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Accidental Woodworker

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The daily dribble from my workshopRalph Boumenothttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10606484453109932074noreply@blogger.comBlogger5112125
Updated: 4 hours 19 min ago

fancy picture frame pt III.........

13 hours 16 min ago

 Made good progress on the fancy frame and more screw ball weather. When I rolled out of the rack this AM it looked like the sun was shining and then it got cloudy. It looked like it would rain but it didn't until after lunch. The skies then got increasingly dark with thunder boomers and flashes of lightning. The skies opened up and the rain came down like a cow letting loose on a flat rock. A couple hours later Mr Sun peeked out and said hello. Saturday is currently forecasted to be sunny so I might get out to Gurney's sawmill.

 ready to unclamp

I had a few clamps rosebuds from the bar clamps. No surprises removing them and nothing moved or sighed on me.

 flushing the corners

I didn't have to do much on the corners. For the most part they were flush and I only had to skim plane a few frog hairs worth here and there.


After looking and thinking about it for a while I decided on the battle plan. First step was doing the rope molding on the inside edge first. Followed by the leaf molding with the 2nd rope molding on the outside edge.


Made a me-steak with the moldings. I should have bought two rope moldings and one leaf one. Instead I reversed that so I had to make a run to Lowes to buy another rope 8 footer.

 bead molding

After the rope&leaf moldings are secured I'll do the bead moldings on the inside and outside edges. I made four long bead moldings for the outside edges.


I can't believe I screwed up the moldings. Oh well I had a couple of errands to run so I added Lowes to the loop. At least it didn't rain while doing the errands.

 first rope molding done

I glued and pin nailed the rope molding to the base frame. I wasn't happy with the dry fit of the leaf molding though. I sawed the miters and then shot them on the miter jig but they looked liked crap. I couldn't get the toes to not be wonky. I ended up going the leaf molding in the hand saw miter box and surprise they came out almost perfect.

 had to have it

I used this for about 2 months after I got it and then it got demoted to the boneyard. I found it easier to rough saw the miters (or any angle) and shoot it on a miter shooting jig. The biggest problem I have with this miter box is there isn't a way (that I have found) to hold the stock down to the table and against the fence while sawing it. For the most part the angles are accurate but there is a lot of saw fuzz to deal with.

Since I'm brain dead about certain things I am on the look out for one of the smaller Miller Falls miter boxes. The saw for this miters box is a monster - 5" x 24" - which was overkill for the thin moldings for this picture frame.

 wasn't working

It was like the molding was slightly circular from the heel to the toe. It was a PITA using the miter box but I took my time, kept the cursing to a minimum, and got it done.

 no more gap

I wasn't too concerned about the gaps with the rope moldings. They are going to be painted so filling/patching them is ok. There were only two gaps I had to deal with - one the outside and one on the inside.

 requisite blurry pic

There was no way I was going to get the outside corners of the rope molding to match. I tried but due to the lengths of my sides one corner would match and the other would be OTL (out to lunch). I used a chisel to knock back any proud parts and let to go at that.

 two problem corner

I sawed off a sliver of the rope molding to fill the gap at the miter. Sawed another piece to fill in a missing chunk at the toe. I will let this set up until tomorrow when I'll saw/chisel and knock it back .

 working the inside bead moldings

I fitted the four inside bead moldings but that is all I did with them. It is probably going to be a few days before I glue and pin nail them in place.

 one loose one

The bead moldings will be painted black so the gappy one will be used. I'll fill the gap with putty and the paint will hide my sin. I will paint the bead molding before I install them. I will also paint the rope and leaf moldings first too. That way I won't have to worry about getting a paint color where I don't want it.

 labeled and ready for paint

I could have started the painting but I can't decide on the paint. I know it will be black but I have two black paints. One is a gloss enamel and the other is flat black. I ordered the paint for the rope/leaf moldings and that will be here next week. I think I'll wait and see what sheen the paint for leaf molding has first.

 no quirk

The inside bead beading has a small quirk but I removed it on the outside one. I didn't like the look of it there facing in to the edge or facing out. Just having the bead staring back at me made me put on my smiley face.


I knew I had one more gap to fill. I had double triple checked the outside rope molding several times without finding it. Turns out it was hiding on me on the inside.

new handles

These came in much quicker than the first ones did. I guess I'm considered a repeat customer. I will definitely be buying more of these. I checked and the screws would poke out maybe a 32nd on the baby chest. I could file the points off but I'm undecided on that. If do use them they will be going on the baby chest after it gets finished with shellac.

 group shot

The chief inspector Mr Darcy approves of my work. After seeing this pic I got an idea for the next project, maybe. Making 3 more chests but making them so one nests within the other. The mama chest fits (barely on the width) in the papa chest but the baby chest won't fit in the mama one.

 2nd glamour group pic
I'll have to wait along with you to see what the finished papa chest looks like. When I get a pic of it I'll post it.

accidental woodworker

fancy picture frame pt II.........

Thu, 05/23/2024 - 3:25am

 I didn't get much time in the shop today because I was running around closing accounts. I was vertical at Santander Bank for over an hour before I made headway on closing out the checking and savings account. I wasn't charged any fees which surprised me because I thought that I had to keep a certain level in the accounts in order for them to be free. Got them closed, got the cash, and deposited it in the new credit union. I only have to close the Chartway account but before I do that I have to make sure my VA disability and Navy pension are direct deposited in Navigant. 

I got my TIAA-CREF verification of the new Navigant account so on the first I should see it deposited in Navigant. Once I see that I will delete the Chartway account.

 last night

After dinner I went to the shop and finished fitting the b,c, and d tenon and mortises. I scribbled on the tenon and planed until they disappeared on both sides. It took me about 30 minutes to get them all fitted.

 needed a shave

The shoulder on this one was tight on one side and had a gap on the other. I few shaves with the tenon plane and all was well in Disneyland again.

 not much to remove

I chiseled this at a slight taper going from the knife line on the outside face into the middle of the mortise. 

 happy with this

All the corners look good. There were no gaps and the inside diagonals are off less than a 16th.

 brain fart alert

I got the long side of the frame but I had mind melded with a brown knot on the short legs. They were too short.

 wee bit long

The painting margins are 18 1/4 by 23 1/4. I have  about a 1/2" more on the long legs which is ok. I plan on putting a molding on the inside and outside edges of the picture frame.


This I don't understand but I obviously blew it big time. I am almost 2" shy of the minimum for the short legs. On a positive note the corners are square and tight.


The short legs overall are 23 1/4 which agrees with the numbers I wrote down. 23 1/4 minus 6 1/2 equals 16 3/4 which is what I got. I blew this one big time and the short legs are way too short and eat up too much of the painting.

 liking the look

I have been running the colors through the brain bucket and I'm still sorting through them. I have gold, black, two greens, and a brown color so far. 

 my measuring stick

I got the long legs figured correctly and blew it on the short ones. I don't know how.

 it is correct

I put two legs flush with the top and measured 18 1/4 and marked the leg underneath them. That makes the inside distance between two short legs 18 1/4. I got 16 3/4 and I did some serious butt scratching and nada. Before I got a pounding headache I said No Mas and I'll but a couple of new 1x4s to make two new short legs.

 dry fit is excellent

The me-steak aside, the frame is spot on. Sucks I made a bone head measurement error but practice makes perfect.

 AM session

The dry fit was an 1/8" strong off on the diagonals. After clamping it the diagonals were off less than a 32nd. I don't have any paintings or pictures that I could use this frame for so I decided to redo just the short legs.

got lucky

There are a lot of inconsiderate A-Holes who sort through the lumber at Lowes. The 1x4s were intermixed with 1x2s, 1x6s, and 1x8s. It was a mess and took me 45 minutes to sort through it and rearrange it neatly again. These four are kind of rift sawn nd all four are almost dead nuts flat/straight end to end.

 starts with a reference edge

None of the four had a straight edge (on either side). No problems getting that done with the 5 1/2 and the #7.

double triple checking

Making sure that the inside measurements are correct before I saw them to length.

I have about a 1/2" of wiggle room - a 1/4" on all four inside edges.


 layout done

I was fortunate that I didn't change anything on the Grizzly tenon jig. 

 last shoulder done

I was fighting the clock here because I wanted to get this glued and cooking before I quit and killed the lights.


Indicated which edge was the bottom so that once I got it fitted, it would be the way I glued it.

 half an hour

I am happy with the second frame or the 2nd half of a frame. Even though the half laps on the front will be covered with the moldings I still wanted them to be tight and gap free. The dry fit is good and when the clamps go on that should close up the bridle joints nicely.

passed with flying colors

You can see a border on the left between the painting and the end of the paper. I hope that the molding I plan to use will cover it or most of it. The important thing is that none of the painting will be covered or obscured by the moldings or the frame.

inside and outside moldings

I was going to use a 3/16" bead on the inside and a 1/4" on the outside. After eyeballing them I am going with 1/4" on both edges.

 growing on me

Even I am starting to like this arrangement. I was doing it strictly for my wife who likes this type of heavy detail in frame. Still have my fingers are crossed because I am still clueless about what she likes and doesn't like from day to day for the most part.

 Wetzler clamps

I think these are the favorite clamps of Chris S. I got these when I was in the Navy about 45 years ago. The bar clamps pulled the frame into square very nicely. I double clamped the corners to ensure a good bond with the bridle joints.

another bench hog

I will let this live here until the AM and then I'll unclamp it. I got this done at 1513 so I was happy I met my goal with it.

 1/4" bead moldings

This scrap was long enough (barely) for the short inside legs. I made four of them because I get confused mitering this and I want extras.

 4 each and need only 2

I bought 2 extra 1x4s just for the moldings. So if the short ones end up too short I have stock to redo them to a longer length.


The chain was too wimpy to hold the lid. I flipped it back and had it under control but by time I stopped it the chain had already snapped. 

#10 chain

This is stronger and it held. I let the lid fall back several times letting the chain stop it and no problems. I had #10 chain stops - missed them somehow on the first eyeballing of the drawers.

Killed the lights at 1529 but I got a lot done today. I might have to do some more running around tomorrow but I'll wait and see which way the wind blows me. Today it hit 91F (33C) and I felt the H&H when I walked to the bank after lunch. Tomorrow it is supposed to rain all day so it might be a good time to do any mop up errands.

accidental woodworker

picture frame adventure.......

Wed, 05/22/2024 - 3:12am

 What I thought would be a nightmare from hell and back has turned out to be a walk in the park. I had 3 retirement accounts plus SS to switch from one bank to another. I got confirmation letters/emails from Social Security (done by the bank) and two retirement accounts which left one to go. I went online with my new bank and voila I saw instant joy. The last account had made a test deposit and withdrawal from the new bank account without any hiccups. Tomorrow I'll go to the old bank and close out the accounts I have there. The other bank I'll have to fight it out with them over the phone because I ain't driving to Virginia to do it.

 going for it

Decided to put the new handle on the Mama chest. As long as I don't stow a small block chevy engine in it the handles should hold up fine.


There is no way I can show both handles in one pic so one will have to do. This was the extent of my AM shop accomplishments. I left for the VA right after I got the handles on this chest. The doc said I was in fine shape and I don't have to see her again until next year. Still don't know why I was seeing her every 6 months for 3 years.

 PM session

The goal I had in mind was to get the base frame glued and cooking so I could work on adding the moldings to it tomorrow. The lead off batter was squaring, flattening, and straightening a reference edge. 

 bridle joints

No miters for this picture frame because I'm laying moldings on top of the base frame. The frame will be 3 1/4" wide to accommodate the width of the three overlay moldings.

wee bit short

I did the bridle joints on the tablesaw with the new grizzly tenon jig. The blade will only go up about 3" leaving me a two pennies and a 1/4" short. I had to complete the last of the mortise and tenon work by hand.

 big arse Lie Nielsen tenon saw

I don't use this often but it has the depth plus needed to do the mortises and tenons. I tried this first and it worked so I used it for all of them. The second choice in hot standby was a Ryobi saw.

 shoulders need some love

The shoulders cleaned up without any hiccups to deal with. 

wee bit snug

This is as far as I dared to push the mortise and tenon together. It is snug enough to be self supporting but too snug to seat the tenon in the open mortise.

sneaking up on it

Used my LN rabbeting blockplane to trim and fit the tenon into the open mortise. It took a few dance steps before I got it to fit. I had to use clamps to pull the two parts together flush and square. My goal was to get the tenon to seat in the mortise with hand pressure only. Took a few more swipes with the blockplane before I achieved that fit.

wee bit of a gap

This was a surprise that I didn't want to see. The joint seated with hand pressure but I could see that the bottom edge of the tenon was still a little fat. A couple of more swipes with the blockplane and the gap was gone and the clamp wasn't needed to pull the joint flush and square.

dead nuts

I am (not bragging) but I do well with sawing a square shoulder on my tenons. It has taken me quite a few years to get to this point. I wonder sometimes how long or shorter it would have been if I had done a traditional apprenticeship?

I didn't get the frame glued and cooking today. However, I did get one corner (the A one) fitted. So one done and 3 to go. Based on how long it took me to do the first one I should have the frame glued and cooking before lunch tomorrow.

I skipped taking my post lunch stroll today so I could bring the frame and turtle painting to Maria to mount etc/etc. I also went to the bank and made my first deposit in the new checking account. Nice and convenient having the bank a short walk away. Did some grocery shopping along with a stop at Wally World so I'm good to go for 3 more days. I buy fresh and after 3 days I replace and renew. 

accidental woodworker

finish one, start another.......

Tue, 05/21/2024 - 3:25am

 I am almost done with the little miniature blanket chest. I was looking at them today and it seems I have a Papa, Mama, and baby blanket chests. All that is missing is Goldilocks. I have the next project or I have the stock for it. I'm still mulling over how and what I want to do with it. Nothing is carved in stone with it other than it will made of wood.

the drum roll

I was pretty confident that the carcass is stiff and strong enough to resist flattening the twist in the base. The proof was about to be proven.

 teeny bit said hello

A good chunk of the twist disappeared but there was a wee bit still peeking back over the sticks. A huge improvement of what I saw on the base by itself.

it ain't rocking

I planed 99% of the twist away with the blockplane. I sweetened it with the sanding block. I didn't go full blown nutso on it. I've found over the years that what it is initially checked for flat on (like the workbench) may be ok but on another one it will rock.


The lid out of the clamps and I have a huge cup in it. I had to saw it apart on the joint line and glue and cook it again.

 I doubt it will cup this time

Before I had put the first one aside to cook I had looked at it. I eyeballed the stock laying flat on all three clamps. The pressure from them must have caused the cup in it.

 Lowes haul

I picked the pile and found 4 clear 1x4s by 4 feet long. All four of them are rift sawn too. Usually this thin width stock is all heart wood which is useless for picture frames.


The four 1x4s and these 4 pieces of moldings was $80 and change. I almost had involuntary bowel movement. The lions share $$$$ were these 4 moldings.

 the percolating idea

This is my idea for the picture frame. I would like to do something with the inside/outside edges too. My first thought is some kind of bead detail. I'll be starting on this tomorrow. I have an appt with my PCP at 10ish so that blows the AM session out of the water. 

 rough sawn to length

I don't have any place to safely keep 8 foot long molding intact from harm in the shop. I know how long the frame parts will be and sawed them 8" longer. 


Two corners closed up nice and two corners have a slight gap. After these are set up I'll fill them in with wood putty because this is being finished with shellac.


I let the lid cook for about 3 hours and the clamping worked. It is flat and laying flat on the chest.

screwed up

I marked the width and then forgot to add a 1/2" to it. There is a 16th of overhang at the front. I'll carve a finger grabbie lift up thing in the front.

 2nd step

The first one was sawing off most of the waste followed up by the chisel work to get close to the layout lines. A sanding block and rasping finished it up.

 taking no chances

Glued the back stop thing on and clamped the lid the bar clamps again. 

 knew I had one

I might have more of the narrow hinges too. I remember buying brass and antique brass ones too.

one down, 3 to go

It was lunch time and I got one hinge mortise done. I did the other 3 after my post lunch stroll without any me-steaks.

 stopped chamfer

I wanted this to be a lambs tongue but it ain't. The wood grain wasn't cooperating so I rounded it off and flattened it some.

 chain lid stay

I wanted to use #10 chain but I didn't have any #10 chain ends. On my next Lee Valley order I'll add them to it.

almost done

I little touch up sanding to clean up some smudge marks and than I can start applying the shellac.

 mama and baby chests

I'll get a group shot of all 3 when I bring the Papa chest upstairs.

 I'm impressed

I found these on eBay for $42 (from RestoreHardware P/N 281659052512). The only quibble I have with them is the plates for the handle ends only have two screw holes. But the price is good and the castings are pretty darn good. The brass is clean and smooth with no inclusions or pitting on the show or underside surfaces. And they come with screws! I am still second guessing myself about putting these on the Mama chest.

Either way the wind blows I'll be getting another set (or more) of them to have in the handle bin.  

accidental woodworker

getting ideas.......

Mon, 05/20/2024 - 3:23am

 I had to make a road trip to Lowes and while I was there I looked at the moldings to get some ideas. I am pretty sure my wife wants a gold toned picture frame with carvings. Lowes has 'rope' moldings - 8 feet for $16 that looked promising. There were also 3-4 stamped moldings that I liked. They were a couple of dollars more than the rope molding. I searched through the 1x4 pine but I didn't find one piece that wasn't twisted, cupped, or bowed. They usually stock it on sundays so I'll go again tomorrow and search it again.

I'll use the 1x4 pine for the frame and I will then glue the rope and stamped moldings to it. A couple of coats of shellac and I'll be expecting oohs and aahs from my wife. Hopefully, fingers crossed on that.

 new miniature chest base

The base has a bit of twist to it. It is definitely too much to ignore. I didn't check the base pieces for twist before I dovetailed it. I'll deal with it after I get it glued and cooked.

 base cutout

Used a 1 1/4" forstner bit to make half holes on each of the base pieces two at a time.


Drew a straight line across the tops of the 1/2 circles and removed the waste on the bandsaw. I did the cutout before the glue up because of the size of this base. Even if I were to clamp it I don't think the clamp pressure would distort it.

everything dry fitted

The tails/pins all looked good. I didn't see any gaps but they usually wait until it is glued and cooked to pop out. Got the bearers dry fitted too. They will be glued to the base after it has set up.

 from Lowes

One slightly cupped four foot 1x12. I only need a small piece from this for the lid about 19" x 5-6". I also bought a bottle of glue because I don't trust the white glue anymore. I searched Lowes for a 1/4" quarter cove molding and nada. Lowes doesn't have 5% of what they used to stock for moldings. I should have tried Home Depot to see what they have for offerings. Anyways, I bought a small molding for the miniature chest base. No idea what it is called but it fits the scale of the chest.

 it'll break

The molding is 8 feet long and as loose as an overcooked noodle. I rough sawed to length the four pieces I needed for the chest. I planned on using one of these piano hinges but they are both toast. The right one is too long and the smaller left one (perfect length) is no good. The barrel pin is bent - at the top outwards and at the bottom inwards - makes for opening and closing the hinge almost impossible. 

I was generous

I sawed the moldings out leaving a good inch past the outer face of the base at both ends.


I had to try this out and satisfy my curiosity. I clamped the base to the bottom of the chest pulling the twist out of the base. The sticks are telling me I got zero twist now. 

 working the lid

The lid is a half inch thick and I need a piece about 12 1/2" wide and 18 1/2" long. That will give me a 1/2" over hang on the front and sides.

 checked it for twist first

I was surprised by the amount of twist in this board. I had eyeballed it and didn't see any but I did see a wee bit of cupping. The sticks told me their sad tale of woe and I had to flatten and straighten it out first before planing it to thickness. This is for the lid back stop thing.

 1/16 over

The width is 12 9/16" but there is one more glue up I have to do to this before it is done. I have some wiggle room to play with yet.

 back stop thing

This is my extra wiggle room. I could glue it on at the back on top but that won't give me 'wiggle room'. What it will do is give me somewhere to bury screws for the hinges. The lid is a few frog hairs thicker than a 1/2" and most hinge screws are in the neighborhood of 3/4".

 where it will be glued

I plan on gluing it to the back of the chest as pictured. That will be me wiggle room and a place to bury the screws. I don't like the thickness of this (it is 3/4") and I'll thin it down to match the thickness of the lid.

 second sawing

I sawed and planed the miters and got the fit closer but all still need a final shaving to fit. I glued the carcass to the bearers on the base and I will let that cook until tomorrow. Because of the thinness of the sides I didn't want to chance screwing into the the base bearers and the carcass.

 almost done

I want to put one more coat (or two) on the show face of the lid. I don't like the look of it as is now. I can't wait for it to be done and out of the shop.

accidental woodworker

little miniature blanket chest......

Sun, 05/19/2024 - 2:57am

 I was all set to go to Gurney's this AM. I had checked the rain radar and the rain clouds to the north were supposed stay away until around noon time. Decided to go with the roll of the dice and drive out there. As I was walking out to the truck it was drizzling rain. Killed doing that errand until next saturday. I'll have to make another Lowes run to get some pine to finish the latest blanket chest.


No surprises when the clamps came off. It was still square on the diagonals. So far I haven't seen any problems with the glue joints failing like it has with my edge to edge glue joint lines. I got the glue during the winter when it was freezing cold - maybe that effected it somehow?


Not sure how and where they came from. I had about 5 of them to deal with.

 looking good

Neither the top or the bottom had any twist.


It failed the bounce test with Mr Concrete Floor. Time for a pit stop to fix this because I don't want to make a new one.

 no surprises

I used epoxy to secure this end. As you can see it is an end grain to a long grain glue joint. 

 Yikes again

I thought the screws went in too easily. I thought it was because I was screwing into end grain. I was wrong. Backed out these screws, slathered on some white glue and screwed it again. I put 3 nails in the miter, hopefully that will help it win the next bounce test.

 new miniature chest base

Sawed the last pin. After lunch I chopped them.

 dry fit

Went together off the saw. I hope that I never tire of this step in dovetailing. I find it highly satisfying that I laid out, sawed, chopped, and then had four separate pieces of wood come together and mate perfectly.

 the important dry fit

Slipped over and down without a whimper.


I think this could have been thinner on the width. It is about 2 9/16" and maybe I should have gone down to two inches.

came early

#12 by 1 1/4", black oxide, slotted oval head screws. They were supposed to come on monday.

 fills it nicely

I like the proud of the oval head over a flush fitting FH screw. Sometimes a FH screw sinks a wee bit under the countersink. I am still applying the finish to the large toy/blanket chest. I have one more coat on the handle blocks and at least two more to the lid before it is done.


This was done too late to make it to the Frame it Shop today. It is closed on mondays so I'll bring it on tuesday.

accidental woodworker

even smaller miniature chest........

Sat, 05/18/2024 - 3:25am

 Today was forecasted (yesterday) to be cloudy. After starting out that way it turned into a beautiful sunny day. However, tomorrow is saturday and that is the day I'm concerned about. It has shifted from cloudy to rain and I want to go to Gurneys Sawmill to get some pine. The early AM hours have a 14 to 28 percent chance of rain. Do I feel lucky and willing to chance it raining before I get home with my wood? I'll find out in the AM when I can look at the rain radar and see what it shows.


Removed the screws and plugged the countersink. I am liking the look of this vice having a screw head showing. The block is glued to the chest and the screws for the handle will penetrate it and land go into the end. The screws in the block would be just for show. I have time to think about it.

 it behaved

They all aren't dead nuts flat. I found doing the dovetail layout that 3 of the boards had cupped slightly. I saw/felt that when I put the ends on the long sides to mark them.

 good morning's work

Got the tails and pins sawn and chopped just before lunch. 

 I couldn't wait

Delayed filling the pie hole until I checked the fit. It went together off the saw and it was square according the diagonals on the top and bottom.

 glued and cooking

I had to fiddle with the diagonals to square it up. The fit of the tails/pins was snug enough to hold it square too.

 it looked wide enough

This is 3/4" short of covering the distance. The front to back is 12" plus a frog hair. It is looking like the lid will be glue up.

needed some help

I noticed that a few of the tails weren't fully seated anymore. I had to use 5 clamps to close them up. Put two more on after these 3.

 the base

I used the stock that I was going to make a picture frame with. I thinned it down to 5/8" thick and smoothed the rough sawn face.

 two colors

Changed my mind on adding some yellow and red to this frame. This is all I did on the first frame I made. The two pictures are similar - both have sea turtles in them. It was because of that I opted to keep the frames the same. 

I got two coats of shellac on the toy/blanket chest lid and the handle blocks. I would say I would go back after dinner but The Crimson Rivers has my limited attention span and this series is free. I have until may 31st to finish it.

accidental woodworker

new old project.......

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 3:02am


 change of plans

My wife shocked me today with a request with the toy/blanket chest. I was explaining to her that she didn't have to finish the interior of the chest and that she should remove the hardware before she painted it. She asked me to apply a clear finish (it will be shellac) to the top and the pads/brackets for the handles. She said she will be easier for her to paint if I do that (she doesn't want to remove the hardware to paint). I guess something from me is rubbing off on her. I will gladly comply with her wishes (starting tomorrow).

 new project

I am dead in the water with the toy/blanket chest for now and I need something to do to keep me from playing in traffic. This is left over stock from the toy/blanket chest and I decided to make another miniature blanket chest. This one will be smaller than the previous miniature chest I just finished. I'll be thinning this down to about 9/16" thick.

 starts with the #6

I checked one face (reference) for twist and planed it flat and straight. Ran my gauge line 360 and started planing down to them.

 1/2" thick

This is left over from the 2 portable drawer chests I did last month. I'll use this to make the lid for this new/old miniature chest.


 Since I have never seen a triangular blanket chest of any size before, it would appear that I am short one end. I hunted throughout the shop for another piece of scrap and nada. I did find one piece but the grain was running in the wrong direction.

 clipped it

I have four more colors to apply to the current picture frame and only two feathers left. I will apply the white paint with the right side of this feather. I will then cut off the part with the white paint and use the left side for the next color.

 Lowes run

Went to Lowes after lunch and got a 1x10 and cut out the clear section of it to get two end pieces. It was raining and I couldn't go for my stroll and it is looking like tomorrow will be a repeat of today. Fingers crossed that saturday will be rain free so I can go to Gurney's and buy some pine.

 down to thickness

I have one extra end for just in case. These two ends match the long sides better than the lone end piece. I have enough left over 1/4" plywood for the bottom but I don't have enough pine to make a base for it. Looks like another Lowes run in the AM tomorrow.


I think I'm ok with the long sides but the Lowes end pieces are highly suspect to doing stupid wood tricks. Fingers crossed that it will behave and I can dovetail it tomorrow.

I got the bearers sawn out for the base and they are stickered too. They were camera shy and didn't want to be in this pic.

 always something throwing a hissy fit

Because this was supposed to be painted I had planned on filling in the screw holes with putty or epoxy and sawdust. Now that the wife wants these clear finished I don't like the sunken look of the screw. I think they would look much better if they were flush with the face of it. 

Tomorrow I'll remove these screws, countersink the holes deeper, fill them with plugs, drill a pilot hole and flush drive in some oval head screws. At least that is the plan as of now but that is subject to change.

accidental woodworker

dual chests Pt XVIII........

Thu, 05/16/2024 - 3:27am

 The day didn't start off on a good foot for me. The ride into the VA was better than expected - there was minimal traffic going in. I got a parking spot on the first level of the parking garage too (unheard of). The vampire had trouble sticking me but 8 out of 10 of them never get me on the first attempt. Going home was going well until I came to where a RIPTA bus had broken down. Which was right before a change of 3 lanes into one and then a long stretch of construction barriers. Before I got back to the barn I had to make a couple of stops to get groceries. All and all I got back to the barn by 0845. Since today was grocery day I would have gotten back to the house around 0800 if I hadn't gone to the VA.

 I was having problems getting set up my new online banking with the new credit union and I spent the morning trying to sort that out. That involved a couple of trips to the credit union but in the end I finally got it going. I like this credit union because it is a 5 min walk or a 1 min drive to get to it. I got verification emails from the accounts I switched so fingers crossed that come June 1st the direct deposits will be in my new Navigant accounts.

 new frame

I zoned out going back to the shop last night and putting a coat of shellac on it. I found a new crime series from France called 'The Crimson Rivers' and wow do I like it. It was because of me binge watching it that I forgot the frame. I got a coat of shellac on it before I left for the credit union the first time to straighten out why I couldn't get on line.

 one down

The shellac seals the gray stain. I stained the back of the frame too along with shellac. I will end up putting 3 coats of shellac just on the back (no paint). After I put each color of paint on the front of the frame I will then seal it with one coat of shellac. Doing these dance steps means it will be next week before this is done and ready to go to Maria.

came during lunch

I wasn't expecting this and it was a total surprise. When I checked the tracking this AM there was no tracking info at all. I assumed the date for delivery had slipped again. 

 easy peasy install

I like this transom window chain stay. It is solid and bullet proof. I deliberately let the lid go to test it and it passed with flying colors. This is now 99.99% done. The only thing holding up the check mark in the done column were the #5 screws from Lee Valley.

 first color is black

I tried before to dab the paint on with a paper towel but not only didn't I like the effect, I didn't like the application method. The feather is an improvement but like everything else, it needs practice. I like the lay down of the black color on frame #2 better than what I did on frame #1.

 much joy in Mudville

My screws came in via UPS from Lee Valley after I had quit the shop for the day. I resigned to only getting a wee bit done but now I can do a check mark with the miniature chest. I got the same length screws in #5 & #6 sizes. 

 it ain't a gas strut

This works on a friction principle. By turning a nut at the bottom, resistance is varied opening and closing the lid. Not impressed with the absence of instructions.

 a blurry pic of a no mortise chest hinge

What the pic is supposed to clearly show is a #5 screw seated flush in the hinge countersunk hole. I used the 5/8" length screws for all 7 of the hinge screws.

 now I'm 100%

Got all the #4 screws out and replaced with #5s.

 the only glamour shot

I will keep this chest in the living room and keep my CPAP supplies in it. I also got my podiatry pads etc in it too. Still on the fence about handles because the ones I want are $45 ea. Ouch!

toy/blanket chest

Ditto screw work for this chest. The hinges feel stronger with the #5 screws. They definitely fit better in the hinge countersinks. I checked with LV and the recommended screws are a #4.

 for the non gas strut lid stay

Even though there are no instructions with this it makes sense to me that the upper screw mount pad should be parallel to the inside edge of the chest. LV mortise gauge is a good tool for laying out for things other than mortises.

 copying the pic

The pic of the lid stay shows the bottom screw pad angled. It looks like 45 to me so that is what I set it to.

 not impressed for $31

There is a screw adjustment on the bottom that adjusts the 'friction' of the rod. The friction is almost non existent. I tried the full range of it fully tightened to fully loose. I could feel only a slight difference between the two extremes. It does work with keeping the lid from falling fully back but offers nothing in the way of it slamming down on your fingers by me-steak.

 all that is left

Blacksmith bolt screws are coming via the USPS. From the delivery date I think they are walking it from them to me.

accidental woodworker

dual chests Pt XVII........

Wed, 05/15/2024 - 3:09am

I am now in slo mo with the dual chest builds. The Blacksmith Bolt tracking  number says the 20th for delivery, Lee Valley is wednesday, and the transom chain stays are unknown. I checked on them today and no tracking info. At least with the LV order I'll be able to secure the hinges on both chests and get the gas strut installed on the toy/blanket chest. Getting close but still no cigar.

 stayed flat

When I took the planes off the frame it stayed flat on the bench. 

 fitting splines

I sawed this off a scrap pine board. I tossed all the thin stuff on the last garbage day. Glued and set the frame aside to cook for a few hours.

Howards Feed 'n Wax

I rubbed the lid and the exterior of the chest with this. I'm now thinking of putting handles on this chest too. I brought it upstairs and it was a bit awkward navigating the stairs with it. Carrying it with handles would have been easier.

 partially hinged

I have two screws in the lid hinge part and one in the chest hinge part. That is sufficient until I get my screw order from Lee Valley. I got it loaded up with my CPAP supplies and I have a ton of extra room left over. It doesn't smell like shellac but I will leave the lid open for a while to monitor it.

 back frame ready

I think I got this figured out correctly this time. Regardless of that the 45's are dead nuts as are the lengths of the long/short sides.


I made the same me-steak that I made on the last frame. I did the exact same bone headed thing. I didn't layout/size the frame on the correct side of the pencil lines. It fits or will fit the picture if I install it this way.

 scraps to the rescue

I will fix the boo boo the same way I did the last one. If I had used butt joints I might have gotten this right but I wanted the look of miters. This is the back of the frame and won't be seen once it is hanging on the wall.

 back frame done

Two of the miters were opened slightly at the toes on the back. One miter on the front also had a gap at the toe. Everything was tight when I glued it up and now I don't have a warm and fuzzy about the glue I'm using (bad batch?). Especially so after having so many edge joints open up on me. Even the lids I glued again show signs of separating on the glue joint. Hopefully the splines will help keep the miters as is. I made them bigger than I did on the last frame I mitered.

base color done

I am going to make this frame to match the other turtle painting frame. According to the can I can apply a finish (shellac) over this in one hour. I'll do that after dinner so I can start on the painting touches tomorrow.

My PCP called me this AM and wants me to get blood work done before my appointment with her on the 21st. I forgot to ask if it was fasting blood work but I'll be headed in to the VA shortly after oh dark 15. They start drawing blood at 0700 which means I can drive in early and avoid the rush hour traffic. When I come home from there I should be ok traffic wise too because I'll be going in the opposite direction. 

accidental woodworker

dual chests Pt XVI........

Tue, 05/14/2024 - 3:22am

 I spent a boring afternoon initially chasing my tail but 3 hours later I was done. At the end I still had my tail and I think I got everything switched over. The new bank is taking care of getting my social security switched to them so that left me dealing with the 3 retirement accounts. 2 of the three I didn't know the user name or password for it. I couldn't remember the password hints I did months/years ago and one account that was a (^%@%&!)^$  nightmare to do. I hadn't been on it in almost a year and I had to jump through a month of hoops to access it.

I finally got access and then had to fight my way through a bazillion screens to find where to change the direct deposit. All three said I was successful doing that and now I have to wait and see if next month they go to Navigant and not Chartway. I'm glad that this is finally over and done with. 

 both are done

I got the final coat of shellac on the interior of the toy/blanket chest and on the lid for the miniature chest. I should have the screws from Blacksmith bolt this wed/thurs for the chest handles - fingers crossed.

 miniature chest

This didn't need another coat but I put one on the interior and exterior again. The delivery date for the transom window chain stays from amazon has slipped (again) and now they are supposed to come on the 21st.

 new picture frame

I made a me-steak when I shot the miters. I ass-u-me-d that it was set up perfect. I did get the length dead nuts on but I found out shortly the 45 was off a wee bit.

 open at the toes

The other 3 miters were tight and gap free whereas this one is open. When I checked it with the combo square these ends of the miters were good and the opposite ends were slightly off. Go figure that one out?


These two are perfect. The combo square laid up on them light free when checked. The two on the right showed light for over half their lengths. Shot them again and checked them for zero light leaks before I did another dry fit.

 open corner

Happy with the fit and the look of all the miters.

 glued and cooking

The frame wanted to bow up so I weighed it down with planes to keep it flat to the workbench. Needless to say I ain't disturbing this until tomorrow.

 finally came

I envision that I will mostly use the bandsaw for resawing. This is a 1/2" blade that I'm going to try out for that purpose. It will also be used for rip cuts. I'm hoping the wider blade won't flex like the 3/8" wide one does.

new home

I feel better now that this isn't in front of the clamps. There is nothing under or around the poster here that I need or will have to access.

 almost done

I took my time and only pushed this backwards towards me. All the time concentrating on keeping the bevel down to the stones. Rolled a burr on both of the bevels which surprised me. I was expecting to expend a boatload of calories on the stones sharpening and honing it.

 much better

The plane behaved and it planed the profile with no hiccups. This is the raised panel profile that I was looking for. It is going to take some practice and time to sort it out. I planed way too deep on the flat - it should have been a 1/4" thick. The plane should bottom out and stop taking shavings but I didn't get that option when I did this.

 end grain

The plane plowed through the end grain pretty well. I didn't knife it for the cross grain but overall it did ok without it. I did better on the flat being closer to a 1/4" thickness.

 no spring lines

I am pretty sure that the top of the plane has to be parallel to the stock face. It also bottoms out and stops making shavings when the flat on the left contacts the face of the stock.

I still have a long way to go with making good friends with this plane. One thing I will have to figure out is the thickness the plane is made to raise. Is it 3/4" or something thicker?

accidental woodworker

dual chests Pt XV........

Mon, 05/13/2024 - 3:41am

 Starting off with a mini rant about Shellac. Zinsser shellac was sold to Rust Oleum a few years ago. The cost of the clear shellac has steadily risen in price from around $15 to $27.68 today. Part of the cost today was a BS $3 waste can disposal fee. WTF is that? As long as the can is empty and dry I can put whatever in the garbage can for pickup every thursday. The clerk at ACE had no idea what the disposal fee was for. He wasn't aware of ACE accepting cans of shellac, empty, full, or partially full for disposal.

I bought a can today because I didn't want to wait 24hrs to mix up a batch of it myself. At these prices it costs about the same or a little less to mix it myself. I'm not worried about the 6 month shelf life of mixed shellac because I doubt it would hang out in my shop for more than 3-4 months. Mini rant completed.

 Rust Oleum clear shellac

Ace still carries all 3 varieties of shellac - clear, amber, and sanding sealer. I don't know if they are all the same price though. I use all three with clear dominating and the other two only occasionally. Usually I buy them only when the clear isn't on the shelf.

 veneer hammer

I had to move this to a new hole to make room for the Lost Art Poster. I made this and a larger one several years ago and I have only used the larger one once. All the veneering I thought I would do has yet to materialize.

 20V power

I am still getting used to this drill. It is so much more powerful than the 12V Bosch drill that I used (still use) for years. I have found that the position of the drill when driving is important. I use square drive screws and if the drill driver bit isn't in line with the center of the screw, the drill bit will chatter and round out the square drive.

The other thing I'm still getting used to is the speed that the drill will push a screw into the wood when the alignment is spot on. This is what I have the heebie jeebies about. It is so quick that I can't even get the the letter 'O' of 'oh shit' to form in the brain bucket before the screw is seated 6" below the surface. Just MHO but I think 12v is more than enough for home shop use. I still use my 12v 3/8" chuck Bosch drill whenever I can over the DeWalt 20v.

 where the poster will hang

I thought about the poster being in front of the clamps and for now I'm ok with it. I seldom use these clamps and I'll be able to remove the poster and take the clamps out. That goes against my rule of having to move something to get to what I want. I'll have to see how that shakes out and whether the urge for something to go airborne will rule.

 hanging thing

The hanging wire on the back is too low on the frame to hang it from the joist. If it was a 1x12 it might of worked but not with a 1x8. 

 wish it were 2" longer

This isn't long enough so the bottom rail of the frame will contact it. It will do for now and I'll buy a 1x4 at Lowes the next time I'm there to replace it. (If I remember to do that).


Just thought of this as a potential home for the poster. I don't use this air cleaner anymore. The only time I have used it recent years is when I do a field day cleaning the shop top to bottom. Looking at it as I type this, I am liking it a lot more over where it is hanging now.

 clamp rosebud

Before I put any shellac on this I had looked over the chest trying to find this. I didn't see it then. It popped and caught my attention after the second coat when on.  This is the front edge of the chest too. I already have 3 coats of shellac on it and I'm going to leave it as is. I'm calling it a character/patina boo boo.

 this is done

Other than hanging the poster, the only other thing I did today was get shellac on the two chests. The toy/blanket chest is done. I need the screws and gas strut I ordered from Lee Valley to come in before I can complete it. I haven't gotten a ship email yet but maybe by wednesday I'll have them.

 view from the bench

This is definitely moving to the air cleaner. The sanding block box lid hits the poster when I open it. That is a deal killer for me.

 4 coats

This is the Pinewood plywood and I like this top veneer way better than birch plywood. This has color, movement, albeit straight R/L or L/R and it feels better in my hands than birch plywood does. Pinewood plywood is a few dollars cheaper than birch too. So far Lowes only seems to have 1/4" and 1/2" in stock. I have looked for 3/8" or 3/4" plywood but didn't see either.

accidental woodworker

dual chests Pt XIV........

Sun, 05/12/2024 - 3:31am

Things haven't not been going swimmingly for me with either of the chests. Both of them had a major boo boo pop up and shake hands with me. The boo boos are fixable and annoying that I have to fix them. On the other hand I don't have needed supplies to be able to put a check mark in the done column. I think I might be able to finish the miniature chest with the exception of a lid stay. The toy/blanket chest won't be done before next week end. I still have a couple weeks of wiggle room for it left to burn through.

Found out that the credit union I have belonged to since 1975 no longer has a brick and mortar building in Rhode Island. I knew they closed a branch on Quaker Lane several years ago but I assumed that the original office in Wakefield was still open. Big negative on that boys and girls. Chartway is gone and Navigant is the new occupant. So this AM I opened a new bank account at Navigant and I'll have to go through doing battle getting my accounts closed and switched to them. The most drawn out part will be switching all the direct deposits from Chartway to Navigant.

 both lids glued again

Last night as I was leaving the shop I saw that the lid on the toy/blanket chest was opening up on the glue joint. This time it was a lot longer - about 6". Deleted the pics of me fixing my me-steak but I did it the same way as the miniature lid. I used a biscuits on this one to help keep it aligned.

 maybe a half of a frog hair

Getting the ends aligned and keeping them aligned was a fight with this. As I tightened one clamp the ends would slip by one another. I had to put a clamp across the ends and then tighten the cross grain clamps.

 pretty good but ugly looking

This is the bottom of the lid and it stayed aligned much better than I thought it would. There were a couple of spots where the blue tape stuck to it along with a few glue squeeze outs but overall ok. 


Before I had to reglue this it was laying flat on the chest. Now it is rocking slightly on the far left and the near right corner. Not a deal killer and I can't see it so I'll probably leave this as is. 

What I can't leave as is are the rosebuds from the clamp pads. I doubt the iron and wet rag trick wouldn't work on this and I didn't try. 


I didn't think I had tightened the clamps enough to cause these. 

 miniature chest lid

The glue joint wasn't flush on the top or bottom. It was proud less than a 32nd and I didn't think it will cause any headaches if I flushed it once again.

 just a few swipes

I got lucky that the plane didn't tear out chunks on me. I had to plane the first joint line from the right edge. There is no way for me see which way the grain was running.

 for the back stop thing

I screwed the back stop in with no glue. With five screws holding it there is no way it is going anywhere.


Used the big boy to plane the clamp rosebuds away.

toy/blanket chest lid

I was extremely happy with how flush the lid came out. It wasn't as good as the first time but it was awfully close. I only had to plane about a 4" length to flush it.

 not longing obsessing

I put a 5th screw in the middle of the handle block. This one will be hidden by the handle.

 hole filling

I used the wrong length screw and I nipped off about 3/8" and reused it. I also filled in the 8 holes from the lid stays I tried to install yesterday. I am leaving the interior of the chest natural with a shellac finish. I'll have to ensure that I tell my wife that I already finished it with shellac. So there is no need to paint it.

 lid holes

I'm not sure if the wife will paint the underside of the lid. I would like that because it will cover the dowels I used to fill the screw holes.

 miniature chest

Got the hinges installed but not without having to take a step back. My first attempt had the lid with almost no overhang at the front. The barrel of the hinge was flush with the back edge of the lid instead of it being proud of the outside edge (like the pic). One hole from each hinge will be visible when the lid is opened. 

 first of three

Ever since I applied shellac to the interior of the drawers (last 3 projects) I like the look over bare wood. I was under the assumption that it would smell like alcohol forever but it ain't so boys and girls. I got one coat on the entire miniature chest today.

 toy/blanket chest

I am only applying shellac to the bottom and the interior of this chest.

 could have been better

The color and grain popped a bit with just one coat of shellac. Seeing it now I am thinking that maybe I should have put the white board (2nd from the left) at the front and the first board butting against the 3rd one. 

 possible home

I will have to move some things but this could be the new home for this poster. I'll try and knock this out in the AM tomorrow.

Yesterday the new DVD player went belly up on me. It wouldn't read any DVDs I put in it. I tried about 20 of them with no luck. It gave the 'no cd' error on any and all. Today it worked briefly but it won't select and play any episodes. It is stuck on that screen and no matter what key I hit it says it is invalid. Getting frustrated and having visions of the DVD player going airborne.

accidental woodworker

dual chests Pt XIII.......

Sat, 05/11/2024 - 3:39am

 At the end of the day in the shop I jumped down the lid stay rabbit hole again. At lunch I had ordered 3 transom window stay chains and at 1530 I ordered a gas strut lid stay. This one was a no brainer to figure out. It is strictly the weight of the lid that mattered. I didn't have to add/subtract or multiply/divide the lid width and length to get the proper sized strut. I got it from Lee Valley and I don't recall seeing it when I ordered the previous ones from them. Oh well better late than never.

 24hrs later

Wasn't sure if the dutchman would stay in place and endure any shaping/sanding. It felt secure and tight when the clamp came off.

 not too bad

It is obvious even from 5-6 feet away there is a dutchman there. However, this one will be on the back of the chest. I looked again this AM for another pine scrap but none were long enough. The planing and sanding went off without a hitch. No complaints from the dutchman as I shaped it.

 raised them

Most, but not all of the headaches here got raised with the iron and wet rag trick. I had to set this aside to dry for a few hours. Fingers crossed there will be dancing in the street.


These are toast as in they aren't going to be used on the toy/blanket chest. The spring in them is to strong for the lid. I had trouble opening and closing the springs with my hands. I'll save them for a lid that is 1" or thicker and with heavy duty hinges.

 blocks for the handles

The blocks are a 1/2" thick and roughly 4" square - two of the sides are 4 5/8".

 just right

The screw is a 1 1/4" and I have about a 1/4" of wiggle room. I ordered some #12 flat head, slotted, black oxide finished screws from Blacksmith Bolt. Don't like the look of the phillips head screws these came with.

 handle block position

I am going to glue and screw the block to the side of the chest. I positioned it so that it straddles the glue joint evenly - two inches above it and two inches below it.

 it was ready

It was ready last week but Maria doesn't have my phone number. The next time I go I'll give her my wife's cell phone number to call. Now I have to find a hole to hang this in. I did a quick scan of the vertical space in the shop and there is nada.


Thinking of adding one more screw in the center of the block. I have plenty of time to obsess about it.

 yikes again

The last couple of inches on this end have let go somehow. I can move the ends up an down slightly so the glue has failed here. This isn't the first time I've had this problem with this white glue. I noticed the top on the Keurig coffee table has separated too. About half of it is still solid and the other has opened up. Another set back but I found it now rather than after the shellac had gone on.

I sawed it off on the glue joint and glued it back together. Of course it was a royal PITA aligning it. The flushed the top and the bottom is a wee bit proud. I'll deal with it tomorrow after it comes out of the clamps.

 miniature chest moldings done

Glued in place with no nails, screws, or clamps. This one is being left natural so I fussed a bit more with the miters. Hopefully this won't bite me on the arse after the glue yikes above.

toy/blanket chest moldings done

I had to nail the back left corner to keep it tight to the chest. This one is getting painted so I didn't go full anal sawing the fitting the miters. They are good but I may have to putty one or two. I'll know tomorrow after this has cooked.

the back molding

This molding at the top is thinner than the other 3. It is also slightly tapered with this end being the thinner end. It is on the back and the chest will go up against a wall. I can't think of a situation where this would be visible and accessible 360.

 sticking with these

I am going to use these hinges on both of the chests. I also got my screws that I ordered from McMaster that got dropped shipped to Craig. The screw head is too small for the countersunk hole. No wonder the lid stays almost ripped it out. 

I ordered some #5 and #6 screws from Lee Valley. I was trying to raise the total to get free shipping when I found the gas strut lid stay. That put me way over the free shipping limit. Maybe next week I'll be done with toy/blanket chest.

The miniature chest I plan on using one of the transom chain stays. I got them from Amazon and they are supposed to come next friday. I might be done with this next weekend.

accidental woodworker

dual chests Pt XII........

Fri, 05/10/2024 - 3:59am

 Had a terrible day in the shop. The AM session was productive but the PM one had everything I touched turn into liquid fecal matter. I had gone to pick up my poster from the Frame It Shop but she wasn't open yet. I should have taken that as an omen but I'll survive and I'll give it hell tomorrow.

 closing in on the miniature one

I got the back stop thing rounded over and sanded smooth. I am working on sanding the end grain on the lid. I am leaving this natural as of this blog. My wife may want to paint it but I hope to persuade her other wise.

 brown knot

The back stop thing will hide it on the top but it will be visible on the underside of the lid. I can live with that because all the outside show surfaces are clear pine.

 layout for the base cut out

A simple 1 1/2" round on the ends with a flat straight edge between them.

it is secure

I used the jigsaw to saw out one long side. I was expecting it to vibrate and shake like crazy but it didn't. I was going to saw this out by hand like I had done on the toy/blanket chest but it went so well I did the other 3 sides too.


Didn't think this one all the way through to the end. I could have used one of the long cutouts as the back stop thing.

 base is done

The jigsaw did pretty good on the last two I did. The first one while not horrible I did have to spend time cleaning up the rounds.

 base and chest married

The gap isn't that bad but I still intend to use a cove molding to cover it.

 cove molding

I screwed this one up. I was taking a cleaning run and I didn't register the plane properly. That changed the profile from a cove to a cove and a quirk.

 found some more scraps

The pickings were lean and slim but I found one piece long enough to get the two long sides from.

 brown knot

I didn't have anymore scraps and I didn't feel like going to Lowes. So I made a dowel to fit the half circle left after I removed the brown knot.

 I like the look

I got the front and the sides dry fitted. I have to wait for the knot molding to cook.


I had a 2" piece of dowel glued to the knot hole. I sawed it so the dutchman is about an 1/8" proud. There was no way I would have been able to saw the waste if I had left it long. As it is I don't have a warm and fuzzy that sanding/chiseling this patch will withstand that attention. I'll find out tomorrow. This cove will be going on the back of the chest.

fielding plane iron

There are 3 edges that need to be honed. I'll have to do all of these 3 by hand. I'll have to be on my best behavior because this iron is as straight as a dogs hind leg. The iron is a spot on match for the sole of the plane too. I'll be hand sharpening this slow with frequent checks to make sure I'm out going Out To Lunch (OTL).


Not so sure about this being the 4th edge. I think this one is out in the air and doesn't cut/shave anything.

 handles came

This is where things started to slide southward on me. This came with screws but they are phillips head which I don't like. They are #12 and they are too long for the chest. They will stick out into the interior of the chest by a 1/4".

I have some #12 x 3/4" Black FH screws but I think they are too short. I don't have a warm and fuzzy with those as replacements. I think the best thing to do is too put a support block under the handle(s) so I can use the supplied screws. Or I can order some slot head screws from Blacksmith Bolt.

 lid needs two

No screws with these and they are also handed - one right and one left. I like the instructions for the installation. They are clear and understandable. There is no way even I can screw this up.

 sheet metal screws

The instructions say to use #8 sheet metal screws for the lid supports. I was going to make an ACE run but I had some in my stash ready to go.


It wouldn't close and no hiccups installing either one. Except that I got the right one upside down.


The lid supports use beefy springs to help defy gravity so it takes a little bit of effort to shut the lid. Did that and the lid supports almost ripped out this and the middle hinge.

I didn't even get the option to punt on this one. I can't use these hinges with these lid supports. I don't want to keep playing musical chairs so I'll have to rethink this once again. I don't have any decent butt hinges and I don't want to put in a piano hinge. I'll check Horton Brasses and buy a couple sets from them.

Yikes #2.......

For insurance I decided to put screws in the back stop thing. The screw on this end was too close to the end and front edge. It split the back stop and pushed it up and put a gap under it.

 sawing it off

There was a tiny yikes here too. I had to saw through 3 brads that I used to secure the back stop so when I clamped it, it wouldn't slip and slide on me.

easy peasy

I chiseled off the bottom and I was able to pull the 3 brads out. Planed and sanded it smooth.


I think these random gouges came from the saw. I'll try to steam them out tomorrow. I was feeling frustrated here and that could lead to me wanting something to go airborne. It was 1502 and 2 past quitting time so I killed the lights and headed topside.

 reused it

I ripped off the hand sawn edge on the tablesaw and I can reuse it. One positive thing is I initially thought it was a little short in the height and not it isn't.

accidental woodworker

I'm an idiot.......(confirmed).......

Thu, 05/09/2024 - 3:23am

 Last month a reader of my blog made me a couple of irons for my plow plane. That didn't turn out so well. It wasn't through the fault of Craig but me not having a grasp on the 'el panorama' (the big picture). I had the stock dropped shipped to him from McMaster-Carr and that went off without a hiccup. The idiot part of it? I ordered screws and etc from McMaster for the toy chest and they were dropped shipped to Craig. It didn't occur to me to check the ship to address from McMaster. I ass - u - me that it would be mine. So I'll be dead in the water for a couple of more days and out the cost of priority shipping from Craig to me. Sigh.

I bought another pair of lid stays from Lee Valley that were supposed to come today but aren't. For the about the umpteenth time UPS has revised the delivery date at the last moment. Now I am supposed to get the LV order tomorrow by 1900. I'll either get it or receive another revised delivery date. The odds are.....

 Lowes run

Left for Lowes at 0705 to get a quarter sheet of 1/4" plywood for the miniature chest bottom and two pine boards for the lid. Bought the same plywood from Pinewood that I got in 1/2" thickness for the toy chest. There really isn't a need to put 1/2" plywood on the bottom of the miniature chest. 1/4" will suffice for it.

 if I had pulled down my zipper

If my head wasn't buried in my arse I could have put a check mark in the done column with this today.

 no surprises so far

Clamps are coming off easy and there is no relaxing or movement from the chest. That is always a good sign to see.

 blue tape sucks for this

Blue tape wasn't up to holding clamping pads where you need them. Too often it gives way and the fall off just as you are attempting to tighten the clamp on them. This time I used superglue and accelerator to hold the pads in place.


Wasn't expecting to see this because the clamp has a plastic cover over the clamping heads. The tails are proud so maybe I'll be able to plane/sand this me-steak away.

 no problems

Out of the 14 pads I glued on only two didn't pop off with one strike of the chisel and mallet. Super glue as zero tolerance for an abrupt whack and will easily give up its bond immediately. Even the two stubborn ones cleaned up effortlessly with the plane and RO sander.

not a two board glue up

I went through two piles of the 1x12s at Lowes. I only found 3 of them that were clear or only had one knot per board. Of the 3 I picked the two flatest ones but they were still cupped a bit. To alleviate that I sawed the two boards into 3 pieces each. This is the best I could come up with a grain/color match.

 30 minutes

I planed the glue joints, did a dry fit, planed some more, and glued the panel up.

 bottom screwed on

I have about a 16th strong on all four edges to plane flush. Like the bigger toy/blanket chest I just screwed the bottom on to the chest.

 getting dull

The iron in this was struggling to flush the plywood to the chest. I got it done and I'll have to hone the iron in this plane. It is on the "I'll forget to-do-it-list".

 layout for the base

I'm checking the base to ensure that it isn't snug/not fitting the chest. I laid it out a 1/8" longer in both directions. 

 off the saw

I had to trim one pin because it was too snug and I didn't want to chance splitting it.

 loose slip fit

There are a couple of frog hairs of space 360 which is ok with me. I plan on putting a cove molding on the base to hide it.

 glued and cooking

After I glued the pins/tails, I glued and nailed the bearers in on the inside.

double triple checking

Making sure that nothing changed in the relationship between the base and the chest.

 five hours later

 This is going to be the up face of the lid. The joints are pretty good in that they are even pretty much across the face.

 like night and day

You would think the opposite face joints would be similar to the other but they aren't. They are proud on a couple of boards a strong 32nd.

started with the 5 1/2

Used this first to knock down the bulk of unevenness between the boards. The biggest offenders were the two outside boards.

quick check

I was surprised that the lid didn't rock or see saw at all when I put it on the chest. A good sign that the lid is flat and straight.

 what a work out

I had forgotten what  beast and how hard it is to keep this moving across the boards. I hadn't forgotten how to flatten with it and when I was done I was spent and had to take a breather. I first went across the grain and then with the grain. I will have to plane this the #3 to smooth it and totally remove the sanding scratches.

 sizing the lid

Initially I went for a 1" overhang on the sides and 3/4" on the front. Those are the overhangs I used on the toy/blanket chest.

 still improving

I am getting better at squaring end grain edges. I absolutely love the LV bevel up jack for end grain work.

 change 2 & 3

I didn't like the 3/4" overhang on the front. It looked too large to my eye so I knocked it back to a 1/2". After seeing that I didn't like the 1" on the sides. Changed them to match the 1/2" on the front.

I was shooting for the goal of just needing to put a lid stay and hinges on this chest to call it done. I came close but no cigar. Tomorrow I'll put the back stop thing on the chest lid. Which will give the lid overnight to do any stupid wood tricks it might have up its sleeve. Saw out the cutout on the base and screw it to the bottom of the chest. The finale will be making some cove moldings to go on the top of the base.

 over time

Didn't realize that it was past 1500. I got into a rhythm and lost track of time. Everything was falling into step and without any oops to delay things. I felt a little tired but it was a good tired. I had accomplished more today than I expected to. 

I had gone to lunch with my wife and I ate like a condemned man. I had fish 'n chips, pickles, two rolls, and my wife's left over french fires and patty melt. Hoping that this doesn't bite me on the arse and draw blood on sunday's weigh in.

 accidental woodworker

10 degrees higher........

Wed, 05/08/2024 - 3:12am

 The mercury was forecasted to be a high of 74F (23C) today. It got pushed up a wee but further to 84F (29C). It wasn't that warm when I went on my post lunch stroll, it was only 72F. If it had been any higher I wouldn't have gone on walk about. I did that last summer when the temp was 87F (31C) and I ended up in the ER for 6 hours. I will have to do my strolls this summer in the AM when it isn't as hot and humid yet.

 CPAP supplies

This is what I'll get every six months. I got it early because my nasal hose ripped on me. I'll have to find a hole to stick these in and I think I found it already. I'm going to make a miniature blanket chest to keep them in. I can't do anything on the toy/blanket chest so I'll knock this one out.

 it might be enough

I have two 1x12x5' boards left. Depending upon how big I make this I might get it all from these two.

no offers

I put these up on Saw Mill Creek and I got a lot of looks (over 200) but no nibbles. I thought the #5s would sell quick but I was wrong. I'll stick them in the boneyard where they'll gather dust till I figure out what to do with them.

 not going to bother

The 4 woodies and the #3 & #4 metal planes I am not even going to try to sell on the Creek. I think all the rehabbing I did on them plus what I paid for them, priced them out of the reach or desire of someone wanting them.

 small cove molding

Find these in the boneyard when I put the planes in there. It is a perfect fit for the base of the chest.

 the gap on the right

There is almost zero gap on the front and what is on the right isn't glaring. I could live with it but the molding will hide it. Besides I like the look of the cove molding as it transits into the chamfer on the base.

room for the cove molding

Because the chest isn't square the gap isn't uniform. This front corner is open and the back corner is tight. Overall I don't hate it but paint won't fill the gaps but the moldings will cover it.


I made the long sides 25" and the short ends, 15". I like the side proportions being 3/5 which dictated the measurements. The stock left over from this won't be enough to get the lid out of. I'll have to make a Lowes run to get some pine for the lid and plywood for the bottom of the chest.

 ready to make sawdust

Tails were laid out and secured in the vise for sawing them. I used the dividers to layout 5 tails to keep with the multiple of 5 for this chest.

 lunch bell was ringing

Tails chopped and cleaned up. Laid out and sawed the pins. After the stroll I chopped the pins and did a dry fit. Fingers crossed here that I'll get it glued and cooking before 1500.

 couldn't resist

Before I went topside to fill the pie hole I sawed one miter to check the corner fit. The molding is about 5 frog hairs from the angle of the chamfer. If it were any closer I would have planed or sawed a wee bit off the front edge of the molding.

PM session

Tried something new for me with both the tails and pins. I usually chop the tails on one side and then the other. The same dance steps for the pin boards. With the big chest and this one I ganged the tail and pin boards on top of each other and chopped them one after the other. IMO it is much quicker doing it this way vice individually.


I dropped the pin board twice. I got a ding here and on the other diagonal corner. Luckily for me both of the dings were on the same edge. This was the top but it is now the bottom. After the base is installed this and the other boo boos won't be seen.

 needed some help

The tails wouldn't fully seat on either end. There was a slight cup in both ends that were throwing a hissy fit. I had a devil of a time squaring it up and I settled for a strong 16th off on the diagonals. I clamped the 3 tails in the middle and I got two good results with that. The first was pulling the middle flat which also helped with seating the top and bottom tails. The second was it improved the squareness of the carcass. The diagonals after the clamps went on improved to less than 16th off on the diagonals.

base stock

Used one leftover board from the toy/blanket chest (short ends) and the miniature chest (long sides) to get the base. The base height isn't a multiple of 5 - I sawed to width that looked good to my eye - 3 1/8".

 panel raiser

It is clearly stamped NE Toolworks, Groton Ct. I was stationed at the Groton submarine base for almost 17 years and I don't recall it all. I looked at a Leon Robbins plane on Jim Bode's site and it looks similar to this. The only difference I noted was the Leon plane had a strike button on the toe and this plane doesn't have one. Any reader heard of NE Toolworks or have a history about it?

Watched the first 4 episodes of Spiral, season 4 yesterday. I had my fingers crossed because I didn't have a warm and fuzzy that the DVD player would work. I was less worried about that and more so about the old tech TV (12 years old?). No hiccups at all. The only hiccup was there isn't a pause button on the DVD player. You have to  use stop and play to resume. I should get through the next 4 episodes tonight and the next 4 tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

toy/blanket chest pt X..........

Tue, 05/07/2024 - 3:17am

 I thought today would have been the final post but it ain't so boys and girls. The hold up was beyond my control - the screws I need for the hinges won't be here until wednesday. That is one bad thing about getting hinges that come without screws. So I'm dead in the water with the chest for now. The only thing I can do on it is put a cove/corner round molding on the base.


That stands for Read The Fxxxing Instructions. If I had read them I wouldn't have been cursing out this wood putty as crappola. It says in plain english that this putty does not harden. 

 more instruction I missed

It says again in plan english, (my native tongue) that you apply the putty and use a damp cloth to smooth it out right away. Using the instructions I had no hiccups with it this time.

 working the base

I was going to use the belt sander to clean up and smooth the base but the wife was still sleeping. Switched over to the #3 to do it. The brown nut was cooperative and no headaches planing it from both directions. 

 getting a headache

I studied these last night and this AM things were still a wee bit blurry. I am ass-u-ming that the measurements are in metric but it doesn't state that anywhere on the instruction sheet that I could find. I tried translating the measurements from decimal to metric and that did nothing for me neither. I'll be tackling the installation of this in PM session.

 lid chamfer

I had two choices for the lid detail - bullnose/round over or a chamfer. I picked the chamfer.

matching chamfer

The lid chamfer is 5/16" and the base chamfer is 1/4". I lost a 16th for the base because I still might put a molding on the top of the base.

 corners first

Before I took any end to end runs I planed the corners first. That is so when I did go end to end I wouldn't blow out the corners. I got lucky with the base as 3 of the sides I was able to plane from R to L. The last one (long side) I had to plane L to R to avoid tearing it out.


Another reason why I did a 1/4" on the base was to leave a 1/2" for the molding, if any. Whether or not I do that depends upon the size of the gap once I mate the base with the chest.

I used 2 screws to attach the base to the chest. No need for anymore than that. The chisel was used to flush 3 of the corner braces that were proud of the bottom of the base.

 ready to jump into it

I studied the instructions some more during lunch and I feel a little more comfortable with them. I have a several rules graduated in metric that I will use to install this.

 not much hardware

One nice aspect of this lid stay is that it can go on the left or right side. The metal pear shaped disc is proving to be a doozie to figure out. There are specific angles between the screws and the post at the top of it. Clueless as to how to lay them out. One of them is ~28° and the other one is ~30°.

 all 8 seasons

I am so happy that this came 3 days early. I have been nursing myself on season 5 and I watched the last episode of it last night. Now I don't have to buy any episodes from season 6 to 8. I'll go back and watch season 4 that I missed entirely and that should fill in some holes I had with season 5.

new to me toy

Can you guess what this is? I got it from Patrick Leach and it was item WP 9. He says it is an unmarked Leon Robbins fielding plane.

 sweet looking plane

I like the look of this and it is a lot lighter (and smaller) than I thought it would be. It is a laminated construction plane too with the rear handle offset from the center line of the plane.

 why I bought it

This plane fields the angle and planes a flat that fits in the groove on the stiles/rails.

it is the law

Of course I had to stop what I was doing and road test the plane as is.

 came up short

I wasn't able to plane the entire profile. This is about 1/2 of it. Each plane, wooden or metal, has its own personality and you have to make friends with it. I had even projection of the iron around the mouth but the plane wasn't making any shavings. I didn't want to work the why then so I set it aside and went back to the lid stay headache.

 about 1/2

Based on laying the iron on what I was able to produce I can see the fielded portion will be about a 1/2" or so wider.


I don't understand this plate and how to properly position it. The post at the top left is what the arm hits to stop the lid from opening beyond that. As for the angles I have a couple of clear protractors that I can use to get the two angles. I just have to extend a couple of lines out 5-6 inches more.

 not for weighing me

The width of the lid determines how much weight the lid stay can handle. The chart is for two lid stays (surprise - I missed that tidbit) and I'm using only one so I have to halve the weights in the chart to get how much weight one stay can handle. The lid with the 3 hinges weighed 7.8 pounds which is over the limit for one stay. I can't use this lid stay. I need to have a lid stay on this box because the boys will be using it. If it were a blanket chest I would put a chain stay on it.

caught a me-steak

There is an error with the instructions. It says that the center to center hold spacing on the arm retainer is 32mm. It is 16mm, the retainer is ~40mm long. Straightened that out and saw that I screwed up the lay for it big time. The retainer has to be 10.5mm away from the inside edge of the chest. I forgot to add the 1 1/16" overhang to the equation. Still debating the lid stay dilemma. Use two of these or buy a gas strut rated for my lid's dimensions and weight?  I have time because Diane isn't going to NC until the first of next month.

 table worked well

If push came to shove, I would lower this about 6-8" to make it perfect. It worked good but having it a wee bit lower would facilitate the installation of the lid stay by making it more comfortable.

 first problem to address

The iron wedge extends too far. Not sure but this could be why I wasn't able to plane the full profile.

 second problem
There is a hump on the back of the iron. This is after 7-8 strokes on the medium diamond stone. This bevel is going to have to sharpened/honed by hand too. There are four edges that need to be honed. I might do this tomorrow because I can't work on the chest.

accidental woodworker

toy/blanket chest pt IX..........

Mon, 05/06/2024 - 3:51am

The light at the end of the tunnel is shining bright. It is so bright it is blinding me. That means I'm wrapping up the loose ends on the chest. I could have finished it today but I quit the shop early. I am willing to bet a lung that I will be done with it tomorrow. The one caveat will be how well I understand the instructions for installing the lid stay.

 it still fits

This is the first thing I tired when I got to the shop this AM. It was still the slip fit I had yesterday. 

this woody putty sucks

This stuff sanded off easily but it didn't feel hard and dry this AM. I'll have to keep an eye on it going forward from here.

base cut out time

I have used my jigsaw to saw out the base on another project (like this one) and it didn't go smoothly. It was hard to secure the base and not have the jigsaw vibrate the base like crazy. Decided to saw out the base by hand.

 two saws

The japanese saw (azebiki) is for sawing the long straight edge. The coping saw is for the curved ends.

 first long side done

I positioned the straight edge on the pencil so the saw cut would be in the waste side. I did all the straight cuts first and then the end curves.

last one

No hiccups with the straight cuts. All of them have the pencil lines left for me to rasp down to.

 base cut out done

I was going to use my oscillating spindle sander to smooth the curved ends but nixed it. I didn't feel like fighting it to get the sander out and on the work table. I used rasps and sand paper to do all the cleaning and smoothing of the cut out.

The sawing with the coping saw went well. I was concerned about it because I don't have a lot of time on the pond using one. The first one was the worse but still on the waste side. By the time I got to the last one I had a consistent saw kerf parallel to the pencil line.


I glued in blocks in each corner with white glue just before lunch. That way they would be set up enough so I could saw out the base.

 went quickly

The curved cuts didn't come out square. They weren't horribly out but I didn't have any hiccups squaring them up. The shaping and smoothing of the base went pretty quick. I don't think it took an hour. Don't know for sure because I got in a rhythm and knocked it without stopping to ooh and aah over it.

last one done

I didn't go nutso on the shaping the curves dead nuts on the pencil lines. Instead I eyeballed it for smooth, flowing transition from the bottom into the straight edge.

 base still fits

Got my first look see at the base and the chest as one. I like the proportions of the two and it looks to be a good height for Leo and Miles to get their toys from. 

 sneak peek

Not much left to put a check mark in the done column. Screw the base to the chest, install the lid stay, with the final step screwing in the hinges. McMaster said the screws I ordered shipped yesterday so I may get them tomorrow. I also ordered screws from Lee Valley along with some cast iron handles. Don't know when the LV order will get here. Supplies may have a say with the check mark.

 the gap

The gap isn't as wide as I thought it would be. I have the chest pushed up tight to the other end so all the gap is at this end and side.

 the other end

I am ok with this as it is. I fudged the chest R/L adjusting the gap to where it was minimal 360. I think I will still put a 1/4 round or cove molding on the top of the base. That will close off and hide the gaps. The only boo boo with that is the base is square but the chest isn't. Doing the miters for that might be a Royal PITA.

accidental woodworker

toy/blanket chest pt VIII..........

Sun, 05/05/2024 - 3:34am

 Closing in on the finish line with the chest. Last night I was thinking about getting handles for it. Today moving the chest on and off the workbench was tiring and awkward. The size of the chest precludes being able to pick it up as is and move it around. That is with it empty too - moving it even partially full isn't going to happen sans handles. Chest handles,  or at least the ones I searched for, didn't do much for me. Making wooden ones so far hasn't borne any fruit neither. I have the rest of the month to think of something. 

 it is surviving

I took the base apart and put it back together twice without any hiccups. The knot is still solidly attached. At the end of the day I took it apart and back together 6 times.


Changed my mind on the bearers for the chest. Glued and screwed I think they will be able to do their intended job.

 not fitting

I want the tails/pins to be as gap free as possible. I have wiggle room because this will painted but still. Because the chest isn't square I have the base on and I marked top edge of the base where I need to remove some wood for it to fit.


I planed this taper with my Record shoulder plane. I only had to plane the part of the base above the bearer. That is why I installed them before I tried to fit the base.


It took two planing runs before I got the base to slip over the chest. I was happy with the fit and the gap was almost nothing. I was looking at it upside down and the real eyeballing will be after it is glued and screwed to the chest.

 hide glue

I could have used white glue but opted for hide. I didn't need the open time but I might have to knock it apart later for some reason.

still fit

Glued and cooking and it still fits. I left the base on the chest for 20 minutes to allow it to form itself to the chest bottom.

 sizing the lid

The lid will overhang the front and sides by 1". I wanted the two boards of the lid to be the same width. So I measured from the glue joint out to the edges so both were the same.

 laid out

Used big Red to knife the ends.

 knife line

I sawed about a 1/8" off the knife line. 

 planed to the knife line

I got the ends square to the front/rear edges but it didn't matter here. With the chest out of square the overhang will hide it. If the lid was flush I would have had to matched the lid to the chest. It was good practice squaring up a large panel - 19" x 37 1/2".

 what is this called?

I like this and it is something that I usually put on projects like this that it could go on. I put it on here mostly so things won't fall off the back edge. No telling what the boys will do or use this for.

 screw gauge

I needed some #4 screws and this box has a mixture of several sizes. I got this gauge when I was 22(?) at Elridge Hardware store in Norwich Conn. I couldn't find enough screws so I ordered a couple boxes from McMaster-Carr.

 setting the hinges

Made sense to me to fix the hinge leaf on the lid first and then onto the edge of the chest. 

 only 3 screws

Each hinge needs 7 screws and 3 was sufficient to check the placement of them. I took them off after I was satisfied with them.

 nailed it

This is why I did the hinges now. I wanted the back edge of the lid to be flush or a wee bit proud of the back. I am a a frog hair proud. No problem with the hinges opening and closing. I think using the 3rd one in the middle is definitely needed due to the size/weight of the lid.


I changed the overhang on the front. One inch looked to be a bit too much to my eye so I changed it to 3/4".

 glued and cooking

I didn't put any screws in this but I might do that tomorrow. The glue bond should be ok with keeping this attached.

 end grain

Sanded the end grain up to 220. I got them smooth and even and when painted the paint will look even and smooth too.

 pitch pocket

Paint doesn't adhere/cover pine pitch pockets. I will dig this out and fill it with a dutchman.


It had been several hours since I applied this wood putty and it still hadn't hardened. Fingers crossed that it will be so come tomorrow.

accidental woodworker