Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway! Enjoy!
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I’m working my way through the mechanics of fitting the joinery for the table. It’s nice to be able to get into the rhythm of a familiar process. So far, no major screw ups.
I started the skirts and stretchers with a nice wide piece of 4/4 rough sawn Sapele. My thought was to cut each skirt and stretcher from the same length of stock, so the grain match was consistent. I’ve done that, but in the end this quartersawn Sapele is so uniform that it doesn’t make any difference. I find it interesting to start with a big stick like this…
…and break it down into accurately machined parts like this. There was one section of the board that had a chunk out of the surface, which I was careful to avoid, so I had just the right amount of stock, Since I have a small shop space, it also feels good to be using up material I have on hand, to free up that space.
Next up, the tenon get roughed in. Again, fairly mechanical work. My goal was to make tenons slightly over-thick so I can plane each one to fit exactly into a mortise. I really had to pay attention to make sure I cut the staggers correctly and kept the stretchers matched with their adjacent skirts.
I have half of the joints fit, and am on my way out to the shop once I have some coffee and run my Saturday errands. The next step will be to cut the cloud lifts into the skirts and stretchers as I move from doing joinery to working on details.
For the moment I’m resisting the temptation to start another project, like the Frank Lloyd Wright lamps, so I can focus on this one. But I noticed some Claro Walnut shorts calling my name in the corner of the shop yesterday.
Three coats of shellac, sanded with 320-grit in between, followed by a coat of beeswax, and the winding sticks are done.
I think I might end up making some longer ones for larger projects, but for now, these will be useful additions to the workshop…
…and they fit quite nicely next to my planes.
Filed under: Projects Tagged: beeswax, shellac, winding sticks
For dinner I had a choice of fish n' chips or chinese. I opted for chinese because it's closer to the house. I got a small order of chicken and broccoli and contemplated my moves for tomorrow while I ate.
|the hiccup coming|
|I'm starting to get that queasy feeling|
|the reason why|
|drawer rail with a 3/8 offset|
|working on the drawer tilt rails|
|after the chinese|
|plenty of room|
|I'm thinking about how to do this|
I've got a bit of lost ground to make up for tomorrow. My goal for this weekend is to get all the rails done and fitted. Once that is done I can glue it up. I will probably do that in stages because there isn't anyway I'm going to try and glue it up all at once.
accidental woodworker day 8 done - 28 days to finish
What number did baseball legend Ty Cobb wear when he played?
answer - none, he played before numbers were used on uniforms
Last weekend I proceeded to work on the dining room by installing crown molding around the ceiling. I already built and installed bookcases that went on either side of the sliding glass doors a couple of weeks ago. Now I needed to complete the look by installing crown molding at the top.
Before I began, I watched a YouTube video with Tom Silva of This Old House to give me the idea of how to cut the molding. The trick was flipping the board over and cut the trim upside down. Clamping a board on the saw table helped kept the trim at the proper angle.
The molding around the bookcases wasn’t too bad as the sides were 90 degrees to each other. However, when I ran a piece down the one side of the dining room to the hallway, is when I got tripped up. I may be able to hand cut dovetails, but a trim carpenter I am not. I have no idea how they cope one end of the crown to fit perfectly, then make a perfect cut nine feet away to make a tight corner to a wall that is out of square. I gave it my best attempt and attached the crown to the wall. I then tried to figure out the other angle the other piece of trim would need to be to make the corner look nice. However, every cut I made was way off. I tried about a dozen times to make it work with no luck. I became so frustrated, that I decided to quit Saturday afternoon and reconsider continuing with the room or just take everything down except the crown around the bookcases.
I woke up Sunday morning and decided to give it another shot. I messed around with the other side of the crown molding for a couple of hours until I was satisfied with how it looked. Below is a picture of the finished corner. I had to shave a lot of the molding away with rasps so each piece would match. I probably should have sanded the pieces better, but I was so frustrated with it I said “screw it”!
Fitting the crown for inside corners was a bit tricky as well. Even after I coped the ends, I had to file the back of the molding so that it would fit in place. However, after practicing coping a few times, I got better at it.
This was the final piece I cut to finish the job. It was a bit tricky as I had to cut the trim at the correct length as well as perfectly cope each end so everything fitted nicely.
After everything was done, Anita started to apply the first coat of paint. Next I’ll be working on the chair rail and the faux wainscoting molding squares I made a couple of weeks ago. I’ll throw up a few pictures of the finished dining room and hallway when I’m done.
If you aren’t familiar with The Wood Whisperer Guild, now is a pretty good time to find out about it. Our friend, Marc Spagnuolo (The Wood Whisperer), has been passionate about teaching woodworking for over a decade and with modern day technology, he has found a way to spread his teaching expertise through the Guild.
Next month’s upcoming Guild Build is the Sculpted Rocker, a project designed by Charles Brock of The Highland Woodworker. This is a project near and dear to Highland Woodworking and we’ve got all the tools you need to make this project with The Wood Whisperer Guild.
Through The Wood Whisperer Guild, Marc will provide hours of detailed video instruction to building this project. While you are building, you will be able to connect with all of the other woodworkers that are working on the project at the same time as you.
Now get building!
The other day I was using one of my big wooden spoons to mash up some avocados for guacamole and reflecting on wooden spoon design. In discussions of spoon making, we carvers focus a lot on the profile and texture of the inside of the bowl, as well as on the shape of the handle, but we don’t give much attention to the back of the bowl.
That’s a mistake.
The back of the spoon’s bowl is useful in many mashing and squeezing tasks around the kitchen. The butter spoons I featured here a while ago are not used to scoop but to squeeze the buttermilk out of freshly-churned butter. I use the backs of my own mixing spoons to mash lumps of flour left in batters.
That’s why a good mixing spoon should have both bowl that is smooth on the inside and nicely rounded on the outside.
I know a lot of spoon carvers like to leave facets on the backs of their spoons. I don’t, in truth, know whether this makes them less useful for mashing and squeezing, but I prefer to smooth out the backs of my spoons fully, removing any facets left from the spokeshave.
I also find that a deeper spoon is better for mashing than a shallower one. I have a few flatter spoons that are excellent for stirring sauces or pancake batter, but the deeper ones have a bigger curve on the back, and hence a broader surface area. They are even more useful for mashing and squeezing. And if the back of the bowl more or less matches the inside of your mixing bowl, all the better.
Use a well-made spoon, and enjoy your guacamole.
I know that, technically speaking, face grain runs parallel to the longest direction of a board.
Bob Van Dyke sees faces in the carvings that Peter Follansbee does on face grain surfaces.
In cutting thousands of logs and branches (generally from trees I planted eighteen years ago) I see myriad faces, not along the longitudinal fibers, but in the end grain. Animal, human, robot, cartoon-type visages. They all tell stories of growth, quick or slow, reactions to traumatic or beneficial conditions such as fire, storms, insects, shade and sunlight, competition and release from competition with neighbors, fungi, and other pathogens. Not at all dissimilar to gazing at images from photo albums of friends and family.
|chopped the plugs out|
|funny looking chips|
|got my honing sandpaper from Lee Valley via the man in Brown|
|bought a slip stone - fine grade|
|bought it for the various shapes|
|and for it being a fine grade for honing|
|this looks like a fun area to sharpen|
|I resisted the urge to try it out here|
|got my new paint can|
|shooting ends square|
|this is the bell ringer|
|shoulders sawn - cheeks are next|
|sawed on the line|
|wee bit too tight|
|used the tenon plane to fit the tenons|
|chiseled a chamfer on all the edges|
|this end of the rails are fitted|
|gap on both sides|
|drawer runner rails|
accidental woodworker day 7 gone with 29 left to finish the table
Which of the US Service Academies was the first to admit women?
answer - The Coast Guard Academy in 1976
It was my birthday recently, and I thought I might show you the tools I got given.
As you can see, I got given a quick release tail-vise, which I will be installing on the end of my new workbench (when I get around to making it, that is!)…
…and two new wood thread cutting kits. I already have a ¾” and a 1″ set, and now I have a ½” and a 1½” set. Apparently there is a 1¼” set as well, so maybe this Christmas I’ll end up with the full set (hint hint). I am most pleased with the 1½” set, as this will allow me to make my own leg vise for my new bench.
I also got a set of hake brushes, for applying shellac; a set of gimlets, for starting threads for screws; and a burnishing tool, for sharpening cabinet scrapers. Happy days!
Filed under: Uncategorized
As promised – fitting a wooden hinge on a cupboard door. Again, I think I’ve never covered this on the blog. Here’s the cupboard, sans door: note the rabbet in the muntin beside the door opening.
To hinge this door with wooden pins is easy. Bore holes in the upper and lower rails’ inside edges. Here’s the top rail – I haven’t finished pinning the joints in the frame, but ignore that. See the hole bored in the upper rail’s lower edge:
Corresponding hole in the upper edge of the door, note bevels on outer corners of door stile:
The wooden pin on the top of the door bottoms out in the stile, and protrudes up into the upper rail. Here it is in the stile:
here’s the bottom edge of the door – note the pin here fits (loosely) all the way up into the stile:
With my finger covering the hole in the bottom of the door, I tilt the upper pin in place, and then lean the door into its opening.
Then knock it about some with a hammer, to jar the pin loose so it drops down into the bottom rail.
The hole in the bottom rail is shallow, so the pin bottoms out in the rail and sticks up into the door’s hole –
I planed a rabbet in the door’s other stile, to overlap the rabbet in the frame. This stops the door from going all the way into the cupboard. You can (& I have sometimes) make rabbets on the hinge stile too – so the door is a little more snug = this one just butts up against the muntin.
door knob, couple of pins, linseed oil & this one’s crossed off.
Saw this guy this AM on my walk –
Sunday, April 12th was the day I almost quit woodworking. There was nothing special about the day, aside from the lovely spring weather. In fact, the entire weekend was nice. I spent Saturday morning at Valley Forge Park working on one of the cabins as a volunteer. I got to install some true 18th century hinge hardware, and I got to use woodworking tools. We did a lot of nice work and it was an enjoyable morning. Sunday started out with a lot of promise. It was warm, sunny, and a perfect day for woodworking. But that all changed when I stepped into my garage.
For the past month or so I’ve been doing my best to organize my garage, prepare my woodworking tools, and otherwise do my best to turn the back of my garage into something of a real woodworking shop. My first attempts were successful. I reorganized my hardware, got rid of a lot of unnecessary clutter, and slowly but surely got my tools prepped for building furniture again. The next step I had planned was making a wall rack for hanging chisels, files, rasps, and marking tools. Currently, all of those things are in my tool chest. My tool chest has found a home under the right side of my bench and it is frankly a pain in the ass to keep bending over to pick things out of it. I felt a wall mounted rack would be an easy solution and the best way to keep everything safely out of the way but also within arms reach. I still had some scrap Walnut left over so that is what I used. And it pretty much went down hill from there.
Rather than break out the table saw I decided to do everything by hand. I won’t bore anybody with the details. I sawed, I planed, I chiseled, and I planed again. Let me just say before I continue that I generally don’t enjoy making “shop projects”. To me they are at best a necessary evil, at worst, a complete waste of time and energy. To continue, the next step was to lay out the holes for the tools. I marked the board and laid out a symmetrical pattern of 7/8″ holes roughly an inch and a half on center. After, I broke out the drill press to bore out the holes. Let me just say that boring out twenty or so holes using a drill press may have been one of the least satisfying experiences of my life, and this is coming from somebody who went through Basic Training. The entire time I was working I continually asked myself: “Why the F*** am I doing this? It’s nice out, and this completely sucks.” It then came to the question: “Why am I woodworking? Because right now I’m not enjoying it even a little.”
One hour and one big mess later the holes were bored out. Then came the even worse task of sawing out the fronts of the holes. After thirty minutes and even more mess that was finished. To add insult to injury, around the second cut in it occurred to me that my carcass saw needed to be sharpened, but I wasn’t about to do it then, so I instead used an old backsaw that was given to me by a friend of my wife. At that point I had had enough. The holes still needed to be cleaned up and rasped, the rack still needed to be smoothed and sanded, and the cleats still needed to be shaped. I didn’t do any of those things. I cleaned up, went and got myself cleaned up, and did my best to enjoy the rest of the afternoon.
I will probably finish this project on Saturday afternoon, as my wife and daughter have somewhere to be. Not that I want to, but because I’ve already invested several hours into it I need to see it through. As this was all going on and I was completing the mind-numbing task I couldn’t help but to wonder who in their right mind would enjoy making a rack for chisels. But many woodworkers must because I’ve seen dozens of projects such as this in every woodworking magazine I’ve ever read. It then dawned on me that maybe I’m not cut out for woodworking after all. In any event I did the correct thing and walked away from it before It drove me from partially to completely insane. Maybe when it’s finished I will feel a little better about it. But right now I am four days removed and I still feel no enthusiasm. It will pass, I’m sure, but the next time I need a tool rack I’m going to buy it if I can, and the next tool box I make will be one that hangs on my wall.
The Unplugged Shop is a blog aggregator for woodworking blogs. It re-posts the posts of numerous woodworking blogs in one convenient homepage. A few days ago, I requested that my blog’s feed be added to the site and, happily, I have just received an email informing me that this has been done.
Hopefully that will mean an increase in traffic.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Probably the simplest beautiful finish from a technological point of view is the French molten wax polish, which has but a few individual components yet yeilds a beautiful, lustrous presentation surface.
The first thing is a block of clean beeswax. I render my own from raw wax straight from the beekeepers after the honey is harvested.
Next comes a source of heat to melt the wax onto the surface of the wood. Historically something like a roofer’s soldering iron was used, these days I use an electric tacking iron.
I move the hot iron over the surface, spreading and melting the wax onto and into the surface until it is fully saturated.
Once the molten wax has been imbibed fully into the wood surface it is left to cool,
and once fully hardened it is scraped with a simple metal, wood, or bone scraper. If the scraper has a nice clean edge (no burr!), the resulting surface can be mirror-like. A little buffing with a piece of soft cloth like worn flannel or fine wool and you are done. This might even be enhanced with some spit polish.
The result is a high-sheen, non-toxic and easily repairable surface that is pretty robust against abrasion but utterly defenseless against heat or oily materials. I’m working on some formulations to make this finish a lot tougher, but it is increasingly one with which I am toying, and as I move forward with designing and fabrication parquetry panels, you can believe it is something I will employ.
With the two winding sticks planed to their final dimensions, it’s time for the inlay.
I chose ebony and maple inlay, to provide a nice contrast. This will make it easier to sight up any twist when using the sticks. Both sticks will have an ebony centre dot, so that they can be placed roughly centrally on the workpiece. This will ensure that any twist shown by the sticks will not be due to balancing issues.
One of the sticks will have a strip of ebony running along the top, and the other will have two tabs, equidistant from its middle. I used the hinge trick of roughly dimensioning a small piece of ebony and then hammering it through a hole in a hinge to create dowels. It was then a simple matter of boring a hole through the centre of both sticks, superglueing a dowel in each, then sawing and planing them flush.
For the ebony strip, I did not have a pice of ebony long enough, so I had to use three shorter pieces. I cut a rebate, using a knife, along the top of the stick, then glued the inlay in position with wood glue. The inlay was held in place with masking tape until the glue was dry, then I could plane it flush.
The maple tabs were made my ripping a small piece of scrap down to size then cutting two tabs with the sides at a 1:7 angle. I did this by using my dovetail template to mark a scrap piece of wood, and then cut into that wood creating a mitre block, which when held in the vise, guided my saw when cutting the tabs.
I was able to use my shop made marking gauge to mark out the recesses for the tabs, which were chopped out with a chisel. Once glued in place, the tabs were planed flush, and the winding sticks were ready for their finish.
Filed under: Projects Tagged: ebony, inlay, maple, winding sticks
|no stupid wood tricks|
|the back apron twisted a little|
|my longest reasonable straight edge|
|aprons clamped so I can do some layout for the drawer runners and tilt rail|
|knife mark on the bottom across the back and front rail|
|knife mark for the center of the tilt rail|
|my first hiccup|
|some 3/8 poplar to plug the mortises|
|first one plugged and glued|
|shaved this one too much|
|trimmed one flush|
I got the deadline tonight. My daughter and son-in-law are leaving on June 15th for North Carolina. The movers will be coming the week before. This means I lost a week or maybe more because the moving date isn't cast in stone yet. I'll be a busy boy for sure this weekend.
accidental woodworker day 6 - now with only 30 days left
Where did Robert Fulton launch his first steamboat?
answer - on the Seine river in Paris France in 1803 - it sank