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A Departing Founder

360 WoodWorking - Tue, 04/04/2017 - 6:12am
A Departing Founder

It’s inevitable that people change positions in the work world – desires change, drive fades or new ideas beckon. And so it is with 360Woodworking.com.

As of April 1, 2017, Chuck Bender, a founding member of the team, has moved on from 360Woodworking. As you may expect, I’m saddened by his departure. I’ll miss – hell, we’ll all miss – his camaraderie and his vast woodworking knowledge. I’m sure that whatever he chooses to do as his next step in life will be special.

Continue reading A Departing Founder at 360 WoodWorking.

Fortnightly Reminder of 2017 Courses at The Barn

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 04/04/2017 - 5:26am

Here is the full slate of activities upcoming.


May 23-27 Making a Ripple Molding Cutter – this is less of a workshop than a week long gathering of fellow galoots trying to design and build a machine to allow us to recreate ripple and wave moldings.  Material and supplies costs divvied up, no tuition.


June 16-18  Make a Nested Set of Brass Roubo Squares – This is a weekend of metal working, as we fabricate a full set of nested brass squares with ogee tips, as illustrated in Plate 308 of l’art du Menuisier.  The emphasis will be entirely on metal fabrication and finishing, including silver soldering with jeweler Lydia Fast, and creating a soldering station for the workbench. Tuition $375, materials cost $50.


July 24-28  Minimalist Woodworking with Vic Tesolin – This week long session with author and woodworking minimalist Vic Tesolin will begin with the fabrication, entirely by hand, of a Japanese tool box.  Who knows where we will end up?  I am looking forward to having my own work transformed.  Tuition $625, materials cost $50.


August 11-13  Historic Finishing – My own long-time favorite, we will spend three days reflecting on, and enacting, my “Six Rules For Perfect Finishing” in the historic tradition of spirit and wax coatings.  Each participant should bring a small finishing project with them, and will accompany that project with creating numerous sample boards to keep in your personal collections.  Tuition $375.


September 4-8  Build An Heirloom Workbench – I’m repeating the popular and successful week-long event from last year, wherein the participants will fashion a Roubo-style workbench from laminated southern yellow pine.  Every participant will leave at the end with a completed bench, ready to be put to work as soon as you get home and find three friends to help you move it into the shop.  Tuition and Materials $825 total.

Since some recent research revealed the attention span of Americans to be eight seconds, I’ll re-run this periodically.

If any of these interest you drop me a line here.

I think it worked.......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 04/04/2017 - 1:28am
I didn't want to jump into unclamping the keyboard base when first went to the shop. I have a lot of calories invested in it and this fix was iffy. If this epoxy route didn't pan out, I was SOL.  There isn't any way I could make a replacement leg easily. I might get the twin tenons right but I would also have to make a through tenon for the brace. No fixy and I was looking at making a whole new thing.

the cheese curl isn't what is supposed to be in focus
When I snapped this pic the edge of the iron looked to be in focus. This is the fourth iron I started to sharpen on sunday. This edge had four chips in it and it now has 2.  Three of the four were kind of small and I had one large one. Hand grinding chips out of a bevel is mindless torture that seemingly takes forever to get done.

a little each night
Rather then spend an ton of hours grinding this, I decided to do a little bit each night. Nothing nutso but 20-30 strokes and set it aside till the next night. I figure it'll take till the weekend before I get all the chips removed.

can't delay it any longer
Time to see if I have to pay the Piper or whether there will be joy and rejoicing in Mudville.

happiness in Mudville
I shook the crappola out of this by holding it in as many different ways as I could. Nothing happened. The leg didn't split again and it isn't rocking on bench.  That is the good news and now the not so good news. I have to figure out some way to clamp this so I can file the screw heads. Using one hand to hold it and one to file doesn't yield good results. I also have to clamp in such way that I don't stress it and cause the leg to split for the final time.

what I came up with
I had just enough clearance for the brace to clear the underside of the bench. With it clamped kitty corner there isn't any stresses or forces acting on either leg. It took me less then 10 minutes to file all six screw heads.

this sucks
I set this screw a frog hair too deep and I couldn't file the slot completely out. When I put the pencil tray on I'll make sure this is at the back. It should be covered by the keyboard or at least hidden.

not a top ten choice
Because of the filed screw heads I didn't want to risk planing the top. I sanded the entire thing with 120 grit and that was it.

I didn't sand this
 Both ends are off the saw. I planed the short 45 clips and they look good. I want the same look for the ends.

big improvement - took 4 swipes
the leg that split
There isn't any hiding this. I am leaving this as it is - just sanded.

epoxied the pencil tray to holder
while the branding iron heated up, I put on the shellac
3 coats of a 1/2 lb cut of shellac
I got to put one more coat on the underside of the top. I had to hold off on that until the branding iron was hot enough to burn my mark on the bottom. Tomorrow I'll put a couple of coats of 2lb cut on it and this will be done.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who designed the Gateway Arch in St Louis?
answer - Eero Saarinen

The Numbers Spiked Again.

The Furniture Record - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 10:59pm

From time to time, the views for this blog spike. I would like to think that the brilliance of my writing has finally been discovered by the masses. Then I examine the stats and realize that one of the cool kids with the popular blogs has thrown me a mercy link. As expected, my numbers return to normal within a few days. My brilliance has not swayed them. They abandon me.

I’m OK with this. I have my 47 loyal followers/readers. If you include my family and friends I have 42. (It doesn’t make sense to either but I’ve checked the math. Numbers still don’t lie.) I’m OK with this in that if I had thousands of followers I might feel the pressure to write informed and well-reasoned blogs instead whatever it is I’m writing now.

In this case, it seems to be John Hoffman’s partner, Chris Schwarz of Lost Art Press, etc. what threw me link. I’ve known him for years (You can check out our history HERE.)  He doesn’t owe me anything. He’s really just that nice.

I have seen a few minor spikes that come from one Rude Mechanic on Instagram. Odd name.

Defying conventional thinking, I will just write a normal blog and not try some stunt blog to try to snag new readers. Eventually you would just be disappointed and leave.

In the referring blog, mention was made of settles. According to the wildly popular Wikipedia: A settle is a wooden bench, usually with arms and a high back, long enough to accommodate three or four sitters. I don’t always agree with them but in this case I think they are right enough.

I have photographed enough settles to know that there doesn’t seem to be any one predominant type of settle.

There are some really formal ones:


Fancy settle with storage.

A settle for loners and thinkers.


Room for one settler, maybe two. No more.

Settles that followed my wife home.


Front view. It makes a great sail on the porch.


The front is well made but


the back is fascinating. Or is this the front?

Click HERE to see album

And do come back.


Building a Bridge with a Stanley No.192 Plane

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 7:32pm
The bridge of a guitar as we know it today is a relatively modern invention consolidated by Torres, although he was not the inventor.

Jose L. Romanillos, Antonio de Torres, 1995

Many people don't know how much work is involved in constructing a guitar bridge, I know for most classical guitarists it is simply an anchor point for the guitar's strings.

I arch the bottom of the bridge to match the guitar sound board's doming, cut a channel for the saddle to sit in and I make a tie block for the strings.

The tie block gets covered with a piece of mother of pearl, this protects the tie block from string wear and gives the guitar a bit of bling.

Since I am making a fairly close copy of a Hernandez y Aguado bridge, the tie block is sloped towards the saddle slot, this was original done to increase the breaking angle of the strings over the bridge. This helps increase the overtones in the guitar. Compare that with a modern flamenco guitar bridge and you will see the string "breaking angle" is very, very shallow, the string goes almost straight from the tie block to the saddle.

I souped up the blade on my grandfather's Stanley No.192 rabbet plane and it works wonders in cutting out a rabbet for the tie block overlay.

It would be nice to close up the mouth of this plane just a little, but if I do my job of properly sharpening this Sweetheart Era blade it performs with perfect aplomb.

The Rocklite Ebano bridge with its new MOP tie block overlay. I put a bit of hide glue on the tie block, dry it with a heat gun, clamp the MOP onto it and then run some CA glue along the edges.

Tomorrow is the day from drilling the string holes in both bridges, then the final shaping and carefully stowing away the bridges so they will not become damaged.

Please bear with me as I find a new template for my blog, I want the blog to be easy read and search.

Here's a video of a brilliant young guitarist from Australia, Stephanie Jones!

Categories: Luthiery

Staked High Stool & ‘The Anarchist’s Design Book’

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 1:32pm


After five prototypes, I’ve completed the first project for the expansion of “The Anarchist’s Design Book,” which should be out in 2018.

I now have to make a SketchUp drawing of the stool, which will take longer than building the stool from wood. After busting out a lot of staked chairs and stools this year, I’m able to build this stool in 3-1/2 hours, which includes finishing time.

The finish on the stool – a combination of “udukuri” and “shou sugi ban” techniques I’ve been experimenting with for more than two years – also allows me to add an appendix to the design book on these processes and the tools involved.

I’m quite happy with this design. It’s simple, comfortable, inexpensive and easy.

I have to take a break from the projects for the expansion of “The Anarchist’s Design Book” to build a commission and write an article for Popular Woodworking Magazine. When I complete those projects, I’ll return to making a staked armchair, a staked settee and two boarded projects for the book.

The boarded projects include a nailed-together version of the Monticello bookcases I built in 2011 and a boarded English settee. This has long been on my list of projects to build. If you aren’t familiar with the form, check out this entry from TheFurnitureRecord.com.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: The Anarchist's Design Book, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

A George II Walnut Serpentine Chest – Part Seven

Pegs and 'Tails - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 1:09pm
The external surfaces of the chest were washed down with hot soapy water to remove any wayward glue, grime and fingerprints. The chest was then stained and the first lick of spirit varnish applied to seal it (fig. 1). The … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

Traditional Paint and Glue Store in Israel

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 11:50am

While in Tel Aviv last week, I paid a visit to a few of my favorite places – trade stores and friends’ shops that I used to frequent while living in Israel. One of these places was Sahar Finishes store. The owner, Mosha Srebrnik, is the grandson of the man who founded the business almost a hundred years ago. The small corner store looks as if it has hardly changed since then, except […]

The post Traditional Paint and Glue Store in Israel appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

The Four and a Half Best Sex Positions for Woodworkers!

Bridge City Tools - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 10:59am

Drivel Starved Nation… It’s Been Awhile!

I know it’s time to write something in this Totally Awesome and Worthless Blog when I receive emails from DSN members inquiring if my cremation was gluten free….

Here’s an explanation;

Whenever I “disappear” from my blog, I am usually at the mercy of the Muse. And it is true in this case.

In late January, I embarked on my annual work retreat and on DAY ONE, I asked myself an interesting question. At least it was interesting to me.

I am still obsessed with answering this question. It is too early to disclose but our patent lawyer is involved, our trademark lawyers are involved, the creative team is working on all the two dimensional marketing material and we have secured the URL’s to 5 websites.  So my gut hunch is this might be a big deal. Stay tuned!

Next week, I will announce all the details for our excellent field trip to China in the fall.  I hope you can make it, it will be a memory not soon forgotten.

In the meantime, I apologize for the misleading headline – I was just making myself laugh — it worked.

Speaking of laughing, let’s laugh at us;


PS: Over this past weekend, our site was hacked and an ANNOYING banner ad now sits atop our site. We are working on getting it removed.

The post The Four and a Half Best Sex Positions for Woodworkers! appeared first on John's Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Intarsia Class

Alaska Creative Woodworkers Association - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 9:16am
Great News! We finally have a date for the intarsia class. The class will be on Saturday, April 15th (our usual meeting day). Yvonne Spencer has graciously agreed to be our instructor. We will be meeting at her work place. It is located at 2450 Cinnabar Loop, Anchorage. The class will start a little earlier so we will have time to finish the project. The time is 9 AM- 3 PM or until we get it done.   You will […]

Tips from Sticks in the Mud – April 2017 – Tip #1 – Marking Pros and Cons

Highland Woodworking - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 8:11am

Welcome to “Tips From Sticks-In-The-Mud Woodshop.” I am a hobbyist who loves woodworking and writing for those who also love the craft. I have found some ways to accomplish tasks in the workshop that might be helpful to you, and I enjoy hearing your own problem-solving ideasPlease share them in the COMMENTS section of each tip.  If, in the process, I can also make you laugh, I have achieved 100% of my goals.

Recently, I was working on a little stool for an employee’s niece and it was a blast to make! To give it an extra sentimental connection, I chose 150-year-old pine salvaged from our clinic’s old baseboards. It was great material, except for the fact that its age makes it somewhat brittle.

I like the character of this ancient pine, but it has its challenges. However, the beautiful end products make the struggles worthwhile.

To give it plenty of stability (we didn’t want little Kessa taking a tumble!), I mortised the top to accept the legs.

When I make stools, I take the time to mortise all of the parts together for maximum strength. There’s no such thing as overkill when it comes to children’s safety. Sometimes I use the stationary mortise chisel, but other times I use the router, followed by cleanup with a sharp chisel.

The two sides were not interchangeable, as the legs were not exactly the same thickness. Frequently, antique lumber isn’t uniform. There wasn’t enough difference for one’s eye to tell, but enough that the mortise fit wasn’t identical.

To keep myself straight, I put chalk marks on all the pieces through the milling process. I’ve seen chalk used by a lot of very talented and successful woodworkers, and it had to be easier to remove than pencil marks, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Chalk is cheap if you get it at the everything’s-a-dollar store. Four huge sticks of chalk and a holder for a buck. A cheapskate’s dream.

As the kids nowadays say, “How’s that working out for you?”

Not so great.

I managed to keep the top on the top and the center section in the middle. Additionally, the center puts its best face forward, which also establishes the front and rear of the stool.

Somehow, though, in the middle of gluing up, I managed to get the big leg in the small mortise, which wasn’t the end of the world because it fit, nothing split, and its mortise for the center section fit, too. But, when the little leg went into the bigger mortise, the slop was immediately evident.

And, the gap around the leg was evident. Not huge, mind you, but evident.

Like a Lego fort, the interlocking parts already installed and glued were too intimate to disassemble, so rearranging was out of the question at this point.

While there might be other projects where chalk is a viable marking option, I’m going with bits of blue shop tape next time.

As long as you’re sure it’s not going to fall off, there’s no down side to blue-tape marking. More robust than chalk and unlikely to be accidentally removed.

As Olive Oyl once said, “All’s well that ends in the well.” I think everyone is happy with this end product.

According to Steven Johnson’s study on adhesion and cohesion, we shouldn’t need to worry about residue interfering with finish after using painter’s tape, because its cohesion exceeds its adhesion. Of course, tape sticks better to smooth wood better than rough, so, it’s not going to be the universal marking answer. I’ll let you know how the tape works out.

And, I won’t be throwing my pencils away. Did you know that acetone is an excellent graphite remover?

  • Be generous when applying the acetone to a rag or paper towel.
  • Work quickly, because acetone evaporates rapidly.
  • Keep moving. By that, I mean, once you’ve removed some or all of a mark with a spot on your paper towel, don’t try to continue using the same spot. Apply more acetone to a clean area and begin again.
  • Remember, acetone is an organic solvent, and, thus, is subject to spontaneous combustion. Allow the vehicle to air-dry in an open area and/or immerse it in water in a plastic bag.
  • Some woodworkers report that mineral spirits are also effective at removing pencil marks.

    Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home.Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

The post Tips from Sticks in the Mud – April 2017 – Tip #1 – Marking Pros and Cons appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Handworks 2017 Countdown – First Edition Roubo Prints For Sale

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 5:50am

As I blogged last year I was fortunate to purchase at auction two lots of prints that had been sliced out of a First Edition of l’art du Menusier by Andre-Jacob Roubo in the 1760s and 1770s.  These are remarkable artifacts, printed by hand on hand-made paper.  Roubo was the artist for every image, was the engraver for a great many of the plates, and almost certainly was personally overseeing the production of the volumes.

As fate would have it all the prints I acquired are from the portions of Roubo that Michele, Philippe and I have completed after about 10-12,000 hours work thus far, and the hearty souls at Lost Art Press have already published.

Plate 296, the one which lit my fire for this project more than 30 years ago. This treasure will feature prominently on the wall of our home.

Among the prints I bought was the very one that inspired me to head off down the path to our ongoing project to bring to the Anglophone world our annotated Roubo translations.  Plate 296 whetted my appetite more than three decades ago, and as soon as I get a frame made it will be occupy a place of honor in our home.

I have already gifted two of these prints to my LAP collaborator colleagues, chief-cook-and-bottle-washer Chris Schwarz, who received Plate 279 featuring “the German Workbench,” and book designer and artisan printer Wesley Tanner who seemed delighted to get Plate 327 featuring the printing press.

After culling the dozen-or-so prints of greatest meaning to me I have decided to sell the rest from my purchase because I do not have the appropriate wall space to display them (about three dozen); it is not a complete inventory by any means, but there are some pretty good ones.

Over the next several weeks I will be posting here all the individual prints I will have for sale in Amana.  Terms will be cash, check, or Paypal.  Prices will probably mostly fall between $150-$500 with a couple of outliers, but if you ever wanted a piece of genuine Rouboiana this is your chance.  In addition to the Roubo prints I got a number of original, similarly excised plates from Diderot, all concerned with the manufacture of ship’s anchors.   The Diderot plates will be considerably less.

There will be no advance reservations, this is a special first-come sale for Handworks attendees.  If any do not sell there, I will offer them for sale through the blog afterward.

Secrets to become a master craftsman artisan

Journeyman's Journal - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 5:48am

The secrets to become the master is not at all a secret, but one known to us all and reserved only for those who are prepared to undertake a journey I am to reveal or maybe I should say, remind you and myself of something we all already know.

Let’s take a brief journey into the philosophical world of martial arts to better understand ourselves and the journey we are about to embark.

Kung Fu

If we look up the definition of Kung Fu we’ll get many descriptions, but only one nails its true meaning, “to refine the body and its mind.”   Kung Fu is supreme skill that can only be attained from hard work.  You see Kung Fu doesn’t only relate to martial arts but to all that have mastered their trade.  A painter Leonardo Da Vinci can be said to have reached Kung Fu, French woodworker Andre Jacque Roubo can be said to have reached Kung Fu.   A skilled masterful musician who can move the hearts with his music can be said to have reached Kung Fu.  Even a servant who loyally serves his master flawlessly can be said to have reached Kung Fu.  Anyone who has mastered the arts be whatever that may be, whose skills have reached perfection and cannot be perfected any further has reached Kung Fu.

Kung Fu is not about fighting but about mastery of the arts.  It’s about self discipline, self sacrifice, struggle, endurance and determination.  Strong will power.

Let me give you a quote from a master of Kung Fu of what is needed to reach Kung Fu. “Preparation, endless repetition until your mind is weary and your bones ache, until you’re too tired to sweat and too wasted to breathe. That is the way, that is the only way one acquires Kung Fu.”

Would it surprise you if I said even those who have worked wood for 40, 50 or even 60 years have not reached Kung Fu, they are merely black belts who know enough to get them by.  But I personally want more than that, I don’t want just to know enough to get by.

Shaolin monks undergo severe physical training to attain true Kung Fu and it all boils down to that definition to refine the body and its mind.

We are all different in body and mind to each other, many of us are happy and content with their current status, then there are many who want more but are not willing to step forward to get it, but only a few small group want it so bad, that they’re willing to sacrifice themselves to undergo severe training of both body and mind to reach Kung Fu.  They do this not for fame nor fortune but to attain true skill, self elevation in their chosen art.

I, and I speak for myself only want to achieve Kung Fu, I want to reach a level of mastery in my craft and I’m not referring to become the best of the best because I know all too well, that there are no best of the bests in this world, only God can claim that title.  When you believe, you are the best, know that someone somewhere out there is better than you, but to become a true master among many masters is what I want to achieve.

This means going back to basics, re learning simple skills is the key to mastering them, honing with repetition until my mind is weary and my body aches beyond endurance is what I’ll have to do to master each skill in this trade.   When I saw, there can’t be good days and bad days, every day I saw to that line must be perfect in every sense of the word.  When I plane the edge to the line it must be square and perfectly parallel to the opposite edge with no severe time lost.  My tools must be an extension of my arms and all must work together harmoniously.   My knowledge must be pure and extensive with real purpose in mind.  To execute an operation it cannot be clouded with doubt but only with sheer conviction of its purpose and success.

I have built many clocks in my lifetime and many of them struck people with awe, I gained popularity due to my workmanship, honesty, integrity and generosity, so I can never say I wasn’t successful in my career as a clock maker and seller.  But had I remained content with only building clocks I would never have found myself, my true purpose in life, I would never have discovered what I truly want out of my craft.    As you all know there are many aspects of our craft and choosing only one aspect is evidently clear to me now more than ever that that is not enough for me.  So, my journey begins on a different route all over again but this time with clarity and single purpose in mind as an apprentice, and am not ashamed to demote myself in order to reach my final destination.

This blog has gone beyond my wildest expectations, it’s not about self promotion or self marketing but about a woodworker who is unknown in this world, who is of no real importance nor holds any celebrity title.  It’s about a man who has taken upon himself to take a leap of faith into himself, to undertake an enormous journey, a task of determination through self discipline and hard work to achieve his goals and objectives in life in order to better himself until that final destination of Kung Fu is reached.  And you’re all welcome to join me should you so desire.

Categories: Hand Tools


Giant Cypress - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 3:58am

Doug Stowe:

I am at Woodworker’s Showcase in Saratoga Springs, New York, and along with my fellow jurors, examined a great deal of fine work from wood. My personal choice as best of show is a hand-crafted Adirondack guide boat. I think my readers understand my own love of wooden boats.

If you haven’t run across Doug’s blog, go there now and spend some time there. Doug is one of the most thoughtful woodworkers out there, and his blog is a complete reflection of that. I usually go to the Northeastern Woodworkers Association Woodworkers Showcase, but unfortunately I can’t make it this year because I’m away for work. I’m really disappointed, as I would like to meet Doug one day.


Fellow jurors, Ernie Conover, Bob Van Dyke and Freddy Roman had the same feeling about the quality of the boat and we came to a quick agreement. Best of Show. 

Seeing Ernie and Freddy would have been great too, as well as meeting Bob.

Next year.

it split again........

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 12:42am
Everything was going along swimmingly until the keyboard stand leg split again. In spite of that I managed to get a lot accomplished. I fixed the split, made a pencil tray holder, sharpened three irons and started on a 4th, and most important (according to my wife), I got the new counter in place on the cabinets. Cutting out for the kitchen sink will be done next weekend.  And also squeezed in 3 loads of laundry, made two road trips, but no ice cream break today. Oh almost forgot, I waxed the monitor stand (I'll bring that to work tomorrow) and worked some on the new bookshelf.

out of the clamps at oh dark thirty
It looks good and nothing moved when I took the clamps off.  If this look familiar it should. I have made 5-6  full sized benches in this style. Why reinvent the wheel when something works and I just can shrink it?

all the tenons are 3 frog hairs proud
The stand isn't rocking at all. That is a nice thing and I'll take it. Fixing a rocking anything can be a pain.

not twisted
This is all I could do now because my wife and daughter were still checking the insides of their eyelids for light leaks. It was over an hour and a half before I got back to the shop.

removing the proud
The chisel was working but it was just a wee bit too much to remove with it. The block plane iron was dull and it was barely making dust.

I don't think enough emphasis is placed upon raising a burr when sharpening. No matter what system you use, free hand or with a guide, you have to raise a burr first. That is what I did here first on my coarsest stone and went through the rest of regimen I use. Getting a burr was something I was nonchalant about and I assumed I had one because I use a honing guide.

sharp fixes a multitude of sins
 6 swipes and it is flush and smooth as a baby's butt.

good fit on these two
flush but gaps on this side
this came out better than I expected
clipping the corners
I usually round the corners but on this I decided to do a 3/4" 45°.

sawed two from the top and two from the bottom like this

pencil tray
There a piece of poplar underneath that brown-tan veneer. I had cut this out to to use on something else but it was too short. It will now be made into a pencil tray.

the first side with the veneer planed off
the opposite side
my biggest hollow is a #7
I need a half circle for the pencil tray and this is working but it will take a while and a few more swipes.

this worked rather well
This is my third time using a hollow and it looks like 3 is the charm with molding planes too. My first two attempts ended up in the firewood pile.

good looking half circle
opposite end
This end is bigger and deeper. I am being consistent with my planing. I planed my usual taper from right to left. I fixed it by turning the tray 180 and planing from the high end to the low end.

pencil tray holder
I couldn't think of a way to make a pull out drawer that I liked so I went with this. This will hold the tray downward at a 5° angle.
dovetails glued and clamped
I got the holder dry clamped to the pencil tray so it will be set once the glue sets up.

One more swipe caused this. I had it in the vise and I was planing the edges on the top and the legs and it couldn't handle the stress.

epoxy to the rescue
The center brace got pulled out too and that got epoxied and clamped too. I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if this is finally fixed. If it splits again, I'll admit defeat and make a new leg.

another piece to glue on
I put 3 screws in on this side and I'll do the same on the opposite side tomorrow.

file the screws flush
you get the idea
This is where the mouse will be used and it won't work well with 3 screw head speed bumps in the way. I'll have to wait to file them flush and then they will look like big round brass dowels.

broken piece glued on
The blue tape was used first to hold the piece in the right place. Then the clamp was put on to apply pressure to the joint.

sizing the ends
I got a tip from Jim(?) when I made the xmas gift holders about sizing the end grain first. After the end grain was sized I could then epoxy the parts together. I am going to epoxy the holder to the pencil tray. I can't think of another way to do this that would work as well as this.

working on the book shelf
This was loads of fun. The two outside edges reversed themselves from the center field. It was a pain flipping it and trying to remember if I was planing in the right direction with the grain or not.

had to use the #80
I forgot a few times and planed against the grain and paid the price with tear out.

this helped but only when I did it
ugly looking tear out
I got lucky with this even though it is deep because on this board I had to remove over an 1/8". This tear out came courtesy of my scrub plane. I was using that instead of the #6 because I had so much waste to remove.

within a frog hair of each other
These don't have to be within +/- 2 molecules of thickness of each other. They are the two ends and this is plenty good enough.

flat check
The board in the background is flat on both sides. The foreground one had a hump on this side. I planed the hump out and checked the board for flat again and had none.  The upside is the two boards ended up being almost 99.99% flush in thickness.

the shelf is flat too
shiny top on the monitor stand - waxed and shined
front view
left side
the back
in the batter's circle
Fingers are crossed on the keyboard stand but I do have another project to occupy my time.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
In what language was the first complete Bible printed in America?
answer - in the language of the Algonquin Indians in 1663

Spring Pole Lathe-Part 4

Hillbilly Daiku - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 7:25pm

My goal was to have a functioning lathe by the end of this weekend.  As progress was made over the past week I became confident that my goal would be met.  Alas, the weekend has come to a close and finds me still short of a completed lathe.  I’m really, really close though.  So close that it was hard to put down the tools and shutdown the shop this evening.  But it is better to stretch out the project by a few days than to make some silly mistake because I’m too tired.  Anyway…

Most of the progress over the past week has been related to mortising for the wedges and adding “decorative” embellishments to the rail tenons.  The mortises are straight forward.  Simply chop thru and match the angle of the wedges.  The decorative embellishment is completely unnecessary but I like to seize any opportunity to try out something new or to practice something.  These are tusk tenons and the area after the wedge needs to be strong to resist the pressure of the seated wedge.  So I needed to be careful as to how much material I removed.  After several sketches I settled on two options.  One for the upper rails and one for the lower rail.

The design I used for the upper rail rounded the two corners with the addition of a scroll.  I created a template from card stock so that each layout was easy and quick.  To cut the design, I sawed away as much waste as I could and then used a sharp chisel for the rest of the outer work.  The scroll I incised with a gouge.  Once the shaping was done I broke out the wood burner and went to work.

The lower rail received a simple angle cut.  What angle?  No idea.  The leg of my square is 15mm wide, so 0mm to 15mm is the angle technically.

I will be installing 1MT (#1 Morse Taper) dead centers in this lathe.  These are a little over 3″ long.  When installed in the 1-1/2″ thick upright, just over half of the dead center will be unsupported.  It would probably be fine, but the idea bothers me.  To remedy this I laminated another piece of 1-1/2″ pine to the inside face of the upright.  To keep this extra piece from looking out of place and clunky, I gave it a little shaping.

The next job I tackled was the puppet.  The blank for which has been glued up and waiting patiently since this whole thing started. I shaped it to match the short upright.  The lower portion of the puppet fits between the upper rails and hangs below them far enough to install a mortise and wedge.  The wedge locks the puppet in the desired position along the rails.  With the shaping out of the way, I laid out the mortise.  To create the mortise I bored out the bulk of the waste and cleaned up with a chisel.

The next pieces that I fabricated were the spring poles.  I have a few bits of white oak and searched thru them to find two pieces with straightest grain I could find.  Then I ran them thru my old table saw to bring them to 1-1/4″ square.  From there I went to the shaving horse and shaved them to octagonal with my drawknife.   Then a little fine tuning with the spokeshave.

I then installed my fancy copper strap, that I made from a bit of pipe, and secured its ends with a rivet.

I began work on the tool rest today but, quite frankly, was to dang tired.  Oh well, I’ll hit it hard again this coming week.

Part 3 Greg Merritt


Categories: Hand Tools

“The Notebook of Philadelphia Joiner John Widdifield”

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 1:02pm

Widdifield’s plan for a spice box and scrutoire. (Chipstone.org)

In the autumn of 2015 there was considerable interest in the auction of  the notebook of the early-18th century joiner, John Widdifield. A private collector prevailed in the auction and agreed to make the notebook available for publication and study by the Chipstone Foundation and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The initial article about Widdifield and his notebook was published in “American Furniture” and is available from Chipstone to read online here.

If you would like to take a closer look at each page of the notebook click on ‘Show all Figures only’ on the upper right hand of the page and a window will open.

Suzanne Ellison

Filed under: Historical Images
Categories: Hand Tools

3-legged Stool Design: Sixth Time is a Charm

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 12:00pm

To move forward with my design for a three-legged stool, I had to look back to my past work. Though the above stool might look a lot like the other designs I’ve shown here, it is significantly different (or really similar if you’re familiar with my past designs). Here are some of the major design changes and the history behind them. Yellow pine. I have a long history with yellow […]

The post 3-legged Stool Design: Sixth Time is a Charm appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Sears & Craftsman tools

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 8:54am

You may know that Sears is in big trouble; the brand may not survive. It’s closing stores fairly rapidly and in January sold the iconic Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker. I have some history with Craftsman tools and some thoughts about what has happened, so I thought I’d share them. Back in the 1960s, I restored an old house in Washington, D.C., while I was serving in […]

The post Sears & Craftsman tools appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Phase One Almost Broke Us

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 8:10am


Above is a photo I took of our storefront this morning as I got to work. Notice anything different? Me neither.

But we have a new roof on 837 Willard St., which took almost 10 months of wrangling and four roofing companies to complete. We removed four ersatz skylights, added a hatch to the roof (who doesn’t want a hatch?) and now we don’t have buckets located strategically throughout the third floor.

To celebrate, Lucy and I want to Pontiac barbecue last night and ate a cow.

This is the end of phase one of the work we are doing on the building. Phase one was about stabilizing the structure – concrete and French drains in basement, new gutters, repair the deck, replace the rotting fence, caulk and paint the exterior, install a sump pump, new windows on the first floor and a new roof. Oh, and gutting the first floor for my workshop.

All that took about 18 months, hundreds of hours of work and more money than most families spend on a college education. And as our personal bank balance veered toward zero this winter, we began to get stressed. Luckily, a couple commissions and articles came through and we are back in the black.

The plan now is to take the next 12 months to work on the cosmetic stuff that doesn’t cost much money or require professional help. I’m going to install a new back door to the shop ($400), install a floating floor in the utility area ($385) and start demolishing the interior walls in the Horse Garage for the machine room (cost: paying for beer for my friends).

Oh, and I’m going to enjoy not writing huge checks for a while (knock wood that there is no Godzilla attack this spring).

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Lost Art Press Storefront
Categories: Hand Tools


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