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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.|
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.|
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!|
|beach sand and seawater. And who-knows-what.|
|Filtering the sea water.|
|The clean sand.|
|Next I dumped in my raw linseed oil.|
|Oil on top, the water sank below it, and the sand is on the bottom.|
|After the mixture was shaken. Not stirred.|
Then, let it sit in the sun.
|After an hour.|
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.|
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.
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.
|This plane is really great at end grain.|
What about the rest?
|Can one joint with this plane?|
|This thing works great shooting end grain. Did I already say that?|
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.|
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.|
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.
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 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.|
|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.|
|It involved a hike.|
|But the view is great!|
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.|
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?|
|Cross cutting shelves to length.|
|Now they are the right width.|
|Here's a sneak peek of the finished project.|
Time for coffee and pastries.
It's coming along, I should be done in about a week or so. :o)
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 want to use a soap finish on the pine parts, and a beeswax finish on the drawer fronts.
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.|
|First was making new lock pieces for the fall front out of ash.|
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.|
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.|
|My face planing set up.|
|This works a little better for the final pass.|
|A coat of beeswax and they are done.|
|I think they look cute.|
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.|
|Plane till fit. It is in with a friction fit, no nails to secure it to the chest.|
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.|
|Second rack installed.|
|Tools in the chest.|
First things first, I wanted a rack for my Dick saw that would allow the bow saw to be mounted behind.
|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.|
|Once this is cleaned up, it will be great.|
|This was really pretty simple.|
|Here is a photo of everything installed.|
|Another one with the saws installed.|
The answer, some spacers!
|An easy fix.|
|Here they are installed. Everything fits perfectly now!|
|Notice I have some scrapers in here.|
|The open chest in it's spot.|
|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.|
|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!|
|Now stick it to the chest...|
|And spray the crap out of it.|
|Haha! This is fun!|
|Now attach the second stencil, and spray.|
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.
|I wound up having to pay extra as this duffel bag was nearly 30 kilos!|
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'll have to set up the insides of my chest. I have to figure out how to get all this stuff in here.
|I used only Roman nails, even to attach the battens for the large panels like the lid.|
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.|
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.|
|As you can see, I still need to sort out the guts, and make it friendly to hold tools.|
|More likely I'll over stuff it with tools and slam the front on before they fall out.|
|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.|
|I suppose she's right.|
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.
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.|
|Trimmed the nails.|
|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.|
|Rip it to width, and a long grain shooting set up keeps the edge square.|
|Done my usual way - aka Richard Maguire's way.|
|These nails are ideal for this.|
|Extra cutouts for clearance of the drop front battens.|
|These square nails are fun to clinch, and look better than wire nails.|
|Making milk paint.|
|Just like the drop front.|
|A happy coincidence, my Dick saw fits between the battens of the lid!|
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.|
|Installed. Ugly screws.|
|It's not what you think, it's apple cider vinegar!|
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.|
|I first went down only the thickness of the metal,|
|then I routed the cavity for the handle.|
|I like it.|
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.|
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.|
|They turned out great! You can't even see the screws on the handle from here.|
|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.|
|Sweet pepper, and yellow paella colorant.|
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.
Next post we'll find out!
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.|
|Roughed out - check.|
|Pared to the line, check.|
|Starting the stopped cut.|
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.|
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.|
|This rabbet is just fine for a ship lap.|
|Back pieces starting to go on.|
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.|
|And, I did it in my home office. No table saw in here!|
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.|
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'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!|
|Testing for square with a piece of printer paper.|
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.|
|I did buy a pair of C-clamps.|
|Gratuitous Dick saw shot.|
|Chiseling out the waste after coping. BTW, I love having sun light in the shop.|
|Marking the pins.|
|Cutting the pins.|
|Once again, A4 paper to the rescue!|
|Sawing crossgrain kerfs for shelf dadoes.|
|This is how I sawed the dado.|
|Approaching the line.|
|Oops! I don't have a router plane. I guess do it all with a chisel!|
|Aren't self-timers a great invention?|
|I thought it was a booger, but it's not. (You have to say that out loud for it to be funny.)|
|Pretty, isn't it?|
|Not sure this art shot was worth it.|
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!|
That's all I have completed so far.
|Well, it holds tools!|
|A Paul Sellers tool on a Christopher Schwarz tool chest.|