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I used to be first launched to department hooks and their natural magnificence whereas studying Peter Follansbee’s wonderful article on the topic in Popular Woodworking journal. Peter confirmed how you can flip a typical forked tree department into a useful hook that somebody can make use of within the hallway, the kitchen, and virtually in every single place. A number of years later I noticed it once more, this time in Jögge Sundqvist’s lovely e-book: Slöjd in Wood (by Lost Art Press).
For a whereas I used to be planning on constructing my very own department hook however didn’t come round to do it, that’s till final September. In late August, I used to be informed that this may be the second yr that I’ve to show woodworking within the lecture rooms and never within the Woodshop. It wasn’t due to Covid, however fairly due to the continuation of the most important renovation of our college’s basement – the place my store is situated. In my efforts to seek out a appropriate undertaking that might be realized within the lecture rooms (virtually both whittling or chip carving) I remembered the department hook and determined to present it a attempt.
The fantastic thing about a department hook as a gateway into woodworking is twofold: First, it’s a simple, intuitive, and comparatively simple woodworking shaping undertaking that may be achieved with a easy whittling knife or a needle rasp (for the youthful viewers). And secondly, the primary stage of this nice undertaking teaches the scholar how you can true and flatten a floor and work exactly. While at first look this may appear to be a contradiction to the natural and kooky latter a part of the undertaking, as I’ll present under it’s, by all means, an integral and important a part of the method that’s essential for laying the muse for good woodworking.
A department hook takes its power from the natural joint between a minor department that veers sideways from the prime department. A cross-section of the 2 (such as the one I drew on the blackboard for my college students) demonstrates how the fiber/grain course of the minor department is built-in so nicely into the prime department – which is the explanation why the hook is so sturdy. I didn’t solely clarify this to my college students – I additionally confirmed them how sturdy the joint is by hanging a heavy object on it.
Then I displayed the photographs from the article and the e-book and handed over to them a few of the pattern branches that I made.
I additionally gave them a printout of a few of my department hooks’ design drawings (I’ll present them subsequent time). We talked in regards to the many prospects for finials and terminus (new phrases for them) that they’ll select or develop themselves. I then requested them to decide on a department from my basket and informed them to attract it on a sheet of paper. The drawing documenting train brings them nearer to their department topography and is normally a fast nature-drawing process that’s all the time good for the hand and thoughts relationship.
Once the scholars completed drawing their department I requested them to suggest a design for the hook’s finial and terminus, which they illustrate close to the drawing of their department.
After this, I inform them that so as to permit the hook to register properly towards the flat floor of the wall or the door will probably be hanging on we have to flatten its bottom. My college students flatten their department’s again with a whittling knife or a rasp, and so they use a straight edge (such as a rule) to point how nicely their work has progressed. I additionally point out to them that the flat floor of their bench can serve as a reference floor for flatness and after they have achieved two flat and coplanar surfaces on the again of the department our truing work has been accomplished.
Once the again has been sufficiently flattened we proceed to the following stage of making the finials.
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