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Working Wood in the 18th Century

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 5:09am

If you’re paying attention you might know by now I will be one of the presenters at the upcoming Colonial Williamsburg annual conference Working Wood in the 18th Century, January 25-28, 2018.

I have two time slots, the first being a discussion of the acouterments of a Parisian woodworking atelier in the late 18th century, including Roubo workbenches and ripple molding machines.  If all goes well we will be demonstrating these machines, making ripple molding right there on stage.  My second session will be the concluding presentation of the conference IIRC, reviewing and demonstrating the practice of woodfinishing of the era.

I hope to see you there.  Say “Hi” if you make it.

Varnishers of The World, Unite!

Roorkhee Chair Part 3 of 3

She Works Wood - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 4:00am
Glam shots of the Roorkhee.   Black Limba sure helps make this Campaign chair. Enjoy!
Categories: General Woodworking

Keep hanging on.I remember this show.

Giant Cypress - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 3:29am


Keep hanging on.

I remember this show.

Wonderful User Made Saws

David Barron Furniture - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 1:43am

With the EWS show finished I'm just trying to catch on the back log, pictures of the show will follow.
Slava, a good customer sent me these pictures of some lovely saws he has made. He started by refurbishing old saws and then got hooked, so he decided to start making his own.


This one is a long stroke (probably dovetail) saw with an early style handle in curly walnut



This one looks like a tenon saw with another early style (beech?) handle with beautiful spurs.



And lastly another tenon saw with more curly black walnut and a very pronounced hang (I think that's the correct term!)


Categories: Hand Tools

now I have sliding tills......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 1:41am
Before I got to the tills, I spent some time searching You Tube on tool chests. I had seen one that showed the chain trick that I copied but I couldn't find it again. I thought I had found it a couple of times but when I didn't see the chain trick, I knew those videos were toast. After searching You Tube I changed lanes and searched Saw Mill Creek and the WWW.  I had joy in finding it again.

I like this chain trick and how it dealt with an annoying problem with the chain falling into a till. The problem with that is the chain coils in the till and it can catch tools and pull them up as the lid is opened. I think my problem with not finding the chain trick again is I watch and read a lot of things.  Just punch in tool chest in on You tube you will get over whelmed with videos. I'll keep looking and I might come across it again.

after dinner on saturday
This is what I saw on sunday morning. I packed this into the void as hard as I could. When I couldn't stuff anymore in it, I mounded it up. I'm glad that I did it because this morning I can see that it shrunk a bit.

can you work epoxy with hand tools
chisel works
The chisel had to take small bites. The chisel is sharp and anything more than a wispy shaving, the chisel would balk. Leveling it with the chisel would have worked but it also would have taken a lot of time.

the winner
I set the plane to take a thin shaving and planed this flush in no time at all.

done
If I had thought of it, I could have dyed this to darken this up. That would have looked better to my eye than this opaque white patch.

out of the clamps
Both of the till/trays didn't come out square. That proves again to me that clamping something with a square doesn't ensure a square outcome.

larger of the tills
Of course it is the last side I was planing when this happened.

easily pulled the other sides apart
I looked the joints over and found only two little bits of pins & tails that were still attached. This wasn't a failure of the hide glue but a failure caused by gluing bad joints.

large till dry fitted back together and it slides
smaller till survived the planing clean up
not square
The big till is square but this one isn't. It is tight into the corner at the bottom and runs out to right at the top.

the two tills won't fit in the big till
the larger till
I epoxied the till back together. Given the looseness of the dovetails gluing it again with hide or yellow glue would be futile. I used 5 minute epoxy and with a 1/4" plywood bottom glued on I think they will keep it together.

squared the frame and took a coffee break
Even though it is 5 minute epoxy I still like to let it set up for 24 hours before using it.

chisel box
These were the first chisels I got back when back in late 1970's. They are metric which I didn't find out until years after I had owned them. They are also complete crap. The will sharpen up and look good but they dulled very quickly. I am going to make a second till this size for Miles chisels. They won't be this crappola but something else.

the smaller till
I'm going to reuse these till parts to make the new smaller one.

the two tail sides will be shortened
the larger till
At least I did good job on closing up the interior corners.


gluing the bottom on the larger till
I sawed the bottom to be a very close fit to the bottom. To keep it from shifting as I glued it, I nailed 3 corners. I set it aside to set up and went back to work on making the new smaller till.

sawed and squared up the new sides
did my layout
After I got the four of these laid out, I looked at them and they looked odd. Since I was doing tails being marked from the pins, I thought it was ok.

something was wrong
I had already started chopping these and stopped. I did something wrong as I was chopping pins and I already have two sides with pins. Something was awry.

my tail lines slant in the wrong direction
sawed a practice one
I was still confused here thinking this is odd but ok. I'm a tails first dovetailer and have been since the beginning. I did make a box doing pins first to try it and I haven't done pins first since then. Trying to get into the mind set of pins first was giving me a headache.


practice joint
As soon as I put it together I saw what I had done wrong. When I laid the pin side board onto the tail board to mark it, I did it wrong. I had to turn the pin board 180 so that the front side on the edge was now facing the other way. That gave me the 'correct' slant marking for the tails.


got it finally
crappy fit - it's too proud
bottomed out
the other end
This is caused by this side piece being a shade thicker than the other 3 pieces. I'm not going to bother trying to reuse this till and I made a whole new till from the ground up.

ganged sawed the tails 

chopping the pins
I did most of the saw cuts with the Zona saw. I ganged sawed the angled cut on the tails with my LN dovetail saw. I sawed the half pin saw cuts with the Zona saw individually.

back to my mastery
The first small till I had done all the sawing with the LN dovetail and I think that those saw cuts were too rough and caused my loose joints. This time after using the Zona saw the till is self supporting. The joints are snug and shaking this did nothing to loosen any of the joints.

glued up and squared
This till joinery is good enough to glue up and put aside until it sets up.

big till fits
It was little snug so I planed the sides and until it slid R/L, L/R easily end to end.

both tills
I may make a third till to fill in the hole. I don't see much of an advantage to having sliding tills and this small hole. This is a small toolbox and storage is at the head of the class here. It may be a PITA to lift out tills to get access beneath but it is what it is. I can sleep on the third till for a while and making it will be dependent on what tools I get for Miles.

needs to be cleaned up
I will plane this up and make it pretty tomorrow. I don't want to stress the joints until then.

handle idea
My first idea was to put this scrap of wood in between the side of the toolbox and the till. On this side it would be in the same spot where the chain is attached. I also thought of sawing a handle hole in the till and backing it up with a brass plate. This is the latest idea to grab hold of my limited attention span.

this would work
I have the room to do this and not have any interference from the tills or the contents. The big till needs handles or something to help with getting it out of the toolbox but I'm not liking my choices so far all that much.

the marking gauges fit in the bottom
I can slide the till over the marking gauges which I wasn't expecting.

won't fit in the top till
This is where I wanted to stow the marking gauges but no joy there. Stopped here for the day because it is a bit uncomfortable in the shop with the humidity today. I'm wrapping up the toolbox for now and my next adventure will be some much needed maintenance. Maybe

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What are the seven seas of the world.
answer - Antarctic, Arctic, Indian, North Pacific, North Atlantic, South Pacific, and South Atlantic

Inside ‘From Truths to Tools’

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 5:30pm

T2T-illo

Proverb: Give a woodworker a try square and it works (at least till it gets knocked off the bench). Teach a woodworker artisan geometry and he or she can build a try square, cathedral or a damn fine boat.

Why do dividers appear in countless old paintings and engravings? They show up in the hands of winged cherubs, scientists, stone masons, boat builders and artisans of every stripe. Yes, dividers were the tool that spanned almost every art and craft. But there is much more to it, something deeper, more profound and basic. Dividers were also a symbol of the entry into the world of artisan geometry. This world is a big place, as big as the universe, yet captured in a circle scribed with a pair of a dividers. This world of artisan geometry is just a collection of abstract discoveries, yet the truths of geometry are more true and solid than the Rocky Mountains.

Our ancestors understood that learning the truths of artisan geometry was fundamental to reaching our human potential. On a practical level, it allows us to imagine, design and build almost anything. They also understood that this world of artisan geometry can transform our thinking and train the mind to follow logic and truth wherever it takes us. For that reason it was a key part of the classical curriculum for centuries.

Jim Tolpin and I are on a quest to explore this artisan geometry and we’d like to invite you to join us. This isn’t about memorizing theorems. Instead it’s about exploring truths with a pair of dividers and a straight stick. The lone requirement is you must bring your curiosity.

In our own case, it’s taken us to a wide-open space filled with ideas and possibilities. It’s also given us deeper insight into every tool found in our woodworking tool kit. For each of these tools is the embodiment of a geometric truth. On one level you can know how to use a try square to mark off a line for a saw. On a much deeper level it’s possible to grasp the immutable truth underlying the square and then apply that knowledge across much more than a chunk of lumber.

Our soon-to-be-released book, “Truths to Tools,” is an introduction to artisan geometry. It just might change the way you see your tools and open your eyes to the timeless world of artisan geometry.

— George R. Walker, by handandeye.com

 


Filed under: From Truths to Tools, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

The Risk of Living as a Process of Life

WPatrickEdwards - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 3:40pm

On the Bench I Saw a Holdfast 
Next year I will be entering my 7th decade on walking on this earth.  I am happy and healthy and I have no immediate needs.  I cannot complain, but I do it anyway, just for sport.

A few years ago I was on a cruise ship and I made it a daily ritual to approach the front desk and complain about something trivial, like a pen that didn't work or something.  The patient young lady at the desk was named "Lovely" and she was, always smiling at this funky old man who stood in line to complain about nothing.  At the end of a magnificent cruise, just before I left the boat, I approached her one last time.

"Good morning, Mr. Edwards," she smiled pleasantly.  "How was  your cruise?"

I said, "I want to register a complaint!"

I paused just long enough for her to think to herself, "What is it now?"

Then I said, "There's nothing to complain about!"

In my mind that was funny, but I can understand how she must have been relieved that this was the last time she would have to talk to me.  She smiled nicely and said, "I look forward to seeing you again."  She was one of the most optimistic and happy people I have ever met.

Life is a process, getting through every day with as little pain as possible and as much pleasure as you can create.  If you are happy then the people you meet will be infected with happiness.  Life is also a great risk.  The only certainty of living is that we will eventually die at some point.  Knowing that I will be 70 puts a rather uncomfortable limit on the time left to do the things I need to do.

On the other hand, celebrating the past 50 years of living as a woodworker has been very satisfying and I hope that the rest of my time in this business will continue as much as possible with the same satisfaction.

People I meet often say that I don't look my age.  My hair is not grey, my face is not wrinkled, and I am still very physically active.  I usually tell them my secret rules for a good life:

Go to bed at 9 and get up at 5.  Eat healthy organic food.  No alcohol, drugs or tobacco.  As little social life as possible.  Most importantly, work every day at a job you love.  Live with passion.

This year I have been invited to return to Williamsburg as a speaker.  They are celebrating their 20th annual Working Wood in the 18th century conference, and the topic is "Workmanship of Risk: Exploring Period Tools and Shops."  I am honored to be included.  My good friends, Roy Underhill, Peter Follansbee and Don Williams will also be presenting, along with staff members of the Williamsburg cabinet shop and curatorial departments.

For the project we will be discussing an amazing marquetry tool box lid,  currently on loan to a museum in England and the property of Jane Rees, a tool historian who lives there.

Her website is: Jane Rees, Photographer and Tool Historian

Jane will be bringing the tool box lid to the conference and she will be discussing its history as well.  I look forward to meeting her and listening to her perspective on woodworking tools, many of which I use on a daily basis in my profession.  She has been kind enough to send me detailed photographs of the marquetry, and those which I post here are under her copyright protection.

When I "retired" from my career working in High Energy Particle Physics, back in 1973, I made a conscious decision to abandon technology and live, as much as possible, a pre industrial life.  Of course I own a car, but I walk to work every day.  Of course I own a clock but I never use the alarm.  Of course I have a computer but I killed my TV.  Of course I have a woodworking shop but I never use power tools.  My lumber is naturally air dried over many years.

Early on I was influenced by David Pye, who introduced me to the "Workmanship of Risk" and the "Workmanship of Certainty."  Recently I read his book again to prepare for this conference.  It still resonates with wisdom and insight.

I have struggled to reduce his philosophical perspective to simple concepts that are more easily transmitted to students who are curious about how I approach my work.  There are three elements to working wood: Worker, Material and Tool.  The difference between "risk" and "certainty" is in the relationship between these three elements.

In the "Workmanship of Risk" approach the Worker manipulates the Tool against the Work.  Using basic hand tools, like a chisel, plane or saw, the Worker learns to control the Tool and takes risks producing the final Work.  Learning from his failures the Worker gains a deep sense of pride when the Work is successful.

In the "Workmanship of Certainty" approach the Worker manipulates the Work (material) against the Tool.  If the Tool is properly adjusted then the result is certain.  Setting a fence on a table saw to 2" produces a 2" board every time.  The Worker basically is feeding the Machine.  If the Worker wants a better result he purchases a better Machine.  Thus consumerism was created by the Industrial Revolution.  Bigger, Better and Faster.  Also Cheaper!

The pride of ownership replaced the pride of workmanship.

The marquetry tool box lid, which is the centerpiece of this conference, is very interesting.  My initial analysis from photos is that it represents several different historic marquetry processes, and was probably made in England around 1800 or so.  It shows a worker at the bench, surrounded by his tools and work, drinking a beer.  This image is in the center of a sunburst ray of veneer with flowers on the corners and decorative banding around nicely figured crotch mahogany ovals.

I can identify "tarsia geometrica" and "tarsia a toppo" and "tarsia certsonia" and I am researching the images provided by Jane for evidence of "Classic Method" but so far the results are inconclusive.  There is also a great deal of tinting and additional decorative lines in both black and brown ink.

I will be producing copies of each of the decorative marquetry elements in this lid for the conference, and the Williamsburg cabinet shop is actually making a full tool box copy to complete the lid.

I can easily relate to the image of the woodworker as executed in the center of the design.


Working At the Bench


He is surrounded with the necessary hand tools of his trade: the glue pot and brush, mallet, hammer, planes, drills compass, square, chisels, hand saws and the toothing plane (under the beer.)  On the end of the bench he quietly admires the result of his hard work and experience: a decorated tea caddy.  Tea caddies of this style were purchased by wealthy clients who could afford the elaborate marquetry decoration shown on this example.


Put Down the Hammer and Pick Up the Beer

This worker is dressed in fine clothes, representing a good income and his respected position in the professional trade. He would fit right in with the other workers at the shop in Williamsburg or in any shop in any large city at that time.

His face shows the faint glimmer of a smile.  His work is done for the day.  He is satisfied with the results.  His reward is a tall glass, with a nice head of foam.

Tomorrow he will deliver the tea caddy to the client, and get his well deserved paycheck along with sincere appreciation for a professional job well done.


Categories: Hand Tools

Barn the Spoon

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 3:06pm

I’m working on getting Barn the Spoon to come back to Plymouth CRAFT’s Greenwood Fest next June. He’s supposed to be checking his schedule & getting back to me…but he’s probably busy turning the world onto spoon carving. I met Barn last summer when I finally made it over to Spoonfest (the inspiration for our Greenwood Fest) which he & Robin Wood started 6 or 7 years ago. Right away, I knew I like Barn. He’s infectious in a good way. Attending one of these festivals is just an incredible experience. Not everyone can make it of course. Barn has you covered. I just saw an announcement about the American version of his English book Spon.  Here’s the blurb about the English version. I can’t imagine how different the American version can be – https://barnthespoon.com/courses-books-gifts/spon-learn-to-carve-spoons-with-barn-the-spoon

But it gets better. Barn and his colleagues at the Greenwood Guild run many courses both in London and Bristol, http://thegreenwoodguild.com/ – “but I’m a long way from there, what do I do?” you ask…

Video. You sign up for Barn’s spoon carving online membership. £7 per month, let’s see – equals $9.51 today. http://thegreenwoodguild.com/protected-content-2/?redirect_to=http%3A%2F%2Fthegreenwoodguild.com%2Fonlinemembership-2%2F

Here is a sample video, mostly about an introduction to the knife.

 

 

The ever-expanding video library right now has these categories:

The Basics, Tools & Kit, Knife Grips, Axe Work, How to Carve a Spoon, Tool Sharpening, The 16 spoons, Q&A –

I just checked a couple headings – there’s 8 videos under The Basics; under Knife Grips 9 individual videos. 10 under How to Carve a Spoon. You get the idea, lots of information and more all the time.

Some are 4-5 minutes, some in the 20-25 minute range and several are close to an hour long. If you want an immersion experience with spoon carving, and stay at home – this is it. Watch for his Plymouth CRAFT hat…

 

 


Roorkhee Chair Part 2

She Works Wood - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 12:38pm
There are many inspirational photos of Roorkhee Chairs to inspire your own Roorkhee project.  I collected a few here.  Hopefully these photos will inspire you to be free to make your legs in the way you’re most comfortable.  As in … Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Great Tips Get Passed On

360 WoodWorking - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 7:04am
Great Tips Get Passed On

This past week I spent an hour talking with Asa Christiana for Thursday’s 360 W/ 360 Woodworking podcast. Thanks for your time, Asa.  He’s a former editor of Fine Woodworking Magazine (FWW) who is now running his own gig at Christiana Creative, and he’s the author of the new woodworking book “Build Stuff With Wood” (Taunton Press).

In earlier podcasts, we talked about his book, the concept behind the book and about some of the projects in it (podcast #228 and #230).

Continue reading Great Tips Get Passed On at 360 WoodWorking.

A Secret, A Deception and a Mystery

The Furniture Record - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 6:53am

Wanting to do something different, I recently went out to visit a few antique shops. I discovered many things wonderous and mundane as is typical. These three are not as they seem and I find them worthy of being shared.

First up is a desk with a secret. I haven’t seen one of these in a while. I’m not sure if it is my declining skill in finding them or there just hasn’t been one to be found. Whichever, here is the desk:

IMG_2891

A handsome Georgian number. Around $3,600 as I remember.

The main drawer bottoms are made of several board that over a few hundred years were not dimensionally stable:

IMG_2910

Wood shrinks and splits, who knew?

An appropriately handsome gallery:

IMG_2893

Fancy but not to fancy.

A lot of wood in the drawer fronts:

IMG_2904

Drawers are not dovetailed.

Nice prospect door:

IMG_2906

Brass inlay.

Nothing within the prospect:

IMG_2908

Nothing but air. Doesn’t look like there was ever anything in there. That is unusual.

I reached in to see if there were finger notches to push out the letter boxes on either side of the door. I made a discovery:

IMG_2898

The entire prospect moved.

An it turns out that the letter boxes come out the back:

IMG_2900

No dovetails here either.

There is also a less than obvious drawer above the door:

IMG_2902

Not obvious but is it a secret?

Next is the deception. This deception might have worked better when young and the doors hung true:

IMG_2974

Things sag as they age. Again, who knew?

The press is actually an armoire:

IMG_2975

No shelves or drawers, just green. Is it the original green or at least a historically accurate green?

And now, the mystery. I speak of this large, two piece press, shelves and drawers:

IMG_3208

A large, hulking press.

The upper section is shelved:

IMG_3214

Not tidy within but that is why there are doors! A good place to hide inventory.

Drawers below:

IMG_3210

And yes, they’re dovetailed.

Now, here’s the mystery: how do you access the area between the shelves and drawers? Storage space was always at a premium. I do not believe that the builder would have left the space unused. There are rough sawn board internally above the drawers so the space was not intended to be unused.

IMG_3212

There is lots of inaccessible space between the shelves and drawers.

I don’t think the only access to the space is by lifting off the upper section. The carcass is pinned frame and panel construction so nothing comes off or is hinged.

My only conclusion is the access was gained by lifting out the bottom shelves of the upper section, the top over the lower section being left open. Those bottom shelves did seem loose and not part of the carcass. Inconvenient but workable. I didn’t have the time, patience or chutzpah to try so I don’t know.

Then the question is is it a secret or mystery or just something we don’t know because it is not now in common use?


Picking Out Wood

Paul Sellers - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 6:08am

Picking out the wood for a project always brings with it surprises. How often do we woodworkers mention to people that we are woodworkers and hear the exclamation, “Oh, I love wood!” My own take on this has changed through the years in that at one time it would have been wood that they loved …

Read the full post Picking Out Wood on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

sliding till day......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 3:03am
Saying the tills I made today are tills I believe is a misnomer. Hows that for a ten dollar word meaning that my description of the tills is inaccurate. They are tills, I think, but they aren't sliding ones. I made two of them with a small space between them. So in that respect they do slide about a 1/8" but it isn't  the same as the as a real sliding till.

I'm still at a loss for deciding on some kind of a handle for any of the tills. The two small tills (or trays) on the top aren't a high priority. The bottom, big till, needs some kind of handle help. This one has to come out in order to get to the bottom of the toolbox. Miles isn't going to be using this for quite a while so I have time to cook up a few ideas.

plywood bottom glued on
I got this done about 0830 and I let it set up until after lunch. The solid wood is only 3/8" thick so putting screws in it doesn't make much sense to me. The same goes for nails and once the glue sets nails wouldn't matter. I will be relying on the glue bond to hold the bottom on to the till.

the original toolbox banding
One of these is long enough to give up two cross braces for the bottom.

two braces done
I ripped the bearers for the two top tills/trays and took a break until after lunch.

first batter after lunch
I made the bottom slightly over sized and here I'm flushing the last side.

one thing I didn't want to see
Birch ply usually doesn't have voids like this nor those ugly biscuit shaped plugs.  This void is about a 3/8" deep and I'll have to fill with something. Because of where it is I'm leaning towards filling it with epoxy and filler.

change 2 to the bottom
Actually I made more than 2 changes to the bottom. The first one was to add a third brace to the bottom. After I ripped the banding to the width for the first two, the piece left over I used to put in the middle.

The second change was gluing the braces down. At first I was going to glue and screw them and changed that to just screwing them. My reasoning was it would easier to replace any one of them if needed. On change 3 I went back to glue and screwing them due to the increased strength. Replacing them is still doable but it will involve some chisel and planing I'm sure.

made the screw holes before gluing the braces on
 I glued and pressed the braces in place and let them set for a few minutes before putting in the screws.

5 screws per brace, all of them clocked
the braces
The braces stiffened up the bottom quite a bit. I have a warm and fuzzy about the strength of this holding up to a load of tools now.

Miles's Stanley 71 box
 I got this positioned so the box is below the center and right side brace. It's time to see if the braces will hit it.

braces are fine
If I measured them correctly, the extend past the bearers on the ends about 3/8" down into the interior of the toolbox. I don't see this small protrusion causing any hiccups down the road.

figuring the size of the tills
Neither till is going to be the size I want them. The marking gauges need almost 3" of height and making a till that size eats up 71% of the allotted space. I compromised and made the bottom till the larger space and the two top ones smaller.

stock for the two tills
I briefly entertained making 3 tills. One would be for measuring stuff, ie rulers, tapes etc, a 2nd one for miscellaneous crappola, and a third one for chisels. That idea frizzled out real quick. The measuring till needs to be 13" so I can fit the 12" steel ruler in it. That left roughly 10" for two more tills. I decided to go with 2 rather than one large and two smaller ones.

roughly 3/8" above the till
That space above the big till isn't going to be wasted. I plan on using that by extending the top tills to occupy it.

till side and bottom
Making sure that I am below the top of the toolbox. If I went with 1/8" plywood for the bottoms of the top tills I would have more breathing room here. I'm using 1/4" plywood for strength and that gives me a wee bit less than 1/8" of space here.

single tail tills
I recently saw using blue tape to hold the stock as a tip (Saw Mill Creek ?) and I like it. The tape kept the stock from shifting as I tightened the vise on it.

kept them together
I kept the stock taped and sawed for the half pin. This didn't work that well on a couple of these. The front ones came out ok but on some of the back ones I sawed off the line. On the ones that I did that I on, all errant saw cuts were on the waste side.

chopped the pins
I did these one till at a time. I laid them all out the same but I didn't want to chance mixing the parts up.

done
Just when you think you have mastered something, you do this. These are the loosest fitting dovetails I've done in a very long time. Eight corners -1 done snug, 1 done kind of snug, 4 loose, and the last two looser. These two I will have to shim after they have set up.

nutso glue up
Because of the loose fit of the dovetails I couldn't glue it and set it aside. I tried clamping it without the squares and got nowhere with that. I couldn't clamp the till square so I resorted to this. This is the larger of the two tills and I was able to get a square on the four corners. I'm hoping that this works and I'll know if there is any joy in Mudville tomorrow.

the smaller till
These dovetails were a bit better fitting but still not good enough to glue and set aside. I could only get two squares for this one.

accidental woodworker

trivia
How much does a ten pin bowling pin weigh?
answer - 3 pounds 6 ounces

Week in Review: September 11-16

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 2:16am

I have to admit, it was an interesting week on popularwoodworking.com. The contributors to the Shop Blog brought up a few topics that typically stir conversation. On Monday, Nancy Hiller started a three part series on Linoleum countertops. We had at least one commenter ask, “why?”. Nancy shared her point of view about the historical precedent and the vintage style that many seek in remodeling. I have been eyeing Linoleum as […]

The post Week in Review: September 11-16 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

New M&T Shop Building: The Deck

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 4:59pm

After Mike and I got all the granite blocks squared and leveled on the gravel pad, we fit hardware cloth over the ventilation spacing between the blocks to keep critters out. This cloth was bent around top and bottom of the blocks and glued in place with construction adhesive to ensure there was no way anything was getting under there.

We laid six-mil plastic over the gravel inside the foundation to seal off future moisture release. Then, on top of the granite we half lapped a pressure-treated 2x6 to overhang the blocks by 1” on all sides. The conventional TJI deck was then constructed on top of that. These man-made joists are unpleasant to work with but are functional and quick to assemble. With the I-beams in place, we cut ½” plywood to lay between them. These were then screwed to the beams. On top of that, we laid 2” blue foam that we then sealed with Great Stuff spray foam to close up air gaps. I’ve seen this blue foam/Great Stuff method called “poor man’s spray foam”.

With the blue foam installed, we laid the subfloor. After applying a bead of construction adhesive, we screwed 3/4” Advantech down to the framing. We were happy to find that at every stage of the process things turned out square. We joked that all our mistakes must have compounded to cancel each other out.

Despite the purist strain some of us may have, I think we made the right choice. With this floating block foundation, it seemed best to avoid a central support point and so, to be able to span the 25’ of the deck without sagging, TJI joists made the most sense. Although not particularly fun to do or interesting to discuss at length, this deck system will give us a solid, draft-free floor. Once it’s buried in top floor and exterior sheathing I’ll never have to look at it again. I’ll just enjoy the benefits of its performance for the rest of my life. 

Luke and part of his crew arrived from Vermont this afternoon with the final trailer loads of the frame. We spent time getting to know each other and they looked over the site before heading off to their rental house. They’ll be spending tomorrow putting a few finishing touches on the frame’s sills in preparation for Monday. Then, over the following few days, it all goes up.

- Joshua

 

Categories: Hand Tools

A message to blog site owners

Journeyman's Journal - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 2:41pm

Our lives are hectic enough without to need to filter through fake comments from spammers. If you’re not already moderating your comments you need to start. These idiots use a program that’s getting better and better at mimicking human replies or what a person would say.  None the less they’re still robots and can’t get it right all the time, but sometimes they do and when you let one in they just flood your message board with fake comments.

WordPress has caught 200 spams this month, this is an increase of 100% from the last month.  This increase of spams is due to a word I used “women” in my last post.  Fake commentators were with female names.

Thought I would make this post to give you a heads up if you haven’t already been made aware of it.


Categories: Hand Tools

Dulcimer Sound Holes And Sound Ports

Doug Berch - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 12:35pm

Dulcimer with sound ports in the side.

I have put sound ports in the sides of my dulcimers for a few years and have been very pleased with the results.

Sound ports are nothing new in the guitar world but I had not seen them used on dulcimers though perhaps someone has thought of this before.

There is no standardization of dulcimer design or “right way” to go about getting the results one wants. Dulcimer builders whose work I admire each have a unique way of getting the sound they want. Materials and design elements that work on one maker’s design may or may not work well on another builder’s dulcimers. This is part of the adventure and part of the fun!

My dulcimer design is in a state of constant evolution. Over the last few years I was looking for ways to increase the volume without losing tonal quality and even response along the fingerboard.

It is easy to make a loud dulcimer but I do not find it easy to listen to many loud dulcimers I have heard. Many loud dulcimers  have little sustain and/or often have uneven volume and response along the fingerboard.

The tone I prefer is somewhat traditional; long sustain and a slightly nasal quality with warmth and even response. I did not want to trade that sound for volume.

As I made design changes to make my dulcimers louder I was on the edge of losing the tone I prefer. It became clear that if I made louder dulcimers and wanted to keep the tone and responsiveness I prefer I would also need to give the dulcimers larger sound holes.

The size of the sound hole(s) on a stringed instrument play an important role in which frequencies get emphasized or minimized. The most critical element is the total size of all openings on the instrument. One large hole will produce sound like two holes that are each half the diameter of the large hole, etc.

Dulcimers have relatively little soundboard as they are long and thin instruments. I wanted the effect of larger sound holes but I did not want to lose any more of the wood that makes up the soundboard. The obvious choice was to put added sound holes somewhere other than on the soundboard. The sides were the obvious choice.

And it worked! I got more volume, balanced tone, birds were singing, flowers smiled, and all was well with the world.

 

 

Doug Berch - Dulcimer Maker And Musician

Categories: Luthiery

Dulcimer Sound Holes And Sound Ports

Doug Berch - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 12:35pm

Dulcimer with sound ports in the side.

I have put sound ports in the sides of my dulcimers for a few years and have been very pleased with the results.

Sound ports are nothing new in the guitar world but I had not seen them used on dulcimers though perhaps someone has thought of this before.

There is no standardization of dulcimer design or “right way” to go about getting the results one wants. Dulcimer builders whose work I admire each have a unique way of getting the sound they want. Materials and design elements that work on one maker’s design may or may not work well on another builder’s dulcimers. This is part of the adventure and part of the fun!

My dulcimer design is in a state of constant evolution. Over the last few years I was looking for ways to increase the volume without losing tonal quality and even response along the fingerboard.

It is easy to make a loud dulcimer but I do not find it easy to listen to many loud dulcimers I have heard. Many loud dulcimers  have little sustain and/or often have uneven volume and response along the fingerboard.

The tone I prefer is somewhat traditional; long sustain and a slightly nasal quality with warmth and even response. I did not want to trade that sound for volume.

As I made design changes to make my dulcimers louder I was on the edge of losing the tone I prefer. It became clear that if I made louder dulcimers and wanted to keep the tone and responsiveness I prefer I would also need to give the dulcimers larger sound holes.

The size of the sound hole(s) on a stringed instrument play an important role in which frequencies get emphasized or minimized. The most critical element is the total size of all openings on the instrument. One large hole will produce sound like two holes that are each half the diameter of the large hole, etc.

Dulcimers have relatively little soundboard as they are long and thin instruments. I wanted the effect of larger sound holes but I did not want to lose any more of the wood that makes up the soundboard. The obvious choice was to put added sound holes somewhere other than on the soundboard. The sides were the obvious choice.

And it worked! I got more volume, balanced tone, birds were singing, flowers smiled, and all was well with the world.

 

 

Doug Berch - Dulcimer Maker And Musician

Categories: Luthiery

The Workbench X-Files

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 7:08am

During the last decade I’ve amassed hundreds of images of early workbenches as part of my research into pre-industrial woodworking. Inevitably, some of the images don’t make a lot of sense and now populate a folder named: X-Files. These workbenches are from paintings and their features might be the result of a painter who doesn’t know much about woodworking. Or they could be a clue to a simple and neglected […]

The post The Workbench X-Files appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Dutch Resistance

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 7:03am

Like nearly every other woodworker on the planet, I built a “Dutch” tool chest a few years back; in fact, I built two. I enjoyed both projects, and it was a good chance to work on several different skills: dovetail joinery, dado joinery, mortise and tenon joinery, joinery, joinery, joinery.

One of those chests I gave to my dad, the other I kept. For quite a while my chest was in my garage with most of my woodworking tools placed inside it. It sometimes sat on my bench, or under it, or under my feet. I bumped into it quite often, every now and again I would trip over it; I bent over countless times to get stuff out of it. Eventually, I smartened up, hung a cabinet and some tool racks on the walls near my work area, and put my Dutch tool chest in the attic.

Here is the plain truth that nobody wants to hear: working out of that chests sucked. It wasn’t a size issue; the chest was easily large enough to hold the bulk of my woodworking tools. It is a simple matter of logistics, too much bending over, reaching, stretching, dropping, knuckle banging nonsense.

I found the best way to work out of the chest was to put it on my workbench so that everything was at eye level. The problem there was it got in the way too much. Of course, I could put it back on the floor after I got everything out, but then all of that stuff was on the bench too. And who feels like picking up and putting down a 100 pound + tool chest four or five times? Not me.

I’ve seen videos where the woodworker removed all of the tools he/or she needed at the beginning of the project and put them on the bench. I suppose that works, but then all of the stuff is on the bench and in the way (unless you have a recessed tool tray, but they are bad news, right?)

Okay, I’m complaining, so what solution am I offering? The same one that has been around forever: mount your tools on a wall rack and store them in a wall hung cabinet.
Everything is at eye level, out of the way, easy to see and easy to reach. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: since I’ve mounted my tools on the wall I’ve become a more efficient woodworker. AND, my back feels a whole lot better.

So here is my expert advice: If, for some reason, you travel a lot with your woodworking tools, make a tool chest for transportation. And if you are like the overwhelming majority of amateur woodworkers with tools that very rarely leave your work area, mount your stuff on the wall over your bench. Nothing bad is going to happen to your stuff if it’s out in the open. I live in a high humidity area and I’ve had very few rust issues. Keep your tools oiled (as you should be doing anyway) and they’ll be just fine.

So why rehash a topic I know I’ve already covered? Well, a few weeks ago I was getting some things out of the attic and I saw my tool chest sitting on the floor. It still looked pretty good, and it will certainly still hold tools, so I brought it down the stairs, dusted it off, and sold it for a few bucks.

I mentioned a few posts back that I had sold off some tools (mostly duplicates) and how I surprisingly had no sentimental attachment to any of them. But when I sold my Dutch tool chest I very nearly backed out of the deal. My second thoughts didn’t stem from the sell cost, I was just very reluctant to let go of something I had built myself.

I’m hardly a great woodworker, but I put a lot of time and effort into my projects. For whatever it’s worth, and for all of it’s shortcomings, I thought that my tool chest looked great when I finished it. When I brought it down the attic stairs and briefly back into my garage, it seemed to “fit the scene”. But then I remembered why I put it into the attic in the first place, so I put sentimentality aside and did what I know was the right thing to do. And though I pride myself on being a person who makes the right decisions, the right decision in this instance wasn’t an easy one to make.

IMG_1488[1]

Dutch Tool Box


Categories: General Woodworking

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