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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?
Pre-Orders for our TWO new 2018 calendars are now open! This year choose from a new Cute Animals and Tools Layout or The Precious Animals of our Farm! $20, free shipping on domestic orders. Find them on the FOR SALE page!
The year is drawing to a close once more, and it’s time to reflect how I spent my time. I sit back and ponder on how rocky and trying this year has been for me. Besides battling life’s daily challenges, I’ve accomplished in starting up a hand tool woodworking magazine. This was for me a most difficult and rocky journey. So many hurdles to jump and brick walls to smash. I did what some said couldn’t be done. Someone higher up in the food chain of corporate slavery said with a smug look on his face as he eyed me up and down. “Who are you to start-up a magazine?” My reply was simple and truthful without an ounce of arrogance in it. “I am me.” So I did it and it proved to be very successful. The feedback I got was it’s informative, educational, inspirational and unbiased which is what a magazine should be. I am not a journalist and therefore cannot write like one, but I’m still able to get the message across and thousands of readers are gaining the benefits in terms of knowledge and mental stimuli, which is what I hoped for. I have many great ideas and projects I would like to make and publish in future issues, but as always I’m struggling with finance and even when I do charge $5.00 for an issue it still won’t be enough to leave my job.
I designed the HANDWORK t-shirts, they are 100% cotton, very comfortable to wear and is of good quality, but the black is expensive. Not much I can do about that. Even though I got no interest in them and that being due to not having a fan based following, the response I got from people in the streets was astonishing. People eyeing the words “handwork” looking at the wooden jointer with curiosity and a sense of pleasure in their stare. This was an eye opener, and I did not expect it nor was I doing any marketing research. It proves that people are are sick to death of this plastic, mass producing society and are yearning for a release from it. They want to return to the simpler way of living, but have no clue how physically demanding that life is.
I also bought my last book I will ever buy again. I’ve realised I have a lot of books and I can’t fit anymore in my bookshelf and my drawer, besides I really don’t need anymore. I’ve read through most of them and will reread them all again because reading a book once is never enough to gain a true understanding. You will be surprised how much information you miss and it’s a good refresher.
Materialistically I haven’t done so well, but in terms of knowledge and skill I have gained more in these last 12 months than I have in 25 years. I’ve chosen this craft for myself as long as God permits me to continue down this path. I will continue to pass this knowledge onto others as long as they’re willing to listen. I always wanted to keep the magazine free, but I just don’t have the income, resources to cover it all. I don’t lust after wealth, I just need it like you do to survive. If heaven dropped a mountain of gold in my lap, I would spend my days researching and doing, but most of all helping others in need.
Merry Christmas to you all, be safe these holidays and have a very happy and prosperous new year. God Bless and take care. Peace.
Not to the final borders yet, but looking more like fiddles. A little spit on the end-grain of the spruce sure can make cutting easier. Plus, cutting spruce just smells like Christmas. Not sure what the maple smell reminds me of, but I like cutting the edges on the maple. Smooth and buttery.
Trying to snow outside my door now. Will warm up some nice drink and relax for the evening. Enjoy your holidays.
Now that we are on the verge of big time heating season I can reflect on the new hearth pad I made for the wood/coal stove in the basement of the barn. In the past, due mostly to the fact that the stove was installed in the dead of winter with near-zero temps, the pad for the stove was simply loose firebricks laid on top of the plywood sub-floor. It had remained that way for four years until I revisited the situation over the summer.
I removed all of the loose firebricks except for the four underneath the stove feet and a row around the perimeter and hand-poured a concrete pad (reinforced with hardware cloth) in its place. I don’d know if it will make any difference but it makes me happier to have it done.
It is pretty clear from the results that I am not a mason or concrete specialist. Regardless, it is ready to go and provides a permanent foundation for the 500-pound stove for as long as the barn is standing.
The Oregon garment factory has just produced our first chore coat prototype using the Japanese cotton that Tom Bonamici has selected. Tom wants to make a couple small adjustments to the way the collar will sit, but he is almost satisfied.
That prototype is on its way to Kentucky for us to inspect the workmanship and evaluate the cloth. Tom says the fabric is so good it feels like “unicorn butter.” That’s worrisome because we were after “centaur mayonnaise” for the hand feel.
Meanwhile, other details of the jacket are coming together. One of the important aspects of this garment (for me) is that it not be a piece of marketing. Like a traditional French coat, there will be only two details of the maker: The buttons will be debossed with “Lost Art Press” in tiny letters. You’ll have to look closely to see them. And the inside pocket will be embroidered with our skep logo.
There is still a lot of work to be done, including getting the price nailed down and finalizing some of the sizing.
The way we are going to sell these is going to be a little different than your typical clothing store. We’re going to publish very specific sizing guidelines so you can determine which size is for you. We’ll open up the ordering for a month. Everyone who orders one will then get one.
This will do two things: Greatly reduce waste and therefore help us keep the price down because we won’t have to account for garments that don’t sell.
If everything goes smoothly, the jackets will ship in March.
— Christopher Schwarz
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A while back, I wrote about things to look for when buying used Japanese chisels on eBay. I recently went through the process of looking for a 12mm Japanese chisel on eBay, bidding on it, and buying it. Here’s how I decided on the chisel I bought.
I searched for “Japanese chisel 12mm”, and found this listing, among others. Here are the photos from the listing.
In my previous article, I mention that having good photos to look at is key. These photos weren’t optimal, since a few of them were not completely in focus, but the length of the chisel was good, the handle looked good, and the hollow seemed to be in decent shape. There’s some rust, but I expect that it will clean up easily. Despite the advice in my article, there isn’t a clear picture of the bevel, but the price ($8) and shipping cost ($12) were right. So I took a chance on that part.
I use a sniping program for eBay auctions. I’ll set a maximal price for the item that I want, and walk away. This keeps me from getting caught up in auction fever, and is really the best way to deal with eBay auctions.
As it turned out, I was the only bidder on this chisel, and so I won. There are so many Japanese chisels on eBay that this often is the case. The chisel is on its way to New Jersey from Japan. When it arrives, I’ll see how well I did.
|painting makes no noise|
|tried cleaning the knurling on the knob|
|2nd choice worked|
I liked the action of using this plane. The setting of the iron was a little finicky but I'm sure I would get used to it. There are three screws that have to be set and tightened to secure the iron. One can be done with your fingers (it's a thumbscrew) but the other two require a screwdriver. In spite of this minor annoyance, the tote felt good in my hands and with my off hand I could easily grasp one fence rod and the fence to guide it and maintain the attitude. This is a nice plane and I'll try it out again when I use it to make the box for it.
|thin piece of oak to make a sanding stick|
|prepping my sticks|
|small stock was no problem|
|glued the sandpaper on|
|the thinner sanding stick|
|directly beneath the screw hole|
|I had to put it together to see how it looked|
|of course I had to road test it - it has a nice feel to it|
|14 hours later|
|same with the bottom|
|making a burr|
|the black crud crappola|
|cleaned it first|
|scraped (this pic should have been first)|
Time to quit the shop and finish my wrapping.
Did you know that the Empire State Building was the first building to have over 100 floors?
A subset of the Rabbet Plane group is the Standing Fillister Plane. Although sometimes called a fenced rabbet, this is a rabbet plane with a permanent, integral depth stop formed in the body. Sometimes you will find a rabbet plane that has been altered by an owner to function as a Standing Fillister. Most I have seen were maker made to fit a specific size.
and another Dutch plane by a different maker
Three names are stamped on the toe of this Glass Check Plane:
I wish I knew who D. Ironmonger was!
Nelson was either Richard or William Nelson of London. My guess is this plane is second quarter, 19th century.
We’ve just uploaded Episode 4 of our podcast which is centered around sourcing lumber for furniture making. In reality, Mike and I both source our wood from all sorts of places. We harvest our own from the woods, use a lot of salvaged material, and also order from lumberyards. In our discussion, we go over the best way to store lumber for air drying (it’s simpler than you think).
You can listen to the whole episode above.
Links for this Episode:
Questions about this episode? We welcome your comments about how you source and store lumber...
Skottbenk er ein type arbeidsbenk som stort sett har gått under radaren i faglitteraturen i snikkarfaget og tømrarfaget. Då eg byrja å leite etter tradisjonsberarar, gamle skottbenkar, litteratur og folk som kunne noko om skottbenk så var det ikkje mykje å ta tak i. Eg kom over ein skottbenk i Lavangen og ei oppmåling av ein skottbenk på Røros. Med det utgangspunktet snikra eg min fyrste skottbenk for noko meir enn 15 år sidan. Eg laga høvlar til å bruke med skottbenken og høvla dei fyrste golvborda. Eg merka snart at dette arbeidet var veldig godt egna som tema på kurs for handverkarar som driv restaureringsarbeid. Det er veldig mange gamle hus som har materialar som i si tid har vore høvla og kanta på skottbenk. Kunnskapen om bruken av benken er eit viktig premiss for å forstå dei gamle materialane. Eg heldt ein del kurs i bruk av skottbenk rundt om i landet. Eg synast det tok litt tid før det ble bygd fleire skottbenkar som ble teke i bruk av andre handverkarar. Tidleg ute var Trond Oalann og Stiftelsen Bryggen i Bergen. Det var likevel ikkje før vi byrja å halde kurs i snikring av skottbenk at det løsna. Då vart det snart fleire skottbenkar som vart tekne i bruk rundt om i handverksmiljøa. Det var på det fyste av desse kursa at ideen om å skipe Norsk Skottbenk Union vart lansert, kurset på Røros i år 2010.Kai Johansen høvlar det fyrste bordet i sin nybygde skottbenk. Foto: Roald Renmælmo
Etterkvart kom vi i gang med å bruke denne bloggen for å organisere og formidle stoff om skottbenken og bruken av skottbenk. På sida «Om Norsk Skottbenk Union» har vi skrive om kva vi arbeider med og korleis ein kan bli medlem. For å bli medlem må ein ha snikra sin eige skottbenk og få dette publisert på bloggen. Gjennom bloggen har vi fått registrert skottbenkar i dei fleste områda i landet. Vi byrjar også å få ein ganske stor mengde med fagstoff om skottbenken og bruken av den. Det manglar framleis ein del område i landet og vi er alltid interessert i tips om gamle skottbenkar. Her kan du tipse oss:
På bloggen prøver vi aktivt å bruke kategoriar for å organisere stoffet vårt. I høgre marg står ein boks med overskrift: «Oversikt over geografi og tema». Der kan du gå inn på ulike tema og på geografi på land, fylke og kommunenivå. Her kan du sjå om det er registrert skottbenkar i ditt lokalområde. Ein del av bloggpostane våre som er registrert på kommunar er frå svar på spørjelistene om snikkarhandverket i Norsk Folkeminnesamling. Då er det berre snakk om skriftlege kjelder om skottbenkar i dei aktuelle kommunane, det er ikkje sikkert ein finn bevarte skottbenkar i dei same områda.Pløyving av golvbord.
A 23-year-old man in Chicago developed a rare, festering fungal lesion on his lower lip after he reportedly “snipped a pimple” with a woodworking blade.
Doctors at the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County treated the man, who was an otherwise healthy construction worker.
Two things stood out to me about this story. First, this probably wouldn’t have happened if the blade was really sharp. Sharp tools are clean tools. So there’s your argument for keeping your tools sharp.
Second, Cook County Hospital was one of the hospitals I trained at when I was in medical school. It does not surprise me at all that this case wound up there.
With the new Juncus polissoir made I took a minute to examine and characterize it, and give it a quick test drive. As I said earlier, it took a lot more of the rush to compress to the same density of the sorghum polissoirs I have made for me.
My immediate impression of the Juncus polissoir is that is softer and more fragile than the sorghum. The working surface just seemed softer to my fingertips and fingernail, and the fibers around the perimeter of the working tip were much more easily damaged and broken off. My deduction is that this tool could not be used vigorously as a dry tip, unlike the sorghum. Yannick Chastang implied as much when he indicated that this tool is always used with wax, although Roubo is less clear on the subject (Roubo could be a frustrating writer, often accomplishing the nearly impossible feat of being simultaneously effusive and laconic).
Due to time limitations, at that moment my only side-by-side apples vs. apples comparison I could make was to use a dry (unwaxed) sorghum polissoir and this new dry (unwaxed) Juncus polissoir on a prepped board.
Both accomplished glistening surfaces in a matter of seconds.
The visual result was pretty much indistinguishable, but there was a definite sensory difference; the Juncus polissoir seemed much softer to the surface of the wood. Even though the fibers of each were compressed as tightly as possible, the sound of them tapping on the workpiece differed; the Juncus had a much softer, more diffused sound than the sorghum. Deductively this implies that the sorghum polissoir was more efficient to Juncus in burnishing (compressing and smoothing the surface of the workpiece), yielding a “brighter” surface, but the Juncus might be superior in polishing (smoothing via rubbing abrasion) and also more forgiving. Neither strikes me as “superior” overall at this point, they just have unique characters that differ. I do suspect also that the sorghum polissoir is more robust and long-lasting than the more fragile Juncus, but that may or may not be true, and might be mitigated through wax impregnation.
As time allows in the future I will test and compare these tools further in the future, but for now that is what I have to report.
Back in 2008 I started this blog; being inspired by a blog I read regularly then – that of Robin Wood. Sometime in the early/mid 1990s, my friend Ned Cooke sent me this postcard, showing Robin Wood turning a huge nest of bowls in beech on his pole lathe. I tacked it up in my workshop and it’s been there ever since. Even made the move to my new shop…
I had heard about Robin’s work and somewhere along the line Jennie Alexander traded letters back & forth with him back then. For a while there was a very active forum on the web called the Bodgers’ Ask and Answer forum. (it’s still there, going back quite a ways with lots of information. Some of it is quite good. https://www.bodgers.org.uk/BB/ ) Robin was a regular contributor there, and that’s where he & I started talking directly to each other. I can’t remember if I found his blog through the forum or vice-versa. Doesn’t matter now.
What matters to me is that Robin is perhaps THE person responsible for reviving the craft of turning wooden bowls on a pole lathe, using hook tools. Right now there are lots of people taking up this work – and I hope they recognize Robin’s contribution to its revival. (Somewhere in those years, I first met Roger Abrahamson http://www.rogerabrahamson.com/index.html when he appeared at my shop & introduced himself. His work parallels some of Robin’s very well. Roger is another story someday.)
We finally met in 2014, when I was a student in his first course at North House Folk School. (met Jarrod & JoJo there at the same time – 3 birds, one stone). With Barn the Spoon, Robin started another inspiration of ours – Spoonfest https://spoonfest.co.uk/ and that’s where he & I next met up. He’d invited me a couple of times and I begged off due to scheduling problems. Then in 2016 I decided I’d better go before the invites dried up.
I’m thrilled that Robin is coming to Greenwood Fest. He’ll be teaching a 2-day class in bowl turning on a pole lathe, with hook tools. Then during the fest, we’ll have him in various capacities; these days much of his time is spent making tools for spoon carving. We’re still working out the details of some aspects of the schedule. One piece we have planned with him is a slide talk/presentation about his various green woodworking exploits over the years. Worth seeing.Robin Wood’s bowl
One of the hardest parts of Greenwood Fest planning for us is the instructor roster. Because our venue has a limit on the number of people allowed, the size of the Fest will not grow. And because we love all our instructors equally – it becomes difficult to work in new ones. To make space for Robin, Jarrod Dahl has kindly agreed to shift from Greenwood Fest this year to a course with Plymouth CRAFT later in the season – early to mid-September. BUT Jarrod & Jazmin plan on attending the Fest, so if you see Jarrod there, take it easy on him with the questions, it’s his vacation!
Greenwood Fest will be held in Plymouth Massachusetts June 5-10, 2018. Those dates include the pre-fest courses. Tickets on sale starting February 2, 2018 https://www.greenwoodfest.org/
|tape off of the sole|
|one spot that's hard to see|
|it'll dry here|
|lever cap and iron|
I was able to raise a bit of a shine on the lever cap. This is 120 grit and it is looking like it will shine up nicely.
|this won't be easy|
|two sided wrapping paper|
|I made a dent in it|
Did you know that the metal wire cage that holds the champagne cork in place is called a coiffe?
The last time I traveled with tools, I took two double-sided diamond stones and a strop. Since then, the stones came loose from the plastic backing plates, probably because I used WD-40 as a honing compound and it penetrated under the plates, but they are still flat. On a lark, I made this base to make sure they don't flex:
I chose to take the LV bevel-up smoother because I have five blades for it, from 25 to 50 degrees plus a toothed blade. A Stanley #4 would be better in some ways but the Veritas plane is very versatile and being able to change blades and the mouth-opening quickly is an advantage. The rest of what you see there is a router plane, a plow plane, a shoulder plane, an egg beater, a dovetail saw, a crosscut backsaw and a tool roll with my chisels, a spokeshave and other tools.
I'm still filling the top tray:
We are actively working on four books this month. Here’s a quick update.
Richard Jones’s book on timber technology (we’re still fussing with the title) has been fully laid out. Kara Gebhart and I will give it a final edit this month and it should be to the printer in early January. That means it should be released in February or March 2018. (This assumes nothing goes haywire in the process.)
Jögge Sundqvist’s book “Slöjd in Wood” is almost ready for the designer. Megan Fitzpatrick has been sorting through both the translation and notes from Jögge and Peter Follansbee, who is assisting with the editing. This book has taken a lot longer than we hoped (and cost thousands of dollars more than we planned). But the result will be worth it. Look for it in early spring.
Christian Becksvoort has just turned in the materials for his new book with Lost Art Press. The book needs a title, but it’s going to be outstanding. It will feature plans for some of Becksvoort’s best projects from his career, plus advice on the craft and how to make a living at it. We are just beginning the editing process on the book, but it should go quickly. We hope for a summer release.
Finally, there is my book, “Ingenious Mechanicks: Early Workbenches & Workholding.” The writing will be complete by the end of 2017 – I have only about 1,000 more words to go. As always, as I get to the end of a book I have found at least 30 untrodden paths before me that I could go down. This book could easily consume another 20 years of my life – and still be incomplete.
Luckily, I have worked with authors who allow themselves to be sucked down the path of researching “one more detail” and then “Oooo, one more thing.” It can go on forever, and the work becomes blurred, ill-defined and all-consuming. You have to know when to cut bait or fish.
I’m ready to fish.
Look for “Ingenious Mechanicks” to be released by May at the latest.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. I forgot to mention Joshua Klein’s book on Jonathan Fisher. It’s in the good hands of designer Linda Watts and should be complete in the next couple months. Apologies for neglecting this important title – I have too many chainsaws in the air…. It’s late and it’s been a long day.
Filed under: Uncategorized