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I met an old friend on the street the other day, a friend I hadn’t seen for a year or so. He walked up to me, smiled broadly and said, “Good Lord, I was sure you had died. You haven’t posted anything since February!”… What an “eye opener!”
Truth be told, the past few months have been full of travel, visits from family and, honestly, I just haven’t had anything to say that I thought was worth saying. That’s not to say that there hasn’t been anything going on in the workshop. Although I have to admit that my level of productivity has been seriously diminished. But, maybe now is a good time to “get back in the game.”
Lester (my partner in the crime of woodworking) and I have managed to finish a couple of projects during this “black-out period.” We completed a small tavern table (based on one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art) that Les had started a number of years ago. While dry fit, it served to provide a small amount of temporary storage for a number of years. He opted for a oval top made from a single piece of curly maple that he’s had in storage since the last Dempsey fight. He decided that heavy distressing was just the ticket. So, Les, our friend Scott Midegeley and I attacked the thing with lanyards full of keys, sticks, rods, stones. It was scorched earth!
After the beating, the top was dyed with amber water based dye, then glazed with “black oil”, a combination of asphaltum, turpentine and BLO. The top was then finished with several coats of Waterlox. The cherry base was stained, coated with Waterlox then painted with a satin black alkyd enamel. Then the paint was “wet wiped” to create a heavily distressed look in the areas that would have been subjected to the most wear. Imagine the Founding Fathers sitting around one of these little beauties, drinking warm ale and trying to determine the best way to run a Republic.
The turned legs were terminated with simple Spanish feet of the “fluted” variety. Ends of the “ogeed” aprons were finished up with a decorative cockbead.
I became so enthused that I ran right home and started my own Tavern Table. There are a few differences, but the design is essentially the same. The carriage is of walnut, the top is elliptical, the finish is the same with less distressing and I opted for a little longer, more feminine Spanish Feet (probably a subliminal influence of having just watched a Penelope Cruz movie). The aprons are relieved to create a lighter look and the top has a simple torus edge and I nixed the cockbead (for no good reason other than the fact that I wanted to get the thing finished).
Here’s a look at the table through part of the construction process:
And, if you don’t believe in the possibility of resurrection, just stand near the parking lot gate at “quitting time.” “Gramps”
The bedstead’s headboard is moving along. Once I had the first free-hand panel carved, it was easy to carve the 2nd one. After marking out the margins and a vertical centerline, I used a compass to take a few markers – here noting where the S-scrolls at the bottom corner hit the vertical margins.
Then I chalked in a rough outline for that shape. This panel, like many from this grouping (and all 4 in this headboard) have a stylized urn at the bottom center of the panel. That shape I marked out with a square & awl to locate its top & bottom, and marked its width from the vertical centerline. The S-scrolls then fit between the urn and the bottom corner/margin.
My camera-boy (Daniel, 11 yrs old) came by & used the Ipad to shoot some Instragram stuff…here’s some leftovers. Carving this bottom corner S-scroll, in two snippets. (home-video caliber – no edits, shaky, etc – but worth a look.)
there are related S-scrolls across the top section of the panel. These reach from the corners to the vertical centerline. These top and bottom sections are the first things I block in with the V-tool.
then comes the stuff between. I sketch the vein in the larger leaf, it reaches from the centerline to the margin.
Then I carry on, doing first one side, then the other.
The whole thing is about filling in the spaces, and in this case, blending one shape to lay against another.
Here’s the V-tool outline almost all done.
Next I take a #5 gouge, in this case about 1″ wide or slightly less, and chop out between the V-tool lines, to begin removing the background.
Some beveling, some shaping. With a narrow #5.
People ask about the background punch. Mild steel, filed to leave these pyramidal points.
accents with a few #7 gouges.
And a narrow chisel. Bevel towards the waste when chopping like this.
Then pare down to the chopped mark.
Bevel the back, first with a hatchet.
Then 2 planes. Feather down to nothing.
Here’s the headboard thus far. There will be plain panels below this, and a carved crest rail above. And of course, two vertical posts.
For a bit over a week 4 of our grandchildren and their moms have been visiting. It's been a busy time that has passed very quickly. Too quickly. Soon they will be returning to Brooklyn and London and the house will be quiet again.
We made bird houses with the kids. It was great fun and I highly suggest this project for kids. The ages range from 3 to 9 and it was fun for all.
This is an excerpt from “Doormaking and Window-Making” by Anonymous. This book was discovered for us by joiner Richard Arnold.
The door shown in Fig. 60 is very common as a front door in some parts of the country, although it has not much to recommend it, the long panels being very weak, and also the stiles, owing to there being no middle rail to strengthen them.
The making is very simple, being the same as an ordinary panel door, minus the middle rail; hence no detailed instructions on setting out are required here. They only mystifying point is the circular head panels, but those are only formed by the bolection moulding, the top rail being framed in square, as in Fig. 61, and the circular corner pieces glued and bradded in on the outside of the door only.
The circular moulding is formed in a lathe, as Fig. 62, and cut through to form two heads. It should be sawn through across the grain, as shown in the drawing, so that the end grain on the straight moulding will butt against the end grain on the circular moulding. In doing this, the shrinkage will be the same on each piece, and the intersection will not be affected. Of course, it must be understood that, if a good job is to be made, the turning must be accurately done, or the two will not intersect, and no amount of cleaning off will put matters right.
In making doors which have to be bolection moulded, some care is needed in gauging for the mortises, to ensure the moulding is bedding properly. If the moulding is rebated to a depth of half an inch, the gauge should be set to nine-sixteenths; the moulding will then bed tightly on the framing without any trouble. If gauged on too far, when the moulding is nailed in there is a risk of splitting at the outside edge; and if not gauged enough, the moulding will not fit closely to the framing. The medium should be aimed at, as in Fig. 63, where the moulding beds closely at A and B, and is slightly away from the panel at C.
In fitting bolection moulding, the mites should be shot as it is difficult to obtain a clean joint direct from the saw; the correct length of each piece should be taken, and the moulding cut to the marks; there will be no difficulty in making them fit accurately. The rebates are usually made slightly edge-shaped, as shown in Fig. 63, which forces the mitres up tightly as the moulding are driven in. In nailing each piece in, the nails should be driven as at D (Fig. 63); this will draw the points A and B down tightly, and at the same time allow the panels to shrink, without the danger of splitting them. This method of fixing does not, however, find favor in some parts, the favorite method being to screw the moulding from the inside of the panels, as at E. This certainly holds them firmly to the panels; but unless the latter are very dry, they are apt to split, owing to the outside edges being held by the screws. Taken on the whole, the writer prefers the former method of fixing and it must be understood that both methods should on no account be used together.
In Fig. 64 we have a door that will be a familiar object to some readers, but a total stranger to others: it is a bolection-moulded three-panel door, the third panel being formed by leaving out the bottom munition, and throwing the space below the middle rail into one panel. This, however, is relieved by planting on a raised panel of 3/4 in. wood, bevelled off from the centre to all four sides to a thickness of 3/8 and screwed to the panel proper from the inside. A vertical section of such a door is also shown, and an enlarged section of the bottom part appears in Fig. 65. In some cases a narrow raised panel in fixed to the upper panels in the same way as the lower, but this is not commonly done.
The above makes a very substantial good-looking door when finished, far better than that shown in Fig. 60; but to ensure lasting properties the bottom panels should be very dry, and the grain should cross in the two—that is, the panel proper should run longways, and the raised panel upright, or vice-versa.
— Meghan Bates
Filed under: Doormaking & Window-Making
Upcoming in Issue Three… Book Review by Vic Tesolin: “A Field Guide to Identifying Woods in American Antiques & Collectibles” by R. Bruce Hoadley
I’m a voracious reader of both fiction and non-fiction and as you can imagine, most of my non-fiction reading is about woodworking. Currently you’ll find me in the Japanese hand plane rabbit hole and I’m not sure if I can find my way back out.
Joshua asked me if I could write a review of R. Bruce Hoadley’s latest book A Field Guide to Identifying Woods in American Antiques and Collectibles when he and I were at the Fine Woodworking Live event this year. Writing this review was an absolute pleasure for me because I have read almost everything Hoadley has printed. Although, to be fair, I wasn’t sure that I was going to pick this one up…but I’m glad I did.
Many woodworkers don’t understand how wood works. This is an odd thing because, for me, understanding the medium I work with helps me to understand how to work with it. Things like grain direction, porosity and hardness help my come up with a plan of attack for my tools. Take hand planing as an example. White pine practically glistens when you use a low cutting angle, however, try that in hard maple and see what happens. The more you know about wood, the better woodworker you will become.
This book is aimed at the antique market including conservators, collectors and traders, so what did I think of it as a maker? You’ll have to read the full review to see exactly what I thought.
- Vic Tesolin, The Minimalist Woodworker
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s announcement of the next article upcoming in M&T Issue Three...
In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, Mike Mascelli is back to talk more on upholstery. Along with the longevity of good-quality furniture and upholstery work, Mike talks about the best woods to use for frames that are to be upholstered – it’s all about lumber that allows and holds tacks and staples. But you’re not giving up any structural integrity.
Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more).
I use a variety of hand planes, bench planes actually, in the day to day of making, writing and filming because on the one hand I want to use what people can get hold of and afford at a reasonable price and I tend feel a little nauseous when snobbism displaces proven technologies that worked …
|fitting my second tongue|
|slightly out of square|
|some crud in the 90 to clean out|
|flat and straight|
|square to the face|
|marked and sawed it on the pencil line|
|the last one to be fitted|
|checking for square|
|off by a least a quarter of inch this way|
|cocked the clamps on one end|
|it fits both ways so I'm square|
|thinking of cutting this brush handle down|
|tighter squeeze for the spray cans side by side|
|this yields a bit more room|
|this was thought|
|this is a good sized cabinet for the shop and my finishing supplies|
|this is where it is going|
What does the latin phrase ex post mean?
answer - from behind, after the fact
I don’t have much background information on this video, but it appears to be a German film showing how a chipbreaker works while planing a piece of wood in a manner similar to the Kawai-Kato chipbreaker video. Many of the factors demonstrated are still the same: the need to have the chipbreaker close to the edge of the blade, the effect of the angle of the leading edge of the chipbreaker, and what happens if the chipbreaker is set too close. You can also see the effect of the mouth, and my favorite bit, what happens when the chipbreaker isn’t set well on the blade.
I shaped the iron, heat treated, sharpened it to a razor finish and did it within two hours. Considering how long it took me the first time, experience and speed has finally kicked in.
I’m very pleased with the outcome, she’s planing and ejecting shavings like a dream. The mouth opening is 1/32″ which I’ve returned back to my original idea and not intentionally but just by accident. Still it allowed thick enough shavings to go through without clogging. All that’s left to do now is to put a couple of coats of finish and use that as the mother plane for the hollow.
I found a neat little trick to shaping the iron, initially I shaped the iron on a grinder keeping it at 90° but the bevel I did with a file, just like our ancestors did and with all their plane irons to re establish their bevel . If I used the grinder to establish a 25° bevel and refine the shape I would’ve taken too much from one side or the other. With a file I took small amounts resulting in a more controlled shaping process. The grinder hogs off a lot of material throwing you off everytime until you get it right, but that is time consuming. The file seems like a slower process but it actually took me 20 -30 mins probably less to do it, that’s a saving of 2 hours work.
I could of given up considering how long I’ve been at it but I didn’t. Hard work, persistence, obsession is the key to success, nothing comes easy.
You can now purchase our latest video “Roubo Workbench: By Hand & Power” for $35 through our online store. The 4:19-long video can be streamed or downloaded and played on nearly any device – we offer the video without any DRM or copy protection.
The video is an in-depth look at how to build a massive French workbench using giant slabs of wood, but without enormous machinery. Will Myers and I walk you through all the construction steps and show a variety of ways to perform every operation, from a pure hand-tool method to one that uses the latest hand-held power tools.
Along the way, Will and I debate the fine points of construction – we don’t always agree – and discuss the pros and cons of everything from wide benchtops to wet timbers to tail vises.
Oh, and I might add that the video is beautiful. Shot using a three-camera setup at F+W Media and directed by our own John Hoffman, this presentation is the best we could do without hiring Orson Wells.
In addition to the 4:19-long video, we also include a three-page pdf containing a construction drawing of the bench, a cutting list and a list of the suppliers mentioned in the video. You’ll also receive a sheet of timecodes that will allow you to skip easily to individual chapters.
This video is the start of a series of instructional videos from Lost Art Press and directed by John. Next up: Peter Galbert on turning.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Workbenches
For several years, I’ve been storing my photos on Photobucket.com. I never paid for it so I was willing to deal with the endless pop up ads every time I wanted to upload some of my photos for my blog. All was well until a few days ago when I noticed that the photos in my blog postings were being blocked. Apparently, Photobucket changed their user agreement and they will no longer support third-party hosting of any of the photos in their site. The only way to get the photos back is to pay a monthly subscription fee. Fat chance of that.
I was using Flickr several years before I switched to Photobucket because I ran out of free space. So, the very early blog posts should be fine for now until Flickr does the same thing. I liked Photobucket because even though I had 300 pictures stored on their site, I was only using 3% of free space on my account. Now I’m in a pickle. I assume I could download all my Photobucket photos onto a hard drive and import them back into blog posts, but that is a lot of work.
I noticed a few months ago that WordPress wouldn’t allow me to cut and paste directly from Photobucket onto my blog page. I had to start loading the image onto WordPress first. Now I know why, which is why my most recent posts are fine. The last working post is from four months ago when I smashed my finger. Every post after that until three years ago is blocked.
Thank God I don’t do this for a living! What a nightmare this must be for professional bloggers who blog two or three times a day. I read on Reddit about people who are in dire straits because of this.
For now, I’m going to start using Imgur.com for storing my photos. Maybe I’ll even buy an external hard drive and store my photos on that so this never happens again.
I’ve been busy with 360Woodworking. With my head down giving it what for, I didn’t see that Ridgid came out with a trim router powered by a battery until one of our members – thanks, Eric – brought it to my attention. My reaction was, “You Betcha.” I enjoy using the corded Ridgid trim router and to not have to pull electric cords around the shop sounded good, so I set about getting my hands on the new R86044B.
Long time passing
Where have all the old tools gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the old tools gone?
Young men picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Ok, lets face the new reality...eBay really sucks for vintage tools.
The question everyone is asking...
...where did all the sellers go?Peace,
Upcoming in Issue Three: “Making a Stand: Form and Function for $1.50” by Michael Updegraff
Most woodworkers today admire the form of the period candlestand. From the graceful, sinuous legs to the seemingly intricate sliding dovetails that secure them, from the details of the turned standard to the beautiful grain exhibited in a tilting top, these pieces sometimes seem to be more sculpture than household mainstay. But this type was possibly the most common piece of furniture around in the 18th or 19th century, and was often present in every room of the house. Consequently, makers of the day built these stands not only in great quantity, but fast. After all, a single candlestand typically fetched from $.50 to $1.50, less than a day’s pay at the turn of the 19th century. Speed and efficiency were necessary to turn a profit.
I begin by felling a tree with an axe, and work through the riving, resawing, and ripping necessary to generate the stock required. The top is glued up from a rough-sawn piece of cherry that needed a good home. The standard (or pillar, or column, depending on whom you ask) is laid out from photographs of a historical piece and turned on a spring-pole lathe.
The legs, also patterned off of a period example, are secured to the standard with sliding dovetails and by a “spider” fashioned from a piece of scrap metal. We’ll be keeping an eye on the clock throughout this build, and looking at various ways to improve efficiency in the process. After all, the kids are hungry, the barn needs a new roof, and $1.50 only goes so far.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s announcement of the next article upcoming in M&T Issue Three...
Following the recent Groopshop gathering at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking I stuck around to teach a couple of one-day workshops. The first was “Veneer Repair” wherein I presented a group of techniques I’ve learned or created over the years. Having looked at an awful lot of historic furniture in my career, I think it is safe to say that the challenge of dealing with veneer damage and loss has been beyond the skill-set of a great many folks in the business. This is a topic of great interest to me, and since I’ve taught it many, many times, including last week, there seems to be interest in it. I am currently scripting out a video to shoot here in the coming winter with a young videographer living nearby.
My first order of business, a month before the class, was to make a set of near-identical “problem” boards for the students to work on. These were fairly good representations of the types of problems they will encounter.
For most losses a technique I created involves tracing precisely the damaged area onto a small piece of mylar or acetate that is taped to the adjacent background. Then I select and locate a piece of veneer that matches the surrounding background as best as possible. (I apologize for many of these pictures, I discovered ex poste that the camera was having a bad day, or perhaps it was the camera operator…)
The outline is transferred to the veneer via a piece of carbon paper (these are obviously not the same problem piece, but I think you get the idea)
The marked veneer is then mounted on a backing board with stick glue, and cut out with a jeweler’s saw.
If all goes well you get a perfect fit from the git go.
But sometimes the back side of the joint edge needs to be feathered with a small gouge to make it fit perfectly.
Once you have the grain and fit correct, you slather on some glue, overlay with a piece of cling wrap or mylar, and clamp with a plexi caul and the veneer repair is pretty much done. There is finish work yet to come, but that is another subject for another time.
A number of other techniques were taught, but I was so busy teaching that I forgot to take pictures of them. You’ll have to wait for the video, I guess.
My blood pressure remained normal and I didn't change into a raging nut job which my wife was very proud of. All this did really was put me behind the eight ball with getting tomorrow's blog post ready. One thing I did do before I started writing this was to make a password reset recovery USB. I thought I had done that but I don't remember it and if I did, I don't know where I stuck the USB stick.
|my new camera|
|my very first pic with the new camera|
|I forgot to snap this pic last night|
|set up board to get the outside wall of the groove|
|knifed the in and outside of the groove to prevent chipout|
|worked good in this pine|
|knifed my two groove lines|
|this is prone to chipout and blowouts|
|first groove to depth|
|groove number 2|
|the last one, #4|
The action of this Lee Valley plow plane is very sweet. It was a joy to use on this and a huge step up over the Record 405 (English version of the Stanley 45). Less bulk and weight and a lot more nimble and easier to push. Well worth putting on your xmas list to buy in august.
|ran two gauge lines|
|tongue laid out|
|splitting out the rabbet|
|got one split out|
|lucky again with #2|
|this end isn't splitting off cleanly|
|too fat but I knew that|
|this should have been on the side of the tongue|
|squared up the cheek|
|cleaning up and squaring the tongue with the router plane|
|one corner caught, the rest is too fat|
|fits but the tongue needs some trimming|
|making a tongue marker|
|marked and ready to saw off|
|inside joint line|
|the oops side|
How many official perfect games have been throw in Major League Baseball?
answer - out of over 210,000 games only 23
The rabbit hutch project is finally looking like a rabbit hutch. I got a lot done in the last post, but now I need to make the two poop drawers that will sit beneath the wire mesh floors.
You can see the earlier posts in this series here:
- The Rabbit Hutch – Part 1 (Front frames and doors)
- The Rabbit Hutch – Part 2 (Sidewalls)
- The Rabbit Hutch – Part 3 (Carcase assembly)
- The Rabbit Hutch – Part 4 (Floor frames)
- The Rabbit Hutch – Part 5 (General Assembly)
In the last post, I painted the hutch, installed the floor frames, fitted and installed the back panels, installed the doors, and made a piece to fill the gap at the top of the front. Wow, that’s a lot for one post. Time to make the poop drawers. Again, I’m skipping photos of me milling wood.
I found that there was a slight inward bow in the long sides of the draw frame. I cut a piece of scrap to temporarily keep these pushed out straight while I nailed the bottom on.
For the bottom I decided to use a ¼ plywood that is faced one side with paper. I think that it is designed to be used as an underlayment for tile. To attach the bottom, I used Titebond III and nails.
With the bottom drawer made, I gave the outside a couple of coats of paint. Not the inside, that’s getting different treatment.
So that the drawer doesn’t slide directly on its plywood bottom, I added an oak runner or wear strip to the bottom edges.
The bottom drawer was fairly simple. The upper drawer is a little more complicated as it needs to have a notch cut out of the back to account for the ramp that links the upper and lower levels of the hutch.
I’ll skip all the photos of the dovetailing this time as it is exactly the same as the first drawer. In the bellow (after) photo, you can see the joints all finished. This one took a little longer because of the notch. As you can see, it has eight dovetail joints instead of four.
I did the same flush-cut and round-over with the trim router before painting.
My next-door neighbor had some left over countertop laminate that he gave me. This will make a great waterproof liner for the drawers.
After the glue had cured, I trimmed the edges flush with the laminate trim router and a block plane.
I bought these drawer pulls at a clearance sale at the Lee Valley store when I took a trip to Kelowna, BC last year. I knew they would come in handy at some point.
Well, that’s the drawers done. Now this thing needs a roof. More on that in the next post.
– Jonathan White