Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
People’s lives get busier every year. Ours too. Good thing we have all these time-saving devices…
today’s post is just a “save the date” sort of thing. Plymouth CRAFT’s Greenwood Fest will be early June again, same venue = Pinewoods Dance Camp, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA.
Festival June 8-10; pre-Fest courses June 5-7. TICKETS GO ON SALE FEBRUARY 2, 2018. We will let you know details as we get it together – this is just so you can get the time off of work, quit your job, cancel graduation/wedding, etc and tell your family you’ll be in the woods.2017 group photo, Marie Pelletier
Here’s the beginnings of the website. https://www.greenwoodfest.org/Dave Fisher, photo Marie Pelletier
See you there, OK?
What are the very very wide kanna called and used for? You posted a photo of a 13" one back when you were at NYKEZ. Most kanna I've seen for sale (complete or as just a blade) tend to top out at around 70mm, rarely going to 80mm.
The very wide kanna are called okanna (sometimes ookanna). The “standard” kanna size is a 70mm blade. The ones I use for bench work range from 60-70mm. Okanna can be 120-150mm wide.
I’ve only seen an okanna used for demonstrations, and haven’t heard of anyone using them for routine work. There are a couple of reasons why you might not want to do that. I’ve pulled ookannas before, and it’s noticeably harder to pull, which isn’t a surprise given that you’re planing close to twice the width of a regular shaving. Twice the width means twice the work.
Also, the blade is going to be harder to sharpen given its size. Maintaining the dai is going to be more difficult for the same reason. And then you have to make sure that the blade and dai match up well.
That’s not to say that there isn’t someone out there using an ookanna in their shop on a regular basis. It’s just that I haven’t heard of that happening.
Most of my income comes from weekend art/farmers markets where I sell mainly turned work (bowls). I’ve learned that you need to have a bell curve of prices from cheap to extravagant with the majority falling in the middle-class affordable range. I’ve always struggled with the $20 cheap range. If you don’t have a selection of goods at low prices you lose mid-priced sales from the uneducated. These people will […]
The post Profitable Subpar Work – A Strategy for Selling at a Farmers Market appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
Hard to imagine though it is, it’s been 5 years to the day that we posted our first video series on woodworkingmasterclasses.com. Since then we have published 400 video episodes and that does not include YouTube. I won’t prolong this blog post because the video speaks for itself. I would like to thank you all […]
For over a decade I've been looking for a copy I could afford of Andre Felibien's masterwork, "Des Principes de l'Architecture, de la Sculpture, de la Peinture et des ..." [Principles of Architecture, Sculpture, Painting and ..] A copy finally popped up on the internet and I grabbed it. I have been spending the last week studying it. The book is well known, and you can get a scan on Google books here. I collect books. While it's wonderful to be able to read the book online from practically anywhere, I find having a real book in front of me is far more satisfying. The book's woodworking section starts at page 170, with all the plates are in the following pages.
There are several editions of the book, the first from 1676. This is the book that Joseph Moxon used to copy drawing from when he published the woodworking section of "Mechanick Exercises" two years later in 1678. If you haven't read Moxon, we stock the Lost Art Press version, or you can read the 1703 third edition here.
Moxon's "Mechanick Exercises" is important because it is the first book in English that tries to be a handbook on how to make things. Beginning in 1677, every few months or so Moxon released a chapter on a different subject. Blacksmithing, carpentry, house-righting were a few of the topics. In 1683, after a hiatus of several years while England was in turmoil, Moxon resumed the series, this time writing about something he know about personally: printing and typemaking. Whereas Felibien's book was really an encyclopedia of tools and objects - this is a hammer, this is a nail - Moxon pioneered the "How-to." The point of Felibien's book, in my view, was to give rich, educated people the ability to find out the basics of the world around them. Studying Plato at University was fine and dandy, but an educated person should not be confused by the real life going around them.
Moxon took it a step further. "Mechanick Exercises" tells a little about the tools; instead, it instructs. Here is the way to grind a tool, how to chop a mortise, etc. Fairly short in length, and written by someone who was far from an expert or a craftsperson in anything except printing, the book falls short of being comprehensive. But Moxon gets full marks or trying, and it's exciting to read his result.
It is pretty obvious - and has been known for a long time - that Moxon used Felibien as a source for all his tool illustrations. Seeing the original engravings started me thinking. First of all, if Moxon's book used French pictures, then one can assume that what is in Moxon are actually drawings of French tools. And in fact, many of the few surviving English tools from that era look different than the tools illustrated in Mechnick Exercises.
Another point I am pondering: the vise that we now call a Moxon Vise is hanging off in space on the side of the workbench, but are shown much larger hanging on the wall in Felibien's workshop. I love my Moxon Bench because the modern incarnation sits on top of my bench, raising the height for dovetailing and other joinery. But Moxon doesn't mention it in the text and neither book shows the vise in a modern usages. Felibien calls it a wood press, or vise, but that's doesn't help much, although the size of the vises in his book suggest that they were used for clamping things together, not as a vise raiser.
Probably the most obvious conclusion I can reach from comparing the photos is that Moxon really did a crappy job. The images are all crammed together on one plate, and two of the tools - the workbench and the frame saw - are cut off at the edge. The engravings are crude compared to Felibien's.
How were the engravings done? And who was the engraver? We really don't know. At the time of publication, Moxon was a successful printer so he would have had staff, but he also probably had enough skill to do the not-so-great engravings himself. I consulted by phone with my friend Jeff Peachey, a noted book conservator (who hasn't seem this copy in the flesh yet) His guess is that the engraver (whoever it was) just propped up the Felibien up and then directly sketched out the tool images on the copper plate. This would explain why the images are all reversed in the final print. We suspect the engraver might have used some sort of optical aid to help with the copying on some of the images. Moxon's image are greatly reduced in size from the original French ones, probably because he was trying to fit about 4 pages of tools onto one smaller page. That being said, and the reason why I suspect the involvement of an aid of a sort, is that planes drawings are a pretty good copy of the original image, but one of the saws is missing a little off the right side. The problematic saw would have been the last one engraved if the engraver worked from left to right (as you would if you were right handed). I think that if he was drawing freehand and just using the book as a reference he would have scaled it to fit. As it is it looks like he was in a rush, started off doing a pretty good engraved copy, but then ran out of space. Some of the smaller tools are pretty crude, as if he didn't see the need for a careful copy. The biggest change from Felibien is on the workbench. The wood press on the wall became something hanging in front of Moxon's bench. One interesting fact is that Moxon's bench has a hook front on the left and Felibien's doesn't. This suggests that Moxon might have copied the images but he was trying at least on some level to do more than just condense and copy a picture.
While I find the facts of the case interesting, and speculation on how the books came about fun, the real thrill for someone like me who loves history is just seeing these real-live books together. We don't know for sure how Moxon got the idea for "Mechanick Exercises," but I can tell you it is very possible that being a printer he had a copy of the French book soon after publication in 1676 and got the brainwave to take it one step further. I know when I was looking at Felibien and starting to understand some of the text, I found myself wondering: Okay, I know it's a woodpress, but describing it isn't enough. How do you use it? And, nice chisels! What do you use them for?
I guess that's the same question Moxon asked himself. But unlike me, he got off his duff and published a book about it.
Mike and I just posted a new installment of our YouTube series: “Ask M&T”. In this video, we cover one of the most frequent questions we get online or at shows: What is a fore plane? Mike recounts his early struggles with hand tools using a little block plane to remove bulk material and eventually realized he was using the wrong tool for the job. What he needed was the coarse roughing tool called a fore plane. In this video, we explain why we believe this tool is absolutely essential for every hand-tool woodworker.
We then touch on the history of the terms “fore” plane, “jack” plane, and “scrub” plane and explain our preference for the wooden version. There is also some discussion about where to get them and what to look for.
The three key features of a fore plane are:
- 16” length (give or take a couple inches)
- Convex iron
- Wide open mouth
Enjoy the video and send us more questions for future installments!
Some pics I could snap again like the very last one. The others I didn't try to stage again. So I took a few to show the what I had done. But it was a short night in the shop so I'm sure the pic count would not have been too high anyways.
|the after pic|
|this actually looks better|
|from NH plane parts|
|why I bought it|
|plumb bob for the 'A' thing - still no proper name for it|
|plumb bob for the Plumb line stick|
|it is the center|
I drew a line from the bottom angle by my finger, to the apex of the top one. It went almost dead nuts through the diagonals I drew yesterday. I am going to put the hole for the plumb bob string about a 1/2" above the center point.
|prepped the plumb line stick|
|here is the pic of the outside edge Frank|
|maybe it is for this????|
|portable square till|
Who was the first black actor to win an Emmy as a lead actor in a comedy series?
answer - Robert Guillaume for Benson in 1985 (he passed away last week)
the title is for Michael Rogen, just to let him know I’m thinking of him. I like that summer’s gone. Fall is a beautiful time of year here. I am especially enjoying seeing how the light in the shop changes now. Today the light caught my eye a number of times. If I’m not careful, I’ll take as many photos as Rick McKee https://www.instagram.com/medullary_rick/
Today I got to work some in the shop, after teaching for 7 days straight (a student here for a week, and Plymouth CRAFT for the weekend). Time to finish off some stuff, first up is the wainscot chair. For this seat, I do use a template, in this case to map out the square mortises chopped in the seat board so it slips over the stiles. Here’s the seat board with its template off to the left. Complete with dust in the sunlight..
I’ve done lots of these, but it’s always worth it to go slowly – you have to get the holes just right, or they have gaps, or worse, the seat splits at the very narrow area beside the stile. Once I’m satisfied with the template’s fit, I scribe the locations of the mortises on the seat. That short grain right between the upper right hand corner of this mortise and the end grain is the fragile part. I’ve split them there, and seen them split on old ones.
Then I bore around the perimeter of the mortise with an auger bit.
Then chop with the chisel to bring the mortise to the proper shape. I scored the lines with a knife and/or awl. Very careful work with the chisel.
Once I have the mortise squared off, I bevel underneath, paring the walls of the mortise so it’s undercut. I only want the mortise tight on the stiles right at the top where it shows. I’ve never checked the underside of this joint on a period chair – but I like the idea of under-cutting it & beveling it. It relieves any un-necessary pressure there.
Then slip the seat down to test it.
Then I do the molding around the front and sides. Sides (end grain) first. A rabbet plane followed by a smooth plane. In this case, a moving filletster and the LN low angle jack plane.
I scored the line ahead of the filletster so I got a clean shoulder to this rabbet. The nicker on that plane is defunct. Then I used this Lie-Nielsen plane to round over the corner of the rabbet to create the thumbnail molding.
I work the front edge after the two ends, to clean up any tear-out. This seat is a nice clear radially-riven oak, two boards edge-glued together. Works great.
Then for good measure, I threw the arms in place, so I could test it out. The seat will be pegged into the three rails; square pegs in round holes.
These chairs are smaller than they look. They’re so imposing because of all the decoration, the bulk of the parts – but they’re really pretty snug chairs.
Here’s the important view – looks pretty tight around the stiles. Whew.
If you made it this far, thanks. 15 pictures – for me that’s over 2 weeks of Instagram. I like IG, but the blog is my favorite way to show what I’m up to…more detail, more depth. More work – but it’s fun. thanks for keeping up with me…
This is mainly to do with price, but also to do with convenience.
One sheet of 11mm Good One Side Fir Sanded Plywood at Lowe's or Home Depot is less than $50 a sheet. Included in that price is up to five cuts to the sheet, so getting the stock into the trunk of my wife's Fusion to take home was never a problem.Why two layers of 11mm fir ply?
I wanted the material thickness to be in the same scale as the cabinet it defines. This is a fair-sized cabinet so its components should reflect that. I didn't need a full 1" thick. All I needed was material that was obviously thicker than 3/4", hence the laminated 11mm ply, which, when veneered on both sides, ends up being a very thin hair thinner than 1".
Why not use pre-veneered ply?By laminating two 11mm pieces I could ensure they were dead flat during glue-up and they would stay that way after they came out of the clamps (ok, when the screws were removed - don't be so picky).
I wanted White Oak veneer, not Red. The box stores only sell Red Oak Veneered ply, so I would have to purchase what I needed at a hardwood lumber yard, rent a truck to get it home, and fight with it to cut it up as I do not own a panel saw.
Also, I have never done any veneering before and I wanted to try it.Why veneer before assembly?
Every component included in this cabinet is flat-slabbed. There isn't a curved surface on it. Believe me, I tried to add a curve or two, but when I did, I lost a lot of storage room where the corners once were. Because it is just flat panels, I guessed that fitting the veneer would be far easier if I had to trim 1" thick stock than it would be if I had to deal with stock that was 0.8mm thick.Why use Bondo?
You can't be a car-guy who grew up in the '50s and '60s and not know about Bondo. 3M makes Bondo, and they also make a slightly heavier two-part filler called White Lightnin'. They recommend both for metal and wood, but I have found that the Bondo is quicker to work with for lighter applications, such as fairing my plywood slabs.Peace,
I started and completed phase 3 of the Washington Campaign Desk project on Sunday afternoon, but I ran into a few problems, one minor, two a bit more concerning.
As I mentioned in prior posts, when I began this project I decided to build the top with a breadboard end detail. The reason for going with breadboard ends was not only for added stability, but also for appearance.
I’ve seen breadboard ends made in several different styles, from one long tenon, to a ‘haunch’ style tenon, to dowels. I decided on the one long tenon (1 ¼”) for no particular reason other than it seemed to fit. The process for creating the joint went smoothly enough, though it was somewhat time consuming. I set up the table saw with a dado stack, made several test cuts to center the groove, and proceeded to make the groove, raising the blade height ¼” on each pass. Once that was finished I did the same for the tenon on the desk top.
The first issue, and to my mind the biggest, came when I was cleaning up the tenon. I used a shoulder plane to do the bulk of the work, and that worked well, but a slip of the hand left a nice little ding on the front left corner, which would not have made a difference had I not decided to go with breadboard ends. Unfortunately, when I was doing a test fit I noticed the gap that the ding made, around 3 inches long and 1/16th of an inch wide, which doesn’t sound like much until you compare it with the rest of the joint, which is pretty much right on the money.
The second issue, and to me almost as troubling as the ding, came when I installed the dowels.
I used 3/8” oak dowels to hold the joint in place, and I decided to drawbore the joint for added security. I’m not overly experienced in the art of drawboring, but I’ve done it enough to not be afraid of it. Drawboring, briefly and in layman’s terms for those of you who may not know how a drawbored joint works, is when you drill out the hole of your tenon slightly closer to the shoulder than the holes bored out on the breadboard ends. This, in theory, will pull the joint closed very snugly and help to eliminate any gaps between the shoulder of the desktop and the breadboard ends. To leave out the dull details, it worked just fine in 5 of the 6 holes. On the last joint (as usual) the dowel pin I used went crooked, which is a sure sign that it needed to be tapered more. So I took a nail set and used it to tap out the pin, and of course it blew out a very small but noticeable chunk of the wood on the breadboard piece. Under other circumstance it wouldn’t have bothered me in the least, but because this piece is right next to the dowel, which is oak and much lighter in color than walnut, that little ding looks huge. I of course glued the blowout back in, but I have no idea how it is going to look until everything is completely sanded down and ready for finish.
The “minor” issue, and the easiest one to fix, is nonetheless the most disappointing to me. After all of the work, I’m not exactly sure that I like how the breadboard ends look. It’s an easy situation to remedy; I can just saw off the ends and in the process I would only be losing around 4 inches of desk top length (along with several hours of work and effort). I can easily chamfer or round over the top for a pleasing appearance. So I trimmed the breadboard ends flush (almost) and gave the top a light sanding and I’m still on the fence. I won’t lie, the dings are bothering me, and one showed up inexplicably near the center of the panel; don’t ask me how as nothing was dropped on it, but stuff like this seems to happen in my garage.
The center ding should easily be fixed with an iron, but that gap is not as simple. One option is to make up a filler with some glue and sawdust, the other is to just hide it with the drawer compartment. A third option, as I said, is removing the breadboard ends completely. I wanted the gappy area to serve as the front of the desk, because I like the grain pattern there and also because the other panel has two knots with some really funky stuff happening.
My plan now is to fix the dings as best I can, and then adding a coat of sanding sealer to see what I am working with. Otherwise, any advice would be much appreciated.
You can now purchase our limited edition “marriage mark” hats in the online store. The hats are $27, and that price includes shipping in the United States (sorry these hats are not available to international customers).
You can purchase your hat via this link. You might want to hurry as there are only 100 available.
These are hats were embroidered and stamped by Texas Heritage Woodworks, so the work is crisp and perfect. These hats are made in China by Adams. But they are the best hat we could find before getting into the $100 baseball cap territory.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Uncategorized
And a site it was just one year ago. Looking through a wired-off rectangle of waste land covered with old rubble from former construction work, I wondered to myself, “Could this ugly land be home to the work we want to progress quickly into the future?” Progress comes at a price and one part of the […]
Ever thought about a little home renovation? Considered coffered ceilings? Until recently, it was uncommon to find these in modern homes. As they become more and more common, homeowners are remodeling their homes and including this unique home upgrade. Take a look at the infographic below by Jason Tilton of Fanatic Finish for more info.
We experimented to find the perfect recipe for this most-requested finish for pine – and it’s as easy as pie. by Glen D. Huey from the Autumn 2007 issue of Woodworking Magazine Pumpkin pine is a developed patina that glows a warm orangy color similar to – you guessed it – a pumpkin. Ask woodworkers what finish they want to replicate when using white pine as their primary wood in […]
It’s quite a lovely plane really. Compact and lightweight, feisty in the hand and then dead gutsy. That’s howI feel about all of the #3s really. I love plucking them from my tools from time to time and seeing them flip, turn and twist to task so willingly and immediately in my hands as I […]
I'm adding to my whining above a lack of sleep. I don't know why but I woke up this morning a few tics after double balls (midnight - 0000) and I could not get back to sleep. After tossing and flopping like fish out of water, I finally got up at 0300. I remember having a dream before I woke where I was using my "A" plumb bob thing to build a log cabin and my shoes started to unravel at the seams. That is when I woke up. Maybe I'll finish the dream tonight and find out why my shoes unraveled.
|new strops cut out|
|big square came in|
|17" on the outside|
|15" on the inside|
|happy face on - it's square on the inside|
|square on the outside|
|ear to ear smile now|
|square on the outside|
|I like the size and capability of this square|
|It won't fit in the bottom|
|fits in the big till|
|lots of room|
|cleaning up "A"|
|legs are still off|
|measured, marked, and sawed off the longer leg again|
|still a 1/4" off|
|I think I'm chasing tail|
|doesn't look like the middle|
|rough handle has had a chance to set up|
|I don't like it|
|I'm going knob and handle free|
|planed the twist out|
|I planed out the hump|
What is phobophobia?
answer - a fear of phobias
I had one more piece of the slab I used to make the dining room table, the only one with no knots and I was determined to get to the bottom of this issue. I began by using the power hand plane to get the rough surface down to within about 1/16" of flat. I didn't use a scrub plane because the last time I tried it tore out something fierce, 1/8" in places.
What I tried first was taking a sharp #3 set to take very shallow cuts. I used it across and on both diagonals to the grain and it worked really well:
I also gingerly tried it with the grain but it started to tearout, so I stopped. I was still puzzled about why this has been so difficult. I have flattened my bench, which is cvg fir, with minimal tearout and successfully made other things out of fir.
I decided to do some research and essentially found what I have read previously except in a more extreme form. Several experts recommend setting the chipbreaker absolutely as close to the edge as you can possibly get it when planing difficult wood, literally a few thousandths. The reasoning is precisely that it breaks the chips before they can tearout, producing accordion like shavings and only a slightly rougher surface. Neither put emphasis on a tight mouth. One suggested a bevel-up plane with a blade sharpened at a very steep angle as an alternative, something I have. The blade becomes its own chipbreaker. Being risk averse, I decided to give both of these a try with the grain on the bottom of the slab. In both cases, I sharpened the blades carefully before beginning.
As you can see from this picture of the sidegrain, it isn't difficult to predict where it would tearout.
With the #3 freshly sharpened and the chipbreaker set as close as I could get it, I tried planing with the grain. Nothing happened. Taking the plane apart, I discovered why.
There wedged between the plane and the chipbreaker were the accordion shaped shavings. Not hard to figure this out. I purchased this plane a while back, sharpened it, tried it, and it worked fine, so that's all I did. Visual inspection of the front of the chipbreaker attached to the blade looked just fine, but it clearly wasn't when the chipbreaker was set this close. There was enough of a gap that the chips could force their way in. The fact that I use the ruler trick on my plane blades may have been a contributing factor, I don't know. After I cleaned up and shaped the chipbreaker, the plane started producing nice accordion shavings with no tearout, just a slight roughness in places. This is what the shavings looked like.
As you can see, they are somewhat short because they tend to break off. Next, I decided to try my Lee Valley bevel-up smoother with a 50 degree blade. In this case, the blade acts as its own chipbreaker because the angle of attack is 62 degrees. It too produced shavings without tearout, but they were distinctly different, not accordion-shaped and more continuous, leaving a surface that was slightly smoother.
The major difference between these two planes was that the bevel-up plane was noticeably harder to push.
That left the issue of why I had experienced such bad tearout with old #7. I removed the Hock blade and chipbreaker to look at them and this is what I saw:
The chipbreaker was set fully 1/16" back from the edge. Sharpening the blade and moving the chipbreaker up to the very edge of the blade gave me long continuous shavings with very slight tearout, easily removed with a cabinet scraper.
You can see what a tight roll the chipbreaker being set up like this produces. I think the reason it isn't accordion shaped is that the Hock chipbreaker is at a lower angle than the stock Stanley one. The front of it has the same shape as the blade and is about the same thickness. It's like a second blade turned over and with a slight bow in it.
What are the takeaways? First, I don't know why I have to continually relearn this lesson, but when something isn't going well it pays to stop and figure out why rather than just blundering ahead.
More significantly to readers of this blog who are hopefully not beset with this failing, the advice to set the chipbreaker absolutely as close to the edge as you can get it when planing difficult wood is confirmed. You don't want to do this normally, because the resulting accordion shavings are not continuous and leave a somewhat rougher finish.
Finally, I think Lee Valley's claim that the low angle smoother with a 50 degree blade will do a good job on difficult grain is also confirmed.
Those were the boards that I had to shift inside as I was called to work a week earlier than anticipated.
So the first task was to shift all of them out again. I decided that I could work around the table that was inside, but I still needed to move the chairs and a bit of other stuff outside before starting the actual work.
The boards are the same type as those that were put on the sub roof. It is not a typical type of boards to use for internal paneling/boards, but it is of a much better quality than the regular type used. In Denmark the usual boards to be used would be something called "rustic boards". They are made out of the surplus Christmas trees that grew to fast so they were too large to sell. The distance between the growth rings is typical 3/8" or thereabouts, so the wood is of an exceptionally poor quality. The shape is like a tongue and groove board with the tongue something like 1/2" too long. So once the boards are mounted, there is a trench between each board. They are available in various widths and either nature, or artificially whitened, smooth or rough sawn.
But that aside - I chose the other type because I think they look better in a classic barn, and they were actually cheaper per square meter (or square foot if you like).
I mount the boards using regular nails. I know that a pneumatic nail gun is faster, but I actually like to hammer in nails, so I go for the slow and old fashioned way.
Once all the boards are mounted, I plan on putting some strips of wood in the corners and around the window sills, to cover the gaps.