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General Woodworking

photos from this week

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 9:16am

We got out early on the vernal equinox, to see the sunrise over the trees on the riverbank. While we waited, these red-breasted mergansers came along, chasing the fish along the river.  The other fish-chaser, great blue heron left the scene, water was too high for him.

The sun hit the workshop before it hit us down at the river.

Inside, I’m a sucker for raking light.Now that I finished the chest with drawers, this one is next. Needs some trimming here & there, and fitting the lid. Then when someone buys it, initials carved in the blank area on the center muntin.

Here’s the first 2 (of 8) panels I carved for a bedstead I am making for a customer.

A couple of boxes underway. The front of this one was a carving sample for my recent class in North House Folk School.

Here I’m working on cutting the rabbets for another, smaller box. 

Here it is, test-fitted. Next is to make the till parts, and assemble it.

we went to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston the other day. the kids are studying Greek myths, and we went to look at Greek art, mostly sculpture & pottery. I saw patterns everywhere. I probably hadn’t been in those galleries since the 1980s. Amazing stuff.


Kerfing Planes In Wisconsin Part 1

Inside the Oldwolf Workshop - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 8:48am
To say this without ranting, a few years ago my bandsaw broke, unrepairable and unsupported by the company that slapped their name on the side of the POS and my resaw world has suffered for it. As I weighed my options I decided that a meat powered frame saw might be a better way for me to go.


I rolled that around for a while until I was able to get my hands on a resaw and kerfing plane kit from Bad Axe Toolworks last early fall. Mark Harrell had recently revisited and retuned the kit as a whole and had all the parts and pieces up to his usual over the top quality. The man doesn't know the meaning of the word compromise.

Since I was just setting up shop yet at the time I decided working on the kerfing plane part of the package was where to start. Tom Fidgen really is the pied piper of the resurgence of these tools in hand tool woodworking circles and the kerfing plane is the key to making resawing a more reliable operation. the shallow grooves made by the kerfing plane help keep the resaw blade on track and reduce the skill buy-in factor.

The original kerfing planes I saw had arms and an adjustable fence like a plow plane. This seemed ok but a little fiddly to make in my shop. But I'd also recently snapped up a set of match planes and tuned them up to work on 3/4" stock. Now I was inspired.


I wanted to make a dedicated width kerfing plane, but I wanted to be able to also cut kerfs for three different common thicknesses I use. The answer is to make three different plane bodies and just be prepared to swap the plate out from one to another.


Since I like those match planes so much I decided to use them as the pattern for the kerfing planes themselves. I pulled some walnut chunks off the pile and milled them up in preparation.


I used my tablesaw to consistently set the repeated cuts to remove big swats of the stock. I completed all the cuts with handsaws and cleaned things up with some chisel work.


Once the basics were done I recreated a couple details from the match planes. This little finger groove along the top of the fence is a nice touch that figures into the comfort of using these tools. Those old planemakers really knew what they were doing and I'm lucky to be able to stand on their shoulders.


There were still a couple problems to work out, shaping the handle and fitting the blade square to the fence and I'll write about those things soon.

Thanks for hanging out while I took a break. It's good to be back and re-energized

Ratione et Passionis
Oldwolf
Categories: General Woodworking

Book Giveaway: Woodturning Techniques for Furniture & Cabinetmaking

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 5:00am
woodturning techniques for furniture makers

One of our newest books comes from Windsor chair expert Mike Dunbar. The book covers woodturning from a furniture and cabinetmaking perspective. If you’d prefer to make your own furniture components rather than buy mass-produced factory-made parts, then “Woodturning Techniques: Furniture & Cabinetmaking” may be of interest to you. You’ll need access to a lathe, of course – but the rewards of learning how to use woodturning tools to create your own chair […]

The post Book Giveaway: Woodturning Techniques for Furniture & Cabinetmaking appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Stanley #120 pt II..........

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 1:47am
I did some more work on the block planes and some work on the bookshelf. I didn't finish either one. I'll keep going on the bookshelf but the planes will be shelved for the time being. I also need to work on my stand up desk at work. I used my small keyboard desk and that is ok but I need something else to lay out paperwork on so I can work on it. I let my cube mate use this week so I can get a critique from him on it. I'll find out what he has to say about it tomorrow.


24 hrs later it's green
I dumped a 1/4 cup of citrus acid in the water and put all the parts in making sure everything was under water. I did something new for me here. I usually clean up the rust first but this time I didn't. I watched a bunch of You tube videos where he tried 8 different methods of rust removal. I'll be sticking with Evaporust and citrus acid.

Matt's came out a little cleaner
This didn't have a lot of rust on it.

Ouch! switched to using my right hand
rinsed and driedof any water with the hair dryer

I am pretty happy with how clean the parts are. There is no visible rust on any of the plane parts.

the plane adjusters
Matt's plane is on the top and this was covered with visible rust. It is looking good here but I can still see some rust.

my iron is a Sweet Heart one
Matt's iron has writing on but I need help to see it
it's faint but this is what I saw
It's looking like Matt's plane is the older one. I thought that mine was the oldest one.

spin wheels
Both of these are in pretty good shape. Either one spins true, but neither has any excessive wobble to it. Matt's lever cap is on the right it looks like it has gotten more wear on the nub then mine.

how the blade is adjusted
The serrations on the back of the iron lie on the ones on the lever adjust. Moving that, moves the iron up and down.

all the way down
all the way up
There is not a lot of movement here. I don't think that it moved more than 1/8". That means the iron isn't going to have a wide range of movement.

my lever adjust doesn't work
Matt's plane works
My SW iron works in Matt's plane. My lever cap works in Matt's plane. My plane will make shavings the way it is but I don't have any adjustment at all.

my serrations are kind of flattened out
Matt's serrations are better defined
didn't work
I tried to file a couple of them but I think the file is too big. I might have been able to do it with a smaller file .

side view of my adjuster
Even if I had a smaller file it would not have worked. The adjuster falls off at the bottom left. It doesn't make contact with the serrations on the iron. This is toast.

Matt's adjuster
This adjuster is level and the 'teeth' are better defined. They make good contact with the iron but I can see why this didn't last. This is definitely not made for a ham fisted guy.

It looks like I'll be rehabbing Matt's plane and not mine. I'll keep mine as is and use it as a paint remover plane. I'll paint Matt's plane, sand the sides and the sole, and make it look as brand new as I can. I put these two aside for now and I'll come back to them later on.


There you go Bob. This is all I know about these. When can I expect a #120 blog post?

feet stock - this face is flat and straight with no hump
sawed off the front and back pieces
I am pretty damn happy about it
This is pretty good for right off of the saw. This is the back and it doesn't have to be perfect because nothing will referenced off of this.

the front is dead nuts
The front will be the reference face and I'll make all of my measurements off of it.

the fronts
The left one is 2 frog hairs longer than it's mate. This doesn't matter if they are slightly off. Since the front is the reference face, the back can be longer and will be hardly noticeable without a microscope.

I can't plane the two of these as one
It looks like I'll planing to the line on both of these. I should have thought ahead on this so I could have done it that way.

need a bigger fence
The front face is at a 5° angle but I'll get a lot of tear out if I try to shoot it on this.

used my small block plane
This went very quickly because I had sawn the faces so good. These will ebonized and will be seen so I want this face to be clean as I can get it.

Tomorrow I'll saw off the tops to the feet and see how well I can do planing them separately and end up with the two of them the same.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What did ancient prospectors use to collect grains of gold from streams?
answer - the fleece of sheep

Inexpensive Window Trim

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 6:22pm

The windows in our house aren’t much to talk about. Just 36″ square vinyl windows in a typical ranch. I’m not sure how old they are as I know they aren’t original to the house, but were here when I bought it fifteen years ago. My wife, Anita, wanted to jazz them up a bit and give them some character, so she asked me to make trim to go around them.

20170312_105920

The first thing we did, was to take out the marble sill, which was the hardest part. Sometimes they get stuck inside the frame, so I had brake them apart in order for them to come loose. If I was lucky, I could cut the sealant around the sill and jimmy it loose.

20170312_105942

I made a new sill out of 7/8″ thick maple. I tried to get rift sawn material so it wouldn’t warp too bad. I cut notches on both sides of the sill so it would stick out on the wall so the 1×4’s could lay on top of it.

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We wanted the header to have character so we took a 1×6 of pine and attached a 1×2 on the top. We then laid a cove molding on the 1×6.

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Using my small miter box, I was able to cut the tiny pieces of cove for the ends.

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I then took a piece of pine 1/2″ thick and used my block plane to shape the corners and ends to create a bullnose. I pinned everything together  with my 18 gauge pneumatic nailer to complete the header.

img_20170312_142516_891

Back at the window, I measured, cut, and nailed the rest of the pieces to the wall using a 15 gauge finish nailer. I trimmed the maple sill so that there would be a 3/4″ overhang to sides on both ends.

img_20170312_202015_986

Here’s the close up of the header nailed to the wall. The 1/2″ thick bullnose hangs over 1/2″ on both sides of the frame.

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After filling the nail holes with putty, Anita caulked, primed, and painted the window trim. We did both windows in our bedroom the same way. The next step is to frame around the closet, paint the room, get a new headboard, new blinds, ceiling fan, rug, etc… I don’t know, ask Anita, she’s the designer. haha


Bookboards I

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 7:15am

Some time last year I was contacted by the ancient book caretakers of the Library of Congress (LC) to inquire about some in-house training they needed in woodworking.  Yes, that’s right, ancient book caretakers needed to know about woodworking.  Actually I knew that because many, many years ago I had helped a colleague in the same department with a project having to do with  very large format book (about the size of a Roubo original edition) that was having problems with its bookboards, or cover boards, which were made of oak.  You see, the the world of old books, especially those from about 1500 and older, wooden book covers are simply part of the equation.  While the specialists at LC were expert in the care of the paper contents, and their bindings, they were a bit hazy on the details and practices of fashioning the wooden boards.

Having participated in a number of collaborations with LC over my career, they asked if I could come and teach them.  Of course the answer was “Yes” and we began the Dance of the Conflicting Calendars.  Combined with the political brinkmanship that is endemic to Mordor on the Potomac it took many months for the training to occur last month.  One of the items looming overhead was the sub rosa blustering about “shutting the government down” to accomplish some partisan goal or another.  (My own attitude on that matter as a skeptical non-partisan Strict Constructionist Declarationist I wished the government would shut down, or at least retreat to its Constitutionally mandated activities, which by my count means elimination of ~90% of FedCo.)

The goal of the two-day session was to impart the knowledge and implant the muscle memory so that each member of the ancient book posse could fabricate a technically faithful book model as a practice exercise in preparation for the next time one of the ancient wooden board books needed re-binding.

So, on a bitter cold and blustery February morning I pulled up to the doors of the elegant LC Jefferson building, my CRV filled to the brim with tools and materials for them to use under my tutelage.  In a caravan of carts all of these were wheeled down to the book conservation space underneath the Madison Building across the street, and I set up shop.

Only one of the crew had experience in woodworking (the fellow using the bow saw in the picture below) so I needed to start at Point Zero to review the nature of wood, tools, and the processes used in planing, sawing, etc.  I brought plenty of 5/4 white oak to work with, and we got down to bidnez.

The first assignment was for everyone to use the bench bench hooks I made for them to saw a single piece to the size they needed for their book model’s boards.

Then came the flattening of one face of that board to provide a reference surface for the resawing.  Given the human scale involved (this crowd was for the most part more petite than a typical woodworking gathering) they were particularly pleased with #4 planes, which are too small for my routine use.

With the flat reference face completed, next came the resawing.  I’d made a Fidgen-style kerfing plane to leave with them, and they took to it like me and bacon.  The final product was to be a 1/4″ thick book board, so I made the kerfing plane to create a 3/8″ thickness.

One of the more serious challenges for the exercise is that as a book conservation unit they were not well equipped for woodworking in the bench category.  Their only bench was an ancient and wobbly Sjoberg hobby bench.

I have one exactly like it that I got out of the trash many years ago.  Frankly if I had to use one like this every day it would end in the trash too.  I completely remade mine, mounted it on some 4″ slippers to get it to a decent working height, and screwed the entire thing to the floor, resulting in a very nice and oft-used work station.  Mine is currently ensconced in the corner, perhaps not coincidentally closest to the propane furnace, and is dedicated to the finer work of decorative objects conservation, gunsmithing, etc.

I will do my best to address their lack of a decent workbench, hoping to make and donate a mini-Roubo in the coming months.  But for now, all we had was a wobbly little bench and some mobile work tables.

 

Then the resawing began with a variety of saws, and thus endeth Day One.

The Highland Woodturner: Turning a Box

Highland Woodworking - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 7:00am

In the March 2017 issue of The Highland Woodturner, Curtis Turner – yes, that is his real name – shows us how to turn a box with a lid.

A spalted tamarind blank floated around my shop for years waiting for the right project. Last month, it somehow made its way to the top of the stack, where it just happened to catch my eye. I could see a small lidded box hiding in the wood. I knew it was finally time to turn this blank.

Click here to follow along with Curtis and learn how to turn a box.

The post The Highland Woodturner: Turning a Box appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Video: ‘Anne of All Trades’

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 4:00am

You might know Anne Briggs Bohnett from her website, Anne of All Trades, or perhaps through Instagram, where she’s quickly racked up more than 60,000 followers (with a mix of photos featuring woodworking, farming and unbelievably adorable animals), or perhaps you’ve met her at Woodworking in America or a Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event…or maybe even taken a class from her at the Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle. If so, […]

The post Video: ‘Anne of All Trades’ appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Stanley #120 block plane rehabbing.........

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 1:43am
Had a quick night in the shop tonight. I didn't make any pit stops and as soon as I got home, I put the garbage out. I didn't get any pickup last week and I think I know why. I have gotten a few notes in the past on my garbage bins explaining the errors of my ways. It seems here in Warwick in order to get your garbage dumped you have to put out at least one recycling bin. Be it the paper or the bottle and cans one. I didn't do that and for the second week in a row, my garbage wasn't picked up.

I have put out one recycling bin only to be told that it must be at least 1/2 full to be put curbside.  Let's see if we can do the math on this together. In order to have the garbage picked up I have to have a 1/2 full recycling bin. I have put an empty one along side the garbage and I got a note explaining how wrong I was to do that. I didn't get my garbage picked up that day neither. So, Einstein, what is the solution to this?

What does picking up the garbage have to do with the recycling? If I don't put out one that is at least 1/2 full, nothing gets picked up. I think that there is one and only one genius that has thought up these rules. 90% of the time I only put out the garbage and it gets picked up.  Why? because I don't generate enough recycling to put a 1/2 full bin curbside every week. Every once in a while this no pickup crappola happens. I gave up calling city hall to get a clarification on this. I am stuck with the fecal covered end of the stick no matter which I turn here.

look familiar
A friend of mine asked me why I went 'ape shit' (his words) on flattening the back of this iron? He said you only have to do a 1/4" or a 1/2" at the most. I made this so large because it is easier for me to do it this way. By having more real estate on the 80 grit belt, there is less of a chance that I'll be doing this with the iron pitched down. With this much on the belt I can also bear down on the top of it with the heel of my palm. That saves a lot of wear and tear on my fingers. That is why it is that large Frank.


Stanley #120 block plane
Matt from the Tiny Workshop offered me his 120 for parts to get my #120 up and running. Of course I accepted. Now I can get at least one of these working.

I don't know a lot about these block planes. According to Stanley Catalogue #34 this plane cost 75 cents and was an upgrade over the #103. The #120 got ground parallel sides and a rosewood knob instead of a metal boss like on the #103. Both planes were intended for light duty work. Insert one of Bob Demers blogs on fleshing out about everything you had to now about the Stanley #120 here.

I was expecting a derelict or at the very least something that didn't look as nice as this does. To my eye it is looking like I might be able to rehab the both of them.

slight differences are apparent
The first difference is the lever caps cutouts are not the same. Matt's block plane (on the right)is larger and it extends back toward the heel more. And I'm pretty sure that the knob is rosewood too.

knob fits on my plane
It didn't tighten until it was almost down to the bottom. I'm sure that these knobs were lost with a lot of frequency. I think the boss from the #103 should have been used on this plane too. I'll keep looking for a spare knob but I won't be holding my breath till I get one.

irons are the same width
Matt's iron is cleaner and has some shine to it.  Mine is rusty but it is only half ass'ed sharpened. In spite of that it took pretty decent shavings. I didn't try Matt's iron but his bevel is shiny and looks to be sharp. Matt's iron has been used a wee bit more than mine as you can see in the pic.

the bottoms
Matt obviously loved this plane and took good care of it. His toe and heel appear to have a larger radius and both planes are close to the same length. The width is also within +/- 5 frog hairs.

From the Stanley catalogue #34, the bottom and sides were ground on the #120. I'll be doing that on mine a little later on. The #103 had a ground bottom but japanned sides.

taking a citrus bath until tomorrow
I got both planes in here and nothing is touching bottom.

new feet material
6/4 ash on the left and 8/4 white oak on the right. I don't want to use the white oak so the ash is batting lead off.

two wide ribbons of sapwood
When I fumed the clock I'm replacing the movement in, the sapwood barely changed color. I don't know how the sapwood will react to ebonizing. This goes back into the wood pile.

ash is about a 1/4" wider

I think this is the best choice to to go with. I can easily get the reveal I want on both sides.

I got my 1/8"
If the sides end up a bit thin, I can thin down the feet to get a balanced reveal.

I can get both feet out of this and avoid the sapwood
found a smaller piece
I have less waste with this so this is now the lead off batter. BTW, these cherry feet are the off cuts from the cradle ends I made for my daughter.

stickered my parts
I am feeling under the weather. My stomach hurts and I'm getting light headed. Not a good mix with hand tools or power tools. We'll see what tomorrow brings but for now I am quitting and heading for the bunky.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Before the hair dryer was invented in 1920, what was used to dry your hair?
answer - the vacuum cleaner

It Followed My Wife Home.

The Furniture Record - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 9:15pm

I can hear the derisive snickers out there. You’re all thinking:

“It followed his wife home? Sure!”

As Roy as my witness, I promise you the story I am about to tell is true. I can’t make this stuff up.

I can embellish…

It is a closely guarded secret that I spend my spare time visiting auctions and antiques shops, recording and documenting the rare treasures I find there. It is our past. It is our legacy. It defines who we are as a species. It’s a bunch of old stuff people don’t want anymore yet has some perceived value.

On occasion, my wife will accompany me to an auction preview. It is usually my second visit. I know she has no interest in spending two hours admiring and photographing every item that was made before McKinley was president. It is one of the things that makes our marriage work. I don’t insist she spends hours staring at old wood objects and she doesn’t insist I accompany her to the beach. Exceptions have been made in certain extreme situations. We must all be flexible.

A recent auction caught my wife’s attention. It was the quarterly catalog auction and it included wine. One cannot actually preview the wine but one can read the list and do research. My wife is very organized and likes to read lists and do research. She found a lot of three bottles of Napa wines that she managed to get significantly below current North Carolina retail, if she could find it.

Buoyed by this success, she decided she wanted to hit the auction preview with me. The evening before the auction, I made my second visit and she made her first. She was better prepared. She has studied the online descriptions and had a list of items she wanted to see. I had a vague notion of what I needed more pictures of.

She quickly dismissed most of her list. The rugs were the wrong size or color. The decorative accessories were in worse shape than the casual collector could tolerate. There was one item on the list she really liked, an English settle.

English Style Settle

DSC_5489

This lot has sold.

Description:   Early 20th century, oak and pine, barrel form with shaped arms, curved seat.

About settles. We have had a front porch in need of a settle since we moved in. I know just the settle I want to build. The problem is that I have not delivered said settle. The wood is not even in the shop. Nothing on the calendar. I was slightly hurt that she wanted to buy one but I got over it.

The morning of the auction, I attempted to enter our carefully considered maximum bid, saw that we were already $80 below the current bid, talked and bumped it $100.  Then when my wife wasn’t looking, I added another $40.

That night she asked what it went for. I told her that it closed above our second bid. I waited ten minutes to tell her of the third bid that was successful. She forgave me my subterfuge.

And here it is:

DSC_6045

Front view.

We had to place it flat against the wall. Being relatively lightweight pine, it makes a great sail. I was going to build mine from whire oak.

Here you see the barrel form:

DSC_6038

I bet when new, the boards overlapped.

DSC_6039

A nice bent molding.

A relatively shallow settle:

DSC_6034

Shallow and not very deep.

Relatively simple construction:

DSC_6037

No dovetails. And yet I bought it.

Nothing fancy on the sides:

DSC_6040

A simple bridle on the armrest.

DSC_6035

Joinery so simple, I could make it.

DSC_6047

All I need to do is learn to turn spindles.

DSC_6043

An interesting square patch. I wonder what the wound was.

Looking at the bottom, I could see that it has been stripped. It had gone through most of its life covered with mustard colored paint:

DSC_6041

Or is it flax, Naples yellow, arylide yellow, or citrine?

I suggested to my wife that for the sake of authenticity, we restore the mustard paint. She was not impressed by this notion.

I expressed my concern that this pine bench might not survive long outside, even on a covered porch. Her response was, “Well, if it only lasts two or three years, it gives us time to find something else.”

I thought, “I have shared a bed with this woman for 26 years and right now, she is a stranger to me. I don’t know this person.”

Fortunately, as an adult, I have a filter and what came out was, “Well, OK.”

This brings up two questions. Firstly, is this a historic and significant piece of furniture or just old? On some level I believe that every piece of furniture ever built needs to be lovingly preserved until we run out of PODS and U-Haul storage units. This is not realistic. Some furniture must die so others can live.

Second question, what is the best non-opaque finish to use on this settle? It will require a fairly high level of UV resistance. My first thought was a good marine spar varnish.

I am willing to entertain other suggestions.

 

 


One-weekend Router Table

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 8:33am
router table

Router table cabinets can be a waste of space. This compact, vise-mounted unit stores easily and is just the right size. by David Thiel April 2005 Popular Woodworking Magazine I think it might have been seeing a $1,000 router table setup at a recent woodworking show (it’s very cool, but $1,000?). Or maybe it was realizing that our shop’s router table’s cabinet mostly takes up space and fills with dust. […]

The post One-weekend Router Table appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Don’t Fight the Work – Body Mechanics in the Shop

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 5:27am

In the late ’80s and early ’90s you could visit a strip club and it wouldn’t be sleazy. The reason: Mike Tyson. He would simply walk through opponents with devastating power in the first few rounds. Nobody wanted to order the expensive pay-per-view at home with the odds of it being over in seconds. So the strip clubs could collect a door fee, a two-drink minimum and be done with […]

The post Don’t Fight the Work – Body Mechanics in the Shop appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

How to Use a Marking or Mortise Gauge (reprise)

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 4:00am

I try to write a new entry for my blog every week. I also try to make it useful or at least not boring. Sometimes I succeed. However because it's a weekly thing lots of content gets rolled under the covers and after a time lost. So this week I decided to take one of the earliest blogs I every wrote (#8 from a decade ago) and bring it current again. Yes I know everyone hates when magazines to a yearly article on the same subject again and again, but like magazines we have a lot of new readers who haven't see this topic.
(note: I shot a video for this yesterday but I didn't get a chance to finish editing it so check back over the weekend and I should have added it in).

Every time someone comes in and buys a marking or mortise gauge, I give them a quick demo on how to use it. It's not unusual for customers to know they need a gauge, but not how to use one. It's not their fault. There is a hell of a lot of misinformation on this subject, and using a gauge properly isn't intuitive.

The goal of a gauge is to provide a line that is just deep enough to catch a chisel or a pencil. Some people like deep cuts with a knife, but the deeper the gauge line, the more you will have to plane the finished surface - otherwise finish will catch in the line and the entire world will see the gauge line. The great woodworking writer Charles H. Hayward noted that when he apprenticed (around 1910) visible gauge lines in a finished work was considered sloppy but it was a common practice. These days, it is all too common and perversely considered a proud mark of "hand craftsmanship."

The problem that people have in using gauges is that when the gauge sits square on the wood, its pin will dig in, follow the grain, wobble, and give you a jerky cut. So various woodworking gurus have advocated filing the pins really short, so even if the gauge sort of works, you can't see where you are going; filing them into knives, so you get a deep line that is hard to get rid of later; remounting the pins on a diagonal; and giving up entirely and using a wheel gauge.

Here is how you really solve this problem:

1) Set the fence to the right setting.
2) With your hand curled around the fence and beam, tilt the gauge away from you and rest it on the long cornered edge of the beam (the corner away from you). The picture and diagram should make this easier to understand.
3) Put pressure on the fence in so the gauge is tight against the wood, and with the corner of the bean firmly on the wood, tilt the gauge towards you. With this method, with all the pressure going into the fence and edge of the beam, it is trivial to control the pressure on the pin. You can have a tiny bit of pressure on the pin that just leaves a mark for smooth visible wood, or you can just as easily bear down on with more pressure for rough wood so that you get a mark you can see.
3) Then push the gauge away from you, always keeping the long edge of the beam on the word. You push the gauge away from you so that you can see what you are doing. And of course with the pin tilted it won't dig into the wood.
4) You don't want the gauge to go off the the end of the board, because once the beam goes off the wood, you will lose control. So stop just before the end of the line and repeat from the other end of the board this time tilting the gauge towards you.
5) It's better to have a light mark than a dark one. If you have trouble seeing your scribe mark, just run a very sharp pencil in the groove.
6) That's it. A sharp pin isn't super important because in general you want a thin shallow line, but that's a personal preference. I don't think I have ever sharpened a pin in my life.

We sell gauges from about $15 and up. They all work. If you are getting just one gauge, I would suggest the Marples screw adjustable combination gauge. The screw adjust allows you to set the width of a mortise independently of the fence setting, which is a real boon. However, in a pinch all the gauges we sell work. You don't need the fancier Trial 1, although I do like the weight of it. Colen Clenton's gauges feel wonderful in the hand. You won't regret the purchase, but it's certainly a next gauge to get, when you settled into joinery and have the urge to splurge. Over the years I have acquired a lot of gauges because I will set a gauge to particular measure, and then put a piece of tape over the thumbscrew so that I don't accidentally move it, and I'll recognize that it's set for a particular project. On a long project, I can tie up gauges for months, so I have a bunch of gauges.

You'll see over the years and over your projects a hierarchy of favorite and "others" will naturally emerge.

PS - The scribe line in the picture looks a little ratty because it took a bunch of tries to get a shot in focus.

Learning axe & knife skills for spoon carving

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 3:08am
Axing a wooden spoon A terrific workshop at RHS Harlow Carr last weekend, teaching axe and knife skills while making wooden spoons along the way. Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

new (old) project.......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 12:30am
I've had this project staged and ready to start since last year. One thing or another has grabbed my limited attention span it has sat unloved until now.  I've been thinking a bit about it and on how to do some of the joinery. I'll get into that later.

I haven't forgotten about my workbench build. I still have to clean up the face vise and buy all the wood and I'll start to do that next month. I'll make a road trip up to Highlands to buy the wood for the base. I'll build that first and then I'll start in on the bench top. That is in the sequence of events as of now. I'm hoping that I'll be done with it and using it by the end of summer.

flattened with 80 grit
I totally forgot about doing the clock. Instead I played with one of the four irons waiting to be sharpened. The 80 grit was still set up on the workbench so I decided to see how long it would take to flatten this #3 iron. From a short go on the 80 grit yesterday it looked it would be quick to do.

the diamond lapping plate was next
I noticed that after the 80 grit, I don't get the total flattening when I move up to the diamond stones. I did strokes on this until the cloudy areas by my fingers were gone.

I used all 4 of my diamond stones
I went through them all skipping the 8K Japanese stone. I could stop after the first diamond stone but I don't like the scratches so I go through them all till I get the polished look.

I inherited this shiny bevel
I rounded off the corners before I started to sharpen and hone the bevel.

iron is done
Went up through the 3 diamond stones, polished it on the 8K, and then I  stropped the snot out of it.

the chipbreaker
Someone had already prepped the chipbreaker. There were a few tiny chips on the edge that I stoned out. I stropped it after that and the chipbreaker was done. This took me 13 minutes to do from start to finish. I don't consider that to be too excessive time wise. I probably could have done this in less than half that time if I had done it free hand and did a micro bevel the way Richard Maguire does it. But I'm not interested in shaving nanoseconds off of my sharpening time.

right and left shavings - both the same size and thickness
shavings from the center of the iron
15 secs work on the 80 grit
I have made a decision on my sharpening and I am not changing the way I do business. I am getting good shavings and I am able to work with my planes on my woodworking and get good results. No more faffing about on diamond stones flattening the backs though. I'll be going straight to 80 grit (which I'll be changing to 100 or 120 grit). This is one aspect of sharpening that I do want to save time and finger wear on.

I'll continue to use my diamond stones for all of my tool steel and O1 tools. With the A2 irons I may go back to using water stones just for them. That depends upon what Richard presents in chapters 4-7. I don't have time to watch them on weekday nights and I can't watch them at work on my lunch time(they are blocked). The weekend is the only time I'll be able to catch up on them.

The way I'm sharpening now is working for me. I like the results I get. I can do anything I want with these methods. Now that I know I have to raise that damn burr first, I think I'm heading in the right direction.

the new project parts
There isn't a lot of wood in this. The board under the plane is the shelf. The angled cherry pieces are the feet and the two small walnut boards are the ends.

these were the back slats
I am replacing these with poplar boards. I will ebonize them and that will hide that they are poplar.  The other reason why I am changing to poplar is that the cherry slat is too short in the length.

getting an eyeball guess-ta-mate
This will be my first hardwood bookshelf that wasn't made from pine or poplar.

my last pine one
The walnut one will be bigger, have feet instead of the side bottoms resting on the top of whatever, and it will have 3 slats rather than 2. I had thought of putting a drawer underneath the shelf but that may or may not see the light of day.

it's a year old
I didn't realize that this much time had passed since I made this.

cherry feet
Thinking about ebonizing these too. It bugs me that I'll be doing that to cherry. I think I should ebonize the feet to match the back slats, but not with cherry ones. I'll have to check and see if I can find a substitute for it.

my latest rehabbed #3 plane
This is what convinced me to stay with the sharpening setup I use now. I can blow on these shavings and they would disintegrate. This side of the board was rippled along it's entire length by the planer that was used to get this to thickness. This 100 year old plane sailed through smoothing this face with an iron sharpened my way.

first side is twist free
second one has a slight amount to remove

I'm keeping the sapwood
I like using the board as it comes to me from the tree and that means using the sapwood too. These two will be the outside faces.

the inside faces
These faces are both relatively sapwood free.

the shelf is twist free
humped
I haven't planed the sides to thickness yet. All I've done on them is make one reference face and one reference edge. Both of these boards were rough sawn and I just smoothed the non reference face. This works in my favor for getting a final thickness.

the sides are almost as thick as the feet
I want a 1/8" reveal on both sides
I also want to keep the sides as thick as possible. I may have to glue up some stock to get some thicker feet to work with. I'll be able to see how or if I can ebonize a glue line.

The thing that has been giving me headaches is how to attach the sides to the feet? I have a biscuit joiner and I could use that. Another option is making floating tenons by hand somehow. The last option I thought of was a tenon on the bottom of the sides fitted into a mortise on the feet.

no hump
Both sides of the shelf are flat with no hump. This board wasn't rough sawn but S2S so that had a lot to do with this being humpless. I quit here and tomorrow I'll start on getting the sides to thickness and looking into new feet.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was the first president to receive a salary of $100,000 a year?
answer - Harry S Truman (current salary is $400,000 a year)

Antoni Gaudí – Day One of Many: The Furniture

The Furniture Record - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 10:37pm

It is impossible to spend any significant time in Barcelona without feeling the influence of Antoni Gaudí. Being easily influence, I couldn’t get enough of his work and am truly fascinated by him and his works.

For those not so influenced (or aware), I offer the following paragraph copied and pasted from a Wikipedia article:

Antoni Gaudí i Cornet; (25 June 1852 – 10 June 1926) was a Spanish Catalan architect from Reus and the best known practitioner of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí’s works reflect an individualized and distinctive style. Most are located in Barcelona, including his magnum opus, the Sagrada Família.

Between 1984 and 2005, seven of his works were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

As an introduction to Mr. Gaudí, we will explore some of his furniture then. In time, several of his buildingswill be explored.

Much of this furniture was designed for specific buildings. It is firmly in the Art Nouveau style with its organic fluid lines with direct references to nature.

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The Casa Calvet Flower Bench – 1901

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The Casa Calvet Corner Stool – 1901

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The Casa Calvet Flower Chair – 1901

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The Casa Calvet Arm Chair-1901

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The Casa Batlló Chair – 1907

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The Casa Batlló Double Bench – 1907

Reproductions of these and other Gaudi pieces are still available.

I am not sure if the following furniture is designed by Gaudi but it does exist within Casa Milà, popularly known as La Pedrera. This was the last civil work designed by Antoni Gaudí and was built from 1906 to 1912.

The furniture may not be Gaudi but it is era and style appropriate and in Barcelona.

DSC_3836

The dining room.

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The dining table.

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And the dining chair.

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The bar.

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The server.

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The office.

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More from the office. Boat not included.

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The bedroom.

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The headboard.

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The footboard.

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The headboard.

Shortly, we will examine some  of Gaudi’s s iconic buildings.


Stickley Bookcase Class Results

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 5:03pm
Last fall I spent a week at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking near Indianapolis, Indiana, leading a group of woodworkers in the construction of reproductions of the iconic Gustav Stickley/Harvey Ellis No. 700 Bookcase. Marc Adams’ classes are always … Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Elia Bizzarri: Multi-talented Woodworker

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 10:25am
Elia Bizzarri

It won’t come as much of a surprise that woodworkers are frequently good at more than one thing. Sometimes it’s necessary, other times it’s just for fun. I was in Hillsborough, N.C., last week working with Elia Bizzarri on two new videos and we started talking about what music to use. He asked if we’d like him and a few of his friends to play something. “Yes!” was the easy […]

The post Elia Bizzarri: Multi-talented Woodworker appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Tool Sharpening for a Beginner, Part 4: The Tormek System

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 7:00am

Amy Herschleb attend Jim Dillon’s Hand Tool Sharpening class at Highland and came away with a new appreciation of working with sharp tools. In this series she will go into thoughtful detail on the 3 methods of sharpening Jim Dillon taught. Today she covers Method 3, The Tormek System.

The final technique covered in class was the Tormek system, specifically we used the T-8. The slow speed wet grinder put a new edge on a worn-out tool while the leather wheel, with abrasive paste added, polished the tool. It can be fitted with a wide array of jigs for different shapes of blades from knives to scissors to chisels to axes. A plastic gauge that rests against the grinding stone sets the angle at which you are removing material. In class I watched the principles of the operation, then put them to good use while in Florida, putting a new edge on my kitchen knives (a couple of them older than me) that had probably never been sharpened in their entire culinary careers.

Even with a jig, the process demands a great deal of attention, especially with long knives or those that end in a curve. In this instance, the use of a Sharpie is vital. By coloring the cutting bevel black, you may see where and where you are not wasting material. Often areas near the heel or the tip are ground away unevenly, because so much depends on consistent movement of the blade across the stone. By paying attention to the markings, the sharpener may check for inconsistency along the edge.

The Tormek system allows you to grind either toward or away from the bevel, toward for most knives and away for small knives. I ground the knives toward the bevel with the universal tool rest set up horizontally, keeping one hand on the jig and the other on the handle, floating the blades back and forth, keeping the jig resting on the tool rest bar.

Due to the shape of the wheel, sharpening on a this surface creates a concave bevel, that is, a slightly hollow shape. This makes for a narrower sharpening edge, and faster sharpening times. Over time, the sharpening bevel gets bigger as the blade gets shorter from sharpening. When sharpening takes too long, it’s time to regrind.

Beyond a couple false starts involving a flying carving knife (no one was hurt) and a gouge I tried to put into the leather stropping wheel and the part where I ignored Jim’s advice to test a blade on the arm hairs instead of a thumb tip (I wasn’t sure I’d done that good a job. Spoiler–I had) this went off without a hitch. For once, my kitchen is equipped with a selection of sharp and useful knives, and vegetables and meat may be cut down efficiently without gratuitous sawing and strong-arming.

After experimenting (in a supervised environment and then free range) with a variety of methods, I am most satisfied with the Tormek system. Sandpaper, though easy to come by and easy to replace, is absolutely repulsive to me in a tactile sense and will destroy a manicure. Knowing where there are two Tormeks at my disposal certainly helps things, as I can re-grind worn down tools, then keep them sharp at home with a 1000/6000 wet stone.

Amy received her MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She is the staff writer at Highland Woodworking. In 2015 she and her dad co-founded Coywolf Woodworks, their hobby shop in North Florida.

The post Tool Sharpening for a Beginner, Part 4: The Tormek System appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

clock retrofit update.......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 12:25am
Made a pit stop on the way home to get some cereal. So what did I go home with? Moo Cow juice, a tomato, a bag of cat food, and a head of iceberg lettuce. I walked right by the cereal because I was thinking I should get some cat food. Stercus Accidit. I'll try to remember it on wednesday.

I got through the first 3 chapters of Richard Maguire's sharpening video.There are 3 more chapters available now with the 7th one due on the 22nd(?). I was reluctant to buy this because I didn't want to muddle my head up with another person showing their way of sharpening. The 3 chapters I've seen so far have been an eye opener. I have watched them each two times so that I could digest and not miss anything that Richard put out.

Like the other videos outputted by Richard and Helen, this one is outstanding. He explains each step in a way that I can easily grasp what it is. I would recommend this to anyone interested in understanding and upping their sharpening game. And this is based on just watching half of it. He also makes sharpening look like it is as easy to do as breathing air. I'm hoping that I'll be able to do it 10% as well as he does. And I'll be happy with that too.

the real time is 1545
I set the clock to the hour count and for the first two hours it ran it was correct. After that I didn't pay attention to it. The next day I noticed that the hour chime was two hours ahead of what the hands indicated. It was also chiming the hour count a couple of minutes past the hour. The partial Westminster tune was playing on the quarter hour even though the hands where off. According to my cell phone though, the chimes and hour count where occurring at the proper times. Even the though clock hands weren't correct.

After the first day I switched from the Westminster chimes to the bim-bam and I was disappointed with them at first. I could barely hear the first hour count when they sounded. Instead of being a 'gong' bim-bam, they have a bell sound which I don't like as much. But as time passed, they seem to get louder and I could hear them and count the hour as they bim-bam'ed..


two problems

The first problem is the hands. They don't fit properly on the time shaft and I think they are slipping. I can move the minute hand 5 minutes in either direction before I feel resistance from the time shaft. It has been running now for two days and the chimes are working correctly but the indicated time is off.

The second problem is the paper dial. Where my finger is has a hump. It is humped in a few other places too but not as high as it is here. The minute rubs on it as it passes by and it looks like the hour hand barely clears it too. I will have to fix these two problems before I try to set the time again.

speaker holders
These are still solid with no give anywhere.  I am a little concerned about the pressure these are exerting on the speaker and the hide glue that is holding them in place.

I will have to take the movement out to fix the dial. Fingers crossed on getting it off without ripping it.

adhesive dot holding the dial in place
I got the dial off without ripping it. What saved my butt was there were only 4 dots holding it down. There was one in each corner.

double sided adhesive dots
I got this dial from clock prints and they recommended fixing the dial to the dial board with these dots. In the past I have used Elmer's white glue diluted with a little water to make a paste and used that to secure dials.

more than 4
I don't know how many of these that I actually used, but I used every single one I had. I don't think I will have to worry about the dial developing humps now.

first use of my veneer roller
Rolled all the dots to ensure that I had good contact. Mark Baldwin made this for me last year (he did the metal parts, I made the wooden handle) and it worked good doing this. I'm sure it will work just as well when I use it on some veneer.

Went looking for my plastic hands but I couldn't find them. Searched the shop and then I searched upstairs. I looked there because I set up the clock while watching the Perry Mason marathon. After searching for a while I gave up without finding them.

interesting look
This is the 4th quarter of 1945 made iron and the scratches on the back tell a story. It is high but I have a low spot in the middle of the high spot. I don't think I'll be flattening this one as easy as Richard did his in chapter 3.

#3 iron
It is almost five o'clock and I didn't want to start to flatten either one of these. Of the two, this one looks like it will be quicker and easier. Both of these will have to wait until the weekend.

found it
I was getting ready to write the blog post and I saw this. I was looking for a empty chow mien container with the clock parts in it. Instead they were in this white box.

fixed the problem
I should have put the parts in a proper box in the first place. If I had I could have put the hands on the clock, as ugly as the plastic hands are, and started round two of setting the time. I'll do it tomorrow instead.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What time is it when 7 bells rings onboard a ship?
answer - 0330, 0730, 1130, 1530, 1930, and 2330

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