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Hand Tools

it's a wee bit chilly.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 2:20am
Winter has finally arrived. The past few days have been cold with this morning being the coldest so far. It was a frosty 25°F (-3.8°C) at oh dark thirty this AM. No frost on the cars but on Tuesday, I noticed the first frost of the year then. A quick peek at the weather seer's web page says that the daytime temps next week will be in the high 40's to low 50's with the nighttime temps hovering around freezing (0°C). On bright side, it hasn't snowed yet.

Things were going so well in the shop today that something had to go wrong it seemed. I was motoring along and things were looking good until I went to get chinese for lunch. The battery in the truck went south when I tried to go home. So what could I do? I went back into the chinese place and ate my lunch. They have a couple of tables there but I have never seen anyone eating in there before.

FYI - batteries ain't cheap. The last battery I remember buying was a Sears diehard and I think I ponied up $50 for it. I was looking on line to see what the prices were and I almost had an involuntary bowel movement. Let's just say batteries don't sell in the $50 range anymore. Starting prices for my truck are $140 and go up from there. One thing I noticed was that no matter the price the warranty on them was still only 3 years.

Got my replacement battery ($173) swapped out without any problems. I think I was heading for a battery explosion with the old one. It had bulged out on all 4 sides with ends being the worse. The car parts store gave me back $18 when I gave them the old battery. Don't remember getting $$$$ from the last time.

this has cured
Last night the last thing I did in the shop was to size the ends of these two pieces of stock. These are the bases for the bullnose and tenon planes.

Amazon prime isn't two day
I assumed that anything I bought prime would come in two days.  I ordered these sanding belts on the 6th and they came on the 10th. I read the terms and it basically said Amazon will decide and ship when and what they feel like doing. I bought metal 4x36 sanding belts in grits from 80 up to 400. I hope these are an improvement over the woodworking ones I got from Harbor Freight.

bought a piece of crap
I turned down a Nicholson 4-in-one from HD for this. I was leery about buying anything Nicholson but that one was way better looking than this China made piece of total crappola.

kind of worked
I might be biased against this but I got the impression that it worked better pulling it back then pushing it forward. Didn't change my opinion of it nonetheless. I was going to put this in Miles's toolbox but I can't do that now. This will most likely end up in the shop shitcan.

this 4-in-one is mine
I'll be giving this to Miles instead. This is from my carpenters toolbox but I have never used it in the shop.

nail sets and a center punch for Miles's toolbox

I was hoping that I would get to this today

figured out my drawer stop problem and it starts with these two pieces of oak
drawer guides
These two will keep the shelf level and from tipping down. This was another headache I was trying to find a pill for. I will screw these to the sides.

screwed in place and the shelf is extended
There isn't the weight of all the tools on this but at this extension, the cubby is still laying down on the workbench. The stops for the shelf are in the batter's circle.

cheap plywood
I planed a bevel on the back and then sanded it roundish. This will help with it not hanging up and letting it ride over the back brace as it is pushed in.

first part of the drawer stop system
A strip of oak glued to the back of the shelf.

Miles's hammer almost done
I pulled off the stickers and scraped off the finish that was on it. I sanded it with 120 grit and after a couple of coats of shellac it will be done.

this side doesn't have the grain of the opposite side
needs to stowed better than this
I started to make something to stow these in while the drawer stop sets up for an hour or so.

what I came up with
The holes for the sets are 11/32nds and the holes in the top are 3/8". I thought that would make up for the waviness in my drilling of the holes for the sets. It didn't help.

1/2" pigsticker fixed it
I barely touched this
I was already down into the mortise with a 3/8" chisel and pushed against this end of the mortise with the backside of the chisel. I wasn't levering against, just pushing. I was down into the mortise almost to the bottom of it too. When I did that, this popped out.

fits now, both ways
glued it with rapid fuse
got to use my big chamfer bit
This one clogged too but not as fast or as bad as the smaller one.

ripped up some oak veneer
 Thicker piece will be used for the lid banding and the thinner one for the rest of the box.

I am applying the oak veneer to all of them thin sides
The top and bottom of the box is long grain and the sides are end grain. I want to hide that because I think it detracts from the rest of the box. While this glue was setting I went back to working on the plane cubby

part two of the shelf stop system
how it will work
The oak strip I glued to the back of the shelf will hit this and stop any further forward motion of the shelf.

a backer so I can saw off my individual stops
I decided to do the back strip this way to ensure accuracy. This is marked off of the shelf guides and I didn't have to measure it.

The stops are only screwed to the sides, no glue. I may have to repair them or change the shelf arrangement in the future.

mistake - replaced the 1" brass screws with 1 1/4" screws
all five the screws came through
The two screws at the front made it all the way into the front brace. Shelf couldn't go in or out. And yes I did check the screw against this and it looked to be shorter then thickness.

had to do it
I didn't want to glue this but I had no choice. I went back to the brass screws but they weren't too secure. Hide glue will make this reversible and the screws have enough bite to hold it until the glue sets.

it works
I have the shelf fully extended and the cubby is still in place.  I think once I get the two holders in place for the tenon and bullnose plane, this will tip up and on to the deck. This will definitely need to be secured to the workbench shelf.

front molding
This is mostly to hide the end grain of the shelf and the front brace. I will cover the vertical plywood edge too. This piece of wood will also give my a place to put a knob or a handle on it.

need a shallow rabbet - made it with the 140
didn't forget this time
Ran the marking gauge to clean up the back wall and deepen the knife line.

while the molding glue sets up
I filed the 12" square on the inside and the outside until both of them were square when checked against drawing parallel lines.

6 tries and I'm getting close
I kept my filing as light and for as short of a distance as I could. From the first reading I could tell that I had to file at the heel.

got it
The lines look to be parallel from the bottom to the top without any deviation. Since the eye can detect a difference as small as a thousandth of  an inch, and I don't see that, I'm calling this good. This was the inside of the square. The next batter is the outside.

the outside edge
The lines converge at the top which means the heel needs to knocked back some.

same here as the inside
I took a few filings and checked it. I tried to keep my filing strokes short and not be in a hurry.  Filing off too much off would make the square go in the opposite direction.

In spite of my care and going slow I did switch the error on the lines. After the 3rd filing, the lines were going away from each other outwards at the top. I had to file a bit at the toe before I got my two parallel lines. I didn't check or try to make the inside and outside of the blade parallel.

layout for the square till
I do not want these to be hanging out loosely in the toolbox and banging around against all the other tools in there. It won't be good for the tools or the squares. I only have one more square to get to call this complete and that is a 4" sliding square, preferably a Starrett. I will squeeze that in here somewhere, somehow.

pretty close to my lunchtime doodle
The lines on this are the ID as that is what I was concerned with getting. I also wanted the two halves of this to be the same size. I bought 2 sheets of 6mm plywood today and I'll have it next week sometime. That will be used for the panel in each half.

I am also making it out of 3/4" thick pine. I am going with 3/4" because I can't find a decent hinge for 1/2" stock that is worth more than a thimble full of belly button lint.

stock for the square till
I'll let this sticker for a few days and then I'll start the joinery on it. This is going to be a mitered box that I will glue up as box and then saw it in half. I'm mitering it because of the 6mm plywood panels I'm putting in it. The panels will strengthen the miters and they will make it easy to plow the grooves for the panels.

the next to last operation for today
I epoxied the ends and used yellow glue for the sides.

glued and cooking
the last thing I did before the lights were shut off
I sized the end grain on the nail set box and set it by the furnace. Tomorrow after this has cured I will epoxy on the oak veneer.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Where is the US Air Force Academy located?
answer - Colorado Springs, Colorado

It Followed Me Home, Dear. Can I keep it...

The Part-Time Woodworker - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 2:29pm
Sometimes, something catches your eye and you immediately have to have it. That is what happened here.

During one of my usual weekly internet search for tools, I went to http://bobstoolbox.co.uk, a fantastic vintage tool shop in Liskeard, Cornwall, England, where I came across this...
It was such a pretty vice, I had to have it, so for the reasonable list price of £58 plus shipping, it was on its way to Canada. When it arrived at my door, I was even more taken with it than I was when I saw Bob's image of it.
It is only a little guy, measuring 8" tall by 8" deep by 2 3/4" wide, but it is beautifully made and the wood is...well...just gorgeous. There isn't a maker's mark on it anywhere, which is too bad. I would have liked a chance to know a little bit more about the maker. 
The Coke can is for scale.
I'm not sure if it is dogwood or pear. I'd like to think it is latter, but it is more likely that it is made out of the former.

It has what looks to be a blacksmith made mount on the back of it. The mount screw is missing its swivel, lost probably when its mounting screw sheared, so replacing it will require a bit of fussing to extract the screw's leftovers. I really do not expect the mount to work very well, as this type of mount rarely does, but it is very cool looking, effective or not.
It has a piece of spring steel mounted on the inside-bottom of the rear leg, just above its mount point. The rear leg is fixed while the front one has two pivot points, one a half inch behind the other. The spring steel ensures the jaws separate from each other when the pressure is released.
The Coke can was added for scale.
I also bought a knicker with wedge for the H. E. Mitchell Filletster Plane I bought last winter, and a Veneer Hammer to spread the cost of shipping over more than just the vice. Bob charged me £20 for the shipping.

If you want to spend an enjoyable few minutes wandering around Bob's Tool Box without heading off to England, use this link to get you there...Bob's Toolbox 360° Virtual Tour. It's a little freaky to get used to, but it is also a real hoot.



Categories: Hand Tools

It’s not about the drawings

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 11:34am


Writing for woodworking magazines is a strange experience in many ways. You never know what readers will make of your work — the artistry, thinking, writing, building, calculating, drawing, and editing that go into a project article. Will they love it? Hate it? Discover some hideously embarrassing error in the cutting list even after three eagle-eyed editors have gone through it with a fine-tooth comb? Odds are, many people won’t even venture beyond the title. But the one thing of which you can be certain is that you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

Sometimes I hear nothing after an article is published. Every so often I get a super enthusiastic message that makes my day, such as one I recently received from Larry Nottingham:

“I knew the sideboard on the cover of Popular Woodworking was yours even before I saw your name. All I can say is WOW. I recently purchased a bunch of quarter sawn white oak and, even though I’m just an amateur, I’m gonna give that one a try. Your work inspires me.”

The most common response is a request for more detailed plans. I write back, explaining that I have no more detailed plans and that the drawings in any article I write for Popular Woodworking or Fine Woodworking show far more detail than anything I use in my own work or have ever been given in the shops where I worked for others. The fact is, unless you’re working side by side with the person who wrote an article, you’re going to be interpreting and extrapolating from the instructions and plans, no matter how much detail an article contains. Add to this the reality that publishers today are working with fewer staff and lower budgets than before the Great Recession, and I think it becomes easier to understand that for authors and editors both, selecting what to include is a risky business virtually guaranteed to tick someone off. “I’m not subscribing to xyz for spoon feeding,” some will say, while others lament the lack of exactly that level of instruction.

Let me offer some insight based on my experience.

When doing small-scale custom work (as distinct from production work, whether in a one-person shop or a factory setting where every step of the process has to be just-so in order for the next parts to fit the ones that have already been made*) there’s typically some allowance for the craftsperson to interpret a drawing and build it in whichever way will best suit the job in question. A good example is the Voysey two heart chair in my book about English Arts & Crafts furniture for Popular Woodworking (forthcoming in June 2018). As I explain in the introduction to the chair build, real-life chairs made during Voysey’s lifetime based on his drawings diverge from those plans in multiple ways. Some of the variations were probably requested by customers when they commissioned their seats; others were undoubtedly decided on by the craftsmen who built them, in an effort to make the work affordable.

The drawings I use for my own work are meant to convey to clients how a piece will look and function, as well as provide the basic information I need to build it.


Drawing for a recent commission. This is the original drawing I showed the client, explaining that I might make changes to dimensions if the mock-up indicated that they were warranted for comfort’s sake. In the end, I made the seat a few inches deeper — night and day in terms of comfort — and changed a few other details, some of them scribbled on the drawing as I worked. I also omitted the back stretcher once I realized that the T-bridle joints at the front provided excellent racking resistance.


The completed bench

Even my bare-bones drawings are head and shoulders above those I often got from my employers in the past, such as this delight:


My employer’s drawing for a three-part dining table to be built in ash, circa 1986. The idea was that the table could be used as one large piece, a square and two half-circles, or a square and a circle. The legs and top(s) had to fit together just-so, in every configuration.

Of course, when you’re building something from an article in a magazine you don’t have the luxury of checking in with the person who designed it as you work your way through the structure. Having made a couple of pieces from articles in magazines over the years (a benchtop bench and some leaded glass panels), I can say I’ve found that even in simple cases such as these, I’ve wished there were more detail. Each time I was stumped, I stopped, thought through the logic of the process, and moved ahead when I thought I had it figured out. I have had to redo a few parts — a drag that might have been unnecessary, had the articles contained more detail. But I chalk such things up to learning, whether a new skill (such as making leaded glass panels) or how to use unfamiliar hardware (as in the benchtop bench). Some readers, such as my friend Bill Heidt, construct a piece on the screen before digging into material in the shop; this is another way to work through the ins and outs of a build beyond an article’s text and illustrations.

So while the basic information should be in the article, it may require clarification. Apparently one or two aspects of the recently published sideboard in Popular Woodworking have had some readers scratching their heads, for which I apologize. Thanks to Megan Fitzpatrick, you can find SketchUp plans with additional information here.–Nancy R. Hiller, author of Making Things Work

*In the shops where I’ve worked, every step of the build is adjusted for the parts that have been made. Flexibility is part of the m.o. You start with a few basic dimensions on a drawing, but the rest are based on direct measurement of the piece in progress.

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

A New Project Series-A Bedside Cabinet

Paul Sellers - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 11:28am

I am sure you will enjoy following this series and making the cabinet too but even if you don’t make the actual cabinet there is much to learn from the series because it is the first time we have used my system of Mortise and Tenon joinery on a full project. To say that it […]

Read the full post A New Project Series-A Bedside Cabinet on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

giantcypress: This has become a bit of a tradition here at giant...

Giant Cypress - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 3:28am


This has become a bit of a tradition here at giant Cypress.

This is one of the best Veteran’s Day songs, ever, even if it was written for Australia’s version of today.

God bless our vets, all of them.

made some progress.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 2:20am
The sliding shelf for the cubby still doesn't have a design. In spite of that I did make a lot of good progress on it. I'm sure that when it comes to crunch time I'll do something on the spur of the moment. The shelf itself isn't the holdup, it's how to stop it from being pulled out fully. I can't have it come out all the way but it still has to come out far enough for me to get to the tools at the back. Right now a small block of wood and a screw has me captive.

back clamped dry and square
Houston, we have a problem
The cross braces don't protrude the same distance on this side. Both braces are the same length and they are flush on the other side. They should therefore be sticking out on this side the same. I think the problem is this side is toeing inward. The braces are over sized in the length so I knew I would have to trim them to length.

checked the back for squareness
The back looked good and the rabbet joint appeared to be snug fitting so I marked the distance between the sides.

the front is off 3/8" from the back
now it's the same
This stick is a 1/4" longer then the back measurement and it is square cut on the right and angled on the left. This sets up a wedging action that is also self supporting. I set the opening at the front to match the back and marked the cross braces.

my notches need some help
Three of my notches were a frog hair too deep. I cut out some veneer and that was what I needed to flush the braces with the bottom of the sides.

cut out all the veneer with the new marking knife
The cross grain cuts took just a couple of extra swipes but they came out as clean as the long grain ones.

glued, nailed and screwed together
I didn't want to wait for the glue to set up. By screwing it I could keep on working on it.

good on the F/B and S/S
I'm up tight to the leg and I have about 3/8" on the left between the side and the #3 plane area. At the back where the #8 lives there is about 1 1/2" of extra space. No worries there with it falling on the deck.

cut and fitted the shelf gliders (?)
Not sure what to call these things. Their purpose is too support the shelf as I pull it out and push it in.

initial layout
I added the edge plane to the pull out shelf.

first change
This was dictated by the edge plane. When I first got this about 5 years ago I used it constantly to square edges. I was still struggling with planing square edges with hand planes then.  Now I can plane square edges so the use of the edge plane has fallen off dramatically. I use it now mostly for thin edges. So sticking it at the back of the shelf is a no brainer.

top shelf layout
everything fits
The dogs aren't going to be a problem. The front edge of the cubby is behind them. Except for when one is hanging down and I slam my hand into it reaching for a block plane.

a slight PITA
I can reach and grab this from the front but I have to bend over to do it. A better way to do it is to grab it from the back of the bench.

screwed the top onto the sides
This won't be staying here. I will remove it when it comes time to screw the braces to the workbench shelf. It'll be a lot easier doing it sans the top shelf then using a ratchet screwdriver in a dark, cramped cubby. Once the braces are secured I'll screw the top back on.

have some flushing to do
The piece of plywood I used for the top only had one straight edge and I used that at the front. I'll plane the 3 hand sawn, uneven edges flush after I'm done with this.

making a holder for the edge plane
This is a necessity I think because it'll be on a sliding shelf. Wouldn't do to have this flopping around as it goes in/out.

drilled out most of the waste
I cleaned this side pocket with the hand router.

the top I evened out with the chisel

hadn't thought this far ahead
Made it with an 1/8" to spare.

I have extra
I have about 3/4" that I can saw off and drop the height. I will leave it as is for now and see if it presents any problems.

I still have  it
This surprises me a lot that I have not lost this. I have had this for almost 5 years. It is the allen wrench for the set screws on the iron.

exploded view of the bullnose holder
I am thinking of putting this together with epoxy on the ends and yellow glue on the sides. That will mean adding another day(s) for this to cure out.

same holder design for the 073
I used oak for all the parts on the both of these holders. I have an idea for the block plane storage that I'll work on this weekend.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
How many US Presidents had no children of their own?
answer - five Washington, Polk, Harding, Buchanan, and Jackson

The End Was Nigh!!!…

Fair Woodworking - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 9:35am
  It’s not easy being The Champ. Well that’s not true, I come by it naturally, but if you try really hard you may be able to remember life before The Champ was crowned. About 5 years ago, give or take a couple of years, I was messing around with the settings of the blog […]
Categories: Hand Tools

Build A Hall Table – NEW Video Series

The English Woodworker - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 8:32am
Build A Hall Table – NEW Video Series

Our latest video series is the build of a classic Hall Table.

As you’ll expect, we build the whole piece with basic hand tools.

That’s apart from an optional approach that we cover at the prepping stage; this is the first time that I use my bandsaw.
(We cover the same bit of prepping with hand tools, in case you don’t have one).

The Series is now available to Pre-Order!

We’ll be adding more details of the Series over the coming weeks.

Continue reading at The English Woodworker.

Categories: Hand Tools

A Shaving

Northwest Woodworking - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 7:50am

A student asked me about the thickness of shaving. How thick should it be? My reply was that a dollar bill, an American issue bill has a thickness of . 004″. A good shaving should be half that I told her. That’s. 002″ thick. As all new students do, she marveled. How do you make something so thin?

The shaving itself, it turns out, takes little to accomplish. It is a stroke, a quick pass with the hand plane. It is the preparation to make that shaving that takes the hours of practice. It is the practice of sharpening, of honing the edge, of tuning the hand plane, all these things combine to yield a shaving so thin. Without each of them, the hand plane cannot sing. It cannot play the tune that appears so simple, a movement to create a whisper of a shaving.

It is the practice in the end that is the most important part of an activity. So that the act may be accomplished with surety, with confidence, without thought. Thinking about the act itself gets in the way. It is the confidence of the worker that lets the work flow through to the tool, to the paint brush, to the instrument.


Bedrock in use w hands

Categories: Hand Tools

‘Carving the Acanthus Leaf’ Available at our Storefront

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 4:59am


Thanks to a stroke of good timing, we have two cases of Mary May’s book “Carving the Acanthus Leaf,” which will be for sale at our storefront this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

As always, our Tennessee printing plant did a fine job with this book. And they delivered it two weeks ahead of schedule.

We’ve got lots going on at the storefront on Saturday. In addition to the arrival of “Carving the Acanthus” and “From Truths to Tools,” Brendan Gaffney will be showing off his newly constructed shaving horse and making spindles. I’ll be there trying to affix antlers to the dugout chair. And Megan Fitzpatrick will be demonstrating any hand skill you’d like to see – sharpening? Dovetailing? Hand-cut mouldings?

— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com

Filed under: Carve the Acanthus with Mary May, Lost Art Press Storefront, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Howard adjusters.......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 1:20am
Last week I ordered a Howard adjuster for the LN 60 1/2 block plane and one for the LN 102 small block plane. The Howard adjusters make for a positive, silky smooth advance and retraction of the iron. I've had one on my LN big block plane for a few years and I have nothing but praise for it. Both of the them came in today. I just ordered them and they came to me from the other side of the world. I don't get some things this quick from states next door to me. I hadn't planned on getting them for several weeks.

It is not quite 11,000 miles (about 17,700 km)  from my house to where these are made in Australia. It took a week to get here and that includes clearing customs in two countries.

shiny brass - what could be better than this
up for grabs
I don't need these adjusters anymore. If anyone needs one, drop me an email with an address and I'll send it to you.

replacing the LN 102 adjuster knob
I use this small plane a lot. I am not sure that I'll be using the bigger LN more in it's place but we'll see. I'll have the both of them side by side once the cubby is done. I think the size of the job will dictate which one gets the love.

I didn't get one for the LN 103 which is the standard angle small block plane. I don't use it much and it has gotten even less use since I bought the LN 102.

it is hard to see the split on the right

hack saw
The instructions say to remove the proud with a hacksaw. Makes sense as the teeth of this aren't effected that much by the hammer head. A wood saw would have scratched the head and possibly damaged the teeth. The hacksaw went through this, slowly, but without any headaches.

not happy with the gaps

metal wedges are next
The instructions state that the metal wedges be installed perpendicular to the wooden wedge. The drawing shows them at a 45°. I think that is because the appear to be too big to be installed at a 90°.

metal wedges installed
I offset the wedges intentionally because I wanted to try to close up some of the gaps. I did ok but there is still one small gap at the lower right of the eye. I used 100 grit sandpaper to clean up the eye and then sanded the rest of the head to shine it up a bit.

sealing the top of the eye with some lacquer
The instructions say to do this to seal the top of the eye. I wouldn't have done it if I hadn't read it in the instructions.

can you hand plane rabbets in plywood?
 I'm about to find out and I have 6 different planes I can pick and chose to do them with.

picked the 140
The iron is sharp and it is sailing through this ply with the grain going in the short direction. The planing slowed down some when the ply grain direction changed but the plane was still making shavings.

pretty good for plywood
The outside shoulder isn't clean down into the 90°. I didn't use the nicker on the plane and I forgot to use the marking gauge to cut the fibers as I planed. I cleaned this up with a chisel.

rabbet #2
Hit a snag on this one. The 140 didn't like this knot and was riding up and over it. I tried pressing down on it more in this area without any luck. It was still skimming right over the knot.

this didn't skim over it.
It skipped and skimmed on the first two stokes but after I set the iron a bit heavy it chewed up the knot and spit it out.

sometimes you get lucky
I had eyeballed the length of the back yesterday and tonight I fully expected to have to cut off some extra. I have about a 1/4" strong of clearance total on both sides of the cubby.

no problems sawing this
I did my saw cuts so that the inside of the side was facing away from me. This way the chipping and blowouts on the exit will be on the inside of the cubby.

you can chop plywood cleanly
I chopped the pockets at the back just like it was solid wood. I sawed off the front notch and squared and cleaned it up with a chisel.

left notch is snug and this one is loose
This isn't that important although I was shooting to get both of them snug. These will be glued and screwed in place. I will then just screw these to the plywood shelf on the workbench holding the cubby in place.

I will be sawing excess off the cross braces
I will clamp the back in place dry and square it . I can then flush one end of one brace to a side and mark the length on the other one. Still haven't come up with a sliding shelf design I like. It is proving to be a wee bit harder than I anticipated it being. Part of the headache with it is figuring out the stop and putting the shelf in the cubby after it has been screwed to the plywood shelf on the workbench. Maybe inspiration will hit me tomorrow before I get home from work.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What was the first railroad in the United States?
answer - the Baltimore and Ohio was the first railroad to transport freight and passengers in 1827

Don’t Blow it on the Lid

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 11:21am

Miters and mayhem. The flat panel lid warped and shrank. The miters lost their hold. This lid is a mess.

This is an excerpt from “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz. 

There are several ways to make the lid. Some work great. Some are quite stupid. Let’s start with the stupid ways first. When I built my first tool chest, I copied the construction of the lid from an original. It was a single flat panel of wood trimmed on three of its edges with narrow stock that would interlock with the dust seal attached to the shell.

If I remember correctly, I think the lid worked as intended for about a week, and it has been bockety ever since. The first problem was with the lock strike, the brass plate mortised into the underside of the lid. Because the lid was a simple flat panel, the top shrank a bit, which moved the lock strike.

One day I tried to lock the chest, and the mechanism wouldn’t engage. In fact, it just pushed the lid up off the dust seal. So I filed the opening in the strike until the lock worked again. About six months later the top expanded and the lock wouldn’t work anymore. This time, filing wasn’t going to fix the problem – I would have filed away one wall off the strike. So I resigned myself to having a chest that would lock only during the dry season.

Then the top warped.

Because the top of the lid was the bark side of the tree, the warping made things worse. The front and back edges of the top curled up. And the movement was enough that the strike couldn’t be struck by the lock mechanism.

But my troubles didn’t end there. When I built the chest, I wasn’t a total doofus on the topic of wood movement. I knew the lid was going to move, so I selected a species that didn’t move a lot once it was dry. I used white pine. And when I applied the trim around the lid, I did everything I could to minimize the problem of cross-grain construction. The trim pieces on the ends of the lid were the problem. They had to be nailed onto the end grain.

This is a problem. Nails and screws don’t hold as tightly into end grain as they do into face grain. So I wanted to introduce some glue into the joint to help things along. of course, glue doesn’t want to stick to end grain. And when you glue long grain to end grain, the end grain will try to bust apart the joint as it expands and contracts with the seasons.

There are several solutions to this problem. Some involve a sliding dovetail. others involve screws in elongated slots. The simplest solution is to glue and nail the trim on at the front of the lid and use nails only at the back part of the lid. This was the technique that the original builder had used. The theory here is that the glue and nails will keep the trim secure and tight up at the miters, and the nails at the back of the lid will bend to allow the lid to move.

It’s an interesting theory and one that sometimes works. It sure didn’t work for me, however.

The trim is barely holding on to the lid. The miters are open and flopping around like a broken finger. And the lid’s joints look like crap. I want to remove the lid and rebuild it. I should remove it and rebuild it. But I really like the way the paint has aged on the lid, and the broken joints are a constant reminder about the wily ways of wood.

So when I set out to build a new chest, I looked for other historical examples that would be more durable. The vintage pine chest I bought had the trim glued and pinned to the underside of the lid. This had the advantage of removing the end grain from the equation. All the joints were long-grainto-long-grain. But this is still a bad way to build a lid. Instead of the trim coming loose, this lid is designed to split. And boy did the lid split. There is a 3/8″-wide canyon right up the middle of the lid, which invites dust inside. It’s such a problem that the best solution was to cover the split with tape to keep the dust out.

So don’t build your lid like that.

I took a look at other chests. Duncan Phyfe (1768-1854) was a smart guy, one of the most celebrated 19th-century cabinetmakers. And his tool chest, now at the New-York Historical Society, is filled with all manner of amazing tools. But the lid is curious. It’s a flat panel with breadboard ends. While the lid worked out for Duncan, it might not work out for you. Breadboard ends definitely can help things and improve the way a dust seal will attach to it. But it still won’t help things when you add lock hardware. It’s going to move forward and back as the panel expands and contracts.


Better lid. A frame-and-panel lid with a raised panel is about as robust as you can get without adding lots of weight.

Really, the best solution is to build the lid as a frame-and-panel assembly (or use a slab of Formica). This confines almost all of the wood movement to the panel that floats harmlessly in the middle of the rails and stiles. And if you choose quartersawn wood for the rails and stiles, they will barely move at all.

So you could build the lid in the same way you would build a raised panel door. I would recommend using through-tenons on the rails. But what about the panel? You want the panel to be thick and stout because it will take a beating. So the joint between the panel and the lid frame is critical. You don’t really want to thin down the edges of the panel as you would when making a door panel. Thin edges will weaken the panel.

The old-school solution here is to plow a groove in the edges of the panel so the panel will interlock with the rails and stiles. This will keep the joint between the panel and frame as stout as possible, and the panel will be raised above the frame of the lid.

There is no downside to this approach. There are no weak spots on the lid. There is no significant wood movement along the edges or ends of the lid. So the trim around it will stay put. It is as permanent as can be.

Meghan Bates

Filed under: The Anarchist's Tool Chest
Categories: Hand Tools

Roubo Workbench Class (2nd week)

Heritage School of Woodworking Blog - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 9:37am

I wanted to update everyone on our Roubo Workbench class. We all survived if you’re wondering why it’s taken so long to hear about it. I will say that it was fairly intense for all 10 days, but the students did leave the classroom with finished benches by 5 pm on Thursday. Please remember that […]

The post Roubo Workbench Class (2nd week) appeared first on Heritage School of Woodworking Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Roubo Workbench Class

Heritage School of Woodworking Blog - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 9:18am

I wanted to update everyone on our Roubo Workbench class. We all survived if you’re wondering why it’s taken so long to hear about it. I will say that it was fairly intense for all 10 days, but the students did leave the classroom with finished benches by 5 pm on Thursday. Please remember that […]

The post Roubo Workbench Class appeared first on Heritage School of Woodworking Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

A small barn for the summer house 16, staircase installed.

Mulesaw - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 9:15am
After preparing all the individual steps of the staircase, I hand planed them front and back plus the upside before mounting them in the stringers.
I had to keep reminding myself that it is for a barn, so I shouldn't go all wild in trying to achieve some show surface on the underside.
Mounting the steps was straight forward. But as I discovered, doing this on top of the workbench wasn't a smart idea.
I had to apply a couple of clamps to keep everything together so I could lift it down to the ground where I would be able to hammer in some nails.
A little bit of forward thinking would have been nice here.. (but that is not my strongest card).

I hammered in one nail per step, and then turned the assembly over so I could square it up before pounding in the nails from the other side.
When I had bashed in all the nails on that side I again flipped it over and hammered in the last set of nails on the first side. My idea was that if I had put in both nails in the first side straight away, it might have been more difficult to square it up.

The individual steps were sawed flush to the side that will be facing the wall, and sawed at an angle to the side facing the room. This is something I have seen on most old stairs, and I like the subtle elegance of this ornamentation.

The completed staircase was loaded into my trailer and I drove it to the summerhouse.
While maneuvering the assembly out of the shop I became aware that it wasn't very easy to move around single handed. But I managed in the end.

At the small barn, I mounted the assembly by means of a bit of ingenuity, a cargo securing strap and a couple of clamps.

As per Mettes suggestion, I have wrapped up the barn project for this time, since I'll be heading back to work in a weeks time.

The installed staircase.

Mounting the steps in a stringer.

This would have been smarter to do at the floor.

Flipping over the assembly.

The only decorative elements of the staircase.

Progress on the attic.

Categories: Hand Tools

A New Batch of Soft Wax

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 6:43am


My daughter Katy has just finished making up a new batch of 46 jars of soft wax, which are available in her etsy.com store. The tins are $12 each.

I am one of her biggest customers – I love using the wax on my chairs, tools and vise screws. It has a strong piney smell and, because of the amount of solvent she uses, it is easy to apply and requires no buffing to get a low lustre.

Katy has been taking a break from making the wax lately at my insistence. There have been some really nasty things thrown around on social media – mostly that I’m exploiting our customers by mentioning her wax business on this blog. I hate for her to get dragged into my mud.

But last week I decided not to care about the wankers.

So if you don’t like it, don’t click here. And I have something – it’s around here somewhere – that you can sharpen instead….

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Pricing Your Work – You Can’t Win

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 5:00am

I typically keep a few pieces of my work in the window at my workshop in Covington, Ky. Right now I have a couple chairs on display, plus an aumbry. The pieces do attract attention – and also some uncomfortable conversations about the prices on my work. Recently Patrick Edwards visited my workshop, looked at the aumbry and said: “It’s too cheap. You should be charging three times as much. […]

The post Pricing Your Work – You Can’t Win appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

More With RECO-BKLYN’s Roger Benton – 360w360 E.257

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 4:10am
More With RECO-BKLYN’s Roger Benton – 360w360 E.257

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, Roger Benton, co-owner of Re-Co BKLYN (recobklyn.com), spends more time with us. During the discussion, he talks more about his design ideas and what jazzes him about his work. We also hear a great story about an incident about which many of us could relate.

Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Glen talks with various guests about all things woodworking and some things that are slightly off topic.

Continue reading More With RECO-BKLYN’s Roger Benton – 360w360 E.257 at 360 WoodWorking.

new hammer handle.......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 2:01am
My order from the Hammer source was waiting for me when I got home. I tried replacing the handle and doing it went smoothly. The results weren't too bad considering it was my first ever attempt. I had few other toys come in too and I had to play with them. So that ate up my time to make my plane storage cubby. No biggie as I am not on any deadlines here.

disappointed here
I thought I had ordered the Thorex 712 like mine (on the right). Instead I got this one made by Vaughan from England. It is similar but it isn't the same. The size of the heads and the plastic faces appear to be the same. I will strip the stickers off the handle along with the finish and put on a couple of coats of shellac. That is what I did to my hammer.

comes with the wedge slot already done
it fits
I read a bunch of hammer replacement posts and I was looking forward to doing some shaving and fitting. The handle is a snug fit in the bottom of the eye.

used Miles's new hammer to fix the other one
a bit of slop at the top of the eye
All the things I read on this said to shave and fit the handle until it filled the eye. Even with the wedge installed I think that there is going to be some daylight between the walls and the handle.

wedge was too wide for the eye
I scored the wedge with the sheetrock knife and snapped it off. I trimmed it to fit with a block plane. I just happened to have a few them handy.

instructions don't mention glue
They say to put linseed oil on it before you fully seat it. I don't have any linseed oil so I'm skipping that. I'll make up for that by using hide glue on the wedge.

two new metal wedges
I'll put these in tomorrow after the wedge has set up.

blurry pic is hiding the boo boo
I had to tap it one more time and I got my reward. It split on the right side.

I glued the split and set it aside to dry
new toy for me
I'm still on a journey to find my marking knife and I'm going to try this one.

not a plug for them, it's where I bought it
why I bought it
I don't want anther spear point knife. I am getting used to a single bevel knife but I notice one hard point with them.  All the marking is concentrated right at the point. When I mark a knife line I do so with all the stress at the point and the other 99% of the knife's bevel is not used.

This knife has a curved bevel and a point. With this one I can start my knifing with the point and rock it to use the bevel to complete the line. With this one I should get more use out of the bevel then just the area by the point. At least that is what I am thinking I can do.

I stropped the bevel and the back and tried it out. Rocking the bevel worked and I didn't have any problems transferring a line 360 on piece of scrap. It isn't as sharp as my Japanese marking knife but this isn't or hasn't been sharpened by me yet.

The instructions for sharpening it say to put a piece of sandpaper on a T-shirt and drag the bevel on it by pulling it straight back. The T-shirt is soft enough to have some give and allow you to follow the round bevel on the marking knife. I'll give it a try when I sharpen it.

added a few more tools to Miles's toolbox
I have a pile of scrapers and taking these for Miles's toolbox didn't even put a dent in the pile. I would like to get a thinner, flexible rectangular scraper but even I don't have one. All of mine are thick and don't bend/flex too much.

I don't have too many more tools to cross off the list. I have some of them but I haven't rehabbed them yet. Once I do that, I'll cross them off. The list is slowly shrinking. The only biggies left are a dovetail saw and and a set of chisels.

parts for the bottom of the new plane cubby
The two cross pieces will be let into the bottom of the sides flush. The back will the held in place in a rabbet sealing up the back. With the top shelf on this space should stay relatively clean.

the back is the same width as the sides
After the cross braces are in, I'll cut two pieces of this to go inbetween them. The sliding shelf will ride in and out on them. And since it is plywood, I don't have to worry about expansion and contraction.  Maybe tomorrow I'll actually get some 'put it together' woodworking done on this.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Laika? (hint: it's a dog)
answer - Laika was the first living creature to orbit the earth

How to fix a wonky Auger bit

Journeyman's Journal - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 7:18pm

I wish I had of taken a photo of the auger bit prior to the fix, but I didn’t think of writing about it till it was too late.


Just because it’s an antique or vintage doesn’t mean it’s flawless. This set of Irwin auger bits is pretty good, but far from flawless.  I bought this set years ago and haven’t used them much in all this time.

Anyway, I remembered that I had a bit 3/8″ that wasn’t straight and of course it’s always the one that is used more than others or at least second to the 1/4″. The shaft was bent and pretty much I might add.  Maybe someone dropped it, either way it needs fixing.

On the metal part of my lathe which is now serving as an anvil until my luck runs out, I tapped it straight with a rubber mallet they use in panel beating.  (This mallet is pretty good and will not leave a mark on wood not matter how hard you hammer it.) I would hammer a couple of times and check the bit by eye. Once it looks straight, I would finish it by hammering whilst turning the bit 360°.


This is the result.



I chucked it in the brace and held the bit and brace vertical while slowly turning the bit. No wobble, good news, it’s not a bin job. It’s fixed.

Issue III has finally been released as you all know and there has been a lot of downloads, but zero feedbacks.

Hope this post helps someone.

Categories: Hand Tools


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