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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...

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General Woodworking

A Visit to the Atlanta Maker Faire

Highland Woodworking - 2 hours 43 min ago
Google HeaderA “Maker Faire” in Atlanta happened a few weeks ago.  Maker events happen all over the globe and they help celebrate and promote the creative process. Long-time wood turner and Highland Woodworking customer, Mark Sillay, was on hand turning tops and letting kids color them in with a marker.  Mark handed out our Highland Woodworking catalogs and jazzed the crowd showing the fun of woodturning as a “maker” hobby. Highland Woodworking was in attendance at the event at the request of the Decatur Makers since they wanted “working wood” to be represented.  You can find out more information about the Decatur Makers here: http://decaturmakers.org/


It was a great weather weekend for the outdoor event that spanned a large area of downtown Decatur.  It was estimated that over 25,000 folks came through the city of Decatur during the 2 days of the faire.  Mark said the kids had a grand time and he experienced a “first-time” event as a wood turner and demonstrator when he knelt down to help a 6 yr old girl put an eye hook onto an ornament that Mark had just turned. He was showing the turned ornament to her and apparently the fried dough she had just consumed did not sit well in her stomach and she “tossed” the dough as they say, just missing Mark by inches.  Mark has decided he now has another reason to wear a face mask shield at demonstrations. He has also found a new use for wood shavings!

Other than the one upset tummy, the weekend was a good time for all.

Here is some more information on the Atlanta event: http://makerfaireatl.com/

The post A Visit to the Atlanta Maker Faire appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Woodworking in America 2015, Sept. 25-27

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - 6 hours 29 min ago

I am pleased to announce that we’ve signed the site contract for Woodworking in America 2015. The dates? Sept. 25-27. The place? Let’s have a little fun with that for a few days. • The city has a major league baseball team. • It is the most populous city in the state. • There are many municipal fountains. • The state flag is predominantly red, white and blue. • The […]

The post Woodworking in America 2015, Sept. 25-27 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Oh, Right. Ecuador, I Was Just There…

The Furniture Record - 8 hours 32 min ago

As mentioned earlier, I just got back a few weeks ago from a trip to the Galapagos Islands with stops in Quito and Otavalo, Ecuador en route. Otavalo is a town of about 90,000,  seventy miles north of Quito. With an elevation or 8,500 feet, one could safely consider it to be in the mountains.

We arrived in Otavalo early evening on Thursday, had dinner and went to bed. On Friday, we hired a small van with driver and visited a few notable local weavers. In the afternoon, we visited a local town that specialized in leather goods. It was an interesting day. Not activities I might have chosen, but it’s not always about me.

Saturday is market day. We started the day by visiting the animal market. I won’t try to describe it other than saying there are no USDA inspectors involved. Use your imagination. Ya, it was like that. Not quite enough to make me a vegetarian and it won’t as long as I visit only every ten years.

When we were done there, it was back to town for “the market”. The market engulfs the square downtown and sends tentacles down several side and main streets. Much of the merchandise looked like much of the other merchandise. To me. Woven art, purses, carved figures, some paintings. Stuff I am not looking to buy. My wife took her two friends on the grand tour. The other couple went their own way looking for a wooden flute (him) and at all the woven art (her). Once again I was left to entertain myself.

I started walking in search of an antiques shop or a furniture store and found neither. I did find one small shop about the size of a supply closet and not as well-lit. It was packed with locals that look surprised and vaguely annoyed to see me there. But they were very polite. Discretion being the better part of tourism, I left. And kept walking.

What I did notice was the doors. There were lots of different doors. Interesting doors. It is a city with all blocks solidly packed with buildings. Or one big building. I couldn’t always tell where one ended and the next began. Retail on the first level and offices and residential on the upper floors. There mustn’t be a strong zoning office in that there didn’t seem to be a uniform color palate.

Where is the downtown merchants association when you need it.

Where is the downtown merchants association when you need it?

Another thing I noticed was ready availability of funerary supplies. I must have seem six funeral supply stores.

Not something I needed on this trip. Good to know it's there though.

Not something I needed on this trip. Good to know it’s there though.

And I found their dollar store. Ecuador use the US dollar as currency. Their have some of their own coins but use US paper money. So, a dollar store really is a dollar store.

More interesting that Family Dollar or Dollar Tree.

More interesting that Family Dollar or Dollar Tree.

While walking, I learned you can make a ladder with bamboo poles, a saw, a chisel,  some hardwood scraps and a bit of wire.

No safety labels or posted weight limit.

No safety labels or posted weight limit.

Did I mention there were doors?

A church door.

A church door.

Lots of doors.

Not a church door.

Not a church door.

Click HERE to see the entire set of my walkabout pictures. It is worth a look.

Have I ever lied to you…

Roubo and Studley updates

The Barn on White Run - 8 hours 55 min ago

My two-week-long trip to make on-site exhibit arrangements and a final examination of the Studley Tool Cabinet and Workbench began with a long day’s drive from the Virginia mountains to Cincinnati.  I remain convinced that Google Maps employs aspiring NASCAR drivers to ascertain driving times.

About an hour out of Cincy I drove through a storm cell that almost certainly contained a tornado or two, or so I deduced from the building parts flying past me on the road.  I’ve driven through rain so intense that I could not see the road in front of me, but this was the first time I have ever been in rain so fierce that I could not see the road beside me.  I pulled into a gas station as soon as I could see well enough to navigate, but immediately noticed two things.  First, the gas pumps were scattered around the lot, some on top of cars.  Second was the unmistakable smell of gasoline.  I moved on as soon as I could get turned around.

As I write this I’m in Fort Mitchell visiting Chris Schwarz for the evening, reviewing the recently returned page proofs for the Roubo l’Art du Menuisier Book of Plates and working through some of the details for the soon-to-be-submitted manuscript for VIRTUOSO: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley.  We spent a fair bit of time discussing Chris’ vision for the physical manifestation of the latter.  To tell you the truth I am ambivalent about some of these details; I just want the book to be as compelling as Lost Art Press can make it.  Given their track record, I have nothing to worry about in that regard.


A special treat was to be a fly on the wall as Chris and Megan Fitzpatrick discussed an upcoming PopWood article (November, I believe) about a cabinet with some spectacular Gothic tracery Chris is finishing.


And I cannot deny the little tremor of pleasure I experienced when noting this image.

carved box wth drawer, pt 2 or maybe 3 I forget

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 2:46pm

I finally got back to the carved oak box with drawer that I started.

till is next


I have been thinking about this box for a month, and was thrilled to get back to it. I shot a slew of photos yesterday and today. First, I had to make the till parts and install them, so I could then finish nailing the box together. Once I had the till’s trenches cut in the front & back, I nailed the back to the sides. Then after fitting the till, I nailed the front in place.

Planing thin stuff like the till lid gets scary when you shove it against the toothy-bench hook. I made a board with a very thin stop at one end, to sit the workpiece on, then I shove the board against the bench hook. 

planing till lid

There’s lots going on when you’re fitting the till parts; 3 pieces that can one at a time, or all together hang you up, and keep the box parts from fitting. A bunch of fiddling around gets you there. Best to take a breath when fitting a till. 

fitting till


I make the till lids from oak, often with a molded edge like this one. The till sides and bottom can be various woods in my work; all oak, white pine, or Atlantic white cedar. This one’s cedar. 






Then I worked on carving the drawer front; in this case based on/inspired by the original – but I didn’t copy it note for note. Outline begun. 

drawer front begun

Shaping & beveling. 

carving detail

Relieving the middles. 


I work at my regular joinery bench, often hunched right over the carving. Some carvers work higher, but I find I like to get right above it sometimes. 

low bench


This gives you an idea of the shaping, prior to adding the gouge-cut details. 



I just try to keep from making the same design on 2 consecutive rosettes. 

carving detail 2


I had one panel of oak ready for the bottom of the box. It needs a bevel on its rear end, to fit into a groove in the back board. The front edge fits in a rabbet. To bevel it, I jammed it up against some scrap and the bench hook. Held down with a holdfast. 


bevel bottom board

The inner edge gets a rabbet, so the next board will overlap this one. 



A dis-orienting shot – the box is upside down, This first bottom board slips into the groove, drops into the rabbet, then gets slid/knocked over til it bumps up to the inside end. 

bottom's up


Tap. tap. 


tap it over

Bang. Bang. 



Here’s where I quit for the day. 

first bottom board in


Modern Wooden Planes … Why?

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 1:57pm

Let me be honest up front. I do know how to use a hand plane, and I have used a jointer plane once or twice. But it was a metal-bodied plane – only remotely similar to a wooden-bodied plane as used during the 18th Century. I liked the feel of the plane, and it’s long body made sense for one of its purposes of shooting edges to join boards. That […]

The post Modern Wooden Planes … Why? appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

360 WoodWorking Moves Forward

Woodworker's Edge - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 1:43pm

As most of you already know, I am joining Chuck Bender and Bob Lang in 360 WoodWorking (360woodworking.com). In the coming weeks, all my blog posts and other woodworking informational content will become part of the new website. As of this time, you can visit 360 WoodWorking and sign up for notification as to when the site goes live. In the meantime, the short video below fills in a bit more about our future plans.

Build Something Great!


Categories: General Woodworking

Making the King’s Furniture – Fine Woodworking Video

McGlynn On Making - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 1:25pm

One afternoon at the Marquetry class in San Diego, Patrick called us over to meet a former student, Aaron Radelow.  The story he told was amazing; in short he created a perfect reproduction of this reading/writing table that had been built for Louis IV around 1760.  The original is in the Getty museum, and Aaron was able to get access to the original to measure it.

Marquetry table, reproduction of an original Louis IV piece

Marquetry table, reproduction of an original Louis IV piece

When he was done he had a perfect replica, and a perfect inverse copy as well.  Because this was made with the Boulle method to saw the marquetry parts, the packets that were prepared for each panel had layers of both blue horn and ivory.  The resulting parts could then be assembled blue-int0-white and white-into0blue.

The link below has more details.  Regardless of the style of furniture you like, this is an amazing piece in terms of technical complexity, fine details and masterful execution.

Making the King’s Furniture – videos – Fine Woodworking.

Categories: General Woodworking

Not much inspiration

Kees - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 10:47am
Today I visited the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam with my wife. First visit since, probably, 30 years. The musuem has been completely renovated some two years ago. I enjoyed it a lot, plenty of nice things to see. It is mostly a celebration of the heroic past of The Netherlands, without too much attention to the black pages in that same history.

The Netherlands do have a remarkable past for such a small country. Especially during the 17th century a major part of European trade ran through our markets and towns. A bunch of merchants became incredibly rich. And they liked to show it. Naturaly my attention was drawn to the many furniture exhibits. And I must say, I didn't find inspiration for my own home. Almost everything on display is way over the top. The craftmanship to produce stuff like this is incredible, but when you live in a low budget house made in the fifties, it is hard to imagine how anyone could fit things like this in their homes. So, just for the fun of it, some images. You can also find many pictures on the website from the museum https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/search

Later, in the hall with the medieval stuff I did find some interesting things. Not necessarily for a reproduction, but I like these items.

And of course, let's not forget the tools from the expedition which stranded on Nova Zembla.

Categories: General Woodworking

Frank Klausz at Highland: Watching a True Master at Work

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 9:00am

On Sunday the 19th of October, I was able to sit in on a class taught by Frank Klausz, one of the woodworking world’s luminary figures. Frank taught a seminar on hand-tool joinery and covered the three major types of dovetails: open, half-lap, and sliding, along with mortise and tenon joints. Frank demonstrated his techniques for cutting the joints, the proper use of each joint, when and where you would use the joint and talked about several other topics. In my life, I have had the opportunity to take some classes from masters of various crafts. As a cellist I was able to attend a class given by Yo-Yo-Ma; as a writer I was able to attend a symposium by several amazing writers. The class given by Frank was no different – it is always a breathtaking experience to watch a true master at work.

We started off early on Sunday morning, sitting in the parking lot of Highland Woodworking and eating some breakfast. At around 8:45, the majority of us had arrived and we wandered into the store before class got started. Frank was hard at work already, prepping some stock for his demonstrations and drawing a few diagrams on the white board. At 9:00am Frank welcomed us all to the class and began what has become one of my favorite experiences with woodworking so far.

Frank's Class (4)

Frank's Class (5)

Starting off we discussed the 4 quadrants of woodworking as Frank views them: wood technology, tools, joinery and finish. When Frank talks about wood technology, what he means is to understand the medium you are working in. We all know wood moves, but we have to understand how and why wood behaves the way it does so that we can think about the proper way to lay out a table top and the best way to make a joint. The wood itself is the foundation of our work, and as woodworkers we have to know, to the best of our ability, what that wood is going to do.

The second quadrant of Frank’s woodworking seminar was a discussion of tools, both power tools and hand tools. Frank is what I call a hybrid woodworker, someone who incorporates both power tools and hand tools to make his pieces. We talked about tools, what young woodworkers should look for, advice on what tools to buy, and overall, an approach to your tools that will allow them to last for generations. Frank laid out one of my favorite quotes from this seminar about tools when we were discussing hand planes, and specifically Lie-Nielsen tools:

When you purchase a tool like a Lie Nielsen hand plane, or other fine woodworking tool, you are not the owner; you are the custodian of that tool. Tools such as those are heirlooms that you will pass down through the generations, we do not own them, we hold onto them for the woodworkers that will come after us.

We went through a demonstration of sharpening as well. Frank illustrated the way he sharpens his plane irons and his chisels. We talked about the various types of stones and grinders that are available and how best to utilize each. Frank demonstrated that the best jigs you have are your own hands – if you pause and take the time to think about things, to feel the tool in your hands, you often don’t need a special jig. It was brilliant to watch as he took a dull and rounded plane iron from dull to sharp in a matter of minutes.

Frank's Class (10)

Frank's Class (11)

Throughout the class, Frank told stories and anecdotes about his life as a woodworker and life in general. Frank is one of those speakers who often will wander off on a tangent, telling a story about something that has happened in the past, or that seems un-related but they always circle back to the project at hand and the discussion as a whole. Frank’s stories leave you feeling richer and more enlightened about the world of woodworking. We moved on to the third quadrant of joinery and Frank discussed his thoughts on when to use a joint, and the proper place for joints within a piece. There was a lot of information there, about the differences between reproduction and fine furniture, about Frank’s opinion on when to use which joints, and what it means when you experiment. Frank has some solid opinions, and I got the impression that there is a wrong way to do things, and there is Frank’s way of doing things.

When we discussed the fourth quadrant of finishing, Frank made another point that will stick with me as I continue my woodworking journey. The finish is one of the most important parts. Often times as woodworkers we build a piece and then slap a quick finish on it and call it a day. When we spend so much of our time and effort on a piece, we should spend an equal amount of time and effort on the finish. That finish is what defines the piece in the end, and using cheap hardware or a slap-dash finish can take a wonderful piece and ruin it. It reminded me I want to look into the Finishing the Finish class that Highland offers.

After the whirlwind tour of Frank’s four woodworking quadrants we moved on to the demonstration portions. Frank showed us how he cuts dovetails, how he lays them out pins first, and how he uses gravity to help him mark the tails. We then discussed sliding dovetails, how they develop a watertight joint when they are properly made. Frank showed us the box he uses for his honing stones and how, with no sealer or glue, he is able to craft a water-tight box. Once we were done admiring the wooden gasket that Frank demonstrated for us, we moved on to lunch. Let me tell you, one of the great things about classes at Highland is that you can go out to lunch with folks like Frank Klausz, and you get a pretty decent hamburger as well.

Frank's Class (1)

When we returned from lunch we went back over the dovetails for a bit, and Frank gave every member of the class an example of how he cuts them, so that we could take it home and practice. We then moved on to mortise and tenon joints. Frank explained why you need a mortising chisel and why you need to cut your tenons a little shallow, to allow for wood movement. We discussed the advantages of tools like Festool’s Domino Joiner and the applications of domino joints versus traditional hand-cut joints.

Frank's Class (2)

Frank's Class (3)

Frank's Class (6)

Frank's Class (7)

Frank's Class (8)

Frank's Class (9)

The class ended with more stories and anecdotes from Frank, discussions of life, of the world outside of wood, and of how woodworking impacts all of us. The advice and knowledge I took away from this class made me a better woodworker. It also showed me a path to advance my woodworking and transform the way I do certain things. Not often do you get the opportunity to sit at the feet of a Master, but when you do you take it. I cannot recommend highly enough that you keep an eye on the class listings at Highland Woodworking and that when an opportunity like this presents itself you leap upon it.

The post Frank Klausz at Highland: Watching a True Master at Work appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

360 WoodWorking — Video of What’s Ahead

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 8:21am
We’re not quite ready to launch the full site at 360woodworking.com but we have added a video to the “under construction” home page where Glen Huey, Chuck Bender and I talk about what we have in mind. As with most … Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Chevalet Status Update

McGlynn On Making - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 2:37pm

The front upright is mostly done!  Huzzah!

Finishing this part meant I I had to jump ahead and start making the cross arm that will support the saw mechanism so I could get the notch in the clamp mechanism the right size (ish).  That’s done, and I’m ready to move on to completing the arm mechanism.

I roughed out this cut-out by first drilling a 1.5" hole and then bandsawing into it.  After this picture I got my rasp out and smoothed it out.  The idea of this cut out is to trap parts that fall out of the back of the marquetry packet before they fall on the floor and disappear.

I roughed out this cut-out by first drilling a 1.5″ hole and then bandsawing into it. After this picture I got my rasp out and smoothed it out. The idea of this cut out is to trap parts that fall out of the back of the marquetry packet before they fall on the floor and disappear.

Then I laminated on the side blocks.  I used Old Brown Glue for this, to avoid messing with the finish.  After the glue was dry I planed the surfaces level.

Then I laminated on the side blocks. I used Old Brown Glue for this, to avoid messing with the finish. After the glue was dry I planed the surfaces level.

Then I fit the fron clamping block, and drilled the holes for the bolts.  The plans only call for two bolts, so I made a trip to the HW store for extra bolts.

Then I fit the fron clamping block, and drilled the holes for the bolts. The plans only call for two bolts, so I made a trip to the HW store for extra bolts.

I knifed in the square nuts on the back.  There can't be any protrusions on the back because it would interfere with the marquetry packet, so these will have to get recessed.

I knifed in the square nuts on the back. There can’t be any protrusions on the back because it would interfere with the marquetry packet, so these nuts will have to get recessed.  

I counterbored the holes with a 3/4" forstner bit, then chiseled the walls square.

I counterbored the holes with a 3/4″ forstner bit, then chiseled the walls square.  This was fun!

With the nuts recessed I was in the mood for a test assembly so I could see some progress.  I’m going to attack this with a round over bit later and knock those sharp edges off.

Dry fit

Dry fit

I need to trim the bolts a little bit, about half an inch, so they don't protrude.

I need to trim the bolts a little bit, about half an inch, so they don’t protrude.

Categories: General Woodworking

Looking for inspiration

Kees - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 10:52am
Last week I got a nice board of cherry, and wanted to make another box from it. But I changed my mind. We need a new medicine cupboard for the bathroom, so why not from this board? I really like that 17th century style of carved stuff at the moment, so I looked around for examples of small cupboards. One type is exactly what I am looking for: spice cabinets! At that time, spices were new, hip and expensive. So when you could afford them, you'd like to present them in a favorable manner. That's when the spice cabinet, box or cupboard appeared on the market. A small cupboard, usually with some kind of embellishement like carvings or mouldings. Inside the cupboard you would find small drawers. These cabinets were often very simple, so called boarder furniture. No fancy joinery, just nails. Here are some examples I found on my travels across the internet.

Later, in the 18th century, these cabinets became much more elaborate, just like most furniture. Personally I like the style of the earlier times like in the pictures above. It fits my modest needs a lot better then some miniature high boy:


I am not going to make a direct copy of one of these little cabinets, because the situation demands a slightly different shape and size. I am also not sure about all these drawers, however much I like them, they take up too much space inside the cabinet. So, not quite sure what I am going to make yet, but I am sure that I'll be strongly influenced by this style.

Categories: General Woodworking

The Highland Woodworking Fall 2014 Open House: A Review

Highland Woodworking - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 10:47am

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Highland Woodworking Open house and Hand Tool Extravaganza. The event was an enormous amount of fun. A whole bunch of woodworking knowledge was passed around, stories were told, and a bunch of wood shavings were made. There were some great woodworkers in attendance, including Scott Meek, Chris Kuehn, Frank Klausz, Curtis Turner, and more.

openhouse1I was able to swing by the store on Friday and got to meet some of the folks that were in attendance while the store was not quite as full; in the late hours of Friday evening after work I was able to meet Frank Klausz for the first time. Frank is a wonderful fellow filled with fantastic stories about woodworking and about his life. I also got to watch as Frank tried out some of Scott Meek’s wooden hand planes. Frank set and worked the planes with the hands of a true master of our craft and I could tell that Scott was a bit nervous to have such a woodworking luminary using his tools, maybe wondering what would Frank have to say about the planes. After making a few passes with some of the planes, Frank had nothing but glowing reviews of Scott’s work. He complimented Scott on his fine hand tools and even remarked that he had made a few wooden planes in the past, though none of them were ever as fine and well-made as the ones Scott had on display. I would call this a ringing endorsement, especially for Scott’s class at Highland, on November 8th and 9th, where he will be teaching folks to make these wooden planes.



openhouse6After Frank left to get some dinner I spent some time talking with Curtis Turner, who was in attendance demoing some of the fine tools from Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. I have had my eye on a No. 62 low-angle jack plane for a while and so stood and spoke with Curtis about it. He let me try out the plane with both the toothed blade and the regular blade, and it confirmed what I thought about their tools. In my opinion, Lie-Nielsen tools are the best choice if you have the ability to buy them. Frank Klausz put it to me with a quote that I think sums up my own personal views on tools: “When you purchase a tool like a Lie-Nielsen hand plane, or other fine woodworking tool, you are not the owner; you are the custodian of that tool. Tools such as those are heirlooms that you will pass down through the generations. We do not own them, we hold onto them for the woodworkers that will come after us.”

I closed out my night on Friday wishing Scott the best and letting everyone know I would see them in the morning. When Saturday rolled around I was not quite as early as I wanted to be for the event but still got to spend a few hours hanging around the store and talking with folks. The event was great, Highland had a steady crowd of folks interested in the tools on offer. Frank almost always had a crowd around his bench as he demonstrated his dovetailing techniques and offered his woodworking wisdom. Chris Kuehn was there from Sterling Toolworks, showing off some of his fine tools and inviting people to try their hand with some of his pieces. Scott was making some pretty mean shavings with his hand planes and probably reduced a pine 2×4 down to next to nothing by the end of the day.



The crowd around the various Lie-Nielsen benches was thick and the planes saw a lot of use. I think everyone that got the opportunity to try out one of their fine tools left knowing exactly what you can do with a solid tool. I was personally able to pick up that No. 62 low-angle jack and brought it home to my shop after the event for a test run. It is a beautiful plane and I look forward to working with it on some upcoming projects.



The Highland Woodworking open house was a lot of fun, and a great way to spend a few hours this weekend. I learned quite a bit just standing in the room listening to various woodworkers talk. If you get the opportunity to come to the store for one of these events I highly recommend it. They are filled with people all interested in the craft that we love and the advice can’t be beat.

The post The Highland Woodworking Fall 2014 Open House:
A Review
appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Make Monster Dovetails

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 8:43am

I have, inexplicably, received several questions over the weekend about cutting really big dovetails for workbenches, such as on a tail vise. That’s weird, given that most bench questions I get are about what kind of wood to use (whatcha got? use it), and how the LVL top is holding up (quite splendidly, but I’d not use LVL for a base again). Not to mention, we’ve not published a bench […]

The post Make Monster Dovetails appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Are You Tired of the Studley Tool Chest Yet?

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 8:28am

Recently I was asked if I was ready to wash my hands of the Studley project, both the manuscript for the book VIRTUOSO and the upcoming Studley exhibit next May.  I had to think for a minute, because the truth is I am a bit weary from the pace of working around the homestead, wrapping up Roubo 2, and completing the Studley manuscript and making all the plans and arrangements for the exhibit.


But no, I am not tired of H.O. Studley.  How can you get tired of contemplating and exploring things like this?

Still kicking

Rundell & Rundell - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 7:31am
While most of you who may read the blog would have every right to think that I have fallen off the perch, I thought it best to set the record straight.

Apologies for the abrupt stop in posting the goings on 'round here, but the fact is the goings on have been such that it has not left any time for anything, inclusive of the blog. I've been trying to make amends to an extent by posting photos on Instagram ( which I am still a little unsure about…. ) but I know that doesn't reach everyone.

But I haven't been sitting on my hands. In fact I've been spending almost every waking moment out at the old house at Tylden, removing the termite infested detritus and 60 odd years of terrible additions and repairs and replacing it with a solid frame, new floors, new windows, doors, internal linings, plumbing, roof and the list goes on. The carpentry work being steered by the talented Peter Murphy, who you have probably seen on the blog playing his Uke or guitar, which he plays ( and makes ) with equal measure.

In amongst the works at Tylden, we've had the usual chair, stool, box ( assisted by Brodie Noor - more to follow about this talented person ) and bucket making classes and also a change of school for young Tom, who is now attending Tylden Primary, in readiness for our move into the old house hopefully before the end of the year. The bar and shop too, which are thankfully picking up speed again with the onset of Spring and warmer weather.

Then there's the Lost Trades Fair, which Lisa reminded me just today, is only about 20 weeks away, which may seem a long time, but I know will rush up on us quickly. Applications have been sent out to over double the participants we had at the Fair this year and with the addition of a good handful of kids activities and and other interesting bits and pieces, it's promising to be a great event next year.

So while I can't promise I'll be posting something every few days again, I will ensure that I'll be here more often. But as usual its 1.28AM and time to hit the hay, but stay posted, I'll be back soon.

The beginning

So far….

Categories: General Woodworking

How to Buy Hollows & Rounds Molding Planes

Wood and Shop - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 6:01am


In the above video I share the special moment when I opened my very first set of Hollows & Rounds molding planes. I want to walk you through the advice that I received on how to choose the right features when buying hollows and rounds.



Hollows and Rounds are molding planes that are used to cut moldings for furniture and architectural elements.


But they are the most pure way of cutting the moldings and the most versatile, because they (along with a rabbet plane) allow you to create and recreate any conceivable shape in the wood.


The below photo shows a “dedicated molding plane” (also called a complex molding plane). It is called “dedicated” because it can only cut one profile. This one is an “ovolo” shape. Hollows and rounds, on the other hand, can cut any shape that you can draw. You just remove one hill and valley at a time from the wood.



Hollows and rounds were made in numbered sets, with each number consisting of two handplanes (a pair). For example, a #12 pair would include one #12 hollow (that cuts 60 degree hills) and one #12 round (that cuts 60 degree valleys):


Every plane cuts 60 degrees of a circle, just a different sized section. Think of pizza slices; a large slice and a tiny slice have the same arc at the top.

A full set of hollows and rounds includes 18 pairs (36 total molding planes…wowzers!) numbered 1-18. My friend Bill Anderson recently purchased his first full set ever:


But most people that get a “set” will get a “half set”, which covers just about anything you would ever need to make. The most common half set is an “even numbered half set.” (pairs 2-18). “odd numbered half sets” are less common (pairs 1-17).


I really wanted an even “matched set”, which is a set that was all in an original set when it was made and didn’t get scattered over the years. But budget-minded woodworkers (good boys) can also purchase a “harlequin” set or a “mixed” set. A set that is all “harlequin” is a set where none of the planes came from the same original set. A “mixed set” contains some plains and pairs that were originally together, and also some “harlequin” planes. But of course, it isn’t necessary to have a matched set like mine. You just have to be careful that a harlequin set of hollows & rounds has an accurate transition because not all plane makers had the exact same sizes.



You can cut a whole lot of moldings with just a few pairs of hollows and rounds. Some experts recommend starting off with one or two pairs that fall inbetween sizes #4-#12. Matt Bickford is one of the few people who currently makes & sells hollows and rounds, and he’s the author or “Mouldings in Practice” (you can buy it here and download a free chapter here). He shared his recommendation here:

“…I often recommend starting with either pairs of 6s and 10s…or 4s and 8s…”.

Here is a video preview of his recent DVD called “Moldings in Practice” (yes, the same name as his book):

I purchased this DVD (from Lie-Nielsen here) and really found it incredibly helpful.

Matt wrote a great introductory article for Lost Art Press called “Moulding Planes: Where to Startthat you can read here. You can also see his lovely hollows & round sets here.

Matt also wrote this article “The Case for Hollows & Rounds” in Popular Woodworking Magazine.


But if you are on a tighter budget (can’t afford $3,750 for his half sets), you should purchase some antique hollows & rounds like me (see links at the bottom were you can find antique sets). But believe me, if I had more money then I would most certainly purchase a crisp new half set from Matt.



The angle at which the iron sits inside the plane, in relation to the horizontal workbench, is called “pitch”. Here are the following pitches that you’ll encounter in hollows and rounds molding planes:

  • “Common pitch” (45°): This pitch is like bench planes, and is more suitable for softwoods.
  • “York pitch” (50°): Works for woods that are inbetween soft and hard
  • “Middle pitch” (55°): ideal for a wider range of hardwoods.
  • “Cabinet” or “Half” pitch (60°): Good for very hard and difficult woods.


I followed the recommendation of some friends who suggested that I purchase a set of hollows and rounds that were either “cabinet pitch” or “middle pitch”. Funny enough, my set has 58° pitch, which is right in the center!



I purchased my hollows and rounds with skewed irons, because I want to be able to cut profiles all the way around a board (like on a table). But straight across irons also have their strengths. They cut a bit more cleanly when you are cutting along the grain. But I wanted to have more of a hybrid style that could cut both with the grain and across the grain.



If you have the time and interest to make your own hollows and rounds, then you’re in luck! Larry Williams released an excellent DVD called “Making Traditional Side Escapement Planes” which shows how to make hollows and rounds planes. You can purchase it from Lie-Nielsen here. See the preview of the DVD below:


Below you’ll find links to the best places to look for hollows and rounds (both sets and pairs), along with links to other resources:

I hope this has helped! You’ll see my set of hollow & round molding planes in plenty of future videos!


It’s finish time!

She Works Wood - Sun, 10/19/2014 - 7:27pm
I finished up all the details on the cabinet and started finishing.  Yipppeee!  After lots of edge softening, sanding and other detail work, I started with a base coat of shellac.
Categories: General Woodworking

Weekend in Franklin, TN

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Sun, 10/19/2014 - 6:32pm

This weekend my wife and I traveled down to  Franklin, Tennessee to check out a pop up show called The City Farmhouse Market. If you’re not familiar with a pop up show, it’s basically an antique show where nearly all the vendors specialize in shabby chic decor. While a show like this may be a very boring show for most men, women tend to love it.

We were checking out the show to see if it would be something Anita would be interested doing next year. She was offered to set up a booth this year, but we wanted to scope the show out first to see if it would be worth the effort.

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There were plenty of vendors, about 150 in total, but nearly all the booths were the same. Plus the prices for the items were very high. Nothing to buy if you were a picker trying to resell something.

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Here is a close up of a particular booth. As you can see, the style is shabby chic to farm-house style. If you subscribe to Country Living magazine, you’ll know all about this style. If you subscribe to Wood magazine, then you probably have no idea what this crap is all about.

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During the day, I was able to spot a few old workbenches for sale. I have no idea what people do with these things. The only thing I can think of, is that they could be used as a display table in a small business that’s going after an industrial look. Whether or not people actually sell these things I have no clue. I have seen plenty of them for sale, but I’ve never seen anyone load one up in their truck if you know what I mean.

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These workbenches don’t come cheap either. They were $795 and $1,295 and neither one of them came with a BenchCrafted tail vise.

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The next day after the show, we decided to head into Nashville on our way home and check out American Picker’s Antique Archeology store. If you watch the History Channel then you’ve probably seen their show. Mike and Frank pick through random people’s property buying items so that they could resell them. I’ve followed the show since the first season and firmly believe that the current seasons are more scripted than actual reality, but that’s another topic for another day.

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The store is rather small and filled with more American Picker t-shirts and coffee  mugs than antiques they’ve picked for sale. Plus, if it was an item they’ve picked, you’ll pay a pretty penny for it. The place actually reminded me of a gift shop at a Hard Rock Cafe. It’s a very popular stop as the line to get into the store was fifty people long. Luckily we got there 20 minutes before the store opened and were the first customers at the door.

After viewing the items in the store, I bought my $27 t-shirt because I knew I’d never be back. After that, Anita and I headed out of town stopping at antique stores on our way back home.


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by Dr. Radut