Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
For several years, I’ve been storing my photos on Photobucket.com. I never paid for it so I was willing to deal with the endless pop up ads every time I wanted to upload some of my photos for my blog. All was well until a few days ago when I noticed that the photos in my blog postings were being blocked. Apparently, Photobucket changed their user agreement and they will no longer support third-party hosting of any of the photos in their site. The only way to get the photos back is to pay a monthly subscription fee. Fat chance of that.
I was using Flickr several years before I switched to Photobucket because I ran out of free space. So, the very early blog posts should be fine for now until Flickr does the same thing. I liked Photobucket because even though I had 300 pictures stored on their site, I was only using 3% of free space on my account. Now I’m in a pickle. I assume I could download all my Photobucket photos onto a hard drive and import them back into blog posts, but that is a lot of work.
I noticed a few months ago that WordPress wouldn’t allow me to cut and paste directly from Photobucket onto my blog page. I had to start loading the image onto WordPress first. Now I know why, which is why my most recent posts are fine. The last working post is from four months ago when I smashed my finger. Every post after that until three years ago is blocked.
Thank God I don’t do this for a living! What a nightmare this must be for professional bloggers who blog two or three times a day. I read on Reddit about people who are in dire straits because of this.
For now, I’m going to start using Imgur.com for storing my photos. Maybe I’ll even buy an external hard drive and store my photos on that so this never happens again.
I’ve been busy with 360Woodworking. With my head down giving it what for, I didn’t see that Ridgid came out with a trim router powered by a battery until one of our members – thanks, Eric – brought it to my attention. My reaction was, “You Betcha.” I enjoy using the corded Ridgid trim router and to not have to pull electric cords around the shop sounded good, so I set about getting my hands on the new R86044B.
Long time passing
Where have all the old tools gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the old tools gone?
Young men picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Ok, lets face the new reality...eBay really sucks for vintage tools.
The question everyone is asking...
...where did all the sellers go?Peace,
If you happened to see a pile of free stuff outside of a neighbor’s house, or on the side of the road, or on the sidewalk of a busy street, would you stop by and sort through it? If it were me, the answer would most likely be YES! And, I hope that by the time you finish reading this story you will join me in this mindset. It is […]
The post Treasure Hunting & the Restoration of a Starrett Sliding Bevel – Part 1 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
Upcoming in Issue Three: “Making a Stand: Form and Function for $1.50” by Michael Updegraff
Most woodworkers today admire the form of the period candlestand. From the graceful, sinuous legs to the seemingly intricate sliding dovetails that secure them, from the details of the turned standard to the beautiful grain exhibited in a tilting top, these pieces sometimes seem to be more sculpture than household mainstay. But this type was possibly the most common piece of furniture around in the 18th or 19th century, and was often present in every room of the house. Consequently, makers of the day built these stands not only in great quantity, but fast. After all, a single candlestand typically fetched from $.50 to $1.50, less than a day’s pay at the turn of the 19th century. Speed and efficiency were necessary to turn a profit.
I begin by felling a tree with an axe, and work through the riving, resawing, and ripping necessary to generate the stock required. The top is glued up from a rough-sawn piece of cherry that needed a good home. The standard (or pillar, or column, depending on whom you ask) is laid out from photographs of a historical piece and turned on a spring-pole lathe.
The legs, also patterned off of a period example, are secured to the standard with sliding dovetails and by a “spider” fashioned from a piece of scrap metal. We’ll be keeping an eye on the clock throughout this build, and looking at various ways to improve efficiency in the process. After all, the kids are hungry, the barn needs a new roof, and $1.50 only goes so far.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s announcement of the next article upcoming in M&T Issue Three...
Molly Bagby is an employee at Highland Woodworking who recently finished up a 2 Week Basic Woodworking course at Center for Furniture Furniture Craftsmanship (CFC). Although she grew up at Highland Woodworking from a mere 1 week old, her knowledge of woodworking skills is limited. With this class, she intends to change that.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, we delved right into Sharpening on Day 1. I quickly learned why Highland Woodworking has an entire section of the store dedicated to sharpening supplies. A lot of work goes into getting tools sharp, but a sharp tool really makes all the difference, especially when making joinery.
Peter Korn has an entire section on Sharpening in his book Woodworking Basics, which discusses each step of the process in detail. What he taught us in class are the same methods he discusses in his book, but here are the main steps I picked up from the process (as a side note, I had brought up a brand new set of 6 Narex Chisels, which in their description say “like most edge tools, they’ll need sharpening before use”…they forgot to mention the words “A LOT” but apparently that is the case for almost all new chisels, and even if they do come “pre-sharpened” you’ll still want to do a little bit more yourself to get them in “perfect” working condition.
Flattening the Back – Your goal in this part of the process is to flatten the back of the chisel.
- On the two sides of a 5×12 piece of glass, stick a long piece of 220 grit adhesive sandpaper.
- Rub the back of the chisel flat on the sandpaper by holding it down at a slight angle and move it back and forth to remove the factory marks from the top 1-2 inches of the chisel (I found that I had a hard time keeping the chisel flat…this necessity was stressed time and time again).
- Switch to a 1000 grit waterstone and continue flattening the back of the chisel, taking out the 220 sandpaper scratches.
- Switch to a 6000 grit waterstone and continue flattening until the back of the chisel has a shiny, mirror finish to it (i.e. once you can see your reflection in the back of the chisel).
-When sharpening on stones make sure you are using the whole length of the stone and are holding the chisel on the steel portion of it so that you are less likely to lift the handle and round the chisel back.
-Once you have flattened the back, you will no longer need to use the sandpaper or 1000 grit waterstone on the back of your chisel.
Honing the Front
Once the back is flat, it is time to hone the front of the chisel. First you want to make sure your chisel is ground down to a 26-30 degree bevel angle. Anything less than 25 degrees will fail. I found the grinding process on the electric grinder to be very technical and won’t go into the details of the grinding process, but there are some great YouTube videos that show this process.
After you have the proper angle from grinding, go back to the waterstones to get the perfect edge:
- Start on the 1000 grit waterstone and make sure the bevel edge is flat on the stone, with only the front edge making contact with the stone.
- Again, keeping the chisel as flat as possible on the stone is key in order to keep from misshaping the edge.
- Move the chisel back and forth on the stone (making sure to use the entire surface of the stone), applying downward pressure when pushing it forward and no pressure on the return back. I found that I had to go back and forth for several minutes and sometimes counted my strokes to help pass the time (I think I got to over 100 one time).
- Remove the burr that has been created on the back of the chisel on the 6000 grit stone.
- Repeat Steps 1-4 on the 6000 grit stone.
- Once your chisel is sharp enough to remove hair from your skin, it’s sharpened.
Congratulations! You now have a sharp chisel….maybe. Unfortunately, this was not the case the first few times I was going through the sharpening process and I found the entire process to be very frustrating, detail-specific, and I felt like I had no idea what the perfectly sharpened chisel was supposed to look like.
I compared the process to making a magic wand work. If it wasn’t perfect made, no magic would come out of it. If the chisel wasn’t sharp, it was not going to cut wood the way you wanted it to. I don’t actually believe in magic, which is why I found this comparison to be true…a magic wand will never actually work, and the sharpening process was so arduous that at times I felt like I was never going to get my chisel sharp enough.
But with a little lot of patience, time, and wet/flattened waterstones, eventually you will get your chisels sharp enough to start making joinery. Keyword=eventually. It wasn’t until midway through week 2 that I handed one of my chisels to Peter who was showing me a dovetail technique and he specifically said “wow, you’ve actually got a really sharp chisel!” That was probably one of the highlights of my time at CFC.
The post The Importance of Sharpening – Center for Furniture Craftsmanship appeared first on Woodworking Blog.
Following the recent Groopshop gathering at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking I stuck around to teach a couple of one-day workshops. The first was “Veneer Repair” wherein I presented a group of techniques I’ve learned or created over the years. Having looked at an awful lot of historic furniture in my career, I think it is safe to say that the challenge of dealing with veneer damage and loss has been beyond the skill-set of a great many folks in the business. This is a topic of great interest to me, and since I’ve taught it many, many times, including last week, there seems to be interest in it. I am currently scripting out a video to shoot here in the coming winter with a young videographer living nearby.
My first order of business, a month before the class, was to make a set of near-identical “problem” boards for the students to work on. These were fairly good representations of the types of problems they will encounter.
For most losses a technique I created involves tracing precisely the damaged area onto a small piece of mylar or acetate that is taped to the adjacent background. Then I select and locate a piece of veneer that matches the surrounding background as best as possible. (I apologize for many of these pictures, I discovered ex poste that the camera was having a bad day, or perhaps it was the camera operator…)
The outline is transferred to the veneer via a piece of carbon paper (these are obviously not the same problem piece, but I think you get the idea)
The marked veneer is then mounted on a backing board with stick glue, and cut out with a jeweler’s saw.
If all goes well you get a perfect fit from the git go.
But sometimes the back side of the joint edge needs to be feathered with a small gouge to make it fit perfectly.
Once you have the grain and fit correct, you slather on some glue, overlay with a piece of cling wrap or mylar, and clamp with a plexi caul and the veneer repair is pretty much done. There is finish work yet to come, but that is another subject for another time.
A number of other techniques were taught, but I was so busy teaching that I forgot to take pictures of them. You’ll have to wait for the video, I guess.
Time flies when you are having fun! Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of my very first blog entry. I started my blog because everyone was doin' it, doin' it and we didn't want to be left out of the blogging trend. Also, we were about to move to Brooklyn from Manhattan and there was a lot of news to report. Over the years I have written on just about every woodworking topic I could fathom. I try not to write about the same thing again and again, but as we all know I do it anyway.
It's been a tremendously rewarding experience for me on several levels. Of course I think the blog helps drive traffic to the website, but on a personal level it's made me a much better writer, gave me an excuse to investigate things I would not normally feel justified to do, and - most importantly - when I write about a subject, I get to think about it in depth, and learning more is very rewarding. It makes me happy when people come up to me and tell me that they read my blog. If you write and people read your stuff - it's a perfect world, and what more can you ask for.
The biggest problem I have today is that my time is limited and I don't have the luxury of research that I used to. That being said, I like to think woodworking is an broad subject and I've only scratched the surface. I would be remiss it telling you that up to a few years ago I pretty much wrote every word of the blog, with help from Sally, my wife, to make sure the grammar wasn't embarrassing. However in the past few years Sally has come to the rescue on more than one attempt and ghosted a fair number of entries. I think the rule of thumb is, if the spelling is good and the writing compelling, it's a good bet that she had a real hand in authorship. I don't feel bad about this - I feel wonderful that I get such support from my family. Nobody works in a vacuum, and magazines have staff.
I do have a request: if you have a favorite entry, or a post you remember fondly, I would love to find out about it. Maybe we will do a "Greatest Hits" page.
Thanks again for all your support.
PS Even as I look back to 10 years of blogging, I'm looking forward to July 29th, when master luthier Ian Kelly will be visiting our Brooklyn showroom and carving Spanish Cedar into the neck of a guitar. He'll be using a Gramercy Tools rasp, a spokeshave and sandpaper, and of course his own skill. We hope folks in the NYC area will stop by and you are all invited! Ian will be there from 1 - 5 pm.
My blood pressure remained normal and I didn't change into a raging nut job which my wife was very proud of. All this did really was put me behind the eight ball with getting tomorrow's blog post ready. One thing I did do before I started writing this was to make a password reset recovery USB. I thought I had done that but I don't remember it and if I did, I don't know where I stuck the USB stick.
|my new camera|
|my very first pic with the new camera|
|I forgot to snap this pic last night|
|set up board to get the outside wall of the groove|
|knifed the in and outside of the groove to prevent chipout|
|worked good in this pine|
|knifed my two groove lines|
|this is prone to chipout and blowouts|
|first groove to depth|
|groove number 2|
|the last one, #4|
The action of this Lee Valley plow plane is very sweet. It was a joy to use on this and a huge step up over the Record 405 (English version of the Stanley 45). Less bulk and weight and a lot more nimble and easier to push. Well worth putting on your xmas list to buy in august.
|ran two gauge lines|
|tongue laid out|
|splitting out the rabbet|
|got one split out|
|lucky again with #2|
|this end isn't splitting off cleanly|
|too fat but I knew that|
|this should have been on the side of the tongue|
|squared up the cheek|
|cleaning up and squaring the tongue with the router plane|
|one corner caught, the rest is too fat|
|fits but the tongue needs some trimming|
|making a tongue marker|
|marked and ready to saw off|
|inside joint line|
|the oops side|
How many official perfect games have been throw in Major League Baseball?
answer - out of over 210,000 games only 23
The rabbit hutch project is finally looking like a rabbit hutch. I got a lot done in the last post, but now I need to make the two poop drawers that will sit beneath the wire mesh floors.
You can see the earlier posts in this series here:
- The Rabbit Hutch – Part 1 (Front frames and doors)
- The Rabbit Hutch – Part 2 (Sidewalls)
- The Rabbit Hutch – Part 3 (Carcase assembly)
- The Rabbit Hutch – Part 4 (Floor frames)
- The Rabbit Hutch – Part 5 (General Assembly)
In the last post, I painted the hutch, installed the floor frames, fitted and installed the back panels, installed the doors, and made a piece to fill the gap at the top of the front. Wow, that’s a lot for one post. Time to make the poop drawers. Again, I’m skipping photos of me milling wood.
I found that there was a slight inward bow in the long sides of the draw frame. I cut a piece of scrap to temporarily keep these pushed out straight while I nailed the bottom on.
For the bottom I decided to use a ¼ plywood that is faced one side with paper. I think that it is designed to be used as an underlayment for tile. To attach the bottom, I used Titebond III and nails.
With the bottom drawer made, I gave the outside a couple of coats of paint. Not the inside, that’s getting different treatment.
So that the drawer doesn’t slide directly on its plywood bottom, I added an oak runner or wear strip to the bottom edges.
The bottom drawer was fairly simple. The upper drawer is a little more complicated as it needs to have a notch cut out of the back to account for the ramp that links the upper and lower levels of the hutch.
I’ll skip all the photos of the dovetailing this time as it is exactly the same as the first drawer. In the bellow (after) photo, you can see the joints all finished. This one took a little longer because of the notch. As you can see, it has eight dovetail joints instead of four.
I did the same flush-cut and round-over with the trim router before painting.
My next-door neighbor had some left over countertop laminate that he gave me. This will make a great waterproof liner for the drawers.
After the glue had cured, I trimmed the edges flush with the laminate trim router and a block plane.
I bought these drawer pulls at a clearance sale at the Lee Valley store when I took a trip to Kelowna, BC last year. I knew they would come in handy at some point.
Well, that’s the drawers done. Now this thing needs a roof. More on that in the next post.
– Jonathan White
Your are going to be disappointed to learn this post is about furniture making and not woodworking. They aren’t always the same activity. I haven’t come up with a new subtractive furniture making technique using flame.
What the title refers to is furniture I have found that looks like wood but is actually metal. First I found some chairs in Alpharetta, GA. a few years back:
Next, I found this kitchen rack at a local antiques multi-dealer shop:
Tuesday, I found two more pieces over in Raleigh:
And finally, this desk:
You can tell it’s metal by looking at a drawer side:
Editor’s Note: I am currently on my return trip home from visiting with Garrett Hack and his wife, Carolyn, on their idyllic Vermont farm. Garrett and I spent time in his shop doing the photography for his article in our upcoming Issue Three. I’ve asked Garrett to provide a summary for readers here at the blog. The following is his write-up…
“There is no mystery why woodworkers (and many other trades) relied on patterns. They are a simple and accurate way to transfer shapes easily and repeatedly. A shapely case apron, curved chair leg, or the serpentine profile of a tabletop are all typical patterns an 18th century maker would have had on hand and used to speed his work along, just as I do today.
Templates can do far more useful work than repeating pleasing shapes. Early in the design process when I am drawing a project I’ll make quick patterns — you could call them “sketches” — from thin softwood to more easily see the shape of complex parts such as the back leg of a chair. By propping it up on the floor as the leg will stand and getting back, I can see a lot more than from a drawing alone.
My pattern then guides me to cut out and shape the actual legs. I use it in laying out my cuts to get the most harmonious and strongest grain flow through the leg, and to organize those cuts — nesting them together when I can — to use my stock and time most economically. It might even yield an extra part or two, always a good idea. For the final shaping I work to the pattern, sliding it against each leg as I shave away with hand tools, to create multiple accurate parts.
When it comes to laying out cuts, joinery, details such as the location of a banding or bead, my pattern becomes a mistake-proof story stick. For curved parts where these locations are harder to measure with a rule, flexing a template and transferring marks is both easier and more accurate. These marks preserved on my story stick are often the start of the next iteration of this design.
Patterns are indispensable for one more task — getting difficult joinery right in complex pieces. While I can’t experiment with the actual part, I can fit a thin pattern carefully into position, to get an accurate length and shoulder angles. When the project is done, the patterns are the most valuable pieces I have left. I hang them around my shop waiting for the time I might need them again.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s announcement of the next article upcoming in M&T Issue Three...
I have a lot of interests, only some of them related to woodworking, so my reading plans for the summer are somewhat diverse. But let’s start with woodworking.
First on my list is David Esterly’s The Lost Carving: A Journey to the Heart of Making. Having read this one previously, I know it to be a lyrical exploration of the craft of fine carving to replace a Grinling Gibbons carving burned in a Hampton Court fire. I am relishing the chance to revisit this favorite of mine. I also plan to read Aldren Watson’s classic Hand Tools, as much for his finely-executed drawings as for the many ideas contained therein. I recently bought the Stanley Tools Catalogue No. 34 from Lost Art Press and plan to spend some time perusing Stanley’s classic offerings. Finally, I have a copy of Joshua Vogel’s The Artful Wooden Spoon that is another fine example of the craft of making things of utility and beauty.
I’ve developed a passion for black & white photography and have set a goal for myself to master fine art B&W printing. I have a stack of books on this subject, the principal of which are Harold Davis’s Monochromatic HDR Photography, Michael Freeman’s The Complete Guide to Black & White Digital Photography, and George DeWolfe’s B&W Printing. There are others in my library, but I’ll commence with these.
I’ve also set myself on a course to better understand the roots of creativity and the creative life. I’m starting with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s classic Creativity, a study of notably creative people and the factors that characterize their lives. I’ll follow this with historian Daniel Boorstin’s The Creators, which recounts the lives of historically important creators. I’ve already begun Michael J. Gelb’s How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, though because it is replete with exercises that will take me time to work through, I have no expectation of completing it this summer.
As if this weren’t fun enough, I’ll listen to audio books while working in the woodshop—my usual practice. Here my tastes run the gamut from Greek and Roman philosophy to military history and the latest Michael Connelly mystery. It should be an informative and entertaining summer of reading.
Norm Reid is a woodworker, writer, and woodworking instructor living in the Blue Ridge Mountains with his wife, a woodshop full of power and hand tools and four cats who think they are cabinetmaker’s assistants. He is the author of the forthcoming book Choosing and Using Handplanes. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The post My 2017 Summer Woodworking Reading List – J. Norman Reid appeared first on Woodworking Blog.
I have several days, even weeks maybe, to work on oak furniture now. Some carving yesterday & this morning. here’s a quick photo tour of cutting one lozenge/diamond shape, with tulips in it.
After laying out a diamond shape on horizontal & vertical centerlines, I strike an inner diamond with a small gouge, approximately a #7 sweep. Maybe it’s a 1/4″ wide. Just connect the dots, hitting the vertical & horizontal centerlines with the corners of the gouge.
Then I use the same gouge to “echo” this making an outline around it, these do not connect.
A more deeply curved gouge now comes off these outlines, beginning to form the undersides of the flowers.
Then the same gouge reverses, making an “S”-curve going out to the border. Or just about out to the border…
When you repeat this step on all four quadrants, your negative shape becomes quite prominent – it reminds me of those Goldfish snacks small children eat –
Now a larger gouge, approximately a #8 – reverses again, forming the tops of the lower flower petals.
Then a #7 about 3/4″ wide does more connect-the-dots – reaching from where I left off to the borders. that’s the whole outline. This one is quite small, the piece of wood is 6″ wide, and there’s a 3/4″ margin on both edges. You can use the same pattern on a panel, then some of this outline is cut with a v-tool instead of struck with the gouges.
Then I cut out the background. In this case, it was tight quarters in there, so I used a couple different tools, depending on where I had to get..
The end result. about 15 minutes of carving for the lozenge/diamond. This is going to be one of three muntins for the footboard of a bedstead I’m making.
Here’s the top rail I started back at the Lie-Nielsen Open House…they always show up better once they’re oiled.
Yesterday I started painting a desk box I have underway; but found out I was out of red pigment (iron oxide) – ordered some, and did the black for starters.
Nancy R. Hiller, a professional woodworker and author of the fantastic “Making Things Work,” will read a selection from her book and autograph your copy during a special free event at the Lost Art Press storefront at 7 p.m. on Aug. 12.
Thanks to Nancy’s agreeable nature and off-bubble sense of humor, we also will abuse a piñata she is making (filled with things that don’t normally go in piñatas). And we’ll play her version of “pin the tail on the donkey” – called “pin the tail on the dove.”
Oh, and we’ll have beverages for everyone. So to recap: Nancy, blindfolds, alcohol, sticks and sharp objects. What could go wrong?
The event occurs on the same day as one of our regularly scheduled open Saturdays. So if you’ve been contemplating a trip to our store, Aug. 12 would be a good Saturday to make it. The store at 837 Willard St. in Covington will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Then we will re-open at 7 p.m. for the book reading.
To secure your free ticket to the event, please register here. Space is limited.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Lost Art Press Storefront, Making Things Work