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Pep1: Dimensional Lumber Woodworking  RSS feed

 
jesse markowitz
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Location: Hudson Valley, NY
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white belt-
make a table
make a bench
build a table, desk, chair, bench, or fencing out free pallets
make a chair
build a bird feeder
build a tool rack
build a garden gate

green belt-
build a curved back adirondack chair
Make 1 chair, desk, table, stool, and bench without the use of any metal nails, screws, or glue for joinery
Pick a piece of furniture and build 2 types that are in contrasting architectural styles (shaker, Pennsylvania Dutch, Queen Anne, Victorian)
make 5 hand tools that work on par with purchased ones (spokeshaves, gauges, framing squares)
build something with lots of curves in the design
make ten boxes that use box/finger joints exclusively
build your own workbench
build a chopping block


brown belt-
Build all the furniture needed for a wofati
Repair 5 tools to ‘better than before’ condition

black belt-
make an owen rein-style rocking chair without any metal nails or screws, or glue used for joinery
build 10 buckets that can hold water
build a guitar (made well enough to be used by a guitar player!)

The latter belts are a little light. Anyone have any ideas to beef up the bottom of the list?
And are there any good resources for people to consult while working on these?
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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All of these lists of crafts and skills make me happy. Much of the world could use a resurgence in the ability to make things from the bottom up.
Two thoughts...........maybe three.

make an owen rein-style rocking chair without any metal nails or screws, or glue used for joinery

I wanted to suggest moving Owen's 'style' of rocker to the green woodworking list. His chairs are all begun with a tree (never boards) and some parts are put together green while others are dry. This is what holds them together without any 'nails, screws or glue'.

build 10 buckets that can hold water
I only know bucket coopering 'second hand' The more traditional way with hand tools is also from a tree, split out into bolts and then on from there to shaping the staves. The buckets in this thread making wooden buckets are all made this way, similar to and learned through passed down skills of Alex Stewart.

This video on the other hand, is an example of buckets from boards, and they look like they are perfectly functional http://www.permies.com/t/37539/woodworking/coopering-making-wooden-buckets#306541 and 'build' able if you have the shop full of power tools.

As far as more advanced skills in the more advanced category, the only thing I thought of was boat building. It too could be from a tree or boards I believe.


 
jesse markowitz
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Location: Hudson Valley, NY
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Yea, I'll take those out.

I think we need to add shed building somewhere on the list as well.
 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Central New Jersey
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When someone says dimensional lumber I automatically go to commercially available kiln dried, usually not very good quality, big box store type stuff. I recognize that this is not fair to absolutely all dimensional lumber, but I also suspect that I am not alone in starting there when this term is used.

I think it would be fair to say that the standard dimensional lumber at a big box store is not in keeping with permaculture principles.

I think when talking about dimensional lumber in a permaculture context, it makes sense to think in terms of lumber that we either milled ourselves from timber on our properties, or obtained through a neighbor who mills their own as part of their forestry operation. That lumber gets air dried over time, rather than kiln dried. And then we have a product that is no longer green wood, is cut to some more or less standard set of dimensions and suited for use in constructing furniture, or buildings, or fences...

It would seem to me that the skill set here needs to include operating a swamill to produce planks of given dimensions, how to cut those planks with maximum stability, knowing how to sticker the planks and stack them to dry with minimal warping.

When you say "make 5 hand tools", just how much of the making do you have in mind? I ask because a spokeshave would require good blacksmithing skills, while a framing square can be made entirely from wood.

Some of these tasks don't seem of equivalent difficulty, such as building a chopping block and building a workbench

Building a tabletop without metal nails, screws or glue - If you don't dodge the task by building a narrow table with a top one board wide, building a top without glue is a pretty advanced task.

And lastly - what is the goal for this skill set? What functions in the world of permaculture experience are being fulfilled?

It is much easier for me to think about how to build a skill set if I understand the objective(s). In this list I am not seeing anything that cannot be done starting from greenwood, so I am not clear where this is meant to fit?
 
jesse markowitz
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Location: Hudson Valley, NY
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Thanks again Peter!

Milling your own wood is definitely important, and knowing how to stack wood so it dries properly is definitely an essential white belt skill.

In this list I am not seeing anything that cannot be done starting from greenwood, so I am not clear where this is meant to fit?


Maybe Paul can clarify, but from my understanding, we want to be developing people who can be competent in any situation. That means people have to have experience in lots of different mediums. Yes, greenwood and roundwood might be more in line with the permaculture way, but in the real world you might find yourself in a situation where for a given job you HAVE to use lumber only. Imagine a recent Pep1 or even Pep2 grad being hired as a site developer, and then telling the people who hired him "I can't get anything done here because you have lumber, and I only know how to build with logs."

Now, that particular example might sound ridiculous, I don't know, but I think you get the general point I'm saying.

As for this list, I notice I did forget to mention- I was shooting for this list to be a little bit more furniture/smaller project based, because ideally, most of the big framing carpentry projects done at the lab will indeed be done with roundwood. Although I do think I need to add building a shed somewhere in here.

And lastly - what is the goal for this skill set? What functions in the world of permaculture experience are being fulfilled?


You tell me! Although Paul does have the final say in what goes on Pep1, we are envisioning this as a collaborative effort. That's why we created this new section, and made all these threads. We want as much feedback and ideas as possible to develop the best list we can.
 
Michael Cox
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And lastly - what is the goal for this skill set? What functions in the world of permaculture experience are being fulfilled?


I'm struggling with this across all these PEP lists... Why? Why is this skill set relevant? What level of expertise are we aiming for here? We seem to be a long way from agriculture here, but I can see why the skills might be relevant for homesteading.

Also, in terms of hours these look very demanding. Paul has said that PEP1 is to be equivalentish to an undergrad degree... Your white belt looks our of proportion with these time requirements, especially if taken with a view from someone who is new to woodworking.
 
jesse markowitz
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Also, in terms of hours these look. Dry demanding. Paul has said that PEP1 is to be equivalentish to an undergrad degree... Your white belt looks our of proportion with these time requirements, especially if taken with a view from someone who is new to woodworking.


I don't even think its been said yet, but I don't think the requirements to graduate from pep1 is to complete every category.... Its going to be modeled after college. So some categories will be mandatory, probably earthworks, animal husbandry, gardening... and lots of the others are optional.

Or something like you have to complete 90% of the white belts, 70% of the greens, 50 percent of the browns....

Things are still in the beginning stages. The idea right now is to just get as much stuff out there as possible. First we'll come up with all the content that we could possibly need, and then we can worry about thinning/adding to the curriculum where we need to.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5955
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
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I like 'electives' ....mandatory basics and then choices for the others.

I saw pallets mentioned and that made me think of reclaimed/recycled lumber in general....a wonderful materials source. Dale has all kinds of tips and examples in many of his threads here.

As more and more have bandsaw mills the availability of boards cut to order are easier to find.Our son is selling much of what he cuts at competitive prices and I think this is happening all over.

I think one could probably avoid the 'big board' store for many of the smaller projects at least.
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