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This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway! Enjoy!
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There are ways to create long clamps, such as coupling sections of threaded pipe for Jorgensen clamps.
Body Clamp Extenders, making a custom clamp bar from timber using the Record Clamp Heads
or hooking the ends of Parallel Clamps together. They all work and have come in useful for me at times, especially constructing cabinet boxes.
I’m currently building a table with long side rails. The tenons were sawn on my band saw (using the soon to be released Vogt Drill Press/Bandsaw Fence) because the length and weight make it impractical to work vertically.
My alternative to using long clamps when gluing them into the mortices on the legs is to use a handscrew clamped to the long side rail and a block on the back face of the leg post.
A piece of carpet underlayment both protects the rail surface and keeps the handscrew from slipping when the F clamps are tightened.
For me this works better than trying to glue two legs on either end at the same time with unwieldy long clamps.
It’s a simple matter to glue and clamp the short end rails. Again, it proved convenient to rest the long rails on a higher surface (my table saw auxiliary table in this instance) and allow the legs to suspend. One side rail can be clamped along its length to the table and the interior diagonals measured with pinch rods. Fractional adjustments are easy to make simply by pushing or pulling the opposite rail.
As the glue is hardening I can take the length for the sliding dovetail intermediate cross rails.
Since my bench was finished a month or so ago, it has been a struggle to see what I am doing as it is located in a part of the shop which is devoid of light. Recently I bought this basic study lamp and attached it to a short board to improve it’s maneuverability. Here are a few pictures to show how it lightens up my life.
Clamping it to the bench enables me to have it hanging over the bench’s edge.
It can also be clamped in the twin screw vise, legvise or my sliding deadman-cum-legvise. This helps to set it up as a raking light (second and third photo).
It is incredible how much more accurate every aspect of my work has become since using a simple bench light. It is highly recommended.
That I may stress out on a bit because it'll be my first time in the batters box on something this big. I have made other table tops with bread board ends but not in cherry. Expensive, don't make a mistake cherry. Nor have I made one this large. My largest table was 60" x30". I wonder which works better with excess stomach acid - Tums or Rolaids?
|I have 3 of these black knot holes|
|I'm a sapwood lover too|
|the base is rock solid|
|spax lag screws|
|more table supplies|
|banging them home|
|no stupid wood tricks overnight|
|go no-go stick|
|it's off at the 24" mark|
|10 minutes work with the tenon and bullnose plane|
|cleaning up the bottom|
|painted the bottom|
|two hours later|
|marking gauge went out to La-La land|
|trying to correct it made it worse|
|tried a new marking gauge|
|first drawer set done|
|second set of drawer parts|
|got my feathers|
|sawed the poplar in half|
|stickered the parts to let any stupid wood tricks happen|
|clean up is the last batter|
accidental woodworker 48 days to go
What is a yurt?
answer - a domed circular tent used by Mongolian nomads
|the first batter up is making a correction to the first jig|
|new lateral stop done|
|new jig needs some hold down clamps|
|new jig done|
I used two threaded inserts and I found some thumb screws that I had forgotten I had. I like these a lot better than PH screws because you don't need to hunt down a screwdriver.
|replaced the PH screw on the original jig with a thumb screw|
|made another upgrade to the original jig|
|need a place to stow them|
What did the Englishman Edwin Budding invent in 1830?
answer - the lawn mower
Two blades have a different tooth configuration, and it became obvious, that this configuration is not perfect for wide hardwood trunks.
I decided that I might as well try to see if I could repair the blade, since I don't know where I can buy a new one. And if the repair job didn't work out, It would be sort of a Life of Brian thing: You come from nothing and you're going back to nothing - what have you lost? Nothing. (Except a bit of time and a few welding electrodes).
At first I straightened out the broken pieces since they were a bit bowed on the ends.
Next I ground the broken edges to prepare a groove when they were fixed in their correct position.
To make sure the blade was properly aligned, I clamped the pieces to a piece of wood with a straight piece along the back of the blade.
I found my old portable electrode welding machine (ESAB Caddy) and some welding electrodes.
My go to electrodes for this type of repair job is ESAB OK 53.05 There might be some more correct types out there, but I always have some of the aforementioned electrodes on hand, as they are really versatile.
The welding could have looked better, but welding thin steel with an electrode welder is not easy. At least not when you have an electrode of 2.5 mm in diameter which is better suited for thicker material.
After welding the blade I used an angle grinder to clean up and level things out on the blade.
I tested the blade, and it went OK for about 8", then it snapped again, but I could see that my welding wasn't very good at that spot, so I just welded it again, and then it held.
So all in all the project was a success.
In India too we had the traditional measures of length. Those relevant for woodworkers were anguli (literally finger), haath (elbow to end of middle finger) and gaz. The problem was, unlike in Japan, these measures were not properly standardised and differed according to region.
For instance, the gaz (which is roughly equivalent to the British yard) measured 36 inches in Bengal, 27 inches in Bombay, 33 inches in Madras and so on. It would appear that Bengalis had the longest arms and the locals of Bombay the shortest but this clearly could not be the case; why these different measures were adopted is lost in history. Perhaps it has something to do with our national character.
For some reason, even during Mughal times, Indians could not decide on a single uniform measure of length. This is one reason why the traditional measure of land, the bigha introduced by the Mughals, continues to vary in actual size in different parts of India. Clearly, Indians have always agreed to disagree.
|Traditional toolbox: Accuracy is not a great concern|
Yet, at one stage in history Indians were extremely fastidious about the right measure of things. Archaeologists found superb and extremely accurate rulers made of ivory in the Harappan site of Lothal. Historian Ian Whitelaw (2007) writes that a ruler excavated from the Mohenjo-Daro site "is divided into units corresponding to 1.32 inches (33.5 mm) and these are marked out in decimal subdivisions with amazing accuracy-to within 0.005 of an inch. Ancient bricks found throughout the region have dimensions that correspond to these units."
Somewhere along the way we lost the measure of things and our civilisation fell apart. The gaz became elastic as did the bigha and everything else. Our real estate companies continue to cling on to the variable concept of measurement of area, duping millions of Indians in the process.
Fortunately, today a metre of cloth or a yard length of wood is the same size all over the country. If you order a three foot long table you will get one and no one will argue about the variable surface area of the table as do realtors about the carpet area of flats.
Avarice and fraud, notwithstanding we have to thank the government for small mercies. On April Fool's Day in 1957, the Indian government formally adopted the metric system and thereafter strove to enforce order in measurements throughout the land.
Today, there are numerous laws and punishments for short changing, under weighing and giving less than promised but none of these have proved a deterrent to those Indians who continue to believe in flexible systems of measurements. May their angulis and other appendages shrink accordingly.
27 April 2015
I wish to enter a protest—“a kick,” as we say in the shop. I bought a magazine the other day, one of the dignified kind supposed to give a busy man a glimpse of some of the important things happening in the world, and to give it in a fair, open, unbiased way. In it I found an article at which I here kick.
It was one calling attention to a revival of certain kinds of skilled hand work whereby some people, with a good degree of skill and originality. are able to make wares that command a relatively large price because of the fact that they are made in small quantities and cannot be duplicated at the nearest store, the trade mark of the maker being the chief item of value as showing that the article is unique.
So far I have no reason to object, believing as I do that it is good business to work at that which brings in the best returns for the effort expended. What I do object to—and that most vigorously—is the insinuation that the every-day worker is below these in honesty and usefulness.
Allow me to quote from the article: “Machine-made things we must have and always will have, and it is fortunate indeed that machinery can and does supply many human wants at such low cost. With it all there remains a survival of the old mediæval love of the honest, hand-made thing.”
The insinuation in this quotation that the ordinary product of the shops and factories is not honest; that those working in such places are on a lower plane, personally and as to usefulness, than the world at large, is what I object to. Such writings, while seemingly insignificant in themselves. assist in creating a lasting impression To just such things do we owe some of the feeling that is all too common, even in this country, that to be a doctor or a lawyer, a preacher or a banker is more honorable than to be a mechanic.
Take away the mechanics. and the advancement caused by the low costs made possible by the very machinery here so slightingly spoken of, and the world’s progress is stopped and we are at best in a state of semi-civilization.
As a machinist I want to take my stand as belonging to a class second to none in importance to the world. There are other callings in the same rank with us, and they are the other trades: the molders, blacksmiths, steel makers, iron workers and others intimately allied.
To insinuate that a few workers, however excellent their product, whose chief aim is to get large prices for things the greatest values of which lie in the fact that they are possessed by but few, and who have it not in their power to make life easier or more pleasant are in a class by themselves, is an unjustice to every honest toiler in the land. We as individuals should promptly resent these things that tend to create a false impression as to our importance to the world.
This may seem like a small matter to many, but, friends, look around you and see how many young people prefer to follow vocations where they can be pseudo-genteel at starvation wages rather than throw their energy into shop work.
Just as a few drunken mechanics can create an impression in a community that they are fair samples of all good mechanics, so such ill-considered writings can create an undercurrent of feeling that shop work is lowering, and that to engage in making anything made in large quantity by the aid of machinery one must give up a certain measure of manhood or womanhood. Whatever other differences we may have we should be as a unit in upholding the honesty and dignity of labor in general and of our own calling in particular.
“He came from poor but honest parents.” Who has never noticed such a sentence in describing someone who has acquired wealth or distinction? How would this look: “He came from rich but honest parents”? It would be resented by every rich man that read it, but isn’t it just as false when said of the poor?
More than once have I been asked by parties in the trade as well as by parties not in it, “Why is it that most of the best machinists are intemperate men?” To this I can reply that in my own experience they are not. The man who gets drunk is usually far from modest in telling of his ability, especially when drinking, and a great many people seem to take him at his own valuation.
The really valuable mechanic has very little time to “blow his own horn,” and so his work is often not appreciated, except by those who come in closest contact with him. A good man may become addicted to the use of intoxicants, but his value is never increased thereby, neither is it safe to reason: “Good mechanics get drunk, therefore if I get drunk I will be a good mechanic,” although I regret to say that I have known a number of young men who seemed to follow such a line of reasoning.
I do not wish to trespass on the patience of my fellow-craftsmen, but it does seem to me that a little effort spent in producing a proper understanding of ourselves by the community at large will bring just as good returns as getting out a formula for the flow of water. We should all labor to produce an “atmosphere” (as the artist would call it) of respect and admiration for our calling.
In some callings a man is looked on as a gentleman because of his calling, while in others it is considered that if he is one it is in spite of his calling, and we should see to it that our calling is not looked on in the latter way for the lack of information.
American Machinist – July 24, 1902
Filed under: Historical Images
In New England a good workman is described as a “Master-hand at his trade.” Within the past few years a new and superior workman has appeared who is his own designer, skilled worker and dealer—in brief, his own employer. There are women also who are designers and workers and are their own saleswomen.
The upper West-side apartment district of New York may not appear to be the best place to find the shop of a Master-hand. A few steps from prosaic Columbus Avenue, on One hundred and Fourth Street, lead to a small brick dwelling. There is a high stoop and a large basement window and a few stone steps lead down to a lofty basement room having a fine north light.
Here at a table sits a young woman clad in a long check apron and busy with skilful fingers upon a mass of New Jersey clay. Slowly, inch by inch, the mass grows up into the form of a beautiful vase. She has the usual sculptor’s tools, nothing more—not even a potter’s wheel. She has had a sculptor’s training, is an art student and practical designer and potter.
About the room on shelves are black terra-cotta vases of every form and size from little flower bowls up to great garden vases. All are of her own design and workmanship. Everything is her own handiwork except the firing, the smaller vases being fired at a Harlem pottery, and the larger vases fired at Perth Amboy.
Every vase is for sale and many more have been sold and distributed. At intervals cards are sent out for a studio reception sale and the little room is crowded for hours and empty when the last guest carries off the last vase. The young woman’s mother assists in the little shop and this-makes the whole plant, a basement room, two Master-hands and some Jersey clay.
East Twenty-Third Street is never lovely and it comes with a sort of pleasant surprise to take an elevator to the top floor and escape from the dreary street into the silence and reposeful peace of a charming little studio-home. A young woman welcomes, in soft Southern speech, to her home and her workshop. She begs to be excused from mere social forms. She can talk and work, and sits before a great wooden chest and takes up her wood-carving tools, and while she talks the beautiful foliage seems to grow under her skilful fingers.
With enthusiasm she discourses upon the wood and the design of the chest. The design is her own and the only thing she did not do was the actual putting together of the chest. Why should she waste her valuable time on work any carpenter can do? All else, design, carving, fire etching, coloring, ornaments, handles, hinges and locks are her own work except the heavy forging of the handles and clasps.
She is the Master-hand of the whole job and when finished it will be a beautiful chest, fit for the outfit of a bride. In the next room another girl is at work upon another beautiful chest. On the walls are mats and other useful things in leather, colored, tooled and fire-etched. The place is a shop and it is also salesroom and the home of the Master-hands.
Not far away, on East Twentieth Street, is another still larger shop. Here two women, Master-hands in copper, design and make copper vessels and utensils for parlor and kitchen. Strong, well made and beautiful, the things give a new dignity to the art of the coppersmith. On the walls are fine fabrics stenciled in colors in novel and attractive designs. On the tables are mats and useful things for the desk in tooled and colored leather. The Master-hands do everything from the designing to the making of the finished products and the studio workshops are combined workrooms and salesrooms.
The top floor of a first-class apartment house overlooking Riverside Drive is not the place where we might expect to find a first-rate Master-hand busy with pencil and tools. She sits by a window giving a splendid view of the Hudson, at work developing her own designs upon leather, using novel tools invented in her own shop, and talking with honest pride of her work and her success as a Master-hand.
If these new working women, Master-hands in their trades, were alone they might merely pass as dreadful examples of the danger of trying to be eccentric. If there were no other shops but these four to be found they would certainly not be worthy of any special mention. They are here described because they are types of many shops scattered all over the country and because they are in convenient reach of any one in New York interested in a new phase of industry and labor.
The Master-hands have opened shop in at least twelve of our cities and towns. They now design, make and sell furniture, ironwork, copper and brass, lace, rugs, carpets, violins, tiles, pottery, fine chinaware, leather work, chests, jewelry, silverware, buckles, clasps and other enameled ornaments, baskets, woodenware, terra-cotta vases and architectural ornaments. Some of the shops print and bind books and others design and make stained-glass windows.
It is very difficult to say exactly how many men and women are thus employed in their own shops or are at work at home, either the whole or a part of the time. Good authorities place the number of regular shops where the makers are self-employed at about fifty, but as new shops are opened every month, particularly in small towns, it is safe to say that at least one hundred Master-hands are now earning a living in their own shops. Besides those who give the whole of their time to the work there must be at least two hundred other skilled workers who give a part of their time to these various handicrafts.
In nearly all the shops the Master-hands are also their own salesmen, but it did not take long for far-sighted dealers to see that the Master-hands were creating a new business. So we find in some of our larger cities stores more or less devoted to the exhibition and sale of the products of these new shops. There is one store of this kind in Boston and a most attractive store has been recently opened in New York for the sale of the beautiful products of these new shops. The Master-hands very quickly discovered that the studio is not the best place in which to sell the goods and sent their goods to the stores, greatly to their advantage, though all continue to exhibit and take orders in their little shops.
It is not easy to say how this new and promising business sprang into such sudden success. That it is successful is beyond question and, best of all, the demand for the goods thus made rapidly increases from month to month. In a certain way the business is the natural outcome of the work of the Exchange for Women’s Work. There are now eighty of these exchanges for the sale of work done by women. These exchanges began as places where embroidery, lace, cake bread, pickles, and other home-made things could be offered for sale. They give employment to many hundreds of women and distribute hundreds of thousands of dollars among the home workers every year, the New York Exchange distributing in 1900 $55,000.
A portion of these workers have become Master-hands, but the majority of the Master-hands sell their work through the dozen or more Arts and Crafts Societies, now established throughout the country. A few of the Master-hands sell only at their own shops and advertise their goods through the press. In one or two instances a number of workers have united and do their work in one shop and have one salesman for all their products. In several instances the shops are a part of larger plants making other things, a furniture shop and forge being attached to a printing and bookbinding concern.
In every instance the Master-hand, whether man or woman, is his or her own designer and makes the finished product wholly or in large part with hand tools only. All are highly trained designers and artisans and all must have more or less art education. The whole business is based upon hand work and it must be skilful, honest and inspired with real love of the work.
There can be no eight-hours-a-day business, for the worker, fired with a real love of the work, is greedy of every minute of daylight. He has no time for the folly of the saloon. He never watches the clock or slows up just before whistle time. There is no whistle on the new shop, no shop rules, no foreman, no time-keeper. The workman is boss and the boss is the worker. There are no wages, but profits. There is no employer, liable to fail or to die and throw the worker upon the streets; for the worker deals, either directly or through a store or society, with the public and the public is the universal paymaster and can never die or fail.
The buying public has evidently discovered the Master-hand. The useful, the practical and the cheap must be the products of the mill and factory. Machine-made things we must have and always will have, and it is fortunate indeed that machinery can and does supply many human wants at such low cost. With it all there remains a survival of the old mediæval love of the honest, hand-made thing.
We like to have and use the real hand-made, the thing that is wrought by skilled hands, inspired by a love of work and touched with the tool marks of the Master-hand. It is this love of the hand-made that has developed and sustained the new shops. The buyer will pay well for the unique thing, the one thing bearing the Master’s sign manual stamped upon the thing itself.
The public patronizes the Arts and Crafts Societies, because it believes that the things upon their shelves are the real things. It learns the value of personal trade-marks and it buys by the trade-mark rather than by the advice of the shopkeeper to whom the “just as good” is the only trick of his trade he knows. For the superior workman tired of the shop and factory, for the man who wants to work for the love of good work, the Master-hands are an example and an inspiration.
The World’s Work – July, 1902
Filed under: Historical Images
Over the past week and this weekend I was able to acquire the needed material and complete the construction of the remaining three drawers. I was also able to cut, fit and install all of the drawer bottoms. There is nothing new in any of those process, so I spare you the boredom of the play-by-play. Instead I’ll bore you with the play-by-play of adding some of the decorative elements.
The first decorative element I added to the drawer fronts was a perimeter bead. Pretty simple to do. The inner portion of the bead is formed with a flat head screw installed in a block of wood. The remainder of the bead is formed with a plane and a little sanding. That’s the long grain beads. The end grain bead requires a little more effort, but not much. The screw is used as a gauge, then the inner wall is knifed in. A chisel is then used to remove the waste to form the inner portion of the bead. The outer portion of the bead is completed in just the same manner as with the long grain.
With the bead in place, I then installed the holes for the drawer pulls. The drawer pull will be installed 15mm above center on the drawer front. More about that later. Since this will be the same on all of the drawers, I set a pair of dividers to make my life easier. So all I needed to do was to find the center of the drawer front then use the dividers to locate the hole for the pull.
I also wanted to add a textured area below the drawer pull. Since I already had the dividers set, I used them to scratch a circle to delineate the area to be textured.
Then I drilled the hole for the pull and used a countersink to clean an ease the edge of the hole.
I then made a decorative punch out of a scrap piece of steel. A little file work was all that was needed to have it ready to work.
The punch is then tapped with a hammer to create texture.
I repeated the above process for all of the remaining drawer fronts. With that done it was time for a little Hillbilly Inlay. Don’t act surprised, you knew I was gonna’. I developed a new pattern for this build. It is created with two gouges and a knife.
I still need to take the wood burner to the bead trench to create the perimeter line on the drawer fronts. I think the black line will also help to tie the pine in with the walnut. Still a good bit to do before the finishing process can be started. Even so, I couldn’t help but wipe a quick coat of BLO on a couple of drawer fronts to get a sense of what they are going to look like. It’s a crappy photo, but gives the general idea.
Here are a few things I’ve been working on. All of these are listed for sale. There are also several I’ve made in the past I’ve listed. I hope to add a milling machine to help with the builds.
I’ve started an update for the build. The godaddy website builder has been giving me some problems so its not as far along as I’d like. Stop back, I’ll be updating it.
In a discussion with Jeremy at JMAW Works, we chatted about the fact that you basically only have two choices with moulding planes today: New premium priced planes, and vintage junkers.
This French style with the open mortice looks like it would be easier for regular woodworkers to make, and if they were mass produced, would take far less labor resulting in a cheaper product.
I decided I had to make at least one pair to try them out.
First, I bought some steel blanks from McMaster Carr. I was pleasantly surprised when I ordered "Tight Tolerance Flat Stock-Precision Ground," and this showed up:
|Starret O1 tool steel, future plane blanks.|
I will most likely cut the 18" bars in half or so, grind the profile on the end, and heat treat them. That is all the metal work that is required. No messing with a tang, full width the whole way back.
Looking at Plate 19, It looks like hollows and rounds generally are have a wooden stock that is roughly twice as wide as the intended profile. I dug around in my scrap bin, and found some nice, quarter sawn cherry that planed out to a good 1 1/2", perfect for a set of #12s, a 3/4" profile.
|1 1/2" plane blanks in cherry.|
|Lining up my saw guide.|
|A little too tight for the mouth - this 1/10" chisel doesn't quite fit through the mouth.|
|Flattening the bottom (or is it the side?) of the mortice.|
|Did I make a mistake?|
|Ready for wedges.|
|One wedge done.|
|A pair of #12s about half done.|
|Here is a view with one of them and my 12" steel rule.|
One of the downsides to this plane that I can already see, is that it is awfully wide. This #12 is 1 1/2" at the grip. Larry Williams says an English #12 should be 1 3/32", with the grip being 3/4". That might be a lot more comfortable. What happens when these start getting really wide? Do I really want a 2" wide plane to cut a 1" wide profile? We'll see.
I suspect that this will probably be one of the largest profiles I use on the kinds of mouldings I plan on making. Perhaps these will turn out to be handy, as they sure are simple to make so far.
|I couldn't live with the crack.|
|fixing some cracks.|
There was one other problem, too. When I tried to re-drill the holes, I wound up with massive tear out theat resulted in a big hole on the face of the board.
|Unacceptable tear out.|
Time for the big guns - ebony inlay.
|Waiting for the glue to dry.|
Enjoy the glamour shots:
|Ebony is cool.|
|This is a neat shaving.|
|I was super careful not to let the plug blow away in the wind this time.|
I used squared draw-bore pegs on my trestle table last week and some of you asked how it works. Square pegs do work but they are more difficult to cut accurately and deeply. It’s best to use the conventional method using the offset round hole. That means boring the 3/8″ hole through the mortise piece all the way through, inserting the tenon fully down to the shoulder and putting the point of the bit into the hole and centring the point in the tenon piece to mark the tenon. Withdraw the tenon and bore the same sized hole 1/16″ nearer to the shoulder.
Cut a 45-degree cut on each of the corners but not too deep. The distance from the end depends on how deep you can cut the square recess into the mortise piece. 3/16″ is deep enough but deeper works well if the mortise piece is from thicker wood.
Pare down the corners to the shoulder at 45-degrees and along the full length.
The blank will now look like this.
I used a rasp to rough out the rounded corners…
…and then finishing them off with a flat file.
|1 Euro for these awesome old tailor's scissors.|
|I think I got these three for 7 Euros. Expensive.|
|The mortice chisel turns out to be Peugeot. This should be a good one.|
|1/4" chisel by Two Cherries.|
|How about some out-of-order action? I think this handle isn't original to the gouge.|
|Nice shallow sweep.|
|A little rusty, but a British chisel.|
|Here it is, 50 Euro cents.|
|This chisel was 1 Euro. Another nice and narrow one.|
|I have never heard of this before. Matador, and the back of the handle is stamped, Ulmia.|
|Hefty for such a narrow chisel.|
|This pair was two Euros.|
|More non-orignial handles. But, I really like the octagonal one.|
|Nice and thin. One of them might be bent, I am not sure.|
|Another expensive lot, 7 Euros.|
|I have no regular drill bits for a brace. Now I have three!|
|This is what I really wanted, a countersink. And, there were four!|
|A little grubby, we'll see how they clean up.|
|The obligatory gimlet bit. This one could be nice.|
|I soaked them all in a water bath with citric acid to remove the rust.|
|The gouge says, "Herring Bros., London"|
|Three out of four of these look really nice!|
|I completely took the scissors apart, cleaned them up and sharpened ala Paul Sellers.|
|I couldn't see this with all the crud. It says, "Flexo, garantee."|
|They now work perfectly. A little rough on the handle. I might paint and coat with epoxy for comfort.|
|first batter up|
|½ inch guide|
|it's square here now - I'll have to wait till I do a dry clamp for the final ok|
|gluing and nailing the guide in place|
|like Ripley's Believe it Not|
|just as old as the 1" brads|
|furnace is running and I might as well use it|
|new sharpening station home|
|dry clamp of the drawer runners|
I need to do this dry clamp to check the squareness of the runners in relation to the drawer openings.
Any discrepancies can be marked, fixed, and fitted now before I do the actual glue up.
|the rail is proud of the opening|
|drawer runners 3 & 4 were switched|
|final dry clamp square check|
|I'm still married|
|all the tenons closed up nicely|
|3 are square and one is off|
|ripping out my drawer stock|
|trying out my new panel gauge|
|2 sets of drawer parts ripped and cross cut to rough size|
|flattening stock is the next batter|
|first drawer done|
|chasing my tail|
|chased it some more|
I called it a good day in the shop here. I stickered the drawer parts and shut off the lights. I have to do some yard work and chop up all the branches I cut down last week.
accidental woodworker 48 to go
The peanut isn't a nut. What is it?
answer - a legume, it's a member of the pea family
They turned out great. They are only about five minutes long each, so they are easy to watch.
The videos are in German, but if you don't understand German, you might still be able to follow along as his illustrations and examples are good.
If you do understand German, even better.
This first one is called Markiertipps. It has some nice tips on marking lumber and your project.
Here is some other German that will help us English speaking types to get through this video:
- Tischlerdreieck - cabinet maker's triangle
- Bleistifthaerte - pencil lead hardness
- Anspitzen - sharpening
- Anreissmesser - marking knife
One of my many goals for the upcoming exhibit of the Henry Studley collection is to give the visitor a real sense of the details Studley lavished on his tool cabinet and workbench, including many that are hidden from view but some of which are almost “front and center.” Among these prominent features is the arch and alcove, used as the home for his Stanley #1 plane, perhaps the only instance of this model I had ever seen with honest to goodness wear. Thanks to the permission of the owner and equipped with silicone molding rubber putty I was able to get impressions of the top half of the arch.
Once I returned home to begin the process of making castings from this mold I realized how inadequate my mold was and set out the create a maquette, or master wax model, from which I could make a second mold, and from that second mold cast replicas for the viewer’s interaction.
The mold that I had made was okay, as far as it goes, but it was not as complete as I needed for making three-dimension replicas. To resolve that, I decided to embed the entire mold in a block of molten wax, then carve away the excess and essentially sculpt the maquette from the remains.
I found a cardboard box a little larger than the original mold and lined it with aluminum foil, then filled it with enough pigmented wax to cover all the parts I wanted to work on. I pigmented the wax just so it was easier for my tired old eyes to work it.
Using common bench tools, mostly chip carving knives, I whittled away all the waste to get to the material left in and around the original mold. The resulting wax casting was perfect for sculpting the maquette, so I did.
Next time – casting the replica for display.
In this final post on different ways to be unplugged, I thought I’d share this video of Roy Underhill demonstrating a few amazing man-powered machine tools.
Filed under: YouTube Tagged: Roy Underhill
The Idea is Born…
About 3-1/2 years ago an idea began to grow in the deep crevasses of my brain. I wanted to start an online video school where I would have a variety of different lessons on how to carve particular projects – ranging from very beginning to very advanced. Since the type of carving I specialize in is the classical or traditional styles found in furniture and architecture, this was going to be the main focus for the school. Thus the name “Mary May’s School of Traditional Woodcarving“.
I had already made several instructional DVDs, and discovered that people were eager to learn carving via video. It’s the next best thing to being there, and much less expensive than taking a one-on-one class. Well, as happens quite often, my DVDs were pirated and were being offered from various other online sources. Speaking with others who also produced and sold their own DVDs, this seems to happen within 1 to 2 years of selling them. I still sell the DVDs on my online store.
- So… the solution… and one of the reasons I started in the direction of the online school. Make all videos available for a low monthly fee in a “school” format online. With this, there is no real incentive for people to steal the videos because the price is so reasonable. The videos would also be less available for “resale”.
- Another reason for venturing down this online school road was because I wanted to provide an easy way to learn to carve. I wanted to make it so accessible to anyone who had internet connection to start from the very basics and progress to more and more advanced projects. Whether a brand new beginner, or someone who has been carving for years, my desire was to offer something for everyone.
- And one more reason for wanting to make these lessons available is because I know what it is like to be a “starving artist”. Taking an in-person class can get quite expensive – especially if you have to travel to that location. For example, a weekend class can often be $230 to $300, plus travel, plus hotel, plus cost of tools. So a 2-day class can cost up to $1000 or more. I often meet people who are restricted by their career, have a young family, or are limited in their income. I would have loved to have had videos like these available when I was learning carving. If I spent my “spare time” watching instructional videos as a young person, it would have kept me out of a lot of trouble!
How do you start an “Online School”?
I began to research on the internet the possibilities of how to set up this online school. How hard could it be? Just a web site, add videos and ta-da! Well, within a few weeks, I realized that this was way beyond my computer skills. So I blogged about my idea and asked if anyone had any suggestions as to how I would start this.
Bob Easton, a retired IBM programmer, contacted me and said he would be interested in helping me with this new venture. Bob is also an accomplished woodworker and carver and was signed up to take my carving class at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking the following month. We planned on meeting and discussing his ideas more then.
When the carving class was over at Kelly Mehler’s, Bob and I met at a quaint little coffee shop in Berea, KY a few hours before we had to catch flights for home. We discussed many ideas of how this school could become a reality (my main thought was “Keep It Simple”). Sometimes these websites can get so complicated that it’s difficult to get anything done or find anything.
So Bob took out a yellow note pad, sketched out a flow chart with a variety of steps of ideas we discussed, estimated that it would take about 25 to 30 hours to get it started, and then we went our separate ways – with many ideas swimming in our heads. Well that was nearly 3 years ago to the day, and Bob has performed absolute miracles in getting the school up and running, maintaining it, updating it and successfully making it as user friendly as possible. He has very patiently walked me through parts of the technical side of the school (he knows where to stop before my brain freezes). Bob not only is the brains behind the working of the school, but he has also been a great help to bounce ideas off, to walk students through any technical difficulties, and just an all-around cheer leader during this whole process.
The Technology Evolution…
I started with a used Standard Definition video camera – a Canon XL1. It was HUGE! And very intimidating for someone who has never filmed anything before. It was so large, that it kept tipping over with my flimsy little tri-pod. But it was a great camera for what I needed.
Then I added to my collection a small handi-cam where I could add an occasional second view – still SD.
I did all my editing on a MacBook Pro laptop with Adobe Premiere 5.
Then about 1-1/2 years ago I stepped up a little further and purchased an HD camera (Sony HDV Minicam) and another smaller HD handi-cam for optional second view.
The past 6 months – there have been a lot of upgrades:
- Hired an employee (my step-son, Caleb) to edit videos
- Finally purchased an Imac because my poor little MacBookPro was struggling with all the HD video (and Caleb needed a computer to edit on while I took my MacBookPro on the road with me)
- Purchased three 4K Sony Cameras so they are all compatable, all Ultra HD, and 3 different views (one from the right, one from the left, and one distance).
- Purchased professional studio lighting
- Recently upgraded to using Adboe Premiere ProCC for video editing
- Continuing to add a new episode every week – usually 30 minute to 1 hour long episode
With the various improvements and technical upgrades made recently (requiring much more time in editing), I have made the difficult decision to increase the price of the school membership. It will still be very affordable at only $14.95/month.
If you are a current member, nothing will change. If you sign up before July 1, 2015, you can sign up for the current price ($9.99/month) as long as you remain a member. Sign up NOW! Click here for a more detailed explanation of this rate increase.
I look forward to seeing how the school will continue to evolve and improve over the years to come. As technology changes so quickly, my goal is to try to take advantage of this and continue to improve every aspect of the online school.
I wish to thank all of you who have walked with me through this journey (and also thank you to future members)! THANK YOU! It’s exciting to receive feedback from students about the school and please add photos of your projects to the student gallery. I love to see your progress!
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