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General Woodworking

Decorative Gouging: A Traditional English Arts & Crafts Technique

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 8:54am

Many pieces of English Arts and Crafts furniture, especially those of the Cotswolds school, feature a cheerful detail known as decorative gouging. It’s a simple technique and amenable to endless variations depending on the combination of gouges used, the spacing and depth of elements, and so on. Here’s an introduction based on the legs for a hayrake table. Decorative gouging gains as much of its effect from its context as […]

The post Decorative Gouging: A Traditional English Arts & Crafts Technique appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Good Ideas Travel Fast

The Furniture Record - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 8:51am

Back in June I found this modified plantation desk at an antiques shop in Winston Salem, NC:


A plantation desk, another flexible term with many definitions and no real meanings.

It had been modified to change the angle of the writing surface:


Tapered pieces added to the sides to change the pitch of the writing surface.

This piece was covered in Less Than Fancy Furniture.

We were in Hermann, MO over the weekend for a wedding. We arrived Friday night and the wedding wasn’t until 3:00 PM on Saturday leaving some time for research. Our plane left at 7:15 PM on Sunday leaving more time for research. I am a very diligent researcher. In a shop in Warrenton, I came across this desk:


Another desk with a history.

This desk has also been modified to change the lid angle:


Same idea but not as severe since the original angle was not as severe..

Looking inside leads me to believe that they might have replaced the front legs as well.


Front legs are too tall to be original.

This desk is has a gallery rail and locking storage box affixed to the top:


The swan is not attached.

The tag gives one possible history of this desk:


Ir that’s what the dealer says, it must be true.

I am now looking for a third one and I won’t stop until I find it.

And not even then.

A mysterious crate..

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 7:40am

For most married men, an age-old question seems to be: ‘What should I get my wife for her birthday?’ Considering that my wife is already the girl who has everything (let’s face it, she hit the proverbial jackpot when she married me!), I usually struggle every year to find a gift clever enough to convince my wife that I actually put some thought into her gift. So this year I went a completely different route, and I’m glad I did.

My wife enjoys to read, though we have drastically different tastes when it comes to reading material ( I wouldn’t be caught dead reading some of the stuff she reads, but oh well). Rather than just purchasing a book for her, I wanted to make the gift of a book more of an experience, and that is why I decided to try the Mysterious Package Co., which specializes in some really out of the ordinary stuff. Without giving away too much information for those who may be receiving a gift, from the MPC in the future-the surprise is a huge part of the experience-you choose a package from the company web page, and the recipient receives a series of mailings featuring packing hay, old newspaper clippings, creepy introduction letters, haunted diaries, beat-up shipping crates, and demon-possessed statues (it all depends on which story line you go with). In any event, the box that contained my wife’s gift was pretty intriguing, and my wife nearly destroyed the lid in her zeal to pry it open. I really loved the vintage Indiana Jones , Ark of the Covenant like appearance (the crate the Ark was stored in, I mean), and since she’s received it I’ve built several different versions of it.

mysterious pkg

A mysterious package…


box lid repair

The mysterious lid repair; it was in 3 pieces…


box interior

The box interior..

As you can see in the photos, the box is of simple construction, so it can easily be made with hand and/or power tools. I used only hand tools because my daughter wanted to participate, and she was responsible for the stencil print, which put her personal touch on the project. And for good measure I used pallet wood from my company warehouse (I refer to this wood as Danish Pine). The pallet wood had me a little concerned, because it’s pretty common to find old nails and stones embedded in the boards. Thankfully, I have several hand planes from my restored “collection” which were given to me, so I wasn’t overly concerned in using them. That being said, I hardly treat these tools like second class citizens, because I spent a great deal of time and effort restoring them. I am just saying that I am not the type of person who would use his $300 LN jack plane on a sketchy piece of pallet wood- in factI should have taken some photos of the unfinished wood, because it was pretty rough.

On that note, I just so happened to set free a fair amount of hand tools over the past month. It was much more quick and painless than I thought it would be, yet I still have a whole cabinet filled with hand planes.

finished box

My version of the mysterious box…


stenciled box

Finished box, one coat of wax, and my daughter’s stenciling added (guess what her favorite TV show is…)

Anyway, the box sizes were determined by the wood I had available, of which I had a decent sized stash. I sawed the boards to rough length and width, used a smooth plane to square the edges, and used a block plane to shoot the ends. I smooth planed a great deal of the roughness from both faces of the wood, though I truly did attempt to leave a few small rough patches to complete the vintage look we were trying to achieve, but considering the boards are all from pallets and were fairly warped/bowed to begin with, simply flattening them enough to be usable removed much of the roughness regardless. I probably could have left the faces of the box rough sawn, but because we were adding stenciling, and I wanted to apply a protective finish, I decided that a smoother surface would work much betters.  To finish off the appearance I glued on some battens to the box sides, which my daughter chamfered with a block plane. Dimensionally the box is approximately 11 in x 5 in x 4 in deep, the wood thickness around ½ inch (I say around because it varies).

The lid for the box featured in the photos was also constructed with pallet wood, which I believe is a hardwood (I’m guessing oak, but that is just a guess). I butt jointed two pretty nasty boards together and left them dry overnight. After they were dry I sawed them to length and then used a scrub plane for the initial flattening, as those boards were by far in the roughest shape of the lot. I then smooth planed the panel, once again attempting to leave the box somewhat “unfinished”. Lastly I used shoulder plane and sanding block to create rabbets so the lid would recess into the box, which really helped to lighten the overall appearance.

The joinery for the boxes is mainly butt joints and cut nails. The only place where I got a little fancy was the for bottom of the first box I made, where I used ship lap joints, and the only reason I did that was because I want to save as many of the wider boards as possible for future boxes, so I pieced it together with smaller cut-offs. Any box with stenciling will receive coat a of shellac and/or some paste wax, more for protection than to enhance the appearance. If you ever plan on adding some type of ink stenciling to a box (we used heavy duty magic markers), I would suggest waiting at least a few days for the ink to dry and really seep into the wood. In fact, I would wait up to a week. Thankfully, I attempted a practice run on a scrap board, and the ink smudged somewhat when I applied BLO, so I knew for future reference to wait at least a few days before applying any type of finish.

This was a fun and relatively easy project, though using all hand tools made it somewhat time consuming (mainly flattening the boards to make them usable). I completed two boxes so far and repaired the original, which as I mentioned was damaged when it was opened. I currently have enough pallet wood left to make at least two more boxes, and I have in inexhaustible supply constantly coming into my company warehouse. And I think making boxes from several different pallets could make them a bit more interesting.

Yet,  not sure if it would be better to purchase pre-surfaced boards and add my own touches to change the appearance (beads, chamfers, different widths etc.) Because while I did enjoy all of the hand plane work, I don’t want to spend the entire summer flattening pallet wood for hours on end, in particular because the hot and humid weather is now in full swing. Still, I’ve already prepped more boards which are generally ready to go, so I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll have a few more of these boxes finished in the next few weeks.

Categories: General Woodworking

it's back to stay.....

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 2:07am
The heat and humidity came back and I think it's going to be a friend for another couple of months. I didn't get to check off all the things on my to do list, but there is always tomorrow. The weather I can deal with although I don't like it. What is kicking my butt is the paint job on the bookcase. I don't know what to make of it or understand why it's doing what it is doing.

One thing I learned from my father was how to paint. And especially so how to clean brushes which was my job when I started painting with him. Not bragging, but I am a damn good painter. I could cut in a multi pane window sash with a straw broom if I had too. I thought I had done everything the way I should have on this - primer coat followed by two top coats. Or in my case, 2 primer coats and 4 top coats and it still isn't 100% dry. I can't give this to my wife as it is because I am afraid that the books will stick the paint job. This has to feel dry to touch before moving on.

no joy in Mudville
I kept the fan blowing on the shelves all night long and nothing.  When I checked this morning they were still clammy feeling. They fell over when I checked them and they stuck together. After all this time they still aren't ready to be used.

got them out of the cellar
I put them out in the yard for the day. They will be in the sunlight here all day long. East is to the left of the left end of the shelves. They stayed here until 1400 when my wife told me that had fallen over. I put them on the porch where they will stay until next weekend.

The exterior of the bookcase feels totally different. It is dry without feeling clammy anywhere, even the bottom of the bookcase.  I can feel the texture of the wood so I know that I can coat this with poly. It isn't necessary but with a couple coats of poly it will be easier to dust and keep clean.

the before pic
Ths adjuster knob is off the #4 I'm giving to my grandson. I know that I didn't use Bar Keeps Best Friend on this. I think I used brass cleaner and even accounting for the time lapse, it doesn't look good. I am going to clean it with Bar Keeps but use only hot water instead of nuking the whole thing.

big clump
If you don't keep on stirring this the Bar Keeps will settle to the bottom. I nuked the water I used for this until I saw it bubbling. I then mixed in the Bar Keeps and tossed in the knob.

after 5+ minutes in the soup
The Bar Keeps by itself doesn't do anything to shine things up. You need to help it along with something.

cleaned the knurling with a toothbrush
A toothbrush is hit or miss on this. Sometimes it will remove the crud inbetween the knurlings and sometimes it won't. Here it didn't.

the red grudge is gone now
Duh, brass on brass won't leave scratches
The brass brush cleaned up the knurling the best I've seen.

Bar Keeps powder
I am curious as to whether or not this would reusable? I didn't do it this time but on the next one I'll dump the water and let this dry out and see if I can reuse it.

a whole lot of better looking and shiny too

back side
I used a blue scrubbie on the knob except for the knurling. On that I used a small brass brush. Nuking the Bar Keeps and water together is not needed. Mixing it with boiling hot water is the way to go. Bar Keeps will clean up the brass using a brush or a scrubbie that has some water with a little powder applied to them. However, it works much better if it is hot.

working on the frog
 The sides of the frog don't appear to have been painted at all. This side of the frog has been run over some 320 grit sandpaper and it'll take a year for me to knock this down. I gave it a helping hand by doing some file work on it first.

a couple of minutes later
Both side of the frog looked real rough. Almost like they welded together from two pieces badly done.

port side done
I may paint this or leave it bare metal. It's something I haven't made my mind up on yet.

the starboard side
I got most of this filed smooth and flat except for this one low spot. This looks a lot better than it did yesterday.

face is done
I sanded this with 100 and finished with 220 and 320. This is sufficient for this. It is relatively scratch free and for the most part shiny.

getting my finishing cabinet width
The cabinet is 27" high and will be 11" deep. With this layout the width would have been 26 1/4" which would make the cabinet almost dead nuts square. I like my cabinet to be rectangular so I'm losing the drawer on the far right. With that gone the width shrunk down to 20".

After cutting out the stock for the sides and the top/bottom, I noticed that I didn't have any stock left to make a door with. I have what I need for the shell but I'll have to buy stock for the door and for the drawer(s).

the cabinet shell
Dovetail the corners or use a rabbet joint?

they are off
I didn't pay these any mind while sawing them to size. They are a wee bit more than a 1/4" off from each other.

corner is blown out
also has some shakes and splits
I'll dutch something in because I don't have stock to make another side
sawed a tapered rabbet
cleaned up both faces with the rabbet plane
I forced some glue into the shakes and splits first and then glued in the tapered dutchman.

two more hiccups to fix

ran gauge lines top and bottom
I squared off the ends and sawed down to the two gauge lines.

chiseled out the waste between the stop cuts
another split on the other end being fixed
I glued on some scraps in the two dutchmen and I let that cook for a few hours. I sawed off as much of the waste as I could and then planed it flush. I had pics of all this but you need to have the SD card in the camera. I don't know why I took it out but I forgot to put it back before I snapped more pics.

made some 1/4" dowels
The smallest dowels I have in my stock pile are 5/16" and up. I need to fill in the holes  as I what to put in a few adjustable shelves.

I was able to plug all the holes with just 4 of these billets. Each one was long enough to fill one row of holes top to bottom.

Maybe tomorrow I can get the carcass together.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Francis Gabreski?
answer - American's #1 Ace in the european theater during WWII with 28 kills

The Rabbit Hutch – Part 5

The Bench Blog - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 1:00am

The rabbit hutch project is finally taking shape.  I usually don’t paint or finish a project until the very end, but this one really calls for painting along the way.  Painting many of the inside parts would be difficult later, but easy if done now.

In the last post, I made the floor frames for both levels of the hutch.   I need to install these, but first I’m going to paint the inside of the hutch while I can still get in there.

Starting the painting process.

Starting the painting process.

I left the top of the drawer runners unpainted and gave them a heavy application of paraffin wax.

I left the top of the drawer runners unpainted and gave them a heavy application of paraffin wax.

I also applied some wax to the side of the hutch where the drawer makes contact.

I also applied some wax to the side of the hutch where the drawer makes contact.

The two floor frames were installed with screws.  I had drilled countersunk pilot holes in the last post, and they made installation must easier now.

I installed the two floor frames.

I installed the two floor frames.

You may remember way back to my first post in this series when I made the doors.  Now it is time to install and paint them.  I also installed galvanized latches.

Installing the doors.

Installing the doors.

I gave a little thought to the inside of the hutch and decided that it would be pretty dark in there once the back and the roof are on.  I decided that I could lighten it up a little, by painting the interior surfaces gloss white.  This will help to reflect what light does come in through the wire mesh doors.

Cutting the plywood for the back of the hutch.

Cutting the plywood for the back of the hutch.

Due to the dimensions, the back had to be made from two sheets of plywood.

Due to the dimensions, the back had to be made from two sheets of plywood.

Testing the fit before painting.

Testing the fit before painting.

I beveled the top edge of the plywood.

I beveled the top edge of the plywood.

After testing the fit off the back, I prepped it for painting.

Filling the worst of the defects on the plywood.

Filling the worst of the defects on the plywood.

White pain on the inside face.

White paint on the inside face.

With the back installed, I moved on to fixing an oversight in my design.  There is a large gap above the front face frame and below the roofline. I decided that I could fill this with a piece of plywood, but needed some backing support to attach it to.  I cut three pieces of douglas fir and beveled the tops to match the pitch of the roof.

I cut and fitted some backer blocks.

I cut and fitted some backer blocks.

These will allow me to attach a plywood piece to fill the gap.

These will allow me to attach a plywood piece to fill the gap.

I cut a plywood piece to fill the opening.

I cut a plywood piece to fill the opening.

I screwed the backer blocks to the hutch and painted them before installing the plywood board.

I painted the backer parts.

I painted the backer parts.

That will keep the wood protected.

That will keep the wood protected.

Painting the plywood.

Painting the plywood.

Installed with some screws.

Installed with some screws.

I countersunk the screws.

I countersunk the screws.

I filled the holes and calked the edges.

I filled the holes and caulked the edges.

After the caulk had cured, I painted.

After the caulk had cured, I painted.

Another part done.

Another part done.

With that, the main body of the hutch is done.  Now I need to build two poop drawers, a roof, a ramp, and a small insulated box that the rabbits can go into to avoid the worst of winter.

In the next post, I’ll tackle the drawers.


– Jonathan White

Why Not Mill Pin Oak?

Wunder Woods - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 3:43pm

On a regular basis, probably at least once a week, someone contacts me looking to have a pin oak milled into lumber. They are excited because they finally got their hands on a truly giant specimen of a tree, and even though it is just a red oak, they are excited to get to work with a hardwood at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, I have to be the bearer of not-so-good news and try to get them to reconsider.

This pin oak is less than 20 years old and is already over 15″ in diameter.

As I mentioned, pin oak is in the red oak family, but that is about the only relationship it has to any decent red oak lumber. Pin oak is not milled and sold commercially under the name red oak, and as far as I know, is only used for low-grade products like pallets and blocking, where the only requirement is that it be made of wood that will stay together. And funny enough, pin oak often falls short of even that low requirement.

The problem is that many pin oak trees suffer from ring shake, which is where the rings of the tree peel apart like an onion, making that section of lumber nearly unusable. The beauty of ring shake is that it can’t be seen from the outside of the log and it won’t always be visible even early in the milling process. Sometimes, it won’t be until the lumber has been fully processed and dried for it to start falling apart. Needless to say this is frustrating, especially if you are counting on that lumber for a project and then end up with no wood to work. Even if the ring shake isn’t bad enough to make the lumber actually break, it very often leaves at least one fancy break line somewhere in a board where you would rather not have it. Again, super frustrating.

So, let’s say you find a pin oak that is solid, with no ring shake, then it is all clear sailing, right? Far from it. You may have lumber, but you probably don’t have great lumber. One of the main attractions for pin oak is the giant size and the promise of a never-ending bunk of lumber comprised of super-wide boards. This, you may indeed have, but it comes at a cost. The cost is that all of the super-wide lumber will have super-wide growth rings, rings that may be up to 1/2″ or more in width. Because the tree grows so fast, putting on up to 1″ in diameter per year, the logs get big in a hurry too. It isn’t uncommon for a 36″ diameter log to have only started growing 45 years ago. It was planted because the trees grow to a large, stately appearance quickly, and that means big, wide growth rings.

Big growth rings mean a coarse textured wood, no matter how you cut it. Whether flatsawn or quartersawn, red oak is already known for its open, in-your-face, grain, and pin oak is ten times worse. Imagine an 8″ wide flat sawn board that may only show a couple of annual rings on the face. It looks more like the cheapest of spiral cut plywood for sheathing the side of your house, instead of quality hardwood lumber for building fine furniture. That same 8″ wide board, if quartersawn, will probably show about 20-25 rings, where a high quality white oak board will show 60-80 rings. The difference is night and day, with the higher growth ring count looking much more refined and not so clunky.

Even if the wood stayed together and for some reason the growth rings weren’t so wide, pin oak would still be far from a great hardwood. The lumber typically also sports bad color, bad smell (commonly referred to as “piss” oak by local tree guys), and many more knots than are outwardly apparent. Since the trees are usually open grown and well pruned, the always straight, always perfectly upright trunks appear to contain up to 30′-40′ of clear lumber. The truth is that the trunks typically contain only 8′ of clear lumber near the ground, with the remainder being full of knots from previously trimmed branches.

Overall, I have nothing good to say about pin oaks, except that they grow big, tall and straight. And, while it may be possible to mill pin oak lumber that meets some minimum requirements (like staying together), the best pin oak is still easily surpassed in quality by almost any other reputable wood. Just know, if you are thinking about paying someone to mill a pin oak tree for you, that I wouldn’t even mill a pin oak if it magically fell on my sawmill. I would take the extra time to get it out of the way, so I could mill something better. It’s just not worth it. Move on.

Categories: General Woodworking

Using the jig to peen a scythe

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 9:01am
Photos and video from a Sunday afternoon peening. Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

A Good Shellacking

360 WoodWorking - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 4:10am
A Good Shellacking

I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I was working on an office interior in which all four walls had something made from sapele. I thought I’d share some of the woodwork, but I particularly wanted to show the before and after when using shellac – off-the-store-shelf, right-out-of-the-can shellac. Thank you Zinsser.

And thank you suppliers for stocking fresh shellac, when they had it. The first stop – big blue – had two outdated gallons (one from 2008 and one from 2010) and one from 2014.

Continue reading A Good Shellacking at 360 WoodWorking.

Week in Review – Week of July 10th

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 2:46am

 Week in Review   At Pop Wood, we create a lot of great content and I think it would be downright tragic if you missed an article, social media post or YouTube video. So I have compiled all of our content in this post for your reading pleasure. Not included is the outstanding content that Megan Fitzpatrick curates on our Instagram account, find that here. Have a great Sunday! – David […]

The post Week in Review – Week of July 10th appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

tool rehab day......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 2:03am
Most of the day was spent on rehabbing my grandson's 5 /14 and to sweeten the pot, I added a #4.  Before I got to that I started with the bookcase. The weather has turned humid again and that is playing havoc with the latex paint. It feels dry and a wee bit sticky at the same time. I don't want to chance trying to top coat the latex paint with water based poly and have it go south. So getting the bookcase done this weekend doesn't look like it's going to happen.

the back of the shelves
The shelves dried overnight and I decided to stick them in bookcase and let them dry even further there. However, the %^%$@!__((*%&;*&;#@%^*(^%$ shelves wouldn't fit. Well they did fit but it was too snug for my liking. The front of the shelves were rubbing on the inside of the beaded frame. Over time it would rub off the paint on both pieces. I hadn't planned on having to put 2,359 coats of paint on the shelves and all that paint build up made it too tight.

Stanley 102 blockplane
At least I remembered to use this plane this time. I was going to pass this on to whoever but I am keeping for just these situations. I would rather risk damaging this then one of my bench planes. The 3rd shelf I made I didn't have to plane the back of it.

dirt from the vise
Got lucky as this cleaned up with a rag and some water.

dirty finger prints
Something you have to put up with when you use white paint. Especially so when you are still building as this stuff is a dirt magnet.

planning stages still
These are the last two iterations of the cabinet to come. This shelf is history and the cabinet is going where it lives now. I have been through 6 plans and I am leaning in the direction of the left hand one. The biggest change I made is adding drawers to keep the Hake brushes in. Originally I had planned to hang them on the door but switched to stuffing them in a drawer.

what will be going in the new cabinet
I want to get all of the associated do dads and doohickeys for finishing in the cabinet along with the actual finishes themselves. The left plan shows storage for the spray cans on the left and everything else on the right.

the biggest thing I have to put in the cabinet
This is a little over 7" in diameter so the minimum depth of the cabinet has to be around 8 3/4". I need to allow 3/4"- 1" for the back panel and the french cleat hanger. I was going to start this today but I changed lanes and I'm going to finish the 5 1/4 handplane first.

nice and shiny
What can be better than shiny brass? I cleaned this last night with Bar Keeps Best Friend after dinner. I think I definitely upped the shine on it a few notches.

knob off my #2 on the left
I just got done rehabbing the #2 and this knob isn't as shiny as the 5 1/4. I did the shine job on the 5 1/4 a different way and I'm going to try it on the on the #2.

the back side before and comparison pic
the new way
Last night I mixed the Bar Keeps with hot tap water but it wasn't really hot. So I put it into the microwave oven for 30 seconds. The brass knob was covered with water so it wasn't a problem nuking it too. I kept an eye on it because I wasn't sure what was going to happen and sure enough around 25 seconds it started foaming and rising up. I pulled it out before it overflowed.

Last night while doing the 5 1/4 knob the Bar Keeps settled out to the bottom and today I kept stirring it to keep in solution. I kept doing this until I was able to hold the knob in my hand.

been about 4-5 minutes
 Bar Keeps doesn't clean this without some help from a brush or a scrubbie pad. For real stubborn stains etc, sandpaper usually gets it.

looks better and as good as it's neighbor
I used a blue scrubbie pad on both of these knobs and tooth brush on the knurling. The knurling is what I find the hardest to clean and get shiny looking. After doing two of these I don't think the microwave is necessary. Nuking the water first and then mixing the Bar Keeps in it would work just as well. I think the key in getting this to work better is getting the Bar Keeps solution hot. I'll have to do a comparison of this on my next two knobs to confirm it.

 Found another missing part. The frog adjusting screw is AWOL.

my Stanley parts
I got most of the parts here in a kit from Highlands Hardware many, many, moons ago. This frog adjust screw is shiny but it doesn't look like the original. I'll look for this and screw washers tonight. In the interim I'll use this so I can finish the rehab.

this is the same barrel nut that is in the plane tote now
ready to sand the sole and cheeks
wanna be frog screw washers
The original washers are slightly larger in the diameter (ID & OD)and thicker. I have bought a lot of wanna be washers and I've yet to find anything even close to the Stanley washers. These will be better than nothing until I get some more.

another diversion, broken tab on a lever cap
I tried to punch this out and got nowhere. I am not sure that I even budged it a frog hair. I need to get a machinist vise for things like this. Trying to hold this and hold the punch and then whack it with a hammer was a step beyond awkward.

a helping hand?
I got the fan blowing in the bookcase instead of me to try and help it dry better. I checked it a half hour later and the shelves felt better. They still felt clammy, but they felt like they were a lot less so. I'll keep the fan blowing on them until tomorrow and see what they feel like then.

sizing the cabinet
I have a square of about 27" x 27" to put the cabinet in. These are some of the spray cans I want to go in the cabinet.

my minimum depth
These two cans are deeper than the chinese take out container is. I don't want a deep cabinet because I don't what to root around in it to find things. I dislike having to move 9 things to get to the one I want.

double stacked the  spray cans for a minimum height
enough distractions, I started the sanding with 180 grit
The 180 grit wasn't doing the job. After a few strokes I could see that the toe was high and rest of the plane sole was low. I tried 120 next because the plane body had looked clean without any scratches or gouges anywhere. 120 was a bust too.

dropped down to 80
I was hoping that I wouldn't have to start with such a low grit based on how the sole and sides looked. I marked the sole up and took 5 strokes on the 80 grit runway and this is what I saw.  High at the toe and low just before to the mouth before another high at the end of the heel. I spent about ten minutes on this and the going was real slow. I wasn't making as much progress as quickly as I wanted to and stopped. I made a road trip to Harbor freight and bought a fresh 80 grit belt.

five strokes on the fresh 80 grit
it's getting smaller
There is still a small low spot just aft of the mouth, amidships. I've been working it for about 20 minutes now and it is slow going.

starboard side cheek
Low spot below the hump down at the bottom.

port side cheek
This has a low spot in the same area but it's bigger and it wasn't in a hurry to get sanded away.

ten minutes later
Success on the starboard side. I didn't devote the entire 10 minutes to just the starboard side. I worked the sole and then sides, one at a time. I check my progress and started all over again.

port side
It is gradually getting smaller. The port side and the amidships hollow on the sole took seemingly forever to sand out.

#4 for my grandson
This is one of the first planes I rehabbed a few years ago and I'm going to give it to my grandson. The cheeks have a few splashes of rust on them and the sole looks shiny with a grunge spots. I am going to check my previous work by taking 5 strokes on the 80 grit first.

done with the sanding
I sanded both planes by hand only with a block with 400 and the 600 grit sandpaper. The 320 and 400 grit belts I have both felt as smooth as piece of paper. Neither one of them appeared to be cutting anything on the planes so that is why I finished it with hand sanding. I also had to sand out the scratches left by the 220 grit belt.

I didn't do the frog on this rehab. I know I changed and picked up doing more and more steps on rehabs the more planes I did. I am on the fence about stripping this and painting it. I have lots of time to work on it so no hurry on pulling the trigger on it. I will at least do the frog today or tomorrow.

there is a burr here
 I can feel a burr here at the very bottom edge. I sanded it with 100 grit and it went south real quick. After this I set it aside to finish up the 5 1/4 so I could shut the lights out.

back to the 5 1/4
I raised a burr on this and I was getting ready to take it out of the guide to strop it and noticed it wasn't square. The left side was high. I spent a few minutes on the 80 grit runway and got it square and raised a burr again. And I repeated the all dance steps for sharpening again including a stropping.

99.9% done
I put Autosol on the plane and I really like not only the shine it imparts but the protection it gives too. The only thing lacking on this are the barrel nuts and the stud for the knob. Bill Rittner emailed me that those parts will be shipped on monday. Maybe thursday I can road test this and set the iron.

harbor freight
Six sanding sponges for $6. I couldn't resist it at that price. I did a road test of one of them on the bookcase exterior.

blurry pic of a paint holiday
This is a pic of a paint drop that I had to remove. Once I removed it there was bare wood and I had to paint the bookcase one more time.

220 grit on the left, fine grit on the right
Just by feel, I would guess that the 'fine' is coarser than 220. Maybe 180 grit? It worked good on sanding down the exterior of the bookcase. I got dust from that which was a good sign. I didn't try it on the shelves because I didn't feel that they were dry enough and would make dust if I sanded them.

got some reading to do
It seems that this camera will do everything but pan fry eggs for breakfast in the morning. The first chapter I'll be reading is the WiFi one.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Why was popcorn banned at most theaters in the 1920's?
answer - it was considered too noisy

Scything course at RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Sat, 07/15/2017 - 3:43pm
A lovely group of new mowers learning to scythe at RHS Garden Harlow Carr. Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

My Turn.

The Furniture Record - Sat, 07/15/2017 - 6:46am

A rather well-known author/publisher/editor/woodworker/furniture maker/journalist/educator/entrepreneur/raconteur/anarchist/cicerone/father/husband has now gotten two blogs out of something I found and shared with him. Now,  it’s my turn.

It all started with a unique pair of winding sticks I found near Charleston, SC. I was told there are no tools to be found in the Charleston area but I am too stubborn/stupid to listen and went out looking. To be fair, I wasn’t only looking for tools and there weren’t all that many to find.

But find them I did and these are them:


The famous/infamous half-moon winding sticks.

Taking a closer  look reveals some interesting details:


Up close and personal.

First piece of revelatory information is that we have been using the wrong terminology. These are not winding sticks, they are wood levelers. A knowledgeable dealer would not go through all the trouble of writing the wrong name on the label of an item he/she wishes to sell.

The second is not really that important and I am not going to waste your time making you read something that is unimportant and uninteresting.

This was not my first set of wood levelers. My first set was a purchase from Lee Valley for a saw bench class taught by Chris Schwarz at Roy Underhill’s Woodwright’s School in Pittsboro, NC. I bought them because the levelers were on the tools list that was sent out three days before the class. I was out-of-town on business and would be getting home just in time to pack my tools and head out on the long 0.57 hour drive south.


They are extruded. And not wood.

I did take some abuse from the instructor for having store-bought, aluminum levelers. I worked through the shame and humiliation, after all, better abused than ignored.

The next set I made when I got a really good deal on some thin hardwood strips:


Unclean. I used power tool to make these.

My fourth set came from a toolmaking class I took from the aforementioned Chris Schwarz at Highland Woodworking in Atlanta. This was his classic layout tool class, hand tools only.


Sapele. Only hand tools used. Really. The reversing grain made it a challenge to plane. Maybe there was a reason Highland Woodworking provided us this wood.

Which is my favorite set? I use them all equally.

I might repost this post with better pictures. Then again, I might not.

If you want, you can read those other blogs HERE and HERE.



New Collection: Ship-Shape Shop

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sat, 07/15/2017 - 2:57am

We just compiled a new collection over at shopwoodworking.com! I am in the midst of setting up my home shop, so the pain of sorting out layout and storage is very real for me. I have leaned on The Practical Workshop for several ideas already. This collection is a great value and won’t be around forever. If you’ve considered picking up a couple of these titles, this may be a great […]

The post New Collection: Ship-Shape Shop appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

entering the danger zone.....

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 07/15/2017 - 2:26am
The bookcase is still not almost done. I am now in the danger zone with it where I am rapidly losing interest in it. My desire to get it done and out of the shop is fighting it out with my want to do this the best I can. It is very easy to cut corners to expedite getting it done at this point. You tend to hurry up, gloss things over, and settle for less then the best.

Tonight I came to the shop hoping to sand the bookcase and apply poly. But I saw instead that the shelves needed another coat of paint. I came very close to saying I've had enough this, I'm done painting, but I was a good boy. Not doing this now will just bite me on the ass later on. This not being painted would stick out like a beacon and make the rest of the project seem invisible to anyone else.  Just like one 'aw shit' wipes out ten 'atta boys', one holiday on a project can turn it into crappola. People looking at it won't see the other 99.99% of it once the holiday enters their field of vision.

this sucks
See the streaks in this? The rest of the shelf is a nice white with no streaks. This is the front of the shelf and it won't be hidden by books. The fronts of the shelves are the focal point when you look at the bookcase. I bit the the bullet and painted it again. This will add another day before I cross the finish line.

it's fading
The errant brush stroke is fading but I can still make it out standing up and looking down at the bottom shelf. I put another coat on this too.

one last spot to touch up
I saw this when I removed the green painters tape from this area. I'll have to apply some white paint to this. And while I since I was painting white, I sanded down the exterior of the bookcase and put another coat of paint on that too.

I had to do something else
Lately I've been working on the bookcase exclusively due to it taking up most of the shop. I put the shelves on the shitcan to dry freeing up my workbench to work on the 5 1/4. All I have to do is clean up the frog face, sharpen and hone the iron, and put it back together.

punched the pin for the yoke out
This is my second time doing this and it is basically a no brainer. I think I was hesitant to do it because I read somewhere that this was a tapered pin. I don't know why that stopped me from trying this but it did. Having the yoke off makes sanding the face so much easier.

wrapped the yoke and the pin
I don't want to lose this pin. This is one thing I haven't seen for sale from any of the plane part sellers. But on the flip side, it's something I haven't queried neither.

the after pic
The before pic was too blurry to even tell what it might have been a pic of. All of the shiny areas on the face had a dull look to them with lots of scratches. It took very little time to get to this point and I'm calling it done. I am not a fan of this type of frog. I like the solid ones used on the types 13(?) on down. They don't get scratch free and shiny as quickly as these frogs do though.

look see with the new knob and tote
Just noticed that the frog screw washers are MIA. I don't remember if they were here are not when I first broke this down to parade rest. I don't think that they were because I keep these together with the screws so I don't lose them. Something else to buy.

the original tote is rosewood
I thought from how shiny this was that it was a dyed black hardwood. I can see the grain of rosewood on the bottom of the tote.

rusty studs partially cleaned up
The long stud had a lot of rust on it on the end that went into the plane body. The knob stud looked better but it had some rust on it. I don't know if this rust happened after the person did the rehab or if it was not dealt with it because it's hidden.

wired brushed them rust free
There was no evidence that these had been oiled at all. They didn't feel slick or greasy at all. I think it is important to oil these because they are hidden within the tote and knob. I think whoever did this, did clean them but because they weren't oiled, they rusted again after being put back together.

I tossed the studs and all the removable screws along with the frog adjust plate into the soup to cook overnight. I would have used citric acid but I couldn't find where I put from my last time using it.

yoke back on
I got the yoke put on correctly the first time. The brass adjuster knob is nice and shiny but I may clean it again with Barkeeps after dinner.

this I don't like
Noticed a big no-no for me. The top edge of the plane was painted. It is easier to mask off the plane sides and not do the top edge. I would have scraped but I had sandpaper out so I used that. I used 100 grit and it took less than 5 minutes to make it shiny toe to heel.

called it a night here
I cleaned the top edge of the plane and the did some work on the lever cap. The lever cap that came with the plane has the Stanley name on it and is a kidney shaped lever cap. I would rather have a plain keyhole lever cap like this. I have to start my grandson off on the right foot with this.

It felt real good to do something other than painting the bookcase. Maybe this was inconsequential but it got my juices flowing again. I emailed Bill Rittner to buy a new stud for the knob and two new barrel nuts. This plane had an old barrel nut on the knob and a newer replacement Stanley barrel nut on the tote. (the stud for the front knob is for a high knob not a low one)

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Edwin Land?
answer - the inventor of the Polaroid Camera

Book Giveaway: SketchUp

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 07/14/2017 - 12:00pm

Earlier this week our online content director David Lyle raised the question of which modeling software seemed to be most popular with woodworkers. There’s been growing interest in Fusion 360 – David attended a “roadshow” event for the software this week. It seems like SketchUp is still king for the moment, but there always new makers out there with new ideas and ways of designing things. Of course, there are some woodworkers who still swear […]

The post Book Giveaway: SketchUp appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

New Path for 360 Woodworking

360 WoodWorking - Fri, 07/14/2017 - 5:26am
New Path for 360 Woodworking


I received a very timely message in my Inbox this morning. It was from Seth Godin. It was titled, “The Two Fears of Voluntary Education.” In it Godin writes about two reason why people hold back from online courses. The first is that the class won’t work because anyone can create and sell online courses. Who knows of their qualifications or experience? There is reason for the buyer to beware.

Continue reading New Path for 360 Woodworking at 360 WoodWorking.

From Redwoods to Red Ink

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 07/14/2017 - 3:05am

My father, Robert Emmet Gaffney, was a copy editor for 30 years and a lifelong woodworker. While I was always excited to take up his reins as a woodworker, I now find myself taking up the red pen and pursuing his editorial path as well. My name is Brendan Bernhardt Gaffney. I’m Popular Woodworking Magazine‘s new managing editor, a woodworker, toolmaker and, depending on the day, musician, engineer and general autodidact. […]

The post From Redwoods to Red Ink appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

another short shop day......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 07/14/2017 - 1:35am
Today did get noticeably drier. It didn't feel that way when I hoofed it to the chinese place for lunch. However, the ride home had a smattering of off and on rain and after I got home, it really started to come down. The temp at lunchtime was 83°F (28°C) and after the rain storm my porch thermometer was reading 70°F (21°C). It was a lot more comfortable working in the shop tonight. I can't wait to get this bookcase done and out of the shop.

got it
 I got the profile planed but it was not easy to do. It took a bit of oomph to do it, especially on the lead in. The plane was binding and hesitant and even when it stopped cutting, it still didn't move too easily end to end.

no match here
This is where the iron ended up before it make a shaving in the bead portion. The good match up I thought I had yesterday appears to have been an hallucination. I did ID where and what is causing the binding. The right most flat has a lot of the iron showing above it but that wasn't the cause. It you look at the right side of the bead, the iron disappears into the plane. The bottom of the bead has too much iron showing too but the right side was causing the binding. Or maybe the whole bead portion is out to lunch. Regardless of what is at fault, I'll have to grind this profile to match the plane sole a lot better than it is now. One more molder into the gotta fix it pile.

That is the bane of these old molders. Less then half of the irons in my molding herd are an ok match and work and others, like this, work but not well. I only have 4-5 molders that I would say are a good match and plane well. I would guesstimate that over half of my molding plane irons don't match the plane sole well enough to plane their profile. I have two I would like to use but they aren't any good except to use as paperweights. I have a lot of man hours upcoming reshaping irons to their soles.

forgot about this
This is the knob from my hand drill that snapped in two when I tried to screw it back on. I glued it, wrapped it in blue painters tape and set it cook on my sharpening bench. Where I promptly forgot it until I saw the drill sans the knob tonight. The glue job appears to have worked well.

see the glue line?
When I was looking at this as I snapped this pic, I couldn't see the glue line. In the pic, I think it sticks out readily. It is solid now and two drop tests on to the bench proved it.

good and solid now
The knob had a good tight fitting feeling and I didn't feel any slop in it at all. Maybe it'll last another 50-60 years before my grandson has to fix again or makes a new one.

fingers crossed on this
I'm hoping that this will be the last coat of paint. If it is, I'll lightly sand this with 220 and put on a coat of water based poly. The weather is cooperating now with no humidity so this should cure out well.

it is not a shadow
The errant brush stroke that I deposited gray on the white is still visible. I put a second coat on it again tonight and I'll keep happy thoughts that it'll cover it.

Freddy Roman had left a comment on my blog a while back that the Parlee Lumber and Box company lumber yard out in Littleton Mass sold wide pine boards. I put in for a vacation day next friday and I had planned to go there and get some wide pine to make my grandson's tool chest. That won't be happening because Freddy did a post on the lumber yard closing. I remember a lumberyard in Griswold Conn(?) that sold wide pine boards so I'll search for that and see what shakes out. I would like to find someplace within a two hour drive of my house.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
In what war were khaki colored uniforms first used?
answer - the 1880 Afghan war

Oak furniture from Dedham & Medfield Massachusetts

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Thu, 07/13/2017 - 5:50pm

For a number of reasons, I was looking through some photo files here tonight. During the past year I have had a couple of chances to revisit some old favorite piece of oak furniture, and saw a couple related fragments for the first time. There is a group of chests and boxes made in Dedham and Medfield, Massachusetts during the 17th century. Years ago they were the focus of a study by Robert St. George, culminating in his article “Style and Structure in the Joinery of Dedham and Medfield, Massachusetts, 1635-1685” Winterthur Portfolio; vol. 13, American Furniture and Its Makers (1979), pp. 1-46. You can join JSTOR and read it here – https://www.jstor.org/stable/1180600?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

But like all oak of the period, our friend Robert Trent was all over them too – thus several examples were featured in the exhibition New England Begins at the Museum of Fine Arts too.   (Boy, did that set come down in price – https://www.amazon.com/New-England-Begins-Seventeenth-Century/dp/0878462104  -If you don’t have it, and you like the furniture and decorative arts of the period, get it. Used to be way more than $90…)

This chest is in a private collection, I had it years ago to make a new oak lid for it. Typical for this group, 3 carved panels, moldings on the framing parts. Not great work, but real nice. Black paint in the backgrounds, originally bright red on the oak, dyed with logwood or brazilwood dye.

This one was made for the Fairbanks house in Dedham, was illustrated in a late 19th/early 20th century article about that house. For many years it was MIA – then the Fairbanks Family was able to buy it at auction either late 1990s or early 2000s…I forget which. Has the only oddball center panel. (see the detail, top of the blog post) Refinished.


A reader sent me these photos once, shot at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY. These boxes are often pretty tall – maybe 9″ high. Pine lids and bottom, oak box. I made a copy of this one for a descendant of one of the joiners credited with this work, John Thurston of Dedham and elsewhere.

Now it gets really wiggy. I cropped this shot from an overall of a chest in a museum collection. Notice the panels on the left & right. They look good, right?

Here’s one – then compare it to its cousin below…

The other. Amazing what your eyes & brain can tolerate and still accept as a repeating pattern. I’ve carved this design a lot, and I can carve a panel about 10″ x 14″ or so in under an hour. I bet this guy was flying right along. Or old and infirm. Or somehow incapacitated, or compromised. Or something. Notice too the holes in the corners where I presume the panel was nailed down to hold it still for carving. I nail mine to a back board, and fasten that to the bench with holdfasts. That way I don’t have to move the holdfasts – they’re out of the way.

A related, but dead-simple version. Why all that blank margin? No applied molding, the framing is beveled around the panel. Ahh, everyone who knows why is dead.

These next two are the lynch pins for the attribution to John Houghton, joiner. These are fragments from a meetinghouse in Medfield from 1655/6. The town records cite a payment made to Houghton for work on the desk, a table and more. The “deske” in the records is the pulpit. These panels are believed to be part of that pulpit. This panel is about 6 5/8″ x 14″.

a detail of the  rectangular panel.

This diamond-shaped panel is nailed to a piece of oak that looks like some framing stock – but it tapers in width. Tradition says that these pieces were saved when the 1655/6 meeting house was demolished in 1706.

One more – this one’s in Nutting’s books, now at Wadsworth Atheneum. “Refreshed” paint, or completely re-painted. I forget which. Really nicely carved.

Marc Adams July 22-23 SketchUp Class

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Thu, 07/13/2017 - 9:53am
Space Available MASW July 22-23 SketchUp Class There are still a few seats available in the two-day SketchUp class I will be teaching on the weekend of July 22-23, 2017 at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking in Franklin, Indiana. Continue reading →
Categories: General Woodworking


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