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Heartwood: Woodworking by Rob Porcaro

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inside the woodshop 2017-06-30T20:55:05Z
Updated: 1 hour 27 min ago

Sensing wood moisture content by feel

Fri, 06/30/2017 - 1:47pm
sensing wood moisture content
Can you really sense, with any practical utility, the moisture content of wood simply by touching it? Yes. Let’s take a look. An object feels hot or cool to the touch of your hand because of the flow of heat between your hand and the object. For example, an object feels relatively cool because it […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Router mortise jig, part 2

Thu, 06/29/2017 - 7:12pm
router mortise jig
Now let’s work through the elements of the jig. The top photo again shows an overall view with a leg blank in place. Basic construction: The jig is built on a piece of plywood about 5″ wide and 39″ long. Screwed down along one edge is a double-width T track with the groove placed up […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Router mortise jig, part 1

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 10:41pm
router mortise jig
Here is a very direct approach to mortising with a router that works especially well for mortising legs. The system starts with an auxiliary router base plate that rests on top of the squared leg blank and has two adjustable fences that hug the sides of the blank to eliminate side play. I have been […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Don’t let this happen to you

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 3:15pm
bad edge joint
Many of us woodworkers have a habit of casting our judgmental eyes on woodwork we encounter anywhere, at anytime. Imagine if we were hair stylists. Recently, I noticed the condition of the tables in a certain non-chain pizza shop, which happens to serve the best pizza I have ever tasted. Great pizza joint, bad edge […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Plane iron camber, part 4: Tormek SE-77

Wed, 05/31/2017 - 5:46pm
Tormek SE-77
For those not familiar with the Tormek grinder, the SE-77 jig, an upgrade over the older SVH-60, holds the blade and slides onto the guide bar, where it rotates to present the blade edge to the grindstone in a very consistent manner. The niftiest features of the SE-77 are its ability to reliably put a […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Plane iron camber, part 3: other considerations

Wed, 05/31/2017 - 2:45pm
cambered plane iron
Creating the camber There doesn’t have to be high art in producing the camber. On a coarse diamond stone, I start by leaning the blade to the left and slightly raising the right side. It is important not to overdo this. I then gradually reduce the lean, keeping aware of the approximate number of strokes, […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Plane iron camber, part 2: the effect of the bed angle

Tue, 05/30/2017 - 10:23pm
plane iron camber
To master handplanes, a woodworker must master the matter of blade camber. To introduce the bevel-up/bevel-down/frog angle issue, please refer to my 2009 post. Here I want to present a more intuitive approach to guide you at the sharpening bench. The issue When checking the blade after grinding, you naturally hold it up and observe […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Plane iron camber, part 1: three guidelines

Sun, 04/30/2017 - 6:18pm
plane iron camber
Revisiting this matter, there need be no confusion as long as you keep in mind that the amount of camber that belongs in a plane blade is a function of how the plane will be used, and particularly, the kind of shavings the plane will take. Without getting hung up on numerical absolutes, here are […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Accurate placement of hardware screws

Sat, 04/29/2017 - 9:04pm
locating hardware screws
When installing hardware, it is important to have precise control of the location of the pilot holes for the screws. The options are to start with a mark made by a scribing point or awl, then use that to locate the drill bit, or drill the hole directly without a preceding mark. Here is my approach. […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Beyond perfection

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 10:02pm
Perfection. We might think we want it in our woodworking, yet it does not exist. But for the craftsperson, concern with perfection, far from being a benign wish, has a dark side – it can distract you from understanding excellence. Consider the example of a simple straight line, such as the straight edge on a […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools