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General Woodworking

toy/blanket chest pt VI...........

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 05/03/2024 - 3:29am

 In spite of having an AM appt I still got a lot done today. I kind of liked having the first appt of the day too. Traffic going in at 0630 was minimal and not much worse coming home. The only hit was the cafeteria opened late so I couldn't get breakfast. I brought a banana nut muffin and a coffee at Starbucks. My next appt is for 0730 in 3 months. I think I'll try to get appointments early in the morning. It leaves a lot of the day to devote to the shop.

 dovetail clamping caul

These would be a lot better if the fingers were in the shape of a dovetail but they worked ok as is.

ready for glue

I sanded the interior of the chest with 100 grit paper. I got two rags to wipe up the glue. On to the next batter.

 hide glue

I thought of using white glue but nixed it. This is a large glue up and it will take a while to get glue on the tails/pins. The extra set time was needed for this.


Lots of clamps but it went off hiccup free. There wasn't much glue squeeze and I was expecting a lot of it too.

 bottom panel

There are two possible ways to attach the bottom panel to the chest. The panel is oversized and I'll flush it after the chest is cooked. I can screw it to the bottom of the chest or.....

 .....or insert it

I could put bearers around the inside perimeter and attach the bottom panel to them. I could do that so the bearers could be on top or the bottom of the panel. I decided that gluing and screwing it to the bottom of the chest is the best way to go.

 closed up

All of the tails looked like they were fully seated. However, there are a few that I'm not sure on. The glue line is dark and I won't know for sure if they seated until after I plane and flush them.

 questionable one

Fingers crossed on this one of three.


The diagonals are just shy of an 1/8" off from each other. I accepted it as is because I couldn't see any way to get them to agree and clamp the tails until they were seated. It is less than an 1/8" over almost 3 feet (35 1/2").

 final size of the bottom

The workbench is unusable until tomorrow. I am not going to move it while it is cooking.

 picture frame

I used the vise in the sharpening bench to start on the next picture frame I need. I sawed out the inside frame from scraps left over from the chest project.

 reference edge

It was too awkward to grab my usual bench planes so I used the woodies that were on the set up table to the left. Established a flat, straight, and square reference edge before I ripped the frame parts to width.

 spun like a helicopter rotor

Planed a slight hollow in the middle with the #3 and planed it with the #7. The straight edge rubs on the ends now telling me it is flat and straight.

 practice frame

I got confused about the inside lengths of this frame. I couldn't sort out the numbers and picture it in the brain bucket. I don't have any full size practice stock so I made a test frame out of some scrap thin poplar stock.

 this ain't going to work

I thought I could figure it out with a dry frame but it wouldn't stay together while I measured it.

 the painting

This is the painting that I what to frame. I want the small (1/2") border to be hidden by the frame. It was trying to figure out this that was giving me headaches.

 figured it out

I super glued and taped the frame together. It held up to my manipulations trying to size the painting within it. The large outer frame has to be the size of the painting minus the 1/2" border. The inner back frame has to be the overall size of the painting. 

 repeat the same theme?

I am thinking of making this frame the same as the first one I did. Both paintings involve turtles and the sea so why not?

 long side reference edges

I had to erase all the layout lines I had on the short side I started with. Finished the 3 reference edges on the remaining frame parts.

 roughing out the miters

Sawed the sides 3/16" over to give me some meat to true up the miters on the shooting board.

 one blow out

I let go of the waste off cut too soon and paid the price. I super glued it back on and planed it smooth and flush. With the upcoming painting it will never be seen or detected.


Not as a good as the last frame I did. It amazes me how little it takes on anyone miter to throw this out of whack.

 the next frame

There is one more painting by my wife's aunt that she likes and wants to keep. However, she wants to choose the frame. That could take a long time so I'll make a frame I think she will like and let it go at that. If she likes it, fine. If she doesn't I'll hang it in the boneyard.

 my frame is ready

I had to stop here because there wasn't anyplace for me to use the miter shooting board.


Thinking of adding two more colors to this frame - red and yellow. Just a hint of them though. No where as much as the dominant colors of gray, black, and white.

accidental woodworker

toy/blanket chest pt V............

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 05/02/2024 - 3:12am

 Had a good day in the shop but I didn't get everything done that I had on the to do list. I was happy with the progress I accomplished and I even got a post lunch stroll in. There was 99% dark cloud coverage but I saw a sliver of blue sky so I walked. I also had checked the rain radar to make sure no rain clouds were hiding on me.

Tomorrow I have an appt at the VA at 0800. I hate appointments that early because I have to drive Rte 10 during rush hour traffic which will be worse because of the construction. I'll leave my house at 0630 to avoid all that crappola. I'll eat breakfast there and read a book until my appt is called.

 2nd one done

I don't think it took me more than 20-25 minutes to chop the tails on this. 


I could have done the pins on the long sides too. The long side is shorter then the height of the workbench. I still think I called it the right way doing the tails on the long sides.

 knifing the pins

I don't use a pencil anymore to mark the pins from the tails. I like the knife line and I use that to guide my sawing of the pins.

 baselines knifed

I've been doing the pins this way for a while now and I will stick with it. Instead of sawing the verticals and then knifing the baselines, I knife them before I saw. This way I go directly from sawing to chopping.

 sawing the verticals

Looks awkward but it wasn't. I was able to saw all the pins without having to switch and move it to the other side of the vice.

 wee bit tight

I couldn't fully seat them because the tails/pins were too tight. I didn't have a warm and fuzzy about not snapping off a pin/tail so I backed it out.


It took two strokes on each pin to fully seat the tails/pins. I lost a chip from a tail so I'll have to dutch that after the carcass is glued up.

 2nd corner

There is a bit of bow in this end panel causing the tails/pins not to fully seat. They went together with a few thumps from a mallet. I had to trim a few pins with the rasp too.


I was expecting gaps but there aren't any. I'll take and carry on smartly. I'm learning not to get headaches trying to figure out things that I can't explain.


Had a good AM session. I got the 2nd long side tails chopped along with the pins on one end panel. The goal was to get the chest glued up in the PM session.

3rd corner

None of the tails pins meshed off the saw. It took me 3 dance steps trimming the pins with a chisel and rasp before they did.

 needs helps

Had to trim the 4th corner before the chest was dry fitted. It is going to take more than two clamps to seat the tails/pins. This end of the chest is worse than the other. 

 clamping cauls

I made four clamping cauls to put pressure directly on the 8 tails per corner.

 glued and cooking

The 'fingers' on the cauls are shy of the width of the tails at their widest. 

glued and cooking

These don't require any long clamping time. All that matters is the fingers are secured to the base. I'll still let these cook until tomorrow. I'll do the glue up of the chest probably in the PM session. 

I had a lot of fun trying to get the chest diagonals the same. It was frustrating because I see sawed with one being long and than being short. After fighting it for nearly a half hour I finally got them within a 16th. 

IKEA flat pack

I didn't want to chance leaving it dry fitted and not being able to knock it apart tomorrow. 

 don't like them

These certainly look and feel like they could handle 40lbs of dead weight. I don't like the mechanism for opening and closing it. This is for the boys so that the lid doesn't slam shut on their fingers. This one is overly complicated in closing it. I'll order some gas strut lid stays.


It is obvious to me that these are metric with inch conversions. There are lots of way to employ these. They are made for kitchen cabinetry doors etc.

 whittling away at it

Got one more Eric Sloane book crossed off. I have seven more to go on this list but I'm not sure that is it inclusive. Mr Sloane wrote and coauthored a lot of books starting in the late 1950's. I got this list by looking at the 'books by this author'  lists in all my other Sloane books.

accidental woodworker

toy/blanket chest pt IV............

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 05/01/2024 - 3:41am

 Noticed that my productivity of late has been a little on the lean side. Today I had another slowdown because I forgot to do my grocery shopping this AM. I'm going to have to annotate my calendar so I don't forget it again. That blip managed to grind the shop session doings almost to a standstill. I did manage to get a few things accomplished but not as much as I thought I would.

I also didn't get my post lunch stroll in neither. It has been dark with rain threatening clouds for the past two days. The cloudy days aren't going away any time soon neither. The forecast has cloudy skies out to saturday after next. That puts a damper on the strolling. I don't like walking in the rain or being threatened with rain while walking.


Squaring up the end panels kicked my arse. I started see sawing with the edge tapering back and forth on me. I ate up a 1/4" before I got the last edge flat, straight, and square. Glad that I had 4" of wiggle room on the end panels.

which one?

Eyeballed the F/B and the end panels to determine which one got tails and which one got the pins. Which one will be easier to lay on the other one to knife the pins from the tails drove that. Decided that the Kewpie doll prize goes to the F/B getting the tails and the end panels getting the pins.

 pit stop

Sharpened and honed the 3 chisels I will need to chop the pins and tails. I do the initial strokes on the 100 grit runway. That tells me how the bevel looks being held in the honing guide. I keep stoking until I raise a burr. From there I go to the 3 diamond stones finishing on the 8K japanese water stone. 30-40 final strokes on the strop and I was ready to chop tails and pins.

 went into overtime

I left the shop at 1530 today. I got the front or back panel tails chopped and cleaned up. Maybe tomorrow I'll get the carcass done and glued up. Fingers crossed on that.

I had to buy an universal remote for the living rm TV. I got it from Amazon and it came without any instructions or batteries. The problem with it is the TV has several inputs - one Cable TV, 3 RCA inputs, 3 HDMI inputs, and one USB. The 2nd headache was I didn't know how to select the TV HDMI input from the DVD player. I found it by hit/miss last night. I sat down in front of the TV and pushed every button on the remote until I got the 'TV input selection'. The DVD player was in the 5th position. Just need the DVDs from across the pond to get here but it does work.

accidental woodworker

Small Dresser 7: Finished

JKM Woodworking - Tue, 04/30/2024 - 10:31pm

front view

Poplar case with sycamore drawer fronts. Basswood and pine secondary wood.

The drawers are joined with dowels/pins. Dominos were used for the dividers and runners. Liquid hide glue was used for most joints with titebond II for the sides and top.

The poplar is finished with two coats of Speedball india ink and 5-6 coats of Deft spray lacquer. The sycamore is finished with 5-6 coats of Deft spray lacquer. The drawer pulls are brass Lee Valley ‘Round Tapered Ring Pulls’ which I tried to darken with gun bluing solution.

The case is 31″ wide, 28″ high, and 18″ deep. The top adds a little to each dimension. I wanted it no more than 29″ high to fit under a window sill. The drawer fronts are graduated from 3 1/2″ to 7″.

It was good practice for dressers or casework.


This was my first time making drawer slips and muntins. Also my first time making rabbeted/nailed drawers and first time using india ink.

drawer inside
drawer bottom

Once this makes an appearance I will probably be asked to make more dressers. Ironic as I stopped using a dresser 20 years ago.

oblique view

I’m happy with it.

Previous posts in this series:

Categories: General Woodworking

Carved box class, September 2024

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Tue, 04/30/2024 - 4:56am

[sorry for the assault – if you read my substack blog, this is a copy of one there – just brief announcements – particularly one about a class in September. These days I only teach a few times a year and just wanted people to have a heads-up about enrollment.]

carved box, oak & pine April 2024

I just finished this box yesterday – and this morning I see that Galbert has announced the new class I’ll be teaching at his shop in the September. When I was there a few weeks ago we settled on reviving the carved box class, first one in two years. It’s going to be Sept 9-14. The class is small, 6 people. We’ll be able to delve pretty deeply into the carving – that usually amounts to maybe half of our time. Lots of practice, then pick a pattern and carve the box.

All the details are on Galbert’s website – https://www.petergalbert.com/schedule/2020/7/13/make-a-chair-from-a-tree-with-peter-follansbee-8brcj-7b62n-xafjp-mglkm-lrd5m

the most important one is this: Enrollment for this class open on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at 8:00am on Galbert’s site. (not here, not through me).

That’s the same time enrollment for Dave Fisher’s class opens there, so if you get shut out of Dave’s, you can sign up for mine as a consolation…

On another note, lately I’ve strapped myself to this desk so I can assemble a website – it’s still a work-in-progress, but it’s coming together. I needed a place to stick stuff that stays put – here it is thus far:


This guy arrived yesterday, I’ll go see who got in last night.

Baltimore oriole

toy/blanket chest pt III...........

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 04/30/2024 - 3:21am

 I had my annual peepers exam today and it got a bit dicey. While examining the inside of my right eye she saw a lump in the macula. It was suspicious and it didn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. The doc came in and confirmed the lump and had a scan of it done to establish a baseline to compare it to next year. The good news is after she reviewed the scan she said it was nothing to be concerned about. Having macula degeneration in my golden years would have sucked pond scum. Fingers crossed that it doesn't change on next year's exam.

 ready to unclamp

I wanted to squeeze in as much as I could before I left for the eye exam. The pupil dilation drops have been getting worse the past few years.

 brass piano hinge

It is 30" and the chest will be around 36". I don't see the need to have this the exact same length as the chest. With it shorter it will be partially hidden in a rabbet.

 forgot these

I was digging through my hinge stash and I came across these two. I like the ones I ordered because they have an adjustable resistance from 18 to 40 pounds.

 second choice hinges

These are kind of lightweight feeling but I have used them before with good results. They are no mortise and are practically brainless to install (good fit for me). The only hit I have with them is they don't come with screws - they take a #4.

 the winner(s)

They are sized for 3/4" stock and the are dead nuts secure when screwed home. I only have two of them and I want to use 3 of them for the chest. I ordered 3 more from Lee Valley today along with a green sanding block.

 not swaged

The rabbet for this would be close to a 1/4" deep. This is what killed it for me and I switched to the other ones.

 from Woodpecker

I had a homemade plywood version of this and when I saw this on their site I pulled the trigger on it. Never warmed up to them and never really learned how to set them up. I tried a couple of times and they went airborne. Dug them out today to eyeball the size of the chest so I can pick a size for it.

way too deep

I like the length (R/L) and the height but the depth is too much at 24"+. I will shave it down to 18".

 the magic comes next

This part of any project build still gets my motor to the red line. I can see the completed project easily in my mind. Taking each board and working it to fit in the project puzzle has a high for me that no drug could match.


I am committed to this being painted but this lid would look awesome left natural against a painted carcass. That idea will fall on deaf ears though.

glue joint

These glue ups are shaking out to be the best I've done. There is almost no proud in the glue joint from end to end. I'll do the final smoothing and cleaning of the panels before I glue them together.

 front/back batting first

This is the shorter of the two and it will determine the length. Squaring each end and then I'll use this one to set the length of the opposite side piece.

 getting the length

The length of the front/back will be 35 1/2". The opposite ends lined up pretty good. Getting panels square isn't a problem for me. The headache comes when I have to match two or more of them.

 wee bit proud

The right side ends are square and the bottom edge is flush too. I marked this with a pencil and planed down to it. I used my Lee Valley bevel up jack plane to square the ends. It is what I use the plane for 99.99% of the time. None of my other bench planes will plane end grain as easily or smoothly as it does.


The front and back are flush on the ends and on the reference long edge. After I square up the end panels I will rip the panels to the final width .

I tried to work in the shop with sunglasses because the shop lights were giving me a headache. I had to wait a couple of hours until I could bear the lights in the shop. Tomorrow I'll get the end panels squared up and maybe get started on dovetailing.

accidental woodworker

Small Dresser 6: Top, Back, Ebonizing Poplar, Blackening Brass

JKM Woodworking - Mon, 04/29/2024 - 9:21pm

The top has been sitting in my house for months and hasn’t cupped. Tempting fate, I ripped it to plane it, then reglued. I did this to thin it down to 3/4″.

top showing available overhang

After putting the top on the base, I saw there wasn’t much room on the front for an overhang. I decided to simply round over the edges with a plane, preserving as much width as practical. I would have like the top edge to be crisper, but there were some dings or defects that disappeared with planing like this.

edge profile for top

I initially thought I would finish the poplar with something warm, like oil, and finish the sycamore with something clear, like lacquer. But when reading about ebonizing for another project, I saw poplar on a list of woods that ebonize well. So I decided to practice ebonizing.

Speedball India Ink

I practiced on the backside of a pine bead board and the underside of the poplar top. If the point of practicing is to do everything the same on your practice pieces as your project, I failed. Sometimes I used a foam brush, sometimes a foam roller, and sometimes a cotton rag. Sometimes I wiped the excess and sometimes I didn’t. Not so consistent.

practice pine and poplar

For the real deal, I applied two coats of ink, wiping any pooled excess before it dried. I mostly used a 2″ foam brush, but sometimes used a 4″ foam roller to spread the bulk out before switching to the brush.

Reading about using india ink, one of the biggest complaints was it being lifted or smudged on subsequent coats, whether that was a second coat of ink or the first topcoat of another finish. To avoid this, I decided I would spray the first top coat. Since I don’t have spray equipment and don’t want to use polyurethane, that leaves off-the-shelf cans of shellac or lacquer. I chose lacquer so that I could use one product for all pieces, and lacquer would be more clear on the light colored sycamore.

I sprayed the case and top separated, and all five drawer fronts. I finished only the visible sides. Two cans of spray lacquer was enough for 5-6 coats. After 1-2 days I rub all over with a brown paper bag, which makes it feel smoother.

wood grain still visible through ink

The back pieces are pine tongue and groove beadboard. Before fastening, I blackened them. I planned on using pneumatic nails to attach them to the three back rails. Worried the rails were too thin, I glued extra pieces to make them thicker and an easier target for the nail gun. Nailing them was harder than I anticipated. I had to clamp each one to the rails to hold it tight before nailing, otherwise they wanted to bend away.

doubling up back rails for nailing
not much contrast in this picture

When I made the drawers I made their sides extra long, thinking I would trim them after the back was in place.

drawer sides overly long

Now with the back in place, I could trim the back of the drawer sides. I shoved the drawer closed and used a marking gauge to determine how much material to remove from the back. In this way the back of the dresser acts as a drawer stop.

measure from the front
remove from the back

I didn’t plan ahead of time how to fasten the top to the case. Since the top is made out of the same type of wood with the same grain direction as the sides, I don’t need to worry about movement. I ended up drilling holes in the top rails for screws. I think pocket holes through the sides would have been better, but I would have had to drill those holes a few steps ago.

no room for a stubby screwdriver

There wasn’t enough room for a screwdriver to fit, so I used screws with a 1/4 hex head which allowed me to use a ratchet and socket. These screw heads interfered with the closing of the drawer, so I had to remove some material from the drawer backs with a file.

drawer couldn’t be inserted with screw heads in the way
brass hardware with gun blue solution

These are Lee Valley ‘Round Tapered Ring Pulls’. I chose them because they were available in four sizes. I wanted black hardware, but since that is hard to find I thought I would try to blacken brass. I found an old post from a firearms forum showing experiments and results and decided to try Oxpho Blue.

The instructions say to wipe on and keep wet for 60 seconds, then dry. I tried this and it had no effect. I submerged the pieces for several minutes, and that only turned them a dull gray. I ended up soaking the pieces for a long time. They did get very dark but some pieces got a little rough or pitted. I’m not sure I should blame the chemical. Maybe this brass wasn’t a good candidate or I should have done something different.

as black as they’re getting

The rings are mounted in the center of the small drawers, and the wide drawers have two rings lining up below those. I tried to mount the ring pulls centered up-down in each drawer, meaning the pilot hole for the mounting screw had to be above the midline. I set dividers to the radius of the ring and marked where to drill a pilot hole.

measure the radius
drill the top hole to have the center of the ring in the center of the drawer
try to keep in line with each other

Not much left. I have to get some 1/4 plywood for the drawer bottoms. I will wax the mating parts of the drawers and runners. I may add some felt pads under the feet, but will probably wait until I find out where it will be residing.

Categories: General Woodworking

toy/blanket chest pt II............

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 04/29/2024 - 3:21am

 came overnight

This is a region free DVD player that I got from Amazon for $39. I also bought the entire BBC Spiral series and I should have that sometime around may 9th. I stopped watching season 5 of Spiral because there were too many holes in it. I didn't get to see any of season four and season 5 builds on it. I'll pick it back up when I get the DVDs from across the pond.

toy/blanket chest lid

This is pt II of this build series. Yesterday (pt I) I got all the stock prepped for glue up and today I added the lid to the mix. Might as well get all the glue ups done at the same time.

 carcass glued and cooking

I am going to resist the urge to play with these in the PM session. I will let them cook overnight and start on them in the AM tomorrow.

 being a PITA

The straight edge said both glue joint edges were straight, square, and flat but there is a gap. The outside edges by the end were tight but the middle was open. A clamp wouldn't pull it shut so I had to plane and trim the outside ends several times before the gap went away.

 needed some help

The boards weren't down flush with the clamps on these two clamps. I had to use clamps to pull them down and keep them touching the bar clamps.

 base stock

Decided to go with the width I wanted for the base stock. I like this width and I think it is a better fit with the overall size of the toy/blanket chest. The chest is not super sized but the scale of the base fits the scale of the toy/blanket chest.

 weren't up to the task

I'm glad I eyeballed the glue ups because the lid had some daylight between the bar clamps and the lid. The big boy besseys had no problems pulling it tight and keeping it tight.

 how so close

The width is 24" which more the enough but the length was only 33 1/2". The length of the toy/blanket chest is going to be around 36" so I'm a few frog hairs shy. Just as well because this is oak veneered 1/2" plywood and this stuff sucks pond scum. I made a road trip to Lowes to get a 1/4 sheet of 1/2" plywood.

 funny looking plywood

This is called Blondewood and this face is white. It almost looks like a paint but I was not a 100% sure of that. This was $26 and the same thing in birch was $3 more. I stuck with this because it is the bottom of the toy/blanket chest and isn't that visible.

 USA company

It took a while but I found this on their website. They are a US company out of North Carolina. Their site states that one side is a defect free white wood and the opposite face is also a defect free wood. I like the second, non white face better. The white face would probably be a good paintable surface.

Tomorrow I will unclamp the glue ups, size the panels, and start on the dovetailing. I don't think this should take me more than a couple of days to knock out.

I bought a couple of lid stays and I'll have them next week (adjustable up to 40lbs). I have a lot of hinges that I can pick from to use but I'm thinking of using a piano hinge for the first time. I don't recall ever having used one although I have several of them in shop.

Felt good after the weigh in today. I behaved myself all week with what I shoved in the pie hole. I also walked everyday, monday to saturday for the first time in months. The reward was I lost 3.4 pounds. That leaves 12 more to shed to get to my goal of 185.

accidental woodworker

beautiful day.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 04/28/2024 - 3:35am

 After I got up this AM I went grocery shopping. I am thinking of changing what I eat for lunch and just having a salad. I have been eating toast and soup and I think I'm ready for a change. For variety I'll throw in a frozen Healthy Choice meal. They have several (that I like) that are 250 calories or less. I am maintaining my weight and I'm not losing with the diet as it is. I still want to drop about 15 more pounds. I'm looking forward to seeing how I do on the scales tomorrow.

 took an hour

I have eight 1x12x5' pine boards for the next project - a toy box for Miles and Leo. It is going to be a blanket chest that the boys will use first. After they out grow it Amanda can use it as a blanket chest or for whatever. 

It took me that long to pick out the boards for the carcass. In the end I didn't get a good color/grain match so I stuck with making each side as good as I could. 

all for naught

My wife will be bringing it to NC at the end of may. That means more than likely she will paint it once she gets there. All the fussing and expending calories matching color and grain were a waste of time. Knowing that will make the glue up easier for me.

 first brain fart

I broke down the stock for the carcass. The chest will be 36" R/L, 22" deep, and 16" high. There will be a base so the height will be 4-5 inches taller. Made a miscalculation here that I didn't pick up on yet.


I only had stock for one long and one short side of the carcass. Got confused thinking about two boards and four sides. I straightened, squared, and flattened one edge and then ripped the boards to width on the tablesaw.


2nd brain fart dawned on me here. I ripped all the boards to a width of 8 1/4". I only had to rip 4 of them. Originally the chest was going to be 18" high but now it is 16" which is probably a better height for the boys.

 this sucks

I'm glad I haven't gone back to Harbor Freight and bought anymore of these deep reach clamps. I tried to use them to clamp two boards together for planing and it was basically useless. Instead of drawing the two boards together, the screw was pushing the upper and lower arms apart. Disappointing to see but oh well at least they didn't cost a lot.

spring joint

These were the last two boards to plane the glue joint. This one ended up being a spring joint even though I wasn't shooting for one. The end were tight and I had gap in the middle. After planing and checking it several times I wasn't seeing any improvement. Put a clamp on it and less then a 1/2 turn of the screw closed the gap.

 base stock?

I could use this for the base but I wish it was an inch wider. The shorter ones I can use for bread board ends if I decide to use them. If not I have two more picture frames coming up in the queue. This is the left over from carcass stock.

 5 left
All five of these have one brown knot in them. However, there is more than enough clear stock to get the top from two of them. I should be able to get wider base stock from the other 3 boards. For the bottom of carcass I plan on using 1/2" plywood.

I thought I would get the carcass panels glued up today but that didn't happen boys and girls. I spent the morning helping my wife out doing errands. I even got to help out with her dead people stuff. That was all muscle work moving boxes around and putting away books.

The new pedometer works a treat. The walk I do in the afternoon turned out to be 7403 steps and it took me an hour and 15 minutes (first day with the pedometer). Between this stroll and what walking I do during the course of the day should be put me over 10000 steps for the day. Without the stroll I was averaging 2000-2500 steps daily. I will keep to the current route and get an weeks' worth average step count. I would like to get it greater than 8k per stroll.

accidental woodworker

the locust tree

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sat, 04/27/2024 - 4:53pm

That photo is from about a month ago – when some high winds finally knocked down part of this long-dying locust tree right next to my shop. The tree has been on my mind for a couple of years – and it presented some problems for the tree-crew. There’s no way to get a truck to it, no way to get a crane near it…this one had to be done the old way, climbing it and cutting it by hand. Our friend JS & his crew came and expertly and safely took the rest of it down. Now begins the cleanup.

Of course I’ll miss the tree, but it’s time had come quite a while ago. One piece I’ll miss the most is the perches the tree created right outside my shop window for all the birds that came by…I’ve begun compiling some samples. These are literally garden-variety birds, ones you can see most everyday here in the right season (some year-round) = they’re still around, but they won’t be perched right outside the window for a long time…

white-breasted nuthatch tufted titmouse American robin mourning dove house sparrow northern cardinal, female yellow-shafted flicker (female or juvenile) cedar waxwing catbird Baltimore orioles (males) Baltimore oriole (female)

one in, and one out.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 04/27/2024 - 3:18am

 Didn't get a lot done today. I am in between projects without seeing anything on the horizon. That changed when I asked Amanda if Leo and Miles needed a toy box. Based on the pic I saw of their family room, they could probably use more than one. So making a toy box is the next project coming out of Ralphie's shop. I'll make it so that once they get older it can be used for something else.

 this is done

I'll bring this to the Frame it Shop before lunch. 

 took some fancy two step

These were hinge bound and the lid wouldn't lay flat. I chiseled out the area in the bottom part of the hinge first. That helped a little but the hinges were still bound. I had to stick a piece of veneer under between the screw and the barrel. After that the hinge laid flat.

not in the way

I glued a scrap to the inside face to keep the sanding block away from it. It also allows the chain a place to fall. No hiccups pulling the sanding block in or out.

 needed a finger thingie

The lid overhangs the front but not quite enough to easily grab it and open it up.

 still not enough

This didn't help out as much as I expected it to. The overhang of the lid is in the way of the fingers getting to the bottom one.

finally done

Put a smaller finger grab thingie on the lid. This was what was needed - thumb or finger now have enough to grab onto to open the lid. Or I could have skipped this and just opened it from either end of the lid.

 needs some shellac

I got 3 coats on the finger grabs before I left to go see Maria.


This is what is left over from the 2nd portable chest of drawers. I wonder if there is enough to whack out a second smaller one. I have some 1/2" thick wide stock for a carcass. I'll have to ask the wife how much longer the 2nd was and how short the 3rd could be.

 present for the wife

I have an obsession with clocks and boxes. I have made a clock for everyone in the immediate family. This one has never worked. The movement cost me $100 and I bought a 2nd one because the first one came damaged. The only thing that worked on this clock was the pendulum. I what to get this running and keeping time.


Where does all this time go to? I had no idea that I had made this so long ago. It has been on the buffet in the living room for 16 years.

 replacement movement

I have used two of these movements without any problems. The only thing I don't like about them is the have plastic hands. Plastic hands look like absolute crappola on a clock IMO.

 2nd movement

The first one I picked was a non pendulum movement. This clock has a leaded glass bottom so you can see the pendulum swing.

I remember these hings

They were expensive and I believe they came from White Chapel? I wanted something special for this clock. I struggled doing the mortises for them but it looks I did ok with them.

switched clocks

Changed my mind and I am going to get this clock going first. It has the same movement and has a pendulum. I stopped getting it running because it has plastic hands too. Non of the metal hands I had would fit it. I'm resigned to listening to the Bim Bam sound and looking at plastic hands.

came today

I don't know if there are 500 tables in here but I do know that the ones that are they are all in color. There is a mix with the majority being artsy styled tables. Nice to look at but not my taste. I have looked at it several times and I'll leave it on my desk until I have eyeballed all 500.

CPAP pillow

This is a CPAP machine pillow for side sleepers. That would be me. I always fall asleep on my left side. I got this because the divots on the ends are for the mask to have empty space under it. Good idea and it did work, at least the part for the mask. I tried it for 4 days and said NO MAS. I didn't like it although I tried hard to because it set me back $48. I put it in the closet for now and I'll try to use it again in a couple of months. Or if and when I come across it again, which ever happens first.

new pedometer

This one counts your steps and tells the time. That is it. It doesn't need an app, a computer or a cell phone. The only set up I had to do was set the time. You have reset it each day as it doesn't automatically do that. There is also no memory function, no calories burned, just how many steps. How refreshing. I'll road test it tomorrow when I go on my post lunch stroll.


 one back home

My wife sent a pic of this to the girls and they started crying. Amanda can't wait to hang this in her house. Both of the girls were very close to their grandmother and this is the all painting that she did that have. I'm not liking the blue/gray mat though. It doesn't go with the frame. This might be going back tomorrow to change it a green one.

accidental woodworker

What a day.......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 04/26/2024 - 3:29am

 Had my CPAP appointment at the VA today and all is going well. He explained how the CPAP machine works in a language I understood. I had searched on line for one and had more questions after reading the offerings. Before I got the CPAP machine I was averaging 13.8 apnea episodes per hour. Going into my 3rd week with it I am averaging 2.1 apnea episodes per hour. The goal with the machine is 5 or less and I'm less than half. I am still getting used to the nasal mask and I'm still getting mask seal adjust alerts. Those are getting less and they are currently 12/20 with 20 being perfection. The score is rising albeit slowly.

The construction going to the VA was single lane in two of the three choke points. I'm glad that my appointment was for 1030. Rush hour in the morning must be a real mess to deal with. Going home was much better with no lane closures or being choked down from 2-3 lanes to one. Don't know how much longer the construction is going to take but I'll have to deal with it again on the 25th for my annual peepers exam.


Before I left for the VA I wanted to get another coat of shellac on the poster frame. One corner had some tear out still visible so I hit that again with a 120 grit sanding stick.

 left this one

I would have to sand/plane/chisel too much to remove this divot. I am leaving it as is. I might try filling it with some putty but I'll experiment on an offcut first. I want to see what the color difference is if any.

I got shellac on the frame and the sanding block box before leaving for the VA. That is all I got done in the AM session. My wife decided to sleep in this morning so I couldn't go to the shop and make noise. Just as well because the daily sudoku puzzle made me feel real stupid 3 times. Twice I made the same me-steak with the same number and twice I didn't catch until there were only 4 empty holes. I finished that just before the wife finally got up.

 poster is looking real good

 One more coat on the front and one more on the back and this will get a check mark in the done column. I should be ready to take this to Maria on saturday.

 almost done

All the shellac work is fini. I still have to put a lid stay on it and that will be in the finale tomorrow. I am still waiting to I buy the green sanding block from Lee Valley. The block is $30 and the total needs to be $50 to get free shipping. Haven't thought of $20 worth of anything that I need besides the sanding block.

Last tidbit of FYI. You Tube changed the 'home' page layout and I thought it sucked. As typical with them there were no fore warnings, it just appeared one day. I read that the premium You Tubers got it first. I'm a premium You Tuber only because I don't like the ads that You Tube randomly interjects in the vids. Today they switched back to the old format which I like. I'm used to it and more importantly I like how it looks. 

The new format looked undone and awkward looking. Hopefully they will keep this as is but I doubt it. I'm sure someone has to justify their paycheck by thinking up and implementing this crappola on us.

accidental woodworker

Small Dresser 5: Drawers with Slips and Muntins

JKM Woodworking - Thu, 04/25/2024 - 7:14am

I have been building drawers for the dresser for a while now. I thought I would wait until the last one or two to take pictures, after I got into a routine. But the routine never developed. The steps or techniques changed a little each time.

cardboard frame

To start I made this window out of cardboard the same dimensions as the dresser front. I slid and flipped the boards until I was happy with the orientation, and then marked where to cut.

I fit the drawer pieces one at a time, holding them up to the cavities to make sure they fit. The fronts are sycamore, the sides are basswood, and the backs are pine.

fitting one at a time

I decided to rabbet and nail the sides to the front. The sides aren’t all the same thickness, so I have to mark each one individually. I cut the piece with a fine toothed saw and clean up with a shoulder plane.

each rabbet is marked individually

Once the front piece has rabbets, I crosscut the drawer back to the inter-rabbet distance so it will fit between the sides.

four pieces. back made to match front

The nails are actually wooden pins. The first couple I made from sycamore. That got old quick and I started using dowels.

dowels and skewers
pins ready to go

The thicker ones are 3/16″ and used to fasten the sides to the front. The skinny ones are 1/8″ and fasten the sides to the back. I cut them with diagonal pliers and point the leading end with a chisel or pencil sharpener.

The drawer sides are so thin I decided to make slips for the first time. They always sounded a little complicated or too fancy. I am also making central muntins to hold the bottoms in the wide drawers.

The slips are made on the edge of a 4/4 board. First a 1/4 groove is plowed, then the top corner is rounded over. Last I will rip the length and plane the back flat. The bottom will be planed flush after installing in the drawer. This 4/4 board is about 48″ long, so I get three 16″ slips at a time. The muntin is made similar to a slip, but with the profile on both sides.

flatten edge before grooving
plow groove
round over top edge
two profiles ready to rip from stock

The first four drawers I glued up and pinned all at once. This means I had to drill the pilot holes ahead of time and have the pegs ready to go. For the last drawer I glued it up first and later drilled the holes and inserted pins, which was less stressful.

glue and clamps without pins
pins glued through sides into front

After the four pieces of the box are glued, the slips and muntin are applied. Slips are just glued into place, taking care to line up their grooves with the drawer front. Slips also require a little notch to fit under the back. The muntins were dovetailed into the drawer front. Both the front and back of the muntins were also fastened with 1/8″ skewers. I’m not opposed to using screws but the first one I tried looked like it was going to blow out the sides.

muntin made to fit drawer front before gluing
gluing muntin and slips
five drawers rough fitted

I still have to fine tune these into their openings. I will plane the edges trying to get a better reveal. I also need to get some plywood for the drawer bottoms. I plan to glue the drawer bottom all around to hopefully make up for the thinness of the sides and back.

Bigger next steps will be to attach the dresser back and top, finish, and add hardware.

Categories: General Woodworking

slow day......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 04/25/2024 - 3:31am

 Spent the morning running errands seemingly all over the state. It was cloudy with rain clouds closing in from the west so it was a good time to whack them out. I got my morning walk in also and going to Walmart at the same time. It didn't help though because I forgot a couple of things and I had to go back. The rain came around noon time but it didn't deposit much. When I left the shop in the PM the sun was out, the sky mostly cloudless, and the mercury was  up 68F (20C). Tonight the forecast is for the temps to be below freezing (0C). In my part of the universe that depends upon which of the weather seers you listen to. But all of them agree it is going to be cold overnight.

 inside chamfer

In for a penny, in for a pound. I put on my big boy pants and jumped into chamfering the inside edge. If I screw it up I'll start over again.

 no the same offset

The outside chamfer is 5/16" on the face and side. The inside chamfer is a 1/4". I went smaller in case I had to make it wider due to a hiccup.

 against the grain

I used my LN violin plane and a 1 1/4" chisel to do the chamfer. About 2" from each corner I had to use the chisel and on one end I was going against the grain. I took my time, had a sharp chisel, but I still got some ugly looking tear out.

 2nd corner

Lost a big chunk here and this was the worse of it too. Difficult and awkward trying to smooth this out with the chisel.

3rd corner

This one I was able to use the chisel to smooth out about 80% of it.

 4th corner

This was the best looking one and the only one I got clean and smooth. The problem with the chiseling was the chip would follow the grain and dig down and deep. I had to work slowly and basically nibble it with the chisel work.

 getting there

I don't remember which corner this was but one of the keys to finishing it was to leave the layout lines for as long as possible. Before I started I had thought of doing a lamb's tongue but nixed that idea. I wanted the outside and inside chamfers to match.

 best tool in the shop

I made a fresh 120 grit sanding stick to clean up the divots/tear out in the corners. I was able to maintain the chamfer width and smooth away 99.9% of the divots and tear outs.

 looking good

I used the alcohol to erase the layout lines on the face and to wet the inside chamfer. I was able to see basically what the shellac would look like applied. All the corners looked good highlighted by the alcohol. I was happy with it and applying shellac was next.

two coats on

I will let these two dry completely and I'll eyeball the corners to see how they look. If there are any blemishes that didn't sand off the shellac will make them pop. I'll deal with them then.

almost done

The lid is done as is the outside of the box. The tray bottom is done. Next up is putting some shellac on the inside of the box and the inside of the tray. Another day and we can all ooh and aah over it.

Still haven't found Spiral season 4 anywhere on Prime. I think I went through every page and nada. The only way to watch season 4 is with MHZ streaming. That service dubs the character's voices (sucks pond scum). I would rather watch it with subtitles (I like subtitles). I chalked it up to a loss and I'm now watching season 5 which I bought the entire season. A lot of holes in this one because I don't know what happened in season 4.

accidental woodworker

one is done......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 04/24/2024 - 3:34am

 Another nice sunny day in RI. It was a little on the cold side due to winds coming out of the north. Tomorrow is supposed to rain starting in the afternoon so I'll try to get my walk done in the morning. I've walked a couple of times in the morning but lately I've been doing it after lunch. I still haven't gotten six days in a row walking due to weather but fingers crossed I'll be able to do it this week.

The heat is still coming on due to low temps at night. They have only been a few degrees above freezing. The temps aren't forecasted to be in the 40's over night until next week. I hope they come up sooner than later because I want to stop paying for heat.

didn't happen

I didn't come back to the shop last night. I don't recall even having that thought transit the brain bucket. I only have one more coat to put on to call this done.

sanding block box

I added clamps mostly to keep the miters closed up. I let it cook overnight until this AM.

 LV rounding tools

Used LV copies of the Stanley ones to round over the top edge of the bandings. They behaved this time I didn't rip out chunks rounding them.

 love hate this

I like how well this clamps but I hate the steel band. And especially so the winder thing that rolls it up.

 no wasted room

Getting this stowed back in this box always make me feel like I'm solving an enigma. I don't think I have stowed it the same twice ever. I was thinking of making a new box a few inches wider/longer but after I got it stowed I nixed it. It might still happen because I'm sure I'll run into the situation where no matter what I do I won't be able to fit all the pieces in and have the lid close on it.

 flushing the corners

The frame held even though I shook it like madman with his pants full of angry bees.

spline grooves

This is something that the tablesaw excels at. I have a lot of scraps to the right that were close to this 1/8" wide groove.

 fitting the splines

Plane and check the fit. Once I could bottom out the spline with hand pressure I was done.

 glued and cooking

The last splines I did, a couple of them had gaps. Not this time because I clamped them in both directions.

 poster frame parts

These will be the stops on the back of the poster frame for the poster to sit in. This way I don't have to put a rabbet in the frame.

 off the saw

Not too terrible considering the miters were hand sawn to a pencil line. I don't see how anyone can hand saw four miters and than be able to glue it square. Just one frog hair off of 45 on any one miter will throw it out of two being 90.

 shot the miters

I could have used butt joints for the stops because they won't be seen after the frame is hung on a wall. Miters are my nemesis and practice makes perfect. Although in my case it is coming together rather slowly.

 wee bit too short

I had a massive brain flatulence attack with these stops. They should have had a 13" and 19" inside measurement. I made them the same size as the inside measurement of the frame. DUH.

2nd set

I used a left over piece of 5/4 pine to get both sets of the stops from. I'll save the first set for a future frame. Used the #7 to clean up the sawn edges.

 me-steak #2 upcoming with the stops

This is the rough sawn miters and I had more than enough wiggle room. I shot the miters clean and smooth and found out I had made another boo boo.


The stops will be positioned a 1/2" in from the inside face edge all the way around. I used the pencil marks on the frame to get the lengths of the stops. Then I proceeded to saw each one wrong. I held the stops flush with the inside edge when I marked them. I should have set them on the outboard side of the pencil lines.


The long points align with the pencil lines but in the wrong direction. I had more 5/4 pine to whack out a 3rd set of stops but I thought of way to use these.

 another mitering job

This is the back and this would fill in and make the corners 90°. I had off cuts from the stops to use for them too.

 kind of worked

The two mitered faces weren't in perfect alignment. The chisel worked but didn't because the top piece moved as I chiseled straight down.

 first chiseled corner

Got a gap but it will be against a wall and will never seen light. I still want this joint to look good and it is good practice.

 sanding stick to the rescue

Worked a treat and not only smoothed the end grain, it came out gap free. I had my happy face on.


No problems doing one miter and the second one was doable but with caution. I had to do it blind and hold it in place with two fingers.

in the way

The pencil line represents where I wanted the chamfer. The nails where in the way so I had to settle for a smaller one. I saw a chamfer detail like this on a frame my wife was shitcanning. I liked the look of it and I'll be doing it on all the frames I make like this.


I was able to make the chamfer as wide as I wanted on the face side of the frame.


I offset the spline groove from center because I knew I was putting a chamfer on the frame. I have chamfered a frame where the splines popped out planing the chamfer.

 first coat of shellac

I got the first of 3 coats on the back of the poster frame. Made a lot more progress on this than I expected. I will finish this frame before I go to the Frame Shop and pick up the painting that is finally done (mat was back ordered). I should be done with it by friday at the latest.

 needs something

I want to put a chamfer on the inside edge of the frame. I also want it to run around the entire edge. I can plane some of but I don't have a plane that will do inside corners. I'll have to think on this overnight.

 got 3

The lid is starting to show some coverage and shine. I might be able to get by with one more coat.

only one glamour pic (done)

My wife liked this one. She called it cute which means I she likes it. She can't use it because it is too long by several inches for where she wants it to live. I'll ask Amanda if she wants it. If she doesn't want it I'll stick it in the boneyard.

accidental woodworker

Auger Bit Extensions

Woodworking in a Tiny Shop - Tue, 04/23/2024 - 7:57pm

This post is a bit long and is for those who have wondered how auger bit extensions work.

I'd been wanting to find an auger bit extension for a long time.  I finally hooked up with a guy from my tool collectors organization (PAST) and bought a Stanley #180, looking in perfect condition.  And he threw in another, very rusty one for good measure.  Total price: $10!  These tool collector guys are awesome! (He asked for $5 - I gave him $10.)

I believe the way these are advertised, they are said to "follow an 11/16" bit".  That means the end where you affix a regular auger bit will fit through an 11/16" hole.  So if you need to bore, say, a 5/8" hole that is greater in depth than your 5/8" auger bit is long, these extensions won't help you.  But if you want to bore a really deep 11/16" or 3/4" or greater diameter hole, this is the tool to help you.  For both of these extensions, the diameter of the large end is 11/16".

Diameter of the business end

In this post, I'll show how each works and what I did to clean them up.

Stanley #180 above, Craftsman below

The first one is a Stanley #180, in near perfect condition.  I think it's not that old, maybe from the '60s or '70s.

NO. 180 - 18 IN.

The tool is made up of three parts: the main shaft, a knurled and threaded sleeve, and the head into  which a regular auger bit is inserted.  I don't know if these are the proper names for these parts.

Yellow arrows are main shaft, red is the knurled sleeve
and green is the "head"

This photo shows the underside of the head (from previous photo).
The pen points to a key-way cut into the larger diameter part of the shaft.
Half-way up the head a key was punched that slides in the shaft key-way
and keeps the head from rotating on the shaft.

The portion of the shaft that is inside the head has a larger diameter than the majority of the shaft.  That larger diameter portion of the shaft has another purpose.  The knurled and threaded sleeve, which can slide most of the way up and down the shaft, butts up against that larger diameter so it can't slide further up.

Pen point shows the sleeve butted up against the larger portion of shaft

When the head is pulled down to the threaded sleeve, the sleeve can be rotated to engage the inside threads of the head, thus pulling the head towards the sleeve.

Red arrow points to the end of the shaft inside the head.
The sleeve's threads are just starting to engage the lower end of the head.

With the sleeve's threads fully engaged and pulling the head down,
the shaft protrudes further into the end of the head.
This forces the square shank of an auger bit up against the end of the head.

Now look inside the head so you can see the end of the shaft.  It accepts the square tapered shank of an auger bit.  When the sleeve is tightened, the head is pulled down and a bit is locked in place.

Note the square opening at the end of the shaft, seen inside the head.
Its orientation is important.

Here is an auger bit inserted.  Note its orientation.

When the sleeve is tightened, the shoulders of the bit's square, tapered shank
are forced against the inside shoulders of the head to lock the bit in place.

If the opening at the end of the shaft was not oriented as it is, the bit would not be held securely against the shoulders of the head.

The second bit extension works in a similar way, but with a different mechanism.  Here is my attempt to show the inscription on the shaft.  It was tough getting a decent picture of it.  These four pics are supposed to be shown side-by-side - hopefully that is how it is for your browser / phone screen.

It says: CRAFTSMAN on the top line and MADE IN U.S.A. A-I on the second line.  I'm not certain what the "A-I" part means, but it may be a code for whatever company made it for Sears.

This one was extremely rusty and totally locked up when I got it.  I oiled the moving parts several times and left it for a week.  When I got back to it, I wrapped a rag around the threaded sleeve and a wrench was able to loosen it.

Yellow arrow is the main shaft, red is the knurled sleeve
and green is the "head"

For this bit extension, the sleeve does not slide up and down the shaft.  It is fixed in position, but it can rotate so that its threads engage the inside threads of the head.  As it does, the head moves up or down the shaft.

In the above pic, note the L-shaped cutout in the head.  Through that cutout, you see the shaft.  At the far left of the cutout, you can see a pin that extends into the L from the shaft.  This pin limits the travel of the head.  But importantly, when the knurled sleeve is turned and the head has moved up, the pin locates at the right end of the L slot and allows the head to rotate 1/8 of a turn.

Sleeve threads fully engaged, head fully retracted, shaft showing inside.
Note how shaft's square opening is 1/8 turn off of head's square opening.

Here, sleeve threads are disengaged, pushing head up.
Now the pin is at the angle of the L

Here's a look down inside the head while it's pushed up.
Again, note how the square hole at end of shaft is angled from the head's square hole.

With head extended, turn the head 1/8 turn (pin slides in short arm of the L)
and the square holes will align.  This allows a bit's square tapered shank to be inserted.

After inserting a bit and rotating the head 1/8 turn, you tighten
the bit in the head using the threaded sleeve.  The offset square holes
of shaft and head force the corners of the bit's square tapered shank
against the inside shoulders of the head.

This allows a bit to be held firmly.  I've noticed that a little wiggling might be needed to get the bit into better alignment with the bit extender's shaft.  But when they're aligned, it really works great.

Here it is in use for a practice hole

As rusty as it was, this bit extender cleaned up nicely

This one took a fair amount of sanding to clean it up.  But it looks fine now and works perfectly.

So that's it on bit extensions.  I'm sure there are other designs out there with different mechanisms.  But at least now I know how these two do what they're supposed to do.

still not done......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 04/23/2024 - 3:43am

 I have three projects in varying stages with two close to being done and one I just started. I thought the portable chest of drawers would get a check mark today but it didn't happen. Maybe tomorrow I will get to do that. Got two coats of shellac on the lid with two more to go. Should finish that up today if I go back to the shop. Surprised myself with getting the new Lost Art Poster frame glued up. I hadn't planned on that at all. Quit the shop early today because it was so nice outside. I went for an extended walk instead.


This corner has two fingers of end grain to long grain from the bridle joint. I resisted the urge to unclamp it last night and let it cook until this AM. Both ends are tight on both sides and the end. The center 'finger' of the bridle joint is long grain to long grain.

 too big

The hinge goes past the edge a strong 1/8". I wanted it to be flush with the inside face of the box.

 this is working

I planed this scrap of pine so that when the barrel is against it, the hinge is flush with the inside face.


I had no hiccups installing the hinges considering this style used to kick my arse royally. The front edge of the lid is barely flush with the front of the box. I don't expect the lid to do any stupid wood tricks but this is too close for comfort. I don't have a warm and fuzzy about it for the long haul.

 it still works

I filled the hinge holes in with toothpicks and redid them so the barrel was up tight to the outside face. I have enough room to tilt the tray to get it in/out with no hiccups. The lid now extends past the front a 1/8".


I am going to put this on the bottom of the box to hide the plywood end grain showing.

 sanding block box lid

The first coat of shellac disappeared as soon as I put it on this side of the plywood. On the other side it didn't do absorb it nearly as bad. Might have to throw more than 3 coats I planned on applying.

happy with this

Used the off cuts from the mitering to dial in the 45's.

 happy face on

Dry fit of the frame after shooting the 45's. The first dry fit without the clamps looked good also. All the miters closed up and the frame sides all aligned.

 the other two miters

Tight, aligned, and gap free. I tried to cut the miters on the tablesaw with the Osborne miter gauge but it was off a degree. Two miters closed up but the four legs wouldn't align. Just as well as I prefer to shoot them. I can still use the Osborne to rough cut miters though.

 spot on

I think I got this dead on what I need. The long leg is a 1/8 over 18" and I'll have to wait and see how the poster lays in the frame. I don't plan on using a mat for this poster but I will have it glassed and mounted.

 weighing the corners

This is to keep the frame flat. One corner wasn't laying 100% flat on the bench before I put a plane in each corner.

 banding on

I glued and nailed the banding on. My usual go to is to glue it only. This is going to live its life in my shop and I don't mind seeing nails in it. I will plane, sand, or scrape a chamfer or a round over of the banding. I don't like the thick squared off look of it.

 moved it

I didn't want to disturb this but I needed the workbench for something else. I moved it to the tablesaw and it will cook in the clamps until the AM rolls around.

carcass is done

I got all the shellac I want on the carcass. I need to get a couple more coats on the front this drawer to be done 100%.

 2nd coat

The shellac disappeared pretty quick with the 2nd coat too. Not as bad as the first one and I'll definitely have to up the coat count.

accidental woodworker

closing in ........

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 04/22/2024 - 3:13am

 I thought I would get the sanding block box and the portable chest of drawers done today but it didn't happen. I came oh so close but I'll need some more time to do it. So I started another project - a frame for a Lost Art Poster. Along with that my wife found two more paintings done by her mother's twin sister. I'll be making frames for those two but with a caveat. My wife wants an input on what the frame will look like. Looking forward to that because at best all she has ever said is I don't like that. I asked for a pic of frame she likes so I don't waste time and materials.

 glue has set

I was surprised by how solid this felt. I whacked it pretty good with my fist and nada. I'm still going to build it out to strengthen it further.

 trim screws

The first item to tic off is to put a couple of angled screws in the broken half lap. These are trim head screws that were the longest I could find in the shop. 

 1/2" thick oak

This was glued and screwed to both halves of the broken half lap part.

 drats, and double drats

In spite of pre drilling the oak it still split on me. Of the 8 screws, 4 of them caused splits. This one I had to clamp it because it was about half the length of the oak.

 dime short and a day late

I was committed to making a new sandpaper tray but I don't have to now. The sandpaper wouldn't fit in the tray if I make it smaller. I'll have to live with it as is.

 lid stock

I made the lid rails and stiles the thickness of 3 pieces of 5.2mm plywood. That turned out to be around 5/8" thick.

bridle joinery

I got a good fit on all four corners with some overlap I'll trim later.

 missed it

The mortises and tenons are long because I didn't account for the center groove. It wouldn't have been a big deal but it made the lid width (F/B) short. I made the rails/stiles longer than needed but not quite enough. The lid was short of the front edge a strong 32nd.

 didn't improve

I tried playing with the bridle joints opening them up a wee bit and I did get it to overhang but at the expense of gaps. I have the time to think of a fix while the glue cooks.

 no gaps

The diagonals on the inside are less than a 16th off from each other. Set this aside to cook while I went and had lunch.

still holding

I have handled this a lot since I glued it and so far, so good. I don't think that this will open up again on me.

 new poster

I went searching for this and found it by me-steak this AM. I don't know where in the shop I can hang it but I'll make the frame first. Then I will worry about where it will live.

 tray is done

I planed the top and bottom sides flush and I'm calling it done. I don't plan on putting any shellac on it. I will put 3-4 coats on the outside of the box and both sides of the lid.

flushing the lid joints

I sawed the majority of the proud off and flushed them with my favorite blockplane (LN 102).

 I don't like

After giving this my very best goofy looks I had a brain spasm. I had the thought to plane a small chamfer on the front of the box edge and the underside of the lid. I didn't like the visual image of that so it got nixed.

 the winner

I glued a 1/8" thick piece of pine to the back edge. 

glued and cooking

I could have flushed this today but I decided to let it cook in the clamps until tomorrow. There is end grain to long grain on the ends that may or may not cooperate to fret about.

prepping the frame

Rough sawing the miters by hand first. Later I will shoot them on the shooting board.

 not to shabby IMHO

I'm getting better miters after hand sawing them. This isn't perfect but considering it was sawn by me, I'll take it as an improvement. The blue tape is clamping a piece that blew off on me. I was taking all the precautions and it still did it and pissed me off. Most likely the frame will be left natural and the blowout is on the inside edge so it will be less noticeable there.


The poster is 13" x 19". The poster has a white border that is a 1/2" wide that goes 360 around the poster. I want the inside edge of the frame to be on the line between the white border and the poster. I was overly generous with how much meat I left myself for wiggle room. I might saw off another chunk to save my arm from planing off so much.

accidental woodworker

so far, so good.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 04/21/2024 - 3:09am

It is not for a want to start a new project but what to make. I do know the next one is going to be my bedside table but I got nothing design wise. I got a sketch I made last week but I've done nothing with it. Part of the problem is how much crap I want to put on it and have it look like it still belongs in the bedroom. This might the first instance where I would build a scrap wood prototype and then the real thing in a nice hardwood. I've been running ideas through the brain bucket but so far none has made it from one end to the other.

 last night

After filling the pie hole last night I went to the shop and glued the slips in on the sides.

 no rush

I like the tung oil finish on this cherry handle a lot. Decided to put on 4th coat and tomorrow I'll rub it down with 4-0 steel wool and Howard's feed 'n wax.

it fits

The veneer didn't fit in the kerf from the LV gents saw but it did fit in the LN carcass saw kerf. I wanted to make sure that the veneer would fit before I applied any glue.

 the real dry fit

I think the veneer is maple and I do have pine veneer but I used maple. Pine is too soft and I didn't want to risk it freezing or breaking off in the saw kerf.

glued and cooking

No hiccups getting the veneer bottomed out in the saw kerf. The kerf is tapered with the deep end at the front going to nothing about 6-7 inches back.

changed clamps

The bar clamp at the front wasn't applying enough pressure to close the kerf on the veneer. The bessey was up to the job. I did a quick check on the fit of the drawer and it will go in which surprised me a lot.

 the replacement drawer

I only planed the top four corners and the slips flush. That little bit of planing was enough to get the front of the drawer into the opening. It was only the corners as it was still too long R/L. I'll do the final fitting once the veneer job has set.

sanding block box

I am going with a tray on top of them to hold spare sandpaper strips. It isn't going to be that deep - maybe 3/4 to 5/8 inch - but it should be sufficient to stow the strips.

 mitered tray

Well boys and girls 3 times wasn't the charm for me. This is the 4th tray I made. I screwed up the order of operations twice on the other 3. I should have ripped them to width first and then saw the groove for the bottom. After I did that brain fart twice the 3rd on I sawed one side a 1/2" short.


I made the box small so I could move it and pull out a sanding block. This one fits but I can only pull out the two on the ends. Thinking of making another tray smaller so I have access to pulling out two sanding blocks.

 they fit

I have about a 1/8" wiggle room. I thought it was going to be a 1/4" but this works and it may not even make it to the finish line.

 looks good

Got the veneer flushed to the end and at the front. It doesn't jump out at me but I don't think anyone looking at it casually would pick it out. It blends in with the end  panel pretty good.

 head on

The end grain of the veneer and the end grain of the carcass are a good fit for color. The only hiccup is the veneer is 90° to it but it is thin and has no gaps.

went slow and easy

Took a while but I'm happy with the margins. 


I think it was worth the calories to make this drawer over again. I got a better fit this time around.


My bench slave broke a foot. I made this in 1991 and this will be the 3rd repair I'm making to it. The first one was gluing the half lap back together. The 2nd one was chopping a mortise and tenon to attach the half lapped feet to the post. The first one was screwed but it didn't hold up. This I'll have to fix right away because I use this all the time.

 quick preview

I have two more coats to put on the chest of drawers and 4 more on the veneer repair. I will keep an eye on the repair as I move this around to apply shellac to it.


I squared off the end of the foot and the 'tenon'. There isn't much meat here for just a glue repair.

step one

The repair is going to be a two stepper. The first one is gluing the foot back into place on the half lap. I will let this cook until tomorrow. Step two I will glue and screw a board to the bottom of this half lap covering it from end to end. I think that will be a solid repair that will hold up.

 5 feet away

Looking at this from this distance I can pick out the veneer repair. Since I know where and what to look for I can pick it out. However, it could easily be taken for a grain line in the pine. Still not sure if I would give this away because of that. I'll have to run it by my wife and see if she can pick it out.

accidental woodworker

Chambered body e-mando build part 1

A Luthiers Blog - Sat, 04/20/2024 - 8:06am

Work is now underway on my next chambered body e-mando. Below you can see the all work that goes into its core which, once the instrument is complete will never ever be seen!

I always treat my wood as precious and try to keep waste to a minimum; therefore, rather than machine the core from one large lump of wood, I laminate it from strips. Also, this method allows me to cut channels for the wiring to run through the body and creates a cavity under the where the bridge will sit.

Once all the of the core has been glued together, a strip of hardwood (maple in this case) is used to reinforce the end joints. . . . . . .
. . . . and then a piece of plywood is inserted, this will take the threaded endpin jack-socket.
With all that done, the final shape can be cut out.

Here you can see the rebate which will eventually take two panels which will “close-up” the chambers.


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