The meeting is going to be held at my place, and I am going to supply the elm for the seat blanks.
This means that for once I actually have a purpose for sawing with the mulesaw.
going through 24" of old elm isn't easy, so one plank takes more than 1 hour to saw. Yesterday I had to rearrange the motor for the mulesaw, because the flat belts kept slipping. Now I have made the setup, so there is no clutch between the electric motor and the saw, but still it is not a fast saw.
The good thing is, that the surface looks nice, and the board is flat.
Today I made picture frames with different moulded shapes using moulding planes, smoothing planes, rebate planes, scratch stocks, screws and tenon saws of different types and sizes. The work was different using so many tools for so small a project. The demands were high, tight tolerances essential and I felt the tension build until alI the parts came together in exactness. The tools were cast iron and steel as well as wood and steel. I used dedicated tools and improvised by making tools as I went. So many times we think making a tool for a task takes longer than setting up a router and sometimes that’s true but often not. A tool made is seldom a one time use tool so economy figures in in different ways. I can make a temporary rebate plane in about 10 minutes from a chisel and a piece of scrap wood. It’s not complicated to do this and most of us have an old chisel or a spare one. Anyway, I was rewarded with a new tool to use and all the components for the next filmed series making picture frames that are very different than anything you might have seen before or ever bought or made or ever considered. I will be interested on your take on it when it’s online in a couple of months There are a series of rebates formed and some of the methods I use to form them will be quite unique to see I think. I am so glad we don’t need to use a chopsaw or jump through the hoops of making a tablesaw sled for the mitres and that we make a perfect mitre guide with two knife cuts and two saw cuts in under a minute. Much of what I do is about speed and efficiency yet without compromising my lifestyle of lifestyle woodworking that’s so effective and tangibly real I would find it hard indeed to live without it. I know, some of you out there might be saying ‘get a life, Paul,’ but this is the life I love living.The neat thing for me is that I don’t need to prove anything and at the same time I prove everything I believe in. There is no competition between the machine and the hand in my world. I have used both and find both useful. I find undeveloped skill is often diverted to machine dexterity and thereby skills, I mean the skills that could be passed on, apprehended and lived with, lie dormant and unused in most people’s lives. I find that simple and honest. Trying to prove one over the other seems to me to be like comparing an apple to an orange or even say a sledgehammer to a nut. Another thing I did this week was restore a couple of tools I picked up from the Woodfest Show a couple of weeks ago. Here is a very ugly paring gouge used mostly in pattern making. The gouge itself fell victim to someone who knew nothing about the tool and thereby a careless hand at sharpening. The important part of this type of gouge is only partly the bevel on the inside of the hollow. The very important part is the rounded outside. In this case and the case of a second one I retrieved from a mass of rusted tools in a box the bevel was badly ground and hacked at and the outside round was badly distorted by inappropriate abrading. I felt the best tack was to break off the end and rework the cutting edge. I clamped the main body of the gouge in the metalworking vise to reduce the risk of an uneven fracture into the cannel. There is no guarantee. Two swift and firm strikes with a cross peen hammer effectively separated the waste from the wanted. From snapping off the former bevel I squared off the end of the gouge to give a new start point to grind the in-cannel bevel. I used the corner of the grinding wheel to create the new in-cannel bevel of 25-degrees. It works well to do it this way and frequent dipping in cold water keeps the temperature of the steel tolerably low enough to prevent excess heat build up resulting in burning the steel. It’s best to take your time with this. Especially strive not to burn the steel and keep the tool moving from side to side around the cannel and so avoid stopping at any fixed point on the corner of the wheel as this will definitely burn steel away fast. I got very close to the edge and left only about 0.5mm of a square edge left. From here its abrasive paper on a suitably sized dowel going from 250 to 400 and then in increments of 200 to 2500 in steps of around 200 or so. Beyond that the same dowel can be wrapped with leather and charged with buffing compound. The bevel is now completed. The outside round surface should be polished already, but a final buffing with a leather strip or strap or the rough side of a leather belt charged with buffing compound completes the sharpening and I have vary nice gouge for the rest of my life.
More than once I had found myself perplexed by a fret that would not gracefully seat itself completely in a fret slot. More often than not the problem was the slot being too shallow for the tang on the fretwire. I saw the slots to an appropriate depth when making a dulcimer fingerboard but by […]
Cleaning a record with wood glue, with impressive results. Props to the maker of this video for using Miles Ahead for this demonstration.
This demo uses Titebond II. Being a fan of hide glue, I wonder if hide glue would work as well. But since hide glue dries harder than PVA glues, I would guess that peeling the glue layer off might be harder with hide glue as opposed to PVA glue.
A few months back in blog titled The Ones That Got Away , I wrote about two auction items I coveted but apparently not enough to win. One of them was this salt box:
For a friend’s birthday I made this saltbox:
I was pleased with the build. Only thing I believe I got wrong was the angle of the cut-a-way for the lid. I didn’t pick the color, the recipient did. My mistake was picking up a milk paint sample chart from an antiques dealer 80 miles from home. I did find a local dealer but would have preferred she had chosen one of the General Finishes acrylic “milk paint” over the mix-me-up powdered genuine milk paint. She also wanted a more primitive finish, not the smooth and uniform finish that I usually try for. Just like Peter Follansbee not letting me make the English jointed stool too pretty when I took the class at the Woodwright’s School.
If you read Chris Schwarz’s blog at either Popular Woodworking or Lost Art Press, you know he has been writing about historic squares in the past month or two. The squares looked like an interesting project, relatively quick to build and not requiring much material. (No trip to the Hardwood Store.) As a woodworker with ADD, I am always looking for a diversion and something to keep me from doing what must be done. These fit the bill.
It was a rewarding build. Hadn’t really used hollows and rounds to any great extent. I scratched the bead on the Melencolia square with a #66 beading tool. The challenge is to figure out the sequence of using the planes and the best way to rough out the molding profiles before using the molding planes. I have been taught it is best to use a block or other plane to remove most of the wood before switching to the hollows and rounds to refine the shape. Block planes are easier to sharpen than a molding plane.
I made multiples because it is easier to make longer moldings than shorter ones. I have learned my lesson there. Now I have to find something to do with the spares. Always my problem, what to do with the stuff I make. Not a bad problem to have. Beats gout.
Ah, the middle of Summer, usually the hottest time of the year but also the usual time for vacations and relaxing. If you’re currently on vacation right now we invite you to sit back in your hammock or adirondack chair and enjoy our July issue of The Highland Woodturner. If you’re not on vacation and sitting at your office desk right now, we still invite you to CLICK HERE and maybe keep the browser covered so the boss doesn’t see you checking out some new woodturning project ideas and tips.
This month’s Woodturning stories and tips include:
Vacuum Chucking: Initial Impressions- Curtis Turner shares his experience in Vacuum Chucking, a system used to help “reverse mount a bowl or platter to provide total access to the bottom of the item.” Curtis goes over his process and the advantages and disadvantages he found when using this system.
Turning with Temple: Long, Thin-Stem Goblets: Temple Blackwood shares his step-by-step process of turning long, thin-stemmed goblets, which make great wedding presents!
Show Us Your Woodturning Shop: This month we take you on a tour of Dennis Purcell’s woodturning shop in Austin, Texas where he has a variety of turning and woodworking tools, including a new “old” lathe.
Popular Woodworking Presents: Woodturning with Tim Yoder: In this 30 minute episode brought to you by Popular Woodworking, Tim Yoder demonstrates the process of turning a Roman Canteen.
Improve Your Turning with the Oneway Woodworm Screw: Phil’s July turning tip gives you a recommendation on how to use the woodworm, the funny-looking screw that comes with chucks.
All of this and more in our July issue of The Highland Woodturner.
Rob Cosman showed me how to lay out dovetails using dividers about 12 or 13 years ago, and I have never looked back. I’ve caught a lot of crap for using the divider method from fellow hand-tool woodworkers who say that laying them out by eye is much faster. I don’t disagree. However, there are some advantages to taking the extra time and use dividers. 1. My work looks more […]
|This is a detail shot of the Fisher property from an 1824 landscape. His yellow 1814 house is on the far right. Photo: Brad Emerson|
"On Saturday, July 26th Joshua Klein of Klein Furniture Restoration will present his research on the furniture produced by Jonathan Fisher (1768 – 1847) of Blue Hill. The talk titled, “The Fashioning Hand of Jonathan Fisher: An Inside Look at the Parson’s Furniture” will begin at 1:00 pm and will be followed by a guided tour of the collection.This exciting new research has uncovered a rare look into the productive life and mind of this farmer-artisan of 19th century Maine. The surviving body of furniture, tools used to produce them, and diary entries recording their creation are a uniquely comprehensive record unparalleled by any other chair or cabinet maker of preindustrial Maine. Klein will discuss how a close investigation of Fisher’s furniture reveals to us insights into the complex relationship between the parson’s religious devotion, intellectual pursuits, and craft skills."
As an aside, I’ve made a little bit more progress on my tool chest… Bottom boards, plinth, and becket cleats. Next up is the interior storage. Oh and I was playing around with some paint yesterday. I decided to grain paint this chest like the mahogany graining so common in Maine in the early 1800s. I’ve not done that before so I am making up some sample boards.
|The Chest in the white|
|The dovetails are reversed on the plinth (for added strength)|
|Becket cleats of poplar I had laying around|
|This is the 'mahoganized' sample board sitting against the chest.|
Part of my job at Popular Woodworking Magazine is to talk with tool manufacturers and get their newest innovations into the PWM shop to test and review. I tend to do things in a big way, which means I have a small mountain of things to review crowding the shop, my cubicle and the storage area in the front of the PWM offices – it’s a big pile. And with […]
If you hunt for the older generation of tools from quality makers, as I do, you’ll know how excited I am to have found these yesterday. A Mathieson Sash Fillister (No.14) and Mathieson Plough Plane (No.12). If anyone has a suitable (grooved set) of Mathieson plough plane blades, please let me know, I need to locate a set as the plane has none.
I’ll shoot some pics of the planes in use soon.
Fixtures really make this chest an excellent storage space. And since I intend to travel with my chest, I want it to travel well. By “well” I mean that I don’t want tools to be damaged in transit. As is, the virgin top space doesn’t meet that standard.
So to ensure that things stay put during the rigors of a “Florida or Bust” road trip I created a number of fixtures.
Top-section Fixture: plane dividers lattice
One of the reasons that my fixture layout worked out so well was because I started with the ones that “fixed” the dimensions of the others. That meant installing the plane lattice dividers first to house the jointer, jack and smoother.
Now, keeping in mind that I often change up my peg-board tool storage layout, I wanted to give myself the flexibility to do that in my chest. So I chose to install free-standing lattice dividers. No glue or screws.
The divider lattice consists of five parts:
(2) runners: poplar-1/2” x 1 ½”
(2) divider slats: poplar-1/4” x 1 ½”
(1) jack/smoother divider: poplar-1/2” x 1 ½”
The lattice joinery is simple. The lateral divider slats have tabs at each end which seat in slots cut into the vertical runners.
I started by cutting the lattice side runners a bit long and then dialed in a snug fit using a shooting board. After that, I sized the slats to create the divided storage areas.
To determine the position of the jointer slat, I measured from the backside of the front, added 3/16” (to allow for the ¼’ thick fall front locks, plus 1/16” clearance from them), added the width of my woodie jointer, plus 1/16” clearance on the back side.
That gave me the inside dimensions of the jointer storage area.
I marked this on the lattice side runners and routed notches for the jointer slat. The notch depth is ½ the width of the runner and the notch width is equal to the width of the slat. With the notches cut, I sawed the jointer slat to length, tweaked it for a snug fit, and routed a “tab” onto each end to fit into the runner notches. The tab depth equals the depth of the notch and the tab length equals the thickness of the side runner.
The next area houses both the jack and the smoother. To complete the lattice for these I repeated the process. The only difference was the addition of a dado in both the jointer and jack slats to accept a ½” thick divider between the jack and smoother.
The completed lattice looks like this.
After the shellac dried, I installed the lattice and turned my attention to the backsaw till. And that is the subject of my next post.
© 2014, Brad Chittim, all rights reserved.
We are now offering a shooting board that balances the need to shoot wide boards for casework and such, with good ergonomics for doing your best work.
Introducing the Wide Board Shooter™:
The Wide Board Shooter is based on our original shooting board designs, with all the same attention to details and high accuracy that comes with them. These boards are 1.5 times (50%) longer with an overall length of 22-1/8th inches that provides shooting usability in the 18 inch width range.
We offer three versions in the Single Chute Models; Basic which has two angle positions at 45 and 90 degrees, Basic Plus which adds a third mounting point for the fence at 22.5 degrees, and the new Multi configuration which adds the 15 and 30 degree mount points for a total of five positions.
There are also three versions of the Wide Board Shooter in our Double Chute shooting board line, and it is available in the Picture Frame, Casework Molding, and Master Miter Shooter Configurations.
We offer these boards in Chute Board configurations for use with the Veritas Shooting Plane and LN-51, as well as the Veritas LA Jack, the 62 LA Jack and the LN-9 Iron Miter plane, and on the boards meant for use with the planes that work ambidextrously this means Left or Right Handed and both at the same time on the Double Chute Models.
All our shooting boards come standard with the chutes drilled and tapped for upgrade chute adapters whenever you’re ready! You are never locked into one style of plane. You can run nearly any bench style plane made on our shooting boards from block to jointer. You can upgrade to a chute board with our various adapters using any of all five planes mentioned above and interchange them all. If you aren’t ready to go with a Chute Board style board at first, you can always upgrade it to one anytime, because our boards will swap Chute Adapters interchangeably.
The overall length of the Wide Board Shooter is about the same as the average workbench. We offer many Accessory Upgrades for our shooting boards that include fences for each angle the board can shoot in both standard and Double High versions, and our Any Angle Fence that can be clamped to fixture at nearly any angle.
Other accessories include a cleat for the bottom that converts our boards for easy use with the Festool MFT/3 Workstation, and a Planing Stop that can convert the shooting board into a Planing Board capable of thicknessing to 1/4 inch with ease, and to around 1/8th inch with a sheet of 1/8 masonite laid under the work. It’s handy for safely dimensioning all sides and ends of shorter, thinner boards.
In all it is a very well rounded, versatile shooting board system and a great choice for general shooting, joinery, boxes, casework like bookcases, blanket chests and tool boxes. As always a necessary tool for assuring the most accurate work in veneering and some lutherie applications. An excellent choice whether you work wood hybrid style or hand tools only, and remember that Shooting Board Planes, LA Jacks and Miter Planes can truly run as Chute Board Planes, and interchangeably in all our boards.
As always, it is available for ordering from our Woodworks Store where you’ll find these and all the other Custom Shooting Boards and Woodworking Tools we offer. Please remember, 10% off for Veterans, and 5% off for Paper Transactions.
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© Copyright 2014 by Rob Hanson for evenfallstudios.com All Rights Reserved.
Among the many great people I’ve met while on staff at Popular Woodworking Magazine (PWM), one of my favorites is Carl Bilderback. Carl is a retired carpenter who has extraordinary skills with both hand and power tools (and he has vast collections of both), and a deep and abiding passion for the craft. He’s an active member of the Mid-West Tool Collectors Assn., and spends a lot of time driving […]
After doing the initial fitting, it was time to get the neck down to a little more hand friendly shape. Before I can do that, I want to get the fingerboard cut to size and bound, using some more of the bloodwood binding. In order to get the correct nut spacing and angles, the width of the binding has to be subtracted from the desired width of the neck. Then the fingerboard is cut on the table saw and the arc at the bottom shaped at the sander. The binding is glued on and, after curing, the fingerboard is surfaced on the bottom. Now it can be glued to the neck blank. (I’m glueing it at this stage, so that the water content in the glue doesn’t cause any warping, which sometimes occurs in a thinner neck blank. After the glue has fully cured, the neck blank can be rough sawn for thickness at the bandsaw. Then the width is routed using the fingerboard as a guide.
Then its time to break out the spokeshaves, rasps, and files and shape the neck and heel. Then, with the neck shaped, the final fitting of the dovetail can begin. I did need to add shims on the dovetail (next one, I shouldn’t try to fine tune the fit until AFTER the neck shaping is done,) but, with it loose, its perfect for dialing in the fit of the heel to the body.
A final overall sanding to everything, and the neck can be glued to the body. With the dovetail joint carefully fitted (after a LOT of checking, tweaking, checking, tweaking, etc.) so that it tightens up just as its seated, it goes together very quickly. Heat the glue, brush it on, slide it together, two clamps, and you’re done!
Then, after making the bridge, and masking it off, I can begin the finishing. I began with a few coats of very thin shellac, sanding between coats. The gold color of the loa really comes out now.
After sanding all of the shellac coats down with 400 grit sandpaper, and masking off the fingerboard, its time to put on the first finish coat of oil/varnish. Now the color just becomes deeper and richer. (I brought it inside to do the bulk of the drying to control the humidity a bit more than the garage. 90% humidity just isn’t good for finishing!)
A few more coats, and it’ll be ready for the final assembly.
The No. 1 question I get from students in my tool chest classes: “Aren’t you tired of building tool chests?”
That’s like asking a delivery-room doctor: “Aren’t you tired of delivering babies?”
Helping woodworkers build a tool chest and workbench that will set them on a life of making things never gets old. Building a chest or a workbench in a classroom with 18 other people is a sometimes-grueling way learn the basic joints of the craft and make mistakes in a place where they can easily be fixed.
And in only five days, it’s all over. You have a place for your tools and you know how to use them.
This week I’m teaching a particularly special Anarchist’s Tool Chest class at Warwickshire College in England. It’s a big deal for me for two reasons. First, it’s the first time I’ve ever taught in England. Second, I am the first instructor hired by The New English Workshop, a small company that has a lot of the same fundamental principles as Lost Art Press.
The two founders, Paul Mayon and Derek Jones, are committed to growing the hand-tool craft in England and supporting the existing structure of craft education in this country (more on that later in the week). They have a lot of interesting classes and events planned for 2015, so do sign up updates from their their blog.
We are three days into the class right now, and things are going well. Except for the fact that I am having the occasional and strange attack of deja-vu. Here’s why: We are building these chests from yellow pine, which is almost certainly from the United States. So as I am surrounded by these tea-sipping, warm-beer-loving English woodworkers, I am occasionally overwhelmed by the familiar turpentine odor of yellow pine. It makes me feel like I’m back in Arkansas and in one of our unfinished houses on the farm. And all the turkeys and armadillos have English accents.
So yeah, it’s a bit weird.
But I love the weird, and so I’m off to a sports bar with the students in a few minutes. I wonder if Bud Light sponsors the local cricket league. I hope not.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: The Anarchist's Tool Chest, Woodworking Classes
The fact that Peter is leaving isn't news. There are rumors that Plimoth Plantation didn't plan to replace him, Chris wrote about this in a post on his blog, but down at the bottom of the comments in that post is a comment by a Sarah MacDonald, that states the organization is updating the job description and expanding the diversity of its craftspeople. (There is no updated job posting for a joiner as of today)
This all gives me pause for thought. What if I were to be hired for the job? I certainly would meet some of the qualifications
I have spent several years developing competency with hand tools in woodworking in general and with working freshly riven, green wood more recently. I can take a fallen tree and turn it into a finished piece of furniture.
I have developed a love for the furniture and construction styles of the 17th century. I have been working on the carving aspect of the craft for several years and it's a very comfortable, natural style for me now.
|My most recent carved interpretation. Walnut carved box sides. I haven't finished the till, lid, or bottom yet.|
And I have experience as an lecturer and educator, I spent two years teaching Surgical Technology and Central Service Technology at Western Technical College, before deciding to return to the field. And my work has been published in a major woodworking publication.
Ok . . . so do I have the job?
Several things will keep me from even applying if the job is posted. Not the least of which is the need to relocate. It is definitely not the right time in our lives to take on another adventure like that. Not for a while.
But the job is still fun to think about, like the "What would I do if I won the lottery?" question. Though the approach that comes across my mind is "What would I do differently?"
Peter is am inspiration to me, I've never managed to come up with a good reason to correspond with him outside of the abject hero workshop and fawning praise of an unapologetic fan boy. But if I were to trip, fall, and land in the job, I would want to make it my own. Standing on the shoulders of giants to see further is more noble than repeating what has been done before in a cookie cutter fashion.
I would certainly have a lot to learn in the job, that would be most of the fun.
Ratione et Passionis