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Hand Tools

A new handle for a maebiki

Giant Cypress - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 3:58am

A while back I picked up this maebiki, and although it’s been a great prop for my Japanese tool talks, the handle had become loose to the point where it was easily falling off by itself.

A close look at the handle shows why. There’s a crack in the handle, and that is the back of the tang peeking through the crack. Apparently whoever made this handle positioned the slot that receives the tang in such a way that the back of the tang was just underneath the surface of the wood. Not a great design decision.

I found a scrap piece of 8/4 cherry that I thought would make a good handle.

I resawed the piece of cherry, and made a template of the tang of the saw. I positioned the tang in such a way that there would be plenty of wood on either side of it. I also used the old handle as a template to sketch out the outline of the new handle. I was careful to make the outer lines of the old handle follow the natural curve of the grain of the new handle blank.

I used chisels to chop out the slot that would receive the tang, and I used a router plane to clean up the bottom.

I then glued the pieces back together, and used the old handle as a template to mark the top and bottom of the new handle. I converted the oval shapes of the top and bottom to rough octagons, and connected the corners of the top and bottom octagons to mark the layout lines for shaping the handle.

I used my Japanese jack plane to plane away most of the waste. Note the thick shavings I was pulling off for this step. For a task like this, you don’t want to spend time creating gossamer-thin shavings that float on air. After I got close to my lines, I used a finer Japanese plane for final shaping. 

As it turned out, when I took the old handle off the maebiki, I found that the tang was bent and twisted. Despite my worst fears, after creating a makeshift anvil out of a chunk of wood. I was able to pound out the bend and twist in the tang with a hammer. The saw was perfectly straight after that. I finished the handle with some boiled linseed oil and a few coats of shellac. After that, it was just a matter of tapping the handle onto the maebiki.

Here’s the new handle. Not only is it firmly on the saw, I think it looks nicer than the old one, if I do say so myself. The new handle has a bit of a faceted appearance, but it seems to be more comfortable to hold compared to the old handle, which was more round. The more I look at the old handle the more surprised I am at how rough a job the maker did in shaping that handle. There are clear gouge marks all over it. The surface of the new handle is considerably nicer.

Dovetails are Addictive!!

David Barron Furniture - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 1:09am

Daniel kindly sent me some pictures of some of his recent projects. He's very pleased with his dovetail guide and has been putting it to good use.

This one is his tea/coffee station with some nice wedged tenons.

The next two are of his sharpening station.

Next up his radio box, he's on a roll!

Even a little hole for the Aerial

A double hinge lid for his screw gun (drill driver).

and finally Daniels lunch box which looks very generous, no doubt he needs the nourishment after all those dovetails!
Categories: Hand Tools

mother's day.......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 1:00am
I took my wife out for lunch today and let her pick the eatery too. It was kind of a strange day for me because my youngest is now a mother too. The memories of her laughing in her room with her sister are still fresh and now she has her own child to raise. It is hard sometimes to let the old go and get in step with the new. I'm looking forward to finally seeing my grandson next month so I'll be step.

In keeping with mother's day, besides lunch, I was a good boy and got the plate rail shelf installed. No major hiccups to deal with and the only PITA was hauling my fat ass up and down the stairs to get tools. I also managed to squeeze in almost finishing my 5 1/2 and doing step one of the ebonizing on the frame. Some of the non plate rail stuff was done before oh dark thirty and the rest when making trips to the shop to get tools for the plate rail installation.

frame sanded and ready to ebonize
back of the frame
I planed the corners flush and that is all I'm doing here. None of this will seen when it's on the wall.

potential problem
I'm not sure how the ebonizing will work on this. I scraped and sanded what I could and this little bit of dried glue is there to stay.

new tannic acid
The tannic acid I mixed up a couple of weeks ago had mold blooms floating on top of it. Mixed up a new batch and tossed the old one.

sanded up to 320
This is where I usually stop sanding on rehabs but this is streaky and I can still see scratches on the sole.

adjuster is done
The back part of the adjuster got a bit of a reddish hue back but the front is shiny still. This is what is most visible so I'm calling this done.

400 grit
My 400 grit sanding belt is glazed and doing nothing so I switched to a block of wood wrapped with 400 grit.

600 grit shine
I was able to get all the scratches polished out with the 400 grit but I still had a few hazy looking spots. The 600 grit polished them all away and I ended up with a great shine.  Again this is something that I don't normally do. I only did this to remove the scratches and the hazy spots on this plane.

the sole
There are 4 black spots on the sole between the mouth and the heel about the mid point that are still there. They don't look like rust pits but even 80 grit didn't remove them or even tone them down some. They are permanent residents now.

tannic acid applied (pic with flash)
It's been about 30 minutes since I put the tannic acid on and the frame as gotten a blackish, grayish hue to it. I can still see the hide glue spots so I'll have to wait and see what the iron does to it.

this pic didn't flash
 This looks promising color wise and the brownish spots are the hide glue.

the japanning on the 5 1/2
the heel
This is one part of plane rehabbing I can go either way on. As long as they aren't rusty, I am ok with this look. I think I'm going to leave this as it is for now. I may come back to this if the urge to paint overcomes me.

the back of the frog
This is the frog as I got it. I haven't cleaned this at all and it appears it is missing a lot of paint.

cleaned and wire brushed
This is a definite maybe for a paint job. If it is done, it will be later on as I have way too many things in the queue right now.

my frog sanding board
I saw this on plane rehab blog a few years ago but I don't remember who it was. It wasn't my idea but it works great.

glue a 1/2 sheet of sandpaper to the board
cut out the middle part
sand away
You don't have to take the lateral adjust off to sand the face of the frog. You do have to pay attention to where the disc is on the other side. On my 4th or 5th time using this to rehab a frog, I knocked the disc off while sanding and I didn't notice it until I was putting it back together.

scraping the face
As I was sanding this I was loading the paper up with a lot of black stuff that was clogging and glazing the sandpaper. I used a razor blade to get the face clear and remove most of the black stuff on it.

I've got a hump
I can feel this bump with my finger. I can also see it is proud of the rest of the surface. This would take a year of sundays to flush with the rest of the of frog face.

sped things up
I filed the hump off and I checked my progress with a 6" rule to make sure I didn't file myself into La La Land.

almost done
The frog is still loading the paper up with black stuff but it isn't as bad now.

stopped the frog work and applied the iron
This looks good and I think I may be able to ebonize this frame after all. The iron stuff is still on the wet side here.

not sure if this is hide glue or not
there was hide glue at this corner
This appears to be working on the hide glue up to a point.

3rd paper change
The frog has an even scratch pattern from top to bottom and I'm close to calling this done.

part one of the plate rail
The left and right aprons are leveled and installed first.

trying to find a stud
My wife painted over my marks for the studs and I had to hunt for one. I got it on the fifth try.

made a 16" stud finding gauge stick
I had marks on the aprons for studs but I think I mixed the R/L ones up so I didn't hit studs on any of them. This will be painted so I'm not too concerned about the holes.

first hiccup
The center support that hides this joint, can't. The left apron end is proud of the right one. This wall moves in and out like a roller coast ride.

what I have to remove
knifed my lines
chiseled the face first
split off the waste
It took a few times but I eventually got down to my lines.

I screwed this in place from the clock shelf down into the top of the support.

back to the frog
The frog is flat in both 'X' directions and I couldn't see any light under the ruler.

There isn't any need to make this shiny. Even if I did, you wouldn't see it until you changed the iron out. Flat and smooth is all I need here.

5 1/2 and 5 side by side

rear end view
I like the look and feel of the 5 1/2 over the 5. I think with my 4 1/2 this will be the other half of the dynamic duo for me.

nice fluffy shavings
This planes glides makes shavings like a dream. I'm not done setting it though. I couldn't get even shavings out of both sides of the mouth. I didn't have the time to do it now but I did satisfy my urge to see shavings made by it.

no room
This is where I keep my bench planes and I don't have the room for the 5 1/2.

thinking of moving these 3 to make room for the 5 1/2
plane till location
This is the only spot by my bench that I can use for the plane till. The only downside to it is that is will be on the opposite side of the bench that I work from. Something to be done in the future.

my molding workbench
You don't need a lot of tools to cut and fit moldings.

one piece here
My wife wanted something here to hide the top of the wallpaper. I used a piece of the same molding that is between the corbels.

here too
I wasn't going to put one here but my wife wanted it so I put one. Plate rail shelf is now done. My wife will paint this and all that is left is to finish the counter back splashes. Now that it is up, I am not that fond of it. But I don't have to like it, just my wife does and she likes it.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What are pilchards?
answer - young sardines

Transporting the “Goodly Cedars” of Lebanon

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 05/14/2017 - 9:42pm

In the ancient Mediterranean world the Phoenicians were suppliers of timber to kingdoms poor in wood and other natural resources. The cedars of Lebanon, Cedris libani, were especially valued for their fragrance and resistance to rot and insects.

In the Old Testament, Hiram, King of Tyre sends cedar for the temple in Jerusalem and the houses of David and Solomon. Cedar was used in Egypt for constructing royal sarcophagi and the resin was used for mummification. Cuneiform inscriptions tell us the Assyrians imported timber from the region of Lebanon starting at the end of the second millenium B.C.

Assyrian King Sargon II (721-705 B.C) imported cedar from Lebanon for his palace at Khorsabad (present-day Iraq). A series of stone friezes from Khorsabad record how cedar logs were processed and transported in the ancient world. The friezes are in the collection of the Louvre and on permanent display.

The first frieze takes place in a mountainous area. Logs have been cut and are being hauled away. It is thought the logs would have been taken to a port south of Tyre.

The second frieze is a double panel. In a swirling sea teeming with marine life there are ten ships. Seven ships are loaded with logs and are towing even more as they sail north along the Phoenician coast. Towards the bottom there are two guardians in the form of bearded and winged bulls.

In the next panel several ships approach the shore to unload while other ships have already offloaded their cargo and are pulling away. In this scene it is easier to see the wonderful depiction of sea life: crabs, fish, a sea snake, turtles and a few other creatures. If you look to the far left and center (about the 9 o’clock mark) you will see a merman, another guardian of the sea.

The last panel shows the cedar logs are being unloaded and pulled by a rope. Other logs have been trimmed and holes bored to take a rope. Futher movement of the cedar logs to Khorsabad was by river and road. The top of this last panel is a restoration. All of the friezes have some restoration based on drawings done when Khorsabad was rediscoverd in the mid-19th century.

The fact that the friezes were made tells us the importance of cedar as a resource to the Assyian kingdom. We also see the organization the Phoenicians had to accomplish the arduous and months-long work required to transport these massive logs from mountain to port, along the coast to the safety of the next port, and finally the preparation to move the heavy logs over land. Even with the mechanization available today logging is hard work. Imagine what it was like in the time of the Phoenicians.

I must also mention, as someone who has spent many hours in and on salt water, my absolute delight in the swirling waters and marine life in the friezes…and the merman.

Suzanne Ellison

Filed under: Historical Images, Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

@ Handworks 2017 – Original Roubo Print 277

The Barn on White Run - Sun, 05/14/2017 - 6:09pm

“Different Sorts of Wood and Their Positioning According to Hue,” Plate 277 in L’art du Menuisier, is one of the most astounding pages in the entire set.  It confirms Roubo was both a genius and aesthete, representing various wood samples in vivid detail and readable even though they are in grayscale.

This page is one of the treasures from my inventory, and it is priced accordingly.  It is in excellent condition, and was drawn and engraved by Roubo himself.

If you have ever wanted to own a genuine piece of Rouboiana, this is your chance.   I will be selling this print at Handworks on a first-come basis, with terms being cash, check, or Paypal if you have a smart phone and can do that at the time of the transaction.


Pre-Fest spaces for Greenwood Fest – “One man gathers what another man spills”

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sun, 05/14/2017 - 5:00pm

Pret & I are building lathes for the bowl turners, our friend Chris is cutting more wood than you can shake a stick at, Paula Marcoux is making schedules, writing emails & answering questions morning noon & night – Greenwood Fest begins in just over 3 weeks.

There’s been a small flurry of last-minute cancellations from the Pre-Fest courses. I wrote a post the other day about a couple, and described how this is really like a mini-Fest on its own. 7 courses running side-by-side. “Down” time, meals, evenings, etc will be a woodsy-free-for-all.  https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/still-some-room-in-pre-fest-courses-at-greenwood-fest/ 

In addition to one spot in Jogge Sundqvist’s knife-handle/sheath class, space in Tim Manney’s sharpening and Jane Mickelborough’s Hinged spoon, there’s one spot with Dave Fisher making hewn bowls, and one spot with Barn Carder making eating spoons.

I’m sorry for those who had to ditch out at this, nearly the last minute. One man gathers what another man spills, though.

Dates are Tues June 6-Thursday June 8.. .Price is $500 – Includes 2 full days of instruction; (Tues afternoon/Wed all day/Thurs morning) all materials; 2 nights lodging & 7 meals, plus admission to Fuller Craft Museum for the Thursday evening presentation of Jogge’s Rhythym & Slojd.

course description  https://www.greenwoodfest.org/course-details 

registration: https://www.plymouthcraft.org/greenwood-fest-courses

Garage workshops part 2

Oregon Woodworker - Sun, 05/14/2017 - 8:21am
Matt commented on my last post as follows:
I have wall shelves in my garage shop and my tools (and everything else on those shelves) get very dusty. I never thought a tool chest would be a good idea because you have to move so many things to get at the tool you need, which just happens to be at the bottom. Can you comment on your experiences with this?
This is a question many woodworkers considering a tool chest have.  I know I did.  The short answer is that I have not found this to be a problem at all.  A longer answer follows.

My shop is not dusty. I intend to share a video here showing why.  It may make you laugh and perhaps cringe but it works.  Nevertheless, I would not store many of my best tools on shelves.  We have had 54" of rain in the last six months, so rust is a concern.  I think you need a mixture of storage types and there are a lot of items in a garage woodshop that do just fine on shelves, but most tools are not among them.  To store mine, I am an enthusiastic advocate of tool chests.

I originally chose a tool chest over wall cabinets because I knew I was going to be moving and my tools would be in storage.  Another reason was that my garage at the time lacked suitable wall space for cabinets.  I had serious reservations about tool chests, the two most important being about bending over each time I wanted a tool and the same concern about ease of access that Matt has.  Bending over turned out to be a non-issue because the tool chest was approximately six inches off the ground on a dolly I made so I could move the chest around easily.  It's just not a problem, especially because my planes are on the bottom of the chest and they are easy to grasp.  I did eventually make a higher platform to place my chest on, mostly to demonstrate how to overcome that objection.  I keep it because it gives me storage beneath the chest and I don't need mobility, but it is not necessary at all.

Matt's issue concerned me a lot.  I pictured myself constantly sliding tills around to access my tools. I tried to address this by making the tills removable.  I thought I would lift them out and put them on the bench when I was working.  In practice, I never do, because working directly from the chest is so convenient.  I can take just a step or two to access my tools in the chest.  Two tills can be exposed at a time and, in any case they slide easily and quickly on waxed maple rails using three fingers.  It has become second nature and I am no longer even aware that I do it.  I know some woodworkers remove the tools they are going to be using at the beginning of the day and put them on or under their bench on a shelf, but I don't.  It's just as easy to put them away.

Like Matt, I don't want to paw around looking for a tool.  You can minimize this by making shallow tills, making custom holders for your tools that make them easy to access and using the inside of the top.  I made three tills of different depths but, if I had it to do over again, I might make four.  For many of us, tool chests can be quite deep to accommodate them.  My opinion is that you can determine the maximum depth for your tool chest by measuring the distance between your armpit and your second knuckle on your forefinger.  

Tool chests have incredible density.  Usually about 3'x2'x2', they store an amazing amount of tools in just 6 cubic feet.  Their mobility makes them ideal for a small shop and being able to close them quickly when not in use protects the tools from dust and moisture.  You could even easily dehumidy your tool chest if you wanted to.

Here are some pictures that illustrate these points.  Mostly planes on the bottom:

The bottom two tills:

The top till:

All three tills and my saws in place (very secure for travel):

Shop made tools on the lid:

Categories: Hand Tools

Fish Glue

Journeyman's Journal - Sun, 05/14/2017 - 6:00am

I hate watching television even though I have two TV’s in my house but thankfully never used, I can’t stand listening to the news because there’s never anything positive to hear but they’re usual over dramatization and fear mongering tactics.  I hate politicians, because they never keep their election promises, constantly lie, they live in the back pockets of corporations, they pretend as if they know what they’re doing and they just can’t seem get along without resorting to some kind of war.  Oh, and they’re radicals because they’re ignorant.  A professor at Griffith University at the school of law once said “Ignorance breeds radicalism.”

So, I turn to books and articles written by prominent highly educated and respected people on various subjects pertaining to my interests.  I was recently doing some research on hide glue and it’s uses and made some amazingly new discoveries which could have helped me during my build of the small router plane.  Prior to the build, I was blinded to this information but a few days after the second build I make this discovery.

Did you know that metal expands and contracts with humidity and temperature fluctuations in opposite direction to the wood?  In fact, so does water.


Did you also know that epoxy is brittle and the metal glued to wood would eventually break off?  Just when this will occur is anyone’s guess, but since I’m all about quality workmanship and having my builds outlive a generation or two at the very least, why take the risk.  I’m sure you feel the same.

Prior to knowing these facts about metal’s movement during these environmental fluctuations I was stumped on understanding why epoxies brittleness would eventually cause bond failure. Well now it all makes sense, this important bit of information I wasn’t made privy to all makes good sense, “movement”.

As woodworkers, we expect for wood to move and we make accommodations for that movement but how many of us knew that metal moves as well and in the opposite direction to wood. So, scientists came up with a solution of gluing metal to wood and that’s Loctite 330 and there are other numbered Loctite’s that will also do the same trick but, wait a minute. Isn’t antique furniture covered in brass ornaments, doesn’t some antique braces have brass plates fixed to them, ok fair enough they’re reinforced with screws but what about antique clocks and their brass fittings.

So, if these metal fixtures were glued to the wood hundred of years ago and are still affixed firmly in place today, what did they use? I’m sure Loctite didn’t exist in that era, well the answer is animal glue and fish glue to be precise.  According to Patrick Edwards fish glue was used in marquetry to glue ivory, bone, horn shell and metal (brass). Which makes perfectly good sense because all animal glues allow a certain amount of movement of these elements.

There are a variety of traditional animal glue applications that continue to be used by modern craftsmen. Rabbit skin glue is necessary for laying gold leaf properly.  Instrument makers and restorers have a wide variety of applications that depend on animal glues. For example, the fact that these glues can be coloured and mixed with many components allows the addition of plaster of Paris to glue for laying ivory keys. Marquetry workers add different colours to the glue to restore Boulle tortoise shell and make mastic. Fish glue has properties which make it perfect for exotic materials, such as tortoise shell, horn, leather, shark skin, cloth and metals. Fish glue is a liquid glue with strong cold tack grip, and its used to glue brass, pewter and copper in Boulle marquetry is further strengthened when the metal is first rubbed with a fresh clove of garlic. Animal bone and hide glues are used individually and mixed together for all types of woodworking. Diluted glues are used for veneer sizing and flattening, as well as for sizing end grain and porous woods before sanding.
Had I known these facts before I would have used fish glue and come to think of it I actually have a bottle I bought a number of years ago, I doubt very much if it’s of any use anymore in fact I just opened it for the first time and took a whiff and it stinks, but I’ll glue some small pieces with it just for fun to see if it will work being so old as it is. Having said that, Fish glue will still be good for a number of years even though it is a protein glue and fish glue is smelly by nature anyway, so the stench of mine is probably normal.
You have to admit the benefits of using animal glues far outweigh the benefits over synthetic glues, yes, it’s true there’s no ease of use.  It’s time consuming to prepare and you have to keep an eye on it constantly so it doesn’t over cook, if you’re working in a fully-fledged business production run workshop your glue must be hot and ready for use throughout the day. But, that’s life and that’s how it’s always been for the last 8000 years with this glue.
Here’s one more tip you also probably didn’t know. Cold water is added to dry glue and hot water equalling the temperature of the hot glue is added to thin it. Cold for cold and hot for hot and yet I see on YouTube cold water added to hot hide glue. If you’re going to use cold water then allow the glue to heat up to 140° F (60°C) before you use it, don’t do what I’ve seen people do and use it straight away and it’s not just on YouTube but in a particular book as well.  If I mention which book then the author/seller will get all snotty with me, funny though I must be the only one that will cop it in the chin when I get it wrong, I learn from it and move on but when it comes to them they hold a grudge and take it with them to their graves.  This is called online woodworking politics and there is a lot of that.

Take care

Categories: Hand Tools

rehabbing a 5 1/2.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 05/14/2017 - 1:05am
Didn't want to do much in the shop today which is a rare occurrence for me . I would have liked to have gotten the 5 1/2 done but that didn't happen neither. The brass adjuster knob ate up a lot of my time along with trying to get the sole sanded smooth.  And both of them didn't make it into the completed column. Add to the mix working on the frame and just being bone tired, not a lot got done working at snail's pace. I was hoping that my lever cap would have come today but it didn't. I'll have to wait for that until next week. Along with my miter box and the #2.

not shiny yet
This was kind of shiny but it has tarnished since then.  I mixed up another batch of Bar Keeps and let it soak again for a while.

back flattened
While the adjuster was soaking I flattened the back. It took a long time to get to this stage due to the hump in the middle. The shine took it's sweet time spreading out from the middle to the sides.

surprised by this
I had a burr that almost went across the entire edge. I went back to the 80 girt runway and did the back some more until I got a burr that went side to side.

grinding a new angle
Started this on my coarsest diamond stone and after 5 strokes I saw that I had a long ways to go so I switched to the 80 grit runway. After I got a consistent grind, I went back to the coarsest diamond stone and worked my way up to the 8K and then the strop.

The iron is sharp, the chipbreaker is fettled the way I like it, and I have a new old chipbreaker screw installed. There is a lot of life to this iron and it's the same size as my 4 1/2 so I can use the spare irons for it here too.

been soaking for about 20 minutes
still not shiny
This is the first time that Bar Keeps hasn't gotten the adjuster shiny after one application.  I scrubbed the crap out of this with a toothbrush without raising a shine. I switched to a brass brush and got better results.

finally got a little bit of a shine
This doesn't look as good as the #2 adjuster looked that I did last week. Close but still far enough away from the stake to not to count as a point.

the back
The back of the adjuster which is mostly unseen is shinier than the front part.  Maybe the Bar Keeps I'm using is toast. It's been in the shop since last year and it is coming out of the can in clumps. I bought another one when I went to the grocery store.

my plane parts
The frog adjuster screw by finger is what I want to replace. It isn't going to happen today because I don't have one.

barrel nuts
I didn't have to buy new barrel nuts because I have more than enough. However, I don't like these because they aren't domed. These have a chamfer running on the outside edge. I like the domed ones that Bill Rittner sells. They blend in with the front knob whereas these tend to end up a bit below the hole for them in the knob.

new Bar Keeps
This stuff came out powdery and not clumpy like the stuff I have now. I mixed up another batch and and stuck the adjuster in it for another soak cycle.

working on the sole
This is 220 grit and it isn't doing much to the sole. I'd be here using this until next year before I would see any improvement. I'm not trying to getting this to look like a mirror. I just want the sole clean and smooth. I dropped down to 180 and then 120 and I still wasn't getting a scratch pattern from the toe to the heel. I put my lowest grit belt on which is 80 grit.

switched to working on the frame
Making the rabbet to hold the glass, matting, and the certificate. If I made the rabbet in the frame it would make it too thin. Not to mention that I don't think there is sufficient meat there to do that. I like making my rabbets this way and there are a few advantages to doing it this way.

First I don't make the frame weaker by making a rabbet in it nor do I thin the interior profile down.  Adding these strips to make the rabbet crosses the miter serves to strengthen it on the back. The last point I like about this is that the frame stands off the wall and it doesn't lay up flat on it. I used butt joints on this so that they would cross the miters rather then line up with them. I glued these in place with hide glue only, no fasteners were used.

cooking away
Tomorrow I'll try to ebonize this and see what that looks like. If it doesn't work I have a rattle can of black lacquer spray paint. There are a couple of spots that show some dried hide glue and I'm not sure if the ebonizing will work on them. My fingers are crossed and I'm thinking happy thoughts.

back to mindless back and forth sanding
This is 80 grit but it is an old belt and it isn't cutting fast enough for me.

why I changed belts
This belt is making a consistent scratch pattern toe to heel except of two strips by my fingers. I worked this for five minutes and they weren't disappearing. Changed the belt to a fresher older one.

The two stripes are slowly disappearing but it is going to be a while before they disappear.

finally shiny
I took this upstairs and started sanding it with 400 grit sandpaper. I was able to sand away the reddish stuff that was inside of this. I got it shiny yesterday but it tarnished and got the reddish hue that I sanded away today. I'll keep this upstairs and see if it stays shiny.

the unseen part is as good as the front
It looks like tomorrow I'll be putting the plate rack shelf in place. My wife painted and wallpapered that wall today and she wants the shelf done tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was the first professional athlete to have his number retired?
answer - Lou Gehrig's #4 on July 7, 1939

@ Handworks 2017 – Original Roubo Print 275

The Barn on White Run - Sat, 05/13/2017 - 7:42pm

The item listed tonight is Print #275, “Small Commodes, Corner Cabinets, and Chiffoniers.”

The page has the charming misalignment of other pages from L’art du Menuisier when the paper and the engraved plate were not perfectly aligned, resulting in an image that is slightly askew.    the print is in very good condition within the image boundaries, but there is some staining on the perimeter of the page and one corner has a slight loss, and the price reflects these.

The composition and engraving of the copper plate were done by Roubo himself.

If you have ever wanted to own a genuine piece of Rouboiana, this is your chance.   I will be selling this print at Handworks on a first-come basis, with terms being cash, check, or Paypal if you have a smart phone and can do that at the time of the transaction.



How to Break in a Binding. According to My Dad. I Think.

Fair Woodworking - Sat, 05/13/2017 - 5:54pm
When I was a teenager, my Dad sat me down for “The Talk”. He said, “Son. You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat their books”. What “talk” were you thinking about? Like my Dad, I’m not a skilled reader, and as a High School drop-out, I am the better educated […]
Categories: Hand Tools

The Whetstone Quarry

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Sat, 05/13/2017 - 2:59pm

Roy Underhill's books, I believe, are vastly underrated. It seems that every page contains not only loads of useful information about hand-tool woodworking, but historical context, interesting anecdotes, folklore, and typical Roy hilarity. Really, stuff that you can't find anywhere else.

whetstone quarry

Paging through one of his books (The Woodwright's Companion) recently, I stumbled upon a short chapter about whetstones. The popular opinion of today is that we need a wide array of dead-flat, precisely-graded sharpening stones in order to keep our tools sharp and usable, but this isn't the case historically. Roy mentions that in many old towns in Europe, the stone step of the stairway of a certain house was often discovered incidentally to be a good whetstone, and you can still see the wear of generations of tradesmen bringing their tools to sharpen on their neighbor's front step. Whetstones were found, not bought, until very recently. Identifying a decent stone, with a propensity to wear away and prevent glazing but hard enough to cut chisel steel and finely-grained enough to polish a shaving edge, is a high art.

Fortunately, Roy does some of the homework for us. There's a list in this chapter of whetstone localities, and one of them happens to be right up the road from the furniture studio. It's called "Huronian serpentine novaculite", no exact location given but fortunately I'm a bit of a geology geek. Serpentinite is often a modified peridotite, and I know all about the local metamorphic peridotite location because, well, peridotite happens to be my favorite variety of intrusive ultramafic igneous rock (doesn't everyone have a favorite intrusive igneous rock?). Joshua and I were dropping off a table a few miles past this locality, so we stopped by on the way back through.

We gathered a few samples of the weird greenish rock from the old quarry and brought them back to the studio. After mulling over the best way to flatten the rocks, we decided on using sticky-back 80-grit sandpaper on the bench. After a bit of elbow grease (and a few finer grits), we had two nicely flattened and quite beautiful stones ready for a test run.

polished whetstone

The traditional "honing oil" for the hand-cut whetstone is, of course, spit. This works fine, but it can get kind of gross when 2 people are using the same stones. So I recommend a light oil. I found that the stones we'd worked are perfectly capable of putting on a shaving edge on both a chisel and on my whittling knife. Although a bit slower-cutting than a synthetic waterstone, there's something compelling, even magical, about sharpening your tools on a stone that you yourself found in the woods. I really recommend it! And buy Roy's books. They are terrific.

sharpened chisel

~Mike Updegraff


Categories: Hand Tools


Journeyman's Journal - Sat, 05/13/2017 - 4:02am

I’ve spoilt myself rotten, I bought a brand new drawknife from woodjoy tools, the blade is 8″ long he didn’t have his usual one in stock but he said he does have one fresh from the blacksmith so I took it.  I won’t say how much I paid for it but all I can say the conversion rate was a killer.

After 3 weeks wait time it finally arrived and needed sharpening badly, I knew I was in for one hell of a ride.  I started this morning at 9 am sharp and finished at 7pm, yes you read that right 10 hours of solid sharpening.  My finger are sore but I did it, I told you it was blunt real blunt and there was a whole hunk of metal to go through.  If I ever wanted a belt sander this day would of been it.  All I needed was to get to the burr stage and the rest would of been over with quickly but being as blunt as it and working the entire bevel it took all day.  I could of just made a secondary bevel but that secondary bevel would of grown with successive sharpenings so I thought just do it right the first time and be done with it.


It’s sharp and I mean meanly sharp, when I did the thumbnail test it didn’t catch as it usually does but sliced it upon touch.  WOW I couldn’t believe I took it to such a level I honestly never sharpened anything to reach that level of sharpness before, my nail just touched it and sliced a layer off.  Call me insane 10 hours of sharpening talk about torture but just goes to show with dedication you can achieve anything.

I put it through a test drive and it just purred through the wood, now all I need to do is just practise with it to control my cuts.  To use it you skew the blade and take slicing cuts, but being so sharp whether I skewed it or not made no difference to the quality of the cut.  To take a deeper shave you tilt the blade down and up for a light cut, you can also work with it bevel down.

This is a wonderful addition to my array of tools and hopefully will see plenty of use.

Categories: Hand Tools

Just a Journalist

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 05/13/2017 - 3:00am


At the first Handworks in 2013, I overheard a funny conversation about my credentials. I was standing in the Lost Art Press booth with my back to a bunch of bearded fellows who were debating the fine points of workbenches.

Beard No. 1: Chris Schwartz says that….

Beard No. 2: Shwatz is just a journalist. He’s not a professional woodworker, so he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Chat closed.

I know that Beardy No. 2 was insulting me by saying I’m “just a journalist,” but to me it was anything but. I am – unapologetically – a journalist. I trained to be a newspaperman at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and am proud I survived the school’s bloodletting process. I then received my masters in journalism from Ohio State University, which is where I learned about Noam Chomsky and American anarchism.

Like it or not, Lost Art Press wouldn’t exist without my training from these two journalism schools.

While it’s unpopular to be a journalist these days, I didn’t enroll in journalism school to become rich and universally loved. Instead, I decided in 8th grade to become a journalist because I think – scratch that, I believe – there should be voices who are independent of the government, mega-corporations and churches.

Of course, when you work as a corporate journalist for reals, you learn that you are an underpaid and overworked tool of all three institutions – unless you can plot an escape that doesn’t involve public relations. And that you need to live low to the ground. And be happy with a small audience.

So everything you love (or hate) about this blog is a result of my training. We don’t take free tools, advertising, sponsorship, affiliate status or Dick Butkus thanks to every moment I spent in my Law & Ethics class at Northwestern. I learned the value of document research in Investigative Journalism. I fell in love with history in the History of Journalism.

But wait, let’s go back to Beardy No. 2. Shouldn’t I be insulted by the fact that he said I’m not a “professional woodworker?”

Well, no. I’ve met a lot of professional woodworkers in the last 25 years, from Sam Maloof on down to the guy who just got a job making particleboard cabinets with a narrow-crown stapler. Just because you make a living from working wood doesn’t mean you have superpowers (anymore than being a journalist gives you a monopoly on the truth).

In the end, I hope to be judged by the work I leave behind. That includes the words, the furniture I build and the ideas that I’ll share with anyone who will listen.

And if you got to this point in the story then that might just be you.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Personal Favorites, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

I'm done.....maybe.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 05/13/2017 - 1:12am
I've been working OT now for a couple of months and my number goal was to funnel every OT dollar I made into my bills. Well I'm finally almost there. On june first I will pay off my last bill and be debt free except for the mortgage. That will be paid off in 2021 which is also the year I am shooting to retire on the last day.

I suffered a bit a relapse today where I went a bit nutso buying things. I saw a beautifully restored Stanley 358 miter box for $179 (with all the parts). That price includes shipping but it doesn't come with a saw. I have a Diston saw from my paperweight 358 that I can use there. If it doesn't fit, Lie Neilsen makes replacements.

The miter box was followed by my acquisition of a Stanley #2 type 11. This one looked pretty good in the pics and I have my fingers crossed on it. Before I ponied up my $$, I inquired about the return policy. If I'm not satisfied with it, they will accept it back. I'll get this probably tuesday or wednesday.

I found a lever cap for my 5 1/2 on eBay. Although I loathe buying anything off eBay, I have had good luck buying plane parts there (knocking on wood). I haven't found any of the tool mongers I frequent selling plane parts other than an occasional plane iron and never screws, chipbreakers, etc.

The last parts I bought were two brass barrel nuts and two brass toe screws for the tote. These four parts are replacement modern ones. I won't be getting these until after June 10th. The seller is jammed up with orders and isn't accepting any new ones until then.

I'm calling my collection of Stanley planes done. I have the 10 1/2 so I don't need to get the #10. I have zero interest in the #1 but all of this is subject to change. For now, once I get the 5 1/2 rehabbed and then the #2, there will be much joy and dancing in the streets of Mudville.

Another short night in the shop and I was prepared to put in OT there tonight. Ran smack dab into an accident on the way home. It was avoidable too as I came around the bend there it was. No chance to back up and go home on 95. And I was third in line to find it. Both drivers refused to move their cars until the cops got there so I got to do a Rorschach test on the cloud formations in the sky for over 30 minutes.

the after pics
This is what they looked like after soaking in Bar Keeps for about an hour while I had dinner (Thursday). Almost all the black crap is gone but I don't have shiny brass. And I like my brass to be shiny.
parts are done bathing
I pulled out the parts and put them all in a strainer. I rinsed them off with hot water in the kitchen sink and the blew them dry with my shop hair dryer.

sanded the top of one of the barre nuts
This will shine up ok but the slot is mangled up a bit and I don't like it. The other one is better but I'm not happy with how that looks neither.

these parts I'm keeping
these parts I'm replacing
The two screws are for the adjuster tab (the smaller one} and the larger screw is for the toe on the tote. The tab adjust screw is iffy because I'm not sure if I have one of them in my plane parts goodie box. I think I do but on the other hand I have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast at lunchtime. If I don't have one I'll use it. I'm replacing it because it has a pebbled look on the entire head.

first time I've seen this
I don't recall ever seeing the plane # being marked on the frog.

quick check on the iron
It looks like I have a hump on the back of the iron. I got the chipbreaker prepped and I rounded the corners on the plane iron. Another thing I'll finishing prepping tomorrow.

I got a replacement screw for the chipbreaker. I got the lever cap for the 5 1/2 from the same seller of the chipbreaker screw. I had bought 4 of them from him and I only needed one. It is nice to have spares.

still not shiny
I cleaned this up with orange cleaner and stuck in the Bar Keep and water stuff left over from yesterday for 20 minutes. A little cleaner but not shiny.

improved this look
I don't have time to do it now but tomorrow I'll do the Bar Keeps dance steps with this. I'll do it as many times as I have to until I get the shine I want.

shiny brass adjuster on the going back #2
I have a ways to go to match this but it's time to quit the shop for today.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was the first black presidential candidate nominated at a national political convention?
answer - Fredrick Douglas in 1888

This Blog Took A While To Write. Not Sure It Was Worth It.

The Furniture Record - Sat, 05/13/2017 - 12:46am

Way to sell a blog, huh? Right up front, warning the reader that they might be facing fifteen minutes of their life they’ll never get back. If you’re smart, you’ll click-through to Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic blog. Today I hear she is covering when to use Alabaster, when Pure White may be a better choice and under what conditions Snowbound is right. Dover white was covered in a previous blog.

Today’s topic is Modern Designs from the Barcelona Museum of Design. This exhibit filled an entire floor of the aforementioned museum in the aforementioned city. From their opening placard:

From the World to the Museum

Product Design, Cultural Heritage

In almost everything we do throughout the day, we use one or more objects. If we want to sit down, we use a chair; to do laundry, we use a washing machine; to see each other, we turn on lights… These objects, which have a host of different designs and purposes, accompany us throughout our lives and show us how just as the world changes, so do objects.

How is it, then, that certain objects come to be a part of the Museum’s collection but not others? Each of the pieces on display is considered a representative sample of the design of its time, of the different material and technical contributions proposed by their designers, as well as of their sociocultural resonance.

Product design is one of our great forms of cultural heritage. After all, when we set our sights on Barcelona or Catalonia, now or a few years from now, we will only be able to understand how we lived if we if we know that objects we had by our sides, and some of them are now part of the Museum’s collection.

I thought it was a very interesting exhibit. The problem arose when trying to write the blog. It wasn’t all that different from the modern designs we are used to. Modernism seems to have transcended borders. (I always wanted to use transcended in a blog. Well, not always, but for a while.)

Does this chair scream Spain when you see it?


The classic Butterfly chair in leather.

A quick story about this design. As a wee lad, I was drug to a store where my mother located one of these chairs in yellow fabric with black piping discounted because of a large scratch on the frame. She claimed the damaged chair and raced to back the stack to see if she could find another imperfect unit. Not finding another and lacking a tool to install a matching scratch, mother then started arguing with an assistant manager to discount a second chair because one chair just wouldn’t do. He relented, not because of her clear and remarkable logic but the belief it was worth the $10 to be rid of her, thus rewarding bad behavior.

I am still traumatized by the sight of these chairs.

This chair is also familiar:


I’ve not seen this exact chair but certainly some close cousins.

And their motorcycle, like most motorcycles, has a wheel in the front, one in the rear connected to a centrally mounted engine by a chain, with a seat, handle bars and a tail light:


An early ’70’s Montesa Cota 247 trials bike. I think. Let me know if you know or think you know better. The elongated, one piece gas tank is a nice touch, though.

These chairs are all familiar:


Have you seen most of these? I believe I have.

Why does furniture of this era remind me of 1950’s Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoons?


Used without permission or knowledge of Warner Bros. Studios or their successor companies.

Of course, there is some unfamiliar furniture to be seen:


Pink and green is back…

And this chair is among one of the most creative cross uses of technology I’ve seen:


The face is familiar but I can’t place the name.

The exhibit provides this explanation:


Kinda makes you want to see what you have squirreled away in the basement, doesn’t it?

Another placard in the exhibit states:


With type big enough I didn’t have to retype it…

If interested, you can see the entire photo set HERE.

Win the OLD LADY to help Brunette Bros. Circus

Old Ladies - Pedder's blog - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 11:28pm
Vor einiger Zeit habe ich über einen Besuch in Aalborg beim  Brunette Bros. Circus berichtet.

Die Menschen vom Circus - die nettesten Nichtholzwerker, die ich je traf, sitzen jetzt gerade in Spanien (Katalonien) und müssen ihr Fahrzeug reparieren. Sie brauchen Geld, und haben diese Crowdfunding Seite  eingerichtet. Es gibt sogar Belohnungen! Tolle Plakate, Lächel-Halter und Fake-Zigarren. Wer braucht das nicht?

Um die Unterstützung für meine Leser  noch attraktiver zu machen, verlose ich unter allen schnellen Spendern, die sich bei mir melden, die Säge aus dem Titelbild. Eine W. Tyzack, Sons & Turner. Schwerer Messingrücken, frisch geschärftes Blatt. DIE ALTE DAME! Was müsst Ihr tun, um an meiner Verlosung teilzunehmen? Schickt mir screenshots oder sonstige Nachweise  Eurer Unterstützung. Immer 5 € sind ein Los. Vergesst die Adresse nicht!

Die Blogger, Facebooker und Instagrammer unter Euch erhalten ein Zusatzlos für jeden BEitrag über den Circus und diese Aktion! Einsendeschluss ist der 01.07.2017. Der Rechtsweg ist ausgeschlossen. Mailadresse für die Einsendungen ist oldladies[at]gmx.de     

Ich stelle in den nächsten Tagen noch Bilder der Säge ein.

A long time ago I reportet about my visit of Bruntte Bros. Circus in Aalborg, Denmark. These are some of the nicest non woodworker, I've ever met, though they might do some woodworking now and then. Now they seem to be stuck in Catalunya, Spain and need cash to repair and prepare the circus for the summer. So they launched this Crowdfundinge Page. You'll get wonderful rewards for you money! Smile Holder, Fake Cigars and Posters!

To make this even more attractive for woodworker, I'll raffle off the saw from the Head. The OLD LADY! It's a 14 " W. Tyzack Sons & Turner 11 tpi fresh sharpened.

To take part, send my an valuation of your fund to the Brunette Bros Project to oldladies[at]gmx.de. Blogger, Instagrammer and Facebooker will ge a free additionally raffle ticket for every entry. Closing is the July 1st 2017. No recourse to the courts! 

I'm going to send more pictures of the saw in the coming days.
Categories: Hand Tools

@ Handworks 2017 – Original Roubo Print 274

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 6:13pm

Finally, we get to a picture of some furniture!  In this page from L’art du Menuisier, #274, “Plans and Elevations of a Common Commode,” Roubo continues a tutorial that runs throughout the entire opus — the exposition on and exhortation towards the creation of stylistic beauty.   Here he provides several options for interpreting what we would call a dresser, but they named commode.

The print is in excellent condition, with the expected oxidation of 250 years at the perimeter of the page.  As with some others in my inventory it has the charming feature unique to hand-printing pages, namely that the plate and the page were not perfectly aligned and are thus slightly askew.

The composition and engraving of the copper plate were done by Roubo himself.

If you have ever wanted to own a genuine piece of Rouboiana, this is your chance.   I will be selling this print at Handworks on a first-come basis, with terms being cash, check, or Paypal if you have a smart phone and can do that at the time of the transaction.


Intricacies of a Stanley #244 Miter Box

360 WoodWorking - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 4:13pm
Intricacies of a Stanley #244 Miter Box

If you have a Stanley #244 miter box, or are looking to purchase one, there are a few unique features of which you should be aware. In order to make your setup work as it should, your saw has to be equipped with a small post-like part that’s attached to its spine.

That small part, which is often lost or not included with the purchased of the miter box, trips the automatic catch that allows the saw to release from a locked position in order for the blade to drop onto your workpiece.

Continue reading Intricacies of a Stanley #244 Miter Box at 360 WoodWorking.

A Saw Binds

Paul Sellers - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 2:43pm

A saw binds in its cut and the man tugs it from the wood then throws it far across the shop like a Frisbee. Bouncing from the brick it lands deep in dust behind the strafe sander. He curses the saw and a big man walks over to him, grabs him by the throat and says, “Don’t …

Read the full post A Saw Binds on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools


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