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Woodworkers often find themselves doubling as the resident fixer-upper. As the go-to person who has the tools you’ll often be asked to “fix this” or “build that” for the house. I recently did some window repair on my own house, and I must say that all of the things I’ve been learning about the craft helped me do a better job than I might have a few years ago. Regardless of what you […]
It’s been a bit of a while since I’ve blogged about woodworking, but I’ve decided to take a bit of time to let you all know what I’ve been doing.
To quickly sum up, I’ve been using my pointy things to make boxes from bits of wood. The backstory is a bit long and convoluted, so I will save that bit for another post. In any event, it has all been very therapeutic; I sharpen my pointy things, get some bits of pallet wood, clean up those bits, and make boxes out of them. The nice thing is there is very little measuring involved, if the bits of stock are small, I make itty-bitty boxes, if the bits are larger, the boxes are a bit larger. My pointy things don’t care; it’s all wood to them.
I understand that this post is a bit brief, but I had just a short bit of time to compose it. Hopefully my next bit is a bit longer, and explains my new obsession with boxes a bit better. Until then, I’ll keep my pointy things pointy and my bits of wood bitty.
The technique of split turning is most commonly associated with furniture from the 16th and 17th centuries but can be used for any project that requires a half round column. Curtis Turner recently used split turning to turn a curved sanding block, and he wrote about it in the June issue of The Highland Woodturner. This is a great project for practicing this technique while also creating a useful tool for your sanding needs.
My skew and I have a troubled relationship. It is by far my favorite turning tool and when things go right I feel I can do anything. We also fight a lot. To the level where those “never again” words cross my lips. It usually takes some form of counseling to get us back together. Our latest blowout was over rolling a bead. I think video is one of the best […]
|one more here|
|layout for the new shelf pin pockets|
|the length isn't critical, the width is|
|tale of two drill bits|
|not too too bad this is the worse one|
|hand drill excels at this|
|set the bit on what is there|
|turned in reverse a couple of turns|
|two cleaned holes on the left and holes to be cleaned on the right|
|doing the back wall holes|
|almost had a blow out|
|no blowouts or partial ones on the second side|
|the minor setback|
|the last time painting (maybe)|
Maine is the most heavily forested US state. Who is in tenth place?
answer - North Carolina
Spending some time in Washington DC last week, my wife and I went to Mt. Vernon to visit George Washington’s estate. After we bought our tickets to the view of the house, we had some time to kill, so we walked around the grounds to see what else was around.
On the right side of the estate near the near the back, was the blacksmith shop. It appeared to be about 15′ x 20′ in size.
We arrived in front and saw one of the blacksmiths making a large hinge. You can see how soaked his shirt is as it was nearly 90 degrees that day. He must lose twenty pounds during the summer working in there.
Here’s a shot of the bench with a scrap iron on the ground waiting for use.
Here are some of the items the blacksmiths make at the estate. What’s really cool is they make axe heads and other tools.
On the side of the shop sat a bin full of coal which stank to high heaven. The smell of burning coal is not a pleasant thing.
I looked around the other buildings for a carpentry or cabinet shop, but found nothing. I find it odd that Washington didn’t have one on his estate somewhere. The only thing I saw was display case inside the museum with this panel raising plane.
Among the goals of the #WhyIMake campaign (from infosys.org) is to inspire people to make things with their hands, to spread the importance of maker skills and to share resources for doing so. It began as a foundation aimed toward encouraging children and K-12 educators of underrepresented groups, and has grown into a celebration of the maker movement at large. Among well-known people with whom the foundation has partnered to get out the message are […]
Y’all are funny – picking the winner of the Ridiculous Woodworking Books contest was a difficult task. But I had to choose a winner, so…I chose two. Each of the winners gets a copy of our reprint of David Denning’s “The Art and Craft of Cabinet-Making.” One is Wittefish’s birdhouse homage to one of my favorite books, “Go the F**k to Sleep,” by Adam Mansbach, illustrated by Ricardo Cortes – of which […]
With the “proof of concept” established for the first ripple molding cutter it was time to launch into Model #2. I had my own ideas about its configuration and welcomed similar thoughts from all the others.
Our first step was to install the 8-foot thread screw which was the driver for the moving cutter-head to go up and down the rails. While Travis and John were working on the rails/frame Sharon was drilling and tapping the lignum vitae “bolt” that was attached to the underside of the cutterhead carriage.
In short order we had as assembly with a set of tracks for the cutterhead to ride on, and a platform for the cutterhead centered in the frame. The error in this concept became readily apparent once we started to lay out the bed for the workpiece and the cutter head itself. There simply was not enough room for everything to fit there.
Back to the drawing board, which we flogged constantly throughout the week.
In short order we determined that an off-center location for the drive screw was going to work just fine and once again we were off and running.
While this was ongoing Sharon got the bug to make a new cutting iron to match one of the samples she found most fetching.
Meanwhile I was attending to a problem that became apparent when we were trying to get things working — the legs needed to be splayed in both directions, so I spent some time re-cutting the shoulders of the legs.
With that we were looking forward with excitement to making the new machine run like a champ.
One day in May while sitting in my shop at the end of a long day sipping usquebaugh I found myself staring at this so-called Shaw’s Patent no. 5 Jack plane of mine. It is the Jack plane that I use for heavy stock removal, which means it ends up on the receiving end of some significant elbow grease. As a result, the plane tends to reciprocate the well intended elbow grease with fervent vesication of that part of my hand that flirts with the ribbed edge of the main casting. It got me thinking that the plane could possibly be modified to amend this particular quirk.
You can read a post on how I restored it when I initially got my discombobulated mitts on it.
As you can see here, the slight design glitch with this Sargent plane is twofold. There is a lot of wasted space between the top of the tote and the lateral adjuster. Also the bottom end of the tote slopes downwards, which has the effect that the side of one’s hand tends to end up on the rib of the main casting. Thus a combinations of these two inadequacies coerce the hand of the user into a position much lower than what is needed.
As you can see in the example below, the bottom part of the tote on this Lie-Nielsen low angle Jack plane does not slope down, but runs parallel to the sole of the plane. This design element stops the hand from sliding down too far. I thought that the Shaw’s Patent could benefit from a tote that employs the same strategy. Together with that I could utilize the dead space between the top of the tote and the lateral adjuster by lengthening the tote, which would also aid the user’s hand to ride higher.
I found a piece of Kaapse Swarthout, that would not suffice for any other purpose. This is by far my favourite indigenous species for producing totes.
It was quite a mission to fashion a tote that would fit the plane and at the same time tick the desired design tweaks. I used a combination of the original tote, the Lie-Nielsen tote, and documents on Stanley totes to accomplish the task.
The final product looks like this. You can see how the top of the tote is now much closer to the lateral lever and the bottom of it has a parallel section to hold the user’s hand up. Another neat little trick I discovered is to cut a leather washer to sit between the sole of the tote and the main casting. It makes a huge difference to the feel of the plane when using it. The difference is hard to explain, but try it and you will know what I mean.
The changes to the tote also necessitated a tweak to the length of the tote bolt. Unfortunately it is a change in the more challenging direction i.e. making it longer.
While I was at it I also changed the knob. I prefer a flat section at the top of the knob for my thumb when gripping the front end of the plane with the rest of my fingers on the sole acting as a fence.
The final adjustment I made was to file down the part of the rib in question by about 1 mm and rounded it. After all that the Shaw’s (re)Patent works like a dream. If you prefer woodworking rather than tool tweaking, I suggest that it might be better to buy a Lie-Nielsen plane from the start.
Two years ago this month, I posted a blog about transforming furniture; pieces that open and expand to become more functional and look way more ominous. This table, while not a true transformer, fits more into the Hide-away furniture category.
As I walked through a local antique mall – generally that means junk shop, but there are occasional nuggets to be discovered – I ran across a chunky table. Yes, there are hinges at the middle of its top.
Two years ago, I built a jig to help me cut sandpaper sheets into a few different practical sizes for our classroom. The sizes that we use are eighths, quarters (long strips) and half sheets. The eighths pieces are very useful for hand sanding and for working small to medium sized projects. We mount the long quarter sheet on our beloved Preppin sanding blocks, and the half sheet is useful […]
I had to go back to the shop tonight and reshoot my pics. It seems you can shoot as many pics as you want without a sim card. The camera doesn't give a warning that there isn't one installed. There was only shot I couldn't get again so it wasn't too bad.
I am not painting these anymore. This is the last coat I am putting on the shelves. Period. And I am thinking of going to back to oil based paint because it hides better and covers better than latex does. This final statement doesn't apply to the exterior of the bookcase. However, I'm betting the ranch that it will take the same 3 coats to cover.
|painted the frog|
|yoke painted too|
|from Wally World $4.95|
Time to go spend a little time with Myles before he goes to bed for the night.
What auto maker made the first armored tanks used by US troops in battle during WWI (september 1918)?
answer - French auto maker Renault no american made tanks were used in WWI
Post-Greenwood Fest – finally getting going. I have a few spoons, some copies of the Joint Stool book and a few DVDs left for sale. Here’s the link – https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/june-2017-spoons-book-videos-for-sale/
There’s Paypal buttons for the books & DVDs, if you want a spoon, leave me a comment.
Meanwhile – Hickory Bark. No waiting when there’s a hickory sapling cut in the spring. You gotta get right to them. So two of these were first priority once I unpacked.
This work takes me way back. Way, way, way, way back as Van Morrison would say. I grabbed the leftover hickory saplings after Tim Manney’s demo at Greenwood Fest (one got stripped before I got to saving it – Tim? Pete?) to harvest the bark. I’ve only have a few chances to strip hickory bark in the past many years. Not making chairs or baskets with any regularity meant I didn’t need to pursue it. But, these were right there, and I have some ladderbacks underway, as well as some baskets that need rims & handles.
First off, I shave the outer bark off with the drawknife. This is thick, hard crusty bark.
Here is a detail, showing as I shave off the outer bark, the inner bark we’re after is exposed. In this photo, the first strip is removed. That way, I can see the thickness of the inner bark (or “bast”) – this becomes important.
so next is the task of thinning the inner bark to the appropriate thickness. This is a finesse move. Below the drawknife here (bottom left of the photo) the bark is just about the right thickness – above the knife you can see the yellow/orange striations – I use those as a visual guideline – shave them away & you’re there. Just about.
Then I score through the inner bark down to the wood with the tip of my knife. I make the strip about 3/4″ – 1″ wide.
Then peel the strip up. Never ceases to amaze me.
Some strips are too thick when you take ’em off the tree. You can sometimes split them apart. I scored across the bark to form a tab, then pulled them apart. This is slow, careful work – you have to watch to see if it’s going evenly. Any thick side, pull towards it. Just like riving. I hold the strip between my knees, then use my thumbs & forefingers to peel them. My other fingers help keep things peeling evenly.
If a strip is too thick, but not thick enough to split, I put it on the shaving horse, and shave it with a spokeshave. I put a support stick under it. You can shave this later, once you’re using the material – but I find it best to do it right off the bat.
Coil ’em & store to dry in an airy place.
The first log was clear enough for some long riving & bending wood. I made some basket rims, then shaved two of these bows for firewood carriers. This one is shaved to shape, steamed & bent onto this form. I took no pictures of any of that. I shoot my own photos, and steam-bending requires complete attention. This firewood carrier is detailed in Drew Langsner’s Green Woodworking – as is peeling hickory bark.
The base will be an open framework, this board is just the drying form for the bend.
Lumber from large commercial suppliers typically comes with straight-sawn edges. But when you saw your own logs or buy from smaller outfits, you have to find your way along the live edges and around the defects to get the best yield from a board. Or maybe I shouldn’t say you “have to”; a happier way of thinking about live-sawn lumber is to realize that it affords creative, structural and aesthetic […]
Recently in my neighborhood, there has been an alarming outbreak of stumps. The City of Cincinnati has been removing trees that are encroaching on and breaking up the sidewalks, in anticipation of the replacement and repair of said walkways – a cost that is the responsibility of homeowners…which has caused some anger. I understand why we need passable walkways (I also understand the disgruntlement at having to pay for them, particularly with […]
The weather matched the start of my day. It was overcast and humid. Not rip your face off humid but if the temp had gone up any higher it would have been close to that. Around noonish a thunderstorm rolled through and the rain came down worse than a cow letting loose on a flat rock. And the humidity went up a few notches but stayed shy of the rip your face off threshold. The rain stopped and the sun came out.
When I finally did get down to the shop I didn't get a lot done. I looked at the workbench which had the bookcase and two shelves on and said I can't work there. I didn't feel like moving those 3 things to a new home right then so I went back upstairs.
What I did get done today was the tool list for Myles kit. I used Paul Sellers essential tool list as a guide and pretty much stuck with his recommendations. I added a #5 1/4 jack plane and a couple of smoothers. He is getting a #3 and a #4 and I think he will probably end with the #2 I'm doing now. I was surprised by how many tools I already have for his kit. As for the toolbox or toolchest, I'm leaning in the direction of the CS dutch toolchest. It would be large enough to keep all of his tools in it. And I can stow it in boneyard till he his old enough for to use it.
|3 coats of paint|
|lightly dragged the scraper over the shelves|
|sanding block batted second|
|no more paint ridges|
|two quick spray jobs|
|primer coat on the frog|
|right above the clock|
|for keeping the bookcase off the deck|
I painted the shelves in two steps today. I did the back and 6 hours later I did the front. I took my time and tried my hardest to get it done with no brush marks along with good coverage. It looked good when I was done but I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what the coverage looks like.
What is a octahedron?
answer - two pyramids attached together at their bases (technical definition: a polyhedron with eight faces, twelve edges, and six vertices)
Last week my wife and I decided to take a trip out to Washington DC. She had never been there and I went there on a summer trip when I was in the seventh grade. She booked tickets to go to the White House by contacting our local congressman, Steve Chabot, several weeks in advance.
We arrived at the White House at 7:15 am and stood on the outside by a fence before our tour began at 7:30. The guards made us walk into a fenced corral only to make us leave ten minutes later. None of us knew what was going on until we saw the Secret Service walk down that corral with bomb sniffing dogs after we left. Once we passed that part of security, we had to go though three more security check points before we were ever allowed inside.
The first piece of furniture I saw was a china cabinet with a bunch of presidential plates inside. I whipped out my phone and took as many pictures of the furniture as I could. A lot of the rooms were roped off so I couldn’t get too many close up details of most of the furniture.
Here is the detail of the cabinet’s molding.
Here’s a shot of the hand cut dovetails on the drawer. What’s going on with that bottom dovetail? It looks like I cut that one.
Detail of the finial.
More details of the cabinet.
Nice round table with a piece of glass to protect the top.
Mahogany deck and chair inside one of the rooms.
A nice hall clock stood on top of a small set of stairs.
A closer look at the clocks face.
A nice drop leaf table with a piece of glass fitting over only one side of the drop leaf.
A mahogany chair sitting in the room with a closeup of the chair’s detail.
Another table with a piece of fitted glass to protect the top.
Inside the Red Room with a couple of chairs and what looks like a round game table which I doubt was unless you were playing Q-Bert.
This secretary desk was my favorite. This stood on the back-end of the Red Room.
A long dining table where President Trump holds dinners with guests. He was planning on having his birthday dinner here later that night.
Another side table outside the dining room. Notice the plastic on the bottom to protect the table’s claw feet from visitors.
Even the doors are made incredibly well with a beaded detail down the edge.
After we left the White House, the Secret Service rushed us across the street as they didn’t want anyone lallygagging around in the front. After our tour, we walked down the street to a Starbucks to get some coffee where we found out that while we were inside the White House, it was the same time that some goofball loser shot the Congressman in Alexandria, VA which was one of the reasons for the heightened security.