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SketchUp Woodworking Class-Pittsburgh Area-May 6 & 7, 2017

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Fri, 02/17/2017 - 3:04pm
Thanks to the organizing efforts of one of my readers I will be teaching a two-day SketchUp Woodworking class this May 6-7, 2017 in the Pittsburgh, PA area. This class will focus on woodworking, but the 3D modeling techniques you … Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Williamsbug Snapshot – Chairmaking Intro

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 02/17/2017 - 2:30pm

Recently I attended the annual Working Wood in the 18th Century shindig at Colonial Williamsburg.  I’ve been to many of these gatherings over the years, but this was my first since moving to White Run, and also my first entree as a speaker.  The theme this year was chairmaking, and the presenters were Kaare and Ted, along with Brian Weldy and Bill Pavlak, the journeymen from the Hay shop and Ted’s crew of interns from the Joiners shop, along with Windsor chair maker Peter Galbert and moi.

The general format for these has always been hands-on demonstrations by the CW craftsmen, usually from the Anthony Hay Cabinetmaker shop, currently mastered by Kaare Loftheim, and the Joiners shop, under the tutelage of Ted Boscani.

The setting for the conference is the Hennage Auditorium of CW, with each of the presenters engaging in actual hands-on work while engaging in soliloquies of discourse on their particular topic, on-camera with live microphones.

First up with the evening lecture on the opening night was Tara Gleason Chicirda, the long time Curator of Furniture for CW, presenting Craftsmanship of the American Chair.  Tara possesses a breathtaking range and depth of knowledge about the things we care about, and I have never been disappointed by the many lectures I have heard from her.

The next morning was started by a “three-ring circus” as Kaare, Brian, and Bill took the stage for near simultaneous expositions on their projects with a session titled Chairmaking Fundamentals–Three Chairs which set the stage for the exhilarating ride to come.

More abut each of their projects in coming posts.

How a Lost Art Press Book is Made

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 02/17/2017 - 11:40am

John and I are quite particular about how our books are made and spend a lot of time and money on details that most readers don’t notice. We want our books to be able to survive floods, attacks by babies and dogs and – most of all – time.

There are an enormous number of manufacturing steps our books have to go through, especially compared to digital, print-on-demand (POD) publishing. While POD is good for some things, such as bind-ups of classroom material, it has a long way to go to compete with traditional printing and binding.

And so we stick with the time- and labor-intensive methods for our books.

In late September, John and I visited one of the plants where our color books are printed on sheet-fed presses. Our black-and-white books, in contrast, are printed on web press. The difference between the two is somewhat akin to the difference between paper being fed into a photocopier (sheet-fed) or printing out your book on an enormous roll of butcher’s paper or paper towels (web press).

The above is a short peek at the process a typical book goes through. Note that I’ve left a lot of steps out and simplified things (so if you are in the printing industry, forgive me). It took two full days to tour the plant, so 5 minutes of video is going to leave out some details.

Thanks to Jostens of Clarksville, Tenn., for opening their doors to us and allowing us to photograph anything we please. And thanks to Phil Nanzetta of Signature Book who purchases most of our printing for us and helped arrange the visit.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Personal Favorites, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Product Video: Festool CT SYS HEPA Dust Extractor

Highland Woodworking - Fri, 02/17/2017 - 7:00am

One of our favorite new tools this year is the compact dust extractor, the CT-SYS, from Festool. The portable unit makes workshop cleanup so easy (not to mention other cleanups around the house, in the car and anywhere else you can think of!)

Find out more about the Festool CT-SYS dust extractor in this short, 8 minute video.

The post Product Video: Festool CT SYS HEPA Dust Extractor appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Meet the Author: Don Williams

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 02/17/2017 - 6:00am


Don Williams says his love of learning was probably fostered by the fact that his father was going through seminary when he was a child. Don grew up in a household without television. Instead, his family listened to classical music and read.

“But much to my parents’ dismay, I veered off into jazz as my primary interest, so they were pretty much convinced in my teenage years that they had picked up the wrong kid in the hospital,” he says.

Don maintains a love of jazz.

Jazz can loosely be defined as a combination of polyphony, syncopation and improvisation — simultaneous but independent melodic lines playing at the same time with unexpected and off-beat rhythms achieved extemporaneously. For Williams, jazz is not only what he listens to, still to this day, but serves as an outline for how he lives his life.

A self-proclaimed conservator, educator, scholar and all-around inquisitive guy, Don was a curious child who delved deep into varying topics – some unexpected – and from a young age, found connections.

“I think that being interested in many things, not everything, but many things allowed me to gather a lot of information,” he says. “And since I didn’t necessarily accept the rubric of the classroom, I think I’m able to see connections between distinct bodies of knowledge that wouldn’t necessarily be apparent if you were stuck in the tyranny of specialized knowledge.”

Don believes that the whole notion of specialized knowledge is a modern thing. “In the past, our predecessors in much earlier generations saw knowledge as the continuum rather than a series of cubbyholes,” he says. He mentions Robert A. Heinlein, who famously wrote:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Don believes pluralism and knowledge to be good things. “That’s part of why I was able to study lots of different things, both formally and informally, and manage to synthesize them into some body of working knowledge,” he says. “It doesn’t necessarily [make me] an expert at anything, but it does make adaptable I think.”

But expert, he is. In many things.

Williams spent his early years in southern Minnesota, and his adolescent and post-adolescent years in South Florida. His mother was an office worker, his father a pastor. Williams is the fourth child out of five.

At that time there was a program in Florida called the Faculty Scholars program that pinpointed high-achieving students on factors outside of grade point average. Williams had his high school guidance counselor convinced he was a solid “B” student.

“And then when the senior standardized placement test results came back, she literally left her office, came and dragged me out of class and read me the riot act,” Don says. He had received the second highest score in his very large high school.

This test result, through the Faculty Scholars program, allowed Don to begin college as a junior. He enrolled at Florida Atlantic University planning to double major in economics and political science. “This was 1972 and everybody was pre-law in 1972,” he says.


Around this time Don was working in the finishing room of the now-closed Schindler & Son, then a well-known restoration shop in West Palm Beach, Fla. “I found my attraction and interest at the workbench,” he says. “[The work there] was so much greater than the stuff I was studying in college that I dropped out of college around the beginning of my senior year. It just didn’t pull my fascination.”

Don began working full time for Schindler in 1974, and there met Nick Hlopoff, an internationally renowned decorative art conservator. “He was an exotic figure to me,” Don says. “Being a kid of the Midwest, Baptist parentage, here was this fellow who was an ethnic Russian, born and raised in Paris, trained by his father to care for artworks of exquisite importance.”

Nick, who lived outside of Detroit, would come into town and use shop space to care for the artworks of one of Schindler’s clients. “He was the guy who introduced me to the world of museum conservation as a livelihood,” Don says.

So Don decided to go back to college. “I still didn’t know precisely the path to art conservation as a career so I did the closest thing I could find which was to go to the University of Florida and major in architectural historic preservation.” But a year and a half in, the university changed its curriculum in a direction Don didn’t like. So he left school again.

Don worked in restoration and reproductions at Colonial Woodworking in Archer, Fla., and then in 1978 got a job at Maddox Foundry and Machine Works. “I worked as a patternmaker, which is ultra-precise woodworking,” he says. “I mean, ultra-precise.”

At Schindler’s, Don learned all about historical furniture, having worked on thousands of old-money European and French furniture pieces for wealthy clients in Palm Beach. At Maddox, he learned all about precision woodworking.


It’s the early 1980s now, and Don has married Carolyn, who he met on a blind date at his sister’s house. Carolyn wanted to pursue graduate work, and Don wanted to pursue art conservation. So they chose the southern most of the four colleges in North America that offered both — University of Delaware. Don enrolled in an undergraduate art conservation program, which was an interdisciplinary triple major of studio art, chemistry and art history. “Those are the very disparate disciplines that are the foundation for art conservation,” he says. “It’s fully left brain and right brain, both evolving simultaneously.”

There were 17 incoming students in Don’s program, but by the end of the first semester of the second year, Don was the only one left. “For most people either the hard science is going to weed you out or the fine art is going to weed you out,” he says.

A semester shy of graduating, he received three job offers in the museum field.

“I accepted the job offer from the Smithsonian with the promise that I would finish my studies and get my degree.” He did. It took him another year and a half of commuting one day a week to Delaware and back, but in 1985 he earned a B.A. in “Technology of Artistic and Historic Objects.” (The degree is now, more simply called “Art Conservation.”) Don was the program’s first graduate.

One of the ironies of the Smithsonian gig was that Don was hired in part to be on a team that was developing an art conservation graduate degree program, even though he hadn’t received a graduate degree himself. “So my time for the first couple of years was split between working on the curriculum for this new master’s degree program and doing hands-on caretaking and inquiries and research into the materials and artifacts that related to the Smithsonian.”

Don was 29 when the Smithsonian offered him a job. “You pinch yourself,” he says. “You just can’t believe it.” In his later years, when working alongside his best work friend, Melvin Wachowiak (“With All the Precision Possible: Roubo on Furniture” is dedicated to him), Don says they would often say to each other how unbelievable it was that they were being paid to do this type of work. “Because it was so much fun,” Don says.

Don describes the small group he worked with as semi-autonomous, with a think-tank-like culture. “We were given just extraordinary latitudes in pursuing the intersection of our interests and Smithsonian collection needs,” he says. His official job description, which he wrote, was 15 pages long. When asked to distill that down he says this: Be productively curious.

He was. And he was good at it.

“Part of my success in this poly-dimensional disciplinary world was that I could synthesize information from completely unconnected sources,” he says. “I hope I’m not bragging about it but it’s just a way, it’s a familiarity with the way I work. My wife has identified me as severely ADD so that’s perhaps worked out well there.”

A cabinet by the French-born 19th century New York cabinetmaker Alexander Roux. Don's restoration is on display in Washington DC. untitled-1-copy untitled-2-copy

Day to day, Don said he got to “literally intrude into the fabric of some of the most prominent artifacts in the history of the nation. And so some days I was working on irreplaceable treasures, and some days I was just sitting and reading. And still, the paycheck showed up at 12:01 a.m. every other Tuesday morning.”

The pieces that most interested Don during his time at the Smithsonian weren’t those with historical prominence but rather those that had “attractable degradation.” He talks about a 19th-century replica of a 17th-century French desk with spectacularly decorated marquetry but was run-of-the-mill in the 19th century.

“But it was in the Smithsonian collection,” he says. “And it was undergoing really catastrophic damage because the carcass underneath it – the veneer was coming apart. Working on that was really an amazing experience. But it wasn’t owned by anyone important. It wasn’t made by anyone important. It was a typical sort of French replica that an industrialist of the gilded age would have in their sitting room or library to kind of evoke a false nobility.”

Don also worked on a desk that was one of the earliest and largest examples of artificial tortoise shell. “I’m nuts about tortoise shell,” he says. “I’ve invented a really persuasive imitation tortoise shell for my own work so studying that piece was really great.”


The Mace of the United States House of Representatives

During the second half of Don’s career he was very much involved in the caretaking of the Mace of the United States House of Representatives (look it up on Wikipedia). “Most people don’t know about it, but it is one of the biggies, it’s right up there with the Liberty Bell,” he says. “For me, that was a such a powerful, powerful artifact symbol for us as a nation. And that has touched me to this day.” For 20 minutes Don’s work on the Mace was featured in a C-SPAN documentary called “The Capitol.” (The next time you watch C-SPAN, and they offer a panoramic view of the House Chamber in the Capitol Building, you’ll see the Mace at the very left edge of your screen.)

After more than 25 years of service to the Smithsonian, Don left his job on the last day of the last pay period of 2012. “I was ready,” he says. Don describes the Smithsonian as a scientific arts bureaucracy wrapped inside an academic bureaucracy wrapped inside a federal bureaucracy. “For us, geological timeframes were not merely some abstract idea, that’s how things worked sometimes,” he says. “It was pretty clear that my own particular interests no longer coincided with the organization that I worked for. That’s not malevolence or anything else. People’s priorities change. My priorities stayed pretty much the same, my organization’s priorities changed. They offered me the chance to retire at the age of 57 with lots of years of woodworking left and I said, ‘Wow. That’s pretty good.’”

Michele and Don at work on Roubo. Don studying the tool cabinet of Henry O. Studley.

By now Don and Michele Pietryka-Pagán had already begun working on “To Make as Perfectly as Possible: Roubo on Marquetry.” And Don had begun work on “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley.” The Smithsonian (which demands right of first refusal on all intellectual property relative to your job when employed) had no interest in either. So he already had two projects dialed in that he knew were of interest to Lost Art Press. “I already had a working relationship with Chris and he was very much interested in the kind of scholarship I was trying to pursue,” Don says. “So really, Lost Art Press was a big part of my decision-making for this fairly substantial lifestyle change because frankly, it was a really, really good job. It was way too much fun, part of it, and paid way too much, but somebody had to have that job and it might as well have been me.”

So Don and Carolyn left Washington for a new life on a secluded property in the mountains of Virginia, which they had purchased a dozen years before.


These days, Don follows his muse. On the day we spoke he had plans to finish formatting photos for an article he wrote for Popular Woodworking Magazine. Then, lunch. “One of the advantages of me being here is that there’s always a fresh, hot lunch – every day. I’ll come down the hill and my wife will have made us a wonderful, wonderful lunch.” In the afternoon he’ll continue work on replicating a desk for a client.

He does a lot of writing. In addition to his woodworking-related writing he says he also has a “fairly vigorous email circle of circumstantial and political and economic commentary that I carry on with my virtual community of observers.” He also writes fiction ­– thrillers, specifically. His latest is about a museum conservator who has withdrawn to the mountains and gets drawn into a mystery dealing with documents hidden in a piece of furniture. Those documents threaten the structure of Western civilization, and the bodies start piling up.

“My wife says I like to do it because I get to put words in everyone’s mouth,” he says, laughing.

Often, while drifting off to sleep, Don says he’ll compose things in his mind — an artistic design, an essay on the state of the civilization, theological apologetics.

“One of the things that I celebrate the most is that I do not have to regimen my life,” he says. “It’s fairly mercurial. To be utterly frank about it I’ve reach a position of status in the artifact world that you know clients are willing to wait for whatever it is that I do.” (A recent call with once such client resulted in a request to call back after Christmas 2018.) “And I never for a moment take for granted that blessing. I’ve been restoring furniture and decorative objects with some level of accomplishment now since 1971. So that’s a fair amount of time.”

While Don says certain kinds of problem-solving skills are innate to him, he says his success is due, in part, to some marginal native artistic talent. “And I do mean marginal,” he says. “But through skill you can overcome limitations and challenges. Because skill is about repetition. It’s like in writing. The more you understand the meaning, the power, the organization of the words, the greater facility you have using those words for their intended purpose. And when you’re talking about working with artifacts it helps to be interested in and able to comprehend the nature of the materials from whence they are fabricated, the technologies by which they are fabricated and then the trajectory of their degradation. And I guess the thing that I am every thankful for is that I, for reasons unknown to me, can sort of put those pieces together. I’m not sure if that’s a talent or a skill or something else, but it’s something that I just sort of get.”

And frankly, he says, he loves being intimately associated with beautiful things. And not just aesthetic beauty. “Sometimes just thinking skillfully or thinking clearly or thinking creatively is a beautiful thing,” he says. “I love a beautifully crafted concept.” He says his daily expenditure of resources, time and energy spent on restoration is diminishing, “in part because there are other new avenues of rediscovering historical craftsmanship. The related expression is much more prominent on my horizon than before.”


Note Don’s toothing plane collection.

Don’s ideal week is not a whole lot different than what he’s doing now. He hopes to make more replicas of prominent, historic, smaller-scale furniture. He hopes to continue working for a very few number of clients whose collections he has a strong affection for (think: caring for tortoise shell). He has a series of sketchbooks, and the drawings in them are a car wreck between James Krenov’s car and André-Jacob Roubo’s car (his words). “I’m trying to apply some of the technology and artistic vocabulary of Roubo with the technology and artistic vocabulary of Krenov with a dash or two of some 16th-century Chinese furniture in there.” He likes writing. He likes collecting. He likes communicating. He doesn’t like traveling. For Don, a 50-50 mix of studio time and time spent at the keyboard is a good mix.

“I would just like to continue what I’m doing both artistically and intellectually and stay healthy,” he says. “I’m going to be 62 coming up. I just returned from Florida where we celebrated my mom’s 100th birthday, so I figure I have about 40 good years of woodworking left so I want to be careful so I can do it.”


Don and Carolyn live in the least populous county east of the Mississippi. Folks keep up with him online at donsbarn.com. The Barn on White Run, a three-story 19th century barn he found on eBay, houses his studio, classroom, library and dorm space. It took several years to dismantle, move and rebuild the barn, but for Don, it’s a dream fulfilled, a dream he’s had since he was a teenager.

Don enjoys the solitude of rural living. Since he was a child he’s sought out remoteness and isolation. “If I have an mp3 player, that’s about all the human contact I need most days,” he says. “I love being out here. It is exceedingly remote.”

At least four times a year Don and Carolyn head over the mountains to Charlottesville, Va., where he visits University of Virgina’s ophthalmology department for some issues with his eyes. They make a day of it, eating a nice lunch and stocking up at Trader Joe’s and Costco. He also relies on online shopping, and says he’s learned to appreciate “the astounding sophistication of the economy and its distribution network.” Most items arrive in 48 hours.

“You know, I’m just at traditional guy pursuing my faith and my family out in the mountains here,” Don says. “I have daughters who I love to death and a wife who I’ve been married to for 35 years, hopefully we’re on our way to forever, but that’s pretty much it.”

Except, it’s not. His life is an eclectic mixture of conservation, restoration, woodworking, finishing, metal casting, collecting obscure books, tools and shellac (yes, really), writing, gardening, presenting, discussing politics and making connections between all of it while forever remaining curious. All while listening to podcast lectures. Or, of course, jazz.

— Kara Gebhart Uhl

Filed under: Roubo Translation, To Make as Perfectly as Possible, To Make as Perfectly as Possible, Roubo Translation, Uncategorized, Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley, With All the Precision Possible
Categories: Hand Tools

day two of the kitchen redo......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 02/17/2017 - 3:11am
Doing this kind of work sucks at my age. I still know how to do it but the body can't keep up with the mind. I had to make countless trips up and down the cellar stairs coming and going from the kitchen to the shop. That wasn't that bad and I could have done that all day. What sucked out loud was fighting gravity. Going down wasn't that easy but the overcoming of gravity coming back up was horrendous. I was ready for the rocking chair and nap when I got done. I have already told my wife that this is it for me fixing anything on the house that is more involved than changing a light bulb.

first of two problems I found at 0700
At 0600 I was at Lowes buying a 4x8 sheet of 1/4" under layment. I had four big pieces but they weren't enough for want I needed. After I got back home from there I decided to get the size of the inside width of the towel holder. I had to do something that wouldn't wake up the wife.

It was another should of, could of, would of, but didn't do kind of  moment. I knew I should have waited until I had the closet rod holders before cutting the shelf and back stretcher. I made them14" long and I thought that would be more than sufficient. Turns out it wasn't.

With the distance between the two rods holders at 12 1/2", the outside measurement ballooned out to 16" and change.

this stuff won't stretch at all
 This won't go to waste. I'll put it back in the stash pile and I'm sure this will end up as a box or something else someday.

problem #2
I bought a new iron and a chipbreaker and last night it spent the night in a citric bath. This side of both looked to be pretty good. No rust, pitting, or chips missing. And the iron has a good length to it.

the other side of the chipbreaker
It looks grungy and dirty but I've only treated it for rust. I'm sure that this will sand out to be nice and shiny.

the iron is toast
I have about a 1/16 of good metal at the edge then an ocean of pitted metal. The pits are too deep, too numerous, and occupy way too much real estate. At least I have a good chipbreaker that maybe I can put on my 4 1/2. It might help with the adjuster length I have on it now.

what dragged me in the dirt
I can still remember when something like this would have taken me maybe an hour to do. And that would include a coffee break and reading the newspaper on the porcelain throne. Today this little job took me 3 hours and wore me out. I thought I would be done putting in the 4 cabinets today but it didn't happen. Maybe two tomorrow and and last two on saturday or sunday with the possibility of monday.

making moldings
The pic of the towel holder shows the gallery rail as a square piece of stock with dowels for the spindles. There are 6 spindles too which I find unusual because an odd number looks better than an even number of them. I also want the front edge of my gallery rail to be molded. This was run #1.

Caleb James 3/16" bead plane
This is the plane I used to make both edges of the molding above.  I like it except for the center tongue. If that was gone, I would go with that one.

beading plane #2
I don't know that size of this beader is. I can't make out the maker, the owner, or the size stamped on either the toe or the heel.

a hollow
I used this to round over the top edge of the molding. I can barely make out the number 10 stamped on the heel. Instead of a round over, I got more of an ellipse shape. It doesn't look that good.

beader #3
Don't know the size of this beader but I picked it thinking it would make a larger bead on the edge of the board. I'm not liking this one too much.

head on
I had a 3/16" bead on the top edge and this bigger bead on the bottom edge. I was trying to use two planes to mold both top and bottom. Looks like crap because the bigger one ate up some of the top one.

my one and only side bead plane
This plane puzzles me. First, I'm not sure how to use it. There were no instructions with it when I bought it. There are no spring lines on it. By it's very name, I assume that the bead is angled whereas my beads above were all at 90°. There is also no obvious (to me anyways) stop. Lastly, it is a mystery to me how to start it. There isn't a registration rabbet, shoulder, or notch to start it in or on.

pit stop to sharpen and hone the iron
This iron wasn't sharpened which surprised me. I must have gotten frustrated with trying to get a profile with it and stuck back in the plane till. I flattened the back, sharpened, honed, and stropped the profile. I did this because my first two attempts at making a profile were a dismal failure. And I already know that sharp cures a lot of ills.

I think I figured it out
I used my fingers as a fence against the back edge of the board. Keeping the plane vertical I started at the nose and worked back to the rear end. Once I got it established end to end, the plane seemed happy and planed end to end.  It didn't wander and stayed parallel to the front edge. I also tried doing it with the plane held at an angle towards me but that didn't work out too well. I think the correct way to do is running the plane vertically. The profile looks good done that way and it stopped cutting too on it's own. I wasn't expecting that.

the finished molding
I like the look of this but I don't have a warm and fuzzy about the square part at the top.

oak spindles
I would use these if the rail wasn't being painted. Oak looks too grainy under paint. I will have to make a pit stop at an Arts & Craft store. I am pretty sure I can find some made out of maple or some other kind of smooth wood.

This is a better shot of how the square portion of the molding at the top over powers the bead beneath it.

the square would look better if it was rounded over

I have a beader
I got this set so that the first circle straddles the square portion of the molding.

had to brace it
The rail was bowing on me as I was running the plane along it's length. The T brace fixed that hiccup.

I like this a lot
I ended up with a small rabbet on the top that I planed off,

the only hiccup
Both the lead in and the exit, weren't fully molded. I don't need the entire length of this so I can saw off these two areas.

8 of the 10 cutters
some of the cutters had rust blooms
This only the 3rd time I have used this plane. Most of the irons were clean and the few with the blooms cleaned up quickly.

fancy box
The box holds eight cutters. It is made out of 1/8" thick plywood that is a frog hair thicker than the irons. One iron is kept in the plane and the last one won't fit in here due to it's shape. I oiled these and put them away.

why I bought the beading plane and the one that won't fit
This is a rusty 1/8" and 1/4' scratch iron. The idea was to use this to make stopped 1/8" grooves for boxes. I tried it and it didn't work out for me. I couldn't get a groove but maybe now that a little time has expired, I can try this again.

it feels sharp
Maybe I should look around on You Tube and see if anything is posted on using this iron. For now, I oiled it and put it away.

gallery rail and back stretcher ready
new shelf glued and cooking
I have to make a new pattern for the crest rail now that the ID has changed by a few inches. I will probably have to glue up couple of pieces for that too.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What country established the first universal emergency phone number?
answer - Great Britain did in 1937 with #999 (the US did it in 1968 with #911)

Popular Woodworking Magazine, April 2017

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 02/17/2017 - 3:00am

The April issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine (#231) just mailed to print subscribers and emailed to digital subscribers. It’s live in our online store too. There’s a lot to dig into in this issue, including a chisel primer from Christopher Schwarz – he addresses what chisels you really need, how to set one up right and correct chisel usage techniques. And if you’re interested in period woodworking, you should really […]

The post Popular Woodworking Magazine, April 2017 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Project - Hand Planes Cabinet

The Indian DIY & Woodworker - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 9:23pm

A cabinet for my hand planes

Tools that are not close at hand tend not to be used. I have had to stow away most of my hand planes because of lack of storage space in the area where I do my woodworking.

This became a problem because I found Jack Planes were the most useful whereas the ones I had space for in my work area were all number fours. Thus sprang the need for a cabinet for hand planes particularly my Jack Planes.


The aim was to quickly put together a plywood cabinet with pocket hole joinery, white glue and a few housings.

The basic carcase came together quickly as it does when using pocket hole joinery but then things slowed down a bit.


I needed to glue on wooden strips on the exposed plywood edges for which I had to painstakingly edge clamp each piece and wait for it to dry.


I also decided to use real veneer ply for the sides to cover the plain plywood. Real veneer is available laminated on 2mm plywood sheets. Prices range from Rs. 40 to Rs 200 per square feet depending on the kind of wood used; great looking burls can cost upwards of Rs 400 per square feet.



I usually go for the cheaper varieties as it serves my purpose, which is to cover raw plywood with a material that can be stained and polished. I prefer stain and polish exteriors to painted ones, though there are times when paint is preferable.

One lesson I learnt while painting the interior of the cabinet, which is difficult if the gap between shelves is narrow, is that it is better to paint the shelves before assembling the cabinet. I'll keep that in mind for any similar projects in the future.


Making the doors took longer even though they were made with mortise and tenon joints and were of a plain Shaker style. For the panels, I laminated oak veneer on plywood and nailed it into rebates routed in the insides of the frames.

I lightly stained and polished the oak fame and panel. The doors are stopped by two magnetic catches on the top. It is a simple but functional home for my three Jack Planes (which I find myself using all the time), one old but great Ambika jointer plane, a couple of block planes, a small shoulder plane and an assortment of scrapers.

The other lesson I learnt was that its far from easy to get things done as quickly as one would like to.


Indranil Banerjie
17 February 2017 

Categories: Hand Tools

The Woodworking Show, Somerset, NJ

Giant Cypress - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 6:18pm


In case anyone is going to the Woodworking Show in Somerset, NJ, on the weekend of Feb. 17, my woodworking club, the Central Jersey Woodworkers Association, will be there. We’ll have a booth there and an ongoing series of demonstrations.

I’ll be there all day on Friday, Feb. 17, and Saturday morning (Feb. 18) demoing Japanese tools (of course). I’ll be showing how to use Japanese tools to cut joinery, even if you have a workshop already set up in the western tradition.

Hope to see you there!

Just a reminder, if you’re in the area. See you tomorrow!

What’s On The Bench – 2/16/2017

Doug Berch - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 2:20pm
What’s on the bench? Nothing! Well, there are two holdfasts but they are really a part of the bench so they don’t count as stuff on the bench. I’m getting ready to start work on the next run of dulcimers and that begins with some general woodworking tasks. I’ll be sawing and planing rough stock […]
Categories: Luthiery

It’s Early! ‘The Woodworker Vol. IV’

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 1:01pm

hayward_cover4_img_2253The Woodworker, The Charles H. Hayward Years, Vol. IV, The Shop & Furniture” wasn’t supposed to arrive in our warehouse until next week, but it’s here now. And, according to the photos John sent me, it looks fantastic.

Our warehouse will begin shipping all of the pre-publication orders on Wednesday. Then it should take about five to seven business days for the book to arrive in your mailbox.

This is the final volume of “The Woodworker” series, and it caps many years of work by people all over the country and globe. The four volumes comprises 1,492 pages of work spanning 30 years of writing in The Woodworker magazine in Great Britain.

The final volume covers two broad topics: the workshop, plus furniture forms and styles. The workshop section discusses workbenches, tool chests and useful appliances for handwork. The section on furniture forms and styles gives you an education in different historical styles (and their hardware), plus hand-drafted shop drawings of historical pieces.

The book is $39 (that price includes shipping to the U.S. and Canada) and can be ordered from our store here.

Like all of our books, this one is made entirely in the United States: printed and bound in Michigan from durable materials. The hardback book is casebound. The signatures are section-sewn, glued and assembled with a tough fiber tape.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. Many readers have asked if we are going to offer all four volumes as a set for a special price. The answer is: no. We never punish our customers who are early adopters. The price can only go up, as the cost of raw materials goes up.

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

Forensics in Woodworking – Links to Becoming a Woodworker

Paul Sellers - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 12:28pm

One of my most favourite woodworking series we filmed for woodworkingmasterclasses was three years ago now, I think, where I replicated a very unique and inspiring occasional table. Made from mahogany, at first glance the table might have seemed nothing of much out of the ordinary. A simple looking piece with no particular embellishments to …

Read the full post Forensics in Woodworking – Links to Becoming a Woodworker on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

How To Sharpen Moulding Plane Cutters

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 11:14am

FIG. 1. A. Section worked by cutter. B. Cutter ground to shape. C. Faulty sharpening. D. Back clearance

This is an excerpt from “The Woodworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years: Volume I” published by Lost Art Press. 

Moulding plane cutters are of two kinds; those used with wooden moulding planes, and those made for the Stanley Universal plane. Except that the latter type is short, whilst the former have a long projecting part which reaches up beneath the wedge, there is little difference between them, but there is one feature which affects the sharpening; the wooden plane cutter must be sharpened so that its edge follows the shape of the sole, whereas there is no shaped sole in the universal plane. This means that, although it is desirable for the cutter to keep its original shape as far as possible, it is not vital.

Since the sharpening of the wooden moulding plane is the more exacting job of the two, we will deal with it here. When first obtained, the cutter is ground to the shape of the sole, and it requires only to be given a keen finishing edge with oilstone slips. As an example take the cutter in Fig. 1 which will work the moulding section, shown at A. Two separate operations have to be carried out; the small hollow shape which works the bead has to be sharpened with a small round slip, and the rounded portion which forms the hollow has to be treated either with a flat slip or on the ordinary oilstone.


FIG. 2. Sharpening hollow with oilstone slip

Take first the small hollow. Select an oilstone slip which approximates to the shape when it lies along the bevel. The fact that it fits or not when held at right angles to the cutter is no test. Place the slip flat on the bevel. If anything it should be of slightly smaller section. Apply lubricating oil, and, holding the cutter at the edge of the bench, as in Fig. 2, rub the slip back and forth. Do not consciously start a fresh bevel, but press the slip slightly towards the cutting edge, otherwise there will be a great deal of metal to remove and the work will take a long time. Avoid dubbing over, however.

One important point must be watched. In an endeavour to get an edge quickly there is a temptation to rub the sides of the shape at the cutting edge only, so that the bevel begins to assume the tapered shape, shown at C, Fig. 1. This is clearly impractical because the back or heel of the bevel is narrower than the shape at the cutting edge, and it will be liable to bind. If anything the bevel should taper the other way as at D, this affording a slight clearance. Test for sharpness by seeing whether a burr has been turned up.


FIG. 3. Rounded part of cutter being sharpened on oilstone

The rounded part of the cutter can be sharpened with a flat slip, or on the oilstone. Some men prefer one method, some the other. Fig. 3 shows the normal oilstone process. A sort of rocking movement is adopted, an effort being made to keep to the original bevel as far as possible. Finish off by reversing the cutter flat on the oilstone and rubbing back and forth once or twice.

Now place the cutter in the plane and, giving a minimum projection, see whether it follows the sole contour uniformly. If not, note the high parts and rub these down more. Note, however, that the corners of an old plane are bound to have worn more than the rest, and it would be an obvious mistake to follow these. Corners intended to be square should be square. When all is satisfactory strop the edge to a final keenness and so get rid of all burr. This can be done with a piece of leather dressed with oil and fine emery powder. If folded it will approximate to the shape. The back is stropped on leather held down on a flat board.


FIG. 4. Avoiding wear on moulding plane cutter by using bench plane to remove bulk of shavings. Black portions show wood so removed

Some cutters are simpler than this; others more elaborate, but the principle is the same in all. If you have not a slip that will fit in a small hollow exactly (and it is unlikely that you will be able to buy an exact fit), you can always alter the section by rubbing it down on a piece of marble, using fine emery powder and oil or water as an abrasive. Extra hard stones may require fine carborundum powder.

A little experience in sharpening a moulding cutter will convince you that it can be a lengthy operation, especially if really dull. The best plan, then, is to sharpen as soon as it shows signs of becoming worn, and to do as much preliminary work as possible with the ordinary bench plane which is clearly much more straighforward to sharpen. Fig. 4 shows three sections, in which the black portion could be removed first with the bench plane.

Meghan Bates

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

The End of the Sparklepony Era?

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 11:12am


A couple weeks after starting to wreck the interior of The Blaze bar in 2015, I had a moment where I thought I should go see the doctor.

This is embarrassing and personal, but there’s only one way to say it: My night soil sparkled.

After a few anxious moments, I made the logical conclusion that I was taking in too much glitter during the demolition. You might think I’m exaggerating, but every painted surface was covered in glitter. It would become airborne – weaponized glitter – as I tore out the painted walls, floors, tiles and bars that ringed all of the rooms.

I wore a mask when I could, but it must have sneaked in through the beard, into my saliva and then, like Raquel Welch, coursed through my entire being.


Today, 18 months after taking ownership of this building, we hauled out the last of the glitter-covered tiles from the utility area at the back of the building.

I won’t say that we are free of glitter (it’s like herpes don’t ya know) but we have no more active glitter-containment protocols. No more glitter Superfund site. It’s been (I hope) remediated.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Lost Art Press Storefront, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Box Maker Phil Weber

David Barron Furniture - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 10:39am

Box maker Phil Weber has been making a living producing his wonderful small boxes for 41 years now. This will be his last year of making as he and his wife want a change, I think he's done his bit! He has a chapter in the excellent book New Masters of the Wooden Box.

A few years ago, when the exchange rate was a lot better than now, I bought three of Phil's boxes. The one below was featured on the back cover of Fine Woodworking.

This one has a lift off lid with ebony and spalted maple.

The last one is  simple box but with some lovely curves.

Phil has produced lots of new designs for his final year. If you want one of his fine boxes don't leave it too long!

Categories: Hand Tools

Ash splint baskets for sale

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 8:04am
A small selection of my pounded ash baskets currently for sale. Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Wooden Platonic Solids

Highland Woodworking - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 7:43am

The Greek philosopher, Plato, was also a mathematician and he discovered and proved that there are only five regular solids. A regular solid is one that is made up of all the sides being made of one simple regular plane figure such as an equilateral triangle, a square or a regular pentagon. The five regular solids are:

  1. Tetrahedron made up of four equilateral triangular sides,
  2. Cube (or Hexahedron) made up of six square sides,
  3. Octahedron made up of eight equilateral triangular sides,
  4. Dodecahedron made up of twelve regular pentagonal sides,
  5. Icosahedron made up of twenty regular triangular sides.

Here is a picture of all five of them

These shapes have fascinated me for a long time and I decided that it would be an interesting project to make a set of these using different exotic woods for each face. The project required having to design and make two different fixtures to assure that every face was exactly the same size and that the side angles were also exactly the same. (The cube didn’t require any special fixture. I just used my normal table saw settings for that.)

Here are pictures of my five Platonic solids made from different woods. (Each face is about 1/4″ thick.) As an added “secret” touch, I added small beads into each piece before adding the final face. Each piece has the same number of beads as it has faces, so for example: the cube has six beads and the tetrahedron has four beads.






The post Wooden Platonic Solids appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Frank Klausz’s ‘Secret’ Water-tight Joint

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 6:32am
water-tight joint

Frank Klausz reveals the family secret – how to make the watertight wood-on-wood joint for the bottom of his sharpening pond – a boatbuilder’s joint taught to him by his grandfather. It takes a special shop-made tool…from a material that you likely already have on hand. (I think I’ve enough of this particular thing to make at least 40 of them…I need to clean out the basement.) The pond also […]

The post Frank Klausz’s ‘Secret’ Water-tight Joint appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Piddle on Your Parade 2 – 360w360 E.224

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 4:00am
Piddle on Your Parade 2 – 360w360 E.224

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking the 360 guys are joined once again by Ron Herman who continues to piddle on your parade.

Join the guys twice each week for six lively minutes of discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Chuck & Glen, and sometimes a surprise guest, all have their own opinions. Sometimes they agree and sometimes they don’t, but the conversation is always information packed and lots of fun.

Continue reading Piddle on Your Parade 2 – 360w360 E.224 at 360 WoodWorking.

fun filled day,,,,,,,,,

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 2:21am
I took wed to fri off from work to finish installing the kitchen cabinets. I'll do my thing in the morning and my wife will do hers in the afternoon. I started day one by going to Home Depot and Harbor Freight. I also made a pit stop at Starbucks to get some fresh mojo. Can't work without the kick start in the AM.

yesterday's repair
The top to middle glued up ok but the bottom lost a chunk that I couldn't glue in.

glue blocks at the front only
The more I look at this the more I see total crap. The glue blocks at the front aren't glue blocks. They were stapled in place with a bead of silicone applied on the outside.

front corner of the toe kick
There was absolutely no glue on the toe kick board anywhere. No screws or nails holding it in place neither.

twisted 2x4
I removed the twist in this and then sawed it in half. From the two halves I made 4 vertical corner and 8 glue blocks.

horizontal glue blocks
I planed two reference faces that will be glued to corners. I planed a bit off on the inside so the sides of the blocks will lay up tight to the sides of the cabinet.

glue blocks
Sawing these four in half so I will have 8 blocks total. I'll use 2 on each side on the bottom.

sawed down this far and then I switched sides
just like resawing a board in half
had to switch my big tenon saw
I didn't have enough saw plate under the spine with the carcass saw. I had plenty with my biggest tenon saw.

not too bad
My first one was the lower left and the upper right was the last one.  I gauge these cuts by the spot where I switch and saw from the opposite side. I haven't eliminated it but it is getting smaller. Still not getting the saw cuts to line up when I switch to saw from the other side.

it's tight as drum now
This cabinet is going by the stove and this side will be mostly hidden. I put blocks in all four corners and I don't understand why they didn't. Moot point as this is ready to go in tomorrow.

Harbor Freight goodies
The wire wheels will used on the face vise clean up. The magnet is for a gizmo I'll make for work and the green set has a #8 torx driver. This was the only #8 torx driver that HF had, as a single or in a set.

closet rod holders
The metal one matches the color of the knobs that my wife bought for the kitchen cabinets. I bought the wooden one because it's wood. I'll toss that one in the junk drawer. It doesn't offer as much support as the metal one and I don't think it will survive being used as a paper towel holder.

no longer made
This is a multi purpose tool made by Stanley that they stopped making in the late 70's. I use it mostly to find the center of round things.

screwed the magnet to it
I intend to use this to pick up the staples that litter the deck around desk at work. The vacuum doesn't get even half of them and I'm hoping that I can get them all with this.

3 hours work
Didn't think to snap a pic of the before. I ripped out 4 cabinets, a dishwasher, and the counter top.

the used to be kitchen
what I saved
4 leg levelers, 2 big springs, and some nylon cord with do-hickeys on both ends. I only saved 3 cabinets sides as the others didn't survive the hammer love taps.

sneaky U clip
Got the screws removed and I couldn't separate the halves. I had to use a hook to pull out the U clip holding the bottom back together.

still not coming apart
missed a screw
trigger depressed
The LED is lit along with the 3 lights for the battery charge level, motor won't turn still.

motor is spinning away now
The trigger works and I can get the motor to turn that only leaves one thing as being OTL.

miniature electronic controller board
The cheapest price I could find for this was $48 plus $15.99 S/H.  I can buy a bare bones drill for $81. The cost of the repair exceeds 1/3 of the cost for a new one. That is my line in the sand for fixing something. I will fix if the cost is around a 1/3 and I will only fix once. The second failure means it gets shitcanned. I"ll toss this one and order the drill tomorrow.

matched the knobs
I put the other matching knob on the vise today. This was going to be it for me in the shop but I kept doing just one more thing.

HF metric and imperial ball drivers and a torx set
I threw these in my electric tool box because I don't have any of these in it.

I didn't think they were this big
Now that I have these I can get the final inside width of the paper towel holder.  Both parts stick up the same amount.

cheap screws
The heads are colored to match the holders. I will have to check the length on these and see if they will poke out on 3/4" thick stock.

maybe tomorrow I'll get the pins chopped out on the tequila box

Harbor Freight 4x36 sanding belt
 The last time I went to HF, they had belts from 36 grit up to 400. Today they only had 36, 80, and 120. 

80 grit belt
I have this clamped down to a 4x36 inch marble threshold I got at Home Depot. It's a great long flat surface to sand the sole of the #3 on. I kept at it with the 80 grit until I got scratches running from the toe to the heel.

might as well
Since I had the 80 grit out and I needed to work on this chisel, I did it. It was nice to have such a long runway to work on this bevel.

another side trip
I have 5 coats of spray lacquer on these 3.  The middle one looks good and the top and bottom one are washed out. They are black but the color didn't pop out with the lacquer like the middle one did. Another check mark in column A for using fresh ebonizing stuff.

got a good scratch pattern
I have been getting less than optimum results with my sharpening. I have an even grind straight across this chisel.

I can't see any reflected light
I've got a burr straight across
I should now be able to go to the stones and get this shiny and sharp now right?

not so fast moose breath
If I look at this with the magnifying glass, I can see a flat on it on one half. One half has a flat and the other doesn't. Up to now, I've been going on the look of the bevel and the burr on the backside. Even with a flat you can get a burr. Something else to check for when sharpening next. I ran into this same thing with the two spokeshave irons. I had the 3 and thought I done but I found flats on them later.

that's a big chip to remove and it wasn't happening today
moved up 120 grit
I sharpened and honed the 3 chisels at the top and they weren't scheduled for the hit parade today. Getting the #3 done was but that isn't going to happen neither.

my 2two #3s'
I ordered 2 low knob studs from Bill Rittner and he made them to fit the height of these knobs. Once I get them I'll be able to put one on the first #3. The second will have to wait until I'm done sanding the sole. I bought a new tote for it too because I can't stand the look of the one that is on it now. I'll save that one and use pieces of it to make the dark markers for a set of winding sticks.

adjuster on the rehabbing #3
Small brass adjuster and a 1/2 of a turn will get the iron poking out.

my first #3
This one has a large adjuster and look at how much the adjuster is out. The iron is barely poking out of the mouth. The iron and chipbreaker must be a good match for this plane. 99% of my planes have their adjusters set in this manner. I do like the large adjusters over the smaller ones. These are much easier to set up or down with one finger. I have to use two on the smaller ones.

I like the long runway sanding with the marble threshold and sanding belts. I am going to look up the cost of getting a few more grits so I can finish up the #3 and the #4s' I have to do too.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was William Moulton Mastron?
answer - he invented the first functional lie detector and created the comic book heroine, Wonder Woman


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