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I’m always whinging about something.
So the thing this blog is good for is that someone always has an answer.
And it shuts me straight up.
When I was moaning about drill bits in the marking knife post, we got plenty of suggestions for bits that you find overcome my problem.
You weren’t wrong.
We got together all the drill bits that we could from your input, and I put them to the test.
Shawn Graham does a great job explaining how to set up a chipbreaker, and is nice enough to give a shout out to yours truly.
It’s for a western plane, but great information, nonetheless. And be sure to check out Shawn’s YouTube channel.
Wendell Castle, the father of the art furniture movement, died Saturday at age 85. I’m privileged to have spent a few days with him while shooting a video, and while our time together was personal, the time wasn’t long enough to call him a friend. Thoughtful, soft-spoken and passionate are three words that come to my mind. I’m willing to admit that I’m not in love with all his furniture – though […]
My daughter Maddy reports that she has fewer than 100 sets of stickers remaining, including the much maligned very popular “Fancy Lad Academy” sticker.
Once these stickers are gone, they are gone. We haven’t repeated any designs.
These are quality, 100-percent vinyl stickers from Stickermule.com harvested from completely organic vines. There are two ways to order a set: You can visit Maddy’s etsy store here. They are $6 delivered ($10 for international orders).
For customers in the United States, you can send a $5 bill and a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) to:
Stick it to the Man
P.O. Box 3284
Columbus, OH 43210
Obligatory disclaimer: This is not a money-making venture for me or Lost Art Press.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. For those of you who send Maddy stickers or photos in your SASEs, she loves them and even bought several large canvases to display them in her apartment.
I'm taking a class in Covington Ky in June. I paid for the class and I just got done making hotel, flight, and car rental reservations. If I hadn't already paid for this class I would be taking a different one. Issac Blackburn is teaching a saw filing class the same weekend I'm going to be in Covington. Oh well, maybe I'll catch him next year.
|ready for paint|
|the #4 frog|
|the back of the frog|
|for the plane interior|
|my marble threshold|
|at the back I hold it with a clamp|
|I'll glue the 80 grit down|
|#4 frog painted|
|not white anymore|
|had same problem on the toe|
|painted a few spots on both cheek walls|
|4x4 will give up 3 sanding blocks|
|one down and two to go|
|bandsaw cuts are all tapered|
|planed to a parallel thickness - just the Doug Fir blocks|
|gluing the cork|
|gluing up the cabinet after lunch|
|23 year old compressor|
|nailing the top and bottom|
|it's staying here too|
|tried a sanding block|
|tried my buffing wheel|
It made the lever cap a little more shinier but not by much. I must of missed something as to what rouge is used for what. I'll have to go back and look at everything that came with it.
Did you know that the Hartford Courant is the oldest continually published newspaper in the US?
Hand Craft: An English Exposition Of Slojd, by John, D. Sutcliffe, 1890, is a scarce and important text for practical use by both the student and teacher of the Slojd (Sloyd) manual arts education system.
"For some generations there has been cultivated in Sweden, and amongst Scandinavian and kindred peoples, a course of training in personal ingenuity, unknown in most other countries... Such a course or system of training is called Slojd... The nearest equivalent in English to the Swedish word Slojd would seem to be Hand-Craft, or mechanical training for the hand."
The Toolemera Press re-publishes classic books on early crafts, trades and industries from the shelves of our personal library.
Elementary Sloyd And Whittling, by Gustaff Larsson, 1906 was a standard text in the Sloyd, or Slojd system of education.
"Sloyd is tool work arranged and employed as to stimulate and promote vigorous self-activity for a purpose which the worker recognizes is good. By 'Elementrary Sloyd' is meant bench work in wood, in two dimensions adapted to children from eight to twelve years of age."
Elementary Sloyd And Whittling remains a primary resource for the modern educator and craftsperson in the application of basic knife work to practical woodwork.
The Toolemera Press re-publishes classic books on early crafts, trades and industries, from our personal library.
The Toolemera Press re-publishes classic books on early crafts, trades and industries, from our personal collection.
An unfolding lifestyle Soon to start yet another video training series so this week I’ve been looking into and prototyping to that end—one of my favourite things to do. I like what’s coming from the chisel edge and the saw teeth. It feels good. Angled hanging pegs, clean lines ti the shoulder lines and repeat […]
I hope when you read the title of this post you did so with a bit of sarcasm. This weekend I was fast-forwarding through commercials while catching up on a show. Flashing past the screen at a 32X rate I noticed a table saw. Whoa! Time to backtrack and play it again. What I discovered was the end of woodworking as we know it.
(If you miss it the first time through, pay attention around the 8 second mark.) There it was.
But does anyone out there have any idea about what this tool is?
I got the pictures from Olav who was asked by his cousin about it. So the pictures are courtesy of Olav and his cousin.
Based on the method of hanging the tools, I assume the pictures are from some sort of restaurant, or at least someone who doesn't mind being questioned by Saint Peter on the day of his judgement regarding why he/she thought that it was OK to mount a nice looking socket gouge with a Torx screw through the handle.
I don't know where the pictures were taken, if it is in Denmark or somewhere else.
It seems with each plane rehab I am doing, I do something new and extra that I didn't do on the previous one. I am rehabbing two planes now and I plan on going back and re-doing all of my planes. I like the look of the painted and shiny planes a lot. It's funny because a year ago I was ambivalent about this level of rehabbing.
The #6 I'm currently rehabbing is kicking my ass. I have been flattening the sole on it for a couple of weeks. It hasn't been an everyday workout with it, but I thought I would have been done with this a long time ago. My stubborn streak kicked in this AM and I was going to get it done today or bust a gut trying.
I didn't bust a gut but the damn thing took me all day to do. It still isn't 100% done with all the sanding but I had to quit for today. There was one bright note in this day from hell and that is I got the #4 to the same point as the #6.
|made a Harbor Freight run|
|marking the width|
I think I may go with 6x48 belts for the other grits too. With the 4x35 belts I have to hold one end with a clamp because the marble threshold is shorter than the belt. The 6x48 belt I was able to cut long enough so that the bench dogs pinched it fast on both ends. No clamp in the way as I sand.
|new 80 grit belt is working better|
|3 lines gone, 3 more to go|
|soles sanded up to 400 grit|
|why I'm doing hand sanding|
Getting these two planes sanded to this point is all I got done today. I made a road trip to get sanding belts and drawer guides, and about 2 hours eating lunch and searching the WWW for springs. The rest of the shop day was devoted to sanding. Boring, mind numbing, repetitious, sanding and I'm glad 99.9% of it is done.
Did you know that the Reuben Award is given annually for the best cartoon?
Many people equate “skill” and “talent.” They are sometimes related, but certainly not the same thing. It is like the modern conflation of “jealousy,” “covetousness, ” and “envy.” All are related as manifestations of the same base impulse, but they are not the same (envy being the most pernicious).
But back to “skill” and “talent.”
I possess precious little artistic talent, but have acquired fair-to-middling creative skills. I remember clearly a session in the studio of one of my art classes in college. I was succeeding in the class by sheer grit and inordinate time working in the studio; the art didn’t flow out of me simply because the talent was not there. But I was determined to succeed and spent untold hours at work there. One day I asked Mrs. Barn to come with me and keep me company as I worked, and as we walked there she picked up a branch of some flowering tree or something. So while I ground away at my “creating” she whipped out a lovely oil painting of the sprig even though she never trained as an artist. But she has sublime artistic talents while I am saddled with a noteworthy lack of them.
I’m not sure if curiosity is a talent, but I do have a fair bit of that. Perhaps my greatest creative gift was that I was an indifferent student in school prior to my third stint in college, when I worked and learned with a vengeance. But middle school and high school? Nah, I did not pay enough attention to enable them to beat the curiosity out of me and I was able to retain my native impulse to color outside the lines.
Talent is, I believe, a portion of that inventory of nascent gifts imparted at our conception as unique creatures, whereas skills are the abilities honed through repetitive exercises. That said, the vocabulary of skills we possess allows us to expand our creative and productive capacity to a nearly limitless vista, and to hone those natural talents.
As a craftsman and teacher that is where I try to invest my resources.
I am at a point in my life where my writing is an output that has value in the marketplace, all the more surprising to me in that I went to gubmint schools at a time when the rigors of language arts were, shall we say, not emphasized. Now I practice writing on a near-daily basis to sharpen my skills of wordsmithing. This occurs on this blog as often as I can even though many acquaintances urge me to de-emphasize my writing here in exchange for “more followers” via other vehicles that do not require anything more than a few pictures and words on a smart phone. I have resisted this for several reasons, not the least of which is I do not have a smart phone and have little interest in getting one given that I live in a place with almost no cell service. Second, if my goal is to increase my ability in crafting words, I’d better spend some time crafting words rather than avoiding it. An analogy would be encouraging someone to refine their joinery skills at the workbench by giving them a screw gun.
Instead, for the time being I prefer to write short articles for this blog a few times a week as a means of not only connecting with those who read it but also accomplishing the not-so-unintended-consequence of improving my own writing skill set. I know I will never become as facile as Chris Schwarz given both his natural talents and honed skills that enable him to have a daily output capacity of probably four thousand words. I hope for a tenth of than, and dream of a quarter, a pace I actually maintained while writing the 40,000 word first draft manuscript of Virtuoso in six weeks.
For the past few years I have endeavored to write something every day. A blog essay, even if only a short one, or at last a portion of one (some blogs take a few sessions of verbal noodling). Or another portion of my ongoing book manuscript, at present The Period Finisher’s Manual (I am targeting the end of the year for its completion). Some mystery/thriller fiction, currently about a derelict antiques restorer out in the mountains and how he eventually saves the world. Blowing off steam by recording pithy observations about the state of the world around me.
It is all enjoyable and ruthlessly demanding, but it is how I am building my muscles in formulating and organizing ideas and putting them into words.
Simply put, the regimen makes me more skilled at writing.
The same is true with my physical craft. As a furniture maker I will not and probably cannot become Jean-Henri Riesener, John Goddard, Alvar Aalto, or James Krenov. I am unlikely to ever become a truly skilled engraver, or metalsmith, or machinist, or chemical engineer. But I can become better than I am.
And so can you.
While I cannot endow you with creative genius, I can encourage and direct you in the genesis and more full formation of skills through practice and exercise. This has become cemented as the goal for my time in The Barn on White Run; that I explore and create, and share those adventures with you that you might be more encouraged to do the same.
In the coming weeks and months I hope this will become manifest on this blog with my mercurial musings about craft and life on the homestead being augmented with more postings about the processes of doing and not just my noumena. One iteration of this starting next will be a series of bench exercises I presented at last year’s banquet address for the Colonial Williamsburg Working Wood in the 18th Century shindig.
Another will be the multi-part walk-through of interpreting an early 19th century writing desk, of which I have already written a couple of blogs in the past.
And making instructional videos for distribution with a talented young local film maker.
And making and modifying tools.
And Gragg chairs.
And, and, and…
All in pursuit of skills, in service to my “talent.”
Whether you’re a teacher, a doctor or a cabinetmaker, it’s sobering to subject yourself occasionally to the kind of conditions your students, patients or clients experience while in your care. The past few weeks have reminded me how disturbing a kitchen remodel can be…which seems appropriate, given that I’m working on a book about kitchens for Lost Art Press.
Mark: Where the *#@$ are the knives?
Mark: Where did you put the salt and pepper? Salt and pepper! How is it possible to forget the location of such basic things?
Me: I JUST. HAD. THAT &^$% CAST IRON GRIDDLE. WHERE DID I SET IT DOWN????At such moments I feel a special kind of empathy for my kitchen clients: the ones who wash dishes in the bathroom sink not for weeks, but months, because they just had to have that handmade faucet from England (the one that arrived damaged and had to be replaced — apparently with plating made from nickel newly mined and shipped on a slow boat from Botswana). The ones who have to endure complaints from their smart-Alec kids (“Why are you tormenting us?” — overheard in a kitchen where Daniel O’Grady and I were working in 2005). The ones who plan their remodel in two phases stretching over a calendar year so their income can catch up with the costs, and patiently live out of boxes. And especially the ones who camp out in their basement while doing their own remodel and building their own cabinets.
Granted, our chaos is more pervasive than it should have been. We’d had this kitchen work on the horizon but hadn’t planned to let rip when we did. Mark had an unexpected opening in his schedule one morning when a client wrote to say she was seriously ill and suggested that he and his crew might prefer to avoid exposure to contagion. I leapt at the chance to get our kitchen started and (like a champ) dispersed the contents of the cabinets to the far corners of the house before work that morning.
When planning the hayrake table I built last year*, I decided to modify the original dimensions of the 1908 drawing by Ernest Gimson so that Mark and I could use it in our home. Our house has no dining room; we cook, clean up, and entertain guests in the kitchen.It seemed like a good idea. We missed the farmhouse table in our previous kitchen, which had also served as our dining room. Even though the old enamel-topped worktable I’ve been moving around for more than 25 years worked fine for meal prep and eating, we thought it would be lovely to have a homemade table where guests would feel like guests instead of warm bodies who might be pressed into service chopping or kneading.
But as soon as we carried the table into the kitchen I realized I’d opened a can of worms. The delightful retro-style vinyl composition tile I’d put down when I first moved in (because it was affordable and I could do all the labor myself in my spare time) was an affront to the Cotswold School-style table, never mind the pair of two heart chairs based on a turn-of-the-century design by C.F.A. Voysey. That floor would have to go. The table called for flagstones softened by centuries of wear; the least we could give it was floor of wood.
As tends to happen when you tinker with one feature of a room, we decided that if we were going to the trouble of replacing the floor (which would entail removing *everything* from the kitchen), I should strip the cabinets I’d made in my spare time, years ago, when I was using my home to experiment with unusual materials and finishes. (Translation: The finish looked like crap.)
“Well, if we’re taking out the cabinets so you can strip them, I’d like to talk about a better sink,” Mark said. The sink was a salvaged double-drain model (though, being from the ’50s, it was made of pressed metal instead of cast iron as its forebears would have been a half-century before) — perfectly serviceable, and really, quite charming, but with basins that were annoyingly shallow and too-thin enamel that had worn through in some areas, allowing the steel to rust.
And if we were going to get a better sink… Well, there went my cheerful retro linoleum counters.
A simple table brought into our home proved the tip of a shipwrecking iceberg. At lunchtime on Thursday we reached a point sufficiently up the other side of the bell curve that I thought it was time for a punch list. Wishful thinking. It looks as though there will still be a few weeks of “Where’s that *%^& pan” and “What did you do with the oregano/pasta pot/tin foil/fruit cutting board?”***
Sure, I get that these are trifling inconveniences compared to going weeks without running water or months without electricity, never mind facing war, disease or starvation. But I’d forgotten just how deeply my basic ability to function — mentally as well as physically — is grounded in the orderliness of the kitchen. It really is the nexus of our home.–Nancy Hiller, author of Making Things Work
*for a book about English Arts & Crafts furniture scheduled for publication by Popular Woodworking this June
trees can’t read
Or, trees FTW.
We have seven videos for you this week and a giveaway! Every Saturday morning we post reader-submitted and staff picked videos on our YouTube channel. Kreg sent us a couple of inline clamps and bench clamps to take a look at it. I thought they were solid bench accessories, so instead of sending them back to Kreg, I received permission to give them away! Enter the contest in the field below the video […]
The post POPWOOD Playback #3 – Top Woodworking Videos of the Week appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.