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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

An aggregate of many different woodworking blog feeds from across the 'net all in one place!  These are my favorite blogs that I read everyday...

Be sure to visit the Hand Tool Headlines section - scores of my favorite woodworking blogs in one place.  Also, take note of Norse Woodsmith's latest feature, an Online Store, which contains only products I personally recommend.  It is secure and safe, and is powered by Amazon.

General Woodworking

William S. Wooton, He Made Desks

The Furniture Record - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 7:42pm

At least from1874 to 1884. The Wooton Desk Company continued until around 1891 but in 1884 Mr. Wooton retired from the business and became a Quaker minister.

If you know know the Wooton desk, you most probably know a variant of this one:

Your basic Wooton Desk. Click for another view.

Your basic Wooton Desk. Click for another view.

It was properly known as Wooton’s Patent Cabinet Secretary and was available in four grades. Above is the ordinary grade. There was also the Standard Grade, the Extra Grade and as illustrated below, the Superior Grade.


It's Superior.

It’s Superior. A little fancy for my taste. Too hard to dust.

But they also made a series of Rotary Desks and I came across one at an auction.

One of style of the Rotary desk.

One style of the Rotary desk.

Both pedestals rotate hence the name rotary.


And if you need proof of the name:


You can see an on-line copy of the Illustrated catalogue of Wooton’s patent cabinet secretaries and rotary office desks, 1876, by clicking HERE.

These desks were pushing the peak of Victorian excesses. Conspicuous consumption at it’s finest. You can see several examples of Wooton desks on eBay. Hold on to your wallet and take a look.

In the 1980’s, Scandinavian design was all the rage. I grew very fond of this much simpler version of the secretary:

The Scandinavian secretary.

The Scandinavian secretary. The finest teak veneer.

The dealer’s inventory and my finances never came into alignment hence I was never able to buy one. 30 years later, I came across this one and another one at an auction. My reaction was “meh?” Things changed. I changed. Change is good.

Chevy tune up

McGlynn On Making - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 3:40pm

I made some progress on the Chevalet this week, although not all of it is wood related.

First off, I got the “saw support arm” completed.  This is the three pieces that support the gimbal and saw frame.  Once I’d wrapped up the adjusters last weekend it was just simple stuff — cut the tenons that fit into the vertical and horizontal adjusters, and add the mounting bolts.

The mounting bolts were a bit interesting.  There is a 3/8″ bolt that goes through the adjuster slot into a hole in the end grain of the horizontal support.  It needs a nut on the end.  The simple thing to do would be to carve out a big hole so I could reach in and put the nut on the end of the bolt.  Instead I decided to chop a mortise just the size of the nut so I could drop it in place, and the walls of the mortise would keep it from spinning when I tighten it.  That meant I had to be pretty accurate in drilling the hole into the end of the horizontal support, and in laying out and chopping the mortises.

It turned out to be pretty simple really, I just had to pay attention to what I was doing.  I figured out the “clamping depth” — how far in the nut needed to be — and knifed in a mortise just big enough for a square nut.  Then I figured out how deep it had to sit to engage the bolt coming from the end.  I set a blue tape depth stop and drilled out most of the waste.

Mortise knifed in.  The next step is to use a drill to remove the waste, then chop out the rest.

Mortise knifed in. The next step is to use a drill to remove the waste, then chop out the rest.

That just left chopping out the waste, and paring the fit so the bolt would drop to the right depth.  I didn’t want to have to force it down, and risk it getting stuck!  The repeat for the other end of the support.

Nut mortise done

Nut mortise done

That completed the horizontal frame assembly.  Mostly.

Mostly-done horizontal support assembly

Mostly-done horizontal support assembly

Why “mostly”?  Well, attaching this to the frame I’ve built so far required figuring out the length of the vertical riser and where it hits this horizontal member.  All of this to ensure that the saw frame ends up in the right place relative to the clamping jaws.

Unclear on what I’m talking about?  The saw hangs from a gimbal mechanism that pivots on the two knobs in the picture above.  The saw blade has to end up in the right location, or the saw won’t work, and I’ll just have a large pile of expensive firewood.

So I pulled measurements from the blueprints provided by Patrick Edwards, and modeled all of the parts so far in SolidWorks.  I adjusted the layout for the joinery and the length of the vertical riser until I got the parts in the right location, and then printed out some plans that match the parts and materials I’m using.

CAD Layout

CAD Layout

In theory, I just need to do two joints to complete things to match my model.  That shouldn’t take me more than an hour or two, but I spent probably two hours measuring blueprints and re-creating parts in CAD to know where to cut everything.

Once that’s done I need to make the seat assembly, and the saw frame.  I don’t have enough wood for the seat assembly, and I think I’d like to do that next.  The parts I’ve built so far won’t stand up without the seat assembly, and I’m worried about cutting the joint for the saw frame.  It’s essentially a giant finger joint, but it’s too big to cut on the table saw, and I’m not confident enough in my hand sawing to be able to saw it.  I guess I can do some practicing.  Or maybe do it on the bandsaw.

Now I just need to catch up with the CAD model...

Now I just need to catch up with the CAD model…

Categories: General Woodworking

new Wainscot Chair video available now

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 6:13am

 Lie-Nielsen just released a few new videos; mine among them. https://www.lie-nielsen.com/ (Mary May has a new one; Steve Latta too. There are more in the pipeline…)

You can order directly from them, or I have a limited number for sale here  http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-and-more-oct-2014/   I added a paypal button on my page for it; hopefully it will work correctly. I fumble around through this sort of stuff…leave a comment or email if you have a problem.

wainscot chair videp

17th Century Wainscot Chair

with Peter Follansbee

The Wainscot Chair is one of the hallmarks of 17th century joinery. In this DVD, Peter demonstrates how to prepare material from a section of oak, shape the chair pieces using bench tools and a pole lathe, and join them together with drawbored mortise and tenon joints. He also offers two traditional approaches for making the angled joints of this chair.

Peter Follansbee specializes in 17th century period joinery and green woodworking. He spent over 20 years making reproduction furniture at Plimoth Plantation, the living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts. In addition to teaching the craft at schools around the USA, Peter co-authored the book, Make a Joint Stool from a Tree: An Introduction to 17th Century Joinery, with Jennie Alexander. He is also featured in three other Lie-Nielsen DVDs: 17th c. New England Carving (2010); 17th c. New England Carving: Carving the S-Scroll (2011); and 17th c. Joined Chest (2012).

218 minutes (2 discs), Lie-Nielsen Toolworks Productions, 2014.

Use Big Chisels for Fine Work

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 4:43pm

Though it might seem counterintuitive, sometimes bigger is better when you are doing fine work with veneer and inlays. A wide chisel provides plenty of reference surface to keep delicate cuts straight and square and plenty of heft to slice effortlessly. If you excavate for banding using a router, you will wind up with rounded outside corners. Once again, a wide chisel is better to square off those corners because […]

The post Use Big Chisels for Fine Work appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Are You This Good?

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 4:01pm

_A230022 copy

I’ve been working my way through the thousands of images to select the several hundred I want in VIRTUOSO: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley (submitting the manuscript to LAP in a few days) and I came across this one Narayan shot last year.  It is the dovetail set on the edge of one of teensy ebony-front mother-of-pearl inlaid drawers at the top of the drawers section of the tool cabinet.


If you make it to the exhibit of Studley’s ensemble next May you can see it in person.  Almost this close.

Plymouth CRAFT

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 1:15pm

I know weird people. There’s an outfit formed around Plymouth Massachusetts this year that proves it.

photo shoot at MLB

most of them can’t even look at the camera

The fledgling non-profit Plymouth CRAFT is getting up and running; the website is being developed now, it will get fleshed-out soon – http://plymouthcraft.org/welcome/

The whole gig will be worth watching, or better yet, worth participating in. The word “craft” in the title stands for Center for Restoration Arts and Forgotten Trades. It is a loosely-knit group of artisans and craftspeople who will be offering workshops, demonstrations, expertise and other whiz-bang crafty know-how to students, amateurs, professionals, and other interested parties.

The other day a few of us assembled at Michael Burrey’s place to shoot some photos and video to be used in our fund-raising and as a general introduction to the question – “what goes on? “

First up, woodworker Michael Burrey, working clay. You’ve seen MIchael on these pages some before; http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/who-you-gonna-call/ and if you read Rick McKee’s blog Blue Oak, http://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/   (you do, don’t you?)  then you are familiar with the scope and range of Michael’s work. On this particular day, Michael was molding bricks for a building on Nantucket. These go down low, around the perimeter of the building, with the ogee shape towards the sky to shed water…if I had paid more attention, I would have the name & date of the building, and more detail about the source for this brick shape. Once he has enough made, he’ll fire them in his wood-fired kiln, just beyond the edges of this photo.

mlb brick man

brick mold

brick exits mold

Paula Marcoux http://www.themagnificentleaven.com/The_Magnificent_Leaven/Welcome.html  was mostly the ring-leader, but she also dove in and was teaching passers-by how to make “shrak” a flat-bread found in her book Cooking with Firehttp://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/product-placement/ this stuff was good. Give Paula a 5-gallon bucket, and a few sticks & she’ll whip out her gear and some flour and off you’ll go…

pm & jacob

pm & bread

I only know the tip of Pen Austin’s iceberg. Her work is astounding, catch a glimpse of it here http://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/playing-marbles/

pen & marbled paint

and when I saw this rig on Saturday, I knew I had to hang around to see it happen… it looks like a “sweep” (that’s what Joseph Moxon called it, for making an arch from wood, sans lathe) – a scratch stock on a trammel essentially. Pen has a whole different vocabulary for it, here she was working plaster – gooping it up right quick…then swinging the  molding scraper across the mess- out comes architecture. (the first shot is a rope of clay, to bulk up the demo piece – usually it would all be plaster…) 

like a scratch stock


Midway through the process – these folks got to work quickly, before the stuff sets too much. 

plaster arch w sweep


At this point, there’s a lot of refinement; filling in gaps with wet mixture, then swinging another pass. 

arch 2

she made this archway just for a demonstration – what work! It was a gas to watch that form come together…


Charlotte Russell came by with some drop-spindle stuff, some carded wool and Maureen sat right down for lesson # 1… Charlotte has been a textile artisan for over 50(ish) years -she spins, knits, weaves, has a passion for history and craft, and is a skilled teacher in all things fiber.

cr & drop

spinning a yarn

I took a quick stab (Oh, poor choice of words for teaching knife-work) at teaching one of the photographers some of the knife moves for working on spoon-carving. I have no idea if it was sinking in, there was lots to keep track of that morning…but his moves were right, and no blood was shed…



When we get further along with this endeavor, I’ll be writing more about it here, Rick will too on Blue Oak – so you’ll hear about it.  There’s way more people and crafts involved than what we previewed the other day…that was just what we could round up on short notice. Have a look at the website, and stay tuned. You’ll hear more. 

I think of Bill Coperthwaite’s quote – “I want to live in a society where people are intoxicated with the joy of making things.”

If Daniel hadn’t had a baseball game, we woulda stuck around Burrey’s for the rest of it. Just as regular order of business, it was apple-cider-making day…

Screws – A Quick Guide

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 12:41pm

I was hoping to get into the shop today to finish the assembly on my current project, a kitchen island, and post about that. But in between meetings, I’ve been (metaphorically) chained to my desk all day. So…no shop time. I’ll be using screws to secure the piece together. But because I have no shop shots to share, instead, here’s a handy quick-reference guide to screw types and uses. It’s […]

The post Screws – A Quick Guide appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Disston D7 Handsaw Restored & Sharpened – $100

The Logan Cabinet Shoppe - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 8:51am
This is a 1940-50s era Disston D7 Lightweight. It is 26″ long, with a straight back and 8 points per inch (7 teeth per inch). The blade has been cleaned and is straight. The handle is beech and has been cleaned and refinished. Saw nuts and medallion are brass and have been cleaned and polished. […]

The Tormek T3 Grinder: Get One Before They are Gone!

Highland Woodworking - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 7:00am

I’ve been doing this whole woodworking thing for a few years now, and if there is one thing I have learned, and seen preached across the woodworking world as a whole, it is that sharp tools are important. If you have ever had the chance to use a really sharp tool versus a really dull tool, you will know exactly what I am talking about. If you are a newer woodworker, maybe you don’t. Either way, keeping your tools sharp is one of the key components to being a safe and effective woodworker.

I recently took a class with Frank Klausz and he shared an anecdote from his youth as an apprentice cabinetmaker that I think illustrates the importance of sharp tools. When he was a young apprentice he would often wait until his Master had left the shop for the day and then experiment with the Master’s planes, using them and feeling how different they were from his own. He would then work at sharpening his planes so that they were as sharp as those of the Master cabinetmaker. It was a night and day difference and taught him the value of sharp tools.

The reason I’m talking about having sharp planes and other tools and how important they are is that I recently got to work with a Tormek T3 grinder. The Tormek sharpening system is a brilliant little tool, and I was able to bring one into my shop for a few days and test it out.

Setting up the Tormek was relatively simple. It comes with an 8″-diameter 220-grit grindstone that can be temporarily graded to 1000 grit for fine honing by utilizing an optional “stone grader”. Also included is a “square edge jig” that makes it easy to precisely sharpen chisels and plane irons. It also has a leather stropping wheel on the other side that makes final honing very quick and easy. Tormek also sells several different accessories that allow you to use the T-3 to accurately grind different types of tools including gouges, knives, scissors, axes and even planer and jointer knives.

One thing I do recommend is that you fill the water tray after you place it beneath the stone; otherwise you might overfill it like I did and get your bench all wet, but lesson learned. The Tormek is a slow speed sharpening wheel and it also functions as a whetstone, which means your tools don’t get excessively hot which can harm the steel. The system itself was a breeze to use and allowed me to grind my tools to a rather satisfying sharpness.

Currently the T3 has been discontinued by Tormek and they are making way for a new system, which will allow the crafty woodworker to take advantage of the fact that Highland currently has some T3’s still in stock. These T3s are going to be moving fast so if you want a new sharpening system that is simple to use and allows you to sharpen your tools to razor sharp angles in just a few minutes I would recommend checking out the Highland website, the T3s won’t be around for long and they have a really great price.

Matthew York has been a woodturner since 2004 and has been interested in woodworking since he was a teenager. He currently lives in downtown Atlanta and has a small shop in his basement. He is an avid woodworker and is always available to talk about the craft. He can be contacted at fracturedturnings@gmail.com or visit his website at fracturedturnings.com. You can also follow him on twitter at @raen425

The post The Tormek T3 Grinder: Get One Before They are Gone! appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

I Went to the North Carolina State Fair and All I Got Was This Odd Business Plan

The Furniture Record - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 9:54pm

It has become a tradition for us to attend the NC State Fair on the last Sunday of the run arriving around 9:00 AM. It’s not to crowded, lots to see and also the place we get our annual flu shots. Tradition.

This year we were there for the food. Not really. The highlights were a BBQ pork stuffed jalapeno (well cleaned) dipped in hush puppy batter and deep fried, served with sweet potato waffle fries. (Unfortunately is was good.) Did I mention the jalapeno was bacon wrapped?

The food we didn’t try was the Twinkie stuffed with a Twixt, wrapped in bacon and fried. Or the Krispy Kreme hamburger (Thank you, Paula Dean.) Or a deep-fried anything else.

Walking around looking at my fellow attendees, I was once again astounded by the number of selfies been taken, and many in predictable places. Slowly a business plan started forming in my twisted mind. Let’s say you are the Chief Digital Officer of a magazine publishing company, let’s just use Taunton Press  for this blog. You have the need to find new ways to promote your products online. You fear that there are web pages out there that aren’t promoting your e-commerce sites.

My idea is sponsored photobombers. For those not in the know, photobombing is the fine art of inserting yourself into other people’s pictures. Often without their knowledge or permission.

Speaking of without permission.

Speaking of without permission. Apologies to Mike Peters and Mother Goose and Grimm.

Send attractive young people out with t-shirts with large corporate logos to photobomb as many unsuspecting civilians as possible. Just sit back and watch your logo starting to show up in hundreds of Facebook and Instagram images. I haven’t quite figured out all the monetization but that should come in time.

Tomorrow, back to furniture like things, promise.

the carved box with drawer further along

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 3:02pm

more work on the box with drawer. I’m making some of it up as I go along – when I saw the original, I was not really doing a thorough examination like I would need to actually build one. Like I need now… Here goes, just a bunch of photos, with brief captions. 

installing the middle board for the box section’s bottom

installing bottoms middle board

the last one you gotta give it a bop

give it a bop

in a groove in the rear, nailed to a rabbet at the front

1st bottom done

I turned the feet from green wood, left the tenons large. Trimmed now to fit. Here’s a test fit to see where to trim it

turned feet testing tenons

boring the holes for the feet, in narrow oak slats. An auger bit, nice clean hole. 

auger bit


Cross-thumbs grip to trim the tenons
cross thumbs

Then line it up over a hole in the bench, and knock it in

feet go in

Split the protruding tenon for a wedge. 


said wedge. 

The feet assemblies

feet ready

The bottom of the drawer opening is a pine board, planed to 5/8″ thick. Nailed to the sides & rear. 

2nd bottom on

Then nail on the feet assemblies. 

feet go on

Here it is with the drawer front mocked in place. Some applied moldings will cover the pine bottom. Applied decoration on the sides to come…next time is the drawer. then moldings & lid. this thing weighs a ton…

feet w mock drawer


a few things left for sale – http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-and-more-oct-2014/

Maureen tells me the felt is going quickly too – https://www.etsy.com/shop/MaureensFiberArts

Interview with Back Saw Expert Philip Baker

Wood and Shop - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 12:49pm

In the above video I share a brief, but very fascinating interview that I conducted with well-known backsaw expert Philip Baker, during a recent hand tool collector’s swap.


This Godfather of backsaws told me that not only has he conducted extensive backsaw studies with British tool expert Simon Barley, but he also owns 652 backsaws!


I asked Phil why he had an obsession with backsaws. He explained to me that he enjoys backsaws because of the history that they tell. Many normal handsaws (often called Panel Saws) have lost their maker’s names over the years, but most backsaws still bear the maker’s stamp deep into the steel or brass back.


As a result, it is easier for collectors like Phil to follow the progression and innovation of specific backsaw designers and makers over time.


Fewer backsaw makers existed, which also adds to Phil’s interest in learning the history of these companies and saw-making families.


Here is a Link to Phil’s article on dating Disston backsaws

And here is a link to British Saws and Saw Makers from 1660 by Simon Barley


New Dust Mask

Highland Woodworking - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 11:46am

Got my new dust mask yesterday.  I have not had a chance to really give it a trial yet, but it appears to be a real gem.  I used to have a Dustfoe brand mask and I used it so much I actually wore it out.  Unfortunately, they quit making them and you can’t buy one any more.  Highland has been looking for a replacement for many years.

Masks tend to fall into two categories, i.e. the whole face, gas mask type, or the little cloth mask which fits over your mouth and nose and fogs up your glasses. Prices range from over $300 down to $1.80 with effectiveness commensurate with the price.  What is needed is a good effective mask somewhere in a price range which does not interfere with usage.

The solution is the new Elipse P100 Dust Mask available now from Highland.  I tried mine on yesterday and it is a remarkable piece of equipment.  I happen to wear a beard, so getting a good airtight fit is sometimes problematic for me.  I have to tighten it up a bit more than I might if I were smooth faced, but the inhale valves are so flexible and smooth that it does not leak around the sides as I was afraid it might.  The exhale valve is totally flexible so there is no back pressure, therefore no effort to push air out of the mask.  I expect no problem with moisture in the mask and even with the beard it does not fog my glasses.  ( In fact, as I write this, I am sitting here wearing the mask to test it.  Good thing I live by myself, right?)


Elipse P100 Dust Mask

Technically, the mask is rated NIOSH P100 (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and captures 99.97% of airborne particles and is resistant to oil.  For your own safety if you are doing something besides woodworking, then go look up the ratings and make sure you are being safe with this mask. For folks with a beard – or any facial hair – like myself, any respirator you see on the market is less effective so you can assume the claims of 99.97% won’t apply.

To put it on your face, grasp the front of the mask and then pull the bottom strap over your head and down onto the back of your neck.  Take the other strap with the wide headband and stretch that one onto the top back of your head and then adjust the straps to fit.  Cover the exhale hole with the palm of your hand, exhale, and you should get a bit of expansion in the mask before it releases air at the side of your face.  If you don’t get the expansion, then you need to tighten the straps to get a better seal.  Or shave.

When I bought mine, I went ahead and purchased an additional set of filters so I will have a replacement set if I ever need them.  The filters are made like an air cleaner in your car with a folded filter element which you should be able to clean by bumping it lightly or blowing it out with air pressure.  If it gets where you can’t breathe through the mask, then change the filter.  Duh!

All in all, an excellent piece of work and this one comes highly recommended.  Get you one and stop coughing.


The post New Dust Mask appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Colen Clenton - A Man and His Shed

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 4:00am
Colen Clenton is the maker of a range of really wonderful adjustable squares and other measuring tools that we have been proud to stock for many years. I've never met him in person but we have chatted on the phone about this and that for ages from our ends of the earth. When my son was born, Colen sent us a magnificent rattle made of she-oak. He's a wonderful craftsman and a wonderful guy.

This video shows Colen in his New South Wales, Australia, shed workshop. I'm writing this from a Manhattan high-rise but I can admire his very different lifestyle and of course the reverence for craft that we share. Colen began his tool manufacture by making tools for his own use that attracted the eyes of people who coveted them. He speaks warmly and encouragingly to others who would like to earn their livelihood with their crafts. And needless to say, his gorgeous tools are scene-stealing supporting players throughout the video.


One of the things I find most interesting about Colen's tools is that while they do exactly the same thing as many other measuring tools by other makers, their combination of design, materials, and execution makes them feel wonderful in the hand and amazingly satisfying to use. Watch the video and see how Colen's values and life choices are reflected in his tools.

We stock the complete line of Colen's tool here.

Design Workshops Far and Near

Design Matters - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 5:26pm

By Hand & Eye Graphic

Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.

Daniel J. Boorst


Game changer! That’s the comment I hear most often during a “By Hand & Eye” workshop. Lights click on, gears start to mesh, and frustration and doubt gives way to confidence and big smiles. Folks who shied away from curves can’t wait to do some off road woodworking. I have one more workshop this year and 2015 is beginning to take shape. Consider signing up for an experience that will influence every aspect of your woodworking. This weekend I’ll be traveling down to The Woodworker’s Club in Rockville Maryland for a Saturday session with the Chesapeake SAPFM chapter and then a two day design workshop on Monday and Tuesday.  There’s still a few spots available for the two day. 2015 workshop dates are firmed up but not yet open for enrollment. I’ll post when signups begin, but for now you can mark your calendar.


  • Saturday Nov 1st Rockville Maryland – Presenting to the Chesapeake Chapter of SAPFM, The Woodworkers Club
  • By Hand & Eye Workshop, Nov 3-4 (Monday and Tuesday) The Woodworkers Club, Rockville Maryland. Sign UP


  • By Hand & Eye Workshop, Jan 24th- 25th, R. Grell Fine Woodworking Workshops, Hudson Ohio. Details coming soon.
  • By Hand & Eye Workshop, Feb 13-15th, Southwest Center for Craftsmanship, Pheonix AR. Details coming soon. 
  • Design presentation, March 28th-29th, Northeast Woodworkers Association Showcase, Sarratoga Springs, NY. Details coming Soon.
  • By Hand & Eye Workshop, Oct 17th-18th, Marc Adams School of Woodworking. Details coming soon.

George R. Walker



Indy Tool Auction

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 1:38pm

Last weekend I went to the Martin J Donnelly tool auction again in Indianapolis. I try to go when it happens twice a year and I always end up spending a whole bunch of money. It starts at 9:00am on Friday, but I always get there around 10:00am and 200 lots late because I don’t feel like spending the night. I really can’t get there any earlier because I need to drop off Bentley at PetSmart and the earliest they can take him is 7:00am. There were 1001 lots of tools which takes about four hours to sell through. They do another auction on Saturday, but I never go to that one because those tools are more collectible and not the usuable ones which I like to buy.

Below are a few pictures of the tools on the tables that filled a huge conference room in the hotel.

 photo 20141024_111254.jpg

 photo 20141024_111612.jpg

 photo 20141024_111643.jpg

 photo 20141024_111651.jpg

The auction is a lot of fun and if you’re in the market for a certain tool, you can place an absentee bid online. Below is what I came home with. A whole bunch of planes and few odds and ends. With all these tools I need to restore, it’s no wonder why I hardly build anything anymore.

 photo 20141026_120444.jpg


Sunshine and Hot Rods

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 12:17pm

My final day in Cedar Rapids was pretty much one of relaxation, as all the goals I had for the visit vis-a-vie the exhibit The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley were met.


I turns out that in a nearby town was a hot rod gathering, and Jameel and Father John’s dad Father Raphael had been a car buff and knew the organizers for the event.  So off we went to spend a glorious day in the sun looking at the rods from the days of my youth.



After that we went to a huge yard sale with tons of tools, none of which tempted me, and finished off the evening dining on Mexican food.



Thanks to the fantastic contacts the Abrahams have in their home town, the visit was about as perfect and productive as it could be

Free Excerpt: ‘The Ultimate Router Guide: Jigs, Joinery, Projects & More’

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 10:41am

I love routers. In fact, as I write this I can hear the high-pitched whine of a 2-hp router bearing into the edge of a piece of wood begging to be formed. OK, I love most things about routers. They are a little noisy, and they do make dust – but I see those as necessary by-products of an incredibly versatile workhorse that will always have a home in my […]

The post Free Excerpt: ‘The Ultimate Router Guide: Jigs, Joinery, Projects & More’ appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

The Plane Facts: Bronze versus Cast Ductile Iron #4 Plane

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 7:00am

Question: What advantages does the bronze #4 have over the cast ductile iron version?

034234Answer: On a basic level, the bronze #4 is very similar to the cast-iron version of the #4, with all of the “working” parts behaving the same. Now for the differences: bronze is a fair amount heavier than cast-iron, which of course carries over to the plane (Iron 4 lbs, Bronze 4 1/2 lbs), which can be beneficial during your planing. This benefit is from the extra mass of the plane tending to want to keep moving through the cut, even if the wood is a bit inconsistent. Simply put, once you start the plane, it feels more like you just steer the plane and let its momentum do the work.

034235Another comparison between the bronze and the cast-iron is the potential for rust. If you happen to live or work in an area that is close to a large body of water, you likely need to pay special attention to your tools, in the attempt to prevent rust. Bronze will not rust, so is ideal in these rust-prone scenarios, but the outside surfaces will still slowly oxidize. During oxidation there is a change in the surface from gold-colored to a slightly darker color initially, and if left for a longer period of either non-use or non-contact it will become a warm, muted version of the original color. If a bronze tool is used regularly, there is no reason to do anything special to any of the surfaces, since the constant use will prevent oxidation to the areas contacting the wood.

Some woodworkers find the change in color on the non-work surfaces unpleasant to their eyes, and if  you wish to retain the original beauty of the bronze, it is a very easy task. The easiest solution is to purchase a “Sunshine” polishing cloth, with which you can very quickly remove any discoloration or oxidation. If you haven’t used your bronze tool in quite a while, some oxidation will likely occur on the working surface (sole), which can leave some discoloration on the wood surfaces it touches The discoloration will be more pronounced on lighter woods like Maple. With this in mind, if it has been a while between uses, it is a good idea to wind the blade into the body of the plane, and do a quick polish of the plane’s sole. This will prevent any unexpected issues during your work on your project, while utilizing the beneficial heft of the bronze planes.

Lee Laird has enjoyed woodworking for over 20 years. He is retired from the U.S.P.S. and works for Lie-Nielsen Toolworks as a show staff member, demonstrating tools and training customers. You can email him at lee@lie-nielsen.com or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/is9582

The post The Plane Facts: Bronze versus Cast Ductile Iron #4 Plane appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

On The Sharpening Of Carving Chisels

Inside the Oldwolf Workshop - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 6:20am
There are lots of ways to do things especially in woodworking. I know, I know, your way is the right way and my way is probably wrong, but that's beside the point.

Once I got my hands on some quality carving chisels, my next question was "Ok, how do I sharpen them?" Leonard Lee's book on sharpening is great and has always been my bible in this arena, but he is wont to use jigs and gadgets. I was sure it could be simpler than making a dozen shaped blocks of wood charged with buffing compound.

I looked around a little but couldn't find any body not sharpening chisels without slip stones or a shaped buffing wheel on an electric grinder. Necessity is a mother (and mother's only half a word), I understood what sharp was, I needed sharper chisels, and what did I have to lose by figuring it out by trial and error with the items I had on hand.

Thus I arrived at the simple technique I use today. It's as dumbed down as, "Rub the area you want to sharpen against an abrasive surface." But there are others out there starting to carve and I get the occasional email or question on social media. Instead of responding via a novel length text based dissertation on what I do, I decided to just shoot some video.

The best part? I'm not trying to sell you anything. Use what you have, adapt the technique to work for you.

Ratione et Passionis
Categories: General Woodworking


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