Hand Tool Headlines

The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator


Be sure to visit the Hand Tool Headlines section - scores of my favorite woodworking blogs in one place.  Also, take note of Norse Woodsmith's latest feature, an Online Store, which contains only products I personally recommend.  It is secure and safe, and is powered by Amazon.


General Woodworking

slow lane saturday.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 4:02am
My wife took Amanda and Myles to New York to see her parents. She sent me a picture of Amanda and Myles with her grandparents but something was missing. My wife who is the budding genealogist wasn't in the picture. Her chance to have a pic of four generations for Myles to look at 20 years from now is gone. She is coming home tomorrow so I'll have to wait and see if her sister snapped the 4 four generations pic.

I moved way over to the slow lane on the right today. I had big plans for finishing the bookcase by sunday but that won't be happening. I did some OT and when I came home I vegged out looking at old tool catalogs. I didn't go to the shop until after 1000. And when I got there I moved over into the slow lane there too.

got it tighter
I fussed some more with this and got it tighter than what the pic shows. If I push the  right piece into the left one, the miter is almost seamless. I would accept that for a this being left natural. The hard part with this so far has been getting the toe of the miter on both pieces. The quirk is in the way and I had to guess at where it was.

clamping helper
I did a little searching on the miter template for how to use it and came up dry. Found lots of pictures on it but none on how to clamp it in a vise. Every situation I saw of it's use was with one hand on the template and the other working the chisel. I came up with this to clamp the jig in the vise with the stock and have two hands free to trim the miter. Step one was sawing a 45° on both ends.

much better on square
This one is pretty good and the other was a couple frog hairs off. This was something I thought I was pretty good at and I took it for granted I was sawing square but wasn't. I am going back to marking a vertical square line to guide me like I did on these two saw cuts.

smoothed up the 45's

it's a filler
The filler is about 1/16" wider than the bottom ledge it is sitting on. And it is just shy of being flush with the ends. The jig has the registration faces for trimming and the filler is for clamping, not a bed for the chisel.

2 shallow rabbets needed
I don't need or want the filler moving as I clamp this in the vise. I made two shallow rabbets to lock this in place.

This is working better than I hoped for. It is rock steady here even with me moving it around in circles. It did fall out when I tilted it but not when I moved it forward and backwards.

it works
Now I just have to make sure that I keep the two of there together.

solid bearing
This provides equal bearing on both of the 45° legs. The vise won't be able to apply unequal pressure on one leg over the other. That could distort the template and make it toast.

plane body is done
I'm happy with the look of this. I don't think that it is too shiny which I thought it might be.

scraped the frog seat
I used the same chisel to scrape the frog seat clean of paint again. I also used the chisel on the top of the sides where I got some paint.

the frog and the yoke are next
The humidity was supposed to ratchet up quite a few notches today so I'm holding off on painting these two. As I'm writing this I am thinking that I should have at least cleaned them and put the primer coat on.

so I can spray the primer on all over
I'll swap out this brass rod with a piece of #14 bare wire. I have a few them in my electrical goodie bag that I keep to use as grounding pig tails.

sawing the shelves to width
The paint on the shelves is dry but they feel clammy if that makes any sense. They wouldn't slide easily, if at all, on the tablesaw. It wouldn't be safe if it jammed and turned into the blade and it kicked back. The two strips will act as sled and let push the shelves past the saw blade.

lost both of them
I thought the front would have still lined up but it didn't happen sports fans. I will have to fill all eight of them in and chop new ones.

the old hole filler
This is plywood and filling in the holes and making new ones fairly close to the repairs doesn't sound good. Instead of filling in two small holes I decided to inlay a 1/4" thick piece of oak on the edge.

front ledger is going to be a problem
This is plywood (did I write this already?) and hand chopping a rabbet this long and over an inch wide is wow, not happening. I would have done it in solid wood though. I can't get a rabbet plane in here so I'll be using a electric router on this.

the pine is higher then the ledger and the router will ride on it
clearance for the router
I set the 1/4" inlay strip onto of the pine and set the router on that. I dropped the router bit until it touched the shelf - depth for the inlay strip set. I moved the pine over close to the edge and started routing for the inlay. I kept moving the pine to the left until the router fence hit the the edge of the shelf and made the last pass.

chopped and the ends square and the fit is good
I am flush with the bottom of the shelf and the edge. Other than the mountain of wood dust all over the shop, this worked out well.

glued and cooking
I read a blog post (I can't remember who) about a painted shelf, latex paint, and it not being quite dry. The author was concerned about the latex paint sticking to whatever was placed on it (a problem with latex paint). He had the same feeling with the paint I'm having. He put two coats of water based poly on the shelf and a year later he said no problems with anything sticking. I think I will try that on the bookcase interior and the shelves. On past painted clock projects I had applied shellac over the paint but that was to make it easier to dust them off.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Florence Nightingale Graham?
answer - beauty entrepreneur Elizabeth Arden

Small Tool Storage Solution Prototype

Inside the Oldwolf Workshop - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 7:58pm
It had been one of those weeks. Family medical crises, waiting rooms, playing taxi driver, and phone calls, my god the phone calls. By the middle of the week I was feeling more than a little restless and stuck in my head. It was almost 9:00 at night, the sun was just thinking about setting, I turned to my wife and said something like,

"Since everything seems to be under control at the moment, I think I'd like to go out to the shop for a bit. I'll probably just clean up and organize something. Does that sound OK?" 

"Yes honey. That's fine. Go do your thing." 

I flipped on the lights, fired up the fans that circulate the summer humidity, and started putting away errant tools left out. I vacuumed up shavings and sawdust from the floor and started moving stock around one the lumber racks. I started moving a pile of thin 1/8" and 1/2" thick pine I had leftover from resawing 1x stock and I had a thought. 

This was going to be more than just a clean up night. 

Top tray of my tool chest

Middle tray of my tool chest.
I love working out of my traditional tool chest, but I had been gathering clutter in a couple areas and it has been driving me crazy. Pencils, pens, rulers and dividers form a huge golumpus mass in the top tray, and I've never been happy about my mixing of screwdrivers, pliers, nippers and spokeshaves in the middle tray. I never intended it, it just one of those things that happen, but the thin, resawn stock I was holding suddenly seemed like the answer. 

I pulled everything I wanted out of the tool chest and laid it out on the work bench. 

I watch a lot of maker videos in a year, but less woodworking videos than you'd think. I feel like I get more from videos by blacksmiths, replica prop makers, 3D printing gurus and backyard mechanics. Looking outside your chosen genre brings fresh ideas and perspective to your work. Earlier that day, sitting in an ICU waiting room, I was binging Adam Savage's "One Day Build" videos from tested.com particularly one about file storage and his rolling pliers stand.  

Adam buys into a tool storage system he calls First Order Retrieval or F**k Drawers. I cannot say I agree with his views. I prefer a more minimalist approach, but apparently I was failing that in at least 33% of my tool chest till space. For a while I had considered just screwing a plastic cup to the wall by the pencil sharpener, but that only addressed a part of the problem. 

Then I thought about how my friend Tom Latane stores his scrolling pliers in his blacksmith shop. The stock in my hands was a catalyst and with a couple quick gesture drawings in my shop sketchbook and I started moving forward.

A very satisfying little project, took about three hours sketchbook to lights off. I chose not to break down the build here for a couple reasons. My daughter asked for one of her own right away and I think I can improve on the concept with slightly different materials. Also I want to get better at video: shooting, editing, all the things, and I believe you get better by jumping in and doing it, making mistakes and doing it better.  Since I have another to build I thought I'd shoot my own version of the Tested One Day Build video. That will show all the build decisions and details and should be in the works in the next week or so.

Ratione et Passionis
Categories: General Woodworking


Tico Vogt - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 6:01am

Feast your eyes on this fantastic short film.

“Fascinated with the shapes and textures found in both newly-cut and long-dead pieces of wood, I envisioned a world composed entirely of these forms,” Foxwell told Colossal. “As I began to engage with the material, I conceived a method using a milling machine and an animation camera setup to scan through a wood sample photographically and capture its entire structure. Although a difficult and tedious technique to refine, it yielded gorgeous imagery at once abstract and very real. Between the twisting growth rings, swirling rays, knot holes, termites and rot, I found there is a lot going on inside of wood.”

WoodSwimmer: A New Stop-Motion Short Made Entirely by Tediously Cutting Through Wood

SketchUp Class At Marc Adams, July 22-23, 2017

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 3:51am
One of my favorite weekends of the year is teaching SketchUp at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking in Indiana. There are still a few spots available in this years class on the weekend of July 22 & 23. Complete Continue reading →
Categories: General Woodworking

SketchUp Class At Marc Adams, July 22-23, 2017

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 3:51am
One of my favorite weekends of the year is teaching SketchUp at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking in Indiana. There are still a few spots available in this years class on the weekend of July 22 & 23. Complete … Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

English scythes at the Somerset Scythe Festival 2017

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 2:46am
A old scythe is passed on to a new generation but will youth bring competition victory? Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking


Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 12:36am
.....TALES FROM A CABINETMAKER'S LIFE is a small, short book by Nancy Hiller. I bought the book after reading Nick Offerman's write up on it here.  His blurb on it is about halfway down the blog post. It is not a very big book nor is it overly long at about 140 pages or so. I had gotten the book because of Offerman's write up and when I first saw it I was bit disappointed in it. I think I was expecting a tome because of all of the things Offerman said the book was.

But I don't judge a book by it's cover nor by how thick it is. I started by reading the Acknowledgement which is something that I do with the rarity of seeing Halley's comet. She grabbed my interest there and it never wavered even when I finished reading the book. In fact when I was done, I read the write up on the front and back dust cover. I was still hungry and I wanted to read more of whatever she had to write.

The book to me was part auto biographical with a bit of ethics and philosophy interspersed throughout the book. It is not a 140 plus pages of why I am a cabinetmaker and how I survived doing it for so long. I bonded with her after reading the last sentence on page one. She expressed a frustration exactly the way I would have had I been in the same situation. I knew then that this wasn't going to be a staid book written by a prim and proper lady. (kind of got that idea on page 1)

The book was everything that Nick Offerman said it was. No disappointments other than me wishing it was longer. She jumps around a bit going back and forth in time but it flows smoothly in spite of that. She wove a good story and I never felt like a door was abruptly shut in my face.

At first I thought that she was English but she is an american who lived in England for quite a few years. It is there that she got training as a cabinetmaker and worked in a couple of English woodworking shops. What struck me about these years was her perseverance. Things were 2 rungs below poverty but she stuck with it in spite of the low pay and what I would consider god awful living spaces. And inbetween she managed to get a Masters Degree.

worth reading
The book has a lot of ups and down but since 1995, Nancy has been supporting herself as a cabinetmaker. She tells one story about someone wanting a roll top desk she made and him blowing her off after he found out what the price was. I think this is the biggest obstacle cabinetmakers face - the ignorance that the majority of people have about making a living from woodworking.

I tried it on a very small scale and stopped. My first commission I ate. It was a bookcase and the person who commissioned it refused to buy it even though we had agreed on the price before hand. His response was, "...I can buy a cheaper bookcase at Walmart...."

My first mistake was not getting a 1/3 of the money up front and another 1/3 when half way done. I am not a business oriented person in this respect. I could empathize with Nancy on this.

One of my favorite comedians is Ron White who does a bit called you can't fix stupid. I'll add to that, that it is impossible to fix ignorant either. How do you explain to someone whose eyes see nothing by $$$$ the difference between hand tool joinery and machine made joinery?

Nancy has written two other books that I am going to buy too if I can. If you are inclined to buy a book based on Nick Offerman's opinion (an author, actor, fairly well known guy, and a woodworking business owner) and me (a nobody who is a wanna be cabinetmaker who also outputs daily keyboard diarrhea), I don't think you'll regret it.

accidental woodworking

trivia corner
What are you if you are glabrous?
answer - hairless

Fostering (cont.)

The Furniture Record - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 9:38pm

It was a few weeks before Hans had an opening in his schedule that allowed us to go out and hit the road again. I had promised him the chance to go out and learn about the furniture heritage of North Carolina.

We drove south two hours to start the day in Charlotte, NC. We were hungry and decided to try a local ethnic restaurant I had heard about.  Nobody over 70 that I talked to had anything bad to say about it. Plentiful food at reasonable prices. It was even in my GPS!


Big parking lot. Hans climbed atop my car to make sure we were in the right place.

The food there is all organic in that for the most part it is carbon-based. I believe that there was some issues a few years ago with respect to their special meatballs and the local Health Department but I can’t find the article and I don’t want to be seen trading in unsubstantiated rumors so I will not mention it for now. Forget you read this, assuming you did.


It is a really large place with many different departments. Besides the restaurant, there is a large store selling all sorts of exotic and prepared foods.

Part of the store is filled with hand-made, boutique furniture from some of the finest local artisans the world over. It reminded me of 10,000 Villages or Pier One Imports. There exists some obvious cross-pollination between the artisans and some of the brain-training companies. This outfit offers a line of puzzle furniture with abstract shapes and cryptic pictographs you solve in the vague hope of assembling the purchased item. As a bonus, the cardboard box often proves to be as useful as the contents therein.

From Charlotte, we headed north to Thomasville, NC. Thomasville is known (to some) as The Chair City due to a combination of the furniture manufacturing (2000 chairs per day in 1916) and the presence of The Big Chair (see below).

We stopped first at the statue of John Warwick Thomas, founder of Thomasville:


Politician and entrepreneur. He arranged for the railroad to be built through Davidson County and built the first store (1852) in the area in anticipation of the railroad’s arrival.

What youngster doesn’t like trains?


All aboard!


Not like the trains of home but a train nonetheless.

And then, The Big Chair:


A large-scale reproduction of a Duncan Phyfe chair, 30′ high, It was built in 1950 by Thomasville Furniture Industries. It is built of steel and concrete.

I have two problems with what they describe as the world’s largest chair. Is it really the largest? I was unable to independently verify this. For convenience’s sake, I will just accept it until proven otherwise.

The more fundamental question is is it a chair or a chair-like structure? Does labeling a chair mean it is a chair or does calling it a chair imply that it can be used as a chair for chair-like purposes. Does chair define its function or describe its appearance as does Einstein Bros. make bagels or do they make bageloid sandwich rolls? Does a label make it so?

In Highpoint, we found the world’s largest chest of drawers, 36′ tall.


No doubt about this being a chest of drawers. Note the socks jauntily hanging out of the middle drawer.Not best housekeeping practices but it does have a certain visual appeal and whimsy.

Our last stop of the day was in nearby Jamestown, NC at Furnitureland South, home of 1.3 million square feet of ugly furniture (my opinion). There, they have the world’s largest highboy dresser.


At 85 feet (29.908 meters), it’s huuuge! Drawers are not dovetailed, however


In case you missed it. One of these is made of wood.

We drove home, tired but happy.



more video snippets from Greenwood Fest & after

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 1:49pm

all right – let’s try a couple of short videos this time. From Greenwood Fest 2017.

an overview of the woodpile area, with Rick McKee ducking through…

Kiko Denzer turning bowls during Jarrod’s class:

and a long one from Roy, more from Roy Underhill’s Big Box of Woodworking Fun

Roy Underhill never stops

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 1:24pm

I’m video-challenged – but because of Instagram I shoot many short ones with an ipad. Just spent a godawful amount of time figuring out how to get them here. Let’s see if this works:

11 Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts with Digital Delivery

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 12:20pm
brendan tools

Sometimes the best Father’s Day gifts are the ones that you pick up at the very last second…right? We understand that some of our readers haven’t taken advantage of our free shipping deal – which runs through this weekend if you want to hand Dad a receipt of a product that is in the mail – so we have curated a list of 11 products from our store that would […]

The post 11 Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts with Digital Delivery appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Greenwood Fest 2017

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:15am

Plymouth CRAFT’s Greenwood Fest 2017 is now a  thing of the past. I vividly remember the feeling last year after the fest, I was so overwhelmed I just floundered around for a couple of days, not being able to concentrate on anything.

This time, it still is overwhelming, but in a good way. I want to thank everyone who helped make it happen – Plymouth CRAFT’s board & volunteers, the crew at Pinewoods, all the instructors and most of all, the folks who travelled from Australia, Turkey and places in between to come join us in the woods for carving and camaraderie. Astoundingly great time, thanks all.

Here’s pictures. there’s more. later. 

the group shot:

Surolle was here: 

Jarrod Dahl turning what can’t be turned

JoJo Wood was back with her big knives:

The one-armed veteran of the Battle of Shiloh with his sawing machine

Tim Manney & the sharpeners

Me & him

Barn’s spoons

The Greenwood shop, just prior to opening:

Barn the Spoon & his new sheath for the big hook knife:

Jane Mickelborough helping hinge a folding spoon:


Dave Fisher working on his bowls:

Darrick Sanderson never stopped

Jogge & I with our special guests, Drew & Louise Langsner

Online SketchUp Individual Tutoring

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 9:20am
Teaching yourself how to use computer software is possible, (that’s how I learned to use SketchUp) but the drawback is you suffer for a while with an ignorant teacher (I know I did). The problem is you don’t know what Continue reading →
Categories: General Woodworking

Online SketchUp Individual Tutoring

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 9:20am
Teaching yourself how to use computer software is possible, (that’s how I learned to use SketchUp) but the drawback is you suffer for a while with an ignorant teacher (I know I did). The problem is you don’t know what … Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Introduction to the BARN Workbench

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 7:46am

A workbench designed for hand tool woodworkers but made (partially) with a CNC. It features a 3D carved leg vise and a workbench top designed to improve ergonomics. I designed the BARN workbench for the Bainbridge Island Artisan Resource Network. It’s a Seattle area community group that has built a wonderful community facility for artisans to share resources, education, and workspace. I wanted to help my new neighbors, so I […]

The post Introduction to the BARN Workbench appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Book Giveaway: Perfect Edge

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 5:54am
Perfect Edge

Any experienced woodworker will tell you that the first secret to good work is keeping your tools sharp. “The Perfect Edge” by Ron Hock is one of the best books out there on sharpening woodworking tools. If you don’t have it, you need it. From choosing a sharpening set-up to in depth coverage of different sharpening methods, this book takes the mystery out of this crucial set of skills. I’m […]

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

Categories: General Woodworking

Rippleista Gathering – 2

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 5:31am

As Day Two convened of the inaugural Intergalactic Ripple Molding Association, with Cor’s ripple cutter “in working order,” the day was spent fiddling and adjusting to make it cut some real moldings.

One of the first things we encountered was a broken part, the threaded collar that allows for the cutterhead to be raised and lowered, or better said, raised and released to allow the coil springs to push the cutter down on to the workpiece.  Rather than ordering another identical part, which would have cost us a day (the free market is GREAT; if I order a part from McMaster-Carr or MSC Direct before lunch, the part is invariably on my porch the following morning.  Even here in the Land Time Forgot!) we dove into my stash of lignum vitae and fashioned a new one, courtesy of my salvaged set of oversized taps and dies.  Keeping a slab of lignum around to make collars, bearings, etc., is a real boon in the shop.  Works like butter, wears like iron.

With the new part installed the fine tuning of the machine began in earnest.  While we already had what Rippleista John called “proof of concept” what we wanted was a machine that could crank out the linear feet of moldings ad infinitum.

In a short time we had further refinements becoming manifest.

And once we were able to produce this molding, thanks to the delicate ministrations of Rippleista Sharon (she actually measures stuff.  What’s up with that?) we knew we were on the way to ripple nirvana.  However, the machine is fussy to the point of truculence, requiring adjustments almost between every pass.  There is indeed great room for improvements in this machine and the likely model I will be building myself.  First among these will be a Norris-type advancing mechanism for the cutting iron.


One highlight of the day was Rippleista Travis showing off his tool chest.  All were duly impressed.

While the others were fussing with the Winterthur machine I was wrapping up making the box for the new machine that we were about to undertake fabricating.  I was making a long, narrow box from 2×6 stock.

line ’em up

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 4:49am

The dust is starting to settle. I’ll get to the whole thing, but in the meantime, here’s the group of instructors from Greenwood Fest.

Back row, left to right – Jögge Sundqvist, Jarrod Dahl, Pete Galbert, Peter Follansbee, Jane Mickelborough, Barn the Spoon, Louise Langsner, Drew Langsner

Front row, left to right –  Dave Fisher, Tim Manney, Darrick Sanderson, Paula Marcoux, JoJo Wood, Roy Underhill

painting day....

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 1:08am
Today was the kind of day I would like to have year round. Low 70's, clear skies with a few fluffy clouds, and slight breeze blowing. And the humidity was low too. Of course this about to all go south, literally. Clouds and rain starting tonight with increasing humidity. So today was the day to get what painting done I could.

#2 plane body
I lightly sanded the body with 400 grit sandpaper and wiped it down with the rag I used to clean the brush. I bought the artist brushes mostly because I wanted a fine brush that wouldn't leave brush marks. Being cheap helped too.

I'm glad I waited another day
The whole interior felt dry to the touch everywhere. This is the final coat and I am not putting on another one. This makes 4 coats to get adequate coverage - 1 primer and 3 top coats.

I got distracted
Myles was awake and babbling away he was so excited about the first 3 tools for his toolchest. I had come upstairs to clean the paint brush and I got delayed a bit getting back to the shop talking to him.

this sucks
Two primer coats and one top coat and I still can see the the gray primer.  I am sticking with my original plan for having the shelf behind the frame. That was driven by me not liking the look of the molded edge on the bookshelf against the beaded edge of the frame. The two didn't compliment each other.

finessed the joint a wee bit more
I got the flats looking good but the miter is still too gappy for my liking. This will be painted and I could probably get away with it but most of my work is left natural. In a natural state this is an eyesore.

the bead sizes are slightly off
I don't think the size difference is causing the miters from not closing up. There looks to be a bit of crap at the toe of the left miter doing that.

the bottom of the toe is the problem
I think this is causing the miters from fully seating.

back cutting
I trimmed the back of the miter and the bottom like the tails on dovetails.

a little difference
My butchering job trying to freehand trim the left half of the miter is showing. The toe on it is chewed up and this is the best it is going to get. I did learn some things here that will help when I do the practice ones and finally the real one.

butt joint
The butt joint is perfect. Tight and seamless after I trimmed the right one on the shooting board at 90°. I'll have to pay special attention to the miter on the frame side part that I don't chew up the toe.

This was it as Myles wanted to discuss what type of toolbox or toolchest I am going to make for him. The normal stuff, what type of wood, what will be stowed in it, the joinery options, etc etc etc.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is a hallux?
answer - a person's big toe

Somerset scythe competition 2017 final – video

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 9:23am
Video of this year's scythe championship final - keep your eye on the time, you won't believe how fast they're mowing! Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking


Subscribe to Norse Woodsmith aggregator - General Woodworking