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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
|2 came in today|
|2 1/2" hook and eye|
|what I was worrying about|
|found some #6 oval head brass screws that fit|
|tried the replacement screwdriver|
|A Paul Sellers cabinet|
|it works well|
|started with the small drawer|
|chiseling off the dried glue|
|planed the slips flush|
|repeat the same steps for the large drawer|
|the fit of drawers didn't change|
|had enough plywood for the bottoms|
|large drawer is square (small drawer too)|
|I have a slight gap at the front|
|bottom is solid|
|where are the brushes|
|bigger gaps on the small drawer bottom|
|this will be my glove drawer|
|sawed out both finger holes|
|go cart at the top and a Rolls at the bottom|
Who were the opening and closing acts at Woodstock in 1969?
answer - Ritchie Havens opened and Jimi Hendrix closed
Everyone has a desire to do something, to be something, to be someone. You may not know this, but you have completed the third task the day you were born; You, are Someone. Everything else has a long steep hill that needs to be climbed to achieve it.
Your desire to achieve this must match your discipline, but the problem with us all is that we want it yesterday.
You can’t have it yesterday nor today, but with every step you take towards it, you will earn it tomorrow.
Life is a giant staircase, you look up it and you think this is too hard, it’s too much work, but you don’t get it. Life is hard and challenging and life loves to throw obstacles at you and many people fail to meet those challenges and work around those obstacles and fall into depression. They seek the bottle for relief or take antidepressants.
Brothers and Sisters these are excuses and excuses are lies. It’s the easy way out to self destruction.
Obama once said “Pick yourselves up and dust yourselves off.”
Climb those stairs one step at a time, don’t look up and never look down but concentrate on each step and work towards the top. You will never transform yourself if you don’t inconvenience yourself. “No pain, no gain.”
Pick up a square and draw a hundred lines, now pick up that dovetail saw and rip a hundred lines.
Do you get it?
Plane that wood until its flat, plane that edge until its square, then plane it out of square and do it all over again until there is nothing left of it.
Set up goals you want to achieve today and work on nothing but those goals and I guarantee you at the end of that day, you will achieve your goals.
Free yourselves from the shackles of bullsh*t, don’t let the naysayers tell you, you can’t earn a living from the craft. Don’t let your minds talk you out of
what life has to offer. It’s all there in front you, you need to reach out and grab it.
Empower yourselves by being the best you can be. Never ever give up, always work hard towards your goals and give back to the community. Help one another, teach one another and serve one another.
Today, birds and birds. This first one in American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) – is going to get painted on the outside, then carved through the paint.
This tiny one, split out with the guidance of Dave Fisher, is birch – I forget which one. No paint, just carved today. Some spoons getting finished up in preparation for this weekend’s Lie-Nielsen workshop – full this time. More spoon carving classes to be announced through Plymouth CRAFT soon.
Then, some photos plucked off the card. Down river:
Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus ) I assume juvenile male turning to adult. The female doesn’t usually show the red, I believe.
yellow warbler. (Setophaga petechia) they are quieter now than in the spring, so I just happened to notice this one skulking around.
Let’s start with a confession. I did stuff around with some of the photos in this post. It is the first time that any of JNSQ’s photos have been altered, as far as I can remember anyway.
The previous posts in this series can be found here.
In this edition we will take a look at some of the joinery and the first phase of preparation of the top for finishing.
The first bit of joinery I attempted was to fit a small block to the top of each leg construction. It will be the point that fix the centre of the leg to the centre of the top. All the other connection points will allow for wood movement, but these two will not. This means that the top will be able to move freely with changes in humidity, but the centre will remain fix to the centre of the legs. I think this is called a T-bridle joint. One feature of my Langdon mitre box and saw that came in handy here was it’s ability to set the depth of cut. Obviously you can simply do this by hand, which would also be much quicker. Where the mitre box might have an advantage is when you need to do heaps of these joints with the same dimensions. In this case it was an opportunity to work out how to set the mitre box for a job like this. That way it will be easier next time.
A router plane works well for the cheeks of the bridal section. It was a bit of a challenge to hold such a small piece while cutting the cheeks to depth. The solution was two dogs and a Veritas gadget. That could be a good name for a progressive rock band or a retrogressive gin mill (Two dogs and a Veritas gadget), come to think of it.
Next up were the slots in the top of the legs.
The two aprons are also jointed to the legs by means of T-bridal joints. Here I am marking the exact location of the shoulders using the leg.
That was followed by the same sequence involving the mitre box, router plane and careful chisel work to perfect the shoulders.
So then on a crisp and bright winter’s Friday morning I started to flatten the bottom side of the top. Seeing that it is the first table top of this size in Kershout that I am doing by hand I thought that the bottom side would provide an ideal opportunity to work out which method works best. The major challenges posed by this top are the schizophrenogenic nature of grain and the extreme hardness of the wood. As every self-respecting JNSQ Woodworking reader should know by now, we deal almost exclusively with feral boards from the ancient Knysna forest. Each of the trees that the boards for this top were sawn from would have been over 500 years old.
If you deal with wood like that it is my opinion that one has a real responsibility to do the best possible job of allowing the story of the tree to be told. In my estimation that means a delicate balance between careful surface preparation and leaving certain imperfections that relates to the history of the piece of wood. George Nakashima’s immortal oeuvre of work (which inspired this design) lends itself perfectly to getting the most out of feral hardwood such as what I chose for this top. How much and which imperfections are left to tell the story is of course in the eye of the beholder.
Anyway, I started experimenting with various different tools to see what might work best in flattening such a challenging top. The techniques I tried included a belt sander, a low angle jack plane with a toothed blade, a standard no.3 smoothing plane (45° frog) with a back bevel of 25° creating an effective pitch of 70° and a shop made fore plane with a blade pitched at 50° (aka York pitch).
The belt sander has always been one of my least favourite tools. It makes noise, it is all over the place and seems to be the best possible tool to turn a flat surface into the famous Valley of a Thousand Hills. What I found was that it is less harmful in such hard wood, but still not an option if you are aiming for a superior surface. The low angle Jack plane (12° bedding angle + 38° micro bevel for an effective pitch of 50° and a tight throat) worked diagonally to the grain clearly had the measure of the wonky grain, but would have taken too long for what would suffice for the bottom side of the top. I did not aim for a perfectly flat bottom side.
Next up was the back-bevelled smoothing plane. It worked even better (in terms of finish) than the low angle plane, but was difficult to push due to the high effective pitch and therefore even slower at removing material. It is also important to mention that this strategie seize to be effective in difficult grain when you try to take a fat shaving.
So I rolled the dice and tried the shop made fore plane (50° effective pitch) diagonal across the grain. It wreaked havoc in a semi controlled sort of way. This particular blade has a fairly substantial camber and it took no prisoners in the process of removing the necessary material in a timely fashion. In the pictures below you can see the characteristic scalloped appearance of a surface smarting from such treatment.
This is one of my attempts at manipulating the photos to highlight the pattern left by the plane.
The wooden plane in the picture below enforced the above damage. Of note in the picture is the bottles of water I consumed during this arduous labour of bellicosity.
Here we have an example of a part of the history of the tree that is often neglected to be told. Yes I know some of you will think I have lost the plot. Probably something along the lines of: “The #%$@&* hippy has been smoking too much pot.” The reality for me is however that the wood I in my collection have all sorts of imperfections and it would be impossible to create anything of reasonable size without these imperfections exposing themselves. I have therefore made peace with having to incorporate imperfections and try to design in such a way that the eccentricity of the stock enhance the aesthetics of the piece I am building.
Here are a few more tweaked pics with an array of tools that were used to tidy up the bottom side of the top.
Then finally it became time to employ some of the lessons learnt on the bottom side to the face side of the top. It took me three full days of planing at 45° to the grain with a toothed blade in a low angle jack plane to get the top as flat as I wanted it. The two pictures below were taken after the first day.
The dogs on my assembly table came in quite handy during this brutal process.
The toothed blade created these beautiful patterns in the areas that were approaching flatness.
This was the end of day two.
Once the entire (well almost) face side were in the same plane I removed the bulk of the rhombi left by the toothed blade using a no. 112 scraping plane. It was the first time I used this particular tool for a huge job like this. I prepared the blade the way that is recommended by my woodworking icon David Charlesworth. In my case a 45° main bevel, 50° polished micro bevel with a 75° burr set up in the plane with the blade leaning forward at 20°. The plane is an absolute joy to use when set up like this. You have to make sure you take very thin shavings of course. Some sanding with my shop made sanding planes took care of the rest of the rhombi.
While grappling with the rhombi I took short breaks to tidy up the cracks in the top. They all had lots of loose splinters of wood and other ancient bits of debris inhabiting their depths. This task was mainly accomplished by using a very old pocket knife that used to belong to my grandparents.
At this stage I shaped the curved ends of the top. As you can see I marked out two lines using my fingers as a fence. These lines guided the removal of waste to create a very gentle yet quite wide bevel. Once the bevel were established, the end grain area were rounded off ever so slightly using the same technique. My no. 9½ Stanley block plane did most of the donkey work and was then followed by a low angle smaller block plane, which was in turn followed by gentle sanding.
When I got a bit tired of the top I continued to chip away at the last bits of joinery.
Once the two aprons were fitted to the legs with very precise bridal joints, I started working on the massive beam that connects the legs at floor level. The Witpeer beam was laminated and squared up more than a year ago. It gave the wood a very generous time frame within which it could settle all possible disputes the fibres might care to raise (so to speak). It turns out that a very dense laminated beam like this stayed pretty much dead straight in all it’s dimensions, but managed to go out of square by what appeared to be a full mm. That was fixed by hand planing a face side and face edge perfectly square with each other and using those reference surfaces to square up the others with my electric planer.
I transferred the inside measurements of the joinery from the aprons to the beam.
Using the above reference point I took the beam to the Windsor leg to mark out the exact location of the other side of the fairly complex stopped bridal joint (my own name not necessarily correct terminology) which will marry these two structures.
This is how far I got with this joint at present.
It was now time to break in my precious polissior that one of my favourite woodworking personalities and über craftsmen Don Williams (of The Barn on Whiterun fame) sent me earlier this year. That entailed rubbing the heads of the grass/straw on a rough piece of scrap wood and tidying up the appearance on a spindle sander.
I can thoroughly recommend reading Don’s article on this epic tool from the past.
I used the Polissior to burnish the top after perfecting the finish with gradually increasing grid sander paper on a orbital sander. I went all the way to 600 grid and did two rounds of wiping the surface with a damp cloth to raise the grain before sanding it back down with the 600 grid. You can see the effect of the burnishing in the pictures below.
Aoife helped me to apply a tung oil/turpentine mixture. We kept the surface quite wet for 30 minutes by reapplying the mixture where the wood absorbed it and then wiped it down with a clean and dry cloth.
As you can see it was one of those unbelievably satisfying moments in woodworking where the wood rewards you for months of painstaking elbow grease. Kershout is simply one of the most beautiful species of wood on the planet. I want to reiterate that there were no pigment added what so ever. This is what it looks like after tung oil mixed with turps were applied!!
The top will now rest for two weeks before we will apply beeswax with the polissior. Stay tuned my brethren!!
I dropped off my boxes prior to the show beginning and as usual was humbled by the wonderful that had arrived already.
The show is on from Saturday 19th August until Monday 28th August and there are 76 makers represented with over 300 pieces on display, so it's a good days visit.
This magnificent burr brown oak table has an unbelievable mechanism for making it smaller and is worth visiting the show on its own, just to see it demonstrated by the maker George Johnson.
Here is the centre of the table in its smaller size, wonderful!
A few weeks back I began a rather involved project that has legs that have stop-flutes. After posting about my shop-made scratch stocks, I hoped to do a majority of the work using a router with a fluting router bit only to clean and straighten up the flute portion with the scratch stock. The bead area had to be fully scratch-produced.
As you can imagine working with a router bit and a couple of scratch stocks, the surface of my stop-flutes needed to tweaked to be smooth.
|planed with the 4 1/2|
|this was the side with the big gaps|
|no problems at all|
|flushing the bottom batted next|
|I did the top yesterday|
|drawer fits except for the last 3'4"|
|this top side gap isn't as large|
|right side of drawer|
|the other side is the same|
|fits and it is up against the back wall|
|used this yesterday on the small drawer - hooked it at the back and pulled the drawer open|
|need four more spacers|
|did the big drawer first|
|this one was bit tricky|
|large one curing on the tablesaw aka a horizontal storage surface|
|steel wooled it but......|
I settled on how I'm going to attach the lid to the box. I wasn't particularly fond of using a wooden pin nor was a metal one giving me a warm and fuzzy. This box is pine and over time the pin will elongate and oval out the pin hole. I ordered some parts from McMaster-Carr for the box and while I'm waiting for them to come in I can get the finish built back up on the box.
|one more coat on|
|one of 5 came in|
What US City sits aside the Miami River?
answer - it isn't Miami, it is Dayton, Ohio
After so many good suggestions offered I almost chose one until this one came to mind.
The lost scrolls of handwork
I also like quirks and beads and at the workbench but the lost scrolls of handwork is like the forgotten handtools which is exactly what we are trying to revive.
Let me know if you like it. I've already reserved the name but haven't paid for it yet.
Tune-up your think melons and caption this painting.
The painting is 17th-century and by an unknown Italian artist. The companion painting featured unclad blacksmiths.
Filed under: Historical Images, Personal Favorites
Last week en route home from Mordor on the Potomac I had the good fortune to visit Steve Voight, music composition professor by day, planemaker by night. I became acquainted with Steve in the past couple of years and have come to enjoy immensely his company and his passion as a gifted craftsman fashioning wooden bodied planes in the style of 18th Century English hand planes. At one point in his life Steve was a skilled machinist and that attention to detail has carried over into this new chapter of life, in part teaching students how to construct music and also providing us with exquisite tools to construct furniture.
We spent a couple of delightful hours discussing woodworking in his charming, spare, beautifully bright garret studio above the kitchen of his (and the lovely and delightful Mrs. Steve’s) house. Tell me those windows and the light accompanying them does not instill some jealousy. Go ahead.
I continued my admiration of his products, and noted with anticipation some new items coming to his inventory soon. We also discussed the possibility of him making some custom tools for me soon. Cross your fingers.
The money time was the hour or so spent with him demonstrating the method of setting up a double-iron plane to get the most superior results. I know how to sharpen tools pretty darned well, but his tutorial on setting the second iron was an eye-opener to me.
Steve’s first step confirmed his facility as a sharpener as he tuned up his iron in about 30 seconds.
Thus far I’d been setting my chip breaker around 1/25″ from the tip of the cutting iron but learned that my spacing was far too great, and the best setting is somewhere in the territory of .006″-.010″. Steve starts his set-up by resting the tip of the cutting iron on the bench and then placing the chip breaker on top of a .010″ feeler gauge leaf.
Then he brings it home with the resultant spacing between the chip breaker and the cutting iron being nearly invisible.
Setting up the plane itself with eyes way better than mine, Steve showed me the results.
He explained that a properly sharpened and set double iron plane almost literally shoots the shaving out of the throat. I was surprised that they did not curl, they were straight wisps of gossamer wood (this one was a bit heavy and rippled, but photographing him work is a challenge because his motions are so confident and rapid).
Who knew? Well, not me!
Steve definitely gave me something to think about and aim for, which makes our time together invaluable.
A moisture meter is a device that lets you see the future. It allows you to avoid mistakes where your furniture will – literally – fall to pieces. But convincing woodworkers to buy one is like trying to push water uphill. This weekend, Brendan Gaffney and I were each working on some chair projects and got on the topic of moisture meters. Brendan has an idea for how to make […]
I pretend I exist in a bubble or cocoon. Each day I’m at home, I get up & have breakfast with the family, and then make my way out the back door to the workshop. Open up the windows to let in the sounds of the birds, check the river – tide in or out? Coming or going? And then sort the day’s projects – am I cutting these mortises, carving which pieces – most of my concerns are about really great quality oak, sharp tools, and learning from studies of period pieces…
And it goes like that day in & day out. Which hatchet? Are these bowls dry enough for the next step? Ah, I figured out what design to carve for that panel. Then, time to clean up the place and re-set the bench…
All the ordinary stuff is an intrusion – have to go to the dump, the bank, did I pay the bills? I just want to get back to work in the shop. All of that is just like the rest of us.
Every so often, I traipse out into the world to teach a workshop, deliver a lecture/demonstration – that sort of thing. And those audiences are pre-disposed to receive what I have to give. An interest in woodworking, furniture history, spoon carving – they’re already converts. But I know although we have woodworking interests in common, there can and will be things we don’t have in common. And that’s usually fine with me. I can get past a lot of stuff, and concentrate on our shared interests. And it has always been a great kick for me to come together with people I might otherwise not connect to…
This year, it’s been tricky, with the political climate in America and the world. I have specifically stated in many of my classes – “No politics, please.” Just to avoid the issue. Trying to be polite…and it has worked thus far.
Like I said, I can get past a lot of stuff. But…not racism. Not Nazis marching in the streets of 21st-century America. That shit doesn’t fly. Everyone should be against that…none of this “many sides” crap.
So…in the hopefully unlikely event that some of my readers are sympathetic with the KKK, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, etc that were on display down in Charlottesville this past weekend, – if that’s you – please un-subscribe to my blog. Please stop following me on Instagram, FB…please don’t come to my classes. Please don’t buy my book, videos, spoons, etc.
I want nothing to do with racists.
Back to oak now.
Among the Japanese tools I’ve seen over the years, I haven’t seen much in the way of drills in the sense of the brad point/auger/twist bit drills that we’re familiar with in western woodworking. There are Japanese gimlets, small hand held tools used to make small holes. These holes would be used to make pilot holes for metal, wood, or bamboo nails. The business end of the tool has a square profile, and the four sides come to a point.
In use, you would hold the Japanese gimlet vertically between the palms of your hands, and roll your hands back and forth to make the gimlet spin clockwise and counterclockwise.
There’s also a version with a three pronged tip (sort of like a very aggressive spade bit, or a flat cross section of a brad point drill bit) that can create a slightly bigger hole for dowels, but it seems that the largest of these topped out at around 1/4″.
The drawers for the finishing cabinet are now at the fitting stage. I have to clean them up, do the drawer runners, make a bottom, and fit a bottom in place. I kind of did a 90/10 thing tonight with the most calories going to the drawers.
|the front of the small doesn't fit the opening|
|large drawer fit|
|the gaps are still there|
|the other side|
|flushing the top of the big drawer|
|one side fits|
|sawing off the wild|
|flushed the bottom|
|top flushed up|
|cleaned up the sides and the back|
|in about a 1/3 of the way|
|2nd trimming and I'm about 1/2 way - planing just the top|
|third trimming and I'm done|
|I'll plug this after I get the bottom and slips installed|
|flushing the tails|
|epoxy and filler|
|4 coats of shellac|
|squared up one end of the slips|
|the back of the slips|
|the front look|
|the way I'm leaning|
|slips aren't as proud this way|
|works better than this way|
In what Baseball World Series was the Star Spangled Banner first played?
answer - the 1918 series
Right off the bat thanks to everyone who responded.
Matt offered some really great ones and two stood out the most.
Planes, Chisel and Saw
At The Workbench
The first one is a title from a book my friend Tony Konovaloff wrote so I can’t use that, but it’s great and definitely complements what this magazine’s about
But I equally like At the Workbench and I’ve secured it pending payment which means no one gets it till I make a payment.
I’m still open to suggestions but so far this one seems to be the winner.
It’s a pity ASIC isn’t flexible in these things as HANDWORK is by far the most suitable title but we also work at the bench so it is what it is, but i know it will create some confusion for some people who are not in the know.
This post I’ve written on my phone at work so I’m sure there are some missing commas and periods which my friend Matt will pick up on. But I’m not a text addict like my daughters and if my life depended on it, it would be short lived.
Btw the second issue it’s title will remain unchanged. I’ve already begun work on the third issue.
While Katy’s soft wax is great for furniture surfaces – especially interiors – she has a new devoted customer: Crucible Tool. Unbeknownst to me, Raney and John have been using the soft wax on our improved-pattern dividers as the final finishing step.
In fact, Raney asked me to make a big batch for him so we didn’t waste so many little 4 oz. tins.
If you’d like to give soft wax a try, Katy has a batch in her etsy store that is ready for shipment. The wax is $12 per 4 oz. tin. I use it on drawers, turnings, chairs and even as a final topcoat on oil finishes.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. We hope to have a new black soft wax soon. Oh, and about the photo of the cat: The wax had nothing to do with the hair loss.
Filed under: Uncategorized
I chose HANDWORK as the title of our magazine as it best describes what we do, but as I tried to register the name yesterday through ASIC they tell me a little old lady has taken this name. Not only did she take this name she registered multiple spellings of handwork. So, now I need another title for the magazine and I tried several others;
- Handcraft – taken
- Handkraft – taken
- Handcraftd – taken
- woodworking with hand tools – too long
- woodspeak – available pending my payment
I personally like WOODSPEAK as a title, I think it's unique and we are speaking about wood and when we work our wood speaks back to us.
So what do you think?
Do you like it?
Do you have any other names that would be a better suited title?
Lets brainstorm together, I only have a few days to register that name.
One more has been added to the pending payment list and I think this one is pretty good also
"BenchWork". That title pretty much covers everything we do.
Your responses to the last blog came as no surprise. As people accept the ever more mundane of mass making, skills automatically become dumbed down. Manufacturers that once had loyalty on a more local level have gradually sold out and what we thought was still being made domestically by local skills was hidden behind bland …