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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

An aggregate of many different woodworking blog feeds from across the 'net all in one place!  These are my favorite blogs that I read everyday...


Inlay, Again

McGlynn On Making - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 11:34am

So I decided to try doing some simple inlay, I ordered the micro router base for the Foredom tool from William Ng today, and a couple of micro router bits.  Now I’ve done it.  I’ll probably start with some flush inlay first for practice before attempting to do the bolection style.  I wish there was a course where someone would walk me through the process to get me jump started, I’m finding it a little intimidating frankly.

I did find a set of DVDs on inlay by Larry Robinson, who does some amazing work, primarily on guitars, in shell and metal.  I don’t care for his “meet the beetles” guitar in this video, but the other work is pretty stunning.  The DVDs are available from Stewart MacDonald, they are a little spendy so I just got the first one to check it out for now.  I’ll post a review after I watch it.


Categories: General Woodworking


FABULA LIGNARIUS - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 11:31am
I look up from the daimyo-tsugi joint I am cutting, my wrist needs a break for a second, 200 monme is heavy. We have been pounding on our chisels with heavy genno since several weeks now, working reclaimed Oak beams bone dry, rock hard. Nobody says anything, conversations are sparse and if they occur at […]
Categories: Hand Tools

Dread Scrolls See?

The Cornish Workshop - Alf's blog - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 10:57am
Categories: Hand Tools

Wood Finishing Tips: Finishing my Bottom

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 10:10am

benhamtableMany times as furniture makers, we will put a finish on the underside of a tabletop to prevent it from warping or cupping. The theory being, if you put the same finish on the top as you do the bottom the moisture transfer will be equalized on all sides, helping to prevent wood movement. Regardless whether or not this theory is true, there are other reasons to finish the bottom of your tabletop.

I am often asked to match a stain color and in doing so I end up mixing different colors together in an attempt to get the color just right. The underside of the tabletop gives me a blank canvas and plenty of room to dial in the color. This also adds extra reassurance that the stain will react the same on the top as it did on the bottom because I am staining the same piece of wood. If the bottom blotched badly I know the top most likely will too. I can then adjust my application method before applying the finish to the show side.

Staining the bottom also give me an opportunity to see what the color will look like on a larger scale, to be sure I like the final color. This is especially helpful if you have a customer or spouse that has a hard time visualizing what the entire piece will look like from a little stain sample. It is much easier to strip the finish off the bottom to try a different color opposed to the whole piece.

Having the blank canvas on the bottom also allows me a risk free area to practice a new application technique. When I first started using water based gel stains, I found the application method I typically used for oil based stains left streaks and overlap marks. The water base finish dried much faster than an oil finish. Without using the right application technique, I found the water based stain would dry before I had a chance to come back and wipe up the excess, leaving overlap marks. That is something I would have never discovered on a small test board, and would have been devastating to discover when staining the show side of the tabletop.

However, practicing my application technique has saved me from many tabletop do overs; it is not the main reason for finishing the underside of a table. When I build any piece of furniture, I want people to be drawn to it. I want them to reach out and feel how smooth the finish is by running their hand across the top. I think we both would be disappointed, if as there hand glides across the smooth top, wrapping around to the underside of the table, only to discover a rough unfinished piece of wood. When someone buys custom furniture, I believe part of what they are paying for is for the craftsman to pay attention to the details. I think finishing the underside of a table adds a nice detail.

About the author:

Brian Benham has made his lifelong passion for woodworking his profession. He enjoys taking his clients’ ideas and combing them with traditional woodworking techniques to create a unique piece of furniture. You can find more about his furniture at http://www.benhamdesignconcepts.com/

The post Wood Finishing Tips: Finishing my Bottom appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Getting Better

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 9:04am

I have to admit, I managed to get in almost two hours of woodworking on Sunday without my wife going cray cray and getting all up in my grill about it. We spent a nice afternoon at Valley Forge National Park, which we visit frequently, and maybe that had something to do with the new recognition that her husband is a sovereign person who has been endowed by his Creator with certain Inalienable Rights. I just so happened to be inspired by the beautiful furniture in General Washington’s headquarters, so I felt the need to declare my independence from tyranny, oppression, and absolute despotism. Don’t misunderstand me; I only woodworked for about 90 minutes. If I had planned on starting a large project that would require 8 hours every weekend for the next 3 months I’m sure my proverbial King George III would have declared woodworking an act of treason and stationed his (her) proverbial troops at every corner of my garage.

Among all of this, I managed to get a decent amount of work finished on the wood smooth plane I am attempting to make. I started by laying out and routing the recess for the cap iron nut. I used a chisel to define the cut, an electric router to remove the bulk of the waste, and then a chisel again to finish it off. It didn’t turn out perfectly, but it is certainly good enough. With that finished I drilled out the holes for the dowel pin to hold the wedge using a ½ forstner bit, and then marked the cheeks of the plane for glue up, applying wax to all the areas of the plane I did not want to glue. To keep the cheeks in place and aligned during glue-up I drilled four ¼ inch holes for dowels.

I let the glue dry over-night, and when I got home from work I removed the clamps and sawed off the ends to remove the alignment dowels. Currently the plane is just about 11 inches in length. I’m looking for a finished length of roughly 9 ½ inches. I’ve noticed that wood smoothing planes often have a longer distance from the mouth to the front of the sole than a metal plane, at least in the examples I’ve seen. My plane will have 3 inches from front to mouth, which is very similar to the Stanley smooth plane. I’ll be honest and say that I’m not sure why wooden smooth planes tend to have a different set-up. I would think that a shorter distance from front to mouth would allow the plane to catch and remove more of the high spots on the board. I could be wrong; I’m learning as I go.

The next step will be cleaning off the wax with mineral spirits and the initial flattening of the sole. I will then make a wedge, give the plane a test run, and shape the plane to something that I hope looks nice. After I will give the plane a final true-up, and coat it with a few coats of linseed oil and wax. I’m thinking I have 2-3 hours more work left to finish it up, which should happen this coming weekend with a little luck.
So at least for the time being I managed to get in a little woodworking as well as write a few blog posts about it. While I would like to be doing much more, it’s better than the alternative. Hopefully, this means that my situation on the woodworking front is looking a little better.





Categories: General Woodworking

2 Weeks, 2 shows & 1 Awesome Store

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 8:07am

I’ve been on the road quite a bit the last couple of weeks. It all started with a 48 hour trip (72 of which was spent in the Milwaukee airport) to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the New Product Symposium at Milwaukee Tools. That trip was immediately (it felt fairly immediate anyway) followed up with four days in Atlanta for the International Woodworking Fair. From those two shows, I have tons of new tools coming […]

The post 2 Weeks, 2 shows & 1 Awesome Store appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Something Interesting Wherever You Look

The Furniture Record - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 7:15am

The preview pictures of the auction did not look promising but I went anyway. It’s what I do. And I’m seeking treatment.

I looked around and saw that what seemed mundane at first was actually fairly interesting when you looked at the details. I’ve recently seen two benches with unique systems of folding. At least I hadn’t seen them before. Both are actually the same principle, legs that folds to the center locked in place by cross brace supports that also fold up. Only the details vary.

The first one has tubular cast legs:

Long view of the be bench.

Long view of the be bench.

The hook on the cross brace locks the legs in place.

Hook locks the legs.

Hook locks the legs.

To fold the bench, unhook the cross brace, fold the leg up under the cross brace and latch the hook onto the provided post. The cross brace holds the folded leg in place.

I couldn't actually fold the leg. Use your imagination. Click for an alternate view of the latched cross brace.

I couldn’t actually fold the leg. Use your imagination. Click for an alternate view of the latched cross brace.

The other bench uses similar mechanism but in wood.

Another folding wooden bench.

Another folding wooden bench.

Cross brace locks the leg down. To fold, lift the cross brace and the leg is able to fold toward the center.

Leg folds to the center. I'm not sure what locks the legs up. Click for an alternate view.

Leg folds to the center. I’m not sure what locks the legs up. Click for an alternate view.

I was intrigued by this antique exam table:

They don't make them like this anymore. Health codes.

They don’t make them like this anymore. Health codes.

especially when I saw the leg.

High style for an exam table. Look around on your next doctor visit.

High style for an exam table. Look around on your next doctor visit.

Then there is the matching waste receptacle:

A waste receptacle. Too nice to be a trash can.

A waste receptacle. Too nice to be a trash can.

This book shelf on secretary is not as old as some furniture:

Not the oldest piece in the auction.

Not the oldest piece in the auction.

but is has a rather interesting apparatus for supporting the slant front in the open position:

No lopers below. Just brass from above.

No lopers below. Just brass from above.

And this chest with a wooden pintle hinge:


There is a pintle screwed to the back of the chest that passes through a hole in the end of the batten attached to the lid.

Side view

Side view

Top view.

Top view.

I wrote about this pintle hinge in the older blog: March, Orange County.

Click HERE to see the rest of the pictures from this auction.

Buy Winthorpe, Buy!

Benchcrafted - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 7:08am

Miter Jack Hardware is live on our store page!
Categories: Hand Tools

Now Taking Orders on Side Beading Planes!

Caleb James Chairmaker Planemaker - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 6:36am
It is official. I am finally getting around to straightening out my schedule enough to open up to new orders again. As some of you know I stopped taking orders on planes back in the spring to catch up on work and to take an inventory of my beech stock.

In an effort to manage my time as efficiently as possible I am producing planes in batches that align with my carefully dried beech plane stock. I am opening up to beading planes as the first phase and will open up to other planes in the coming weeks and months.

3/16" side beading plane

For the sake of new readers... My planes are made from stock that I cut, dry and season. It is american beech and the planes are made in a traditional 18th century style and construction. These are not four piece planes glued together here. They are solid one piece construction that will last a couple hundred years if you and your grandchildren store them properly. Once the stock is roughed out on the table saw, the making process is done entirely with hand tools. The blades are Lie-Nielsen tapered moulding blanks that I profile and heat treat in house.

Side bead plane

OK, on to the bead planes. I am offering 1/8", 3/16" and 1/4" sizes. These are sizes appropriate for furniture size work. If you have no beading planes then definitely start with the 3/16". It is very versatile. The 1/4" is good for larger scale pieces. Think bead on the apron of a table. 1/8" is good for small scale pieces possibly like a spice or jewelry box.

Here is a short video of the 3/16" plane in use.

As of this post, all these sizes are $285 US + $10 shipping. International customers please send me your address and I will calculate exact shipping for you.

I hope to get my but in gear so that my web designer can finish up my new website and store so that you can purchase directly but for now you will need to email me at calebjames(at)me(dot)com. I will respond with an emailed invoice that you can pay through and that will include a window of completion date.

I appreciate your interest and patience!
Categories: Hand Tools

Beading Planes? Talk to Caleb

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 5:06am


The most infectious hand tool I own is a 3/16” beading plane that has a permanent space in my traveling tool chest. Nearly every woodworker who uses it becomes possessed by the entirely sane desire to own one (or three) for their work.

cj_beading_plane_DSC01093However, finding a functional antique beading plane in the wild is difficult. While they are common planes, they commonly have a lot of problems. The body (also called the stock) is warped. The iron is a mess. The mouth has been opened too far. The wedge doesn’t fit.

And those are for starters.

When I was at Hulls Cove Tool Barn this summer I inspected at least 20 beading planes. None was worth buying.

If you are interested in getting a new beading plane, I’d talk to planemaker Caleb James right quick. He has been working on batches of beading planes in 1/8”, 3/16” and 1/4” sizes – the most useful sizes for furniture-making. I have two planes on order from him myself.

I got to use his planes while at a Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event and am totally sold. Caleb is a very talented planemaker (and furniture maker). So place your order now before he gets swamped. His e-mail is calebjames@me.com.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Handplanes, Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

Hi Wilbur! Does one use a bench hook in Japanese traditional woodworking? Have you seen one being used or do you use one? If so would its design be something like the reverse of a typical bench hook design? Do Japanese traditional woodworkers rely on...

Giant Cypress - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 3:08am

There are methods of setting up what effectively is a bench hook for shooting the end of a board or for jointing an edge so that it is square to your reference face. Stay tuned for more information.

I do have a more traditional-looking bench hook with an adjustable fence that I use for shooting the ends of a board with a Japanese plane. It’s made by Rob Hanson of Evenfall Studios, and it’s terrific.

Dovetailing Course, Only two Spaces Left

David Barron Furniture - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 12:35am

Now I know we're still in August (although looking outside you wouldn't guess!) and the next dovetailing course is not until December, but if you were thinking of booking don't wait too long there are only 2 places left.

Here's the class from earlier this year, everyone finished their boxes in the two days and we had a great time!

The course runs form 5-7th December at the picturesque West Dean College and you can book on their website https://www.westdean.org.uk/CollegeChannel/ShortCourses/Courses/CourseSubCat.aspx?group=wcm

Categories: Hand Tools

Building Two Saws: Part 2

The Literary Workshop Blog - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 7:47pm

There’s a certain irony in the fact that people who blog about woodworking don’t spend much time writing about sanding, since sanding takes up a large part of most woodworker’s time.   So this is a blog post about sanding.

Once I discovered card scrapers, I spent a lot less time with sandpaper.  Even so, some projects just require a lot of sanding.  These saw handles are examples of projects on which I am spending some quality sanding time.

Two Saw Handles 8-2014 - - 8

Shaping the handles is not terribly difficult, and it didn’t take me long to do it.  I followed up the rasps and files with small card scrapers, and that probably saved me a lot of sanding time.  (The picture above shows the handles after scraping, but before sanding.)  While the scrapers can’t get into all the little nooks and crannies, they do an excellent job following contours and keeping flat surfaces flat, depending on how I hold them.  I use the credit-card scrapers from TGIAG, which are perfect for one-handed use on small projects like this.

I began sanding at 220-grit.  I seldom hold the sandpaper in my hand alone.  On the few flat surfaces, I used a sanding block.  On the curved surfaces, I used a couple of emery boards.  It’s a trick I picked up from pipe makers, who spend a LOT of time sanding contoured surfaces.  The regular emery boards are good for getting into crevices, while the foam-backed emery boards are excellent for contoured surfaces.  They come in different grits, though I usually just get the lowest grit available and wrap sandpaper around them.

Two Saw Handles 8-2014 - - 9

Using a backer for the sandpaper allows for much better control than simply holding the sandpaper in my hand, though there’s a time and place for that, too.  Control is crucial on a project like this, when the shape and feel of the handle is every bit as important as how it looks.

And speaking of shaping handles, I was reading an article by Willard Anderson on hand plane repair in the October 2014 issue of Popular Woodworking.  The author points out that a good tote should not have the same cross-section throughout the grip.  Rather, the middle should be close to half-round inside and out, but at the top it should be an ellipse so as to fit the web between the thumb and forefinger.  I followed this bit of advice, and the result is a very comfortable handle.

But back to sanding.  Some woods are well-behaved when being finished, but the grain of pecan tends to rise significantly when moistened, so I had to rinse the handles in water and let them dry in between grits.  Placing them in front of a high-velocity fan dried them quickly.  Then I sanded the raised grain back with the next grit.  Actually, I only used two grits: 220 and 320.  I could go to higher grits, but I don’t need these handles any smoother than that.

Also, when applying an oil finish to open-pored wood like pecan and black walnut, I have found it advantageous to leave the sanding dust on the wood when applying the finish.  The dust clogs the pores and makes for a much smoother finish, making a top coat unnecessary.

The next step will be cutting the saw plates to fit the handles, and then drilling out the holes for the saw nuts.


I’m just so gosh darned busy!

A Woodworker's Musings - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 6:19pm

Years ago a friend of mine told me that he never knew what “busy” was until he retired.  I thought he was nuts when he said that, a complete idiot.  But, it turns out, he was absolutely right.

I just realized that it’s nearly a month since I posted anything.  I was shocked.  Haven’t I done any woodworking for a month?  Well, of course I have.  But much of this summer has been spent with two little grandchildren and the occasional game of golf.  Sometimes, woodworking can and should take a backseat to other and more important things in your life.

But the tools haven’t rusted away.  In fact, they’ve been being put to good use in the construction of a rather large dining room table for my daughter and son-in-law.  It’s been slow going.  Some time ago I did a post about turning and carving the legs. But, I have to admit that it’s taken an unusually long time to get to this point.  But we’re making progress and I feel that I’m about to be “carried away” on a wave of productivity.

Here’s the “dry” fit up of the base:


Truth be told, I “borrowed” the details of the legs from Matthew Burak’s excellent site, www.tablelegs.com.  As this was for family, I turned and carved the legs myself.  If I were still working, I, very likely, would have bought the legs from Mr. Burak.  Extraordinary quality, fair prices, no headaches.  But, hey!  This is heirloom stuff, the kid’s legacy.  Who knows, in a few years, someone can put a vise on it or use it as a glue-up table.  I am nothing, if not realistic.

The toughest, single task on the base is the letting in of the center stretcher to the end stretchers.  I elected to use a simple bead detail, which requires the establishment of a secondary datum so the beads can be beveled.  This allows the detail line to be continuous from center to end stretchers.  When laying out these data, it’s a good idea to be in a state of complete sobriety, one little misstep…




These joints are just “dry fit”, so they’ll need a little more trimming, but, I believe you get the point.  Something as simple as a bead can be quite elegant, if done correctly.  The through tenons will be wedged and made flush.  Dismantling will require the use of a “Sawzall”, or some similar device.

Before anyone asks, I’m not quite sure about the style of the legs.  Regency, Georgian, Red Oak… it escapes me.  Perhaps my friend, Mr. Jack Plane could weigh in and give us a little direction here.  No one is more qualified than Jack.  And, I’d just like to take a moment to say that I’m “pleased as punch” that Jack is back.  And it sounds as if Jack is getting serious about putting a book together.  It should sell very, very well.  If you don’t know Jack, you should.  Visit him at www.pegsandtails.wordpress.com.

Categories: Hand Tools

Making a Bench from Dimensional Store Bought Lumber

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 5:43pm

When my wife Anita does shows, I’m always looking for something that I can make fairly quickly that she can sell in her booth to help pay for some of her fees. After helping her do shows over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed that small benches are quite popular. They’re nice to stick out on front porches or foyers or even mud rooms. In fact, some people even use benches as the seating for one side of their kitchen table.

 photo 20140825_201344.jpg

I designed this bench to be made from a 2″ x 12″ and a 2″ x 8″ that are eight feet long. However, if you change the dimension of the stretcher a little bit, it could be made form a 2″ x 12″ x 10′. The only issue doing that is you need to make sure your 2″ x 12″ x 10′ is choice wood with no splits at the end of the board because you’ll need nearly every inch of it. It doesn’t matter to me because I can’t fit a ten foot board in my car anyway, so I bought a 2″ x 12″ x 8′ and 2″ x 8″ x 8′ for under $20.00.

 photo 20140812_135141.jpg

When I scrimmage through the wood pile at Lowe’s, I always take the time to pick out a nice 2 x 12 with nice grain and very little knots. However, most of the time the board is a little cupped, so I whip out my Stanley No 40 scrub plane and plane the top flat. I plane the wood near a 45 degree angle and scoop out nice little shavings from the board until the board is fairly flat. When I was satisfied with the result, I brought the board over to my planer and planed the underside of the board taking away the cupping from that side. I didn’t take anything from the side I hand planed, I left the plane marks to give the top of the bench a bit of detail.

 photo 20140817_141528_1.jpg

The construction of the bench is super simple. I make the legs 9″ wide x 16″ long. I measure down 2 1/2″ from top and bottom on each side and use the lid from my garbage can to draw an arch connecting the two marks. Then I cut it off the arches on my band saw. Simple!

 photo 20140817_144004.jpg

The feet are 5″ wide x 10 3/4″ long. I draw a 1″ radius on both sides and remove the material with chisels, planes and files.

 photo 20140817_171557.jpg

I want the bench to have four feet so I take two of the pads and cut grooves in them on my table saw. Once all the grooves are cut, I remove the waste with my bench router and plane everything smooth.

 photo 20140817_174116_1.jpg

When designing the stretcher, I did nearly the same thing as the legs. I measured 2 1/2″ from each side and make a mark. Then I find the stretcher center and mark 2 1/2″ off each side of the center. I swing a compass set at a 12″ radius connecting the marks creating the arches for the stretcher.

 photo 20140818_164435.jpg

In order for the legs to attach tot the stretcher, I bored a 1″ x 4″ mortise through the legs with a 1″ forstner bit and cleaned it up with chisels. The tenons I cut on the table saw and band saw and cleaned them up with my rabbet plane.

 photo 20140819_170421.jpg

After all the parts are sanded, I dry fitted everything together to make sure the bench looked right. I wanted the tenons to have a mechanical fastener along with the glue, so I drilled two 1/4″ holes through the side of the legs going through the tenons.

 photo 20140820_073425.jpg

I grabbed some scrap oak and split a few splitters of wood with a chisel. The pins run down the grain making them exceptionally stronger since the grain follows the strength of the wood.

 photo 20140823_123357.jpg

I sized the pins by punching them through my Lie-Nielsen dowel plate. I shaved the pins a little bit with my spoke shave so they would start to fit through the 1/4″ hole of the dowel plate. Once the pin starts to fit in the hole, I pound the hell out of it.

 photo 20140819_180909.jpg

After I was satisfied with the way the bench stretcher fitted to the legs, I started gluing and screwing everything together, I placed glue of the pins and inserted them into the tenons of the bench. I didn’t bother draw boring the holes of the tenon. I was already satisfied with the tightness of the joint.

 photo 20140823_123402.jpg

The bench was painted a duck egg blue and waxed over top. The next bench I make will probably be a different color. Maybe a black or grey as neutrals are always popular.

 photo 20140825_201335.jpg

You can see the detail of the top where the scrub plane left little ridges in the wood giving the bench a bit of detail. It definitely looks better than having a plain board for the seat of the bench. Now I need to make ten more of these babies.

 photo 20140825_170758.jpg


McGlynn On Making - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 4:12pm

I’ve been really fascinated on inlay lately.  Well, more correctly, I’ve been obsessing over inlay.  I’ve wanted to try doing “Bolection Inlay” as seen on a number of Greene & Greene pieces for a while.  I almost went to the G&G inlay class at the William Ng school this past year, but it just wasn’t in the budget at the time.  Now it looks like he’s not offering it again this year, instead he has a regular inlay class planned. R A T S,

The Greene & Greene I’ve seen is mostly (all?) raised above the surface, and subtly carved / shaped.  I’ve never done anything like this, but mu understanding of the process is that the individual pieces of inlay are sawn out and fit together on top of the paper pattern, then super glued together into one unit.  The outline is then scribed onto the surface of the wood and a cavity is excavated using a tiny router bit.  The neatest setup I’ve seen is this router base from William Ng that uses a Foredom flex shaft tool for power.

William Ng micro router base with Foredom hand piece

William Ng micro router base with Foredom hand piece

It’s not clear to me if the individual pieces are “carved” or shaped first — since they are being drizzled with super glue I can see some problem here.  With metal and shell inlay pieces they are nonporous and the glue won’t affect things.  In fact, with any inlay that will be flushed up after inletting it’s probably not a concern as the first step after gluing it in is to flatten it with coarse sandpaper.  But with inlay that is carved first ant then wet with superglue it seems like it could interfere with the finishing.  I can see two options (I’m just thinking out loud, I have yet to try this myself):  Either glue in the uncarved inlay pieces, and shape them after gluing into the substrate, of apply an even coat of super glue so that becomes the base for the final finish.

I’m on the cusp of convincing myself to buy a few inlay tools (not much is required, mostly the base above) and giving this a try.

I’ve collected bunches of pictures from the internet to augment what I have in my books.  Just recently I came across Jonathan W. McLean’s website, which shows some outstanding G&G inlay work.  Well, all of the work looks spectacular, but the G&G inlay is what caught my eye.  I’m only going to post pictures on one example, you should check out his site for more.

Reproduction of a table from the Thorsen house by Jonathan McLean

Reproduction of a table from the Thorsen house by Jonathan McLean

Detail of inlay work by Jonathan McLean.  Koa stems, Vermillion flowers and thorns, leaves inlayed with ebony veins, and semi precious stone accents.

Detail of inlay work by Jonathan McLean. Koa stems, Vermillion flowers and thorns, leaves inlayed with ebony veins, and semi precious stone accents.

Top view

Top view




Categories: General Woodworking

Clean Up

Northwest Woodworking - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 3:36pm

Wait five or ten minutes to clean up your glue squeeze-out from a joint glue-up or lamination. It should be almost plastic and then it will peel right off. On a table top you can use a putty knife or my new discovery, an old chip breaker off a hand plane. It works great. For insides of boxes or cabinets, I use my sharpest chisel. That way if I cut into the wood, it will be a good clean cut. Also the color of the cut will match the wood inside which is always hand planed.

Patience is a virtue here. Let the glue skin over and almost set, but not quite. It will come off easily and there will be no smearing into cracks, corners or pores. This smeared glue will then only become visible when you put on finish.


Cafe chair rail detail Gary







Categories: Hand Tools

A British Perspective on a Dutch Tool Chest Class Taught by a Loud-mouthed American

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 2:55pm

With every class there are three types of students.

  1. The type that is there to learn. They learn. They go home happy.
  2. The type that probably should consider a different hobby. (To be honest, that was me during my first woodworking class. Somehow I persevered.)
  3. The type that has no business there because they could easily teach the class.

Ed Sutton is in the third category. Ed runs the blog thingswemake.co.uk, and is actively involved on Instagram and Twitter. If you haven’t joined in on Instagram and Twitter, you should consider it. It hasn’t (yet) been overrun by trolls.

(By the way, Lost Art Press is on Instagram and Twitter, as well.)

Anyway, Ed was in my Dutch Tool Chest class in England this month (last month? who am I?) and has finished it up right pretty as we say in Arkansas (about our cousins). Here is his blog entry about the class. And check out his video, which is comprised of stills from the class.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Woodworking Classes
Categories: Hand Tools

A New Week Replaces the Past

Paul Sellers - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 2:09pm

This week is yet to happen and last week has gone completely. Life unfolds day by day and week by week and how we fill this space we call life or time or the actual space itself matters. I talked to an archaeologist today who asked me many sincere and healthy questions about how my life works. I told her that it was both simple and complex but it was one I engineered as best I could and despite invasions constantly from people I invite into my workshop via the opening of my door each day, I like what I do. DSC_0036 A rope barrier hangs between me and the visitors and in general I can control my engagement with people by looking up and smiling, smiling and getting on with my work or just plain keeping my head down and working. I can close the door if I choose to but mostly choose not to. I want to share my life with people most of the time, but I confess sometimes enjoying not talking and looking around but just engaging with my work. DSC_0099 I suppose I might consider myself selfish were I to close the door on the world. Where else would people see someone working with their hands and be able to stand in an entryway hearing sounds they never heard before and smelling wood they never smelt before?Where else would they watch a man make a dovetail joint on a drawer being made or a plane swipe off the name of a child from a piece of pine to become a wristlet? You see, my life is unique. So unique is my life I actually don’t know a working man in my region who leaves the door open for visitors to stand inside his shop, ask questions and things like that. CB12 Being a married, family man, I like to see families come in and spend a little time here. I like seeing the children’s faces and hear their questions and the answers the parents give, whether they are right or wrong. If I kept the door open and the router running (if I had one) and the tablesaw (if I had one) or the chopsaw (if I had one), how would that happen. I said it before and I will say it again, machines seem to create an insurmountable barrier between children coming into the workshop. I am sad sometimes when I wonder if my craft will actually die before they hear sounds I hear all day long, but then I nudge myself and say keep pressing. I know one thing for certain. The art and craft of woodworking will not come to children through the doors of a machine shop and woodcraft and the art of craftsmanship will be continued through the lives of those working wood using hand methods and that’s what keeps my doors open wide and the children standing there asking me wonderful questions.

The post A New Week Replaces the Past appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

The Broken Chisel and the Shameless Birdhouse

The Joiner's Apprentice - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 1:48pm
The day started with laying out the mortises for the harvest table. This is somewhat finicky work, since if done with care, all other layout will cascade from the mortises, which themselves depend upon the mortise chisel's dimensions. If the outside edges of the mortises are consistent, the slop can fall to the inside where nobody will see it, but a consistent reveal will be visually apparent from the outside.

The kid came into the shop during this procedure, and I tried showing her what I was doing. Then it was time to do the chopping, which I knew she would not enjoy. Still, she insisted... so I gave her some earmuffs, and it was all going ok, until...

The tip of the mortise chisel suddenly snapped. Ah well, it's just metal. At this point, I did have to get the kid out of the shop since 1) I don't want her breathing metal filings and 2) I don't want my leg grabbed while using the grinder.

Good as new, or maybe better, since I put a new bevel angle on it. I do microbevel my mortise chisels, although there is some debate about it. It provides a steeper angle for one thing, and sharpness really does help in my experience, especially during the early, defining cuts. It does need to be touched up often, sometimes even within a single mortise, but with a good sharpening setup it takes so little time that it is well worth it. I always appreciate myself when I take the time to touch up an edge but can't really think of a time I have ever said "wow, glad I did not take the 45 seconds to sharpen up!"

The width of the mortise is defined by marks made by the chisel itself (seen at either end). Marking gauge is then set to that edge, and the inside mark is made. Good habit to mark waste since I are dumb and have chopped in the wrong area more than once.

Using a technique Robert Wearing discusses in The Essential Woodworker, I like to make a series of shallow scores with the chisel, and then drag the side of the chisel along the mortise. This pops out all the little chips and leaves a well-defined shallow mortise in which to start the chopping in earnest.

You know the rest of the drill. If not, its a lot of hitting with a heavy mallet and prying out chips. Repeat. Repeat more, until complete. Then do the other 7 (2 per each of 4 legs).

Today, I started to lay out the tenons while explaining the process to same kid as above. She was not really feelin' it, so instead we made a birdhouse. Yes, I went there; don't judge. We often use an old-fashioned eggbeater to make pancakes or crepes, so it was pretty cool for her to point out that the drill we used for pilot holes "looks and sounds like an eggbeater".

Categories: Hand Tools


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