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Any yahoo can have a woodworking blog. Here's mi - LOOK! A SQUIRREL!Brian Evehttps://plus.google.com/116757259664765393592noreply@blogger.comBlogger343125
Updated: 5 hours 2 min ago

The One-Day Storage Cabinet - Part II: Complete

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 2:38am
Mostly complete.

This cabinet was a lot of fun to build. It did wind up going a tiny bit over my budgeted time allowance of one day, but that was expected. Wasn't it?

Monday I started early and was excited to get this quick and dirty project over with. I spent some well-used time laying out everything to decide the dimensions of the cabinet. The board I had for the top, which came from the store at supposedly 800mm x 500mm x 28mm needed to be squared up. Once that was done, I had the width dimension for my cabinet.

After lunch, I wound up taking a quick power nap that wound up lasting about three hours. Ooops! I suppose I shouldn't have lain awake half the night thinking about this project.

Due to this delay, I didn't finish on time. By dinner time, I had cut the dadoes and fit the two shelves.
End of Day 1

The positive part of all that thinking was I decided to screw together the carcass with only enough fasteners to hold it together until it was painted. I could then knock the nails in without doing anything too weird to clean the nail heads off.

Next up was dovetailing a rail in the front and sliding a rail cut into a groove into the back. These two boards seem overly wide for their purpose, but I figured I would save time ripping them to width. I forgot that later on I needed one of these boards for something else, but too late now!

I was careful to lay out where the nails would go at this point. I drilled tapered pilot holes for the nails everywhere they would go, but I only put in a few temporary screws to hold everything together until later.
End of Day 2
Day three was about the back. I spent a bit of time sharpening the blade on a vintage French side-bead molder I've been lugging around. I'm not sure I like it, but it will be fine for this project. I used my home-made plane with a nailed on fence and a chisel for a blade to cut these ship laps. It was then just a matter of drilling pilot holes and nailing them to the shelves. I chose to clench the nails for fastening to the rear rail. I wasn't sure of a better way to do that.
End of Day 3
I finished the carcass and painted it with some commercial chalk paint I found at a store nearby. The color is graphite. After painting over the screws and all, I drove nails into the holes that had no fasteners before backing out the screws and replacing them with nails. The screws I used were only about an inch and a half long, and the nails almost three inches. This seemed to work perfectly.
End of Day 4
The next day I hung the door panels to the carcass. I wasn't sure the best way to fit and adjust everything. With pocket hinges there are all kinds of adjustments you can make to ensure the door hangs right, but with barrel hinges you only get one chance. It dawned on me that since my door panels were a little oversize, I could hang them as is, then trim to size and everything should look perfect. Lucky me, it worked!
End of Day 5
Now I have to attach battens to the doors to ensure they stay flat over time. This was what I needed one of those wider boards for that I used earlier for the front and rear rails! I decided instead to use some air dried sycamore that I have. It required that I cut it to length, then I resaw it for pieces about 7/8" thick. Clenching nails always makes so much noise, I feel sorry for the neighbors. I did one door, then decided to leave the other one for Monday when I could blame the noise on the contractors in another apartment.
End of Day 6
Finally, it is done. Mostly. The doors have battens attached with clenched nails, and the top has a nice chamfer and the decision was made to leave it a natural wood finish rather than painted. This little cabinet really dominates a room since it is so dark in color. The thought was the top would lighten it up a bit. I finished the top with a coat of BLO, then applied some home-made paste wax over the entire cabinet. I really like the look.
End of Day 7
I'm still thinking about knobs for the door handles. Nails wound up in exactly the place that I wanted to put the knobs, and the cabinet is a bit too rustic for the modern knobs we bought. I'm thinking some old-fashioned porcelain knobs would be just the thing to finish it off.

I'm happy with the result, even though it did go past my deadline a bit.
Categories: Hand Tools

The One-Day Storage Cabinet - Part I: the Plan

Sat, 05/06/2017 - 7:37am
Today the Frau mentioned we should get another small storage cabinet for the office.


This means one of two things: Either she wants to buy a crappy disposable cabinet made of termite poop, or I get nagged at until I come up with something.

Fortunately, I would like to build a piece like this using some of the techniques in The Anarchist's Design Book by Christopher Schwarz. That means I just move it up in the queue and get it over with.

It's not often that the Frau asks me to build anything that we need anymore. She learned long ago that it could take months, and in the meantime what she wants to store in it lays on the floor driving her nuts. It would be a nice surprise if this was complete by the time she got home from work on Monday.

In order to make this happen, I am going to cheat. I know, I can here you: "There is no cheating in woodworking." Well, there is if you use Leimholz.

She said it doesn't need to be any kind of fine furniture. I even suggested adding a mahogany top, but she thankfully said, "No." Just a plain-Jane basic bookshelf with doors.

I thought out the design in my head in about seven seconds, and did something I rarely do: I drew the cabinet and wrote down a cut list!


So here is my plan:

Get to the Borg on Monday as soon as they open at 9:00 a.m. (Early for Spain), buy everything I need and rush home with the materials in my carrito de la abuelita and knock it together.
High capacity lumber transport.
To give myself a head start, I am going to use only nails and rabbets for construction. Maybe some screws to secure the top panel. I also plan on using the plastic-wrapped laminated wood panels in the final dimensions, so there shouldn't be much in the way of dimensioning the wood.
Front view.
Click on the photos for a better view.
Side view.
Yeah, I know I drew it wrong, it should show the right hand view. I almost never make drawings before I build anything.

It turns out I have some leftover laminated wood already laying around, so I'll use that. There should be no problem with getting the rest home on the bus.

The idea is that the doors will cover the front of the cabinet, coming even with the top. I haven't decided yet if I will add any molding profiles other than just a small chamfer or roundover to soften the sharp corners. What do you think? Any suggestions?

The Frau said she wants this piece painted, and SHE gets to pick the color. I gues that means no experiments with home made milk paint (thank God!). My plan is for the cabinet to be complete except for paint after one day.

Now that I think about it, I might have time to run to the Borg now, so I can start right away on Monday.
Categories: Hand Tools

Veritas Small Spoke Shave Kit

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 9:31am
I spent a couple days making this neat little project.
The finished spokeshave.
This project turned out to be pretty easy to make. I was a bit apprehensive because there are plenty of "how-to" videos and instructions out there and I wasn't able to find anyone who built the whole thing without a single power tool. Pretty much the consensus is that you need a drill press for this project.

Me being me, I took it as a challenge to see how this project works without one.

Since there is plenty of instructions out there, including the instructions that come with the Veritas kit, I'll try to be brief with this post and focus on the parts that I did by hand that often are done another way.

The first thing I did was get an apropriate blank of wood for the body of the spokeshave. I had some blocks of air dried sycamore that were perfect for this. Sycamore has a beautiful pattern when it is perfectly quartersawn.

While a table saw is great for sizing a blank of wood like this in a few seconds, I like to do this by hand as I find it easier to get a perfectly quartersawn piece out of any blank of wood. This one happened to be almost two inches square, and riftsawn.

I planed a couple of quick chamfers on the edges in order to clamp it to my sawbench. Laying out and ripping to the required angle was simple.
Making quartersawn wood from riftsawn.
I would recomend spending this kind of time on a small project like this, especially with a wood species that has a particular look when quartersawn.

The next bit was drilling holes for the posts that hold the blade. It requires two different sizes of holes for this particular kit, as the adjusters are tapped into the wood.

This needs to be done precisely, and it is highly recommended to use a drill press if you have one.

But, it isn't absolutely necessary.

I find that I can drill fairly accurately with just a little practice. Also, it always helps to keep your chin or your forhead on the back end of the drill, whether it is an eggbeater like this, a brace, or even a hand held electric drill.

To increase accuracy even further, I accurately marked both sides of the blank, and went in half way from either side, meeting in the middle.
I try to keep everything as stable as possible, and put my chin on the handle of the eggbeater.
It could be that it isn't as perfect as a drill press would be, but it is plenty accurate enough.
Drilled holes.
The kit came with the correct tap, but I did not have a tap handle laying around anywhere. After trying a couple things, I realized it fit in my eggbeater. As long as I went slow, there were no problems.
This worked, but I would rather use a tap handle next time.
I decided to just super glue the brass wear plate rather than inset it with dovetails and screw it to the base. Time will tell if this will hold up or not.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a hacksaw, either.

To solve this, I had a serrated all-purpose Chinese knife that I found in the kitchen. It took a while, but it eventually did the job.
I marked the brass, clamped it to a piece of wood to use as a guide.
Needless to say, the cut with the kitchen knife wasn't glass smooth, so to smooth it out I cut a notch in a block of wood that was square to the base.
End-smoothing jig.
Then it was just a matter of holding the brass in the block and rubbing it back and forth over a diamond stone to polish it up a bit.
This worked great.
Once the wear strip was in, the tool was nearly complete. I just sawed out the profile with a bowsaw.
This was quick and easy.
Now it is shaping up to look like a spokeshave.
After that, it was just a matter of smoothing the sawmarks with another spokeshave and a rasp, round over the handles to my taste, and finish.
Front view. I really like the look of QS sycamore.
I finished it just with a coat of BLO. Once it cures, I'll add a coat of beeswax.
The bottom. There are some gaps that are cosmetic flaws because I could only get a metric drill bit rather than the required 5/16" bit recommended in the instructions.
This was a fun and easy project. I happen to have the Veritas large spoke shave kit, and also the Hock large spoke shave kit. I can see a couple more of these in my future.
I even picked up some cool wood for the large ones: leopard wood and goncalo alves.

Categories: Hand Tools

lie-Nielsen Event in Madrid

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:44pm
Today I had the pleasure of taking the fast train to Madrid for an LN event at Comercial Pazos in Madrid, Spain. In Europe, there aren't a whole lot of businesses that sell woodworking hand tools, so it was neat to visit the single one in Spain.

The shop itself is not big, but it's crammed to the gills with cool stuff. I'll definitely go back.

Curtis Turner was the LN representative, and his knowledge of woodworking was fascinating to all who attended. He was hosted by two Spanish woodworkers, Lorenzo and Israel.

Here are some photos of the day.

Categories: Hand Tools

Making a Shop Apron - Finished

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 10:48am
The main thing I learned from this project, is sewing a project as big as this by hand isn't as much fun as it sounds. I spent several days on this project, one stitch at a time.

The good news is I now have a super cool shop apron. #8 duck canvas (or 18 ounce canvas) is some seriously stout stuff. It should last a long time.

One bit of feedback I got from Instagram was white is a bold color for a shop apron. I disagree. It is very traditional. At least all of the old pictures of woodworkers from the 19th century show them with a white apron and a tie.

I don't think I'll wear a tie while I work wood, but perhaps the white apron will motivate me to keep it clean.

Since the last post, I just had to sew on the leather straps and join them together somehow. I had to sew six straps to the apron in order to get the straps to cross over the shoulders and a waist strap.

I joined the leather on the cross straps with some Chicago screws I had laying around. I made some extra holes so I could adjust it, but I figure this is my apron, and once it fits, it shouldn't need adjusting. The waist strap I joined with two snaps, so it can be easily fixed and unfixed. The waist strap doesn't have to be super tight. I wanted to not have long straps dangling all over the place.
It should be a good apron.
I realized I didn't have enough straps treated, so I cut a bunch more. Veg-tan always looks a little creepy to me, so I thought I would treat it with boiled linseed oil. It darkened up nicely. I expect once it completely cures, it should lighten up a lot, but the color now is really cool. I could tell it isn't cured even after a few days, because every time I pierced it with a needle, some oil came out. Hopefully it will not need to be replaced.
Leather treated with BLO on top, plain untreated veg-tan on the bottom.

Treatment consisted in soaking the belts in BLO for 20 minutes or so.

I've never actually sewed leather before.
I did all of the sewing on this project with a Speedy Stitcher. I bought it a long time ago, and have yet to have used it. It works pretty well. Except it's not so speedy if you have to do so much sewing.
Using the Speedy Stitcher.

A loose ring keeps everything in place in the back.

Snaps are inexpensive, and these ones came with a tool and an anvil.
View of my best side.
The apron is extremely comfortable. I look forward to using it. I am fairly certain it should hold up for many years, especially if I continually forget to put it on.
I may want to carry a pencil, but for the moment I think it will be just fine without a pocket. If not, I can always add one later.

I've never really used a shop apron before. Please let me know if you use a shop apron.
Categories: Hand Tools

Making a Shop Apron - 1

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 10:40am
For something new and different, I've decided to make a shop apron.

The Frau has complained that I always decided to do woodworking while wearing my best clothes. I don't know why, but I've always avoided wearing a shop apron. I guess I'm just too cheap to buy a nice one, and the cheap ones tend to be a distraction.

Unlike this project...

I've never done very much sewing before, and didn't quite know how to go about it, so I did some googling, and came across a post from a sewing blog. It's good to have a place to start. The other place I looked was the shop apron page on Texas Heritage Woodworks site. Jason seems to be making the best shop aprons out there at the moment.

This project seems to be a good one for someone who has never sewn before. It's not too complicated, and has enough hems to make you want to never do another one again.

A sewing machine would make this project very quick and easy, except for the fact that I am using #8 duck canvas (18 oz.) requiring a heavy-duty sewing machine, and I don't have one.

I do have a Speedy Stitcher. I haven't ever really used it, so I suppose it's a great time to learn.
Working on making some hems with the Speedy Stitcher.
I made some measurements on my body, and then cut a piece of fabric based on the size of the material I had on hand. I free-handed the cutouts for the armpits with a pencil, folded the canvas in half and cut the same shape out on both sides.

Next is about two days worth of sewing hems. A professional seamstress I am not.
After a while, I could finally sort of do it straight.
I am certain that if I did more of this kind of work, a stitching mule would be a big help. This project should be a little rough, but I expect the apron to work just fine.
Finished with the hems!
Next I will sew on some straps I got off of a spare hunk of veg-tan leather. I wanted to see what would happen if I soaked the straps in boiled linseed oil, and so far they look good.
Straps soaked in BLO.
Hopefully this project won't take too much more time. And, hopefully it will be as functional as I am hoping. If not, I guess I can make another one.

But I hope I don't.
Categories: Hand Tools

An Easy New Panel Gauge - In English AND Spanish!

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 1:20pm
I am going to try an experiment with this blog post, and post it in both English and Spanish, which I am learning due to the fact that I now live in Spain. Apologies to you Spanish speakers for butchering your language. Hopefully, this will help me learn, and I would appreciate some feedback. ¡Viva el Tooleráble!

Voy a probar un experimento con este mensaje, y escribo en inglés y español, que estoy aprendiendo porque vivo en España. Te pido disculpas por matar tu idioma. Con suerte, esto me ayudará a aprender, y agradecería algunos comentarios. ¡Viva el Tooleráble!

I built a panel gauge about three years ago that I am very proud of. It only has two problems: one, it has a Chinese style blade that works great, but the mechanism I built to hold it in place is a little finicky, and the tiny ebony wedge I made to hold the blade in place is rolling around in the dust on my shop floor somewhere. The second problem is it is still in Munich with my old shop, and I am in Spain.

Construí un calibrador de panel hace unos tres años que estoy muy orgulloso. Sólo tiene dos problemas: uno, tiene una hoja de estilo chino que functiona muy bien, pero el mechanismo que he construido para manterlo en su lugar es un poco fino, y la pequeña cuña de ébano que hice para sostener la hoja en su lugar está rodando en el polvo en el piso de mi taller en alguna parte. El segunda problema es que todavía está en Múnich con mi antiguo taller, y estoy en España.

@haandkraft on Instagram posted a picture of a vintage panel gauge, and I really liked the design. It has an unusually wide beam which appealed to me.

@haandkraft en Instagram publicó una imagen de un calibrador de panel antiguo, y me gustó mucho el diseño. Tiene un astil anormalmente ancho que me atrajo.

I took a look around, found some suitable scrap, and started building.

Miré a mi alredador, encontré algunos desechos de madera, y comencé a construir.

I found a very nice pear scrap that used to be the leg of a safari chair I made a while back. There was a clear piece at the top that would suit.

 Encontré un desecho de pera muy agredable que solía ser la pierna de una silla de safari que hace un tiempo. Había una pieza clara en la parte superior que se adapte.
Pear scrap. Marking the first cross cut.
I decided not to hurry this cut, as I wanted to use this straight from the saw. It's not perfect, but it required no cleaning up as I intend to bevel an angle on this later. I didn't do that at this point because I wasn't sure exactly how it would all turn out.

Decidí no apurar este corte, ya que quería usar esto directamente de la sierra. No es perfecto, pero no requiere limpieza, ya que pretendo biselar un ángulo en esto más tarde. No hice eso en este punto porque no estaba seguro exactamente cómo resultaría todo.
My cross cutting is getting better.
I marked out the next crosscut which would determine the length of the stock. I didn't make the cut yet, because the extra length of the chair leg would assist me in chopping the mortise.

Marqué el próximo corte que determina la longitud de la culata. Ya no hace el corte, porque la longitud extra de la pierna de una silla ayuda a cortar la mortaja.
Mark out stock length.
I don't have a 1/2" mortise chisel here. In fact, I only have three chisels, which suits me quite well. I decided to use this 1/2" chisel to chop the mortise. I will then lay out the mortise using the dimensions straight from this chisel.

No tengo aqui un 13mm formón de mortaja. Tengo solo tres formónes, que me queda muy bien. Decidí usar este 13mm formón para cortar la mortaja. A continuación establacer la mortaja con las dimensiones directamente desde el formón.
It looks like it is about 1/3 of the width of the stock.

Then it was just a matter of marking the length of the mortise. I chose a length just a little narrower than the width of the stick I had on hand to use for the beam.

Entonces sólo era cuestión de marcando la longitud de la mortaja. Elegí un longitud apenas un poco más estracha que la anchura del astil.
It just so happens, that I had a scrap of sycamore left over from the last Danish Chair Building Extravaganza that was just about right. Jonas milled the wood that eventually became this stick. He got the log from a tree that was in his Dad's front yard. In fact, here is an old picture of Jonas on his Moto Guzi with the sycamore tree that this stick came from in the background.

Tuve un desecho del sicomoro sobra desde el Danés Silla Construyendo Gran Espectáculo que estaba justo a la derecha. Jonas molió la madera que se convirtío en este palo. Él consiguió el registro de un árbol que estaba en el jardín de su papá. De hecho, aquí hay una vieja foto de Jonas en su Moto Guzi con el árbol de sicómoro en el fondo.
Jonas, his bike, his brother's old girlfriend, and the sycamore tree.
Here is the setup I use to plane this stick to the proper dimensions. I do not have a workbench, but I do have these two sawhorses. Planing this way while seated is actually quite comfortable.

Aquí esta la organización uso cepillar esta paloa la dimensión correcta. No tengo un banco de trabajo, pero tengo dos caballetes para serrar. Cepillado de esta manera mientras está sentado es bastante cómodo.
Planing setup.
It looks a bit ridiculous to plane with a giant #8 sized bench plane on this tiny bench, but it works.

Parece ridículo para cepillar con un cepillo grande, un #8 cepillo en este banco pequeño, pero funciona.
The reason I went to shaping the beam instead of chopping the mortise is I did not want to make all that racket on a Sunday evening. The next day, under cover of the neighbor's construction crew doing renovations, I whacked away.

Amoldé el astil mejor cortando la mortaja porque no quiero hacer el ruido en un domingo por la noche. El lunes, mientras los vecinos renovaba, yo corté ruidoso.
I did this just like any other mortise.
Using this delicate chisel was no problem. I just had to avoid prying out the chips like I normally would. As long as I chopped straight down and then pulled straight out, I could do a million mortises with this chisel.

El uso de este formón frágil fue no problema. Solo tuve que evitar curar las fichas como lo haría normalmente. Mientras yo cortara hacia abajo y luego tirara hacia afuera, podría hacer un millón de las mortajas con este formón.
Just don't pry.

See? It worked!

Without too much fuss, I was able to slide the beam into the stock. I should note that the mortise does not have to be a piston fit. In fact a tiny bit of slop allows the beam to move freely back and forth.

Sin demasiados problemas, pude deslizar el astil en la culata. La mortaja no tiene que ser un ajuste de pistón. Un poco de imprecisión puede el astil para moverse libremente hacia adelante y hacia atrás.
The beam fit to the stock.
Now I need a wedge. I thought about using a scrap of ebony that I brought along for another purpose, but decided that I should use a less expensive piece of wood just in case this whole project fails. Luckily, I found the perfect wood in a tip across the street while dumpster diving. Oak!

Aqui necesito una cuña. Pensé en usar un desecho del ébano que traje aquí, pero decidi usar una pieza de madera más barata. Por suerte, encontré la madera perfecta en el basurero al otro lado de la calle mientras dumpster buceo. ¡Roble!
Former bits from oak parquet flooring. Perfect wedge stock.
I printed a scan of the wedge from my previous panel gauge and taped it to my wedge stock. It was just a matter of sawing out the shape and refining it with a chisel and a rasp.

Imprimí un escaneo de la cuña desde mi calibrador de panel anterior y lo pegué en la madera de la cuña. Serré la forma y la refinando con una formón y una escofina.
Future wedge.
Double sided sticky tape wasn't ideal, but it is what I had.
There are probably neater ways to do this. I decided to just chip away with my small chisel to excavate the mortise for the wedge. I just marked out how far up on each side I wanted to go, and came in from each side.

Hay probablemente maneras más limpias de hacer esto. Decidí cortar con mi formón pequeña excavar la mortaja para la cuña. Marqué cada lado, y corté desde cada lado.
Making room for the wedge.
With some fiddling, it was ready in no time.

Con un poco de jugueteo, estaba listo en muy poco tiempo.

A less artsy shot.
Then it was a matter of cross cutting the waste from the safari leg off.

Entonces corté el desperdicio desde la pierna de la silla de safari.
I thought about a few different ways to make a pin. I first wanted to harden a nail, but I don't have a torch here. It was recommended to me to use a screw, as they are already hardened.

Pensé en algunas maneras diferentes de hacer un alfiler. Quise endurecer un clavo, pero no tengo un soplete aquí. Se me recomendó usar un tornillo. Ya están endurecidos.
A screw!
I drove the screw into a piece of scrap so I could hold it while shaping the point on my diamond grinding plate.

Conduje el tornillo en un desecho de madera así que podría sostenerlo mientras moldeando el punto en mi placa de molienda de diamante.
I rounded the tip the best I could, then flattened one half on the edge of the plate. After I had the rough shape, it was just a matter of going through the stones until I was satisfied.

Redondeé la punta, entonces aplané media la punta en el borde de la placa. Después tuve la forma áspera, Fue por las piedras hasta que quedé satisfecho.
Shaping a flat on one side.

I think it turned out OK.

Es muy bien.

Close up of the point.

I marked a point in the center of the end of the beam, and drilled a pilot hole.

Marqué un punto en el centro del extremo de la astil, y perforé un agujero piloto.

Starting the hole with an awl.
Then it was just a matter of inserting the screw until the tip poked out and was oriented right.

Puse el tornillo  hasta que la punta salió y se orientó correctamente.
Actually, this is oriented 180 degrees backwards.
Once I am happy with everything on this cutter, I will saw off the end of this screw. In the meantime, if it needs to be backed out to be adjusted, the screw head will come in handy.

Una vez que esté feliz con todo en este cortador, voy a ver fuera del final de este tornillo. Mientras tanto, si necesita ser retrocedido para ser ajustado, la cabeza del tornillo vendrá en práctico.

Making a test mark.
It works great. The stability of the wider beam makes a difference. The pin makes a nice crisp line.

Funciona muy bien. La estabilidad del haz más ancho hace la diferencia. El pin hace una línea nítida.

The line is deep, and one-sided.
I finished it by burnishing some beeswax on it with a pollisoir.

Puse el acobado en él puliendo un poco de cera de abejas en él con un pollisoir.
I am happy with how this turned out, and look forward to making another!

Estoy feliz con cómo resultó esto, y esperamos hacer otro!

Categories: Hand Tools

Experiment: Making My Own Cold Bleached Linseed Oil

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 2:52am
I was always happy with standard boiled linseed oil (BLO). It's got a lot of great things going for it: it's widely available at any hardware store, it looks great as a finish on it's own, it can be combined with other things to make different finishes, it makes a great wipe-on finish, etc.

My only beef with it for a long time is the smell.

It turns out that BLO isn't boiled at all. Nowadays, raw linseed oil (which works as a finish, but takes weeks to dry making it unhandy) is mass produced by adding metallic chemical drying agents such as manganese and cobalt which through the magic of chemistry makes the linseed oil dry relatively quickly.

A quick internet search produced a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for some BLO, which includes this:

Effects of Overexposure:
Inhalation:  Vapors may cause irritation of the respiratory tract.
Skin:  Prolonged or repeated skin contact may cause irritation or dermatitis.
Eyes:  Contact with eyes may cause burning and tearing.
Ingestion:  Ingestion of large amounts may cause gastrointestinal irritation.
Chronic:  Not Available.

Overall, it looks pretty safe. But not totally. I wouldn't drink it.

Then, I was ruined by Dictum. They sell a Swedish cold-bleached linseed oil.
Linseed oil from Dictum. Also, some great smelling turpentine balsam, and some natural tung oil from Denmark.
This stuff is great. No chemicals, it smells great, and it works fantastic! After a little bit of research, I think I know how this was made, and I am going to try to replicate it in my apartment.

What could go wrong?

The first thing I found was this great YouTube video by Joe Besch:
His website led me to a page on Tad Spurgeon's website. Mr. Spurgeion's passion is oil painting, and shares on his site how oil paints made by the old masters were made from linseed oil.

I figure if this is good enough for the old masters, it should also work for woodworking.

Enough blah-blah. Let's get to work:

First, instead of pressing my own flax seed, I ordered a liter of pure, quality raw linseed oil from El Barco, a local paint shop in Valencia.
Raw linseed oil.
Once it arrived, I went for a walk down to the beach. Joe Besch's video shows him adding sand, salt and marble dust to his mixture, but after reading Tad Spurgeon's notes, I am convinced that plain sea water and some sand from the beach should work great. These additives, from what I can figure, are to help purify the final oil similar to running water through a sand filter purifies the water.

I'm not sure, and if you would like to try it, I'm sure you'll have success using only tap water.
Believe it or not, you can buy sea water at a local grocer for 3.99/liter!
It was a bit stormy, but my trek was successful.
beach sand and seawater. And who-knows-what.
There was some dreck in the water, so I filtered it out with a paper towel.
Filtering the sea water.
Then I washed the sand by filling the jar with tap water, fixing the lid and shaking like crazy. I dumped the water out and repeated until I didn't feel like doing that any more.
The clean sand.
Likely, I used way too much sand. I think much less would have worked just as good. Once I dumped the liter of linseed oil into my two liter jar over the sand, I figured it was too late to take some out and we'll just have to see how it goes.
Next I dumped in my raw linseed oil.
Then, I topped off the jar with sea water. I would have liked a 50-50 mix of oil and water, but this is where we are. I think it should do something.
Oil on top, the water sank below it, and the sand is on the bottom.
Next I shook the jar like crazy until everything was mixed.
After the mixture was shaken. Not stirred.
Over the next couple of hours, I shook it up again. Joe Besch suggests three times.

Then, let it sit in the sun.
After an hour or so, you can start to see everything separating nicely.
After an hour.
And the last photo is where we are this morning, after about ten hours of rest.

If you are wondering what you are looking at, you can clearly see everything settling in layers. The bottom is the sand, and the little black bubble looking things above that is actually clear water. It is heavier than the oil so it sinks to the bottom.

The yellow band is a layer of fat we've just rendered out of the raw linseed oil. I suspect this is the stuff that prevents raw linseed oil from drying quickly.

The brown layer on top is the good stuff.
The next morning.
No earlier than tonight, and likely tomorrow, I'll extract the top layer using a baking syringe that I bought for the purpose. The idea is to get the pure stuff off the top without any of the unwanted stuff below.

I'll follow Joe Besch's advice and do this process again with my refined oil. I imagine after a couple times of this, I should get some pretty nice quality stuff.

The last step is to let it rest in the sun for some weeks or months, and the yellow color will evaporate away.

For my purposes, it probably doesn't need to be crystal clear, but it will be fun to see how far I can take this.

There is likely to be quite a bit less than one liter of oil after this process, but what I have should be good.

I'm not sure if this will be worth it, but it is fun to see if it will work.

Keep an eye on this blog in the future, I plan to post on the results of this experiment over time.
Categories: Hand Tools

Bevel Up Jack Plane - Will It Work as Your Only Plane?

Sat, 02/11/2017 - 10:38am
A few weeks ago, one of my very favorite woodworking heroes, Richard Maguire, wrote a blog post about low angle planes. I've been thinking hard about this post for a while, because I have in the past advocated big time for my Veritas bevel up jack plane (BU jack).

I have to say that Richard's conclusions about the BU jack are spot on, 100%.

Does this mean I am recanting my endorsement of this tool? Absolutely not.
Richard's premise in his blog post is that BU planes work better than other planes at the extremes of the spectrum - basically that they do one thing really great. That is planing end grain.
This plane is really great at end grain.
I whole heartedly agree. They are much better at end grain due to the low angle possible with the BU design.

What about the rest?
Can one joint with this plane?
Well, I agree with Richard. Other planes do a better job at basic tasks than this plane. A 24 inch jointer does joint better than this jack plane. A dedicated jack with a cambered blade does better at hogging out lots of material than this plane. A #4 smoothing plane with a finely set chip breaker will do a better job at smoothing than this plane.
This thing works great shooting end grain. Did I already say that?
Then why do I endorse this plane so enthusiastically?

Well, I have to say that while those other planes do better at those tasks than this plane, the BU jack will indeed do them all.
I almost always do all my jointing with this plane.
A while back, I spent more than a whole year using only this plane and no other bench plane, for no other reason than to put my money where my mouth was regarding being able to build with an extremely limited tool set.

I had noticed that many great woodworkers had recommended "beginner's tool sets" that required many thousands of dollars to fill out before a beginning student could feel like they could do "proper" woodworking.

I thought that was baloney then, and I think it is baloney now. A jack plane (whether BU or bevel down, new or vintage), is a great first tool to get because of the versatility.

Other tools work better for those everyday tasks, but one plane instead of four can be a deal maker for a beginner.

After my exclusive use of this plane for the time I used it, I found out that "plane monogamy" (as Christopher Schwarz puts it), is a wonder.

Face it, there are all kinds of situations where even the largest hand tool shops require making a plane do a bit more than what's in it's name.

To be able to do these amazing tricks with a plane, one really, REALLY needs to know their tool.

I learned that it really is true that you can't buy skill by purchasing a new tool. One should learn how far they can push (get it?) a tool they have before deciding if another is needed in their situation.
Plus, using the same tool is faster: you already have it out.
There are a few things I do to make it easier on myself.

For rough work, I do my best to avoid having to thickness stock very much. My wooden jack plane with an eight inch camber on the blade hogs off wood like crazy and in no time flat. A BU plane is difficult to put a camber on the blade because of the angle of the bed. Taking 1/16" thick or thicker shavings isn't going to happen.

It will take medium sized shavings. If your wood is roughly the thickness you need it, and mostly flat to start with, it is a breeze to bring it to good working dimensions with this plane.

For fine smoothing, again, choose your wood wisely. This plane will easily achieve a finish quality surface without much work. Even without going crazy with steep sharpening angles. Make sure the blade is as sharp as you can get it, and you will be fine. At least until you try to plane against the grain. Even then, lighten the cut a little more and close the adjustable mouth as tight as you can.

For jointing, I find this plane to be long enough to joint nearly anything I can throw at it accurate enough for gluing up a panel. It does take some skill. One will get good at making edges flat eventually with this tool. Just keep checking with a good straight edge, and practice removing the parts that aren't flat. Follow that up with a fine shaving from one end to the other. I find it rare that I need to pull a jointer out for edge jointing anymore.
In conclusion, I would just like to agree with Richard again that this plane shouldn't replace everything in your plane corral. However, if you are looking for your first bench plane, this might be a good place to start.
Categories: Hand Tools

Wall Shelf Build Off - Part VII - Final - Or Is It?

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 4:42am
Sunday turned out to be very busy for me in the shop. So busy, that I found it too difficult to keep up with my progress here. I did, however, post a few pics on Instagram.

I finished the shelf, but did not yet finish the drawers that were supposed to be an integral part of the design. It looks a little funny with that one strip of dark wood on the divider. That's because that is the same wood that will be the two drawer fronts. Maybe I can get them in over the next few days. In the meantime, I'll submit this shelf as it was Sunday night when I completed it.

Here are some pics of what I did on Sunday after my last post.
I have an idea for the divider that requires stopped dadoes. It's only a little more complicated than through dadoes.
No router? No problem.
Except this part. This part was a little harder.
Not perfect, but this will suit just fine.
All parts for the carcase are done.
I wanted to pre-finish the parts, so before glue-up I burnished all of the pieces,
And applied a home-made soap finish.
This was actually the only parts I glued. Everything else is only nails.
First I lay out the nail holes. I learned the hard way that pencil lines are hard to get off after nailing.
Drill pilot holes with a tapered drill bit.
Insert the nails,
and drive them home.
I had a hard time figuring out how to lay out the nails for the cross-piece. The top of my shelf is angled, so measuring wasn't simple. And, I wanted to leave too many pencil marks off of the finished side. My solution? Lay out from the inside of the joint.
I marked where I wanted the nail holes, then drilled with the tapered bit just until...
It starts to poke out the other side. Then...
Put the joint together and drill the entire pilot hole.
Everything is together surprisingly well!
Now it's time for the back. I cut three pieces to length.
Then I used my self-made ship lap plane. This thing is coming in way more useful than I ever thought it would.
Once the ship laps are done, lay out the pilot holes and drill.
Nailed it!
All that is left is to trim the top pieces. I used a jack plane and a flat bottomed spokeshave.
Finished! At least, as finished as it will get for this Build-Off.
The last step I took on Monday morning was to photograph my masterpiece in the sunlight. If it isn't the best shelf ever seen, at least it will be photographed in a spectacular location!
It involved a hike.
But the view is great!
Make sure you go over to Flair Woodworks and vote for your favorite shelf builds from last weekend!
Categories: Hand Tools

Wall Shelf Build Off - Part Six - 14:00 Day 2

Sun, 01/29/2017 - 4:54am
Wow. Two o'clock already.

Today so far has been a lot of little stuff that you can't really see any progress with.

Hopefully I'll be able to nail the carcass together soon and get started on the drawers.
I figured out why this toggle doesn't close right - a crack!
Easy fix with hide glue. On to regular programming...
Working on the spacer.
Glued a dark bit to the front.
Top rail being rabbeted in.
One step closer to glue up!
This spacer goes between the two drawers.

Categories: Hand Tools

Wall Shelf Build Off - Part V - 20:15

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 11:27am
And I'm done for the day. Time for dinner.

Before just dropping my tools like I usually do, I had to ask myself, "What would Alex do?"
Trying out the newly sharpened rabbet plane.

Oh, this is way easier than doing it with only a saw and a chisel!
Saw and chisel for a dado is easy, though.
What Would Alex Do?
I was hoping to get just a little farther today. Nail this together and maybe before that to put some finish on these parts.

I guess that will have to wait until tomorrow. The Frau hates it when I pound nails on Sundays. Maybe I'll have to send her to the beach or something.

Just so I know where I left off and don't jump ahead tomorrow, the next steps are to cut some stopped dadoes in the shelves for the center support/drawer divider. Before I install that, I have to laminate a strip of black wattle to the front of it so everything is pretty. ONLY THEN am I permitted to finish these parts and then nail them together.

Categories: Hand Tools

Wall Shelf Build Off - Part IV - 18:30

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 9:31am
Not sure how much more patience the Frau will have for me working tonight. It doesn't look like I'm getting too far, but the carcase is nearly roughed out.
Cross cutting shelves to length.
Right length.
Now they are the right width.
Here's a sneak peek of the finished project.

Categories: Hand Tools

Wall Shelf Build Off - Part III - 17:00

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 7:58am
The day is going by fast, and I'm not near where I want to be yet. It should be expected, though, with such a late start and interruptions and all. It will get done.

Time for coffee and pastries.

Categories: Hand Tools

Wall Shelf Build Off - Part II - 14:15

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 5:20am
Well, I have an hour long Spanish class at 14:30, so I have to take a break.

It's coming along, I should be done in about a week or so.  :o)

Categories: Hand Tools

Wall Shelf Build Off - Part I - 12:30 pm

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 3:50am
OK, it's 12:30. Half the day is gone already, and I am just getting started.


I did cheat a little, in so far as I smoothed one side of a board I am using and ripping it to width. My excuse is I needed to know the dimensions of this board in order to finish the design of my piece.

Which I am doing in my head and on the fly.

Here is my plan so far:

Basically it will be an open-topped bookshelf, but instead of shelves, there will be a bank of two drawers.

I want it to be a bit modern, as well as a bit rustic. Therefore I have chosen an idea to be angular, with a couple of old Bavarian piercings.

The wood will be pine Leimholz from the home center, which isn't ideal, but it is what is available to me, as well as a rather special board for the drawer fronts.

The drawer fronts are from a board that was sent to me from Australia. Kerryn Carter of @toolschool fame was randomly selected in a giveaway I did on Instagram. The only way I could get her to accept it was to allow her to send me a couple of bits of scrap Australian wood in return.

One of the boards she sent was this really neat flat sawn bit of black wattle. I look forward to seeing what this piece will look like.

Start of the drawer fronts.

My planing setup for this piece.
The start of today - nice and clean. Not for long, I fear.
I am going to try a new finish for this piece, a soap finish. I found some soap flakes at the local grocery store a while back, and this is the perfect project to try it out.

I want to use a soap finish on the pine parts, and a beeswax finish on the drawer fronts.
Soap flakes.

To start, I'll take the plastic off of this board and make an angled cut to make the two sides of the piece.
Stay tuned for the rest of the build!
Categories: Hand Tools