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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
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...
The subject of topics is a popular discussion in correspondences I’ve had over the years. It’s kind of funny when I think about it, because the awesomeness of having your own show or blog is that the topic is whatever YOU want it to be.
First of all, it’s your show, so that means you have more say in the topic than anyone else. I’ll be the first to admit it’s hard not to let others steer your content. Even when you have a clear vision of what you want to share and how to share it, there will always be a little voice in the back of your head saying “you should listen to them!”
Take it from me, it’s alright to listen to the suggestions from your audience, sometimes they will help steer a good conversation to a great one. But it’s probably more important to be true to yourself. If you find that your creating content about topics you’re not passionate about, you’ll eventually stop creating altogether.
Second; chances are if you have an interest in the subject…there’s someone else who’s interested in it too.
Trust me on this one! If you’re interested in some obscure and arcane subject, I can guarantee there are many more other people who are also interested in too. Probably more than you ever thought could exist.
Of course the problem with obscure and arcane is that the number of visitors will be minimal, but chances are they’ll be quality. The kind of quality visitor that becomes friends you’re glad you met, even if you never actually meet in person ever.
And third, if you’re still convinced no one will be interested in the topic before you write it, there’s a good chance they will AFTER you post it.
The truth of the matter is that sometimes we either don’t know the topic exists or we do, but perhaps the way you present it is in a way we never thought about previously.
In the end, regardless, chances are someone will find it useful and a conversation will most likely begin. Often this leads to even more information and the chance of new interactions, which can lead you to your next topic.
So what I’m really trying to say is, NEVER let choosing a topic be the limiting factor if and when you decide to start a podcast or blog.
Even when you have writer’s block or think what you’re currently doing in the shop is boring, someone will contact you and thank you for the inspiration and information.
Does this mean ALL the content will be good? No way! But that’s okay too. Because sometimes you just need to get it out there so you can learn. Of course this also means you’ll get the occasional jerky comment telling you the content isn’t great, but that’s okay too…it means someone’s viewing it and that’s what you wanted in the first place!
It’s really special when an artisan can design something profound in a tight discipline. In a world where bling draws the spotlight, I’m always thankful for someone who can craft an extraordinary wine, shotgun, handplane, or chair. Here’s a short video about Martin Wenham, a letter carver who offers some insights about design. Take a moment to savor his thoughts and work. I’d like to thank Dave Fisher for sending me this link.
I created two fixtures similar to Christopher Schwarz in order to dock two panel saws (rip and XC) to the inside lid surface. After trial and error, I came up with these fixture dimensions:
The rip saw’s handle faces to the left while the XC saw’s handle is located to the right-hand side of the lid. When the lid is open, the teeth face upward. Since each saw is wider toward the handle than the toe, the groove to house this portion of them is longer. I laid the saws one over another and determined a rough placement of the fixtures.
This helped me to then measure the width of the corresponding fixture groove, from the saw spine to the tip of the teeth. With this done, I laid out the fixtures…
…and cut the stopped grooves at the router table.
The longer grooves barely had 1/8” between them and the ends of the fixture. So to keep them from breaking, I reinforced them with plywood pieces to prevent breakage. I subsequently revised the fixture dimensions you see posted above.
Note the “Base Line” in the above photograph. The spines of both saws will rest in the same plane with the lid open.
Next, I cut the long notch at each fixture end, then drilled a hole (about 5/8” in from the end) and countersunk it to accommodate the mounting screws.
The 4” placement of the fixtures from the front edge of the top of the lid allowed enough clearance between the fixtures/saws and fully-loaded tool rack for the lid to properly close.
With the lid done, I turned my attention to completing the fixtures for the top section of the chest. And that’s the subject of the next post.
© 2014, Brad Chittim, all rights reserved.
The meeting is going to be held at my place, and I am going to supply the elm for the seat blanks.
This means that for once I actually have a purpose for sawing with the mulesaw.
going through 24" of old elm isn't easy, so one plank takes more than 1 hour to saw. Yesterday I had to rearrange the motor for the mulesaw, because the flat belts kept slipping. Now I have made the setup, so there is no clutch between the electric motor and the saw, but still it is not a fast saw.
The good thing is, that the surface looks nice, and the board is flat.
Today I made picture frames with different moulded shapes using moulding planes, smoothing planes, rebate planes, scratch stocks, screws and tenon saws of different types and sizes. The work was different using so many tools for so small a project. The demands were high, tight tolerances essential and I felt the tension build until alI the parts came together in exactness. The tools were cast iron and steel as well as wood and steel. I used dedicated tools and improvised by making tools as I went. So many times we think making a tool for a task takes longer than setting up a router and sometimes that’s true but often not. A tool made is seldom a one time use tool so economy figures in in different ways. I can make a temporary rebate plane in about 10 minutes from a chisel and a piece of scrap wood. It’s not complicated to do this and most of us have an old chisel or a spare one. Anyway, I was rewarded with a new tool to use and all the components for the next filmed series making picture frames that are very different than anything you might have seen before or ever bought or made or ever considered. I will be interested on your take on it when it’s online in a couple of months There are a series of rebates formed and some of the methods I use to form them will be quite unique to see I think. I am so glad we don’t need to use a chopsaw or jump through the hoops of making a tablesaw sled for the mitres and that we make a perfect mitre guide with two knife cuts and two saw cuts in under a minute. Much of what I do is about speed and efficiency yet without compromising my lifestyle of lifestyle woodworking that’s so effective and tangibly real I would find it hard indeed to live without it. I know, some of you out there might be saying ‘get a life, Paul,’ but this is the life I love living.The neat thing for me is that I don’t need to prove anything and at the same time I prove everything I believe in. There is no competition between the machine and the hand in my world. I have used both and find both useful. I find undeveloped skill is often diverted to machine dexterity and thereby skills, I mean the skills that could be passed on, apprehended and lived with, lie dormant and unused in most people’s lives. I find that simple and honest. Trying to prove one over the other seems to me to be like comparing an apple to an orange or even say a sledgehammer to a nut. Another thing I did this week was restore a couple of tools I picked up from the Woodfest Show a couple of weeks ago. Here is a very ugly paring gouge used mostly in pattern making. The gouge itself fell victim to someone who knew nothing about the tool and thereby a careless hand at sharpening. The important part of this type of gouge is only partly the bevel on the inside of the hollow. The very important part is the rounded outside. In this case and the case of a second one I retrieved from a mass of rusted tools in a box the bevel was badly ground and hacked at and the outside round was badly distorted by inappropriate abrading. I felt the best tack was to break off the end and rework the cutting edge. I clamped the main body of the gouge in the metalworking vise to reduce the risk of an uneven fracture into the cannel. There is no guarantee. Two swift and firm strikes with a cross peen hammer effectively separated the waste from the wanted. From snapping off the former bevel I squared off the end of the gouge to give a new start point to grind the in-cannel bevel. I used the corner of the grinding wheel to create the new in-cannel bevel of 25-degrees. It works well to do it this way and frequent dipping in cold water keeps the temperature of the steel tolerably low enough to prevent excess heat build up resulting in burning the steel. It’s best to take your time with this. Especially strive not to burn the steel and keep the tool moving from side to side around the cannel and so avoid stopping at any fixed point on the corner of the wheel as this will definitely burn steel away fast. I got very close to the edge and left only about 0.5mm of a square edge left. From here its abrasive paper on a suitably sized dowel going from 250 to 400 and then in increments of 200 to 2500 in steps of around 200 or so. Beyond that the same dowel can be wrapped with leather and charged with buffing compound. The bevel is now completed. The outside round surface should be polished already, but a final buffing with a leather strip or strap or the rough side of a leather belt charged with buffing compound completes the sharpening and I have vary nice gouge for the rest of my life.
Cleaning a record with wood glue, with impressive results. Props to the maker of this video for using Miles Ahead for this demonstration.
This demo uses Titebond II. Being a fan of hide glue, I wonder if hide glue would work as well. But since hide glue dries harder than PVA glues, I would guess that peeling the glue layer off might be harder with hide glue as opposed to PVA glue.
A few months back in blog titled The Ones That Got Away , I wrote about two auction items I coveted but apparently not enough to win. One of them was this salt box:
For a friend’s birthday I made this saltbox:
I was pleased with the build. Only thing I believe I got wrong was the angle of the cut-a-way for the lid. I didn’t pick the color, the recipient did. My mistake was picking up a milk paint sample chart from an antiques dealer 80 miles from home. I did find a local dealer but would have preferred she had chosen one of the General Finishes acrylic “milk paint” over the mix-me-up powdered genuine milk paint. She also wanted a more primitive finish, not the smooth and uniform finish that I usually try for. Just like Peter Follansbee not letting me make the English jointed stool too pretty when I took the class at the Woodwright’s School.
If you read Chris Schwarz’s blog at either Popular Woodworking or Lost Art Press, you know he has been writing about historic squares in the past month or two. The squares looked like an interesting project, relatively quick to build and not requiring much material. (No trip to the Hardwood Store.) As a woodworker with ADD, I am always looking for a diversion and something to keep me from doing what must be done. These fit the bill.
It was a rewarding build. Hadn’t really used hollows and rounds to any great extent. I scratched the bead on the Melencolia square with a #66 beading tool. The challenge is to figure out the sequence of using the planes and the best way to rough out the molding profiles before using the molding planes. I have been taught it is best to use a block or other plane to remove most of the wood before switching to the hollows and rounds to refine the shape. Block planes are easier to sharpen than a molding plane.
I made multiples because it is easier to make longer moldings than shorter ones. I have learned my lesson there. Now I have to find something to do with the spares. Always my problem, what to do with the stuff I make. Not a bad problem to have. Beats gout.
Rob Cosman showed me how to lay out dovetails using dividers about 12 or 13 years ago, and I have never looked back. I’ve caught a lot of crap for using the divider method from fellow hand-tool woodworkers who say that laying them out by eye is much faster. I don’t disagree. However, there are some advantages to taking the extra time and use dividers. 1. My work looks more […]
|This is a detail shot of the Fisher property from an 1824 landscape. His yellow 1814 house is on the far right. Photo: Brad Emerson|
"On Saturday, July 26th Joshua Klein of Klein Furniture Restoration will present his research on the furniture produced by Jonathan Fisher (1768 – 1847) of Blue Hill. The talk titled, “The Fashioning Hand of Jonathan Fisher: An Inside Look at the Parson’s Furniture” will begin at 1:00 pm and will be followed by a guided tour of the collection.This exciting new research has uncovered a rare look into the productive life and mind of this farmer-artisan of 19th century Maine. The surviving body of furniture, tools used to produce them, and diary entries recording their creation are a uniquely comprehensive record unparalleled by any other chair or cabinet maker of preindustrial Maine. Klein will discuss how a close investigation of Fisher’s furniture reveals to us insights into the complex relationship between the parson’s religious devotion, intellectual pursuits, and craft skills."
As an aside, I’ve made a little bit more progress on my tool chest… Bottom boards, plinth, and becket cleats. Next up is the interior storage. Oh and I was playing around with some paint yesterday. I decided to grain paint this chest like the mahogany graining so common in Maine in the early 1800s. I’ve not done that before so I am making up some sample boards.
|The Chest in the white|
|The dovetails are reversed on the plinth (for added strength)|
|Becket cleats of poplar I had laying around|
|This is the 'mahoganized' sample board sitting against the chest.|
If you hunt for the older generation of tools from quality makers, as I do, you’ll know how excited I am to have found these yesterday. A Mathieson Sash Fillister (No.14) and Mathieson Plough Plane (No.12). If anyone has a suitable (grooved set) of Mathieson plough plane blades, please let me know, I need to locate a set as the plane has none.
I’ll shoot some pics of the planes in use soon.
Fixtures really make this chest an excellent storage space. And since I intend to travel with my chest, I want it to travel well. By “well” I mean that I don’t want tools to be damaged in transit. As is, the virgin top space doesn’t meet that standard.
So to ensure that things stay put during the rigors of a “Florida or Bust” road trip I created a number of fixtures.
Top-section Fixture: plane dividers lattice
One of the reasons that my fixture layout worked out so well was because I started with the ones that “fixed” the dimensions of the others. That meant installing the plane lattice dividers first to house the jointer, jack and smoother.
Now, keeping in mind that I often change up my peg-board tool storage layout, I wanted to give myself the flexibility to do that in my chest. So I chose to install free-standing lattice dividers. No glue or screws.
The divider lattice consists of five parts:
(2) runners: poplar-1/2” x 1 ½”
(2) divider slats: poplar-1/4” x 1 ½”
(1) jack/smoother divider: poplar-1/2” x 1 ½”
The lattice joinery is simple. The lateral divider slats have tabs at each end which seat in slots cut into the vertical runners.
I started by cutting the lattice side runners a bit long and then dialed in a snug fit using a shooting board. After that, I sized the slats to create the divided storage areas.
To determine the position of the jointer slat, I measured from the backside of the front, added 3/16” (to allow for the ¼’ thick fall front locks, plus 1/16” clearance from them), added the width of my woodie jointer, plus 1/16” clearance on the back side.
That gave me the inside dimensions of the jointer storage area.
I marked this on the lattice side runners and routed notches for the jointer slat. The notch depth is ½ the width of the runner and the notch width is equal to the width of the slat. With the notches cut, I sawed the jointer slat to length, tweaked it for a snug fit, and routed a “tab” onto each end to fit into the runner notches. The tab depth equals the depth of the notch and the tab length equals the thickness of the side runner.
The next area houses both the jack and the smoother. To complete the lattice for these I repeated the process. The only difference was the addition of a dado in both the jointer and jack slats to accept a ½” thick divider between the jack and smoother.
The completed lattice looks like this.
After the shellac dried, I installed the lattice and turned my attention to the backsaw till. And that is the subject of my next post.
© 2014, Brad Chittim, all rights reserved.
We are now offering a shooting board that balances the need to shoot wide boards for casework and such, with good ergonomics for doing your best work.
Introducing the Wide Board Shooter™:
The Wide Board Shooter is based on our original shooting board designs, with all the same attention to details and high accuracy that comes with them. These boards are 1.5 times (50%) longer with an overall length of 22-1/8th inches that provides shooting usability in the 18 inch width range.
We offer three versions in the Single Chute Models; Basic which has two angle positions at 45 and 90 degrees, Basic Plus which adds a third mounting point for the fence at 22.5 degrees, and the new Multi configuration which adds the 15 and 30 degree mount points for a total of five positions.
There are also three versions of the Wide Board Shooter in our Double Chute shooting board line, and it is available in the Picture Frame, Casework Molding, and Master Miter Shooter Configurations.
We offer these boards in Chute Board configurations for use with the Veritas Shooting Plane and LN-51, as well as the Veritas LA Jack, the 62 LA Jack and the LN-9 Iron Miter plane, and on the boards meant for use with the planes that work ambidextrously this means Left or Right Handed and both at the same time on the Double Chute Models.
All our shooting boards come standard with the chutes drilled and tapped for upgrade chute adapters whenever you’re ready! You are never locked into one style of plane. You can run nearly any bench style plane made on our shooting boards from block to jointer. You can upgrade to a chute board with our various adapters using any of all five planes mentioned above and interchange them all. If you aren’t ready to go with a Chute Board style board at first, you can always upgrade it to one anytime, because our boards will swap Chute Adapters interchangeably.
The overall length of the Wide Board Shooter is about the same as the average workbench. We offer many Accessory Upgrades for our shooting boards that include fences for each angle the board can shoot in both standard and Double High versions, and our Any Angle Fence that can be clamped to fixture at nearly any angle.
Other accessories include a cleat for the bottom that converts our boards for easy use with the Festool MFT/3 Workstation, and a Planing Stop that can convert the shooting board into a Planing Board capable of thicknessing to 1/4 inch with ease, and to around 1/8th inch with a sheet of 1/8 masonite laid under the work. It’s handy for safely dimensioning all sides and ends of shorter, thinner boards.
In all it is a very well rounded, versatile shooting board system and a great choice for general shooting, joinery, boxes, casework like bookcases, blanket chests and tool boxes. As always a necessary tool for assuring the most accurate work in veneering and some lutherie applications. An excellent choice whether you work wood hybrid style or hand tools only, and remember that Shooting Board Planes, LA Jacks and Miter Planes can truly run as Chute Board Planes, and interchangeably in all our boards.
As always, it is available for ordering from our Woodworks Store where you’ll find these and all the other Custom Shooting Boards and Woodworking Tools we offer. Please remember, 10% off for Veterans, and 5% off for Paper Transactions.
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© Copyright 2014 by Rob Hanson for evenfallstudios.com All Rights Reserved.
The No. 1 question I get from students in my tool chest classes: “Aren’t you tired of building tool chests?”
That’s like asking a delivery-room doctor: “Aren’t you tired of delivering babies?”
Helping woodworkers build a tool chest and workbench that will set them on a life of making things never gets old. Building a chest or a workbench in a classroom with 18 other people is a sometimes-grueling way learn the basic joints of the craft and make mistakes in a place where they can easily be fixed.
And in only five days, it’s all over. You have a place for your tools and you know how to use them.
This week I’m teaching a particularly special Anarchist’s Tool Chest class at Warwickshire College in England. It’s a big deal for me for two reasons. First, it’s the first time I’ve ever taught in England. Second, I am the first instructor hired by The New English Workshop, a small company that has a lot of the same fundamental principles as Lost Art Press.
The two founders, Paul Mayon and Derek Jones, are committed to growing the hand-tool craft in England and supporting the existing structure of craft education in this country (more on that later in the week). They have a lot of interesting classes and events planned for 2015, so do sign up updates from their their blog.
We are three days into the class right now, and things are going well. Except for the fact that I am having the occasional and strange attack of deja-vu. Here’s why: We are building these chests from yellow pine, which is almost certainly from the United States. So as I am surrounded by these tea-sipping, warm-beer-loving English woodworkers, I am occasionally overwhelmed by the familiar turpentine odor of yellow pine. It makes me feel like I’m back in Arkansas and in one of our unfinished houses on the farm. And all the turkeys and armadillos have English accents.
So yeah, it’s a bit weird.
But I love the weird, and so I’m off to a sports bar with the students in a few minutes. I wonder if Bud Light sponsors the local cricket league. I hope not.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: The Anarchist's Tool Chest, Woodworking Classes
Coming up on August 2nd 2014 the folks over at CU WoodShop Supply in Champaign IL are hosting their first annual Tool Sale & Swap along with their co-sponsors, Champaign County Habitat for Humanity and the Preservation and Conservation Association (PACA).
According to the staff at CU WoodShop Supply “We’re working hard to make this the largest assembly of used tools and hardware for sale or swap in Central Illinois…EVER! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”
There are three different ways to participate:
1. Set up a booth at the Sale & Swap. This provides you with an opportunity to sell or trade tools yourself. By purchasing a $50 gift certificate from CU Woodshop, you’ll be able to reserve a 10’x10’ space in our parking lot or yard to set up your booth. At the end of the sale, if your space is left clean, you can use that gift certificate to purchase anything in the store, or you can gift it to someone else…making your booth rental FREE!
2. If you have items you want to get rid of, but would rather not reserve a space or sell them yourself, you can make a tax-deductible donation on-site to one or both of our partners. Habitat for Humanity is happy to accept any items that can be resold at their ReStore location. If what you have doesn’t sell, or Habitat can’t use it, then donate it to PACA for recycling! Another great opportunity for a tax-deductible donation!
3. If you have nothing to sell or donate, but want to pick up quality used tools for your own shop or antique collection, come see what’s available!
For more information including directions, hours, and contact information visit CU WoodShop Supply’s Tool Sale & Swap webpage by clicking here!
Help support the show – please visit our advertisers
Shawn Graham, of San Marco, Texas had a dream of opening a school focusing on traditional woodworking skills – Wortheffort Woodworking. He used to be an Industrial Art’s teacher (if that’s what they are called these days – those that are left), so he has a heart for young people. He has had a passion to share the creative knowledge of woodworking to young and old to discover that joy and accomplishment of making something with your own hands.
The school has been open for over a year, but Shawn has discovered the struggles that come along with starting a new venture – mostly financial, proper and convenient location, and the ability to get the word out.
The current school located in San Marco has closed, but he is wanting to open again within the next few months at a location in Austin, TX – much more centrally located so he can focus on the local population and also homeschoolers in the area.
Please check out his website to learn more about his dream – and if you feel so inclined, please do what you can to help get the word out about his school or contribute to his fundraising efforts to relocate in Austin.
Thanks so much for your support!
Anyway, Glen was in Virginia taking a class with Jeff Lefkowitz, who teaches the chairmaking courses for Brian Boggs and after the class they loaded up and came down for a visit to the shop. It was a very pleasant surprise.
Truthfully, he gave me a day or so notice, so I had good motivation to clean up the shop. I am in the middle of paneling the walls. More on that later. And my wife made some enchiladas verdes as a special treat for lunch. Handmade corn tortillas, umm. She's a Canadian that cooks some good Tex-Mex. Got to love it! (I am really getting off track here)
As I filled them in on the goings on around here I realized I haven't been blogging much lately. I am not one for fluff or filler on the blog but I think maybe I should share with everyone else as well. As I was telling Glen and Jeff, I am planning on taking one half of my shop and dedicating it to a classroom and am almost halfway there. I get pushed by just about every craftsman I know, that I should be teaching classes. I get requests on an ongoing basis as well. I am finally coming around to the idea.
I am looking at, of course, teaching some planemaking classes. Possibly a four day class on making a pair of hollows and rounds and a rabbet plane. I may split these up as two different classes. These would be a really good start and you can make the majority of planes based on those two formats.
The other classes would be some introductory classes on chairmaking. One will be on making a Danish modern stool which will include lathe work, joinery and danish cord weaving. A two or three day class depending on size. The other will be a three leg windsor stool that will have lathe work, hand drilling, reaming and seat carving. Probably a three day class as well depending on size.
I am up in the air about prices as of yet. It has a lot to do with class size and demand. I have room for about six students at a time though I would tend to want the class sizes a bit smaller. We will see.
Send me any suggestions or classes you would prefer to see available so that I can plan accordingly. I am not asking for a commitment but if you are a reader of this blog and see a class here or something related to what I do that you would like to take at some point, then let me know. Your feedback will make a difference.
Thanks and I hope you are enjoying your summer!
Rob Hanson of Evenfall Studios dropped me a line to tell me that he has added three new shooting board layouts for his single chute shooting boards. The Multi is a five fence position board: 15, 22.5, 30, 45 and 90 degrees. The Ultra is a seven position board adding 60 and 75 beyond the Multi. The Ultra Plus is eight positions, adding 67.5 beyond the Ultra.
The shooting board I have and use with my Japanese planes is the same as the multi, plus a 60 degree position. Over four years later, and it’s still a terrific tool. His shooting boards can be configured for western planes as well, of course. Highly recommended.
Rob also mentioned that he recently joined Twitter: @evenfallstudios
(I don’t get any kickback for this. The Christopher Schwarz ethics policy is in effect.)