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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator


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


Hand Tools

Bevel Up Plane – The One Plane To Rule Them All?

The English Woodworker - Thu, 12/22/2016 - 8:39am
Bevel Up Plane – The One Plane To Rule Them All?

I first bought my bevel up Jack for planing end grain on thick workbench tops.

I’d always been a normal steel, conventional plane kind of chap before building benches, but as I touched on last time, hand tools can moan and groan a bit at certain woods, and I was building with a lot of kiln dried ash.
A few specialist tools made a huge difference, and the bevel up plane was perfect for all that thick end grain work.

Continue reading at The English Woodworker.

Categories: Hand Tools

Classic Workbench Plans Now Available

Benchcrafted - Thu, 12/22/2016 - 8:21am

It's ready! Our Classic Workbench Plans are finally available. Details here.

Benchcrafted Classic Workbench from Benchcrafted on Vimeo.
Categories: Hand Tools

Tool Tote #2: A tote within a tote

goatboy's woodshop - Thu, 12/22/2016 - 4:39am


As I mentioned in my last post, the dry fit of the toolbox seemed to be missing something. Eventually, I decided that it needed a lift-out tray. Just a small one, not one that went the entire length of the box, but a little one that could slide back and forth on runners so that items could be retrieved from the box even with the tray in place. 

20161125_161820I planed up a couple of ash boards and edge-jointed them for the base…

…and while they were drying I moved on to the joinery.


20161125_185033 20161126_123123 20161126_175624 20161126_214526

For the handle, I decided that a 1″ thick piece of ash could serve as both handle and divider, so I made a  paper template, transferred the shape onto the wood and cut it out, refining with a spokeshave and files.

20161127_163816 20161129_161529 20161129_163934 20161129_170613

The handle/divider is held in place with housing dados.

20161129_160638 20161129_215912

I then spent a bit of time refining the shape of the main toolbox components. First, the sides of the box needed to have a section cut out to make it easier to remove the tray.

20161202_200645 20161204_125449

Second, the handle supports needed to be rounded off and tapered.


Finally, I cut a kerf into each of the handle tenons, so that they could be wedged during the final assembly. I also planed up some pieces of walnut for the tray runners.


A request from the customer was that the box should have his son’s racing number on it. To achieve this I decided on a little bit of scorching. I had some small pieces of aluminium sheet, so I cut out some numbers from them, laid them on the sides of the box and used them as a mask while attacking the wood with a blowtorch.

20161120_124343 20161120_153331 20161204_212042

With all the components ready it was time for the glue up, but that is for another post.


Filed under: Brace and Bit, Joinery, Projects, Pyrography Tagged: ash, blowtorch, walnut

Christmas Trees – 360w360 E.208

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 12/22/2016 - 4:00am
Christmas Trees – 360w360 E.208

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking the 360 guys discuss what they do with they Christmas trees.

Join the guys twice each week for six lively minutes of discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Chuck & Glen, and sometimes a surprise guest, all have their own opinions. Sometimes they agree and sometimes they don’t, but the conversation is always information packed and lots of fun.

If you have topics you’d like to hear covered in future episodes, click here to send an email to the guys.

Continue reading Christmas Trees – 360w360 E.208 at 360 WoodWorking.

Compound Angle Dovetailed Box

David Barron Furniture - Wed, 12/21/2016 - 10:33am

Here is the latest in my series of forthcoming articles for Furniture and Cabinetmaking magazine.
With its compound angles dovetails and curved tapering lid it took a lot longer to make than the first two boxes, but I'm pleased with the result.

It has very discreet pivot hinge lid which, although nice and cheap, has to be installed very accurately to work well and look good. This is even more challenging in angled sides!

I really like this scallop for opening the lid, delicate and unobtrusive as well as easy to create using a rasp followed by sandpaper wrapped around a Sharpie.

Categories: Hand Tools

Dutch Tool Chest in Spain - Part IV - Complete

Toolerable - Wed, 12/21/2016 - 4:15am
Except for the inside. I'll set up the guts after we get back from our Christmas travels.
I am very pleased with the results, and would like to thank Christopher Schwarz for making such a nice video on the construction of this chest. More on the video shortly.
I used only Roman nails, even to attach the battens for the large panels like the lid.
The handles look great on this bright yellow chest. By the way, it is bright yellow instead of red with a yellow undercoat because the pepper spice I intended to use for the colorant wound up looking like orange baby poop instead of a nice, brick red. The Frau really liked the yellow, and the more I thought about it, the more I liked it too.

I had to use about six coats (maybe more, I don't remember) in order for this light color to cover. There still is some parts that you can see under the paint, but mostly I'm happy. That, and I refuse to use more than four liters of skim milk.

I painted over the nail heads, too. To clean them up, I found that a Q-tip soaked in water did a good job of removing the paint on them. I think I have to buy the Frau some more Q-tips now.
The chest lift really pops against a bright background.
I got the lifts from Jonas, as they were manufactured a short distance from his house in Denmark. They came with a thick coat of zinc, so we stripped that and torched it with a thin coat of boiled linseed oil, which left them such a nice black color.
When I first installed the hinges (that I got from Olav), they installed a bit different than I expected, and the lid didn't fit. All it took was to move the hinges back on the lid a little bit, but that left an extra set of screw holes. No big deal, as they were covered by the hinges themselves, but I decided to plug them anyway.

While I'm at it, the lid fit just a little tight on one side, resulting from one of the hinges being off just a gnat's nadger. I decided to plug those holes, too, and install the hinge just a little farther to the right.
Plugging holes with bamboo skewers. Greg would be proud.

They get sawed off flush with my Dick saw.
Hinges installed and visible from the back.
Here is a photo of the inside. The inside gets no finish, as this works well for keeping tools.
As you can see, I still need to sort out the guts, and make it friendly to hold tools.
The bottom will work nicely, I think. I'll have to see what I keep down here. I may make a few small boxes to hold things safely.
More likely I'll over stuff it with tools and slam the front on before they fall out.
There is just one little niggle, now. The battens touch the chest locks. I'll work this out and get them to close one way or the other.
Battens are resting on the chest locks.

Here's a closer view. I don't think this is much of a problem, just some triming of one or the other.
The Frau thought that this chest looks like a German mail box now that it is yellow.
I suppose she's right.
Over all, this was a fun project that suited itself well to my tool set. I had purchased Christopher Schwarz's video (streaming from Lie-Nielsen), and I enjoyed watching it before the build.

Schwarz's videos are great because he gets real basic with how to perform each part of the build. He has several videos describing how he does dovetails, but he describes it on this one, too. I highly recommend this video, and even if you know how you want to build it, some questions you might have will likely be answered.

I think that once you understand why he does it the way he does on the video, you can choose for yourself if that is how you would do it. For example, I used a much more modest tool set to build mine, and I also used clenched nails to fix the battens on the large panels, something he does in a different way.

Not that my way is better, but my way fit my idea of how it should be done, and more importantly, my tool set.

I am really looking forward to having a proper place to keep my tools. I really miss my tool chest from my Munich workshop, and I think this will be a good solution.
Categories: Hand Tools


Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 12/21/2016 - 4:00am

I have written previously about TATHS so I won't repeat myself except to say JOIN NOW, but I just got the current issue of their magazine and in it was a link to a free ebook about nailmaking. Called "A Capful o' Nails" it's actually not about nailmaking but about the evils of working in the nailmaking industry. The book, written in 1896 is a fictional memoir about growing up in a family of nailmaker's and how the father became an organizer. So it's not about the nuts and bolts of making nails. But it is a story about the grinding poverty that effected so many industrial workers, tool makers too, just about all the semi-skill trades. In this particular case nailmaking was outsourced to level upon level of middleman until the lower paid people on the ladder were the actual nailmakers who worked out of their homes.

What I don't understand is that the story takes place in the mid-19th century. At this time in the US nailmaking was mechanized and industrial. We stock Tremont nails, which, depending on the model are still make on machines from this era. I don't know how long hand nailmaking lasted in England but you know that if your job can easily be done by machine (or automation, or a robot) at a fraction of the cost of a living wage - it's gonna suck. And it did.
Here is the link to the book.

The picture above is from the 1811 edition of the London Cabinetmaker's Book of Prices. I own an original copy but you can download a PDF here. The book is basically pages and pages of different types of furniture with lots and lots of special cases and tables showing how much the craftsman would get paid for that particular work. It's not the only price book of its kind, all over the UK and US these types of books were pretty common. But this 1811 edition is the most comprehensive and was used, basically unchanged, for at least a half century. The prices were the result of negotiations between the shop master and the union but under the table, and in non-union shops, prices were routinely discounted. The particular chunk I copied (which BTW is printed in beautiful letterpress- all they had at the time - but it is so lovely) is of two versions of knife case both costing far north of a pound wholesale. A huge amount of money for at the time. This is fancy work for rich people.

If you are traveling this week and you are looking for something to distract you, both downloads might be of interest. This season is when we reflect back on the year and the good and the bad. And also our hopes for the future. Both of these book gave me a sense of the past of the woodworking craft. From "A Capful o' Nails" I learned about the struggle of hard working people to survive. From the "Book of Prices" I got a sense of the work involved to make the furniture I see in museums today.

From all of us at Tools for Working Wood we wish you and your family happy and healthy holidays. With peace and prosperity to all.

"The tightrope most craftspeople work is using wisely the tools at their disposal while not..."

Giant Cypress - Wed, 12/21/2016 - 3:28am
“The tightrope most craftspeople work is using wisely the tools at their disposal while not undermining the unique skill required to make things.”

- Graham Haydon. So glad to see him back at writing about woodworking.

Great inlay banding

Heartwood: Woodworking by Rob Porcaro - Tue, 12/20/2016 - 4:57pm
inlay banding
Here is another product that I think you will appreciate knowing about, which I alluded to in the previous post. It is inlay banding made in North Carolina by Matt Furjanic, sold on his website Inlay Banding. This is beautiful material made with precision from highly select, solid hardwoods. Only some of the narrow outer […] 1
Categories: Hand Tools

Buskerud sterkare på kartet

Norsk Skottbenk Union - Tue, 12/20/2016 - 3:37pm

Vi har gjennom arbeidet med kartlegging av skottbenkar i inn- og utland fått dekt mykje av landet, og med enkelte drypp også i andre land. Det er likevel nokre område som ikkje er så så godt dekt gjennom arbeidet med søk i Norsk Folkeminnesamling og med leiting etter gamle skottbenkar. Buskerud er eit fylke der vi ikkje fann noko særleg om skottbenk i svarmaterialet frå spørjelista om snikkarhandverket i Norsk Folkeminnesamling. Det har heller ikkje kome fram registrerte skottbenkar som har blitt presentert på bloggen. Vi har medlemmar med nybygd skottbenk i Buskerud i Ivar Jørstad i Hurum. Vi har også hatt fleire ekspedisjonar på søk etter kva som måtte finnast av lokale skottbenkar i fylket. Det er ting som tyder på at slike er lokalisert og vil bli presentert på bloggen etterkvart. Det er noko vi ser fram til. Ikkje minst er slikt viktig for lokale handverkarar i Buskerud som då kan få tilgang på eit førebilete som er lokalt når dei skal snikre seg sin eige skottbenk. Sjølv om det ikkje var noko å finne i svarmaterialet på spørjelista om snikkarhandverket, så visar det seg at det i materialet om timbremannshandverket har sneke seg inn detaljerte skildringar av skottbenk, eller “skøttlangbenk”,  frå Sigdal i Buskerud. Det er Andreas Mørch som har skrive svaret, men han har truleg henta inn opplysningar frå lokale handverkarar i sitt område.

Skisse av skøttlangbenk frå svaret til Andreas Mørch. Skisse av skøttlangbenk frå svaret til Andreas Mørch.Andreas skriv:

“Ukshøvl´n har et tverrtre te handtak framma og bak, slekk at ein kan skuve å ein kan dra. Tverrtrea blir kalla hønna. Hondrag te å hondra takbord me, blir nytta ennå. Ukshøvelen kalla dei gjenne bare uksen. 

Skøttukshøvl´n va som ein vanli ukshøvl, men med to lann på. Lanna va spikra under sulen på høvel´n. Skøttukshøvl´n vart bare bruka i langbenken når døm skaut opp golvplank. Langbenken var laga tå to planker som sto på kant, i den eine planken va det tre hell fire treskruvar. Golvplanken vart smetta ned mellom plankane i benken og skruva fast. Den tia va det bare gjennomskørin plank me honkant på. Honkanten va tælt tå føre dom sette´n i benken. Døm sette gølvplanken så passe juft at lanna på høvl´n nådde nedpå plankane i benken nå golvplanken va ferdig. Då va´n rett.”

Skisse av skøttlangbenk av Andreas MørchSkisse av skøttlangbenk av Andreas MørchDen typen benk som Andreas har forklart og teikna kan minne om rettbenken frå Stigums magasin på Norsk Folkemuseum  som Terje Planke har presentert for oss tidlegare. Forklaringa og skissene til Andreas er svært detaljerte og får fram på ein god måte kva dei enkelte delane heiter og korleis benken verkar. Andreas skriv også om gølvhaka i svaret sitt. Han skriv følgjande:

“Hakar var de to slag tå, hellhaka – somme sier hellehaka (Eggedal: hallhaka) og gølvhaka. Hellhakan va te å slå fast stokken me nå´n tælte, te å dra på stokken me nå´n sku godt ne´åt etter møsjinga, og te å feste stokken mea´n medrog. Gølvhaken bruka ein når ikkje planken ville innåt. Nå´n slo gølvhaken sta lu´n, skuva´n planken innåt. Nå´n sku ha oppatt denna hakan, slo´n te´n på rompa, så spratt´n opp tor lu´n.”

Hellhaka og gølvhaka teikna av Andreas MørchHellhaka og gølvhaka teikna av Andreas MørchGolvhakar er det ikkje så ofte ein finn rundt om i landet. Eg har frå før fått Mattias Helje til å smi kopiar av ein gamal golvhake som eg har fått tak i sjølv. Denne typen har ikkje “rompe” som ein kan slå på for å få opp haken. Det kan vere at det dukkar opp fleire typar av golvhakar etterkvart som fleire byrjar å leite etter slike. Ta gjerne kontakt om du kjem over slikt.

Categories: Hand Tools

Tool Cabinet Hinges

orepass: Woodworking to Pass the Time - Tue, 12/20/2016 - 10:11am

Purchasing Hinges is something I put off until the last minute. I want to purchase them locally so I can feel their heft and think about how they will fit into my project. Typically I end up on line after being very dissatisfied with what available. The tool Cabinet deserved some quality Brusso Hinges. They are more expensive than the local stores but I appreciate the quality. I’ve chosen stainless steel Hinges for the cabinet, the contrast to the cherry catches my eye.

Installing hinges is one of the tasks that gives you instant feedback if you do it poorly. Carefully chiseling, than routing out the waste I make mortises for each hinge.

Focusing on one door I carefully install the hinges and make adjustments to center the door. Once both doors are in I carefully plane the center rail until the doors close without binding. The door on the right is carefully chamfered so the two will pass each other. Anyone else have some good hinge sources?

Categories: Hand Tools

Dead Stacking Lumber – 360w360 E.207

360 WoodWorking - Tue, 12/20/2016 - 4:00am
Dead Stacking Lumber – 360w360 E.207

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking the 360 guys talk about dead stacking lumber.

Join the guys twice each week for six lively minutes of discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Chuck & Glen, and sometimes a surprise guest, all have their own opinions. Sometimes they agree and sometimes they don’t, but the conversation is always information packed and lots of fun.

If you have topics you’d like to hear covered in future episodes, click here to send an email to the guys.

Continue reading Dead Stacking Lumber – 360w360 E.207 at 360 WoodWorking.

Chip Carving with Mark Thomas (Workshop Tour Part 2)

Wood and Shop - Mon, 12/19/2016 - 9:26am
In this second video, professional engraver and flintlock rifle maker Mark Thomas takes us into his Virginia workshop to share a short tutorial on how to do basic chip carving. If you missed his workshop tour, watch part 1 here. I'll be releasing 2 more videos from Mark's workshop where he shares a couple other fascinating tutorials for

Nye oppdagingar i Norsk folkeminnesamling

Norsk Skottbenk Union - Mon, 12/19/2016 - 9:18am
 Roald RenmælmoHøvling av golvbord på skottbenk. Foto: Roald Renmælmo

Eg har tidlegare skrive ein del om dei funna eg gjort om skottbenken i spørjelistene om snikkarhandverket i Ord og Sed i Norsk folkeminnesamling. Eg rekna med at eg hadde gått gjennom alt av relevante svar i dette materialet i samband med min store gjennomgang og analyse. I førre veke var eg tilbake på Blindern saman med studentar i tradisjonelt bygghandverk, Terje Planke og smedstipendiat Øystein Myhre. Føremålet vårt var å gå gjennom andre spørjelister om smedhandverket, timbremannsyrket og husbygging. Også desse spørjelistene vart sendt ut på 1930-talet og inneheld mykje spennande materiale. Særleg for oss handverkarar er det veldig spennande å sjølv få lese gjennom kva våre forgjengarar har skrive og forklart om sitt handverk i for kring 80 år sidan. I gjennomgangen av dette materialet dukka det faktisk opp eit svar på spørjelista om snikkarhandverket mellom svara om timbremannsyrket. Det var svar frå Olav Furuset frå Jømna ved Elverum. Det har kome inn i 1946 og Olav skriv at han har samla inn stoffet i Bjølsetgrenda ved Jømna stasjon. Det tyder på at han skrive ned etter handverkarar som ikkje er namngjevne i svaret hans, men som han har vurdert som kunnskapsrike innan dette fagområdet.

Olav Furuset skriv dette som svar på spørsmålet om høvelbenken:

“Når dei arbeidte bord brukte dei plogbenk. Det var to stabber med eit skår i. I dette sette ein 2 plankar. Den eine feste dei i skårsida i stabben. Den andre var laus. Millom desse to plankane la dei bordet dei skulle arbeide. Så slo dei kilen mellom det lause bordet og sida på skåret i stabben. Fyrst teljet dei tå med øks det grøvste. Fyrst risse dei sjølvsagt op så dei hadde noko å halde seg ette. Etter teljinga skjøt dei tå resten med skjøtoksen. Skulde dei så laga pløyde bord brukte dei not og fjørplog. Etterpå strøk dei av kvasskantane med semshøvel. Nå dei så hadde laga staffen var dei ferdige med bordet.”

Det han nemner som plogbenk verkar å ha sett ut og verka noko tilsvarande som benken som eg har skrive om frå Lima i Sverige. Etter beskrivelsen var nok stabbane av noko liknande utforming. Beskrivelsen frå Jømna er nok den som geografisk ligg nærast Lima av alle spørjelistesvara i Norsk Folkeminnesamling. Det er ca 16 mil å kjøre mellom Lima og Jømna, men det har vore ein del kontakt og handel mellom folk i desse områda tidlegare. Det er derfor ikkje spesielt merkeleg at det er slektskap mellom skottbenkane (plogbenkane) i dette området. Artig er det også at Olav har med mange ord i forklaringa si om korleis benken vart brukt. Han får også med at dei brukte semshøvel til å stryke av kvasskantane. Dette er noko som eg har sett spor etter på gamle golvbord i Målselv og andre stader så det var artig å sjå at det også er beskrive i tekst.

 Roald RenmælmoKanting av golvbord, eller som Olav Furuset skriv, “telje tå det grøvste med øks”. Her er bordet snorslått med sotsnor for å få nokolunde rett kant. Foto: Roald Renmælmo



Categories: Hand Tools

Photography for Woodworking Fools. Got’a’light?

Fair Woodworking - Sun, 12/18/2016 - 8:53pm
Well the year is almost over and I find that of the three topics I promised to write about, I have written about exactly none of them. Shame, shame on this bad little blogger, so with a micky of rum in hand, here we go….. About a year and a half ago I wrote about […]
Categories: Hand Tools

Christmas presents from a woodworker

Heartwood: Woodworking by Rob Porcaro - Sun, 12/18/2016 - 9:55am
business card holders
You’re a woodworker. Alas, you have less money than you would if you were not a woodworker and thus expended your effort on more remunerative activity. And Christmas is around the corner. The dilemma is apparent. The solution, of course, is the woodworker’s solution to everything: you can make things, so make something. To happily […] 4
Categories: Hand Tools

Soft Wax

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Sun, 12/18/2016 - 8:15am

If you’re a follower of Chris Schwarz’s blog The Lost Art Press, then you probably know about the soft wax his daughter sells on Etsy. A few months ago, I was lucky enough to buy a can as she usually sells out within a few hours after Chris tells people more is in stock.

 photo 20161203_143414.jpg

My wife and I are constantly buying old pieces of furniture to resell in her booth. Almost always, the old drawers in dressers stick making them tough to pull in an out. When I heard Chris describe the uses of the soft wax, I was intrigued to see how well it works.

 photo 20161203_143539.jpg

I rubbed the wax on all the runners of the drawers and let it sit. You can see how it glistens the wood at the back of the drawer. After all the runners and bottom of the drawers were waxed, I tested their fit. The wax works perfectly! I highly recommend it.

 photo 20161203_143407.jpg

Now the dresser is in full working order and is much more appealing to any potential buyer. The only word of caution in using the wax is that it has a strong odor. So strong, my wife made me move the dresser to the screened in porch because it was stinking up the dining room. I’m not sure what exactly is in the wax to make it smell the way it does, but it kind of reminds me of a diesel fuel smell. I’ve read that Chris and his daughter are working on a new version with charcoal inside of the formula to cut down on the odor. You may be able to buy their new formula now.


Danish Table Building Extravaganza

Old Ladies - Pedder's blog - Sun, 12/18/2016 - 7:25am
Jointing and fitting the boards together was easy. Planing the table surface wasn't.

Das Fügen und Verleimen der Bretter war unproblematisch. Das Hobeln der Oberfläche nicht.

Nachdem ich eine Menge Hobelspände produziert habe und immer noch Ausrisse zu sehen waren, habe ich den Bandschleifer angeworfen.

 After I made a lot of shavings and still fought with tear outs, I cheated and fired the beltsander.
Keine Ahnung, was das für Flecken sind
No clue  what kind of flecks that are.
Ablängen. Ich habe die Tauchsäge genommen und gleich eine 4° Schräge angearbeitet.

Cut to length. Took the diving saw and added a 4° chamfer at the edge.
In meiner Metallteilesammlung habe ich ein paar nette Winkel gefunden.

Found some parts in my metallparts collection.

Finishing with BLO.
Oberfläche mit Leinölfirnis.

Noch nicht ganz aber fast.

Still not ready, but close.

Categories: Hand Tools

Can You Gues What This is?

David Barron Furniture - Sun, 12/18/2016 - 1:09am

The latest issue of F&C as arrived and a good one as usual, including a test of the excellent Skelton panel saw, below.
But what really caught my attention was a new product launch. Now I've been in sales and marketing for many of my life and if there's one thing I can't stand its long winded bullshit! Please read this until the end, it's priceless!

Jeremy Smith, Marketing Manager. 'Tesa 62510 offers companies in various sectors a powerful solution for constructive bonding that creates new possibilities for innovative mounting designs through promoting new combinations of materials, enhancing the end result and delivering a more efficient means of processing.'

Has anyone guessed?......... yes of course it's double sided sticky tape!!!!!!!

But what really made me smile was the dry comment that followed from the editor

'Phew! You probably wouldn't want to get stuck in the lift with Mr Smith.'

Categories: Hand Tools

Kitchen stools

Oregon Woodworker - Sat, 12/17/2016 - 9:23am
The recently completed kitchen work table is a success, so we now need a pair of stools to go with it.  I looked at a lot of pictures online and the style that caught my eye is called a saddle seat stool.  They have a rectangular seat, usually around 9"x18" that is contoured somewhat like the side view of a saddle, so I suppose that is how it got its name.  These stools usually have four legs.  Think of a short stepladder.  Generally there are two sets of stretchers on each side, but sometimes the legs are mortised into the seat and there is only one stretcher on each side.  There are all kinds of variants, including rustic ones that look really nice.

Since the kitchen work table is white oak, the stools are going to be white oak, Carving out the seat shape in dry white oak would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, with hand tools.  These days, this sort of thing is often done by power carving.  It involves a nasty looking cutter on an angle grinder with chips and dust (hopefully not flesh) flying everywhere.  It's not for me, so I have to do something else.

I still have a lot of the pickup load of scrap 5/4 white oak that I bought last year, so I decided to experiment with it.  After gluing up a piece 9" wide,  I used a french curve to sketch out the profile I wanted and cut it out on the bandsaw.  Then I used a round spokeshave, a rasp and a file to refine it:

I then glued these to a 9"x18" base.  Finally I used the bandsaw to angle the edges slightly inward as a start for using hand tools for shaping.  The resulting seat blank looked better to my eye than I expected:

The main thing I wanted to do with shaping, besides softening the edges, was to open up the seat with a large roundover along the front edge and the adjoining edges of the sides.  This was easy enough to do with a rasp, file, flat spokeshave and round spokeshave.  The round shave in particular worked really well on the edges.  I really enjoy shaping by eye with spokeshaves and am continually surprised by how well they work.  I only had the general thoughts above and just kept shaving, looking, sitting on it and shaving some more.  Both of mine are from Veritas and work great.

This started out as an experiment and is obviously not ideal.  You'd want to use a solid piece 9"x24" so you could saw off three inches on each end to have a nice match for the small pieces and the base.  I didn't have scraps that long, so the grain doesn't match.  It's an experiment but I think it looks pretty good.  It's really nice to sit on.

The shape I chose is different than most you see, with a much more pronounced "pommel" and "cantle," more like the profile of a real saddle.  These stools commonly have a much more gradual contour, which could be done this way or by starting with a solid 8/4 blank.  I prefer the contour on mine, but that is strictly a matter of taste.

This is yet another example of how a good bandsaw is a nice complement to hand tool woodworking or, in Jim Tolpin's phrase, a new traditional woodworker.  Good ones are expensive but are extremely versatile.  Cheap ones are unusable.  Maybe you could saw something like this out with a bowsaw, I don't know.  In my case, if I kept one power tool it would be my bandsaw.

Now it's on to figuring out what I want to do for legs.

Categories: Hand Tools


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