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General Woodworking

dual chests Pt XVII........

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 05/15/2024 - 3:09am

I am now in slo mo with the dual chest builds. The Blacksmith Bolt tracking  number says the 20th for delivery, Lee Valley is wednesday, and the transom chain stays are unknown. I checked on them today and no tracking info. At least with the LV order I'll be able to secure the hinges on both chests and get the gas strut installed on the toy/blanket chest. Getting close but still no cigar.

 stayed flat

When I took the planes off the frame it stayed flat on the bench. 

 fitting splines

I sawed this off a scrap pine board. I tossed all the thin stuff on the last garbage day. Glued and set the frame aside to cook for a few hours.

Howards Feed 'n Wax
 

I rubbed the lid and the exterior of the chest with this. I'm now thinking of putting handles on this chest too. I brought it upstairs and it was a bit awkward navigating the stairs with it. Carrying it with handles would have been easier.

 partially hinged

I have two screws in the lid hinge part and one in the chest hinge part. That is sufficient until I get my screw order from Lee Valley. I got it loaded up with my CPAP supplies and I have a ton of extra room left over. It doesn't smell like shellac but I will leave the lid open for a while to monitor it.

 back frame ready

I think I got this figured out correctly this time. Regardless of that the 45's are dead nuts as are the lengths of the long/short sides.

nope

I made the same me-steak that I made on the last frame. I did the exact same bone headed thing. I didn't layout/size the frame on the correct side of the pencil lines. It fits or will fit the picture if I install it this way.

 scraps to the rescue

I will fix the boo boo the same way I did the last one. If I had used butt joints I might have gotten this right but I wanted the look of miters. This is the back of the frame and won't be seen once it is hanging on the wall.

 back frame done

Two of the miters were opened slightly at the toes on the back. One miter on the front also had a gap at the toe. Everything was tight when I glued it up and now I don't have a warm and fuzzy about the glue I'm using (bad batch?). Especially so after having so many edge joints open up on me. Even the lids I glued again show signs of separating on the glue joint. Hopefully the splines will help keep the miters as is. I made them bigger than I did on the last frame I mitered.

base color done

I am going to make this frame to match the other turtle painting frame. According to the can I can apply a finish (shellac) over this in one hour. I'll do that after dinner so I can start on the painting touches tomorrow.

My PCP called me this AM and wants me to get blood work done before my appointment with her on the 21st. I forgot to ask if it was fasting blood work but I'll be headed in to the VA shortly after oh dark 15. They start drawing blood at 0700 which means I can drive in early and avoid the rush hour traffic. When I come home from there I should be ok traffic wise too because I'll be going in the opposite direction. 

accidental woodworker

Silverware Drawer Organizer

Woodworking in a Tiny Shop - Tue, 05/14/2024 - 8:11pm

This one has been on the to-do list for a long time.  I'd seen projects like this from other people and I stole various ideas from them.  We wanted easy access to the most often used things, but also storage for the lesser used items as well.

The drawer as it was before

The design is a two-tiered tray system.  The most commonly used things will go in the upper tray and lesser used items in the lower tray.  The upper tray is not as deep, so it can slide back, revealing the front compartment of the lower tray.  There are no progress pics in this post - just a finished product.  But you'll get the idea from the pics and descriptions.

Lower tray left, upper tray right
All parts are made of 1/4" poplar, except 1/8" plywood bottoms

The corners of each tray are joined with a single dovetail

The upper tray has 6 dividers, making 7 compartments.
Each divider was shaped to make it easier to reach down into the compartments.
.
The dividers are fitted into stopped dadoes in the front and back

The lower tray has a large side-to-side front compartment
and 5 front-to-back compartments

The lateral divider is housed in stopped dadoes in the sides ...

... and the other dividers are housed in stopped dadoes in the lateral divider and the back

Here is the lower tray installed - it's a nice fit in the drawer

The upper tray installed, slid towards front ...

... and here the upper tray is slid back revealing some of the lower tray

Here's the drawer loaded ...

... and with the upper tray pushed back revealing lower tray

To access the rear compartments of the lower tray, we have to pull out the upper tray.  But the intent of those rear compartments was to hold rarely-used items.  Time will tell if we like this better than the way the drawer was previously.

The trays are finished with three coats of shellac, followed by a coat of wax.  The light weight of the poplar didn't add much weight to the overall drawer.

dual chests Pt XVI........

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 05/14/2024 - 3:22am

 I spent a boring afternoon initially chasing my tail but 3 hours later I was done. At the end I still had my tail and I think I got everything switched over. The new bank is taking care of getting my social security switched to them so that left me dealing with the 3 retirement accounts. 2 of the three I didn't know the user name or password for it. I couldn't remember the password hints I did months/years ago and one account that was a (^%@%&!)^$  nightmare to do. I hadn't been on it in almost a year and I had to jump through a month of hoops to access it.

I finally got access and then had to fight my way through a bazillion screens to find where to change the direct deposit. All three said I was successful doing that and now I have to wait and see if next month they go to Navigant and not Chartway. I'm glad that this is finally over and done with. 

 both are done

I got the final coat of shellac on the interior of the toy/blanket chest and on the lid for the miniature chest. I should have the screws from Blacksmith bolt this wed/thurs for the chest handles - fingers crossed.

 miniature chest

This didn't need another coat but I put one on the interior and exterior again. The delivery date for the transom window chain stays from amazon has slipped (again) and now they are supposed to come on the 21st.

 new picture frame

I made a me-steak when I shot the miters. I ass-u-me-d that it was set up perfect. I did get the length dead nuts on but I found out shortly the 45 was off a wee bit.

 open at the toes

The other 3 miters were tight and gap free whereas this one is open. When I checked it with the combo square these ends of the miters were good and the opposite ends were slightly off. Go figure that one out?

 confusing

These two are perfect. The combo square laid up on them light free when checked. The two on the right showed light for over half their lengths. Shot them again and checked them for zero light leaks before I did another dry fit.

 open corner

Happy with the fit and the look of all the miters.

 glued and cooking

The frame wanted to bow up so I weighed it down with planes to keep it flat to the workbench. Needless to say I ain't disturbing this until tomorrow.

 finally came

I envision that I will mostly use the bandsaw for resawing. This is a 1/2" blade that I'm going to try out for that purpose. It will also be used for rip cuts. I'm hoping the wider blade won't flex like the 3/8" wide one does.

new home

I feel better now that this isn't in front of the clamps. There is nothing under or around the poster here that I need or will have to access.

 almost done

I took my time and only pushed this backwards towards me. All the time concentrating on keeping the bevel down to the stones. Rolled a burr on both of the bevels which surprised me. I was expecting to expend a boatload of calories on the stones sharpening and honing it.

 much better

The plane behaved and it planed the profile with no hiccups. This is the raised panel profile that I was looking for. It is going to take some practice and time to sort it out. I planed way too deep on the flat - it should have been a 1/4" thick. The plane should bottom out and stop taking shavings but I didn't get that option when I did this.

 end grain

The plane plowed through the end grain pretty well. I didn't knife it for the cross grain but overall it did ok without it. I did better on the flat being closer to a 1/4" thickness.

 no spring lines

I am pretty sure that the top of the plane has to be parallel to the stock face. It also bottoms out and stops making shavings when the flat on the left contacts the face of the stock.

I still have a long way to go with making good friends with this plane. One thing I will have to figure out is the thickness the plane is made to raise. Is it 3/4" or something thicker?

accidental woodworker

dual chests Pt XV........

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 05/13/2024 - 3:41am

 Starting off with a mini rant about Shellac. Zinsser shellac was sold to Rust Oleum a few years ago. The cost of the clear shellac has steadily risen in price from around $15 to $27.68 today. Part of the cost today was a BS $3 waste can disposal fee. WTF is that? As long as the can is empty and dry I can put whatever in the garbage can for pickup every thursday. The clerk at ACE had no idea what the disposal fee was for. He wasn't aware of ACE accepting cans of shellac, empty, full, or partially full for disposal.

I bought a can today because I didn't want to wait 24hrs to mix up a batch of it myself. At these prices it costs about the same or a little less to mix it myself. I'm not worried about the 6 month shelf life of mixed shellac because I doubt it would hang out in my shop for more than 3-4 months. Mini rant completed.

 Rust Oleum clear shellac

Ace still carries all 3 varieties of shellac - clear, amber, and sanding sealer. I don't know if they are all the same price though. I use all three with clear dominating and the other two only occasionally. Usually I buy them only when the clear isn't on the shelf.

 veneer hammer

I had to move this to a new hole to make room for the Lost Art Poster. I made this and a larger one several years ago and I have only used the larger one once. All the veneering I thought I would do has yet to materialize.

 20V power

I am still getting used to this drill. It is so much more powerful than the 12V Bosch drill that I used (still use) for years. I have found that the position of the drill when driving is important. I use square drive screws and if the drill driver bit isn't in line with the center of the screw, the drill bit will chatter and round out the square drive.

The other thing I'm still getting used to is the speed that the drill will push a screw into the wood when the alignment is spot on. This is what I have the heebie jeebies about. It is so quick that I can't even get the the letter 'O' of 'oh shit' to form in the brain bucket before the screw is seated 6" below the surface. Just MHO but I think 12v is more than enough for home shop use. I still use my 12v 3/8" chuck Bosch drill whenever I can over the DeWalt 20v.

 where the poster will hang

I thought about the poster being in front of the clamps and for now I'm ok with it. I seldom use these clamps and I'll be able to remove the poster and take the clamps out. That goes against my rule of having to move something to get to what I want. I'll have to see how that shakes out and whether the urge for something to go airborne will rule.

 hanging thing

The hanging wire on the back is too low on the frame to hang it from the joist. If it was a 1x12 it might of worked but not with a 1x8. 

 wish it were 2" longer

This isn't long enough so the bottom rail of the frame will contact it. It will do for now and I'll buy a 1x4 at Lowes the next time I'm there to replace it. (If I remember to do that).

 hmm....

Just thought of this as a potential home for the poster. I don't use this air cleaner anymore. The only time I have used it recent years is when I do a field day cleaning the shop top to bottom. Looking at it as I type this, I am liking it a lot more over where it is hanging now.

 clamp rosebud

Before I put any shellac on this I had looked over the chest trying to find this. I didn't see it then. It popped and caught my attention after the second coat when on.  This is the front edge of the chest too. I already have 3 coats of shellac on it and I'm going to leave it as is. I'm calling it a character/patina boo boo.

 this is done

Other than hanging the poster, the only other thing I did today was get shellac on the two chests. The toy/blanket chest is done. I need the screws and gas strut I ordered from Lee Valley to come in before I can complete it. I haven't gotten a ship email yet but maybe by wednesday I'll have them.

 view from the bench

This is definitely moving to the air cleaner. The sanding block box lid hits the poster when I open it. That is a deal killer for me.

 4 coats

This is the Pinewood plywood and I like this top veneer way better than birch plywood. This has color, movement, albeit straight R/L or L/R and it feels better in my hands than birch plywood does. Pinewood plywood is a few dollars cheaper than birch too. So far Lowes only seems to have 1/4" and 1/2" in stock. I have looked for 3/8" or 3/4" plywood but didn't see either.

accidental woodworker

dual chests Pt XIV........

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 05/12/2024 - 3:31am

Things haven't not been going swimmingly for me with either of the chests. Both of them had a major boo boo pop up and shake hands with me. The boo boos are fixable and annoying that I have to fix them. On the other hand I don't have needed supplies to be able to put a check mark in the done column. I think I might be able to finish the miniature chest with the exception of a lid stay. The toy/blanket chest won't be done before next week end. I still have a couple weeks of wiggle room for it left to burn through.

Found out that the credit union I have belonged to since 1975 no longer has a brick and mortar building in Rhode Island. I knew they closed a branch on Quaker Lane several years ago but I assumed that the original office in Wakefield was still open. Big negative on that boys and girls. Chartway is gone and Navigant is the new occupant. So this AM I opened a new bank account at Navigant and I'll have to go through doing battle getting my accounts closed and switched to them. The most drawn out part will be switching all the direct deposits from Chartway to Navigant.

 both lids glued again

Last night as I was leaving the shop I saw that the lid on the toy/blanket chest was opening up on the glue joint. This time it was a lot longer - about 6". Deleted the pics of me fixing my me-steak but I did it the same way as the miniature lid. I used a biscuits on this one to help keep it aligned.

 maybe a half of a frog hair

Getting the ends aligned and keeping them aligned was a fight with this. As I tightened one clamp the ends would slip by one another. I had to put a clamp across the ends and then tighten the cross grain clamps.

 pretty good but ugly looking

This is the bottom of the lid and it stayed aligned much better than I thought it would. There were a couple of spots where the blue tape stuck to it along with a few glue squeeze outs but overall ok. 

 rocking

Before I had to reglue this it was laying flat on the chest. Now it is rocking slightly on the far left and the near right corner. Not a deal killer and I can't see it so I'll probably leave this as is. 

What I can't leave as is are the rosebuds from the clamp pads. I doubt the iron and wet rag trick wouldn't work on this and I didn't try. 

 deep

I didn't think I had tightened the clamps enough to cause these. 

 miniature chest lid

The glue joint wasn't flush on the top or bottom. It was proud less than a 32nd and I didn't think it will cause any headaches if I flushed it once again.

 just a few swipes

I got lucky that the plane didn't tear out chunks on me. I had to plane the first joint line from the right edge. There is no way for me see which way the grain was running.

 for the back stop thing

I screwed the back stop in with no glue. With five screws holding it there is no way it is going anywhere.

#8

Used the big boy to plane the clamp rosebuds away.

toy/blanket chest lid

I was extremely happy with how flush the lid came out. It wasn't as good as the first time but it was awfully close. I only had to plane about a 4" length to flush it.

 not longing obsessing

I put a 5th screw in the middle of the handle block. This one will be hidden by the handle.

 hole filling

I used the wrong length screw and I nipped off about 3/8" and reused it. I also filled in the 8 holes from the lid stays I tried to install yesterday. I am leaving the interior of the chest natural with a shellac finish. I'll have to ensure that I tell my wife that I already finished it with shellac. So there is no need to paint it.

 lid holes

I'm not sure if the wife will paint the underside of the lid. I would like that because it will cover the dowels I used to fill the screw holes.

 miniature chest

Got the hinges installed but not without having to take a step back. My first attempt had the lid with almost no overhang at the front. The barrel of the hinge was flush with the back edge of the lid instead of it being proud of the outside edge (like the pic). One hole from each hinge will be visible when the lid is opened. 

 first of three

Ever since I applied shellac to the interior of the drawers (last 3 projects) I like the look over bare wood. I was under the assumption that it would smell like alcohol forever but it ain't so boys and girls. I got one coat on the entire miniature chest today.

 toy/blanket chest

I am only applying shellac to the bottom and the interior of this chest.

 could have been better

The color and grain popped a bit with just one coat of shellac. Seeing it now I am thinking that maybe I should have put the white board (2nd from the left) at the front and the first board butting against the 3rd one. 

 possible home

I will have to move some things but this could be the new home for this poster. I'll try and knock this out in the AM tomorrow.

Yesterday the new DVD player went belly up on me. It wouldn't read any DVDs I put in it. I tried about 20 of them with no luck. It gave the 'no cd' error on any and all. Today it worked briefly but it won't select and play any episodes. It is stuck on that screen and no matter what key I hit it says it is invalid. Getting frustrated and having visions of the DVD player going airborne.

accidental woodworker

Coffee Table 2: Ripping & Tapering Legs

JKM Woodworking - Sat, 05/11/2024 - 6:01am

I am revisiting the coffee table, of which part 1 showed the making of an elliptical top. The legs and aprons will be ash. For now I am trying to make legs that taper along the outer two sides. The legs will be splayed in the same manner as my splay-legged table project.

cherry and ash stock

I had set aside some 6/4 ash for these legs. Since I knew I would be spending time ripping, I gathered pieces for other upcoming projects. There is 7/4 cherry, 2x construction pine, and 6/4 hickory. The pine and hickory I processed the same as the ash. They will be used for small tables or plant stands also. The cherry I will leave rough and deal with later.

When laying out I look at the ends of the boards to check for diagonal or rift grain. Chris Schwarz called this bastard grain at one time, but I’ve never heard/read anyone else use that phrase. For a 1.5″ thick board it’s usually safe to get a 1.5″ strip off of each end, and sometimes I can get two. The cuts are oriented to maximize straight grain.

ash marked for cutting
ash pieces cut
rough cut ends

I thought ripping by hand would take several sessions over a couple days, but I completed it all in one day. If there’s anything good about ripping by hand, it’s that you can take breaks and do a little at a time.

construction pine and hickory
cherry pieces

This makes legs tapered along one edge. Looking at the skinny end, I have to decide which edge to mark for the second taper. Again the goal is to maximize straight grain.

have to taper either the top or bottom edge

I mark which side I will taper, but save this edge for last. First I will make sure the other three faces are smooth and square. Usually 2-3 of the faces are as cut from the mill, so need minimal work. The edge that I ripped needs the most clean up.

I try to joint two edges and have them square to each other. After that, all references will be from one of these faces. This will also be the inner corner for future joinery.

two planed faces with a square corner

I then plane the third side square before tapering the last face. At some point when planing the third or fourth sides I check the top end for square and decide which face needs thinning.

marked for square

For the last face, the tapered one, a square is marked at the bottom end. This is connected to the square at the top end. Material is removed coarsely with a #5 plane. When the line is reached I switch to the #7 jointer set fine. A few spots needed scraping.

small end marked
second taper marked
#5 coarse
#7 fluffy

Workholding takes some thought. The goal is to hold down securely but still be able to pick up and check without having to unclamp it everytime. My latest method is to use wooden pegs where the plane is nearby, and use battens or does-footses to keep the metal holdfasts out of the way. One day I will make a sticking board.

two pegs and two battens
ash, pine, hickory, cherry

The next step is making the legs/apron assembly. The rough cut top has been sitting patiently, waiting to see how I will smooth the edges.

Categories: General Woodworking

dual chests Pt XIII.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 05/11/2024 - 3:39am

 At the end of the day in the shop I jumped down the lid stay rabbit hole again. At lunch I had ordered 3 transom window stay chains and at 1530 I ordered a gas strut lid stay. This one was a no brainer to figure out. It is strictly the weight of the lid that mattered. I didn't have to add/subtract or multiply/divide the lid width and length to get the proper sized strut. I got it from Lee Valley and I don't recall seeing it when I ordered the previous ones from them. Oh well better late than never.

 24hrs later

Wasn't sure if the dutchman would stay in place and endure any shaping/sanding. It felt secure and tight when the clamp came off.

 not too bad

It is obvious even from 5-6 feet away there is a dutchman there. However, this one will be on the back of the chest. I looked again this AM for another pine scrap but none were long enough. The planing and sanding went off without a hitch. No complaints from the dutchman as I shaped it.

 raised them

Most, but not all of the headaches here got raised with the iron and wet rag trick. I had to set this aside to dry for a few hours. Fingers crossed there will be dancing in the street.

 toast

These are toast as in they aren't going to be used on the toy/blanket chest. The spring in them is to strong for the lid. I had trouble opening and closing the springs with my hands. I'll save them for a lid that is 1" or thicker and with heavy duty hinges.

 blocks for the handles

The blocks are a 1/2" thick and roughly 4" square - two of the sides are 4 5/8".

 just right

The screw is a 1 1/4" and I have about a 1/4" of wiggle room. I ordered some #12 flat head, slotted, black oxide finished screws from Blacksmith Bolt. Don't like the look of the phillips head screws these came with.

 handle block position

I am going to glue and screw the block to the side of the chest. I positioned it so that it straddles the glue joint evenly - two inches above it and two inches below it.

 it was ready

It was ready last week but Maria doesn't have my phone number. The next time I go I'll give her my wife's cell phone number to call. Now I have to find a hole to hang this in. I did a quick scan of the vertical space in the shop and there is nada.

 done

Thinking of adding one more screw in the center of the block. I have plenty of time to obsess about it.

 yikes again

The last couple of inches on this end have let go somehow. I can move the ends up an down slightly so the glue has failed here. This isn't the first time I've had this problem with this white glue. I noticed the top on the Keurig coffee table has separated too. About half of it is still solid and the other has opened up. Another set back but I found it now rather than after the shellac had gone on.

I sawed it off on the glue joint and glued it back together. Of course it was a royal PITA aligning it. The flushed the top and the bottom is a wee bit proud. I'll deal with it tomorrow after it comes out of the clamps.

 miniature chest moldings done

Glued in place with no nails, screws, or clamps. This one is being left natural so I fussed a bit more with the miters. Hopefully this won't bite me on the arse after the glue yikes above.

toy/blanket chest moldings done

I had to nail the back left corner to keep it tight to the chest. This one is getting painted so I didn't go full anal sawing the fitting the miters. They are good but I may have to putty one or two. I'll know tomorrow after this has cooked.

the back molding

This molding at the top is thinner than the other 3. It is also slightly tapered with this end being the thinner end. It is on the back and the chest will go up against a wall. I can't think of a situation where this would be visible and accessible 360.

 sticking with these

I am going to use these hinges on both of the chests. I also got my screws that I ordered from McMaster that got dropped shipped to Craig. The screw head is too small for the countersunk hole. No wonder the lid stays almost ripped it out. 

I ordered some #5 and #6 screws from Lee Valley. I was trying to raise the total to get free shipping when I found the gas strut lid stay. That put me way over the free shipping limit. Maybe next week I'll be done with toy/blanket chest.

The miniature chest I plan on using one of the transom chain stays. I got them from Amazon and they are supposed to come next friday. I might be done with this next weekend.

accidental woodworker

dual chests Pt XII........

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 05/10/2024 - 3:59am

 Had a terrible day in the shop. The AM session was productive but the PM one had everything I touched turn into liquid fecal matter. I had gone to pick up my poster from the Frame It Shop but she wasn't open yet. I should have taken that as an omen but I'll survive and I'll give it hell tomorrow.

 closing in on the miniature one

I got the back stop thing rounded over and sanded smooth. I am working on sanding the end grain on the lid. I am leaving this natural as of this blog. My wife may want to paint it but I hope to persuade her other wise.

 brown knot

The back stop thing will hide it on the top but it will be visible on the underside of the lid. I can live with that because all the outside show surfaces are clear pine.

 layout for the base cut out

A simple 1 1/2" round on the ends with a flat straight edge between them.

it is secure

I used the jigsaw to saw out one long side. I was expecting it to vibrate and shake like crazy but it didn't. I was going to saw this out by hand like I had done on the toy/blanket chest but it went so well I did the other 3 sides too.

hmm.....

Didn't think this one all the way through to the end. I could have used one of the long cutouts as the back stop thing.

 base is done

The jigsaw did pretty good on the last two I did. The first one while not horrible I did have to spend time cleaning up the rounds.

 base and chest married

The gap isn't that bad but I still intend to use a cove molding to cover it.

 cove molding

I screwed this one up. I was taking a cleaning run and I didn't register the plane properly. That changed the profile from a cove to a cove and a quirk.

 found some more scraps

The pickings were lean and slim but I found one piece long enough to get the two long sides from.

 brown knot

I didn't have anymore scraps and I didn't feel like going to Lowes. So I made a dowel to fit the half circle left after I removed the brown knot.

 I like the look

I got the front and the sides dry fitted. I have to wait for the knot molding to cook.

 better

I had a 2" piece of dowel glued to the knot hole. I sawed it so the dutchman is about an 1/8" proud. There was no way I would have been able to saw the waste if I had left it long. As it is I don't have a warm and fuzzy that sanding/chiseling this patch will withstand that attention. I'll find out tomorrow. This cove will be going on the back of the chest.

fielding plane iron

There are 3 edges that need to be honed. I'll have to do all of these 3 by hand. I'll have to be on my best behavior because this iron is as straight as a dogs hind leg. The iron is a spot on match for the sole of the plane too. I'll be hand sharpening this slow with frequent checks to make sure I'm out going Out To Lunch (OTL).

 ????

Not so sure about this being the 4th edge. I think this one is out in the air and doesn't cut/shave anything.

 handles came

This is where things started to slide southward on me. This came with screws but they are phillips head which I don't like. They are #12 and they are too long for the chest. They will stick out into the interior of the chest by a 1/4".

I have some #12 x 3/4" Black FH screws but I think they are too short. I don't have a warm and fuzzy with those as replacements. I think the best thing to do is too put a support block under the handle(s) so I can use the supplied screws. Or I can order some slot head screws from Blacksmith Bolt.

 lid needs two

No screws with these and they are also handed - one right and one left. I like the instructions for the installation. They are clear and understandable. There is no way even I can screw this up.

 sheet metal screws

The instructions say to use #8 sheet metal screws for the lid supports. I was going to make an ACE run but I had some in my stash ready to go.

 oops

It wouldn't close and no hiccups installing either one. Except that I got the right one upside down.

YIKES....

The lid supports use beefy springs to help defy gravity so it takes a little bit of effort to shut the lid. Did that and the lid supports almost ripped out this and the middle hinge.

I didn't even get the option to punt on this one. I can't use these hinges with these lid supports. I don't want to keep playing musical chairs so I'll have to rethink this once again. I don't have any decent butt hinges and I don't want to put in a piano hinge. I'll check Horton Brasses and buy a couple sets from them.

Yikes #2.......

For insurance I decided to put screws in the back stop thing. The screw on this end was too close to the end and front edge. It split the back stop and pushed it up and put a gap under it.

 sawing it off

There was a tiny yikes here too. I had to saw through 3 brads that I used to secure the back stop so when I clamped it, it wouldn't slip and slide on me.

easy peasy

I chiseled off the bottom and I was able to pull the 3 brads out. Planed and sanded it smooth.

 Ugliness

I think these random gouges came from the saw. I'll try to steam them out tomorrow. I was feeling frustrated here and that could lead to me wanting something to go airborne. It was 1502 and 2 past quitting time so I killed the lights and headed topside.

 reused it

I ripped off the hand sawn edge on the tablesaw and I can reuse it. One positive thing is I initially thought it was a little short in the height and not it isn't.

accidental woodworker

How to Name Stamp a Wood Plane

Wood and Shop - Thu, 05/09/2024 - 8:56am
How to Name Stamp a Wood Plane Bill Anderson shows the method for stamping a maker's mark on a traditional wooden handplane   By Joshua Farnsworth  |  Published 09 May, 2024 How to Name Stamp a Wood Plane   By Joshua

Turning the Corner: Unexpected Porch Post

Highland Woodworking - Thu, 05/09/2024 - 7:03am

With an historic preservation grant and vision for a return to the past elegance, the new owners of the Pentagöet Inn in Castine, Maine asked me to create and turn the four new newel posts they needed for the renovated main entrance from the street.

Their contractors did an impressive job, and the newel posts were smoothly incorporated.

The work progressed smoothly until they began to tie the new balustrade to the existing 8′ porch post which they discovered was totally rotten …

… base … middle section … and top.

Knowing they were feeling the pressure of time and weather (we had enjoyed an unusual string of December/January warm and dry days), I was able to acquire the 8′ long 2″X6″ Alaskan Yellow Cedar boards 

and glue them up (actual measure of 5 ½” X 6 ¼” in preparation for sawing to rough size on the bandsaw

to then joint two adjacent sides before surface planing to the final dimension of 4 ¾” X 4 ¾” that matches the existing posts and the newel posts.

Once the blank is mounted on the lathe (note an 8′ long laminated ~5X5 blank does not require a mid-blank steady rest.  The lathe runs well at about 400 – 500 RPM with no whip) 

and the 24″ tool rest is in place; the first cuts are to measure carefully for the square pommel-to-round transition points and cut them in using the long point of the skew. The transition at bottom and top are straight angled cuts; the transitions in the middle section are lamb’s tongue which is made using a middle size Sorby 12mm gouge.  When making restoration copies, the small details matter enormously.  While most people will not notice directly, the dissimilarity will register on at least an unconscious level.

The next step is to round and taper the full column length. I find that it helps me to have the source profile post in my sightline to help me keep my attention focused and the details registered.  In this case, I carefully placed the rotten post sections on a long board just on the far side of the new blank.

I worked with story-sticks to identify the various specific profile points of taper, bead, cove, (shoulder).

As with most turning, the best practice is to work on the larger diameters on the right (by the tailstock) before moving left (toward the headstock and power source).

Once the turning is completed, applying the primer coat is most efficiently done while the post is still between centers on the lathe.  I typically also prime the ends of outdoor posts with either primer or West System epoxy to help preserve the life of the post.

Delivering the post a week after they discovered they needed it was particularly satisfying, and the contractors put it in place that day, one day before we had an onset of cold and snow.

Doing a job like this is particularly rewarding as well as great publicity being so prominently a display of the work being done so visibly in the middle of our town. I look forward to the owner’s next phase in a year, when we will continue the restoration to the lower and upper balustrade, posts, and rails up Main Street to the right.

“Turning the Corner,” focuses on using woodturning on the lathe as a way of enhancing cabinetry, furniture designs, gallery products, and architectural installations.  We hope to inspire woodworkers to extend their skills into basic, novice, and advanced woodturning while discovering for themselves this particularly sensual and spiritually rewarding dimension of working with wood. Located in Castine, Maine, Highlands Woodturning gallery and shop offers woodturning classes and shop time, a gallery of woodturned art, custom woodturning for repairs, renovations, and architectural installations. You can email Temple at temple@highlandswoodturning.com. Take a look at Temple’s Website at http://www.highlandswoodturning.com/

Categories: General Woodworking

I'm an idiot.......(confirmed).......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 05/09/2024 - 3:23am

 Last month a reader of my blog made me a couple of irons for my plow plane. That didn't turn out so well. It wasn't through the fault of Craig but me not having a grasp on the 'el panorama' (the big picture). I had the stock dropped shipped to him from McMaster-Carr and that went off without a hiccup. The idiot part of it? I ordered screws and etc from McMaster for the toy chest and they were dropped shipped to Craig. It didn't occur to me to check the ship to address from McMaster. I ass - u - me that it would be mine. So I'll be dead in the water for a couple of more days and out the cost of priority shipping from Craig to me. Sigh.

I bought another pair of lid stays from Lee Valley that were supposed to come today but aren't. For the about the umpteenth time UPS has revised the delivery date at the last moment. Now I am supposed to get the LV order tomorrow by 1900. I'll either get it or receive another revised delivery date. The odds are.....

 Lowes run

Left for Lowes at 0705 to get a quarter sheet of 1/4" plywood for the miniature chest bottom and two pine boards for the lid. Bought the same plywood from Pinewood that I got in 1/2" thickness for the toy chest. There really isn't a need to put 1/2" plywood on the bottom of the miniature chest. 1/4" will suffice for it.

 if I had pulled down my zipper

If my head wasn't buried in my arse I could have put a check mark in the done column with this today.

 no surprises so far

Clamps are coming off easy and there is no relaxing or movement from the chest. That is always a good sign to see.

 blue tape sucks for this

Blue tape wasn't up to holding clamping pads where you need them. Too often it gives way and the fall off just as you are attempting to tighten the clamp on them. This time I used superglue and accelerator to hold the pads in place.

 rosebud

Wasn't expecting to see this because the clamp has a plastic cover over the clamping heads. The tails are proud so maybe I'll be able to plane/sand this me-steak away.

 no problems

Out of the 14 pads I glued on only two didn't pop off with one strike of the chisel and mallet. Super glue as zero tolerance for an abrupt whack and will easily give up its bond immediately. Even the two stubborn ones cleaned up effortlessly with the plane and RO sander.

not a two board glue up

I went through two piles of the 1x12s at Lowes. I only found 3 of them that were clear or only had one knot per board. Of the 3 I picked the two flatest ones but they were still cupped a bit. To alleviate that I sawed the two boards into 3 pieces each. This is the best I could come up with a grain/color match.

 30 minutes

I planed the glue joints, did a dry fit, planed some more, and glued the panel up.

 bottom screwed on

I have about a 16th strong on all four edges to plane flush. Like the bigger toy/blanket chest I just screwed the bottom on to the chest.

 getting dull

The iron in this was struggling to flush the plywood to the chest. I got it done and I'll have to hone the iron in this plane. It is on the "I'll forget to-do-it-list".

 layout for the base

I'm checking the base to ensure that it isn't snug/not fitting the chest. I laid it out a 1/8" longer in both directions. 

 off the saw

I had to trim one pin because it was too snug and I didn't want to chance splitting it.

 loose slip fit

There are a couple of frog hairs of space 360 which is ok with me. I plan on putting a cove molding on the base to hide it.

 glued and cooking

After I glued the pins/tails, I glued and nailed the bearers in on the inside.

double triple checking

Making sure that nothing changed in the relationship between the base and the chest.

 five hours later

 This is going to be the up face of the lid. The joints are pretty good in that they are even pretty much across the face.

 like night and day

You would think the opposite face joints would be similar to the other but they aren't. They are proud on a couple of boards a strong 32nd.

started with the 5 1/2

Used this first to knock down the bulk of unevenness between the boards. The biggest offenders were the two outside boards.

quick check

I was surprised that the lid didn't rock or see saw at all when I put it on the chest. A good sign that the lid is flat and straight.

 what a work out

I had forgotten what  beast and how hard it is to keep this moving across the boards. I hadn't forgotten how to flatten with it and when I was done I was spent and had to take a breather. I first went across the grain and then with the grain. I will have to plane this the #3 to smooth it and totally remove the sanding scratches.

 sizing the lid

Initially I went for a 1" overhang on the sides and 3/4" on the front. Those are the overhangs I used on the toy/blanket chest.

 still improving

I am getting better at squaring end grain edges. I absolutely love the LV bevel up jack for end grain work.

 change 2 & 3

I didn't like the 3/4" overhang on the front. It looked too large to my eye so I knocked it back to a 1/2". After seeing that I didn't like the 1" on the sides. Changed them to match the 1/2" on the front.

I was shooting for the goal of just needing to put a lid stay and hinges on this chest to call it done. I came close but no cigar. Tomorrow I'll put the back stop thing on the chest lid. Which will give the lid overnight to do any stupid wood tricks it might have up its sleeve. Saw out the cutout on the base and screw it to the bottom of the chest. The finale will be making some cove moldings to go on the top of the base.

 over time

Didn't realize that it was past 1500. I got into a rhythm and lost track of time. Everything was falling into step and without any oops to delay things. I felt a little tired but it was a good tired. I had accomplished more today than I expected to. 

I had gone to lunch with my wife and I ate like a condemned man. I had fish 'n chips, pickles, two rolls, and my wife's left over french fires and patty melt. Hoping that this doesn't bite me on the arse and draw blood on sunday's weigh in.

 accidental woodworker

Turning the Corner: Pentagöet Inn Newel Posts

Highland Woodworking - Wed, 05/08/2024 - 7:00am

Fresh from New York City, the new, young owners of the Pentagöet Inn in Castine, Maine arrived two summers ago to embrace the long history of the Town and especially their beautiful building in a way that is both impressive and sustainable.  Their vision and energy as owner/operators/hosts of this magnificent old-time, 130 year old wooden building, radiates an air of excitement, success, and intrinsic reward, and they have been honored properly by Hospitality Maine for their work..  At each phase of creative renovation effort, the interior and exterior are being transformed to preserve the history while thoughtfully and confidently moving into the next century.

One evening last summer while I dined there with family, I was invited to a sidebar discussion with the owners, introduced to their plan to restore the original but missing main entrance staircase funded by a significant grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. They asked if I would consider turning the four new newel posts they needed for the renovation later in the fall after they had received the necessary permits.  In early December, they received them, and they asked me to return for further discussion and a more specific look at what they wanted to accomplish. Their contractor had already begun replacing the rotted floor joists and flooring for the porch, and they hoped he could complete the new staircase by Christmas, the Maine weather having been unexpectedly cooperative.

The 38″ lower section of one of the original 8′ porch posts was the profile they wanted, and they had an architect’s drawing of what they would need for the new 42″ balustrade. They felt the drawing was not as close to the profile they wanted but would more closely represent what is required by the much newer codes.  While I was there, I pointed out to them the significant “repairs” to the lower section of porch post that were an attempt to disguise considerable rot with caulk and paint (not a good choice for a structural element).  I carefully measured the lower post and created a story-stick of what I thought the original profile would be working from that and the adjacent posts.   

The owners were fairly sure their architect had surveyed the porch and that while I needed to adapt the real profile (4 ¾” X 4 ¾”) to the taller design required to meet for code, the existing posts and rails would not be changed.  The architectural drawing called for a 5″ X 5″ blank which they did not want me to use, preferring to stick to the original 4 ¾” square profile.  All they needed from me was to create the four new newel posts for the new staircase balustrade that could be worked in smoothly with the existing posts and rails that framed the porch.

We discussed materials and pricing and together made the decision to have me glue up Alaskan Yellow Cedar (AYC) to make the turning blanks, the best readily-available, cost-effective choice for a long life outdoors.  I also understood initially that the newel posts should be two parts pinned through the new horizontal railing. 

AYC is readily available to us, is less expensive than Great Western Red Cedar, takes the water-resistant Titebond III glue well, and at 2″ X 6″ creates a blank (1 5/8″ X 5 ½”) that can be bandsawn, edge jointed, and surface planed to the desired 4 ¾” square blanks.

Working from both my story-stick of the lower post section as well as the architect’s drawing, I roughed the first blank, smoothed it, marked it, and finished the profile elements for the lower section using the Sorby continental 30mm roughing gouge, 32mm skew chisel, 10mm beading & parting tool.

With the first one complete, I reproduced it on the additional three lower blanks.

After I had cut and glued the eight blanks, I learned from the staircase contractor that they did not plan to pin through the horizontal rails after all.  This meant to me that I simply needed to adjust the length of the upper section and pin the two sections in the shop before delivering. Working with the additional blanks for the top section now adjusted to meet the overall height requirement, I turned the profile that I understood would be mounted above the horizonal rails and pinned through.

The most efficient way to get the new posts square and true was to glue the top and bottoms together as a unit at the bench using bench dogs and the end vice.

Fortunately, it all worked out well.  As is my custom, I primed the finished newel posts before delivering them on schedule – and understanding that with the cold weather they might not be painted very soon.

The contractors soon had them in place at the four corners of the emerging staircase, and very shortly thereafter they completed the remaining work on that portion of the job.

Unfortunately, when they began to tie the new staircase to the existing porch railing, they discovered that the first 8′ post had rotted beyond repair.  The caulk and paint “repairs””had masked an even larger problem that was beyond the scope of me replacing just the bottom section.  The rot went well up into the upper portion of the post.

Undeterred, the new owners asked me to turn a replacement post as soon as I could and to keep my story-stick handy for that anticipating their next restoration project on the other side of the new staircase next year.

“Turning the Corner,” focuses on using woodturning on the lathe as a way of enhancing cabinetry, furniture designs, gallery products, and architectural installations.  We hope to inspire woodworkers to extend their skills into basic, novice, and advanced woodturning while discovering for themselves this particularly sensual and spiritually rewarding dimension of working with wood. Located in Castine, Maine, Highlands Woodturning gallery and shop offers woodturning classes and shop time, a gallery of woodturned art, custom woodturning for repairs, renovations, and architectural installations. You can email Temple at temple@highlandswoodturning.com. Take a look at Temple’s Website at http://www.highlandswoodturning.com/

Categories: General Woodworking

Advertising 101

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 05/08/2024 - 4:00am
Advertising 101  1

Should we take some cues from this guy? I admit I took a picture of his sign (above) - he plastered the neighborhood - and I wasnt too shocked that he got coverage on CNN when the event happened. I dont know if he kept his mask on; perhaps he didnt want to be revealed as the Marketing Senior VP at a large corporation. He does know how to grab attention (and snacks).

I might like to spend most of my time designing tools, organizing the manufacture or tools and researching the history of tools, but I understand that unless we attract customers to buy tools, we don't eat.

Ultimately a sale depends on having the right product with a winning combo of price and performance. It helps to be a company that people want to deal with. But as our cheese ball fellow shows: getting new customers in the door is an essential skill.

Almost all of our architectural cabinet--maker customers rely on a small network of architects and contractors for all of their work. These are networks that take years to build. For a new person entering the market, it takes a while to get enough of a reputation to be included in a bid list.

Furniture makers have a far more complicated problem. You are not just selling a chair or a table, you are selling your take on how these items should look and function. And of course there are only a very small number of people who can afford bespoke furniture in the first place.

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), which describes itself as North Americas leading platform for contemporary furnishing design will be held next week. Furniture makers and other designers from around the world show off their wares; it's comparatively an expensive show at which to exhibit at but people do it. I do not know how effective the show is in a practical sense. The point of the show is that decorators come see your stuff and eventually have you make stuff for their customers. It is not an end user retail show. When I have gone in past years I have routinely seen a bunch of our customers exhibiting. I just don't know if after six months or so they feel it was worth it - although many have told me they have met a lot of interesting people.

But this is the problem for everyone. How do you find and inform potential customers? Pretty much everyone I know has a website and most people either have an Instagram account or feel guilty that they dont - but with varying success. The plus of social media is at its simplest it is free, and but requires a lot of hands-on labor. A trade show like the ICFF is expensive in actual cash flow but will expose you in a hands-on way to a very targeted, already motivated audience of buyers.

Unfortunately there arent too many shortcuts. Folks know that it isnt enough to create a social media account - they must constantly feed it, ideally with a consistent supply of charmingly crafted and engaging videos, something that even our customers with filmmaking experience balk at doing. But at least I can recommend a few classic books that helped me understand marketing - and are also enjoyable to read.

The first is "The Book of Gossage, by Howard Luck Gossage, aka the Socrates of San Francisco, a compilation that includes "Is there any hope for advertising?" Gossage was a wizard of an ad copywriter in the Mad Men era, who understood that you had to engage the customer. And the customer wasn't stupid, but rather just needed to be engaged. Engaged meant being presented with interesting and amusing ideas, not being swindled. I think Gossages wordy and plot driven approach is very appropriate to the modern age of internet marketing.

To address the visual side of things, Forget All the Rules You Ever Learned About Graphic Design: Including the Ones in This Book, by Bob Gill. Gill was not only a designer, copywriter, design professor and design agency founder, he was an impresario who (for better or worse) brought us Beatlemania. As his NY Times obituary described him, Gill was an irreverent graphic designer who helped transform his profession from its decorative roots into a business of ideas. Forget All the Rules definitely encourages you to distill your message.

The third book is "How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling " by Frank Bettger. Bettger was a washed-up baseball player in his early twenties who needed another livelihood and found it in sales. This is a book, published in 1949 and still in print, whose hardcover version had a groovy look and a blurb from Dale Carnegie, Bettgers mentor. (The paperback version, not so much.) The book is full of insights about high-end personal sales. If your plan is to close the deal - the step after successful marketing gives you the opportunity to do so - its helpful to understand sales as well.

Even big names understand the importance of getting the word out in a cost-effective way. Last year Erykah Badu advertised her shows with billboards plastered across the city. I'm not particularly a fan but wow - did that poster grab my attention.

Advertising 101  2
By the way, marketing does not need to be original to be effective. Our cheese ball friend got his message out with a compelling easy to spot sign plastered on a parking permit machine. Great eye-catching graphics are important. But in NYC, signs are everywhere. Cheese Ball was competing with (among other things) a far less effective sign promoting an EP stuck a few feet away on a mailbox.

Advertising 101  3

In case you are curious: while the cheese ball guy did it all himself, there are companies in NYC that would be happy to paste up your poster everywhere. The rules are, you can put stuff up on construction sites covered in plywood barriers but not over real stuff that isn't temporary.


And if youre in the NY area, I thoroughly recommend a visit to the Poster House Museum. Each exhibit is a master class in art and design, and in distilling a marketing objective.

A random display of billboards plastering a SoHo construction siteA random display of billboards plastering a SoHo construction site

10 degrees higher........

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 05/08/2024 - 3:12am

 The mercury was forecasted to be a high of 74F (23C) today. It got pushed up a wee but further to 84F (29C). It wasn't that warm when I went on my post lunch stroll, it was only 72F. If it had been any higher I wouldn't have gone on walk about. I did that last summer when the temp was 87F (31C) and I ended up in the ER for 6 hours. I will have to do my strolls this summer in the AM when it isn't as hot and humid yet.

 CPAP supplies

This is what I'll get every six months. I got it early because my nasal hose ripped on me. I'll have to find a hole to stick these in and I think I found it already. I'm going to make a miniature blanket chest to keep them in. I can't do anything on the toy/blanket chest so I'll knock this one out.

 it might be enough

I have two 1x12x5' boards left. Depending upon how big I make this I might get it all from these two.

no offers

I put these up on Saw Mill Creek and I got a lot of looks (over 200) but no nibbles. I thought the #5s would sell quick but I was wrong. I'll stick them in the boneyard where they'll gather dust till I figure out what to do with them.

 not going to bother

The 4 woodies and the #3 & #4 metal planes I am not even going to try to sell on the Creek. I think all the rehabbing I did on them plus what I paid for them, priced them out of the reach or desire of someone wanting them.

 small cove molding

Find these in the boneyard when I put the planes in there. It is a perfect fit for the base of the chest.

 the gap on the right

There is almost zero gap on the front and what is on the right isn't glaring. I could live with it but the molding will hide it. Besides I like the look of the cove molding as it transits into the chamfer on the base.

room for the cove molding

Because the chest isn't square the gap isn't uniform. This front corner is open and the back corner is tight. Overall I don't hate it but paint won't fill the gaps but the moldings will cover it.

 carcass

I made the long sides 25" and the short ends, 15". I like the side proportions being 3/5 which dictated the measurements. The stock left over from this won't be enough to get the lid out of. I'll have to make a Lowes run to get some pine for the lid and plywood for the bottom of the chest.

 ready to make sawdust

Tails were laid out and secured in the vise for sawing them. I used the dividers to layout 5 tails to keep with the multiple of 5 for this chest.

 lunch bell was ringing

Tails chopped and cleaned up. Laid out and sawed the pins. After the stroll I chopped the pins and did a dry fit. Fingers crossed here that I'll get it glued and cooking before 1500.

 couldn't resist

Before I went topside to fill the pie hole I sawed one miter to check the corner fit. The molding is about 5 frog hairs from the angle of the chamfer. If it were any closer I would have planed or sawed a wee bit off the front edge of the molding.

PM session

Tried something new for me with both the tails and pins. I usually chop the tails on one side and then the other. The same dance steps for the pin boards. With the big chest and this one I ganged the tail and pin boards on top of each other and chopped them one after the other. IMO it is much quicker doing it this way vice individually.

 oops

I dropped the pin board twice. I got a ding here and on the other diagonal corner. Luckily for me both of the dings were on the same edge. This was the top but it is now the bottom. After the base is installed this and the other boo boos won't be seen.

 needed some help

The tails wouldn't fully seat on either end. There was a slight cup in both ends that were throwing a hissy fit. I had a devil of a time squaring it up and I settled for a strong 16th off on the diagonals. I clamped the 3 tails in the middle and I got two good results with that. The first was pulling the middle flat which also helped with seating the top and bottom tails. The second was it improved the squareness of the carcass. The diagonals after the clamps went on improved to less than 16th off on the diagonals.

base stock

Used one leftover board from the toy/blanket chest (short ends) and the miniature chest (long sides) to get the base. The base height isn't a multiple of 5 - I sawed to width that looked good to my eye - 3 1/8".

 panel raiser

It is clearly stamped NE Toolworks, Groton Ct. I was stationed at the Groton submarine base for almost 17 years and I don't recall it all. I looked at a Leon Robbins plane on Jim Bode's site and it looks similar to this. The only difference I noted was the Leon plane had a strike button on the toe and this plane doesn't have one. Any reader heard of NE Toolworks or have a history about it?

Watched the first 4 episodes of Spiral, season 4 yesterday. I had my fingers crossed because I didn't have a warm and fuzzy that the DVD player would work. I was less worried about that and more so about the old tech TV (12 years old?). No hiccups at all. The only hiccup was there isn't a pause button on the DVD player. You have to  use stop and play to resume. I should get through the next 4 episodes tonight and the next 4 tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

toy/blanket chest pt X..........

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 05/07/2024 - 3:17am

 I thought today would have been the final post but it ain't so boys and girls. The hold up was beyond my control - the screws I need for the hinges won't be here until wednesday. That is one bad thing about getting hinges that come without screws. So I'm dead in the water with the chest for now. The only thing I can do on it is put a cove/corner round molding on the base.

RTFI

That stands for Read The Fxxxing Instructions. If I had read them I wouldn't have been cursing out this wood putty as crappola. It says in plain english that this putty does not harden. 

 more instruction I missed

It says again in plan english, (my native tongue) that you apply the putty and use a damp cloth to smooth it out right away. Using the instructions I had no hiccups with it this time.

 working the base

I was going to use the belt sander to clean up and smooth the base but the wife was still sleeping. Switched over to the #3 to do it. The brown nut was cooperative and no headaches planing it from both directions. 

 getting a headache

I studied these last night and this AM things were still a wee bit blurry. I am ass-u-ming that the measurements are in metric but it doesn't state that anywhere on the instruction sheet that I could find. I tried translating the measurements from decimal to metric and that did nothing for me neither. I'll be tackling the installation of this in PM session.

 lid chamfer

I had two choices for the lid detail - bullnose/round over or a chamfer. I picked the chamfer.

matching chamfer

The lid chamfer is 5/16" and the base chamfer is 1/4". I lost a 16th for the base because I still might put a molding on the top of the base.

 corners first

Before I took any end to end runs I planed the corners first. That is so when I did go end to end I wouldn't blow out the corners. I got lucky with the base as 3 of the sides I was able to plane from R to L. The last one (long side) I had to plane L to R to avoid tearing it out.

 done

Another reason why I did a 1/4" on the base was to leave a 1/2" for the molding, if any. Whether or not I do that depends upon the size of the gap once I mate the base with the chest.

 married
I used 2 screws to attach the base to the chest. No need for anymore than that. The chisel was used to flush 3 of the corner braces that were proud of the bottom of the base.
 

 ready to jump into it

I studied the instructions some more during lunch and I feel a little more comfortable with them. I have a several rules graduated in metric that I will use to install this.

 not much hardware

One nice aspect of this lid stay is that it can go on the left or right side. The metal pear shaped disc is proving to be a doozie to figure out. There are specific angles between the screws and the post at the top of it. Clueless as to how to lay them out. One of them is ~28° and the other one is ~30°.

 all 8 seasons

I am so happy that this came 3 days early. I have been nursing myself on season 5 and I watched the last episode of it last night. Now I don't have to buy any episodes from season 6 to 8. I'll go back and watch season 4 that I missed entirely and that should fill in some holes I had with season 5.

new to me toy

Can you guess what this is? I got it from Patrick Leach and it was item WP 9. He says it is an unmarked Leon Robbins fielding plane.

 sweet looking plane

I like the look of this and it is a lot lighter (and smaller) than I thought it would be. It is a laminated construction plane too with the rear handle offset from the center line of the plane.

 why I bought it

This plane fields the angle and planes a flat that fits in the groove on the stiles/rails.

it is the law

Of course I had to stop what I was doing and road test the plane as is.

 came up short

I wasn't able to plane the entire profile. This is about 1/2 of it. Each plane, wooden or metal, has its own personality and you have to make friends with it. I had even projection of the iron around the mouth but the plane wasn't making any shavings. I didn't want to work the why then so I set it aside and went back to the lid stay headache.

 about 1/2

Based on laying the iron on what I was able to produce I can see the fielded portion will be about a 1/2" or so wider.

 yikes

I don't understand this plate and how to properly position it. The post at the top left is what the arm hits to stop the lid from opening beyond that. As for the angles I have a couple of clear protractors that I can use to get the two angles. I just have to extend a couple of lines out 5-6 inches more.

 not for weighing me

The width of the lid determines how much weight the lid stay can handle. The chart is for two lid stays (surprise - I missed that tidbit) and I'm using only one so I have to halve the weights in the chart to get how much weight one stay can handle. The lid with the 3 hinges weighed 7.8 pounds which is over the limit for one stay. I can't use this lid stay. I need to have a lid stay on this box because the boys will be using it. If it were a blanket chest I would put a chain stay on it.

caught a me-steak

There is an error with the instructions. It says that the center to center hold spacing on the arm retainer is 32mm. It is 16mm, the retainer is ~40mm long. Straightened that out and saw that I screwed up the lay for it big time. The retainer has to be 10.5mm away from the inside edge of the chest. I forgot to add the 1 1/16" overhang to the equation. Still debating the lid stay dilemma. Use two of these or buy a gas strut rated for my lid's dimensions and weight?  I have time because Diane isn't going to NC until the first of next month.

 table worked well

If push came to shove, I would lower this about 6-8" to make it perfect. It worked good but having it a wee bit lower would facilitate the installation of the lid stay by making it more comfortable.

 first problem to address

The iron wedge extends too far. Not sure but this could be why I wasn't able to plane the full profile.

 second problem
There is a hump on the back of the iron. This is after 7-8 strokes on the medium diamond stone. This bevel is going to have to sharpened/honed by hand too. There are four edges that need to be honed. I might do this tomorrow because I can't work on the chest.

accidental woodworker

Stain Walnut? Are You Crazy?!

Wunder Woods - Mon, 05/06/2024 - 9:13pm

The answer is, only a little. And, yes sometimes we do stain walnut and this is why (and how).

First off, for those that don’t know, walnut has a chocolatey brown heartwood that is known for its rich color and is often finished without adding color because it is pretty on its own. Sounds simple enough, it looks great, why mess with it? Well, there are four reasons to stain walnut:

  1. Color Consistency. Walnut not only has dark heartwood, but like all other woods, has a light colored ring of sapwood on the outside of the log. Depending on the cut, walnut lumber may contain streaks of nearly white sapwood. Even if the lumber does not contain sapwood, areas near the sapwood can appear much lighter in color. Walnut heartwood also varies in color from tree to tree. Some lean towards more red, some green and some purple. Staining the wood will make lumber from different trees and different areas of the same tree have the same hue and have a similar range of shade.
  2. Increased yield. If walnut is not stained, the only way to keep a piece in the dark color range is to remove all sapwood. To keep from having to trim off all of the sapwood, commercially produced walnut is steamed to darken the sapwood. Even though the steaming process makes the sapwood darker and more like the heartwood, without stain the color difference will be much more noticeable. Staining the wood will make much more of the tree usable, since both the heartwood and sapwood can all be used.
  3. Longer lasting color. Walnut is one of the few woods I know of that lightens in color as it ages. When stained the brown color will hold tight for much, much longer.
  4. It stains great. This isn’t really a reason to stain walnut, but it is worth noting. Walnut accepts all stains well. As long as the surface is sanded properly, staining is a breeze. No splotchy wood here.

When staining walnut, I like to use a mix of Special Walnut and Dark Walnut from Minwax. I feel like Special Walnut is a little too brown with most of the color coming from brown pigment and the Dark Walnut is a bit too black with most of the color coming from black dye. But, when mixed together, they are the perfect blend of color and penetration, which makes the walnut color more consistent and keeps the wood looking like walnut without hiding the grain.

We stain walnut commonly in applications with plywood, like commercial millwork, to provide consistency to the job over multiple products and to give the project a deeper, richer walnut tone. We also stain walnut lumber, like the table in the video below for the same reasons. I think the stain does an excellent job of bringing the entire project together, while not hiding the walnut lumber.

Click on the video below to see how the walnut looks after it is stained and finished.

toy/blanket chest pt IX..........

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 05/06/2024 - 3:51am

The light at the end of the tunnel is shining bright. It is so bright it is blinding me. That means I'm wrapping up the loose ends on the chest. I could have finished it today but I quit the shop early. I am willing to bet a lung that I will be done with it tomorrow. The one caveat will be how well I understand the instructions for installing the lid stay.

 it still fits

This is the first thing I tired when I got to the shop this AM. It was still the slip fit I had yesterday. 

this woody putty sucks

This stuff sanded off easily but it didn't feel hard and dry this AM. I'll have to keep an eye on it going forward from here.

base cut out time

I have used my jigsaw to saw out the base on another project (like this one) and it didn't go smoothly. It was hard to secure the base and not have the jigsaw vibrate the base like crazy. Decided to saw out the base by hand.

 two saws

The japanese saw (azebiki) is for sawing the long straight edge. The coping saw is for the curved ends.

 first long side done

I positioned the straight edge on the pencil so the saw cut would be in the waste side. I did all the straight cuts first and then the end curves.

last one

No hiccups with the straight cuts. All of them have the pencil lines left for me to rasp down to.

 base cut out done

I was going to use my oscillating spindle sander to smooth the curved ends but nixed it. I didn't feel like fighting it to get the sander out and on the work table. I used rasps and sand paper to do all the cleaning and smoothing of the cut out.

The sawing with the coping saw went well. I was concerned about it because I don't have a lot of time on the pond using one. The first one was the worse but still on the waste side. By the time I got to the last one I had a consistent saw kerf parallel to the pencil line.

 stiffeners

I glued in blocks in each corner with white glue just before lunch. That way they would be set up enough so I could saw out the base.

 went quickly

The curved cuts didn't come out square. They weren't horribly out but I didn't have any hiccups squaring them up. The shaping and smoothing of the base went pretty quick. I don't think it took an hour. Don't know for sure because I got in a rhythm and knocked it without stopping to ooh and aah over it.

last one done

I didn't go nutso on the shaping the curves dead nuts on the pencil lines. Instead I eyeballed it for smooth, flowing transition from the bottom into the straight edge.

 base still fits

Got my first look see at the base and the chest as one. I like the proportions of the two and it looks to be a good height for Leo and Miles to get their toys from. 

 sneak peek

Not much left to put a check mark in the done column. Screw the base to the chest, install the lid stay, with the final step screwing in the hinges. McMaster said the screws I ordered shipped yesterday so I may get them tomorrow. I also ordered screws from Lee Valley along with some cast iron handles. Don't know when the LV order will get here. Supplies may have a say with the check mark.

 the gap

The gap isn't as wide as I thought it would be. I have the chest pushed up tight to the other end so all the gap is at this end and side.

 the other end

I am ok with this as it is. I fudged the chest R/L adjusting the gap to where it was minimal 360. I think I will still put a 1/4 round or cove molding on the top of the base. That will close off and hide the gaps. The only boo boo with that is the base is square but the chest isn't. Doing the miters for that might be a Royal PITA.

accidental woodworker

Linenfold

An Unplugged Woodworker - Sun, 05/05/2024 - 11:01am

I realize it has been a while since last I posted anything, but rest assured, I am back in the saddle again! In my previous blog post, I had just returned from the Society of American Period Furniture Makers (SAPFM) Annual Conference in New Bern, NC, where I had the pleasure of attending a linenfold carving demonstration by Mary May. After a short visit to Seattle to visit my daughters and granddaughter, I set out to build another joined chest, this time with cherry linenfold panels.

With the oak stock for the front of the chest roughed out, I determined the width of the cherry panels. The oak legs are roughly 1-1/8 inches thick by 2-1/4 inches wide. The oak top and bottom rails are 4 inches / 3 inches wide, respectively, by 31-1/2 inches long and 3/4 inch thick. The oak muntins are 5-1/4 inches wide by 14 inches long by 3/4 inch thick. The overall chest (excluding the lid) is 34 inches wide by 15-1/4 inches deep by 24 inches high. Given that The panels rest in a 1/4 inch wide by 3/8 inch deep groove, the center cherry panel is 8-1/8 inches wide by 13-1/4 inches long by 3/4 inch thick. The left and right cherry panels are 6-3/4 inches wide by 13-1/4 inches long by 3/4 inch thick. Whew!

As with most joined chests, there are a lot of mortise and tenon joints. For the most part, I like to use a 3/8 inch thick barefaced tenon with the tenon slightly out of plumb. The tenons at the top and bottom of the muntins are but 1/4 inch, centered on the end of the board.

Now for some linenfold action. 

I started by cutting a 1-1/8 inch wide rebate around the perimeter of each panel, leaving about 1/4 inch thickness around the perimeter. 

Steps with rounded sides using a plow plane and a round molding plane gave the illusion of folded cloth. A hollow molding plane to the left and right of the panel center helped further the illusion.

At this point, out come the carving tools! (1) To carve the scrolls at the ends, I used a 10mm #41 V-tool, 20mm #5, 10mm #7, and 6mm #3 straight gouges, a 1-1/4” bench chisel, a mallet, a pencil, and a couple of rifflers. (2) Pencil in the scroll across the width of the raised area of the panel. (3) Bevel the end of the raised area as shown, curving down to the deeper fold. Redraw the scroll. (4) Note the red and blue lines. Using a V-tool, incise a line along the red lines. Make sure NOT to cut beyond the blue lines. (5) Make sure to leave the pencil line visible. Cut just to the side of it as shown. (6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11) Remove the center section using the V-tool, gouge, and chisel. Take this area all the way down to the level of the perimeter rebate. (12, 13) Using gouges, round the corners of the scroll, getting as close to the pencil line as possible. (14, 15) With a small gouge, hollow out the scrolls to form the folds. (16) Use a small gouge and perhaps rifflers to further clean and form the folds. (17) Most importantly, maintain an unbroken scroll.

The above is for the two side panels. The center panel uses the same techniques. I will let you decide how!

With the face frame complete, I turned the corner with some narrow spalted maple panels. I found this maple board in an antique store in Monroe, Georgia. It spoke to me.

For the back panel of the chest, I used a variation of a construction technique from the Savell Shop in 17th-century Braintree, MA. I learned of this technique through an article in a 1996 edition of American Furniture by Peter Follansbee and John Alexander (Seventeenth-Century Joinery from Braintree, Massachusetts: The Savell Shop Tradition). The back panel slides up from the bottom via grooves in the legs. An offset bottom rail helps secure the panel via pegs. Although the back bottom rail can be tricky, this has become my preferred method!

Here is a photo of the John Savell chest.

Here is my version of the joint at the back bottom rail.

Although the Savell method calls for a groove in the front bottom rail, please realize I am using 3/4 inch stock for my face frame. Therefore, I added a similar bottom rail just behind the face frame. The tongue and grooved floorboards sit atop these rails, secured with wooden pegs.

My panel has double bevels to mate with the 3/4-inch thick rails, as the rails, legs, and panel are all in the same plane. It should go without saying that the floor goes in before the back panels are slid into place and secured.

The lid overhangs the chest 1/4 inch in the back and 1 inch to the sides and front. 3/4 inch thick cleats help prevent any warpage. The lid is attached using snipe hinges.

I finished the chest with boiled linseed oil and turpentine (50:50), adding a few drops of shop-made walnut dye.

It may have seemed like a long wait, but I believe this chest was worth it. Thanks for your patience!

toy/blanket chest pt VIII..........

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 05/05/2024 - 3:34am

 Closing in on the finish line with the chest. Last night I was thinking about getting handles for it. Today moving the chest on and off the workbench was tiring and awkward. The size of the chest precludes being able to pick it up as is and move it around. That is with it empty too - moving it even partially full isn't going to happen sans handles. Chest handles,  or at least the ones I searched for, didn't do much for me. Making wooden ones so far hasn't borne any fruit neither. I have the rest of the month to think of something. 

 it is surviving

I took the base apart and put it back together twice without any hiccups. The knot is still solidly attached. At the end of the day I took it apart and back together 6 times.

 bearers

Changed my mind on the bearers for the chest. Glued and screwed I think they will be able to do their intended job.

 not fitting

I want the tails/pins to be as gap free as possible. I have wiggle room because this will painted but still. Because the chest isn't square I have the base on and I marked top edge of the base where I need to remove some wood for it to fit.

 tapered

I planed this taper with my Record shoulder plane. I only had to plane the part of the base above the bearer. That is why I installed them before I tried to fit the base.

 done

It took two planing runs before I got the base to slip over the chest. I was happy with the fit and the gap was almost nothing. I was looking at it upside down and the real eyeballing will be after it is glued and screwed to the chest.

 hide glue

I could have used white glue but opted for hide. I didn't need the open time but I might have to knock it apart later for some reason.

still fit

Glued and cooking and it still fits. I left the base on the chest for 20 minutes to allow it to form itself to the chest bottom.

 sizing the lid

The lid will overhang the front and sides by 1". I wanted the two boards of the lid to be the same width. So I measured from the glue joint out to the edges so both were the same.

 laid out

Used big Red to knife the ends.

 knife line

I sawed about a 1/8" off the knife line. 

 planed to the knife line

I got the ends square to the front/rear edges but it didn't matter here. With the chest out of square the overhang will hide it. If the lid was flush I would have had to matched the lid to the chest. It was good practice squaring up a large panel - 19" x 37 1/2".

 what is this called?

I like this and it is something that I usually put on projects like this that it could go on. I put it on here mostly so things won't fall off the back edge. No telling what the boys will do or use this for.

 screw gauge

I needed some #4 screws and this box has a mixture of several sizes. I got this gauge when I was 22(?) at Elridge Hardware store in Norwich Conn. I couldn't find enough screws so I ordered a couple boxes from McMaster-Carr.

 setting the hinges

Made sense to me to fix the hinge leaf on the lid first and then onto the edge of the chest. 

 only 3 screws

Each hinge needs 7 screws and 3 was sufficient to check the placement of them. I took them off after I was satisfied with them.

 nailed it

This is why I did the hinges now. I wanted the back edge of the lid to be flush or a wee bit proud of the back. I am a a frog hair proud. No problem with the hinges opening and closing. I think using the 3rd one in the middle is definitely needed due to the size/weight of the lid.

 done

I changed the overhang on the front. One inch looked to be a bit too much to my eye so I changed it to 3/4".

 glued and cooking

I didn't put any screws in this but I might do that tomorrow. The glue bond should be ok with keeping this attached.

 end grain

Sanded the end grain up to 220. I got them smooth and even and when painted the paint will look even and smooth too.

 pitch pocket

Paint doesn't adhere/cover pine pitch pockets. I will dig this out and fill it with a dutchman.

 hmm.....

It had been several hours since I applied this wood putty and it still hadn't hardened. Fingers crossed that it will be so come tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

toy/blanket chest pt VII...........

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 05/04/2024 - 3:25am

 Another good day in the shop and today I actually met my goals. My wife will be painting the chest so I don't have to go nutso putting shellac on it. That will save me a lot of $$, time, and calories. I will sand it up to 180 for the paint. But getting back to the chest, there isn't much left to do. Put the lid and the base on and install the hinges and the lid stay and it will be done.

I resisted the urge

No surprises taking the clamps off. Nothing relaxed, moved, or said aah.

 waiting for me this AM

Amazon said this was coming yesterday and then said it would be the next day. It came sometime after 2030 last night to 0700 this AM. I noticed that lately the shipping from Amazon Prime is touch and go with it mostly being OTL (out to lunch). My wife is fuming over Prime because they haven't shipped her new cell phone cover. Said it was out for delivery and then said oops, it just shipped. 

This lid stay isn't a gas strut lid stay. The circular part of it is what keeps the lid from slamming shut. The instructions don't give a lot detail on how it works but the ones for the installation are clear enough.

one long side overhang is too much

The chest is a 1/4" out of square on the diagonals. Thankfully it isn't something that is visible and will have zero effect on its use as a toy box or blanket chest. Because of the whack job squaring I did I had to oversize the lid more than I would. One long side tapers from almost 3/8" at the wide end to 3/16" on the short end. I put a flush trim bit in the router and flushed the bottom to the chest.

 4x24 belt sander

Before I got into handplanes I used this sander to flatten my glue ups. I was pretty good at and I used it here to flush the pins/tails and smooth out the sides. This is a powerful tool and it will easily go south on you if you aren't paying attention. I had to clamp the chest to the lally column because the sander wanted to send it shooting across the cellar floor.

 not good looking

Glad that this will be painted because this end panel doesn't look good. In fact none of the sides rate a grade better a F-.

 tails are seated

All of the tails are seated on all four corners. The baselines are chipped out (from knifing them) and that makes it look like there are gaps. I'll be filling them in with wood putty.

 base stock

The main goal for today was to get the base done and dry fitted to the base.

 brown knot

The worse kind to deal with. Red knots tend to stay in place whereas brown ones dry, shrink, and fall out. I wicked in a lot of super glue around the edges - fingers crossed on that. I'll put this one on the back of the chest.

 lunch bell just rang

I was going to go with one big tail in the middle but I had to revise that. The brown knot didn't like the one tail idea.

the PM session

Went for a short walk after lunch in spite of the dark clouds. No rain clouds on the radar but I still didn't want to chance it so it was about 1/2 of what I would walk on a sunny day. Got the last of the pins chopped and ready to see if they would go together off the saw.

 off the saw

I made this a 16th and one frog hair wider in both directions than the chest. If there are any gaps they will be hidden with a cove molding.

 the brown knot

I didn't have any hiccups sawing the tail through the knot. When I laid the board down on the bench it popped off. I scraped it and the hollow in the tail and superglued it back in place again.

 got it on dry

The base was tighter and harder to get on the chest than I thought it would be. One corner is the Achilles heel and it is probably the long out of square diagonal too. Not sure how to deal with that but I'll figure out something. I also will saw out the cutout in the base after it has set.

 bearers sawn out

Not sure if I will stick with these. They are a 1/2 x 3/4 and they look wimpy to my eye now that I see them with the base and the chest all together.

 got everything

 I got the hinges for the chest and that is it for supplies. I don't need anything else to complete it. Got my green sanding block - I left special instructions for it but I wasn't sure it would happen. 

 tool care wax

Giving this a try out. The instructions say it only takes a dab to protect a tool. I don't have a rust problem in my shop but I have been known to spill coffee on them. I hope this does the trick with that hiccup.

accidental woodworker

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