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General Woodworking

A Once in a Lifetime Deal

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - 8 hours 44 min ago

Every few years I get a deal of a lifetime when buying tools. Many years ago, I bought my 15″ Powermatic planer from a company going out of business for $700. I bought my Contractor SawStop table saw from SawStop corporate through Pop Wood for $1000, and yesterday, I bought a six piece Porter Cable combo kit for $25.00.


As you may know, I’m a sales rep for Oldcastle selling patio block, mulch and soon composite decking to Lowe’s and Home Depot. While visiting one of my stores yesterday, I walked in the back of the store by receiving to talk to the RTM clerk to see if there were any credits I needed to give for broken patio block. While back there, I saw a Porter Cable tool bag full of tools lying on the floor and asked the RTM clerk what they were doing back there. She told me that it was a return that the customer said the batteries wouldn’t hold a charge. Knowing that Lowe’s will take back anything no questions asked, the first thing that came to my mind was a customer buying a tool, using it to do a job, then returning it to get his money back.

She asked me if I wanted to buy it so I said “sure”. She asked me what I would give for them so I said $20.00. She said she’ll call the manager to see if that would be okay. I told her before I buy them, I wanted to make sure that my batteries would work on the tools. I’ve been using the same drill and jigsaw from the same set for a few years now, so I was hopeful my batteries would indeed be compatible. I went to my car to grab my tool bag while she called the manager to make the deal happen. When I returned, she said “what about $25.00”. I said fine and hooked up my battery to the all the tools to make sure they functioned. I took the bag and walked up to customer service to buy the tools. I couldn’t believe it. I just bought a $300 combo set for $25.00. I didn’t care that the tools were a little beaten up. Almost all of my hand tools I buy are used. Many from a hundred years ago.


When I got home, I laid the tools on my bench to see what I got. A drill, an impact drill, a sawsall, circular saw, multi tool, flashlight, and a battery power checker with USB ports. I took the battery it came with and charged it up. It works perfectly.


Why the customer returned the tools is anybody’s guess. There is one battery missing from the set, so it may be the guy wanted a free battery so he simply didn’t put it back in the bag when he returned it. I don’t care. I’m just glad as hell I got the deal of the year. Happy Thanksgiving!


Great American Furniture

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - 16 hours 12 min ago
Great American Furniture table of contents

I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – it’s all about the food and mostly free of consumerism…except, of course, for the “Black Friday” sales that start at crazy hours… I will not be at any of those sales. I will be sitting around a table I built (in the one dining chair I’ve built) having a great time with friends and eating what I hope is […]

The post Great American Furniture appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

gobble, gobble.......

Accidental Woodworker - 17 hours 12 min ago
Happy Thanksgiving to all who hail from the states. Canada already had their thanksgiving day last month and I'm not sure about the rest of the world. I worked with an english guy for 7 years at my last job. He never understood our holidays, with thanksgiving being the worse for him to understand. Xmas was ok, but Labor Day and Memorial day were two others he didn't get. He thought Memorial day was redundant because of Veterans Day. If any other country has a Thanksgiving Day, I hope you have/had a happy one.

added two more to my herd of squares
I got a 8" and a 3" square and I think I'm calling it done for now. I am going to stop looking for a 15" one until after the new year rolls in. If I see one before then I'll buy it but I won't be actively looking for one.

my new to me 8" square, ain't 8 inches
The 3" one (which is a Stanley) is 3".

the upright ones need work
The 12" on the outside is slightly out. The 3" one, which I checked with my 6" engineer square, is off both on the inside and the outside.

I forgot my 6" Disston
I have other things I want to attend to first before I fix these squares. I'll keep them here until I get to them.

scraped the paint on the frog seat
I wanted to scrape this before it has a chance to really set and stick. It is dry to the touch but I'll wait until the weekend before I put it together. I still have to finish working on the chipbreaker and sharpening the iron.

wasn't expecting the box it came in
he said he only used it about 4 times
it has it's own unique personality
The angled rip cuts weren't too too bad to do. Starting the cut wasn't as easy as with my LN dovetail saw but each saw has it's quirks you have to get to know. The crosscut was especially hard for me to start on both of the half pins.

no other problems
Other than getting used to starting the cut, I saw no other particular hiccups with this saw. I especially like the weight distribution on this saw. To me felt almost neutral.

ready to check my magnet attraction
 I opened and closed the till several times and I did my idiot looking shaking of it also. I didn't hear nor feel anything rattling around in here.

that is where two magnets are
Those blacks spots must have a little metal dust in them.

these two are ok and passed all the tests
the next two passed all tests too
Four squares down and two to go.

15" square failed
 I can open and close the till and the 15" will behave and stay in it's holder. It won't pass even 1/2 a shake before it is rattling around in the inside.

I have one more 3/8 magnet for this
This square is heavy and I thought it would pop off on the slam the lid test but it didn't. One thing I will do with this is add a finger access cutout at both of the top corners. That will help to pop this off of the magnets.

12" did a bit better
It took 3 shakes before the 12" let go and started to rattle around in the box. This will need another magnet to help secure it. I ordered 10 more 1/2" magnets from Lee Valley today. The 1/2" magnets are about $2 each and one 3/4" is $9. Now that I have done this test, I'm thinking that I should have gotten at least one 3/4" magnet.

flushed up the front
this will be it's new home
I have a couple box latches coming in with the  magnets. I got two for just in case but I think I'll be ok with one.

got my saws out for figuring the size of till for them
My longest saw is a roughly 24" long, from the top horn to the toe.

nested together
This is the proposed way that I will stow the saws in the till. As they are here the width is less than 5". I'll have to add a few inches to that for the holders for the saws.

I love the fit and feel of this handle
the LN saw has a looser fit
My hand fills the Lee Valley handle without an atom of wasted space. It is better than a glove fit and feels unbelievably good in my hand. The Lee Valley handle is definitely a wow and maybe an extra loud whoopee thrown in too. I think the Lee Valley saw would be absolutely perfect if the LN plate was substituted for the Lee Valley one.

the look pretty similar but the LV handle gets a bucketful of gold stars IMO
rough ID measurements for the saw till
I haven't come up with a design for this yet. I'm pretty sure that it'll have a lid and the saws will go in and lift out through the top. It won't be a book like till like I made for the squares.

the handle is reluctant to come off
no mistaking that this is walnut (it doesn't look like rosewood)
handle came off the second one easier
I don't know what kind of wood this is. My first guess was beech.

my second guess was apple
My third one was I don't have a clue. It doesn't look like the beech I have in my stash. I don't have any apple wood pics in my wood book. It doesn't even mention apple at all. It also doesn't look like the pear wood which I do have a pic of. In the end it doesn't matter. I will strip and refinish both handles regardless of the species. I will clean the saw plates and try to raise a bit of shine on them too.

the finish isn't shellac
I rubbed a towel wet with alcohol on both handles and got nothing. It cleaned up both but it had no effect on the finish at all. I don't have any lacquer thinner so I can't check for it being lacquer. But that is what I suspect the finish probably is.

this plate has a lot of etch to it
All I can make out on it is 'New Bedford Mass' as the bottom line. I'm thinking maybe it is a hardware store saw?

this etch is even fainter
I can barely discern the Disston Saw symbol on this plate. No matter as I don't care about the etch that much but I was curious about what I could pick out.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Convicted murderer William Kemmler, was noted for what?
answer - the first person to be legally electrocuted 1890

Breaking Down Odd Stock

Inside the Oldwolf Workshop - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 10:25pm
As I began the journey of building a pair of boxes to hold cremation remains in a ground burial vault (you can read the specifics HERE) I had a pair of odd sized boards to break down into regular useable stock.

These walnut boards measure around 16" at their widest giving 7 to 8 foot of length. They were given to me by Bob several years ago and they came from a tree that blew over on the farm he grew up on and that was milled into lumber. Most of the tree went to make a very nice desk that is still in use, I couldn't tell you the date but to hear the stories he had it made right around the time of my wife's birth, forty plus years ago. I don't know how long he hauled the boards around before that.

He kept these two left over stragglers with large sections of crotch grain and told me many times he had intended to make a "very neat" coffee table from them. They lived in leaky garages and sheds until I was given them about seven years ago. He asked after them a bit, wanting to know what I'd made with them, and my response came to be that the boards were too dried out to do anything really with. Not a whole truth but in honesty I was at a loss when it came to how to use them.

By the time I got them large cracks had developed in the wider areas, and splits up from the narrower ends. Dry rot, punkiness, and some bug holes were problems on either end where they'd sat on dirt or concrete, semi exposed to the elements for decades. The shape was odd, triangularish, rhoboid, well odd let's just live with odd as a description. They looked like wide boards but sure didn't look useable as wide boards.

Then Bob passed away and I was discussing the building of these boxes with my wife and she reminded me of these boards. Now there was the perfect project they'd been waiting decades for. But how do you break them down to useable stock?

I pulled them out of the lumber rack and leaned them up against the wall for several days while I finished up a few other half done projects. I needed to get boards finished at 6 1/2" wide from these pieces, as much of it as I could. Both had a mostly flat edge along one side and I decided to start by jointing it out.

Lacking a leg vise doesn't usually bother me but handling stock like this makes it interesting. I supported the board on one of my saw benches. I used a holdfast in the deadman on one end and a clamp across from the other side of the bench to level out the flat area and hold the board.

Then it was just down to work with my #7. I didn't really have what anyone would call a "true face" to reference square off of, I'd just lean down and eyeball the edge every couple strokes to make sure I wasn't tilting or doing something else weird.

Once I had the flat I set my panel gauge to 7" and scratched a line.

I used a ruler to extend the line out past the points where the flat ended. Then I headed back over to the saw benches.

This stuff is shy of 3/4" thick and a 5 TPI rip saw made quick and easy work out of it. In a minute I had one board close to my desire.

On the wider board I marked a square line just inside any cracks or nastiness and cross cut those off.

I repeated the process on the second board. Then I wheeled the tablesaw from the corner because the tablesaw excels at perfectly parallel. I ran the straight edge through at 6 3/4" then ran the other side through at a hair past my 6 1/2" so I can swipe off the machine marks later.

Without mistakes I need total around 52" of material for a box. I managed to get enough good stuff for three and a half boxes. I'm not unhappy with this yield and better yet I'm satisfied I've found the right use for this walnut that has seen such a journey to get to this point.

Ratione et Passionis
Categories: General Woodworking

Turn Patterns Into Super Story Sticks

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 10:28am

I better start off with a warning. If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m kind of a nut about patterns. Long before I owned a CNC, I made hundreds of them. As a furniture maker, I really use and rely on them. The rule in my shop is that if you need to make two of anything or if there’s even the slightest chance you might make something again, […]

The post Turn Patterns Into Super Story Sticks appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Finishing Workshop @ CW – Rubbing Out

The Barn on White Run - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 7:15am

The conclusion of the finishing workshop at the Anthony Hay Shop of Colonial Williamsburg was rubbing out the finishes we had already completed.

Given that my normal routine of using Liberon 4/0 steel wool and paste wax was not an option as steel wool was not part of CW’s vocabulary, we instead concentrated on those things which were typical for that era; pumice powder, tripoli powder (rottenstone), and pulverized chalk (whiting), delivered in slurries of mineral oil, naphtha, and diluted paste wax.  The latter would probably have been some formulation of beeswax, turpentine, and tallow.

The first step was to make new polishing pads analogous to the spirit varnishing pads, with the difference that the stuffing was comparatively unimportant.

Then the work began with pumice, followed by tripoli.

The results were splendid.

New Online Course – Pembroke Table with Glen Huey

360 WoodWorking - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 6:28am
New Online Course – Pembroke Table with Glen Huey

Happy day before Thanksgiving. As you prepare for your holiday celebration with family and friends, take a minute to check out the newest online course offering from 360Woodworking.com, Pembroke Table with Glen Huey. (If you’re a member of our community, you have free access to the project. I’ve sent an email message to each of you describing the project and providing instructions on how to pull the new course into your “Online Courses” tab.)

If you’re not yet a member, you, too, can take a look at the project and course.

Continue reading New Online Course – Pembroke Table with Glen Huey at 360 WoodWorking.


The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 5:56am

It’s always reassuring to see my posts from 3 years ago make an appearance in places unlooked-for…I find it flattering.

Categories: General Woodworking

Woodwork at City Hall

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 4:00am

I was at City Hall on Monday morning, testifying in front of the City Council subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises. This was a slightly different subject than the one I testified about a few weeks ago, but the concept is the same - resist intrusion on what little manufacturing space is left in New York City. This was the first time I had ever been in City Hall and the first time I was in the Council Chambers. Built between 1803 and 1812 and remodelled several times since, New York City's City Hall is actually a pretty small building and isn't used much for the day-to-day running of the city. That happens across the street in the giant Municipal Building.

I don't know how much of the wood, stone, and plaster architectural details date from the original building and how much is from a pre-Civil war rebuild, but it is all awesome!

The hearing was about the merits of allowing as-of-right self-storage units to be built in Industrial Business Zones, areas in NYC that are specifically restricted to manufacturing uses. Currently it is legal to do so, but a new zoning law would ban it. The Council was holding a hearing about an amendment to the law that popped up recommended by the City Planning Commission to allow self-storage as-of-right after all, negating the law. Thankfully, most, if not all, the City Council members present felt that manufacturing jobs are better than self-storage dead space. They also expressed their views that sneaking in an amendment to the new zoning law (which was carefully debated and then approved by almost all the City's local Community Boards, neighborhood advisory groups that weigh in on issues like zoning) is kind of dirty pool. The sentiment was against the amendment.

My testimony was the same as before - you can put self-storage units anywhere in the city, but we are desperately short of manufacturing space. And by dangling possible exceptions in front of developers, you just drive up the price of property and rents based on anticipated speculation.

What I really want to do in this blog entry is just show off the woodworking and architectural detail of the space. My (ancestors') tax dollars at work! It is wonderful and worth every penny!

It's actually stonework but this is a really graceful spiral staircase
The white paint makes the doors pretty sedate but the detailed carving is amazing
In the old days the windows would be open. There is an abundance of paneling and wainscotting. Sort of Federalist - but not really.
Look at the huge book-matched paneling, the columns and the Captain America shield chair seat.
Sitting in the public speaking chairs - in the gallery are visiting students from a local school
View from my seat giving testimony
More details about a door. I assume the mirrors were there to increase the room light in pre-electric days. A candelabra might go on the stand in the center.
Wonderful carved insert placed in various intervals along the molding atop the wainscotting around the room
Carved detail above the podium
Desks for the Councilmembers - a traditional design - probably from day one. Not in use today we sat on folding chairs. What a comedown.
Large panels of book-matched wainscotting are everywhere
Some of my favorite details - the crown molding.
Not to be outdone by the joinery, the ceiling has stars all over it with giant low relief panels in each order. The detail is wonderful, I am not sure if the carvings and stars are plaster or applied wood carving.
I'm not big on selfies

needs one more day.......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 1:30am
Last night (tuesday) after supper I went back to shop to check on my magnets. It had been almost two hours since I glued them in and I wanted to check on them. The bottle says it sets in about 30 minutes and full cure in 24 hours. The glue appeared to be set and was holding the magnets in place. I dropped the box on the workbench a couple of times and that didn't jar or pop any of them out.

Since the magnets were set I put the squares into their respective holders and opened and closed the lid several times. One magnet wasn't enough to hold the squares in place. Besides the jostling the squares will get opening and closing the till, there is the moving around and carrying of the box too. Before I left the shop I glued in more 1/2" magnets. That way I could be ready to test them when I got home.
what I left off with last night
The six inch combination square is the only one to survive 99% of the tests. It passed the all the open and shut tests but failed on the third shake box like I'm an idiot test.

15 and 12 inch squares
It was hit and miss with these two. One would last through one cycle of open/shut but not two. I thought the two magnets holding them would do the job but they still are not strong enough.

 Two 3/8" magnets on the 15" and 12" squares will hopefully be sufficient now. But I'll have to wait another day to see if I'm right. I drilled a couple of holes too deep, I want the magnets as flush as I can possibly get them. The closer the magnets are to the blades, they greater the attraction and the stronger the pull on the blade will be. On the holes I drilled to deep I filled in the bottom with plane shavings and then glued the magnet in.

I added one more 3/8 magnet to these
The holder on the left is for the all metal 6" Disston square and the right one is for the 12" combination square.

only one 3/8" magnet left
I have to buy some box latches so I'll add some magnets to the order.

second coat on the back of the bus
I used a metal enamel paint for this. I have done 2 other planes with this and I will stick to painting them. I like the coverage of brushing much better than spraying with a rattle can.

the front of the bus
After this has set up for a couple of days I'll sand the paint off the frog seat and the top of the sides.

did a little work on the frog  and nuts
I forgot to put some oil on these parts after I put them in the Evaporust and a few of them have rust blooms now.

fingers crossed on this
I added one more magnet to the 15" square holder. I won't be trying these out after supper but I'll wait until I get home from work tomorrow.

I am seriously considering painting this the same color as the toolbox. I have a Lee Valley dovetail saw coming that was being offered on Saw Mill Creek for $55. Once I get that I can start making the saw till box. The dovetail saw is the last one I had to get to complete the herd for Miles. I already decided that the saw till box will be painted so I might as well do the square till box too.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner Ferris Wheel?
answer - George Washington Ferris did for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.

What a Class at MASW is Like – A Students Perspective

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 10:06am
I don’t teach woodworking classes very often, although I usually say yes when someone asks me to. The picture at left is from a series of blog posts written by one of the guys in my most recent class at Continue reading →
Categories: General Woodworking

Live Edge Class at Snow Farm, Massachusetts – Part 4 Lisa’s Cherry Table

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 8:36am

One of the unique pieces built during my weekend workshop at Snow Farm was a live edge coffee table. Lisa’s “Cape Cod coffee table” began as a 1” cross cut of a cherry tree that showed an attractive burl, intriguing insects cavities and some natural cracks. Our plan was first to fill the imperfection with colored epoxy. Then re-turn four reclaimed furniture legs that Lisa had found on the street. […]

The post Live Edge Class at Snow Farm, Massachusetts – Part 4 Lisa’s Cherry Table appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Highland Woodworking Featured in Atlanta INTOWN

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 7:00am

We’re excited to have been featured in another Atlanta publication this month after having just been featured in an interview on the Voyage ATL website.

Grace Huseth, a contributor for Atlanta INTOWN sat down with Molly Bagby, daughter of owners Chris and Sharon Bagby, to discuss 40 years of Highland Woodworking.

Although Molly hasn’t been around for all 40 years of the store’s operations, she spent the majority of her childhood in the store when Sharon started bringing her to work just a few weeks after she was born.

Read more about Highland Woodworking’s history in our article featured in the November 2017 issue of Atlanta INTOWN.

You can also scroll through this month’s issue below:

The post Highland Woodworking Featured in Atlanta INTOWN appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

square till nearing completion........

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 1:16am
Spent my entire lunch break looking for box latches that I could buy locally. Lee Valley has them but they aren't offering any free shipping at the moment. Even if I doubled them it would still be less than the S/H charge. What I found locally was that everyone has a different name for them. In the end I found nothing locally and I will have to order from Lee Valley.

how will round 2 turn out?
it appears to be ok
I can still make out the crack lines but they appear to be solid. Nothing moved when I pressed against the crack with the saw plate. Everything looks like the glue up worked this time. The looseness in the plate is gone. Before I glued the crack I could feel the plate moving just by wiggling the handle. Not so this time but we'll have to see how long it holds up. That crack is in a bad spot.

sawing action feels better with the looseness gone
comparison half pins
The top ones were sawn with the older saw and the bottom ones with the LN dovetail saw. The older saw half pins look rougher sawn than the LN ones. Sawing them out felt the same as to sawing at an angle and cross cutting the half pins out. The LN saw felt smoother and a bit easier pushing but not by much.

old and new side by side
Ascetics aside, what I am must concerned with is the set. I can see the set in both saws and they feel about the same. Yesterday I thought the set in the older saw was excessive but after checking them side by side, it is barely a touch more than the LN saw. The thicker plate on the older saw I think was playing tricks on me.

sawed this pine without a whimper
Three gold stars for the older saw as it powered through this pine. I didn't try to saw straight but the saw did it seemingly on it's own. Usually on long saw cuts like I tend to veer off to the right the deeper I go. Here it was straight from the top of the cut to the bottom.  For now I think I'll hang on to this and use it for dovetailing in thick stock - 3/4" and above.

chamfered all the edges
 The chamfers on the spacers will help with getting this on and off easier.

first batter for the magnet
The two sizes I have are 3/8" and 1/2" diameter. Both are roughly 1/8" thick. The pull or attraction is a bit stronger with the 1/2" but I like the surface area more. I'm not sure if I'll have to use more than one but I'll start with one and evaluate it. What will drive it is whether or not one will hold the square in it's holder as the till is opened and closed.

not too bad for just eyeballing it.
It is flush and ready to be glued in.

going to try this
I couldn't find anything on the bottle saying what this will bond. I know it works on wood and I'll try it here with metal on wood. If it doesn't work I'll use epoxy.

Most of the mass and weight is here
It makes sense to me to put the magnet as close to this as I can. I am not sure one is going to work on holding either of the big squares. I'll keep happy thoughts on it until tomorrow when I can check it out.

if it doesn't work I'll put a second 1/2" one here
first coat is dry to the touch
I will let this camp out by the furnace for one more day. Tomorrow I'll put the second and final coat of black on it.

glue bond broke
I didn't clamp these yesterday when I glued them and the bottom lifted up. I put some of the rapid fuse glue on it and I'll clamp it this time to ensure a good bond.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is the state sport of Maryland?
answer - jousting

The Slöjd Tradition with Jögge Sundqvist 

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 1:01pm

Well, this has nothing to do with me, other than I was there to watch it happen. Now I get to see it again, from the comfort of my own home.

Here’s the blurb:

The Slöjd Tradition

with Jögge Sundqvist 

Learn some of the methods and techniques behind Slöjd, the self sufficient tradition from Sweden that emphasizes hand work and handicraft. Jögge Sundqvist walks you through the process of making a spatula and a cheese board from green wood. He also demonstrates different types of letter carving and decorative carving.

Jögge Sundqvist is a Swedish woodworker and carver who started learning knife and axe work at the age of four, at the side of his father, Wille Sundqvist. Jögge works in the Slöjd fine craft tradition making stools, chairs, knives, spoons, and sculptures painted with artists’ oil color. Jögge is also a teacher, writer, and gives lectures about Slöjd tradition and techniques.

And the preview:



Goatboy’s Leatherworks

goatboy's woodshop - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 11:19am

I’ve never been what you might call a frequent poster, but since I started this blog I don’t think I’ve gone this long without offering up content before. It’s been over six months since I last posted, so I guess it’s about time I remedied that.

In fairness, I should point out that since the beginning of the summer, our little family has been going through some difficult times. One of our number has had some fairly serious health issues to contend with, and for a while all our time was taken up with hospital visits and suchlike. For a few weeks there wasn’t a great deal of time for fun in the workshop.


The long road to recovery still stretches out before us but things are slowly getting back on an even keel. A few weeks ago I started a little line of Snowpeople on the lathe, to be ready in time to sell around Christmas time. I have made a separate blog (link on the side bar) to showcase them for friends and family, but most of them are on sale now at a local shop.


Before I started on them, however, I did manage to finish a project that I had begun before our troubles kicked off in the summer, and this is the main subject of this post.

Working with wood is my main pastime, but I have always thought that leather can greatly enhance a project, and so I try to incorporate it wherever I can. I have amassed a few rudimentary leather working tools over the past few months, as well as leather related paraphernalia (eyelets, rivets, press-studs, needles and thread and the like)  and I needed to build a dedicated box to house them. So, inspired by this video, I have done just that.

The box is made from cherry and walnut and incorporates hand cut dovetails and housing joints. The main box has two dividers, a lift out tote and storage in the lid. There is also a drawer for some of the smaller components. This drawer showcases my very first attempt at half lap dovetails, and is subdivided into 12 compartments.

Obviously, since this is a box for leather working tools, I needed to incorporate some leather into the design. This comes in form of leather handles stitched to the wood, as well as a leather clasp to hold the drawer closed. I also made a leather decal for the top with a modified version of my logo burned into it. The box was finished with my oil/varnish/turps home brew.

All in all, I am very pleased with the results, and the box has been of great use to me in the production of my little Snowpunks. I’ll be up to my eyes in them for a while yet, but I must try to post more often in future. I feel a New Year’s Resolution coming on…


Filed under: Joinery, Projects, Pyrography, Tools Tagged: cherry, leather, walnut

Washington Desk Day 5

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 9:05am

This past weekend I began the scary phase of every one of my woodworking projects, and that is the time when there are a lot of almost finished, unassembled parts lying around waiting to be destroyed.

First things first, on Saturday afternoon/evening I spent two hours milling up the final two boards needed to complete the project. Well, it was about an hour milling up and an hour cleaning up. Rather than calling it a night, I wanted to get in a little actual woodworking, so I attached the cross brace to the back legs. I did not want to mortise out the legs because they are thin to begin with, so instead I dadoed the brace, 3/8 of an inch, planed it down, chamfered the edges, and sanded it smooth. I was satisfied with the appearance, so I attached it with some decorative brass screws. Thankfully, it added some much needed stability to the legs. Admittedly it took longer than it should have to lay out the dadoes, but I wanted the fit to be dead accurate, and I really didn’t want to waste a perfectly good board just by being careless.

Overnight Saturday we had a wind storm, so I spent a portion of the morning and early afternoon cleaning up the back yard, which really ate up the prime hours of the day. But I soldiered on and decided to get as much of the drawer unit finished as possible.

I took my sweet time with those dadoes, because I only had one crack at it, and once the kerfs were all sawn I used a chisel and router plane to get to finished depth. The fit was nice, so I moved on to what I believe is the most challenging part of this project, the ogees on the drawer compartment sides.

Considering that nearly all of the furniture I’ve built to date has been in the Arts & Crafts style (as well as some Shaker pieces), laying out and sawing an ogee with a coping saw is not my strong suit, but I decided to give it a try regardless. I used a compass and my limited artistic ability to lay out the ogee on one of the drawer unit ends, clamped both together, and started sawing. The results were mixed; I should have stuck closer to the line, but in the end it was done. Afterwards, I spent a good hour using a spoke shave, chisel, and rasp to get the pieces in shape. In the end, I wound up with more of a sloping cove than a true ogee, but I am not unhappy with it, and once it is sanded down I think it will look pretty good.

The last task of the day was adding rabbets to the side pieces of the drawer unit, which I did with a moving fillister plane. I could have pushed it and fitted the drawer dividers as well, but that part should be simple, and I didn’t want to push it, as it was getting late and I had a lot of clean up to do.

IMG_2931 (002)

At the home stretch. Once the drawer dividers are installed I can fit the drawer fronts and make the drawers.

After clean up, I once again brought all of the parts into my family room for safe keeping. I attached the “ogeed” ends to the drawer unit top and placed it on top of the desk. I liked the open appearance, so I think what I may do is leave the space in between the two drawers without a back, just to see how it looks. If I don’t like it, I will simply add the filler piece, but I think that open area may add some lightness to the desk, and I could always bore out a space for an inkwell cup there.

Happily, so far none of the pieces have been damaged in any way. By the end of next week the desk should be ready for finish, as the only thing really left to do is make the drawers along with finishing up some light sanding. I’m hoping that my lovely wife steps in and does the finishing for me, as she is much more patient than I am when it comes to stuff like this. Otherwise, I am in the home stretch. And for those of you who celebrate the holiday, have a Happy Thanksgiving.


Categories: General Woodworking

How to Cut Dovetails with a Keller Jig

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 8:24am

There are numerous jigs for cutting dovetails with a router. My go-to is the Keller pro series model 1601. It’s simple to use, though unlike jigs that cut pins and tails in one fell swoop, it takes two operations (and two different cutters) — one for tails, another for pins. The resulting joint is so attractive, with wide tails reminiscent of hand-cut joints, that I think it’s worth the extra time. […]

The post How to Cut Dovetails with a Keller Jig appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

good sunday production.......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 1:18am
Got a lot accomplished today and that went hand in hand with the weather. This morning was raining with a strong wind blowing. By the time the afternoon came, the sun was out, the winds are died down some, it was kind of warm. My day started with me still having no direction on how to secure the squares in the square till but come 1500, I had a plan. We'll have to see if it works or not.

I have a new obsession
Got two new squares for me and 4" round leg dividers for Miles. The 6" square is square but the 10" I'm not sure of. The outside checks ok but the inside is off out at the toe. I ran out of plywood to check it on so it'll have to wait before I know for sure.

I like the round leg a lot more than flat ones
I use my round leg for dovetail layout I got these for Miles to use for that too.

Miles's dividers
The ones at the top are 4" dividers too but they are square legged with the tips being round. I'm going to take this one back and give Miles a 6" flat leg divider as a substitute. That will increase his range of what he can divide with them.

my square herd
Top to bottom, 12", 10", and 6". I am looking to add a 15", 8", and either a 3" or 4".

saws are done
Last night before I went to bed, I steel wooled both handles and put on another coat of shellac.  I put the final one on at oh dark 45 this AM. Done. Both handles appear to be beech but I wouldn't bet any body organs on that. They look a 100% better now than what they looked like when I got them.

other side
I think the both of these saws will serve Miles well.

Stanley 78 rabbet plane for Miles
It's complete and has seen a lot of use but is in pretty good shape.

original blade on the bottom
I had a 78 rabbet plane but I dropped it and it broke into 3 pieces. That was about 35 years ago and the only thing I kept from it was the iron.

the only problem
The fence rod is bent and not square to the body. Patrick Leach said in his Blood and Gore that this is a common problem with these planes. I have been trying to get in touch with St James Bay Tool because he makes and sells replacement fence rods and the cross grain spurs. No luck there yet.

I have found several rods on ebay but I am reluctant to buy because I don't want to get a bent one. Stanley still makes replacement fence rods (along with other parts) for the 78 but they are out of stock right now. St James Bay ebay store doesn't have the fence rod for sale but he does have the cross grain spur. I will wait and keep checking for the rod. I still have to rehab it so I have plenty of time.

nice feature of the 78
That plugged up screw hole behind the mouth is for the fence rod. You can use the fence on the right and left side of this plane. What you can't do is use the depth stop on the left side so you have to plane to a line. Still a handy feature that allows you to attack the grain from either direction.

this one is full of ????
slightly out of square on the left
I got the hole cleaned out and it appears that is was some kind of rubbery crap. It wasn't glue because it was soft and squishy and stretched as I pulled it.

seems to be out of square more on the right side
starting with 80 grit
Got the sole marked up so I can get an idea of the condition of the sole.

got my idea after 10 strokes
thanx for the tip Walter
It worked. The epoxy I applied to the inside of the lid built it up enough that lid fits snug now. It is upside down here and laughing at gravity.

fits just as good with the lid flipped 180
the shiny look is the epoxy
If this had been too tight I would have scraped the epoxy with a scraper. One other thing I thought of after the fact was I could have put some sawdust in the epoxy. That would have lent some roughness and friction to the lid. I didn't need it here but something to stow in the brain bucket for the next time.
Thanx again for the great tip Walter.

the saw glue up went south
It doesn't even look like I glued this at all.

I can still open the crack
round 2
I used the dental pick to keep the crack open as I poured glue into it. I got squeeze out along the entire crack line on the outside and the inside this time. So maybe this one will work now.

back to sanding the #6
My wife had woke up by now so I could use the vacuum cleaner. This is after about 10 minutes. I have a low spot forward of the mouth and for a bit aft of it.

ten minutes later
I am slowly getting there with removing all traces of the sharpie marks. The 80 grit belt is usually the one that takes the most time to get through. The other grits basically remove scratches and shine things up. And I won't be using woodworking sanding belts anymore. I can tell a big difference in using the metal sanding belt vice the woodworking ones. The biggest one is the grit lasts a lot longer with the metal sanding belts.

I thought they were clean
Look at the crud that is coming out of the corrugation slots. I had scraped them all with a sheet rock knife too and I thought they were cleaned out.

last run with the 80 grit
It took me about 30 minutes to remove all the sharpie marks with the 80 grit belt. I'm going to do it one more time and check that the sharpie marks disappear uniformly. They did and I moved on to 120 grit.

more crud coming out
I did this to remove what looked like a white paint drop and I got this. There is some grunge there but there is also rust dust too. It took me only 5 minutes or so to sand out all the slots .

this sucks
I didn't like wearing this but I didn't want to breathe in all the crappola I was sanding neither. It reminds of wearing an EAB from the Navy (emergency air breathing mask). It was called sucking rubber then and I once had to wear one for 3 hours. I took a lot of breaks doing the sanding but I made sure to wear it while sanding.

80 grit done, on to 120
nice shine off of the 120
Going up the grits after 80 goes pretty quick. I could have quit here but I went all the way to 600.

done up to 400
I don't bother buying any belts above 400. I hand sanded the plane with 600 grit with a sanding block.

streaks at the top of the cheek
I had to sand that area by hand with 400 grit in a sanding block. I don't know why the belt wasn't doing it but it only took a few minutes to shine it by hand sanding.

ready for paint
Frog seat scraped and then lightly sanded smooth.

the only tricky spots to paint
If I get any black paint on the frog seats, I'll scrape it off. I have taped the seats off but it isn't necessary. It is very easy to scrape any errant paint on them off. I'll let this first coat set up and cure for a couple of days. Then I'll put on the final and second coat.

30" piano hinge
Lowes didn't have any brass piano hinges so I had to settle for silver. FYI - hack sawing a 30" piano hinge down to 18" sucks.  I have 3 screws in each leaf so I can check the fit. This is one part of installing hinges that gives me the heebie jeebies. Installing hinges is getting better but the feeling isn't.

I marked and planed the hinge recess with the 140 skew block plane. I am really liking this plane for doing rabbets. It is a sweet tool to use.

I'm happy with this
The ends are flush and I'm off about a 32nd on the front. I can plane this flush once the box is done.

this sucks
All the screws are in and the box is hinge bound.

the hinge rabbet is too deep
I set the marking gauge to the middle of the hinge pin and I left the line when I planed the rabbet. having all the screws must have pulled the hinge leaf down tighter into the rabbet. I'll have to add wood now to make up for it.

shaving from making the panel grooves
I used this under the hinge to shim it up. I would rather use wood than paper here because this will be visible after the fix.

no longer hinge bound
It took two tries before I had joy in Mudville. The first time I only put shims under one leaf and some of the problem went away but not all. I had to shim under both leaves to order to eliminate the problem.  I glued the shims in the rabbets with the rapid fuse glue and I aligned them with the outside edge of the box.

trying to get some inspiration
It's not working. I kind of got an idea for the big squares, but with the two combination squares I was still in the dark here.

hiding my lines.
The spacers on both of the big squares will hide 90% of these lines.

rounded the ends
I think this will look better than having the end square cut.

holder for the combination square
The idea for this is to put a turn button at the top that will close on the top of the blade holding it in place.

the parts of the holder
change #2
I had gotten an email about rare earth magnets and I just happened to be thinking of them. This is part one of a two part door set up. Instead of using turn buttons, I can use magnets to hold the squares in place.

bonus - it isn't as thick as the spacer
this is magnetic too
I didn't think this would be magnetic. I thought it was stainless steel and not magnetic.

this may change now
Since I'm switching to magnets, I don't need some parts of this holder. After the glue has set I'll look it over and see if I can use some of it. Maybe I can adapt this somehow to use with the magnets?

holders glued in with hide glue
I'm pretty certain that I will go with this layout but if I want to change it down the road I can.

wasn't what I was looking for
I found my stash of magnets. I was looking for some box latches but this was nice to find.

got lucky twice today
Found the box latches I was looking for and it was a bust. Neither one of them will fit on the box.  They are too tall for the box. I'm pretty sure that these are big size and the next one down might fit. I'll have to spend some time on the Lee Valley's site.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who invented the combination square?
answer - Laroy S Starrett did in 1877

My First Woodworking Project (I think)

The Literary Workshop Blog - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 6:45pm

The other day I was rummaging around in an old box of scraps, and I pulled out a chunk of wood that I had completely forgotten about.

Doorstop 1996

It doesn’t look like much, but I’m pretty sure it’s my first woodworking project (not counting the tree forts I built with my brothers when I was a kid).  It’s a doorstop cut out of a 2X4.

I vaguely recall making this to prop a door open at a local church fellowship hall.  I used only one tool to make it: a circular saw.  Looking at the uneven surface, I recall that the sawblade was small (or I didn’t know how to adjust the depth), so it didn’t cut all the way through the 2X4.  So I cut part the way through it, flipped the workpiece over, and finished the cut from the other side–very unevenly.  I can’t believe I was happy enough with my work to put my name on it, but I must have been.

Doorstop 1996

The only reason I share it here is that it’s the first project I signed and dated.  I was a teenager back then.  I’m pretty sure I “carved” my initials and the year with a flathead screwdriver and a hammer.

It was not exactly an auspicious beginning to my woodworking avocation, but in one respect it was a telling start.  I represents a moment in my life when I looked at problem and came up with a solution that required only the tools and materials I had on hand.  And while I now have a lot more tools and a lot more materials on hand than I used to, this is still the approach that defines much of my work.  Whether it’s a need for a storage crate or a small table or a wooden spoon, I still delight in making what I need with my own hands.

Tagged: door stop, doorstop, signature


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