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Hand Tools

OxyAcetylene in Furniture Making

The Furniture Record - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 10:07pm

Your are going to be disappointed to learn this post is about furniture making and not woodworking. They aren’t always the same activity. I haven’t come up with a new subtractive furniture making technique using flame.

What the title refers to is furniture I have found that looks like wood but is actually metal. First I found some chairs in Alpharetta, GA. a few years back:


The metal Windsor chairs.


Metal wood furniture comes in black, too.

Next, I found this kitchen rack at a local antiques multi-dealer shop:


Made from that special magnetic wood.

Tuesday, I found two more pieces over in Raleigh:


A fan back chair not in wood.

And finally, this desk:


Does one need a lathe to turn metal spindles?

You can tell it’s metal by looking at a drawer side:


No dovetails!

Issue Three T.O.C. – “Patterns in Shop Practice” by Garrett Hack

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 10:05am

Editor’s Note: I am currently on my return trip home from visiting with Garrett Hack and his wife, Carolyn, on their idyllic Vermont farm. Garrett and I spent time in his shop doing the photography for his article in our upcoming Issue Three. I’ve asked Garrett to provide a summary for readers here at the blog. The following is his write-up…

“There is no mystery why woodworkers (and many other trades) relied on patterns.  They are a simple and accurate way to transfer shapes easily and repeatedly.  A shapely case apron, curved chair leg, or the serpentine profile of a tabletop are all typical patterns an 18th century maker would have had on hand and used to speed his work along, just as I do today. 

Templates can do far more useful work than repeating pleasing shapes. Early in the design process when I am drawing a project I’ll make quick patterns — you could call them “sketches” — from thin softwood to more easily see the shape of complex parts such as the back leg of a chair.  By propping it up on the floor as the leg will stand and getting back, I can see a lot more than from a drawing alone.

My pattern then guides me to cut out and shape the actual legs. I use it in laying out my cuts to get the most harmonious and strongest grain flow through the leg, and to organize those cuts — nesting them together when I can — to use my stock and time most economically. It might even yield an extra part or two, always a good idea. For the final shaping I work to the pattern, sliding it against each leg as I shave away with hand tools, to create multiple accurate parts.

When it comes to laying out cuts, joinery, details such as the location of a banding or bead, my pattern becomes a mistake-proof story stick. For curved parts where these locations are harder to measure with a rule, flexing a template and transferring marks is both easier and more accurate.  These marks preserved on my story stick are often the start of the next iteration of this design.

Patterns are indispensable for one more task — getting difficult joinery right in complex pieces.  While I can’t experiment with the actual part, I can fit a thin pattern carefully into position, to get an accurate length and shoulder angles. When the project is done, the patterns are the most valuable pieces I have left. I hang them around my shop waiting for the time I might need them again.


Stay tuned for tomorrow’s announcement of the next article upcoming in M&T Issue Three...



Categories: Hand Tools

carving some oak

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 7:21am

I have several days, even weeks maybe, to work on oak furniture now. Some carving yesterday & this morning. here’s a quick photo tour of cutting one lozenge/diamond shape, with tulips in it.

After laying out a diamond shape on horizontal & vertical centerlines, I strike an inner diamond with a small gouge, approximately a #7 sweep. Maybe it’s a 1/4″ wide. Just connect the dots, hitting the vertical & horizontal centerlines with the corners of the gouge.

Then I use the same gouge to “echo” this making an outline around it, these do not connect.

A more deeply curved gouge now comes off these outlines, beginning to form the undersides of the flowers.

Then the same gouge reverses, making an “S”-curve going out to the border. Or just about out to the border…

When you repeat this step on all four quadrants, your negative shape becomes quite prominent – it reminds me of those Goldfish snacks small children eat –


Now a larger gouge, approximately a #8 – reverses again, forming the tops of the lower flower petals.


Then a #7 about 3/4″ wide does more connect-the-dots – reaching from where I left off to the borders. that’s the whole outline. This one is quite small, the piece of wood is 6″ wide, and there’s a 3/4″ margin on both edges. You can use the same pattern on a panel, then some of this outline is cut with a v-tool instead of struck with the gouges.


Then I cut out the background. In this case, it was tight quarters in there, so I used a couple different tools, depending on where I had to get..

The end result. about 15 minutes of carving for the lozenge/diamond. This is going to be one of three muntins for the footboard of a bedstead I’m making.

Here’s the top rail I started back at the Lie-Nielsen Open House…they always show up better once they’re oiled.

another view.

Yesterday I started painting a desk box I have underway; but found out I was out of red pigment (iron oxide) – ordered some, and did the black for starters.

Book Signing & Reading With Nancy R. Hiller

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 4:44am


Nancy R. Hiller, a professional woodworker and author of the fantastic “Making Things Work,” will read a selection from her book and autograph your copy during a special free event at the Lost Art Press storefront at 7 p.m. on Aug. 12.

Thanks to Nancy’s agreeable nature and off-bubble sense of humor, we also will abuse a piñata she is making (filled with things that don’t normally go in piñatas). And we’ll play her version of “pin the tail on the donkey” – called “pin the tail on the dove.”

Oh, and we’ll have beverages for everyone. So to recap: Nancy, blindfolds, alcohol, sticks and sharp objects. What could go wrong?

The event occurs on the same day as one of our regularly scheduled open Saturdays. So if you’ve been contemplating a trip to our store, Aug. 12 would be a good Saturday to make it. The store at 837 Willard St. in Covington will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Then we will re-open at 7 p.m. for the book reading.

To secure your free ticket to the event, please register here. Space is limited.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Lost Art Press Storefront, Making Things Work
Categories: Hand Tools

Wonderful Roubo Bench with Benchcrafted Hardware.

David Barron Furniture - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 2:08am

Matt Estlea sent me these pictures of his Roubo work bench, constructed using the method of joinery demonstrated in my YouTube video 'Roubo Work Bench Made Easy'. A number of people have made benches using this method but this is the best I've seen yet.

It was made as student project at Rycotewood College and I've no doubt he will score very highly as well as having a great bench to take forward in his woodworking career.

The Benchcrafted hardware for both the leg and tail vice has been carefully installed and works like a dream.

Matt produced a series of videos on the making of his fine bench and you can view them below, they are well worth watching.

Categories: Hand Tools

some personal things to attend to.......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 1:34am
Sunday I finally signed into, rather tried to sign into my IRA account. Now that I am debt free I want to up my contributions to the account. I've been meaning to do but I kept forgetting about it. I signed in and failed my authentication and got locked out. With this account it isn't 3 strikes per login attempt, rather it is 3 strikes total. I must have had 2 previous strikes because I only had one strike now.

The step I failed in was answering my phone to get the access code to authenticate me. I have an admission to make - I don't know how to answer my phone.  You have drag one colored phone receiver icon over to another one. I always pick the wrong one and if I pick the right one, I go in the wrong direction. Whatever happened to just picking a phone up and just saying hello? Where and when did that go south on the nutso express?

Anyways, I am doing ok with texting and I seem to get that right. I should have picked getting my authentication code by text but that is a moot point now. My window of opportunity to talk to a representative  to unlock my account was a bit on the narrow side and the times to do so were based on EST. As soon as I got home I got their number and called.

I placed the call at 1550 and I got done talking with the rep at 1620. I almost failed getting my account unlocked again. My SSN and DOB I know but my last transaction with the account was when? When did I open the account with them? This is where I was put on hold for a long time. While I was waiting I found my IRA folder and saw that I had opened this account in 2008. I told him it was 2010 or 2011. I did get the last contribution amount correct and that was what got me unfrozen.

The rep was good enough to stay on the line and set up my recurring contribution. That was a big help because I am not good with this kind of crap. I usually employ my wife to help with it. I'm glad I got it done, got my account unlocked and my contribution set up, and I don't have to deal with this again. But it did eat up a ton of my shop time.

was on sunday's to do list
I do want to strip and paint this because I really like the look of the #2 I just stripped and painted. I finally got around to doing this at 1500 but I didn't want to deal with it that late in the day. I got this in the queue for friday morning. What I can see coming is me now going back and stripping all of my planes and painting them.

split glued up yesterday
This is the same board I had to put the 3 dutchmen in. I checked the other three corners and one had a split I had to glue.

two edge repairs
There is a bit of gap on both but these will be painted. And before I paint them, I'll fill in this and all the other nail and screw holes with Durhams Putty.

my big tapered dutchman
A bit of gap on the edge and this is after I trimmed and checked it a few times.

the face came out good and without gaps
the end
The last 3/4" of the taper dropped off a bit at the end. I didn't want to make the dutchman to the depth of that end dip. I felt that would have left a very thin tapered tongue and it wouldn't have a lot of strength. I plugged that little dipsy doodle with a shim.

I have enough time to do some layout
I am going with a rabbeted tongue joint. I was going to dovetail this but the wood is dry and a bit on the brittle side. I don't think that is would survive the hammering and chiseling without breaking.

all by hand
I have used this joint to make a boatload of cabinets. I've done the joinery on the tablesaw and with a router and a rabbeting bit. Now for your entertainment pleasure I am going to attempt to make it with my new plow plane. And maybe a saw and some chisels. And a tenon plane or a bullnose plane.

the horizontal board gets a groove and the vertical one gets the tongue
I'm keeping the very dry nature of these boards in mind. I will start with the groove and if that works I'll have a rabbet and tongue joint. If the wood to the outside edge of the groove breaks off, I'll make the groove a rabbet and I won't have to make a tongue on the other board. Just in case.

look see to the future
My last check to make sure I'll be able to put what I want in here. I am only going to make one drawer instead of the 3 I originally planned to do.

my longest Hake brush
This brush is driving the size of the interior of the drawer.

off center divider
This divider will go top to bottom and be easy to layout and make the dadoes for it. This will be set back from the front edge by 1/2". This will allow me to put a knob on the drawer and still close the door.

this shelf won't be so straight forward
This shelf will be inlet into the side and the divider but both will be different heights from the bottom. The divider will set in a dado and the side is a tongue and groove. I can't just mark both for dadoes and be done. I will have to do all the joinery for the corners and fit the divider first. Then dry clamp that and then mark for the shelf dadoes.

this will be the center divider
this will be the shelf
Both of these are oversized for now. I will get the final dimensions after the carcass is together.

where has this been all my life?
This rates right up there with 3 greatest inventions known to man. Namely, ice cubes, sliced white bread, and popcorn. I still haven't developed my eye well enough to continue a knife around a corner with a square yet. This thing is a no brainer and even I find it incredibly hard to screw it up.

So far the cabinet carcass is made up from boards left over from the old kitchen cabinets. I was hoping to be able to make the entire finishing cabinet from that stock but it won't be happening sports fans. I'll get some pine from Pepin's Lumber for the door.

today's temp sans the humidity
The top temp is the living room and the bottom one is the porch.

still tacky according to my wife
I was hoping that the warm temps on the porch would finally dry these shelves out. They do feel a little better than they did in the cellar. I'm going to let them stay here on the porch until this weekend. I say they feel clammy and my wife says they feel tacky. Maybe there will be some joy in Mudville come saturday and the clammy vs tacky issues will be resolved too.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was the first black quarterback inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame?
answer -  Warren Moon who was also not drafted out of college

What to expect in the new issue

Journeyman's Journal - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 9:29pm

Here is an excerpt a small part of what to expect in the new issue.  The magazine is far from complete but I thought I’d give you a teaser.

New and improved chip breakers

The purpose of the cap iron ie chip breaker is to deflect shavings, when setup close to the cutting irons edge, supposing to reduce tear out. Leonard Bailey introduced the curved cap iron to his thin irons to eliminate the vibrations which caused chatter. With the Bailey/Stanley versioned cap irons you can modify them to completely eliminate tear out altogether by slightly honing a small bevel on the front edge. The mouth opening no longer plays a part and you can safely even plane against the grain with no tear out, which eliminates the need for a scraper. With the modern so called improved version you can’t do that, I have tried and ruined the cap iron. The reason why toolmakers refuse to reproduce the Stanley/Bailey cap irons is due to the high costs involved in creating a hump in the steel. They need to renew their advertised claim of “new and improved chip breakers” to “new and not so costly to us chipbreakers”; if you have an old Stanley plane do not replace it with a thicker iron and nor the chip breaker with the modern one.

Here are my final thoughts I haven’t included in this issue.  The old Stanley planes are remarkable in every sense of the word.  Why modern day tool makers felt the need to change them bewilders me.  The extra mass in modern day planes is taxing on the body, their reasoning behind it is the more mass the easier it is to push through the wood, I personally cannot agree with this.  Whilst working professionally I used it all day everyday and with my bad back I could barely walk at the end of the day.  I refurbished an old record smoother last year and found myself to be less fatigued whilst using it.  The thin irons are easier to sharpen and quicker also as there is less metal to remove than the new thicker ones.  They are also easier to sharpen freehand than the modern day type.  The cap irons can be easily modified to plane against the grain eliminating all tearout while the modern day type cannot.

Lie Nielsen and Veritas and others that are coming on the market are high quality planes without a doubt but if I had to do it all over again I would make the switch.  I don’t wish to rub any toolmaker up the wrong way but the facts of practical use speaks for itself.

Categories: Hand Tools

Everyday Console Table

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 6:28pm

I call this piece the “everyday table” because you see this design everyday. I spotted this one at Home Goods just last week. It’s kind of a cross between a table and a bookcase. As far as construction goes, it’s very simple. Six framed legs with a top, a couple of shelves and a cross “X” on each side. In fact, there’s a website that shows how to build this table, pocket screws and all.


Say what you want about the design and construction, but they are very popular and super easy to build. My wife found the website the other week and asked me to customize one to fit in our dining room as a coffee bar.


Being true to form, I built ours out of southern yellow pine (2 x 10’s). I wasn’t a fan of the thick 2 x 4 legs so I milled all the parts down to 1″ thick.


Keeping it simple, I used pocket screws and glue to attach all the pieces. The shelves are southern yellow pine boards I ripped and glued back together to create a quarter sawn panel so they wouldn’t expand and contract too much.


The hardest part about building the piece are the X’s on the sides, but all that entails is cutting a couple of half lap joints.


Here is the finished bar with a vinegar steel wool solution and gel stain on top to give the wood some depth. The coffee bar has turned more into a display table for my wife’s Rae Dunn collection, but that is another story for another day.


I have since played around with the design again and built another one using eastern white pine. Construction is similar except I used floating tenons instead of pocket screws to build the frames. I’ll still use the vinegar and steel wool solution again on this one and stain it a dark color. My third design will probably have a thicker top and I may use plywood for the shelves. Stay tuned.




Luxuriating in Peculiarity

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 4:19pm

I’m in the final week of a project that in some respects highlights my idiosyncratic nature, and truth be told I sorta revel in not fitting in.  (I’ll be blogging at length about this project starting in a week or so, and it will take several dozen postings to get it all.)

My first sense of not fitting in with woodworking came on November 9, 1980, when I attended a weekend workshop in Atlanta taught by Ian Kirby.   I remember it so precisely because it was in a classroom at Georgia Tech, and that was the day that Tech tied the #1  football team (Notre Dame) in the country and the campus went wild.  The subject of the workshop was ostensibly mortise-and-tenon joinery, but I seem to recall him spending an inordinate amount of time extolling the virtues of a new power tool, the biscuit joiner.  Of course I bought one, and of course it has remained unused for the past 46.99 of the intervening 47 years.  I’m soon sending it off to my friend Pete who can put it to good use.

As is often the case at weekend workshops, regardless of the setting or instructor, there is the opening ritual of the attendees introducing themselves to each other.  At this particular weekend the attendees were a mixture of doctors, lawyers, accountants and such.  When I introduced myself as a finisher by trade and that I loved finishing, I could almost sense the rest of the students recoiling as though I was some alien creature whose spaceship was parked out on the lawn.  Despite that, and despite the fact that I was the youngest participant by two or three decades, at every break and every meal I was peppered with questions about the mysterious and un-knowable world of finishing.

I’ve heard that surveys of the populace reveal that the single greatest fear is the terror induced by the prospect of public speaking (I have no such trepidation, probably because I do not care if the audience agrees with me or not).  During that student introduction I was left with a distinct impression that has become cemented over the decades that some/many/most/virtually all woodworkers are as terrified of finishing as they are of public speaking.

Which brings me to my current project, as this week I am rubbing out and detailing the finish I have been so lovingly applying for the past 40 or so hours of shop time.  Not only has every moment of the surface prep and application been something to savor, the bringing of the piece to exquisiteness through the finishing process is simply an embarrassment of riches to me.  Sure, I found it amusing to make the piece from scratch using almost exclusively early-19th Century technologies as specified by the client, including resawing the lumber, cutting all the lumber and joinery by hand, carving all the moldings, hand sawing and assembling the veneerwork.  But to me they were simply the appetizer.

Finishing is the feast, and the whole point of the making.  Which I guess makes me a polisher luxuriating in my own peculiarity.

Understanding & Restoring Antique Hand Saws

Wood and Shop - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 11:55am
  By Joshua Farnsworth In my above video, expert hand saw maker Tom Calisto goes into detail on refurbishing an antique Simonds back saw that I bought several years back. Tom teaches classes at Roy Underhill's The Woodwright's School, and he is a contributing writer for both Fine

Caption Challenge!

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 10:39am

Come on, you witty and waggish woodworkers!  Caption this illustration.


From  ‘Livre d’Amour’ by Pierre Sala, first quarter of the 16th-century. Collection of the British Library.

Suzanne Ellison

Filed under: Historical Images, Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

Good Ideas Travel Fast

The Furniture Record - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 8:51am

Back in June I found this modified plantation desk at an antiques shop in Winston Salem, NC:


A plantation desk, another flexible term with many definitions and no real meanings.

It had been modified to change the angle of the writing surface:


Tapered pieces added to the sides to change the pitch of the writing surface.

This piece was covered in Less Than Fancy Furniture.

We were in Hermann, MO over the weekend for a wedding. We arrived Friday night and the wedding wasn’t until 3:00 PM on Saturday leaving some time for research. Our plane left at 7:15 PM on Sunday leaving more time for research. I am a very diligent researcher. In a shop in Warrenton, I came across this desk:


Another desk with a history.

This desk has also been modified to change the lid angle:


Same idea but not as severe since the original angle was not as severe..

Looking inside leads me to believe that they might have replaced the front legs as well.


Front legs are too tall to be original.

This desk is has a gallery rail and locking storage box affixed to the top:


The swan is not attached.

The tag gives one possible history of this desk:


Ir that’s what the dealer says, it must be true.

I am now looking for a third one and I won’t stop until I find it.

And not even then.

Update: ‘Roubo Workbench: By Hand & Power’ Video

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 4:27am


We are on the verge of releasing a four-hour video on building a full-blown 18th-century French workbench in the next week or two. The video, starring Will Myers and me, is as complete an explanation of the process as we could manage, and it covers everything from dealing with wet slabs to what is the appropriate finish for a workbench.

In between, Will and I discuss a variety of techniques for completing every operation necessary to build a bench, no matter what sort of tools you use. For example, for making the tenons on the stretchers, we show how to cut them by hand, ho to cut them on the table saw and even how to use a Domino XL in the process.

The video will be available to stream through our website, and (if all goes to plan) you will be able to download a copy of it so you can watch it while not connected to the Internet.

Before we launch the video, two things have to happen: We have to settle on the retail price of the video, and I have to complete the construction drawing that accompanies it. Unfortunately, my computer was fried in an electrical storm a few days ago (don’t worry, everything was backed up), but I don’t have a machine loaded with the suite of software I need to make the drawing.

So stay tuned.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Workbenches
Categories: Hand Tools

This past weekend I had the good fortune to visit Frank Klausz...

Giant Cypress - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 3:28am

This past weekend I had the good fortune to visit Frank Klausz and his shop in preparation for shooting some videos on Japanese woodworking tools for Popular Woodworking in August. It was a great time, and Frank and his wife Edith were completely gracious hosts to me and my sons. 

Those of you who know our history might be surprised at this, but us New Jersey guys stick together, in the end.

Issue Three T.O.C. - The Best of Both Worlds: Embracing Art in Craft

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 3:27am


Upcoming in Issue Three: "The Best of Both Worlds: Embracing Art in Craft" by Danielle Rose Byrd ...

Why do we gravitate towards seeing things in black and white, right or wrong, this or that? In this article, Danielle explores the tendency of such a dynamic in the world of woodworking, a world where art is frequently thought of as less-than; a recurrent villain to the hero of craft. Why does the word “art” incite such pushback and how can we inhabit more of the gray areas that exist, in both our own work and the appreciation of others’?


Speaking from her perspective and using the work of furniture makers who inspire her as an example, she describes the journey of balancing traditional hand tool techniques and practicality with the importance she places on the many modern, improvisational, and experimental methods used to shape and embellish her work.


Her encouragement lies in the acceptance of many modes of expression, and emphasizes that the very recognition of one mode does not necessitate the negation of any other. This article does not escape the sociological scope that Danielle frequently employs to identify and make sense of common human behaviors, especially within the realm of hand tool woodworking.


 As a child in a declining rural Maine paper mill town she sought beauty where there were only gray smokestacks nestled in the foothills and an overwhelming sentiment of collective defeat. She learned that what she was searching for was something she could create. With this perspective she addresses the value of beauty within the world of craft and the function it serves, suggesting that function goes far beyond the capacity to perform a task. Beyond her own role in this sect of the trades, she makes a case for others to explore their own vision of beauty within utility, either theoretically or in their own work, to help further the craft in all its forms.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s announcement of the next article upcoming in M&T Issue Three...


Categories: Hand Tools

it's back to stay.....

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 2:07am
The heat and humidity came back and I think it's going to be a friend for another couple of months. I didn't get to check off all the things on my to do list, but there is always tomorrow. The weather I can deal with although I don't like it. What is kicking my butt is the paint job on the bookcase. I don't know what to make of it or understand why it's doing what it is doing.

One thing I learned from my father was how to paint. And especially so how to clean brushes which was my job when I started painting with him. Not bragging, but I am a damn good painter. I could cut in a multi pane window sash with a straw broom if I had too. I thought I had done everything the way I should have on this - primer coat followed by two top coats. Or in my case, 2 primer coats and 4 top coats and it still isn't 100% dry. I can't give this to my wife as it is because I am afraid that the books will stick the paint job. This has to feel dry to touch before moving on.

no joy in Mudville
I kept the fan blowing on the shelves all night long and nothing.  When I checked this morning they were still clammy feeling. They fell over when I checked them and they stuck together. After all this time they still aren't ready to be used.

got them out of the cellar
I put them out in the yard for the day. They will be in the sunlight here all day long. East is to the left of the left end of the shelves. They stayed here until 1400 when my wife told me that had fallen over. I put them on the porch where they will stay until next weekend.

The exterior of the bookcase feels totally different. It is dry without feeling clammy anywhere, even the bottom of the bookcase.  I can feel the texture of the wood so I know that I can coat this with poly. It isn't necessary but with a couple coats of poly it will be easier to dust and keep clean.

the before pic
Ths adjuster knob is off the #4 I'm giving to my grandson. I know that I didn't use Bar Keeps Best Friend on this. I think I used brass cleaner and even accounting for the time lapse, it doesn't look good. I am going to clean it with Bar Keeps but use only hot water instead of nuking the whole thing.

big clump
If you don't keep on stirring this the Bar Keeps will settle to the bottom. I nuked the water I used for this until I saw it bubbling. I then mixed in the Bar Keeps and tossed in the knob.

after 5+ minutes in the soup
The Bar Keeps by itself doesn't do anything to shine things up. You need to help it along with something.

cleaned the knurling with a toothbrush
A toothbrush is hit or miss on this. Sometimes it will remove the crud inbetween the knurlings and sometimes it won't. Here it didn't.

the red grudge is gone now
Duh, brass on brass won't leave scratches
The brass brush cleaned up the knurling the best I've seen.

Bar Keeps powder
I am curious as to whether or not this would reusable? I didn't do it this time but on the next one I'll dump the water and let this dry out and see if I can reuse it.

a whole lot of better looking and shiny too

back side
I used a blue scrubbie on the knob except for the knurling. On that I used a small brass brush. Nuking the Bar Keeps and water together is not needed. Mixing it with boiling hot water is the way to go. Bar Keeps will clean up the brass using a brush or a scrubbie that has some water with a little powder applied to them. However, it works much better if it is hot.

working on the frog
 The sides of the frog don't appear to have been painted at all. This side of the frog has been run over some 320 grit sandpaper and it'll take a year for me to knock this down. I gave it a helping hand by doing some file work on it first.

a couple of minutes later
Both side of the frog looked real rough. Almost like they welded together from two pieces badly done.

port side done
I may paint this or leave it bare metal. It's something I haven't made my mind up on yet.

the starboard side
I got most of this filed smooth and flat except for this one low spot. This looks a lot better than it did yesterday.

face is done
I sanded this with 100 and finished with 220 and 320. This is sufficient for this. It is relatively scratch free and for the most part shiny.

getting my finishing cabinet width
The cabinet is 27" high and will be 11" deep. With this layout the width would have been 26 1/4" which would make the cabinet almost dead nuts square. I like my cabinet to be rectangular so I'm losing the drawer on the far right. With that gone the width shrunk down to 20".

After cutting out the stock for the sides and the top/bottom, I noticed that I didn't have any stock left to make a door with. I have what I need for the shell but I'll have to buy stock for the door and for the drawer(s).

the cabinet shell
Dovetail the corners or use a rabbet joint?

they are off
I didn't pay these any mind while sawing them to size. They are a wee bit more than a 1/4" off from each other.

corner is blown out
also has some shakes and splits
I'll dutch something in because I don't have stock to make another side
sawed a tapered rabbet
cleaned up both faces with the rabbet plane
I forced some glue into the shakes and splits first and then glued in the tapered dutchman.

two more hiccups to fix

ran gauge lines top and bottom
I squared off the ends and sawed down to the two gauge lines.

chiseled out the waste between the stop cuts
another split on the other end being fixed
I glued on some scraps in the two dutchmen and I let that cook for a few hours. I sawed off as much of the waste as I could and then planed it flush. I had pics of all this but you need to have the SD card in the camera. I don't know why I took it out but I forgot to put it back before I snapped more pics.

made some 1/4" dowels
The smallest dowels I have in my stock pile are 5/16" and up. I need to fill in the holes  as I what to put in a few adjustable shelves.

I was able to plug all the holes with just 4 of these billets. Each one was long enough to fill one row of holes top to bottom.

Maybe tomorrow I can get the carcass together.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Francis Gabreski?
answer - American's #1 Ace in the european theater during WWII with 28 kills

The Rabbit Hutch – Part 5

The Bench Blog - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 1:00am

The rabbit hutch project is finally taking shape.  I usually don’t paint or finish a project until the very end, but this one really calls for painting along the way.  Painting many of the inside parts would be difficult later, but easy if done now.

In the last post, I made the floor frames for both levels of the hutch.   I need to install these, but first I’m going to paint the inside of the hutch while I can still get in there.

Starting the painting process.

Starting the painting process.

I left the top of the drawer runners unpainted and gave them a heavy application of paraffin wax.

I left the top of the drawer runners unpainted and gave them a heavy application of paraffin wax.

I also applied some wax to the side of the hutch where the drawer makes contact.

I also applied some wax to the side of the hutch where the drawer makes contact.

The two floor frames were installed with screws.  I had drilled countersunk pilot holes in the last post, and they made installation must easier now.

I installed the two floor frames.

I installed the two floor frames.

You may remember way back to my first post in this series when I made the doors.  Now it is time to install and paint them.  I also installed galvanized latches.

Installing the doors.

Installing the doors.

I gave a little thought to the inside of the hutch and decided that it would be pretty dark in there once the back and the roof are on.  I decided that I could lighten it up a little, by painting the interior surfaces gloss white.  This will help to reflect what light does come in through the wire mesh doors.

Cutting the plywood for the back of the hutch.

Cutting the plywood for the back of the hutch.

Due to the dimensions, the back had to be made from two sheets of plywood.

Due to the dimensions, the back had to be made from two sheets of plywood.

Testing the fit before painting.

Testing the fit before painting.

I beveled the top edge of the plywood.

I beveled the top edge of the plywood.

After testing the fit off the back, I prepped it for painting.

Filling the worst of the defects on the plywood.

Filling the worst of the defects on the plywood.

White pain on the inside face.

White paint on the inside face.

With the back installed, I moved on to fixing an oversight in my design.  There is a large gap above the front face frame and below the roofline. I decided that I could fill this with a piece of plywood, but needed some backing support to attach it to.  I cut three pieces of douglas fir and beveled the tops to match the pitch of the roof.

I cut and fitted some backer blocks.

I cut and fitted some backer blocks.

These will allow me to attach a plywood piece to fill the gap.

These will allow me to attach a plywood piece to fill the gap.

I cut a plywood piece to fill the opening.

I cut a plywood piece to fill the opening.

I screwed the backer blocks to the hutch and painted them before installing the plywood board.

I painted the backer parts.

I painted the backer parts.

That will keep the wood protected.

That will keep the wood protected.

Painting the plywood.

Painting the plywood.

Installed with some screws.

Installed with some screws.

I countersunk the screws.

I countersunk the screws.

I filled the holes and calked the edges.

I filled the holes and caulked the edges.

After the caulk had cured, I painted.

After the caulk had cured, I painted.

Another part done.

Another part done.

With that, the main body of the hutch is done.  Now I need to build two poop drawers, a roof, a ramp, and a small insulated box that the rabbits can go into to avoid the worst of winter.

In the next post, I’ll tackle the drawers.


– Jonathan White

gents saw padauk - Feinsäge Padouk

Two Lawyers Toolworks - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 12:14am
Categories: Hand Tools

Ratcheting Book Stand-Redux

Hillbilly Daiku - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 5:36pm

It’s not very often that I get requests for projects that I build.  Some of my stuff is a little out there.  But, when I do get a request, I try to accommodate.  My version of the ratcheting book stand design that Peter Follansbee brought back into focus has proven popular among family members.

The nephew is in from college for the summer and asked if I would make him a “medium” (3/4 scale) version to take back to college in the Fall.  Of course I will!  Apparently the Summer is all but over because he will be packing off for the Fall semester in a few weeks.  Given that sobering time frame I figured that I had better get with it.

I dug through the offcut pile and culled out enough bits from which to mill up the parts.

I began with the posts by first bringing them to a rough round at the shaving horse and then to final shape on the spring pole lathe.  I turned a small urn-shaped finial on them and a single, simple bead.  The locations for the rungs/spindles I set in with a skew chisel and then used my bit of welding wire (shown in use on a garden dibber) to burn them in.


Each of the parts progressed in the same manner, shaving horse, lathe and done.  I’m definitely no speed demon at the spring pole lathe, but I am getting quicker.  So by the end of the day I had all of the parts turned and ready for assembly.


Today I did the boring bit and then shaped the shelf.  Everything went pretty smoothly , mostly due to my working at a relaxed pace.  Or it was just pure luck.  Either way, the dry fit and subsequent glue up is done.

One trick-of-the-trade that I have been using is to pre-finish the individual parts while they are on the lathe.  It gives me a jumpstart on the finishing process.  More importantly though, it makes cleaning up the glue squeeze out much easier.

I’ll add a couple of more coats of my usual Tried & True Original over the next few days and this little ratcheting book stand is ready for college.  I hope the nephew has been saving his pennies from his summer job in preparation for his upcoming economics lesson…

…uncle Greg doesn’t work cheap!

Greg Merritt

Categories: Hand Tools

A Good Shellacking

360 WoodWorking - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 4:10am
A Good Shellacking

I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I was working on an office interior in which all four walls had something made from sapele. I thought I’d share some of the woodwork, but I particularly wanted to show the before and after when using shellac – off-the-store-shelf, right-out-of-the-can shellac. Thank you Zinsser.

And thank you suppliers for stocking fresh shellac, when they had it. The first stop – big blue – had two outdated gallons (one from 2008 and one from 2010) and one from 2014.

Continue reading A Good Shellacking at 360 WoodWorking.


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