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Several months ago, I started making a shelving unit out of southern yellow pine that my wife asked me to make for her booth. I got this far and it sat in my shop unfinished for months. After much contemplation, my wife and I both realized that the shelving unit was really too big to fit in our Ford Edge.
The best thing we could do, is take it apart and resize the thing smaller so we wouldn’t have to rent a trailer to transport it. Luckily, I put the shelf together almost entirely with pocket screws. The part that was glued, I cut apart on the band saw.
After, I cut the shelves shorter, I used my router and cut floating tenons on all the pieces instead of using pocket holes screws like I did before.
A few hours later, I had the new resized shelving unit put back together. The height stayed the same at five feet, but the length was cut down from five feet to forty inches so that it would fit in our car.
My wife always wanted the unit to roll so I added four old casters to the bottom. We actually bought the casters many months before we decided to make the shelving unit just in case someday we needed them.
With 1/2″ plywood installed for the shelves, the unit was built, but unfinished.
Anita wanted the unit to look somewhat old, so I smacked the wood around with a hammer and crowbar to give it an aged look.
I bought a few piece of thin gauge metal, drilled some holes in it, bent it over in my vise, painted them black, and screwed them to the corners of the shelving unit to give it a more industrial look. The brackets and the dark stain really makes the unit pop. Now it was ready to throw in the Edge and bring it to our booth. Saved us $50 not having to rent a trailer and we both feel it looks nicer then it did before.
If you’ve been reading my blog recently, you are sure to have noticed that I’ve been working at my lathe – it’s a Minimax T-124 Copy lathe – quite a bit. My inherited version of this lathe does not have an indexing head. I don’t know if other versions of this lathe have an indexing ability or not. While no index abilities generally are not a problem, there are times when it’s a huge disadvantage.
This week, Nancy Hiller demonstrated her simple strategy for installing Blum Tandem slides – one for setting the depth and one for setting the height of the slide in the cabinet box. Her process was developed over years of using jigs that went out of date with slide design revisions. It’s simple and effective! We set inventory-clearing prices on a few great titles – I have personally enjoyed using Hand Tool Fundamentals […]
I had some big plans for the doings in the shop today. I started a new project and I had anticipated getting it done today. That didn't happen but I did come close with it. I got interested in a You Tube documentary on the ancient Egyptians. Of all the ancient peoples, the Egyptians have always fascinated me. If I had gone on to graduate school I think I would have gotten a PhD in Egyptian studies.
I watched two You Tubers on them today. The first one was not quite 2 hours long and the other one (still watching it) is over 3 1/2 hours long. I would watch a little bit, go to the shop, come back and watch a bit more, and go back to the shop. That is how my saturday went until I quit it a little after 1600.
|left side pin set proud and dry|
|right side pin got the same treatment|
|it opens and stays there|
|trying to dome the brass rod|
|had to file the tubing on the hinge arms - the fit was a bit tight|
|this worked better|
|slight conical look|
|sometimes you have to settle|
|the worse rust I have to deal with|
|the #80 and the 5 1/2 need attention too|
|the #80 iron needs to have hook done on it.|
|easier than doing it this way or low down in the vise|
|Stanley #80 sharpening instructions|
|the new project|
|squared the ends and shot them to length|
|dry fit looks good|
|final brace I ordered came in today's mail|
|thinking about getting a 12" brace too|
|cleaned and smoothed the interior|
|or a half lapped criss cross|
|tomorrow's line up|
The second batter is a box for my new Lee Valley plow plane. It's been sitting on the dump table unseen and out of mind. I want to get this in a box and stowed properly.
|new spot for the shellac brushes?|
|steel wool action|
|shellac on the door|
|painted the edge of the shelf|
|painted the drawer fronts|
Tomorrow I will take my time as the only thing I want to get done is the box for the plow plane.
Where is the the tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier located?
answer - Rome, New York
I had been struggling for a week with what might turn out to be one of my more interesting blogs. Then I read a new blog from an unusually perceptive blogger that, while not changing the premise of my post, is causing me to rethink the presentation.
I’m going to move on and revisit it when I get a clue,
In the interim, I thought I would share some recent pictures of variations on familiar topics. First, sidelock chests.
I met this handsome Eastlake version at an under-tent antiques fair in Abingdon, VA:
This is another small sidelock with a different execution:
Here the locking wings are restrained by the bottom drawer and not individual locks:
It’s been a while since I featured a gout rocker. I now present two.
First is this conventional one that can hold two undesirable things:
Then there is this fairly modern yet ugly version has no redeeming features:
Lastly, the torrent of Hitchcock chairs continues:
And even two authentic ones:
Chad Stanton built an awesome Hall Table with simple tools and wood purchased from the home center in his latest episode of I Can Do That! This video will walk you through, step-by-step, the entire build. Chad uses a very modest tool set – this project is within everyone’s grasp! If you’re not familiar with our I Can Do That series, check out Christopher Schwarz’s post on how we got started with […]
The post VIDEO: How to Build a Hall Table with Simple Tools – I Can Do That! appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
|last hinge option came in|
|it would have been a coin toss|
|these #6 screws are too short|
|bought some metal cutting countersinks|
|got a small and large 82° countersink for wood too|
|these are toast|
|chewed up the big one and it's toast|
|the small one|
|this worked and didn't work|
|got the box ones done|
|cutting this one isn't going to be easy|
|worked better this way|
|much better looking end on this one|
|cleaning the burr|
|trying another way to cut the tubing and rod|
|the best looking end cut so far|
|two half inch pieces|
|sawed off the captive pieces|
|epoxying the tubing is batting next and I'm not using the 5 minute stuff|
|tubing epoxied in place|
|both rods are square to the box.|
|the final steps tomorrow|
What is the relationship of the man and woman in Grant Wood's painting "American Gothic"?
answer - according to the painter it is father and daughter, not man and wife
What do you do when you need something for your shop? Do you spring for the new tool or machine you need without worrying about the cost? Probably not – few can afford outfit their shop with such wild abandon. But you’re a woodworker! Surely you can build some of the stuff you need, right? That’s the attitude James Hamilton, creator of the popular Stumpy Nubs website, has about outfitting the […]
Last week I got a note from “Mister Stewart” that the original tool shelf from the back of the H.O. Studley workbench had been found, shipped to him, and installed on the bench.
Piece by tiny piece the puzzle is filling in.
|the top screw is on the outside edge of the insert|
|swapped out the hooks|
|the 1/8" brass rod will be inserted into the brass tubing|
|slips over it very easily|
|for the lid|
|hinge holes laid out|
|for drilling square holes|
|filed a vee groove in the tubing and snapped off my pieces|
|rounded over the back of the lid.|
|chamfered this edge|
|chamfer is now twice as large|
|couple of more coats on the bottom and it'll be done|
This had it's debut this month in 1930. What was it?
answer - the first animated cartoon with audio
So what cave have I been living in that I never heard of Beth Hart (and Joe Bonarossa) until this week?
My pantheon of Jennifer Warnes, Eva Cassidy, and Deborah Holland may be getting a new member
When I joined the Popular Woodworking team I had 14 years of editing and publishing experience. My woodworking experience was a bit more lacking – let’s say… level zero. But, I was eager to learn and Megan knew it. She asked me what I wanted to build first. I think the first thing I told her was a grandfather clock. Only not just any grandfather clock – my clock was […]
With the long-term desk and workbench projects finished, I took a few hours to do what I normally do after finishing big projects; clean the shop a bunch, and bring more assets on-line. One of the prominent additions was my mondo water wheel for grinding and sharpening.
Since moving one of the tools whose inactivity I noticed the most was my 16″ water wheel, given to me by a farrier friend who had no use for it. It had been set up in my basement shop of the old house but I just never took the time to do any more than get it moved and in place in the barn. I was always so busy that I never set aside time to get it working again.
Part of this procrastination was that I had mis-placed the gearing sheaves to bring the wheel speed down to my preferred 100 rpm with the wheel turning away from me. As you can see from the picture, I did find that rig and dug out the motor so now it is up and running perfectly.
In the picture you can also see the rod with the diamond dressing stone for surfacing the wheel when necessary (attached to a jig, laying under the machine).
One pretty remarkable feature of the wheel is that the axle is linked to an arm-and-cam assembly that moves the wheel about 1″ from side to side when in use. Sometimes I have this hooked up, sometimes not. I just depends on the task at hand.
Obviously I did survive without this machine for three years, but I must say that since getting it back up and running I seem to use it at least once a day. Since I mostly camber my plane irons by hand on a 220 diamond stone I thought I could do without it, but I might have been wrong. I still camber my irons by hand, but there seem to be a multitude of tasks requiring a slow turning giant water wheel that hogs off material in a hurry.
In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, Bradley McCalister shares his views on woodturning, including a bit of his history and the path he traveled to become a woodturner, his opinion on why working on a lathe has grown in the past decade and what trends are showing up in the craft at this time. Then we turn the discussion to how to get started woodturning – his answer may not be what you expected.
|2 came in today|
|2 1/2" hook and eye|
|what I was worrying about|
|found some #6 oval head brass screws that fit|
|tried the replacement screwdriver|
|A Paul Sellers cabinet|
|it works well|
|started with the small drawer|
|chiseling off the dried glue|
|planed the slips flush|
|repeat the same steps for the large drawer|
|the fit of drawers didn't change|
|had enough plywood for the bottoms|
|large drawer is square (small drawer too)|
|I have a slight gap at the front|
|bottom is solid|
|where are the brushes|
|bigger gaps on the small drawer bottom|
|this will be my glove drawer|
|sawed out both finger holes|
|go cart at the top and a Rolls at the bottom|
Who were the opening and closing acts at Woodstock in 1969?
answer - Ritchie Havens opened and Jimi Hendrix closed
Today, birds and birds. This first one in American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) – is going to get painted on the outside, then carved through the paint.
This tiny one, split out with the guidance of Dave Fisher, is birch – I forget which one. No paint, just carved today. Some spoons getting finished up in preparation for this weekend’s Lie-Nielsen workshop – full this time. More spoon carving classes to be announced through Plymouth CRAFT soon.
Then, some photos plucked off the card. Down river:
Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus ) I assume juvenile male turning to adult. The female doesn’t usually show the red, I believe.
yellow warbler. (Setophaga petechia) they are quieter now than in the spring, so I just happened to notice this one skulking around.
Let’s start with a confession. I did stuff around with some of the photos in this post. It is the first time that any of JNSQ’s photos have been altered, as far as I can remember anyway.
The previous posts in this series can be found here.
In this edition we will take a look at some of the joinery and the first phase of preparation of the top for finishing.
The first bit of joinery I attempted was to fit a small block to the top of each leg construction. It will be the point that fix the centre of the leg to the centre of the top. All the other connection points will allow for wood movement, but these two will not. This means that the top will be able to move freely with changes in humidity, but the centre will remain fix to the centre of the legs. I think this is called a T-bridle joint. One feature of my Langdon mitre box and saw that came in handy here was it’s ability to set the depth of cut. Obviously you can simply do this by hand, which would also be much quicker. Where the mitre box might have an advantage is when you need to do heaps of these joints with the same dimensions. In this case it was an opportunity to work out how to set the mitre box for a job like this. That way it will be easier next time.
A router plane works well for the cheeks of the bridal section. It was a bit of a challenge to hold such a small piece while cutting the cheeks to depth. The solution was two dogs and a Veritas gadget. That could be a good name for a progressive rock band or a retrogressive gin mill (Two dogs and a Veritas gadget), come to think of it.
Next up were the slots in the top of the legs.
The two aprons are also jointed to the legs by means of T-bridal joints. Here I am marking the exact location of the shoulders using the leg.
That was followed by the same sequence involving the mitre box, router plane and careful chisel work to perfect the shoulders.
So then on a crisp and bright winter’s Friday morning I started to flatten the bottom side of the top. Seeing that it is the first table top of this size in Kershout that I am doing by hand I thought that the bottom side would provide an ideal opportunity to work out which method works best. The major challenges posed by this top are the schizophrenogenic nature of grain and the extreme hardness of the wood. As every self-respecting JNSQ Woodworking reader should know by now, we deal almost exclusively with feral boards from the ancient Knysna forest. Each of the trees that the boards for this top were sawn from would have been over 500 years old.
If you deal with wood like that it is my opinion that one has a real responsibility to do the best possible job of allowing the story of the tree to be told. In my estimation that means a delicate balance between careful surface preparation and leaving certain imperfections that relates to the history of the piece of wood. George Nakashima’s immortal oeuvre of work (which inspired this design) lends itself perfectly to getting the most out of feral hardwood such as what I chose for this top. How much and which imperfections are left to tell the story is of course in the eye of the beholder.
Anyway, I started experimenting with various different tools to see what might work best in flattening such a challenging top. The techniques I tried included a belt sander, a low angle jack plane with a toothed blade, a standard no.3 smoothing plane (45° frog) with a back bevel of 25° creating an effective pitch of 70° and a shop made fore plane with a blade pitched at 50° (aka York pitch).
The belt sander has always been one of my least favourite tools. It makes noise, it is all over the place and seems to be the best possible tool to turn a flat surface into the famous Valley of a Thousand Hills. What I found was that it is less harmful in such hard wood, but still not an option if you are aiming for a superior surface. The low angle Jack plane (12° bedding angle + 38° micro bevel for an effective pitch of 50° and a tight throat) worked diagonally to the grain clearly had the measure of the wonky grain, but would have taken too long for what would suffice for the bottom side of the top. I did not aim for a perfectly flat bottom side.
Next up was the back-bevelled smoothing plane. It worked even better (in terms of finish) than the low angle plane, but was difficult to push due to the high effective pitch and therefore even slower at removing material. It is also important to mention that this strategie seize to be effective in difficult grain when you try to take a fat shaving.
So I rolled the dice and tried the shop made fore plane (50° effective pitch) diagonal across the grain. It wreaked havoc in a semi controlled sort of way. This particular blade has a fairly substantial camber and it took no prisoners in the process of removing the necessary material in a timely fashion. In the pictures below you can see the characteristic scalloped appearance of a surface smarting from such treatment.
This is one of my attempts at manipulating the photos to highlight the pattern left by the plane.
The wooden plane in the picture below enforced the above damage. Of note in the picture is the bottles of water I consumed during this arduous labour of bellicosity.
Here we have an example of a part of the history of the tree that is often neglected to be told. Yes I know some of you will think I have lost the plot. Probably something along the lines of: “The #%$@&* hippy has been smoking too much pot.” The reality for me is however that the wood I in my collection have all sorts of imperfections and it would be impossible to create anything of reasonable size without these imperfections exposing themselves. I have therefore made peace with having to incorporate imperfections and try to design in such a way that the eccentricity of the stock enhance the aesthetics of the piece I am building.
Here are a few more tweaked pics with an array of tools that were used to tidy up the bottom side of the top.
Then finally it became time to employ some of the lessons learnt on the bottom side to the face side of the top. It took me three full days of planing at 45° to the grain with a toothed blade in a low angle jack plane to get the top as flat as I wanted it. The two pictures below were taken after the first day.
The dogs on my assembly table came in quite handy during this brutal process.
The toothed blade created these beautiful patterns in the areas that were approaching flatness.
This was the end of day two.
Once the entire (well almost) face side were in the same plane I removed the bulk of the rhombi left by the toothed blade using a no. 112 scraping plane. It was the first time I used this particular tool for a huge job like this. I prepared the blade the way that is recommended by my woodworking icon David Charlesworth. In my case a 45° main bevel, 50° polished micro bevel with a 75° burr set up in the plane with the blade leaning forward at 20°. The plane is an absolute joy to use when set up like this. You have to make sure you take very thin shavings of course. Some sanding with my shop made sanding planes took care of the rest of the rhombi.
While grappling with the rhombi I took short breaks to tidy up the cracks in the top. They all had lots of loose splinters of wood and other ancient bits of debris inhabiting their depths. This task was mainly accomplished by using a very old pocket knife that used to belong to my grandparents.
At this stage I shaped the curved ends of the top. As you can see I marked out two lines using my fingers as a fence. These lines guided the removal of waste to create a very gentle yet quite wide bevel. Once the bevel were established, the end grain area were rounded off ever so slightly using the same technique. My no. 9½ Stanley block plane did most of the donkey work and was then followed by a low angle smaller block plane, which was in turn followed by gentle sanding.
When I got a bit tired of the top I continued to chip away at the last bits of joinery.
Once the two aprons were fitted to the legs with very precise bridal joints, I started working on the massive beam that connects the legs at floor level. The Witpeer beam was laminated and squared up more than a year ago. It gave the wood a very generous time frame within which it could settle all possible disputes the fibres might care to raise (so to speak). It turns out that a very dense laminated beam like this stayed pretty much dead straight in all it’s dimensions, but managed to go out of square by what appeared to be a full mm. That was fixed by hand planing a face side and face edge perfectly square with each other and using those reference surfaces to square up the others with my electric planer.
I transferred the inside measurements of the joinery from the aprons to the beam.
Using the above reference point I took the beam to the Windsor leg to mark out the exact location of the other side of the fairly complex stopped bridal joint (my own name not necessarily correct terminology) which will marry these two structures.
This is how far I got with this joint at present.
It was now time to break in my precious polissior that one of my favourite woodworking personalities and über craftsmen Don Williams (of The Barn on Whiterun fame) sent me earlier this year. That entailed rubbing the heads of the grass/straw on a rough piece of scrap wood and tidying up the appearance on a spindle sander.
I can thoroughly recommend reading Don’s article on this epic tool from the past.
I used the Polissior to burnish the top after perfecting the finish with gradually increasing grid sander paper on a orbital sander. I went all the way to 600 grid and did two rounds of wiping the surface with a damp cloth to raise the grain before sanding it back down with the 600 grid. You can see the effect of the burnishing in the pictures below.
Aoife helped me to apply a tung oil/turpentine mixture. We kept the surface quite wet for 30 minutes by reapplying the mixture where the wood absorbed it and then wiped it down with a clean and dry cloth.
As you can see it was one of those unbelievably satisfying moments in woodworking where the wood rewards you for months of painstaking elbow grease. Kershout is simply one of the most beautiful species of wood on the planet. I want to reiterate that there were no pigment added what so ever. This is what it looks like after tung oil mixed with turps were applied!!
The top will now rest for two weeks before we will apply beeswax with the polissior. Stay tuned my brethren!!
A few weeks back I began a rather involved project that has legs that have stop-flutes. After posting about my shop-made scratch stocks, I hoped to do a majority of the work using a router with a fluting router bit only to clean and straighten up the flute portion with the scratch stock. The bead area had to be fully scratch-produced.
As you can imagine working with a router bit and a couple of scratch stocks, the surface of my stop-flutes needed to tweaked to be smooth.
Deep Discounts on 3 Print Titles – Building Arts and Crafts Furniture, Make a Windsor Chair and Hand Tool Fundamentals
We’re clearing off a shelf in the warehouse for new titles, and as a result, have three good books (the print versions only) available right now at a deep discount. The first is “Building Classic Arts & Crafts Furniture: Shop Drawings for 33 Traditional Charles Limbert Projects,” by Michael Crow. Right now (and only at shopwoodworking.com), it’s $7 (75 percent off the cover price). I think we mis-titled this one; it […]