Spanish Windlass

The great mallet called the commander serves to drive the completed frame together. When you need more constant pressure, loop a rope between two timbers, insert a winding stick and you have a Spanish windlass. You can make it powerful enough to pull a timber frame together or light enough to tension a bow saw. A Spanish windlass makes a strong clamp to tighten chair legs as the glue sets—as well as an easily adjustable tie for bentwood bows for the chair back.

The term Spanish windlass just as commonly, and more appropriately, refers to a capstan improvised from two stout spars and a single rope. Say you want to pull a log up a slope. Tie one end of the rope to the log and the other end to a tree. Stand a spar at the midpoint of the rope. Make a tight loop in the rope, catch it with the other spar and start winding it around the lower part of the upright spar. Someone has to hold the upright spar vertical and see that the lines feed on at the same level while the other person walks the horizontal spar around.

Be careful. You can store tremendous energy in ropes and elevated or flexed timbers. Natural fiber ropes don't stretch as much as some synthetics. Should something give, a stretching rope lets go like a lethal rubber band—with you as the bug on the wall.

The tusk tenon is designed to maintain the strength of the mortised timber.
The trait de Jupiter scarf joint joins timbers end to end.
The Spanish windlass can help draw the frame together—and knock your teeth out if it slips.
This particular block and tackle arrangement gives a 2:1 mechanical advantage.

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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