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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway!  Enjoy!

Thank you to everyone who contributed towards Walt Quadrato's battle against cancer!  Their fundraising goal was met.  Our prayers are with you, Walt!  


Lost Art Press Now Available at Best Made Co.

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 6:50pm

BM_logo_bottom_03Despite what seems like common sense, John and I like to keep our retail network small and personal. We enjoy working with people who share our philosophy on craft and business. Those people are few and far between.

Recently we began working with Best Made Co., a retail and online store headquartered in Tribeca in New York City. After initial conversations, it became obvious that our businesses were well-matched. Best Made Co. offers really nice tools, knives, books and outdoor clothing.

We are pleased and honored to be associated with Best Made Co. They currently carry three of our titles: “With the Grain,” “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” and “By Hand & Eye.” Be sure to check them out next time you are in the city or online.

I hope to stop by their retail store at 36 White St. during a visit to Brooklyn in January for a Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: By Hand & Eye, The Anarchist's Tool Chest, With the Grain
Categories: Hand Tools

PDF Presentations Now in Two Flavors

360 WoodWorking - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 4:57pm

2typesPDFEmbedding video in a PDF document is a great way to meld video content along with text and photos. This post walks you through how it works. We’ve heard from several readers who have experienced some problems with our first presentation, Glen Huey’s piece on building a Shaker Shop Stool. These problems manifest themselves as downloads that take forever, or files that arrive corrupted. The reason for these problems is the size of the files; adding in the video adds bulk to the file in much the same way that sea salt caramel topping adds calories to whatever you pour it on. If you have a fast internet connection, this isn’t much of a problem because your computer can gobble up and digest all that data in a few minutes. If you have a slow connection however, it’s just too many zeros and ones trying to move down too small a pipe.

So, we’ve decided to publish two versions of our PDF presentations, one with the video embedded in the PDF and an identical one that contains links to online versions of the videos. When you reach the point in a story where a video is, you’ll see a gray bar above a large photo that says “Click Image Below to Watch Video Online”.  When you click, your web browser will open and you will arrive here on our site where you can watch the same video that is embedded in the alternate PDF.

The difference in file size is significant, so if you experience problems with the embedded video PDF, try the smaller version. It won’t be quite as convenient to get to the videos, but you will be able to enjoy the same content.

Glen’s article is an example of the various ways we produce content, if you haven’t seen it yet follow the links below:

Shaker Shop Stool (online version)

Shaker Shop Stool (PDF with embedded video – 394MB)

Shaker Shop Stool (PDF with links to online video – 8MB)

We’re also serving up the same project in video only format:

Shaker Shop Stool (free online video class presentation)

Shaker Shop Stool (free online video)

 – Bob Lang


Make the Most of Shop Time — Use SketchUp

360 WoodWorking - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 2:03pm
skp_1110 8-48-24 AM

When the SketchUp model is complete, it doesn’t take long to generate views of specific steps.

My son is like many recent college graduates; he’s trying to get by with a job that doesn’t pay much and his apartment is under-furnished. I’m happy to help him out and guide him through a project but neither one of us has much free time to get to the shop and make something. To make the most of that limited time, I spent a few hours making a model of the project in SketchUp. You’ll see the complete story of this build when it appears as a presentation here on 360 WoodWorking. Today I want to share a few of the ways that SketchUp made it easy to hit the ground running when we arrived at the shop with two sheets of plywood and some rough lumber.

What we’re up to is a basic plywood box trimmed out with solid wood. That means two distinct phases to the project. After making the SketchUp model I added several scenes (the tabs at the top of the image-you can read more about Scenes and Layers in SketchUp here). Each scene is a solution to a potential problem in the shop; ways to let us know what things ought to look like as we work. To the right is a look at how the plywood parts go together, along with some notes about various parts. I printed each scene and took the pages with us so that we didn’t need to guess as we worked.

skp_1110_ 8-45-49 AM

A detail of a complex part, as seen in the SketchUp model.

With any project there is a certain amount of time that will be spent figuring things out and making decisions. It takes some experience to realize that we have a choice about when and where to to that. You can wait until you’re out in the shop and interrupt the process of really making something to decide on the next move, or you can make those decisions ahead of time when you’re working on the SketchUp model. Either way, you’ll make some mistakes, change your mind or decide on a better method for a certain step. Out in the shop there is pressure to get something accomplished and mistakes or changes often mean another trip to the lumber yard or precious time completely wasted. In SketchUp there is an “Undo” command, the materials are free and always available, and nothing is heavy or awkward to move around. Having a good plan in place lets me get in a rhythm of building and that results in better work in less time, without much worry or frustration along the way.

No head scratching here. Measurements to make this jig come from the model.

No head scratching here. Measurements to make this jig come from the model.

One of the lessons Hunter learned yesterday is that the shop is a terrible place to do math. There is something about the smell of sawdust that makes it incredibly easy to add when you meant to subtract, or measure from here when you meant to measure from there. When it comes time to layout a key part, it’s pretty nice to have a drawing handy that shows all the dimensions. In this case, we needed to make a couple of jigs, so I figured those out ahead of time and added the critical dimensions to the detail. A little bit of time in SketchUp saves a ton of time in the shop.


It took about ten minutes in SketchUp to plan the best method to cut all the parts from a single sheet of plywood.

In addition to supplying advice, I’m also paying for the materials. My instincts told me that I could get all of the parts for the carcase from a single 4′ x 8′ sheet of 3/4″ thick plywood. In SketchUp, I made a 48″ x 96″ rectangle and started dragging components (you can read more about components in SketchUp here) from the Components window to the virtual sheet of plywood. This is essentially the same process I would go through in the shop. I put the largest, longest pieces in position and filled in around them with the small ones. It took some fiddling, and I made some notes to remind us which cuts to make first. The cutting went forward without a hitch, we ended up with the pile of parts we planned on, my kid thinks I know what I’m doing, and I kept myself from making an expensive mistake.

 — Bob Lang

All of the content on 360woodworking.com is free until the end of 2014, but if you want to go ahead and subscribe, your support will be appreciated and you won’t be charged until January 2015.

Monsieur Pot de Vis, What Have You Done For Me?

The Kilted Woodworker - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 1:37pm
Like the beeswax I picked up for almost nothing last month, I snagged a jar of old screws about a year ago when I was at an estate sale because it seemed a deal too good to pass up. I had no immediate use for the screws, but I knew they were old, and old […]
Categories: General Woodworking

Upcoming blogs

Paul Sellers - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 1:13pm

Finishing the Toolbox Series

DSC_0054 2

In the next few days I will finish off the toolbox series.

This has been a popular series that clears up the simplicity of making one of the lightest, strongest and most easily made toolboxes. The videos will be out in the new year through online broadcast via woodworkingmasterclasses.com too.

DSC_0129 DSC_0133

On different tenon saw handles – getting the angles right or less


There is a lot out there on this subject and with so many angles posed throughout the age of misinformation, which of the tenon-type saws do you really, really need? We look at the whole to help you understand the dynamics between the relationship between teeth and handle angles and then the work in hand.

John Winter Closes His Apprenticing Year


Is he ready for the new future in his home state of Patagonia? We’ll be discussing his thoughts and interviewing him to understand his perspectives. 


How Many Tools Do You Really Need? Less and More Than You Think


I personally own thousands of hand tools but use about ten to fifteen in any given day. What do we really need to be yet creative and fully equipped for hand tool woodworking?DSC_0054

The post Upcoming blogs appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Knocked Up, Knocked Down & Naked

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 12:56pm

Editor’s note: Mike Siemsen, the host of “The Naked Woodworker” DVD has built a cool little knockdown bench designed for traveling and apartments. Check it out – and we promise that more copies of “The Naked Woodworker” are on the way to our warehouse! Thanks for your patience.


I decided to try my hand at a knockdown bench for transport to shows and demonstrations. Such a bench could also be used by people with limited space.

It is 5’ long so it fits in the trunk of my Honda Civic with its back seats folded down. With the bench’s aprons folded down, it is 6-3/4” thick. If you pull the hinge pins and remove the aprons it is only 4-1/2” thick. It is 22-3/4” wide and stands 32” tall when assembled. The leg sections do not break down. If you leave the aprons attached there is no loose hardware. As to workholding, the crochet is removable for easier transport; there are no vises, only holdfasts and planing stops.

Above is the bench when it is knocked up.


Here it is knocked down. The aprons are hinged to fold flat, or you can knock out the pins and remove the aprons. The leg sections do not disassemble. The legs slide into the large dados in the aprons and pins lock the aprons to the legs.


This is the hardware I made for the leg-to-apron joint. A bolt through the apron and into the leg would work just as well, but I was going for a tool-less knockdown.


The mortise for the crochet before the top goes on.


I made the crochet just a 1″-square stick that slides in a mortise so it can be removed for easier packing and hauling. Chris thinks this is an emasculator, but it is too late for that!


I made a simple planing stop. A 3/4” dowel with a 1/4” x 1” x 1” square of steel screwed to the top. I sharpened the leading edge and cut in some notches. I still need to recess it into the top. I also made a “doe’s foot” and there is a stick that goes in the slot in the center of the bench for use as a planing stop as well for traversing.


Just another shot with one set of legs removed. It is very solid and a bit heavy. I can move it by myself, though.


Here is the hardware for the pins. It is just 1-1/2” x 1/4” steel bar cut to the width of the leg and drilled for a 1/4” x 4 steel pin. Drill them in pairs so the 1/4” holes match up so the pins slide in after assembly. I drilled the apron plate that receives the pin 1/64” bigger in diameter (that’s 9/64”) for clearance and I ground a chamfer on the ends of the pins. The pin is offset because I wanted the holdfast holes in the legs to be in the center.


I used 4” x 4” hinges for the aprons, three on each apron. When you mortise for the hinges make sure there is no gap between the apron and the benchtop.


I used bigger screws than the ones that came with the hinges.


I clamped the legs to the aprons when I bored the holdfast holes through the apron and into the top of the leg. I drew the location of all the hardware and screws on the face of the apron and top of the bench so I wouldn’t hit them when boring holes. You can see that the holes at the bottom of the leg are offset to avoid the screws that attach the stretcher to the leg.


I used the drill press to bore a 3/4” hole through a thick block of wood for a guide for the brace and 3/4” bit. I clamped it for the first hole and then used a holdfast in that hole to clamp it for the next one.

This is a very solid little bench that I plan to bring to Handworks in May 2015.

— Mike Siemsen, Mike Siemsen School of Woodworking

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

Lots of Customer Projects

David Barron Furniture - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 10:32am

First up is a Moxon vice made by Michael of Denmark. He asked my advice on glue for the leather (contact adhesive) and then sent a picture of the result, very neat!

Next is Stuart from Australia, a regular contributor. This very nice box is made from rock maple and silky oak for the lid.

He followed my Blog post on box lining with Andrew Crawford and has done a very neat job.
Lots of nice tight dovetails and a discreet pivot hinge lid.

Last up is Simon from Hampshire getting the hang of dovetailing for the first time. This is his second attempt in some pretty thick wood and he has nailed it (not literally!).

Here's a shot of his moxon vice with a pair of lovely lambs tongues. They were cut very close with a Knew Concepts fret saw and then sanded to a finish, very nice.

Categories: Hand Tools

Lately at Brese Plane

Brese Plane - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 10:22am
I've not posted any new info on this blog in a while. I apologize for that but really it just means I've been quite busy.

As always work on planes is a constant and ongoing endeavor and the most recent plane completed is a custom version of the Winter Panel Plane.

The customer requested this plane with a plane body made from 440C stainless steel.

The brass bits of this plane were polished to a satin finish and then oiled and cured in my drying kiln. It makes the brass much less of a maintenance issue.

The wooden bits are Desert Iron wood. This is certainly a challenging wood to work. Besides the odd smell it requires much more diligence. It seems every process with this material takes 3 times longer as compared with other dense hardwoods.

There is nothing that looks quite like Desert Iron Wood. As I have often said, the results are worth the effort.


The quotable quote this week is from my 7 year old Granddarling even though she may have picked up this saying from her mother.

"You get what you get and you don't pitch a fit",     Katherine Mason

Categories: Hand Tools

How Bois got his groove back...

The Bois Shop - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 8:51am
Sometimes, despite your best intentions you just can't always find time to get into the shop. I hear it all the time from fellow woodworkers, but I was sure I was immune to this terrible condition. Well it finally happened to me - for about the last nine months. But I was not discouraged. I believe that in many ways woodworking is just like riding a bike - you hop back on and it all comes back. But when it comes to more refined techniques and skills, these are things you need to hone on a regular basis to stay in shape.

So with a big project looming in the future, I was a bit hesitant to just jump right back on the saddle. I decided to design something that would help me hone those skills again with a lower risk factor, while also resulting in something I could be proud of and share. You know, something to help me get my groove back. So this next episode is what I call my "groove" project. And as I'm finding out, this will take on a double meaning as you get into a few episodes. If nothing else, I hope I can inspire some folks who have been arm-chair quarterbacking to get back in the game. Or back it the saddle. Or whatever metaphor works best for you. Enjoy!

Right click to download the HD version of this video
Categories: Hand Tools

Back in stile

The Bois Shop - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 8:51am
Remember the hanging wall cabinet? Well it still doesn't have any doors or drawers - so let's remedy that situation.  I decided the door fronts would be first, and why not amp it up a bit with through haunched tenons. I love haunched tenons because they let me cut all the grooves straight down all the rails and stiles on the router table without having to square anything off with hand tools.  But they do add an extra level of difficulty to the tenon construction. So I'll show you a way I quickly measure out the haunches and cut them with a hand saw.

And with stiles just an inch wide, I was worried shorter tenons might not be strong enough. So I decided to just run the mortises all the way through the stock. Top it off with some raised cherry panels for effect, I think these door fronts will really complement the hanging wall cabinet. Which reminds me, I need to start looking for some hinges pretty soon. Enjoy!

Right click to download the HD version of this video
Categories: Hand Tools


The Bois Shop - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 8:51am
With the hanging cabinet project, I saved the hardest part for the end - the drawers. Because the base is bowed, the drawer construction takes on an added element of difficulty. In this episode, I tackle fitting and shaping the drawer fronts from a single piece of mahogany. In many ways, I assumed that by doing a smaller project like this would actually make construction easier. But in reality, the diminutive size can actually make things a bit tricker in some cases, such as the drawer fronts. But why would I want to make thing easy on myself?

Right click to download the HD version of this video
Categories: Hand Tools


Northwest Woodworking - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 8:14am

Work with your hands. As a result, work on yourself. Spend time alone with your thoughts away from the clamor. See what you can make of the time at the bench. I can think of no better elixir for the cacophony that makes up a day in the world today.


1-Cr bed square plug-001

Categories: Hand Tools

Live Slow

The Unplugged Woodshop - Tom Fidgen - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 7:27am
Live slow and die old. 'nuff said.
Categories: Hand Tools

I’m interrupting my interruptions

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 7:24am

Took some time away from the carved box w drawer, to work with some funny wood. Yes. I’ve returned once again to using Juglans…

First up, juglans nigra….yes, nigra. Remember my struggles with black walnut? http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/?s=walnut+high+chair   Well, of course the first go ’round I can blame on poor quality stock; kiln-dried, random-sawn lousy trees.

the 2nd time around, I got very clear, straight-grained, air-dried stock, and it’s two off-cuts from that batch that I’m working now.

walnut carving

But first, some green wood – a bowl from Juglans cinerea; butternut. That’s what I’m interrupting my interruption for…this could be fun…if that jackhammer next door would quit.

bowl butternut

I Need a Lathe

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 7:07am

I found myself reviewing future projects that I want to do and on so many I’ve found some woodturning is. That’s an issue for me, I don’t own a lathe and I’ve never turned a thing. The most sensible thing to do would be make the project anyway and ask a local tuner to help me when required. That’s what we do at work and it’s always worked well. However, […]

The post I Need a Lathe appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Chevy Update

McGlynn On Making - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 6:11am

I got the saw frame finished yesterday and glued up.  This was the last bit that I was worried about being able to make, mostly because of the  large finger joint between the arms and back.  The key was doing a careful layout, working from the reference face on all the parts and assembling them the same way.  Accurate sawing is important too of course, but the bandsaw fence took care of most of that.

Layout for the finger joint

Layout for the finger joint

On a related note, I have a practice project to get my hand sawing skills tuned up in this area.  I’m going to make a couple of wooden squares, but I didn’t want to make a mistake on this part.  I’d chosen the straightest quarter sawn Sapele for this part, rough dimensioned it and let it acclimate for several weeks…

Once the points were cut and fitting well I added in the details.  The arms taper in thickness from 1.125″ at the saw back to 0.5″ right before the wounded ends.  I also cut a step in the arms (in use this is where you hold the saw, not at the knob) and a curvy-swoopy thing in the back of the saw.  Is that an Astragal?  No, that’s not right.  Cyma Recta?  I think that’s it.  Or Curvy Swoopy Thing.

Dry fit of the detailed saw frame

Dry fit of the detailed saw frame

It will need the edges chamfered and a final sanding after gluing, but it’s sitting in the clamps right now.

Glued up.  I need some shorter clamps, these are a pain for small parts...

Glued up. I need some shorter clamps, these 5 footers are a pain for small parts…  The plywood in the center is to keep the arms parallel.

With the saw frame mostly done (I need to add the gimbal brackets on the back, but it’s already morticed for them), I moved on to preparing the stock for the next major subcomponent — the seat.  Once that is done I only need to make the clamp and clamp actuator and I’ll be done.

The seat parts are all 1.75″ thick.  I dimensioned the lumber, and laid out all the joinery from my drawings.  Next time I get to work in the shop I should be able to cut and fit all of this, it’s all straightforward (if large).

 seat, front and rear legs, lower stretcher.

Parts for the seat assembly. From the top: seat, front and rear legs, lower stretcher.

The dovetail joint at the front of the seat / top of the front leg will easily be the biggest dovetail I’ve ever cut…



Categories: General Woodworking

Snikkaren og yrkeskunnskapen, Sjur Nesheim og tradisjonen

Høvelbenk - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 5:18am


 Roald RenmælmoSnikkaren Sjur Nesheim brukar kanten av okshøvelen som rettholt for å sjekke at flasken er høvla rett nok. Sjur viser korleis han går fram for å snikre fyllingsdører, eller rabatdører som han seier.  Foto: Roald Renmælmo

Som handverkar kan eg gjennom språket kommunisere med andre handverkarar med tilsvarande referansar som meg. Eg kan også lese tekstar som beskriv handverk og truleg forstå det meste av innhaldet i teksten. Likevel er det stor fare for at eg ikkje forstår på den måten det er meint. Det er fordi språket ikkje kan fange alle detaljar i handverket. Eg brukar mine eigne erfaringar som handverkar til å tolke det eg les eller blir fortalt av andre handverkarar. Mine eigne erfaringar er aldri akkurat dei same som erfaringane til andre handverkarar. Erfaringane er personlege og berre i liten grad mogleg å formidle gjennom språket.

Handverk er sjølve arbeidet som handverkaren gjer når han lagar eit produkt. Sjølve produktet kan også kommunisere eller bringe vidare kunnskap frå handverkaren som har laga det og til andre handverkarar. Når snikkaren Sjur Nesheim (1939-2013) har snikra ei dør på den måten han har i sin tradisjon, vil andre snikkarar med tilsvarande erfaringar som Sjur, kunne sjå på den ferdige døra og sjå for seg korleis Sjur har arbeidd og kva verktøy han har brukt. Dei kan og spørje Sjur om korleis han har snikra døra og nikke gjenkjennande til det han forklarar. Det er likevel stor fare for at ein snakkar forbi kvarandre. For yngre snikkarar (t.d. meg)  som treff Sjur, får sjå det han har snikra, får sjå verktøyet hans og får høyre Sjur fortel om korleis han arbeider, så er  erfaringane våre så forskjellige frå Sjur sine så det er vanskeleg å setje seg inn i handverket. Tomas Karlsson og eg fekk i oppdrag å intervjue Sjur om dørsnikring til boka “Hantverkare emellan” for Hantverkslaboratoriet ved Göteborgs Universitet i Mariestad. Vi drøfta korleis vi best kunne gjere dette for å få tak i kunnskapen til Sjur. Vi vart einige om at intervjuet måtte gjerast gjennom å få med Sjur og snikre ei dør i ein verkstad vi fekk låne på Voss. Vi brukte dette arbeidet som bakgrunn for intervjuet som er tilgjengeleg som Pdf på nett her:

Snickaren och handverktygen, Sjur Nesheim från Hordaland intervjuas av Tomas Karlsson och Roald Renmælmo.

 Roald RenmælmoSjur Nesheim har merka opp eit emne med ripmot for dimensjonshøvling. På kvar side har han høvla ein liten fas ned til sreken for å gjere det lettare å sjå kor djupt han høvlar. Foto: Roald Renmælmo

Dagane i verkstaden saman med Sjur gav oss veldig mykje meir kunnskap om korleis Sjur arbeidde som snikkar, enn om vi hadde berre gjort eit vanleg intervju. Vi fekk arbeide  saman med han for å kjenne på korleis verktøyet fungerte. Vi fekk kjenne kor effektiv grindsaga hans var til å slisse opp 2″ plank til ramtrestykker. Om eg berre hadde fått høyre dette av Sjur eller andre utan å sjå det så ville eg ikkje fått kjenne korleis arbeidet skal kjennast ut når saga fungerer. Eg ville ikkje fått prøve kor grovt ein kan stille høvelstålet på langhøvelen eller okshøvelen for å få arbeidet til å bli mest mogleg effektivt. Korleis kjennast det når høvelen tar akkurat passe? Korleis høyrast det ut når saga er kvass og går godt? Slikt er ikkje lett å beskrive med ord eller dokumentere slik at andre kan forstår det. Korleis vurderer Sjur fortløpande materialen han har og korleis han mest mogleg effektivt får gjort arbeidet med retting og dimensjonering? Når er det så mykje material som skal bort, at øksa er beste reiskapen? Når er det høvla nok med okshøvelen og klart for å høvle med ein finstilt pusshøvel? Alt dette er kunnskap som er vanskeleg å dokumentere på ein god og enkel måte, men mykje lettare å få med seg når ein arbeider saman med ein erfaren snikkar. For oss som vil lære snikring med tradisjonelle handverktøy er det ikkje noko som slår det å få vere med og arbeide med erfarne snikkarar som Sjur Nesheim. Det er i sjølve handverket, i produksjonen at ein kan kome tettast på å få tak i kunnskapen i handverket.

For oss som forskar på historisk snikkararbeid er det lett å bli sittande å grave seg ned i historiske tekstar, historiske bilete, studere historiske snikkarprodukt eller verktøy. Det er “innafor” det som andre etablerte forskingstradisjonar driv med. Vi treng ikkje å argumentere så mykje for å forsvare at vi gjer det. Eg sjølv har arbeidd mykje med å undersøkje eldre snikkarverktøy gjennom å lage fungerande kopiar og prøve ut desse i praktisk arbeid. Det å arbeide med snikring saman med snikkarar som Sjur Nesheim gir meg mykje viktig erfaring som gjer det mykje lettare å forstå dei historiske kjeldene. Det er likevel slik at det er stor avstand i tid mellom Sjur Nesheim si yrkesaktive karriere og dei historiske kjeldene eg arbeider med. Ikkje alt er overførbart. Artikkelen med intervjuet er eit døme på korleis vi kan dokumentere arbeidet med å snikre ei fyllingsdør. Teksten får med seg mykje at det vi opplevde saman med Sjur, men det viktigaste for meg er dei erfaringane eg sit att med og som ikkje har klart å kome med i teksten.

Arkivert under:Bruk av høvelbenk, Dørsnikring
Categories: Hand Tools

Summer School with David Savage

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 5:12am


If I have only one complaint about my life, it is that with all the teaching, writing and building that I do, I have no time left to take woodworking courses for myself.

I don’t drool over tool catalogs. My personal pornographic publications are the brochures and web sites from woodworking schools that teach skills that I want to master.

So when I had dinner with David Savage last summer, you can imagine how long it took me to say “yes” to his following proposition: I teach a class in building a tool chest at his school in Rowden, then stay on for a second week to assist and take a class in sunburst veneering.

Savage has long been one of those woodworkers I wanted to learn from. He does amazing work. And, equally important to me, he is one of the most daring woodworking writers alive today. He is, simply put, nobody’s tool. He is fearless in exploring the craft and his own human failings. Check out some of his articles here.

So this summer I head to Rowden to lead a class in building a dead-nuts traditional tool chest, one I have specially designed for this course. During the first week, Aug. 24-28, we’ll build the chest using hand tools and traditional production methods and joints – dovetails, tongue-and-groove, miters, breadboards etc.

The second week (Aug. 31-Sept. 4) we will embellish the interior lid of the chest with a sunburst veneer pattern designed for the course, plus traditional veneer and crossbanding on the lid of the top till. The goal is for all of the students to walk away with a finished chest, a boatload of newfound skills and a slightly swollen liver.

When David announced the course last week, it filled up immediately. But the wait list is very short right now and these classes always have a certain amount of churn. If you’d like to read more details about Rowden, David’s crack team of instructors and the course, check out these pages here and here. You can sign up for the course’s wait list here.

I’ll be writing more about the chest design in the coming months. It is based off a number of historical examples that have survived quite well and has some features you might consider for your tool chest.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: The Anarchist's Tool Chest, Woodworking Classes
Categories: Hand Tools

And There Was Light

The Workbench Diary - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 4:39am

Last Sunday, we woke up to snow. The first snow of the year, actually. It kept coming and coming. The forecast didn't look optimistic so we buckled down and waited out the storm. We ended up with 8-10” of snow/slush and lost our power by that afternoon. 

Harvesting in the middle of the snow storm!

Our wintry loot


Tree limbs were snapping and cracking all around us. One falling limb had narrowly missed our windows. It was pretty intense. Then Monday came. Then Tuesday. Wednesday… You get the idea. It was a splendid thing Friday night when the lights came back on. We felt civilized again.

Our mud oven survived


So thanks to all friends who shared their shower, dishwasher, generator, and food with us. My nine-month-pregnant wife really likes hot running water so we are grateful.




Categories: Hand Tools

Movember donations – Giving it all away!

Matt's Basement Workshop - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 4:00am

In honor of the “Movember” (or if you prefer “No shave November”) festivities I thought I’d do my part to help out such a great cause by challenging all of you to a little fundraiser!

movember stache image

Starting today and running through November 23, I’ll donate 100% of my earnings on any purchases made through my affiliate links with Amazon.com, Shop Woodworking, or via a direct donation to my PayPal account.

And since I released the beard comb video last Friday, I’ll include any earnings starting from November 7 until now in the amount also.

Here’s a few links to help get you started:

Learn how. Discover why. Build better.
Don’t forget to use offer code Mattsbasement25 to get 25% off your purchase

Plus on top of it, if you purchase a “Your Brain on Matt’s Basement Workshop” t-shirt, all proceeds (minus $5.00USD for postage and handling, sizes and stock are limited but we still have 2XL and a couple 3XL left) will also be donated to the cause.

“Your Brain on MBW”Matt in Your Brain on Matt's Basement Workshop t-shirtYour Brain white background

“Your Brain on MBW”
Small $9.00 USDMedium $9.00 USDLarge $9.00 USDX-Large $9.00 USD2X-Large $11.00 USD3X-Large $13.00 USD

To keep all of you up-to-date on the amount I’ll be donating, I will include frequent updates on the MBW Facebook page, along with this post also.

For the sake of total transparency, the money donated is being given to help sponsor my dear friend Terry who has participated in, and has put on Movember parties for several years now.

He has a challenge going on with many others and I’ll be supporting his team with these donations that are 100% handed over to the Movember Charity at this link.

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Categories: Hand Tools


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by Dr. Radut