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Let’s Make Finger Sandwiches!

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 5:48pm


Last month we hosted Nancy Hiller, the author of “Making Things Work,” for an evening of literary readings, children’s games that got the local prostitutes worked up, and a beating of the “biscuit joiner that refused to die.”

Here are the details of the evening:

This was our first real literary event in our 11 years of doing business. I have found that typically, reading step-by-step instructions out loud from a woodworking book will not get women to throw their bras on stage. So why bother with readings?

Nancy’s book, however, is one of those special books that simply begs to be heard from the tongue of the author, like a David Sedaris book.


So we fed the audience beer and wine (no, we didn’t make cucumber finger sandwiches) and Nancy read selections from her book and answered questions from the audience.

If this were a typical literary event, this is when everyone would stumble home to cuddle with Proust, or cover their naked bodies with pages ripped from Jane Austen’s “Mansfield Park.”

Nancy had other ideas.


She concocted a game of “pin the tail on the dove.” Blindfolded participants had to pin a tail on a large-scale drawing of a dove. During the game, some of the local prostitutes watched us play the game through the window like it was surely a scene from “Eyes Wide Shut.” And as I blindfolded yet another middle-aged man and gently guided him to the back of the room by his shoulders, I got a big thumbs-up from the working women outside.

The finale was a pinata of a biscuit joiner that Nancy had made – filled with tiny plastic bottles of booze and little bits of ephemera that related to “Making Things Work.” Destroying the biscuit joiner took about 30 minutes of effort (and switching to a bigger stick).

And yay – this time the cops didn’t come.

Thanks so much to Nancy for being such a good sport and putting on a great evening. I hope we can publish a book some day that is worthy of another reading.

— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

77 and still making planes by hand!

Journeyman's Journal - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 4:00pm

Maybe you’ve heard of him or maybe you haven’t. His name is Bill Carter an Englishman gentleman, 77 years old and still makes planes by hand.

He makes wooden planes of all sorts including miniature moulding planes and he also makes infill planes and once again all by hand.  No machinery used to cut the metal dovetails. A simple hacksaw, a blunt chisel and a file is all he needs to produce beautiful and very antique looking planes.

They’re not cheap though and I wouldn’t expect them to be, but as an investment if you could afford them they’re worth every penny.

On his website he shows how he makes them, a lot of great tips so worth a look.

After he’s  gone these planes will be worth 4 times the price and it will only increase in value.  It will be a sad day though as he’s probably the last tool maker who purely works by hand.


Categories: Hand Tools

European Woodworking Show 2017, this weekend!!!

David Barron Furniture - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 11:18am

Yes it's here at last, the biggest and best, quality hand tool show in the UK, maybe even the world!!
The setting is in and around the wonderful 12th C Cressing Temple Barns in Essex.
Tool makers and demonstrators from around the world will be attending and this is one show not to miss, especially as this is the last!
See pictures from the 2015 show here


The show is open from 10.00 - 5.00 pm on Saturday 16th and 10.00 am - 4.00 pm on Sunday 17th.
Hope to see you there!
Categories: Hand Tools

Calling B&^^%@*t on Lost Art Press

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 10:54am

LAP_logo2_940Alternative headline: Is it too early to start drinking?

Comment from a reader: I have to express my displeasure with your book sales process. For someone in search of increasing his/her knowledge of the craft, you miss a key point that I knew over my four decades as a teacher; books are meant to be used and consumed. Schools at all levels have a misguided policy of buying and reselling books, or renting books and fining students for any “damage” they imparted on the physical item. Books, in order to be truly useful to a learner, should be marked, highlighted, bent, etc. A book is meant to be used up.

For a woodworker hoping to apply knowledge in the shop, it does no good to have a collectable book, with cloth bindings and heavy weight paper.  While I can appreciate that for some pieces of literature, instructional books that cost $40+ dollars are like creating an amazing workshop, then keeping it in pristine condition; no dust, no dents, no signs of use in fear of diminishing its original, valued condition.

The cheaper version of a PDF leaves one with the option of running back and forth between computer and shop, or printing out perhaps hundreds of pages to be transported and marked for reference.  Neither is really a viable option in an instructional setting.

Making a more affordable paperback version would meet the needs of many, if not most woodworkers.  If you were truly committed to educating those who wish to take up and preserve the craft, why would you not offer that option?

Response: Not sure what the point is you are making. I think what you are saying is that a book that costs $40+ dollars is by default a collectable and not used, dented and show signs of wear. We at Lost Art Press want everyone to use our books. All of my books show wear. We are not collectors, nor are we trying to create a market for collectors.

The books cost what they cost. We do the best we can with materials to produce a book that will last as long as the information contained in it. We also want the best information we can produce so given these two criteria the books come out at the prices we list.

We don’t build furniture with cheap plywood and MDF… we build everything we do with the best quality we can. I will grant you that both Deluxe Roubo books we put out could be collectibles, but that is why we do trade editions.

Lastly we are a business. If we don’t make money we stop producing books. We are not working so that everyone in the woodworking world can have the information we produce on the cheap. Our books are a bargain at the prices we charge.

And Back at Us: You either missed the point completely, or, more likely, the issue is about profit.  “Books cost what they cost…” profound! My point is that it would be appreciated by many who seek instruction to have options somewhere between a PDF and instruction “printed on heavy #80-pound matte coated paper. The book is casebound and sewn so it lasts a long time. The hardback boards are covered in cotton cloth with a black matte stamp.”  

The point is that masters of woodworking make their instructional materials available in paperback form for a reasonable profit. Why? For the preservation of the craft! For those who want to learn from someone as accomplished as Jim Tolpin, #80-pound matte paper doesn’t matter.  It’s his revelations about the craft and its design that he hoped to pass along to others, not to have his work preserved in a cotton cloth hardboard cover. LAP’s 1st priority seems to be the profit to be made from selling a high item.

I don’t expect you to lower the price of these items; I’m just calling bullshit on what you’re attempting to do. Educators make knowledge more readily affordable.

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

How to Make Vintage Linoleum Countertops – Part 1

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 8:14am

This is the first post in a series. Today we’ll have an introduction and list of the basic tools and materials you’ll need to complete a typical linoleum countertop project. Next week we’ll cover the process of prepping, adhering, trimming, and edging. Do you need a counter solution that’s durable, handsome and affordable – one you can make yourself? Consider linoleum. I moved into my home when it was a […]

The post How to Make Vintage Linoleum Countertops – Part 1 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

On Our Return From the Wild Kingdom, We Continue Milking the Auction.

The Furniture Record - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 8:11am

Back to the auction gallery.

There were a few other auction items worthy of attention. First is this:

American Chippendale Blanket Chest.

Description: Late 18th century, white pine dove tailed case, lid with fishtail hinges and applied molded edge, interior with till to left side (lacking lid), base with two side by side lipped drawers, raised on ogee bracket feet with spurs.

Size: 29.5 x 48.5 x 23 in.

Condition: Wear and marring to top; missing lock; later pulls; feet have lost some height.


This lot has sold for $310.

They called it a blanket chest while others might consider it a mule chest. The argument is that the drawers make it a mule chest but others say mule chests must be taller. Who knows?

Some interesting details:


Dovetailed case.


Dovetailed drawers.


Drawer bottoms chamfered and pinned.


Convex bracket feet.

Till lid is missing. Saw cuts were used to make the dados for the till and mortises for the hinges:


Note the saw cuts by the hinges and till. They were not afraid of over cutting.

The breadboards on the lid are very narrow and really seem to be wide moldings more than ends designed to keep the lid flat.


Are the breadboard ends wide enough to keep the lid in one plane?

Interestingly, they are attached with through tenons:


Through tenons to attach the ends.

For a minute I thought the tenons were wedged but a closer look showed me that it wasn’t a wedge but a pinned tenon that suffered a break in the end grain where the pin came too close to the end of the tenon:


The tenon failed where pinned.

I like the pulls…


Even if they are replacements.

Next up is this:

Cherry Dovetailed Blanket Chest

Description: 19th century, hinged top with applied rounded edge, interior with till, applied molded base with turned peg feet.

Size: 23 x 38 x 18.5 in.

Condition: Later hinges with break outs and repairs; moth ball smell to interior; surface scratches.


This lot has sold for $90.

There carcass is dovetailed. Really. Email me if you need to see the pictures.

I haven’t shown any secret compartments for a while so I owe you this.

There is a till on the left. Thetill appears shallower than the till front board would lead you to believe:


The till seems like it should be deeper. Ignore the scuff marks above till’s front board.

Not all that much or a secret really.


The front board is captive but slides up a bit to reveal a shallow secret compartment.

Note the arc of a groove on the chest’s lid caused by using the till lid as a stop.

Odd to find a boarded chest at a “better” auction but, here it is:

American Grain Bin

Description: 19th century, white pine, hinged lid, divided interior with two compartments, straight legs from the solid with half-moon cut.

Size:  26.5 x 30 x 16.5 in.

Condition: Rat chew to lid and front boards; tin patch to left side.


This lot has sold for $160.

This piece had some remodeling done:

George III Chest of Drawers

Description: Early 19th century, mahogany, pine secondary, converted originally from a commode / wash stand, now with four graduated drawers, with a bracket foot base.

Size: 30 x 26 x 20 in.

Condition: Converted from wash stand to chest of drawers; later pulls; wear and chipping.


This lot has sold for $700.

You see, in this chest, the two doors were rebuilt into two drawers. Original lower drawers are dovetailed:


Original lower drawers are dovetailed.

Improvised upper drawers are dovetail-free:


No dovetails on the new(ish) drawers.

Looking at the upper drawer fronts tells the story of its origin:


This is not traditionally how you build drawer fronts but it is how you build doors.

In review, this chest was initially built with two drawers below with two doors on top. The doors were cut up and converted into two drawer front giving the chest four drawers.

I like this sring pull, too.


Might not be original but it works.

Finally, apparently no recent blog of mine is complete without a Hitchcock chair. This blog is no exception:

James L. Ferguson’s Hamilton College Hitchcock Chair

Description: Late 20th century, black lacquered wood with gilt and painted decoration, back support with early scene of Hamilton College and signed S. Marshall, stenciled on seat rail “L. Hitchcock, Hitchcocks-ville Conn., Warranted” and gilt signed “James L. Ferguson ’49, Charter Trustee 1973-1988.”

Size: 31 x 24 x 16 in.

Condition: Some scuffs and light wear; overall good estate condition.


This lot has sold for $140.

And here is the obligatory picture of the genuine stenciled logo:


Stencil variation circa 1988.


This is what makes it a presentation chair.





took it easy.....

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 4:16am
The gash I gave myself yesterday is healing ok. The steri-strips kept the wound closed while I slept and when I awoke this morning there were only two small spots of blood on the bandage. I'll change them after I shower tonight because I doubt steri-strips can survive a shower.

I didn't get much done in the shop today but I did have a late day burst working on the 71 box. I figured out how to stow the three irons. I am still waiting on the screws to come in for the fence so that will hold up being 100% done with the box. Maybe I'll get them tomorrow.

made a change with the banding
This plain square bottom banding is history.

this will replace it
I have enough stock left over to make another set to wrap the box.

checking the two pieces
The stock I had wasn't long enough to make all 3 pieces of the banding needed. I had to make it in two and I'm planing the second one until it feels the same as the other one.

4 1/2 feet of molding shavings
yikes! the left hand molding came out like crap
right end molding (bottom) came out ok
4 1/2 isn't wide enough to use on the jig going R or L
#8 fits
This did work but the left of the jig was a bit high the plane iron was stopping on it. I didn't want to try to fix that now and set it aside.

surprisingly, this worked very well
I had to take one more trimming run
I should have left myself a bit more wiggle room on this. I barely sawed this to rough  length long enough. Trimming the fuzz from the saw cut ate up past my wiggle room.

this should be more than enough wiggle room
I ripped out another piece and molded the edge again.

right corner dialed in to set the short side
I usually do my molding starting with a short side and working around till I come back to it. This time I set the two short ones and I'll trim and fit the long one to fit inbetween them.

first rough cut and check
sneaking up on the fit
an hour later
I am still a wee bit long and some of it I can adjust with the side one.

I'm happy with this fit
It is not perfect but close enough. I'll be painting this and sandpaper, putty, and a dark color will hide a lot of sins.

off the saw
Initially I was a bit off at the heel but towards the end I was dead nuts according to Mr Starrett.

how I snuck up on the fit
From the first rough cut on the left to the last one on the right. I erred very cautiously on the waste side. I didn't have any more stock to make another molding so did the fitting in turtle mode.

how I kept my placement of the molding
It started with putting 3 nails in the back of the molding.

clipped them off close
box lid lightly clapped shut
I put the spacer on the top, aligned it left and right, and pressed into the box.

two sides done
I screwed the molding to the box from the inside, no glue.

one more piece and this will be done
This molding looks a 100% better than the plain square molding there.

the 71 box
This is where the burst came in. It took me all morning and a couple of hours into the afternoon just to do the banding. I watched a few You Tube videos on the JFK assassination and over 50 years later the controversy surrounding his death still won't die. I don't believe Oswald did it and the researchers are finding more and more anomalies and holes with the Warren Commission report every time new documents are freed up  I was in the 6th grade just getting ready to go home when the news about his death was announced on the PA system.

got an idea for stowing the irons
nailed the miters
I glued the miters and further help keep them together, I nailed them too. Tomorrow I'll plane the corners flush and sand the beads. I'll putty the holes when I paint the box.

I screwed this down rather then glue it
two of the screws broke off
I can hide these two
These are the two holes with the broken screws and I can hide the both of them with storage doo-dads. I tried to get them out but both of them broke off below the surface of the bottom plywood.

first screw hole hidden

using hide glue for this in case I need to reverse or repair it
my iron storage idea
I had wanted to stow the irons this way since the beginning but I couldn't figure out how. The shafts on the irons are 3/8" square with the irons angled kitty corner rather then being 90° on a flat face. The diagonal facing iron was depriving my only two brain cells of oxygen and I was at a lost for a solution. I was stuck on working around the diagonal and I didn't need to be. I needed a square 3/8" hole and nothing more than that.

almost done
This worked good for me. The irons pivot out at an angle rather then being flat up against the wall of the box. This will allow me to grab an iron and take it out easily. I made the grooves a few frog hairs wider than 3/8".

Tomorrow I will plane and clean this up. I think I might have enough room on the right to put the fence there. If I don't I will make something else to hold the fence. I glued this and set aside to set up.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
The US $500 bill was discontinued in 1969 but they are still legal tender. Whose picture was on it?
answer - President William McKinley

Let’s get medieval

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 4:00am

Workshop of the Master of James IV of Scotland (Flemish, before 1465 – about 1541).           Wikimedia Commons

*first posted at Making Things Work

Research for English Arts and Crafts Furniture: Projects and Techniques for the Modern Maker* has entailed some spirited conversations with scholars of medieval literature and art. My readings on medieval European life without the benefit of Ruskin’s rose-tinted specs have touched on such seemingly unrelated subjects as church-based charity and prostitution in Paris.

So when I saw that St.John Starkie had posted a video on The Quiet Workshop about building a medieval pole lathe, I was intrigued. At a whopping 22 minutes and 41 seconds, it’s longer than your typical video in this day of Instagram hyperlapse, and (please don’t tell me you expected “but”) well worth watching. I found it visually mesmerizing as well as informative.

Minor mea culpa: However instructive the video component may be, my special guilty pleasure is the audio, which I find downright intoxicating. There’s something about the sounds of hand-tool woodworking when recorded through a mic that transports me into an alternate realm. It’s akin to lying in bed during a storm in someone else’s house: You can pull the covers up around you and sleep even more soundly than usual, comforted by your warm, safe situation. I’ve always found the equivalent storm experience far from soothing in my own house, where I worry that the roof might leak or be damaged by the wind. No wonder people who’ve never picked up a tool themselves wax romantic on the subject of making furniture for a living.–Nancy Hiller, author of Making Things Work

*working title; the book is scheduled for publication by Popular Woodworking in May 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

The Perfect Mortise and Tenon System

Paul Sellers - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 3:41am

Frame Joinery Press Release Over the years, more than two decades now, I’ve been encouraging woodworkers to adopt a method for perfecting tenons using the extraordinary adaptation of an otherwise ordinary hand tool. It’s not new anymore, but in the beginning, back in the late 1980s, it was quite new and not usual in any …

Read the full post The Perfect Mortise and Tenon System on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Kezurou-kai USA 2017 - Oakland, CA October 21 & 22

Giant Cypress - Sun, 09/10/2017 - 6:48pm
Kezurou-kai USA 2017 - Oakland, CA October 21 & 22:

This year’s Kezurou-kai USA will be held on the weekend of October 21-22 in Oakland, CA. Looks like it will be a great time. Andrew Hunter, Jay van Arsdale, Matt Connorton, Makoto Imai, and Yann Giguère are among the presenters. I wish I could make this one.

walnut joined stool assembled

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sun, 09/10/2017 - 6:15pm

It’s been ages and ages since I did any turning on a regular basis. I have a lot of it coming up this fall and winter, and in preparation for that work, I decided to start with some joined stools. The first one is in walnut instead of oak.

My lathe is the last piece in the workshop puzzle; as it is now, it’s been buried under/behind 2 chests, and all sorts of wood, projects, etc. So I shoved all that aside and turned these stiles recently. I started the first session with sharpening the gouges and skews, and turned one stile. So the next morning I did the other three. I’ve covered this stuff in the joined stool book and the wainscot chair video with Lie-Nielsen – but here’s some of it. First off, mark the centers on each end. I scribed the diagonal lines, then set a compass to see what size circle, and how centered it was (or wasn’t). I decided it needed a nudge a bit this way & that – so when I punched the center, I moved a little bit over.

Then rough out the cylindrical bits –

Then I use a story-stick to mark where to cut the various elements of the turnings, here one cove is cut and I’m lining up the stick to locate the other details.


I alternate between a skew chisel and narrow gouges to form the shapes.


Once I was finished with the turnings, time to bore the tenons for the pins, and assemble. Here, roman numerals ID the stretcher-to-stile.


Mark the joint, and bore the peg hole in the tenon.


No one, NO ONE, likes the way I shave pegs. I’ve done thousands this way, and it seems to work for me.


The peg-splitting & shaving tools; cleaver (riving knife) by Peter Ross; tapered reamer by Mark Atchison (for opening holes when the offset for drawboring is too severe), 2″ framing chisel.

Make a bunch of tapered pins and hammer them in one-by-one. I line it up over a hole in the bench so the pin can exit.

After assembling two sections, then knock in the angled side rails, and pin the whole thing.


Frame assembled, wants some walnut for the seat board. I have a wood-shopping trip coming up…I don’t have 11″ wide walnut around.

All the joined stool work is covered in detail in the book I did with Jennie Alexander – I have a few copies left for sale, (leave me a comment if you’d like to order one, $43 shipped in US) or get it from Lost Art Press – https://lostartpress.com/products/make-a-joint-stool-from-a-tree 

The New M&T Logo

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Sun, 09/10/2017 - 3:36pm

Mike and I have finally settled on a logo for M&T. We’ve spent two years going back and forth trying every idea under the sun: plane shavings, hand planes, joinery dissections, etc. None of it worked. We needed something dead simple that eluded to (but didn’t clobber you over the head with) the heartbeat of M&T. We knew the most effective logos (such as those of Apple, Nike, and Target) can be drawn in a few lines and are recognizable from across the room. After many abandoned designs, we decided on the one above. This drawing is from the title page of London-based painter and engraver William Hogarth’s 1753 book, The Analysis of Beauty. The image is simple, powerful, and beautiful. But what does it symbolize?

The Meaning Behind the Symbol

In 1745, William Hogarth painted a self-portrait with his pug. Lying on the painter’s palette prominently set in the foreground was an S-shaped three-dimensional line with an explanatory caption below: “The Line of Beauty”. Hogarth later said that “the bait soon took” and many artists came to him to inquire of the meaning resulting in “freequent explanations and disputes”. Hogarth made the case that the waving line, found all throughout nature, was “ornamental and pleasing” requiring a “lively movement of the hand” to draw. It was the Line of Beauty.

Hogarth expounded his case in The Analysis of Beauty which he said was “written with a view of fixing the fluctuating IDEAS OF TASTE”. The book set forth six principals of beauty: FITNESS, VARIETY, UNIFORMITY, SIMPLICITY, INTRICACY, and QUANTITY. He explained that these elements work together to create true beauty. In his view, although all these principals were to be balanced together, the waving and serpentine lines made the biggest visual impact. Hogarth’s biographer, Ronald Paulson, has explained that the Line of Beauty was “a synecdoche for his theory and its crucial terms of variety, intricacy, and pleasure. It was his theory reduced to a hieroglyph.”

Not all waving lines are created equal, however. To illustrate the ideal curvature, Hogarth showed seven cabriole chair legs, the first three of which were “mean and poor” (too straight) and the last three of which were “gross and clumsy” (too curvy). The ideal curvature for a cabriole leg was depicted as number four.

Because of the importance of the waving line in his system, Hogarth composed an illustration that sat on the title page of Analysis. This emblem depicted the serpentine Line of Beauty set inside a transparent glass pyramid atop a plinth inscribed with the word “VARIETY”. Of the pyramid shape, Hogarth wrote, “Observe, that a gradual lessening is a kind of varying that gives beauty. The pyramid diminishing from its basis to its point [is a] beautiful form… There is no object composed of straight lines, that has so much variety, with so few parts, as the pyramid: and it is its constantly varying from its base gradually upwards in every situation of the eye.”

One scholar has said this symbol was “emblematic of and embodying Hogarth’s ideas espoused in his work” and was “a synthetic visual demonstration of the argument of his text.” In his preface, Hogarth explained how the two elements in the logo come together to symbolize the essence of beauty: “the triangular form of the glass, and the serpentine line itself, are the two most expressive figures that can be thought of to signify not only beauty and grace, but the whole order of form.”

We at M&T celebrate the SIMPLICITY of historic craft process, eschewing elaborate machining processes and complicated jigs. A major part of that includes embracing the VARIETY (in dimension, tool mark texture, etc) inherent in hand tool work. We’ve decided to adopt the drawing (sans the plinth) as M&T’s official logo because it perfectly depicts the beautiful fusion of SIMPLICITY and VARIETY.

This logo, shown on the first page of Issue Three, will also be featured on our merchandise in the future. Yes, stickers and shirts are coming.


- Joshua


Categories: Hand Tools

Reproduction Wall Clock

Journeyman's Journal - Sun, 09/10/2017 - 3:26pm

This clock is called a Pomeroy Wall Clock. It was first built in 1886 by CT. Hartford, there are only three originals in existence. The original is only 3/16″ thick and from memory if I’m not mistaken about 27.5″ long x 10″ wide but don’t quote me as I reproduced the original almost 19 years ago.

I did about two reproductions before I decided to make some changes to beef it up as I felt it was too fragile looking and in needed of a serious upgrade.

My dimensions and these are only in the ball park were 60″x 18″x 3/4″. The whole Clock was scrolled and being so thick I broke a ton of blades in the process. I used sandwich parts that were identical which would make it even thicker and harder to scroll. There were plenty of corners that needed to come to a sharp point and only a thin blade could do it, that’s why I broke a lot of blades in the process.

You see many people using CNC machinery for their scroll work. I never went in that direction for two reasons, my clocks had to be done by hand, it needed that personal human element to it. The other reason is that cnc burns the edges and cannot create sharp corners and points, only a hand can do that. The scrolling takes about 8 hours solid going at it very fast or 12 hours at a steady pace. The whole clock would take about a week and half to complete including the finish.

There are about eight through tenons and mortises that held this clock together. The lower half where the stalk is had the longest shoulder as the tenon was smack in the middle. This shoulder had to be perfect as gaps would show on the show side.

Unfortunately a battery powered chime movement was used which made it affordable for the average person. If one wanted to use a mechanical movement then the whole clock would have to be redesigned to accomodate it. You build clocks around the movement your going to use, battery powered movements eliminates that need.

This clock you see in the picture was one I built a couple of years ago for a customer in Switzerland. I made countless of them as they were one of most popular wall clocks. I still have plans for many more I never got to build as the popular ones were mostly in production so I couldn’t introduce anything new to the market.

I would normally build a mockup and just look at it and see what changes need to be made. You can make one in 3D on screen but nothing beats one in real life. If I was satisfied with its looks I would go ahead with its production. At first I used to ask people if they like what they saw. I eventually stopped that because everyone has different tastes and you can’t please everyone.

Categories: Hand Tools

Roman Workbenches & the Trail of Artworks

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 09/10/2017 - 1:22pm


I don’t know when it happened, but at some point in the research for the book on Roman workbenches, it became a text that would feel at home in the “art history” section of a bookstore.

Researcher Suzanne Ellison, who has a deep love of art, and I spent months poring over texts that discussed Roman and early German tools and woodworking for the letterpress edition of “Roman Workbenches.” After we completed that book, I switched gears to finish up work on other authors’ books (and some furniture commissions).

Suzanne, however, expanded the scope of her research and began finding paintings, drawings and mosaics that dealt with the low-style workbench that I had never seen. And not only were they from Europe, but they also came from the New World, especially South America.

I could barely keep up with the pace of her research. Before I could fully digest a series of paintings to sort through their interesting bits, she had already dumped another load in my inbox. This crazy pace has continued for the last nine months.

After discussing hundreds of paintings, we narrowed our scope to ones that were truly representative of a long-term pattern. Or ones that showed methods of workholding that were, quite frankly, shocking to me.

As a result, this book – an expanded edition of “Roman Workbenches” – has become something far greater. It is a survey of early workholding methods that were used on simple and low workbenches for almost 2,000 years. Many of these workholding devices are incredibly simple – like the doe’s foot – but also incredibly effective. If you’re reading this blog, you probably agree with the statement that early artisans were incredibly clever and resourceful.

And this book has gotten much bigger. So big, that I wonder if I should even call it “Roman Workbenches” anymore.

During the coming months I’m going to share some of the gold that Suzanne dug up, along with some of the dead ends. The painting at the top of this entry was right up the road from me in Indianapolis and almost made me wet myself.

— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com

Filed under: Roman Workbenches, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Another Hot-Sand Inlay

360 WoodWorking - Sun, 09/10/2017 - 6:07am
Another Hot-Sand Inlay

In the last online course released from 360 Woodworking (Inlaid Tea Caddy), hot sand was used to shade pieces of veneer to make rays for quarter, round and oval fans. This past week I was back at it to make a different hot-sand inlay for an upcoming project, a Pembroke Table. The legs of the table are strung, have a small inlaid circle to cover a pivot point for the stringing and have a cuff band, in addition to the sand-shaded inlay.

Continue reading Another Hot-Sand Inlay at 360 WoodWorking.

Week in Review – Sept 3-10

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sun, 09/10/2017 - 2:54am

This week we recieved a lot of great feedback from the propane forge video that we posted to facebook. It’s a simple project to get you started forging for under $100. If you enjoy that clip, you must check out the rest of the video, Build a Viking Tool Chest. We also announced the winner of the Popular Woodworking Magazine Excellence awards. The Editor’s Choice went to Al Spicer for […]

The post Week in Review – Sept 3-10 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

a bloody saturday.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 09/10/2017 - 2:49am
I'm not talking british bloody here but the actual red liquid stuff that is supposed to stay inside the body. I put a boo-boo on both forearms today. One is a minor scratch and the other was deep gash and wouldn't stop bleeding. Every time I got it stopped and I starting working again, it would start flowing. Very annoying but after a couple of hours I finally got it stopped for good. Dealing with this put a dent in my shop time but at least I didn't have to make an ER run. Going to the emergency room would have curtailed working for most of the day.

Ohio tool catalog
The molding plane iron that I am sharpening now is for a #64 Ohio tool molding plane. According to the catalog it is a grecian ovolo with a fillet. (The top profile on the right)  I've been looking for an Ohio Tool catalog for a while with no luck. Josh at Hyperkitten usually has a selection of catalogs for sale but so far nothing from Ohio Tool.

stock to complete the dust seal
When I looked at Paul Sellers's video on the tool box build he had another piece of stock under the lid. He said it strengthened the box and made a dust seal. I can see the strengthen part but not the latter. The lid drops down over the box on 3 sides so that is a dust seal too.

I chamfered the overhang
leaves a gap I don't like
The chamfer isn't that large and I have two choices with making it go away. One is to saw off the side and the front pieces and make a new one. Two, plane the chamfer off.

the first cut on my left forearm
This isn't more than a scratch and I ignored it.

removed the back hinge rail
I thought I would replace this but I changed my mind and put it back on. The two ends are beveled but it is at the back and won't interfere with the lid opening or closing once I get the bottom half of the dust seal installed.

this is not a scratch
 Initially I got the blood flow stemmed but being stupid, I kept on working. And it would open up and start to bleed again. This is where my wife spent a lot of money to get some wound closing steri-strips along with a plethora of other bandage crappola. I think chinese for lunch helped with stopping the blood too. Maybe chow mien has a natural clotting effect.

the culprit
You would think that I would have learned something on the first scratch caused by this iron.  Like maybe take it out of the holder and put on the bench. Hmm, that made sense so that is why I mind farted that idea and just swore at it the first time. By the way, both were caused by me walking by it.
After I opened the second nice sized wound, I did take my head out of my arse and put it on the bench.

a couple of hours later
This is a Stanley 102 which I use for shit jobs like this. I did the first run around the lid just to remove the paint.

planed the inside too
The lid was a bit snug as it closes on the box. I used my bullnose plane and made a few runs on the inside of the lid.

reversed myself
I stopped playing with the toolbox and finished sharpening the iron that wounded me. There are no spring lines on the toe and I wasn't sure of how to plane this profile. I measured the plane width and nailed a scrap to run the plane against. It worked and I was able to plane the profile but I sensed that this isn't the correct way to do this.

ledge, hook, thing-a-ma-bob, what is this called
I hooked this on the edge of another piece of stock and planed away. I started with the plane tilted slightly upright and I slowly moved it inboard and down as I planed until it stopped making shavings. This way felt like it was the way to do it.

second profile done

profiles match up perfectly
 I will save these and they will be definitely used for something. I like this profile a lot. This is the perfect size to use as a band molding on a top that overhangs something.

back to the box
I got the front mitered to length. The sides are oversized and will be trimmed to size after the front is on.

my spacer
I saved this thin piece of pine and I'm going to use it as spacer between the top and bottom parts of the dust seal. I stopped here because I couldn't think of a way to hold the bottom piece's position while I screwed it from the inside. I don't want any nails or screws on the outside to show so I'll have to think of way to clamp it or something.

3/8" stock for the tills
The 5/16" resawn stock is history. I don't have the same skill set for resawing that Paul Sellers does. I hope to have it but for now I don't. I'll use 3/8" stock which I think is a better choice for a youngster.

it's working
It isn't pretty looking but I finally stopped bleeding. It's been a few hours and it is holding up.

UPS on a saturday
I didn't know that UPS did saturday deliveries. I didn't ask for one and this was free S/H from Lee Valley too.  When I had checked this online, it was scheduled for monday.

Lee Valley free shipping until the 11th
Got a brush and replacement irons for the 71.

1/4" and 1/8" irons
the Lee Valley irons are about a 1/2" longer
Lee Valley says in the catalog that these will fit the Stanley 71 and 71 1/2. You have to turn the thumb wheel screw around to do that.

tried two more molders
One of these is a 1/8" beader and the other one I don't have any idea what it is called. It looks like an astragal or beader depending upon how quickly you look at it. I had sharpened the iron and glued the boxing back in and forgot about it. I had no problems planing either of these profiles.

a flat, a bead, and a fillet
another grecian ovolo (bottom)
This is a dead on match for the first ovolo I did except for the fillet. This one has a flat where the fillet is on the other one.

the two ovolos
The sole profile on the non fillet ovolo doesn't look as deep as the fillet one but the profiles match up pretty good. This plane has no maker stamp and has the number 5 stamped on it besides a few different owners.

the two ovolo plane soles
last one
This is the one plane I wanted out of the 8 I won on the auction. This iron I will have to sharpen and hone. I'm finding that molding plane irons don't have to be anal retentive sharp like a bench plane iron in order to plane profiles. This iron is dull and rusty but yet it planed a good profile. It is clean and well defined end to end.

I may not be able to resaw worth a bucket of spit, but using molding planes is picking up for me. I tried five of them today and I went 5 for 5. The downside to that is I'm running out of room to stow them. My plane till is getting awfully crowded and making another one may get promoted to the A list.

Stanley 71 depth shoe
I found what I'm calling the depth shoe for the 71 in my Stanley catalogs. Some call it a special attachment and others call it an extra attachment. The cost of it in the Sweetheart catalog no. 120 was 50 cents. Still in the dark as to what it's intended purpose is.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is the largest single drop waterfall in the US?
answer -  the Ribbon Waterfall in Yosemite National Park

Plane-setting Hammer

The Barn on White Run - Sat, 09/09/2017 - 4:04pm

Recently when I was visiting plane maker extraordinaire Steve Voigt I had the chance to use his Sterling plane setting hammer, and I liked it and said to myself, “Self, you gotta have one of those.  Right now.”  Since even in the era of the interwebs, on-line purchasing does not provide instantaneous delivery so I got up the next morning and made a plane setting hammer for myself, using scrap from my inventory of stuff.

My first step was to take a piece of brass and turn one end of the head on my wood lathe, which is easy enough to do when using turning chisels set up as scrapers rather than turning gouges (virtually all of my turning is with beefy scrapers with very rare use of gouges; it’s an old habit from my early years in the pattern shop).  I then turned a wooden end of the head from a scrap of lignum vitae, then drilled and tapped both sections and screwed and epoxied them together.

Then I grabbed a piece of exotic wood from the waste bin (probably bubinga) and made a handle in about ten minutes.  I drilled the hole in the head through which the handle passed, then used material from an ivory piano key as the wedges for the handle in the head.  All told I spend maybe 90 minutes on this hammer.

The result was immensely gratifying and its weight and proportions and performance have made it my “go to” tool for this purpose, and several folks I have shown it to have expressed interest in purchasing one.  Who knew?  I guess I will have to get set up to do it.  I might have to actually order some supplies.

Stickley Poppy Table – Art and Engineering

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Sat, 09/09/2017 - 12:56pm
Before Gustav Stickley became “The Craftsman” he manufactured furniture in upstate New York. After twenty-some years in the business, he took a trip to Europe, where the Arts & Crafts movement was popular in England and L’art Nouveau was a Continue reading →
Categories: General Woodworking

America’s Finest

Journeyman's Journal - Sat, 09/09/2017 - 6:33am

I’ve stumble upon by chance on YouTube a husband and wife team living the dream producing outstanding reproduction and custom furniture.


Before they became furniture makers, Mathew was a carpenter building custom homes and his wife Moriah was a landscaper/gardener.  Their interest in furniture making sprung from their love of the craft as hobbyists. They studied the art of joinery and furniture construction .


Now they work from home, commuting across their driveway into their dream shop building truly exquisite looking furniture.


From 2011-2014 they were selected as one of America’s Best Craftsman and were listed in Early American Life magazine.

As I sat watching through most of his videos I was amazed at the speed he was working at, even though the video was mostly sped up there were moments when it was shown in real time.  95% of his work is handwork, he uses basic machinery for the monotonous and laborious tasks however, all the initial shaping, carving and tons of planing are all done by hand.  The skill this guy has just blew me away.  I’m not sure how long he studied furniture making before beginning his business, but the skill he displays is just mind boggling.

I hope you enjoy his videos as much as I have as there are plenty of tips to pick up in them.  He doesn’t offer any lessons in the video, but if you sit through each one from start to finish without skipping through them there is plenty of lessons in there to be absorbed.

Categories: Hand Tools


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