of
the teeth have been worn a little, as a violent filing on the first
strokes may damage the cutting edges of the teeth.

When a file becomes clogged with wood-dust or other substances, soak it
in hot water a little while and then brush with a stiff brush. A
_file-card_ is useful. A piece of dog-fish skin, if you can obtain it,
cuts somewhat like a file or coarse sandpaper, and is useful for curved
surfaces where you wish to use the tools after smoothing.

=Filing.=--See _File_.

=Filing (of Saws).=--See _Sharpening_.

=Finishing.=--To acquire a high degree of proficiency in finishing
indoor wood-work requires long training and practice, but the simpler
processes can be undertaken to good advantage by the beginner.

There are a number of ways from which to choose. Simply rubbing
thoroughly with linseed oil gives a good, soft, permanent finish, which
some prefer to anything else, but you should be sure that all
superfluous oil is rubbed off. Do not hang a recently oiled book-shelf
or cabinet against the wall-paper of the room, for fear of defacing it.
An oil finish, unless rubbed a good deal, has the disadvantage of
getting soiled and collecting dust and dirt, but it is easily
sandpapered and renewed and is certainly in better taste than a coarse,
shiny, cheap varnish.

An old-fashioned way is simply to apply a mixture of turpentine and
beeswax, rubbing it as long as your strength and patience will allow.
Melt some beeswax in a can or saucepan and, when melted and taken from
the stove, pour in enough turpentine to make it the consistency of
paste. Then apply with a brush or cloth and rub in and clean off the
excess with a stiff brush or cloth, scrubbing the work as you would a
stove. This makes a beautiful finish, soft and lustrous. It shows spots,
however, and, though it is so easily applied, it requires continual
renewing and rubbing to be kept in good condition.

To make a hard and durable coating on the surface of the wood some kind
of varnish is required. There is nothing better than shellac for the
purpose of the amateur. It is not very hard to use, and there is
certainly nothing which gives a finish of nicer quality. The surface
dries quickly and the coat hardens more rapidly than most kinds of
varnish. For some cases, as a boat, it is well to shellac first and
finish with good varnish.[43] Shellac is cut (dissolved) in alcohol, and
can be bought prepared, but it is better to cut it yourself, to
diminish the chance of adulteration with cheaper substances. Orange
shellac will do for most of your work. Into an open-mouthed bottle put
some of the shellac (which comes in flakes and looks somewhat like glue)
and pour over it enough grain alcohol (95 per cent. grade) to somewhat
more than cover the shellac. Cork the bottle and leave in a warm place
until the shellac is cut. Shaking will hasten the process. Wood alcohol
can be used and is cheaper, but work done with it is not so good. It is
a deadly poison taken internally and on account of the fumes it is best
not to use it for a long time in a close room. If the tawny tint of the
orange shellac is objectionable, white (bleached) shellac can be used,
but this it is well to buy already prepared. It is a little harder to
use than the coloured kind.

Use a flat bristle-brush and not a soft camel's-hair brush, unless for
the last coat. One from one inch to two inches wide will be probably
suitable for most of your work. For large surfaces, however, a larger
brush is better. After using, always clean the brush thoroughly with

Always shellac in a warm, dry place, free from dust--never where it is
cold and damp; but on the other hand do not leave the work close to a
hot stove or it may blister.

The shellac should be quite thin. It should flow very freely from the
brush. Of the two extremes, it is better to have it too thin rather than
too thick. Three or four thin coats give a much better result than two
coats of thick, gummy shellac. Never try to thin it with anything but
alcohol. Keep the bottle corked to prevent evaporation of the alcohol
and to keep out the dust.

Before beginning to shellac, see that the work is free from dust. Pour a
small quantity of the shellac into a small dish of glass or earthenware,
not of tin. Before applying to the wood, wipe the surplus shellac from
the brush on the edge of the dish, so that it will not drip, and then
lay on the coat as evenly and smoothly as possible, working from the top
or from one end or side, and with the grain, so far as possible.[44] Do
not apply the brush at first exactly at the edge of the surface, lest
the shellac collect too thickly at the edge, but apply the brush first a
little way on the surface and _then_ work from the edge. Work quickly
and lightly. Begin and end the strokes of the brush gradually--lighten
them at the end--so as to avoid a "lap" when the strokes begin again.
Do not work over the coat after it has begun to set or try to patch up
spots. Simply lay it on as well as you can and let it go at that. If it
is not right you will know how to do better next time.

Give each coat plenty of time to harden before applying
another--twenty-four hours is none too long. Do not put on five or six
coats in a day as is sometimes done. The outer coat hinders the drying
of the shellac underneath, by keeping the air from it,--just as with
paints,--and the way to do durable work is not to put on a fresh coat
until the previous one is thoroughly dry and hard. Shellac dries very
quickly so that you can touch it, but does not get really hard
throughout for some time, so do not be in haste to put on a second

If there are holes, cracks, or defects of any kind to be filled up, this
is the time to do it--after the first coat is hard. One way to do this
is to hold a hot iron close to a piece of shellac directly over the
hole, which will be filled with the melted shellac. The surplus can be
carefully pared off after it is hard. Another way is to use wax coloured
to match the wood. The wax can easily be coloured by melting and adding
a small quantity of whatever dry colour--burnt umber, for instance--may
be required. Do not use putty in such cases.

When the first coat is hard, skim over the surface with very fine
sandpaper (00), to remove any roughnesses, and apply the second coat.
This is sometimes sufficient. If not, sandpaper and shellac again, and a
fourth time if necessary. When you have a sufficient "body" of shellac
on the wood, you can much improve the quality of the surface by rubbing
it down with powdered pumice-stone and oil, which will remove the
"shiny" effect and leave a softer and finer surface. To do this, take a
bit of felt or haircloth, and wet it with thin oil (kerosene will do,
or petroleum, or linseed oil thinned with turpentine or benzine, but
the latter is dangerous to have around), take up a little of the pumice,
and carefully and evenly rub over the surface, with the grain, renewing
the oil and pumice as may be needed, or they can be sprinkled on the
work. But be careful to rub evenly and not too long on any one spot, for
it will be hard to repair the damage if you should rub through to the
wood. Wipe the whole off thoroughly with soft cloth. This process will
be sufficient for most amateur work. For some work simply rubbing down
with the finest sandpaper wet with oil is enough. In using sandpaper for
rubbing down nice work, split it--that is, remove the outer layer of
paper, which will leave the sanded layer thin and pliable and less
likely to scratch or rub through the finish. A handful of tightly
squeezed curled hair can be used.

If varnish is to be used over the shellac as in case of a boat, simply
sandpaper the shellac and do not rub with pumice and oil.

With fine-grained wood, such as cherry, the process given above is all
that will be required, but with coarse, open-grained wood, like oak, a
good many coats will be needed to fill the pores and give a smooth
surface. Therefore a "filler" is often used to fill the pores of the
grain. This is cheap and can be bought in the form of paste (either
light or dark), which you can apply according to the directions on the
can. Rub it into the wood thoroughly, let it stand until it begins to
set, or stiffen, then rub it off with a bit of burlap or any coarse
material, _across the grain_ (lest you wipe it out of the pores). After
it has become hard enough, sandpaper, and clean off any that may remain
on the surface. Then shellac as described. The filler can have the
shade of the wood, or sometimes, as in oak, the figure of the grain can
be brought out finely by using a filler somewhat darker than the hue of
the wood. Be sure to clean off the filler thoroughly, using a tool to
clean out the angles and corners, or the finished surface will have a
cloudy or muddy appearance.

The general directions given for shellacing apply also to the use of
varnish, but varnishing is in some respects harder for the amateur to do
well. Consult the dealer about the kind of varnish and the brush best
suited to the particular piece of work you have in hand. The final coat
of varnish can be rubbed down with pumice or tripoli and water.
Rotten-stone used with oil (petroleum is good) is excellent for giving a
soft polish.

French polishing is often attempted by the amateur, but it should be
learned by taking a lesson from a practical polisher, and not from a
book. The general idea of the process is as follows: A wad or pad of
wool is made and on this is poured thin shellac, adding whatever alcohol
may be necessary. This wet pad is then covered with a piece of clean
linen, a drop of oil put on the outside to prevent the shellac from
sticking, and the pad is then quickly passed over the surface with a
circular motion, or with longer strokes in the form of the figure 8, or
in some cases simply back and forth. After doing this for a while a very
thin coat will have been deposited. This is allowed to dry for a short
time, when the process is repeated, again and again, until a sufficient
body of the polished finish has been formed. The details of the process
vary with different finishers. It is quite easy to polish a small flat
surface or such an object as the arm of a chair, but it is much harder
for an amateur to successfully polish a large flat surface, like a
table-top, except after much practice. A first coating of shellac
applied with the brush and skimmed over with sandpaper will save labour
in the polishing process.

Before refinishing old work it should, if the surface is in bad
condition, be scraped down to the wood, using the scraper and finishing
with sandpaper. A chisel (used like the scraper) is sometimes convenient
to remove a thick body of old varnish. If the surface does not need
scraping, it should be cleaned, either by washing with soapsuds or it
can be scrubbed clean with the finest sandpaper, split, using oil or
water as the case may be, but seeing that the work is wiped off
perfectly dry before applying a new coat. Pumice can be used, as already
described, and a stiff brush, like a nail-or tooth-brush, is excellent
for cleaning out corners and carved work.

For simply brightening and cleaning furniture, a mixture of equal parts
of linseed oil and turpentine with a minute quantity of japan is
excellent. It should be well rubbed and carefully cleaned off. This will
make scratches and bruises less conspicuous, and will make the article
look fresher for a time, but it is only a cleaner and not a substitute
for refinishing.

=Firmer-Chisel.=--See _Chisel_.

=Fore-Plane.=--See _Plane_.

=Framing-Chisel.=--See _Chisel_.

=Gauge.=--There are many kinds of gauges in the market, but they all
depend on the same principle, having a block, head, stock, or fence, to
slide along against the edge of the wood, and a bar, beam, or stem,
which slides through the block, can be set to project from it at any
required distance, and which has near its end a spur or marking point
(Fig. 533). The stem has the divisions of a rule marked upon it, so that
the spur can be readily set at the required distance. In some gauges the
spur or marking point is sharpened to an edge parallel with the head,
rather than to a point, as it is more certain to make a clear, sharp
line, and is best when slightly convex on the side toward the head (Fig.
527). This gives the spur a tendency to run the line _away_ from and not
toward the edge where the head is, thus helping to keep the head close
up to the edge. Sometimes a round point is used, and occasionally a
knife point or blade for cutting thin stock into strips; and sometimes a
wheel with sharpened edge. A form of gauge adapted for gauging from
curved as well as straight edges is also made. Do not trust the accuracy
of the scale marked on a common gauge, for if the spur is at all out of
place, as is sometimes the case, you cannot rely upon the scale. Test by
measuring from the head to the spur with the rule.

[Illustration FIG. 527.]

The _mortise-gauge_ has two spurs, one of which is movable and can be
set at any required distance from the other, so that two lines can be
marked at once, as for a mortise. This is a time-saving tool, and very
convenient, but not a necessity for amateur work.

There are gauges with long beams or stems and with long heads for
gauging across wide spaces, but when you need anything of the sort you
can easily make it and use with it either pencil, awl, or knife, as may
best suit the case in hand.

If you wish to draw a line two inches from the edge of a board, for
example, you can mark off two or more points at the required distance
and with a rule and pencil draw the line through these points. If you
were to make the points so near together as to touch, you would have the
line without needing the ruler. This is what the gauge does. It makes a
continuous measurement and a continuous mark, which is of course the
line required.

The only gauge you need for rough work is a rule (or even a stick) and a
pencil. To draw a line, for example, two inches from the edge of a
board, take the rule in one hand, and lay the end flat on the surface of
the board so that it laps over two inches from the edge (Fig. 528).
Place the forefinger underneath, against the edge, so that the end of
the rule will remain two inches from the edge, and simply slide rule and
finger along the edge, holding a pencil at the end of the rule with the
other hand to make the mark. The finger must be kept evenly pressed
against the edge. This is only suited for rough work, or for getting
out stock approximately to shape, and of course cannot be depended upon
for accurate measurement.

[Illustration FIG. 528.]

[Illustration FIG. 529.]

[Illustration FIG. 530.]

Something more accurate, with which you cannot get splinters in your
finger, can easily be made, when needed, in this way. To run a line two
inches from an edge, for example, and parallel to it, simply take any
short stick and cut a piece out of it at one end so that the distance
from the shoulder to the end will be just two inches, as shown in Fig.
529. Apply this to the edge of the piece and slide it along on the same
principle as the rule and finger, being careful to keep the shoulder
pressed up to the edge and the pencil or knife held firmly against the
end. Instead of cutting out a piece you can nail one piece on another
(Fig. 530). The latter is better for straight work because the head or
fence is longer and so can be more securely pressed against the edge. An
objection to this gauge is the need of making a new one for every
measurement, but where there is occasion to keep repeating a measurement
it is particularly convenient and quickly made.

[Illustration FIG. 531.]

[Illustration FIG. 532.]

For another home-made gauge (Fig. 531) cut a recess in one side of a
block just wide enough to hold the rule and just deep enough so that
the flat side of the rule will project a trifle above the surface of the
block. On this side of the block fasten a small strip, with a screw, so
that when the two pieces are seized in the hand the rule will be held
fast at the point to which it is adjusted. This is more accurate than to
use the hand alone. You can readily contrive such arrangements, which
will be quite accurate if carefully used, but it is not worth while to
spend much time over such makeshifts (except in case of necessity), for
a fairly good gauge can be bought for a small sum.

[Illustration FIG. 533.]

The gauge is usually an awkward tool for the beginner to use. He finds
it hard to keep the stock firmly against the edge while sliding it
along, and lets the spur dig or plough deeply into the wood--the spur
tends to follow the grain of the wood and when the grain runs toward the
edge the result is often as shown in Fig. 532, the stock being pushed
from the edge. The stock is then pushed back and the wobbly process
continued. To avoid these errors, the gauge, held well in front of you
in one hand, should be tipped or inclined from you so that the spur will
be drawn along the surface (Fig. 533) and will make but a slight
scratch. Then, keeping the stock or head _firmly pressed_ against the
edge, push the gauge steadily from you, watching carefully to see (1st)
that the spur does not begin to dig into the wood instead of lightly
scratching it, and (2d) that the head does not slip away from the edge.
This will prevent the point catching or jumping and will insure a good
mark, which can easily be deepened by going over the line a second time
if necessary.

It is easier to mark a line when the spur is near the head of the gauge
than when it is run out to some distance. The guiding power of the fence
or head is greater over a point near to it than over a point at a
distance, from which you can readily see that, conversely, the longer
the head or fence, the easier the gauging becomes--that is, for
_straight_ lines, which is much the most common use of the gauge. In
gauging from a curved edge, a long fence, unless curved, would be

Where it will injure the work to have the gauge marks show (as when the
work is to be finished with shellac or varnish), be careful not to carry
them farther than necessary, as very slight scratches show plainly after
finishing. Otherwise, in cases where the marks will not show or do no
harm, as in rough framing, it is as well to run them past the required
points, as it is quicker to do so and the juncture of lines which cross
is more distinct.

Gauge from the same side of the wood in laying out mortises or any lines
intended to be in the middle of a piece of wood, or at a fixed distance
from one edge, else if the edges are not exactly parallel (as is often
the case) the markings will differ. See also _Scribing_.

=Gimlet.=--The gimlet is useful, cheap, and good for boring where the
hole does not come near the edge, but near the edge or in thin wood
great care must be taken to prevent splitting. If necessary to use it in
such a case, keep turning it backwards for every turn ahead and do not
try to force it through the wood. It is better, however, to use some
other tool if you can (see _Bits_ and _Twist-drill_), for the tapering
form of the gimlet gives it a wedge-like, prying action upon the woody

=Gimlet-Bit.=--See _Bits_.

=Glazing.=--An old chisel can be used to clean off old putty before
setting glass. On new work, see that the rabbet or shoulder where the
putty is to go is primed with lead paint before putting on the putty
(see _Painting_). You can buy glazier's points, to hold the glass in
position under the putty, for a trifle, or very small brads can be used.
No special directions are necessary for using the putty.

To set common glass in furniture, as in bookcase doors, it is better to
fasten it in place with small strips, not pressed too tightly against
it. Strips of plain moulding are good. To set plate glass in furniture,
the same means can be used for small pieces, but large plates, as for a
mirror, should be held in place by little strips of soft pine, one or
two inches long, bevelled on one side. The other side being glued, these
strips can be lightly pressed into the crack around the glass. These
short pieces, glued to the frame on one side and with the bevelled side
wedging the glass into place, hold the latter securely, but, owing to
the softness of the wood, not too rigidly.

=Glue.=--See _Gluing_.

=Gluing.=--Glue is made from refuse animal matter, and also from parts
of fishes, the latter being known as fish glue. It comes in sheets or
cakes or flakes, to be dissolved and used hot, or already prepared in
liquid form.

The majority of practical mechanics prefer the former (_i.e._, "hot"
glue) for nice work, although the use of liquid glue has increased much
of late years. Hot glue is probably preferable if all the conditions are
just as they should be, but if not so, liquid or "cold" glue may be

Buy the best grade. It is the cheapest for good work, and you will not
use enough to make the price much of an obstacle. The only _sure_ test
by which to buy glue is to get a little and see how it holds. A good way
to prove the quality of your glue is to soak it over night, or as long
as may be necessary, in whatever quantity of water you think it will
absorb. The more it will swell without dissolving, the better the
quality. _Poor_ glue will dissolve.

You cannot positively tell good glue by the colour, for there are many
kinds (and for more than one purpose) and many makers, but whatever the
colour, the glue should be clear looking and not cloudy or muddy. Do not
use glue that has a mouldy or otherwise disagreeable or offensive smell
or a bad taste.

To prepare hot glue, break the glue into small pieces, and soak it in
all the cold water it will absorb for perhaps twelve hours, when it will
have become swollen and softened and will look and feel somewhat like
jelly. Then put it in the inner glue-pot (see _Glue-pot)_ and cause the
water in the outer vessel to boil for several hours. It is quicker to
dissolve the glue at once without soaking, but the result does not seem
to be quite as good as by the former method. The glue to be right for
use must be thin enough to drip from the brush in a thread or stream,
without collecting in drops like water, and you can tell something about
its being in condition to use by testing it between your fingers. Do not
weaken its strength, however, by diluting with more water than is

It is important to keep the glue and the glue-pot clean, and if the
odour from your glue becomes offensive at any time clean out the
glue-pot and make fresh.

Glue loses strength by repeated meltings, so do not dissolve too much at
a time, and after heating it over two or three times throw away any that
is left in the glue-pot, cleaning the latter thoroughly. On work which
you are very particular about mix fresh glue each time.[46]

You can make a good glue-brush of a stick of rattan. Soften the end in
hot water and pound it with the hammer until the fibres separate. For
corners, cracks, holes, and the like use sticks, which you can whittle
to any required shape.

Although apparently too simple an operation to need much explanation,
and often ignored in books on wood-work, as if anyone could of course
glue two pieces together, the operation, to be really successful, calls
for more knowledge of the principles involved than beginners or amateurs
usually possess. Do not daub a thick layer of lukewarm glue on the
pieces, and then slap them together as you would make a sandwich, after
the usual domestic fashion. Done in this way the pieces often stick for
a while, but there is nothing certain about it.

We have seen that wood is full of little holes (pores, as they are
commonly called), or spaces between the fibres (see Fig. 6). The glue
becomes worked into these little pores and that is what gives it such a
firm hold on the wood, somewhat as plastering is forced (purposely) into
the cracks between the laths.

So you must have the glue thin, that it may fill these little cavities
and get a "grip" on the wood; you must have it hot, that it may the more
easily penetrate these open spaces before it becomes chilled; you must
have the wood warm, that the glue may not be chilled and begin to set
before it has a chance to penetrate the interstices of the wood; and you
must press the pieces together so hard as to expel the body of glue from
between them, forcing it into the pores and squeezing outside what will
not go in, to be wiped or scraped off afterward. For what you want is
not to have the two pieces held together by a layer of glue between
them, lightly sticking to each surface and separating the two in
proportion to the thickness of the layer; but to have the two surfaces
as close together as possible, held so by the tenacity of the glue
reaching from the cavities of one surface to those of the other. The
closer the surfaces are forced together the better, as the glue will be
less exposed to the atmosphere.

You will see from all this that gluing should be done in a warm room of
an even temperature.

While with hot glue it will not do to change the relative positions of
the pieces after putting together, you can have considerable time to get
them in position if the liquid or cold glue is used. Where several
places in the same piece of work have to be glued together at the same
time, it is frequently very hard to get around with the hot glue before
that first applied has begun to set, unless you have help. In such
cases, cold glue is a great convenience. If your shop is not warm or if
you cannot have your glue hot, you had better use the liquid glue. It
takes much longer to set than the other. In cold weather it should be
slightly warmed. It can be thinned with vinegar or acetic acid, or what
you wish to use at once may be thinned with water. Do not pour water
into the can of glue, as it will not keep so well.

You will also readily see that it is much easier to make good glued
joints in soft wood than in hard, for the former is more readily
squeezed to a fit by the clamping, while with the latter it is quite
essential that the pieces should fit with extreme accuracy before
clamping (see note under _Clamps_).

Before beginning to glue have everything laid out, fit the pieces
together, clamp them up just as if you had put on the glue, and see that
everything comes together right--_i.e._, rehearse the gluing process
before using the glue itself. This is a very important point,
particularly when there are several pieces to be glued, for you will
have no time to waste after you have begun to use the glue.

Do not spread the glue on too thick. Take the dirt off both pieces,
then, while putting the glue on one, have the other warming slightly at
the fire. The moment the glue on the brush leaves the glue-pot it begins
to cool. If it fairly begins to set before you get the two pieces
together, your joint will not be good. You will have to take it apart,
scrape off all the old glue, and begin over again. So you will see there
is no time to be lost when once you begin and it will be too late then
to correct any mistakes in the fitting of the wood-work. Good workmen
always put the work together and take it apart again before gluing.

Do not wipe off the glue which squeezes out from a glued joint (unless
for some special reason) nor wash it off with water. Let it harden, and
clean it off after the joint has set. It helps protect the joint.

Do not be in haste to unclamp your work. When to release it depends on
the kind of wood, the kind of work, and the circumstances under which
the gluing is done, and no exact time can be set. If for some temporary
and unimportant purpose and in soft pine, for instance, you can unclamp
in a few hours or even less, but for important work, which is to hold
permanently, twelve hours is scarcely time enough even for soft wood and
hot glue, and twenty-four hours is none too long, for though the glue
dries quickly to the touch, it takes considerable time to get thoroughly
hard. It is safer to allow more time for hard wood. The thickness of the
stock makes a difference also. Large junks and blocks and boards glued
flatways require more time than 1/4" stock, thin strips, or little
splinters. You can tell something by the condition of the glue that is
squeezed from the joint. Liquid glue sets much more slowly, and
twenty-four hours is soon enough to release the work under average
conditions. The warmth and dryness of the air make a good deal of
difference. Under unfavourable conditions more than forty-eight hours
may be required.

If for any reason you cannot clamp a joint, after applying the glue rub
one piece back and forth upon the other a few times.

Rub wax, soap, or tallow on any part which must not be stuck by surplus
glue which may exude from a joint, as in the case of a panel which may
become stuck by the glue used in fastening the frame (see _Doors and

To glue two pieces where the surface is to be planed or trimmed at the
joint, do not glue them together after they are planed or trimmed, but
glue them first, and plane or trim them afterwards, taking care to have
the grain of the pieces run in the same direction (see _Jointing_).

To glue pieces end to end, or as in a mitre,--that is, "end
wood,"--first size with thin glue to stop the pores, else the glue will
be quickly soaked up. Then, after allowing this coat to stand, glue in
the ordinary way. But glued joints in end wood are seldom good and are
to be avoided.

A great deal of glued work comes apart, and a great many mistakes in
putting work together are caused by not understanding, or not bearing in
mind, the way wood expands and contracts and warps and winds from heat
and cold, dryness and moisture. This is an important matter if you wish
to do good gluing. Do not think that all that is necessary is to have
your wood dry and that then you can glue the pieces together in any
relative positions. Veneers or thin pieces are sometimes successfully
glued with the grain of the pieces running at right angles, as seen in
chair seats, but as a rule avoid gluing wide pieces together with the
grain running at right angles. See _Laying out the Work_, in Chapter
IV.; also _Jointing_.

=Glue-Pot.=--This can be bought of copper, iron, or tin. A medium-sized
one is more useful than a very small one. Have a cover to keep out dust
and loose particles.

If obliged to make shift without a proper glue-pot, always use two
dishes like a regular glue-pot, with water in the outer one, on the
principle of the double boiler used for cooking, else the glue will be
sure to burn and be spoiled. Two cans, such as are used for tomatoes or
other vegetables, can be used on a pinch, one being larger than the
other and fastened in place with wire or in some way to keep the smaller
can from moving around too much; but a regular glue-pot is much better.
See _Gluing_.

=Gouge.=--This tool is similar to the chisel, except for the curvature
across the blade. The common gouge has the bevel on the convex or outer
side and is known as an "outside" gouge. This is the more useful for
ordinary work. The "inside" gouge has the bevel on the inner or concave
side. Although very useful for many purposes, it is less important for
general work and is harder to sharpen. Gouges are of various degrees of
curvature, Fig. 534 showing a "flat" and a "quick" curve. Those of
moderate depth and curvature will be more useful for your work than very
deep or very flat ones.

[Illustration FIG. 534.]

[Illustration FIG. 535.]

In using the common or "outside" gouge, light, short strokes should
usually be made, for only the bevel of the tool bears on the wood, which
makes this gouge quite hard to control.

You can often apply the principle of the sliding or sideways cut in
using the gouge, as with the chisel, to good advantage. You can roll the
gouge around with your hand from side to side so as to make it cut
slantingly. This is particularly useful to give a clean cut when gouging
across the grain (Fig. 535). In some cases, in working out a moulding,
for instance, you can hold the tool at an angle with the work and get a
better result than to push it straight forward lengthways (Fig. 536).

[Illustration FIG. 536.]

Be careful not to scoop out little hollows below the required depth of
the cut, and keep the direction of the grain in mind the same as with
the chisel. The little inequalities left by the gouge can be reduced
easily by the file, curved scraper, or glass and sandpaper. See

=Gouge-Bit.=--See _Bits_.

=Grindstone.=--When you get to the point of having a grindstone, get one
which is somewhat soft and fine, for if too coarse it will produce a
rougher edge than is desirable for your tools.

Do not allow your grindstone to become softened in spots by being left
partially immersed in a trough of water, as it will wear away
irregularly. With the best of care a stone will, however, become untrue
after continued use, not merely in its circular outline, but the face
will become hollowed and uneven. It must then be trued, either by some
one of the contrivances now made for the purpose, or by simply turning
the stone into the correct shape by holding the _end_ of a piece of soft
iron, as a piece of pipe, against the surface, without water, moving the
iron as occasion requires, until the stone becomes true.

=Grooving.=--Grooves of different dimensions are often required for
various purposes in wood-working. By far the best way, as a practical
matter, is to take the work to a mill and have the grooving done by
machine, which is not expensive. It can be done by hand with the planes
devised for the purpose (as the plough), but though these are valuable
tools, they are largely superseded, or becoming so, by machine-work, and
it is usually fully as well for the amateur to take such work to the
mill as to buy the tools.

In some cases the sides of the groove can be sawed by the hand-saws and
the material removed by the chisel, but this is not easy if the groove
is long. Pieces are sometimes clamped beside the line to guide the saw
and sometimes even attached to the saw itself, or to a piece of
saw-blade. The lines for the groove can be scored with the knife or
chisel and the wood between removed by the chisel, much as in cutting a

In nice work, as fitting a shelf in a bookcase, it makes a better joint
not to fit the entire end of the shelf into a groove, but to cut a
tongue or wide tenon on the end of the shelf, with a shoulder at each
side and the front edge, to fit into a corresponding groove, as shown in
Fig. 284.

=Half-Round File.=--See _File_.

[Illustration FIG. 537.]

[Illustration FIG. 538.]

[Illustration FIG. 539.]

[Illustration FIG. 540.]

[Illustration FIG. 541.]

[Illustration FIG. 542.]

=Halving.=--This joint shown in Fig. 537 is a common, simple, and good
way of joining two sticks when they cross at right angles or obliquely.
Place the sticks in position and mark the width of each upon the surface
of the other, using a knife or chisel for scribing. With small sticks
the wood can be removed with the knife, first cutting a notch at each
side and then paring off the wood between (Fig. 538). With large pieces
the lines should be marked by the square, the depth (one-half the
thickness of either piece) by the gauge. The lines at the outside of the
space can then be sawed down to the gauge line, taking care to keep just
on the inside edge of the line. The wood between can be pared out with
the chisel down to the gauge lines. When the halving is at the ends of
the pieces or at the end of one piece (Fig. 539), the process is the
same, except that the wood can be entirely removed by the saw. Other
forms involving bevelling and dovetailing are shown in Figs. 540, 541,
and 542. This principle of the lap joint is often carried a little
further and we have the open mortise and tenon (Fig. 543), which can
successfully be applied to a mitred joint and can also be dovetailed,
and boxes are now made by machine with the corners entirely made up of a
continuous series of these joints (Fig. 544). See _Joints_.

[Illustration FIG. 543.]

[Illustration FIG. 544.]

=Hammer.=--The hammer is made in many forms, but the common kind used by
carpenters will usually answer your purpose, and is too familiar to
require description. For general use select one of medium size and
weight. Remember that the face of the hammer-head, although harder than
the nails it is meant to drive, is not intended to pound every piece of
hardened steel you may run across, nor to break up boulders when you are
after minerals. For the use of the hammer see _Nailing_.

=Hand-Screws.=--Hand-screws are of great use in clamping work that has
been glued and for holding pieces in any required position. Wooden
hand-screws are probably the most generally useful, but a couple (or
more) of the simple iron clamps will be of great service at times, as
they can be used more advantageously than the wooden ones in some kinds
of work. Get medium-sized hand-screws rather than small ones if you can,
as they will be generally more serviceable.

[Illustration FIG. 545.]

[Illustration FIG. 546.]

[Illustration FIG. 547.]

To open or close a hand-screw, hold it at arm's-length in front of you
with a handle in each hand, and with a twirling motion revolve it toward
or from you, as may be required, to increase or decrease the opening
between the jaws. The screws should be greased or rubbed over with
black-lead, soap, or bayberry tallow.

To hold two pieces together with uniform pressure is of course necessary
for gluing and various other operations, but a little practice will show
you how to adjust the hand-screws so that the jaws will bear on the wood
evenly. The main point to remember is to keep the jaws parallel. The
final tightening is given entirely by the outer screw, so, in adjusting
the screws, leave the jaws open a little at the tip as in Fig. 545, that
when the final pressure is put upon the outer screw the jaws will bear
on the wood with an even pressure (Fig. 546). If the jaws were adjusted
to bear evenly before tightening the outer screw, the final result would
be as shown in Fig. 547.

[Illustration FIG. 548.]

In clamping together finished work or pieces which could be injured by
the pressure, always put pieces of waste wood between the work and the
hand-screws. In case of delicate work, like carving or mouldings, a
piece of _soft pine_ placed between the surface and the hand-screws or
clamps will enable considerable pressure to be applied without injury to
the work.

A simple home-made clamp, suitable for such work as temporarily holding
in place parts of the frame of a boat, for instance, is shown in Fig.
548. See _Clamps_ and also Figs. 66 and 647.

=Hatchet.=--The hatchet is too familiar to need description. A common,
medium-sized hatchet, that can easily be swung with one hand, is all
that the beginner will ordinarily require, although there is quite a
variety of hatchets and axes for various purposes.

The main thing in the use of the hatchet, besides keeping your fingers
out of the way, is to look sharply after the direction of the grain of
the wood, as it is not easy to stop a blow in the wrong place, for the
hatchet is not so easily controlled as some other tools. Experience is
the best teacher in the use of a hatchet. For removing superfluous wood
with the hatchet, see _Paring_.

=Hinges.=--There are many varieties of hinges for various purposes. The
common kind, like that shown in Fig. 135, had best, for neatness' sake,
on moderately heavy work, be narrower than the thickness of the stock,
so as not to extend across the edge. The hinge should be sunk in the
wood of one or both of the parts to be hinged--in the case of many
boxes, for instance, one half of the hinge when shut is usually sunk in
each part, but in some kinds of work the whole thickness may be sunk in
one part. The hinge can be held in position on the edge (in the case of
the box) so that the centre of the pin on which it turns is in line with
the back of the box, or sometimes a little outside. Marks can be made
with the knife or chisel at the ends of the hinge, and the recess in
which it is to fit marked with the square and gauge. This wood should be
removed with the chisel, first making cross cuts to break up the grain,
as in Fig. 614. Fit the other hinge or hinges in the same way. Next lay
the lid exactly in position on top of the hinges and mark by them and
cut the recesses in the top in the same way. Hold the hinges in place
with two or three screws each and see whether the cover opens and shuts
as it should. Make any needed alterations, and finally screw the hinges
firmly in place. Another way is to place the lid exactly in position
(shut) and mark directly from the hinges, on both box and cover at the
same time, the points from which to lay out the recesses. It will be
well to look at a properly fitted hinge for a similar purpose before
beginning your work, since one rule cannot be laid down for all cases.

For strap-hinges, T-hinges, and the like, see page 247.

=Holes and Cracks, To Fill.=--The simplest way to stop holes, cracks,
checks, and the like, in painted work, is with putty, always applying it
_after_ the first coat of paint and never before (see _Painting_), but
this method should not be used for other than painted work, and the
nicer the work, the less desirable the use of putty becomes.

For nice work, as furniture, which has not been finished, small holes or
cracks are often stopped by putting a daub of hot glue on the smooth end
of a piece of wood of the same kind as the article, and with a sharp
chisel, held nearly at right angles with the surface, scraping off fine
wood-dust, which, mixing with the glue, forms a paste with which the
crack can be more than filled. When hard, the surplus can be pared and
scraped off.

Plaster of Paris (calcined plaster), mixed with very thin hot glue, is
excellent for stopping cracks and holes of considerable size. It can be
mixed with water only, but this is not as good.

[Illustration FIG. 549.]

Fitting in a plug of wood is a good way when the hole is of such shape
that you can do so, making the grain of the plug run the same way as
that of the piece to be plugged. Taper the plug slightly, so that when
driven in it will fit tightly and not be flush with the surface, but
project above it (Fig. 549). Dip in hot glue, and drive well in. When
dry smooth off. If the hole is irregular, trim to some shape to which
you can fit a plug. In nice work take pains to have the plug a good
match for the rest of the wood.

Slight cracks at the end of a piece can often be plugged and at the same
time secured against further splitting by sawing directly down the
crack, so as to remove it and substitute a straight saw-kerf. In this
kerf a slip of wood can be fitted and glued.

Wax, and also melted shellac, can be used to stop holes and cracks in
finished work. For this, see under _Finishing_.

=Jack-Plane.=--See _Plane_.

=Jointer.=--See _Plane_.

[Illustration FIG. 550.]

=Jointing.=--This term is applied to the act of straightening and making
true the edges of two boards or planks which are to be joined to make a
tight joint, with glue or otherwise. It is, also, popularly applied to
straightening the edge of one piece only, as to "joint" the edge of a
board. This you will often have to do, and for jointing two edges which
are to be glued particular care will be required. Assuming that the
edges have been got out nearly straight, the only plane you will require
is the fore-plane,--or better, the jointer, or even the "long" jointer
if the piece is long and you are fortunate enough to have these
tools,--and it should be set fine, although if the edge is very crooked
and you have to work off much superfluous stock, the iron can be set to
make a coarse shaving at first.

In shooting or jointing edges it is customary to hold the finger under
the sole of the plane as a guide (Fig. 550). This helps in regard to the
common fault of tipping the plane sideways so as to plane off more on
one side than on the other (Fig. 551). This trouble may be aggravated by
a wrong position of the left hand on the fore part of the plane in case
you use a wooden plane (see Fig. 624 for correct position). Keep testing
across the edge with the square (Fig. 640). The shooting-board can be
used to advantage for short pieces (see _Shooting-board_), and
attachable guides can also be obtained.

[Illustration FIG. 551.]

The jointing should be done with long, deliberate, steady strokes. Any
hasty, hit-or-miss slashing away with the plane will be sure to result
in a bad joint, and you can easily get the edge into such shape by three
or four careless strokes that it will take you a good while to get it
straight. Try also to avoid planing the edge rounding, from end to end
(see _Plane_, Figs. 635-637). Sight along the edge. Also test with
straight-edge, looking toward the light. If any shines through, the edge
is not yet accurate and the process must be resumed.

If you are jointing two edges, as for a "glue-joint," first examine the
pieces to see which edges will best go together, according to the
purpose for which they are intended. Look at the end grain so as to
arrange it in different ways if you are building up a piece of selected
parts (Fig. 559). If merely joining two or more boards to make a wider
one, notice the way the grain runs lengthways, and the way it crops up
to the surface, for you will have, for everything but the roughest work,
to plane the surface over after the joint is glued, and if the grain
runs in two or three different ways it will be harder to make the
surface smooth. There are cases, however, in handsomely figured wood, as
quartered oak or mahogany, where you will arrange the grain in the way
that will look the best, but in such cases you expect to go through
extra labour for the sake of having the article as handsome as possible.
With soft, straight-grained white pine or whitewood, these matters are
of less importance. When you have the pieces laid together in the best
way, mark on the surface right across the joints (Fig. 552) so that you
will know how to put the pieces together, for you will forget how they
were arranged after you have moved them around a few times.

[Illustration FIG. 552.]

[Illustration WRONG. RIGHT. FIG. 553.]

Joint each edge separately. For nice work it is well to joint the edges
of the successive pieces alternately from opposite sides,--that is, if
in planing the edge of the first piece the marked (or face) side of the
board is _towards_ you, plane the edge of the next piece with the face
side of the board against the bench, or _away_ from you. This helps to
counteract the result of any tendency to tip the plane to one side or
any inaccuracy in setting the plane-iron. See _Shooting-board_.

Then, putting one piece in the vice with the jointed edge upwards, lay
the other edge upon it in the proper position and see if the two edges
touch throughout. If not, one or both must be planed with thin, careful
strokes until they do fit, for the joint will not be good unless the
edges coincide. Remember, however, that it takes more than merely
touching to make a good joint. The _surfaces_ of the boards must be in
line (in the same plane). Of course this really depends upon the edges
being square. Test by holding a straight-edge, the square, the edge of
the plane, or anything straight, against the surface of the boards (Fig.

Do not be misled by the directions you may see in "amateur" books and
magazine articles which tell you, for cases like this,--when you wish to
glue up the lid of a desk, for instance,--to plane and sandpaper your
boards carefully on the sides and then fit the edges together, after
which you "have only to glue the edges and the job is done." That is not
the right way to make a glued joint, as you will find out for yourself
after you have planed a few dozen boards the second time. The skilled
workman seldom attempts to do this except in repairing or some case
where the surface of the pieces must be preserved. The practical
work-man's way (which is the way for you), is to glue first and plane
afterwards. The best way, practically, is to glue up the rough boards
before they have been planed at all, and then have the whole planed down
as one piece by machine to the required thickness. Of course you should
get the surfaces as nearly in line as you can, to avoid needless planing
afterwards, but give your special attention to making the joint hold
(see note under _Clamps_).

Sometimes the edges of boards to be glued are purposely planed,
hollowing lengthways, so that the two pieces touch at the ends, but do
not quite come together in the middle, the idea being that a clamp at
the middle will force the joint together for its whole length and will
give a stronger result than to attempt to make both edges exactly
straight. If there is to be any open place in the joint before gluing,
it is better to have it at the middle than at the ends, but there is a
difference of opinion as to whether there is any advantage in springing
boards to fit in this way.

Before gluing hardwood edges, it is well to tooth them over with the
toothed-plane, if you have one. (See _Plane_.)

See _Plane_, _Gluing_, _Joints_, _Cleating_, _Dowelling_, etc.

=Joints and Splices.=--There are many kinds of splices and joints used
in the different branches of wood-work, a few of which are here given.

[Illustration FIG. 554.]

The common square butt-joint (Fig. 554) is the simplest way to join two
pieces at right angles, as in making a box or frame, and is used for all
common work. Glue is of but little use with this joint. Rely wholly on
nails or screws.

[Illustration FIG. 555.]

To make a better joint, cut a rabbet at the end of one piece and you
have a joint (Fig. 555) which shows less end wood, and can be helped a
good deal by gluing, on account of the shoulder.

[Illustration FIG. 556.]

Another way is shown in Fig. 556. Some strength and stiffness is gained
by the tongue and groove, but a groove near the end introduces an
element of weakness.

[Illustration FIG. 557.]

A much stronger way and a tighter joint (Fig. 557) is often used for
cisterns, water-tanks, and horse troughs, but the projecting ends are
objectionable for most purposes. See _Halving_, _Mitring_,
_Dovetailing_, and also _Box-making_, page 219.

In nailing any such joints as those just shown, remember to always bore
holes for the nails wherever there is danger of splitting. See _Awl_,
_Bits_, _Boring_, _Nailing_.

There are many ways, besides those just mentioned, for joining sticks
and timbers at right angles, which is something you will often have to
do, whether for a kite or some small framework or for the timbers of a

To join two or more boards or planks to make a wider surface, several
methods can be used. Cleating, though strong and suitable for all such
work as drawing-boards, rough doors, and the like, is often undesirable,
both on account of the looks and because the cleats may be in the way
(see _Cleating_). The simplest way, without cleats, is to glue the
jointed edges (see _Jointing_ and _Gluing_). Dowels can be used with
this joint (see _Dowelling_), or grooves can be cut and a strip or
spline or tongue inserted (Fig. 558). This last way can be done at the
mill quicker and better than by hand. The edges can also be halved, or a
rabbet cut in each edge from opposite sides. The boards can also be
"matched" (see page 46), in which case it is not usual to glue them. All
of these joints can best be made by machine.

[Illustration FIG. 558.]

[Illustration FIG. 559.]

To avoid the warping and change of shape to which wide pieces are
subject, particularly when they are not middle boards (see Chapter III),
they are often built up of selected narrower pieces (Fig. 559). This is
done for many things,--the frames of machines, the tops of
sewing-tables, drawing-boards, chopping-blocks, etc. Masts, bows,
fishing-rods, and the like are sometimes built up of selected pieces,
the idea being that a better result can be obtained by combining
selected smaller pieces, that flaws and defects (which are apt to occur
in larger pieces) can be avoided, and that sometimes the grain can be
arranged to better advantage. This is doubtless true, but there is
always the objection that glued joints may give way. If you can get a
piece which is practically perfect, it is probably in most cases better
than a glued-up combination, for it is not easy to improve on Nature
when you can get her best specimens; but unless you can get
_first-class_ stock of the dimensions required, it is better to "build
up" with smaller pieces of selected stock.

Where the ends of two pieces come together and you wish to make a close
joint, you will, of course, saw the pieces off as squarely as possible,
using the square or perhaps the mitre-box. If you mark and saw them with
exactness, and if everything about their arrangement is straight and
square and true, the ends will come together exactly and make a close
joint, but as a practical matter this frequently will not happen,
however careful you may be. For nice work, the workmanlike way in such
cases is to plane or pare the ends until they fit, but for rougher work
the expedient of sawing the ends to fit can be resorted to. To do this,
put the ends together as they are to go (Fig. 560), keep them from
moving, and saw straight down through the joint. As the saw will leave a
kerf of uniform thickness, the pieces can now be pushed together and the
ends will fit, unless the joint was very much open, in which case you
have only to saw again, and if necessary repeat the operation until the
ends fit. This is a very useful expedient in case of need, but should
not be relied on as a regular way to make joints, lest it engender a
careless and inaccurate method of work. This applies also to joints
which meet at any angle.

[Illustration FIG. 560.]

[Illustration FIG. 561.]

In some cases, where only one side of each piece shows, as in laying
floor-boards, it is usual to undercut the ends slightly--that is, to
make the joint a little open at the bottom, which gives a tight and neat
joint on the side which shows (Fig. 561, which is exaggerated).

Another way to make an end joint is by bevelled scarfing or splaying
(Fig. 562). You will see the ends of the clapboards on old houses joined
in this way, and it doubtless makes a better joint in many cases than
the common square or butt-joint, but it is more work. Strips of moulding
are often cut in this way.

[Illustration FIG. 562.]

[Illustration FIG. 563.]

[Illustration FIG. 564.]

There are many ways of splicing two or more pieces so as to get greater
length, many of them, such as are used in bridge-building and
roof-framing, being quite complicated. You will rarely, however, in
such work as you will do at first, have occasion to do more than nail
strips (fish-plates) on the sides of the pieces or make a halved splice
or scarfed joint (Fig. 563). The latter is often made longer than that
shown and fastened in various ways. A joint for a brace is shown in Fig.

See _Cleats_, _Doors_, _Dovetailing_, _Dowelling_, _Gluing_, _Halving_,
_Mitring_, _Mortising_, _Nailing_, etc.

=Keyhole Saw.=--See _Saw_.

=Knife.=--An excellent knife for shop work is a sloyd knife. A good
shoe-knife will do very well. This is better for shop work than a
jack-knife. It will not close on your fingers for one thing. For general
purposes, however, a pocket-knife is the best thing, as you cannot carry
a sloyd knife around with you. In buying it get a good plain knife with
not more than two or three blades and of the best steel you can afford.
Do not waste money in trying to get your whole kit of tools into the
compass of one jack-knife handle. In selecting a knife, open the blades
and sight along the back to see that each blade is accurately in line
with the handle, as they are sometimes fastened at a slight angle, which
weakens the knife.

An immense variety of work can be done with a common pocket- or
jack-knife, which is the best _emergency_ tool for either the beginner
or the skilled workman. One great thing about whittling is that you
cannot rely on squares, rules, or compasses to get your work right, but
must be independent, think quickly, look sharply, and rely on your own
faculties. A knife is so easy to sharpen that there is not much excuse
for using a dull one. See _Sharpening_.

In cutting, always keep your left hand _behind_ the blade, and as a
general rule cut _from_ you, for the tool may slip and cut you instead
of the wood. There are cases where you have to cut towards you, but
there is never any need of getting your left hand in front of the

=Level.=--A spirit-level is important for some work, but not often
necessary for the beginner, as a substitute can easily be made. A
horizontal or level line being at right angles with a vertical line, a
home-made level can be made by using the principle of the plumb-line, as
shown on page 96. When the plumb-line hangs freely on the line _ab_,
which is at right angles to _cd_, the latter line (_cd_) must of course
be level. The frame should be several feet long for levelling large
work, as it can be adjusted more accurately than if small.

=Linseed Oil.=--See _Finishing_ and _Painting_.

=Locks.=--Use locks of good quality or none at all. Never put very cheap
locks on good work. There are many varieties of locks, some to be
screwed on the outside of the wood, others to be sunk in recesses cut in
the side of the wood, others still to be let into mortises--chest-locks,
door-locks, cupboard-locks, drawer-locks, etc.

To fit a chest- or box-lock (not a mortise-lock), place the lock in the
right position, mark around the part required to be sunk in the wood,
which can be cut away with gouge and chisel, the keyhole having been
bored quite through the wood and trimmed to a neat outline which will
conform to the shape of the key. When the lock has been screwed in its
recess, put the "hasp," or part which is to be on the lid, into its
place in the lock, just where it will be when the chest is locked. Then
close the lid, and by slightly pressing you can make a mark on it to
show where to put the hasp. Sometimes you can mark the place with a
pencil, or by putting transfer-paper between the hasp and the wood, or
by rubbing blackened grease on the plate of the hasp. The plate of the
hasp should be sunk in the lid to be flush with the surface, and may
then be screwed on, bearing in mind the thickness of the lid when
selecting the screws. A mortise-lock is fitted in a similar way, but let
into a mortise (see _Mortising_).

To fit a common drawer-lock, determine the place for the keyhole and
place the lock in position on the inside as before. With a pencil mark
the outline of the box-part of the lock, which bears against the wood.
Cut away the wood within this line, making a recess slightly deeper than
the thickness of the box-part of the lock. The hole must be bored for
the key, as before. Put the lock into place and mark the outline of the
outer plate, not merely on the inside of the drawer front but also on
the top edge. Cut away the wood with the chisel to let the plate sink
flush with the wood. When the keyhole is shaped, try the lock and if it
works, screw it on. Close the drawer and turn the key hard to raise the
bolts (the tops of which have been previously rubbed with blackened
grease, such as can be scraped from an oil-stone, or using transfer
paper), which, pressing against the wood, will mark the places for the
mortises into which they are to slide. Cut these mortises and the drawer
can be locked.

The variety of locks and their arrangement in regard to fitting is so
great that it will be best for you to examine a well-fitted lock for the
same purpose that the lock you have to fit is intended, for one rule
cannot be given for all cases.

=Mallet.=--The mallet, which is merely a hammer with a wooden head, is
made in various forms and sizes, from the big beetle of the wood-chopper
to the ladies' carving mallet. It is used to strike the wooden

For heavy work a mallet with the handle put through the head from the
outside, like the handle of a pickaxe, is good because the head cannot
come off. A rounded head with the handle on the end (like a
potato-masher) saves having to notice how you hold it, as it is equally
effective in any position. A mallet of this type can be turned all in
one piece. Hickory or lignum-vitæ or any dense, hard wood is good for a

You do not gain force by using the mallet instead of the hammer, but the
softer and more yielding blow of the mallet saves the tool-handle.

=Marking.=--For all rough work the ordinary carpenter's pencil,
sharpened flatways, like a screw-driver, is the most convenient and
durable instrument. For nicer work, where you need more accurate lines,
the common round pencil (medium hard or rather soft) is all you need,
but for nice, close work (such as marking accurate joints), a knife, the
corner of a chisel, a marking-awl, or a scriber of some sort is
necessary. There is no need to buy any tool for this, although they are
to be had--nothing is better than a common pocket-knife or a chisel.
Keep your pencils sharp by rubbing them on a piece of fine sandpaper, or
an old file.

[Illustration Fig. 565.]

In scribing with the chisel, the edge is drawn along with one corner
slightly raised and the flat side next the straight-edge, holding the
tool either like a pencil or for deeper scoring as in Fig. 565.

In all marking and scribing, whether with pencil, awl, knife, chisel, or
other tool, be sure that the marking edge is kept close up to the rule,
straight-edge, or square, as it will often tend to follow the grain of
the wood and run off the line, and will sometimes force the
straight-edge or square out of position if the latter is not held

Do not try to stop lines which meet at a given point, but let them cross
one another when they will not show in the finished work, as it is
quicker to do so and the crossing of two lines marks a point more
accurately than a dot. For work to be finished, however, scoring the
surface with lines should be avoided wherever they will show, as they
will become conspicuous after the work is finished.

[Illustration THIN RULE--FINE WORK. FIG. 566.]

[Illustration THICK RULE--ROUGH WORK. FIG. 567.]

In marking lines with a _straight-edge_ or ruler you must be careful
that it does not slip. If it is long you can put weights on it. To mark
a line _accurately_ through given points, the ruler should not quite
touch the points, but be pushed almost up to them and equally distant
from each (Fig. 566). This will give you a clear view of both points so
that you can be sure that the pencil or whatever you mark with will go
as nearly as possible through the centre of each. Bearing the pencil
against the edge of the ruler, you can slant it a trifle till the
pencil-point will just coincide with the given point on the wood, and,
keeping the same inclination, move the pencil along the ruler, and it
should also go through the second given point. This applies to a regular
ruler with a comparatively thin edge, and to fine work only. In marking
by a thick edge, or where extreme nicety is not required, you will of
course put the straight-edge right up to the points and run the
pencil-point along in the angle (Fig. 567).

Besides marking lines, the straight-edge (in some form), is used to
determine whether a surface is true. See _Straight-edge_.

For rough, off-hand marking, particularly on undressed stock, chalk is
often best. Sticks, shaped like school-crayons, of graphite or some
black composition, are good for rough marking.

The _chalk-line_ is used for distances too great to be covered
conveniently by a straight-edge and in places where the latter could not
so well be used. The chalk-line is a chalked cord drawn taut between the
two points to be connected. It is better to use a small cord than a
large one, and blue chalk is often preferred to white. Fasten one end of
the cord with a loop around an awl or nail at one end of the desired
line, and from this point chalk the cord, holding it between the thumb
and the chalk so that the cord will bear on the flat side of the chalk
in such a way as to wear it away evenly without cutting it in two. Then
draw the chalked cord tight to the other end of the desired line and,
holding the end down with one hand, lift the cord from as near the
middle as practicable with the thumb and forefinger of the other hand
and let it snap back on to the surface. The cord should be raised
squarely from the work and not pulled slantingly to one side or the line
will not be straight.

=Marking-Awl.=--See _Awl_.

=Marking-Gauge.=--See _Gauge_.

=Matching-Plane.=--See _Plane_.

=Measurements and Measuring.=--For various suggestions, see _Rule_, and
also pages 47, 48, 50, 167 (footnote), 244, and 261.

=Mirror-Plates.=--A good way to fasten such articles as mirrors,
cabinets, etc., to the wall is by mirror-plates, which you can buy or
make yourself of brass. These should be sunk in the wood so as to be
flush with the back side of the shelves. After being fitted, they should
be taken off during the process of finishing the work.

=Mitre.=--See _Mitring_.

=Mitre-Board.=--See _Mitring_ and also page 92.

=Mitre-Box.=--If you can afford it, an iron mitre-box which will cut at
various angles will be very useful. You can make one yourself of wood.
You can get a carpenter to make you one for a small sum, but the iron
ones are better. See page 90.

=Mitre Shooting-Board.=--See page 94.

=Mitring.=--A common joint is the mitre (Fig. 568). Its only advantage
is that it shows nothing but a line at the angle and the "end wood" is
entirely concealed. It is a weak joint at best, even when made by a
skilled workman, and is particularly hard for an amateur to make well.
The slightest variation in one of the corners of a frame or box throws
the whole structure out of shape and in attempting to correct the error
the other joints are apt to be opened, and if the whole is finally got
together in a fashion it is often after bother enough to have
accomplished much good work in some other way.

[Illustration FIG. 568.]

[Illustration FIG. 569.]

[Illustration FIG. 570.]

The mitre is particularly unscientific for wide pieces used flatways
(Fig. 569), as the inevitable expansion and contraction of the pieces is
very apt to cause an open joint. If the wood is not quite dry, so that
it shrinks, the joint may open permanently toward the inside corner, for
when the wood shrinks in width the pieces will become narrower and so
separate at the joint, leaving a crack, tapering from the inner to the
outer corner. Even if the wood is thoroughly seasoned it will expand and
contract more or less. When it expands, the joint will tend to open at
the outer corner (Fig. 570). When it contracts it will tend to open, as
just shown (Fig. 571), at the inner corner.

[Illustration FIG. 571.]

[Illustration FIG. 572.]

[Illustration FIG. 573.]

Of course there are some cases, as in making a picture frame of prepared
"mouldings," when mitring is the only way in which the frame can be put
together, and there are some other cases in which it is the most proper
and suitable joint, but as a general rule, for amateur work,
particularly in framing where strength is a consideration, avoid the
mitre. Other and better forms for anything like a box are shown in Figs.
554, 555, 556, 557.

The mitre is sometimes strengthened for box work and the like by fitting
a spline or tongue with the grain running across and not lengthways of
the joint (Fig. 572.) This, properly glued under pressure, makes a good
joint and one much superior to the plain mitre. But, though easy to do
with machinery, it is a slow and careful job to make such a joint by
hand, and if a case arises where you wish it done you had best take the
work to a factory, where a circular saw is all that is needed.

The principle of halving shown in Figs. 539 and 543, can also be applied
to a mitred joint.

Saw-kerfs are often made (Figs. 573 and 574) into which small strips are
tightly fitted and glued. This is a good way and easily done, once
having got the mitre properly put together. A combination of the mitre
with the joint shown in Fig. 555 is shown in Fig. 575. See also
_Dovetailing_ and _Joints_.

[Illustration FIG. 574.]

[Illustration FIG. 575.]

[Illustration FIG. 576.]

To lay off a mitre, or the lines by which to cut the intersection of any
two pieces at any angle, a simple way is that shown in Fig. 576. The
pieces are laid one above the other at the desired angle. Then the
points of intersection are marked on each edge. Lines connecting these
points will give the desired angles for sawing. The square can be used
to help in determining the points accurately and to project them to the
upper side of the top piece.

=Mortise and Tenon.=--See _Mortising_.

=Mortise-Chisel.=--See _Chisel_.

=Mortise-Gauge.=--See _Gauge_.

=Mortising (Mortise and Tenon).=--If you can get out two pieces and fit
them together accurately with a mortise-and-tenon joint, and do the work
well, you will be competent to handle a great many of the difficulties
of ordinary wood-work.

You will often have occasion to use this joint. The mortise is the hole
in one of the two pieces to be joined. The tenon is the pin or
projection in the other piece, shaped to fit the mortise.

[Illustration FIG. 577.]

[Illustration FIG. 578.]

[Illustration FIG. 579.]

To lay out a mortise and tenon (Fig. 577), select and mark the working
faces for each piece. First take the piece in which the mortise is to be
cut (Fig. 578). Square two lines, _ab_ and _cd_, across the face and the
same distance apart as the width of the piece on which the tenon is to
be cut. Carry these lines across the side X (_ae_ and _cf_) and also
across the side opposite to X (that is, the side where the tenon will
come through).

Next take the tenon-piece (Fig. 579) and measure from the end a distance
a little greater than the width of the face of the mortise-piece, and at
this point square a line, _gh_, across the face of the tenon-piece.
Continue this line, _gi_, around the piece, with the square.

Now take the gauge and, setting it at the distance from the face settled
upon for the mortise, scribe the line _jk_ on the side X and also on the
side opposite X. Also from the face of the tenon-piece, without changing
the gauge, mark the line _lm_ on the side X, on the opposite side, and
on the end. Set the gauge to measure from the face to the other side of
the mortise,--that is, add the width of the mortise to the figure at
which the gauge was set,--and scribe another set of lines, _op_ and
_rs_, in the same manner as before, remembering to gauge all the time
from the same face.

In the coarser kinds of work, where marks on the surface do no harm, the
gauge marks can be run across the other lines, as being easier and more
distinct, but in fine work, especially that which is to be finished,
care should be taken not to make scratches that will be seen when the
work is finished. The parts to be cut away are indicated by cross marks
(Fig. 580) and it will be seen at once that the tenon and mortise are
laid out correctly.

[Illustration FIG. 580.]

To cut, take first the mortise-piece and fasten it securely by vise or
clamp in a convenient position. The simplest way to remove the wood is
to bore a series of holes with a bit of a diameter as nearly the width
of the mortise as you have (Fig. 580), but a trifle smaller. This
removes a large part of the wood with but slight danger of splitting.
The rest can easily be trimmed away to the lines with the chisel, taking
care not to jam the chisel down lengthways of the mortise when the
latter is blocked with chips or firm wood, or the wood may split off at
the side of the mortise.

To cut out the wood with the chisel only (or to trim the ends of the
mortise after using the bit), bear in mind the way the chisel acts when
you drive it into the wood. If both sides of the chisel were bevelled
(as is the case with carving chisels), it would tend to go straight down
into the wood, and if held vertically would make a vertical cut (Fig.
581), but the chisels you use for mortising are flat on one side and
bevelled on the other. Being one-sided in this way, the edge of the tool
is forced by the inclined bevel to slide off, so to speak, more or less,
in the direction of the side which is flat. You can prove this easily by
holding a chisel across the grain of a board and driving it in. If you
hold the tool lightly, you will see that as you drive it in it will
incline to cut under, always on the side which is flat (Fig. 581).

[Illustration FIG. 581.]

[Illustration FIG. 582.]

This shows how to go to work to cut a mortise so as to keep the sides
square and true. If you put the chisel at the end, flat side outward,
the cut will tend to run under and make the hole too large below the
surface. If you turn the tool the other way, it tends to slip in towards
the middle of the mortise. So, to cut out the wood, take a chisel just a
trifle less in width than the mortise, and, beginning near the middle of
the mortise, hold the chisel as in Fig. 582 and make successive cuts,
working toward the end, first in one direction and then in the other,
giving the chisel handle a slight pull toward the centre of the mortise
each time you move it, to loosen the chips (Fig. 583). You can thus work
safely toward the ends, which will be left slanting (Fig. 584).

[Illustration FIG. 583.]

[Illustration FIG. 584.]

[Illustration FIG. 585.]

After cutting about half through the piece in this way, turn it over and
repeat the process from the other side, the result being a hole like
that shown in Fig. 585. Now turn the chisel around with the flat side
toward either end of the hole, and you can pare down the ends to the
line without danger of undercutting (Fig. 585).

Care must be taken not to jam the chisel down lengthways of the grain
until the hole is practically cleared of wood, or the side of the
mortise may be split off. Use the chisel lengthways of the grain only at
the end of the process, to pare the sides of the mortise evenly, with
light strokes, down to the line.

In all the use of the chisel, take pains to hold it vertically as
regards the _sides_ of the mortise--that is, do not tip it over
sideways, or the mortise will be slanting or too wide at the bottom.

The common firmer- or paring-chisel can be used for all light mortising,
but for heavy work the regular mortising-chisel should be used (see

To cut the tenon, simply saw carefully on the line _gh_ and its opposite
(Fig. 579) and then on the lines _lm_ and _rs_. Be careful not to cut
beyond the line, so as to make the tenon too small. It is easy to trim
it a little with the chisel if it is too large. Cut a little bevel
around the end of the tenon, so that it will drive through smoothly
without catching and tearing the sides or ends of the mortise. When it
goes through properly and the tenon and shoulder fit snugly, the
projecting end of the tenon can be sawed off after the whole job is

The tenon should be just large enough to drive through with a slight
pressure and fit snugly without any wobbling around. It should not be so
tight as to require much force to drive it home, or there will be danger
of splitting out the sides of the mortise.

[Illustration FIG. 586.]

[Illustration FIG. 587.]

[Illustration FIG. 588.]

There is no absolute rule as to how wide to make the mortise and tenon
in proportion to the width of the pieces. It depends on the kind of
work, the kinds of wood, the kind of strain to be put on the joint, and
various circumstances too complex to be gone into here. If the tenon is
very thin it will be weaker than the sides of the mortise (Fig. 586). If
very thick, the sides of the mortise will be too thin and will be weaker
than the tenon (Fig. 587). One third of the width is as thin as a tenon
is often made. It will then sometimes be weaker than the sides of the
mortise, as you can see from Fig. 588. But it all depends on what the
joint is for. If it is to stand violent wrenching, the tenon in this
case might break before the mortise-cheeks, and had best be made a
little thicker, with the sides of the mortise a little thinner; but, on
the other hand, if the joint is merely to hold the tenon-piece in
position, as in case of a post resting on a sill, one third is plenty
wide enough for the tenon, as it will be best not to weaken the sill by
cutting any larger mortise than is necessary. Sometimes the tenon-piece
is simply let in to the other piece for its full width. This is called
housing (Fig. 589). Two thirds of the width of the piece is thicker than
you will be likely to have occasion to make a tenon, as this leaves the
cheeks of the mortise very thin. It is wholly a matter of judgment
(between, say, one third and two thirds of the width), according to the
conditions of each job.

[Illustration FIG. 589.]

The length to which a mortise can safely be cut is also a matter of
judgment according to circumstances. If the tenon is thin, the mortise
can be longer than if the tenon is thick, as the cheeks will be thicker
and stronger, but, as a rule, avoid trying to make very long mortises,
unless the tenon is very thin and the wood very strong, as there will
not be strength enough left in the cheeks of the mortise (Fig. 590). Six
times as long as it is wide is about as long as it is well to make a
mortise under ordinary circumstances, though, as just said, it all
depends on the conditions of the particular piece of work.

[Illustration FIG. 590.]

[Illustration FIG. 591.]

When a wide piece is to be mortised into another piece, two or more
tenons are sometimes cut, thus avoiding too long a mortise, but this
will not do for very wide pieces, unless some of the tenons are fitted
loosely, for the expansion and contraction of the wide piece may cause
it to buckle or split if all the mortises fit snugly (Fig. 591).

In such cases as a door-frame or when the end of a board is to be fitted
into the side of a post, a tongue and groove is often used in addition
to the tenon, and this (known as "relishing") is a good way to do (Fig.

[Illustration FIG. 592.]

[Illustration FIG. 593.]

The mortise and tenon given above is a very simple form. Sometimes the
tenon is short and does not go through (Fig. 593). This is a common
form, and is used a great deal in the best work. It is sometimes called
blind mortising, the tenon being known as a "stub" tenon.

Mortise and tenon joints are sometimes merely fitted together, but can
also be glued (see _Gluing_), pinned, wedged, or dovetailed and fastened
with a key.

To pin a mortise and tenon, simply mark a point with square and gauge
upon each side of the piece containing the mortise (Fig. 593), fit the
tenon in place, and bore in from each side (or in rough work bore right
through from one side until the spur appears on the opposite surface)
(see _Boring_). Then drive through a snugly fitting pin and trim off the
projecting ends. The pin should be slightly pointed before driving, on
the same principle that the end of the tenon is bevelled. It is not
necessary to round the pin. An eight-sided one is just as good.

Do not use too large pins. In ship-building, bridge-building, and
old-fashioned house-framing pins and treenails from 1" to 1-3/4" or more
in diameter, are used. Dowels of various sizes will usually answer for
such framing as you may have to do (though a rift-pin is stronger). For
such work as pinning a joint in a chair, you will not need anything
larger than a 1/4" hardwood pin.

You must use judgment as to how near the edge to place the pin. If you
put it too far from the edge, its hold on the tenon will be weak and the
end of the tenon may break out (shear). If you put it too near the edge,
the sides of the mortise may tear or split out.

[Illustration FIG. 594.]

[Illustration FIG. 595.]

Sometimes, particularly in timber work, to insure a snug fit at the
joint, "draw-boring" is resorted to (Fig. 594). The hole for the pin is
not bored through the tenon as just shown, but is bored a trifle nearer
the shoulder of the tenon than the other holes (in the mortise-piece).
The result is that when the pin is driven through it draws the
tenon-piece down to a snug fit at the shoulder. But this has to be done
with judgment. If the hole in the tenon is too much out of line, driving
the pin through tends to split (strictly speaking to _shear_) the end of
the tenon, and too much strain is put on the pin.

In the mortising just shown, there are only two shoulders where the
tenon begins--that is, the tenon is made by only four cuts. This is good
for all common or rough work. In nice work a shoulder is also cut at
each edge of the tenon (Fig. 595). This makes a neater-looking joint, as
these shoulders cover the ends of the mortise completely. When the joint
comes at the end of the mortise-piece, the tenon can extend to the edge
on the outside and the mortise be cut clear out to the end, forming an
open mortise-and-tenon joint (Fig. 543), or a wide shoulder can be left
on the outside of the tenon--the tenon itself being made narrower (Fig.
596). This course is adopted in doors and frames of various kinds (see
Fig. 334).

[Illustration FIG. 596.]

[Illustration FIG. 597.]

[Illustration FIG. 598.]

[Illustration FIG. 599.]

[Illustration FIG. 600.]

A good way to fasten tenons is to wedge them. This can be done whether
the tenon goes through the mortise-piece or only part way, as in a blind
joint. The wedges can be driven between the tenon and the ends of the
mortise (Fig. 597), or, as is often better, driven into cuts made in the
tenon itself, thus spreading the tenon toward the end, dovetail fashion,
making it extremely difficult, or impossible, to pull it out of the
mortise. Before wedging, the mortise should be cut under or enlarged
toward the side on which the tenon comes through (Fig. 598). The wedges
can then be dipped in glue and driven as in Fig. 599. To spread the
tenons themselves, one or two or even three saw-cuts should be made in
the tenon, lengthways and farther than the wedges will extend (Fig.
600). The tenon and mortise having been properly glued, the tenon is
fitted in place, and the wedges, previously prepared of some strong wood
and tapering quite gradually, are dipped in the glue and driven down
into the saw-cuts, thus spreading the end of the tenon into a dovetail
until it fills the mortise (Fig. 601). It is often best to drive the
outer wedges nearer the edge of the tenon than is shown in Fig. 600,
lest the tenon-piece be split.

[Illustration FIG. 601.]

[Illustration FIG. 602.]

The process is much the same when the tenon does not go through the
mortise-piece (Fig. 602). The mortise is undercut as before, and
saw-cuts are made in the end of the tenon. The wedges are carefully
planned and cut so that, when the tenon is finally in place, they will
be of the right size to spread it so as to fit the mortise. The wedges
must not be too long, so as to interfere with the tenon being driven
home or to break off. When you are sure the whole will go into place and
fit snugly, glue everything, start the wedges in the cracks, and drive
the tenon quickly to place. This will of course drive in the wedges,
which will spread the tenon at the end and fix it firmly. In fact, if
well done, you cannot get it out again.

There are other forms of mortise and tenon, but they will be seldom
required by the amateur. See _Joints_.

=Nailing.=--To drive nails, hold the hammer near the end of the handle.
Do not, as is often done by boys and amateurs, grasp it close to the
head. The nearer the end of the handle you take hold, the harder blow
you can strike, just as the longer the handle, the harder the blow. Use
light strokes--mere taps--in starting the nail. After you are sure it is
going straight you can then use more force to drive it home. Do not try
to sink the nail-head quite flush with the wood. Leave that for the
nail-set. You may think that any slight depression you may make if the
hammer strikes the wood will be too slight to be seen, but that is not
so, as the slightest dent or depression will probably show in finished

The head of the hammer should be swung back and forth through an arc of
a circle of which the wrist is the centre. Do this carefully and
steadily and you will send the nail in quicker and straighter than when
you flourish the hammer wildly around in the air and bring it down with
a ferocious bang somewhere in the vicinity of the nail, as boys of all
ages have been known to do.

Now, remembering that the hammer-head will (and should) swing around in
an arc of which your wrist is the centre, you must see that your wrist
is in such a position that the hammer-head can strike the nail
squarely--that is, the hammer-handle, when the head rests squarely on
the nail-head, must be in a line parallel with the flat surface of the
top of the nail (Fig. 603). If the wrist is much above or below this
line, the nail will be struck slantingly, and either be driven crooked
or bent (Fig. 604).

[Illustration FIG. 603.]

[Illustration FIG. 604.]

First place the hammer in the correct driving position, and then swing
it back and forth as nearly in the same curve as you can. Practise this
motion a little on a soft piece of board to see how squarely you can
dent the board and how nearly you can hit the same dent with successive

Frequently a nail does not drive straight, but becomes bent and goes in
the wrong direction. If you withdraw it do not, as a rule, try to drive
another in the same hole, but start it in another place. Sometimes a
nail will be bent because the face of the hammer-head has glue or grease
on it. In such a case rub it on a piece of fine sandpaper or in the
ashes or the ground.

Holes should always be bored when there is any chance of splitting, or
when _slender_ nails are driven into _hard_ wood (lest they bend), but
remember that the hole, particularly in the inner piece, should not be
quite as large as the nail. With nails having large heads it does not
matter in hard wood if the holes in the outer piece are about as large
as the nails, provided the latter drive tightly into the inner piece.

[Illustration RIGHT. WRONG. FIG. 605.]

The hole made by a brad-awl is better, when it does not split the wood,
than one made by a bit or drill, because it does not remove the wood but
merely presses it aside, so that when the nail is driven the fibres tend
to spring back to their original position and close in around the nail,
helping to hold it in place.

In driving the old-fashioned nails, which have two sides parallel, while
the other two incline toward the point or taper, they should be used on
the same principle on which you use the brad-awl. If placed the other
way, the wedge shape of the nail will tend to separate the fibres and
split the wood (Fig. 605). With nails having two sides smooth and two
rough, as you pick them up you can tell by the fingers which way to hold
them, the rough sides going across the grain and the smooth sides with

Nails will drive into hard wood easier if you touch the points to
grease, tallow, lard, or soap.

[Illustration FIG. 606.]

[Illustration FIG. 607.]

[Illustration FIG. 608.]

_"Toe" Nailing._--If you wish nails to hold as much as possible, toe
them--that is, slant them (Fig. 606). You can see at a glance that the
board will be held much tighter than if the nails were driven straight
up and down. Of course you cannot always drive nails this way, and there
are many cases in which you would gain nothing, but it takes only a
moment longer to toe nails, and it is often very useful where you wish
to be sure that the work will hold together. There are many cases where
you cannot nail any other way, as when you fasten a stud to the top of a
sill (Fig. 607), and you can see at once that it is advantageous. Of
course this is not a good method for work which you may wish to take
apart again.

Slanting the nails helps to draw one piece tightly up to another, as is
often desirable for a tight box or a floor (Fig. 608). You can increase
this effect, after you have driven the nail part way in, by drawing the
hammer towards you as you strike, or in the direction towards which the
nail points, thus bending the upper part of it toward the other piece,
which tends to make a tight joint.

_Clinching Nails._--The way to clinch nails is simply to drive them
through against a heavy hammer, or any solid metal object, held on the
other side. As the point comes through it is gradually turned over or
hooked around into the wood and when the head is driven home the point
will be firmly embedded in the wood. Another way is to simply strike the
projecting ends with light, slanting blows. This will gradually bend or
curl the point over to one side, and as it bends over you can pound more
directly downward until the hooked end of the nail is buried in the
wood. Clinching is very useful for many purposes, as in nailing cleats
on a shed door. It is usually best to bend the nails over in the
direction of the grain, rather than across it.

Whether to clinch or toe the nails must depend on the work. Clinching is
better for anything that is to be slammed or subjected to violent
treatment, while in many cases toeing is better, and frequently you
cannot reach the points of the nails to clinch them.

_Blind nailing_ is resorted to in order to have a clear, smooth surface,
as in floors laid with matched-boards. Each board is nailed just above
the tongue, with the nails slanting through the solid part of the board
(Fig. 609). This holds the board down and tends to force it closer to
the adjoining board. The grooved edge of the next board entirely
conceals the nailing and leaves an unbroken surface.

[Illustration FIG. 609.]

[Illustration FIG. 610.]

Another form of concealed nailing, known as "_sliver_" nailing, is
sometimes practised in inside work (sometimes in putting up "inside
finish"). A little shaving is raised with the gouge (an _inside_ gouge
is best) or a narrow chisel, where the nail is to go, and curled away
sufficiently to drive and set the nail (Fig. 610). Hot glue is then
dabbed into the groove, the shaving (which is only raised at one end and
not detached from the wood) is pressed back into place, and the spot
rubbed with sandpaper drawn around a flat block until the shaving is
firmly glued where it belongs. This takes but a moment or two, and when
the work is finally smoothed and finished the place cannot be detected,
if the operation has been properly done. This is convenient to know in
case you have to drive a nail where there is objection to its being

See _Withdrawing Nails_.

=Nails.=--There are many kinds of nails, many more than is worth while
to specify here, as you will probably use those of wire for most of your
work. When another kind would be preferable (as is the case for some
purposes) it will be specified. The nails in common use before the
introduction of those of wire were known as "cut," being stamped from a
sheet of metal, and "wrought," the latter kind being much older and
originally forged by hand into shape, one by one (hence the name), but
now commonly made by machine. The expressions three-penny, eight-penny,
ten-penny, etc., indicate the length, and come from an old custom of so
designating the lengths, but you need only to call for them by the
length, as 2 inch or 2-3/4 inch, in order to get what you want, and you
can easily select whatever degree of stoutness you need. Copper or
galvanised nails and tacks will be needed for your boat-building, copper
being preferable, particularly for salt water.

[Illustration FIG. 611.]

=Nail-Set, or Punch.=--The nail-set, for sinking nail-heads below the
surface, is quite important, and it is well to have a large one and a
fine one. The end of the set or punch must not be allowed to become
rounding or it will be all the time slipping off the nail-head and
punching holes in the surrounding wood. A slight conical depression in
the end of the set is good. Do not use a file for a nail-set, for the
end is too hard and will dent the face of the hammer-head.

When setting nails, hold the nail-set firmly against the little finger,
placing the latter on the wood close to the head of the nail, as shown
in Fig. 611. This will keep the set from slipping off the nail-head and
damaging the work.

=Nippers.=--A pair of these will often be of use in wood-working

=Odd-Jobs.=--A very simple combined tool known as "Odd-jobs" can be used
as a marking-gauge, mortise-gauge, scratch-awl, try-square, T-square,
depth-gauge, mitre-square, spirit-level and plumb, inside-square, and
beam-compass. It is well suited to much amateur work, and is cheap.

=Oil.=--Sperm oil is good to use with your oil-stones. Kerosene is good.
Lard oil can be used. All thick and gummy oils should be avoided. Never
use linseed oil or any similar vegetable oil, as it is not a good
lubricator, and gums the stone. Glycerine thinned with turpentine or
alcohol is sometimes used, and even turpentine alone. For oil for
finishing and painting, see _Finishing_ and _Painting_.

=Oil-stone.=--It is very essential to have a good oil-stone. They can be
found of many degrees of fineness. Those of very fine and hard grain,
which give a keen edge but cut very slowly, will not be found so well
adapted to your use as those of moderate coarseness and softness, which
cut faster. The stone known as Red Washita is good to use for
wood-working tools, as it cuts rapidly. It should be free from hard
spots. The Arkansas stone produces a very fine edge, but is of so fine
texture that it is not so well adapted for your tools as a coarser
stone, unless you happen to find a quick-cutting one. The Turkey stone
will produce a keen edge, but is not so good for your use.

Some stones (and excellent ones) cut best with water. When first trying
a new stone use water, and if the surface does not become at all glazed
or polished it will not be necessary for you to use oil.

The stone should always be kept covered when not in use, to protect it
from the dust and dirt. Set it in a block with a cover or make a box for
it. Always wipe it clean after using, to remove the paste of ground
stone, steel, and oil left on the surface.

When an oil-stone becomes unevenly worn, it can be trued by rubbing it
around on a sheet of sandpaper fastened on a flat surface, like the side
of a board. Water can be used in this operation.

In addition to the ordinary flat oil-stone, slips of stone of various
shapes are useful, a common and useful form being that shown in Fig.
612, wedge-shaped on one edge and convex on the other. If you have
V-tools, carving gouges, or other tools sharpened on the inside, you
must have slips of stone of various shapes with which to sharpen them.
See _Oil_ and _Sharpening_.

[Illustration FIG. 612.]

=Painting.=--You can paint your work very satisfactorily--perhaps not
quite as well or quickly as a skilled painter by trade, but well enough
for all practical purposes if you observe carefully a few simple
principles. If you disregard them and think, like many amateurs, that
anyone can paint right off the first time without any knowledge or
thought, your painting will be botch-work.

Keep your work well painted. It is cheaper in the end to paint
frequently and keep the work protected from the decay and damage due to
exposure--not to speak of the better appearance.

Do not use cheap paint, unless, of course, for some cheap or temporary
purpose, and it is most important that the first or "priming" coat
should be of good quality. If you are obliged to use inferior paint at
all, use the best for the first coat and the poorer quality outside
rather than the reverse, but it is economy of money and time to use good
paint throughout.

Prepared liquid paints are the simplest, handiest, and cleanest for
amateur work, and (if you do not try to economise on the quality) the
best for you to use for many purposes, but for outside work (work
exposed to the weather) you can probably do no better than to use the
best quality of white lead and oil,[48] coloured if desired, which costs
less, is more durable, and which you can easily mix yourself, or buy
already mixed of a painter. If you need but a little, you can get a pot
of paint with suitable brush at a paint shop, returning what you do not
use and paying by weight. But if you have much painting to do, it is
better and cheaper to have your own brushes and paint. The prepared
paints of any colour you can also buy in the form of paste, to be
thinned when used, which is usually cheaper than the prepared paint in
liquid form.

The white lead you can buy by the pound, ground and already thinned with
oil, or, what is perhaps more reliable, ground in the form of paste
ready to be thinned with oil or, if for inside work, with turpentine.
White lead, which is also the basis or an ingredient of the prepared
paints, is a poisonous and unhealthful substance. There is, however, but
slight danger (practically none) from such painting as you will do. But
it is well to wear old clothes when you paint, and carefully wash the
hands and face as soon as the work is done, and in case of continued
indoor painting to see that the room is well ventilated. The mere odour
from a can of paint is enough to make some people feel ill, as you may
know, while it can be used for a long time by others apparently without

In regard to coloured paints, the simplest way is to buy your colours
ready mixed in oil, to be thinned for use, or in liquid form of any
desired colour, prepared to use upon opening the can. You can, however,
colour or tint your paint yourself with various dry colours, which you
can buy in the form of powder at the paint shops for a few cents. It
takes but very little of most colours. Do not stir these dry colours
directly into your paint, but first mix them with oil or turpentine.

It requires considerable knowledge of colours and their combinations to
know how to mix different colours or shades to produce some particular
shade, or to match some tint, but when the exact shade makes no
difference you will have no great difficulty in producing the colour you
wish. Test the shade of your paint on a piece of wood. The way it looks
in the paint-pot is often very deceptive. In making a shade darker,
especially when tinting white paint, be careful to add but a very
little of the darker pigment at first and be sure that it is thoroughly
mixed, or you will be likely to find after you have begun to paint that
you have a much darker shade than you intended. It is surprising how
small a quantity is sometimes needed to tint a whole canful of white
paint--the merest dab of chrome yellow will tint a quart of white paint
to a good cream shade. Remember that it is much easier to add a little
more colour if the result is not dark enough than to lighten the shade
if too dark.

Linseed oil (either raw or boiled) is required with which to mix the
lead and thin it to the proper consistency. Raw oil is best for outside
work that is exposed to the weather, as it is more penetrating and more
adhesive, although slower in drying than boiled oil. Boiled oil does
very well for inside work where it is not exposed to the weather. There
is some difference of opinion, however, in regard to the use of the two

Turpentine is also used for thinning paint. It makes the paint flow
easily and is freely used for that reason, but it probably detracts from
the durability of all paint if used lavishly and should never be used
for outside work. It is commonly used for inside work and causes the
paint to work more freely and smoothly from the brush and to dry more
quickly. It gives the paint that dull, soft, or "dead" appearance often
desired in inside work, instead of the shiny surface which is produced
when mixed with linseed oil alone.

It is usual to add to the paint something else, known as a "dryer," to
cause it to dry more quickly. Japan is one of the best of these
preparations, but be careful to use very little of any form of dryer, as
it is undoubtedly injurious to the durability of the paint and liable to
cause cracking and checking. Avoid all kinds of "chain-lightning"
dryers. Do not add a dryer to the colour until just before you use the
paint and only to the amount you are to use at one time.

Another ingredient, which is not injurious to use, is zinc, but zinc
paints are considered inferior. Red lead is commonly used to paint iron
and is considered very durable for that purpose. Black japan varnish is
often used. Iron must always be dry and it will be better to have it
warm also.

Be sure that your work is thoroughly dry before beginning to paint, else
the wood will be liable to decay, or the paint to peel, or both. Do not
paint wood before it is thoroughly seasoned. Look the work over
carefully and see that it is ready in all respects, before applying the
paint. See that the surface is free from dust.

Look over the work for any knots or streaks of resinous or pitchy matter
and wash them with a coat or two of shellac, to "kill" the turpentine
and prevent its oozing through and spoiling the paint.

Try to mix enough, and only enough, paint for the coat you are about to
put on, but do not mix a great quantity in advance with the idea of
keeping it on hand.

The first coat should be thin rather than thick--with plenty of oil to
saturate the wood. The oil will be quickly drawn into the wood, and you
can readily see that the first coat should be thin to properly soak into
the surface. If thick, the paint will not be sufficiently absorbed, but
the oil will soak in quickly, leaving too much residue of the pigment on
the outside. Work this first coat well into the wood. Take up but little
paint, and draw the brush carefully over the edge of the pail,[49] or
over a wire stretched across the top, to remove any superfluity of
paint, and begin the painting at the highest part of the work, or the
part farthest from you, to prevent spattering or dripping paint over the
freshly covered surface. Begin, also, at one end or side of the surface,
working toward the other end or side, drawing the brush back and forth
both ways to distribute the paint as evenly and smoothly as possible,
and try not to leave any part of a surface untouched until another time,
or it will be likely to show a "lap" where you end and begin--that is,
if you cannot cover the work entirely at one time, leave off where there
is some natural line or break in the work. Finish the side or the end
and do not leave off right in the middle of a flat surface. This does
not matter quite so much in the priming, but will show plainly in the
later coats.

After this coat has had time to dry thoroughly, carefully putty the
holes and cracks. Remember never to use the putty until after at least
one coat of paint has been applied and dried. The reason for this is
that the fresh wood will quickly absorb the oil from the putty, leaving
it dry and crumbly, while if a coat of paint has been put on first and
dried, the wood will be already charged, so to speak; the pores will be
more or less choked up and the bulk of the oil will remain in the putty.

Paint with the grain of the wood, or the long way of the work, using a
large brush for large surfaces and finishing all corners, mouldings, and
edges with a small brush. In doors or panel-work first paint the panels,
then the rails, then the styles (see Fig. 505). You will thus follow the
construction of the work and the grain of the wood, and where you daub
the paint beyond the part you are painting (as you will have to do), the
daub will be wiped out neatly when you paint the next part.

Paint joints in outside work, tenons and mortises, shoulders, etc.,
before putting together, with good white lead. It is not always
customary to paint the hidden parts of joints before putting together,
particularly in cheap work, but it is well to do so in all work which
you wish to have endure, in all framework exposed to water and the
weather, and in boat-building. Exposed work quickly decays at the joints
and seams because the water and dampness collect in such places and do
not run off or evaporate as readily as from a smooth surface, so the
more you can protect these hidden parts with paint, the better, and the
labour is but slight.

When you have paint left in the paint-pot which you wish to keep for use
another time, pour just enough raw linseed oil over the top to cover it
completely. This thin layer of oil will exclude the air and keep the
paint from hardening. When you wish to use it again, pour off the oil or
stir it into the paint, according to whether the latter requires more
oil or not. When you get through painting, if you are going to do more
in a short time, it will do to leave the brush in the paint, but do not
leave it standing or resting on the bottom of the can, as that tends to
bend the ends of the bristles and get the brush out of shape. Rig a wire
hook on the handle and hang the brush so that the bristles will be
covered by the paint, but without touching the bottom. If you are not
going to use the brush again for some time, it should be cleaned and put
away. Turpentine is often used, but kerosene answers every purpose. Be
careful to wash out all the paint, however, as a very little left
between the bristles will stick them together so as sometimes to ruin
the brush. Another way to keep brushes which are in use is to hang them
from the handles in a can partially filled with oil, the whole being
kept covered. Water can be used instead of oil. Arrange it so that the
hairs will be just covered.

The first coat especially should be given plenty of time to dry, for it
is the _foundation_ and _basis_ of the whole operation and the firmness
and durability of the painting depends much upon it.

Each succeeding coat should have plenty of time to dry before applying
another, bearing in mind that applying a second coat, before the first
is fully hard, excludes the air from the under layer of paint and causes
it to dry much more slowly than if left exposed as it should be. In such
cases, the outside surface may often seem to be dry and hard while the
paint underneath remains comparatively soft. When the first layer
finally does dry, the tendency is to crack the surface of the outside,
which has dried first. You can find an extreme illustration of this
point in some old paint and varnish shop where some convenient place on
the wall has been taken against which to slap and work brushes. You can
find daubs of old paint and varnish, sometimes an inch thick, made up in
this way of hundreds of layers slapped on before the previous ones were
dry, the inside remaining soft in some cases after twenty years.

Paint dries, as a rule, more quickly in a warm temperature than where it
is cold, and more quickly where it is dry than where it is damp. So, if
you are obliged to paint where it is cold or damp, you will be justified
in using more dryer than where it is warm and dry.

Sandpaper _nice_ inside work after the first coat and between each two
successive coats. Pumice can be used for old inside work to be
repainted. Steel wool can also be used.

Keep a rag with you, when painting, to wipe off the spattering which you
will be sure to make. It is not easy to get daubs of paint off after
they are hard.

Turpentine will take the paint from your hands, but common kerosene will
clean them satisfactorily when the paint is fresh, and is probably
better for the hands.

=Panels.=--See _Doors_ and _Panels_.

=Panel-Saw.=--See _Saw_.

=Paring.=--In paring or trimming a piece of wood to a line, if there is
much surplus wood to be removed, you can sometimes chop pretty boldly
with the hatchet until you get near the line, provided you watch the
direction of the grain carefully to see that the split cannot run up to
the line; sometimes you can chop safely in one direction but not in the
opposite (Fig. 613), but as a rule keep well away from the line for the
first cut. Even wood that appears to be quite straight-grained will
often split differently from the way you expect.

[Illustration FIG. 613.]

[Illustration FIG. 614.]

[Illustration FIG. 615.]

To trim a piece of wood, like the edge of a board, down to a line, with
a hatchet, for instance, you can first score the piece with a series of
short cuts, stopping short of the line, to break up the grain of the
wood, and then trim these loosened chips off down to the line with the
plane, chisel, draw-knife, or whatever tool may be suitable. The main
point is to cut in such a direction that the grain will not cause the
cuts to extend farther than the line or to run into the main piece of
wood (Fig. 614). The same principle can be applied often in trimming and
removing superfluous wood with a chisel, a draw-knife, or a knife. The
cuts can often be made with the saw to better advantage (Fig. 614). It
takes a little more time to make these cross-cuts with hatchet, knife,
chisel, or saw than to whack away furiously lengthways, as if you were
chopping kindling, but after you have spoiled a few pieces by splitting
beyond the line you will conclude that the former is the more
workmanlike and reliable way.

This same principle is applicable to making chamfers or bevels with a
chisel or knife (Fig. 615). You will find frequent occasion to apply
this principle of breaking the grain into small pieces before making the
final cuts in many kinds of work. It is in constant use in "roughing
out" carving.

[Illustration FIG. 616.]

To trim to a curve as shown in Fig. 616, begin at the edge just
_outside_ of the end of the curve and work _with_ the grain from _a_ to
_b_. It is often a help in such cases to first remove part of the wood
with the saw, as on the lines _bc_ and then _ef._ Finally trim the
curve smoothly close to the line. Frequently this can be done to better
advantage with the work held in the vise instead of lying horizontally
on the bench.

[Illustration FIG. 617. RIGHT. WRONG.]

Paring off superfluous wood down to a given line or trimming off an
irregular edge with the chisel is very easily done provided the grain of
the wood is straight, or runs in the same direction, even if slanting,
as in Fig. 617, because you can then cut with the grain. It is often
better, however, to cut across the grain, or diagonally, with the
chisel, as the wood is less likely to be split by the tool.

When the grain runs in several directions, and keeps cropping up to the
surface and dipping down again as shown in Fig. 701, it becomes more
difficult to pare the surface smoothly with the chisel. In such a case
remember the sliding or drawing stroke and traverse the surface with a
diagonal crossways motion (Fig. 619) that will trim off the fibres with
a slanting stroke without causing them to be torn up. Slant the cut so
that if the wood should tend to split, it will be in the direction of
the part cut away and not towards the piece to be kept--_i.e._, so that
the chips will split and not the body of the wood. Reverse the chisel
and cut in the opposite direction when a change in the direction of the
grain requires it. Some pieces are, however, so extremely irregular that
you cannot do this, but must slice away the best that you can and leave
the rest to other tools. In cutting off a corner or rounding or
bevelling an edge you can use the slanting cut (Fig. 620).

[Illustration FIG. 619.]

[Illustration FIG. 620.]

In using the chisel for paring, let the left hand, which is nearer the
cutting-edge than the right, act as a brake or countercheck or drag to
check the progress of the tool. It is largely by the varying balance of
these two forces--the pushing forward of the tool with the right hand
and the checking and controlling with the left--that correct and
effective control of the tool is gained. The left hand should in many
cases rest upon or grasp the wood as well as the blade. See _Chisel_.

=Paring-Chisel.=--See _Chisel_.

=Parting-Tool.=--See _Carving Tools_.

=Pencil.=--See _Marking_.

=Pincers.=--There are various kinds of _pincers_, _pliers_, and
_nippers_. A pair of common pliers and also cutting nippers will be very

=Plane.=--A plane is in principle (roughly speaking), as you will
readily see, nothing but a chisel stuck through a block of wood or iron.
Small or narrow surfaces may be smoothed to a certain degree by the
chisel, the knife, or even the hatchet, but for large surfaces something
is needed which can be more exactly controlled than the knife, ax, or
chisel, held in the hands. So, to hold the chisel firmly in one position
and to apply force to it more advantageously, it is firmly fixed in a
block of convenient size and shape and becomes a plane.

A very short block will prevent the chisel cutting deeper at one point
than another, but the tool will follow the irregularities of the surface
and, though it may make the surface smooth, it will not make it level,
or flat; so the block is made longer, that it may not go down into all
the little hollows, but plane off only the higher parts.

The two essential parts of a plane are the _iron_ and the _stock_. The
bottom surface of the stock is called the _sole_ or _face_ (_ab_ in Fig.
621), the wedge-shaped hole where the iron goes is called the _throat_
(_c_), and the slot at the bottom through which the edge of the iron
projects is called the _mouth_ (_d_).

[Illustration FIG. 621.]

Bear in mind that the shape of the cut made by the plane will be a
reversed copy of the shape of the cutting-edge. If the edge is rounding,
the cut will be hollowing. If the edge is hollowing, the cut will be
rounding. If the edge is straight, the cut will be straight. If the edge
is nicked, ridges will be left on the wood.

If buying new, you will do best, as a rule, to get iron planes, though
very good ones can be had with wooden stocks, but with the convenient
appliances of the iron planes. Some workmen still prefer the old wooden
planes, but it is better to buy iron ones.

[Illustration FIG. 622.]

[Illustration FIG. 623.]

The _jack-plane_ is used for coarse work and to rough off the surface
with large shavings, ready for the other planes. Fourteen or fifteen
inches is a good length. The edge of the iron is not ground squarely
across, like the chisel, but is rounded slightly so as to cut deeper in
the middle (Fig. 622). Heavy shavings can be cut and the rough outside
of a piece of wood taken off quicker and easier than with a more
squarely ground iron, but it does not leave the surface smooth, as the
strokes of the jack-plane form a series of hollows and ridges (Fig. 623,
exaggerated). After taking off the rough surface with the iron
projecting considerably, you can of course set the iron finer, and by
going over the work several times you can take off the worst of the
ridges, but without a great deal of labour you can never get a really
smooth surface with a plane that cuts hollows. A common use of the
jack-plane is for "traversing," or planing across the grain, which is
often the quickest and easiest way to reduce a surface to the desired
shape, and for cleaning off where pieces have been glued together. If
you should use a jack-plane to do the work of a fore-plane, have it
ground more squarely across like the fore-plane.

If you use an old-fashioned wooden plane, take the handle in your right
hand, laying your left over the top and side, just a little in front of
the iron, with the thumb towards you and the fingers on the farther
side, as shown in Fig. 624. This position allows you to bear weight on
the fore part of the plane when necessary and to control the tool to the
best advantage. This applies to the old-fashioned wooden planes. If your
plane is iron, there is a handle or knob for the left hand which you
simply grasp in a natural way.

Push the jack-plane forward steadily an arm's-length. Then stop and
start afresh for another arm's-length stroke. When drawing the plane
back tip it on the farther edge. The cap or break-iron can be set quite
far back from the edge for rough work, about one eighth inch, but much
nearer for finer work.

[Illustration FIG. 624.]

In these days when almost everything is planed by machinery with greater
or less smoothness, you will probably not have much use for a jack-plane
unless you find you have a good deal of rough planing to do yourself.

[Illustration FIG. 625.]

The _fore-plane_ or _trying-plane_ is longer and larger than the
jack-plane. Eighteen to twenty-two inches is a good length. It is used
to straighten and level the surface after the worst roughness has been
taken off. The surface having been roughed off by the jack-plane, the
fore-plane is not required to take off such heavy shavings and the iron
is therefore ground squarely across like a chisel, but very slightly
rounded at the corners (Fig. 625). It is held in the same way as the
jack-plane, but the stroke should be long and steady, for the
fore-plane, which is long, will straighten the surface, and smooth it
also. The iron can project more for soft and loose-grained woods than
for hard, and the cap or break-iron should be nearer the edge for hard

The _jointer_ (22" to 30" in length) or _long jointer_ (from 24" to
30"), is still longer than the fore-plane and correspondingly more
accurate for making a surface level and true, or for shooting the edges
of boards. Twenty-four inches is a good length. It is very useful for
making joints to be glued, and is used in the same way as the
fore-plane, the stroke being continued steadily the whole length of the
piece if possible.

The _smoothing-plane_ is used, as its name indicates, for the final
smoothing of the surface, so far as it can be done with a plane. It is
from five to ten inches long.

It is an invaluable plane to the amateur, and the beginner can get along
very well for a great deal of work with no other, for stock can be
bought ready planed and can easily be trued and jointed, when necessary,
at any wood-working mill or shop at slight expense.

[Illustration FIG. 626.]

A plane with a short stock, as the smoothing-plane, will make your work
smooth, but it is hard to make it straight and level or true with such a
tool, because, being short, it will follow the larger irregularities of
the surface and will only plane off the smaller inequalities. It will go
up and down over the hills and valleys of the wood, so to speak, while a
longer plane cannot do this, but will cut off the tops of the hills
until the surface is made level, as shown in Fig. 626. The
smoothing-plane is therefore merely to _smooth_ the surface after it has
been straightened by a longer plane, or in cases where smoothness only
is essential and it is not required that the surface should be true.
Small pieces can, of course, be straightened and trued by the
smoothing-plane alone.

A wooden smoothing-plane can be held as shown in Fig. 627. An iron plane
can be used by laying the hand naturally over the knob for the purpose.

[Illustration FIG. 627.]

The _block-plane_ is small and is meant chiefly for planing across the
ends of pieces (for planing "end-grain"), but it is also frequently
useful in other directions. The iron is usually set at a more acute
angle with the face of the stock than in the other planes and with the
bevel upwards, and the width of the mouth is often adjustable, which is
a convenience. A block-plane is made which can, by means of a detachable
side, be used as a rabbet-plane. The block-plane makes a quite good
substitute for a smoothing-plane for amateur work and is a very useful
little tool.

The _toothed-plane_ is about the size of the smoothing-plane, but the
iron is corrugated or scored with grooves lengthwise, so that one side
of the cutting-edge of the iron, instead of being smooth, is notched
into little teeth somewhat like a fine saw or the edge of a file, and
the iron is inserted in the body of the plane almost vertically. This
plane makes scratches all along its course instead of taking off
shavings. It is used in veneering and in gluing other surfaces. It can
frequently be used to good advantage to break up the grain where two
edges or surfaces are to be glued together, so that the glue may hold
the two rough surfaces together more strongly, upon somewhat the same
principle that the plastering on a lathed wall holds its place tightly
through the hold it gets on the cracks between the laths, intentionally
left for the purpose. The toothed-plane is used for this purpose in
veneering. The idea upon which this tool is based originated with the
Orientals, who have for ages scratched or toothed the joints of their

It can also be used to subdue a refractory piece of crooked grain which
you wish to get smooth, but which may crop to the surface in such a way
that you cannot plane it without chipping the grain. By scratching the
surface thoroughly in all directions with the toothed-plane set very
fine, the obstinate fibres can be broken so that the surface can be
smoothed with the scraper, not using the smoothing-plane. As a matter
of fact, however, if you cannot smooth a piece of wood, the trouble is
_usually_ with the edge of the plane-iron or its adjustment, or with
your manner of planing, for a _very keen_ edge is supposed to be able to
cut the most obstinate grain, unless, of course, the wood is
extraordinarily hard.

The _bull-nosed-plane_ has the iron close to the fore end of the stock,
to work into corners and awkward places which cannot be reached by the
smoothing- or block-planes. The iron is reversed. A very small plane
(perhaps four inches long) of this kind is useful.

The _circular-plane_ is used for planing curved surfaces, the sole being
now made of a thin, flexible metal plate and adjustable so that either
concave or convex surfaces can be smoothed. It is very useful at times,
but is not essential for an amateur.

The _rabbet-plane_, which is used to cut rabbets, as the name indicates,
is a useful tool, but in most cases you can dispense with it by having
rabbets cut at a mill.

A _router_, for cleaning out and smoothing the bottoms of grooves and
depressions, is very useful at times.

There is a variety of other planes for special purposes, as the
_plough_, _matching-planes_, _hollow_ and _round planes_,
_beading-planes_, etc., as well as various _combination_ and
"_universal_" _planes_. Many of these are excellent, but, as a rule, are
not important for the amateur in these days, as the work they do can be
so easily and cheaply done at a mill. You will seldom feel the need of
buying any of them, unless you live where you cannot reach a factory.

[Illustration FIG. 628.]

[Illustration FIG. 629.]

You will find it important to bear in mind the purpose of the cap or
dull iron screwed upon one side of the cutting-iron, in what are called
"double-ironed" planes. A plane with a single iron, like a chisel, will
cut satisfactorily and easily for straight-grained, soft wood, and for
hard wood when planing with the grain, but many pieces of stock are
difficult to plane, because the grain does not run in the same way, but
turns and twists, cropping up to the surface and dipping down again in
all sorts of curious and perplexing ways. In planing them the wood is
likely to be continually chipping or tearing and breaking off below the
surface, instead of planing smoothly like a piece of straight-grained
pine, leaving dents and rough hollows over the surface. The natural
tendency of the plane-iron is to split the wood in front of the iron in
such cases (Fig. 628). To remedy this the plane has a double iron. An
iron or cap with a dull edge is screwed on to the face of the
cutting-iron (Fig. 629) so as to help bend and break off the shavings
before the split gets fairly started (Fig. 630), when the iron can cut
it smoothly off. The thickness of the shavings is greatly exaggerated in
the cuts for the sake of illustration.

[Illustration FIG. 630.]

The cutting edge is said to have "lead" in proportion to the distance it
is in advance of the cap-iron. The cap can be set some little distance
from the edge for the jack-plane, as far as an eighth of an inch, but
with the fore-plane and smoothing-plane it must be set quite close to
the edge, the distance varying according to the character of the wood.
The more crooked or cross-grained the wood, the nearer the dull iron is
brought down towards the edge of the sharp one. The nearer the edge, the
smoother the result, but the harder to work the plane.

[Illustration FIG. 631.]

Something more than the break-iron is required, however, to insure
breaking the shavings. There must be an angle, against which they can be
broken, close in front of the cutting edge and above the shaving. This
angle is the forward edge of the mouth or slot in the sole through which
the iron projects (Fig. 631). Thus the width of the mouth makes a
difference in the smoothness of the surface, for a narrow mouth is
necessary to ensure the shaving being readily broken by the cap. With a
wide mouth, the shaving will not be broken by the cap in time, because
there is no corner against which to break it.

With straight-grained wood this does not make so much difference, but
with crooked and broken grain narrowness of mouth is quite essential to
a smooth surface, provided that the opening is wide enough to allow the
shaving to pass through freely. Rough and knotty wood requires the mouth
very narrow and the iron set very fine (_i.e._, projecting but very
little from the sole) and the cap quite near the edge.

The modern iron planes have simple appliances for setting or adjusting
the projection of the iron from the sole and thus regulating the
thickness of the shaving. If, however, you are obliged to use the
old-fashioned wooden planes, you raise the iron in the same way that you
loosen it for removal, by lightly tapping on the top of the fore end of
the stock, keeping hold of the plane with the left hand so as to prevent
the iron falling through if loosened too much. When the iron is raised
enough, fix it in place by tapping on top of the "chip" (Fig. 621, _e_)
or wedge which holds it in place. To lower the cutting edge, loosen as
before and, checking the edge with the finger, let it project the
required distance, which you can tell about by looking along the sole
(Fig. 632), and fix in place by tapping the "chip" as before. This is
the process used in removing the iron for sharpening and replacing it,
the chip being removed as well as the iron. Any carpenter will show you
the operation. Always hold the plane in the left hand in all these
adjusting operations. Do not strike or tap any part of it while it rests
on the bench or on anything solid.

To smooth a rough piece of wood, use first the jack-plane, to remove the
rough surface and superfluous wood, and then the fore-plane, to
straighten and smooth the surface. If there is no need to have the
surface true, but only smooth, you can omit using the fore-plane and
follow the jack-plane at once by the smoothing-plane. With ordinary
machine-planed stock you do not usually need the jack-plane, though it
is sometimes useful in reducing a piece of wood to a given shape.

Before beginning to plane, see that all dirt or grit which might dull
the tool is brushed from the surface.

Turn the plane over and sight along the sole (Fig. 632), not merely to
see that the iron projects to the required degree, but also to see that
it projects equally, lest one side or corner of the iron should cut more
deeply than the other, and thus make a groove or scratch on the wood
(Fig. 633). The latest iron planes have appliances to adjust any
inequality of this sort, but if your plane is not so arranged a little
tapping on one side of the upper end of the iron will correct the
trouble. Try the plane on a waste piece before beginning on nice work.

[Illustration FIG. 632.]

Plane with the grain, as a rule, and the fibres will be cut off cleanly
where they crop up to the surface and your work will be left smooth. If
you plane against the grain, some of the fibres will tend to splinter or
chip off just below the surface before they are cut off (Fig. 634).

Stand behind the work with the plane before you. Plane with the arms
(and from the shoulder), not with the whole body. Try to shove the plane
straight ahead, also to plane as equally and evenly as possible over the
surface; for while it is comparatively easy to get a surface smooth it
is quite another thing to keep it true or to make it true if warped or

[Illustration FIG. 633.]

The natural tendency, and a common fault, is to begin and end the stroke
as shown in Fig. 635. Rolling the body back and forth, instead of
pushing steadily with the arms from the shoulder, aggravates this
trouble. The result of this way (which is unconscious at first) is that
the surface after planing is apt to be as shown in Fig. 636. To prevent
this, press down with the _left_ hand on the _forward_ part of the
plane during the _first_ part of the stroke, and with the _right_ hand
on the _rear_ part of the plane during the _last_ part of the stroke
(Fig. 637).

[Illustration RIGHT. WRONG. FIG. 634.]

In planing wood which is dirty or rough, it is best to lift the plane
from the work when drawing it back for a fresh stroke, or to draw it
back so that only the point touches the board, or to draw it back on
edge, but in planing small surfaces of clean wood it is not usually
worth while to take this precaution.

[Illustration FIG. 635.]

[Illustration FIG. 636.]

[Illustration FIG. 637.]

In planing pieces with crooked grain, turn the piece when practicable,
so as to plane as much of it with the grain as you can. But many pieces
are so crooked in grain that you cannot do this. So at times it is well
to turn your plane sideways to get a slicing cut and cross the grain at
an angle (Fig. 638); but as a rule the plane should be pushed straight

A few drops of oil rubbed over the face of the plane will make it run
more smoothly, particularly on hard wood.

[Illustration FIG. 638.]

Test the accuracy of your planing of broad surfaces with a
straight-edge, the blade of a square, or the edge of the plane itself
(if straight). By applying such a straight-edge across the surface or
lengthways or diagonally you can tell whether your work is straight and
true (Fig. 639). Also "sight" with your eye. If the surface is large or
long, winding-sticks can be used (see _Winding-sticks_). In planing
edges test lengthways with the eye and straight-edge of some sort, and
crossways by applying the try-square (Fig. 640). (See _Jointing_.)

[Illustration FIG. 639.]

It is, of course, harder to plane a broad surface, as the side of a
board, than a narrow one, as the edge. When planing a flat surface, as a
board, be careful not to plane off more at the edges than elsewhere
(Fig. 641), as you will be quite likely to do if you allow the plane to
tip sideways over the edge instead of keeping the sole parallel with the
flat surface.

[Illustration FIG. 640.]

When planing across end-grain with the block-plane or smoothing-plane,
either secure a waste piece of wood at the side where the planing ends,
to prevent the edge chipping off, as shown in Fig. 642, or plane from
both edges toward the middle (Fig. 643).

The use of the straight-edge will give the necessary clue to the process
of making warped surfaces true. (See _Truing Surfaces_.)

[Illustration FIG. 641.]

[Illustration FIG. 642.]

Whenever you make nice articles from wood planed by an ordinary cylinder
planer, the wood will seem quite smooth just as it is, but do not
neglect to smooth it carefully so as to take out all the "planer-marks"
or those little corrugations across the grain left by the machine will
often show clear across the room as soon as the work is finished. See
pages 44, 45, and 46, and also _Sharpening_.

[Illustration FIG. 643.]

=Planing.=--See _Plane_, _Jointing_, _Truing Surfaces_.

=Plank, Laying.=--See _Boards_, _Laying_.

=Plough.=--See _Plane_.

=Plumb.=--You can make a plumb-line by merely hanging any weight at the
end of a cord, when the cord will of course be vertical as soon as it
stops swinging (Fig. 644). For convenience in using hang the cord on a
board as shown in Fig. 130. When the cord hangs exactly on the line or
at the apex of the notch the edge of the board will be vertical.

A long board will give a more accurate test than a short one in most
cases, just as a long plane will make a straighter edge than a short
plane, for the long board will bridge over the irregularities of the
surface to be plumbed. For example, to take an exaggerated case, the
post plumbed as at _a_ (Fig. 645) is vertical, taken as a whole; while
the same post plumbed as at _b_ leans over, because the short board
happens to be placed where the surface of the post is not straight.

[Illustration FIG. 644.]

[Illustration FIG. 645.]

[Illustration FIG. 646.]

When the plumb-line is used to determine a point exactly over or under
another point, as in surveying, the bob is shaped with a point like a
top (Fig. 646). For making the plumb, see page 96. (See also _Level_.)

=Pod-Bit.=--See _Bits_.

=Punch= (=for Nails=).--See _Nail-set_.

=Putty.=--Common putty is (or should be) a mixture of linseed oil and
whiting of about the consistency of dough. A mixture of white lead
worked in with the whiting is, however, superior for some purposes, and
is better when but one coat of paint is to be put on after the puttying.
To colour putty, stir the colouring matter in a little oil and then work
and knead it into the putty until the whole is coloured. Keep putty
under water. Do not leave it wrapped in the paper in which you may take
it from the painter's, for the oil will be absorbed by the paper and the
putty will quickly become dry and hard. Use a square-bladed putty-knife
for flat surfaces, and do not use your fingers. See also _Holes, To

=Putty-Knife.=--An old case-knife can be used (better if reshaped
squarely across or to an obtuse angle), or, in fact, any knife, but a
regular putty-knife is best.

=Quill-Bit.=--See _Bits_.

=Rabbet.=--A rabbet is a recess or rectangular groove cut lengthways in
the edge of a piece of board, plank, or other timber (Fig. 284). It is
usually better for the amateur to get such work done at a mill, when
practicable, rather than to do it by hand. The rabbet-plane is, however,
a very useful tool to have. In some cases, as at the end of a piece, the
saw can be used, the lines for the rabbet having been carefully marked
with a knife or chisel. The chisel can also be used to make a rabbet,
much as in cutting a mortise, taking pains when driving the chisel down
next the line not to cut under or jam the wood beyond the line. In the
final trimming to the line, the chisel should be held with the flat side
toward the line. In removing the wood with the chisel, it is often best
to pare across the grain rather than with it (see _Paring_).

A strip of wood can be clamped across the piece exactly on the line as a
guide for the saw and the sawing be done with the heel or rear corner of
the saw, keeping the latter close up to the gauge stick, and pieces are
sometimes even clamped to the saw itself to guide it, but such
arrangements, though useful expedients under some circumstances, are
hardly the most workmanlike methods.

=Rabbet-Plane.=--See _Plane_.

=Rasp.=--The rasp--only used for wood--is a sort of coarse file, but
instead of ridge-like teeth it is studded with projecting points, which
tear off the wood more quickly, but also more roughly, than the file. It
is extremely useful to remove surplus wood and to get curved objects
roughly into shape. One good-sized half-round (or "slab-sided") rasp
will be a great help. See _File_.

=Rasping.=--See _Filing_.

=Reamers.=--See _Bits_.

=Repairing Furniture.=--To repair thoroughly--to make things as strong
as when new and to leave no sign of the mending--often requires more
skill and ingenuity and more general knowledge of wood-working than to
make new articles. Skill in repairing comes not merely from general
knowledge of wood-working, but from experience and ingenuity in applying
your knowledge to new problems. You will rarely have two jobs of
repairing just alike, even if of the same kind, and the variety is
almost endless. It is, therefore, impossible to give rules to cover all
the different cases. In fact, to attempt to give complete directions for
repairing would be to describe the majority of operations used in
wood-working, and the reader is referred to other parts of the book for
whatever information it may contain. Suggestions on one or two points
may, however, be of use.

Suppose the arm of a chair comes off, after having been stuck on with
glue perhaps a dozen times. How is it usually mended each time it comes
off? The family glue-pot, containing the dregs of all the glue used
since it was bought, is put on the stove, a little water poured in, and
as soon as the glue gets warmed into a thick paste a lot of it is daubed
on to the joints, on top of the thick coating they already have, and the
arm pushed as nearly into place as it will go. It is then usually left
for a few hours and sometimes even tied on with a string while the glue
dries. Of course it sticks for a while and then the usual result

Now how should you go to work to do this properly? First clean off all
the old glue. This is important. You want to put the fresh glue on the
wood, not on top of the old glue; but do not scrape away the wood in
getting off the glue so that the parts will no longer fit. Next, see
whether the pieces will fit together as they should. If they will, then
contrive some way to clamp them in place while the glue is drying.
Sometimes hand-screws will do this, sometimes clamps, sometimes a rope
twisted, and often it will take all your ingenuity to contrive any
arrangement, but clamped they must be if you wish to be sure of a good

[Illustration FIG. 647.]

The pieces often make an angle with one another, or are curved, so that
the clamps or hand-screws will not hold, but slip as fast as you tighten
them. In such a case the method shown in Fig. 647 can often be used.
Screw a hand-screw firmly on each side of the joint, rubbing chalk on
the insides of the jaws to help prevent slipping, and putting on the
hand-screws so that the jaws will be parallel. Then, by using two other
hand-screws, those first put on can be drawn towards one another and the
joint firmly closed. Then proceed to glue the parts as with new work.
For the way to do this see _Gluing_.

In patching old work with new wood, pains should be taken to have the
wood match as well as possible, and, as a rule, pare or trim the new
pieces after they are glued in place rather than before. Staining to
match the older parts is often required (see _Staining_). See also
_Holes, To Stop_.

The repaired joint may never be quite as strong as a new one, therefore
it is well to reinforce it with a block glued and screwed on the under
or inner side, in cases where this can be done without injuring the
appearance, as inside of the frame under a chair, sofa, or table.

It is not uncommon, particularly in work which has come apart several
times, for the tenons to be too small. If you can glue on thin pieces to
make the tenon larger, trimming them afterwards to fit, it will be the
best way; but if the conditions do not admit of this, a little muslin,
laid in glue, can sometimes be wrapped around the tenon as the latter is
fitted to place. The same can sometimes be done with round pins or
dowels. The expedient of splitting and wedging tenons and dowels can
often be applied in repairing (see _Mortising_ and _Dowels_).

Sometimes you may find it necessary to use screws in places where the
heads will show. In such cases first make, when possible, a neat round
or square hole with bit or chisel of sufficient diameter to admit the
head of the screw and deep enough to allow a shallow plug to be inserted
after the screw has been set (see _Holes, To Stop_). The hardest part in
finished work is to make the patch match the rest of the work.

See also _Gluing_, _Clamps_, and whatever other operations may be

=Ripping-Saw.=--See _Saw_.

=Rivets.=--In heading rivets hold another hammer or piece of metal, or
have someone else do so, against the head of the rivet while upsetting
the other end.

=Rounding Sticks.=--It is often required to round sticks for poles,
masts, spars, arrows, and a great many other purposes. First plane the
piece until it is as nearly _square_, in section, as you can make it.
Then use the form shown on page 95, which will hold the squared stick
firmly while you plane off the corners, making it _eight-sided_. Be
careful not to plane the corners off too much, for the eight sides of
the stick should be as nearly alike as possible. Next, if the stick is
large enough, plane off each of the eight corners so that it will be
_sixteen-sided_. This is about as far as you can go in this way, unless
the stick is very large. Set the plane quite fine for taking off these
corners or you may plane off too much before you know it. The rest of
the rounding you must do with light, fine strokes, testing by eye and by
passing your hand over the work (for you can judge a great deal by the
sense of touch). The rasp and file can often be used to good advantage.
The spoke-shave is good for the final smoothing, followed by the scraper
or glass (both of which can be curved) and sandpaper. The latter can be
used crosswise as well as lengthwise. Cut it in strips and pull it back
and forth around the stick, much as bootblacks put the final polish on
shoes with a strip of cloth (Fig. 648).

[Illustration FIG. 648.]

To hold large sticks for this final shaping and smoothing you can put
them in the vise, but if there are several, and large, it is better to
contrive some way to hold them after the fashion of the centres of a
lathe. For one centre, drive a nail or screw through a block or stick of
wood and screw the block in the vise (Fig. 649). Make the other centre
in the same way and fasten it at such a distance from the first centre
that the stick will just fit in between the two. Just how to fasten this
second centre will depend on the length of the stick to be rounded and
the arrangements of your shop, but you can easily contrive some way to
hold it. The stick held between these centres will be clear of
everything and can be turned around without trouble. The middle can be
supported, if necessary, by a piece of board or a strip lightly nailed
to the bench-top.

Masts and spars should be "natural sticks," if possible, and the final
shaping and smoothing will be all they will require, for which some such
apparatus as that just described will save time and trouble.

[Illustration FIG. 649.]

To round small sticks, as spars for model boats, arrows, etc., the same
process should be followed so far as the small size of the sticks will
allow, as you can of course shave more accurately with the plane, on
account of the long guiding sole, for the same degree of effort, than
with any "free-hand" tool like the knife. But when the stick is quite
small it is hard to hold it firmly, and it is also too much covered by
the plane. In such cases turn Japanese. Fasten the plane bottom-up in
the vise (or even hold it in your lap if you have no vise) and pull the
stick along the sole of the plane instead of pushing the plane over the
stick. But _look out for your fingers_ when you do this, for a
plane-iron in this position has a great appetite for finger-tips.

In filing a short, round stick, one end can often be rested on the bench
and the stick turned around towards you as you file.

A good way to finish the shaping of such small sticks is to hold your
knife with the edge downward close against the side of your leg just
above the knee. Then pull the stick up steadily between your leg and the
knife. The leg acts as a sort of gauge to steady both the stick and the
knife and with care you can cut a very even shaving in this way.

One very important thing to bear in mind in _all_ these rounding
operations is that you will rarely find wood with absolutely straight
grain, except in "rift" stock or natural sticks (and in these there are
often seemingly unaccountable twists and crooked streaks); so you need
to _keep constant watch_ of the direction of the grain, for even a
slight turn of the stick will often bring the grain wrong with relation
to your tool, and one false cut running in too deep, or even across the
stick, will spoil the work.

=Router.=--See _Plane_.

=Rule.=--A rule with which to lay out your work and measure your stock
is one of the first tools of which you can make use. A two-foot rule,
folding once, is the most convenient for shop-work, but the more common
kind, folding to six inches in length, is more convenient to carry
around away from the shop. One brass-bound (with brass edges) is more
durable, but hardly as convenient to use as the common cheap kind, which
will answer every purpose until it breaks.

[Illustration FIG. 650.]

To mark distances with the rule for accurate work, lay the rule on edge
so that the divisions marked on it will touch the wood and not be an
eighth of an inch above it, as they are when the rule lies flat (Fig.
650). You can thus mark the points more accurately.

=Sandpaper.=--The fineness of sandpaper is indicated by numbers--00 (the
finest), 0, 1/2, 1, 1-1/2, 2, 2-1/2 and 3 (the coarsest). You will use
the fine and medium numbers more than the very coarse ones, and will
seldom require coarser than 1-1/2. Test sandpaper, when buying, by
rubbing the sand a little with your hand to see if it is securely stuck
on, and tear the paper a little to see if it is strong.

Never use sandpaper until all the cutting with the tools is done.
Sandpaper _with_ the grain, except for work which is to be painted.

The proper use of sandpaper, as a rule, for such work as you will do, is
merely to give a little extra smoothness, to take out little scratches,
to round edges, and the like, but _not_ to cut away the wood and scrub
it into the shape you wish. To use it much, except to skim over your
work, is apt to get you into a slovenly style of working, and the
result will lack the sharp accuracy of good work. Do not rely on the
sandpaper to remove the defects in your work. Do the work right and you
will need but little sandpaper, except in a few operations which will be
specified when there is occasion.

[Illustration FIG. 651.]

For flat surfaces it is well to fold the sandpaper over a flat block of
cork or wood (Fig. 651), the edges of which have been slightly rounded.
If the surface is curved, the block should be curved correspondingly. A
piece of thick rubber or leather which can be bent to fit the surface is
excellent. Care should be taken not to round the corners and edges of
the work when sandpapering.

In sandpapering any very delicate piece of work, when the edge might get
rounded or the surface scratched by the stiffness of even the finest
sandpaper, as in rubbing down finished work, split the paper, which you
can easily do by removing the outer layer of paper from the back, when
the remaining part to which the sand adheres will be much softer and
more flexible.

=Saw.=--Saws are used for cutting across the grain and with the grain
and there are various kinds for special purposes.

The _cross-cutting saw_ is used, as the name indicates, for cutting
across the grain of wood and for ordinary work. The blade is usually
thicker at the teeth than at the back, to stiffen it and to enable it to
pass through the wood more freely. From 18" to 24" is a good length for
a cross-cutting saw (or more commonly called _panel_-saw) for your work,
with about eight to ten teeth to the inch.

Examine the teeth (Fig. 652) and you will see that they are pointed and
sharp, somewhat like the point of your knife, and that they cut across
the fibres much the same as your knife does when you hold it upright and
draw it across a board.

[Illustration FIG. 652.]

[Illustration FIG. 653.]

You will notice, also, that the teeth are alternately bent
outwards,--one tooth being bent out to one side, the next to the other
side,--this spreading of the teeth (which is called the "set") making
the saw wider at the points of the teeth than elsewhere. You will also
notice that the sharp cutting edge of each tooth is on the outside. This
set, and the way the teeth are sharpened, makes the cut wider than the
thickness of the blade, thus giving the saw "clearance" and enabling it
to slip back and forth easily and without "binding" (Fig. 653). As a
practical matter of fact, however, it is nothing uncommon for a saw to
bind in the cut, either from not sawing straight or from the wood
closing on the saw (see Fig. 695). The teeth not only cut or break off
the fibres in parallel lines at the points of the teeth, but also tear
off and remove the bits of wood (_i.e._, the sawdust) between these
parallel cuts.

The degree to which the teeth are set and the number of teeth to the
inch depend upon the use to which the saw is to be put and the kind of
wood to be used. Of course the finer the teeth the smoother the cut.
Cross-cut saws are usually sharpened differently for soft and for hard
wood, but little set being required for the latter, while the former
needs a wider set to give the blade clearance, because the fibres of the
looser-textured soft wood are bent aside by the tearing action of the
saw teeth and are not so cleanly cut off as in the hard wood.

We have examined the teeth of the cross-cut saw and have seen that they
cut across the grain of the wood very much as the point and edge of a
knife, and that the fibres, being cut or broken or torn off in fine
pieces, are removed from the kerf by the teeth. Now to saw in the
direction of the grain, instead of across it, we use a saw based on a
different principle. As we used little knives to cut across the grain,
so we use little chisels to cut with the grain. Look at the teeth of the
_ripping-saw_ and you will see that they are little chisels sharp only
at the end (Fig. 654), though not as acute as chisels for obvious
reasons. These sharp ends, which are square (Fig. 655, showing set) or
may be oblique, cut or tear off the fibres, and the front edges of the
teeth push the pieces out of the cut. The teeth of the cross-cut saw
are filed so that the front cutting-edge is _drawn_ across the wood in
the most effective way, much as you would draw the knife-point across,
while the teeth of the ripping-saw are pointed forward at a more acute
angle so that the cutting-edge is _pushed_ through the wood, somewhat as
you push a chisel.

[Illustration FIG. 654.]

[Illustration FIG. 655.]

[Illustration FIG. 656.]

The ripping-saw cuts only on the down stroke. It is not suitable for use
directly across the grain, as it tears the fibres when pushed across
them much more than the cross-cut saw. The ripping-saw usually has
larger teeth than the cross-cut saw. From 5-1/2 to 8 points to the inch
will do for your work. The ripping-saw usually cuts best when held
slanting rather than at right angles with the board (Fig. 656), as you
can easily understand when you think how a chisel works best in paring
at the end of a board.

If the cut closes up after the saw so as to "bind" it, drive a wedge (or
even a screw-driver or chisel) into the crack so as to open it enough
for the saw to work freely. Binding of the saw from this cause is very
common in making long cuts. When you come to a hard knot in splitting
you can sometimes gain by taking the cross-cut saw to cut through it.

You will probably get most of your splitting done at a mill and will not
have to depend on hand ripping-saws so much as your grandfathers did.

The _back-saw_ should have, for your use, from 10 to 16 teeth to the
inch and be perhaps 12 inches long. The blade is very thin to insure a
finer and more accurate cut than can be made with the common saw, and
therefore requires care in using. It has a back (whence the name) made
of a thin piece of brass or iron put on so as to give the blade the
necessary firmness.

This is an exceedingly useful tool, with which and a common panel saw
you can do a great deal of work without any other. The back-saw must be
used with care, for the blade is so thin that a little wrenching will
spring it out of shape in spite of the strengthening back.

In the _compass-saw_ the blade is very narrow, being about one inch at
the broadest part and diminishing gradually to about a quarter of an
inch at the other end. It is about fifteen inches long and is employed
in cutting curved forms. As the blade is narrow and tapers towards the
back and the teeth have a wide set it will cut a small circle. Notice
that the teeth of the compass-saw are a sort of a compromise between
those of the ripping and cross-cut saws, which enables them to cut
freely either way of the grain, as is of course necessary in sawing

The _turning-_ or _bow-saw_ is much better for any work with which the
bow will not interfere, and is a very useful tool at times. Get one with
handles which turn so that the blade can be turned to saw at an angle
with the frame. You will need a few extra blades of different widths.
The main thing to be borne in mind is to make the cut square with the
surface. It is easier to follow the line than to secure a cut at right
angles to the surface.

The _keyhole-saw_, which is even smaller than the compass-saw, is used
for cutting quicker curves, as for a keyhole. It has a handle like that
of a chisel, with a slot cut through from end to end. There is a screw
on one side, so that the blade may be fixed at any length, according to
the size of the hole to be cut. A good kind, which can be used for both
compass- and keyhole-saws, has a handle into which various blades can be

[Illustration FIG. 657.]

Compass- and keyhole-saws are difficult for beginners to use without
bending, twisting, or breaking their thin and narrow blades. Most of
your curved sawing can be done better with a turning-saw or at a mill by
a band- or jig-saw. If done at the mill, have a piece of waste wood put
on the under side to prevent the burr, or ragged edge, left by the

A common way to test saws, when buying, is to take the handle in one
hand and bend the point of the saw around in a curve sideways and then
let the blade spring back, which it should do without being permanently
bent or sprung.

[Illustration FIG. 658.]

Do not saw from one side of the line. Have your eyes above the line so
that you can look on both sides of the saw (Fig. 657). This will help
you to keep the saw-blade at right angles with the surface of the wood.

Hold the saw firmly with the forefinger pressed against the side of the
handle to help guide and steady it (Fig. 657).

Having placed the saw just at the outside edge of the line and on the
farther side of the piece, seize the wood with the left hand and hold
the thumb against the blade (_above_ the teeth) to help start the cut in
the right place (Fig. 658). Aside from the danger of the saw jumping and
damaging the wood unless guided by the thumb, it is liable to cut your
left hand.

You can make a little notch with the knife or chisel on the outside of
the line, to help start the saw, in the case of nice work, if you wish.
Cut straight in just on the line and then make a sloping cut to meet
this from outside the line (Fig. 659). First draw the saw gently
backwards, guiding it by the thumb, with as little pressure on the wood
as possible until you see that the cut is started right, then push it
gently forward, and after a few easy strokes in this way to get the cut
started right, keep on with long, steady strokes, but not long enough so
that the end of the saw enters the kerf, lest it catch and the saw
buckle. The saw should cut most on the downward motion, not on the up

[Illustration FIG. 659.]

With a sharp saw, there is nothing gained by bearing down heavily on the
teeth, which may spring the saw and make crooked work. Rather let the
saw run of itself with an easy, _light_ stroke, guiding it carefully,
and not letting it press on the wood on the up stroke. The more hastily
and furiously you saw the poorer the result will probably be.

When you _begin_ to run off the line, as you will be pretty sure to do,
twist the saw a little with the wrist as you go on, which will bring it
back to the line, because of the kerf being wider than the thickness of
the saw-blade.

[Illustration FIG. 660.]

Beginners are apt to bend the saw over to one side. You can tell whether
it is cutting at right angles with the face of the board by testing with
the try-square as shown in Fig. 660. Such a test as this is, however,
too inconvenient for ordinary practical work and you should learn as
quickly as you can to hold the saw-blade correctly.

At the end of the cut, as at the beginning, saw gently with quick, light
strokes, and hold the piece which is being cut off with the left hand,
lest it break off and splinter one of the two pieces.

If the saw "binds" or does not work easily, you can for your _rougher_
work put a little tallow, butter, lard, or lubricating oil on the blade,
but beware of doing this for your _nice_ work, or it will deface it
when done. If the binding is caused by the springing together of the
wood (Fig. 695) the crack should be wedged open.

Do not get into the habit of sawing a little way outside of the line and
then trimming off the superfluous wood with your knife or a chisel. That
is not a good way to learn to saw by a line. Try your best to make the
cut where it should be (even if you do make mistakes for a good while)
and thus get into the habit of doing it right without having to rely on
any other tool than the saw.

Many pieces of wood can better be screwed in the vise for sawing instead
of being laid on the horses, and this position is often preferable. In
this case you grasp the wood with the left hand and use the saw as
already described. (See _Sharpening_).

=Saw-Filing.=--See _Sharpening_.

=Sawing.=--See _Saw_.

=Saw-Set.=--Various contrivances can be bought for setting saw teeth.
When you get to the point of needing one you can easily find a variety
from which to select.

=Scraper.=--The scraper is made of saw-blade steel (frequently from an
old saw) and may be of any shape or size to suit the work required of
it. A common form for scraping flat surfaces is rectangular like a
postal-card, and a good size is from 2" × 4" to 3" × 5".

A piece of glass makes a good scraper for almost every purpose except
where a flat, true surface is required. It is good to smooth the handle
of a paddle, for instance, but not good for scraping the top of a nice
table. For many rounded surfaces glass is fully as good as a steel
scraper, but for general use the latter is much better. The following
directions may be of use when you wish to break glass to use for a
scraper: "Take the back of a knife, or the smooth, straight edge of any
piece of iron fixed with tolerable firmness for a moment, then, taking
the piece of glass in both hands, rest its edge midway between them on
the edge of the iron; let the upper edge of the glass lean from you,
and push it gently along the iron, so as slightly to indent the edge of
the glass; then, reversing its position so as to make it lean towards
you, draw it smartly along the iron, and you will find it separated by a
clean fracture directly across, forming a line more or less curved, and
leaving one edge of the glass much sharper than the other. By a little
practice, and by pressing a little more with one hand than the other,
almost any curvature that the work to be done may require may be
achieved" (Lord and Baines, _Shifts and Expedients of Camp Life_).

The edge of the scraper is turned over so as to form a sort of hooked
edge or angle (Fig. 661), which when pushed over the surface scrapes off
thin shavings. To smooth a flat surface the scraper can be held with
both hands, between the fingers and thumb (Fig. 662), and pushed along
in the direction towards which it is inclined. Sometimes one end of the
scraper is held between the thumb and fingers of the left hand and the
palm of the right hand applied below to push the tool along. As a rule
scrape with the grain, and it is often advantageous to hold the scraper
obliquely to the grain when pushing it forward. In case of some crooked
and twisted grain you will find it best to scrape in any and in all

[Illustration FIG. 661.]

[Illustration FIG. 662.]

You can make scrapers yourself by filing and grinding pieces of old
saw-blades. It is very convenient to have a number of them with edges of
various degrees of curvature (both convex and concave), but these you
can make as you need them. A scraper is sometimes set in a stock and
guided by handles like those of a spoke-shave, and sometimes set in a
stock like a plane and used in the same manner. A scraper of the latter
sort is often useful to assist in keeping the surface true when
scraping, as its flat sole prevents its following all the undulations of
the surface as readily as the hand-scraper, with which one is apt to
make depressions by scraping too much in some particular spot. But so
far as smoothing the surface goes there is nothing better than the
common hand-scraper or so easily taken care of. For sharpening the
scraper, see _Sharpening_.

In many large places you can get your wood for nice work scraped to a
satin-like finish by a machine made for the purpose, but this is hardly
worth while for ordinary work. You can also have it smoothed very nicely
by sandpapering machines, but this is not advisable if there is to be
any cutting of the wood afterwards, as the grit left in the pores of the
wood will quickly take the keen edge from your tools.

The best test for smoothness alone is to run the fingers over the
surface with a light touch. Great acuteness of touch can be acquired in
this way. Any experienced wood-worker can at once detect inequalities
with his fingers that he could not possibly see. Irregularities in
curves can be detected in the same way.

_Bead cutters_ or _scrapers_ and _reed scrapers_ and _fluters_ can be
bought of various patterns. You will hardly need to buy anything of the
sort for some time, as you can make one when required. See _Beading_.

=Scratch-Awl.=--See _Awl_.

=Screw-Driver.=--The screw-driver is too familiar to need description,
but in buying one see that the end is shaped like either of those shown
in Fig. 663 and not as shown in Fig. 664. Cheap screw-drivers are often
made in the latter way. If ground with a short bevel (Fig. 664) it will
bear only on the top of the slot in the screw and will be all the time
slipping out, on the principle of the inclined plane, while if the sides
are parallel or concaved slightly the end will remain at the bottom of
the nick of the screw. This is also a help in extracting screws, as it
saves the need of pressing against the screw so hard to keep the
screw-driver from slipping out of the slot. It is well to have
screw-drivers of different sizes, as it is difficult and often
impossible to use a screw-driver with an edge much too large or too

[Illustration FIG. 663.]

[Illustration FIG. 664.]

Remember that a long screw-driver is always preferable to a short one,
except where lack of space makes a short one necessary. The reason for
this is in the fact that in using the screw-driver you do not, as a
practical matter, keep it exactly in the line of the screw, but keep
wobbling it round more or less, which gives a leverage in the form of a
crank-like action as you turn the handle. The longer the screw-driver
the larger the circle or wobbling curve you describe with your hand and
the greater the leverage (Fig. 665).

[Illustration FIG. 665.]

A screw-driver to be turned by the bit-brace is very useful for driving
screws rapidly and with force, on account of the greater leverage gained
by using the brace instead of the common handle. This is particularly
useful where they need to be driven in very hard or when tight screws
have to be loosened. It also saves much time when many screws are to be
used. It is not advisable to buy automatic screw-drivers. They work
satisfactorily for light work, but are not suitable for such wrenching
and straining as your screw-drivers are liable to be subjected to. You
want screw-drivers to which you can apply all your strength. See

=Screws.=--There are many kinds of screws. You will use the common
wood-screws for most of your work. These are either flat-headed or
round-headed, and of steel (either bright or blue or bronzed or nickled)
or of brass. When others are required they will be mentioned. It is
doubtful economy to buy second-hand or waste screws, but a pound or two
of "mixed" screws, which you can get at any hardware store, will be
very useful when you want some odd screw for some special purpose. Many
of the screws in the "mixed" lots, which are sold very cheap, are
defective, but you can often find among them just the peculiar screw you
need, and so save time and money.

Nails are often used where it would be better to use screws, which will,
as a rule, hold the pieces more securely. When work becomes loose,
screws can be tightened, while nails usually have to be redriven.

To make a screw drive easily, rub the point on a piece of common soap.
Oil is objectionable for nice work on account of the spot made by it. If
screws are to be used in places where they may rust, it is a good plan
to warm them slightly and then dip them in melted tallow or lard. They
can also be inserted and removed more easily for this treatment. Try to
keep the screw-driver from slipping from the slot of the screw (see

[Illustration FIG. 666.]

In boring holes for screws, considerable discretion must be used. The
hole in the outer piece (the one nearer the head of the screw) should be
large enough to allow the screw to slip through freely--that is, you
should not screw it into both pieces, but only the inner one, the screw
acting somewhat in the nature of a clamp to bind the outer piece to the
inner by pinching it tight between the screw-head and the inner piece
(Fig. 666). How much of a hole to bore in the piece into which the point
of the screw enters depends on circumstances. The stouter the screw the
less hole required. The softer and larger the piece and the farther from
the edge the less hole required. If the piece is small or liable to
split, the hole must be carefully made--the more carefully in proportion
to the slenderness of the screw, as a slim screw is liable to twist off
in hard wood unless a sufficient hole is provided. Brass screws are very
apt to do this, and much care must be used, particularly with slender
ones in hard wood. If the hole is a bit too large, they will not hold.
If a trifle too small, they will twist off, which is very annoying,
especially in such cases as hinge-screws, for instance, where the place
for the screws cannot well be changed. The hole should be somewhat
smaller than the diameter of the screw. In good-sized pieces of soft
wood there is frequently no need of any hole.

In rough work, especially in soft wood, the screws may be pounded part
way with the hammer, driving them home with the screw-driver. Some
theoretical workman will be quite sure to tell you never to do such a
thing as that, so be sure to understand what is meant. Theoretically
there may be some loss of holding power by that process, but practically
the screws will hold just as well for the cases in which you are advised
to do that way. Judgment must be used about all such things and theories
are only of value when used by the light of common-sense. For example,
if you are screwing the top on a mahogany table or framing a nice boat
_never_ think of using a hammer to start your screws, but if you are
putting cleats on an old shed door or screwing up a packing-case do not
spend an hour and a lot of strength driving screws all the way with a
screw-driver when you can do the work in half an hour by driving the
screws three quarters of the way in with the hammer. Good practical
workmen are just as certain to use the hammer in such cases as they are
careful _not_ to use it for nice work or where the full holding power of
the screw is needed.

Flat-headed screws almost always should be countersunk (see
_Countersink_), for neatness if for no other reason, and in hard wood
you should cut the depression for the head of the screw with the regular
countersink made for the purpose. This should be done for nice work in
soft wood where a good surface is required, but for _common_ work in
soft wood there is no need, as a rule, for the head of the screw will
sink itself easily until flush with the surface.

If a screw hole requires to be moved a little, but not far enough so
that a new hole can be bored without the bit slipping into the old hole,
plug the old hole with a wooden pin dipped in glue, and when dry bore
the new hole where required.

See _Screw-driver_.

=Scribing.=--Compasses are often used for scribing a line parallel to
another line or surface, whether regular or irregular, in places where
the gauge cannot be used. Suppose, for instance, you wish to cut the
edge of a board to fit the undulating surface shown in Fig. 667. Run
the compasses along with one point on the surface and the other making a
mark on the board, and the line on the board will be parallel with the

[Illustration FIG. 667.]

[Illustration FIG. 668.]

[Illustration FIG. 669.]

Another example is that of making a table, bench, chair, horse, or any
four-legged object stand evenly. If it stands on three legs, which is a
common fault and likely to occur in your first attempts, do not hastily
saw one leg shorter by guess, and, making it too short, saw another and
so on until it stands firmly, when the top will probably be all out of
level. If there is any true surface on which you can stand the article
(right side up), you can level the top by wedging under the legs until
the corners of the top are equally distant from the surface on which the
object stands. Then setting the compasses at a distance equal to that at
which the end of the shortest leg is raised (Fig. 668), scribe around
the other legs, which can then be cut off.[50]

See also _Winding-Sticks_ and _Marking_.

=Setting Saws.=--See _Sharpening_.

=Sharpening.=--Before attempting to sharpen your tools yourself it would
be well to read the advice given on page 22 under _Care of Tools_.

The general process of sharpening edged tools is first to grind them to
as keen an edge as possible on the grindstone, or the emery-wheel, then
to smooth down the coarse edge left by the grindstone by rubbing on a
fine stone with oil or water, and finally stropping on leather. The
grindstone must be kept wet while grinding or the heat caused by the
friction of the tool on the dry stone will ruin the temper of the steel.
Besides, the water carries off the waste particles of stone and steel.
Stand on the side towards which the top of the stone turns. The tool can
be ground with the stone turning from you, and, in fact, this usually
seems the natural way to a novice, but it is usually more difficult to
grind uniformly in that way and too thin an edge (a "wire-edge," ragged
but not sharp) is apt to be produced, the removal of which is difficult
without further damaging the edge and delaying the final sharpening.

To grind the point of a knife, it can be moved back and forth lengthways
with a curving motion, while resting flat on the grindstone, and to
grind the straight part of the blade, it can be allowed to bear very
slightly harder near the edge of the stone than elsewhere, as it is
passed back and forth.

To grind a chisel, grasp the handle with the right hand, hold the blade
in the left hand with the fingers uppermost and near the cutting-edge.
The arms and wrists should be kept as rigid as possible, the former at
the sides of the body, so that the tool may be held firmly against the
motion of the stone. Lay the chisel with slight pressure quite flatly on
the stone and then raise the handle until the bevel touches the stone.
As you grind keep moving the tool slowly back and forth across the
stone, which helps keep the edge of the tool straight and prevents the
stone being worn away too much in one place. Use plenty of water.

The common way of holding the tool on the stone is the one just
described, but it can also be held at right angles to this position, so
that, in the case of a chisel, for instance, the grinding action of the
stone instead of being from the edge toward the handle is from side to
side of the blade. The tool is ground quicker and easier by this means,
and it is a good way to reduce the edge to shape, finishing the grinding
by the regular method.

You will see that the curvature of the stone will tend to give the bevel
a slight curve, in whatever position the tool is held, which is
advantageous in the common way of grinding. When held so that the stone
grinds from side to side of the blade the tool must be continually
turned a little in the hand so that each part of the edge will bear in
turn on the stone, as, the tool edge being flat, and the surface of the
stone rounding, the tool would otherwise be ground hollowing. It is
harder to hold the tool in this way, however, without its slipping or
making nicks or grooves in the stone, and you had best learn to grind in
the ordinary manner.

Try to grind squarely across the chisel--that is, to have the
cutting-edge at right angles to the lengthways edge of the tool. Apply
the square at intervals to test the accuracy of the grinding.

The angle for grinding the bevel of such tools as the chisel is about
twenty-five degrees, but when used for very hard wood the angle should
be slightly greater, or the edge may be broken.

Do all the grinding on the bevel. Do not apply the flat side of the tool
to the grindstone. Any slight burr or turning over of the edge on the
flat side should be taken off by the oil-stone.

If the edge is badly nicked or broken, you can first straighten or grind
it down roughly on the side of the stone or by holding it nearly at
right angles to the stone--but with the latter turning the other
way--before grinding in the regular way.

To tell when the tool is ground sufficiently, hold the edge in front of
you toward the light. If the edge can be seen as a bright shining line
it is a sign that the tool is dull. It will not be sharp until this
bright line has been removed, and the edge has become invisible, for a
really keen edge cannot be seen by the naked eye. Bear this in mind, as
it is the final test and the simplest way to tell when to stop grinding.

In grinding on a grindstone and in rubbing on an oil-stone, the great
difficulty is to keep the same angle between the tool and the stone, as
the natural tendency in moving the tool is to rock it back and forth and
thus alter the angle between the blade and the stone. An arrangement can
be bought which preserves the desired angle without effort on the part
of the grinder. A little ingenuity will enable you to rig up a guide or
gauge with a piece of board which will enable you to replace the tool on
the grindstone at the same angle.

The plane-iron is sharpened in the same way as the chisel, only, being
wider than most of the chisels you are likely to use, it requires more
care to sharpen. The plane-irons can be ground to a somewhat more acute
angle than the chisels, although the jack-plane, which is used for rough
work, may require more strength at the edge.

In rubbing the edge upon the _oil-stone_, do not attempt to smooth down
the whole bevel made by the grindstone, but first lay the tool lightly
on the stone as shown in Fig. 670_a_, then raise the handle until the
upper part of the bevel is very slightly raised,--barely enough to clear
the stone (Fig. 670_b_),--and then proceed with the whetting, thus
making a second or little bevel at the edge (Fig. 671).

The tool must be moved back and forth very steadily or instead of a
second bevel the whole edge will be rounded (Fig. 672) and will not have
the requisite keenness. The angle of this second bevel is usually about
ten degrees greater than the long bevel, or thirty-five degrees,
although the angles of sharpening should be varied slightly according to
the hardness of the wood and the kind of work to be done; but where you
have only few tools and must use them for all kinds of work you cannot
always, as a practical matter, pay much regard to such variations, as of
course you cannot keep regrinding your tools every time you begin on a
new piece of wood. Just how acute to make the edge you must learn by
experience, according to the conditions of your work. An edge suitable
for delicate work in white-pine would be immediately ruined if used upon

[Illustration FIG. 670.]

[Illustration FIG. 671.]

[Illustration FIG. 672.]

Any little wire edge which is produced on the flat side by the process
of rubbing on the oil-stone can be removed by drawing the flat side of
the iron over the stone once, but be sure that you do not raise the
handle at all, as the slightest bevel on the flat side of the edge will
spoil it. After the tool has been sharpened a good many times on the
oil-stone this smaller bevel (the oil-stone bevel, so to speak) will
become so wide that it is a waste of time and strength to rub it down.
The chisel must then be reground and a new bevel made on the oil-stone.

It is a good plan to have a separate stone or "slip" for the outside
bevel of gouges, because it is so hard to avoid rubbing hollows in the
stone, which injures it for the other tools. Care must be taken also
with very narrow or pointed tools lest the stone be grooved or nicked.
Gouges can be rubbed at right angles with the stone, rolling the tool
with the left hand, or by the use of a slip they can be rubbed as
described below. For rubbing gouges on the inside, _i.e._, on the
concave surface, rounded pieces of stone, called "slips," are used.
These can be bought of various sizes and shapes to fit the various
curves. Do not think, however, that you must try to find a slip that
will fit each gouge as exactly as if it had been shaped by the gouge
itself. The curve of the slip may be a little "quicker" or sharper than
that of the tool, but must not be flatter or of course it cannot be made
to bear on all parts of the curve.

In rubbing with the slip, hold the tool upright in the hand and rub the
slip up and down, moving the slip and not the tool. If you rest the
tool against the bench, it will steady it and also avoid any probability
of your finger slipping on to the edge. The more common "outside" gouges
are not rubbed on the inside, except the merest touch of the slip to
remove any wire edge or burr. The draw-knife is also rubbed with a flat
slip, in the same manner, resting it on the bench.

In rubbing the knife on the oil-stone give it a circular motion rather
than simply back and forth, particularly for the point. The straight
part can be allowed to bear a little more heavily near the edge of the
stone as it is passed back and forth.

It is much the best way to sharpen tools frequently, as soon as they
begin to get dull, when they will require but little rubbing on the
stone, rather than to let them get into such condition that it is a long
and hard job to whet them; and of course the more careful you are to
_keep_ them sharp, the better work you will do.

To test the sharpness of your tools, cut across the grain of a piece of
soft pine wood. If the cut is clean and smooth, the tools are sharp, but
if the cut is rough or the wood torn, further sharpening is needed. The
reason for using soft wood, which at first thought might not seem to
require as keen an edge as hard wood, is because the fibrous structure
of the soft wood, being more yielding, offers less resistance to the
tool and so is torn or crushed apart except by a very keen edge, while
the firmer structure of the hard wood can be cut smoothly by a tool
which would tear the soft wood. The difference is somewhat like that
between cutting a fresh loaf of bread or cake and a stale one.

The edge left by the oil-stone can be improved by _stropping_ on a piece
of leather on which a little paste of lard and emery or some similar
composition has been spread. This is better than to strop knives and
other tools on your boots. Any piece of leather such as barbers use, or
even a piece from an old boot, will answer. For flat edges see that the
strop rests on a flat surface, so as not to tend to round the edge, as
it may do if held carelessly in the hand. See _Oil-stone_ and _Strop_.

_Saw Filing_ is particularly hard for boys and amateurs to do
satisfactorily and you are advised not to undertake it until you have
become quite familiar with the use of tools, for it does not need to be
done very often, costs but little, and there are very few places where
you cannot get it done.

It is not difficult to understand the _theory_ of setting and filing saw
teeth, but to fix a saw in really good shape is hard for an
amateur,--and for that matter you will find but a small proportion of
good workmen who are experts in saw filing. Even in very small villages
there is almost always some mechanic who has the knack of putting saws
in order better than anyone else and who therefore makes quite a
business of such work and people bring their saws to him from all the
country round, even though they may be able to fix them tolerably well
themselves, so great is the advantage in the quality of the work and the
saving of time in having a saw in perfect condition. You had best do the
same, and have your saws fixed whenever they get dull. The expense is
but slight, and there is nothing that will conduce more to good work,
and to your own success and satisfaction, than to have your tools in
first-rate working order.

When you get to the point of filing and setting your saws you are
advised to take a lesson from a good saw-filer. There are few persons so
situated that they cannot do this, or at least watch someone go through
the process, and thus learn much more readily than by reading about the
process in a book. In fact, it is one of those things that it is so hard
to learn from a book that merely a few remarks on the subject are given

The saw is firmly fastened in a saw-clamp, expressly for the purpose, so
that it will not shake or rattle. The teeth are "jointed," or reduced to
the same level, by lightly passing the flat side of a file over their
points, lengthways of the saw. The saw can also be jointed along the
sides after filing, but this is frequently omitted.

For a cross-cutting saw the file (a triangular saw-file) is held at an
angle with the blade depending upon the particular form of tooth
adopted, as you will see by examination. The handle being grasped in the
right hand, the point of the file should be held between the thumb and
forefinger of the left hand (Fig. 526). The file must be pushed across
with an even, straight stroke, without any rocking or up and down
motion, pressure being applied only on the forward or pushing stroke,
the tool being drawn back very lightly or lifted entirely on the back
stroke. The filing is begun at one end of the saw, filing only the teeth
which bend away from you (_i.e._, every alternate tooth), carefully
keeping the file at the proper angle, pressing only on the tooth you are
filing, but keeping the tool lightly touching the adjacent tooth, and
making allowance for the fact that when you file the alternate set the
passing file will take off a little from the teeth first filed. The saw
is then turned around and the process repeated with the other teeth. If
you look lengthways along the edge of a panel-saw that has been properly
filed and set, an angular trough or groove will be seen along the whole
length, so that you can slide a needle along in it from one end of the
saw to the other.

The ripping-saw is usually filed squarely across the saw (at
right-angles to the blade), as you will see at once on examination of
the teeth (Figs. 654 and 655), but sometimes at a more acute angle.

The teeth are set by bending every other tooth outward, first setting
those on one side and then those on the other. You should do this with
some one of the various adjustable tooth-setting contrivances sold for
the purpose, as it requires a skilled workman to set teeth in any other
way, and any attempt on your part to do so without some instrument
adjusted to the purpose will probably result in damaging the saw.

For soft and loose-fibred wood more set is needed than for hard wood,
because the fibres, which are quite cleanly cut or broken in the hard
wood, in the more yielding soft wood are bent aside by the teeth to
close in upon the blade with considerable binding force; and less set is
required by fine work than for coarse. The angles and points of saw
teeth can be more acute for soft than for hard wood.

To sharpen the scraper you must have a sharpener or burnisher. The edge
of a chisel or any piece of very hard steel can be used after a fashion,
but it is better to have a regular tool for the purpose, which can be
made easily from an old three-cornered file, such as is used for filing
saws, by grinding off the teeth and slightly rounding the angles on the
grindstone until the whole tool is smooth. Two opposite edges of the
scraper are ground or filed and the edge then turned over by the
burnisher. Some workmen grind the edges with an obtuse bevel and use
only one angle of each edge. Others grind the edges square and use both
angles of each edge. The bevel gives a slightly keener scraping edge
than to grind the steel square, but it requires more frequent sharpening
and the squared edge turned over on both sides is likely to be more

[Illustration FIG. 673.]

First grind or file the two opposite edges squarely across and slightly
round each corner to prevent scratching the wood. If there is a burr at
the edge it can be removed by rubbing the scraper lightly on the
oil-stone, but this is advisable only for final scraping of very fine
work. Having thus got the edge at right angles and smooth, lay the
scraper flat on its side near the edge of the bench and rub the
burnisher back and forth a few times in the position shown in Fig. 673,
which is almost flat on the scraper. This rubbing bends a little of the
steel over the edge. Do this on each opposite edge of the two sides,
giving four edges thus curled over. Next, holding the scraper as shown
in Fig. 674, draw the burnisher with a firm, even stroke, once or twice,
lengthways of the edge, as shown. The scraper can be laid flat on the
bench, if preferred, slightly projecting over the edge. Notice that the
tool should be drawn with a slightly end to end motion, as shown, which
helps turn the edge. This turns a fine scraping edge, which will take
off shavings. All four edges are treated in the same way. After one edge
gets dull, use another. When all four are dull, resharpen with the
burnisher as before, without grinding or filing the edge. This can be
done a few times, but soon the edges will get worn off and rounded, and
the scraper then needs refiling.

[Illustration FIG. 674.]

=Shellac.=--See _Finishing_.

=Shell-Bit=.--See _Bits_.

=Shelves.=--Examples of shelves fitted permanently into place are given
in Chapter X. (on Furniture). Removable shelves can most easily be
fitted to rest on cleats screwed to the sides of the space, but this
arrangement does not always look very well and the position of the
shelves cannot be changed so readily as by using screw-eyes driven into
the sides under the shelves (Fig. 675), recesses of the right shape
being cut on the under side of the shelves so that the screw-eyes will
be sunk and not be conspicuous. The position of the shelves can quickly
be changed by screwing the supports higher or lower as may be required.
Pins and other contrivances to fit in a series of holes can be bought
for this purpose. A common way to adjust shelves is shown in Fig. 676.
The construction is obvious. The vertical strips can be laid on edge
side by side, clamped together, and the notches laid out and cut as if
there were but one piece. Where a circular saw is available the notches
are cut on the side of a narrow piece of board which is then sawed into
the desired strips or "ratchets."

[Illustration FIG. 675.]

[Illustration FIG. 676.]

=Shooting-Board.=--The shooting-board is very useful for jointing edges,
particularly for short, thin stock. The carpenter or cabinet-maker will
make you one for a moderate price, or you can make one yourself as soon
as you become a good enough workman (see page 93).

[Illustration FIG. 677.]

To use it, the board to be jointed is laid flat on the raised part of
the shooting-board, where it is firmly held with the left hand, with the
end of the board pressing against the stop of the shooting-board, and
the edge to be jointed lapping over the edge of the raised part. The
planing is done with the plane lying on its side on the lower part of
the shooting-board (Fig. 677). The cutting-edge of the plane thus being
at right angles with the surface of the board, the edge will be planed
squarely across. The shooting-board should be fastened on the bench in
some way, to prevent it from slipping around.

Attachments to keep the sole of the plane at right angles to the surface
of the piece can be had at any hardware store, and serve the same
purpose as a shooting-board for thick stock, but not equally well for
thin pieces.

You can reverse the sides of two pieces to be jointed for gluing, as
described on page 406, giving a joint like that shown in Fig. 678 (which
is exaggerated). The iron of the plane is sometimes purposely set to
project unevenly beyond the sole.

[Illustration FIG. 678.]

If you have many joints to make, you can have the edges jointed at
slight expense at any wood-working mill on a planer made for the
purpose. See _Jointing_.

=Smoothing-Plane.=--See _Plane_.

=Smoothing Surfaces.=--See _Plane_, _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_.

=Splices.=--See _Joints and Splices_.

=Spline.=--A flexible strip, used as a ruler, for drawing curves. See

=Splitting-Saw.=--See _Saw_.

=Splitting Wood.=--We have seen how a log in drying cracks along the
radial lines (page 31), thus showing the natural lines of cleavage or
separation in the direction of the medullary rays, that is, radiating
from the centre. From this we see that the wood will, of course, split
most easily and smoothly on the radial lines. Like all wood-choppers you
can often make practical use of this fact in splitting wood with a knife
or chisel, or in splitting fuel with an axe. The next easiest way to
split wood is as nearly as may be on the line of the annual rings, or
tangential to the line of the medullary rays, in the same direction as
when the layers separate in forming "cup shakes" (see Appendix). This
way is sometimes easier than to rive a stout log through the centre.

=Spokeshave.=--The spoke-shave is very useful for smoothing small curved
and irregular surfaces. Metal spoke-shaves of various patterns can be
bought with various adjustments for different curves, etc. Also a
"universal" spoke-shave can be had, with movable handles and detachable
bottoms which can be adapted for curved or straight work, and a width
gauge by means of which it can be used for rabbeting.

The spoke-shave is a very useful tool and works upon the same general
principle as the plane, but lacking the long flat sole of the plane is
used only for irregular surfaces, which its short and sometimes curved
face enables it to smooth with great ease. It also acts on the same
principle as a draw-knife with the addition of a guiding stock. It bears
somewhat the same relation to the draw-knife that the plane does to the

[Illustration FIG. 679.]

Grasp the tool firmly, bearing downward with both hands and pressing
forward with the thumbs, pushing the tool from you so as to cut like a
plane (Fig. 679). Of course it can also be drawn towards you when the
circumstances of the work render it advisable. See _Paring_ and

=Spoon-Bit.=--See _Bits_.

=Square.=--This tool is one of the most useful in the list, for the
importance of having your work "square" can hardly be over-estimated.

The _try-square_ should have a metal strip on the inside edge of the
wooden arm, head, or beam, or the handle can be wholly of metal. Get a
medium-sized try-square (9- or 10-inch blade is good) rather than a very
small one, as it is much more useful; and a graduated scale, like a
rule, on the blade is sometimes serviceable.

[Illustration FIG. 680.]

The primary use of this tool is to test or "try" the accuracy of
right-angled work--hence the name. The one special point to bear in mind
in using it for this purpose is to be sure that the head or beam is
pressed _firmly_ against the edge or side to which it is applied,
determining the accuracy of the angle by the position of the blade (Fig.

You will also use the try-square continually for marking straight lines
across boards or timbers at right angles to one side or one edge (Fig.
681). In using it for this purpose be sure not merely to press the head
of the square firmly against the edge of the board, but to _keep_ it
securely in the same position. When the blade is placed correctly on the
given point do the marking as by any straight-edge. Another way is to
place the point of the pencil or knife directly on the given point and
slide the square along until it bears on the pencil or knife. Then,
keeping the head of the square firmly against the edge, the line can be
drawn along the blade.

[Illustration FIG. 681.]

[Illustration FIG. 682.]

The try-square sometimes is made with the end of the head or beam next
the blade cut on a bevel. By placing this bevel against the edge a
try-square of this construction can also be used as a mitre-square (Fig.

If you buy a second-hand square, or if a square has been wrenched, you
can test its accuracy by marking a line with it across a surface from a
straight edge, then turning the square over and repeating the operation;
the two lines should coincide. But the edge from which you rule must be
perfectly straight, or the test will be of no value. If, however, you
buy new squares made by the best makers they will be as accurate as any
test you can apply to them.

Beginners, particularly young beginners, are very apt to be so engrossed
in making the line along the blade that they forget to keep the head in
position, or let it slip, when the blade will of course cease to be at
right angles with the edge or side (Fig. 683).

[Illustration FIG. 683.]

The _framing-square_, "_steel-square_," or large two-foot carpenter's
square, is a very useful and important tool; not merely for framing and
large, heavy work but also for small work, and it is of great value in
many mechanical operations. Even an iron square is very useful, but a
nickel-plated steel-square is the best, as the figures are more distinct
and it is less likely to rust. The long arm makes a good straight-edge.
See also page 181.

=Staining.=--When you stain wood, do it for the sake of the colour,
preserving the beauty of the grain, and not to try to imitate a more
expensive wood. It is better, as a rule, to use good wood of a handsome
colour and leave it as it is to mellow with age than to stain or colour
it, but there are times when you will wish to stain wood.

The main point to bear in mind for successful staining is to colour the
wood itself, not to put on a superficial coat of coloured varnish. For
instance, the fumes of ammonia (or the liquid itself) will give oak in a
very short time the same dark colour which the ammonia in the air will
produce after years of exposure. This is a natural process--merely
anticipating the change caused by time.

There are a number of ways of staining dependent upon such chemical
processes carried on in the wood itself. These ways are the best, as you
can readily see. Having got the right colour, the wood can be oiled,
shellacked, varnished, or waxed in the usual way. By this method the
natural grain of the wood is not obscured. In fact, the figure of the
grain is sometimes made more conspicuous.

Another way is to wash the wood with some thin stain of the desired
colour, after which you can finish in the usual way. This is a good
method, for the wood itself is coloured to some distance below the
surface, and after it is finished it will take considerable bruising to
expose its original colour. This method also sometimes enhances the
beauty of the grain.

The poorest way to stain, but a very common one with amateurs and in
cheap work, is, instead of staining the wood itself, to cover the
surface with coloured varnish or shellac. This is often the cheapest and
quickest way of getting a desired colour, but it is decidedly the
poorest way. Of course, no coating of colour put on outside can be as
durable as colour imbedded in the substance of the wood itself, and
scarring or injury to the coating exposes the original colour beneath.
Besides this, the grain and character of the wood are necessarily
obscured by a coloured coating. Wood finished in this way almost always
has a cheap, artificial look, and you can usually detect the fraud at a
glance. There are many cheap "varnish stains" or coloured varnishes, but
you will do well to avoid them, unless for the cheapest and poorest

There are two things you will wish to do in staining. One is simply to
darken or enrich the natural colour of the wood, so as to give it at
once the rich, deep, mellow tone produced by age. This is always the
best way to do when it will give the colour you want. But if you want to
change the colour entirely--to make pine wood red or green, or cherry
black, you must use some chemical process that will develop a new colour
in the wood, or must apply a regular stain.

Raw linseed oil alone, well rubbed in and allowed to stand before
applying shellac or varnish, will deepen and bring out the natural
colouring in time as well as anything else, but it takes a good while.
Repeated applications, each thoroughly rubbed in and the excess rubbed
off, and after standing some days or weeks, given a light rubbing down
with fine sandpaper, then another oiling, and so on, will in time give a
surface of beautiful colour, as well as a soft and attractive lustre.
But to carry out this process may take months, so that you will not be
very likely to practise it; but you see the result sometimes on old
wooden tool-handles and plane-stocks which have been so treated. If you
do not care about deepening the colour greatly, one or two applications,
allowed to stand a week or two before finishing, will often be
sufficient and will make a great difference in the looks of your work,
and take off that raw, fresh look peculiar to recently cut wood.

If your work is such that you can defer the shellacing for a year or so,
as in the case of some pretty piece of furniture to remain in the house,
there is no way you can develop the richness of the wood better than to
oil it and let it stand to mellow, with occasional applications of oil
and rubbing down. Then finally rub down with fine sandpaper and shellac
in the usual way.

To hasten the process we must apply something stronger than oil. If the
work is of oak, shut it up in a box or _tight_ closet, with a dish of
_strong_ ammonia on the floor. Do not stay in the box or closet
yourself, as it is dangerous. A simpler way is to wash the work with the
ammonia, more than once if necessary. Have the room well ventilated when
you do this, and do not inhale more of the fumes than necessary. Wetting
the wood is sometimes a disadvantage, however, in glued-up work, and it
"raises the grain," which must be rubbed down with fine sandpaper before

To deepen the colour of mahogany or cherry, simply wash it with
lime-water (a simple solution of common lime in water) as many times as
may be necessary, which is cheap and effective. After this process,
thoroughly clean out all cracks and corners before sandpapering, for
particles of the lime which may be deposited will spoil the appearance
of the work when finished. This process preserves the natural appearance
of the wood. The only drawback is the necessity of getting the work so
wet. Some days should be allowed for the water to evaporate before
shellacking. To get a darker shade, apply in the same way a solution of
bichromate of potash in water.

Whitewood takes stains finely--much better than pine. Oak will stain
almost any colour, but the individuality of the wood--the character of
its grain and structure--is so strongly marked that it is poor taste to
attempt to stain it to imitate other woods. If you stain it, stain it
just as you would paint it, simply for the colour.

A good way for indoor work, such as a piece of furniture or anything of
the sort you may wish to colour, is to mix dry pigments with japan and
then thin the mixture with turpentine, or turpentine alone can be used.
After the work is coloured in this way put on a couple of coats of
varnish. For outside work you can use oil. This is a cheap way and wears
well. It applies only to the cheaper woods which you do not care to
leave of the natural colour. For black inside work you can use
ivory-black, ground in japan and thinned with turpentine. Ivory-black or
bone-black are superior to lampblack, but the latter will do very well
for most purposes. Dragon's blood in alcohol is used to give a colour
similar to mahogany. Alkanet root in raw linseed oil will give a warm
and mellow hue to mahogany or cherry.

There is an almost endless number of recipes for staining, but such
others as you need you can learn from some finisher or painter, for the
limits of this book do not allow fuller treatment of so extensive a

=Steel-Square.=--See _Square_.

=Steel-Wool.=--Long, fine steel shavings done up in bundles can be used
instead of sandpaper for some purposes. There are various degrees of
fineness. This is good for cleaning off paint and for smoothing curved
surfaces, but should not be used until all work with the edge-tools is
done, because of the particles of the metal. It can be used for "rubbing
down" in finishing.

=Straight-Bent Chisel.=--See _Chisel_.

=Straight-Edge.=--There are no definite dimensions for a straight-edge.
Any piece of wood that is straight and convenient to use can be so
called; the size and the length depending on the work for which it is
to be used, from a common ruler to a long board. The edge of a large
carpenter's square is handy for short work. Clear white pine or
straight-grained mahogany is good for straight-edges, but a
straight-edge is not the easiest thing for a beginner to make, and you
will do well to find something straight to use for a while until you
acquire the skill to make one--or get the carpenter to make you one,
which he will do for a very small sum or for nothing.

[Illustration FIG. 684.]

To test a straight-edge, mark a line by it, then turn the straight-edge
over and see if it still coincides with the line, or mark another line
and see if it coincides with the first one. Try your straight-edges by
this test once in a while, as they are liable to become crooked. In
turning the edge over, however, do not reverse the ends, as in case of
an undulating curvature the curves may agree and give you the impression
that the edge is straight when it is not. In the first case shown in
Fig. 684 (exaggerated) this would not happen, but in the second case
(also exaggerated) it might. See _Marking_.

=Strop.=--A piece of hard, smooth leather on which to strop your tools
you can easily procure. It can be fastened on a piece of wood (see page
85). Spread on it a paste of sweet oil and emery, lard oil and crocus
powder, or some similar preparation. A pine board on which "air-dust"
has accumulated can even be used. See remarks under _Sharpening_.

=Tacks.=--Tacks are sold as one-ounce, two-ounce, and so on according
to size.

Do not use tacks for fastening wood to wood, but only for fastening
leather or cloth or the like to wood. The pointed wedge-shape of the
tack tends to split thin wood, and is not at all suitable to fasten two
pieces of wood together, particularly in thin wood or near the edge.
Possibly you may have seen some disastrous results from the attempt to
tack pieces of wood together.

=Tape-Measure.=--This article (preferably of steel) is often useful,
though not nearly as important for an amateur to buy as many other

=Tenon.=--See _Mortising_.

=Tenon-Saw.=--See _Saw_ (_Back-Saw_).

=Tool-Racks.=--See page 83.

=Toothed-Plane.=--See _Plane_.

[Illustration FIG. 685.]

[Illustration FIG. 686.]

=Truing Surfaces.=--To true a curved or warped surface, as of a board,
lay it on the bench with the rounded side down and wedge it firmly
underneath to make it as nearly level as possible. Then scribe a line
with the compasses across each end of the board at the height of the
lowest point of the surface (Fig. 685). Cut a depression or kind of
rabbet at each end down to this line (Fig. 686). Next, by the use of
winding-sticks placed on each of these rabbets you can easily see
whether they are in line (see _Winding-sticks_). Alter the rabbets if
necessary to get them in line. Draw lines on each edge connecting the
bottoms of the rabbets, and plane away the superfluous wood down to
these lines. When this is done the top of the board will be true or in
the same plane. Test it by placing the straight-edges in different
positions on the surface and sighting as before, correcting any errors.
One side of the board being made true in this way, the other can be made
parallel by gauging a line all around the edge, measuring by the
thinnest point of the board, and planing off the superfluous wood in the
same manner as the first side.

You can sometimes facilitate the process of planing off the superfluous
wood by making cuts with the saw and removing part of it with the
chisel, or by planing across the grain (the jack-plane is good for this
purpose), or paring across the grain with the chisel, or any such
method, always being careful not to cut quite as deep as the intended
surface, so that all the marks and cuts can be removed by the final
planing. See _Plane_, and also page 179.

=Try-Square.=--See _Square_.

=Turning-Saw.=--See _Saw_.

=Turpentine.=--See _Finishing_ and _Painting_.

=Twist-Drill.=--The twist-drill is much better than the gimlet-bit. It
makes a good hole, bores easily, is not easily dulled, can be used upon
metal, and one kind in common use can be easily kept in order by simply
sharpening the ends. There are various patterns. A little care is
necessary, however, particularly in hard wood, as they are liable to be
snapped by bending. See _Bits_.

=Varnish.=--See _Finishing_.

=Veining-Tool.=--See _Carving-Tools_.

=Vise.=--See page 65. For vise for metal-work, see page 70.

=Warping, To Remove.=--Of course the simplest way to straighten a warped
board is to put a weight on it, but the difficulty here is that it
usually will stay straight only while the weight is on it, unless you
leave it longer than the patience of the average amateur lasts. To do
this (or to warp a straight board either) with some chance of success,
(1) heat one side, or (2) wet one side, or (3) wet one side and heat the
other, or (4) wet both sides and expose one to the fire (Fig. 687). But
do not be too sure that the result will be lasting. Sometimes it will
and sometimes not. Another way is to thoroughly soak the board, press it
into shape between clamps or under a weight, and leave it until dry; a
week or more is none too long, and boiling water is better than cold.
Simply laying a board down on a flat surface will often cause it to
warp, because the two sides of the board will be unequally exposed to
the action of the atmosphere. Planing off one side only, or planing one
side more than the other, often produces the same effect. See pages
50-53 and Appendix.

[Illustration FIG. 687.]

=Wedges.=--Wedges are in constant use for lifting or separating heavy
bodies, as doubtless you know, and the principle of the wedge comes in
in using the axe, hatchet, chisel, knife, and the other edge-tools (see
page 25). Besides this use of the wedge you will often find it valuable
to tighten or clamp objects of various kinds, or to hold them firmly in

If you wish to split objects or tear them apart, use a _single_ wedge,
for the increasing thickness of the wedge applied at one point tears or
splits the wood apart. But if you merely wish to squeeze, or press, or
hold firmly, or move, _without damaging the shape of the wood_, use
_double_ wedges,--that is, two wedges having the same inclination or
taper and pointing opposite ways. You will see that the sides of the
double wedge (that is, the outsides of the wedges) will be parallel no
matter how hard you drive the separate wedges, so that the pressure will
be exerted without injuring or jamming the surfaces against which the
wedge bears (see Fig. 333). Short, flaring wedges do the work more
quickly, but require harder blows to drive, and are more liable to slip.
Long, tapering wedges work more slowly, more easily, and are not liable
to slip. You will also use wedging to secure tenons and dowels (see
_Mortising_, etc.).

=Whittling.=--See _Knife_.

=Winding-Sticks.=--Two straight-edges, each of equal width throughout,
can be laid on edge, one across each end of the surface to be tested.
Stand back a little and look across the top edge of one to the top edge
of the other, and if these edges agree you may know at once that there
is no winding where you have placed the straight-edges (Fig. 688). By
putting them in different positions you can finally determine whether
the whole surface is true or not.

[Illustration FIG. 688.]

[Illustration FIG. 689.]

It is more accurate to use winding-sticks considerably longer than the
width of the piece to be tested, as then any warping or winding will be
exaggerated and more easily seen (Fig. 689). If the upper edges of the
sticks are thin, or "feather-edged," it is easier to tell exactly when
they are in line, but this does not ordinarily matter, except in work
requiring extreme accuracy.

To find, for example, when the legs of a table, chair, or the like are
cut so that the article will stand evenly, turn it over with the legs
sticking up, put straight-edges on the ends of the legs, sight across
these (Fig. 690), and trim one or two legs until the edges are in line.
See _Scribing_ for other methods.

[Illustration FIG. 690.]

Warping or winding of short pieces can be detected by simply laying one
straight-edge diagonally from corner to corner (Fig. 691). This will
show at once which parts require to be planed to make the surface true.

[Illustration FIG. 691.]

=Withdrawing Nails.=--When withdrawing nails place a block under the
hammer-head as shown (Fig. 692), using more blocks, if necessary, as the
nail is withdrawn.

To draw the nails from boxes, pry up a board, together with the nails, a
short distance--perhaps 1/4"--and then with a _sharp_, _quick_ blow of
the hammer pound the board back into place, not striking the nails but
the board between them. This will usually leave the nail-heads
projecting a little above the surface, so that you can draw them as
shown in Fig. 692, and thus save splitting or defacing the boards and
bending the nails, as usually results from smashing or wrenching boxes
apart. The quick blow drives the board back before the motion has time
to communicate itself to the nails, on somewhat the same principle that
a bullet makes a round hole in a window pane without smashing the glass.

[Illustration FIG. 692.]

=Wood-Filler.=--See _Finishing_.

=Wrench.=--A strong wrench is often very serviceable in wood-working


[41] _Mortise-chisels_ with great thickness of blade (Fig. 486) are not
likely to break, and the width of the sides bearing against the sides of
the mortise tends to make the cutting more accurate.

[42] You may be told that perfect joints do not require much clamping,
but a perfect joint is impossible, and as a practical matter, only the
skilled workman or the most accurate machinery can make even a _good_
joint of much length, so great is the difficulty of avoiding little
inaccuracies. Besides this, there is always the liability to more or
less springing or change of shape on the part of the pieces. The joint
which was good when you stopped planing may not be as good by the time
the glue has set, particularly if the gluing does not immediately follow
the jointing. In addition to this, the pressure from clamping at only
one or two points, or at points too far apart, may force the joint to
open elsewhere. Do not infer from this that even the beginner should be
content with a poor joint, with the idea that it can be squeezed and
jammed to a sufficiently good fit by applying muscle to the clamps. Of
course this jamming or mashing of the fibres to fit occurs, to a
microscopic degree, in even the best joint, and it can sometimes be done
to a perceptible extent with soft wood, but to do this intentionally is
very unworkmanlike, and the greatest care should be taken to make as
good a joint as possible before gluing and applying the clamps. Do not,
however, flatter yourself that you can make so accurate a joint that you
can afford to neglect proper clamping, unless, in such cases as that
shown in Fig. 488, you adopt the old-fashioned way of rubbing the two
edges together and then leaving the rest to the glue, but this is not so
good a process for the beginner, except with small pieces, such as
corner-blocks (see _Corner-blocks_). See _Jointing_.

[43] Shellac is, strictly speaking, a kind of varnish, but it is so
different from many kinds of varnish in common use that it is quite
commonly spoken of as shellac, in contradistinction from what is
popularly known as varnish, and the term is so used here.

[44] In shellacing doors or panel work, first shellac the panels, then
the rails, and finally the styles (see Fig. 505), because daubs or runs
can be wiped off and covered better when you thus follow the
construction of the work.

[45] As an extreme illustration, it may be interesting to note the way
the best lacquer work (which is so durable) is made by the Japanese, an
article being given, as Professor Morse tells us, one coat a year, the
finest work having twenty-one coats and the artist rowing out to sea for
miles each time to make sure that all dust is avoided.

[46] Two pieces properly glued are often stronger than one solid
piece--that is, the glued joint is stronger than the wood itself, as
you will probably discover some day when you have occasion to break
apart a piece of good gluing; but after a long time the glue is apt to
deteriorate in adhesive or cohesive force, particularly if the joint
has not been protected by paint or varnish, so do the best work you can
if you wish it to last. Nevertheless, in important work it is usually
safest to take a whole piece when you can, rather than glue up two or
more pieces, except in cases, perhaps, where the matter of warping,
etc., is concerned, when it may be better to build up the desired shape
of pieces selected for the purpose.

[47] It may be useful to know, although not suitable work for the
beginner, that there is no better way to joint edges (to make glued
joints, as in Fig. 552) than with a first-class circular saw, run by one
who knows how to use it. The minute roughnesses left by the saw assist
the glue to hold, and as inconspicuous and strong joints as possible can
be quickly produced in this way by a good workman with a first-class
saw, but do not expect a satisfactory result except under these

[48] This seems to be the common opinion among experienced men. There
are, however, many painters of experience who prefer the prepared liquid
paint for outside work, and it certainly saves trouble.

[49] It is not a good plan to wipe brushes on the sharp edge of a tin
can, as it injures the bristles.

[50] Another method of doing this is to find a true surface to stand the
legs on and measure the distance the free leg rises from the surface--1"
for example. Do nothing to that leg, of course, or to the one
_diagonally_ opposite, but saw 1/2" from each of the two other legs.
Suppose, for example, the legs _a_, _b_, and _c_ touch (Fig. 669), and
_d_ rises 3/4" from the floor. Make _a_ and _c_ each 3/8" shorter. Of
course you cannot hit it exactly by this method, but a few strokes of a
tool will finish the work.


=Collection of Specimens of Wood.=--Waste pieces of all the common woods
can easily be obtained at the wood working shops. Have some system about
the size and shape of the specimens. Some kinds you may be able to get
only in pieces of such shape as you can find among the odds and ends of
the shops, and many rare foreign and tropical woods you can obtain only
in quite small pieces, but even these will show the character of the
wood and add value to the collection. Waste scraps of veneers of rare
woods can be glued on blocks of pine.

The specimens will be most valuable if you can get them out so as to
show a longitudinal section along the medullary rays (or through the
heart), a longitudinal section at right angles to the medullary rays (or
tangential to the annual rings), and a cross section (Fig. 693). It will
be an advantage also to show not only the heartwood but the sapwood and
bark. If you cannot get such large pieces of even the common woods, a
collection of small flat blocks will be well worth making.

[Illustration FIG. 693.]

The specimens will show to best advantage if polished (one half of each
side can be polished) or finished with a dull lustre, and they will be
good objects on which to practise finishing (see _Finishing_ in Part

All the information you can pick up about the strength, durability,
toughness, elasticity, and uses of the various woods will be sure to
come in play sooner or later. The gradations of hardness, density,
weight, toughness, elasticity, etc., are almost endless.

Notice, therefore, the weight, colour, hardness, density, and
characteristic odour of the specimens; the proportion of heart to
sapwood, and the colour of each; the size and condition of the pith; the
character of the grain, whether coarse or fine, close or open and
porous; the number, arrangement, size, and colour of the medullary rays
(when visible); the width and character of the annual rings (when
visible), whether wide or narrow, with many or few ducts or resin
canals. You will find many things to notice in some woods. Use a
magnifying-glass if you can.

Notice also about the bark. Hunt up all the woody stems you can, compare
the bark of the different specimens, noting its colour, taste, odour,
surface, thickness, and the different ways it cracks and is cast off;
and notice how easily you can learn to tell the common trees by the bark
alone. Sections of small stems or branches will often show the character
of the wood well.

Note what you can about the character and habits of the trees
themselves; the height, diameter, age, and the shape and peculiarities
of the leaves. In this connection, a collection of leaves will also be
interesting to make. You can soon learn to tell the common trees by
their leaves.

Notice how, in some trees, as the pines, spruces, firs, the stem grows
right straight up to the top, forming a spire-shaped tree. This is
called an _excurrent_ trunk (Lat., _excurrere_, to run out). Notice how,
in other trees, like the elm, oak, etc., the stem branches again and
again until it is lost in the branches. This is called a _deliquescent_
stem (Lat., _deliquescere_, to melt away).

Study the shape and arrangement of the different kinds of trees as shown
in outline against the sky; best, perhaps, when the leaves are off. You
can learn to tell the common trees by their outline. Do they look stout,
firm, strong, and rugged, or delicate, yielding, and graceful? To a
certain extent you can thus form an idea of the character of the wood,
as in comparing the pine, with its comparatively light top and slender
leaves, with the heavy growth which the trunk of the oak has to sustain
in wind and snow.

=Preservation of Forests.=--Forests are of great value from their effect
upon the climate, making it more equable. They tend to cause abundant
and needed rainfall and to preserve the moisture when fallen, releasing
it to the rivers gradually, and thus preventing abnormal freshets and
extreme droughts. By absorbing and parting with heat slowly they cause
the changes of temperature to be less sudden than in the open country.
They temper the heat, and they serve as a protection, or "wind-break,"
to adjacent land. Trees, with other vegetation, are essential to the
purification of the air. All this is in addition to the obvious uses of
supplying fuel and wood for an almost endless variety of purposes, not
to speak of the value of trees for shade and as features of the

The reckless rate at which the forests of the United States are being
destroyed is becoming a serious matter, not merely because of depriving
wood-workers of the materials with which to work, but because of the
influence of the forests upon the climate, the soil, etc., upon which so
much of the welfare of mankind depends. At the present rate of
destruction many generations cannot pass before the supply of wood will
be practically exhausted. It is every year becoming more difficult to
obtain native lumber of the best quality and large size.

One of the most serious aspects of the matter, however, is in regard to
the washing away of the soil, which owes not merely its origin but its
preservation to the forest and other vegetable growths. Professor Shaler
tells us that "it is in this action of the rain upon the bared surface
of the ground that we find the principal danger which menaces man in his
use of the earth."

The individual wood-worker may not have control of any forest or
wood-lot, but he can at least use his influence indirectly, when
opportunity offers, toward needed legislation to restrict, or at least
regulate, the improvident waste now going on, and he can in many cases
take advantage of Arbor Day to plant at least one tree toward preserving
the balance required by nature.

=Common Woods and Some of their Characteristics.=--There are many things
to be considered by the beginner when choosing his wood. Many of these
points have been treated in Chapter III. (to which the reader is
referred), but a few additional remarks about the various kinds may be
of use.

One important thing, however, to be borne in mind before beginning, is
to select straight-grained, plain, rather soft, and easily worked stock.
With this and with _sharp_ tools you will have every chance of success,
while with hard, crooked-grained wood and with _dull_ tools you will be
well started on the road to discouragement and failure.

It may be remarked, incidentally, that beginning with soft woods, such
as white pine, calls for even keener-edged tools than can be got along
with for harder woods, like oak. This, however, though it may seem a
disadvantage, is really a good thing, for it _compels_ one to keep his
tools sharp. You will soon find that it is impossible to do even
passable work in the softer woods without sharp tools, while with harder
wood you may succeed by brute force in mauling the work into tolerable
shape without being sufficiently impressed by the fact that your tools
are dull and require sharpening.

Besides the familiar fact that the heartwood is usually better than the
sapwood,[51] it may be useful to remember that, as a rule, the wood from
a young tree is tougher than that from an old one; the best, hardest,
and strongest in the young tree usually being nearest the heart, while
in an old tree the heart, having begun to deteriorate, is softer and not
as good as the more recently formed growths nearer the sapwood. If the
tree is in its prime the wood is more uniformly hard throughout. The
sapwood, as a rule, is tougher than the heartwood, though usually
inferior in other respects; and timber light in weight is sometimes
tougher than heavy wood, though the latter is often stronger and more
durable and preferable for some purposes. The application of these
statements varies much according to the kind of wood and different
circumstances, for the growth and structure of trees is a very complex
matter, and the diversities almost infinite.

It may be well to bear in mind, considering the great variety of
purposes for which the amateur uses wood, the distinction between the
_elasticity_ needed for such purposes as a bow or horizontal bar, and
the _toughness_ required for the ribs of a canoe, or the wattles of a
basket. In the former case the material must not merely bend without
breaking, but must spring back (or nearly so) to its former shape when
released, as with lancewood or white ash; while in the latter case it
must bend without breaking, but is not required to spring back to its
original form when released, as with many green sticks which can be
easily bent, but have not much resilience. These two qualities are found
combined in endlessly varying degrees in all woods. Elastic wood must
necessarily have toughness up to the breaking-point, but tough wood may
have but little elasticity.

Earliest of all trees, historically, come the pines--the conifers--and
then the broad-leaved trees. The conifers, or needle-leaved trees,
include the pines, firs, spruces, cypresses, larches, and cedars. As a
rule they contain turpentine, have a comparatively straight and regular
fibre and simple structure, are usually light, flexible, and elastic,
and the wood is more easily split or torn apart than that from the
broad-leaved trees, and is easily worked. The wood of the broad-leaved
trees is more complex in structure than that of the conifers and, as a
rule, harder, and for many purposes stronger and more durable.

Besides the woods in general use there are many which have merely a
local value where they grow, and a long list could be made of the woods
which have but very limited uses, as well as of those which, from their
scarcity, hardness, small size, or other peculiarities are practically
out of the question for the beginner or the amateur, except on rare

The following list makes no claim to completeness, but may be of some
use to the beginner.

=Apple.=--This wood is used for turning, such as handles, etc., and for
other small work. It is handsome, fine-grained, and somewhat hard.

=Ash.=--This is a valuable wood, of which there are a number of
varieties. It is used for agricultural implements, carriage-building,
floors, interior finish, cabinet-work, etc. Ash is flexible, tough, and
elastic. It is good to stand a quick and violent strain, as that put on
a horizontal bar in the gymnasium, although in time it becomes brittle.
_White ash_ is the variety best suited for such purposes. It is good for
oars and the like. Ash is of a rather coarse and usually
straight-grained texture, and most varieties are not difficult to work.

=Basswood.=--The wood of the American linden, or basswood, is soft and
light in substance, white or light brown in colour, is easily bent but
not easily split, free from knots but prone to warp, and is used for
cabinet-work, carriage-work, and for various minor articles. It can be
obtained in boards of considerable width.

=Beech.=--This close-grained wood, hard, firm, strong, and taking a good
polish, is extensively used for machine-frames, handles, plane-stocks,
some kinds of furniture, and a variety of minor articles, but will not
often be needed by the amateur. The medullary rays are noticeable.

=Birch.=--The birch, of which there are many species, is widely
distributed in North America, and furnishes an important wood, which is
used for a great variety of purposes,--for furniture, floors, interior
finish, turning, and a long list of minor articles. It is close-grained,
and most varieties are hard and strong, but not difficult to work, and
are susceptible of being given a smooth satiny surface and a fine
finish. The uses of the bark of the canoe birch are familiar to all.
This tree is good not merely for canoes, but its wood is used for
paddles, skis, and the like.

The _black birch_ is especially esteemed for furniture and interior
work. It is of a beautiful reddish- or yellowish-brown colour, and much
of it is beautifully figured with wavy and curly grain. It is frequently
stained in imitation of mahogany, a deception much assisted by the
resemblance in grain, and not easily detected if skilfully done.

=Black Walnut.=--Large black-walnut trees are practically almost as
thoroughly exterminated in America as the bisons of the Western
prairies. The wood can be obtained, however, though it is not abundant
in very wide boards. It is durable, usually straight-grained, moderately
strong and hard, not difficult to work, holds glue well, and can be
given a fine finish. It holds its shape well, and is an excellent wood
for many purposes in interior finishing, cabinet-work, and for various
minor articles. It has been very extensively used for gun-stocks. Its
sombre colour is not always admired, but it is an excellent wood for
amateur work. When mottled or in the form of burl it is, of course,
harder to smooth. The English and Italian varieties of walnut have long
been used.

=Boxwood.=--This wood is distinguished for its extremely compact and
even grain. It is hard and heavy, is used in turning, wood-engraving,
and the like, but is not likely to be required by the amateur.

=Butternut.=--This wood, found in North America, has a rather coarsely
marked grain, is soft, light, of a yellowish-brown colour, and when
finished makes a handsome wood for furniture and interior work.

It is easily worked, but is not the easiest material for the amateur to
smooth satisfactorily, because of the peculiar texture of the wood,
which tends to "rough up" unless the tools are very keen.

=Buttonwood.=--See _Sycamore_.

=Cedar.=--This tree, found quite abundantly in the United States,
furnishes a wood which is exceedingly durable, particularly where
exposed to the alternations of moisture and dryness, as when inserted in
the ground or in situations near the ground, and is very valuable for
fence-posts, foundation-posts for buildings, railroad ties, shingles,
pails, and the like. Some varieties of cedar are used for building
purposes and interior fittings.

The varieties of _white cedar_ are light, of good grain and easy to
work, soft, and not particularly strong, but durable and admirably
adapted to such purposes as boat-building, for which it is largely used.
_Red cedar_, which is in many respects similar to the other varieties,
is distinguished by its colour and by its strong fragrance, which, being
obnoxious to insects, makes it excellent for chests and closets. It is
used for pencils.

=Cherry.=--This is a valuable wood for the amateur. It is found
extensively in the United States. It is fine-grained, of moderate
hardness, not difficult to work, and of a beautiful reddish-brown or
yellowish-brown colour. It has a satin-like surface when smoothed, and
can be given a beautiful finish. The _black cherry_ is especially
esteemed. It can be obtained, so far as it has not been exterminated, in
quite wide boards. Cherry mellows and grows richer in colour with age.
The varieties having a wavy texture are especially beautiful. It is much
used for cabinet-work, interior finish, and for many purposes. The
beginner should select only the softer and straight-grained varieties,
as some of the harder and denser kinds are exceedingly hard to smooth.

=Chestnut.=--The value of this wood to the amateur lies chiefly in its
durability. It lasts well in or near the ground or exposed to the
weather. It can be used for framing, for posts for a fence or to support
a building, and for similar purposes. It is soft, coarse-grained, not
very strong, but is not difficult to work.

=Cottonwood.=--This is a soft, light, close-grained wood, used for
woodenware, boxes, pulp, etc.

=Cypress.=--This wood is found in North America, Mexico, parts of Asia
and Europe. It is a valuable material, yellowish or yellowish-brown in
colour, very durable when exposed to the weather or in contact with the
soil, light, soft, easily worked, and is used for general lumber
purposes for which pine is used, but to which it is superior for
withstanding exposure. It is used for interior finish, doors,
clapboards, shingles, cabinet-work, boat-building, posts, and a great
variety of purposes. It takes a fine finish. The cypress of the Southern
United States is of large size, and the wood is of beautiful figure and
colouring. Valuable varieties are found upon the Pacific coast.

=Deal.=--See _Pine_ and _Spruce_.

=Ebony.=--The excessive hardness of ebony renders it unsuited for
amateur work. It is also expensive. It is very hard and solid, with
black heartwood and white sapwood, and is used for furniture, turning,
and small articles.

=Elm.=--This useful wood, strong, tough, and durable, usually flexible,
heavy and hard, is extensively used in some of its varieties for
boat-building, the frames of agricultural implements, yokes, wheel-hubs,
chairs, cooperage, and many other purposes. Some species are very good
for continued exposure to wet. The _rock elm_ is a valuable variety,
esteemed for flexibility and toughness as well as durability and

=Fir.=--See _Pine_ and _Spruce_.

=Hemlock.=--This wood, valuable for its bark, is cheap, coarse-grained
and subject to shakes, brittle and easily split, and somewhat soft, but
not easy to work. It is unfit for nice work, but can be used for rough
framing and rough boarding, for which its holding nails well renders it

=Hickory.=--This wood, found in the eastern parts of North America, is
highly esteemed for its strength and great elasticity. It is hard,
tough, heavy, and close-grained. It is largely used for carriage-work,
agricultural implements, hoops, axe-helves, and the like. It is hard to
work. The _shagbark_ is especially valued for timber.

=Holly.=--This wood is quite hard, close-grained, and very white, though
it does not retain the purity of its colour. It is used for small
articles of cabinet-work and for turning.

=Lancewood.=--The use of this wood for bows, fishing-rods, and such
purposes has been extensive. It is distinguished for its elasticity.

=Lignum Vitæ.=--The extreme hardness, solidity, and durability of lignum
vitæ make it of great value for pulley-sheaves, balls for bowling,
mallets, small handles, and turned objects. It is too excessively hard
for the beginner to use.

=Locust.=--The wood of the locust of North America is hard, strong,
heavy, exceedingly durable, and of yellowish or brownish colour. It is a
valuable wood, and is used extensively for posts for fences and for the
support of buildings, for ship-building, and for other work to be
subjected to exposure or to contact with the ground. It is used in
turning, but not extensively for interior work.

=Mahogany.=--This highly valuable wood, which did not come into general
use until the eighteenth century, is found in the West Indies, Mexico,
Central America, and some other regions. It is very durable. The colour
is found in a great variety of shades from golden-brown to deep
reddish-brown. Some varieties are light and quite soft, even spongy,
while others (the best) are very hard and heavy, close-grained, and
strong. In some kinds the grain is quite straight, in others curved and
twisted into an endless variety of crooked shapes, the latter being the
most beautiful for ornamental work, but more liable to change of shape
than the straight-grained varieties.

The straight-grained varieties change their shape but little,--less than
most woods,--and are therefore excellently suited for the framework or
structural parts of cabinet-work, for pattern-making, and the like. The
so-called _baywood_ holds its shape well and is easily worked, but is
not especially beautiful. The better grades of mahogany grow darker and
richer in colour with age, but some varieties become bleached and
lustreless with exposure.

It is of the greatest value for interior finishing, for furniture, and
for cabinet-work generally, and is also used for many other purposes.

The term mahogany is used in commerce in a rather comprehensive way.
Mahogany from San Domingo has long been highly esteemed, but is now
difficult or impossible to obtain. The light-coloured variety known as
_white mahogany_ is much valued for its beauty.

Mahogany is excellent for holding glue. It can be obtained in wide
pieces, thus often saving the necessity of gluing. It can be given a
beautiful dull finish or a high polish, as may be desired.

The beginner should only attempt the plain, softer, straight-grained
kinds of mahogany at first. The other varieties require much skill to
smooth and, in case of the harder pieces, even to work at all; and
these, however beautiful they may be, should be deferred until
considerable proficiency has been attained.

=Maple.=--The maple grows freely in the United States, and is much used
for a great variety of purposes, the _sugar_ or _rock maple_ being
especially esteemed. It is close-grained, hard, strong, heavy, and of a
light yellowish-, reddish-, or brownish-white colour (sometimes almost
white, though found in varying shades), and can be smoothed to a
satin-like surface and be given a good finish. It can be stained
satisfactorily. The curly or wavy varieties furnish wood of much beauty,
the peculiar contortion of the grain known as "bird's-eye" being much
admired. Maple is extensively used for cabinet-work and interior
finishing, floors, machine-frames, work-benches, turning, and a great
variety of miscellaneous articles.

There are a number of varieties of the maple. The beginner should
confine himself at first to the softer and straight-grained specimens,
as the other kinds are hard to work and to smooth.

=Oak.=--Of all the broad-leaved trees the oak is probably the most
valuable, and has for ages stood as a type of strength. It is widely
scattered in various parts of the world, and nearly three hundred
varieties have been noted.

Oak is distinguished for its combination of useful qualities. It is
hard, tough, elastic, heavy, durable, stiff (except after steaming, when
it readily bends), and durable when exposed to the weather or to the
soil. Oak is more or less subject to checking. It is strongly
impregnated with tannic acid, which tends to destroy iron fastenings.

_American white oak._ This important variety is found in North America,
and from it is obtained most excellent timber. It is used for a variety
of purposes too great to be specified, from the construction of
buildings and ships to furniture and agricultural implements, carriages,
etc. It is an invaluable wood.

_British oak_ has long been held in the highest regard for its
combination of valuable qualities, and has been used for more purposes
than can be here mentioned.

The _live oak_, found in southern parts of North America, may be
mentioned as a valuable wood, very strong, tough, and durable, which,
before the introduction of iron and steel in ship-building, was
extensively used in that business; but it is excessively hard and
unsuited to amateur work.

Varieties of _red oak_ are extensively used, but, though valuable, are
of inferior quality to the white oak. Other varieties largely used in
England and on the Continent are seldom marketed in the United States.

=Pear.=--The wood of the pear tree is somewhat like that of the apple
tree. It can be readily carved.

=Pine.=--First and foremost among the needle-leaved trees comes the
pine, of which about seventy species are known. The _white pine_, known
in England as yellow pine and also as Weymouth pine, is widely
distributed in America, and is, or has been, our most valuable timber
tree, but seems to be doomed to rapid extinction, at least so far as the
wide, clear boards and planks of old-growth timber are concerned, which
are now exceedingly hard to obtain.

There is no better wood for the beginner than clear white pine for all
purposes to which it is suited.

It is light, stiff, straight-grained and of close fibre, easily worked,
can be easily nailed, and takes a good finish. When allowed to grow it
has reached a large size (as in the so-called "pumpkin" pine),
furnishing very wide, clear boards, of beautiful texture and with a
fine, satiny surface. It is of a light yellowish-brown colour, growing
darker with time. It is soft, resinous, and of moderate strength. Pine
is cut into lumber of many forms, and is used for inside finishing of
houses, for many purposes of carpentry and cabinet-making, for masts and
spars, for clapboards, shingles, and laths, doors, sashes, blinds,
patterns for castings, and a long list of different purposes. It holds
glue exceedingly well and takes paint well.

Other varieties, as the _sugar pine_, the _Canadian red pine_, the
_yellow pine_, etc., grow in America. White pine is also found in
Europe. The _Scotch pine_ or _Norway pine_, known also as _red_,
_Scotch_, or _yellow fir_, and as _yellow deal_ and _red deal_,[52] is
the common pine of the North of Europe, hence its name, _Pinus
sylvestris_, pine of the forest. It is hard, strong, not very resinous,
and is extensively used.

_Southern or Hard Pine._ This very important timber is found on the
Southern Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. It is very hard,
heavy, and resinous, with coarse and strongly marked grain. It is
durable, strong, and not easily worked by the beginner, and is hard to
nail after seasoning. It is extensively used for girders, floor-timbers,
joists, and many kinds of heavy timber work, including trestles,
bridges, and roofs, for masts and spars, for general carpentry, floors,
decks, and interior finish, railway cars, railway ties, and many other
purposes, and, in addition, for the manufacture of turpentine.

Other varieties of hard pine are sold and used successfully for the same
purposes, all under the common name of hard pine, Southern pine, Georgia
pine, yellow hard pine, etc. Another variety of hard "pitch" pine
(_Pinus rigida_), often confused with the Southern pine, is heavy,
resinous, and durable, but not suited for the better class of work.

=Plum.=--This is a fine-grained, hard wood, used for turning, engraving,

=Redwood.=--The two varieties of the giant _Sequoia_ of the Pacific
coast are the _Sequoia sempervirens_ and the _Sequoia gigantea_ or
_Wellingtonia_. The former, the most important tree of the Pacific
coast, is of immense size (supposed to reach a height of even four
hundred feet), red in colour, rather soft, light, and moderately strong,
easily worked and finished, and very durable when exposed to the soil.
It is used for general lumber purposes, carpentry, interior finish,
posts, tanks, shingles, and a great variety of uses.

The _S. gigantea_ or _Wellingtonia_, which has the largest trunk in the
world, is also red in colour, coarse-grained, rather weak, soft and
light in texture, and of great durability when exposed to the soil. It
is used for lumber and general building purposes, posts, shingles, etc.
These are the "Big Trees," thought in some instances to be even five
thousand years old, and of which the familiar stories are told about a
stage-coach having been driven through a hollow tree, and about
twenty-five people having danced at one time upon a stump.

=Rosewood.=--This wood, of handsome grain and colouring, has been much
admired and extensively used for veneering. It is hard and heavy and of
a peculiar texture, which seems oily to the touch. It is not well suited
to amateur work, and is expensive.

=Satinwood.=--This handsome yellowish-brown wood is hardly to be
considered by the amateur except for the occasional use of a small

=Spruce.=--The wood of the spruce, of which there are a number of
varieties, is quite abundant, is light and straight-grained, and
comparatively free from large knots. It is largely used for many of the
same purposes as white pine, to which it is inferior for interior finish
and fine work, but superior in strength, hardness, and toughness. Both
white and black spruce are extensively used for carpentry, interior
finish, flooring, fencing, and inferior wood-work generally. It has the
great disadvantage of curling and twisting and springing badly, and is
not as nice to work as white pine. Spruce of good quality makes good
paddles, spars, and the like, and is valuable for such work. The wood of
the Norway spruce is known in England as _white deal_.

=Sycamore.=--This handsome wood, found in various parts of the world,
and of a light yellowish or reddish-brown colour, is esteemed for
interior work. The medullary rays are noticeable. It is rather hard, but
not very difficult to work. It is not durable for outside work exposed
to the weather. Known also as _Buttonwood_.

=Walnut.=--See _Black Walnut_.

=Whitewood.=--Like white pine, whitewood is an excellent wood for the
early attempts of the beginner.

Whitewood, which is by no means white, but greenish- or brownish-yellow,
is the name applied to the wood of the tulip tree. This tree attains a
large size, thus furnishing wide boards, which are of such straight and
even grain and so free from knots as to be of great use for many
purposes. It is brittle and soft, but light and very easily worked. It
is not, for most purposes, as reliable a wood as white pine, but is
extensively used in the wood-working arts. It is more liable to warp and
twist than pine. It takes a stain exceedingly well.

=Willow.=--An important use of this wood is for baskets. It will not
often be required by the beginner, except for whistles.

=Yew.=--This wood, like lancewood, is distinguished for its elasticity,
and is highly esteemed for bows and the like.

       *       *       *       *       *

Many other woods can be alluded to, as catalpa (for posts and the like),
elder (for various small articles), dogwood (for turning and the like),
gum (for various common articles), hornbeam or ironwood (for mallets,
handles, wheel-cogs, etc.), poplar (for pulp), sassafras (for posts,
hoops, etc.), teak (from the East, strong and valuable), tupelo (hubs of
wheels, etc.), and a great variety of others which cannot be specified,
as they are but seldom required by the amateur and never needed by the

=Felling and Seasoning.=--A tree should usually be cut for timber at or
near its maturity, as a young tree has too much sapwood and will not be
as strong and dense or durable, while an old one is likely to get
brittle and inelastic and the centre of the heartwood is liable to
decay, being the oldest portion. A young tree, though softer and not so
durable, furnishes a tougher and more elastic wood, and sometimes has a
finer grain.

Trees differ so much, and the uses to which the wood is to be put are so
various, that no exact ages can be set for cutting--probably from fifty
to one hundred years for good timber, to make a rough statement. Some
trees furnish excellent timber at a much greater age than one hundred
years. Pine is thought to be ripe for cutting at about seventy-five or
one hundred years of age, oak at from sixty to one hundred years or
more, and the various other woods mature at different ages.

Midwinter, or the dry season in tropical regions, is usually preferred
for felling, because the sap is quiet. Decay sets in more rapidly in the
sapwood and between the wood and the bark during the period of active
growth, because of the perishable nature of the substances involved in
the growth. Midsummer is considered equally good by some.

The various methods of cutting the log into the lumber of commerce have
been treated in Chapter III., to which the reader is referred. In this
connection it will be noticed that, although boards cut through or near
the middle are, as a rule, the best, when they contain the pith they are
sometimes valueless in the centre, as well as when, in the case of an
old tree, decay has begun at that point.

As the water evaporates gradually from green wood exposed to the air but
protected from the weather, one might infer that in time it would
evaporate entirely, leaving the wood absolutely dry, just as the water
will entirely disappear from a tumbler or a tea-kettle. This is not so,
however. The drying goes on until there is only about ten to twenty per
cent. of moisture left, but no amount of open-air seasoning will
entirely remove this small per cent. of moisture, the amount varying
with the temperature and the humidity of the atmosphere. It can be got
rid of only by applying heat, kiln-drying, baking, currents of hot air,
vacuum process, or some artificial method of seasoning. After having
completely dried the wood by any of these methods, if it is again
exposed to the atmosphere, it absorbs moisture quite rapidly until it
has taken up perhaps fifteen per cent., more or less, of its own weight.
So you see that, though you may by artificial means make wood entirely
dry, it will not stay in this unnatural condition unless in some way
entirely protected from the atmosphere _at once_, but will reabsorb the
moisture it has lost until it reaches a condition in harmony with the
atmosphere. Recent investigations show that the very fibre or substance
of the wood itself imbibes and holds moisture tenaciously, this being
additional to the water popularly understood to be contained in the
pores or cavities of the wood.

There are various other methods besides kiln-drying (referred to in
Chapter III.) of seasoning and of hastening the drying process. Wood is
sometimes soaked in water before being seasoned. This assists in
removing the soluble elements of the sap, but it is doubtful whether the
process improves the quality of the wood. Smoking and steaming are also
resorted to. Small pieces can readily be smoked, which hardens the wood
and adds to its durability,--a method which has been known for
centuries,--but care must be taken not to burn, scorch, or crack the

=Decay and Preservation.=--Timber decays fastest when alternately wet
and dry, as in the piles of a wharf, fence-posts, and the like, or when
subjected to a hot, moist, close atmosphere, as the sills and
floor-timbers situated over some damp and unventilated cellar. Fig. 694
shows the decay caused by alternate wetness and dryness, while the
parts above and below are still sound.

[Illustration FIG. 694.]

Wood lasts the best when kept dry and well ventilated. When kept
constantly wet it is somewhat softened, and will not resist so much, but
it does not decay. Recently, upon cutting a slab from the outside of a
large log taken from the bed of a river, where it had lain for one
hundred years or more, the interior proved as sound and clear as could
be found in any lumber-yard. Undoubtedly, however, such long submersion
lessens the elastic strength of timber after it is dried. That is not,
however, an extreme example of durability. Wood has been taken from bogs
and ancient lake-dwellings after being preserved for ages. Piles were
taken from the Old London Bridge after about 650 years of service. Piles
placed in the Rhine about 2000 years ago have been found quite sound
during the present century; and piles are now regularly used, as you
doubtless know, for the support of the most massive stone buildings and
piers, but only where they are driven deep in the ground or below the
low-water line. Many examples of the durability of wood kept dry are
found in European structures. Timbers put into the roof of Westminster
Abbey in the reign of Richard II. are still in place, and the
roof-timbers of some of the older Italian churches remain in good

Thorough seasoning, protection from the sun and rain, and the free
circulation of air are the essentials to the preservation of timber.

Many preparations and chemical processes have been tried for the
_preservation of wood_.

Creosote is one of the best preservatives known. Insects and fungi are
repelled by its odour. The modern so-called "creosote stains" are
excellent, not very expensive, and easily applied. They are only
suitable for outside work, however, on account of the odour.

Coal-tar and wood-tar or pitch, applied hot in thin coats, are also good
and cheap preservatives for exposed wood-work.

Charring the ends of fence-posts by holding them for a short time over a
fire and forming a protecting coating of charcoal is another method
which has been extensively used.

Oil paint will protect wood from moisture from without, and is the
method most commonly in use.

In the case of any external coating, however, which interferes with the
process of evaporation, as tar or paint, the wood must be _thoroughly
dry_ when it is applied, or the moisture within will be unable to
escape, and will cause decay.

Lumber as well as the living tree has enemies in the form of insects and
worms, but the conditions best for the preservation of the wood, as
referred to above, are also the least favourable for the attacks of
animal life and of fungi.

As soon as the tree has been felled and dies, decomposition begins, as
in all organic bodies, and sooner or later will totally destroy the
wood. The woody fibre itself will last for ages, but some of the
substances involved in the growth soon decay. The sap is liable to
fermentation, shown by a bluish tint, and decay sets in. Fungi are
liable to fasten upon the wood. Worms and insects also attack it,
preferring that which is richest in sap. Thus we see that the danger of
decay originates chiefly in the decomposition of the sap (although in
living trees past their prime decay begins in the heartwood while the
sapwood is sound), so the more the sap can be got rid of the better.
There are, however, some substances found in various trees, aside from
those elements especially required for their growth, which render the
wood more durable, like tannic acid, which abounds in oak and a number
of trees, particularly in the bark. There is no advantage in getting rid
of the turpentine and other volatile oils and the resinous deposits
found in needle-leaved trees, particularly in the case of those woods in
which they abound. Care should be taken, however, not to use a piece of
pine badly streaked or spotted with resinous deposits in a place where
it will be exposed, as the turpentine or resinous matter will be apt to
ooze out and blister the paint.

_Wet rot_ is a decay of the unseasoned wood, which may also be caused in
seasoned wood by moisture with a temperate degree of warmth. It occurs
in wood alternately exposed to dryness and moisture. _Dry rot_, which is
due to fungi, does not attack _dry_ wood, but is found where there is
dampness and lack of free circulation of air, as in warm, damp, and
unventilated situations, like cellars and the more confined parts of
ships, and in time results in the entire crumbling away of the wood.
There are several forms of dry rot. One of the most common and worst of
dry-rot fungi attacks pine and fir. Fungi also attack oak. Creosote is
used as a preventive, to the extent to which it saturates the wood.

=Effects of Expansion and Contraction.=--Cracks, curling, warping,
winding, or twisting are due to nothing but irregular and uneven
swelling and shrinking. Some kinds of wood shrink much in drying, others
but little. Some, after seasoning, swell or shrink and curl and warp to
a marked degree with every change in temperature and dryness. Others,
once thoroughly air-seasoned, alter much less in shape or size under
ordinary circumstances.

We have already seen that the heart side of a board tends to become
convex in seasoning, owing to the shrinkage of the other side, and that
if one part swells much more than another the wood becomes out of
shape,--warped, curled, or twisted. If one part shrinks much faster than
another, cracks usually result in the quicker shrinking portion. If you
stick one end of a green board into the hot oven of the kitchen stove,
the heated end will crack and split before the rest of the board has
fairly begun to dry. We have seen illustrations of this in the seasoning
process, as shown in Chapter III.

Exposure of one side of a seasoned piece to either dampness or heat will
thus cause the piece to curl. The dampness swells the side affected or
the heat shrinks it so that the convexity will be on the dampened side,
or the concavity on the heated side, as the case may be.

If lumber were of perfectly uniform texture, hung up where it would be
entirely unconfined and free to swell or shrink in all directions, and
equally exposed all over the surface to exactly the same degrees and
changes of heat and cold, dryness and moisture, it would simply grow
larger or smaller without changing its form or shape. There would then
be no curling, warping or winding. As a matter of fact, however, wood is
not uniform in texture, but exceedingly varied, some pieces being
extremely complex in structure; neither is it always free to expand and
contract in every direction, nor equally exposed on all sides to the
alternations of heat and cold, moisture and dryness.

To come to the practical application of these facts, we have seen (in
Chapter III.) that boards for nice work should be planed down equally,
as nearly as may be, from both sides; that the mere dressing off of the
surface by hand will sometimes cause a board to warp badly; and that it
is better to buy stock of as nearly the required thickness as possible,
than to plane it down or split it. It should also be noted that when a
board is being sawed in two or split lengthwise with a saw it sometimes
springs together behind the saw with so much force that the crack has to
be wedged open in order to continue sawing (Fig. 695). Sometimes the
crack opens wider instead of closing (Fig. 696). You see from this that
you cannot always be sure when you split a board that the parts will
retain the shape they had in the original board. In working up large
pieces into smaller ones, unexpected twists and crooks will often be
found in the smaller pieces which did not exist in the original stock.
Sometimes mahogany, for instance, will act in this way very markedly.
Strips sawed off from a board, for example, will sometimes immediately
spring into very crooked forms, as shown in Fig. 697 (which would not
be exaggerated if the pieces were drawn of greater proportionate

[Illustration FIG. 695.]

[Illustration FIG. 696.]

[Illustration FIG. 697.]

[Illustration FIG. 698.]

In splitting stock flatwise, _i.e._, making two thinner boards out of a
thick board or plank, a similar result often follows. The latent power
set free, so to speak, by suddenly exposing the middle of a board,
plank, or other timber to the atmosphere sometimes causes curious
developments. It being necessary one day to split for a picture frame a
large mahogany board, 1" thick by 2' square, with a circular hole
already sawed from the centre, the pieces warped and twisted as the
sawing went on (Fig. 698), until, just as they were nearly separated,
the whole thing "went off" with a report like a toy pistol, breaking
into a dozen pieces and scattering them around the shop.

In very crooked-grained wood you will frequently find uneven and
undulating forms of warping and twisting that you do not find in
straight-grained pieces, but such wood is often of the most beautiful
figure for indoor work. Where the grain is crooked, cropping up to the
surface as in Fig. 701, the cut-off ends of the fibrous structure, so to
speak, are exposed in places to the atmosphere. These open ends, "end
wood," thus brought to the surface are more susceptible to moisture and
dryness than the sides of the bundles of fibrous tissue, which tends to
produce unequal swelling, shrinking, and warping.

You will see if you look at the ends of logs and stumps that the heart
is frequently not in the centre, in some cases taking such a devious
course throughout the stem as to make the grain so crooked that no
method of sawing will remove the tendency to warp or twist, just shown.
Such trees may show a beautiful grain. Even in straight trees the pith
is not usually quite straight, and is apt to take a somewhat zigzag
course, due to the crooked way the tree grew when young (Fig. 699).

[Illustration FIG. 699.]

Imagine, for an exaggerated illustration, that you could see with X-rays
the pith as crooked as Fig. 699. that shown in Fig. 700. Imagine that
from this tree you could saw out the board indicated, keeping with it
the whole pith or heart as if it were a wire rope woven in and out of
the board, so that the appearance would be somewhat like that shown in
Fig. 701. Bear in mind that the annual rings are layers of wood, so to
speak, which may vary in thickness, growing around the heart. You will
see that these layers, or rings, as they dip below or rise above the
surface of the board, will cause the grain to form various patterns,
perhaps somewhat as shown in Fig. 701, which makes no claim to
accurately showing the grain in this case. In fact, all such variations
of grain in lumber are due to the surface of the piece being at an angle
with the layers.

[Illustration FIG. 700.]

[Illustration FIG. 701.]

In addition, the knots caused by branches, the twisting of the stems
screw-fashion (as is seen in cedar), wounds, and other causes, often
produce very crooked and tangled grain, and the wood of many
broad-leaved trees is sometimes extremely complicated in texture,
especially when all these irregularities occur in the same piece. It is
the nature of some kinds of mahogany, from whatever cause, to have the
fibres strangely interlaced or running in very different directions in
layers which are quite near each other.

The warping, twisting, and cracking is obviated in many cases where it
is objectionable (as in the wooden frames of machines, the tops of
benches) by building up with a number of smaller pieces, of which you
will often see illustrations. To do this to the best advantage, the
pieces should be selected and put together so that, though the grain
will run in the same direction lengthways, the annual rings at the ends
will not run together as in a whole beam, but will be reversed or
arranged in various combinations, so that the tendencies of the
different parts to warp or twist will counteract each other. Instead of
a single board, which would naturally become warped in one large curve,
a number of strips can be glued up with the grain of the strips arranged
in alternate fashion (Fig. 559), so that in place of one large curve the
warping will merely result in a slightly wavy line.

Where but one side of a board is seen or used and where the full
strength is not needed, warping and twisting can be largely prevented by
lengthways saw-cuts on the back or under surface, as in a drawing-board,
the crossways strength required being secured by the cleats. Doors and
most forms of panelled work also illustrate these matters of swelling
and shrinking (see _Doors and Panels_).

_Shakes._--_Heart-shakes_ are cracks radiating from the centre in the
line of the medullary rays, widest at the pith and narrowing toward the
outside, and supposed to be chiefly caused by the shrinkage of the older
wood due to the beginning of decay while the tree is standing (Fig.
702). Slight heart-shakes are common, but if large and numerous or
twisting in the length of the log, they injure the timber seriously for
cutting up.

[Illustration FIG. 702.]

_Star-shakes_ are also radiating cracks, but, unlike the heart-shakes,
the cracks are widest at the outside, narrowing toward the centre (Fig.
703), and are often caused by the shrinkage of the outer part due to the
outside of the tree drying faster than the inside, as it naturally does
from being more exposed after being felled; but they are sometimes owing
to the beginning of decay and other causes.

[Illustration FIG. 703.]

_Cup-shakes_ are cracks between some of the annual rings, separating the
layers more or less (Fig. 704), sometimes reaching entirely around,
separating the centre from the outer portion, and are supposed to be
caused by the swaying of the tree in the wind (hence sometimes known as
_wind-shakes_), or to some shock or extreme changes of temperature, or
other causes.

[Illustration FIG. 704.]

Combinations of the various shakes may be found in the same log.

=A Few Suggestions about Working-Drawings.=--Drawing is far too
extensive a subject to be even briefly treated in a manual on
wood-working, but a few general remarks on matters connected with
working-drawings may be of help to some.

While an ordinary picture gives a correct idea of how an object looks,
we cannot take accurate measurements from it. When we need dimensions,
as in practical work, we must have some drawings which will show us at
once the exact shapes, sizes, and positions of the various parts. In
addition to the picture to give us the general idea, we have for working
purposes what are called _elevations_, _plans_, _sections_, etc.

In such a case as that of the little house shown on page 242, the
picture (Fig. 363) shows us the appearance of the building, but for
purposes of construction, working-drawings should also be made. The view
of what you would see if you stood directly in front of this house, with
only the front visible, is shown in Fig. 364, and is called the _front
elevation_. Stand opposite either side or end, and the view seen is
represented in Fig. 364 as the _side elevation_. In the same manner
the _rear elevation_ is given. Next imagine yourself in the air directly
above the house. This view is called the _plan_.[53] In this case, as
the view of the interior is desired, the view is shown as if the roof
were removed. If the sides or ends are not alike, as is sometimes the
case, two side or end views may be needed. In the case illustrated,
inside elevations are also given, to show the construction.

Elevations, whether one or several, must always be taken at right angles
to the plan. Although commonly, in simple work, confined to
representations of each side or end, they can be taken from any point of
view that may be at right angles to the plan. They may be taken from the
corners or at any angles that may best show any complicated details of
the object. If the object is quite simple, one elevation and the plan,
or two elevations without the plan, may be quite sufficient, as the
elevation or plan omitted can in such cases be understood at once.

Always make your drawings full-sized when the object to be made is not
too large. You are much less likely to make mistakes in taking your
dimensions and measurements from a drawing the actual size of the object
than where you have to take them from a smaller drawing, and you also
can get a better idea from a full-sized drawing just how the object will
look. It is a safe-guard, with a drawing which is symmetrical, to lay it
out from a centre line, measuring to the right and left.

If you make a drawing of which each line is one half the length of the
same line in the real object, it is called a "half-size" drawing, and
is said to be drawn on a scale of 6" to the foot. If "one fourth size,"
the scale is 3" to the foot. The scale is often expressed as an
equation, viz.: 2 in. = 1 ft., or 1/4" = 1'.

If the drawing is not made with accuracy, it is necessary to put the
dimensions upon it, and this is often done for convenience and quickness
of execution in the case of drawings which are accurate.

Details inside of an object, that is, such parts as cannot be seen or
properly shown in the elevations or plan, are often shown by dotted
lines, as in Fig. 597. Sometimes dotted lines are used in the same way
to show the back of an object, to save making extra drawings. Too many
dotted lines, however, are confusing, so if the parts that do not show
on the surface are not quite simple and cannot be clearly shown by
dotted lines on the plan and elevations, it is usual to make another
kind of drawing especially to show such details. This is called a
"section" (Lat., _sectio_, from _secare_, to cut), and represents what
would be shown if the object were cut apart or sawed through at the
place where the view of the details is wanted. The surface supposed to
be cut is usually indicated by parallel lines crossing the surface,
independent parts, as those of different pieces, frequently being shown
by changing the direction of the parallel lines, as in Fig. 504.

When both sides of an object are alike, labour and space are often saved
by making a drawing of one side or one half only, from a centre line.
The same way is sometimes adopted in making sections, and an elevation
and section can sometimes be combined in this way in one drawing.

As soon as you become used to plans and elevations, you can by combining
the plan and elevations in your mind quickly imagine the form of the
object represented, and often, unless it is complicated, get fully as
good a conception of it as from a picture, and a more accurate knowledge
of its proportions and details, so that in many cases there is no need
of having a picture at all in order to construct the object. It is often
a convenience to have a picture, however, and frequently an assistance
in forming a correct idea of something you have never seen. Where the
appearance of the object is of consequence, as in the case of a house or
bookcase, for instance, the picture is of the first consequence, for you
must have a correct representation of the general appearance of the
object before you begin to make the working-drawings. You will soon find
that merely having an idea in your mind is not always sufficient from
which to make working-drawings, although the first step in the process.
You will often find that when the idea in your mind is put into the form
of a picture, it does not look at all as you thought it would, and that
if you had started at once on the working-drawings without first making
a sketch or picture, the result would have been unsatisfactory and
sometimes entirely impracticable.

Even making a sketch or picture that just expresses your idea will not
always result in the completed object being just what you wish. Strange
though it may seem, it is a fact, practically, that the completed object
often looks quite different from what the sketch leads you to expect.
That result, however, is something which cannot be helped, so you need
not give it any attention, only do not be surprised if once in a while
you find that what you have made is not just what you thought it would
be. First make the best design you can, then accurate working-drawings,
then work carefully by the drawings, and if the result is not always
exactly what you expected, you can console yourself with the thought
that your experience is only that of architects, designers, carpenters,
and workmen in all lines, and that no one can foresee _all_ the
conditions by which a piece of projected work will be affected.

Oblique or parallel projections are often used, from which measurements
can be made. Such projections are not true representations of the
objects as they appear to the eye, but they are often used because
readily understood and easily drawn. They often answer every purpose
from a practical point of view. Figs. 120 and 344 are examples.

Another way of representing objects for practical purposes is that shown
in Figs. 121 and 407, and known as "isometric[54] projection" or
"isometric perspective." This method is incorrect so far as giving an
accurate picture is concerned, for the object is always represented as
being too large in the farther parts, because the inclined lines are
drawn parallel instead of converging; but it is often very useful from a
practical point of view, because by it all that is required can
frequently be expressed in one drawing.

Isometric perspective will not readily give the correct dimensions
except in the lines which are vertical or which slant either way at an
angle of 30° with the horizontal,--_i.e._, you cannot take the other
dimensions right off with a rule as from a plan, and therefore, so far
as obtaining correct dimensions is concerned, it is practically not
useful for other than rectangular objects; but so far as merely showing
the general shape or conveying the idea of the form it can often be
advantageously used in representing many objects containing curved
lines. Isometric projection has the advantage of being easy of
execution, and of being so pictorial that it is almost always easy to
see what is meant.

=A First-Class Bench.=--The construction of the bench shown on page 101
is not difficult to understand, but considerable skill is required to
make a really good one. The arrangement of the vise is shown in Fig.
705, which is an inverted view (as if looking up from underneath). The
vise is kept parallel by the stout bars of hard wood, parallel to the
screw, which slide through mortises cut in the front of the bench-top,
and are further guided by the cleats screwed to the under side of the
top, where it is thinner than at the front edge. In case of using such a
vise where the bench-top is not so thick in front, the thickness can
easily be made sufficient by screwing a stout cleat on the under side
where the vise comes. In this cleat can be cut the mortises for the
slide-bars. The end-vise or "tail-screw" shown in Fig. 143 involves
rather more work, but slides upon a similar principle. Perhaps the best
way for the amateur is to make the end-vise in the same way as the main
vise, adding the movable stop.

[Illustration FIG. 705.]

There is no better way to make the front of this bench-top than to build
it up of narrow boards on edge, planed true, and thoroughly glued and
bolted together. The planing and truing can best be done by machine,
however. If well put together, such a bench-top will defy changes of
weather and will stand a great deal of hard usage. The back part of the
top can be thinner, but can very well be built up if desired. An
excellent way to fasten the frame of such a bench together is with
bolts, by which the parts can be drawn to a firm bearing.

It is impossible to make such a bench too rigid. If so stiffly framed
that it cannot change its shape, and if the top is carefully trued, you
will have something which will be a great help to good work.


[51] In elm, ash, and hickory the sapwood is sometimes considered better
than the heart.

[52] The term deal, though often loosely applied to the wood of the pine
and fir, properly refers to planks of these woods cut more than 7" wide
and 6' long--usually 3" thick and 9" wide. The term is common in Great
Britain but not in the United States.

[53] This definition of elevations and plan as being representations of
what you would see if you stood opposite the sides or above the top of
the object, is merely a rough explanation of the general meaning of the
terms. As a matter of scientific accuracy the elevation is, strictly
speaking, not the way the side would appear if you looked at it from one
position, but the way it would appear if you could look at it from
directly opposite every point of it--as if you could have an infinite
number of eyes, one being opposite every point of the object. The
elevation shows the front or side or end as it really is, not as it
looks, either in the form of an exact copy if the object is small, or of
a small copy made in the same proportion if the object is too large to
be represented full size.

[54] Gr., equal measure.


    Adze, Indian, 11

    -- Japanese, 15

    Air-chambers, 318, 319 (footnote)

    -- dried stock, 164. See _Seasoning_.

    -- drying, 36-40, 522-524

    -- pure, 277-279

    -- tanks, 318, 319 (footnote)

    Alkanet root, 498

    Ammonia (for staining), 495, 497

    Angle-blocks. See _Corner-blocks_, 365

    Angles, determining, with bevel, 350

    Angular bit-brace, 352

    Animals, houses for, 126-140

    Annual rings, 29

    Anvil, 77, 344

    Apparatus, athletic and gymnastic.
    See _Gymnastic Apparatus_ and _Implements for Outdoor Sports_.

    Apple (wood), 512

    Apron, 56

    Arbours, 291-293

    Arcs, describing circular, 364, 365

    Arkansas stone, 434

    Ash, 512

    -- sapwood, 42, 510

    Auger-bit, 352

    Awl, Japanese, 15

    Awls, 344, 345

    Axe, 345

    Backbone, ice-boat, 334

    Back-saw, 469

    Backs for case work, 194

    Balcony, 295, 297

    Ball and block, 219

    Balloon frame, 280

    Bar, horizontal, 166-168, 173

    Bars, parallel, 164-166

    Bassoolah, 11, 12

    Basswood, 512

    Bath-house, 293, 294

    Batteau, 299-314

    Battening, 282

    Bayberry tallow, 378

    Baywood. See _Mahogany_.

    Beading, 198, 345, 346

    -- -planes, 451

    Bead-scraper, 345, 346

    Beams. See _Collar-beams_, _beams_, etc.

    Beech, 512

    Bench, filing-, 75-77

    -- finishing-, 77

    -- hook, 86-88

    -- stop, 71-75

    -- top, 62, 63, 74, 536

    -- vise, 65-71, 74, 101, 536

    -- work-, 57-65, 101, 536, 537

    Bending wood, 40, 346-349

    Bevel, 349, 350

    Bevelling, 350, 351, 357
    -- edges of sides of boat, 305

    Big trees, 520

    Birch, 512, 513
    -- model (canoe), 325, 326

    Bird-houses. See _Houses for animals_.

    Bird's-eye maple, 517

    Bit-brace, 351, 352

    -- angular, 352

    -- maker, 22

    -- use of, 353-356 (_Boring_)

    -- where to keep, 83

    Bits, 352, 353

    -- arrangement, 83

    -- maker, 22

    Bit-stock. See _Bit-brace_.

    Black birch, 512, 513

    -- bone-, 498

    -- cherry, 514

    -- ivory-, 498

    Black, lamp-, 498

    -- walnut, 513

    Blind dovetailing, 373

    -- nailing, 432

    Block-form, 176, 240

    -- -plane, 449

    Board, sprung, for pressure, 362

    -- -measure, 47, 48

    Boarding, outside, 269

    Boards, definition of, 46

    -- matched-, 46, 47

    -- or planks, laying exposed, 353

    -- splitting, 527-529

    Boat-building, 298-343

    -- house-, 339-343

    -- -houses, 294-297

    -- ice-, 332-339

    Boats, toy, hulls of, 227-237

    -- (windmill), 114, 115

    Bob-sled, 156-163

    Body plan, 229, 230 (footnote)

    Boiled oil, 437 (_Painting_)

    Bone-black, 498

    Bookcase and lounge, 211

    -- dwarf, 196

    -- low, 196

    -- pinned ("knock-down"), 195

    -- wall, or hanging, 186, 187

    -- with cupboard, 197

    -- with desk, 198-200

    Bookcases, 193-200

    Book-rack, 183, 184

    -- -shelf, hanging, 185

    Booths, play, 241-249

    Boring, 353-356

    -- Japanese, 15

    Bow-gun, 154

    -- -saw, 469, 470

    Boxes, 219, 227

    Box-making, 219-227

    Boxwood, 513

    Brace for bits. See _Bit-brace_.

    -- -joint, 411

    Braced frame, 280

    Braces, corner, for house frames, 266

    Brad-awl, 344, 345

    -- holes made by, 430

    Brake for sleds, 160-163

    British oak, 518

    Broad-leaved trees, 511

    Bruises and cuts, 86

    Bruises in wood, to take out, 356

    Brushes, 356

    -- care of, 440

    Buck. See _Vaulting-horse_.

    "Built-up" stock, 409, 410, 530, 531

    Bull-nosed-plane, 450

    Burnisher for scraper, 487

    Butternut, 513

    Butt-joint, 408

    Buttonwood. See _Sycamore_.

    Buying lumber, suggestions about, 36-45. See also _Seasoning_.

    -- tools, suggestions about, 15-22

    Cabinet-clamps. See _Clamps_.

    -- corner-, 190, 191

    -- for guns, fishing-rods, etc., 215, 216

    -- for tools and supplies, 96-101

    -- medicine, 191, 193

    -- music, 200, 201

    -- wall, or hanging, 186, 189, 190

    -- -work. See _Furniture_.

    Cabins, 241-259

    Cages for animals, 126-140

    Calcined plaster, 403

    Calipers, 356

    Camping-houses. See _House-building for Beginners_.

    Canoe, "birch" model, 325, 326

    -- canvas-covered, 317-328

    -- flat-bottomed, 311-317

    -- "      " (canvas-covered), 313, 314

    Canvas-covered canoe (flat-bottomed), 313, 314

    -- canoes, 317-328

    Canvas, covering canoe with, 322, 323

    -- deck, 317

    -- painting, 323

    Cap (plane-iron), 451, 452

    Care of stock, 44

    -- of tools, 22, 23

    Carlins, 325, 329

    Carpentry, Japanese, 12-15

    Carving-tools, 20, 357

    -- makers of, 22

    Case, centre-board, 330, 331

    -- music, 200, 201

    Casing for doors, 269

    -- for doors and windows, 272

    Catalpa, 522

    Caulking, 302, 303, 330

    Cedar, 513, 514

    Centre-bit, 352

    -- -board, 330, 331

    -- -board trunk, 330, 331

    -- -table, 206, 207

    Chain, wooden, 218, 219

    Chair, outdoor, 210

    -- -table, 212-214

    Chalk, 416

    -- -line, 416

    Chamfering, 350, 351, 357

    Charring wood, 263, 264, 525

    Checking of lumber, 31, 42, 526

    Cherry, 514

    Chestnut, 514

    Chests, 219-227

    Chimney. See _Smoke-pipe_.

    Chip (of plane), 453

    Chisels, 357-359

    -- arrangement of, 83

    -- makers of, 22

    -- sharpening. See _Sharpening_.

    -- use of, 358, 359, 421-423, 442-444

    Chopping-block, 86

    -- wood. See _Splitting Wood_.

    Circles and arcs, describing, 364, 365

    Circular-plane, 450

    Clamping, 71, 359-363 (_Clamps_), 395, 461

    Clamps, 71, 359-363, 395, 461. See also _Hand-screws_.

    Clapboarding, 273, 274

    Clapboards, 48, 274

    Cleaner for furniture, etc., 386

    Cleating, 53, 363, 364

    Cleats. See _Cleating_.

    -- for rowlocks, 301, 302, 306

    Clinching nails, 431

    Club-house, 296, 297

    Coal-tar, 525

    Coaming, 316, 320, 325, 331

    Collar-beams, 287

    Collection of specimens of wood, 44, 507, 508

    Colour of lumber, 40

    "Combination" articles (furniture), 198-200, 211-214

    "Combination" planes, 451

    Compartments (pigeon-holes), 200

    -- water-tight, 318, 319 (footnote)

    Compasses, 364, 365. See also _Scribing_.

    Compass-plane. See _Circular-plane_.

    -- -saw, 469, 470

    Concealed nailing. See _Blind-_ and _Sliver-nailing_, 432

    Conifers, 511

    Coop, 129

    Cord, twisted, for pressure, 362

    Corner-blocks, 365

    -- book-shelves and seat, 212

    -- -braces for house frame, 266

    -- -chisel, 358

    -- -posts, 265, 266

    -- -seat and shelves, 212

    -- -shelves or cabinets, 190, 191

    "Cottage Row," 271-276

    Cottages, simple summer, 271-290

    Cottonwood, 514

    Couch with bookcase, etc., 211

    Countersink, 365, 478

    Cracking of lumber, 31, 42, 526

    Cracks and holes, to fill, 384, 403, 404

    -- flashing, 273

    Creosote, 525

    -- -stains, 270, 525

    Cricket, or footstool, 210

    Crooked grain, 529, 530

    Crossbow, 154

    Cross-cutting-saw, 466, 467

    -- -grained stock, 40, 41, 529, 530

    Cupboard. See _Cabinet_.

    Cup-shakes, 531

    Curling of lumber, 32-34, 409, 410, 502, 526-531

    Curves, sawing, 180

    -- trimming or paring, 443

    Cut-nails, 433

    -- best for shingling, 270

    Cuts and bruises, 86

    Cutting the log, 31-35

    -- the tree. See _Felling_.

    Cutting-edges, 25-28. See also _Sharpening_.

    -- -pliers, 366

    Cutwater, 309-311

    Cypress, 514, 515

    Daggers, wooden, 106, 107

    Deal, 519, 521

    Decay and preservation, 41, 524-526

    Deck, 329

    -- canvas, 317

    -- for toy boats, 236

    -- timbers, 325, 329

    Deliquescent stem, 508

    Designing, 175-177, 239-241, 276, 534, 535

    Desk and bookcase, 198-200

    -- -rack, 184, 185

    Dimension stock, 45

    Dividers. See _Compasses_.

    Dog-fish skin, 381

    Dog-houses, 133-136

    Dogwood, 522

    Dolls' house, 121-125

    Door, 247

    -- and window frames, space for, 266

    -- -casings, 269, 272

    Doors and panels, 366-372

    -- and windows, sizes of, 276

    -- sliding, 132, 133

    Double-bladed paddle, 328

    -- -ironed planes, 451

    -- -runner, 156-163

    Dovetailing, 372, 373

    Dowelling, 374-376

    Dowel-plate, 376

    Dowels, 374

    Dragon's blood, 498

    Drainage, 278, 279

    Drawboring, 426

    Drawer, or lap, dovetailing, 373

    Drawers, 101, 376-378

    Drawing nails, 504, 505

    Drawings, working, 49, 50, 532-536

    Draw-knife or draw-shave, 378, 379

    -- use of, 442-444

    Draw-stroke, 26-28, 351, 378, 379, 443, 444, 456

    Drill, primitive, 10

    -- -stock, 379

    Drills, 379

    Driving nails. See _Nailing_.

    Dry rot, 526

    -- situation, 277

    Dryer, 438 (_Painting_)

    Drying lumber, methods of, 36-40, 523, 524

    Duck's-bill-bit, 353

    Dwarf bookcase, 196

    Ebony, 48, 515

    Edges, cutting, 25-28. See also _Sharpening_.

    Elasticity, 40, 511

    -- loss of, 37, 524

    Elder, 522

    Elevations, 532-534

    Elm, 515

    -- sapwood, 42, 510

    End-grain, 529

    -- planing, 457

    Essentials to successful work, 102

    Estimating, 54, 55

    Excurrent trunk, 508

    Expansion and contraction, 30-33, 50-53, 225, 526-531

    -- bit, 352

    Face (of plane), 445

    -- (of stock), 54

    Facing edges of case work, 198

    Farm school, 271

    Felling and seasoning, 522-524. See also _Seasoning_.

    Figured stock. See _Grain of Wood_.

    File-card, 381

    Files, 379-381

    -- maker of, 22

    Filing, 379-381

    -- -bench, 75-77

    -- saw-, 485-487 (_Sharpening_)

    Filler, wood, 385 (_Finishing_)

    Finishing, 182, 183, 381-386

    -- -bench, 77

    Fin-keel type, 229-236

    Fir. See _Pine_ and _Spruce_.

    Firmer-chisel, 357, 359

    Fishing-lodges. See _House-building for Beginners_.

    Fish-plates, 411

    Flashing, 257, 258, 272, 273

    Flatboat, 299-308

    Flat-bottomed boats, 299-317

    Floor-beams, 254, 255, 266, 267, 287, 288, 296

    Flooring for canoe, 323

    -- rift-, 36

    Floors, 254, 255, 266-268, 287, 288, 296

    Flower-pot stands, 201, 202, 207

    Footstool or cricket, 210

    Fore-plane, 447, 448

    Forests, preservation of, 509

    Forms for bending. See _Moulds_.

    Foundation, 259, 260, 262-264, 279

    Frame for buildings, 249, 250, 254, 265-269, 272, 279, 280, 286,
    287, 296. See also _Houses for Animals_.

    -- balloon, 280

    -- braced and mortised, 280

    -- for boat. See _Moulds_ and _Boat-building for Beginners_.

    Frames, door and window, sizes of, 276;
      spaces for, 266

    -- picture-, 216, 217

    Framing-chisels, 358

    Framing (doors and panels). See _Doors and Panels_.

    -- (house). See _Frame for Buildings_.

    -- -square, 495

    French polishing, 385, 386

    Frogs, turtles, lizards, etc., tank for, 139, 140

    Front elevation, 532

    Fungi, 41, 43, and _Decay and Preservation_, 524-526

    Furniture, 175-217

    -- repairing, 460-462

    Gain, 288 (Fig. 399)

    Gauge, 386-390

    -- for bevels and chamfers, 351

    -- makers, 22

    Gauging. See _Gauge_.

    Georgia pine, 520

    Giant swing, 172, 173

    Gimlet, 390

    -- -bit, 353

    Glass for scraper, 473, 474

    -- setting, 391

    Glazing, 391

    Glue. See _Gluing_.

    Glued-joints, 360 (footnote), 392, 393 (footnote).
    See also _Gluing_, _Clamps_, _Hand-screws_, and
    _Repairing Furniture_.

    -- clamping, 359-363

    -- rubbing, 365 (_Corner-blocks_)

    Glue-pot, 396

    Gluing, 391-396.
    See also _Clamps_, _Hand-screws_, and _Repairing Furniture_.

    -- old work. See _Repairing Furniture_.

    Glycerine, 434

    Gouge, 396-398

    -- -bit, 353

    Gouges, arrangement of, 83

    -- makers of, 22

    Grain of wood, 30, 33-36, 40

    -- crooked or cross-grained, 35, 36, 40, 529, 530

    Grinding. See _Sharpening_.

    Grindstone, 398

    -- use of, 480-482

    Grooving, 185, 187, 398

    Gum (wood), 522

    Gun-cabinet, etc., 215, 216

    Guns and pistols (wooden), 152-154

    Gunwale strip, 306, 317, 320

    Gymnastic apparatus, 163-174

    Half-breadth plan, 229, 230

    Half-round file, 380

    Halving (halved-joints), 399, 400

    Hammer, 400

    -- use of. See _Nailing_, 428-430, and also 504, 505

    Handles, etc., oiling, 23

    Hand-screws, 400-402

    -- use of, 71, 400-402, 461

    Hanging bookcase, 186, 187

    -- book-shelf, 185

    "Happy Jack," 112-114

    Hard pine, 519, 520

    -- wood, 45

    Hatchet, 402

    -- use of, 441, 442

    Headledges, 330, 331

    Heart, crooked, 529, 530

    -- shakes, 531

    -- wood, 29, 42, 43, 510

    Hemlock, 515

    See _Houses for Animals_ and _House-building for Beginners_.

    Hickory, 515

    -- sapwood, 510

    Hinges, 247, 402, 403

    Hip-rafters, 284

    Hip-roof, 284-286

    Holes and cracks, to fill, 384, 403, 404

    Hollow and round planes, 451

    Holly, 516

    Horizontal bar, 166-168, 173

    Hornbeam, 522

    Horse, vaulting-, 170-172

    Horses, or trestles, 88-90

    House, bath-, 293, 294

    -- -boats, 339-343

    -- -building for beginners, 238-297

    -- designing, 239-241

    -- situation, 239. See also _Houses_.

    Housed joint, 424 and Fig. 557

    Houses, boat-, 294-297

    -- club-, 296, 297

    -- dolls', 121-125

    -- for animals, 126-140

    -- play-, 241-259

    -- portable, 247, 248

    -- summer-, 291-293. See also _House_.

    Housing (housed joint). 424 and Fig. 557

    Hunting-lodges. See _House-building for Beginners_.

    Hutch, rabbit, 132, 133

    Ice-boat, small, 332-339

    Indian turning, 10, 11

    Inside calipers, 356

    Iron (of plane), 445

    -- painting, 438

    Ironwood, 522

    Isometric projection or perspective, 535

    Ivory black, 498

    Jack-knife. See _Knife_, 411, 412

    -- -plane, 446, 447

    -- -rafter, 284

    Japan, 438 (_Painting_)

    -- varnish, 438

    Japanese carpenter's vise, 13

    -- carpentry, 12-15

    -- lacquer, 383 (footnote)

    -- tools, 14, 15

    Jointer, 448

    Jointing, 360 (footnote), 404-408, 491 (_Shooting-board_)

    Joints, 221, 222

    Joints and splices, 408-411

    -- for gluing, 360, 392, 393 (footnote). See _Glued-joints_.

    -- housed, 424 and Fig. 557

    -- in exposed work, painting, 439, 440

    -- mitred. See _Mitring_.

    -- relished, 425

    Joists, definition, 47

    Keel, 316, 323, 324, 327

    -- built up, 237

    -- (skag), 307

    Keelson, 320

    Kennel, 133-136

    Kerfing. See _Bending Wood_, 346

    Keyhole-saw, 470

    Kiln-drying, 37-40. See _Seasoning_.

    King-bolt, 158

    Knees, 314

    Knife, 411, 412

    -- makers, 22

    -- putty, 459

    -- sharpening, 480, 484

    -- use of, 442-444

    Knives, wooden, 106, 107

    "Knock-down" construction, 195

    Lacquer, Japanese, 383 (footnote)

    Ladders (gymnastic), 173

    Lampblack, 498

    Lancewood, 516

    Lap or drawer dovetailing, 373

    Lard oil, 434

    Lathe, primitive Indian, 10, 11

    Laths, 48

    Lattice-work, 282, 291, 292

    Laying out the work, 50-54

    Lead (of plane-iron), 452

    -- over door- and window-casings, 272, 273

    -- red, 438 (_Painting_)

    -- white. See _Painting_.

    Lean-to, 241-250

    -- addition, 281, 282

    -- roof, frame for, 250

    Ledger-board, 296

    Leg-of-mutton sail, 332

    Leopard wood, 48

    Level, 96, 412

    -- makers, 22

    Levelling tables, horses, chairs, etc., 479, 480, 504

    Lighthouse, 120

    Lignum-vitæ, 516

    Lime-water, 497, 498

    Linden. See _Basswood_.

    Linseed oil. See _Finishing_, _Painting_ (437), and _Staining_.

    Lizards, frogs, turtles, etc., tank for, 139, 140

    Live oak, 518

    Load water-line, 230 (footnote)

    Location of house, 277-279

    Locks, 412, 413

    Locust, 516

    Log, cutting the, 31-35

    Long jointer, 448

    Lounge with bookcase, etc., 211

    Lumber, characteristics. See Chapter III. (_Wood_), and 510-522

    -- charring, 263, 264, 525

    -- checking and cracking, 31, 42, 526

    -- colour of, 40

    -- cross-grained, 40, 41, 529, 530

    -- curling and warping, 32-34, 41, 409, 502, 526-531

    -- definition, 45

    -- dressed, 45, 46

    -- rift, 35, 36

    -- sawing, 31-35. See also _Expansion and Contraction_.

    -- seasoning, 36-40, 42, 164, 177, 178, 522-524

    -- selection of, 33-45

    -- stacking, 39

    -- swelling and shrinking, 30-35, 50-53, 225, 526-531

    -- undressed, 45

    -- wany, 40

    -- warped, 41. See _Warping_.

    -- winding, 41. See _Winding_.

    M, 47

    Mahogany, 516

    -- cracks in, 42

    Mallet, 414

    Maple, 517

    Marking, 414-416

    -- -awl. See _Awl_ and _Marking_.

    -- distances. See _Rule_, 465

    -- -gauge. See _Gauge_.

    Mason's square, 261

    Masts, 331

    Matched-boards, 46, 47

    -- striking, 245

    Matching-planes, 21, 47, 451

    Maxims, 102

    Measurements. See _Rule_, and also
    47, 48, 50, 59, 167(footnote), 244, 261

    Measuring. See _Measurements_.

    Measuring-rod, 53

    Medicine-cabinet, 191, 193

    Medullary rays, 29, 30

    Middle-boards, 34, 35, 523

    Mirror-plates, 416

    Mirrors, setting, 391

    Mitre. See _Mitring_.

    -- -board, 92, 93

    -- -box, 90-92

    -- dovetailing, 373

    -- shooting-board, 94

    -- -square, 349

    Mitring, 221, 417-419

    Models, 240

    Mortise and tenon. See _Mortising_.

    Mortise-chisels, 358

    -- -gauge, 387

    -- open, 400

    Mortised frame, 280

    Mortising, 419-428

    Mouldings, 48, 197, 198 (footnote)

    Moulds (for bending), 348, 349

    -- (for boat), 304, 307, 309, 310, 315, 316, 319, 320

    Mouth (of plane), 445, 452, 453

    Music-case, 200, 201

    Nailing, 428-433

    Nails, 433

    -- copper and galvanised, 300

    -- for shingling, 270

    -- how to keep, 85

    -- use of, 430-433 (_Nailing_)

    -- withdrawing, 504, 505

    Nail-set, 433, 434

    Needle-leaved trees, 511

    Nippers, 434, 445

    Norway pine, 519

    -- spruce, 521

    Notch-boards, 289

    Oak, 517, 518

    Oak, quartered, 34

    Oblique projections, 535

    Odd-jobs, 434

    Oil, 434

    -- -finish, 381

    -- linseed, See _Finishing_, _Painting_, and _Staining_.

    Oiling handles, etc., 23

    Oil-stone, 434, 435

    -- box for, 85

    -- use of, See _Sharpening_.

    Open mortise and tenon, 400

    Operations, some every-day, 344-505

    Outdoor seat, 210

    Outside calipers, 356

    Overshot water-wheels, 117, 118

    Packing-cases, 225

    Paddles, 327, 328

    Paint, See _Painting_.

    Painting, 435-441

    -- canvas, 323

    -- shingles, 270

    Panels, 366-372 (_Doors and Panels_)

    Panel-saw, 466

    Parallel bars, 164-166

    -- projection, 535

    Paring, 441-444

    -- -chisel, See _Chisel_ 357, 358

    Parting tool, See _Carving Tools_.

    Patterns for bending, See _Moulds_.

    Pear (wood), 518

    Pencil, See _Marking_, 414

    Perspective, isometric, 535

    Piazza, 283, 287-289

    Picture-frames, 216, 217

    Pigeon-holes, 200

    -- -houses. See _Houses for Animals_.

    Piers, 259, 260, 279

    Piles, 524

    Pincers, 445

    Pine, 518-520

    Pinning mortise and tenon, 425

    Pins for mortise and tenon, 426

    Pipe-rack, 188, 189

    Pistols and guns (wooden), 152-154

    Pitch, 525

    -- pine, 520

    Pith, crooked, 529, 530

    Plan, 532-534

    -- (boat), 229, 230

    Plane, 445-458

    -- how to hold, 446, 447

    -- -iron, adjusting, 453, 454

    -- sharpening, See _Sharpening_.

    -- wooden jack- or fore-, holding, 446 See _Planes_.

    Planer-marks, 458

    Planes, Japanese, 13, 14

    -- makers, 22

    -- where to keep, 82

    -- wooden, oiling, 23. See _Plane_.

    Planing down stock, 44

    Planks, definition, 47

    -- laying, See _Boards, laying_.

    -- splitting, See _Boards, splitting_.

    Plans, See _Working Drawings_.

    Plant-stands, 201, 202, 207

    Plaster of Paris, 403

    Plates, 266

    Play-houses, -booths, or -stores, 241-259

    -- "Cottage Row," 271, 276

    -- -village, 118-121, 271, 276

    Pliers, 445

    -- cutting-, 366

    Plough, 21, 451. See _Plane_.

    Plum (wood), 520

    Plumb, 96, 458

    Pod-bit, 353

    Pole, sprung, for pressure, 362

    -- for skis, 148

    Poles (for gymnastics), 173

    Polishing, 385, 386

    Poplar, 522

    Posts, corner-, 265, 266

    -- foundation, 262-264

    -- setting, 262, 263

    Potash, bichromate of, 498

    See _House-building for Beginners_ and _Houses for Animals_.

    Preservation of wood, decay and, 524-526

    -- of forests, 509

    Pressure, means of applying, See _Clamps_ and _Hand-screws_.

    Projections, oblique or parallel, and isometric, 535

    Proportions of structures, 176, 240

    Punch (for nails), See _Nail-set_, 433, 434

    Punts and scows, 299-308

    Purlins, 268

    Putty, 459

    -- -knife, 459

    -- use of, 403, 439

    Quartered oak, 34, 179

    Queen-bolts, 159

    Quill-bit, 353

    Rabbet, 185, 187, 459

    -- -hutch, 132, 133

    -- -plane. See _Plane_ 450, 451

    Rack, for books, 183, 184

    -- for pipes, 188, 189

    -- for table or desk, 184, 185

    -- for tools, 83, 84

    Rafters, 282

    -- arrangement of, 287

    -- hip-, 284

    -- jack-, 284

    -- laying out, 268

    Rails (of door or panel work), 370

    -- (of table), 204

    Rasp, 460

    Rasping. See _Filing_.

    Ratchet-brace, 351

    Ratchets (for shelves), 489

    Rat-tailed file, 380

    Raw oil. See _Painting_, 437

    Rays, medullary, 29, 30

    Reamers, 353

    Rear elevation, 532

    Red cedar, 514

    -- deal, 519

    -- fir, 519

    -- lead, 438 (_Painting_)

    -- oak, 518

    -- pine, Canadian, 519

    Redwood, 520

    Relishing (relished joint), 425

    Repairing furniture, 460-462

    Ribbands, 320

    Ribs, 314, 321, 324, 325

    -- bending. See _Bending Wood_.

    Ridge-board, 268

    Rift-flooring, 36

    -- stock, 35, 36

    Rings, annual, 29

    -- swinging (gymnastic), 173

    Ripping-saw, 468, 469 (_Saw_)

    Risers, 289

    Rivets, 462

    Rock elm, 515

    -- maple, 517

    Rod, measuring, 53

    Roof-boards, 268

    -- -timbers, 268

    -- durability of, 525

    Roofing-paper, 246, 258

    Roofs, 128, 268-270

    -- for house-boat, 341, 342

    -- hip-, 284-286

    -- lean-to, shed, or single-pitched, 241, 250

    -- overhang of, 282

    Rope twisted for pressure, 362

    Rosewood, 520

    Rot, wet and dry, 526

    Rounding sticks, 462-465

    -- form for, 95, 96

    Router, See _Plane_, 451

    Rowboat, small, 308-311

    Rowboats, 299-317

    Rowlocks, 302, 306, 313

    Rubbing down, 384

    Rule, 465

    -- makers, 22

    Ruler, marking by, 415

    Runner-board, ice-boat, 334

    Runners, ice-boat, 335-338

    Running foot, 48, 244

    Runway for animals, 128, 276

    Rust, preventing, 23

    Rustic summer houses and arbours, 292, 293

    Saddle-boards, 269

    Sail-boat, small, 311, 328-332

    Sail, leg-of-mutton, 332

    -- sprit-, 332

    San Domingo mahogany, 517

    Sandpaper, 465, 466

    -- block, 466

    Sandpapering. See _Sandpaper_.

    Sanitary precautions, 277-279

    Sap, 30

    Sapwood, 29, 42, 43, 510

    Sassafras, 522

    Satinwood, 521

    Saw, 466-473

    -- -filing, 485-487 (_Sharpening_)

    Saw-set, 473

    Sawing. See _Saw_.

    -- curves, 180

    -- joints to fit, 410

    -- log, ways of, 30-35

    -- lumber, 31-35

    Saws, Japanese, 14, 15

    -- makers, 22

    -- where to keep, 82

    Scale (for drawings), 533

    Scarfing, bevelled, or splaying, 410, 411

    Schedule of materials, 55

    Scoring with cuts. See _Paring_.

    Scotch fir, 519

    -- pine, 519

    Scows and punts, 299-308

    Scrap-boxes, 85

    Scraper, 473, 474

    -- for beading, 345, 346

    -- Japanese, 13, 14

    -- sharpening, 487, 488 (_Sharpening_)

    -- where to keep, 85

    Scraping. See _Scraper_.

    Scratch-awl, 345 (_Awl_)

    Screw-drivers, 475, 476

    -- for bit-brace, 476

    -- long and short, 476

    Screws, and their use, 476-479

    -- how to keep, 85

    Scriber. See _Marking_, 414

    Scribing. See _Marking_, 414-416 and 479, 480

    Seams of boat. See _Caulking_.

    Seasoned stock, 164, 177, 178

    -- tests for, 39, 40. See _Seasoning lumber_.

    Seasoning lumber, 36-40, 42, 164, 177, 178, 522-524

    Seat for corner, with shelves, 212

    -- outdoor, 210

    Second story, framing at, 296, 297

    Secret dovetailing, 373

    -- nailing. See _Blind-_ and _Sliver-nailing_, 432

    Section, 533, 534

    See-saw, tilt or, 142-145

    _Sequoia_, 520

    Set (for nails), 433, 434

    -- (of saw), 467

    Setting glass, 391

    Setting mirrors, 391

    -- nails, 433, 434

    -- posts, 262, 263

    -- saws. See _Sharpening_.

    Settle, corner, with shelves, 212

    -- with table, 212-214

    Sewerage, 278, 279

    Shacks, 241-259

    Shagbark (hickory), 515

    Shakes, 531

    Sharpening tools, 16, 22, 23, 25, 480-488

    Sharpie (sail-boat), 328-332

    Shave. See _Draw-knife_ and _Spokeshave_.

    Sheathing, 46, 47, 245, 269

    -- for canvas canoe, 325, 326

    -- outside of house with paper, 273

    -- -paper, 246

    -- striking, 245

    Shed-roof. See _Lean-to_.

    Sheer plan, 229, 230

    Shelf for books, hanging, 185

    Shellac. See _Finishing_.

    Shell-bit, 353 (_Bits_)

    Shelves, corner, 190, 191

    -- ends of, 195

    -- for pipes, etc., 188, 189

    -- for wall, 187-189

    -- movable, 489

    -- or pigeon-holes, 200

    Shingles, 48, 269

    Shingling, 269, 270

    -- hips, 285, 286

    Shooting-board, 93, 94

    -- use of, 490, 491

    Shrinkage, 30-35

    -- effects of swelling and shrinking, 526-531.
       See _Expansion and Contraction_.

    Shutter, 247, 258

    Side elevation, 532

    -- -plates, 287

    Sills, 265

    Silver-grain or rays. See _Medullary rays_ and _Quartered oak_.

    Single-pitched roof. See _Lean-to_.

    Site, selection of, 277-279

    Sizing of floor-beams, 267

    Skag, 307

    Skew-chisel, 357, 358

    Skiffs, 308-314

    Skis, 145-148

    Slab-sided file, 380

    Sleds, 155-163

    Slips, 435, 484

    Sliver nailing, 432

    Sloid knife. See _Knife_, 411, 412

    -- work-bench, 57

    Smoke-pipe, 257-259

    Smoking wood, 524

    Smoothing, 179, 180, 450, 453, 457, 458.
    See _Plane_, _Scraper_, _Sandpaper_.

    -- -plane, 448, 449

    Snake, wooden, 108, 109

    Sofa with bookcase, etc., 211

    Soft wood, 45

    Sole (of plane), 445

    Southern pine, 519, 520

    Specimens of wood, 44, 507, 508

    Sperm oil, 434

    Splaying (splice), 410, 411

    Splices. See _Joints and Splices_.

    Spline, 491

    Split stock. See _Rift_.

    Splitting stock, 44, 527-529

    -- wood, 28, 491

    Spokeshave, 491, 492

    -- makers, 22

    Spoon-bit, 353

    Sporting-cabinet, 215, 216

    Spring-board, 170

    Spritsail, 332

    Spruce, 521

    Square, 492-495

    -- -foot, 47, 244 (note)

    -- makers, 22

    -- mitre, 349

    -- where to keep, 84, 85, and _Frontispiece_

    Squaring work, 181

    -- with clamps, 360, 361

    Squirrel-house, 136-139

    Stacking lumber, 39, 44

    -- result of careless, 42

    Staining, 495-498

    -- shingles, 270

    Stains, creosote-, 270, 525

    Stairs, 289

    -- (for little houses), 123

    Staking out, 260-262

    Stands, for plants, 201, 202, 207

    Stands, small, 202, 207-209

    Star-shakes, 531

    Steam-chest, 347

    Steaming wood, 347 (_Bending_)

    Steel square, 495

    -- -wool, 498, 499

    Steering (sleds), 159, 160, 163

    Stem-posts, 309, 310, 320-323

    Steps, 289

    Stern-post, 327. See _Stem-posts_.

    "Sticking" lumber. See _Stacking_.

    Stile (of door or panel work), 370

    Stilts, 141

    Stock (of plane), 445

    -- "built up," 409, 410, 530, 531

    -- care of, 44

    -- cross- or crooked-grained, 40, 41, 529, 530

    -- planing down, 44

    -- splitting, 527-529

    -- rift or split, 35, 36. See _Lumber_.

    Stop, bench-, 71-75

    -- -chamfer, 357

    -- for drawers, 378

    Stove-pipe. See _Smoke-pipe_.

    Stores or houses, play-, 241-259

    Straight-bent chisel, 358

    Straight-edge, 86, 499

    -- marking by, 415

    -- to detect warping or winding. See _Winding-sticks_.

    Striking circles and arcs, 364, 365

    Stringers or strings (stairs), 289

    Strop, 85, 499, 500

    Stropping, 485

    Studding, 266, 287

    -- second-story, 296

    Sugar maple, 517

    -- pine, 519

    Summer cottages, simple, 271-290

    -- -houses, 291-293

    Sunlight, 277, 278

    Swelling and shrinking, 30-35, 50-53, 225, 526-531

    Swing, giant, 172, 173

    Swords, wooden, 106, 107

    Sycamore, 521

    Table, and settle, or chair, 212-214

    -- -top, putting on, 203, 205, 206, 209

    Tables, 203-209

    Tacks, 500

    -- for canvas canoes, 323

    Tallow, bayberry, 378

    Tamping, 263

    Tank, water-, for frogs, etc., 139, 140

    Tannic acid, 526

    Tape, 500

    Tar, coal- and wood-, 525

    Teak, 522

    Templates, 231

    Tennis rackets, 104

    Tenon. See _Mortising_.

    -- -saw. See _Saw_ (_Back-saw_).

    Tenons (in repairing), 462

    Thole-pins, 302

    Thompson's Island, 271

    Three-cornered file. See _File_.

    Throat (of plane), 445

    Tilt, or see-saw, 142-145

    Timber, definition, 45

    -- durability of. See _Lumber_.

    Toboggan, 148-152

    Toe-nailing, 431, 432

    Toggle-joint, application of, 267

    Tool-cabinets, 96-101

    -- -chest, 96, 97, 223, 224

    -- -handles, oiling, 23

    -- -rack, 83, 84

    Tools, 9-28

    -- and supplies, arrangement, 80-86, 96

    -- cabinet for, 96-101

    -- care of, 22, 23

    -- common, and their use, 344-505

    -- edge-, 25-28

    -- Japanese, 14, 15

    -- lists of, 18-20

    -- makers, 22

    -- primitive, 9-15

    -- sharpening, 16, 22, 23, 25, 480-488

    -- "universal," 18

    -- use of, 23-25

    Toothed-plane, 449, 450

    Toothing, 449, 450

    Totlet Town, 118-121

    Toughness, 40, 511

    Toy boats, hulls of, 227-237

    -- village, 118-121

    Toys, 106-125

    Trapeze, 173

    Travelling-cage, 140

    Traverse (sled), 156-163

    Traversing, 446

    Treads, 289

    Trees. See _Felling and Seasoning_ and _Preservation of Forests_.

    -- big, 520

    -- broad-leaved, 511

    -- conifers or needle-leaved, 511

    Trestles, 88-90

    Triangular file, 380

    Trigger, 153

    Trimming. See _Paring_.

    Truing, grindstone, 398

    -- oil-stone, 435

    -- stock (surfaces), 179, 500, 501

    Trunk for centre-board, 330, 331

    Trying-plane, 447, 448 (_Plane_)

    Try-square. See _Square_ (492).

    Tulip wood, 48

    Tupelo, 522

    Turning, Indian, 10, 11

    -- -saw, 469, 470

    Turpentine. See _Finishing_ and _Painting_, 437, 438, 498, 526

    Turtles, frogs, lizards, etc., tank for, 139, 140

    Twist-drill, 501

    "Twister" (rope), 362

    Twisting. See _Winding_.

    Two-foot square, 495

    Undercutting, 195, 410

    Underpinning, 259, 260, 262-264, 279

    Undershot water-wheel, 116, 117

    "Universal" planes, 451

    -- tools, 18

    Varnish. See _Finishing_.

    -- Japan, 438

    -- -stains, 496

    Vaulting apparatus, 169

    -- board, 170

    -- -horse, 170, 172

    Veining-tool. See _Carving-tools_.

    Village, play, "Cottage Row," 271-276

    -- Totlet Town, 118-121

    Vise, bench-, 65-71, 536

    -- for metal, 75, 76

    Vise, Japanese carpenter's, 13

    -- parallelism of jaws, 67, 68

    V tool, 357

    Wale-strips. See _Gunwale strips_.

    Wall-cabinet, 186, 189, 190

    -- -shelves, 187-189

    Walnut. See _Black Walnut_, 513

    Warping of lumber, 32-34, 409, 410, 502, 526-531

    Washboard. See _Coaming_.

    Washita stone, 434

    Water-line, 230 (footnote)

    -- pure, 277-279

    -- -table, 273

    -- -tank for frogs, turtles, etc., 139, 140

    -- -tight compartments, 318, 319 (footnote)

    -- -wheels, 116-118

    Wax finish, 381

    Weather-drying, 36, 40. See _Seasoning_.

    Weather-vane (steamboat), 115. See _Windmills_.

    Wedge for splitting, 28

    Wedges, 502, 503

    Wedging. See _Wedges_.

    -- tenons, 427, 428

    Wet rot, 526

    Weymouth pine. See _Pine_.

    Wheel, steering- (for sled), 160

    Whetstone. See _Oil-stone_.

    Whetting. See _Sharpening_.

    White ash, 512

    -- cedar, 514

    -- deal, 521

    -- lead. See _Painting_.

    -- mahogany, 517

    -- oak, 518

    -- pine, 518, 519

    Whitewood, 521

    Whittling, 4, 218, 219. See _Knife_.

    Willow, 522

    Winding, 41, 360, 526-531

    -- -sticks, 503, 504

    Windmills, 109-116

    Window-casings, 272

    -- -shutter, 258

    -- sliding, 248

    Windows and doors, sizes of, 276

    Wind-shakes, 531

    Wing compasses, 364

    Wire-edge, 480

    Withdrawing nails, 504, 505

    Wood, 29-48 (Chapter III.), 510-522. See _lumber_.

    -- charring, 263, 264, 525

    -- checking and cracking, 31, 42, 526

    -- collection of specimens, 44, 507, 508

    -- colour of, 40

    -- cross-grained, 40, 41, 529, 530

    -- curling and warping, 32-34, 409, 410, 502, 526-531

    -- durability of. See _Decay and Preservation_.

    -- -filler, 385

    -- hard, 45

    -- methods of drying, 36-40, 522-524

    -- quality of, 33-35, 510, 511, 522

    -- seasoning of, 36-40, 42, 164, 177, 178, 522-524

    -- selection of, 33-45, 510, 511, 522

    -- shrinkage and swelling, 30-35, 50-53, 225, 526-531

    -- soft, 45

    -- -tar, 525

    -- warped, 41. See _Warping_.

    -- winding, 41. See _Winding_.

    Wooden chain, 218, 219

    -- guns and pistols, 152-154

    Woods and some of their characteristics, 510-522

    Work-bench, 57-65

    -- first-class, 101, 536, 537

    -- makeshifts, 77-80

    -- position and care of, 74, 75

    -- sloid, 57

    -- top, 74, 536

    Working drawings, 49, 50, 532-536

    -- edge or surface, 54

    Workshop, 56-101, 259-270

    Wrench, 505

    Wrought nails, 433

    Yellow deal, 519 (_Pine_)

    -- fir, 519

    -- pine, 519

    Yew, 522

    Zinc, 438 (_Painting_)

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       *       *       *       *       *

  Transcriber's Notes

  Obvious punctuation and spelling errors and inconsistent hyphenation
  have been corrected. In ambiguous cases, the text has been left as it
  appears in the original.

  In this text version, italic text is denoted by _underscores_, bold
  text by =equal signs=, and spaced (gesperrt) text by +plus signs+.
  Superscripts are represented with the caret character, e.g. 8^o. The
  word "bassoolah" is written without the diacritical marks used in the

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