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General Woodworking

Craig Thibodeau: Tools & Outsourcing – 360w360 E.232

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 05/18/2017 - 4:10am
 Tools & Outsourcing – 360w360 E.232

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking we talk again with Craig Thibodeau and discuss tools in his shop. He also shares his thoughts on outsourcing, which improves his work and business.

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. But the conversation is always information packed and lots of fun.

Continue reading Craig Thibodeau: Tools & Outsourcing – 360w360 E.232 at 360 WoodWorking.

5 1/2 done, starting the #2.......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 05/18/2017 - 12:54am
I think it was a Meatloaf song that had a verse that went something like this :".....two out of three ain't bad....". That is what I had tonight when I got home. I got 2 out of the 3 things I ordered and I'm agreeing with Meatloaf that what I got ain't bad. I think if I got the miter box too today my wife would have probably found me suffering from sensory overload. I would be stuck in a corner somewhere muttering to myself which one do I play with first?

from Bill Rittner
I ordered an extra brass toe screw but not an extra set of brass barrel nuts. The #2 doesn't have a toe screw but it does have barrel nuts. I like to have spares so I'll be ordering another two sets of barrel nuts on payday.

rear end done
You can not do any better than shiny brass. I like the the one in the toe of the tote a lot. All my bench planes from the 4 1/2 up to the 8 have one. Except for the #6 which I haven't done a complete rehab on yet. I use that plane only for planing stock to thickness.

the before and after
Bob said to use the Autosol on this
It worked on the shiny stuff but it did nothing on the 4 1/2 lever cap. The rag got dirty but I didn't get any shine for my efforts. I think I'll sand it first and try the Autosol again.

first of 3 things I like about type 11's and down
The low knob can not be beat. My personal preference is the low unbeaded knob but I do have planes with the high knob too.

#2 is the plain lever cap
Lever cap choices are personal and are like trying to figure why blue is someone's favorite color.

the totes
It seems to me that the totes start getting more upright with the later types. I especially like the feeling I get from gripping this down low close to the plane body. It literally is like a hand in glove fit for me.

Well almost done. I still have to adjust the frog so I get an even shaving out of the R/L side of the mouth.

shiny brass is better than dull steel
this is a sweet looking plane
I'm glad that I got this and I think I may use this one a lot more than my smaller #5.

current home
I have nowhere else to keep this plane for now.

it is also the home for the #3 and 10 1/2
the 5 1/2 can't go here
The #8 is taking up the back of the bench. Even if I take the 3 planes at the top left out, I still couldn't get the 5 1/2 to fit there.

might fit here
I could find another hole for the 51 and free up some space. As it is now it takes up two because of the tilted frog. Something to mull over during lunch.

it's been working
Rather than use sandpaper inbetween applications, I've been using this ratty bar towel. It's got glue wipe ups on it and it is kind of stiff. It leaves some lint behind but it seems to smooth out the frame without any other problems. I use canned air to get rid of the lint before I put on the iron and tannic acid.

getting low
The steel wool pad is still together and it is very soft to the touch. Some of it has dissolved but I would say about 1/2 of it is still there. I think I have enough to put on a few more coats.

fingers crossed on opening up my #2
my first look see
I am already smiling because this casting is twice as thick as other #2.  The low knob isn't beaded and doesn't have any damage to it that I can see.

looks clean
This plane was rehabbed recently and if it wasn't the previous owner took awfully good care of it.

iron and chipbreaker
Both of these are clean and rust free looking. And there is a lot of life left in the iron.

rear end of the bus
The lateral adjust is dirty but it is stiff and isn't flopping back and forth. The tote is intact and doesn't have any signs of having been repaired. The horn looks good too. It is in one piece, no chips or dings, nor any drag marks from the lateral adjust. I think that this is the original finish on the tote and knob too.

screws aren't stripped
I checked both of these before going any further. If either or these had any problems it would be on it's way back.

there's rust under there
mixed up a fresh citrus bath
brushed off as much rust as I could before the citrus bath
sole looks good
Other than the toe being rounded over a little, the sole looks good. There aren't any scratches, rust pits, or gouges anywhere on it or on the cheeks.

cleaning the brass adjuster and barrel nuts
The adjuster is filthy and crud encrusted. The barrel nuts  cleaned up by sanding them. I tired using the orange cleaner on the adjuster but it didn't help much.

brass soaking in Bar Keeps while I have dinner
had to wire brush to see it
few rust spots on the heel
R/L cheek walls are rusty and have paint loss
lightly sanded
This took almost no effort at all to get down to bare metal. I lost a lot more paint here and got the same result on the left cheek wall. It is looking like I'll be painting this plane body.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What do the letters represent in the stock market acronym NASDAQ?
answer - National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations

Prize winning ash splint basket

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 7:25am
One of my craft items won first place in a national woodworking show last weekend but which one? Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Joseph Walsh: Genius Furniture Maker and Artist, Now on Display in New York City – Part 2

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 6:49am

One of the most impressive pieces of furniture in the show is a tall, pod-like cabinet that was commissioned by a wrist-watch collector. To house the collection, Joseph built a stacked cluster of drawers that pivot out on arms of bronze and stainless steel. It is not surprising that the drawer mechanism is as beautiful as the piece itself. The watch trays are lined with pear wood and individually sculptured […]

The post Joseph Walsh: Genius Furniture Maker and Artist, Now on Display in New York City – Part 2 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

@ Handworks – Original Roubo Print 284

The Barn on White Run - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 4:11am

There might be no more visually exuberant print in all of L’art du Menuisier than Plate 284, “Different Ways to Arrange Veneers.”  It is only one of many consecutive illustrations wherein Roubo is presenting the principles of composition for parquetry and as he calls it, “simple veneerwork.”  The remaining plates in this series are ones I am keeping myself.

Like almost all the prints in my inventory this one was drawn and engraved by Roubo himself.

If you have ever wanted to own a genuine piece of Rouboiana, this is your chance.   I will be selling this print at Handworks on a first-come basis, with terms being cash, check, or Paypal if you have a smart phone and can do that at the time of the transaction.



A Sense of Community

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 4:00am
Bill Robertson's miniature toolkit on display at Handworks 2015
As we head off to Handworks 2017, I find myself really looking forward to the feeling I have had at the two previous Handworks show, namely, being part of a community.
In a way, it's not a shock that the marvelous tool show that Jameel, Father John and the whole Handworks team have developed should inspire such a feeling. After all, we assemble together from all parts of the country, diverse in our backgrounds, political views and other interests, but united in our great appreciation and involvement in woodworking and hand tools. For the time we are together, our unity and sense of purpose is evident.
Surprisingly, lately I have been feeling a sense of community from a less obvious (to me, anyway) source: Instagram.
Tools for Working Wood's Instagram account was built up by thirtysomething TFWWers, visual artists who were already on Instagram. Initially Instagram participation seemed like one more item on a Things To Do list, so I wasnt sold. But more recently Ive been surprised how much Ive enjoyed playing - both as a exhibitor and as a viewer.
Look! Theres a beautiful piece of furniture handcrafted in Australia. Look! Flowers and produce from Theres Hepzibah Farms, the Talledega, Alabama farm owned by Charlie, TFWWs very first employee. Look, theres an amazing guitar crafted by our customer. Look, a new Lost Art Press book. A new tool, a new cabinet, a new celebrant of our ancient craft of woodworking.
By giving me a chance to see their work, and by tipping their hats - with likes, comments, and questions - to my news, we establish community.

Over the next couple of days some of us with come full circle, as Instagram friends meet in person for the first time at Handworks -- and real-life admirers become Instagram followers. These actions will add a welcome new dimension to our relationships, but fundamentally we already have something important in place: a shared sense of community.

The picture above is of a miniature toolkit and other items by Bill Robertson who showed off some of his work at Handworks 2015. One of the nation's foremost miniaturists he works to dollhouse scale so that lathe is only a few inches long. Everything Bill makes actually works - which is totally amazing. I am looking forward to seeing him again this week.

just the frame and ..........

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 12:57am
Today we finally had a decent spring day for the month of  May. The temp hit almost 79F/26C on my porch thermometer and tomorrow it is supposed to be in the low 80'sF/27'sC. It was sunny and breezy all day long which was very much welcomed. For the last week or so it has been raining off and on with one cloudy day after another. It was nice to finally go to work this morning without having to wear a jacket. I should be able to do this now till at least october.

it's faded a bit
It is black but it shows a lot of brown in it too. This is only the third application so there is still a ways to go.

the outside rabbet
This part was a light brownish color with a lot of white yesterday. It looks like I did miss it or maybe it just needed a couple applications to darken up.

the inside rabbet
This also darkened up a lot too.  This will be hidden by the matting but I don't want to chance any light reflecting off this if it isn't black.

tannic acid applied
Nice and black again. After the tannic acid I put on the iron followed again by tannic acid. I did this so that the last application will be tannic acid which makes the frame blacker than the iron does.

getting closer
This should be done ebonizing this weekend and then I can apply the finish. The finish will be shellac and then it is off to the frame shop to get the the certificate mounted and matted.

shucks, it is 2 1/4" wide  (5 1/2 iron)
 I learned in twenty years in the Navy to only 'expect what you inspect'. Here I didn't inspect and ass-u-me-d that this was a 2 3/8" wide iron. The inspection tonight showed me that I was OTL on that thought.

I did this
The lever cap from the 4 1/2 and the 5 1/2 match. There is maybe a frog hair difference in the width of the two at the most. From this bit of brilliance, I deduced that the iron was 2 3/8" wide. I checked and inspected the lever caps but didn't repeat with the irons.

the 4 1/2 iron doesn't fit the 5 1/2
This I didn't do. I thought since the chipbreakers were the same, the irons had to be the same. I was wrong and the irons were right.

4 1/2 lever cap in the 5 1/2
the 5 1/2 lever cap in the 4 1/2
It's a good fit of the 4 1/2" lever cap in the 5 1/2". There isn't as much wiggle room with the 4 1/2 lever cap in the 5 1/2 but there is some and it fits.

my japanese 4 1/2 iron
Since this is a metric equivalent of 2 3/8" inches I thought it might fit. It is inbetween 2 5/16 and 2 3/8. Checked the fit but no joy in Mudville.

I'm screwed on having an extra 5 1/2 iron
I read over Patrick Leach's blood and gore on the 5 1/2 and it was not encouraging at all. It seems the width of the iron for the 5 1/2 I have (2 1/4" wide) are as easy to come by as bucket full of hens teeth.

Nothing came in today and nothing was up on the tracking sites for anything neither. It is looking like I'll be getting my toys on friday or saturday. Maybe, I'll know better when the tracking numbers get up on the USPS site.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
How thick is gold leaf for gliding and lettering?
answer - about 1/200,000 of an inch thick.

Why You Need a Sharp, Steely Leader

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 8:42am

Lt. Col. Hal Moore was credited with saving most of his men in the first major conflict of the Vietnam War at the Battle of la Drang. He was able to drop his men into the middle of an enemy stronghold – the only escape was straight up via helicopter. His company persevered. One virtue he instilled in his soldiers was that “there’s always one more thing you can do to increase […]

The post Why You Need a Sharp, Steely Leader appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

The Purge

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 8:41am

I am at the point in my woodworking career where I have too many tools. Did I just say that? The guy who has always said to have as many tools as you like as long as you can afford them and store them…Yeah, I did, but it’s not what you think. I have not been woodworking nearly as much as I would like lately. And, the woodworking I have been doing basically requires a block plane, a spokeshave, a saw, a hammer, and a few chisels.

I have very seriously been considering selling off a good portion of my stuff to create some much needed space in my garage. The workbench already has a home if I go through with this (and I have an unassembled one ready to go if and when I ever start seriously woodworking again). The table saw will be a bit harder to move, both on the market as a for sale item, and physically, as it is large and heavy, but first things first. Some of the tools already have local buyers, some I will sell on eBay, and If I may be so bold, some I may just be posting right here on this blog. I hate to solicit people who just happen to be reading my blog, but rest assured most of my tools are of very good quality, and my prices will be more than fair.

Before I go, I just want to stress that I am not ending my woodworking “career”. I will still woodwork, and I will still restore an old tool or two on the rare occasion, and I will still blog about what I am doing But we all know that woodworking takes a lot of time (at least for a person of my skill level).  I’m pretty sure my family feels somewhat abandoned by me (working six days a week and spending what little free time I have engrossed in hobbies will do that to a family), so I have to do whatever it takes to fix that problem.

I had no problem ending my brief return to music this past week. This will be a little more difficult, but it needs to be done. We need the space, I don’t have the time, and I would feel better if those tools were being used by people who will appreciate them and put them to work.

Categories: General Woodworking

How Does Woodworking Affect Your Brain?

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 7:00am

What is the Actual Effect of Woodworking on Your Brain?

by Bob Rummer

For many of us woodworking is a chosen leisure activity that we take up because it makes us “feel good.” There may be challenges, frustrations, and hard work involved but overall woodworking makes us happy. Now, I am not a psychologist, but I have read a lot of scientific literature on this topic and would like to share some general perspectives on woodworking and your mental health.

Click here to read more

The post How Does Woodworking Affect Your Brain? appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

@ Handworks 2017 – Original Roubo Print 283

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 4:48am

This morning’s offering from L’art du Menuisier is Print 283, “The Ways to Cut Veneers.”  It is a delightfully esoteric visual didactic on the orientation of the lumber and the saw to yield the most interesting veneers for the ebeniste.

Like almost all the prints in my inventory this one was drawn and engraved by Roubo himself.

If you have ever wanted to own a genuine piece of Rouboiana, this is your chance.   I will be selling this print at Handworks on a first-come basis, with terms being cash, check, or Paypal if you have a smart phone and can do that at the time of the transaction.


An Unyielding Fascination

Inside the Oldwolf Workshop - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 2:35am

I've been playing with new toys and contemplating different games. Working with new materials and learning new skills. I recently purchased the 3D printed parts of the hero gun from the movie Hellboy. I cleaned the parts up, sanded them, fit them together so things moved and and the fake bullets can be exchanged. I painted the prop and weathered the finish. I've been drawing more and more movie props and similar inspired builds in my sketchbook.

I've been playing with casting small pieces and finishing them. I've been reading and learning techniques to build from foam and looking into wiring LED lights and writing code for small circuit board computers like Raspberry Pi. My mind is filled with polycarbonate and LED lightsaber blades, aluminum, brass and steel alloys, tricorders, Weta Workshop, and Guillermo Del Toro.

 I have always been a big geek for comic books, fantasy and sci-fi books, Dungeons & Dragons, and movies. Realizing I have the skills (or can develop the skills) to bring some of the magic into my hands has been a revelation and probably the start of an obsession.

And yet. . . .

And still . . .

I know where my roots lie. There is something about wood that is unlike any other material. It is living and exists on it's own accord without the smelting of fires or the fuzzing of electrons. It carries a warmth of texture and a varying nature that makes it a challenge to subjugate to your will. It asks a toll of you, requires you spend the ultimate resource of time to get to know it, (and still it will surprise you) There are skills to develop. A multitude of skills to develop and maintain.

It is unlike anything else, and it is endlessly fascinating to me.

I can't help but inspect nearly every off-cut I make. The fractal lines of grain and the balance of weakness and strength. I enjoy snapping them in two like a destructive toddler. Sometimes I even lift them to my nose and smell them. I pay nearly as much attention to the small buttons of wood I remove cutting dovetails.

Along with the off-cuts comes shavings, sawdust, carving chips, and finished pieces. A bottomless love affair with whip cream and sprinkles on top.

I may wander, but I know where home is. I may roam, but I know where my heart lies. Some folks need church, I just need my workshop. The wonders of the universe at the tips of my fingers.

Encapsulated in a simple board of white oak.

Ratione et Passionis
Categories: General Woodworking

frame and lever cap.....

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 12:42am
I came home tonight hoping that I would have a few of my toys to open up. Alas, it wasn't so sports fans. The only thing I got was my lever cap which isn't a bad thing really. It has been raining off an on all day long so maybe it's a good thing I didn't get the #2 and/or the miter box today. Tomorrow is supposed be sunny followed by a couple of cloudy days. Besides, the delivery guys don't always put the boxes in a plastic bag when it rains. And I don't want either of them getting wet.

Got a surprise from Bill Rittner. He said he wasn't accepting new orders until june 10th but I placed one anyways telling him I would pay for it now and he could ship in june. He emailed saying that my order was in the mail today. I bought two barrel nuts and two brass toe screws from him. Getting that email was a nice surprise.

back of the frame after round one
There are two spots on the frame that didn't change color that much. One is the right side inside rabbet. The other one (which I forgot to snap a pic of) is at the top outside. I'm not sure if I forgot to hit these two with either the tannic acid or the iron. I'll be checking these two spots again tomorrow after round two has dried.

I may have dodged the bullet here
Those black spots are the hide glue I couldn't clean up. All of the hide glue spots turned black. With the rest of the frame black, these spots may blend in and disappear.

forgot one step
I didn't raise the grain before I put the tannic acid on yesterday. I sanded the entire frame with 320  tonight and I sanded through to bare wood in a few of spots. I may have to do an extra ebonizing dance step to make up for this boo-boo.

sanded, brushed off, and ready for the next round of ebonizing
I have my happy face on
It's black as in the edge of space black after two applications. There are a few spots here and there that are a bit lighter but I have a few more applications to go. This is only two coats of tannic acid and iron and it is looking good. I'm going to ebonize this one step at a time - put on the tannic acid and let it dry and then put on the iron and let that dry. Wait a day for both to set up and repeat it.

my 1905-1911 5 1/2 lever cap
I don't know where the seller got these dates from but he said it's from a 5 1/2 type 11 and it matches what I have.

it is rust free
This is the first lever cap I have bought that did not have any rust on it anywhere. I can usually raise some rust by sanding and wire brushing, especially on the back side of it. I'll take not having to give this a citrus bath.

the back of the lever cap
This one has 2 1/4 on it which is the width of it. Maybe the 5 1/2 labeled the frogs and the lever caps? I've seen castings marks on the back like the letter B and S but this is the first time I've seen something like this.

which one do you like?
I prefer the plain lever cap. I know it's a Stanley plane and I don't need to see that name on the lever cap. If anything is to be on the lever cap I think it should be my name.

sanding the lever cap
I watched a You Tube video where a jack size transitional plane was rehabbed. The person doing it sanded the lever cap like this on his RO sander. Something I never considered doing. He used the disc and then he put a piece of sheet sanding paper (looked like 400 grit W/D) on the RO and worked the lever cap on that. Other than a lot of noise and vibration, this worked ok. It isn't something that I think I'll do again though. Didn't like the noise and I definitely didn't like the vibration. My hands are still tingling a little 2 hours later.

the dynamic duo
4 1/2 on the left and the 5 1/2 on the right
The 4 1/2 lever cap hasn't been sanded at all. The 5 1/2 has a bit of shine to it and I like that. I'll have to think of another way to sand up a shine on my lever caps.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is a pangram?
answer - a sentence or verse that contains every letter of the alphabet

A Plantation From An Earlier Visit.

The Furniture Record - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 10:22pm

I still have a few plantations left from my most recent family avoiding New Years trip to New Orleans. I will get to them but first I thought I would clear another from my backlog of fascinating places with furniture. I’m still sorting the glass negatives from my visit to the Titanic right before it sailed. Good stuff but I’m still working on the narrative.

I had work in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in July of 2015. To save the company a few hundred in airfare, I offered to fly in and out of New Orleans and drive up in a rental car. I have a condition that requires me stop every so many miles and walk around for a few hours. It’s a burden I bear but such is life.

On the return to New Orleans the timer went off as I was approaching the Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, St. James Parish. (Wikipedia article HERE.) Not wanting to risk my health, I stopped and wandered about for a bit. I even paid money and took a tour of the mansion.

First, about the name Oak Alley:


This explains the name.

Not entirely, the oak alley was planted in 1710. The mansion was not built until 1837.


A view from the balcony.

Oak Alley was built from 1837-39  by Jaques Roman on the grounds of his sugar plantation. It was built entirely with enslaved labor. Jacques Roman died in 1848 of tuberculosis and the estate was then managed by family. As seems to happen so often, the family lacked the skill, knowledge and discipline to manage the estate. when the patriarch dies, the family is not prepared to continue running the business. The Civil War and the end of slavery did not help the plantation’s fortunes. in 1866, the plantation was sold at auction.

Oak Alley then passed through a series owners as its condition deteriorated. In 1925 the property was acquired by Andrew Stewart as a gift to his wife, Josephine. She commissioned architect Richard Koch to supervise extensive restoration and modernize the house. When Josephine Stewart died in 1972, the grounds and mansion were left to the Oak Alley Foundation. Oak Alley was then opened to the public.

Based on the history of this mansion, you can feel certain that the furniture within is not original to the estate. The best you can hope is that the owner has assembled an interesting collection of period appropriate furniture and accessories.

Well, they did. Or so I think, but I’m no expert. One of the first things that caught my eye was this overhead fan in the dining room . It’s function was to circulate the air and the resident flies:


It was operated by staff, possibly not paid staff.

In the master bedroom was this rolling pin bed:


A bed with a rolling pin that was practical and ornamental.

The claim was made that the rolling pin was used to smooth out and pack the stuffed mattress. The mattress was stuffed with Spanish moss and other available organic materials. Insects aside, the problem has that this material tended to bunch and not compress uniformly. They used the rolling pin as a daily fix for this problem.

I have seen many similar beds and this is the only bed about which the rolling pin claim is made. It is also the only bed I’ve seen that the rolling pin is not securely attached. I’m not saying that the rolling pin was not removable and used for leveling the mattress. I’m just saying that I’ve not found any independent corroboration.

Not that it really matters.

There was this very attractive office:


I would like this office. And I am will to accept gifts.

On the property, they have built six replica slave cabins. The cabins are furnished with period appropriate vernacular furniture. As troubling as I find the whole notion, I took pictures:


Not the same quality as in the big house.


I find this furniture as interesting as the antiques in the mansion.

To see the entire set of mansion and slave cabin furniture pictures, click HERE.

Brimfield Antique Show

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 7:36pm

Last weekend, my wife and I drove to Massachusetts to go to the Brimfield Antique Show. We heard about Brimfield for years, but finally decided to take the plunge and drive out there to see it for ourselves. With 6000 dealers attending, we were excited to see the show.


We drove to Connecticut the night before and woke up Friday morning at 5:00 am to drive up north to the show. We arrived into Brimfield around 7:30 am and the first thing we noticed was that it reminded us of a very large stop on the World’s Longest Yard Sale. Dealer tents were set up on both sides of the street which stretched down for nearly a mile. We came up to a gate where a few people were waiting until 8:00 am for it to open and noticed that there was a $5.00 entry fee to get inside. Given we had a half an hour wait, we walked across the street trying to see if any ther dealers were already open, but only a handful were.

About a half an hour later, we came back to the gate where a large group of people were now waiting. We thought to ourselves that this area must be the place to be, so we handed the attendants $5.00 and waited for the gates to open. As soon as they did, we saw people literally running in like it was a black Friday sale. Anita and I started laughing thinking what in the world could be inside the show area worth running for.

Once we got inside, we looked around to see what all the fuss was all about. There were plenty of dealers selling quality antiques, but they came with dealer prices. After about an hour of buying a few things inside, we went out to see what the other areas had to offer.


The majority of tools that I saw were being sold by collectors, so there was little opportunity to snag a good deal. I was hoping that since I was on the east coast, I would see a lot of good deals on old Stanley planes, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.


I used to think that all the old tools were on the east coast since that is where Stanley plant was located, but I now think tool collectors have all the old tools, not the east coast. It’s just getting harder and harder to find them in the wild for a good price. Most of the planes on this table were $40-85 in price. Even the broken casting block plane was $30.00.


It’s impossible to see the whole show in one day, but after spending seven hours all over Brimfield we saw 80-90% of it. Unfortunately, these are all the tools I came home with. An old razee smooth plane, a Stanley No 4, a Ohio Tool Co No 4, a Wards Master No 7,  a Sargent block plane, an egg beater drill, and a turn screw. Not terrible, but I’ve done better. Anita faired better than me as she ran out of money and had to borrow mine. It was still a lot of fun and is definitely worth it, if it is on your bucket list.



They’re so 20th century…

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 6:44pm

I have been trying my hand at some at 20th-century woodworking. Going back to where I started, making a ladderback chair like the ones I learned from Jennie Alexander and Drew Langsner. I made them quite often back in the 1980s, but by 1992 I probably made my “last” one. The only ones I made since then were two small ones for the kids when they were little, December 2009. Here’s Daniel showing how much they have outgrown them.

This is one of the late-period chairs Alexander made with our friend Nathaniel Krause. Slender, light, but strong. Very deceptive chair.

But for years, I was swept up in the 17th century – and chairs, turned or shaved, were HEAVY. Here’s one of my favorites I made back then, maple, with oak slats. The posts for this are probably almost 2″ square. The rungs are 1″ in diameter (same as JA’s posts!) with mortises bored 3/4″ in diameter.


Some of the turned ones are even heavier, and this is not the biggest. All ash.

So today I shaved the rungs down to size, with 5/8″ tenons. The rungs are not much heavier than that – they don’t need to be. The rungs have been dried after rough-shaving, in the oven until the batch of them stopped losing weight. Then shaved down to size.

I bored a test hole in some dry hardwood, then jam the tenon into that hole to burnish it. then spokeshave down to the burnished marks. I skew the spokeshave a lot, to keep from rounding over the end of the tenon.

Long ago, I learned to bore the mortises at a low bench, leaning over the posts to bore them. Later, Alexander and Langsner started doing the boring horizontally. Use a bit extender to help sight the angle, and a level taped to the extender too. It’s so sophisticated. I’m sure today’s ladderback chairmakers have passed me & my brace by…

it’s a Power Bore bit. Was made by Stanley, I guess out of production now. I have an extra if something happens to this one. 

Then knock the side sections together, check the angles, and bore for the front & rear rungs.

Still needs to go a little to our right..that’s a level in my hand, checking to get the side frame oriented so the boring is level.

Then more of the same.

Then I knocked it together. Yes, I used glue. Probably not necessary, the oven-dry rungs will swell inside the somewhat-moist posts. but the glue doesn’t hurt anything. I never glued the larger chairs pictured above.

I got the frame done. Next time I work on it, I’ll make the slats from riven white oak. I’ll steam them & pop them in place. then weave a seat. Either hickory bark or rush. Bark is best.

Small tool kit – those pictured here, plus riving tools, a mortise chisel. Saws for trimming things to length. Not much else. Oh, a pencil. Yikes.

@ Handworks 2017 – Original Roubo Print 282

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 5:35pm

Print 282, “The Way of Preparing Frames To Receive Veneerwork,” from  L’art du Menuisier is an exquisite introductory tutorial for the ebeniste who needs to know how the selection of veneer application affects the choices he makes in the construction details.

The page is not quite excellent with some minor staining mostly outside the image margins, but is definitely captivating for the concepts it is communicating.  I particularly enjoyed the illustrations of incorporating the thickness of veneers into the manner in which doors are fitted into cabinet frames.

Like almost all the prints in my inventory this one was drawn and engraved by Roubo himself.

If you have ever wanted to own a genuine piece of Rouboiana, this is your chance.   I will be selling this print at Handworks on a first-come basis, with terms being cash, check, or Paypal if you have a smart phone and can do that at the time of the transaction.


High-heeled Slippers

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 5:16pm

When making the pair of workbenches for use at Handworks this weekend, I decided preemptively to make them considerably lower than I would normally.  This is because the bench going to the Library of Congress needed to reflect the stature of the users, which in my observation tended to be considerably less than mine, and I made the second bench more-or-less like the first one.

Going by the old “hanging pinkie knuckle” rubric both benches would be accurate for me at 30 inches.  All that shows is that some words, like “rubric,” are not worth the letters it takes to spell them.  My preferred bench height is in the 36-37 inch range.  So I just do what I recommend you do for yourself; decide hat height is most comfortable and productive for you and make your bench that height.

Back to the benches in question.  Since some of the LoC folks are a fair bit shorter than I am, and others are not that much shorter, I decided to make the bench short but with the option of adjusting them up easily and stably.  Hence the need for a matched set of high-heeled slippers to go under each leg.

I started with a standard 2×6 and ripped it to 5″ wide, the width of the bench legs.  Then I cut the ripped board into the necessary number of sections to make one piece 5″ wide by 4″ long and another 5″ x 8″ for each leg.  I glued these together to make a stepped block, or the high-heeled slipper.

I faced each horizontal surface with medium emery paper (I am guessing about 150 grit) by lightly spraying all the contact surfaces with spray adhesives.

The result is a set of height adjusters that function well and are extremely stable and unobtrusive, allowing the bench to be set-up for working at heights of 30″, 31-1/2″, and 33″.

Stickley Bridal Chest Class – Mixed Materials

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 7:43am
I’m a stickler for getting the history of Craftsman furniture correct. Too much has been written about the people, dates, responsibilities and relationships of the original makers and designers that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. And a lot of these … Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

mother's day.......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 1:00am
I took my wife out for lunch today and let her pick the eatery too. It was kind of a strange day for me because my youngest is now a mother too. The memories of her laughing in her room with her sister are still fresh and now she has her own child to raise. It is hard sometimes to let the old go and get in step with the new. I'm looking forward to finally seeing my grandson next month so I'll be step.

In keeping with mother's day, besides lunch, I was a good boy and got the plate rail shelf installed. No major hiccups to deal with and the only PITA was hauling my fat ass up and down the stairs to get tools. I also managed to squeeze in almost finishing my 5 1/2 and doing step one of the ebonizing on the frame. Some of the non plate rail stuff was done before oh dark thirty and the rest when making trips to the shop to get tools for the plate rail installation.

frame sanded and ready to ebonize
back of the frame
I planed the corners flush and that is all I'm doing here. None of this will seen when it's on the wall.

potential problem
I'm not sure how the ebonizing will work on this. I scraped and sanded what I could and this little bit of dried glue is there to stay.

new tannic acid
The tannic acid I mixed up a couple of weeks ago had mold blooms floating on top of it. Mixed up a new batch and tossed the old one.

sanded up to 320
This is where I usually stop sanding on rehabs but this is streaky and I can still see scratches on the sole.

adjuster is done
The back part of the adjuster got a bit of a reddish hue back but the front is shiny still. This is what is most visible so I'm calling this done.

400 grit
My 400 grit sanding belt is glazed and doing nothing so I switched to a block of wood wrapped with 400 grit.

600 grit shine
I was able to get all the scratches polished out with the 400 grit but I still had a few hazy looking spots. The 600 grit polished them all away and I ended up with a great shine.  Again this is something that I don't normally do. I only did this to remove the scratches and the hazy spots on this plane.

the sole
There are 4 black spots on the sole between the mouth and the heel about the mid point that are still there. They don't look like rust pits but even 80 grit didn't remove them or even tone them down some. They are permanent residents now.

tannic acid applied (pic with flash)
It's been about 30 minutes since I put the tannic acid on and the frame as gotten a blackish, grayish hue to it. I can still see the hide glue spots so I'll have to wait and see what the iron does to it.

this pic didn't flash
 This looks promising color wise and the brownish spots are the hide glue.

the japanning on the 5 1/2
the heel
This is one part of plane rehabbing I can go either way on. As long as they aren't rusty, I am ok with this look. I think I'm going to leave this as it is for now. I may come back to this if the urge to paint overcomes me.

the back of the frog
This is the frog as I got it. I haven't cleaned this at all and it appears it is missing a lot of paint.

cleaned and wire brushed
This is a definite maybe for a paint job. If it is done, it will be later on as I have way too many things in the queue right now.

my frog sanding board
I saw this on plane rehab blog a few years ago but I don't remember who it was. It wasn't my idea but it works great.

glue a 1/2 sheet of sandpaper to the board
cut out the middle part
sand away
You don't have to take the lateral adjust off to sand the face of the frog. You do have to pay attention to where the disc is on the other side. On my 4th or 5th time using this to rehab a frog, I knocked the disc off while sanding and I didn't notice it until I was putting it back together.

scraping the face
As I was sanding this I was loading the paper up with a lot of black stuff that was clogging and glazing the sandpaper. I used a razor blade to get the face clear and remove most of the black stuff on it.

I've got a hump
I can feel this bump with my finger. I can also see it is proud of the rest of the surface. This would take a year of sundays to flush with the rest of the of frog face.

sped things up
I filed the hump off and I checked my progress with a 6" rule to make sure I didn't file myself into La La Land.

almost done
The frog is still loading the paper up with black stuff but it isn't as bad now.

stopped the frog work and applied the iron
This looks good and I think I may be able to ebonize this frame after all. The iron stuff is still on the wet side here.

not sure if this is hide glue or not
there was hide glue at this corner
This appears to be working on the hide glue up to a point.

3rd paper change
The frog has an even scratch pattern from top to bottom and I'm close to calling this done.

part one of the plate rail
The left and right aprons are leveled and installed first.

trying to find a stud
My wife painted over my marks for the studs and I had to hunt for one. I got it on the fifth try.

made a 16" stud finding gauge stick
I had marks on the aprons for studs but I think I mixed the R/L ones up so I didn't hit studs on any of them. This will be painted so I'm not too concerned about the holes.

first hiccup
The center support that hides this joint, can't. The left apron end is proud of the right one. This wall moves in and out like a roller coast ride.

what I have to remove
knifed my lines
chiseled the face first
split off the waste
It took a few times but I eventually got down to my lines.

I screwed this in place from the clock shelf down into the top of the support.

back to the frog
The frog is flat in both 'X' directions and I couldn't see any light under the ruler.

There isn't any need to make this shiny. Even if I did, you wouldn't see it until you changed the iron out. Flat and smooth is all I need here.

5 1/2 and 5 side by side

rear end view
I like the look and feel of the 5 1/2 over the 5. I think with my 4 1/2 this will be the other half of the dynamic duo for me.

nice fluffy shavings
This planes glides makes shavings like a dream. I'm not done setting it though. I couldn't get even shavings out of both sides of the mouth. I didn't have the time to do it now but I did satisfy my urge to see shavings made by it.

no room
This is where I keep my bench planes and I don't have the room for the 5 1/2.

thinking of moving these 3 to make room for the 5 1/2
plane till location
This is the only spot by my bench that I can use for the plane till. The only downside to it is that is will be on the opposite side of the bench that I work from. Something to be done in the future.

my molding workbench
You don't need a lot of tools to cut and fit moldings.

one piece here
My wife wanted something here to hide the top of the wallpaper. I used a piece of the same molding that is between the corbels.

here too
I wasn't going to put one here but my wife wanted it so I put one. Plate rail shelf is now done. My wife will paint this and all that is left is to finish the counter back splashes. Now that it is up, I am not that fond of it. But I don't have to like it, just my wife does and she likes it.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What are pilchards?
answer - young sardines


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