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Curvy furniture is great to look at and usually offers a tactile aesthetic that makes it appealing. Holding it all together is the joinery – and whether it’s dovetails, tenons or lap joinery, creating that joinery on a curve adds a new level of complication. Whether made by hand or by machine, most of our training on making joinery starts with having flat and square stock to start with. We use reference […]
In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, Roger Benton, co-owner of Re-Co BKLYN (recobklyn.com), spends more time with us. During the discussion, he talks more about his design ideas and what jazzes him about his work. We also hear a great story about an incident about which many of us could relate.
Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Glen talks with various guests about all things woodworking and some things that are slightly off topic.
|comes with the wedge slot already done|
|used Miles's new hammer to fix the other one|
|a bit of slop at the top of the eye|
|wedge was too wide for the eye|
|instructions don't mention glue|
|two new metal wedges|
|blurry pic is hiding the boo boo|
|I glued the split and set it aside to dry|
|new toy for me|
|not a plug for them, it's where I bought it|
|why I bought it|
This knife has a curved bevel and a point. With this one I can start my knifing with the point and rock it to use the bevel to complete the line. With this one I should get more use out of the bevel then just the area by the point. At least that is what I am thinking I can do.
I stropped the bevel and the back and tried it out. Rocking the bevel worked and I didn't have any problems transferring a line 360 on piece of scrap. It isn't as sharp as my Japanese marking knife but this isn't or hasn't been sharpened by me yet.
The instructions for sharpening it say to put a piece of sandpaper on a T-shirt and drag the bevel on it by pulling it straight back. The T-shirt is soft enough to have some give and allow you to follow the round bevel on the marking knife. I'll give it a try when I sharpen it.
|added a few more tools to Miles's toolbox|
I don't have too many more tools to cross off the list. I have some of them but I haven't rehabbed them yet. Once I do that, I'll cross them off. The list is slowly shrinking. The only biggies left are a dovetail saw and and a set of chisels.
|parts for the bottom of the new plane cubby|
|the back is the same width as the sides|
Who was Laika? (hint: it's a dog)
answer - Laika was the first living creature to orbit the earth
When connecting a Live edge waterfall joint together we need to expect a “tectonic” shift of the connected corner. While mitering the two banks of the joint at 45 degrees we remove a considerate amount of wood in the shape of a triangular prism from the lower part of the miter. So in order to make the miter flow nicely from one side to the other, Ben had to gouge […]
The post Live Edge Class at Snow Farm, Massachusetts – Part 3, Ben’s Table Completed appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
I've been working with wood since I was a kid. I took my first woodworking class at the 92nd Street Y when I was 6 years old. I've been taking classes and building stuff for over 35 years. For the last 17 I have been working at Tools for Working Wood. In that time, new tools and new techniques have come on the market. By and large I have ignored them in my personal work. However, I haven't ignored everything, and my methods of work have in certain areas changed dramatically for the better. I've broken up my list of ten things into three posts so I don't drone on and on to long. This is Part 3. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here
As I have gotten older it's been harder and harder for me to see anything. And bending over isn't much fun either. This isn't a joke. Sawing joints has always been problematic for me and I currently wear magnifying glasses for any close work. My bench (Frank Klausz style made over 30 years ago) is the right height for just about everything except cutting dovetails. It's just too low. So I hunch over thinking "there must be a better way." About ten or so years ago I found out about Jeff Miller's Bench on Bench. I built one and it was a big step in the right direction. Basically a Bench on Bench was a little table you put on top of your main bench and it has a double vise in the front.
Then along came the "Moxon Vise" popularized by Christopher Schwarz. The vise gets it's name from Joseph Moxon's "Mechanick Exercises" But as I wrote last week the actual connection between the wood press illustrated in Moxon's book and how the Moxon vise is used to today is at best tenuous.
Many vendors now sell complete vises or just hardware kits. We used to offer the entire vise but currently we are only offering hardware kits which we are very pleased with. Our kit came about initially from a joint project with the . They came up with the ears on the sides, a cambered jaw, and the little shelf for clamping tails during layout. We added acme screws, washers, big nuts that don't wear out their mortises and spin, and handles that can be moved out of the way. You can read all about how to design your own Moxon Vise here.
The big reason the Moxon Vise made my list of ten is that I feel that by raising the overall height of where I saw I can see better, bend over less, and the whole process feels so much less jury-rigged. I am sawing better and more accurately - partially at least because I can see what I am doing , but also with the work clamped pretty low in the vise I can still easily saw uphill and have the work solid and vibration free. Not to mention my posture is better and it's less tiring.
The picture above is me in the middle of sawing out tails using one of the showroom / class benches where we have fitted Moxon vises at each end.
So that's my list of ten ways my work has changed. I hope to be able to say in a few years that my skills have gotten better, that I am still learning, and maybe have an even better list.
Has your woodworking changed over the years too? I welcome your comments.
The underlining principles that make the Libella work as a level I got right even though I didn't know it. The Libella does have to be made accurately because it relies on the principles of right triangles. When the plumb bob hangs down it forms a right triangle from the apex to the horizontal brace out to the legs. This is what I stumbled on and got right without realizing it.
I would post a pic of the book page but I am wuss when it come to things like that. I don't want to chance violating some copyright and getting sued. I've done it in the past naively but I won't do it anymore unless I have it carved in stone that I can. My wife told me to snap a pic of a partial page and credit where it comes from. I will say that the Libella starts on page 123 and leave it at that. The book is well worth the $25 admission price so you'll have to buy it to see for yourself.
|kind hard to see|
|round head saw nuts|
|Grace saw nut screwdriver|
|Dead nuts straight|
|kind of sharp|
|sailed through this 5/4 pine|
|nothing on the big button|
|ever heard of Jackson saws Bob?|
|two carcass saws|
|just need a dovetail saw|
|change 3, alteration 7C, upgrade 1.01, rev XV7.3|
|this has been cleaned up|
|one empty slot has to go|
|dry fit looks good|
|the 'U' sides|
|plenty of height|
|the top will be screwed to the sides|
As I was leaving the shop I went by 4 big sized sheets of 1/2" plywood. I think that it would be adequate for the bottom sliding shelf and for the top one. I'll keep the 3/4" stuff for the sides. Using 1/2" stock will knock back the size somewhat. Maybe by tomorrow's shop time I will have thought up something to try.
President Thomas Jefferson named his estate Monticello. What was his neighbor, President James Monroe, name for his estate?
answer - Highland
A year ago when my wife and I bought a new house with my in-laws it was so we could all help take care of each other. Advanced age had made some things difficult for them and we figured our help was better than any assisted living facility. In retrospect I'm glad we, and especially my daughters, had the extra time around them both. Life is inevitably unpredictable, and a short 13 months later we lost Bob due to health complications. The obituary above is one of the most difficult things I've had to string together words for.
And now I find myself at the threshold of another difficult and related task. Bob had decided on cremation a long time ago. But as I sat near Karen listening to the little funeral geek lean into his ash container sales pitch I started to lose my temper. All the selections "tastefully" arranged on the wall were crap. Giant ceramic golf balls and baseballs, gilded vessels of robotically turned aluminum, not one item, not one with soul and heart and the touch of the human hand. We had carefully coordinated the final days of Bob's life with hospice, seen to his needs and arranged to have all his daughters get time with him near the end. We brought him home to his own bed, worked to keep him comfortable as we comforted ourselves. There was human hands, and touch, and love in every decision, every care and every moment. Why should the box that holds his ashes be less considered.
I spoke up before the pitch started. Thanks to the cremation I would have a little time to build a box, a box fit for a human, in the shop where Bob would sometimes sit and watch me work and tell me all the reasons I should find a good radial arm saw like the one he used to have.
My own post-op weight restrictions modulated from 10 to 25 lbs for the last two weeks of my convalescence. Enough to get out in the shop and work if I want and out to the shop I'd go, somehow believing inspiration would just strike me. I had a box in mind but I also had dimensions from the funeral geek for the interior of the air tight, atom bomb proof box my human construct would have to fit inside. I think I was overwhelmed by the responsibility.
I looked at a hundred designs on google photos, and many of them were beautiful and artistic, but the box I was building wasn't intended to carry the burden of shelf display with quarterly dustings. Mine was intended for the ground and the burden was the desire to house a human being's remains inside something made by a human being.
Last night I curled up to my wife and was nearly passed off to sleep when my mind clicked on the image. I could see it clearly, all the joinery, the look, the finish. I could see the construction using some walnut cut from a tree that fell on Bob's childhood home farm. Two remaining boards have followed him for years. He passed them on to me, and asked after them often, but whatever his suggestion, using them didn't feel right until now.
I almost let myself continue off to sleep, promising I'd remember clearly in the morning. My rational mind reminded me that was bullshit. So at one in the morning I found myself sitting in my robe, hunched over a card table set up for all the visiting company and not yet put away, scribbling away in my sketchbook.
Once I had the idea fully rendered I closed the book and went back to bed. This afternoon I returned to the sketches and notes. The thing is there, fully visualized. Tomorrow I head out to the shop with a plan and a purpose. I should have enough to make at least two, a matching one for Karen come her time.
I owe Bob so much. Everything really. Even though I was a loudmouthed long-haired teenage punk dating his daughter, he always showed me patience and kindness, and sometimes turned a necessary blind eye I'm not sure I could. Every decision he made in his life delivered the most important gifts to me. My wife and my daughters. I hope I'm worthy of the challenge.
Ratione et Passionis
If you’ve been looking for the ultimate professional woodworking workbench, look no further. Sjobergs Elite Workbenches come in a number of different configurations, and are all constructed with dense, clear European beech. Every Sjobergs bench comes equipped with two massive 29″-wide vises that open to 5-3/4″, won’t rack and can be configured for left- as well as right-handed use.
Steve Johnson, the Down to Earth Woodworker, took a closer look at a Sjobergs workbench. Watch the video below to find out more!
In earlier posts in this series, I explained how you can take simple computer drawings and make paper patterns. In my last post, I revealed the process I used for years for making MDF patterns. But, how do you do that if you don’t own a CNC? Outsource it. Here are a few tips on finding and working with a local CNC shop. If you look around your area, you should be […]
The post Easy Entry Digital Woodworking — Preparing Patterns for an Outside CNC Vendor appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
One of the frequent challenges for finishers is the undulating surfaced — carvings, moldings, and similar. In reviewing the historic methods for the CW crew I emphasized the problems of square-tipped brushes for this process, as the corner tips of the brushes often squeegee on the raised surfaces being varnished, resulting in excess varnish and runs dripping down the surface. This result often causes hair pulling and pungent language.
In the past the ancients often used oval or even round brushes similar to sash brushes, and thus reduced the problem. In our time, we not only have these brushes to rely on but also a form used by water colorists, the Filbert Mop. The tapers oval tip of a Filbert makes varnishing a vibrant undulating surface a piece of cake. Not only are there no brush corners to deposit excess varnish where you do not want it, but the tapered oval tip drapes the surface excellently.
The preparation for carved surfaces is essentially the same as flat surfaces; good tool work followed by scraping as necessary, and finally burnished with a bundle of fibers.
After that it’s simply a matter of applying the varnish by brush, and not too surprisingly this crew tool to this like a fish to water.
After the initial application dries, the surface can once again be burnished with the carver’s polissoir, a tool I designed for my broom-maker to fabricate along with all the other polissoirs he makes for me. This was followed by second round of varnishing, and the pieces were ready to be rubbed out with beeswax and rottenstone (grey Tripoli).
|Stanley 71 for Miles|
|Miles's Stanley 72|
|the 72 has a brass wear plates|
|Miles gauge herd|
|the plumbline stick ready for string|
|dull razor blade|
|back of the frog|
|the next project|
|a pattern board|
|I got most of them to fit here, the 140 was left off|
|cut out another pattern board from cardboard|
|the plywood scraps are too small to use|
|my first choice|
Food for thought and I'll sleep on this for now and attack it tomorrow.
Who is Soyean Yi?
answer - she was the first Korean astronaut
People use the term salvaged to describe a variety of lumber. Salvaged lumber can be cut out of beams, joists, or other parts of buildings, whether remodeled or demolished. It can come from cabinets, furniture, packing crates, or other objects no longer in use. It can come from a tree felled by a bulldozer to make way for new construction or uprooted by a storm. Using material from any of […]
The closer you get to the end of the year, the faster time goes by. Maybe the older you get the faster it goes too. Paula, Pret and I have started sorting out stuff for Greenwood Fest, who’s doing what, etc. But in the meantime, we have a few courses closer to the horizon. There’s a spoon carving class coming up in early December at Overbrook in Buzzard’s Bay.
We have held classes there a lot, it’s a wonderful place. 2 days, lots of spoon wood and Paula’s lunches. December 9 & 10, 2017. https://www.plymouthcraft.org/spoon-carving – plus both afternoons there’s a German Holiday baking class going on with Kirsten Atchison – maybe if you’re good they’ll let you sample some goodies https://www.plymouthcraft.org/german-holiday-baking and https://www.plymouthcraft.org/more-german-holiday-baking
Then the following month, after all the hubbub dies down, is Tim Manney’s sharpening class. This class is a deceptive thing. Sharpening classes are not as glamourous as a project-based class, but the skills you develop in this class reach into every aspect of your woodworking.
Tim gets things fiercely sharp, and is an excellent teacher. https://www.plymouthcraft.org/an-axe-to-grind Last year, people were scooting around asking “what else can we sharpen?” – I’m going to be around for it, and I’ve been cleaning my loft out in the shop. I plan on bringing a box of tools that will be free for the taking – but you’ve got to sharpen them!
Hope to see some of you there…or beyond.
I found a hammer handle at the Hammer Source. This is the same place I got my Thorex 712 hammer and I bought one of them to put in Mile's toolbox. I ordered a replacement hammer handle and I was happy to find out that each order comes with the necessary wedges - included in the price of the handle.
I had a bit of confusion with it in regards to the eye of the hammer. The instructions on the site say to note the shape of it and then get the long and short measurements of it. What I found confusing was they didn't say which end of the eye to take the measurement from. I tried to find something on line about it but I didn't find anything helpful. I measured the bottom of the eye, which made sense to me to do. The top is tapered/flared and with the wedges installed it will push the handle outwards against the walls. I'll find out next week whether or not I pissed away $10.
|yoke hanging out|
|the frog hanging out|
|mineral bath worked|
|rip back saw|
|I was right|
I was working on cleaning the 077 here. That entailed a lot of finger aching sanding with 220 followed up with 320, 400, and finishing with 600. I wasn't no where near done with it when I stopped to go run some errands.
|Home Depot acquisitions|
|worth going to HD and finding these|
|I have 3 kinds of gloves|
|can't wait to try them out|
|mason's line and degreaser|
|my strops are all stuck together|
|I was worried about this one|
|the white/dark spots are hide glue (I think)|
|gave them a haircut on the tablesaw|
|crosscut feather left by the tablesaw|
|mineral oil darkens them|
|big kudos for the gloves|
|flattened the back, raised a burr, and sharpened it|
|the before pic|
|bow shot sans the decal|
I was a little surprised by how rough this was in spots. I was expecting this to be a lot more uniform and precise. The handle had four rough spots on the outside edges. Two at the front and two at the back. I couldn't sand them out completely. Another rough spot was the bed for the iron. I could not only see it but I could feel it with my fingertips.
The hook part of the plane where the pins from the handle engage were rusted and very rough. The tops of them weren't finished and both are uneven and have a different shape. That part doesn't effect the fit of the handle but I would think this would be finished a bit better than this. I already mentioned the shim in the nose isn't symmetrical.
My overall impression of the plane is still highly favorable. The areas that matter the most appear to be dead nuts on. The sole is flat and square to the sides and the nose is in line with the sole too. All the areas I'm quibbling about won't interfere with the plane making rebates or being used as a chisel plane. These areas are cosmetic at best but they also show the care and workmanship of the person who made it.
|can't put these in a drawer|
|hanging out here until I need them again|
|time to saw off the proud ends|
|last side flushed and cleaned up|
|used a stick to mark both legs for the 45 saw cut|
|handy having the miter guide on the bench hook|
|check of where I'll do the libella|
|unraveling like crazy|
|ready to see if the libella says I'm level|
|I couldn't see my black mark on the tape|
|a pencil line|
|I got the left leg propped up on piece of scrap|
|the second libella|
|it's off the squared line|
|hanging right on the line|
|propped up the left leg|
|swapped it 180|
|found my centers|
What is Leap-the-Dips?
answer - the worlds oldest roller coaster built in 1902 and is located in Altoona, Pa
For me, one of the highlights of the auction season is the Country Store Auction in Mebane, NC. Not much in the way of furniture but tons of interesting stuff. The focus of the auction is things found in a country store, the merchandise found there-in and advertising of all sorts.
My favorites of favorites continues to be the foods or nominally edible products. Many unfamiliar products or familiar products in unfamiliar formats. Like soft drinks:
Then the are some adult drinks (non-alcoholic):
There was also other the counter remedies:
But, by far the largest category is something you don’t eat. Directly. I hope.
One thing this display points out is that there are no longer local brand in the number there once were. Consolidation has killed off local and regional brands. That and people used to buy a lot of lard.
You would need to buy one of these:
This past week I’ve been out in the Popular Woodworking shop, doing a bit of maintenance. Many of our machines were bought many years ago – while they’ve been maintained well and used by careful workers, every machine needs a bit of TLC every once in a while. The biggest hurdle in adjusting and maintaining machines is often figuring out the various set screws, rollers and shrouds, and finding the […]
Before I went to the shop I balanced my check book and tried to think of what I wanted to get accomplished today. When I got to the workbench I still had not made up my mind on what to do. So I puttered and doodled and wandered aimlessly around the shop. I got a few little things done but still no focus of what is the next project.
|finished the libella first|
|inside corner is still 90 - glued it up and set it aside|
|working on Miles's #6|
|prepping the plane body for paint|
|taping off the sides and bottom|
|strops ready to be glued|
|could have used this|
|I'm using hide glue|
|my current strops|
|3 strops cooking away until tomorrow|
|painted the frog|
|looks better doesn't it?|
|good even coat from toe to heel|
|original plastic bag and rust paper|
|this partial sticker isn't going to survive this clean up|
|sandpaper did diddly|
|mineral spirits bath time|
|time to try something new|
|drilling out the wood that is left|
|the two wedges|
|traced the outline|
|my plumb bob string options|
Did anyone forget to turn the clocks back for the idiotic DST shift?
He died at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in Feb 1909. Who was he?
answer - the great Apache leader, Geronimo
The museums owner wanted three items made. A small pedestal box to raise a very ornate jewelry box up off the carpet. A board he could attach and display several period silver and tin spoons. And a small shelf to display three rare ornate period plates.
There was a little back and forth on the design and getting the color dark enough so he was happy took several tries. But in the end he was very pleased and I have a little feather for my hat. Some of my work is on display in a museum.
The pedestal was designed to be very understated so not to battle with the delicate ornament of the jewelry box. A short dovetailed box with a lid made of four rails and a floating panel so no warping or cleats should be needed with seasonal movement.
This is a good example of the debate I went through on every piece here. In particular I decided to use a electric router to cut the moulding edge around the top. I figure even on a subconscious level the modern execution will set the pedestal apart from the piece it's meant to display.
The spoon board was a different design issue. I worked with the director over several designs I wanted to add a little ornament to help offset the spoons, maybe even draw some attention to them. I traced out the mock up fan display they'd done on foam board and stepped off the arches to correlate to each spoon.
After sawing everything out with a coping saw and refining with rasps and a card scraper I went back in with a scratch stock and cut in the shadow line finishing the points with a V carving chisel.
The plate shelf was the most fun. We wanted something that definitely wasn't modern looking. I started this design based on the corbels, (which are difficult to see in these photos) I took theri design from an engraving of a 17th century kitchen scene.
From there I worked out the gothic arch back board with a handcut moulding on the underside of the shelf itself. The whole thing was pretty successful, I wouldn't mind having a shelf or two like this in my own home.
The finish ended up a little complicated. First I layered on some iron buff to react with the tannins in the wood and darken the grain significantly, then went two coats of an "Ebony" oil based stain. I followed this with a half dozen coats of Garnet Shellac which was rubbed down with 0000 steel wool to cut the glossiness. Then a application and buff of dark colored paste wax and I was done. Just finishing these pieces took two weeks and with the exception of the spoon board I got the coloring pretty well on (The spoon board was already edge joined and cut for the museum by another cabinet maker and given to me. Not wood I chose, nor done really to my standards, but you work with what you get sometimes)
All in all a ridiculously gratifying experience I hope to repeat several times more in my career.
Ratione et Passionis
As an aerospace engineer I don’t often get the opportunity to sprinkle snippets of beauty into my day job – “I mean, isn’t a missile going super-sonic beautiful enough?” Definitely not when it comes to woodworking! I’m starting to realize that one of my weaknesses is my inability to interject design aspects into my woodworking while maintaining structural integrity. But truthfully, these two things don’t need to be separate and […]
The post Tackling the Houndstooth Dovetail: An Engineer’s Approach to Form and Function appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
|new sash lift came in|
|crap on the right|
|much better looking now|
|for Miles toolbox|
|out of the box|
|can't get a fresher or newer iron than this|
|back side of the iron|
|converts to a chisel plane - the only spot on the plane with rust|
|is that a shim?|
|outside edge is square|
|what wood is it?|
|15" on the left, 12" on the right|
|maker of the 12" square|
|inside brass plates|
|not square on the in or out side edges|
|checking the outside edge - the bottom|
|the top runs out|
|the inside bottom - this looks promising here|
|runs in at the top|
|6mm iron holder|
|a little more than half the iron is in the holder|
|I'm going to glue it here|
|labeled it before I glued it in the box|
|carefully laid out my half laps this time|
|wee bit of crap at the bottom|
|cleaned both of them with two swipes of the tenon plane|
|my leg spread|
|nutso glue up with hide glue|
What US college has the oldest medical school?
answer - Univ of Pennsylvania