Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
So Much Room for Activities!!!
I’ve wanted a better floor in my shop for years. I put down my ghetto peel and stick vinyl tiles back in 2006 in an attempt to make it feel less like a garage and more like a shop. But they offer nothing in the way of comfort and definitely don’t make it feel like anything but a garage. So when Rubber Flooring Inc had a sale, I made the leap and got my new partially reclaimed tire rubber floor! And now it not only feels like a shop but I can bounce my chisels off the floor and not have to regrind the bevel.
Stuff Related to this StuffI brought the Dust Right Collector back into the shop and hung it in a previous update if you want to revisit that.
The Shop Update goes LIVE next Thursday night!Show up and win NOTHING!!!
They make great gift items too and I have never failed to get a pleased smile in return. That makes it all worthwhile.
My favourite boxes are made of dovetails; gives me good practice and makes for a strong box that will hopefully endure for decades.
Last week I finished putting together a small video I have been painstakingly making over winter. I've put it up on Youtube and can also be viewed below.
Hope you like it.
24 February 2017
When I got home there were four packages waiting. Lo and behold, 3 of them were for me. You could have knocked me down with a feather. Usually all multiple packages go to the wife, even if I'm expecting some too.
|new coat hook from Lee Valley|
I especially like the top two spread eagle hooks.
|how it is secured|
|the coat hook slips over it|
|this is going away|
|spindles came in too|
|reprint I got from Hyperkitten|
|fantasy catalog #2|
|I don't think it's a reprint|
|got another fenced casing plane|
|5/8 on the heel|
|1/2" thick stock|
|1/4" brad point bit is too small|
|1/4" forstner bit worked|
|close to the notch|
|planed a bevel on the back stretcher|
|got the pipes moved|
Henry Ford made 15,007,033 Model T cars. In what year did the VW beetle surpass it?
answer - in 1972 (the last beetle was made in 2003 for a total production of 21,529,464)
This is an excerpt from “Woodworking in Estonia” by Ants Viires and translated by Mart Aru.
Until the beginning of the century, spoons and ladles for home use were generally produced by the peasants themselves. The preferred timber was that of birch, hard pieces of birch root and sometimes juniper. To prevent these articles from cracking, they were frequently boiled in hot water (they were also known to have been dried in the bread oven).4 The bowl parts of the Estonian spoons (as well as the Latvian and Finnish ones), are of elongated shape, differing in this respect from the Russian round-bowled spoons.5
Often the spoons were covered with carved designs (Fig. 73). The Russian spoon with the round bowl, often pointed, became known in Estonia in the course of the 19th century mainly through being introduced by men returning from military service from Russia. Only toward the end of the century did the Russian spoon appear in the shops, or they were bought from by hawkers. The following is from Räpina: “Later, about 40 years ago [= ca. 1900] then no longer country spoons were made for eating. The Seto people started to bring and sell wooden spoons. The Seto exchanged spoons against grain and rags. There was a factory in Pihkva (Pskov) that made them. It was better to eat with factory spoons than with spoons made by ourselves. There was thick paint on them and there was no need to wash them so thoroughly and the color stuck well. Country spoons remained only for making of butter and cooking. Old people, who had not been accustomed to eat with the other spoons, ate a long time with self-made spoons.”6 In the first decades of the 20th century metal spoons put a full stop both to country spoons as well as the Russian wooden spoons as tableware. Wooden spoons remained in use only in cooking.
It is worth mentioning that although the Estonian and Russian wooden spoons were quite different, the word “lusikas” (south Estonian “luhits, luits”) is actually an old Russian loanword (Old Russian “льжька,” Russian “лoжка”), as a result of which it has been believed that Russian spoons were spread already quite early as an article of trade among Baltic-Finnic people, and because of it the original old names have been forgotton.7 One of such old names could be “koost,” which denotes a wooden spoon on the western shore of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa (Karuse and Varbla). That Russian spoons were actually found in the Baltic counties at an early time is confirmed by a find of typical Russian spoons in Riga, in all likelihood from the 13th to the 15th centuries.8 To a certain extent the previous position is in a certain contradiction with what people have stored in their memories – which, as we have seen, link the appearance of Russian spoons at a rather late date. It is also interesting that the word “lusikas” (spoon) has in its turn spread into the speech of Russians on the other side of Lake Peipsi as “лузик”9 (it may be to distinguish it from the different spoon with a longish bowl which Avinurme home industry people could have sold on their commercial travels in the 19th century on the other side of Lake Peipsi).
The words used for ladle, “kulp” or “kula” (the latter is a west Estonian term used to describe a ladle with the bowl at an angle, used to scoop milk from the urn), are probably of Baltic–Finnicorigin.10 On the other hand the south Estonian term “kopp” originates from the Lower German “koppe.”11 The same word is applied in other parts of Estonia to mean a wooden bowl with a handle. In the Võru dialect and in other eastern parts of the country the wooden bowl with a handle, especially the one for use in the bath, is known as “korets, karits” (Russian “korets”).
Bowls (Fig. 74) were usually made of softwood – linden, aspen, alder, sometimes also from birch. Usually they were made from a stem cut in two, crosswise, although lengthwise was sometimes preferred. The latter were not as durable and had a tendency to crack. Tools used in the manufacture of homemade bowls were the scooping axe, the chisel and the draw knife. However, in the 19th century most bowls were already being produced by turnery, and the bowl ceased to be a homemade article (see the chapter on Turning). There are only a few such bowls in museum collections, as by far the greater number of bowls have been turned. This shows that in the 19th century making of bowls was mostly the duty of turners, and no longer belonged to the circle of the peasant’s home carpentry.4 e.g. KT 101, 9, Räpina. 5 Such spoons with an oval bowl occur in the Slavonic area in Central Europe (Opole) since the 10th to the 12th centuries.(Hołubowicz, Fig. 122:1 p. 277). Wooden spoons used in the 15th to the 16th century are relatively similar in their shape to Russian spoons of the 19th century. (Рабинович. Из иcтoрии быта, Fig. 10:7. p. 51). 6 KT 101.9–10 (Joosep Hermann, b. 1866), cf. also EA 15, 116 Avinurme; KV 78, 124 Jõhvi. 7 Mikkola, p. 45, 66; Kalima, Slaavil, san., p. 120. 8 Šnore, plate II, 5, 8. 9 Kalima, Ostseefinn. lehnwörter, p. 157. 10 Хакулинен I, p. 103; Ariste, Hiiu, p. 176. 11 Saareste p. 245.
— Meghan Bates
Filed under: Woodworking in Estonia
Here it is another scrub plane just terminated: beech body and wild olive sole (unfortunately this wood is ending......I'll have to ask again Michele (who lives in Puglia) for supplying me with another little amount of it.
This time I tried to add a beading moulding to plane sides and I have to say I am satisfied. I cut them with a Stanley 50, equipped with its narrower beading cutter.
The front handle is inserted by a sliding dovetail joint, coupled with a round tenon in its bottom
A mortice and tenon joint has been used for fixing the rear handle, behind the blade. In both cases I used drawbored dowels for reinforcing the joint.
The building tecnique is based on cutting and gluing the plane body, so is easier to obtain the throat and cut into the sides for accomodating the wedge and blade.
You can see a little hole on the front. Our woodworm friend (died!) loves wild olive, providing to the plane a vintage look.
In the next four postings I will be highlighting the contributions by the CW craftsmen to the Working Wood in the 18th Century gathering. They work under the burdensome (?) expectation of excellence on our part, as for years they have not only put on the show as the impresarios but are expected to be stellar in their on-stage performances. It’s a lot of weight on their shoulders, and they pull it off every time! You can tell they are comfortable with audiences, I don’t mind folks watching me work, but the contant interruptions they endure must be maddening. It disrupts any work flow and extends a project’s timeline by a logarithmic factor.
First up of the Colonialista soloists was Brian Weldy, demonstrating the steps to designing and building a late Baroque (aka “Queen Anne”) chair in walnut. As with all the presentations I found much to be learned from the project, although it is unlikely I will ever build one. Nevertheless Brian’s dealing with the sumptuously curvilinear form was instructive.
His layout of the serpentine center splat was particularly of interest to me as I have a pair of 16th Century Chinese horseshoe chairs on my bucket list.
He called on Kaare to provide a second pair of hands for the assembly of the chair seat rail and legs. I was fascinated by the wooden blocks left on the serpentine seat rail to provide striking anf clampning surfaces. These would be carved off once the assembly was completed. I thought it was an ingeniuos and efficient solution to a problem. Maybe everyone else already knew it, but it is a technique now residing firmly in the memory bank.
With the chair assembled Brian addressed the seat construction and lofting, and his time was done.
Flush-cutting saws offer an amazing promise: It can cut a dowel or tenon flush to its surrounding surface without causing any damage. The truth is, however, no matter how awesome your flush-cutting saw is or how skilled you are, things can go wrong. The most common problem is the saw can drift slightly. And with a flush-cutting saw, any drifting can be disastrous. The teeth can dive into the work […]
Lie-Nielsen Toolworks is hosting a Hand Tool Event at Braxton Brewing in Covington, Ky., on March 10-11 (details from Lie-Nielsen are here).
We will have a booth at the brewery both days and will have our storefront open on Saturday only (not Friday; nor Thursday) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Our storefront is a seven-minute walk from the brewery.
On Saturday night we are organizing an outing to Rhinegeist brewing in Cincinnati where we shall play Hammerschlager – a competitive nail-driving game. The winner of the evening (likely the one person left standing) will receive a letterpress hammer poster (long sold out and coveted). We’ll bring the stump, the hammer and the nails.
The event at Rhinegeist will start about 8 p.m. We recommend you go to Eli’s barbecue at Findlay Market to get your dinner beforehand and walk it a block north to Rhinegeist to eat it. (That’s what we’re going to do.) Note that Eli’s closes at 9 p.m. Tarry not.
I hope that we will have some other special stuff to show or sell, but that all depends on trucking and production schedules. More details, soon.
Last year’s show was fantastic. Braxton has excellent beer. Covington has a lot of great places to eat and drink (more on those later on). And yeah, Cincinnati is awesome, too.
Hope to see you there!
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Uncategorized
Here is a nice whiskey cabinet from Dale in Spain made from Mahogany. It was the first time he had used one of my dovetail guides and he is understandably pleased with the results. That looks like a two bottle cabinet with enough room for four glasses, very sociable!
Daniel from Ireland sent these pictures of boxes he made to house his tools. The first one is for his dovetailing equipment and the second is for his nice saws.
That reminds me I must sort out the storage for all my Japanese saws, since moving work shop and loosing wall space they are all laying together in a drawer, not good.
I am by no means an expert on Japanese tools. I own a few, and I have had the opportunity to try many different Japanese saws, chisels and hand planes. However, I do not work with them enough to consider myself worthy of giving you advice on them.
Bob then proceeds to show that he’s a fibber by making a lot of smart observations about Japanese saws. He also made me blush.
(Bob, if you’re reading this, for some reason my RSS reader lost your feed. I fixed that, and I’m having a good time getting caught up on your blog.)
My only beef with it for a long time is the smell.
It turns out that BLO isn't boiled at all. Nowadays, raw linseed oil (which works as a finish, but takes weeks to dry making it unhandy) is mass produced by adding metallic chemical drying agents such as manganese and cobalt which through the magic of chemistry makes the linseed oil dry relatively quickly.
A quick internet search produced a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for some BLO, which includes this:
Effects of Overexposure:
Inhalation: Vapors may cause irritation of the respiratory tract.
Skin: Prolonged or repeated skin contact may cause irritation or dermatitis.
Eyes: Contact with eyes may cause burning and tearing.
Ingestion: Ingestion of large amounts may cause gastrointestinal irritation.
Chronic: Not Available.
Overall, it looks pretty safe. But not totally. I wouldn't drink it.
Then, I was ruined by Dictum. They sell a Swedish cold-bleached linseed oil.
|Linseed oil from Dictum. Also, some great smelling turpentine balsam, and some natural tung oil from Denmark.|
What could go wrong?
The first thing I found was this great YouTube video by Joe Besch:
His website led me to a page on Tad Spurgeon's website. Mr. Spurgeion's passion is oil painting, and shares on his site how oil paints made by the old masters were made from linseed oil.
I figure if this is good enough for the old masters, it should also work for woodworking.
Enough blah-blah. Let's get to work:
First, instead of pressing my own flax seed, I ordered a liter of pure, quality raw linseed oil from El Barco, a local paint shop in Valencia.
|Raw linseed oil.|
I'm not sure, and if you would like to try it, I'm sure you'll have success using only tap water.
|Believe it or not, you can buy sea water at a local grocer for 3.99/liter!|
|beach sand and seawater. And who-knows-what.|
|Filtering the sea water.|
|The clean sand.|
|Next I dumped in my raw linseed oil.|
|Oil on top, the water sank below it, and the sand is on the bottom.|
|After the mixture was shaken. Not stirred.|
Then, let it sit in the sun.
|After an hour.|
If you are wondering what you are looking at, you can clearly see everything settling in layers. The bottom is the sand, and the little black bubble looking things above that is actually clear water. It is heavier than the oil so it sinks to the bottom.
The yellow band is a layer of fat we've just rendered out of the raw linseed oil. I suspect this is the stuff that prevents raw linseed oil from drying quickly.
The brown layer on top is the good stuff.
|The next morning.|
I'll follow Joe Besch's advice and do this process again with my refined oil. I imagine after a couple times of this, I should get some pretty nice quality stuff.
The last step is to let it rest in the sun for some weeks or months, and the yellow color will evaporate away.
For my purposes, it probably doesn't need to be crystal clear, but it will be fun to see how far I can take this.
There is likely to be quite a bit less than one liter of oil after this process, but what I have should be good.
I'm not sure if this will be worth it, but it is fun to see if it will work.
Keep an eye on this blog in the future, I plan to post on the results of this experiment over time.
|mind is made up now|
|changed the pattern a bit|
To trace it out on the crest rail board, I lined up the lines on the two on the left side. I flipped it and did the right side. Using a half pattern ensures both sides should be reasonably the same.
|cut the crest rail on the bandsaw|
|cleaned up with rasps|
|the top of the side|
|finding the gallery rail center|
|found center of the shelf|
|FYI for me too|
I had to run few errands after work tonight so my shop time was short. The big surprise was the post office. It was empty when I stopped in to get some flat rate boxes. I know that when I go to ship out the irons it'll be packed. Tomorrow I'll get back to finishing up the tequila box.
How many Grammy categories are there?
answer - there are 30 fields with 83 categories in them
From my Journal Tuesday 21st February 2017 A good day thinking through the prototype, which will be a keepsake box that you can keep just about anything you want in from letters to chisels depending on what you hold dear. I finally developed the awkward corner joint and that went well enough without making it …
Today, Mike and I got the benches done and spent a good amount of time exploring their use. First, we had to cut those protruding tenons flush. Since I broke my flush cut saw a while back, I opted to use my crosscut saw for the task. I considered getting fancy and shimming up off the benchtop top to prevent the saw’s set from marring the top but decided against it. I’ve always trimmed bigger tenons like these with a regular crosscut and rarely nick the wood in any considerable way. The way I do this is by placing pressure on the back of the saw while carefully starting a kerf. I work around from all sides until the kerf meets the whole way around. As tricky as it sounds, it’s not. The kerf of my saw didn’t nick the top once and the cuts were darn near flush. Actually, one was perfectly flush which ironically made it harder to plane nicely without digging into the top. The other three had a hairline of thickness to plane and went down flush with less fuss.
After the tenons were cut free, we bored the holes for the ¾” holes for planing stops. The stops were shaved from ash leftover from my leg stock. I made sure mine were as consistent as I could (so that they would be tight at all height adjustments) but Mike discovered some interesting benefits to pegs that were less than straight. Very interesting discussion ensued about better designs for pegs. I’ll leave that for Mike to blog about but I think he’s onto something really good here. He also discovered that if he was planing a board that was a couple inches longer than necessary, he could drill a hole on it’s end and place it over the peg, pinning it in place. This freed him to plane without any bouncing around. He could even turn around and plane the other direction without moving the board. Genius!
As soon as I had my stops in, I had to take it for a test run. The first few minutes of planing were surprisingly tiring because I was relying primarily on bicep power and had almost no body momentum behind the plane. We experimented with ways to overcome this and found some interesting postures that made the operation quite effective. The most powerful planing was when we stood up and put a knee on the board. It actually was the easiest planing I think I’ve ever done because my whole body was over the work. I haven’t tried it for extended periods of time, mind you, but I think it has real promise. This was vindication after my first few moments of laboring hard using only my arm strength.
We spent a good amount of time discussing hole spacing for edge planing. We ended up figuring out a pattern based on a few different sources: the Woodworking in Estonia benches, the aprons of Nicholson’s bench, and one of Jonathan Fisher’s benches. I can expound on the logic behind our pattern at another time but I will say that we tried to figure out the way to have the least holes and most flexibility with the stock we envisioned working with. After using it a bit, I think we nailed it.
Then we got out the rope. This was something we had wanted to try ever since we saw it in Woodworking in Estonia. A surprising number of the benches showed a loop of rope wrapped over the work piece and the craftsman holding it down with his foot. It’s almost like a poor man’s shaving horse. When we first tried it, I had the loop around the whole width of the bench and it didn’t hold very well. Then we wrapped a piece of leather around the rope. Still didn’t hold well. It seemed the downward force was spread to far side to side. Feeling defeated, we looked closer at the images in the book and realized that the rope was always fed through holes in the top, enabling the rope to be pulled down close to the work piece. This was the charm. It held great for chopping mortises. We were really impressed. Super easy to adjust and rugged holding power.
So my bench is complete. Mike still has some complex features to add… as soon as he finds the perfect crooked branch for the task. He’s also planning on working out a quick-to-install shaving horse apparatus. It should be very handy.
We really had no idea of what to expect with this bench form. Although it’s not better than a tall bench for some operations, I think it just might be better for others. We will continue to explore workholding on these benches and report it all here. This form has serious promise. We really think you should build one, no matter what kind of woodwork you do. Woodworking in Estonia has proven that there are no limits to the creativity of a craftsman when it comes to workholding solutions. When we set out on this bench build we vowed to explore unfettered by any convention (modern or otherwise). This exploration has expanded our thinking about the craft as well as our respect for the craftsmen that have come before us.
For the other posts about this build, click here.
If you’re looking to see more of this bench in action and read about the research behind it, you can read Chris Schwarz’s article in Issue Two.
I’ve been trying to finish off this chest with 2 drawers lately. I’m close, but have to go to North House Folk School soon, so the last bits will be in 2 weeks. Today I spent making the last 12′ of moldings – out of a total of over 45 feet! Rabbet plane first…
…followed by hollows & rounds….
Late in the day I still had some daylight. I have been using the last 30 or 45 minutes each day to hew some spoons for evening carving…but today I split some reject joinery-oak and started shaving the rear posts for some ladderback chairs. Must be because I’ve been thinking of Drew Langsner lately…
Here’s the inspiration – one of the last chairs from Jennie Alexander’s hand…and Drew’s book The Chairmaker’s Workshop. I had to look up a few things to remind me of what I was doing.
The last time I made these chairs was some shrunk-down versions for when the kids were small, December 2009. These chairs are put away in the loft now, outgrown…
I hope to bend the posts Friday, then leave them in the forms while I’m away. Hopefully there will be some chairmaking going on in March…
Last night at dinner I laid out the finances involved in printing the deluxe “With All the Precision Possible: Roubo on Furniture,” and I think I saw the blood drain out of my wife’s face – just a little bit.
It’s like sending a child to college. It’s vitally important, and so you somehow find the money to make it happen. But when you stand back and count up all the dollars involved you wonder how the heck you did it.
We are pleased, thrilled and a little anxious to offer you “With All the Precision Possible: Roubo on Furniture,” the largest, most expensive and most incredibly built book we’ve yet to offer. We think the investment is worth it. Don Williams, Michele Pietryka-Pagán and Philippe Lafargue dedicated years of their lives to translate A.J. Roubo’s 18th-century masterwork “l’art du Menuisier” and have done a magnificent job. Designer Wesley Tanner has captured the experience of reading an 18th-century book. And so we have decided to put all our chips on the table.
If you approach this book with an open heart and mind, I think you will find yourself challenged to become a better woodworker in everything you do. It is the most involved piece of woodworking writing I’ve ever encountered. It is for beginners, intermediates and the advanced.
Even if you have zero interest in building French furniture, I think this book will speak to you as a maker and give you insights into how things are made “with all the precision possible.”
The book is $550 and will ship this summer. You can place your pre-publication order here.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: To Make as Perfectly as Possible, To Make as Perfectly as Possible, Roubo Translation
Yesterday, when we arrived back at the studio, the first order of business was to get our leg stock into shape. I hewed my riven ash pieces into rounds with my single bevel hatchet. For this rounding work, I really love the single bevel and heavy head of my Collins hatchet as I can use the flat back (unbeveled side) to establish a flat plane on the stock. After a series of relief chops up the piece, I can swipe it all away to a single plane with one swipe.
To gauge my initial shaping, I bored a hole with the auger in scrap pine and traced it onto the end. That way I worked to the line with hatchet. For the last of the hatchet work, I pushed the head down the work, riding the flat back, using it almost like I was planing.
All the refinement of the tenons took place in the vise with a wide-mouthed spokeshave. I did most of the test fitting on a bench top offcut. By doing it this way, I could pound the tenon in without chewing up the mortises of the actual bench. Final fit was obviously done on the bench itself.
Mike spent a bit more time on his joinery than mine because he tapered his mortises the whole way through. This made fitting the tenons a bit more picky. He’s got something up his sleeve, I guess, because he left some crooks at the bottom of two of the legs. He says he’s cooking up some workholding situation. We’ll see what he comes up with. If Woodworking in Estonia is the precedent, it seems anything is fair game!
After shaping the wedges and sawing a kerf on the tenons, we pulled out the hide glue. We decided to use our “liquid” hide glue to buy ourselves more open time. This glue is made with the salt-depressed recipe that I’ve published previously.
It was interesting to find that although I friction fit those tenons by beating them in hard with a maul, when the glue was applied, they slipped though even further. Doh. Of course that would be the case. It should have occurred to me that hide glue would be a great lubricant. It didn’t prove to cause a problem but next time I know that I can fit it a bit shy of coming out the top and trust the glue to slip it the rest of the way through.
After both benches were legged-up, we shimmed each leg until the top was a consistent measurement from the floor. After marking the trim line with a pencil resting on a block, we sawed the legs to final length. Mine ended up at 19.25”.
Yesterday was fun. Our friend, Richard, came by for the day and shared his insights from building this form over the years at Leonard’s Mills Living History Days. He brought his Toshio Odate toolbox full of tools and let us try out a bunch of his favorite stuff.
Today, we’ll be cutting the tenons and wedges flush and fitting the benches out for workholding. Then we’ll play around with using them. I plan to make a small project on mine this afternoon because I’m curious to explore the viability of using this bench to complete a project. I want to know if I would like this for more than a glorified sawbench. I suspect it will be very different than working on my tall bench but I just don’t know how yet.
You’ll be sure to hear about it when I do.
If you're interested to learn more about this bench, check out the article by Chris Schwarz in Issue Two.
I’ll interrupt my jaunt through the CW confab to mention some new things in the mail.
Yesterday saw the arrival of the new Popular Woodworking with some intriguing contents.
In addition to an excellent article on bench chisels from The Schwarz Hisownself there is a wonderful piece by my pal Jameel Abraham on making and using plywood. Solid.
And immediately subsequent to Jameel is my latest article, which was about the most fun writing I have ever had.
To top it all off I received a sample of some shellac wax from the producer in India. It is excellent and I am going shortly to the bank to make the bank-to-bank transfer to order several hundred pounds. This steady supply will allow us to begin manufacturing Mel’s Wax shortly. Stay tuned.