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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway!  Enjoy!

Be sure to visit the Hand Tool Headlines section - scores of my favorite woodworking blogs in one place.  Also, take note of Norse Woodsmith's latest feature, an Online Store, which contains only products I personally recommend.  It is secure and safe, and is powered by Amazon.

Hand Tools

All I See is Yellow Lines

The Workbench Diary - 1 hour 35 min ago

As a radical departure from work as usual, I received an inquiry from a local boat yard about touching up gaps and small defects in a larch veneered 74’ modern daysailor they were working on. After meeting with them and spending an afternoon demonstrating the inpainting possibilities, we worked out logistics for me to begin work.

This thing is modern and minimalist. Larch veneer covers the entire inside with no molding anywhere. Any tiny gap in joinery stuck out as a big black line. They have done immaculate work considering the complexities of the build but small glue lines were inevitable. 

Also there were some spots in the laminated deck that got marred in routing and were filled. These areas need the laminations painted back on.

I’ve been spending afternoons over at the boat yard the past few weeks plugging away at these lines. It’s a weird change of pace. I am realizing how spoiled I’ve become working in my quiet cozy studio. It’s good to try something else for a little while but I wouldn’t trade my job for the world.

Categories: Hand Tools

Fine English Furniture at Bonhams

Pegs and 'Tails - 4 hours 25 min ago
Bonhams are conducting a Fine English Furniture sale at their New Bond Street rooms in London on the 11th of March, 2015. Amongst some outstanding furniture lots up for auction is this superb Queen Anne cabinet (lot 1), which I … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

Wood Talk Giveaways

Matt's Basement Workshop - 9 hours 47 min ago

You know you love winning stuff, especially things related to woodworking. What you might not know is that we love giving away stuff…simply because we know you love it!

 Modern Chest of Drawers & Nightstand

1 lucky winner will receive a Wood Talk T-shirt and 1 winner will receive the Wood Whisperer Guild project: Modern Chest of Drawers & Nightstand

To get things kicked off for our very first Wood Talk Giveaway we have a big one.

1 lucky winner will receive a Wood Talk T-shirt and another winner will receive the Wood Whisperer Guild project: Modern Chest of Drawers & Nightstand.

Entering the contest is easy, in fact there’s 7 easy ways to enter. You can find all the the details about those 7 easy ways by visiting the Wood Talk Giveaway page at woodtalkshow.com/giveaway.

Every month we’ll have prizes and giveaways that will make all of your woodworking buddies jealousy and envious of your good fortune (if they’re easily made jealous and envious of such things…otherwise they’ll probably just think it’s neat that you won.)

Don’t miss out, enter today!

Help support the show – please visit our advertisers

Categories: Hand Tools

Making a Fully Adjusting Wooden-Bodied Plane

Paul Sellers - 9 hours 51 min ago

This will be the first in the series over the next few blogs.

Two planes sit side by side, one, a wooden-bodied, handmade individual, the other, cast from iron in lots of hundreds throughout any single day. On the one hand the old wooden plane required well seasoned and dried wood that lay dormant under cover for ten years before working and cycling through began. This handmade wooden one required the much skilled work of a crafting artisan, no, many hours of highly skilled hand work. Castings in the form of iron-bodied planes on the other hand were developed and designed to reduce the necessity of such skill. P1040360Once cast, the iron castings were left to ‘season’ for a year in crates to relieve some of the stresses in the metal before the refining and milling processes prepared them to receive the cast iron block we call the frog. It took only a few minutes to make the cast metal planes, that is once the moulds were set up and the right men doing the pour poured the molten metal that would soon become the all metal counterparts we’ve commonly used over the past 150 years. The metal flows like lava to the lowest levels, fills the moulds and after total cooling they are removed from the sand and piled in crates to wait. At some point the plane soles are lifted to milling machines and the work begins to develop meeting points on the inside of the sole where the frog, the central hub governing all of the plane’s future settings, registers on three fixed points inside the mid section of the sole.P1040361

The Woden plane below is my longest bench plane in my collection of Woden planes. Woden is not my inept misspelling of ‘wooden’, it’s the name of a Germanic neopagan god, but that’s by the by. The Woden plane is a decent plane that follows the Leonard Bailey patterns of construction, so, whereas Woden is the brand name, Leonard Bailey is the designer and the originator and I have always enjoyed using the Woden planes alongside my Stanleys and Records.P1040143

I recently made this wooden plane using the gubbins from a bad eBayed Stanley to make it with. Some decades ago a man I worked with as an apprentice, worked under really, the last man I knew who really did use wooden smoothers, jacks and tri planes, a man then in his late seventies, told me that there was no real evidence to show that a wooden plane didn’t last equally as long as an all metal one. he’s the one that told me you need to bend metal planes to get them to create a straight edge. I found these facts hard to believe at the time, but now I think it more a truth than a falsehood, primarily  because the plane soles on longer planes definitely move, no matter the maker, and the patina I see on a beech-bodied plane made in the early 1800’s didn’t happen in a year or two but more like at least ten, twenty, thirty, forty and more. P1040371I have seen bench planes worn down half an inch at the toe end and filled in front of the throat with throat closures because of wear and probably this reflected another 20 years of use beyond its life expectancy of three score and ten.P1040372

P1040173Transitioning from a cast metal plane to any of the wooden planes takes a little adjusting too if indeed like me you have used them for hours every day for 50 years. Using them and gaining experience and skill is very much worth the effort though and it’s in the using of them you discover a worth and value you might never have considered before. Not only do you connect with how craftsmen felt about them when they used them in the centuries past, but you discover responses of wood on wood that it is absolutely impossible to get with any metal plane. It’s an indescribable sweetness that helps you to at last comprehend why old craftsmen in the late 1800s refused the Stanleys and clung to what they had owned and used and understood, fully.P1040149

In mainland Europe wooden planes have always proven ever popular and even today many woodworkers, especially in Germanic regions, continue hand work using wooden planes. I suppose herein is the strange anomaly in that the Woden plane was made under the name of a Germanic pagan god for a British market and yet was never sold in mainland Europe to challenge the wooden planemakers. I know this though, that no matter the era of wooden plane making, if you set the wooden plane up correctly, and they are as readily adjustable as the cast metal ones, they are more pleasing to work with and just as effective as any metal one I ever used.

Black and white

I recently completed the making of some wooden planes following two that Marples made in the earlier half of the last century. It’s a funny thing how when you want to emphasise something we might say something like, “Well let me make things black and white for you.”, or, “Put it in black and white.” When colour first came in print form in newspapers I remember the impact it had even though the print job was and I suppose still is deplorable.


I took the colour out here to emphasize something really. I am used to wooden bodied planes. On and off I have used them through the past 50 years and yet I generally go back to my all metal Stanley #4 for the major part of my working in daily life, followed swiftly by my #5, 4 1/2 and 5 1/2. P1030658Until recently I preferred the adjustment mechanisms these wonderful planes offered me and yet I do have to say that I always like using wooden bodied planes because of the ease on the wood and lightness in use. I have always liked the standard Stanleys with an emphasis that I do not particularly like thick irons. I prefer the Stanley’s because they are light and strong, hardwearing and indeed equal to the task. I also like to make certain I use what my students and watchers can get their hands on readily and yet I want something that is by no means second rate or a stopgap or in any way inferior in producing top quality work or to leave anyone with the impression that it will work until you can get something better. Stanley planes from before the pre 1970s do that for me and so I feel that I am giving woodworkers what they really need to work wood with. If anyone then simply wants to spend money on a better engineered plane, and that’s their personal preference, then that is their choice. But at least I have done my part in saying there is no need to spend more unless you just want to, prefer to or personally feel you need to. I have also done my best in defending the good name of one of the best engineering entrepreneurs in the history of plane making. A man who designed a plane from scratch and was able to patent his design because it was brand new.


Over the past few weeks we filmed making wooden planes and incorporating the body with a retrofitted adjustment facility in the form of the Stanley (or Record) frog, replete with matching cutting iron assembly unit. Marples did this in the early half of the last century. These planes were preferred by woodworking class workshops in many schools because boys could handle the lighter weight better and they of course offered the same adjustability the all metal versions were then offering as the current way forward.

I made my first one from non hardwearing pine as a prototype, using a scrap of stud for my material. It took me half an hour (minus the handle) and when I offered it to the wood, even for the first time, shavings shot through the throat and skyward like a popped cork from a champagne bottle, even though the setting was way too deep. I was absolutely stunned. I have to say it, it even felt better then the Marples beech original. It felt spunky, spritely, versatile, light and easy; oh, so easy! It made me wish I had had it to build my tool chest with.

Last week we finished up the video work on building this plane in the Jack plane size. You can in fact make a smoother, a jack and a tri plane and simply reinstall the same frog and iron into one or the other as you please if you want or you can buy in secondhand frogs the price of which just shot through the roof on eBay I am sure by the time you read this post. At the time of writing I just bought five frogs for £15 — $23.

P1040362 2

The thing about building this plane and retrofitting the frog to fit is that the sole of the plane with its 45-degree slope acts as the extension for support directly behind the cutting-iron assembly unit and thereby necessitates cutting the frog slope down. Otherwise it will be further necessary to thin the sole directly behind where the frog might normally extend to on the sole, which in turn leaves a thinner aspect to the sole than you might want. I feel that in wood this might be a tad too thin, but then again perhaps not, whereas in the cast metal soles this works well. I am just saying that you can take the extra effort to shape the sole to receive the whole frog if you wish so as to retain the frog for interchangeability using both the original metal-cast plane and your new wooden ones.


So the next series on my blog will be about building the wooden plane above and how to build one from scratch. We will tie this in with the videos on woodworking masterclasses.com. Remember that all tool making and technique videos are always free to subscribers who have registered with us and that this too is a free subscription. You will receive n email from time to time, maybe three time a year or so, but nothing more than an odd update that might interest you.

We are also putting up another free two-part video series on making winding sticks starting next week so you may want to catch that one too.

Oh, and by the way, we are working videoing the tool cupboard like the one in my shop but a scaled down size. You will be able to scale yours either way and we hope to be able to show how you can size one to suit you and your tools too.

The post Making a Fully Adjusting Wooden-Bodied Plane appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Building the Spokeshave – Part 1

The Logan Cabinet Shoppe - 12 hours 29 min ago
Here’s the first steps in making the wooden bodied spokeshave. These first few steps are the critical ones. Get these ones right and you’re home free. Part 2 is just the gingerbread.

Shop Geometry that won’t make your eyes bleed

Design Matters - 13 hours 31 min ago

Roubo plate 23

Recently Chris Schwarz lamented that that much of the historic literature on craft is stuffed with geometry but doesn’t explain how to set up a smoothing plane. And to make matters worse the geometry lessons quickly spin out of control with drawings that look like some freakish nightmare.

Back in the day, books were expensive. A modest book in the 18th century could easily cost a weeks wages so a treatise on things like milking a cow or setting up a smoothing plane, or constructing window sash never entered anyone’s thought. In a village of a hundred souls, ninety-nine knew how to milk a cow and half of them could set up a plane in their sleep. Yet no one in the village, possibly no one in the county might know (let alone share), the knowledge that lies behind the smoothing plane, window sash, or that magnificent cathedral up on the hill. That my friends is geometry. But hear me out. It’s not as devilish as it sounds. This artisan geometry of the trades doesn’t involve memorizing a boatload of theorems and formulas that make you want to light up a cigarette and knock down a shot. Well you might want to do that for the pleasure of it, but not because the geometry drove you there.

I admit when I first explored what the old writers had to say, I complicated it by my own ignorance. I often passed over the simple stepping stones of knowledge and then skinned my shins. Here’s an interesting bit on this path of artisan geometry best illustrated by Plate one, figure one from Roubo’s monumental collection of engraved drawings.

Plate 1, figure 1 from Roubo

Plate 1, figure 1 from Roubo


Plate one, figure one starts with a point. Roubo isn’t alone in beginning at this humble starting place. Many similar examples could be cited, often there is a break in forty pages of medieval Spanish text with a single          .           followed by another twenty pages of narrative. Point being you can learn to visualize and build some really marvelous things if you begin at the right beginning. And that beginning is the humble point.

Jim Tolpin and I are at it again, writing a workbook that takes that historic knowledge and walks you through it step by step. Who knows? Maybe there’s some window sash, elegant chairs, or even a grand cathedral inside your head just waiting to be made if you knew what they knew.


George R. Walker

Hey, longtime reader here: I'm about to start buying Japanese tools on Ebay, and I'd like to know, how do I go about this safely? I've never used Ebay before.

Giant Cypress - 15 hours 28 min ago

Thanks for reading all this time. I really appreciate it.

Most of the Japanese tools I have I’ve bought from eBay. I think the same rules apply to buying Japanese tools as they do for buying vintage western tools.

  • Look for listings with lots of good quality photos, and if there isn’t a photo of a particular part of the tool, assume that the seller is hiding something.
  • Spend some time just looking at listings so you can get a feel for what price Japanese tools are selling at. I have an eBay search that looks for the term “Japanese” in the Collectibles → Tools, Hardware, and Locks category, which is quite useful.
  • Try to buy from sellers that have a good eBay reputation. 
  • And finally, take your time. Despite the number of listings for Japanese tools that are labelled as “rare”, things do come up again.

Window to my workshop 88

Karl Holtey - From the Workshop - 16 hours 14 min ago
Chariot Plane I find that I try to avoid using the term A28 because there is a lot more here than on the original A28 plane. These six are the last I will make as the cost of making is too high. One of the original A28 Norris planes was sold at David Stanley’s auction [...]
Categories: Hand Tools

more weekend crap pt II.......

Accidental Woodworker - 17 hours 32 min ago
Sometimes crap follows you around and sets up housekeeping because it's staying a while. I had thought I put the weekend behind me but more good bad news today. My eye doctor says my cataracts are getting worse and I may have to have them taken out soon. The right cataract is the one causing the most problems,  more so than the left. Because of that I need a new prescription for my glasses. Now buying glasses, the frames mostly, really frosts me. No one on this planet or the universe, will ever convince me that the eye glass frames actually cost $100-$150 sans the lens. And these are the cheap ones, the designer frames start at more than twice this.

Before I left Westerly after my eye appointment, I spent some time driving around looking at the house I grew up in and the grammar school I went to. Almost all of the small town I grew up is gone.  Everywhere I looked I saw a new business or a new housing development. My favorite pizza parlor is still going strong - they have sign in the window saying 50 years in business at the same location. Yeah. Everything changes but I wish this being a small town was one that didn't.

I stopped to see the machinist who was making my dovetail gauge. It had been a year since I gave it to him and I wanted it back. Turns out the place he worked at was sold and he retired. My $30 hunk of brass, wooden dovetail gauge model, and the plans for it were all MIA. The receptionist remembered me but had no idea what he had done with my stuff. Stercus Accidit. Again.

I made another stop at Sam's club at 0950 but I still couldn't get in. (I retrieved my card from the garbage - I have 11 months left on it and it cost me $40). I went to Starbucks to kill 10 minutes and then I finally got my K-cups after I was allowed in after 1000. I had to endure the sales pitch at the register to buy the premium membership so I could shop early yadda, yadda, yadda. No thank you.

After Sam's I went to the optical shop at Ann & Hope which isn't to far from where I live. I can get 2 pairs of glasses, including progressive lens, for $199. I couldn't do that today because monday is the one day of the week that they are closed. The downside to this price is that the frame choices aren't exhaustive but I don't buy glasses to make a fashion statement. I'll try to get there tomorrow night after work. 

I made one last stop before I got home and that was at Whole Foods again. Like yesterday, the two coffee bins I buy from every sunday were still empty. No one had roasted any coffee and refilled them. I had to buy it already ground which I don't like doing. You don't know when it was done and the older it is the crappy it tastes. This is why I buy it whole bean and grind it myself and just enough to last a week. Monday is almost a dead repeat of sunday.

I finally get home but I can't go to the shop yet. I had my pupils dilated for the eye exam and for some reason they don't un-dilate all that well. Everyone else takes about 4 hours but me, I usually take 6 or more. This didn't stop me from going down to the shop after lunch. Maybe I should have taken a clue from how my day was going so far and watched TV for the rest of the day.

decided on this
I looked at my plane shelf #2 and figured out where I wanted my circular plane to go and that was it. I want to get this beading glued on so I can finish this box. I did a dry clamp and I had to wrestle with this more than I should have. I couldn't get the clamps to line up corner to corner. The clamps were cocked to one side off the corners. Something wasn't right here.

old clamp blocks
I wanted to use these for a couple of reasons. The first was I can look down in the round cutout at the bottom and see the miter.  The other is these clamps will put pressure on the corners during glue up and keep the miters tight. It's hard to see in this pic but the clamp is off on this corner to the right of it.

the bottom
More PITA action here. I have to keep the miters tight and the bottom of the beading kind of even with the bottom of the lid. Can we say "Oh what fun" together?

I finally looked at the blocks
The blocks are not even in the notch. That is problem #1 and it escalates from there way over into La-La land. The Vee notch isn't 90 degrees on any of these neither nor plumb. The sides aren't square to the top or bottom. In other words these are total pieces of crap. I have never used these for this application though. I normally use them when gluing corner blocks on and that is one at a time.

Off camera, I had to butcher my table saw insert. I didn't want to take the saw blade out and remove the blade stiffeners. The OEM metal angle insert won't fit with them installed. Ergo, I attacked the MDF insert with a chisel because I was being lazy. I was also incredibly pissed off and getting more frustrated by the minute trying to get this insert to fit.

Once I finally got that done and I could raise and tilt the angle to 45 degrees, I tried to true up the notches. Again, I should have left the shop here. Doing this was useless. The blocks were not square to begin with so the notches weren't going to come out at 90. I didn't want to square the blade at 90 and then square up the blocks and then do the notches at 45.

notches are toast
I knew this was going to be the result but I'm brain dead sometimes. I had to try because I was in a hurry. I reasoned that this is plywood and it'll give a little so if it's off 45 a bit that is ok. Well sports fans, I'm the first to report that it does give and it just increases how well the toast is done. Clamping it again wasn't any improvement over the first run.

tried the woodpecker blocks
These worked this time. The miters all closed up tight but the clamps don't line up exactly on the corners. This is dry clamped and I need to get clamps on the sides between the corners. That is a bit problematic with other clamps getting in the way. I may have to nail this after all. That will happen tomorrow. I am not going to try and do that today.

can't screw this anymore
I can't screw this anymore than what it is because the screw shaft is bent. I could probably do a Cro-Magnon fix but that would probably cross thread the sleeve and make this useless.

a few gentle taps
With this I left the shop on a good note. The screw works without any effort all the way up and down. Sometimes you have to get excited about little things and go celebrate them.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is pomology?
answer - the study of fruit

I’m Running From My Youth. And You Should Too.

The Furniture Record - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 10:13pm

One of my earliest traumatic memories is being mortified by my mother searching for a scratched butterfly chair at the functional equivalent of a Kmart. She enjoyed seeking damaged goods and then indignantly demanding a discount at the register. This tactic worked far too often. This only reinforced the behavior.

The Butterfly chair. The one back then was yellow.

The Butterfly chair. The one back then was yellow with black piping.

This was the first piece of mid-century modern furniture I remember actively disliking. First of many, I might add. And now it’s back. Vintage and reproduction. I just can’t get away from the stuff.

Ironically I was at a local auction preview (mid-century modern) when I read Chris Schwarz’s Lost Art Press blog quoting  George Nakashima on modern furniture. I don’t think he liked it.

Who can forget the stressless chair, this style attributed to Charles & Ray Eames:

This chair is still being made.

This chair is still being made.

Animal prints were big:

Stylish design and attractive fabric.

Stylish design and attractive fabric. Stereo is from the ’80’s.

This is a complete living room set with the kidney-shaped, glass coffee table, animal print floating couch and multi-headed floor lamp:

We never owned a kidney-shaped coffee table.

We never owned a kidney-shaped coffee table.

I was impressed by the back of this furniture. Look at the size of those Masonite® back panels. Each one is a single board. Can you imagine the size of the Masonite® trees they came from? Might be river bottom wood-like material.

The fronts are interesting, too.

The fronts are interesting, too.

If you would like, you can click HERE and see the rest of the collection.

If you must…

Making a Simple Lid Stay

Benchcrafted - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 6:53pm

I don't much like lid stays. They take up too much room, look contrived, and force you to compromise the design of your chest. I've never seen one I like, or one that works well. The best lid stay in my opinion is the wall behind your (tool) chest, but what if you can't put your chest against the wall?

But before you assume my opinion has any value, I should say that I don't have any experience working from a tool chest, only building chests for home use, but my opinion about stays applies to tool chests as well, I would imagine.

So I got thinking, what about a stay that holds the lid open, but also keeps it from shutting? So, not a chain, not a wooden stop at the back of the lid, not a gas-shock-encrusted whoopty-do from Rockler, but simply a stick that engages both the lid and carcase and immobilizes the lid.

Here's what I came up with. I made it with materials and tools that anyone can get locally.

The principle is simple. A stick with a pin on each end. One pin engages the lid, the other pin engages the carcase. The metal bits you see above are truss head rivets (or wagon box rivets), bronze sleeve bearings and a piece of 1/8 x 3/4" hot rolled flat steel. All stuff you can get at the hardware store or Homeus Depotamus.

To make the stay look hand-forged, I did a little hand forgery. First I needed to drill the two holes on the ends.

The hole is 15/64", which is a tad smaller than the shaft of the 1/4" rivet.

A bit of work at the 1" belt grinder, along with some files established the shape of the end.

I decided to try my hand at some fancy file work. This is really fun stuff. A bit tricky keeping the two sides symmetrical though.

After I fancified the other end, I took a bastard file to the faces to get rid of the mill finish and make it look more "natural".

Then I whacked the steel with a hammer to mimic the look of a hand-wrought piece. Finally, I went over the whole thing with a wire wheel to blend it all in and ease any sharp edges.

I chamfered the rivets to ease their entry in the hole.

I ran a chainsaw file in the hole and enlarged it until it was about 0.005" smaller than the rivet shaft, so when the rivet is tapped in, it stay tight. In machinist talk, that's a "press fit".

Then to make it all look hand-wrought I filed the head of the rivet and whacked it with a hammer.

Another minute on the wire wheel, followed up by a couple coats of gun blue and some wax made it look like this.

I cut the bronze bearings in half to get two per piece (they ended up about 3/8" long.) The batten for the chest lid gets drilled to accept the bearing. This keeps the stay pin from wallowing out the hole over time. I glued it in with a bit of CA.

Did the same to the carcase.

The thing works. There's enough flex in the 1/8" steel to engage the stay with ease. Here's the only downside. If the stay takes a firm hit, from outside, or inside, it can pop out of the hole, causing the lid to swing free. This can happen with a chain stay too, with the lid slamming shut. A better situation than swinging to the back and ripping hinges out. On this chest I positioned the stay so the lid is leaning slightly back. But I'm going to move the hole in the carcase forward so the lid is slightly leaning forward. That way, if the stay gets knocked the lid will simply slam shut instead of falling back. There are a bunch of ways to fix the stay further, but I like things to work quickly and easily, so I'll be keeping the stay in this form.

Categories: Hand Tools

Stunning Williamsburg Mother Plane Collection

Wood and Shop - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 6:17pm

By Joshua Farnsworth

In the above video you’ll see my fascinating trip to Colonial Williamsburg as part of a study of a relatively unknown type of molding plane, called “Mother Planes”.


On a grant from the Early American Industries Association, Bill Anderson, Larry Preuss, and myself studied Williamsburg’s collection of 400+ Mother Planes to see what we could learn about molding plane construction.


 What is a Mother Plane?

In the 1800’s, larger molding plane manufactures used “mother planes” to cut a particular profile to larger quantities of molding planes. An attached fence is a main characteristic of a mother plane.



The folks at Colonial Williamsburg were kind enough to host us for several days in the top floor of the historic Capitol building.


Below you’ll see our research team (from left to right) Bill Anderson (the founder of the project), Larry Preuss (an expert plane maker from Michigan), Erik Goldstein (Curator of Mechanical Arts & Numismatics at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation), and Joshua Farnsworth (I took sevaral thousand photographs & scans of the mother planes):



Our study took place over several days in October 2014 and Feburary 2015. I’ll have to admit, prior to Bill’s invitation to join this study I hadn’t even heard of Mother Planes. But I quickly fell in love with the lovely mother planes, just as I had with molding planes in general.





This is my “cave” where I spent several days photographing and scanning nearly 400 mother planes:


After removing the iron and wedge, we scanned the “toe” of each mother plane, then photographed each side. Here are some photographs of different views of some fascinating mother planes:







In addition to photographing and scanning each plane, Bill and Larry spent considerable time inspecting each mother plane for interesting characteristics such as cutting profile, dimension, size marks, and maker marks.




Details were meticulously recorded on detailed data sheets that Bill created, and each plane was assigned a number:





Erik Goldstein was kind enough to spend many hours with us to ensure that the valuable plane collection was handled properly:


Over the course of our stay, Erik gave us some amazing tours of rarely-visited parts of the capitol building, including incredible tool collections and a trek up the steep steps of the bell tower, which has only been visited by a handful of people since it’s dedication by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1940’s.


Below you’ll see some fun photographs that I took of the Capital Building at Colonial Williamsburg (I highly recommend a visit to this 18th century wonderland):








Click here to Subscribe to Joshua’s future articles & blog posts about traditional woodworking.


Outside Your League

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 2:11pm

At this stage in my life, I cannot take woodworking classes. I have the will and the money, but I also have kids, a wife with a crazy job and my own endeavors – a publishing company, a custom furniture business and (oddly enough) a teaching schedule. So until I can make our home life look like Lake Placid, I am always looking for other ways to improve my work. […]

The post Outside Your League appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

That’s a big one!

Hackney Tools - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 10:08am

rare large very complex Moseley moulding plane_ 1
rare large very complex Moseley moulding plane_ 2
rare large very complex Moseley moulding plane_ 3
rare large very complex Moseley moulding plane_ 4
rare large very complex Moseley moulding plane_ 5
rare large very complex Moseley moulding plane_ 6
rare large very complex Moseley moulding plane_ 7
rare large very complex Moseley moulding plane_ 8
rare large very complex Moseley moulding plane_ 9
rare large very complex Moseley moulding plane_ 10
rare large very complex Moseley moulding plane_ 11
rare large very complex Moseley moulding plane_ 12

Categories: Hand Tools


Northwest Woodworking - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 7:40am

Expectations. We all have them when we walk into the shop. Ah yes, I have come to spend a pleasant relaxing day at the bench undisturbed, unperturbed.

Then you begin work.

Things can go wrong. Jigs don’t work, parts mis-align as the glue holds fast in the wrong spot, wood tears out, screw heads break off, and finishes blotch. Lest it be misunderstood that I am somehow above the fray here, that nothing ever goes wrong for me, that I am the calm sea in the eye of every storm at my bench, just ask my assistants over the years. Loud is a good way to describe my woodworking.

It comes down to what we think is going to happen and what actually happens. It comes down to practice and preparation. But mostly it comes to slowing down because you’re in a hurry. That’s the key. Expectations.


1-Cafe Chairs Lumber to Legacy



Categories: Hand Tools

March – time to get going

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 7:12am

March. Hmm… it means two things to me right now. One is turn the page on the Yurt Foundation calendar, the other is to march, get going, quit fooling around. This is the month that my schedule picks up. So rather than just picking up whatever project happens to catch my fancy at any given moment, it’s time to knuckle down and get some stuff done.


oak lunette





partly done 2


ignore these spoons

I keep shifting back & forth. I have to ignore these spoons in the daylight right now, and get to work on my desk box, and the 2 chests with drawers I have underway. At least by having these spoons roughed out, I can carve them at night.

Spoons and baskets for sale today – here: https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-baskets-bowls-for-sale-march-2015/

Daylight is for heavier bench work…so the goal for this week is to get the desk box all cut and ready to assemble, then work on cutting joinery and laying out carving for the chest with drawer that’s the focus of my class beginning later this month.

desk box parts

Enough. Here’s details on the 2 classes coming up this month. The first is a 2-day class in spoon carving at Plymouth CRAFT – 2 spaces left they tell me. The class is March 14 & 15 – details here. http://plymouthcraft.org/?tribe_events=carving-wooden-spoons-with-peter-follansbee  There’s knitting, cooking & egg decorating classes at the same time – http://plymouthcraft.org/?post_type=tribe_events

The other class is the first entry in the 5-month “build a chest with drawer” class at Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. We can squeeze another joiner or two in…If all goes well, I’ll be showing you some of oak for that class tomorrow. http://www.schoolofwoodworking.com/woodworking-classes/29-speciality-weekend-classes/534-build-a-17th-century-joined-chest-with-peter-follansbee.html

and the rest of the schedule is here: https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2015-teaching-schedule/ including two weeks teaching in Olde England – I’ll write about that next week. 




Simultaneous glue-up concerns

Matt's Basement Workshop - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 6:00am

gang glueup

It’s not unusual in the basement workshop to find myself doing simultaneous glue-ups on identical components, in fact I do it quite frequently. Typically the reason is because of a lack of clamps, and a strong desire to make progress on the project as quickly as possible.

If I stepped back and paid close attention to the amount of time I spend creating a strategy for just how it is I’ll accomplish the task I’d probably discover I spend way too much time overthinking it.

The reason I’m writing about this topic is because a viewer on my YouTube Channel had a question about it, and a couple of others regarding the glue-up process and results.

I thought they were important questions to ask and answer, so rather than just replying in the comments over there, I decided to share them here.

“When you gang the interior frames for the glue up aren’t you worried about glue setup, squaring and even clamping pressure?”

Yes, I am worried about the possibility of the glue-up and clamping process causing the components to become unsquare.

To help minimize this as much as possible I spent a fair amount of time doing test fits and dry-runs prior to the actual glue-up. Inevitably it won’t guarantee there won’t be issues once the glue is applied, but it’s a great way to get a feel for what you’ll have to do to get a successful glue-up.

Not to mention, it’s also an opportunity to discover if any joinery needs to be tweaked.

Did I discover any issues? Yes I did actually, they weren’t severe enough to warrant filming and discussing (at least in my opinion they weren’t) but all it took to resolve them was to breakout my shoulder plane and adjust the shoulders on a short rail or two.

It turned out while I was routing the tongue on each end, one or two weren’t as square as I had thought they were originally. To fix it was a matter of using my square to identify the high side and then removing a little bit of material from that end and repeating the test fit until it all lined up square.

applying web clamp

My choice to use the web clamps made the glue-up even easier as once I had the joinery squared I was able to put everything into place, then wrap the clamps in position. And really they did all the work of aligning the parts together for me. On top of it, the web clamp’s corners were wide enough to support the entire thickness of the two frames completely.

“Invariably, there will be slight dimensional differences between the frames that may make the clamping pressure uneven between them. Also, since the bottom piece is obstructed by the wax paper, isn’t it difficult to ensure the bottom piece is square as well as the top piece?”

Since the clamp corners were only on the ends, I was slightly concerned about the middle rail. I had a straight clamp ready to be added in case it was necessary, but in this case it wasn’t.

If in the end I had discovered there were issues with square I would have grabbed a long pipe clamp or two and applied them diagonally from corner to corner to pull it square, but as we all saw, the web clamps did their job (thanks to the square joinery.)

square frame

In the video, when I checked for square I had actually pushed one frame proud of the clamp’s face, afterwards I carefully pushed it back down into position.

Because they both lined up so evenly with each other, I took a gamble that they would both be square as a result. Turns out it was a gamble that paid off in the end.

“Finally, by the time you’ve assembled the second piece hasn’t the glue started to set on the first?”

I can’t tell you how much I’ve worried about this scenario over the years. I’m simply going to assume it’s due to my woodshop’s environment, but I typically have a good 10-15 minutes of open time with most PVA glues I’ve used (I used Gorilla Glue’s white PVA glue in this build.) Even though it’s super dry this time of year in my shop, there was still plenty of open time that allowed me to apply the glue, assemble and then adjust components into position.

This is also where previously doing a dry run and test fitting the components ahead of time helps too. It’s not only about double checking the fit and joinery, it’s also about creating a strategy for how it should come together and discovering where you might trip up and how to get around it.

Does it guarantee a flawless glue-up everytime? No, but it sure helps to minimize the amount of anxiety and the unknowns in your glue-up process for complex pieces.

Do you have other questions? Please don’t hesitate to ask by leaving them in the shownotes or using the form on my contact page here at the website.

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Categories: Hand Tools

Upcoming talk on Japanese planes

Giant Cypress - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 3:28am


I’m very excited to have the opportunity to give a talk on Japanese planes to the North Jersey Woodworkers Association at 7 pm on Monday, March 16 at the at the Allwood Community Church, 100 Chelsea Road, in Clifton, NJ. The NJWA is a great bunch of woodworkers, and if you live in the northern part of New Jersey and don’t belong to a woodworking club, you should join these guys.

These talks seem like they are becoming a habit. I’m good with that. Hope to see you there.

more %$$#@**&^%&@!!)&*^white stuff.......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 3:03am
I figured I would get up at 0400 and shovel out the cars, the driveway, and the front walk. Good exercise and it shouldn't take me that long. Nay, nay, I say moose breath. It is now 0551 and I just got done. What a terrific way to end a crappy weekend and start the new week. And there is more of this lovely white crap coming on thursday.

looking out my back door
 It looks like we got a good 4 " of it.

turn north and my snow covered truck is next
I shovel out the driveway and front walk first. Then I come back and brush off the cars.

added a few inches
A couple of guys climbing Mt Everest asked me if they practice climbing my snow mountains.

the end of the driveway
This takes the longest to do. I can't throw the snow (after my truck to here) anywhere but to the right. That involves a lot of shovel, walk, and toss. Repeat until done 45 minutes later. I was surprised to see the road plowed. There also wasn't a 4 foot high pile of snow left here by the plow.

Time to dry off and get ready to go to Westerly.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What was the first moving picture shown at the White House?
answer - The Birth of a Nation in February of 1916

not a good weekend.......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 2:48am
It's snowing again as I'm writing this. I closed the blinds so I don't have to watch it fall. The forecast has 3-6 inches with higher amounts along the coast. Where am I headed tomorrow morning? I'm going to Westerly for my annual eye exam and Westerly is a couple of miles inland from the ocean. Oh  what fun awaits me there.

Minor rant upcoming with some background first. I joined Sam's Club  because it is closer than BJ's wholesale club. I joined only to get coffee K-cups there. I can get the 80 count boxes on line but with S/H it is more than Sam's club price. I tried to get K-cups twice there this weekend.

I went online and checked the hours Sam's was open and they said they opened at 0700. Great because I'm up early anyways and I'll beat the traffic on Route 2. I get there at 0700 but it's closed. I have a club membership and not the elite overpriced one. You need that one to get in at 0700. Peons like me have to wait until 0900. I'll try this again on sunday at 0900.

I get there sunday at 0900 and it is still closed. For peons like me with the lowest membership of all it is closed to me all day long. The elite membership holders can shop at 0900. I was not a happy camper again for the second day in a row.

The hours on line don't state peon and the anointed one hours. The sign at the store I couldn't quite decipher. I'm not sure what the name I have for my membership and I think it is color coded too. I was looking at it today and not a clue as to when they are open for me to shop. I threw my card in the garbage and I'll apply to BJ's at work on tuesday. BJ's is a lot further to go to but it's open on sundays and there aren't peon and special one hours. I was member there before but let it lapse.

splines set overnight
All the splines set and they are tight. There aren't any gaps on any of the corners.

sawed the waste off
ready to plane the corners flush
still square
I paid attention this time and checked each corner for square after I planed it.

sanded the corners flush
Since I'm painting this, I can sand the corners flush. I don't have to worry about cross grain sanding scratches. I sanded both sides of the lid.

I'm very happy with these miters
the back miters are just as good as the front ones
miter bridle joint frame #2
These miters are just as good as frame #3 above.

splines and bridle joint
Of the two I will do the bridle joint first again. It's a bit more work and it's time consuming trimming and fitting but it's worth it. I think it's a stronger and better joint then the miter and spline joint. I'll put a 1 lb coat of shellac on the both of these and set them aside. I still have make boxes to fit the lids before I can paint them.

box base cooked
It doesn't rock which means all four corners are the same.

miters all look ok
The outsider vertical edges of the miters are all closed up tight with no gaps. The tops of the miters are gappy.

There are round ribbing indentations on the metal corners for the band strap clamp. With this soft pine they leave their impressions on the miters.

the bottom of the miters
Nobody will look at these but me. They closed up a lot with the hide glue and the quick grips. The top left miter is the worse of the four. I am more concerned with the miters on top of the base being closed up. Something to work on.

sanding the miters
 The sanding removed the indentations on the corners. I also sanded them so that the vertical was even on both sides of it.

sanding and cleaning up the beads

lost a piece of the bead here
I sanded this bead and feathered it out going away from the corner. I'll put this at the back and make this the hinge side of the box.

off on a tangent
I had just returned from my trip to Sam's club. I also came back empty handed from Whole Foods where I went to get my coffee for the drip maker at home. I usually buy a 1/2  pound of decaf and regular coffee and mix them. That didn't happen today neither because both of the bins for that coffee were empty.

I wasn't in a good mood and I usually screw up continually in the shop when I get this way. I put the lid and the cock beading aside and decided to do some shop rearranging. The empty drawer on the left I was using to keep sandpaper scraps in. The drawer on the right I had full of scraps of small offcuts of wood. I got rid of most of the offcuts and put some in the top sliding tray. I use them for when I clamp something in the wagon vise.

 On the bottom I put the sandpaper scraps. I don't know what I'll do with the empty drawer yet. I first thought of putting some planes in it but nixed it. I wanted to put a sliding tray in it but I couldn't because of the height of the planes. The tray would have been too shallow to hold the planes I wanted to put into it.

it's cracked
I just got the hang of using this and I cracked it somehow. The wall of the screw adjuster didn't like me making all those spatulas. I'll have to look for a another spokeshave to replace this one. At least I'll have some spare parts to put in the junk drawer.

almost full
A friend of mine started blogging recently and he started with a plane till he is making now. the blog is called the "The Valley Woodworker" and he is why I'm on this rearrange kick. I just bought 4 more molders and I have a bid in on 3 lots on an upcoming auction. If I win them I will not have any room to stow them. I cleared out the bottom half of the till to make some room but I'll need another till before the year is out.

rearranging cabinet #6 - where the bottom 1/2 of the plane till will now live
I borrowed this plane till tilt shelf from Bob. This cabinet has a lot of dead space in it considering what I have stowed in it. Time to consolidate what is in here and make room for two plane shelves.

not a toy
This little 1/4" shoulder plane works very well. I have used it several times on 1/4" dadoes but it hasn't been used for a while. I'll be putting this on the 'I don't use this that often' shelf.

top shelf layout done
The plane on the top right is an AMT edge plane I bought in 1976. It isn't square but if I fiddle around with the iron I can plane square edges with it. I have in the back of my mind to add a piece of beveled wood to this to turn it into a fixed angle plane. I've had this thought since 1976 and I still haven't put it into practice.

first one done
I put the hinge mortise plane at the front because I think I will use this more than the other planes in here.  I will have to take it out to get to the other planes behind it but I don't think that will happen that frequently.

slot #13 filled
I'm not hating this nor am I loving it. I can take the 51 in and out with these two interfering with it. I would rather have them over on the right side but I'm not rearranging this for that. I might put these on the second shelf that is the next batter.

plane shelf #2
I didn't have apiece of plywood large enough so I splined and glued this piece on to get the length I wanted.

ledgers are in place just screwed not glue - in case I change my plans
quit here
The piece I glued on was proud in the middle. I sanded it flush with the old part of the shelf.  I checked the fit in the cabinet and it was ok. I made sure that the door closed and that the toys hanging on it weren't hitting the shelf. I should be able to finish shelf #2 tomorrow after the eye doctor appointment.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
How many pipes are there on a typical Scottish bagpipe?
answer - 5


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