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drawers are done.....

Accidental Woodworker - 3 hours 31 min ago
For the purposes of blogging I'm calling the finishing cabinet done.  The drawers are finished and the only thing left to do is paint the fronts of them and the front edge of the two shelves. I may or may not post glamour shots after that. It depends upon whether or not I remember to do it. Tomorrow I can start on something else.

2 came in today
I would have bet a lung I ordered 3 of these, 2 brass and 1 chrome. The packing slip says only these two were what I ordered.

2 1/2" hook and eye
This is the one I'm putting on the cabinet if it fits.

what I was worrying about
The eye plate is oval shaped and at it's widest it about 3 frog hairs more than the thickness of the edge of the door. I can hide that by putting the overhang towards the back of the cabinet.

found some #6 oval head brass screws that fit
tried the replacement screwdriver
It worked this time and I didn't break the tip on it driving the 4 screws.

This can be barely seen from the front of the cabinet so I did end up with a naked door front.

A Paul Sellers cabinet
I made 3 of these corner cabinets based on the Paul Sellers video classes. This one has a door and a wooden latch. The stile and the door make a 45° and I couldn't find a store bought latch to fit this situation. I had to make one out of wood.

it works well
Last night I wrote in the blog that I wouldn't use a hook and a screw eye at all (still won't). I would make a wooden one first and after I wrote that I thought of this. I could have made something like this from the start and saved all the money I spent buying hook and eye latches. I'll put the ones I didn't use in the hardware bins.

started with the small drawer
 The first step was to saw off the wild ends of the drawer slips and then plane them flush.

chiseling off the dried glue
I have chipped too many plane irons planing dried glue. This extra step is worth the time it takes.

planed the slips flush
Another advantage of using slips is that you get a much broader surface for the drawer to ride on.

repeat the same steps for the large drawer
the fit of drawers didn't change
had enough plywood for the bottoms
I got both bottoms out of the piece of plywood on the large drawer. The other piece I put back in the scrap pile.

large drawer is square (small drawer too)

I have a slight gap at the front
The plywood is square at the front (on both drawers) because I checked it before I put it it. I have a gap on both sides at the front and none at the back. The only thing I can think of to be the cause is the slips. I must have planed a taper on them. I didn't plane to a gauge line when I cleaned them up.

bottom is solid
The gaps aren't effecting the fit/feel of the bottom in the rabbets. I was concerned about how I would glue the bottom to them. It isn't a concern anymore. The bottom is held tight at the front and the back and that is also keeping it down tight to the rabbet on the drawer slips.

drawer overhang
Normally I leave the overhang to help with removing the bottom if I have to replace or repair it. I didn't use any glue on the bottom at all. It is held in place with 5 brads at the back.

where are the brushes
I like the flush slips better than the rounded ones I have used before.  I will still use the rounded ones in dressers for clothes and things like that. The rounded ones are also easier to install than the flush ones. I made this drawer specifically for my shellac brushes and I'm having second thoughts about keeping them in here.

bigger gaps on the small drawer bottom
 The back has a small gap and I could make another bottom but I'm sticking with this one. The gap won't interfere with things placed in it. The bottom is tapered with it tight at the back and widening as it gets to the front. This bottom is as secure and tight as the one in the large drawer. I didn't use glue on this one neither and secured it with 3 brads at the back.

this will be my glove drawer
sawed out both finger holes
I keep forgetting that I have a very good, decent coping saw now. It is an absolute joy to use a coping saw this nice. Well worth all the dollars I ponied up for it. I rasped the cutout after sawing it and finished by sanding it with 100 grit sandpaper.

go cart at the top and a Rolls at the bottom
I have used a lot of coping saws over the years and none worked that well. The common problem with them all was tension. They just couldn't set and maintain it. This red saw is unbelievable in it's rigidity. I haven't flexed or bowed a blade yet in it. With the other coping saws, doing that was a constant headache. The only knock I have against this saw is adjusting the angle of the blade. It is super easy doing it on the other ones but it can be a bit of hassle and a PITA with the red one.

finished drawers

 accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who were the opening and closing acts at Woodstock in 1969?
answer - Ritchie Havens opened and Jimi Hendrix closed

The keys to Success

Journeyman's Journal - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 5:31pm

Everyone has a desire to do something, to be something, to be someone.  You may not know this, but you have completed the third task the day you were born; You, are Someone.  Everything else has a long steep hill that needs to be climbed to achieve it.
Your desire to achieve this must match your discipline, but the problem with us all is that we want it yesterday.
You can’t have it yesterday nor today, but with every step you take towards it, you will earn it tomorrow.

Life is a giant staircase, you look up it and you think this is too hard, it’s too much work, but you don’t get it.  Life is hard and challenging and life loves to throw obstacles at you and many people fail to meet those challenges and work around those obstacles and fall into depression.  They seek the bottle for relief or take antidepressants.

Brothers and Sisters these are excuses and excuses are lies. It’s the easy way out to self destruction.

Obama once said “Pick yourselves up and dust yourselves off.”

Climb those stairs one step at a time, don’t look up and never look down but concentrate on each step and work towards the top.  You will never transform yourself if you don’t inconvenience yourself.  “No pain, no gain.”

Pick up a square and draw a hundred lines, now pick up that dovetail saw and rip a hundred lines.

Do you get it?

Plane that wood until its flat, plane that edge until its square, then plane it out of square and do it all over again until there is nothing left of it.

Set up goals you want to achieve today and work on nothing but those goals and I guarantee you at the end of that day, you will achieve your goals.

Free yourselves from the shackles of bullsh*t, don’t let the naysayers tell you, you can’t earn a living from the craft.  Don’t let your minds talk you out of
what life has to offer.  It’s all there in front you, you need to reach out and grab it.

Empower yourselves by being the best you can be.  Never ever give up, always work hard towards your goals and give back to the community.  Help one another, teach one another and serve one another.

Categories: Hand Tools

After an interlude, it’s back to business as usual

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 1:13pm

Today, birds and birds. This first one in American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) – is going to get painted on the outside, then carved through the paint.

This tiny one, split out with the guidance of Dave Fisher, is birch – I forget which one. No paint, just carved today. Some spoons getting finished up in preparation for this weekend’s Lie-Nielsen workshop – full this time. More spoon carving classes to be announced through Plymouth CRAFT soon.

Then, some photos plucked off the card. Down river:


Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus ) I assume juvenile male turning to adult. The female doesn’t usually show the red, I believe.

yellow warbler. (Setophaga petechia) they are quieter now than in the spring, so I just happened to notice this one skulking around.

My second commission – part 12

Je ne sai quoi Woodworking - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 11:50am


Let’s start with a confession. I did stuff around with some of the photos in this post. It is the first time that any of JNSQ’s photos have been altered, as far as I can remember anyway.

The previous posts in this series can be found here.

In this edition we will take a look at some of the joinery and the first phase of preparation of the top for finishing.

The first bit of joinery I attempted was to fit a small block to the top of each leg construction. It will be the point that fix the centre of the leg to the centre of the top. All the other connection points will allow for wood movement, but these two will not. This means that the top will be able to move freely with changes in humidity, but the centre will remain fix to the centre of the legs. I think this is called a T-bridle joint. One feature of my Langdon mitre box and saw that came in handy here was it’s ability to set the depth of cut. Obviously you can simply do this by hand, which would also be much quicker. Where the mitre box might have an advantage is when you need to do heaps of these joints with the same dimensions. In this case it was an opportunity to work out how to set the mitre box for a job like this. That way it will be easier next time.

A router plane works well for the cheeks of the bridal section. It was a bit of a challenge to hold such a small piece while cutting the cheeks to depth. The solution was two dogs and a Veritas gadget. That could be a good name for a progressive rock band or a retrogressive gin mill (Two dogs and a Veritas gadget), come to think of it.

Next up were the slots in the top of the legs.

The two aprons are also jointed to the legs by means of T-bridal joints. Here I am marking the exact location of the shoulders using the leg.

That was followed by the same sequence involving the mitre box, router plane and careful chisel work to perfect the shoulders.


So then on a crisp and bright winter’s Friday morning I started to flatten the bottom side of the top. Seeing that it is the first table top of this size in Kershout that I am doing by hand I thought that the bottom side would provide an ideal opportunity to work out which method works best. The major challenges posed by this top are the schizophrenogenic nature of grain and the extreme hardness of the wood. As every self-respecting JNSQ Woodworking reader should know by now, we deal almost exclusively with feral boards from the ancient Knysna forest. Each of the trees that the boards for this top were sawn from would have been over 500 years old.

If you deal with wood like that it is my opinion that one has a real responsibility to do the best possible job of allowing the story of the tree to be told. In my estimation that means a delicate balance between careful surface preparation and leaving certain imperfections that relates to the history of the piece of wood. George Nakashima’s immortal oeuvre of work (which inspired this design) lends itself perfectly to getting the most out of feral hardwood such as what I chose for this top. How much and which imperfections are left to tell the story is of course in the eye of the beholder.

Anyway, I started experimenting with various different tools to see what might work best in flattening such a challenging top. The techniques I tried included a belt sander, a low angle jack plane with a toothed blade, a standard no.3 smoothing plane (45° frog) with a back bevel of 25° creating an effective pitch of 70° and a shop made fore plane with a blade pitched at 50° (aka York pitch).

The belt sander has always been one of my least favourite tools. It makes noise, it is all over the place and seems to be the best possible tool to turn a flat surface into the famous Valley of a Thousand Hills. What I found was that it is less harmful in such hard wood, but still not an option if you are aiming for a superior surface. The low angle Jack plane (12° bedding angle + 38° micro bevel for an effective pitch of 50° and a tight throat) worked diagonally to the grain clearly had the measure of the wonky grain, but would have taken too long for what would suffice for the bottom side of the top. I did not aim for a perfectly flat bottom side.

Next up was the back-bevelled smoothing plane. It worked even better (in terms of finish) than the low angle plane, but was difficult to push due to the high effective pitch and therefore even slower at removing material. It is also important to mention that this strategie seize to be effective in difficult grain when you try to take a fat shaving.

So I rolled the dice and tried the shop made fore plane (50° effective pitch) diagonal across the grain. It wreaked havoc in a semi controlled sort of way. This particular blade has a fairly substantial camber and it took no prisoners in the process of removing the necessary material in a timely fashion. In the pictures below you can see the characteristic scalloped appearance of a surface smarting from such treatment.

This is one of my attempts at manipulating the photos to highlight the pattern left by the plane.

The wooden plane in the picture below enforced the above damage. Of note in the picture is the bottles of water I consumed during this arduous labour of bellicosity.

Here we have an example of a part of the history of the tree that is often neglected to be told. Yes I know some of you will think I have lost the plot. Probably something along the lines of: “The #%$@&* hippy has been smoking too much pot.” The reality for me is however that the wood I in my collection have all sorts of imperfections and it would be impossible to create anything of reasonable size without these imperfections exposing themselves. I have therefore made peace with having to incorporate imperfections and try to design in such a way that the eccentricity of the stock enhance the aesthetics of the piece I am building.

Here are a few more tweaked pics with an array of tools that were used to tidy up the bottom side of the top.

Then finally it became time to employ some of the lessons learnt on the bottom side to the face side of the top. It took me three full days of planing at 45° to the grain with a toothed blade in a low angle jack plane to get the top as flat as I wanted it. The two pictures below were taken after the first day.

The dogs on my assembly table came in quite handy during this brutal process.

The toothed blade created these beautiful patterns in the areas that were approaching flatness.

This was the end of day two.


Once the entire (well almost) face side were in the same plane I removed the bulk of the rhombi left by the toothed blade using a no. 112 scraping plane. It was the first time I used this particular tool for a huge job like this. I prepared the blade the way that is recommended by my woodworking icon David Charlesworth. In my case a 45° main bevel, 50° polished micro bevel with a 75° burr set up in the plane with the blade leaning forward at 20°. The plane is an absolute joy to use when set up like this. You have to make sure you take very thin shavings of course. Some sanding with my shop made sanding planes took care of the rest of the rhombi.

While grappling with the rhombi I took short breaks to tidy up the cracks in the top. They all had lots of loose splinters of wood and other ancient bits of debris inhabiting their depths. This task was mainly accomplished by using a very old pocket knife that used to belong to my grandparents.

At this stage I shaped the curved ends of the top. As you can see I marked out two lines using my fingers as a fence. These lines guided the removal of waste to create a very gentle yet quite wide bevel. Once the bevel were established, the end grain area were rounded off ever so slightly using the same technique. My no. 9½ Stanley block plane did most of the donkey work and was then followed by a low angle smaller block plane, which was in turn followed by gentle sanding.

When I got a bit tired of the top I continued to chip away at the last bits of joinery.

Once the two aprons were fitted to the legs with very precise bridal joints, I started working on the massive beam that connects the legs at floor level. The Witpeer beam was laminated and squared up more than a year ago. It gave the wood a very generous time frame within which it could settle all possible disputes the fibres might care to raise (so to speak). It turns out that a very dense laminated beam like this stayed pretty much dead straight in all it’s  dimensions, but managed to go out of square by what appeared to be a full mm. That was fixed by hand planing a face side and face edge perfectly square with each other and using those reference surfaces to square up the others with my electric planer.

I transferred the inside measurements of the joinery from the aprons to the beam.

Using the above reference point I took the beam to the Windsor leg to mark out the exact location of the other side of the fairly complex stopped bridal joint (my own name not necessarily correct terminology) which will marry these two structures.

This is how far I got with this joint at present.

It was now time to break in my precious polissior that one of my favourite woodworking personalities and über craftsmen Don Williams (of The Barn on Whiterun fame) sent me earlier this year. That entailed rubbing the heads of the grass/straw on a rough piece of scrap wood and tidying up the appearance on a spindle sander.

I can thoroughly recommend reading Don’s article on this epic tool from the past.



I used the Polissior to burnish the top after perfecting the finish with gradually increasing grid sander paper on a orbital sander. I went all the way to 600 grid and did two rounds of wiping the surface with a damp cloth to raise the grain before sanding it back down with the 600 grid. You can see the effect of the burnishing in the pictures below.

Aoife helped me to apply a tung oil/turpentine mixture. We kept the surface quite wet for 30 minutes by reapplying the mixture where the wood absorbed it and then wiped it down with a clean and dry cloth.

As you can see it was one of those unbelievably satisfying moments in woodworking where the wood rewards you for months of painstaking elbow grease. Kershout is simply one of the most beautiful species of wood on the planet. I want to reiterate that there were no pigment added what so ever. This is what it looks like after tung oil mixed with turps were applied!!

The top will now rest for two weeks before we will apply beeswax with the polissior. Stay tuned my brethren!!

Celebration of Craftsmanship

David Barron Furniture - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 10:35am

I dropped off my boxes prior to the show beginning and as usual was humbled by the wonderful that had arrived already.

The show is on from Saturday 19th August until Monday 28th August and there are 76 makers represented with over 300 pieces on display, so it's a good days visit.

This magnificent burr brown oak table has an unbelievable mechanism for making it smaller and is worth visiting the show on its own,  just to see it demonstrated by the maker George Johnson.

Here is the centre of the table in its smaller size, wonderful!

Categories: Hand Tools

Videos: Build A Bench With Our Hardware

Benchcrafted - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 10:06am

Image courtesy of Lost Art Press

We're often asked if we'll ever offer a bench building video, or complete videos on how to install our vises. And the answer is, not anytime soon. You may be wondering if this is shortsightedness on our part, lack of interest, or that we're too cheap to shell out the money for a video studio, which is significant. The reason is, there are others out there who can do it better than us. Here they are.

Marc was the first to make a serious video on building our Split Top Roubo. Marc's video skills and presentation are excellent. You won't find a more comprehensive and easy to follow series than Marc's. For $110 you get almost 10 hours of instruction covering every aspect of the build, and the vise installation, along with printed plans. It's an excellent value. Marc also includes videos on retrofitting a Crisscross and our latest Glide, in addition to the original Glide leg vise. 

Chris Schwarz and Will Myers

In this video ($35) Chris and Will not only build a bench together (featuring our Classic Leg Vise), but discuss different ways of getting there. There's some pretty funny moments too. Definitely worth the watch even if you're not building a bench. 

Guido has two excellent videos (in German) on the installation of our Glide Leg Vise and Tail Vise. Although the videos are in German, they are mostly without narration and subtitles, and the video quality is excellent, providing a clear view of each step of the process. The third video is a tour of the bench, in English. 

KC Woodworks

Some good enthusiast content here. Watch as Kev makes a Hi Vise and retrofits a friend's bench with a Glide. 

Tom Fidgen

Not so much an instructional video, but nice to watch nonetheless. Very relaxing. Watch Tom build and assemble a Moxon vise entirely with hand tools. 

Mike Bandte

An ongoing series of Mike's Split Top Roubo build, in German. Mike also has a series on building our Moxon vise. 

There are many others out there, and a "Benchcrafted" search on Youtube will yield loads of results.

Categories: Hand Tools

More Useful & Inexpensive Shop-made Tools

360 WoodWorking - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 9:36am
More Useful & Inexpensive Shop-made Tools

A few weeks back I began a rather involved project that has legs that have stop-flutes. After posting about my shop-made scratch stocks, I hoped to do a majority of the work using a router with a fluting router bit only to clean and straighten up the flute portion with the scratch stock. The bead area had to be fully scratch-produced.

As you can imagine working with a router bit and a couple of scratch stocks, the surface of my stop-flutes needed to tweaked to be smooth.

Continue reading More Useful & Inexpensive Shop-made Tools at 360 WoodWorking.

drawers glued up.......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 4:03am
Closing in on the cabinet being done. I glued the slips on the drawers tonight and I'll let them cook until tomorrow. One thing I'm not sure of is whether or not I have any 1/4" birch plywood for the drawers. The small alignment pieces I used came from the shorts bin and I didn't look to see if I had any bigger pieces. That may put a stop on the drawers come tomorrow.

planing epoxy
I planed the back into the middle and now I have to plane the front going into the middle. This side of drawer didn't get as much epoxy as the other side. This side had teeny weeny gaps.

planed with the 4 1/2
I didn't know what to expect with this. Would the epoxy have solidified in the wood and I would plane out tons of tear out? Nothing happened like that all. In fact I think the epoxy made it easier to plane than it did doing the back of the drawer.  It cleaned up without any tear out problems at all.

this was the side with the big gaps
I forced as much epoxy into these two gaps as I could. I have already done the back into the middle and it's the front's turn.

no problems at all
The left side tail was a bit shallow so I had to take a few swipes there to get it flat with the front. This part cleaned up as nicely and easily as the other three corners did. It seems planing epoxy isn't any different than planing wood. Except with epoxy you don't have to check for grain direction.

flushing the bottom batted next
I did the top yesterday
I checked the fit first before I planed any more off of the top.

drawer fits except for the last 3'4"
This side of the drawer at the top has a slight gap .

this top side gap isn't as large
This is where I usually lose my good fit and end up with something loose and floppy. I looked at the inside of the drawer on the left side and it appears to be ok. This side top of the drawer will get a few shavings taken off of it and nothing taken off the right side.

right side of drawer
The top on this side is ok but the right vertical side up against the cabinet is tight. The slides in easily in and out up to this point and binds. The front 3/4" of this side needs to be shaved.

the other side is the same
Here I can see the clearance between the drawer and the side as I open and close. It is binding in the last 3/4 to 1 inch at the end. I had to shave this front too. The rest of the drawer appears to move in and out without binding or rubbing.

fits and it is up against the back wall
I did this same thing last night. Other than me not being able to extract this drawer, it seated effortlessly. No binding, squeaking, or rubbing the whole way in.

used this yesterday on the small drawer - hooked it at the back and pulled the drawer open
Both drawers are done. The blue painters tape should be a close approximation of the paint film. I wish I hadn't messed up the first small drawer and I still had my grain flow from one drawer to the other. I like the natural wood look against the painted surfaces. Instead I am going to paint the drawer fronts and the front edge of the shelves too.

need four more spacers
I am squaring up one long and short edge. I'll use them to set the slips.

the plan
I can glue the back of the slip to the bottom of the drawer back and the spacer will hold the front in the correct orientation.

did the big drawer first
I made one change on this and that was to clamp the very front of the slip.  There in no positive glue up at the front like I have at the back. To get a good bond at the front, I put a clamp on the plywood spacer to apply pressure to that area at the front.

this one was bit tricky
Not much room to maneuver with my hands and clamps. This one took twice as long to clamp up as the large one.

large one curing on the tablesaw aka a horizontal storage surface
steel wooled it but......
The top had a few ridges and bumps across the whole lid. I scraped the lid down and I removed almost all of the finish and the bumps. I couldn't get them all scraped out but I got a lot of it. I didn't bother with the underside and I won't be putting anymore finish on that neither.

I settled on how I'm going to attach the lid to the box. I wasn't particularly fond of using a wooden pin nor was a metal one giving me a warm and fuzzy. This box is pine and over time the pin will elongate and oval out the pin hole. I ordered some parts from McMaster-Carr for the box and while I'm waiting for them to come in I can get the finish built back up on the box.

one more coat on
I'll put on a couple coats each night. One after work and another after dinner. I should be caught up when I get the parts.

one of 5 came in
This is a stay put boat locker hook. It's way too big for the cabinet but it would work. I have some smaller ones coming maybe tomorrow. I don't want to use nor do I like the look of a hook and a plain screw eye. I would make something wooden before I would use something like that.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What US City sits aside the Miami River?
answer - it isn't Miami, it is Dayton, Ohio

Final word on title

Journeyman's Journal - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 3:34am

After so many good suggestions offered I almost chose one until this one came to mind.

The lost scrolls of handwork

I also like quirks and beads and at the workbench but the lost scrolls of handwork is like the forgotten handtools which is exactly what we are trying to revive.

Let me know if you like it. I've already reserved the name but haven't paid for it yet.

Categories: Hand Tools

Clothing-optional Caption Challenge!

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 2:35pm




Tune-up your think melons and caption this painting.

The painting is 17th-century and by an unknown Italian artist. The companion painting featured unclad blacksmiths.

Suzanne Ellison

Filed under: Historical Images, Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

Lesson From A Maestro

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 11:39am

Last week en route home from Mordor on the Potomac I had the good fortune to visit Steve Voight, music composition professor by day, planemaker by night.  I became acquainted with Steve in the past couple of years and have come to enjoy immensely his company and his passion as a gifted craftsman fashioning wooden bodied planes in the style of 18th Century English hand planes.  At one point in his life Steve was a skilled machinist and that attention to detail has carried over into this new chapter of life, in part teaching students how to construct music and also providing us with exquisite tools to construct furniture.

We spent a couple of delightful hours discussing woodworking in his charming, spare, beautifully bright garret studio above the kitchen of his (and the lovely and delightful Mrs. Steve’s) house.  Tell me those windows and the light accompanying them does not instill some jealousy.  Go ahead.

I continued my admiration of his products, and noted with anticipation some new items coming to his inventory soon.  We also discussed the possibility of him making some custom tools for me soon.  Cross your fingers.

The money time was the hour or so spent with him demonstrating the method of setting up a double-iron plane to get the most superior results.  I know how to sharpen tools pretty darned well, but his tutorial on setting the second iron was an eye-opener to me.

Steve’s first step confirmed his facility as a sharpener as he tuned up his iron in about 30 seconds.

Thus far I’d been setting my chip breaker around 1/25″ from the tip of the cutting iron but learned that my spacing was far too great, and the best setting is somewhere in the territory of .006″-.010″.  Steve starts his set-up by resting the tip of the cutting iron on the bench and then placing the chip breaker on top of a .010″ feeler gauge leaf.

Then he brings it home with the resultant spacing between the chip breaker and the cutting iron being nearly invisible.

Setting up the plane itself with eyes way better than mine, Steve showed me the results.

He explained that a properly sharpened and set double iron plane almost literally shoots the shaving out of the throat.  I was surprised that they did not curl, they were straight wisps of gossamer wood (this one was a bit heavy and rippled, but photographing him work is a challenge because his motions are so confident and rapid).

Who knew?  Well, not me!


Steve definitely gave me something to think about and aim for, which makes our time together invaluable.

Thanks Steve!

Yes, a Moisture Meter is Essential Equipment

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 8:07am

A moisture meter is a device that lets you see the future. It allows you to avoid mistakes where your furniture will – literally – fall to pieces. But convincing woodworkers to buy one is like trying to push water uphill. This weekend, Brendan Gaffney and I were each working on some chair projects and got on the topic of moisture meters. Brendan has an idea for how to make […]

The post Yes, a Moisture Meter is Essential Equipment appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools


Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 6:55am

I pretend I exist in a bubble or cocoon. Each day I’m at home, I get up & have breakfast with the family, and then make my way out the back door to the workshop. Open up the windows to let in the sounds of the birds, check the river – tide in or out? Coming or going? And then sort the day’s projects – am I cutting these mortises, carving which pieces – most of my concerns are about really great quality oak, sharp tools, and learning from studies of period pieces…

And it goes like that day in & day out. Which hatchet? Are these bowls dry enough for the next step? Ah, I figured out what design to carve for that panel. Then, time to clean up the place and re-set the bench…

All the ordinary stuff is an intrusion – have to go to the dump, the bank, did I pay the bills? I just want to get back to work in the shop. All of that is just like the rest of us.

Every so often, I traipse out into the world to teach a workshop, deliver a lecture/demonstration – that sort of thing. And those audiences are pre-disposed to receive what I have to give. An interest in woodworking, furniture history, spoon carving – they’re already converts. But I know although we have woodworking interests in common, there can and will be things we don’t have in common. And that’s usually fine with me. I can get past a lot of stuff, and concentrate on our shared interests. And it has always been a great kick for me to come together with people I might otherwise not connect to…

This year, it’s been tricky, with the political climate in America and the world. I have specifically stated in many of my classes – “No politics, please.” Just to avoid the issue. Trying to be polite…and it has worked thus far. 

Like I said, I can get past a lot of stuff. But…not racism. Not Nazis marching in the streets of 21st-century America. That shit doesn’t fly. Everyone should be against that…none of this “many sides” crap.

So…in the hopefully unlikely event that some of my readers are sympathetic with the KKK, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, etc that were on display down in Charlottesville this past weekend, – if that’s you – please un-subscribe to my blog. Please stop following me on Instagram, FB…please don’t come to my classes. Please don’t buy my book, videos, spoons, etc.

I want nothing to do with racists.

Back to oak now.

Do japanese woodworkers traditionally not use drills at all?

Giant Cypress - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 5:38am

Among the Japanese tools I’ve seen over the years, I haven’t seen much in the way of drills in the sense of the brad point/auger/twist bit drills that we’re familiar with in western woodworking. There are Japanese gimlets, small hand held tools used to make small holes. These holes would be used to make pilot holes for metal, wood, or bamboo nails. The business end of the tool has a square profile, and the four sides come to a point.

In use, you would hold the Japanese gimlet vertically between the palms of your hands, and roll your hands back and forth to make the gimlet spin clockwise and counterclockwise.

There’s also a version with a three pronged tip (sort of like a very aggressive spade bit, or a flat cross section of a brad point drill bit) that can create a slightly bigger hole for dowels, but it seems that the largest of these topped out at around 1/4″.

one drawer fitted......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 1:27am
It was hard to choose what to expend calories on in the shop tonight. I have the binder box that is mostly complete and it has a couple coats of finish on it too. I am undecided on how I want to pin the hinge arms to the box. Depending upon how that goes, it may add some days before the completion date.

The drawers for the finishing cabinet are now at the fitting stage. I have to clean them up, do the drawer runners, make a bottom, and fit a bottom in place. I kind of did a 90/10 thing tonight with the most calories going to the drawers.

two drawers
Out of the clamps and still square. I had to satisfy my urge to check these in the openings.

the front of the small doesn't fit the opening
large drawer fit
I think if the tails weren't proud of the sides, it would have fit snug this way. The top to bottom is too tight also.

large drawer
The back is tapered so it may fit once I flatten that out. Both drawers are a bit too large for their openings but that should change once I get some planing done.

the gaps are still there
I won't be able to fit this drawer tonight because I have to fill these gaps with epoxy.

the other side
A smaller gap on the opposite side. I could probably ignore this and be ok but since I doing the other side, I'll do this one too.

flushing the top of the big drawer
I had to see if this would at least go in the opening.

one side fits
The left back corner will slide into the opening. The right back corner threw a hissy fit and won't cooperate and go in.

sawing off the wild
I marked the top of the sides onto the back. I ran a line away from that and sawed it off.

flushed the bottom
The bottom won't be getting any more attention. Any trimming to fit the opening will be done on the top. It's going to be painted and I have to allow for the thickness of the paint film.

top flushed up
When I got a continuous shaving going around the entire perimeter I stopped.

cleaned up the sides and the back
I will do the front very lightly when I am done fitting this. There is only a 1/8" at the front of the dovetails and I don't want to thin down the front anymore than I have to.

in about a 1/3 of the way
2nd trimming and I'm about 1/2 way - planing just the top
third trimming and I'm done
I made the mistake of fully seating the drawer in the opening. I had a hell of a time getting it back out. On this trial run I left it proud as in lesson learned.

I'll plug this after I get the bottom and slips installed
flushing the tails
I used to plane the tails flush but I now flush them first with a chisel. Doing that gives me a level starting point for the toe of the plane. I noticed that I was slightly rounding over and not getting the front to back straight. I was planing a slight hump on the drawer sides.

epoxy and filler
It surprises how the white filler turns a beige/pine color when it is mixed with the epoxy.

the compromise
A better fit of the tail and pins would have been the best choice but epoxy saves this from being toast.

4 coats of shellac
I still haven't sanded this back yet. I want to get a good film build up before I steel wool it due to the high pine pitch content of this. This will probably end up with 4 more coats followed by some wax.

squared up one end of the slips
the back of the slips
Doing some trial and error work with the slips trying to figure out the best way to glue them in place.  On problem I'm trying to figure out is whether to glue the slips in place and then fit the bottom, or glue the slips and bottom in all at once. I can see advantages and heartaches with both.

the front look
I cut two pieces of the bottom to act as spacers to keep the slips positioned correctly at the front and back.

the way I'm leaning
I like the idea of the two spacers at the front and back and gluing the slips to the side. Without the bottom in place, I can apply clamps to the slips while the glue sets up. Potential problem - the slips might slip and the bottom won't lay flat side to side.

slips aren't as proud this way
works better than this way
The slip in the middle is the way I was originally going to put them on the drawer. That way about a 1/4" would need to be flushed off. The way they are clamped in the box now I will only have to shave a strong 32nd. And the size of the rabbet for gluing the bottom didn't change at all.
another problem
Since the groove and the plywood aren't a good fit but rather a loose one, with the slips clamped at the front, the plywood spacer is cocked upwards. I think I will position the bottom of the slips to be even with the bottom of the groove. I'll deal with the gap, if any, after the slips are set and the bottom is glued in place. That fun will commence tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
In what Baseball World Series was the Star Spangled Banner first played?
answer -  the 1918 series

Re: I need your help

Journeyman's Journal - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 12:21am

Right off the bat thanks to everyone who responded.

Matt offered some really great ones and two stood out the most.

Planes, Chisel and Saw


At The Workbench

The first one is a title from a book my friend Tony Konovaloff wrote so I can’t use that, but it’s great and definitely complements what this magazine’s about

But I equally like At the Workbench and I’ve secured it pending payment which means no one gets it till I make a payment.

I’m still open to suggestions but so far this one seems to be the winner.

It’s a pity ASIC isn’t flexible in these things as HANDWORK is by far the most suitable title but we also work at the bench so it is what it is, but i know it will create some confusion for some people who are not in the know.

This post I’ve written on my phone at work so I’m sure there are some missing commas and periods which my friend Matt will pick up on. But I’m not a text addict like my daughters and if my life depended on it, it would be short lived.

Btw the second issue it’s title will remain unchanged. I’ve already begun work on the third issue.

Categories: Hand Tools

Uses of jointer-planer combo and benchtop planer

Heartwood: Woodworking by Rob Porcaro - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 10:32pm
Byrd Shelix on the DW735
Commenting on a recent post, a reader asked: Do you typically use your DeWalt 735 for planing, and your Hammer A3-31 for jointing? I am starting to look at combo jointer-planer units, and would be interested in knowing if you typically use separate machines for these two functions. You mentioned in a previous article you […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Soft Wax: Not Just for Furniture

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 5:30pm


While Katy’s soft wax is great for furniture surfaces – especially interiors – she has a new devoted customer: Crucible Tool. Unbeknownst to me, Raney and John have been using the soft wax on our improved-pattern dividers as the final finishing step.

In fact, Raney asked me to make a big batch for him so we didn’t waste so many little 4 oz. tins.

If you’d like to give soft wax a try, Katy has a batch in her etsy store that is ready for shipment. The wax is $12 per 4 oz. tin. I use it on drawers, turnings, chairs and even as a final topcoat on oil finishes.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. We hope to have a new black soft wax soon. Oh, and about the photo of the cat: The wax had nothing to do with the hair loss.

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

I need your help

Journeyman's Journal - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 1:56pm

I chose HANDWORK as the title of our magazine as it best describes what we do, but as I tried to register the name yesterday through ASIC they tell me a little old lady has taken this name.  Not only did she take this name she registered multiple spellings of handwork.  So, now I need another title for the magazine and I tried several others;

  • Handcraft – taken
  • Handkraft – taken
  • Handcraftd – taken
  • woodworking with hand tools – too long
  • woodspeak – available pending my payment

I personally like WOODSPEAK as a title, I think it's unique and we are speaking about wood and when we work our wood speaks back to us.

So what do you think?

Do you like it?

Do you have any other names that would be a better suited title?

Lets brainstorm together, I only have a few days to register that name.

One more has been added to the pending payment list and I think this one is pretty good also

"BenchWork". That title pretty much covers everything we do.


Categories: Hand Tools

No Surprises

Paul Sellers - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 11:38am

Your responses to the last blog came as no surprise. As people accept the ever more mundane of mass making, skills automatically become dumbed down. Manufacturers that once had loyalty on a more local level have gradually sold out and what we thought was still being made domestically by local skills was hidden behind bland …

Read the full post No Surprises on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools


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