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General Woodworking

POLL: Do You Use the Built-In Ruler On Your Saw Fences?

Highland Woodworking - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 7:00am


Do you use the built-in ruler on your saw fences?

Many people don’t trust them, especially when they need a super-accurate cut.

Whether on the table saw or miter saw, some use a rule to measure the distance between the blade and fence.

And, certainly, that’s the way to get the best-fitting parts.

I spent a lot of time calibrating the scale on my Delta cabinet saw, and it’s quite accurate, but it’s set for my Forrest Woodworker II. If I use my thin-kerf, coarse-tooth Craftsman blade, that measurement changes. I use the scale only when the cut doesn’t have to be perfect.

It takes little time to make that measurement, and, if you’re batching parts, you need measure only once.

It would take a lot longer to make all those pieces a second time.

I’ve fine-tuned the scale on the Delta cabinet saw to its best accuracy, but I still measure the distance between the blade and the fence when cutting furniture parts.

I put a scale on my Norm Abram miter saw stand, but I don’t use it. The plans included instructions for a movable stop, but, when I got through with the project I was out of time and never got around to making that clamp.

I would use the stop, if I ever got around to making one, because I perform a lot of repetitive cuts. However, I still measure the distance between the blade and the stop, despite the fact that I’ve checked the tape repeatedly, and it’s always right on the money.

The tape on this Norm Abram-style miter stand is very, very accurate, but I still don’t use it.

One day I’ll make Norm’s movable stop, but, in the meantime, this setup works quite well.

And, what do you use to measure? I’m not trusting of tapes when perfection is on the line. After all, a movable hook is the antithesis of accuracy. I will use a tape and start at the 1″ mark sometimes, but that doesn’t work when measuring against a blade or fence.

That’s when I drag out my father’s old folding rule. There’s no disputing the meaningfulness of a measurement from one of those!

I often keep a folding rule in my pocket when building furniture. Their accuracy is without peer. The bottom four were Daddy’s. He’s 95 and still very spry, but no longer needs his measuring tools. We are blessed.

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The post POLL: Do You Use the Built-In Ruler On Your Saw Fences? appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Easy Entry Digital Woodworking – Outsource Perfect patterns

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 2:21am

In the first post of this series, I explained the process that I use to make paper patterns for parts. Simply put, output your design to your printer, use the tiling feature to divide larger drawings into printer size pages, splice the pages together, glue it onto MDF or plywood, cut close to the line on a bandsaw and finally, fair the results with rasps and files. The most important […]

The post Easy Entry Digital Woodworking – Outsource Perfect patterns appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

it's a libella........

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 1:25am
I got a few comments on what the name of the 'A' thing is.  Sylvain traced it to the Egyptians and Diego said he saw one in a museum in France. I located my book on Roman Woodworking and I found it in there too. I knew that this was a level but I wanted to put a name tag on it. I'm sure the Egyptians had a name for it but I couldn't find it so I am settling for the Roman one. And I'm sure Rome borrowed this from some other culture and called it a libella. This type of level has also been around since dirt was invented. I wonder if the ancient Sumerians invented it. Or if they got it from the Gods as a gift as their cuneiform clay tablets says it was.

Simple Green
I found the Simple Green at Ocean State Job Lot today. It isn't exactly what I was looking for but I took it anyways. I wanted the Simple Green degreaser formula and it says that on the bottle. This one doesn't so I doubt I got that. BTW for Steve - OSJL has the shop lights in stock again for $14.99. I asked the Manager of this one if they would ship between stores and she said no. But she said that other stores should have the same lights in stock.

round 2 of the stripper
I think that this will do it for stripper. I put some on the back of the frog and the yoke.

pile of shavings for round #2 cleanup
the shavings will clean up the stripper
The shavings worked well for this purpose. They absorbed the stripper and they acted like an abrasive and scrubbed some of the japanning off the metal.

forgot the before pic
I would guess-ta-mate that about 90% of the japanning on this is now gone. What little is left I am sure I'll be able to remove by sanding.

plumbline stick is done almost
Still no string for either of these. I looked at the mason's string at Ocean State Job Lot but it looked like it was too thick for the plumb bobs I have.  I am going to make another libella. I rushed in making this one and made a few assumptions that I think are now wrong.

the new libella
Three pieces of stock 1 x 1 1/2 x 16 is what I need for the new one. There aren't any instructions anywhere that I could find on making this. So what I am doing now is again mostly conjecture on my part as to the how and what. On the first libella I just eyeballed what I thought was a good angle, height, and spread on the legs and went from there.  That was mistake #1.

Mistake #2 was not taking sufficient care to layout the top angled half lap properly. I didn't layout the angle on each piece from the same spot and that is why they came out mismatched. That mismatch on the angle caused other problems with getting the legs even and the brace parallel with the bottom of them.

making a full scale pattern
Just about every picture I dug up on a libella showed the 'A' to be an isosceles triangle. I don't know that for sure but they sure looked like that. That makes sense to me as it makes it easy to make the 'A' as precise as I can. The half lap at the top will be at 90° and the leg bottoms will sawn at a 45° angle as will the ends on the brace.

Here I set the brace on the legs until the length of it matched the length of the two legs. Once this is glued up I can then lay a square on the brace and have it align on the apex with the legs. That mark should be where the plumb bob will hang too. I sawed the 3 parts for the libella and stickered them until tomorrow.

this is why Frank
The question was why couldn't I leave the iron in the plane?  I only have a slot in this piece of oak for the skate to fit in. In order to leave the iron in the plane I would have to chop a slanted mortise at 90° to the skate slot. I'm not sure that I could retract the iron high enough and still put the plane in the slot as is.

I am going to make the holder for the 6mm iron tonight. This piece is to match the angle of the iron which is 25° too.

4 of the 5 pieces to make up the iron holder
This is pretty much self explanatory. The small middle piece has the 25° angle on it. I will glue this in place so it's bevel is facing in. That way the bevel of the iron will be sandwiched between it and the back.

by saw, chisel, and sandpaper
Drew an arc on the top back piece first. I then sawed off most of the waste, chiseled it close to the lines, and smoothed it with sandpaper. I left all the pencil marks as this side will be glued  to the box hiding it all.

using the rapid fuse glue again
It did well on the walnut banding for the box so I'm going to try it here too.

all 5 of the parts
The bottom and top pieces are slightly oversized. Once everything is glued up and set, I will plane everything flush and square.

2 frog hairs of room on either side of the holder
backer for the holder
This may or may not happen. This will be out of sight inside the box so I don't see the need to make it pretty. But that hasn't stopped me in the past.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What are you if someone says you are gracile?
answer - you have a slender build

Video: Building A Sculpture with Toshio Odate

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 11:41am

A couple of years back Popular Woodworking Magazine had the chance to visit renowned sculptor, author and teacher Toshio Odate at his home. While there, we had a wonderful opportunity to speak with him about his life and work. While filming a great deal of content for two videos, we had the unique chance to watch as Toshio, his family and friends (and a few of our crew) helped re-install […]

The post Video: Building A Sculpture with Toshio Odate appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Bungee Cord Boom Arm– Tips from Sticks in the Mud – November 2017 – Tip #2

Highland Woodworking - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 7:00am

No Southern-fried Southern boy wants to be called a Yankee, but we share the characteristics of shrewdness and thrift. Thus, each month we include a money-saving tip. It’s OK if you call me “cheap.

The Festool Vacuum Hose Boom Arm is a great invention, and Steve Johnson thinks I’m absolutely nuts because I don’t have one.

What good is it? There are lots of uses.

Relating to attaching one’s Festool Dust Extractor to any sander, it keeps the hose from dragging across your work, possibly scratching a nicely-prepared surface.

Also, when used with the belt sander, it prevents the hose from holding back your progress when you wish to cover a lot of ground with the sander, which is what a belt sander does best.

For any sander, it helps you maintain the surface of the sandpaper coplanar with the surface being sanded. You can do that with brute strength, or you can utilize the boom arm by adjusting its height to match the job you’re on.

If I don’t have a boom arm, then, how do I accomplish these things?

Bungee cords!

I have screw-hooks in the ceiling all over the shop and outdoors on the deck where I do some work too. If one bungee cord is too short, I can double up. If it’s too long, I can double over. There are lots of ways to make things work.

Under threat of rain, I moved the sanding of this mantle under the First Up tent. Now, the work, the sander and the Festool Dust Extractor are all protected. Notice the bungee cord holding the dust extractor hose at just the right angle for easy, comfortable sanding.

Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home.Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

The post Bungee Cord Boom Arm– Tips from Sticks in the Mud – November 2017 – Tip #2 appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Live-Edge Slabs from NYC with Roger Benton – 360w360 E.256

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 4:10am
Live-Edge Slabs from NYC with Roger Benton – 360w360 E.256

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, we talk with Roger Benton, co-owner of Re-Co BKLYN (recobklyn.com), a woodworking shop that builds fine furniture and produces live-edge slabs and boards. And the majority of the lumber is taken directly out of the city’s waste stream. Roger shares how the business got started, and reveals a few facts about New York city and its vast lumber resources.

Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more).

Continue reading Live-Edge Slabs from NYC with Roger Benton – 360w360 E.256 at 360 WoodWorking.

‘Workholding Solutions’ – Free eMag

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 3:26am

Twice a year, we add a bindup of “legacy content” (articles that have appeared in the magazine before) to newsstand copies. While it’s nothing long-time subscribers haven’t already seen, recent subscribers might have missed one or two of the articles. So we’re offering it here, free. In the December 2017 issue (which mails to subscribers on November 8 and is on newsstands November 21), we’ve included in the newsstand copies “Workholding Solutions” […]

The post ‘Workholding Solutions’ – Free eMag appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

a no title post....

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 1:54am
Almost zero shop time tonight. I had to make a pit stop at Wally World tonight and they don't sell Simple Green. Benny's is or was a Rhode Island institution and it was the first store I remember going in as a kid. They sold Simple Green cheap but they went out of business last week. They weren't exactly a hardware store nor were they a department store.  They were kind of the two but small scale and a few tics above a dollar store. Another memory I can talk about to other people and watch the vacant expressions on their faces.

I will have to wait for the weekend and go to Ocean State Junk Lot and see if they have it. It is a hit or miss affair with that store. You never know what they have in stock. Lowes sells it but for almost 3 times the price Benny's used to sell it for. That will be the absolute last resort.

two for Miles and one for me
Paul Sellers recommends a flat file as an essential tool and I agree. It works wonderfully on smoothing end grain. It will serve double duty filing scrapers too. The japanese square is one I have and I like it. I don't use it much because it is hidden away in a cabinet. Maybe he'll use it more than I use mine.

got this for me
Woodcraft sells 6mm plywood. This 6mm iron will make a groove for it. If it doesn't you will hear me screaming my displeasure that it doesn't.

won't fit in here
I really don't want to keep the 6mm iron in here. I can put the 1/4" iron in the plane and 6mm in it's slot. Or I could just put the 6mm in the plane. I don't like either scenario. I think it would be too easy to confuse one for the other. Besides, I would have to chop a slot in the plane body holder in the box so I can stow the plane body with an iron in it.

what I plan on doing
I will make a holder for the 6mm iron and glue it to this end of the box. I put this box on the sharpening bench so I'll remember to do it this weekend.

dadoes chopped
The chopping went real quick with the 2" chisel. Two whacks covered the 3" + on the width. Used the 1" chisel to knock down the wedge in the middle and flatten it.

router got me to depth
It has taken me quite a while to get to this point with the housing joint. Both of these fit snug and both are self supporting. Worth the struggle to get here and finally to be able to make good fitting housing dadoes repeatedly.

this way
Long grain facing out and end grain facing out on the ends.

or this way
End grain facing up and long grain on the ends.  With this orientation I'll be gluing end grain to long grain. I'll need some kind of fastener to help secure the joint. I could use miller dowels or long screws. With the spacer installed this way I don't have to worry about expansion and contraction  changing the distance from the back to the front edge of the spacer. But I do have to look at the end grain which I don't like.

I went with the first way - long grain facing out. I'll have a strong and secure long grain to long grain glue joint. Expansion and contraction may or may not be a problem. The spacers are about 3 3/8" wide so I'm betting that I won't have to worry about it. And they are both sequential pieces from the same board.

planing the face
This planing run was to clean up all the pencil marks. I've been doing my planing wrong as I usually start here and plane forward.

the way I should be doing it
I don't recall the video I saw this in but Paul Sellers explained how to do it. He said you plane the board is sections, starting at the left end and working back. If you are left handed you would start at the right and work to the left. Paraphrasing what he said, doing it this way you are planing from an unplaned area into one that is planed. The plane isn't going over a freshly planed spot as it would be if I did my way. He's been right on a lot of other things so I'll give a try too.

I'm glad I checked this
The one on the left is square to the back but this one was off. It was leaning to the right a few frog hairs. It took me a few whacks with the mallet to get it square and to keep it there. I came down after dinner to make sure it was still square - it was.

I wanted to get the second round of stripping on the plane done but it will have to wait. I got a throw away brush to slop the stripper on and I hope that it'll last so I can do the other two planes with it too.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (36 letters)?
answer - a fear of long words

PS I found my Roman Woodworking book and the 'A' thing is a libella in Latin and was used by stone masons and woodworkers.

Update on Woodworking in America

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 1:55pm

It is with no small regret that I announce we will not be holding a 2018 Woodworking in America conference. Though pulling the conference together is always a lot of work, I’ve found that the days actually at the conferences (every year since 2008!) have been among the most rewarding – I will sorely miss this opportunity to get together with 400+ of my closest woodworking friends. In the meantime, […]

The post Update on Woodworking in America appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Getting Rid of Dust Accumulation – Tips from Sticks in the Mud – November 2017 – Tip #1

Highland Woodworking - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 12:23pm

Welcome to “Tips From Sticks-In-The-Mud Woodshop.” I am a hobbyist who loves woodworking and writing for those who also love the craft. I have found some ways to accomplish tasks in the workshop that might be helpful to you, and I enjoy hearing your own problem-solving ideasPlease share them in the COMMENTS section of each tip.  If, in the process, I can also make you laugh, I have achieved 100% of my goals.

Few power tools can take off more material in less time than a belt sander. Prior to Katrina, I had a Craftsman 4″, and it was a beast. The Porter-Cable I replaced the flooded one with is its equal.

Of course, sanding dust accumulation goes hand-in-hand with material removal. The Porter-Cable came with a dust collection bag, and the Festool Dust Extractor Hose fits its exhaust port.

However, if you, like me, get tired of filling that little dust bag and the constant emptying, and you don’t yet have your first Festool Dust Extractor (Betcha’ can’t stop with just one!), you can do what I did back in the day. I discovered that a piece of under-sink plumbing pipe fits the exhaust perfectly if you bush it with a little electrical tape. Now, the dust is directed away from you.

I would commonly use the powerful fan I salvaged from my neighbor’s greenhouse to pull the dust away from my work area.

A bit of electrical tape, a piece of sink plumbing and sanding dust is on its way to the fan.

My neighbor threw out this three-speed, two-directional fan when he did away with his greenhouse. A little cleaning, a lot of Rust-OLeum and a frame made from scraps, and I had a nice, rolling fan to cool me off or suck away sanding dust.

Of course, there is no substitute for a proper dust-filtering mask, and I always use my Eclipse P100 Dust Mask, along with the fan.

Your spouse will appreciate the shower you take after sanding.

Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home.Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

The post Getting Rid of Dust Accumulation – Tips from Sticks in the Mud – November 2017 – Tip #1 appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Greenwood Fest June 5-10, 2018

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:57am
photo Marie Pelletier

People’s lives get busier every year. Ours too. Good thing we have all these time-saving devices…

today’s post is just a “save the date” sort of thing. Plymouth CRAFT’s Greenwood Fest will be early June again, same venue = Pinewoods Dance Camp, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA.

Festival June 8-10; pre-Fest courses June 5-7. TICKETS GO ON SALE FEBRUARY 2, 2018. We will let you know details as we get it together – this is just so you can get the time off of work, quit your job, cancel graduation/wedding, etc and tell your family you’ll be in the woods.

2017 group photo, Marie Pelletier

Here’s the beginnings of the website. https://www.greenwoodfest.org/

Dave Fisher, photo Marie Pelletier

See you there, OK?

Profitable Subpar Work – A Strategy for Selling at a Farmers Market

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 7:07am

Most of my income comes from weekend art/farmers markets where I sell mainly turned work (bowls). I’ve learned that you need to have a bell curve of prices from cheap to extravagant with the majority falling in the middle-class affordable range. I’ve always struggled with the $20 cheap range. If you don’t have a selection of goods at low prices you lose mid-priced sales from the uneducated. These people will […]

The post Profitable Subpar Work – A Strategy for Selling at a Farmers Market appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Where Moxon Got His Mojo

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 4:00am

For over a decade I've been looking for a copy I could afford of Andre Felibien's masterwork, "Des Principes de l'Architecture, de la Sculpture, de la Peinture et des ..." [Principles of Architecture, Sculpture, Painting and ..] A copy finally popped up on the internet and I grabbed it. I have been spending the last week studying it. The book is well known, and you can get a scan on Google books here. I collect books. While it's wonderful to be able to read the book online from practically anywhere, I find having a real book in front of me is far more satisfying. The book's woodworking section starts at page 170, with all the plates are in the following pages.

There are several editions of the book, the first from 1676. This is the book that Joseph Moxon used to copy drawing from when he published the woodworking section of "Mechanick Exercises" two years later in 1678. If you haven't read Moxon, we stock the Lost Art Press version, or you can read the 1703 third edition here.

Moxon's "Mechanick Exercises" is important because it is the first book in English that tries to be a handbook on how to make things. Beginning in 1677, every few months or so Moxon released a chapter on a different subject. Blacksmithing, carpentry, house-righting were a few of the topics. In 1683, after a hiatus of several years while England was in turmoil, Moxon resumed the series, this time writing about something he know about personally: printing and typemaking. Whereas Felibien's book was really an encyclopedia of tools and objects - this is a hammer, this is a nail - Moxon pioneered the "How-to." The point of Felibien's book, in my view, was to give rich, educated people the ability to find out the basics of the world around them. Studying Plato at University was fine and dandy, but an educated person should not be confused by the real life going around them.

Moxon took it a step further. "Mechanick Exercises" tells a little about the tools; instead, it instructs. Here is the way to grind a tool, how to chop a mortise, etc. Fairly short in length, and written by someone who was far from an expert or a craftsperson in anything except printing, the book falls short of being comprehensive. But Moxon gets full marks or trying, and it's exciting to read his result.

It is pretty obvious - and has been known for a long time - that Moxon used Felibien as a source for all his tool illustrations. Seeing the original engravings started me thinking. First of all, if Moxon's book used French pictures, then one can assume that what is in Moxon are actually drawings of French tools. And in fact, many of the few surviving English tools from that era look different than the tools illustrated in Mechnick Exercises.

Another point I am pondering: the vise that we now call a Moxon Vise is hanging off in space on the side of the workbench, but are shown much larger hanging on the wall in Felibien's workshop. I love my Moxon Bench because the modern incarnation sits on top of my bench, raising the height for dovetailing and other joinery. But Moxon doesn't mention it in the text and neither book shows the vise in a modern usages. Felibien calls it a wood press, or vise, but that's doesn't help much, although the size of the vises in his book suggest that they were used for clamping things together, not as a vise raiser.

Probably the most obvious conclusion I can reach from comparing the photos is that Moxon really did a crappy job. The images are all crammed together on one plate, and two of the tools - the workbench and the frame saw - are cut off at the edge. The engravings are crude compared to Felibien's.

How were the engravings done? And who was the engraver? We really don't know. At the time of publication, Moxon was a successful printer so he would have had staff, but he also probably had enough skill to do the not-so-great engravings himself. I consulted by phone with my friend Jeff Peachey, a noted book conservator (who hasn't seem this copy in the flesh yet) His guess is that the engraver (whoever it was) just propped up the Felibien up and then directly sketched out the tool images on the copper plate. This would explain why the images are all reversed in the final print. We suspect the engraver might have used some sort of optical aid to help with the copying on some of the images. Moxon's image are greatly reduced in size from the original French ones, probably because he was trying to fit about 4 pages of tools onto one smaller page. That being said, and the reason why I suspect the involvement of an aid of a sort, is that planes drawings are a pretty good copy of the original image, but one of the saws is missing a little off the right side. The problematic saw would have been the last one engraved if the engraver worked from left to right (as you would if you were right handed). I think that if he was drawing freehand and just using the book as a reference he would have scaled it to fit. As it is it looks like he was in a rush, started off doing a pretty good engraved copy, but then ran out of space. Some of the smaller tools are pretty crude, as if he didn't see the need for a careful copy. The biggest change from Felibien is on the workbench. The wood press on the wall became something hanging in front of Moxon's bench. One interesting fact is that Moxon's bench has a hook front on the left and Felibien's doesn't. This suggests that Moxon might have copied the images but he was trying at least on some level to do more than just condense and copy a picture.

While I find the facts of the case interesting, and speculation on how the books came about fun, the real thrill for someone like me who loves history is just seeing these real-live books together. We don't know for sure how Moxon got the idea for "Mechanick Exercises," but I can tell you it is very possible that being a printer he had a copy of the French book soon after publication in 1676 and got the brainwave to take it one step further. I know when I was looking at Felibien and starting to understand some of the text, I found myself wondering: Okay, I know it's a woodpress, but describing it isn't enough. How do you use it? And, nice chisels! What do you use them for?

I guess that's the same question Moxon asked himself. But unlike me, he got off his duff and published a book about it.

oh no Mr Bill......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 1:03am
A blast from past Saturday Night Live days. I had a Mr Bill moment tonight in the shop. I was snapping my last pic before shutting out the lights and I noticed a boo boo. I don't know how many pics I thought I had snapped but it made no never mind. I didn't have a SD card in the camera. I saw it on the last pic because I actually read what was on the LCD screen. It said no camera card installed. The first thought I had that echoed in the brain bucket was, "what idiot forgot to not only put in the card but didn't notice it sooner"?  Ah, that idiot would be me because I can't blame my wife or the cats for it.

Some pics I could snap again like the very last one. The others I didn't try to stage again. So I took a few to show the what I had done. But it was a short night in the shop so I'm sure the pic count would not have been too high anyways.

the after pic
 I sanded the interior and cleaned it with Orange Clean. I wanted to use Simple Green but I couldn't find the bottle. Then I remember my wife had taken it. I wanted to clean the inside of grease, dirt, etc before I applied the stripper. The stripper worked from the frog seat aft rather well. Forward of the frog seat, not so good. What little japanning that was left there didn't all come off.

this actually looks better
I used the spray stuff tonight for round one. Tomorrow night I will use the paste stuff on the left. The plane collector uses this and he lets it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing it off. I don't have a sand blaster like him so I'll be trying another round of stripper. After round #2 I'll see what I can do with a wire wheel in a drill.

from NH plane parts
I found this after my first 3 hunts came up dry. I snagged this set as soon as I saw it. I didn't even look at the price until I checked out. Almost no rust, dirt, or grunge on either piece. And the iron has a whole lot of life left to it. This will be going in Miles's #6.

why I bought it
This was the iron in Miles's #6 plane. I am going to hang onto the iron and see if I ever get anywhere near to it's use. I now have an extra chip breaker that I don't have to buy. I need one for a bare iron out of a 4 1/2. This chipbreaker is the first one I have bought that had the front forward end stoned so that it lays absolutely flat on the iron.

plumb bob for the 'A' thing - still no proper name for it

plumb bob for the Plumb line stick
Now I have to buy some twine or cotton cord. All I have is some fish line and I don't want to use that if I don't have to.

it is the center

I drew a line from the bottom angle by my finger, to the apex of the top one. It went almost dead nuts through the diagonals I drew yesterday. I am going to put the hole for the plumb bob string about a 1/2" above the center point.

prepped the plumb line stick
I checked for twist on the flat face I did yesterday and found none. I checked the opposite face and it had a teeny bit that I planed out. I then squared both edges, sawed and squared up the two offsets, and laid out where the dados will go. I'll chop them out tomorrow and glue them in place.

here is the pic of the outside edge Frank
This is the 15" square I just bought. It definitely isn't square but it also isn't a large round over neither. The question that is bugging me now, is why is it rounded and not square?

maybe it is for this????
The only thing I came up with this is that it helps somehow with checking for an outside square reading. With the roundish edge it will be easier to set it down this way and position it.

portable square till
My lunchtime doodling. I am thinking of making a portable till/box to keep the squares in. Having this will free up a lot of real estate in the tills in the toolbox. If I don't do that, I may have to make a bigger tool box. I bought what looks to be a 12 inch copy of the 15" square.  I think I can get all of the squares in this. The drawing doesn't show the 12 and 6 inch combo squares.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was the first black actor to win an Emmy as a lead actor in a comedy series?
answer - Robert Guillaume for Benson in 1985   (he passed away last week)

We’ll see Summer come again…

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 6:03pm

the title is for Michael Rogen, just to let him know I’m thinking of him. I like that summer’s gone. Fall is a beautiful time of year here. I am especially enjoying seeing how the light in the shop changes now. Today the light caught my eye a number of times. If I’m not careful, I’ll take as many photos as Rick McKee https://www.instagram.com/medullary_rick/ 

I used some auger bits this past weekend, and again today. I had the box of them out on the bench…

I’ve started the next project recently, and two carvings for it were standing up out of the way…

Today I got to work some in the shop, after teaching for 7 days straight (a student here for a week, and Plymouth CRAFT for the weekend). Time to finish off some stuff, first up is the wainscot chair. For this seat, I do use a template, in this case to map out the square mortises chopped in the seat board so it slips over the stiles. Here’s the seat board with its template off to the left. Complete with dust in the sunlight..

I’ve done lots of these, but it’s always worth it to go slowly – you have to get the holes just right, or they have gaps, or worse, the seat splits at the very narrow area beside the stile. Once I’m satisfied with the template’s fit, I scribe the locations of the mortises on the seat. That short grain right between the upper right hand corner of this mortise and the end grain is the fragile part. I’ve split them there, and seen them split on old ones.

Then I bore around the perimeter of the mortise with an auger bit.

Then chop with the chisel to bring the mortise to the proper shape. I scored the lines with a knife and/or awl. Very careful work with the chisel.

Once I have the mortise squared off, I bevel underneath, paring the walls of the mortise so it’s undercut. I only want the mortise tight on the stiles right at the top where it shows. I’ve never checked the underside of this joint on a period chair – but I like the idea of under-cutting it & beveling it. It relieves any un-necessary pressure there.

Then slip the seat down to test it.

Then I do the molding around the front and sides. Sides (end grain) first. A rabbet plane followed by a smooth plane. In this case, a moving filletster and the LN low angle jack plane.

I scored the line ahead of the filletster so I got a clean shoulder to this rabbet. The nicker on that plane is defunct. Then I used this Lie-Nielsen plane to round over the corner of the rabbet to create the thumbnail molding.

I work the front edge after the two ends, to clean up any tear-out. This seat is a nice clear radially-riven oak, two boards edge-glued together. Works great.

Then for good measure, I threw the arms in place, so I could test it out. The seat will be pegged into the three rails; square pegs in round holes.

These chairs are smaller than they look. They’re so imposing because of all the decoration, the bulk of the parts – but they’re really pretty snug chairs.

Here’s the important view – looks pretty tight around the stiles. Whew.

If you made it this far, thanks. 15 pictures – for me that’s over 2 weeks of Instagram. I like IG, but the blog is my favorite way to show what I’m up to…more detail, more depth. More work – but it’s fun. thanks for keeping up with me…

Washington desk conundrum

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 9:00am

I started and completed phase 3 of the Washington Campaign Desk project on Sunday afternoon, but I ran into a few problems, one minor, two a bit more concerning.

As I mentioned in prior posts, when I began this project I decided to build the top with a breadboard end detail. The reason for going with breadboard ends was not only for added stability, but also for appearance.

I’ve seen breadboard ends made in several different styles, from one long tenon, to a ‘haunch’ style tenon, to dowels. I decided on the one long tenon (1 ¼”) for no particular reason other than it seemed to fit. The process for creating the joint went smoothly enough, though it was somewhat time consuming. I set up the table saw with a dado stack, made several test cuts to center the groove, and proceeded to make the groove, raising the blade height ¼” on each pass. Once that was finished I did the same for the tenon on the desk top.

The first issue, and to my mind the biggest, came when I was cleaning up the tenon. I used a shoulder plane to do the bulk of the work, and that worked well, but a slip of the hand left a nice little ding on the front left corner, which would not have made a difference had I not decided to go with breadboard ends. Unfortunately, when I was doing a test fit I noticed the gap that the ding made, around 3 inches long and 1/16th of an inch wide, which doesn’t sound like much until you compare it with the rest of the joint, which is pretty much right on the money.

IMG_2813 (002)

The desktop panel in its rough state…


The second issue, and to me almost as troubling as the ding, came when I installed the dowels.

I used 3/8” oak dowels to hold the joint in place, and I decided to drawbore the joint for added security. I’m not overly experienced in the art of drawboring, but I’ve done it enough to not be afraid of it. Drawboring, briefly and in layman’s terms for those of you who may not know how a drawbored joint works, is when you drill out the hole of your tenon slightly closer to the shoulder than the holes bored out on the breadboard ends. This, in theory, will pull the joint closed very snugly and help to eliminate any gaps between the shoulder of the desktop and the breadboard ends. To leave out the dull details, it worked just fine in 5 of the 6 holes. On the last joint (as usual) the dowel pin I used went crooked, which is a sure sign that it needed to be tapered more. So I took a nail set and used it to tap out the pin, and of course it blew out a  very small but noticeable chunk of the wood on the breadboard piece. Under other circumstance it wouldn’t have bothered me in the least, but because this piece is right next to the dowel, which is oak and much lighter in color than walnut, that little ding looks huge. I of course glued the blowout back in, but I have no idea how it is going to look until everything is completely sanded down and ready for finish.

IMG_2815 (002)

The panel trimmed with a 100g light hand sanding. I did my best to highlight the ding/gap.

The “minor” issue, and the easiest one to fix, is nonetheless the most disappointing to me. After all of the work, I’m not exactly sure that I like how the breadboard ends look. It’s an easy situation to remedy; I can just saw off the ends and in the process I would only be losing around 4 inches of desk top length (along with several hours of work and effort). I can easily chamfer or round over the top for a pleasing appearance. So I trimmed the breadboard ends flush (almost) and gave the top a light sanding and I’m still on the fence. I won’t lie, the dings are bothering me, and one showed up inexplicably near the center of the panel; don’t ask me how as nothing was dropped on it, but stuff like this seems to happen in my garage.

The center ding should easily be fixed with an iron, but that gap is not as simple. One option is to make up a filler with some glue and sawdust, the other is to just hide it with the drawer compartment. A third option, as I said, is removing the breadboard ends completely. I wanted the gappy area to serve as the front of the desk, because I like the grain pattern there and also because the other panel has two knots with some really funky stuff happening.

My plan now is to fix the dings as best I can, and then adding a coat of sanding sealer to see what I am working with. Otherwise, any advice would be much appreciated.


Categories: General Woodworking

Philadelphia SketchUp Class — November 11-12

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 7:50am
There are still seats available in my upcoming SketchUp class at the Philadelphia Furniture Workshop, November 11 & 12, 2017. This is the last live class I have scheduled for this year, and a rare appearance for me in the Continue reading →
Categories: General Woodworking

Everything You Should Know About Coffered Ceilings

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 7:00am

Ever thought about a little home renovation? Considered coffered ceilings? Until recently, it was uncommon to find these in modern homes. As they become more and more common, homeowners are remodeling their homes and including this unique home upgrade. Take a look at the infographic below by Jason Tilton of Fanatic Finish for more info.

Categories: General Woodworking

Carving Out a Pumpkin Pine Finish

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 3:36am
pumkin pine

We experimented to find the perfect recipe for this most-requested finish for pine – and it’s as easy as pie. by Glen D. Huey from the Autumn 2007 issue of Woodworking Magazine Pumpkin pine is a developed patina that glows a warm orangy color similar to – you guessed it – a pumpkin. Ask woodworkers what finish they want to replicate when using white pine as their primary wood in […]

The post Carving Out a Pumpkin Pine Finish appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

lots of nothing......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:11am
I sure felt like I should have had more to show for tonight than what I thought I did. I was expecting a few toys to be waiting for me but I only had one show up. I still haven't heard from Bob about my saw being ready to come back to me. I wasted my lunch time trying to find the proper name of the "A" plumb bob thing I am making with no luck. I thought I would have found something because it was used to make the pyramids in ancient Egypt. So it has a bit of age not to mention history. And I'm still waiting on my book from LAP to come in. I'm starting to get a wee bit nervous that the USPS might have given my book to someone else.

I'm adding to my whining above a lack of sleep. I don't know why but I woke up this morning a few tics after double balls (midnight - 0000) and I could not get back to sleep. After tossing and flopping like fish out of water, I finally got up at 0300. I remember having a dream before I woke where I was using my "A" plumb bob thing to build a log cabin and my shoes started to unravel at the seams. That is when I woke up. Maybe I'll finish the dream tonight and find out why my shoes unraveled.

new strops cut out
All 3 of them are tad over three inches wide. The far left one is 11 1/4" long and the other two are an inch longer. I am going to weigh them down with a plane for few days to flatten the roll in them. Then I'll glue them to a substrate, probably 3/4" plywood.

big square came in
This is bigger than I envisioned it being. I was going to stop with this and forgo getting a 12" one but I may have to adjust that thinking. This is a big ass square.

17" on the outside
15" on the inside
happy face on - it's square on the inside

square on the outside
The outside edge of the wooden handle is rounded. The inside edge is square and faced with a brass plate. That doesn't explain why the outside edge isn't square too. It doesn't appear to be something the previous owner did but maybe came this way? It is a slight round and not pronounced at all.

ear to ear smile now
This is my Chappell square (18" model) and it says it is dead nuts on the inside.

square on the outside
In spite of the rounded edge, I had no problems feeling and getting the framing square aligned on the 15" square.

I like the size and capability of this square
I had looked for some one still making a 15" square and a company in England still does. At that time it was almost $200 to get it here across the pond. I didn't get it because there were 10 negative comments on it for every positive one. That is why I bought the Chappel square instead. After only a few minutes playing with this, I may have a hard time giving it to Miles.

It won't fit in the bottom
fits in the big till
I am not a fan of having a square flopping around in a till. I like having them secured and protected from getting banged by other tools. For the time being I'll keep it in here but it won't be staying here long term.

lots of room
I made the half laps a bit longer because I knew I would be sawing these off.

cleaning up "A"
legs are still off

measured, marked, and sawed off the longer leg again
still a 1/4" off
The left leg is 4 7/8" and the right one is 4 3/4".

I think I'm chasing tail
I planed the right leg flat to match the line on the dog block and I'm still off. Before I go off into La La Land, I'm going to have to think a bit about this.  The top angle for the legs being off is really screwing around with my brain bucket. I don't have the plumb bob yet so I'll set this aside for now.

doesn't look like the middle
This is similar to finding the center by drawing the diagonals on a square and I wasn't sure if it would work on this angle. I measured the 'center point' in four cardinal directions and they were all the same. Visually it doesn't look to be the center but the measurements tell me it is.

rough handle has had a chance to set up
I don't like it
It too big, sits too tall, and it looks like total crappola to my eye. The arch on the bottom isn't even and one leg (left) leans outboard slightly. The scale is off but I do like the color contrast between the walnut and the mahogany. But that is not enough to get me to use it - it's burnt toast.
I'm going knob and handle free
I'm not going to use the feet on this neither. I'll sand this and put on some shellac and call it done.

planed the twist out
Checking with the sticks on the half way point to both ends.

why not
No twist on the edges too.

I planed out the hump
I shut the lights out and headed upstairs. I won't work in the shop if I start to yawn.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is phobophobia?
answer - a fear of phobias


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