Jump to Navigation

Hand Tool Headlines

The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway!  Enjoy!

Thank you to everyone who contributed towards Walt Quadrato's battle against cancer!  Their fundraising goal was met.  Our prayers are with you, Walt!  

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

Inheriting Tools

She Works Wood - 7 hours 36 min ago
In 1980, I was in college and I met Peggy Sarjeant.  Peggy and her family very quickly became  and continue to be my second family.  Matter of fact, all these year later, she lives down the street and her parents (Bill and Faye) live a couple of hours north.  So on Friday, she sent me […]
Categories: General Woodworking

Second Saw Handle Roughed Out

McGlynn On Making - 10 hours 17 min ago

I had a little time after work yesterday and decided to rough out a second handle for the backsaw project.  I made the first one in some dark Claro Walnut, but I was concerned that I would screw it up when cutting the slot or doing the final shaping of contours.  So I decided to cary a spare along through the process.

This one is also Claro, but it’s a marbled color with an interesting spray of figure.  I slabbed it out of a turning block I picked out of a sale bin years ago, I can only get one handle as there is a crack in the block.  It’s too bad because this one has some great color.


Two handles rough shaped

On the second handle I used the scroll saw to profile it after drilling the holes.  This worked a bit better than the bandsaw cuts as there was less waste to clean up.  Both methods work fine, but I like having to do less rasp work to get the the lines on the pattern.

From here, the next step is the scary slotting of the handle for the saw plate.  It actually turned out not to be a big deal, maybe the saw gods were watching over me.  I used a marking gauge to scribe a centerline where I wanted to cut, then used another saw to start the key all the way around to a depth of about 1/8″.  Then I worked the kerf deeper and before I knew it I was watching to see that I hit the stop marks for depth.

Getting ready to saw the first handle slot.

Getting ready to saw the first handle slot.

On the first handle I used my 14ppt crosscut saw, I know this is a rip cut but I was concerned that the narrow very my dovetail saw leaves would be too thin for the saw plate.  I didn’t saw quite as perfectly as I’d like, there are a couple of spots where the teeth gouged the side of the keep making the opening look slightly uneven.  But it’s centered and straight and functional.

For the second blanks I used my trusty dovetail saw.  I cut a nice crisp slot with no tear out…that was too tight for the saw plate.  So I re-sawed the kerf with the crosscut saw and that opened it up just enough to fit the saw back.

Both handles slotted.  The one on the left is a little sloppy, but I think it will look fine when it's all shaped and assembled.

Both handles slotted. The one on the left is a little sloppy, but I think it will look fine when it’s all shaped and assembled.

Once I get some coffee I’ll head out to the shop and do the next step — which is to fit the saw plate and back to the handle.  The saw plate need to be clipped to set against the back of the slot, and I need to layout and cut the mortise for the bronze back.  With that done I’ll be able to fit the fasteners, and do the final shaping on the handle.  This should go relatively quickly, although I’m already wishing I hadn’t said that out loud.

Saw plate test fit into handle.  The plate needs to be clipped at an angle so it can settle completely against the slot in the handle.

Saw plate test fit into handle. The plate needs to be clipped at an angle so it can settle completely against the slot in the handle.

Just in case something goes amiss and neither of these handles work out, I picked up a couple of scraps of wood at Global Wood Source in Santa Clara.  These will also be useful “just in case” everything goes well and I decide I need to build a bunch more saws to fill the gaps in my saw till.

One is tiger stripe figured Honduran Mahogany, the other is Granadilo.  The Granadilo is a South American wood that is used as a tone wood in guitars.  It’s heavy, and the coloring looks like East Indian Rosewood to me.

Extra handle material.  Just in case.

Extra handle material. Just in case.

Rough Shaping the Handle

Roughing the handle in — that is, getting the handle contours cut and smoothed — is pretty basic stuff.  It helps a lot to have a nice pattern to glue to the wood and use as a guide.  I wanted to share the sources for handle patterns that I’ve found:

Saw Handle Templates on CraftsmanSpace.com

Blackburn Tools offers saw handle templates for the kits they sell, these are slick because they are all available is different hand sizes.  Isaac also has scans of actual handles for a number of vintage saws.

Wenzloff and Sons have several patterns available on their site.  They used to sell kits and parts, but they have reduced their line and I’m not sure how active they are in saw making these days.

Two Guys In A Garage, which is a great and unpretentious name, have a nice selection of patterns for many different vintage saws, including one for the Disston saw in my Millers Falls miter box.  Hmmm…  They also have parts for building saws including folded backs.

Tools for Working Wood sells a nice looking dovetail saw kit, their instruction packet includes a pattern for the handle and tips of cutting the slot and mortising for the saw back.


Categories: General Woodworking

Darrell Peart

360 WoodWorking - 13 hours 46 min ago

Peart_HeadDarrel Peart builds custom furniture, inspired by the style of Greene & Greene in Seattle, Washington. He also teaches several classes a year in his shop. Before becoming an independent furnituremaker, Darrell worked in the custom cabinet industry. He is the author of two books, “Greene & Greene: Design Elements for the Workshop” and “In the Greene & Greene Style: Projects and Details for the Woodworker” in addition to numerous magazine articles.

Click Here to Visit Darrell Peart’s Website where you see examples of his work, purchase his books and sign up for a class.



Today’s Free Article – Precision Woodworking by Darrell Peart

360 WoodWorking - 13 hours 47 min ago

PeartTenons360 WoodWorking – Premier Issue

Furnituremaker Darrell Peart discusses the methods he uses to build beautiful custom furniture efficiently (and profitably) from a small shop. It isn’t all about tools and equipment, it’s also about attitudes and good habits.

This article is the third release of our first issue, and is available for free.

Click Here to Read Other Articles in the Premier Issue of 360 WoodWorking

Click Here to Read the Article Online or Download the PDF version.

This is the type of in depth content that will be available to our subscribers in 2015.


Sign up for our newsletter and come back tomorrow for our next free article.

1-800-FLOWERS. Wow you really suck!

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 3:27pm

My years spent both as an electrician and in electrical sales have taught me something about customer service. Customer service is much more than a friendly demeanor, or a reassuring voice; first and foremost, customer service is about getting the job done correctly and on time. I’ve found that all of the friendly smiles and kind words in the world don’t really mean shit if you can’t do the job.

So with tomorrow being my wedding anniversary, I thought I would surprise my wife with a nice flower arrangement, balloons, and some chocolates sent to her office. Normally for our anniversary we like to go to a nice restaurant, but because a member of my wife’s family has been experiencing some health issues, those plans had to be cancelled. On Monday I went on the 1-800-FLOWERS web site and placed the order, figuring that four days should be more than enough lead time to make a local flower delivery. To its credit, the process was easy. From what I gather, 1-800-FLOWERS is a network of affiliated florists, and a flower shop near my wife’s office was contracted to do the arrangement and delivery. I received a confirmation e-mail which said that on the morning of the delivery I would receive an email notifying me when the delivery left the florist, and then another notification of delivery. I printed the confirmation and went on with my day.

Today, the day which the delivery was supposed to be made, I began to get a little nervous by around 2pm when I hadn’t received a notice of shipment from the florist. By 3pm, I had decided to call 1 800 FLOWERS customer service, as my wife’s office, like most offices, is open from 8am-430pm. A customer service representative, from the far east, who was very friendly, called the flower shop and did indeed find that the arrangement had not left the shop yet. I explained to the customer service agent that my wife would be leaving work soon, and he asked if I would like the delivery to be sent to my house. I was okay with that, and once again he put me on hold to speak to the florist. A few minutes later he was back and explained that because my house was more than 10 miles from the florist, and because it was a Friday, they really didn’t want to make the delivery there, BUT, they would get the flowers to my wife by 430 pm at her office, and they would give me a phone call when they left for the delivery. 430 came and went, so I called my wife and asked her if she received a flower delivery, thus ruining the surprise, she had not. I called customer service again and was told that they were running a little late, and they would be there shortly. The excuse being that because of the holidays they were busy and unable to make deliveries on time, which is sort of like a restaurant telling customers not to show up around dinner time because they just can’t get the food cooked. Anyway, 45 minutes comes and goes and no delivery, and at this point my wife has to leave.

I called up 1 800 FLOWERS yet again and told them to cancel the order. After the customer service rep spent 5 minutes trying to convince me to reschedule the delivery, I began to get angry, as in very angry. At this point, I told them to cancel it or there would be a problem. I was put on hold for 15 minutes, which didn’t do much to make me any happier, and the order was finally cancelled.

I’ve experienced some bad customer service in my life, we all have, but this was by far one of the worst experiences. Several very nice emails I sent this morning inquiring about my order went unanswered, and it was only until I made threats that I finally got a miniscule amount of help. So I would like to go on record thanking 1 800 FLOWERS for royally fucking up my surprise and nice gesture, and then completely dropping the ball after the fact. So would I recommend 1 800 FLOWERS? No, I wouldn’t. They fucking suck balls.

Categories: General Woodworking

How to Build a Desk with Hand Tools – Part 1: Dovetail Carcass

Wood and Shop - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 9:42am



In this series of videos you can follow me as I build a historic hinged-top desk for my sons, as a Christmas gift. The best part is that they’ve helped me build it! You can see the list of tools that I used at the bottom of this page.

 In the video I suggested that you make the desk according to your size requirements, but here are the measurements that I used: the base is 30-in. x 24-in. The rear piece is 8-in tall and the front piece is 5″ tall. These carcass pieces are soft white pine.  But you can use different types of wood.
I drew the angles on the side pieces, cut close to the line with a rip saw, then planed them down to my layout lines with a #7 jointer plane. I then cut through-dovetails all around the carcass, and used half-lap dovetails on the bottom tails to hide the groove that I plowed for the bottom. I have covered these skills in previous tutorials, so see them here:
At my local home center I found some tongue and grooved pine bead boards to create the bottom of my desk. They are about 1/4″ thick. I made sure to leave a little space so they can expand during seasonal changes, but not too spaced out that I could see gaps of light.
The legs and skirt are held together with double-sided mortise and tenon joints, which I’ll show you how to do in the next videos. The skirt is made from white pine and the legs are made from Southern Yellow Pine.
Two years ago Roy Underhill showed me how to simply rip the quartersawn sides off a 2×12 yellow pine construction board (from Lowes or Home Depot) and use them as stable wood for the legs.
After ripping the boards to a rough width with my rip handsaw, I then used some basic power tools to square of the boards that would be used for the legs, stretchers, and parts for the lid. On smaller projects I normally square my boards with hand tools, but milling this many boards by hand wouldn’t allow me to finish this desk by Christmas. So don’t feel guilty using basic power tools (jointer, planer, table saw) for milling your boards square and straight! You can even omit the power jointer and just use a power planer to speed things up. But I’ll be mad if you use power tools for the joints! If you really want to build this entire desk with just hand tools, then see my tutorial on squaring/milling boards by hand here.
You’ll notice that I use my chisel to make roman numerals to keep track of which mortise goes to which tenon.
 If you need more clarification on cutting mortise and tenon joints, then please see my mortise and tenon tutorial here.
In the following videos I’ll build the base (legs, skirts, stretchers), peg my tenons tight with a technique called drawboring, build the lid, and apply an antique-style finish.


Even though I have a helpful hand tool buying guide (here), I’m still often asked for a list of and links to the tools that I use in my videos, so here is a list of tools that I used in this series of video on desk building (I also included tools that I used in construction that wasn’t in the video):











What to do if you can’t find that choice piece of wood

Highland Woodworking - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 8:56am

When designing furniture one of the things that makes a piece go from the mundane, to “WOW that’s a nice piece”, is choosing an awesome looking piece of wood to feature in the project. It could be anything from that great figure in the wood, to the spalting streaks, and even the cracks and imperfections that make it stand out.

Oftentimes when I go to the lumberyard with a design in mind, I am looking for one of those WOW pieces of wood to feature. However, most times I just can’t find exactly what I am looking for. The stack has either been picked through by others before I got there, sorted out before that particular shipment arrived at the dealer, or mother nature just didn’t provide what I wanted that day.

Not all is lost; there are other resources such as veneering, as well as other woodworking techniques that can be employed to mimic the desired piece. Much like in the case of my recent project. I was building a bench and wanted to add a decorative feature by putting butterfly inlays over a crack in the wood. I scoured all of my local lumberyards within a two-hour drive of my shop to no avail. It seemed that the perfect piece of cherry that I could visualize in my imagination just didn’t exist in real life.

Once I was out of lumberyards to visit, I started thinking of other options I could use to incorporate the use of butterfly inlays. I didn’t like any of the options I came up with so I decided to make my own crack.

I started out by jointing the two boards I picked out for the top to be sure I like how they looked together. I then sketched the shape of the crack I wanted on the top and on the ends of the boards. I used a carving wheel on my grinder, various rasps, and sandpaper to create the shape. I worked slowly taking only a few passes at a time and then sliding the boards together to be sure I was on the right track in making a shape I liked.

When I was finished, I had carved a convex shape on one board and a matching concaved shape on the other. The resulting shape made it look like they had been one piece that had split apart. I thought it looked great with the crack in the wood meandering back a few inches from the end.

Before gluing the two boards together, I stained the area I had carved on making it look like the split in the wood had been there for a long time. I think the result was a nice solution when I was not able to find that choice piece of wood in the wild.

Bench Leg View


Brian Benham has made his lifelong passion for woodworking his profession. He enjoys taking his clients ideas and combining them with traditional woodworking techniques to create a unique piece of furniture.

You can find more about his furniture at http://www.benhamdesignconcepts.com/

You can Follow Brian on Google Plus

The post What to do if you can’t find that choice piece of wood appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Mark Arnold

360 WoodWorking - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 4:03am

arnold_headshotMark Arnold has been making furniture since he was 15 and his father filled up the basement with woodworking tools and walnut that he had harvested on his Ohio farm. Mark continued to experiment with woodworking throughout his high school and college years. During a study abroad experience in France in his junior year of college, Mark was captivated by the pieces he saw in The Best Craftsmen in France, an annual exhibition featuring the work of highly skilled cabinet makers, carvers, and marqueteurs. Upon returning to the U.S. and finishing his degree, he worked as a finish carpenter for two years, and then applied to North Bennet Street School’s Cabinet and Furniture Making program from which he graduated in 1996.  Mark has been making furniture professionally ever since, cultivating a special interest in Federal furniture, inlay and veneer work. Although inspired by period furniture, he loves adding his own design elements to the mix to create truly original pieces. Mark has received several awards for his work exhibited at arts and crafts fairs. He has written articles for  Woodwork Magazine, Fine Woodworking and Popular Woodworking, and was also the editor of American Period Furniture for eight years. He has taught at Marc Adams School of Woodworking, Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, The Chautauqua Institution, and at his own shop in Central Ohio. Visit www.bostonwoodworking.com to learn more.

To see his portfolio of work online, click here.

Today’s Free Article – Reeding with Mark Arnold

360 WoodWorking - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 4:00am

Reeding_Arnold360 WoodWorking – Premier Issue

Reeding Between the Lines

by Mark Arnold

Furnituremaker Mark Arnold, a graduate of the North Bennet Street School and former editor of American Period Furniture presents a combination of history and how-to in this article that explores both the design aspects of reeding and how to create this detail efficiently in your own shop.

This article is the second release of our first issue.

Click Here to Read Other Articles in the First Issue of 360 WoodWorking

Click Here to Read This Article Online of Download the PDF Version

This is the type of in depth content that will be available to our subscribers in 2015.


Sign up for our newsletter and come back tomorrow for our next free article.

Some bits & pieces

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 6:04pm

small chest

It’s been about 6 months that I’ve been “out on my own” (I think Roy Underhill called it “free at last”) but I still haven’t really settled into a woodworking routine like I once had…Today, I picked up where I left off over a year and a half ago – finishing a small joined chest I made for Roy’s show in 2013…  http://video.pbs.org/video/2365021510/ and http://video.pbs.org/video/2365079634/

I’ve only had it kicking around for I don’t know how long, and it took all of an hour to finish it off. Needed to drive four nails, trim the floor boards, and set one hinge.

trimming floor boards


inside chest


How stupid that I left it so long! It’s been on the blog in pieces a number of times, I even took it back to Roy’s this past summer, where it was the model for our week-long chest class. Now – it’s done. I copied its proportions from some English examples, it’s quite small. 30″ w x 20″ h x 17″ d. A mixture of sawn and riven oak, with pine floor boards and rear panel. No decoration other than the bevels around the panels. Paneled lid, interior till. It’s for sale if anyone’s interested; send an email if you’d like to talk about it. $2,000 plus shipping. or pick it up. 


I finished this carved rail for the upcoming wainscot chair – started this carving as a museum demonstration at Historic New England in early December – at least it’s not waiting around 18 months. I’m working now on getting that chair moving along steadily; doing some joinery on it tomorrow. The panel is mostly carved, that should be done tomorrow too. 

carved rail 


Updated the teaching schedule – http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2015-teaching-schedule/  a couple of additions,

a hewn bowl class at Lie-Nielsen in late August, https://www.lie-nielsen.com/workshop/USA/71

a splitting & riving class with Plymouth CRAFT in May in Plymouth Massachusetts; http://plymouthcraft.org/?tribe_events=splitting-a-log-into-boards

and we’re adding a 2nd 3-day class at Roy’s (it’s not posted yet) the first one sold out so quickly that we figured let’s add one…so mid-June in Pittsboro, NC. http://www.woodwrightschool.com/spoon-carving-w-peter-f/

Here’s some bowl shots from the other day. 

hewn bowl

hewn catalpa & birch


While on the subject of classes – I was talking to the fellow who’s lining up the oak for the joined chest class at Bob Van Dyke’s Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking – this is oak like you won’t believe. If you’ve seen the posts I’ve done recently about the extra-wide oak – same source. Wow. This class is maybe half-full, or nearly so. A time commitment, but a project that will really be something. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/one-of-next-years-projects-a-carved-chest-w-drawers-at-cvsww/





Maureen is still willing to mail stuff in time – https://www.etsy.com/shop/MaureensFiberArts


King Coal

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 4:22pm

With the Virtuoso manuscript out of my hands until the page proofs sometime in the coming weeks, and Roubo on Furniture not requiring my all-day-every-day reviewing just yet, I have begun to spend more time outside and in the shop.  Since I haven’t even unpacked all my tools yet, much less arranged them in an orderly fashion, it feels good to be up the hill puttering and actually doing productive work on projects.


It has been a fairly mild December thus far, which is a nice break after the brutal November.  One of the primary issues for the barn workshop is, of course, heating my work space in a locale with bitter winters.  Last winter my pal Tony installed a cast iron stove he’d found for me on one of his remodeling jobs.  It was a Coalbrookdale Severn stove, a bi-fuel Brit import no longer being made as far as I know.  Despite its compact footprint it weighs in at just under 500 pounds.

Since I was pretty busy with a lot of other things last winter I did not spend much time in the barn shop, so I only used the stove a few times because it takes so long to build up enough heat to be useful to me, while the kerosene heater gets the space warm in just a few minutes.


Now that I will be working out there more, and for longer stretches at a time, I have been playing with the Severn stove.  Yep, once it gets going, it is a terrific heat source.  But, its firebox is fairly small and I found myself going down about every hour to stoke it (it is in the basement underneath my shop, and the heat radiates nicely up to my space above).  I was talking to some of my wood harvesting pals about the use of coal as a fuel in this stove, and Bob said he had a pile of hard anthracite coal for me to try with.  I fired it up with coal yesterday and love it!  It takes a long time to get up to temperature, but once it does it burns long and hot, usually 8-12 hours per charge.  Even though I have not yet mastered the nuances of the stove — starting a coal fire is more complex than simply starting a wood fire, in fact the latter must precede the former — its performance is pretty impressive.  Yesterday it had the shop in the high 60s, which is a good 15 degrees more than I need.


I’ve seen the future, and it is black.  At least the “heating the barn” part.  I’ll burn my way through Bob’s coal pile then for next winter order a couple pallets of bagged anthracite to heat all winter long.  Soon I will add an in-stovepipe heat exchanger to extract even more heat from the pipe running up through the shop.  With January soon upon us, and the locals talk about January with a mixture of warning and respect, I hope to be ready.

Shaker Living Room Suite – Free Plans

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 1:18pm

I’m (theoretically) off work from now through January (I already know I’ll be popping into the shop a few times over the holiday, though, and I’ve a massive pile of editing to get through). But just in case I consume too much eggnog in the coming weeks and forget, here’s my holiday gift: a PDF collection of the articles on the three Shaker-inspired pieces I’ve built for my living room. […]

The post Shaker Living Room Suite – Free Plans appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Woodworking Wishlist 2014: Curtis Turner

Highland Woodworking - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 7:00am

Some of our bloggers are still working on their 2014 Holiday Woodworking Tool Wish Lists. Just in case you are still working on yours (or haven’t even started yet!), here are some ideas to get you going. And don’t forget to create your own woodworking wish list on our website by CLICKING HERE.

Today we’ve got Highland Woodturner contributor, Curtis Turner’s wish list:

Why We Make Things and Why It Matters by Peter Korn

A woodworking friend suggested that I should read this book.  It’s not a typical woodworking book it is more inspirational than instructional.

Festool Systainer-1 Box with 1300 Spax Screws

I already use Spax screws.  So, I guess I don’t need 1,300 screws but this is a great selection of sizes and lengths packaged in a useful way. I really “want” this!

Highland Hardware Black Flexible CA Glue – 1 oz.

This looks like it would be helpful in some situations. I have always wanted to try this out.  It will make a great stocking suffer!

Hirsch #7 Straight Gouge – 35mm

I have a similar sized Hirsch bent gouge that is fantastic.  So, I know the straight gouge would also be helpful.  This is similar to the one Paul Seller used for spoon carving in this video.

Japanese Silky Bigboy X-Coarse Folding Saw

I have the smaller version of this saw and it is just awesome.  I had a chance to check out this “Bigboy” saw the last time I was in the store, and it went straight on my wish list.

The post Woodworking Wishlist 2014: Curtis Turner appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Today’s Free Article – Byrdcliffe Iris Desk

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 6:41am

A_IMG_0071_1360 WoodWorking – Premier Issue

Join Robert W. Lang in an in depth examination of the Byrdcliffe Iris desk, an iconic piece of Arts & Crafts furniture. You’ll learn the history of this piece and you’ll see numerous detailed photos. You’ll also discover a hidden flaw that might derail plans to build a reproduction.

This article is the first release of our first issue, and is available for free.

Click Here to Read the Article Online or Download the PDF version.

This is the type of in depth content that will be available to our subscribers in 2015.


Sign up for our newsletter and come back tomorrow for our next free article.


Who gives a rat’s a$$?

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 7:10pm

I’ve noticed lately that quite a few of the blogs I follow on WordPress(both woodworking and other topics), as well as other blog sites, have sidebars that contain what I consider meaningless little factoids about themselves. Normally, I would say “who f@#king cares?” but lately an odd sense of tranquility has befallen me, so I’ll bite and present a few of my own take on these “interesting  facts”.

Currently Reading: The stuff I’m typing on the computer screen. My eyes both point straight ahead, so I can only read one thing at a time. If ‘currently reading’ means ‘book’,  then, would anybody really care? Though I’m pleasantly surprised that so many people have decided to follow my blog and apparently enjoy reading my thoughts, I find it really hard to believe that somebody would care what book I happen to be reading in my spare time. If I do happen to be reading a book, I will mention it if I think it’s relative to the topic. Otherwise, I think it’s pretty self-important and arrogant to even mention it.

Currently Drinking: Nothing. I had some iced tea not too long ago. I usually drink a cup of coffee in the morning when I get to work. If this refers to ‘alcoholic beverage’, then nothing, either. I’m not a lush and don’t drink while I enter blog posts. In fact, I don’t drink much at all because I’m an adult. Every now and then I drink a little wine, or a mixed drink if I’m at a wedding or similar type event. I’ll admit that I’m somewhat vain, in a healthy sort of way. I go to the gym and lift weights on a regular basis, I try to eat healthy, I do a lot of walking. I want to keep a flat stomach, and in my opinion drinking a lot of beer doesn’t help matters. I don’t know too many middle aged guys who drink a lot of beer that are also not flabby and weak, and even more importantly, look flabby and weak.

I did all the drinking I needed to by the time I was 25. After that I put on my big boy pants and became a full-fledged grown-up.

Currently Listening to: Once again, nothing. On the way home from work I listened to the area station that plays Christmas music 24 hours per day until the season ends. In my opinion this is another piece of information that is completely useless. What music I am listening to, or what any other person is listening to for that matter, bears no relevance. If I were listening to Led Zepplin would that make a difference? Would you say, “I really didn’t like this guy at first, but now that I know he’s a Zep fan I think he’s alright!” Or how about Chopin? Does it really matter? Will my choice in background music drastically change your opinion about me? If so, you’re a lot shallower than I thought. And if you want to listen to what I am listening to just because I’m listening to it…well that’s pretty creepy. When I was 15 it was probably pretty important for me to know which type of music the people I came in contact with happened to like. Now, I really couldn’t care less.
I’ve come across many other blogs with “vanity” sidebars, but at the least most of them had some bearing on the type of blog they were on, for example: current project, or latest tool purchase. Those are two topics I consider relevant if they happen to be on a woodworking blog. Otherwise, the rest is a lot of fluff. Why does it bother me? It actually doesn’t. I came home from work in a bad mood and I feel like complaining about something. Because my contact with the professional woodworking world has been virtually non-existent over the past few months, I have very little to complain about when it comes to woodworking. This is all I could come up with. I know, it’s pretty lame, but does anybody really care?

Categories: General Woodworking

Making Stir-Fry Spatulas from Curly Oak

The Literary Workshop Blog - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 6:20pm

We all know about curly maple, but how about curly oak?  I didn’t know it existed until I started salvaging wood down here in Alabama.  One day I found that some brush had been cleared across the street from my house, and I picked up the bole of a small water oak tree

Curly Water Oak Spatulas 2014 - - 2The water oaks, sometimes called swamp oak, are common around here, and they often go down in storms because of their shallow root systems. The wood is much more close-grained than your usual oaks, so it’s about the only oak that I’ve found suitable for woodenware.

I split the log open, only to find that the whole tree was a knotty corkscrew.  The grain spiraled around the whole trunk, so it wouldn’t split straight. There were a number of other defects, so I only managed to get a few usable pieces, one of which you see here.  I wasn’t sure how to handle the twisty grain, so I sealed the ends and set them aside to dry.   This piece sat around for years until I dug it out last week.

Curly Water Oak Spatulas 2014 - - 1

Moment of truth: yes, my workbench usually is this cluttered. You don’t need much bench space to make a spoon.

The natural twist, I decided, would make great stir-fry spatulas.  Following the grain, I could make a wide spatula with a natural scoop without any grain running out.  The resulting utensil would be both light and strong.  So I drew out two spatulas on the blank and sawed them out with my bow saw.

The wood worked easily, though the curly figure resulted in much tear-out.  I spent more time than usual scraping and sanding.  As with other curly woods, I found that sometimes cutting perpendicular to the grain was the best approach to avoiding tear-out.

The results were well worth the effort.

Curly Water Oak Spatulas 2014 - - 3

These spatulas were some of the first things to sell at last week’s craft show.

Tagged: bow saw, curly oak, stir-fry spatula, swamp oak, tear-out, water oak

Jersey Jon Visits Bearing Gifts

The Barn on White Run - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 4:59pm


As you may recall, this past July I attended the annual Martin J. Donnelly toolapalooza warehouse cleanout auction, when more than three thousand lots of tools in less than twenty hours of auctioneering.  My old friend Jon was there with me, it was his first time there and it blew his mind.  At his strong suggestion I bid on and won a superb vintage Lamson machinist’s lathe, to bring back to the barn and add to my inventory.  To sweeten the deal, Jon offered to tune up the headstock and outfit the unit with a new drive mechanism.


Recently Jon dropped by the barn on his way home from a vacation of vintage motorcycling with his pal Mike from the Pickers television show (I believe Jon was one of the brains who came up with the show’s idea) and brought with him the refurbished headstock and the attached new drive motor.  He had done some bearing work and scavenged a DC motor and control from a treadmill, his favorite source for machine motors.


We spent a few hours assembling the lathe and getting it running, which was very exciting. Watching the first hot curling chips come off was quite a thrill.


Jon will return in a month or so to finish the tune-up, as only someone with almost two dozen lathes can.


Together we will try to decode the thread cutting chart on the lathe.


After the obligatory portrait of a fashionable man with his retro-fashionable lathe, we bid each other farewell as he raced for home to beat the coming snowstorm.

Jon’s account in the Bank of Don is full to overflowing.

The Highland Woodturner- December 2014

Highland Woodworking - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 2:36pm

hwt45We’ve just released our December issue of The Highland Woodturner.

This month we’ve got some oldies but goodies including a popular tip from Phil Colson on how he is able to find FREE wood for his woodturning projects! We also included Aaron Cooley’s Wood News article on his organization, We Ride to Provide, which turns wooden urns for fallen K-9 teams.

Curtis Turner discusses Safety While Woodturning, including the important use of Face Shields and how they can help protect you from a looming accident. He also gets a start to the New Year by suggesting some helpful New Years Resolutions for your woodturning practice.

Rick Morris is back with an article on Creating a Turned Bandsaw Table Insert after he accidentally busted his old insert when he didn’t use a clamp on his bandsaw. He goes through the steps of turning your own insert and in the end you’ll have a suitable replacement!

We’ve also got the beautiful wood turnings of John Perrella who turns bowls made entirely out of Eastern hardwood trees.

And for all you last minute holiday shoppers, we’ve got our updated 2014 Woodturner’s Holiday Gift Guide!

All of this and more in our December 2014 issue of The Highland Woodturner!


The post The Highland Woodturner- December 2014 appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Hilla Shamia ‘Wood Casting’ – Very Cool

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 1:06pm

Hilla Shamia’s work is among the most arresting marriages of wood and metal I’ve seen. Her pieces are made using a casting process Shamia developed while working toward a bachelor’s degree in industrial design at the Holon Institute of Technology in Holon, Israel. (She now has her own studio.) She calls it Wood Casting, and has trademarked the process. Shamia uses whole trunks of mostly local trees; they are cut […]

The post Hilla Shamia ‘Wood Casting’ – Very Cool appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

360 WoodWorking First Issue – Rolling Release

360 WoodWorking - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 9:49am

360 Woodworking Bob Lang

Bob Lang

When Glen, Chuck and I decided to start 360 WoodWorking we went back to basics so that we could create great woodworking content in a format that made sense in the digital age. Paper, ink, newsstand sales and an issue arriving every other month in your mailbox were no longer constraints. You can read more on the topic at our “About Us” page.

Starting tomorrow, we’ll be rolling out the first “article” of our first “issue”, and you’ll see a new article every day until the entire issue is available. This premier release will be free, and will continue to be available for free as our way of introducing our content to the woodworking world. It’s a good representation of what our subscribers can expect to see.

360 Woodworking Glen Huey

Glen D. Huey

After January 1, 2015 this type of content will only be available to subscribers. Next year, we will release six “issues”, about every 8 weeks. But we aren’t going to make you wait two months and then dump everything in your lap. Our subscribers will enjoy a fresh presentation (we don’t mind if you call it an article), video or online class every week. When we reach the end of the cycle, subscribers will see a “major release” of several project articles. In each issue cycle, there will be loads of content; articles on techniques, visits to interesting places, information from experienced and entertaining woodworkers and great project builds.

Our first “free issue” contains eight articles and more than 100 pages of advertising free content. Plus, we thought releasing it this way would make the point that there will be a constant stream of content for our subscribers. What you’ll see each day in the next week is typical of what you’ll see each week next year.

360 Woodworking Chuck Bender

Chuck Bender

If you’re asking yourself “Okay, how do I subscribe?” CLICK HERE

If you’re not quite ready to sign up, that’s why we’re giving away an entire issue for free. We think you’ll enjoy what we (and our contributors) produce and the format in which we present it. If you’ve enjoyed our work in print magazines, books, videos, online and in classes you’ll find our unique combination of presenting solid woodworking information in a variety of formats a refreshing change and an excellent value.

All of our articles will be presented as as online versions that you can read anywhere you have an internet connection and as PDF files you can download (most have embedded video). You’ll have to check back to see exactly what’s coming, and the best way to make sure you don’t miss anything is to sign up for our newsletter, or become a paid subscriber. The following pictures will give you some clues.


Detailed drawings are included with every project, ready for you to print and take to the shop.

360 Woodworking MortiseTenon

Clear illustrations and in depth explanations can be found for basic, intermediate and advanced woodworkers.

360 WoodWorking Web Presentation

360 WoodWorking online articles include the complete text, drawings and video content.


In our PDF presentations you can view thumbnails of each page and quickly find what you’re looking for, including embedded video content.

Check back tomorrow, sign up for our newsletter and subscribe today.

–Bob Lang



Subscribe to Norse Woodsmith aggregator - General Woodworking

by Dr. Radut