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The November 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine features a reproduction of a sideboard made in 1903 by the English furniture manufacturing company Harris Lebus. I built this sideboard based on drawings I’d made in 2007 from measurements of an original owned by some acquaintances. Having had a chance to visit that same original sideboard recently, I thought readers would be interested in gaining further insights and seeing details of […]
Had a bit of scare when it came time to upload my pics today. I almost had an involuntary bowel movement when I saw the pic count was 349. I knew I had taken a few but this made me do a double take to make sure what I thought I saw was what was there. I must of pushed the wrong button somewhere, somehow and didn't realize it. I had to delete almost 300 pictures. And I had to go through all 349 deleting all the ones I didn't want. That ate up the better part of an hour.
|quiet time work, ie before the wife wakes up|
|drew a sharpie line|
|these teeth are the lowest|
|added working on toolbox to the list|
|using my new saw donkeys with the spacers|
|topside of the dolly - no sagging at all|
|look see at that bottom - I forgot to post these pics when I made it|
|dust and dirt|
|bought a 1x12 to make a new bench hook|
|got a 12' tape for Miles toolbox|
|old bench hook - almost sawed completely through it - and I used both sides|
|last side I used|
|wiped down with a damp rag - I'll work on other things while this dries|
|filed the teeth|
|this is what I started with|
|jointing the tooth line|
|got my first filing done after jointing|
|not perfect but better|
|new teeth filed|
|second filing run done|
|I'm going to road test it as is|
|rough looking but this is pine and it sawed very easy|
|not sure I did any good on improving this|
|I improved the end of the toe|
|the middle of the saw where the big dip was|
|making a new shooting board|
|can I do this?|
|the old shooting board|
|sawing out a base for the 140 blockplane|
|cutout for the fence|
|had to removed a bit more for the flanges|
|now it lays flat on the base|
|getting a size for the box|
|using a mistake|
|continuous grain flow layout|
|long side layout|
|end layout, repeat both one more time|
|squared the ends|
|plowing for the dado|
|did not like being plowed|
|chiseled most of it first and then used the router plane|
|rough miters sawn on the miter box|
|two coats of shellac on the toolbox|
|shooting board out of the clamps|
|too much to plane off|
|dry fit of the bottom is good|
|miters look better than the last box I made this way|
|sawing out the lid|
|lid dry fit is good|
I'll have two boxes come tomorrow. The box I glued up this morning at oh dark thirty (used for something else) and this one. I'll have plenty to keep me amused for a couple of more days.
Where is the London Bridge located?
answer - Lake Havasu City, Arizona (since 1968)
I'm not sure why, but I was completely gobsmacked by the outpour of support and well wishes. I can't thank everyone enough for every thought.
Surgery was successful. I was a bit of an asshole in the PACU (Post-Op Anesthesia Recovery Unit) but not for long. I had fantastic care at every turn.
I've had relatively little pain and haven't taken more than Tylenol since the day after surgery. I'm healing fast and shaking my head at several more weeks of weight restrictions, but I promised to behave and I try hard to keep those. Now I'm down to relearning life from a nutrition standpoint and working to stay away from dehydration. It's a whole new experience.
At my heaviest I topped the scales somewhere around 340 pounds, with pre-op work with a dietician and a prescribed (but torturous) diet I rolled into the OR at #305. This morning I stepped on a scale for the first time in a long time un-prodded, and didn't cross the #300 mark. I haven't seen that number in a decade. The weight falls off fast from the surgery but the trick is to learn and keep the new, appropriate behaviors and habits during the time you are absolutely forced too behave. The surgery can be defeated, human anatomy in amazingly adaptable.
I've been home since Thursday, tonight is the first I've felt like writing, and I meant to go back to the norm and talk about woodworking but felt compelled to express my gratitude instead. Don't worry I'm to curmudgeonly to sustain conversations about much more than the craft for long. Back to words about woodworking starting tomorrow.
But while it lasts, one more time, Thank You.
End checks are a common problem when drying wood. Sometimes they aren’t too destructive and don’t travel too far, but other times they make the end of the lumber completely unusable or make a nice wide board into two not-so-wide boards. These cracks form on the ends of lumber because the ends are drying out faster and shrinking more than the middle. This happens because water can easily and quickly escape out the end, which is the same way it came in, but water trapped in the middle must travel out sideways to escape, which is a much trickier maneuver.
The secret to keeping lumber from checking on the ends is simple and logical – force the ends to dry out at the same speed as the rest of the board, meaning slow down the drying on the ends. Unfortunately, there is no single, 100% effective, way to do this.
The default method for beginners is to paint the ends with latex paint. Latex paint will not stop end checking because it it just too permeable. It will make you feel good, like you are doing something useful, but that’s about it.
Beyond latex paint is wax and unlike latex paint, wax is waterproof. If applied in a thick cohesive film, wax forms a perfect barrier to keep water from moving out of the end of a board. The biggest problem with wax is application. It is just hard to get hot wax on to the end of a lot of lumber in a timely fashion.
The application issue has been addressed by the kids at UC Coatings, who make a product called Anchorseal. Anchorseal is a wax and water emulsion made exclusively for coating the ends of logs and lumber to help prevent end checking. Anchorseal works just as stated, but it isn’t perfect.
First, Anchorseal isn’t cheap. A five gallon bucket goes for about $95. It costs enough that I thoroughly consider whether the wood deserves it. I usually save it for only the best lumber and the species most prone to checking, like white oak. Second, it still takes time to apply, and it is pretty messy. I know several guys that won’t use it in their operations because it gets on the floor and makes everything so slippery that it can be difficult to stand up. Third, using Anchorseal doesn’t guarantee that your wood won’t split. While it will greatly reduce the overall number of end checks, it isn’t uncommon to still get one or two big checks in wide boards. Many pieces of lumber have flaws in them and will split during the drying process no matter how much you try to stop them. Fourth, it must be applied to freshly sawn lumber before the end checks have started to develop for maximum effectiveness.
You can tell from my four points above that I don’t use Anchorseal very often. But, there are places that I will use it, and one is on high-quality, especially thick, flat-sawn white oak. Again, it may not stop all end checking, but it is a great tool to help prevent much of it. On many other species, like poplar, maple, and even walnut, I feel like I usually get by with minimal losses not using Anchorseal. It should be noted that my customers are usually shopping for small quantities of lumber, so they can decide on a board by board basis if an end check is problematic for them. For operations sending out large amounts of lumber to customers that are not picking through each board, using Anchorseal makes the most sense to help produce the greatest amount of useable lumber out of each bunk. At the very least, sealing the ends of the lumber lets your customer know that you did try to prevent end checking.
My greatest gains fighting off end checking have occurred in my sticker selection and placement. While many strides have been made in the industry to produce fluted sticks that reduce sticker stain, very few people have given much thought to using stacking sticks to help reduce end checking.
Awhile back, while at a friend’s sawmill, he casually mentioned how he noticed that lumber will split on the ends, back to the first stick. He was mad that his guys where producing lumber piles that weren’t so neatly stacked, but I focused on the end checking. After that, I paid more attention to my own stacking and changed how I stacked lumber.
The main difference was that I started using the sticks on the ends of the lumber to reduce end checking. I focused on getting the sticks out to the end of the lumber, and I also made sure the end sticks were solid sticks, which help hold in moisture, even on sticker stain prone woods like maple. Since the ends dry out quickly, they don’t sticker stain, and even if they did the loss on the end of the lumber would be minimal. Beyond using solid sticks, I also use wider sticks on the ends, up to 3″ wide. The extra width helps hold in even more moisture and still doesn’t risk staining the ends.
In my opinion, focusing on placing wide, solid sticks at the ends of the boards is as effective as end sealing, especially in relation to cost and time savings. Again, this isn’t a perfect method, but you would be amazed at how well it works to reduce end checking. And, if you have some especially prized lumber, you can rest easy knowing that you can always add AnchorSeal to the mix to double your chances of check-free lumber.
I had grandiose plans for today and making the box wasn't one of them. I did that because the other things weren't happening. I wanted to finish up filing the small rip saw and do some tool sharpening to do but there is always tomorrow. This is what I like about being an amateur woodworker. I have no deadlines to meet nor money to make. I can do what I please and go whichever way the wind blows me.
|my Pepin haul|
|can you see the box here?|
|whitish spot in the middle is the cup|
|can't ignore the twist either|
|going for a continuous grain flow around the box|
|planed them square and to the same length|
|lid separation point|
|moved the lid separation point|
|marked the depth of the rabbet on all four ends|
|1/2" paring chisel will work|
|things went south on me here|
|done with the 140|
|the mail came|
|nice looking combo square|
|still square after all these years|
|6" Disston needs helps|
|got something for me too|
|something is wrong but I didn't see it here|
|ignorance can be blissful at times|
|didn't get it all|
|I now have a canted saw|
|nice bennie because of the 140|
|Tails done and pins are marked|
|gap free interior|
|don't like this|
|a little more clean up|
I also made a change in the box design. I nixed making this the same way I did my last one. Couldn't think of way of making the big dado in the sides. Instead I'll glue a 1/2" bottom to it and leave the top open. Or maybe I'll think of a lid design that doesn't need hinges.
What is the state tree of Delaware?
answer - the American Holly
My turning ability is bound by my lathe – it has a maximum diameter capacity of 16”. That means all my accessory tools, such as my hollowing system and 50cc 20” chainsaw, were acquired because they are designed around those size limitations. The largest bowls I make with these constraints are in the 14-15” range. For years I used fallen trees with a 20” diameter as raw material. By the […]
The post Focus on Turning Design by Working From Larger Logs appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
After researching adjustable carving benches, I settled on making one à la this one made by Logs to Lumber Company. I added some maple to my old beech workbench top to make it deeper and added a suede-lined Veritas twin-screw vise to the side. Pop-up Veritas® Prairie Dogs™ are on their way for the screw vise. I’m sure more modifications will be necessary in the future, but for now, no more back pain.
As far as this desk is concerned, I am trying to make it as close as I can to the original piece using only a photograph. I know there are woodworkers that specialize in reproductions who are experts at working from photos. Unfortunately I am not one of those experts, so this project has required a good bit of guess work.
For instance, I want the desk top to have a height of around 29 inches, and that is because my computer desk at home is 29 inches tall (most desks seem to fall in the 27-31 inch height range) and for me that is a comfortable working height. The length of the top will likely finish off at around 44 inches, which was my original guestimate from the photo using the book and pen as a guide. Why likely? Because I still have to do some trimming, and that trimming may change the finished size, depending. The width of the desktop (front to back) should finish off at around 23 inches, partly because of the stock I am using, and going by the original photo, I believe it is close to the actual width of the desk shown.
The legs are a bit trickier. Most woodworkers will make a “story stick”, which work well for projects like tables and traditional desks with bases, but for this project the ‘X’ pattern of the legs make the story stick a less viable option, because I want to have the ability to see that ‘X’ in full size. So the simple solution was to draw out a side view of the desk on a sheet of corrugated paper. The drawing not only gives me an easy lay-out guide, it also provided the angles needed for the legs. And after looking at the drawing, I came to the conclusion that screwing the legs to the face of the desktop cleats is a better solution than using a mortise and tenon joint, as it will be stronger and allow for the panel to expand and contract.
Maybe most importantly, this drawing helped to eliminate a lot of measuring, and the full sized drawing allowed me to proportion the top drawer compartment to dimensions I found pleasing, and once the desktop base is completed I will use the drawing as a template to saw the curves for the drawer unit.
It’s always nice to find that the simple, low tech solution is usually the easiest and fastest. Some woodworkers prefer to use drafting programs such as Sketch-up to do layout work, but that has never appealed to me, though I do believe that Sketch up is a valuable tool. But as far as this project is concerned, I found it enjoyable to use a basic pencil, T-square, and yard stick to design the desk, and at that, I think GW would have approved.
On Columbus day weekend I taught a live-edge furniture class at Snow Farm, a reputable New England based craft school located in the picturesque Berkshire mountains of Western Massachusetts. My six students faced a challenging task, to design and build furniture that presents a strong live-edge character, and to do so just in two and a half days of work. The weather was mostly nice and the food was […]
The post Live Edge Class at Snow Farm, Massachusetts – Part 1 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
I came up with 6 different ways to make the rabbet like I did with the LN 140 yesterday. I didn't do the 140 again, so I now have 7 total ways to make the rabbet for dovetails. I could have had 8 but I forgot to make one with the plow plane. If I remember I'll try and make one with it this weekend.
|the first batter|
|made a knife wall|
|removed waste going against the grain|
|within a frog hair of the gauge line|
|making it flat|
|go straight in to the shoulder|
|came out pretty good|
|second step was setting the iron|
|run the plane in the knife line|
|looks a lot worse than it is|
|setting the iron is second|
|no planing in the knife wall first|
|no blowout this time|
|planed away from the knife wall until I had a shoulder established|
|got a bit of blowout on the exit side|
|setting the iron on the knife line|
|deeper than the others|
|the LN router rabbet|
|either of these could be swapped|
|I like the long length of the 073 vs the bullnose|
|the next to last ones|
Andy Griffith graduated from UNC in 1949 with a degree in what?
answer - music
Last night my kids unearthed a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer book for a bedtime story. I desperately tried to steer them back toward our wide selection of Halloween books that I’ve arranged prominently on their bookshelf. But alas, while they’re excited for Halloween, the inevitable holiday season looms large on the horizon like the Death Star in Rogue One. Apparently I need to get my holiday planning underway. And so, […]
Making the box for it tonight is all I did. I gave up trying to find cardboard boxes a long time ago. Besides cardboard could be easily punctured and maybe in the wrong spot. I can only remembering sending out one saw in a cardboard box many, many lunar eclipses ago. It was a nightmare cutting and making new flaps because I had to cut down a larger box. Making a specific box out of wood is a no brainer to me.
|french fit in foam insulation|
|saw packed up|
|almost ready to go|
Tomorrow I am going to try the 140 trick employing some of my other planes. I got a comment about making it with the Lee Valley skew rabbet plane which I don't doubt would work. I'll remove all doubt tomorrow on that and try a few other tools.
Which US President was taught to read and write by his wife?
answer - Andrew Johnson our 17th president
Band saws are great for cutting curves but when you need a perfect circle, you need a jig. I’ve used many circle-cutting helpers over the years and the design presented by Tom Caspar in the video below combines the best features from all of them. The jig is held in place on the band saw table using a bar in the miter slot and it features an adjustable pivot point […]
I’ve been slow to add stuff to the blog here. Time to correct some of that. Today’s chore is splitting up some leftover bits of oak, and some newly dropped-off bits. Here’s how I read these, and how I decide what to split from a few different bolts. the first one is an old one, been split & hanging around a long time, over a year I’d say. It was given to me about 2 months ago. Free wood is sometimes not worth it. this is one of those cases. Note how the radial plane is cupped. This isn’t from drying, it’s the way the tree grew. The medullary rays curve from the center of the tree to the bark. So if I want wide flat stuff from this, I have my work cut out for me. What I do with such a piece of wood depends on several things: what I need at the time, how much effort I want to put into it, and how much other wood I have around. These days, wood is in pretty good supply, time much less so. Thus, I want to get the best piece I can from this as quickly as possible.
The ruler shows how “un-flat” the split is.
The piece was 26″ long, but with the checking at each end, I expect to get about 22″ length out of it. Just right for a joined stool stile (leg). So I opted to split a 2″x 2″ square out from right below the sapwood. First split with the froe gets off the inner twisted bits.
Next I split off the sapwood & bark. Surprise, the sapwood sheared off across the grain. Usually a log that has been around this long has punky rotten sapwood – I expect that. But to shear off like that means there’s something underneath…
And there was – some deformity curving the grain near one end. So didn’t get my 2″ x 2″ x 22″ stile. The resulting piece could be a ladderback chair front post (something I want to build, but have no time for right now. I’ve made parts for 3 of them so far this fall.) or the leg to a workbench out in the yard. I already have maybe 4 of those benches. On to the next split.
This one’s big & fresh. Just came in yesterday. Bark looks good. Very wide bolt, maybe 12″ or more.
But a big knot creating disturbed grain all around it, the full bottom third or more.
I always am working between getting the biggest piece (widest) I can, or getting the best piece of wood I can. Usually I want the best one. Which in this case, is much narrower than what I first expected from a section like this. See the ruler here, the best (straightest, flattest, least-work) piece is from the 10″ mark to 15″. So that’s what I split.
Now the distorted stuff is isolated in the right-hand section, destined for firewood.
Then I further split the remaining stuff into four thin boards for carved boxes, or narrow panels for the sides of some chests. Once I don’t think about where they came from, these are excellent clear, straight boards. This is a case of free wood that is worth it.
One of the older bits looked promising: wide, maybe 7″ or more. 24″ long.
But when I sighted down its length, lots of twist from one end to the other. I didn’t shoot it well enough, but you can generally read the twist down at the far end. Its right hand corner is high, as is the left corner nearest us. Means some hewing before planing. Not fatal, but maybe there’s better wood out here.
Yup. Fresh too. (that means easier to work…) Shorter, but wider.
When I scooch down and sight its radial plane, dead flat! That’s the stuff I’m after…
Gonna have lunch and find some more like this one.
Want to learn more about how to read these logs – Plymouth CRAFT has a weekend class coming up that’s just the ticket. https://www.plymouthcraft.org/riving-hurdlemaking-weekend
Riving, hewing, drawknife work. Me, Rick McKee ( https://www.instagram.com/medullary_rick/ and https://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/ ) and our friend Pret Woodburn will show you all we know about opening oak logs and what to do with them.
I have other types of texturing tools and enjoy using them, so I was eager to try out something new. I have only had these a short time, however, it is clear to me these tools can easily add new embellishments to a range of turned wood items. They are so simple to use and there is virtually no learning curve.
In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, Dave Campbell, Wood Magazine’s Editorial Content Chief, gives us a behind-the-scenes look at Weekend With Wood, happening in May 2018. He tells us why, in his opinion, this event is so successful. Plus, he shares all the happenings included with the spouse’s event that runs at the same time.
Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more).
|my toe stubs|
|the middle of the saw|
|setting the 140|
|I'm guessing this is maybe a 32nd deep|
|cutting the tails|
|off square on this half pin|
|an added bennie|
|setting the pin depth|
|not too bad for hurrying|
|tumultuous joy and dancing in the streets abounded|
|half pin is gappy|
|planed them flush and glued it|
|the 140's nicker|
|glued and cooking|
|I didn't hesitate at all|
|finally got the pair|
|nice fluffy shavings|
|the adjustable shoe works easily|
|sole is in decent shape|
|iron looks good and has plenty of life left to it|
|back of the iron|
|no room for it with it's mate|
This started in July of 1943. What was it?
answer - federal income being withheld from paychecks
Last week, Marissa Bowers (our wonderful designer, who’s been helping us out while we seek a new permanent art director) mentioned she had been looking for a set of picture rails – and wondered aloud if it was something we could build in the shop. Ever eager for an excuse to bring everyone out to the shop, we decided that everyone in the office could use their own, and I (Brendan […]
|wavy tooth line|
|whoa big doggie|
|I like this one|
|Lee Valley file jointer.|
|it' better but not complete|
|makes rip cuts easily|
|a couple of shoulder cuts|
I'm leaning in the direction of sending it out and having it filed properly. The tooth line on this saw isn't perfect either. It is almost straight and there aren't any missing teeth. If a pro does it I'm sure I can follow on that and keep it in good shape.
|never thought of doing this before|
|nice clean knife line - sharp cures another problem|
|trying out the 140 again|
|nice clean shoulder|
|no slant to outboard on this practice run|
|slanted across the width|
|corrected - flat, straight, and even end to end|
|the action of the plane is very sweet|
|skew blocks for the LN honing guide|
|I like this saw|
|found a box for the 140|
|lots of room|
Who was Juan Sebastian Elcano?
answer - he was the first person to circumnavigate the world (He assumed command after Magellan was killed in the Philippines)