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Deep Discounts on 3 Print Titles – Building Arts and Crafts Furniture, Make a Windsor Chair and Hand Tool Fundamentals
We’re clearing off a shelf in the warehouse for new titles, and as a result, have three good books (the print versions only) available right now at a deep discount. The first is “Building Classic Arts & Crafts Furniture: Shop Drawings for 33 Traditional Charles Limbert Projects,” by Michael Crow. Right now (and only at shopwoodworking.com), it’s $7 (75 percent off the cover price). I think we mis-titled this one; it […]
|planed with the 4 1/2|
|this was the side with the big gaps|
|no problems at all|
|flushing the bottom batted next|
|I did the top yesterday|
|drawer fits except for the last 3'4"|
|this top side gap isn't as large|
|right side of drawer|
|the other side is the same|
|fits and it is up against the back wall|
|used this yesterday on the small drawer - hooked it at the back and pulled the drawer open|
|need four more spacers|
|did the big drawer first|
|this one was bit tricky|
|large one curing on the tablesaw aka a horizontal storage surface|
|steel wooled it but......|
I settled on how I'm going to attach the lid to the box. I wasn't particularly fond of using a wooden pin nor was a metal one giving me a warm and fuzzy. This box is pine and over time the pin will elongate and oval out the pin hole. I ordered some parts from McMaster-Carr for the box and while I'm waiting for them to come in I can get the finish built back up on the box.
|one more coat on|
|one of 5 came in|
What US City sits aside the Miami River?
answer - it isn't Miami, it is Dayton, Ohio
Last week en route home from Mordor on the Potomac I had the good fortune to visit Steve Voight, music composition professor by day, planemaker by night. I became acquainted with Steve in the past couple of years and have come to enjoy immensely his company and his passion as a gifted craftsman fashioning wooden bodied planes in the style of 18th Century English hand planes. At one point in his life Steve was a skilled machinist and that attention to detail has carried over into this new chapter of life, in part teaching students how to construct music and also providing us with exquisite tools to construct furniture.
We spent a couple of delightful hours discussing woodworking in his charming, spare, beautifully bright garret studio above the kitchen of his (and the lovely and delightful Mrs. Steve’s) house. Tell me those windows and the light accompanying them does not instill some jealousy. Go ahead.
I continued my admiration of his products, and noted with anticipation some new items coming to his inventory soon. We also discussed the possibility of him making some custom tools for me soon. Cross your fingers.
The money time was the hour or so spent with him demonstrating the method of setting up a double-iron plane to get the most superior results. I know how to sharpen tools pretty darned well, but his tutorial on setting the second iron was an eye-opener to me.
Steve’s first step confirmed his facility as a sharpener as he tuned up his iron in about 30 seconds.
Thus far I’d been setting my chip breaker around 1/25″ from the tip of the cutting iron but learned that my spacing was far too great, and the best setting is somewhere in the territory of .006″-.010″. Steve starts his set-up by resting the tip of the cutting iron on the bench and then placing the chip breaker on top of a .010″ feeler gauge leaf.
Then he brings it home with the resultant spacing between the chip breaker and the cutting iron being nearly invisible.
Setting up the plane itself with eyes way better than mine, Steve showed me the results.
He explained that a properly sharpened and set double iron plane almost literally shoots the shaving out of the throat. I was surprised that they did not curl, they were straight wisps of gossamer wood (this one was a bit heavy and rippled, but photographing him work is a challenge because his motions are so confident and rapid).
Who knew? Well, not me!
Steve definitely gave me something to think about and aim for, which makes our time together invaluable.
How to Repaint Numbers & Graduations on a Steel Ruler: Restoring John Walters’ Rusted Starrett Ruler
After finding a rusted old Starrett ruler in a ‘Free stuff’ pile left by a neighbor, I decided to restore it and repaint the numbers and graduations. First, I placed it in a tray and covered it with a 20% vinegar solution for an hour or so. Then I scraped the ruler with a bread clip and #1000 grit wet-dry sandpaper to polish the surface. After washing and neutralizing the […]
I pretend I exist in a bubble or cocoon. Each day I’m at home, I get up & have breakfast with the family, and then make my way out the back door to the workshop. Open up the windows to let in the sounds of the birds, check the river – tide in or out? Coming or going? And then sort the day’s projects – am I cutting these mortises, carving which pieces – most of my concerns are about really great quality oak, sharp tools, and learning from studies of period pieces…
And it goes like that day in & day out. Which hatchet? Are these bowls dry enough for the next step? Ah, I figured out what design to carve for that panel. Then, time to clean up the place and re-set the bench…
All the ordinary stuff is an intrusion – have to go to the dump, the bank, did I pay the bills? I just want to get back to work in the shop. All of that is just like the rest of us.
Every so often, I traipse out into the world to teach a workshop, deliver a lecture/demonstration – that sort of thing. And those audiences are pre-disposed to receive what I have to give. An interest in woodworking, furniture history, spoon carving – they’re already converts. But I know although we have woodworking interests in common, there can and will be things we don’t have in common. And that’s usually fine with me. I can get past a lot of stuff, and concentrate on our shared interests. And it has always been a great kick for me to come together with people I might otherwise not connect to…
This year, it’s been tricky, with the political climate in America and the world. I have specifically stated in many of my classes – “No politics, please.” Just to avoid the issue. Trying to be polite…and it has worked thus far.
Like I said, I can get past a lot of stuff. But…not racism. Not Nazis marching in the streets of 21st-century America. That shit doesn’t fly. Everyone should be against that…none of this “many sides” crap.
So…in the hopefully unlikely event that some of my readers are sympathetic with the KKK, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, etc that were on display down in Charlottesville this past weekend, – if that’s you – please un-subscribe to my blog. Please stop following me on Instagram, FB…please don’t come to my classes. Please don’t buy my book, videos, spoons, etc.
I want nothing to do with racists.
Back to oak now.
The drawers for the finishing cabinet are now at the fitting stage. I have to clean them up, do the drawer runners, make a bottom, and fit a bottom in place. I kind of did a 90/10 thing tonight with the most calories going to the drawers.
|the front of the small doesn't fit the opening|
|large drawer fit|
|the gaps are still there|
|the other side|
|flushing the top of the big drawer|
|one side fits|
|sawing off the wild|
|flushed the bottom|
|top flushed up|
|cleaned up the sides and the back|
|in about a 1/3 of the way|
|2nd trimming and I'm about 1/2 way - planing just the top|
|third trimming and I'm done|
|I'll plug this after I get the bottom and slips installed|
|flushing the tails|
|epoxy and filler|
|4 coats of shellac|
|squared up one end of the slips|
|the back of the slips|
|the front look|
|the way I'm leaning|
|slips aren't as proud this way|
|works better than this way|
In what Baseball World Series was the Star Spangled Banner first played?
answer - the 1918 series
It’s always a pleasure to hear what one’s instruments are doing and I recently caught up with this small steel-string guitar that I made nearly 5 years ago for Poppy Smallwood. Based on a Martin OO model with 12 frets to neck, it’s made of English walnut and has a sitka spruce soundboard.
(More photographs here, if you want to know about its construction.)
Poppy has been playing the guitar in all sorts of places, making a reputation for herself as a singer and songwriter. Here she is performing one of her own songs for BalconyTV against the background of St Petersburg.
You can hear several more of her songs on Soundcloud.
Blum Tandem slides are a fabulous innovation for built-in cabinetry with drawers and pantry pull-outs. They’re smooth, silent, invisible and they come with a little person inside who pulls the drawer shut for you. (OK, not really, but there might as well be someone in there considering how well they shut themselves.) As with most innovative hardware, there’s a range of accessories you can buy to ease installation. When I […]
If you have a week free beginning September
18th – yes I know it’s barely a month away – 360Woodworking has the perfect woodworking vacation for you. There is one bench open for a hands-on class building a Pembroke table, a furniture form that spanned over a century and was interpreted differently by the tastes and styles of the various designers of the age.
In the class as you build your table, you’ll learn multiple methods to taper legs, how to work with stack-lamination techniques for the curved parts, basic veneer work, how to lay out and cut the oval top complete with drop-leaf joinery and inlay and how to make knuckle joints for the fly rail – come ready to work to build this iconic piece of period furniture.
|plugged the groove holes|
|didn't get 100%|
|there is a lid in there|
|both sides have some twist|
|got one face flat|
|sizing the overhang on the ends|
|got a ton of tear out|
|made mess of this|
|my 5 1/2|
|washers for clearance|
|only gluing about 1/2 way|
|working on the big drawer front|
|cleaning out the sockets|
|first one fitted|
|the ugly gap|
|making my blind groove|
|sizing the back to match the front|
|dry fitlooks good|
|drawer slip overhang|
|a look see|
|new look for me|
|small drawer parts sized and ready to dovetail|
|front done and ready to do the back|
|I said oops|
|way too tight|
|ready for glue up|
|lid ready for finish|
The back top edge of the box has to be rounded over to allow the lid to open and close. That is what is delaying getting this out the door today or even tomorrow.
|one coat on the box and lid|
A good day in the shop and it was a wee bit difficult getting myself out of my chair when the wife said dinner was ready. I felt like things had rusted in place and I needed to oil the joints to free them. i think my age is catching up with me.
This federal holiday was first observed in 1894. What is it?
answer - Labor Day, celebrated on the first monday in September. Canada's Labor day is celebrated on the same day too.
I had a bad one yesterday where 3 days of working on a drawer got flushed. I thought I was doing good but not looking to check myself cost me big time. I made an error today (different than a mistake) based on an assumption. I thought something was square but it turned out it wasn't. I didn't lose anything there but it could have been as painful as yesterday's.
Mistakes and making them are part of life and woodworking. I kind of thought I made enough in woodworking already but that keep on a coming. At least the flavor of them is changing but it would nice to finally meet my quota on them.
|making drawer slips|
|didn't come out too good|
|lot of work on this one|
|got a bead I can use elsewhere|
|one set of slips done|
|plow a groove on both edges|
|saw them out on the inboard side of the groove|
|clean up the faces next|
|ganged together and planed|
|this part matters|
|final check and tweaking the fit|
|labeled and stowed|
|new small drawer front on the right|
|planed to thickness|
|thought I was planing square with this|
|loose fit in the opening|
|two drawer sides|
|I have some cup to remove|
|one side is flat and not rocking|
|this side is twist free|
|this side has some twist|
|found my assumption was wrong now|
|from the LN 51|
|I can see the chip without help|
|new small drawer front|
|a me box|
Here I finally got it, so I gave it a try. It is definitely a time saver and speeds up things over doing each one separately.
|sawed and chopped|
|off the saw|
|grooves done and the interior cleaned up|
|went nutso on the clamping|
|more spare parts|
|for Bob D|
Who is Nolan Bushnell?
answer - the founder of ATARI and Chuck E Cheese
Taking online courses in any subject, including woodworking courses, is the future of learning. It’s convenient. Bring the course directly to you. (There’s a free example posted below.) But in woodworking, being tied to your computer when you need to be in the shop practicing your new found skills is problematic. This week 360Woodworking.com took steps to alleviate that problem. The newest offerings are downloadable courses presented as a PDF with embedded video that plays whenever opened in Adobe Reader.
This week we released a brand new episode of I Can Do That! In this episode, Chad Stanton walks us through a hall table build using lumber purchased at the local home center. The project is stunning and we hope that it encourages our viewers to leave their excuses behind and to build something incredible! You can watch the video and download the plans on the I Can Do That […]
After taking the pics I did some web surfacing and found out the filters I have won't remove the fluorescent white halo glare from pics. The filter for fluorescent lights removes a green tint that is associated with pics taken under fluorescent lints. Tonight after work I took some pics of the finishing cabinet that came out a bit better.
|my last pic|
|much better pic of the finishing cabinet|
|the open shot|
|this side is down a 32nd|
|flushed up the bottom|
|fits almost all the way - got stuck here at this point|
|cleaned up the back last|
|layout for the finger grab hole|
|last visual check|
|laid out and made relief saw kits|
|not a good note to end the day on|
There is no way I can fix or patch it. It is burnt toast and it pissed me off that I made such a stupid mistake. I was paying attention and being careful to make sure I was working off my reference but I didn't put the finger hole where it was supposed to be.
|the before pic|
|the after pic|
What is the largest one day sporting event in the world?
answer - The Indy 500
A simple project from home-center wood is transformed with faux graining. by Catharine C. Kennedy Pages 51-54 August 2014 Buy the issue here. Faux graining is the art of illusion. Use this technique, and your choices aren’t constrained by what woods are available or what’s shown in the veneering catalogs (or your bank account); you are limited only by your imagination. With the use of simple tools and materials you […]
The post Painted Bucket Bench – Home Center Wood Transformed with Faux Graining appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
Most old tools are anonymous–unless you knew the previous owner personally, there’s no way to tell who owned them before you did. But there are happy exceptions. Two of my handplanes have a previous owner’s name on them. And while the names don’t exactly give me a full history of these tools, they do tell me something about the men who owned them.
Mr. A. Robertson
My wooden jack plane was once owned by Mr. A. Robertson.
I know Mr. Robertson only by his name stamp on this handplane. I got the plane from a guy in Alaska, but I have no way of knowing whether Mr. Robertson lived in Alaska, or whether the plane was brought up there by someone else later.
Mr. Robertson really liked his name stamp.
I mean, he REALLY liked it.
He stamped his name on this plane no fewer than 26 times!
There are at least four name stamps on every side except the sole. On the top, there are six.
Mr. Robertson also stamped the wedge, and he punched his initials into the top of the iron.
At first, I thought that this was just a guy who was excited about a new name stamp, and that he got carried away marking his name on his handplane. But the more I look at the stamps, the more I think differently. This man was methodical–to the point of being obsessive.
If he had been merely trying out a new stamp, I would expect more irregularity in the depth of the stamps. But the depth is quite regular. Plus, he always stamps his name in pairs, and in each pair of stamps, one stamp is inverted. That suggests a very deliberate method. I think that Mr. Robertson was determined that nobody would steal his tool and be able to sand off (or otherwise disfigure) all the name stamps. After all, it would be relatively simple for a thief to do away with one or two stamps, but not 26. It wouldn’t be worth a thief’s time to erase that much evidence. The fact that Mr. Robertson had a name stamp at all indicates that he was a professional, probably working alongside other professionals–a situation in which it is all too likely for tools to disappear.
The general condition of the plane confirms Mr. Robertson’s meticulous character. The tool is quite well cared for, given its probable age. It was made by the Sandusky Tool Co., which operated from 1869 to 1929. That would place this wooden plane at over 88 years old at the very least. The iron has not been ground down very much. In a plane this old, I would expect more of the iron to be gone due to regrinding. But if the user is careful–as I think Mr. Robertson was–an iron need not be ground very often.
Yet the plane does show wear from regular use. The ends have been tapped regularly with a mallet, which is how these wooden planes are adjusted. When I acquired the plane, the sole was not quite level. It had been inexpertly resurfaced after some wear. I doubt that the sole had been planed down by Mr. Robertson, who was far too conscientious a man to have done a job like that.
I wish I knew more about Mr. Robertson. I wish I could compliment him on taking such good care of his tools. I hope that he would be pleased to know that his old jack plane is still in regular use, nearly a hundred years later. But I really, really want to know why he stamped his name on his plane 26 times. I’m sure there’s quite a story behind that.
Mr. R. Kendall
The second handplane is about the same age as the wooden jack plane. I picked up this Stanley #3C smoothing plane at an antique mall in Indiana. The plane is an early type 9, which means it was made sometime between 1902 and 1907. (Note for handplane nerds: I know it’s an early type 9 because it has a type-9 frog and body, but the lateral adjustment lever is that of a type 8, which means that the plane was probably one of the first type 9s produced, and the factory was still using the last of some of its type-8 parts.) The plane was in remarkably good condition for its age–it merely required some cleaning and the gentle removal of a little surface rust.
This is what the plane looks like after some cleaning.
And this is what it looked like before the cleaning, but after total disassembly.
When I first bought the plane, I didn’t even noticed it was marked. But as I was cleaning off the tote with some Murphy Oil Soap, I noticed something on the top. It seemed to be some initials punched into the wood:
I could just make out an RK. Perhaps you can, too.
I was intrigued. What could RK stand for? I thought it must be the original owner’s initials. I didn’t think much more of it until I started cleaning the rest of the parts.
As I cleaned the lever cap, I found that under a light coating of rust, there was an etch, faint but distinct. It was difficult to photograph, but in just the right light, you can read the name R. Kendall.
Now I knew what RK stood for!
Like Mr. A Robertson, Mr. R. Kendall is mostly a mystery. Yet I can deduce a few things about him from this tool. Like Mr. Robertson, he cared for his tools very much.
I would guess that Mr. Kendall was a small man, or at least that he had small hands. The #3 is a fairly small smoothing plane, and my average-sized hands are not altogether comfortable on the tote. It is true that the #3 cost a little less than the #4, so it could be that Mr. Kendall was merely pinching pennies when he bought it. In Stanley’s 1934 catalog, the #3 with a corrugated sole cost $7.10 and the #4 cost $7.45–not an insubstantial price difference back then. Yet Mr. Kendall opted for the corrugated sole, an extra expense that a true cheapskate would have avoided. I think that the #3 fit Mr. Kendall’s hands, or perhaps his usual scale of work.
I do know that Mr. Kendall was a craftsman. The plane is expertly cared for. Despite its age, the wooden parts are in excellent condition, and the Japanning (the black paint on the inside of the body) is almost completely intact.
Also, the neat, cursive etching on the lever cap suggests a solid grammar-school education. His penmanship is precise. And the fact that this is a neat etch rather than, say, a shaky engraving indicates that he cared for the general appearance of his tools.
Mr, Kendall also knew how to adjust his plane for maximum performance. When I got the plane, the frog had been set pretty far forward, making the mouth very tight. Set that way, the plane will produce a fine shaving with minimal tear-out. While it is possible that a later owner re-set the frog, I doubt it. Frogs are not normally repositioned unless there is trouble with the plane’s performance. If Mr. Kendall was the one who positioned the frog, it is clear that he was knowledgable and experienced with handplanes.
It is highly likely that Mr. Kendall, like Mr. Robertson, was a professional woodworker of some kind–perhaps a furniture maker or a trim carpenter. An amateur has little need to put his name on his tools. But on a job site or in a busy shop, tools have a way of “taking legs,” as they say. Mr. Kendall valued his tools too highly to let them go easily.
One of the biggest changes in woodworking over the last century has been the de-professionalization of the craft. There are still a lot of professional cabinet shops as well as a few individual artisans carving out a living for themselves (sometimes literally), but I would guess that, today, the vast majority of woodworking tools, and especially high-quality hand tools, are bought by amateurs, not by professionals.
That means that, when we find high-quality, antique tools for sale today, there’s a good chance that they were originally owned and used by professionals. These were men who knew the value of hard work and good tools, and that’s why we have so many good antique tools available to us today. Without perhaps realizing it, these bygone professionals have left us a rich inheritance in their tools.
So here’s to you, Mr. Robertson and Mr. Kendall! I’m much obliged to you.
Tagged: #3, A Robertson, etch, handplane, jack plane, name stamp, plane, R Kendall, restortation, smoothing plane, Stanley 3C
This week’s giveaway is the 2-DVD set (or the download version, if the lucky winner prefers) of our recent video “Build a Welsh Stick Chair with Don Weber” (& Friends). Confession time: I’m one of the “friends”…but I have yet to complete my Welsh stick chair. I’d set aside that week for filming and blocked off my calendar accordingly so as to keep anyone from calling me into a meeting. […]
The post Video Giveaway: ‘Build a Welsh Stick Chair with Don Weber’ appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
This hand surgeon likes meeting fellow woodworkers – but not at work. by David Shapiro Page 64 From the April 2017 issue #231 Buy this issue I long ago lost track of how many people, upon learning of my interest in woodworking, have puzzled aloud over my table saw. They follow up with, “Do you know how important your hands are?” or, “Do you know how dangerous that thing can be?” […]
The post ‘You Own a Table Saw?!’ – Safety Tips From a Hand Surgeon appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.