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Big bottles are awkward

Journeyman's Journal - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 9:41pm

glue-bottles

This afternoon I was gluing a part of the grip I sawed off back on the moulding plane. While I was gluing up I thought to myself, how much simpler it is to use these small dispensable bottles than it would be using those large ones that come with the glue.

It’s easier to hold in my hand and I actually use less.  Old Brown Glue on the right will expire on 17th of this month, however it doesn’t mean that it will go off in three days. I’ve kept in a cool dark place for the last 12 months.  If it’s runny out of the bottle and it isn’t a hot day then it’s probably gone off, but that still isn’t a good indication if it has.  I usually go by smell and hide glue if gone off has the smell of a dead carcass.

I buy 50 ml (1.75 ounces) bottles from a $2 store, not sure what you would call it overseas.  For hide glue, heating it up in a small bottle is quicker than it is in the large standard bottle.  It’s also cheaper to buy the large 20 oz bottle than it is to buy their smaller ones.  I know people prefer to buy small bottles of the stuff but it’s not good economics to do so.  If you use the stuff regularly then you will have many refills at a fraction of the price and your not throwing your money on what costs a lot and that is shipping fees.

Once the bottle empties don’t throw it in the bin, unless you’ve emptied the large ones. If you have, don’t refill the smaller bottles with newer fresh glue because these glues are organic and you don’t want to contaminate fresh glue with old glue.

Here’s something that’s going to blow your socks off. I just had a delivery from Star Track. The driver is an owner driver (contractor), he told me that a small parcel costs $1.40 to deliver in my case it was a DVD.  I paid $12 for this delivery!  So think about it, I pay $40 for shipping for the fish glue and $20 for OBG because it was within Australia. Imagine how much I save because I buy the larger bottles than if I had of purchased the smaller one several times in a year.


Categories: Hand Tools

Stanley 200 honing guide

Oregon Woodworker - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 2:02pm
We were passing by an estate sale the other day and stopped to take a look.  The guy was a hoarder and there were boxes of junk scattered around the yard.  Something caught my eye and, when I picked it up, it appeared to be a vintage Stanley honing guide, though I had never heard of it.  I took it to the seller, offered him $5 for it and he asked me what it was.  I told him what I thought and he immediately went on Ebay and found one for $110.   I am sure I could have bought the entire box for $5 and, of course, I didn't have to tell him what it was, but that's me.  Obviously irritated, I put it back and he promptly told me he would take $5 for it.

So, here is what it looks like after I cleaned it up:


It's got some light pitting on the roller that doesn't affect use.  You can alter the angle of the blade either by varying how far it protrudes from the guide or turning the acme-threaded rod on the roller.  One of the things that intrigued me about it is that it is long enough to let you have the roller off the sharpening medium.  I like this idea because I use diamond paste and it keeps the roller from being contaminated:


I sort of assumed it wouldn't work very well because you don't read about them and, so far as I was aware, there is only a cheap modern version that is anything like it.  However, I tried it out on this plane blade and it worked really well.  I've got the roller a little low in the picture, but there is a lot of flexibility in how you adjust it.  I wasn't sure how well the thumbscrews would work, but they held the blade securely.

Now I'm wondering why a guide like this seems to have fallen out of use.  I did some research and it appears that it wasn't popular because the sharpening medium has to be a uniform thickness or the angle will change.  That isn't a problem with diamond stones, plates and paste or sandpaper but it was a problem with oilstones.  Some woodworkers seem to really like them.  I think it is a keeper.

Here is an interesting video by a luthier who has developed a similar guide that he uses with waterstones.  One of the advantages he claims is that it keeps him from gouging a very soft 8000 grit waterstone he uses.  The way he uses it to polish the back is interesting too.  



Categories: Hand Tools

Saw Sharpening Demo at SAPFM-Blue Ridge

The Barn on White Run - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 7:39am

Recently I was a presenter at the SAPFM Blue Ridge Chapter on the topic of saw sharpening.  I would not call myself an accomplished saw sharpener mostly because my results are inconsistent, generally due to the lack of hours at the task.  But there are times when the result is excellent, for example my favorite old back saw that I last sharpened sometime in the 1980s and has cut hundreds of joints since, and remains sharp and the cuts crisp and clean.

Using some oversized props I reviewed the notions of tooth spacing and shape (rake, and fleam), and how these come into play for crosscutting and ripping at varying degrees of scale, precision and effectiveness.

I the moved through the nearly unlimited options for holding the saw during sharpening, and finally set up to actually doing some sharpening under less-than-ideal conditions of a large lumber warehouse with diffuse illumination.  I find that getting the lighting correct is perhaps the most important thing when sharpening a saw, and this setting wasn’t it.

My explanation of the process was certainly better than the actual sharpening during the demo, but I think the attendees got the idea.

As an aside, I was delighted I had my petite Roubo bench with me and realize that it has become a treasured part of my traveling side-show kit, as it fits neatly into the back of my S-10, is moved easily with a hand truck, and performs most excellently.

Ten Ways I am Doing Things Differently - Part 1

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 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'll break up my list of ten things into three posts so I don't drone on and on here.

Diamond Stones

I learned on Arkansas stones and I still use them for sharpening carving tools. I really love the feel of the stones. But during the 1990 - 2010 era, I mostly used water stones. Over the years I used many different brands, but nonetheless all water stones. I still use water stones in the kitchen for sharpening knives, but for woodworking tools and when I teach sharpening I use diamond stones do all the rough work. I use an 8000 grit finishing stone at the end because I don't think the 8000 grit diamond stones are nearly as fine, but diamonds do everything else. You can read about my experiments here.

Diamond paste works well but it's too messy for me, and I worry about getting it into my eye. I don't use lapping film, although it's great and popular. For the amount of sharpening I do, it's not practical: I would just blow through too much film. I think lapping film is best for low cost-of-entry on a professional system and for traveling. Some people love lapping film because it's largely maintenance free. It also works well for odd profiles, but it's not for me. The major problem I used to have with diamond stones is that they would wear out quickly and weren't flat. The DMT Dia-Sharp stones solve the latter problem, and by not using them to flatten water stones I solve the former problem. DMT makes lapping plates for flattening water stones, but currently I don't have one (I should but I don't).

The main reason for the switch to diamonds is that I am a lazy sod who is always in a rush. My water stones got out of flat. Water was sloshing everywhere - I didn't do the needed regular flattening and I didn't have a good place for a bucket of water stones. I love Arkansas stones a lot, but for regular chisels and plane blades, I find them slow. For carving tools, diamonds can replace a medium India stone, but diamonds, while cutting fast, leave scratches which would add in a step or two.

Hide Glue
I grew up on Titebond. Back in the 1980's we all felt so superior to those DIYers who still used - horrors! - Elmer's glue, while, we used real wood glue for gluing up our projects. And it was yellow too! What I hated then, and now, about Titebond is that if you ever got it on the wrong spot, you'd have the big hassle of cleaning the wood so that it could take finish. I still use Titebond for gluing Dominos and some other general tasks. But if there is any risk of surface contamination, I much prefer hide glue. Being mostly transparent to finishes = a massive time-saver for me. I don't use hot glue. I suppose I should, but I don't have a place to put the glue pot. I do most of my woodworking snatching odd moments and I just can't think ahead to soak glue pellets. (Why is it that every time I think of the word "pellets," I think of hamsters?) But Old Brown Glue is great stuff, is real hide glue, and put putting it out in the sun or on a radiator for a minute makes it perfect to use. So that's what I do.

Hand Sawing

When I first studied woodworking, it was generally accepted that sawing dovetails by hand was perfectly acceptable, but milling timber and cutting it by hand was a waste of time -- and really impossible to do well. However, in the early days of TFWW, I needed to build a couple of projects and for the first time I didn't have access to a table saw. At the same time, there was a major revival in backsaw manufacture, and a real re-evaluation of handsaws in general. On those early projects I ended up sawing lots and lots of maple by hand, and by the end of the project I was reasonably good at it. These days, I am much more likely to grab a handsaw than to wander back to see if the bandsaw is free. For plywood, I use a Festool plunge saw, but for everything else, I pretty much use our Hardware Store Saw. (I have wonderful Disston saws in my toolbox, but the display Hardware Store saw is physically closer and cuts faster). These days I expect myself to cut square by eye. Then normal procedure is to use a shooting board to complete the job (if real accuracy is needed).

I'll continue my list next time. What's on your list? I love traditional methods for doing stuff. I love history and the feeling that I am walking in the footsteps of those who went before us. On the other hand, I have limited time do build anything. and I value efficiency. I personally like developing hand skills rather than getting single purpose tools, and I am continually learning. So that's why I've change the way I work, and I will continue to change (I hope).

Is New York’s Best Pizza in New Jersey?

Giant Cypress - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 3:18am
Is New York’s Best Pizza in New Jersey?:

Pete Wells, in the New York Times:

Ed and I, having eaten a pizza and a half each, shared a single panna cotta. Then he asked me again: “Are you going to say that the best pizza in New York is in New Jersey?”

I am, Ed. I am.

Reason #62 why New Jersey is better than New York.

done tomorrow......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 1:11am
I had a senior moment tonight that I corrected. Having that episode (again) gave me tonight's blog title. The 71 box will done tomorrow . Fini, complete, over, 100% done, nothing more to do, time to let the oohs and aahs commence. My final glamour shot tomorrow will be anticlimactic because I already posted one.

not the title senior moment
I almost made another set of these for nothing. After I took some medicine that corrected my anal ocular inversion, I saw that I could just turn it.  The one I have in my hand is the original way I was putting them in. Turning them gives me a much wider bearing surface for the till bottom to seat on.

it's a snug fit side to side
top of the scrap is the bottom of the bearer
I set the bearer on top of this and screwed them into the sides. This ensures both bearers are at the same height.

getting the length of till
I made the mark across both sticks at the front and I'm checking it at the back to see if it there is any difference. The mark lined up exactly which means my toolbox sides are the same length.

sawing the till parts to rough length
long side is about 3/16 too long
the same with the ends
I had bought 6 boards and I picked the 3 straightest ones I for this till. I am going to sticker these until tomorrow and I'll start the dovetailing it then.

choices for the bottom
I can use 1/4" birch or 1/8" plywood. My preference is to use 1/8" over the 1/4". But the 1/8" will be the wanna be and 1/4" will be used. I don't think the 1/8" would be strong enough. It's too big of a bottom span for it.

first handle idea
As I was looking at this pic I thought of something else. I made the space for the chain to fall in but maybe I can put this on the other side and thread a rope handle through it?

the blog title senior moment
I was fixated on getting my hardware for this and spaced out that I have 80 or more of these. I could have been done with this yesterday.

almost bottomed out
I drilled a hole and threaded it with my homemade tap. With the fence, washer, and the holder thickness, the screw won't bottom out.

cutting it down
I don't need to spend ten minutes screwing this all the way in or out.  I cut it to a 1/2" long under the head.
enough room to screw this in/out with my ham hock fingers
I would need a stubby
If I had used one of the screws coming from McMaster-Carr I would have had to use a screwdriver. I don't have the strength in my fingers to grasp the head of the screw and take it out or in. Not to mention that I would have to search for a stubby screwdriver that I know I don't have.

glued with hide glue - this will be done tomorrow
the man in brown came
As I was writing this blog he came and dropped off my goodies from McMaster. Two 10-24 screws from Lowes, with tax are over $2. For $5 and change I got a hundred and I probably have a lifetime supply of them. Miles too most likely.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is the birthday flower for November?
answer - chrysanthemum

Let’s Talk About a Sticky Topic

Paul Sellers - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 12:50am

Periodically, not too often enough to be overly concerned, someone makes a statement about this or that, types in IMHO and moves on. You know that there is nothing humble about it really, just a comment tossed over the shoulder as they walk away from any kind of accountability for it. “Too much glue!”, one …

Read the full post Let’s Talk About a Sticky Topic on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

What is a fundamental skill set for a woodworker?

Heartwood: Woodworking by Rob Porcaro - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 12:15am
woodworking skills
How would you reply if someone asked you, “Are you a good woodworker?” I think most of us seriously involved in the craft eventually ask ourselves this question. So, what might comprise a test of fundamental furniture making skills? Here is what I suggest as a basic skill set for making furniture and accessories. It […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Toothing Your Bench. The Deconstruction of Bench Destruction, 6 Months Later.

Fair Woodworking - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 8:18pm
Last March I had a little stroke of good fortune. As occasionally happens at work, I had a four day weekend coming up. At the same time, one of our national airlines was having a seat sale, and Lie-Nielsen was having a Hand Tool Event in Cincinnati. As a result, what started out as a […]
Categories: Hand Tools

Tip of the day – How to cut down on your sharpening time

Journeyman's Journal - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 4:00pm

cheap-stanley

If you’ve read issue two of HANDWORK you’ll understand why it’s a pain to sharpen thick A2 and O1 irons. It’s a necessary evil, but one that can be slightly minimised though.

After re sawing a board you’re left with a rough surface and I can’t tell you how painful it is to put a freshly sharpened thick iron it.  So, by chance I happened to find a cheap Stanley in my shed.  I don’t know when I got it or how much I paid for it but it was there sitting in the bottom of my old toolbox in OK condition.

I cleaned it up and flattened the bottom and didn’t do anything else to it.  The iron sharpened in a jiffy because it’s thin.  I don’t do any finish planing with it, I use it just to take the roughness out and then finish the board off with the rest of my planes.

I still have to sharpen several times in a day, but prepping the board with this cheapy means I save on a couple of trips to the sharpening station.

 


Categories: Hand Tools

Now With Even More Artwork

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 9:30am

detail_bookcov_0001

One of the best parts of this job is answering angry emails from disgruntled people. Hahaha. Just kidding. One of best parts of this job is working with independent artisans and artists to do stuff that would make my former corporate overlords crap their Brooks Brothers suits.

This month we’ve been working with the supremely talented and creative Andrea Love, a Port Townsend, Wash., artist who specializes in stop-motion animation. You might remember her from this fantastic short for Hand-tool Heaven, or her work from “By Hound & Eye.”

As we were finishing up the latest book by Jim Tolpin and George Walker, titled “From Truths to Tools,” Jim proposed using some sort of adaptation of William Blake’s “The Ancient of Days” on the cover. It’s a fantastic image, but getting it to work on the odd-sized book cover was going to be a challenge.

Then Andrea, who illustrated and lettered “From Truths to Tools,” volunteered to make a watercolor adapted from the Blake painting that would fit the cover – and wrap around the back of the cover, creating a gorgeous package. And she did it in just a few days.

bookcov_0001

If I had suggested commissioning a painting for a book cover at any of my former jobs, I would have been labeled as a mentally defective, half-witted and spendthrift loon (to be fair, I am a loon).

We hope to get this book off to the printer on Friday and start taking pre-publication orders this weekend (details and pricing soon).

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


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

"‘Reinventing the Wheel’ straddles a number of different categories: It is a primer, a..."

Giant Cypress - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 3:18am
“‘Reinventing the Wheel’ straddles a number of different categories: It is a primer, a history, a series of ethnographies, and, finally, an attack on much of the received wisdom in the dairy industry. The Percivals take the reader through each stage in the cheese production process, focusing not only on milk and bacterial cultures but also on the breeding and feeding of cows and responsible upkeep of pasturage. Along the way, they make a compelling argument that many cheesemaking traditions, capable of producing some of the most unique cheeses, were neglected or forgotten as industrialization took place at the turn of the 19th century.”

-

Sho Spaeth, in his article “Obsessed: The Fight for Real Cheese” on the Serious Eats website.

One of the themes I come back to when thinking about the differences between Japanese and western tools is that the differences aren’t because Japanese toolmakers came up with a wacky plan to use laminated construction in chisels and plane blades. That same approach was used by western toolmakers back in the day. 

The difference came in how the western world embraced the Industrial Revolution. Laminated steel construction for edge tools couldn’t be easily automated in a factory production environment. So instead of continuing to make a high quality tool, compromises were made in the name of ease of manufacturing.

it's a type 10 to 11......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 1:14am
Thanx to Bob D I was able to type my 71. And just like trying to type a bench plane, there is a bit slop with typing the 71.  It could be the type where a certain feature first showed up but it also has some of the later ones. I've found that the best I can do is to narrow it down to two or maybe three types. The 71 is that way. It has one feature that first appeared with the type 10 and it matches up too with the type 11.

I like typing a Stanley tool. It's cool to see how it progressed from initial production to what you are holding in your hands now. The progression of the 71 was interesting. The special attachment didn't show up for over 10 years.

been a day it should have set up
won't fit where I want it
This is one downside to making a small tight box. I could notch out for the thumb screw but I don't want to do that. That would make it even tighter getting the 71 out and putting it back.  Another option would be to the iron in the bullnose position. That would reverse the collar and thumbscrew 180°. That would also make it a PITA to use when I have to switch it before I can make shavings.


it barely fits here
The open throat front edge is separated from the holder by two atoms. It's a tight fit. I can take the router out but it's a bit dicey getting it back in. It is easier to slightly tilt it to drop it in but with the holders there, I can't do that. I have put up against the holder and drop it straight down. Not that convenient and awkward.

Another problem is the weight is now all concentrated on this side of the box. Not a deal killer but there isn't much I can do about it.

the lid clears the irons
still no screws for the fence
I could put the fence storage on the other side but I don't think it will do much to counter balance the other side. Since I don't have the screws this isn't set in concrete yet.

got a 16th now
I planed a little off of each side of the holder. There is enough room to put the router back in by tilting it.

the till
The #6 is the tallest tool I can think of that will be in the bottom of the toolbox. This one big till will get two more sliding tills that will fit inside of it. That will all come later.


bearer on the chain side
I saw a toolbox build that dealt with this chain in what I thought was a clever way. I don't like having the chain fall into the till and his solution fixes that. I don't remember who did this but if I do I'll give him credit and post the link.

the till side
If the till side has a space between it and the chain, the chain will naturally fall into it and not the till.

this looks to be enough room
The chain fell straight down into the space. Now I just have to figure out how to make the space.

grecian ovolo on the bottom, the top one I don't the name of it
I think using these on the interior would be lost not to mention not being readily visible.

better choice for the bearer
As of now I'm thinking of only putting bearers on the two short sides to hold the till.  I want to avoid having them as a catch point on the long sides. If I see the till sagging I can revisit this and put a short bearer in the middle on both long sides.

side bearers
The one with the rabbet will go against the side with the chain and give me the space for it.


this should work
The size of the rabbet seems adequate - it's 3/8" square with a 3/8" space on the top.


change one
Decided to use a rabbeted bearer on both sides. There isn't enough space to get my fingers between the till ends and the sides but it'll help some if I put handles on the inside of the till.  The what and how of the handles will take some time to generate a few ideas on. I am going to do change two on the bearers also.  I will make the rabbet bottom 3/4" inch with a 3/8" space for the chain. I don't like the look of the 3/8" square rabbet as it looks to be too small for the till to rest on. I'll make the new bearers tomorrow and start on the till.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
On the Universal Product Code (bar code), what is signified by the digits 2 to 6?
answer -  the Product's manufacturer as assigned by the Uniform Code Council

Fool Proof Method of Cutting Rabbets /Rebates

Journeyman's Journal - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 11:26pm

One of the topics that will be covered in the third issue of The Lost Scrolls of HANDWORK will be moulding planes.  I’ll show you step by step method of building a pair of No.4 hollow and round using the French build method of the 18th century.  It’s a lot easier building a pair of no.14 than it is the more useful smaller ones like the no.4.

The French method is about the cutting a Rebate/Rabbet so you can make the mortise and then laminate that cut off part back on.  So there will be some sawing to do and that part isn’t all that easy. For one you need to sset the saw kerf perfectly straight and then maintain a vertical angle throughout the cut.  One way you could do this is to use a kerfing plane, but since I don’t have one and really don’t need one a shoulder plane works very well.  I do plan on making a kerfing plane in the future, but for now I know I don’t need it.

The first thing you need to do is strike a line about a 32nd in from the desired depth.

 

Then with the shoulder plane or a rabbet plane if you have one lean the plane to the left side to create a kerf for the saw to rest in.  Do this a few times but not too many unless you’ve allowed plenty of over hang which I’ll go into more detail in the article.

rabbet_03

Once your satisfied that you have a deep enough kerf, place your saw in it and very lightly pull back whilst maintaining an upright vertical position.  Use the saws reflection to judge by eye if your vertical or not. I’m refraining from using the word “perfectly” vertical.  I know it’s not possible to be perfectly anything working by hand so do the best you can and try and be 90° to the surface.

Tip:  If you need aid use a small square and lean your saw onto it as you pull back.

Repeat this two or three times and start sawing.  Remember you bodies posture to ensure your keeping your saw straight. Don’t force the saw and don’t press down either. Let the weight of the saw do it’s job.  Always keep an eye on both ends, another words stop periodically sawing and check to see if you are straight.  The first 1/8″ is the most critical, if you get that right then the saw will continue to be straight throughout the rest of the cut.  Unfortunately what I just said only applies when your sawing the cheeks and not to the shoulder.  The cheek is the longest part and the material has sandwiched the saw which is serving as a helping hand to keep your cuts accurate.  You can still stuff up though and wonder in the cut so keep your wits about you at all times.

Your saw will tell you if you begin to wander off your line, that’s the beauty of hand tools.  The saw will begin to hang or bind in the cut, that’s an indication that you moved or are moving off the line.

You’re also need to clean out the dust between the teeth as you periodically stop to check on your progress, and don’t forget to blow out as much dust from the kerf as you can.  Oil or use candle wax a gazillion times to make sawing easier.  Remember the saw plate is sandwiched and there is a lot of friction going on.

As you can see in the picture below I’m 32nd off the line and straight as a ruler.  I’ll finish it with a small shoulder plane.  In fact this method is no different to when your make a knife wall for your crosscuts.

rabbet_02

rabbet_01

That is nice and straight.  If you don’t achieve that first go, don’t fret too much over it as I don’t make perfect cuts all day everyday.  We do stuff up and it’s all fixable. Remember though “practice makes permanent.” If you don’t know what I’m talking about read the second issue.

In the picture below you repeat the same for the cheeks as you did for the shoulder.

rabbet_05rabbet_06

rabbet_07rabbet_08

There will always be a need to clean things up with a shoulder or rabbet plane.  You can even use a block plane and then finish it off with a chisel.

The point is though that you’ve cut down on a lot of cleaning and rabbeting woes using this method.  It’s fool proof in my view, but that’s my view and probably you have a different opinion or better yet, a much better method of executing this operation.

In case you do don’t hesitate to offer your suggestment. I’m always open to learn a better way of doing things or just learning something new.

 


Categories: Hand Tools

Let’s Make Finger Sandwiches!

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 5:48pm

nancy_reading_DSC_0512

Last month we hosted Nancy Hiller, the author of “Making Things Work,” for an evening of literary readings, children’s games that got the local prostitutes worked up, and a beating of the “biscuit joiner that refused to die.”

Here are the details of the evening:

This was our first real literary event in our 11 years of doing business. I have found that typically, reading step-by-step instructions out loud from a woodworking book will not get women to throw their bras on stage. So why bother with readings?

Nancy’s book, however, is one of those special books that simply begs to be heard from the tongue of the author, like a David Sedaris book.

hiller_DSC_0510

So we fed the audience beer and wine (no, we didn’t make cucumber finger sandwiches) and Nancy read selections from her book and answered questions from the audience.

If this were a typical literary event, this is when everyone would stumble home to cuddle with Proust, or cover their naked bodies with pages ripped from Jane Austen’s “Mansfield Park.”

Nancy had other ideas.

pinthetail_IMG_8697

She concocted a game of “pin the tail on the dove.” Blindfolded participants had to pin a tail on a large-scale drawing of a dove. During the game, some of the local prostitutes watched us play the game through the window like it was surely a scene from “Eyes Wide Shut.” And as I blindfolded yet another middle-aged man and gently guided him to the back of the room by his shoulders, I got a big thumbs-up from the working women outside.

The finale was a pinata of a biscuit joiner that Nancy had made – filled with tiny plastic bottles of booze and little bits of ephemera that related to “Making Things Work.” Destroying the biscuit joiner took about 30 minutes of effort (and switching to a bigger stick).

And yay – this time the cops didn’t come.

Thanks so much to Nancy for being such a good sport and putting on a great evening. I hope we can publish a book some day that is worthy of another reading.

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


Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

77 and still making planes by hand!

Journeyman's Journal - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 4:00pm

Maybe you’ve heard of him or maybe you haven’t. His name is Bill Carter an Englishman gentleman, 77 years old and still makes planes by hand.

He makes wooden planes of all sorts including miniature moulding planes and he also makes infill planes and once again all by hand.  No machinery used to cut the metal dovetails. A simple hacksaw, a blunt chisel and a file is all he needs to produce beautiful and very antique looking planes.

They’re not cheap though and I wouldn’t expect them to be, but as an investment if you could afford them they’re worth every penny.

On his website he shows how he makes them, a lot of great tips so worth a look.

After he’s  gone these planes will be worth 4 times the price and it will only increase in value.  It will be a sad day though as he’s probably the last tool maker who purely works by hand.

www.billcarterwoodworkingplanemaker.co.uk


Categories: Hand Tools

European Woodworking Show 2017, this weekend!!!

David Barron Furniture - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 11:18am

Yes it's here at last, the biggest and best, quality hand tool show in the UK, maybe even the world!!
The setting is in and around the wonderful 12th C Cressing Temple Barns in Essex.
Tool makers and demonstrators from around the world will be attending and this is one show not to miss, especially as this is the last!
See pictures from the 2015 show here

http://www.europeanwoodworkingshow.eu/previous-shows/gallery-2015/

The show is open from 10.00 - 5.00 pm on Saturday 16th and 10.00 am - 4.00 pm on Sunday 17th.
Hope to see you there!
Categories: Hand Tools

Calling B&^^%@*t on Lost Art Press

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 10:54am

LAP_logo2_940Alternative headline: Is it too early to start drinking?

Comment from a reader: I have to express my displeasure with your book sales process. For someone in search of increasing his/her knowledge of the craft, you miss a key point that I knew over my four decades as a teacher; books are meant to be used and consumed. Schools at all levels have a misguided policy of buying and reselling books, or renting books and fining students for any “damage” they imparted on the physical item. Books, in order to be truly useful to a learner, should be marked, highlighted, bent, etc. A book is meant to be used up.

For a woodworker hoping to apply knowledge in the shop, it does no good to have a collectable book, with cloth bindings and heavy weight paper.  While I can appreciate that for some pieces of literature, instructional books that cost $40+ dollars are like creating an amazing workshop, then keeping it in pristine condition; no dust, no dents, no signs of use in fear of diminishing its original, valued condition.

The cheaper version of a PDF leaves one with the option of running back and forth between computer and shop, or printing out perhaps hundreds of pages to be transported and marked for reference.  Neither is really a viable option in an instructional setting.

Making a more affordable paperback version would meet the needs of many, if not most woodworkers.  If you were truly committed to educating those who wish to take up and preserve the craft, why would you not offer that option?

Response: Not sure what the point is you are making. I think what you are saying is that a book that costs $40+ dollars is by default a collectable and not used, dented and show signs of wear. We at Lost Art Press want everyone to use our books. All of my books show wear. We are not collectors, nor are we trying to create a market for collectors.

The books cost what they cost. We do the best we can with materials to produce a book that will last as long as the information contained in it. We also want the best information we can produce so given these two criteria the books come out at the prices we list.

We don’t build furniture with cheap plywood and MDF… we build everything we do with the best quality we can. I will grant you that both Deluxe Roubo books we put out could be collectibles, but that is why we do trade editions.

Lastly we are a business. If we don’t make money we stop producing books. We are not working so that everyone in the woodworking world can have the information we produce on the cheap. Our books are a bargain at the prices we charge.

And Back at Us: You either missed the point completely, or, more likely, the issue is about profit.  “Books cost what they cost…” profound! My point is that it would be appreciated by many who seek instruction to have options somewhere between a PDF and instruction “printed on heavy #80-pound matte coated paper. The book is casebound and sewn so it lasts a long time. The hardback boards are covered in cotton cloth with a black matte stamp.”  

The point is that masters of woodworking make their instructional materials available in paperback form for a reasonable profit. Why? For the preservation of the craft! For those who want to learn from someone as accomplished as Jim Tolpin, #80-pound matte paper doesn’t matter.  It’s his revelations about the craft and its design that he hoped to pass along to others, not to have his work preserved in a cotton cloth hardboard cover. LAP’s 1st priority seems to be the profit to be made from selling a high item.

I don’t expect you to lower the price of these items; I’m just calling bullshit on what you’re attempting to do. Educators make knowledge more readily affordable.


Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

On Our Return From the Wild Kingdom, We Continue Milking the Auction.

The Furniture Record - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 8:11am

Back to the auction gallery.

There were a few other auction items worthy of attention. First is this:

American Chippendale Blanket Chest.

Description: Late 18th century, white pine dove tailed case, lid with fishtail hinges and applied molded edge, interior with till to left side (lacking lid), base with two side by side lipped drawers, raised on ogee bracket feet with spurs.

Size: 29.5 x 48.5 x 23 in.

Condition: Wear and marring to top; missing lock; later pulls; feet have lost some height.

DSC_8556

This lot has sold for $310.

They called it a blanket chest while others might consider it a mule chest. The argument is that the drawers make it a mule chest but others say mule chests must be taller. Who knows?

Some interesting details:

DSC_8558

Dovetailed case.

DSC_8559

Dovetailed drawers.

DSC_8572

Drawer bottoms chamfered and pinned.

DSC_8579

Convex bracket feet.

Till lid is missing. Saw cuts were used to make the dados for the till and mortises for the hinges:

DSC_8566

Note the saw cuts by the hinges and till. They were not afraid of over cutting.

The breadboards on the lid are very narrow and really seem to be wide moldings more than ends designed to keep the lid flat.

DSC_8571

Are the breadboard ends wide enough to keep the lid in one plane?

Interestingly, they are attached with through tenons:

DSC_8560

Through tenons to attach the ends.

For a minute I thought the tenons were wedged but a closer look showed me that it wasn’t a wedge but a pinned tenon that suffered a break in the end grain where the pin came too close to the end of the tenon:

DSC_8568

The tenon failed where pinned.

I like the pulls…

DSC_8574

Even if they are replacements.

Next up is this:

Cherry Dovetailed Blanket Chest

Description: 19th century, hinged top with applied rounded edge, interior with till, applied molded base with turned peg feet.

Size: 23 x 38 x 18.5 in.

Condition: Later hinges with break outs and repairs; moth ball smell to interior; surface scratches.

DSC_8512

This lot has sold for $90.

There carcass is dovetailed. Really. Email me if you need to see the pictures.

I haven’t shown any secret compartments for a while so I owe you this.

There is a till on the left. Thetill appears shallower than the till front board would lead you to believe:

DSC_8514

The till seems like it should be deeper. Ignore the scuff marks above till’s front board.

Not all that much or a secret really.

DSC_8515

The front board is captive but slides up a bit to reveal a shallow secret compartment.

Note the arc of a groove on the chest’s lid caused by using the till lid as a stop.

Odd to find a boarded chest at a “better” auction but, here it is:

American Grain Bin

Description: 19th century, white pine, hinged lid, divided interior with two compartments, straight legs from the solid with half-moon cut.

Size:  26.5 x 30 x 16.5 in.

Condition: Rat chew to lid and front boards; tin patch to left side.

DSC_8529

This lot has sold for $160.

This piece had some remodeling done:

George III Chest of Drawers

Description: Early 19th century, mahogany, pine secondary, converted originally from a commode / wash stand, now with four graduated drawers, with a bracket foot base.

Size: 30 x 26 x 20 in.

Condition: Converted from wash stand to chest of drawers; later pulls; wear and chipping.

DSC_8611

This lot has sold for $700.

You see, in this chest, the two doors were rebuilt into two drawers. Original lower drawers are dovetailed:

DSC_8612

Original lower drawers are dovetailed.

Improvised upper drawers are dovetail-free:

DSC_8613

No dovetails on the new(ish) drawers.

Looking at the upper drawer fronts tells the story of its origin:

DSC_8616

This is not traditionally how you build drawer fronts but it is how you build doors.

In review, this chest was initially built with two drawers below with two doors on top. The doors were cut up and converted into two drawer front giving the chest four drawers.

I like this sring pull, too.

DSC_8618

Might not be original but it works.

Finally, apparently no recent blog of mine is complete without a Hitchcock chair. This blog is no exception:

James L. Ferguson’s Hamilton College Hitchcock Chair

Description: Late 20th century, black lacquered wood with gilt and painted decoration, back support with early scene of Hamilton College and signed S. Marshall, stenciled on seat rail “L. Hitchcock, Hitchcocks-ville Conn., Warranted” and gilt signed “James L. Ferguson ’49, Charter Trustee 1973-1988.”

Size: 31 x 24 x 16 in.

Condition: Some scuffs and light wear; overall good estate condition.

DSC_8544

This lot has sold for $140.

And here is the obligatory picture of the genuine stenciled logo:

DSC_8545

Stencil variation circa 1988.

DSC_8546

This is what makes it a presentation chair.

 

 

 

 


took it easy.....

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 4:16am
The gash I gave myself yesterday is healing ok. The steri-strips kept the wound closed while I slept and when I awoke this morning there were only two small spots of blood on the bandage. I'll change them after I shower tonight because I doubt steri-strips can survive a shower.

I didn't get much done in the shop today but I did have a late day burst working on the 71 box. I figured out how to stow the three irons. I am still waiting on the screws to come in for the fence so that will hold up being 100% done with the box. Maybe I'll get them tomorrow.

made a change with the banding
This plain square bottom banding is history.

this will replace it
I have enough stock left over to make another set to wrap the box.

checking the two pieces
The stock I had wasn't long enough to make all 3 pieces of the banding needed. I had to make it in two and I'm planing the second one until it feels the same as the other one.

4 1/2 feet of molding shavings
yikes! the left hand molding came out like crap
right end molding (bottom) came out ok
4 1/2 isn't wide enough to use on the jig going R or L
#8 fits
This did work but the left of the jig was a bit high the plane iron was stopping on it. I didn't want to try to fix that now and set it aside.

surprisingly, this worked very well
I had to take one more trimming run
I should have left myself a bit more wiggle room on this. I barely sawed this to rough  length long enough. Trimming the fuzz from the saw cut ate up past my wiggle room.

this should be more than enough wiggle room
I ripped out another piece and molded the edge again.


right corner dialed in to set the short side
I usually do my molding starting with a short side and working around till I come back to it. This time I set the two short ones and I'll trim and fit the long one to fit inbetween them.

first rough cut and check
sneaking up on the fit
an hour later
I am still a wee bit long and some of it I can adjust with the side one.

I'm happy with this fit
It is not perfect but close enough. I'll be painting this and sandpaper, putty, and a dark color will hide a lot of sins.



off the saw
Initially I was a bit off at the heel but towards the end I was dead nuts according to Mr Starrett.

how I snuck up on the fit
From the first rough cut on the left to the last one on the right. I erred very cautiously on the waste side. I didn't have any more stock to make another molding so did the fitting in turtle mode.

how I kept my placement of the molding
It started with putting 3 nails in the back of the molding.

clipped them off close
box lid lightly clapped shut
I put the spacer on the top, aligned it left and right, and pressed into the box.

two sides done
I screwed the molding to the box from the inside, no glue.

one more piece and this will be done
This molding looks a 100% better than the plain square molding there.

the 71 box
This is where the burst came in. It took me all morning and a couple of hours into the afternoon just to do the banding. I watched a few You Tube videos on the JFK assassination and over 50 years later the controversy surrounding his death still won't die. I don't believe Oswald did it and the researchers are finding more and more anomalies and holes with the Warren Commission report every time new documents are freed up  I was in the 6th grade just getting ready to go home when the news about his death was announced on the PA system.

got an idea for stowing the irons
nailed the miters
I glued the miters and further help keep them together, I nailed them too. Tomorrow I'll plane the corners flush and sand the beads. I'll putty the holes when I paint the box.

I screwed this down rather then glue it
two of the screws broke off
I can hide these two
These are the two holes with the broken screws and I can hide the both of them with storage doo-dads. I tried to get them out but both of them broke off below the surface of the bottom plywood.

first screw hole hidden

using hide glue for this in case I need to reverse or repair it
my iron storage idea
I had wanted to stow the irons this way since the beginning but I couldn't figure out how. The shafts on the irons are 3/8" square with the irons angled kitty corner rather then being 90° on a flat face. The diagonal facing iron was depriving my only two brain cells of oxygen and I was at a lost for a solution. I was stuck on working around the diagonal and I didn't need to be. I needed a square 3/8" hole and nothing more than that.

almost done
This worked good for me. The irons pivot out at an angle rather then being flat up against the wall of the box. This will allow me to grab an iron and take it out easily. I made the grooves a few frog hairs wider than 3/8".

Tomorrow I will plane and clean this up. I think I might have enough room on the right to put the fence there. If I don't I will make something else to hold the fence. I glued this and set aside to set up.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
The US $500 bill was discontinued in 1969 but they are still legal tender. Whose picture was on it?
answer - President William McKinley

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