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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...

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Drilling The Mortise On A Moulding Plane Accurately & Efficiently By Hand

Caleb James Chairmaker Planemaker - Mon, 06/16/2014 - 9:41am
I am really excited to be sharing this method of drilling. I know I started this subject a while back on drilling by hand with a bit and brace but I never followed up on the rest of the process. The reason is, frankly, I have struggled a bit with doing this part with absolute confidence every time I approached it. Now though I have been using a new approach that has changed all that. Heres how it goes. Warning- This is a bit of a long post but it is worth it.

First off, out with the bit brace and in with the cordless drill. I know, I know but once you see the results, and I guarantee they are worth it, then you can try this with a bit brace if you want. I love my bit brace but until I find some bits that are long enough, thin enough and don't break then I am going to stick with my new method.

In fact what prompted this new method is that one of the tiny Japanese auger bits I used to drill the mortises broke. I order these from a German supplier and shipping, etc. is a real pain in the wallet. I wanted something simpler.

So then, you will need some long thin drill bits. More on where to source these at the end of the post. Lets get to the process.

The key to making this who process so simple and elegant is a drilling jig. Trust me this isn't cheesy. Whats cool is that you likely already have this jig if you make moulding planes. It is the saw guide jig. This guides your saw as you cut the bed and breast angles. Below is the jig on the plane billet. (Billet has been sawn and waste from escapement chopped away already)

Moulding plane saw guide in place

So this is how it began... I came down to the shop on one weekend before getting ready to do a big order and as I had just broken a tiny auger bit recently I was pondering a new way to get the job done. I was even considering doing the efficient approach Matt Bickford uses with the drill press. Nothing wrong with this method at all. In fact, I had already ordered some long thin drill bits just for giving this method a try. However, If you know me though, I hate to set up any kind of machine or jig. I use them only when it is the most efficient method and only when any other way is just frustrating. As I have said before, I am just too lazy to set up a jig if I don't really really have too. I promise this is not a purist notion it really is just me being lazy.

So, I was thinking about how to make the jigs work on my drill press when my new method just jumped out at me. I though, why not just flip the saw guide around to the top of the billet and then use it as a drilling guide. All that was missing was the other angle for the "lean" of the blade in the plane. 


In practice you will align the jig with your drilling location so that you can just rest your drill lightly against the jig to maintain the correct angle. This takes care of the bed and breast angles.

I figured that the "lean" angle could simply be drawn on the end of the jig and I could just approximate the angle by judging the gap between my drill bit and the drawn line. 


Use the same process on both the bed and breast angles. Then, depending on the # size of plane you are drilling, you will do as many as one or two additional holes between the bed and breast holes.


These above ones are #2s and the ones below are #4s. I always do four holes for the #2 and three holes for the #4. The center holes are just approximated but I still use the lean angles on the jig to keep that on track. 

You will want to start with some very shallow pilot holes. Just deep enough to get the bit started at a steep angle. I do this before placing the jig on the billet. Start the drill bit at 90˚ to the top and then swinging the dill to the approximate drilling angle. It helps to place the billet in the tail vise with the mortise being vertical. It is easier to approximate vertical then any other random angle. I don't try to actually apply any down pressure but just attempt to get the hole started in the right direction. You can see a "pilot" hole on the #4 plane below.


Once all of the holes are drilled then you are ready to remove the very little waste remaining. Before you start this next part it is a good idea to go back and carefully "redrill" the holes to pull any shavings out. Be careful since you can easily drill into the bed or breast. 

Now, Start at the top and just nibble your way down until you can't remove any more waste. Take little bites and clear every little nibble out so that it doesn't remain in the mortise. Hand pressure is all you need here.




Once you can't remove anymore waste then you are ready to mortise straight down the bed and breast angle. Again, take light blows and alternate from bed to breast until you are through. As long as you can get a float into the mortise and start clearing things out you are done. It is easy to get really stuck so do as little as is needed in this position.

By the way if you have never made a plane then the video from Old Street Tools is the one to get. It will make this post more understandable. Larry Williams and Lie-Nielsen did a fantastic job on explaining how to make a pair of hollow and round moulding planes. Get it if you don't have it.

The crucial tool to make this possible is the long thin drill bits. You will need to special order these very likely. I want to mention that Bill Anderson who teaches at The Woodwrights School emailed me a while back and turned me on to this source. Thanks Bill! 



Above is a photo of the list of drill bits I own from McMaster-Carr just for drilling these holes. I primarily use the smaller bits since those are the hardest to find that are long enough.

You will still need to grind these into a brad point bit. It isn't really hard but it is intimidating if you have never done it.  Peter Galbert taught me this method and he has two great posts on his blog from years ago on how to do it. Post #1 & #2. If I where you, I would practice on some used up bits you have lying around. Don't be intimidated. Give it a try and you will feel empowered and surprised at what a little know how can do for you. No need to buy those expensive HSS brad points when you can grind your own. 

After all is said and done I just like how so many people can have an effect on how we personally reach an efficient and accurate way to our work. 

Keep sharing!






Categories: Hand Tools

Joinery

Northwest Woodworking - Mon, 06/16/2014 - 6:25am

Joinery is the art of knowing what wood to remove and what to leave behind. Reductive & simple, yet seductive in its intricacies balancing negative space with strength. Take too much wood away and you leave no strength. Take too little and you’ve compromised the tenon. You are the joinery designer/ engineer.

There are several important details to know about wood and its properties. Double a board’s measure in height and it is four times stronger than doubling a board in its width. Hmm. Wood moves more across its growth rings than between and none in its length. Hmm, again. Wood has little tensile strength between its fibers. There is more, but finally you have to practice. To learn what is a good fit takes practice and care with one’s tools.

Two weeks of joinery class start June 23rd. It will change your woodworking to learn this skill. Please join us.

 

Image


Categories: Hand Tools

Hobo’s Personal Log, June 15

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 06/16/2014 - 2:07am

june15

June 15 is the day when I take stock of everything that has happened in the last 12 months and think about what is coming in the next 12 or 120.

It’s an important date because on June 15, 2011, I left Popular Woodworking Magazine and began to work full time for Lost Art Press, which John Hoffman and I started in 2007. There’s a naval-gazing aspect to this personal exercise, and I won’t bore you with those sorts of details.

Instead, I’ll bore you with a short list of the projects on the horizon. These are projects where we have signed a contract. They will happen. But I cannot say when. So when you ask me: “When will that be out?” My answer will be: “I don’t know.”

1. “The Woodworker Magazine: 1936-1966. The Charles Hayward Era.” We have contracted with the owners of The Woodworker magazine to reprint hundreds of articles on handwork they published between 1936 and 1967, almost all of them by Charles Hayward. This project began the day we started Lost Art Press and, if all goes to plan, it will be out in time for Christmas. John Hoffman, Ty Black, Megan Fitzpatrick, Phil Hirz and I have poured hundreds of hours into this project during the last six years to collect, organize, digitize and edit this information for publication.

2. “Woodworking in Estonia.” We have signed a contract with Ants Viires to produce a new English translation of his important and rare book. The translation is underway. The earlier English translation was not authorized by Viires, it was poorly done and has horrible photos. Our version will be like all our books: worth owning.

3. “Turning Fundamentals” by Alan Lacer. When I began turning about a decade ago, I looked for a book that covered everything in a deep way: tools, sharpening, spindle and faceplate turning. I couldn’t find one that made me happy. Alan is currently writing this book. It will be a monster.

4. “The Traditional Shop” by Richard Maguire. This is another book I wanted when setting up shop. It will be a complete overview of how to set up your shop for handwork. It will dive deep into benches, sawbenches, appliances, storage, lighting and arranging things. I cannot think of anyone better to write this book.

5. “Practical Design” by Jeffrey Miller. This book will outline Miller’s process for designing furniture, from its concept to the finished piece. Jeff will be discussing the book and his approach on his blog in the coming months.

There are other books in the fetal stages, including books on American campaign furniture, Danish modern furniture, “Furniture of Necessity” and 17th-century joiner’s work. And there are projects that are much closer to publication: Roubo on furniture, H.O. Studley, Andrew Lunn’s book on saws, Peter Galbert’s chair book, Roy Underhill’s novel and “The Naked Woodworker” with Mike Siemsen to name a few.

After reading the above list, I think I should stop writing this blog entry and get back to editing. There is work to be done.

Hobo out.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Books in the Works
Categories: Hand Tools

Things for the Metal Fan from the Rural Life Museum

The Furniture Record - Sun, 06/15/2014 - 9:39pm

There’s a lot for the ferrophile (iron lover) at the Rural Life Museum in Baton Rouge. There are manufactured products, furniture parts, house parts, and a blacksmith’s shop. It took a while to decide how to sort the images since they are throughout the entire museum grounds.

There are several display boards of manufactured products like these:

Display of manufacture items.

Display of manufacture items.

More products.

More products.

Some really big bellows:

Need wind?

Need wind?

All sorts of interesting hardware in and on the buildings. Many of the buildings are from the same plantation so it would make sense that they may be of similar design and construction.

One of many pintle hinges.

One of many pintle hinges.

And finally, the smithy’s shop:

Looks like a blacksmith's shop...

Looks like a blacksmith’s shop…

Click HERE to see all 35 pictures from the LSU Rural Life Museum.


Dropping Ducks

The Blokeblog - Sun, 06/15/2014 - 2:30pm
I happened to be doing a little machining today on some odds n'sods and noticed that despite my best efforts,  the Camvac 286 wasn't quite producing as much suckage as it ought, which was mildly disconcerting to say the least….stuff was flowing, but not nearly with the same gusto as before.

Puzzled, I was….

I started to look at the joints between all the gates, 'T's and pipes etc and all seemed tight.  All nicely bound with duct tape, with a pair of plastic ties on each to make them air tight  Then I noticed a couple of gates weren't closing properly by around 3mm, allowing air to leak past….not much, but enough.

The gates in question opened horizontally, allowing a build up of grunge in the groove, so there was nothing for it but to remove the culprits , clean them out with a 2mm Allen key and re-assemble the system so that all the gates, including the two offending ones, now opened by pulling vertically downwards.

It's little things like this that make all the difference, so it's worth paying a bit of attention and getting all one's 'ducks in a row' when the system's installed.

Which I clearly didn't first time round.

Again.
Categories: Hand Tools

Shooting Boards. Choosing which is best for your needs.

Evenfall Studios - Sun, 06/15/2014 - 1:45pm

I often field questions regarding what shooting board is the best fit for a woodworker. The truth is, it depends on the scope of ones work. What do you like to make? What do you think you will want to make in the future as your skills and design eye develop?

I want to take a few moments and try and help. While I cannot choose which shooting board is best for your style of work, we do offer a lot of different models to help support the work you do.

I may share some things about shooting boards and geometry you already know and understand, but in my experience in helping people understand which shooting board will serve them best, this explanation is thorough and helpful for getting everyone to a common understanding for making good decisions that work well over the long run.

First, some important facts.

There are 360 degrees in a circle.

180 degrees is half a circle and 90 is 1/4th of a circle. 45 degrees is 1/8th 22.5 is a 1/16th… Some of these are angles we commonly shoot.

Geometrically speaking, if a box which is three sided or more closes perfectly on each side, the sum of those angle will also equal 360 degrees.

On those boxes, wherever there is an angle, that angle includes a miter.

A miter is an angle too, and the angle of any miter when cut perfectly will measure to be half of the total angle. e.g. if you have a 90 degree angle, you will need two miters, a left and right side, which measure 45 degrees, and mating those angles will result in the complete angle, thus: 45 left plus 45 right equal 90.

** It is always important to note that the miter angle is not the same as the total angle, and we need to be specific about which kind of angle we are referencing when we speak of what we want to do. What we want, and what it takes to get there are not the same thing.**

Acute angles are less than 90 degrees.

Oblique angles are more than 90 degrees.

Particularly when considering triangles, it takes “miter”angles less than 45 degrees (acute angles) to form miters for “total” angles which will be less than 90 degrees.

When considering box shapes that include “total” angles 90 degrees or greater, the “miter” angles will generally fall between 45 and 90 degrees. (Also acute angles)

Depending on the miter angle, acute “miter” angles can be used to form total angles that can become total angles that are either acute or oblique depending on which side of the 45 degree point they are on.

A shooting board that can shoot most any “miter” angle between 0-90 degrees, can be used to form “total angles between 0-180 degrees and in in rectilinear stock, that 180 degrees remains true for 360 degrees.

If stock is rectilinear, it is either square or rectangular on face and edge. It can be flipped end for end and edge for edge and shot for “miter” angles. Left and right are interchangeable. As such, it can be accurized on a single chute shooting board.

If stock is a molding, it has a face side that is NOT rectilinear. This forces it to have a distinct left and right end, and it can only be accurized on a shooting board that has both a left and right chute and must be shot in the position it is intended to be placed.

Ok, so with that said, I’ll step into some details about Evenfall Studios shooting boards a bit.

Assuming we are shooting rectilinear stock, a single chute shooting board will work great!

Our shooting boards are built to be accurate and versatile. They are meticulously made to be legacy tools. In our single chute line, We offer five different models, from two to seven adjustable, and calibratable mounted angles. As a for instance, our Ultra Shooter has seven mounted adjustable angles it can be set to, and includes all the angles offered in our single chute board line . The included Standard Fence is made for shooting 90 and 45 degree angles only, but we offer a fence for each of the included mountable angles as accessories. I recommend them if you intend on shooting one specific angle frequently. We also offer a double high fence in every angle as well.

For all angles between 0 and 90 that our shooting boards will not specifically fixture, (and they will fixture the most used ones) there is the Any Angle Fence. Using it, we can mount at any angle the board will fixture, plus by using an F style clamp, it will fixture any angles between 0 and 90 within reason. (A one degree angle would be difficult to use and shoot, but also be unusable)

Fence thickness usability for blowout protection is about 11/16ths on the Standard Fence. 1-7/16th thick on the Double High Fence. The Any Angle Fence comes with two faces. One is 1″ high, the other 1-23/32nds high, which is the max a 2 inch wide plane iron can reach on our boards.

All our shooting board come standard (since 2012) with mounting bosses drilled and tapped for using any style chute adapter we offer., So if you buy a board without a Chute Adapter and want to upgrade later, it’s easy. If you already have a pre 2012 board without the bosses drilled and taped, we offer kits and instructions for retrofitting them.

Executive Summary:

Our single chute shooting board line when coupled with an Any Angle Fence will give you command over shooting any “miter” angles between 0-90 accurately. Command over shooting all “total” angles between 0-180 degrees. If the stock is rectilinear, you will have command over all angles needed for any shape to close boxes from 0-360. What would you like to build?

If you are working with moldings, then the Master Miter Shooter is the board for inside and outside miters which are based on 90 degree total angles.

If this explanation helps you better understand how to choose a shooting board for your needs, please feel free to place your order from our Online Store. If you still have any questions, please feel free to Contact Us.

We enjoy your questions and comments! Please Contact Us.

Thanks for visiting Evenfall Studios!

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

Categories: Hand Tools

The Hunt for the Earliest Holdfasts

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 06/15/2014 - 12:17pm
Magic workholding from the Middle Ages.

Magic workholding from the Middle Ages.

To amuse ourselves, Jeff Burks, Suzanne Ellison and I have been trying to find the earliest extant holdfast or the earliest image of one. We’ve gone way back, but the trail goes dead in Roman times. We have people saying the Romans had holdfasts, but we have yet to see one in a museum or image.

roman_stops

W.L. Goodman, the author of “The History of Woodworking Tools,” wrote “sometimes the Romans used an L-shaped iron hold-fast, and for planing, serrated dogs or bench stops” in a September 1964 article for The Woodworker magazine.

Download the full article here.

Goodman_on_benches

Robert Ulrich, the author of “Roman Woodworking,” describes a device that could be a holdfast or a pinch dog, but it’s likely a pinch dog. See these images from the British Museum.

roman_holdfast

I’m suspect the Romans had holdfasts, which is why I keep looking. (It’s something to do after I’ve had a couple beers and shouldn’t operate machinery.) There’s a 18th-century copy of a Roman fresco (which we think is now destroyed) that shows a holdfast. That image (above) is from “Le Antichità di Ercolano, Volume 1,” by Tommaso Piroli (engraver) 1789.

Here’s Jeff’s translation of the image’s accompanying text:

The other involves a curious painting expressing two genii, engaged in the art of the Joiner. The plank with a toothed iron for stopping the boards, a saw, a hammer, a box for storing other instruments of the art are to be seen in the workshop. On the wall a shelf with a vase from the oglio likely to grease the blade. What the above mentioned two genii Joiners were meant to indicate that inclination arose also called the genius of their respective crafts.

So if you see one when you are touring Roman ruins or European museums (which have hordes of Roman artifacts) this summer, let us know.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Historical Images, Workbenches
Categories: Hand Tools

Whiffs Of Fresh Air

Inside the Oldwolf Workshop - Sun, 06/15/2014 - 9:53am

Yesterday I had an excellent day visiting with people and doing carving demonstrations at the Castlerock Museum of Arms and Armor in nearby Alma Wisconsin. It's a fantastic museum filled with history mostly from Medieval and Renaissance Europe.


The crowds were great, just big enough to keep me busy but not a swarming mass. They were all interested in the carvings I was working on, but more than other demos I've done in the past, full of intelligent and thoughtful questions. I'm used to a lot of questions about the tools, species of wood and mostly the amount of time each carving takes. People assume it takes days of sweat and work to complete a carved panel and that really couldn't be further from the truth.

I wish I could figure out a better way to explain that there isn't any magic involved in what I do. You just have to decide you want to do it.


For the first time I fielded a lot of questions about finishing pieces. When I was packing up the night before, as a last minute thought I threw my polissoirs in the chest and I was glad I did. People were fascinated with the idea of burnishing in a wax finish.

There was also a glimmer of hope for our collective futures.

At least half a dozen different people brought up the discussion about the loss of traditional craftsmanship. Maybe it was just the temper of the crowd or the day, but many, made listed the arguments to me that I've listed to others about the need for enduring products, made by hand, in our homes and in our lives. There was general disgust for the press-board crap furniture on the shelves of superstores and the dubious companies that make them. Most expressed the sentiment they'd rather pay a little more for something that lasts, something made in the US if not made local, and something that they can potentially hand down to the next generation past them.

Some even spoke to me about the things they wanted to learn to start making, things they remember their grandparents making.

As I was driving home in the evening I was decided it's possible, just possible, the culture is starting to change. I'm not holding my breath, but to even catch a whiff of this fresh air was fantastic.


For me, the day was also a chance to catch up with Thomas Latane, a master blacksmith who is fast becoming a good friend. He brings quite the impressive forge set up along.

Thom also brought along one of his former students Paul Nyborg.


Paul was also doing a carving demonstration, his had a little more purpose than mine. Most of the time I simply grab a board and start a panel for a box or box lid, sometimes at the end of the day I finish them sometimes I don't. Paul was working on the parts for a Wainscot Chair.


It's always fun to visit with other woodworkers, but someone who's interests align so close to mine was extra exciting. Besides you have to like a guy who built his tool chest from wide walnut boards resawn to thickness by hand and using hardware he forged himself.


Even though a thunderstorm rolled in and doused the event late in the afternoon, over all it was a great day. I'll be looking forward to my next demo with the museum soon.

Ratione et Passionis
Oldwolf

I almost forgot to share the fruits of my efforts for the day. A fun carved panel for the front of a document box.

Categories: General Woodworking

‘Roubo’ Kitchen Island

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sun, 06/15/2014 - 7:55am

I’ve finally decided on a design for a kitchen island that will hold a mid-sized microwave and cookbooks, and serve as a table with room for stool storage underneath. The design parameters are quite rigid due to window, door and vent locations…plus the dimensions of microwaves of useful size. (If you wish to read more about the specs, and see my design progression – plus pictures of my cats – […]

The post ‘Roubo’ Kitchen Island appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Shaping the Top

McGlynn On Making - Sun, 06/15/2014 - 7:22am

After finishing off the re-assembly of the guest bedroom yesterday morning (on top of an absolutely insane work week) I planned to go out to the shop and make some progress on the Thorsen Cabinet.  And I did, right after a short power nap.  I sat down to watch a few minutes of a Paul Sellers video on making a Craftsman-style lamp, and I just sort of folded up.

Once I made it out to the shop I picked up where I left off.  I had the top cut to size, flat and square – but I noticed that it had slightly bowed. as had the sub-top in the cabinet.  The main top panel was easy to re-flatten, I’m still dealing with the warp in the assembled cabinet.  I put a clamp on it to pull it back straight and left it overnight, hopefully that will let me glue it up today.

I should explain the construction on this cabinet a little.  The sides of the cabinet are 3/4″ thick.  There is a 1/2″ thick top that is glued/screwed into a rabbet cut into the sides.

Cabinet with only the 1/2" thick sub-top in place

Cabinet with only the 1/2″ thick sub-top in place

Then there is a 7/8″ thick top that is longer and wider than the cabinet that will be attached to the cabinet.  In the video they showed driving six screws through the sub-top into the larger overhanging top, then plugging all six screw holes.  I didn’t care for that approach, so I am planning on just gluing it — but no matter what the two surfaces need to be true to have a clean glue up.  Here is the cabinet with the unshaped top sitting in place.

Cabinet with the unshaped top mocked up

Cabinet with the unshaped top mocked up

The larger “over top” needs to be undercut along the bottom to produce a 5/16″ profile.  I made a giant tall fence for my table saw out of MDF, cranked up the blade to 2.5″ and made three rip cuts to remove the 5/16″ waste.  The first pass I undershot a little (shown below) and only removed about 1/4″.  I re-set the fence (measure twice, cut twice) and remove the rest of the material.  The resulting surface was not really acceptable, there were minor differences in height between the end cuts and the long rip cut at the front (maybe 1/32″).  I used my low angle jack plane and a shoulder plane to clean up the surface, right up to the reveal.

Waste material removed from the underside on my table saw

Waste material removed from the underside on my table saw

Then I used an 5/16″ ovolo bit to shape the reveal, and a 3/16″ round over bit to shape the edges.  I perhaps could have done these steps with some hollow moulding planes, but I only have odds and ends, and I haven’t spent the time to get them all sorted out.  Maybe I’ll block out a day this week to get the ones I have set up and figure out.

Anyway, the router made quick work of the edger treatments, and I followed that up with a round of sanding to make everything nice.

The reveal on the underside of the top shaped

The reveal on the underside of the top shaped

With the top sitting in place on the cabinet you can see the final effect.  I did a dry run for the glue up, and decided I wanted to try to convince the sub-top to go back to being flat before I glued this.  I put a clamp on it to pull it slightly past flat in the other direction and left it over night.  I’ll get this glued up one way or another this morning.  Then I have a little work to do for the cabinet back, and finally on to the door construction.

Top mocked up, this shows off the undercut and profile

Top mocked up, this shows off the undercut and profile

One more view

One more view…  I need to clean up the shop and put away tools before I start the next step.


Categories: General Woodworking

Concept Builders Woodworking

The Craftsman's Road - Sun, 06/15/2014 - 6:00am

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In this episode we talk with Bill Barnett from Concept Builders Woodworking.  Also in this episode a little discussion about what I have currently going on in my own shop, and some of the benefits of attending your local woodworkers guild.

 

*Note* I know these show notes are terrible. I apologize, I am not a big fan of writing show notes. I am working on creating a template to follow for each show to give you all something that I don’t feel I must apologize for, but in the mean time here is a couple bullet points and if you need anything specific just send me an email. Thanks

 

  • Bill has found that craft fairs are a good market for the type of products he offers, and has choosen the ones that have worked best giving him the most sales and committed to attending these shows regularly.
  • Word of mouth marketing is what Bill says best describes his marketing approach
  • Designing and prototyping, Bill takes this time to not only work out what is visually appealing to him but also the build sequence.
Categories: General Woodworking

Inlaid Box #4

Woodworker's Edge - Sun, 06/15/2014 - 5:04am

IMG_1752I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “never send a boy to do a man’s job.” That holds true for magnets, too. After hinges were added to the inlaid box, I drilled and installed two rare-earth magnets to hold the lid closed. Working in only 1/2″-thick material, I decided to use smaller-diameter magnets. After drilling the first hole and wanting the two magnets to line up, I used a 23-gauge pin as a center finder to mark the lid location for the second magnet – it worked like a charm. I epoxied the magnets in place and went home for the day.

CombinedA

The next day, I dropped by the shop on my way to work just to check my magnetic lid setup. The magnets looked great. They were perfectly aligned. There was not enough pull, however, to hold the lid closed. Crap! Now I’d have to pull those magnets, repair the box and lid from the destruction of pulling the magnets and come up with another option to hold the damn lid closed. I thought about it for a couple days then decided to stay with the magnets, but increase the size. Go big or go home, I guess.

IMG_1747With the repairs made and the two magnets holding strong, I was ready to apply a finish, so I mixed up a little oil/varnish finish for the box. I’ve used this finish on many pieces of furniture, including a Shaker sewing desk and a Seymour marble-top sideboard. It’s easy to make and easier to use.

Mix 1/3 boiled linseed oil, 1/3 spar varnish (spar adds a bit of elasticity to the finish) and 1/3 turpentine (I’m told you can use mineral spirits as well, but I’ve never done so). That’s it. For larger jobs, I mix enough for 1-1/2 coats, then eliminate the turpentine (50/50 varnish and oil) as I add to the mixture. The turpentine simply thins the mixture so it can soak into the grain; you only need this on the first coat.

Finish

Brush the mixture onto the project and keep everything wet for about 5 minutes so the finish gets deep inside the wood pores. After five minutes, wipe away the excess. If there’s no excess, you didn’t apply enough finish. Let the project sit until the finish is dry, then apply another coat. On later coats, because the finish is only oil and varnish, you need to let things sit until the mixture feels like honey before wiping off excess. And if you missed a spot when wiping things clean or if you have a rough texture in the dried finish, take #320-grit sandpaper and sand the surface smooth.

The opening photo shows the box with its first finish coat applied. It takes three coats to build a protective finish, four coats starts to build a sheen and with each additional coat, the surface becomes even more shiny. Like I said, easy.

Build Something Great!

Glen


Categories: General Woodworking

Inlaid Box #4

Woodworker's Edge - Sun, 06/15/2014 - 5:04am

IMG_1752I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “never send a boy to do a man’s job.” That holds true for magnets, too. After hinges were added to the inlaid box, I drilled and installed two rare-earth magnets to hold the lid closed. Working in only 1/2″-thick material, I decided to use smaller-diameter magnets. After drilling the first hole and wanting the two magnets to line up, I used a 23-gauge pin as a center finder to mark the lid location for the second magnet – it worked like a charm. I epoxied the magnets in place and went home for the day.

CombinedA

The next day, I dropped by the shop on my way to work just to check my magnetic lid setup. The magnets looked great. They were perfectly aligned. There was not enough pull, however, to hold the lid closed. Crap! Now I’d have to pull those magnets, repair the box and lid from the destruction of pulling the magnets and come up with another option to hold the damn lid closed. I thought about it for a couple days then decided to stay with the magnets, but increase the size. Go big or go home, I guess.

IMG_1747With the repairs made and the two magnets holding strong, I was ready to apply a finish, so I mixed up a little oil/varnish finish for the box. I’ve used this finish on many pieces of furniture, including a Shaker sewing desk and a Seymour marble-top sideboard. It’s easy to make and easier to use.

Mix 1/3 boiled linseed oil, 1/3 spar varnish (spar adds a bit of elasticity to the finish) and 1/3 turpentine (I’m told you can use mineral spirits as well, but I’ve never done so). That’s it. For larger jobs, I mix enough for 1-1/2 coats, then eliminate the turpentine (50/50 varnish and oil) as I add to the mixture. The turpentine simply thins the mixture so it can soak into the grain; you only need this on the first coat.

Finish

Brush the mixture onto the project and keep everything wet for about 5 minutes so the finish gets deep inside the wood pores. After five minutes, wipe away the excess. If there’s no excess, you didn’t apply enough finish. Let the project sit until the finish is dry, then apply another coat. On later coats, because the finish is only oil and varnish, you need to let things sit until the mixture feels like honey before wiping off excess. And if you missed a spot when wiping things clean or if you have a rough texture in the dried finish, take #320-grit sandpaper and sand the surface smooth.

The opening photo shows the box with its first finish coat applied. It takes three coats to build a protective finish, four coats starts to build a sheen and with each additional coat, the surface becomes even more shiny. Like I said, easy.

Build Something Great!

Glen


Categories: General Woodworking

Fall-front desk for restoring

Paul Sellers - Sun, 06/15/2014 - 12:36am

DSC_0100I walked through the carboot flea market and saw this oak cabinet for sale. The man I know over the years proceeded to tell me the history of how he came about it which I took with the usual pinch of salt because the desk needed no explanation as to how it came from London to be in this venue in North Wales. DSC_0102My first glances left me wondering if it was a good quality oak veneered plywood with sawn veneer facings but I soon considered it more likely to be solid oak all the way through. We talked turkey (that’s Texanese for money and such) and I sought of set it aside for thought as I had then found an old Regency writing slope that needed help. I looked at the writing slope more for the lovely brass hardware and for a £5 note it was well worth the money. Eventually we ended up at £30 for the desk and box combined and John and I carried them to the car.

DSC_0036
In the workshop the investigation began. The carrier frame was mortise and tenoned which I already knew at the carboot. One of the joints had opened up and the others were visibly moving under the weight of the top desk section. The thing that struck me about this piece was the knife marks in the layout of different parts. DSC_0092Crisp and pristinely cut shoulder lines left traces of the knife wall and though I suspect some of the joints were machine cut, through or common dovetails, half-lap and secret dovetails captured in near perfect mitres were not. This plane fall-front desk was a well executed work and were I to make it today it would cost me here with the UK prices of oak about £200 in quarter-sawn oak. The joiner on the desk itself was still solid and I am guessing the age of the piece to be around 50 years old. It’s a little utilitarian looking but in functionality perfectly sized. My wife will love it for her university work after I have pulled it apart and regaled everything.
Tell tale signs
What were the telltale signs that told me so much before I bought this piece? Well, first off the mitres at the top corners. I could see no evidence of hardware, no signs of covers or plugs and the corners could not be flexed in any way at all. It spoke of a secret dovetail inside the mitre. Then, looking inside and out, I could see faint traces of knot on the outside and undulation on the inside. The drop leaf door/desk top was obviously solid oak with it’s raised panel and i could move the floating panel slightly and see the continuous grain in the tongue inside the frame.

DSC_0105DSC_0106
Turning the cabinet on its back into the car I saw the turn buttons clearly hand made and pocketed into the mortises. Very neat work. I wish the man had signed it somewhere but alas he had not. I was so glad to have rescued this desk from a student let landlord or landlady. Bangor is a university town and furniture gets swallowed up in lettings.
Dismantling the top from the framed stands revealed that each turnbutton had been numbered to the relevant hole for the first five buttons dan then the buttons alone were numbered after that I suppose because t was unnecessary to number further in the holes as at the beginning.

DSC_0081 DSC_0039Once separated the half lap dovetails became perfectly obvious. They weren’t perfectly executed here but more than adequate.

This is the regency writing slope.

DSC_0113 DSC_0115
More to come.

The post Fall-front desk for restoring appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Jewerly Box hinges and internals

She Works Wood - Sat, 06/14/2014 - 7:29pm
I finally got my computer back, but its in the process of being restored, so posts and pictures on alternate computers for a bit longer. I decided on a sanded in Danish oil finish (thanks for the suggestion Tico).
Categories: General Woodworking

Dragonfly Sconces Installed

McGlynn On Making - Sat, 06/14/2014 - 2:28pm

Perhaps a month or so ago I finished a pair of mission-themed sconces in quarter sawn white oak with stained glass shades.  There was one significant problem with them, there was no wiring in the wall where I wanted the hang them.  That meant cracking open the drywall, running wires, patching drywall, matching texture…  Not something I was eager to sign up for.

Finished, installed sconce

Finished, installed sconce

Enter “Reliable Rick”.  He’s a handyman that we’ve had do a number of jobs around the house, and this was right up his alley.  Rick cut a couple of surgical openings in the wall, ran a new circuit from the light switch to the wall where we wanted the sconces hung and took care of all of the necessary details.

Walls after patching - the big squares are color samples we were trying out.  The final choice was the grey on the left.

Walls after patching – the big squares are color samples we were trying out. The final choice was the grey on the left.

We ended up painting the room, replacing the switch covers with nice mission style brass versions and got everything finished and put back together just a few minutes ago.

Sconce, illuminated (the red color isn't pink in reality, it's just nearly impossible to photograph these with a phone.  I'd probably do better taking pictures with a camera...

Sconce, illuminated (the red color isn’t pink in reality, it’s just nearly impossible to photograph these with a phone. I’d probably do better taking pictures with a camera…)

As part of the room re-do we lowered the “Byrdcliffish” cabinet I built recently, the sconces are mounted on either side of the cabinet.  They don’t provide a lot of light, they were more intended to provide some color and warmth..

Finished Room

Finished Room


Categories: General Woodworking

Music I’d Like To Hear #77

Doug Berch - Sat, 06/14/2014 - 11:06am

The post Music I’d Like To Hear #77 appeared first on Doug Berch.

Categories: Luthiery

525 Bathroom cabinet part 4 “Skinny legged base”

Matt's Basement Workshop - Sat, 06/14/2014 - 7:05am

I’ve finally navigated my way through the quagmire that is “the loose ends” of the final steps to completing a project. It was a rough trail with a few pitfalls along the way. But regardless of the route I took to get here, the final video of the bathroom cabinet project is complete.

view from the inside

In today’s episode we’re covering the basics of the construction of the base upon which the cabinet will sit. And I have to admit, it looks good from the front, but from the side it appears I may have misread my own dimensions?

At just under 8 feet tall, the combination of the cabinet and the base are pretty amazing, but it leaves me wondering if I should construct a step stool to reach the top shelf!

Regardless of the height or any of the details that bogged me down, the dark chocolatey color of the finish and the beautiful grains of the cherry veneers in the cabinet doors and sides make this cabinet absolutely gorgeous!

glass for cabinet door

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Categories: Hand Tools

I hardly knew you.

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Sat, 06/14/2014 - 6:54am

I heard it through the grapevine, aka Peter Follansbee’s Blog-Joiners Notes, that Follansbee will be leaving his long tenured job at Plimoth Plantation to pursue other interests. Here is what I know about Peter Follansbee, almost nothing. My knowledge of him begins and ends with a bio of Follansbee I read in Popular Woodworking, the couple of times I’ve seen him on The Woodwright’s Shop, and the handful of times I’ve read his blog.

As far as my knowledge of Follansbee is concerned, or maybe you would call it ignorance, there are a few factors to consider. I’ve seen Follansbee’s work on the internet and in print, and while it’s definitely unique and skilled, it really isn’t my cup of tea, and I didn’t particularly care for the way Follansbee came across in the interview he did with PW magazine. At that, I would never pass judgment on a person’s character after reading a three-page magazine bio. I enjoyed the two times I saw him on the Woodwright’s Shop. It was interesting to watch him work, and I honestly enjoyed the way he spoke, somewhat like Bane from the last Batman movie but without special effects on the vocals. So while I’ve never been to Plimoth Plantation and probably never will be, there is a small part of me that’s sad to see Peter Follansbee leaving.

The furniture world may not keel over and die due to a shortage of carved 16th century chests and spoons, but it is an oddly comforting thought to know that a few people still know how to make them in the traditional sense. Most people would acknowledge that Follansbee’s work has a real beauty to it, almost a religious beauty, and that’s something to be missed. I’ve said before that the world needs people like Peter Follansbee and Roy Underhill, just to remind us of the past and the way things used to be done, but it seems that more and more of them are disappearing.

The only part of this that leaves me really wondering is why he is leaving. To paraphrase Follansbee, he is leaving “the best job on the planet”. Why? Well I’m sure there are many reasons why, both personal and professional. It’s not my place to question Peter Follansbee’s motives, and truthfully I’m really not. When I ask “why?” it’s in the broad sense, because over the past few years several prominent woodworkers and writers all quit “the best job on the planet”. I’m not sure how old Follansbee actually is, but he doesn’t look old enough to retire, wild Moses beard notwithstanding, and I can say the same of others that have left their posts. Call it over curiosity, or just being newsy, but there is just something that makes me wonder why somebody would quit such a great job. Maybe it is none of my business, but I still wonder. Or maybe the real truth is that I’m probably just a little jealous.


Categories: General Woodworking

I hardly knew you.

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Sat, 06/14/2014 - 6:54am

I heard it through the grapevine, aka Peter Follansbee’s Blog-Joiners Notes, that Follansbee will be leaving his long tenured job at Plimoth Plantation to pursue other interests. Here is what I know about Peter Follansbee, almost nothing. My knowledge of him begins and ends with a bio of Follansbee I read in Popular Woodworking, the couple of times I’ve seen him on The Woodwright’s Shop, and the handful of times I’ve read his blog.

As far as my knowledge of Follansbee is concerned, or maybe you would call it ignorance, there are a few factors to consider. I’ve seen Follansbee’s work on the internet and in print, and while it’s definitely unique and skilled, it really isn’t my cup of tea, and I didn’t particularly care for the way Follansbee came across in the interview he did with PW magazine. At that, I would never pass judgment on a person’s character after reading a three-page magazine bio. I enjoyed the two times I saw him on the Woodwright’s Shop. It was interesting to watch him work, and I honestly enjoyed the way he spoke, somewhat like Bane from the last Batman movie but without special effects on the vocals. So while I’ve never been to Plimoth Plantation and probably never will be, there is a small part of me that’s sad to see Peter Follansbee leaving.

The furniture world may not keel over and die due to a shortage of carved 16th century chests and spoons, but it is an oddly comforting thought to know that a few people still know how to make them in the traditional sense. Most people would acknowledge that Follansbee’s work has a real beauty to it, almost a religious beauty, and that’s something to be missed. I’ve said before that the world needs people like Peter Follansbee and Roy Underhill, just to remind us of the past and the way things used to be done, but it seems that more and more of them are disappearing.

The only part of this that leaves me really wondering is why he is leaving. To paraphrase Follansbee, he is leaving “the best job on the planet”. Why? Well I’m sure there are many reasons why, both personal and professional. It’s not my place to question Peter Follansbee’s motives, and truthfully I’m really not. When I ask “why?” it’s in the broad sense, because over the past few years several prominent woodworkers and writers all quit “the best job on the planet”. I’m not sure how old Follansbee actually is, but he doesn’t look old enough to retire, wild Moses beard notwithstanding, and I can say the same of others that have left their posts. Call it over curiosity, or just being newsy, but there is just something that makes me wonder why somebody would quit such a great job. Maybe it is none of my business, but I still wonder. Or maybe the real truth is that I’m probably just a little jealous.


Categories: General Woodworking

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