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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...


Still Spots Available in the San Diego Presentation

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 5:17pm


Got two days free in Southern California? Wanna see a guy make a campaign trunk by hand?

There are still seats available in my two-day presentation for the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association seminar this Saturday and Sunday.

I’m building a dovetailed campaign trunk from start to finish – including all the hardware – and talking about a wide variety of hand-tool topics, everything from sharpening to hand joinery to not bleeding on the wood.

The seminar is Saturday and Sunday at Francis Parker School, 6501 Linda Vista Rd. San Diego, CA 92111. The seminar starts at 8 a.m. Saturday. You can still register here online.

All attendees receive a copy of “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” (signed in thumb blood) and the book’s companion DVD.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Woodworking Classes
Categories: Hand Tools

Woodworking in America Trip

David Barron Furniture - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 5:07pm

The day before going to the show we had a good look around Old Salem, which lived up to the recommendation, thanks David.
This was a Mennonite community originating from Eastern Europe. Although the many properties have been for the most part rebuilt, it's been very well done. This is the Two Brothers house which featured some wonderfully executed double dovetail on an amazing scale.

This was the Single Mens house, the single woman's house was just across the green, so not as bad as it sounds!

A fine German bench with a dog leg vice, a very useful thing. Notice the angled support leg, doing the job without getting in the way. I have one of these on the to do list, I must remember that feature.

Another fine old bench with a leg vice and angled legs for maximum stability.

There seemed to be beautifully executed dovetails everywhere, even the stretchers of this stool had them!

And some more with a crazy angle and pins as skinny as you like.

This was the most enjoyable building we visited, the gun smiths shop. We had a fascinating history of the gradual transition from the European ways to new American ones. He also had plenty of well supported opinions on more recent topics such as US gun laws, health and social security. I tried to coax him a couple of times into working on the gun stock behind him but to no avail.

Here's a couple of antique guns (do not touch jobs!) the one at top was the more fancy with plenty of brass inlay and additional shaping. The wood was curly maple which replaced the more traditional maple of Europe. His hand made reproductions of these guns started at $3,000 which I thought seemed quite reasonable, that is when he got round to doing some work!
Anyway with appetite truly whetted it's off to the show!

Categories: Hand Tools

Inlay Experiment – Finished

McGlynn On Making - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 4:35pm

After the aborted first attempt at excavating the inlay cavity, I decided to try again.  I applied a couple of coats of shellac to seal the wood, hoping that it would make the layout lines more visible — it didn’t.  Or at least not by much.  I followed the same process as last time — glue the inlay down with Duco cement, trace around it with a fresh Xacto knife, pop the inlay off and excavate with the mini router.

The hardest part of the whole inlay process was accurately excavating the cavity to fit the inlay into.  I expected it would be sawing the parts, but I was wrong.  What made the inletting difficult (aside from the fact that it’s 100 degrees in the shop) is a combination of tool problems and ergonomics.

I’m having issues with the mini router base not holding it’s position and a few other small issues.  I’ve been emailing with William Ng, and I’m sure he’ll get it sorted out for me.

The ergonomics are a little more of a problem.  I didn’t have a good way to get hold the part at the right height, I didn’t have a good solution for clearing the chips so I could see the line, and the lighting was bad.  I made do, and I have an idea for how to make that better next time.  In fact, I think between getting the tool and ergonomics dialed in I’ll have a much better result and more relaxing time of it overall.

The actual process of inletting was a matter of “hogging” the bulk of the waste out with a 1/8″ bit (if you can consider it “hogging” with a tiny router bit).  I tried to stay about 1/16 off the line as I was hogging out.  Then I switched to a 1/16″ bit and snuck up on the walls, watching for my scribed line to disappear.  Sometimes the line would disappear, but when I looked closely the surface where the wood was scored would come off, but lower in the cavity the wall would still be sticking out.  So the process included a lot of fine tuning until the inlay seemed like it would snap in.

Beginning to "hog out".  It's not a great picture, but when I'm working I can't see the line any more clearly than this (sometimes less)

Beginning to “hog out”. It’s not a great picture, but when I’m working I can’t see the line any more clearly than this (sometimes less)

After a couple of rounds of back-and-forth fine tuning (and the requisite amount of overshooting the line, and only a moderate amount of swearing) I had an inlay-shaped cavity I thought would work.

Cavity ready for the inlay

Cavity ready for the inlay

I filled the bottom of the cavity with Superglue and pressed the inlay in.  The little base had broken loose from the main part, which wasn’t a problem.

Super glue in, now add the inlay pieces which I previously glued together)

Superglue in, now add the inlay pieces which I previously glued together)

I put a sheet of waxed paper over the inlay, added a caul and clamped it in my leg vise for two hours.  It was with a fair amount of trepidation that I pulled it out to check.  I was surprised at how deep the inlay was in the wood.  I’d sawn the veneer about .125″ thick, and only routed the cavity .075″ deep, but it was almost flush.  I think this was from sanding the back of the inlay assembly to remove glue, I’ll have to watch that in the future.

After glue up

After glue up

I started flattening this with 100 grit glued to some plywood scraps.  60 grit would be better, the 100 loaded up pretty quickly.  I had to sand the inlay flush, sand off the glue, shellac and paper.

Flattening the surface

Flattening the surface

Once that was done I checked for any pinholes and gaps and filled those with Superglue.

Fill any gaps with glue

Fill any gaps with glue

Finish sand to 180

Finish sand to 180

Done!  Finished with a light coat of Linseed oil.

Done! Finished with a light coat of Linseed oil.

So I’ll give myself a C+ for effort on this.  It’s obviously got some problems when you look at it up close, although it isn’t a complete disaster.  The problems I see are almost exclusively with the excavating of the cavity.  A little neater job on that, and this would be presentable.  I can see some problems with the sawing too, but surprisingly then almost disappear in the finished piece.  And I’d I’d inlayed this into a dark wood the gaps around the edge would be nearly invisible.

Before I do this again I need to get the router base sorted out, and set up better ergonomics for the process.  Tomorrow if it isn’t too hot I might finish the Thorsen cabinet…


Categories: General Woodworking

JOTMOST Underway For Veterans

Close Grain - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 4:24pm

A young lady tries out the spokeshave at my booth during the Ayer Fourth of July celebration at the town park. Photo by Amelia Pak-Harvey, used by permission of Nashoba Publishing.

JOTMOST, the Joseph O. Thornton Memorial Open Shop Time for veterans, has been going well. I currently have four participants learning hand tool woodworking skills in my basement workshop on Wednesday evenings.

This is a free program open to all US military veterans and active duty, any service, any era. Full information is available here.

One of my past students came over for the first session and wanted to help pay for things. So I used his donation to stock up on materials for the program at Parlee Lumber in Littleton (they celebrate their 200th anniversary as a small working lumber mill next year!).

Generosity begets generosity; as I was chatting with the yard manager at Parlee and told him what I was using the lumber for, he told me to take a couple of extra pieces off the stack.

To help get word out, I setup a booth at the Ayer, MA Fourth of July celebration. I had a number of people of various ages stop by and try out the tools.

I also sent a notice to the town Veteran's Officer, and he very kindly posted it on the town website and Facebook page, helping to bring several people in.

The reporter from the local paper who had taken the photo above asked if she could do a story, so she visited the workshop a couple weeks ago to meet several veterans and get some photos. She wrote up a very nice story that you can read here.

While I only have space for four people at a time, if you're interested in attending or know someone who might be, I can start a wait list and notify you when a spot becomes available.
Categories: Hand Tools

Busy Past, Busy Future Too!

Paul Sellers - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 3:35pm


DSC_0038Yesterday a friend, Fred Sutton who is a craftsman from my home county as a child, dropped in and gave us almost 100 chisels that need new handles turning. A good two hours work! Bevel edged and firmer chisels, some mortise and other styles. I will need to do some turning now. There are other tools too, a nice wooden jack, a Mathieson, and an old Tenon saw by Robert Sorby with 10 tpi and is sharpened to a crosscut, which I think we’ll keep as a crosscut. More restoration work but everyone benefits. John claimed one of the 3/16” Marples mortise chisel and he needs a handle for that one too.



We are about done with the Shaker Deacon’s bench seat and so we are going to release the new series on picture frame making using methods unknown in the last 150 years or so. I mentioned them recently. We’ll use scratch stocks and moulding planes and other methods too. I am so glad we have been able to transition dome of the teaching to video because it saves so much of my writing time. Today we have been working through a series on replicating a table following methods we are unlocking by dismantling the past in the piece itself piece by piece.DSC_0016


DSC_0059 DSC_0041 DSC_0084 DSC_0089It’s been amazing to discover a piece made 150 years ago where every facet is dead square and every leg is identically sized within the smallest fraction of a millimetre. How did they do it? They did it with wooden jack planes and smoothing planes in a few strokes. I so enjoyed starting the filming of this series this week. Today we concluded much of the series and then we get ready for our fall series workshops which include the Craftsman Style Rocking Chair, an introductory Women’s woodworking workshop, Discovering Woodworking and a couple of Foundational Course. Please check online for dates and space availability.

DSC_0304 DSC_0298 DSC_0294 DSC_0261 DSC_0037 DSC_0154 DSC_0222


A lot of what we do in woodworking masterclasses is very unique to us. I am glad for this because that’s what is making our training so unique and refreshing to do. I often think that you might think everything I teach is old stuff I learned as an apprentice and whereas there is a lot in that, much of what we are teaching is new and innovative too. We might take a 100 year old tenon saw and file off all the teeth. We have a brand new video we just worked on that shows how you, not just me, can remove the teeth of any traditional hand or tenon saw that has bad or wrongly sized teeth – and I mean file off every single one of them – and recut and file them sharp in only a few minutes.DSC_0010


The results are stunning and all you need is two or three small and inexpensive tools to do it. So looking forward to sharing this with everyone. Look out everyone with woodworking masterclasses for another new and free video you’ve never seen before. It was a blast to see this come together.

The post Busy Past, Busy Future Too! appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Steam Bending Seminar

Heritage School of Woodworking Blog - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 11:55am

This coming Tuesday evening September 16, at 7:00 PM, you will find me in Dallas, at the North Texas Woodworkers Assc. Meeting. I will be there letting off some steam! Seriously, I will be demonstrating steam bending techniques during this presentation. I will be going over several topics, from choosing your wood and building your […]

The post Steam Bending Seminar appeared first on Heritage School of Woodworking Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Chipbreakers and high cutting angles

Kees - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 10:44am
A lot of time went into this research experiment. Here is an abstract. The complete article will be published soon on Steve Elliott's website: http://planetuning.infillplane.com/

Mechanics of chipbreakers and high cutting angles in woodworking planes.

Kees van der Heiden, The Netherlands, 2014.


When using handplanes, tearout is a typical problem. Two methods to prevent tearout are high cutting angles and chipbreakers set very close to the cutting edge. In previous work it was found that a cutting angle of 60° is equivalent to a chipbreaker setting of 0.1 mm behind the edge when the chipbreaker edge is beveled at 45°. Likewise an angle of 55° is equal to a 0.2 mm setting of the chipbreaker. To compare the two methods a planing machine is used with force transducers to measure the cutting force Fc and the force perpendicular to the wood surface, the normal force Fn. Fc proved to be 30% higher for the plane setups with a high cutting angle, compared to the equivalent chipbreaker settings. Fn is normally negative, pulling the edge into the wood in a standard 45° plane without the chipbreaker. When setting the chipbreaker close to the edge this negative force is slightly reduced, but in high angle planes this is reduced much more and tends towards 0 around a 60° cutting angle, under the circumstances of this experiment. A second experiment has been conducted to measure the forces after a planing distance of 100 meters. The rate of change of Fc is about equal for both methods. The rate of change of Fn is twice as fast for the high cutting angles. The conclusion is that the plane with a chipbreaker is technically more advanced then the plane with a high cutting angle. A hypothesis about how the two methods prevent tearout is proposed in this article too.

Categories: General Woodworking

How To Choose a Sharpening Stone, Part 4: What I Use

Heritage School of Woodworking Blog - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 10:12am

See our previous posts on how to choose a sharpening stone. In view of what I’ve learned from many years of experience using different sharpening stone systems, I’ve settled on using the diamond stones mentioned in the previous post, following the finest diamond stone with a hard translucent oil stone. I’ve chosen this stone because it’s hard, […]

The post How To Choose a Sharpening Stone, Part 4: What I Use appeared first on Heritage School of Woodworking Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

English Field Gate

Benchcrafted - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 6:43am

Categories: Hand Tools

RWW 183 Picnic Style Dining Table Part 1

The Renaissance Woodworker - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 6:02am

In this part 1 I focus on milling the quite substantial 10/4 and 12/4 Walnut stock and joint and gluing up the parts of the top. Here again I present my hybrid milling process that I detailed in episode 182, but it should be noted that it is possible to use this same process on the edges of the boards. A general rule of thumb is that you should not run a board through the planer whose width is more than 3 times the thickness. So with me using 2.5″ thick Walnut for the legs, I can comfortably run the 4″ width and quickly surface them on 4 sides.

Project Resources

Categories: Hand Tools

Making Tortoiseshell, er, Tordonshell

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 4:49am

We’ve got a weekend workshop on Boullework Marquetry coming up at The Barn the first weekend of October. Recently I made a batch of artificial tortoiseshell for us to use in that workshop, with at least two pieces for each participant.  One of the exercises for the weekend will be to make another batch so that each attendee can make their own once they get back home.


My method is described somewhat in an article I will post next week in the Writings section of the web site, but here again is how I did it this time.  Start with a flat clean surface with a sheet of mylar on which to cast the artificial shell on.


Cast out the material on the mylar,


then create the pattern.  The upper row of scutes is made to mimic “hawksbill” turtles, and the lower row “greenback” turtles.  Once that is firm, cast a second layer of polymer on top of the pattern to complete the composite, and you are done.

PS  –  I purposefully left out all the chemistry stuff.  It’s in the article

PPS  If you are interested in joining us for the course, drop me a line through the “Contact” function of the web site.

Inspiration in the Wood-Pile

The Unplugged Woodshop - Tom Fidgen - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 4:32am
  …The wood was gray and the bark warping off it And the pile somewhat sunken.Clematis Had wound strings round and round it like a bundle….                                       ...
Categories: Hand Tools

WORK No. 130 - Published September 12, 1891

Work Magazine Reprint Project - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 4:00am













Disclaimer: Articles in Work: The Illustrated Weekly Journal for Mechanics describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.
The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.
The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.
You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.

• Click to Download Vol.3 - No. 130 •

Categories: Hand Tools

Japanese woodworking resources

Giant Cypress - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 3:58am

For my talks at Woodworking in America, I created a document of resources for folks interested in Japanese woodworking. Originally, I was going to provide this as a handout, but in an effort to save trees so we can all have more lumber to use, I created a downloadable PDF file. You can download the list here. I hope you enjoy it.

More mockups, and some tenoning strategies

The Black Dog's Woodshop - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 7:13pm
Over the last few days I mocked up the top half of the chair I'm working on. This chair will have 7 narrow spindles, plus two somewhat beefier stiles on the ends. So the first step was to taper the bottom ends of the stiles to match my 5° reamer. Initially, I tried to do this freehand; the result was not bad but it took forever. So, I decided to make  a tapered tenon reamer. This was easy to do and worked well.
The first step was to bore and ream a hole in a piece of scrap. I reamed at slight angle, squaring the body of the reamer to the side of the scrap piece.

Then I planed the side until I opened up a slot of even width,

and then cleaned up the slot and bolted a plane frog on.

Peter Galbert, in this post, recommends using a Bedrock frog, which is kind of funny because Bedrock anything sells at a premium on the used market. I'm sure a plane Jane frog would be fine, but it just so happens that I have a bunch of spare Bedrock parts--some Ebay criminal sold me a dud years ago that I never got around to fixing up.

The tenoner worked great, although I fouled up the hole on my second try and had to redo it. The lesson I learned is that the tenoner works best--at least for me--as a finishing tool, after I had already shaped the tenon pretty close to its final size.

The other ends of the stiles have shouldered, untapered tenons. I found these much easier to cut freehand. With my stiles still in octagonal form, I marked off the tenon with a combination square and cut the shoulder all the way around with a backsaw.

Then I just used a chisel to split off the waste.

I split conservatively, and then pared to the lines. I concentrated on making as accurate a square section as I could first.

Then, I made an octagon, and finally shaved the corners off the octagon to get a pretty nice round tenon.

I didn't want to drill into one of my nice steam-bent oak crest rails without experimenting first, so I mocked up a rail out of cheapo spruce construction lumber. I just traced out the pattern twice on a 2 x 6, and laminated the pieces together. Here was my initial mockup, with no spindles, just the stiles.

I'm really glad I did this. I learned two big things. First, it was too high. At this height, the top of the crest rail would finish at about 37" high. It was really uncomfortable, but dropping it down to around 35.5" made a big difference. 
Second, the crest rail initially had the same backward-sloping angle as the stiles.  This caused the bottom of the crest rail to dig into my back. Angling it forward a little helped a lot. I redrilled the holes and postioned the spindles approximately where I'd like them to go:

The spindles obviously need to be thinned a lot. But this looks good enough that I'm ready to start working on the real thing, finally...
Categories: Hand Tools

Charles Hayward, Coffins & a Tribute

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 5:05pm


While scanning more than 350 old magazines edited by Charles Hayward, we kept running into articles that were made us pause because they were so interesting, yet we didn’t have a place for them in our forthcoming book.

We clipped them anyway, and I’ll be posting many of them here for you to enjoy.

Today is an article from the fantastic series called “The Old School,” which ran in The Woodworker between the wars. Each “Old School” column was a first-person account of work in a hand-tool shop at a different trade. This particular column was on making coffins.

You can download a pdf of the article using the link below.


Also, reader Jeff Hanes sent me this link to a film by craftsman Jeremy Broun about Hayward’s influence on him as a craftsman and illustrator. It is well worth watching.

Tomorrow I am off to San Diego to teach a two-day seminar at the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association. I have take the smart extremely stupid step of packing all of my tools and the wood for my project in my checked luggage. Along with my undies and minty floss.

Well, it couldn’t be worse than my performance in Detroit!

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Charles H. Hayward at The Woodworker, Downloads
Categories: Hand Tools

Saw Bench Refurbishment

David Barron Furniture - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 2:10pm

A good customer from NSW in Australia sent me these pictures of the refurbishment of a 20 year old Magic panel saw. It's pictured arriving in what he calls his shed!!

It was stripped right down to remove the surface rust and allow for respraying.

Here are the workings being lifted clear. I could have done with a forklift in my 'shed' once or twice!
The saw was treated to a new motor and a clean up.

The saw in all it's refurbished glory with a set of heavy duty wheels to push it around.

The saw cost $800 on E Bay and the total cost including an allowance for labour was $3,000.
That sound s a bargain and I know Peter has already put it to good use making some new office desks.

Categories: Hand Tools

Interview on The Highland Woodworker

Design Matters - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 12:32pm


Last Spring I had an interview with Charles Brock from The Highland Woodworker lined up, so  I took a cue from Ron Breese and deep cleaned the workshop. Ron mentioned that he touched every thing in the shop and I vowed to do the same. It quickly reached a point I call the “Nadir”, with the usual side effects of self loathing and regret. Seventy two trips up the stairs to assemble a pile of junk visible from outer space and everything that escaped execution got scrubbed, scraped, and put right. Why didn’t I do this years ago?

Oh by the way, we had fun filming this segment for The Highland Woodworker and they even managed to make this old snapping turtle look respectable. Take a look.


The interview begins at 25:35

Note: Many of the furniture shots were from some of the fine folks who allowed Jim and I to display their work in our book By Hand & Eye. The curly maple desk and tall clock are pieces I made.

George R. Walker

‘By Hand & Eye’ Animations

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 11:59am

BHAE_detail2_500_IMG_7428Here you can download the geometry animations discussed in “By Hand & Eye” by George Walker and Jim Tolpin. There are a variety of ways to download them to your computer or watch them.

  1. Download the following .zip file. After it lands in your “Downloads” folder, double-click it and it will extract itself. You will have a folder with three documents. Double-click on “By Hand & Eye Animations.html.” That will open your default web browser and you will see all the animations.


  2. Follow this link to a Dropbox folder where the three files discuss in No. 1 will be located. Download those. Double-click on “By Hand & Eye Animations.html” to get started.
  3. Visit Jim Tolpin’s YouTube channel. Scroll down and you’ll see all the animations there.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: By Hand & Eye, Downloads
Categories: Hand Tools

Woodworking in America 2014 Here I come!

Matt's Basement Workshop - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 11:00am

The wait is finally over! As this post is going live I’m close to boarding a plane heading to Woodworking in America 2014 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

A full weekend of nothing but full-immersion into woodworking goodness and overload with some of my closest friends from around the country, and even internationally (it’s just Canada, but technically it counts I guess?)

Highlights from WIA 2013

If you’re in attendance be sure to keep an ear out for the Chortle or an eye open for the Woobie and then come up and say “hi,” I always look forward to meeting as many woodworking friends as possible each visit.

For whatever reason, if you can’t make it this year I promise to gather up as many photos, videos and great stories from the weekend as possible to share with you in the days to follow when I get home.

Don’t forget, the whole reason I’m able to attend this year, to keep getting this great content, is thanks to the folks at Highland Woodworking. I’ll not only be gathering great content for my own blog, but for their’s also.

Can’t make it for the entire weekend but have a few hours to spend in the vendors marketplace? You’ll find me in there too…a lot! Print this coupon and save a couple of dollars on the entry fee, then use it on an amazing tool, or spend all your time checking out the free seminars happening every hour.

Click on this picture, print it and bring it with you if you're planning to only visit the marketplace!

Click on this picture, print it and bring it with you if you’re planning to only visit the marketplace!

Help support the show – please visit our advertisers

Categories: Hand Tools


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