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This is a collection of all the different blogs I (try to) read. A whole bunch! If you have any comments or suggestions feel free to use the CONTACT page to get a hold of me. Thanks!
I haven’t had time to post for a while – lots going on – but I thought I should drop down a couple of lines on how the Biltong Slicer project is going.
This is the design I eventually came up with, and as you can see the design features that set it apart from the other one are: 1. the blade is integral to the handle, 2. the base is shaped, rather than oblong, 3. the cutting board is more rustic than the original, and 4. the base includes a bowl, for the slices to fall into.
I began by making templates for the component parts, first on tracing paper, then onto 6mm ply. This is so that I can reproduce the parts if I should make a mistake, or even if I want to build another one in the future – you never know!
I then cut the components from a raggedy piece of walnut on my new Sawyer’s Bench, resawed them where necessary using the Kerfing Plane and Frame Saw, and dimensioned them. I did the same with the zebrano and acacia until I had the five main components i needed.
Then, using a gouge, I carved out the depression for the bowl, scraping and sanding until I had a decent finish. My next job will be to chop out a thin mortise for the blade and drill holes for dowels to join all the pieces together.
Filed under: Projects Tagged: biltong slicer
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
Put a sheet pan in the oven on the middle rack and while the oven is preheating....
3 cups of rolled or old fashion oats - this is one thing you can't substitute
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp of kosher salt
3 tbsp of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of shredded coconut - if you use roasted coconut skip adding it here and add it with the fruit and nuts at the end. I like to bake/roast my coconut because I like the flavor/crunch of it over it being uncooked. This is optional.
Mix this together in a big bowl and set aside - you'll be adding the wet to this so make sure it's big enough for that and for the mixing to come.
1/4 cup of canola or veggie oil (corn oil would probably work too but I haven't tried that yet - I also want to try peanut oil and a flavored oil like walnut but they are expensive)
1/3 cup of honey
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tbsp of Grand Marnier (orange flavored liqueur) this is optional and there other liqueur flavors too
whisk these ingredients together until the honey and oil combine
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until the oats are evenly coated
Spread the mixture out on the sheet pan in a thin even layer
Cook for 15 minutes turning the the sheet pan at the half way mark
After 15 minutes take the pan out of the oven and turn/mix the granola and lay it out evenly and put it back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes. I cook it until it gets to the brownness I like which is closer to 20 minutes with my oven. It will continue to brown after you take it out so it may take a bit of experimenting with your oven to get it to the level you like. Browner = crunchier
After you take it out of the oven let it cool for about 20-30 minutes. I found that if I start mixing it up after about 5 minutes and do that a couple of more times that the granola doesn't stick as much to the sheet pan as it cools. The honey will stick to the pan like glue to wood if you wait till the very end to mix it.
After it is cool to the touch add the fruit and nuts of your choice. The original recipe I got this from called for a 1/2 cup each of nuts/seeds and fruit. Not enough for me and I go nutso here.
I like raisins - I don't measure this I just eyeball it
Dried cranberries - I use the ocean spray ones as I think they are the best. They are moist, chewy, and packed with flavor. I throw in a boatload.
Walnuts - I like these and I add a lot of them. I also like pecans and mix these two sometimes. Peanuts are another nut I like alone or mixed.
Roasted unsalted sunflower seeds. I don't like the salted ones as they tend to make the granola too salty for my taste.
You can also add other fruits, seeds, or nuts of your liking.
I usually end up with about 2 cups (eyeball measurement) of fruits and nuts. I mix this in with the granola on the pan and then add it to a air tight container. I am not sure how long this keeps as the longest it has ever lasted for me has been 4 days. This will make about 4-5 cups.
Enjoy and you'll find that it's cheaper to make and better tasting than the stuff you buy in the stores.
What year did Disneyland open?
answer - 1955
The next step in the construction of the Blacker table is to build the table top. I’ve already glued up the wood for the main section, but need to run to the lumberyard for some thicker Sapele for the breadboard ends. In my plans I originally made the top 3/4″ thick and the end caps 7/8″. When machining the stock I left it thicker, at .930″ because it looked better, but that’s thrown a monkey wrench into my plans. I need the end caps to be 1/8″ thicker than the top, which I can’t get out of 4/4/ material. It also complicates making the fixture to cut the slot for the spline. It seemed like a good idea at the time though, I like the extra visual weight of the thicker top.
I also decided to make the breadboard ends wider, going from 2″ to 2.5″. This was in part aesthetics, and in part wanting more “meat” for the attachment screws. The screws hide under the ebony plugs on the outside ends and drive into the tips of the tenons. Since the tenons protrude 1.375″ into the ends, and I’ll need about a 1/4″ mortise for the ebony plug that leaves me a 1/2″ of wood in between. Enough, but barely I think. I may shorten the tenons by another 1/8″ just to be sure.
And finally, I did the layout for the inlay that goes in the top. It is similar to the design on the legs, 1/16″ Silver wire for the main stem, 1/32″ wire for the smaller stems, silver and copper “buds” and Abalone leaves/petals. It’s slightly abstract, but I like it.
So my to-do list includes sourcing wood for the breadboard ends, figuring out the jig to make the spline slots, making the breadboard ends and doing the top inlay. I’m hoping to get the breadboard ends sorted out tomorrow and get on to the inlay by Sunday, but we have some family plans too so we’ll see how it goes.
Editor’s note: During his time design director for Herman Miller, George Nelson recruited a series of talented designers including Ray and Charles Eames, Isamu Noguchi, Robert Propst and Alexander Gerard. During Nelson’s tenure, Herman Miller produced numerous iconic designs including, the Eams Lounge Chair, Marshmallow Sofa and Noguchi coffee table. And, as the literal foundation for the modern cabinetry system featured in Herman Miller’s 1948 catalog, George Nelson’s own platform bench is […]
I have decided that I am going to do my bread boarding like Will Myers did on this table here. I could do this with a corded router but I want to try and do this by hand. I think if I take my time and leave myself a generous oops factor I'll be ok.
|attaching the drawer fronts|
|one use jig|
|cheap ^%!$#*(;@^#) 8-32 screws|
I had drilled the hole in the drawer box to be a snug fit for the screw. It bent from me tapping it home with my mallet. I could bend these screws with just finger pressure. Total pieces of crappola. I tossed both sets of these and replaced them with 8-32 screws from my stash. Those didn't bend.
|rethinking the handles|
|been thinking of this most of the day|
I wasn't sure what to expect here. I had built up the epoxy so that it was proud of the surface. I did that because I didn't want any craters. The block plane did a great job of shaving the epoxy flush. I couldn't tell a difference between planing this or wood. The feed back from the plane felt the same to me.
|planed and scraped|
|planed and scraped the second set of epoxy fills|
|the before shot of the two biggest ones|
|the biggest one flushed|
|#2 big knot hole done|
|making a practice dowel|
|5/16" on the left and 1/4" on the right|
The board is the same thickness as the bread boards I'll be using. I like the look of both of them but I think I'll be using the 5/16" ones. This isn't carved in stone yet so it may change.
|gluing on a stiffener|
|my drool book finally got here|
What are the most frequently landed on properties in the game of Monopoly?
answer - the four railroads
This month’s 50th issue focuses on the educational aspect of woodturning with several authors sharing their love of teaching.
This month’s issue includes:
Making a Tapered Reamer– Curtis Turner has begun the journey toward making his own Windsor Chair and to start, he has made his own tapered reamer. In this article he discusses the different steps he took to create this project.
Celebrating Woodturning by Teaching– Temple Blackwood celebrates our 50th issue by sharing his love of teaching. He discusses his teaching process for a first time woodturner and the process of turning a ceremonial gavel.
Show Us Your Woodturning– This month we are sharing the beautifully turned bowls created by Jeff Greenberg. On many of his bowls Jeff incorporates beautiful inlay designs and colors.
All of this and more in our 50th issue of The Highland Woodturner!
In Part 1, I discussed my reasons for owning disposable saws. Here are some other considerations, including cost. First, please don’t assume this is a knock at quality saw makers. There are many who are producing top-notch products, and vintage saws can be restored as perfect users. But if you’re an occasional sawyer… The photo above an extreme case, but does illustrate a point. I could purchase 10 saws for […]
|I need 12 pegs for pinning the bread boards|
|I stopped counting after 21|
|filling the holes is the next batter|
|two drops of ebony stain|
|seems to be mixing ok|
|filled in five holes - the initial look is ok|
|reinforcing cleats on my new gluing risers|
|got momentarily distracted|
|offcuts from the opposite side|
|been about 45 minutes|
I got another coat of shellac on the drawer fronts and I'm stopping there. I want to get two more coats of shellac on the base also. That sounds like another job for slow thursday shop time.
In 1945 Eleanor Roosevelt came in first in a Fortune magazine poll to determine the most famous woman. Who came in second?
answer - Betty Crocker a fictitious character made up for promoting General Mills products in 1921
At 9:05 Monday morning I hear a voice telling us “You’re behind schedule!” Class started at 9:00.
The voice was that of our instructor, Chuck Bender. The us was the first three students of 360 Woodworking’s hands-on classes. The what is building a Pennsylvania spice box. The where was at the 360 Woodworking complex in West Chester township, Ohio. The why was… because we could? It seemed like a good idea at the time?
The point Mr. Bender was trying to make was that as many times as he had taught the class at his Acanthus Workshop in Pennsylvania, no one had ever finished the box. His hope was that by the end of the week we would have the carcass finished, dividers installed, door and hardware installed and maybe one drawer assembled. The only hard deadline was that at 5:00 PM Friday, we go home.
For those of you who do not have the distinct privilege of knowing Chuck Bender, let me give you some background. Chuck has been building furniture since he was 12, so he claims. For ten years he worked at Irion Company Furniture Makers leaving as head of their chair and casework production. Since 1991, he has earned the reputation as a builder of the highest quality18th century reproduction furniture. In 2007, he started the Acanthus Workshop to become a woodworking mentor, instructor and author (content producer?).
in 2013, he moved west to become the senior editor at a popular woodworking magazine. In 2014, Chuck, Bob Lang and Glen Huey formed 360 WoodWorking – a new concept in woodworking education.
We students were there to see what it all meant. It was a good class. It was actually a great class. This class allowed me to work the way I work in my shop. I enjoy the hand-tool focused classes I have taken but breaking down and dimensioning lumber goes much more quickly with tools that plug in. As another woodworking sage pointed out, it is good to have hand tool knowledge so that you are not forced to use power tools, but you can. Options are good.
We (students) could pretty much work at our own speed. We would start the day at roughly the same place, diverge during the day and somehow end the day at roughly the same place. Chuck wasn’t hovering but letting each find their own path. He was there to bring us back if we went to far afield and most importantly, drive us to lunch.
Chuck breaks things down into manageable segments while keeping in mind the big picture. He does a good job of explaining while not being afraid of letting our eyes glaze over occasionally. it is good to make us think and figure out a few things for ourselves.
Did I mention Glen Huey was there too serving as shop and teaching assistant, social media documentarian and lunch consultant. We couldn’t have eaten without him.
This class was also the first chance I had to try out my new (second) Moxon vise. This is a new design by local wood machinist Mike Payst and built in a Triangle Woodworkers Assoc. weekend workshop.
So, Chuck Bender, great woodworking instructor or greatest woodworking instructor?* Well, he is at least pretty good. I need to take more classes to say definitively. Your results may vary.
*With apologies to Stephen Colbert. If you don’t know what I mean, don’t sweat it.
The new workbench I bodged into place last fall needed some of the bells and whistles attached if I was going to make serious use of it this year. After all a bench isn't a bench without the handful of workholding devices that make life easier.
In my book a bench needs three things
1. Dog and Holdfast holes. Drilled where appropriate.
2. A Leg Vise. This is going to be yet forthcoming. I can't make up my mind on which hardware to buy (or how to earn the extra scratch needed)
3. A Plane Stop. As some of you remember I received this Perfect Workbench Punctuation last fall from Tom Latane.
A little while ago I managed to drill my initial holdfast hole locations and set about installing the plane stop.
I started by making a 3"x 3" Square hole in the bench top and milling down a blank of clear white pine to fit snugly. I know what you're thinking, isn't that supposed to be made from hardwood? I guess the answer is yes but there are a lot of "suppose to do" things I just ignore. I think it relates to issues with authority in general.
To go along with the new plane stop I made a few new notched battens or "doe's feet" from some 1/2" plywood scrap. Since these photos I've also glued a third sheet of 150 grit sandpaper to the underside to increase the grippitude.
Yes it will scratch the workbench top but no worse than errant saw and chisel marks. This is a workbench not a sacred altar to thumb twiddling. The sandpaper improves and already great tool. It's not like I've gone to the blasphemy of hitting the whole top with a toothing plane. (Oh wait, I just ordered a toothing plane from Hyperkitten)
In the meantime, still pre-leg vise, I've been using the plane stop and a wooden hand clamp for edge planing. It works well in most cases and I'd almost fore-go my dreams of a Benchcrafted leg vise if not for the sliding deadman I built into the new bench.
Everything was working well, until the pine block holding the plane stop dried out a tiny amount, or the bench top changed a little around the stop hole. Not much but enough to affect the movement and make it loose especially when it's set around 1/2" high or lower, which is most of the time. I thought through my solutions, from making a new block to installing some ball catch or spring plate hardware.
In honor of the recent publication of Virtuoso -The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley, an in-depth examination of one of the most beautiful woodworking tool chests ever constructed, we are having a contest!
For your chance to win a FREE copy of this highly in-demand publication, all you have to do is submit a photo of your own “tool organization system” with a brief description. Now, we understand that not everybody has a tool chest like Studley, or maybe you don’t even have an actual tool chest and that’s okay! For the purposes of this contest, we want you to submit a photo of how you organize your tools. Whether it is in a tool chest like Studley’s, a tool box, a cabinet drawer, your mother’s heirloom dresser, or a plastic storage box, we want to see it!
The winner will be chosen by our resident blogger, Terry Chapman, so if you need to find ways to impress him, feel free to read any of his past blogs to find out his likes and dislikes.
You can either post your photos as comments on this blog entry, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Contest ends on May 31st, 2015 at 11:59pm EDT. Let us know if you have any questions and GOOD LUCK!
|the first batter|
|portable shooting board|
|reference edge and side are 90 degrees|
|time to pony up to the sharpening bar|
|final step is setting the iron|
|other side straight and square but is it parallel?|
|measurement at the reference end|
Close to square is good enough. I'll be bread boarding the ends and I think having the ends square on the edges and straight so there isn't a gap between them is more important than it being 90 degrees square at the corners.
|card scraper action|
|this is something new|
|2 quart slow cooker|
|got the recipe from Joshua Klein @ The Workbench Diary blog|
|temp on the high setting|
|opposite end squaring|
|table top is ready for bread board ends|
|the bread board candidates|
|cross cut done and now it's ripping time|
|planing down to the gauge lines|
|two breadboards 3" wide by 42" long|
|temp on the low setting|
|breadboards are the next risk factor|
|setting the toys now|
I put the 3/8" groove cutter in the plane and set that. The first run had the iron set too deep as you can see from the thick shavings. The second run nailed it.
The plan on the breadboard ends is to plow a 3/8" groove 1 1/2" in from the ends on both sides down to the gauge lines. Once that is done I'll split out the tenon and clean it up with a plane. I'll saw out the tenons on the table top. Next batter will be making a 3/8" groove in the breadboards followed by chopping the corresponding mortises. I hope that I'll have this done by this coming monday.
|the final temperature on warm|
What is a tittle?
answer - the '.' over the letter i and j.
My take away from visiting the iconic cabinet is that it is a misnomer to call it his tool chest. Among the many viewers and commentators I heard the word shrine bandied about. Roy Underhill used mausoleum in his Saturday morning skit. The word that came to my mind was sepulcher, “a receptacle for sacred relics.” Here was a man who sought to call upon the skills of a lifetime in furniture, cabinetry, piano and organ building, and put them to work in the service of creating a final resting place for his beloved tools, not to create a working environment for them.
(Photo courtesy of Scott Meek who didn’t realize I was standing there gazing at the dovetails of the upper door corner, contemplating why Studley chose to have the flared dovetails on the horizontal rather than the more logical vertical door element.)
Many thanks to Don Williams and his merry crew of Studley impersonators, the Lost Arts Press, and the good folks at Benchcrafted for a stellar exhibit.
A spectral figure: Mike Mascelli dressed in period garb supplied by the same clothier used by H.O.S. Photo courtesy of Ted Smathers.
Boxes. we use them around here for everything – textiles, papers, stuff in the kitchen like candles, batteries, phone chargers, books, collections of shells & bones, who knows what else… I’ve made lots of boxes like these. Lots.
I hate the phrase “think outside of the box” I often think of the song “Little boxes, little boxes” and of course, “a box of rain to ease the pain…” (whatever that means)
I finished one of these desk boxes for the video (it will come out when Lie-Nielsen puts it out, is the answer to “when will it be out?”) last week. I have another 2/3 done. I have to shoot it for real soon…but these two quick shots give you an idea of what it looks like.
BUT while we shot that process, I added in some “regular” box stuff too. So in that case, I built this medium-size oak box, with pine lid & bottom. Maybe 15″ wide, 12″ deep. 6″-7″ high. (the blog title is to distinguish this box from the slant-lidded desk above)
And then there’s the Alaskan yellow cedar box I made while teaching up there.
I’m over-run with the things, I’m going to photograph some, and post them for sale soon. Meanwhile – there’s several chances for students to come learn how to make your own.
First is a 2-day version – in this Lie-Nielsen class, we’ll bypass splitting the log into boards and go right to carving, then joinery (rabbets & pegs) – it’s coming up in early June. We have spaces left, so if you have just a little time, this is a good choice. It will be a small class, so we’ll have some chances to get some details in… https://www.lie-nielsen.com/workshop/USA/61 I brought up some outrageously good white oak last week – I might even make another box just because the wood is so good.
The full-blown, split-the-log-make-the-boards-then-make-the-box version is a 5-day class. http://www.newenglishworkshop.co.uk/ In England, it’s happening twice – July 13-17 in Warwickshire College then the next week, July 20-24th at Bridgwater College in Somerset. I’m hoping to get out & see some oak carvings while in England, it’s been a while since I was there. 10 years…carved pulpit detail
Back in the States, the full-bore class is happening in October at Marc Adams’ school – http://www.marcadams.com/ Oct 19-23. My first visit here…
“Here come old flat-top, he come groovin up slowly…”
It’s coming up on a year since I left my job as the joiner at Plimoth Plantation. While I was there, I often taught workshops during my vacations and other time off. Lie-Nielsen, Roy Underhill’s place, CVSWW, Country Workshops – but in that format, I only had a few weeks (or weekends) each year available to travel & teach.Matt riving w Plymouth CRAFT last weekend
When I announced I was leaving the museum, I got offers to come teach in various places, in addition to the usual outfits. When I arranged my schedule last winter, I had no idea how it would work – on paper it seemed fine, once or twice a month, travel to teach. One long, maybe one short class each month. Now I’m in the midst of it, and while it’s great fun (Alaska! Are you kidding?) what I didn’t compute is the time between to unpack, decompress and then turn around & get ready for the next one.
I’m not complaining, just saying “here’s why there’s little on the blog these days…”
I was thinking, I’m home now for 3 1/2 weeks, before I head down for to Roy’s. Except this coming weekend I’m at Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, then next weekend I have a one-day presentation with the Plymouth CRAFT group, then the weekend after that, I’m back at my 2nd home this summer – Lie-Nielsen for making a carved box. THEN, I have to hit the road & go to North Carolina!Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking
The plan is to do some woodworking tomorrow & shoot some pictures. I’ll let you know what happens.
How am I supposed to get some birding in? I haven’t even had time to ID this warbler from Maine…
After almost a week of silence, due to my consuming activities with the life-changing dream-come-true HO Studley Tool Cabinet Exhibit, I am back on the, er, air? Over the next couple of weeks I will be reminiscing about the exhibit, but there is something you can help with.
I was sorta busy all the time since mid-week last, and actually managed to not photographically document my activities very well. Especially the public hours of the exhibit when I made over two dozen presentations to the roughly one thousand friends I was able to share it with. So, if you were there and have a *few* pictures you could share with me, please drop me a line here. Pictures of demonstrating the guts of the tool cabinet or of the docents interacting with with visitors or visitors studying the collection intently would be especially appreciated. Also pics of the LAP booth/tables where the book was sold, or where Jason was selling tickets and polissoirs at Handworks.
Your selfies? Not so much.
When building furniture it’s pretty common to have a series of operations that together will make the final component part. As an example, the legs for the table I’m building involved first prepping the rough sawn stock, then making the stepped mortises, adding in the square holes for the ebony plugs, cutting the indents in the bottom of the legs, shaping the tips of the legs and finally doing the inlay and finish sanding.
At any step in the process it is possible to make a mistake, and some of these mistakes are difficult to recover from. Careful work and some specific techniques can help prevent mistakes. Skill and experience help, and techniques like carrying an extra part along in the process can help. In making the legs I had enough stock for two extra legs, so I was able to quickly recover when I put the mortises in the wrong place on one leg by making another replacement leg from the extras.
Sometimes mistakes still happen, even with skill, experience and careful work. When cutting the slots on the inside of the skirts for the top attachment buttons I had a serious problem. The spiral up-cut bit I was using was (apparently) not tight enough in the router. On one of the skirts it pulled loose and climbed through the skirt effectively ruining the skirt. I could try and fix it, or make another skirt. I chose to repair it by drilling a shallow hole with a Forstner bit and putting in a face grain plug.
I don’t know what the moral of the story is, other than stuff happens when I’m in the shop. And I’m probably not the only person that has things go wrong. It’s what happens after that matters, both in repairing the mistake and learning from the mistake.
The next traditional saw on my list to build is a frame saw. You might remember that I have completed a 12″ bow saw and a 700 mm Roubo-esque cross cut bow saw already. After some research I decided to use Tom Fidgen’s (The Unplugged Woodshop) design as inspiration for my version. Tom is an icon of note as far as I am concern and that was enough reason for me. He produced two excellent videos on how he built his frame saw (see the link profided if you are interested.
For this project I chose Kershout (Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus) which is ridiculously hard with a specific gravity of > 1 (it sinks in water). The third picture show the end grain of a small piece. I tried to count the year rings and got to about 120. This gives you an idea of how slow it grows and why it is so dense.
The usual lamination process I have to endure to make up stock with appropriate dimensions.
The rough stock before work started.
Living in Africa means I have to cobble together my own hardware for the saw. A scrap piece of mild steel angle iron seemed to fit the bill. As you can see I am no welder, but we all have our little problems.
My shop built Jack plane came in handy to square up the parts.
I have been struggling to saw off smaller pieces of stock like this perfectly square. Since I received my holdfasts I tried this approach and it improved my accuracy immensely being able to see the two lines you are sawing. You then flip it over and repeat on the other side.
Dual tenon design, ala Mr. Fidgen.
I like making a small notch with my chisel to start the crosscut saw.
My shop made bow saw removed the waste between the two tenons.
Dual tenons necessitates dual mortises.
Now the fun part will start. Shaping the saw will be the topic of the next riveting installment in this series.