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General Woodworking

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

How to Cut a Rock-Solid T-Bridle Joint

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 6:10am

One of the first joints I learned to cut during my City & Guilds of London training was the T-bridle, which we used for the leg-to-rail connection on a modern end table, one of the projects that made up the curriculum. Like other variants of the bridle joint, this one is often used for table bases and benches. You can see an especially elegant example of this joint here. The T-bridle […]

The post How to Cut a Rock-Solid T-Bridle Joint appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

yo-yo weather.........

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 1:17am
The weather has been a little screwy lately. It has been unseasonably warm but one day last week had dipped down into the 40's overnight. We also had one day where it rained all day like a cow letting go on a flat rock. That day sucked because I got soaked going into work. We still haven't had the first frost of the year and tonight it is forecasted to rain again with high winds > 50MPH. Not that I'm complaining because everyday that is warm is one less day I have to pay for heat.

quiet time work
I worked on fitting the lid and cleared most of the other crappola off the bench.

two strops?
I am going to make at least two strops out this. One more for me that is longer than the ones I have now and one for Miles. The strops I have now are about 8" long and 3" wide. I think the width is ok but the length is too short. I can get 3 strops from this piece of leather each one 3" wide by 12" long.

walnut banding is solid
The glue appears to be ok with holding the walnut. There aren't any gaps anywhere that I can see. I am not depending upon the walnut to hold the lid on. The banding is to hide the strips I glued on the bottom of the lid.

very snug fit
The lid goes on this way and won't fit when I flip it 180. It probably would if I thumped it but I didn't want to chance popping the banding off.

marked the connection
I marked the lid  and bottom for the best fit before I glued the walnut on. It fits this way but not 180.

chisel action
I used the chisel as a scraper and went around the inside of the lid. I concentrated on getting any glue residue off first and checked the fit. It fit on the numbers and when I flipped it 180. It was a wee bit snug, but it fit.

tight on the left and some daylight on the right
I scraped the inside of the walnut until I saw daylight all around. I then sanded the top outside rim of the box with 120 grit. That did two things for me - first it loosened the fit of the walnut and it closed up the toes on the miters. I finally got the lid to fit both ways, equally well.

rounded over the lid banding
I sanded this corner again. The toes of the miter are closed at the top and open at the middle. I sanded coming from both sides until the miter closed up.

rounded over the top of the lid
Made a decision regarding this box. Taking the lid off is too much to do one handed. It is too wide to easily and comfortably be removed one handed. It needs a knob or a handle to do that. I won't be using this box to keep the 140 in. I'll have to make a 3rd 140 box.

first knob choice
Don't like it and I won't be using it. I thought of making a base or a pad for it but I don't think even that will help this look.

3 more knob choices
The metal knobs are toast but the ring pull I kind of like. I think that would look ok with a base for it. I think a base is needed to beef this up because the lid is only a piece of 1/8" plywood. Without a base behind any kind of a knob or handle, the lid might flex.

found some feet
I had forgotten that I had these. Since it isn't going to be the 140 box anymore, I'll use them on this. I can give this as a xmas present with a gift certificate in it. Or stuffed with some of my daughter's favorite candy.

going to make a walnut handle
Worked on flushing this while I thought of what I wanted to make for a handle.

#8 hollow
I squared up the walnut stick and used the #8 to knock off the corners. I wasn't trying to make it round but just come up with a shape that was inbetween round and square.

fixing the Disston 6" square
I didn't like the look of the walnut handle so I worked on this square while I thought of something else. The light area on the bottom square isn't daylight. It is what I filed to bring the inside of it square. The outside was dead nuts and didn't need any help.

It took a few extra cha-cha dance steps but it is square now. I did 3 checks for square. The first was with the 6" engineer's square, second was drawing double lines on the plywood, and third was checking the square edge on the plywood. All three passed and I did one more final check with the 6" engineer's square. I have a 15" square coming and I should have that next week. That will complete it for these style of squares for Miles's toolbox. I still want to get a 4" sliding square and I might have to bite the bullet and buy a Starrett.

half laps on the legs done
Now that the leg half laps were done, I flipped this over and marked the brace for it's half laps.

feet leveling
Because I planed one shoulder on one leg more than the other, the angle between the legs changed. I sawed the legs at the original bevel angle but since the legs aren't even, the horizontal brace isn't parallel to them neither. Once the glue has set on the brace, I'll saw and plane flush the overhanging parts. The ugly looking gap will be history come tomorrow.

I had to plane one leg square, the other one was sawn square
here you can see the tilt in it
According to what I read, this won't effect the reading you get. You take one reading this way and mark where the plumb bob hangs, flip it 180 and repeat. The plumb will be between the two lines. You just have to look at where the plumb bob is hanging in relation to your plumb line to see which side is high/low.

I wanted parallel
I drew a line on the bench and put the legs on it and adjusted it until the brace measured the same from that line to the brace on the outside of both legs. Once I had that I marked the legs and sawed them off. I didn't go nutso on this, I was shooting for an eyeball close look and I got that.

had to make a pit stop
I dropped this off the bench right on the point. This is the backside of the knife after I restored it. I still had a bit more to go but I was very surprised by how easily I did it. This was my first experience sharpening a japanese anything.

got my point back
I tried it out and it felt as sharp as when I first got it.

decided to sharpen the iron on my new blockplane
This iron has been hand sharpened and it is out of square. I can tell it is has been sharpened by hand because the bevel is rounded and it is also uneven. First batter is grinding a new bevel and squaring it.

10 strokes on the 80 grit runway
The stripe down by the heel is what I just did. I have a long ways to go before I get to the toe.

got a hump
I wasn't going to do the back because it looked like it had been done already. Took me about 20 minutes to get rid of it.

adjuster knobs
The one in my fingers is the LN knob and the one in the back is a replacement one. It has a bearing where the ring is on the LN one. That makes for zero backlash and a silky smooth adjustment on moving the iron in or out. It is made by an  Australian  and he makes them for the LN 102 and 103 small block planes too. I am going to get one for the LN 60 1/2 and for the 102.

Silky smooth, effortlessly made wispy shavings. This is a good addition to the herd and it will get well used by me. I had started lapping and cleaning up the cheeks and sole by stopped. There is some pitting on the right cheek and the sole that wasn't lapping out with 220. I didn't feel like starting with 80 and working up. For now it has been done with 220 and 320 followed by some Autosol. I will do it eventually because I don't like seeing the pits. But for now she is ready to go back to work.

I'll keep it in here for now
Until I get around to rearranging the plane storage under my bench, this will have to live here for now.

replacements for the hasp
The left one isn't brass but a shiny white metal color. If it was brass I wouldn't be putting the black one on.

I like this but I am not in love with the cheap look and feel of it. It works well for lifting the lid and the curl is below the top so it won't interfere with crap being piled on the lid. But I will be looking for a replacement that isn't a stamped, cheap piece of crappola like this.

Update: Found a solid brass one from House of Antique Hardware and I almost skipped on it. S/H was $3 less than the sash lift.

the back for the plumbline stick
There is a teeny bit of twist on the far end that I'll have to remove. The author said that this should be twist free. I'll do that tomorrow because I fell off the wagon with taking my arthritis  pills again. My fingers are aching on my right hand and this is a good place to stop. I'll get the stick done tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia?
answer - a fear of the number 666

What Furniture Tells

360 WoodWorking - Sun, 10/29/2017 - 6:04am
What Furniture Tells

Many woodworkers who focus attention on period reproductions “read” the images in books and pieces in museums to discover to what furniture tells them. Designs sometimes clue them in as to what period of furniture history the pieces were built. (It’s not always clear-cut because no furniture periods ended exactly on a Tuesday with a new period beginning on Wednesday.) It’s possible to learn in what area of the country pieces were built if they read the materials used in construction.

Continue reading What Furniture Tells at 360 WoodWorking.

saturday doldrums.....

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 10/29/2017 - 3:12am
It seems I've fallen into a rut on getting my butt into the shop on saturdays. I'm sucking up OT on saturday mornings at least for the next couple of months. I will have Lowes paid off by the first payday in November. After that I will start feeding the workbench build kitty again and whatever is left will go to heating the house. And I can't forget that xmas is less than two months away.

But getting back to the rut I seem to have fallen into with saturday shop days. Maybe I should just go with the flow on this and just accept getting to the shop after lunch isn't too bad. I can be a wee bit nutso and OCD rolled together with this being on a time schedule. Coming home and vegging after OT and hitting the shop after lunch isn't going to stop the sun from rising or setting. Once got to the shop and started working on the walnut banding on the lid, the juices started to warm up and I started a left field project.

mitering the lid
The quick way of doing this would be to make butt joints at the corners. To me that would look like crap so I'm mitering the corners. I've settled into a way of doing them that I like and also yields good results. Before I started doing my mitering this way I usually always ended up with the last miter being open.

Now I start by clamping one piece in place. The fit on that side doesn't matter. This first piece is only used to set and mark the second one.

first piece
I fuss with this until I get the heel of the miter dead nuts on the corner. I clamp it and make sure it didn't move and that it can't move.

my setting line
This pencil is the top of the banding. I will set the walnut so that I cover this when I glue them in place.

marking the first piece to be glued down
I hold the right end up tight against the first piece and mark the left end. Rough saw it and then use the donkey ear jig to shave it to the knife line.

I'll shave this until the knife line is barely visible.
I'm going to try this glue
This glue sets up in about 30 minutes and the final cure is 24 hours later. I haven't tried using it for anything other then gluing chips and blowouts back down. If it doesn't work, I'll remove the walnut and try something else.

two sides glued on
I have to wait at least 30 minutes for this to set up so I can put on the last two.

one of my left field projects
I got this bug up my butt from this guy on Saw Mill Creek. I've been following him and these gizmos got a hold of my limited attention span. I have seen the one above that he has in this 3rd post being used but at the time I had no idea of what it's purpose or use was.  I don't know what I'll use it for or that I even have a need for it. But that has never stopped me before with making something. I have piece of 5/4 pine that I'm using to make it.

I got the back long piece cut out and I had to stop. The workbench is being use to do the lid so I couldn't plane and work the 5/4 stock. I'll pick this one back up tomorrow.

it's been an hour
I got the final two pieces on without any hiccups and I'll let it set up until tomorrow.

gizmo #2
I did a bit of reading on this and I was surprised about how accurate it really is. The construction of it doesn't matter. The joints don't have to be dead nuts because of the principle of the plumb bob. The legs don't have to be the same length neither. You just have to split the difference with the plumb bob reading taken from both sides.

I already bought a plumb bob that looks a lot like the one in my drawing. It is very difficult to find one of these that don't cost a boatload of dollars. Since plumb bobs were replaced with lasers and other electronic gadgets they have become collectibles.

a scrap of pine saw in two for the legs
a piece of pine from this board will be the horizontal leg
eyeballed an angle
I used the dividers to find the half way point on the width. I set my marking gauge to that. It is these dividers that I want to get for Miles. I like and prefer the round leg vs the square ones.

the more I use this saw, the more I'm liking it
I sawed the shoulders and cheeks with this saw. I did better and felt more in control of it than with the thin plate LN saws. I was able to saw closer and truer to my lines too.

didn't have much to true up
less than one frog hair proud
ubiquitous blurry pic
I marked both sides off each piece and I don't understand how I am off this much. The only thing I can think of is that I sawed on the wrong side of the top knife line. But I would have had to have done that on both of them. This is too much to leave as is and too much to plane flush.

tenon plane to the rescue
I planed the shoulders on both legs, taking more off of this one. This leg seemed to be a bit shorter than the other.

closed it up a lot
This I will plane out flush once it is done.

ancient tools deserve to be glued with an ancient glue
that is a good joint line

did just as well on this side too
last strip glued on
I only glued on one strip before and started to work on the 2nd plumb bob tool. That one was glued and setting up so I finished this. Over 30 minutes had gone by so I didn't have to worry about the last piece I glued moving on me.

a hasp or a handle
Since I put the dust shield banding on this toolbox, it is not easy to open. It needs something to help with lifting the lid. I thought of putting on a handle but I think the hasp is going to be the winner. My first choice was a snap catch but the dust shield banding isn't wide enough to fit one of them here.

it fits
I am not going to lock this. The hasp is just to help lifting the lid more easily. I think a handle would look out of place but this will look like it belongs. I'm still undecided about this and I have plenty of time to make my mind up on it.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What do the letters in CAPTCHA stand for?
answer - completely automated public truing test to tell computers and humans apart

Live Edge Class at Snow Farm, Massachusetts – Part 2 Ben’s Table

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sun, 10/29/2017 - 2:00am

Ben was one of the six students who took my live-edge Columbus day weekend class at Snow Farm. A newcomer into woodworking, motivated and eager to learn, he asked me to help him design and build a side table for his Boston apartment. Feeling that woodworking is going to be more than just a weekend workshop experience, but rather a long-lasting hobby, he invested in a good quality hand plane […]

The post Live Edge Class at Snow Farm, Massachusetts – Part 2 Ben’s Table appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Getting Started with Digital Woodworking — Part One

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sat, 10/28/2017 - 2:00am

It always starts with a design Digital woodworking uses digitally controlled tools in your workshop as an addition to hybrid and handtools. Most often this means owning and operating a CNC and learning to use CAD programs. For many, committing to a CNC is a big step financially, so here are some thoughts on how to get started with digital woodworking. Here’s the thing, you can mine a nice chunk […]

The post Getting Started with Digital Woodworking — Part One appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

lid fitted........

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 10/28/2017 - 12:47am
The folding caliper rule I ordered from Hyperkitten was waiting for me when I got home. A nice 6' clean and functional specimen that doesn't look like it was used much. No dings, the leaves all opened and closed freely, and all the numbers and divisions are still clear and crisp looking.  I definitely think it was worth the $15 I paid for it.

got surprise here - Miles's ruler is on top and mine is on the bottom
I would have bet a lung that I owned a Stanley folding caliper rule. Not only do I own a Lufkin, it is a #46 just like the one I got for Miles.  Although they are the same model # there are a few differences between them. I have some extra markings that the top one doesn't have. Or I could have a #46 that is an  older model. One big difference is my numbers are slightly larger.

another difference in the size (width)
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that my Lufkin is the older one. I'm basing that on bigger numbers, more Lufkin ID stuff between the numbers 1 to 6, and my rule appears to have bigger metal pieces for the folding leaves. Manufacturers usually dumb down to save money. Anyways, Miles still has a decent folding caliper rule for his toolbox.

some screwdrivers for Miles
I am going to soldier on with the two sets I have and give this one to him. I will add a #1 and a #2 square drive to complete this. Most of the screws I use are square drive and I want Miles to have the capability to use them too.

lid fitted
I left the fit a bit on the snug side because I still have to even out the rim and round over the top of the banding.

cocked upwards on the right
flipped the lid 180 and still higher on the right
The important thing is it fits and it fits when the lid is flipped 180. Now I have to figure out why the lid  is higher on the right.

I don't think it's the lid
If the lid was the culprit I would have expected the lid cocking to switch when I flipped the lid 180. But with the lid flipped, the high end stayed on the right.

right end of the banding is higher than the left
my lowest spot
The left corner is the lowest spot on the banding so I'll straighten out the banding to this point.

I planed the high corners first and when I eyeballed them close to the low spot, I started to flush all around.

little bit of a gap on the right
This isn't too big of a worry for me. This will be covered with the walnut banding and never be seen. I am more concerned with it being level and even at this point.

lid flipped 180
It still fits but I didn't make the gap go away.

four sides and lid planed and cleaned up
flushed the top and bottom
After I get the walnut banding on the lid done, I can start putting the shellac on.

trying out my miter guide
This worked ok. No problems with the left one but the right one makes a slanted miter. I knew that because the vertical part of the guide is not plumb.

slanted miter
I didn't leave enough to trim on the pieces I cut. I thought I add left an 1/8" but the length of the four parts is almost perfect.

beveled 3 sides
The  side without a bevel will be up against the right side of the box.

small detail
I think this looks better than just a plain rectangular block in the bottom. This will get screwed to the bottom of the box with no glue. This way I can repurpose this box if I decide to.

won't make it
3 of the miters have a slant to them. If I didn't have those slanted miters, I would have been able to use these. The slants leave the miters open and that makes it look like crap.

sawed and planed a backing strip for the miters
the original long strips
I can reuse these to make a new set of short ones for the ends.

my last two
I rooted around my small scrap box and found these two. I will use them to make two new long pieces. I'll make sure that I leave some meat for trimming and fitting.

I'll do the lid banding tomorrow
My wife has been in "I hate my job" mood all week. Just in case, I want to be ready to go out to eat when she gets home. So I shut off the lights here and headed upstairs.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What was the number of the last Apollo mission to the moon in 1972?
answer - Apollo 17

Book Giveaway: Small-scale Woodworking Projects

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 5:38am
Simple & Stylish Woodworking

Continuing our “looking ahead to the holidays” theme for our weekly giveaway, this week’s featured book is “Simple & Stylish Woodworking.” The book provides 20 small-scale woodworking projects that can add a touch of style to any home and make perfect gifts. Projects include wall clocks, mantel clocks, lamps, frames, mirrors and more. Why not use your  holiday gift giving as an opportunity to practice a wide range of woodworking techniques […]

The post Book Giveaway: Small-scale Woodworking Projects appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking


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