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General Woodworking

@ Handworks 2017 – Original Roubo Print 277

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

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

This page is one of the treasures from my inventory, and it is priced accordingly.  It is in excellent condition, and was drawn and engraved by Roubo himself.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories: General Woodworking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

accidental woodworker

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

Setting Up Shop: The Most Useful Power Tools

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Powermatic planer has prettied up a lot of wood.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have three impact drivers and could use more.

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

The FatMax is my favorite tape measure.

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


Categories: General Woodworking

@ Handworks 2017 – Original Roubo Print 275

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

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

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

The composition and engraving of the copper plate were done by Roubo himself.

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

accidental woodworker

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

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

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

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

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

From the World to the Museum

Product Design, Cultural Heritage

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

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

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

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

Does this chair scream Spain when you see it?


The classic Butterfly chair in leather.

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

I am still traumatized by the sight of these chairs.

This chair is also familiar:


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

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


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

These chairs are all familiar:


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

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


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

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


Pink and green is back…

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


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

The exhibit provides this explanation:


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

Another placard in the exhibit states:


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

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

@ Handworks 2017 – Original Roubo Print 274

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

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

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

The composition and engraving of the copper plate were done by Roubo himself.

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


Intricacies of a Stanley #244 Miter Box

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

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

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

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

Keep on keepin’ on.

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 1:35pm

It is very likely that I could fill three or four blog posts with my comings and goings of the past few months. I’m not going to do that at this time. I will mention, briefly, that as far as woodworking is concerned, I’ve been building quite a few different small boxes, some out of “good wood”, some out of pallet wood, and some out of reclaimed stuff. They are all experiments, mind you, but experiments to an end. I have what I feel is an interesting little story detailing a box I am repairing, as well as a box that I soon hope to be building which I will hopefully detail in an upcoming post, sooner rather than later. Otherwise, I’ve also been experimenting with using wood “from the log” and I also hope to write a few posts on that subject as well.

In the meanwhile, I finally got around to reading the Anarchists Design Book. I’m not going to review it because I am not trying to be critical one way or the other. I liked it, and that is enough said. I found myself gravitating more to the boarded furniture/staked stool areas in the book because to me they were the most useful items. Overall, staked furniture is not my thing. I have nothing against it on any level, I just don’t see a fit for it in my house, and I feel it has its limits. When checking out staked furniture on the internet, in particular staked tables, they all looked pretty much the same, and maybe that is the idea in building staked furniture.  I suppose if you are going for an overall theme, such as making a staked living room set, that is fine, but I am one of those people that likes a slightly haphazard look (just a bit mind you) when it comes to the furniture in my house, and that is probably because nearly all of the furniture in my house I built myself, and the pieces I didn’t came mostly from inheritance or antique stores.

One part of the book I did find interesting was the idea that in the past, ornate, high-end furniture was made for the ultra-rich, and that the average person could not come close to affording it.  In essence that was the overall theme of this blog several years ago. I had always found it rather ironic (and I still do) that the actual furniture makers of the 18th and 19th centuries (not the shop owners but the guys doing the construction), the guys that quite a few amateur woodworkers worship today, were working men in every sense of the word, and in reality, they couldn’t even afford to purchase the very furniture they were making with their own hands. There is even a greater irony in that today furniture making, once very much a working-class profession, is now a hobby dominated by the upper-class. There is something to be said there, and if I haven’t before said it, I’m not going to now.

Otherwise, I will keep doing what I am doing. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been doing a bit of experimenting with working straight from the log. It has led to a lot of understanding when it comes to wedges, mauls, and axe sharpening. And, more fittingly, it led to the restoration and new-found usefulness of a tool discovered in an old shed, given to my by my father in law. But, I will save that story for another day.

Categories: General Woodworking

Japanese Sliding-lid Box

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 1:27pm
sliding lid box opener

This clever and simple piece is great for storing tools, toys or a kimono by Christopher Schwarz from the December 2015 issue While picking though a table of vintage Japanese tools for sale in 2013, I spotted this sliding-lid box under the vendor’s table; it was blackened by age, soot and rust. Despite its scars, however, the box was still graceful and functional. The owner, a Japanese carpenter, wouldn’t part […]

The post Japanese Sliding-lid Box appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Goin’ Hollywood Part Trois

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 1:11pm

Josh Farnsworth has posted the third episode from his visit to The Barn a couple months ago.  I hope you find it amusing.

Given this entree into reality television perhaps I too am qualified to someday become President.  Then again perhaps not, inasmuch as I already know some about history, political theory, economics, the Constitution, etc.  If recent decades have shown us anything it is that those things do not resonate with the electorate.  So on second thought, I’ll just stay in the mountains.

I’ve been busy

goatboy's woodshop - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 11:54am


I haven’t posted for a while so I thought I’d put finger to keyboard to show some of what I’ve been up to these last few weeks.

Last year I started a job as a part-time upholsterer, and I wanted to put my stamp on my working area, in the form of a few tools and toolboxes. Also, I have recently design myself a new logo, and I was desperate to showcase it on something.

So, in between work and family life, I’ve put in a few hours in the workshop recently, in order to address both these issues. This is what I came up with.

First off was a toolbox, to replace the ubiquitous plastic affair that can be found on the shelves at any DIY store. I decided to go with the design I came up with a few months ago, but this time using walnut and cherry.


Here you can see all the components milled, shaped and sanded, and all the joinery complete. Just a bit of pyrography, brass and leather work needed and then three coats of my oil/varnish/turps blend.


Next was a small lidded box. My new job involves a little hand and machine sewing, so I decided to make a receptacle for pins, chalks, awls, scissors and the like.


Here are the components all ready to assemble. For this project I went with utile and maple., brass hinges and catch, and pyrography of a needle and thread on the lid.


The box was finished with shellac and wax and I lined the inside with leather. I even made a small pincushion for the inside as well.


As I have said before, every good workshop needs a good mallet, and the one that I currently use at work is perfectly fine, but a little boring and care worn.


My new mallet is made from beech and ash, with pyrography of the goat’s head part of my logo, and finished with oil/varnish.


Occasionally, when refinishing an armchair say, new webbing needs to be affixed to the underside to support the bottom. It is very important that the webbing be taut, and there are various tools available to achieve this. The ones we use at work consist of a paddle and a dowel. A loop of the webbing is passed through a hole in the paddle and secured with the dowel and then the using the paddle as a lever, the webbing is stretched tight and fixed with tacks or staples. (This site will explain properly)


I didn’t really need to make on of these because there are several available to use at work, but I thought it would be a fun exercise. Taking careful measurements I made a rough sketch at work and used this to make my own. The paddle is oak and the dowel is purpleheart. The dowel is tethered with brass plugs and leather.


Finally, I made a pen tidy. Last year, across the road from me, a blackthorn blew down in the wind. It was mostly rotten, but I managed to salvage a few chunks and it has been drying in the shop ever since.


Using a chunk of this blackthorn I turned a hollow cylinder and then parted down the mid section until it resembled a cotton reel. Some string wound round it, and a needle turned from kingwood, and the cotton reel pen tidy was complete. The exposed wooden parts were finished with Hampshire Sheen.


Well, there you have it. Now that I look at it all, I think I may have gone a bit over the top? What do you reckon?


Nah….balls to it. I had fun making them.


Filed under: Joinery, Pyrography, Woodturning Tagged: ash, beech, blackthorn, brass, cherry, kingwood, leather, maple, oak, purpleheart, utlie, walnut

Book Giveaway: Mid-Century Modern Furniture Plans

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 8:55am
Mid-Century Modern Furniture Plans

This week’s book giveaway is for Michael Crow’s “Mid-Century Modern Furniture: Shop Drawings & Techniques for Making 29 Projects.” The book includes mid-century modern furniture plans for a number of great projects by designers like Hans Wegner, George Nelson, Borge Mogensen, George Nakashima, Finn Juhl and others. We published this book a couple of years ago and lately I’ve been revisiting it because I’m currently working on Michael’s new book – a book […]

The post Book Giveaway: Mid-Century Modern Furniture Plans appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

CNC Tooling Basics — Mills & Bits for Cutting Wood Parts

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 8:17am

In this series on mills and bits for digital woodworkers, I introduced the basics of end mill and router bit design. If you missed it, here’s the introduction and parts one, two and three. With the basics completed, it’s time to focus on which mills work best for specific purposes. One of the best uses for a CNC is for cutting parts so, let’s see what mills and bits work […]

The post CNC Tooling Basics — Mills & Bits for Cutting Wood Parts appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

spring tradition pt 1 – Brimfield

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 6:29am

In some circles, all you need to say is one word – “Brimfield” and people know you mean the 3-times-a-year event in the Massachusetts town of that name. Flea market, antiques fair – not sure what to call it. Home-schooling means you can haul your kids to something like this & call it “cultural history”, “sociology”, “economics” or just a nice spring day looking at all kinds of who-knows-what you’ll see. we just stayed a few hours, which means we saw a fraction of it. May, July & September. Runs for days…a great slice of the world…

a very nice, small Windsor chair. $25. I left it there, we’re over-run with chairs at home.

Saw some very nice baskets – again, I don’t need to start collecting old baskets. This one I shoulda bought, though…

These southern ones are also very nice.

we used to see lots of eastern-European woodwork there, now there’s an influx of sub-Continental stuff. Or so a general overview seems. I’m mostly ignorant about this work, But these carved panels in this door were excellent.

There’s too many other pictures. if you’re inclined, they’re loaded here as a gallery.

Workbench 1, 2, 3 – Day 3c

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 5:20am

I was finally able to carve out another few hours to get the two workbenches ready to go for use as tables at Handworks.

My first task was to get the last two legs fitted and trimmed, then I had both benches up on their feet.  I trimmed the ends with my 10″ Milwaukee circular saw and spent about an hour total rough flattening the tops with a fore plane.

With that done I drilled a number of holes for holdfasts and fitted the planing stop on the one bench I will be keeping.  I have to consult again with the LoC folks before doing any more to theirs.

And, it was a functional workbench.  After Handworks I will do the final truing of the top, add a crochet and shelf to mine and stick it in the shop.

With that I stuck a pair of horses underneath one bench, and using a block saved just for that purpose, drove out the legs.  Then I lifted the end of the second bench up on to the first bench top sitting on the horses and drove out the first pair of its legs.  I slid the bench top onto the first one up to the second pair of legs and drove them out too.

The whole pile now sits close to the door, ready to head off to Iowa.  And the time card read 24 hours.

Yep, one guy, two workbenches, in three days.

Build Your Practical Workshop

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 5:00am
Practical Workshop

  In this excerpt from “The Practical Workshop: A Woodworker’s Guide to Workbenches, Layout & Tools,” Christopher Schwarz discusses how the book can help you build your practical workshop quickly and effectively – so you can spend less time setting up your space and more time woodworking.  Over the years I’ve seen some of the most incredible (and humble) workshops all over the planet. Human nature being what it is, it’s easiest to […]

The post Build Your Practical Workshop appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking


Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 12:59am
I did the splines yesterday on the frame wrong. The grain on the splines wasn't running across the face of the miter like they should. Instead they were parallel to them. They wouldn't offer any resistance at all to the miters moving. I only noticed it as I was tapping the last one home.

I was going to leave them like this because this is a frame that will hang on the wall in my wife's office. After reading a couple of comments and getting a huge blown pic of a spline in an email from a friend, I changed my mind. Fixing that is what I did tonight. These set backs are inconsequential as there is no dead line for this to be completed.

there is a 5 1/2 in there
I had a hard time resisting the urge to unwrap this right away and check it out. Instead I was a good little boy and turned my attention back to the frame.

set up overnight
It is May here in my corner of the universe and the temperatures are struggling to get up to where they should be. Nights are running in the middle to high 40's F with the days barely making it to 56-57 F. The furnace is still kicking in during the night which is a PITA. I thought I was done paying for heat until november. In spite of the cool temps it seems the shop is staying warm enough for the hide glue to cure.

sawed the bad splines off as close to frame as I could
the bad spline
I sawed the spline kerf on the center and I was hoping I could leave this one and saw a new kerf next to it. Not enough meat to do that so I planed this spline flush and I sawed the new kerf in the first spline.

this is toast
As I was planing this it broke but there was still enough to get four splines. My first stroke on this broken piece of scrap made a split that went about 1/2 way down the length.

new spline stock
I sawed out two of these on the tablesaw. The first one was way too thick but this one was thinner and almost fit. It took less than 5 minutes of sanding and checking before I got a slip fit.

new splines cooking
New splines with the grain going across the face of the miters.

still together
I did a quick, light planing on the four corners to remove most of the paper I had there to keep the frame from being glued to the bench. Not even an inkling that the miters would or were even trying to move or open.

tote and knob from new old 5 1/2
Both of these are in good shape. There are no cracks, obvious glue lines, or repairs on the tote. There isn't even a chip or a ding anywhere around the top of the horn. And I have a low knob and it isn't beaded. Non beaded low knobs are my preference. The knob is in as good of shape as the tote is.

this isn't a type 11 lever cap
I'll have to check this but if I remember right, the Stanley was put on the lever caps with the type 13 planes. Either way this is getting replaced with a lever cap that is sans the Stanley name.

No pitting and rust free. I think someone has at least done rust removal on this plane and it was recent too. The mouth looks good too. Front and rear are parallel and appear to be square to the sides. No dings or chips on either side too.

both sides are clean looking
There is a little bit of wanna be rust blooms on the heel here and some on the other side too.

lateral adjust is way too loose for my liking
I peened the other side and stiffened it up a lot. Doesn't flip flop anymore now. The right top of the frog has a pebbled look to it. This is usually what rust pitting looks like after it is cleaned up.

the frog adjust tab
This is pebbled too and I would bet a lung that it was totally rusted and derusted. This will be tossed in the citrus bath overnight too along with the frog. It doesn't and won't effect it's use adjusting the frog.

Both sides of this and iron looked damn good. Clean and shiny for the most part and no rust to be see anywhere on it. I hit this area with a wire brush and rust popped up. I tossed into the citrus bath too.

iron advance knob
This thing is filthy dirty and it is the worse looking knob I've seen. I have no idea what that black stuff there is. 100+ years of accumulated use and workshop crap? I wonder about this and how long it had been used and how long it has been idle before I took up stewardship of it.

bar keeps first
I put the brass adjuster knob and the brass caps for the front knob and tote in here too. I let this go and soak while I had dinner. They didn't come out clean but they look better than the before pics. I'll have to scrub them with a degreaser and then repeat the bar keeps again. I'll do that tomorrow.

I haven't used this plane yet and I already like it. I like the width of this much more than that of the #5. The only problem I see with this is I don't have a hole to put it in under my workbench. (That is where I keep my bench planes) This may force my had because I've been thinking about making a till to keep all my planes in one spot. Right now they are spread out around the shop in 4 different places.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
How many US Presidents were Quakers?
answer - two  Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon


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