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Any yahoo can have a woodworking blog. Here's mi - LOOK! A SQUIRREL!Brian Evehttps://plus.google.com/116757259664765393592noreply@blogger.comBlogger327125
Updated: 6 min 2 sec ago

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

Dutch Tool Chest Guts - VIDEO

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 7:07am
I seem to have adopted the bad habit of not posting regularly anymore. I suppose it's time to fix that.

Please bear with this post as it is a bit longer than usual. I didn't realize I did so much to my chest since the last post. If you'd like to skip through, this post has three main sections: 1) Layout of the main compartment, 2) Saw racks on the lid, and 3) Painting a bad ass bit of graffiti on the lid.
The chest now parked in it's spot.
While I was back in Germany over Christmas, I decided to use my shop and work with some appropriate hardwood. I want to upgrade the locking mechanisms of the chest. I had originally made all these parts with the same pine from which the rest of the chest is made. I decided that these parts could potentially take some abuse, so here we go.
First was making new lock pieces for the fall front out of ash.
The locking mechanisms were simple, and the measurements were standard that I used. When I installed them, I glued some bamboo skewers into the old screw holes and started over. I didn't want the old screw holes to take things out of alignment.

Next, I found an old hunk of American birch rolling around since I bought it online years ago. It happened to be the perfect width I needed, and it was flat sawn. If I cut a hunk off the end, I will wind up with two quarter sawn sticks that should be nice and stable.
Resawing the birch.
I decided that I wanted to make a heart design for the opening on the top which functions as a grab hole. No reason other than I thought it was cute.

To do this, I left my stock double thickness, and did the piercing to the whole thing at once.
Drilled 5/8" holes for the hearts.

Fret saw the rest away, followed by a little rasp work.

Once the piercing is done, resaw to near final thickness.

5 point teeth right in the middle of my heart.

Two identical hearts.
Once I got back to Spain, I planed them to proper thickness and cleaned them up.
My face planing set up.
Then it was just a matter of unscrewing the old fall front locking bits and attaching the new ones.

This works a little better for the final pass.

A coat of beeswax and they are done.

I think they look cute.
Next was plane storage. I just nailed this together with butt joints.

Hehe, I said "butt."

I used Roman nails on the ends, and cut nails in the middle. This was a lot of trouble, and I would recommend avoiding all that and use wire nails. This till is trapped inside the chest, so it does not need to be particularly strong.
Someday I might make a new one, but it seems to work.
On the front of the chest, I just nailed a small spacing strip to the front to hold the jointer away from the front of the chest. This makes it easy to install the locks, as the jointer will always be out of the way.
Plane till fit. It is in with a friction fit, no nails to secure it to the chest.
Next I wanted a rack for my chisels, marking gauges, screwdrivers, etc.

I like the flexibility of a loose rack rather than individual holes for each tool. To each his own.

My thought with this was to use Spax screws where they would be covered up, and more expensive brass screws where they would show.
First hanging tool rack completed.

Here is a view of the front of the chest from the inside.
I made a second rack and screwed it to the first. I left it a bit short in case I needed some more room for something tall.
Second rack installed.
This second rack has really opened up some space for growth. The one was just a little tight for my tools, but with the second, there is now room to spare!
Tools in the chest.
I thought I'd offer some close-ups.

Now for the lid.

First things first, I wanted a rack for my Dick saw that would allow the bow saw to be mounted behind.
Once I was happy with the thickness of my supports, I clamped one side down for the handle opening.
Clamped and laid out for the cut.
Once the saw cuts were made, chisel to depth.

Test fit. Perfect!

Now to lay out an opening for the latch.

For the blade, I ripped the other bracket down a line I marked, then glued in three heavy shavings I got from my jack plane.
Once this is cleaned up, it will be great.
Once those parts are ready, I'll mount the bow saw.
This was really pretty simple.
It turned out I needed to bring it a bit higher, as the hinges were in the way of the saw. I did this with a couple of little spacers you can see in this photo.

Here is a photo of everything installed.

Another one with the saws installed.

As you can see, things didn't go perfectly to plan. As I mentioned above, the hinges and the screws pushed the bow saw out just enough to make things tough on the Dick saw.

The answer, some spacers!
An easy fix.

Here they are installed. Everything fits perfectly now!
Those gaps left by the spacers leave some room to store some more tools!
Notice I have some scrapers in here.

The open chest in it's spot.
Next up, some beautification treatment. Since I'm not in Germany, the Posthorn won't be as appropriate as a Toro!
First step, make a template!

Second step, mark centers and rough in an oval.

Third step, drive some nails (there's particle board under there).

Fourth step, tie a string as long as the distance of the long axis of the oval (distance between the two other nails). Put the loops on the top nail.

Fifth step, use a pencil to draw where the string crosses the line.

Other side.

This is where we are now. Drive nails at those spots.

Sixth step, attach one end of the string to each new nail.

Seventh step, trace the oval!

Keep tracing...

Keep tracing...

Once I had an oval traced out that I liked, I divided it into thirds and cut out the top and bottom.
Finished template.

Now stick it to the chest...

And spray the crap out of it.

Haha! This is fun!

Now attach the second stencil, and spray.

OK, I promised video.

If you are still reading this, kudos to you. I wanted a video about ten minutes long, but wound up with one more than twice that. If you're a glutton for punishment, and want to see how I loaded the tools in there, here is a pair of videos.

And part two:
Now you should be mostly caught up. Next post(s) will be about the Wall Shelf Build Off! Or, you could see what I'm doing with the hashtag: #WSBO on Instagram.

Categories: Hand Tools

Goodies to Fill My Tool Chest!

Sun, 01/01/2017 - 11:32am
I had a very nice Christmas and holiday season with family and friends in Germany. Since I was home, I thought I would take the opportunity to bring back to Spain some more goodies which should help fill out my tool chest here.
I wound up having to pay extra as this duffel bag was nearly 30 kilos!
This is difficult for me, as I would really like to bring a LOT of stuff here, but it just doesn't make financial sense, and I can live without many things.

That being said, I do have a nice batch of "nice-to-haves" here now.

Noticeably absent are any western saws. They didn't quite rate high enough on the list of priorities to replace anything in this bag. I am making do with my Ryobi Dick saw. Also missing are more chisels. I find that the three I have (in sizes kinda small, kinda medium and kinda big) are all I need at the moment.

Unloading the above bag, I thought I would document what was in there after I took out the boring stuff like t-shirts and underwear.

This first photo shows from left to right, my home-made tapered tenon cutter ala Tim Manney that I made a couple years back to match my tapered reamer that is already here. Not shown is the blade that gets attached with a c-clamp. There is also some sandpaper backed with foam that Pedder gave me, a few belt buckles for leather work, a couple of maroon and gray scratchy pads, some ebony scraps, a hunk of wenge, some leather wax, and a buttload of slotted screws and Roman nails that I got from Dictum. I bought three bags of the biggest ones they had which are 2 1/2" long. They should be great for clinching.
Next, I brought back my spokeshave roll which I left there after taking it to Denmark. I finally found the blade to my adze, which was safely hidden in a pocket of the tool roll I forgot was there. - Do yourself a favor and don't get old.
I also brought my 5/8" WoodOwl bit which should be great for staked furniture. I also bought some new tiny Proxxon drill bits, and I bought a new tapered drill bit for pilot holes for the Roman nails. For good measure, I threw in my flush cut saw, too. It's small and light.
This wasn't in the bag, I had brought it here a few months ago. I think it is a type 10 #2. There is a few things wrong with it for collecting, but it should make a fine user. It came with that ugly front knob, so I replaced it with a vintage replacement. This plane will hopefully soon get rehabbed and put to work.
My plow plane and a set of blades in a case I made for them long ago.
A mongo 1 7/8" skew rabbet plane. I haven't had good luck with this one yet, but perhaps I can get it working well. This picture also has a pair of dividers (I love me some dividers), a French side-bead plane, and a low-end block plane probably made by the Ohio Tool company.
I have been really missing my 6" adjustable square, so I brought it back. I chose these planes as they aren't my nicest and best ones, but should work well and can be sold when I leave Spain. There is a Sargent VBM 409, which is the same size as a Stanley #4 (I rehabbed this one a while back and it works great), and a #8 sized Sargent jointer. I'm not sure exactly which one it is, I'll have to do some investigating. I got it in this condition as a bargain from eBay. The previous owner rehabbed it, and did a fairly nice job. It should be easy to get this thing working well. I have never used such a big jointer before, so I look forward to getting to know it.
Last of all, I got some wood in the bag. There is a pretty board of black wattle that was sent to me from Austrailia, a chunk of mirabella from Denmark, some quarter sawn oak, and a few bits of American birch for an upcoming project, and also to replace the pine locks in my chest with. I just feel better about a hardwood for these. While I was at it, I made some more of the lock pieces that are attached to the drop panel of the chest out of ash. I'll use these to replace the pine ones that are currently on it. A little overkill never hurt anything. Also in this photo is The Essential Woodworker book, and a bunch of cribbage board pegs.
Not bad for a buttload of tools in a checked bag.

Next I'll have to set up the insides of my chest. I have to figure out how to get all this stuff in here.

Categories: Hand Tools

Dutch Tool Chest in Spain - Part IV - Complete

Wed, 12/21/2016 - 4:15am
Except for the inside. I'll set up the guts after we get back from our Christmas travels.
I am very pleased with the results, and would like to thank Christopher Schwarz for making such a nice video on the construction of this chest. More on the video shortly.
I used only Roman nails, even to attach the battens for the large panels like the lid.
The handles look great on this bright yellow chest. By the way, it is bright yellow instead of red with a yellow undercoat because the pepper spice I intended to use for the colorant wound up looking like orange baby poop instead of a nice, brick red. The Frau really liked the yellow, and the more I thought about it, the more I liked it too.

I had to use about six coats (maybe more, I don't remember) in order for this light color to cover. There still is some parts that you can see under the paint, but mostly I'm happy. That, and I refuse to use more than four liters of skim milk.

I painted over the nail heads, too. To clean them up, I found that a Q-tip soaked in water did a good job of removing the paint on them. I think I have to buy the Frau some more Q-tips now.
The chest lift really pops against a bright background.
I got the lifts from Jonas, as they were manufactured a short distance from his house in Denmark. They came with a thick coat of zinc, so we stripped that and torched it with a thin coat of boiled linseed oil, which left them such a nice black color.
When I first installed the hinges (that I got from Olav), they installed a bit different than I expected, and the lid didn't fit. All it took was to move the hinges back on the lid a little bit, but that left an extra set of screw holes. No big deal, as they were covered by the hinges themselves, but I decided to plug them anyway.

While I'm at it, the lid fit just a little tight on one side, resulting from one of the hinges being off just a gnat's nadger. I decided to plug those holes, too, and install the hinge just a little farther to the right.
Plugging holes with bamboo skewers. Greg would be proud.

They get sawed off flush with my Dick saw.
Hinges installed and visible from the back.
Here is a photo of the inside. The inside gets no finish, as this works well for keeping tools.
As you can see, I still need to sort out the guts, and make it friendly to hold tools.
The bottom will work nicely, I think. I'll have to see what I keep down here. I may make a few small boxes to hold things safely.
More likely I'll over stuff it with tools and slam the front on before they fall out.
There is just one little niggle, now. The battens touch the chest locks. I'll work this out and get them to close one way or the other.
Battens are resting on the chest locks.

Here's a closer view. I don't think this is much of a problem, just some triming of one or the other.
The Frau thought that this chest looks like a German mail box now that it is yellow.
I suppose she's right.
Over all, this was a fun project that suited itself well to my tool set. I had purchased Christopher Schwarz's video (streaming from Lie-Nielsen), and I enjoyed watching it before the build.

Schwarz's videos are great because he gets real basic with how to perform each part of the build. He has several videos describing how he does dovetails, but he describes it on this one, too. I highly recommend this video, and even if you know how you want to build it, some questions you might have will likely be answered.

I think that once you understand why he does it the way he does on the video, you can choose for yourself if that is how you would do it. For example, I used a much more modest tool set to build mine, and I also used clenched nails to fix the battens on the large panels, something he does in a different way.

Not that my way is better, but my way fit my idea of how it should be done, and more importantly, my tool set.

I am really looking forward to having a proper place to keep my tools. I really miss my tool chest from my Munich workshop, and I think this will be a good solution.
Categories: Hand Tools

Dutch Tool Chest in Spain - Part III

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 9:27am
I got a lot done in the last couple of days, but neglected posting to the blog. Long story short, I'm almost done and am applying some home made milk paint.
Mmmmm... Paella!
If you want the long version, here goes:

When we left off, I was attaching shiplapped boards to the back. Now it's time for the front. After I cut the top piece to length, I drilled pilot holes, only to realize too late that the pilots going into the case actually cross nails that are in the side holding the shelf up.
Attaching the front.
No problem, I just cut the nails a bit short. They should still hold plenty strong enough, plus this part will have glue.
Trimmed the nails.
Next I decided to make the wooden parts for the catches. There are four on the big chest, although I bet one could get away with just two on the top. No matter, they are easy to make.
Mark them out one inch from the ends and clamp to bench,

Saw to the line, including a couple of clearance cuts.

Pop out the middle with a chisel.

I had been dreading the big panels for the drop front and the lid, even though I bought one wide enough and glued up the other. Turns out, this was pretty easy, too.
Rip it to width, and a long grain shooting set up keeps the edge square.
I decided on clinched nails for the battens, since I had plenty of Roman nails.
Done my usual way - aka Richard Maguire's way.

These nails are ideal for this.
Once the drop front was together, I realized there was a problem when it would fit. I realized there was no clearance for the battens. The Popular Woodworking plans didn't show clearance cut outs, but I figured that was the only way to go at this point. I later saw a photo of Christopher Schwarz's large DTC he did the exact same thing.
Extra cutouts for clearance of the drop front battens.
Christopher Schwarz recommended to my Instagram photo that perhaps I should use a few more nails for the panel. I figured it couldn't hurt, so I put a total of seven on each side instead of three. These ones I clinched across the grain, as it is supposed to be even stronger.
Interesting pattern.

These square nails are fun to clinch, and look better than wire nails.
This chest is coming along, so why not get some skim milk and vinegar going and in a couple days I can make some paint.
Making milk paint.
The lid was essentially the same. At first I wanted to do breadboard ends, but without a plow plane, I thought it might be a bit much when I could just nail battens on.
Just like the drop front.

A happy coincidence, my Dick saw fits between the battens of the lid!
Now it's time for hinges. Olav gave me a pair of suitable stainless steel hinges when I was in Denmark, and Jonas used a propane torch to "blue" them. I think they look great.

Because of the way it was constructed, it required a little bit of a different install.
There needs to be clearance for the entire barrel.

Nice fit.
It took a little trial and error, but I finally got them on in a way that makes me happy.
Installed. Ugly screws.
All of my screws and the casters I bought had a thick coat of zinc on them. Especially the casters. The only real acid I have about is apple cider vinegar, so in they went. They will come out in a day or two.
It's not what you think, it's apple cider vinegar!
I also need to install the inset chest lifts I got from Jonas. Those we stripped of zinc, and burned in some BLO with a propane torch for a nice look.

To install them, I need to excavate all the wood where the handle needs to go. I chopped most of it out with a chisel, and finished it off with a home-made router.
I sharpened it on my diamond stone.
It can take only a very light cut, so it is no good for hogging out material, only for evening up the final surface.
I first went down only the thickness of the metal,

then I routed the cavity for the handle.
The finished look of the handle is really good.
I like it.
Instead of screws, I used machine screws with bolt anchors on the inside of the chest so the handles don't get ripped off when the screws fail.

BTW, I've discovered that drill bits made to fit in a cordless drill work exceptionally well in an eggbeater. The bit doesn't ever slip.
A new 5mm brad point bit.
Time to get that crap out of the bucket and see what we have. After two days, even the thick coating of zinc on the casters came off. Unfortunately I won't be able to color those because of the rubber wheels, but they will look better with a coat of oil on them.

The screws and machine screws will get the Benchcrafted flaxseed oil treatment.

Only, I have boiled linseed oil here, so I'll use that.

Basically, after washing the parts, I dropped them all in a small jar of BLO. When I removed them, I dried them off with a paper towel, and put them on a piece of tinfoil in our toaster oven.
Naturally, only when the Frau is at work.
After only 15 or 20 minutes, they had started to darken.
It works!
I quenched them in the little jar of BLO, and repeated for a total of three bakes.
They turned out great! You can't even see the screws on the handle from here.
All that is left for woodwork, is the thumbnail profile on the lid. Back to the rescue is my ghetto rabbet plane!
As long as I score the cross grain ahead of time, it works great!

Then I rounded it over with my BU jack.
Screw on the casters.
Now it's time for paint. I thought it would be fun to tint it with some locally available material. Here in Spain, they love to make paella, and for paella, there are some cool colors of spices.
Sweet pepper, and yellow paella colorant.
My plan was to put a base coat of yellow on, and follow it up with the darker red.

So far the yellow colorant works extremely well. The Frau loves the color and wants me to keep it this way. I'm not so sure, I'll have to think about that.
The sweet pepper is a quite a bit coarser in texture than the yellow colorant. I'll have to test it. If it is not suitable for paint, then for sure I will have a yellow chest.

Next post we'll find out!
Categories: Hand Tools

Dutch Tool Chest in Spain - Part II

Fri, 12/09/2016 - 1:47pm
I feel lucky to have been able to spend some good time today on my chest. The next bit that needs doing are the sticks for the locks, as well as the cutouts for them on the chest.

I decided to cut them a bit over length, and wait to trim them to final length once the chest is together and I can see how they are supposed to work. Since the wood I bought was sold in a metric measurement, my chest is actually an inch or two taller than Christopher Schwarz' plan.

Cutting these notches is pretty simple, even without a router. The trick is being accurate in marking out. The first cut is to saw the sidewalls of the notch.
Sidewalls sawed - check.
I also cut some relief cuts to prevent any disasters. Next, I rough out the notch with a chisel and mallet.
Roughed out - check.
Then it is just a matter of paring down to the line with a chisel.
Pared to the line, check.
Only a little more complicated are the notches in the bottom board, which are stopped. I approached it in the same way.
Starting the stopped cut.
In no time that part was done.
Locks fit.
The next challenge was the back. Christopher Schwarz recommends tongue and groove joints for the back boards, but those sound awfully fussy without any proper joinery planes. I think it can be done, but there are a lot of them, and I think the time spent isn't worth the end result. My opinion is that ship lap joints should do just fine.

I could make these rabbets with a chisel and a saw, but once again, there are a lot of rabbets to make, so the best way is with a rabbet plane, which I didn't have until I made one out of scrap wood yesterday.
First action shot.
The way it was, it seemed to work. It soon became apparent, however, that all was not well in Rabbetville. Every swipe I took led the plane a little farther inboard, and soon I had a big mess.

I'm not sure what the problem was, as I can make a rabbet like that just fine with my vintage rabbet plane that is safely in my tool chest in Munich.

I decided another piece of scrap and a couple nails should fix the problem.
I nailed on a fence.
It did. Once I had the fence on, I was making perfect rabbets in a hurry.
Action shot.
This worked just fine for this project. I'm pretty sure this plane won't last long, but I'm done with it for this project. If I need another one someday, I know I can whip one out in a hurry.
This rabbet is just fine for a ship lap.
Once this was done, I just had to nail the top piece on after squaring the carcase up the best I could. It was out 3mm on the diagonal, so a small push in that direction squared it up a little better.
Back pieces starting to go on.
I continued using Roman nails to attach the back. I really like these nails. They hold like crazy.

I spaced the ship lap boards the width of a 1 Euro coin to allow the boards to expand and contract with the humidity.
These nails are tapered, so I drilled pilot holes to prevent splitting.
This whole process took a bit longer than it would if you had a table saw and a powered shaper, but I also have all my fingers and hearing intact.
And, I did it in my home office. No table saw in here!
Next up is the front panel, the drop front and the lid. Plus hardware and paint, and who-knows-what I forgot. Like the guts for the upper compartment.

As a follow up to a previous post, my wife bought me a Spanish woodworking book that was recommended by a reader. This looks like a great book for learning woodworking Spanish. Thanks for the recommendation, António!
My birthday present from my wife.

Categories: Hand Tools

Dutch Tool Chest - in Spain! Part I

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 12:07pm
I was able to spend some quality time the last couple days in the office with a new project, a Dutch tool chest!

This project started a few weeks ago with a trip to the local home center on the bus.
Jonas says these wheelie bags are only for old people.
I haven't yet found a lumberyard nearby that I can get to without a car, so I am stuck with public transportation. I was able to get all of this lumber in my wheelie bag normally reserved for grocery shopping!

I'm lucky that this home center has such nice plastic-wrapped laminated pine. They are glued from long pieces of wood.
If you dig through the pile, there are often boards as nice as this!
I came to Spain with a limited tool set, and when I went to Denmark, I seem to have left my combination square at home in Munich. When I mentioned the problem to Jonas, he suggested using a piece of printer paper.
Testing for square with a piece of printer paper.
Even though I have a pair of saw benches, there are some operations that still must be done on the floor. Shooting these wide boards is one. I think I am getting used to shooting this way - marking a square line and planing to it.

With the two side pieces picked out and the bottom cut to length, I can plane the edges. I made one edge smooth on each side, then clamped them together to gang-plane them in the hope they will all turn out the same width.
Here is where I really miss my square, but the eye is pretty accurate when it has to be.
With that done, I can start dovetails. Last time I risked the death penalty by sawing them clamped to our brand new sideboard. Now that I have some saw benches, I'll try some less-risky (to my health) work holding.
I did buy a pair of C-clamps.
This is the first time I ever gang-cut dovetails. It seems to have worked. And, I am amazed I can cut dovetails with the same saw I use to break down rough lumber.
Gratuitous Dick saw shot.
These saw benches make a world of difference. Getting things off the floor makes it much easier to work longer and requires less ibuprofen.
Chiseling out the waste after coping. BTW, I love having sun light in the shop.
Having low benches isn't perfect, but with a bit of thinking about a workholding problem, most things can be solved.
Marking the pins.
With no joinery planes here, I wasn't able to plane a shallow rabbet on the pins. I had to forgo that trick. Cross your fingers!
Cutting the pins.
With the dovetails done, It is time to cut the grooves for the shelves. I used a leg from the broken safari chair as a saw guide.
Once again, A4 paper to the rescue!
The chair leg worked brilliantly, but it was a bit too tall for my Ryoba Dick saw. I solved that problem by removing the handle.
Sawing crossgrain kerfs for shelf dadoes.
It takes a light touch, as there are sharp teeth on both sides of this blade. With a bit of care it can be done.
This is how I sawed the dado.

Approaching the line.
Sawing that way works great. All that is left is to hog out the waste with a chisel and clean it up with a router plane.
Oops! I don't have a router plane. I guess do it all with a chisel!
The next step is to cut the angle on the side pieces. I then clamped them together, clamped the whole works to a saw bench and smooth the ends.
Aren't self-timers a great invention?
Glue up. I didn't have a clamp wide enough, so I just glued the snot out of everything and pounded it home with a mallet.
I thought it was a booger, but it's not. (You have to say that out loud for it to be funny.)
Now I get to try my new tapered drill bit to make pilot holes for Roman nails!
Pretty, isn't it?
Well, while I was trying to take this fancy shot, the eggbeater fell on the floor and broke the tip off of the tapered drill bit. I was able to finish with it, but that bit now likes to wander all over the place.
Not sure this art shot was worth it.
Mike Siemsen left a comment on my Instagram recomending I just cut the head off of one of these nails and use that for a tapered pilot hole drill bit. Great idea!

I've been thinking of ways to keep the lid and the front panel flat with battens. I don't really want to use screws on this project, so I thought I would make a test to see if I could clench these Roman nails to join two pieces of this pine.
It works brilliantly!
So that means I'll be clenching some nails on those panels.

That's all I have completed so far.
Well, it holds tools!
I was trying to figure out how to make tongue and groove or shiplap with no joinery planes for the back boards, and was inspired to spend thirty minutes making Paul Sellers' version of a rabbet plane out of construction pine. We'll find out tomorrow how well it works.
A Paul Sellers tool on a Christopher Schwarz tool chest.

Categories: Hand Tools