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An aggregate of many different woodworking blog feeds from across the 'net all in one place!  These are my favorite blogs that I read everyday...

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Big Sky Rejuvenation

WPatrickEdwards - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 4:11pm

Looking South on Lake Ennis from my neighbor's land


My father's family arrived from Germany around 1908 and settled with the rest of the Germans in Wisconsin.  My great grandfather was a simple carpenter, and worked with his hands all his life.  Not finding the jobs in Wisconsin, he left the family behind and hopped the train West.

When the train stopped in Whitehall, Montana, he looked out the window and saw the smoldering remains of what had been the main block of businesses in town.  The entire block had burned down the night before, and he understood that there might be work soon to rebuild it, so he set up shop.

For the next 20 years he operated a mill and sash shop, and sold construction lumber as the Interstate Lumber Company.  His shop had a large painted sign on the front, which reflected the philosophy of the day, "A Square Deal."  In the center of the shop stood the prize piece of woodworking machinery, the Crescent Multi Woodworking Tool.  This belt driven tool was a large single chunk of cast iron, weighing nearly half a ton.  It included a 36" band saw, 16" jointer, 12" table saw, and a hand operated mortising chisel, all driven by a leather belt running under the floor.  My job, when I was very small, was crawling under the floor and lubricating the bearings of the belt.

You can imagine why I am not that interested in using power woodworking tools after that.

In any event, as I was born in Southern California, the visits to Montana were annual and rather short, depending on the weather.  I am not interested in snow.  However, I love the smell of the mountains, and the open sky and fishing.  I also love finding deer, minks, sandhill cranes, rabbits, owls and other wildlife wandering around the property.  Not so much the beavers...who think my creek is their swimming pool.

The Miller Cabin, after 90 years

Fortunately, my family had the good sense to purchase a couple acres on a lake, 60 miles from Whitehall, to set up a vacation cabin or two.  Actually, there are three cabins, all from the 1930's and still furnished with all the furniture, dishes, wood stoves, guns and fishing rods, and vehicles from that time.  Really a simple "turn key" operation.  The first cabin was a simple building, which was built inside the workshop in Whitehall. Then it was taken apart, placed on a Model T flatbed truck and driven over the dirt road to Ennis, where it was put back together.  It is a wonderful cabin, completely wood inside, with all the conveniences of "modern" life, except plumbing, and insulation.  I helped install electricity in the 1960's so we could have a refrigerator and lights.

I have enjoyed these cabins with my family and friends for the past 60 years, and find it essential to return there for a different "perspective" on life.  Like Walden before me, I find solace in the simplicity of life, when you live off the land.  Chopping wood, getting water from the artesian well, catching fish, and just watching the environment as it changes over time is a full time activity.

Each year there is a lot of timber which needs clearing, as the weather is fierce and the trees are old.  Last year and this year I lost two of my largest willow trees, and it took a fair amount of time to clear out the wood.  I must admit, I am rather good with a double axe.  I really enjoy using it to cut wood.  It is such a different aspect of woodworking from the usual job I have, cutting minuscule pieces of exotic hardwoods with a 2/0 jeweler's blade.



Nice Chain!  Need a Pull?

Reliable Transportation since 1946

There are also several vehicles which are waiting for us and ready to go when we arrive.  The best one is a 1941 Dodge Power Wagon, which was built for the medical corps during the second War.  This truck was purchased by my great uncle in 1946 and refitted for mountain camping purposes.  I learned to double clutch on this truck and it is a wonderful thing to drive...anywhere you want.  It has been on top of all these mountains around the cabin many, many times.

There is a bit of culture shock when I return to my workshop.  It soon wears off, as I begin to get back in the "groove" of work.  The good news is that I am constantly reminded of where I came from and it keeps me humble as I work on the wonderful things which compose my life's work.


Cooked on a Wood Stove


Categories: Hand Tools

And the ‘Practical Woodworker’ Winner Is…

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 3:20pm

Congratulations to DBell, whose comment on my giveaway post last week was chosen randomly from among all respondents. He or she is the lucky winner of a set of the four-volume paperback set of “The Practical Woodworker.” — Megan Fitzpatrick

The post And the ‘Practical Woodworker’ Winner Is… appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Making a Joiner’s Mallet

The Literary Workshop Blog - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 2:59pm

My current joiner’s mallet is over six years old and is starting to show a little wear.  I’ve had some pecan wood drying in my attic for a year now, and I decided it was time to bring it down and make some mallets with it. I have a 3″X4″ thick piece just for the heads, plus a nice 1″-thick piece for the handles. Both have a little spalting in them, but the wood is still perfectly sound. I’ll be able to get three mallets out of this stock. 

Mallet Making 10-14 - - 1

Mallets come in many sizes, and two of the three I’m making will be fairly big. All the striking faces will be 3″ square. The heads themselves will be somewhere between 3 1/4″ and 3 1/2″ tall. The heads of the two big ones are about 5″ long at the bottom, and the smaller one is about 4″. The striking faces are angled at about 5 degrees.

The handles were cut out at 15″ long, but once they are nicely fitted, I can trim them back if necessary.  I want a handle that is about 10″ long underneath the head, and I want to leave about 1″ sticking out of the top.  The handle blanks are 1″ wide at the bottom and 1 1/4″ wide at the top.

For joiner’s mallets, just about any tough hardwood is suitable: hickory, pecan, ash, white oak, beech, elm, hard maple, osage orange… the list goes on and on. You just don’t want anything that’s easy to split. (I would not use black walnut or mesquite, for example.) And when the mallet does finally give up the ghost, it takes only an hour or two to make another one.

I do like Roy Underhill’s approach to making a joiner’s mallet, and my method is almost identical. I’ll point out a couple differences in a moment.

After squaring up my stock, I rough-cut the parts out on the bandsaw. (That’s the first departure from St. Roy!)

Mallet Making 10-14 - - 4The handle on a joiner’s mallet can be attached in a variety of ways.  Some are turned and wedged into a round mortise in the head.  Others are attached with a square or angled mortise.  In this design, which I owe to Paul Sellers, the entire handle is tapered and is inserted through the head.  The more you use it, the tighter the head gets wedged in place.

Like Paul Sellers (and unlike Roy Underhill), I like a rounded top to my mallet heads. If the top of the head is flat, the top edge is an acute angle, which is naturally weak. Rounding the top off is an extra step in the process, but it seems to keep the top edge of the mallet face from splitting out. Ideally, that top edge should be a slightly obtuse angle.

Mallet Making 10-14 - - 2

I sketched the curve freehand, cut it out on the bandsaw, and then smoothed the surface with a smoothing plane. I start planing at about the last half inch of the surface, then work my way back slowly taking short strokes. With care, the result is a nicely rounded surface.

Laying out the mortise on the head is a little tricky. It’s best to use the handle itself as a template for the angle.

Mallet Making 10-14 - - 3

I mark the width of the mortise on the bottom, then lay the handle across the head. I measure from both ends to make sure the handle is centered, then trace my layout lines. It’s a little precarious, but it does work.

Mallet Making 10-14 - - 5

The result is a slightly angled mortise.

Then it’s time to actually cut the mortise. If you’re using good, tough wood (as you should be), it’s not going to be terribly easy any way you cut it.

Mallet Making 10-14 - - 6Roy’s advice is spot-on. Use a brace and bit (I used a 15/16″) to bore out the center of the mortise. Bore in from both sides. It’s a lot easier than trying to turn a big bit in a 3″ deep hole.

Then it’s just a matter of squaring up the mortises.

Mallet Making 10-14 - - 9

I took small bites with my 1″ chisel, but I did also resort to a couple narrower chisels for the final clean-up. A 1/2″ chisel is much easier to drive into tough wood than is the 1″. You want the ends of the mortise straight and clean–no under-cutting! (A rasp or file can help clean up from the chisel work.) The sides, however, can be undercut a little to allow the handle to pass in cleanly. You want it wedged up against the end grain on both ends of the mortise. Once the mortise is squared up, the handle can be planed to an exact fit.

Before you insert the handle into the mortise, relieve the corners.  If you’ve cut everything accurately, the handle should stop a little short of where you want it. Then you can just plane the handle down to fit where you want it.

Mallet Making 10-14 - - 10

In dry weather, a head can creep up the handle, but when it gets humid again, it will jam onto the handle and will become impossible to remove. That’s a good thing, ultimately. But that means you want to leave a little extra handle sticking out of the top.

But before you get the handle irrevocably wedged into the head, you need to shape the handle. This is my favorite part–all spokeshave work.

Mallet Making 10-14 - - 11

Now, if you just rounded over the corners, the handle would want to slip right out of your hand when you used it. So some shaping is in order. It’s difficult for me to take a good photo of the process, but the above layout lines will give you a good idea of how to proceed. You want to begin right up where the handle meets the head, in case you need to choke up on the handle. You also want to leave a bit down on the bottom to prevent it from leaving your hand mid-swing. The most important thing is that the handle fit your hand comfortably.

Once the handle is shaped to my hand’s liking, I round over both the top and bottom of the handle, just for looks.

Now, while you’re at it, relieve all the other corners on the mallet.

Mallet Making 10-14 - - 14On the striking faces, make an especially big roundover, at least 1/4.”  If you don’t relive these edges, they will relieve themselves in short order.

The result looks something like this:

Mallet Making 10-14 - - 15

Now for the big finish.

Mallet Making 10-14 - - 17

I thinned some safflower oil about half-and-half with mineral spirits and gave the heads a good soaking. (Safflower oil won’t go rancid like most other vegetable oils. Mineral oil would also be a good choice.) Once you stop seeing the bubbles rising from the wood, the head has absorbed about as much as it’s going to. This will add some significant weight to the mallet, so do this only if you want the extra heft. Otherwise, just use a top-coat of oil or wax over everything. Or leave it completely unfinished.

After the long soak, both head and handle got a top-coat of Danish oil, mostly for consistency of color. Pound the handles in, and we’re ready to do some heavy chopping.

Mallet Making 10-14 - - 18I’m keeping the one in the middle for myself.  The other two are going to live in other woodworkers’ shops.

 


Tagged: angled mortise, Danish oil, joiner's mallet, mallet, Paul Sellers, Roy Underhill, safflower oil, spalted pecan, spokeshave

I met the North Carolina Woodworkers at WIA 2014

Matt's Basement Workshop - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 1:00pm

It’s not hard to say that woodworkers are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. In fact it’s probably one of the easiest things to prove if someone doesn’t believe you. As it goes amongst woodworkers, I’d have to say the folks of the North Carolina Woodworkers group are at the top of that list.

Logo.NCWW.420x80_optimized

If you were at Woodworking in America 2014 you probably couldn’t help but notice some of the kids in attendance running around with a lightsaber (not actual light for a blade, but a plastic tube with a flashlight…but the other would’ve been cool too) that lit up and had a wooden handle they turned themselves.

Or when you passed by the back wall in the far corner of the market place, there was an amazing walnut chest with something like 20 unique drawer faces that was up for auction. If you were there and you saw these things, that was because of this group.

Rather than tell you myself what the North Carolina Woodworkers like to do when they gather up the group and head out for an event, I’d prefer to let them tell you themselves thanks to the folks at Highland Woodworking.

If you’re interested in learning more about the North Carolina Woodworkers group visit their website by clicking here.

Or if you’re in and around the Klingspor’s Woodworking Shop Woodworking Extravaganza October 17, 18 2014 in the Hickory Metro Convention center look for them, they’ll be there having just as much fun as when I saw them and they’ll be dragging all of their toys out with them too. Tell them Matt said “HI!”

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Categories: Hand Tools

Questions Answered – What Are Pointed Blades for on Router Planes

Paul Sellers - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:25pm

Question:

Hi Paul,

I have a question. I noticed when you use your hand router, from what I’ve seen anyway, you’ve always used a cutter with a square cutting edge. Some router cutters come to a more pointed edge and I wondered why you don’t use those? And what are they used for? Wouldn’t using one with a pointed edge be a bit risky when finishing off like a housing dado because I figured the edge could cut into the walls of the joint. I don’t know why I was curious about this but I was. Felt like one of those if-it’s-not-broke-don’t-fix-it things to me, but I figured there must be at least one situation where maybe a pointed cutter was better.

DSC_0229Winter May

Answer:

At first glance this might look much more specialised than it really is and though it might be handy, it’s not necessarily essential.

DSC_0217The cutter is what was described as the smoothing cutter in the original Stanley leaflet accompanying the plane back in the 50s and 60s. Two things manage the cutter in the wood; one, the spear point bevels to each side of the centre of the cutter effectively bring the underside of the cutting edge to a level cut and so offset the relief angle of the underside of the cutter. This means that the two cutting edges are levelly present along the cutting edge in relation to the surface of the wood and so smooths the level evenly.

DSC_0226

The angles presentation either side of the centre of the spearpoint also provide a sheer cut to the cutting edges and by manipulating the plane to the grain encountered the user can effectively gain optimal advantage in just about any grain.

DSC_0213

The end result is a level and smooth cut, which effectively improves on the cut provided by the square edged cutters and is ideal in some situations such as inlays for instance.

Generally 95% of work comes from the square edged cutters satisfactorily and so it’s not necessary to install a spear point.

DSC_0207

Visually considering the appearance of the cutter it does look as though in actual use the spear point might dig in to the walls or surface being refined but that is not the way at all.

DSC_0209

The drawings below show the diamond point and the angled presentation of the cutter to the housing dado or work surface. 

DSC_0231 DSC_0230

The post Questions Answered – What Are Pointed Blades for on Router Planes appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Frank Klausz: The Man Behind the Bowsaw

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 10:44am

I have a strange relationship with Frank Klausz. Frank doesn’t know it, but I’ll share it with you. I went to work with my father in his custom woodworking shop when I was in high school, and worked there through college. I learned much from my dad, but I also lost something in the process – the dynamic of father and son. Decades later dad and I are on good […]

The post Frank Klausz: The Man Behind the Bowsaw appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

A Questionable Blog, But It’s Short

The Furniture Record - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 9:14am

If you are a genteel person with a sensitive nature, you should leave now. Some might find this topic shocking, not in the Howard Stern or South Park sense. More like the stereotypical maiden aunt from Dayton expectation of shocking.

If you are still reading you either are a curious person or don’t have a freakin’ clue what I am blathering on about. Whatever your reason, read on.

I have seen the following item in the men’s room of several higher-end restaurants and bars. I’m not sure if it’s a hipster trend or there is just a really good salesperson out there catering to all the right places. Well, here goes.

There are now toilet seats with handles:

It's got a handle. Click for a larger view. Really?

It’s got a handle. Click for a larger view. Really?

This looks like the Kohler White Stronghold® Elongated Toilet Seat With Integrated Handle and Self-sustaining Check Hinge, $28.46 street price. Available in Almond, Black Black and Biscuit at slightly higher prices.

Is this a growing niche market? There are many similar products including add on handles called Nifty-Lifty and Flipsit (Antimicrobial) and a foot powered lifter. There are a lot of really odd products out there related to toilets that I hope to forget once this blog is finished. There are some things you can’t unsee. Research takes a toll.

I asked my wife if there are similar things in the women’s room. She shouldn’t recall. In fact, she couldn’t say if the toilet seats are open front or closed front (horseshoe or oval). Part of me is glad. We don’t need two overly curious minds in the family. I will just need to do research on my own.

Or not.


Another way to create an elliptical 1/2 (or 1/4) plan

A Woodworker's Musings - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 8:26am

A true ellipsis is, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful shapes in the universe.  Unlike an oval that is drawn with two mirrored radii (or three in the case of a true “egg” shape), the radii of the ellipsis continually change.  It’s incredibly strong shape in structural terms and it’s one of the best shapes for table tops.  There are many ways to draw an ellipsis.  But here’s an old method that you don’t often see referred to these days.  It’s simple and can be extraordinarily precise.  This method can also be very helpful if you’re creating domed framing for any type of construction.

First, establish a horizontal base line then raise a vertical line.

002

Swing a semi-circle with a diameter based on the minor axis of the ellipsis.

003

Next, open the compass to the length of the major axis and strike a point to the base line.

004

Draw a diagonal line from the base line to the top of the diameter, as shown.  Then divide the vertical line into any number of equal segments.  (Note, the more segments, the more precise the plan will be.)  Now, draw lines, parallel to the base line, from the semi-circle and extend them to the diagonal line.

005

Extend the lines at right angles to the diagonal line.  (These lines should be longer than the radius of the semi-circle.)

006

Set your compass to one of the line segment lengths in the semi-circle.

007

Transfer this measurement to the corresponding line that has been raised from the diagonal line.

008

It’s difficult to see in the below illustration, but after you have transferred all of the line measurements, you will have, effectively, created a coordinate map.

009

Connect the dots and, voila, you have a half or quarter plan based on exact measurements.  (Note that I have “thrown in” a couple of extra lines at the top and bottom of the semi-circle, just to create additional coordinate points.)

010

Again, there are many ways to draw true ellipses.  But I find this method produces the best results for large work and it is considerably more precise that the string and nail method.


Categories: Hand Tools

Marquetry Class – Finishing Up

McGlynn On Making - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 8:26am

I decided to “finish” the class exercises from the class I took a couple of weeks ago with Patrick and Patrice at ASFM.  My view of these is a little more objective now than when I was at the class.  Lots of obvious mistakes, but I’m hopeful that once I get my Chevalet built I’ll be able to work through these again and do a better job, moving on to be able to incorporate marquetry into real projects.

The main thing I did here was to re-saw some walnut scraps and laminate my marquetry discs onto it to make coasters.  The story behind the design on these is that they are a simplification of a design used on backgammon pieces from an elaborate marquetry game table.  That just makes my head hurt to think about…

In class we assembled the projects face-down onto special French ribbed kraft paper (there is a joke somewhere there, but it escapes me), and packed mastic into the saw kerfs.  The the brown smeary stuff you see here.

Walnut blanks ready for the glue up

Walnut blanks ready for the glue up

Gooey mess in the clamps

Gooey mess in the clamps

I used Old Brown Glue and clamped the discs to the Walnut bases between waxed paper.  Once the glue is dried the process is to wet the paper-covered face and scrape off the kraft paper and excess glue.  That always feels a bit dicey, getting enough water soaked in to be able to scrape the paper mache mess off without releasing the veneer from the substrate.  But it all worked out OK.

Coasters glued to the bases and scraped clean

Coasters glued to the bases and scraped clean

Then I sanded the surface a little and started applying finish.  I’m using spar varnish on these because I needed something waterproof and wanted a glossy build up.  I sprayed (rattle can) two coats, let it dry, knocked it down with 220 grit and repeated, twice.  This is the first coat going on.

Building up the finish

Building up the finish

While these parts were drying I rube some oil into the self portraits.  Two coats of oil, then a top coat of wax.  It’s oil-only in this picture.

Self-portraits with a coat of linseed oil

Self-portraits with a coat of linseed oil

Here are the final coasters drying in the sun.  Unfortunately I can see every inconsistency in the sawing, and places where the veneers are reversed (the two green veneers are different shares, for example).  Regardless, with a cup of coffee sitting on one, from across a darkened room these will look great!

Completed coasters

Completed coasters

 


Categories: General Woodworking

Training your eye for Design

Design Matters - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 8:11am

DSCN1134-001

“We need to be willing to let our intuition guide us, and then be willing to follow that guidance directly and fearlessly.

 Shakti Gawain

If you are new to design, telling you to trust your eye sounds like some joke that everyone’s in on except you. How do you know what your eye is telling you?

First of all, those times when your eye feeds your imagination with rocket fuel is a rare event even for gifted artists. So much so that when that explosion of  juice starts to flow, it’s wise to ride it irregardless of eating or sleeping. Magic should not be squandered.

But aside from those rare bursts of inspiration – every day our eye talks a lot. Mostly it’s like that beeper on a garbage truck when it’s backing up the alley. It tells us what it doesn’t like. A crude example of this is plumb and level. Even though we have accurate tools to measure level and plumb, most of us can do a fair job of gauging it just by eye. In fact, our inner eye is pricked when that picture frame on the wall looks tilted in spite of what a level tells us. Our eye is filled with judgments, mostly negative about proportions. We may not think all that negative feedback is that valuable. It may feel frustrating, like we hired a travel guide who tells us all the sights not to  see. But if you realize that this is the eye’s way of guiding, you can learn to listen to it and best of all, learn to train it. I may get a burst of inspiration, a spark of an idea of what I want to design. But the actual design process is listening to a series of nos that gradually morph into yeses.

This Doric Classic Order is a lesson in proportions. Drawing by  Author

This Doric Classic Order is a lesson in proportions. Drawing by Author

But training the eye? Traditionally this was done by studying masterful work. All the old design guides waxed glowingly about the classic orders. Truth is you may never incorporate a single element from a classic order in any of your furniture designs. Yet, drawing the classic orders gives your eye a reference library of no’s that are inescapable – pushing you, guiding you, until the nos start turning to yes. With a basic understanding of proportions, you can let your eye be tutored by great buildings, furniture, nature, and art.

 

George R. Walker

 

George R. Walker

 


Highland Open House this weekend

Highland Woodworking - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 7:00am

Looking out over my back yard,I can see that autumn is beginning to encroach upon Atlanta, though I still need to find a good way to get rid of Kudzu. Along with the hopefully cooler weather, the changing leaves and the pumpkin spice everything, we also get a wonderful woodworking holiday: the annual Highland Woodworking open house. This year the open house will be on Friday October 17th from 10am to 6pm and on Saturday October 18th from 9am to 5pm. I am looking forward to the event and will be in attendance, but more importantly several artisan toolmakers including a few folks from Lie-Nielsen Tool Works will be there, and on Saturday we will get a visit from Master Cabinetmaker Frank Klausz.

Another wonderful thing about the open house is that Highland will be offering some secret tool deals. The team at Highland was able to secure a special selection of tools that they will be offering at once in a lifetime prices. I’ll be looking them over to see if there is anything I can add to my collection and I recommend coming out to take a look as well. Sadly you have to be at the store to get the deals as they aren’t being offered online or over the phone. The folks from Lie-Nielsen will also be demonstrating some of their tools, offering up some tips and tricks and giving pointers to those interested in their hand tools.

On Saturday, special guest Frank Klausz will be in attendance. I’ve done some reading both about and by Frank and am looking forward to meeting the man himself. Frank is a Master Cabinetmaker and has been working with wood for over 50 years. He started out as an apprentice in his Father’s shop at the age of 14 and has been woodworking ever since. I’ve personally wondered what it would be like to devote myself to woodworking as much as Frank has and wish I could find the time and stability to do so myself. Frank will be at the open house on Saturday answering questions, offering wisdom and showing off some of his amazing skills. The real treat however will be for the folks that can make it out to Highland Woodworking the next day.

On Sunday the 19th Frank Klausz will be offering a special demonstration class on hand-tool joinery. Hand-tool joinery is something I’ve been working on myself for the past couple months so learning from Frank will be an absolute treat. Frank will be covering topics like dovetails, half-lap joints, mortise and tenon joints and everything in between. There will also be a demonstration on how to keep your hand tools sharp, and I intend to take some serious notes on that, also probably some pictures since sharpening tools can be tricky. The motto Frank works by is “If you’re going to do it, do it well” and I can imagine that he will display that to the fullest extent. Hopefully I will see some friendly faces on Sunday joining me for a day of woodworking adventure.

Matthew York has been a woodturner since 2004 and has been interested in woodworking since he was a teenager. He currently lives in downtown Atlanta and has a small shop in his basement. He is an avid woodworker and is always available to talk about the craft. He can be contacted at fracturedturnings@gmail.com or visit his website at fracturedturnings.com. You can also follow him on twitter at @raen425

The post Highland Open House this weekend appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

The History of Wood, Part 24

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 6:00am

thow_24


Filed under: Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

Smoother Restoration

The English Woodworker - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 5:07am

Before I could set my sights on a first little project I was tasked with restoring a couple of my wooden planes, starting with the smoother. My instructions were to take back any grime and residue built up around the plane and then to flatten the back of the iron
I set to with some very fine wire wool giving everything a quick clean over. I didn’t want to take back too much of the patina on the plane body so I was gentle and a swift wipe was enough to see the wood re-emerge – a lovely piece of quartered beech. The mouth needed extra attention where dust had become caked up tightly in the corners as this would become a problem later when seating the iron in nice and flat.smoother before restoration

Truing the back of the iron was a much more lengthy procedure. I had the option of a water stone grinder but felt that I would ruin the whole thing if I used something fast cutting – I really wasn’t confident about holding the iron flat, and for good reason. I started out with 180 grit paper on the granite slab and my pile gradually increased right through to 2000 grit.
If you’re going to do something similar for the first time then I would point out that sticking the paper down to the flattening plate securely would be a very good idea. I may have received similar advice but it went straight over my head and I only held the paper down loosely with a bit of suction from wetting the underside. The paper curled up at the corner but I carried on regardless back and forth over and over. When I stopped to check on progress it was apparent that something wasn’t quite right, perhaps it was the curling up paper or just poor technique, but I had managed to curve off one of the corners. This wasn’t the only issue. After revealing some nice fresh steel it had become clear that the pitting in some areas was deep – I called out for help.iron with pitting

I was shown a better technique for holding the iron while pushing, this was to turn the iron to a diagonal position rather at 90 degrees, and focus on making nice long strokes (instead of many short ones) with a stronger down force on the push than on the pull.
I gave things another go and saw some improvement in the corner but the pitting looked like it might defeat me. Richard came to the rescue with the grinder to speed things along, he held the iron flat against the side of the stone and in just a couple of minutes the pitting was removed. It’s definitely a bonus to have access to the grinder for old irons like this.Pitting removed

I was told that I didn’t need to flatten the whole thing, the first 2″ was enough, so it was now ready to go back to the flattening plate and work up the grits. I was advised not to spend too much time on each grit – once I could see even scratches across the surface I was ready to move to the next. By the 400 grit I could feel a noticeable difference, it was smoother to push and the scratches became less visible, the surface looked dull and even.iron smooth

I was conscious the whole time of keeping the iron flat so that I didn’t ruin the edge again and create lots of extra work. Slowly though the round over returned, it wasn’t as bad as before but this time it was on both sides. I’m still clearly no expert but hopefully it will be a lesson well learnt. After a slapped wrist for shoddy technique I was able to improve on things and with a lot of concentration I was able to reach 2000 grit with the iron (almost) straight at the corners and lovely and polished.

I needed to turn my attention to the sole of the plane which was a similar but much faster process . I started and finished with 120 grit sandpaper which I was told was ample since the sole will become burnished through use. This small body took less than 3 minutes, I simply pulled it back carefully along the sandpaper until the darker, low spots were gone.flatten sole_2

With everything prepared I was ready to get some further guidance in creating the bevel and sharpening the cutting edge…

Categories: Hand Tools

My Final Visit to Studley’s Chest (And Your First One)

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 4:49am

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In about 90 minutes I leave the real world to enter the shadowy territory of H.O. Studley. His tool cabinet and workbench are under the kind curation of a man who wishes to remain anonymous. And so we turn off all the location services on our smart devices.

During this final visit, we will shoot a video about the chest, including a time-lapse film of us unloading it. And we will finish all the extra still photos we need for Don Williams’ forthcoming book, “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of H.O. Studley.”

Don is almost finished with his manuscript. I have read his first draft, and Don has uncovered a lot of information on Studley himself and the interesting journey of the chest from Quincy, Mass., to the wall of a collector’s Batcave.

The photos, by Narayan Nayar, are of museum quality.

The book will be released in March 2015, just in time for the (perhaps final) public exhibit of the chest and workbench that coincides with the Handworks event in the Amana Colonies, May 15-16, 2015. Don’t miss Handworks. Seriously. You will kick yourself if you do. Nothing else embodies the ideas of hand-tool woodworking that we hold dear at Lost Art Press. It’s not a commercial thing. There are no guys selling router bits. No Sham-wows. Just lots of people who love handwork having a good time. Admission is free.

The Studley exhibit will be held at the Masonic lodge in nearby Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The exhibit is being funded entirely out of Don Williams’ pocket with some volunteer help. There is no corporate or museum money behind him. This is, frankly, a huge risk on Don’s part.

Emenating_Light-650

When Don visited here recently I asked him about the exhibit and if he would cancel it if he didn’t sell enough tickets. He replied, “No.” After I asked the obvious follow-up, “Why?” here’s the answer I received.

“Because it has to be done. This might be the only chance for people to ever see these objects. And,” he added, ”I said that I would do it.”

If you are thinking about attending or just want to support this kind of quixotic endeavor, buy your tickets at http://www.studleytoolchestexhibit.com/. Tickets are only $25.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Virtuoso: The Toolbox of Henry O. Studley
Categories: Hand Tools

A Card Catalogue – Part Fourteen

The Unplugged Woodshop - Tom Fidgen - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 4:11am
  Moving along with part fourteen of the Card Catalogue series- in this video, the stand is glued using hot hide glue. I began with the short ends of the stand/frame, and allowed them to dry overnight. Once the glue was fully cured, I added...
Categories: Hand Tools

Designing a Moxon Vise

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 4:00am
In the past few years what has become to be known as a "Moxon Vise" has become a pretty popular workbench accessory. The basic theory behind it is that lots of joinery operations, especially dovetailing, need to be done at a higher bench height than a typical bench - which is usually set for planing operations. In Moxon's engraving from Mechanick Exercises(1678) the vise is placed at an obviously incorrect position, with no way of attaching it to the bench. Felibien, in an earlier book, (which Moxon liberally copied from) shows a group of these vises hanging from a wall behind the main workbench.
I think it was the Lost Art Press' edition of The Art of Joinery that brought the vise back to the limelight and it is now a very popular accessory.
Today several vendors, ourselves included, stock complete Moxon vises ready for use or hardware kits for making your own. Our vise, which was designed and is made for us by the Philadelphia Furniture Workshop, has a couple of unique features, notably a cambered from jaw for ease of clamping, and handles that can be moved out of the way while working. The hardware for the vise, which was a joint design by ourselves and the PFW is specially designed to allow for wear and a lot of give in the wood. Our hardware kit doesn't include drawings for the vise because, while the PFW design is perfect for hordes of people, if you are going to the trouble of making a vise for yourself, you might as well take a moment and decide if some customization is in order. However so many people have asked us for some guidance I thought explaining some design considerations might be in order.

At its most simple the vise is just two boards with screws to clamp them together and enough thickness on the back jaw so that the vise in turn it can be clamped to your bench. The actual size isn't critical. The screws need to be inset far enough in from the ends so the wood doesn't split - a couple of inches at most - and the main dimension is the clamping distance between the screws and the overall height of the vise. Unless you have the urge to have several vises, you want a clamping distance wide enough for any carcase you are likely to make - say 24" max, but 18" or 20" between the screws is probably more realistic. Also you don't want to make such a heavy monster that moving it all the time is a chore. The height is the next issue - you want it high enough so it brings dovetailing to a comfortable height. 4" is fine for most people, 6" might be better for a tall person on a short bench - here is one area where personal preference is important.


Now we are already into two tweaks. By cutting down the ends of the rear jaw into ears you give yourself clamping surfaces that will keep cutting tools away from your holdfasts - the usual device for attaching the vise to your bench.


Among the innovations made by the Philadelphia Furniture Workshop in our vise - a narrow shelf is glued on the back of the rear jaw to create a clamping ledge so that you can clamp your tails down firmly when you lay out your pins.


The way our kit works is that the two acme screws thread into two nuts mortised into the back jaw of the vise. Just locate the holes far enough from the bottom so the nuts have enough clearance and first drill the holes and then mortise away. The nuts we use are custom for the vise and are offset. We found that, especially with a sloppy mortise, a regular nut can spin in the mortises as the vise wears. This design gives you plenty of room for error and you won't have to worry about wear.


The front jaw can be as thin as 4/4 but here again the Philadelphia furniture workshop design has a great innovation. The inside of the jaw is slightly cambered so even if the jaws are tightened unevenly the vise will hold in the center perfectly. Also the thinner front jaw, not only makes the vise lighter, the jaw can bend a little when clamping for a better fit on the work.


Finally it's nice to have a little something to help align the vise to the front edge of your bench.


We didn't use Moxon type vises when I was learning woodworking. What a shame. I cannot imagine not having one now. Especially since between my back and my eyesight (lack of) getting the work closer to me, and not having to slouch down to work is a real boon, Whichever design you use I think it's a really great addition for work holding in the workshop.




More Sweatshirts on the Way

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 3:47am

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The new Lost Art Press sweatshirts are selling faster than we anticipated. We are sold out of size “medium” and are almost out of XXL. But don’t fear, small one (or very large one), we are ordering more today.

We will keep this item in stock through all the cold months in 2014 and 2015.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Products We Sell
Categories: Hand Tools

How to Choose Lumber for Woodworking {7 Simple Steps}

Wood and Shop - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 3:01am

When I got started in woodworking I was incredibly confused about choosing wood. In the above video, and in the article below, I share what I’ve learned about the basics of choosing lumber for woodworking. I want to save you time and head aches in trying to understand lumber!

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The topic of lumber confused me mainly because I couldn’t find a simple summary of the topic. I found a lot of complex discussions with different terms used by different “experts”. I am by no stretch of the imagination a lumber expert, but I’m very good at simplifying complex topics so that everyone can understand. As a result, this is a simple practical guide to help you understand how wood moves, what wood to buy, how to buy it, and where to buy it.

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After you learn the basics from this video and article I encourage you to look at the bottom of this article for a list of links, books, and DVDs that will expand your understanding beyond the scope of this article.

So let’s get started with the 7 simple steps below!

1. CHOOSE HARDWOOD OR SOFTWOOD?

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Question: For your woodworking projects, should you choose a hardwood lumber like Hard Maple or Lignum Vitae? Or softwood lumber like Southern Yellow Pine or Red Alder?

Answer: That depends entirely on what you are building.

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

Some projects even require a mix of both hardwoods and softwoods, like a violin or a workbench. For example, violin makers use a soft Spruce for the soundboard and a harder Maple for the back, sides (ribs) and neck.

violin-mold-template-luthier

Many craftsmen of the past built the bases of their workbenches with less-expensive pine (softwood) and the tops & vices with hardwoods like beech or maple. The base of the workbench wouldn’t take a beating, so soft pine would work just fine. But the top of the workbench and the vice needed to be more durable.

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

Just use your brain to determine what type of wood you should use on different parts of your furniture.

BOOK: I have found this book to be an incredible guide to choosing different types of wood because it shows beautiful grain patterns & discusses woodworking uses for 400 different woods: “Wood Identification & Use” by Tery Porter.

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

JANKA WOOD HARDNESS TEST?

The lumber industry uses the “Janka hardness test” to test and rate common woods for hardness. The test involves pressing a steel ball to gauge how much pressure each wood species takes to push the ball half way into the wood. You can download my free PDF of the Janka chart here. {If you can’t open a PDF then install the free Adobe PDF Reader here.}

2. CHOOSE DIMENSIONALLY STABLE WOOD WITH VERTICAL END GRAIN

quartersawn wood beech

Unless you’re set on having a wildly figurative grain pattern on your furniture, you’re probably going to want to choose the most stable wood possible; especially if you are building fine furniture or woodworking hand tools that need great stability (e.g. hand planes, straight edges, or try squares):

make-a-wooden-straight-edge_JTF0796

Yes, wood moves when it dries and also with the changes in seasons and location (temperature and humidity). Wood doesn’t really get longer (thank goodness) but it does expand in width as humidity rises:

how-to-choose-lumber-wood-for-woodworking-expansion

Even if you are using a beautiful (yet unstable) grain pattern on part of your furniture, it’s a good idea to use stable wood on the other parts. For example, look at an old wooden door. The panels usually have more decorative (less stable) wood, but the rails and stiles (parts of the frame) are usually very stable straight grained wood (don’t worry, I’ll clarify “straight grain” below).

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So the key is to find boards that will be as stable as possible during those changes in humidity. But how do you get wood that has stable “vertical grain”? This is the question that confused me for awhile. The answer is: It all depends on how the wood is milled from the tree. This is what I’ll cover in step 3:

3. LEARN THE DIFFERENT WOOD MILLING CUTS

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Looking at the board’s end grain will tell you how a board was sawn from the log, and how stable it will be. In a minute I’ll jump into each of these cuts in a little more detail, but this graphic illustrates how different cuts come from the log:

wood-milling-lumber-cuts-chart

But mills rarely cut up a board like the graphic above. “Through and through” is the most common method that lumber mills employ when milling lumber. It’s simply like slicing horizontal layers along the length of the log:

through-and-through-slices

You’ve probably seen someone do the same thing with a chainsaw mill at home. Bill Anderson shared some valuable insights with me regarding lumber cut with the “through and through” method: “Depending on where in the log the boards come from, they will be either flat, rift or quartersawn, or show a transition between these cuts across the width of the board.”

through-and-through-milling

Take special notice, in the above graphic, how stable wood can extract from a wider board.

Lumber sellers don’t always label the cut of their boards, so don’t hesitate to carry a sharp block plane to the lumber yard to uncover the end grain:

block-plane-end-grain-lumber

You’ll often need to remove the mill marks and the colored wood end grain sealer to see the end grain.

block-plane-end-grain-lumber-close-up

You should definitely dig through the boards and use your knowledge from this article to select the best you can find. You can also find good “vertical grain” as part of a larger flat sawn board, and just cut it off both edges (leaving the center for fire wood):

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Here is what the different main lumber cut types look like after the’re cut off of a flat sawn board:

lumber-sawn-type-diagram

Let’s discuss each of them in a tiny bit more detail:

A. FLAT SAWN / PLAIN SAWN (LEAST STABLE)

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Most consumer-grade boards are flat sawn, and often display a “cathedral” pattern on the board face:

choose-lumber-for-woodworking-wood-15

Lumber companies want to maximize their profits by getting as many boards out of a log as possible. You can definitely use flat sawn boards in your projects, but just realize that the wood will move over time, and may cup or twist and separate your wood joints. Although some joints can be arranged to better accommodate the movement (see part 1/15 of my dovetail tutorial…skip to 1:41) it’s better to start out with wood that isn’t going to move as much. In section 4 below you’ll see some problems that are common to flat sawn boards (like twist, cupping, bowing, etc.).

flat-sawn-lumber-cupping

If the flat sawn boards have already moved out of square, then you’ll have to spend some considerable time flattening & straightening the board right before you use it. So it’s best to stick with a more stable cut of lumber, like quartersawn lumber. Or at least keep your flat sawn boards stacked (until the last possible moment) with “stickers” between them and weights on top to prevent movement, then secure them with good joinery or fasteners (e.g. nails) when building furniture.

B. QUARTERSAWN LUMBER (VERY STABLE)

quarter-sawn-lumber-vertical-grain

Quartersawn wood is very stable, and less susceptible to movement. The 60-90 degree verticle grain qualifies a board as “quartersawn” within the lumber industry. See how the end grain is running nearly up-and-down? That is called “vertical grain”. Quartersawing also produces fairly straight face grain and usually very beautiful ray flecks (for example, see the flecks on the beech wood above).

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But since quartersawing requires more effort and wastes more wood, it is naturally more expensive. But you don’t have to run out to your local mill and ask for the quartersawn boards. As mentioned in the last section, quartersawn wood can be cut off the edges wide flatsawn boards. Yes, even from construction lumber!

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To produce 12″ wide construction lumber (2×12 pine boards), lumber companies have to use the center of the tree. So naturally quartersawn & riftsawn lumber will be on the edges, and just needs to be cut off. This is how Roy Underhill gets nice quartersawn yellow pine at low prices from big box stores like Lowes & Home Depot. He taught me this when I was helping him rip a wide piece of construction lumber for his school teacher’s desk tv program (watch the episode).

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Notice how the above 2×12 construction-grade flat sawn board actually has some very stable quartersawn wood on both sides of the wide board? Here’s what it looks like after I cut it off with a rip saw and use handplanes to square it up:

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C. RIFTSAWN LUMBER (MORE STABLE)

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The riftsawn section of a board is similar to quartersawn cuts, but its endgrain is between 30-60 degrees to the face. Riftsawn boards have a characteristically straight face grain pattern. These boards are also pretty stable and can be utilized if your furniture project calls for extremely straight face grain, like modern or Japanese-style projects.

D. RIVEN LUMBER (MOST STABLE)

riven-wood-froe-mallet

The most stable boards are “riven” or “rived” directly from a log by you, exploiting the weakness of the grain (like splitting firewood). Riven boards are a subset of quartersawn because they are also split along the radial plane of the log, producing grain lines that are square to the board face and straight down the board.

These boards are not only the most stable, but they can also be some of the most beautiful with maximum “fleck”:

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So why do you not hear about this type of lumber very often? Because wood mills and lumber yards don’t have it. Their boards are cut with large powerful saws. Riven boards require muscle power and hand tools like a large crosscut saw (or chain saw), wedges, mallets, a froe, an adze, a hewing hatchet & handplanes.

riving-logs-into-lumber

I’ll share a riving video tutorial at a later date. But in the meantime, Peter Follansbee shows how to rive your own red oak from logs, as part of his helpful DVD video: “17th Century Joined Chest.”

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 (click here for the DVD).

Here is a very helpful animation (from a professional miller) that clarifies the quartersawn & riftsawn process:

4. LUMBER DEFECTS TO AVOID

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Since I do most of my woodworking with antique hand tools, I like my boards to be as easy to work as possible. Wood defects can be even tougher to work with for a hand tool woodworker like me. Some wood defects can be resolved with saws, handplanes, and even epoxy. But if I’m paying for wood I like to find boards that require as little work as possible. So look out for some of these problems:

KNOTS

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Knots can cause problems for hand tool woodworkers, especially when passing your handplane over the top. And knots like to fall out over time. Yes, you can mix epoxy and sawdust to solidify the knot, but most of the time I avoid them all together. But you may like the look of them in a rustic piece of furniture. Just be aware.

SAPWOOD & INSECT HOLES

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Some people like the rustic look of sapwood & insect holes. But I don’t. I avoid it, or cut around it. In the photo below you’ll see two boards glued together. The reddish wood is the heart wood. It would be on the inside of the tree. It was dead long before the tree was cut down, so the insects didn’t eat it. The sap would is the white wood with worm insect holes. Insects continue to eat at the sapwood long after the tree is cut down. So I prefer to avoid or remove the sapwood.

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WOOD MOVEMENT DEFECTS:

When lumber isn’t stacked, sealed, and dried properly it is prone to move in all sorts of strange ways:

wood-twist-checking-bow-cup-crook

CHECKING

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Checking happens when a board dries too quickly or unevenly. The cracks move along the board. So it’s best to avoid these boards. If you are cutting your own lumber from a tree, checking can often be prevented by using a good quality wood end grain sealer (like I mentioned above)…the red stuff painted on the ends of boards in many of the above & below photos. Lumber should also be stacked with “stickers” or spacers of even thickness, with weights on top.

TWIST & CUPPING

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When green (wet) boards aren’t properly stacked they will cup or twist. Cupping is when the board turns into a cup shape (see above). Twisting is when board ends twist different ways. It takes a lot of work to plane out the twisting or cupping. I don’t always turn down free wood that is twisted or cupped, but I won’t buy it.

BOWING

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Bowed boards are like a bow that you shoot arrows with (see above). To me, this defect is a bit harder to correct for than twisting or cupping. So I avoid these boards…unless they’re free (like the above lacewood board was).

CROOK

Crook is similar to bow, but the wood arcs the other way. This is an easier defect to fix because it only involves jointing the board’s eges…which I do anyway.

 5. LEARN WHERE TO BUY LUMBER

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LUMBER FROM LOCAL MILLS OR HARDWOOD DEALERS

For nice hardwoods I like to visit small local wood mills. If I can’t find what I’m looking for there, I expand my search to regional “Hardwood” dealers. You’ll save money and get better quality wood through local mills and dealers. Some of them even carry a few exotic hardwoods. These companies specialize in furniture grade wood, whereas woodworking supply stores & hardware stores do not.

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However, even though some woodworkers warn to “stay away from the big box stores” (e.g. Lowes & Home Depot) there is a place for big box stores. While they don’t carry nice hard woods, as mentioned above, you can sift through to find nice wide yellow pine construction boards, from which you can rip out quartersawn boards. These stores also carry nice pre-dimensioned poplar. This is great for people that don’t have the skill or time to dimension all their own boards. Bill Anderson and I have been in Lowes to find 1/4″ poplar for my tool chest’s trays & tills.

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LUMBER FROM WOODWORKING HOBBY STORES

If you live in a larger city, then you may be close to a woodworking supply store, like Woodcraft. Their specialty is selling tools & woodworking supplies, but they usually care small quantities of hardwoods. They also carry a good selection of small blanks for wood turners. Lumber can be expensive at these types of stores because they don’t deal with large volume. But if you live in the city, then this may be your least expensive option.

ONLINE / MAIL ORDER LUMBER

Because I have a lot of lumber near me, mail ordering (or online ordering) lumber is foreign to me. Heck, my neighbors see me dragging fallen oak, beech, and poplar logs from the woods behind my house and riving boards out of them! However, even though I can’t touch the wood beforehand, I’m planning on experimenting with online lumber sellers soon. Here’s my upcoming experiment (subscribe to my free articles if you want to be notified of this experiment):

I first plan to order some small quantities of exotic hardwood from a few different higher rated eBay lumber sellers like these because of eBay’s money-back guarantee. I’ll be careful to choose eBay lumber sellers who have a high number of sales and a high positive feedback percentage:

eBay-lumber-sellers

I’ve ordered a lot of tools on eBay and have seen that highly rated eBay sellers usually bend over backwards to keep their high rating.

When I receive the lumber I’ll inspect it to see how closely it matches the photos and descriptions, and look at the quality. I’ll let you know how it goes!

In addition to eBay, here are some online lumber sellers that are reported (by other woodworkers) to have a good reputation:

 

6. LEARN THE LANGUAGE OF THE MILL & LUMBERYARD

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

Most beginner woodworkers don’t know what to look for when they visit a mill, a lumber yard, or an online lumber store. After reading the above advice, you should now understand how to identify great stable wood. But how do you avoid looking like a moron when you go to buy wood?

LEARN ABOUT BOARD THICKNESS

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The first consideration to keep you from feeling stupid at the lumberyard is to understand that lumber people speak of wood thicknesses in “quarters”. For example, in the United States:

lumber-thickness-lingo

LEARN HOW TO CALCULATE “BOARD FEET”

Take your tape measure and calculator to the lumber mill because in the United States most lumber suppliers calculate the price of their wood using a very simple “board feed” volume calculation:

wood-lumber-board-feet-formula

When I go to the lumber yard I like to take a small tape measure, like this pocket-sized Stanley 12′ tape measure (longest you’ll need for a board), but you can use most any tape measure.

 

MOISTURE METERS

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It’s a good practice to also carry a lumber moisture meter with you when you buy rough lumber. This link shows some highly rated, yet affordable moisture meters. I purchased this General Tools moisture meter and really like it. I think it was around $25-$30.

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Below I’ll discuss the debate about moister level and acclimating lumber to your workshop.

7. ACCLIMATE YOUR LUMBER TO YOUR SHOP

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THE WOOD ACCLIMATION DEBATE

I always believed that lumber moisture needed to be under 10% for building furniture. However, in this Popular Woodworking Magazine discussion Glen Huey said that if your moisture meter registers 22% or lower, then you should buy the hardwood and there won’t be much need for acclimating the wood to your workshop’s humidity level before shaping the wood.

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

He experimented to come up with this claim. I’m sure this claim will make many woodworker’s blood boil, but it’s nice to know that I don’t have to be quite as concerned as I once thought.

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If your lumber isn’t as dry as you would like (over 22% in Glen Huey’s opinion…probably over 10-15% in my opinion), then it’s a good idea to let it acclimate to your workshop, or a room that’s similar to the furniture’s final resting place (a room, not the land fill). It’s a good idea to use “stickers” between your lumber (even if it’s plenty dry) to keep the boards flat. The stickers (thin sticks) should have a uniform thickness. This is one of the few times that I use plywood because of it’s uniform thickness. I just cut a sheet into a bunch of small strips.

Phew!

Well I hope this wasn’t too confusing. But believe me, this is definitely more simple than the hours that I had to study to understand this stuff.

 

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LUMBER? ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ABOUT WOOD FOR WOODWORKING:

 

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New Series On woodworkingmasterclasses Starts Today

Paul Sellers - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:38am

DSC_0176Just so you know. We start the new series on making the table I blogged on last night and have mentioned over the past few weeks. I think it really unpacks the past methods of this make and that it introduces methods so very viable today for today’s enthusiasts for real woodworking.

Got to woodworkingmasterclasses.com and enjoy!

The post New Series On woodworkingmasterclasses Starts Today appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Welcome and Hello.

The Workbench Diary - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 8:57pm
Every once in a while it’s good to say hello to new readers. Since the past few months I've noticed an increase in traffic here on the blog now’s as good a time as any. I often continue on in my posts as if everyone has been here since the beginning. Because this is obviously not the case I thought I should introduce myself again and tell about what I have going on here...


My name is Joshua Klein. I am a furniture conservator in private practice in the coastal town of Sedgwick, Maine. I got into this profession by first studying luthiery in Red Wing, MN. After that I attended The National Institute of Wood Finishing where I sat under the sagacity of Mitch Kohanek. Even though I knew I ultimately wanted to work on historic furniture, I took a job for a short stint in Nashville, TN at a custom guitar shop. I was the finisher for this small company. It was fun but as soon as my wife, Julia, and I had our first baby on the way, we decided to head back to where we wanted to plant our family: the Maine coast.


We moved up and had our first little boy, Eden. After we got our feet under us a bit, I started my furniture restoration business full time. Since the beginning my focus has been on developing a conservation methodology in practice. I use this blog to post quick how to’s, treatment reports, period woodworking methods, meditations on craft, etc. I also have been sharing about my research into Jonathan Fisher, an early 19th century cabinetmaker from Blue Hill, ME. Since I am currently working on the manuscript for a book about him fruit from that work appears on the blog every so often.


We live a homesteading lifestyle so I occasionally include snippets about our chickens, goats, building our outdoor mud oven, splitting firewood, etc.

You will see a “Search This Blog” bar on right hand side of the blog for your surfing convenience. Right below that, you can subscribe or follow by email. Sign up and you’ll get notices when I post something new. Lastly, you will notice the extensive blogroll in that right column. These are the numerous blogs I follow. The list is organized by most recent post. I have friends that come here to see what’s new on my blogroll. I check it everyday and have found it handy.  Feel free to stop in and check out what’s new in the handtool woodworking blogosphere.

Welcome to my blog, new friends. Feel free to leave comments. That just fuels the fire here. The more feedback I get, the more end up posting. Thanks for coming. Enjoy.


Klein Furniture Restoration from Mathias Reed Visuals on Vimeo.
Categories: Hand Tools

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by Dr. Radut