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sliding till day......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 3:03am
Saying the tills I made today are tills I believe is a misnomer. Hows that for a ten dollar word meaning that my description of the tills is inaccurate. They are tills, I think, but they aren't sliding ones. I made two of them with a small space between them. So in that respect they do slide about a 1/8" but it isn't  the same as the as a real sliding till.

I'm still at a loss for deciding on some kind of a handle for any of the tills. The two small tills (or trays) on the top aren't a high priority. The bottom, big till, needs some kind of handle help. This one has to come out in order to get to the bottom of the toolbox. Miles isn't going to be using this for quite a while so I have time to cook up a few ideas.

plywood bottom glued on
I got this done about 0830 and I let it set up until after lunch. The solid wood is only 3/8" thick so putting screws in it doesn't make much sense to me. The same goes for nails and once the glue sets nails wouldn't matter. I will be relying on the glue bond to hold the bottom on to the till.

the original toolbox banding
One of these is long enough to give up two cross braces for the bottom.

two braces done
I ripped the bearers for the two top tills/trays and took a break until after lunch.

first batter after lunch
I made the bottom slightly over sized and here I'm flushing the last side.

one thing I didn't want to see
Birch ply usually doesn't have voids like this nor those ugly biscuit shaped plugs.  This void is about a 3/8" deep and I'll have to fill with something. Because of where it is I'm leaning towards filling it with epoxy and filler.

change 2 to the bottom
Actually I made more than 2 changes to the bottom. The first one was to add a third brace to the bottom. After I ripped the banding to the width for the first two, the piece left over I used to put in the middle.

The second change was gluing the braces down. At first I was going to glue and screw them and changed that to just screwing them. My reasoning was it would easier to replace any one of them if needed. On change 3 I went back to glue and screwing them due to the increased strength. Replacing them is still doable but it will involve some chisel and planing I'm sure.

made the screw holes before gluing the braces on
 I glued and pressed the braces in place and let them set for a few minutes before putting in the screws.

5 screws per brace, all of them clocked
the braces
The braces stiffened up the bottom quite a bit. I have a warm and fuzzy about the strength of this holding up to a load of tools now.

Miles's Stanley 71 box
 I got this positioned so the box is below the center and right side brace. It's time to see if the braces will hit it.

braces are fine
If I measured them correctly, the extend past the bearers on the ends about 3/8" down into the interior of the toolbox. I don't see this small protrusion causing any hiccups down the road.

figuring the size of the tills
Neither till is going to be the size I want them. The marking gauges need almost 3" of height and making a till that size eats up 71% of the allotted space. I compromised and made the bottom till the larger space and the two top ones smaller.

stock for the two tills
I briefly entertained making 3 tills. One would be for measuring stuff, ie rulers, tapes etc, a 2nd one for miscellaneous crappola, and a third one for chisels. That idea frizzled out real quick. The measuring till needs to be 13" so I can fit the 12" steel ruler in it. That left roughly 10" for two more tills. I decided to go with 2 rather than one large and two smaller ones.

roughly 3/8" above the till
That space above the big till isn't going to be wasted. I plan on using that by extending the top tills to occupy it.

till side and bottom
Making sure that I am below the top of the toolbox. If I went with 1/8" plywood for the bottoms of the top tills I would have more breathing room here. I'm using 1/4" plywood for strength and that gives me a wee bit less than 1/8" of space here.

single tail tills
I recently saw using blue tape to hold the stock as a tip (Saw Mill Creek ?) and I like it. The tape kept the stock from shifting as I tightened the vise on it.

kept them together
I kept the stock taped and sawed for the half pin. This didn't work that well on a couple of these. The front ones came out ok but on some of the back ones I sawed off the line. On the ones that I did that I on, all errant saw cuts were on the waste side.

chopped the pins
I did these one till at a time. I laid them all out the same but I didn't want to chance mixing the parts up.

done
Just when you think you have mastered something, you do this. These are the loosest fitting dovetails I've done in a very long time. Eight corners -1 done snug, 1 done kind of snug, 4 loose, and the last two looser. These two I will have to shim after they have set up.

nutso glue up
Because of the loose fit of the dovetails I couldn't glue it and set it aside. I tried clamping it without the squares and got nowhere with that. I couldn't clamp the till square so I resorted to this. This is the larger of the two tills and I was able to get a square on the four corners. I'm hoping that this works and I'll know if there is any joy in Mudville tomorrow.

the smaller till
These dovetails were a bit better fitting but still not good enough to glue and set aside. I could only get two squares for this one.

accidental woodworker

trivia
How much does a ten pin bowling pin weigh?
answer - 3 pounds 6 ounces

New M&T Shop Building: The Deck

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 4:59pm

After Mike and I got all the granite blocks squared and leveled on the gravel pad, we fit hardware cloth over the ventilation spacing between the blocks to keep critters out. This cloth was bent around top and bottom of the blocks and glued in place with construction adhesive to ensure there was no way anything was getting under there.

We laid six-mil plastic over the gravel inside the foundation to seal off future moisture release. Then, on top of the granite we half lapped a pressure-treated 2x6 to overhang the blocks by 1” on all sides. The conventional TJI deck was then constructed on top of that. These man-made joists are unpleasant to work with but are functional and quick to assemble. With the I-beams in place, we cut ½” plywood to lay between them. These were then screwed to the beams. On top of that, we laid 2” blue foam that we then sealed with Great Stuff spray foam to close up air gaps. I’ve seen this blue foam/Great Stuff method called “poor man’s spray foam”.

With the blue foam installed, we laid the subfloor. After applying a bead of construction adhesive, we screwed 3/4” Advantech down to the framing. We were happy to find that at every stage of the process things turned out square. We joked that all our mistakes must have compounded to cancel each other out.

Despite the purist strain some of us may have, I think we made the right choice. With this floating block foundation, it seemed best to avoid a central support point and so, to be able to span the 25’ of the deck without sagging, TJI joists made the most sense. Although not particularly fun to do or interesting to discuss at length, this deck system will give us a solid, draft-free floor. Once it’s buried in top floor and exterior sheathing I’ll never have to look at it again. I’ll just enjoy the benefits of its performance for the rest of my life. 

Luke and part of his crew arrived from Vermont this afternoon with the final trailer loads of the frame. We spent time getting to know each other and they looked over the site before heading off to their rental house. They’ll be spending tomorrow putting a few finishing touches on the frame’s sills in preparation for Monday. Then, over the following few days, it all goes up.

- Joshua

 

Categories: Hand Tools

A message to blog site owners

Journeyman's Journal - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 2:41pm

Our lives are hectic enough without to need to filter through fake comments from spammers. If you’re not already moderating your comments you need to start. These idiots use a program that’s getting better and better at mimicking human replies or what a person would say.  None the less they’re still robots and can’t get it right all the time, but sometimes they do and when you let one in they just flood your message board with fake comments.

WordPress has caught 200 spams this month, this is an increase of 100% from the last month.  This increase of spams is due to a word I used “women” in my last post.  Fake commentators were with female names.

Thought I would make this post to give you a heads up if you haven’t already been made aware of it.


Categories: Hand Tools

The Workbench X-Files

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 7:08am

During the last decade I’ve amassed hundreds of images of early workbenches as part of my research into pre-industrial woodworking. Inevitably, some of the images don’t make a lot of sense and now populate a folder named: X-Files. These workbenches are from paintings and their features might be the result of a painter who doesn’t know much about woodworking. Or they could be a clue to a simple and neglected […]

The post The Workbench X-Files appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

The Desk Project – The Wood

The Barn on White Run - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 6:27am

This post is in great part my celebration of a grand circle of friends who provided me with the wood I needed for the project.

In correspondence with the client for interpreting the c.1820 writing desk, it was clear that he wanted something made in the manner of craft technology of the period, and if at all possible, using wood of the period, or at least very old wood.  Since the task of acquiring verifiable 200 year-old mahogany was at best an iffy proposition I simply determined to find the oldest, best wood I could find.  In fact I already owned about half the wood necessary for the project thanks to my own acquisitional proclivities.

Among my inventory was a superb piece of dense, lightly figured mahogany I needed for the veneers that would wrap the box of  the desk.  It was one of the three critical pieces I needed.

The desk writing surface was a second vital component and I sent out requests to everyone I knew who might be able to supply my needs.   Before long a UPS truck bearing the piece I needed showed up in the driveway.  Then a second.  And a third.  And a fourth.  Sean, Ben, and Alf all contributed spectacular pieces to the venture.

One last look through my inventory uncovered the final piece of this particular puzzle, a wildly figure slab of flame crotch that was needed for the veneers on the outer leg elements.

But that was not the end of it.  My friend John brought  a small pile of vintage mahogany with him to the next MWTCA gathering, and I took it off his hands.  Josh emailed me about a stash he had, and delivered it to me.

Then my orthopedic surgeon told me he had a storage unit full of pre-WWI era lumber including some prized mahogany.  I loaded all that was there and headed for home.

In the end I would up with enough vintage, unused dense swietenia to make at least two additional desks and, thanks to the willingness to part with some of their holdings by my circle of friends, I probably will.

Plans done?  Check.  Wood in-hand?  Check.  Ready to dive in?  Uh-h-h-h-h.

Stay tuned.

Debunking the Myth at Yale

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 5:09am

All photographs by Jessica Smolinksi. Courtesy Yale University Art Gallery.

Last Friday’s visit to the Yale Furniture Study went off without a hitch. The seven-hour drive was pleasant and quiet, bringing me into New Haven 45 minutes ahead of schedule. I hauled my tools and sample table parts down into the Study’s workshop and got things set up.

I began the presentation by exploring three table examples from Yale’s collection. We had the tables upside down so that everyone could take a turn looking at the joinery under the table. I had the attendees specifically examine the tenon layout lines and the tenons’ pins protruding to the inside. To illustrate that these tables are constructed in the same way, we chose two vernacular painted tavern tables as early as 1730 to compare to a mahogany inlaid drop-leaf table made somewhere around 1810. The construction was the same: drawbored rails into four legs with a top.

Then we went into the shop and I showed them how that is done.  I had a small table under construction and demonstrated each stage of preparing legs, chopping a mortise, planing the taper, prepping the rails, cutting the tenons, fitting the joint, and drawboring it together.

It was fun to hear feedback after it was over (I went well beyond the allotted time). The attendees expressed how seeing these originals and then watching the process was eye-opening for them. I trust that the speed of this handwork was conveyed. One of the biggest disservices these kinds of presentations can give is to feed the myth that craftsmen were slow and careful artists or that hand tools are slow. Nothing could be further from the truth and so I think it’s important that anyone demonstrating these skills should have sweat on their brow. It’s only when people see this kind of hustling shop practice that they can begin to get a picture of how period artisans worked.

I was honored to be invited back to this place for demonstration and look forward to next time. If you haven’t been to the study yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. Prioritize a visit. My interview with museum assistant, Eric Litke, in Issue One discusses this place in depth. 800 items of furniture all arranged by form chronologically. You’ve never seen anything quite like it. 

- Joshua 

 

Categories: Hand Tools

Taking Refuge in Geometry

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 4:41am

Image.ashx

Over the recent season of political and social angst I’ve been finding solace in research and development work with my co-author George Walker. While our fellow countrymen argue the gray areas of morality and policy, George and I have immersed ourselves in the immutable truths that underlie the first principles of geometry.  While there might be some gray areas in a few of the tradesmens’ layout shortcuts (which we explore at length along with the fundamentals in our forthcoming book “From Truths to Tools”), the core geometric constructions of reality that flow from the intersection of line and circle not only represent perfection – they are perfection.

Scan 6Scan 11

 

For example, two intersecting circles that share a common radius will present us with two rim intersection points to which we can connect a line that automatically – and unequivocally – “bi secare” (cuts in two) the shared radius line.

Page 22 001

The intersection of the lines at the bisection point form a “rectus” (right) angle with the radius line. We know it’s a right angle because the other angles are “co-rectus” with one another and any two of them form a straight line.

Scan_20170914

A further “proof” of the correctness of the four angles can be had by using dividers to “demetiri” (measure-out) between one circle’s focal point and a rim intersection point. This dimension will be exactly, precisely, perfectly the same at each of the other three point spans. This immutable truth provides us with the geometric construction we need to make a try square as well as the key to testing the tool for true. We now have in hand the ability to accurately lay out everything from a cradle to a coffer to a cathedral with little more than a bunch of sticks.

— Jim Tolpin, ByHandandEye.com


Filed under: From Truths to Tools, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

till fitted......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 1:04am
The last two days have seen a return of some humidity. Today was a little higher than yesterday was. I know this because tonight I sweated up a storm and last night I didn't. We are entering my second favorite part of the year. Nice crisp days and cool nights are coming soon. This part of the year everything is getting ready to go to sleep until my absolute favorite season, spring returns. I bitch about the changing seasons but I know I would miss them if I moved to Hawaii or some other place like that.

The fitting of the till went off without any hiccups in spite of me soaking my T-shirt. I'm regretting now that I didn't stop and get the 1/4" birch plywood for the bottom. I could have glued it on tonight and moved on to making the moving tills to put into it. I'll get the plywood first thing in the AM. What kind of sucks is I have three 4' x 4' pieces of underlayment plywood. But this stuff isn't meant to be used for drawer/box bottoms. They will do for cabinet backs but not for my till bottom.


solid wood bottom
There are too many pieces to this. I am not a fan of multiple boards for a bottom or for any other kind of glued up 'panel'. One way to do this is to use three equal width boards and ship lap them to form the bottom. The bottom is roughly 12" so I would have to account for some expansion. Since the till is a tight fit, I don't have the wiggle room to allow a solid wood bottom.


tantalizing close
The 3 small pieces on the right are all about an inch too narrow. In spite of the expansion hiccup, I tried to get this to work. I put the wide boards on each long side and the smaller piece in the middle. Without the rabbets for the ship laps, it was a 1/2" too short. Plywood wins because I don't have to allow for expansion/contraction.


idea #1
This was the forerunner for me but now that I can see it, I'm not liking it as much. Use your imagination and see plywood filling the whole bottom. The piece of pine is 1/2" thick and 3/4" wide. The idea was to 1/2 lap a notch into the two sides. Then glue and screw it to the plywood bottom. That would split the bottom span in half and make it better able to handle the load of tools in it. What I don't like about it is division it makes. Doing this divides the bottom of the till into two 12" x 12" plats of real estate.

idea #2
Again you'll have to use your imagination to see the plywood covering the bottom. The braces will be a 1/2" thick and about 3/4" wide. I will glue these to the plywood and screw them to it from the inside. I think breaking up the bottom into thirds will be stronger than halving it. These strong backs will project only a little way into the toolbox. These will only stick past the bearers on the ends by a 1/4" or so. I don't think it will be a problem with the contents. And the two pieces will allow the till to be set down on the workbench without rocking. This is the way I'm going to further support the bottom.


cleaning the long sides
I clamped this plywood between the dogs and clamped the opposite end with a couple of clamps. I lightly planed the long edge and spent more time flushing and cleaning the tails/pins.

too tight
I only made one planing run on the two long sides only. I did one more planing run taking light shavings and checked it again.

it fits
I was surprised to see that this fit the length. The left side (front to back) is a little too snug for me but the length dropped in squarely inbetween the bearers.

new piece of plywood
I took the minimal amount off I could. I flushed and cleaned the tails/pins and took just a few shavings between them. This already fits in the bearers so I didn't have to plane to fit it, just clean it up.


left side of the toolbox
This side is still snug and I don't want to plane anymore off of the till. I am going to do all the remaining fitting and planing on the toolbox until I get the fit I like. I started by planing this end on both sides.

used my grandson's #3
I was too lazy to stop and sharpen the iron in my #3 so I used Miles. He said it was ok as long as I sharpened it again.

labeled the bottom
I labeled this so as I planed the box I would be checking the fit with the same orientation of the till. I got a slip in and drop in fit that I was happy with. I turned the till 180 and the fit was snug again. So I will be able to drop the till into the box without checking to see if I'm putting it in the 'right' way, I kept on planing.

I planed both sides of the long sides of the toolbox
I just planed down to the level of the bearers. I went end to end but concentrated the bulk of the shavings on the left side ends.

got it fitted
I got a slip, drop in fit no matter which I put the till in. I switched it 180 the long way and I also tried with the bottom (which I marked) facing up. I'm done with the till and I'm happy with the fit. The plywood bottom isn't going to change the fit.

confirmed
I opened and closed the lid a whole bunch of times. Some fast and some slow, opening and closing it by holding the lid in different spots. The chain fell into the space and didn't interfere with the lid  closing not even once. I also dropped the lid and the chain still fell into the space. I didn't lose too much in the length doing this, maybe an inch all together.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
The size of an egg tells you the minimum required net weight per dozen eggs. It does not refer to the dimensions of an egg or how big it looks. How much does a dozen large eggs weigh?
answer - 24 ounces

Yet More of the Same only Different

The Furniture Record - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 10:23pm

I’ve recently come across some more furniture that is similar/the same as in some previous blogs. No one piece is worthy of its own blog but taken as a whole, it’ll do.

In April in There are No Rules, I wrote of this chair with this unique leg layout:

IMG_5447

Four legs, just not where you expected.

In the past two weeks, I have come across the following:

IMG_2424

Four legs just rotated 45°.

IMG_2422

In this configuration, the arms supports are carried by legs.

And in Georgia, I found:

IMG_2799

A totally different feel.

IMG_2800

This one is a bit rough, missing a few parts.

IMG_2801

Maybe not even an antique.

In the metal-for-wood category we have:

IMG_2461

Looks like wood, welds like metal.

Two more Wooton rotary desks:

IMG_9487

One in Chapel Hill,

IMG_9508

Looks nice from the client’s side as well.

Another in Monroe, Georgia:

IMG_2655

Looks like the one on Chapel Hill.

IMG_2662

Like this closed.

IMG_2661

Opens to this.

A Hitchcock chair:

IMG_2645

Well, not a real one.

A Hitchcock settee?

DSC_8958

Probably not.

And a gout rocker:

IMG_2452

And now, a word from our sponsor…

 


Down the rabbit hole

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 3:21pm

or…watch Nancy Hiller morph into Basil Fawlty

IMG_0503

A peaceful view over the hills from the garden at Standen, just the kind of thing you need when you’re ready to tear your hair out

I take copyright and permissions protocols seriously. It’s a simple matter of the Golden Rule: I write and design stuff, and if someone’s going to use my words or designs, I’d like my part in the process to be acknowledged. I have no right to expect this consideration from others if I’m not willing to give it myself.

So I paid attention to what the museum staff told me when I visited the marvelous Wilson Museum in Cheltenham last winter to measure one of their Voysey chairs. I signed a bunch of forms agreeing to their terms, which require written permission to publish photographs of their holdings, even in a blog post.

In early July, as I neared completion of my manuscript for a book on English Arts and Crafts furniture*, I thought readers might be interested in seeing some of the details I found while peering under aprons, stretchers, and such in the course of my research – you know, stuff like through tenons, decorative gouging, and artfully chamfered rails…but also the occasional cupped table top, gap at a tenon shoulder, or split stile. It’s tempting to attribute perfection to our craftsperson-heroes, but one of the things I love most about furniture is its decidedly human imperfection; I’m intrigued by the question of what we’re willing (or not) to live with.

So I dutifully wrote to my museum contact, requesting the necessary permission.

“Dear Nancy,” he wrote back. “Thank you for your email. Permission would need to come from our decorative arts curator, however she is currently away from the office until [a date ten days later], so I will be unable to get a response to you before then. I shall pass your message on to [her] and bring it to her attention when she returns. I hope that this helps.

Best wishes,
B.”

Ten days later I received another missive. “Hi Nancy,” he wrote. “Thank you for your patience whilst the decorative arts curator was away. For using images of our collections in blog posts there is a small charge of £16.70 per article/blog post. We also request that you would send us a link to the blog post so we can have a record of how the collections are being used.

Please let me know if you are still interested in proceeding. If you are interested in proceeding please let me know and I will send the relevant forms and arrange payment.

I hope that this helps.
Best wishes,
B.”

I wrote back immediately. Of course I was happy to pay to use the images. Museums — especially those, such as The Wilson, which don’t charge visitors an entrance fee — depend on this kind of revenue. A few days later I received the form by email, which I completed and signed. A week went by. Then:

“Dear Nancy,

Apologies for not getting back to you… We are currently experiencing issues with our payment facilities so we cannot accept payment just yet. How soon do you need to use the images?

Many thanks for your patience whilst we are working on resolving the payment issues.

B.”

I told him that I wouldn’t need to use the images for at least the next three weeks. “Hopefully we shall have this rectified before 31st August,” he wrote back. I hated to think of a museum not being able to take credit card payments over the phone in this day when plastic is the coin of the realm.

A month later B wrote back. The problems were ongoing. “We can accept cheques if all else [should] fail, although I understand the postage from America would inflate the real price at your end.” It wasn’t the postage that troubled me, but the fee a bank would charge for any form of payment other than a credit card. I’d already called my bank. They no longer issue checks in foreign currency but said they could wire the money for a $50 fee. Screw that.

The next week the ever-charming (truly) B wrote again.

“Dear Nancy,

The cost…was £16.70 plus VAT so that would be £20.04 overall [about $27]. I have been talking to the finance department and they believe[] they have resolved the issue, they are checking one final thing and have assured me that we should be able to take card payment over the phone by Monday. I shall email you again on Monday with the hopefully happy news. Again, please accept my apologies for the ongoing delays.

Best wishes,
B.”

Just to be on the safe side I gave it a few more days. On Thursday morning I was ready to call. The landline seemed a better bet than a cell phone. I dialed the number but got a sound that clearly signified a problem. I repeated the process several times, omitting various prefix digits in case they were unnecessary. Still no joy. I called the phone company again.

“All calls to international numbers are blocked at present,” the clerk informed me. Can this really be happening? I wondered. It seems that fraudsters overseas have been calling US households and threatening the vulnerable among us with harm to their relatives if they don’t return the call and fork over thousands of dollars. “So you’re blocking ALL international calls because a few people have fallen for this kind of scam?” I asked. Apparently so. “Is this just you, or all phone companies? Because this seems like serious overkill. I am just trying to make a business call to England.” She couldn’t say whether our phone company was alone in taking this paternalistic tack.

“You can bypass the call block by using this code,” said the clerk, reading out a symbol and three numbers. I thanked her and tried the call again, this time with the code. The call dropped as soon as I dialed. I tried again. Same thing.

I called the phone company back. Another clerk this time; he said I’d have to make some kind of different arrangement, aside from the code, to call overseas. “I am trying really hard not to pepper your eardrum with expletives,” I answered, taking a deep breath. “I just want to make a simple business call to England. England! Not Nigeria. Not Myanmar. I just need to make a credit card payment to a museum. In the past, all I had to do was dial the number. I’m not willing to go through yet more steps. I’ll use my cell phone.”

So I dialed the museum’s number on my cell. The call was answered by a woman whose first language was clearly not English. “I need your name,” she said after the usual pleasantries. I stated my first name and she proceeded to type, reading the letters back – incorrectly. I corrected her, knowing that the charge would be declined by the credit company, were the merest detail garbled. Then we got to the address. Between the spotty quality of the audio (even with Wi Fi calling) and our linguistic disjunct, it was taking forever. We got through the four digits of the street address, but the word “South” caused a problem. “Was that ‘ah‘?” she checked. “No, SOUTH,” I said. At this point I was not prepared to attempt the Himalayan peak of the next word, “Garrison.”

“Can I just email you this information, then call back?” I asked.

“Sure. That would be good. Thank you.”

So I sent the email, and she replied that she was ready to take my credit card information in a second call. I called her back at once. The phone was answered by a machine informing me that no one was available but I could leave a message if I would like.

I checked the time. 4 p.m. GMT. Perhaps they had just closed? I wrote back to her straight away, dreading the prospect of having to repeat the process with someone new the next day. But lo! Five minutes later I got a reply. The long-suffering staff person had been busy with a visitor, and so, unable to take my call. I called back.

Miraculously, we get the job done. I have the receipt to prove it:

img_21751.jpg

The receipt really does say JOY. Perhaps the name of a current exhibition?

All of which is to request that you refrain from blithely copying and reusing the images you will find in my post about the museum visit, which will arrive in your inbox a few days from now.

Please note: Although this post concerns one particular institution, I have enjoyed remarkably similar experiences with several others. I am a huge fan of The Wilson and highly recommend a visit. 

*scheduled for publication by Popular Woodworking in May 2018. In the meantime, you can read Making Things Work


Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

This Week

Paul Sellers - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 12:43pm

I am building both the prototype and the first edition bedside nightstand for our next new masterclasses project. This one follows the stepladders and the fly swatter. It’s been a busy enough week with developing the idea and then the construction of both the prototype and building the piece for filming. Hannah went with me …

Read the full post This Week on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Man-Week at the Man Cave, er, Barn

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 7:45am

My recently scheduled barn workshop, “Make A Traditional Workbench,” was mercifully “cancelled” due to the fact that all four of the scheduled registrants notified me they were not coming.  No students, no workshop.  I say “mercifully” because it would have started the day after Barndaughter’s wedding weekend, and I was already worn to a nub.  Nevertheless, my friend John, who participated in the workshop last year and was scheduled to be my teaching assistant for the week, decided to join me anyway for a grand week of man-time in the man cave, a/k/a The Barn.

We had a delightful week of fellowship and working on projects; John concentrated on modifying and tuning up the Moxon-style ripple molding cutting machine while I emphasized bringing my FORP workbench from many years ago closer to completion.  In addition, John being a trained theologian and well-engaged citizen of The Republic, our conversations were vibrant and varied, and by the end of the week we were almost sentimental about our shared experiences.

The success of the week can be summarized in the observation that by Friday afternoon it looked like a tool-and-shavings bomb had been detonated there.  I’ll recount our adventures in greater detail in coming posts.  Stay tuned.

Identifying the Working Properties of Wood Species

The Renaissance Woodworker - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 6:20am

Wood, What is it Good For?

At last I’m finally getting around to releasing the second class I recorded at Woodworking in America in 2016. This was a 2 hour class that I really enjoyed teaching. I had a great group (full house actually) who really participated and asked great questions. It turns out woodworkers want to know more about wood. Who knew?!

This class isn’t about identifying unknown wood species, it is about using your existing species knowledge to identify the working properties of other woods. It allows you to branch out (hah, branch!) and use different woods while not walking into the purchase and ensuing project totally blind on how that wood will work. It all comes down to understanding the technical specifications that can be found on just about any species over the Internet. But really focusing on 3 specifications can get you really close to understanding a wood you have never worked.

I hope you enjoy, Wood, (good God) What is it Good For? I had a blast teaching it.

Categories: Hand Tools

till glued up.....

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 1:22am
Gluing up used to fill me with a lot of apprehension but now it is a lot easier. Most of the easier feeling comes from making better fitting joints. I know I am getting better there because I don't have use clamps to squeeze joints into submission anymore. It's a good feeling when a joints fit nicely and tonight's glue up gave me a warm and fuzzy again.

I am making one big till that won't slide even a frog hair. In that big till I am thinking of putting two sliding tills. These will both be about 1/3 the size of the big one. I will experiment with this build as it is virgin territory for me. I can't do anything wrong because it is for my grandson and it will be his first exposure to it.

my two dovetail saws
The Lie Nielsen is my go to dovetail saw that I use for 99.9% of the dovetails I do. The saw above it is one I had Matt Cianci change from a crosscut to a rip pattern. I think it ended up around 18 TPI. I use this for rip cuts and dovetails in stock below a 1/2" thick.

not a good choice
I used this on sawing the tails and that was ok. I really didn't feel it was better using this over the LN. I had a hard time sawing the pins with it and I only did one end before I finished the other 3 with the LN saw.  When push comes to shove, I didn't think the 3/8" thick till stock needed a different saw other than the LN.


Another point I point I thought about was the size of the plate. Most dovetail saws I see have much smaller plates. This was originally a crosscut tenon saw I got in my late 20's that sat around unloved. Turning it into a dovetail saw to use on small stock didn't up it getting more love. Maybe I'll try it to saw a tenon with it which I've not done yet.



I've read that the thinner the stock, one should use a smaller saw with finer teeth. What I found is that I can at least saw dovetails with stock down to 3/8" thick with the LN saw. These aren't the thinnest dovetails I've done neither. That honor goes to a 1/4" thick box that I sawed the dovetails with a Zona saw. Another point I learned is that dovetails are dovetails and the size of them doesn't matter. You still do them all the same way regardless of the size.

dry looks good
I don't have any 1/4" birch plywood for the bottom. I have some 1/4" underlayment plywood but that looks ugly. Not to mention that I don't think it would be as stiff or strong as 1/4" plywood.  Taking a look at the size of this I'm thinking of putting a center brace in it at the mid point on the long sides.

I got two choices on that. The first is to put it in the interior or apply it to the plywood bottom. If I put it on the bottom I'll have to put at least two so the till won't rock when it is taken out. If it is in the interior it will divide the big till in two. I'm not fond of either choice but I'm not liking the size of that bottom being unsupported further somehow.


two hairs too long
This was hard to decide on. Making it short and have a loose, sloppy fit or making it too long and plane it to fit. I went with too long and I'll plane it. I'll have to be careful because this stock is only 3/8" thick so I don't have a lot of meat to play with.

overshot this
I am not looking forward to planing this and I missed making this a wee bit closer fitting. I did it the same way I overshot the long sides.  It looks like I'll have to find a way to support these long sides so I can plane it.

glued up with hide glue
My dovetails came together good and I didn't need to clamp it.

this was a PITA
I squared it up and it would go out of square. I had to clamp the recalcitrant corner with a square to keep it moving. It will probably be saturday before I get the bottom on this. I don't like stopping at Lowes on the way home during the week. Especially so now that school is open and the buses are on the road again.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
In target archery, what is the bull's eye worth?
answer - 10 points

Tip – Locate holes for your vice

Journeyman's Journal - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 9:44pm

The heading is a little misleading as I don’t know the correct word for it, but the picture will put you in the know as to what I’m referring too.

viceI’ve been cleaning up my bench top, you know flattening it and taking out as many scores as I could.  This morning I decided to replace the timber on my vice and locating the holes with the vice installed got me stumped for a good 5 mins.  Measuring in from the side and top was an option, but then I remembered I had these dowel centre finders, but they were a little too small and kept falling out.  So I used masking tape to temporarily hold them in place while I pricked the board.  It takes the guess work out of locating the holes which may lead to potential misalignment.

old-bench

Now isn’t she pretty.  I couldn’t take out all the knife marks, chisel marks and drill holes and but she looks better than what she was before. I’m such a pig of a woodworker.

Time for a new decent workbench is long overdue and I’m going to start saving up for it. I know it’s going to be close to 2 metres long, space permitting.  I also know I want a tail vice and since I’ve never built one I rightly don’t know if I should attempt it or just buy this neat little one from HNT Gordon.

HNT-12203-1 It looks OK and I reckon it will do the trick, but I think a traditional vice would suit me better.  To make moulding planes I can clamp them them vertically, also if I needed to bore a hole in the end grain I can clamp them vertically.  For carving  they also work like a dream and I’m sure I would find many more uses for it.  But there’s a catch I won’t be able to install another face vice  as the tail vice will be in the way for re sawing or clamping large panels.  Having a bandsaw suffices 99% of my re sawing needs, but what about those wide panels where it’s too wide for a bandsaw?  I may have to make a small bench just for that like the one Roubo shows, but that also means eating up precious shop space for something that won’t be used on a regular basis unless I sell my bandsaw which I don’t foresee that happening in this life or the next. In fact, I’ll take it with me to the afterlife, that’s how useful that machine is.  The only two useful machines I have in my shop is my lathe and bandsaw.  I don’t ever use my portable thicknesser and I don’t know why I still have it.

I will keep the current going through the lathe until I can figure out how to make a treadle lathe spin 2000 rpm.  I’ve seen many foot powered lathes work and I don’t how people are not frustrated with it.  Greg Merritt recently built his and he’s having a ball with it, but who knows maybe if I tried one I too would like it.

Here is a picture of a model bench I found on the net I would like to base mine on.

bench2-web

Lastly on vices, I still haven’t decided if I should make one or buy one with a quick release. My current vice is a quick release dawn, but it’s making a clicking sound since I did that glue test of trying to snap the board with it.  Amazing isn’t it how strong this glue is.  Ever since I figured out that it needs thinning it’s been my go to glue.

I’ve been blogging a lot lately and that’s because I’ve had three weeks off work. Sadly I haven’t won the lottery to make it permanent so I’m back on this weekend.  I won’t be as active as I was but that’s life ain’t it.

Just to let you know I still have a fair way to go in finishing Issue III. I’m going to include the moulding planes build which I hope you will enjoy.  I’ve been reading some of the comments people are writing about the magazine on other forums.  Many people like it, but there are some who want a magazine that’s written for advanced woodworkers.  I have always stated from the very beginning at opening this blog that I’m not catering towards the beginners.  However, I do realize that we were all beginners at one stage and I should and will cater for all.  In truth, there is only so much one can write about the craft before you end up repeating yourself.  What I don’t want to do is write about how to saw, or using reference edges for your squares.

I have included many useful articles in the magazine about various topics.  I understand not every topic would be of interest to everyone and advanced or not you will learn something new. I know I have and still do everyday.  The topics written by me are my own experiences and findings I have learned and discovered over the years through use, the topics written by others are their own and the topics written by our ancients are the most experienced and most beneficial to us.  I have said this in the past, who can know more about working with their hands than those guys who worked it everyday 150 years and more ago.  That’s why I put them in and will continue to do so as long as this magazine is active.

I will include many projects from clock making to building furniture.  I’m not a wonder boy but I will do the best I can.  However, finding new contributing authors has proven to be more difficult than I had previously thought.  I thank Greg, Brian and Josh for their contributions and I also thank Matt for his contributions.  These guys really gave it all they had for the love of the craft.  “Give and you shall receive.”  I would love women to also contribute articles, I know according to the statistics on this blog and my YouTube account that it’s only 3% that are actively viewing.  I’m sure this percentage is probably larger elsewhere and if it is why not showoff  your skills and contribute.

One last final point I really need to make clear.  I’m not interested in portraying myself as a know it all.  I know people on YouTube and other blogs where they are deriving an income from it, have to make themselves appear that they are flawless and a walking encyclopedia of woodworking knowledge.  I never want to head down that road irrespective I’m making money from the craft or not. I think that image portrayal is bullshit, it’s the biggest load of crock and I don’t want it.  I’m me, I’m down to earth, I’m honest, hard working and fallible. I make mistakes like everyone else and I certainly don’t know everything, but I learn something new everyday. I want to be the best I can be and genuinely want the same for you.

So there it is in a nutshell, nothing is perfect, no one is perfect and this magazine is not perfect, but I did pour my heart and soul into it. If given the financial resources and time to put into it, I know I could make it better.

Is that wishful thinking, I wonder.

 


Categories: Hand Tools

Update: ‘Roubo on Furniture Making’

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 3:31pm

deluxe_r2_IMG_8806

Our warehouse has almost finished packing up all the domestic pre-publication orders for the deluxe version of “With All the Precision Possible: Roubo on Furniture Making.” The packaged books should be picked up and head out to their final destinations in the United States tomorrow.

For international customers, you should have received an email that indicates the extra amount of money we require in order to ship your book. This book weighs 17 lbs. – two healthy infants. Once you pay the invoice, we’ll ship your book to you.

The book is extraordinary. I have my copy exactly 6” away from me and marvel at its beauty, heft and readability. I hope you will be pleased.

I expect this will be our last deluxe edition until we dig up Noah’s treatise on ark-building. The press run for this deluxe book cost more than $170,000. So this is going to be a lean year for us as we work to rebuild our bank account.

Of course, I’m not supposed to talk about things like this – it makes us seem weak. But so be it. We are two guys with laptops running a publishing company. So this stuff is going to happen sometimes.

But even if we take a bath on this book in the end – even if we end up stuffing pages from it in our sweatshirts under the highway overpass – it was worth it. Roubo is bloody awesome. His books were a labor of love and they deserve this sort of insane risk.

So a toast to you, M. Roubo.

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


Filed under: Roubo Translation
Categories: Hand Tools

Carpenter’s Tools of the 17th Century

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 2:28pm
17th-century1

“CHRIST IN THE CARPENTER’S SHOP,” BY A. CARRACCI This picture appears in the Royal Academy Exhibition of 17th century European art, and is of special interest to woodworkers in showing the sort of tools used by carpenters in the time of Carracci. Photograph: Topical Press


This is an excerpt from “The Woodworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years: Volume I” published by Lost Art Press.

One sometimes gets in an indirect sort of way, a remarkable light on the things that people used to make and use. A man may explore all the usual channels in an endeavour to investigate a subject with little result, and then tumble across a piece of information entirely by accident.

The writer recently experienced something of the sort when visiting the Royal Academy Exhibition of 17th century art still on view at Burlington House. One of the pictures is the famous “Christ in the Carpenter’s shop,’’ by Carracci, and it shows Christ as a boy watching Joseph at work at his bench.

The point of interest is that Carracci painted in his picture the sort of bench and tools with which he himself was familiar in his age. In other words, the tools shown are the sort that carpenters used during the 17th century in Italy.

Some of them are extraordinarily like the tools we have in use at the present time. There is a frame saw identical with the kind still used by German woodworkers to-day. It is rather like a large bowsaw, but has a much wider blade. It is used for much the same purpose as the handsaw with which we are familiar. Then there is a claw hammer that might have been bought at a modem tool store, except that the head is square instead of rounded; also the handle. Passing through the bench is a holdfast, similar in principle to the modern type but without the screw arrangement. The carpenter placed the end over the wood to be held, and struck the pillar passing through the bench, so that it wedged itself in. A sort of small adze intended for use with one hand is interesting. It is rather like a small axe, but with the blade turned at right angles with the shaft. The latter is curved, and finishes with a curved scroll which would prevent it from flying out of the hand. Joseph himself is engaged in marking out a board, and is using a chalked line to mark a straight line.

Most interesting of all, however, is a trying plane which lies propped up on a box beneath the bench. It would be about 22 ins. long with a cutter of, say, 2-1∕ 2 ins. Its depth appears to be certainly no more than 2-1∕4 ins. Probably it may have been deeper originally, and became thinner from having been planed true many times.

17th-century2

SKETCH OF PLANE SHOWING DETAIL ENLARGED This shows how the detail in question may be either a handle forming part of the wedge, or a shaving.

One feature that immediately arrests the attention is the pitch of the cutter. It is extremely high; so much so that its action must have been almost that of a scraper. Yet there are scrolled shavings lying on the ground such as one might expect to take off with a plane of normal pitch. It is, of course, possible that the artist has gone astray in this respect, and that the cutter was set lower, but, as shown, it is not more than 15 degrees out of the vertical. It must have been extremely hard work using such a plane, and the shaving can only have been thin.

There is just this in it; planes in those days had no back irons, and the tendency would be to make the pitch as high as would be practical to minimise any tendency to tear out. So high an angle, however, seems an exaggeration.

There is one point which has puzzled us a good deal; that is the rounded piece immediately in front of the cutter. When, in the first place, we saw a black and white photograph of the picture, we immediately assumed it to be a shaving. On examining the actual picture, however, there were several things to suggest that this was not the case, but that it was in reality a handle formed out of the wedge. The detail is admittedly not clear, but whereas all the shavings on the floor are light, the detail in question is of the same colour as the rest of the plane. Many old trying planes had handles at the front, though in front of the escapement. One would imagine that a handle just in front of the wedge would be liable to cause the shavings to choke, but, there it is. Readers may like to consider the matter for themselves and draw their own conclusions.

Meghan Bates

 


Filed under: Charles H. Hayward at The Woodworker
Categories: Hand Tools

Dale Barnard Talks About Woodworking Classes – 360w360 E.249

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 4:42am
Dale Barnard Talks About Woodworking Classes – 360w360 E.249

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking woodworker, author and woodworking instructor, Dale Barnard, talks about his path to woodworking, his early education and the many ways he’s attempted to schedule classes for his woodworking school in southern Indiana.

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 Dale Barnard Talks About Woodworking Classes – 360w360 E.249 at 360 WoodWorking.

Building a kerf plane

Giant Cypress - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 3:48am
Building a kerf plane:

Barry Lynch does a terrific job building a kerfing plane based on Japanese plane design.

started the till.......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 1:18am
My till is going to be a lift out one. It will be one large and it will have one or maybe two sliding tills in it. I'm not crazy about sliding tills back and forth to get access what is underneath them. I don't have a lot of experience with them in toolboxes but I do use them in drawers. I like putting stuff I use most of the time in the sliding till and stuff I seldom use in the bottom of the drawer. That seems to work for me and I'm going to try it on the toolbox.

the till stock
This has been stickered for a day and it is still straight. The far right one has a teeny bit of cup but it shouldn't interfere with the dovetailing to come.


Stanley 71 box done
I've already snapped the outside glamour shot. Tonight is the inside of the box glamour shot. I've picked the box up several different ways and there is definitely a weight tilt on the far side. When I picked it up I adjusted for the weight bias without any problems. The box having no handles and being too big to pick up with one hand helps too. This box has to be picked up with two hands.

it fits beneath the bearer for the till.
I'm rethinking stowing the 71 box in the toolbox. It's contents are protected and don't need to be further protected in the toolbox. It also eats up a lot of real estate which I hadn't thought of before making it. I want to get Miles a plow plane too and that will need a box. Another box will lead to a loss of more toolbox real estate. These might get stowed on top of the toolbox once it has it's full compliment of tools.

squared one end of the till pieces
Once I squared one end I set one long side and short in the box and knifed the length.

squared the other end
 I wish that I could do the width of multiple pieces the same as easily as I can to length. Practice, practice, practice, is the only thing that is going to do it for me there.


almost done
I got the tails done and I marked out the pins. I had expected to get this done tonight but there isn't any rush on it. Tomorrow I'll saw and chop the pins and maybe get it glued up.

And that is the way it was, Wednesday, September 13, 2017.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
45 rpm vinyl records when first made in 1949 and came in various colors. What did the color green mean?
answer - that it was a country record - Eddie Arnold had the first song on the first 45 made by RCA


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