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General Woodworking

Big Ole Wood Shelf

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 4:17pm

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.


Tip For Lathe Work & Elsewhere

360 WoodWorking - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 6:50am
Tip For Lathe Work & Elsewhere

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.

Continue reading Tip For Lathe Work & Elsewhere at 360 WoodWorking.

Week in Review – August 13-20

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 4:39am

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 […]

The post Week in Review – August 13-20 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

binder box is done........

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 2:05am
Like blogging about the finishing cabinet being done and not done, I'm doing the same with the binder box. It is complete with the exception of getting a few more coats of finish on it. I learned a few things with this box and when I make some more I'll do better. I will definitely be making more boxes this way.

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
Now it's time to see if the lid will open and stay open. I kind of know already that it should. I came to back to shop last night at 2000 and tried it. I didn't open the lid all the way, just enough to see it would clear the back of the box. I didn't go all the way because I didn't want to put on undue stress on the tubing before the epoxy on them set up.

it opens and stays there
The lid doesn't go past 90° but it is staying open where it is at. It didn't bind, squeak, protest, or scream ouch when opened neither.

side view
It is a bit tight at the back of the lid where it hits the back of the box. There is a wedging action going on there that is keeping the lid opened. This is something I want to improve on for box #2.

changed washers
I wanted to go with the shiny metal one because it is thicker than the brass ones. The radius I planed on the back of the box matches the shiny metal one perfectly. But the washer could stick up possibly a frog hair or two above the box when installed. Not a good thing and something else to stow in the brain bucket for the second one. BTW it was a PITA and a test of will power getting the brass washers on. The damn things kept falling out so I held them where they should be with a dab of epoxy. I had to hurry on this because I used the five minute stuff.

trying to dome the brass rod
I cut both of the brass pins about an 1/8" short so I could install them slightly proud without bottoming out. But without a nice domed end that I couldn't do. I ran the drill with the pin in it on the 100 grit sandpaper and got nothing. I barely raised a scratch pattern doing this.

had to file the tubing on the hinge arms - the fit was a bit tight
this worked better
I should have done this first and then cut the pins to length. I didn't get the domed look I was shooting for. Firstly, this takes a bit of practice and finesse to do. I don't have any practice doing this and the pin was definitely too short for that too. I didn't want to make new pins so I settled for a different look.

slight conical look
Not as good as a dome look but it is better than something that is flat.

sometimes you have to settle
Doming is the last point to learn on to do before box #2 hits the streets.

the worse rust I have to deal with
This was from me sweating on it. Other than that, I don't have a problem with rust.  I just finished sweeping the floor and cleaning up the tools that I got the pine pitch on was the next batter. I started with the #3 here.

the #80 and the 5 1/2 need attention too
I scraped off the big stuff on these tools with a razor blade. I scrubbed them all with a blue scrubbie kitchen pad soaked in mineral spirits.

the #80 iron needs to have hook done on it.
This is a nice jig for holding the iron while I draw file the bevel at a 45.

easier than doing it this way or low down in the vise
Stanley #80 sharpening instructions
I got these from Bob Demers and they save my bacon everytime because for whatever reason, I can't remember the sequence of steps.  I sharpened both ends and rolled a burr. This is ready to make some fluffy stuff now.

the new project
I've been using this cardboard box to put stock on it to check it for twist. It is light and easy to put on and off the bench but it is cardboard and it is starting to fall apart. I have had making a wooden one on the to do list for a few months now and today it's giving birth.

the stock
I am making this 'box' 2" higher than the cardboard box is. I planed one edge flat and straight and ripped a parallel edge on the tablesaw. I looked at the faces and that is it. No planing to thickness and I didn't check it for twist neither.

squared the ends and shot them to length
pins done
This is about 4 hours after the tails were laid out. Not sawn and chopped, just laid out. My time line for getting this done today is in the crappper.

dry fit looks good
I had to trim one pin way back. This is the first time in a long time I had to trim one so badly. I lost my orientation with the boards somehow and this side was 180 from where it should have been, ie the top and bottom edges were reversed. I laid the tails out with a pair a dividers so all four ends were the same. That is what saved my butt here. But I don't know how the sides got screwed up and out of order.

final brace I ordered came in today's mail
I bought a 6", a 8" and a 10" sweep brace (not all at once but over a couple of weeks). I already had a 12" sweep brace I bought in the late 1970's.  Finding the braces was the easy part. Finding the drivers and countersinks for them is proving to be a bit more elusive. I'm going to try and go cordless on my drilling. I'll have to find a new home for these because the drawer I had the 12" one in is too small for all of them.

thinking about getting a 12" brace too
The 12" brace has a plastic collar for setting the ratchet where as the other 3 are all metal. This may bother me and I may have to buy one without the plastic collar.

cleaned and smoothed the interior
This is a shop appliance so this probably isn't necessary but I want to get in a habit of doing this. I forget to do this sometimes and some habits are hard to break once they are established.

it's square
I am happy with how the tails and pins closed up and I'll let this setup overnight.

diagonal brace
I want to do something to strengthen this. I don't want to go nutso on it because I want to keep the weight of it down also. Option one is a diagonal brace, one on this side and another on the other side going to the opposite corners. I don't use this flat for checking for twist so I don't need to fill that space in for holding stock.

or a half lapped criss cross
I'm leaning in the diagonal camp but how to put them in? Let them in straight or with a dovetail or just a glued and screwed/nailed butt joint. I'll sleep on it and decide tomorrow.

tomorrow's line up
This #4 has been waiting to be finished rehabbing for a couple of weeks. It is going to my grandson for his tool chest so there isn't a big hurry on it. It is basically 99.99% done and just needs to be put back together and shined 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?
With the shelf arrangement I have now, all 3 of the brushes will fit here. I'm not liking the drawer thing at all now even though the big drawer was made specifically for these 3 brushes.

steel wool action
All the bumps and ridges I scraped out a few days ago are back. The lid feels like I didn't do anything at all to it. It has a good sheen from the shellac so I'll steel wool the whole box and put another coat on it. The lid will done after that but I need to get a few more on the box to match the lid's look.

shellac on the door
 I got one coat of shellac on the door front, back, and edges. Plain paint looks good but dust sticks to it and is very hard to dust it off. A couple of coats of shellac will help with that.

painted the edge of the shelf
The interior of the cabinet is staying natural.

painted the drawer fronts
I was going to do the cabinet stuff tomorrow but I stayed in the shop and knocked it out.

Tomorrow I will take my time as the only thing I want to get done is the box for the plow plane.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Where is the the tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier located?
answer - Rome, New York

More of the Same Only Different.

The Furniture Record - Sat, 08/19/2017 - 10:58pm

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:


Here’s a form you don’t see every day.


The drawer screams 1890’s.


But is just another sidelock chest with more interesting hardware.

This is another small sidelock with a different execution:


A desktop version.

Here the locking wings are restrained by the bottom drawer and not individual locks:


Not the way it’s usually been done.


Different but it works.

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:


A gout afflicted foot or back issues of National Geographic.

Then there is this fairly modern yet ugly version has no redeeming features:


Made from plywood and non-coordinating fabric,

Lastly, the torrent of Hitchcock chairs continues:


Another Ethan Allen Hitchcock.


Says so on the back.


An undecorated chair.


From High Point Bending & Chair Co.


A rocker in a color seldom seen with uncertain ancestory.


Undecorated with parts reordered.


Still not sure who makes it.

And even two authentic ones:


Green with an eagle.


The backwards N’s mean something. I just can’t remember what.


Black with a flower motif.


More backwards N’s. I believe this is the mark of the last release.

VIDEO: How to Build a Hall Table with Simple Tools – I Can Do That!

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sat, 08/19/2017 - 3:18am

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.

Categories: General Woodworking

binder box lid work.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 08/19/2017 - 1:12am
I spent some time thinking about the box and how clever I was when I came across a potential problem. I had drilled a 5/32 hole through the hinge arm and into the box for the tube. This way I wouldn't have to drill another 1/8" hole and possibly do that off center from the tube. The problem I saw was that I had to saw the tube into two pieces. One for the inside of the box and another for the hinge arm. The brass rod will turn on the inside of these and not touch the wood at all. I  would need the tube to be in two pieces in order for this to happen because the tube will be epoxied to the to box and the hinge arm. Even I could see that the tube being one piece that the hinge would not work that way.

last hinge option came in
This is a shutter latch I got from Lee Valley. I had trouble trying to visualize it's size from the write up (I wanted the keeper disc size - not given) but I bought it anyways. I figured if I didn't use it for this I would toss it in the hardware bin for something else.

it would have been a coin toss
If I had gotten all the door latches at the same time I would have been hard pressed to pick between this and the hook and eye. The latching post fits on the edge of the door as well as the eye plate did.

these #6  screws are too short
On my next Lee Valley order I'll add a package of the #8 screws and see if they are a better fit.

bought some metal cutting countersinks
This are for making countersinks in brass and steel (but not aluminum?). I needed to make some countersinks larger in a metal hinge a few weeks back but I didn't have any. Now I got 3 for a #4 screw up to a #8.

got a small and large 82° countersink for wood too
these are toast
Supposedly these countersinks (first two from the left) are for wood and metal. They didn't work too good in wood and they absolutely sucked at countersinking a metal hinge. I think I got these at Lowes and the big one (3rd from the left) is just for wood and isn't much better neither.

chewed up the big one and it's toast
the small one
This has a few chips on the flutes and I might be able file but I'm not. It's crap and it's going in the circular file can. I have to drill a larger hole for the larger countersink because it won't fit in the hole in the holder.

mangled it
What I thought would happen sawing this happened. I used a fine tooth hacksaw blade and it didn't go through this tubing easily at all. First it was hard to apply pressure to keep it against the stop to keep it in place. Secondly, as I pulled the saw back and tried to go forward, the tube danced all over the bench hook. I didn't completely cut through this but snapped it off after making a partial cut.

this worked and didn't work
I used a piece of brass rod to hammer the brass rod through the tubing to un-deform the mangled end. It worked until the brass rod tried to go through the 1/8" hole in the dowel maker. It didn't have the clearance for it. It did go through enough to clear up the mangled end and make it round again.

got the box ones done
I sawed these differently then my first try. With these two I inserted the brass rod in the tubing and then sawed them off. I sawed the tubing off about an 1/8"shorter than the depth of the hole. This way when I epoxy them in place, I can tap it home until it is flush. I won't have to file it flush and scrape the box and have to refinish that too.

cutting this one isn't going to be easy
worked better this way
I still had problems keeping it up against the fence as I sawed it. I used a piece of 1/4" plywood to do that and that worked marginally better then my fingers did. I was able to saw completely through the tubing and the brass rod this way.

much better looking end on this one
This sawing raised a big burr on the outside but the end isn't all mangled up. It is reasonably round and it should be that way once I punch the brass rod through.

cleaning the burr
The 100 grit sandpaper was useless on the knocking the burr off. I had to use a file for all the deburring action.

trying another way to cut the tubing and rod
I need two more pieces of tubing both a 1/2" long. I don't see myself being able to do that on the bench hook. I drilled a 5/32" hole in this scrap of wood to see how the bandsaw would do on this. No problems and the bandsaw went through it without a hiccup. The end was cleaner and had less of a burr than sawing it by hand.

the best looking end cut so far
I used this metod to saw off my two 1/2" pieces. I drilled two holes in another scrap piece and marked a line a 1/2" from the end to bandsaw on.

two half inch pieces
sawed off the captive pieces
I used a piece of brass rod to punch out the two pieces I need. I forgot to snap a pic of the finished pieces of tubing but on good authority, it wasn't as exciting as it sounds.

epoxying the tubing is batting next and I'm not using the 5 minute stuff
epoxy applicators
The nail is almost as big as the hole with some epoxy on it. I used these extra long toothpicks to apply the epoxy at the bottom of the hole.

tubing epoxied in place
I applied epoxy on the bottom of the tubing on the box and some on the top 1/4" too. On the tubing in the hinge arm I applied epoxy only on the inside top before pushing it all the way home.

both rods are square to the box.

the final steps tomorrow
The first step then will be a dry fit to verify the operation of the lid. Once I know that works and I still have clearance for the lid to go pass 90 and stay there, I'll epoxy the rod in the bottom of the tube in the box. If I have to fix the lid in the future I have enough room between the box and hinge arms to saw the rods off.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
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

Book Giveaway: The Homemade Workshop

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 11:43am
Homemade Workshop

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 […]

The post Book Giveaway: The Homemade Workshop appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

An Exciting H.O. Studley Discovery

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 5:28am

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.

Way cool.

Piece by tiny piece the puzzle is filling in.

binder box......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 1:38am
Tonight I worked on finishing up the binder box. It wasn't the scheduled lead off batter but my order from McMaster-Carr was waiting for me when I got home. UPS usually comes closer to 1700 or later. I'll take the early delivery as it means I'm one step closer to have this box done. Tomorrow I should be able to finish it and bring it to work for monday.

 I noticed this last night just before I left the shop. I thought the insert had fallen out due to me installing the hook and eye. I thought it was due to vibration etc but it was a screw job.

the top screw is on the outside edge of the insert
When I installed this yesterday I didn't check to see if the inserts on the interior might be a problem. All I checked was the screw being short enough not to poke through into the interior.

swapped out the hooks
The eye plate for both of these is the same so I just had to swap the hooks. I will fill the first screw holes with putty and paint them.

McMaster-Carr order
Nothing to get excited about just looking at it. I should have taken a pic of the cardboard tube the the 3 foot long 1/8" brass rod came in. The wall on the tube was at least 3/8" thick or thicker. All that for one piece of brass rod. The tubing came in a separate box. I wonder why it wasn't shipped in the cardboard tube with the rod?

brass tube
The tube has a 5/32" OD and the ID is a bit bigger than an 1/8".

the 1/8" brass rod will be inserted into the brass tubing
slips over it very easily
for the lid
I will drill a 5/32" hole through the hinge and into the box. The brass tube will be epoxied into the hole and the 1/8" brass will be inserted into that. The lid will pivot and turn on this pairing and not touch the soft pine at all. I am hoping that this will last a fair amount of time.

hinge holes laid out
I am sure that there is a formula or something for this where you find the radius of the hinge pin on the back, but I just eyeballed it. This is my first time doing this so I'm sure I'll have a bit of tweaking to do on it.

for drilling square holes
got lucky
I can easily push the tubing into the 5/32" hole I drilled. I was not looking forward to hitting it with a hammer to drive it home and deforming one end of it. And then dealing with getting it round again.

one hiccup
The hole above was square and this one was a few degrees off. I drilled the hole again and I was able to get the tubing in the hole square.

filed a vee groove in the tubing and snapped off my pieces

rounded over the back of the lid.
first check
The lid is just shy of 90 and it won't stay open on it's own. I planed and sanded the back edge one more time and checked it again. I got the same result with minimal improvement.

chamfered this edge
I planed what I could get with a small block plane and finished it with a chisel going up to the hinge arms.

The lid is a hair past 90 and staying up and open on it's own. It took 3 trim and fit cycles before I got this.

chamfer is now twice as large
My first chamfer concentrated on the edge but I had to bring up more into the bottom of the lid. I ended up with this shallow chamfer which allows the lid to be upright.

couple of more coats on the bottom and it'll be done
I already had 4 coats on the bottom and a few more and I'll be calling it done. The back round over is only getting two coats so I don't want to build up the shellac too much and cause the lid not to fall back past 90.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
This had it's debut this month in 1930. What was it?
answer - the first animated cartoon with audio

There Might Be a Down Side To Hermitude

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 3:50pm

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

Glutton for Punishment: My First Furniture Build

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 7:00am

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 […]

The post Glutton for Punishment: My First Furniture Build appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Shop Tune-up

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 5:49am

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.


Bradley McCalister’s Views on Woodturning – 360w360 E.245

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 4:10am
Bradley McCalister’s Views on Woodturning – 360w360 E.245

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.

Continue reading Bradley McCalister’s Views on Woodturning – 360w360 E.245 at 360 WoodWorking.

drawers are done.....

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 1:21am
For the purposes of blogging I'm calling the finishing cabinet done.  The drawers are finished and the only thing left to do is paint the fronts of them and the front edge of the two shelves. I may or may not post glamour shots after that. It depends upon whether or not I remember to do it. Tomorrow I can start on something else.

2 came in today
I would have bet a lung I ordered 3 of these, 2 brass and 1 chrome. The packing slip says only these two were what I ordered.

2 1/2" hook and eye
This is the one I'm putting on the cabinet if it fits.

what I was worrying about
The eye plate is oval shaped and at it's widest it about 3 frog hairs more than the thickness of the edge of the door. I can hide that by putting the overhang towards the back of the cabinet.

found some #6 oval head brass screws that fit
tried the replacement screwdriver
It worked this time and I didn't break the tip on it driving the 4 screws.

This can be barely seen from the front of the cabinet so I did end up with a naked door front.

A Paul Sellers cabinet
I made 3 of these corner cabinets based on the Paul Sellers video classes. This one has a door and a wooden latch. The stile and the door make a 45° and I couldn't find a store bought latch to fit this situation. I had to make one out of wood.

it works well
Last night I wrote in the blog that I wouldn't use a hook and a screw eye at all (still won't). I would make a wooden one first and after I wrote that I thought of this. I could have made something like this from the start and saved all the money I spent buying hook and eye latches. I'll put the ones I didn't use in the hardware bins.

started with the small drawer
 The first step was to saw off the wild ends of the drawer slips and then plane them flush.

chiseling off the dried glue
I have chipped too many plane irons planing dried glue. This extra step is worth the time it takes.

planed the slips flush
Another advantage of using slips is that you get a much broader surface for the drawer to ride on.

repeat the same steps for the large drawer
the fit of drawers didn't change
had enough plywood for the bottoms
I got both bottoms out of the piece of plywood on the large drawer. The other piece I put back in the scrap pile.

large drawer is square (small drawer too)

I have a slight gap at the front
The plywood is square at the front (on both drawers) because I checked it before I put it it. I have a gap on both sides at the front and none at the back. The only thing I can think of to be the cause is the slips. I must have planed a taper on them. I didn't plane to a gauge line when I cleaned them up.

bottom is solid
The gaps aren't effecting the fit/feel of the bottom in the rabbets. I was concerned about how I would glue the bottom to them. It isn't a concern anymore. The bottom is held tight at the front and the back and that is also keeping it down tight to the rabbet on the drawer slips.

drawer overhang
Normally I leave the overhang to help with removing the bottom if I have to replace or repair it. I didn't use any glue on the bottom at all. It is held in place with 5 brads at the back.

where are the brushes
I like the flush slips better than the rounded ones I have used before.  I will still use the rounded ones in dressers for clothes and things like that. The rounded ones are also easier to install than the flush ones. I made this drawer specifically for my shellac brushes and I'm having second thoughts about keeping them in here.

bigger gaps on the small drawer bottom
 The back has a small gap and I could make another bottom but I'm sticking with this one. The gap won't interfere with things placed in it. The bottom is tapered with it tight at the back and widening as it gets to the front. This bottom is as secure and tight as the one in the large drawer. I didn't use glue on this one neither and secured it with 3 brads at the back.

this will be my glove drawer
sawed out both finger holes
I keep forgetting that I have a very good, decent coping saw now. It is an absolute joy to use a coping saw this nice. Well worth all the dollars I ponied up for it. I rasped the cutout after sawing it and finished by sanding it with 100 grit sandpaper.

go cart at the top and a Rolls at the bottom
I have used a lot of coping saws over the years and none worked that well. The common problem with them all was tension. They just couldn't set and maintain it. This red saw is unbelievable in it's rigidity. I haven't flexed or bowed a blade yet in it. With the other coping saws, doing that was a constant headache. The only knock I have against this saw is adjusting the angle of the blade. It is super easy doing it on the other ones but it can be a bit of hassle and a PITA with the red one.

finished drawers

 accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who were the opening and closing acts at Woodstock in 1969?
answer - Ritchie Havens opened and Jimi Hendrix closed

After an interlude, it’s back to business as usual

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 1:13pm

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.

Roorkey Chair – Part One

She Works Wood - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 12:49pm
I don’t own a lathe so, when possible I’ve been going up to Pratt Fine Arts and getting lessons from whomever will teach me .. so it’s going very slowly.  I tried speeding up the stretchers by the octagon method … Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

My second commission – part 12

Je ne sai quoi Woodworking - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 11:50am


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!!

More Useful & Inexpensive Shop-made Tools

360 WoodWorking - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 9:36am
More Useful & Inexpensive Shop-made Tools

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.

Continue reading More Useful & Inexpensive Shop-made Tools at 360 WoodWorking.

Deep Discounts on 3 Print Titles – Building Arts and Crafts Furniture, Make a Windsor Chair and Hand Tool Fundamentals

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 6:41am

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 […]

The post Deep Discounts on 3 Print Titles – Building Arts and Crafts Furniture, Make a Windsor Chair and Hand Tool Fundamentals appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking


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