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Sharpen This, Part 2: Hear No Evil

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 07/11/2017 - 8:38am


Read the other installments in the “Sharpen This” series via this link.

When you learn to sharpen, I think it’s essential to do something that is normally a bad idea: Close your mind.

Let’s say you are 5 years old and starting school. The teacher says you need to learn to read, write and speak, and that you can use any and all of the words and phrases from every language on the planet.

It’s unlikely you’d be able to communicate with anyone in your class or your community. You learned the German word for “eating” and the Persian word for “sauce.” But your friend learned the Cherokee and Finnish words.

Instead, the quickest path to finding out where the bathroom is or how to microwave a burrito is to learn a language that allows you to navigate your world. Then you can figure out which other languages you might like to learn.

Sharpening is like that. Every sharpening system is has its own logic, history and subtleties. And while every system works brilliantly, mixing and matching bits from multiple systems is likely to confuse and confound.

Pick one system. It doesn’t matter if it’s oilstones, waterstones, diamonds or sandpaper. Ignore every other system out there. If someone tries to tell you that a different system is better, plug your ears and start shouting “nunga, nunga, nunga.”


Here’s why: About 70 percent of the people willing to talk about sharpening in detail are those who are new to it. They simply love their new system. It makes edges that can shave them bald with little effort whatsoever.

About 29 percent of the people willing to talk about sharpening in detail are trying to sell you sharpening equipment. Most of this equipment works fine, but you don’t need all of it (any more than you need all the handplanes in the Lee Valley catalog to make a box).

And the final 1 percent of people willing to talk about sharpening are idiots like me. I don’t think one system is particularly better than any other. I don’t sell sharpening equipment. I’ll be happy to teach you to sharpen, but you have to promise me you’ll master one sharpening system and use it exclusively for one year before changing your routine or buying different equipment.

I call this “sharpening monogamy,” and I think it’s the fastest route to the sharpest edges.

So step one is to pick one system and sign that pre-nuptial agreement, but don’t buy anything yet. First you need to understand what sharp looks like (and what dull looks like). And you need to figure out the three grits in your system of choice that will grind, hone and polish your tools.

Only then should you get out your wallet

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. These sharpening columns are generally not going to allow comments. Why? Well, I think this column pretty much lays out why. If you’d like to take me to task on my approach, I recommend posting your thoughts on your blog.

P.P.S. And if you think this is a “free speech” thing, please read this first.

Filed under: Sharpen This, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools


Journeyman's Journal - Tue, 07/11/2017 - 8:28am

I’ve just begun on Issue 2 and after much success of Issue 1 with a record download of 1500 and still counting, I’m hoping I can do an even better job in Issue 2.  HANDWORK has gained a fantastic contributing author Greg Merritt who will cover a great topic which I’ll leave you guessing till it’s out.  Brian and Joshua are another two great authors I look forward in working with again, their contribution towards the magazine are greatly appreciated.

Once more I do not have a timeline on when it will be released as I’m trying to fit this work in between jobs that pays the bills just barely and my shop time that consumes what’s left of my savings.

I’m also considering writing a book, it’s 1:23am and I’ve only just scratched the surface of my first article.  I will be getting up in 6 hours to do it all again, luckily for me I have a few days off work not that I can bloody afford to have a single day off work but I’m dedicated to this project, it’s a good thing and a worthwhile effort and the best part is you all enjoyed reading HANDWORK and that’s worth every effort.

Good night and take care.

Categories: Hand Tools

Tips from Sticks in the Mud – July 2017 – Tip #2– Modifying a Portable Air Tank

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 07/11/2017 - 7:00am

No Southern-fried Southern boy wants to be called a Yankee, but we share the characteristics of shrewdness and thrift. Thus, each month we include a money-saving tip. It’s OK if you call me “cheap.

This little modification will make your portable air tank infinitely more useful: Where it originally came with an attached hose, turn the air-flow shutoff to the closed position, then remove the hose at the fitting, using a tubing wrench. Save the hose.

New, portable air tanks come with the air hose attached. You don’t want to ruin the hose or the fitting, so utilize a tubing wrench to disconnect the hose. Be sure the tank is empty, or the air valve is in the closed position, or both.

Using the appropriate-sized brass nipple, attach a female quick disconnect to the tank. Be sure to cover the threads with Teflon tape or pipe dope, because you don’t want any air being wasted through leaks.

A quick disconnect will allow you to attach any sort of air tool to your portable air tank.

Now, install a male quick disconnect on the supplied hose. You did save the hose, didn’t you?!

Congratulations, you just increased the utility and versatility of your little tank!

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 Tips from Sticks in the Mud – July 2017 – Tip #2– Modifying a Portable Air Tank appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Media Coverage

FABULA LIGNARIUS - Tue, 07/11/2017 - 5:49am
After prolonged effort it is nice to see that the result of your labor is appreciated by a larger public. Journalist Michiko Kurita wrote an article about our work in the EU MAG. This is an online magazine for the Japanese delegation in the European Union. You can read it here. As craftsmen it is […]
Categories: Hand Tools

sometimes you gotta wait......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 07/11/2017 - 2:37am
I had to make a pit stop at the post office tonight and boy oh boy, was I in for it. I've bemoaned my trials and tribulations before about the post office but tonight was the topper. All nine spots in front were full and there were 5 cars parked illegally on the side of the building. There is extra parking way in the back of the post office (the lazy AHs park illegally on the side of the building) and that is where I parked and walked back to the front door. And I took my place outside and waited the 38 minutes for my turn. In some lovely humid, hot summer weather until I got to the AC inside.

There are two clerks there with a helper. Only the clerks can wait on people and the time I was there the outgoing mail was getting picked up. So, one clerk waiting on people and another doing outgoing mail. You'd think that they would do the mail after the counter is closed so all that mail can go too?

I checked Staples for printing out my camera manual and the cost for that was 32 cents a page for a tally of $42.88. To have it spiral bound would take an additional 2-3 days and cost about $6 more.  Duplex and collating would add an additional cost too. My wife offered to print it out (duplex and collated) and then bring it to the Staples by her work and have it spiral bound.  Maybe this weekend I'll be able to read up on how to operate my new TG-5.

waiting for me when I got home from the post office
The small box is for the Stanley 5 1/4 I got for my grandson and big box is for me because I've been a good boy. Josh at Hyperkitten had a couple of molders that were screaming my name so I had to buy them to silence them.

from doz's olde tyme stanley totes & knobs
This is  set of Honduran rosewood and I doubt any of the real stuff is for sale anyway. This set is perfect looking. Great color, figure, and with a good looking finish on them too.

low knobs rule
doz's tote looks 100% better
I like doz's totes because he does them in the older stanley style with the same sensuous curve coming up from the bottom going to the horn. Now that I have the knob and tote, I can finish the 5 1/4 rehabbing. I just have to sand the bed on the frog and clean up the iron and the chipbreaker.

these two are for me
I'm sure that if my grandson or granddaughter shows any interest in my herd that I will pass them on to them.

I've been eyeballing these on Josh's site for a couple of weeks and I almost pulled the trigger on them several times but didn't. I was surprised that they lasted this long without someone else snapping them up. When he put these in the reduced and leftover page I just had to buy them. Both are in a large size with one being a beader and the other an astragal.

7/8 astragal
This is as large as I would go with this type of plane for cabinet work. For large case work it is at the upper end in the scale.

a #5 bead plane
Josh said this was a 5/8" beader that was made for Harolds which is an English hardware store. I do like and prefer english made planes over the american ones. There is the numeral 5 on the heel and that is the only number(s) on the plane.

7/8" astragal

I measured this one every which way to sunday and I got nothing to measure 7/8".  From the outside quirk to the inside wall of the bead is frog less than 13/16". That was the closest I came to 7/8".

bead on the left and astragal on the right
The irons for the two planes are similar looking. The big difference is the bead has a smaller flat on one edge of the bead. The astragal has two closely sized flats on either side of the bead.

got super lucky again
The sole and the boxwood on this plane is perfect. No chips, dings, scratches, and the boxwood is dead straight and solid. This is the astragal plane which looks a lot like the beading plane. The beader doesn't have the small rabbet in the middle area of the plane.

the beader doesn't have a rabbet in the middle part of the plane

got lucky with the iron too (beader)
The iron matches the sole of the plane almost exactly. I didn't have a chance to road test it because I have painted bookcase parts hogging the bench and the rest of space in the shop. I will definitely road test this at the first opportunity. The iron is awfully close to matching the sole the way Matt said it should be.

went two for two
I have few astragals and on two of them I had to touch up the flats on the iron to line them up with the sole. This one looks to be perfect and I can't wait to see what the profile looks like. I want to compare it to my 1/2" astragal and eyeball the two profiles.

ready to reclaim some real estate
I did come back to the shop after dinner last night and I painted the base again. It looks pretty good and this will raise it up off the floor so that I can paint the rest of the exterior now.

I'm still not done with the saw donkeys though. I can paint the sides and back with it on the the deck but it will be easier to paint the beaded frame if I put it back on the saw donkeys.

the blanket will protect the bottom of the base
I don't mind kneeling to paint the sides and the back but not the beaded frame. The sides/back is all straight brush work and the beaded frame with take a bit of finesse to knock out. I can get a much better view of what I am painting with it horizontal on the saw donkeys.

An errant brush stroke but it shows the contrast between the white of the interior and the gray of the exterior.

back and sides painted
This makes 4 coats on the exterior, 2 primer coats and 2 top coats.  This is still wet and it looks like I got 100% coverage but I will wait for the it's done pronouncement until tomorrow.

the new shelf
I forgot to knock off the arris before I put the first coat on yesterday. I did it now and I only painted the bottom. Tomorrow I'll flip this over the paint the top and the front piece too. I like the coverage I got with this without any primer. I think two coats is going to be the charm for this.

No woodworking tonight and it looks like until I get the painting done there won't be much of it. The painted parts are hogging all the available space in the shop. As much as I want this to be done, I also don't want to cut corners to save time to complete this. This is the hard part of a project for me. No woodworking and a lot of finishing that has way too much hurry up and wait.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was James George Snyder Jr?
answer - Jimmy the Greek, the famous odds maker

The Central Concern

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Mon, 07/10/2017 - 6:43pm


“The central concern [of my own work] is encouragement – encouraging people to seek, to experiment, to design, to create and to dream.”

– Wm. S. Coperthwaite, A Handmade Life


There are few events that I look forward to more than Lie-Nielsen’s Open House. Every year, Tom Lie-Nielsen opens his doors and invites his fellow toolmakers to showcase their work. The list of guest demonstrators is always long and impressive. Hoards of people come out to this small town of Warren, Maine for a most unique fellowship with these hand tool fanatics. Visitors are able to handle and use the most amazing tools in the world all in one place. It would be easy to write a blog post all about the incredible craftsmanship at this event but, this time, I won’t. As Mike and I talked for two days straight with hundreds of passionate woodworkers, something even more incredible overshadowed our experience: the encouragement this community offers.


Over and over we had conversations with people that told us their lives were touched and profoundly changed by this hand tool community. They expressed appreciation for those who labor to teach craft skills and those who make tools to empower their creative work. I talked with some that told stories about specific years talking to specific people that forever changed the course of their life. I almost saw tears in a few eyes. (That is not hyperbole.)


It is humbling to be invited to participate in such an encouraging and supportive community of artisans. At events like these, there is no posturing, no one-upmanship. We all give and we all receive.


So, thank you, Tom, for your courageous and humble example of encouraging others. Over the years I’ve watched you, it has become clear that you share Coperthwaite’s central concern to build others up. This corner of the world is better place because of your generosity. We are all grateful and indebted.


- Joshua


Categories: Hand Tools

SketchUp or Fusion 360?

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 07/10/2017 - 12:41pm

I’ve never properly used a drafting table but I have fond memories of snooping around the offices when I went to work with my dad and playing with my uncle’s motorized drafting table. I mean, come on, a table that was controlled with pedals was pretty amazing to a young kid! Since the days of motorized drafting tables have passed, a multitude of software options have come to market. Many packages […]

The post SketchUp or Fusion 360? appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Disseminating Those Anonymous English Master Makers

Paul Sellers - Mon, 07/10/2017 - 11:55am

Two doors bereft of the cupboard they once belonged to lay askew on a burn pile. Disposal takes many forms for many reasons, but one man’s discard often thrives in another’s. Whereas some can’t be bothered, others don’t know the value or whether indeed anyone might want the discard. Time too might be the issue …

Read the full post Disseminating Those Anonymous English Master Makers on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Wall Mounted Tool Cabinet

David Barron Furniture - Mon, 07/10/2017 - 10:26am

Ben from the US sent me these pictures of his wall mounted tools cabinet which is nearing completion. He has cut some very neat dovetails using the magnetic guide as well as some clean looking sliding dovetails.

Ben is currently pondering the best way to attached the doors which are going to be very heavy. I've had success with three butt hinges per side on a similar cabinet as well as good quality piano hinges (continuous hinges). Any other suggestions would be appreciated at this stage of construction.

Ben also has a website http://schmolzewoodworks.com/ where shows the process of making this fine bench plus many other interesting projects.

Categories: Hand Tools

Edge Banding Architectural Veneer in a Small Shop

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 07/10/2017 - 8:57am

Recently, a woodworker who’s about to start building a set of cabinets for her own kitchen asked me how I apply heat-sensitive edge banding to doors and drawer faces when working with architectural veneers. She’d done some similar work before but had problems with tear-out during trimming. Here’s my technique, a hybrid between the system used at the first shop where I encountered this type of veneer work and some […]

The post Edge Banding Architectural Veneer in a Small Shop appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Small Router Plane Build Part 2

Journeyman's Journal - Mon, 07/10/2017 - 8:51am

Categories: Hand Tools

Half-moon Winding Sticks – to Make or Buy

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Mon, 07/10/2017 - 8:32am

Two years ago I wrote about some unusual homemade winding sticks I encountered in North Carolina (read the article here). Instead of using inlay to help broadcast a board’s twisted state to your eyes, these used a pair of half-moon cutouts. They worked brilliantly, perhaps better than any other set I’ve used before. This summer I made myself a quick pair while in Germany. These were made with a Forstner […]

The post Half-moon Winding Sticks – to Make or Buy appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Sharpen This, Part 1

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 07/10/2017 - 7:26am


After years of working with professional and amateur woodworkers all over the world I have concluded that people who are hostile to handwork tend to badmouth it for a simple reason: They cannot really and truly sharpen.

They might be able to rub a chisel on a rock so their chisels can chop out wood left behind by a router or saw, but beyond that, they are lost.

Think about it: What if your table saw tried to kill you every time you turned it on? (Oh, wait, that’s what it really does do.) OK, imagine if your table saw’s blade had only two teeth on it. You’d hate that saw. You’d tell your students to avoid it. You’d say it was no way to make furniture.

Fixing this ornery saw takes about five minutes, tops: Remove the old blade and replace it with a sharp one. The same goes for a dull chisel or plane blade. Five minutes on the stones (or strop, if you are so inclined) and you are back to perfect.

But if you are unwilling to take a half-hour lesson and perform a few practice sessions to learn to sharpen, then you are going to be forever left with tools that are frustrating, slow, damaging to the wood and awkward.

And that is – I think – the source of hostility to handwork. It’s not that these naysayers think their machines are so fantastic. It’s that they are unwilling to admit they cannot sharpen at a high level.

This is not a supposition. I’ve concluded this after looking at a lot of people’s edges and comparing it to their work and what they say. (The only outliers to my observation are the few people who really can sharpen, but their public personas are based on bashing handwork – yes, these people exist.)

I say all this because today marks a turning point on this blog. Until today, I avoided writing much about sharpening because it is a sticky wicket. There is more misinformation floating around about sharpening than any other woodworking topic (the topic of finishing is a close second).

I have started a new category on this blog: Sharpen This. Articles in this category will show you how I sharpen every tool in my chest: planes, chisels, scrapers, travishers, scorps, moulding planes, awls, spade bits, screwdrivers and so forth. I’ll also attempt to disarm the consumerist economy that has sprung up to capitalize on our craft’s fear of this simple process.

You don’t need a lot of equipment to sharpen. All the systems work. The trick is to pick one system (what I call “sharpening monogamy”) and practice.

And if you are willing to humble yourself before a teacher, admit you cannot sharpen and take a lesson, you can get fixed up with everything you need to know in less than half an hour. (Pro tip: Attend a Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event and they will gladly give you a complete and free lesson.)

But if you won’t do this and you continue bash handwork, then I have only two words (and an obscene gesture) for you: Sharpen this.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Sharpen This, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Poll: How Do You Feel When Non-Woodworkers Call You a Carpenter?

Highland Woodworking - Mon, 07/10/2017 - 7:00am

How do you feel when non-woodworkers call you a carpenter?

I suppose I was a woodworker in 7th grade, when I took wood shop in Mr. Boney’s South Park Junior High class, but I wasn’t very good at it. It seems I could never get anything square, or make good-looking joints. That was 1964, and I’m not even sure the term “woodworker” existed then. “Woodwork” dates to 1640-1650.

I was a framing and trim carpenter for a time after my Air Force stint. That was really fun work, and I learned a lot.

This was my very first nail apron, purchased from Sears. Our local Sears is scheduled to close its doors after 45 years in Edgewater Mall.

I remember a homeowner asking our foreman, Jack English, whether he knew any carpenters who could make her some bookshelves. One of my coworkers, older and more worldly than I, said, “What she wants is a cabinetmaker, not a carpenter.” I didn’t know that there was such a thing as a cabinetmaker, much less a difference, but I didn’t let my ignorance show, I just filed the information away for future use.

When I went to the University of Mississippi, Ole Miss, I was carrying a heavy class load, so there wasn’t time for a job, but I did spend some of my weekends making picnic tables to sell. Po’ Boy spruce studs were 10¢ each, and were straighter and had fewer barked edges than today’s studs at 33 times the price. Treated pine, with real arsenic, made a premium dining surface, unless you wanted to spring for heart cedar or redwood, and even that was affordable.

Today, 23 treated pine 2x4x8′ boards to make this picnic table and matching benches would cost you about $110.00. In the 70s, I sold the completed table with benches for about $50.

Cedar’s price has gone up a bit. When I made this rectangular heart cedar table for our eldest granddaughter, the wood cost about $200. But, it was pure heartwood, and has stood up well to brutal Kentucky summers and winters…

…The lumber for this little round job, with curved benches, on the other hand, cost around $400, and I had to do a lot of selecting to minimize sapwood use in crucial parts. Fortunately, it will live on a porch, where it will have a bit more protection from Kentucky weather, though it will still have to stand up to the two youngest grandchildren.

In the time between the end of the spring semester in Oxford, MS, and the fall start time in Auburn, AL, I needed income. I couldn’t make a long-term commitment to an auto mechanic’s job, and it didn’t occur to me to look for a nearby dairy farm, but there was a lot of home construction in Auburn, and it was easy to find a job on a home-building crew. So, for a time, I was a carpenter again.

We established in a previous poll that most woodworkers are DIYers. Therefore, we’re doing a lot of carpentry on our own homes and businesses, and maybe some for customers, too.

For me, then, I’m proud to be considered a carpenter. Still, when I think of my role as furniture-builder, I consider the difference between what my wife, Brenda, produces, which is fine art, versus what you can buy at a flea market, which are craft-level items. Not every piece of furniture I build rises to the level of art, but it’s always what I strive for.

In carpentry, on the other hand, art is not usually my goal, but I still give it my best.

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The post Poll: How Do You Feel When Non-Woodworkers Call You a Carpenter? appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

lots of painting.....

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 07/10/2017 - 1:43am
I didn't get all the woodworking on the bookcase done today.  I forgot to factor in the painting and I'll have to wait until say I'm done with the woodworking. I'm not saying it will be tomorrow because something else may pop up that I'll have to deal with first again.

saturday night after supper
I went back to the shop after filling the pie hole to filling the gaps in the tails and pins. I filled them up with Dunham's Putty and I sanded it smooth this morning.

I don't have a lot of confidence in the simple dado joint at the back and I wanted to reinforce it somehow. I put two miller dowels in each dado. I used my hand drill to do these which was a first for me with the miller dowel drill bit. Proved another handtool vs power tool thing. The power drill is quicker but the hand drill has a lot more control.

This came loose when I was using the drill and when I tightened it back down, it split in two.  This looks like it is mahogany. I glued it, clamped it together with painters tape, and set it aside to cook.

I have a straight board clamped to the top and the back is even with it along it's length.

unclamped the board
The top has a slight cup to it. I have to secure the back to it with it straight. I clamped the board back on and glue and nailed the back to the top. Once that was done, I clamped it along it's length and set it aside to cure for a few hours.

sealed the knot with shellac
pitch streaks
Across the top there is line of pitch streaks like this. It is heaviest on this side and tapers out going to the left. Paint does not stick to this stuff that well if at all. If it does stick, it telegraphs through the paint that it's there. The shellac will seal this and the paint will stick to the shellac with no problems.

new shelf
Lowes usually has 2x2 pieces of 3/4" birch plywood but not today. 2x4 and 4x4 were the only pickings on the shelf. I bought the flattest 2x4 piece in the stack. The left overs won't go to waste but I did want to minimize how much there was. I still have to rip the front pine piece to width and make a rabbet in it.

cleaned up the rabbit
Even though this is a small rabbet I prefer to use the tenon plane over the bullnose to clean it up. I like the longer registration of the tenon plane and feel it gives a truer action.

almost dead flush
I took one more see through shaving end to end so it would be a frog hair proud. After it had set up for a few hours, I planed it dead nuts flush.

planed the profile
Before I did the molded edge, I took one shaving off the front face to clean it up.

why the woodworking isn't done
This is the bottom of the top and it is getting one coat of paint. I don't expect the top to move much and the bookcase even less but just in case. If there is any movement there won't be any bare, raw wood showing.

before the 2nd coat goes on
The nail holes on the left (the bottom of the top) I don't have to fill as these will be hidden and not seen. The ones on the right will be at the back and seen. These I will fill with joint compound before I put on the 2nd coat.

painted the shelf too
Off camera to the right is the bookcase and I painted the sides and back of that too. I didn't use any primer on the new shelf and it looks way better then the other two did with primer coats. I am crossing my fingers on this and hoping I get out of this with two coats.

The paint for the bookcase is similar to the white of the interior of the bookcase and shelves. But it has a slight grayish tint to it. I was hoping for darker color contrast between the two. This is going on the front porch so it won't get a lot of look sees. The important thing is my wife saw it and approved it.

I plan on painting the base on the bookcase with one more coat after dinner. Right now it's on the saw donkeys taking up way too much real estate in the shop. Once two coats are on the base, tomorrow I'll be able to put it upright and regain some walk around room.

couple of boxes coming
These aren't going to be sliding lid boxes. I am going to put a lid on them with hinges. Doing hinges is something I need to practice and these will be a good opportunity. This is about all I can do with parts being painted on the bench too.

tails sawn
I stopped here and went upstairs to figure out how to use my new TG-5 camera. That was a quick 15 minutes. The manual that came with it sucks. It was a single multi fold piece of paper and not a manual. I had to read it with a magnifying glass and it was just barely about the basics. I wanted to find out how to do the WiFi but there was nothing there on it. I had to download the manual from the web, all 134 pages.

One thing I will not do is read a manual on my computer. I want to hold the pages in my hand and leaf through them. I want to be able to make notes in the margins and go back and forward if I have to. I think Staples will print this out and put in a booklet format. I'll have to check that on line and see if that is truth or rumor.

went back to the shop
I sawed off the half pins and the plan was to stack them up and chop out the center pin waste. That didn't pan out because the painted stuff is resident over my bench hold fast holes. The chopping will have to wait till later.

this layout looks a bit goofy
The tails are thinner than I like at the base. I may end up cutting these off and redoing the layout. I will wait until I get the center pin chopped out and see what that looks like.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What were the code names for the 5 beachheads on D-Day, June 6, 1944?
answer - Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword

Tips from Sticks in the Mud – July 2017 – Tip #1 – Portable Air Tank

Highland Woodworking - Sun, 07/09/2017 - 9:56am

Welcome to “Tips From Sticks-In-The-Mud Woodshop.” I am a hobbyist who loves woodworking and writing for those who also love the craft. I have found some ways to accomplish tasks in the workshop that might be helpful to you, and I enjoy hearing your own problem-solving ideasPlease share them in the COMMENTS section of each tip.  If, in the process, I can also make you laugh, I have achieved 100% of my goals.

Sometimes you have a little job, but you just don’t want to do that job with a hand tool.

Take this little canoe repair. A crossmember needed a single rivet to supplement the existing rivets, but I ran out of the proper size and needed to put the canoe into storage instead of leaving it in the way until I went to the store.

Four rivets down, one to go. Darn the luck! I ran out of rivets when I originally repaired this crossmember, turning the final, single rivet installation into a separate job.

When I finally got the right fastener, I first reached for the manual rivet gun to pop it into place. Then, I remembered the pain in my arm, shoulder and neck from having hurt myself during a garage renovation project. That’s when I decided to put in a little effort now in order to achieve a long-term savings.

As you can read in my Highland Woodworking Blog post, after the injury I purchased an inexpensive, air-powered rivet tool. While it seems like overkill to pull out an air tool for one rivet, I’ve discovered that I can still aggravate that old injury with the wrong squeeze of my hand. The canoe repair was uneventful.

One of the ways I made it easy was by taking my air with me, instead of running a hose all the way to the canoe.

Enter: the portable air tank.

If your job isn’t too terribly big, you may be able to accomplish all you need to do with one good filling.

First, pump it as full as the attached gauge shows is safe. My compressor goes to 125 psi.

Fill the tank all the way, but don’t exceed the safe pressure limit.

Let your imagination fly! I finished my little riveting job in far less time than it took to set up, but, gained the two weeks that I would have been in pain. I’ve used the tank for impact wrenches and blowing small jobs that didn’t lend themselves to a brush or broom.

Of course, the original intention of an air tank purchase was to pump up flat tires, but it’s far more versatile than that!

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 Tips from Sticks in the Mud – July 2017 – Tip #1 – Portable Air Tank appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Call me anything but boss

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 07/09/2017 - 8:26am
William reading the comics

William reading the comics, 1998

When my former husband and I moved to southern Indiana in 1988, we became friends with a carpenter named Joe who possessed an endearing confidence that everything he thought and said was right. He and his wife were literal about the biblical injunction to go forth and multiply. By the time we met, they were well on their way to having a chief for each of their own twelve tribes. My husband and I, on the other hand, had decided not to reproduce, convinced that our species was already consuming such a disproportionate percentage of the earth’s resources that we had a moral duty not to make things worse.

One day Joe brought up the subject of our not having kids. “People who don’t have children are just selfish,” he began. “Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that you two are bad people. But you think only of yourselves: your work, what you’re going to cook for dinner, where you’d like to go on vacation. Now, none of this stuff is unimportant! But when you have children, you’re forced to think about others. Instead of keeping everything for yourself, you’re forced to share. It makes you a better person.”

Those of us who have a business but no employees occasionally find ourselves faced with a similar kind of judgment. Some people see the mere fact of having a business as evidence that you’re privy to a certain largesse that should be shared. If you don’t have employees, well, shame on you for keeping all that wealth for yourself. You ought to be a job creator, give something back.

You can find out where this opening leads in “Don’t Call Me Boss,” one of the stories in Making Things Work

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Quick & Easy Tapers

360 WoodWorking - Sun, 07/09/2017 - 4:10am
Quick & Easy Tapers

I’m about to wrap up work on an office that’s almost fully paneled with sapele. There is wainscoting, a full wall of bookcases, a paneled fireplace wall with step-back cupboards flanked to both sides and a couple of angled bookcases. Plus, there’s a door to case. Earlier drywall work pushed out from the existing door frame, so I had to build out the frame to make the new casing sit flat. I needed quick and easy tapers.

Continue reading Quick & Easy Tapers at 360 WoodWorking.

almost done........

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 07/09/2017 - 3:26am
I came awfully close to finishing all the woodworking for the bookcase today. I could have kept on truckin' with it but it was 1600 and the bones were starting to creak. I also heard a few new noises but I don't think anything broke. Another hiccup was having to wait for the glue to set up before I got back to working on it. I know tomorrow I will be done with the woodworking and maybe the first coat of paint will go on.

base on
I did this morning at 0630. I used yellow glue just on the dovetails. No glue was used to fasten the base to the bookcase. I want to be able to remove the base for repairs or replacement. Plus it will help whoever comes behind me on this. I let this cook for 6 hours before I unclamped it.

base support
This is one of the cutouts from the side of the base. I used the both of them here at the front, left and right, for the bookcase to rest on. They are glued to the back of the apron

the bottom back support
I will put this one after the base has set up. I'm not sure if the base is positioned properly right now with all the clamps on it. It is hard to see exactly where it is sitting.

it was flat
I bought this 1x12 at Lowes and in the store it was flat. I didn't see any bow in it at all. 15 minutes after buying it I'm home and this is toast.

also bought two 1x8's
This is from the #3 common stock that Lowes sells. I have bought this crap before and had it do stupid wood tricks like the one above and that is why I bought these two as backups. I can get almost dead clear stock out of this for the top.

the two outside edges have hiccups
Since my overall width for the top is about 12", I can easily get that out of these two boards by cutting the two defects out.

pesky knot
I need a 34" rough length out of this 4' board and there is now way I can work around this knot. This knot is black and dry which means it can shrink and fall out. I'll have to work some epoxy in around it to keep that from happening.

3/4" cove
I checked this against my largest hollow and it is too small. I thought of this on drive home from Lowes - this is a molding I could have made. I have a cove molding plane labeled 3/4 and maybe I'll remember it for the next time.

working on the top
The plan is to rough saw these to length and get them glued up.

the two big off cuts I can use for the plow plane box
this is the winner
The grain run into this point on the board but it is straight coming from both directions. I'll saw this defect out and glue this side to the other board.

the opposite side of the board
The grain is running the same here as the other side but here it's a bit wilder. It isn't as straight and the grain lines are a lot wider here. This will end up at the back of the top. This will also be cut off once the final width of the top is established.

ripped off the first defect for edge gluing
got it glued up without killing anyone
This was only a two board glue up but it kicked my ass. I got a perfect mating between the two boards except for one 4-5 inch stretch on one board. There was a gap there I just couldn't seem to get rid of. I tried all the tricks I learned and what I've Paul Sellers do but no luck. How did I fix it? I got pissed off at it and planed against the grain going from the low spot to the other end. 3 swipes and I had a perfect fit with no gaps.

back thing for the top
This is the bowed board and I did a cross cut to get a rough length. This will give up the board that will be positioned at the back of the top. I have absolutely no idea what this is called. The smaller off cut will be put with the others for the plow plane box.

marked for ripping out
I have to darken the knife lines with a pencil because I have a hard time seeing them in the this light pine.

ripped out and planed the hump on this side
straightening the edge going against the bookcase
The opposite edge is getting a curve so I don't have to straighten it.

outside face has almost no twist
front face has about 1/8" twist end to end
This I had to take out. This face will lay up against the back edge of the top and it can't have any twist in it.

cove molding rough sawn
This will be going underneath the top to conceal any gaps between the top and bookcase on the front and sides. This will probably be the very last woodworking to do on the bookcase.

something new
 One side of the cove molding is ribbed. That makes cutting and putting it in place so much easier because you have a reference side. I can't begin to tell you how many times I've cut the cove miter on the wrong face. I cut all these out correctly the first time because I had the ribs to guide me.

layout for the back thing done
I sawed off the angles on the ends first and then cut out the round.

I sawed the rounded top on the bandsaw
Using a spokeshave to do the chamfers but before I did them I had to smooth and straighten out the round over.

chamfer laid out

stopped chamfer on the ends
The back piece is the same length as the top and I don't want the chamfer to run down behind it and leave a gap. So I am stopping it about 3/4" up from the bottom.

sawed the end cut first with the Zona saw
worked down to the pencil lines with a chisel
repeat for the other side
chamfer done
I did most of the chamfer work with the spokeshave. I followed that up with my block plane to smooth and fair it out.

flushing and cleaning up the dovetails
I tried to do this on the saw donkeys but it was working. I couldn't hold the bookcase and use the plane at the same time. I got a moving blanket on the floor and I'm using the lally column as a planing stop.

I'll mark and saw the over hang off
I inset the back a 1/2"
I didn't want the back flush with the back of the bookcase nor use a rabbet joint here.

screwing the supports to the bookcase
The screws are a wee bit too long so instead of screwing them in straight in, I did them at a slight angle.

screwed the back one in too
There is no glue holding the base to the bookcase. These 3 supports are what is holding the base in place.

chamfered the base
I did the two corners first so I wouldn't get any blowouts.

fuzzy pic
This should be showing that the pencil line is still visible after I sawed off the overhang. I planed down to the line with a block plane next.

going to need another shelf
flattening the top
I didn't go nutso on this. I did the top and bottom by eye. I didn't check for twist with winding sticks but rather did it by eye too. The board didn't wobble at the corners when I was done and it looks ok.

reason #1 I don't like make the back thing first
I have almost no wiggle room on squaring this up. This doesn't even look like I have a 32nd to split on both ends.

big ass shooting board
I don't use this that often but it worked exceedingly well today splitting that 32nd.

tear out heaven
The other side came out blowout free and this side went south on the Nutso express. I knew I should have knifed a line but with one side ok I expected the same here.

cleaned up the shoulder first
Using the molding to deepen the top shoulder was just tearing it out worse. I used the bullnose to do that.

fine set #3 and then the molder again
I made the shoulder deepen so I could use the #3 on this spot. I then ran the molder down the front edge again concentrating on this front corner. I didn't mold the end grain edge again.

came out a bit better
Maybe some joint compound will fill it up a bit more and make it look better.

I don't like this
This reminds of the beaded side frame butting into the bottom frame of the bookcase. I think it needs to be a wee bit higher.

this looks better being up higher
nailed a piece onto the bottom
I used one of the pieces I ripped off as the riser here. Since this is being painted it won't show. If this was to be left natural, I would have made a new back thing. I glued and nailed this because there wasn't any way to get clamps on it.

ripping the top to it's final width
flat, straight, and square
almost there
Attach the back thing to the top. Attach the top to the bookcase (still thinking on how to best do that).  Trim, fit, and install the cove moldings. Paint the bookcase in it's exterior color. Make a new shelf because you didn't want to do when you made the first two and knew you had too.  Then I'll be able to say it's done.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
How many batting titles did Babe Ruth win?
answer - one. in 1924

High chest of drawers

Journeyman's Journal - Sat, 07/08/2017 - 6:10pm
Date: 1730–60
Geography: Made in Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Culture: American
Medium: Maple, birch, white pine
Dimensions: 86 1/2 x 40 x 21 1/2 in. (219.7 x 101.6 x 54.6 cm)

Japanning, the use of paint and gilded gesso to imitate the glossy finish on Asian lacquer work, was a popular method of furniture decoration in colonial Boston. This group of japanned furniture (40.37.1,.2,.4) descended in the Pickman family of Salem, Massachusetts, and is an extraordinary survival. The painted decoration on the high chest, dressing table, and looking glass is all by the same hand.

Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: inscribed in chalk on the back of bottom shelf drawer: W E; [number on various parts]
descended in the Pickman and Loring families, Salem, Massachusetts, until 1918; Lawrence Dwight, by 1918; his fiancee, Harriet Amory (later Mrs. Warwick Potter), New York, until 1940
Timeline of Art History (2000-present)

Categories: Hand Tools


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