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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!
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 […]
|added two more to my herd of squares|
|my new to me 8" square, ain't 8 inches|
|the upright ones need work|
|I forgot my 6" Disston|
|scraped the paint on the frog seat|
|wasn't expecting the box it came in|
|he said he only used it about 4 times|
|it has it's own unique personality|
|no other problems|
|ready to check my magnet attraction|
|that is where two magnets are|
|these two are ok and passed all the tests|
|the next two passed all tests too|
|15" square failed|
|I have one more 3/8 magnet for this|
|12" did a bit better|
|flushed up the front|
|this will be it's new home|
|got my saws out for figuring the size of till for them|
|I love the fit and feel of this handle|
|the LN saw has a looser fit|
|the look pretty similar but the LV handle gets a bucketful of gold stars IMO|
|rough ID measurements for the saw till|
|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|
|my second guess was apple|
|the finish isn't shellac|
|this plate has a lot of etch to it|
|this etch is even fainter|
Convicted murderer William Kemmler, was noted for what?
answer - the first person to be legally electrocuted 1890
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
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 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.
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.
It’s always reassuring to see my posts from 3 years ago make an appearance in places unlooked-for…I find it flattering.
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
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|
|15 and 12 inch squares|
|I added one more 3/8 magnet to these|
|only one 3/8" magnet left|
|second coat on the back of the bus|
|the front of the bus|
|did a little work on the frog and nuts|
|fingers crossed on this|
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.
trivia corner Ferris Wheel?
answer - George Washington Ferris did for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.
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.
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:
|how will round 2 turn out?|
|it appears to be ok|
|sawing action feels better with the looseness gone|
|comparison half pins|
|old and new side by side|
|sawed this pine without a whimper|
|chamfered all the edges|
|first batter for the magnet|
|not too bad for just eyeballing it.|
|going to try this|
|Most of the mass and weight is here|
|if it doesn't work I'll put a second 1/2" one here|
|first coat is dry to the touch|
|glue bond broke|
What is the state sport of Maryland?
answer - jousting
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:
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
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.
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.
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. […]
|I have a new obsession|
|I like the round leg a lot more than flat ones|
|my square herd|
|saws are done|
|Stanley 78 rabbet plane for Miles|
|original blade on the bottom|
|the only problem|
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|
|this one is full of ????|
|slightly out of square on the left|
|seems to be out of square more on the right side|
|starting with 80 grit|
|got my idea after 10 strokes|
|thanx for the tip Walter|
|fits just as good with the lid flipped 180|
|the shiny look is the epoxy|
Thanx again for the great tip Walter.
|the saw glue up went south|
|I can still open the crack|
|back to sanding the #6|
|ten minutes later|
|I thought they were clean|
|last run with the 80 grit|
|more crud coming out|
|80 grit done, on to 120|
|nice shine off of the 120|
|done up to 400|
|streaks at the top of the cheek|
|ready for paint|
|the only tricky spots to paint|
|30" piano hinge|
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 hinge rabbet is too deep|
|shaving from making the panel grooves|
|no longer hinge bound|
|trying to get some inspiration|
|hiding my lines.|
|rounded the ends|
|holder for the combination square|
|the parts of the holder|
|bonus - it isn't as thick as the spacer|
|this is magnetic too|
|this may change now|
|holders glued in with hide glue|
|wasn't what I was looking for|
|got lucky twice today|
Who invented the combination square?
answer - Laroy S Starrett did in 1877
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.
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.
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