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Start of the planing contest at #kezUSA

Giant Cypress - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 3:35pm

A post shared by Wilbur Pan (@wilburpan) on Oct 22, 2017 at 3:35pm PDT

Start of the planing contest at #kezUSA

How to Select a Single Chute Shooting Board

Evenfall Studios - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 2:23pm
Selecting a shooting board is about being familiar with the kind of woodworking you do right now, and having a sense of the kind of work that you are hoping to be able to do in the future. This is a long term tool that will help you make many projects over the years. When […]
Categories: Hand Tools

How to Stop End Checking in Lumber

Wunder Woods - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 1:58pm

Lumber is stacked on sticks like this to allow air flow for drying.

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.

Anchorseal is an industry standard for green wood sealing of logs and lumber. (Click on the photo to visit UC Coatings website for Anchorseal)

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.

Fluted sticks are commonly used in the industry to promote drying and reduce sticker stain, but do nothing to reduce end checks.

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.

Place wide, solid sticks on the very end of lumber stacks to reduce end checking.

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.


Categories: General Woodworking

Japanese plane set up demonstration by Hiroshi Sakaguchi at...

Giant Cypress - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 1:45pm

Japanese plane set up demonstration by Hiroshi Sakaguchi at #kezUSA

A model of joinery used in a Chinese temple at #kezUSA

Giant Cypress - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 1:40pm

A model of joinery used in a Chinese temple at #kezUSA

Jay Van Arsdale reviewing shoji and kumiko construction...

Giant Cypress - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 11:17am

Jay Van Arsdale reviewing shoji and kumiko construction techniques at #kezUSA

Matt Connorton speaking on applying traditional woodworking...

Giant Cypress - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 10:38am

Matt Connorton speaking on applying traditional woodworking skills to modern day Woodworking at #kezUSA

Andrew Hunter teaching about Chinese furniture construction...

Giant Cypress - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 10:22am

Andrew Hunter teaching about Chinese furniture construction techniques at #kezUSA

Dai Ona on engineering aspects of joinery in the Asian and...

Giant Cypress - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 9:06am

Dai Ona on engineering aspects of joinery in the Asian and western traditions at #kezUSA

Falling in love — with a house

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 8:32am

The following is excerpted from A Home of Her Own


Photo: Kendall Reeves, Spectrum Studio of Photography and Design

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
Categories: Hand Tools

140 trick box.....

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 2:42am
This wasn't supposed to be a 140 box but it ended up that way. What I wanted to do went south on me and to recover I used the 140 plane. I wish I could have done the same with my motivation today. After I left work this morning I went to Pepin Lumber and bought some 1/2" pine for the shop. After I got home with it I felt like a deflated balloon that didn't get to make fart noises first and go flying around the room.

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
I was expecting only to find the 1/2" stock in 6" widths but I got a surprise. I found two decent 1/2" x 10" wide pine boards. One is 8 foot and the other is 6 foot long. This pile should keep from playing in the streets for while.

This is the first 1/2" thick board I have ever seen this wide and this long before. I would have bought more but I limited storage space and I'm short on dollars this payday. I'll make a return trip next payday and grab any decent stuff then if it is available.

can you see the box here?
I put this as the lead off batter. I am going to try and make the rabbets for the dovetails by hand. The piece on the bench will be the box. It has a slight cup on one face and a hump on the other. The plan was to plane the hump and knock down the wings and make box. No going nutso to get one face  parallel to other. I will to work off of one reference face and edge and see what I end up with. I've done this before and I want to repeat it if I can.

whitish spot in the middle is the cup
This is too much to ignore. I tried to clamp it flat and I couldn't get it flat so I planed the wings off.

can't ignore the twist either
going for a continuous grain flow around the box
Pieces are rough cut to length and labeled on the reference faces.

planed them square and to the same length
lid separation point
This box will be dovetailed and I had planned to make it the same way I did the box I just made last week.

moved the lid separation point
I penciled in the half pins and then checked the first lid point and I didn't like it. The dovetail would be too small and it would also look like crap. I moved it down, making the lid a bit wider.

I got the dovetails laid out on the four ends and taped the two sides together. I sawed the tails after I filled the pie hole with some chinese.

marked the depth of the rabbet on all four ends
wrong choice
When I did the alternative rabbet post I used this butt chisel and it was barely working. The length of it restricted how far I could use it coming in from one end. I had to do it yesterday coming from both ends.  I will need a longer chisel to do the ones I have today.

1/2" paring chisel will work
things went south on me here
The paring chisel work went off without a hiccup. I could still see the gauge line and I switched back to the butt chisel to flatten the rabbet going to the shoulder. I missed putting the chisel in the gauge line and lifted up a chip that was below it. I knew I should have highlighted it with a pencil and not rely on feeling the chisel fall into it.

done with the 140
I had to make the rabbet deeper than I had initially scribed it to get below the depth of the boo boo I made. I'll will see how well this works.

the mail came
I bought two squares for Miles toolbox. The combo square dates to the late 1890's and the metal square is a 6" Disston, age unknown.

nice looking combo square
Fancy scrolls on the head, an intact vial, and it has the scribe pin. Supposedly this is a carpenters square because it only has 16th's and 8ths on this side and 8ths and 32nds on the other.

still square after all these years
6" Disston needs helps
The outside of the Disston reads dead nuts with the 6" engineers square but it is slightly off on the inside down towards the toe. After a little file work and the inside will be dead nuts too.

got something for me too
I've been a good boy lately so I bought a carcass saw for me. An old Disston, 14" long, and 13 TPI that was recently sharpened by Isaac Blackburn.

something is wrong but I didn't see it here
Look at the top left of the spine. See the tapered line on the saw blade just beneath the spine? I didn't at first.

ignorance can be blissful at times
The feel and the sawing action of this is totally different from the LN carcass saw that I use for everything. After I sawed this piece of pine I noticed that the saw blade wasn't fully seated in the spine at the toe. Taking my cue from Paul Sellers. I rapped the spine on the workbench 4 times and seated the saw blade back down into the spine.

didn't get it all
The line is about an 1/8" wide here with about as much space left in the spine. I'll leave it as is for now.

I now have a canted saw
nice bennie because of the 140
The shoulder gives a positive registration for the chisel and it shouldn't move as I chop from this side.

Tails done and pins are marked
gap free interior
don't like this
The other 3 corners are seated and gap free and this one is toast.

a little more clean up
I got it close up a lot so I'm on the right track. This is where I shut out the lights and headed up stairs. I play some more with this tomorrow and glue it up then.

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.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is the state tree of Delaware?
answer - the American Holly

Focus on Turning Design by Working From Larger Logs

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 2:00am

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.

Categories: General Woodworking

Perch Stool Part 1

The Renaissance Woodworker - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 7:56pm

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 You

I 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.

Leg Patterns

Visit Peter Galbert’s blog for a full details and video on this stool. Plus you get to watch a master at work!
Perch front leg pattern

Perch rear leg pattern

Categories: Hand Tools

Electric, height adjustable, tilting carving bench

autumndoucet - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 7:24pm

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.



screw vise




Mike Laine discussing the building of the Green Gulch Zen Center...

Giant Cypress - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 4:53pm

Mike Laine discussing the building of the Green Gulch Zen Center bell tower at #kezUSA

You Must Get Unstuck

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 3:43pm

A chair made by Jennie Alexander, author of “Make a Chair from a Tree.”

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
Categories: Hand Tools

Preparing for the planing contest tomorrow at #kezUSA

Giant Cypress - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 1:08pm

Preparing for the planing contest tomorrow at #kezUSA

Yann Giguere talking about wood movement and how to work with it...

Giant Cypress - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 1:07pm

Yann Giguere talking about wood movement and how to work with it at #kezUSA

Andrew Hunter holding court at #kezUSA

Giant Cypress - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 11:27am

Andrew Hunter holding court at #kezUSA

Washington Desk layout.

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 11:04am


This very simple full-sized layout provides all of the major dimensions and angles needed to make the desk.

My latest project, a campaign style desk inspired by George Washington, is something of a first for me in that I am trying to make a replica without using plans. I admit that I rarely follow woodworking plans because I generally find them overly ambiguous and unclear. Normally my projects are simply inspired by furniture I see and not necessarily reproduction. Often, I will see a piece of furniture that I like, hopefully get the chance to measure it, and go from there, changing things up as needed. I never use cut lists mainly because cut lists are theoretical,  and actual woodworking is not.

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.

Categories: General Woodworking


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