I managed to sneak in an hour of shop time today, and finished cutting and grinding all of the pieces for the stained glass panels for the Thorsen cabinet door. Remember the Thorsen cabinet? I swear, I’m going to finish it soon and stop writing blog posts about it. It really hasn’t been that complicated a project, although the door had it’s share of challenges.
Where I left off, I’d finished the top panel and the three right hand panels for the door, leaving just the large main panel. I was a little worried as this glass has been a little fussy to cut. It has a rough texture with some bubbles, inclusions and significant differences in thickness across the sheet — all of which adds to it’s beauty in my view. I really like this particular clear glass, both the texture and the iodized coating. I’m bummed they aren’t making more of it, the factory changed to using a texturing roller to produce it, which gives it a pebbled appearance like a shower door. Ick!!
Anyway, my point is that it’s tricky to cut, especially big pieces and large cuts. I got the large clear panel blanked out, but had two cuts get away from me as I was removing the cut out sections where other colors will go. I was on the verge of starting with a fresh sheet, but I really, really liked the large wave or undulation in this glass.
To make this piece of glass work I had to change the pattern to account for the extra bits of glass that cracked off. I traced the clear onto my pattern in red sharpie.
You can see my annotation for the colors on the pattern. I traced the pattern onto the three different colors of glass I’m using, and cut them as close to the line as my skills would allow, then ground them to fit. The gaps are all perfectly acceptable, and will help the solder joint have a more organic feel.
The next time I get a little time in the shop I’ll clean all of the pieces, add copper foil, and solder them. This is the last major task for the cabinet, the rest is just a light rub out of the finish, and assembly.
While teaching in England this summer I had a sudden and miraculous encounter with Pégas coping saw blades – and I am a convert. I rarely say this sort of thing, but here we go: Buy them. Buy as many as you can afford. Encourage the company to make more blades like this. If you want to skip the backstory and just order the darn blades, go to Tools for […]
On the eve of departing for Woodworking in America we were delighted to host a brief visit from Chris Vesper, toolmaker extraordinaire whose handiworks are simply the standard in my opinion. Chris wrote me about a month ago saying he was flying into Richmond as the terminus for his flight from Australia, and after 36 hours in the Williamsburg area we saw his headlights peeking up the driveway. His navigation was mighty good as we are pretty much beyond cell service, but apparently not beyond satellite. I need to remember that fact…
Chris had an amazing tale of woe relating to his two suitcases of tools being confiscated by the Customs clowns in Dallas. He hoped but did not know for sure the tools would show up in time to set up his booth. As you can see from the picture above, in the end it did work out although he had to pony up some pretty serious unexpected express shipping fees.
After dining we set about to commencing to talk, and it was well past midnight when we turned in. the next morning we toured the barn and then he headed off for Winston Salem. We followed him a couple of hours later, arriving just in time for a late supper with the friends we were visiting.
Our culture shifts rapidly from past pockets we looked to the future from to the present we look back from and still further along the line towards future hopes we aspire to. Sometimes, often, we must dismantle the past to rediscover what we really felt before we were dissuaded from a hope we had. At 14 I told my woodworking teacher I wanted to be a woodworker. He fixed his eye on mine and said, “I wouldn’t if I were you. You can do much better than that. Go further, make something of your life.” I listened and thought he knew well what I should be, but then I listened again and heard a still, small voice that wasn’t his and I made up my mind and my future began to unfold. Wood worked with my hands began in a past pocket of culture and emerged in successive phases like solid stones I stepped on through to today. One part began to form and then another began to fit to the shape. It was a little while before I saw the whole and discovered fulfilment from my work. Remember, hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. That’s the power of culture.
As you search your heart and ask the honest question about what you want to be, remember that it’s important to really know that you can change the course you are on and that it takes courage and determination to step into the zone. I realised many moons ago that self employment is not for the risk aversed, but the rewards of surviving against all odds are incomprehensibly wonderful.
Today I unpacked the contents of the old woodworkers tool box and saw into the past of a man’s life. It doesn’t take imagination to understand him or his work. It was as simple as can be as far as his work was concerned. The chest has suffered trauma from time to time.
Unpacking dimensions of the tool chest is like dismantling the man. This one’s seen much use and abuse. It’s been dropped, overstuffed, abused since the owner left it but it’s held and I like it very much. The pins no longer seat the dovetails because they have shrunk, which makes me think it was made in humid conditions and perhaps kept in a coastal region or on board a boat as one of several belonging to a ship’s caprenter. I understand that the chest passed to a sailmaker and ended up with his tools in it when it was sold to Bill. I love the size because even with tools loaded it will be liftable between two. It will hold half a dozen planes, 4 saws of different types and then the usual squares and chisels, small planes and much more. The tills work fine as does the rest of the chest and today i spent much time as i said unpacking the joinery and measuring the details for replication. The walls and the bottom are no more than 9/16″ thick pine, so it’s super light compared to harder, more dense-grained woods. I think you will enjoy this one. better two or three of these around the bench for me. Soon I’ll have two.
The post From Past Early Start to Working Wood Today – Making the Parts Fit appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.
The Woodworking in America show for 2014 was a lot of fun and it was great meeting many of you for the first time. It was also encouraging to see many friends from previous shows and fellow toolmakers. If you did not get the chance to make it this year plan to make it next year. Here are a few pictures and comments from the show:
Arrived a day early for set-up. Previous WIA goers or blog followers know that I usually make a workbench on-site for use at the show. This year I was not inspired enough so I took another approach. I scrounged around town until finding a nice, sturdy, homemade desk at The Habitat for Humanity Resale store. It was a tight “stuff” into the trunk but managed to get it to the convention center without losing it.
I took a few prototypes of upcoming new tools and received a lot of good feedback. We will soon be releasing a pair of shop knives. One is a Sloyd pattern and the other is a smaller joiners or marking knife. Both have blades of 1095 high carbon steel and are coated with a ceramic coating for protection and good looks. The handles are curly maple infused with acrylic resin. Other tools in the works include dovetail marking gauges, squares and other layout tools.
Here are a few random pictures from the show:
Scott Meeks explaining the finer points of wood bodied planes, Patrick Leach setting up “tons” of antique tools, The Fred West commemorative tool box, and Robin Lee from Lee Valley showing off their new line of Configurable bench planes.
Our next show is with Lie-Nielsen at the Crucible in Oakland, CA this weekend, September 19th and 20th. Stop by if you can!
There was a lot to see in the WIA 2014 Marketplace, and we were excited to find a booth featuring one of our favorite chairmakers, Peter Galbert. We got him to do a quick demo of his Galbert Drawsharp to show us just how easy it is to use. Take a look at the video below!
The post Woodworking in America 2014 Marketplace: Peter Galbert appeared first on Woodworking Blog.
Over the past few months I’ve been making these French style bookcases for my wife. They’re pretty popular as they usually sell within a couple of weeks in her booth. The nicest part of the bookcase is the design of the cross bars that mimic the design of the Eiffel Tower. The design also makes the bookcase lighter and feel more open as opposed as having closed sides making the bookcase feel heavy.
Adding the cross bars isn’t so difficult when you take your time and measure everything correctly. When I start to build the cross bars, I rip 3/4″ square stock out on the table saw and sand them smooth on my drum-sander. I take one of the bars and clamp it to both back styles of the bookcase. I then strike a line to show me the correct angle that needs to be cut.
I take the bar over to my old school Stanley No 140 miter box and cut it close to the line, but not on it. I could do this on a power miter saw, but I feel that’s way too much power for doing delicate work like this.
After the cutting the bar on my miter box, I size it to the line by carefully trimming it with my AMT miter trimmer. I love this tool, but a miter trimmer is the Rodney Dangerfield of woodworking. For whatever reason, it simply gets absolutely no respect in the hand tool world. I guess hand tool purest would rather use a shooting board and plane, but this thing has never let me down in the twenty-five years I’ve owned it.
When the bars are properly fitted, they are super tight against the styles. So much so that it is very tough to even fit them in place. Having the bars fit this tight is actually very important because they will be glued in place without any mechanical fasteners other than a 23 gauge micro pin toe nailed to the styles.
Once I’m happy with the fit, I then scribe a line on each bar where the bars meet to create a half lap joint.
With a dovetail saw, paring chisel, and router, I carefully remove the material between the lines. The depth of the router blade is exactly half the thickness of the bar ensuring the bars are flush to each other when they are fitted together.
After the joint is cut, I test fit the pieces to make sure everything looks good. An important thing I do when installing the bars is to place witness marks on the bars and styles so that I know which direction the bars goes when it’s time for installation.
Here’s a close up of the half lap joint. You can see how everything fits nicely together.
The cross bars on the sides of the bookcase are done exactly the same way. When it comes to installing all the cross bars, I glue and nail them to the styles. Because I plan on painting the bookcase, I don’t care about the nail holes. I just fill them in with wood putty. I use 18 gauge pneumatic nails and nail the side cross bars from the front and back of the styles. The back cross bars, I glue and toe nail them with 23 gauge pin nails to the back styles.
Jason writes: I have a question for you about your announcement of “The Book of Plates.” I have already purchased the first installment that Lost Art Press has published on marquetry, and I plan to get the one on furniture when it comes out. My question is this: Is there more information that can be gleaned from “Plates?” Or would having Roubo 1 & 2 have the same information?
Keep up the good work! I look forward to Roubo 2 and the Studley book (yeah, for French fitting).
Answer: “The Book of Plates” includes all the plates from all of Roubo’s books, which includes architectural woodwork, furniture making, carriage building, marquetry and garden woodwork. So far, we have published most of Roubo’s writing on marquetry. The second book (due early next year) will cover most of his writing on furniture and woodworking tools.
We hope to publish the other books in Roubo’s series, but these translations take many years of effort.
So the primary reason we decided to publish “The Book of Plates” now was so everyone could own the complete set of plates from the entire 18th-century opus.
The second reason is we wanted to ensure that Roubo’s plates could be enjoyed at full size at an affordable price and on quality paper. We printed them at full size in the deluxe edition, but the standard edition has them in reduced size. With “The Book of Plates,” you can easily see all the detail at the scale that Roubo intended. Plus, if you own Roubo in the standard edition or the pdf download, having the book of plates handy in front of you is a great way to absorb the text.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: To Make as Perfectly as Possible, Roubo Translation
Want to know what sharpening stones to use? Read our blog series How to Choose a Sharpening Stone. The techniques that I’ll show you in sharpening a chisel are the same techniques that you’ll use in sharpening a plane, a spokeshave, and other tools. The upcoming posts will show you in-depth the different issues you’ll meet. […]
The post How to Sharpen a Chisel, Part 1: Basic Techniques…and the Secret appeared first on Heritage School of Woodworking Blog.
Back was an abondoned full-size violin back, European tonewood.
Neck is carved from a chunk of maple stock. Fingerboad is salvaged from an older fiddle. Width of the fingerboard is more normally full-sized, though the string length is 1/4.
Detail of horsehead. Inspired by photos I had seen of Norwegian Ale Bowls.
Full-size fiddle at back. "Glasgow ca. 1780" inspired kits on either side of the new horsehead kit.
More on the Glasgow kit: http://www.theglasgowstory.com/image.php?inum=TGSE00590
Last weekend at the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association I didn’t have time to install the chest lock on the campaign-style officer’s trunk I built for the organization’s fall seminar.
And so I promised I would post directions from “The Joiner & Cabinet Maker.”
I’m always happy to revisit this particular book because it was such a fun project. Joel Moskowitz at Tools for Working Wood unearthed a very rare copy of this 1830 book that we reprinted. Joel wrote a nice introductory section to the book about woodworking during that period. Then I built the three projects shown in the book.
The pages in the pdf below are what I wrote about installing a chest lock, which is based on the excellent instructions in the original 1830 text.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. Later this week I will post the other thing I promised to share with the club: A video of how to install corner guards and L-brackets on campaign pieces.
Filed under: Downloads, The Joiner & Cabinet Maker
There are many ways to get around not having a dedicated workbench. Here are a few:
- Some Victorian-era books recommend using a chest of drawers as a bench. Work on the top, store your tools in the top drawers and use the lower drawer to collect shavings.
- Last year I built the “Milkman’s Workbench,” a copy of a European commercial bench for the benchless woodworker.
- Build a knockdown bench, like the Nicholson-style bench I built this summer using framing lumber.
In 20th-century magazines, one common project was a workbench that was designed to affix to your kitchen table, and here is one from The Woodworker magazine. This version is secured to the table with two clamps that are embedded in the tool tray. Plus it offers an adjustable planing stop.
You can download the article with the link below:
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. If someone sees a cute glue pot like the one shown in the drawing above, you can sell it to Megan Fitzpatrick, who has a thing for petite glue pots.
Filed under: Historical Images, Workbenches
This week we will put the finishing touches on “l’Art du menuisier: The Book of Plates” and send it to the printer.
It is astonishing to look at all 383 plates (or 382, depending on how you count them). From a woodworker’s perspective, the plates are enjoyable to stare at for hours. André Roubo drew the majority of them himself, so the drawings show the details that a woodworker wants.
(Many times it’s easy to tell when an artist had no woodworking training – the small bits are slightly wrong. Not so with Roubo. Even the screw threads are drawn correctly.)
We have created “The Book of Plates” so everyone can enjoy Roubo’s plates as he intended – printed full-size and on beautiful paper. No matter how you read the text – on your computer screen, in one of our books or even in a translation in a different language – there is nothing like seeing the plates in full-size and at a resolution approaching the 18th-century originals.
In addition to the plates, this new book will contain the first English-language translation of André Roubo’s table of contents for “l’art du Menuisier.” This document is 10 pages long and is a guide to what is shown in the 383 plates. This document has been a guiding light in the translation of these massive woodworking books.
“l’Art du menuisier: The Book of Plates” will feature all of the plates printed full-size on #100 Mohawk Superfine paper, which is manufactured in Upstate New York. After being printed in Michigan, the pages will be sewn and hardbound. This will be a permanent book, even if your dog takes a liking to it.
The book will be $100 and will be available in November. We will offer this book to our retailers, though it is up to each retailer to decide to carry the book.
We hope you will enjoy the book (and we hope a lot of you enjoy the book – we just wrote a check to the printer for more than the value of my first house).
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: To Make as Perfectly as Possible, Roubo Translation
The 15% discount that was offered at the Woodworking in America show this past weekend is available for any new members who sign up for my online carving school before the end of the month. That makes the monthly cost $8.49 rather than $10 for as long as you are a member.
Go to my school website – http://www.marymaycarving.com/carvingschool and click on the following image:
There are currently 144 episodes (individual videos) with 70 complete and unique lessons.
A new video is added every week (and keeps me hopping!)
Another Woodworking in America is in the history books, and once again it was an experience I’m thankful to have had. The friends, the classes, and especially the market place all combined to make it worth every minute of my visit.
As you’ve heard by now, my trip wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the folks over at Highland Woodworking who brought me along to help capture the event for their blog and social media channels.
So coming up over the next few weeks they’ll be releasing the many videos we captured in the market place, along with some of the classes, and any where else we happened to see something happening that we knew you would enjoy seeing.
It’s amazing how much inspiration comes from being around fellow woodworkers, and watching & learning from some of the best instructors currently in the field. So hopefully, you’ll stop by the Highland Woodworking Blog and check them out. Who knows what it’ll inspire you to do?
Speaking of inspiration, I had a number of photos on my smart phone from the weekend that I wasn’t sure what to do with. So I put them in a slideshow and thought I’d share them with all of you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed taking them!
One Mans Garbage
Evey since we bought this house we have been lucky, at lease that is way it feels. Working as a carpenter I have seen tons of perfectly good material tossed in the dumpster, so I wasn’t as surprised as some in my family at the amount and quality of used building material we have found with the exception of the new soaking tub with jets still in the box. With just a few hundred dollars and some creative internet shopping I have gotten a Byran propane furnace with a two and half ton compress and the A coil for a hundred dollars. 600 sq ft of 6″ fiberglass insulation. for free. a top end Kohlor toilet and pedsal sink for $90 that alone new would of costed us over $750. We found a nice propane stove and Bosch dishwasher for $175 a G.E fridge for $100. I have more light fixtures right now than I can use for $50, so I have been selling or trading them for other material that we need.
If you have the time and patience you can almost find everything you need cheap or sometimes for free. We haven’t gotten away with buying everything being gently used we have had to buy somethings new like replacing all the plumbing in this house. We replaced all the copper with PEX and had replace all the drains with PVC. While at the plumbing supply house we got a deal on a scratch and dent hot water heater that saved us about $150. Working most my life as a carpenter I have seen a lot of waste and it is good to see that attitudes are changing, people are not just throwing usable material in the trash because it doesn’t fit there needs any more. Now they are donating it to places like the Habitat for Humanity’s Restore to be resold so they can use the money to help build more house. It also brings another question to mind why aren’t we using more of these resources to fix homes of lower income people in need with the cash rather than using the new, cheaper material that I see them use now. Maybe its not practical, but it is a thought.Related articles
- Poop Chutes & Plumbing (theratpalace.wordpress.com)
- Cellulose vs. Fiberglass Attic Insulation (advancedairsealing.wordpress.com)
- How to Prepare for PEX Plumbing (gooltv.me)
Filed under: Home Improvements, House Rehab Tagged: Habitat for Humanity, House Remodel, PEX, Rehab
I am experiencing the lull after the storm. A wonderful and energetic weekend at WIA in Winston-Salem – seeing a lot of friends and meeting new ones. And now I’m trying to settle in again. It’s sad that I probably won’t see many of these people again until next WIA.
I drove the 5 hour trip back home to Charleston, SC yesterday afternoon, and was feeling so worn out by the time I got home that I didn’t even unpack my car until this morning. I brought a LOT of extra things with me – like DVDs and resin castings, in hopes of selling them at the show. It didn’t turn out that way. I only sold a handful, but was really focusing on getting the word out for my online school – which I believe was a success. When I packed up after the show, I only had one small, empty box that I could leave. My poor KIA felt abused. And I barely had room for my suitcase. I think it’s time for an SUV or truck.
Here is a photo of my shop before unloading my car (nice and tidy – sort of). This is the “industrial” part of my shop – a great old General lathe that my husband brought down from Canada.
Here is a photo of my shop after unloading the car. A very daunting task. Looks like I won’t be doing much carving for a while…
Don’t be afraid of wood & water. Wood loves the stuff. Most of the tree is water when it’s standing. It’s why they’re so heavy when they come down. It’s all that water inside of them.
Once I had a 1/2″ thick maple table top, 20″ square, all shaped and sanded. I decided to raise the grain and sand it off. Wet sanding I call it, although I wait for the water to dry and just sand off the fuzz raised up by it. Well I wet down this top and it cupped almost 3/8″. This is a very good way to increase your heart rate by the way. Seeing hours of hard work go wacky in a minute.
But I didn’t panic. I breathed deep, flipped the panel over, and wet down the other face. The table top came back to flat. As did my heart rate. If your wood gets wet, wet down the other side. It will be in balance. It’s imbalance that causes movement.
Now the WIA show has been clearly advertised as running from the 12th to 14th September, so while my son looked round the knife show I thought I'd pop in to WIA for a last look round. If I thought it was quiet on Friday, it was positively deserted now!
I'm not quite sure how the show can run for 3 days but the exhibitors only stay for two!
Anyway it probably saved me some money and I joined my son in the knife show.
There was a wide range of knives on display, varying from first time amateurs to seasoned full time pros as shown with this wonderful damascus knife made by David Warren at $1,500
One of the stands had some very sturdy looking chisels which were 1/4" thick, a bit OTT but would probably fare well at some Roubo mortises. They were pretty good for a first attempt, but the price of $120 each was a bit hopeful.
He also had a souped up Stanley no 5 on the stand with a massive 1/4" thick blade and lever cap. The problem of the adjuster working with the thick blade was overcome by adding slots to the blade rather than the chipbreaker. It felt nice and heavy in the hand, although the blade was prevented from sitting flat on the frog by the lateral adjuster so all the benefit of the thick blade was lost by lack of proper support. Nice idea, but back to the drawing board!