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General Woodworking

My Latest

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 6:01am

The newest PopWood arrived int he mail recently and it contains my latest article for them.  If the topic interests you, I hope you will join me at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking where my workshop on parquetry will revolve around making and using these jigs.

plow plane box pt II........

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 1:34am
In april of 2011 I finally made my first dovetail box. I had started to teach myself how to do dovetails in feb of 2011 by making boxes. One crappy box after another. But one thing I noticed was that each one was a little less crappy then the preceding one. I still wasn't getting a complete box but I was closing in on it.  Tonight I dry fitted my umpteenth box and I thought back to the first one and how it made me feel.

I still have that box and every so often I take it out to look at and compare it to my latest one. I did that tonight. The joints on my first one look like the ones I did tonight. My confidence in myself to whack out a set of dovetails is way higher than then. I saw faster without hesitating and I  chop the pin/tail waste out almost nonchalantly now. I'm comfortable doing dovetails whether they are through or half blinds. I still get that feeling now everytime I put a box together off the saw.

prepping my chisels
When I layout my dovetails, I do them without checking to make sure a chisel mates up perfectly for chopping the pin and tails.  These 3 chisels will fit in all the pins and tails. I did a quick hone and a strop of them before chopping them out.

dry fitted
I didn't get it off the saw. I had to trim 4 pins before I got the corners home.

quick check on the contents fitting
I made this box a little tighter on the interior than I normally do. Everything fits without rubbing against it's neighbor and I don't see any problems with putting things in or taking them out.

one block doing triple duty
I plan on making a slot to hold the conversion fence (for irons larger then 3/8").  One hole for the brass screw and two holes for the fence rods to sit in. I'm thinking of using a block with a slot in it to hold the plane too. The box with the irons will probably hang out loose up against the back wall.

this is getting better too
One of first things I improved on was closing the gap on the half pins and I'm improving on my corners lining up. This is the top and it's about a 32nd shy? The other side is flush.

3 flush and 1 shy on the bottom
I flushed the bottom and checked it for twist. I left it in the clamps so I wouldn't have to take it out of them and put it back. No twist on the bottom.

I was having trouble seeing any twist by sighting over the sticks from the end of the bench.

there was a tiny bit of twist
The far left corner and the right front one are high. I took a couple of very thin see through shavings and checked it again. It took 3 dance steps before there was any joy and no twist.

set my distance from the edge and the depth
This plow plane is an absolute joy to use. After using the Record 405 (Stanley 45 equivalent) it's like going from riding a bike to driving a car. It is nimble, light, easier to set and change over and I find it so much easier to plow a groove with it.

plowed my grooves
I went with the grooves plowed straight on through. I like stopped grooves but I also like plugging the holes with a dark wood. The contrast between the white pine and walnut (if I have any) will look good. If I don't have walnut, I have some padauk I can use.

length for the bottom stick
I had the other side installed and I squared the both of them before I cut this stick to fit inbetween the grooves.

repeat for the short dimension
Tomorrow I'll make the bottom and hopefully get this glued up. I should have this done by the weekend at the latest.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is the country once known as Burma now called?
answer - Myanmar

Precious Time

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 5:19am

As we run-up this week to nuptials for Younger Daughter we were blessed with a visit from her last weekend. Much of the time she spent with Mrs. Barn doing wedding-y stuff, but she spent a few hours in the shop with me turning a bowl.  The wood for this bowl came from a plum tree in the Maryland house yard that died of natural causes some years ago (she remembers climbing the tree as a tyke), and I harvested the wood and set it aside for something special.  This definitely fits the description.

I had in recent months found the faceplate for the lathe and ordered a threaded insert from Woodcraft so it could be put to work.  Before she arrived I mounted the piece on the faceplate and roughed it round (she is not yet experienced enough to bring a really rough piece to round comfortably).  The lathe is a bit high for her, so in the early stages she was most comfortable with the scraper tucked in the armpit.  I will be building a lower base in the coming weeks.

I gave her only a few pointers as she developed the outer shape she wanted.

Before long she had the outer surface defined and embarked on an initial sanding and polishing.

With the base established and the shape determined it was time to remove the faceplate in favor of the small bowl chuck and get started excavating the interior.

Soon she was in pretty deep.

We stopped for the night, but on returning the next day she refined the shape and surface.

To be sure the watchful papa bear was never far from the action.  The working height was just plain awkward for her but she hung in there without complaint.

After the final shaping she moved to sanding and then polishing with beeswax melted into the surface, buffed with a linen rag while turning.  She particularly liked my method of placing a dry sponge between the hand and the sandpaper, it allows greater vigor with less heat.

And here it is, an heirloom with a priceless memory attached.  In all likelihood it was our final private time together with her as Miss Barndaughter until those moments just before I walk her down the aisle, and it was a precious treasure.

Doggone, something must’ve flown into my eye…


sunday shop work.......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 1:34am
It was a beautiful day in my part of the universe. Bright sunshine, blue skies with fluffy clouds, and temps in the 70's with no humidity. I could take days like this 365 without any whimpering at all. But it won't last as fall is upcoming and than my 63rd winter. I'm getting old now that I can say, ".....55 years ago, I was ......" but I guess I'm lucky that I can still remember it too.

trying a bigger starter hole
 I tried one size up from 5/32 to see if a slightly larger starter hole would make a difference. I got the 12v cordless to work on tapping the hole. The key is to not go too long in one direction. Go down a little and back it off and repeat. Kind of like tapping metal and reversing to clear chips.

only got about an extra 1/8" with just my fingers
went up to the next sized hole
 Continuing with the wood tap and in an identical sized hole I will try a metal, 1/4-20 tap.

roughly half way but still not deep enough for finger work
the 1/4-20 wins
I can screw this all the way down and all the way out with just finger pressure.

this is still a good tap
This is a good tool but it won't work in the way I want it too. For making jigs and making a secure wood to wood connection with a metal screw or bolt, this wins over the 1/4-20 tap. Both have a place in my shop. I'll be using these taps when I install my hardware on the new workbench.

gaps to fill
 I am going to add a filler in the gap on the side that the 1/4-20 thumbscrew is. If not I could dish the 1/8" panel and possibly damage it. Up in the air as to whether or not the other one will be done.

sawing out a filler piece
flushed the plywood panels to the bottom
sized the filler side to side

set the marking gauge off the pencil line on the block of wood
ran my gauge line and I'm going to try and split off the waste
it worked much better that I expected it
I had to split off the waste by chopping it 1/2 way from the top and then the bottom.

planed it down to the gauge lines
it fits but it is too snug
I want a bit of daylight between the filler and the drill caddy block so it will slip in and out easily.

planed a bit more and glued it in place
slight round over on the top
finished it with some 100 grit sandpaper
much nicer feeling now
layout for the 1/4-20 and drilled a pilot hole through both
two different sized holes drilled next
A 17/64" hole for the thumbscrew in the cover and a 7/32 hole in the drill caddy for tapping it.

hole tapped
I started the tapping of the hole with the tap in the drill press. I went down just far enough to get it going straight and square and finished it by hand.

will they line up?
yes they did
this is going to work good for this
a coat of poly
I would have used shellac on this but the numbers on the drill caddy were done with a sharpie. Sharpie's ink is alcohol based and shellac smears it. After this first coat has dried overnight, I'll put on a few coats of shellac and this will be done.

new shelf for the finishing cabinet
It is just shy on the width of the cabinet and it is 2" longer than needed. I planed this top edge flat and square.

neither end is square
I sawed it to length about a 1/8" strong.

squared up the ends
It took a few dance steps involving plane and check the fit before it did.

new shelf done
I stuck the smaller width one that was here up behind the cabinet at the top. See the end sticking out?

sanded and planed the aris off
I am thinking of painting this the same color as the finishing cabinet but I'm going to hold off on it.  I don't know if the paint color will interfere with my sighting over the winding sticks.

lost the measurements for the box - height redone
length done
width done
double check on the width
height laid out
waste sawn off
4 box parts sawn
ran into a hiccup
I was having a few problems squaring the ends up on the box parts. The height wasn't parallel so I couldn't square the ends up and have the two match. Planing multiple parts to be the same width continues to slap me upside the head. Sometimes I nail it but most of the time I get a mismatch.

I ran all the box parts through the tablesaw to get them parallel. I was then able to square the ends and have them all match up and be flush with each other.

got my continuous grain flow around the box
The grain on this wood is not that pronounced but you can see it. Maybe it will pop a bit more when a finish is applied.

my first one
used it to check where the tails and pins go
prepping my chisels for the dovetailing
stopped here
Tails are chopped and the pins are sawn and the baselines have been knifed. All I have to do is chop them out. That will happen tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is boustrophedon?
answer - writing in alternate directions one line to the next (ie one line R to L and the next L to R)

Historic Finishing Workshop – Part 2

The Barn on White Run - Sun, 08/27/2017 - 1:39pm

With the foundation laid for good finishing it was time to move on to undulating surfaces, the kind of finishing that gives many woodworkers fits and nightmares.  Fortunately it is no more complicated or straightforward than finishing plain flat surfaces.  It’s all about surface prep, varnish prep, and tool selection.

Switching to the “carver’s model” polissoir the surfaces were burnished in preparation for varnishing.

Then, on to applying the varnish.  The true key to success is the right brush, a fine bristle watercolor “Filbert” with a rounded tip.

The Filbert allows for tremendously good “drape” of the bristles around the surface, not sqeegeing off varnish with the resulting runs like you might get with a square tip brush.

A few applications of the shellac varnish to these surfaces and they were ready to set aside, to be burnished with steel wool and waxed later on.

Next we revisited the luan panels we had started the day before, undertaking a light scraping with disposable razor blades followed by a brief but vigorous rubbing with 0000 steel wool.  I have found scraping to be not only historically accurate (obviously not with modern disposable razor blades, but the concept and practice are still the same) but now to be an integral component in my finishing process.

Then another inning of shellac application, followed at the end of the day by the third and final inning.  By then the surface was beginning to get some sparkle.

One last exercise was to finish a raised panel door.  I do not recall where these came from but they have served me well in this regard for many moons.  Again, a few applications of shellac followed by rubbing out with steel wool and paste wax yielded a luxuriant surface.

The large panels were rubbed out the third morning with steel wool and wax, and buffed with soft cloth.  The result was, as one participant said, “The best looking piece of luan ever!”

By mid-day on Sunday the party started breaking up, but the students left with a new confidence and a sharpened set of skills.  Folks may be reluctant to come to The Barn on White Run because of its remote location, but once here they always love it and go home with more knowledge and skill than they arrived with.  That’s not a bad outcome.

Learning to scythe a wildflower meadow in Manchester

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Sun, 08/27/2017 - 7:48am
What am I doing in Manchester on matchday with a car full of scythes? Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Dentil Molding, Box & Knuckle Joints

360 WoodWorking - Sun, 08/27/2017 - 5:52am
Dentil Molding, Box & Knuckle Joints

What do dentil molding and box and knuckle joints have in common? If you look at the opening photo, you’ll get a hint. What do you see?

I’ll tell you what I see. I see a woodworking jig that is super easy to make in the shop, and is extremely accurate when properly constructed. And better yet, this jig is multi-purpose in so far as it is used to produce each of the items mentioned in the post’s title.

Continue reading Dentil Molding, Box & Knuckle Joints at 360 WoodWorking.

saturday in pics.....

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 08/27/2017 - 2:48am
Today's output will be a pic post with captions like I did last weekend.  I got one project done, started another one, and finally expended some calories on planing the plow plane box boards to thickness. I ended my shop day by playing with some molding planes. All and all a good day in the shop.

screws to reinforce the brush box hangers
no back needed - the cabinet side will be the back
planed the door and the box until I got a seamless joint line - this is the hinge side
hinge from Ace Hardware - not too crappy for the $$$
fairly thick with a big hinge pin
I'm getting much better at installing hinges
the first of a couple of brain farts
I set the hinge on the wrong side of the tic mark.

brain fart #2 - hinged the door on the wrong side
I wanted the door to open going from the other side. This will still work because the door opens 180°.

hinges set and I marked the door for the overhang
the top and bottom aren't planed flush but the long side was
square and about a 32nd proud - this way I won't see the inside frame of the box with it closed
This was a huge PITA to get hung. Most of the headaches came from me working in a dark area and not being able to clearly see what I was doing. Reading the bubble on the level was almost impossible to see even with a flashlight. &&^#&**$!&*)(*&$#%^ cataracts.

got room for a couple of more brushes - I can hang some on the door too
one last problem - the bottom hinge is hinge bound - the door won't lay flat
I made the mortise too deep for this hinge. I put a couple of pieces of cardboard from a tissue box behind the hinge to build up the mortise.

magnetic catch
I have two of these on my medicine cabinet and I'm not impressed with them. The brush box door stays closed without a catch so I'll skip a catch on it for now.

drill caddy is next - scrap of ash and it needs 8 holes
needed help with the 10mm bit
I finally found a big drill bit that was a bit over 10mm. I wallowed the bit some as I drilled it to give some slop in the hole. It was a bit too snug drilled straight through.

holes done

drilled these two again - not enough slop for my liking
box slip on cover coming - plowed 1/8" grooves on both edges
I don't have anyplace to keep the drill caddy in the shop that would be safe. I don't want the bits getting damaged so I am making a slip on cover for the drill caddy.

fence is square to the ledge but the board is off square
squared the fence to plane
dead nuts square now
need a recess for the side to slip over the caddy
This will key the two parts together and keep the drill caddy from flopping around.

hand chopped the recess about an 1/8" deep
it's a loose fit
router got both recesses to the same depth
dry fit of the sides
slips over the drill caddy easily - there is no bottom on this
mitering the top
left the lines
planed to the same length
marking the top a bit long and I'll plane it to fit
what I have to plane off
dry fit is good and it is square - glued it up and set it aside
I will secure the half box on the drill caddy with a 1/4-20 thumbscrew
I have four different taps made specifically for making threads in wood.

I done threads in wood before with good results
comes with a chart
chamfered the top edge and the holes
#6 used first to get close to the lines
low area
I avoided planing this until I got the rest of the gauge lines to be close to this low spot.

switched to the #5 here, then the 4 1/2, and finally the #3
the thicknessing herd
both boards to thickness - tomorrow I can start to make the box
stickered overnight
Tomorrow these will be ready to start on the box. If all is well I will smooth the reference face with the #3 and make a box.

decided to make a practice run on this
had to switch drills
My 12v cordless couldn't handle drilling the tap in and out. It went in to this point and gave up. It wouldn't back it out or go down further. The corded drill didn't have any problems running the tap in and out of this ash.

as far as I can get it with my fingers - about a 1/4"

had to use pliers to get in this far and back it out
I don't think this this tap is made for use where the screw/bolt is to be removed on a regular basis. I may have to come up with another option of this.

looks a half of  an astragal profile
back of the iron - pretty clean
front of the iron - not very sharp but relatively clean

I know this has a quirk but not I'm sure what the name of this profile is
back of the iron
the front - looks sharp but it isn't
this is what matters the most
In my limited experience with molding planes I have found that dull is not a deal killer. What is, is the iron and the sole match up. This iron is on the dull side but it still planed the profile and the match between the iron and the sole is real good.

found another plane with the same profile but smaller
bottom left and top right
I don't see enough of  difference to see the need to have both of these.

 burr on the back
looks like this side has some kind of bluing on it
it looks ratty looking but it is in pretty good shape
the boxing on the back of the mouth is loose
This side I can pull it out and the other one, just up and down a little by the mouth. Both of these are easy to fix.

couldn't get the profile
This plane has no spring lines nor an edge to ride against the edge of the board. Maybe this one is meant to be used with a fence or against a molded edge?

worse looking iron so far
back side - ten minutes on the stones and this will look totally different
what is stamped on the plane
This plane has my attention - how do you plane a profile with it?
tried using the bevel on the edge and got nowhere
I will rehab this one first because I want to figure out how to use it.  And this was the end of my day in the shop on saturday.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is the only bird that can fly backwards?
answer - the hummingbird

Amusements From an Auction.

The Furniture Record - Sat, 08/26/2017 - 8:39pm

With everything going on out there, I thought it might be nice to look at a few (slightly) amusing things I found at a recent auction. First up is this chair:

Pair of Venetian Carved Oak Curule Chairs

Description: Mid 20th century, relief carved crest rail with arms terminating in lions heads and rings, raised on ball and claw feet, crest rail detaching to allow chair to fold.

Size34 x 24 x 19 in.

Note: Purchased by consignor in Venice.


This lot has sold for $250. (Pair)

We’ve all seen various versions of this chair and wondered what’s its story.  From Wikipedia:

curule seat is a design of chair noted for its uses in ancient and Europe through to the 20th century. Its status in early Rome as a symbol of political or military power carried over to other civilizations, as it was also utilized in this regard by Kings in Europe, Napoleon, and others.

My question: Does it fold?



And the lions match:



Next, we have:

Antique English Oak Tantalus

Description: Circa 1900, oak case with silverplate mounts, locking hinged handle releases three cut glass decanters.

Size13 x 14 x 5 in.


This lot has sold for $320.

An attractive and interesting way to carry and display your best liquor. Then you notice the lock on the handle:


It won’t prevent theft but it might reduce pilferage.

Again, from Wikipedia:

Tantalus is a small wooden cabinet containing two or three decanters. Its defining feature is that it has a lock and key. The aim of that is to stop unauthorised people drinking the contents (in particular, “servants and younger sons getting at the whisky”),[1]while still allowing them to be on show. The name is a reference to the unsatisfied temptations of the Greek mythological character Tantalus.

Not to be confused with Tantalus, a Greek mythological figure, most famous for his eternal punishment in Tartarus.

(Also, not to be confused with the Tantalus Field of the original Star Trek, season 2, episode 4, Mirror, Mirror. Bad Kirk)

And finally, this:

Cast Bronze Figure of a Rabbit

Description: Late 20th century, patinated bronze, possibly Maitland Smith, unmarked.

Size: 16 in.


This lot has sold for $150.

What was he holding? Could it be a Confederate rabbit? A Federal rabbit?

August 1914, a Family Mystery Solved.

Tico Vogt - Sat, 08/26/2017 - 6:26am

The first blog entry about my father’s inventing career (September 2011) was titled “Covington, Kentucky, A Family Mystery.” (Click here to read it.) My sister, Sarah Vogt, and I were beginning to document the timeline of his personal and professional life. His scrap book from high school, college, and three years following had recently been sent to me by my (now late) half sister, Emily Postma. There were no clarifying remarks or dates on the photos, and they weren’t necessarily in chronological order. There was a letter of introduction to a bank in England and a photo of him (on the right) sitting with an unknown gentleman.













The post raised a question as to why he was making a transatlantic voyage in 1914- was it specific to his delay detonation device for missiles (click here to read about it), a topic also being researched?

The story has since been filled in and this post is an update. The military patent came later, and this trip was to advance his knowledge of refrigeration, with visits to refrigerating manufacturers (presumably) in France and Germany.

From a publication called “Ice and Refrigeration” under the heading “Frigerous Particulars” (August 1914) was this announcement:

“Clarence W. Vogt, of the Henry Vogt Machine Company, Louisville, KY, sailed July 13 on the S.S. New Amsterdam to visit the various icemaking and refrigerating plants in Europe.”

Little did he know how short- lived his visit would be, and of the earth shaking event whose beginning he would witness first hand.

The following nine pictures are scanned from his scrap book. The first is of an unmarked liner.

The next is of an automobile showroom with the name BENZ. The details are clearer on the actual photograph.

The next four images are from a seaside location where bathhouses on wheels were rolled into the surf.

Cars and women in swimsuits. Welcome, 20th century!

The final three are taken at an outdoor market. As I woodworker, I am drawn to the crates, boxes, and wine cart.










































































































































































































We have no specific information as to his initial travels once he reached Southampton, or his proposed itinerary. We do know, from oral history, where he was on August 4, 1914:

“One evening when I was a child, Daddy told me many stories about experiences he’d had in wartime Europe. His stories were so vivid that I have remembered the details very clearly (even though I wasn’t old enough then to have any real understanding). Here’s one. Daddy told me that he’d gone to Europe to study advances in refrigeration. One night, when he was attending a ‘dance hall’ in Belgium, the music stopped. And over the PA system came the announcement that the Germans were invading their country at that very moment!! The questions that I have for him now!” – Sarah Vogt.

The Rape of Belgium was soon to follow.




















He then joined the mad scramble of thousands of Americans fleeing the continent. The Louisville Journal, Sunday August 16th, had front page stories of accounts of:

“The Plights of Louisvillians Stranded in Europe by the Invasion 2 Aug’14.”

“Escape Russia On Last Train” “Harrowing Journey Across The Frontier To Berlin” “Miss Ada Lewis Hart Writes of Race For Safety” “Louisville Feminine Party Arrives In London” “Hasty Departure. Letter Gives Experience Of Louisville Party In Paris.”

Among the listings is “Three Arrive From Europe. Miss McGill, Miss Maloney and Clarence Vogt Now In New York.”















“Clarence W. Vogt, who was touring abroad, arrived Wednesday night on the Philadelphia, according to a communication received from him yesterday. Mr. Vogt stated he had been forced to travel in the steerage of the liner for a part of the voyage from Southampton, from which port the Philadelphia sailed August 6th. He said that he managed, however, to get into the first cabin on the second day out. He is now stopping at the Knickerbocker, in New York, but will leave to-day for a short visit to his mother in Bay View, Mich., after which he will return home.”

A few things to note about the above. My father’s personal force and drive were such that the poor steward on the ship Philadelphia had no chance- place my father in steerage? He was lucky not to have been tossed to the waves.











My father’s youngest brother, Alvin, was a fraternity brother at Princeton University of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s and they gambled together at the Knickerbocker Hotel.

My grandfather, Adam Vogt, had built a home in Bay View, Michigan, renowned for the freshest air in America, as a summer residence at the Chautauqua retreat for my grandmother in particular, to escape the brutal Louisville summer heat and humidity.






















Clarence’s arrival in Michigan was confirmed by this telegram announcement:

















He returned to life with his young wife, Ruth (née Duncan) in Louisville and continued work for the HVMC. When the US went to war, he was called up in the first draft, by-passed boot camp, and went directly as vice-lieutenant to the Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia where he solved the technical issues on the delay detonation device for missiles. From there he went to serve in France as a captain in the in 4th Ordnance Heavy Artillery. More on this in a later post.


brush box pt 1.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 08/26/2017 - 12:36am
Is winter coming early? It has gone from hot and muggy days to cool nights. The last two nights were in the high 50'sF (13°C). Tonight is supposed to dip down to 55°F. Labor day is right around the corner which means 6 more weeks and the trees will be turning colors and dropping leaves. I like the seasons here in New England but I can't wait until I'm retired so I won't care what is on the ground.

24" x 30" 9mm (3/8") plywood
I got this from Woodcraft and it was $13and change. I could have gotten a smaller piece but what I don't use for the plow plane box I'll save for later boxes.

I got asked why plywood for the bottom and not solid wood. After all I'm a wanna be hand tool woodworker? I plan on gluing blocks in the box to hold the plane and the two fences. With plywood I can ignore expansion and contraction issues. I can also ignore any potential problems with any cross grain gluing. Plywood gives me freedom to position gluing blocks wherever I need them. I think the plywood bottom will be stronger too.

from last night
After I had glued up the box last night, I came back to the shop to check it out. I had noticed when gluing it that it was twisted a lot more than I wanted it to be. So 30 minutes later I clamped the box down to a board and let that set up until tonight. Now is the moment of truth and will the box still be flat on the board?

I got lucky
I was not expecting this to work this well. I looking for some spring back when the clamps came off but I got none. I flipped the box over onto the other side and it laid flat there too.

plenty of room
I knew it would be way too long but it's good to see all 3 fit side by side.

it's eventual home
Next batter is how to keep on the side of the cabinet?

it isn't laying flat anymore
I planed the top and bottom and it looks like I planed some twist back into it.

this confirmed the twist
Both sides were twisted at the same corners. I got rid of one side fairly quickly but this side is throwing a hissy fit. I want to minimize how much I remove so that I don't plane too much and thin the half pins anymore than I have to.

halved the twist check
Three trimming runs and I still had a bit of twist. The far right corner was reading high. On this half check there is no twist. The 1/2 check to other end has twist. It took two plane trimming dance steps to get rid of it.

checked the long sides too
I wasn't expecting twist this way and I was mostly checking for a hump. I had neither of them.

bottom fitted
I want to secure the box to the cabinet side at the top and bottom. I will glue two pieces of wood in the box and screw them to the cabinet securing the box flat and tight.

sawing out the top one
The bottom one is a 1 1/2" wide but the top one is 2 1/4" wide. The top one will doing double duty. One it will be holding the box up and two, it will be where the brushes will hang from.

the twisted board from the plow plane box
The width is almost perfect and the length is over about 4" or so. I'll try using it as the door for this because it is shop project.

it makes a difference which face is up
gap here and at the bottom short edge
opposite face up
It isn't perfect but more that adequate to use. It is laying flat with almost no gap 360 with this face up (the reference face). We'll see if there is any change come tomorrow when I hinge it.

my hinge choices are a bit slim
I only have one of the brass hinges and that is what I really wanted to go with. The no mortise hinges leave a gap whereas the brass one won't. The no mortise hinges tend to get hinge bound because the countersink for the screw head is too small and it won't allow the hinge to close up flat.

another hiccup
The hinge is a bit wider than the edge which will make it a fun adventure to install. If I make the right edge flush with the interior, the two middle screws will be to close to the outside edge. The brass hinge isn't without it's problems with the biggest one being it's stamped. That makes it flimsy but it should be alright for this light weight door. I'll have to make pit stop at Ace Hardware and see what they have for sale.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is a gyne?
answer - A female social insect (bee, wasp,ant,etc) that has the potential to become a reproductive queen.

Historic Finishing Workshop

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 08/25/2017 - 3:46pm

I recently hosted and taught a “Historic Finishes” workshop at the barn, with five attendees from around the country and my long-time friend DaveR as a teaching collaborator.  The objectives were to help the students overcome any hesitancy about finishing by learning new habits and techniques, and the results of the exercises indicate success.

Our first exercise was the one that was most time sensitive in that it required three inning of finishing over two days, which was pushing the technology  a tad.  Fortunately the weather was cooperative.  The task at hand was to take an essentially unprepared 24″ x 48″ panel of luan from Lowes to see what could be done with it, some well-prepared shellac varnish, and  good brush.  After a brief scuff sanding with 220 they began to lay down the 1-1/2 pound shellac as I have taught multitudes before them.  The purpose is of exercise to overcome the trepidation in applying shellac spirit varnish.

Next came the grain-filling of some solid mahogany panels with molten beeswax as the foundation for pad polishing.  This was how they did it in the old days, and it is still my preferred technique.  The wax was melted in using a tacking iron (I cannot believe I did not get any more of this on camera), then scraping off the excess and buffing it out with linen.

Even at this point the results are impressive and in some circumstances the finishing would be called complete.

DaveR came on stage next to introduce pad spirit-varnish polishing, sometimes known as “French” polishing,

All eyes were glued to Dave as he walked through the process of this technique which has garnered much (undeserved?) mystical reverence.

He demonstrated the process of making a good pad, or “rubber,” which can last a finisher for decades, and before long they all set to making their own.

And the padding began.

And continued.

Before long we were seeing some mighty fine sheen.

It was time to introduce the newest tool in the contemporary finisher’s kit, the polissoir.  Everyone got their own brand new one that needed to be tuned up on a piece of fine sandpaper.

And out to work, first over bare scraped wood, then in concert with beeswax that had been scrubbed on to the surface.

Again, the final results were immediate and gratifying.

Up next, brushing carvings and other undulating surfaces.

a brush box et al.......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 08/25/2017 - 1:26am
I've been thinking about where to stow my shellac brushes. I had made the large drawer in the finishing cabinet specifically for them but now that it is done, I don't like that anymore. The next place that I looked at was the door until I got a comment from Nathan on how was I going to stop them from swinging? So I think I came up with a good, final solution. It fits the main criteria I had for them being in covered storage and readily accessible. But I have twist to it that I'll get to later in the blog.

out of the way
This is a good spot for my big panel gauge. It will mark out to 38" at it's maximum but it is hard to stow. I had it on the other side and moved it to here. I made this in my bigger has to be better phase.

first hanger
Too big and it is plain ugly looking. The hanger sticks out too much  and I would need something else to keep the brushes from swinging when the door is opened and closed.

they will fit in this spot on a nail
The brushes hanging on the inside of the door is dead. I have this space here because of the short width shelf but that is changing. I can stand in front of the cabinet and easily see into the bottom shelf corners with it hanging at this height. There isn't a need for the short width shelf so I'm going to make a full width shelf to replace it. I'll save this one on top of the cabinet.

next choice
I have room to hang the brushes on this side of the cabinet but they won't be covered. On the flip side of the coin I don't have to worry about them swinging.

this would work (box not to scale)
I can make a box to hang on the cabinet and put the brushes in that.

the et al.....
These are latches for a door and I thought they were a hell of lot bigger than this. The 15/64" size in the catalog didn't register and I got fooled by the 64th big number. I'll keep these for a small box and try them out on that. Maybe I can use them on the brush box?

gave in a bought a metric set
I have a 10mm bit for my clock movements and a couple of larger ones (14 & 16 mm) but not a basic set. This is a brad point set from 3mm to 10mm. I'll make a box or a caddy to put these in/on somewhere on down the road.

having no luck with this
This side isn't too bad but the other side has wider spaced and bigger ones. How did that happen?  I'm having no luck finding a machine shop that will mill this flat and square (I would separate the blade from the spine first). Trying to saw with this will be a PITA not to mention they will ruin the roller bearings it'll ride on.

I got this from Timeless Tools and Treasures Store. I am not compensated in any way for this; it is good site to buy vintage tools from. I have been buying from this site for several years. It is one of the 3 tool sites I check every single day.

dead nuts straight
No kinks, bows , or bends. No etch or name on it but it is a clean, rust free saw with a good balance.

could use some help
The tooth line is a little funky but it is sharp with what feels like a reasonably even set.

my miter box awaits it somewhere underneath the wood
If it doesn't fit I'll use the saw to practice filing on.

the last et al......
I bought an almost complete Stanley 71 from Josh at hyperkitten. The only thing missing is the 1/4" iron but I've seen them now and again for sale. The fence has a modern screw in it that I'll have to replace.

the big iron is sharp but grungy looking
nickel plated instead of brass
depth rod is sticky
I'll sand this with 600 grit and see how that works with making it slide smoothly. As is it won't move unless I thump on it.

two problems on the spear point iron
The facets aren't even and the screw is frozen. I hit it with some PB Blaster but I couldn't budge it. I'll let it soak overnight and try it again tomorrow. If there is no joy, I'll try heat to break it free.

breaking it down to parade rest
This router is for my grandson's tool chest. It is in pretty good shape so I won't have to do much to it to get it rehabbed.

stock for the brush box
sawed the one tail on both sides together
pins chopped out

glued and setting up
I had no problems squaring the box up but it would not stay square. I clamped a square on the long corner and I'll leave this until tomorrow. The box is 14" x 7". It is going to need a long and skinny door.

I saved it from the garbage
When I was putting out the garbage on thursday, I pulled this out of the shit can. I couldn't bring myself to toss it and I'll try and use it for something else. All the pissed off feelings I had towards this are gone now.

I got the new stock gauged for thickness at 9/16". 5/8 was awfully close and there were a few spots where the knife wasn't biting on any wood. I need a continuous line 360 to guide me when planing to thickness. I'll do the thicknessing tomorrow after work.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Which US President had the oath of office administered to him by his father?
answer - Calvin Coolidge was sworn in by his justice of the peace father in 1923

PS Made a mistake on the Timeless Tools and Treasure blurb. I was not (I forgot the not) paid for that nor would I accept one. I want this blog to be ad free and solely of my opinions.

Moxon Workbench Vise Giveaway & Review

Wood and Shop - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 8:00pm
Several months ago the folks at Lake Erie Toolworks sent me a "Moxon Vise" to try out. I use their other high-end workbench vise screws in my workshop, so I was eager to see how their Moxon Vise would perform. They are offering a brand new Moxon Vise as a giveaway

CAD to CAM to CNC: Part Four — Creating a 3D Surface

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 8:51am

In earlier posts, I used CAD software to create the 2D design for the BARN Workbench vise chop and the I built a pin registration board for two-sided machining on my CNC. Rather than a square and blocky shape for the vise, I used 3D drawing tools in Rhino3D to give it a gently curved shape. Now, for the fun part: creating 3D textures and patterns that are applied to […]

The post CAD to CAM to CNC: Part Four — Creating a 3D Surface appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

How to Add Feet to a Small Box with Alan Turner

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 7:30am

Let’s face it, a lot of woodworking is really box building. The good news is that a little bit of simple joinery and a little extra effort can make any box look incredible! The perfect example is a jewelry box, or other small-box build. By adding feet to the box it quickly becomes more than a box. The type of feet can define a fairly plain box design by style. Make […]

The post How to Add Feet to a Small Box with Alan Turner appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

how I designed the finishing cabinet.......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 6:53am
The first thing I decided was that I wanted a cabinet and not a shelf or a shelving unit. I am a wee bit nutso on keeping dust off of things so I prefer covered storage if possible. And a cabinet with a door I can close fits that bill.  I also wanted one that I could hang on the wall and stow all my finishing supplies in it. This cabinet project started with me wanting to find someplace to stow my shellac brushes in some kind of covered space and still have them accessible. Not that I need an excuse to make something but this time I identified a need for it.

Before the cabinet was made I had a bazillion cans of finish and other ancillary finishing crap scattered over this corner of the shop. A real eye sore and a PITA at times trying to find something. This was the second driving force for the cabinet. Making it would free up a lot of horizontal storage real estate that I can fill up with other shop crappola. Of which I seem to be able to generate an over abundance of.

was cleared off and now slowly filling back up
The next step was locating a spot for it in my phone booth sized shop. I wanted it reasonably close to the bench so I wouldn't have to pack a lunch to go to it. This was the hardest thing to do. I don't have a lot of vacant wall space but by removing an existing shelf, I got a hole to stick it in. Once the hole was established I measured it to get a rough idea of how big I could make it. With a rough idea of how large of a cabinet I could make, I turned my limited attention span to what I wanted to put in it.

That entailed putting on the workbench all the cans, brushes, jars, boxes, etc that I wanted to put in the cabinet. Moving things around, spreading them out, and stacking them on each other gave me a visual for how tall, wide, and deep to make the cabinet. I played with this until the measurements I got were to my liking and fit the stuff I wanted in the cabinet.

This cabinet is just a big box. If you can make a small box then making this shouldn't be a problem. You can dovetail the corners, use butt joints with nails or screws, rabbet joints, finger joints, through mortise and tenons, or in my case, a rabbeted tongue joint. I have made a lot of cabinets with this joint and this time I made them by hand.

scraped off a blob of paint and I can't seem to remember to paint it again -  this is want I call a rabbeted tongue joint
The interior space is based on what is going in it. I wanted some drawers in mine and in the end I made 2. One small one and a large one about twice the size of the smaller one. I like the asymmetrical look of this. My original drawer count was 5, pared down to 3, and finally the two.

I am not a fan of adjustable shelving because I don't like the multiple holes that you see. Shelf standards aren't much better. With either one, you don't get that invisible look as to how is the shelf holding itself up? But fixed shelving would have locked me into something I wouldn't be able to change down the road. I put in two adjustable shelves with the necessary pin holes that will allow me put a shelf within 6" of the top and 8" of the bottom. One shelf is not as wide as the other to allow easier eyeballing of what is beneath it. I don't want anything to die in some dark corner of the bottom shelf because I couldn't see it.

my offset shelves

Now that I knew what size to make the cabinet it was time to do the joinery. I had already decided on a rabbeted tongue joint. But it doesn't matter and don't let the size of it intimidate you. It is just a big box. Again, if you can make a small one, you can make a big one.

If you are having problems visualizing what  21" W x 28" T x 11 1/2" D looks like hanging on the wall, make one out cardboard boxes. Duct tape pieces together until you get the size and tape it to the wall where you want to put it. Look for anything that may be in way of the door swing? Don't forget to look above for catch points. Look too to see how you have the cabinet positioned in relation to the overhead and what is beneath it.

In my case I had a floor cabinet there and my first placement left only 5" between the two. I wanted at least at foot so I had to raise the cabinet up. With raising the cabinet up, I lost the space on top of it to put my radio on. My cabinet ended up within a couple of inches of the floor joists. I had to make another shelf to hold the radio but that wasn't too bad of an issue to deal with.

Carcass figured out and now it was time to work on the door. I decided on a two panel, frame and panel door. You can put the panels in horizontally but on a door like this I think that would look funny. And I'm not a fan of ladder style doors neither. I used two vertical panels with a center stile.

Due to the width of the door I nixed using a single panel, be it a single board or a glued up one. From an aesthetic point (mine) I thought a single panel would look awkward and out of place. Then there is the strength issue. Would the frame be able to hold the panel flat over time and not distort.

I make my stiles, top rail, and center stiles, all the same size. The bottom rail I make at least a 1/2" wider the others. This is something that is open to a lot interpretation based on personal tastes.  I  make the stile width over twice the length of the tenon going into it as a minimum. I usually make blind mortises and I don't use stub tenons. I think that they are too small and aren't anywhere near as strong as the former.

On my door I used 1x4 stock so I based my stiles and rails off of that.  The door is a fairly large one so the scale of stiles fit the scale of the door. I used through tenons on the rails and the center stile. I used through tenons because I chopped them by hand because I thought those would be easier to do than a blind mortise (my first chopping of mortises by hand). I used through tenons on the center stile for strength and to help keep the door frame flat.

I made my door a 1/4" wider than the width and 1 1/4" longer than the top to bottom length. The width was planed off flush after the door was hung. I left the overhang on the bottom because that is my 'handle'. I didn't use a knob or handle on the front of this door. If I hadn't done this, then I would have made the door over sized the same as the width. That would have allowed wiggle room for fitting the door to the actual opening.

my door 'handle'

The width of the stile and riles vary with me according to the size of the opening the door will cover. I do it strictly by eye. I don't use any Fibonacci ratios or Pythagorean formulas.  If it looks good and I mean not too skinny nor too fat (wide), I'm good. There are lot of design books available on line and most are based on ancient design forms. They have lots of rules and regulations on stiles and rails and the sizing of most other things. I say that is nice but if it looks good to you, go with it. Why should someone else tell me what I think looks good?

The last decision I made on the door were the panels. There are a lot of different choices that can be made here. First one I thought of was a flat panel of solid wood sized to fit the grooves. Another choice is a 3/4" thick solid wood panel with a rabbet that fits the groove (plywood would also work too). The rabbet could face in or out depending upon your preference. Of the two, I think the rabbeted panel is a better choice. It is thicker and stronger than a 1/4" thick panel.

A raised panel is a traditional choice and it was what I used. I have a molding plane to make raised panels and that is what I used. There are a lot of hand or machine made panel making options to pick and choose from. One panel choice at the top of my to do list is a oval or circular panel in place of flat bevels. I like this one much more than the beveled panels and I have made them in the past with a horizontal router table with a special panel raising bit. And the circular ones can be made to fit the grooves exactly with out having to rabbet the back.

With all the decisions made on what and how, I went to the shop and  made it. Although making it was spread out over a week or two, I don't think the total time to make it was much more than 14-16 hours.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was the first president to have the oath of office administered by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?
answer - our second president, John Adams

Bradley McCalister Talks Wood & Tools Used When Turning – 360w360 E.246

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 3:38am
Bradley McCalister Talks Wood & Tools Used When Turning – 360w360 E.246

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, Bradley McCalister is back to talk about his favorite woods to work with on the lathe, and we discuss various tools used when turning, including scroll chucks, traditional turning tools and turning tools that have interchangeable cutters.

Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Glen talks with various guests about all things woodworking and some things that are slightly off topic.

Continue reading Bradley McCalister Talks Wood & Tools Used When Turning – 360w360 E.246 at 360 WoodWorking.

Multiples Stack Up or Measure Up (you pick)

Wunder Woods - Wed, 08/23/2017 - 9:38pm

I am a woodworker, and as a woodworker I live by a certain set of norms which dictate that I be accurate, but not ridiculously accurate. After all, wood changes size all of the time, so there is a limit to how accurate we can be and how much we should really worry about it. For most of us, a few measurements in a job are critical and the rest of the pieces are fit to look good. We may use measurements as a jumping off point, but it isn’t uncommon to trim a bit here and plane a bit there.

When I am in the shop, I always have a tape measure hanging off of my pocket for anything that needs to be measured. I use it a lot, but mostly for rough measurements, like making sure a piece of wood will be big enough for what I have in mind. I also use it for more critical measurements, but I try my best to find ways to not use measurements when things start to get critical. For example, instead of measuring, I will use a scrap piece of wood as a spacer. That way I don’t need to worry every time about reading the tape measure wrong, and I know that all of my spacing will be very consistent.

As much as I try to avoid being fussy about my measurements, sometimes they need to be a little more accurate. One of the tools where accuracy is important is the planer. If I want 1″ thick wood, I want to know that it is 1″. Now, more engineery people might reach for their calipers, but for those of you like me, with only a tape measures on your belt, I have a very accurate way to make perfectly sized parts – just stack them up.

The target for this table saw run was 1″. The samples from the cut were close, especially the one in the middle, but adding all of them up confirms that they are a bit wide.

Here’s the logic. If your measurements are just slightly off, you may not notice it in just one piece, but as you add up the pieces you also add up the differences and they become much more obvious. Just run a scrap piece of wood through the planer, chop it into 3, 4 or 5 pieces, stack them up and measure them. 5 pieces of wood that are 1″ thick should measure 5″ – simple de dimple. If your 1″ thick board isn’t exactly 1″ thick, you will see it, even without calipers, and then you can adjust the thickness.

That’s better! Three pieces measure 3″ wide. The average is 1″. Let’s run some parts!

The beauty of this system is two-fold. First off, you don’t need to worry about having calipers (after all, those are for kids that work at Boeing and have really clean floors). Second, it gives you a more accurate real-world reading of what is coming out of your machine. We all know that a board coming out of the planer has dips and doodles in the wood and can range in thickness depending on the spot that you measure. Adding up several pieces of wood gives you not only a measurement that is accurate, but it is also closer to the average. We are only talking small amounts here, but if you are setting up to plane a bunch of lumber, it is great to know what the bulk of it is going to measure.

When running enough wood through the planer to make thousands of little sticks with thousands of little spaces, as in this wine cellar racking, accurate tool setup is critical and easy to verify by stacking up multiples.

I use this system to double-check measurements on other tools as well. It works great on the table saw to make sure that your 3″ wide board is really 3″. Instead of cutting just one sample board 3″ wide and determining that it looks really close, cut 3 or more and add them up. Assuming that you can do a little simple math, you will be able to tell if the 3″ mark is consistently spitting out 3″ boards and not 2-63/64″ boards.

When using my fancy measuring shortcut, there is one important rule to follow. Make sure the tongue on your tape measure is accurate or don’t use the tongue at all. If you don’t trust the tongue on your tape measure then take a reading starting at the 1″ mark to check the distance and then just subtract 1″ from your reading (and then hope that a holiday is quickly approaching that might lend itself to the arrival of a new tape measure).

Categories: General Woodworking

Tricks of the Trade – Sander Circle Jig: Make Perfectly Round Wheels Quickly

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 08/23/2017 - 9:38am

I find myself needing a lot of small circles for use on wooden toys. When I cut those disks out with a circle-cutting jig on the band saw, the edge is a little too rough, so I’ve made a fixture for the disk sander that makes quick work of sanding the wheels perfectly round and smooth. A ledger strip on the bottom plate of the fixture fits into the sander’s […]

The post Tricks of the Trade – Sander Circle Jig: Make Perfectly Round Wheels Quickly appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking


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