Hand Tool Headlines

The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

 

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

Search

Hand Tools

Barely Legal

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 4:16pm

exit_IMG_9337

We had our first inspection from the Covington fire department this week and were told to fix something I’ve been meaning to get around to for 18 months: an exit sign.

We had a lighted exit sign when I purchased “The Blaze” more than two years ago. But the sign was super nasty, painted in glitter and covered (somehow) with hair. Hair? What the…? I ripped down the sign when I removed the odd ventilation fan (also covered in hair) and about three metric miles of sub-code electrical wiring.

Today we installed a hairless exit sign that was 100 percent to code, and we’re added an “anti-blowjob” light to the front door to boot. I feel this light needs explanation.

Our shop is on a busy street corner that is used by everyone from elementary school students to prostitutes. When the sun goes down, some of the prostitutes have decided to use our shop’s stoop for their customer service duties. When this happens, the neighbors call the cops, and I get a nastygram from the police about the illegal activity on my property.

If I receive a couple more of those police reports I’m told I might be declared a nuisance by the city.

And so I debated today as to whether I should install a light above our door or monetize the whole thing with a webcam.

We’re going with the light.

— Christopher Schwarz


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

How to Read, by an Oak-snob

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 11:14am

I’ve been slow to add stuff to the blog here. Time to correct some of that. Today’s chore is splitting up some leftover bits of oak, and some newly dropped-off bits. Here’s how I read these, and how I decide what to split from a few different bolts. the first one is an old one, been split & hanging around a long time, over a year I’d say. It was given to me about 2 months ago. Free wood is sometimes not worth it. this is one of those cases. Note how the radial plane is cupped. This isn’t from drying, it’s the way the tree grew. The medullary rays curve from the center of the tree to the bark. So if I want wide flat stuff from this, I have my work cut out for me. What I do with such a piece of wood depends on several things: what I need at the time, how much effort I want to put into it, and how much other wood I have around. These days, wood is in pretty good supply, time much less so. Thus, I want to get the best piece I can from this as quickly as possible.

The ruler shows how “un-flat” the split is.

The piece was 26″ long, but with the checking at each end, I expect to get about 22″ length out of it. Just right for a joined stool stile (leg). So I opted to split a 2″x 2″ square out from right below the sapwood. First split with the froe gets off the inner twisted bits.

Next I split off the sapwood & bark. Surprise, the sapwood sheared off across the grain. Usually a log that has been around this long has punky rotten sapwood – I expect that. But to shear off like that means there’s something underneath…

And there was – some deformity curving the grain near one end. So didn’t get my 2″ x 2″ x 22″ stile. The resulting piece could be a ladderback chair front post (something I want to build, but have no time for right now. I’ve made parts for 3 of them so far this fall.) or the leg to a workbench out in the yard. I already have maybe 4 of those benches. On to the next split.

This one’s big & fresh. Just came in yesterday. Bark looks good. Very wide bolt, maybe 12″ or more.

But a big knot creating disturbed grain all around it, the full bottom third or more.

I always am working between getting the biggest piece (widest) I can, or getting the best piece of wood I can. Usually I want the best one. Which in this case, is much narrower than what I first expected from a section like this. See the ruler here, the best (straightest, flattest, least-work) piece is from the 10″ mark to 15″. So that’s what I split.

 

Now the distorted stuff is isolated in the right-hand section, destined for firewood.

Then I further split the remaining stuff into four thin boards for carved boxes, or narrow panels for the sides of some chests. Once I don’t think about where they came from, these are excellent clear, straight boards. This is a case of free wood that is worth it.

One of the older bits looked promising: wide, maybe 7″ or more. 24″ long.

But when I sighted down its length, lots of twist from one end to the other. I didn’t shoot it well enough, but you can generally read the twist down at the far end. Its right hand corner is high, as is the left corner nearest us. Means some hewing before planing. Not fatal, but maybe there’s better wood out here.

Yup. Fresh too. (that means easier to work…) Shorter, but wider.

When I scooch down and sight its radial plane, dead flat! That’s the stuff I’m after…

Gonna have lunch and find some more like this one.

 

Want to learn more about how to read these logs – Plymouth CRAFT has a weekend class coming up that’s just the ticket.  https://www.plymouthcraft.org/riving-hurdlemaking-weekend

Riving, hewing, drawknife work. Me, Rick McKee ( https://www.instagram.com/medullary_rick/  and https://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/  ) and our friend Pret Woodburn will show you all we know about opening oak logs and what to do with them.

 

 


Bill Carter Shows How to Make a Dovetailled Mitre Plane

David Barron Furniture - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 10:13am

Bill Carter has produced a whole series of videos on how to make his wonderful mitre planes. The pace is a little slow (he is nearly 80)  but if you set the time aside there are some wonderful gems to be found and if you fancy having a go at making one of these planes then they are invaluable.
Categories: Hand Tools

Hurry Up and Last

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 6:34am

As someone with a few completed pieces of functional furniture under my belt, I've found that I've developed a chronic condition that causes me to look underneath every dining room table, and around the back of every sideboard to see how they're made. The other day at a wedding I even found myself waiting for an old lady to vacate her ladder-back chair just so I could turn it over and look for tool marks. Maybe madness is setting in, but even this madness has its method. I do this (compulsively now) because I find that I'll often learn a thing or two about how another craftsperson came up with an ingenious solution to the same problems I encounter. Sometimes, I learn from their mistakes. Either way, I almost always learn something that informs my own practice.

The other day I took my daughters to buy milk paint at the only local spot that sells such a thing which, as you may expect, is also one of those chi chi "antique" stores meant for interior decorators and not rust hunters. I always feel like I'm walking into an issue of Garden & Gun when I go there, and this time was no different. As I entered the front door I was greeted by this magnificently reclaimed dining table.

The tag made a selling point of the fact that this was made from "vintage" wood reclaimed from a farmhouse. Or maybe it was just regular old wood from a "vintage" farmhouse. It's hard to follow how people use adjectives in advertising these days. Regardless, the point was that they wanted you to know it was old and it looked old and that the price would be adjusted skyward because of it.

We love old looking stuff, we just don't have the time it takes for it to actually get old.

The table certainly was striking and my curiosity was piqued, so I began to study it to see how it was built. A twinge of worry came over me almost immediately when I noticed the breadboards had no pins, so I looked under the table and to my dismay all I saw were pocket holes and plugs - hundreds of them. Not only were the "breadboards" attached this way, but the long boards were edge joined likewise. I cried a little inside. 

I wish to be clear. Pocket screws have their uses, even in pre-industrial period work, but this is not one of them. There's absolutely no need for them, and it is possible that they will predestine this "one-of-a-kind-vintage-farmhouse" table to the scrap heap when the wood begins to do what it does (move) and the screws do what they do best (keep things from moving). Maybe the wood is old enough and dry enough that this won't be a problem. Maybe someone won't lean too hard on that breadboard and tear the four brave screws out of the opposing end grain. Maybe I'm over-reacting. Maybe.

On one hand, I feel like ranting about  how someone was in such a hurry to make this thing that looks "authentically" old that they doomed it to the same fate shared by other hastily manufactured commercial furniture, but that's not really the heart of my concern. They could have reclaimed this resource more responsibly, but wood is wood. It grows on trees and in 200 years someone else will make equally ill-advised choices.

What interests me is this -  hand tools so often meet skepticism over the myth of how "slow" they are to use, but how long did it take to drill, screw and fill all those holes? Edge joining a table top like that would be relatively quick work with a plane by comparison. And yes, it would take longer to properly join a breadboard to the ends, but those tenons and pins would likely outlast more than a few vigorous games of cards with your rowdy uncle Phil. When I looked at this table all I could see was an unnecessary calculation to make something that looks like it's been around for 200 years rather than making something that may actually be around 200 years from now.

The relationship between furniture and fashion has changed over time. It was once perfectly reasonable to commission a piece in a "fashionable style" (else where would the highboy be?) but the understanding was that a client was also commissioning a piece that was structurally sound. The ornament was once icing on an already very sturdy cake. This is no longer the understanding people have when they think, "hey, I want a farmhouse table" because there is always an implied "for now" at the end of that thought. We expect our tastes to change, and so we want things based on a "look" and not on their lasting function in our lives.

We can no more hurry up and make things that are "old" than we can hurry up and make things that will last. Good things take the time that they take whether they are fashioned with a frame saw or a table saw. Part of educating ourselves (and others) about period furniture (or furniture, period) is learning this lesson. Good will always be good. Junk will always be junk. We may make our decisions accordingly, but at the very least we should take a look under the table and make them knowingly.

- Jim McConnell

 

Categories: Hand Tools

Changes

Paul Sellers - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 4:34am

Changing Our Looks and More I know many of you that have been with us through the years have noticed changes to my backdrop and also heard hints of changes yet to come too. We’ve not wanted to be secretive so much as make certain we carried you along the journey with us. Many of […]

Read the full post Changes on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Dave Campbell Tells All About “Weekend With Wood” – 360w360 E.254

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 4:10am
Dave Campbell Tells All About “Weekend With Wood” – 360w360 E.254

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, Dave Campbell, Wood Magazine’s Editorial Content Chief, gives us a behind-the-scenes look at Weekend With Wood, happening in May 2018. He tells us why, in his opinion, this event is so successful. Plus, he shares all the happenings included with the spouse’s event that runs at the same time.

Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more).

Continue reading Dave Campbell Tells All About “Weekend With Wood” – 360w360 E.254 at 360 WoodWorking.

Make Your Own Liquid Hide Glue

Journeyman's Journal - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 3:05am

I came across a website several  weeks ago on how to make liquid hide.  I copied it down but didn’t note which website I took it from. So, whomever you are I thank you in advance.

What you need:

  • Hide Granules
  • Urea
  • Water
  • Container

_DSC1702_DSC1798

These three ingredients are mixed by measure of weight. Follow these steps to mix your own batch.

1oz (28grams) of 192 grams strength Hide granules

.2oz (5.6grams) of Urea

1.5oz (42 grams) of distilled water

Mix the Urea into granules and stir it.

_DSC1796

Then pour the distilled water into the mix and give it a quick stir.

_DSC1799

Cover it and let it sit overnight. The next day heat it up to 140°F (60°C) for 2 hours.

(I’m not sure why it’s required to use distilled water unless tap water in the U.S. is filthy)

Liquid Hide is now ready to be used. Pour it into a small plastic bottle and when you need it, just heat the bottle with water up to the same temperature written above.

All well said and done, but we’ll see how works out tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted.

Btw, the Issue III of The Lost Scrolls Of HANDWORK magazine is in its final stage. I’m hoping to publish within the next couple of weeks. Fingers crossed

 


Categories: Hand Tools

it worked.....

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 1:30am
I read Ken Hatch's blog post on the 140 trick but he didn't show the inside of the dovetails. Seeing that was what I wanted to see.  It was all I could think about at work today. When I got home I had to rush and make a sample dovetail joint. I got to see that it worked and then I went and did my errands. No since risking the wrath of the bride is there?


my toe stubs
If I had continued to file this I would have filed the toe and heel down to flat nothings. I would not know what the tooth spacing was and that is why I stopped here.

the heel
The toe and heel are pretty much in the same line with a big dip in the middle of the saw.

the middle of the saw
As you can see I have about 2 1/2 inches to go to get it flat end to end. I got a couple of comments yesterday that said to file the nubs to increase the gullets and then file the tooth line flat again. Repeat as necessary until the tooth line is flat and straight toe to heel. I'll try to do this on saturday or sunday.

setting the 140
When I do dovetails I shoot for getting them flush or just a frog hair or two proud. I set the right most corner of the iron on inside of the knife line.

I'm guessing this is maybe a 32nd deep
I'll try this first and see how it works. I still don't see a need for this to be much deeper, if any, than this.

cutting the tails
I had to try this doing the tails. It was so-so. The deeper I sawed, the more it balked but I was able to saw them all. I did the pins with my dovetail saw.

off square on this half pin
This isn't that important here and it was a different saw than I normally do dovetails with. I could correct this with a chisel but I left it as it is. Closing the interior of joint is what I'm shooting for.

tails done
I can see the step down I did with the 140 from side to side.

an added bennie
As a registration this works very well. The placement is solid and it is square in both directions - across and from end to end. This will be very beneficial when doing 1/2 blinds.


setting the pin depth
At first I thought I wouldn't be able to set the depth of the pin sockets. But by placing one face of the dovetails flush with the end, I had the depth of the pins which I marked with a pencil first. After I had sawn the pins I repeated this and used a marking knife instead of a pencil.

not too bad for hurrying
 This side doesn't look too bad considering but it is the interior that I am concerned about.

tumultuous joy and dancing in the streets abounded
I have found a new way to do dovetails such that the interior of them looks as well as the exterior. Both parts are closed up and gap free.

half pin is gappy
The tail and pin sockets are gap free.

planed them flush and glued it
the 140's nicker
I think this is useless. I tried to use on this but I didn't see the knife line. I made the knife line with a square and a marking knife. I could feel the knicker beneath the sole with my finger tip (it's retracted now) but I saw and sensed nothing trying to use it. Just as well as I have intention of using it.

glued and cooking
I labeled this and I'll put it with my other practice joinery. This will give me something to look back at and compare to what I'm doing now.

I didn't hesitate at all
I saw this on Jim Bode's tool site and I bought it immediately. I didn't think about pulling the trigger on it all.  I lost out on one plane because I thought about it and this is a plane I have wanted for a while.

finally got the pair
I got the #9 years ago and now I have it's sibling, the #60 1/2 ( in front).

nice fluffy shavings
the adjustable shoe works easily
sole is in decent shape
It has a few stains on it but no deep scratches, dings, or dents.

spin wheel
The wheel runs in and out squarely. These wheels bend and distort way to quickly when dropped on the bench or the deck. And also when someone cranks it down too far onto the iron.


iron looks good and has plenty of life left to it
back of the iron
It looks like the back was flattened. I'll check it again when I sharpen and the hone the iron my way.

precise adjuster
I got this replacement adjuster from an Australian site. There is something about it that is better then what LN has. There is zero backlash in it and it advances and retracts precisely. Derek Cohen put it out in one of his blogs and I'll check his site to find it again. I will check this on the new plane before I buy another one.

no room for it with it's mate
I will have to rearrange this end of the plane storage. I can make a shelf unit and possibly fit all the the block planes including the 102 & 103, the violin plane and maybe some other planes in it. Might be the next project out of the gate.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
This started in July of 1943. What was it?
answer - federal income being withheld from paychecks

Why I Converted to Wooden Hand Planes

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 1:13pm

In a recent blog post I mentioned how our content editor, Jim McConnell, and I have agreed to engage in a friendly discussion on the blog about metal-bodied and wooden hand planes. In that post, Jim explained some of the reasons that he prefers metal-bodied planes. We aren’t here to make this topic controversial and adversarial. That’s the stupid kind of stuff that happens on forums. This is just plain ol’ honest discussion. Here's my take:

I was trained on metal-bodies planes at the luthiery school I attended. We learned the setup, adjustment, and use of these high-performance tools. Even though my introduction to planing was with new high-end examples, after I graduated from the program, I fixed up a few old Stanleys to fill out my set. I had no reason to complain about metal-bodied planes—I had nothing to compare them to.

It wasn’t until I began demonstrating pre-industrial woodworking that I decided I better figure out how to use wooden planes. I expected to eventually achieve decent competency—at least enough to do planing demonstrations—but I didn’t have high expectations.

For me, the only way to learn is to dive in head first. I resolved to go cold turkey for a few days to force myself to learn the mystical subtleties of adjusting these foreign contraptions. I cleaned the grime off some old fore plane and sharpened the iron same as I always did on my metal planes. I read some instructions and watched a YouTube video or two and then gave it shot. I spent about 20 minutes playing around with the adjustments, varying the tapping pressure, and even experimenting with retracting the iron a bit (I don’t know why but I didn’t expect that technique to work.)

I found that it only took me a few hours of playing around with wooden planes until I was instinctively making confident adjustments with the hammer. This was an honest-to-goodness surprise. I began to incorporate these planes more and more into my work to increase my proficiency with them. After a few weeks, it occurred to me that I was actually beginning to prefer using wooden planes over against my faithful metal ones. How in the world did that happen? What were the advantages I saw in these planes?

A Few Reasons I Prefer Wooden Planes

  1. Lightness – If you are a hand-tool woodworker who preps your stock with hand tools, mass is not your friend. Why in the world would you want to spend hours slugging around a heavy metal plane when a wooden one works the same (or better)? This is no joke—It makes a huge difference for endurance. If you use machines to prep your lumber and pretty much only use your smoothing plane, then this point is probably irrelevant to you but if it’s up to your muscles to get the job done, you’ll want all the help you can get.
  2. Lack of Sole Friction – This one goes hand in hand with #1. Wooden soles glide on wood like no other. With my metal planes, I remember regularly going back to lubricate my soles in order to minimize the resistance while planing. I’d rub a little wax on the sole and BAM! what a difference it made. Lubricating soles is an old practice that even historic wooden plane users took advantage of. It makes sense. Why muscle the tool around if you can make it glide better? The truth is, I almost never lubricate my wooden plane soles. Once in a blue moon I remember that most people out there do that so I put some wax on there for good measure. I hardly notice any difference.
  3. Ease of Adjustment – I know, I know. You don’t believe me. Am I really saying that adjusting a wooden plane is easier than adjusting a metal one? Yes, I am. Although there is a learning curve (like everything in woodworking), I think the wooden plane’s fewer parts and more straightforward design makes adjustment easier. Metal planes have their own learning curve. The cap iron has to be in the right place or the iron projection will change. Then the lever cap screw has to be turned just right to get the right pressure—too much and you have problems adjusting the iron, too little and you can bump your setting out when planing. And forget about that little knurled knob that you have to cram your fingers to spin, spin, spin to adjust. (Is it clockwise or counter-clockwise, I forget?) I always felt the lateral adjustment lever that can be finicky. Etc, Etc. None of this is a big deal to someone who is used to these idiosyncrasies but my point is both metal and wooden planes have learning curves. My belief is that once you get past the learning curve, the wooden plane is faster, easier, and much more pleasurable to adjust. Try it, I dare you.
  4. Comfort in Use – There is a reason that metal planes have wooden handles and knobs—metal is cold and uncomfortable. I like the feel of wooden tools and find them much more inviting.
  5. Tactile Feedback – The wooden body transfers to my hands all the subtle vibrations from the iron engaging the wood. This gives me a source of feedback I never had with thick and heavy metal planes. I can actually feel how the plane is working.
  6. Beauty – This is totally subjective, I know. I think many metal planes have their own beauty but, in my view, wood ages better than metal. To me, there is nothing like a couple hundred years of patina on an old wooden tool.

You don’t need exceptional planes to get these results. All my planes are over 100 years old and are nothing special. When I am searching for a plane in an antique shop, I look for grain orientation (quartersawn, preferably), no major structural concerns, and at least decent amount of iron left. That’s about it. I am very happy with these simple ho-hum examples and don’t feel a need for anything fancier.

If you are someone who wants the best of best and has the resources to pay for it, there are several wooden plane makers out there that make high-quality bench planes. Old Street Tool has been making single-iron planes for a long time, Steve Voigt makes double-irons, and I recently got to try out a nice single-iron fore plane from Jeremiah Wilding. I highly recommend all these makers.

Have questions? I’d be happy answer in the comments below. 

- Joshua

 

Categories: Hand Tools

one more day of rest......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 1:07am
The hands felt a lot better today. No twinges and by mid morning I had no more aches. I am still going to take it easy for another day. The rehab of the #6 planes can wait a little while longer. I'm sure they aren't looking forward to what is upcoming. I have plenty of things I can do while I rest and heal.

wavy tooth line
I put the saw back in the vise and started to work on the problem areas I marked yesterday. Some of them I fixed and others will have to wait and catch up. Tonight I'm seeing a few spots where a couple of teeth are higher then their neighbors.

Mt Everest
How did I miss this wavy undulating tooth line last night. I thought I had done a pretty good job but tonight I can see it is mostly crappola.

whoa big doggie
I thought I would file the high teeth back down to match the others in the line and then sharpen it again. No wonder my tooth line looks like crap. A dog's hind leg is straighter than this saw. It had not occurred to me to check for this first. This roller coaster tooth line explains why my teeth are so uneven.

I like this one
This is what I used to joint the tooth line the first time. Not a good choice considering the dipsy doodles I have in this saw. As an side, if anyone knows of a source for short files like this please leave a comment.

Lee Valley file jointer.
This is long enough to bridge some of the hills and valleys. I should be able to even out the tooth line but it may take a while.

it' better but not complete
The file is evening out the tooth line but the problem is I won't have any teeth left at the toe and the heel by the time I get to the mid section. The teeth are almost gone at the toe and heel with just the bottom of the gullets left. I don't have the skills to file a complete set of new teeth from nothing. I will have to find someone who can punch me a new set of teeth. That is the only way I can see of fixing this.

makes rip cuts easily
I looked at this saw under the magnifying glass and I am still not 100% sure of how it is filed. From the side it looks like a rip.  Looking at it from the side it kind of looks like a crosscut but it doesn't have the angles a crosscut has. There is also very little discernible set.

a couple of shoulder cuts
I am going with a rip cut. It didn't like sawing these shallow crosscut shoulders at all. The rip cut was smooth and fluid and the crosscuts were hesitant and jerky. Now I have to decide if I want to try and file this myself or send it out.

I'm leaning in the direction of sending it out and having it filed properly. The tooth line on this saw isn't perfect either. It is almost straight and there aren't any missing teeth.  If a pro does it I'm sure I can follow on that and keep it in good shape.

never thought of doing this before
I ran all three of my tite marks over the 8K stone and it made a difference.

nice clean knife line - sharp cures another problem
trying out the 140 again
I knew I should have removed the side plate last night but I wanted to see how it felt and what she could do. Doing it the right way felt real good.

nice clean shoulder
I would think that I wouldn't need to make the rabbet any deeper than this for dovetails?

side plate
This didn't come off as easily as I thought it should. Maybe it needs to cycled off and on a bunch of times to loosen up a bit. It went back on without any problems but still stiff removing it for the second time.

no slant to outboard on this practice run
slanted across the width
Put too much pressure on the heel of the plane doing the start of the cut.

corrected - flat, straight, and even end to end
the action of the plane is very sweet
skew blocks for the LN honing guide
Deneb says that this iron has to be done free hand or with the jaws that fit the iron. These are the ones I bought to do the LN skew chisels. I'll have to check the LN website to see if I need to buy a set for this iron. If I remember right they offer a 30° and 18° set of honing guide blocks.

I like this saw
I can't saw this good with my LN tenon saw. I like the feel and action of this saw a lot. I think it may become my go to tenon saw. It has thicker plate, more weight, and for me it makes it easier to saw a truer cut.

found a box for the 140
lots of room
shucks
The shaft for the fence is too long to stow upright (the way I want it). The lid won't close with it this way. I would have started on making a new box for it tonight but I don't have any stock. I have 1/2" thick poplar but I prefer pine for my shop boxes. I'll have to make a run to Pepin Lumber and get some 1/2" pine. I hope that they still have some to sell.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Juan Sebastian Elcano?
answer - he was the first person to circumnavigate the world (He assumed command after Magellan was killed in the Philippines)

Outdoor serving table

Oregon Woodworker - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 6:39pm
I have been cooking outside more and have found that I need a side table for preparing and serving food.  When we remodeled our kitchen I salvaged a piece of Corian 14" wide and 60" long that is about the size we want.  The task was to design and build a base for it.

I thought about a number of options, but kept coming back to the kitchen work table I made last year, which has exceeded our expectations.  My  wife loves it and uses it constantly.  I decided to use a similar design for the outdoor table.  It is a bit narrow, but it will sit against a wall.

The next issue was what species to use.  Cedar and redwood are obvious candidates, but I decided to use white oak because it looks nice and is an excellent outdoor wood.  In a Forest Service study, untreated white oak was found to have an estimated average service life of 30 years in outdoor untreated applications.  It also weathers nicely.  Think of old whiskey barrels.  I bought three 5/4 boards 8 feet long averaging 6" wide for $70, under $5/bf.  I like this thickness because it makes strong stretchers and, doubled, makes 2" legs.

One disadvantage of white oak is that it is somewhat difficult to work with hand tools.  It is subject to tearout and quite hard (Janka hardness of 1360 vs. 1010 for walnut, for example).  It's manageable though; the key is very sharp tools, which requires honing very often.  Given my severe patience and discipline issues, I have to be able to do this quickly at the bench with no fussing.  The best way I have found is three steel honing plates loaded with 6, 3, and 1 micron diamond paste:



I also keep a strop at hand.

My design requires 14 mortises, which I made as I normally do by using a drill press to remove the bulk of the waste and then finishing with a bench chisel.  At some point, I will buy a pig sticker and give it a go, but this method is so easy I am ambivalent.  A personal failing I know.

Here are the four legs mortised and ready to go:




Categories: Hand Tools

Pencil Precision Video, China Field Trip, Other Bridge City News

Bridge City Tools - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 4:16pm

Drivel Starved Nation-

Here’s the latest news regarding your favorite Tool Potentate…

JOHN OUT OF THE OFFICE DEPT.
This Thursday I depart for China, first stop is Guangzhou. A week later, I will meet up with the BCTW field trip participants in Shanghai for a couple of days of food and tourist attractions–this should be really fun. We then will all board the bullet train (over 300 km/hr and smoother than flying!) for Nanjing. More great food and a visit to the museum of China’s greatest living woodworker. This will be an incredible experience, and I will be sure to take lots of pics and videos for you.

On November 3, I will be taking the bullet train to Beijing and that evening we are meeting the American ambassador to China (Mr. Terry Brandstad) and his wife Chris for dinner, and chopstick making! (Did you know that they extrude the bodies of the bullet train out of aluminium? It’s the largest extrusion in the history of the planet!)

NEW PRODUCT DEPT.
This week we will open the pre-order window for Pencil Precision™. I think you will thoroughly enjoy making pencils–I’m an old guy and not easily amused (except at my own mistakes) and this thing is just a blast to use.

Many of you own an HP6v2 plane so we are offering two kits, one without the plane and the other with an HP-6v2. This is a globally sourced project with components made in the USA, China, Germany, to name a few. Without question, this is the best value tool making kit we have ever produced – Here’s a pic of the kit without the HP-6v2…
PPGroup without HP6 PP Version
This kit includes two sole kits for the HP-6, the planing fixture, the extrusion fixture, and enough blanks and ferrules to make 12 pencils. It will allow you to make round pencils. The extrusion die kits for beaded and Reuleaux pencils will be sold ala carte and are $89 per set. This way you can buy just what you want. This kit is under $450!

The kit with the plane is only about $100 more.
PPGroup with HP6 PP Version 700 Yes, the orange crank is removeable to reveal a 1/4″ hex… do the math on that one you power freaks!

In both kits you will receive a sample of six ferrules with erasers and six without. This will allow you to explore both pencil making options. The ferrules come in eight colors and you will understand why when you make your first pencil with child or grandchild assistant. Watching the look on their faces when it is their turn to pick which color is priceless.
Ferrule wo Eraser Black.70
Red Ferrules with Eraser 700

We will announce the spectrum of colored pencil options at a later date as we are in negotiations with potential suppliers. The kit comes with 12 2H leads and we will offer black lead options in the following hardness: 4H, 2H, H, HB, B, 2B and 4B and Red and Blue. We recommend H and HB for little kids.

AND, all pencil component options, whether it is 12 leads, 6 plain ferrules, 6 ferrule/erasers or 12 cedar blanks are all under $9.00. The material costs for making beautiful custom pencils will be right around $2.50 each. Combine that with the fun of involving your entire family is simply unbeatable.

When I return from China we will begin filming the HOW-TO video tutorial but to wet your whistle, here is a short video peak at one of our prototypes in the skunk lab. I removed the crank and I am using a Dewalt power screwdriver (I love this tool) with an almost dead battery. Each die is really a circular plane iron and serves as not only the cutting edge, but the chip breaker as well. It doesn’t get any easier than this!

Pencil Precision is a complete hobby/factory in a box and this is what it isn’t: a toy. This is a professionally made tool that will last generations–which is a whole lot longer than a smart phone.

Just sayin’.

 

-John

The post Pencil Precision Video, China Field Trip, Other Bridge City News appeared first on John's Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Buttoned Up

Owyhee Mountain Fiddle Shop - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 1:43pm




 My two most recent, all together.  Plenty of detail work left before moving onto the varnishing, but I can now heft them to my shoulder and they feel like fiddles.  That's fun.
Categories: Hand Tools, Luthiery

Alter the Tips of Your Dividers

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 5:47am

Cabinetmaker_dividers

Note: This is crossposted from Crucible Tool.

Dividers work better if the tips match the job you’re doing. For layout chores, such as scribing arcs or setting out your joinery, the dividers’ tips need to match the wood you are using. Sharper tips will prevent the tips from skating on hard woods. And dull tips are needed in soft woods to prevent from marking the work too deeply.

In this video, Raney demonstrates how to make the tips sharper or duller using fine sandpaper stuck to a flat surface (a granite block in this instance). Changing the tips from dull to sharp takes only about two minutes (I timed him). And the results are worth the extra effort.

These techniques work on almost all dividers, not just our Improved Pattern Dividers.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Crucible Tool, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

another day of rest.......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 1:25am
My thumbs hurt all day long, especially my master right one. I'll admit I haven't been a good little boy with taking my blue pills so I'm paying the price. As I am typing this I am getting an occasional twinge of pain. Early today I was seriously thinking of going home but stayed. My fingers would have hurt the same at home as they did at work. So I'll be doing less intensive finger things in the shop and I will start taking my twice daily blue pills.

this is past due
Evaporarust usually has a greenish tint to it and this is jet black. This isn't any good so I'll dump it and I'll have to buy another jug of it. The only place I've found it in my area is at an auto parts store.

every shop needs a few different sizes of these
there's the yoke pin
I haven't lost any parts down the drain since I started using this. And it's nylon so no rust problems.

all blown dry
A blow dryer in the shop is another good thing to have.

a moment of weakness
I've  been reading about and getting comments on making a shallow rabbet for the tail board to close up gaps on dovetails. Ken Hatch recently wrote about Alan Peter's 140 trick using this block plane. I had passed on one of these a few months ago and I should have bought it. This was $225 new from LN and the one I passed on was $100.


Gaps on the inside of dovetails bug me for whatever reason. I think what is causing it is I'm moving my knife line ever so slightly as I chop. I have come close a few times with almost no gaps but I have yet to do any 100% gap free. I got this for the fixing the gaps more than for registration. I also got it because Deneb said it will make bread board ends.


it's a heavy one too (one kilo)
run a gauge line
I figured it out
I like these mini tite mark gauges a lot but I was having problems with the wheel cutters. They were disintegrating on me. First a few chips and then big chunks of it went MIA. I didn't know what was wrong or what was causing it. The problem was me and my ham fisted marking pressure. The cutters are fine and do what they are designed to do - make a clean precise knife line - without a lot of downward pressure exerted on them. I had stopped using them and switched to old wooden marking gauges.

The problem was me digging into the wood too hard with gauge. My attempt to make the line as deep as I could was too much for the gauge. I just happened to look at the cutter wheel as I was trying to make a deeper line and I saw the cutter wheel peel off like a shaving coming up through the mouth of a plane.So I think if I let up on the depth of the line, my cutter wheels should last. I forgot to add them to the LN order when I bought the 140 block plane.

I am not doing something right here
I had watched LN's You Tube video on this plane and Deneb said that it is a finicky plane to set up. I had it set too deep on my initial try. I would have bet a lung I was good on that but I wasn't. Once I got it set I did make fluffy and wispy shavings.

slanted
This is what happens with every new plane I use. I'll continue to practice and I'll get it.

I think I made a mistake in not removing the right side plate on the plane. That would allow the iron to get up tight into the bottom of the rabbet. The shoulder on this looks like crap and it should be crisp and clean.

better on the second run
The shoulder still looks like crap so I'm sure that the side plate should be removed . Removing the side plate will also give me access to the knicker. I'll try that out tomorrow.

new saw for Miles's toolbox
a carcass saw?
The top saw is my sash saw and the bottom one is my LN cross cut carcass saw. I think this Disston #4 saw will do ok as a carcass saw. I'll look it up and see what it's original use was.

ripped ok but the saw is dull
hard to crosscut
I really struggled making this crosscut in 3/4" pine. It bound and stuck seemingly on every other stroke. I finally made it through but it was a workout.

the teeth look like crap (Disston #4)
It is hard to tell if this is a rip or a crosscut. I felt very little set as I run my fingers down the tooth line. I put this one aside and filed a small rip saw that I'm giving to Miles.


small rip saw - jointing the the tops of the teeth
I am going to sharpen this small rip saw that I am going to put into Miles's toolbox. I jointed the tops of the teeth and this is about the middle of the saw. The tooth line wasn't even after 4-5 strokes down the saw with the jointer.

the toe
the heel
The heel looked the best tooth wise which I expected.


11 TPI
the toe after I sharpened them
time to test my work
This saw wouldn't saw 1/2" stock before I sharpened it and that is what this is.


not too bad
It is fairly straight and I had no problems sawing it. It was definitely a huge improvement over the sawing I tried before I sharpened it. The saw also has no set that I can feel. I'll be doing that for the first time tomorrow.

not bad for my second attempt at sharpening
missed a few
Only five teeth still have file jointing marks that I didn't file away when I sharpened. There was one area that had 4-5 misshaped and missing teeth that I think I made better and worse. Instead of 4-5 goofy teeth I now have 2.

sharpie marks the rework spots
From the heel going to the toe about 4 inches is the best looking real estate. I marked all the problem areas that need further help. Overall, I think I improved the tooth line compared to the original line of garbage I inherited. It will be a while before I master this and it will just take some time and a lot of practice.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is a nonce?
answer - something that is made or used only once


What’s new

NCW Woodworking Guild - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 7:39pm

Check out the new “Library” and “For Sale or Trade” tabs in the menu. Here’s why:

Over the summer, new guild member Barb Siddiqui donated a treasure trove of mostly hardback woodworking books to us. In other words, we have a library! Included in the 500+ titles are some of the best ever published: all of The Best of Fine Woodworking books, woodturning books, carving books, books on making period furniture, you name it.

The library is housed at Lombard’s Hardwoods, and all volumes are available for check-out by guild members. In the notebook provided, print your name and contact info, along with the names of the titles you are borrowing, then be sure to bring them back. If someone might want a page or two copied out a particular book, we recommend taking a picture of the pages with your phone or tablet.

The “For Sale or Trade” idea has been bandied around for awhile now, and since yours truly (Autumn) will have to make all of the postings and updates, I was skeptical about starting it, but we’ll give it a go and see where it goes. I’ll do my best to keep it updated.

If you have a woodworking related item to sell or trade, send me the info, with photos, to autumn.doucet@gmail.com. Be sure to provide your name (some email addresses are obscure) and your contact information. Please send me an email advising me when to take down the posting, otherwise, you’ll keep getting inquiries.

 Darrell Peart is coming to town! Date and other info are on the sidebar.

darrell peart

Greene-_and_Greene_Media_Cabinet-e1474672556305-1.jpg

51ciWHxO2XL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Finishing Workshop @ CW – Making Sandpaper

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 4:50pm

In preparing for the sessions at The Anthony Hay Shop of CW I decided at the last minute to toss in the materials needed to make sandpaper, not knowing whitener or not there would be any interest.  It turned out that a lot of the participants were indeed interested, and several told me a very common question from the visiting public was some variation of, “Did they have sandpaper in the old days?”

So I’m glad I had what was needed.

We started with moderate weight rag paper, albeit machine made, not hand cast (maybe next time).

Wetting the paper both sides relaxed it so it would pucker less when the hot glue was applied to one side.

We were using 135 gws glue since it had plenty of adhesion properties plus was much more flexible than higher grades, making it more usable since it would not fracture when bent.

Once the glue has been on the paper long enough such that it is tacky but not wet, the surface is sprinkled with fine frit, the ground glass that was often used as the abrasive for some ancient sandpapers (hence the common terminology of “glass paper”).  You want the glue tacky enough to adhere the frit, but not wet enough to soak into it and turn it into a big chunk on the surface.

The glued sheet with frit is shaken or brushed so that the frit covers the whole surface, and the piece is set aside.  Once the glue has hardened adequately the excess frit is brushed or shaken off and the sheet is allowed to dry fully.

And voila’, you have a genuine new piece of antique sandpaper about 180 grit.

 

 

 

 

 

Picture This CXII

Pegs and 'Tails - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 4:07pm
Several readers have, at various times, enquired why some eighteenth-century drawers have escutcheons – and indeed, keyholes – when no locks are (or ever were) present. Locks were expensive items and not all drawer contents necessitate such elaborate protection. In … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

Moving Fillister: My interpretation

Woodworking By Hand - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 3:00pm

Being been inspired by the original Moving Fillister plane I own (image above), I tried to build this rebate plane with adjustable fence, capable of very good work along the grain as well as across the grain. 
Its skewed blade (20°) eases the cut, while a nicker, situated just before the main blade, has the purpose of pre-cutting wood fibers and obtaining a clean result across the grain too.



I used walnut wood for the plane body and wedge, while the sole, the parallel fence and the depth stop are of hornbeam, a wood particulary resistent to the wear and which creates an attractive chromatic effect when couple to a darker wood as the walnut. A hornbeam piece is inserted at the top of the plane, too.


The parallel fence moves on the sole through two elongated holes and is kept in place by two M6 bolts which are screwed in the correspondent nuts inserted into the sole.

Categories: Hand Tools

dynaGlide Plus available through Vogt Toolworks

Tico Vogt - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 12:54pm

Three years ago I learned about dynaGlide Plus from Richard Welder at Micro Fence. It is a Silicone and Teflon free dry boundary lubricant. I have used it principally to clean the swarf off the bearing surfaces of my shooting boards and to lubricate them. It functions well on metal planes, edge tools, bits, bearings, and abrasive surfaces.

 

Vogt Toolworks is now a distributor. Click here to view the Product Page.

 

 

 

Pages

Subscribe to Norse Woodsmith aggregator - Hand Tools