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Hand Tools

Interesting developments

Oregon Woodworker - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 7:06pm
I start with a development that may seem trivial, but it definitely isn't for me.  I have been a loyal customer of Lee Valley/ Veritas for many years.  The one thing that has held me back from purchasing more from them has been shipping, which commonly took a week and a half or even more.  This resulted from the warehouse being in Canada and reliance on UPS ground for shipping to the west coast.  For a major tool purchase that was tolerable, but for many purchases of hardware and supplies or for something that I needed for a project I was in the middle of, I just couldn't wait that long, so I would purchase elsewhere.

Imagine my surprise when a recent order arrived in only three days.  Doing some research online, I learned that Lee Valley has established a distribution center near Reno, Nevada, so now those of us on the Left Coast can get items from them in a reasonable time.  This is really great news.

Next, Joel from Tools for Working Wood has an interesting series of posts on his blog about things he is doing differently in his woodworking.  The latest is about his use of a Moxon vise.  He writes that,
by raising the overall height of where I saw I can see better, bend over less, and the whole process feels so much less jury-rigged. I am sawing better and more accurately - partially at least because I can see what I am doing...
I was thinking the same thing this week because I was sawing some tenons using my bench vise and it wasn't going well at all.  I was stooped over in an uncomfortable position and couldn't see well.  Try as I might, I couldn't get my sawing motion right.  Finally, I put my Moxon vise on the bench and things immediately improved.  For many of us who are older, a vise at bench height just doesn't work well for sawing joinery.  I have a Veritas twin screw vise on the end of my bench and it works well for some things, but sawing joinery definitely isn't one of them.  If I could only keep one, it would definitely be the Moxon.  It really is a game changer for me.  I am one of those weird ones that could easily do without a bench vise.  If you don't have one, as I didn't for awhile, you find other ways of workholding that are often better. 

I built three Moxon vises in succession over the years.  The first used pipe clamps, the second bar clamps and the third and fanciest one used acme threaded rods.  Funny thing is, I like the bar clamp one best by far.

I like the handles being in the back out of the way and I like the "quick release" feature.  You can clamp any sized workpiece very quickly, even if you need to skew the jaw.  I added that piece of walnut on the front so I wouldn't strike the clamp with a saw.  It also turns out that the heavy duty bars fit snugly into slots do a great job of eliminating most racking, which is a problem with my other two versions.  This is the one I use while the other two stay on the shelf.

A Nicholson workbench, a pair of Krenov sawhorses and a Moxon vise will be in my shop for as long as I do woodworking.  
Categories: Hand Tools

Guides for New Woodworkers

Paul Sellers - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 4:01am

In order to best help new and beginner woodworkers to get the right foundation they need to progress their craft, we are providing a core series of beginner guides to bring clear focus on the basics of woodworking. We will explain more about the tools we consider essential to getting started, how we use them […]

Read the full post Guides for New Woodworkers on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Joel's Blog Ten Ways I am Doing Things Differently - Part 4

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 4:00am

I've been working with wood since I was a kid. I took my first woodworking class at the 92nd Street Y when I was 6 years old. I've been taking classes and building stuff for over 35 years. For the last 17 I have been working at Tools for Working Wood. In that time, new tools and new techniques have come on the market. By and large I have ignored them in my personal work. However, I haven't ignored everything, and my methods of work have in certain areas changed dramatically for the better. I've broken up my list of ten things into three posts so I don't drone on and on to long. This is Part 3. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here

The Moxon Vise

As I have gotten older it's been harder and harder for me to see anything. And bending over isn't much fun either. This isn't a joke. Sawing joints has always been problematic for me and I currently wear magnifying glasses for any close work. My bench (Frank Klausz style made over 30 years ago) is the right height for just about everything except cutting dovetails. It's just too low. So I hunch over thinking "there must be a better way." About ten or so years ago I found out about Jeff Miller's Bench on Bench. I built one and it was a big step in the right direction. Basically a Bench on Bench was a little table you put on top of your main bench and it has a double vise in the front.

Then along came the "Moxon Vise" popularized by Christopher Schwarz. The vise gets it's name from Joseph Moxon's "Mechanick Exercises" But as I wrote last week the actual connection between the wood press illustrated in Moxon's book and how the Moxon vise is used to today is at best tenuous.

Many vendors now sell complete vises or just hardware kits. We used to offer the entire vise but currently we are only offering hardware kits which we are very pleased with. Our kit came about initially from a joint project with the . They came up with the ears on the sides, a cambered jaw, and the little shelf for clamping tails during layout. We added acme screws, washers, big nuts that don't wear out their mortises and spin, and handles that can be moved out of the way. You can read all about how to design your own Moxon Vise here.

The big reason the Moxon Vise made my list of ten is that I feel that by raising the overall height of where I saw I can see better, bend over less, and the whole process feels so much less jury-rigged. I am sawing better and more accurately - partially at least because I can see what I am doing , but also with the work clamped pretty low in the vise I can still easily saw uphill and have the work solid and vibration free. Not to mention my posture is better and it's less tiring.

The picture above is me in the middle of sawing out tails using one of the showroom / class benches where we have fitted Moxon vises at each end.

So that's my list of ten ways my work has changed. I hope to be able to say in a few years that my skills have gotten better, that I am still learning, and maybe have an even better list.

Has your woodworking changed over the years too? I welcome your comments.

I stumbled upon it....

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 1:01am
Last night the newest book by Jim Tolpin and George Walker was waiting for me when I got home. From Truths to Tools awaited my perusal.  I was getting worried about it as the USPS has a habit of delivering my mail to other addresses. But there was joy in Mudville last night. There was a chapter devoted to the Libella which I was not expecting. I thought it would be mostly on sector related things but the book is packed with other ingenious gadgets the ancient people used. And what I like about it is that there isn't any math or number manipulations that have to be done.

The underlining principles that make the Libella work as a level I got right even though I didn't know it. The Libella does have to be made accurately because it relies on the principles of right triangles. When the plumb bob hangs down it forms a right triangle from the apex to the horizontal brace out to the legs. This is what I stumbled on and got right without realizing it.

I would post a pic of the book page but I am wuss when it come to things like that. I don't want to chance violating some copyright and getting sued. I've done it in the past naively but I won't do it anymore unless I have it carved in stone that I can.  My wife told me to snap a pic of a partial page and credit where it comes from. I will say that the Libella starts on page 123 and leave it at that.  The book is well worth the $25 admission price so you'll have to buy it to see for yourself.

thanx Steve
I am not a fishing guy and don't remember any fishing line looking like this that my brother used. It doesn't look or feel like the fishing line I have.  I'll use this for the plumbline stick.

kind hard to see
It is against this block that you need to see where and how the string hangs. I am going to try and mark this with a black sharpie and see how that shakes out.

$28 bargain
I could not pass this up for this price. I need a crosscut backsaw for Mile's kit and this will work.

round head saw nuts
I don't know diddly about dating saws but this is the first time I've seen round head nuts on any type of saw. The handle is clean and doesn't have any dings, chips, or blowouts anywhere on it. The handle feels dry so I'll have to get it refinished ASAP.

Grace saw nut screwdriver
The handle was a bit wiggly and loose so I tightened the screws. So far this screwdriver has fit in every single saw I have tried it in. And with this saw, it fits everyone I own.

Dead nuts straight
Not even the slightest deviation off of zero any where down the tooth line. All the teeth are even, none are missing,  and they are all the same height down the length. I definitely got a $28 bargain and I would like to get one again. I need to find a dovetail saw for Miles's toolbox.

kind of sharp
The teeth appear to be filed for crosscut and it sawed this pine scrap easily. Considering that it is pine, the cut is pretty good looking. The saw does feel like it could have a touch up filing done on it.

sailed through this 5/4 pine
nothing on the big button
There isn't any etch on the saw plate neither. Maybe that is why this was so cheap.

ever heard of Jackson saws Bob?
two carcass saws
Now I don't feel bad about keeping the bottom saw for me.  The one I just got feels as well balanced as the Disston saw on the bottom. I like the look of the handle on bottom one better than the one I just got though. I don't think Miles will mind because this one will be his.

just need a dovetail saw
 I've been looking for a dovetail saw for over a month and no luck so far. I saw two but both were priced over $300 each. I can buy a LN for less than half the price of one of them. I'll keep looking but I think I may end up buying an LN dovetail saw.

change 3, alteration 7C, upgrade 1.01, rev XV7.3
The biggest reason I wanted the cabinet to stow the planes in was to keep them clean and dust/dirt/debris free. Nixed that, KISSed it, and I am going down another road. The plan now is to make a 'U' shaped carcass with a slide out shelf on the bottom. These three planes on going to be on that shelf.

the top
The top will be screwed into the two sides creating the 'U' shape. The top will be fixed and won't be sliding out or in. I also have enough room to put my scrub plane on it. The top will still be getting dirty but this will all change once I make my new bench. That will have dust and dirt free storage for all my planes.

this has been cleaned up
 I have three holes in the bench for the hold fasts and it surprises how much crap falls down through them onto my planes. I don't think I glued down the plane division strips and I'm about to find out if I did. I will be removing the first four of them - L to R.

one empty slot has to go
The empty slot to the left was for a #4 that I gave to Miles. The slot on the right is for a #3 that will stay. I will remove the #4 slot and put the #3 in it's place.

dry fit looks good
I will nail this down later. I want to get a little further on with the new plane storage cubby before I commit to this. I may want/need to change it as I develop the 'U'.

the 'U' sides
Might not need to put that oak strip on the right side of the #3. I should be able to use this to keep it in place.

plenty of height
I will half lap or half mortise a cross piece at the back and front (not this wide or thick). I'll use them to keep the sides parallel and to attach the 'U' shape to the shelf.

the top will be screwed to the sides
I think that this is a simple design and it should work. I have the basic shape I want and the next step is figuring out the sliding shelf details. I want it to have a stop so it doesn't fall on the deck when I pull it out. I could be absent minded about it and drop it and my planes on the deck. I don't want to to be on the losing end of a bounce test with Mr Concrete Floor.

As I was leaving the shop I went by 4 big sized sheets of 1/2" plywood. I think that it would be adequate for the bottom sliding shelf and for the top one. I'll keep the 3/4" stuff for the sides. Using 1/2" stock will knock back the size somewhat. Maybe by tomorrow's shop time I will have thought up something to try.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
President Thomas Jefferson named his estate Monticello. What was his neighbor, President James Monroe, name for his estate?
answer - Highland

A small barn for the summer house 15, work on the staircase and a small setback.

Mulesaw - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:57pm
There isn't much to be said about the work progress at the small barn, installing all those boards takes a longer time than I anticipated while sitting on the ship. I had the unrealistic idea that I could install them all in a matter of a couple of days. That has not been the case. I'll admit that I haven't worked exceptionally long hours out there.
Instead I have taken my time in the morning, driven out there slowly. Taken Bertha for a long walk along the shore before making a pot of tea. And then I have started on the actual work. I have generally tried to stop around 2-3 P.M. to be home in the afternoon with the children.
Today I hope to be able to install some of the last boards, and then I'll see if I can complete the staircase.

The small setback occurred Sunday afternoon. I was supposed to drive to Viborg to pick up Asger from a goalkeeper camp, and I decided to take the green Volvo Valp. I had to bring some large boxes for my older brother, and Mette wanted to use the regular Volvo to pull the horse trailer so she could ride in the forest with a friend.
I have changed the ignition coil, the points and the capacitor on the green Valp, and it ran like a sewing machine. All the way till I reached the middle of Sallingsundbroen (the main bridge leading to our island). At that point the engine suddenly died completely.
After testing the starter button, I found that the engine could turn, but it turned much faster than normally. I then tried to look into the rocker arm cover by removing the oil filler cap - and nothing moved at all in there.
These old Volvo engines haven't got a timing chain or a timing belt. Instead they operate with timing gears. The middle gear is made out of some sort of fiber and does not last forever...
After checking with an old mechanic who's a friend of mine, he said that nothing is damaged inside the engine when this occurs. So I just have to order a new set of timing gears and replace them. I think that might be a job for the next time I am home.

Following the advice of Nathan Simon, I used a framing square for the lay out.

View from the bridge (to the North).

View to the East.

Categories: Hand Tools

Bridge City China Field Trip Report #2: Shanghai, the Largest City in the World…

Bridge City Tools - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 3:20pm

Drivel Starved Nation;

After our kick-off dinner, we all took a nice walk along the Bund which was a block or two from our hotel. Here is how it looks to my cell phone at night;

The Bund

After this spectacular view, we retired for the evening. Well not all of us… but that is another story.

Early Saturday morning we were picked up in a 15 passenger van and our first stop was the Oriental Pearl Tower. Until 2007 it was the tallest structure in China at 468 m (1,535 feet) high. It is memorable for the glass floor on the observation deck. Here are the shoes I wore that day;


What a fun people watching place! Yes, it is a bit unnerving to walk out onto a glass floor that high in the air, but for some people, it is outright terrifying. I was terrified at first, but then remembered there is nothing more terrifying than running Bridge City Tool Works…

TRIVIA: As of 2017, China is home to 5 of the top 10 towers in the world. #2, #5, #7, #8, & #10. You can look them up, I have jet lag.

After circumnavigating the glass floor a couple of times, we headed off to an old part of Shanghai where the streets were narrow and filled with the most awful smell imaginable, and it emanated from a food booth! It’s called 1,000 year old tofu and apparently it is delicious. NO ONE in our group tried this which is the strangest source of pride I suppose. Here’s a pic from a similar booth in Guangzhou;

The motto for this stuff is, “Smells like hell (understatement of humankind), tastes great!”

We then were chauffeured over to a part of Shanghai that reminded me of upper Manhattan. It was a walking tour with stops at a couple of famous residences that now serve as museums. I, of course, went around and checked out the woodworking. Wow, Chinese woodworkers are really good at making miter joints. We then had a great meal that was sponsored by our host company, Harvey Industries.

According to 2017 data, Shanghai is the most populous city in the world with approximately 35 million people. That DSN members is within a million or so of the entire population of Canada. It’s also within a couple million of the entire population of California. It’s also one of the safest places I have ever been. These people do not seem to have the anger gene found in western societies, which I find fascinating. People are happy, healthy and know how to enjoy themselves, and they are way more family centric than what I have observed in America. Again, these are simply my observations.

Lastly, I forgot to share in my previous post the dumbest product I have EVER seen. I spotted this at the Canton Fair in Guangzhou;

I asked the guy “Who buys this?” His response, “Only Americans”.

This left me totally depressed for an hour or so. Incredible. And embarrassing.

Just think, somebody got paid to come up with “The Potty Putter”. I also wondered how much the male model was paid for that image. And why male… ? So many questions!

Next report features our bullet train ride to Nanjing.


The post Bridge City China Field Trip Report #2: Shanghai, the Largest City in the World… appeared first on John's Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Left Versus Right

Paul Sellers - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 9:29am

In last week’s class I asked how many of the 11 students were left handed and five left hands went up. Hannah was there too so she made it an equal six and six and my being right and periodically left handed made for a perfect if not unusual balance. That being so, it made […]

Read the full post Left Versus Right on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Christmas orders

Blackburn Tools - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 9:12am

2017 has been an interesting year here. A significant uptick in orders, along with several family matters, has had me scrambling to keep up with orders. To all of you who patiently waited for me to ship your order, I send a hearty and well-deserved thanks.

Looking at my current order backlog, any order placed after tomorrow (November 8th) that includes saw parts may not ship out until after Christmas. Orders comprised solely of drill bits, saw files, and books or DVDs will still ship within several days.

I apologize for the short notice; if this leaves you in a bind as you shop for Christmas, send me a nice email and I will do what I can to expedite your order.

Categories: Hand Tools

Now carrying a few new tools (from other tool makers), books, & DVDs

Blackburn Tools - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 9:11am

I am thrilled to announce the addition of several new tools (from other tool makers), books, and DVDs to my store.

Saw files: First up are 5″ blunt saw files from Glen-Drake Toolworks. Made in Japan, I count these among the very best saw files that I have ever used. Blunt, in this case, does not refer to the teeth, but rather the shape of the file; unlike tapered saw files, blunt files are prismatic, having a uniform cross-section over their entire length. The corners are precise and the teeth are remarkably uniform and durable. Very close in size to a 5″ XX-slim taper file, but capable of filing finer teeth because of the sharper corners. Excellent for cutting in new teeth or touching up existing ones. The tang has a grippy rubber coating.

Order saw files here

Glen-Drake 5" blunt saw file

Glen-Drake 5″ blunt saw file

Chair scrapers: Next up is a new product from Brian Noel of BearKat Wood. As a woodworker specializing in chairs and other pieces with sculpted surfaces, Brian frequently needed a scraper suited for a variety of surfaces. His solution was a scraper that works as well on curved surfaces as it does on flat expanses.

Made of hardened and tempered spring steel, this scraper is equivalent to the premium or super hard ones sold by other manufacturers. It comes unsharpened and unburnished, but takes and holds a keen edge. Because of its hardness, use only a burnisher made from hardened steel or carbide to turn the burr (although unconventional, my carbide spade drill bits and Scrawls both make excellent burnishers).

Order BearKat Wood chair scrapers here

BearKat Wood chair scrapers.

BearKat Wood chair scrapers.

Roubo curves: From Sterling Tool Works comes this luxurious, yet eminently practical, set of three french curves for full-scale work. Laser cut from stainless steel, these hefty curves (the largest weighs in at nearly 12 ounces!) stay put on your work. Made to last for generations, this set is a great way to break out of the rectilinear habit. Matte finish for lessened glare. The two smaller curves are 8-9 inches long; the largest is 18 inches long.

Order Sterling Tool Works Roubo curves here

Sterling Tool Works Roubo curves.

Sterling Tool Works Roubo curves.

Making Things Work: Tales From a Cabinetmaker’s Life, by Nancy R. Hiller: Although the title of Nancy Hiller’s book is straighforward and descriptive of the contents, it scarcely belies the humorous and entertaining presentation of those stories. A wonderful read for anyone, woodworker or not.

Order Making Things Work here

Making Things Work, by Nancy R. Hiller

Making Things Work, by Nancy R. Hiller.

With Saw, Plane & Chisel: Building Historic American Furniture With Hand Tools, by Zachary Dillinger: In this book, Zachary Dillinger documents the hand-tool-only construction of six pieces of classic American period furniture, spanning the major styles from the 1690s through to the mid-19th century.

Order With Saw, Plane & Chisel here

With Saw, Plane & Chisel, by Zachary Dillinger

With Saw, Plane & Chisel, by Zachary Dillinger.

Building the Historic Howarth Bow Saw, with Bill Anderson: No handtool workshop is complete without a bowsaw for curved work. This 2 disc (217 minutes) lesson shows how to make your own copy of an elegant English saw.

Order Building the Historic Howarth Bow Saw here

Building the Historic Howarth Bow Saw, with Bill Anderson.

Building the Historic Howarth Bow Saw, with Bill Anderson.

Categories: Hand Tools

The Storefront is Open this Saturday

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 9:07am


The Lost Art Press storefront in Covington, Ky., will be open this Saturday (Nov. 11) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for visitors, customers and the curious.

We just received our copies of “From Truths to Tools” and you can come browser through this very interesting and fun book (and buy one if you like). Also, we’ll have blemished copies of other Lost Art Press titles to sell for 50 percent off (cash only). And, as always, our complete line of woodworking books (cash, check or credit welcome for those).

We have some blemished Crucible dividers for sale at a significant discount, as well. Plus Crucible holdfasts and design curves.

Megan Fitzpatrick and Brendan Gaffney will be running the store in the morning while I give a presentation to our local woodworking club. I’ll be at the store in the afternoon if you want to abuse me in particular.

Warning: If you are a professional carpenter you might want to keep your mouth shut about that. I’m in the middle of replacing the main beam in the Horse Garage and might just press you into service.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. Our storefront is located at 837 Willard St., Covington, Ky., 41017. There are lots of good places to eat and drink around us. Try Saturday brunch at Otto’s or Hotel Covington.

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

I have a replaceable-blade Ryoba and in rip cuts it seems to go very very slow, doubly so if I try to "just let the blade do the work". It also tends to skip when I try to start a rip cut in a hard pine. During cuts the teeth feel like they are...

Giant Cypress - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 6:48am

I think that making rip cuts, especially long rip cuts, is more difficult than the other types of cuts you would do with a Japanese saw. I’ve found that a key issue is how you set up the board for the cut, and the angle that the saw makes with the board.

The grabby feeling you get does happen, especially if you’re using hard pine. (Insert joke about hardwoods and softwoods here.) The difference between the early and late growth rings will make that wood inherently grabby. What you should find, however, is that there is a particular angle that the blade makes with the wood that will give you a smooth feeling in the cut. 

For starting the cut, I’ll often start by facing the end of the board, and making a short cut to get the kerf started. Then I’ll turn the board around, and make the rest of the cut by pulling the saw down the length of the board.

Finally, if you think that your cut is going too slow, the most likely thing is that your saw is too small for the type of cut you’re trying to make. Which is not a bad thing, because that gives you an excuse to buy a new tool.

Tools That Need No Box

The English Woodworker - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 5:32am
Tools That Need No Box

I don’t know if this is just me.

Whenever I have a jolly good tidy up, I find there’s the same old handful of tools, and odds and sods that I don’t bother to put away.

This is because if I put them away, I’d get them straight back out… again.

Off the top of my head, these are things like my trusty Stanley No. 5 with an iron or two.

Continue reading at The English Woodworker.

Categories: Hand Tools

Finishing Workshop @ CW – Undulating Surfaces

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 5:10am

One of the frequent challenges for finishers is the undulating surfaced — carvings, moldings, and similar.  In reviewing the historic methods for the CW crew I emphasized the problems of square-tipped brushes for this process, as the corner tips of the brushes often squeegee on the raised surfaces being varnished, resulting in excess varnish and runs dripping down the surface.  This result often causes hair pulling and pungent language.

In the past the ancients often used oval or even round brushes similar to sash brushes, and thus reduced the problem.  In our time, we not only have these brushes to rely on but also a form used by water colorists, the Filbert Mop.  The tapers oval tip of a Filbert makes varnishing a vibrant undulating surface a piece of cake.  Not only are there no brush corners to deposit excess varnish where you do not want it, but the tapered oval tip drapes the surface excellently.

The preparation for carved surfaces is essentially the same as flat surfaces; good tool work followed by scraping as necessary, and finally burnished with a bundle of fibers.

After that it’s simply a matter of applying the varnish by brush, and not too surprisingly this crew tool to this like a fish to water.

After the initial application dries, the surface can once again be burnished with the carver’s polissoir, a tool I designed for my broom-maker to fabricate along with all the other polissoirs he makes for me.  This was followed by  second round of varnishing, and the pieces were ready to be rubbed out with beeswax and rottenstone (grey Tripoli).


the next project is.......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 1:03am
Been thinking about what the next project will be and I decided. I have 4 planes that I am rehabbing in various stages of done that I should be doing. I have my Record 53E vise that I should be cleaning up and getting it ready for the upcoming bench build. I am almost done paying Lowes off but I forgot about xmas being right around the corner. So it looks like the bench will have to wait until after the new year. The vise can wait too.  But I can start on the new project and that will keep me from playing in the streets.

Stanley 71 for Miles
I got this from Josh at Hyperkitten. I think this will be a good gauge for Miles. It has two independent moving arms that can hold two different settings. It can be used as a marking gauge or a mortise gauge.

Miles's Stanley 72
I thought that 71 I had the same features as a 72 except for being made of the same type of wood. They are basically the same gauge with one major  difference.

the 72 has a brass wear plates
The 72 has brass wear plates on the marking pins and on the fence. This is what I got confused with the 71. It is still a good gauge but if I see a 72 I'll buy it and swap it out with this one.

Miles gauge herd
This is as far as I'm going with this. He should be able to do everything with these 3. The top gauge is a Stanley 65.

the plumbline stick ready for string
I did good on drilling my line. I nailed it on the centerline on this face and the front edge. If I had missed either of them, I would have two options. Fill the hole and drill it again or drill a bigger hole in the errant one.

dull razor blade
It is dull but not so dull that it won't cut flesh. I used this to scrape the paint that spilled over onto the face here.

It is gone from the face and didn't effect the sides at all. Sandpaper wrapped around a stick will work too. But I think the razor blade scraper action leaves behind a cleaner surface.

back of the frog
Two coats of black and this is done. I can paint the entire frog and set it aside to dry on the frog seat. I'll scrape the face and the seat one last time when this coat is dry.

the next project
From the block plane on the left over to the leg on the right and backwards up to the #8 is the new project real estate. The plan is to make a small cabinet with two drawers to hold the 3 planes here plus some others.

about 9"
This restriction in the height isn't carved in stone. From the shelf to the underside of the bench is a little bit more than 12". I can inset the cabinet in so that the front face of it is behind the dog holes. Then the dog will only be in the way of opening or closing the top drawer.

a pattern board

This board is the size of the ID on the cabinet. I'm allowing an inch for the sides and I'll use it to find the optimum placement of the planes.

I got most of them to fit here, the 140 was left off
I would rather lay the 073 (at the back) on it's side along with the bullnose plane.  I can do that but I can't fit the edge plane on here in a way I like. Looking at this, I'm also not to happy about the 073 being at the back. I don't use it often but it may prove difficult to get out of the drawer. It is looking like I will have to pull it out entirely to have access to it.

cut out another pattern board from cardboard
I forgot to factor in the dimensions of the drawer. I am losing an inch for the sides and another inch for the sides of the drawer. I might not get the 073 to fit in a drawer now. I have 12" to play with and the 073 is 11" long. I'm already down to 10" for the drawer ID side to side, so I may not be able to fit it.

bottom drawer
top drawer
I have already thought of an alternative placement. The 140 in the lower right corner with the 102 and 60 1/2 to the left of it. The other planes, which I don't use as much, can be placed at the top. Maybe. All of this is as hard set as Jello.

roughly 8"
I'll have to allow for the bottom thickness of the cabinet and the drawers so this will definitely be over 9" high.

the plywood scraps are too small to use
my first choice
I want to use this 1/2 stock to make the new plane storage cabinet. I am having my doubts about it being strong enough for this. These planes will weigh a lot and I'll need a beefy drawer bottom to support them. I also will need to make a strong drawer to be able to move it in and out without having it falling apart.

Food for thought and I'll sleep on this for now and attack it tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who is Soyean Yi?
answer - she was the first Korean astronaut

Picture This CXIV

Pegs and 'Tails - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 4:49pm
The fairly plain ash, elm and oak ‘country Chippendale’ chairs – with their silhouette vasiform back splats and wooden seats (fig. 1) – were popular during the last quarter of the eighteenth-century and were made in emulation of their more … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

Bridge City China Field Trip Report #1: Adventures in Eating…

Bridge City Tools - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 2:53pm

Drivel Starved Nation-

Your favorite Tool Potentate just returned from three weeks in China. I spent a week in Guangzhou, 3 days in Shanghai, a week in Nanjing, and 3 days in Beijing.

While in Shanghai I met up with the Bridge City China field trip participants. And while in Beijing we had the privilege of a private dinner with the American ambassador of China and his wife in their private residence followed by a private tour the next day of the American embassy, the largest American embassy in the world. In short, this experience was more than any of us expected and will take multiple posts to share all that we explored.

TRIVIA #1: “Jing” means capital. “Bei” means north. “Nan” means south. Nanjing is the old capital of China and Beijing is the current capital.

Before I dive into the details I am reporting that what is happening in China (over the past 20 years) is the largest renaissance in human history. The scale, the speed, and the importance of what is happening in China cannot be ignored. It is almost beyond imagination. It is also beyond my intelligence grade to judge, comment, disagree or approve of what is happening in China, this post is to simply share what I observed from my limited perspective. That means no politics in this safe space I call my Totally Awesome and Worthless Blog.

The Canton Fair is held in Guangzhou every October over a three week period and is the largest trade show on the planet. If you have ever been to a woodworking show in America, the attendance ranges from 1,000 to 5,000 and around 25,000 for the two big shows that alternate between Atlanta and Las Vegas. The week I was there the attendance was around 500,000. That is insane.

We were showing the Chopstick Master and other assorted Bridge City Tools but honestly, my jet lag was so bad I had a hard time staying awake. I did find it fascinating that several attendees asked me about Pencil Perfection which is crazy because we just released it for pre-order two days before I left for the exhibition. The speed of the digital world still amazes this old guy.

Our Chinese host and I arrived in Shanghai on Friday and that evening Bridge City hosted a get acquainted dinner for our field trip participants. We had several cancellations at the last minute so the group totaled 10 or so for the duration. The dinner was fun and I enjoyed watching Americans push the limits of their palette with the various Chinese dishes that have been perfected over their 5,000 years of cooking. My limits were pushed too — check out these menu items…IMG_1172





I asked our Chinese host if there was anything the Chinese would not eat. His response;


The next report will be the sights and sounds of Shanghai.

Now, go get a snack.


The post Bridge City China Field Trip Report #1: Adventures in Eating… appeared first on John's Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Perch Stool Part 3: Carving the Seat

The Renaissance Woodworker - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 8:41am

The audio is a bit low for the first 20 minutes as I review questions from last week, it gets much louder after that

Digging out a Hole for your Butt

I’ve discovered that this Perch seat is unlike the other Windsor seats I have carved in that I really don’t need a lot of extra wood around the perimeter to hold on to it since there will always be a flat around the back edge and the pommel. So I did go ahead and saw out the outer perimeter using both my turning saw and a regular hand saw to quickly cut away the excess. Because there is a lot of edge work done with the drawknife it is NOT necessary to spend a bunch of time perfectly refining the outer shape right to the line or cleaning up the grain. Save that work until the bottom chamfer is cut and you will have much less shaping to do.

carved Perch seatLayout is the key to making a seemingly free form task like this seat carving into a more controlled process. Boring depth holes and drawing a oval to define the bowl of the seat will help immensely. And keep feeling the seat and removing any bumps or inconsistencies that you feel as you blend the shape from the bowl into the leg hollows. As I say in the video, when done the hollows should feel as it they were scooped out in a single pass.

The carving of this seat perfectly illustrates the concept of “coarse, medium, and fine” where rougher tools do most of the work and more refined tools come back to blend and refine the shapes. In this video I only use the coarse and medium tools and in a future installment I will come back with a card scraper to blend and smooth all the shapes. That is my fine tool. Below you will find all the tools I used as well as some alternative tools that can work. Much of the dedicated Windsor chair tools can be very specialized and if you don’t intend to build further Windsors you may want to consider using alternate methods so you don’t have superfluous tools floating around your shop.

Tools Used in Seat Carving

  • Inshave: this is your rough removal tool, easy to hog out material and easily skewed to control tearing as your work across the grain with it. Available through Barr Tools
    • Alternative: a bowl adze or even a large carving gouge (40mm #8 sweep)
  • Travisher: your medium tool used for refining the bowl shape and blending the shapes through the seat. Much like a spokeshave but better the larger size makes it better at shaping larger surfaces. Available through Peter Galbert and Claire Minihan, Elia Bizzarri also makes a nice Travisher
  • Drawknife: your coarse (and medium and fine tool depending on your skill) for shaping the convex surfaces of the seat. Available everywhere from vintage to newly made, so abundant on the antique market you will trip over them. Lie Nielsen also makes a good knife though I have not used it personally.
  • Spokeshave: your medium tool for refining the convex surfaces on the outside of the seat. Available everywhere much like drawknives. I use several vintage shaves and newly made ones. My Boggs shave from Lie Nielsen leaves a super fine surface but I’m also very partial to the shaves made by Caleb James.

Next Live Broadcast

2 PM on Saturday 11/11/17

Let’s add stretchers and assemble the stool

Tapered Tenon Discrepancy

At the outset of this broadcast I talked about how the Veritas tenon cutters supposedly are designed to match the 12 degree angle of the Veritas reamer. Obviously that won’t match the 6 degree taper of the reamer I used yet I was still getting tightly fit legs and couldn’t see much different in the tenons I had cut vs my reamer. But if you look closely at this image you will in fact see and angle difference at the top of the tenon where the Veritas cutter formed a steeper angle as compared to the 6 degree cutter I used. So the moral of the story is to be sure that your reamer and tenon cutters match each other, or just turn your tenons on the lathe. Still I am surprised at how well my legs fit despite that difference in angles so it is obvious there is a bit of wiggle room.

Tapered Tenons???

tapered leg tenons
Categories: Hand Tools

Plymouth CRAFT – spoon carving in December and Sharpening in January

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 8:40am

The closer you get to the end of the year, the faster time goes by. Maybe the older you get the faster it goes too. Paula, Pret and I have started sorting out stuff for Greenwood Fest, who’s doing what, etc. But in the meantime, we have a few courses closer to the horizon. There’s a spoon carving class coming up in early December at Overbrook in Buzzard’s Bay.


We have held classes there a lot, it’s a wonderful place. 2 days, lots of spoon wood and Paula’s lunches. December 9 & 10, 2017. https://www.plymouthcraft.org/spoon-carving – plus both afternoons there’s a German Holiday baking class going on with Kirsten Atchison – maybe if you’re good they’ll let you sample some goodies https://www.plymouthcraft.org/german-holiday-baking and https://www.plymouthcraft.org/more-german-holiday-baking


Then the following month, after all the hubbub dies down, is Tim Manney’s sharpening class. This class is a deceptive thing. Sharpening classes are not as glamourous as a project-based class, but the skills you develop in this class reach into every aspect of your woodworking.





Tim gets things fiercely sharp, and is an excellent teacher.  https://www.plymouthcraft.org/an-axe-to-grind Last year, people were scooting around asking “what else can we sharpen?” – I’m going to be around for it, and I’ve been cleaning my loft out in the shop. I plan on bringing a box of tools that will be free for the taking – but you’ve got to sharpen them!

Hope to see some of you there…or beyond.

record 077 and libella done.....

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 1:01am
Had a good day in the shop. I still didn't have any idea what was going to be on my plate at on dark thirty but I managed to put three things in the done column. I got the Record 077 rebate plane all nice and shiny. It has taken up residence in Miles toolbox now. I also got the two libellas I made checked out and working.  I quit the shop around 1400 so I could catch up on my reading.

I found a hammer handle at the Hammer Source. This is the same place I got my Thorex 712 hammer and I bought one of them to put in Mile's toolbox. I ordered a replacement hammer handle and I was happy to find out that each order comes with the necessary wedges - included in the price of the handle.

I had a bit of confusion with it in regards to the eye of the hammer. The instructions on the site say to note the shape of it and then get the long and short measurements of it. What I found confusing was they didn't say which end of the eye to take the measurement from.  I tried to find something on line about it but I didn't find anything helpful. I measured the bottom of the eye, which made sense to me to do. The top is tapered/flared and with the wedges installed it will push the handle outwards against the walls. I'll find out next week whether or not I pissed away $10.

yoke hanging out
There isn't any rush to get this painted. I'll let this hang here for another day to cure out. On monday I'll put the second coat on it and it will be done.

the frog hanging out
I have the frog hanging out on the frog seat. That is not painted and provides a good seat for it while dries.

mineral bath worked
I came down to the shop at 2100 on saturday night (after I did the DST clock dance steps) and checked this. I ran this face over some 220 grit and it removed all the oily crap right away.

rip back saw
I got this too late to put in yesterday's blog post. My wife told me there was a box on the front steps when she came home. It was a nice surprise as I wasn't expecting this until next week. This saw sang as it made these cuts. I also made 3 cross gain cuts in the top. Although it wasn't as easy as the rip cuts, it still made them relatively easy.  I am going to refinish the handle because it looks like absolute crappola as is. I want it to look as good as the job Bob did filing this.

I was right
I knew I had read about the 077 having a shim on the nose that could be removed to close the mouth. One other thing I saw while cleaning this was it isn't symmetrical. Put in on one way and it is flush on the two long sides. Flip it 180, and one side is proud and the other is inset a tad. Something I'll have to remember to tell Miles about.

I was working on cleaning the 077 here. That entailed a lot of finger aching sanding with 220 followed up with 320, 400, and finishing with 600. I wasn't no where near done with it when I stopped to go run some errands.

Home Depot acquisitions
worth going to HD and finding these
I stopped at HD first before I went to BJ's warehouse to buy my coffee K-cups for work. I had time to kill so I wandered around looking at whatever caught my eye and these did. They had pair of them to try on so I did. They fit and the package has five pairs for $5.98 so I put them in the basket.

I have 3 kinds of gloves
These gloves are ok for painting or applying a finish. They suck out loud for anything that involves a even a teeny bit of finger work. The tips rip and tear just by thinking about it. They are useless for doing plane rehabbing.

can't wait to try them out
I'm hoping that these will at least last for one plane rehabbing. If they do that, this will be well worth the price of admission.

mason's line and degreaser
Simple Green doesn't sell a cleaner that has 'degreaser' on the label like this one. I checked all 3 different bottles for sale at HD.  Because I want to use this in the shop where I have a lot of grease and unknown grunge to clean, I want the bottle to say it is a degreaser.  This is the only mason's line I found at HD. There was a bigger reel but I settled for this smaller one.

my strops are all stuck together
I was worried about this one
This one came apart and both strops remained where they should be. I wore the gloves for a while here to get a feel for them. They felt pretty good. They weren't slippery and the nitrile covering lends a bit of a sticky effect to things I touched. More importantly, I did not give off 4 gallons of sweat wearing these for over an hour. I had a good feel for what I was grabbing and pulling apart here. I could pick up a razor blade off the bench so that is a good thing.

the white/dark spots are hide glue (I think)
gave them a haircut on the tablesaw
Other then a bit of stink, the tablesaw had no problems sawing the plywood and the leather.  I am going to treat all three of the strops with mineral oil.

crosscut feather left by the tablesaw
mineral oil darkens them

Some more than others. This I don't understand because all three strops came out of the same piece of leather. So why 2 dark and one light? I trimmed the four edges with a razor blade putting a small bevel on them.

big kudos for the gloves
All that crap on the gloves is what usually would be on my fingers. I finished sanding the 077 with the gloves. I did 99% of it with them without any hiccups. All the fingertips are intact and there are no rips, tears, or gouges on any of them. These are definitely a keeper and there is still a lot of life and a few more rehabs left in these pair.

flattened the back, raised a burr, and sharpened it
the before pic
Even I was impressed with how well this rehab came out.

port side
bow shot sans the decal
starboard side
stern shot
The hardest part of this rehab was the two knobs. Both of them were black and I didn't think I would be able to get any part of them to shine.  The Zep cleaner and a wire brush cleaned up the knurling a little and sandpaper raised a shine in the other spots.

I was a little surprised by how rough this was in spots. I was expecting this to be a lot more uniform and precise. The handle had four rough spots on the outside edges. Two at the front and two at the back. I couldn't sand them out completely. Another rough spot was the bed for the iron. I could not only see it but I could feel it with my fingertips.

The hook part of the plane where the pins from the handle engage were rusted and very rough. The tops of them weren't finished and both are uneven and have a different shape. That part doesn't effect the fit of the handle but I would think this would be finished a bit better than this. I already mentioned the shim in the nose isn't symmetrical.

My overall impression of the plane is still highly favorable. The areas that matter the most appear to be dead nuts on. The sole is flat and square to the sides and the nose is in line with the sole too. All the areas I'm quibbling about won't interfere with the plane making rebates or being used as a chisel plane. These areas are cosmetic at best but they also show the care and workmanship of the person who made it.

can't put these in a drawer

hanging out here until I need them again
Binder clips just aren't for holding paper. I use them in the shop for things like this, as clamps for small glue ups, and more importantly for keeping the potato chip bag closed once it's been opened.

time to saw off the proud ends

chip missing
I missed getting this on the outside. I had seen it during the dry clamp run and I was going to put it on the outside and remove it by chamfering the legs. Obviously forgot to pay attention to that detail during the glue up.

last side flushed and cleaned up

used a stick to mark both legs for the 45 saw cut
handy having the miter guide on the bench hook
check of where I'll do the libella
I didn't know that my workbench was level. This is the first time I've ever checked for that.

unraveling like crazy
I cut the string with a razor blade and 3 inches of it instantaneously unraveled. This is nylon or a nylon like string and I had to light the end with a match to keep it from doing this.

ready to see if the libella says I'm level
I have two of these to check and I haven't come up with a way to secure the top end of the string. The tape will work for checking these out.

I couldn't see my black mark on the tape
It looked like it was on the line but I wasn't sure. It was hard to see the black mark on the blue tape.

 a pencil line
I squared a line across the brace by lining up the square with the apex at the top. The plumb bob line is dead nuts on that.

I got the left leg propped up on piece of scrap
It isn't off the plumb line as much as I thought it would be. It would take some getting used to but I think I could use this.

the second libella
Marking my square line off the apex.

it's off the squared line
I held the plumb bob string here and marked that with a pencil.

hanging right on the line
propped up the left leg
This libella shows a big difference between the plumb line and the bob. I was expecting this on the first one but I can see why now it wasn't. The leg spread on that one is greater than the shorter spread of this one. It would take a bigger offset to move the bob on the larger one due to how far apart the legs are.

swapped it 180
I got the same reading so the pencil line I have is the plumb line. I did this with the first libella too but I forgot to snap a pic of it.

found my centers
I'll do this one on monday. I think I would use this one more than the libella.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is Leap-the-Dips?
answer - the worlds oldest roller coaster built in 1902 and is located in Altoona, Pa

Antique Food. Really.

The Furniture Record - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 9:15pm

For me, one of the highlights of the auction season is the Country Store Auction in Mebane, NC. Not much in the way of furniture but tons of interesting stuff. The focus of the auction is things found in a country store, the merchandise found there-in and advertising of all sorts.


Need a thermometer?


Does anybody know what time it is?


Lots of stuff of all varieties.


And tobacciana. Those were different times.

My favorites of favorites continues to be the foods or nominally edible products. Many unfamiliar products or familiar products in unfamiliar formats. Like soft drinks:


When you say NEHI, I think quality.


Orange flavored, yum!


A more familiar name.

IMG_1070 - Version 2

Possibly more information than you wanted.

Then the are some adult drinks (non-alcoholic):


Before there was Starbucks…


Chicory, the greatest coffee extender. And this from Josephine Cambre, Expert Home Economist.

There was also other the counter remedies:


No trip to the store would be complete without your gallon of Lucky Tiger, For Dandruff.

But, by far the largest category is something you don’t eat. Directly. I hope.


110 pounds of heavy-duty lard.


Quality lard.


Stabilized lard.


Cold lard.


Also available in smaller sizes for home use.


And seafood. Love them canned oysters. And lard.

One thing this display points out is that there are no longer local brand in the number there once were. Consolidation has killed off local and regional brands. That and people used to buy a lot of lard.

You would need to buy one of these:


Several to choose from.







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