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Hand Tools

Auger Bit Extensions

Woodworking in a Tiny Shop - Tue, 04/23/2024 - 7:57pm

This post is a bit long and is for those who have wondered how auger bit extensions work.

I'd been wanting to find an auger bit extension for a long time.  I finally hooked up with a guy from my tool collectors organization (PAST) and bought a Stanley #180, looking in perfect condition.  And he threw in another, very rusty one for good measure.  Total price: $10!  These tool collector guys are awesome! (He asked for $5 - I gave him $10.)

I believe the way these are advertised, they are said to "follow an 11/16" bit".  That means the end where you affix a regular auger bit will fit through an 11/16" hole.  So if you need to bore, say, a 5/8" hole that is greater in depth than your 5/8" auger bit is long, these extensions won't help you.  But if you want to bore a really deep 11/16" or 3/4" or greater diameter hole, this is the tool to help you.  For both of these extensions, the diameter of the large end is 11/16".

Diameter of the business end

In this post, I'll show how each works and what I did to clean them up.

Stanley #180 above, Craftsman below

The first one is a Stanley #180, in near perfect condition.  I think it's not that old, maybe from the '60s or '70s.

NO. 180 - 18 IN.

The tool is made up of three parts: the main shaft, a knurled and threaded sleeve, and the head into  which a regular auger bit is inserted.  I don't know if these are the proper names for these parts.

Yellow arrows are main shaft, red is the knurled sleeve
and green is the "head"

This photo shows the underside of the head (from previous photo).
The pen points to a key-way cut into the larger diameter part of the shaft.
Half-way up the head a key was punched that slides in the shaft key-way
and keeps the head from rotating on the shaft.

The portion of the shaft that is inside the head has a larger diameter than the majority of the shaft.  That larger diameter portion of the shaft has another purpose.  The knurled and threaded sleeve, which can slide most of the way up and down the shaft, butts up against that larger diameter so it can't slide further up.

Pen point shows the sleeve butted up against the larger portion of shaft

When the head is pulled down to the threaded sleeve, the sleeve can be rotated to engage the inside threads of the head, thus pulling the head towards the sleeve.

Red arrow points to the end of the shaft inside the head.
The sleeve's threads are just starting to engage the lower end of the head.

With the sleeve's threads fully engaged and pulling the head down,
the shaft protrudes further into the end of the head.
This forces the square shank of an auger bit up against the end of the head.

Now look inside the head so you can see the end of the shaft.  It accepts the square tapered shank of an auger bit.  When the sleeve is tightened, the head is pulled down and a bit is locked in place.

Note the square opening at the end of the shaft, seen inside the head.
Its orientation is important.

Here is an auger bit inserted.  Note its orientation.

When the sleeve is tightened, the shoulders of the bit's square, tapered shank
are forced against the inside shoulders of the head to lock the bit in place.

If the opening at the end of the shaft was not oriented as it is, the bit would not be held securely against the shoulders of the head.

The second bit extension works in a similar way, but with a different mechanism.  Here is my attempt to show the inscription on the shaft.  It was tough getting a decent picture of it.  These four pics are supposed to be shown side-by-side - hopefully that is how it is for your browser / phone screen.

It says: CRAFTSMAN on the top line and MADE IN U.S.A. A-I on the second line.  I'm not certain what the "A-I" part means, but it may be a code for whatever company made it for Sears.

This one was extremely rusty and totally locked up when I got it.  I oiled the moving parts several times and left it for a week.  When I got back to it, I wrapped a rag around the threaded sleeve and a wrench was able to loosen it.

Yellow arrow is the main shaft, red is the knurled sleeve
and green is the "head"

For this bit extension, the sleeve does not slide up and down the shaft.  It is fixed in position, but it can rotate so that its threads engage the inside threads of the head.  As it does, the head moves up or down the shaft.

In the above pic, note the L-shaped cutout in the head.  Through that cutout, you see the shaft.  At the far left of the cutout, you can see a pin that extends into the L from the shaft.  This pin limits the travel of the head.  But importantly, when the knurled sleeve is turned and the head has moved up, the pin locates at the right end of the L slot and allows the head to rotate 1/8 of a turn.

Sleeve threads fully engaged, head fully retracted, shaft showing inside.
Note how shaft's square opening is 1/8 turn off of head's square opening.

Here, sleeve threads are disengaged, pushing head up.
Now the pin is at the angle of the L

Here's a look down inside the head while it's pushed up.
Again, note how the square hole at end of shaft is angled from the head's square hole.

With head extended, turn the head 1/8 turn (pin slides in short arm of the L)
and the square holes will align.  This allows a bit's square tapered shank to be inserted.

After inserting a bit and rotating the head 1/8 turn, you tighten
the bit in the head using the threaded sleeve.  The offset square holes
of shaft and head force the corners of the bit's square tapered shank
against the inside shoulders of the head.

This allows a bit to be held firmly.  I've noticed that a little wiggling might be needed to get the bit into better alignment with the bit extender's shaft.  But when they're aligned, it really works great.

Here it is in use for a practice hole

As rusty as it was, this bit extender cleaned up nicely

This one took a fair amount of sanding to clean it up.  But it looks fine now and works perfectly.

So that's it on bit extensions.  I'm sure there are other designs out there with different mechanisms.  But at least now I know how these two do what they're supposed to do.

Woodfinishing Video In The Pipeline

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 04/23/2024 - 2:31pm

This is the original DVD case cover art. I’m leaving the front pretty much alone but reworking the back extensively.

One of the ongoing headaches(?) has been the inability to resupply my inventory for the historic woodfinishing video F&W Media (PopWood) produced several years ago, which I had available on the donsbarn.com website store.  The new company that now owns PopWood discontinued the hard copies of the DVD and no longer even had “new old stock” copies in the warehouse.  After some back-and-forth the new company released the video to me gratis, for which I am most appreciative.  At Handworks 2023 the editor-in-chief made a point of confirming our earlier correspondence; my F&W videos were now my intellectual property to use as I saw fit.

The urgency of me acting on this came to a head a few months ago when my final copy was sold.  Since then I have been noodling the revisions of the original DVD cover and am now ready to send it off for reproduction after I let it ruminate for a couple days.  While the DVD content was now my property I had no desire to disavow F&W from the picture as they truly deserve all the credit for producing it in the first place.  Thus I am keeping the bones of the original packaging, crediting F&W, but revising the content a fair bit to re-brand it as a Barn on White Run product.

As soon as I get copies into my hands I will be fulfilling the two dozen orders that have been sitting in my “Pending” folder.

Categories: Hand Tools

still not done......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 04/23/2024 - 3:43am

 I have three projects in varying stages with two close to being done and one I just started. I thought the portable chest of drawers would get a check mark today but it didn't happen. Maybe tomorrow I will get to do that. Got two coats of shellac on the lid with two more to go. Should finish that up today if I go back to the shop. Surprised myself with getting the new Lost Art Poster frame glued up. I hadn't planned on that at all. Quit the shop early today because it was so nice outside. I went for an extended walk instead.


This corner has two fingers of end grain to long grain from the bridle joint. I resisted the urge to unclamp it last night and let it cook until this AM. Both ends are tight on both sides and the end. The center 'finger' of the bridle joint is long grain to long grain.

 too big

The hinge goes past the edge a strong 1/8". I wanted it to be flush with the inside face of the box.

 this is working

I planed this scrap of pine so that when the barrel is against it, the hinge is flush with the inside face.


I had no hiccups installing the hinges considering this style used to kick my arse royally. The front edge of the lid is barely flush with the front of the box. I don't expect the lid to do any stupid wood tricks but this is too close for comfort. I don't have a warm and fuzzy about it for the long haul.

 it still works

I filled the hinge holes in with toothpicks and redid them so the barrel was up tight to the outside face. I have enough room to tilt the tray to get it in/out with no hiccups. The lid now extends past the front a 1/8".


I am going to put this on the bottom of the box to hide the plywood end grain showing.

 sanding block box lid

The first coat of shellac disappeared as soon as I put it on this side of the plywood. On the other side it didn't do absorb it nearly as bad. Might have to throw more than 3 coats I planned on applying.

happy with this

Used the off cuts from the mitering to dial in the 45's.

 happy face on

Dry fit of the frame after shooting the 45's. The first dry fit without the clamps looked good also. All the miters closed up and the frame sides all aligned.

 the other two miters

Tight, aligned, and gap free. I tried to cut the miters on the tablesaw with the Osborne miter gauge but it was off a degree. Two miters closed up but the four legs wouldn't align. Just as well as I prefer to shoot them. I can still use the Osborne to rough cut miters though.

 spot on

I think I got this dead on what I need. The long leg is a 1/8 over 18" and I'll have to wait and see how the poster lays in the frame. I don't plan on using a mat for this poster but I will have it glassed and mounted.

 weighing the corners

This is to keep the frame flat. One corner wasn't laying 100% flat on the bench before I put a plane in each corner.

 banding on

I glued and nailed the banding on. My usual go to is to glue it only. This is going to live its life in my shop and I don't mind seeing nails in it. I will plane, sand, or scrape a chamfer or a round over of the banding. I don't like the thick squared off look of it.

 moved it

I didn't want to disturb this but I needed the workbench for something else. I moved it to the tablesaw and it will cook in the clamps until the AM rolls around.

carcass is done

I got all the shellac I want on the carcass. I need to get a couple more coats on the front this drawer to be done 100%.

 2nd coat

The shellac disappeared pretty quick with the 2nd coat too. Not as bad as the first one and I'll definitely have to up the coat count.

accidental woodworker

Birdsill Holly – the first metal block plane

Working By Hand - Mon, 04/22/2024 - 9:26am

Many people likely think the first true metal block plane was the Stanley No.9½, which appeared in 1872, but it wasn’t the first block plane. The first cast iron plane produced in North America was that of Hazard Knowles, in 1827. The first cast iron block planes were actually produced by Birdsill Holly in the 1850s. Born in 1820 in Auburn NY, at the age of 10 Birdsill Holly first apprenticed to a cabinetmaker, then a machinist. Although only having a 3rd grade education, Holly was a natural inventor. In 1848 together with Horace C. Silsby and Washburn Race Holly formed the company Silsby, Race & Holly Co. located in Seneca Falls NY. There he was the visionary behind the manufacture of hydraulic machinery and steam-powered fire engines.

The bench plane from Birdsill Holly‘s patent (US9,094)

The planes produced by Holly were very interesting, but honestly they seemed like a bit of a sideline because the company did not manufacture the planes for very long, only 1852-1859. In 1852 Holly received a patent (No.9094) for a “Hand-plane”, with improvements to metal hand planes, and began producing planes. The bench planes had a novel design with the base basically in the form of a flat iron. Instead of the blade being held in the plane by a wooden wedge, this new design used a metal sleeve with a locking screw. The underside of the sole in these bench planes sometimes incorporated relief holes to reduce friction, and other times offset corrugations, one of the first manufactures to incorporate this technology.

The bench planes were followed by what is arguably the first true metal block plane. The block plane had a tapered, boat-like shape, with a “shoebuckle” lever cap design. The lever cap essentially had cutouts in it, and pivots on the same type of metal rod found in simple block planes. A metal wedge or pin made or cast iron or brass would be slid in to hold the cutter down. Later versions had a brass screw cap to lock the lever cap against the cutter. There are very few of these block planes, and likely they were never commercially manufactured. However the plane design did contribute heavily to the development of the Stanley No.110 block plane, one of Stanley’s earliest designs. The 110 was essentially a complete rip-off of the Holly’s plane, but was completely legal as Holly has never patented the design. The other amazing thing about this block plane is that fact that it had 15° bed angle.

The Holly block plane

In 1859, around the time plane manufacturing ended, Holly created his own company, Holly Manufacturing Company in Lockport NY, where he worked on fire protection systems. In 1877 Holly formed Holly Steam Combination Company, working on a steam heating system. By the end of his life in 1894 Holly had amassed more than 150 patents. These block planes, if you are fortunate enough to find one, sell for upwards of US$1000 these days.

Categories: Hand Tools

closing in ........

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 04/22/2024 - 3:13am

 I thought I would get the sanding block box and the portable chest of drawers done today but it didn't happen. I came oh so close but I'll need some more time to do it. So I started another project - a frame for a Lost Art Poster. Along with that my wife found two more paintings done by her mother's twin sister. I'll be making frames for those two but with a caveat. My wife wants an input on what the frame will look like. Looking forward to that because at best all she has ever said is I don't like that. I asked for a pic of frame she likes so I don't waste time and materials.

 glue has set

I was surprised by how solid this felt. I whacked it pretty good with my fist and nada. I'm still going to build it out to strengthen it further.

 trim screws

The first item to tic off is to put a couple of angled screws in the broken half lap. These are trim head screws that were the longest I could find in the shop. 

 1/2" thick oak

This was glued and screwed to both halves of the broken half lap part.

 drats, and double drats

In spite of pre drilling the oak it still split on me. Of the 8 screws, 4 of them caused splits. This one I had to clamp it because it was about half the length of the oak.

 dime short and a day late

I was committed to making a new sandpaper tray but I don't have to now. The sandpaper wouldn't fit in the tray if I make it smaller. I'll have to live with it as is.

 lid stock

I made the lid rails and stiles the thickness of 3 pieces of 5.2mm plywood. That turned out to be around 5/8" thick.

bridle joinery

I got a good fit on all four corners with some overlap I'll trim later.

 missed it

The mortises and tenons are long because I didn't account for the center groove. It wouldn't have been a big deal but it made the lid width (F/B) short. I made the rails/stiles longer than needed but not quite enough. The lid was short of the front edge a strong 32nd.

 didn't improve

I tried playing with the bridle joints opening them up a wee bit and I did get it to overhang but at the expense of gaps. I have the time to think of a fix while the glue cooks.

 no gaps

The diagonals on the inside are less than a 16th off from each other. Set this aside to cook while I went and had lunch.

still holding

I have handled this a lot since I glued it and so far, so good. I don't think that this will open up again on me.

 new poster

I went searching for this and found it by me-steak this AM. I don't know where in the shop I can hang it but I'll make the frame first. Then I will worry about where it will live.

 tray is done

I planed the top and bottom sides flush and I'm calling it done. I don't plan on putting any shellac on it. I will put 3-4 coats on the outside of the box and both sides of the lid.

flushing the lid joints

I sawed the majority of the proud off and flushed them with my favorite blockplane (LN 102).

 I don't like

After giving this my very best goofy looks I had a brain spasm. I had the thought to plane a small chamfer on the front of the box edge and the underside of the lid. I didn't like the visual image of that so it got nixed.

 the winner

I glued a 1/8" thick piece of pine to the back edge. 

glued and cooking

I could have flushed this today but I decided to let it cook in the clamps until tomorrow. There is end grain to long grain on the ends that may or may not cooperate to fret about.

prepping the frame

Rough sawing the miters by hand first. Later I will shoot them on the shooting board.

 not to shabby IMHO

I'm getting better miters after hand sawing them. This isn't perfect but considering it was sawn by me, I'll take it as an improvement. The blue tape is clamping a piece that blew off on me. I was taking all the precautions and it still did it and pissed me off. Most likely the frame will be left natural and the blowout is on the inside edge so it will be less noticeable there.


The poster is 13" x 19". The poster has a white border that is a 1/2" wide that goes 360 around the poster. I want the inside edge of the frame to be on the line between the white border and the poster. I was overly generous with how much meat I left myself for wiggle room. I might saw off another chunk to save my arm from planing off so much.

accidental woodworker

Carcass Saw Pear

Two Lawyers Toolworks - Sun, 04/21/2024 - 7:39am
280mm long (11") 55mm deep (2 1/8") 14 TPI Crosscut Pedderhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/12692353908068506678noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Hand Tools

so far, so good.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 04/21/2024 - 3:09am

It is not for a want to start a new project but what to make. I do know the next one is going to be my bedside table but I got nothing design wise. I got a sketch I made last week but I've done nothing with it. Part of the problem is how much crap I want to put on it and have it look like it still belongs in the bedroom. This might the first instance where I would build a scrap wood prototype and then the real thing in a nice hardwood. I've been running ideas through the brain bucket but so far none has made it from one end to the other.

 last night

After filling the pie hole last night I went to the shop and glued the slips in on the sides.

 no rush

I like the tung oil finish on this cherry handle a lot. Decided to put on 4th coat and tomorrow I'll rub it down with 4-0 steel wool and Howard's feed 'n wax.

it fits

The veneer didn't fit in the kerf from the LV gents saw but it did fit in the LN carcass saw kerf. I wanted to make sure that the veneer would fit before I applied any glue.

 the real dry fit

I think the veneer is maple and I do have pine veneer but I used maple. Pine is too soft and I didn't want to risk it freezing or breaking off in the saw kerf.

glued and cooking

No hiccups getting the veneer bottomed out in the saw kerf. The kerf is tapered with the deep end at the front going to nothing about 6-7 inches back.

changed clamps

The bar clamp at the front wasn't applying enough pressure to close the kerf on the veneer. The bessey was up to the job. I did a quick check on the fit of the drawer and it will go in which surprised me a lot.

 the replacement drawer

I only planed the top four corners and the slips flush. That little bit of planing was enough to get the front of the drawer into the opening. It was only the corners as it was still too long R/L. I'll do the final fitting once the veneer job has set.

sanding block box

I am going with a tray on top of them to hold spare sandpaper strips. It isn't going to be that deep - maybe 3/4 to 5/8 inch - but it should be sufficient to stow the strips.

 mitered tray

Well boys and girls 3 times wasn't the charm for me. This is the 4th tray I made. I screwed up the order of operations twice on the other 3. I should have ripped them to width first and then saw the groove for the bottom. After I did that brain fart twice the 3rd on I sawed one side a 1/2" short.


I made the box small so I could move it and pull out a sanding block. This one fits but I can only pull out the two on the ends. Thinking of making another tray smaller so I have access to pulling out two sanding blocks.

 they fit

I have about a 1/8" wiggle room. I thought it was going to be a 1/4" but this works and it may not even make it to the finish line.

 looks good

Got the veneer flushed to the end and at the front. It doesn't jump out at me but I don't think anyone looking at it casually would pick it out. It blends in with the end  panel pretty good.

 head on

The end grain of the veneer and the end grain of the carcass are a good fit for color. The only hiccup is the veneer is 90° to it but it is thin and has no gaps.

went slow and easy

Took a while but I'm happy with the margins. 


I think it was worth the calories to make this drawer over again. I got a better fit this time around.


My bench slave broke a foot. I made this in 1991 and this will be the 3rd repair I'm making to it. The first one was gluing the half lap back together. The 2nd one was chopping a mortise and tenon to attach the half lapped feet to the post. The first one was screwed but it didn't hold up. This I'll have to fix right away because I use this all the time.

 quick preview

I have two more coats to put on the chest of drawers and 4 more on the veneer repair. I will keep an eye on the repair as I move this around to apply shellac to it.


I squared off the end of the foot and the 'tenon'. There isn't much meat here for just a glue repair.

step one

The repair is going to be a two stepper. The first one is gluing the foot back into place on the half lap. I will let this cook until tomorrow. Step two I will glue and screw a board to the bottom of this half lap covering it from end to end. I think that will be a solid repair that will hold up.

 5 feet away

Looking at this from this distance I can pick out the veneer repair. Since I know where and what to look for I can pick it out. However, it could easily be taken for a grain line in the pine. Still not sure if I would give this away because of that. I'll have to run it by my wife and see if she can pick it out.

accidental woodworker

Cherry Bowl Finished

David Fisher - Carving Explorations - Sat, 04/20/2024 - 12:17pm
I’ve finished the cherry bowl that I mentioned in my recent Drying Revisited post. The oil has cured and it’s ready to serve. I’ll share a few more shots of the finished bowl below, but first some photos of some … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

Chambered body e-mando build part 1

A Luthiers Blog - Sat, 04/20/2024 - 8:06am

Work is now underway on my next chambered body e-mando. Below you can see the all work that goes into its core which, once the instrument is complete will never ever be seen!

I always treat my wood as precious and try to keep waste to a minimum; therefore, rather than machine the core from one large lump of wood, I laminate it from strips. Also, this method allows me to cut channels for the wiring to run through the body and creates a cavity under the where the bridge will sit.

Once all the of the core has been glued together, a strip of hardwood (maple in this case) is used to reinforce the end joints. . . . . . .
. . . . and then a piece of plywood is inserted, this will take the threaded endpin jack-socket.
With all that done, the final shape can be cut out.

Here you can see the rebate which will eventually take two panels which will “close-up” the chambers.

a few tools for sale, cleaning the loft

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sat, 04/20/2024 - 6:32am

Last week I spent at least 4 full days, maybe more, cleaning and sorting my shop. When I got home from teaching the JA chair at Galbert’s I had a lot of stuff to put away. Rather than the usual “stuff-it-in-the loft” – I sorted everything. The loft has a number of tools that I gathered here and there, some of which I’ve either not used in over 10 years or never used. If you’d like to help me clear some space – pick a tool and send me an email or comment and we’ll sort the details. I’ll add shipping through USPS to the prices listed. To keep it simple, I’ll ship the tool(s), then we can either use paypal or you can send a check.

Email is Peterfollansbee7@gmail.com


Tongue plane

tongue plane w fence

A large, mid-19th century tongue plane with an adjustable fence. The tongue is 5/16″ wide, the iron is
1 5/8″. Body is 13 1/4″ long. Beech. Maker is Arrowmammet Works in Middletown, CT. Date stamped on the toe 1875…but the American Plane Makers book says they sold the works in 1857. Maybe the stamp went along with the sale…

iron & wedge

It’s in fine shape, but I never tuned it up. So it’ll need a cleaning and sharpening.
$50 plus shipping.


Badger plane

This one has been here for over 12 years – and I’ve never used it, neither did Jennie Alexander when it was hers. I picked it out when we were selling off her tools before she died because I had never seen one. Said to be useful for raising panels – something I don’t do. A beautiful Sheffield iron – heavy, thick. The body too is heavy and solid, though there is a crack in it. Looks to be hornbeam or something like that – not beech.

badger plane & iron
badger plane sole

16″ long, body is 2 7/8″ wide, iron 2 1/4″
$50 plus shipping


Dutch (I think) molding plane

Dutch molding plane

Not an antique – a never-used molding plane. Like the badger plane, when Jennie sent these tools up here, I kept this one – never having seen one. But now, I’ve seen it for about 12 years, so someone else’s turn.

molding plane & iron

All it needs is sharpening and away you go.

L: 9 1/2″, body 1 3/4″ wide
$50 plus shipping


Dado plane

dado plane

This one needs cleaning & sharpening, and the nicker’s wedge is there, but its top is broken off. 3/4″ wide iron. No mark I can see on it.

dado plane & irons
dado plane irons & depth stop

So a project – if anyone buys one of the other planes & wants this, I’ll toss it in. If you just want this, $20 plus shipping.


3/8″ English mortise chisel

I used it a good bit. I made the handle, now with a small crack – and missing its leather “washer” between the handle and bolster. So a small project to either fix this handle or replace it. I think it’s marked Moseley & Simpson. (yup).

$40 plus shipping

the crack from hell........

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 04/20/2024 - 3:07am

 I was putting the 3rd coat of shellac on the portable chest of drawers when I noticed it. It jumped out at me and slapped me upside the head. The split/crack that I have tried to glue twice was saying hello again. That let the wind out of the sails real quick. Not sure what or how to address it. My first thoughts were to saw down the crack and glue in a piece of veneer. Those dance steps didn't happen today but I might do the two step with it tomorrow.

 5.2mm plywood

There are two defects on this side (which is the out face) that I will cut out. This is a shop box so I don't have to go full nutso anal on it. This was the first thing on the to do list today.

 new drawer

This is 2nd on to do today. I tired to get this knocked out before lunch.

 3rd item on the to do list

4-5 coats should do the trick for this. I have two on it so I should be able to get 2 more on today.

 fitting the new drawer

Got the width dialed in. Length (R/L) was in the batters circle.

 R/L dead on

I know I didn't do anywhere near as good with this one as I did with the original.

 copying the original

This is something I rarely do but I'm doing it here. The drawer stops are set and dialed in for this drawer. I added a few frog hairs to this for planing allowance.

it's an asset

I thought the length of this saw might have been a PITA and take time to get used to. Instead I found it to work to my advantage. The length made it incredibly easy to line up on the gauge line and get and keep it square while sawing. However, it was too long when I tried to saw the half blinds on the front. I had to do them with the LN dovetail saw.

replacement drawer

Got the drawer glued and cooking along with the front drawer slip. I have the sides sawn and fitted too. I'll glue them in after the front has cooked for a few hours.

too long or too short

It depends upon how you perceive a bottle at the half way mark. I didn't measure the sandpaper before I made this box. I made the ends as long as the stock allowed. 

 close but no cigar

I'm a 1/4" short. It kind of fits but this would bug me to no end. 

where the crack said hello

I was getting ready to put on the shellac and saw this. The moving around I did with it was enough to split it again. I don't have a warm and fuzzy that it won't open up even more. 

 sandpaper tray

There is some room above the sanding blocks in the box for this tray. I want the sandpaper for the sanding blocks to be readily available for them. I thought of putting it in a file folder but that idea got nixed. I had plenty of leftover stock from the drawer build to use to make this tray. I'll finish it up tomorrow.

 need a green one

I know me and I won't sleep until I have a fourth one in this box. There was no need to divide it to hold 3 for changing it later to four. A new sanding block is $30 so I'll have to boost my total till I get to the free shipping from Lee Valley.

accidental woodworker

A new Wheelbarrow Class

Elia Bizzari - Hand Tool Woodworking - Fri, 04/19/2024 - 12:40pm

Peter and I are at it again. Last year’s wheelbarrow class was so much fun we’ve decided to do it again. A local sawmill is at work sawing one of the last green ash logs in the Piedmont for barrow frames (no thanks to you Mr. Emerald Ash Borer) and we’ve got Roy Underhill’s foot-powered mortiser in the wings ready for mortising emergencies. Should be a grand time. Here’s the details:

Learn to make a traditional wheelbarrow! First, Elia will help you mortise the wheel’s hub, shave its spokes and fit its fellies. With the wheel under way, you’ll begin learning basic blacksmithing techniques as Peter helps you forge the brackets and braces for your wheelbarrow. Peter will make the tires for the wheels, then we’ll heat them in a fire, tap them onto the wheels, then dunk the wheels in a vat of water to shrink the tire and lock the wheel in its iron grip.  Once the wheels are done, we’ll begin mortise-and-tenoning the barrow’s wooden frame. Students will go home with a finished wheel and a partially-completed barrow, plus all the parts and knowledge needed to finish it.

 September 9th-14th, 2024 

Visit the Traditional Wheelbarrow page for more info and to register

About Peter Ross:  Peter is a nationally recognized artisan blacksmith. After 23 years as master of the blacksmith shop at Colonial Williamsburg, he moved to rural North Carolina and now operates his own shop. Peter specializes in museum-quality reproductions of hardware and furnishings for historic houses, working mainly with the hand-tool methods used in pre-industrial England and America.

Chairmaking class info can be found on my teaching page.


The post A new Wheelbarrow Class first appeared on Elia Bizzarri - Hand Tool Woodworking.
Categories: Hand Tools

nasal hose......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 04/19/2024 - 3:19am

 On Tuesday I ordered a new nasal mask hose for my CPAP machine. I tried to order it locally (surprised by how many there were) but none would sell it without a prescription from a doctor. Amazon had it and said I would get it next day on Wednesday. At 2100 last night Amazon apologized for the delivery delay and said they wouldn't charge me until the mask was delivered. Update for Amazon, you charged me in full for it on tuesday. So I was dead in the water without the needed hose for the CPAP machine. Two days so far without the CPAP and I can tell the difference.

This morning when I checked the tracking it said it would be delivered tomorrow on the 19th. Well boys and girls, good news finally. I stopped typing the blog and checked the mail (wife already got it) but my amazon pkg was on the front step. I'll be sleeping good tonight. The nasal mask cost $86 and on the first of next month I'll buy another to have as backup in case something goes wrong again. The VA provides two nasal masks per year. But I still haven't heard anything back from them neither.

 ten candles on the cake

I don't remember making these and the wife decided today that she doesn't need them anymore. The date on the left box is the same as this one.

 both need lid stays

The hinges on both boxes are cheap stamped brass plated ones. If the lid falls back it will rip the hinges out without so much as a whimper.

 split healed

It is a wee bit proud but it was tight from the front edge to the far end. 

 liking this look

I am not a fan of dull finishes. I like some shine to them minimum. I like the soft glow of one coat of tung oil. I put a second one on, waited a few and wiped it dry. One more to go.

 workbench is dirty

I had to put a towel under the drawers because the bench dirt was transferring to it. 

 came today from Blue Spruce Tools

Can you guess what it is?


When I ordered this, the Blue Spruce site said it was a dovetail saw. The box label says it is a gents saw (upper right on the pic). Which is it?


First impression with the saw is that it has some weight to it. I wouldn't call it excessively heavy, but it has its share of ounces. There is a substantial spine to it. It is incredibly rigid and solid. The handle felt good in the hand and it is resin infused curly maple. Don't know the TPI but it looks to be about 12 or more filed for a rip cut.

 had to road test it

Zero hiccups sawing a tail by eye. Saw went through this pine smoothly with no hesitations. I wanted to get a Lie Nielsen dovetail saw but they don't make/sell them anymore. I also lost out buying two of them so when the Blue Spruce email showed up in my inbox I pulled the trigger on it then and there.

 12" blade

The bottom saw is the Lee Valley gents saw - I have both the rip and crosscut ones. Both of them are different and looks like the Blue Spruce ate its Wheaties every day for breakfast. I've switched from using my LN carcass saw at the bench to the LV gents saw(s) for almost all my sawing needs. That kind of drove my desire to buy a LN dovetail saw and settling for the Blue Spruce one.

 4" shorter

The LV blade may be shorter but the depth under the spine is a wee bit bigger than the Blue Spruce.

 I had to know

My OCD was in overdrive thinking about the Blue Spruce saw and how it would perform sawing tails/pins for a box. I had planned on making one for the sanding blocks so I started that. I was curious as to how the length of the blade would impact sawing the tails and pins.


I wasn't sure how I would handle the added weight. This saw is much heavier than my LN dovetail saw. The weight was an asset for sawing. The length wasn't a problem because the saw is balanced perfectly. When I positioned the saw on the stock it didn't want to tip/tilt in any favored direction. The sawing was smooth and the fuzzy wuzzies on the back side were less than I get with the LN dovetail saw.

 went together off the saw

No gaps and I got a good fit between all the tails and pins.

 glued and cooking

I made the box large enough to fit 4 sanding pads. I'm thinking of buying one more of them. I will make a lid for it tomorrow. The bottom will be 5.2mm that I'll glue it on to the bottom of the box. The plan is to put dividers between the sanding blocks as they are here. This will distribute the weight and balance them in the box. The two open spaces I'll use for sandpaper.

 need a green one

I'll screw the spacers in without glue so if and when I buy the green one I can move the spacers around. For the eagle eyed readers the front and back is 1/2" and the sides are 3/8". Used left over drawer stock from the 2nd portable chest of drawers.

accidental woodworker

“Tis The Season…

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 04/18/2024 - 10:50am

…for non-stop yard work.

It’s been something of a perfect storm with a very wet late winter culminating in two substantial snowfalls a couple weeks ago followed by warming weather and more rain, and the switch was thrown for everything to get going (we had the wood stove cranking out heat a mere seven days ago but were heating up to the mid-70s and sun yesterday).  As a result we are in the midst of mowing, bush hogging, weeding, planting, burning, etc. with not a minute spent in the shop this week.  If this perfect cycle of rain and sun continues, we will have to mow at least a part of every day for the foreseeable future.  The grass I mowed on Monday is almost three inches higher today.

On top of that the rapid onset of spring/summer means that everything is producing pollen all at once.  Combined with a stubborn sinus infection, it feels like I am breathing through jello much of the time.

Last summer we had the great good fortune of finding a college kid home for the summer to hire for the yard work.  It was grand.  We’re still looking for someone to help this year but so far no luck so it’s up to the old folks to get it done.  As I’ve said many times, we work just as hard and just as long as ever but don’t seem to be getting nearly as much done.

As soon as I get this round of yard housekeeping done I will turn my attention to checking the penstock for the hydro system and making the requisite annual repairs, and moving forward on next year’s firewood.


Categories: Hand Tools

Japanese plane setup (Wilbur’s version) - II: plane blade rehab

Giant Cypress - Thu, 04/18/2024 - 3:48am

[Note: this step should not be needed with a new Japanese plane.]

This being a used Japanese plane, the blade isn’t perfect. It’s got a fair amount of mushrooming around the top of the plane blade.

The mushrooming is in three spots — at the top, and on the sides. This speaks to how consistent the previous owner of the plane must have been when tapping the blade to adjust its position. It also makes me think that the previous owner might have used a 1500g hammer for the adjusting.

I could just leave the mushrooming alone, but to my eyes, it doesn’t look great. From a more practical standpoint, I want to adjust the bevel angle when sharpening, which means that I’ll want to use my Grintec sharpening jig, and the mushrooming prevents the blade from fitting into the jig.

The approach to fixing the mushrooming wasn’t too sophisticated. I used a combination of hammering the mushroomed areas on a small anvil, grinding down the mushrooming, and a file. Here’s the end result.

It’s not perfect, but it’s better than it was before. More importantly, the blade will now fit into my Grintec sharpening jig.

On to sharpening.

might drive out there.......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 04/18/2024 - 3:14am

 I've been crunching the Amtrak schedules and I thought I had figured out how to do it. Found a train from Waterloo to Chicago that leaves at 0630 and gets into Chicago about 3 hours later. The bad part is I would have a 12 hour layover because the train to Boston leaves at 2130. I'm a year shy of 70 and killing time in a train station were I would stick out like dumb lost tourist isn't a comforting thought. Becoming a crime statistic isn't part of my vacation time. It looks like I'll be driving out to see my sister. According to Goggle Maps it is a 13 hour drive. I can split that into two six hour driving times. I'll have to think this over long and hard before I commit to it.

 why not?

I bought this tung oil to try it out and the plane handle will be the first test subject. I have never used tung oil before nor I have seen/read of anyone else using it. The instructions are simple with 3 coats recommended. The downside is that the drying time requires 12 or more hours per coat. So this will be a 3 day affair.

 4 1/2

Making a boatload of shavings. There is a definite difference in the feeling using a wooden plane vice a metal one. The shavings are the same but the pushing is way different. 

 wispy face shavings

This wooden plane isn't as heavy as a Stanley metal 4 1/2. I would guess that it is a little more than 1/2 the weight of its metal sibling.

 jack face shavings

I think I'm jaded because I prefer the weight of metal planes. I also don't wax the soles of my planes, wooden or metal.

 edge shavings

Of the 4 woodies I spent the most time road testing this one. I thicknessed quite a few boards with it. 

ditto for the #3

I used this mostly to smooth the stock after I thicknessed it. It takes a little bit to get used to as it has no  handle at the rear. You have to grip and control it with your right hand. It isn't awkward and the rounded back end of the frame nestles nicely into the web between your thumb and first finger.

 going bye bye

This drawer is causing my OCD to rev up into the red zone. This drawer is being shitcanned and I'll make a new one. I can't figure out why the bottom has a tapered gap like it does. To my eye the drawer is twisted somehow.

 set back up hiccup

I was getting ready to shellac the carcass when this popped up and said hello to me. I forced glue into the crack with a putty knife and clamped it.

cooking until tomorrow

I don't remember if this is the end that split when I glued it up the first time. Hopefully this will take and hold now. As an aside, I could bring this to my sister if I drive out to see her. 

 8 hours later

The two look similar. The handle is duller but maybe with subsequent coats it will shine up a bit. 

 new drawer stock

The slip is long enough to get the 3 pieces needed for the drawer. It might be a bit short due to the saw kerf but I won't have to make one (fingers crossed).

I got almost zero time in the PM session. I got a case heartburn that kicked my arse something bad. It was either that or I had myocardial event but I don't think so. I bought some heartburn juice and that made it better. Maybe tomorrow I'll get back on track and on schedule in the workshop.

accidental woodworker

Auction Results – Woolley and Wallis 16th April 2024

Pegs and Tails - Wed, 04/17/2024 - 4:05pm
Following the conclusion of Woolley and Wallis’ recent auction, lot 17, the William and Mary olivewood and marquetry chest, realised £18,900 (AUD 36,567; USD 23,543). Lot 23, the small George II walnut gate-leg table, made £1,071 (AUD2,072; USD1,334). Lot 57, … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

Auction Results – Woolley and Wallis 16th April 2024

Pegs and 'Tails - Wed, 04/17/2024 - 4:05pm
Following the conclusion of Woolley and Wallis’ recent auction, lot 17, the William and Mary olivewood and marquetry chest, realised £18,900 (AUD 36,567; USD 23,543). Lot 23, the small George II walnut gate-leg table, made £1,071 (AUD2,072; USD1,334). Lot 57, … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

region two.......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 04/17/2024 - 3:08am

 Still having hiccups trying to buy season 4 of Spiral. I can buy the BBC DVD set of all 8 seasons (86 episodes) for $54 from Amazon. But the caveat is the DVDs are region two which means that they won't play on a USA DVD player which is region one. Multi-region DVD players are relatively cheap but there are caveats with them too. There is the possibility of DRM stopping the DVD from playing. Really don't want to flush a bunch of $$$ down the toilet with buying DVDs and a player that will be paper weights.

Trying to go and visit my sister Donna in Avilla Indiana. It is a small town in the northwestern part of the state with a population of about 2000. I am not driving out there nor will I fly. That leaves the train which I can take from Boston to Waterloo Indiana. That is the closest Amtrak station to Avilla and a 20 minute drive from my sister's house. The station is 5 miles from Auburn Indiana which has hotels, motels, car rentals, restaurants, vending machines, people, taxis, and restrooms. None of which exist at the Waterloo train station. It is just a building that the train stops at. As far as I know it doesn't even have a pay phone or a taxi stand.

The second problem with the train trip are the times. I can leave Boston around 1400-ish and get into Waterloo at about the same time the following day. Leaving is a huge headache because the train going back east only stops for passenger pickup at 0100 in the morning. How do I get there from the hotel (at least 5 miles away) and drop off a rental car? Not thrilled with waiting in an unmanned train station at 0100 in the morning for a train that doesn't have a good reputation for being on time. My wife is digging around to see if I can catch an earlier train to somewhere else and then hook up with the express back to Boston.

Not done yet boys and girls as I have one last item to remind myself about. I broke the hose on my CPAP machine last night trying to separate the nasal mask from the hose. My hand slipped pulling it off and I ripped the hose apart. Tried to tape it back together without any luck. 

The fun part of it was trying to order a new nasal mask hose. I couldn't do it online because I haven't ordered any CPAP supplies in the last two years for a machine I got less then two weeks ago. Wait times on customer service exceeded 30 minutes so I finally gave up and left my phone number for a call back. According to them they will get back to me in 48 hours or less. If I don't hear from them I'll see if I can buy one from the company that gave me the CPAP machine. Now we can get back to the regularly schedule blog.

transitional soles

All of them are flat and straight toe to heel. No humps or bumps and all have decent sized mouths. None of them are excessively large but none of them will smooth like a metal plane with a tight mouth.

I thought all of the planes were Stanley or Stanley Bailey but I was wrong. The #7 is an Ohio Tool #030. The 4 1/2 is a Stanley #36. The #5 is a Bailey #20 and the #3 is a Stanley Bailey #22.

shellac waterfall

I had to scrape the sides of the #7 and I did it on the other 3 too even though they didn't need it. Put on another coat of shellac to cover it.

 forgot it

Missed painting the #22 lever cap yesterday. I painted that and put a thin coat on everything else.


This top drawer and the bottom small one were throwing hissy fits and binding on the way in. I sanded the drawers with 100 grit until they went in/out smoothly.

 not too bad

I used red mahogany timber mate to fill in a missing piece of the chunk that broke off. You can tell it is filled but it isn't too far off from the cherry.

 side view

I can see were the chunk was glued at but it also looks like the black pitch lines that show up in cherry. I could live with this as is. A new handle would run about $80 now because this one was custom fitted to the frame.


The finish looked good on the handle but I don't know what it was. It sanded off without a whimper too. I emailed Bill Rittner and asked him want finish he uses for the handles and knobs. I think it might be an Osmo oil product.

 two coats

The frames look so much better now that the splotch stains are gone. 

 2nd coat

I'll be putting on a third coat due to me sanding and planing two drawers again to fit their respective openings. 

 smaller then I expected

I sawed all the big stuff to about 18" long. I really thought from the branches I had to saw up that I would have had a much bigger pile curbside. It turned out to be another super spring day to do this. If the weather holds for tomorrow I'll rake up the leaves and bag them for thursday's pickup too.

 final coat

Got the 3rd one on just after 1500. Tomorrow I can start putting shellac on the carcass.

 I walked twice today. The first one I walked to a diner and got breakfast. 2 cups of Joe, two toast, 2 eggs over easy, 2 pancakes (only ate one), and home fries. Yum, and Yum again. I walked a little extra hopefully to negate the calories I shoved into the pie hole. 

After lunch I went on another walk around the neighborhood. This time I backtracked a couple of times so I could walk up 4 hills to really get a workout. I broke out into a sweat but I didn't soak the T shirt. 

I got another cardio workout sawing the limbs up and I sweated some more doing that too. I jumped into the rain locker real quick  before dinner and got smelling good again.

accidental woodworker

spring time chores.........

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 04/16/2024 - 3:11am

The mercury got pushed up to 79F (26C) in my part of the universe today. Spent the morning working on the transitional herd cleaning them up. The PM I spent in the backyard doing some yard maintenance. I promised my wife months ago I would do it and today it was made good. 

It was a good time to squeeze it in because I'm on the fence with the next project. I want to make a new bedside table. I want it to hold my CPAP machine, my hearing aids charging station, clock, phone, and a heating pad. The current bedside table isn't up to the task and it is over crowded. Kicking around whether to make it out of pine, cherry, or some other nice hardwood. There is plenty of time to decide on that.

 starting with the #7

Got RML shavings out of all of the planes. Doing that is a little fussier and requires a lot more fancy tapping dance steps to do. I have to fix the chip I broke off the #7 handle along with a few other boo boos.

 first of two coats

The stains on the tops of all of the planes wouldn't clean up with Simple Green. I had to scrap off the shellac with a razor blade to remove them.

second coat

I am only putting two coats on the planes. The soles I left unfinished and bare wood.

 fingers crossed

All of the frames had little splashes of something on them that Simple Green wouldn't clean up. I had to scrape the black paint off down to the primer coat. I am hoping that one coat will be the charm but I don't have a warm and fuzzy with that. I'm pretty sure it will take two because I went down to the primer.

 2nd portable chest of drawers

While I had the shellac out I got the first coat on the drawers. 2 more and they will get a check mark in the done column. I got nothing on the carcass. I want to do the drawers first and make sure they still fit in the openings.

 the promise

This is want I promised my wife I would clean up. She is good about not nagging me about this or anything else. The first step was to break off all the small branches and then tackle the bigger limbs next.

 two hours later

The shitcan in the foreground is the small branches. The shitcan behind it is the intermediate branches. These will go curbside to be picked up on thursday. My city picks up yard waste every week from spring to fall.

 stopped here

I got a good work out doing the small stuff. I was sweating but I hadn't soaked my tee shirt. I felt good - no aches and everything was working pain free - at least at the time of this typing. These bigger branches I will saw it firewood and put it curbside too but away from the yard waste. I'll knock this out tomorrow if the weather cooperates.

accidental woodworker


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