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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

 

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

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First ribs in place...

Owyhee Mountain Fiddle Shop - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 3:48pm
... little to show for what is actually a fair amount of progress.



What has happened to get to this point?  Form selected.  Blocks squared and installed.  Outline traced onto the blocks.  C-bout curves cut into the corner blocks.  Curves cut on the neck and end blocks.  Ribs thinned to proper thickness and trimmed to starting height.  Bending iron fired up and curly maple bent into shape.  Glued and clamped into place.

Not shown -- the top and back plates are joined (individually, that is).

I find the other ribs much easier to deal with, so basically this fiddle is moving along into its second trimester.  Once the ribs and linings are in place, the outline can be traced onto the plates, and serious carving begins. 

This is my Hardanger, so it will have typical Hardanger f-holes -- a new adventure for me.

Note also in the photo, just right of center at the top, the plastic handle of a cheap chisel.  Even so, probably older than many of you reading this.  I bought it in the 1970s, just out of high school, working as a carpenter.  It is not what one would call a good chisel.  I had a good friend who would chastise me, if he could, for including such a piece of sh*t in my photo here, but he can't. 

And I use this cheap thing all the time.  Need to slice some old, gnarly glue out of a mortise?  Here you go.  Works as an old-glue scraper, too.  Split some wood into blocks?  Whack!  Won't stay sharp for a long, long time, but takes a good edge quickly and is just dandy, in this instance, for working blocks down to the point where my good gouges and scrapers can take over. 

What works, works.
Categories: Hand Tools, Luthiery

Sharpening Narrow Chisels (the Problem & Solution)

The English Woodworker - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 11:48am
Sharpening Narrow Chisels (the Problem & Solution)

A video version of this post has been added to our sharpening series.
All ‘Get Sharp’ customers can LOGIN to watch now.
Or You can Learn More about the Series here.

We’ve all done it.

Turned a smashing chisel into a left-handed skew.

Getting a 90 degree edge on narrow chisels can be troublesome.
Particularly if you’re free handing the job.

So I thought I’d give you a couple of tips that may help with sharpening narrow chisels squarely, (ish) freehand….

Continue reading at The English Woodworker.

Categories: Hand Tools

Tickets for Our Dec. 9 Book-release Party

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 9:00am

storefront_IMG_7783

You can claim your free tickets for the Dec. 9 book release party with Mary May and George Walker using this link. The event is 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at our storefront: 837 Willard St., Covington, KY 41011.

Each author will give a short presentation on their work, answer questions and sign books. Drinks and snacks will be provided by Lost Art Press.

— Christopher Schwarz

 


Filed under: Lost Art Press Storefront, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Words for Woodworking that Make me Barf

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 7:38am

I love to look at websites of woodworkers – amateurs and professionals – and see photos of their work. But when they describe their work using the following words, I think: This person is a pompous wee-wee head with a fake underbite and who walks like they are carrying a corncob without using their hands. You might disagree – that’s what the comments are for. But here is my list […]

The post Words for Woodworking that Make me Barf appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Perch Stool Part 3.5 Stretchers

The Renaissance Woodworker - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 6:28am

Size the Stretchers from Your Assembled Stool

In this video I figured out the sizes and turning profile for my 2 stretcher and I even lay those dimensions onto my template board for easier turning. However, I say this in the video and I’ll say it again. You must capture the dimensions for the stretchers from your own stool as they will mostly certainly be different. For that matter they will probably be different with every one of these stools that you build. So laying out the template once shouldn’t be an excuse to turn everything to that same size.

Have no fear though, there is a fair amount of wiggle room here since there are no shoulders on the tenons and if necessary some additional shaping either at the lathe or with a spokeshave can finesse an errant fit.

Let's Finish the Perch

    Next Live Broadcast will be 2 PM on Saturday 11/18/17

    I’ll be boring the holes for the stretchers, assembling the whole thing and cleaning up in preparation for finish.

Categories: Hand Tools

We Keep Pressing On!

Paul Sellers - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 5:44am

When your life’s work becomes a reflection in the lives of others – when you see others learning your craft from you and you can watch from a distance as they grow – there is something unique taking place that defies the status quo. Leaving North Wales two years ago seemed yet another big step […]

Read the full post We Keep Pressing On! on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Gentle Reminder: Still No Public Email

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 5:03am

LAP_logo2_940In 2015, I closed my public email address to preserve my sanity, though some would question whether I succeeded in my goal.

Lately, a lot of people have attempted to seek advice, feedback or whatever through my personal site: christophermschwarz.com and through help@lostartpress.com. I’m up to about five messages a day now.

Please don’t waste your breath, your fingers or your 1s and 0s. These messages are all simply deleted.

I know deleting them might seem rude. And some of you have told us how rude you think it is in long rants… which get deleted.

Trust me. It’s not you. It’s me. I had multiple public email addresses for 17 years and answered every damn question sent to me – no matter how odd or how much research it required. I helped lazy students with their papers on hand craft. I found links for people too lazy to use a thing called Google. I answered sincere but incredibly time-consuming emails from people who wanted to tell me their life story and get detailed advice on the steps they should take to become a woodworker.

And those weren’t even the ridiculous requests. It’s too early in the morning for me to even think of those.

It was all too much. I was spending hours each day answering emails. It cut into my time researching, building, editing and writing (not to mention time with my family). And then one message snapped my head in two. Out of respect for the individual who sent it, I won’t go into detail because he would be identifiable.

The email he sent was longer than my arm. It was going to take me hours to formulate even a half-a$%ed reply.

I deleted it. Then I deleted my inbox and my old email address.

So now I’m half-sane.

— Christopher Schwarz

 

P.S. If you really want to ask me detailed questions, the best way to do that is to visit our Covington storefront on the second Saturday of every month. I’m happy to talk to anyone about anything. I know some of you will whine that you are too poor to travel (while typing on your $2,000 computer…), but people have made the trip from almost every state in the country.


Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Dovetailing Machine of 1890

Journeyman's Journal - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 4:57am

The year was 1890 and the first ever dovetailing machine was patented by the Britannia Company, Colchester for £2 2s. It’s a dovetailing jig as we would understand it which is used on a foot powered table saw.

It was an unfortunate year, the beginning of the end of yet one more skill, but in the interest of gaining historical woodworking knowledge we shall read more about it and how it’s used.

A pine board 24”x 18”x 3/8” is clamped at each end on the table saw. A spline fitting the groove in the table saw ensures accurate movement, with a slot exactly in the centre of the two frames when in their places, for the saw to work through as shown in Fig.1.fig1

Fix on the gauge, (Fig.3) which is a piece of wood with slots at intervals, according to the size of dovetails required- upon platform, (Fig.2), of frames, as shown. These gauges are generally fixed upon the lower ledge, but for some work the upper ledge may be more convenient.  These gauges can be easily made by an amateur, or are supplied with the dovetailer.

The appliance in Fig.2 is to be fixed upon the board as shown, so that the saw may run clear when the movable frame is at either end of the segment.fig2Put in the screw through the frame Fig. 2 and screw down so as to allow the frame to move backwards and forward. The frame is to be fixed as shown 2 ¾” from square line of saw. To cut the mortises, place the wood upon the inclined plane, having adjusted the table so that the saw will cut the correct depth. Bring the front edge of the wood up to the end of the gauge, holding the marker in the left hand so that it falls into the various slots s the wood passes up the incline. The positions of the operator, the movable table, the frames, gauges, inclined plane, wood, marker and saw are all very clearly indicated in Fig.1

fig3fig4

When one row has been made, turn the wood round and take the marker in the right hand and follow each cut up the incline until the cuts are completed. To cut the tenons or pins, adjust the saw table so that the saw cuts the required depth. Fix the gauge on the lower ledge of platform, the inner end of gauge forming the distance for the first cut.

Of course, it will be understood that the cuts only are made by the saw. The clearances of the mortises and the wood intervening between the pins must be affected in the usual manner with a chisel. The merit of the entire appliance lies in the presentation of the edges of the wood to the saw in such a manner and in such a position that the saw kerfs, first in one direction and then in the other, are made with such sure and certain regularity of distance and direction, and perfect parallelism, that an operator who is comparatively an unskilled hand can be enabled to perform work which, if done by the hand, must be the outcome of long practice combined with the utmost care in execution.

England has been at the forefront of invention of engineering marvels since their creation of the Industrial revolution in 1830. I’m in midst of writing an article on the industrial revolution and its effect it had and still has on human lives.  All I’m going to add is that this machine or appliance eliminates the need for a skilled dovetailer. I’m sure it would only take two minutes to train anybody to operate it and produce flawless dovetails.

For the sake of skill and of course profits, we have traded something more valuable in fact something priceless; skill.

Something to ponder, we marvel at how skilled they were, but how many of these skills were actual hand work or machine work.  I think it’s safe to bet that our craftsmen in the 18th century were machine free and therefore truly skilled at their jobs.  It would be grossly unfair if I said the opposite about craftsmen in the 19th century, but how many of those dovetails we see in antique furniture of that period were made by hand or by the patented dovetailing machine.


Categories: Hand Tools

rush hour traffic........

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 1:27am
My wife has been away all week keeping daughter #2 company in NC. She came back home tonight and I had to pick her up. It must be love because I was looking at driving up and down Post Road during rush hour. I would rather dribble a basketball in a mine field or drive through a neighboring state to avoid traffic. But I had no choice tonight so I bit the bullet and did it. I did all my swearing and hollering at the morons going to the airport but not on the way back. She objects to me pointing out all the faults of other drivers.

It made for a short night in the shop tonight but I was able to decompress. It seems that there are a lot of vets going on to the final resting place lately.  I like knowing that what I do helps my fellow vets but I don't like reading the obits on them.

one day later
 Nothing groaned, crept, said ah, or otherwise moved when I took the clamps off.

time to see if the lid fits
it doesn't
This is the only spot where I could slip the lid over the bottom. It is very snug and just the corner of it is caught.


cleaned the inside
The glue and epoxy on the inside has nothing to do with this fitting. But it will once I plane the bottom to fit the lid and I can finally seat it.

just need to remove a sliver of air on this side
same on this side
planed most of the proud off and finished by sanding it
evened the top of the banding with the bullnose plane
planing at the top only
stopped once the pencil lines were gone
it's loose
I should have checked it after I planed one side. Instead I planed both sides first and then checked the fit. It fits both ways loose and it won't stay on by itself. There isn't any way I can get a friction fit now.

used a sanding stick to round over the edges
The oak was very sharp and holding the lid hurt a bit. I planed a small round over on the edges and smoothed them out with the the sanding stick.

might have to go sans the lid
I like this but I'll try to think of some way of securing the lid. I am tossing around a belt and buckle idea right now.

short sides done
Faces cleaned, smoothed, and shot to length. Repeated on the long ones.

dry fit looks good - one more tap closed this corner
All the miters look good. They are all closed up and fairly gap free. I'm sure once I have the clamps on I'll be gap free.


sample corner
I used bar clamps on the first run and I wasn't happy with how the miters looked.With the bessey's larger clamp face, it spans the width of the sides and applies equal  pressure across it. I got 100% coverage on the corners by going under and over with the besseys.

sample face
All the top and bottom faces are all flush. My panels were sawn to the right dimensions and this is ready for glue up. I'll do that tomorrow because I have to go to the airport and hurry up and wait for my wife's flight which as been delayed twice already. Looking for a bright side to this, I didn't have to drive in the worse of the rush hour traffic.

I didn't want to chance gluing this up tonight
It would be my luck to try and do this and run into a major hiccup. Tomorrow I'll have all the time I need to do it.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What do you have if someone gives you a clew?
answer - a ball of yarn or string





Tradition and Innovation: M&T Podcast Episode 02

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 6:22pm

 

Our new podcast episode is up and can be listened to above. In this episode, Mike and I discuss the relationship between tradition and innovation in our woodworking culture. This topic is near to our hearts and something we talk about often. Based on our interactions with readers about this over the past few years, this conversation touches on defining “tradition” and “innovation”, the advantages to one over the other, and how our individual and personal motivations for woodworking inform the way that balance plays out in our lives.

Theme Music by: Austin V. Papp and Jesse Thompson 

You can subscribe to our Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or Soundcloud.

 

Notable links from this podcast:

 

Comments, Questions? Leave your thoughts below!

 

Categories: Hand Tools

Raking light, great carvings. Not mine

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 5:47pm

Took the kids for a walk in Burial Hill, Plymouth recently. Was a great sunny morning, perfect raking light. Cold though, up on top of that hill.

This is a well-known gravestone, among those who talk about such things. Patience Watson, d. 1767. Very nice carving, in fabulous shape.

 

 

 

These days Daniel is five-feet and change; so that’s a large stone above ground there. I wonder how deep it is below ground to be standing so long…


I went there for a decorative arts outing; but you end up reading the stones & get another angle too. This one is a sad story, a 2-week old child…

But the lettering! We owe Dave Fisher a trip to this cemetery when he comes up in June… https://davidffisherblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/learning-from-lettering/

detail:

one more:

This one is a family – husband, wife and child, all died within 3 weeks of each other. Has a great skull, with wavy hair/feathering/what-have-you behind it. Scrolling leaves along the sides. 1730.

Here’s the same carver – better condition. Better lighting…same year.

This one’s 1715, it and the one above were encased in new stone at some point. Being the home of ancestor worship means Plymouth’s graveyard gets some attention over the years. So many old graveyards suffer from neglect…

I dug out a couple stones from elsewhere – Henry Messenger, 1686. He was a Boston joiner, this stone is in the Granary Burying Ground, a famous cemetery in Boston

This one I’ve never seen, photo was given to me by my friend Rob Tarule. Thomas Dennis, joiner of Ipswich. Died 1706.

 

Here’s an ancestor of ours; Ebenezer Fisk of Lexington Massachusetts. Died 1775. Yup, that Lexington. One of the battles was on his farm, but he was pretty old and apparently dying. so probably of no concern to him…other things on his mind I bet.


I haven’t read too much about gravestones, but there is an excellent book I recommend “Graven Images: New England Stonecarving and its Symbols, 1650-1815, by Allan I. Ludwig. Wesleyan Univ Press, 1966. My copy is dated 1999, so reprinted at that point.


The Woodworking Joint Used in the Arms of Ming Dynasty Chairs…

Bridge City Tools - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 2:27pm

Drivel Starved Nation-

My latest trip to China was my favorite to date. When you are on an informative trip, fun is easy to find. When the weather is perfect, trips like this become magical.

The highlight for me was the gift Mr. Yang, the Hong Mu Master presented to me. It is a sample of the joinery used in his masterpiece pictured below;

As explained by Mr. Yang, his students are not allowed to build a chair until this joint is mastered;

Incredibly, mastering this joint can take up to a year. The rosewood supply he has is finite, so there is no tolerance for waste when it comes time to make a chair. And because there is no finish, the joints need to be perfect to become invisible. It truly is an amazing display of craftsmanship. The joint itself (I wish I would have asked if it had a name) is a thousand years old I am told.

Here is a short video by Academy Award Winning Cinematographer Wanna Be Consuelo;

Each chair arm has 6-8 of these joints. They are incredibly strong and could be completely functional without adhesive… they are that strong.

Pretty cool yes/no?

-John

The post The Woodworking Joint Used in the Arms of Ming Dynasty Chairs… appeared first on John's Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

The History of the Acanthus Leaf in the Decorative Arts

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 11:53am
CT116

FIG. 1.16. A Greek capital, “Historic Ornament, A Pictorial Archive,” Dover Publications.


This is an excerpt from “Carving the Acanthus” by Mary May. 

Walking through a historical journey of the acanthus leaf has its challenges, as the different art periods often overlap and the styles frequently migrate from country to country. There are numerous volumes written on the history of decorative arts, and this brief explanation is not intended to be an exhaustive historical account. Focusing on the acanthus leaf and its significance in architecture and furniture,  we will follow the leaf as it evolves through each identifiable art period. At times, the design transition spans multiple years, and there are periods where this motif is nearly unrecognizable or almost disappears, only to regain in favor again in the following art period. There are certain art eras that I have omitted because of no evidence of acanthus leaf usage in their design. I hope this brief historical overview builds a curiosity and desire for further research and discovery.

CTA114

FIG. 1.14. Egyptian chair, “Handbook of Historic Ornament, From Ancient Times to Biedermeier,” Dover Publications.


THE EGYPTIANS (3200 BC TO 332 BC)
Ancient Egypt was not plentiful in trees, so the use of wood in furniture making was reserved strictly for the wealthy. Many of these pieces of furniture were well preserved in the low humidity of the Egyptian tombs. Native woods included acacia, sidder and fig, while ebony, cypress and cedar were imported from Syria and Lebanon. Ebony, ivory and bone were often combined with wood and overlaid with gold and silver. Lion paws, bull feet and goose and duck heads were carved into the legs of stools and armchairs. There is no evidence that acanthus leaves were a design element during this time in either furniture or architecture, but the lotus, papyrus and palm were common.

CTA115

FIG. 1.15. Example of traditional a Greek anthemion, “Handbook of Historic Ornament, From Ancient Times to Biedermeier,” Dover Publications.


THE GREEKS: (1600 BC TO 100 BC)
The art of furniture making, which often included woodcarving, was highly valued in ancient Greece. Influenced by Egypt and the Orient, much of the early furniture was ornately decorated with marble, bronze, inlaid ivory, ebony and precious stones. Because wood is not as durable as stone, few remaining examples of woodcarvings from this period are available, and are mostly made of cedar, cypress, oak, maple, beech, citrus and willow. Even the famous Greek author Homer remarked that car penters were “welcomed the world over.” There are examples of the legs of some of the couches  (“kline”) or chairs having carved animal legs and feet, with the backs shaped like a snake or horse head.

The first known example of the acanthus leaf as a decorative architectural element was in the  Corinthian capital, originating in Greece in the 5th century BC. Based on the anthemion design popular in Greek architecture, the first carved acanthus leaves contained sharp points, deeply carved corners and sharp ridges between the lobes, creating  clear shadow lines that were visible from a distance. Most examples of this early style of acanthus leaf are found as architectural stone carvings.

CTA117

FIG. 1.17. Roman carving, “Historic Ornament, A Pictorial Archive,” Dover Publications


THE ROMANS (146 BC TO 337 AD)
After Greece came under Roman rule in 146 BC, the Greek decorative arts were eagerly absorbed by the new Roman Empire. Evidence of early Roman wood carvings show that arms and legs of chairs and couches were often carved to represent the limbs of animals, while chair backs and table supports were of carved griffins or winged lions. Common motifs used in architectural details are the anthemion, the scroll, the rosette, the acanthus, birds, cupids and reptiles. Woods used in carved furniture during this period were cedar, pine, elm, ash, beech, oak, box, olive, maple and pear.

The Roman period produced a richer, more flexible acanthus leaf, where the sharp points of the Greek style became softened. With its endless and  varied possibilities, the acanthus leaf reflected the Roman love of art and beauty, and was incorporated into a wider range of decorative ornament.  The details of the leaf contained deep “eyes,” which represented holes where the different lobes  of the leaf overlap, and sharply defined ripples in the leaf, giving a dramatic feeling of movement. The leaf took on a more naturalistic feel, with the tip of the leaf often curling and twisting in a lifelike manner. From the Roman era on, there was scarce  a time where the acanthus leaf was not a significant part of Italian ornamental design.

Meghan Bates


Filed under: Carve the Acanthus with Mary May
Categories: Hand Tools

new 12" square.....

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 1:32am
When I saw an old 12" square being offered up on the Hyperkitten site I bought it. No hesitating, no quibbling, no looking at other tools. I have grown rather fond of the 15 and 12 inch squares I got for Miles. I find myself wanting to use them a lot more than the ones I have in my drawer. It will be easier to resist now that I have one for me. I'll keep an eye out for a 15" one. I went back to Timeless tools & treasures to buy the 15" one there but someone else had already bought it.

mahogany, brass, and steel
What's not to like about these old squares. I'm guessing on the age of this but I would say it is at least a 100 years old. I don't ever remember seeing a square like this when I first started out in woodworking in the early 1970's. And it isn't something I recall seeing a lot of in the past 2-3 years I've been actively buying tools.

the inside is 12"
If you buy a square today that is 12", that 12" will be on the outside and not the inside. My 12" Woodpecker square, which is damn good square, is only 10 1/2" on the inside.

outside is 14 inches!
2 3/4" wide blade
This blade is a 64th less than a 16th of inch thick. The blade is solid and doesn't wobble or weeble a frog hair in any direction. This square has a big presence and a heft that is unmistakable. And it feels damn good in my hands. Maybe this is what is tripping my trigger about these.

one more coat to go
I didn't get another coat on this morning before I went to work which is ok. I looked at this tonight and I decided to steel wool it again to even it out some more. One coat tonight and the last one tomorrow night.

knocked it on while I was thinking of it
Sandpaper glued to scraps of wood is a wonderful thing to have in the shop. I got this tip from the Plane Collector on You tube. I used to sand the lateral adjust with my fingers but it is so much better doing it with a sandpaper stick.

I can see a faint 'STANLEY' on the lever
flushing what I glued on yesterday
squaring lines (I had to try it out)
planed an angle on this end
I had to plane the top down to match up to the squaring I had to do on this end.

using two glues for the big pieces of the lid banding
epoxy at the ends and yellow glue in the middle
The epoxy is a better choice for the end grain to long grain at the ends. The yellow glue will work well in the middle as it will be long grain to long grain.

I may have to plane this
I had to plane the top a bit more than I wanted to and it may not slip over the bottom. I can plane the portion of the bottom where the lid banding will be to get a snug fit.

epoxy laid down
I extended the epoxy a little bit onto the pine long grain of the top. I want the joint to be tight on the ends. So I'm giving the epoxy a bite on some solid long grain wood.



I'll set this by furnace overnight
I normally don't clamp joints glued with epoxy. I clamped the end lightly to keep it closed while it sets up. I am hoping that there will be much joy in Mudville come tomorrow.


my plywood came in
It's 6mm like I thought it was and it is also labeled as 1/4". 6mm is not the same thickness as 1/4" so don't fall for it. I find this crap incredibly annoying because you have to measure it to find out which it is.

I bought two sheets of it
I only needed one sheet but the S/H on two was the same as one sheet so I'll have an extra which won't go to waste. I hate paying more for S/H than what I am actually buying.

time to check the fit
it fits
The plywood has a slight cup to it but I was able to tap it with the mallet and get the side piece to fit. It is a snug fit and a good match with the 6mm iron I used to make the groove. Tomorrow I'll clean up the miters, saw out the panels and glue it up. Maybe.

Josh said this was square
inside and outside lines come together
These lines are telling me that the heel of the inside and outside is off. This square, ain't square.

now it's square
I ran a lot of lines to check this out and all of them are parallel now which means it is square on the inside and outside.


the culprit
There was a chip on this edge that was cocking the square causing the bad reading. Cleaned up the edge and got nice parallel lines. Now I have to find a place to keep this handy by the workbench.

accidental woodworker

What is bilharzia?
It is a disease caused by the parasitic schistosome worm which lives in fresh water

New: “Kill Your Tablesaw” Sticker

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:50pm

Sometimes it’s important to remember to not take yourself too seriously. It’s no surprise that we here at M&T are wildly passionate about hand-tool woodworking. We eat, sleep, and breathe this stuff and work hard to inspire others to “cut the cord” along with us.

It’s good to be able to laugh at yourselves sometimes too, though. Because of our reputation for being zealous for pre-industrial woodworking, we thought this spoof sticker would be a great way to have a little fun. As you may know, the classic “Kill Your Television” sticker epitomizes paranoid anti-technology fanaticism. The radicals that adopt this slogan swear that the downfall of modern society is catalyzed by mind-numbing tube worship. It seems, for them, that all modern ills can somehow be brought back to the television.

One could argue that the woodworking equivalent is the table saw. If ever there was a machine scapegoat for hand-tool enthusiasts to deride, the table saw would be it. They often point out the inherent danger of the tool and usually credit its existence for the degradation of skilled workmanship. This sticker was designed for these zealots.

In all truth, I do have a serious aversion to table saws and am happy I never have to use them. If you agree and would like to fly your hand-tool flag, let this sticker be it.

You can get yours here

- Joshua

 

 

 

Categories: Hand Tools

Getting off the couch (chimney cupboard)

Mulesaw - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 7:56am
One of my long time couch builds has been a chimney cupboard as built by Bob Roziaeski for Popular Woodworking Magazine some years ago.
I think that it is fair to say that the greatest obstacle for me when it comes to such a build, is to glue up some boards to the correct width for me to use. I don't know why I have such a hard time pulling myself together to glue up some wide panels, but it is just the way it is.

Anyway, this Saturday evening, I started the project, determined to finish the cupboard before going back to sea. The idea was to put the cupboard into the saddle room, to help organize some of the smaller stuff used for the horses, so it wouldn't be a deal breaker if the surfaces weren't super smooth which can be hard to obtain with larch sometimes.

Saturday and Sunday was spent gluing up stock and dressing it to the correct thickness by means of the jointer/planer.
I wanted to prove to myself that I was able to make a speedy build without too much fussing over details. I decided that I could use my router instead of a dado plane, since I haven't got one of those, and I think that a router is a bit faster.
The rabbet along the back edge of the sides were made with a moving filister plane.

I pretty much followed the descriptions from the magazine, but instead of making a groove for the floating panels for the doors, I made a rabbet with the router and squared up the corners using a chisel. Then I sawed some thin strips to hold the panels in place.
An advantage with this approach compared to a groove is that it is very easy to assemble the door frame at first, and then fitting the panel to the hole. The downside is that it doesn't look quite as nice. But the ease and speed of this construction method trumped.
The raised panels were also made on the table saw instead of using the moving filister plane. That worked really well and was very fast.

For the hinges I used some that I had purchased from Lidl. they are very coarse compared to the hinges that I regularly use, but they fitted the project quite nicely.

Two small porcelain knobs and a couple of toggles to keep the doors closed made up the rest of the build.

While visiting Brian Eve in Garmisch a couple of years ago, I bought some "old fashioned milk paint" from a local dealer in the town.
I have never seen it for sale in Denmark, and I have been hoarding the paint ever since - waiting for just the right project.
I decided that this cupboard would look just fine in Lexington green, so I mixed the small bag of powder and started painting.
The paint was very interesting to use, it dries quickly and covers really well. I like the chalky texture and colour of the finished surface too, so I am tempted to try to make some experiments with milk paint at some point.

Once the paint had dried, the toggles and knobs were mounted back in place again, and Asger helped installing the cupboard in the saddle room, and he also helped organize the various small pieces of equipment so the shelves were soon filled.

Mette really likes the cupboard and she thinks that it is almost too nice to keep in the saddle room. So with a bit of luck I might be "allowed" to make another one at some point.

Chimney cupboard, Lexington green

Mounting the panels with strips, "horns" not trimmed yet.

Completed cupboard.

After first coat of paint.


Chimney cupboard with open doors.

Categories: Hand Tools

Original Moravian Workbench on Display

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 5:00am

In October 2011 my uncle and I headed down to Old Salem one Monday afternoon to go see the workbenches they have in storage. Christopher Schwarz had visited a few months before and written a blog post about the benches there; I could not just take his word for how great they were, I had to see them in person. The museum is closed on Mondays and my friend Chet Tomlinson, who is an interpreter there, came in on his day off to show us around. At the time I was building a Roubo workbench and was really curious to see the benches in there collection. I took lots of photos of the workbenches (and dozens of other things!), the conversation was great, and the three hours we were there flew by in what seemed like five minutes.

IMG_5655

Portable Moravian bench on display at the J.Blum House.

In the days after the trip I looked thru the pictures I had taken many times and kept coming back to the photos of the portable workbench. A few weeks later I went back to Salem, poor Chet came in on his day off again so I could get some measurements of the portable bench. After the Roubo bench was complete the first project I used it for was to build the portable Moravian bench and wrote about the build on WK Fine Tools. A year or so later we started doing a class at the Woodwright’s School on building the bench. Another year later I filmed the video on building the bench with Joshua Farnsworth.

I wish I could say that I had foresight to know that this little workbench would be as popular of a project as it has become, but I did not. The response to the article and the video over the past several years was totally unexpected.

The interest in the bench has also had an effect at Old Salem. Visitors have been asking about the original bench, where it is, if they could see it. The original has been in storage all this time up until a few days ago. The bench is now on display for the foreseeable future at the new joiners shop at the J. Blum House. If you are in the area, even if you don’t have any interest in the bench, Old Salem is well worth a visit.

IMG_5645

You can even get your own glamor shot with the bench!

Will Myers

 

 


Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

The Marquetry Plane Shows Up In England 1760-1780

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 4:00am

In Febuary 2010 I wrote a three-part blog entry showing that the earliest illustrations and texts about the planes we call "mitre planes" were in the marquetry sections of various books. My theory was that these planes were most likely used for leveling and planing the surfaces of marquetry panels and materials. The exotic woods used in marquetry are sometimes very hard and can easily tear up the soles of any wooden plane. You can read my blog here, here, and here.

David Lundqvist, a woodworker who lives in Sweden, just sent me a "missing link" in support of my thinking. The painting above, called "Die Ebenisten" [The Marqueters], was painted by Elias Martin in England between 1768-80. The painting shows two marquetry journeymen, George Haupt and Christopher Frloh (anglicised as Furlong), working for John Linell in London. I'll talk in a moment about why two Swedish journeyman were in London, but first focus your eyes on the metal plane located pretty much in the middle of the painting.

I think this is the earliest contemporary image of what we now call a mitre plane in England, and it comes just before the period when plane makers such as Gabriel and Moon were entering the metal plane market. The plane itself doesn't look dovetailed and seems to follow the European technique of brazing the body to the sole; admittedly the scan I have isn't perfectly clear, so I am not positive about this. David's research on Swedish cabinet makers led him to this painting. David also found two contemporary citations of the phrase "Rabot du Ebniste," or "Marqueter's plane" -- not "plane of iron," the term that the few earlier references in marquetry tool pages use for these planes, nor "mitre plane," a later term that shows up around 1820. We finally have both visual proof and documentation that the plane was recognized as a marquetry plane, not a mitre plane. Well done, David!!!

Another interesting question is why two Swedish marquetry journeyman were in England in the first place. My assumption was that England at the time was starting its rapid economic expansion with the advent of the Empire and the Industrial Revolution. The country was growing in wealth and an attendant demand for European-trained craftsman to create fancy furniture for the country's nouveau riche. David took a different approach in answering this question. David observed that by the middle of the eighteenth century the closed guild system of crafts, which was still thriving in Continental Europe, was starting to vanish in England. The craft guilds - groups of master craftsman in England - still certified new masters and still gave a seal of approval, but no longer had the power, legal or otherwise, to restrict trade. They were mostly social societies for the richer craft classes. Anyone could be a cabinetmaker, and a cabinetmaker could set up shop and hire apprentices. The loosening of the guild restrictions allowed new ideas to mature, which attracted talented immigrants. New blood and ideas became established in England, along with employment and training for immigrants. Trained Swedish craftsman could find good work and advancement in England, and not have to fight to get guild permission back home.

The painting currently hangs in the National Museum in Stockholm.

The Marquestry Plane Shows Up In England 1760-1780

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 4:00am

In Febuary 2010 I wrote a three-part blog entry showing that the earliest illustrations and texts about the planes we call "mitre planes" were in the marquetry sections of various books. My theory was that these planes were most likely used for leveling and planing the surfaces of marquetry panels and materials. The exotic woods used in marquetry are sometimes very hard and can easily tear up the soles of any wooden plane. You can read my blog here, here, and here.

David Lundqvist, a woodworker who lives in Sweden, just sent me a "missing link" in support of my thinking. The painting above, called "Die Ebenisten" [The Marqueters], was painted by Elias Martin in England between 1768-80. The painting shows two marquetry journeymen, George Haupt and Christopher Frloh (anglicised as Furlong), working for John Linell in London. I'll talk in a moment about why two Swedish journeyman were in London, but first focus your eyes on the metal plane located pretty much in the middle of the painting.

I think this is the earliest contemporary image of what we now call a mitre plane in England, and it comes just before the period when plane makers such as Gabriel and Moon were entering the metal plane market. The plane itself doesn't look dovetailed and seems to follow the European technique of brazing the body to the sole; admittedly the scan I have isn't perfectly clear, so I am not positive about this. David's research on Swedish cabinet makers led him to this painting. David also found two contemporary citations of the phrase "Rabot du Ebniste," or "Marqueter's plane" -- not "plane of iron," the term that the few earlier references in marquetry tool pages use for these planes, nor "mitre plane," a later term that shows up around 1820. We finally have both visual proof and documentation that the plane was recognized as a marquetry plane, not a mitre plane. Well done, David!!!

Another interesting question is why two Swedish marquetry journeyman were in England in the first place. My assumption was that England at the time was starting its rapid economic expansion with the advent of the Empire and the Industrial Revolution. The country was growing in wealth and an attendant demand for European-trained craftsman to create fancy furniture for the country's nouveau riche. David took a different approach in answering this question. David observed that by the middle of the eighteenth century the closed guild system of crafts, which was still thriving in Continental Europe, was starting to vanish in England. The craft guilds - groups of master craftsman in England - still certified new masters and still gave a seal of approval, but no longer had the power, legal or otherwise, to restrict trade. They were mostly social societies for the richer craft classes. Anyone could be a cabinetmaker, and a cabinetmaker could set up shop and hire apprentices. The loosening of the guild restrictions allowed new ideas to mature, which attracted talented immigrants. New blood and ideas became established in England, along with employment and training for immigrants. Trained Swedish craftsman could find good work and advancement in England, and not have to fight to get guild permission back home.

The painting currently hangs in the National Museum in Stockholm.

another day added.........

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 1:26am
One of the projects I'm finishing up is the box for Miles's nail sets. It is taking longer than I want but it isn't a project from hell. The way I am doing I have to wait and allow the adhesive of choice to set before I can proceed with the next hurry up and wait for the adhesive to dry. It is going to be at least one more day before it is done.

frog is almost done
I almost knocked this on the deck. I had forgotten I had it hanging out on the belt sander. When I picked up the sander to move it, I saw the frog at the last moment. I put the yoke back and I had to look at another plane to do it. I was putting it in backwards again. I used the sandpaper stick to clean the face of the frog of paint. All that is left to do on this is to put a shine on the lateral adjust lever.

I have gloves
I should have put the gloves on but I didn't. I have already cleaned my fingers with orange cleaner but I'll have to do better. All this black will end up on my nail box. I cleaned my hands with a blue scrubbie pad and Dawn dish washing detergent.

this doesn't have to be perfect
The banding I'm going to apply will hide this joint and it won't be seen. What I checked for was to make sure it was laying atop the bottom level all the way around. Gaps are ok as long as it sits the same both ways.

slight detour
I bumped the block plane storage shelf and moved it. I put some hide glue on the bottom of this and I'll try this first. If I have to, I can add a screw later.

the weight of the planes should apply sufficient pressure for this to set up
back to the nail set box
I marked the width of the piece I need with a pencil line. I did a pencil instead of a knife line so I would have a little extra to trim after the glue has set.


sawed at an angle
I am on the left side of the pencil line and sawing at an angle onto the waste side.

I can feel it sticking proud by a frog hair on both sides
cooking by the furnace
The temp is supposed to dip into the 20's over night (-4C) so this is the best spot for it in the shop.


adding a couple of more
These don't have to cook but should be kept with the top.  The square is set to the top of the banding and I have been know to use earmarked stock for other things before.  So the banding will be here too out of sight of my workbench.


plowed all my grooves
I sawed all the stock to the same width and then plowed all my grooves. I am checking them to ensure that they are done right. Done to depth and the walls square end to end.

used it out of the box
I didn't touch this up in any way before I plowed all the grooves. This is the way an iron should come from the maker. Ready to use out of the box. Now that I've used it, I will touch it up on the 8K stone and run it over my strop.

sawing my last miter
double checking
Checking to make sure the squares will fit. I was surprised by how well the box fits off the saw. I didn't make any attempt to try and saw the miters to the same length. I sawed each one on the corner and I doubt that I will ever get this lucky again.

90° corner 
I am liking this miter box and how well it does miters. They have rough faces but it doesn't stop it from making a 90° angle.

donkey ear jig
I was planning on using this to not only clean up and smooth the miter faces but to shoot them to length. It looks like all I'll have to do is clean and smooth the faces.

1950's vintage 1/4" plywood (it is a true 1/4" thick)
I'm glad I checked this. I thought 6mm plywood was a hair wider then a 1/4". I was wrong and it is a hair short of a 1/4".

got two coats on this today
I put one on before I left for work and the second one tonight. I'll try and repeat these dance steps tomorrow too. Once I have two more on, I'll wax this and call it ready to fill with candy.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is the russian village of Verkhoyansk noted for?
answer - for having the widest temperature swing on earth,  -68°C/-90°F in the winter to 37°C/99°F in the summer



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