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A post shared by Wilbur Pan (@wilburpan) on Oct 22, 2017 at 3:35pm PDT
Start of the planing contest at #kezUSA
End checks are a common problem when drying wood. Sometimes they aren’t too destructive and don’t travel too far, but other times they make the end of the lumber completely unusable or make a nice wide board into two not-so-wide boards. These cracks form on the ends of lumber because the ends are drying out faster and shrinking more than the middle. This happens because water can easily and quickly escape out the end, which is the same way it came in, but water trapped in the middle must travel out sideways to escape, which is a much trickier maneuver.
The secret to keeping lumber from checking on the ends is simple and logical – force the ends to dry out at the same speed as the rest of the board, meaning slow down the drying on the ends. Unfortunately, there is no single, 100% effective, way to do this.
The default method for beginners is to paint the ends with latex paint. Latex paint will not stop end checking because it it just too permeable. It will make you feel good, like you are doing something useful, but that’s about it.
Beyond latex paint is wax and unlike latex paint, wax is waterproof. If applied in a thick cohesive film, wax forms a perfect barrier to keep water from moving out of the end of a board. The biggest problem with wax is application. It is just hard to get hot wax on to the end of a lot of lumber in a timely fashion.
The application issue has been addressed by the kids at UC Coatings, who make a product called Anchorseal. Anchorseal is a wax and water emulsion made exclusively for coating the ends of logs and lumber to help prevent end checking. Anchorseal works just as stated, but it isn’t perfect.
First, Anchorseal isn’t cheap. A five gallon bucket goes for about $95. It costs enough that I thoroughly consider whether the wood deserves it. I usually save it for only the best lumber and the species most prone to checking, like white oak. Second, it still takes time to apply, and it is pretty messy. I know several guys that won’t use it in their operations because it gets on the floor and makes everything so slippery that it can be difficult to stand up. Third, using Anchorseal doesn’t guarantee that your wood won’t split. While it will greatly reduce the overall number of end checks, it isn’t uncommon to still get one or two big checks in wide boards. Many pieces of lumber have flaws in them and will split during the drying process no matter how much you try to stop them. Fourth, it must be applied to freshly sawn lumber before the end checks have started to develop for maximum effectiveness.
You can tell from my four points above that I don’t use Anchorseal very often. But, there are places that I will use it, and one is on high-quality, especially thick, flat-sawn white oak. Again, it may not stop all end checking, but it is a great tool to help prevent much of it. On many other species, like poplar, maple, and even walnut, I feel like I usually get by with minimal losses not using Anchorseal. It should be noted that my customers are usually shopping for small quantities of lumber, so they can decide on a board by board basis if an end check is problematic for them. For operations sending out large amounts of lumber to customers that are not picking through each board, using Anchorseal makes the most sense to help produce the greatest amount of useable lumber out of each bunk. At the very least, sealing the ends of the lumber lets your customer know that you did try to prevent end checking.
My greatest gains fighting off end checking have occurred in my sticker selection and placement. While many strides have been made in the industry to produce fluted sticks that reduce sticker stain, very few people have given much thought to using stacking sticks to help reduce end checking.
Awhile back, while at a friend’s sawmill, he casually mentioned how he noticed that lumber will split on the ends, back to the first stick. He was mad that his guys where producing lumber piles that weren’t so neatly stacked, but I focused on the end checking. After that, I paid more attention to my own stacking and changed how I stacked lumber.
The main difference was that I started using the sticks on the ends of the lumber to reduce end checking. I focused on getting the sticks out to the end of the lumber, and I also made sure the end sticks were solid sticks, which help hold in moisture, even on sticker stain prone woods like maple. Since the ends dry out quickly, they don’t sticker stain, and even if they did the loss on the end of the lumber would be minimal. Beyond using solid sticks, I also use wider sticks on the ends, up to 3″ wide. The extra width helps hold in even more moisture and still doesn’t risk staining the ends.
In my opinion, focusing on placing wide, solid sticks at the ends of the boards is as effective as end sealing, especially in relation to cost and time savings. Again, this isn’t a perfect method, but you would be amazed at how well it works to reduce end checking. And, if you have some especially prized lumber, you can rest easy knowing that you can always add AnchorSeal to the mix to double your chances of check-free lumber.
Japanese plane set up demonstration by Hiroshi Sakaguchi at #kezUSA
A model of joinery used in a Chinese temple at #kezUSA
Jay Van Arsdale reviewing shoji and kumiko construction techniques at #kezUSA
Matt Connorton speaking on applying traditional woodworking skills to modern day Woodworking at #kezUSA
Andrew Hunter teaching about Chinese furniture construction techniques at #kezUSA
Dai Ona on engineering aspects of joinery in the Asian and western traditions at #kezUSA
The following is excerpted from A Home of Her Own
Every so often she passed the striking limestone house and wondered what was going on there. Friends and colleagues knew that she and Tim had been interested in the place, and one day a coworker, who happened to live behind the house, mentioned that he had not seen the owner in some time. Margaret made some inquiries and discovered the owner had died. After a respectful delay, she contacted the owner’s daughter, who said she was still too attached to her mother’s home to imagine parting with it. But a few months later she contacted Margaret and arranged to show her the property.
“It was cavernous,” Margaret recalls. “You’d walk into one room and it would open onto another. There was a wonderful feel of continuousness.” There was also a captivating element of surprise; where any other house might have had an exterior wall, this house had a sunroom, a patio, or a porch, producing a rare sense of communion between inside and out. As she went from room to room, Margaret felt what she describes as “a selfish giddiness — something like, ‘This house can’t be true!'” Did the owners know what they had?
Even the lot behind the house was magical. Just beyond the garage, stone steps led into a sunken garden surrounded by a tangle of vines, in the midst of which stood a limestone sundial. Near the rear property line a majestic tree of heaven and a cluster of ancient conifers watched over the house and its garden like a convocation of druid priests.
After that first visit, she felt compelled to return. The house was still not on the market. One day, while looking around the back, she discovered an unlocked door. Could she go in?
The question was rather, could she not? She felt drawn.–Nancy Hiller, author of Making Things Work
Filed under: Uncategorized
I had grandiose plans for today and making the box wasn't one of them. I did that because the other things weren't happening. I wanted to finish up filing the small rip saw and do some tool sharpening to do but there is always tomorrow. This is what I like about being an amateur woodworker. I have no deadlines to meet nor money to make. I can do what I please and go whichever way the wind blows me.
|my Pepin haul|
|can you see the box here?|
|whitish spot in the middle is the cup|
|can't ignore the twist either|
|going for a continuous grain flow around the box|
|planed them square and to the same length|
|lid separation point|
|moved the lid separation point|
|marked the depth of the rabbet on all four ends|
|1/2" paring chisel will work|
|things went south on me here|
|done with the 140|
|the mail came|
|nice looking combo square|
|still square after all these years|
|6" Disston needs helps|
|got something for me too|
|something is wrong but I didn't see it here|
|ignorance can be blissful at times|
|didn't get it all|
|I now have a canted saw|
|nice bennie because of the 140|
|Tails done and pins are marked|
|gap free interior|
|don't like this|
|a little more clean up|
I also made a change in the box design. I nixed making this the same way I did my last one. Couldn't think of way of making the big dado in the sides. Instead I'll glue a 1/2" bottom to it and leave the top open. Or maybe I'll think of a lid design that doesn't need hinges.
What is the state tree of Delaware?
answer - the American Holly
My turning ability is bound by my lathe – it has a maximum diameter capacity of 16”. That means all my accessory tools, such as my hollowing system and 50cc 20” chainsaw, were acquired because they are designed around those size limitations. The largest bowls I make with these constraints are in the 14-15” range. For years I used fallen trees with a 20” diameter as raw material. By the […]
The post Focus on Turning Design by Working From Larger Logs appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
Make this Stool Your Own
Here is part one of my Live build of the Perch Stool. If you are not familiar with this design it is essentially the bottom half of a Windsor chair and a great introduction to the wonderful world of Windsor. First, there are no bent parts. This gives us a lot of wiggle room with the stock needed. Certainly riven stock will make for a stronger stool but none of the turning are so thin that riving your parts is necessary. Second, since there is no steam bending kiln dried boards are just fine. Again, green wood would make this so much easier, but it isn’t necessary.
This means you can build this stool with lumber right from the yard. In this first part (and in the Campaign Stool I build a while ago) I show how to rive out parts from a regular KD board from the yard. I also talk about analyzing the grain so that perhaps you can skip the riving completely and know what you are getting into with your sawmill lumber.
Ignore My Sizes and Make This Fit YouI cannot stress enough how important the process of selecting the height and the leg lengths are. Certainly if you go with the dimensions in Peter Galbert’s drawings then you will get a stool that will fit most folks and if you are building this for other people then that may be the best bet for you. But put some thought into it rather than just following my sizes.
In this part I focus on the design aspects and then I move over to the lathe and turn 1 of the 3 legs using the pattern I created.
Parts for the Perch
- Seat: 8/4 x 15 x 13 (glued up blank is okay too)
- 3 legs, 2 x 2 x ?? You decide based on experimentation. My legs are 26 and 28″ long
- 2 stretchers, 2 x 2 x ~15 (final length to be determined after we leg up the stool)
Next Live Broadcast will be 12 PM on Saturday 10/28/17
I’ll be boring the holes for the legs and carving the seat.
After researching adjustable carving benches, I settled on making one à la this one made by Logs to Lumber Company. I added some maple to my old beech workbench top to make it deeper and added a suede-lined Veritas twin-screw vise to the side. Pop-up Veritas® Prairie Dogs™ are on their way for the screw vise. I’m sure more modifications will be necessary in the future, but for now, no more back pain.
Mike Laine discussing the building of the Green Gulch Zen Center bell tower at #kezUSA
Early on as a woodworker I visited a successful professional cabinetmaker in Indiana who also sold wood on the side. After picking out some ash boards, he offered me a tour of his shop and showroom.
His cavernous barn was filled with heavy machinery. For someone whose sole machine was his grandfather’s contractor saw, his shop was impressive. His showroom was filled with country pieces: pie safes, potato bins, kitchen tables and the like.
He opened a door of a pie safe where the door’s panel had split. With a vexed look on his face he said, “No matter how many nails I put into these panels, they always split.”
We then moved to his office where he told me how he had become a professional woodworker 30 years prior. He was a Vietnam veteran, like my dad. After leaving the service, he’d bought a set of six woodworking books, which perched on a shelf behind his desk. He’d read the books, opened his business and built furniture using the plans in those books.
For me, it was remarkable that he had run a thriving furniture business for 30 years and didn’t think wood movement was something that could be mastered. Maybe he skipped the section on wood movement in the six books he owned. Perhaps his books didn’t cover the topic.
Honestly, this story isn’t a criticism of the guy. We all get stuck at different points in the craft. We get comfortable with our tools and processes. We design our projects around those constraints. We accept the consequences of our tools and knowledge.
I myself have been stuck at least 50 times since 1993.
The Exit Sign
The only way out of this condition is to regularly throw yourself into the briar patch. Play punk rock at a country and western bar. Take off all your clothes at a family reunion. Or attend a class about something you haven’t done before.
I try to take a class every year. The class could be on woodworking (such as the class on veneering I took from David Savage two years ago). Or it could be on leather work. Rebuilding a carburetor. Taxidermy.
Tomorrow I head to Maryland to learn to build a post-and-rung chair with Larry Barrett, a chairmaker who has worked with Jennie Alexander and is helping edit the third edition of “Make a Chair From a Tree.” Larry has made a lot of the “Jennie Chairs” (with some of his modifications). And I wanted to make one of these chairs before I edit the book. It will help me understand the construction process and master the technical details of this incredible chair.
I’m bringing a few friends for the week-long class, and together we will absorb everything Larry has to give. We will (I hope) pay Jennie a visit in her Baltimore home. And we will all become unstuck.
— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com
Filed under: Uncategorized
Preparing for the planing contest tomorrow at #kezUSA
Yann Giguere talking about wood movement and how to work with it at #kezUSA
Andrew Hunter holding court at #kezUSA
As far as this desk is concerned, I am trying to make it as close as I can to the original piece using only a photograph. I know there are woodworkers that specialize in reproductions who are experts at working from photos. Unfortunately I am not one of those experts, so this project has required a good bit of guess work.
For instance, I want the desk top to have a height of around 29 inches, and that is because my computer desk at home is 29 inches tall (most desks seem to fall in the 27-31 inch height range) and for me that is a comfortable working height. The length of the top will likely finish off at around 44 inches, which was my original guestimate from the photo using the book and pen as a guide. Why likely? Because I still have to do some trimming, and that trimming may change the finished size, depending. The width of the desktop (front to back) should finish off at around 23 inches, partly because of the stock I am using, and going by the original photo, I believe it is close to the actual width of the desk shown.
The legs are a bit trickier. Most woodworkers will make a “story stick”, which work well for projects like tables and traditional desks with bases, but for this project the ‘X’ pattern of the legs make the story stick a less viable option, because I want to have the ability to see that ‘X’ in full size. So the simple solution was to draw out a side view of the desk on a sheet of corrugated paper. The drawing not only gives me an easy lay-out guide, it also provided the angles needed for the legs. And after looking at the drawing, I came to the conclusion that screwing the legs to the face of the desktop cleats is a better solution than using a mortise and tenon joint, as it will be stronger and allow for the panel to expand and contract.
Maybe most importantly, this drawing helped to eliminate a lot of measuring, and the full sized drawing allowed me to proportion the top drawer compartment to dimensions I found pleasing, and once the desktop base is completed I will use the drawing as a template to saw the curves for the drawer unit.
It’s always nice to find that the simple, low tech solution is usually the easiest and fastest. Some woodworkers prefer to use drafting programs such as Sketch-up to do layout work, but that has never appealed to me, though I do believe that Sketch up is a valuable tool. But as far as this project is concerned, I found it enjoyable to use a basic pencil, T-square, and yard stick to design the desk, and at that, I think GW would have approved.