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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.
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.
–Nancy Hiller, author of Making Things Work
Filed under: Uncategorized
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|
|thick plate dovetail and 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|
|thick plate carcass saw (top) and LN carcass saw|
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|
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.
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.
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"?
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 […]
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.
“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
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.
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.
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!!
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|
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|
|birthday present #2|
|lots of surprises in here|
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.
Did you know that Eugene Polley created the first wireless TV remote control?
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.
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.
Some of these may be difficult to find because they're out of print. But they may be available used or as reprints.
Some forums are extremely active. Participation is global, with people coming from all different cultural backgrounds.
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!
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)
• 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
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.
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.
|it is flat with no rocking|
|I need to do something with this|
|fence rod won't fit in the hole from either side|
|chamfered the hole on both sides|
|do not use a rat tail file|
|sandpaper wrapped around a dowel is a better choice|
|1/8" is too small|
|making a 3/16" dowel|
|glued some 100 grit to it|
|it appears to be working|
|getting a bit of a shine in the inside|
|another couple of minutes of work|
|paint the fence rod thumbscrew|
|it's a 1/4-20|
|4" 1/4-20 bolt|
Did you know that crepuscular means of or relating to twilight?