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My daughter Maddy reports she has fewer than 50 sets of stickers left, a set that includes the “Sharpen This” sticker that is showing up on the boxes for sharpening stones everywhere. (Wish I had thought of that.)
If you want a set of these high-quality stickers, here are the details. You can order a set of three from her etsy store here. A set is $6 delivered ($10 for international orders).
Or, for customers in the United States, you can send a $5 bill and a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) to by daughter Maddy at:
Stick it to the Man
P.O. Box 3284
Columbus, OH 43210
As always, this is not a money-making venture for me or Lost Art Press. All profits help Maddy through college. (Only one more college payment due!)
After this set is exhausted, we’ll be printing three new stickers. I’m working on the new designs now.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Uncategorized
All my tools are fairly rough and basic.
I’ve never had much bother finding tools that work, although two things have always troubled me.
The first; finding drill bits that don’t rag out the work in slow hand powered drills.
And finding a good marking knife.
The drill bit hunt is still on, but I have finally got on top of the iron dagger.
My favourite knife for many years was a bit of old hacksaw blade, sharpened to a spear like point, so it could be used right or left-handed.
Because of a wind storm that knocked the power out this week (stalling progress on the Tables video edit), Mike and I have been working on sheathing the shop the past few days. We are just about finished with the first floor and we have one of the gable ends upstairs complete. This part of the project has been fun as we are able to work to carpentry tolerances rather than furniture tolerances.
This is no normal carpentry job, though. Choosing the right board for each spot has definitely made this a slower process because we’ve got all kinds of random lengths and widths (often tapering) to work with, not to mention the waney edges and ragged ends. We are also selecting the most attractive (and wide) boards for the more prominent areas in the shop. Needless to say, each board selection is the result of careful consideration of many factors before we do the custom shaping to fit the adjacent board.
We know we’ve still got a long way ahead of us until the shop is complete but each step is an exciting glimpse of it taking shape.
Why do we make things? Why do we do this creative work?
A dear friend came by last night and looked at a kitchen table of mine made some decades ago. She saw the Cloud Rise curves shaped into the edge of its top. She noticed the Chinese foot at the base of the piece. She remarked on the table, admired its shapes, color, wood. These details were ones that I had put in to train myself at the bench. They made no difference to the integrity of the table. It stood still.
There are efforts we make that have nothing to do with structure, with longevity or use. They are done simply because they are important to me, the builder. They are important to how I feel when I’m done with the piece. That I have given it some character, some part of me as well. These painstaking details are done because they inform the piece. They are a gift of intention by its maker. “Here I hope you enjoy this.”
Nothing more. Done as much for me, the builder, as for the eventual viewer who will never know how many hours it took to create the details that her eyes glanced down to and admired in a few minutes of time. It is how it is.
The work was done for her but also for my own selfish needs to satisfy my simple creative urge. That streak of me-ness that will flash briefly and be seen little more.
Read more of my musings on creativity in my new book: Handmade, Creative Focus in the Age of Distraction.
An image of the first chunk of wood I made into a piece of crude furniture.
In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, we talk with Roger Benton, co-owner of Re-Co BKLYN (recobklyn.com), a woodworking shop that builds fine furniture and produces live-edge slabs and boards. And the majority of the lumber is taken directly out of the city’s waste stream. Roger shares how the business got started, and reveals a few facts about New York city and its vast lumber resources.
Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more).
Here’s yours truly fielding some questions on Japanese woodworking — specifically, using Japanese saws with western saws, taking care of Japanese tools, where to start with Japanese tools, and sharpening. This was filmed while making my videos on Japanese tools for Popular Woodworking, as a sort of behind-the-scenes featurette.
As a side note, I’m happy to answer questions on woodworking, Japanese or otherwise, or any other subject, for that matter. You can contact me via the “Ask” link at the top of the page, and my other contact info is at the bottom of the page.
I will have to wait for the weekend and go to Ocean State Junk Lot and see if they have it. It is a hit or miss affair with that store. You never know what they have in stock. Lowes sells it but for almost 3 times the price Benny's used to sell it for. That will be the absolute last resort.
|two for Miles and one for me|
|got this for me|
|won't fit in here|
|what I plan on doing|
|router got me to depth|
|or this way|
I went with the first way - long grain facing out. I'll have a strong and secure long grain to long grain glue joint. Expansion and contraction may or may not be a problem. The spacers are about 3 3/8" wide so I'm betting that I won't have to worry about it. And they are both sequential pieces from the same board.
|planing the face|
|the way I should be doing it|
|I'm glad I checked this|
I wanted to get the second round of stripping on the plane done but it will have to wait. I got a throw away brush to slop the stripper on and I hope that it'll last so I can do the other two planes with it too.
What is hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (36 letters)?
answer - a fear of long words
PS I found my Roman Woodworking book and the 'A' thing is a libella in Latin and was used by stone masons and woodworkers.
I had some free time on my hands, yeah, I know, shock, horror I got free time. I returned to an unfinished project I started a few months ago building a wooden rabbet plane. I was boring a 1″ hole near the escapement when CRACK the bit split the timber in two.
Rather than chuck the plane away, I glued it back together again with fish glue. Those cam clamps provide just enough pressure without risking crushing the fibres. I say that because I reattached it as is without doing disturbing the break. Fortunately for me the break was clean with no missing parts.
I left the plane oversized in length, width and thickness. When I inserted the iron and wedged it, I noticed the plane bowed ever so slightly. Maybe when I put the cover on the rabbeted grip, the bow may not return. I guess I’ll have to wait and see.
I have milled the steps, and they are pretty close to the thickness of the floor boards (1.75"). The two longitudinal parts of the staircase (I have no idea what the correct English word is?) Are a bit thinner. I would have liked them to be the same size, but the two boards that I had of the correct width were fairly twisted, so it took some thickness to get them flat and level. I suppose that I could have milled some new boards, but they would not have been as dry as those, and they finally ended up something like 1 3/8" which I think will be strong enough.
I have been looking as Das Zimmermannsbuch for some inspiration, and they suggest that for the more modern approach you should attache the steps by means of sliding dovetails.
An older and simpler method is to just use a groove and either make a tenon on half of the steps or secure the steps by means of nails. I think that I'll go with the groove and nails model. Because the barn is supposed to be kept a bit simple.
Right now I have had to devise some special workholding, in order to be able to joint the edges of the longitudinal parts.
10' is a bit too long for my workbench, but perhaps that could justify building another and larger one?
There will be very 8" in height difference between each step, and the angle of the stairs will be 58 degrees. So it will be a fairly steep staircase, but this is to avoid that it will take up too much space in the relatively small room of the barn.
People’s lives get busier every year. Ours too. Good thing we have all these time-saving devices…
today’s post is just a “save the date” sort of thing. Plymouth CRAFT’s Greenwood Fest will be early June again, same venue = Pinewoods Dance Camp, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA.
Festival June 8-10; pre-Fest courses June 5-7. TICKETS GO ON SALE FEBRUARY 2, 2018. We will let you know details as we get it together – this is just so you can get the time off of work, quit your job, cancel graduation/wedding, etc and tell your family you’ll be in the woods.2017 group photo, Marie Pelletier
Here’s the beginnings of the website. https://www.greenwoodfest.org/Dave Fisher, photo Marie Pelletier
See you there, OK?
What are the very very wide kanna called and used for? You posted a photo of a 13" one back when you were at NYKEZ. Most kanna I've seen for sale (complete or as just a blade) tend to top out at around 70mm, rarely going to 80mm.
The very wide kanna are called okanna (sometimes ookanna). The “standard” kanna size is a 70mm blade. The ones I use for bench work range from 60-70mm. Okanna can be 120-150mm wide.
I’ve only seen an okanna used for demonstrations, and haven’t heard of anyone using them for routine work. There are a couple of reasons why you might not want to do that. I’ve pulled ookannas before, and it’s noticeably harder to pull, which isn’t a surprise given that you’re planing close to twice the width of a regular shaving. Twice the width means twice the work.
Also, the blade is going to be harder to sharpen given its size. Maintaining the dai is going to be more difficult for the same reason. And then you have to make sure that the blade and dai match up well.
That’s not to say that there isn’t someone out there using an ookanna in their shop on a regular basis. It’s just that I haven’t heard of that happening.
Hard to imagine though it is, it’s been 5 years to the day that we posted our first video series on woodworkingmasterclasses.com. Since then we have published 400 video episodes and that does not include YouTube. I won’t prolong this blog post because the video speaks for itself. I would like to thank you all […]
For over a decade I've been looking for a copy I could afford of Andre Felibien's masterwork, "Des Principes de l'Architecture, de la Sculpture, de la Peinture et des ..." [Principles of Architecture, Sculpture, Painting and ..] A copy finally popped up on the internet and I grabbed it. I have been spending the last week studying it. The book is well known, and you can get a scan on Google books here. I collect books. While it's wonderful to be able to read the book online from practically anywhere, I find having a real book in front of me is far more satisfying. The book's woodworking section starts at page 170, with all the plates are in the following pages.
There are several editions of the book, the first from 1676. This is the book that Joseph Moxon used to copy drawing from when he published the woodworking section of "Mechanick Exercises" two years later in 1678. If you haven't read Moxon, we stock the Lost Art Press version, or you can read the 1703 third edition here.
Moxon's "Mechanick Exercises" is important because it is the first book in English that tries to be a handbook on how to make things. Beginning in 1677, every few months or so Moxon released a chapter on a different subject. Blacksmithing, carpentry, house-righting were a few of the topics. In 1683, after a hiatus of several years while England was in turmoil, Moxon resumed the series, this time writing about something he know about personally: printing and typemaking. Whereas Felibien's book was really an encyclopedia of tools and objects - this is a hammer, this is a nail - Moxon pioneered the "How-to." The point of Felibien's book, in my view, was to give rich, educated people the ability to find out the basics of the world around them. Studying Plato at University was fine and dandy, but an educated person should not be confused by the real life going around them.
Moxon took it a step further. "Mechanick Exercises" tells a little about the tools; instead, it instructs. Here is the way to grind a tool, how to chop a mortise, etc. Fairly short in length, and written by someone who was far from an expert or a craftsperson in anything except printing, the book falls short of being comprehensive. But Moxon gets full marks or trying, and it's exciting to read his result.
It is pretty obvious - and has been known for a long time - that Moxon used Felibien as a source for all his tool illustrations. Seeing the original engravings started me thinking. First of all, if Moxon's book used French pictures, then one can assume that what is in Moxon are actually drawings of French tools. And in fact, many of the few surviving English tools from that era look different than the tools illustrated in Mechnick Exercises.
Another point I am pondering: the vise that we now call a Moxon Vise is hanging off in space on the side of the workbench, but are shown much larger hanging on the wall in Felibien's workshop. I love my Moxon Bench because the modern incarnation sits on top of my bench, raising the height for dovetailing and other joinery. But Moxon doesn't mention it in the text and neither book shows the vise in a modern usages. Felibien calls it a wood press, or vise, but that's doesn't help much, although the size of the vises in his book suggest that they were used for clamping things together, not as a vise raiser.
Probably the most obvious conclusion I can reach from comparing the photos is that Moxon really did a crappy job. The images are all crammed together on one plate, and two of the tools - the workbench and the frame saw - are cut off at the edge. The engravings are crude compared to Felibien's.
How were the engravings done? And who was the engraver? We really don't know. At the time of publication, Moxon was a successful printer so he would have had staff, but he also probably had enough skill to do the not-so-great engravings himself. I consulted by phone with my friend Jeff Peachey, a noted book conservator (who hasn't seem this copy in the flesh yet) His guess is that the engraver (whoever it was) just propped up the Felibien up and then directly sketched out the tool images on the copper plate. This would explain why the images are all reversed in the final print. We suspect the engraver might have used some sort of optical aid to help with the copying on some of the images. Moxon's image are greatly reduced in size from the original French ones, probably because he was trying to fit about 4 pages of tools onto one smaller page. That being said, and the reason why I suspect the involvement of an aid of a sort, is that planes drawings are a pretty good copy of the original image, but one of the saws is missing a little off the right side. The problematic saw would have been the last one engraved if the engraver worked from left to right (as you would if you were right handed). I think that if he was drawing freehand and just using the book as a reference he would have scaled it to fit. As it is it looks like he was in a rush, started off doing a pretty good engraved copy, but then ran out of space. Some of the smaller tools are pretty crude, as if he didn't see the need for a careful copy. The biggest change from Felibien is on the workbench. The wood press on the wall became something hanging in front of Moxon's bench. One interesting fact is that Moxon's bench has a hook front on the left and Felibien's doesn't. This suggests that Moxon might have copied the images but he was trying at least on some level to do more than just condense and copy a picture.
While I find the facts of the case interesting, and speculation on how the books came about fun, the real thrill for someone like me who loves history is just seeing these real-live books together. We don't know for sure how Moxon got the idea for "Mechanick Exercises," but I can tell you it is very possible that being a printer he had a copy of the French book soon after publication in 1676 and got the brainwave to take it one step further. I know when I was looking at Felibien and starting to understand some of the text, I found myself wondering: Okay, I know it's a woodpress, but describing it isn't enough. How do you use it? And, nice chisels! What do you use them for?
I guess that's the same question Moxon asked himself. But unlike me, he got off his duff and published a book about it.
Mike and I just posted a new installment of our YouTube series: “Ask M&T”. In this video, we cover one of the most frequent questions we get online or at shows: What is a fore plane? Mike recounts his early struggles with hand tools using a little block plane to remove bulk material and eventually realized he was using the wrong tool for the job. What he needed was the coarse roughing tool called a fore plane. In this video, we explain why we believe this tool is absolutely essential for every hand-tool woodworker.
We then touch on the history of the terms “fore” plane, “jack” plane, and “scrub” plane and explain our preference for the wooden version. There is also some discussion about where to get them and what to look for.
The three key features of a fore plane are:
- 16” length (give or take a couple inches)
- Convex iron
- Wide open mouth
Enjoy the video and send us more questions for future installments!
Some pics I could snap again like the very last one. The others I didn't try to stage again. So I took a few to show the what I had done. But it was a short night in the shop so I'm sure the pic count would not have been too high anyways.
|the after pic|
|this actually looks better|
|from NH plane parts|
|why I bought it|
|plumb bob for the 'A' thing - still no proper name for it|
|plumb bob for the Plumb line stick|
|it is the center|
I drew a line from the bottom angle by my finger, to the apex of the top one. It went almost dead nuts through the diagonals I drew yesterday. I am going to put the hole for the plumb bob string about a 1/2" above the center point.
|prepped the plumb line stick|
|here is the pic of the outside edge Frank|
|maybe it is for this????|
|portable square till|
Who was the first black actor to win an Emmy as a lead actor in a comedy series?
answer - Robert Guillaume for Benson in 1985 (he passed away last week)
the title is for Michael Rogen, just to let him know I’m thinking of him. I like that summer’s gone. Fall is a beautiful time of year here. I am especially enjoying seeing how the light in the shop changes now. Today the light caught my eye a number of times. If I’m not careful, I’ll take as many photos as Rick McKee https://www.instagram.com/medullary_rick/
Today I got to work some in the shop, after teaching for 7 days straight (a student here for a week, and Plymouth CRAFT for the weekend). Time to finish off some stuff, first up is the wainscot chair. For this seat, I do use a template, in this case to map out the square mortises chopped in the seat board so it slips over the stiles. Here’s the seat board with its template off to the left. Complete with dust in the sunlight..
I’ve done lots of these, but it’s always worth it to go slowly – you have to get the holes just right, or they have gaps, or worse, the seat splits at the very narrow area beside the stile. Once I’m satisfied with the template’s fit, I scribe the locations of the mortises on the seat. That short grain right between the upper right hand corner of this mortise and the end grain is the fragile part. I’ve split them there, and seen them split on old ones.
Then I bore around the perimeter of the mortise with an auger bit.
Then chop with the chisel to bring the mortise to the proper shape. I scored the lines with a knife and/or awl. Very careful work with the chisel.
Once I have the mortise squared off, I bevel underneath, paring the walls of the mortise so it’s undercut. I only want the mortise tight on the stiles right at the top where it shows. I’ve never checked the underside of this joint on a period chair – but I like the idea of under-cutting it & beveling it. It relieves any un-necessary pressure there.
Then slip the seat down to test it.
Then I do the molding around the front and sides. Sides (end grain) first. A rabbet plane followed by a smooth plane. In this case, a moving filletster and the LN low angle jack plane.
I scored the line ahead of the filletster so I got a clean shoulder to this rabbet. The nicker on that plane is defunct. Then I used this Lie-Nielsen plane to round over the corner of the rabbet to create the thumbnail molding.
I work the front edge after the two ends, to clean up any tear-out. This seat is a nice clear radially-riven oak, two boards edge-glued together. Works great.
Then for good measure, I threw the arms in place, so I could test it out. The seat will be pegged into the three rails; square pegs in round holes.
These chairs are smaller than they look. They’re so imposing because of all the decoration, the bulk of the parts – but they’re really pretty snug chairs.
Here’s the important view – looks pretty tight around the stiles. Whew.
If you made it this far, thanks. 15 pictures – for me that’s over 2 weeks of Instagram. I like IG, but the blog is my favorite way to show what I’m up to…more detail, more depth. More work – but it’s fun. thanks for keeping up with me…
This is mainly to do with price, but also to do with convenience.
One sheet of 11mm Good One Side Fir Sanded Plywood at Lowe's or Home Depot is less than $50 a sheet. Included in that price is up to five cuts to the sheet, so getting the stock into the trunk of my wife's Fusion to take home was never a problem.Why two layers of 11mm fir ply?
I wanted the material thickness to be in the same scale as the cabinet it defines. This is a fair-sized cabinet so its components should reflect that. I didn't need a full 1" thick. All I needed was material that was obviously thicker than 3/4", hence the laminated 11mm ply, which, when veneered on both sides, ends up being a very thin hair thinner than 1".
Why not use pre-veneered ply?By laminating two 11mm pieces I could ensure they were dead flat during glue-up and they would stay that way after they came out of the clamps (ok, when the screws were removed - don't be so picky).
I wanted White Oak veneer, not Red. The box stores only sell Red Oak Veneered ply, so I would have to purchase what I needed at a hardwood lumber yard, rent a truck to get it home, and fight with it to cut it up as I do not own a panel saw.
Also, I have never done any veneering before and I wanted to try it.Why veneer before assembly?
Every component included in this cabinet is flat-slabbed. There isn't a curved surface on it. Believe me, I tried to add a curve or two, but when I did, I lost a lot of storage room where the corners once were. Because it is just flat panels, I guessed that fitting the veneer would be far easier if I had to trim 1" thick stock than it would be if I had to deal with stock that was 0.8mm thick.Why use Bondo?
You can't be a car-guy who grew up in the '50s and '60s and not know about Bondo. 3M makes Bondo, and they also make a slightly heavier two-part filler called White Lightnin'. They recommend both for metal and wood, but I have found that the Bondo is quicker to work with for lighter applications, such as fairing my plywood slabs.Peace,
You can now purchase our limited edition “marriage mark” hats in the online store. The hats are $27, and that price includes shipping in the United States (sorry these hats are not available to international customers).
You can purchase your hat via this link. You might want to hurry as there are only 100 available.
These are hats were embroidered and stamped by Texas Heritage Woodworks, so the work is crisp and perfect. These hats are made in China by Adams. But they are the best hat we could find before getting into the $100 baseball cap territory.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Uncategorized
And a site it was just one year ago. Looking through a wired-off rectangle of waste land covered with old rubble from former construction work, I wondered to myself, “Could this ugly land be home to the work we want to progress quickly into the future?” Progress comes at a price and one part of the […]