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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 18 min ago

shaker step stool.......

Thu, 03/07/2024 - 3:21am

 I don't consider this a step stool but rather a mini step ladder. However, that is what the author called it in the book so who am I to quibble about it? This AM I went to a couple of bearing shops and none of them had the bearings I needed. Thought it was strange that not one of them offered me an equivalent one of which there are a bazillion.

Also asked them all if they pressed bearings and got a no. I then asked if they knew or could recommend a machine shop that would do it for me. Got another no to that question too. The level of indifference I got blew me away. I guess customer service leaves when they don't have what you are looking for. I'll start the search for a shop because I don't won't to risk screwing up the bearings or the upper wheel.

 this ain't going to be easy

I couldn't loosen the nut on the bottom wheel at all. I hit it with PB blaster and WD40 and nada. So I stopped and searched for the parts diagram on line. There is a shaft that extends from both sides of the frame. One end is connected to a pulley and the other to the bottom wheel.

There are two bearings, one behind the bottom wheel and the other I couldn't see. There are two keys to lock the shaft on the wheel and pulley along with 2 special washers. Both of the washers are obsolete and no longer available.

 throat plate

This is still available for $40 of which I refuse to part with my $$$ to get it. I was surprised that the door latch doo hickey thing can still be had for $10. I need two of them and I'll buy them next week. I don't need them to get the saw up and running.

Decided to not change the bottom bearings. The motor pulley and the bottom wheel spin freely and take a long time to spin down. I can't feel any funny business on either side of the shaft. Both the pulley and wheel don't have any play, wobble, or vibration in them so I'm going with not replacing the two bottom bearings. I hope this doesn't bite me on the arse.

 it is sticking

Nothing makes me want to throw a temper tantrum more then something doesn't work as it should. The head sticks and binds as I slide up/down the shaft. Took it down to parade rest and find the sticking point(s).


Both of the conical screws had burrs that I filed off. There were burrs on the inside of the head too that I sanded smooth. Put it all back together and it was improved a lot but still not perfect. I shouldn't bitch too much because it was only binding in one spot instead of the bazillion ones before I cleaned it.


Settled on 30° for the front legs. Sawed them on the knife line and I left one long to plane down to match its sibling.

awfully close

I had planned on planing these on the Lee Valley adjustable shooting board but I didn't see the need for it. There was only one spot where it wasn't square and it was only a frog hair off at that.


Used the block plane and the LV jack to flush the length and square the ends.

 step dadoes

Got confused on the layout and I almost made an bone head me-steak. Labeling is an absolute must on this because of the angled dadoes. It is way too easy for me to make a left turn into La La Land. In the end I had it right (confused the left with the right) and all is well in Disneyland again. (The left one in the pic should be flipped so the bottom left corner is at the top right.)

 for the front legs

I can't think of any other ways to connect the top of the front legs to the underside of the top. In the pic I can clearly see that they are in dadoes and I'm guessing it has to be a stopped one. 

 left one fitted

I squared off the back of the leg so it would butt up tight to the back wall of the dado. This should be a good strong connection. I'll be putting the back legs in a blind mortises.

wee bit snug

This is what I was shooting for. I want this connection to be snug because a lot of the strength of the joint is relying on the glue. A good fit between the leg and dado is needed here.

 #12 FH screw

I wanted #12 Black oxide screws but I didn't have any. I got some on order from Blacksmith bolt. Still mulling over how to employ the screws. I think a couple from the top step into the leg is a definite. I would like to get at least one from the bottom into the top but I don't think that will happen. I only have about a 1/2" of meat between the top of the log and the top of the top step.

3 dadoes down and 3 to go. I'll finish those up before lunch tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

good output today........

Wed, 03/06/2024 - 3:17am

 I am not out of the woods with the head cold yet but I am feeling better than yesterday. I got a good days work in the shop today and I raised a sweat. I got most of everything I wanted to accomplish done and I'll finish the other doo dads tomorrow or the day after or.....

 it is dry

The flat black paint is oil based and it usually takes 24 hrs for it be dry to recoat. After I get this last coat of black on I'll have to touch up where I got black on the brown.

 time to fix this

I have to pony up and get this done. I will need this to resaw the pine to the thicknesses I need for projects #2 & #3. I'm not sure how to do it but I have a lot of wrenches and other tools so at least it will look like I know what I'm doing. 

these are going bye-bye

I am giving these 3 planes away to a young aspiring woodworker. Someone else is mentoring her and these 3 will be a good hand plane foundation for her.


This is the smallest box I could get from UPS to ship the planes in. I need less than half of it. Changed lanes on this and I'll be making a wooden box to ship them in. I have a higher warm and fuzzy with a wooden box vice a cardboard one with bubble wrapped tools.

 Lee Valley sharpening jig

Finally got to road test this with the iron from my #7 handplane. Securing the iron in the jig was easy and straightforward. The angle setting gizmo bar thing was dumb simple to set also.

 didn't like it

It was awkward to get a grip on this and move it up and down the runway. All you have to grab is the iron and I couldn't find a way to do that and push & pull. I never got a sense of what was happening at the bevel end of the iron. Took the iron out and sharpened it on the Lie Nielsen honing guide.

 flattening step stool stock

Step one was getting a reference face flat, straight, and twist free. Step two was running a gauge line on the stock. Step three was  planing a chamfer to just above the gauge line.

 step four

Run the #6 from left to right down the stock at an angle.

 step five

Run the #6 from right to left down the stock at an angle. I repeat this as necessary until I see the chips are the full width of the board.

 step six

I go straight across the board L to R then R to L. I keep at this until I get a wee bit above the gauge lines. I also pay close attention to my chips - ensuring that they are the full width of the stock.

 getting close

I try to stay above the gauge line because the board is scalloped. Flattening them out could bring me below the gauge line if I am too close to it.

step seven

I run the #6 from end to end with the grain. This knocks down the cross grain scallops. I keep a close eye on the gauge line on this step.

 step eight

Flattening and smoothing to the gauge line with the #7. It might be quicker with a jack but I prefer to use the #7 here. I use the #7 on even smaller  sized stock.

 step nine

Fine adjustments are done with a #3, a #4, or  a 4 1/2. It depends upon the size of the stock - mostly in the length.

Felt so much different doing this stock prep today then yesterday. No aches and pains and not feeling bone tired weary. This is the only step for the stool and I next did the back legs and by the second one I was sweating. It actually felt good doing this today.

wash, rinse, and repeat

Had two back legs and the two front legs to thickness to 1".


I am not going nutso trying to get all these pieces the exact same thickness. I am going to the gauge line and no more. The top, back legs, and the step are all within a frog hair of each other. That is good enough for this because none of these will be married to each other or used as a reference for another one.

 easy peasy

What I thought was going to be a nightmare ride into Hell and back, was a cake walk. I unscrewed a nut and the wheel came off with gentle persuasion from a pry bar. I thought I would need a bearing puller to get the wheel off.

There are two 6202Z bearings separated by a spacer in this wheel. The spacer is fine with no scoring or evidence of galling. However, both bearings are toast. I'm deaf and I could hear as well as feel the bearings grinding on each other as I turned them.

 looks to be ok

This is what I thought was the problem with the saw. The shaft is in good condition with one teeny weeny line of scoring but that is it. It doesn't appear to be bent in the slightest considering the force that is exerted on it.

 pulled it off

The pivot arm swings freely with zero binding. I would sure hate to have to replace this. I got this saw in 1984 so the bearings lasted 40 years and I know now how to replace them if they decide to go south on me again.

There is a shop 3 miles from my house that sells bearings and I'll get them tomorrow in the AM. A hiccup comes from finding someone to press these bearings out and press the new ones in. This is something I have never done before and I don't want this to be my first attempt. Fingers crossed I can find someone to do it.

 FYI good habit

Rather the have all the screws and nuts etc in a plastic container I put them all back in their respective holes. I won't lose or forget them and I know this is where they belong in the big scheme of 14" bandsaws. I'll be using my new shop vac to clean this up. Might be a good idea to replace the lower wheel bearing(s) too.

 step stool

From R to L - top, step, front legs, and the back legs. It was pass quitting time so I didn't get around to making a full scale drawing the front legs at 30°. I think I'll make this a little wider than a step stool is. I am leaning in the neighborhood of a 18" side to side and it should be doable with all the stock being 1" thick except for the braces which will be 3/4".

accidental woodworker

came up with 3.......

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 2:53am

 Being sick sucks pond scum through a sipper straw. That was evident today during my time in the shop. The sinus heartaches have ramped up and I've already been through one box of snot rags and I'm a third of the way through the second one. The sore throat hasn't come back and the chest congestion seems better. But as one symptom abates another clamors for attention. At least I slept better last night than the previous one.

I took some outdated sinus medication last night and it worked. Bought some fresh sinus meds today and it was like I didn't take any at all. I was shocked by the cost of cold meds at CVS this AM. My first choice for sinus meds was $39.98 and the one I bought was $13. I ain't paying no more and I'll just ride it out from here.

 flat black

ACE had gloss but I decided to go with flat black because the brown is flat too. I will be putting a couple of coats of shellac on the frame and that will add some sheen to it. The main reason for applying the shellac is it is easier to clean dust off it.

 needs one more

I'm glad I chose flat black for the moldings. I think it looks better with the brown. The moldings being flat black are more than enough to have them stand out from the brown portion of the frame.

 the next 3 come from this

I have a couple of books by this author. One of the other ones is on colonial furniture and I've had that one for bazillion years.

 the first one

I don't know what the attraction is I have for shaker step things. I have made close to a dozen of them and I'll add this one. There is only a pic of this with no measurements or a parts drawing of it. I think I have enough scraps in the shop to whack this out.

 projects 2 & 3

The one on the left I made about 15 years ago (?). I made this for daughter #1 and she still has it. It was made before I found Paul Sellers and there were changes made to the original. It turned out functional but I know I can do better today. I will try to follow the original but this isn't going to be a exact reproduction.

The right one was added to the queue because I couldn't chose just one of them to do. Again, I will try to follow the original but I know there will be changes and I haven't even started either one.

 step stool top

This stock is 1 3/8" which I think is too thick. The first step to getting it thinned down to 1" is establishing a reference face and edge. Planing one face flat, straight, and twist free was horrendous. Note to self - you shouldn't do this while you are sick.

It took me much longer than I thought it would to do this. I didn't get winded or out of breath but rather it tired me out way to quickly. 

 #6 fore plane

This is the only bench plane I have with a cambered iron and I only use it to hog a lot of wood off quickly. I first went down the board at a diagonal both ways and then straight across until I got close to the gauge lines.

I didn't go full blown anal trying to get the two parts for the top withing +/- 2 atoms of each other. I left some to do the final smoothing after it gets out of the clamps.

top glued and cooking

The top is oversized in the length. I'll saw it to final length after this comes out of the clamps.

 1st full scale

I seldom do full scale drawings or any drawings of projects at all. I found that they are almost essential for doing step stools of this design. The full scale drawing yields the length of the two front outside legs which are the hardest ones to determine. I am not in love with the angle of the legs. I think it is too close to vertical which makes the step stool potentially unstable.

The angle on the legs is 22° and I am going to increase it to between 30° and 35°. Doing that will increase the slope of the front legs giving it a wider footprint. That will happen in the AM because all the planing work worn me out. I felt like a wrung dish rag at this point.

 all the step stool scraps

The long one will give up the two front legs and the two back legs are leaning on it. All 3 are 1 3/8" thick and I'll be thinning them down to 1". The board in the middle will be the step (another one to thin to 1") and the 3 to the right of it will become the bracing. Projects 2 & 3 will come from pine from Gurney's. I'm hoping to get up there this saturday but the weather isn't looking like it will cooperate.

accidental woodworker

cold/flu day II........

Mon, 03/04/2024 - 4:00am

 Feeling like crappola day two. Didn't sleep at all last night in spite of me feeling dead tired when I hopped into the rack. Tossed and turned and made a record number of toilet trot races. Other than feeling blah raised to the nth power, I'm doing ok I guess. I have taken 4 home covid 19 tests and so far they were all negative. With an upsurge in it lately I'm not sure what to do about it. I'll call the VA on monday and see if I should get a more reliable test.

I did and didn't want to go to the shop today. The urge to be in it didn't match getting my butt in gear and doing any woodworking. I did manage to get the frame painted but that was it. 

I spent most of the morning thinking of and searching my books for something to make next. I have to be careful in what I choose because I don't have the room for anything much bigger than a breadbox. I didn't make it to Gurney's on saturday due to rain but maybe next saturday I'll get there. Regardless of what I pick I'll need the pine from Gurney's to make it.

 frame prep

The wood filler I used yesterday set up and got hard. I sanded the frame up to 150 and declared it ready to paint.

 2 coats

I waited 5 hours between coats - the can said recoat in 2. I hit another road block with the frame. All the minwax wood putty I used filling in the nail holes is gone. Noticed that when I was putting on the second coat. I'll have to refill, sand, and paint them again.


Decided to go with gloss enamel black but I won't be using this. There is a 1/4" thick skin on what paint is left in the can. I'll have to make a road trip to ACE in the AM and get another can. I will be wearing mask too.

accidental woodworker

cold and flu season......

Sun, 03/03/2024 - 3:34am

 I've been on the edge of a cold/flu for about a week now. It has slowly been ramping up the symptoms and I think I'm on the cusp on. I don't feel like a total shit bag but I'm awfully close to it. I've had a sore throat for 3 days and this AM I over slept and didn't roll out of the rack until 0645. Yesterday's blog didn't get posted until after 0700. 

I went to the shop this AM and I didn't exactly set the world on fire. I didn't feel like doing anything but I did stay and piddle for a wee while. It sucks because I can't take any cold/flu meds because of the drugs I'm on. The doc said I can take no more than 6 tylenol a day. At least that is taking the edge off the sore throat. Hopefully I only have 5-7 days to deal with this annoyance.

 nail filled

This minwax wood putty isn't giving me a warm and fuzzy. This has had over 16 hours to dry and it still wasn't 100% yet this AM. Shop conditions aren't that bad as it was 61F which should be high enough to set it. It seemed the friction from sanding it hardened it more than the hours waiting for it.


Flushed the back of the molding flush with the back of the frame. 

 more heartaches

I scraped all the minwax wood putty off the front of the frame. This face has its share of dings and scratches with a couple of divots. I really wanted to be done with all this prep work but I'll have to slog my way through it. Shooting for painting this tomorrow, sick or not.

 outside measurement

The four sides of the frame are dead on 36". The moldings added 1 5/8" to the width of the sides.


This one is going to bite me on the arse. The picture is 30" by about 29 3/8". I had my fingers crossed that it would fit in the inside frame on the back.


I'm about an 1/8" too much on the long leg of the painting. I had already accounted for burying part of the painting with the frame and the matting. I guess I'll be adding a wee bit more. 

Because of this me-steak I might forgo the matting and just put the painting in the frame. I won't have to pay to have that done.

 short sides

Because the frame is square (and the painting isn't) it won't matter how it goes in it. I will still have to cut off some of the painting to get it to fit.

 picked a paint

Went to my neighborhood paint shop and got the paint. Decided to paint the moldings black and the flat area between them brown. I kept running the other colors through my brain bucket and I couldn't reconcile them. Brown and black to my eye doesn't clash or take away from the painting. 

I bought some new wood filler for the dings and divots, etc. I'll paint the entire frame brown and use that as a primer. After that is dry I'll do the moldings black. I have black oil enamel but the brown is a mat color. That should make for a contrast between those two colors. 

 chip missing

I started on this after lunch and 3 hours later it was still tacky. The plan is to get this dry and sanded so I can paint tomorrow. The sun will still come up if not done today.

accidental woodworker

big picture frame pt II.......

Sat, 03/02/2024 - 4:02am

 All the woodworking on the frame is done. I don't consider the final sanding woodworking which is what is left to do before painting. Haven't decided what colors to use yet but I have an idea on two. The next headache after that decision is carved in stone is where to buy the paint. I have lots of time to figure it out.

 out of the clamps

This frame is an inch shy of being 3 foot on each side. That makes for an awkward and big ass thing to maneuver around the shop. 

 eyeballed all four

The frame looked good on all four sides. For the most part they appeared to be straight with no dips, bows, cups or other wonkiness. I laid it on the flatest part of the cellar deck and it didn't rock excessively. I'm going with my eye that this frame is good enough to display the picture that will go in it.

 soft pine

This was the only corner of the frame that had any clamp rosebuds (2 of them). I'll definitely fill them in before painting. Unfilled they will stick out like a neon light.

 flushing the corners

This was frustrating planing the four corners flush on both sides. The difficulty was trying to clamp it and having one side free to plane end to end. 

didn't work

I wanted to try and assemble the inside and outside moldings off the miter box. The 45s it saws are very good but the faces are rough. The biggest headache was keeping the molding stationary when I sawed them. I ended up rough cutting them to length on the miter box and shooting them to finished length with a plane.


Started on the left and worked my all around. The first 3 stayed in place by themselves. Here I was fitting the last one.

 dry fit

The inside moldings fit good with no gaps at any of the miters. I almost gave them flying lessons. They were an absolute nightmare to install. I used glue and a brad nailer but it didn't go as planned. I had to pull the first one I did off because it wasn't flush with the back of the frame. I sorted that out without anything getting airborne. Something as simple as that and it kicked my arse all around the shop.

 Washed, rinsed, and repeated the same dance steps for the outside moldings. Except this time I didn't have to remove any. The outside ones went on smoothly and stress free.

 came quick

Wasn't expecting this because I just ordered it on tuesday. I'll mix up a batch and try it out on the jewelry box next week.


Glad that I have the moldings behind me now. The next batter is the inside frame on the back to hold the glass, matting, picture, and backing.

 glue and nails

The back frame is inset from the edge a 1/4". It is 1/2" thick and 3/4" high. 


Flushed the moldings to the back with the block plane. I had to trim the inside back frame on the lower left and upper right corners. The horizontals were a few frog hairs past the verticals.

 woodworking is done

I set all the nails and filled them with wood putty. The final sanding will include flushing the wood putty and a few blowouts. Two the miters lost some chips on the toes and filling them in is going to be tricky.

 the pic

I need to pick two colors for the frame that are complimentary to the pic. I also have to take into consideration the color of the matting. As of now my two colors are blue for the moldings and some shade of white for the real estate between the two moldings. The matting will be an off white color too.

accidental woodworker

big picture frame.......

Fri, 03/01/2024 - 2:57am

 Yesterday was dreary with dark clouds and rain falling off and on all day. That sucked but the the temp stayed in the middle 50's F (11-13C). Today was the exact opposite. Lots of sun and billowy white clouds. However, the temp took a noise dive with the high getting up to 38F (3.3C). That wasn't so bad but the wind was blowing out of the northwest at a good clip and it was cold and bone chilling. Made the walk a wee bit uncomfortable especially so because I forgot my gloves. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny again and a bit warmer.

 tenon D (last one)

I came back to the shop last night and glued the veneer on the tenon just in case. Turns out that I didn't need it but if I had I didn't have to wait for it to cook.

 too tight

Took me quite a few dance steps before I got this final bridle joint fitted.

 fitted and self supporting

The next batter was a dry fit of all four corners.

 looks good

It is a 1/8" off on the diagonals and the lower right corner wasn't square. The left stile ran outboard a wee bit. The problem was two of the clamps weren't clear of the bridle joint. Once I adjusted the clamps to clear that the diagonals came in dead on and Mr Starrett said all four corners were square. Of the two I rely on the diagonals first and foremost.

 C cramps

When I first started woodworking I couldn't afford to buy F or bar clamps. C cramps (clamps) were abundant in the yard sales I went to. I doubt I paid more than a dollar for any of these. I think the last time I used them was when I lived in Westerly and that was many, many, many moons ago. Used them here because the quick grips were up to the task for closing up the bridle joint.

 closed shut

The two outside edges of the bridle joint are tight. I might not have to use any wood putty on this.

 one more

The dark line is pencil and although it looks like there is a gap here there isn't. I would have snapped pics of the last two but this frame is heavy and way to awkward to flip 180 with all the clamps on it.

another practice run

I was going to do just one bridle joint but nixed it. I think doing all four to make a frame is a better practice. Laid it out and I checked that I could use the LN carcass saw for this.

 1/4" chisel

Not only was this chisel dull, there was a chip out of one corner. Used my Lee Valley side clamp guide to sharpen it. It wouldn't fit in the LN honing guide which I use to sharpen my toys. The chisel was too far down into the guide and it was trying to clamp on the roundish part of it at the ferrule. It clamped on it but it and the chisel was skewed and wasn't flat and square to the stone.

 needed some router help

Initially I was going to try and do this so the joint went together off the saw. I'm not quite ready for that yet. Initially I was but my first saw cut was off the line too much so I continued on that way.

 second one

This was the second one I fitted. The tenon is a few frog hairs too thin. It is a slip fit and has some friction but I've done better. Oddly it was self supporting too.

 the first one

 The fit looks better but the tenon cheeks look like a dirt road after a heavy rain. On the plus side it was self supporting also.


Getting better on the fit as I was resisting the urge to do one more swipe. I did very little clean up on the slot mortises. I relied 99.9% trimming the tenon to fit it.


I think this was the best one of the four. Not sure if I would leave this natural but I wouldn't hesitate to paint it. I had much better control of the LN carcass saw then I did with the sash saw. I think after a few more of these I'll try to do one off the saw.


The frame stayed together when I held it up one at a time on all four sides. Haven't decided yet on whether or not to glue it or to leave it dry. Either way I'll put it with my other practice pieces for future comparison.

for the picture frame

Because of the bridle joint I don't want to risk trying to mold a profile on the outside edges. Ran a bead and I planed away the quirk or extended it. Depends upon how you view the glass - is it half empty or half full?

 time to try them out

The plan here was to put the 3/8" bead on the outside edge and the 1/4" bead on the inside edge. I am also thinking of painting the frame one color and the bead details a different color.

 don't like it

I thought the smaller bead on the inside would look good but to my eye it looks like it shrunk. Switched lanes and I will use the 3/8" bead on both edges.


Did all the ripping to size of these on the tablesaw. I had made a run to Lowes and I bought two 1x4s and I got 4 moldings out of each one. I'll play some more with these tomorrow.

accidental woodworker


Thu, 02/29/2024 - 3:29am

 Situation Normal, All Fouled (or Fxxked) up. That is how I felt after working on the new picture frame. I thought things would go as well as the practice bridle joint I did last week. Things didn't go as planned boys and girls. I got three corners fitted (they aren't pretty) when I went dead in the water. Maybe tomorrow I'll get it dry fitted and I'll assess it then.

they look ok

No pretzels and no twists or bows neither. I'll take the chance on them and make the frame.

 mostly flat and straight

The two inner ones are a wee bet wonky. It isn't excessive in either one and I could easily squeeze the bundle together with hand pressure. Not 100% sure that it won't go south after the frame is made. But if it does I'll fall back on plan #2.

 1/4" short

This is the saw I wanted to use to saw the bridle joints. I thought of ripping this off the long length so I could use it but nixed it. I have a lot of other saws that have sufficient saw plate under the spine.

 first one

This one came out as good as the practice one I sawed last week. I used a sash saw that is bigger and heavier than the LN carcass saw I wanted to use. I don't have a lot of time on the pond using the sash saw but after I got one done I felt better and moved on.

 second one

This one is off the mark. The mortise slot is thinner then the first one I did. I also noticed that the saw cut drifted on me a wee bit on the other side of it. I should have ripped the length and stuck with a saw I am more familiar with.

2nd and 3rd saw cuts

The 3rd one came out as good as the first one. I still had some drift on it as well as the last one too.

 pit stop

 Had to stop the fitting because the tenon float was getting dull. I didn't do a full sharpening but rather a quickie so I could get back to fitting the joints.

 first one dry fitted

It isn't pretty and it isn't self supporting but I think it will be a strong joint once it is glued. There are a lot of blowouts and chips along the outside edges of the tenons (from the tenon float). That is causing my nemesis (gaps) to pop out. But that is what wood putty is for.

 jig mortise on the top

It doesn't look like the top one. The black dark lines are from me using a pencil in the marking gauge lines.

 2nd one

This one doesn't look any prettier than the first one but it is self supporting. So far all the shoulders are lining up tight so I am doing something right.


Even before this split I knew I had screwed up. I was cleaning the bottom inside corners with a chisel and I pushed down and this half of the slot mortise gave up. This is the last one to be fitted but it will have to wait until tomorrow.

bridle joint D

I may or may not need this shim. The clamps were in the way and I could only fit less than a third of the tenon in the mortise slot. If I need it I'll glue it on the tenon and let it set up.

 none of them

The top one is practice bridle joint I did last week. None of the four I did today come close to how it looks. Overall I'm pretty happy with what I did today. I see a huge improvement over my past couple of attempts to do a bridle join with hand tools only. This is just like dovetails - it took me quite a while to do a tight fitting box . I'll be trying this again because I prefer using a bridle joint over a 45 any day of the week.

accidental woodworker

ktichen shelf thing done.......

Wed, 02/28/2024 - 3:30am

 It was foggy as all git out this AM. I thought I was in London England it was so thick. It didn't burn off until late morning. Initially it was cloudy but Mr Sun peeked out eventually. When I went on my post lunch stroll the temp was 55F(13C) and when I got back over an hour later it was 60F(16C). Not too shabby for the last week of feb. Fingers crossed that there won't be any more snow this winter season.

Over the past 3 weeks I've been walking after lunch starting with about an hour and I worked up to about 90 minutes. I am no longer winded walking the steep hill at the start of strolling and my calf and front upper thigh muscles no longer are sore or ache. The biggie is my feet (especially the right heel) are cooperating and are pain free even several hours later.

This past week I've noticed that I'm shaving time off my route. I've walked the same one and what was taking me 90 minutes I have gotten down to about 70-75 minutes. Once march rolls around I will add another mile and see how the body feels about that. I also intend to just stroll post lunch and maybe in april I'll add a post breakfast amble.

 basically done (at 99.99%)

I came back last night and put another coat of shellac on with the intention of doing a 2nd one. That never happened so this AM I got the final coat of shellac on. I am calling this one glamour shot #1 because I doubt you'll see any difference.

 side view

So happy that my wife decided not to paint this. Also happy with how the through tenons came out. There were a couple of me-steaks but it still looks good IMO. I had one blow out chip on the top left, left side and one on the dado at the bottom left front. I can put the shelf on the cabinet so that neither of them will see the light of day.

Lowes run

I went through the entire rack with the 4 foot 1x12s and they were all garbage. I had picked 7 boards that I could ripped out one stile/rail from with the rest being firewood. Decided to it was better to buy four 1x4s. There is much less waste with these vice the 1x12s.

Before I went to Lowes I stopped at Starbucks first. Not sure I'll go here again because I almost had another accident there. I was trying to pull out and two others were trying to beat each to the take out lane. So happy that I was gun shy and kept looking both ways as I backed up.

 need some dowels

I have the Lie Nielsen dowel plate too but it doesn't get any love from me anymore. I put it in the grandson's toolchest. This plate goes from 5/8" to 1/8" by 32nds. I find that the dowels come out rounder and straighter then the LN plate. The LN plate only has 7 holes - 5/8,1/2,3/8,5/16,1/4,3/16, and 1/8.

 glued and flushed

The hole on the left I used a screw extractor to remove a broken screw. The right hole I plugged because it went down at an angle starting at the 11 o'clock position going at an angle to the 4 o'clock position. My wife still hasn't made her mind up about the cabinet so there wasn't a rush on this. I did it to get it out of the shop before I accidentally broke the glass.

reference edge

Made one edge flat and straight before I ripped them to width.

 can't leave this

I tried to work around this knot and lost that battle. This frame is getting painted but this a red knot that will continue to dry and shrink. Eventually it will fall out and ruin my day. The plan was to remove it and fill in the empty space.

 dutchman cut out

This is an offcut from the same end of the board that the knot is on. Not that it matters but I wanted to get as good of a match between the two as I could.

 dry fit

I got a good, snug fit between the two. Self supporting without the tiniest of hints that gravity would prevail.


This is odd. One side of the insert is dead flush and the other is slightly below the face. I wasn't expecting this to be a hiccup - after all it comes from the same board. Good thing it is going to be painted and I'll fill in the depression with putty. I'll further be able to hide it by making this the tenon - the mortise will cheek will hide this face and the shoulder will hide the other. I'll have to pay attention so that this ends up facing the inside of the frame.


You never know what the wood from Lowes will do once I get it home. Usually if it has any stupid wood tricks up its sleeve it will happen between now and tomorrow. I marked them all for a bridle joint that I will hopefully start in the AM.

 now it is 100%

It was 1500 when I applied and buffed off the paste wax. After that I brought it upstairs and put it in the living room. I will let if hang out by the radiator and give the shellac a few days to chill out and harden.

accidental woodworker

kitchen shelf done......

Tue, 02/27/2024 - 3:08am

 Spent part of the morning prepping the shelf for shellac. I sanded the wood putty I applied yesterday and it was dry. The last couple of times I used it it wasn't dry the next day. Nothing in the shop changed nor in how I applied it. Go figure, eh? After I got done playing with that I started with the shellac. I got two on the entire unit with 5 coats on the bottom feet/edges and 4 on the round edge. I should be able to get the count up to 6-8 before I hit the rack.

 it set up

The wood I'm using is very dry and light weight. I don't recognize the grain but it might be alder or some similar wood. It will work for what I'm using it for now that I fixed the split.

shop vac trolley

I am cobbling this together with whatever I have on hand. There will be wiggle room R/L and fore/aft. I am screwing this together with no glue because I might change my mind on it down the road.

 four sides

It fits and lifts out and in easily. Two sides are equal and the other two aren't. I know my OCD will kick in because of this and I'll be redoing it.

casters on

Rolls around nicely with no hesitation. My cellar deck is fairly smooth and there aren't any humps or pot holes I have to worry about. This sure takes up a lot less room than the previous setup. And this one has a diffuser with a open mesh filter.

easy peasy

I really like how quiet this new vac is. It has the same running HP as the bigger Craftsman but it is over 50% quieter. No problems leaving the vac in the trolley to suck all the sanding dust off the shelf.

 I guessed right

By opening and closing this I could vary the suction of the vac. I've been thinking about it but haven't come up with a scenario where I would use. My thinking is max suction to get up every single dust particle.

road trip

I wasn't getting a warm and fuzzy with how much shellac I had left. After I got the first coat on I made a trip to ACE to buy another can. I bought a pound of dewaxed super blonde from "shellac shack dot com" for $42 (with S/H). I would have bought it from "shellac dot net" but the same shellac there was 49.95 before S/H.

4-0 steel wool

I have tried sandpaper and colored scrubbie pads but I prefer steel wool for rubbing down the shellac between coats. The other choices to me don't feel the same after using them like the one steel wool leaves. After the first coat I rub it down with 2-0 steel wool and then 4-0 after the subsequent coats.

next project

This is a painting that was done by Diane's mother (one of two we have). This isn't a sea scene so I guess she is ok with it. This painting is 30" x 30" and I don't have any stock to make a frame for it. The Gurney's trip was partially to get stock for this and the next project from Ralphie's Workshop. I'll go to Lowes and buy some pine to make a frame for this.

 building my library

I've been Eric Sloane's books from ABE books for a couple of months. I've been ordering a couple a month with the goal of getting everything he published. Most of his books seemed to have been published from the late 50's to the late 60's. I'm working off a list of his books so I don't get any duplicates. 

These two came today. The thing I like about his books is not only is he a great illustrator but he explains things. The why and how things were done and how tools were used. Even the ones that wouldn't have any relevance today.

accidental woodworker

glued the shelf up......

Mon, 02/26/2024 - 3:31am

 Made a road trip to Harbor Freight while the shelf unit was cooking. Got disappointed with what they had for stem casters.  There were only 3 choices today for them today whereas I remember them having a boatload to choose. I got nowhere on line although there were a lot of sellers. The problem I had with that was reconciling my measurements with what they were posting. Getting casters is heading down a dead street for now.

final prep

Sanded the interior surfaces, sanded the top end grain up to 220, and planed all the outside edges removing all the pencil marks, dings, etc.

glued and cooking

Glue up went smoothly with no hiccups.


The wedge slot on this side is slammed shut. This was the only one I had this happen on.


Came to a realization here that I had screwed up. I only put glue on the dado and nothing on the mortise walls or the tenons. I think I'll be ok mostly because I wedged the tenons (and I glued them). If I had applied glue in the mortise and on the tenon they might have swelled the gaps shut.

 from Harbor Freight

Struck out on the casters so I wandered around the store to see if anything caught my eye. These clamps grabbed it immediately and firmly after I saw the price of them. The 12" ones (on the right) where $9.99 each and I would have bought 4 but there were only two. The 8" (on the left) I took home for $6.99 each. I will go back next sunday and buy more if they have them.

 bessey deep reach clamp

I have had these (only 2) since I got out of the Navy. There have been numerous times I wish I had two more. Today I have 4 more to help out.

 about 3 1/4"

This should adequate for anything I will use this clamp for.

 blurry pic

Been a while since I had a fuzzy pic to post. What is hard to see is this is 8" from the back inside of the clamp to the center of the swivel head. I was not expecting this to be 8". I thought it would be some metric wanna be equivalent.

 12" clamp opening

This is with the swivel head tight and unmoving. 

 in focus

12" to the center of the swivel head. Both of these clamps are heavy and feel substantial. Both are also heavily ribbed but the threads aren't acme or even what I would consider heavy duty. They should perform alright for my uses for them.

fingers crossed

Just in case and hopefully not a bandaid on gushing wound. I wicked in super glue on the tops, sides, and bottoms of all the tenons 3 times.

almost ready for shellac

Had a brain fart when I sanded the interior and the shelves. I didn't stay away from the tenons and I should have left them alone. All 8 of the mortises have a gap caused most likely by me sanding them. Filled the sins in with pine wood putty.

 from the first vac/dust deputy rolling stand

I had planned to make a platform for this vac but held off on it yesterday to see if HF had any stem casters. Back to plan A.

 still good

I will reuse the casters and screws for the Rigid roll around.

 dead in the water

This side split when I drove the screw home. Filled the crack with glued and clamped it. I'll finish this tomorrow.

 didn't forget

I got asked about the two hoses that came with the shop vac. The non collapsible one on the right is about 10-12 feet long (guessing). I don't like this style of vac hose because they tend to be stiff and ornery. They also develop a memory and will always kink/bend in the opposite direction you want to go in.

 I love this one

I don't know how long this accordion hose will stretch too but the length I have here is probably the max I'll ever pull it out to.This is the one I anticipate being using the most.


Just noticed this open hole. There is a sliding ring that will close it shut or allow a variable opening. I think it is used to vary the suction force of the vac. This is the first time I've seen something like this on a shop vac accessory.

accidental woodworker

Rigid 5 gal shop vac.......

Sun, 02/25/2024 - 3:28am

 After I got done with my puzzles this AM I got an email from Home Depot telling me my shop vac was ready for pickup. I had already decided to go to Gurney's Sawmill to buy some pine. I flipped a coin and picking up the vac won. I thought I would bring it home and then go to Gurney's. That didn't happen boys and girls. I dropped off the shop vac and started playing with it.

 bigger than I thought

It was cloudy still after I got home with it and that sealed going to Gurney's. I will try it again next saturday. 

 neat trick

This Dewalt drill 1/4" hex chuck works differently than the Bosch one. To insert a bit in it you just push it in. You have to pull the chuck up to remove it. The Bosch drill works exactly opposite. I have to pull the chuck up to put the bit in and pull it up to remove it. Lot easier using the Dewalt drill this way.


With the set up table there was zero room to maneuver here. I plan to save as much of the wood that I can for for something else.

 would used these today

My pickup bed was full of water and a couple of boards from Gurney's would have been soaked by the time I got home. When I go next week I'll put these in the bed to elevate the boards and keep them dry.

 fully assembled

I wasn't expecting this. This vac comes with a filter and all the accessories. That was the big reason I bought this one.

 don't match

I wasn't sure that the accessories were the same size as the craftsman vac. Makes me doubly glad that it comes with all accessories.


No paperwork to be found and there were a couple of questions I had about what went where and how.


I found the paperwork inside the vac which wasn't that easy to get to. Took me a few minutes to figure out how to get the top off the vac to get access to the inside. I didn't know that this vac can be hung on the wall. I don't have any wall space to do that and I would have done that in a heartbeat.

another hmm.......

This didn't come with any wheels or rollers. These look like holes for stem casters. I checked the Rigid site and they sell casters. The 'however' with that is they aren't compatible with this model shop vac (WD55000). I might go a road trip to Harbor Freight and buy some and see if they fit.

I tried it out and the suction of it is a huge improvement over the current one. The noise level is also significantly less than the craftsman vac. It has two hoses - one is a collapsible one on the shop vac and a longer one that is a wee bit stiff. I see myself mostly using the collapsible one. I especially like that all the doo dads for it are on the vac and they all have their own little homes. Nice touch and I won't have to search for anything.

 2nd tenons fitted

After my post lunch stroll I got back to the shop and fitting the tenons and mortises. 2 down and 2 more to go.

 all fitted

All the joints closed up and the dadoes are gap free. All the tenons are a few frog hairs proud.

 cockeyed gap

This gap was caused by the tenon pushing through and blowing out a piece. Its neighbor is snug and gap free.

 went 5 for 3

5 mortise/tenon joints were gap free and 3 I'm calling toast. I don't have a warm and fuzzy that the glue will swell these gaps and close them. I'll be using wedges in all 8 tenons to ensue that.

 proposed home

My wife shocked me again when she said she didn't want it painted. I gave a sigh of relief that she approved of it - this was a surprise for her. The expresso machine gave me some concern after I got the toaster on the shelf - I didn't think there would be enough room for it. My shelf was almost 2 inches shorter than the plastic one the toaster and expresso machine were on. I did my shelf on the outside dimensions of it.

 no twist

The diagonals on the inside between the two shelves were 1/8" off. I couldn't get it any better than that and I expected the bottom to be twisted and rocking. Turns out that it was neither. I'm learning to just accept some things and move on.


I made a boatload of these even though I only needed 8. These wedges are short too at only about 5/8" long.

changed my mind

The top pencil pattern on the top was the first choice. I nixed it because I couldn't make it mirror on the top in a way I liked (this is the bottom). It doesn't matter much because the bottom cutout won't be visible once the shelf is in place.

rounds done
Rounded over the top to soften it a wee bit. I didn't get it glued up today but I should be able to get to it tomorrow. If not, then monday or tuesday.....

accidental woodworker

getting a cold.....

Sat, 02/24/2024 - 3:15am

 I sure hope that I'm coming down with a cold and not something alpha numeric that starts with a C. I woke up last night at 0130 not for a toilet trot race but to sneeze. When that happened I thought my eyeballs were going to pop out it was so strong. That was also the start of having to continually empty out my snot locker (nose). So far I have sneezed a bazillion times since 0130 and I have emptied a snot rag box blowing my nose. Fun times are upcoming it looks to be.

glamour pic #1

Waxed the two drawers and it was time to ooh and aah. Not too shabby for a pile of wood from something I can't remember. I do remember the outside carcass was made of formica and wafer board. The oak was shelves and dividers?

 side/back view

Not much to see here but I am happy with the overall color of this. I am not a fan of dark things but this (IMO) looks good.

 the top

Probably overkill using 5 screws to hold one half of the french cleat to the shelf unit. I used brass round head screws and filed them flat. I don't know why the center one came out a wee bit smaller but it is balanced by the other 4.

 the new kitchen organizer shelf

I went over this again trying to squeeze out the second idea for this that I had. I still couldn't get it work for me. The expresso machine is what is killing it now - it is almost 14" high.

 first dado

Self supporting and it isn't too snug. I tried to shoot for the shelves to fit without having to plane the ends. The other dado on this board is a slip fit and not self supporting.

 get use this clamp

I bought 4 of these clamps several years back and this is the first time I'm using them. They are designed to be used with 1-2-3 blocks.

 90° guide

Turns out I didn't need this for any of the mortises. I chopped all four walls on them almost dead nuts at 90°.

 sides are done

Only the inside gets a dado from end to end. The show face has through mortises for the tenons only.

 final layout

Marked the tenons and this is it for layout. Got a little confused on how deep to make the tenons. Finally got it straightened out by playing around with the scrap - I got see what I had to do visually.

 chopping the waste

Sawed the shoulders and chopping between the tenons was in the batters box.

 wee bit tight

The sides fits in the dado but the tenons are too tight for their respective mortises. I had to plane them before they fit.

 good fit but still too tight

I was prepared to use wedges to close up the tenons fit in the mortises. Looks like I might not have to do that. This is most likely going to get painted and stenciled by my wife but I am shooting for all 8 to fit snug.

2 mortises and one dado fitted

I had to plane the end 3 times before it fit. I think I might use hide glue on this because it won't swell the mortises before I can seat the tenons.

checking the side to side

I have a couple of inches to play with but I don't want this to be too close to the edge of the cabinet it will be on. This should come in at around 21" and I have almost 24" of real estate.

 went smoothly

I don't have a good record reading the grain on this New Zealand pine. I usually get ugly looking tear out but today was my lucky day. 3 plane runs and nothing but fluffy shavings. One fitted and 3 more to go. I should be able to glue this up tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

started the next one.....

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 3:26am

 Hit a speed bump with the oak shelf unit. The handles didn't survive and both took the express south on me. Fixed that and started the next project which is for the kitchen. That one went dead in the water after the layout. Had to take a step back and sharpen the chisels I need to use on it. I'm hoping that this one doesn't take more than a couple of days to whack out. 

 still sticky

The stain was coming off on my fingers when I dragged them over the carcass. Before I laid down any wax I wiped down the entire carcass and drawers with a rag soaked with mineral spirits.

 time out

This door is hinge bound and won't stay closed. I fiddled around with the magnetic door catches but that didn't work out. The door can't lay flat and it is tight at the hinges and on the other end it is a good 1/4" off. I stopped working on the shelf and addressed this headache.

 16th inch shim

The gains (mortises/notches for the hinge leaves) were too deep along with the bottom one being tapered. I tried using a couple of layers of thin cardboard but it wasn't enough. I filled in the gain on the door with a piece of pine and that worked.


I made the same me-steak with both hinges. I put them in upside down. The barrel pin could fall out with it this way. Spent the additional calories and reversed the hinges so the barrel pin cap was on the top.

 applying the Briwax

I made one swipe with a paper towel and shitcanned it. I took a 1" brush and cut 3/4 of the bristles off. What a game changer, especially so on this grainy open pored oak. Did the back and outsides first and then the inside.

 it has a shine

The outside has a definite sheen to it from the wax. The drawer is dyed wood sans wax. The handle still was attached here but not for long.

 came right off

I had the drawer as is and when I pushed it forward the handle immediately said No Mas, No Mas.

 2nd one was history

I snapped the 2nd one off with my fingers. I think the the finish/dye on the box put up a barrier to the glue. It looks like I will be dealing with the handles a lot quicker than I expected to.

I scraped the drawer fronts down to clean and smooth surface removing all traces of the dye and finish. I also scraped the backs of the handles of the old glue. I put a couple of nails in the back (snipped them short) and used them as my registration. Mixed up some epoxy and glued the handles on. They got to cook from lunch till when I get back from my post lunch walk about. Also thought I had snapped at least one pic of this but didn't.

 august and september

These are the two sliding lid boxes I made in august and september of 2021. The 8/2021 looked like 3/2021 to me yesterday. I made these for the shop but never used for that. I applied the Briwax over everything - glue squeeze out and putty. I didn't go nutso on cleaning up either one.

 plywood bottoms

The wax finish feels smooth to the touch even on the plywood bottoms. It doesn't have the sheen that the oak shelf has but I intend to slap another coat of Briwax on these two to see what that does for a shine.

 5min epoxy

I didn't want to make new handles and chop mortises for them. Instead I opted for 5min epoxy and two hours later it is holding strong. I shook both boxes by the handle like a madman and nada.

 24hr wait

Stained the drawer fronts and tomorrow in the AM I'll apply Briwax to the front only. I am thinking of applying shellac to the interior. I like the look of the drawers in the 15 drawer dresser with 3 coats of shellac.

 next batter

This is going to be a simple shelf storage thing for kitchen appliances mostly. A waffle iron will be stowed under the bottom shelf, The first shelf will hold the toaster and the expresso machine (why it is so tall 1st to 2nd shelf). The top shelf is for the radio or maybe not. That will depend upon whether or not my wife can reach it - she is 5 foot nothing tall.

I thought of doing this differently to lighten it up. I liked that idea but I had already cut this stock to width and length. The alternate was to make the ends with stiles and rails with thin pickets to fill in between the stiles. But I wouldn't have enough wood to make it - I'd be short on the rails and pickets.

1 2 3 blocks

These blocks are great for layout on 1, 2, or 3 inch multiples. The shelves will have two tenons that are 1" in from either edge and 2" wide.

 story pole

This is basically what I am doing. There is a dado on the inside that goes from edge to edge and the opposite face just needs a through mortise for the tenons.

 chisels for the shelf

I will use the 2" chisel for the dado on the inside. The other two are for the through mortises. I started sharpening the 2" one but stopped. My hands started aching and I killed the lights here. I'll pick back up on this in the AM.

accidental woodworker

almost done......

Thu, 02/22/2024 - 3:16am

 The current shelf thing is done woodworking wise. When I killed the lights at 1530 I finished the last woodworking needed. Or at least I thought I had. If there isn't something that pops up tomorrow, I will wax it and call it 100% done.

 not a good start

I forgot that I had already sawn the sides to width yesterday.  These will work and I saved the off cuts. The plan was to glue them back on after the drawer was glued up.

 2nd brain fart

The side drawer slips are handed - there is a right and a left. I made two rights and I didn't have any more slips left. So I cut off the offending piece and fit the slip as is. This side won't have the slip extended underneath the back bottom of the drawer.


The pic shows a difference between the shelves in the four outside faces. Up close and personal I can't see the difference. I am pleased with how the color seems to be consistent throughout it. 

 first drawer fitted

I was surprised that I had to plane this to get it to fit. Yesterday just the drawer front was fitted with a 32nd gap all around. The assembled drawer was wider than the opening (R-L).

 glue and nails

Lightweight construction but I have a lot of confidence in this type of joinery. I made rabbeted boxes and drawers for years this way and they have all held up. I have a drill bit box that is nailed and rabbeted that I made over 40 years ago. It is still together with no hiccups with it at all.

 only two slips

The front of the drawer bottom fits in a groove in the drawer front. Because of that I only needed slips on the sides.

 new ones

The off cuts were too thin and shy of the top edge of the drawer. I had to make a couple of new inserts to glue in.

 drawer pulls

I have some knobs I could put on this but I am liking the idea of making my own pulls. I think have wooden ones made of wood like the rest of the shelf will blend in better. I'm shooting for something simple to match the rest of the shelf unit.

#8 round

The first attempt (on the long piece in the above pic) didn't go so well. I tried to use my fingers as a fence and that got flushed real quick. Nailed a fence to a wider piece of stock for the 2nd attempt and that worked well. The groove is to facilitate pulling open and closing the drawer.

2nd drawer, 3rd mind fart

The 2nd drawer is a 1/4" too long on the front to back. I screwed up on the width of the sides and I thought assumed they were ready to go on the length. I was wrong.

 up against the stop

The 2nd drawer wouldn't fit neither initially and I had to plane some off both sides. I looked at it from the back expecting to see maybe the top back edge or the sides were binding. Instead I found my mind fart as the back of drawer is up tight to the drawer stop. On a positive note, the drawer stop worked a treat.

sawed the back off

No problems sawing the back off the drawer (tablesaw). I glued up two thinner pieces to get the width needed for a new drawer back.


I took this out of the clamps after about 45 minutes. Once the joinery on it is done it won't be subjected to any more stress as the back of the drawer.

 while the glue dries

Used the chisel to knock the corners of the handle off. I drew a 5/8 circle and after the chisel got it close I finessed it on the sanding block.

 fingers crossed

I am hoping that tomorrow I can get this wax on and call it done. The guy on the Epic Upcyling uses Briwax on everything he makes. I used it once in 2021 on two sliding lid boxes. Today they look good and they aren't greasy or sticky to the touch. Definitely doesn't look like a shellac finish but they do have a soft satin sheen to them.

new back

Glued and nailed again. I wanted to cut out the pitch pocket but I couldn't work around it.

 drawer sneak peek

As of now the handles are only glued on. I don't have room to get screws in from the drawer front into the handles. If the handles don't survive I will come up with a plan B. Mostly likely it will be the same handle but with a tenon to fit in a mortise.

accidental woodworker

medical appointment......

Wed, 02/21/2024 - 3:33am

 Had a medical appointment today and it wasn't for me. My wife had breast scan done today to check out a suspicious lump. Good news is that it is a cyst according to the radiologist. He said it was smooth and not irregular like cancer lumps. She has a follow up in 6 months. That was a relief because her mother had breast cancer and this disease is a mother daughter thing. Like prostate cancer is a father son thing.

no stupid wood tricks

The stock is over length and width. It is still flat and straight the next day and it will get a few more days to sticker before I work on it.

 the warm and fuzzy worry

This is the vertical divider and when I glued it up it was tight. The top and bottom opened up a wee bit from me moving the shelf unit around. 


french cleat

I used super glue to hold it in place temporarily. Because of the angle I couldn't use a clamp on it.

 ran out

The pilot hole wasn't centered on the cleat. It must have grabbed the grain and it punched out on the face. I used a golf tee to fill in the hole. As an aside these unfinished golf tees are almost a perfect match for a #8 screw. I had to whittle this one down some to get it to fit.

I put 5 screws through the top into the french cleat. I drilled a new pilot hole for this one after the med appt.

 belt sander action

I wasn't getting good results trying to plane the sides flush and smooth. Less than 5 minutes with the belt sander and all was well in Disneyland again.

 yesterday's bridle joint

Got it planed smooth and this is good enough to leave natural. There is a slight gap on the right top but for something off the saw, I'm happy with it as is.

 dated and labeled

I like to keep these so when I do another one I have something to compare it to. I have 5-6 of these sample joints gathering dust on the gas meter.


The top one was done with a Ryobi saw and jig on 3/29/2020. They both have good tight joints but I would give a slight edge to the bottom one. Its gap is a tad smaller than the Ryobi one.

 shelf unit drawers

Decided to go with rabbeted joinery for the drawers. I also will be using drawer slips on the sides. Because of the rabbets I was able to plow a 1/8" groove in the drawer front bottom which won't show on the ends because of the sides. This is as far as I got for today. I should be able to finish the shelf unit thing tomorrow.

accidental woodworker


Tue, 02/20/2024 - 2:54am

 This is the name of the current crime series I'm watching on Amazon. It is the prequel to the Inspector Morse series. This one is about a young Inspector Morse in the early 1960's. So far it has my attention unlike the 3 others I didn't make it through the first episode. This one is interesting and with the volume jacked up I can follow 80% of it. The accents aren't that bad to decipher and this series has 9 seasons. I think after I've watched all of these I'll check the Inspector Morse series.

 no surprises

No creaks and groans when I took the clamps off. I don't have a warm and fuzzy with this shelf thing. None of the shelves seemed to have seated fully in the dadoes and the oak especially gives me doubts. It is brittle and dry and the glue didn't soak into it readily. I'll keep an eye on this as I finish it up.

 this is history

I ordered a 5 gallon shop vac from Home Depot - they didn't have the one I wanted in the store. It is being shipped to the Warwick Home Depot and when it arrives I'll get an email to go pick it up. Until then I'll leave this alone because I haven't told it yet of its upcoming demise.


The left vise face shouldn't be toeing in at the bottom like it is. This is why the mortise jig wasn't working for me a while back. It has been getting worse especially when I clamp something like this only at the top.

 french cleat

I did consider sawing it on the tablesaw. I don't like sawing angles on it but I did think of sawing it into two and then planing the 45s. Nixed that idea too and put on my big boy pants and sawed it by hand.

 happy face on

I have tried to saw 45s before this and they have all came out crappy. I have no problem following the line on the face I'm looking at as I saw. The hiccup is the back face, the saw wanders off the line into La La Land like it has a mind of its own. 


The saw isn't dead nuts on the back face line but it is close. It is almost parallel to it and it is the best I've done so far. I scraped both faces clean so I could see/follow the pencil lines.


This cleaned up easily for me. The shorter cleat was almost dead on 45 and straight and even end to end. The larger one I had to fuss with a bit more to get its 45 running straight and parallel end to end (had a slight taper to it).

 end on view

This should work ok and support the shelf unit with no hiccups. I am going to put the smaller part of the cleat (on the left) in the shelf unit. The larger part (on the right) will be secured to the wall. I chose the larger part for the wall to facilitate attaching it.

waiting for glue to dry

While the glue was cooking I sawed out a bridle joint. I wanted to compare using the jig to doing it without it. Layout was dead simple and the oomph part is next.

 so happy I could wet myself

I wasn't expecting this bridle joint to come so nice. My past attempts doing it by hand were nightmares. I sawed the mortise first and then the tenon. Sawed off the lines on that and used the router (on the tenon) to sneak up on the fit. I glued it and labeled as being done by hand (I'm saving it for future reference). The trick now is to repeat this 3 more times. I have one more painting to frame and it is going to be 33x34 on the inside dimensions.

 drawer stops

Glued in two strips of oak to act as drawer stops. The drawers aren't overly deep but will still manage to be about 3 3/4 to 4 inches deep.

 next project

Broke down the 8 foot pine board into the 4 component parts. PITA sawing it out because the board starting pinching the saw after the first 5-6 inches.


It will probably be a few more days before I will be able to get back this. For what I have in mind for this, it shouldn't take too long to whack it out neither.

 drawer parts

The fronts are 1/2" oak and the sides and back will be 5/16" pine. Initially I thought I would do half blinds at the front and through at the back. Because of the thin sides/back (and the dry oak fronts) I'm thinking that maybe rabbeted might be a better choice. Either way the drawers will be lightweight.

Got the truck back from the garage just before lunch. No problems with the state inspection and it is good for two years. The registration is only good for one year because it is a truck.

accidental woodworker

glued and cooking......

Mon, 02/19/2024 - 2:53am

 The current shelf/cabinet thing is almost done. I got the shelves fitted, glued and cooking by 1500. I still have the drawers to do before I can put a check mark in the done column. Stilling mulling about what kind of drawers to do. Half blinds are on the pole position but through dovetails and even rabbeted drawers are clamoring for some love too. I'm thinking that maybe wednesday it will be complete. Most likely I'll give this to my sister Kam.

 last night

After dinner last night I came back to the shop and glued the carcass. This was a better way forward with this. If I had waited until this AM I would have glued it up and then what? This way it was ready to work on when I turned the lights on this AM.

 new shelves

I had a 1/2" thick oak board that I used to make 3 new shelves. The 3 I did yesterday I made all too short. This oak board is a wee bit thicker than the original oak shelves. I didn't want to taper the ends to get them to fit the stopped dadoes so I planed a rabbet until they did.

 last two dadoes

This oak is too loose for the dado. I had planned on using new oak for the vertical divider but the largest left over piece was too short. One option I looked at was gluing a piece of veneer on this oak piece.

 frog hair too wide

This piece is tall enough but the grain orientation is not correct. It is also too thick to fit the dado but a couple of strokes with a plane would cure that.

 bottom shelf

I only need a dado fully across the the bottom of the shelf . On the bottom of the first shelf I only need a small notch to hold the top of the vertical drawer divider.


I didn't think this all the way through. Before I glued this up I had thought about chopping this dado. No problems swinging straight down onto the chisel but I missed that I would need to swing from the side at an angle. 

I got it done but it was slow going and awkward. I had to chop it with the bevel down. There was just enough room to whack the chisel and pop out a chip. Thankfully there was only one of these to do.

 drawer divider

There isn't any need to have a horizontal drawer runner at the top. I notched the vertical divider so the dado wouldn't need to come out on the front end.

 top notch

I wasn't sure if I could get the vertical divider in place at first. The top had to be in the notch as the shelf was put into the side dadoes. I got it fitted on the first dry run and on the next couple I tried to make sure I had a handle on it.

 dry fitted

The vertical divider between the 2nd and 3rd shelves is from two pieces I glued together. It is only about 2/3 of the width of the shelves - I think it looks better than if it was the same width as the shelves.

 gluing the shelves

I will glue the vertical divider tomorrow after the shelves have cooked overnight.

 french cleat?

This shelf isn't getting a back so using a french cleat to hang it makes sense to me. This way the back of it will be the wall it is hanging on.

 the french cleat

This is wide enough that I can get both parts of the cleat from it.

 0 for 2

The first two stains I tried were walnut and special dark walnut. Neither of them were close to the brown of the cabinet. Sanding the cabinet is out of the question now that it glued up. I was trying to find a stain that was kind of close to the color of the cabinet. I just need it to be similar enough so the wax coat will blend it all together.

 raw and finished look

This is red oak stain and I'm going with it. The stain on raw wood is brownish and kind of looks like the original stained oak. It is wet looking on the stained oak but that should change as it dries. I'll take a peek at this after dinner but fingers crossed the red oak is the winner.

accidental woodworker

2 for 2.......

Sun, 02/18/2024 - 3:02am



That is the cost for the conservation glass, the teal matting, and the backer board

I went and got the watercolor from the Frame it Shop today. Wow. Even I was impressed with it. I was a little concerned about how the frame, the mat, and the watercolor would interplay with it other. I thought the frame and mat might have been too busy for the watercolor but I like the interplay between them. Not only did I like it but my wife liked it too.

I learned that this watercolor wasn't from her mother but her aunt (her mother's twin sister). My wife liked the frame and the mat but not the water color. She is freaked out by sea creatures. I tried to explain that loggerhead turtles are harmless but to no avail. I was gaga that my wife had expressed liking two things in a row that I had made but it lost a wee bit of shine because she didn't like the pic. She is going to give it to Amanda's husband for his birthday.

 this is history

This is a space taking hog. I've been thinking about it for a couple of weeks now and its days in the shop are numbered. 99% of what I use this for is to vacuum up shellac dust and steel wool debris. I never use it to vac the deck or hardly ever to suck up saw dust from the tablesaw. I'm thinking of down sizing to a 5 gallon unit that has almost as much HP/suction as this one does or doesn't have. It is an old vac that I got in the early 1980's. She is ready to be put out to pasture.

 all seated

I don't know what I did but I took it apart after looking at the corner that wasn't seated. I looked at the tails and pin sockets and saw nothing glaring. I did another dry fit and nada. All the tails were seated and gap free. Still scratching my butt giving it goofy looks trying to figure out what was wrong and why it is now ok.

 not easy

Routing the dado went in dribs and drabs. It would remove some and then hit something and it wouldn't move forward. I had to switch between chiseling it and using the router to get to depth.

 one side fitted

None of them fit after plowing the dado. I used the skew rabbet plane to shave a wee bit off the end doing that until I got a snug fit.


Road trip to Lowes to get this -8bf for $49. I wanted to go to Gurney's but it was snowing this AM so I nixed that. I have a project in mind for this that needs two boards 11" wide by 24" long and two boards 11" wide by 21" wide. I'll start on this after the oak cabinet is done.

 frustration highway

What a PITA getting the shelves dry fitted. The bottom kept coming off as I tried to fit the shelves. Even with a clamp on the bottom it was still mostly a hit or miss operation. I should have paid attention to that but it sailed over my head.

 doesn't fit

I was struggling mightily not to give this flying lesson. This was the third time I was fitting/trimming the the shelves. On the bright side each fit was too long so I had to shave them each time to get it to fit. The fit was giving me fits and I was getting frustrated. When I get frustrated with headaches like this I start searching for my 3lb sledge hammer.

 the cause

It finally penetrated my thick walled brain bucket that it was because I kept changing the clamps. Quick and F clamps weren't cutting it and closing up the tails and pins tight. The besseys did it and that was what was changing the fitting of the shelves. I shoulda, woulda, coulda, but didn't use besseys from the git go.

I quit here for the day and killed the lights. Tomorrow I will glue the pins/tails and let that set up before fitting the shelves again. All three were longer than the carcass as is in this pic. After the shelves are fitted I will plow the final dadoes for the drawer divider/runners and the shelf separator between the 2nd/3rd shelf.

accidental woodworker


Sat, 02/17/2024 - 3:04am

 I think these 3 initials strike dread and fear in whatever state you live in. My living hell was today. I need my state inspection but I also need the current registration which I did not have. Couldn't find it in any of the holes I checked. So I made an appointment with the DMV to get a copy of it. Unbeknownst to me the appointment I thought I had for today was actually made for monday which was too late for me. How does someone confuse today with monday? At least I have a good excuse with being partially deaf.

My wife told me to go to AAA and get it there. I called ahead, got an appointment for today, and I confirmed it. I got there a half hour early, filled out the paperwork, and I got called early. That made sense because I was the only customer waiting for service. Instead of getting a copy of my registration the rep told me I should renew it because it was due for renewal in march. So I spent $65 earlier than I thought I would but I'm good for another year. State vehicle inspection on monday and I think that one is good for two years. 

 it was rocking

The base was a wee bit twisted - the bottom left and top right corners were high. I wanted to get this started with shellac but I'll put it off until tomorrow.

I checked the date on the bottom and it is 10/2023 which I find incredibly hard to believe. I know I made this at least 4-5 years ago. I think this date is for when I fixed the hinge issue even thought I don't recall doing that.

 another no mortise hinge experiment

I got a comment from Kevin about these hinges that Sylvain commented on and clarified for me. It got my curiosity piqued and I had to try it out. I'll be using the same two scraps of pine I used on the first hinge experiment.

 inset door

In the first experiment the door over laid the edge. This one will have the door inset on the inside face. First step was squaring a line across the two pieces.

 small leaf first

Like I did the first one, securing the small hinge was done first. With the hinge as is here I used a vix bit to drill the two pilot holes first (counter sinks facing down). Then I flipped the hinge and screwed the small leaf in place.

large hinge next

I didn't have to flip the large leaf and I drilled pilot holes and screwed it in place. I used the reference square line I drew first to align it.


Flawless and awkward free installation. I had the square reference line and I was able to use the barrel to align the hinge for the small and large leaves. Doing a inset door like this also means there is no headaches with the screws poking through to the face.

 mystery solved

I believe the key to installing these no mortise hinges is to get the small hinge screwed on first. It doesn't matter if the door is an overlay or an inset one. If I had done inset doors on the carved leaf cabinet I wouldn't have any problems with the screws being too long.

 off the saw (oak cabinet)

These are not my best tails/pins but I am ok with them. I was expecting this to be a whole lot worse than this. The half pins have gaps but too small to throw a dog through. The slopes of the tails are pretty close considering I sawed them with muscle memory rather than following a pencil line.

second set

Went together off the saw and the fit is lot better. I'm pretty sure once glue is applied the pins/tails will swell shut and tighten up.

 tail side

The tails aren't seating tight in the pin sockets. This is the only corner that is doing this. This end is also one of the wonky ends of the two sides. The other wonky side is nice with only one half pin gap.


It didn't close up boys and girls with moderate clamp pressure. I'll have to check into this and see what is holding the pins and tails from fully meshing.

 dry fit

The carcass is square within +/- a 32nd and I am laying out the first shelf visually. It ended up being 3 1/2" up from the bottom.

 the final layout

No adjustable shelves in this cabinet. The drawer opening is 3 1/2" and there is 7" between the first and second shelf with the distance between the other two shelves at about 6" each. I was thinking of making the drawers different widths and I still might do that. For now the plan is two equal, centered drawers

The dado work for this should be exciting. Chopping the dovetails was an adventure. They splintered, cracked, and it was not like doing them in pine. I'm not sure what is going to happen chopping the dadoes or how hard it will be using the router on them.

accidental woodworker