Woodworking Talk banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I'm new to the board, and I was wondering if I could get some advice on woodworking by hand. I'd like to build a Gingery style metal lathe, and the book tells me that casting patterns used were all made of wood, white pine to be more specific. I'm new to woodworking and the casting patterns look simple enough to make, but I was wondering if it would be possible to make them using hand tools. Below is a picture of the mold patterns used to cast the parts to build the lathe (found them on another site).

Based on the picture, do you think it would be possible to make these pattern pieces with hand tools? And if so, is there any site which contains a thorough list of all the hand tools needed for hand woodworking? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,874 Posts
Can these patterns be made with hand tools? Definitely.

As a beginning woodworker can you make them with hand tools? Maybe, eventually.....

Tools needed: workbench, vises, any number of different jigs for holding and manipulating wood while you work on pieces, several different saws, several hand planes, chisels, gouges, marking gauges, marking knife, spokeshave(s), card scrapers, calipers and probably many more that I'm not thinking of at the moment.

Here is a link and a little story about a pattern maker and his toolbox. http://www.supertool.com/etcetera/pchest/pattern.htm

I admire your ambition, but unless you want to spend a considerable amount of time and money learning pattern making, I'd recommend you search for someone who could make the patterns for you.
 

·
In History is the Future
Joined
·
6,423 Posts
Welcome to the forum.

Technology is a funny thing. I often tell groups that technology follows technology. As smithing / metal work became better it allowed for better wood working tools - and as woodworking tools improve it improves metal work as is evident during the industrial revolution.

Woodworking hand tools, wielded by pattern makers built the Iron jungle of the revolution. Without those pattern makers and their tools precision casting would not have been possible. There were no power sculpting machines... steam was driving machines, yes, but there were no 3D printing prototypers and hand tools were crucial.

That said, yes it can certainly be done. Pattern makers were a rare breed, capable of precision tolerances with wood that would make any furniture builder blush. You will have to first become a decent woodworker to successfully pull this project off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks... Another question

Thank you for your replies. I had another question, though... I'm sure there have been many good books written on carpentry, and was hoping I could get some recommendations from you guys. Also are there any ebooks available for free download, as I'm on a bit of a budget.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,874 Posts
This link should help you get started it is a listing posted by members of reference sites, books, magazines and any other publicly available information. I'd also recommend you try the old fashioned route and visit your local library and browse through sections on woodworking so you can narrow your focus.

I'm sure that there are many e-books available, but I've never looked for any so can't help you there.

Finally, spend some time looking around WWT. Lots of great people here with experience in just about every aspect of woodworking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
I think it's cool you want to build your own patterns, and you probably could do it, but if you are a novice woodworker it might take you a long time.
You will also need to find a foundry that will work with you, and be willing to use patterns of the caliber shown in your picture.
I've been a patternmaker for 34+ years, and a lot (not all) foundries that I've worked with would not want to use such patterns, even for 1-offs.
I think you'd have the best luck if you find a smaller family run foundry- they are out there.
I don't mean to discourage you, just want you to be aware of what you would be taking on.
I hope you do this, and you'll find pattern and casting work pretty interesting.
Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
825 Posts
Thank you for your replies. I had another question, though... I'm sure there have been many good books written on carpentry, and was hoping I could get some recommendations from you guys. Also are there any ebooks available for free download, as I'm on a bit of a budget.
There are lots of books on woodworking available for little or no cost on Apple's iBook Store. I have downloaded at least a dozen that are in Public Domain. I have no idea what may be available on other platforms.

I forty years ago, I did a lot of pattern drawings for the company pattern maker, and had lots of opportunities to hang out in his shop. In his world, because the patterns he made were shipped to foundries and handled roughly, he only worked in hard maple! Also, the patterns were made larger than the piece to be cast to allow for shrink as the metal cooled. I wish I could remember the shrink rates for different materials.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
825 Posts
To give you another option - almost all of those parts could be fabricated as weldments, or cut from steel plate. That was always our approach if the machine was to be one-off. Patterns, and casting only becomes economical when multiple machines are being built.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think I may have been a little unclear in my previous posts. The foundry is actually the first project in the Gingery series, and in fact I've already built it, along with putting together a crude but functional mold table in my backyard. I just need to put together the pattern pieces, and I'm going to cast the parts myself (playing with superheated molten metal, very hard for me to resist) I did check out the library though and stumbled on a pretty good deal on some tools at a yard sale. Got a dovetail saw, a coping saw, three chisels, a combination square, a marking gauge and a smoothing plane for $25. They're old but seem to be in reasonably good shape (especially considering what I paid for them). I'm going to tinker with these for a bit and see if I can start on some of the more simplistic pattern parts. But again, you've all been really helpful. I hope it'll be ok for me to pop in if I have any more questions :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,874 Posts
You are always welcome to pop in with questions and to show us your progress! I'd like to see the whole process as you proceed.

I'd recommend you do a little surfing around the Hand Tool section and look for threads on both sharpening and tuning old planes. The chisels and plane may look like they are in good condition, but a little tuning and especially sharpening will make a world of difference as you proceed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think I found me a good book to work with... Carpentry for beginners by John D. Adams. It's kind of an old timey book (1917) but since I'm going to be working primarily with hand tools I think it'll be great. It works the student through dozens of simple small projects and working up to more elaborate pieces and eventually hand made furniture. I see a lot of possibilities with this book especially considering my righteous score of hand tools from that garage sale. In fact, although my original goal was just to learn how to make the pattern pieces for my castings, I might be diverted by the projects outlined in this book. for a while. I've already cut out the pieces for one of the first projects in the book, the soap holder. I'm going to have a good time with this.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top