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Hand Tools

Two Mandolins

A Luthiers Blog - Sat, 05/18/2024 - 8:08am

 The next step with the e-mando is to bend the lovely English walnut sides and laminate them to the main core of the body.


Once the sides are in place, solid pieces of walnut are fitted and glued in place to protect the potentially fragile points also the end graft is fitted.

The body them gets a really good clean up and . . . . .  . .

 



In parallel with the e-mando and I’m also making a rosewood Standard (with a few extras!). So it make sense to work on both of the necks at the same time. The spliced head joint is something that I do on all my instruments.

You can see both necks have had the slots routed for the carbon-fibre inserts.


I’ve cut out pearl logos for both of them, although the method of inlaying is  different. This because of the nature of the head overlays. The e-mando’s overlay is made up from layers of veneer and is quite fragile until it’s glued to the head. So that’s done first.

The Standard has a thick single layer of rosewood and it’s easier to cut right through this overlay, before gluing to the head!

The Standard has some lovely Indian rosewood for tis back and sides. When I buy tonewood I always write the date on it when it arrives in the workshop and it often surprises me how long I keep it before using it: as you can see in the photo below, I’ve had this for almost 14 years! Yes, it is well seasoned!

The sides are bent, neck and end blocks fitted and my double thickness solid linings glued in.


even smaller miniature chest........

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 05/18/2024 - 3:25am

 Today was forecasted (yesterday) to be cloudy. After starting out that way it turned into a beautiful sunny day. However, tomorrow is saturday and that is the day I'm concerned about. It has shifted from cloudy to rain and I want to go to Gurneys Sawmill to get some pine. The early AM hours have a 14 to 28 percent chance of rain. Do I feel lucky and willing to chance it raining before I get home with my wood? I'll find out in the AM when I can look at the rain radar and see what it shows.

hmm......

Removed the screws and plugged the countersink. I am liking the look of this vice having a screw head showing. The block is glued to the chest and the screws for the handle will penetrate it and land go into the end. The screws in the block would be just for show. I have time to think about it.

 it behaved

They all aren't dead nuts flat. I found doing the dovetail layout that 3 of the boards had cupped slightly. I saw/felt that when I put the ends on the long sides to mark them.

 good morning's work

Got the tails and pins sawn and chopped just before lunch. 

 I couldn't wait

Delayed filling the pie hole until I checked the fit. It went together off the saw and it was square according the diagonals on the top and bottom.

 glued and cooking

I had to fiddle with the diagonals to square it up. The fit of the tails/pins was snug enough to hold it square too.

 it looked wide enough

This is 3/4" short of covering the distance. The front to back is 12" plus a frog hair. It is looking like the lid will be glue up.

needed some help

I noticed that a few of the tails weren't fully seated anymore. I had to use 5 clamps to close them up. Put two more on after these 3.

 the base

I used the stock that I was going to make a picture frame with. I thinned it down to 5/8" thick and smoothed the rough sawn face.

 two colors

Changed my mind on adding some yellow and red to this frame. This is all I did on the first frame I made. The two pictures are similar - both have sea turtles in them. It was because of that I opted to keep the frames the same. 

I got two coats of shellac on the toy/blanket chest lid and the handle blocks. I would say I would go back after dinner but The Crimson Rivers has my limited attention span and this series is free. I have until may 31st to finish it.

accidental woodworker

Moulding Planes Rack

Journeyman's Journal - Fri, 05/17/2024 - 8:00am
Part 1
Part 2
Categories: Hand Tools

new old project.......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 05/17/2024 - 3:02am

 

 change of plans

My wife shocked me today with a request with the toy/blanket chest. I was explaining to her that she didn't have to finish the interior of the chest and that she should remove the hardware before she painted it. She asked me to apply a clear finish (it will be shellac) to the top and the pads/brackets for the handles. She said she will be easier for her to paint if I do that (she doesn't want to remove the hardware to paint). I guess something from me is rubbing off on her. I will gladly comply with her wishes (starting tomorrow).

 new project

I am dead in the water with the toy/blanket chest for now and I need something to do to keep me from playing in traffic. This is left over stock from the toy/blanket chest and I decided to make another miniature blanket chest. This one will be smaller than the previous miniature chest I just finished. I'll be thinning this down to about 9/16" thick.

 starts with the #6

I checked one face (reference) for twist and planed it flat and straight. Ran my gauge line 360 and started planing down to them.

 1/2" thick

This is left over from the 2 portable drawer chests I did last month. I'll use this to make the lid for this new/old miniature chest.

 hmm.....

 Since I have never seen a triangular blanket chest of any size before, it would appear that I am short one end. I hunted throughout the shop for another piece of scrap and nada. I did find one piece but the grain was running in the wrong direction.

 clipped it

I have four more colors to apply to the current picture frame and only two feathers left. I will apply the white paint with the right side of this feather. I will then cut off the part with the white paint and use the left side for the next color.

 Lowes run

Went to Lowes after lunch and got a 1x10 and cut out the clear section of it to get two end pieces. It was raining and I couldn't go for my stroll and it is looking like tomorrow will be a repeat of today. Fingers crossed that saturday will be rain free so I can go to Gurney's and buy some pine.

 down to thickness

I have one extra end for just in case. These two ends match the long sides better than the lone end piece. I have enough left over 1/4" plywood for the bottom but I don't have enough pine to make a base for it. Looks like another Lowes run in the AM tomorrow.

 stickered

I think I'm ok with the long sides but the Lowes end pieces are highly suspect to doing stupid wood tricks. Fingers crossed that it will behave and I can dovetail it tomorrow.

I got the bearers sawn out for the base and they are stickered too. They were camera shy and didn't want to be in this pic.

 always something throwing a hissy fit

Because this was supposed to be painted I had planned on filling in the screw holes with putty or epoxy and sawdust. Now that the wife wants these clear finished I don't like the sunken look of the screw. I think they would look much better if they were flush with the face of it. 

Tomorrow I'll remove these screws, countersink the holes deeper, fill them with plugs, drill a pilot hole and flush drive in some oval head screws. At least that is the plan as of now but that is subject to change.

accidental woodworker

Drilling Vertically with an Egg beater

Journeyman's Journal - Fri, 05/17/2024 - 2:09am

When I first started woodworking, I was taught to use hand tools, and it was drummed into me that day the importance of learning hand tool skills. So since I’ve only ever used hand tools, besides the cabinet shop I worked in and a year at home, did I ever use machinery. So it makes sense that drilling accurately is pretty much second nature to me, except when I’m recording.

Categories: Hand Tools

Japanese plane setup (Wilbur’s version) - VII: sharpening, flatness, and cutting corners

Giant Cypress - Thu, 05/16/2024 - 3:48am

I won’t sugarcoat this. Sharpening a used Japanese plane blade is a bit of a chore, because of the less than ideal condition the blade will be in.

Your best friend will be a sharpening jig of some sort that can hold the plane blade, and a coarse diamond plate. The jig is for convenience. You’re going to have to spend time holding the blade at your desired angle on the bevel side. This gets old fast. The coarse diamond plate is for quick removal of steel without dishing out the surface of your sharpening media. I love my waterstones, but the reality is that between the time I’ll have to spend on the tool and the fact that coarser waterstones tend to dish out faster means that having sharpening media that won’t dish out is the better option.

I’ll start by using the coarse diamond plate to work on the back and bevel.

Again, this will take time. But there are some things to do make things better. I generally keep an eye on the second hand of the clock in my shop, and make sure that I work the tool for 60 seconds before checking it. This doesn’t really speed things up, but it makes sure that I’ll make a visible amount of progress. There’s nothing more discouraging than working the tool, then checking it, and not seeing any progress.

Second, I’ll use my grinder to remove metal from the soft layer if needed. This is far faster than using my diamond plate to do that, and if I am careful to make sure that the grinder wheel is only touching the soft metal layer, there’s less chance of overheating the hard layer and drawing out the temper. This method is most useful if I’m increasing the bevel angle of the blade. In this situation, the jig will be set up so that the cutting edge touches the sharpening media first, and it’s fast to get through the hard layer. But once the bevel expands into the soft layer, things slow down. This is when I’ll use the grinder to remove a little of the bulge of soft metal on the bevel.

Conversely, if I wanted to lower the bevel angle, the top part of the soft metal layer on the bevel will touch the sharpening media first. I could use the diamond plate to get rid of this, but a grinder will be faster. In this case, I would position the grinder wheel so that it touches the top part of the soft layer.

Third, when working the back of the blade, don’t be shy about tapping out. As scary as tapping out may seem, it’s faster than just using the diamond plate.

Finally, use some method of visualizing the plane blade so you can really see how you’re progressing.

After a while, the bevel and back will be worked by the coarse diamond plate, leaving flat surfaces on the back and bevel with coarse scratches. The rest of sharpening will be to get rid of the coarse scratches.

Here’s where the importance of flatness comes in. I’ve found that there’s a stereotype of Japanese tool fans being obsessed with flatness when sharpening. It’s not a fascination with flatness for its own sake. It’s because making sure that all your sharpening media is flat means that you’ll get through the next steps quickly. It’s all about efficiency.

Here’s why. All sharpening media, except for diamond plates, has the potential to dish out in use. If the sharpening media is dished out, it will leave a slightly convex surface on the tool. When it’s time to move on to the next step in sharpening, the convex surface will not match the surface of the next step unless you got really lucky. That means it will take longer to cover the surface with the new sharpening media.

The way to avoid this is to make sure that your sharpening media is flat. If the sharpening media is flat, then the surface of the tool will be flat when you’re done with that step. And if the sharpening media for the next step is flat, then they will match, and it will take little time to complete the subsequent steps.

I’ve found this to be true in practice. I haven’t timed myself, but the first step I use for sharpening seems to take 85-90% of the total time, and the subsequent steps are quite fast.

In any case, eventually I get to the last step in sharpening, on my finest grit waterstone.

And I can place the sharpened plane blade into the body.

There are a couple of issues that still need addressing. The first is that the blade sits too low with just hand pressure. The second is that the corners of the blade extend to the outside of the throat of the plane. This will cause problems, as the corners of the blade would create a shaving, but then that part of the shaving would get hung up because there’s nowhere for it to go.

Dealing with the position will wait until we work on the bed of the plane body. Dealing with the corners is straightforward. The first thing to do is to mark the blade so we know where the throat will be. This can be done by using a pencil to draw a line where the inside of the throat meets the back of the plane blade.

The lines are clearly visible after taking the blade out.

Then I grind down the corners until they are just inside those lines.

And now the cutting edge doesn’t stick out past the sides of the throat anymore. As you use a Japanese plane and sharpen it, the width of the cutting edge will widen over time, and at some point you’ll have to grind the corners back.

dual chests Pt XVIII........

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 05/16/2024 - 3:27am

 The day didn't start off on a good foot for me. The ride into the VA was better than expected - there was minimal traffic going in. I got a parking spot on the first level of the parking garage too (unheard of). The vampire had trouble sticking me but 8 out of 10 of them never get me on the first attempt. Going home was going well until I came to where a RIPTA bus had broken down. Which was right before a change of 3 lanes into one and then a long stretch of construction barriers. Before I got back to the barn I had to make a couple of stops to get groceries. All and all I got back to the barn by 0845. Since today was grocery day I would have gotten back to the house around 0800 if I hadn't gone to the VA.

 I was having problems getting set up my new online banking with the new credit union and I spent the morning trying to sort that out. That involved a couple of trips to the credit union but in the end I finally got it going. I like this credit union because it is a 5 min walk or a 1 min drive to get to it. I got verification emails from the accounts I switched so fingers crossed that come June 1st the direct deposits will be in my new Navigant accounts.

 new frame

I zoned out going back to the shop last night and putting a coat of shellac on it. I found a new crime series from France called 'The Crimson Rivers' and wow do I like it. It was because of me binge watching it that I forgot the frame. I got a coat of shellac on it before I left for the credit union the first time to straighten out why I couldn't get on line.

 one down

The shellac seals the gray stain. I stained the back of the frame too along with shellac. I will end up putting 3 coats of shellac just on the back (no paint). After I put each color of paint on the front of the frame I will then seal it with one coat of shellac. Doing these dance steps means it will be next week before this is done and ready to go to Maria.

came during lunch

I wasn't expecting this and it was a total surprise. When I checked the tracking this AM there was no tracking info at all. I assumed the date for delivery had slipped again. 

 easy peasy install

I like this transom window chain stay. It is solid and bullet proof. I deliberately let the lid go to test it and it passed with flying colors. This is now 99.99% done. The only thing holding up the check mark in the done column were the #5 screws from Lee Valley.

 first color is black

I tried before to dab the paint on with a paper towel but not only didn't I like the effect, I didn't like the application method. The feather is an improvement but like everything else, it needs practice. I like the lay down of the black color on frame #2 better than what I did on frame #1.

 much joy in Mudville

My screws came in via UPS from Lee Valley after I had quit the shop for the day. I resigned to only getting a wee bit done but now I can do a check mark with the miniature chest. I got the same length screws in #5 & #6 sizes. 

 it ain't a gas strut

This works on a friction principle. By turning a nut at the bottom, resistance is varied opening and closing the lid. Not impressed with the absence of instructions.

 a blurry pic of a no mortise chest hinge

What the pic is supposed to clearly show is a #5 screw seated flush in the hinge countersunk hole. I used the 5/8" length screws for all 7 of the hinge screws.

 now I'm 100%

Got all the #4 screws out and replaced with #5s.

 the only glamour shot

I will keep this chest in the living room and keep my CPAP supplies in it. I also got my podiatry pads etc in it too. Still on the fence about handles because the ones I want are $45 ea. Ouch!

toy/blanket chest

Ditto screw work for this chest. The hinges feel stronger with the #5 screws. They definitely fit better in the hinge countersinks. I checked with LV and the recommended screws are a #4.

 for the non gas strut lid stay

Even though there are no instructions with this it makes sense to me that the upper screw mount pad should be parallel to the inside edge of the chest. LV mortise gauge is a good tool for laying out for things other than mortises.

 copying the pic

The pic of the lid stay shows the bottom screw pad angled. It looks like 45 to me so that is what I set it to.

 not impressed for $31

There is a screw adjustment on the bottom that adjusts the 'friction' of the rod. The friction is almost non existent. I tried the full range of it fully tightened to fully loose. I could feel only a slight difference between the two extremes. It does work with keeping the lid from falling fully back but offers nothing in the way of it slamming down on your fingers by me-steak.

 all that is left

Blacksmith bolt screws are coming via the USPS. From the delivery date I think they are walking it from them to me.

accidental woodworker

Disposable Glue Brushes

Journeyman's Journal - Wed, 05/15/2024 - 6:00pm
It was probably the best investment I made in my craft.
Categories: Hand Tools

A quick guide to Millers Falls block planes

Working By Hand - Wed, 05/15/2024 - 7:41am

Millers Falls were one of the last to the party when it came to block planes, their line of planes debuted in Catalog No.40, January 1929. They introduced 21 different block planes in the initial offering, with no real rhyme or reason with the numbering schema used. The planes were all basically carbon-copies of Stanley planes, at least from the perspective of form and function. In reality Millers Falls didn’t do much in the way of introducing anything new, they merely copied the existing Stanley designs, perhaps with some augmentations with respect to knuckle-lever caps etc. Were their planes better than the likes of Stanley or Sargent? No, they just offered a different perspective. Were they cheaper? The No.16 in 1929 was being sold for $2.20, whereas the equivalent Stanley No.9½ sold for exactly the same price.

My guess would be that Millers Falls already had a very successful tool repertoire, and so they figured that producing planes would only enhance their business. Their one interesting plane was the pressed steel No.206 block plane, which didn’t appear until 1940, although it too was a different interpretation of planes like the Sargent No.5206. The table below describes all of Miller Falls block planes, and their major characteristics. Planes are organized based on how they appeared in the original 1929 catalog.

No.LengthYearsAdj.
throat
Depth
blade adj.
Lateral blade
adj.
Bed angleStanley
Ref-No
Notes
166″1929-196520°EF
16C6″1965-197120°Depth adjustment modified to sled-type
177″1929-196420°15EF
266″1929-194420°16Same as No.16 with nickel trim LC
277″1929-194420°17Same as No.17 with nickel trim LC
366″1929-195920°18Same as No.16 but with nickel-plated knuckle-joint lever cap.
377″1929-195920°19Same as No.17 but with nickel-plated knuckle-joint lever cap.
566″1929-196512°60½EF, low-angle
56B6″1965-197612°60½No.56 redesign to accommodate standardized iron.
577″1929-196412°65½EF, low-angle
466″1929-194212°60Same as No.56 but with nickel trim
477″1929-194812°65Same as No.57 but with but with nickel-plated knuckle-joint lever cap. Also Craftsman No.3732.
666″1929-194412°61Same as No.46 but with non-adjustable throat, rosewood knob
077″1929-197020°140rabbet plane (skewed), EF body, rosewood knob, polished nickel trim
555½”1929-196020°103EF, screw cap clamp
977″1929-196020°120Longer, and wider than No.55, EF, rosewood knob
757″1929-196520°220longer and wider than No.45, EF, rosewood knob
75B7″1965-196820°220No.75 redesign to accommodate standardized iron. Sold as Fulton No.5257/3701; Dunlap No.3701.
75-01B7″1968-1980s20°220Catalog re-organization.
455½”1929-196420°203smaller version of No.75, EF, rosewood knob
33½”1929-197445°100No.33 with a curved handle, EF
333½”1929-197445°101EF, later gray/red
55½”1929-196420°102EF
877″1929-196420°110EF, rosewood knob
688″1929-196120°130double-end block plane (one end rabbet), EF, rosewood knob
7007″1931-196420°1247Also Shelburne No.700 M-S
2066¼”1940-195920°pressed steel construction
206B6¼”1959-197012°Same as No.206 with 12° bed.
7077″1956-197420°1247EF, red LC, grey body, hardwood knob
14556″1956-197412°61No.66 reborn. EF, rosewood knob. No.1455B, redesign to accommodate standardized iron.
84556″1974-197712°61All black.
87077″1974-1990s20°1247re-numbered No.707
97757″1969-197120°Teflon-coated No.75
90333½”1974-1990s20/45°H101pressed-steel construction
EF = enamelled black finish; LC = lever cap; ORANGE=not originating in 1929

For a much deeper dive into the intricacies of Millers Falls planes, check out Millers Falls Planes.

Categories: Hand Tools

Fine tuning dovetails with a rasp

Journeyman's Journal - Wed, 05/15/2024 - 4:25am
Categories: Hand Tools

Semi-Annual Salmagundi Club Benefit Auction

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 05/15/2024 - 4:00am
Semi-Annual Salmagundi Club Benefit Auction 1
When I write about art, it's usually in the context of an auction or exhibit of expensive stuff bought as much for its appearance as its collectability and investment value. But I have a favor to ask. As a resident artist (photographer) member of the Salmagundi Club I spend a lot of time with working artists who are doing pretty much the same thing artists have been doing for centuries. That is, producing art to hang on somebody's wall because that person likes it. The club itself specializes in realism, and most of the artists are figurative painters. Sometimes figurative artists get to paint landscapes or things that the spirit moves them to capture, but a fair number of them routinely work on commissions of portraits people and pets because people want a portrait to remember somebody by to preserve the moment. I mention this because the Salmugundi club is having their semi-annual benefit auction.

While some of the club members have national reputations and their work is collected, most of the art at the auction is bought for the basic and compelling reason that someone likes it. If you have a choice between displaying a poster or copy of a famous picture in your living room versus something original and unique, many people would opt for the original art. But they simply don't know this is an option. Like all the exhibits at the club, the art in the auction is vetted by a jury. At least in my view, the standard is pretty high. I submitted two photographs and one was accepted for inclusion in the show. It's my first acceptance to a show at the club so I am all excited! The show is currently hanging at the lower level of the clubhouse at 47 Fifth avenue (12th St.) in Manhattan. If you're in the area, I think you'll find it worthwhile. The galleries are open to the public every day from 1 PM-6PM. While there is no pressure to bid, if something catches your eye it would be great for everyone if you put in a bid. Prices are very reasonable because it's a fundraiser.

You can bid on-line anytime but the real value of seeing the pictures in the gallery is you can see the frame and what the picture looks like on the wall. You are also invited to come to the actual auction which is spread over two nights on Thursday, May 23rd and Friday, May 31st. The auction will be a lot of fun even if you are just there to watch.

You can also view and bid on anything online. All the pictures, by the way, are sold or framed and ready for hanging. I know that for a fact, because I'm one of the volunteers who hung the show. And let me tell you after you've pounded a hundred nails into the wall you get good.

Remember as craftspeople, furniture makers and woodworkers, we have an appreciation for the skill and the making things. Having unique art hanging in your office or home is just as satisfying as having unique furniture that someone made for you being part of your house.

My picture in the show - top row on the leftMy picture in the show - top row on the left

Semi-Annual Salmagundi Club Benifit Auction

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 05/15/2024 - 4:00am
Semi-Annual Salmagundi Club Benifit Auction 1
When I write about art, it's usually in the context of an auction or exhibit of expensive stuff bought as much for its appearance as its collectability and investment value. But I have a favor to ask. As a resident artist (photographer) member of the Salmagundi Club I spend a lot of time with working artists who are doing pretty much the same thing artists have been doing for centuries. That is, producing art to hang on somebody's wall because that person likes it. The club itself specializes in realism, and most of the artists are figurative painters. Sometimes figurative artists get to paint landscapes or things that the spirit moves them to capture, but a fair number of them routinely work on commissions of portraits people and pets because people want a portrait to remember somebody by to preserve the moment. I mention this because the Salmugundi club is having their semi-annual benefit auction.

While some of the club members have national reputations and their work is collected, most of the art at the auction is bought for the basic and compelling reason that someone likes it. If you have a choice between displaying a poster or copy of a famous picture in your living room versus something original and unique, many people would opt for the original art. But they simply don't know this is an option. Like all the exhibits at the club, the art in the auction is vetted by a jury. At least in my view, the standard is pretty high. I submitted two photographs and one was accepted for inclusion in the show. It's my first acceptance to a show at the club so I am all excited! The show is currently hanging at the lower level of the clubhouse at 47 Fifth avenue (12th St.) in Manhattan. If you're in the area, I think you'll find it worthwhile. The galleries are open to the public every day from 1 PM-6PM. While there is no pressure to bid, if something catches your eye it would be great for everyone if you put in a bid. Prices are very reasonable because it's a fundraiser.

You can bid on-line anytime but the real value of seeing the pictures in the gallery is you can see the frame and what the picture looks like on the wall. You are also invited to come to the actual auction which is spread over two nights on Thursday, May 23rd and Friday, May 31st. The auction will be a lot of fun even if you are just there to watch.

You can also view and bid on anything online. All the pictures, by the way, are sold or framed and ready for hanging. I know that for a fact, because I'm one of the volunteers who hung the show. And let me tell you after you've pounded a hundred nails into the wall you get good.

Remember as craftspeople, furniture makers and woodworkers, we have an appreciation for the skill and the making things. Having unique art hanging in your office or home is just as satisfying as having unique furniture that someone made for you being part of your house.

My picture in the show - top row on the leftMy picture in the show - top row on the left

dual chests Pt XVII........

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 05/15/2024 - 3:09am

I am now in slo mo with the dual chest builds. The Blacksmith Bolt tracking  number says the 20th for delivery, Lee Valley is wednesday, and the transom chain stays are unknown. I checked on them today and no tracking info. At least with the LV order I'll be able to secure the hinges on both chests and get the gas strut installed on the toy/blanket chest. Getting close but still no cigar.

 stayed flat

When I took the planes off the frame it stayed flat on the bench. 

 fitting splines

I sawed this off a scrap pine board. I tossed all the thin stuff on the last garbage day. Glued and set the frame aside to cook for a few hours.

Howards Feed 'n Wax
 

I rubbed the lid and the exterior of the chest with this. I'm now thinking of putting handles on this chest too. I brought it upstairs and it was a bit awkward navigating the stairs with it. Carrying it with handles would have been easier.

 partially hinged

I have two screws in the lid hinge part and one in the chest hinge part. That is sufficient until I get my screw order from Lee Valley. I got it loaded up with my CPAP supplies and I have a ton of extra room left over. It doesn't smell like shellac but I will leave the lid open for a while to monitor it.

 back frame ready

I think I got this figured out correctly this time. Regardless of that the 45's are dead nuts as are the lengths of the long/short sides.

nope

I made the same me-steak that I made on the last frame. I did the exact same bone headed thing. I didn't layout/size the frame on the correct side of the pencil lines. It fits or will fit the picture if I install it this way.

 scraps to the rescue

I will fix the boo boo the same way I did the last one. If I had used butt joints I might have gotten this right but I wanted the look of miters. This is the back of the frame and won't be seen once it is hanging on the wall.

 back frame done

Two of the miters were opened slightly at the toes on the back. One miter on the front also had a gap at the toe. Everything was tight when I glued it up and now I don't have a warm and fuzzy about the glue I'm using (bad batch?). Especially so after having so many edge joints open up on me. Even the lids I glued again show signs of separating on the glue joint. Hopefully the splines will help keep the miters as is. I made them bigger than I did on the last frame I mitered.

base color done

I am going to make this frame to match the other turtle painting frame. According to the can I can apply a finish (shellac) over this in one hour. I'll do that after dinner so I can start on the painting touches tomorrow.

My PCP called me this AM and wants me to get blood work done before my appointment with her on the 21st. I forgot to ask if it was fasting blood work but I'll be headed in to the VA shortly after oh dark 15. They start drawing blood at 0700 which means I can drive in early and avoid the rush hour traffic. When I come home from there I should be ok traffic wise too because I'll be going in the opposite direction. 

accidental woodworker

Silverware Drawer Organizer

Woodworking in a Tiny Shop - Tue, 05/14/2024 - 8:11pm

This one has been on the to-do list for a long time.  I'd seen projects like this from other people and I stole various ideas from them.  We wanted easy access to the most often used things, but also storage for the lesser used items as well.

The drawer as it was before

The design is a two-tiered tray system.  The most commonly used things will go in the upper tray and lesser used items in the lower tray.  The upper tray is not as deep, so it can slide back, revealing the front compartment of the lower tray.  There are no progress pics in this post - just a finished product.  But you'll get the idea from the pics and descriptions.

Lower tray left, upper tray right
All parts are made of 1/4" poplar, except 1/8" plywood bottoms

The corners of each tray are joined with a single dovetail

The upper tray has 6 dividers, making 7 compartments.
Each divider was shaped to make it easier to reach down into the compartments.
.
The dividers are fitted into stopped dadoes in the front and back

The lower tray has a large side-to-side front compartment
and 5 front-to-back compartments

The lateral divider is housed in stopped dadoes in the sides ...

... and the other dividers are housed in stopped dadoes in the lateral divider and the back

Here is the lower tray installed - it's a nice fit in the drawer

The upper tray installed, slid towards front ...

... and here the upper tray is slid back revealing some of the lower tray

Here's the drawer loaded ...

... and with the upper tray pushed back revealing lower tray

To access the rear compartments of the lower tray, we have to pull out the upper tray.  But the intent of those rear compartments was to hold rarely-used items.  Time will tell if we like this better than the way the drawer was previously.

The trays are finished with three coats of shellac, followed by a coat of wax.  The light weight of the poplar didn't add much weight to the overall drawer.

Why I use Mulitple Waterstones

Journeyman's Journal - Tue, 05/14/2024 - 6:33pm
The title is wrong

I briefly explain or justify why I use multiple waterstones to achieve sharp. I also explain when I apply the secondary bevel.

Categories: Hand Tools

dual chests Pt XVI........

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 05/14/2024 - 3:22am

 I spent a boring afternoon initially chasing my tail but 3 hours later I was done. At the end I still had my tail and I think I got everything switched over. The new bank is taking care of getting my social security switched to them so that left me dealing with the 3 retirement accounts. 2 of the three I didn't know the user name or password for it. I couldn't remember the password hints I did months/years ago and one account that was a (^%@%&!)^$  nightmare to do. I hadn't been on it in almost a year and I had to jump through a month of hoops to access it.

I finally got access and then had to fight my way through a bazillion screens to find where to change the direct deposit. All three said I was successful doing that and now I have to wait and see if next month they go to Navigant and not Chartway. I'm glad that this is finally over and done with. 

 both are done

I got the final coat of shellac on the interior of the toy/blanket chest and on the lid for the miniature chest. I should have the screws from Blacksmith bolt this wed/thurs for the chest handles - fingers crossed.

 miniature chest

This didn't need another coat but I put one on the interior and exterior again. The delivery date for the transom window chain stays from amazon has slipped (again) and now they are supposed to come on the 21st.

 new picture frame

I made a me-steak when I shot the miters. I ass-u-me-d that it was set up perfect. I did get the length dead nuts on but I found out shortly the 45 was off a wee bit.

 open at the toes

The other 3 miters were tight and gap free whereas this one is open. When I checked it with the combo square these ends of the miters were good and the opposite ends were slightly off. Go figure that one out?

 confusing

These two are perfect. The combo square laid up on them light free when checked. The two on the right showed light for over half their lengths. Shot them again and checked them for zero light leaks before I did another dry fit.

 open corner

Happy with the fit and the look of all the miters.

 glued and cooking

The frame wanted to bow up so I weighed it down with planes to keep it flat to the workbench. Needless to say I ain't disturbing this until tomorrow.

 finally came

I envision that I will mostly use the bandsaw for resawing. This is a 1/2" blade that I'm going to try out for that purpose. It will also be used for rip cuts. I'm hoping the wider blade won't flex like the 3/8" wide one does.

new home

I feel better now that this isn't in front of the clamps. There is nothing under or around the poster here that I need or will have to access.

 almost done

I took my time and only pushed this backwards towards me. All the time concentrating on keeping the bevel down to the stones. Rolled a burr on both of the bevels which surprised me. I was expecting to expend a boatload of calories on the stones sharpening and honing it.

 much better

The plane behaved and it planed the profile with no hiccups. This is the raised panel profile that I was looking for. It is going to take some practice and time to sort it out. I planed way too deep on the flat - it should have been a 1/4" thick. The plane should bottom out and stop taking shavings but I didn't get that option when I did this.

 end grain

The plane plowed through the end grain pretty well. I didn't knife it for the cross grain but overall it did ok without it. I did better on the flat being closer to a 1/4" thickness.

 no spring lines

I am pretty sure that the top of the plane has to be parallel to the stock face. It also bottoms out and stops making shavings when the flat on the left contacts the face of the stock.

I still have a long way to go with making good friends with this plane. One thing I will have to figure out is the thickness the plane is made to raise. Is it 3/4" or something thicker?

accidental woodworker

dual chests Pt XV........

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 05/13/2024 - 3:41am

 Starting off with a mini rant about Shellac. Zinsser shellac was sold to Rust Oleum a few years ago. The cost of the clear shellac has steadily risen in price from around $15 to $27.68 today. Part of the cost today was a BS $3 waste can disposal fee. WTF is that? As long as the can is empty and dry I can put whatever in the garbage can for pickup every thursday. The clerk at ACE had no idea what the disposal fee was for. He wasn't aware of ACE accepting cans of shellac, empty, full, or partially full for disposal.

I bought a can today because I didn't want to wait 24hrs to mix up a batch of it myself. At these prices it costs about the same or a little less to mix it myself. I'm not worried about the 6 month shelf life of mixed shellac because I doubt it would hang out in my shop for more than 3-4 months. Mini rant completed.

 Rust Oleum clear shellac

Ace still carries all 3 varieties of shellac - clear, amber, and sanding sealer. I don't know if they are all the same price though. I use all three with clear dominating and the other two only occasionally. Usually I buy them only when the clear isn't on the shelf.

 veneer hammer

I had to move this to a new hole to make room for the Lost Art Poster. I made this and a larger one several years ago and I have only used the larger one once. All the veneering I thought I would do has yet to materialize.

 20V power

I am still getting used to this drill. It is so much more powerful than the 12V Bosch drill that I used (still use) for years. I have found that the position of the drill when driving is important. I use square drive screws and if the drill driver bit isn't in line with the center of the screw, the drill bit will chatter and round out the square drive.

The other thing I'm still getting used to is the speed that the drill will push a screw into the wood when the alignment is spot on. This is what I have the heebie jeebies about. It is so quick that I can't even get the the letter 'O' of 'oh shit' to form in the brain bucket before the screw is seated 6" below the surface. Just MHO but I think 12v is more than enough for home shop use. I still use my 12v 3/8" chuck Bosch drill whenever I can over the DeWalt 20v.

 where the poster will hang

I thought about the poster being in front of the clamps and for now I'm ok with it. I seldom use these clamps and I'll be able to remove the poster and take the clamps out. That goes against my rule of having to move something to get to what I want. I'll have to see how that shakes out and whether the urge for something to go airborne will rule.

 hanging thing

The hanging wire on the back is too low on the frame to hang it from the joist. If it was a 1x12 it might of worked but not with a 1x8. 

 wish it were 2" longer

This isn't long enough so the bottom rail of the frame will contact it. It will do for now and I'll buy a 1x4 at Lowes the next time I'm there to replace it. (If I remember to do that).

 hmm....

Just thought of this as a potential home for the poster. I don't use this air cleaner anymore. The only time I have used it recent years is when I do a field day cleaning the shop top to bottom. Looking at it as I type this, I am liking it a lot more over where it is hanging now.

 clamp rosebud

Before I put any shellac on this I had looked over the chest trying to find this. I didn't see it then. It popped and caught my attention after the second coat when on.  This is the front edge of the chest too. I already have 3 coats of shellac on it and I'm going to leave it as is. I'm calling it a character/patina boo boo.

 this is done

Other than hanging the poster, the only other thing I did today was get shellac on the two chests. The toy/blanket chest is done. I need the screws and gas strut I ordered from Lee Valley to come in before I can complete it. I haven't gotten a ship email yet but maybe by wednesday I'll have them.

 view from the bench

This is definitely moving to the air cleaner. The sanding block box lid hits the poster when I open it. That is a deal killer for me.

 4 coats

This is the Pinewood plywood and I like this top veneer way better than birch plywood. This has color, movement, albeit straight R/L or L/R and it feels better in my hands than birch plywood does. Pinewood plywood is a few dollars cheaper than birch too. So far Lowes only seems to have 1/4" and 1/2" in stock. I have looked for 3/8" or 3/4" plywood but didn't see either.

accidental woodworker

dual chests Pt XIV........

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 05/12/2024 - 3:31am

Things haven't not been going swimmingly for me with either of the chests. Both of them had a major boo boo pop up and shake hands with me. The boo boos are fixable and annoying that I have to fix them. On the other hand I don't have needed supplies to be able to put a check mark in the done column. I think I might be able to finish the miniature chest with the exception of a lid stay. The toy/blanket chest won't be done before next week end. I still have a couple weeks of wiggle room for it left to burn through.

Found out that the credit union I have belonged to since 1975 no longer has a brick and mortar building in Rhode Island. I knew they closed a branch on Quaker Lane several years ago but I assumed that the original office in Wakefield was still open. Big negative on that boys and girls. Chartway is gone and Navigant is the new occupant. So this AM I opened a new bank account at Navigant and I'll have to go through doing battle getting my accounts closed and switched to them. The most drawn out part will be switching all the direct deposits from Chartway to Navigant.

 both lids glued again

Last night as I was leaving the shop I saw that the lid on the toy/blanket chest was opening up on the glue joint. This time it was a lot longer - about 6". Deleted the pics of me fixing my me-steak but I did it the same way as the miniature lid. I used a biscuits on this one to help keep it aligned.

 maybe a half of a frog hair

Getting the ends aligned and keeping them aligned was a fight with this. As I tightened one clamp the ends would slip by one another. I had to put a clamp across the ends and then tighten the cross grain clamps.

 pretty good but ugly looking

This is the bottom of the lid and it stayed aligned much better than I thought it would. There were a couple of spots where the blue tape stuck to it along with a few glue squeeze outs but overall ok. 

 rocking

Before I had to reglue this it was laying flat on the chest. Now it is rocking slightly on the far left and the near right corner. Not a deal killer and I can't see it so I'll probably leave this as is. 

What I can't leave as is are the rosebuds from the clamp pads. I doubt the iron and wet rag trick wouldn't work on this and I didn't try. 

 deep

I didn't think I had tightened the clamps enough to cause these. 

 miniature chest lid

The glue joint wasn't flush on the top or bottom. It was proud less than a 32nd and I didn't think it will cause any headaches if I flushed it once again.

 just a few swipes

I got lucky that the plane didn't tear out chunks on me. I had to plane the first joint line from the right edge. There is no way for me see which way the grain was running.

 for the back stop thing

I screwed the back stop in with no glue. With five screws holding it there is no way it is going anywhere.

#8

Used the big boy to plane the clamp rosebuds away.

toy/blanket chest lid

I was extremely happy with how flush the lid came out. It wasn't as good as the first time but it was awfully close. I only had to plane about a 4" length to flush it.

 not longing obsessing

I put a 5th screw in the middle of the handle block. This one will be hidden by the handle.

 hole filling

I used the wrong length screw and I nipped off about 3/8" and reused it. I also filled in the 8 holes from the lid stays I tried to install yesterday. I am leaving the interior of the chest natural with a shellac finish. I'll have to ensure that I tell my wife that I already finished it with shellac. So there is no need to paint it.

 lid holes

I'm not sure if the wife will paint the underside of the lid. I would like that because it will cover the dowels I used to fill the screw holes.

 miniature chest

Got the hinges installed but not without having to take a step back. My first attempt had the lid with almost no overhang at the front. The barrel of the hinge was flush with the back edge of the lid instead of it being proud of the outside edge (like the pic). One hole from each hinge will be visible when the lid is opened. 

 first of three

Ever since I applied shellac to the interior of the drawers (last 3 projects) I like the look over bare wood. I was under the assumption that it would smell like alcohol forever but it ain't so boys and girls. I got one coat on the entire miniature chest today.

 toy/blanket chest

I am only applying shellac to the bottom and the interior of this chest.

 could have been better

The color and grain popped a bit with just one coat of shellac. Seeing it now I am thinking that maybe I should have put the white board (2nd from the left) at the front and the first board butting against the 3rd one. 

 possible home

I will have to move some things but this could be the new home for this poster. I'll try and knock this out in the AM tomorrow.

Yesterday the new DVD player went belly up on me. It wouldn't read any DVDs I put in it. I tried about 20 of them with no luck. It gave the 'no cd' error on any and all. Today it worked briefly but it won't select and play any episodes. It is stuck on that screen and no matter what key I hit it says it is invalid. Getting frustrated and having visions of the DVD player going airborne.

accidental woodworker

dual chests Pt XIII.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 05/11/2024 - 3:39am

 At the end of the day in the shop I jumped down the lid stay rabbit hole again. At lunch I had ordered 3 transom window stay chains and at 1530 I ordered a gas strut lid stay. This one was a no brainer to figure out. It is strictly the weight of the lid that mattered. I didn't have to add/subtract or multiply/divide the lid width and length to get the proper sized strut. I got it from Lee Valley and I don't recall seeing it when I ordered the previous ones from them. Oh well better late than never.

 24hrs later

Wasn't sure if the dutchman would stay in place and endure any shaping/sanding. It felt secure and tight when the clamp came off.

 not too bad

It is obvious even from 5-6 feet away there is a dutchman there. However, this one will be on the back of the chest. I looked again this AM for another pine scrap but none were long enough. The planing and sanding went off without a hitch. No complaints from the dutchman as I shaped it.

 raised them

Most, but not all of the headaches here got raised with the iron and wet rag trick. I had to set this aside to dry for a few hours. Fingers crossed there will be dancing in the street.

 toast

These are toast as in they aren't going to be used on the toy/blanket chest. The spring in them is to strong for the lid. I had trouble opening and closing the springs with my hands. I'll save them for a lid that is 1" or thicker and with heavy duty hinges.

 blocks for the handles

The blocks are a 1/2" thick and roughly 4" square - two of the sides are 4 5/8".

 just right

The screw is a 1 1/4" and I have about a 1/4" of wiggle room. I ordered some #12 flat head, slotted, black oxide finished screws from Blacksmith Bolt. Don't like the look of the phillips head screws these came with.

 handle block position

I am going to glue and screw the block to the side of the chest. I positioned it so that it straddles the glue joint evenly - two inches above it and two inches below it.

 it was ready

It was ready last week but Maria doesn't have my phone number. The next time I go I'll give her my wife's cell phone number to call. Now I have to find a hole to hang this in. I did a quick scan of the vertical space in the shop and there is nada.

 done

Thinking of adding one more screw in the center of the block. I have plenty of time to obsess about it.

 yikes again

The last couple of inches on this end have let go somehow. I can move the ends up an down slightly so the glue has failed here. This isn't the first time I've had this problem with this white glue. I noticed the top on the Keurig coffee table has separated too. About half of it is still solid and the other has opened up. Another set back but I found it now rather than after the shellac had gone on.

I sawed it off on the glue joint and glued it back together. Of course it was a royal PITA aligning it. The flushed the top and the bottom is a wee bit proud. I'll deal with it tomorrow after it comes out of the clamps.

 miniature chest moldings done

Glued in place with no nails, screws, or clamps. This one is being left natural so I fussed a bit more with the miters. Hopefully this won't bite me on the arse after the glue yikes above.

toy/blanket chest moldings done

I had to nail the back left corner to keep it tight to the chest. This one is getting painted so I didn't go full anal sawing the fitting the miters. They are good but I may have to putty one or two. I'll know tomorrow after this has cooked.

the back molding

This molding at the top is thinner than the other 3. It is also slightly tapered with this end being the thinner end. It is on the back and the chest will go up against a wall. I can't think of a situation where this would be visible and accessible 360.

 sticking with these

I am going to use these hinges on both of the chests. I also got my screws that I ordered from McMaster that got dropped shipped to Craig. The screw head is too small for the countersunk hole. No wonder the lid stays almost ripped it out. 

I ordered some #5 and #6 screws from Lee Valley. I was trying to raise the total to get free shipping when I found the gas strut lid stay. That put me way over the free shipping limit. Maybe next week I'll be done with toy/blanket chest.

The miniature chest I plan on using one of the transom chain stays. I got them from Amazon and they are supposed to come next friday. I might be done with this next weekend.

accidental woodworker

dual chests Pt XII........

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 05/10/2024 - 3:59am

 Had a terrible day in the shop. The AM session was productive but the PM one had everything I touched turn into liquid fecal matter. I had gone to pick up my poster from the Frame It Shop but she wasn't open yet. I should have taken that as an omen but I'll survive and I'll give it hell tomorrow.

 closing in on the miniature one

I got the back stop thing rounded over and sanded smooth. I am working on sanding the end grain on the lid. I am leaving this natural as of this blog. My wife may want to paint it but I hope to persuade her other wise.

 brown knot

The back stop thing will hide it on the top but it will be visible on the underside of the lid. I can live with that because all the outside show surfaces are clear pine.

 layout for the base cut out

A simple 1 1/2" round on the ends with a flat straight edge between them.

it is secure

I used the jigsaw to saw out one long side. I was expecting it to vibrate and shake like crazy but it didn't. I was going to saw this out by hand like I had done on the toy/blanket chest but it went so well I did the other 3 sides too.

hmm.....

Didn't think this one all the way through to the end. I could have used one of the long cutouts as the back stop thing.

 base is done

The jigsaw did pretty good on the last two I did. The first one while not horrible I did have to spend time cleaning up the rounds.

 base and chest married

The gap isn't that bad but I still intend to use a cove molding to cover it.

 cove molding

I screwed this one up. I was taking a cleaning run and I didn't register the plane properly. That changed the profile from a cove to a cove and a quirk.

 found some more scraps

The pickings were lean and slim but I found one piece long enough to get the two long sides from.

 brown knot

I didn't have anymore scraps and I didn't feel like going to Lowes. So I made a dowel to fit the half circle left after I removed the brown knot.

 I like the look

I got the front and the sides dry fitted. I have to wait for the knot molding to cook.

 better

I had a 2" piece of dowel glued to the knot hole. I sawed it so the dutchman is about an 1/8" proud. There was no way I would have been able to saw the waste if I had left it long. As it is I don't have a warm and fuzzy that sanding/chiseling this patch will withstand that attention. I'll find out tomorrow. This cove will be going on the back of the chest.

fielding plane iron

There are 3 edges that need to be honed. I'll have to do all of these 3 by hand. I'll have to be on my best behavior because this iron is as straight as a dogs hind leg. The iron is a spot on match for the sole of the plane too. I'll be hand sharpening this slow with frequent checks to make sure I'm out going Out To Lunch (OTL).

 ????

Not so sure about this being the 4th edge. I think this one is out in the air and doesn't cut/shave anything.

 handles came

This is where things started to slide southward on me. This came with screws but they are phillips head which I don't like. They are #12 and they are too long for the chest. They will stick out into the interior of the chest by a 1/4".

I have some #12 x 3/4" Black FH screws but I think they are too short. I don't have a warm and fuzzy with those as replacements. I think the best thing to do is too put a support block under the handle(s) so I can use the supplied screws. Or I can order some slot head screws from Blacksmith Bolt.

 lid needs two

No screws with these and they are also handed - one right and one left. I like the instructions for the installation. They are clear and understandable. There is no way even I can screw this up.

 sheet metal screws

The instructions say to use #8 sheet metal screws for the lid supports. I was going to make an ACE run but I had some in my stash ready to go.

 oops

It wouldn't close and no hiccups installing either one. Except that I got the right one upside down.

YIKES....

The lid supports use beefy springs to help defy gravity so it takes a little bit of effort to shut the lid. Did that and the lid supports almost ripped out this and the middle hinge.

I didn't even get the option to punt on this one. I can't use these hinges with these lid supports. I don't want to keep playing musical chairs so I'll have to rethink this once again. I don't have any decent butt hinges and I don't want to put in a piano hinge. I'll check Horton Brasses and buy a couple sets from them.

Yikes #2.......

For insurance I decided to put screws in the back stop thing. The screw on this end was too close to the end and front edge. It split the back stop and pushed it up and put a gap under it.

 sawing it off

There was a tiny yikes here too. I had to saw through 3 brads that I used to secure the back stop so when I clamped it, it wouldn't slip and slide on me.

easy peasy

I chiseled off the bottom and I was able to pull the 3 brads out. Planed and sanded it smooth.

 Ugliness

I think these random gouges came from the saw. I'll try to steam them out tomorrow. I was feeling frustrated here and that could lead to me wanting something to go airborne. It was 1502 and 2 past quitting time so I killed the lights and headed topside.

 reused it

I ripped off the hand sawn edge on the tablesaw and I can reuse it. One positive thing is I initially thought it was a little short in the height and not it isn't.

accidental woodworker

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