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General Woodworking

took a day off.......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 03/01/2017 - 12:50am
I hadn't planned to take the day off, it just happened. Monday night I went to bed at 1830 and I woke up at 0130 to do the toilet trots. I went back to bed and I didn't wake up again until 0855. I have never overslept like this ever.  I called my boss and told I wouldn't be in, but I was feeling better. Which was true. No more woozy feeling so maybe I just needed an equalizer in the bunk to feel better.

Since it was an unplanned day I put it to good use, mostly. I did some work in the shop and on the kitchen, ran some errands and enjoyed my unexpected day off.

glued the gallery rail on
I couldn't beat the spindles into place on the shelf without risking it breaking so I did it this way. I went down the line setting each one a little bit until I had them all seated fully.

tequila box glued up
After I cleaned up the insides, it was fitting a bit too loose for my liking. That is why I went nutso on the clamping. This will sit and cook until tomorrow. I'm hoping to get this finished and in the mail this weekend.

spring isn't too far away
I was coming back from the bank and Lowes when I saw this by my back door.  The daffodils might be blooming in the next week too.

need to fix this
The top switch is a 3 way (toast) and the bottom one is a single pole (ok). Nice neat job but who ever did this got lazy on the ground. Tied them together nicely but nothing tied to the box and it is too short pull out of the box and work on it. I couldn't get the ground from the new switch tied to it. I had to put a bare copper wire pigtail on it and use that to ground the new outlet. Fixing this was 30 minutes I'll never get back.

more wonderful cabinet rework ahead
I could rack this cabinet with finger pressure.  I had to screw the back into the 1/4" plywood filler to stiffen that up. I then screwed all the plastic corner blocks to back up the useless staples. I added a couple of screws at the top and bottom on sides at the back. The cabinet is a lot tighter now and I feel better about putting the sink on it.

drain and hot/cold feed holes
waste drain hole fix
The waste pipe has a 2" OD and the drilled hole is 3" and it was far to the left. I glued the disk to a scrap piece of poplar. I glued and screwed this to the underside of the cabinet.

quit here
I fixed the first hole and drilled the second hole too far to the right. I let go with a few choice expletives to let it know I wasn't happy and made a date to revisit this tomorrow.

Lie Nielsen side rabbet irons
I just ordered these yesterday and I got them today. And I went with regular UPS shipping.

LN and Stanley irons
The Stanley iron is a lot thinner and the edge that faces down is beveled. The LN irons are longer, thicker, and have no bevels on the long edge that faces down.

the Stanley iron is barely half the thickness of the LN
they don't fit
They aren't even a close fit. They are way too long to criss cross and they are too wide fit in the ramp on the 79. It's looking like I spent $80 for nothing.  Either LN made smaller irons or the guy selling the 79 cut these down to fit. If he did that he had to do the length and width.

curious fact
Both irons are slightly magnetic.

what I did inbetween drilling errant holes
I'm closing in on getting this sector thing sorted out. I break this out every couple of weeks and do a layout, find out it's toast and put it away till the next time. Each time I do a little better than the last outing.

dividing this into fourths
setting the sector at the fourth mark
second divider set to the 1 mark
Without moving the spread on the sector, this divider will be used to step off fourths on the board.

start at one edge and go to other down the square line
1 frog hair short
A lot of people have told me this is ok, but I don't think so. Sectors are a precision mathematical device and they were used to figure out canon fire and to navigate around the globe among other things. Being close in navigation can have you landing in the wrong hemisphere. I want this to come out exactly in four steps.

dividing the board in half
I did something different here. Instead of using the lines that went at an angle, I made another line right on the  inside edge. I first did the fourth division and that came out dead nuts. Here I got the dividers set at the second mark or 1/2 the width. The first step off landed right on the same mark as 2/4 did.

dead nuts again
My first time with getting two different step offs with both being dead nuts.

two lines
I am having better luck with precision with the straight line. With the angled line I get so-so results and I have yet to get repeated dead on results with it. I get close, oh so close, but still no brass ring. I like the angled line over the one that follows the inside edge. I find that one easier to set the dividers on.

erased it
Before I commit to doing this with ink, I want to repeat it a couple of more times and do more extensive testing with the dividers. I'll try it again in few more days to see if I can repeat it.

Two things I have learned so far playing with making a sector is the choice of dividers makes a difference (at least to me). For a long time I used flat leg dividers and got iffy results. They are good for stepping off dovetails but not doing precision steps. My results jumped up dramatically when I started using machinist's dividers. These have conical points instead of flats.

The second point is to step off on a line. Do not try to dance down the length of anything no matter how short, without a line to do it on. Any deviation off the line will throw off the accuracy.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
How long does a professional bull rider have to ride the bull to receive a score?
answer - 8 seconds (each ride is worth up to 100 points, 50 for the rider and 50 for the bull)

March-April Issue is here...

James Watriss - Tue, 02/28/2017 - 12:10pm

It's as good a way as any to book-end the last decade or so.

10 years ago this month, I walked out of the North Bennet Street School. I was mostly done. My chess table needed to be finished, which took a little doing, but otherwise, I was out, and ready to take on the world.

Or so I thought.


For the last few months, I've been working for an insurance company, (Aflac) working as an agent, and beating the bushes for a sale. In short, it's the kind of job I turned my nose up at for years. Me? An insurance salesman? HAH!

Among other things, I've had to work hard to learn how to be a salesman, to beat the bushes for sales leads, and get out of my comfort zone and sell things. I was a very good craftsman, when I had a running shop, but I was a straight lousy business man. I'm not going to go any farther down the path of self-immolation, but it was what it was.

I've learned a few things, and while I'm not about to fire up a full-blown shop again, I've learned a lot in the last few months about what I'll do when I do pick up my tools again.


At this particular moment, I'm blogging, as a way to procrastinate, rather than study Anatomy and Physiology. I'm in the midst of the last prerequisite that I need, before applying to grad school for Prosthetics and Orthotics. The long-arching arc of my career track still involves making things, and so, for me, it makes sense. The insurance gig may or may not be a permanent part of the picture, going forward. We'll see.

Either way, something else has been happening lately. My second kid has passed the year and a half mark, and I realized the other day that my head is starting to clear. And I started having ideas about what my next shop will look like. Nothing concrete, mind you, but it was a strong enough whiff of an idea that it's clear that I'm nowhere near being done with woodwork.
Categories: General Woodworking

SketchUp Classes For 2017

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Tue, 02/28/2017 - 8:31am
SCROLL DOWN FOR LIST OF AVAILABLE CLASSES Who needs to learn SketchUp? In my way of thinking everybody, or at least everybody who is involved with making things. I was trained to produce detailed drawings on a drafting board, then … Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

A Great Combination: Festool Kapex Miter Saw & CT SYS HEPA Dust Extractor

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 02/28/2017 - 7:00am

By Steve Johnson

A highlight of my visit to Highland Woodworking a couple of years ago was the chance to spend a little time with the Kapex KS 120 EB Sliding Compound Miter Saw and make a quick video review of the tool.

In short, I liked it. I wanted it. But, alas, I couldn’t afford it. More accurately, I couldn’t justify it. While my brief time with the Kapex demonstrated some apparent advantages over my current miter saw, what I had was working fine. I will admit, however, to prolonged disappointment like a kid with a long list of toys for Santa that finds nothing but clothes under the Christmas tree.

Click here to read more…

The post A Great Combination: Festool Kapex Miter Saw & CT SYS HEPA Dust Extractor appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Calling Simon Templar

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 02/28/2017 - 6:52am

If you have not already seen Konrad Sauer’s update on the restoration of the 1968 Volvo P1800 I disposed of in his direction, give it a look.  The car, of which there were only about 125,000 produced over a 13 year period, was made famous in the early 60s British television series “The Saint” starring the utra-cool Roger Moore.

Here’s just one of the dozens of pics.



The Stabilizer

Tico Vogt - Tue, 02/28/2017 - 5:37am

Most of us who have any experience using hand held routers understand the reason for an offset subbase. Here is how Pat Warner explains it:

“Routers are tippy. Most of the mass of these machines is above the control knobs. On inside excavations this top heaviness is unnoticeable, especially when the casting is entirely surrounded x substrate. However, on the end, edge or corners of the work, where routers spend most of their time, their tipsiness can be appreciated. You can’t control them. There’s always less than 1/2 the casting on the work and when you take a right angle turn that number falls to <25%. You’re supporting the other three fourths of the tool in the air, 7 pounds of the typical 10 pound router! Precise work is hit or miss. Add an offset subbase and you’re in control. Moreover, you’ll be on the safe side of the yellow line.”


To see Pat’s incredibly well made products, click here.








Paul Alves is a custom stair builder in Massachusetts. He is currently at work on a friend of mine’s new house. He has designed a router offset base called “The Stabilizer” to support the router from the “unsafe” side of the yellow line!  All you need is a clean, level workbench. I can easily see its effectiveness in stair, boat, door and window building.


Paul and a business partner have put up a website to submit the product to potential interested parties or licensees. It showcases some of Paul’s masterful stair work and includes testimonials from users of The Stabilizer. I would like to see The Stabilizer in the marketplace. It is immediately useful for known applications and has potential for opening up new techniques. If you like the product, give them a shout on the contact link.

Monarch Introduces Bandsaw Precision

360 WoodWorking - Tue, 02/28/2017 - 4:50am
Monarch Introduces Bandsaw Precision

There’s a new woodworking tool company emerging to the world. Monarch Industrial has just launched a new product that is the answer to the most-often asked question in bandsaw setup. How do you accurately adjust the tension on your bandsaw blade? With the release of its new Tension Gauge, Monarch introduces bandsaw precision. Every woodworker now has the ability to set the perfect tension in his or her blades, and that’s way better than the on-board gauges found on most bandsaws – we know how those lack credibility.

Continue reading Monarch Introduces Bandsaw Precision at 360 WoodWorking.

day III of feeling blah........

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 02/28/2017 - 3:11am
I seem to be right on the cusp of something happening. I feel like crap, then I feel blah, and for a few fleeting moments kind of ok. Sometimes my stomach is queasy feeling and other times I am draining on the porcelain throne. It is a constant ebb and flow between the two states. This rollercoaster crap sucks, because I wish I would be sick and then get over it.

I found something to spend my LN gift certificate on. I had narrowed it down to the #98 & #99 side rabbet planes but I was reluctant to buy them. I have a Stanley 79 which is the two of these rolled into one. I have also read several people writing that side rabbet planes are awkward to hold and use. I have also read a few were it was written they were greater then sliced white bread.  I have never used either one them and I like the 79.

my rehabbed Stanley 79
The only problem I had breathing life back into this were the rusted screws. There are two that hold the front and rear shoes on. They were rusted solid in place and were a bear freeing up. The plane works as advertised now but the irons in it are not sharpened correctly. They still work but not as they were designed to.

only has one bevel
There should be a secondary bevel at the bottom of the toe. That allows the iron to cut cleanly right down into the corner of the rabbit.

not sharpened at the same rate
The left iron has been used more and most likely the former owner was right handed.

the angles are off too
I found a blurb somewhere that gave the correct geometry for sharpening these irons. It was from Stanley but I can't find it now. I know I should bookmark this stuff but I always think I'll have no trouble finding it again. It gave the angle across the face and the tricky bevel at the bottom of the toes.

The Lie Nielsen site has pic of what the iron should look like. I spent my LN gift certificate on buying a left and right side rabbet iron. On one of my frequent trips through the tools for sale sites on the web, I saw a Stanley #79 for sale. It had Lie Nielsen side rabbet irons in it. The seller didn't mention them specifically, but said that the plane worked fine. I'll give the irons a try and see if they work in my 79.

finally done with these
The bigger box is only getting two coats (one light and one heavy one). I like the slight color that it put on these and especially so that it didn't darken the end grain. I don't think that I would use this for a non shop project, but I will use it again for future shop projects.

my 1/4" astragal
I was looking at my astragals, and the beads on them are pretty close to each other except for a couple.  I thought that astragal sizes were determined from the half circle size of the bead. I dug up some info on these and that isn't so. The size of astragal is width of the bead and the inboard groove.  It has nothing to do with how big or small the bead is. This one is a 1/4" according to Josh from Hyperkitten.

based on what I read
From the far wall on the inboard groove to the outboard edge of the bead, it is a frog hair over a 1/4". I will measure my other astragals and see what they are.

grooving time
I have a couple of choices here with the groove for the bottom of the box. I can do it with the plane and then plugs the holes after. Choice #2 is to plane this side and then do the ones on the ends by hand.

choice #3
Dig out my screaming, electron munching router and use that. With this I know I can make stop grooves but it didn't get beyond me opening the door and saying no mas, no mas. I'll be using option #1 to save time and get this moving along.

test grooves on the top piece
I had this lined up with the top edge of the half pin but I chickened out. I tapped the fence with a screwdriver to move it and this is what I got. I'm about a 32nd shy of where I should have it. Given this I would rather be shy than be below.

fitting the bottom
Once this is fitted into the bottom grooves, I will glue it in place. This is something that I have done since my very first box I made this way. Back then the dovetails were replaced with rabbets and I glued and nailed them together or just glued them. I relied on the plywood bottom to keep the box square. Gluing plywood to me meant I didn't have to worry about or allow for wood movement.

It makes sense to me still today. All the wood movement in the box is up and down, not across the bottom in any direction.  I have yet to have a plywood bottom I've glued in or on be a problem in any way. I might do it differently if the grain on the box ran end to end (90° to the bottom) because then I would have to allow for some wood movement.

oops, forgot to check this for square first
I haven't sawn this to length yet and I'm shooting for an exact fit. I need the ends to be square to keep the box square.

cut line is a 1/8" longer
I'll saw this strong and square it up. Then I'll square up the other end and fit it to the box.

look down into the bottom corner
My length is still a bit too long by about a 1/16".

1/8" gone
This was an unexpected event. I knifed the line and the knife didn't seem to have any problems going through the plies. So I kept on going until I got all the way through it. I shot the other end square on the shooting board.

bottom fitted and box dry fitted
Last check to see how well the bottle fits in the box. I did very well on the side to side and length but I was overly generous in the height. I'll have to stuff more wood shavings in it to fill it up.

poplar lid
I briefly entertained using this for the lid because I didn't want to saw a short piece off of one of the 3 footers. I sawed off a piece and that will make the box all one wood.

planing a piece of scrap down to 5/8"
need this to try out my new plane
this is not looking good sports fans
I don't have a ton of experience with molding planes but one thing I have learned is that this is way too much iron sticking up past the sole.  The flat portion on the right isn't square to the sole but I don't think that matters too much. That portion of the iron cuts the rabbet or shoulder for this profile. Out square just means the shoulder will be slanted.

the 5/8 number
I assumed that the 5/8 meant the thickness of the stock that this would plane. From looking at this and the iron, I think the 5/8 refers to the size of the 'thumbnail'. The flat portion of the iron will plane down the right side so the cove portion will then cut it's thumbnail profile.

I think I am on the right track
I was able to start the profile and get a portion of it. Once I got down about a 1/3" of the way, the plane started to balk. That is about where the iron was way above the sole profile.  From this pic you can see the the 5/8 has nothing to do with the thickness of the wood this plane will profile. I measured the iron and it is 1 1/16" wide so I think this plane would easily profile wood at least 7/8 thick. Of course the thicker the wood, the bigger the rabbet. It also looks like the thumbnail portion serves as the stop.

5/32nds thick
I think that this iron is this thick because the heavy scraping action of the thumbnail portion of the plane. Most of the molding plane irons I have average 1/8" or so.

I am prepared a little
Layout fluid so I can run a scribe line.

set the iron
I got this set so the lowest part of the flat part of the iron is just proud of the sole. I scribed the line but it isn't any good. The scribe line on the flat portion came out ok but the thumbnail part didn't come out good. My scribe ran down beneath the mouth and scribed a too wide of a tracing.

After this I looked at the profile again and tried to pick which portion to grind first. Do the flat one first which would be relatively easy to do or the thumbnail? Without getting a headache, it makes sense to me to do the thumbnail first and then the flat. Making the flat after the getting the thumbnail seems to be the logical way to do this because the money in this plane is in the thumbnail. At least that is the way my convoluted thinking brain sees this.

It'll have to wait because I will have to do some research on how to do this. I'm basically clueless on how to grind this profile.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is a roughly squared timber called?
answer - a balk

Progress on Carving Tool Chest

She Works Wood - Mon, 02/27/2017 - 7:58pm
This is how I laid out the dovetails and the mitered shouldered dovetail for the bottom edge. PS.  Wanna know where to get a sector?  Go here -> CABINETMAKER’S SECTOR Wanna know how to use a sector?? Or make a cheap one?  Go here -> http://www.burn-heart.com/sector
Categories: General Woodworking

Williamsburg Snapshots – Replicating a Walker Corner Chair

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 02/27/2017 - 4:35pm

In addition to serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the Working Wood in the 18th Century event, Anthony Hay shop master Kaare Loftheim took to the stage to show us the developments of the corner chair made up the road in the Walker shop near Fredericksburg.  This iconic chair form, perhaps most notable for the thunder mug contained underneath the upholstered slip seat, provided inspiration for many other chairmakers of the period.  Maybe while they were sitting… oh, never mind.

Kaare was particularly struck by the stylistic variations of the form within the same shop.  He spent considerable time pointing out the salient details from the version of the chair he was replicating in black walnut.

For the on-stage demonstration Kaare did the layout and carving in basswood so it would proceed more quickly and we could get his points in a hurry.

I am pretty sure that “working in a highly detailed artistic and technical exercise while an audience watches the results a 100x magnification” fits at least some definition of fearlessness.


Most of the structural creation had been accomplished prior to the event, but it still had to fit together properly.  It did.

Prior to the last year or so I was only barely acquainted with Kaare personally, and it has been a true delight to get to know him better over that time and I look forward to the next time our paths cross.

Split Personality

The Furniture Record - Mon, 02/27/2017 - 9:02am

It just doesn’t really matter.

At the recent auction I saw and was mildly amused by this:

Primitive New England Hanging Cupboard


This lot has sold for $260.

Description: Late 19th century, white pine, distressed green painted surface, hinged paneled doors with shelved interior, over two drawers.

Not really that interesting a piece. Out of force of habit, I looked at the drawer construction and it became more interesting. But only slightly:


A drawer with a split personality.

The front dovetails are the then trendy thin pins. Looks to be around 1:6 or 9°. Or so. Fairly consistent leading me to think they were highly skilled or used some form of gauge.

The rear dovetails are fewer and coarser with the fairly extreme 1:2.4 or 30°. Darn near vulture tails in miniature.

Makes one wonder. Front dovetails as a means to show the skill of the maker and the rear pins more utilitarian? Putting the effort where it can be seen by prospective customers. Front pins made by the more skilled and rear pins by the lesser skilled, a division of labor?

It is fairly common for the drawer bottom to extend out the back of the drawer to become the back drawer stop.

I liked the turned knob and molding:


Nice touches on a simple cabinet.

Dovetail angles. It doesn’t really matter, does it? Still, one can cogitate…




A Good Goodbye

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 02/27/2017 - 8:18am

Last summer, upon accepting the position of managing editor here at Popular Woodworking Magazine, I wrote a blog post publicly asking myself if I was a woodworker. Today, as I begin my final week in this role, I’m only slightly closer to a definitive answer. Sorry – burying the lede is an old writer’s habit of mine (same with posting misleading photos). Yes, I’m leaving my position at Popular Woodworking […]

The post A Good Goodbye appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

not feeling so hot........

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 02/27/2017 - 1:19am
Last night when I went to bed, my hip starting hurting and I hadn't done a lot of physical activity through the day. The heating pad brought immediate relief which was a good thing. This was the end of my day, but most of the day after I got home from OT, my head felt like it was swimming. As I'm writing this blog, I'm feeling a wee bit warm and barely one step above feeling like crappola.

It didn't matter if I was laying down, sitting down, or vertical. I still felt like something my cats hack up and deposit on my rugs. I did what I could in the shop and when things starting looking fuzzy I shut the lights off. I'll be heading for the bunky after this is done and a lot earlier than I did yesterday.

tried boiling water
I brought this to the shop after it came to a strong boil and stuck the finish in it. I had to go back upstairs and came right back the outside diameter was melted and a liquid. I was looking to get this soft, not a liquid again. Obviously way too much heat but better than what the hair dryer did.

two coats
The second coat went on heavy. There wasn't no any way I was just putting on a wee bit. As heavy as this went on, there was almost no smelly linseed odor. I may be able to get away with two coats.

finally painted the fix I did
You can see the chip I glued in at the top left corner. I knew that I would do this when I painted the paper towel holder.

blurry pic so use your imagination here
With the drawer closed I could see a sliver of raw wood at the top that I didn't like.

painted a thin coat on the top only
This still clears the top and it didn't eat up any of the margin. It took away the raw wood look so I have a happy face on now.

FYI tip
I used to make a clocks that had a shelf that extended on either side of the clock case. I put a gallery rail on both sides. Whether you are applying an oil/shellac or painted finish, do it this way. Drag the brush across the holes in one fluid, uninterrupted motion, and you will get almost no paint in the holes. The same technique with oil/shellac works too but you have to be more attentive and careful.

repeat for the gallery railing
Paint the ends, bottom and the two sides. Once it is glued up you can paint the top and the spindles. I have found that doing it this way eliminates a lot of headaches with drips and runs. Not to mention trying to paint in such a confined area. If any finish does get in a hole, clean it out with the side of chisel before you glue up. The hole is only spot that gets glued.

paper towel holder rod
 I decided to paint this and after a couple of coats I'll put on some poly to help with wear resistance. I tried a nail in here first but it didn't work. The screw worked a lot better..

so I could paint the whole thing at once.
The clip slipped off of the nail. The head of the screw stopped that from happening.

xmas present
I've been reading this off and on since I got it. It isn't overly technical and a lot of the woods in here I've never heard of let alone eyeballed any. He explained how the Janka hardness of various woods is determined. Nice piece of trivia.

It is the amount of pounds force (or Newtons (N)) required to imbed a 0.444 inch (11.28mm) diameter steel ball into the wood to half the ball's diameter. The wood is at 12% MC for this test. This number can be used to determine how well the wood will withstand dings, dents, etc.

buffing out the box
I could see and feel the build up of the finish on the lid and the box. In the corners and other catch points, there were blobs of finish. Still no real appreciable smell. It buffed out and the greasy feel disappeared. It looks the same as the first one I did.

forgot this
I left a chipbreaker in this for 4 days. Totally zoned it right out of my memory. The Evaporust was dirty before and it had a greenish tint to it. This has been ebonized.

This chipbreaker was as black as the Evaporust. It sanded off with no effort at all.

screw for the chipbreaker - just took it out forgot it to0
I cleaned this up as best I could with a wire brush and let it go at that.

flattening the back of my latest molding plane iron
There is a pitted spot on the right side that isn't lapping out. It will be a while before I sharpen this down to that.

the flat was humped
I dragged it across the sanding belt at 90° angle until I had it square.

see the flat on the right?
It took me about a half hour to get rid of this flat. I had a burr on the back but I could see this flat without having to use the magnifying glass.

sharpened - honing is next
I do like shiny
I have this sharp now and I need a piece of 5/8" stock to see how well I did.

it doesn't look good sports fans
The profile of the iron doesn't have to be a dead nuts match. Close is usually good enough but this doesn't look that way. The circular part is too high and the flat is barely a frog hair past the sole. I may have to learn how to grind an iron to match the plane's sole.

my four fenced casing planes
Top left is 7/8", bottom left is 3/4", bottom right is 5/8" and the top right is 1/2" The 3/4" and 1/2" profiles are similar with the other two being different. And the one with the crack/split is almost invisible now. I had trouble finding it.

waiting for a dryer load to be done

I didn't want to go back upstairs and have to come back for this load. While I was waiting I decided to chop out the pins.

done - clean up and a dry fit is next
dry fit looks ok    one corner is looser than I would like though
Will the bottle fit? I really don't want to make another box so my fingers are crossed on this.

much joy and rejoicing in Mudville
Sometimes I get lucky. I hope my friend will be surprised by this as long as his wife doesn't blab it out inadvertently.

Time to jump in the rain locker and hit the bunky.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who opened the first public aquarium in the United States?
answer - P.T. Barnum did in 1856 in NYC (The Brits were first with one in 1853)

not a good day......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 02/26/2017 - 3:45am
When I went in for OT this morning, I planned on staying for two hours and coming home. I was talking with my boss and he was under the gun to get some stuff out the door. I stayed and helped him to put a good dent in it. After 6 hours I was wiped slick and headed for the barn.

I wanted to get the sink cabinet set in place today but my wife was already busy prepping the walls for painting. My wife and I are like trying to mix oil and water when it comes to working together. It just is not going to happen no matter how hard you shake us . Something we learned very early about each other and we don't push that envelope in the least. So I'll try and get the sink cabinet set tomorrow. At least it left me free to go play in the work shop.

Since it was close to chinese lunch time, I decided to finish up the paper towel holder. Nothing moved or relaxed on me when the clamps came off.  Both spreaders fell out on their own accord once I loosened the clamps. Everything checked good for square which is always a good thing.

I had to fuss with the length of the gallery rail some to even up the gap on both sides. I then hand sanded it with 100 grit paying careful attention to the curves on the sides.  I forgot to sand the spice rack and even through 3 layers of paint I can still see some roughness on the curves. I didn't want to do that with the paper towel holder. After the 100 grit, I used the RO with 220 grit. I'm sure glad that I don't use the RO sander that often.

flattening another board
Every time I do this, it gets done a little differently than the last time. I am trying to standardize how I do it. Here I started by removing the hump on this side. This went down against the bench so I could deal with the other concave side.

the painted surface helped with the flattening
I wanted to plane off the high outside wings first but muscle memory took over. I planed a chamfer on the inboard side and made a couple of up and down the board at a diagonal. If I had shaved the 'wings' I could have gone directly to planing straight across.

still have wings and a hollow down the middle
The paint is telling a best sellers story. I made another double criss cross up and down the board and removed some more paint.

I'm good only at this end
monitoring my shavings
I think part of my problem with flattening is impatience and not looking at my shavings and clearing them out of the throat. For most of my trip down this board I cleared the shaving after each stroke and I watched them to see if they were full length.

last pass at 90°, then full length strokes end to end
very little light
This is the least amount of light I have gotten under my plane to date. Instead of trying to conserve how much wood I removed, I worked on getting this face flat.

the paint is raising this up (out of sequence pic)
For the most part when I check under my plane I have yet to see a total absence of light. I usually see it straight across with a few hills blocking it here and there. I forgot to snap the pic of this after I removed the paint. There were 2 or 43 pin pricks of light under the plane.

one flat board planed to thickness
I learned two things with this today. The first is to plane until one side is flat and don't worry about it being too thin. If does come out too thin, start again with another board. The second kind of goes hand in hand with the first one. That is to plane until I get a I full shaving on each planing stroke and to keep at it until I do. This board went from 11/16" down to a frog hair below a 1/2". I was shooting for 5/8" so I could use it to practice with my latest plane acquisition.

I'll do another board tomorrow. Now it was time to get lunch.

ran into a hiccup here
I wanted to brand the back of the paper towel holder before I painted it. It had been over 30 minutes and the branding iron was still stone cold. I tried another plug and got the same thing - no Sammy Electrons flowing out of that receptacle neither.  The both of them were on the same line as 1/2 the cellar lights. I had an open ground somewhere. Finding grounds can be like chasing your tail sometimes but I least I had narrowed down my problem to a few circuits.

Two hours later and after 2 trips outside to check the main service entry, I finally found the problem.  It was one the fluorescent lights in the shop. It is a cheap shop light with an even cheaper controller circuit. Somehow something melted and crossed wires in it the wrong way. For $9.99, I got my money's worth out of it. I'll buy a new one at Lowes.

next batch will be in a wide mouth jar
I'm putting this finish on the other shop box I made. I have 3 coats on the smaller one and I stopped there. It looks ok with 3 but I am not sure how many I'll have to put on the bigger one.

tried heating it up to soften it
This stuff  is almost as hard as granite. The hair dryer gave up and the interlock kicked in and shut it down. I think I should have been doing it from the side and not directly into the jar. I think a lot of the heat was being reflected back into the gun.

20 minutes later it had cooled down and was working again
I won't be using the hair dryer to soften this the next time. I'll try boiling water and see how that works.

quit here
I knifed my gauge lines for the pins all around and ran out of gas. I was hoping to get at least one done but it didn't happen. I need a 14 hour equalizer in the bunk which is where I'm heading after I finish writing this post.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was the first designated hitter in Major League Baseball?
answer - Ron Blomberg of the New York Yankees was on April 6th 1973

Carving tool box – Japanese styled

She Works Wood - Sat, 02/25/2017 - 7:42am
 I’m making a tool chest for my larger carving tools that are currently floating around in the shop.  An ax, and adze, etc.  If things go right, the small chest will hang on the wall when not being used to transport these tools. It’s a modification of the Japanese tool chest but I’ll be using the […]
Categories: General Woodworking

clock project, #3 plane, et al........

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 02/25/2017 - 12:42am
I got my full hour plus in the shop tonight which was very productive. I got two things done, made some progress on a third, and opened a can worms on the 4th one. I may have to push back a few projects I had planned on because my focus has to be on getting the other two cabinets installed and then the counter top. Being without the proverbial kitchen sink is a PITA.

it doesn't work and it may be a can of worms
I made this clock a few years back and I put a chiming bim-bam movement in it. It bim-bam'ed once. It didn't chime again but it did keep good time for a while.

crappy movement
This movement cost me $109 and it is crap. I soldered the wires back on the speaker 4 times. The wires are a very thin covered with an even thinner insulation. Just opening the door caused the wires on the speaker to come undone.

This stopped working altogether the first time I I had to change the time due to DST change. I removed the batteries, changed the time, reinstalled the batteries and nothing. Even the pendulum stopped swinging. It's been sitting on the bookcase for over a year now. I haven't bought another movement because I don't want another Chinese one.

pretty fancy movement
It plays two other tunes besides bim-bam (my favorite) and it has a night silence switch too. But it is complete and utter useless crap.

even routed slots for the bim-bam noise to escape
a xmas present for my wife
This has a slightly cheaper movement that was only $90. It has the same capabilities as the mission clock. This one also stopped keeping time after the first DST change. But the pendulum on this one still swings. No time, no chimes, but the pendulum swings.

new movement from Klockit
This is a German made movement and it is only $69. It plays two tunes plus bim-bam and I'm not sure if it has a night silence mode. The wires are a huge step up. A thicker gauge with better insulation and the solder connections look much stronger.

the pendulum swinging mechanism
The copper coil switches it's field which causes the magnet to be repulsed and swing away. The other two movements use two magnets which suck. After a bit of time they weaken and stop being strong enough to cause the pendulum to swing. This shouldn't be a problem here.

tune selection switches
The movement runs off two C size batteries.

my impetus
My wife gave me this as a xmas present with marching orders to get at least one of the clocks working. The only problem I can see with them is whether or not the post on these two new movements will fit the existing holes in the clocks. The other potential problem is the set back for the pendulum. It won't be a problem on my wife's clock but it may on the mission clock.

The mission clock has a bottom with a slot in it for the pendulum rod. I may get lucky or I may have to do some surgery to get the new pendulum to fit. I'll start with my wife's clock first and then do the mission one.

glued up the paper towel holder
 When I tightened down on the clamps I noticed the front top toed inwards. I cut a piece of scrap two frog hairs wider then the back and put it at the front.

put one at the bottom too
I set this aside on the shitcan to cook. I didn't have to put it by the furnace because the temp today was 69°F (20.5°C). We have had 3 days in a row with the temps in the low 60's with today being the warmest so far. Colder weather is coming back this weekend.

tote and knob for my #3
I don't know why I didn't order the rear tote when I ordered the front knob. Outwardly the original tote that came with the #3 looked ok but the inner workings were beyond OTL (out to lunch). This is what I've been waiting for to complete this rehab. I don't think the two of these were more than $45 and that includes the S/H.

the before shot right out of the box

the after glamour shots - port side
stern shot
starboard side
missing chip
This is the only hiccup on the whole plane. I don't mind it and it has absolutely no effect on the use of the plane.

bow on shot
wispy and fluffy shavings
Since I sanded the sole up to 600 grit, all the dragging I felt before I did it is gone.

newest old #3 on the left , my first rehabbed #3 on the right
side by side
Other than the color differences in the rear tote, the only other mismatch is the size of the adjuster wheels. I'm thinking of setting one for taking wispy shaving and the other for smoothing shavings.

closed shut for two days
The box has a low odor to it now. It isn't as strong as the smell in the jar, but it's there. I have an idea I want to try and see if I can eliminate the odor. From what I read about artist stand oil, if you put it in the sun for a year it will lose it's odor and become almost colorless. Don't know that I want to wait a year so I'll be trying something different.

I like how the end turned out with this finish
finished and unfinished
Both lids came from the same board.

the other end grain
To my eye, this looks better than what shellac would look like.

MIA end
I cleaned the workbench off and I'm missing an end piece.

found it
I don't have a clue as to how this made it across the shop to be under my bandsaw. It is back with it's mates and maybe I'll finish this up tomorrow. It's the tequila box I started last week.

it worked
Keeping these on the workbench did annoy me and I whacked them out tonight. This is just a guess-ta-mate and subject to change. I don't know how much spacing I should leave between them. These are 9" apart and I'll see how it works out.

only one set screw
I wrote yesterday that there were two set screws in the hanger. Correction - there is only one and it is at the bottom.

raised it up to clear the hand railing

didn't work out 100%
The coats still hang down covering the hand railing. I would put the coats behind the door but that won't work. You would have to go down into the cellar to get a coat and to hang them up. I'll let this go for while and see if the wife likes it. If she does I think I may add a fourth hanger if I can fit it in.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Sylvanus Freelove Bowser?
answer - he invented the gasoline pump in 1885 although at first it was used for dispensing kerosene

Jane Mickelborough’s Folding Spoons

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 7:04pm

The oak furniture I make is based on 17th-century examples made in my general neighborhood – the first batch of chests & boxes I learned about were made maybe 10 miles from where I grew up. My spoons are a different story – literally. I learned spoon carving from Jögge & Wille Sundqvist, and Drew Langsner…so my spoons are rooted in the Swedish style – as are many other modern-day spoon carvers.

One thing I keep in mind when looking at inviting instructors for Greenwood Fest is simple – I would like to spend time getting to know these people, and learning woodworking from them. (I get to do the former, but I’m too busy to really learn much during the event…)


I met Jane Mickelborough last summer at Spoonfest and Täljfest – and was very happy when she said she’d come to Greenwood Fest. Jane is currently engrossed in making some decidedly-non-Swedish style spoons. Her recent work is based on historical spoons from Brittany, where she lives with her husband Peter. I wanted to know more about her spoons, and how she got on this Breton-folding-spoon-kick, so I asked her. I thought readers might like it too, so below is a series of questions I sent Jane and she kindly answered more than I asked. Jane will be teaching a 2-day class Carve a Hinged Spoon, and demonstrating wax inlaid decoration in the pre-fest courses https://www.greenwoodfest.org/course-details

PF: Somewhere along the line in your woodworking, you learned spoon-carving. Then began to see/study/copy particular spoons that were historically made in Breton. How did this come about? Was it thought-out, or stumbled-upon?

JM: I stumbled-upon spoon-carving by complete accident about five months before the first Spoonfest. I found the famous Martin Hazell on Facebook (via a friend of a friend) having known him in real life about 30 years before. And on his site were these amazing wooden spoons! I was immediately smitten and determined to have a go myself. I haven’t got fed-up with them yet. I only discovered Breton spoons quite a lot later. People at markets would tell me about Breton wedding spoons, and I (wrongly) assumed these would be like the highly-ornamental but essentially non-functional spoons that were made in Wales to commemorate a wedding. So I ignored them. When i finally took a look at them I was completely blown-away by what was an incredibly strong, popular and local tradition, and by the wonderful spoons themselves.


PF:  Care to tell us something about these spoons? I know you’re going to present some of your research, etc when we’re in Plymouth, but how about a teaser? I know you’ve learned to recognize regional variations in spoons…

JM: Breton peasants had precious few paid holidays, a very monotonous diet but an obvious love for a good party. Everyone would turn-out for a local wedding – more than a thousand guests over three days was common. If you could afford to, you contributed some food or drink, while those that could not were nonetheless welcome. Providing a thousand spoons was out of the question in the days before hire companies and party organisers. Each guest was expected come dressed-up in his or her best clothes and to bring their own spoon (which would always have been made of wood) and it appears that the tradition of decorated spoons arose from the very human desire to show off! These so-called wedding spoons were specifically made to be used as party spoons, spoons for best, or show-off spoons and they are highly decorated and often inlaid with coloured wax or even pewter.



Nearly all Breton decorated spoons are made of box wood and something like half of the existing spoons have hinges. These two facts may be related, as box doesn’t grow well here in wet and windy Brittany. You can make a spoon using smaller pieces of less-than-perfect wood if you make it in two halves (this I have tried). Sprigs of box were the foliage that Breton peasants took to church on Palm Sunday (palms don’t grow well here either). The story goes that these box sprigs would be put into the roadside banks on the way home after church, so that they would grow into more box bushes. Frankly, this doesn’t sound like an ideal propagating technique to me, but who knows now?

Before the first world war, not many Breton peasants travelled very far from home and this resulted in very localised styles in everyday stuff like clothing, music, dance, household furniture and even spoons. There are two (possibly three) main regional styles of breton decorated spoons that can be fairly easily recognised. What is beyond question is that by the 19th century they were mainly made by very skilled craftsmen who tended to make sets of near-identical spoons in a local style, rather than just making occasional one-offs. I’m currently trying to track-down records of some of the actual spoon makers, to clarify this, but this is going to take me quite a while yet…

PF: Can you describe some of your recording methods when you study these in collections? I know how to record furniture pieces, but what information are you specifically looking at in spoons? Tracings, templates, measurements?

JM: Basic information like measurements and a description are available from the museums housing the collections. I mainly rely on my trusty iPhone to take photos from every angle so that I can make observations on the spoon shapes and decorations in my own time. Museum reserve collections are rarely kept in over-heated buildings and it can be a very cold day’s work to get a collection looked-at and photographed.



Getting my hands on the spoons allows me to see exactly how the hinges are made, how well they work, why they sometimes break, and the modifications that were made to get the spoon to fold properly (or indeed, to fold at all!). There’s a satisfaction in seeing that someone before me has already made ALL the mistakes I’ve made while trying to get a spoon to fold, plus some mistakes I haven’t tried yet. You really can’t get this from pictures.

Seeing them up-close has also given me some clues about the decorating techniques that are too subtle to see in pictures. What happens when the inlay wax is overheated, exactly how some of the chip-carving has been done, how the metal inlay has been applied… Its also possible to see the subtle signs of wear, that confirm that many of these spoons were regularly used for eating. Then comes the trial & error in making both folding spoons & wax inlay.


PF: Want to tell us something about the challenges in these related but distinct spoon carving disciplines?

JM: Oh my – take a look online at recipes for old-fashioned sealing wax. There are hundreds, and no two are the same. I had a long chat with a friend who is an antique dealer and restorer who gave me some ideas as well. Then I started stinking the house out with melting various combinations of wax, rosin, shellac, turpentine and different pigments – I hate to think what our fire-insurance people would have thought of it all! Just like making home-made milk paint, I have found that different pigments affect the resulting wax in different ways, but even this is not consistent. Factors like how fast the ingredients are melted, or whether it’s stirred during or after melting seem to be important too. The waxes I’m currently using work quite well, but I haven’t nearly finished experimenting yet, but I suspect I never will. This is definitely an art rather than a science! It turns out that pewter inlay is a common technique used by musical instrument makers here in Brittany and I have been able to talk to a few of them about this technique. I still haven’t tried it seriously, but I’m saving it for a later day. One thing at at time!


here’s Jane’s Instagram feed – https://www.instagram.com/janespoons/ 

Williamsburg Snapshot – Make A Chair From A Book

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 3:52pm


Anthony Hay cabinet shop journeyman Bill Pavlak bit off the challenge of making a chair illustrated in Chippendale’s Director.  Given the vagaries of historic images when compared to the structure of chairs, it was indeed something to wrestle with.

Bill engaged in one of the most innovative didactic exercises I’ve seen as he walked us through the evolution of the Chippendale chair by fabricating a display form on which he could attach full scale depictions for each of the major evolutionary steps in the design heritage.  I found this to be a brilliant approach that should be employed everywhere for anyone interested in the subject.

Since much of the character of the chair is contained in the carvings, that is where Bill spent his time.

I must admit that I missed some of Bill’s presentation as I was 1) talking to someone out in the vestibule about some SAPFM bidnez, and 2) snuck out to go with my wife and some friends to an organ recital at the nearby Wren Chapel on the campus of the College of William and Mary.  Sorry Bill, no disrespect intended.


Alternative Paint Strippers

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 7:58am

by Bob Flexner Safer strippers are having a ‘green’ revival. Methods for removing old paint and finish from furniture have gone through at least four distinct periods. Before solvents became widely available, coatings were removed by scraping, often with glass used like we use scrapers, and sometimes by sanding, after sandpaper became available. (Heat and caustics such as lye have never been a good idea for furniture because they can […]

The post Alternative Paint Strippers appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Incredible Water Powered Wood Shop at Hancock Shaker Village

Wood and Shop - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 6:55am
Check out my above video of my private tour of the water-powered, belt-driven woodworking machine shop at the historical Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. I'll admit that I forgot to publish this last year along with the other videos! Hancock volunteer Ted Williams gave Will Myers and I a private tour of this workshop, and let us use


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