Page 7 of 7 FirstFirst ... 34567
Results 91 to 104 of 104

Thread: Ancient Tools - The Stringline

  1. #91
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    1,550
    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    Here is another little tip:

    Snapping a LONG line. Too often, snapping long lines throws the line out of true, turns it into a curved line. Trick is the raise the entire line, and let it "snap" straight down....doesn't work all that great, unless you do this sort of thing daily. However, by having another go out to about the middle of the line, carefullyplace a finger to hold the line in place, and then snapping the line on each side of the NOW blue finger, line stays straight. OR, if the helper is a third, have the two on the ends snap the lines, will the third holds the middle down.

    But, then I was marking wall lines 25-50feet long. This can work on long sheets of plywood. IF you can reach the line at the center of the line, then you can snap half at a time.

    There are times when a curved line is necessary. It is a very advanced technique that I have never had occasion to use (not even sure I could do it successfully without a lot of practice), but I have seen it done by carpenters replacing trim and long, large beams in temple/shrine repairs/reconstruction.

    The trick is to twirl the inkline between thumb and forefinger when lifting it, and pull it just the right amount to the side. When released, the combination of twist and offset causes the inkline to leave a perfectly curved line on the wood.

    I am aware of three uses for a curved inkline.

    First, if the eye can see a long percentage of a horizontal beam's or trim board's or hafu's exposed length, for instance on the building's exterior, and the member is perfectly straight, the human eye will see it as sagging or "dead." By applying an upward curvature, it appears straight and "alive."

    The second application is to create a slight curve in roof rafters. This is an appearance factor, once again.

    The third application is more structural. Long, unsupported, horizontal beams always deflect downward due deadload, liveload, and creep. Some of the sag occurs immediately, some after the building is occupied, and some takes decades to gradually develop. Often this sag can be hidden behind ceilings so it is not apparent, but not always, especially at\above doors and windows. Other times, a sagging beam, especially over doors and windows, will sag and cause joinery to bind. And it just looks "tired" and worn-out.

    I have spoken with top-class carpenters in Japan as they were marveling about the skills of the carpenters who's work they have inspected/repaired in some of the famous wooden structures in Japan, mostly Nara and Kyoto. The gradual increase in deflection over time can be seen in the repairs made over the centuries to fragile plasterwork above and below these beams, indicating that the beams did indeed sag, exactly as the original carpenters expected, but still retained a slight upwards curvature.

    Those old boys were looking down the road centuries as they snapped their curved inklines.

    Stan
    Last edited by Stanley Covington; 10-07-2017 at 7:39 AM.

  2. #92
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    1,779
    How very true about carpenters in the past. I have had the privilege of working with some very good carpenters. When I questioned one about starring at a beam he said, "That beam already knows what it is going to do, I'm just trying to figure out what it is telling me". I never forgot that one.
    Jim

  3. #93
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
    Posts
    9,591
    That is also the reason I checked for "crown" along a plank or beam's length. A King wears his Crown on top of his head, and so too should a beam have it's "crown" on top.

  4. #94
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    1,550
    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley Covington View Post
    There are times when a curved line is necessary. It is a very advanced technique that I have never had occasion to use (not even sure I could do it successfully without a lot of practice), but I have seen it done by carpenters replacing trim and long, large beams in temple/shrine repairs/reconstruction.

    The trick is to twirl the inkline between thumb and forefinger when lifting it, and pull it just the right amount to the side. When released, the combination of twist and offset causes the inkline to leave a perfectly curved line on the wood.

    I am aware of three uses for a curved inkline.

    First, if the eye can see a long percentage of a horizontal beam's or trim board's or hafu's exposed length, for instance on the building's exterior, and the member is perfectly straight, the human eye will see it as sagging or "dead." By applying an upward curvature, it appears straight and "alive."

    The second application is to create a slight curve in roof rafters. This is an appearance factor, once again.

    The third application is more structural. Long, unsupported, horizontal beams always deflect downward due deadload, liveload, and creep. Some of the sag occurs immediately, some after the building is occupied, and some takes decades to gradually develop. Often this sag can be hidden behind ceilings so it is not apparent, but not always, especially at\above doors and windows. Other times, a sagging beam, especially over doors and windows, will sag and cause joinery to bind. And it just looks "tired" and worn-out.

    I have spoken with top-class carpenters in Japan as they were marveling about the skills of the carpenters who's work they have inspected/repaired in some of the famous wooden structures in Japan, mostly Nara and Kyoto. The gradual increase in deflection over time can be seen in the repairs made over the centuries to fragile plasterwork above and below these beams, indicating that the beams did indeed sag, exactly as the original carpenters expected, but still retained a slight upwards curvature.

    Those old boys were looking down the road centuries as they snapped their curved inklines.

    Stan
    I took the wife to dinner Monday for our anniversary at a restaurant called Imahan near Ueno station. The interior had this interesting hafu (Facia) that is very Japanese and illustrates clearly the application of a curved snapline. See the attached picture. It should help explain my point.

    The top board is straight, but the hafu is curved. This gives the construct a more graceful, lively appearance, I think you will agree.

    The line you see congruent with the board's bottom edge is planed at an angle into the edge of the board with a special plane, but it is not a rabbet. This is also a very Japanese architectural detail.
    IMG_2372.jpg

  5. #95
    Yes, that helped me. Thanks Stan!

  6. #96
    Thank you. I used string lines for years to line up pulleys, but neglected to carry that knowledge into the wood shop--

  7. #97
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    1,550
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Droege View Post
    Thank you. I used string lines for years to line up pulleys, but neglected to carry that knowledge into the wood shop--
    Dennis:

    Thanks for the insight. I suppose a stringline would be the perfect tool for that purpose.

    I have used a stringline to align the wheels of my motorcycles for a long time. I think most people that do their own motorcycle maintenance know how to do this, but I never thought to check my bicycles until a couple of years ago. I had adjusted the wheels to what I thought was "good enough," but when I put a stringline on the wheels I saw for the first time how far they were out of alignment front and back. Once I had them more precisely aligned, I noticed they rolled better and cornered more surely.

    Like your experience with pulleys, the more I pay attention, the more applications I see for the humble stringline. All hail!

    Stan
    Last edited by Stanley Covington; 10-18-2017 at 9:23 AM.

  8. #98
    Most Construction Companies Brisbane are very familiar with this kind of mechanism. It just varies on the complexity but still the same basic setup.

  9. #99
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    5,580
    After changing all the joints in the front end on my truck (20 years old, 340 some thousand miles). I didn't want to drive it to get it aligned, worrying about it being so far off that somthing might give. I used strings, and a Wixey gauge. The alignment shop only charged me half price, because they didn't need to change anything. It got new tires on the way out of town, that day.

    After driving it for some number of thousand miles, I was noticing some wear on the outside edge of the right front tire. I suspected that standard specs didn't account for the crowned country roads around here, so changed the camber a tenth of a degree, by the Wixey, and no tire wear since.

    I "pull a line", as we call it around here, all the time.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Tom M King; 04-14-2021 at 1:54 PM.

  10. #100
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    23,220
    Blog Entries
    1
    Interesting:

    alignjig.jpg

    A winding stick for car tires?

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  11. #101
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    5,580
    The batter boards were just to hold the lines level with the centers of the axles, and to allow the strings to be slid side to side, to get them into the exactly right position. It didn't matter a bit if they were not parallel. You many not be able to see the strings in the picture on a phone screen. It worked better than I thought it would. Toe-in was Way off, after changing all the ball joints.

  12. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    After changing all the joints in the front end on my truck (20 years old, 340 some thousand miles). I didn't want to drive it to get it aligned, worrying about it being so far off that somthing might give. I used strings, and a Wixey gauge. The alignment shop only charged me half price, because they didn't need to change anything. It got new tires on the way out of town, that day.

    After driving it for some number of thousand miles, I was noticing some wear on the outside edge of the right front tire. I suspected that standard specs didn't account for the crowned country roads around here, so changed the camber a tenth of a degree, by the Wixey, and no tire wear since.

    I "pull a line", as we call it around here, all the time.
    Tom,

    LOL, sure your name isn't Bubba from the East Texas Piney Woods?

    ken

  13. #103
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    5,580
    I have no idea who that is. After getting prices quoted on any mechanic work, my time, which I'm sure might not be as efficient as a pro, is worth well over a hundred bucks an hour. Not only that, but I know it's done right, don't waste time talking on the phone, or driving around to leave vehicles somewhere. Our place came with a building suitable for doing mechanic work, and it's turned out very handy to have. I can just leave what I'm working on in there, and walk to the house.

    I don't like to make vehicle payments, (or payments on anything, for that matter). Our method of making vehicle payments is to make one payment, and then drive it as long as it lasts, or until we can't stand it anymore. I still like this truck, and the last payment was made Nov. 2000. It's still quite serviceable for what it does. Diesels can last a Long time.

    Setting those lines was not much different than laying out a building foundation, and I've done that before.
    Last edited by Tom M King; 04-15-2021 at 5:53 PM.

  14. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    I have no idea who that is. After getting prices quoted on any mechanic work, my time, which I'm sure might not be as efficient as a pro, is worth well over a hundred bucks an hour. Not only that, but I know it's done right, don't waste time talking on the phone, or driving around to leave vehicles somewhere. Our place came with a building suitable for doing mechanic work, and it's turned out very handy to have. I can just leave what I'm working on in there, and walk to the house.

    I don't like to make vehicle payments, (or payments on anything, for that matter). Our method of making vehicle payments is to make one payment, and then drive it as long as it lasts, or until we can't stand it anymore. I still like this truck, and the last payment was made Nov. 2000. It's still quite serviceable for what it does. Diesels can last a Long time.

    Setting those lines was not much different than laying out a building foundation, and I've done that before.
    I would say a man for all seasons on Lake Gaston. I tip my Cat hat.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •