Hand Tool Headlines

The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator




General Finishes Design Challenge

360 WoodWorking - Sun, 07/02/2017 - 5:47am
General Finishes Design Challenge

According to the calendar, we’ve just moved into the second half of 2017. Being July, many woodworkers are out on family vacations or handling those summer chores. It’s possible that you need something to pull you back.

Thank goodness there’s the 2017 General Finishes Design Challenge. General Finishes contest accepts entries beginning July 7, 2017 and runs through July 28, 2017, with winners announced the third week in August. You could win prizes for simply entering a piece that you’ve built, rehabbed, painted or turned using any one of the thousands of finishing product from General Finishes.

Continue reading General Finishes Design Challenge at 360 WoodWorking.

the humiidity is back.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 07/02/2017 - 3:09am
The humidity rolled in on friday afternoon and saturday it got kicked up a notch or two. It must have been a fun adventure coming home this morning for my wife. She had to wait through a couple of bomb scares in Baltimore which threw a monkey wrench in plane departures and arrivals. I guess she was lucky and she eventually landed at TF Green airport at 10 minutes past midnite. I had been up for almost 24 hours when I finally got home from airport. Needless to say I didn't chit chat with her and I headed straight for Mr Bunky (bed) and the AC.

My time in the shop today was all over the dial initially. I finally settled down and concentrated on one thing but for a while there I was like a headless chicken going from one thing to another. The shop was cool but I didn't want to start sweating and dripping all over what I was working on.

before the airport
Because my wife's flight got in so late I was able to glue the long strips on the lid yesterday.

too short in the length
Without squaring up the ends, this piece of walnut is 3 frog hairs shy of being long enough. That is why I had to use the cherry.

lid and bottom together
The sides for the lid aren't that wide and there is a lot of end grain there too. The fit of the lid and the bottom is snug and I'll deal with that after I get the side pieces secured.

jewelers file
When I put the lid on, with the irons in the bottom, when I pull the lid off, the 5/16" and 3/8" irons got pulled out. The slot in the lid is too tight and I used the file to open it until I could pull the lid off and not the irons too. I didn't have a larger file thin enough to fit in the recess.

got a bit of creep
The left strip is lower than the right one.

how I set the cherry strips
The walnut strip was on the bottom of the lid and I lined it with the bottom of the cherry strips. One of these moved a little when I clamped it.

made them even with the bullnose plane
epoxy for the side pieces
There is too much end grain and that isn't good to use yellow glue on.

a little better
inside is better too
What little trimming and flushing I did on the donkey's ear jig helped but I still need to do a wee bit more.

bought a 5 1/4 jack for my grandson
He will be pretty well equipped plane wise. He will have a #3, #4, and a 5 1/4 to call his own. And he will have access to my herd too. I got this from Patrick Leach and it is pretty much done. About all I will have to do is shine the sole and sharpen the iron.

the kidney lever will be replaced
the high knob will be replaced with a low one
a handle from a previous rehab
big ass hole
This handle had a bazillion washers on the stud to compensate for the over and deep sized hole. I put a piece of wood into the hole rather than use washers.

too gappy with the barrel nut
I already have a request out for a new knob and handle.

the plane body looks real good
There weren't any washers for the frog screws and it is the one thing I don't have in my plane parts goodie bag. I ordered a set of screws and washers today. I had to buy the set because I couldn't find anyone selling just the washers.

sized it first
Someone left me this tip on sizing the end grain first when I was making my xmas phone caddies. I used 5 minute epoxy on this because I don't want to wait a day for the west system epoxy to set up.

this handle is way too shiny for my tastes
I am not sure if this is rosewood under the finish or not. It could also be a hardwood handle painted black and then finished off with what looks like lacquer.

chipbreaker isn't square
It is low on the left rising to the high on the right. This is something that I haven't been checking when I rehab planes. In order to get this iron parallel with the mouth I had to move the lateral adjust a lot.

see the taper between the chipbreaker and the iron
I think that because the chipbreaker isn't square to the plane iron sides it is causing a skew necessitating a lot of lateral adjust movement to compensate for it.

squared up the chipbreaker
 Doing this was quicker and pretty much hiccup free. I wasn't expecting it to be this easy to do.

tapered now
Before I squared this, this was even across the width. This is a good gauge of how much I had to remove to square it up. I stoned the edge again and made it parallel again. Now I'll have good contact with the iron.

someone flattened this
I rounded the corners with a file so I won't leave plane tracks.

the backside of the iron is pretty good in the flat department
epoxied the side pieces on
I am going to try and miter the walnut banding on the iron box. I have them rough sawn here and I am going to glue them up off the saw. They are small and I don't think I will have to go nutso trying to sweeten them up on the shooting board.

mitered banding on the lid done
I thought the fit of the miters looked good and a whole lot better looking than a butt joint.

bottom rough sawn
I can't do this one until the lid has set up. I need to put the lid in place to get the final length of the bottom side pieces. This fit was pretty good for off the saw.

didn't work
The iron in the plane is sharp because I just did it a few days ago. I had it set shallow but it 'grabbed' something and this happened. Thinking back on this, I tried to sweeten this miter with the walnut in front of the backer strip. I should have put it behind the backer strip inbetween it and the fence.

trimming the sides
I used the chisel to get the majority of the waste flushed close to long pieces of the lid.

one more &*;@1(%$!&^;*^%#@&;* swipe
I had to do it and Murphy's law struck again. I super glued this chip back in place.

flushed up the walnut banding without Murphy striking again
small miter
the other side
I am pleased with how this came out. I guess there isn't a size limitation on a miter.

it fits but it is a wee bit too snug
the other side
Gap free all around but I think I should have used a wider banding. That would have allowed more of the bottom to seat up into the lid.

sanded about a 1/2" at the top
planed a bit off  starting about a 1/2" down
for tomorrow
I ran out of gas. The heat and humidity today are sapping the strength and will right out of me. Doing an all nighter yesterday wasn't helping the cause either. I will post the finished pics of the iron box. Hopefully I will get that done tomorrow and report further progress on the bookcase.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is an Obie?
answer - an award presented for an off Broadway play

Shaker Stools 240 Mod-Part 2

Hillbilly Daiku - Sat, 07/01/2017 - 3:00pm

Progress continues on the stools.  Mostly one hour at a time after work each day.  This has become my basic workflow as of late.  Come home, check in and then out to the shop until dinner time.  Then grab as much time over the weekend as I can.  Anyway…

I managed to finish turning all eight of the legs (posts).  These are close to final shape, but I’ll most likely chuck them back into the lathe and change the shape of the taper to the foot.  I also completed the initial turning of all of the required rungs.


When I design a project I tend to focus on the overall proportions and keep the details to a minimum.  I do this so as not to overly influence the final product.  I know this seems counter to the whole idea of design, but it’s what works for me.  My goal is not to crank out identical, production style pieces.  If I make a piece again, I want the proportions to be right, but I also want each piece, or series of pieces, to be unique.  So part of my process is to work each element in stages.  Essentially designing on the fly through a process of gradual reduction.

Working this way would drive some folks absolutely crazy.  A lot of people like to have everything mapped out ahead of time.  For me though, I like having the details sort of evolve along with the project itself.  Sometimes I have an idea about the details from the start, but often I don’t have clue what will develop.  I find this to be particularly true with my wood turning.  A contributing factor is that I’m not all that confident in my developing wood turning skills, but I’m beginning to find my way.

The point of all that rambling is that my pieces tend to change as a project progresses.  The first change to the project at hand was to add a bead to the legs.

The rungs were next to fall victim to change.  I first turned all of the rungs to a simple cylinder and added the tenons.  I then set eight of them aside to become the top rungs around which I’ll weave the fibre rush seat.  The remaining rungs went back on the lather and received a taper on each end.

The final bit of modification was to the foot end of the legs (post).  During the initial turning I established the transition point of the taper to the foot, but left this area “fat”.  I felt they needed a little more grace and took cues from some Shaker examples to added a bit of life to the taper.

So now I have all of my wood bits ready to go.  Next up will be the drilling of holes and assembly of the frames.

Part 1 Greg Merritt

Categories: Hand Tools

Support ‘A Workshop of Our Own’

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 07/01/2017 - 12:54pm

D 2689

Note: I’ve been meaning to write this blog entry for many weeks. But travel, teaching, book editing and toolmaking have stymied me. Time is short on this campaign, so if you can support this endeavor, please do.

Every modern survey of woodworkers that I know of contends that the craft is 95 percent male and 5 percent female. Why is this? I’m not smart enough or informed enough to give you an answer that is better than a guess (I seriously doubt anyone is). But I do know something very important: It wasn’t always this way.

Before the rise of the guild system in the Middle Ages and the later separation of gender roles in the 18th and 19th centuries, women in the woodworking trades were a common sight. (Want to read more about this? Check out this excellent article Suzanne Ellison wrote for our blog last April.)

And that’s why I wholeheartedly support “A Workshop of Our Own,” a school and workshop aimed at creating woodworkers among women children and other disadvantaged people. The effort is headed up by Sarah Marriage, a world-class furniture maker I met in Brooklyn a few years ago. Her work is spectacular. She has a brilliant mind. And she has the enthusiasm and drive to make this endeavor work.

While you might rankle at the idea of a school for women, I don’t. We men have failed during the last 150 years to bring women into the craft – the numbers don’t lie. So maybe this school and workshop will succeed where we have not.

Plus, I think the world will be a far more interesting place with “A Workshop of Our Own,” and I cannot wait to see what grows from the seeds the supporters are planting now.

Time is short to support Sarah and her school so they can attempt to buy their building and secure the location and future of the school. You can read full details here. I hope you will consider supporting their effort.

— Christopher Schwarz



Filed under: Personal Favorites, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

prototype planes for sale

Sauer and Steiner - Sat, 07/01/2017 - 12:15pm

When Joe Steiner and I started making planes we had a few simple goals - we wanted to make our own planes for our own use, and we had to have fun doing it. That was well before it turned into a business.

Once it turned into a business, those two goals remained, and we decided to keep the prototypes of each model for ourselves - that way, we would still end up ‘making our own planes’. We each have our own unique serial number, mine is KPXX-XX. The KP is for Konrad’s Plane, the next 2 digits are for the plane number, and the last 2 digits are for the year it was made. So, the first plane I made is stamped KP01-01 for the first plane, made in 2001.

The last serial number I stamped on one of my own planes was KP46-16. Yeah, that’s right... 46 planes. I was talking with a friend about it earlier this week, and he very politely asked how many of the 46 planes I actually use. I laughed and told him that quite a few of them sit idle in drawers. His response was perfect... he just said, ‘oh’ and let the question linger.

It has been lingering ever since, and I have come to the conclusion that these planes deserve to be used and not sit in the bottom of my bench drawers.

Six years ago, before I started the K-series of planes, I would have never considered selling any of the prototypes. They were my working planes and I was quite attached to them. As time has gone on, and as the K-series has grown, my attachment to these earlier planes has decreased. Largely because I essentially have 2 full sets of planes - the more traditional set, and the K-series. The K-series has become much more personal to me - it is a better representation of my own design aesthetic, and they represent what I feel are improvements to the traditional planes from an ergonomic standpoint.

These prototype planes are the ones I learned to make planes on. Several of them have minor variations. They also represent an interesting ‘type study’ - with changes that have evolved over time. I am not going to make any changes to any of them unless the buyer is interested in it. That work will be done free of charge. For example, the front bun on the Ebony filled A1 panel plane has quite sharp corners. This was a really early plane, and very shortly after, I modified the design to look and feel like the ones on the African Blackwood A2 jointing plane. If the new owner would like the corners rounded over - I am happy to do it. If you are interested in a particular plane, let me know and I can let you know which, if any, aspects have changed and we can take it from there.

No.4 smoother
- serial No. KP20-05
- bronze sides, lever cap and lever cap screw
- 7-1/2" long, 01 tool steel sole
- 2" wide, high carbon steel blade (from Ron Hock)
- 52.5 degree bed angle
- East Indian Rosewood infill (I will verify)
- $2,500 Cdn + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

(Another) No.4 smoother
- serial No. KP18-05 
- bronze sides, lever cap and lever cap screw
- 7-1/2" long, 01 tool steel sole
- 2-1/4" wide, high carbon steel blade
- 50 degree bed angle
- African Blackwood infill
- $2,500 Cdn + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

This plane is very wide and should only be purchased by someone with large hands. It has been nicknamed the ’zamboni’ by a friend of mine in Oregon.

(the soles of the two No.4’s for comparison)

No.A6 smoother
- serial No. KP12-03 
- bronze sides, lever cap and lever cap screw
- 01 tool steel sole
- 2-1/4" wide, high carbon steel blade
- 47.5 degree bed angle
- East Indian Rosewood infill
- $3,950 Cdn + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

This plane has an Iles adjuster - a very early plane that was made before Joe and I started making our own adjusters. This plane does not have the tops of the sidewalls rounded over either, and I would suggest at a minimum, rounding over the edges of the infill of the front bun and transition the rounding into the lower area of the sidewall. It will change the patina of the bronze, but it will darken soon enough. Or it could be left alone - I used it like this for years.

No.A5 smoother
- serial No. KP19-05 
- bronze sides, lever cap and lever cap screw
- 01 tool steel sole
- 2-1/4" wide, high carbon steel blade
- 47.5 degree bed angle
- Honduran Rosewood infill
- $4,250 Cdn + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

There isn’t much to apologize for with this plane, and is one of two that will be the toughest to let go. It was a workhorse. This has one of our adjusters in it, although the threads are not as new as they once were - a decade of people using the adjuster without loosening the lever cap screw has caused a bit of wear. I would also round over the inside corners of the front bun where the sidewall transitions.


No.A1 panel plane (14-3/4" long)
- serial No. KP15-03 
- bronze sides, lever cap and lever cap screw
- 01 tool steel sole
- 2-1/2" wide, high carbon steel blade (7/32" thick)
- 47.5 degree bed angle
- Ebony infill
- $4,750 Cdn + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

This plane also has an Iles adjuster - another very early plane. As mentioned above, this plane has very sharp corners on the top of the front bun. I have debated on rounding these over for many, many years, but always thought I should leave them as they represent part of the evolution. But for someone else, I would really consider rounding them over to be more like the Blackwood A2 jointer - it will be a lot more comfortable.

No.1R rebate panel plane (15-1/2" long)
- serial No. KP35-11
- 01 tool steel sides and sole
- bronze lever cap and lever cap screw
- 2-1/2" wide, high carbon steel blade
- 47.5 degree bed angle
- Brazilian Rosewood infill
- $4,650 Cdn + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

A rebate panel plane, inspired by an uncommon plane made by Stewart Spiers - shown on page 76 in Nigel Lampert’s 1998 book on Spiers. There were a few modifications - thicker sidewalks, increased surface area of the sidewall that connects the front and back of the plane, and I pinned the lever cap instead of making it removable. This was the prototype plane and has been unused since 2011.
Ideally, this one will be easier to keep in Canada given that Brazilian is listed on CITIES appendix 1, but I can get an export permit for it as I have documentation for the wood.

No.A2 jointing plane (22-1/2" long)
- serial No. KP23-05 
- bronze sides, lever cap and lever cap screw
- 01 tool steel sole
- 2-5/8" wide, high carbon steel blade
- 47.5 degree bed angle
- African Blackwood infill
- $6,650 Cdn + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

This will be the single hardest plane to let go. It has sat on the right side of my bench for over 12 years, always within arms reach. It has been to countless shows and planed countless feet of wood. It has one of our own adjusters in it and works wonderfully.

No.7 Norris type shoulder plane
- serial No. KP24-05 
- bronze sides and keeper
- 8" long, 01 tool steel sole
- 1-1/4" wide, high carbon steel blade
- 20 degree bed angle
- Brazilian Rosewood infill

The Norris shoulder plane is the closest I have ever come to copying an original design. I had always loved this design, and Joel at Tools for Working wood was kind enough to scan his original Norris that I used to create the drawings. Another work horse for me with some really striking Brazilian Rosewood infill. Ideally, this one will be easier to keep in Canada given that Brazilian is listed on CITIES appendix 1, but I can get an export permit for it as I have documentation for the wood.

No.3 rebate plane
- serial No. KP21-05 
- bronze sides and keeper
- 9" long, 01 tool steel sole
- 1/2" wide, high carbon steel blade
- 28.5 degree bed angle
- Kingwood infill
- $1,950 Cdn + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

I had made a set of rebate planes very early one (they will be the next items in this list) and I wanted to make one with bronze sides - this was that plane. A great rebate plane that I used more than I ever thought I would. 

No.3 rebate plane (1/2", 3/4", 1" and 1-1/4" wide)
- serial No. KP06-02 thru KP09-02 
- 9" long, mild steel sides and sole
- high carbon steel blades from Ray Iles
- 28.5 degree bed angle
- Cocobolo infill
- $1,700 Cdn each + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

These were the first joinery planes I made and are really, really early. They have blades from Ray Iles and are made with mild steel as opposed to 01 tool steel. They show the fact that they are early planes, but are totally functional and were used often. Most of them have a gap where the sole meets the sidewall under the blade. I will point it out in the photo below. This isn’t a functional issue, but is not as tidy and is evidence of ‘learning to make planes’. They are discounted accordingly.

(the small gap where the sole meets the side shown above and below)

(Another ‘eccentricity’ I hadn’t noticed before... I filed a single rounded
chamfer termination in one corner of the 1/2" rebate plane)

If you are interested, please send me an email, konrad@sauerandsteiner.com.

Also, for any American customers, keep in mind that the exchange rate is in your favour at the moment - take roughly 25% off these prices for USD. I can figure out the exact exchange rate at the time of purchase.

Categories: Hand Tools

The story behind the cover

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 07/01/2017 - 7:37am

popular-woodworking-cover-e1498335691494for blog

When Megan Fitzpatrick at Popular Woodworking Magazine asked me to write a project article about an Arts and Crafts style bookcase three years ago, I had something Stickley-ish in mind. I pictured something long and low in amber maple, designed to fit behind an antique settle in the home of some clients in Chicago. There was just one catch: My clients hadn’t yet found the right settle. There was no telling how long or tall the settle would be until they had it in hand, which meant the bookcase had to wait.

After a few months, I decided to forget about trying to combine the article with a commission and just build a bookcase. My husband and I are hardcore bibliophiles; we can never have too much storage for books. But we decided that this bookcase, which would be the loveliest one I’d made to date, should have a special purpose: to commemorate our son, Jonas, who died shortly before his 16th birthday. We would call it the Jonas Longacre Memorial Bookcase.

Some people can’t bear to mention those they’ve lost, but Mark and I love to talk about Jonas. He was a self-motivated learner who excelled at school. He was always game to do his part around the house. He wanted to learn Latin and started a Latin club at his school (even though he was the only member). In fact, he was fascinated by languages of all kinds, including computer code; after his death, we found a blog post written that morning in which he proudly announced to the world that after several months of effort, he had just finished creating an online translation tool. Of course he could have used a similar tool made by someone else, but he found it more exciting to figure out how things work. Books were some of his favorite things.

Jonas with carving for blog

Jonas at 13 or 14 with a piece of limestone on which he carved a description of students at his school, using an old railroad spike

Tragically, it was just this curiosity that caused his death. I came home after work on the night of January 2, 2014 to find him lifeless. Amid the cognitive dissonance, I happened to notice that even though he had a rope around his neck, suggesting he had hung himself (which made no sense, considering how eagerly he was looking forward to the family reunion that weekend and the new semester at school), his feet were on the ground. He had also padded the rope with a t-shirt. Neither seemed consistent with intentional hanging, but I wasn’t analyzing these details as I stared, disbelieving, at his body while I waited for an ambulance to arrive. Thanks to the insight of a friend and conscientious work by the detective who came out to our house that night, we learned that Jonas had died while experimenting with the choking game.

Since that day I’ve learned a lot about the choking game, especially from Judy Rogg, who lost her own son the same way, and Trish Russell, an MD who also lost her son to this practice. Although boys are statistically more likely to die while playing this game, girls do too. Many fit a similar profile: They’re excellent students, curious about how things work, athletic, creative, and they tend not to be interested in alcohol or drugs. Hence one nickname for the practice: “the good kid’s high.”

Along with Judy, Trish, and others, I now make a point of spreading the word about this dangerous activity. Hence this post. If you have children or know others who do, please inform yourself and others.

Here’s an instructive editorial by the editor of Bloom Magazine, who knew Jonas.

Mark and Jonas at the beach - Copy

Jonas with his father, Mark, on the Delaware coast at Thanksgiving, 2013


Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Independence Day Sale at ShopWoodworking.com!

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sat, 07/01/2017 - 6:46am

We are running a 30% sale on a huge portion of our store this weekend through the 6th of July! This is a great chance to stock up on popular titles from Popular Woodworking. This sale excludes products in our store from third parties, The Art & Craft of Cabinet Making and other non-discountable items. With that said, there are many titles that the FREE30M coupon code will work with. SHOP NOW […]

The post Independence Day Sale at ShopWoodworking.com! appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Drawboring the Workbenches

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Sat, 07/01/2017 - 5:56am


Yesterday morning Robell, Mike, and I met at the studio to pick up where we left off on the bench build. We had just begun fitting stretcher tenons into their mortises at the end of day one so we picked back up there in the morning. When we cut the tenons, we followed Mike’s mantra “When in pine, leave the line” as pine is so great at compressing when joinery is assembled. Because we intentionally left them a hair thick, they almost all needed some paring to slide home.


Then we began laying out the bridle joints for the rails joining the top of the legs. We cut out the stock to length and transferred the exact shoulder-to-shoulder width from the stretchers below. The easiest way to lay this out is to choose your tenon width based on your stock size and then mark all the tenons with a marking gauge off the reference face. With the tenons scribed, set the rail on the leg to determine the reveal that looks nice to your eye. Holding the rail in that place, transfer the two tenon gauge lines onto the leg stock with knife stabs. Then reset the gauge fence to these knife marks and scribe the mortise placement on all the mortises.


Because these bridle tenon cheeks were approximately 3.5” x 4.5”, I decided to use my 4 tpi rip saw. It was pretty incredible. The saw was so aggressive and sharp that I actually felt like I had to slow down and hold back. With careful attention, it made sawing this large joinery speedy and enjoyable. Once the two walls of the bridle mortise were sawn, we bored a hole at the baseline halfway from each side. That technique severed 95% of the waste in less than a minute. From there, it was simply a matter of cleaning up the mortise bottom with a chisel. We made sure to slightly undercut the bottom of the mortise from both sides to make fitting easier.


It was interesting to find that during this process, we found ourselves all either sitting on the low “Roman” bench on kneeling on the work on the floor. There was no conscious decision to do this but we all found ourselves gravitating toward these postures. It wasn’t until we took a photo of all three of us working on these boring and chopping tasks that it became obvious. It was kind of ironic to see three guys sitting on their work down low surrounded by empty tall workbenches. After realizing this, we all talked about how certain operations like chopping, boring, and some sawing are such that you want to be able to get your body directly over the work. When boring at a tall bench, I always feel like I want to climb up on top of the bench and lean down onto the brace (i.e. breast auger). It was an interesting revelation to us. I will definitely be more conscious of this from now on.


Once we fit the bridle joints, we bored the ½” drawbore holes and rived and pared the oak pins. At the end of this second day, we reached the most fun part: drawboring! We heated up the hot hide glue and assembled one joint at a time. Once the glue was applied on both tenon cheeks and their mating mortise walls, we slid the tenons in and drove the pins. There are many satisfying moments in woodworking but near the top of that list is the moment the shoulder cinches tight with a subtle glue squeeze out as you drive the massive pins into the joint. It doesn’t get much better than that. 

We trimmed the pins, and pared them flush before sweeping up and putting tools away at the end of the day. We also took an opportunity to clamp a sideboard on the legs and lay the 2” thick near top board on to mock up the final proportions. These benches are going to be massive and awesome. It is fun dreaming about all the work that is going to happen at these benches over the years.


We’ll be putting these bench parts in storage until the new shop goes up in September. Then we’ll build them right into the walls. We all felt great about our progress on this project and had such a blast working, conversing, and laughing together. Mike and I are looking forward to Robell’s next trip to Maine. (We’ve already begun planning that next project together.) A big thank you goes out to Robell for his enthusiasm, hard work, and careful craftsmanship. We couldn’t have gotten this far without you, Robell. Thank you so much!


What a way to spend these two days!

- Joshua


Categories: Hand Tools

Treffen von woodworking.de - woodworking meeting

Old Ladies - Pedder's blog - Sat, 07/01/2017 - 4:22am
jeden Sommer veranstalten Gero und die Darmstädter Holzwerker ein Treffen. Meist gibt es ein Spiel mit Preisen. Matthias Fenner stellt dieses Jahr einige Hefte als Preise zur Verfügung. Kommt also gern, neue Gesichter sind immer herzlich willkommen! 

Every summer Gero and the Darmstatdt crew organize and host the woodworking meeting.  Usually there is a game with prizes. This year Matthias Fenner gave sume file handles as prizes, to. SO come and join us! New faces are allways welcome!

Categories: Hand Tools

Shaving horse book available through Plymouth CRAFT

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sat, 07/01/2017 - 4:17am

Shaving horses are in the wind it seems. On the wind, maybe. That’s how Jennie Alexander used to refer to her book Make a Chair from a Tree. “The chair was in the wind…” meaning if she didn’t write the book, someone was going to.

The wind is carrying shaving horse ideas a bit lately. A year or so ago, I shot a video with Lie-Nielsen on making my (simple) shaving horse. To be released sometime in the semi-near future.

An old one of me & Daniel shaving white cedar

Recently, Tim Manney had an excellent shaving horse article in Fine Woodworking, accompanied by Curtis Buchanan’s piece on how to use one. It makes me want to build a new shaving horse!  Tim’s also selling detailed plans for building his, http://timmanneychairmaker.blogspot.com/2017/05/shaving-horse-plans.html



Sean Hellman, a green woodworker over in the UK, has a new book out about shaving horses, Shaving Horses, Lap Shaves and other Woodland Vices: A Book of Plans and Techniques for the Green Woodworker.

Plymouth CRAFT ordered a few copies of Sean’s book to sell at Greenwood Fest, but they arrived the day the Fest ended. They are up on the website now, so for US orders it’s an easy way to get Sean’s book. It’s 130 pages, showing a multitude of different shaving horse designs; the dumbhead style, English style, spoon mules, and methods of use, some riving brakes, and other “woodland vices.” Large format, 8 1/4” x 11 3/4”.

Here’s the link to Plymouth CRAFT’s shop, selling a few odds and ends leftover from the Fest. https://www.plymouthcraft.org/online-store


plane iron box pt III...........

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 07/01/2017 - 4:09am
I thought that tonight was going to be my last time playing with the box. When I first sawed it  apart I still thought that. That changed when I looked at the lid. So there will be at least one more plane iron box post. Then hopefully I'll be done with it and I can move on to finishing the bookcase. My problem is I have so many things I want to do and so little time to even make a dent in them. It's like shoveling sand against the tide.

bottom half of the iron box
I sawed it in two and planed the bottom part four edges straight and square. I got a bunch of saw fuzzies in the holes and I used the irons to clean that up and remove them.

irons fit
I don't know why the 3/8" iron is higher than the others. I put the iron into the hole, bevel down, and moved it up and down. I turned it 180 and repeated that on the opposite side. I didn't feel any resistance either time and very little debris fell out too.

cap is barely wide enough
it is straight and square to the bottom part
major mind fart
I didn't leave a recess for the irons.  I planned to but, oops, I got distracted by an attack of mind flatulence.  I think I was too intent on getting maximum glue coverage and missed this totally.

new lid coming
The pencil line is the where the recess for the irons ends.

leaving them overhanging
Rather then go nutso trying to saw and then glue a small width piece here, I am letting it overhang. I have a square pencil line to guide me for gluing it on the inside.

the two outside strips aren't that wide
One outside middle piece  piece was wider than the other. I sawed and planed the wider one until it matched the smaller one. This way the lid should be able to go on the bottom no matter which way I try to put it on.

how I am gluing the lid together
I am gluing the side strips in first and then the middle piece. Because the side pieces are thin in the width, the longer length will maximize the glue area on them.

alternate way
If I put the side to side filler piece in this way, the side strips would be less than 3/4" long. That isn't sufficient glue area to give me a warm and fuzzy on this. The piles of the plywood showing either way don't matter because I plan on banding the whole box.

last check before gluing the other half of the sandwich on
Making sure that the end strips are square to the bottom and the horizontal filler is the same distance from the bottom along it's length. I let this set up for about ten minutes and I glued on the other side. I sent it aside to cook.

I didn't want the side to belly inwards so I put these 3 spacers in the recess while it is clamped.

banding material
I can go all walnut for the edges with cherry for the lid trim. Or all cherry for everything but not all walnut.

walnut banding
The walnut is almost a perfect fit for banding the box edges. It is a couple of frog hairs wider allowing just enough overhang to plane flush after the glue has set.

cherry for the lid trim
This wide cherry will be glued only to the cap creating a recess. This will slip over the irons and the bottom part of the box. The only problem I see with this is dealing with the small pieces required on the short sides.

found some wide walnut strips
I am going with all walnut for the iron box.

hard to measure this angle
I am at a lost as to how I can measure this angle for 45°. The miter template looks straight and horizontal but the look tells me nothing.

this is the only way I have to measure the angle
This works but I have a difficult time trying to figure out what I should I do. Do I shim the back or the front. If I am thinking this through correctly, shimming the back will close the miter and shimming the front should open it. I really don't want to do this. I want to put the piece to be mitered in the donkey ear and plane a dead nuts 45°.

started here
I chopped this vee by hand and I used a piece of wood shaped at 45° to guide the chisel. The left vee wall is 45° and the right one is ???? I don't know but it is greater than 45°. This wall being greater than 45° has no effect on making miters. I checked the vee and it felt like a piece of 10 grit sandpaper.

problem #2
The end of the vee groove was proud of the 45° end piece. I cleaned up the vee groove with a bullnose plane. That only took a few strokes. It took about 6-7 strokes to flush the vee groove with the end. I laid a 18" steel ruler in the vee groove and I had pretty good contact with it along the whole length.

same two pieces I mitered on thursday
I ran these through the donkey ear jig again. Glued them together and tomorrow I'll check it for 90°. If this checks good, I may reverse my self and miter the base but I will be happy just to see that this is 90°.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What was the first gold machine struck English coin?
answer - the Guinea and it originally was worth one pound

A project for the local kindergarten (maybe)

Mulesaw - Fri, 06/30/2017 - 9:48pm
In the village we have a small kindergarten. Our youngest son went there, and though it is some years ago now, I still help them once a year by providing some discs of wood for when they make Christmas decorations. These are just sawed with a chainsaw and the children slap a lump of clay on top and insert spruce twigs and a candle etc.

I talked to one of the staff quite some time ago, and she asked if I ever had any small scraps of wood, because they had a small workbench, and the children liked to saw and hammer on something.
So a couple of times I have driven by them to drop of a load of small scraps of wood.

For some time I have been toying with an idea that perhaps I should make X number of sets of wood that could be assembled into small ships.
Nothing fancy, just a hull, a superstructure, a funnel and perhaps two masts.
I am well aware that most ships today don't have masts, but I know that children think they belong on a ship, and who am I to argue with that?

It won't be an immediate project, because the stock that I have in mind are scraps of the roof boards used on the small barn. I will order a bunch more of those for finishing the inside of the barn too, and I know that I will be getting a lot of leftovers from that.
The wood is spruce which is a lot easier to nail than larch, and given the age of the children that will be an advantage.

If I drill pilot holes in the superstructure and in the funnel, It should be easier to drive the small nails home, and that will definitely be an advantage. Also they can still rearrange those pieces as they wish on the hull.
The hull itself I plan on making complete with a bow and two holes for a mast to be inserted.
Then I'll just have to purchase a bunch of dowels and cut those into fitting lengths of masts.

A small ship like that could be painted when complete, and unless things have changed a lot, children usually like to paint stuff.

Of course I need to check with the kindergarten if they are at all interested in receiving such a set of kits first before I make them, and I also need to start on the interior of the barn to get some stock for the eventual project.

Categories: Hand Tools

A Walk in the Woods in May

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 06/30/2017 - 6:03pm

May is, of course, peak box turtles-crossing-the-road month. Here’s one that managed to evade Chris’s car:

This individual is of the “eastern” subspecies of common box turtle (Terrapene carolina).

I mentioned last month that I wasn’t able to find a good example of a black maple (Acer nigrum). Naturally, I came across a perfect example the very next day. Unfortunately, that tree was inaccessible; I would have had to climb down a steep slope into a swamp to be able to collect a leaf. I did eventually find another one:

Notice that it looks a bit like a seriously overweight sugar maple; the lobes are broad, the sinuses between lobes are very shallow, and the two outermost lobes have all but disappeared.

I also mentioned last month that the leaf of the boxelder (A. negundo) is disturbingly similar to that of eastern poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans). I came across this tableau in Ottawa County, along Lake Erie in northern Ohio:

The leaf circled on the left is poison ivy; the one on the right is boxelder.

A common maple lookalike of a different sort is American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis):

In the UK, what we call sycamore is called plane or planetree, and what they call sycamore is a maple, A. pseudoplatanus. And this is why I always give the scientific names </rant>.

Even with the scientific names, it can be a puzzle. Note the sycamore maple’s scientific name, Acer pseudoplatanus: “maple that is a fake plane.” London plane is a common ornamental tree in the UK that is hybrid between American sycamore and oriental planetree (P. orientalis). It is sometimes given the scientific name Platanus orientalis var. acerifolia (“eastern plane with maple-like foliage”). No wonder people get confused.

Several Ohio trees bloom in May. The northern catalpa (Catalpa speciosa) is uncommon in the wild around here, but frequently planted for its abundant showy flowers:

The native range of northern catalpa is uncertain. It was once thought to be native only to a small area of the Mississippi River drainage, between Arkansas and southwestern Indiana, but recently discovered archeological evidence from West Virginia suggests that it was present in the Ohio River drainage near here prior to European settlement.

Willow flowers aren’t showy, but there are enough of them that, from a distance, they give the trees an overall yellow fuzzy appearance. Here are some black willow (Salix nigra) flowers:

In North America, most legumes (family Fabaceae) are non-woody herbs. In the tropics, however, legumes are often trees, and some of the most highly prized tropical hardwoods, such as the rosewoods (Dalbergia), are in fact legumes. There are a few North American legumes that reach tree size, but only the mesquites (Prosopis) are traded commercially to any significant extent. Legumes often have showy flowers, and the North American species with perhaps the showiest is the black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia):

The bark of the black locust is pale gray with a greenish tint, arranged in thick, vertical ropes:

Most legumes have compound leaves of one sort or another. The leaves of the black locust are pinnate, having a central axis (the rachis), with elliptical leaflets along either side:

The other North American tree called locust, honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos), is actually not all that closely related to the black locust. It is most easily recognized by its formidable thorns:

(You can also see a flower bud near the center of the photo; in contrast to the black locust, the honey locust’s flower doesn’t get much bigger than what you see here.)

The bark is much smoother than that of the honey locust, but the thorns give it away:

(Note that there are thornless cultivars that are planted as ornamentals, so a tree that looks like a honey locust but doesn’t have any thorns is probably one of these.)

The leaves are bipinnate, meaning that the leaves are pinnate, and the leaflets are as well:

Although it’s not too common in Ohio, the Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus) is also a legume, with enormous bipinnate leaves, up to three feet long. I know where there are some Kentucky coffeetrees nearby, but none with leaves close enough to the ground for me to reach, and in any case I don’t have a gray card big enough to lay one on.

There is an American legume with significant commercial value, but it’s not a North American tree:

This is the koa (Acacia koa) of Hawaiʻi. What appears to be a leaf is actually a structure that emerges as a swelling from the petiole (leaf stem), called a phyllode. Most mature koas have no true leaves at all, but in younger trees, you can usually find a few leaves in the interior of the tree, and they have the familiar legume appearance:

(I took these photos on Kauaʻi several years ago.) The closest relative of koa is Australian blackwood (A. melanoxylon), which also has phyllodes.

The eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), which we first encountered back in March, also has attractive flowers. Those are long gone by May, but the seed pods are ripening:

It is said that the young pods can be cooked and eaten whole, like snow peas, but I have never tried them. Every year, by the time I think of it, they’ve gotten too old.

Unusual for a legume, the redbud has simple, heart-shaped leaves:

Another tree of the local forests with heart-shaped leaves is American basswood (Tilia americana):

If you look closely, you can see that the leaf is somewhat asymmetrical near the base, with one side reaching further back than the other. I don’t know why this is, and not all of the leaves are like this, but it’s a feature that is shared by several other unrelated trees.

Elms have asymmetrical leaves, too. Here is a slippery elm (Ulmus rubra):

(It’s a little hard to see the asymmetry in this one.)

And an American elm (U. americana):

The leaves of the slippery elm are densely covered with fine, stiff hairs. If you place one on a tabletop and press the palm of your hand flat against it, it will stick to your hand like Velcro. American elm leaves are usually much less hairy, but can sometimes look almost identical to slippery elm leaves. The easiest way to distinguish the two is to look at the stem between the leaves. In slippery elm, this stem is hairy:

In American elm, it’s smooth:

Another tree whose leaves have this same kind of asymmetry is the common hackberry (Celtis occidentalis):

Hackberry trees are easy to identify from their bark, covered with warty protuberances:

Unfortunately, the emerald ash borer has reached Athens County. I would estimate that over half of the larger ash trees are already dead or nearly so; the smaller ones seem to be hanging on a bit longer. Here’s a dead white ash in Ottawa County; you can see how the beetle larvae eat through the cambium in such a way as to cut off the tree’s nutrient supply:

The more common species here is green ash (Fraxinius pennsylvanica). The leaves are pinnate, usually with seven leaflets:

The leaves of white ash (F. americana) are very similar:

With a leaf in hand, however, there is a simple way to tell the two apart. If you look closely at the base of the petiole, where the leaf attaches to the branch, the cross section of the green ash’s leaf is roughly circular, with a small cutout on top:

While the white ash’s petiole has a much deeper groove:

Rare in Athens County, but more common to the north, the leaves of the black ash (F. nigra) usually have nine leaflets (sometimes more), rather than seven. There is a large tree on our land in Meigs County that I think is a black ash, but the tree is so tall that I can’t get a decent look at the leaves, even through binoculars.

The seeds of both local ashes are encased in samaras that remind me of surfboards:

By May, the forest floor is pretty dark, so there’s not that much going on as far as wildflowers are concerned. Some species occur around forest edges, where there’s more light. One of the common May wildflowers in my yard (but strangely absent in other places that would seem to be appropriate for them) is foxglove beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis):

The flowers that we usually think of as roses are all Asian imports, but there are a few native species, like this Carolina rose (Rosa carolina):

Venturing a bit deeper into the shade, we can find touch-me-nots, especially common along roadside ditches. This one is a pale touch-me-not (Impatiens pallida):

The name comes from the fact that the ripe seed pods are spring-loaded. If you squeeze one, it explodes, shooting seeds in all directions. (It’s a good practical joke when you’re out in the woods with someone who isn’t familiar with the flora: “Here, squeeze this between your fingers.”)

This one is limestone bittercress (Cardamine douglassii):

It also goes by the name “purple cress,” but there are a gazillion other flowers that also go by that name.

In the deepest shade, we can find Canadian wildginger (Asarum canadense, unrelated to culinary ginger):

You have to get down on your knees to see the flowers, though; they’re hidden below the leaves and practically buried in the leaf litter:

One of the most attractive spring/summer ferns is the northern maidenhair (Adiantum pedatum):

There is also a more southerly species called common maidenhair, which looks quite different, but I wasn’t able to find one. Maybe later this year.

When you’re walking in the woods, it pays to look down, and not only for wildflowers and ferns. I almost stepped on this (Odocoileus virginianus) when I went to fill the bird feeders in my backyard a few weeks ago:

–Steve Schafer

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

I Ain’t Selling Your $%&$ Wax

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 06/30/2017 - 3:40pm

“Really? More wax? Can’t you make my play a piano or ride a Roomba?”

Sometimes the animals in our house get tired of being asked to pose with wax or stickers (hmmm, we still haven’t asked Skeletor the Undying Frog). So it should come as no surprise that Wally shot lasers out of his eyes today when showed a jar of Katy’s Soft Wax.

Yes, Katy has a batch of soft wax up in the store that is available for immediate shipment. You can order it on her etsy.com store.

Note that cats are not necessarily stupid. After he was told he would get a cookie, Wally instantly changed to “marketing genius” (see below).

— Christopher Schwarz


“Why yes, this wax is the finest in the land. I use it daily.”

Filed under: Personal Favorites, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Sensing wood moisture content by feel

Heartwood: Woodworking by Rob Porcaro - 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

John Makepeace New Book

David Barron Furniture - Fri, 06/30/2017 - 11:53am

Following the visit to John's fine house he did a talk the next day to a packed audience. The main purpose of the talk was to launch his new book detailing the work and careers of the people that passed through Parnham. It reads like a 'who's who' of the furniture making world, although many of the students branched out into other disciplines such as architecture. I haven't read the whole thing yet but it's a truly fascinating book, and I highly recommend buying a copy on it's imminent release. John very kindly signed my copy, a true gentleman.

Categories: Hand Tools

How to Make a Bench Hook for Hand Saw Cross Cutting

Wood and Shop - Fri, 06/30/2017 - 11:26am
A bench hook is one of the most used appliances in a traditional woodworking workshop and fortunately one of the easiest to build. It's ridiculously easy to build! What is a Bench Hook used for? A bench hook is a simple wooden appliance that hooks against a workbench's edge and is

My 2017 Summer Woodworking Reading List – Amy Herschleb

Highland Woodworking - Fri, 06/30/2017 - 8:00am
Making Things Work, Nancy R. Hiller (Putchamin Press, 2017)
Hilarious, engaging, and relatable, Hiller shares her philosophy of work with anecdotes drawn from her life about what constitutes success and the bumps in the road getting there. For some, her coarse language and tendency to call a tool a tool might irk a bad conscience. But for others, her dry wit and tenacity offer a refreshingly honest look at life and work on her own terms.


Good Clean Fun, Nick Offerman (Penguin, 2016)
We had the pleasure of seeing Offerman in the store at the outset of his book tour, and it was doubly a pleasure to read his book. It’s a conglomeration of fun, from projects to anecdotes to offbeat asides. Open it to any page and find something charming or inspirational. Learn to properly gauge your manliness. Build a stool. Have a cookout. Meditate on the process of giving new life to a once-living tree. Just don’t stop having a good time.


Woodland Craft, Ben Law (GMC Distribution, 2016)
An inspired glimpse at permaculture in the UK, Law’s book brings an ancient craft into modern day. From coppicing and woodland management to furniture and yurt building, this book spans from heritage to sustainability. If only there were such a book suited to North American conservation and resource management—dare to dream.


Where We Lived, Jack Larkin (Taunton Press, 2006)
Using data from the 1930s HABS (Historic American Buildings Survey) and first-hand journal entries and letters, Larkin looks at the oldest surviving habitations in the United States (mostly from the 1700 and 1800s) to discover how our colonizing ancestors lived. Bounded in this way by the progression of colonization, Cincinnati is considered “the West” and Florida does not exist. We delve into regional peculiarities, roads and commodes, the atrocity of slavery, and the effect of all, large and small, on the living arrangements of our unwashed if industrious ancestors. Fascinating.

Amy received her MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She is the staff writer at Highland Woodworking. In 2015 she and her dad co-founded Coywolf Woodworks, their hobby shop in North Florida.

The post My 2017 Summer Woodworking Reading List – Amy Herschleb appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Election day!

Paul Sellers - Fri, 06/30/2017 - 7:22am

Journal entry Thursday 8th June 2017 Election day Nope! Not political choices, electing to do what you feel called to do with your life. I preach my own words to myself most days, “It’s not what you make but how!” I could write a book on this sentence alone. Perhaps no one would read it. …

Read the full post Election day! on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools


Subscribe to Norse Woodsmith aggregator