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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|
|tequila box glued up|
|spring isn't too far away|
|need to fix this|
|more wonderful cabinet rework ahead|
|drain and hot/cold feed holes|
|waste drain hole fix|
|Lie Nielsen side rabbet irons|
|LN and Stanley irons|
|the Stanley iron is barely half the thickness of the LN|
|they don't fit|
|what I did inbetween drilling errant holes|
|dividing this into fourths|
|setting the sector at the fourth mark|
|second divider set to the 1 mark|
|start at one edge and go to other down the square line|
|1 frog hair short|
|dividing the board in half|
|dead nuts again|
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.
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)
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.
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.
The post A Great Combination: Festool Kapex Miter Saw & CT SYS HEPA Dust Extractor appeared first on Woodworking Blog.
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.
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.
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.
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|
|only has one bevel|
|not sharpened at the same rate|
|the angles are off too|
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|
|my 1/4" astragal|
|based on what I read|
|test grooves on the top piece|
|fitting the bottom|
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|
|cut line is a 1/8" longer|
|look down into the bottom corner|
|bottom fitted and box dry fitted|
|planing a piece of scrap down to 5/8"|
|need this to try out my new plane|
|this is not looking good sports fans|
|the 5/8 number|
|I think I am on the right track|
|I am prepared a little|
|set the iron|
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.
What is a roughly squared timber called?
answer - a balk
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.
It just doesn’t really matter.
At the recent auction I saw and was mildly amused by this:
Primitive New England Hanging Cupboard
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:
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:
Dovetail angles. It doesn’t really matter, does it? Still, one can cogitate…
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 […]
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|
|finally painted the fix I did|
|blurry pic so use your imagination here|
|painted a thin coat on the top only|
|repeat for the gallery railing|
|paper towel holder rod|
|so I could paint the whole thing at once.|
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|
|screw for the chipbreaker - just took it out forgot it to0|
|flattening the back of my latest molding plane iron|
|the flat was humped|
|see the flat on the right?|
|sharpened - honing is next|
|I do like shiny|
|it doesn't look good sports fans|
|my four fenced casing planes|
|waiting for a dryer load to be done|
|done - clean up and a dry fit is next|
|dry fit looks ok one corner is looser than I would like though|
|much joy and rejoicing in Mudville|
Time to jump in the rain locker and hit the bunky.
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)
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|
|the painted surface helped with the flattening|
|still have wings and a hollow down the middle|
|I'm good only at this end|
|monitoring my shavings|
|last pass at 90°, then full length strokes end to end|
|very little light|
|the paint is raising this up (out of sequence pic)|
|one flat board planed to thickness|
I'll do another board tomorrow. Now it was time to get lunch.
|ran into a hiccup here|
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|
|tried heating it up to soften it|
|20 minutes later it had cooled down and was working again|
Who was the first designated hitter in Major League Baseball?
answer - Ron Blomberg of the New York Yankees was on April 6th 1973
|it doesn't work and it may be a can of worms|
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|
|even routed slots for the bim-bam noise to escape|
|a xmas present for my wife|
|new movement from Klockit|
|the pendulum swinging mechanism|
|tune selection switches|
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|
|put one at the bottom too|
|tote and knob for my #3|
|the before shot right out of the box|
|the after glamour shots - port side|
|bow on shot|
|wispy and fluffy shavings|
|newest old #3 on the left , my first rehabbed #3 on the right|
|side by side|
|closed shut for two days|
|I like how the end turned out with this finish|
|finished and unfinished|
|the other end grain|
|only one set screw|
|raised it up to clear the hand railing|
|didn't work out 100%|
Who was Sylvanus Freelove Bowser?
answer - he invented the gasoline pump in 1885 although at first it was used for dispensing kerosene
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/
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.
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 […]