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General Woodworking

Williamsburg Snapshot – Making A Late Baroque Chair

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 4:18pm

In the next four  postings I will be highlighting the contributions by the CW craftsmen to the Working Wood in the 18th Century gathering.  They work under the burdensome (?) expectation of excellence on our part, as for years they have not only put on the show as the impresarios but are expected to be stellar in their on-stage performances.  It’s a lot of weight on their shoulders, and they pull it off every time!  You can tell they are comfortable with audiences, I don’t mind folks watching me work, but the contant interruptions they endure must be maddening.  It disrupts any work flow and extends a project’s timeline by a logarithmic factor.

First up of the Colonialista soloists was Brian Weldy, demonstrating the steps to designing and building a late Baroque (aka “Queen Anne”) chair in walnut.  As with all the presentations I found much to be learned from the project, although it is unlikely I will ever build one.  Nevertheless Brian’s dealing with the sumptuously curvilinear form was instructive.

His layout of the serpentine center splat was particularly of interest to me as I have a pair of 16th Century Chinese horseshoe chairs on my bucket list.

He called on Kaare to provide a second pair of hands for the assembly of the chair seat rail and legs.  I was fascinated by the wooden blocks left on the serpentine seat rail to provide striking anf clampning surfaces.  These would be carved off once the assembly was completed.  I thought it was an ingeniuos and efficient solution to a problem.  Maybe everyone else already knew it, but it is a technique now residing firmly in the memory bank.

With the chair assembled Brian addressed the seat construction and lofting, and his time was done.

Making an ash splint pack basket

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 7:40am
Ash splint pack basket detail Some images from the process of making my latest ash splint pack basket. Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Use Epoxy for Filling Gaps & Bark Inclusions – Martin Goebel

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 7:15am

Along with 64,000 or so (at least as of today) other people, I follow Goebel & Co. Furniture on Instagram. The furniture pieces coming out of this St. Louis-based shop are well-built and beefy, with imaginative designs that in many cases make use of live-edge tops that are stabilized with epoxy. (And take a look at some of the table bases – they’re pretty astounding!) So when we were looking […]

The post Use Epoxy for Filling Gaps & Bark Inclusions – Martin Goebel appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

paper towel holder pt IV.......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 12:59am
True to my word, there will only be a final part V. That one will be the painted, ooh and aah, glamour shot part. I am still waiting on the spindles. When I checked on them this afternoon, they had received the order. That is it. No shipped it out, no tracking number, just we got your money and when we get around to it, we'll ship it.

mind is made up now
Unfinished box on the top, the new linseed oil and wax finish on the middle box, and the bottom box has several coats of shellac. From this vintage point, the middle and bottom box look a like a lot.

side view
The only thing that stands out to me on these, is the bottom box has some shine, the middle one has a bit of color and a flat look, and the top one is bare bones. I'll be putting the wax finish on the top box. I am still rather pleasantly surprised that there is no discernible odor the middle box. I'm leaving the middle box closed up tonight. Tomorrow I'll do a sniff test on the inside of the box to see if it stinks.

changed the pattern a bit
It wasn't a dear diary entry change but a change nonetheless. Where the curve ended and dipped down vertically is the place I changed it. Instead of the 90° drop I put it at an  angle. I wasn't so keen on the abrupt end and change on the first one.

To trace it out on the crest rail board, I lined up the lines on the two on the left side. I flipped it and did the right side. Using a half pattern ensures both sides should be reasonably the same.

cut the crest rail on the bandsaw
cleaned up with rasps
I need to do a bit more on the right side but overall, it looks ok.

the top of the side
I wanted the crest rail to die out above the top of the sides. I don't like the look of the parts diving down below and into the rabbet.

finding the gallery rail center
The rail is 13 and 5/16" long. I came in 6 1/2" in from each end and made a mark. I squared those two marks and then made two diagonals between them. That gave me the center of the gallery rail L/R and top to bottom.  After I got the center line, I used dividers and laid out the spacing for 3 spindles on either side of center.

found center of the shelf
I transferred the layout from the gallery rail onto the shelf. I am pretty sure that the tenons on the spindles I ordered are a 1/4" but I'll be patient until I get them.  I will measure them and then drill the holes for them.

FYI for me too
After I found the center on the gallery rail I should have drawn the center line on it. I could have then marked the spindle spacing with the dividers on the center line. The bigger hole is from the awl on the center point and the little hole to left is from the dividers. Oh well maybe I'll remember it for next time.

I had to run few errands after work tonight so my shop time was short. The big surprise was the post office. It was empty when I stopped in to get some flat rate boxes. I know that when I go to ship out the irons it'll be packed. Tomorrow I'll get back to finishing up the tequila box.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
How many Grammy categories are there?
answer - there are 30 fields with 83 categories in them

revisiting an old favorite

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 3:11pm

I’ve been trying to finish off this chest with 2 drawers lately. I’m close, but have to go to North House Folk School soon, so the last bits will be in 2 weeks. Today I spent making the last 12′ of moldings – out of a total of over 45 feet! Rabbet plane first…


…followed by hollows & rounds….


Late in the day I still had some daylight. I have been using the last 30 or 45 minutes each day to hew some spoons for evening carving…but today I split some reject joinery-oak and started shaving the rear posts for some ladderback chairs. Must be because I’ve been thinking of Drew Langsner lately…

Here you can see the chest with a couple of clamps holding the drawer’s moldings in place. Shaving the chair posts was like old times…

Here’s the inspiration – one of the last chairs from Jennie Alexander’s hand…and Drew’s book The Chairmaker’s Workshop. I had to look up a few things to remind me of what I was doing.


The last time I made these chairs was some shrunk-down versions for when the kids were small, December 2009. These chairs are put away in the loft now, outgrown…




I hope to bend the posts Friday, then leave them in the forms while I’m away. Hopefully there will be some chairmaking going on in March…




New in the Mail

The Barn on White Run - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 5:17am

I’ll interrupt my jaunt through the CW confab to mention some new things in the mail.

First off is the catalog from the Marc Adams School of Woodworking which includes this page describing the two classes I will be teaching this fall, Parquetry and Historic Finishing.

Yesterday saw the arrival of the new Popular Woodworking with some intriguing contents.

In addition to an excellent article on bench chisels from The Schwarz Hisownself there is a wonderful piece by my pal Jameel Abraham on making and using plywood.  Solid.

And immediately subsequent to Jameel is my latest article, which was about the most fun writing I have ever had.

To top it all off I received a sample of some shellac wax from the producer in India.  It is excellent and I am going shortly to the bank to make the bank-to-bank transfer to order several hundred pounds.  This steady supply will allow us to begin manufacturing Mel’s Wax shortly.  Stay tuned.

Thin, Good Looking & Strong – Micro Plywood Splines, Part 2

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 4:21am

It is very easy to install thin plywood splines in mitered corners of boxes and frames But, to do so successfully, you will have to design the placement pattern of the splines and spend some time carefully laying out your design on the corners. (Read part one of the micro splines story here)  Design Above (in the lead image) you can see a few optional designs that can be easily […]

The post Thin, Good Looking & Strong – Micro Plywood Splines, Part 2 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Mitre Planes and an Observation about Maker's Marks

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 4:00am

This blog entry wass derailed - in a good way.

I was totally in the midst of working on a post about mitre plane geometry when I made a discovery that totally put me in another direction. In the picture above are 4 mitre planes. I had laid out four planes in what I thought was chronological order, using what I knew about the planes and their makers.

From left to right:
Spiers - Latter part of the 19th century.
I Smith - Mid 19th Century (1860's?)
??? - Very early 19th century - Unmarked, possibly by Gabriel.
Christopher Gabriel - late 18th century.

The maker's stamps on the Spiers and Smith planes are on the lever cap or bridge. This is sort of what we would expect from any iron plane after the 1820's. It was pretty easy to stamp the bridge, and it's a spot that didn't get a lot of wear.

In the very early iron planes - such as the first two on the right - the steel stamps used for stamping wooden planes weren't that hard and wouldn't last very long stamping wrought iron. They were designed for wood. So Christopher Gabriel stamped his name on the inside of the front infill. On wood. On the side of the front infill which is nearly is nearly impossible to stamp once the plane is assembled so it won't be over-stamped by owners over the years. This particular plane has some numbers stamped in the bridge, which was not unusual for a Gabriel plane, but number stamps were easier to replace than a custom-made name stamp. Why Gabriel stamped numbers on the planes has been a subject of much speculation over the years.

I pegged the second plane plane from the right as early because of its construction, and possibly by Gabriel, but it's unmarked where it should be - on the wood. There's also some discoloration on the bridge. Since the plane shared some styles with Gabriel, I thought it might have been one of his. The wedge is a replacement. The dealer who sold me the plane back in 2000 thought the same about all the dating.

Now, putting the planes in order for this blog entry shook everything up.

As I put the planes in order for the photograph, I saw a stamp that the dealer overlooked -- and I overlooked for nearly twenty years. The plane bears a stamp just under the hole in the front of the plane. The "WATER" part was pretty easy to read, but it took awhile to suss out the "BY" at the front. "BYWATER."

Richard Bywater made planes in London from 1790-1814. Christopher Gabriel owned a large firm that was also in London.

The chances of Bywater not knowing of Gabriel's iron planes would be zero. One characteristic of Gabriel's planes is the long toe. Like the Bywater plane. But why is the maker's name stamped on the toe?

Maybe it's not a maker's stamp but an owner's? It's possible, but I don't think so. I think the random chances of an unmarked early plane being stamped with the name of a planemaker isn't zero but it's small. (Even if the stamp doesn't exactly match any of the marks included in Goodman and Rees's "British Planemakers from 1700.") And if we are talking about Bywater the planemaker, it's more than possible he didn't make the plane himself as the tools of metalwork are different than the tools of woodwork. The reason the plane would have been marked on the toe is that there are very few planes on an assembled mitre plane where you can swing a hammer enough to mark the metal deeply without running the risk of bending something. I certainly wouldn't risk it.

If Bywater didn't make the plane, who did? Craftwork in 18th century London was done by small independent Little Meisters who either worked in their own small quarters or worked in a larger shop, working on their own but buying parts from the master, all paid on piecework. Did this plane come out of the Gabriel shops, wholesale, to be retailed by Bywater? Was it made by a Little Meister working for Gabriel, made on the sly to sell to Bywater?

I don't know: it's all speculation. Do you have any ideas?

paper towel holder pt III.......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 12:50am
There is only going to be a part IV and V.  I was expecting to get all of the woodworking related tasks done tonight but I lost a bounce test. A minor hiccup that was easily fixed and it really didn't matter much. I still have to wait for the spindles for the gallery rail to come in before I can keep on going with it.

two coats on it
Last night after dinner I went back to the shop to look at this. It felt dry and not the least bit greasy. So I put another coat of the finish on the box and lid. This is what it looks like 12 hours later. Still dry and not greasy or slick, and there is no stinky odor. I can smell it in the jar but not on the box.

the bottom of the lid
Other than the color getting a bit darker, there isn't much to tell me there is a finish on this. It has a nice tactile feel with my fingertips but I'm not sure about the protection it will afford. I like shellac but side by side, I pick this new finish. I put another coat of it on tonight. I'll evaluate this tomorrow and see if it needs another one.

one of three rabbets
I need this rabbet at the bottom of the shelf for the bottom of the crest rail. I need a stopped rabbet on both of the sides for the ends of the crest rail. The three of these will provide a good glue surface for the keeping the shelf, the sides, and crest rail together.

right side stopped rabbet
I started to saw this out and stopped. I couldn't take a full stroke for the whole wall so I chiseled it out by hand. Once I got the majority of the waste removed and I was close to the gauge line, I switched over to the hand router.

closed throat router
When I put this away yesterday I didn't change the depth setting. I left it at the same setting so the rabbet depth will be same as the shelf dado.

finishing up the other side rabbet
I spent a most of my time carefully chiseling the vertical wall of the rabbet. This is what will be seen on the finished shelf. I made sure that this was as straight and clean as I could make it.

clean and tight fitting joint
the failed bounce test with Mr Concrete Floor
I knocked this off the bench and this piece broke off. I will glue this back on and let it set until tomorrow.

the gallery rail
If I hadn't broken the shelf I could have done the layout for the spindles. If I had been able to do that I would have been done with the woodworking. I could have glued this up tonight but now it'll have to wait.

layout lines
I have a center line (vertical one) and the top of the sides (horizontal line) and that is all I need to draw a design. I sketched something here to get a look see at it and I'm going with it. I like it and I don't see the need to try to make anything else.

I just have to cut this out and align the vertical and horizontal lines and trace it out onto the crest rail. This will be the last of the woodworking to be done.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Grace Hooper?
answer - she wrote the first compiler for a computer programming language

The Black Dog Workshop

goatboy's woodshop - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 12:13pm


Like most amateurs in any craft, I rely heavily on my maestros and gurus, and for me, help comes in the form of YouTube videos more than anything else. When it comes to hand tool woodworking, I invariably turn to the likes of Paul Sellers and Tom Fidgen. When I need advice about woodturning, my ‘go to’ guys are Mike Waldt and Martin Saban-Smith.

The latter of thesimg_1591-e1481281226404e chaps is the developer of Hampshire Sheen, a woodturning finishing wax which I highly recommend, and he has recently opened a woodturning workshop at his family’s garden centre called The Black Dog Workshop. The workshop provides tuition for beginners, as well as a place to turn for those who may not have their own facilities. It is also designed to cater for people who suffer with depression and other mental health problems, focussing on the therapeutic benefits that any creative pastime can provide.

I have followed the progress of the workshop on its dedicated YouTube channel since it began, and I think it is a fantastic idea. I wanted to show my support for the project, as well as my gratitude to Mr Saban-Smith for the help his videos have given me, so I decided to make him a gift.

20151001_142921As he is an accomplished woodturner, there seemed little point in turning him something, so I decided to go down the hand tool route. In the past, I have made a fair few mallets, and I suppose they are the closest thing to a speciality that I’ve got.  And, every workshop should have a mallet. The Black Dog Workshop mallet is made from walnut and beech, and I dabbled in some pyrography and added the workshop logo.

Here are a few photos of the build (click to embiggen):

20170214_163409 20170214_170040 20170214_203636 20170214_223834 20170214_225712 20170214_234434 20170215_153437 20170215_215122 20170215_222710 20170215_230348 20170216_144721 20170216_151417 20170216_202200 20170216_230915 20170216_233439 20170217_151545 20170217_220241 20170217_223432

I finished the mallet with three coats of my home-made varnish/linseed/turps blend, and packaged it off this afternoon.


I hope it goes down well.


Filed under: Uncategorized

They Should Have Know Better…

The Furniture Record - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 5:45am

Today’s parable of the movement of wood concerns this George III Linen Press:


This lot has sold for $380. Furniture is soft right now.

Description:  Circa 1800, two-part form, high-grade burlwood mahogany veneers, mahogany, pine secondary, applied arched cornice with ebonized line inlay above a vertically veneered frieze, upper cabinet with two hinged doors, center with an applied reeded brass mount, each door featuring a rectangular panel with an inset square to each corner, interior with four pull-out linen drawers, base with two over two graduated cockbeaded drawers, raised on French bracket feet with a shaped skirt. (Thus sayeth the auction house.)

The maker of this press made an interesting choice when they made the doors. A large, wide board would have been a bad idea. The wide board would move and be highly unlikely to stay flat. A four-panel board would have been a common construction for a press in that era. Or any era. What is unusual is that they veneered over a four-panel door. A bad idea:


Just asking for trouble. And they got it.


They veneered the inside as well. Also a bad idea.

If you have ever read about, seen a video about or (God forbid) actually made a panelled door, you know that if you are using real wood for the panel, you don’t glue the panel to the frame. With our 20th/21st century sensibilities we know that the panels will move, expand across the width of the board. If glued, the frame may crack or glue joints may fail.

I have to believe that a 19th century cabinetmaker would have known about wood movement and the perils therein. Yet they choose to glue veneer to a panel that is guaranteed to (and did) move. With the expected results. To their credit, they did a really good job gluing the veneer down. No glue failures here. And the doors still exist in one plane, no warps. Impossible to say how long the veneer held it together.

Now, on to the drawers. I do like the pulls. They seem to be original:


An original pull? How unique.

The dovetails again are unique:


The nails don’t look original.

They seem to have left a pin off. Then again, symmetry is so overrated.


Small Shop CNCs: Machines That Fit, Part 2

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 5:00am

In Part One, I introduced a class of machines in this group of CNCs that fit and perform well in home and small professional shops. What they have in common is the 2’ x 3’ to 4’ size range, engineering, design, specifications and build quality. Let’s have a look at that list again. Axiom Precision Pro Series AR6 Pro 24” x 36” & AR8 Pro 24” x 48” Laguna Tools […]

The post Small Shop CNCs: Machines That Fit, Part 2 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

towel holder pt II..........

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 12:42am
I took another 'take it easy' day.  It was a day off from work for me and I did nothing on the cabinet installation except to call a few plumbers. None were interested in doing a little piddly job like move some pipes. One did say that he was free at the end of March and could I wait that long? By the time I got done doing this I was ready for something else so I went on a road trip.

I went to three different craft stores to get some gallery rail spindles. All three of the craft stores didn't have any and none of them knew what they were. One had an assembled gallery rail that I showed to him so he now knows what they are.

There is a wood item store in Greenville that sells them so I headed out to see them. But before I stopped there I went a wee bit further up the road to Stillwater Antique Mall. It's been a while since I've been there and they must be undergoing a inventory turnover. Pickings were sparse but there were two humongous 90° picture framers clamps. They must have had a 8-10 inch clamping width. I've never seen any that big before. For $45, I was tempted to take one home but I didn't.

On the way home I stopped at the wood store but it was closed. The sign said they would be closed from Feb 12th to the 21th. Today is the 20th and I was left standing at the door. Since I had no intention of driving back here, when I got home I ordered some on line.

I bought 20 maple spindles for $3.85 with $7.90 S/H. Ouch, I dislike paying more for shipping then the merchandise. The first site I looked at was selling one spindle for $2.35. I hope no one bought any of these from them and looked further.

30 minutes past oh dark 45
Overslept again this morning and I can't do that tomorrow.. I went to the shop and before I started to work on the towel holder I did one last check for the ID and OD. I hope that paper towels all come in a standard length. I have seen them with different diameters but this holder can handle that. It can also handle about an extra inch in the length if need be.

artist linseed oil
Chris Schwartz recently put up an article on making a homemade finish of linseed oil and wax. He wrote that buying this type of linseed oil was expensive and he wasn't woofing Dixie. I think that this is Italian and I couldn't find how much is in the bottle. It's probably there but I can read Italian as well as I can mandarin chinese.

using the 4:1 ration
I am assuming that Chris did the formula based on weight ounces and not fluid ounces. The weight of the linseed oil was 2 3/8 ounces which made the beeswax to be added about 0.6 ounces. I put 7/8 of an ounce of beeswax in this. I am sure that this formula isn't carved in stone so I should be alright if I'm a little off on the ratio.

brought it to a boil
After it came to a boil I lowered the heat until all the boiling bubbles went away. Then I put the jar of linseed oil and beeswax in the water.

5 minutes
The wax is still in chunks in the linseed oil. The bigger pieces of wax don't seem to want to melt.

ten minutes
There are 3 pieces of wax that still haven't melted. The mixture has gone from a clear looking liquid to a honey color here.

took about 15 minutes to melt the wax into the linseed oil
I kept the heat on medium low and I didn't allow it to boil again once the jar went in the water.

about 10 minutes after taking it out the water
It is starting to solidify.

wasn't sure
This is the stir stick I used on the mixture. I'm sure that this probably isn't like linseed oil soaked rags but this gives me a warm and fuzzy. I broke up the whole stick into little pieces and put them in water.

used two shooting boards
I need to make another smaller shooting board. The one I have now is made of MDF and it's getting wonky. It doesn't like shooting boards over 5-6 inches wide.

all 3 dead nuts even in length
marked the shelf width
I think I've finally turned the corner on this. I wasn't looking at this to saw plumb. What I was concentrating on was staying a few frog hairs off the gauge line in the waste side.

left the line end to end
using the gauge line again
Planing down to this will make this edge square and parallel to the other edge.

3/8 longer than the dado
I didn't measure this but laid it out by eye.  I like a stopped dado over a through dado. I think the stopped dado is cleaner looking. Of course that depends on how well you saw the notch too.

I have my finish
I don't know at what time this set up and solidified. I was busy playing with the towel holder. I would guess it's been about 45 minutes since I brought this down to the shop. It's still a little warm but not so warm that I can't hold it.

it's solid looking and it feels solid too
left knife line
Since I looked at my marking knife with a magnifying glass and fixed it, I've been getting clean, ragged out free knife lines.

right one is just as clean
bottom back stretcher
I am not liking this layout. This is a weak connection due to not much meat making the connection. I'm changing this to a blind dovetail.

I like this better already
scraper chisel
This scraper is the same thickness as my dovetail kerf  and it fits it like a glove. What it isn't doing is chiseling down the corner. I have only used this scraper for the corners on pine and it sails through that. It isn't working on the poplar at all. I had to chisel out the tail socket slowly and carefully.

left side done
right side had some hiccups
I had a gap on the shoulders here and at the back top of the tail. The sides of the dovetail were tight against the socket walls. My first attempts at correcting the fit were off the mark. I thought because it was tight on the outside walls that was the problem. I trimmed in very small shavings and that saved my bacon. The reason why I had a gap at the shoulders was because the back wall of the tail socket wasn't plumb. It was tapered with the bottom wider than the top. I shaved the wall plumb and the back gap disappeared. The shoulder one closed up some but not completely. This was another area I trimmed that I shouldn't have. After I glue these I will also put a screw in each tail into the side.

rubbed on one coat of  the linseed oil and wax finish
This finish is hard. I was expecting this to be a little softer and kind like a paste. Maybe my overage on the wax ratio made it harder. It doesn't smell and it doesn't feel greasy even after I apply it.

the lid
It's hard for me to tell there is a finish on this. The lid does slide in and out easier after this one coat.

unfinished big box
Both of these boxes are made from the same boards. The bigger box is lighter in color (no finish) than the smaller box with the finish on it. I'll put another coat on the small box tomorrow. Before I put any on the bigger one I'll let the small one hang out for while first. I think this will be a good finish to put on shop projects.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Al Capone, the gangster, had an older brother who used the name Richard "two gun" Hart. What did he do for a living?
answer - he was lawman in Nebraska serving as a marshal and a state sheriff

Williamsburg Snapshot – Watching A Rock Star At Work

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 5:28pm

Of all the thing I learned at the recent Working Wood in the 18th Century shindig, two come into clear focus: 1) Peter Galbert is a rock star, and 2) even though I am not a Windsor chair sorta guy I somehow have to figure out a way to budget the time and finances to attend a workshop he is teaching.

While I am not even a chair builder per se, Samuel Gragg chairs notwithstanding, I had been awaiting this presentation with great anticipation since I learned of it.  Pete’s book on chair building was a thing of great beauty and erudition; the highest compliment I can give it is that I wish I had written a book this good.  When reading it I found myself smacking my forehead with every new nugget of enlightenment, which meant every couple of minutes or so.  In much the same way as Krenov’s original trilogy,  Chairmaker’s Notebook is a snapshot of the craftsman’s soul.

And here he was on stage, unfolding his methods of work.  As my friend MikeM remarked, Pete’s performance was perhaps the most amazing example of cogent non-stop talking and non-stop working either of us had witnessed.  Next to both “peripatetic” and “loquacious” in the dictionary is a picture of Pete, and with great elan he walked us through the processes he uses to build his chairs, and his reasoning behind them.  It was a beautiful thing to see.

Beginning with the splitting of the green stock needed for the fashioning of the steam bent pieces and finishing with the assembly of the chair’s elements, I found this to be as grand a learning experience as any I have encountered in furniture making.

Along the way he showed how he lays out the geometry of the chair spindles and legs, steam bent the continuous arm/crest rail (I was too engrossed in watching to remember to take pictures), and even turning the green wood legs on a treadle lathe, he did not miss a single note.

His assembled base with the arm attached was a great hit with the attendees as it was on display out in the vestibule of the auditorium.

Well done, and thanks Pete.

How to Select Woodturning Tools

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 6:30am
lathe tools

When it comes to turned furniture components, you only have a few options. You can buy mass-produced factory-turned components that do not accurately recreate the fine details in period furniture; you can make friends with a turner; or you can invest in a lathe and turn your own. If you decide to go with the third option you’ll need some woodturning tools (in addition to your lathe). This can seem like […]

The post How to Select Woodturning Tools appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

I paid the price, big time........

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 2:48am
I moved around yesterday like I was a young kid. I refused to give in and take it slow. Putting in that corner cabinet really pissed me off. I flew up and down the cellar stairs getting tools and whatever else I needed. Later on that night about 2000, my right leg (with the metal hip) starting hurting. I also had trouble walking and I couldn't take a full stride.

I didn't think much of it and thought that after a good night's sleep, life would be wonderful in the morning again. I went to bed and before 2100 I was in agony. My hip had never hurt this much before. Not even when I built the garden shed a few years ago. I got up to get some motrin and that was trip through hell and back. Constant stabbing aching pain, and a 10 second round trip that took me 10 minutes to do.

My wife looked up something on her cell phone and she told me take some motrin. Duh! I just took that. I somehow managed to get back into bed without passing out. She put a heating pad on my hip and that felt wonderful. The pain started to subside and I fell asleep. I woke up a few hours later and I was pain free. I'm not complaining but the previous couple hours are ones I don't ever want to revisit.

Today I kept in mind what I did yesterday and took it easy. I'm having a plumber come in and do the water pipes. I may call him back and have him do the sink hook up too. I spent the rest of the day trying to finish up the rehabbing of the #3. That shouldn't involve a lot running around.

Siegley iron and chipbreaker
I forgot these pics from yesterday. This is the condition I got these two in. Ready to go as is and I did use them as is.

back of the iron has been flattened
I'll take that because I dislike flattening the backs of irons and chisels.

this needs some work
The chipbreaker had a bit of daylight between it and the iron. I didn't get any shavings jammed up under it when I used but I'll fix it anyways.

this side is off a bit
This is the side/end that I saw the daylight on. It won't take but a few minutes to get this flat and even end to end.

prepped my sanding belts
I cut the belts last night before I left the shop. I put them underneath the marble threshold to flatten out the hump in them.

#3 sanded with 180
The marks on the bottom edge I had to hand sand out. I was getting anywhere trying to sand them out on the threshold. I have no plans to use this on shooting board so I'm overly concerned with getting or maintaining square.

The sole of this plane had some paint on it from the boards I used it on. Overall, the plane looks grungy so I decided to do a full sanding of the sole and the cheeks. I had to put the 80 and 120 grit belts back on and start there with this plane.

changed where I cut them
I cut the blue belt on the round part of the belt. That put the splice almost in the middle of the threshold when laid down on it. Every stroke with the plane back and forth went over the splice. On the other belts I cut it on the splice and put that part under the clamp. That left me with prime, uninterrupted sanding real estate.

sanding do-dad
This is the eraser I use to clean my 12" sanding disc and I tried it here. The heavier grits (80, 120,etc) stay relatively clean but the smaller grits (220 and up) clog up quickly. Even with frequent vacuuming, they still clog quickly. I tried the eraser after each time I vacuumed and it seemed to make a difference. I could see and feel the sandpaper cutting better than when I just vacuumed it.

look at what I found
I thought I had a set of smaller torx screwdrivers but when I didn't find them in my electronics toolbox, I assumed I didn't have any. I didn't think to look at where my workshop screwdrivers are kept.

finish polishing with 600 grit
I'm not a fan of this 3 in-a-row sandpaper but I didn't have a choice here. I took it slow and I only lost 2 pieces. I think that is pretty good as I used this setup to polish three other planes besides the #3.

all 600 grit
I've had this paper for over 23 years. I got it before I left the Navy in 1994. I was stationed on a boat that was being decommissioned and the last sea trip we made on her was a dump run. We went to sea for the express purpose of throwing everything not needed overboard. I saved this pile of 600 grit paper. I have maybe used an inch over the years. I just missed getting a pile of 400 grit at the same time.

I think readers know that I like shiny
#3 sanded and shined up
the 4 hand planes I did today
I did my other #3, the #4 that had paint on it's sole, and the 4 1/2.

doing a plane iron inventory
2 of the four LN irons I have. One  A-2 and three 0-1s'. I have two LN planes, a 51 and a 4 1/2 and both of them have 0-1 irons. I'm good on LN irons but I would like to replace the one A-2 with another 0-1.

10 1/2 and  # 8 irons
I had bought a replacement frog for a 10 1/2 and it had an iron and chipbreaker too. This one is sharp and ready to go.  I now have three #8 irons. The one in the #8 now is a Record iron that fits and works perfectly. I should only have two irons for the #8 but I bought an iron/chipbreaker thinking it was for the 4 1/2 but I had mind farted on the size of the two. Now I have three and I'm good on these too.

2 5/6" wide irons
These are for my 4 1/2 but they will also fit the #6 and #7. The #6 has a cambered iron and I don't need a replacement for it but I do need a back up for the #7. The iron on the left is from Tools from Japan I got it because it is the only aftermarket iron I can find that is close to the size of the OEM Stanleys. The iron/chipbreaker on the right is the Siegley I just got. It is looking like I don't need any more irons for the 4 1/2 or the #7.

#4 and #3 irons and extra chipbreakers
I have three #4 planes but only one back up iron for them. I have two #3 planes and I have 2 backup irons for them. I need to get a couple of more #4 irons and at least one backup #4 chipbreaker.

Stanley block plane iron
I offered this for free with the block plane but had no takers last year. The block
plane failed the bounce test with Mr Concrete Floor but I saved the iron.

spare iron for my Lee Valley rabbet plane
toothing iron for my LV BU Jack
iron from Tools from Japan
#8 iron in front, Tools from Japan iron in the back
There is a slight difference in the thickness of these two. The iron from Tools from Japan is only about 2 frog hairs thicker than the #8. I shouldn't have to go nutso pushing the frog back to the heel to get it to fit. I checked the Tools from Japan website and this is the only Stanley bench iron replacement I saw on it.

The only plane I haven't actively sought to get a replacement iron for is my #5. I don't use it that often and it's the same size as the #4 irons. So if I get more #4 irons, I will have a spare for the #5. I use my Lee Valley BU Jack more than the Stanley.

an old tapered iron
modified chipbreaker
This came in a wooden Jack I bought and it was modified by the previous owner.(?) Whoever did this also squared off the slot in the iron.

won't fit in any metal plane I have
The bevel side
The bevel of this looks like crap. It looks like it was hacked at but with a bit of work it'll be redeemable.

offered up for sale
The far left iron is a freebie to whoever wants one of the others and asks for it. The second from left iron is the tapered one and it is 2 1/16" wide. $17 including shipping in the lower 48 in a flat rate box. You know blurb to follow, first email with the earliest date time stamp, yada, yada, yada..........  If someone wants it that doesn't reside in the lower 48, $17 plus actual shipping costs to you.

The third iron from the left is a Lee Valley A2 iron and chipbreaker. It's 2 3/8 wide and I had bought it to use in my #7 but it wouldn't fit. With the frog backed up as far as it would go, I had no more adjuster to turn to move the iron in or out. I used it in my LN 51 for over a year before I put a LN 0-1 back in it. $20 including shipping to the lower 48 in a flat rate box. Same blurb as above applies here.

The last one on the right is a Hock iron and chipbreaker that was in my #5. Hock was the only after market iron I bought that didn't need the mouth widened nor involved having the iron shoved back to the heel. I have gone back to using Stanley irons in all of my planes and I intend to stay with them.

Offered up for $20 including shipping to the lower 48 in a flat rate box. Same blurb as above applies here. ****This iron has the corners rounded off so it won't leave plane tracks.**** Both the Hock and the Lee Valley iron are sharpened straight across - they are not cambered and neither iron has a secondary bevel.

fixing the chipbreaker
The shiny part was on the stone with the tail on the bench. Moved it up and down the side of the stone, trying to keep it square, until the edge was consistent side to side.

sharpened the bottom edge
The edge right where it lays on the iron, had some rough spots and a couple of minutes on the coarse stone got rid of it. I stropped it after I did the same to the iron.

another 150 year old patent date
I know that this iron and chipbreaker isn't original to the #3 I'm rehabbing. It has the movable bedrock frog and that wasn't even a thought back in 1867.

I'm liking this runway sharpening
 I am going to keep the threshold and the 80 grit belt by the sharpening bench. This long distance makes quick work on establishing the bevel and rolling a burr.

trying to remove my fingerprints
I saw the blood on the guide and I had to search for the source. I didn't even feel this nor was aware that I had shaved this fingertip. The iron I'm sharpening now is the OEM #3 I bought a couple of weeks ago. I flattened the back, filed the corners round, and I'm establishing my bevel here.

cleaning up the level cap
got the last of the rust spots
The keyhole circle I did with a dowel wrapped with sandpaper. The wire wheel got the rest of them.

working on my mini anvil
The level cap had bend in it and I was able to tap most of it out on the pointed part of the anvil. I know that the pointed thing in the back is called a hardy and I'm assuming that the pointy blue thing is called the horn. I'll be looking up anvil part names after I'm done writing this blog.

my best friend too
I have used this stuff for years to clean my stainless steel pots and pans. I never knew it would work wonders on brass. I got this tip from Jonathan who blogged about the Chicken Taj Mahal of the Pacific Northwest he built. He also blogged about a plane restoration and he used this to clean the adjuster wheel.  I couldn't believe how shiny and bright he got the adjuster. I have struggled on every plane rehab I've done and I never got any of my adjusters to look even half as good as his was.

it's pristine
I drop a bunch of this in a plastic container with water and drop the adjuster in it to soak for a while. After about a ten minutes, I take it out and scrub it all over with a toothbrush. Any stubborn areas I treat with a paste of a little water and a lot of powder and use extra elbow grease with the toothbrush.

where my shop day ended
I scrubbed the inside of the plane, rinsed it out, and then blew it dry with my hairdryer. At this point I am not going to paint this. There is a little lost of some japanning aft of the frog seat and none forward of it. Everything on the plane has been sanded, shined, cleaned, and oiled up. All that I need to call this done, and hear the congratulatory oohs and aahs, is the rear tote.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Whitcomb Judson?
answer - he invented the zipper

2 down, 2 to go.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 02/19/2017 - 2:56am
The approved plan for saturday was to go in early to do OT. Come home early and get at least two cabinets installed. Quit the cabinets after that and go spend some quality time in the shop.It sounded good and looked awesome on paper, but the execution was lacking. Got two cabinets installed but I didn't get any quality time in the shop. It is looking like I won't be getting a lot of it tomorrow neither. And the early stuff didn't happen neither.

I felt an omen
I didn't have a warm and fuzzy feeling when I got home so first off, I went to the shop and did some woodworking. I took the crest rail for the towel holder out of the clamps and cleaned it up. It's ready to go now and I then started on the cabinet install.

working out of the corner
This was a hard one to call for me. I could have started on the right with stove cabinet and tried to shoehorn the corner cabinet in place. Or tried the same thing coming from the left. Common sense told me to install the corner cabinet first and work out from that right and left.

My kitchen floor has a 3/4" hollow just to the left of the center of it. Which puts it right where the corner and stove cabinets are going to live going to the right. Since I thought it would be near impossible to shim and corner cabinet, I worked on getting that level and square in the corner.

kitty corner on the corner cabinet
The walls are slightly out of plumb. The right wall leans inward and the left one leans outward. I couldn't get two surfaces to be level no matter what I did. If screwed one side in level, the other one would go out. Very frustrating start to this installation.

from the corner to the front - out of level
I have the right side screwed to the wall and the reading is off. In order to get this level I would have had to lift the back end up. Doing that would put the sides out level. This cabinet has to be level and plumb because the other cabinets are installed off of it.

three stooges plumbing
This is all going away. The pipe on the right is the cold water and I am hoping that I have enough wiggle room to fit the sink cabinet over it.

this is turning out to be an armpit level liquid fecal matter job
I'm on the level line on one side and off on the other. I got a level kitty corner here. It has now been almost 2 hours of work and I don't have this first cabinet installed yet.

stellar joinery - both sides look the same
more award winning joinery
This corner, in spite of the ten pounds of staples, is still separated somehow. I checked and what a surprise, the cabinet is not square in any direction. It is out almost a 1/4" off on the diagonals. That explains some of the fun I'm having trying to get this secured in place.

The only thing holding this kick plate in place is 5 staples at the top. I secured it with a handful of #6x5/8 screws by screwing in from the 1/4" plywood into the 1/2" kick plywood board.

the other side is held with 5 staples too
I repeated the screwing on this kick plate too. It did stiffen up the cabinet some but it didn't cure the out of square.

removed all the staples and screwed the corner back together
one hour later
I finally said enough and compromised. I gave up trying to get the left and right sides level. The vertical sides are plumb which made me scratch the bald spot a few extra times. I went kitty corner across the front and got that level. I took a break after I finally got the corner cabinet in place.

never heard of Siegley, you?
I bought this because it was $10, 2 5/16" wide, and I was hoping it would fit my 4 1/2". This is also the cleanest and most ready to go iron I have ever bought.

Stanley on the left, Siegley on the right
With the exception of the iron, these two look identical.  The relief hole for the chipbreaker screw being at the top of the iron is the only obvious difference. Everything on the chipbreakers are almost a dead nuts match. I'm thinking Stanley made this for Siegley and they ordered the irons made this way for them. I'm sure Bob Demers probably has info on any closet skeletons with Siegley planes.

can't argue with this
I did nothing to the Siegley iron/chipbreaker. I put in the 4 1/2 and locked down the lever cap. I didn't have to adjust the screw for it at all. I made a bunch of shavings from wispy thin to these here. I have a back up for my 4 1/2 now.

I have started looking out for other makers irons because I can't seem to find good Stanley ones. I know Stanley made planes/irons for others and they are usually cheaper to buy. I would buy a whole plane just to salvage an iron.

much joy and rejoicing in Mudville
My new 3/8 drill came in and I put it to work doing the cabinet install. I put the corded one back in the black hole.

my 4x36 belts came in too
I have the grits to finish the #3 - 180, 220 320, and 400. That is something I can do while the wife is sleeping. It's a quiet work until you drop something on your foot or mind fart and turn the vacuum cleaner on.

just thought to check this
The adjuster is in the same spot with the Siegley iron/chipbreaker as it is with the Stanley setup. I didn't gain there but I gained with a good iron and chipbreaker.

5 hours after I started
My male cat, Mr Darcy, is inspecting my work. Doing this kitchen redo has them all screwed up. Neither one of them would eat their cat food when I fed them this noontime. Easiest way to screw with a cat's head is to rearrange the furniture.

No quality time in the shop today. I was tired and way too sore after this fun adventure. Tomorrow should be a topper for today because I get to play Mr Plumber. I'll have to shut the water off to whole house when I do that. The one good thing in my favor for that is the temperature. It is supposed to top out in the low 50's.  I won't have to worry about heat loss because I will also have to shut the boiler down too while I play Mr Plumber.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
How long did the Battle of Waterloo last?
answer - about 10 hours

Curves I Have Known.

The Furniture Record - Sat, 02/18/2017 - 8:38pm

I know I said I would be finishing with the Barcelona Design Museum but there is just so much to process that I need to take a break from it until I figure out how to properly report on it. That and I am in week three of a cold I brought back from the Philippines. Oh, yeah, I was in the Philippines for about a week. I got per diem so it must have been for work. That’s the difference between a business trip and a vacation. If you get per diem, it’s a business trip. If you choose where you’re going, it’s a vacation. Something to be said for both.

Fortunately, the local better auction house has provided me with topics so plentiful that I should be able to enlighten and amuse you for quite a while. Eh?

First up is this American Hepplewhite Sideboard:


This lot has sold for $420

Description:  Early 19th century, probably Mid Atlantic, mahogany, mahogany veneers, white pine and poplar secondary, concave central section with single drawer above two small cabinet doors, flanked by rounded corners, with cabinet doors, raised on square tapered legs. Size   38.5 x 64 x 23.5 in. (From the auction house.)

The curves were what caught my attention. There are many ways to bend or curve wood. We learned from a recent plantation visit that you can bend certain species by soaking them in a river for one year per inch of thickness to make the wood pliable. If you don’t have a convenient river, you can use steam for a more practical one hour per inch.

Then there is bent lamination in which thin layers of wood are glued and placed in a form of the desired shape. (Think freeform plywood.)

If you want to know about kerf bending, you can look it up.

If you can’t bend, you can always make it look bent or curved. There is the brute force method requiring a block of wood that is large enough to contain the curved part and cutting away the parts that fall outside the curves. This method leaves a lot of wood on the shop floor assuming, you can locate a block of wood that is large enough to contain the part. Then you need a saw (hand or powered) that is large enough to accommodate the blank.

A common variation is stacked lamination in which you do as above but one inch in height at a time. Start with a one-inch block of wood: work it to the desired contour. Glue another block atop it and contour to match. If you are into power tools, typically it’s a pattern router bit with bearing or a flush trim bit with bearing. And a router.

Repeat until you reach the desired height.


That’s what they did here, a stacked lamination.

The downside of this technique is that, unless you like the striped look, you need to veneer it. Not a problem if veneering is where you are going. I can see some modern studio furniture using this technique unadorned.


A wider view giving you more construction details.


How to curve the carcass.

Breadboard ends on the curved door provide stability and hide the end grain:


Breadboard ends and a thick veneer.

 The center doors are also stacked laminations, just in the opposite direction. The interesting feature is how the gap between the doors is handled. Typically when doors meet, there is some device to minimize the gap between the doors, a rabbet, a molding or one door overlapping the other. On this server they used beveled edge. The doors do not meet with a 90° butt joint, they are angled:


Beveled edged minimize the appearance of the door gap caused by seasonal movement or other causes.

I’ve seen this in other case pieces but this is the first time I’ve seen it used on curved doors.

No blog of mine can be considered complete without an examination of drawer construction. The veneer hides the truth but I believe the drawer front was cut from a thick block of wood:


The top veneer hides the construction of the drawer front.

The thickness of the drawer front does provide for some really interesting through dovetails:


My favorite dovetails of 2017. So far…

As we saw in recent blog, the thick veneer allows the maker to use through dovetails instead of the fussy, annoying half-blind dovetails.

Small Shop CNC: A Class of Machines Designed to Fit

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sat, 02/18/2017 - 5:00am

If you’re at the point to where you’re at least thinking about the idea of adding a CNC to your shop, then you’ve likely done some research. If that’s the case then you’ve certainly noticed there’s a huge range of sizes and prices of machines to consider.  With CNC routers from as small as 12” x 18” to as large as 5’ x 10’ in size, and prices from a few […]

The post Small Shop CNC: A Class of Machines Designed to Fit appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

took a partial day off..........

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 02/18/2017 - 2:02am
No oh dark thirty trips to Lowes or Home Depot this morning. Instead of that I slept in because the peepers failed open at 0130. There isn't a lot of quality entertainment on the boob tube that early in the morning. I did get to watch a NOVA program on origami that was interesting. I don't remember when I finally fell back to sleep but the peepers didn't fail open again until 0600.

I got started on installing the bottom cabinets but I still don't have any installed. I found my high and low spots, struck some lines, stood around looking at it, and took a whole lot of breaks. I had some errands to run so my wife and I decided to do them and go out for lunch.

During lunch we decided to make a left turn on the counter top. My wife was going to order it from Home Depot. Here's the kicker - if we get just the counter top, it's $700. They will deliver it and haul away the old one. That's it.

If I want them to install it, cut out for the sink, and attach the plumbing, the cost is now $3000. WTF? It shouldn't cost an extra $2000 to do this work which shouldn't take more then two hours, 3 at the most. Lowes is basically the same too. No one will do the whole nine yards without me coughing up a wheelbarrow full of money.

I will be doing the sink install myself. As much as I hate contorting my old, fat body to maneuver under the sink, I refuse to pay that kind of money. I will also be making my own counter top. My wife and I decided (mostly her) that it should be tiled. It's bit more work for me but I feel better taking it on than paying the exorbitant fees.

got real lucky here
 The corner cabinet just happens to land on the high spot. I find it easier to work out of a corner high going to low than the other way around.

an inch difference on the right
The top line is the level line coming out of the corner. The level line in the corner is set at the height of the corner cabinet.  The short line beneath the level one is the height of the cabinet at that point.  The floor slopes away here but I have never felt it before. It's hard to ignore this visual. That explains why pots on the stove pool liquids on the right side.

left side coming out of the corner
This side is about 3/8" off the high level line. I won't have to shim up as much here. I got the corner cabinet in the kitchen and put it place and it's crowding the water pipes for the sink. It already looks like the three stooges installed plumbing here. I don't want to have to reroute the water pipes but it's something I may have to do. I had to pull this cabinet back out to mark the stud locations and make a layout line for a 2x4. I need to screw that to the floor so I can then screw the cabinet into that. An inch is too much to raise up just on shims.

Evaporust bath this time
This is the chipbreaker I just got in the mail that had the iron that is toast. I bought another iron this time based on it's size of 2 5/16". It's a name I never heard of and I'm taking a chance on it fitting my 4 1/2. I already soaked this in citric acid and after hitting it with sandpaper I noticed a few pits. I decided to treat it with Evaporust too.

the original 4 1/2 chipbreaker
Look at the curve on this and how thin it is.

the one in the Evaporust now
The curve on this one isn't as pronounced as the one above. It is also thicker than the top one.

it is a gentle curve
my oldest Bailey dated anything
The patent date is 150 years old and that makes this at least that old or a bit younger but not by much. Evaporust puts a film on what is soaked in it. I want that protection to get down into the pits on this on both sides.

my low studs from Bill Rittner came in
I got the matching brass barrel nuts too. One set will be used on my first #3 and the other on the second one I bought.

new knob on my first #3
I like the scale of this knob a lot. I think it fits the scale of the plane much better then the previous tenant here.

the yet to be finished rehabbed #3
The scale of these knobs is the same as my first #3. I have a rear tote for this coming, when I don't know. I ordered an assortment of 4x36 sanding belts, 80 to 400, from Amazon so I can finish the sole and sides on this plane. These sanding belts are made for metalworking so they should last for a while. The ones I've been using up to this point have been woodworking ones.

getting the size for the crest rail
I don't like the design that is in the pic for the towel holder. I want the two ends of this crest rail to end above the sides of the towel holder. I'll wait until I have the shelf installed before I make the pattern for it.

went back to the rehabbing #3
I used the rat tail file and sandpaper to clean up the chip taken out of this side of the plane. I wanted the metal here to be smooth and shiny like the rest of the plane.

crest rail
I made the width of this oversized just in case. I think 6" wide would be ok and this is 8 1/2" just in case.

almost forgot this
This faucet set is only a couple of months old. I am going to recycle this into the new sink.

I still haven't chopped the pins on the tequila box. I think I'll try to squeeze it tomorrow. I would do it in the morning but I don't want to risk waking up my wife. It should only take about 15-20 minutes to do, if and when I do it. I want to get this done so I can get the tequila out of the shop. I don't want to risk inadvertently breaking it.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What are the 8 Rocky Mountain States?
answer - Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico


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