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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

An aggregate of many different woodworking blog feeds from across the 'net all in one place!  These are my favorite blogs that I read everyday...


I Like Wall Boxes

The Furniture Record - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 8:40pm

I like wall boxes. It could be because they are things I can afford. Or things that I can make quickly. Or I just might like wall boxes. A few months back I walked through the local antiques mall and noticed the dealers there also had a fondness for wall boxes.

There was this rather large one:

This box is a bit more complex than most. Click to see details and a different views of the knobs.

This box is a bit more complex than most. Click to see details and a different views of the knobs.

All these boxes have rather interesting knob. Like this smaller one:

Smaller, simpler wall box. Feet indicate it might not technically be a wall box. Click to see the square knob.

Smaller, simpler wall box. Feet indicate it might not technically be a wall box. Click to see a square knob.

Here is a smaller box with interesting details:

Box has interesting, carved ornamentation. Click to see the faceted knob.

Box has interesting, carved ornamentation. Click to see the faceted knob.

All these are possible future projects. Eventually.

This piece made me think it might be contemporary:

Something from Bassett?

Something from Bassett?

until I looked at a drawer:

A Knapp joint. Covered in a previous blog..

A Knapp joint. Covered in a previous blog..

This means is was most likely made between 1890 and 1900. Not contemporary but not ancient.

Who made it is not a mystery:

It's a Paine. From Boston.

It’s a Paine. From Boston.

And a  gout rocker.

And a gout rocker.

Click HERE to see the entire set on flickr. Lots of interesting stuff in this one.

‘The Naked Woodworker’ Now Available

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 5:47pm

NW_wrap4_1024x1024The Naked Woodworker” DVD and downloadable video are now available in the Lost Art Press store.

The video, hosted by Mike Siemsen, is an introduction to the world of hand-tool woodworking that begins with a tool kit comprised of only a 5-gallon bucket. It ends with completing a workbench that will allow you to start building serious furniture.

While that might sound like a long journey, it’s not. Siemsen, a life-long professional woodworker, has distilled the process of purchasing, setting up and using a basic set of hand tools down its most important essence. And he doesn’t waste a second of time or a penny of money in the process.

Here’s an overview of the 247-minute video:

1. Buy the tools. We followed Siemsen to a regional meeting of the Mid-West Tool Collectors Association where we picked through piles of tools all morning to separate the good user tools from the stuff that should be left to rust. Armed with a wad of $200 in small bills, Siemsen negotiated with the dealers to assemble a useable set of tools, everything from the saws and planes, to the files and saw vise needed to sharpen them up.

These principles can be used to buy tools online or at an antique mall.

2. Fix the tools. If you buy the right tools, they don’t require too much repair. But every old tool needs a little setting up. Using home-center equipment (a grinder, belt-sander paper and carpet tape), Mike fixed up and sharpened all the tools. He set up the planes. He sharpened the saws (and repaired their totes). And he got all the Auger bits in good order.

3. Build a sawbench. Before you can build a bench, you need a pair of sawbenches. So Siemens shows how to build a sawbench using nothing more than the basic tools, construction lumber and a couple of buckets.

4. Build a workbench. With the sawbenches complete, Siemsen builds a full-size Nicholson-style workbench using more construction lumber and the same set of tools. You don’t a single machine to make this bench, just Siemsen’s clever ideas and the tools you’ve fixed up.

The bench is designed to do all the tasks required in modern workshop, and it doesn’t take a month of Sundays to build. Siemsen built the entire bench – start to finish – in a single day. It might take you a few weekends.

The biggest surprise of the entire “Naked Woodworker” project is how affordable everything is. Siemsen spent a little more than $571 for everything, from the tools to the wood to the glue and screws. But he’s a good negotiator. We estimate almost anyone could do the same thing for no more than $760.


In addition to the two videos, “The Naked Woodworker” includes a detailed SketchUp drawing of the bench and a spreadsheet that details every tool, screw and stick of lumber purchased for the project.

This product is available in two formats: A two-DVD set that ships from our warehouse in Indiana for $22, or in digital format for $20. Customers who purchase the DVD will be able to download SketchUp drawing of the bench, a pdf of all the tools and materials used in the video after checkout.

Customers who purchase the digital product will download three documents: a SketchUp drawing of the bench, a pdf of all the tools and materials used in the video and login credentials to be able to watch the video on any device and download it onto any device – all in HD.

You can order “The Naked Woodworker” in our store.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: The Naked Woodworker DVD
Categories: Hand Tools

17th Century Woodworking, Peter Follansbee

The Craftsman's Road - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 5:09pm

Click here to subscribe on iTunes
Click here to subscribe on Stitcher Radio

On this weeks episode of the Craftsman’s Road Podcast we talk with Peter Follansbee .  Peter has specialized in 17th century woodworking, and is the author of ‘Making a Joint Stool from a Tree’, and many other 17th century woodworking related books. He has been featured in Popular Woodworking magazine, and teaches classes all across the united states. Peter just recently left Plymouth Museum after twenty years to venture out on his own. Check out up-coming classes on Peters web site(click on the above link),  let him know you heard him on the podcast.

Categories: General Woodworking

Shooting Boards and Woodworking Safely.

Evenfall Studios - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 4:51pm

Over the past several years I have received many inquiries regarding woodworking methods that are difficult to make safe. Believe me, being very fond of my fingers and their daily health is always in the forefront of my mind as a full time toolmaker.

Finger Hazard Warning

Some of the most common questions have been regarding working with short lengths of stock, and thin stock. Both of these sizes of wood not only commonly put our fingers in the near vicinity of rotating cutters on many different power tools and shop machines, but are also such that the power tool or shop machine can grab them and remove control from the operator.

Short pieces are difficult on any saw with a rotating blade. There is a lot of horsepower and momentum being transferred from the blade to the wood. Sometimes the friction of moving the wood into the blade is a factor as well. With the fingers in close proximity to the blade it’s difficult to be safe when working with small material.

Routers share many of the same difficulties regardless of the shape of the bit. All it takes is for friction or the cutter to overcome your grip on the stock and danger can become immediate.

Accuracy can be a factor here as well. It is difficult to get accurate cuts on small pieces because of the difficulty in controlling them under the cutter. Cutter harmonics and oscillations can also affect accurate cuts, and on work that requires close inspection, this is more often than not less than desirable.

Jointers and planers also have difficulty with short or thin stock. Rotating cutter heads can get traction on the work piece and pull it from your fingers leaving your fingers in close proximity to the blades. Other times the stock is too thin to dampen vibrations caused by the cutter, leaving a chattered surface. On short pieces there’s not enough stock to bridge the cutter in the first place, and this is true not only between jointer tables but a problem between the rollers of the planer head as well.

Ultra Plus Shooter

Thin and short stock is commonly used in a number of different woodworking projects. Consider jewelry boxes, veneering, parquetry, framing and other molding work just to name a few. So what’s the safest way to work with small wood pieces that will consistently bring the best results? In our mind it’s a shooting board.

Wide Board Shooter

We offer a number of solutions for this problem depending on the requirement. Many of our shooting boards offer from two to eight fully calibratable angles for truing end or long grain. We also offer longer shooting boards such as our Wide Board, Or Long Grain Shooter for jointing edges around the 18 to 24 inch range.

Long Grain Shooter

For molding applications, we offer shooting boards with twin chutes to address different angles on either side of a molding as based on its application.

Master Miter Shooter

Accuracy isn’t an issue here. The chutes are straight and coplanar to the top to within 0.001 inch. The fence is made just as straight and square, and can be user zeroed to the perfect angle ± 3° at every mounting point. This holds true for any season, and compensates for any wood movement, for accuracy 24/7/365. Similar angular accuracy can be set using our Any Angle Fence, at any usable angle between zero and 90°, so true creativity can be brought to bear.

The planing stop accessory can be exchanged for the fence that provides the capability to thickness stock between the 1/16th and 1/8 inch range, without fear of damage to the plane iron.

Safety is inherent in the system. While the plane iron must be extremely sharp, it is housed in the body of the plane and protrudes no more than 0.001-2 inch. And the woodworker supplies the power behind the cut, assuring control over the process, and the safety of the operator.

No matter the size of stock, the shooting board offers the highest level of accuracy and cut quality provided by woodworking tools. The added safety of using one is inherent in every cut made.

Whether you work wood as a professional or amateur, year-round or seasonally, A shooting board can dramatically increase production, quality and safety while providing the desired results. Safety and more of it is something we all can use in our shop every day!

You gotta love a shooting board. It’s a gateway tool that brings both perfection, machinist-like accuracy and safety to every endeavor. It can take a lot of difficult tasks and make them easy. It can take a lot of unsafe tasks attempted on machines and render them safe. It’s a tool that will make you good, and if you’re good it will make you better. They have application in all aspects of board-prep, layout, joinery, finish and artistry.

They’re quiet, and help prevent wasting expensive woods. You can use it with a simple block plane, or a top-of-the-line shooting board plane, and nearly any other bench plane in between. They are easy to use with a little practice, and it’s a great tool to use if you’re new to woodworking or with young people, because it provides excellent results that we can learn from and become better. Everybody loves the feel-good feeling of success.

If there are woodworking projects you have considered but shy away from due to difficulty or safety concerns, consider trying them with a shooting board. Most any handplane you have will probably work suitably, and all it needs is a sharp iron.

When it’s absolutely got to be right, you might want to reach for the shooting board. If you find yourself considering a shooting board and accessories for your shop, please follow this link to the Woodworks Store.

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Thanks for visiting Evenfall Studios!

© Copyright 2014 by Rob Hanson for evenfallstudios.com All Rights Reserved.

Categories: Hand Tools

The 9 Principles of Hand Tool Storage, Part 1

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 4:34pm

If you ever write a book on workbenches or tool chests, be prepared for this question: “Off the record and just between you and me, what’s your favorite chest or bench?” The easy way out would be to give them a direct answer: a Dutch Roubo Nicholson with Japanese planing stops and Krenov-style tills. But that answer would be a lie. Many of the strong opinions and hard-and-fast rules in […]

The post The 9 Principles of Hand Tool Storage, Part 1 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Your Grip

Northwest Woodworking - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 3:14pm

Avoid those teachers who say: This is the only way to do something. Whatever that something may be. That person has never been dancing. Expression is a part of building too. There are lots of ways of building things right. Just like there are several ways of learning. Learning style makes a difference in how well you understand a teacher. Pick a teacher who understands that not everyone is the same. Study with someone who remembers that choice is important too. It’s like a grip. They’re not all the same.

Brilliant chair au naturelBrilliant Chair Painted


Categories: Hand Tools

An Unplugged Life

The Unplugged Woodshop - Tom Fidgen - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 1:12pm
  Subscribers and Tribe Members, Readers and Friends, top of the morning, afternoon and evening to you, and thanks for the click!     This video should speak for itself, but over the next 43 days, we’re super excited to share the details about our...
Categories: Hand Tools

Seven String Flamenco Guitar: Glueing on the Bridge, Fine Tuning the Frets and Adjusting the Action

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 10:35am
The flamenco guitar is an instrument which is narrowly linked to the peculiarities of flamenco art.

Jose Ramirez III, Things About the Guitar, 1990

The seven string flamenco guitar that I built for the lead singer of Ode to the Marionette is finished!

Well, just about. Remember, I do have a side job as a historic preservation carpenter.

I am waiting for the tap plates to install on the sound board, these tap plates protect the top from the golpes, a percussive tap from the first or ring finger nail that a flamenco player uses.

I need to do some intonation work on the saddle, I want all notes to play in tune. I might even fine tune the fan braces that are glued to the inside of the top.

Did I mention how wonderful this guitar sounds? It has a gorgeous voice and it is loud! This guitar has very clear separation of notes on all the strings up and down the neck and all are even in sound with each other.

Don't let anyone tell you that a classical/flamenco guitar with a string length under 650mm won't be loud, that is simply a myth!

Did I mention how wonderful this guitar sounds?

Why does it sound so good? I used tried and true construction techniques that have been handed down by the great Spanish makers and I am developing a better understanding of how to make a guitar that has a soul. Sounds a little corny, but it is true.

I also closely followed the plans of a 1933 Santos Hernandez flamenco guitar, which can be found in Roy Courtnall's book, Making Master Guitars. This guitar is smaller than that 1933 Santos, I used the dimensions of a 1929 Santos Hernandez guitar which can be found in Sheldon Urlik's book, A Fine Collection of Spanish Guitars. Both books can be purchased from Luthiers Mercantile. Click here for their website.

While waiting for the shellac to harden on the bridge I started work on the frets. Here I have taped the fret board and put down a protective cover on the guitar's top.

Leveling the frets with a fine diamond stone.

After leveling I round over the tops of the frets with a diamond rounding file.

Then I do more rounding work with a three cornered file that has been ground to protect the fret board.

Then I polish the frets with wet/dry sand paper and 0000 steel wool.

Glueing on the bridge.

I installed D'Addario EJ45 Pro Arte normal tension nylon strings at Julia's request. I do like D'Addario strings, I have used them for close to 30 years, I think they are great strings, but I have discovered that Savarez Corum Alliance strings make a guitar sound even louder! I also like La Bella 2001 Classical guitar strings.

A beautiful guitar. Soon it will be in the hands of a young woman who will share its voice with the world.

Categories: Luthiery

1860's Greek Revival House: More Preservation Work on the Siding

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 9:40am
To a nation that was optimistic, expansive, idealistic, and mindful of posterity, the Greek Revival brought an architecture of beauty, breadth, simplicity and permanence.

Carole Rifkind, A Field Guide to American Architecture, 1980

This house sits on the flood plain of St. Vrain Creek and it did suffer some damage in the September 2013 flood, but it is standing and I am trying to replace some of the worse pieces of siding.

I say "trying to replace" because the mill that is supplying the beveled siding screwed up my order twice: the first time I got rough sawn siding; the second time I got "colonial" siding which is thicker than beveled siding. All this put me three weeks behind schedule.

The mill re-milled the colonial siding and I received the proper siding last week, me and my colleague started replacing pieces on the east elevation. We discovered that this elevation was sided last because at one point it had a fireplace chimney that extended to the roof, the logs and chinking still have paint on them.

This is a double pen log house, the logs were joined with steeple notches. From the construction techniques used and what little I know about the family that first lived in it, my educated guess is that it was built between 1867-1872.

It would be nice to do some tree ring dating to find out when the logs used in the construction were cut.

The dormers are sided, we tore off some particle board siding that someone put up quite some time ago, all looks better!

I found a door that matches one of the entrance doors that you see in a 1917 photo of the building, there are several more windows that could use some maintenance work. A group of volunteers are scheduled to prime and paint this building late September, can't wait to see that!

More siding is on the way, I hope I get what I ordered.

Categories: Luthiery

Stop and Stir, Don’t Just Stare

Paul Sellers - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 9:35am

I think it might be true that many people suffer a period or periods of depression in a given lifetime. Wellbeing is hard to quantify and with so many working people gainfully employed in meaningless or should I say more mindless work it’s not going to get any better going forward. Politicians of course speak from their vast experience in politics where underlings feed more and more statistics to them so that they can reconstruct their manipulations from the previous debris they caused in education and the governed welfare of the populous. Meanwhile in quiet backwaters around the world more and more people say quietly to themselves, “Whoa, I don’t think that this is me!” Today I worked all the more to get my book together and while I did this Kat and Joseph continued their coffee table and Phil worked on repairing some stools he bought from the car boot sale.


John took care of everyone as usual and in between sharpening tools and serving me with coffee he worked on his stuff too. It’s busy at the castle with visitors from around the world. They drift in and out but not without realising something’s wrong. They have never quite seen anything like what they see in the workshop. They see hands working and people talking as they work. Could it be that the real world outside that they just stepped out of is not the real world but one of fantasy? Could it be that they just stepped into the real world for just a brief moment?


Everything surrounding structures like the castle is more linked to the archaic past. Most are like museums and no matter which way you dress it up they all look very much the same with the same speak and the same displays. Generally they are mostly presented as the past in a way that offsets the disparity between the rich owners of the properties and the poor that made them tick. Not much you can say about the upstairs-downstairs difference, but I must say that when they come into the workshop and see everyone working there, an almost magical sensing happens where the best of the past unites with the present and some gives bright hope for a future that defies the colleges and universities, health and welfare entities, politics and education and so on. Yes, it’s here that we did switch off the conveyor belt for them. They stop thinking about their thumbs on their cell phones, their software engineering jobs and the mindlessness of work. They even leave their cell phone cameras in their pockets for fear of somehow invading what they discovered because somehow they just know inside that what they see is very real. Unbelievably there is a ‘wow!’ thing factorising reality they simply cannot explain or understand and though we tell them who we are and what we believe, they start to assimilate everything for themselves knowing that what they see could be very relevant in the future again. In other words they store it away and treasure it as if it were valuable. For me the word relevant should be reviewed and placed on the page as ‘real event’. Their ears are pricked up like a spaniel when the gun goes off. The eyes spark, the face points and the nose engages and suddenly they imbibe something that drugs and alcohol, and conversation and explanation cannot bring to them. Suddenly something seems to make so much sense and even though they don’t believe this could ever be possible for them, they still feel a hope for the future. So, I ask myself just what is it that people feel they want to connect to? What is it that halts them in their visit that causes them not to smile or laugh, ask questions or whatever, but suspends them in a long and wide gaze. The planes keep stroking the wood and the saws sever the waste from the wanted. Those working look up momentarily but keep to the work. There are no computers guiding routers. If there were they wouldn’t even walk in. I smile at their internal smiles and the sparkle in their eyes that defy the indifference and the bemusing. I love to think that they would embrace what we have if they just had the opportunity, but then I think about the thing called economy and then I think about the polity and then I think about the educational providers and I see why it all stopped.


I personally think that woodworking almost stopped when it got so caught up in the same a consumerism and then, thankfully, things seemed to change and people asked “Why?” eBay came along too and thankfully we could find the tools that were hidden in dark cellars all over the western world. People asked questions and answers started to emerge when we looked into those old mothballed museum entities and saw that these old tools made some of the finest woodworking ever created and that that was before the age of industrialism and mass manufacturing, globalisation and the depletion of craftsmanship – it was even before the age of the machine and the router! The wake up call went out and people responded one by one. They were bored with the machine only world of working wood and other crafts and aspects of life too. They started growing food and baking, raising chickens and eating organic again, but this time it became know as self sufficient and then sustainable culture and so that’s what happens when someone walks into a workshop and sees ten people working with their own hands with tools that are about 100 years old and that don’t cost much but really, really work.
I say all of this to say that that’s why we do what we do and it’s working!


The post Stop and Stir, Don’t Just Stare appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Business of podcasting – audio equipment

Matt's Basement Workshop - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 9:00am

Before we delve deeper into the topic of podcasting we need to discuss equipment. Depending on the podcast format of your show; video, audio or both, will dictate the equipment you’ll need.

audio podcasts

Let’s start with a simple audio podcast (I say simple, because as far as I’m concerned they’re the least complex to produce compared to some of the extra equipment you’ll need with a video show.) When I started in 2006 there were primarily only audio shows, so all you really needed was a microphone and recording software (which we’ll cover in the next post.)

As I mentioned previously, my first microphone was a little plastic mic from one of my kids’ toys. It worked well enough to get my feet wet, but I discovered quickly that I needed to step it up a little.

Still reluctant to take the full plunge I didn’t actually improve things all that much when I ran out to a big box electronic store and picked up this same exact microphone pictured here, the Sony Omnidirectional Microphone.

Let’s just say it didn’t improve things all that much and move on. I won’t bore you with the long list of mics I tried until I finally decided to spend the money for an USB mic like the Samson G-Track.

Let me just state this as clearly as possible. While the Samson G-Track is not the ultimate mic on the market, it’s been well worth the money and has been my microphone of choice since I bought it in 2008.

What makes it a great mic for podcasting?

  • It’s a USB mic - this means you don’t need a mixer or some other intermediate piece of equipment to get your voice into the computer and on to the recording.
  • Onboard volume adjustment - the Samson G-Track has it’s own input volume dial so you have more control over the level of your voice or another piece of equipment.
  • Line-in jack - not only is it possible for you to record yourself into the computer, but because there’s a secondary line-in jack on the mic it’s possible to have a sound board with sound effects or even another microphone plugged in for easy interview recordings without having to mess with a mixer.
  • Supercardioid pickup pattern - unlike an omni-directional mic which picks up sound from all directions, the supercardioid pattern means it pretty much picks up what’s directly in front of it (trust me, there’s been plenty of times I’ve worried about someone else in the room making noise only to discover it was never picked up.)
  • Zero-latency monitoring with volume control - or more specifically, you can hear yourself in real time with headphones. This is great so you can hear the recording happening in real time as your audience will eventually hear it when you post it. This is a huge bonus if you’re concerned about picking up background noise or simply for monitoring any feedback.

Another important piece of equipment to consider when looking at microphones is the stand. Without a good stand, even the best mics won’t work to their full potential. With that said, of course I started out with the most basic desktop stand, which is nothing more than a weighted base and short rod with a clip.

This was okay, but I wanted (and recommend) something with more versatility and reach. A mic stand such as the RODE PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm is a great investment.Regardless of which one you pick up, the main thing to remember is to make sure you can get the microphone in a position that’s comfortable and out of the way…just in case you’re a hand talker!

Last but not least is whether you need a wind screen or pop filter. If you’re prone to POPPING your “p’s” when you’re talking or are afraid you may “spray it when you say it” a pop filter of some sort is a great investment to keep your audience from cringing at the sound of spit hitting your microphone.

We could easily go into a discussion about headphones, I recommend you get some if you use a mic or system with zero-latency monitoring. They’ll give you a true feel for how you’re show will sound before the audience can tell you in a not-so-nice way.

There is other equipment audio professionals might say you can’t live without, but this is the equipment I’ve used for Matt’s Basement Workshop – “the early years”, Spoken Wood Podcast, & Wood Talk for all these years.

Next post, we’ll expand the discussion of audio podcast equipment to recording software. There’s EXPENSIVE or SHAREWARE. Guess which one I’ll potentially recommend?

Help support the show – please visit our advertisers

Categories: Hand Tools

Logo .. hmmm ..

She Works Wood - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 6:45am
Here’s the latest mock up.  Still trying to decide if I like it better.  Thoughts?
Categories: General Woodworking

September is the time to make a carved oak box

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 6:37pm

This fall I’ll be teaching a class at Heartwood in making one of my carved oak boxes; and this might be the best shot yet at this class. The class size is small, about 6 students. As of right now, we are short of that number – we could use a couple more, so you could sign up and get in on a chance to delve into this subject in greater-than-usual detail. The class is Sept 22-26. The fall is my favorite time of year… 

We’ll be riving, carving and assembling boxes such as this:

carved box 2011

carved box 2011


Maybe this is the class to finally fit a till inside their box!




The setting is out of this world – I often get asked “when are you teaching in Massachusetts?” and this is my one-and-only right now. But it’s not eastern-MA with its congestion, noise, strip-mall mentality; this is bucolic western, far-western Massachusetts. It’s at the Heartwood School for the Homebuilding Crafts in Washington, Massachusetts. Those of us out in eastern MA have to look Washington up, because  we’ve never heard of it. It’s that nice. It’s all uphill for me, Washington in in the Berkshires, near the highest point of I-90 east of South Dakota. I live on the Jones River, about 15 feet above sea level.

I was a student in a timber-framing class there in 1984 – Will Beemer dug out a photo to prove it. Bottom center, head down, arms up. skinny, scruffy me. 

PF at Heartwood

Here’s more about the school – it’s quite a place.


Here’s the photo tour of the place: 


Fall in the Berkshires – I’m bringing my binoculars too. Come join us.



Knockdown Nicholson Workbench, Day .625

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 6:33pm


I had only 90 minutes in the shop today as we spent most of our daylight getting my daughter packed for college and taking her out for a rib dinner.

But during those 90 minutes I assembled the ends and added the stretchers. Everything went swimmingly until I fit the final stretcher. I planed the stretcher’s edge a stroke too many and so that one lap joint isn’t museum-quality.


The end assembly right before the final fitting of the stretcher. It is a little long here.

However, the joint is at the back of the bench and by the floor, so I guess I have more luck than brains today.

Tomorrow it’s off to college, and I’ll brood about that joint’s gap all the way home.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. “The Naked Woodworker” will be live in the store tomorrow evening.


Filed under: The Naked Woodworker DVD, Workbenches
Categories: Hand Tools

Music I’d Like To Hear #80

Doug Berch - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 6:01pm


The post Music I’d Like To Hear #80 appeared first on Doug Berch.

Categories: Luthiery

Though I am Not a Dealer...

The Workbench Diary - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 4:35pm

And then I got up early again to do demonstrations all day at an antique show in Blue Hill. This is the third year I’ve had a booth at the Jonathan Fisher Antique Show. Though I am not a dealer, they let me sign up to demonstrate period woodworking and explain to the guests what my conservation practice is like. It works out well. If visitors want a break from shopping and haggling, they head over to my booth and watch me cut joinery and use period tools. Just about all day I have people standing around watching me. This year was as good as the others. I like meeting a lot of new people at events like this and it’s good seeing the dealers I haven’t seen since last year’s show.

Julia and Eden dropped by for lunch. Eden, as usual, was captivating the passersby with all of the explanations of conservation he’s heard Papa repeat countless times. The kid’s got my spiel down pretty good by now.

Displaying my most frequently used tools of the trade

Interior storage - Saw till

Interior Storage - Plane corral

The project I was working on at the show was one of the two sliding trays in my tool chest. I got it all finished except the glue-up. Once the next tray is complete, all I need is a lid and then we’re on to paint.

Speaking of paint, I saw two great painted chests in dealer booths. The first one was sponge grained.

 But this second one is so great, I think I might reproduce it on my tool chest. I have been tossing around a bunch of ideas for the decorative paint treatment on the chest. I have been narrowing it down to pieces that look a lot like this one. It was neat to have this one at the show to get a real close look at the brush strokes. I’ll have to play around with this and see if I can’t pull it off.

I love the "stringing" made by removing the paint while still wet.

Categories: Hand Tools

Tools that inspire

Design Matters - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Note how the mechanism clamps to the beam via a wear plate

Note how the mechanism clamps to the beam via a wear plate

I’m a tool user – not a tool collector. However, I do have a soft spot for antique dividers and drawing tools. When some old buzzard moans,  ” They don’t make em like they used to”  it’s hard to find a better example than vintage drafting tools. Today I picked up these late 19th century German Silver trammel points. The detail is amazing.  Like many of these tools the craft of making them grew out of instrument making, so there’s a lot of crossover with watchmaking, surveyor, and navigation tools. Note how they clamp on the beam and DSCN3693have a wear plate to grip without marring the wood. I also like the design in the turnings. I can almost imagine that pattern in a table leg. Anyone have experience polishing German Silver?


George R. Walker

Welcome to the Team, DZ-015 | Lost Art Press

Giant Cypress - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 3:29pm
Welcome to the Team, DZ-015 | Lost Art Press:

On the other hand, being Chinese is pretty awesome.

Expired Liquid Hide Glue, good after 13 years!

Full Chisel by Stephen Shepherd - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 3:28pm

A friend of mine showed me a bottle of Franklin/Titebond Liquid Hide Glue with an old expiration date and he thought it was still good.  I looked at the date and it was 7-01 and I thought  there was no way it was any good.  So I did the finger/thumb test and sure enough it exhibited ‘legging’ or ‘cottoning’ indicating it was still good.


So the following day I conducted the only sanction test for testing the usefullness of liquid hide glue, a bead of glue on paper, cooked in a 150 degree [F] oven for 15 to 20 minutes and allowed to cool.  To my surprise it cracked indicating it was still good.

glue test

It had not been stored in  special conditions although the shop never got real hot.  Good idea to test before you throw it away.


Categories: Hand Tools

Lifestyle Creates Futures

Paul Sellers - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 1:08pm

My Week Was Mixed, Different, Refreshing, Inspiring, Hopeful

I left early from my tiny village Saturday morning and traveled the mountain passes, past many lakes to another village to be a part of something I hope never dies. Bedgellert held its annual horticultural and craft fair in the village community centre. We judged the work and ate lunch together and then the villagers and holiday makers came in to see what people grew and baked and made and drew and painted and craft was kept alive by people who felt creative work is worth their effort.

Looking at the Creative Work of Others

DSC_0025I visited some art and craft workshops in town and sales places you could buy from too. It was discouraging in some places to see hand made wooden spoons for £1.50 and original paintings and art framed for under £100. I came back and made my frame for a painting Joseph bought me of a Jay  and felt thankful that I could own my own work and make frames for people I like and even sell my frames to people I don’t know.  It’s my lifestyle.


Joseph and Kat came in to make a coffee table promised as a gift for friends that married last week. It made me glad that my kids can do things like that and like to. It’s lifestyle you see. Joseph’s a good furniture maker. He can make anything. DSC_0029The oak came from stock I keep around all of the time. It’s my bank; or should I say it’s the bank of a lifestyle woodworker. It’s been that way for forty years now and it’s not likely to change at this point in my lifestyle. I liked seeing them working together. It’s a sort of fulfilled dream to see my children able to work this way if they want to. DSC_0082My skills live in my children. How much more can I ask for. Does that mean they have to be woodworkers? Of course not. It means they are woodworkers. It’s got nothing to do with it being a job. How primitive. It’s to do with choices, abilities, skills, critical thinking, living beliefs, thriving, nurturing being.DSC_0024

John too has been making all week. His tools are coming together and he wen to the car boot yet again and picked up this saw for £5 and lots of other tools that looked ugly but ready to be restored for his kit for another fiver. Square awl and gouges. Lots of stuff really. He’s got to cut off all of the teeth and recut them but he can do it. in about an hour he’ll have an old saw restored that will last him a hundred years more. Imaging a lifetime saw for under £10. You see here is another lifestyle woodworker and craftsman emerging. 

I  Love the Welsh Mountain Villages and the Rivers that Pass through Them

Sharing your life with your friends is important. Mick and Sally Alexander are the ones that asked me to judge at the craft show in Bedgellert in the mountains. The town is lovely and we all sat and ate lunch together after the judging. Mick loves working wood even though he got involved a little later in life.

DSC_0015 DSC_0035

He has a sense of therapy from the work and ends up feeling well when he’s done. Wellbeing matters and lifestyle is a choice not luck. You choose how you live whether it’s easy or not. now, that said, I know for some of you this may not be possible and my heart goes out to you. I hope that something might change so you too, if you want, can find a lifestyle of working wood or whatever you feel the calling too.

Sharing a Love for Woodworking Hand Tools

John bought me a 12” drawknife he thought I might like and I do like it. It’s a Marples drawknife and it reworked the bevel unit it fit my intent. I regret leaving most of my tools in Texas and New York because I would like to show you what I have used for five decades. I love them of course, you will not meet many woodworkers and especially teaching craftsmen that have they tools I have and can say they’ve used them for so long. DSC_0008One day they will go to my children and my grandchildren most likely. i buy tools frequently to make certain I have enough to supply those I love with good tools. Do you do that.? I hope so. they will love your gift as they grow and learn from you. It’s about lifestyle and life choices you see.

Reducing the Highs to reach the Lows


Of course you know I restored the flatness to my benchtop. That was a good job done and one I planned on doing now for a few weeks. I really enjoyed it and it felt good to work at again. Seeing Joseph and Kat gluing up the coffee table gift gave me joy and it was here that John brought his two-handed invention to test out. of course this was some fun we often have during the day. Laughter makes the heart glad. I believe in that really, seasons, times that matter – there is a time to be born, and a time to die; I think in part it goes like this;  a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…


Lifestyle starts with one person thinking just a slightly different though. Expanding the thought can result in options that can become opportunities careers advisors never heard f and school administrators never heard of and politicians note often dismiss than consider. It can keep expanding and people can take a fresh look at the real life they own from a different perspective and think about their future. I love that, don’t you.

Oh, this is me and my daughter. We spent the afternoon and evening together with my five grandsons and Joseph and Kat and my Wife, Liz and John. We goofed around a bit, spent time in the workshop at Penrhyn Castle and ate supper together.


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Categories: Hand Tools


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