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Before I left I made a circuit through the hardwood aisle. I had done some figuring and I could make my stand up desk for work out of 3 1x12x3' boards of NZ pine. I like this wood because it is hard and I can write on it without also making indents in the wood. 3 boards of this would have cost me over $60 so I looked at poplar. A 1x12x6' poplar board was going for close to $40. I'll drive to New Hampshire first and buy wood there before I pony up any dollars at Lowes. Not a good start to my day after leaving work.
The good news is I made an extra road trip to the Lowes I normally go to. Asked a kid in the kitchen department where the sink clips where. Without hesitating, he told me exactly where they were (he couldn't have been more than 19-20 years old). I bought 3 bags because I either lost the one that came with the sink or none were in the box. I also got a 4x4 piece of 1/4" birch plywood but it was different. The front was birch, the middle had a couple of plies, but the back was covered with paper
Today I bandsawed the radius on the two corners and cleaned them up with the spokeshave like I had been doing it all my life. I didn't get one continuous shaving from one side to the other but there was no tearing out or chattering. My shavings were smooth and easy coming though. This is the spokeshave iron that I sharpened correctly this time but making sure I raised a burr first.
|found it on the laundry table|
|most of the parts are rough sawn|
|need a cutout for the apron|
|vertical cut is too wide|
|this edge will be scribed to the wall|
|vertical cut was done on the bandsaw and the horizontal one by hand|
|back side of the horizontal saw cut|
|good fitting joint|
|changed lanes on the scribing|
|continued success with the spokeshave|
|roughing in the parts|
|the corbel will hide the butt joint|
|the kitchen clock|
|big hollow on this side|
|I can do beads with this too|
|my beading irons|
|the record bead|
|the rabbet makers|
|the record 3/16" bead|
|the Stanley bead|
|the plane is history|
|3/16" beading plane|
|1/4" side bead plane|
|still haven't done it|
How many stone blocks are in the Washington Monument?
answer - 36,491
Let’s recap what we know about chairs. There are one-legged chairs:
And the conventional four-legged chairs:
Today, we were on the Eastern shore of Virginia tracking down the final resting place of my wife’s dead relatives. By 2:00 PM, we were out of places to look and relative to look for. As it happens, there was a large antiques mall just a few miles up the road. And it was raining. We went.
I wandered around a bit and thought I had found the elusive five-legged chair when I saw this one:
Upon closer examination, I realized it only has four legs but the are incorrectly placed:
These furniture makers have no respect for tradition. Furniture making is no place for original thinking. The furniture gods are surely angry.
One more look:
Of course, it would be hard to rock back. Maybe lean side to side…
Like a lot of guys, I used to collect weapons. Well, “collect” is probably too strong a word, but I’ve had various blades hanging on the wall for a long time. But the time has come to take them down. The sword will stay up–it’s a dress-sword anyway, not a real weapon–but the rest are coming down. It’s not that I wouldn’t defend my family if necessary. (I have four daughters; I am no pacifist.) It’s that my innermost desires are no longer for adventure and conquest, but for stability and peace.
When I was a teenager, I started collecting bayonets and knives. I had carried a pocketknife since I was 10, but I think I bought my first vintage bayonet when I was 14 or 15. Over the next few years, I picked up a few more at antique shops when I could afford them.
Why? Because I was a young man, and I thought knives and bayonets were cool. I still admire the craftsmanship of some of them. (The one pictured here was made in Switzerland and hefts like it.) But most young men just enjoy playing with sharp, pointy objects.
When my wife and I bought our house years ago, I hung the bayonets up on the wall, but then I more or less forgot about them.
In the meantime, I needed to build things. A LOT of things. I had started buying tools and learning how to use them. I had made a bookshelves, a storage box or two, a side table, and more bookshelves. Then came the beds for us and for the kids. I rebuilt the back porch. I built a dining table. I built more bookshelves. I made a lot of wooden spoons.
And every now and then I would glance at those bayonets hanging on the wall. The more I did, the more I thought, “That’s not me anymore.”
Of course I had never used those bayonets. I had taken one or two of the knives on camping trips, but otherwise, they had never been of any use to me. At best, they were slightly odd home decor. At worst, they were fuel for heroic, violent fantasies. Unlike my tools, which I use on a weekly basis, I hadn’t touched the bayonets in years. I was holding onto them for nostalgia’s sake, I suppose, but I wouldn’t have missed them if they had disappeared.
What had happened to me? I grew up.
There is a strong fighting instinct in boys, and it persists into adolescence. I will openly admit that fantasies of fighting and aggression were probably behind my impulse to collect and display weapons. (Thank Heaven I’m a cheapskate, or I might have ended up with dozens of those things.) I see this aggressive impulse in my young son, who loves dressing up in super-hero costumes and racing around the house, “fighting” with any opponent, real or imaginary, that he can find. (He’s learning not to attack his sisters. Or the dog.) I was like that as a kid, too. Most boys are. They love hitting, kicking, stabbing, and shooting stuff. It’s in the blood.
It’s wonderful to be a kid, and I sure did enjoy being a little boy. I made a lot of wooden swords. I enjoyed a lot of my adolescence, too, especially when I found I could buy real weapons. I don’t regret collecting the weapons I did. But once I started taking on responsibility–a job, a spouse, a home, and children–I found my desires changing.
I no longer wanted to fight, but to build.
In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul remarks that when he became a man, he put away childish things. Paul doesn’t mean he suddenly gained a Y-chromosome. He means that he grew up. Being a man is about responsibility motivated by love. And for me, becoming a man entailed putting away away fantasies of violence replacing them with the slow, steady work of building a home, and taking responsibility for the everyday well-being of those who dwell in it.
So in the spirit of putting away childish things, I took the bayonets down off the wall and packed them away. I found some pine boards and built a little crate to store them in.
It’s not a fancy box–just nailed together in an old-fashioned manner. The lid fits on snugly with only friction, thanks to the thin battens on its underside.
I filled the crate with those old weapons and tied some cord around it. Perhaps one day I’ll know what I should do with them, but for now I’m storing the box somewhere safe and out of the way.
I want to be a man of peace.
I want to build things.
That’s who I am now.
Tagged: bayonet, boy, boyhood, build, building, childhood, crate, knife, love, man, manhood, manly, peace, weapon, weapons
I'll be presenting a couple of things that are completely outside the box for me, but I will also have some very familiar tools as well.
Two of the tools I have in process at this time are actually for a customer in Norway. He is allowing me to show his tools at Handworks and after the event they will be off to Norway into his ownership.
I have taken time to shoot some pictures of the parts for these tools.
I like to make all the metal parts that are removable from the plane body first. When I get the plane body together those parts are ready to be installed and tuned. These parts, especially the lever caps, are very time consuming to make. It's nice to have that part of the process completed as I look forward to assembling the body.
Removable parts for a Brute shooting plane and a Winter Panel plane
Sole and internal parts for a Brute Shooting plane
Sole parts and bedding plate for a Winter Panel Plane
- Covers in one coat
- Protects from inside the wood
- Stain and polyurethane in one step
- No harsh fumes – strips multiple layers
- Danish Oil (ask the Danes about this finish)
- Spar varnish – exceptional protection from sunlight, rain & moisture
- You must finish both sides of a panel
- Perfect results every time
- No-fail finish
- No need to sand between coats.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Finishing, Uncategorized
With the passing of winter (fingers crossed) and the hydroelectric system de-mothballed, I undertook my annual ritual of tuning up both ends of the penstock, or pipeline that carries the water from the small dam at the top to the turbine at the bottom.
My first big upgrade a few years ago was to swap out the original four large capacity Tractor-trailer deep cycle batteries for four ultra-mega high performance deep cycle batteries for storing the generated electricity. Each of the new batteries has the capacity of the entire previous battery bank, so with this step I increased my power storage 16-fold. BTW each of the new batteries weighs 192 pounds, and these are the largest capacity 12v batteries available in the US.
A couple years ago I swapped out the rock-and-concrete catching dam at the edge of the property for a rock-and-sandbag one three hundred feet closer. I did this to save myself the intense maintenance involved in that last hundred yards of run which provided only another ten feet of drop. It just was not worth the added effort, being more than 25% of the penstock maintenance for a return of about 8% in the power output. Besides, the new site was perhaps the nicest narrowing of the creek with a huge rock on one bank and a great source of stacking rocks for the other.
Once again this year my debris filter needed replacing, something I will just have to plan in doing every other Spring unless I can find some stainless steel 1/4″ hardware cloth.
It only takes me four or five minutes to make a new one, and it swaps out with the older one in about fifteen seconds. I spend way more time walking up to the site and anything else.
On the bottom end of the penstock I also refined some revisions I’d made in previous years. The turbine came with three graduated fixed nozzles when I bought it, 1/4″, 5/16″, and 3/8″, to provide for a nearly infinite variability in the system flow control. This required pipe fittings leading the three high-pressure hoses going to each of the nozzles, and the Y-pipe fittings were a maintenance headache. Previously I’d cut the options down to two nozzles and their fittings, but I realized that the only one I really needed was the largest one and reconfigured the routing again.
Now it’s just a straight shot leading to a single hose and nozzle.
The output of the hydro system is running about 10-12 kwh per day, which is way more than I need for most any day. Even running a planer for three hours or the wax cookers all day is no problem, especially on a sunny day when the solar panels kick in another 8-10 kwh.
My next system projects are to build a heavy-mass turbine housing to dampen the whine of the turbine, which interferes with the gurgling of the stream, and build a new powerhouse for all the electronics inherent in the system..
|got the corbels done|
|too thick and I don't like the profile|
|this looks much better to me|
|the scale of the new molding is a better fit here|
|I wish this rabbet was larger|
|the plane I used to make the bead|
|my smallest hollow|
|did kind of ok on the far end|
|test run for the plate groove|
|big number 5|
|nail holes won't be a problem|
|groove is way too big|
|from Bob Demers|
|haven't used any of these for quite a long time|
|1/4" veining router bit|
I quit here because I had to go to the bank. I forgot my PIN for my ATM and I got locked out after 3 invalid tries so I need the bank to reset it.
The Panama Canal has 12 locks. The Suez Canal is twice as long and it has how many locks?
answer - none
Monday 17th April 2017 It would be too much to blog on the shipwright’s work when the ship is so large. Boats would be much easier. It wasn’t in any way nostalgia that called me to visit Portsmouth nor anything to do with a nautical life on the open sea. It was wood and its …
Last month I was visited by Joshua Farnsworth, Ray Pine, and George Lott, for a wonderful day of fellowship, filming, and yakking about woodworking and rural living.
Joshua shot a bunch of video to be edited and compiled and the first one was posted last night. You can find it here. Clearly I have a face for radio and a voice for writing.
When I went to the lumberyard to buy the stock for my first project of my own design I picked through the store’s entire stack of 1x12s to find the boards with the most attractive constellation of knots. I wasn’t trying to be cheeky or make a statement (other than “I like knots”). I genuinely liked knots because they reminded me that the board was once a tree – not […]
The post In Praise of Knots, the Defect that is Watching You appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
Seek Out the Deep Dark Corners of Your Moulding
This week I show off my new track lighting and smart bulbs in my shop. For me these lights serve 2 masters: woodshop and film studio. So my set up may be a bit different than a lot of you, but embracing task lighting over banks of fluorescent lights is a major step forward for any hand tool shop.
Then I answer a question about nailing moulding to a case and how to hide the nails so you don’t have to mess with wood putty that usually makes things more obvious.
I’m getting ready to go over to Southbridge, Massachusetts for Fine Woodworking Live http://www.finewoodworkinglive.com/ but in the meantime, Lie-Nielsen just posted a preview of my new video on hewing wooden bowls. I copied it here, in case anyone would like to see what this video covers. I still have some available: https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/new-dvds-carved-oak-boxes-hewing-wooden-bowls-spring-2017/ and they have the rest https://www.lie-nielsen.com/nodes/4243/home-education-videos
The first issue was what material to use. I wanted to use douglas-fir, but most of what you find around here is days from harvest and so green it literally drips. The big boxes sell kiln dried 2x material as "whitewood" so they can use different species. Usually it is hemlock, which is unsuitable for a workbench, but I checked and it happened to be douglas-fir that day. I sorted through the pile and found half a dozen studs that were sorta rift sawn and had clear sections. So, together with scraps left over from the kitchen remodel, I had my materials for a grand total of less than $18.
The first step was laminating the top. I settled on a length of 34 inches and the width of four 2x4s, which turned out to be 13 inches after jointing off the rounded edges. At this point I got a nice surprise. In the past I have flattened panels with a jack plane, but a while back I heavily cambered the blade of an extra #4 to make it a dedicated scrub plane. This was the first time I had used it and I couldn't believe how much easier it was.
I was able to flatten both sides in about twenty minutes and, after smoothing it out with old #7 I had a top that is a strong 1 3/8" thick:
Now I need a base that will also function as a case for the toolbox.
Fully expecting that the Hardwood Derby at Fine Woodworking Live will be as entertaining as this. Be sure to watch through to the end.
One of the common criticisms I hear of North American woodworkers is that we try to do so many things – casework, carving, veneering, chairmaking, turning – that we never become good at any one of those things.
There’s truth to the criticism. When I work side-by-side with traditionally trained European woodworkers, they beat the pants off me (speed-wise). German, English and Swiss joiners can cut dovetails and assemble casework much faster than I can.
I do get a small measure of revenge when I pick up a turning tool without a second thought to make a leg or knob. Most of them have never touched a lathe, worked with green timber, dealt with compound-angle wet/dry chair joints or carved even a simple detail.
Maybe it’s the frontier blood in our veins or the fact that our society never embraced the European apprentice system for woodworking. There was just too much work to do, not enough people to do it and not enough time to train people in that manner. Heck, most North Americans I know are one or two generations removed from our subsistence farming ancestors.
At times I wish our history was different. I covet the pure European skill when I watch people from the French schools, for example, make astonishing chairs with ease. Or when I watch German carvers at work on restoring a cathedral. Or English joiners making ridiculous dovetails. I feel inferior, as if I’ve spent my entire adult life working at the craft and haven’t really gotten anywhere.
And this is the part of the writing arc where I am supposed to say: But we’re great! We get to do so many different things! And blah blah freedom #Murica.
That’s not how I resolve this conflict in my mind. I turn to the parable of the scorpion and the frog, made famous in the movie “The Crying Game.”
A scorpion asks a frog to carry him across the river. But the frog queries: “How do I know you won’t sting me?”
The scorpion replies: “Because if I do, we’ll both die.”
Satisfied, the frog allows the scorpion to hop on his back. Halfway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog. And before they both drown, the frog asks: “Why?”
“It’s in my nature,” replies the scorpion.
Sometimes I ponder my 11-year-old self. Would I have signed onto a seven-year apprenticeship at a technical academy if it were offered? It’s an unanswerable, navel-gazing question, and so I pick up a saw and get back to cutting some tenons. And so should you.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Personal Favorites, Uncategorized
This is the last of the catalogues I’m going to post unless I find one dated back to the 18th century which I don’t even know if they actually had toolmakers who made tools as a business. Generally woodworkers and blacksmiths made tools for themselves and the latter for woodworkers. Anyhow, I feel the catalogues I posted is more than enough.
Another method that involves just a little bit more work is to insert some battens in sliding dovetails.
Now there is a plane that is designed for that specific purpose, but mine is at home, so I had to do it with my smoothing plane instead which means that my battens visually taper and don't cover the line up as they would have if I made them the other way.
Since this isn't a show surface it will be just fine.
A narrow board was divided to form two wedges. The surfaces were cleaned up with the plane. Each of the edges were planed at an angle, so the end of each wedge resembled had a trapezoidal shape.
I marked out where I wanted the pieces to go and clamped down the first wedge. Using itself as a guide, I sawed along its edge using my small dozuki. When I had reached my intended depth I loosened the clamp and shifted the wedge a bit to saw the other side of the dovetail dado.
Once the sawing was completed I removed the material with a chisel.
A router plane would have been the obvious choice, but the body of my small homemade one is so narrow that it would fall into the dado. And a chisel does the job fast and well enough in this case.
The wedge was marked out so I could saw off the lower part of the wedge, to enable the protruding end to grip behind the lower front lip. Finally the edges were chamfered with a chisel and the wedge installed.
The second wedge was negotiated in the same way.
A board was split and resawed and planed for making the locking pin. It was cut to length and a hole drilled in the upper part to give something for the fingers to grip when it has to be pulled out.
The bridge shaped piece that will hold the upper part of the fall front was a quick saw and chisel job.
Ralph asked about the shaving deflector for the Stanley No 50 combination plane (mine is actually a Record plane).
As you all know, taking pictures isn't my strongest side, but hopefully the pictures of the deflector mounted in the plane will give a bit of an idea on how it works.
The backside is sloped to match the blade.
The inside is sloped to that the lowest point of the deflector is positioned as far outwards as possible. This slope guides the shaving to the centre of the plane where it can escape without being jammed.
I've had a request o show some pictures of a tiny instrument makers plane of mine, so I thought I'd share them.
It is just 1 5//8" long and unusually is dovetailed, a real one off.
It has a skewed mouth and was clearly made to be used. Thankfully it's been very well looked after.