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The End Was Nigh!!!…

Fair Woodworking - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 9:35am
  It’s not easy being The Champ. Well that’s not true, I come by it naturally, but if you try really hard you may be able to remember life before The Champ was crowned. About 5 years ago, give or take a couple of years, I was messing around with the settings of the blog […]
Categories: Hand Tools

Build A Hall Table – NEW Video Series

The English Woodworker - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 8:32am
Build A Hall Table – NEW Video Series

Our latest video series is the build of a classic Hall Table.

As you’ll expect, we build the whole piece with basic hand tools.

That’s apart from an optional approach that we cover at the prepping stage; this is the first time that I use my bandsaw.
(We cover the same bit of prepping with hand tools, in case you don’t have one).

The Series is now available to Pre-Order!

We’ll be adding more details of the Series over the coming weeks.

Continue reading at The English Woodworker.

Categories: Hand Tools

A Shaving

Northwest Woodworking - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 7:50am

A student asked me about the thickness of shaving. How thick should it be? My reply was that a dollar bill, an American issue bill has a thickness of . 004″. A good shaving should be half that I told her. That’s. 002″ thick. As all new students do, she marveled. How do you make something so thin?

The shaving itself, it turns out, takes little to accomplish. It is a stroke, a quick pass with the hand plane. It is the preparation to make that shaving that takes the hours of practice. It is the practice of sharpening, of honing the edge, of tuning the hand plane, all these things combine to yield a shaving so thin. Without each of them, the hand plane cannot sing. It cannot play the tune that appears so simple, a movement to create a whisper of a shaving.

It is the practice in the end that is the most important part of an activity. So that the act may be accomplished with surety, with confidence, without thought. Thinking about the act itself gets in the way. It is the confidence of the worker that lets the work flow through to the tool, to the paint brush, to the instrument.


Bedrock in use w hands

Categories: Hand Tools

Book Giveaway: Hand Tool Basics

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 6:30am
Hand Tool Basics

I recently received advance copies of “Hand Tool Basics,” a new book by Steve Branam, hand tool instructor and author of the Close Grain blog. If you’re interested in incorporating more hand tools into your woodworking, but have felt overwhelmed by the prospect of learning how to use them, this book is a great visual guide to get you started. Step-by-step photos and instructions guide you through everything from sharpening tools to […]

The post Book Giveaway: Hand Tool Basics appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

‘Carving the Acanthus Leaf’ Available at our Storefront

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 4:59am


Thanks to a stroke of good timing, we have two cases of Mary May’s book “Carving the Acanthus Leaf,” which will be for sale at our storefront this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

As always, our Tennessee printing plant did a fine job with this book. And they delivered it two weeks ahead of schedule.

We’ve got lots going on at the storefront on Saturday. In addition to the arrival of “Carving the Acanthus” and “From Truths to Tools,” Brendan Gaffney will be showing off his newly constructed shaving horse and making spindles. I’ll be there trying to affix antlers to the dugout chair. And Megan Fitzpatrick will be demonstrating any hand skill you’d like to see – sharpening? Dovetailing? Hand-cut mouldings?

— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com

Filed under: Carve the Acanthus with Mary May, Lost Art Press Storefront, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Howard adjusters.......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 1:20am
Last week I ordered a Howard adjuster for the LN 60 1/2 block plane and one for the LN 102 small block plane. The Howard adjusters make for a positive, silky smooth advance and retraction of the iron. I've had one on my LN big block plane for a few years and I have nothing but praise for it. Both of the them came in today. I just ordered them and they came to me from the other side of the world. I don't get some things this quick from states next door to me. I hadn't planned on getting them for several weeks.

It is not quite 11,000 miles (about 17,700 km)  from my house to where these are made in Australia. It took a week to get here and that includes clearing customs in two countries.

shiny brass - what could be better than this
up for grabs
I don't need these adjusters anymore. If anyone needs one, drop me an email with an address and I'll send it to you.

replacing the LN 102 adjuster knob
I use this small plane a lot. I am not sure that I'll be using the bigger LN more in it's place but we'll see. I'll have the both of them side by side once the cubby is done. I think the size of the job will dictate which one gets the love.

I didn't get one for the LN 103 which is the standard angle small block plane. I don't use it much and it has gotten even less use since I bought the LN 102.

it is hard to see the split on the right

hack saw
The instructions say to remove the proud with a hacksaw. Makes sense as the teeth of this aren't effected that much by the hammer head. A wood saw would have scratched the head and possibly damaged the teeth. The hacksaw went through this, slowly, but without any headaches.

not happy with the gaps

metal wedges are next
The instructions state that the metal wedges be installed perpendicular to the wooden wedge. The drawing shows them at a 45°. I think that is because the appear to be too big to be installed at a 90°.

metal wedges installed
I offset the wedges intentionally because I wanted to try to close up some of the gaps. I did ok but there is still one small gap at the lower right of the eye. I used 100 grit sandpaper to clean up the eye and then sanded the rest of the head to shine it up a bit.

sealing the top of the eye with some lacquer
The instructions say to do this to seal the top of the eye. I wouldn't have done it if I hadn't read it in the instructions.

can you hand plane rabbets in plywood?
 I'm about to find out and I have 6 different planes I can pick and chose to do them with.

picked the 140
The iron is sharp and it is sailing through this ply with the grain going in the short direction. The planing slowed down some when the ply grain direction changed but the plane was still making shavings.

pretty good for plywood
The outside shoulder isn't clean down into the 90°. I didn't use the nicker on the plane and I forgot to use the marking gauge to cut the fibers as I planed. I cleaned this up with a chisel.

rabbet #2
Hit a snag on this one. The 140 didn't like this knot and was riding up and over it. I tried pressing down on it more in this area without any luck. It was still skimming right over the knot.

this didn't skim over it.
It skipped and skimmed on the first two stokes but after I set the iron a bit heavy it chewed up the knot and spit it out.

sometimes you get lucky
I had eyeballed the length of the back yesterday and tonight I fully expected to have to cut off some extra. I have about a 1/4" strong of clearance total on both sides of the cubby.

no problems sawing this
I did my saw cuts so that the inside of the side was facing away from me. This way the chipping and blowouts on the exit will be on the inside of the cubby.

you can chop plywood cleanly
I chopped the pockets at the back just like it was solid wood. I sawed off the front notch and squared and cleaned it up with a chisel.

left notch is snug and this one is loose
This isn't that important although I was shooting to get both of them snug. These will be glued and screwed in place. I will then just screw these to the plywood shelf on the workbench holding the cubby in place.

I will be sawing excess off the cross braces
I will clamp the back in place dry and square it . I can then flush one end of one brace to a side and mark the length on the other one. Still haven't come up with a sliding shelf design I like. It is proving to be a wee bit harder than I anticipated it being. Part of the headache with it is figuring out the stop and putting the shelf in the cubby after it has been screwed to the plywood shelf on the workbench. Maybe inspiration will hit me tomorrow before I get home from work.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What was the first railroad in the United States?
answer - the Baltimore and Ohio was the first railroad to transport freight and passengers in 1827

Don’t Blow it on the Lid

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 11:21am

Miters and mayhem. The flat panel lid warped and shrank. The miters lost their hold. This lid is a mess.

This is an excerpt from “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz. 

There are several ways to make the lid. Some work great. Some are quite stupid. Let’s start with the stupid ways first. When I built my first tool chest, I copied the construction of the lid from an original. It was a single flat panel of wood trimmed on three of its edges with narrow stock that would interlock with the dust seal attached to the shell.

If I remember correctly, I think the lid worked as intended for about a week, and it has been bockety ever since. The first problem was with the lock strike, the brass plate mortised into the underside of the lid. Because the lid was a simple flat panel, the top shrank a bit, which moved the lock strike.

One day I tried to lock the chest, and the mechanism wouldn’t engage. In fact, it just pushed the lid up off the dust seal. So I filed the opening in the strike until the lock worked again. About six months later the top expanded and the lock wouldn’t work anymore. This time, filing wasn’t going to fix the problem – I would have filed away one wall off the strike. So I resigned myself to having a chest that would lock only during the dry season.

Then the top warped.

Because the top of the lid was the bark side of the tree, the warping made things worse. The front and back edges of the top curled up. And the movement was enough that the strike couldn’t be struck by the lock mechanism.

But my troubles didn’t end there. When I built the chest, I wasn’t a total doofus on the topic of wood movement. I knew the lid was going to move, so I selected a species that didn’t move a lot once it was dry. I used white pine. And when I applied the trim around the lid, I did everything I could to minimize the problem of cross-grain construction. The trim pieces on the ends of the lid were the problem. They had to be nailed onto the end grain.

This is a problem. Nails and screws don’t hold as tightly into end grain as they do into face grain. So I wanted to introduce some glue into the joint to help things along. of course, glue doesn’t want to stick to end grain. And when you glue long grain to end grain, the end grain will try to bust apart the joint as it expands and contracts with the seasons.

There are several solutions to this problem. Some involve a sliding dovetail. others involve screws in elongated slots. The simplest solution is to glue and nail the trim on at the front of the lid and use nails only at the back part of the lid. This was the technique that the original builder had used. The theory here is that the glue and nails will keep the trim secure and tight up at the miters, and the nails at the back of the lid will bend to allow the lid to move.

It’s an interesting theory and one that sometimes works. It sure didn’t work for me, however.

The trim is barely holding on to the lid. The miters are open and flopping around like a broken finger. And the lid’s joints look like crap. I want to remove the lid and rebuild it. I should remove it and rebuild it. But I really like the way the paint has aged on the lid, and the broken joints are a constant reminder about the wily ways of wood.

So when I set out to build a new chest, I looked for other historical examples that would be more durable. The vintage pine chest I bought had the trim glued and pinned to the underside of the lid. This had the advantage of removing the end grain from the equation. All the joints were long-grainto-long-grain. But this is still a bad way to build a lid. Instead of the trim coming loose, this lid is designed to split. And boy did the lid split. There is a 3/8″-wide canyon right up the middle of the lid, which invites dust inside. It’s such a problem that the best solution was to cover the split with tape to keep the dust out.

So don’t build your lid like that.

I took a look at other chests. Duncan Phyfe (1768-1854) was a smart guy, one of the most celebrated 19th-century cabinetmakers. And his tool chest, now at the New-York Historical Society, is filled with all manner of amazing tools. But the lid is curious. It’s a flat panel with breadboard ends. While the lid worked out for Duncan, it might not work out for you. Breadboard ends definitely can help things and improve the way a dust seal will attach to it. But it still won’t help things when you add lock hardware. It’s going to move forward and back as the panel expands and contracts.


Better lid. A frame-and-panel lid with a raised panel is about as robust as you can get without adding lots of weight.

Really, the best solution is to build the lid as a frame-and-panel assembly (or use a slab of Formica). This confines almost all of the wood movement to the panel that floats harmlessly in the middle of the rails and stiles. And if you choose quartersawn wood for the rails and stiles, they will barely move at all.

So you could build the lid in the same way you would build a raised panel door. I would recommend using through-tenons on the rails. But what about the panel? You want the panel to be thick and stout because it will take a beating. So the joint between the panel and the lid frame is critical. You don’t really want to thin down the edges of the panel as you would when making a door panel. Thin edges will weaken the panel.

The old-school solution here is to plow a groove in the edges of the panel so the panel will interlock with the rails and stiles. This will keep the joint between the panel and frame as stout as possible, and the panel will be raised above the frame of the lid.

There is no downside to this approach. There are no weak spots on the lid. There is no significant wood movement along the edges or ends of the lid. So the trim around it will stay put. It is as permanent as can be.

Meghan Bates

Filed under: The Anarchist's Tool Chest
Categories: Hand Tools

Roubo Workbench Class (2nd week)

Heritage School of Woodworking Blog - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 9:37am

I wanted to update everyone on our Roubo Workbench class. We all survived if you’re wondering why it’s taken so long to hear about it. I will say that it was fairly intense for all 10 days, but the students did leave the classroom with finished benches by 5 pm on Thursday. Please remember that […]

The post Roubo Workbench Class (2nd week) appeared first on Heritage School of Woodworking Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Roubo Workbench Class

Heritage School of Woodworking Blog - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 9:18am

I wanted to update everyone on our Roubo Workbench class. We all survived if you’re wondering why it’s taken so long to hear about it. I will say that it was fairly intense for all 10 days, but the students did leave the classroom with finished benches by 5 pm on Thursday. Please remember that […]

The post Roubo Workbench Class appeared first on Heritage School of Woodworking Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

A small barn for the summer house 16, staircase installed.

Mulesaw - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 9:15am
After preparing all the individual steps of the staircase, I hand planed them front and back plus the upside before mounting them in the stringers.
I had to keep reminding myself that it is for a barn, so I shouldn't go all wild in trying to achieve some show surface on the underside.
Mounting the steps was straight forward. But as I discovered, doing this on top of the workbench wasn't a smart idea.
I had to apply a couple of clamps to keep everything together so I could lift it down to the ground where I would be able to hammer in some nails.
A little bit of forward thinking would have been nice here.. (but that is not my strongest card).

I hammered in one nail per step, and then turned the assembly over so I could square it up before pounding in the nails from the other side.
When I had bashed in all the nails on that side I again flipped it over and hammered in the last set of nails on the first side. My idea was that if I had put in both nails in the first side straight away, it might have been more difficult to square it up.

The individual steps were sawed flush to the side that will be facing the wall, and sawed at an angle to the side facing the room. This is something I have seen on most old stairs, and I like the subtle elegance of this ornamentation.

The completed staircase was loaded into my trailer and I drove it to the summerhouse.
While maneuvering the assembly out of the shop I became aware that it wasn't very easy to move around single handed. But I managed in the end.

At the small barn, I mounted the assembly by means of a bit of ingenuity, a cargo securing strap and a couple of clamps.

As per Mettes suggestion, I have wrapped up the barn project for this time, since I'll be heading back to work in a weeks time.

The installed staircase.

Mounting the steps in a stringer.

This would have been smarter to do at the floor.

Flipping over the assembly.

The only decorative elements of the staircase.

Progress on the attic.

Categories: Hand Tools

Video: Joinery in Curvy Furniture

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 8:48am
curvy joinery

Curvy furniture is great to look at and usually offers a tactile aesthetic that makes it appealing. Holding it all together is the joinery – and whether it’s dovetails, tenons or lap joinery, creating that joinery on a curve adds a new level of complication. Whether made by hand or by machine, most of our training on making joinery starts with having flat and square stock to start with. We use reference […]

The post Video: Joinery in Curvy Furniture appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

A New Batch of Soft Wax

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 6:43am


My daughter Katy has just finished making up a new batch of 46 jars of soft wax, which are available in her etsy.com store. The tins are $12 each.

I am one of her biggest customers – I love using the wax on my chairs, tools and vise screws. It has a strong piney smell and, because of the amount of solvent she uses, it is easy to apply and requires no buffing to get a low lustre.

Katy has been taking a break from making the wax lately at my insistence. There have been some really nasty things thrown around on social media – mostly that I’m exploiting our customers by mentioning her wax business on this blog. I hate for her to get dragged into my mud.

But last week I decided not to care about the wankers.

So if you don’t like it, don’t click here. And I have something – it’s around here somewhere – that you can sharpen instead….

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Pricing Your Work – You Can’t Win

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 5:00am

I typically keep a few pieces of my work in the window at my workshop in Covington, Ky. Right now I have a couple chairs on display, plus an aumbry. The pieces do attract attention – and also some uncomfortable conversations about the prices on my work. Recently Patrick Edwards visited my workshop, looked at the aumbry and said: “It’s too cheap. You should be charging three times as much. […]

The post Pricing Your Work – You Can’t Win appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

More With RECO-BKLYN’s Roger Benton – 360w360 E.257

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 4:10am
More With RECO-BKLYN’s Roger Benton – 360w360 E.257

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, Roger Benton, co-owner of Re-Co BKLYN (recobklyn.com), spends more time with us. During the discussion, he talks more about his design ideas and what jazzes him about his work. We also hear a great story about an incident about which many of us could relate.

Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Glen talks with various guests about all things woodworking and some things that are slightly off topic.

Continue reading More With RECO-BKLYN’s Roger Benton – 360w360 E.257 at 360 WoodWorking.

new hammer handle.......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 2:01am
My order from the Hammer source was waiting for me when I got home. I tried replacing the handle and doing it went smoothly. The results weren't too bad considering it was my first ever attempt. I had few other toys come in too and I had to play with them. So that ate up my time to make my plane storage cubby. No biggie as I am not on any deadlines here.

disappointed here
I thought I had ordered the Thorex 712 like mine (on the right). Instead I got this one made by Vaughan from England. It is similar but it isn't the same. The size of the heads and the plastic faces appear to be the same. I will strip the stickers off the handle along with the finish and put on a couple of coats of shellac. That is what I did to my hammer.

comes with the wedge slot already done
it fits
I read a bunch of hammer replacement posts and I was looking forward to doing some shaving and fitting. The handle is a snug fit in the bottom of the eye.

used Miles's new hammer to fix the other one
a bit of slop at the top of the eye
All the things I read on this said to shave and fit the handle until it filled the eye. Even with the wedge installed I think that there is going to be some daylight between the walls and the handle.

wedge was too wide for the eye
I scored the wedge with the sheetrock knife and snapped it off. I trimmed it to fit with a block plane. I just happened to have a few them handy.

instructions don't mention glue
They say to put linseed oil on it before you fully seat it. I don't have any linseed oil so I'm skipping that. I'll make up for that by using hide glue on the wedge.

two new metal wedges
I'll put these in tomorrow after the wedge has set up.

blurry pic is hiding the boo boo
I had to tap it one more time and I got my reward. It split on the right side.

I glued the split and set it aside to dry
new toy for me
I'm still on a journey to find my marking knife and I'm going to try this one.

not a plug for them, it's where I bought it
why I bought it
I don't want anther spear point knife. I am getting used to a single bevel knife but I notice one hard point with them.  All the marking is concentrated right at the point. When I mark a knife line I do so with all the stress at the point and the other 99% of the knife's bevel is not used.

This knife has a curved bevel and a point. With this one I can start my knifing with the point and rock it to use the bevel to complete the line. With this one I should get more use out of the bevel then just the area by the point. At least that is what I am thinking I can do.

I stropped the bevel and the back and tried it out. Rocking the bevel worked and I didn't have any problems transferring a line 360 on piece of scrap. It isn't as sharp as my Japanese marking knife but this isn't or hasn't been sharpened by me yet.

The instructions for sharpening it say to put a piece of sandpaper on a T-shirt and drag the bevel on it by pulling it straight back. The T-shirt is soft enough to have some give and allow you to follow the round bevel on the marking knife. I'll give it a try when I sharpen it.

added a few more tools to Miles's toolbox
I have a pile of scrapers and taking these for Miles's toolbox didn't even put a dent in the pile. I would like to get a thinner, flexible rectangular scraper but even I don't have one. All of mine are thick and don't bend/flex too much.

I don't have too many more tools to cross off the list. I have some of them but I haven't rehabbed them yet. Once I do that, I'll cross them off. The list is slowly shrinking. The only biggies left are a dovetail saw and and a set of chisels.

parts for the bottom of the new plane cubby
The two cross pieces will be let into the bottom of the sides flush. The back will the held in place in a rabbet sealing up the back. With the top shelf on this space should stay relatively clean.

the back is the same width as the sides
After the cross braces are in, I'll cut two pieces of this to go inbetween them. The sliding shelf will ride in and out on them. And since it is plywood, I don't have to worry about expansion and contraction.  Maybe tomorrow I'll actually get some 'put it together' woodworking done on this.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Laika? (hint: it's a dog)
answer - Laika was the first living creature to orbit the earth

How to fix a wonky Auger bit

Journeyman's Journal - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 7:18pm

I wish I had of taken a photo of the auger bit prior to the fix, but I didn’t think of writing about it till it was too late.


Just because it’s an antique or vintage doesn’t mean it’s flawless. This set of Irwin auger bits is pretty good, but far from flawless.  I bought this set years ago and haven’t used them much in all this time.

Anyway, I remembered that I had a bit 3/8″ that wasn’t straight and of course it’s always the one that is used more than others or at least second to the 1/4″. The shaft was bent and pretty much I might add.  Maybe someone dropped it, either way it needs fixing.

On the metal part of my lathe which is now serving as an anvil until my luck runs out, I tapped it straight with a rubber mallet they use in panel beating.  (This mallet is pretty good and will not leave a mark on wood not matter how hard you hammer it.) I would hammer a couple of times and check the bit by eye. Once it looks straight, I would finish it by hammering whilst turning the bit 360°.


This is the result.



I chucked it in the brace and held the bit and brace vertical while slowly turning the bit. No wobble, good news, it’s not a bin job. It’s fixed.

Issue III has finally been released as you all know and there has been a lot of downloads, but zero feedbacks.

Hope this post helps someone.

Categories: Hand Tools

Interesting developments

Oregon Woodworker - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 7:06pm
I start with a development that may seem trivial, but it definitely isn't for me.  I have been a loyal customer of Lee Valley/ Veritas for many years.  The one thing that has held me back from purchasing more from them has been shipping, which commonly took a week and a half or even more.  This resulted from the warehouse being in Canada and reliance on UPS ground for shipping to the west coast.  For a major tool purchase that was tolerable, but for many purchases of hardware and supplies or for something that I needed for a project I was in the middle of, I just couldn't wait that long, so I would purchase elsewhere.

Imagine my surprise when a recent order arrived in only three days.  Doing some research online, I learned that Lee Valley has established a distribution center near Reno, Nevada, so now those of us on the Left Coast can get items from them in a reasonable time.  This is really great news.

Next, Joel from Tools for Working Wood has an interesting series of posts on his blog about things he is doing differently in his woodworking.  The latest is about his use of a Moxon vise.  He writes that,
by raising the overall height of where I saw I can see better, bend over less, and the whole process feels so much less jury-rigged. I am sawing better and more accurately - partially at least because I can see what I am doing...
I was thinking the same thing this week because I was sawing some tenons using my bench vise and it wasn't going well at all.  I was stooped over in an uncomfortable position and couldn't see well.  Try as I might, I couldn't get my sawing motion right.  Finally, I put my Moxon vise on the bench and things immediately improved.  For many of us who are older, a vise at bench height just doesn't work well for sawing joinery.  I have a Veritas twin screw vise on the end of my bench and it works well for some things, but sawing joinery definitely isn't one of them.  If I could only keep one, it would definitely be the Moxon.  It really is a game changer for me.  I am one of those weird ones that could easily do without a bench vise.  If you don't have one, as I didn't for awhile, you find other ways of workholding that are often better. 

I built three Moxon vises in succession over the years.  The first used pipe clamps, the second bar clamps and the third and fanciest one used acme threaded rods.  Funny thing is, I like the bar clamp one best by far.

I like the handles being in the back out of the way and I like the "quick release" feature.  You can clamp any sized workpiece very quickly, even if you need to skew the jaw.  I added that piece of walnut on the front so I wouldn't strike the clamp with a saw.  It also turns out that the heavy duty bars fit snugly into slots do a great job of eliminating most racking, which is a problem with my other two versions.  This is the one I use while the other two stay on the shelf.

A Nicholson workbench, a pair of Krenov sawhorses and a Moxon vise will be in my shop for as long as I do woodworking.  
Categories: Hand Tools

Live Edge Class at Snow Farm, Massachusetts – Part 3, Ben’s Table Completed

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 9:43am

When connecting a Live edge waterfall joint together we need to expect a “tectonic” shift of the connected corner. While mitering the two banks of the joint at 45 degrees we remove a considerate amount of wood in the shape of a triangular prism from the lower part of the miter. So in order to make the miter flow nicely from one side to the other, Ben had to gouge […]

The post Live Edge Class at Snow Farm, Massachusetts – Part 3, Ben’s Table Completed appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Guides for New Woodworkers

Paul Sellers - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 4:01am

In order to best help new and beginner woodworkers to get the right foundation they need to progress their craft, we are providing a core series of beginner guides to bring clear focus on the basics of woodworking. We will explain more about the tools we consider essential to getting started, how we use them […]

Read the full post Guides for New Woodworkers on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Joel's Blog Ten Ways I am Doing Things Differently - Part 4

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 4:00am

I've been working with wood since I was a kid. I took my first woodworking class at the 92nd Street Y when I was 6 years old. I've been taking classes and building stuff for over 35 years. For the last 17 I have been working at Tools for Working Wood. In that time, new tools and new techniques have come on the market. By and large I have ignored them in my personal work. However, I haven't ignored everything, and my methods of work have in certain areas changed dramatically for the better. I've broken up my list of ten things into three posts so I don't drone on and on to long. This is Part 3. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here

The Moxon Vise

As I have gotten older it's been harder and harder for me to see anything. And bending over isn't much fun either. This isn't a joke. Sawing joints has always been problematic for me and I currently wear magnifying glasses for any close work. My bench (Frank Klausz style made over 30 years ago) is the right height for just about everything except cutting dovetails. It's just too low. So I hunch over thinking "there must be a better way." About ten or so years ago I found out about Jeff Miller's Bench on Bench. I built one and it was a big step in the right direction. Basically a Bench on Bench was a little table you put on top of your main bench and it has a double vise in the front.

Then along came the "Moxon Vise" popularized by Christopher Schwarz. The vise gets it's name from Joseph Moxon's "Mechanick Exercises" But as I wrote last week the actual connection between the wood press illustrated in Moxon's book and how the Moxon vise is used to today is at best tenuous.

Many vendors now sell complete vises or just hardware kits. We used to offer the entire vise but currently we are only offering hardware kits which we are very pleased with. Our kit came about initially from a joint project with the . They came up with the ears on the sides, a cambered jaw, and the little shelf for clamping tails during layout. We added acme screws, washers, big nuts that don't wear out their mortises and spin, and handles that can be moved out of the way. You can read all about how to design your own Moxon Vise here.

The big reason the Moxon Vise made my list of ten is that I feel that by raising the overall height of where I saw I can see better, bend over less, and the whole process feels so much less jury-rigged. I am sawing better and more accurately - partially at least because I can see what I am doing , but also with the work clamped pretty low in the vise I can still easily saw uphill and have the work solid and vibration free. Not to mention my posture is better and it's less tiring.

The picture above is me in the middle of sawing out tails using one of the showroom / class benches where we have fitted Moxon vises at each end.

So that's my list of ten ways my work has changed. I hope to be able to say in a few years that my skills have gotten better, that I am still learning, and maybe have an even better list.

Has your woodworking changed over the years too? I welcome your comments.


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