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How to Cut a Dado on an Assembled Case

The Renaissance Woodworker - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 6:17am

Cut the Dado the Same Way You Would if the Case Weren’t Assembled

Yep, its that simple. There is no special technique for adding a shelf into a case you stupidly already assembled because the hand tool approach is to take the tool to the wood. This means you just need a way to hold the case while you saw and chop away the dado. So really this video should be titled, “How to Cut a Dado”.

Lots of Ways to Cut Dados

The method shown above is probably my go to, most common method. But there are always other ways to get to the same place. Have you seen a dado or stair saw in action? You might want to these out:




Categories: Hand Tools

Upcoming Fore Plane Class at the Storefront

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 5:54am

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 8.18.25 AM

James McConnell, of The Daily Skep, will teach a weekend class on making a fore plane July 21-22 at the storefront in Covington, Ky. Registration opens at 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 12.

Just like the other classes at Lost Art Press, it is limited to six students, and proceeds go directly to the instructor; they are not a money-making enterprise for Christopher Schwarz or Lost Art Press. He’s let those of us who are teaching use the space for free (he’ll likely edit this out, but: Chris is incredibly generous and kind) as a way to help build and get the word out on the local woodworking community in Covington. (And to help feed the cats/children/iguanas of the instructors.)

Here are the details:

Build a Traditionally Styled Laminated Fore Plane with James McConnell
July 21-22, 2018
Cost: $250, plus a $115 materials fee for the wood & iron

Build your own a traditionally styled wooden fore plane in a weekend with Jim McConnell. Using simple laminated construction, this wedge-and-pin-style plane works, looks and feels like a traditional fore plane, but it requires no specialized planemaking tools. This is a great way to get into the world of wooden handplanes – and the skills you learn in this class can be applied across the board to build planes of other sizes as well. We’ll focus on getting the bed angles right and fitting each plane to the user, so the plane you take home will be as individual as you are.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

 

Categories: Hand Tools

Desk Prototype III

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 5:07am

 

With the legs and writing box done it as time to assemble them and make the shelf that had to be fitted to them precisely not only for the structure as a whole but to provide the specs for the spindles that held them together.

Not a whole lot of descriptive detail required here, the individual components were simply screwed together to make sure the pieces fit and allow for the layout of any remaining components.

It was certainly not a wasted effort as it allowed me to work out some of the minute details that could not be spatially resolved any other way.

It was finally time to move on to my pile of vintage true mahogany.

How I rehab planes......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 12:47am
I got a comment from Andrew about my painting technique so I decided to expand on it. I will give a brief overview of how I rehab a plane. I am not a purist, or a collector. Any planes that I rehab are done with respect to get that plane to user status first and foremost. Lately my anal side took over and I've been going nutso getting the planes to look as good and shiny as possible. If you are interested in keeping patina then don't read any further.  I will take shiny and good looking over patina everyday of the week 24/365.

still straight and cup free
I will let this sticker for one more day.

primer I use
The steps I do now are the level of rehabbing I have grow to. I have learned and improved a bit more with each plane I've done but I think I have finally reached the top of things that can be done. I use spray primer only because I haven't found a can of it yet. I would rather brush this on vice spraying. I use this primer because I use Rustoleum enamel paint as my topcoat.

the plane interior
This is the only area I spray primer on. I tape off the sides and bottom and spray away. Another reason I chose this spray primer is that I can spray at any angle. That helps when trying to spray into the corners of the vertical surfaces.

Before I spray the primer I scrape and clean the body with degreaser. I then apply the stripper. After I strip the interior I scrape and sand it as best I can. Sandblasting it would be the best choice here.  Before I spray on the primer, I clean the body one last time with acetone.

Rustoleum oil based black enamel
I put on two coats of black enamel and I haven't had to use more than two on any plane I've done so far. I have used this brush on every rehab that I have painted and it is still working ok. I use oil based enamel because one it is shiny and will stay this way. And two, this is a durable paint that once it has set shouldn't chip readily. It should provide protection and shine for this plane for a whole lot of years.

sole
My reasoning for going nutso on the sole is that doing it this way will make it slick and easier to push. There should be less friction between the stock and the sole. I sand starting with 80 grit but that depends on the condition of the sole and I may jump up to a higher grit to start with. After 80 I use 120, 180, 220, 320, 400, and finish with 600. I could go further but this is shiny enough for me here. The last step for the sole and the cheeks is to apply Autosol. The Autosol imparts a little more shine but it protects the plane for several months.

you decide
Patina from age or shine from a little time and muscle?

made big improvements with the frogs
When I first started rehabbing I avoided the frog because I was intimidated by it. I was fearful of breaking something so I basically left them alone. I don't prime them before painting them but I do remove as much japanning as I can. I follow that up with a good cleaning with acetone and then two topcoats.

One thing I do now is remove the yoke. It is a simple matter of punching out the pin that holds it. It's just as easy to replace. I haven't gotten up the courage to try and remove the lateral adjust lever. I read a couple of blogs where they remove the lateral adjust and pin it again and peen it over. I may buy a frog to practice on because that would make painting the frog even easier to do.

frog face
 I was just sanding this until it was flat. If it got smooth that was bonus but getting it flat was the number one reason for sanding it. Now I'm getting it flat and then shining it up to 600 grit and I like that look.. I start with 150, then 220, 320, 400, and stop at 600. I use Autosol on the face only as my final step.

lever caps
The left cap is from a #4 I rehabbed several years ago. I concentrated my efforts then mostly to remove rust and I didn't try shining this up. I only discovered that I could shine these up by accident. One cap had a scratch on the face and I tried to sand it out and noticed that it was getting shiny. I am sanding the lever caps with the same grits as the frog faces.

frog from a rehabbed #4
Usually the sides of the sides are rough and bumpy. I'm sure that this is the way they came from being cast and this surface didn't get any love. Filing the sides of the frog I found is very easy to do. I now file the frog sides smooth removing the bumps and rough casting marks.

4 1/2 frog
This was rougher than the #4 frog up above before I filed and painted it.

spray painted on the left  and brushed on the right
I no longer spray the topcoat because it is a PITA. I like brushing. I am a good painter and I enjoy painting the top coat. More importantly I think the results are better than what I got spraying it. The sprayed coat is an Engine paint if I remember. That is what was recommended but it is dull and listless looking. When I go back and rehab this #3 again, painting it and the frog with the enamel paint will perk it up a lot.

4 1/2 on up have toe screws on the totes
I replace the steel toe screws with a brass ones. I get them from Bill Rittner here. He also makes replacement totes and knobs. I have been finishing the knobs and totes with shellac but I am going to try using Tru-oil instead.

Stanley barrel nuts
The ones on the left were used first by Stanley and then switched to the style on the left. Or maybe it was the other way around. Here's my take on them - the ones on the left I don't like and I don't use. I like the solid barrel nuts but these being brass they usually have the snot beat out of the slot. Bill Rittner sells replacements.

These are Bill Rittner replacement nuts
I can't tell the difference between Bill's barrel nuts and the original ones. Like all brass, the shine doesn't last.

the small parts
I remove all loose rust, clean, and degrease all the small parts first. I clean the threads with the wire brush and the dental pick. I then give them an EvapoRust bath. Out of the bath I'll sand the flats where I can and the stud barrels.

oiling the small parts is next
I only use the oil on the steel parts. No oil on any of the brass parts.

almost forgot about the adjuster knob
I've been cleaning and shining up the knob with this. You can get this at any grocery store or Wally World. This is the best stuff I've used to clean up the adjuster knobs. Even the filthy, grungy, dirty ones too.

tale of two knobs
The knob on the bottom left was cleaned and shined with Bar Keeps and then I used Autosol on it. The knob on the right is from the #4 I just got done rehabbing. That knob was only done with Bar Keeps and it is shiny but the Autosol knob is 3 frog hairs shinier. And it has a nice soft luster to it that the Bar Keeps one doesn't have.  I'll keep using the Bar Keeps and finishing them with Autosol. I can see a difference in the two that I couldn't capture with this pic.

this is a must
You will need a container of some kind to keep the parts together after you take the plane down to parade rest. This is a cereal container and I have boatload of them. Another choice would a chinese take out container. Always a good thing to have a few of them in the shop.

finger sanders
I got these from Lowes and if I remember correctly they are made by Shop Smith? They are flexible and conform nicely to the shape of the lever cap. Huge improvement in sanding with these over holding the sandpaper in your fingers. I'll be buying another set just for woodworking and I'll keep these dirty ones for metal work.

sanding blocks
I don't know how I did all the sanding before without these. They are various sized blocks of wood that I glued 1/4" thick cork to. I was doing the sanding by hand but no more - these sanding blocks are worth their weight in gold as far as I'm concerned..

needs some wood
This is basically how I now rehab a plane. This 4 1/2 is a daily user for  me and one that I am doing the rehab over on. I painted the body and the frog. I shined the lever cap and frog and once the tote and knob get some finish, this will take it's place at the top left corner of my bench.

I haven't given up on this yet
Lee Valley started their free shipping for orders over $40 and my order this morning came to $40.60. I bought some brown rouge that I hope will work on these wheels. I want to try them with the LV rouge before I buy another buffing wheel.

bought an adapter for the Craftsman ratcheting screwdriver
I bought the hex adapter for this and one for my braces. I am looking to get a 5 or 6 inch sweep brace that I can use to drive big blots or screws. I rounded out my order from LV with a set of cup and washer magnet sets that I might use on the rolling tool cabinet.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that the Japanese Nintendo Company made playing cards before it made computer games?

Locks

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 4:33pm

Chests, cupboards, boxes, cabinets – most any wooden furniture that opened and closed had an iron lock in 17th-century New England (& old England for that matter). It’s rare that they survive, even more unusual is a customer who wants to pay what it takes to get locks on their custom furniture. I have such a client right now, for 2 boxes and a chest. So I get to a.) show how I install a handmade lock, and b.) first, re-learn how I install a handmade lock. I do them so rarely that each time is like doing it for the first time. The lock above was made by Peter Ross, blacksmith. http://peterrossblacksmith.com/ His website is perpetually under construction. His iron work is top flight. We’ll get the tacky stuff out of the way first – if you want locks that are so-called “museum-quality/period-correct”, expect to pay for them. This lock, with escutcheon and 2 keys was $650. I suspect Peter still undercharged me, given the amount of work that goes into these. OK. Now to install it.

I cut a test-mortise in a piece of scrap to make sure I was on the right track. Then proceeded to the box. First, bore the main part of the keyhole.

The real dumb thing was to build the box, then decide it wanted a lock. So now, how to hold it for all the chopping, paring, etc? Because of the overhang of the bottom/front, I had to prop the box up on a piece of 7/8″ thick pine. I put some bubblewrap between them so as to not mess up the carved front too much. Then to hold the lid open with something other than my forehead, I cut an angle on a piece of scrap, and clamped it with a spring clamp. Not traditional, but worked well.

After scribing the layout based on the lock, I sawed two ends as deeply as I could.

After chopping some of that waste out, I had to re-score the end grain. I switched to a very sharp knife for this part. worked great.

Alternated scoring with the knife and paring with this long-bladed paring chisel.

Once I got to the stage for testing the fit, I realized I needed a hole bored in the scrap below for the sleeve to fit through. Once that was in place, I swiped a black sharpie over the lock, and then tested it. Left black marks where I needed to adjust things.

Some back & forth til it fit the way I wanted it. The slot on the top edge of the lock is for the staple from the lid to engage the bolt. So I needed to get the wood out of that slot.

Ready to be nailed in place. I bored pilot holes, and drove the nails in. I backed them up out front, thinking some might poke through. As it happened only one did, in a low point in the carving. So no trouble at all.

Then needed to open up the keyhole a bit. A rare appearance of a file in my woodworking. I bored a small hole first, then opened it up with the file.

The escutcheon, nailed in place. I had to snip the ends of these nails off, so they wouldn’t mess up the lock. In this application, they are as short as a wrought nail can be just about.

Then, some fussing to locate and excavate the housing for the staple. Here, I locked the staple to the lock and impressed its position by using the sharpie, and closing the lid & leaning on it. That left a mark so I could see where to cut into the lid.

Knife and chisel work again.

 

I got this part done, then had to pick up speed because it was getting dark. So the final photos will be another day. It’s 99.9% done. An adjustment is all that’s left.

 

Scroll saw Tune up

Journeyman's Journal - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 2:09pm

This is a video on blade calibration to make it run true and vibration free. I was very nervous in the video and when I’m nervous my mind usually goes blank. Hope the video is beneficial to you.

Categories: Hand Tools

Could You Tackle These Mouldings?

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 11:54am
Moulding-1

FIG. 1. CABINET WITH BROKEN PEDIMENT INVOLVING USE OF RAKING OR SLOPING MOULDINGS. It is interesting to note that this piece dates from about 1740, and it is in the manner of William Kent.


This is an excerpt from “The Woodworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years” published by Lost Art Press.

Of course, you realize that the feature that makes this work awkward is the fact that the moulding which forms the pediment slopes upwards towards the middle. It necessitates a different section from that at the sides, and introduces an interesting problem in mitreing. The pediments of doorways, windows, and mantelpieces often had this feature.

A little reflection will show you that the moulding which runs around the side of the cabinet, the return mould as it is called, must necessarily be different in section from the sloping mould at the front (raking mould, to give it its technical title). Apart from anything else, the top surface cannot be square but must obviously slope to agree with the raking mould, and its top square member must be vertical. The whole contour, however, is quite different because it would otherwise be impossible to make the members meet on a true mitre line. These points are at once clear from a glance at Fig. 2 (A and B).

Moulding-2

FIG. 2. HOW SECTIONS ARE PLOTTED. A is section of side return mould; B is raking mould; C and D are alternatives for centre return moulds.

Before proceeding farther, it will be as well to explain that so far as the centres of these broken pediments* are concerned there are two distinct methods that can be employed. In the one the same section is used for the return as the raking mould, so that the square members of the moulding which would normally be vertical lean over at right angles with the raking mould. The pediment in Fig. 1 is of this kind; also that shown at C in Fig. 2. In the second method the section of the return is different, and is arranged so that all normally vertical members remain vertical as at D, Fig. 2. This latter method naturally involves considerably more work but has a better appearance. Both methods were used in old woodwork.

To return to the outer corners, the first step is to fix the contour of the return moulding since this is the one which is seen the more when the cabinet is viewed from the front. Draw in this as shown at A, Fig. 2, and along the length of the raking mould draw in any convenient number of parallel lines, a, b, c, d, e. Where these cross the line of the moulding erect the perpendicular lines 1-7. From the point x draw a horizontal line. With centre x draw in the series of semicircles to strike the top line of the raking moulding, and then continue them right across the latter in straight lines at right angles with it. The points at which they cut the lines a-e are points marking the correct section of the raking mould, and it is only necessary to sketch in a curve which will join them (see B). The same principle is followed in marking the centre return D, but, instead of drawing the semi-circles, the vertical lines 1-7 are drawn in the same spacing as at A (the reverse way round, of course).

Moulding-3

FIG. 3. ASCERTAINING MITRE LINES.

Having worked the sections the problem arises of finding and cutting the mitre. This is explained in Fig. 3. The return mould presents no difficulty, and it is usual to cut and fit this first. It is just cut in the mitre box using the 45 deg. cut. Note that the back of the moulding is kept flat up against the side of the mitre box, the sloping top edge being ignored. Now for the raking mould. Square a line across the top edge far enough from the end to allow for the mitre, and from it mark the distance T R along the outer edge. This T R distance, of course, is the width of the return moulding measured square across the sloping top edge. This enables the top mitre line to be drawn in. The depth line is naturally vertical when the raking mould is in position. You can therefore set the adjustable bevel to the angle indicated at U and mark the moulding accordingly.

Worked and cut in this way the mouldings should fit perfectly. We may mention, however, that you can get out of the trouble of having different sections by allowing a break in the raking mould as at Z, Fig. 2. The mitre at the break runs across the width, and the one at the corner across the thickness.

The method of ascertaining the sections of mouldings should be used for all large, important work. If, however, you have a simple job to do requiring just one small length you can eliminate the setting out altogether. First work the return mould and cut its mitre. As already mentioned this is at 45 deg. and is cut straight down square. Fix it in position temporarily and prepare a piece of stuff for the raking mould. Its thickness will be the same as that of the return mould, but it will be rather narrower. Mark out and cut the mitre as described in Fig. 3. If preferred the adjustable bevel can be used entirely as in Fig. 4. The tool is placed so that it lines up with the slope of the raking mould, and the blade adjusted to line up with the mitre (see A). This gives the top marking.

Moulding-4

FIG. 4. FINDING SECTION BY MITREING FIRST

Now set the bevel to the slope of the raking mould as at B. Mark the back of the mould and cut the mitre. Offer it up in position and with a pencil draw a line around the profile of the return mould as in Fig. 4. Work the moulding to the section thus produced.

Meghan Bates

*A broken pediment is one in which the raking moulds, instead of meeting at the centre, are stopped short and are returned as in Fig. 1.

Categories: Hand Tools

New Online Course @ 360Woodworking.com

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 9:51am
New Online Course @ 360Woodworking.com

This week I posted a new online course to which all current members have free access. The project is a Chippendale Fretwork Looking Glass. (If you are a current member, and please make sure that you are logged in, click here to jump to the article, which includes information at the bottom on how to download your course.)

If you’re interested in what this online course is all about, plus learn a bit about the project itself, take a look at the course in the 360Woodworking.com store (go here).

Continue reading New Online Course @ 360Woodworking.com at 360 WoodWorking.

Precision Instruments for Woodworkers — Part Two: Rules and Tapes

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 7:30am

Tapes and Rulers Early on, I remember reading somewhere that you should never rely on measuring tapes in a woodworking shop. Only use your rulers, never tapes. Though I understand the conclusion suggested because tapes are heavily used and vulnerable, I thought it seemed an odd idea. In practice, I neither agree with nor follow that rule. Because I make furniture — where many part dimensions are longer than most rules, […]

The post Precision Instruments for Woodworkers — Part Two: Rules and Tapes appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Barn Workshop – Build A Classic Workbench

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 5:35am

And speaking of workbenches, you’ll have the opportunity to work with me at The Barn building your own version of either a basic Roubo or Nicholson bench in Southern Yellow Pine.  Thanks to my adapting David Barron’s innovative system for building laminated Roubo benches, and the elegant simplicity of the Nicholson bench, you can arrive empty handed (except for your tools) on Monday and depart at the end of the week with a bench fully ready to go.  The only likely hindrance to this outcome is if you spend too much time simply looking at the mountain vista on the horizon.

The finished bench does not include holdfasts or vise mechanisms; if you want those you can supply your own or I can order them for you separately.  And if you prefer a 5-1/2″ slab for the Roubo bench rather than the 3-3/4″ slab, there will be an additional $100 materials fee.

============================================

The complete 2018 Barn workshop schedule:

Historic Finishing  April 26-28, $375

Making A Petite Dovetail Saw June 8-10, $400

Boullework Marquetry  July 13-15, $375

Knotwork Banding Inlay  August 10-12, $375

Build A Classic Workbench  September 3-7, $950

contact me here if you are interested in any of these workshops.

When scythes go bad

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 3:32am
The scythe season is rapidly approaching and I hope I’ll see you on one of my Learn to Scythe courses where you’ll learn to set up, sharpen and mow for the maximum effectiveness and enjoyment. One of the trickiest things … Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

drawer prep......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 1:00am
I was hoping to get the 4 1/2 together sans the knob and tote but it didn't happen. I started to do it but noticed a paint boo boo that I had to touch up. Tomorrow I should be able to get it put together without the wooden parts. The knob and tote still need to stripped and sanded so I can put a finish on them.

came in today
I'm thinking of using this on the 4 1/2 tote and knob. The only problem I see with it is that I've used shellac on every one of the other rehabs so far. I if put on this one it will stick out like the red headed stuttering step child. I've been thinking about it since I put it on the bench on which way to go with it. I think I'll put it on the 4 1/2 and if I like it, the 5 1/2 will get it too. It has shellac which I can easily strip off.

600 grit shine
Right below my baby finger is a patch on the lever cap. The sanding up to 600 grit blended it into the lever cap and made it noticeably less visible. I spent a few extra minutes sanding it more but I don't think I'll get it any better than this. I thought of buying another lever cap but I am going to keep this one.

the paint boo boo
I got this when I scraped the seats down here. I also have another one on both cheek walls and up by the upper frog seats. I got the ones here from sanded the frog seats.

drawer stock 1x8 - actually 7 1/2"

48 inches long
If I am lucky I could get two boards out of each about 3 1/2 inches wide. If I go this way I can get one drawer out of one board. That isn't always the case though. Straightening out one edge can eat up a lot of width if it is bowed or wonky in any other way. I don't have good luck with planing multiple boards to the same width and that is where I tend to lose a lot of width.

I bought 4 boards because my original intent was to use two boards to make one drawer. I am going to stick to that because I want the drawers to be 4 1/2 inches deep. Allowing for the groove and bottom will give an interior drawer depth of 4".

brown and red knot
The brown knot is on the side of the board I'll be keeping. After the drawer is done I'll epoxy the brown knot so it won't shrink and fall out.

this brown knot fell out
This knot was there when I brought this home. No matter as it is on the waste side of the board.

the knot board will give up the two backs

some weird grain about 2/3 of the way down
The straightest grained boards will be used for the sides. I don't like the grain swirl in this board so I'll use it for the fronts.

reference edge and face
 I ripped this a 16th over. I will plane the reference face flat before I cross cut out the drawer parts.

they are pretty straight and flat
I was very encouraged after looking at these tonight. I bought them on sunday and before I sawed them out they looked like this. Usually 1x pine from Lowes cups and bows after one day in the shop. Tomorrow I'll flatten one side and remove any twist. I'll let that sit and sticker for another day. I might get to dovetailing by friday.

scraped the front knob
I sanded it after I had scraped all of the finish off.

filed a fresh burr
raising a burr on the knife is very easy to do and it only takes a few seconds. I file the bevel on the sheet rock knife a few strokes. That puts a burr on the opposite side and it usually lasts long enough to scrape the whole knob.

ready for sanding
I can tell I scraped all the finish off because there isn't anything shiny left anywhere on the knob.

My father-in-law is out the ICU and on the regular ward. He may be discharged tomorrow to the rehab unit which is next door to the hospital. It doesn't look like he'll be going home but to a nursing home after rehab.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that Henry Stanley of "Dr Livingston, I presume....." fame fought for both the south and the north in the American Civil War?

Bob is right

Oregon Woodworker - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 7:03pm
On a recent podcast, Bob Rozaieski talked about efficiency with hand tools and one of the subjects he covered was choice of wood species.  He advises staying away from white oak and hard maple.  I know he's right.  It was brought home to me recently as I was doing some learning exercises so I could cut better half-blind dovetails.  I used scraps, sapele for the fronts and douglas-fir for the sides and back.  I have been working with white oak a lot recently and this was so much easier and more pleasurable I could hardly believe it.  The fact is that woods like mahogany, cherry, walnut, pine, poplar and even soft maple are much easier to work with hand tools.

The problem is that there are sometimes good reasons to work with white oak.  I really like arts and crafts furniture, much of which is best in white oak.  In addition, white oak has properties that make it very desirable, like for the outside table I made recently.  It rains a great deal here in the northwest and white oak's rot resistance is important.  I like the way white oak looks too; it seemed just right for the kitchen work table I made recently.

I did ask Bob about it and he responded at some length on a subsequent podcast (beginning at about 10:30) with a number of good ideas that are worth your while.  Nevertheless, there is just no getting around the fact that white oak is difficult to work with hand tools.

I have been thinking about how to reconcile the difficulty of working white oak with the fact that it is very desirable for some projects.  For starters, there are projects I have used white oak for that would be as good in a species easier to work.  My days of making small oak boxes are mostly over.

I am going to increase my use hybrid techniques for some operations when I am working white oak.  I will still use hand tools for many operations.  Sawing, making mortise and tenon joints, jointing are examples of things that hand tools work just fine for, though I do drill out the waste in my mortises.  The things that I have found most difficult when working white oak are making grooves, dadoes and rabbets.  It would be one thing if I had pairs of plow and rabbet planes so I could always work with the grain, but that's not going to happen.  Working against the grain in white oak with these planes is sometimes too difficult and/or time consuming and it's not very enjoyable.  It can be done, I've done it, but it's laborious.

This is only speculation, but I wonder if this last issue is one reason arts and crafts furniture is traditionally made with quartersawn white oak.  My experience is that it is a lot easier to work with than flatsawn material.

I like Greene and Greene style box joints a lot and that keeps you from using secondary woods for drawer sides.  Recently, I used vertical grain douglas-fir for half-blind dovetails, which I like a lot, but it splits very easily.  I dislike poplar because of the greenish cast in what I see at my supplier.  Alder is plentiful and inexpensive here and I think that will become my secondary wood.  It's hardness is comparable to poplar.

One of the things that puzzles me is why white oak was preferred in the arts and crafts era.  Was it because power tools were becoming more available?  Was it because it was affordable?  Was it an aesthetic choice?  Bob points out that most of the mortises in arts and crafts furniture were made with machines.
Categories: Hand Tools

Handplane Basics

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 12:07pm

Woodworkers tend to have very strong feelings about the different ways of doing things – and handplanes is one of those subjects where opinions can vary wildly and discussions can even get pretty heated. There are three main arguments about handplanes: bevel orientation, number of planes to use and body type. Bevel orientation refers to the way the iron sits in the plane. Shown above are a low angle bevel-up […]

The post Handplane Basics appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Glue Ups & Grain Direction

The English Woodworker - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 9:54am
Glue Ups & Grain Direction

Gluing up can be a frantic time.
And if you’re like me, it’ll be messy too.

But how much should we be planning ahead, before we get it all stuck together?

When we glued up the top for our Hall Table build, we received a few questions on this topic.

They were good queries, pondering over grain direction and alternating growth rings.

So I thought we’d cover this in a little bit of detail.

Continue reading at The English Woodworker.

Categories: Hand Tools

The Issue Four Packing Party

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 9:51am

The arrival of Issue Four is right around the corner – and with each new issue of M&T comes the fine, established tradition of the Mortise & Tenon Packing Party! Now that we’re publishing twice per year, we’re doubling up on these tremendously fun events. We’ve had folks travel from all over to help wrap each new issue in brown paper, affix a special trade card with wax seal, and place it in a mailer with a handful of pine plane shavings.

Everyone shares good food (wood-fired pizza, home-baked goodies, and more), locally-roasted coffee, excellent conversation, and an overall fantastic time. We don’t send anyone home empty-handed - we've got plenty of M&T goodies to go around. The “show and tell” opportunity is my favorite part, as everyone pulls recent projects, old tools, and books out of trunks and backseats to get passed around and discussed.

The dates for our Issue Four Packing Party are March 23-24, Friday and Saturday, in Blue Hill, Maine. We’re looking again to rent a house for those who will need accommodations, so please let us know if that is important to you!

If you are interested in signing up to join us, please send us an email right away at info@mortiseandtenonmag.com. We can’t guarantee anyone a slot just yet, but we will be operating on a first come, first served basis. Our Issue Three party was a blast, and we look forward to seeing new faces and old friends again as we launch Issue Four!

- Mike

 

Categories: Hand Tools

When you lose the muse

A Woodworker's Musings - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 7:52am

Looking back over 2017’s activity, I see that I posted only four times.  Four posts!  Not too long ago I’d post four times a week.  So what’s happened?  After nearly sixty years of woodworking have I had enough?  Has “the muse” deserted me?  Perhaps.  But I doubt it.

The last twelve months have included a fair amount of travel and a move.  Yes, a move.  Gone are the days of being confined in my “little shed”, tripping over lumber, blowing fuses, etc.  The new abode includes a 2 1/2 car garage that will become the shop.  Of course there’s a fair amount of preparatory work to be done; insulating, heating, painting (white, white, white).  Then there’ll be new tills and racks to build, getting the lighting just right, sorting through boxes.  All that has to be complete before I can start back to work on a number of projects that remain unfinished.

While attempting to relocate the muse, I have made a few notes to myself:

1.  Running out of room for furniture – Hmm – What to do?

2.  Explore some areas of the craft that you’ve been away from for a while.

3.  Share as much information about “trade” geometry as possible.

Wherever the road takes me…

Categories: Hand Tools

Building Bench #18 – III

The Barn on White Run - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 5:37am

With the bench “assembled” I turned it over halfway and rough trimmed the bottoms of the legs. Even though I was handling it by myself, wrestling with a 350-pound behemoth is fairly straightforward if I am careful and make sure I am actually handling half or less of the total weight, which is the case if I am rolling or spinning it.  With the legs cut to rough length I rolled it the rest of the way over so I could work on flattening the top for a couple of hours.

With the bench on its feet, but on a rolling cart so I could move it easily,  I set about to installing the planing stop I had already glued up.  I planed it such that the fit was very tight, counting on a few humidity cycles to induce ccompression fit on both the stop and the mortise in which it resides in the hopes of establishing a nice firm fit in the end.  I’d wanted to put a full width (of the block) toothed tip on the stop but I did not have the piece of scrap steel in the drawer that could suffice so I just used what I had.  I filed the teeth, drilled and countersunk the holes for some honkin’ big screws and assembled the stop.  I also excavated the top of the bench so the entire assembly is flush.

photo courtesy of J. Rowe

photo courtesy of J. Hurn

With that I cut and affixed temporary(?) stretchers to the legs to support the shelf, Kreg screw style (without the Kreg jig), which on a decently built Roubo or Nicholson bench is the only functional purpose for stretchers.  If mortised stretchers are needed to stabilize the bench structure, it wasn’t built well enough.  Using scraps from the pile I cut and laid the shelf boards and attached the vise and for now, it was done.  Come summer I will flatten the top again and call it quits.  As it was the bench served my needs perfectly in Williamsburg to give me both a perfectly functioning work station and a focus for my sermon on workbenches and holdfasts,

Woodworking Is The Sport—Practice, Practise, Practice

Paul Sellers - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 3:55am

Craft Can Have Different Meaning Some times we lose sight of the meaning of craft. To some, perhaps most, it’s now become more a pastime—something you do when there is nothing to watch or you have nothing else to do. Schools have also succumbed to become somewhat dismissive of true craft to substitute what we […]

Read the full post Woodworking Is The Sport—Practice, Practise, Practice on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

almost no shop time.......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 12:26am
My father-in-law is still in ICU and his condition is unchanged. The doctors think that when he fell last week that it was caused by a stroke he suffered then and there. He also has mild dementia and that is getting worse with each passing week. It makes me sad me that he doesn't recognize his wife of almost 70 years anymore. He won't be going home but will going into a nursing home when and if he is discharged. That and this hospitalization, is the only time that he has ever been apart from his wife.

When I got home I could have spent more time in the shop but I didn't. I was thinking of my wife's father and my father. He passed on when he was 69. I could have gone and seen him at the hospital the night he was admitted but my wife's best friend was his nurse and she said he needed to rest and I should come see him the following day. He died the next morning at 0625 and I never got to see him. Not going to see him when I could have is a regret that I still feel over 20 years later.

frog is done
It took me a few minutes to get going here.The sanding broke me out of my funk but I didn't get the plane put back together. No matter as I didn't have much interest in doing that. I got the frog face sanded with 400 and 600 grit. I believe I found another step to add to my rehabbing.

been a while since I posted a blurry pic
What the pic is attempting to show is the comparison between the knob on left with Autosol on it and the knob on the right which was done with Bar Keeps Best Friend. I'll be putting Autosol on the knobs from now on. I will clean them first with Bar Keeps and use Autosol on them. The Autosol imparts a much higher shine and regular readers know how much I like shiny things.

Autosol on the frog
The pic doesn't show it that well but this frog looks great. I can still see a few scratch lines here and there but the face is shiny. I think I could shave with this because I can see myself in it. This may seem like a wasted step because who will see it? Me, and I will know that I have done it. I think it is just one step in the whole of making the plane look as good as I possibly can.

rough looking heel ends
I tried to sand this with the 150 grit sanding stick and it just laughed at me. It barely sanded a bit on the top and bottom edge. I reached for file because Ive found it is quick and easy to file any parts of the plane.

less then a minute on each side
The roughness is gone and there is bit of shine. I sanded it with the 150 grit sandpaper and it looks better now. Not as shiny smooth as the toe but much better than what it looked it.

who knew?
I sanded the lever cap up to 600 grit but the shine isn't as good as the frog face or the plane body. It is better, to my eye, then the patina look it had previously. I have sanded the caps on past rehabs but it was to remove rust, not raise a shine. I finished the plane body sanding too but didn't do the Autosol. Decided to quit here for the night. The sun will still rise tomorrow, I think.

tote 80% ready, knob 0%
Looking at these two pieces of wood made me think of what would happen to them if my dance ticket got punched tonight? Would someone even bother to put the 4 1/2 back together? Would they even know what these are for? While I was eating dinner I realized that it wouldn't mean diddly squat to me. But as long as my dance card is still active it will.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that Brazilian jockey Jorge Ricardo recently tied record holder Canadian jockey Russell Blaze with 12,488 wins?

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