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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

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

@ Handworks 2017 – Original Roubo Print 277

The Barn on White Run - Sun, 05/14/2017 - 6:09pm

“Different Sorts of Wood and Their Positioning According to Hue,” Plate 277 in L’art du Menuisier, is one of the most astounding pages in the entire set.  It confirms Roubo was both a genius and aesthete, representing various wood samples in vivid detail and readable even though they are in grayscale.

This page is one of the treasures from my inventory, and it is priced accordingly.  It is in excellent condition, and 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.


Pre-Fest spaces for Greenwood Fest – “One man gathers what another man spills”

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sun, 05/14/2017 - 5:00pm

Pret & I are building lathes for the bowl turners, our friend Chris is cutting more wood than you can shake a stick at, Paula Marcoux is making schedules, writing emails & answering questions morning noon & night – Greenwood Fest begins in just over 3 weeks.

There’s been a small flurry of last-minute cancellations from the Pre-Fest courses. I wrote a post the other day about a couple, and described how this is really like a mini-Fest on its own. 7 courses running side-by-side. “Down” time, meals, evenings, etc will be a woodsy-free-for-all.  https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/still-some-room-in-pre-fest-courses-at-greenwood-fest/ 

In addition to one spot in Jogge Sundqvist’s knife-handle/sheath class, space in Tim Manney’s sharpening and Jane Mickelborough’s Hinged spoon, there’s one spot with Dave Fisher making hewn bowls, and one spot with Barn Carder making eating spoons.

I’m sorry for those who had to ditch out at this, nearly the last minute. One man gathers what another man spills, though.

Dates are Tues June 6-Thursday June 8.. .Price is $500 – Includes 2 full days of instruction; (Tues afternoon/Wed all day/Thurs morning) all materials; 2 nights lodging & 7 meals, plus admission to Fuller Craft Museum for the Thursday evening presentation of Jogge’s Rhythym & Slojd.

course description  https://www.greenwoodfest.org/course-details 

registration: https://www.plymouthcraft.org/greenwood-fest-courses

Happy Mother’s Day to All Woodworking Moms (and Moms of Woodworkers)

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sun, 05/14/2017 - 11:16am
spice chest

While my mother isn’t a woodworker, I do have her to thank for my love of the craft. She collects antique furniture, and started doing so back when such things were more affordable and easy to find at yard sales. I also appreciate fine furniture, which I can only assume is a result of the furniture in my childhood home I wasn’t supposed to touch! But I can’t afford it unless I […]

The post Happy Mother’s Day to All Woodworking Moms (and Moms of Woodworkers) appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

rehabbing a 5 1/2.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 05/14/2017 - 1:05am
Didn't want to do much in the shop today which is a rare occurrence for me . I would have liked to have gotten the 5 1/2 done but that didn't happen neither. The brass adjuster knob ate up a lot of my time along with trying to get the sole sanded smooth.  And both of them didn't make it into the completed column. Add to the mix working on the frame and just being bone tired, not a lot got done working at snail's pace. I was hoping that my lever cap would have come today but it didn't. I'll have to wait for that until next week. Along with my miter box and the #2.

not shiny yet
This was kind of shiny but it has tarnished since then.  I mixed up another batch of Bar Keeps and let it soak again for a while.

back flattened
While the adjuster was soaking I flattened the back. It took a long time to get to this stage due to the hump in the middle. The shine took it's sweet time spreading out from the middle to the sides.

surprised by this
I had a burr that almost went across the entire edge. I went back to the 80 girt runway and did the back some more until I got a burr that went side to side.

grinding a new angle
Started this on my coarsest diamond stone and after 5 strokes I saw that I had a long ways to go so I switched to the 80 grit runway. After I got a consistent grind, I went back to the coarsest diamond stone and worked my way up to the 8K and then the strop.

The iron is sharp, the chipbreaker is fettled the way I like it, and I have a new old chipbreaker screw installed. There is a lot of life to this iron and it's the same size as my 4 1/2 so I can use the spare irons for it here too.

been soaking for about 20 minutes
still not shiny
This is the first time that Bar Keeps hasn't gotten the adjuster shiny after one application.  I scrubbed the crap out of this with a toothbrush without raising a shine. I switched to a brass brush and got better results.

finally got a little bit of a shine
This doesn't look as good as the #2 adjuster looked that I did last week. Close but still far enough away from the stake to not to count as a point.

the back
The back of the adjuster which is mostly unseen is shinier than the front part.  Maybe the Bar Keeps I'm using is toast. It's been in the shop since last year and it is coming out of the can in clumps. I bought another one when I went to the grocery store.

my plane parts
The frog adjuster screw by finger is what I want to replace. It isn't going to happen today because I don't have one.

barrel nuts
I didn't have to buy new barrel nuts because I have more than enough. However, I don't like these because they aren't domed. These have a chamfer running on the outside edge. I like the domed ones that Bill Rittner sells. They blend in with the front knob whereas these tend to end up a bit below the hole for them in the knob.

new Bar Keeps
This stuff came out powdery and not clumpy like the stuff I have now. I mixed up another batch and and stuck the adjuster in it for another soak cycle.

working on the sole
This is 220 grit and it isn't doing much to the sole. I'd be here using this until next year before I would see any improvement. I'm not trying to getting this to look like a mirror. I just want the sole clean and smooth. I dropped down to 180 and then 120 and I still wasn't getting a scratch pattern from the toe to the heel. I put my lowest grit belt on which is 80 grit.

switched to working on the frame
Making the rabbet to hold the glass, matting, and the certificate. If I made the rabbet in the frame it would make it too thin. Not to mention that I don't think there is sufficient meat there to do that. I like making my rabbets this way and there are a few advantages to doing it this way.

First I don't make the frame weaker by making a rabbet in it nor do I thin the interior profile down.  Adding these strips to make the rabbet crosses the miter serves to strengthen it on the back. The last point I like about this is that the frame stands off the wall and it doesn't lay up flat on it. I used butt joints on this so that they would cross the miters rather then line up with them. I glued these in place with hide glue only, no fasteners were used.

cooking away
Tomorrow I'll try to ebonize this and see what that looks like. If it doesn't work I have a rattle can of black lacquer spray paint. There are a couple of spots that show some dried hide glue and I'm not sure if the ebonizing will work on them. My fingers are crossed and I'm thinking happy thoughts.

back to mindless back and forth sanding
This is 80 grit but it is an old belt and it isn't cutting fast enough for me.

why I changed belts
This belt is making a consistent scratch pattern toe to heel except of two strips by my fingers. I worked this for five minutes and they weren't disappearing. Changed the belt to a fresher older one.

The two stripes are slowly disappearing but it is going to be a while before they disappear.

finally shiny
I took this upstairs and started sanding it with 400 grit sandpaper. I was able to sand away the reddish stuff that was inside of this. I got it shiny yesterday but it tarnished and got the reddish hue that I sanded away today. I'll keep this upstairs and see if it stays shiny.

the unseen part is as good as the front
It looks like tomorrow I'll be putting the plate rack shelf in place. My wife painted and wallpapered that wall today and she wants the shelf done tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was the first professional athlete to have his number retired?
answer - Lou Gehrig's #4 on July 7, 1939

Setting Up Shop: The Most Useful Power Tools

Wunder Woods - Sat, 05/13/2017 - 9:32pm

When customers visit my shop we usually start by talking about their wood needs. If it is someone’s first time to visit I also try to get to know them, what they are looking for and what they are expecting from me. Half of them are just looking for rough cut wood, while the others are looking for wood that is processed a little bit more, perhaps jointed or planed, or even sanded. During our time together I get to understand their needs and abilities, and our discussion usually turns to the tools they have in their shop.

I am often surprised at what tools woodworkers don’t use or own, especially when they are some of the few that I find essential. Sometimes it’s just the difference between hand tool and power tool guys, but sometimes it’s just from lack of experience or the fact that they haven’t given it too much thought. Most likely they just buy tools as they need them and never really considered what tools would give them the most bang for the buck.

Since this is a common conversation, I decided to compile the following list of what I think are the most useful power tools and should be the building blocks of any woodworking shop:

Notice how my table saws can work both as a table and a saw.

Table saw. Of all of the tools in the shop, the table saw is the most useful and versatile. It excels at making straight cuts, and with the addition of any of a million jigs, can be made to perform an amazing number of tasks with repeatability and precision. I use the table saw for roughing out smaller parts from larger pieces, all the way through trimming parts to final size. The only limit to the table saw is that the piece needs to be small enough to be pushed through it. Above a certain size, the table saw becomes less useful and even impossible to use as the saw needs to be brought to the piece, instead of the piece being brought to the saw.

The table saw is best suited for making rip cuts, which are cuts along the length of the board, but with a crosscutting jig, the table saw can do just as well on crosscuts, which are cuts across the board. I even use the table saw for resawing thick lumber into thinner boards. The bandsaw is usually the tool for resawing, but any lumber under 6″ wide can be resawn on a 10″ table saw by cutting from both sides of the board.

Besides just making through cuts, the table saw can also cut dados, rabbets and other grooves with just a few adjustments. And, with the addition of profiled cutters and a creative mind, the table saw can be used to make all kinds of mouldings, including large crown mouldings.

The table saw also works amazingly well as a table. Mine is big enough to not only hold stuff, but serve as an assembly table when necessary. The table of the table saw is set apart from other tables because it is commonly the only one open and available in the shop. I try to keep it clear enough to actually use, which means that at least part of the top is usually available and ready to be used as a table or maybe even a saw.

My Powermatic planer has prettied up a lot of wood.

Thickness Planer. Running a rough board through the planer is always fun. Even after sending billions of board feet through a planer, it never gets old. The amazing thing is that beyond making the wood look good, the planer can size lumber in ways other tools can’t.

I have met a lot of customers that don’t have a planer. And, while it is possible to operate without one, I believe that once you own one, you will find it hard to believe that you ever ran a shop without it. For me, it is along the same line of thinking for spray guns, where I say, “Stop thinking about buying a spray gun.”

Even if you buy your lumber already planed, you will still encounter many circumstances that require the use of a planer. For example, you might want to build a simple and delicate jewelry box out of small scrap pieces lying around the shop, and you will end up making a small and clunky jewelry box because all of your lumber is 3/4″ thick, and that’s how it is going to stay. That is just the first example. Think about all of the other times that you will pick up a piece of lumber in the shop and it will be the wrong thickness, either just slightly wrong or in an entirely different size category. A planer is a real problem solver and can fix all of that.

If you work with rough lumber, a planer will be absolutely necessary, except for the most rustic of projects. Every piece of rough cut lumber ends up somewhat not straight, not flat and not consistent in thickness, either from variations during the sawing or from stresses which occur while the wood dries. The planer, combined with the jointer, is a one-two punch to remove these variations and produce straight, flat and consistently thick lumber. The reason the planer is ahead of the jointer on this list is that some lumber is straight enough and flat enough to plane without jointing if the job is a little less finicky, thereby skipping the jointer.

Flattening the face of a board before going through the planer makes assembly so much easier.

Jointer. I use my jointer a lot. When preparing rough lumber it sees as much action as the planer. As a matter of fact, almost every piece of lumber in my shop gets surfaced on the wide face to straighten things out before it even heads to the planer. Without the jointer, my life would just be a crooked, twisty mess of painful attempts to make things seem straight.

One of the misconceptions about planers is that they make lumber straight. They do some straightening, but they don’t make lumber straight. That is what jointers do. Many lumber mills just send rough lumber through the planer allowing the board to exit the machine with the same ups and downs and whoops that is entered with, only now to a consistent thickness. This is especially apparent when gluing up a couple of these roller coaster type of boards and trying to get them to line up. After a couple of those glue-ups, you will swear by lumber that has seen the jointer before the planer, and never skip the jointer.

Besides flattening lumber, the jointer also puts a straight edge on lumber for joining two boards together and for running through other machines. I also use the jointer for making small adjustments during the final fitting of parts like drawer fronts, where small changes can make a big difference.

With these three power tools (and a few hand tools), I feel like I could make about 80% of the jobs that come through my shop on a daily basis. Obviously, some jobs will require more specialized power tools to complete, but these three probably find their way into almost all of my work. With that said, there are a few other tools that I couldn’t imagine being without and I feel need to be added to the list.

Spray gun. Not every woodworking job gets a film finish, but most of mine do. And of those, every one will meet a spray gun. For a million reasons, including making finishing fast and fun, I recommend using a spray gun whenever possible. It will raise your game and make you n0t hate finishing. (Click here to read my thoughts on purchasing a spray gun).

The chop saw (compound miter saw ) gets a lot of use, especially trimming long pieces of wood.

Chop saw (compound miter saw). I do a mix of woodworking from furniture to built-ins and even finish carpentry, and I find myself regularly using the chop saw. Even if used for nothing more than roughly cutting a long board into two shorter ones to fit in a car, this tool earns its keep. It is especially useful (with the help of an outfeed table) on long pieces that are precarious to push through a table saw. But, since a table saw with a jig can perform many of the same functions, this tool doesn’t make it to the essential list. With that said, I expect to have a chop saw wherever I am working, whether it be in the shop or at an install. If this was a post about on-site woodworking and trim carpentry, the chop saw might be the #1 tool.

I have three impact drivers and could use more.

Impact driver. I am a giant fan of impact drivers. I have been using them for a while now and can’t really remember my life before them (Click here to read more about my introduction to impact drivers). This is the one tool that I always have with me, and I expect to be within easy reach. So much so, that I own three of them and could imagine myself with a couple more. Like the chop saw, if this was a list of on-site or installation tools, the impact driver would be near the top.

The FatMax is my favorite tape measure.

Tape measure. I know this isn’t a power tool, but it is the one tool that you should always have with you. It is a pet peeve of mine – if you are planning on building something, or you are actually building it, have a tape measure with you. If you are in the shop, on the job site, or even at Home Depot make sure you have a tape measure with you or at least one very handy (Home Depot probably isn’t the best example, since they have them widely available, but you get the point). Without a tape measure, not much beyond rough work can get done. (Click here to read about my favorite tape measure).


Categories: General Woodworking

@ Handworks 2017 – Original Roubo Print 275

The Barn on White Run - Sat, 05/13/2017 - 7:42pm

The item listed tonight is Print #275, “Small Commodes, Corner Cabinets, and Chiffoniers.”

The page has the charming misalignment of other pages from L’art du Menuisier when the paper and the engraved plate were not perfectly aligned, resulting in an image that is slightly askew.    the print is in very good condition within the image boundaries, but there is some staining on the perimeter of the page and one corner has a slight loss, and the price reflects these.

The composition and engraving of the copper plate were done 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.



I'm done.....maybe.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 05/13/2017 - 1:12am
I've been working OT now for a couple of months and my number goal was to funnel every OT dollar I made into my bills. Well I'm finally almost there. On june first I will pay off my last bill and be debt free except for the mortgage. That will be paid off in 2021 which is also the year I am shooting to retire on the last day.

I suffered a bit a relapse today where I went a bit nutso buying things. I saw a beautifully restored Stanley 358 miter box for $179 (with all the parts). That price includes shipping but it doesn't come with a saw. I have a Diston saw from my paperweight 358 that I can use there. If it doesn't fit, Lie Neilsen makes replacements.

The miter box was followed by my acquisition of a Stanley #2 type 11. This one looked pretty good in the pics and I have my fingers crossed on it. Before I ponied up my $$, I inquired about the return policy. If I'm not satisfied with it, they will accept it back. I'll get this probably tuesday or wednesday.

I found a lever cap for my 5 1/2 on eBay. Although I loathe buying anything off eBay, I have had good luck buying plane parts there (knocking on wood). I haven't found any of the tool mongers I frequent selling plane parts other than an occasional plane iron and never screws, chipbreakers, etc.

The last parts I bought were two brass barrel nuts and two brass toe screws for the tote. These four parts are replacement modern ones. I won't be getting these until after June 10th. The seller is jammed up with orders and isn't accepting any new ones until then.

I'm calling my collection of Stanley planes done. I have the 10 1/2 so I don't need to get the #10. I have zero interest in the #1 but all of this is subject to change. For now, once I get the 5 1/2 rehabbed and then the #2, there will be much joy and dancing in the streets of Mudville.

Another short night in the shop and I was prepared to put in OT there tonight. Ran smack dab into an accident on the way home. It was avoidable too as I came around the bend there it was. No chance to back up and go home on 95. And I was third in line to find it. Both drivers refused to move their cars until the cops got there so I got to do a Rorschach test on the cloud formations in the sky for over 30 minutes.

the after pics
This is what they looked like after soaking in Bar Keeps for about an hour while I had dinner (Thursday). Almost all the black crap is gone but I don't have shiny brass. And I like my brass to be shiny.
parts are done bathing
I pulled out the parts and put them all in a strainer. I rinsed them off with hot water in the kitchen sink and the blew them dry with my shop hair dryer.

sanded the top of one of the barre nuts
This will shine up ok but the slot is mangled up a bit and I don't like it. The other one is better but I'm not happy with how that looks neither.

these parts I'm keeping
these parts I'm replacing
The two screws are for the adjuster tab (the smaller one} and the larger screw is for the toe on the tote. The tab adjust screw is iffy because I'm not sure if I have one of them in my plane parts goodie box. I think I do but on the other hand I have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast at lunchtime. If I don't have one I'll use it. I'm replacing it because it has a pebbled look on the entire head.

first time I've seen this
I don't recall ever seeing the plane # being marked on the frog.

quick check on the iron
It looks like I have a hump on the back of the iron. I got the chipbreaker prepped and I rounded the corners on the plane iron. Another thing I'll finishing prepping tomorrow.

I got a replacement screw for the chipbreaker. I got the lever cap for the 5 1/2 from the same seller of the chipbreaker screw. I had bought 4 of them from him and I only needed one. It is nice to have spares.

still not shiny
I cleaned this up with orange cleaner and stuck in the Bar Keep and water stuff left over from yesterday for 20 minutes. A little cleaner but not shiny.

improved this look
I don't have time to do it now but tomorrow I'll do the Bar Keeps dance steps with this. I'll do it as many times as I have to until I get the shine I want.

shiny brass adjuster on the going back #2
I have a ways to go to match this but it's time to quit the shop for today.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was the first black presidential candidate nominated at a national political convention?
answer - Fredrick Douglas in 1888

This Blog Took A While To Write. Not Sure It Was Worth It.

The Furniture Record - Sat, 05/13/2017 - 12:46am

Way to sell a blog, huh? Right up front, warning the reader that they might be facing fifteen minutes of their life they’ll never get back. If you’re smart, you’ll click-through to Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic blog. Today I hear she is covering when to use Alabaster, when Pure White may be a better choice and under what conditions Snowbound is right. Dover white was covered in a previous blog.

Today’s topic is Modern Designs from the Barcelona Museum of Design. This exhibit filled an entire floor of the aforementioned museum in the aforementioned city. From their opening placard:

From the World to the Museum

Product Design, Cultural Heritage

In almost everything we do throughout the day, we use one or more objects. If we want to sit down, we use a chair; to do laundry, we use a washing machine; to see each other, we turn on lights… These objects, which have a host of different designs and purposes, accompany us throughout our lives and show us how just as the world changes, so do objects.

How is it, then, that certain objects come to be a part of the Museum’s collection but not others? Each of the pieces on display is considered a representative sample of the design of its time, of the different material and technical contributions proposed by their designers, as well as of their sociocultural resonance.

Product design is one of our great forms of cultural heritage. After all, when we set our sights on Barcelona or Catalonia, now or a few years from now, we will only be able to understand how we lived if we if we know that objects we had by our sides, and some of them are now part of the Museum’s collection.

I thought it was a very interesting exhibit. The problem arose when trying to write the blog. It wasn’t all that different from the modern designs we are used to. Modernism seems to have transcended borders. (I always wanted to use transcended in a blog. Well, not always, but for a while.)

Does this chair scream Spain when you see it?


The classic Butterfly chair in leather.

A quick story about this design. As a wee lad, I was drug to a store where my mother located one of these chairs in yellow fabric with black piping discounted because of a large scratch on the frame. She claimed the damaged chair and raced to back the stack to see if she could find another imperfect unit. Not finding another and lacking a tool to install a matching scratch, mother then started arguing with an assistant manager to discount a second chair because one chair just wouldn’t do. He relented, not because of her clear and remarkable logic but the belief it was worth the $10 to be rid of her, thus rewarding bad behavior.

I am still traumatized by the sight of these chairs.

This chair is also familiar:


I’ve not seen this exact chair but certainly some close cousins.

And their motorcycle, like most motorcycles, has a wheel in the front, one in the rear connected to a centrally mounted engine by a chain, with a seat, handle bars and a tail light:


An early ’70’s Montesa Cota 247 trials bike. I think. Let me know if you know or think you know better. The elongated, one piece gas tank is a nice touch, though.

These chairs are all familiar:


Have you seen most of these? I believe I have.

Why does furniture of this era remind me of 1950’s Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoons?


Used without permission or knowledge of Warner Bros. Studios or their successor companies.

Of course, there is some unfamiliar furniture to be seen:


Pink and green is back…

And this chair is among one of the most creative cross uses of technology I’ve seen:


The face is familiar but I can’t place the name.

The exhibit provides this explanation:


Kinda makes you want to see what you have squirreled away in the basement, doesn’t it?

Another placard in the exhibit states:


With type big enough I didn’t have to retype it…

If interested, you can see the entire photo set HERE.

April 19, 2017 Meeting

NCW Woodworking Guild - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 9:29pm
Steve Voorhies/Wall cabinet

Wall cabinet made of mahogany, ebony and padauk by Steve Voorhies, our host. The Japanese characters come from a calligraphy by Soetsu Yanagi and means “absolute compassion.” Published in his book The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty, Yanagi challenges the conventional ideas of art and beauty, the value of things made by an anonymous craftsman, and the value of handwork. Steve touts Yanagi’s book as “a wonderful book on aesthetics.”

Steve hosted our April 2017 meeting at his home in Wenatchee. The turn-out was better than expected, and because it was one of the first fine spring days, we all gathered outside Steve and Sally’s house for conversation and introductions. If you would, please help us identify those attendees listed as unknown by dropping a note to Chris at church.chris@gmail.com.


L-R: Stan Simmons, Tom Ross, Roger Volkmann, unknown


L – R: Dan Kerr, Esther Zimmerman, Lynn Palmer, Maryanne Patton, and Willy Joslin.


Steve Voorhies, Willy Joslin, unknown, unknown


Sally Voorhies and Clyde Markey


Steve Noyes


Once introductions were over, we were treated to a tour of the furniture Steve has made for he and his wife, Sal. Included here are only a few.


Dining room table and chairs made in the Greene and Greene style


Framed mirror

This will be Steve’s pièce de résistance: this nearly completed Federal-style serpentine sideboard designed by Steve Latta.  Fine Woodworking did a multi-part article on building this beauty, and the making of it has tested Steve’s skills. He’s done a terrific job.


Federal serpentine sideboard made of mahogany, with holly inlay and stringing


After we made our way into the shop, Autumn gave a presentation on how to sharpen scrapers using diamond stones, and Chris Church explained how to tune-up a table saw so it will cut straight and square.


Chris Church demonstrating how to align the miter slot to the blade.

We would like to thank all of the guild members who attended and look forward to seeing you again in the near future.


@ Handworks 2017 – Original Roubo Print 274

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 6:13pm

Finally, we get to a picture of some furniture!  In this page from L’art du Menuisier, #274, “Plans and Elevations of a Common Commode,” Roubo continues a tutorial that runs throughout the entire opus — the exposition on and exhortation towards the creation of stylistic beauty.   Here he provides several options for interpreting what we would call a dresser, but they named commode.

The print is in excellent condition, with the expected oxidation of 250 years at the perimeter of the page.  As with some others in my inventory it has the charming feature unique to hand-printing pages, namely that the plate and the page were not perfectly aligned and are thus slightly askew.

The composition and engraving of the copper plate were done 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.


Intricacies of a Stanley #244 Miter Box

360 WoodWorking - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 4:13pm
Intricacies of a Stanley #244 Miter Box

If you have a Stanley #244 miter box, or are looking to purchase one, there are a few unique features of which you should be aware. In order to make your setup work as it should, your saw has to be equipped with a small post-like part that’s attached to its spine.

That small part, which is often lost or not included with the purchased of the miter box, trips the automatic catch that allows the saw to release from a locked position in order for the blade to drop onto your workpiece.

Continue reading Intricacies of a Stanley #244 Miter Box at 360 WoodWorking.


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