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General Woodworking

(time flies) 2nd posting......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 01/24/2018 - 12:30am
I made a pit stop on the way home to get some soup. Shaws has it on sale for 99 cents a can down from the regular price of $3.49. The catch is there is a limit of 4 cans so I've been stopping every night and picking up 4. Did that tonight and still got to the shop before 1600. Before I knew it Mickey's big hand was almost on 12 with the little one on 5. I felt like I just got there and I didn't think I got anything accomplished.

#6 is almost done
I sanded the paint off of the frog seat.

sanded the paint around the mouth off
I could put the #6 back together as it is now and call it done. This plane is used for flattening stock so it won't get a lot of regular use. But I want to avoid having a different look with my planes. Regardless of their usage or function, I want them all to at least look the same. This will be getting the sanding treatment up to 600 grit before I put it back together.

time to get some more sanding blocks ready
I left this clamped since saturday and I made up what I needed to sand the the #6 and the #4. I glued them and they will be ready to use tomorrow.

cleaned the #4 with Acetone
I had already cleaned this plane 3 times with degreaser and I couldn't believe how dirty the rag got with the acetone. I had lightly steel wooled the plane and the letters and numbers came out light again. I don't know if you can paint over japanning but I'm going to find out.

All the screws etc for the #4 are cleaned, oiled, and ready to go. What's left is the lever cap, the brass adjuster knob, and tote/knob shellacing. I'll work on that while the paint dries on the plane.

doesn't even look like I had painted it
There isn't any bare metal showing but the steel wool knocked back a lot of the paint that was there. You can see the lettering on the heel is decidedly lighter then the areas around it.

white rouge
 According to my research the white rouge has some cutting action and will remove scratches. It didn't remove the ones I have on the lever cap. It also didn't wow me with the shine level.

better than the brown stuff
It does seem to be a little shinier than what I got with the brown rouge. I think I might get the Harbor Freight buffer for $45.

this sucks
Holding the drill on and using my other hand to buff the lever cap was doable but awkward. I would rather buff with two hands holding the lever cap. The HF buffer is 1/2 HP and has two wheels that turn at 3400RPM. I don't think the drill develops sufficient speed to buff adequately.

#4 lever sanded lightly with 320 grit
Given a choice between patina or shine and I will opt for the shine. Using a sanding block is hands down the way to sand this. I have done all the previous ones by hand but no more. I'll be using a sanding block from now on.

#4 brass adjuster knob - before
partial after pic
I cleaned the knob with degreaser and a wire brush and I got a pretty decent shine with it.

sanded the  inside of the knob
This knob looks damn good and I still have to use Bar Keeps Best Friend on it yet. The only hold up on getting the #4 done is paint drying and getting some shellac on the knob and tote.

Sorry abut the blog being published as I wrote it. I hadn't finished writing it yet and noticed that it had been put on line already. I don't know how much of it got published but I reverted it back to a draft so I could complete it. I changed the title and published it on it's intended day, the 24th.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that Naomi Parker Fraley was the original model for Rosie the Riveter? (she passed on saturday at age 96)

The rest of the Greenwood Fest lineup for 2018

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Tue, 01/23/2018 - 6:23pm

I’m back from New York and off to Williamsburg. I’ll be at their Woodworking conference through Sunday, then back home here Monday or Tuesday. Then Pret & Paula get back from their jaunt just in time for tickets to Greenwood Fest to go on sale February 2nd, 10 AM eastern time.  https://www.greenwoodfest.org/

You can read what we have so far on that site. Earlier I mentioned we’re having 2 new instructors this time – Curtis Buchanan https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/greenwood-fest-instructor-curtis-buchanan/ and Robin Wood https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/greenwood-fest-2018-instructor-robin-wood/ The rest of the lineup are regulars, or now-regulars for Greenwood Fest.

The Spoon Carving Triumvirate.

JoJo Wood – I’d hate to think of this program without JoJo. https://www.instagram.com/jojowoodcraft/


Barn the Spoon – a great addition last year and we’re thrilled to have him back again. https://www.instagram.com/barnthespoon/

And last but not least – Jane Mickelborough. https://www.instagram.com/janespoons/ Her folding spoons (and fan birds) were a huge hit. She’ll be doing some of both this time.


Then, Dave Fisher. There is no link to Dave Fisher. I’m not saying anything else.

Dave Fisher on a bowl horse

Darrick Sanderson is a huge hit. https://www.instagram.com/dcsandersoninc/ Hewn or turned bowls, spoons like crazy, non-stop carving/cutting/slicing.



The whirwind-around-the-world slöjd man Jögge Sundqvist.  https://www.instagram.com/surolle/ Where is he? Japan, Australia, Sweden, Minnesota – well, in June he’ll be in Pinewoods with us. Here he is doing his Jimi Hendrix thing. 

Jogge_behind his back653.jpg


Not only do we have the now-old man of Windsor chairs, Curtis, but once again we have Pete Galbert coming back this year. Great chairs, great book, great teacher. https://www.instagram.com/petergalbert/


We just spent a weekend with Tim Manney making all edges sharp. Chair making, tool making, sharpening – Tim covers a lot of ground. https://www.instagram.com/tim.manney/

I’ll do a separate post about Pen Austin next week – she does amazing work with finishes, surfaces, etc. Often working with lime plaster, at the Fest she’s going to show us about using milk paint like you’ve never seen before. Even this crowd that is milk-paint savvy. Pen was there the day we launched Plymouth CRAFT but it’s taken until now for us to get her into our orbit – she’s very much in demand for restoration work. Here is a photo of some of her faux painting on columns for a Shakespeare Company’s stage.

pen & marbled paint


I’ll probably do an oak carving session during the Fest, and hopefully Paula will do another cooking w/fire class…we’ll figure those details out during February.

The Long Way Around: Finally Calling Your Long Term Project “Done”

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 01/23/2018 - 8:29am
entryway table

There’s something to be said for just finishing a long term project. I’ve been working on a furniture build off and on since I first started at PW a few years ago. It was to be an entryway table that doubled as a place to store shoes and custom built to fit under a window yet over a heat return. I had grand plans for the piece that were above […]

The post The Long Way Around: Finally Calling Your Long Term Project “Done” appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Why We’re Here: Introducing Andrew Zoellner

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 01/23/2018 - 7:04am

There was a time, in the not so distant past, when we made more stuff. Things were less disposable – we fixed our possessions when they broke. The furniture, dishes and home goods we kept in our lives had stories behind them and were built with purpose. I believe we’ve lost much of that handmade magic. That’s why I joined this team as the new editor in January. I want […]

The post Why We’re Here: Introducing Andrew Zoellner appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Product Video: Rikon 14 inch Deluxe Bandsaw 10-326

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 01/23/2018 - 7:00am

If you are looking to upgrade your shop, we’ve got the perfect tool for you. The Rikon 14 inch Deluxe Bandsaw 10-326 is a great choice for all kinds of woodworkers. Furniture makers will like the large 13″ resawing capacity and cutting accuracy. Woodturners will like the stability the large table provides when roughing bowl blanks. You can even cut non-ferrous metals on low speed.

In the video below, Justin Moon takes a closer look at the Rikon 10-326. Watch the video to learn the basics for setting up and using this workhorse tool in your own shop.

The post Product Video: Rikon 14 inch Deluxe Bandsaw 10-326 appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

rolling cabinet pt ?..........

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 01/23/2018 - 12:25am
When I made my plane reservations sunday I was surprised by the available flights. There were only a few direct flights to Covington.  But all of them left too early in the morning for me  and got in way too early in Ky so I picked a two stop flight. This is what I don't understand. On the way there I stop first in Washington DC and then a connecting flight to KY. On the way home I fly to Chicago and then home to Providence. It seems to me that this is a bit wacky and inefficient. My wife flies 4-5 times a year and she says it has been this way since forever.

$20 with S/H
I bought these to take to my woodworking class. Brendon says to bring a new metal file and some shaping ones. These are basically needle files with wooden handles. For the price I couldn't pass them up. And if I forget them there or lose them, it will be no big loss.

rouge colors
I looked up rouge colors on my lunch break and this is what I found. On all of the sites the colors and what they do were pretty consistent. I came away from this a bit confused on what to use on the lever cap. I am not sure what kind of metal it is made of and the brown rouge didn't shine it much. I am going to try my green honing rouge on the lever cap tomorrow.

no groans, whimpers, or relaxing when the clamps came off
one nail blew through on this side
and one on this side
The nail didn't come through as much here as the other side. That is the crap shoot with nailing plywood. You never know how the nail will hit a ply and where it will go.

pulled them both out
It is impossible to use a nail set and punch the nail out. I will glue the blowout back in place later.

got it set on the rolling base
I got a good fit on the back and the sides. The front is a 1/2" shy which is what I wanted. I did that because I thought I would need that to access the locking casters.

casters are off
I will have to swap two of the casters to get the both locking casters at the front.

screwed it to the dolly
I have two screws in the dolly temporarily holding the cabinet in place.

it rolls around nicely empty
loaded up
I am debating whether or not to put a sliding tray on the bottom. If I put in side mount drawer slides I lose 2 inches in the width. If I put in bottom mount slides I lose one inch in the height. As it is here, I can easily fit everything I want here.

about 6" of clearance.
I think a 6 inch deep drawer would be deep enough but I want to err on the side of bigger is better.

moved the boxes around and gained an inch
The Lee Valley box with the rebate plane will be redone to reduce it's footprint.

I think this will work but I'm not sure how I'm going to like kneeling down to get toolboxes out of this space. I may have to take the Stanley 45 box (at the back right corner) out and keep that somewhere else. Doing that will reduce the overall height and I can probably get away with a pull out tray.

two more sanding blocks
I will use these 3 sanding blocks as my bench sanders. The cork didn't cut cleanly due to me not using a fresh razor blade.

2nd coat
There were two big holidays on the back inside of the side walls. I may have to paint those areas again. I'll have to check that tomorrow and decide if I have to put on coat #3. It is looking like I might have the #4 done tomorrow and maybe this #6 too.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that a clew is a ball of yarn or thread?

Looks Like a Lot of Work.

The Furniture Record - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 10:34pm

Then there was this piece from local auction:

Georgian Mahogany Collector’s Cabinet on Stand


This lot has sold for $430. Shame about the later stand.

Description: Early 19th century, pine and poplar secondary, one part form, applied cove molded cornice with dentil molding, hinged panel doors, opening to reveal (20) graduated drawers, on a later custom Chippendale style base.

Size: 54.5 x 35.5 x 20 in.

Condition: Later stand; refinished; lacking operable key.

If one opens the doors on a collectors chest, what does one see?


Drawers. Twenty graduated drawers.

And if one looks more closely at the drawers, what does one see?


Dovetails. Twenty graduated drawers with dovetails.

If one looks even more closely at the carcass, what does one see?


I’m not really sure.

The second drawer position from the top (ninth from the bottom)  has extra dados. Was there an option for shallower drawers or trays?

The other thing I noticed was the drawers bottoms being nailed on and extending beyond the drawer sides becoming a the drawer runners. Not a common arrangement but not rare either. I’ve seen six to eight cabinets with this style drawer although it seems more common in primitive pieces.

Another fascination of mine, as regular readers know, is the back of furniture.  Many furniture makers just nailed on whatever they had lying around the shop. Any wood will do..


This one is no exception but better than many.

I really like the mover’s inventory stickers left on. Much of our furniture still proudly wears theirs.




Corpulence 2, Gragg 0

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 4:21pm

One of my long-time interests has been the iconic “Elastic Chair” of Boston chair maker Samuel Gragg, who produced these sinuous featherweight painted chairs for a few short years somewhere in the window of 1805-1815.  Having made a few myself I can see why he switched to technically simpler chairs, but I remain smitten by the form.

At one of the woodworking events in the past I had my Gragg chair there with me on display, and at some point I was absent from its presence and someone sat in the chair who shouldn’t have.  The first hand accounts ex poste indicate that the offender was so corpulent (first hand accounts would suggest said person was well north of four bills) that he could not get out of the chair as his flesh has drooped over the seat rails and filled the void of the arms and even below the arms.  He was wedged in tight as could be.  In the desperate struggle to get out of the chair where he was not supposed to be, the occupant apparently put his forearms on the chair arms with the all the force he could  muster  on the arms of the chair to pry himself out of it.  He was evidently successful in that his bloated dead carcass was not in the chair afterward, but in extricating himself he managed to fracture both arms.  Of the chair.   He fled the scene with nary a word of acknowledgment nor apology.

After contemplating a solution for the time since and seeing a bit of clear sky in my upcoming schedule (and to get warmed up to build two elastic chairs that I’ve been commissioned to make, but more about that later) I have now decided to undertake the repair.  Even though it is something I made myself, thus disposable, I will endeavor to follow the same decision framework I’ve used for for four decades on museum and client artifacts, just to make it interesting.  It will be a great learning experience for me.

Stay tuned.

The Case of the Missing Hinge: Trouble Installing a Soss Hinge

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 11:30am

The second article in my two-part series about hinges for Popular Woodworking Magazine was conceived as “5 Fussy Hinges.” Tricky, fussy…choose your adjective. I prefer “less commonly used,” with the disclaimer that one woodworker’s “less common” may be another’s “everyday”; Brendan Gaffney may be able to install knife hinges in his sleep, and I used non-swaged brass butts on an almost daily basis for years, but many woodworkers have never […]

The post The Case of the Missing Hinge: Trouble Installing a Soss Hinge appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Spoon carving workshop Manchester

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 8:56am
Spoon carving course Manchester 2018 Learn spoon carving in Manchester! Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Wendell Castle 1932 – 2018

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 6:16am

Wendell Castle, the father of the art furniture movement, died Saturday at age 85. I’m privileged to have spent a few days with him while shooting a video, and while our time together was personal, the time wasn’t long enough to call him a friend. Thoughtful, soft-spoken and passionate are three words that come to my mind. I’m willing to admit that I’m not in love with all his furniture – though […]

The post Wendell Castle 1932 – 2018 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Woodworking class........

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 12:37am
I would like to take a woodworking course every weekend of the year. That is not going to happen but I can still dream. The problem with taking classes in another state is the ancillary costs. I can afford just about any 2-3 course being offered anywhere. The problem is the costs for travel, lodging, rental car, and filling the pie hole. In my case these costs are 3 times the class price.

I'm taking a class in Covington Ky in June. I paid for the class and I just got done making hotel, flight, and car rental reservations.  If I hadn't already paid for this class I would be taking a different one. Issac Blackburn is teaching a saw filing class the same weekend I'm going to be in Covington. Oh well, maybe I'll catch him next year.

ready for paint
I cleaned the interior with degreaser and it's ready for paint. Once it is painted I will finish the sanding of the sole and cheek walls. I still have to go through 400 and 600 grits.

the #4 frog
I cleaned the frog of all the grunge that was on it and lightly sanded it. The frog came out of that with a lot of paint loss on both side walls.

the back of the frog
Most of  the bare spots came when I cleaned it. I sanded it lightly and removed a bit more. I'll have to paint this to cover all the bare metal.

for the plane interior
I'm leaving the japanning as it is on this plane. The wax is to give it some shine and it's a cleaner and wax in one to boot.

leftover cork
I bought this to make a cork board for my wife that she doesn't use. I plan on using this to make some sanding blocks. I did some searching on line for sanding blocks and there are a lot of them to look at. I think I'll come up with another design to add to the soup.

my marble threshold
I am thinking of changing how I secure the sanding belts to the marble. I normally do it this way. At the front I hold it with the dog.

at the back I hold it with a clamp
I do it this way because I have 6 belts to put on and take off and only one piece of marble.  Steve left a comment about this being less than ideal due to the sandpaper rolling as I sand. That tends to sand a slight bevel at the toe and heel.

I'll glue the 80 grit down
This is where the sanding blocks come in. 95% of the sanding during my plane rehabs comes with the 80 grit. The rest of the grits I use are basically just doing scratch removal. The 80 grit removes the most and flattens the sole. So the plan is to glue the 80 grit to the marble and make sanding blocks for the other grits and do them by hand.

#4 frog painted
the inside
I had to clean the inside again. I missed some grudge in the corners behind the frog. I used a wire brush there and on the numbers. I removed the japanning on the tops of them.

not white anymore
I used the brush with almost no paint on it and it did a good job of covering the tops of the lettering and numbers.

had same problem on the toe
painted a few spots on both cheek walls
I painted the cross brace in front of the mouth too. It had paint loss on the top of it side to side. The plan is once this is dry to steel wool the plane and try and blend in what I painted with the japanning. After that I will apply the wax and see what I end up with .

4x4 will give up 3 sanding blocks
I flattened two reference faces and I am going to try and get 3 of them out this.

one down and two to go
I cut this out on the bandsaw and did it so that the sanding block is quarter sawn. I'm hoping that will help the sanding block to stay flat and straight.

bandsaw cuts are all tapered
planed to a parallel thickness - just the Doug Fir blocks
This will get me going and I'll be able to assess how well it will work. I have to attach my method of securing the sandpaper which will be a piece of channel iron and a bolt and nut. I still haven't decided whether or not to use cork on all of the sanding blocks. I think what I'll do is make one with cork and I'll glue the sandpaper to a second one. Then I can compare the two side by side.

gluing the cork
I don't know how well this adhesive will work on this. These 3 blocks here are maple of no set size. I didn't gauge these by how many pieces of sandpaper I could get out of each sheet. Instead I cut out the blocks based on how they felt in my hands.

not glued
The cork has a curl to it after being stowed this way for a couple of years. I clamped up the cork with the sanding blocks to see if I can flatten it a bit. I'll leave this until tomorrow and check it then.

gluing up the cabinet after lunch
23 year old compressor
I bought this when I got out of the Navy in 1995. It's still going strong after all these years. I thought that I would use this every day but that never happened. I was still in my power tool usage period then and Norm was still doing the NYW every sunday. He used a compressor so I thought I would use it too.

nailing the top and bottom
I don't want any nails to show on the sides so I am relying on clamps there. The top and bottom will not be seen in the finished cabinet so I am nailing them. I used hide glue and I will leave this in the clamps until tomorrow.

it's staying here too
A friend of my said that this was overkill using plywood for the top and bottom. Normally I would have used 1/4" for the bottom and two 1x3s for the top. One at the front and one at the rear. But since this is a frameless cabinet I used 1/2" plywood for the top and bottom for strength and to stiffen the cabinet.

tried a sanding block
This is the way I'll use the maple sanding blocks. I tried it on the sole and sides of the #5 and it worked ok. I don't think there will be any problems sanding planes or wood with this.

tried my buffing wheel
The kit has 3 different sized wheels and this is the middle sized one. It comes with 3 colored rouge sticks and says that it will shine a variety of metals. Read the instructions and I couldn't find anything stating what color rouge to use for what metal. All it says is to only use one colored rouge on each wheel. Or maybe it doesn't matter and each stick has a different abrasion/grit?

It made the lever cap a little more shinier but not by much. I must of missed something as to what rouge is used for what. I'll have to go back and look at everything that came with it.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that the Hartford Courant is the oldest continually published newspaper in the US?

The End of Woodworking?

360 WoodWorking - Sun, 01/21/2018 - 6:31am
The End of Woodworking?

I hope when you read the title of this post you did so with a bit of sarcasm. This weekend I was fast-forwarding through commercials while catching up on a show. Flashing past the screen at a 32X rate I noticed a table saw. Whoa! Time to backtrack and play it again. What I discovered was the end of woodworking as we know it.

(If you miss it the first time through, pay attention around the 8 second mark.) There it was.

Continue reading The End of Woodworking? at 360 WoodWorking.

plane rehab from hell........

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 01/21/2018 - 2:22am
I have a lot of plane rehabs under my belt. I have gone from just cleaning them and putting them to work. The last 5 I've gone overboard on with it. I did one where I flattened the sole and shined it up going to 600 grit. Decided that I liked that look and all my rehabs get shined up now. Another step I've undertaken is stripping and painting the frogs and the interior of the plane body.

It seems with each plane rehab I am doing, I do something new and extra that I didn't do on the previous one. I am rehabbing two planes now and I plan on going back and re-doing all of my planes. I like the look of the painted and shiny planes a lot. It's funny because a year ago I was ambivalent about this level of rehabbing.

The #6 I'm currently rehabbing is kicking my ass. I have been flattening the sole on it for a couple of weeks. It hasn't been an everyday workout with it, but I thought I would have been done with this a long time ago. My stubborn streak kicked in this AM and I was going to get it done today or bust a gut trying.

I didn't bust a gut but the damn thing took me all day to do. It still isn't 100% done with all the sanding but I had to quit for today. There was one bright note in this day from hell and that is I got the #4 to the same point as the #6.

changed belts
This is the third 80 grit sanding belt that I used on the #6 plane. I just don't seem to be making a dent in this flattening at all. This flattening is the worse one I have done to date and it is straight out of hell. I can get the toe and the heel, but the inbetween just will not sand flat. I don't think I've overly anal about getting the soles flat on any of my rehabs. All I do is mark the sole with a black sharpie and when they all disappear, I'm done. All the blacks marks aren't disappearing on this one.

made a Harbor Freight run
HF didn't have any 80 grit 4x36 sanding belts so I bought some 6x48 ones. I cut one to the length of the marble threshold I use as my runway. HF didn't have any single 6x48's so I had to buy a pkg of 4.

marking the width
My marble is 4 inches wide and the plane is a hair under 3" wide. I thought about cutting the belt in half and getting two strips out of it 3 inches wide but changed my mind. I would rather have some room on either side of the plane as I sand it. I marked this and cut it out with a sheet rock knife.

I think I may go with 6x48 belts for the other grits too. With the 4x35 belts I have to hold one end with a clamp because the marble threshold is shorter than the belt. The 6x48 belt I was able to cut long enough so that the bench dogs pinched it fast on both ends. No clamp in the way as I sand.

new 80 grit belt is working better
I can still see 6 black lines. I worked on this, off and on, all afternoon sanding, and sanding, and more sanding. I slowly removed two, lines, then one more, then another, and the last two took forever to remove.

3 lines gone, 3 more to go
buffing kit
When I left HF I went to Home Depot which is one block away. I was looking for drawer slides and HD had a lot of them. I didn't get one though because I couldn't tell what kind they were. I want a full extension drawer guide rated for a 100lbs. The only thing I could see on the package was that it was a soft close one. BFD, I could care less about that. Full extension is more important to me and the HD guy didn't know the load rating or if it was full extension. It looks like I'll be getting it on the internet.

another hollow
Both sides on the cheek walls have a hollow. I finally got the black marks removed on the sole with 80 grit and found the hollows on the cheeks. It took a while to sand this out but not as long as it took to do the sole. I did hollow areas by hand and not on the runway.

soles sanded up to 400 grit
I will sand the both of these by hand with 400 and the 600 grit. But before I do that I'll paint the #6 and decide if I want to paint the #4. The plane body is good but the frog may need some help.

why I'm doing hand sanding
I had to touch up with sanding by hand from 220 grit up to 320. I did up to 400 on the sanding belt and I had to touch up the hollows on the #6. I sanded the #4 by hand too even though I didn't need to. The hand sanding seemed to remove scratches better than the runway was doing.

Getting these two planes sanded to this point is all I got done today. I made a road trip to get sanding belts and drawer guides, and about 2 hours eating lunch and searching the WWW for springs. The rest of the shop day was devoted to sanding. Boring, mind numbing, repetitious, sanding and I'm glad 99.9% of it is done.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that the Reuben Award is given annually for the best cartoon?

Ancient cereals corn dolly

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Sun, 01/21/2018 - 2:04am
An ancient craft bringing some of my favourite people together to achieve a lifetime's ambition. Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

On Talent and Skill

The Barn on White Run - Sat, 01/20/2018 - 6:12pm

Many people equate “skill” and “talent.”  They are sometimes related, but certainly not the same thing.  It is like the modern conflation of “jealousy,” “covetousness, ” and “envy.”  All are related as manifestations of the same base impulse, but they are not the same (envy being the most pernicious).

But back to “skill” and “talent.”

I possess precious little artistic talent, but have acquired fair-to-middling creative skills.  I remember clearly a session in the studio of one of my art classes in college.  I was succeeding in the class by sheer grit and inordinate time working in the studio; the art didn’t flow out of me simply because the talent was not there.  But I was determined to succeed and spent untold hours at work there.  One day I asked Mrs. Barn to come with me and keep me company as I worked, and as we walked there she picked up a branch of some flowering tree or something.  So while I ground away at my “creating” she whipped out a lovely oil painting of the sprig even though she never trained as an artist.  But she has sublime artistic talents while I am saddled with a noteworthy lack of them.

I’m not sure if curiosity is a talent, but I do have a fair bit of that.  Perhaps my greatest creative gift was that I was an indifferent student in school prior to my third stint in college, when I worked and learned with a vengeance.  But middle school and high school?  Nah, I did not pay enough attention to enable them to beat the curiosity out of me and I was able to retain my native impulse to color outside the lines.

Talent is, I believe, a portion of that inventory of nascent gifts imparted at our conception as unique creatures, whereas skills are the abilities honed through repetitive exercises.  That said, the vocabulary of skills we possess allows us to expand our creative and productive capacity to a nearly limitless vista, and to hone those natural talents.

As a craftsman and teacher that is where I try to invest my resources.

I am at a point in my life where my writing is an output that has value in the marketplace, all the more surprising to me in that I went to gubmint schools at a time when the rigors of language arts were, shall we say, not emphasized.  Now I practice writing on a near-daily basis to sharpen my skills of wordsmithing.  This occurs on this blog as often as I can even though many acquaintances urge me to de-emphasize my writing here in exchange for “more followers” via other vehicles that do not require anything more than a few pictures and words on a smart phone.  I have resisted this for several reasons, not the least of which is I do not have a smart phone and have little interest in getting one given that I live in a place with almost no cell service.  Second, if my goal is to increase my ability in crafting words, I’d better spend some time crafting words rather than avoiding it.  An analogy would be encouraging someone to refine their joinery skills at the workbench by giving them a screw gun.

Instead, for the time being I prefer to write short articles for this blog a few times a week as a means of not only connecting with those who read it but also accomplishing the not-so-unintended-consequence of  improving my own writing skill set.  I know I will never become as facile as Chris Schwarz given both his natural talents and honed skills that enable him to have a daily output capacity of probably four thousand words.  I hope for a tenth of than, and dream of a quarter, a pace I actually maintained while writing the 40,000 word first draft manuscript of Virtuoso in six weeks.

For the past few years I have endeavored to write something every day.  A blog essay, even if only a short one, or at last a portion of one (some blogs take a few sessions of verbal noodling).  Or another portion of my ongoing book manuscript, at present The Period Finisher’s Manual (I am targeting the end of the year for its completion).  Some mystery/thriller fiction, currently about a derelict antiques restorer out in the mountains and how he eventually saves the world.  Blowing off steam by recording pithy observations about the state of the world around me.

It is all enjoyable and ruthlessly demanding, but it is how I am building my muscles in formulating and organizing ideas and putting them into words.

Simply put, the regimen makes me more skilled at writing.

The same is true with my physical craft.  As a furniture maker I will not and probably cannot become Jean-Henri Riesener, John Goddard, Alvar Aalto, or James Krenov.  I am unlikely to ever become a truly skilled engraver, or metalsmith, or machinist, or chemical engineer.  But I can become better than I am.

And so can you.

While I cannot endow you with creative genius, I can encourage and direct you in the genesis and more full formation of skills through practice and exercise.  This has become cemented as the goal for my time in The Barn on White Run; that I explore and create, and share those adventures with you that you might be more encouraged to do the same.

In the coming weeks and months I hope this will become manifest on this blog with my mercurial musings about craft and life on the homestead being augmented with more postings about the processes of  doing and not just my noumena.  One iteration of this starting next will be a series of bench exercises I presented at last year’s  banquet address for the Colonial Williamsburg Working Wood in the 18th Century shindig.

Another will be the multi-part walk-through of interpreting an early 19th century writing desk, of which I have already written a couple of blogs in the past.

And making instructional videos for distribution with a talented young local film maker.

And making and modifying tools.

And Gragg chairs.

And workbenches.

And, and, and…

All in pursuit of skills, in service to my “talent.”

POPWOOD Playback #3 – Top Woodworking Videos of the Week

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sat, 01/20/2018 - 3:04am

We have seven videos for you this week and a giveaway! Every Saturday morning we post reader-submitted and staff picked videos on our YouTube channel. Kreg sent us a couple of inline clamps and bench clamps to take a look at it. I thought they were solid bench accessories, so instead of sending them back to Kreg, I received permission to give them away! Enter the contest in the field below the video […]

The post POPWOOD Playback #3 – Top Woodworking Videos of the Week appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

it's toast......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 11:54pm
Sparks chimed in about his Record 044 and as I suspected, his is good. Fence rods are square to the main body and he reported no wiggling on the fit in the holes. I never felt good about the loose fit I had with my fence rods and especially the out of square condition of the front rod. I checked that hole with a dovetail square and the hole is drilled on a slant.

I am not going to buy a replacement fence for the plow. I would still have the square problem with the plane body.  I will strip all the parts from this plane that I can and save them. There are a lot of 044's out there and they are cheap if they are selling just the plane and one or no irons. The price more than doubles with a full set of irons. I already have the irons and just need the plow.

I will toss the fence in the shitcan. The plane body will follow it after I beat the snot out of it with a 3lb sledge hammer. I would like to be able to pass it on but the condition of it condemned it to the shitcan in pieces.

BTW, in my search for a Record 044 fence, I looked at the rods on every one I found. My rods each have a hole on one end. I didn't see one rod in my search that had a hole in the rods. Maybe these were replacements to fit the wonky holes I had?

back to work on the #6
Time to get back to the repetition of flattening the bottom of my #6. Black marks are used to gauge my progress.

15 strokes.
Based on this pattern, it is going to take a lot of calories to flatten this sole.

want to get an idea of the #4
10 strokes
Showing a lot more progress for less work.
3 minutes later
All that is left is a slight hollow aft of the mouth.

looks better
Instead of going back and forth along the length of the sanding belt, I went at it at 90°. I had done the same thing on the #4 so I tried it on this. The only thing about that I didn't like was not being able to keep the plane absolutely straight and flat as I sanded.

#4 done on the sole with 80 grit
sides done
opposite side
I could have done these a bit more but I stopped here. I didn't want to sand away the initials OP on both sides.

quick run on the 80 grit
The frog appears to be flat at the bottom where it needs to be. There is a slight hollow above the cutouts for the frog screws and before the lateral adjust disc.

have to be careful
I did this with enough overhang so I wouldn't touch the round disc on the lateral adjust lever.

almost there
Ideally, I want this to be flat at the bottom and the top by the lateral adjust lever. I'll finish this up on my frog sanding jig later.

looks like the #4 will be done before the #6
tried the big boy screwdriver
Screwed in a #8 x 1 1/2 and a #8 x 1 1/4 in a pilot hole.

got it flush on both
It took a bit of oomph to drive this flush on the last 16th or so. I drove them both in and then I drove them out.

driving them in a drilled hole
I tried as hard as I could but this was the best I could do. To unscrew them I had to turn them a little bit first before the ratchet kicked in.

It cost almost as much to ship it but I think it was worth it. The pics looked good and I wanted a large capacity hand drill for Miles. This is a 3/8" chuck capacity (I'll check it later) and it is a breast drill.

it's a two speed drill
came apart easily
the chuck is stiff
the chuck internal parts
One of the springs said "sprong....." and went airborne without getting clearance from the tower. I was lucky and saw where it went out of the corner of my eye.

it's dirty and rusty inside
three springs
The left spring is kind of ok, the middle one is iffy, and the right one is in cardiac arrest. I'll have to find a source for replacing these.

oiling port?
I thought that this was a pin at first but I think that hole is for oiling the shaft.

small end of a taper pin?
big end
This shows evidence of having been beat on in the past.

came apart as I thought it would
Except I wasn't expecting the half circular cutouts in each pinion gear. This isn't a taper pin, but a straight one.

this isn't working
Not getting anywhere using this setup. I might leave this as is and work around it.

quick clean and degreasing
I did this so I could check out the gear teeth. All of them are intact with no chips or missing teeth. There isn't any appreciable wear on them that I can see neither.

main shaft cleaned and degreased

I lightly sanded this with 320 grit after I had cleaned it. It showed rust as I sanded. I didn't see it looking at the shaft but there was no doubt there was rust being raised with the sandpaper. This will get an EvapoRust bath later on.

pinion gears look good too
I hadn't planned on doing a rehab of this but I couldn't shift the drill from low to high speed. I got it with the high speed engaged and I managed to get it into the low speed. I couldn't get it to go back to the high speed.  That is why I broke it down to parade rest. I'll add this to the rehab queue.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that Brazilian soccer great, Pele, is the only player to have won 3 world cups?

teaching schedule for 2018

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 2:34pm

I’ve been meaning to get my teaching schedule posted here; but have been too busy getting stuff together…Next week I’ll be part of Colonial Williamsburg’s Working Wood Conference. I haven’t been there since 2007, here’s a shot from then, with Jennie Alexander pontificating while I get set to turn something.

JA & PF at Colonial Williamsburg 2007

It’s sold out, so if you got a ticket, I’ll see you there. https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/learn/conferences/working-wood

Next month, I’ll be back at Bob Van Dyke’s Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking for a 2-day class in carving oak; February 17 & 18.  https://www.schoolofwoodworking.com/woodworking-classes.html#Speciality_Weekend_Classes The exercises we’ll carve are all based on ones I learned from studying period furniture; chests, boxes, cupboards, church furniture in England and more. Here’s a snippet of what to expect.

In April I’ll be down to Roy Underhill’s Woodwright’s School for 3 days of spoon carving. It’s full, but I think you can get on a waiting list. More fun than a barrel of monkeys. http://www.woodwrightschool.com/classes/spoon-carving-plus-with-peter-follansbee

spoon rackI’m not touching those spoons

Later in April (20-22nd) ’ll be part of Fine Woodworking Live in Southbridge Massachusetts; including a one-day intro to spoon carving. With Dave Fisher as assistant!! I’m just going to step back & watch Dave… http://www.finewoodworkinglive.com/about-fww-live/

I think I’m doing furniture-related stuff too, maybe a talk as well. I’d look into it, but I still have next week’s thing to prep!

May – getting ready for June.

June 5-10; Greenwood Fest 2018. Plymouth CRAFT’s 3rd time around with Greenwood Fest. Held at Pinewoods Dance Camp in Plymouth Massachusetts. 2-day workshops beforehand and a 3-day festival. Demonstrations, hands-on sessions, big pile of spoon wood (or bowls if you’re inclined); lodging & meals all part of the scene. Tickets go on sale February 2nd, 10am eastern time. https://www.greenwoodfest.org/ How fast will it sell out? I predict less than a day…so don’t hesitate.

here’s last year’s group shot:

July – Can’t forget Lie-Nielsen. Spoon carving, July 21 & 22. https://www.lie-nielsen.com/workshop/USA/191

dave & the crook

That’s all I have for certain right now. We’re planning a long session for making a joint stool at Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. Like the chest project we did there twice, this would be one-weekend-per month for a few months. Maybe 4. So 8 days of classes. Unlike the chest, this project would require little or no homework. Split the log, make the boards, cut joinery, do turning! And make the stool. Haven’t figure the time frame yet. I might have a trip overseas in November, so I’m waiting to get that sorted first.

I also offer one-on-one classes here at my shop in Kingston Massachusetts.

Spoon carving, the oak furniture carvings I do, or various projects – like a carved box. Rate is $500 a day. I have all the tools necessary, wood and reference materials. We have lunch together, lodging and other meals on your own; but Plymouth is 10 minutes away with all its options for both. Expensive, yes. But one-on-one instruction can cover a lot of ground. I have time available in March, then again starting in September. July and August are too hot to share a small space!

Book Giveaway: Hybrid Woodworking

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 12:17pm
Hybrid Woodworking

This week’s book giveaway is for a copy of Marc Spagnuolo’s “Hybrid Woodworking.” If you’re looking to increase efficiency in your woodworking by combining power tools and hand tools, then this book is required reading. I’m giving away one copy for this week’s giveaway; simply post a comment below and I’ll choose one winner at random. Winner will be announced Monday 1/22/18.

The post Book Giveaway: Hybrid Woodworking appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking


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