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Mark Harrell – Bad Axe Tool Works

She Works Wood - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 7:31am
I’m sure that I’ve blabbed on about Mark and his awesome saws on my blog before, but I’m going to do it again.  All my backsaws are made by Mark except for the old dovetail saw I inherited and he re-plated that one.  He makes amazing saws and provides a truck load of free information […]
Categories: General Woodworking

Which Festool Track Saw is Right for You?

Highland Woodworking - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 7:00am

In Issue #6 of Festool Heaven, Our Sticks In The Mud (SITM) tipster Jim Randolph and our Down To Earth Woodworker (DTEW) Steve Johnson got into a discussion over which is the best Festool Track Saw, the TS-55 or the TS-75. We’re not sure who won the argument, but they both scored some pretty good shots. We just hope they’re still friends after this!

So which Track Saw is better? Click here to see what Jim and Steve had to say about it!

 

The post Which Festool Track Saw is Right for You? appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Shop Update for 3/10/17: Chopping a Through Mortise

The Renaissance Woodworker - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 6:46am

It All Comes Down to Working to Your Lines

This week I have a question about some through mortises so I figured I would just chop one. But to add an wrinkle, this mortise needs to be a bit wider than any of the mortise chisels I have and even a different size any type of chisel I have in my arsenal. So this mortise requires a bit more finesse to get it right.

How About Some More Mortise Stuff?

I’ve written/talked about mortising many times over the years and you can find many posts here on my site, but here are some suggestions:

Categories: Hand Tools

Making ‘Snap-to-line’ Templates

Paul Sellers - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 5:17am

Wednesday 8th March 2017 Making templates Templates can be made from a variety of materials, plastic, wood, man-made boards like plywood and MDF, cardboard and more. Usually templates are relatively small, a taper for part of a leg, arches for table aprons, spoon and spatula shapes, you name it. Whereas I always do like to …

Read the full post Making ‘Snap-to-line’ Templates on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Cheap & Easy Steam Box Setup

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 3:00am
steam box

In the recent Don Weber “Build a Welsh Stick Chair” class/video shoot, Don brought some pre-bent arms for us to use, simply to make things move along more quickly (filming a woodworking video is sometimes like filming a cooking show – some parts are prepped ahead of time). But he did bend a couple on camera, using a simple and inexpensive steam box setup, made with items you can easily […]

The post Cheap & Easy Steam Box Setup appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

citrus acid bath results........

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 12:32am
I feel like a lady trying to choose between two pairs of shoes. I like Evaporust but the more I use citrus acid, the more I'm liking it. I think this latest bath has pushed more over into the citrus acid bath camp. I do think that the both of them have a use in my shop. Evaporust for items that are going to be sitting idle for long periods of time is the way to use that. Tools I'm rehabbing to put back into daily use, citrus acid is the first batter.

0330 this morning
I did this one before I went to work this morning. I took it out, rinsed it off well, and sanded it lightly with 220 sandpaper. I raised a bit of shine which I like and then I wiped it down with jojoba oil.

the other side
There are a couple of blemishes/pits at the bottom that looked like deep rust pockets but they aren't. I expended extra calories sanding these two areas and nothing rusty came of it. Both sides are smooth to the touch and I couldn't detect any bumps anywhere. Leaving these in acid always makes me think the citrus acid is going to eat holes in the metal and leave it rough.

what I saw tonight
The water has taken on a slight greenish tint but other this, it looks like I left it yesterday. And the metal didn't seem to have been effected by this 24 hour bath.

ready to finish cleaning
I dumped the citrus acid in the driveway on a oil stain. I rinsed off all the parts well with hot water in the bathroom sink (I need to put a utility sink in the cellar). I also rinsed out the container with hot water and filled it up and put the parts back in it. They shouldn't rust while awaiting their turn to be cleaned.

#8 chipbreaker is the first batter
I sanded all the parts going in the long direction of the them. I only used 220 grit sandpaper. 320 and 400 was too fine and 180/150 left too large of a scratch pattern.

best I could do
The Damascus steel look at the top is what the rust had previously did to the metal. Someone had cleaned this before I got it. It is relatively smooth to the touch with only a few scattered bumps.

this side was completely rusted at one time
This can be still used as it is. All this rust damage won't effect it's ability to be a chipbreaker.

FYI tip
Citrus acid in an open cut burns and hurts like hell. So don't stick it in the citrus acid water.

final clean up
After I sanded the chipbreaker, I washed it with the orange cleaner. The last step was a few squirts of jojoba oil and rub down with the blue rag.

file work
This chipbreaker showed some signs of mushrooming caused by a hammer. I filed it to remove the slight ridges.

this was badly rusted at one point
smooth as a baby's butt
#4 iron before shot

other side before shot
the after shot
the 2nd after blurry shot
Not a good pic but there is no mistaking that this cleaned up rather well.

this bevel edge is chewed up a bit
It will take extra time to remove the chips but they aren't that deep or numerous.

the other #4 iron
Someone had recently sharpened this. From the look of it I would guess that it was done with a honing guide.

will it work on the screw?
It got it cleaner than what I had done with just a wire brush. This stuff works much better on brass though and excels on my stainless steel pots and pans.

yikes
This is the chipbreaker for a #4 and it has way too much spring or separation between it and the iron.

it is making shavings
I was able to screw the chipbreaker down to the iron but I don't think that I'll be using it. It is working ok but I don't like the force I had to exert to screw it down.

someone before me did this
Someone did some work on the leading edge of the chipbreaker. There is one chip that is stuck between the chipbreaker and the iron. I can't see any light but this shaving managed to work it's way between the two.

it fits now
Without the two being screwed together, it wouldn't fit in the slot. (It's the 4th one up from the bottom) It is a snug fit screwed together.  Look at the gap that is there compared to the other setups. This chipbreaker is toast.

computer desk stock
I am going to use the old kitchen cabinet doors to get the legs for the desk from. Cleaning up the plane parts ate up all my time in the shop tonight. It doesn't look like I'll have anything to bring to work on saturday but maybe the next one.

We are supposed to get a snow storm tomorrow. 1-3 inches falling from about midnight until dawn. Then a break and 2-4 more inches ending around noontime. Sounds like lots of fun.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What player restriction is in effect in both polo and jai alai?
answer - no left handed players allowed

How Much Lacquer Thinner Should I Use?

Wunder Woods - Thu, 03/09/2017 - 8:30pm

Today, I was having a conversation with one of my customers about spraying a conversion varnish (Krystal, from M.L. Campbell) and the problems he was having with getting it to lay down nicely after it was sprayed. He said that he applied is wet enough to blend together and not be rough, but that he had a lot of orange peel in the finish. After discussing the possible causes of the orange peel it became obvious that he needed to add lacquer thinner to the mix, which he did not do.

This customer is new to spraying conversion varnish, which is a two-part mix that sets up and hardens chemically like epoxy, forming a super durable finish. The information on the can talked about the 10:1 ratio of finish to catalyst, but apparently didn’t mention a thing about thinning with lacquer thinner, so he used none. Even if it was mentioned, I assume that he was worried enough about getting the ratio correct (click here to learn how to easily get the proper mixing ratios) and not messing up the mix that he never imagined he could, or even that he should add lacquer thinner.

In this case, my customer was getting orange peel because the finish was too thick for his two-stage turbine. The kids at the finish distributor led him to believe that he shouldn’t need to add thinner, but they did not ask about the power of his spray equipment, assuming that he probably had a turbine strong enough to finely atomize the finish without thinning.

This Graco 2-quart pressure pot system I currently use is an older 2-stage model, but gives good results with proper thinning.

I continued to discuss the need to add thinner with my customer, and pointed out that a non-thinned finish requires more turbine power than he currently has. If he owned a 4-stage or 5-stage turbine, he could probably use the finish without thinner, but not with just a 2-stage. I speak from experience on this one, because my everyday gun is an older 2-stage model, and it requires at least a bit of thinning on almost everything I spray. I am okay with this apparent shortcoming because I am a proponent of applying multiple thin coats, as compared to fewer thick coats, which I believe are just inviting trouble.

As our conversation continued, he asked the million dollar question, “How much lacquer thinner do you add?” For me, the simple answer is, “Until it sprays good,” which is very ambiguous I know, but true. I have an advantage because I have sprayed more than him and I have an idea where I am headed, but I don’t truly know until I shoot a sample board with it and see how things are flowing (which I do every time before I spray the real thing). I spray a sample piece of wood standing up vertically to make sure that I can get a fully wet and flat surface with no runs or sags and to get a feel for how fast I need to move the gun to make all of that happen. If the sample surface looks good, I move on and spray the real thing. If I have issues, it is usually because the finish is a bit thick, so I add lacquer thinner until the finish sprays smoothly without orange peel and without runs.

A viscosity cup like this Ford 4 style, available from Highland Woodworking is a good starting point.

Another, more technical way to determine the correct amount of thinner is to use a viscosity cup. A viscosity cup is shaped like a funnel and determines how thick a fluid is by the time it takes to empty the cup. A thin fluid will empty in just a couple of seconds, while a thick fluid might take 30 seconds or more. When I started spraying and used a viscosity cup, about 15 seconds was the right amount for my gun, but it will vary from gun to gun. When learning to spray, I recommend using a viscosity cup and to follow the manufacturers recommendations. If nothing else, this will give you a good starting point from which you can make later changes and have a way to achieve consistent results. After you spray for a while, there will be less mystery, and you will know from one test shot what needs to be adjusted, even without the viscosity cup.

When my customer asked about adding lacquer thinner, I know he was worried about possibly adding too much, and after thinking about it, I don’t know that you can add too much. I can follow the logic that adding too much thinner may change the chemistry, but I mix the 10:1 ratio of conversion varnish to catalyst first and then add the thinner, so there should still be the same amount of resin and catalyst, just with more space between them, in the form of lacquer thinner which will quickly evaporate and let the two parts do their thing. Even with other lacquer products, which includes sealers, nitrocellulose lacquers and modified lacquers, I can’t think of any time that I have ever had a problem because I added too much thinner.

I’m sure finish manufacturers would disagree and warn you to not be so cavalier about it, but I sure wouldn’t worry about adding too much thinner. Simply add enough thinner until your spray gun is able to apply a nice, even and wet film that flows out flat and dries without sagging. Even if you do mix it a bit thin, feel confident knowing that you can always compensate by moving more quickly or reducing the amount of fluid coming out of the tip of the gun.


Categories: General Woodworking

we’ll put some bleachers out in the sun and have it on highway 61

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Thu, 03/09/2017 - 6:35pm

I only have a few photos for this post – I was too busy to shoot much…

I just got back from teaching two classes at North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota. http://www.northhouse.org/index.htm   Being thrown into an immersion experience like that at North House reminds me of my beginnings at Country Workshops in the 1980s.

One focus at North House is community, and it is quite palpable. The legendary pizza night, centered around the large wood-fired oven, and finely honed through years of practice is a memorable experience. The classes I was there to teach were part of “Wood Week” which as you can imagine means all the classes offered that week (8 in all) were woodworking. Other disciplines at North House include fiber arts, blacksmithing, food, boatbuilding and more.

All the students in my first class were named Tom. I think. Made it easier…

With three classes at the first session, and five the next, there was no shortage of inspiration, nor of comrades. The evenings were spent in large and small groups exploring spoon and bowl carving, looking at and trying out new tools, techniques, benches and materials. It seems that almost everyone (except me) also plays a musical instrument, so the spoon carving circles were on the periphery of the old-timey music circles. There was much overlap. The best nights ran much later than I could handle.

All the while, Lake Superior was right there, outside the shop windows, and lapping at the courtyard between the buildings. It’s a pretty big lake, I hear. Looked it.

I’m liking these large-group gatherings. Last year I went to three of them, Greenwood Fest in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Spoonfest in Edale, UK and Täljfest at Sätergläntan in Sweden. This one had a smaller crowd, but that lent it an intimacy that was nice. I still missed stuff – I got no photographs of the other classes, and few of my own.

Jarrod trying out Dawson Moore’s Spoon Mule:

Tom Dengler kept distracting me with his woodenware:

one of the oak carvings the students did…

I caught up with some old friends, and made some new. Like the other events, this one is run by many hands, including a group of young interns. Nice to see these young people exploring some type of creative outlet involving natural materials. There were a smattering of young people in the classes too, but no group gets higher marks than Spoonfest for adding youth and women to the woodworking community.

These creatures were more common than squirrels.

I had a day off early on, and took a long walk in a state park about half-an-hour away. If this tree were closer to the school, someone would have nabbed it by now…

North House is celebrating their twentieth year – get on their mailing list so you can be a part of their 2nd-double-decade.

Some of the many people there, apologies for not including everyone – there was a lot happening:

Jarrod Dahl, https://www.instagram.com/jarrod__dahl/

Roger Abrahamson,  https://www.instagram.com/rogerabrahamson/

Fred Livesay,  https://www.instagram.com/hand2mouthcrafts/

Phil Odden & Else Bigton  http://www.norskwoodworks.com/

Harley Refsal  http://www.northhouse.org/courses/courses/instructor.cfm/iid/86

Dawson Moore  https://www.instagram.com/michigansloyd/

Tom & Kitty Latane https://www.facebook.com/thomas.latane

Tom Dengler https://www.instagram.com/twodengler/


Frame Fight: Coping Saws vs. Fret Saws

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 03/09/2017 - 4:40pm
Joiner-and-Cabinet-Maker1

A fret saw’s thin blade drops into the kerf left by any dovetail saw. Then you just turn and saw.

This is an excerpt from “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker” by Anon, Christopher Schwarz and and Joel Moskowitz. 

For those of you who chisel out your waste when dovetailing, this section is not for you. Move along. There’s nothing to see here.

OK, now that we’re alone: Have you ever been confused about which frame saw you should use to remove the waste between your pins and tails? I have. For years I used a coping saw and was blissfully happy.

Then I took an advanced dovetail class with maestro Rob Cosman and he made a strong case that a fret saw was superior because you could remove the waste in one fell swoop (instead of two). So, like any good monkey, I bought a fret saw and did it that way for many years.

But fret saws aren’t perfect. Almost all of them require tuning. You need to file some serrations in the pads that clamp the blade, otherwise it’s all stroke, stroke, sproing. Oh, and the blades tend to break. Or kink.

And fret saws are slow. I use 11.5 teeth per inch (tpi) scrollsaw blades, and it takes about 30 strokes to get through the waste between my typical tails in hardwood.

If you want to see a good video on how to tune up a fretsaw, check out Rob Cosman’s site. He shows you how to hot-rod the handle and bend the blade for the best performance.

Joiner-and-Cabinet-Maker2

Coping saws require two swooping passes to remove the waste. Drop the teeth in your kerf and make swoop one. Come back and make swoop two.


About Coping Saws

What I like about coping saws is that they cut faster. I use an 18 tpi blade from Tools for Working Wood. (I think they’re made by Olson.) The blades cut wicked fast thanks to their deeper gullets and longer length. It takes me 12 to 14 strokes to remove the waste between my typical tails.

The other thing I like about the coping saw is that its throat is deeper (5″ vs. 2-3/4″ on my fret saw), which allows me to handle wider drawers without turning the blade. Also, the blades of a coping saw are far more robust and almost never come loose. I’m partial to the German-made Olson coping saw. It’s about $12 and beats the pants off the stuff at the home centers.

The major downside to the coping saw is that you have to remove the waste in two passes instead of one. Because the coping saw’s blade is thick, it sometimes won’t drop down into the bottom of the kerf left by your dovetail saw. So you get around this by making two swooping passes to clear the waste.

One last thing: Some of you might be wondering why I didn’t discuss wooden bowsaws, another fantastic frame saw. At the time I was writing this book, my bowsaw was busted. First, one of the arms cracked after someone (no names) over-tensioned it. I fixed that. Then the twine busted and I didn’t have any on hand.

Since building the Chest of Drawers, I got my bowsaw back on its feet (bowsaws do not have feet, by the way) and it is giving my coping saw a run for its money. The fret saw still hangs dusty and lonely on the wall.

Meghan Bates


Filed under: The Joiner & Cabinet Maker
Categories: Hand Tools

Don Williams! Beeswax! Pollisoirs!

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 03/09/2017 - 1:55pm

polissoir_lineup_IMG_8884

I don’t think I’ve ever used that many exclamation marks… ever.

If you are coming to the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool event at Braxton Brewing on Friday or Saturday, look for Don Williams. He’ll be selling his excellent beeswax and mind-blowing polissoirs.

What’s a polissoir? Oh my. Go here and look around. It’s a simple pre-industrial finishing tool that will change your mind about wax finishes.

The polissoirs are handmade in Virginia by one of Don’s neighbors to Don’s specifications and are things of beauty. The blocks of pure beeswax are purified on Don’s farm by him and his wife. The wax is, pardon the expression, the bee’s buzz.

And if you want to learn (a lot) about traditional finishing techniques, just ask Don about his shellac collection….

The show starts both days at 10 a.m. Free admission. Great beer, coffee and conversations about woodworking and tools. What more could you want? A foot massage? Don’t ask me.

Full details on the event are here.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Finishing, Personal Favorites, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Williamsburg Snapshot – Wax Finishing

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 03/09/2017 - 1:30pm

Although I have attended the Colonial Williamsburg Working Wood in the 18th Century conference many times, this year was my first as a speaker.  I was asked to present the topic “Wax Finishes” which I did.  Alas, my time slot was only 45 minutes, which in retrospect pretty much everyone agreed was too short by some logarithmic value.  Still I did my best to rip through the basics at breakneck speed.

As with virtually every finishing talk I give I began by covering my “Six Rules for Perfect Finishing.”

 

I then blew through the topics of surface prep with a scraper and then a polissoir.  Truly this step has revolutionized my understanding and practice for finishing.

Then came the application of block beeswax as a grain filler and final finish, worked into the surface via vigorous rubbing with the polissoir, followed by scraping to remove any excess, and finally by buffing with a flannel.

I showed, all too quickly, the incorporation of both resin flour and powdered colorants to the beeswax grain fillers to impart either hardness or coloration.

Finally I approached the problem of voluptuous and carved surfaces, employing the boxwood burnishing stick and the polissoir, with impressive results given the few seconds I had in hand.

I got excellent and encouraging feedback, and the CW folks must have liked what they saw because I have been invited to return in the fall for three days of in-house hands-on training for the cabinetmakers, gunsmiths, and housewrights on the topic of historic finishing.

 

Laguna IQ CNC Review: Part Two

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 03/09/2017 - 11:00am
CNC

In Part One, I introduced the Laguna IQ 24″ x 36″ CNC. Below is Part Two of the video review. Conclusions I’ve had a Laguna IQ in the shop for a few weeks and put it to use on a variety of projects from part cutting to 3D carving. Like all the machines in this the class, I expected that the design, choice of components and solid construction would give […]

The post Laguna IQ CNC Review: Part Two appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Music I’d Like To Hear #124

Doug Berch - Thu, 03/09/2017 - 10:28am
_
Categories: Luthiery

Can’t you hear me knocking?

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Thu, 03/09/2017 - 7:32am

The first woodworking hand tools that I ever purchased new (intended for furniture making..) were from Traditionalwoodworker.com. I ordered a marking gauge, and if I remember correctly, a 1/2 inch chisel and a mallet. I still have those tools and they work as well as the day I first received them. As time passed, I ordered more tools from Traditional Woodworker on occasion and they always seemed to me to be a good company to deal with.

So yesterday evening I went online to order a large auger bit (oddly, not for a woodworking project in the furniture making sense) and one of the places I checked was Traditional Woodworker. Let me correct that, TW was one of the places I attempted to check, because I could not find the web page. I did some more checking and I could not seem to find any indication of the site being changed, or revamped, or simply shut down. Furthermore, I checked some forums and for the time being nobody else seems to have heard anything one way or the other, either.

So I’m writing this brief post just to see if any body has heard any information regarding the whereabouts of the Traditional Woodworker online tool store. My searches have turned up absolutely nothing. I’m hoping that somebody out there who happens to see this post may have heard something and if so, could please let me know what you turned up.

Thanks


Categories: General Woodworking

Magnetic Two-stage Bit-tip Holder

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 03/09/2017 - 3:48am
Magnetic Two-stage Bit-tip Holder

Last week I was in the shop and a friend had to reach a skosh farther into a cabinet than he anticipated. The screw he was after was just beyond the reach of his drill/driver and its magnetic, bit-tip holder. I had a longer holder, but it was clear across the shop in the cabinet – that was at least 20 feet away. (Sad, huh?)

What I had within reach, however, was a second short, bit-tip holder.

Continue reading Magnetic Two-stage Bit-tip Holder at 360 WoodWorking.

Rehabbing a Japanese plow plane

Giant Cypress - Thu, 03/09/2017 - 3:28am

I had a project that required me to make a groove about 3/8″ wide. Luckily, I had this used Japanese plow plane that I found on eBay a while back.

Japanese plow planes, unlike western plow planes which typically have interchangeable blades, do one thing and one thing only: cut a groove the width of the blade it has. This one has a 9.1mm blade, and should do the trick.

Except for one thing. The plane needed some work. It was used after all.

Here are the cutting blade and nickers of the plane. In between the nickers is a wooden spacer that goes between the nickers. The blade and nickers certainly needed sharpening and some rehab. There was this coating on parts of the blades that looked like lacquer that had yellowed over time. I used lacquer thinner to get rid of it, then set about sharpening the blade and nickers.

Much better.

After reinstallation of the blades and nickers, I discovered another issue. The nickers sat too low relative to the blade.

What had happened was that the wood spacer that sits between the nickers and/or the body of the plane had shrunk over time, making the spacer too thin and the opening in which the nickers and spacer sit too wide. 

To fix this, I added some thickness to the nicker. I took a thick plane shaving off of a scrap piece of red oak, and glued it to the spacer. After the glue dried, I shaved down the excess part of the shaving until the spacer had its original shape back, but it was now a little thicker.

When I reinstalled the nickers, they stopped short of their previous position. I was then able to tap the nickers down to the depth that I wanted. It’s not real obvious in this photo, but the nickers do sit higher than they used to.

If you’re tuning up your own Japanese plow plane, at this point I’m sure you’re real interested in the thickness of the shaving that I made. The answer is, you want a shaving that’s thick enough. If your shaving winds up not being thick enough, you can always glue another shaving on. My shaving was a thin 1/32″ thick, but your mileage will vary.

In use, I set the cutting blade to take a shaving of the thickness that I want, and I position the nickers so that they are a little bit deeper. This allows the nickers to sever the fibers ahead of the blade, which is especially important if you’re making a groove that runs across the grain.

I tested my newly rehabbed plane on a piece of scrap poplar. Not bad!

My second commission – part 9

Je ne sai quoi Woodworking - Thu, 03/09/2017 - 12:56am

9/3/2017

This post disappeared from my site while it went into hiding. Here it is again for those of you who missed it.

Welcome back to JNSQ woodworking. Here is hoping that we will continue to share woodworking banter and ideas in 2017. This past weekend was my first back in the shop and it was a real joy. Much like 2016, my two main projects to focus on will be this so called “second commission” and the table for the shebeen.

7/11/2016

I will now report on the work done since our previous update in October of 2016. As usual just a quick reminder of what we are aiming for. A few shots of the model I built while developing the design.

IMG_6281IMG_6279IMG_6280

Something that I omitted to illustrate in the previous post is the techniques that were employed to ensure that the spindles end up with zero splay. The first method makes use of a device that we shall call the Tambotie gauge (as I used a small Tambotie off-cut to create this fantastic piece of equipment).

img_7628The Tamboti gauge consists of an appropriately sized off-cut clamped to a square.

While reaming the mortises for the spindles you might remember how I made use of a stick with an appropriately sized tenon to check the rake angle.

img_7615img_7617

The Tambotie gauge is used to check that there is zero splay by comparing the gap between the Tambotie off-cut and the spindle on both sides, as referenced off the side of the beam with the square. In this case the spindle is leaning ever so slightly towards the right.

img_7630img_7631img_7632

Second of the two strategies again involves a highly complex jig that takes hours to build and set up. I clamped a winding stick to the side of the beam to check wether the spindle (positioned in it’s mortise) runs parallel to it, i.e. zero splay.

img_7638img_7639

Once all eight mortises received this treatment it was time to test how the assembly would fit together. As you can see it came together nicely.

img_7640img_7642img_7643img_7644

It is probably important to report on the stuff-up I made while drilling the pilot holes for the mentioned mortises. You might remember that I drilled one of these holes in the wrong direction and suffered from a Panic Attack subsequently. The solution I came up with was to turn a dowel of the same wood that fitted the hole perfectly and glued it into place. The hole was then drilled in the correct direction and the picture below show the result. There was only a small strip of the plug visible after drilling the new hole.

img_7641

After reaming out the mortise there was no evidence left of the blunder on the surface that would be exposed to critical eyes once the tenon gets glued into position. In the pictures below you can however see the edge of the plug inside the hole. Eish, that was a close call. Woodwork has a way of keeping you grounded, isn’t it.

img_7691img_7692img_7679

As these tenons run all the way through the beams, I decided to also wedge them. Here I am widening the mortise on the exit side to accommodate the wedges. I recommend reading Peter Galbert’s seminal work “Chairmaker’s Notebook” on how to orientate these spindles and wedges.

img_7681img_7680

Next up I had to  camouflage the laminations with a few carefully placed beads before glueing up the leg.

img_7683img_7684

I used my pre-1900 no. 66 Stanley beadingtool, which I restored quite some time ago. It takes elbow grease beading such incredibly hard wood, but it is very satisfying nonetheless.

img_7685img_7686img_7689img_7688img_7693img_7694img_7707

I think it accomplished what I intended as the beam now looks like a solid piece of timber.

img_7708

The tenons were then prepared to receive the wedges.

img_7727

Made some wedges …

img_7728img_7730img_7731

… and prepared for glue-up.

img_7732

I used a combination of mallet blows and clamps to coax the spindles into position.

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Once they were seated to my liking the wedges locked them down for ever (I hope).

img_7736img_7738

This is how the Windsor leg spent it’s December holidays, resting on the assembly table.

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16/1/2017

This past weekend I continued my assault on the so called Windsor leg. I clamped it to the trapezoid leg and used the latter to mark out the final shape of the former. This way they are exact copies of each other in terms of measurements.

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My daughter Aoife helped me to make the necessary cuts using my Miller’s Falls Langdon Mitre Box no. 75. It was quite a tricky operation given the awkward shape and size of the leg , but the Langdon made cutting the 9º angles straight forward.

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One day the student will become the master.

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The next big drama will be the third layer of wood that needs to be added to the trapezoid leg. I selected a good Witpeer (Apodytes dimidiata) board that ran pretty much through the centre of the tree and made a cut lengthwise along the pith. This gave me two quarter-sawn pieces. From these boards I then selected appropriate 800 mm chunks for re-sawing.  The idea with re-sawing is to created a book-matched pattern to the inside of this leg. This layer only needs to be about 8 mm thick to get the total thickness of the leg up to 44 mm, which fits perfectly into my  ratio of 22:44:66:88 mm (thickness) for the various parts of the table.

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You will notice the two strips of Kershout (Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus) on top of one of the piles of re-sawn and planed stock. We will use those to create a type of depth confusion for an observer viewing the table from the Windsor leg’s end. This will hopefully enhance the effect of an construction that defies gravity, but you (and unfortunately I) will have to wait until the next post to see how this works or possibly not?? Here’s hoping (that it works, that is)!

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plane parts........

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 03/09/2017 - 12:30am
The chipbreakers and irons that I ordered came in today. When I checked the tracking number at lunchtime it said they were coming on thursday. My haul looked pretty good and I'm sure it'll clean up nicely. I have also made a U turn on the next project. I wanted to start that tonight but the plane parts came first.

what I ordered
I needed two #3 chipbreakers, a #4 chipbreaker, and a #8 chipbreaker. I have the irons for all of these and that gives me complete set ups to swap out. They don't look that bad and only seem to have superficial rust spots here and there.

mating irons waiting for the chipbreakers to be cleaned up
#4 iron
My last iron I got was so badly pitted that it is useless. There is just rust blooms and no evidence of pitting anywhere on this #4 iron. And it has a good deal of life left to it.

bevel on the other side
The bevel is not in good shape. I don't think there anything here that I won't be able to sharpen out.

second iron
The business end of the iron looks much better than the first one did. But the top end of it, on both sides, is very grungy looking. It doesn't appear to be rust but we'll see what the sandpaper does on it. This iron has lots of life left in it too. I doubt that I'll use up this much before I leave this earth.

two #4 irons
Both irons are stamped with numbers, one has 245 and other one 445. The tops have the Stanley logo on it and I've never seen another Stanley iron stamped like this before.  Things like this raise my curiosity level as to why?

40 minutes later

They are all sanded down removing all visible rust. The only one I didn't have to do was the #4 chipbreaker on the far right. This one looks like it has been blued. They are all going into the citrus bath, blued or not.

hot water and 1/4 cup of citrus acid

I microwaved two cups of water for 3 minutes and stirred in the citrus acid in. After the acid had dissolved, I added the plane parts.
they stopped
This was bubbling away and it stopped when I snapped the pic. It wasn't an alka seltzer fizzing, more like a few bubbles here and there.

I forgot one thing and that was the chipbreaker screws. I checked my stash and I only have one and I need two more. I'll have to order them from nh plane.

a for me at work project
This is going to be a prototype to iron out any potential kinks. I want a desk that I can stand at to work on at work. I ordered one over a year ago and still haven't gotten it. The offices next door got theirs 3 days after ordering them. I'm not waiting anymore. The big piece will be the desk and the smaller one will be hung underneath it. That will be used for the keyboard and the mouse. I need to make one more platform for the monitor. I want that one to be adjustable but I haven't thought of a way of doing it yet.

This is as far as I got on this tonight. Cleaning up the plane parts took a long time to do. I would like to get something done so I can take it in on saturday and road test it. I'm sure I'll have to adjust the measurements on some of this.

rearranged the parts
I added more water and citrus acid. I didn't like the parts laying on top of each other. I got what I can laying up against the walls. Only the #8 chipbreaker is laying on the #4 irons.  It has only been about 10 minutes and the shiny #3 chipbreakers have dulled already. I'm going to let this soak in the bath until tomorrow. I'm curious as how these parts will look after that length of time.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was the first woman to serve as the Grand Marshall of the Tournament of Roses Parade?
answer - Erma Bombeck

How Craftsmen were made

Journeyman's Journal - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 5:22pm

I’ve never seen original footage until now shot back in 1912 on any type of woodworking before and I definitely want to share this with you.

I believe this is a school on chair making and upholstery, most probably an apprenticeship program of some sort.  They employ a bandsaw and spindle molder but the rest is done by hand, I particularly was struck by a clever clamping device they used to hold the leg.  This clamp will be in production in my shop very soon.  There is nothing in this video that doesn’t constitute hand work.  The training these young lads got are truly superior and I can imagine the joy and sense of fulfillment they had from producing chairs of such high calibre.  Now doesn’t this video put cnc “craftsman” to shame, it most certainly does!

If you want to bring back quality then stop buying their crap.

Enough rambling, break out the popcorn, sit back and enjoy.


Categories: Hand Tools

Kitchen remodel takeaways

Oregon Woodworker - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 3:39pm
Things are starting to wind down with the remodel; at this point we're adding trim and waiting on counters and backsplashes.  This is a good time to share takeaways that may be of use to you if you are planning a kitchen remodel.
  1. Open floor plans are the thing these days and for good reason.  Taking out the wall between the kitchen and the dining room to create one large space made a dramatic and welcome change to our house.  In fact, it is even better than we had hoped it would be;
  2. Trying to complete a major kitchen remodel in a month is unrealistic.  If you aren't removing walls, changing electricity and/or plumbing or getting custom counters, you might be able to get it done in a month.   In our case, the lead time for counters and backsplashes alone was three weeks after the cabinets were installed;
  3. The european cabinet design is outstanding and the way to go, in my opinion, unless you really prefer face frames.  It's versatile and much faster to build or assemble;
  4. Ikea cabinets are a good choice, although I recommend the semi-custom option in which you make the doors and drawer fronts yourself.  If you choose to use Ikea doors and drawers like I did, be aware that the doors on a diagonal or next to filler pieces did not fit to my satisfaction.  The only hesitation I have is that the boxes are melamine, although they are very sturdy and well-constructed.  The hardware is excellent;
  5. If you want to build your own cabinets instead and like the european style, I recommend the deluxe jig from Lee Valley and the hardware specifically designed for european cabinets that is widely available;
  6. Don't even think about remodeling a kitchen without a laser level;
  7. You can save a large sum of money by doing a kitchen remodel yourself, even if you have to hire a plumber and electrician, but it is a major time commitment.  When all is said and done, I estimate it will have taken me 200 hours.
Would I do it again?  Yes, but hopefully after I recover from doing this one.
Categories: Hand Tools

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