Jose Ramirez III, Things about the Guitar, 1990
I didn't get everything done today that I wanted to get done, but I did get started on a few things.
After morning chores, I took the dogs for a walk through our wonderful backyard, which is part of Arapahoe National Forest, and then started making legs for a router table. I have about ten windows (6-9 pane) to make before the end of December and I am not about to plane all the muntins, rails and stiles by hand, I have an expensive router bit for that.
I got the legs glued up, went for a 2.5 mile run and had lunch. The afternoon, I thought, was going to be dedicated to working on a copy of a 1968 Hernandez y Aguado classical guitar, click here for a post on that guitar, I need to thickness the fret board and glue it onto the neck.
First thing I wanted to do was to check to make sure the gluing surface of the neck was still straight, and, as usual, I once again discovered that my 24 inch long Lee Valley straight edge is too long to check the neck. One end of the straight edge ends up on the guitar body which has dome to it so the straight edge won't sit flat. Duh.
The answer was to make a straight edge. If you don't already have Chris Schwarz's article on how to make such a beast, click here and take a gander at how to make a wooden straight edge.
I wanted to use some mahogany that I have, but it isn't quartered well enough. Once again, it was California laurel to the rescue.
The straight edge that I needed most was this one - 16 inches long to check where the fret board will sit. I should have made it 17 to 17 1/2 inches long.
I had a 10 inch piece left over which will be perfect for checking the other side of the neck.
I love California laurel, I wish had some more. It has a wonderful smell, is very easy to work with and makes incredible sounding guitars. I suppose I ought to order a few laurel boards from Gilmer Wood or Northwest Timber.
The fret board will have to wait until next weekend, tomorrow is back to work at my day job.
Here's another YouTube of Leonora Spangenberger.
|Julia's mother helped out too|
The front upright is mostly done! Huzzah!
Finishing this part meant I I had to jump ahead and start making the cross arm that will support the saw mechanism so I could get the notch in the clamp mechanism the right size (ish). That’s done, and I’m ready to move on to completing the arm mechanism.
With the nuts recessed I was in the mood for a test assembly so I could see some progress. I’m going to attack this with a round over bit later and knock those sharp edges off.
It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted! It’s been a pretty intensely busy year filled with lots of adventures. So forgive me if I haven’t taken a breath to blog about them.
So what’s been keeping me so busy?
- Well for one my wife and I, along with our very close friends, opened a cheese shop on Labor Day. Signed a lease June 1st and I spent the summer being a carpenter and general contractor in order to transfer the space from a clothing store to a cheese shop. More on that in a future post.
-Work– just like the rest of you– I have have a day job, that often turns into a night job
But I have managed to get some woodworking time in:
- I built most everything in our shop: reclaimed wood walls, stud walls, counters, shelving, butcher blocks, doors, etc . etc., etc
-I finished a tool box I had started in a hand tool class
-a couple of never ending shop projects
-just last week took a field trip to the George Nakashima house with the NYC Woodworkers guild
-finally a good shop cleaning!!
In my travels for the cheese shop……
-I found an awesome old tool chest that I plan to use in our apartment
-found a Stanley #50 1/2 mitre box for $10 that I plan to restore.
- picked up a great old tool box on the streets of Brooklyn that I now use to store all my chainsaw parafanalia down in the yard.
- went dumpster diving in Brooklyn and found some great old Douglas Fir beams.
- scored some beautiful reclaimed barn wood from a friend.
I’ve decided I would like a small bench in Brooklyn, to satisfy my woodworking cravings during the week. So I’ve been designing and started building a joinery bench. So look for more on that.
So life is full, and never dull.
Look for more here– The Lighthearted Woodworker has returned.
Because having options on any project (especially one designed as a build-along for charity) is a good thing, I wanted to share with you another very similar version of the toy box being built for the Woodworker’s Fighting Cancer campaign going on right now.
Steve Ramsey of Woodworking for Mere Mortals has a version he posted the other day on his YouTube channel. It’s very similar, but as always, Steve puts his own twist on it and presents it as an alternative version to build.
According to Steve “it’s simple: all you need to do is make a toy box. It would make a great holiday gift, or you might consider building one and donating it to a local school or organization. Marc and I are each donating $5 for every box viewers make before November 30th.”
“The only thing we ask is that you make either my box, or use Marc’s design. They each have unique features. Take a picture and submit it to the Woodworker’s Fighting Cancer page.”
In addition, if you really want the actual chest you see Steve building, you can get in on the auction to purchase it. More details about that by visiting his webpage for the toy chest by clicking here.
Regardless of which version you choose to build, the only important thing is that you get involved in one way or another. This year’s goal is to raise $15,000. I have all the confidence in the world that will happen and then some.
This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Highland Woodworking Open house and Hand Tool Extravaganza. The event was an enormous amount of fun. A whole bunch of woodworking knowledge was passed around, stories were told, and a bunch of wood shavings were made. There were some great woodworkers in attendance, including Scott Meek, Chris Kuehn, Frank Klausz, Curtis Turner, and more.
I was able to swing by the store on Friday and got to meet some of the folks that were in attendance while the store was not quite as full; in the late hours of Friday evening after work I was able to meet Frank Klausz for the first time. Frank is a wonderful fellow filled with fantastic stories about woodworking and about his life. I also got to watch as Frank tried out some of Scott Meek’s wooden hand planes. Frank set and worked the planes with the hands of a true master of our craft and I could tell that Scott was a bit nervous to have such a woodworking luminary using his tools, maybe wondering what would Frank have to say about the planes. After making a few passes with some of the planes, Frank had nothing but glowing reviews of Scott’s work. He complimented Scott on his fine hand tools and even remarked that he had made a few wooden planes in the past, though none of them were ever as fine and well-made as the ones Scott had on display. I would call this a ringing endorsement, especially for Scott’s class at Highland, on November 8th and 9th, where he will be teaching folks to make these wooden planes.
After Frank left to get some dinner I spent some time talking with Curtis Turner, who was in attendance demoing some of the fine tools from Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. I have had my eye on a No. 62 low-angle jack plane for a while and so stood and spoke with Curtis about it. He let me try out the plane with both the toothed blade and the regular blade, and it confirmed what I thought about their tools. In my opinion, Lie-Nielsen tools are the best choice if you have the ability to buy them. Frank Klausz put it to me with a quote that I think sums up my own personal views on tools: “When you purchase a tool like a Lie-Nielsen hand plane, or other fine woodworking tool, you are not the owner; you are the custodian of that tool. Tools such as those are heirlooms that you will pass down through the generations. We do not own them, we hold onto them for the woodworkers that will come after us.”
I closed out my night on Friday wishing Scott the best and letting everyone know I would see them in the morning. When Saturday rolled around I was not quite as early as I wanted to be for the event but still got to spend a few hours hanging around the store and talking with folks. The event was great, Highland had a steady crowd of folks interested in the tools on offer. Frank almost always had a crowd around his bench as he demonstrated his dovetailing techniques and offered his woodworking wisdom. Chris Kuehn was there from Sterling Toolworks, showing off some of his fine tools and inviting people to try their hand with some of his pieces. Scott was making some pretty mean shavings with his hand planes and probably reduced a pine 2×4 down to next to nothing by the end of the day.
The crowd around the various Lie-Nielsen benches was thick and the planes saw a lot of use. I think everyone that got the opportunity to try out one of their fine tools left knowing exactly what you can do with a solid tool. I was personally able to pick up that No. 62 low-angle jack and brought it home to my shop after the event for a test run. It is a beautiful plane and I look forward to working with it on some upcoming projects.
The Highland Woodworking open house was a lot of fun, and a great way to spend a few hours this weekend. I learned quite a bit just standing in the room listening to various woodworkers talk. If you get the opportunity to come to the store for one of these events I highly recommend it. They are filled with people all interested in the craft that we love and the advice can’t be beat.
The post The Highland Woodworking Fall 2014 Open House:
A Review appeared first on Woodworking Blog.
Read all about Frank’s dresser project progress. Now that I have the whole dresser glued up, which by the way was a challenge! I glued up most of it with the help of my 9-year-old and then just in time, Jonathan Schwennesen came by the shop and offered me a hand to put some of […]
The post Tapered Sliding Dovetails – 7 Drawer Dresser Project Continued appeared first on Heritage School of Woodworking Blog.
In the process of answering the question on pointed router cutters we continued on to undo any misunderstandings surrounding these essential planes. The plane remains one of the most essential tools for hand tool woodworkers and woodworking. The poor man’s router of course leaves you fully equipped should you need one not costing a fortune and not own one, but adjustability of depth of cut provides an added advantage and of course it’s often here that legalists try to lay down the law with regards to which one everyone should buy. I looked through my routers and counted around 20 before I stopped. The school itself takes up half of those so I don’t feel bad at all. I have bronze ones and brass ones, Preston and Tyzaks, Records and Stanleys and then wooden home mades and manufactured wooden ones made by planemakers of the past. Some you tweak-pinch with your fingertips and tighten with brass wing nuts and then others have micro-adjusters with screw stems and knurled nuts. Those I don’t own I have used at some point or at least tried. Fact is, I love router planes and can’t imagine life without them.
Modern makers have for the main part taken the basic shape of the old Stanley #71 and might be forgiven for then distancing themselves from creating an actual copy by changing some small features. The footprints of almost all the cast and engineered models is almost identical in shape and size and thereby are essentially the same as the old Stanley #71 and the Record #071. I have not found tighter tolerances in engineering to be of any great advantage, in fact, oftentimes the ‘stuck’ factor can be a little annoying and this is often due to those diminished margins. It’s a small thing to take a file and fettle whatever’s needed. One router I like the most is the Preston router of old, which was also made for a few years by Tyzak. I like the extra size of the platen and the positioning and overall height of the knobs, which gives optimal inline thrust directly at beside and at cutting iron level. That’s not too helpful because the prices have gone through the roof on eBay and anyone in bronze casting could make good money if they were to take that plane and replicate it. As can be seen here, almost all of the metal cast routers old and new use the Stanley mechanism which is a screw-threaded adjusting screw (C) that stands up from the cutter post (D) that then holds a knurled adjusting screw (C). Depending on the maker, the adjusting screw fits into a recess in the cutter (N) that lifts and lowers the cutting iron to the depth needed. A collar surrounding the whole assembly locks the iron to the cutter post. Dead simple and very effective. Until you get used to all metal routers they can seem a little awkward and especially so when it comes to loading the cutting iron into the collar and locating it into the screw nut adjuster, but you get used to it and so you load it more readily.
The Preston router presents the cutter to the wood from a square shank facing squarely to the work forward and so too both of the Lie Nielsen routers. More clearly, the stem of the cutter is square on and slots into vertical, forward-facing channels in the cutter post. This works fine as long as there is no slop in the engineering and of course Lie Nielsen are known for their tight engineering tolerances in making tools. My Tyzak has a little lateral play in the channel and though when locked it is immoveable, I must be conscious not to allow the cutter to misalign to the sole as this leads to slight steps in recesses I might be cutting as I move the plane across from side to side cuts. For dadoes this would generally be fine, but for inlays and such, where unevenness telegraphs through the thin veneer, it would not be acceptable. This leads me to a development in the Stanley version I think many might not see or understand at first glance. Veritas saw it and adopted it in their design. The cutting irons in the Record and Stanley models presents the stem of the cutter at 45-degrees and the advantage of this is the automatic locking of the corner of the cutter into a channel that always ensures a vertical alignment of the stem and thereby guarantees that the underside of the cutting iron, when sharpened accurately, aligns parallel to the sole of the plane. In the same way as fettling a regular plane iron or chisel needs flattening and polishing out only once, so too the cutter for the router. Any subsequent sharpening is usually done on the bevel alone. Working the bevel evenly and carefully presents the cutting iron parallel to the surface and it’s here that I would stress the value of taking care not to tilt the iron on the bevel as this alters the alignment of the very cutting edge in its presentation to the surface of the wood.
It stands to reason that you cannot present the cutter to the work without a relief on the underside of the cutter. If the underside were level it would ride the surface of the wood. Stanley and Record have quite an angle here. Others are less.
Because of the relief, the front cutting edge of the cutter is affected by the top bevel of the cutter, so too much tilt lifts or lowers one side of the actual cutting edge. If we could present the underside of the cutter squarely and parallel to the underside of the plane to the surface of the wood we could skew all we want and not affect the presentation.
The best way to level the top bevel of the cutter is to start with the underside of the cutter first. Load the cutter into the plane and set the iron as close to level with the sole. We want a fractional protrusion of a thou or so. Though it is not necessary at all, if you are bothered that the surface could be marred, and mine have never been thus affected straight on the abrasive, use masking tape to cover the sole as a barrier if it worries you. Or you could put card stock on the abrasive too.
I now take the plane and place it carefully on the abrasive plate, in this case diamonds, and swivel it lightly on the surface.
The goal is to provide a registration face to the underside of the cutter, just to use the light from abraded steel to act as a guide and not so much to reshape it unless it has been badly shaped before. As soon as the iron traces the abrasive, lift it from the surface and look at the underside of the cutter. A white line should appear on the cutter right by the cutting edge. If the line is narrow and parallel, the cutter is aligned well and presented correctly and all further sharpening and remedial work can be carried out. Notice in the picture above that the white lines of abraded metal reflect out of squareness in two directions. The actual cutting edge and the new minor bevel we created. This means that somewhere between these two lines is the square across point we want to abrade to.
Placing the underside on the abrasive will now flatten the surface dead flat and this can be polished out to say 800-grit.
Now it’s looking square.
Once this is done you must work on the top bevel only and it will not usually be necessary to work on the underside ever again. The top bevel is always awkward but holding the blade sideways and rubbing the bevel along the abrasive plate now refines the bevel and you can sharpen to any level you prefer. Most router work can be finished at 800-grit even for the finest work.
Testing out after this work is simply a question of working it on the surface if the wood.
Adjustment by adjusters and tap tapping
With regards to mechanical adjusters, it is always assumed that improved engineering and mechanical adjusters improved our lot, but more and more my experience has proven this not be true.
Mechanical threads do ease adjustment but pinched adjustment on some more primitive routers work just fine too.
You can pinch to a thou easily and in actuality I find they are equal to more elaborate routers.
The router referred to disparagingly as the ‘old woman’s tooth’ or ‘hag’s tooth’ is a router that houses a plough plane iron instead of a purpose made shoe-type cutting iron. Above is the one I first used as an apprentice and through my journeyman years. They work fine but rarely give the type of clean surface we might want for veneer inlay and so on. These are adjusted by the same hammer-tap tapping method used generally on wooden-bodied planes on the iron or plane body. These too are effective and practical in general carpentry and joinery.
I have, inexplicably, received several questions over the weekend about cutting really big dovetails for workbenches, such as on a tail vise. That’s weird, given that most bench questions I get are about what kind of wood to use (whatcha got? use it), and how the LVL top is holding up (quite splendidly, but I’d not use LVL for a base again). Not to mention, we’ve not published a bench […]
Recently I was asked if I was ready to wash my hands of the Studley project, both the manuscript for the book VIRTUOSO and the upcoming Studley exhibit next May. I had to think for a minute, because the truth is I am a bit weary from the pace of working around the homestead, wrapping up Roubo 2, and completing the Studley manuscript and making all the plans and arrangements for the exhibit.
But no, I am not tired of H.O. Studley. How can you get tired of contemplating and exploring things like this?
Late last week the printers delivered the updated Split Top Roubo plans (they are beautiful) and we uploaded several updates to our downloads page. Here are the details.
Glide M/C Instructions and Crisscross instructions (click any of these for direct download)
As before, the installation instructions for the Glide M/C is the same document as the Crisscross instructions. We've updated the instructions and made clarifications to the templates (really just measured drawings) so those building a Split Top Roubo according the plans aren't confused by additional measured drawings at the end of the instructions.
Split Top Roubo Construction Notes
We've rewritten portions of the notes to further clarify the installation of the Crisscross. We've also added pictures of the new Glide M in a bench. Previous pictures showing the bench with a single-knob Glide are still there since we know some folks with those vises may have not started their builds.
Split Top Roubo eDrawing
The new eDrawing has also been uploaded for free download at any time. Yes, we get many requests for a Sketchup drawing of our bench. Sketchup is great, and we use it frequently, but the eDrawing serves its purpose allowing one to view the bench in 3d at your computer (the printed plans are what you want in the shop) And one huge feature that the eDrawing has over Sketchup is the ability easily view components as transparent without having to actually assign a transparent material to the component. Simply use the pointer tool, right click on a component and select "make transparent". Very useful to see exactly how everything fits together.
If you're building a Shaker bench, you can use the eDrawing to see how the Crisscross would fit in the "leg" of the Shaker bench. The dimensions will be a little different, but the configuration will be the same.
Why not a slow furniture movement?
An early aphorism I placed in our literature was a quote from John Ruskin: “When we build, let us think that we build forever.”
This is a sentiment I am fully in support of particularly these days when you see a “modern” building go up and 5 years later, they’re replacing the siding on it. There’s quality today for you.
But one of my Mastery students quoted Ruskin in a different way that I think is equally valid. Perhaps you’ll agree:
When we build, let us think that it takes forever.
Weekend projects do seem to take on a half life of their own. Some of mine are decades long now. Sigh. I keep plugging away at it.
Apologies for the abrupt stop in posting the goings on 'round here, but the fact is the goings on have been such that it has not left any time for anything, inclusive of the blog. I've been trying to make amends to an extent by posting photos on Instagram ( which I am still a little unsure about…. ) but I know that doesn't reach everyone.
But I haven't been sitting on my hands. In fact I've been spending almost every waking moment out at the old house at Tylden, removing the termite infested detritus and 60 odd years of terrible additions and repairs and replacing it with a solid frame, new floors, new windows, doors, internal linings, plumbing, roof and the list goes on. The carpentry work being steered by the talented Peter Murphy, who you have probably seen on the blog playing his Uke or guitar, which he plays ( and makes ) with equal measure.
In amongst the works at Tylden, we've had the usual chair, stool, box ( assisted by Brodie Noor - more to follow about this talented person ) and bucket making classes and also a change of school for young Tom, who is now attending Tylden Primary, in readiness for our move into the old house hopefully before the end of the year. The bar and shop too, which are thankfully picking up speed again with the onset of Spring and warmer weather.
Then there's the Lost Trades Fair, which Lisa reminded me just today, is only about 20 weeks away, which may seem a long time, but I know will rush up on us quickly. Applications have been sent out to over double the participants we had at the Fair this year and with the addition of a good handful of kids activities and and other interesting bits and pieces, it's promising to be a great event next year.
So while I can't promise I'll be posting something every few days again, I will ensure that I'll be here more often. But as usual its 1.28AM and time to hit the hay, but stay posted, I'll be back soon.
In the above video I share the special moment when I opened my very first set of Hollows & Rounds molding planes. I want to walk you through the advice that I received on how to choose the right features when buying hollows and rounds.
WHAT ARE HOLLOWS AND ROUNDS?
Hollows and Rounds are molding planes that are used to cut moldings for furniture and architectural elements.
But they are the most pure way of cutting the moldings and the most versatile, because they (along with a rabbet plane) allow you to create and recreate any conceivable shape in the wood.
The below photo shows a “dedicated molding plane” (also called a complex molding plane). It is called “dedicated” because it can only cut one profile. This one is an “ovolo” shape. Hollows and rounds, on the other hand, can cut any shape that you can draw. You just remove one hill and valley at a time from the wood.
HOLLOWS AND ROUNDS SIZES & SETS
Hollows and rounds were made in numbered sets, with each number consisting of two handplanes (a pair). For example, a #12 pair would include one #12 hollow (that cuts 60 degree hills) and one #12 round (that cuts 60 degree valleys):
Every plane cuts 60 degrees of a circle, just a different sized section. Think of pizza slices; a large slice and a tiny slice have the same arc at the top.
A full set of hollows and rounds includes 18 pairs (36 total molding planes…wowzers!) numbered 1-18. My friend Bill Anderson recently purchased his first full set ever:
But most people that get a “set” will get a “half set”, which covers just about anything you would ever need to make. The most common half set is an “even numbered half set.” (pairs 2-18). “odd numbered half sets” are less common (pairs 1-17).
I really wanted an even “matched set”, which is a set that was all in an original set when it was made and didn’t get scattered over the years. But budget-minded woodworkers (good boys) can also purchase a “harlequin” set or a “mixed” set. A set that is all “harlequin” is a set where none of the planes came from the same original set. A “mixed set” contains some plains and pairs that were originally together, and also some “harlequin” planes. But of course, it isn’t necessary to have a matched set like mine. You just have to be careful that a harlequin set of hollows & rounds has an accurate transition because not all plane makers had the exact same sizes.
WHAT SIZES OF HOLLOWS AND ROUNDS TO START WITH?
You can cut a whole lot of moldings with just a few pairs of hollows and rounds. Some experts recommend starting off with one or two pairs that fall inbetween sizes #4-#12. Matt Bickford is one of the few people who currently makes & sells hollows and rounds, and he’s the author or “Mouldings in Practice” (you can buy it here and download a free chapter here). He shared his recommendation here:
“…I often recommend starting with either pairs of 6s and 10s…or 4s and 8s…”.
Here is a video preview of his recent DVD called “Moldings in Practice” (yes, the same name as his book):
I purchased this DVD (from Lie-Nielsen here) and really found it incredibly helpful.
Matt also wrote this article “The Case for Hollows & Rounds” in Popular Woodworking Magazine.
But if you are on a tighter budget (can’t afford $3,750 for his half sets), you should purchase some antique hollows & rounds like me (see links at the bottom were you can find antique sets). But believe me, if I had more money then I would most certainly purchase a crisp new half set from Matt.
WHAT PITCH OF HOLLOWS AND ROUNDS?
The angle at which the iron sits inside the plane, in relation to the horizontal workbench, is called “pitch”. Here are the following pitches that you’ll encounter in hollows and rounds molding planes:
- “Common pitch” (45°): This pitch is like bench planes, and is more suitable for softwoods.
- “York pitch” (50°): Works for woods that are inbetween soft and hard
- “Middle pitch” (55°): ideal for a wider range of hardwoods.
- “Cabinet” or “Half” pitch (60°): Good for very hard and difficult woods.
I followed the recommendation of some friends who suggested that I purchase a set of hollows and rounds that were either “cabinet pitch” or “middle pitch”. Funny enough, my set has 58° pitch, which is right in the center!
HOLLOWS & ROUNDS IRONS: STRAIGHT OR SKEWED?
I purchased my hollows and rounds with skewed irons, because I want to be able to cut profiles all the way around a board (like on a table). But straight across irons also have their strengths. They cut a bit more cleanly when you are cutting along the grain. But I wanted to have more of a hybrid style that could cut both with the grain and across the grain.
CAN YOU MAKE YOUR OWN HOLLOWS & ROUNDS?
If you have the time and interest to make your own hollows and rounds, then you’re in luck! Larry Williams released an excellent DVD called “Making Traditional Side Escapement Planes” which shows how to make hollows and rounds planes. You can purchase it from Lie-Nielsen here. See the preview of the DVD below:
WHERE CAN YOU BUY HOLLOWS & ROUNDS MOLDING PLANES?
Below you’ll find links to the best places to look for hollows and rounds (both sets and pairs), along with links to other resources:
- View antique Hollow & Round molding planes on ebay
- View antique Hollow & Round molding planes at Jim Bode Tools
- View new Hollow & Round molding planes at M.S. Bickford
I hope this has helped! You’ll see my set of hollow & round molding planes in plenty of future videos!CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO JOSHUA’S FUTURE ARTICLES & VIDEOS!