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General Woodworking

Book Giveaway: I Can Do That! Weekend Woodworking Projects

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 5:00am
I Can Do That Woodworking Projects

Do you have a copy of “I Can Do That! Woodworking Projects?”  It’s a great book for beginning woodworkers, but also for anyone looking for quick weekend woodworking projects. We recently updated it for a 3rd edition, adding 10 new projects – so now’s a great time to check it out if you haven’t already. While accessible to newcomers, the projects in this book use solid basic techniques and yield some quality […]

The post Book Giveaway: I Can Do That! Weekend Woodworking Projects appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

side beaders ready......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 11:23pm
I got the irons for both of my new beading planes done tonight and I had expected to do more. Doing the irons took longer than I thought even though I didn't run over any speed bumps. I have also formed an opinion on the side beads and beading planes. I think that they are one in the same. They both make beads and they are just made differently to accomplish the same task. Kind of like a wooden plane and a transitional wooden plane, both will make shavings but they don't look the same.

My thoughts on the slight rabbet/shoulder the side bead planes make is this. After you have planed the bead, you plane that rabbet/shoulder off flush with the edge. The only thing I could find on the two planes on line is that the name was used interchangeably. Even though the side bead 'bead' is slightly angled the bead it makes is the same as a beading plane. Mystery solved for me, at least for the time being.

first batter again
Lightly sanded these before I put on the tannic acid.

tannic acid applied
This looks good when the tannic acid first does on and it has a deep, rich black color. As it dries it fades a bit. It tends to look a little washed out when fully dry but I am going to keep at it for a few more cycles. I'll put the iron on tomorrow before I leave for work.

back flattening first
Someone already started to do this but didn't finish it. I started on my coarsest stone and went up to my 8K stone.

backs done to a little ways past the top of the round
free hand sharpened the bevels
sharpening and honing the round part is next
I use dowels wrapped in various grits of sandpaper to do this starting with 220 and ending with 1200.

pitted or a rust spot
It turned out to be a little of both. I was able to sand all of the rust away and 99% of the pitting.

sanded up to 1200 grit
stropping finishes this
This is a dowel with a piece of an old leather belt glued to it.  15-20 strokes going from the top to the bottom raises a nice shine.

3/8" beading iron done - repeated for the 1/2" one
1/2" beading iron
I took a few strokes on this with 220 grit and these dark areas weren't showing much change. I didn't know if this was dirt/grime or rust.

mostly grudge with a little rust
I scraped most of what was there away with the sheet rock knife. After this I went back up through the grits to 1200.

I will have to do the bevels better. That will take a bit of time as I changed the bevel angle on them because it was too shallow. They are good enough now for me to road test these.

made my blood offering to the Woodworking gods
removing the burr
stropped the bevels and the backs
3/8 bead
Both beads look good but they didn't come easy. I've found that with most of the molding planes I initially try, I have some trial and error to work out first with them and these two were no exception. After fiddling a bit, I got these two to look pretty good. Now I have to find a home for them. The 3 corrals I'm using now for my molding plane herd are all full.

round over layout for the plate rail
I thought I would have time to do the round overs but it is almost 1700 and time to quit.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What part of the body is the axilla?
answer - the armpit

(Representations of) Furniture at the Chrysler Museum of Art

The Furniture Record - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 10:42pm

Driving back from our research trip to Virginia’s Eastern Shore, we stopped in Norfolk for lunch and our first visit to the Chrysler Museum of Art. Our lunch was good, only sandwiches but well prepared with fresh ingredients. The museum was nice, too.

There was furniture scattered around and a nice exhibit of Art Nouveaux. All this will be covered in the near future.

I quickly documented all the furniture there and was ready to move on but my wife had other ideas. It was still raining hard and she was not ready to leave. We hadn’t yet seen the glass, the European and American paintings and sculpture, ancient and non-western art or photography. And what is the difference between modern and contemporary art?

There were two paintings in the European gallery of particular interest to me, they were period domestic scenes with furniture. Most of the furniture I see is in auction gallery or antiques shops. There is no context for the furniture. Historic mansions and museums like Winterthur and MESDA do show entire period rooms but these are all curated and idealized representations of the past.

Painted period rooms might be closer to the way things actually were. The artist was living there and then. These might not be 100% accurate but, like Wikipedia articles, close may be good enough.

The first is The Surgeon by David Teniers the Younger, Flemish, 1610 – 1690:


Typical multi-provider practice of 1670’s Flanders.

David Teniers the Younger Flemish, 1610–1690 The Surgeon, 1670s Oil on canvas Is there a doctor in the house? Not in this one. The medic in this picture is a lowly barber surgeon, a quack who preyed on the ignorant and poor. Surrounded by his potions and aided by two dimwitted assistants, he operates on a patient’s back, ignoring his painful yelp. The monkey crouching nearby is an age-old symbol of foolishness. He “apes” the patient’s pose, suggesting that the man is chained to the ignorant belief that the barber surgeon will cure him. Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. 71.480


Here are some benches and stools.


The other practitioner is treating a victim/patient sitting in a Savonarola or Dante chair.


Some seating and crockery. Down front there appears to be a cow’s skull. But yet we know Georgia O’Keeffe wouldn’t be born for another 200 years.


This monkey is not furniture but it is interesting.

The other painting of interest is Home by Sir Joseph Noel Paton, Scottish, 1821-1901.


Reunion of a Scottish soldier with his family upon his return from service in the Crimean War (1854-1856).

Sir Joseph Noel Paton Scottish, 1821–1901 Home, ca. 1855–56 Oil on panel Noel Paton’s scene brims with details that bring its story of military valor and family strength to life. The Scottish soldier seated at center has just returned from the Crimean War. Slumped in a chair, his wife and mother fold over him. He has suffered serious wounds—his head is heavily bandaged and he has lost an arm in battle. But despite the sacrifices the family has made for home and country, the open Bible proclaims its spiritual strength in the face of uncertainty. The promise of a better future is embodied by the child sleeping peacefully in the cradle behind them. Museum purchase and gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.


A Hepplewhite chair, a cradle and a table.


An amoire acting as a catch-all.


A table and what looks like a slyod knife.


Nice piggins and a good selection of platters.

Video: Inside a Mortise with Frank Klausz

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 7:27am
Frank Klausz

Woodworking is largely an exercise in subtraction. For much of what we do that subtraction is obvious – we can see the kerf left from a saw, we can watch the shavings fall out of our handplane and we brush shavings away from the work surface when we sand or scrape. In these instances, we can quickly assess how the process is going. Is my blade dull? Is my blade canted […]

The post Video: Inside a Mortise with Frank Klausz appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Building a Clamp Rack

Highland Woodworking - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 7:00am

Having trouble storing all of your clamps? In this 2-part video, Steve Johnson, aka the Down to Earth Woodworker, shares his plan for an adjustable, re-configurable, stacked Clamp Rack that is 5S compliant for his workshop. Turns out this new design allows for 2x the amount of clamps in the same space!

Take a look and see if Steve’s ideas can help improve the clamp storage in YOUR shop!

The post Building a Clamp Rack appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

A Woodworker Goes Into A Bar…

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 5:49am

A woodworker walks into a brew pub, glances around,  and spots another woodworker across the room.  As the first man approaches the second, words ensue.  In a few seconds the second woodworker clenches his hand into a fist and sticks it right under the nose of the first man.

This might be Mickey Spillane’s telling of a episode a the recent Lie-Nielsen tool event in Covington KY.  Of course there is much more background to the tale.

The two woodworkers in question were Dr. MichaelCD and me.  Michael is a professor and practitioner of the healing arts, particularly as they relate to the repair and rehabilitation of injured hands and wrists.  We have been corresponding regularly since I broke my arm last year.  His counsel has been a Godsend, especially once he convinced me that I was working too aggressively on my rehab exercises and was actually retarding the progress.  Once I learned to ease up a bit the progress was much faster.

While at the LNT event he gave my wrist and hand a through going-over.  The break to my radius bone was so close to the wrist (about 1″ up from the base of the thumb, in the narrowest part of the forearm) and of such a nature that the cast had to be quite snug and restrictive with my hand at a peculiar angle to facilitate the bone knitting properly.  As such it pushed all the swelling downward into my wrist and hand, hence my struggles at rehabbing them.  As the orthopedist noted when  examining the x-ray, my lifetime of working with my hands has resulted in every joint being afflicted with arthritis and they did not take well to the incursion of the extra fluid mass being inflicted on them.  (At the same session the bone doc asked me when and how I broke my wrist.  When I replied with a quizzical look he pointed to the x-ray image.  “All this debris here and here indicates a broken wrist, and the fragments are well-worn so it was a long time ago.”  Huh, who knew?)

At the end of the day in Covington I bestowed Michael with a whisk broom and the best meal we could find close by, a time of grand fellowship.  That’s the way health care should be.  Now if only they could figure that out in Mordor on the Potomac.  In parting he gave me a new finger flexibility regimen that I have been following with much success.

Oddly enough the part of arm/wrist/hand rehab that is usually the hardest (rotating the hand relative to the elbow) went very well and fast for me, while the more simple and easy recovery (hand and finger dexterity) is something I still wrestle with.  It gets better every day as I notice something new I can do; roll the toothbrush in my hand, put in my contact lens, use a credit card reader, unscrew the gas cap in the truck, and finally today, using a spring clamp for the first time with that damaged hand.  At this rate I expect these hurdles will be distant memories by the time I hit the First Anniversary.

But for now, thanks to Michael I am well past the 90% recovery mark, and find my effectiveness in the shop at almost 100%.  To top it all off, my left arm and hand are by necessity much more facile than they were a mere six months ago, in the end yielding greater aggregate hand skill than I started with.

How much more blessing can a fellow take?

Mark Arnold on North Bennet, SAPFM & Sgraffito – 360w360 E.229

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 4:10am
Mark Arnold on North Bennet, SAPFM & Sgraffito – 360w360 E.229

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking Mark Arnold of Boston Woodworking discusses his time at North Bennet Street School, editing and writing for American Period Furniture and a woodworking technique known as sgraffito, which he’s teaching at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking in late June 2017.

Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Glen talks with various guests about all things woodworking and some things that are slightly off topic.

Continue reading Mark Arnold on North Bennet, SAPFM & Sgraffito – 360w360 E.229 at 360 WoodWorking.

it's better.......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 1:11am
I woke up late this morning and I threw on some clothes and motored off to work. I didn't even stop to think about my back hurting. When I did think of it, there was nothing to feel. My back felt normal again. I did get one teeny twinge at lunch when I moved a bit suddenly but that was it. And I think that was mostly due to inertia working against me. Putting all that fat in motion, it takes a bit to slow it down. I took another day off in the shop for just in case.

sink J clip
These are are the only type of sink clips I was familiar with. There are different styles of these but they all work on the same principle.

one of the better J clips
The top of the screw has a plastic cap that keeps the screw from dimpling the sink. Especially so on the thinner gauge ones. I speak from experience on this.

the clip
This fits over a lip on the sink bottom.

the J part
The clip grips the sink. The screw bears down on the bottom of the sink and the J part is caught on the underside of the counter. This action pulls the sink down securely to the counter top. Usually two per side and maybe an extra one on the front and back, is all you need.

the nut
Once you have the sink secured the nut is run up to the bottom of the J.  This keeps the clip from loosening up. The only bad thing about these is the slot for a screwdriver at the bottom of the threaded rod that tends to break, like this one did.

plates for the plate rail
These are some of the dishes for the plate rail. These belonged to my wife's maternal grandmother and I am not involved in what plates get selected. She has also made a circuit of the local antique shops looking for other plates to display too.

this determines the plate rail groove
what I came up with
I have a soup bowl, a saucer and small plate and I measured each one from the box wall to the front of each dish.

I think I'll go with 3 grooves
Since I don't have a warm and fuzzy about what dish, plate or platter is going to be displayed, I think 3 grooves are prudent.

the before pic
The orange rust looking stuff is from the iron. I sanded this down lightly and put on the tannic acid. I am going to let this dry before I put on the iron. This is the way I did it back in December and I got good results that way.

new book came in
I could have gotten a cheaper book but I selected this one. The Seller said it was clean, no pages missing, no notes or any writing on the pages, and the cover was intact with no damage. The lesser cost books all had some of what this one was missing.

second edition
I am no bibliophile in the true sense of the word and a first edition isn't that big of a deal to me. As long as the second edition has the exact same info that the first one has I'm ok with that.  Now that I have volume I, I can start reading it. I have been resisting the urge to read vol II until I got this one.

new tool catalog
I counted the catalogs I have now and with this one, I'm up to 14.  I now have a new obsession hobby to feed. Joshua from Hyperkitten tools sent me this one free. I ordered one from him but he had sold it and forget to remove it from the for sale list. He sent me this one to make up for that boo-boo.

I bought two more side bead planes from Josh too
I bought a 3/8" and 1/2". The 3/8" doesn't have the removable fence that is removed to make a deeper bead or to use the plane against another molding profile. Don't think it will be something I'll miss at this point.

4 beading planes
When I bought these, this is what they were called. The far left one is the newest and I got it from Caleb James. The boxing on the outside of the bead is parallel to the outside of the plane body.

my three side bead planes
These 3 are called side bead planes. The smallest at a 1/4" (left most one) has solid boxing and all 3 of the boxings are at a slight angle to the outside of the plane. Other than this, the planes are basically the same. The beading planes made a bead on the outside edge of the stock. The side bead planes put the bead slightly inboard of the edge. At least the 1/4" one does that and I'll have to wait to find out if the 3/8 and 1/2 inch ones do too.

debating on getting the 5/16" size
I found a tool site that has a London made 5/16" side bead plane. It has the removable fences and all the pics of it look pretty good. The price includes S/H but I'm on the fence with this one. I can't see how a 1/16" will make that much of a difference. I'll sharpen these two irons and road test them  tomorrow.

my wife bought this for me
My father dropped my sister and I off at this orphanage when I was two in 1956 (so I have been told). We stayed there for almost 4 years but I have very few memories of the place. The Nun that helped former residents with info about their stays here pasted on so I have no way of finding out when I got there, how long I stayed, or when I left. I found this in with my tool catalogs and I do remember the habit the nuns all wore.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is a coutelier?
answer - a knife maker

@Handworks 2017 – Roubo Print 251

The Barn on White Run - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 4:14pm

We have a wonderful companion to the previous print in my inventory of First Edition prints from  L’Art du Menuisier, this one being “Diagrams and Illustrations of a table and a camp bed with their Developments.”  Again this page is in near-excellent condition with just the teensiest bit of staining along the top and bottom edges (this would be completely hidden by the mat when you get it framed.

The plate was drawn and engraved by Roubo himself.

If you have ever wanted to own a genuine piece of Rouboiana, this is your chance.   I will be selling this print at Handworks on a first-come basis, with terms being cash, check, or Paypal if you have a smart phone and can do that at the time of the transaction.


wainscot chair assembly

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 3:09pm

I assembled the frame of the wainscot chair the other day. First, I had a few tenons to fine-tune. This step includes beveling the ends with a large framing chisel.

Then inserting each tenon, marking it for drawboring, removing it & boring the hole. 18 joints, 2 pins each, I get 36 holes.

Here’s an old look at drawboring – it looks like some of that is from the book I did with Jennie Alexander, Make a Joint Stool from a Tree. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2009/01/25/drawbored-mortise-and-tenon/

This picture is a little hard to read, but it’s a step called “kerfing” the joint. In this case, the rear shoulder was in the way, keeping the front shoulder from pulling up tight. So you go in there with a backsaw, and re-saw the rear shoulder. Sometimes it takes a single pass, sometimes more.

Then you knock it all together again, I have already pinned the front section and rear section separately. I was looking to get a general overall photo…but this wasn’t it.

I went to the other end of the shop, and that’s the angle. Better anyway.

Then I went higher.

Here’s the frame. This one gets a crest, two applied figures one on each side of the rear posts, then seat, then arms.

Here’s the crest, with conjectural attachment. It gets nails through the ends, down into the integral crest rail. But I never felt like those were enough to hold it in place. So I added a loose tenon between the two crests. I chopped one mortise in the wrong spot, so you see it runs wide/long.

This is as far as I got yesterday.

Hardcover Edition – Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 12:25pm
One way to judge the merit of an idea is to see how long the results of that idea stay around. A long time ago I thought it would be a good idea if somebody published a book of measured … Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

CNC Skills: Origin Points – Part Three: New Techniques

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 8:28am

In part two of this series, several techniques and tools were shown for accurately setting origin points. You can use line-of-sight, feel, extrapolation from a known diameter, edge finders, wigglers, 3D sensors and more. Accuracy is critical and although all these tools and processes work well, setting origins can be time-consuming. So, in my own shop, I often use other methods and tools to locate and set my origin points. As a […]

The post CNC Skills: Origin Points – Part Three: New Techniques appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

These Are Drying Times

360 WoodWorking - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 5:31am
These Are Drying Times

Many of us woodworkers experience low humidity in Winter – ever listen to your furniture pop and snap as the wood gives in to the dryness? As we move into Spring, the air again gains in moisture and often you can hear your furniture swell back toward fullness. These are drying times.

The same thing happens in the shop. Although because most shops are not as airtight as our living spaces, the trip from overly dry to moisture-laden can be more dramatic.

Continue reading These Are Drying Times at 360 WoodWorking.

OMG - 16th Century Boxwood Miniatures PT1 - and other news

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 4:00am

These past few weeks have been totally crazy. In the front of our shop, we're busy building three workbenches and their accoutrements for Handworks in Amana next month. In the back of the shop we're busy making saws and other stock for the show. This coming Saturday is the massive Festool Roadshow (free food, drink, gift bags, etc. - check it out) and that requires tons of legwork too. We also started a new blog of videos we found on various woodworking topics that we think others might find interesting too.

While all of this is happening, I was seriously concerned I would miss the "Small Wonders" show at the Cloisters.

Some background:

I have been going to the Metropolitan Museum since my youth I grew up a few blocks away in a small tenement that is now the parking garage for a fancy building. Im also a big fan of The Cloisters, the Mets affiliated museum near the northern tip of Manhattan. The Cloisters is made up of cloisters excavated from French monasteries, indoor chapels and contemplation gardens filled with plantings of fruit trees and medicinal herbs that would have been used in medieval Europe. I like to visit the Cloisters every year or so and take in the ambiance of the gorgeous architecture, tapestries and other art.

The first and still favorite book of carving I ever owned (when I was about 8) Whittling and Woodcarving by E. J. Tangerman, which had a picture of a miniature boxwood carving from the late 15th/early 16th century from the Met's collection. It's about 2" in diameter. When I visited the Met regularly as a kid, I made it a point to search out the carving. As an adult I would regularly stop by to see it at and I'd always be filled with wonder. So I was determined to catch the show about these boxwood carvings,"Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures." The show is a joint project organized by the Met, Torontos Art Gallery of Ontario and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and will be held in all three museums (and maybe others). The micro-carvings include prayer beads, altarpieces, coffins, skulls and other tiny creations. They are shockingly intricate and shockingly tiny. Some open up to reveal intricate tableaux. The next time I see a walnut shell, Ill be disappointed if I dont see an elaborate carved crucifixion within.

The carvings were both popular and mysterious in their own time. Henry VIII was a fan, as were many other rich and royal collectors. But the artists, and their techniques, were largely unknown. As a Dutch collector in the 17th century complained, It is regrettable that the maker of this ingenious piece has not made himself known with any sign. More recently, conservators and historians used CT scans and other scientific tests to analyze over 100 of the micro-carvings, and learned some interesting things about the carvers techniques. The most complex carvings were made in layers, with a given layer containing different figures of the tableau. The layers were then installed with tiny pegs and glued, but made to seem as if everything were carved from a single block of wood. If the carver needed access to a hard-to-reach area, he incorporated slits through which he could pole a tool through, then artfully concealed the slit in the artwork. Conservators discovered less careful, even somewhat shoddy work such as multiple holes, in some of the carvings undersides.. But peeking behind the curtain is possible only to those who dismantle the carvings, leaving the rest of us to marvel at the illusion of perfection.

According to a New York Times article about the exhibit, The original woodcarvers used foot-powered lathes, magnifying glasses made of quartz, and miniature chisels, hooks, saws and drills. The works were so detailed that individual feathers are visible on angel wings, and dragon skins are textured with thick scales. Crumbling shacks are shown with shingles missing from their gabled roofs. Crenelated spires have scalloped molding tucked along their doorways, and there are deep grout lines between bricks. Saints robes and soldiers uniforms are trimmed with buttons and embroidery, and there are nearly microscopic representations of jewelry and rosary beads.

For me, aside from my longstanding interest in one of the beads - in fact the the very one that the curators disassembled for the show - the amazing realism of the miniatures is one of the most exciting aspects of the carvings. There are also many other thrilling aspects. They have remarkable grace and fluidity. And although everything is off limits to grubby hands, some of the components within the dioramas, such as doves displayed in birdcages, can move around.

This coming Sunday (the day after the Festool Roadshow) I am going back to the Cloisters to hear a talk on these carvings by David Esterly, a scholar and master carver. I am looking forward to his insights on these miniatures. In part two of this blog I expect to have something interesting to report back.

still hurting....

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 1:33am
The pain in my back has lessened some and my flanks don't hurt anymore. Both sides migrated the pain to the right side of my spine and it comes and goes. It is annoying having it come and go but I guess it is better than having it constantly throbbing away at me. Maybe tomorrow I'll be pain free.

These 3 pieces are coming along ok. They aren't turning black as quickly as I would like, but they are getting there.

these two suck
The two pine pieces are better looking than these two ash ones. The ash has tannin in it and I expected it to be as black as the edge of space now. I put another coat of tannic acid and iron before I went to work.

This is the 4th application going on these and so far only the walnut is showing promise for matching the cell phone holder color.

1600 the same day
 These 3 look good compared to the cell phone holder on the right. Forgot to snap a before pic before I put the tannic acid on them.

the ash piece is already better than the last attempt on the right side
They look good because they are wet from the tannic acid just being applied to it.

I don't know about this one
I am starting to think that maybe there is some kind of a finish on this stopping the tannic acid and iron solution to fully develop. The first clue is that circle that is still clear.

out of sequence pic
before I put on the tannic acid, I lightly sanded all the pieces with 600 grit sandpaper.

about 6 minutes after the iron went on
I put on the tannic acid and iron and they are drying up. I can see a orange rust color on the pieces that I remember from the xmas ebonizing adventure. I am feeling better about this and 4 out of 5 isn't too bad to take.

53 inches long
This took me over 20 minutes to do. I couldn't take a full swing with the plane without feeling a twinge in the back. Instead I held the plane and leaned to my left to plane a short length. Repeated this in baby steps down the length until I was done.

I've been trying to find out what the difference is between a side bead and a 'regular' beading plane. They both make the same profile and the only thing I can see is the side bead plane has the bead at a slight angle. The regular beading plane has the bead straight up and down. There must be a reason why the side bead is tilted and why it has the name side bead.

stopped here
I was going to make the corbels but realized that would be a mistake. I haven't rounded over the edge and that needs to be done first. This was a good place to shut the lights out too.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is a curricle?
answer - a small open carriage pulled by two horses side by side

Meet David Lyell – Online Content Director

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 10:22am

  Growing up I thought everyone had a Bridgeport in their garage – or at least had access to a vertical mill at their dad’s shop across town. Little did I know at the time that growing up in a machine shop wasn’t necessarily normal. My father instilled in me at a young age a belief that there’s nothing that can’t be fixed – even if you threw away the […]

The post Meet David Lyell – Online Content Director appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Product Video: Tool-less Blade Guide Upgrade Kit for Rikon Bandsaws

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 7:00am

If you have a Rikon 10-324 or 10-325 14″ Bandsaw, and are sick of all of those hex wrenches, you need the Tool-less Blade Guide Upgrade Kit. Install this kit on your bandsaw in minutes and enjoy the simplicity of tool-less spring-loaded guides.

Find out more about the Tool-less Blade Guide Upgrade Kit in this 12 minute video.

The post Product Video: Tool-less Blade Guide Upgrade Kit for Rikon Bandsaws appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

a further look at some period joinery work

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 6:53am

I did a couple of presentations last weekend at Fine Woodworking Live; a seminar put on by the magazine. It was a sold-out affair, and seems like everyone had a good time. With the magazine staff, the presenters and the attendees there were close to 300 people there. All trying to consume as much information about woodworking and furniture-making as possible.

My talks were 90 minutes, and it’s hard to cram everything I know into that time slot. Because my work is so closely based on studying period pieces, I tried to show some examples prior to my demonstrations. This blog post will flesh out some of what I was talking about.

Al Breed came to one of my sessions, and asked about the insides of the mortises; is there any indication that the joiners bored them first? My reading of the evidence is that these narrow mortises, typically about 5/16″, are just chopped. No need to bore them first. These shots (scanned from slides, thus not as sharp as they might be) show the inside of the top front rail of a chest from the Smithsonian. The chest was made c. 1640-1670. Oak. The joint is broken open near where the till parts fit. One of the nice things about oak is how well it splits, but that’s a drawback too.

inner front rail, smithsonian chest

Here’s a detail of that joint, showing the chopped bottom of the mortise, in the first photo you can also see the angle of the mortise’s end grain cuts, and the trimming of the tenon’s edges.


This chest has a joined front fixed to board sides and back. So a blending of a board-chest and a joined chest. Two pieces built this way survive from this shop.

Figure 9

(the photo above is from http://www.chipstone.org/article.php/222/American-Furniture-1996/Seventeenth-Century-Joinery-from-Braintree,-Massachusetts:-The-Savell-Shop-Tradition )

To me it’s not a surprise that this joint blew apart, the surprising part is that more didn’t. I have written before about how much wood is cut away right were all these parts converge – the mortises for the top rails, the grooves for panels on front & side, the notches for the till side and till bottom, and the mortise bored for the till lid. It’s like a game of connect-the-dots.

here is part of that earlier post:

This next photo is the front stile for the chest I’m building now. This stile is red oak, and it’s about 3 1/4″ wide by 1 3/4″ thick. Clustered up near the top end of the stile are several cuts into the stock.
  • First, the two mortises, for the front and side upper rails. These are 5/16″ wide by about 3 3/4″ high. The one for the front rail is about 1 1/2″ deep, the other about 1 1/4″ deep.
  • Each has two 1/4″ holes bored in them, those for the front rail go all the way through the stile.
  • There is a groove running along each edge, into these mortises, for the beveled panels.
  • Additionally there is a notch cut across the inner face of the stile for the till bottom. this notch is about 3/8″ wide and about the same depth. It is positioned so that the till bottom is flush with the bottom edge of the upper rails.
  • What is missing from this photo is one more assault on this piece of wood – the hole bored into the stile for the hinged end of the till lid. This hole is usually about 3/8″ in diameter and about 1/2″ deep, and right near what will be the top end of the stile, after the extra wood is trimmed off the top. It will be about 3/8″ away from the mortise for the side rail.
That’s a lot of cuts into this piece of wood, all in the same neighborhood. Sometimes I am amazed that the stile can take it.


Another thing we discussed (I think this was a breakfast discussion…) was the backs of pieces. Chris Becksvoort was telling us about Shaker work, Al Breed about Newport 18th-century work – I chimed in with a group of chests and cupboards from Plymouth Colony from the 2nd half of the 17th century. Here’s the surviving section of a chest with four drawers; in “as found” condition. 

Look inside, the inner face of the rear section is a bit firewood-like. (the strap hinges are replacements) Narrow oak panels, with muntins that have large torn-out sections from riving them:

And a knot in one, and panels with riven texture – not planed smooth.

Sometimes the insides have fully-formed moldings on the framing parts. These get covered up as soon as the chest is filled with textiles. Some Boston joiners did the same thing.

All the chests and cupboards from this large body of work use employ chamfers on the framing parts on the side elevations; usually stopped chamfers. You see it below on the lower edge of the horizontal rail:

stopped chamfers

But they did it too on the rear elevation. Sometimes smooth transitions, sometimes stopped chamfers. This is the part of the cupboard or chest that gets shoved against the wall! Hard to understand the outside being so neat when sometimes the inside is just this side of firewood.




Sand-Shaded Parquetry Door

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 5:56am

My very talented friend, Jack Mauch, just completed a great looking door made of many segments of veneer quilted together to create a clever geometric pattern (aka parquetry). Each of the segments received a dip in a bath of fire hot sand to shade it accordingly. The project is marvelous and the video that depicts it, by Jesse Beecher, is a treat to watch. To learn more about the project […]

The post Sand-Shaded Parquetry Door appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

ouch, it still hurts.......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:05am
My back has hurt before but it has rarely lasted more than one day. And it never hurt so bad that I wanted to rip someones face off. I had dull ache in my lower back, on both flanks, all day on sunday. My hip hurt more than my back did and I put the heating pad on my hip when I went to bed.  I didn't sleep well last night and it seemed I was waking up every hour on the hour. When I finally got up the hip felt good and pain free. The back was iffy at this point. I would say it was sore here.

It was a different story by the time I got home from work. I had dull, throbbing ache in my lower back that no matter what I did, it wouldn't go away. It's not as bad as it was on sunday, but still bad enough to be annoying. This is also the first time my back has hurt going into a second day. I'll putting the heating pad on it tonight.

So because of that and not wanting to aggravate it anymore, I skipped woodworking in the shop tonight. I still went there but I didn't use any tools or make shavings. I picked up on the ebonizing that I stopped a week or so ago. Can't hurt the back stirring powder in water or slathering liquids on a few pieces of scrap wood.

lost about 3/4" of inch
A fair bit of the iron solution has evaporated which surprised me. The lid was closed on it closely and there is one tiny hole in it. Wasn't expecting this much to be gone. More the enough left to see if I can ebonize with it.

fresh tannic acid
I used hot water this time to mix up the tannic acid. The last batch I made I used cold water and the tannic acid clumped up and took forever to dissolve. It dissolved faster and better in the hot water without almost no clumping at all.

first batter is NZ pine from Lowes
The pic I took of the test subjects was way too blurry to even know it was a pic of wood. I am using the NZ pine and white pine first. A scrap of walnut and some ash round out the herd.

tannic acid and iron applied to NZ pine
I dipped it first in the tannic acid and now it is getting dipped in the iron.

walnut turned black
white pine dipped in tannic acid first
the white pine after being dipped in the iron
The white pine didn't turn as dark as the NZ pine did.

the ash test piece
This is the base I use for my lamp for sharpening saws. I slathered on some tannic acid on the right end side.

iron didn't turn it as black as I had hoped it would
my test piece from the last outing
This was in plain sight on the other of the box to the left of it and I didn't see it. This has 5(?) cycles of tannic acid and iron applied to it. Now I can compare that to what it will be like when the iron solution has had a longer time to cook.

this is not very encouraging
This looks like the other end did after the first round there too.

about ten minutes later
The walnut is looking good after one application and it is very close to the black on the cell phone holder.

both pines are getting darker
this is disappointing
the sink clip from hell
This is one of the mangled head ones. Can you tell what type this is Bob?

strange way of clipping on the sink bottom
The sink has a vertical tab/flange that is 90° to the sink bottom. On this flange are several rectangular slots that this clip fits into. There is a tab on the middle finger on this clip that snaps into the rectangular slot. The two prong thing on the left bites into the underside of the counter and the screw is tightened down pulling the sink down and seating it on the top surface of the counter. The J clips I'm more familiar with work on the same principle.

side view
The clip part on the right can be angled outward so you can catch the underneath of the counter if there is a gap to make up. There is a barrel of plastic that the screw threads in and out of and it isn't that sturdy. I tightened down two of these and I pulled the plastic piece right out of the clip. The two circular fingers that hold it in place couldn't hold up to the force from the screw tightening down. I had to take the sink out twice to pull clips off and put new ones in. I never had any of these problems with the J sink clips.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is a fugio cent?
answer - the first official one cent coin minted by the United States in 1787


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