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I haven’t posted for a while so I thought I’d put finger to keyboard to show some of what I’ve been up to these last few weeks.
Last year I started a job as a part-time upholsterer, and I wanted to put my stamp on my working area, in the form of a few tools and toolboxes. Also, I have recently design myself a new logo, and I was desperate to showcase it on something.
So, in between work and family life, I’ve put in a few hours in the workshop recently, in order to address both these issues. This is what I came up with.
First off was a toolbox, to replace the ubiquitous plastic affair that can be found on the shelves at any DIY store. I decided to go with the design I came up with a few months ago, but this time using walnut and cherry.
Here you can see all the components milled, shaped and sanded, and all the joinery complete. Just a bit of pyrography, brass and leather work needed and then three coats of my oil/varnish/turps blend.
Next was a small lidded box. My new job involves a little hand and machine sewing, so I decided to make a receptacle for pins, chalks, awls, scissors and the like.
Here are the components all ready to assemble. For this project I went with utile and maple., brass hinges and catch, and pyrography of a needle and thread on the lid.
The box was finished with shellac and wax and I lined the inside with leather. I even made a small pincushion for the inside as well.
As I have said before, every good workshop needs a good mallet, and the one that I currently use at work is perfectly fine, but a little boring and care worn.
My new mallet is made from beech and ash, with pyrography of the goat’s head part of my logo, and finished with oil/varnish.
Occasionally, when refinishing an armchair say, new webbing needs to be affixed to the underside to support the bottom. It is very important that the webbing be taut, and there are various tools available to achieve this. The ones we use at work consist of a paddle and a dowel. A loop of the webbing is passed through a hole in the paddle and secured with the dowel and then the using the paddle as a lever, the webbing is stretched tight and fixed with tacks or staples. (This site will explain properly)
I didn’t really need to make on of these because there are several available to use at work, but I thought it would be a fun exercise. Taking careful measurements I made a rough sketch at work and used this to make my own. The paddle is oak and the dowel is purpleheart. The dowel is tethered with brass plugs and leather.
Finally, I made a pen tidy. Last year, across the road from me, a blackthorn blew down in the wind. It was mostly rotten, but I managed to salvage a few chunks and it has been drying in the shop ever since.
Using a chunk of this blackthorn I turned a hollow cylinder and then parted down the mid section until it resembled a cotton reel. Some string wound round it, and a needle turned from kingwood, and the cotton reel pen tidy was complete. The exposed wooden parts were finished with Hampshire Sheen.
Well, there you have it. Now that I look at it all, I think I may have gone a bit over the top? What do you reckon?
Nah….balls to it. I had fun making them.
Filed under: Joinery, Pyrography, Woodturning Tagged: ash, beech, blackthorn, brass, cherry, kingwood, leather, maple, oak, purpleheart, utlie, walnut
This is an excerpt from “To Make as Perfectly as Possible: Roubo on Marquetry” by André-Jacob Roubo; translation by Donald C. Williams, Michele Pietryka-Pagán & Philippe Lafargue.
One of the joys of researching the old ways of doing things is that every so often you encounter an amazing “new” way of accomplishing some task. Such is the case with the shoulder knife, an indispensable tool in the ateliers of Roubo’s world. The tool’s utility is remarkable, and I am still discovering new uses for it.
We all have our favorite shop knives; mine is a Swiss chip-carving tip that gets used in many ways. And – like you – I have tuned it exactly to my preferences. Yet, more and more I find myself reaching for the shoulder knife that I made at about the time this book project began.
One of the issues of knife work is balancing the power and control integral to its use. Typically one of the limitations is the amount of force you can bring to the cutting tip, and the precise control you can exert on it. The determining factor is often the amount of handle you can grab comfortably. In fact, that is why my favorite knife has a small blade but a comparatively large handle. Still, I am limited to having only one hand on the handle. A shoulder knife overcomes that because the handle extends all the way from the knife tip to, well, your shoulder. You can obtain great power and control because it allows you to grab its handle firmly with both hands and leverage it off your shoulder.
The shoulder knife has practically disappeared from the woodworker’s tool kit, and to my knowledge only one company supplies them commercially. Making one is fairly straightforward. Although it is a simple tool, mastering it is not so.
The first step in making a shoulder knife is to make apattern so it fits exactly your upper body’s dimensions and posture relative to the work surface. You can make a template from something as simple and disposable as heavy cardboard. A good starting point is to simply grab a yardstick tip in your hands, drape the stick over your shoulder and make note of the measurement from the work surface to your shoulder. Mark this out on the cardboard, then draw an arc to mimic the curve of your shoulder. Cut this out and compare it to your own body. Revise it until the match is the one you want. I made perhaps a half-dozen patterns until I got what I wanted, and then I cut that pattern out of three or four layers of cardboard and bonded them together to make it sturdy enough so I could get a good feel for its shape and fit. Just to make sure, I made a final pattern out of a piece of 6/4 softwood.
I selected a piece of scrap walnut to make my first knife, and a slab of ancient oak for the second, which is a few inches longer than the first. I used disparate methods for building each.
I made the walnut knife from two pieces of 3/4″ stock laminated together to make setting the blade much easier – even though the final thickness was 1–1/8″. I traced my pattern on both pieces and cut out the shape of the handle. Using a knife and chisel, I excavated a void matching the shaft of a Swiss blade purchased at a woodworking store on the two inner faces that were to be glued together in the final assembly. When the fit was perfect, I glued the whole package together with hide glue, with the knife blade embedded in and protruding about 1″ from the long handle.
For the oak-handled knife, I started with a 6/4 slab, then traced and cut out the shape I wanted. When I was satisfied with the overall shape, I sliced it lengthwise on the band saw. Recycling an old chip-carving blade, I excavated a pocket for the knife haft, then temporarily tack-glued the two pieces back together to shape the handle. (This is unlike the first knife when I assembled the knife and then shaped it.)
With spokeshaves and files I shaped the handle to my preference, inserted the blade and glued the whole thing back together with hot hide glue. After shaping the business ends and adding compression-fitting brass ferrules, I coated both handles with shellac and wax, made the leather blade guards and called them complete.
My skill at using the shoulder knife is growing, but it is not yet to the degree where it is second-nature. But classical marqueteurs probably used it about the way we would use a scalpel for cutting filigree in paper.
One of the main differences between the manner of creating marquetry between the way I did it for decades and the way that Roubo practiced the art has to do with the assembling the compositional elements into the background. I had previously always sawn them together in fairly typical tarsia a encastro technique, and frankly it is still the practice where I feel the most comfort. But for Roubo and his contemporaries, the elements were often set into the background by scribing the element’s outline into the background with a shoulder knife after the background had been glued to the substrate.
This is in great measure the definition of David Pye’s “workmanship of risk.” Careful examination of enough old pieces of marquetry will indeed reveal instances where the knife got away from the marqueter.
— Meghan Bates
Filed under: Uncategorized
This week’s book giveaway is for Michael Crow’s “Mid-Century Modern Furniture: Shop Drawings & Techniques for Making 29 Projects.” The book includes mid-century modern furniture plans for a number of great projects by designers like Hans Wegner, George Nelson, Borge Mogensen, George Nakashima, Finn Juhl and others. We published this book a couple of years ago and lately I’ve been revisiting it because I’m currently working on Michael’s new book – a book […]
In this series on mills and bits for digital woodworkers, I introduced the basics of end mill and router bit design. If you missed it, here’s the introduction and parts one, two and three. With the basics completed, it’s time to focus on which mills work best for specific purposes. One of the best uses for a CNC is for cutting parts so, let’s see what mills and bits work […]
The post CNC Tooling Basics — Mills & Bits for Cutting Wood Parts appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
In some circles, all you need to say is one word – “Brimfield” and people know you mean the 3-times-a-year event in the Massachusetts town of that name. Flea market, antiques fair – not sure what to call it. Home-schooling means you can haul your kids to something like this & call it “cultural history”, “sociology”, “economics” or just a nice spring day looking at all kinds of who-knows-what you’ll see. we just stayed a few hours, which means we saw a fraction of it. May, July & September. Runs for days…a great slice of the world…
a very nice, small Windsor chair. $25. I left it there, we’re over-run with chairs at home.
Saw some very nice baskets – again, I don’t need to start collecting old baskets. This one I shoulda bought, though…
These southern ones are also very nice.
we used to see lots of eastern-European woodwork there, now there’s an influx of sub-Continental stuff. Or so a general overview seems. I’m mostly ignorant about this work, But these carved panels in this door were excellent.
There’s too many other pictures. if you’re inclined, they’re loaded here as a gallery.
A Powerful Tool for a More Enlightened Age
This week I show you how to sharpen a vintage pattern maker’s gouge, also known as an incannel gouge. Then I show you 5 examples where I’ve found them to be really useful in my own woodworking adventures. Oh yeah and we have a fun little history lesson on the Pattern Maker thrown in just so you can get your continuing education credits for the week.
More Old Tools Get New LivesHere are some other old and unusual tools I’ve come to love and how I put them back to work, plus more sharpening stuff cause you guys can’t get enough of that:
I was finally able to carve out another few hours to get the two workbenches ready to go for use as tables at Handworks.
My first task was to get the last two legs fitted and trimmed, then I had both benches up on their feet. I trimmed the ends with my 10″ Milwaukee circular saw and spent about an hour total rough flattening the tops with a fore plane.
With that done I drilled a number of holes for holdfasts and fitted the planing stop on the one bench I will be keeping. I have to consult again with the LoC folks before doing any more to theirs.
And, it was a functional workbench. After Handworks I will do the final truing of the top, add a crochet and shelf to mine and stick it in the shop.
With that I stuck a pair of horses underneath one bench, and using a block saved just for that purpose, drove out the legs. Then I lifted the end of the second bench up on to the first bench top sitting on the horses and drove out the first pair of its legs. I slid the bench top onto the first one up to the second pair of legs and drove them out too.
The whole pile now sits close to the door, ready to head off to Iowa. And the time card read 24 hours.
Yep, one guy, two workbenches, in three days.
The materials I used are American Black Walnut and solid brass for the base, I didn’t use epoxy for lamination of the brass to wood as epoxy is brittle and eventually will break away.
Instead I used loctite 330. Other materials used are Beech with brass inserts for the knobs and Camphour Laurel for the blade holder and lastly a knurled thumbscrew to lock the blade.
The iron is O1 tool steel and hardened to RC62, the primary bevel angle is 25°, the back of the blade has been flattened and the blade sharpened. This blade requires no work and is ready to use out of the box.
The sole of the plane has also been flattened.
This tool as all my woodworking is entirely handmade including the shaping of the iron and it’s preparation not even a grinder touched it.
As this is not a tool making business but just a hobby it’s a one off sale, I had surplus material and didn’t want to see it go to waste and liked it so much I thought I’d build another.
All the proceeds of this sale will go towards building myself a decent workbench.
Price is AUD $140 which includes FREE standard shipping Australia wide only.
Payment is to be made by bank transfer, paypal asks way too much in fees and my price hasn’t been adjusted to accommodate paypal’s demands.
A note to international buyers, shoot me an email handmadeuniqueclocks (at) gmail.com with your zip or postal code and I will get a shipping quote for you.
Having built this project twice you’d think it would go faster the second time round but it didn’t. Building this plane was time consuming but well worth the effort and I’ve come to appreciate tool makers and understand why they charge what they do. Even if I used all their fancy machinery I don’t believe I could of built it any faster.
Toolmakers charge accordingly because labour cost is the culprit like in any manufacturing business and if I were to include labour plus overheads, then this plane would exceed $300 easily. If you think I’m making money on this think again, I know I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again, youtube can be very misleading. No tool can be made for $10, materials don’t fall from the sky irrespective of which country you live in, the lights in your shop isn’t free, knowledge and skill cannot be downloaded and installed by watching a video. All of this plus more comes to a hefty price tag, but all of us continue to pay it because we love our craft and will continue to do so because of this love we have for our craft. So be truthful with yourselves and others and don’t follow the misguided concept of those who mislead others through youtube. You don’t have to reveal what it cost you , just don’t say it cost you $10 so you can get more subscribers, likes and hits. By doing so, you are doing a disservice to many businesses out there who are struggling to stay afloat.
Take care everyone.
In this excerpt from “The Practical Workshop: A Woodworker’s Guide to Workbenches, Layout & Tools,” Christopher Schwarz discusses how the book can help you build your practical workshop quickly and effectively – so you can spend less time setting up your space and more time woodworking. Over the years I’ve seen some of the most incredible (and humble) workshops all over the planet. Human nature being what it is, it’s easiest to […]
I might know more than your typical home center employee, but not more than this guy.
Warning: rated R for language and content, and NSFW. Luckily, it’s Friday. Have a great weekend.
I was going to leave them like this because this is a frame that will hang on the wall in my wife's office. After reading a couple of comments and getting a huge blown pic of a spline in an email from a friend, I changed my mind. Fixing that is what I did tonight. These set backs are inconsequential as there is no dead line for this to be completed.
|there is a 5 1/2 in there|
|set up overnight|
|sawed the bad splines off as close to frame as I could|
|the bad spline|
|this is toast|
|new spline stock|
|new splines cooking|
|tote and knob from new old 5 1/2|
|this isn't a type 11 lever cap|
|both sides are clean looking|
|lateral adjust is way too loose for my liking|
|the frog adjust tab|
|iron advance knob|
|bar keeps first|
I haven't used this plane yet and I already like it. I like the width of this much more than that of the #5. The only problem I see with this is I don't have a hole to put it in under my workbench. (That is where I keep my bench planes) This may force my had because I've been thinking about making a till to keep all my planes in one spot. Right now they are spread out around the shop in 4 different places.
How many US Presidents were Quakers?
answer - two Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon
In another of the detailed construction drawing sprinkled throughout L’art du Menuisier Roubo presents Print 273, “Developments [Details] of the Buffet Represented in the Previous Plate.” Here he shows the precise schematics and cross sections of the assembly and especially the interrelation of the joinery and the moldings used to create a beautiful armoir or buffet.
Like a great many of these pages Roubo both drew the illustration and engraved the printing plate himself.
Due to some staining just inside the left border of the print this one is probably in fair condition, as is reflected in the price.
If you have ever wanted to own a genuine piece of Rouboiana, this is your chance. I will be selling this print at Handworks on a first-come basis, with terms being cash, check, or Paypal if you have a smart phone and can do that at the time of the transaction.
There’s nothing quite as annoying as having a cherished piece of furniture that ends up with a white ring from an errant glass or cup. Many of us end up living with the problem and cursing under our breath, but you don’t have to do that anymore. Josh Klein has the answer. In this short video, part of 10 Essential Furniture Repairs, Josh walks us through the steps to fix […]
The post VIDEO: How to Remove White Rings & Haze From Finishes and Furniture appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
When the doors open at Handworks 2017 at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 19, here’s a list of the stuff we’ll have in limited supply. In other words, stop by early to avoid disappointment. Also, please don’t ask us to reserve items for you via email@example.com or phone calls to John. To be fair to all of our customers, it’s first-come-first-served.
H.O. Studley Posters
These 13” x 19” posters are printed on 80 lb. recycled paper with a matte aqueous coating (in other words, they aren’t shiny like your Farrah Fawcett poster from high school). The poster features an image taken by Narayan Nayar during our work for the book “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of H.O. Studley.” Both Narayan and the author, Don Williams, will be at Handworks, so you can track them down to get yours signed.
We’re bringing about 1,000 of these posters, which will be $20 each. We’ll have kraft paper and tape on hand so you can roll your own protective covering (we don’t have the room in our trailer for mailing tubes). After Handworks, we will sell these posters in the online store.
Crucible Improved Pattern Dividers
Raney and John have been working every day to finish and assemble dividers for Handworks. We hope to have 130 pairs or so to sell at Handworks. If we don’t sell out, these will go up in the online store as well. As you might know, we have had a heck of a time getting these made to keep up with demand. After this batch, I suspect we are going to retool the process (again), so this might be the last time we’ll have dividers for a while.
Crucible Design Curves
When I’m not editing or building, I’m sanding these design curves to get the sets ready for Handworks. We’ll be selling a set of three for $37 and they will come in a protective box suitable for traveling. I hope to have 250 sets of curves ready for handworks with another 750 sets ready soon after the show.
We are bringing our full line of books, plus a variety of American-made T-shirts for Lost Art Press and Crucible. Because books are heavy, we can tow only so much. As a result, if you are there to get a particular book so you can get it signed by one of the many Lost Art Press authors in attendance, don’t tarry.
Authors who have told us they’re attending:
Nancy Hiller (she’ll be signing her book in our booth at 2 p.m. Saturday)
Wesley Tanner (the designer of our Roubo and Studley volumes)
Narayan Nayar (photographer for the Studley book)
And me (duh).
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Uncategorized
Do you, like me, find hand tool woodworking intriguing? Do you wonder how the old masters went about their work? Are you curious to know what lessons can be applied to today’s practices? If so, With All the Precision Possible is the book you’ve been waiting for.
Andre-Jacob Roubo, 18th century Parisian joiner, wrote many works detailing then-current and past woodworking methods and tools, including his much-celebrated and previously-translated work on marquetry. But for cabinetmakers, this tome contains the material you will most want to devour.
The post Book Review – With All the Precision Possible: Roubo on Furniture appeared first on Woodworking Blog.
One of the things about the Allegheny Highlands of Virginia is the abundance of rocks. Everywhere. Even when preparing the soil for gardening a roto-tiller is pretty much useless as watermelon-sized (and larger) boulders lurk just under the surface.
On the other hand there is plenty of raw material for masonry and dry-stack stone walls. Fortunately for us locals there is an artist in stacked stone, DanielH, who, perhaps not coincidentally, has the physique of a power lifter. We have long noticed a gradual collapse of a retaining wall around the old spring near the cabin, and after being on Daniel’s waiting list the day finally arrived for him and his helper to come and rebuild it.
I’m not sure how well this shows up in photos, but a few short hours of their skilled ministrations and the wall looked a-new. Not being one to backseat-drive I left them to their work while I was up in the barn. By the time I came down the hill for lunch they had un-stacked and re-stacked the wall properly. I do not know how long the previous iteration has been there, but I am pretty sure the new configuration will last for generations.
Not content to leave it at this tiny project we decided to commission him to build a retaining wall leading into the root cellar. They hand-dug the excavation for that and will build up the inventory of rocks needed to chisel and fit them into a finished wall in the coming days.
There is something truly impressive about watching a mesomorph balletic-ally maneuver a nearly half-ton rock delicately into place.
by Lonnie Bird pages 39-41 From the November 2004 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine Much of woodworking is joinery: An edge-to-edge joint is used to join two or more boards to create a tabletop, dovetails are carefully cut and fit to create a box for a chest of drawers. And the corners of a door frame are joined with a mortise-and-tenon joint. However, whether it’s a simple butt joint or a […]
In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking we meet Craig Thibodeau and get an insight into what drives this woodworking professional. Along the way we hear marketing ideas and learn the details for his upcoming book (2018).
Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Glen talks with various guests about all things woodworking and some things that are slightly off topic.
|I had to re-glue 3 corners twice|
|one corner is slightly off the bench|
|it looks like it is flat to the workbench|
|passed the last test|
|two saw cuts|
|worked and didn't work|
|found a thin scrap of poplar|
I clamped the far end and planed the opposite one with the 4 1/2. I got a slip fit after a few trial checks.
|not snug and not loose|
|this surprised me a lot|
I had to use the hammer on the other 3 splines too. With the hide glue I expected it to act like a lubricant and have the spline slide down into position. I know hide glue grabs and pulls parts together but I didn't expect it to happen so quickly.
|I'll trim these tomorrow|
|bottom is done|
|not done yet|
Who was the first US President not born in Virginia or Massachusetts?
answer - Andrew Jackson