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An aggregate of many different woodworking blog feeds from across the 'net all in one place! These are my favorite blogs that I read everyday...
During our New England blitz, I once again had the good fortune to visit Mr. and Mrs. Peter Hardwick, the previous owner of the H.O. Studley tool cabinet and workbench. His tale of care and careful stewardship of this treasure is compelling, and it will be recounted in full in the upcoming book “VIRTUOSO: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley” (March 2015).
This visit provided fireworks of excitement (admittedly, my threshold is probably pretty low), as I learned of more Hardwick family history regarding Studley and the family home in Quincy, Mass. Peter’s grandfather knew Studley when the former was a boy/young man and the latter a middle-aged man. Grandfather Hardwick asserted that Studley did much of the trim work and cabinetry in the Hardwick house whose construction began in the 1850s, around the time Studley moved to Quincy.
And I got to see two of the fireplace surrounds attributed to Studley. How cool is that?
When you see the tool cabinet and workbench at next May’s exhibit and think to yourself, “Man, I wonder what kind of work that guy could do around my house?” you don’t need to wonder. He was really good at that, too!
More in the book.
Filed under: Virtuoso: The Toolbox of Henry O. Studley
Designing your own projects is a lot of fun and it isn’t hard. As you can see from the sketch and simple drawing above you don’t need much to get started.
You don’t need complicated drawing software, though these programs are great. You can get started with a pencil, paper, and a rule. When you do your own designs your projects will be truly custom designed to fit where you want them to. You will be able to modify existing plans to suit your needs and wants.
If you would like a little more on this subject let me know.
As always thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment.
Late last week we finished packing up the first of the Glide C leg vises.They are now available to purchase.
The Glide C is different from the Glide M in two ways. First, the C handwheel is sand cast in gray iron, and then only machined to accept the acme screw and infused beech knobs (the Glide M surfaces are entirely machined after casting.) Secondly, the C uses Beech knobs instead of the deep red Dymondwood of the Glide M.
Each vise performs identically.
Why would you choose a Glide C? Two reasons. First, cost. The C is $70 less than the M. Second, looks. The C has much more of a vintage, traditional look if that's your style. It looks perfect on a Roubo bench, especially when made from ring porous hardwoods like ash or oak. It would look outstanding on a beech bench. My personal vises at home usually change pretty frequently during testing, but I currently have a C on my ash bench. I love the look.
Glide C's are available for order now on our Store Page. They ship 1-2 weeks after placing your order, but usually much faster (that lead time gives us a little wiggle room in case the fish are biting.)
Later this fall we hope to release the new Tail Vise C, so we can offer a matched set of vises in the C style.
I have begun building a 7 drawer dresser for a client and as always it starts out with a drawing. Sketchup is a wonderful tool that I have learned to use over the years. I especially like it because I can create the furniture in a three-dimensional drawing that the customer can relate to a […]
Now that I can start to call myself a woodturner I have a bit of an understanding of why this giveaway is a great one to point out.
The folks over at NOVA Woodworking put together a Facebook contest for woodturners to compete to win a limited edition Infinity Chuck. It’s an one of a kind chrome plated chuck with the NOVA Infinity logo stamped on the side.
To Enter this Facebook Contest, the rules are simple:
- ‘Like’ NOVA on Facebook
- Create a video turning a lidded vessel then post on YouTube with the hashtag #NOVAInfinityContest. Show the finished project at the end of the video.
- Share the YouTube Link on NOVA’s Facebook Page with the #NOVAInfinityContest hashtag.
- Get your friends, family, and others to ‘Like’, ‘Share’, and ‘Comment’ on your video via Facebook to increase your chances of winning.
- Have Fun!
Contest begins on October 1, 2014 and ends on October 31, 2014. So you have a whole month to enter! What are you waiting for? Create your video today! For complete contest rules, please Click HERE.
While you’re visiting their Facebook page, sign-up for the NOVA Woodworking newsletter so you’ll stay up to date with all that’s happening at NOVA.
Vermont Public Radio has a story on Douglas Brooks, who builds wooden boats in the Japanese tradition. Sage Van Wing:
Now, you might imagine that a boat – especially a wooden boat – would need some caulking, or glue to keep the water out. But not a Japanese boat.
“By repeatedly running, passing a saw between the planks, they get an absolute watertight fit,” Brooks explains. “It’s really quite remarkable. And in the Japanese tradition, to have the boat even leak a drop upon launching is a huge loss of face.”
Listen to the audio embedded in the link. It’s completely worth the time.
(Thanks to the reader who sent in this link.)
By the very fact of the display, the Met shows that it considers these chairs important landmarks of 20th Century furniture design. But to me, the chairs also signify the shift in furniture craft: from the craftsman making furniture for a client to the designer making furniture specifically for mass manufacture.
The Rietveld and Mose pieces were designed to be made in a typical cabinet shop. We sell a great book about Rietveld, complete with plans, and you can pretty much make everything in his book with a fairly basic shop. I am not familiar with Mose, but the Mose piece is also pretty accessible. It's woodworking. I get it.
The Aalto and Eames pieces were designed for manufacture. Their clients were furniture corporations, not a person. To make either piece, you would need forms, presses, and equipment. Even if you only want to make one chair, you would still have to make molds and forms for the bent plywood. Most of the work is in the forms, and once you have done that, making multiples is fairly easy.
The Aalto and Rietveld pieces date from about the same time, but it's clear to me that Rietveld is looking backward at the A&C movement and its idea that furniture should be accessible to anyone to build. Aalto, on the other hand, is looking forward to the disconnect between the factory, which can manufacture his flowing designs, and the individual maker who is then left in the dust.
Now, before you point out to me that most American furniture was made in factories, let me point out that the furniture factories of the early 20th Century America made traditional furniture the traditional way -- just faster, with the aid of machines. Stickley made his A&C furniture in a factory, but he published plans so that any competent shop, amateur or professional, could make a copy. (Maybe not as efficiently, but certainly as well.)
These chairs document the two paths furniture has taken in the past century. It's not about traditional versus modern design. It's about designing for mass production versus designing for small production. I am not saying mass production is bad, just that the designs for mass production don't leave room for traditional workshops. And so the modern small shop is caught between two worlds: a desire to explore the limits of craft, and the mass vocabulary of manufacture that people are used to and have come to expect.
… “The History of Wood.” Coming soon: Accessories for your chamber pot.
Filed under: Uncategorized
In the above quick video Bill Anderson and I show how Roy Underhill’s famous “folding ladder” works. Roy’s design is based on a folding ladder used by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. You can learn more about Thomas Jefferson’s folding ladder here.
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In previous years our sporadic presence in the mountains often meant that we missed autumn, which comes and goes pretty quickly. The trees reached full color only a week after beginning to turn, and will be gone in another week. When the sun is shining the maples are practically neon.
I continue to chop up trees, and this is maple the first large tree I felled completely by myself. It was about 60’tall and 18 inches at the base. I definitely need a larger, more powerful chain saw. The firewood inventory continues to increase, the local habit is to have next year’s firewood pile sitting and seasoning through the coming year. I’m thinking I may be approaching that point fairly soon.
Also I am moving the tree line back to the southwest of the barn. In winter the trees, even though devoid of leaves, are thick enough such that I loose sunlight by about 2.30. I’m hoping that by moving the tree line back 100 feet I can extend that by an hour.
This week I’m finishing up work on an aumbry for a future issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. More than anything, this project has been about exploring Gothic geometry. But as with any project, I always have a lot of detours and dead ends. The pierced carvings on the front of the aumbry are fairly simple, yet I was afraid they would be off-putting for some beginning woodworkers. So I started […]
To All Designer/Makers,Woodworkers and the Drivel Starved Nation;
In a couple of days we will announce the first profile kits for the HP-10 Convertible Multi-Plane. There will be a total of four profiles and I thought it might be helpful to share the “why”…
As promised when we introduced the HP-10, the first set of HP-10 profiles are for crowned edges. For those of you unfamiliar with crowned edges, it is an elegant alternative to square edges in your projects, (which work some times) but are often the hallmark of design compromises caused by working within existing capabilities. The use of crowned edges not only creates a sensuous edge, but by their nature, allows for the addition of shadows and depth which is almost always more visually interesting than planar surfaces. There is nothing sexy about a dead square edge in wood.
Crowned edges can be achieved on a router table, a spindle shaper, by scraping/filing, by spokeshave, or by hand with a crowning plane. Of all the options, the hand plane option with a crowned sole requires no further work (no sanding), and can be done without a dust mask or hearing protection. For these reasons, it is my favorite way to employ this design element.
All of the irons for the HP-10 cut with the bevel up which is unusual for hand planed profiles. Because of this, it is ideal for crown planes to achieve their intended result by staying within a 60 degree cutting sector as illustrated below;
In the illustration below, you can see how a simple detail like a crowned edge can become a design theme as opposed to an add-on detail. When used as a theme, the elegant simplicity offers so much more to the viewer than flat edges and 90 degree corners, there is depth, there are shadows, the edges invite touch and it all adds up to visual interest – these things don’t happen by accident;
In this example, the crowned drawer pull cut-out was done by hand using the same ratios. If I were to add a pull to the drawer front instead of the cutout, it would most certainly reflect the theme of the crown.
What is interesting in this example, is that the horizontal and vertical members also shrink by 10% per occurrence. There is zero reason that the drawer shelf (90% the thickness of the carcase) should be as thick as the carcase and there is little reason to making the drawer divider (90% the thickness of the drawer shelf) the same thickness as the drawer shelf so three different crown diameters were used – even though it appears they are all the same. It is an important detail to have them look all the “same”, but what you are really seeing is an illusion, as the stock narrows, the diameter of the crown must shrink accordingly. What you see in this example is impossible with a single diameter. Lastly, the edge set-back is equal to the crown height for that particular piece, they too get narrower as the stock thins. This consistency is important.
The HP-10 is designed to work on stock up to 1-3/4″ (44.5mm) thick and it is possible to to crown all thicknesses between 1-3/4″/44.5 mm down to 1/8″ (3.2mm) with the following four crown diameters; 4.5″ (114.3mm), 3″ (76.2mm), 1.625″ (41.3mm), and .5″ (12.7mm).
Sharpening crowned irons is easy with our custom aluminum hones and unlike the hones for the HP-6, we will make a single, four sided hone for all four profiles.
The other aspect of the HP-10 we are going to change from our experiences over the last decade with the HP-6 is there will be a single box for all four profiles and we will use this same box size for all profiles moving forward. This will allow you to either use the foam inserts to line custom drawers that YOU make (we are not going to make cabinets or storage chests) or simply stack the boxes, the end caps will be clearly marked with the profile images.
I hope you enjoyed this little bit of design theory. As always, the success of a piece is almost always in the details. Crowned edges are clearly a beautiful option for casework, but will also work wonders on table legs, railings, and a host of other applications where you want your wood to feel and look sexy.
Since the day we started selling books, readers have requested a sweatshirt with our logo. We have always demurred because we are a publishing company – not a clothing store.
But during our recent coffin-building party, our friends browbeat us until we agreed to produce a hooded, full-zip sweatshirt that was made in the United States with the Lost Art Press logo. (Note to self: Self, don’t drink beer around Raney Nelson because you become intellectually weak.) After a couple attempts at designing a logo worthy of a sweatshirt, I went to professional designer Joshua Minnich.
Joshua specializes in hand-lettered logos and has done some spectacular work for Texas Heritage Woodworks that I have been following on Instagram. Joshua developed two designs for us and, after a single tweak, we settled on the design above.
It will be featured on the front of the black sweatshirt with the zipper running through the middle of the logo (yes, I know, we never make things easy on ourselves).
John Hoffman is trying to get us a good price on the sweatshirts, but these should be ready to sell in the store in a few weeks. We will have pricing and details soon.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Products We Sell
Burnt umber today. I think it looks less like a zebra now. I'll stop here for now so that it has a few days to dry before it gets packed up for the weekend. When I get back, I'll fine tune the graining and add the banding details.
Today was another day in the lives of different woodworkers around the workshop. Every day is always special and unique because much of it is somewhat unpredictable.
My toolbox build is complete started with these boards on the 21st September. They were too thick and I planed them to a third less with a scrub #4 Stanley you might recall. The pictures below show where I ended up this evening. There is nothing more I need to do to it and the sense of fulfilment in closing cannot be measured by anyone but me. The last coats of wax made the smoothness match my experience in the making of it and though its ordinary and unpretentious as far as functionality goes, it does stand as a match of how it might have looked say after seventy or eighty years of daily use by the joiner who once used it throughout his lifetime. It’s unlikely to have been owned by any other as a functioning toolbox except to contain the tools a direct heir might have been reluctant to sell but a grandchild more than likely might. Needless to say there are some things I gained in the making of mine that spoke well of the former design and the maker. Today I filled it with many planes and other hand tools almost to the brim and lifted it to the floor from my bench and then lifted it back. I suppose I should weigh it but it is somewhere around a hundred pounds I think. You can’t deny its practicality for even a modern user who uses hand tools alongside machines. Here are some pictures to show the final outcome. Tomorrow or some other day I will fill it with my user tools to show how it makes out for everyday use for me. It’s a solid job, scaleable, simple enough to make and could indeed be made by any young and enthusiastic woodworker or any woodworker.
Someone came in to the workshop and mentioned that the last time he made a dovetailed box was in school. Then he said, “Now I do it with a router.” I wasn’t really sure why he added the last part except it seemed like he saw that as some sort of real progress. It wasn’t really progress at all but we let him continue thinking he knew something we didn’t.d Yesterday a joiner five years younger than me came in and said how all of his work was done by machine and I sense the lamenting or even a lostness in his craft or trade. He had worked with all power machines and engineered boards because that was what the trade demanded. I showed him what we were doing on woodworking masterclasses and some of the projects we made and were making in the upcoming weeks and he came alive with enthusiasm as he traced his fingers over non machined moulds and inlays and saw the progressive work we were achieving outside of commerce. It’s hard to see how progress is measured but I know that the first man saw the router as somehow the way forward for him without realising he will likely never sense the accomplishment true creativity demands of us. I am glad that we have an alternative and that we can see and feel the differences that thankfully distinguish the two different worlds of real woodworking and mass manufacturing methods.
I watch John at different times in the day, as he progresses his high-demand box. Minute by minute he tackles the issues that set his work apart from others with grooves he ploughed by planes and mortise and tenons with mortise walls less than 3/32” thick. To say the box is stunning is perhaps overkill, but actually, in its simplicity and beauty, it becomes all the more stunning. Gifts are critical to developed work and very different than bought projects we might be paid to make. These become priceless in that money does not buy the heart behind them but the craftsman gives from something deeper than money has pockets for. Seeing the care he fathoms the fibre of the wood with I see not an artisan but a craftsman skilled with his hands and his mind. The well placed chisel and the shaving’s thickness from a plane defies the security of caution and enters levels of risk that demand intensity and skill. The result is pristine separation from the machine. Nothing less. So glad John has spent time this year with us. Watching him work has been a breath of fresh air.
Now today we progressed the rocking chairs to the point of the rockers and arms. It’s been going well and we have all learned a great deal as we always do. Phil teamed up throughout the day and we have a couple of days et to finish off and make the leather seat part. This too is a part of the course you can’t quite buy. Yes people pay for the workshops and the training but then there are the heart issues, the help issues, the getting stuck in issues and that’s reciprocated by people as in this case when Gerald turned up this morning with a fruit bake he’d baked for everyone to enjoy throughout the day. We all had a great day again and that includes me too.
I finally got the toolbox finished and fitted the hardware. Rather than talk about it you can see the pix below.
I bought some 5/4″ walnut rough from the lumber yard. The stock needed to be resawn to produce 1/2″ thick drawer fronts for the dresser I am building. I looked online for resawing advise which can be summarised as follows:
- Resawing by hand takes time and physical effort no matter what method is used. Resawing is an intensive task.
- You can use a specialised frame saw like this one by the Renaissance Woodworker. To date, they cannot be bought, only made.
- You can use a regular rip saw. This is what I did because I have one. It works.
- Saws need to be sharpened before resawing. They are removing a great deal of material and it is hard on the saw.
- Sharpen the rip-saw.
- Mark a center like all the way around the board with a marking gauge.
- Use a backsaw to start a cut on each corner. I used a dovetail saw. A solid and straight start makes the remainder of the process a lot easier.
- With one end of the board up from the vise, using the rip saw, start at the far corner of the board and work back along the end of the board along the line until you reach the near corner.
- Re-angle the board so now you can saw from the near-end and down the side of the board.
- Flip the board every couple of inches and saw from the other side.
- Between sides I sometimes aw straight down to remove wast from in the middle of the board
- Near the end, flip the board over to expose the bottom and start the process again until the cut is complete.
- Admire the book-matched board.
- Have a shower.
I like to saw down almost to the bottom of the board before turning it and starting on the other end. I used to do both sides equally and meet in the middle, but the cut sometimes doesn’t match up and a lot of planing is then needed to flatten the boards out.
If the saw starts to bind, I insert some small wedges to open the kerf, as suggested in this Galoototron blog post. I guess another fix would be to widen the set of the saw teeth, but that would make sawing straight more difficult and cause a little more waste.
Quite some work to do by hand, but when the book-matched boards reveal themselves at the end, the effort is worth it.
Filed under: Drawers & dressers, Hand saws, Lumber Tagged: back saw, bookmatching, resaw, ripsaw, walnut
This time I share a little tip for setting up your spokeshave, advancing and retracting the blade without all those fancy adjuster knobs. The spokeshave is easily my favorite tool to use and I have many. The simple ones without adjustments are my favorites because of this technique
If you haven’t already, make sure you register for your chance to win some woodworking stuff!