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side rabbet plane box........

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 03/13/2017 - 2:31am
Had another good day and I got a few things done. Fell into the same rut this afternoon where I was doing the nodding game. This time I actually checked the inside of the peepers for light leaks for a short while. Went back to shop and since the idiot DST started this AM, I left the shop at 1700 although the clock said 1600.

The plan for today was to set the sink cabinet and call it a day. Tomorrow I have my annual eye exam and I was going to do that last cabinet after that. The sink cabinet went in lickety split for me so I did the last one too. The only hiccup was trying to find a stud to screw the cabinet backs into to. I drilled a lot of holes trying to find them.

From the corner cabinet stud to the first sink stud was 14 1/2" and the next stud was 15". The lone screw into a stud in the last cabinet was 16" OC .

I also had to shim the front of both cabinets up over a 1/2". I thought the floor sloped down into the middle but I was wrong on that. The floor is high on this wall and it slopes down and away straight into the opposite wall. Nothing in this house surprises me anymore.

typewriter desk has set up
This may be too small in the length. The keyboard is 18" and the desk is 24", I'm not sure if I'll be happy with so little real estate to move the mouse on.

side molding
the back molding
Undecided on whether or not to miter this corner or use a butt joint. Since I dislike miters, the butt joint may be the lead off batter.

the would be drawer fronts
After thinking about the drawers I nixed them. There is a 2 1/2" overhang to clear before I would see the inside of a drawer. The depth is roughly 10" so by time I get one made I won't have a lot of usable space. I still like the idea of drawers on this so I will keep this in mind for when I make the bigger stand up desk.

only three small glue blobs
This is a carbide tipped scraper that works wonders on removing dried glue. I cleaned up the poplar and the plywood without any tear outs on either of them.

flushed the back
There was a slight bump in the middle with the rest of it being flush. I set this aside because I didn't feel like mitering it. I'll pick this back up tomorrow after my eye doctor appointment.

plowing the lid groove
I spent about 20 minutes making test grooves to see how they lined up. This time I picked the one that lined up right on the pencil line.

I didn't try
The top of the groove is too close to the tail and in order to keep that nick free this would have had to been worked like the stopped groove. Went with plowing straight through and nicking the tail.

I did look at placing the tail out of the way when I did the layout but I didn't like the look. This is a situation where I think laying out the tails and pins over rides a groove running through it.

it is a small hole
Once this is plugged I think you would be hard pressed to pick them out.

laying out the center divider
The second line from the top will the width of the divider and the line on the pin board is the top of the dado.

sawing off the line and planing to the line
first dado done
it's taken me a while
When I first started making dadoes with hand tools I really struggled trying to master it. I still have an occasional hiccup but most the time now I get this. This is the goal I shoot for when I do them.

wee bit short
I thought I had carefully measured this and worked off my knife lines but I missed something. I'm not sure what I did wrong but I'm off the depth of one dado. I think I failed to add both dado depths when I figured out the length. The second one fit with no gaps.

plugged the holes
Along with the holes, I had to glue shims in two tails to close up gaps. I sent the box aside by the furnace to cook overnight.

holder for the side rabbet planes
I started out making this by sawing and then chiseling it out. That wasn't working to well and was taking a lot of time. It also wasn't coming out as clean as I wanted.

switched to plan #2
The first step in plan #2 was to drill a series of holes.

last step - use a coping saw to remove the waste
chisel work to clean up the slot
it fits
It is standing upright on it's own. I made the slot a 1/16" wider then the width of the skate at it's widest point. I was expecting this to be a bit on the tippy side.

don't need it now
I was planning on putting a U shaped holder underneath the knob to counter the anticipated tipsiness. Don't need to do that now but it is something I can add in the future if need be.

I can glue this back together and still use it. These aren't going to be subjected to any stress so even though it's pine, I think it is ok to use.

where they will live
I'll spot glue these in each side with hide glue. I made both of them an 1/8" shorter in the width and length than the divided space. I don't think wood movement will be a concern but it doesn't hurt to err on the side of caution.

found a lid
This is big enough to get a lid out of it. It is from my old kitchen cabinets but it doesn't match up with the pine I used on the rest of the box. I have more of the pine I used for the box and I may change this. I will take a look at this again when I plane and clean up the box.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Which US state has had the most tornadoes?
answer - Texas, Kansas is second and Oklahoma is third

a worthy cause

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sun, 03/12/2017 - 5:36pm

I got an email from Tara Alan, pointing me towards a crowd-sourcing fundraiser that seems a worth cause. A school group looking to raise money for spoon carving tools! I’m not involved in any way – I don’t know the people, etc… But Tara  thought my readers might be willing to help. There’s worse ways to spend a few dollars…

here’s the blurb –

Pre-Industrial Spoon Carvers!
My students need knives so they can learn to carve spoons!

My Students

I have an amazing group of students! They are curious, hard working, and love hands on projects. We live in a small Vermont town in the Connecticut Valley. My students farm, build race cars, and play basketball so they no strangers to hard work. We study the Industrial Revolution in 8th grade and are fascinated with how people lived prior to the machine age. They made everything! If you needed a chair- you made it, if you needed a spoon- you carved it.

Kids these days get their spoons too easily.

People used to have to carve them by hand! I want to teach my students how to be spoon self-sufficient. I’d like for them to understand and appreciate how much work goes into making things by hand.

My Project

Most kids don’t think twice about grabbing a plastic spoon to eat their lunch and then tossing it in the garbage when they’re done. I want to teach my students to appreciate the spoon and how much work used to go into making them.

We often overlook the smallest things that make us human.

We are tool makers and users. I want to teach my students the practical and timeless skill of carving spoons.

They will learn how to select the right wood, practice safe tool use, and come to appreciate the value of doing things by hand, the slow way.

Your donations will pay for spoon carving knives and finger guards to keep them safe. Your donations will also get us a couple of books that will inspire us to create beautiful spoons.

We have an outdoor classroom in the woods near our school that will serve as a source of wood and a place where we can sit and carve together.


Just follow the link if you’d like to help…

I’ve been wiped out with the flu this week, so it felt nice to find some uplifting item in today’s inbox. Good luck to all involved…


Reminder – 2017 Classes at The Barn

The Barn on White Run - Sun, 03/12/2017 - 5:32pm

Here is the full slate of activities.


May 23-27 Making a Ripple Molding Cutter – this is less of a workshop than a week long gathering of fellow galoots trying to design and build a machine to allow us to recreate ripple and wave moldings.  Material and supplies costs divvied up, no tuition.


June 16-18  Make a Nested Set of Brass Roubo Squares – This is a weekend of metal working, as we fabricate a full set of nested brass squares with ogee tips, as illustrated in Plate 308 of l’art du Menuisier.  The emphasis will be entirely on metal fabrication and finishing, including silver soldering with jeweler Lydia Fast, and creating a soldering station for the workbench. Tuition $375, materials cost $50.


July 24-28  Minimalist Woodworking with Vic Tesolin – This week long session with author and woodworking minimalist Vic Tesolin will begin with the fabrication, entirely by hand, of a Japanese tool box.  Who knows where we will end up?  I am looking forward to having my own work transformed.  Tuition $625, materials cost $50.


August 11-13  Historic Finishing – My own long-time favorite, we will spend three days reflecting on, and enacting, my “Six Rules For Perfect Finishing” in the historic tradition of spirit and wax coatings.  Each participant should bring a small finishing project with them, and will accompany that project with creating numerous sample boards to keep in your personal collections.  Tuition $375.


September 4-8  Build An Heirloom Workbench – I’m repeating the popular and successful week-long event from last year, wherein the participants will fashion a Roubo-style workbench from laminated southern yellow pine.  Every participant will leave at the end with a completed bench, ready to be put to work as soon as you get home and find three friends to help you move it into the shop.  Tuition and Materials $825 total.

Since some recent research revealed the attention span of Americans to be eight seconds, I’ll re-run this periodically.

If any of these interest you drop me a line here.

Table Trestles-Part 8

Hillbilly Daiku - Sun, 03/12/2017 - 5:13pm

Just a quick update on my progress over the past week.  With any luck, the next post will be the last in this series and these two tables will move into the complete column.  So, over the past week…

My attention was focused on the second top.  I first planed both faces flat.

Once it was flat, I trimmed it for width, length and mitered the corners.  Then I planed a wide chamfer on all of the edges.  One issue was that a small check had opened up at one end on the bottom face.  This occurrence was not unexpected.  I’m using construction grade SYP for this top.  All of these pieces were cut close to or contain the center of the log.  The offending board contained a center portion of the log and the pith that comes with it.  No big deal, I had been wanting to try inlaying dutchman patches anyway.

There are lots of ways to make a dutchman key.  Templates, careful layout with squares and bevel gauges, but where is the fun in that?  I just grabbed a scrap of white oak that was about a half inch thick and started cutting.  I produced two asymmetrical, more organic, IMHO, keys.

To install the keys I placed them where I wanted them and scribed around them with a sharp knife.  I then used a combination of chisels, auger and small router plane to remove the waste.

Then I added some glue and knocked the key into place.  Same for the second key.  Once the keys were installed I planed them flush to the surrounding surface.

Top two received the same decorative elements as the first one, uzukuri ect.

With all of the construction complete, my efforts switched to finishing.  Linseed oil and beeswax is my preferred finish.  I like the way it looks, how it feels and the ease of repair and renewal. The particular products I use (Tried & True brand) contain no heavy metal driers and are food safe.  The first coat of oil was my Hillbilly Pine Enhancer.  This is just the Tried & True Danish Oil with artists paint mixed in to act as a toner (see here).

Side by side comparison on poplar.

Side by side comparison on pine.

After twenty-four hours I applied the first coat of Tried & True Original (a blend of linseed oil and beeswax).  The combination made the poplar quite nice I think.

I’ll add one or two more coats of the linseed oil/beeswax and then call it done.  My next post should be the dog and pony show.

Part 7 Greg Merritt

Categories: Hand Tools

Last Chance to Be a Subscriber

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 03/12/2017 - 10:00am

lap-roubo-pressmark-1The deadline to be listed as a subscriber in the deluxe version of “With All the Precision Possible: Roubo on Furniture” is midnight on Wednesday, March 15. No exceptions. We need to send the list of subscribers to the printing plant to keep this project on track for a June release.

Also, a reminder: Subscribers’ names will be listed using the name on their order form unless they send a note to with alternative instructions by March 15.

Several people have asked: Can I list my company or organization instead of my name? Yes, if you let us know by March 15. Other have asked: Can I list my business address and website? No, this is not an advertising section.

Other customers have inquired about how the book is selling. I just checked and we still need to sell 60 copies to break even on the project as a whole, including the press run, trucking charges, boxes, and editing and designing fees. So John and I are still holding our breath, but we haven’t started selling our plasma.

— Christopher Schwarz

A Tour of Deluxe Roubo from Christopher Schwarz on Vimeo.

Filed under: With All the Precision Possible
Categories: Hand Tools

‘Kids Today…’ (Oh Shut Your Pie Hole)

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 03/12/2017 - 9:01am



Dahlgreen Hall, South Boston, 1892

One of the things that makes me nuts about woodworking shows is listening to older woodworkers complain about 20-year-olds and how they (among other vices) have little interest in woodworking.

This weekend’s Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event was no exception. What was exceptional is that I listened to much of this drivel while people in their 20s and 30s wandered around Braxton Brewing, used the hand tools and talked to the makers.

A lot of our customers are young adults, and the only difference I see between them and the older generations is the younger woodworkers are apt to use materials in addition to wood – metal, plastic and ceramics. And they are more likely to adopt technology into the things they make – robotics, 3D printing, CNC, laser cutting.

Historically, interest in woodworking goes up and down a little bit but remains fairly steady through time. (Unlike interest in scrapbooking or personal journaling, which peaked at crazy heights and then almost disappeared.)

The urge to make useful things is an important part of the human experience.

Woodworking has long been dominated by people older than 50 because they have more money and aren’t chasing around their kids or changing diapers (generally). Younger woodworkers don’t have the same kind of time to devote to the craft. But they are out there. And when their kids get older, they buy a place with a garage and they have some disposable income, they are going to buy a handplane or a table saw and build a workbench.

Yes, it sucks that many schools have eliminated shop class. And it’s stupid that we now encourage kids to go to college who would be happier in a trade.

But despite all that, people find a way to learn woodworking. It’s just not the way you did it (see also, YouTube). And they might not build the same things you like to build. And they might use different kinds of tools. And they just might not like hanging out with old dudes who complain about the younger ones.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Personal Favorites, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

For Marc Spagnuolo: this is a nice video of a trestle table...

Giant Cypress - Sun, 03/12/2017 - 8:38am

For Marc Spagnuolo: this is a nice video of a trestle table build.

For Matt Cremona: this is a nice video of designing with live edge slabs.

For Shannon Rogers: this is a nice video of a project with contrasting woods.

For Christopher Schwarz: this is a nice video of some chairs made with staked legs. (Wait for the end.)

For readers of Giant Cypress: this is a nice video of a woodworker who doesn’t know you can’t use Japanese tools on hardwoods. Also, he never sits on the floor.

(Thanks to Jeremiah Rodriguez for the link.)

Restored National Cash Register

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Sun, 03/12/2017 - 6:03am

Last summer my Dad gave me his old cash register he was storing in his basement for the past thirty years. I was glad to take it, but I had no need for it so, I decided to sell it on Craigslist.

 photo ebay008.jpg

My Dad told me the cash register was handed down from the family as it was used in his uncle’s store. My Grandfather opened up a hardware store back in the ’50’s in Detroit called Flaim Hardware and my Dad would work there as a kid. I originally thought that the register was used in that store, but apparently not. This register is much older than the 1950’s.

 photo ebay014.jpg

I sold it to a guy on Craigslist who restores old cash registers the same way I restore old tools. He asked if I wanted to see pictures of the register as it was being restored and I told him I would love to, so he emailed me them during the process.

 photo PB080017.jpg

He took the entire case apart and cleaned and oiled all the mechanisms so that they would work properly.

 photo PA300015.jpg

Once everything was cleaned and working, he polished the brass case back to original form.

 photo PB140009.jpg

Since he restored many registers before, he had the appropriate parts that were missing off the register. He added the brass bar just above the drawer and a new $.05 key. All the price keys were cleaned inside and shined up nicely.

 photo PB140012.jpg

The entire registered shined back to life and looked better than ever. I’m glad the register found its new home as it’s nice to know there are people out there that can take objects that are just sitting around in people’s homes collecting dust or rotting away and bring them back to life. Much the same way I do with old tools.

 photo PB140013.jpg

good day in the shop......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 03/12/2017 - 5:05am
I stayed in the shop until almost 1800 today. It's been a very long time since I've done that. I was sitting at my desk doing nothing and nodding out. I had something glued up and the excuse I was using was I had to wait for it set up. Since I didn't want to nap, I got up off my fat ass and waddled down to the shop. Turned out to be a good thing and I got a lot accomplished after that.

after dinner friday night
I glued up the two bridle joint leg assemblies for the typewriter desk so I could work on it today.

marked these wrong
I wasn't thinking when I marked the faces of these pieces getting the slot mortise and I didn't need to do that.

erased them when I did a 6 sided clean up

squared up the ends of the typewriter plywood
layout batting next
At this point, I still hadn't decided on how I wanted to fix the legs to the plywood. Initially I wanted to be able to take it apart or hinge the legs somehow to fold it flat. Too much of a headache to do and it's mostly because of the thinness of the plywood. If it was 3/4" thick I would have tried a few of my ideas.  I still have to brace the leg assemblies somehow but now it'll be a permanent fix.

half lap this onto the leg assemblies
I could then glue this to the underside of the plywood. I like this but I am thinking of putting in drawers and this would be in the way.

idea # 4,569
Gluing an extra piece of wood to the leg assembly and then gluing all that to the plywood once the first one has dried. Doing that would increase the glue surface area and make it stronger. This wouldn't interfere too much with my drawers but I scrubbed this one too.

making rabbets
Decided to go with a brace at the back with the leg assemblies glued into the rabbets.

shoulders were a bit out of square
just glue
If I were to screw this from the back of the rabbet into the leg, I would be hitting end grain. I think glue alone will be good enough for this. I don't anticipate moving this once it is on my desk at work.

going with this
Briefly entertained putting a stepped rabbet here to hide the end grain. But it won't be easy to see once it is in use.

glue along
The thickness of the plywood dictates that this be a glue only connection. I glued the back brace to the plywood and the long grain portion of the leg to plywood too.

the back brace will hide 99% of the tear out here

gluing it up in steps
Step one is gluing the back brace. Once this has had a chance to set up for a few hours, the plan was to glue the legs on.

This is where I stopped and got some lunch. After lunch I was 'waiting' for the glue to set up and started playing the nodding game.

moldings for the desk
I glued the legs on to the plywood and flipped it over. I ripped out these from a scrap of  1/2" oak.

these will be glued to the plywood hiding the edges
flat piece for the back
The back brace is flush with the back edge so the L shape molding won't fit there. I am going with this flat piece just to complete the molding on all four edges.

needed some bullnose work
There were some ridges on one half of this. I removed them out with the bullnose plane.

on a roll
Decided to start on the box for holding my LN side rabbet planes. The dimensions of this box are pretty much the same as the cardboard box they came in. I added a 1/2" or so for the joinery and the lid and bottom.

tails laid out
getting rid of my training wheels
This gizmo makes a kerf that is the same width as the kerf of my dovetail saw. Made it easier to get the top cut square across. I'm confident that I can saw square now and I don't need this.

it is working
This is the first time I have used this bench hook and it didn't move on me. I set it with this mallet. This is the first time I've used a mallet to set the hook.

what I normally use
I have to whack the crap out of this for it to hold. It is a crap shoot and it almost always slips on me as I chop the tails and pins.

it usually slips this way
It is very annoying to be pushing into the wood and it slips and moves laterally on you. I chopped both the tails and the pins and it didn't slip or move once. The first time that has happened for me. I was planning on not putting holes for these on my new bench but I'll reconsider it now. I'll be using the mallet again to see if it still works and it wasn't a fluke.

This is what I get for being lazy. When I did the layout on the pin board, I did it twice and ended up with two lines on this tail. Instead of erasing them, I thought I would mark the one I needed to saw on. I didn't mark the correct one and I didn't saw on the right one.

flushed the bottom so I can groove it
making a stopped groove
This part of the groove I can end to end. I do have to be careful on this end that I stop before I hit the tail. I did that on this one.

missed it on this one
I did get an 'aw shit' out but it didn't help. I nicked the top of this tail.

only a small chunk missing

stopped groove ends
These two will get the stopped groove. I plowed what I could and this is mostly a guide line for laying out the rest of the groove.

first marking gauge
I set this so that the back of the disc is up against the top wall of the groove. I ran that from stop line to stop line.

2nd marking gauge
I set this one to bottom wall coming from the top of the board. I did it this way so the flat part of the disc was against the wall and the beveled part was in the waste part of the groove.

needed a third gauge
The front piece is a 1/2" narrower so I couldn't use the 2nd marking gauge. I set this one the same way as the other two. Having the partial groove made by the plow plane helped a lot  with setting these 3 marking gauges.

chiseled the stops at both ends first
made it about 3/8" long
I didn't want the chisel to slip and blow out the end. 3/8" worked ok giving me an adequate safety factor.

it wasn't that difficult to do
The biggest challenge I found in doing this was holding the chisel correctly. Because it is so small it took some concentration to make sure that I wasn't skewing it left or right and that the bevel was flat on the bottom of the groove.

first one done
pretty clean
I tried hard to keep the top edge of the groove clean and tear out free.  My first try and I'm pretty happy with the result.

the plywood fits
partial dry fit
The groove on the left was done with the plow plane and the right one with a chisel. The right one is tight and clean and the left one is a bit gappy. Acceptable, but it doesn't look like the plow plane one.

bottom finally fitted
This is bottom #2. Bottom #1 became too narrow while I was trying to fit it. #2 took me over 30 minutes to fit but I finally got it.

I'll fit this divider tomorrow
After I get this fitted, I can glue this up.

lesson learned
I didn't realize it but this box is almost a square. Two of the sides are a few ticks over an 1/8". That led me to trim the wrong side on bottom #1. On bottom #2 I marked one side and one side of the box to keep me straight on what to trim.

Unless you live in Arizona or some other sensible state, today it spring ahead on the clocks. And the rumor on tuesday's snowfall is 20"

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was the first ML ballplayer to win a batting title in 3 different decades?
answer - George Brett did it in 1976, 1980, and 1990

Curved Dovetail Box Magazine Article

David Barron Furniture - Sun, 03/12/2017 - 3:09am

The latest issue of F&C is out now (no 256, April 2017).  My article on the making of a curved sided dovetail box is featured if anyone would like to have a go at this technique.

It includes an exploded drawing with all dimensions as well as a full description and lots of pictures.

There is a very good article on the Williams and Cleal Furniture School in Devon showing some of the fine work they do there. I've visited the school and set up and the atmosphere seems to make it a great place to learn.

A two page article on preventing tear out with a hand plane is very interesting, exploring the benefits of a higher angle, tight mouth and a finely set cap iron, although not necessarily together.

An interesting article by Jim Hooker (appropriately) on the sharpening and use of various types of scrapers.
In this issue there are also articles, on hand engraving, Lie Nielsen honing guide, the Geffrye Museum, Robert Ingham, decorative mouldings, antique furniture and planning techniques.

Categories: Hand Tools

The Damaged Pinky

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Sat, 03/11/2017 - 7:06pm

If you know me, then you know I don’t do woodworking for a living. I’m actually a sales rep for one of the largest building manufacturers in the country. I sell patio block, mulch, and concrete mix to Lowe’s and Home Depot’s in the Cincinnati, Dayton area. Unfortunately, I got hurt at work.


Part of my job is to get my stores ready for spring by making patio hardscape displays on the shelves of the garden department. While in one of my Home Depot’s, I removed the old display and had to put a shelf in its place. In order to get the beam locked in place, I had to hammer it down so that the little nibs would lock in the hole properly. I got the right side of the beam hammered in place, when I was working on the left side. Being right-handed, I was using my left hand to hold the beam against the rack pushing it forward while swinging a mallet with my right arm. Just as luck would have it, hammering across my body, I barely nicked my pinky finger with the end of the hammer. Had I not been swinging so hard, it would have just caused a blood blister, but because I was wailing at the beam with such force, the blow blew the tip of my pinky open. As soon as I felt it, I knew it wasn’t good, but I didn’t know how bad the cut was until I went to the bathroom to clean it up. Once there, I realized I had to go get stitches as I could I open up the top of my  pinky finger.


I traveled to a nearby hospital where they put five stitches in my finger. I also found out through x-rays that I broke my bone as well. I have to wear a splint for the next month. I always thought that if I ever cut one of my fingers open, it would be from a band saw blade,  chisel, or a knife. I never thought it would be from the brute force of a 3lb drilling hammer.


The stitches came out last week and I should be fine in about a  month. I’ll need to keep the splint on my finger as the bone heals, but it’s not a big deal. The protrusion of the splint from the top of my finger keeps me from hitting my pinky on objects. I take off the bandage everyday and clean the wound. You can see how much my finger has swelled from the blow. I feel stupid for hitting my finger, but it was more of an accident than anything.


‘Hammerschlager’ – the Local Rules

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 03/11/2017 - 6:24am



Tonight we’re playing a variant of the Hammerschlager game made popular by Mike Siemsen at Woodworking in America. We’re playing at Rhinegeist brewing. Schlaging starts at 8 p.m. and ends at 10:30 p.m. The prize: The last of our “With Hammer in Hand” letterpress posters.

Hammerschlager is a game of skill played with a stump, a cross-peen hammer and nails. Two opponents take turns attempting to sink a nail using the peen side of hammer. The first one to sink the head flush or below the surface of the stump wins.

Here are the local rules for the game tonight.

  1. If you break or abuse any of the equipment (especially the hammers), you’re done – disqualified.
  2. You may face a particular opponent only once. Period. In other words, you cannot play against a person more than once. Once only you shall face a particular opponent. Don’t cheat.
  3. You start the stroke with the peen of the hammer resting on the stump.
  4. If the nail is knocked crooked, your opponent may straighten the nail to vertical before taking his or her turn.
  5. The loser of the round marks the winner’s forearm with a slash using a marker (provided). The person with the most marks at 10:30 p.m. wins the poster.
  6. The winner of the round is allowed to face the next opponent immediately. The loser has to return to the back of the line and find another opponent.
  7. All disagreements are settled by the judge (me). Decisions are final. It’s just a stupid game. Don’t make me hate you.
  8. This is not a drinking game. You may drink while you play if you like, but drinking is not required, requested, suggested or smiled upon. It’s just a dumb game.

See you tonight.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Williamsburg Snapshot – The Banquet

The Barn on White Run - Sat, 03/11/2017 - 6:00am


For me the great honor at Working Wood in the 18th Century was being asked to serve as the after dinner speaker.  Kaare had asked me to work with the topic “sometimes the old ways are the best ways” to which I gladly complied.  Of course I provided my own peculiar spin on the topic, but everyone seemed to laugh in all the right places so I guess it went well.

Of course the highlight of the evening was the scrumptious chocolate cheesecake awaiting me at my place on completion of the chat.

I got a lot of very positive feedback on the talk, and was even asked to summarize part of it as an article in next year’s American Period Furniture.  That section of greatest interest was a list of ten “assignments” I gave to the audience to stretch their handworking boundaries.  For some in the audience, perhaps even most, this was simple encouragement and validation, for others it was a legitimate challenge.

I will blog about each of those assignments individually over the next fortnight or so, but here is the list:

  1.  Restore an old tool to wondrous functionality
  2. Make a new tool and incorporate it into your bench work
  3. Learn to sharpen.  Really.  Everything
  4. Incorporate one (then all) of these traditional tools into your work — spokeshave, drawknife, scratch stock, toothing plane, froe
  5. Saw and prepare veneers by hand
  6. Learn to prepare, modify, and manipulate and use hot hide glue.  Then use it.
  7. Execute a decorative painted surface
  8. Make from scratch, from stock you prepare yourself, one of the following — parquetry, floral marquetry, Boulle-work, a Federal paterae
  9. Prepare a surface without the benefit of sandpaper, then apply a finish not using a spray gun, polyurinate, or cellulose nitrate
  10. Make a piece of furniture entirely without power tools, beginning with a piece of firewood or similar

more of the white stuff........

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 03/11/2017 - 1:03am
It is now the second week of March and the forecast called for a boatload of the white stuff to fall. Nothing came overnight and nothing started coming down here until 0600. The 3-5 inches was a big bust. Maybe a couple of inches fell but nothing stuck to the roads or sidewalks. We escaped the doom and gloom all the weather forecasters said was coming but we're not out of the woods. Winter still hasn't gone home and more snow is supposedly coming on tuesday. And it's going to be cold all weekend going into tuesday.

it's lumber core
This is an old kitchen door and I noticed this after the second cut.  It's a multiple wood strip door covered with a thick veneer on the front and back. That makes using this to make the legs useless.  It would as strong as a house of cards in this direction.

long ones are toast
I got the idea to make horizontal cuts on the doors giving stock with the grain running parallel to the long way. The concept was good but the execution sucked. Both short pieces are two long grain glued pieces. I didn't saw on the glue line. Trying to do that would be a huge PITA to accomplish.

I put the doors aside and used a couple pieces of 1x4 poplar to get the legs. I am doing most of this work on the tablesaw to whack this out as quickly as I can. At this point I was bit delusional thinking I could get this done to take it to work tomorrow.

layout done
I am using bridle joints because I can do all of the saw cuts in a tenon jig on the tablesaw. The slot mortise is the first batter.

outside cuts done
I tried to remove that web in middle with a chisel but it wasn't happening. The poplar proved to be a wee bit tougher than the 1/8" chisel I was using. I went back to the tablesaw and removed it with that.

sawing the shoulder
I sawed the shoulder by hand and I did the cheeks on the tablesaw in the tenon jig. I used this to set up the tenon jig so I could do all the others. I did the cheeks on the other side of this one and then sawed the shoulders. I had to do a bit of trimming to clean the shoulders. Much better sawing the shoulders first and then the cheeks.

last of the shoulder cuts, cheeks next

it's the law
You have to keep all the cheek off cuts until the bridle joints are glued.

one frame dry fitted
The top right corner is bit off and I'll have to trim that one. Other than that, the fit of bridle joints is ok and will glue up nicely.

typewriter and mouse desk
I made this taller than my guess-ta-mate measurements. I wanted the top of the desk to be 6" up and this is 6 3/8".  If I do have to shorten this I will take an equal amount off both ends of each of the legs.

I hadn't thought this far ahead in this build. How am I going to attach the legs to the bottom of the desk? I also have to come up with a way to stabilize the legs. They are going to need something to keep them from folding inwards or outwards.

Keeping the legs at 90° to bottom I don't think I'll have problems coming up with something. Attaching the legs to the bottom will take some thinking. This plywood is 3 frog hairs below a 1/2" and that isn't a lot of meat to screw into.

I won't be taking this to work tomorrow so I'll have time to figure something out. Now it's time to get ready to go out for fish 'n chips.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Ray Tomlinson?
answer - he is regarded as the inventor of email

restored by mapputta

Old Ladies - Pedder's blog - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 11:45pm
A friend of mine from UK send me new pictures of restored saws.
My favorit moses eadon:

I like the way he brings the blades to shine without that thick glossy look.
(that is the hard, labour intensive way.)

BTW you can buy his saws via ebay!

Categories: Hand Tools

Holier Than Thou (or Me)

The Furniture Record - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 11:24pm

The two better local auction houses each had an 18th century Bible box in the same week’s auctions. As best I can recollect, neither has had a Bible box before. Both of them having one in the same week is really unusual.

The first one up is this:

Eighteenth Century English Bible Box Desk


This lot has sold for $230.

Description: Mid 18th Century; 10.75 inches height, 23.5 inches width, 16 inches depth; made of old English oak, has fully carved front panel of interlocking scrolls, interior has two upper fitted drawers, has original hand forged butterfly hinges, and locking clasp, constructed with hand forged rose head nails, overall condition is outstanding and original.

This one could be used as a writing desk. The lid is plain and it has a pencil ledge.

And the other auction house had:

English Relief Carved Bible Box


This lot has sold for $550.

Description:   Mid-18th century, oak, top and hinged lid with chip carved edge, wrought iron hinges, the lid is relief carved and dated 1740, open interior with three upper horizontal divisions, front with relief carved stylized dragons.

This one has a carved lid:


Must have been made in 1740 unless it’s a stock number.

Not useful as a writing desk unless you just plan on writing Post-Its.

The first one has two drawers in the gallery:


Two drawers but no tills.

Oddly, the drawers are not dovetailed:


You don’t need dovetails when you have nails.


The second box has a divided gallery:


Shallower but is it too shallow for drawers?


The first one has a single board back with some interesting bead details:


No fancy joinery, just nailed.

The second has a single board back without decoration:


Nothing to see here but a crack. Also nailed.


Front edge has decoration on the first:


Tastefully scalloped.

Plain edges on the second:


Here, the lid is scalloped. Base molding is a nice touch…

One of them followed me home.

Actually, I had to go back and get it.

The Birthin’ Is Done!

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 6:22pm

In my hands this morning…

I am not displeased.


Understanding & Choosing Antique Router Planes

Wood and Shop - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 6:21pm
In this video tutorial Bill Anderson shows how to choose antique router planes when you're hunting around at tool swaps, eBay, or flea markets. He also helps you understand the different types of router planes and features to look for. The full DVD, where Bill shows how to choose, refurbish, tune, and use all sorts of

On the Bench - A 1963 Hernandez y Aguado Style Guitar, Redwood/East Indian Rosewood

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 2:24pm
To whoever invented fantasy, redwood trees, and apple pie for breakfast: well done.

Dr. SunWolf, professor, Santa Clara University

This guitar, redwood/East Indian rosewood, is based upon a guitar that was made in the shop of Manuel Hernandez and Victoriano Aguado in 1963.

It is a little bigger bodied than the 1961 HyA style guitar that I usually make, I wanted to see if there is a difference in sound between a guitar with an eighteen and seven-eights inch body and a guitar with a nineteen inch body length. I know that is only an 1/8 of an inch difference, but I have heard guitar makers and players alike swear up and down that a larger bodied guitar, even an eighth of an inch bigger, is bigger and better sounding.

The top bracing is based on one used by Jesus Belezar, Manuel Hernandez's son-in-law, except I added one more bass brace.

I decided to use only three braces on the back, sometimes Hernandez and Aguado used four braces. Four braces tends to give the back a higher pitch than three braces.

Yesterday was spent doing the final sanding on the interior, there are people who believe that the inside of a classical guitar should be immaculate. Those people need to look inside a guitar made by Antonio de Torres, Santos Hernandez, Domingo Esteso or any other guitar made by an Spanish master. I spend at least one day cleaning, sanding, burnishing the inside of a guitar, it's as if the guitar is nickel and dime-ing you to death.

Glueing a guitar's back on is very nerve wracking for me, I want everything to be as perfect as possible, which means no glue drips and that all parts mate well.

This redwood top has some gorgeous medullary rays! I have learned to put several wash coats of shellac on a guitar top before I start the binding process, it helps to protect the top from binding tape and glue.

The shop is starting to look more like a guitar maker's shop with all these guitars hanging up waiting for work!

From left to right - Engelmann spruce/ziricote, redwood/black walnut, redwood/rosewood. The neck you see hanging on the rack is for a Port Orford cedar/rosewood guitar.

Categories: Luthiery

The One Tree Project

David Barron Furniture - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 10:54am

Back in 1998 a 179 year old oak was felled on the Tatton Estate in Cheshire and leading craftsmen were asked to design work using very part of the tree. By 2001 the completed work was gathered in and an excellent book was published, see above. Prince Charles wrote the forward to the book. It can be bought second hand on Amazon, enter 'One Tree Merrell'.
One of the standout pieces was the Dory Shelves (below) designed by Petter Southall which harks back to his training as a boat builder in Norway. This one off piece has come back to the market and is for sale at his lovely showroom in West Bay Dorset for £4,950. In comparison to the work he currently sells this is a relative bargain and I'm sure will represent an excellent future investment as well as a lovely piece to own.

Another stand out piece is the Romanian Chest which was Alan Peters last significant piece before his sad decline and passing. I was lucky enough to see this when I visited Alan's wife Laura and it was subsequently bought by the Craft Study Centre in Farnham where it was briefly displayed before being locked away in one of their warehouses, shame.

Matthew Burt made this lovely fluted hall table.

Branch oysters were used to make this top, one for the catwalk only!

Robert Ingham made this bench cleverly combining angles curves and straight lines.
I've heard another one tree project is being planed and I very much forward to seeing the results.

Categories: Hand Tools


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