The Netherlands do have a remarkable past for such a small country. Especially during the 17th century a major part of European trade ran through our markets and towns. A bunch of merchants became incredibly rich. And they liked to show it. Naturaly my attention was drawn to the many furniture exhibits. And I must say, I didn't find inspiration for my own home. Almost everything on display is way over the top. The craftmanship to produce stuff like this is incredible, but when you live in a low budget house made in the fifties, it is hard to imagine how anyone could fit things like this in their homes. So, just for the fun of it, some images. You can also find many pictures on the website from the museum https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/search
Later, in the hall with the medieval stuff I did find some interesting things. Not necessarily for a reproduction, but I like these items.
And of course, let's not forget the tools from the expedition which stranded on Nova Zembla.
In the past few years we’ve had some great new content hitting the airwaves, both online and via traditional broadcast television. Some might even refer to it as a glut of information in this age of YouTube and Podcasts, but I say it’s exactly what we’ve been needing for a long time.
There are so many stories to be told, so much inspiration to be discovered, and so many ideas to be shared that the hardest part of getting it in front of an audience is finding the right person to tell the story.
One of the new shows I’ve had my eye on currently is “A Craftsman’s Legacy” with host Eric Gorges.
It’s currently available on PBS, but like many shows that are broadcast through Public Television it may not show up in your market right away. Thankfully at the show’s website they have a search you can do to see when and where it’s on.
Much of the reason I have an interest in A Craftsman’s Legacy is that the host, Eric Gorges, is from the Motor City. While people who never grew up in and around Detroit only have an image of a corrupt, broken down, dangerous inner city, I know personally it’s much more than that.
I grew up in the Northern suburbs, Ferndale and the Troy/Royal Oak area, and Detroit was always the heart of education, museums, nightlife and so much more. It’s where you went to see and be a part of culture. It’s where you went for amazing food and to see inspiring ideas.
But it wasn’t until my last few years in college that I lived downtown and had a chance to see and experience both its gritty side and its beauty. Both of which inspired me in so many different ways.
So in a way I can relate to Eric, and understand what inspires him and why he’s sharing the artists and craftspeople he visits with in each episode.
A Craftsman’s Legacy isn’t a show just about woodworking, and it’s not a how-to show, instead it’s an journey to meet inspiring people who just might inspire you.
For more information about Eric, the show, and to see clips of the various craftspeople and artists he’s visiting, head over to the show’s website at www.craftsmanslegacy.com.
Inspiration comes to us from places we never expect. It comes to us from ideas, people and conversations that often have nothing to do with our existing passions. So sit back and enjoy the journey with Eric.
On Sunday the 19th of October, I was able to sit in on a class taught by Frank Klausz, one of the woodworking world’s luminary figures. Frank taught a seminar on hand-tool joinery and covered the three major types of dovetails: open, half-lap, and sliding, along with mortise and tenon joints. Frank demonstrated his techniques for cutting the joints, the proper use of each joint, when and where you would use the joint and talked about several other topics. In my life, I have had the opportunity to take some classes from masters of various crafts. As a cellist I was able to attend a class given by Yo-Yo-Ma; as a writer I was able to attend a symposium by several amazing writers. The class given by Frank was no different – it is always a breathtaking experience to watch a true master at work.
We started off early on Sunday morning, sitting in the parking lot of Highland Woodworking and eating some breakfast. At around 8:45, the majority of us had arrived and we wandered into the store before class got started. Frank was hard at work already, prepping some stock for his demonstrations and drawing a few diagrams on the white board. At 9:00am Frank welcomed us all to the class and began what has become one of my favorite experiences with woodworking so far.
Starting off we discussed the 4 quadrants of woodworking as Frank views them: wood technology, tools, joinery and finish. When Frank talks about wood technology, what he means is to understand the medium you are working in. We all know wood moves, but we have to understand how and why wood behaves the way it does so that we can think about the proper way to lay out a table top and the best way to make a joint. The wood itself is the foundation of our work, and as woodworkers we have to know, to the best of our ability, what that wood is going to do.
The second quadrant of Frank’s woodworking seminar was a discussion of tools, both power tools and hand tools. Frank is what I call a hybrid woodworker, someone who incorporates both power tools and hand tools to make his pieces. We talked about tools, what young woodworkers should look for, advice on what tools to buy, and overall, an approach to your tools that will allow them to last for generations. Frank laid out one of my favorite quotes from this seminar about tools when we were discussing hand planes, and specifically Lie-Nielsen tools:
When you purchase a tool like a Lie Nielsen hand plane, or other fine woodworking tool, you are not the owner; you are the custodian of that tool. Tools such as those are heirlooms that you will pass down through the generations, we do not own them, we hold onto them for the woodworkers that will come after us.
We went through a demonstration of sharpening as well. Frank illustrated the way he sharpens his plane irons and his chisels. We talked about the various types of stones and grinders that are available and how best to utilize each. Frank demonstrated that the best jigs you have are your own hands – if you pause and take the time to think about things, to feel the tool in your hands, you often don’t need a special jig. It was brilliant to watch as he took a dull and rounded plane iron from dull to sharp in a matter of minutes.
Throughout the class, Frank told stories and anecdotes about his life as a woodworker and life in general. Frank is one of those speakers who often will wander off on a tangent, telling a story about something that has happened in the past, or that seems un-related but they always circle back to the project at hand and the discussion as a whole. Frank’s stories leave you feeling richer and more enlightened about the world of woodworking. We moved on to the third quadrant of joinery and Frank discussed his thoughts on when to use a joint, and the proper place for joints within a piece. There was a lot of information there, about the differences between reproduction and fine furniture, about Frank’s opinion on when to use which joints, and what it means when you experiment. Frank has some solid opinions, and I got the impression that there is a wrong way to do things, and there is Frank’s way of doing things.
When we discussed the fourth quadrant of finishing, Frank made another point that will stick with me as I continue my woodworking journey. The finish is one of the most important parts. Often times as woodworkers we build a piece and then slap a quick finish on it and call it a day. When we spend so much of our time and effort on a piece, we should spend an equal amount of time and effort on the finish. That finish is what defines the piece in the end, and using cheap hardware or a slap-dash finish can take a wonderful piece and ruin it. It reminded me I want to look into the Finishing the Finish class that Highland offers.
After the whirlwind tour of Frank’s four woodworking quadrants we moved on to the demonstration portions. Frank showed us how he cuts dovetails, how he lays them out pins first, and how he uses gravity to help him mark the tails. We then discussed sliding dovetails, how they develop a watertight joint when they are properly made. Frank showed us the box he uses for his honing stones and how, with no sealer or glue, he is able to craft a water-tight box. Once we were done admiring the wooden gasket that Frank demonstrated for us, we moved on to lunch. Let me tell you, one of the great things about classes at Highland is that you can go out to lunch with folks like Frank Klausz, and you get a pretty decent hamburger as well.
When we returned from lunch we went back over the dovetails for a bit, and Frank gave every member of the class an example of how he cuts them, so that we could take it home and practice. We then moved on to mortise and tenon joints. Frank explained why you need a mortising chisel and why you need to cut your tenons a little shallow, to allow for wood movement. We discussed the advantages of tools like Festool’s Domino Joiner and the applications of domino joints versus traditional hand-cut joints.
The class ended with more stories and anecdotes from Frank, discussions of life, of the world outside of wood, and of how woodworking impacts all of us. The advice and knowledge I took away from this class made me a better woodworker. It also showed me a path to advance my woodworking and transform the way I do certain things. Not often do you get the opportunity to sit at the feet of a Master, but when you do you take it. I cannot recommend highly enough that you keep an eye on the class listings at Highland Woodworking and that when an opportunity like this presents itself you leap upon it.
The post Frank Klausz at Highland: Watching a True Master at Work appeared first on Woodworking Blog.
I was relaxing a few days ago reading an article in the October issue of Fine Woodworking entitled "Build Perfect Drawers" which had a section called "Wood matters, a lot" that contained this statement (p. 45):
So if you need a 1/16"-gap at the top of a drawer made with the pine, [for flatsawn white oak] you'd need to leave a gap that's five times as big: a whopping 5/16 in.I omit their development of this conclusion but I don't think I am taking it out of context or misrepresenting it. I reacted with incredulity, thinking that, even though my white oak is rift sawn, a gap anywhere close to this would make the drawers look absolutely awful. How could this be? White oak would shrink a full quarter of an inch more than pine on a 3" drawer? I've owned white oak furniture and I never saw anything like this. After doing some research, I think the article is incorrect and I want to provide an explanation. The silver lining for me is that I think I understand this subject fairly well now but, if you think I am wrong, please, please comment below.
The best treatment of this subject I could find is by the National Wood Flooring Association (NOFMA), which you can find here. It is worth reading, but I'll give you the short version.
Wood reaches an equilibrium moisture content (EMC) based on its environment, not instantaneously but with a lag. I am discussing indoor furniture so it is the indoor environment that is relevant here. The indoor environment is influenced by the outdoor environment but it is obviously not the same. A sufficiently sophisticated HVAC system could maintain constant indoor environmental conditions year round regardless of the local climate and, if it did, the wood would not expand and contract. In reality indoor conditions do vary with the seasons so the question is how much the EMC of wood indoors changes in reality. The USDA Forest Products laboratory (FPL) has done empirical studies and produced a map showing ranges for different regions of the country. As it happens, both my son and I live in an area with extreme variation, the west coast along the Pacific Ocean, where the average range of EMC is 8-13%. There are the usual problems with averages, but the map is pretty detailed. So, we would expect the equilibrium moisture content to vary by 5 percentage points during the year in this region.
How much shrinkage and expansion will result from this 5 percentage point variation in EMC? Once again the FPL has developed coefficients based on wood species. For white oak, they are .00365 for plainsawn lumber and .00180 for quartersawn lumber. To use them you multiply the coefficient by the percentage change in EMC and multiply the result by the width of the piece of wood. I have rift sawn lumber so it is reasonable to choose the midpoint of plain sawn and quarter sawn coefficients, which is .00273, multiply it by 5 (percentage points) and multiply the result by 3" (the height of my drawers) for an expected shrinkage/expansion of .04", a bit more than 1/32"!
If you don't care to do the calculations by hand, Woodweb offers an online shrinkage calculator here. It provides results consistent with those above. For example, predicted shrinkage for a 3" flatsawn white oak drawer is .0563" vs. .0548" using the coefficient above.
Maybe my seat of the pants method isn't so bad after all. There is a rub though. I really need to know my starting point. What was the moisture content of my lumber when I built the drawer? After all, it could be at the high point, the low point, in between or even, conceivably, outside of the range. Given the time of the year, I guessed that the EMC was at the bottom end of the range so I made the drawer a little loose. In order to do any better, I will need to buy a moisture meter. Maybe the gap will be a little too big. Doesn't really matter. My son just graduated from law school so he should be used to big gaps by now! :-)
Diwali is a special time of the year - a time to get together with friends and near ones, celebrate our good fortune and light up the world with good wishes and offerings of thanks.
|With Diwali Presents|
This year we got boxes of cakes, cermaic mugs and steel bowls for our maids, the gardener, the street cleaners, the garbage collectors and postmen. My wife got a few DVDs and I got a load of tools.
The most expensive buy was a Bosch cut off saw for cutting metal - I had this on my list for many months because I plan to cover my first floor terrace with metal roofing on a steel framework. The list price of the saw is more than 13,000 rupees but I got a deal for Rs 7,500.
The other goodies include a Mitutoyo Vernier Caliper, a Stanley smooth cut general purpose saw, a couple of Stanley metal working files, a holesaw and some paint brushes.
As you can see I am mighty pleased with the Diwali goodies.
Write in with details of what you bought this Diwali - and happy tidings to all of you.
Don't fortget to light candles and oil lamps, and keep your door open all evening to let in good fortune.
May the Goddess Lakshmi shower blessings on you!
22 October 2014
If we planned to market “L’art du menuisier: The Book of Plates” to a second genus, it would likely be to the Corvus of the world – the crows. Not only do these birds appreciate shiny objects, but they have been observed both using and making tools (unlike some members of online forums).
Suzanne “Saucy Indexer” Ellison has been spending her free time transforming pre-press proofs of “The Book of Plates” into an art project. Here are her latest images.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Personal Favorites, To Make as Perfectly as Possible, Roubo Translation
“Hey, aren’t you done with that thing yet?” You know I can’t make something without a carving decoration. So…
Here’s the harder one first. Carving straight lines along the grain line is harder than carving curves. While I’m never satisfied with a carving, this one is done enough to set aside and wait for its partner.
It’s all Shannon’s fault. During his review of a Bontz saw, he mentioned an Art Deco feature in how the saw’s back was shaped. That sparked an old interest and I was off to re-explore the genre and come up with a couple of designs.
The curvy one is next. And yes, I’ll cut a saw plate some day.
Last week I taught two, 1-day beginning classes and a 2-day intermediate class at The Woodworker’s Club in Rockville, MD. Such a great group of people there – both the people that work at the store and the students. I really had a wonderful time. The students worked through some very challenging projects – and some tough wood (sapele and walnut) and had great success (and fun!).
It took me nearly a week to get caught up when I got back home (thus no blog posts), but I’m back! Going to spend the next few days doing a LOT of carving. Yeah!
Jose Ramirez III, Things about the Guitar, 1990
I didn't get everything done today that I wanted to get done, but I did get started on a few things.
After morning chores, I took the dogs for a walk through our wonderful backyard, which is part of Arapahoe National Forest, and then started making legs for a router table. I have about ten windows (6-9 pane) to make before the end of December and I am not about to plane all the muntins, rails and stiles by hand, I have an expensive router bit for that.
I got the legs glued up, went for a 2.5 mile run and had lunch. The afternoon, I thought, was going to be dedicated to working on a copy of a 1968 Hernandez y Aguado classical guitar, click here for a post on that guitar, I need to thickness the fret board and glue it onto the neck.
First thing I wanted to do was to check to make sure the gluing surface of the neck was still straight, and, as usual, I once again discovered that my 24 inch long Lee Valley straight edge is too long to check the neck. One end of the straight edge ends up on the guitar body which has dome to it so the straight edge won't sit flat. Duh.
The answer was to make a straight edge. If you don't already have Chris Schwarz's article on how to make such a beast, click here and take a gander at how to make a wooden straight edge.
I wanted to use some mahogany that I have, but it isn't quartered well enough. Once again, it was California laurel to the rescue.
The straight edge that I needed most was this one - 16 inches long to check where the fret board will sit. I should have made it 17 to 17 1/2 inches long.
I had a 10 inch piece left over which will be perfect for checking the other side of the neck.
I love California laurel, I wish had some more. It has a wonderful smell, is very easy to work with and makes incredible sounding guitars. I suppose I ought to order a few laurel boards from Gilmer Wood or Northwest Timber.
The fret board will have to wait until next weekend, tomorrow is back to work at my day job.
Here's another YouTube of Leonora Spangenberger.
|Julia's mother helped out too|
The front upright is mostly done! Huzzah!
Finishing this part meant I I had to jump ahead and start making the cross arm that will support the saw mechanism so I could get the notch in the clamp mechanism the right size (ish). That’s done, and I’m ready to move on to completing the arm mechanism.
With the nuts recessed I was in the mood for a test assembly so I could see some progress. I’m going to attack this with a round over bit later and knock those sharp edges off.
It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted! It’s been a pretty intensely busy year filled with lots of adventures. So forgive me if I haven’t taken a breath to blog about them.
So what’s been keeping me so busy?
- Well for one my wife and I, along with our very close friends, opened a cheese shop on Labor Day. Signed a lease June 1st and I spent the summer being a carpenter and general contractor in order to transfer the space from a clothing store to a cheese shop. More on that in a future post.
-Work– just like the rest of you– I have have a day job, that often turns into a night job
But I have managed to get some woodworking time in:
- I built most everything in our shop: reclaimed wood walls, stud walls, counters, shelving, butcher blocks, doors, etc . etc., etc
-I finished a tool box I had started in a hand tool class
-a couple of never ending shop projects
-just last week took a field trip to the George Nakashima house with the NYC Woodworkers guild
-finally a good shop cleaning!!
In my travels for the cheese shop……
-I found an awesome old tool chest that I plan to use in our apartment
-found a Stanley #50 1/2 mitre box for $10 that I plan to restore.
- picked up a great old tool box on the streets of Brooklyn that I now use to store all my chainsaw parafanalia down in the yard.
- went dumpster diving in Brooklyn and found some great old Douglas Fir beams.
- scored some beautiful reclaimed barn wood from a friend.
I’ve decided I would like a small bench in Brooklyn, to satisfy my woodworking cravings during the week. So I’ve been designing and started building a joinery bench. So look for more on that.
So life is full, and never dull.
Look for more here– The Lighthearted Woodworker has returned.
Because having options on any project (especially one designed as a build-along for charity) is a good thing, I wanted to share with you another very similar version of the toy box being built for the Woodworker’s Fighting Cancer campaign going on right now.
Steve Ramsey of Woodworking for Mere Mortals has a version he posted the other day on his YouTube channel. It’s very similar, but as always, Steve puts his own twist on it and presents it as an alternative version to build.
According to Steve “it’s simple: all you need to do is make a toy box. It would make a great holiday gift, or you might consider building one and donating it to a local school or organization. Marc and I are each donating $5 for every box viewers make before November 30th.”
“The only thing we ask is that you make either my box, or use Marc’s design. They each have unique features. Take a picture and submit it to the Woodworker’s Fighting Cancer page.”
In addition, if you really want the actual chest you see Steve building, you can get in on the auction to purchase it. More details about that by visiting his webpage for the toy chest by clicking here.
Regardless of which version you choose to build, the only important thing is that you get involved in one way or another. This year’s goal is to raise $15,000. I have all the confidence in the world that will happen and then some.
This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Highland Woodworking Open house and Hand Tool Extravaganza. The event was an enormous amount of fun. A whole bunch of woodworking knowledge was passed around, stories were told, and a bunch of wood shavings were made. There were some great woodworkers in attendance, including Scott Meek, Chris Kuehn, Frank Klausz, Curtis Turner, and more.
I was able to swing by the store on Friday and got to meet some of the folks that were in attendance while the store was not quite as full; in the late hours of Friday evening after work I was able to meet Frank Klausz for the first time. Frank is a wonderful fellow filled with fantastic stories about woodworking and about his life. I also got to watch as Frank tried out some of Scott Meek’s wooden hand planes. Frank set and worked the planes with the hands of a true master of our craft and I could tell that Scott was a bit nervous to have such a woodworking luminary using his tools, maybe wondering what would Frank have to say about the planes. After making a few passes with some of the planes, Frank had nothing but glowing reviews of Scott’s work. He complimented Scott on his fine hand tools and even remarked that he had made a few wooden planes in the past, though none of them were ever as fine and well-made as the ones Scott had on display. I would call this a ringing endorsement, especially for Scott’s class at Highland, on November 8th and 9th, where he will be teaching folks to make these wooden planes.
After Frank left to get some dinner I spent some time talking with Curtis Turner, who was in attendance demoing some of the fine tools from Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. I have had my eye on a No. 62 low-angle jack plane for a while and so stood and spoke with Curtis about it. He let me try out the plane with both the toothed blade and the regular blade, and it confirmed what I thought about their tools. In my opinion, Lie-Nielsen tools are the best choice if you have the ability to buy them. Frank Klausz put it to me with a quote that I think sums up my own personal views on tools: “When you purchase a tool like a Lie-Nielsen hand plane, or other fine woodworking tool, you are not the owner; you are the custodian of that tool. Tools such as those are heirlooms that you will pass down through the generations. We do not own them, we hold onto them for the woodworkers that will come after us.”
I closed out my night on Friday wishing Scott the best and letting everyone know I would see them in the morning. When Saturday rolled around I was not quite as early as I wanted to be for the event but still got to spend a few hours hanging around the store and talking with folks. The event was great, Highland had a steady crowd of folks interested in the tools on offer. Frank almost always had a crowd around his bench as he demonstrated his dovetailing techniques and offered his woodworking wisdom. Chris Kuehn was there from Sterling Toolworks, showing off some of his fine tools and inviting people to try their hand with some of his pieces. Scott was making some pretty mean shavings with his hand planes and probably reduced a pine 2×4 down to next to nothing by the end of the day.
The crowd around the various Lie-Nielsen benches was thick and the planes saw a lot of use. I think everyone that got the opportunity to try out one of their fine tools left knowing exactly what you can do with a solid tool. I was personally able to pick up that No. 62 low-angle jack and brought it home to my shop after the event for a test run. It is a beautiful plane and I look forward to working with it on some upcoming projects.
The Highland Woodworking open house was a lot of fun, and a great way to spend a few hours this weekend. I learned quite a bit just standing in the room listening to various woodworkers talk. If you get the opportunity to come to the store for one of these events I highly recommend it. They are filled with people all interested in the craft that we love and the advice can’t be beat.
The post The Highland Woodworking Fall 2014 Open House:
A Review appeared first on Woodworking Blog.
Read all about Frank’s dresser project progress. Now that I have the whole dresser glued up, which by the way was a challenge! I glued up most of it with the help of my 9-year-old and then just in time, Jonathan Schwennesen came by the shop and offered me a hand to put some of […]
The post Tapered Sliding Dovetails – 7 Drawer Dresser Project Continued appeared first on Heritage School of Woodworking Blog.