Hand Tool Headlines

The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

 

Search

Headlines

Historic Images of Woodworkers

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Mon, 02/13/2017 - 12:18pm

I’ve always loved seeing period depictions of woodworkers at work. To see the way their tools are stored, their posture while working, and even shop conditions brings these makers to life for me. I have for years been downloading images I found online when they were particularly interesting. It’s been helpful but I often lost track of where I got them.

When I recently did a Google image search for an old painting, I realized upon clicking on it that it was hosted on Pinterest. I had never signed up for Pinterest because it seemed like there wasn’t much of interest to me. Lots of knitting and home décor stuff. But this time when I clicked to the “board” that this particular image was on (“pinned to”), I saw tons more paintings, drawings, and photographs of woodworkers that I hadn’t seen before.

For those of you that don’t know, Pinterest is a website on which you can organize your favorite images you find online. After you sign up for a free account, you can view the collections of images from people with the same interest as you. For me, I’ve found a pile of pre-industrial woodworkers. I “pinned” them all on one board so that you can see them together.

So, if you’d like to see this gallery of images, check out it out here.

I don’t know much about Pinterest but I expect one of these days I’ll make a board of furniture images that I like. For now, check out these woodworkers.

 

Categories: Hand Tools

Historic Images of Woodworkers

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Mon, 02/13/2017 - 12:18pm

I’ve always loved seeing period depictions of woodworkers at work. To see the way their tools are stored, their posture while working, and even shop conditions brings these makers to life for me. I have for years been downloading images I found online when they were particularly interesting. It’s been helpful but I often lost track of where I got them.

When I recently did a Google image search for an old painting, I realized upon clicking on it that it was hosted on Pinterest. I had never signed up for Pinterest because it seemed like there wasn’t much of interest to me. Lots of knitting and home décor stuff. But this time when I clicked to the “board” that this particular image was on (“pinned to”), I saw tons more paintings, drawings, and photographs of woodworkers that I hadn’t seen before.

For those of you that don’t know, Pinterest is a website on which you can organize your favorite images you find online. After you sign up for a free account, you can view the collections of images from people with the same interest as you. For me, I’ve found a pile of pre-industrial woodworkers. I “pinned” them all on one board so that you can see them together.

So, if you’d like to see this gallery of images, check out it out here.

I don’t know much about Pinterest but I expect one of these days I’ll make a board of furniture images that I like. For now, check out these woodworkers.

 

Categories: Hand Tools

Alan Peters Walnut Box.

David Barron Furniture - Mon, 02/13/2017 - 10:54am

I made this small walnut chest a while ago with wood I bought from Alan Peters widow. The design was inspired by a chest he made and featured in Fine Woodworking.


I had put the chest to one side as the drawers needed final fitting as well as lining.


The drawers have a false back so that the whole thing is accessible without the risk of the drawer falling out, so simple!

Bringing in the rear prevented me from using dovetails so I used tiny tenons with contrasting wedges. The tenons are just 3.8 mm square (just over 1/8").


Using through dovetails, with contrasting ripple sycamore, was another of Alan's favourite techniques.

The wonderful figured walnut has continuous grain round the carcass and the rear panel is a book match of the top.

Categories: Hand Tools

Summer 2015 Woodworking Project: Youngest Grandkids’ Picnic Table

Highland Woodworking - Mon, 02/13/2017 - 7:00am

Let The al fresco Dining Begin!

When our youngest grandchild, Sara Riley, was only a few years old, I got some rough-sawn cedar, planed and sanded it, and built the cutest miniature picnic table with two separate benches. A few years later our second grandchild, Charlie, came along, and his big sister now graciously allows him to sit with her.

After I finished this table, a lady saw it and said she wanted one for her grandchildren. She asked me, “How much?” I said, “For one exactly like this? Five hundred.” I put a lot of sweat and love into this little project. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures while it was being built. Here, it shows the effect of aging in ten Kentucky summers and winters.

After I finished this table, a lady saw it and said she wanted one for her grandchildren. She asked me, “How much?” I said, “For one exactly like this? Five hundred.” I put a lot of sweat and love into this little project. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures while it was being built. Here, it shows the effect of aging in ten Kentucky summers and winters.

I wanted to make a picnic table for our two youngest grandchildren, Audrey and Owen, but I didn’t want it to be the same. When I found the plan for a round table with curved benches, I knew all I had to do was scale it down to their size.

The kernel of the project came from an old project book copyrighted 1970 titled, Wood Projects for the Home Handyman, by the editors of the Home Handyman’s Magazine. Its asking price was 60¢ at newsstands, 75¢ by mail. There is a collection of projects that you can make from the “durable, decorative and workable woods of the western lumber region.” To encourage the timid and the tightwad, the book proclaims “The table with benches can be easily constructed by the average home craftsman and will cost far less than comparable units available in retail outlets.”

I was shocked when I picked up the Western red cedar. So much for this project costing “far less.” Cedar had roughly doubled in price since the first table. But, so what? It was for the grandbabies. That’s always good justification.

Memorial Day weekend, 2014, I had the wood, the shop was clean, Brenda was out of town, the Forrest Woodworker II was sharp, and I thought, “I can start Friday night after work, go all day Saturday plus Monday and probably be finished by the evening of Memorial Day.”

I’m writing this January 25, 2017, and I just loaded the pieces onto the trailer last week. It was not a long-weekend task.

It was a fun project, though. One of the great things about having young grandchildren as your “customers”… they don’t keep track of time.

In fact, a serendipitous thing happened between 2014 and now. Granddaughter Audrey learned the term, al fresco, an Italian phrase that means “in the fresh air,” and she loves dining outside on the deck whenever she can. She and her little brother, Owen, will love sitting at their new al fresco table.

There were some interesting experiences during the two-plus years of this build, and I’d like to share some of them with you.

First, I learned that, although cedar’s price was up, the quality went down. Knots, on the one hand, are simply part of working with cedar. I knew that when I chose the medium. Other defects were not so expected.

Like the giant void that appeared in the edge after circle-cutting the top with a router.

I suppose that black epoxy is going to become a “trademark” for me, as I seem to find a way to incorporate it in nearly every project, much like Ernie Conover uses ebony plugs in the center of his drawer pulls. But, I’m used to having a defect to fill that provides its own retaining wall, such as a knot that has fallen out. To fix this edge, I was going to have to provide a wall. As Steven Johnson would say, I “noodled” on it for a while, and came up with this plan. Start with a curved retaining wall. As someone who finds roadside buckets nearly every time he gets in the car, I wasn’t shy about cutting a bucket to pieces. The shape is already curved, and, even though it isn’t the same diameter as the 48″ top, it is flexible. I cut enough of it to go well beyond the defect, stretched it tight with clamps, then put pan-head screws through pre- drilled holes in the bucket-dam, into the edge of the table, applying even more tension. The defect was bad enough that it went all the way through, so I needed another dam on the bottom of the table. For that, I used some off-brand Play-Doh. Building up epoxy in seven layers, I gradually filled the void. I was hoping that I’d avoid bubbles by using thin coats of epoxy. Alas, there were some, but they were small and not terribly noticeable. Epoxy is sandpaper-friendly, so no techniques have to be changed to accommodate it.

The bucket strip is stretched tight against the wooden edge with clamps and screws. Dollar-store Play-Doh is acting as a dam against uncured epoxy dripping out, and we’re ready for the first layer.

The bucket strip is stretched tight against the wooden edge with clamps and screws. Dollar-store Play-Doh is acting as a dam against uncured epoxy dripping out, and we’re ready for the first layer.

Several layers have built up the epoxy.

Several layers have built up the epoxy.

The first two of seven coats of finish are on, and the repair looks more like an accent than a mistake of nature.

The first two of seven coats of finish are on, and the repair looks more like an accent than a mistake of nature.

Some of the bench boards had defects that went all the way through.

Some of the bench boards had defects that went all the way through.

Repair of these through-knots started with fake Play-Doh, reinforced with plywood clamped in place.

Repair of these through-knots started with fake Play-Doh, reinforced with plywood clamped in place.

Then, the defect is ready to be filled. I use “charcoal” concrete-coloring powder in my epoxy to make it black.

Then, the defect is ready to be filled. I use “charcoal” concrete-coloring powder in my epoxy to make it black.

Sometimes you get lucky and two defects are right across from each other. Before filling, I used a Dremel tool with a burr to clean out all the loose material.

Sometimes you get lucky and two defects are right across from each other. Before filling, I used a Dremel tool with a burr to clean out all the loose material.

During the project I read about a home builder who epoxied a penny into the framing of houses he built. The year of the penny matched the year of the build. I expanded that idea and put state-specific quarters in the edge of the table. A “Kentucky” quarter from the years Audrey and Owen were born, a “Mississippi” quarter for the year the table was made, and a Texas quarter to represent the state of my birth. My Texas coin couldn’t be year-appropriate. Quarters hadn’t been invented yet.

During the project I read about a home builder who epoxied a penny into the framing of houses he built. The year of the penny matched the year of the build. I expanded that idea and put state-specific quarters in the edge of the table. A “Kentucky” quarter from the years Audrey and Owen were born, a “Mississippi” quarter for the year the table was made, and a Texas quarter to represent the state of my birth. My Texas coin couldn’t be year-appropriate. Quarters hadn’t been invented yet.

 Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer, topped with three coats of gloss Epifanes and two coats of matte Epifanes.

Loaded and ready for delivery. The finish is two coats of CPES: Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer, topped with three coats of gloss Epifanes and two coats of matte Epifanes.

Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home.Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

The post Summer 2015 Woodworking Project: Youngest Grandkids’ Picnic Table appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Update: Hayward, Roubo and the Romans

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 02/13/2017 - 5:57am

french_manuscript_1501-1600

We have new information on these three Lost Art Press projects for you this Monday:

The Woodworker, The Charles H. Hayward Years, Vol. IV, The Shop & Furniture
The final book in our series from “The Woodworker” is supposed to finish up at the bindery this week and be put on a truck to our warehouse on Friday. If we don’t run into any transportation snags, that means we’ll start shipping the book to you next week.

With All the Precision Possible: Roubo on Furniture
The standard version of this book is still in production at the printing plant and is on track to ship to our warehouse in mid to late March. In the meantime, designer Wesley Tanner is laying out the deluxe version of this book and it should be ready for the printer by the end of the month.

The deluxe version is going to be printed at the same plant that printed the deluxe version of “Roubo on Marquetry” and we are trucking the entire press run to New Mexico to be bound and have the slipcases made by hand. The deluxe edition of “Roubo on Furniture” will be the same width and height as the deluxe “Roubo on Marquetry,” but it will be much thicker. “Roubo on Marquetry” was 248 pages; deluxe “Roubo on Furniture” will be 472.

We have ordered 1,000 copies of deluxe “Roubo on Furniture” and the price will be $550 for U.S. customers. The book will be available for Canadian and international customers with an additional charge for postage. It will not be sold through our retailers.

Like the deluxe “Roubo on Marquetry,” all customers who order the book early can opt to have their name listed in the book as a “subscriber.” Also like the deluxe “Roubo on Marquetry,” this book is a significant financial risk for us. We know it will be a fantastic piece of work, so we’re happy to do it.

Because of all the handwork involved in this book because it is oversized, my guess is we will open ordering in about a month and the book will ship in June.

Roman Workbenches
We have sold out of the 500 copies of the letterpress version of “Roman Workbenches.” What happens now? You can still buy the pdf of the book for $15. After we print and ship all the copies that have been ordered, we might have a handful of extras that we will sell online. We also hope to have some unbound copies for sale.

I know this all sounds vague, but it really depends on how many copies are destroyed during the binding process. Commercial binding can destroy up to 30 percent of your press run (I know that sounds crazy).

Several people have asked if we’re going to offer a standard offset-printed version of “Roman Workbenches” and the answer is: We hope to.

I have two research trips coming up this year. If they are fruitful and people seem interested in the topic, we’ll print an offset version that is expanded with lots of photography and the additional information from Italy and Germany.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Charles H. Hayward at The Woodworker, Roman Workbenches, Roubo Translation, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Thin, Good Looking & Strong – Micro Plywood Splines, Part 1

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 02/13/2017 - 5:38am

While designing a 9th-grade box project, one thing kept bugging me: How should we reinforce the miter joints at the corners of the boxes? After cutting the miters and gluing the box parts together, I knew that we would have to add some strength to the corners – otherwise they would fail at some point, because simple miters are not reliable. So the question was, what kind of reinforcement? First […]

The post Thin, Good Looking & Strong – Micro Plywood Splines, Part 1 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

major dumping of the white stuff......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 02/13/2017 - 1:36am
It wasn't supposed to snow today but that depended upon which forecaster you listened to. All said rain for today into tomorrow and a few said rain changing to snow and back to rain and maybe back to snow. Who cares beside kids hoping that school will be called off. I'm thrilled to pieces that I will get to shovel this crap again so soon.

round 3
It is getting black but not the black I recall back in december.  The top piece was done then it is more black then these. One more round to go.

second set
The pic isn't the best for rendering the colors of this but they look very close to the first set.

$6 Wally World find
This is big enough I think to soak the vise parts in. It' 27" long and 6" deep. I haven't tried it yet but I hope I can fit the tommy bar and vise rails in it.

back up to the Wally World find
This was going to be used as plan #1.  I was going to build a cheap plywood box, line it with this plastic bag, and fill it with water and citric acid. This won't have the length and height restrictions of the plastic box.

stock for the towel roll holder
needs some ears

Since this is going to be painted the same color as the spice rack, I'm gluing on some ears. The top and bottom need to be 7" wide with the center portion being about 3-4" wide. If this was to be left natural I would have used (bought) stock wide enough to start with.

last night doodling
I got most of the dimensions figured out and all that is left is the rod support for the towels. The pic my wife gave me has two holes in it and I prefer not to have any holes on this one. I thought of and discarded a drop down slotted holder. I think the leading contender right now is a closet rod holder set.

patterns done
It wasn't that easy making these because the pic is a head on shot. A side view would have been a lot better to draw a pattern off of. I have the two sides glued up and cooking by the furnace so it'll be next week before I can start this.

started the tequila box
I can get the box out of this one board. I'll have use another board for the lid. I have 2 more 1/2" thick boards like this I can use. I also have a 3/4" thick board that I can use if I can't get a one piece lid out of the 1/2" stock.

sawing out the stock
After I had sawn out all the parts I realized that I could have done it differently. I could have done it so that the grain ran continuously around the box.

done
I'm getting better at sawing the parts out closer to length. That makes it quicker and easier to square them up to length.

checking the size
I want this to be a glove fit if I can get it. I don't want the bottle to rattle around in the box and possibly break. I am pretty sure I got the length but the width is a bit iffy. If it ends up too tight and won't fit, I'll have a another box for the shop. I can then use that width to make the second box of the correct width.

caught a mistake
I did a through dovetail layout on both ends. This end needs a layout for the lid. I planed off all my layout lines and laid it out again for the lid.

stopped here
I got the tails sawn out and decided to call it a day here. I was tired and yawning and I didn't want to make another mistake.

working on the drill
I got the first screw out without any problems. The drill still won't turn and I still have the led light coming on with the trigger depressed. I'm pretty sure this is a brushless motor design so if I don't see anything obvious - something burnt or broken - I'll buy a new one.

dead in the water
My torx bit can't reach this screw. The good news is that with a magnifying glass I was able to find out that this is a T8 bit. The smallest driver hand held size I have is a T10. I'll have to look on Amazon to see what a small set of torx drivers cost.

it's been 12 hours
I put this coke in here yesterday to see how cold it would get.

it feels colder
This can is colder than the cans in my refrigerator in the kitchen. That is pretty good for such a little cooler. But I still intend to only keep OBG or hide glue in here.

My wife just told me that there is another storm coming up from the south and it is going to snow all day tomorrow. It just stopped snowing but it's going to start again around dawn and go until about 1300. I don't know where I'll be shoveling that accumulation to. I already have Mt Everest stretching from the end of my driveway to the backdoor..

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is the highest scoring NBA game?
answer - the 1983 game between the Denver Nuggets and the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons won it 186-184

Passing the Baton: Country Workshops & the Maine Coast Craft School

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sun, 02/12/2017 - 3:38pm

meet me in the country

I keep hearing bits and snatches of news about things down near Marshall, N.C. – home of Country Workshops. In his newsletter from the last part of 2016, Drew Langsner mentioned that things were slowing down. For 2017 there are only 2 tutorials this summer. So I wrote to Drew, asking “Is this it?” “Yup”, came the answer.

Drew showing bowlsDrew showing bowls

End of an era is an understatement. All those years, all those classes, trooping into their house and home. I think it started about 1977 or so. I first went there in 1980, to learn ladderback chairmaking from then-John Alexander. By the mid-80s, I was a regular attendee, and in 1988 a summer intern, ending that season with a large class in timber-framing where we built the “new” barn. Once I got a museum job in the mid-1990s, I didn’t get down to Drew & Louise’s for a while, then went back as an instructor and once a student in 2010. My earlier post about Drew & Louise, and their Country Workshops saga is here https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/how-did-i-get-started-country-workshops-the-langsners-is-how/

This summer will be the end, both of the workshops and the tool store. But Kenneth & Angela Kortemeier,will take up some of where Drew & Louise are leaving off –  their new school, in mid-coast Maine, is starting up the same time Country Workshops is winding down. Kenneth has quite a resume, including  stints as Drew’s intern, and a period living with John Brown making chairs in Wales.

img_0074

dscn9649

Here’s the fledgling website, a new place to watch. http://www.mainecoastcraft.com/  Drew told me that part of what Kenneth & Angela will be doing up there in Maine includes taking over some tool sales involving the great tools by Hans Karlsson and Svante Djarv that Drew has helped bring to the US. And more…

l-r Dave Fisher, Drew Langsner, Louise Langsner

BUT – one other part of this story. This June, Drew & Louise are coming to Plymouth to be our special guests at Greenwood Fest. I’ve asked Drew to put together a slide history of Country Workshops, and they’ll be around for the festival to meet up with old friends and meet new ones. This is a chance to thank them in person for all the work they’ve done for decades. Many green woodworkers in America and beyond can trace their roots to Drew & Louise, even if they don’t know it…


Almost Out of Stickers (Again)

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 02/12/2017 - 3:27pm

dog_sticker_img_6678

My daughter Maddy has almost run out of our second batch of Lost Art Press stickers. So if you want some of these three recent designs, don’t tarry.

You can order the stickers one of two ways. For customers in the United States, you can send a $5 bill and a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) to Maddy at:

Stick it to the Man
P.O. Box 3284
Columbus, OH 43210

Maddy will take your SASE and put three high-quality vinyl stickers – one of each design – in your envelope and mail it to you immediately. (If you send $10, she’ll send two sets; $15 will get you three sets). She also has been throwing in some bonus stickers….

For customers outside the United States (or those who don’t want to use an SASE), you can order stickers through Maddy’s etsy store. Stickers there are $6 for domestic customers. Because of the international postage, sets are $10 for international (sorry, but there are fees and this and that).

Maddy came home last weekend from Ohio State and we talked about how her sticker business was going. If you have ordered stickers from Maddy, you have made a huge difference in her life. This might sound corny, but now she can afford name-brand granola bars instead of the generic ones (this is a big deal). Also, she and her boyfriend could afford to attend a rodeo last month and saw a monkey ride a sheepdog that was herding sheep. She’s an animal science major (and animal lover) so this was really sweet (and kinda strange).

So thank you all. This little sticker business means I don’t have to sell my plasma so baby can go to the rodeo.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. Please note that the puppy shown in the photo above has not been drugged or harmed by the sticker. He was running around trying to eat some garbage and then fell asleep in Maddy’s lap.


Filed under: Stickers, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Planes and Curves

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 02/12/2017 - 2:40pm

I was flattening some panels by hand the other day (too wide for my machines), and that got me thinking about plane blade camber. If you search online for discussions of blade camber, you’ll find that a great many electrons have been spilled on the topic. One common thread in these discussions is frequent confusion over the fact that a bevel-up blade requires more camber (i.e., the center of the blade needs to protrude further beyond its corners) than a bevel-down blade to have the same effect.

On the one hand, everyone seems comfortable with the notion that as the blade’s bedding angle decreases, the effective radius of curvature of its edge increases. This is easy to see. First, find yourself a thin disk (e.g., a CD or DVD) and hold it up at arm’s length:

cs90
When the disc is perpendicular to your line of sight, the apparent radius of its lower edge is equal to its actual radius (2-3/8″ in the case of a CD/DVD). But start tilting it from perpendicular, and the curve flattens; its apparent radius increases:

cs45
Tilt even more, and it keeps increasing:

cs20
From the point of view of the wood fiber that’s about to have its head chopped off by an oncoming blade, the greater the tilt from vertical, the greater the apparent radius of curvature, and consequently the less the depth of cut at the center of the blade. And since the blade in a bevel-up plane is tilted further from perpendicular, its apparent radius of curvature is larger than that of the bevel-down blade unless we make its actual radius of curvature smaller (i.e., increase its camber). Easy.

On the other hand, we’ve also all seen diagrams of bevel-down vs. bevel-up planes seated on their respective frogs:

bevelupbeveldown
The resulting cutting geometries in the two cases are identical. The blade’s cutting edge comprises two intersecting planes, one formed by the back surface, and the other by the bevel. The only difference between the two configurations is that these two planar surfaces switch roles.

This is where I think some people get confused. If the two setups are equivalent, why can’t we measure the blade camber in the same way with both? In truth, we sort of can, but there’s a difference between the bevel in a cambered blade vs. a straight blade. When the camber is small, that difference is also small (and negligible), but with a strongly cambered blade, such as one we might use in a fore or scrub plane, it’s not. With a cambered blade, the bevel is not planar. In fact, the bevel is a section of the surface of a cone:

cone
That’s where the equivalence breaks down, as it’s no longer possible to directly superimpose the cutting geometry of a bevel-up blade onto that of a bevel-down blade. And so we go back to always measuring the camber with respect to the back of the blade.

Anyway, is any of this important? Only to the extent that you get a feel for how the different parameters interact, so that you’ll know how much to camber your blade to achieve a given depth of cut.

I’m avoiding the math here, because it’s been covered before (such as here and here), but I did put together a little online app that lets you plug in some numbers to see how this all works. Here’s a screenshot:

app
You can find the app here. To use it, enter your bed angle and blade width, and one of the other three values. The app will compute the other two corresponding values for you, dynamically updating the display as you modify the values. The bed angle is in degrees; the other values can be in whatever length units you choose, as long as you’re consistent (inches, millimetres, furlongs, it makes no difference).

Now, I know that someone is going to read this and then get out their micrometer and measure their blade camber to three decimal places, to which I say,

STOP!! PLEASE STEP AWAY FROM THE PLANE!!

The point of the app is intuition, not prescription. The precise value of camber that you end up with is largely irrelevant, as long as you’re in the ballpark.

Don’t worry, plane happy.

camberedblade

–Steve Schafer


Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

New Bench is Finished, Jameel Comes to Visit

Brese Plane - Sun, 02/12/2017 - 11:06am


For one reason or another Jameel Abraham has finished every workbench project I've started, and sometimes he ribs me about it. That's okay because that's what friends do. When he scheduled his recent visit I was determined that I would finish the Nicholson bench before he arrived. I wasn't worried about the friendly ribbing I would get if he once again finished another of my workbenches, instead I really wanted us to have the freedom to do something other than work while he was here.

We did other things..............like fishing. The first day we fished in one of the ponds on the property of Bo Childs I caught 6 fish, Jameel caught one. Before you think I wasn't a very good host let me explain. We coined a new fishing phrase that day, "quarter pounder". No, not a reference to a McDonalds hamburger. It was really a description of the size of the fish we were catching that day. It would have taken all 6 of the fish I caught that day to have added up to one decent southern large mouth bass. 

Neither of us felt like the day had been much of a success except for the fact that it was a beautiful February day. If people caught fish every time they made the attempt it wouldn't be called "fishing", it would be called "catching". Fishing is one of those things where you really have to enjoy to the doing of the thing whether you are successful at actually catching fish or not and you need to do it with people whose company you enjoy.

The next day was a different story. Jameel had landed a couple of small fish and just as we thought we had just enjoyed another warm February day outdoors things changed in a matter of seconds. See picture below for an explanation.


BAM! Just like that a large bass decided the plastic lizard Jameel was using for bait looked just right for it's evening meal. Jameel patiently landed the fish, held it up for a photo op and then gently released it back into the pond to be caught another day.

Oh Yeah, back to the Nicholson bench. So what was I trying to accomplish by building this bench? Many things really. I wanted a second bench. My eldest son is getting more interested in woodworking and when he has a chance to visit it would be very nice to have a second full functioning bench and when I do joint projects with my woodworking friends the second bench will be a very handy thing to have.



But there were underlying reasons. As a designer/maker sometimes you get an idea in your head and it will haunt you until you just build the thing. Sometimes it's the only way to satisfy the creative idea, and the only way to get it off your mind. 

But there was another reason. Most people make a Nicholson bench as their first bench, or something that will do until they have time to build their ultimate bench, usually a Roubo. These first Nicholson style benches are usually made from construction grade lumber, and typically don't include much in the way of vises. The work holding is usually crude and of a configuration that requires the user to expend a lot of physical and mental energy arranging work holding.

Building a bench is a large time consuming task and I wanted to prove that the Nicholson bench design could be made as a forever, one time bench. I also wanted to show that it could be an attractive bit of shop furniture and if one used substantial hardwoods and incorporated high quality vises the end result is a bench that is as functional as any version of a Roubo or other type bench, superseding the need to build a subsequent bench and allowing the woodworker to pursue his or her list of projects. Of course some people like building benches but it is grueling work considering the size of the timbers involved, so it's not something one would want to do on a repetitive basis. Unless you like building benches so much you chose it as a vocation.


I am so taken with the BenchCrafted Classic Leg Vise and Criss Cross, I've decided my Shaker bench will need to be refitted with this same vise and Criss Cross, lest I won't be using my Shaker bench as much as the bench with the Criss Cross mechanism. Jameel and I worked on this retrofit for my Shaker bench in between fishing jaunts.


In the pic below you can see the necessary length of the dogs and the block system I used to secure the edges of the bench at the center parts of the split top. The small blocks are drilled an tapped with 3/8-16 machine screw threads and are glued to the edge of the top boards. The small beams lagged to the stretchers have 5/8 diameter thru holes to allow the 3/8 diameter bolts plenty of room to move as the top boards expand and contract.


Long Dogs are a necessity for this bench unless your name is Clyde and you've starred in a Clint Eastwood movie.





In the picture below you can see the back angle section of the bench removed for finishing. One of the things about this design is the fact that one person can build this bench by themselves. Nothing thicker than 8/4 timbers were used, however once assembled this bench has a massive amount of accumulated weight. You can also see the blocks used for securing the middle edges of the top. 




Because wood is wood and it moves and changes I knew it was futile to align the end cap flush with the top boards and apron. Over time and use it would misalign itself so I inset the end caps 1/4 inch to alleviate this worry.


In Summary:

I had intended to add an 8/4 thick shelf across the low stretchers, however when all the elements of the this bench came together it was such a heavy assembly I decided against the shelf. The shelf was also to serve the purpose of giving me a substantial structure to which I would mount a dead man rail.

I have only seldom had the need for holding really wide panels in the leg vise of my Shaker bench. Given that the bench seems to possess plenty of mass I decided to forgo the extra chore of making the lower shelf, dead man rail, and dead man. Instead I made a small appliance that would serve the purpose of holding one end of a wide panel and would have a wide range of adjustment. You can see it in the first picture hanging from the front apron and below. I call it a "Hanging Deadman". It didn't take long to make and with the few instances in which it will be needed I thought the time required to make it was commensurate to the need.

The Split Top:

Besides making the bench easier to build the split top serves a couple other purposes. (1) It solves wood movement problems in the bench configuration. (2) The best advantage of the split in the middle of a bench top is it gives you a place to put the things that typically want to roll off your bench. Basically any tool with a round handle, like a screw driver or an awl. Place them over the split and they stay put.

The Hanging Dead Man

 So what happened to the old beater bench? As I explained in an earlier post,  everyone needs a beater bench to do things you would never want to do on your nicer woodworking benches. The old beater bench has made a great out feed table for my table saw. 

Now back to my project list,

Ron


“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” 
― Oscar Wilde




Categories: Hand Tools

Digital Woodworking & Contemporary Art

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sun, 02/12/2017 - 6:53am

While working on a couple of blog posts about a group of CNC machines that are great for small shops, I got distracted by something rather impractical. But I thought because the distraction was about wood, it might be of interest to some of my fellow woodworkers. This is the final week of a solo contemporary art show of my work at Zinc Gallery near Seattle.  All the sculpture created […]

The post Digital Woodworking & Contemporary Art appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Credit to the Designer of the Ebony Chair

David Barron Furniture - Sun, 02/12/2017 - 3:52am

Following a request for more details on the ebony chair here is the original design by Angel Corso from Venezuela. You can see more of his wonderful work on his website https://www.behance.net/gallery/37909759/AROA-Chair-(AC214)
Just to add, Ross's beautiful copy was for his own consumption and not for sale or profit.


Categories: Hand Tools

more snow again.........

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 02/12/2017 - 2:42am
On thursday we got a 10" carpet of snow that took me almost 3 hours to shovel. That was certainly what was in the top ten things I wanted to be doing at 1800. This morning when I left for work, I had about 2 inches more of the white stuff. After I got home I had the pleasure of more shoveling. I especially enjoyed shoveling the all the snow the guy across the street (with a plow) pushed from his driveway to either side of my driveway.

My favorite shovel broke on me while I was doing this and I had to switch and use a straight handle one. For the first time in my life, my back aches. There is a dull pain right above my ass cheeks that won't go away. Sit, stand, lie down, hop on one foot, nothing seems to alleviate it. And since I took an Alleve this morning, I can't take any motrin or ibuprofen until after 1900. Oh well stercus accidit.

I forgot them
I went down and looked at these at 1900 last night and let them stay in the citric acid for another hour. Or so I thought because I fell asleep and they stayed in the citric bath for almost twelve hours.

opposite side
My biggest fear with this went unfounded. I was concerned that the acid would etch this and leave a sandpaper texture on the metal. It didn't and it feels smooth all over. Before I left for work I rinsed this off and dried them. I couldn't use the hair dryer because my wife was still asleep. I rubbed a coat of oil on both of them and went off to work.

flattening the back
Got highs and lows to deal with and the coarse diamond stone is going too slow so I switched to 80 sandpaper.

helped some
This 80 grit doesn't feel like 80 grit anymore but it was cutting better the the diamond stone.

much better looking
Got it flat with 100 grit sandpaper on my granite block.

finished it on the coarse diamond stone
I can see a flat
Used the same 100 grit paper to establish the bevel on the iron. I can feel a burr on a portion of it but not the whole width. I kept at it until I felt a burr across the entire width.

Stanley rabbet plane iron
This is the iron from a Stanley rabbet plane I once had. It didn't survive the bounce test with Mr Concrete floor but I saved the iron. Today I used it to scrape the glue residue left after removing the 80 sandpaper that was on here. The 100 grit sandpaper wasn't cutting much anymore and I dropped back to 80 grit to finish the iron.

it wasn't square
I always check for square from the right side of the iron. I never bother to check it from the left. I squared this by holding the iron 90° to the paper and dragging the iron until it was square.

got my full width burr - now I can go back to the diamond stones
this is something I should have a long time ago
working the chipbreaker
I like to polish/hone the leading edge of my chipbreakers. It helps the shavings to move over this part easily if the chipbreaker is smooth.

next to last thing to do on the chipbreaker
The front bottom edge needs some work. This has to lay flat on the entire width of the iron to keep shavings from getting between the two.

how I do it
I got this tip from Richard Maguire and it works flawlessly. It's a no brainer which is especially helpful for me.  I put the chipbreaker on the stone and let it hang down on the top edge of the wood. The slight angle is enough to put a slight angle on the bottom back of the chipbreaker that helps it to stay flat and tight to the iron.

repeating it for the 4 1/2 plane
This has what appears to be a nice flat across it but shavings were getting jammed up underneath it. A couple of strokes should point out any hiccups.

5 strokes and it's not even
I took some off on both ends but nothing in the middle. And the middle was were the shavings were getting between the chipbreaker and the iron. It took me about 5 minutes to get a continuous freshly ground look side to side.

pitted on this side (4 1/2 chipbreaker)
This chipbreaker may not end up with a shiny and smooth leading edge. This side has a deep series of pits and the other side is slightly hollowed. It also is a bit rough but not pitted.

I stropped both of the chipbreakers
the new old chipbreaker I just got
This one isn't pitted or rough but shiny. Considering it's age, I find this remarkable.

mind fart
For whatever reason, I thought the 4 1/2 iron was the same as the #8 iron. It isn't so sports fans, the 4 1/2 is the same size as the #7 iron.

fits the #8
Now I have a backup iron and chipbreaker for the #8 instead of the 4 1/2.

road testing the newly fixed 4 1/2 chip breaker
working as it should now
The very front of the chipbreaker is down tight to the iron and the back edge of it isn't. This combined with the leading edge honed and stropped, means the shavings got no where to go but to slide up and over it. I am keeping this chipbreaker in the 4 1/2 and the one I took out with the chip will be the backup.

tomorrows work (maybe)
The few times I used this, I noticed that it grabbed and dragged some. The sole on it needs to be run through the gauntlet of sandpaper grits to smooth/shine it up. I can feel a resistance when I lightly run my fingers along the sole especially toward the heel. I'll do my #4s' that need their soles touched up to remove the paint on them.

it came friday night about 1930
It was a surprise to get this. I was resigned to this coming next next week sometime. The UPS driver said it was really heavy and what was it? A wagon vise I said back and I got a black stare. The UPS driver obviously doesn't woodwork on his off time.

rail connector hardware
look at the size of this
This will outshine and outperform the rail hardware I have on my two benches now.

big boy 1/2" bolt
wagon vise connector hardware
A scaled down version of the rail connectors.

where they will go
One will go in the outside rail of the dog assembly and the bolt will go from the end cap into this. There will be a second one on the other side of the vise slot in the bench top.  This makes installing the wagon a lot easier using these two connectors.

sliding dog traveler plate
it is a full 1/4" thick
This is solid and very substantial. The big hole is where the dog goes.

the nut block
The screw goes through this and moves the dog block in and out.

knob for the hand wheel
I may not put this on the hand wheel. If I don't I'll save a couple of inches that won't be sticking out.

rough cast wheel
The shiny hand wheel (which was incredibly hard to resist) is about $70 more than this model. I went back and forth and in the end I picked this one. It will be on the right hand side of the bench and hard to see. This doesn't have any effect on it's functionality and I'm sure I'll grow to love it.

got a piece of clubber to use and evaluate
wow solid, heavy, substantial, wow again
I have been impressed to no end with this vise.

silky smooth traveling end to end
this is over the top
The machining on this is A-one double triple squared plus.

future look see
I got all the hardware and the next step is to start buying the wood.

this one I can use my Paul Sellers jig with
this one will be done free hand
This is one spokeshave style iron that I haven't seen as a after market replacement. I don't see why not that I couldn't use the one with slots in it's place. I was going to sharpen these two and said nay, nay.

played some more with this
The authorized service center will charge me $55 just to look at it. Then parts and labor is added if they can fix the problem. I can buy a bare bones drill for $81. I did the obvious things with this like put a working battery in it from another drill. I cursed at it, cajoled it, made promises to it that I had no intention of keeping, and finally tapped it (with love) with a hammer. I thought of bringing it upstairs and taking it down to parade rest but nixed that too.

another hiccup to fix yesterday
My wife unboxed the last 3 cabinets that I'll be installing next week. Before I do any of that I'll be fixing this one. The blowout doesn't look like it's going to be that difficult to repair.

this may be a royal headache
This is the back drawer rail support that should be one piece but is now 2. The drawer slides only have 'made in Austria' stamped on them. I couldn't find any numbers or a manufacturers name anywhere. My wife put a claim into the company that made these and hopefully we can either get one or at least the opportunity to buy a replacement. Something I thought of doing and nixed too.

The only thing I got done today was sharpening my new iron and chipbreaker. I had a list of other things to do but I never got past just looking at them. I don't have many days like this where I don't feel like doing anything woodworking related. I shut the lights off at 1330 and went upstairs to vegetate in my chair.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was the first woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby?
answer - Diane Crump  in 1970

Tightening Tool for Veritas Router Plane

Paul Sellers - Sun, 02/12/2017 - 12:30am

From my Journal Tuesday 7th February 2017 I made yet another tool for my Veritas router plane this week. The design of this router is pretty much flawless, let me say that up front, but at my speaking engagement last week I forgot my thumb turn-screw to cinch up the depth limit; it’s one I made …

Read the full post Tightening Tool for Veritas Router Plane on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Table Trestles-Part 4

Hillbilly Daiku - Sat, 02/11/2017 - 6:38pm

My day in the shop, henceforth known as the great wood massacre of February 2017, did not go smoothly.  All of my problems were of my own making however.  I was working with an unfamiliar material (poplar) as well as an unfamiliar tool.  To finish off the perfect recipe for disaster I changed one of my techniques.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I’ll start at the beginning.  The goal today was simply to assemble the trestles.  Add glue, knock in the legs and wedge them home.  It should have been an easy, relaxing day in the shop.  While my hide glue was heating up I cut the wedges for securing the legs.  Here is my first error.  Typically I cut short, fat wedges, but for some reason I went with a longer, thinner version.  I have no idea why.

To drive the legs into their sockets, I typically use my ~16oz Japanese hammer, but my dad recently gave me a 2lb sledge and I wanted to give it a try.  So I spread glue in the socket and on the tenon for the single leg of the first trestle.  I drove it into place and everything went fine.  Then I glued and installed the spindle between the pair of legs.  With glue applied to all the surfaces I began driving the leg pair into their sockets.  Everything felt good until the second to last hammer blow…it sounded a little off, but I went ahead and hit the other leg.  That’s when the pair of legs went loose in their sockets. Uh, oh!  (That’s the PG version).  Sure enough, the top slab had split from each socket out to the end of the slab.

img_2909

I felt a little sick, but examined the damage.  With nothing to lose, I jumped in with an attempt to repair the slab.  I first cut out a slice of wood that contained the split.

img_2910

Then I cut and fit new pieces of poplar to fill the gaps.  Then I glued and clamped them in place.

img_2911

Trestle number 2 went together without incident

img_2912

Trestle number 3 almost made it, but I split the slab at the single leg.  Son of a b####!  The same repair was made as before.

img_2916

Trestle number 4 almost made it as well, but the last blow on the wedge of the last leg…I heard a horrible cracking sound.

img_2913

Luckily I had the sense to make a couple of extra legs.  So I prepped another leg.

To add insult to injury, I had, in a fit of anger, slammed the hammer into the slab top.  Which left a pretty good donkey (jackass, in my case) mark.

img_2914

So I fired up the iron and steamed almost all of it out.

img_2915

Then turned off the lights in the shop before I did any more damage.

So what the heck happened?  All of my previous staked projects were either laminations of SYP or plywood.  A solid slab of poplar reacts differently than either of those.  Using a heavier hammer made judging the progress of the tenon advancing into the socket hard to judge.  The force of each blow was quite a bit more than those with my lighter hammer.  Finally, my changing wedge shapes allowed the wedge to advance too deep into the tenon.  Actually, I was lucky with most of them, they were thick enough to tighten before going too deep.  The last wedge was slightly thinner and I paid the price.

Anyway, tomorrow is a new day.  I’ll venture back into the shop and survey the carnage.  Hopefully my repair attempts work out and I’ll be back on track.

Part 3 Greg Merritt Part 5


Categories: Hand Tools

Roman Workbench Build-along

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 02/11/2017 - 4:03pm

roman_legged_img_3151

If you have been interested in the low Roman workbenches I’ve been writing about, here’s your chance to follow along while two woodworkers build them. You can even join in and build your own with home-center materials and firewood (more on that in a minute).

Joshua Klein and Mike Updegraff of Mortise & Tenon magazine are each going to build Roman workbenches and blog about the experience starting on Feb. 20. You can read more details about their plans here.

When starting with rough materials, these workbenches take me about 10 hours to build (that includes the time to document the process with photos and notes). But I have an electric lathe. I think that balances out the equation – I think anyone can build this bench in about 10 hours.

If you don’t have a slab on hand, here’s what I would do: Buy a 12’-long 2×12. Crosscut it in half. Glue the two halves face to face. That’s the benchtop. For the legs, go buy some firewood from the grocery store if you don’t have a big firewood pile already. Split the legs out of firewood billets.

roman_finish_img_3182

The low Roman workbench is a lot of fun to build. But it’s even more fun to use at the end. You get to sit while you work – nice!

It’s also funny how the low bench has become the community center for my workshop. When I have visitors, they naturally gravitate to the low bench and sit there (I’m the only one who sits on my Roubo bench).

If you’d like more details on why the Roman bench is a marvel of early technology and workholding, check out the article I wrote on it for Issue 2 of Mortise & Tenon magazine.

I’ll definitely be following Joshua and Mike’s progress that week. But I won’t be building along. I’ve already got one….

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Roman Workbenches, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Bevel Up Jack Plane - Will It Work as Your Only Plane?

Toolerable - Sat, 02/11/2017 - 10:38am
A few weeks ago, one of my very favorite woodworking heroes, Richard Maguire, wrote a blog post about low angle planes. I've been thinking hard about this post for a while, because I have in the past advocated big time for my Veritas bevel up jack plane (BU jack).

I have to say that Richard's conclusions about the BU jack are spot on, 100%.

Does this mean I am recanting my endorsement of this tool? Absolutely not.
Richard's premise in his blog post is that BU planes work better than other planes at the extremes of the spectrum - basically that they do one thing really great. That is planing end grain.
This plane is really great at end grain.
I whole heartedly agree. They are much better at end grain due to the low angle possible with the BU design.

What about the rest?
Can one joint with this plane?
Well, I agree with Richard. Other planes do a better job at basic tasks than this plane. A 24 inch jointer does joint better than this jack plane. A dedicated jack with a cambered blade does better at hogging out lots of material than this plane. A #4 smoothing plane with a finely set chip breaker will do a better job at smoothing than this plane.
This thing works great shooting end grain. Did I already say that?
Then why do I endorse this plane so enthusiastically?

Well, I have to say that while those other planes do better at those tasks than this plane, the BU jack will indeed do them all.
I almost always do all my jointing with this plane.
A while back, I spent more than a whole year using only this plane and no other bench plane, for no other reason than to put my money where my mouth was regarding being able to build with an extremely limited tool set.

I had noticed that many great woodworkers had recommended "beginner's tool sets" that required many thousands of dollars to fill out before a beginning student could feel like they could do "proper" woodworking.

I thought that was baloney then, and I think it is baloney now. A jack plane (whether BU or bevel down, new or vintage), is a great first tool to get because of the versatility.

Other tools work better for those everyday tasks, but one plane instead of four can be a deal maker for a beginner.

After my exclusive use of this plane for the time I used it, I found out that "plane monogamy" (as Christopher Schwarz puts it), is a wonder.

Face it, there are all kinds of situations where even the largest hand tool shops require making a plane do a bit more than what's in it's name.

To be able to do these amazing tricks with a plane, one really, REALLY needs to know their tool.

I learned that it really is true that you can't buy skill by purchasing a new tool. One should learn how far they can push (get it?) a tool they have before deciding if another is needed in their situation.
Plus, using the same tool is faster: you already have it out.
There are a few things I do to make it easier on myself.

For rough work, I do my best to avoid having to thickness stock very much. My wooden jack plane with an eight inch camber on the blade hogs off wood like crazy and in no time flat. A BU plane is difficult to put a camber on the blade because of the angle of the bed. Taking 1/16" thick or thicker shavings isn't going to happen.

It will take medium sized shavings. If your wood is roughly the thickness you need it, and mostly flat to start with, it is a breeze to bring it to good working dimensions with this plane.

For fine smoothing, again, choose your wood wisely. This plane will easily achieve a finish quality surface without much work. Even without going crazy with steep sharpening angles. Make sure the blade is as sharp as you can get it, and you will be fine. At least until you try to plane against the grain. Even then, lighten the cut a little more and close the adjustable mouth as tight as you can.

For jointing, I find this plane to be long enough to joint nearly anything I can throw at it accurate enough for gluing up a panel. It does take some skill. One will get good at making edges flat eventually with this tool. Just keep checking with a good straight edge, and practice removing the parts that aren't flat. Follow that up with a fine shaving from one end to the other. I find it rare that I need to pull a jointer out for edge jointing anymore.
In conclusion, I would just like to agree with Richard again that this plane shouldn't replace everything in your plane corral. However, if you are looking for your first bench plane, this might be a good place to start.
Categories: Hand Tools

Ebony Chair from Australia

David Barron Furniture - Sat, 02/11/2017 - 10:27am

Ross from Brisbane Australia sent me these pictures of his latest wonderful creation.


Creating these shapes is a lot of work, but to do it in ebony? He won't be doing another!
The shaping was done with HNT Gordon high angle shaves, wonderful tools, and finished with scrapers.                      http://hntgordon.com.au/gidgee-spoke-shaves.html


Categories: Hand Tools

Roman Workbench Build-Along

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Sat, 02/11/2017 - 10:25am

 

Inspired by Chris Schwarz’s article in Issue Two “Decoding the Roman Workbench”, Mike and I have decided to build our own Roman (i.e. staked) benches. I’ve been doubly curious about this form because Jonathan Fisher’s bench of this type survives in his house (now a museum) and I’ve really wanted to get some time working at one before finishing off my book on him this winter.

The week of February 20th, Mike and I will each be building a bench. I will be basing mine largely on Fisher’s bench, which is a 12.5” wide by 7’ long rough-sawn board with four riven and hatcheted legs. His is a little less than 2” thick but the plank I have set aside is a bit thicker than that. This plank is special to me because it was lodged in the collar ties of the 200 year old Cape Cod house that my wife and I are in the early stages of restoring. The plank is rough sawn with a few small hatchet marks scattered around and has even sawmill tally marks on one side. Since this plank has been in an attic for about 200 years, I think it’s pretty well dry by now. That leads me to Mike’s bench….

We don’t have a plank picked out for Mike’s bench yet. Based on Chris’s experiments with green bench building, we are going to be building that one with pretty fresh wood. We are fascinated with this high-moisture-content bench building idea. We have both done this when building benches for our boys. All settled out just fine on both of those so we are going to give it a go on Mike’s bench. 

Wanna build your own Roman bench along with us?  We’re going to be building these the week of Monday, February 20th and blogging along the way. We thought it would be fun to open it up for others to join in on the build. Don’t have a thick plank set aside? It’s not necessary. Just go pick up a 2 x 12 at your home center. It’s really nothing more than a plank with four legs anyway. The wooden pegs for workholding don’t care if the top is only 1.5”.

We’ll be posting on the progress during our build and sharing our experiments using the benches.

So… who’s in? In the meantime, read up on Chris’s working methods and study the plans he drew in his article in Issue Two. Put this build on your calendars. We look forward to building with you all!

 - Joshua

 

Categories: Hand Tools

Pages

Subscribe to Norse Woodsmith aggregator