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Hand Tools

My kind of problem

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 12/26/2017 - 8:36am

Boxing Day, 2017, 7:48 a.m.

Good morning, Nancy.

An issue has emerged concerning the counter top. As currently configured, the counter top will cover the dishwasher control panel. The dishwasher needs to move about 3 inches out from under the counter top. Please suggest a time when we can have a telephone conversation.

There’s nothing like getting up the day after Christmas to news of a work-related problem.

Being the kind of person whose first response to such communiqués is anxiety, I immediately go through a systematic reality check.

1. Look: Pull up the snapshot of the island where the dishwasher door is visible. Check: The door is protruding from the adjacent cabinets exactly as it should. (A bit of advice: Take progress shots, especially when working on jobsites. It’s especially helpful to be able to look at a picture on your phone when your jobsite is an hour’s drive away.)


2. Think: Who installed the dishwasher? The clients’ builder, who installs them all the time. Check: The installation is probably correct, though I won’t stop worrying until I know for sure.

3. Think some more: Is there really a problem? Don’t the overwhelming majority of dishwashers get installed under counters? Don’t you think a global leader in dishwasher design such as Bosch would have planned for this? That does make sense; you probably program the controls with the door open, then shut it. (Full disclosure: We don’t have a dishwasher. I prefer to use those 12 cubic feet of space in our small kitchen for storage.) Still, I won’t stop worrying until I know for sure.

4. Google “Bosch top of door controls dishwasher.” While installation manual is downloading, do a quick search of email records. Did I advise them to buy this dishwasher, in which case I should have known of any unusual installation requirements? No. The only relevant communication was in October, when my clients told me they were looking seriously at dishwashers. And there it is, on page 37: “Note: With hidden controls, the door must be opened before changing settings and closed after changing settings.”

5. Reply to client, adding that if I’ve misunderstood the nature of the problem, I will be glad to talk by phone. Press “send” and hope the problem is resolved.

6. Relief:

Yes, now we see how the dishwasher works, have reread the manual and are relieved to see that our concerns were unfounded. We both apologize for our confusion!! So sorry to start your day with unnecessary worries!!

7. Schedule appointment with mental health professional. Oh, wait. I don’t have one.

Happy holidays!

–Nancy Hiller, author of Making Things Work


Festive fruit bread (a hybrid of “French fruit braid,” “Easter tea ring” and “Stollen” from Cordon Bleu: Baking, Bread and Cakes (B.P.C. Publishing, 1972)

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

new vs old......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 12/26/2017 - 2:02am
The old saying is that they don't make them like they used to.Some will say it is best that they don't make them like they used to. Others will state that today's better materials and manufacturing processes make a superior project. I am kind of  in the latter camp. I also think that old or new, the technology available at the time does not necessarily dictate how well a product is made.

Take old saws and saws being made today. For the most part older saws have thicker saw plates and the saws of today have thinner plates. Could it be that the older saws had thicker plates due to the manufacturing processes available then? Good research topic for sure but I am dealing with the actual saws themselves. Not how they were made or what they were made from. But before that......

Normally I would have spent some time in the shop in spite of it being xmas time, but I have been way laid. I have an infection in both of my eyes and it is too difficult to see to do woodworking. I know because I tried and gave up before I screwed something up.

I think I know what cause the infection this time and the last infection I got  last week. I was sanding the planes and getting the dust from it on my fingers. Without thinking I rubbed my eyes with my dirty fingers and paid the price. So it'll be a few days before I get back to doing any woodworking. But I've been thinking of saws a lot lately and I can blow some hot air about that.

two old thick plate saws
I had originally bought these saws for Miles's toolbox. The top one is a carcass saw and the bottom is a dovetail saw. Miles's didn't get these two and I bought him others. I kept these because they impressed the crap out of me. Up to this point I had been using LN saws for all my needs but that changed after road testing these.

thick plate dovetail and carcass saw
I had a couple of surprises with the carcass saw especially. This saw is roughly the same size as the LN carcass saw I have but the similarities end there. This saw is a bit heavier, much, much stiffer, and I think it cuts better. Hands down my control with this older saw is way better than what I do with the LN carcass saw.

I'm not saying the LN saw is garbage, far from it. I learned how to saw by hand with it. I am still using it but it has been supplanted by a large margin with this older saw. I have found that the thicker plate gives me a better of control with keeping the attitude of it at 90° as I saw. Both saws are sharp so they are both dead even in that department.

LN carcass and dovetail saws
Using the the older carcass feels the same as a wearing a pair of well worn in socks. They fit, don't bind, aren't the best looking, but you reach for them if you see them in the drawer. This saw is giving me a warm and fuzzy the same as the socks do.

thick plate carcass saw (top) and LN carcass saw
After using the thick plate saw, I can see that I struggle a bit with the thinner plate ones. It takes more concentration and effort on my part to saw square with a thin plate saw. It isn't as easy to correct an errant thin plate saw cut neither.

The exception to the thick plate love affair is the thin plate dovetail saw. For all other cuts at the bench I now prefer the thicker plate carcass saw but for dovetails I like the thinner plate. I like the thin kerf that I get with the thin plate dovetail saw. With the thicker plate one, I find it easier to saw the tails and stay parallel to my layout lines. The downside is a kerf twice the width of the the LN thin plate dovetail saw.

LN dovetail has horn damage

underneath look is worse
I have a replacement tote that LN sent to me but I have yet to replace it. I had been struggling a bit with dovetailing before I broke this and after the break, everything fell into place for me. I wasn't making Paul Seller looking dovetails, but they were finally decent looking ones for me. I haven't replaced it because I think it will bring bad luck to me. Irrational I know but right after I dropped the saw and did this damage, I started to see a big improvement in my sawing dovetails.

For the time being I'll continue to use the thick plate saws at the bench and the LN for dovetailing. I am going to try out the thick plate dovetail saw on the next shop project that needs dovetails.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that Albert Kaufmann invented the electric jigsaw (called the Lesto Jigsaw) in 1947?

Enlarging an Image

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Mon, 12/25/2017 - 11:18am

Over the past few months, I’ve been making and selling these Ohio signs in our booths in the antique malls we rent space in. They’re super simple to make. Just old scrap wood I have lying around, painted and stained to make it look like old barn wood. Then I cut the wood out from a pattern and attach the pieces to a plywood back.


They’ve been so popular, I decided to make a Kentucky one as well since Cincinnati is near the Kentucky border. The Ohio signs are about 15″ x 16″ so I knew I wanted the Kentucky one to be about 24″ long. The problem was that I didn’t have a map of Kentucky that was 24″ large. I decided to Google image a map of Kentucky and print it out on my printer. That left me with a map that was 10 1/2″ long, but I didn’t have a scaling ruler that would work for that size.


I decided to make a scaling ruler where 10 1/2″ equals 24″ in scale. I grabbed a piece of plywood and ran a line down the board 10 1/2″ wide. I then took my ruler and put the end of the ruler on the line and angled it so that the 12″ mark would be at the other end of the board. I then made a mark on every 1/2″ increment giving me 24 equal units for the 10 1/2″ length.


I then drew the lines down the board, grabbed a scrap stick and transferred those increments to the board creating my scaled ruler. The units didn’t have to be perfect. I was just trying to get an approximate measurement.


I then used that scaled ruler and marked lines on both the horizontal and vertical axis of the map creating a grid.


I then drew 1″ grids on the piece of plywood and drew the pattern of the map onto the wood carefully transferring the image of each little box to the corresponding box on the plywood. This is very similar to games I played as a kid where you would have to create a picture based off random shaded box patterns.


Once the pattern was transferred, I cut it out on the band saw. The template ended up being 24″ long by 12″ tall.


Here’s the finished Kentucky sign. I shared this image on Instagram and someone wants me to make him one. The work is already paying off. Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas from Giant Cypress and the King of the Monsters.

Giant Cypress - Mon, 12/25/2017 - 3:28am

Merry Christmas from Giant Cypress and the King of the Monsters.

Christmas 2017......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 12/25/2017 - 12:55am
I struggled a bit trying to think of something to write for today but nothing was coming at first. Usually my diarrhea of the keyboard knows no bounds and just pours out like water from a burst dam. The mental block gave me time to reflect and think about what this christmas means to me and why it is different from the other 62 I've seen.

If I could be granted one christmas wish for this year it would be for everyone to get along and be at peace with each other. A big wish for sure but everyone in the world over wants the same things for their families. Why can't it just be?

No matter your beliefs on this time of the year, I wish one and all the enjoyment of family and friends, good health, and prosperity of well being. Buon Natale to all.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know Clement Clarke Moore was the the author of the poem "A Visit from St Nicholas" better known as "The Night before Christmas"?

How to Draw Eye-pleasing Arches

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 7:18pm

I use a lot of arched shapes in my work. They are a pleasing geometrical construction that can be used in doors, on the ends of bookshelves or on the bases of chests (I particularly like them on the ends of a six-board chest). For the most part, I use three types of arches. And to be honest, that was because I didn’t know the geometry for other forms. Recently […]

The post How to Draw Eye-pleasing Arches appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Shop Toolemera - Mechanick Exercises: Or, The Doctrine Of Handy-Works by Joseph Moxon 1703

Toolemera - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 2:20pm

Mechanick Exercises: Or, The Doctrine Of Handy-Works by Joseph Moxon 1703


Mechanick Exercises: Or The Doctrine Of Handy-Works, was written, printed and published by Joseph Moxon between 1683 and 1703. A mathematician, writer, printer, publisher and maker of maps, globes and scientific instruments, Joseph Moxon was also the first tradesman to be awarded membership in the Royal Society of London. Mechanick Exercises popularized the secrets of the skilled trades of Smithing, Joinery, House Carpentry, Turning and Bricklaying, along with the making of Sun Dials. Mechanick Exercises is as important a reference today as a description of early skilled trades as it was in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm) ; Black & White on Cream paper; 412 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1522984757

Categories: Hand Tools

The Kindness of Christmas

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 7:30am

“Toy Makers,” photo taken between 1909 and 1919. Courtesy of: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-DIG-npcc-19400.

“The return of Christmas is a kind of beacon in the year. Whether it is the Christmas of childhood, full of excitement and a flow of good things, or the Christmas of older folk, woven with memories, or the Christmas of the captives of men far from home, for whom it is full of wistful longings, it is a season different from other seasons and a day different from other days which somehow, even under the most desperate conditions through the grim years of war and its aftermath, men have contrived in some way to celebrate. It stands for the good, peaceful things, for the kindly things, for sanity, in a world in which these are too often eclipsed and, in spite of the trappings of festivity which seem to smother it yet do not, it sends out its light under the dark skies of midwinter to give us new heart.

“… Christmas is the best of all times to relax in, with its break from the ordinary routine, free from the secret pressure of jobs waiting to be done which so often haunts other brief holidays. Time is so precious and those of us with eager and willing hands find more than enough to keep them busy and this question of relaxing can sometimes be quite difficult. How often we arrive home feeling tired at the end of a day’s work and disinclined to make a fresh start on a job of woodwork for ourselves yet with a kind of inner conflict because we do want to get it done. So after a wash and a meal we rather grudgingly make a start and in next to no time our tiredness vanishes and we become completely and happily absorbed in the work. By bedtime we are filled with a pleasant sense of achievement which will encourage us to repeat the process on other evenings. Nine times out of ten it works, but the tenth time may come when fatigue has gone deeper and on such an evening nothing goes right. Any little difficulty makes us impatient and irritable, something is lacking in quick co-ordination between mind and tool and the only remedy is to stop work before, in a rush of impatience, we do some real damage to the work. The fact is we remain so much of a mystery to ourselves that to decide even such a point as this is not always so simple as it seems. If we ceased to work when we did not feel like it we should accomplish less and less and probably end by losing even the desire to work: on the other hand there comes a time when to persist in spite of danger signals is asking for trouble.

“The only remedy is to learn to know the danger signals for what they are. The impatience that is founded on fatigue is something more than a mood. The latter will pass if we are firm with it and exercise the control that is a fundamental part of good craftsmanship: indeed the first-class craftsman will keep control from sheer ingrained habit however tired he is. But he also knows when to stop. One of the fascinations of craft work is that it compels us to this awareness of ourselves. We learn something of our limitations, of our tendencies, we learn to respect our own powers and feel a pride in developing them. It is by doing that the personality grows as well as the skill. It is a heartening thought for Christmas, when we can set our tools aside with easy minds to rejoice in the birthday of the child who, by choosing himself to become a craftsman in wood, blessed both the craft and the wood for all time.”

— Charles Hayward, The Woodworker magazine, 1955

Filed under: Honest Labour, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

5 Interesting Observations About Fretwork Mirrors

360 WoodWorking - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 6:40am
5 Interesting Observations About Fretwork Mirrors

1. The design known as a Chippendale Fretwork Mirror is referred to as such because it reached popularity during the days of Chippendale, but these mirrors, however, came to be during the Queen Anne period.

2. During the period fretwork mirrors were called “looking glasses” – the term mirror was used to describe small, hand-held glasses.

3. Fretwork mirror often had the innermost molded edges of the frames gilded.

Continue reading 5 Interesting Observations About Fretwork Mirrors at 360 WoodWorking.

The Carpenter’s Step Son

The Barn on White Run - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 5:36am

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.


The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”


Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary?

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 

I pray for you to have a blessed time with loved ones, and that you are celebrating the Incarnation, through whom we can be reconciled with The Creator.

Beautiful Toolbox from Fine Woodworking Magazine.

David Barron Furniture - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 3:52am

Robert from Canada sent me these pictures of a fine looking toolbox he has just completed, a Christmas present for his son. It was made from an article by Mike Pekovich with protruding through tenons, bridle joints and dovetails on the drawers. The dovetails were cut as through dovetails and turned into half blinds with the addition of thin curly maple fronts, a great technique and one I've used many times before. The carcass is cherry, the hardware is from Lee Valley and the brass stay is from Brusso. I think that will be one happy son on Christmas day!!

Categories: Hand Tools

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays 2017

Evenfall Studios - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 3:00am
We would like to take a moment to thank all our clients, readers and visitors who come to Evenfall Studios and the Woodworks Library throughout the year as a source for custom made, precision woodworking tools, woodworking content, information, vintage woodworking/tradecraft texts and instruction. We are still a one man shop, striving to make the […]
Categories: Hand Tools

two down and two to go.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 1:36am
It could be three more parties to go but I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that.  I'm being a trooper about it and supporting my wife. I don't do good in crowds due to my hearing. It is very difficult for me to understand someone talking to me above the background noise. I can usually hear snippets of something being said but 99% of it I can't understand. So for the most part I stand by my wife as she makes the rounds and once she is done I find a hole to stand in till it's time to go.

I find that once I tell people that I have a hearing problem and wear hearing aids, a majority of them just turn and walk away. The few that stay try to converse with me like they are talking to a retarded person. I'm deficient in my hearing not my mental facilities.

Hint: when you talk to someone with a hearing deficiency, face them so that they can see your face and your mouth. We use your facial expressions and mouth read to help us understand what you are saying. Don't shout as that doesn't make it better or easier to hear. That is a big fallacy. Another biggie is don't talk to us from behind as 99.9% it won't even register with us. And above all don't treat us like we are idiots just because we can't hear you from 6 feet away.

one of my birthday presents
This is the story of Dick Proenneke who built a cabin in the Alaskan wilderness and lived there alone, and off the land, for 35 years. He built the cabin at age 51 and finally left it at age 86. This book is about the building of the cabin and basically ends the following year.

I have seen the You tube videos based on this book and the book is almost verbatim what the you tube videos are. I have always admired  Dick Proenneke for what he did and at the age he did it at.  How many of us would ditch civilization and go live in the wilderness alone for 35 years?.

I've already read this cover to cover once and I'm on my second read of it now. There are a few things in the book that I haven't seen in the you tube videos. I think I'll be ordering the DVD on this right after xmas just in case Santa doesn't bring it to me.

the man himself
If you have the time watch the you tube videos are this. They short and are easy to find. It is amazing what this man did with the tool kit he had. What he accomplished is the epitome of what a hand tool woodworker is.

birthday present #2
I love these old catalogs whether they are reprints or originals. This one is a Ken Roberts reprint and it is dated Sept 1 1925.

lots of surprises in here
 The biggest one was it is 1925 and Sandusky is still making and selling wooden hand planes. I would have thought by 1925 nobody was making wooden planes anymore. But Sandusky was and the line up was pretty extensive still. I think Sandusky folded in 1926?

Another surprise was the farm tools being sold. I had always assumed that Sandusky made planes, both wooden and then steel ones in the later years. I didn't know they sold farm tools but that isn't much of a stretch from wooden planes. Farm tools are just a different shape of wood and metal. It's a good resource to have to date the ones I have in my herd.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that Eugene Polley created the first wireless TV remote control?

New ways to Complete Purchases at Evenfall Studios.

Evenfall Studios - Sat, 12/23/2017 - 2:35pm
In addition to the shopping cart processing we offer on our website which includes PayPal, We have recently added a non-PayPal credit/debit card processor to help our clients complete their purchases at Evenfall Studios. This is good news for both our clients and for us, because it offers new purchasing options that we haven’t been […]
Categories: Hand Tools

Something Wild and Free

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Sat, 12/23/2017 - 2:13pm


After extolling the virtues of metal planes a few months ago, I began to wonder if I had truly given wooden planes their due. I have had a hard time finding usable wooden planes locally, and so in a fit of curiosity I emailed Joshua to see if he could put a set of wooden bench planes together for me to use in the shop.

I had a good excuse. As part of an article I’m writing an article for Mortise & Tenon issue four I’ll be re-creating some pre-industrial techniques as part of a build and I wanted to limit myself to working with the tools that would have been available to the original craftsmen. Wooden planes fit the bill here, but I knew that in order to learn to work with them efficiently I was going to have to put my metal planes away for a while.

Here’s the thing. I did put them away, and honestly I haven’t missed them all that much. 

I should start by saying that I still believe most of the things that I wrote about metal planes are true. They’re precise, reliable and plentiful, and I think that one of the best arguments they have going for them is that anyone getting into hand tools is likely to be able to find one and get it up and running quickly. Not only that, but even as a complete hand tool novice I was taking wispy shavings with my $20 restored Stanley no.5 within hours of finding it languishing in an antique store. There are reasons that metal planes replaced wooden planes.

Still, it is possible that not all of those reasons are important to everyone, and there are good reasons to use wooden planes if they call to you. They’re not just for anachronists and fancy lads.

The set that Joshua sent took me only a few minutes to tune and a few days to get used to using. I did flatten the sole of the smoother, but otherwise I just sharpened the blades and went to town. The learning curve wasn’t nearly as bad as I imagined. Thanks to some excellent instruction from Richard Maguire I was up and running in very short order.

On a halfway decent wooden plane, setting the blade isn’t rocket science. It does take a few tries until you begin to hear the differences in taps, and it takes a little faith to think that whacking the plane here or there actually does anything, but within a week I was instinctively adjusting the plane with no trouble at all. I’ve only had one hitch in the whole process - learning to properly hold the plane to joint edges - and I think I’ve overcome that. The planes do react to heat and humidity, so I have to remember to check the settings when they’ve been sitting in the cold shop overnight, but honestly, I would do that anyway. 

I feel like I’m writing a little bit of a conversion story, but here’s what I love about them: they’re light, they’re efficient and they’re a blast to use. There’s something a little wild and free about them and that reminded me of one of the reasons I took to hand tools in the first place. They eschew some of the cast iron precision of machined perfection, but in skilled hands they produce work that is no less beautiful. My hands are getting used to them and so is my heart. 

-Jim McConnell


Categories: Hand Tools

Acknowledgements And References

Close Grain - Sat, 12/23/2017 - 1:42pm
I like to give credit where credit is due. These are the acknowledgements and references for the information in my book, Hand Tool Basics.

I'm a self-taught woodworker. That really means I had many teachers, the many live demonstrators and authors of books, videos, and magazine, online forum, mailing list, and website articles who have provided useful information.

Use the information I provide as a starting point. There's plenty more than what I cover; woodworking is a global activity with centuries of history, creating an infinite variety of techniques. I hope that I'll give you the skills and knowledge to be able to assess and incorporate any new information you find.

In general, the tools and methods I show in the book follow American and English woodworking styles. Continental European and Asian styles share many of the same techniques, but there are some differences in the tools. Where information is available, I strive to show historically accurate methods. In general it's safe to assume everything I show has at least 100 years of history. Some things have 2 or 3 hundred. Dovetails date back to the ancient Egyptians.

We are but the custodians of knowledge, passing it on to the next generation.


Below is the list of my teachers, in roughly chronological order. These are my primary references. They offer a range of perspectives that don't always agree with each other but still manage to get the job done, showing that it's worthwhile to look at the variety of techniques available.

If you'd like further information on any of the topics I cover in the book, I highly recommend seeking out their work, or even better, a chance to spend time with them in classes or demos. It's always good to have an opportunity to watch someone closeup and drink in the details. Just one new detail about an otherwise familiar technique can make it worthwhile.

My memberships in the Society of American Period Furniture Makers (SAPFM) and the Guild of New Hampshire Woodworkers (GNHW), as well as the Lie-Nielsen Open Houses and Hand Tool Events, have given me a number of opportunities to meet and watch some of them.

Don Weber: Don's cover story in the April, 2004 issue of Popular Woodworking is what set me off down this path. He built a table from a log using nothing but hand tools. I was absolutely enthralled. It took me a few years of fumbling around to gain traction, until I started following…

Christopher Schwarz: As the editor of Popular Woodworking, it was Chris' articles on hand tools that put me on the road to success, in particular his articles on sharpening and planing. His books and videos form the core of my woodworking library. He went on to found Lost Art Press, where he continues to publish excellent books and videos on hand tool woodworking. He changed my woodworking forever, and gave me the knowledge to start appreciating other teachers, like…

Roy Underhill: When I first saw Roy's PBS show The Woodwright's Shop, long before I knew anything about hand tools, I thought this guy was bouncing off the walls like a superball shot from a cannon. But once I started learning, I realized every episode was crammed with a breathtaking amount of pure gold. His books and DVDs are another core component of my library. While I'll never be the showman he is and be able to do a half-hour video in one take, I've taken a number of cues from his show in my instructional format.

Philip C. Lowe: I've been following Phil's articles for as long as I have Chris Schwarz's. He's what I call a museum-class woodworker, because when museums need to restore or reproduce a finely detailed period furniture piece, he's at the top of the list. He ran the furniture-making program at Boston's North Bennet St. School for 5 years before starting his own Furniture Institute of Massachusetts, and is the winner of the SAPFM 2005 Cartouche Award. I got to know him when he gave a series of live demonstrations to SAPFM members on building several magnificent furniture pieces.

Michael Dunbar: Mike ran the Windsor Institute in New Hampshire, where he taught chairmaking. He's published a number of articles in Popular Woodworking. He takes a very no-nonsense attitude, as exemplified by his "Sensible Sharpening" method of sandpaper on flat substrate. His repeated frustration at having students show up to classes with basic tools they didn't know how to sharpen or use was what led me to start teaching. My goal was to provide that basic knowledge so people could get on with the more advanced topics of the specialized classes offered by others.

Charles H. Hayward: One of Chris Schwarz's heroes, Hayward was editor and "one-man publishing phenomenon" of The Woodworker from 1936 to 1966. He wrote a number of practical books that are simply spectacular. Anything you can find by him, don't hesitate, just get it! In fact, Chris has since anthologized several volumes of his writings from The Woodworker.

Robert Wearing: Wearing, another of Schwarz's heroes and an acquaintance of Hayward in Hayward's later years, wrote an excellent book that has been re-released by Lost Art Press. This was the source of the three classes of saw cuts terminology.

Bernard E. Jones: Jones wrote two encyclopedic books in the 1910's-20's which have been reprinted several times, one of which is now available from Popular Woodworking.

Garrett Hack: Garrett is a professional woodworker and author in Vermont. I've always loved his designs. He's a master of unique stylistic details done with hand tools.

Jim Kingshott: Kingshott was a British woodworker who put out several outstanding books and videos in the 1990's. He's like your favorite uncle. But of course, Bob's your uncle!

Adam Cherubini: Adam's "Arts And Mysteries" column in Popular Woodworking was a huge influence on my work. With his emphasis on 18th-century work, he showed me I could do everything by hand starting from the raw lumber, and taught me how to use wooden handplanes.

Patrick Leach: Patrick is one of the Internet's premier antique tool sellers, with everything from $20 user planes to $10,000 collector's items. He's partly responsible for the unusually large number of chisels you see on my tool wall; his house is dangerously close to mine. But he's also the definitive reference for information on antique Stanley tools. His website www.Supertool.com is encyclopedic, covering the entire line from the late 1800's through the first half of the 20th century.

Pete Taran: Like Patrick, Pete is another encyclopedic source of antique tool information, this time on saws at www.VintageSaw.com.

Erik Von Sneidern: And like Pete, Erik is another antique saw specialist, focusing exclusively on Disston saws at his Disstonian Institute, www.DisstonionInstitute.com.

Aldren A. Watson: Watson was a professional woodworker, author, and illustrator in Vermont.

Lie-Nielsen Staff: YouTube videos from founder Thomas Lie-Nielsen and demonstrators like Deneb Pulchalski, along with live demonstrations at their Hand Tool Events, cover a great deal about how to use and maintain their tools. I think this educational component is an important part of the company's success, completing the connection with their customers.

Alan Breed: Al is another museum-class woodworker. He's the guy high-end auction houses call when they want a reproduction of an antique that's on the block for millions of dollars, so the sellers will have something to fill the empty spot. He runs the The Breed School in New Hampshire, and is the winner of the SAPFM 2012 Cartouche Award. For a number of years, he's been incredibly generous sharing his time and knowledge in a series of live demonstrations to the GNHW Period Furniture Group on building period pieces.

Paul Sellers: Paul is a British woodworker who put out an excellent book and DVD series. He used to run New Legacy School of Woodworking in Penrhyn Castle, North Wales, possibly one of the coolest school venues around. He's another very no-nonsense guy, attempting to demystify the craft and bring it to the masses without complicated methods.

Christian Becksvoort: Christian is a professional woodworker and magazine author in Maine who specializes in hand tool work.

Peter Galbert: Peter is a professional chair maker in Massachusetts. He's also an inventor, creating several very useful tools and versions of existing tools. He was the one who showed me how to get the most out of a wooden spokeshave, and watching his YouTube videos resulted in a huge improvement in my turning skills on the lathe.


Some of these may be difficult to find because they're out of print. But they may be available used or as reprints.

Books (including a few useful references from authors not listed above)
Bickford, Matthew Sheldon

Blackburn, Graham

Fine Woodworking

Hampton, C.W., and Clifford, E.

Hayward, Charles H.
Cabinet Making For Beginners, 1948 (several editions)
The Junior Woodworker, 1952 (don't let the title fool you, it's for any beginner!)

Hoadley, R. Bruce

Hock, Ron

Jones, Bernard E.
The Practical Woodworker, 1920? (reissued as a 4-volume set)

Kingshott, Jim

Krenov, James

Laughton, Ralph

Popular Woodworking

Rae, Andy

Schwarz, Christopher
The Joiner And Cabinet Maker, 2009 (with Joel Moskowitz, update of 1839 anonymous original)

Sellers, Paul
Working Wood, 2011 (also available as a set with 7 DVD's listed below)

Underhill, Roy

Watson, Aldren A.

Wearing, Robert

Whelan, John M.

Kingshott, Jim
Dovetails, 1996

Schwarz, Christopher

Sellers, Paul (available as a set with his book above)
Working Wood: Woodworking Essentials 1 and 2, 2011
Working Wood: Master Sharpening, 2011
Working Wood: Master European Workbenches, 2011
Working Wood: Master Housing Dadoes, 2011
Working Wood: Master Mortise & Tenons, 2011
Working Wood: Master Dovetails, 2011

Underhill, Roy
The Woodwright's Shop, Seasons 1-31 (and counting, starting in 1980)

Online Forums
These are an excellent way to join with like-minded people to learn and discuss hand tools, their use, and how to deal with problems. In fact, as my skills developed, it was seeing the questions posted on these from beginners struggling through the same learning curve I had climbed that motivated me to put together a video course and book.

Some forums are extremely active. Participation is global, with people coming from all different cultural backgrounds.

I found these to be a great asset in my learning. Just be prepared for a wide range of information, often conflicting! You'll have to learn to sort through it. That's where I came up with the concept for my "Fistfights And Fundamentals" segments.

These are moderated forums to ensure that everyone stays on their good behavior, but discussions can get heated and feelings can get hurt. Read their policies and spend some time lurking (Internet-speak for reading without responding) before you join in. Don't take things personally, and don't make things personal. Be polite. Remember that different people have different experience, training, and opinions.

There are others besides these, in English and many other languages, as well as Facebook groups such as Unplugged Woodworkers.

www.SawmillCreek.com (US) - Neanderthal Haven forum.

www.WoodNet.com (US) - Woodworking Hand Tools forum.

www.LumberJocks.com (US) - Hand Tools forum.

www.UKWorkshop.co.uk (UK) - Hand Tools forum.

www.WoodworkUK.co.uk (UK) - Hand Tools forum.

www.WoodworkForums.com (Australia) - Hand Tools - Unpowered forum.
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Thank You To The MBTA!

Finally, I'd like to thank the MBTA. Other than the shop work and photography, I did nearly all the work for this book and the original video series while riding the Commuter Rail. Yes, I wrote a book on the train! I did all the video editing, photo selection, and writing on my Mac laptop an hour each way to and from work in Boston.

Thank you to all the folks who took care of my commute and gave me a safe, warm, secure place where I could focus on woodworking!
Categories: Hand Tools

Season’s Greetings

Pegs and 'Tails - Sat, 12/23/2017 - 1:06pm
Whatever your persuasion and situation, I wish you all well during the festive season. Edward Penny, The Mistletoe or Christmas Gambols, circa 1796, (LWL) Jack Plane Advertisements Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Trees: What Should a Woodworker Know?

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 12/23/2017 - 9:36am

Live oak, Houston, Texas

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of blog posts by Richard Jones, who has written a detailed book about timber technology, which is scheduled to be released in early 2018.

— Kara Gebhart Uhl

What’s the best way to approach writing a book for publication? Well, probably not the way I went about it.

So what did I write about? At the end of 2007, I’d perhaps created a manuscript of about 15,000 words and devised a list of key headings. Writing as a woodworker for other woodworkers, not as a wood scientist, I’d decided the following list of topics covered what I, as the model woodworker in this exercise, ought to have a pretty good grasp of, and this probably applied to all serious woodworkers, both professional and amateur:

• Tree Classification, Growth and Structure

• Roots, Leaves, Seeds, Flowers, Germination, Transpiration

• Felling, Conversion and Yield

• Water, Water Vapour and Wood

• Coping with Wood Movement

• Seasoning or Drying of Wood and Drying Faults

• From the Kiln to the User (Storing, Transporting and Selling Dried Wood)

• Fungi

• Insect Pests

• Wood Strength and Structures

• Ecological and Environmental Issues

There were additional topics I felt it important to cover to round out the knowledge of the thoughtful and inquisitive woodworker, such as tree history, tree distribution, a section on the oaks in particular, balanoculture, ancient deforestation, socio-political and historical issues concerning trees and their use, the Latin-binomial system of identification, tree oddities and migration, and so on. All might be considered ‘soft knowledge’, but awareness of these topics contributes to being a well-informed woodworker.

In 2007 I met a publisher of craft books I knew at a woodworking show in the north of England. We talked about my writing project and he indicated he was interested in offering me a contract to write the book. I turned him down gently saying I didn’t want to work to a publisher’s deadline because I’d be writing under pressure and too many mistakes would occur, or important subjects might have to be omitted to meet their deadline. So, there I was, writing at my own pace with no deadline to spur me on, and no-one on board to publish whatever I produced. I’d made a decision that contributed to enabling what I believe is a better book, but left me with the challenging task of finding someone to publish my, er, well, I guess, labour of love.

I’m very pleased Lost Art Press is taking my raw manuscript to the next stage. And maybe I’ll tell the tale of my convoluted path to finding a publisher in a later post.

– Richard Jones

Filed under: Timber Book by Richard Jones, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Visiting Old Friends

The Barn on White Run - Sat, 12/23/2017 - 5:29am

A while back I had the opportunity to visit some old friends, namely Mister Stewart and his remarkable collection of artifacts including the tool cabinet and workbench of HO Studley.  My impetus for the visit, beyond the obvious, was to examine the newest element found and integrated into the workbench.  The rear shelf completed the composition of the bench.

It was unusual for the form in that it was not pierced to hold tools, the typical arrangement for such shelves, such as this analogous bench and shelf.

Perhaps the function of this shelf on Studley’s bench was to simply look pretty?

Another element of the visit was documenting more fully some of the molding profiles on the cabinet.  Though I did not have a profile gauge with me, Mister Stewart gifted me with a piece of the molding he made when he fabricated the new workbench base.  Once I get that photographed I’ll post that as well.

my friday.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 12/23/2017 - 2:17am
.....did not start out on my good leg. And yes, I do have a good leg and a bad leg. My day starts after I get up by proofing my blog and publishing it. I can't do it at work so for the last couple of weeks I've been getting up early to publish it before I leave for work. Well that didn't happen smoothly this morning sports fans.

This morning I overslept which is a rarity for me. I got dressed, got my briefcase ready for work, and signed into my blog. That is when the fun commenced. In my haste to get the blog proofed and published, I deleted a portion of it by mistake. And before I could backspace it back into existence, the auto save flashed. So I had to rewrite two paragraphs and insert pics back in. I didn't lose the pics because they on permanently on the Google servers.

Not a bad way to start the day but I am super duper anal squared about time. Getting behind or God forbid, I would be late, throws me into a total nut job tizzy complete with lots of shrieking. I wasn't late for work as I still got there 45 minutes early but it was later than I normally get there. On a brighter note, I think I figured out my blog date posting problem. The published date seems to be based on date/time something was done to the blog. If I last edited a post on the 21st then the published date when I publish it will be the 21st.

Tonight was my last night to play in the shop till maybe xmas day or the day after. I have quite a few things on the starting line but I picked playing with the Stanley 78. It is almost done and I didn't have a lot of time to spend on it. My wife is or will be, dragging me to a boatload of xmas parties starting tonight. So before that happened I squeezed in some shop time.

#6 frog
This is the frog from my #6. It is the same type as Miles's #6 but mine doesn't have a corrugated sole. This frog is flat when I check it with a 6" steel rule. Kitty cornered, and just about every other way, there is no rocking. When I hold it up the light, it is a different story. There is a undulating roll from the top to the bottom with light showing. Broke out my frog flattening sanding jig to address that problem.

it is flat with no rocking
 The scratches show a hit and miss pattern. Scratches at the bottom and top and a few spots inbetween. I will keep sanding this until I see no light under the rule. I'll be doing that later.

I need to do something with this
Before I started to do the rehab of the 78, the hole for the fence rod was a tight fit. It was difficult to move the fence without help. I couldn't do it with just my hands alone. I had thump the face of the fence on the workbench to remove it when I finally muscled the fence onto the rod. This should be able to be put on, adjusted, and removed by hand pressure only.

fence rod won't fit in the hole from either side

chamfered the hole on both sides
I did this very lightly and just to remove the paint around the ends of the hole.

doesn't fit
The end of the fence will go into the top of the hole and no further. Time to look at the inside of the hole.

do not use a rat tail file
This file is tapered and if you use it you risk taking the inside out of round.

sandpaper wrapped around a dowel is a better choice
This dowel is too big (1/4" diameter).

1/8" is too small
making a 3/16" dowel
glued some 100 grit to it
it appears to be working
I did not go back and forth in a side to side motion. Instead I pressed the dowel against the outside and maintained that pressure as I moved the dowel around the circumference of the hole. I took my time and tried to keep it square/parallel as I sanded it.

getting a bit of a shine in the inside
When I started this the inside was as black as the painted outside.

it's in
I am making progress but still no cigar. This is as far as I can insert the fence rod into the hole with hand pressure.

another couple of minutes of work
This is the second piece of sandpaper and you can see I'm still getting the inside clean.

getting better
I can get the rod inside but I am short of being able to move it all the way in and out.

got it
There were a lot of dance steps involved with this. Sand one revolution and check the fit. With each step I was able to get it to go in/out a little more. Once I could move it freely in and out all the way, I stopped.

paint the fence rod thumbscrew
I am not sure if this was painted. It looked black but that could have also been years of accumulated crud. I think I'll paint it because it doesn't look like it will shine up.

it's a 1/4-20
It fit the 1/4-20 with no binding or protesting. I wasn't sure that this might have been done with the BSW standard.

4" 1/4-20 bolt
It fits on this and it will hold it when it comes time to shine it up again.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that crepuscular means of or relating to twilight?


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