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The 2017 Excellence Awards entry period will close on Friday (6/16) at midnight! The grand-prize winner gets a check for US$1,000, the winner in each of the five categories, and the overall Readers’ Choice winner, get a gift certificate to ShopWoodworking.com – plus, the grand-prize piece, and the Editors’ Choice and Readers’ Choice winners in each category will be featured in the November issue. There is absolutely no cost to […]
When I was first learning woodworking, HVLP didn’t exist. That’s something I lament on occasion when I recall taking a deep breath (even with a face mask and decent air collection) before starting to spray a lacquer finish. The overspray cloud was amazing and there really wasn’t a way to avoid it – affecting my breathing and my ability to see what I was finishing! HVLP (high volume low pressure) […]
Repair knots, cracks, bark inclusions and other defects in natural, live edge, wood tops. In this video Steve Johnson, the Down to Earth Woodworker, shows us how he fills knots and stabilizes bark inclusions with two-part epoxy… and he shows us how he messed one up and fixed his own mistake!
The first-ever gathering of the Intergalactic Ripple Molding Association (IRMA) convened at The Barn recently. In the fortnight preceding this I was wondering how to accommodate the many folks who at one time or another said they were coming to this free event. Not to worry. Of the dozen or so who expressed an interest in joining me for the week, three actually did. It turned out to be the optimal attendance, allowing for a perfect number of collaborative participants to brainstorm, design, fabricate, problem solve, debug, and finally produce moldings on both an old machine and a new one (or at least get to the point of “proof of concept” for the new one).
Our first two days were spent deciphering, assembling, tuning, dismantling, repairing, reassembling, and finally producing some moldings on the Winterthur Museum Felebien/Moxon machine built by my long-time friend and colleague Cor van Horne.
This machine was the one described by Roubo, sort of, and was a moving-workpiece-fixed-cutterhead style with a rack-and-pinion setup for bringing the cutter and the workpiece together.
The phrase, “Now exactly how does this work?” was muttered countless times through the day.
By the end of the first day we had it assembled and working, after a fashion.
In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking Bob Van Dyke, owner of the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, is on the hot seat to explain why he calls his 6-week intensive woodworking class “the best he’s ever taught.” Here’s a hint: It has to do with the fact that there is no project.
Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more).
|Myles' first tool|
|my just rehabbed #3|
|I will donate a #4 to the tool chest too|
|this is pretty clean|
|road test was more than satisfactory|
|I thought of this clamping today|
|this much better looking|
|practice miter for another way|
|other piece is off square too but not as bad|
|the angle is good|
|planed the angles square|
|better but it still needs a bit of finessing|
|I like this better|
This is what I am planning on going with. I will cut out a couple of pieces the same size and practice making the left and right side before I do the bookcase frame.
|rethinking the shelves|
What is quinsy?
answer - inflammation of the throat
I recently had a chance to be a foster parent for a few short weeks. An acquaintance of mine, actually an acquaintance of an acquaintance’s neighbor gained custody of a Hans J. Wegner designed CH36 dining chair by Carl Hansen & Son.This person wanted me to pick up the chair and give it shelter until transport to its forever home could be arranged. I was quite willing to help and went over to the agency/auction house and picked it up.
As a precaution, I took little Hans to a local practitioner for a checkup:
Eventually Dr. Underhill came out and did a quick evaluation:
We then took it into the clinic for a more through exam:
Then a tragedy was averted. Will Myers, of Moravian workbench fame, and Ed Lebetkin of the Woodwright’s Tool Store were about to adjust limb length based on a misinterpretation of the ratios in Walkers/Tolpins’ By Hand & Eye.
We had a chance to meet with famed woodcarver Mary May. She had a few ideas of her own.
Next, a trip to respected conservator Martin O’Brien’s shop for a consultation.
Brandy Clements of Silver River Center for Chair Caning lead us in a discussion of style and color:
No day of visitations would be complete without visit to noted Windsor chair maker, Elia Bizzarri.
He tried to help. I had to stop him.
The last stop was at the home of my immigrant neighbors to meet some of his younger countrymen.
It had been a long day when I finally showed him to his room.
Tomorrow, I take him on a tour of the furniture centers of North Carolina to help him understand his cultural heritage:
And a trip to MESDA (Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts) to help explain regional differences.
A couple of weeks ago Daniel the Stone Magician completed the fitted dry-stack wall leading to the root cellar and defining my usual parking space. Watching him shape and fit 500-plus pound rocks with the patience and skill of a surgeon was an awe inspiring moment.
I am not sure if 15 tons of rock can be considered “lovely,” but if so this would certainly qualify. It is a new focal point for the homestead, and when I get the arched bridge done across the two creeks that convene there it will be pretty spectacular.
Mrs. Barn has her eyes set on the soon-to-be-finished plateau above the wall for dwarf pear trees and wild flowers. Meanwhile I have to level the ground in front of the wall with a pick-axe and shovel.
As I work on the upcoming article “Young Maker’s Bookshelves” (for the October 2017 issue), I’m reminded of one of my favorite-ever posts (from 2009): “Ridiculous Woodworking Books, ” by Christopher Schwarz – mostly for the hilarious responses. But that was 8 years ago – it’s time for some new ones. Here’s a few from me (which are at best merely amusing): “The Ultimate Guide to Craft Fair Crap” (an […]
|a day later|
|this feels dry to the touch|
|#2 plane looks good|
|not what I want|
|sawing is quiet work|
|the plan for the frame|
|change one on the frame|
|out of sequence pic|
|first attempt upcoming|
|made some practice pieces|
|I'll get to try my miter trimming gauge|
|rough sawn miter on the wider piece|
|I feel like I have no thumbs|
|started trimming the flat and stopped|
|this should be first|
|way out of square|
|lots of gaps|
|cleaned up the flats with a chisel|
|miter on the thin piece|
|the thick piece miter is almost perfect|
|a one inch chisel is too small|
What is the longest lived organism on the earth?
answer - the bristlecone pine tree of the American southwest, one of them is 5,067 years old
Talking later I told my wife it was no problem, I had made a simple pine dovetailed box with an inlaid walnut racing stripe and ended giving it to another God-Daughter several years ago. I could just spend a day in the shop and repeat the exercise. Looking through the modest wood stash I keep, I couldn't find a nice enough pine board.
I did find a reasonable board of red oak. So I made my measurements, cut the board into smaller pieces and started cutting the dovetails on those pieces. I know lots of people make a big deal out of dovetails and there are plenty of people like me who take them as just another joint to cut. Personally I find accurate mortise and tenons by hand to be more challenging. But sometimes even the simple things are a struggle.
Three out of four corners fit together like the should. Nice tight joints. The fourth . . . .I'm still not sure where I went wrong. A combination of slipping while marking out and flipping the board inside out. I was sure I checked my triangle but whatever. Off by nearly a quarter inch for the center two tails, there's no saving that respectively. Not for something that's a gift. Not for something special.
Back to the stack and I found a small 1x6 by six foot long board of box store African Mahogany I'd picked up for who knows why. It was a bit buried and I hadn't seen it the first time. I did zero documentation of the build, but it's pretty straight forward. I dovetailed four sides. attached a bottom, then rip sawed the box in two parts.
I edge glued a lid with a half inch of overhang all around and used a complex moulding plane to shoot a profile around the edge. I attached it to the top half of the box with pocket screws.
I used a second complex moulding plane to shoot some mouldings I then mitered around the base. Inset and pre installed the hinges which I then removed and finished the box in two halves.
I used a half dozen coats of garnet shellac followed with a dark colored paste wax for the outside. The interior got a good schmear of The Anarchist's Daughter brand Soft Wax. The hinges got reinstalled, and I added a chain and a small jewelry box hasp and padlock to the front.
I wasn't able to go to the graduation party and see her receive the gift, but Mrs. Wolf told me there were tears and joy. I guess we hit the mark with something special.
Ratione et Passionis
In the August 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, George Walker shares what it means to “See Like a Designer.” The article tells the classic story of how his workshop students transition from casual consumers of objects and art to sentient observers of form and design. It is a transition that I am familiar with – my upbringing in a machine shop that created custom automation equipment meant that very […]
As I was working on a tea caddy for a 360 Woodworking hands-on class, which happened a couple of weeks back, I was amazed at how small changes make big differences. The corner inlay I made from shop scraps – alternating light and dark pieces that align at a 45° angle – changed significantly as the caddy progressed.
Looking at the box from the top had the inlay tilted at an angle. That was good.
Over the course of the past 36 years, Thomas Lie-Nielsen has become America’s preeminent toolmaker. His woodworking tools are highly sought-after today not only for their proven performance, but also for the superb standard of excellence incorporated in their manufacture, a quality that has been recognized by discriminating craftsmen worldwide. Highland Woodworking has taken delight in providing Lie-Nielsen Tools to our customers for almost three decades.
One does not have to be a professional craftsman to appreciate the beauty and functionality of these fine tools. Indeed, exposure to this level of quality has been an effective source of inspiration for many amateur woodworkers as they equip their workshops and refine their joinery skills.
In honor of Lie-Nielsen’s upcoming Open House celebration in Warren, Maine next month, we are sharing here our interview with Tom that first appeared in Wood News a number of years ago.
The post An Interview Heirloom Tool Maker Thomas Lie-Nielsen appeared first on Woodworking Blog.
Congratulations to Mark Bushinski of Minneapolis, Minnesota! Mark was chosen as the winner of the Popular Woodworking Magazine 2017 Workshop Makeover Giveaway. Mark won a new workshop stocked with more than $9,200 of tools from Jet, Bessey and Woodpeckers. Mark, where do you live and what is your occupation? I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with my wife and two children. I am 35 years old and work for the state […]
The post Congrats to Mark Bushinski, PWM 2017 Workshop Makeover Winner! appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
|I finished this sunday night|
After I got the four edges planed I glued on the two long strips. I thought that would be it for tonight and come monday I would glue on the top and bottom ones. Instead 2 hours later (Myles was asleep for the night) I went back to the shop and glued on the top and bottom pieces. I did that right before I hit the bunky to do my eyelid light leak test.
Tonight when I got to the shop the plan was to paint the final coat of white on the interior of the bookcase and prime the back raw spots. Part of this didn't happen as planned.
|used cauls on the bottom|
|no painting here tonight|
I looked at the #2 plane but I didn't paint it again. The instructions say to wait 24 hours between coats and longer if there is high humidity. I will give it one more day and I'll put on the third coat tomorrow.
Chopping plywood is a treat. When I marked the depth I tried to lay out the depth so it was at the top of a veneer. I like to lock the pins in place this way to keep the shelf from moving. With sharp chisels it wasn't that difficult. The only sticking part was chopping through the cross plies cleanly.
|one down and one to go|
|flushing the sheetrock mud|
|put another coat of primer on the shelves, top, bottom and sides|
|primer coat on the raw|
What is an olm?
answer - a cave dwelling aquatic salamander found only in Europe
The summer is actually winding down schedule-wise, and here’s what’s left of my calendar for The Barn.
August 11-13 Historic Finishing – My own long-time favorite, we will spend three days reflecting on, and enacting, my “Six Rules For Perfect Finishing” in the historic tradition of spirit and wax coatings. Each participant should bring a small finishing project with them, and will accompany that project with creating numerous sample boards to keep in your personal collections. Tuition $375.
This class has one opening remaining.
September 4-8 Build An Heirloom Workbench – I’m repeating the popular and successful week-long event from last year, wherein the participants will fashion a Roubo-style workbench from laminated southern yellow pine. Every participant will leave at the end with a completed bench, ready to be put to work as soon as you get home and find three friends to help you move it into the shop. Tuition and Materials $825 total.
This workshop has two openings remaining.
If any of these interest you drop me a line here.