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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, […]
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 ideas. Please 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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|
|this actually looks better|
|from NH plane parts|
|why I bought it|
|plumb bob for the 'A' thing - still no proper name for it|
|plumb bob for the Plumb line stick|
|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|
|here is the pic of the outside edge Frank|
|maybe it is for this????|
|portable square till|
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)
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/
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
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|
|big square came in|
|17" on the outside|
|15" on the inside|
|happy face on - it's square on the inside|
|square on the outside|
|ear to ear smile now|
|square on the outside|
|I like the size and capability of this square|
|It won't fit in the bottom|
|fits in the big till|
|lots of room|
|cleaning up "A"|
|legs are still off|
|measured, marked, and sawed off the longer leg again|
|still a 1/4" off|
|I think I'm chasing tail|
|doesn't look like the middle|
|rough handle has had a chance to set up|
|I don't like it|
|I'm going knob and handle free|
|planed the twist out|
|I planed out the hump|
What is phobophobia?
answer - a fear of phobias
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 […]
|quiet time work|
|walnut banding is solid|
|very snug fit|
|marked the connection|
|tight on the left and some daylight on the right|
|rounded over the lid banding|
|rounded over the top of the lid|
|first knob choice|
|3 more knob choices|
|found some feet|
|going to make a walnut handle|
|fixing the Disston 6" square|
|half laps on the legs done|
|I had to plane one leg square, the other one was sawn square|
|here you can see the tilt in it|
|I wanted parallel|
|had to make a pit stop|
|got my point back|
|decided to sharpen the iron on my new blockplane|
|10 strokes on the 80 grit runway|
|got a hump|
|I'll keep it in here for now|
|replacements for the hasp|
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|
What is hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia?
answer - a fear of the number 666
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.
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|
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.
|my setting line|
|marking the first piece to be glued down|
|I'll shave this until the knife line is barely visible.|
|I'm going to try this glue|
|two sides glued on|
|one of my left field projects|
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 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|
|the more I use this saw, the more I'm liking it|
|didn't have much to true up|
|less than one frog hair proud|
|ubiquitous blurry pic|
|tenon plane to the rescue|
|closed it up a lot|
|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|
|a hasp or a handle|
What do the letters in CAPTCHA stand for?
answer - completely automated public truing test to tell computers and humans apart
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.
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.
|got surprise here - Miles's ruler is on top and mine is on the bottom|
|another difference in the size (width)|
|some screwdrivers for Miles|
|cocked upwards on the right|
|flipped the lid 180 and still higher on the right|
|I don't think it's the lid|
|right end of the banding is higher than the left|
|my lowest spot|
|little bit of a gap on the right|
|lid flipped 180|
|four sides and lid planed and cleaned up|
|flushed the top and bottom|
|trying out my miter guide|
|beveled 3 sides|
|won't make it|
|sawed and planed a backing strip for the miters|
|the original long strips|
|my last two|
|I'll do the lid banding tomorrow|
What was the number of the last Apollo mission to the moon in 1972?
answer - Apollo 17
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 […]