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I recently spent a day turning small-ish spindles for a project now on the home stretch. The overall length of the spindles was roughly 12″ with a maximum diameter of ~3/4″ and a minimum of ~1/2″. This was one of those times I really appreciated the four-jaw chuck I bought many moons ago as I could easily switch from square stock to round stock in a matter of moments.
Given the delicacy of the spindles, and despite the fact that I was using some excellent old-stock true mahogany, I could not hog off the material and needed to be fairly conscientious about the detailing which included several beads that were just a smidge shy of 1/8″. I had previously tried many turning chisel combinations for the effect without easy success, and even ordered a so-called 1/8″ beader made by Sorby. Though a fine tool, apparently one of us does not know how to measure 1/8″ so I just hung it back up on the rack hoping to someday have a project where I need to turn some fat 5/32″ beads.
For a brief moment I thought about re-making the tool into something more useful for this project, but instead I cast my eyes on the worthless parting tool (is that redundant?) in the rack. I do not find the spear-point parting tools to be at all useful, and certainly not this dog, so I instead I decided to turn it into the beader that I needed. So I did, with my Dremel and slipstones and a half hour. It now works exquisitely. I tried it out on a practice piece and was very pleased. You can see how Ihad aready turned some of the beads into chum by other methods.
For other detail work on these spindles I took a few surplus plow plane irons and ground and honed them into shapes that fitted my needs perfectly (including a parting tool that is worth the title). I have some additional plans for more unused plow plane irons and will document that at the time.
One final old favorite that became a treasure was the pile of tongue depressor sanding sticks I made some time ago. These are great for providing delicate shaping (using the 60-grit side) and a fine surface with the 180 grit side, keeping my fingers out of harm’s way the entire time.
This morning a colleague told me that Graham McCulloch, author of the ShortCuts blog is retiring from the online column after 22 years. Graham has been a voice in the woodworking community for more than 70 years. He has contributed articles to numerous publications including Canadian Woodworking magazine and Family Handyman magazine and has authored numerous woodworking books, including a couple of titles for Popular Woodworking: “The Woodworker’s Illustrated Encyclopedia” and “601 Woodshop Tips […]
Given the presence of this print in Chris Schwarz’ book Campaign Furniture this might be one of the more attention-getting offerings from my inventory during the upcoming Handworks 2017 IN LESS THAN A MONTH! we have Print 249 from the First Edition of L’art du Menuisier, “Plan and Elevations of a Campaign Bed with Its Developments.”
The intricacy of this print speaks for itself. The page is in excellent, near pristine condition. As an added charming feature the plate and the page were not perfectly aligned so the hand-printed image is ever so slightly askew compared to the page margins.
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.
How do I know this? Birds are singing at oh dark thirty when I leave for work. All the other signs aside, I've always taken birds singing before dawn as the true sign of spring. Which brings up the question, just what are the birds singing and chirping about so damn early in the morning? Is this the time that they are looking for a date?
|sink job from hell|
I don't know how plumbers can do this type of work day after day. My hip stopped singing arias a few hours ago and has been steadily screaming at me. This is the last time I will ever lay on my back and twist and contort my fat body to do something like this. Installing those sink clips was adventure I will not soon forget.
The leak test pasted with flying colors. The bowls held the water for over an hour and there were no leaks underneath.
|no leaks here neither|
I'm not sure that I'm onboard with the plastic piping. According to the plumbing who did this, copper is old school and everything is done with plastic now. I remember plastic piping from a long time ago that imparted an unpleasant taste to the water.
|I didn't escape free and clear|
|the 4x4 plywood I bought saturday|
|5 plies ?|
|my only woodworking today|
|I doodled with my beading planes etc|
|last piece to be molded|
What holds the Washington Monument together?
answer - no mortar or cement, just the weight of the stones - goes from 15 feet thick at the base to 7 inches thick at the top
by Megan Fitzpatrick pages 26-31 From the June 2016 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine A slick technique makes the divided-light door a snap. In 2008, I built a contemporary maple chimney cupboard to hold towels in my bathroom. Eight years on, I decided it was time for a matching medicine cabinet – in large part because the house I recently bought has solid masonry walls, so I needed a nice-looking […]
Right at the top I’m going to say that this tool is not cheap. It is, however, a fantastic tool to have in the shop. I used a Milwaukee M18 7-1/4″ circular saw to breakdown sapele boards as I began a fireplace frame-and-panel wall. It is so nice to simply grab the saw and get to it – no extension cords to hassle needed. And I have yet to slow or stall the saw.
It was even better when one of the guys in for a class purchased a load of lumber and needed to shorten the lengths for the long ride home.
Before I left I made a circuit through the hardwood aisle. I had done some figuring and I could make my stand up desk for work out of 3 1x12x3' boards of NZ pine. I like this wood because it is hard and I can write on it without also making indents in the wood. 3 boards of this would have cost me over $60 so I looked at poplar. A 1x12x6' poplar board was going for close to $40. I'll drive to New Hampshire first and buy wood there before I pony up any dollars at Lowes. Not a good start to my day after leaving work.
The good news is I made an extra road trip to the Lowes I normally go to. Asked a kid in the kitchen department where the sink clips where. Without hesitating, he told me exactly where they were (he couldn't have been more than 19-20 years old). I bought 3 bags because I either lost the one that came with the sink or none were in the box. I also got a 4x4 piece of 1/4" birch plywood but it was different. The front was birch, the middle had a couple of plies, but the back was covered with paper
Today I bandsawed the radius on the two corners and cleaned them up with the spokeshave like I had been doing it all my life. I didn't get one continuous shaving from one side to the other but there was no tearing out or chattering. My shavings were smooth and easy coming though. This is the spokeshave iron that I sharpened correctly this time but making sure I raised a burr first.
|found it on the laundry table|
|most of the parts are rough sawn|
|need a cutout for the apron|
|vertical cut is too wide|
|this edge will be scribed to the wall|
|vertical cut was done on the bandsaw and the horizontal one by hand|
|back side of the horizontal saw cut|
|good fitting joint|
|changed lanes on the scribing|
|continued success with the spokeshave|
|roughing in the parts|
|the corbel will hide the butt joint|
|the kitchen clock|
|big hollow on this side|
|I can do beads with this too|
|my beading irons|
|the record bead|
|the rabbet makers|
|the record 3/16" bead|
|the Stanley bead|
|the plane is history|
|3/16" beading plane|
|1/4" side bead plane|
|still haven't done it|
How many stone blocks are in the Washington Monument?
answer - 36,491
Let’s recap what we know about chairs. There are one-legged chairs:
And the conventional four-legged chairs:
Today, we were on the Eastern shore of Virginia tracking down the final resting place of my wife’s dead relatives. By 2:00 PM, we were out of places to look and relative to look for. As it happens, there was a large antiques mall just a few miles up the road. And it was raining. We went.
I wandered around a bit and thought I had found the elusive five-legged chair when I saw this one:
Upon closer examination, I realized it only has four legs but the are incorrectly placed:
These furniture makers have no respect for tradition. Furniture making is no place for original thinking. The furniture gods are surely angry.
One more look:
Of course, it would be hard to rock back. Maybe lean side to side…
Like a lot of guys, I used to collect weapons. Well, “collect” is probably too strong a word, but I’ve had various blades hanging on the wall for a long time. But the time has come to take them down. The sword will stay up–it’s a dress-sword anyway, not a real weapon–but the rest are coming down. It’s not that I wouldn’t defend my family if necessary. (I have four daughters; I am no pacifist.) It’s that my innermost desires are no longer for adventure and conquest, but for stability and peace.
When I was a teenager, I started collecting bayonets and knives. I had carried a pocketknife since I was 10, but I think I bought my first vintage bayonet when I was 14 or 15. Over the next few years, I picked up a few more at antique shops when I could afford them.
Why? Because I was a young man, and I thought knives and bayonets were cool. I still admire the craftsmanship of some of them. (The one pictured here was made in Switzerland and hefts like it.) But most young men just enjoy playing with sharp, pointy objects.
When my wife and I bought our house years ago, I hung the bayonets up on the wall, but then I more or less forgot about them.
In the meantime, I needed to build things. A LOT of things. I had started buying tools and learning how to use them. I had made a bookshelves, a storage box or two, a side table, and more bookshelves. Then came the beds for us and for the kids. I rebuilt the back porch. I built a dining table. I built more bookshelves. I made a lot of wooden spoons.
And every now and then I would glance at those bayonets hanging on the wall. The more I did, the more I thought, “That’s not me anymore.”
Of course I had never used those bayonets. I had taken one or two of the knives on camping trips, but otherwise, they had never been of any use to me. At best, they were slightly odd home decor. At worst, they were fuel for heroic, violent fantasies. Unlike my tools, which I use on a weekly basis, I hadn’t touched the bayonets in years. I was holding onto them for nostalgia’s sake, I suppose, but I wouldn’t have missed them if they had disappeared.
What had happened to me? I grew up.
There is a strong fighting instinct in boys, and it persists into adolescence. I will openly admit that fantasies of fighting and aggression were probably behind my impulse to collect and display weapons. (Thank Heaven I’m a cheapskate, or I might have ended up with dozens of those things.) I see this aggressive impulse in my young son, who loves dressing up in super-hero costumes and racing around the house, “fighting” with any opponent, real or imaginary, that he can find. (He’s learning not to attack his sisters. Or the dog.) I was like that as a kid, too. Most boys are. They love hitting, kicking, stabbing, and shooting stuff. It’s in the blood.
It’s wonderful to be a kid, and I sure did enjoy being a little boy. I made a lot of wooden swords. I enjoyed a lot of my adolescence, too, especially when I found I could buy real weapons. I don’t regret collecting the weapons I did. But once I started taking on responsibility–a job, a spouse, a home, and children–I found my desires changing.
I no longer wanted to fight, but to build.
In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul remarks that when he became a man, he put away childish things. Paul doesn’t mean he suddenly gained a Y-chromosome. He means that he grew up. Being a man is about responsibility motivated by love. And for me, becoming a man entailed putting away away fantasies of violence replacing them with the slow, steady work of building a home, and taking responsibility for the everyday well-being of those who dwell in it.
So in the spirit of putting away childish things, I took the bayonets down off the wall and packed them away. I found some pine boards and built a little crate to store them in.
It’s not a fancy box–just nailed together in an old-fashioned manner. The lid fits on snugly with only friction, thanks to the thin battens on its underside.
I filled the crate with those old weapons and tied some cord around it. Perhaps one day I’ll know what I should do with them, but for now I’m storing the box somewhere safe and out of the way.
I want to be a man of peace.
I want to build things.
That’s who I am now.
Tagged: bayonet, boy, boyhood, build, building, childhood, crate, knife, love, man, manhood, manly, peace, weapon, weapons
With the passing of winter (fingers crossed) and the hydroelectric system de-mothballed, I undertook my annual ritual of tuning up both ends of the penstock, or pipeline that carries the water from the small dam at the top to the turbine at the bottom.
My first big upgrade a few years ago was to swap out the original four large capacity Tractor-trailer deep cycle batteries for four ultra-mega high performance deep cycle batteries for storing the generated electricity. Each of the new batteries has the capacity of the entire previous battery bank, so with this step I increased my power storage 16-fold. BTW each of the new batteries weighs 192 pounds, and these are the largest capacity 12v batteries available in the US.
A couple years ago I swapped out the rock-and-concrete catching dam at the edge of the property for a rock-and-sandbag one three hundred feet closer. I did this to save myself the intense maintenance involved in that last hundred yards of run which provided only another ten feet of drop. It just was not worth the added effort, being more than 25% of the penstock maintenance for a return of about 8% in the power output. Besides, the new site was perhaps the nicest narrowing of the creek with a huge rock on one bank and a great source of stacking rocks for the other.
Once again this year my debris filter needed replacing, something I will just have to plan in doing every other Spring unless I can find some stainless steel 1/4″ hardware cloth.
It only takes me four or five minutes to make a new one, and it swaps out with the older one in about fifteen seconds. I spend way more time walking up to the site and anything else.
On the bottom end of the penstock I also refined some revisions I’d made in previous years. The turbine came with three graduated fixed nozzles when I bought it, 1/4″, 5/16″, and 3/8″, to provide for a nearly infinite variability in the system flow control. This required pipe fittings leading the three high-pressure hoses going to each of the nozzles, and the Y-pipe fittings were a maintenance headache. Previously I’d cut the options down to two nozzles and their fittings, but I realized that the only one I really needed was the largest one and reconfigured the routing again.
Now it’s just a straight shot leading to a single hose and nozzle.
The output of the hydro system is running about 10-12 kwh per day, which is way more than I need for most any day. Even running a planer for three hours or the wax cookers all day is no problem, especially on a sunny day when the solar panels kick in another 8-10 kwh.
My next system projects are to build a heavy-mass turbine housing to dampen the whine of the turbine, which interferes with the gurgling of the stream, and build a new powerhouse for all the electronics inherent in the system..
In the first post in this CNC Skills series on Origin Points, I emphasized how critical reference positions are for digital woodworkers. When you’re working on a drawing in CAD, the origin point is at the intersection of the X, Y and Z axis. All measurements — positive or negative, begin at that point. By the numbers, that’s X=0,Y=0,and Z=0. It’s from that position that the piece you’re cutting is […]
The post CNC Skills: Origin Points — Part Two: Finding and setting the Zero Point appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
|got the corbels done|
|too thick and I don't like the profile|
|this looks much better to me|
|the scale of the new molding is a better fit here|
|I wish this rabbet was larger|
|the plane I used to make the bead|
|my smallest hollow|
|did kind of ok on the far end|
|test run for the plate groove|
|big number 5|
|nail holes won't be a problem|
|groove is way too big|
|from Bob Demers|
|haven't used any of these for quite a long time|
|1/4" veining router bit|
I quit here because I had to go to the bank. I forgot my PIN for my ATM and I got locked out after 3 invalid tries so I need the bank to reset it.
The Panama Canal has 12 locks. The Suez Canal is twice as long and it has how many locks?
answer - none
I was looking through some of our recent books for this week’s book giveaway and realized I had an extra copy of Zach Dillinger’s “With Saw, Plane & Chisel” on my desk. It’s a fascinating look at period-accurate building techniques. If you love classic American furniture and are interested in how things were made back in the day, this book is worth a read. Zach creates museum quality reproductions the old fashioned […]
Last month I was visited by Joshua Farnsworth, Ray Pine, and George Lott, for a wonderful day of fellowship, filming, and yakking about woodworking and rural living.
Joshua shot a bunch of video to be edited and compiled and the first one was posted last night. You can find it here. Clearly I have a face for radio and a voice for writing.
I’m getting ready to go over to Southbridge, Massachusetts for Fine Woodworking Live http://www.finewoodworkinglive.com/ but in the meantime, Lie-Nielsen just posted a preview of my new video on hewing wooden bowls. I copied it here, in case anyone would like to see what this video covers. I still have some available: https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/new-dvds-carved-oak-boxes-hewing-wooden-bowls-spring-2017/ and they have the rest https://www.lie-nielsen.com/nodes/4243/home-education-videos
As I mentioned in the first part of the story, Shay likes to frequent the Jaffa flea markets to look for all kinds of goodies. In fact, many of the tools that he uses come from boxes of miscellaneous items that he has seen there. He buys the tools for little money and later finds the time to rehabilitate them. After fishing the tool from a merchant’s box or picking it from […]
The post A Visit to a Furniture Restoration Shop in Tel Aviv: Part 2 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
|using an off cut|
|the first row is easy to do|
|the throat isn't deep enough for the second row|
|if I drill one hole off in either direction|
|all the resultant holes will be off too|
|what I should get|
|doing the opposite side|
|switched to the plate rail|
|a circle isn't going to work|
|used a french curve to draw the arc|
|the wife wants this edge to be rounded over|
|the clock shelf|
I can make this in 5 pieces. A R and L plate rail with the clock shelf in the middle. A two piece apron that I can butt together by placing it centered under the clock shelf. A corbel placed over it will hide that joint. This is starting to look to be doable.
What is a portmanteau?
answer - a large suitcase usually made of leather and opening into two equal parts
I was looking through the family picture album and came across this one:
We were there on vacation. We passed this café and stopped to look at the furniture. We could tell the chairs were Thonet. Turning them over we saw they were branded Thonet and Made In Poland.
We couldn’t tell about the table. My Mother did the only reasonable thing and checked the table for markings. I could easily walk under the table but I couldn’t read so my use was limited.
Ever the lady, she even managed to keep her legs crossed at the ankles.
And, yes, she was wearing pearls.
(With apologies to Gianni Berengo Gardin and others)