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This is an excerpt from “To Make as Perfectly as Possible: Roubo on Marquetry” by André-Jacob Roubo; translation by Donald C. Williams, Michele Pietryka-Pagán & Philippe Lafargue.
If a perfect knowledge of the different colors of wood is essential to a cabinetmaker, he must also distinguish these same woods by means of their nuances, or better said, by the different shapes that the tints of the fibers represent, in order not to use them without choice nor knowledge of their character.
Woods, with regards to the conformation of tints of their fibers, can be considered as making four distinct species, one from the other. They are: those of which the concentric layers are alternately tinted in diverse colors but of a large and irregular manner, as you can see in Figs. 1, 2 and 3. The first one represents a piece of wood of which the concentric layers are tinted at unequal distances, which produces similar stripes on the grain line, Fig. 2, split according to the direction of the stripes of the tree. If on the contrary, one splits them parallel to the concentric layers, like in Fig. 3, this wood is only a single color more or less dark, according to which the split is made in a vein more or less light, which makes these sorts of wood not normally used except on the quarter-round cut, as in Fig. 2, or cut diagonally, as indicated with line A–B, same figure.
The second type of wood, with regard to their grain patterns, are those of which the concentric layers, although distinguished by color at the end grain, like in Fig. 4, produce no stripes along the grain, but simply singed veins or spots, like those in Figs. 5 and 6. These sorts of woods are very nice when they are well chosen and used with discernment, by reason of the size they will occupy and a comparison being made with that of their nuances or their spots, which are always more abundant on the radial cut than on the concentric layer.
The third type of wood is those of which the end is veined irregularly in all ways, like Fig. 7. These species of woods are most likely being used on end grain or diagonally, as I observed in Figs. 8 and 9. As to the grain line, it is hardly an effect except on the quartersawn, where the colors must be vivid, which is quite rare in these sorts of wood.
The fourth type of wood is that where the concentric layers are regular and alternating in various colors, like that of Fig. 10. These sorts of wood are those where one uses with the best advantage, because not only are they beautiful on end grain, but also along the grain line, whether they are split parallel to the concentric layers, as in Fig. 11, or according to the direction of the rays, like in Fig. 12. In the first case, they present a wavy surface, where the spots or singes [area of lightness or of disorder, representing a flame] are more or less large according to the split being made closer to the circumference of the tree. In the second case, that is to say, when the split is made on grain, as in Fig. 12, the wood presents stripes almost regular, which are more or less perfect according to the split being directly made when in the center of the tree.
These four types of differences, which concern the tints of the wood, are those that are the most striking, because there is an infinite number that are but variations between those which they resemble in some areas.
— Meghan Bates
In the February issue of Festool Heaven, Morton compares the Festool DF500 with the Festool XL DF700, to help you understand which tool is right for which job.
Watch the video below and figure out which Festool Domino is right for your shop. And check out Festool Heaven for more details on these fine tools.
A friend stopped in a little over a year ago with some show-and-tell... a block of dyed and infused Box Elder burl (more commonly called Manitoba Maple in these parts). He had several pieces - different sizes, different colors, but this one really stuck out for some reason. The price was fair for what it was - and no different than what a good quality piece or Rosewood or Ebony of the same size would sell for. So I bought it - curious to see if this would be a suitable infill material. The color was outlandish - but in a good way, and I figured that if it would work, an all steel plane would be the right way to to. A K6 or a K7 seemed about right - shown above with my K6 prototype.
The block sat for almost a year. I picked it up every couple weeks or months, rotated it, tapped it, and put it down. Then for some reason I decided to see if I could plane it. I was surprised that perfect little blue shavings came through the plane - and the blade was not destroyed in the process. That was what I needed - some indication that this material would feel and ‘work’ like many of the exotic woods I use. It was a quick trip to the bandsaw to rough out the front pad and rear infill for a K7. It cut on the bandsaw like wood too... another good sign.
Once the rear infill was fit, I knew this was going to work - and was really excited to see the plane to the end. The pace quickened and I was back in the excitement of prototype mode again. It was a great feeling after almost a year off as my shoulder healed.
The inside of the front pad was the first surface that I ‘finished’ - no french polishing required. I sanded to 2000 grit and then buffed with a polishing pad and a quick coat of paste wax. The surface felt and looked wonderful!
The front pad and rear infill installed.
Finalizing the bed and blade fitment.
I used to think the Pink Ivory K7 prototype was outlandish looking... it looks pretty pedestrian compared to the blue Box Elder.
The top of the front pad roughly shaped on the bandsaw.
And finally the finished plane.
I will continue to experiment with different species and different colors, and am really excited to incorporate this new material into plane making. I know it will not be for everyone, but I for one am really excited about all the possibilities.
Like other presenters at this year’s confab Patrick Edwards had two sessions presenting his own topic of specialty, the techniques and compositions of marquetry. His first session revolved around his replication of the underside of the lid of Jane Rees’ tool chest lid, walking the audience through not only his conceptual approach but the bench-top manifestation of it. The second continued the theme of marquetry artistry, including making a blade for the chevalet.
Of particular fascination to me were the vintage veneer saw and shooting plane he used. I took enough of both of them to make versions of them myself, and surely I will.
I’ve known Patrick for more than three decades and seen him present several times, and every instance is a learning experience for me even though I cut my teeth restoring French marquetry in the 1970s. Patrick’s demonstration of making templates with his vintage pricking machine and transferring the pattern to multiple sheets necessary for the undertaking for sawing on the chevalet was a choreography to be savored.
I’ve always had an appreciation for green woodworking. Not that I’ve done as much of it as I would like, but the idea of being able to walk into a forest, harvest some wood, then walk back into the shop and go to work … well, it’s getting in touch with our pre-industrial DNA. Oh, and it feels pretty good not to pay lumber yard prices for air-dried birch! Green […]
The post Woodworking for the Impatient – How to Make a Windsor Rocking Chair and More appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
It’s often hard to describe the things I see in people when they have worked for a short while using their hands; perhaps it is even the first time they ever did that make the greater difference, makes it more special. A man in his late thirties, not technical, not an engineer, more a barrister […]
|might as well|
I won't be stripping it today but maybe tomorrow I'll do it. Now that I am doing it I can't wait to see how this one comes out. This plane has some pitting on the cheek walls and I want to see if I can lap them out. This will be my first time doing something like that.
|started the rehabbing last night|
|one last scrubbing|
|they are a lot cleaner|
|these parts will be ready tomorrow|
|the frog side|
|got a reply from Lee Valley|
|undersized for a 1/4" (0.250) hex bit|
|phillips hex bit|
|finishing screwing the drawer|
|needed some help|
|marking the bottom|
|1/2 a frog hair wide|
|funny looking counter bore|
|the other counter bore|
Did you know that mendacious means not telling the truth, lying?
When I post photos of my work, a frequent comment is about how my shop is clean. “Sterile,” some might say. “Unrealistic,” others have said. But a few people like it that way, I guess.
The implication is that I don’t do any real work. Or that I stage photos like a magazine art director – arranging the few shavings and dust on the floor with artistry.
A real shop is supposed to be chaotic and messy. A beehive of activity with projects, parts, clamps and tools everywhere. Messy people are the people who do real work.
I’ve worked in messy shops, and I’ve worked in tidy shops. Both have their own twisted logic that works. I cannot fathom the mindset of the person who runs a cluttered shop. I might as well try to imagine what it’s like to be a single-celled organism. It’s just not in my nature.
Every place I’ve worked since age 11 has had strict rules that prevented bad consequences.
The Anal Slog (Can I Say That?)
At This Can’t Be Yogurt (TCBY), we had hygiene protocols so customers didn’t get sick and we didn’t get shut down. Every machine had to be broken down, scrubbed and lubricated nightly. Temperatures had to be monitored. Floors had to be scrubbed. Leaving a cleaning supply in the wrong area of the shop could get you dinged by the health department.
At the Great San Francisco Seafood Co. (where I worked for four years), we had even stricter rules. Fish loves to go bad. Selling your customer a dead oyster or mussel will make her very sick. And washing your hands 20 times in a shift was typical.
As a production assistant at a publishing company (for four years), health and safety wasn’t an issue – time was. That publishing shop was like a submarine. Every object had a place. When you needed 2-point. tape at 2 a.m. to get a newspaper to the printer, you could find it – even if the lights were out.
I worked a series of factory furniture jobs. At one table-making company, everything was chaos. Even after working there a week I didn’t know who was in charge or what my job was. Table parts came flying out. You put them together. Lots of yelling.
At a door factory, things were different. Every operation had a procedure to follow. The stain sat for this long. You rubbed it with this rag. You monitored humidity ever 30 minutes. And on and on.
By the time I was 21, I knew what kind of worker I was. And I have fought chaos ever since.
You might say that I’m a neat-nick or anal retentive. I don’t care. All I know is that I know where every tool is. I know where all the hardware is. And it’s arranged by size. When I need a hammer or a 1/2” chisel I don’t even need to look in my tool chest to get it.
And when I take a moment to ponder my next step in a project, I do it with a broom in my hand. I pick up shavings on the ground when I pass through the bench room. I impulsively put away tools, even if I know I’ll need them in the next day or so.
This level of organization allows me to work like a demon without any pauses. I don’t need to think about where I left a part or a tool. They are where they are supposed to be. All I have to do is put things back where they belong and I can move on to the next task.
I do not encourage you to do this in your own shop. I have precisely zero emotions whatsoever about other people’s workshops. I just care about my own.
— Christopher Schwarz
Editor’s note: This article was excerpted from Bob Flexner’s article “How to Remove Watermarks“ Photo: Jon Chase (The Wirecutter) Light marks are milky-white and are caused by moisture getting into the finish and creating voids that interfere with the finish’s transparency. To remove milky-white watermarks, you need either to consolidate the finish (eliminate the voids) to the point that the transparency is reestablished or cut the film back to below […]
The post How to Remove and Fix White Rings from the Apple HomePod appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
I’ll get back to my recounting of WW18thC 2018 tomorrow, but for today I wanted to pick up the thread of the project to interpret an early 19th century mahogany writing desk.
With the full-size prototype built in southern yellow pine from my pile of bench-building stock it was time to move on to the real thing in mahogany.
But first I had to break my hip and lose more than half a year of shop time. One of my favorite jokes of all time involves a Calvinist who trips and breaks his ankle. “Finally,” he says, “I am glad to get that over with.” There’s nothing like some predestination humor to get the day started right.
As I wrote many moons ago I wanted to not only build the early-19th century desk with period appropriate technology, using power equipment only for “apprentice work,” I also wanted to use the best vintage lumber I could find. Casting my net as widely as possible among my circle of woodworking friends I was able to acquire small amounts of spectacular sweitenia from more than a half dozen sources. No single source was enough to accomplish the project, but en toto I obtained enough to build several desks, which I eventually will in hopes there are clients out there who want one.
The most difficult piece to find was the single slab of 30″x 20″ 5/4 mahogany for the desk top. Three stalwart friends responded and soon I was getting quizzical looks from Rich the UPS driver as he pulled up with securely swathed slabs of wood. You can get a sense of the scale as I believe that is my #8 in the frame.
Perhaps the most surprising source for lumber was the orthopedic surgeon who repaired my hip. As we were meeting for my final “turn me loose” appointment he asked me what I was working on, and I told him about this desk project. Although I knew he was a decorative turner I had not known he was an enthusiastic furniture maker in years past, and he told me he had a storage unit filled with vintage lumber he had acquired over the years. A couple months later we got our calendars to intersect and I went to meet him there, and wound up buying all the mahogany he had. He told me that this stash could be traced back to pre-WWI sources and based on the quality of the lumber I believe it. Similar stories accompanied the rest of the acquisitions as the lineage of mahogany inventories lives on in perpetuity, it seems.
Since the writing box of the desk was veneered, having just the right board for for making those veneers was crucial. Fortunately that was one piece I had in-hand already, having acquired it perhaps forty years earlier at an estate sale for a woodworker who had no end of fabulous lumber. Alas I did not have the money to buy more than a few pieces, and this was one of them. I was saving it for just the right project, and this was it. This dense, hard, and spectacular Cuban mahogany was nothing but delightful to work with.
Ditto the flame veneers needed for the outside surfaces of the legs. I cannot even recall when I bought four slabs of crotch lumber, but they too were waiting for just the right project.
The structure of the desk was simple enough and I soon had all the pieces cut and ready for fitting assembling. But before final assembly could happen I needed to address all the hand-cut curvilinear moldings on the edges of the legs.
In part one we introduced tools for standardization. These are the measuring tools that you also use to verify and quality your other tools. Every woodworker should have a high-quality combination square at the very least. In part two, I covered basic measuring tools: rules, tapes, and squares. Certainly, these are the tools that get the biggest work out in woodworkers’ shops. And, now it’s time to dial it up a […]
The post Precision Instruments for Woodworkers – Part Three: Tools for Precision appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
The text and images below are excerpted from Christian Becksvoort’s forthcoming book…for which we don’t yet have a title. So for now, I’m thinking of it as “Becksvoort’s Builds, Business & Inspiration” – until something catchier comes to mind. Consider this an amuse-bouche; the main meal will arrive probably in the late spring/early summer.
— Megan Fitzpatrick
There are several options when it comes to stopping drawers. If you’re making lipped drawers, your problem is solved. The lips (usually only on three sides – the bottom will have the moulding profile, but no lip) not only stop the drawer, but also cover the small gap on the sides and the somewhat larger gap on top.
Flush drawers, sans lips, are another story. My favorite method is the front underside stop. It keeps the drawer front flush with the cabinet, no matter how the cabinet side moves. In order for the drawer bottom not to get hung up on any part of the web frame, there is usually about 1/4″ to 5/16″ (6.4 to 7.9 mm) clearance below the underside of the drawer bottom. Obviously, that wood under the groove is what supports the drawer bottom. That space allows for 1/4″ (6.4 mm) stops to be routed and glued into the divider (one for small drawers and two stops for wider drawers). I usually rout a groove into the divider, close to both sides, but with enough clearance to allow the drawer side to pass. The groove is a bit more than the thickness of the drawer front away from the front of the divider. Once the stop is glued into the groove, I like to add a finishing touch. On all my flush drawers and doors, I add a leather bumper to quiet the sound of the drawer or door closing. That’s the sound of quality.
If, instead of using web frames, you’re making side-hung drawers, the slot on which the drawer rides acts as a stop. Here, too, you can add a bit of leather or even a self-adhesive rubber or silicone bumper.
Another, more traditional, method is to let the drawer bottom protrude beyond the drawer back. This works best if your primary and secondary wood is of the same species. Because solid-wood drawer bottoms have the grain running side to side, the drawer bottom will move in conjunction with the cabinet side. The drawer stays close to flush year-round. Obviously this doesn’t work with a plywood bottom.
What about drawers in a frame-and-panel cabinet? Because those cabinets don’t change in depth, that’s pretty easy and straightforward. The drawer can butt right up against the back. However, when I make frame-and-panel cabinets, I like to make the drawers a bit shorter than the inside front-to-back opening. That allows me to add a small block or a thick bumper to the back of the drawer for a perfectly flush front, as well as a quiet closing drawer.
On a few antiques, I’ve seen flathead screws driven into the drawer back as adjustable stops. Not all that classy, but it works.
— Christian Becksvoort
Machine guards are supposed to protect us from harm, but there are times when they can turn against you. The worst injury I’ve ever received from a machine was cutting my hands on the anti-kickback pawls while installing my table saw’s guard. Yesterday I ran into trouble on my jointer with disastrous results. The collar that controls the height of the guard vibrated loose. The tip of the guard contacted […]
Here’s a tip on how to cut curves on the bandsaw. When cutting a circle or an odd shape from a square piece of lumber on a bandsaw, you’ve probably dealt with the annoying corners that try to pull the material out of your hands as they catch on the bandsaw’s table. Then there’s the additional annoyance of the blade binding in a weird curve. A few extra cuts on […]
The post Tricks of the Trade: How to Cut Curves on the Bandsaw appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
Here is a classic cabinet makers work bench made a few years but in 'as new' condition, you can still see the factory planer marks on the top. This is not the lightweight 3' 6" version but their full sized model . The top (excluding vices) is 1500 mm long x 435 wide (655 at the vice end). In my view this is a much better bench than their current Elite model and offered at a fraction of the price, offers on £450.
The E Bay listing is poor with pictures upside down and very little detail on the description, I gained this info from corresponding with the seller, who seemed very genuine. It's located in SW London.
If you need a bench of this size it's one not to be missed!
|the following morning at oh dark thirty five|
|curve rasped and the end cap sanded smooth|
|front of the curve|
|inside sanded smooth|
|angled the two end 'nails' and the middle one went in at 90°|
|drilling pilot holes for a #6 screw|
|I can use the driver to open and close the drawer|
|I will have to rehab this now (back from the hospital)|
|this part was easy|
|I'll need a spanner wrench|
|had to search for the top pin|
|installing the drawer slides|
|left side slide going in|
|it was the anesthesia that made me do this|
|the anesthesia is still playing with my head|
|why it is proud|
|got my 1/4" clearance at the top of the drawer|
|it is working both ways|
The drawers only come with 8 screws. That means only two screws for each part of the drawer slides. I will be adding at least 2 more for each slide part. If I don't have any screws I think Lowes sells them.
|I think I got it right this time|
|drawer closed and it is flush|
|one of the hardest spots to clean and degrease|
|the back of the frog is another spot|
|using Zep on the front and Krud Kutter at the back|
|the Zep is filthy|
|Krudd Kutter did better at the back|
|Krud Kutter gets the brass ring|
|got some new toys|
Did you know that a UK Duke or Duchess is addressed as "your grace"?
Editor’s note: Blade Magazine is published by F+W Media, our parent company and my cubical is next to the organizer of Blade Show. I thought our west coast readers would be interested in hearing about this event! If knives aren’t your thing, disregard! – David Lyell Join Us Oct. 5-7 in Portland, Oregon BLADE®, the world’s No. 1 knife media brand, announces the all-new BLADE Show West in Portland, Oregon—the Knifemaking Capital […]
I really liked the idea of using a wood screw, partly because I liked Scott Meek’s and partly because of my love affair with wood. But the Benchcrafted system comes highly recommended. I decided to combine the two systems, using the Crisscross mechanism in conjunction with the Lake Erie screw.
The post Installing the Lake Erie Toolworks Wood Vise Screw (With a Twist) appeared first on Woodworking Blog.