Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
Just saying hello.
I had back surgery two weeks ago and recovery is going well. I now have two non-adjustable truss rods and some other hardware supporting my lower back.
I’m taking it easy, catching up on reading, watching some series and movies I would normally not have time for, gently exercising and occasionally feeling bored. I’m also reading a lot about lutherie and doing thought experiments about new designs, methods of work, and possibly some new instruments to make.
It will probably be two months or so before I can begin to do some work in the shop. Before surgery I did some of the rough work to prepare for the time I’ll be back at the bench again. In the photograph above is cherry, walnut, and curly ash resawn for some future dulcimers.
Full recovery will take up to a year but if all goes as planned I’ll able to work longer hours making dulcimers than I have for about 5 years. I look forward to that time! I love my job!
I spent the weekend at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, teaching 13 students to carve oak patterns…but I forgot my camera. One design I hoped to include, but ran out of time for, is this “nulling” or arcading pattern. It’s very common, there’s lots of variations on it. This is my recent version, in walnut instead of oak. This example is only about 3 1/2″ between the bottom and top margin.
Here’s how I carved a section of it today, after unpacking. This pattern has no free-hand aspect of it, very different from my usual work. All the elements are struck first with an awl, square and marking gauge. Spacing is marked off with a ruler and compass/dividers. Once I know the spacing (that’s some trial & error, based on the size of your stock, and the tools available) – I strike the chisel work to define the spaces between the arches.
Then I use my #7, 3/4″ wide gouge to strike the tops of the arches and the peaked leaf that falls behind them. 3 strikes of the gouge outline the tops of the arches. There’s a marking gauge line at the top & bottom of these, so they all line up properly.
This leaf tip that fits behind them starts about 1/2 way up one side of the arch, and hits a centerline struck through the chiseled portion.
Once the outlines are struck, I use the chisel with its bevel down to chop these sections. Sometimes I have to go back & forth between the vertical strikes and the beveled ones to get the chip out.
Then comes some background removal. I use the #7 to chop behind its original strikes.
Then a #5, about 1/2″ wide to smooth off this background. It leans down from the top margin to the arches/leaves.
Then I hollow the leaves with the #7. Makes them look like they fall behind the arches a bit.
Now to hollow the arches. I start with a narrow, deeply-curved gouge. (old, no before they were numbered. It’s between a #8 & #9.) Two strikes define the bottom of the hollow. Previously I struck inner margins for this hollow.
I chop right behind this to remove a chip. This will help protect the bottom solid bit when I finish hollowing.
Now a larger gouge hollows out the whole thing. This takes a few cuts. I don’t go to the full depth in one go. In the end, I want this tool to hollow all the way to the outlines I struck.
Here is the pattern after the shaping. But it looks pretty blank…
Gotta fill all the blank spaces. Start with a small #7 to chop details in the leaves.
A straight chisel to highlight the peaked bits.
A large gouge just strikes an incised line around the top of the arches. A punch fills in other spaces.
This really narrow gouge chops little patterns inside the hollows.
I always like to see what they look like after applying some linseed oil –
I’ve heard it called “nulling” but my copy of Cyril Harris’ Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture is out in the shop. That’s where I would check the name. Maybe I’ll remember tomorrow.
At January’s meeting, we discussed and looked at examples of inlay material that included mother of pearl, abalone, brass, reconstituted stone, and some of the equipment choices available. Because we managed only a little time working on the prepared inlay purchased from DePaule Supply, we will spend our time at this month’s meeting (February) completing it and learning how to cut our own inlays out of mother of pearl. Please join us; the fun’s just beginning.
Here are some photos from January’s meeting:
You can now place a pre-production order for our chore coat via this link. The coat is $185, which includes domestic shipping.
Before you order a coat, please follow these simple instructions for determining the best size for you. We have enough material for about 300 coats and will place our order with the manufacturer based on the orders we receive. Stitching is supposed to begin in March, and we will ship out the coats as soon as they arrive in our warehouse.
Offering these chore coats is a significant gamble. The profit margins are low because we wanted this coat to be as affordable as possible. And we strove to make our coat a classic – nicely tailored and as well made as our books.
We understand book manufacturing, which is dang tricky. But we’re still learning a lot about clothing manufacturing, which seems even trickier.
So we might completely fail here. But at least John and I will get some nice coats, and we’ll have lots of gorgeous cotton fabric we can use as animal bedding.
— Christopher Schwarz
On Tuesday February 20th I will be presenting my wares at the historic North Bennet Street School from around 11:30-2:30.
Here are some new videos. The first is about a small Cherry box with drawers that I recently repaired after it took a fall and cracked open the miter joints of the top frame.
This one is about Drawer Resisters that I introduced several years ago.
This one is about adjusting the Parallel Guide Strip and fences on the Vogt Shooting Board.
The first of my two WW18thC presentations was “Roubo Rediscovered – Merging 1760s Paris with the 21st Century” in which I recounted the nuggets gleaned from The Roubo Translation Project and how I have incorporated them into my current work practices. Not too surprisingly this is a topic on which I could speak and demonstrate literally for days, but I packed as much as I could in 90 minutes.
I began as almost always within this framework by giving my benches-and-holdfast sermon,
followed by demonstrations of Roubo’s veneer sawing bench with some audience participation,
the coopering cradle, a vital clamping component in the world of serpentine and bombe’ furniture,
panel clamping jigs,
mobile bench-top press, this one made by Oldwolf (can you say Moxon vise?),
and finally ripple molding cutter my friend and collaborator JohnH.
Each of these items will be addressed individually in coming blog posts. The overal; topic of Roubo’s Workshop is a huge one and I am outlining an extensive video series to explore it in depth (more about that later this week).
My thanks to JohnR for pictures of this presentation. I would have taken them myself but I was busy at the time.
A little out of sequence with my blog but we put together a video saying goodbye to all the friends we made at the Sylva Wood Centre in Long Wittenham. It was of course with many mixed feelings that we packed our bags but Izzy and Ellie put together a wonderful spread for lunch on […]
This update will be another lump job like the previous one. It is mostly ancillary tools and do-dads that make the road less bumpy.
|sharpening stuff is a bit on the lean side|
Having sharp tools is very important and I want to impress this on Miles. He'll be young enough that it will probably become second nature with him.
|hand power required|
The 1/2" breast drill (in the box) will be rehabbed and given to Miles. I had bought him a set of auger bits but I returned them. Out of eight bits, 7 of them had no threads on the lead screw. Useless, so back they went. I want to see the next set before I buy another. Undecided on getting him a small eggbeater drill. I saw one on the hyperkitten site and I didn't get it like an idiot.
|basic shaping and finishing set|
|flattened and shined the sole, the retaining bar, and the thumbscrews|
|I will have to strip and paint this now|
|Miles's Olsen coping saw|
|this is what won't stay put|
|the second drawer|
|last joint going together off the saw|
|dry square ok|
|snug fit between the slides.|
|cleaned the bench|
|a plug for Autosol|
|it's not twisted|
- I rely on my bench to be flat. I can check it for twist but I don't have anything 8 foot long to check it for flat with. I used a lot of critical eyeballing along with copious scratching of the bald spot to check it for flat.
|second dovetail job today|
|2nd one went together off the saw too|
|it's going where the second drawer is cooking away|
|it will be a tray for the top of the tool cabinet|
|this drawer is going away|
Did you know that the wheel on the game show 'Wheel of Fortune' is 8 and 1/2 feet in diameter?
Here's a small but very sturdy little bench I made a while ago being sold by a friend of mine. It measures 42" wide x 24" deep x 37" high and would make an ideal bench for a small workshop or as a second bench. The base was made from 4" square pine (I don't remember painting it that colour!) and the top is 2 1/2" solid beech. The two bench stops can be used in the multiple holes and making it ideal for hand planning. The low stretcher and relatively high top means you can work sitting down with your knees under, great for chopping out dovetails.
The wooden leg vice has a massive 2 1/2" diameter wooden screw (also made by me) which is a pleasure to use. You can see the E Bay listing here.
I’ve gotten back working on my version of George Washington’s partner’s desk. (I posted about scratch-stocks used on the legs and other inexpensive shop-made tools I’ve used.) Today, take a look at the setup and process to make George’s faux drawers, which are found on the ends of the original desk. In my version the back sections are also faux – if it were a true partner’s desk it would have functioning drawers on both sides.
This weekend we loaded up our belongings and moved onto the Science Park where our new and permanent home now is. It took over a year to complete the outside but the inside will take just a few more weeks. It was a mixed week of sad and happy emotions because we’ve made friends and […]
|good selection of squares|
|What I want to add to the square till|
|most of the layout/measuring stuff is in the top two tills|
I got hooked on the Lee Valley sliding square and it gets a lot of use in my shop. I traded a 6" Delta jointer for it. I think I got the better part of that deal. The only thing I gave him that I don't use much myself anymore is the 24" centering rule.
|3 marking gauges|
|both are single pin with dual beams|
|the only difference|
|he'll be getting one of these for sure|
|3" mortise gauge|
|has long length, sharp pins|
|the final part of the layout and measuring herd|
|first drawer bottom installed|
|it's now a C bend|
|prepping the stock for the second drawer|
|I need to find a home for this|
Did you know that a qubit in Quantum Computing is a two state unit of quantum information?
We posted this video yesterday just to help you see that it is simple to correct flawed output on new saws if the saw is resharpenablle which most push stroke back saws mad in the `uk are and most pulls stroke, Japanese-type saws are not. It takes me about 3-4 minutes to sharpen almost and […]
I was by Lesley Caudle’s sawmill last week and observed his latest Alaskan sawmill setup in action.
Lesley was our source for the workbench kit Chris and I used in Roubo Workbench: by Hand & Power. He is also the source for the materials for the Moravian workbench classes I teach. Lesley sells Roubo workbench kits and will ship them as well (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lesley processes a lot of big logs that most mills can’t handle; the better ones become workbench tops and parts. The lesser quality logs will be sawn into railroad ties and pallet lumber. Some are live sawn into slabs for customers.
Lesley uses a band saw mill that does most of the work but for the really big logs to fit on the band mill he has to first saw them in half with an Alaskan mill powered by two chainsaws. This ain’t a kiddy set up either, the two power heads are Stihl MS 880’s, the largest saws Stihl makes (9 hp each). A 66″ double end saw bar connects the two.
I shot this short video of mill in action on a 48″ white oak, it’s quite a trick.
— Will Myers
One of the more recent additions to the WW18thC conference has been Ted Boscana’s crew from the CW housewright shop. I never fail to learn a lot from these presentation/demonstrations and find Ted to be enjoyable company when we are together. This year the Joiner’s Gang was reproducing some architectural-scale cornice moldings and I found their approach to be immensely engaging.
Ted divvied up the sections of the molding profile among his posse of Amanda, Peter, and Scott and they set to work.
Although the scale at which they were working lends itself to segmented work, they were also demonstrating some of the complex planes in the CW collection.
As a finale, with one of the large complex molding planes, Ted placed his full weight over the plane body and the posse pulled him along on top of the workpiece with a rope.
PopWood Playback is a series we started on YouTube at the beginning of the year where we share the best woodworking videos of the week. If you have a video that you made or a video that you are in to, leave a link in the comment section and we’ll consider it for next week! Congrats to the winner of the Bora Roller Stands – Douglas D. of Evansville, MN! Top […]
The post PopWood Playback #7 | Top Woodworking Videos of the Week appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
Feel free to chime in on anything you think I need to add or maybe take away. I am not shooting for getting every toy available but a decent starting set for him to learn and grow with. He can add/subtract as he wants if it keeps up with it.
|Miles's toolbox and tills|
|the big toolbox|
|it's on a rolling dolly|
|the saw till|
|I'll be putting the coping saw in the lid|
|rip and crosscut panel saws|
I think I'm set on saws for Miles. He should be able to build whatever he wants with this set. A couple of things I want to add to the saw till is a saw set and some files so he can sharpen these. He can make his own saw vise as a shop project.
|tote screw and a carbide bit to drill holes|
|the coping saw holder from my saw till|
|corners were too tight|
|screws punched through|
|room for another saw|
Tomorrow I'll post about the measuring do-dads I stuffed in the toolbox.
Did you know that the Great White Shark is the largest predatory fish in the world?
There is a point with every new house when it finally feels like home. Today is that day at 837 Willard St. in Covington, Ky.
Thanks to the help of countless friends, our storefront is officially a nice place to work. The clamps hang on the walls (thanks Brendan). The garage out back holds our few machines (thanks 347 people who helped with this project). And we have a coffee maker (thanks Nespresso).
On Saturday morning, we are launching the first woodworking class here at our storefront. We are vehemently not a school – we don’t have a name for it or a formal organization. This is just one of the many small things that we hope to do to give back to the woodworking community and Covington.
Interestingly, the tipping point that made the storefront feel like home had nothing to do with restoring the building, adding electrical service or draining my savings for two new roofs. Instead, it was the arrival of Megan Fitzpatrick and Brendan Gaffney as everyday co-workers.
In general, group shops can be tricky. There’s always a turd or 10 who ruin it for everyone else. Someone who clogs the dust collector and walks away. Someone who tilts the table saw blade 2° and walks away. Someone who dulls all your chisels. Or puts a cold drink on your finished project parts. Or…. I could go on.
I’ve been working with Megan for about 20 years. She’s a slob, but a thoughtful, empathetic rule-following slob. And so she is easy to work with in the shop. I’ve only been working with Brendan for about six months, and he’s an energetic woodworker who is – like Megan – simply a totally decent person.
Each of us has different way of making a living. I publish books and make furniture and tools. Megan is doing a lot of editing (for me and others), teaching and furniture making. Brendan is making furniture, tools and is working for Lost Art Press, helping with maps and technical illustrations.
In six months, this could all be different, but that’s OK. What I can say is that there will definitely be woodworking going on here, much to the bemusement of the 9th Street streetwalkers and the delight of the elementary kids who watch us everyday after school.
We’re also glad that our readers are part of this, whether they take a class, visit us on our open days (the second Saturday of every month) or commission a piece of furniture. Though furniture making is usually a solitary pursuit these days, it doesn’t have to be.
You just need the right people.
— Christopher Schwarz
The following is the list of events we will be participating in this year.
Issue Four Packing Party – March 23rd - 24th
This time around we have another bunch of people joining us for the big packing party for Issue Four. Slots all filled by now but we recommend you get on the waiting list if you have genuine interest in joining us (you never know what may come up). This will be the first party in our new timber frame workshop. We will be wrapping mags, filling ourselves with delicious food, and communing over craftsmanship. Read about the previous packing parties here.
Port Townsend School of Woodworking – April 23rd - 27th: “Table From Rough Boards”
I will be teaching a five-day class as an introduction pre-industrial (hand-tool-only) table making. We will be building a taper-legged table with a breadboard top and a drawer. Last I heard there were only a few spots left. You can sign up for the class here.
Lie-Nielsen Workshop - June 16th - 17th Workshop: “Build a Table with Hand Tools”
This is a hand tools meat-and-potatoes kind of class - an introduction to the hand-tool-only approach to building a table. I’ll bring period originals along for students to examine to help inform their working tolerances. The goal is to show how to work with pre-industrial efficiency. Sign-up for the workshop here.
Lie-Nielsen Open House – July 13th - 14th
Always a highlight of the year. Come hang out with like-minded hand tool fanatics. No cover charge. Also, join us for the Saturday evening lobster dinner. Maine, hand tools, lobster, and beer... What more could you ask for? More info here.
Pre-orders for Issue Five Open! – August 1st
Stay tuned for more info.
Issue Five Packing Party – End of September (Date TBD)
Stay tuned for more info.
Leonard’s Mills Living History Days Event – Early October
Every year my family interprets 1790s rural Maine life. I will have my portable Nicholson bench and a full chest of tools to demonstrate 18th-century cabinetmaking all weekend. More info here.