Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
|no problem getting behind the spindles with paint|
|out of the clamps|
|rabbets for the lid are next|
|much better results|
|the exit end|
|the lead in|
|planing the shoulders|
|if need be|
|thin web at the bottom of the groove|
|wasn't that hard to do|
|fitting the lid is batting next|
|repeat for the right side|
|plane two strokes off of each side and check the fit|
|still too wide|
|fits about 1/4 of the way|
|second trial fit|
After a bit more fiddling and planing the rabbets one last time with the bullnose plane, I got the lid closed. It's snug and hard to pull open but I'll do the final tweaking of the fit after the lid astragals and thumb grab are done.
|bit of blowout|
|four holes to plug|
|and one chip missing from a tail|
|not my best work|
Putting the blog to bed early and me too. I got my Hayward volume IV yesterday and I'm going to spend some quality time with it before I do the light leak test on the peepers.
What was the original name of the game of softball before 1926?
answer - it was called kitten ball from 1895 to 1926
I managed to get round to finishing off the box with the mitred corners and dovetailed Dominoes.
See my first post here
The tray is a piston fit and the protruding top has been shaped to give a soft close lid.
The little brown oak stand with the shaped feet adds a bit of interest (and time).
The lid opens exactly where the board transitions from the white to the olive coloured ash, which is nice. The floating panel in the lid is some tightly rippled ash, which is not properly visible (I must get better with my camera).
A full article including all the techniques used will be appearing in Furniture and Cabinetmaking magazine later in the year.
The box will also be on display (and for sale) at the Celebration of Craftsmanship exhibition in August http://www.celebrationofcraftsmanship.com/
Ted Boscani’s crew from the CW Joiner’s Shop (I think at one time they were known as the housewrights) were the final in-house presenters as they had a Four Ring Circus in operation making a “table chair.” I think in some circles this piece is known as “a monk’s chair.”
While Ted was demonstrating some of the joinery from the underside of the flip-top, most particularly the cutting of the sliding dovetail into which the hinging braces would be inserted, the apprentices were all working on the same bench on the opposite side of the stage fabricating the elements that were assembled into the chair’s base. Their congenial sharing of a bench tweaked my self-indulgence of working on, in a typical day, anywhere from 6-8 different work benches in my own space. I admit, I suffer under an embarrassment of riches.
Finally, after 90 very engaging and entertaining minutes, the table was assembled. While I have my doubts about the interests and abilities of most of those in attendance to fabricate any of the chairs from earlier demonstrations, I can definitely see this fitting into the ken of just about everyone there.
This past weekend, in spite of coming down with a cold, I needed to get out of the house and went to see A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde at MOMA. I should mention that if you are a NYC resident you can get a NYCID card which among other benefits gets you a free one year membership to MOMA. Which means in spite of being sick, I could pop in for an hour and a half, see the exhibit for free and not feel I had to spend all day because I paid a $25 admission fee (though it's free on Friday evenings).
I am a huge fan of Futurism in general so it was obvious I would want to see this exhibit before it closed. But while I was walking through the show I had a thought. Context! The exhibit consisted of pieces expressly made as "art" for gallery shows and other pieces - posters, books, and costume designs - that a century later are recognized as art and included at the show. I realized that I gravitated toward the posters, books and a dining set, my favorite piece, that I absolutely would love to have. I didn't get anything out of the pure art pieces (although a paper sculpture of a head was very cool).
What I realized is that the work intended for public consumption at the time had context. The artists and designers were trying to convey a message and they used the new vocabulary of the avant-garde to express the thought. And the works are POWERFUL. But the gallery material seems far more tentative and maybe experimental (and 15 years earlier, which might have something to do with it). They certainly doesn't hit me over the head. The context is different. The work was intended for a more limited audience that wanted to see "art" and was more forgiving and more indulgent. The message of the work is about the artist, not about some performance the artist was asked to promote in a poster.
Pondering this thought I went to test my theory.
The picture at the top of this blog is of a 1961 E-Type Jaguar, which is the centerpiece of an exhibit from the museum's collection of art from the 1960's. The car had the same impact as the avant-garde posters. First of all, the very fact the Jag was on exhibit shows us that it is now considered art. (To be fair, the car has been part of the MOMA design collection since the late 60's). It blows away everything else in the hall. While the works on the wall might define the 1960's for artists and collectors, for me at least the design vocabulary of the 60's was set by items such as this car. It influenced real world design much more than any art piece on display.
Maybe if I had to draw a conclusion, it would be that the art on the wall is commentary on what the artists saw and felt at the time, but the pieces from the outside world are what changed the world.
Just before leaving I stopped for a minute to see "Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh, probably one of the top five most famous pictures in the world. Many people stopped to look and take a picture of it. It didn't have to compete with any objects in the room, and it comes from a time when single paintings drew huge crowds (although not to impressionist work). My son, who is twelve and considers walking around a museum to be mind-boggingly boring, really had a hard time grasping that the picture behind the glass was the original painting and that was what was special about it. Times have changed and I think the ubiquity of electronic images make seeing the real thing less unique, less special. Seeing furniture in real life 3D on the other hand is still something the internet hasn't mastered. Although maybe with VR coming soon, maybe it will.
Modern furniture designers and makers are constantly being told that what they do is craft and not art. Woodworking certainly is craft, but as the Jag shows us, sometimes it's art. It's also pretty hard to make a piece of furniture that when people look at it they go "WOW."
But when they do: "WOW!"
How good is the four volume set of The Woodworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years from Lost Art Press? Put it this way: these books have almost 1500 pages of woodworking information, and as far as I can tell, there’s not a single mention of a Japanese tool. I love these books anyway.
Since it was an unplanned day I put it to good use, mostly. I did some work in the shop and on the kitchen, ran some errands and enjoyed my unexpected day off.
|glued the gallery rail on|
|tequila box glued up|
|spring isn't too far away|
|need to fix this|
|more wonderful cabinet rework ahead|
|drain and hot/cold feed holes|
|waste drain hole fix|
|Lie Nielsen side rabbet irons|
|LN and Stanley irons|
|the Stanley iron is barely half the thickness of the LN|
|they don't fit|
|what I did inbetween drilling errant holes|
|dividing this into fourths|
|setting the sector at the fourth mark|
|second divider set to the 1 mark|
|start at one edge and go to other down the square line|
|1 frog hair short|
|dividing the board in half|
|dead nuts again|
Two things I have learned so far playing with making a sector is the choice of dividers makes a difference (at least to me). For a long time I used flat leg dividers and got iffy results. They are good for stepping off dovetails but not doing precision steps. My results jumped up dramatically when I started using machinist's dividers. These have conical points instead of flats.
The second point is to step off on a line. Do not try to dance down the length of anything no matter how short, without a line to do it on. Any deviation off the line will throw off the accuracy.
How long does a professional bull rider have to ride the bull to receive a score?
answer - 8 seconds (each ride is worth up to 100 points, 50 for the rider and 50 for the bull)
It's as good a way as any to book-end the last decade or so.
10 years ago this month, I walked out of the North Bennet Street School. I was mostly done. My chess table needed to be finished, which took a little doing, but otherwise, I was out, and ready to take on the world.
Or so I thought.
For the last few months, I've been working for an insurance company, (Aflac) working as an agent, and beating the bushes for a sale. In short, it's the kind of job I turned my nose up at for years. Me? An insurance salesman? HAH!
Among other things, I've had to work hard to learn how to be a salesman, to beat the bushes for sales leads, and get out of my comfort zone and sell things. I was a very good craftsman, when I had a running shop, but I was a straight lousy business man. I'm not going to go any farther down the path of self-immolation, but it was what it was.
I've learned a few things, and while I'm not about to fire up a full-blown shop again, I've learned a lot in the last few months about what I'll do when I do pick up my tools again.
At this particular moment, I'm blogging, as a way to procrastinate, rather than study Anatomy and Physiology. I'm in the midst of the last prerequisite that I need, before applying to grad school for Prosthetics and Orthotics. The long-arching arc of my career track still involves making things, and so, for me, it makes sense. The insurance gig may or may not be a permanent part of the picture, going forward. We'll see.
Either way, something else has been happening lately. My second kid has passed the year and a half mark, and I realized the other day that my head is starting to clear. And I started having ideas about what my next shop will look like. Nothing concrete, mind you, but it was a strong enough whiff of an idea that it's clear that I'm nowhere near being done with woodwork.
The three larger windows will be at the ground floor, and the two smaller windows will be for the attic. One in each gable.
For once this was a project that could benefit from my shaper. That thing is a beast when it comes to making large rabbets and long pieces of mouldings.
Traditionally frames are made with mouldings on the stiles and none on the rails. But I wanted to have mouldings all the way around.
I dovetailed the frames together, and in order for the moulding to flow around the corner I used a mitered dovetail for the outermost part of the frame.
The technique isn't terribly hard to learn or do, so it went together fairly well. My biggest challenges were that the stock was thick, but a bit of concentration during sawing helps a lot.
During the last couple of days I have been trying to make the window casements. There will be a total of 8 casements, so in order to make some progress, I am making it mainly as a power tool build.
The stock for the window casements are larch that I milled two years ago. It was originally intended to become a fence around the porch, but in the end we decided that a fence wasn't needed, so I could use them for this project instead.
I again used the shaper for making the rabbets and the mouldings. And this time I have tried to use it for making the bridle joints as well.
There is a special iron that is suitable for making tenons and the open mortises for the bridle joints. I have never used it before, because quite frankly it scares me a bit. The combination of the shaper and that blade is something that will eat a hand or an arm in an instant.
It is a interesting to note that when I have to make multiples, the machines are really fast despite the setting up can be a bit time consuming. A thing that is also interesting to note is the sometimes terrible amount of tear out left behind.
To be fair I think most of it can be traced to the wood. Larch is rather stiff, but it tears out easily.
The first window casement was assembled by means of drawbored dowels. The next one was just pegged after the glue had set. That route allowed me to put a clamp on the bridle joint which I think results in a better joint overall.
A project like this that requires a lot of pegs/dowels, is just what I have been longing for, because it gives me an opportunity to use my BLUM dowel plates. They are nothing short of impressive.
It seems that life has many contradictions. When we need to be our smartest, perhaps as youngsters, we are at our most care-free, our most flighty, our most illogical. It is a marvel that most of us survive this time.
Another perplexity is speed. I am at the bench to work. But much like my exit from my home in the morning, I try to do too much at once. When I walk out the door, I grab as many things as my arms can carry. My bag work, my gym bag, that almost full cup of coffee, oh and the jar of birdseed, don’t forget that. So too at the bench, I try too many things. I start to accomplish one task, turn my gaze to another more lovely and start in on that and soon my bench is littered with the broken promises of a half dozen started projects.
I am slow in learning. I do learn, but I am slow. What I have learned is to tell myself, “Slow down, you’re in a hurry.” This way, I focus on the task at hand and no other. I get this one job done, heave a great sigh of satisfaction, look at the time, then I move on with a sense of completion and satisfaction. If only I could remember this dictum more often.
Join us for some slow work at the bench starting March 13th. The Hand Tool Shop is an exploration of woodworking at a different pace. One where our results emerge with each stroke rather than reveal themselves through the dust of our machines. Join us for all of the four weeks or choose the one that will slow your pace down but good.
Mark sent me these pictures of a cot he has recently completed. It's well designed and attractive with a very useful drawer. It was made entirely by hand in an 8' x 6' workshop (garden shed) which is amazing. You can see more of the project on Mark's Blog
By Steve Johnson
A highlight of my visit to Highland Woodworking a couple of years ago was the chance to spend a little time with the Kapex KS 120 EB Sliding Compound Miter Saw and make a quick video review of the tool.
In short, I liked it. I wanted it. But, alas, I couldn’t afford it. More accurately, I couldn’t justify it. While my brief time with the Kapex demonstrated some apparent advantages over my current miter saw, what I had was working fine. I will admit, however, to prolonged disappointment like a kid with a long list of toys for Santa that finds nothing but clothes under the Christmas tree.
The post A Great Combination: Festool Kapex Miter Saw & CT SYS HEPA Dust Extractor appeared first on Woodworking Blog.
If you have not already seen Konrad Sauer’s update on the restoration of the 1968 Volvo P1800 I disposed of in his direction, give it a look. The car, of which there were only about 125,000 produced over a 13 year period, was made famous in the early 60s British television series “The Saint” starring the utra-cool Roger Moore.
Here’s just one of the dozens of pics.
The purchase process is based on a CAD program that Ikea uses and makes available to its customers, which then feeds the ordering process. However, I chose to draw my design on graph paper and then go to the store, where one of the kitchen specialists helped me to input it. She was tremendous, tweaking my design in helpful ways and making sure all of the right components were in my order. Very impressive and real value added.
A few days later, a delivery truck showed up at our house with 110 flat packs and packages! It took us about a week to take down the wall, demolish the kitchen and remove ceramic floor tile in the hall. The following two weeks were spent assembling the cabinet boxes, coordinating plumbing and electrical contractors, installing the range vent to the outside, and installing the wall cabinets and microwave. At that point, we were able to get the first round of four inspections out of the way.
I was surprised at how easily the boxes went together and how strong they are. Steel pins are screwed into pre-drilled holes in corner of one side and then cam locks go over them from the other side. Surprisingly the boxes all came out square with no effort.
Ikea has an ingenious and highly effective way of installing wall cabinets. You attach a steel rail to the wall and then hook a steel attachment on the back of the cabinets over the rail. When they are positioned where you want them, there is a fastener that locks them in place.
As we were beginning to install the wall cabinets, my wife made a very important contribution. I told her how difficult it was going to be to get the cabinets level around three sides of the room and, against my judgment, she convinced me to buy a laser level. For $120 I got a self-leveling laser that sits on a tripod and projects a sharp line on three walls at once! You just set it up in the middle of the room and turn it on, then move the tripod up and down until it's at the height you want. OMG! It made it so ridiculously easy to install the steel rails level I couldn't believe it. After that the boxes went up fast. The result is strong and secure. One person can install the cabinets without difficulty.
The next step is to install the doors, again a simple process. You just secure the hinges in a hole in the door, screw a plate into the predrilled holes in the side of the cabinet and snap the hinge onto it. Put on the handle and you're done. The hinges have three adjustments on them that make positioning the door easy.
We were just congratulating ourselves on how well we were doing when boom! Big problem. I held up the drawer for the diagonal corner cabinet and--it didn't fit. There was a gap of almost an inch along the side of the door and, since the doors are gray and the boxes are white, it looked just awful.
A call to the support specialist at Ikea wasn't reassuring. After taking me through a list of things I might have done wrong, she asked for pictures, which I sent her:
She called me back with the bad news that in some installations, including their own model kitchen, this gap does in fact exist. She was previously unaware of this and found out that they had used some specialty gray edge banding to mask the problem in their display kitchen. They don't provide it and don't even sell it, but did refer me to an online supplier where I could purchase it. Perhaps my expectations are unreasonable, but I was not pleased.
Again my wife came to the rescue. At her suggestion, we took one of our doors to the Home Depot paint department and asked if they could match the color. The guy said he could and put an electronic device attached to the paint computer onto the door. It generated the pigment formula to add to the base and, amazingly, it came out exactly correct, a dead ringer. We went home, sanded, primed and painted the offending cabinet edge and now it looks much better:
In my opinion, this is a better solution than the one Ikea suggested and we are satisfied. However, it was this experience that tipped me over the edge into wishing I had made my own fronts from the get go, rather than buying Ikea's. Obviously, I would have made the door wider rather than relying on a standard width. The actually remodeling wouldn't have taken any longer because I could have made the doors and drawer fronts in advance.
We're not finished with the base cabinets yet and I am hoping there are no further instances of problems like this, particularly ones we can't fix so readily. I do think our experience is a cautionary tale.
The bottom cabinets are attached to the walls the same way. In the case of a peninsula, you have to attach them to the floor because you can't use the rail. The lower cabinets come with adjustable feet that make leveling them easy. The toe kicks attach to the legs with clips.
Most of us who have any experience using hand held routers understand the reason for an offset subbase. Here is how Pat Warner explains it:
“Routers are tippy. Most of the mass of these machines is above the control knobs. On inside excavations this top heaviness is unnoticeable, especially when the casting is entirely surrounded x substrate. However, on the end, edge or corners of the work, where routers spend most of their time, their tipsiness can be appreciated. You can’t control them. There’s always less than 1/2 the casting on the work and when you take a right angle turn that number falls to <25%. You’re supporting the other three fourths of the tool in the air, 7 pounds of the typical 10 pound router! Precise work is hit or miss. Add an offset subbase and you’re in control. Moreover, you’ll be on the safe side of the yellow line.”
To see Pat’s incredibly well made products, click here.
Paul Alves is a custom stair builder in Massachusetts. He is currently at work on a friend of mine’s new house. He has designed a router offset base called “The Stabilizer” to support the router from the “unsafe” side of the yellow line! All you need is a clean, level workbench. I can easily see its effectiveness in stair, boat, door and window building.
Paul and a business partner have put up a website to submit the product to potential interested parties or licensees. It showcases some of Paul’s masterful stair work and includes testimonials from users of The Stabilizer. I would like to see The Stabilizer in the marketplace. It is immediately useful for known applications and has potential for opening up new techniques. If you like the product, give them a shout on the contact link.