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Roman Bench Build-along Day 1

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 1:59pm


The Roman bench build is underway! Mike and I met this morning, gathered our tools and material (read: planks and firewood) and discussed features on period examples. We were primarily looking through Woodworking in Estonia for inspiration and design guidance. There are so many creative workholding solutions in there that we haven’t seen anywhere else. We can’t resist trying some of them out. If you haven’t ordered a copy of that book yet, what are you waiting for? Go order it now.


We each chose different versions based on our intended uses and materials available. I have a 200-year-old 2.75” thick pine plank that I am using for a benchtop. It’s 10.5” wide and cut to 5.5’ long. The top only had the slightest amount of twist so it needed little more than planing away the roughness. For the legs, I rived some ash firewood that has fully seasoned outdoors most of the year.

Mike’s bench is a half round of ash that he split, hewed, and planed flat. For the legs, he dug up a beaver-felled maple sapling from his woods. He will be using the sapling in the round as seen on many of these benches. Sure saves a lot of shaping! Come to think of it… why am I hewing a larger log into smaller pieces and then rounding them? Mike might be onto something here!

So after planing our tops, we got at boring the mortises. I have a t-handled auger just shy of 2” in diameter that I tuned up for my bench. Mike bored his mortises first with a 1” Irwin bit in a brace and tapered it with an awesome taper reamer that came out of some guy’s barn. It’s an all in one deal, bores the hole and reams along the way. Because Mike has a half round bottom, he had to bore his holes from the top so he couldn’t utilize the bore-and-ream-in-one feature. Too bad. That thing is cool.

Tomorrow, Richard Dort, our good friend from Leonard’s Mills Living History Days is coming over to help out. He’s been making staked benches for years so we should be in good hands.

Tomorrow we’ll start with fitting the legs into their mortises…


Categories: Hand Tools

Worry Coach

Northwest Woodworking - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 1:16pm

I’ve decided that I need to hire myself out as a coach to the needy woodworkers out there. I will be a Worry Coach. You have too much to do getting stuff made. Let me take on the chore of worry for you. Did you cut those joints too loose? Don’t worry about it. I’ll do that for you. And yes they will fall apart, but long after you’re gone. Don’t worry!

Are you worried that your finish might run as you apply it? Fear not, it will the way you’re putting it on. But you can fix it. Don’t worry! See how easy this is? Worried about that one board that doesn’t quite match the others in your glue-up? Don’t worry about it. It will always look off! See, isn’t this great? It removes so much strain from you as you’re building stuff and I take it all on myself.

Now I think this idea has merit. To monetize it might take some doing but hey why worry about that? This brainstorm came to me one day when I was helping Shea, my Resident Mastery student, glue up his stool. He was all stressed about the joints going together right, too much glue, too little glue on them, breaking a rail as we bent the legs to fit into the seat, and I told him, “You know I can take on all your worries for you, if you’d like. I am completely not stressed right now, how about you?”

He was not too stressed and I knew this because he didn’t clock me one with his mallet. I take this as a sign of superior intelligence not to mention excellent training.

Try it out sometime. Send me your worries.

What, me worry?



Categories: Hand Tools

Wednesday: Deluxe ‘Roubo on Furniture’

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 10:32am

R2 special bindingWe will begin taking pre-publication orders for the deluxe version of “With All the Precision Possible: Roubo on Furniture” at noon Eastern time on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

The book will be $550, which includes delivery to the U.S. and Canada. International customers will pay an additional charge based on the actual cost to ship it to them (you’ll be contacted before the book ships about this additional charge). We are printing 1,000 copies. No more.

This book is expected to ship in summer 2017, barring production or transportation delays. Before you order, please read the following important information on being a “subscriber” to this book.

The Important Part: Please Read
Customers who order before March 15 will be listed as a “subscriber” at the back of the book. By default, we will print your first name and last name exactly as it appears in your order for the book (so please spell your name correctly). If you do not wish your name to appear in the book, you must send an email to meghan@lostartpress.com before March 15 along with your order number and a request to have your name omitted.

After March 15, no changes can be made to the list of subscribers.

The Scary & Amazing Part
As we were negotiating the print job with the plant, I calculated that by the time we pay for this press run we will have spent more than $500,000 on the Roubo translation project, a mind-blowing figure for someone who drives a beat-up 10-year-old truck.

I am not saying this to impress you, but to 1) Thank you for your support and 2) Thank you in advance for your support on this deluxe version.


The Manufacturing Details
Measuring 12-1/4” wide x 17-1/4” tall by almost 2-1/4” thick, “Roubo on Furniture” will be the largest and most luxurious book we have printed since Lost Art Press was founded in 2007.

The 472 pages of text will be printed on #100 Mohawk Superfine paper, perhaps the finest domestic paper available today. To match the fine paper, the images and plates will be printed in full color at a linescreen few presses can achieve.

The result is a level of detail and clarity rarely seen in any book of any era.

The book’s signatures will be sewn, casebound and reinforced with a fiber tape that will ensure the binding will outlast us all. The hardbound boards will be covered in a beautifully printed pattern with a cotton cloth cover on the spine. The spine will be then debossed in gold and black.

The entire book will come in a custom-made slipcase covered in a complementary-colored cotton cloth.

Our deluxe version of “Roubo on Marquetry” (long since sold out) was manufactured to these same high specifications and was named one of the “50 Books of the Year” by by the Design Observer, in association with AIGA and Designers & Books.

We are happy to answer any questions about the book – just leave us a comment and we’ll do our best. Tomorrow I plan to post a video tour of the deluxe version of “Roubo on Marquetry” so you can get a feel for the manufacturing details of the deluxe “Roubo on Furniture.”

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: To Make as Perfectly as Possible, Roubo Translation
Categories: Hand Tools

Build A Bench with Jeff Miller this April

Benchcrafted - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 6:42am

If you'd like to spend a couple weekends building a Roubo-style bench with Jeff Miller, here's your chance.

Over two weekends (March 31-April 2, and April 7-9) Jeff is offering the class at his shop in Chicago where you'll get instruction from one of today's best modern furniture makers. Jeff has extensive experience building this bench, and installing our vises. Most of the benches in Jeff's shop are outfitted with our stuff, and he has an intimate knowledge of how they install and function. Although Jeff will help you build a bench with whatever vises you wish, not just our stuff.

Jeff is also one of our favorite people. Always good-humored and cheery, two weekends with Jeff building stuff sounds like serious fun. And you'll walk away with not only a fine bench, but also a bunch of new skills and techniques.

For more info, see Jeff's website here. http://www.furnituremaking.com/workshophome.html

Photo by Narayan Nayar at FORP II.
Categories: Hand Tools

How to Select Woodturning Tools

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 6:30am
lathe tools

When it comes to turned furniture components, you only have a few options. You can buy mass-produced factory-turned components that do not accurately recreate the fine details in period furniture; you can make friends with a turner; or you can invest in a lathe and turn your own. If you decide to go with the third option you’ll need some woodturning tools (in addition to your lathe). This can seem like […]

The post How to Select Woodturning Tools appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Roman Workbench Build-along Starts Today!

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 4:04am

Starting today, Mike and I will be building our Roman workbenches and blogging and posting to Instagram along the way. If you are one of the other folks who will be building along with us, make sure to tag your pictures with #romanbenchbuildalong so that we can follow along your progress. This bench could easily be built in one day but because Mike and I are documenting it (and have other responsibilities) it will be at least a couple days of building followed by a bit of playing around using it. There are a few features and variations that I will be incorporating that Chris didn’t in his low Roman bench so we’ll see what happens with those. This will be really fun. Hope you follow along with us! Stay tuned. There will be more updates throughout the day! 

- Joshua


Categories: Hand Tools

Roman Workbench Build-along Starts Today!

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 4:04am

Starting today, Mike and I will be building our Roman workbenches and blogging and posting to Instagram along the way. If you are one of the other folks who will be building along with us, make sure to tag your pictures with #romanbenchbuildalong so that we can follow along your progress. This bench could easily be built in one day but because Mike and I are documenting it (and have other responsibilities) it will be at least a couple days of building followed by a bit of playing around using it. There are a few features and variations that I will be incorporating that Chris didn’t in his low Roman bench so we’ll see what happens with those. This will be really fun. Hope you follow along with us! Stay tuned. There will be more updates throughout the day! 

- Joshua


Categories: Hand Tools

I paid the price, big time........

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 2:48am
I moved around yesterday like I was a young kid. I refused to give in and take it slow. Putting in that corner cabinet really pissed me off. I flew up and down the cellar stairs getting tools and whatever else I needed. Later on that night about 2000, my right leg (with the metal hip) starting hurting. I also had trouble walking and I couldn't take a full stride.

I didn't think much of it and thought that after a good night's sleep, life would be wonderful in the morning again. I went to bed and before 2100 I was in agony. My hip had never hurt this much before. Not even when I built the garden shed a few years ago. I got up to get some motrin and that was trip through hell and back. Constant stabbing aching pain, and a 10 second round trip that took me 10 minutes to do.

My wife looked up something on her cell phone and she told me take some motrin. Duh! I just took that. I somehow managed to get back into bed without passing out. She put a heating pad on my hip and that felt wonderful. The pain started to subside and I fell asleep. I woke up a few hours later and I was pain free. I'm not complaining but the previous couple hours are ones I don't ever want to revisit.

Today I kept in mind what I did yesterday and took it easy. I'm having a plumber come in and do the water pipes. I may call him back and have him do the sink hook up too. I spent the rest of the day trying to finish up the rehabbing of the #3. That shouldn't involve a lot running around.

Siegley iron and chipbreaker
I forgot these pics from yesterday. This is the condition I got these two in. Ready to go as is and I did use them as is.

back of the iron has been flattened
I'll take that because I dislike flattening the backs of irons and chisels.

this needs some work
The chipbreaker had a bit of daylight between it and the iron. I didn't get any shavings jammed up under it when I used but I'll fix it anyways.

this side is off a bit
This is the side/end that I saw the daylight on. It won't take but a few minutes to get this flat and even end to end.

prepped my sanding belts
I cut the belts last night before I left the shop. I put them underneath the marble threshold to flatten out the hump in them.

#3 sanded with 180
The marks on the bottom edge I had to hand sand out. I was getting anywhere trying to sand them out on the threshold. I have no plans to use this on shooting board so I'm overly concerned with getting or maintaining square.

The sole of this plane had some paint on it from the boards I used it on. Overall, the plane looks grungy so I decided to do a full sanding of the sole and the cheeks. I had to put the 80 and 120 grit belts back on and start there with this plane.

changed where I cut them
I cut the blue belt on the round part of the belt. That put the splice almost in the middle of the threshold when laid down on it. Every stroke with the plane back and forth went over the splice. On the other belts I cut it on the splice and put that part under the clamp. That left me with prime, uninterrupted sanding real estate.

sanding do-dad
This is the eraser I use to clean my 12" sanding disc and I tried it here. The heavier grits (80, 120,etc) stay relatively clean but the smaller grits (220 and up) clog up quickly. Even with frequent vacuuming, they still clog quickly. I tried the eraser after each time I vacuumed and it seemed to make a difference. I could see and feel the sandpaper cutting better than when I just vacuumed it.

look at what I found
I thought I had a set of smaller torx screwdrivers but when I didn't find them in my electronics toolbox, I assumed I didn't have any. I didn't think to look at where my workshop screwdrivers are kept.

finish polishing with 600 grit
I'm not a fan of this 3 in-a-row sandpaper but I didn't have a choice here. I took it slow and I only lost 2 pieces. I think that is pretty good as I used this setup to polish three other planes besides the #3.

all 600 grit
I've had this paper for over 23 years. I got it before I left the Navy in 1994. I was stationed on a boat that was being decommissioned and the last sea trip we made on her was a dump run. We went to sea for the express purpose of throwing everything not needed overboard. I saved this pile of 600 grit paper. I have maybe used an inch over the years. I just missed getting a pile of 400 grit at the same time.

I think readers know that I like shiny
#3 sanded and shined up
the 4 hand planes I did today
I did my other #3, the #4 that had paint on it's sole, and the 4 1/2.

doing a plane iron inventory
2 of the four LN irons I have. One  A-2 and three 0-1s'. I have two LN planes, a 51 and a 4 1/2 and both of them have 0-1 irons. I'm good on LN irons but I would like to replace the one A-2 with another 0-1.

10 1/2 and  # 8 irons
I had bought a replacement frog for a 10 1/2 and it had an iron and chipbreaker too. This one is sharp and ready to go.  I now have three #8 irons. The one in the #8 now is a Record iron that fits and works perfectly. I should only have two irons for the #8 but I bought an iron/chipbreaker thinking it was for the 4 1/2 but I had mind farted on the size of the two. Now I have three and I'm good on these too.

2 5/6" wide irons
These are for my 4 1/2 but they will also fit the #6 and #7. The #6 has a cambered iron and I don't need a replacement for it but I do need a back up for the #7. The iron on the left is from Tools from Japan I got it because it is the only aftermarket iron I can find that is close to the size of the OEM Stanleys. The iron/chipbreaker on the right is the Siegley I just got. It is looking like I don't need any more irons for the 4 1/2 or the #7.

#4 and #3 irons and extra chipbreakers
I have three #4 planes but only one back up iron for them. I have two #3 planes and I have 2 backup irons for them. I need to get a couple of more #4 irons and at least one backup #4 chipbreaker.

Stanley block plane iron
I offered this for free with the block plane but had no takers last year. The block
plane failed the bounce test with Mr Concrete Floor but I saved the iron.

spare iron for my Lee Valley rabbet plane
toothing iron for my LV BU Jack
iron from Tools from Japan
#8 iron in front, Tools from Japan iron in the back
There is a slight difference in the thickness of these two. The iron from Tools from Japan is only about 2 frog hairs thicker than the #8. I shouldn't have to go nutso pushing the frog back to the heel to get it to fit. I checked the Tools from Japan website and this is the only Stanley bench iron replacement I saw on it.

The only plane I haven't actively sought to get a replacement iron for is my #5. I don't use it that often and it's the same size as the #4 irons. So if I get more #4 irons, I will have a spare for the #5. I use my Lee Valley BU Jack more than the Stanley.

an old tapered iron
modified chipbreaker
This came in a wooden Jack I bought and it was modified by the previous owner.(?) Whoever did this also squared off the slot in the iron.

won't fit in any metal plane I have
The bevel side
The bevel of this looks like crap. It looks like it was hacked at but with a bit of work it'll be redeemable.

offered up for sale
The far left iron is a freebie to whoever wants one of the others and asks for it. The second from left iron is the tapered one and it is 2 1/16" wide. $17 including shipping in the lower 48 in a flat rate box. You know blurb to follow, first email with the earliest date time stamp, yada, yada, yada..........  If someone wants it that doesn't reside in the lower 48, $17 plus actual shipping costs to you.

The third iron from the left is a Lee Valley A2 iron and chipbreaker. It's 2 3/8 wide and I had bought it to use in my #7 but it wouldn't fit. With the frog backed up as far as it would go, I had no more adjuster to turn to move the iron in or out. I used it in my LN 51 for over a year before I put a LN 0-1 back in it. $20 including shipping to the lower 48 in a flat rate box. Same blurb as above applies here.

The last one on the right is a Hock iron and chipbreaker that was in my #5. Hock was the only after market iron I bought that didn't need the mouth widened nor involved having the iron shoved back to the heel. I have gone back to using Stanley irons in all of my planes and I intend to stay with them.

Offered up for $20 including shipping to the lower 48 in a flat rate box. Same blurb as above applies here. ****This iron has the corners rounded off so it won't leave plane tracks.**** Both the Hock and the Lee Valley iron are sharpened straight across - they are not cambered and neither iron has a secondary bevel.

fixing the chipbreaker
The shiny part was on the stone with the tail on the bench. Moved it up and down the side of the stone, trying to keep it square, until the edge was consistent side to side.

sharpened the bottom edge
The edge right where it lays on the iron, had some rough spots and a couple of minutes on the coarse stone got rid of it. I stropped it after I did the same to the iron.

another 150 year old patent date
I know that this iron and chipbreaker isn't original to the #3 I'm rehabbing. It has the movable bedrock frog and that wasn't even a thought back in 1867.

I'm liking this runway sharpening
 I am going to keep the threshold and the 80 grit belt by the sharpening bench. This long distance makes quick work on establishing the bevel and rolling a burr.

trying to remove my fingerprints
I saw the blood on the guide and I had to search for the source. I didn't even feel this nor was aware that I had shaved this fingertip. The iron I'm sharpening now is the OEM #3 I bought a couple of weeks ago. I flattened the back, filed the corners round, and I'm establishing my bevel here.

cleaning up the level cap
got the last of the rust spots
The keyhole circle I did with a dowel wrapped with sandpaper. The wire wheel got the rest of them.

working on my mini anvil
The level cap had bend in it and I was able to tap most of it out on the pointed part of the anvil. I know that the pointed thing in the back is called a hardy and I'm assuming that the pointy blue thing is called the horn. I'll be looking up anvil part names after I'm done writing this blog.

my best friend too
I have used this stuff for years to clean my stainless steel pots and pans. I never knew it would work wonders on brass. I got this tip from Jonathan who blogged about the Chicken Taj Mahal of the Pacific Northwest he built. He also blogged about a plane restoration and he used this to clean the adjuster wheel.  I couldn't believe how shiny and bright he got the adjuster. I have struggled on every plane rehab I've done and I never got any of my adjusters to look even half as good as his was.

it's pristine
I drop a bunch of this in a plastic container with water and drop the adjuster in it to soak for a while. After about a ten minutes, I take it out and scrub it all over with a toothbrush. Any stubborn areas I treat with a paste of a little water and a lot of powder and use extra elbow grease with the toothbrush.

where my shop day ended
I scrubbed the inside of the plane, rinsed it out, and then blew it dry with my hairdryer. At this point I am not going to paint this. There is a little lost of some japanning aft of the frog seat and none forward of it. Everything on the plane has been sanded, shined, cleaned, and oiled up. All that I need to call this done, and hear the congratulatory oohs and aahs, is the rear tote.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Whitcomb Judson?
answer - he invented the zipper

From Lowly Can Opener to Mortise Clean-out Tool

Paul Sellers - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 12:30am

Wednesday 15th February 2017 I know, I should have just made one or two of these years ago. I knew exactly what I wanted but was too lazy to just make one. Fast forward and I decided to do something about it so here it is. What to call it?? Waste extractor? Chip remover? You help …

Read the full post From Lowly Can Opener to Mortise Clean-out Tool on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Table Trestles-Part 5

Hillbilly Daiku - Sun, 02/19/2017 - 3:15pm

Progress is being made in drips and drabs.

In my last post I reviewed my day of wood butchery.  I’m happy to report that my repairs were successful and the split tops are once again solid.  The second round of assembly went without incident and all four trestles are together.



Once the glue dried, the next step was to trim the tenon stubs and clean the tops up with a plane.


tables_seating_proportionsThen I leveled and trimmed each trestle for final height.  The final height of these trestles is dependent upon the thickness of the top.  In my design drawing I intentionally made these trestles tall enough to be used as a standing work table or to be trimmed to dinning or writing height.  I made a reference drawing and posted it a while back that I use to determine the heights of stools, chairs and tables.  These heights are based upon my own body.  Specifically my hand span (222mm).  The drawing is proportional and will scale to anyone.  (Hand span is distance between tip of little finger and tip of thumb when fingers are spread to their widest)

The point being is that I needed the thickness of the table top to accurately trim the height of the trestles.  After a lot of back and forth I settled on using 2x SYP for my table tops.  These tops should finish out at 36mm(1-7/16″).  To mark the legs I tried a method exampled in Peter Galbert’s book, “A Chairmaker’s Notebook.  The method is to tape a pencil to a bevel gauge.  This gives a pretty easy of way of adjusting the height and marking the legs.  Once I shimmed a trestle level I measured the distance from ground to the top of the trestle.  Then added the top thickness to that distance.  From that I subtracted my desired finished table height.  The remainder being the amount of leg to be trimmed away.


Once I had all of the trestles trimmed, I moved them onto the sun porch so I would have room to work in the shop without fear of damaging them.  The trestles are not quite complete at this point, but the remaining work is dependent upon them being mated to the tops.


Which brings me to the tops themselves.  As I said earlier, I’m making these tops from 2x SYP construction lumber.  I waffled on this decision quite a bit.  A 2x top is heavy, but durable.  A 1x top would be lighter, but lacking in durability.  Either would work for dinning, but I know that these tables will be used for much more than simple dinning.  The “extra” table will spend most of its life as a craft/work table out on the sun porch or wherever it may be needed.

I went to the big box store in hopes of purchasing 2×12 lumber.  Three 2x12s would be enough for each top.  However, the offerings of 2×12 were pretty sad.  Boards that were full of knots, cups and twists.  The 2×10 offerings yielded a much better material and that is what I loaded into the truck.  Four 2x10s will make up each top with plenty of width to trim to final size.

These four will make up the better of the two tops and will be used on our daily dinning table.


The other four pieces are a little more rugged, but not by much.

The first task was to cut all of the boards to rough length.  To edge glue these boards together I need to plane one face true being sure to check for any twist.  Then square both of the edges to that face.  It’s a fair amount of work with hand planes and I decided from the start to tackle these in stages.  I’ll surface and joint two boards and glue them together.  This will eventually yield four two-board panels.  Then I’ll joint and glue two of those panels together to create a table top.  Much easier for a one-man shop than trying to tackle them all at once.

The result of working on two boards.


I’m using biscuits to aid in aligning the boards.img_2927


Two boards glued and in the clamps.


I’ll just keep plugging away at the remainder of the boards until I’m done.

 Part 4 Greg Merritt Part 6

Categories: Hand Tools


Old Ladies - Pedder's blog - Sun, 02/19/2017 - 12:44pm
Ich mag gern Holzhobel weil die viel besser gleiten als metallene. Aber ich mag den hohen Schwerpunkt nicht. Vor Jahren habe ich schon von ALex eine Kurzrauhbank bekommen, die Im Razeestil umgebaut war. Das habe ich heute mit einer etwas längeren Raubank nachgemacht.
Da war irgendeine Ölige Braune Farbe drauf, weshalb ich den ganzen Hobel abgehobel habe. (Schlagknopf vorher entfernen!) 
Die Ziernuten habe ich mit den Stanley 66 nachgezogen.

I like the razee style wooden planes. So today I transforemd a classic Jointer to a razee jointer. There was some crude brown stuff on the plane so I planed it down to fresh wood. (Remove the beating knob before!) The  ornaments has been reworked with the Stanley #66. Cool tool.
 Tolles aber gefährliches Werkzeug. Einmal falsch angesetzt...

But dangerous.
Griff aus Santos Palisander.

Handle from Santos
 #66 in Aktion
 Läuft super. Das Eisen schnell aus einem alten Sägeblatt gemacht.
The blae is an old saw blade
 Finish fehlt noch, erst muss der Griff und die Schraube, die die Klappe zieht, trocken.
Finish next week, the epoxy for the handle and the screw, that holds the cap iron, has to cure.

Categories: Hand Tools

2 down, 2 to go.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 02/19/2017 - 2:56am
The approved plan for saturday was to go in early to do OT. Come home early and get at least two cabinets installed. Quit the cabinets after that and go spend some quality time in the shop.It sounded good and looked awesome on paper, but the execution was lacking. Got two cabinets installed but I didn't get any quality time in the shop. It is looking like I won't be getting a lot of it tomorrow neither. And the early stuff didn't happen neither.

I felt an omen
I didn't have a warm and fuzzy feeling when I got home so first off, I went to the shop and did some woodworking. I took the crest rail for the towel holder out of the clamps and cleaned it up. It's ready to go now and I then started on the cabinet install.

working out of the corner
This was a hard one to call for me. I could have started on the right with stove cabinet and tried to shoehorn the corner cabinet in place. Or tried the same thing coming from the left. Common sense told me to install the corner cabinet first and work out from that right and left.

My kitchen floor has a 3/4" hollow just to the left of the center of it. Which puts it right where the corner and stove cabinets are going to live going to the right. Since I thought it would be near impossible to shim and corner cabinet, I worked on getting that level and square in the corner.

kitty corner on the corner cabinet
The walls are slightly out of plumb. The right wall leans inward and the left one leans outward. I couldn't get two surfaces to be level no matter what I did. If screwed one side in level, the other one would go out. Very frustrating start to this installation.

from the corner to the front - out of level
I have the right side screwed to the wall and the reading is off. In order to get this level I would have had to lift the back end up. Doing that would put the sides out level. This cabinet has to be level and plumb because the other cabinets are installed off of it.

three stooges plumbing
This is all going away. The pipe on the right is the cold water and I am hoping that I have enough wiggle room to fit the sink cabinet over it.

this is turning out to be an armpit level liquid fecal matter job
I'm on the level line on one side and off on the other. I got a level kitty corner here. It has now been almost 2 hours of work and I don't have this first cabinet installed yet.

stellar joinery - both sides look the same
more award winning joinery
This corner, in spite of the ten pounds of staples, is still separated somehow. I checked and what a surprise, the cabinet is not square in any direction. It is out almost a 1/4" off on the diagonals. That explains some of the fun I'm having trying to get this secured in place.

The only thing holding this kick plate in place is 5 staples at the top. I secured it with a handful of #6x5/8 screws by screwing in from the 1/4" plywood into the 1/2" kick plywood board.

the other side is held with 5 staples too
I repeated the screwing on this kick plate too. It did stiffen up the cabinet some but it didn't cure the out of square.

removed all the staples and screwed the corner back together
one hour later
I finally said enough and compromised. I gave up trying to get the left and right sides level. The vertical sides are plumb which made me scratch the bald spot a few extra times. I went kitty corner across the front and got that level. I took a break after I finally got the corner cabinet in place.

never heard of Siegley, you?
I bought this because it was $10, 2 5/16" wide, and I was hoping it would fit my 4 1/2". This is also the cleanest and most ready to go iron I have ever bought.

Stanley on the left, Siegley on the right
With the exception of the iron, these two look identical.  The relief hole for the chipbreaker screw being at the top of the iron is the only obvious difference. Everything on the chipbreakers are almost a dead nuts match. I'm thinking Stanley made this for Siegley and they ordered the irons made this way for them. I'm sure Bob Demers probably has info on any closet skeletons with Siegley planes.

can't argue with this
I did nothing to the Siegley iron/chipbreaker. I put in the 4 1/2 and locked down the lever cap. I didn't have to adjust the screw for it at all. I made a bunch of shavings from wispy thin to these here. I have a back up for my 4 1/2 now.

I have started looking out for other makers irons because I can't seem to find good Stanley ones. I know Stanley made planes/irons for others and they are usually cheaper to buy. I would buy a whole plane just to salvage an iron.

much joy and rejoicing in Mudville
My new 3/8 drill came in and I put it to work doing the cabinet install. I put the corded one back in the black hole.

my 4x36 belts came in too
I have the grits to finish the #3 - 180, 220 320, and 400. That is something I can do while the wife is sleeping. It's a quiet work until you drop something on your foot or mind fart and turn the vacuum cleaner on.

just thought to check this
The adjuster is in the same spot with the Siegley iron/chipbreaker as it is with the Stanley setup. I didn't gain there but I gained with a good iron and chipbreaker.

5 hours after I started
My male cat, Mr Darcy, is inspecting my work. Doing this kitchen redo has them all screwed up. Neither one of them would eat their cat food when I fed them this noontime. Easiest way to screw with a cat's head is to rearrange the furniture.

No quality time in the shop today. I was tired and way too sore after this fun adventure. Tomorrow should be a topper for today because I get to play Mr Plumber. I'll have to shut the water off to whole house when I do that. The one good thing in my favor for that is the temperature. It is supposed to top out in the low 50's.  I won't have to worry about heat loss because I will also have to shut the boiler down too while I play Mr Plumber.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
How long did the Battle of Waterloo last?
answer - about 10 hours

Curves I Have Known.

The Furniture Record - Sat, 02/18/2017 - 8:38pm

I know I said I would be finishing with the Barcelona Design Museum but there is just so much to process that I need to take a break from it until I figure out how to properly report on it. That and I am in week three of a cold I brought back from the Philippines. Oh, yeah, I was in the Philippines for about a week. I got per diem so it must have been for work. That’s the difference between a business trip and a vacation. If you get per diem, it’s a business trip. If you choose where you’re going, it’s a vacation. Something to be said for both.

Fortunately, the local better auction house has provided me with topics so plentiful that I should be able to enlighten and amuse you for quite a while. Eh?

First up is this American Hepplewhite Sideboard:


This lot has sold for $420

Description:  Early 19th century, probably Mid Atlantic, mahogany, mahogany veneers, white pine and poplar secondary, concave central section with single drawer above two small cabinet doors, flanked by rounded corners, with cabinet doors, raised on square tapered legs. Size   38.5 x 64 x 23.5 in. (From the auction house.)

The curves were what caught my attention. There are many ways to bend or curve wood. We learned from a recent plantation visit that you can bend certain species by soaking them in a river for one year per inch of thickness to make the wood pliable. If you don’t have a convenient river, you can use steam for a more practical one hour per inch.

Then there is bent lamination in which thin layers of wood are glued and placed in a form of the desired shape. (Think freeform plywood.)

If you want to know about kerf bending, you can look it up.

If you can’t bend, you can always make it look bent or curved. There is the brute force method requiring a block of wood that is large enough to contain the curved part and cutting away the parts that fall outside the curves. This method leaves a lot of wood on the shop floor assuming, you can locate a block of wood that is large enough to contain the part. Then you need a saw (hand or powered) that is large enough to accommodate the blank.

A common variation is stacked lamination in which you do as above but one inch in height at a time. Start with a one-inch block of wood: work it to the desired contour. Glue another block atop it and contour to match. If you are into power tools, typically it’s a pattern router bit with bearing or a flush trim bit with bearing. And a router.

Repeat until you reach the desired height.


That’s what they did here, a stacked lamination.

The downside of this technique is that, unless you like the striped look, you need to veneer it. Not a problem if veneering is where you are going. I can see some modern studio furniture using this technique unadorned.


A wider view giving you more construction details.


How to curve the carcass.

Breadboard ends on the curved door provide stability and hide the end grain:


Breadboard ends and a thick veneer.

 The center doors are also stacked laminations, just in the opposite direction. The interesting feature is how the gap between the doors is handled. Typically when doors meet, there is some device to minimize the gap between the doors, a rabbet, a molding or one door overlapping the other. On this server they used beveled edge. The doors do not meet with a 90° butt joint, they are angled:


Beveled edged minimize the appearance of the door gap caused by seasonal movement or other causes.

I’ve seen this in other case pieces but this is the first time I’ve seen it used on curved doors.

No blog of mine can be considered complete without an examination of drawer construction. The veneer hides the truth but I believe the drawer front was cut from a thick block of wood:


The top veneer hides the construction of the drawer front.

The thickness of the drawer front does provide for some really interesting through dovetails:


My favorite dovetails of 2017. So far…

As we saw in recent blog, the thick veneer allows the maker to use through dovetails instead of the fussy, annoying half-blind dovetails.

Picture This CIII

Pegs and 'Tails - Sat, 02/18/2017 - 7:02pm
Like the George III mahogany serpentine chest of drawers in Cross-Grained Mouldings, this unusual little mahogany chest-on-chest from the third quarter of the eighteenth-century displays an out-of-period cross-grained moulding (figs. 1 & 2) – one of the latest examples of … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

Make Your Own Linseed Oil & Wax Finish

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Sat, 02/18/2017 - 11:45am

A finish made from linseed oil and beeswax is an easy-to-apply, tactile finish that I like for turnings, vernacular chairs and other objects that don’t require the protection of a film finish, such as varnish or shellac. The finish, which I call linwax, is available from suppliers such as Swede Paint, or you can easily make your own in a couple hours. The nice thing about making your own is […]

The post Make Your Own Linseed Oil & Wax Finish appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Making a small barrel 4, completion

Mulesaw - Sat, 02/18/2017 - 8:34am
After discovering that the stock was not quite as good as it ought to be, I sort of lost interest in the project. So I guess it is a reminder that once in a while decent stock is a prerequisite for a success.

I tried to weigh the pros and cons of continuing or abandoning the project altogether. In the end I decided that instead of making a barrel for rum or brandy, I could make it for dog treats. Since they are not liquid, the barrel will work for that.

I had made a couple of ends/bottoms for the barrel out of spruce, and these were made into octagonals to fit the inside.
The hoops are made out of a piece of copper tube that was split down the middle using a hacksaw. After splitting , it was flattened on an anvil by means of a hammer. The hoop was riveted together using small pieces of copper wire from an old electrical cable as rivets.
Each hoop received a total of six rivets. five to hold the hoop together and one rivet for holding the eye that will allow the barrel to be attached to the collar of Bertha.

I had measured each hoop directly from the barrel, in such a way that it was a bit too small so I could rely on it to be stretched a bit and gain a good tight fit.
The hoop was first negotiated into place by tapping with a hammer on top of a piece of wood. Once it was level with the edge of the barrel, I switched to a drift wedge. A regular piece of flat bar would have worked equally well, but this was just at hand and had a perfect size for the job.

Normally I think the hoops are expected to stay put without any fixations, but I didn't want to take that risk with this project. I made four small rivets and attached each hoop with two of them.

Finally I sawed of the ends of the barrel down to the edge of the hoops and sanded the outside flush.
I didn't drill a hole for the dog treats yet, because I think a Forstner bit will be better than a regular metal drill bit like those we have out here. So I'll do that once I get home.

The barrel ended up being 6" high and 3 3/8" in diameter at the middle.

The barrel next to a standard can of mineral water.

Material for the hoops.

Coarse work with the riveting.

Setting the hoop.

Tool used for further setting the hoop.
The hose clamp is removed to go further.

Rivet head made on 1.5 mm electrical cable strand

Finished barrel.

Categories: Hand Tools

Small Shop CNC: A Class of Machines Designed to Fit

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sat, 02/18/2017 - 5:00am

If you’re at the point to where you’re at least thinking about the idea of adding a CNC to your shop, then you’ve likely done some research. If that’s the case then you’ve certainly noticed there’s a huge range of sizes and prices of machines to consider.  With CNC routers from as small as 12” x 18” to as large as 5’ x 10’ in size, and prices from a few […]

The post Small Shop CNC: A Class of Machines Designed to Fit appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Handworks Show May 2017, Not To Be Missed!

David Barron Furniture - Sat, 02/18/2017 - 4:40am

Handworks 2017 is only three months away, May 19th - 20th at Amana Colonies, near Cedar Rapids Iowa. It is the best hand tool woodworking show in the USA and not one to be missed, especially as it's been 2 years since the last one. Better still it's absolutely free.
The queue in 2015 waiting for the doors to open on the fist day was huge, stretching all the way down the high street.

 Roy Underhill will be entertaining the crowds on the Saturday morning  and again entry is free, first come first served for the best view. He is a very funny man and a very knowledgeable woodworker.

Due to demand the show has expanded into five different halls with more demonstrators/ makers.

Jameel Abraham and his family have done all the organisation and their wonderful range of Benchcrafted  vices will all be there for you to try and buy. https://benchcrafted.com/

The event is more of a gathering of like minded tool makers, than a show. It is a non profit making event with all the participants promoting it via social media. As such it has a very friendly atmosphere with everyone freely sharing their tips, techniques and knowledge. It is also very hands on with lots of tools to try and buy.

Scott Meeks will have a full range of his excellent wooden planes.

Daed Toolworks showed a range of very tempting and beautifully made infill planes.

Konrad Sauer (Sauer and Steiner) will be making the trip down from Canada with his modern interpretation of infill design.

 .........and they don't come much sexier than this!

Blum Toolworks will have their unique planes on show.

 In addition to the show being free there are numerous excellent door prizes donated by many of the participants, all you have to do is register in advance http://handworks.co/
The Amana Colonies are a great attraction in their own right and well worth a days visit while you're there as well as entertaining other non woodworking members of you family who might want to make the trip.
Oh, and of course I nearly forgot, I'll be there demonstrating my range of dovetail guides, now stocked by Highland Woodworking. I may also have a few of my planes for sale.
Hope to see you there!

Categories: Hand Tools

took a partial day off..........

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 02/18/2017 - 2:02am
No oh dark thirty trips to Lowes or Home Depot this morning. Instead of that I slept in because the peepers failed open at 0130. There isn't a lot of quality entertainment on the boob tube that early in the morning. I did get to watch a NOVA program on origami that was interesting. I don't remember when I finally fell back to sleep but the peepers didn't fail open again until 0600.

I got started on installing the bottom cabinets but I still don't have any installed. I found my high and low spots, struck some lines, stood around looking at it, and took a whole lot of breaks. I had some errands to run so my wife and I decided to do them and go out for lunch.

During lunch we decided to make a left turn on the counter top. My wife was going to order it from Home Depot. Here's the kicker - if we get just the counter top, it's $700. They will deliver it and haul away the old one. That's it.

If I want them to install it, cut out for the sink, and attach the plumbing, the cost is now $3000. WTF? It shouldn't cost an extra $2000 to do this work which shouldn't take more then two hours, 3 at the most. Lowes is basically the same too. No one will do the whole nine yards without me coughing up a wheelbarrow full of money.

I will be doing the sink install myself. As much as I hate contorting my old, fat body to maneuver under the sink, I refuse to pay that kind of money. I will also be making my own counter top. My wife and I decided (mostly her) that it should be tiled. It's bit more work for me but I feel better taking it on than paying the exorbitant fees.

got real lucky here
 The corner cabinet just happens to land on the high spot. I find it easier to work out of a corner high going to low than the other way around.

an inch difference on the right
The top line is the level line coming out of the corner. The level line in the corner is set at the height of the corner cabinet.  The short line beneath the level one is the height of the cabinet at that point.  The floor slopes away here but I have never felt it before. It's hard to ignore this visual. That explains why pots on the stove pool liquids on the right side.

left side coming out of the corner
This side is about 3/8" off the high level line. I won't have to shim up as much here. I got the corner cabinet in the kitchen and put it place and it's crowding the water pipes for the sink. It already looks like the three stooges installed plumbing here. I don't want to have to reroute the water pipes but it's something I may have to do. I had to pull this cabinet back out to mark the stud locations and make a layout line for a 2x4. I need to screw that to the floor so I can then screw the cabinet into that. An inch is too much to raise up just on shims.

Evaporust bath this time
This is the chipbreaker I just got in the mail that had the iron that is toast. I bought another iron this time based on it's size of 2 5/16". It's a name I never heard of and I'm taking a chance on it fitting my 4 1/2. I already soaked this in citric acid and after hitting it with sandpaper I noticed a few pits. I decided to treat it with Evaporust too.

the original 4 1/2 chipbreaker
Look at the curve on this and how thin it is.

the one in the Evaporust now
The curve on this one isn't as pronounced as the one above. It is also thicker than the top one.

it is a gentle curve
my oldest Bailey dated anything
The patent date is 150 years old and that makes this at least that old or a bit younger but not by much. Evaporust puts a film on what is soaked in it. I want that protection to get down into the pits on this on both sides.

my low studs from Bill Rittner came in
I got the matching brass barrel nuts too. One set will be used on my first #3 and the other on the second one I bought.

new knob on my first #3
I like the scale of this knob a lot. I think it fits the scale of the plane much better then the previous tenant here.

the yet to be finished rehabbed #3
The scale of these knobs is the same as my first #3. I have a rear tote for this coming, when I don't know. I ordered an assortment of 4x36 sanding belts, 80 to 400, from Amazon so I can finish the sole and sides on this plane. These sanding belts are made for metalworking so they should last for a while. The ones I've been using up to this point have been woodworking ones.

getting the size for the crest rail
I don't like the design that is in the pic for the towel holder. I want the two ends of this crest rail to end above the sides of the towel holder. I'll wait until I have the shelf installed before I make the pattern for it.

went back to the rehabbing #3
I used the rat tail file and sandpaper to clean up the chip taken out of this side of the plane. I wanted the metal here to be smooth and shiny like the rest of the plane.

crest rail
I made the width of this oversized just in case. I think 6" wide would be ok and this is 8 1/2" just in case.

almost forgot this
This faucet set is only a couple of months old. I am going to recycle this into the new sink.

I still haven't chopped the pins on the tequila box. I think I'll try to squeeze it tomorrow. I would do it in the morning but I don't want to risk waking up my wife. It should only take about 15-20 minutes to do, if and when I do it. I want to get this done so I can get the tequila out of the shop. I don't want to risk inadvertently breaking it.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What are the 8 Rocky Mountain States?
answer - Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico

Mortise Gauges to Look For

Paul Sellers - Sat, 02/18/2017 - 12:30am

Thursday 16th February 2017 I’ve worked on and off with marking gauges all my working life. New ones have come and gone with the generations and then, because an originator passed, a stepson or nephew took over, and the heart and the art was lost, we ended up with slop around the stem.   I have …

Read the full post Mortise Gauges to Look For on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools


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