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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!

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Hand Tools

Transferring Patterns onto Light and Dark Wood

Mary May, Woodcarver - 1 hour 13 min ago

Mary May - Woodcarver

Have you ever had trouble seeing the lines of your design on the wood? Often with lighter colored wood such as basswood, pencil lines show up clearly. If you have transferred a template to your wood with carbon paper, this also shows up well on lighter colored wood. The carbon paper can be purchased at office supply stores.

However, when using darker woods, such as mahogany or walnut, I often use what is called “transfer paper” instead of carbon paper to transfer on designs. This paper comes in a variety of colors – white, red, yellow in addition to darker colors. It can usually be found in craft supply stores such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby. The lines also erase easily with a standard pencil eraser.

SARSF7179-A

I just place the transfer paper between my template and wood and trace over the design from the template. I have accidentally had the transfer paper laying the wrong side up several times, so a warning… make sure the right side is down! It makes a really nice pattern on the back of your template if not :(

 

 

 

Another good trick for darker wood is to use white gel pens or colored pencils when you trace around a cut-out template or pattern.

DSC00949

DSC00954

I have a video on youtube that goes into more techniques of transferring designs to wood. Enjoy!

Finally something I haven’t already covered on the blog

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - 1 hour 57 min ago

Often when choosing a subject for the blog, I sound like a broken record (we can use that expression now, because people are using vinyl again) – spoons, carved oak, chests, boxes, chairs. Birds. After 7 years, it’s pretty rare when I have a woodworking project that I haven’t covered before on the blog. I tend to make the same things over & over. Mostly. But I know I haven’t made one of these cupboards in all that time, so here goes nothing. These are simple affairs; a combination of a carcass like a six-board chest, but with a joined front. Here’s one I did 12 years ago, when we worked on PBS’ Colonial House.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For the new one, I had worked the oak frame up last week, then took it to the shop to saw out & fit the pine ends, shelves and back. I have some nice wide pine boards to use, here I’m ripping the sapwood off, to bring it down to 18″ wide. I tend to do ripping like this, at the workbench, upright. 2 hands. Easy to see my line this way, and I like not being hunched over.

2 handed sawing

 

then I marked out the cut-outs for the feet. These are just based on looking at several board chests, but aren’t specific copies of any one foot pattern.

you do it like that

 

The resulting end board.

feet

 

This photo goes backwards in time; I’m rabbeting the inside face of the front stile, to insert the edge of the end board. rabbetThis cupboard will have a central door, opening on wooden pintle hinges. Here’s the mortise for a muntin; and to the left of it, a hole bored for the pintle the door will swing on. To the right, a panel groove.
rails

 

The other muntin with a rabbet planed in it, to stop the door from swinging into the cupboard.

muntin

 

I cut notches in the inside faces of the ends, for shelves at the bottom & halfway up the height of the cupboard. I rarely make these, so don’t have a router plane. I just make two saw kerfs, and pare out between them with a chisel. You can see I lean the chisel this way & that, to come down to the saw kerf, then I’ll remove the peaked middle. Not as neat as a router plane…

trench

Here’s the cupboard front and one end leaning side by side while I worked on the other end.

front & one end

 

Then I bored pilot holes, and nailed the front to the edges of the ends. You can either assemble the front frame around the door, or insert the door afterwards. Because I haven’t made the door yet, I chose option B. All in all, a little bit of joinery, a few rabbets, and a bunch of stout nails.

assembly begun

Later today I got the shelves in, and cut out the board for the top. I’ve had to change the way the back will fit, because I cut one shelf 1″ too short! So had to switch some stock around. I had zero extra pine boards. Friday and next week I’ll finish this up & show you what happened.


“Virtuoso” Now Available for Pre-Publication Ordering (re-post from Lost Art Press)

The Barn on White Run - 3 hours 12 min ago

‘Virtuoso’ Now Available for Pre-publication Ordering

Studley-cover-2(3)You can now order “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley” by Don Williams from the Lost Art Press store. The book is $49 and will ship in mid-May.

Orders received before May 13, 2015, will receive free domestic shipping. The first 1,000 orders will receive a nice commemorative postcard featuring a beautiful shot of the open tool cabinet shot by Narayan Nayar.

When you order, you will have the option to pick up your copy at Handworks in Amana, Iowa., on May 15-16, or have the book shipped to you. All shipping will occur after Handworks.

Retailers for ‘Virtuoso’
While we are certain that many of our retailers will stock “Virtuoso,” we do not know which ones yet will opt to carry it. When we have that information in the next couple weeks, I will definitely post it here.

Why No Digital Version?
There will not be a digital version of “Virtuoso” at this time. We have experienced a significant amount of pirate distribution of our titles, so we have decided that for this book, the pirates will have to manually scan and assemble the book if they want to rip us off. Our apologies to our law-abiding customers for this difficult decision.

Other Studley Products
We will have more news on other Studley-related products in the coming weeks, including posters, a feature-length DVD and toilet-seat covers (oh wait, no, those are for “The History of Wood”).

Thanks for all your patience during the last four years since we announced this project at Woodworking in America. A team of people has poured thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars into the research and production of this book. I think that effort will show in the book, and I hope you will be pleased.

— Christopher Schwarz

‘Virtuoso’ Now Available for Pre-publication Ordering

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - 6 hours 5 min ago

Studley-cover-2(3)You can now order “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley” by Don Williams from the Lost Art Press store. The book is $49 and will ship in mid-May.

Orders received before May 13, 2015, will receive free domestic shipping. The first 1,000 orders will receive a nice commemorative postcard featuring a beautiful shot of the open tool cabinet shot by Narayan Nayar.

When you order, you will have the option to pick up your copy at Handworks in Amana, Iowa., on May 15-16, or have the book shipped to you. All shipping will occur after Handworks.

Retailers for ‘Virtuoso’
While we are certain that many of our retailers will stock “Virtuoso,” we do not know which ones yet will opt to carry it. When we have that information in the next couple weeks, I will definitely post it here.

Why No Digital Version?
There will not be a digital version of “Virtuoso” at this time. We have experienced a significant amount of pirate distribution of our titles, so we have decided that for this book, the pirates will have to manually scan and assemble the book if they want to rip us off. Our apologies to our law-abiding customers for this difficult decision.

Other Studley Products
We will have more news on other Studley-related products in the coming weeks, including posters, a feature-length DVD and toilet-seat covers (oh wait, no, those are for “The History of Wood”).

Thanks for all your patience during the last four years since we announced this project at Woodworking in America. A team of people has poured thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars into the research and production of this book. I think that effort will show in the book, and I hope you will be pleased.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Virtuoso: The Toolbox of Henry O. Studley
Categories: Hand Tools

Using the Wood Stretcher to attach the rockers on my new chair

Jeff Miller: Chairs and More - 11 hours 19 min ago

Lower assembly on rocker My new rocking chair design is coming along very nicely. But there have been some real challenges. At the moment, the front legs/arm supports are single pieces of wood that pierce the seat (which extends back to make the rear legs). This joint is my usual brand of crazy, but that’s not the problem. The front legs need to be glued in place to the seat before I can move on to attaching the rockers. But the front legs point in a different direction from the back legs. And the tenons on the ends of the legs point in different directions as well. So they don’t fit in the mortises in the rockers. And there’s not enough flex in the assembled parts to force everything into place (I tried).

 Cue the Wood Stretcher. I laminated the rockers, so they are exceptionally strong. But they do flex a little, with very little risk of breaking. Flattening them out a bit by pulling down on the ends with clamps doesn’t just take some of the curve out; it effectively lengthens the rockers a little. Just enough, in fact, to allow me to slip the tenons into the mortises. Releasing the clamps lets the rockers spring back, and locks the joints together, making the attachment between the legs and the rocker pretty much impossible to get apart (without flattening the rocker again). It’s incredibly cool to see this work.mis-aligned tenonStretching the RockerTenon now aligned with mortise

 

Choosing Your First Hand Plane – VIDEO

The English Woodworker - 12 hours 20 min ago

Today I wanted to answer a common question when it comes to hand planes  – which one should you buy first? I go through the reasons for my choice and explain why, if I could have only one plane, this would be it. This discussion is based on my choice of plane in regards to the size and doesn’t take account of the brand or whether I feel you should buy new or old etc.

Categories: Hand Tools

She Sure Fooled Me!

The Literary Workshop Blog - 12 hours 21 min ago

Some time ago, I had been working on a big home improvement project for which I had collected a lot of lumber over the past year.  One evening at quitting time, I left some of the lumber out on the porch overnight.

When I came back to it the next morning, this is what I saw:

Dust Piles on Lumber 2014

Small, conical mounds of sawdust, all in a row.  “Oh No! What is it?!?” I thought. “Carpenter bees? Enormous powder post beetles?”

Well, as it happened, it wasn’t an insect infestation at all.  My daughters had come in to play in the sawdust after I left, and they had made the little piles of sawdust for fun.

This story didn’t happen on April Fool’s Day, but it was still a great (though unintentional) prank.

So the next time you want to play a prank on a woodworker, leave some little dust piles in a line right under his best lumber.  Then stand back and watch him freak out.


RWW 193 Display Shelf Part 1

The Renaissance Woodworker - 12 hours 51 min ago

This shelf is a very simply designed and built project for a customer. When I started it I’ll be honest that I thought it to be an easy one that I could just knock out quickly and I have allotted 5 hours total to build it. What I discovered was that it wasn’t difficult to build but the simplicity of it allows me to really focus on getting it done perfectly and that has been a whole new exciting learning experience.

In this first part I focus on the legs. Milling, sizing, dado joinery, and finishing touches like tapers and chamfers. I also bring out my adjustable dado plane technique that I wrote about several years ago.

Here is the SketchUp model of this design for anyone who is interested

Categories: Hand Tools

The Eagle has Landed

Peter Galbert - Chair Notes - 14 hours 6 min ago
OK, maybe a bit of overkill, but I am proud to say that the final print edition of "Chairmaker's Workshop" is shipping to all the folks who pre ordered and who are currently placing orders. You can order it from Lostartpress.com.
I've been spending time getting ready for my trip around the country. I will be in South Carolina teaching at Caleb James' shop and then on to Iowa for Handworks and then to University of the Rio Grande in Ohio to teach a class to a Sapfm chapter. There are a couple of spots that have opened in the class in Ohio that are available if you are interested. You can contact me and I'll forward your email to Eric Matson who will give you the lowdown.

I have managed to sneak away for a proper vacation, which was a welcome and needed break. I was in Costa Rica with my lovely companion Stephanie Hubbard. Here we are in La Amistad International Park. It's the largest protected area in Central America.
We hiked three hours up this riverbed to get to a waterfall and saw a deadly bushmaster snake, bullet ants and poisonous spiders the size of your face. A great time to be sure.

Here is a quick plug for the lodge we stayed at. It's called Selva Bananito and is off the grid and nestled in the rainforest. The owner was very generous with us and is obsessive about keeping his land as habitat for all the pumas, jaguars and other large cats and wildlife that roam around. Knowing that our vacation dollars were going to help made a beautiful place all the better.



Categories: Hand Tools

The Architect’s Chair – Part Six

The Unplugged Woodshop - Tom Fidgen - 15 hours 30 min ago
    Continuing along with the lower chair frame joinery, this video shows a little more dovetail work on the legs, sawing out the 8/4 stock for the hubs, and making the dovetail sockets in the hubs. From there the hub was tapped using a...
Categories: Hand Tools

Hi, Wilbur. Do you mind going into your process for miters with pullsaws? Do you use a bespoke miter box; miter guide; chisels; miter shooting board; or sheer, brute will? I tried sheer, brute will this weekend and it didn't work out. Thanks!

Giant Cypress - 16 hours 47 min ago

I usually try to saw to the line. Most times that works, sometimes not. The good news is that there is a method of dealing with this that doesn’t depend so much on good sawing technique as long as your layout is accurate. Here’s how you can do this.

Make sure that your layout for the miter is as accurate as you can make it. Make your saw cut as close to the line as you can without touching the line. The good thing about miters is that since the miter goes diagonally across the grain, it is really easy to plane as long as you plane downhill. Use a plane set to take a very fine shaving to plane down to your line. As long as you’re keeping an eye on your line, you won’t even need a shooting board to do this step. All you will need is a way to secure the board.

got distracted........

Accidental Woodworker - 18 hours 48 min ago
Instead of working on finishing the squares when I went to the shop I wandered out into La-La land. I had to pick up a box of molding planes to move it and that led to me taking one out. I was just going to look out at but I tried to road test it. I should be on a schedule as I am too easily distracted. Maybe this is why I have so many different irons in the fire at once.

the distraction
The iron in this plane felt sharp and I had nothing to lose so I tried it out. This piece of pine isn't the best choice but it is the biggest scrap I had to use.  I used what I learned from the plane that is similar to this one to do this. It was kind of working and not working.

knot right in the middle
The lead in has a lot of the profile and the exit end is only about half. Trying to get past the knot was a bit of a problem.

sawed off the knot but this isn't ideal
The grain runs out to the middle and rises up and then reverses and goes in the opposite direction. It's all I have to road test with so I'll make do.

it's being fussy
I was able to start the profile but as the plane dropped down over the board it started to cut less and less. I fiddled with the iron, moving it down and sideways and it would take a few shavings and stop. I tried tilting the plane a little away from me and towards me. It would cut a little more and stop.  I am not having a problem starting it like I did with the first plane. With this plane I am having a problem with finishing it.

stopped here
As you can see the plane has made the first half of the profile and it is at the point where the profile curve reverses. It is at this point that I can't get the plane to make any more shavings. I'm pretty sure that it is the iron being a bit dull in spite of the pile of shavings. I can feel a difference in this iron compared to the one I honed and made a thumb nail with yesterday.

I was tempted to expend the calories and hone this iron here and now. But in order to do that I would have had to cleared the bench of the crappola I had all over it for making the squares. And then I would have had to find a horizontal surface to put it all on. I'll come back to this later on this week or this weekend.

pine square is done
All this needs now is a couple of coats of shellac and I can hang it on the cabinet door.

first pattern - incomplete
I wanted to do something like the Chris Schwartz square with a round and lambs tongue or something like that. Here I have just the round and I stopped with this. By the time I got a lambs tongue detail the cross brace would end up way too thin.

used the end of the arm pattern
I first tried to do this with the pattern flipped 180 both ways but again, the cross brace would have ended up too thin. I found this while I was staring at this trying to see what I could do. I saw the pattern laying this way by the brace. It looked ok and after I penciled it in I band sawed it close to the lines. I then rasped to the lines. I'll be repeating this detail on the oak on too.

oak brace
I applied what I learned on the pine one to the oak one. I got the brace half laps done and I had no blowouts. I also don't have the brace at a 45 degree angle. I did place the brace at a 45 but I didn't like the look of it. I placed this brace (and the pine one) across the arms at a position that looked good to me. I have no idea what this angle is.

doing the half laps on the arms
I am using the brace to give me a bearing surface for the router. On the pine one I didn't think to use the brace this way. It helps a lot having a bit more real estate to rest the sole of the router on.

not quite flush
I've got about a 1/16" more to go to get it flush. It looks like my eyeball of the middle of this oak was pretty close.

not quite all the way
This is the only piece on all the half laps that I had a hiccup. This I can glue down when I do the glue up of the half laps. One thing that helped me a lot was taking my time. My marking gauge line wasn't very deep and it was kind of faint in this oak. One of the problems I had on both squares was making it deeper and keeping the line straight.

On the pine one I tried to use a 6" metal rule as a guide for my marking knife to deepen the gauge line. Doing that didn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. It wasn't easy to do and it took me a while to do it. On the oak one I used the chisel to deepen the line. I very lightly tapped it on the first run and made a wall. I did this 3 more times and I then I sawed the wall with my zona saw. Then I chiseled out most of the waste between the walls.

I didn't get this one done and glued up tonight like I thought I would. Even accounting for my trip to La-La land and back I should have been able to achieve this. Taking my time making my half laps did pay off. I got nice tight fitting joints with no blowouts. All that ate up a lot of time and before I knew it Mickey's big hand was on 12 and the other was on five. Time to quit. I'll finish the half lapping tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Jupiter has the most known satellites with 63. Which planet is in second place?
answer - Saturn with 61 (as of 2009)

New steel expected to change woodworking

Heartwood: Woodworking by Rob Porcaro - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 9:35pm
A new steel developed at the Japanese Institute of Engineering and Metallurgy holds tremendous practical promise for all who use sharp blades, including busy woodworkers. Though not yet ready as a marketable product, it appears to have the potential to be a complete game changer. Here’s the details. The key feature of this steel is […]
Categories: Hand Tools

“Curious” as Spock Woiuld Say.

The Furniture Record - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 9:32pm

Interesting that the week in which I had no new posts, the number of followers went up. Views and visitors were down but one would expect that.

When I issue a new blog post, the number of views and visitors goes up. This makes sense. Occasionally, the follower count goes down. I try not to think about it.

I am not all that concerned about numbers, however. With the new grant, I am good for at least another three years. By then I should really be out of things to write about. Some argue that happened two years ago but I choose to ignore them.

The blog was down for a few days while we were on shoring production. As most of you know, since the beginning of the blog it has been written and edited by the staff in Bangalore. I  found that most Indian editors had a better understanding of grammar and spelling that I ever hope to have. With the new grant, I had the money to bring all this back to the US. OK, most of the work is done in the break room at the Hyundai factory in Marshall, Alabama. Hey, I’m trying.

Now that the staff has been selected and trained, blogs should be coming more regularly. Whether of not that is a good thing is not for me to say.

As a follow-up to yesterday’s blog, It’s Just Wrong…, I would like to thank all of you who have commented. There were many interesting origin myths and stories. What I was looking for, though, was an explanation of why it’s wrong. I want people who shop at Restoration Elm Barn to understand why this table is an un-good thing. Why some of us are amused and/or annoyed.

The table, in case you have forgotten:

Bad, bad table.

Bad, bad table. Am I the only person that thinks anchor when viewed?

I approved all comments but one. A reader called “Jeremy” seems to have submitted a no-comment comment. There was nothing there that I could find. Nothing to approve. He either forgot to include the comment or is a genius and is making the statement that there is no suitable comment to be made. Or, that needs to be made. Or, res ipsa loquitur, the thing speaks for itself.

My readers are just that brilliant.


A Spectacular Desk With A Little Problem

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 6:05pm

cIMG_8586

Recently I had the chance to work on a fairly snazzy roll-top writing desk, which needed a bit of conservation. It was built around 1770 by arguably the greatest furniture makers who ever lived, and is prominent in the collection of the elegant museum dedicated to European fine and decorative arts.

cIMG_8587

A short section of cross-grain molding had become detached, and part of my charge was to examine the desk from top to bottom to assess its overall condition.   I did, and it is in fine shape.

cIMG_8592

As was clear from the back of the moldings and the ground under them, this was not the first time these pieces had separated from the mother ship.  I counted three distinct campaigns of glue, and there could have been many more.

cIMG_8593

The pieces fit their place nearly perfectly even dry, with only the tiniest bit of rocking due to the excess glue under them.

cIMG_8595

My strategy was to soften the extant glue and remove only a bit of it, so I poulticed the glue line on the desk with some blue paper towel, cut to fit the space precisely and moistened with water.

cIMG_8596

I did the same to the backs of the detached pieces.

cIMG_8600

After a quarter hour or so the glue had softened and swelled to the point I wanted, and I removed the worst of the clumps and left the remainder in place.  For adhesive I turned to my long time fave, Milligan and Higgins 192 Special grade hot animal hide glue.  I had prepared this the days before the treatment, soaking it first in water overnight, then cooking it twice the day before I went.  A little dab of that, a minute of holding them in place with my infertips to gel, and I was done.

I packed up and left, reflecting on the fact that the opportunity to care for furniture from the greatest menuisiers of all time is exactly the reason I started down this path 43 years ago.

 

The Eagle has Landed

Peter Galbert - Chair Notes - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 2:13pm
According to Chris at Lost Art Press, the final print edition of Chairmaker's Notebook is now shipping to those who pre ordered as well as anyone ordering a copy now. I'm obviously thrilled and some of you who know me closely will be pleased to see that I actually took a vacation in celebration!





Here I am in La Amistad International Park in Costa Rica with the lovely Stephanie Hubbard. The Park is in both Panama and Costa Rica and is a Unesco World Heritage Site. This shot is near a waterfall in the primary rainforest that we hiked 3 hours in a riverbed to get to. Wet feet, a deadly bushmaster snake, bullet ants and poisonous spiders the size of your face made it a day that I'll never forget.
We stayed at an eco lodge (no non solar power and gravity fed water) called Selva Bananito which was way off the beaten path in the rain forest. The owner is obsessed with preserving the lands and habitat for the jaguars, pumas, ocelots and other large cats. His dedication and efforts were inspiring and it was a pleasure knowing that our vacation dollars were keeping his land from becoming another Chiquita style plantation.
But beyond all that, it was the much needed rest and recharge. Now with the book done and a decent rest, I'm ready for my next project...whatever that may be!
Categories: Hand Tools

On the bank’s green edge…

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 1:42pm

Saw a book at the library the other day – Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do – but I didn’t take it home. I already know I like living within sight of  the water.

Looking down the Jones River

 

As an added bonus, the borrowed shop I’m using has a water view as well. As you might know, I had a great time this winter. But…I’m not sad to see it going away now…today was the first day I could sit outside and feel warm enough in just a sweater. So I sat by the edge of Town Brook and ate my lunch. And watched the water.

Up the Town Brook

 

For ten minutes, I was transported. I was Huck Finn, drifting down his Mississippi. Then I was Henry David Thoreau, philosophizing beside Walden Pond. I heard Garcia singing Brokedown Palace.  I was that red-tail hawk, floating above the Brook…then I was me, thinking of the Jones River at home…was the tide low or high?

that way to the sea

 

Then an emergency vehicle came screaming down the road, my reverie was snapped. Water view or not, it was time to go back to work. But it sure was a great ten minutes.

sawing


On the Seating of Irish Giants and Leprechauns

Pegs and 'Tails - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 12:11pm
Irish giants (of which I am one) are a unique phenomenon amongst a wider national populace of green-wearing little people and folk of average height. Giants are recorded throughout Irish history, but it wasn’t until the growth in popularity of … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

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by Dr. Radut