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A Secret, A Deception and a Mystery

The Furniture Record - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 6:53am

Wanting to do something different, I recently went out to visit a few antique shops. I discovered many things wonderous and mundane as is typical. These three are not as they seem and I find them worthy of being shared.

First up is a desk with a secret. I haven’t seen one of these in a while. I’m not sure if it is my declining skill in finding them or there just hasn’t been one to be found. Whichever, here is the desk:

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A handsome Georgian number. Around $3,600 as I remember.

The main drawer bottoms are made of several board that over a few hundred years were not dimensionally stable:

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Wood shrinks and splits, who knew?

An appropriately handsome gallery:

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Fancy but not to fancy.

A lot of wood in the drawer fronts:

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Drawers are not dovetailed.

Nice prospect door:

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Brass inlay.

Nothing within the prospect:

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Nothing but air. Doesn’t look like there was ever anything in there. That is unusual.

I reached in to see if there were finger notches to push out the letter boxes on either side of the door. I made a discovery:

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The entire prospect moved.

An it turns out that the letter boxes come out the back:

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No dovetails here either.

There is also a less than obvious drawer above the door:

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Not obvious but is it a secret?

Next is the deception. This deception might have worked better when young and the doors hung true:

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Things sag as they age. Again, who knew?

The press is actually an armoire:

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No shelves or drawers, just green. Is it the original green or at least a historically accurate green?

And now, the mystery. I speak of this large, two piece press, shelves and drawers:

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A large, hulking press.

The upper section is shelved:

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Not tidy within but that is why there are doors! A good place to hide inventory.

Drawers below:

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And yes, they’re dovetailed.

Now, here’s the mystery: how do you access the area between the shelves and drawers? Storage space was always at a premium. I do not believe that the builder would have left the space unused. There are rough sawn board internally above the drawers so the space was not intended to be unused.

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There is lots of inaccessible space between the shelves and drawers.

I don’t think the only access to the space is by lifting off the upper section. The carcass is pinned frame and panel construction so nothing comes off or is hinged.

My only conclusion is the access was gained by lifting out the bottom shelves of the upper section, the top over the lower section being left open. Those bottom shelves did seem loose and not part of the carcass. Inconvenient but workable. I didn’t have the time, patience or chutzpah to try so I don’t know.

Then the question is is it a secret or mystery or just something we don’t know because it is not now in common use?


Picking Out Wood

Paul Sellers - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 6:08am

Picking out the wood for a project always brings with it surprises. How often do we woodworkers mention to people that we are woodworkers and hear the exclamation, “Oh, I love wood!” My own take on this has changed through the years in that at one time it would have been wood that they loved …

Read the full post Picking Out Wood on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

sliding till day......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 3:03am
Saying the tills I made today are tills I believe is a misnomer. Hows that for a ten dollar word meaning that my description of the tills is inaccurate. They are tills, I think, but they aren't sliding ones. I made two of them with a small space between them. So in that respect they do slide about a 1/8" but it isn't  the same as the as a real sliding till.

I'm still at a loss for deciding on some kind of a handle for any of the tills. The two small tills (or trays) on the top aren't a high priority. The bottom, big till, needs some kind of handle help. This one has to come out in order to get to the bottom of the toolbox. Miles isn't going to be using this for quite a while so I have time to cook up a few ideas.

plywood bottom glued on
I got this done about 0830 and I let it set up until after lunch. The solid wood is only 3/8" thick so putting screws in it doesn't make much sense to me. The same goes for nails and once the glue sets nails wouldn't matter. I will be relying on the glue bond to hold the bottom on to the till.

the original toolbox banding
One of these is long enough to give up two cross braces for the bottom.

two braces done
I ripped the bearers for the two top tills/trays and took a break until after lunch.

first batter after lunch
I made the bottom slightly over sized and here I'm flushing the last side.

one thing I didn't want to see
Birch ply usually doesn't have voids like this nor those ugly biscuit shaped plugs.  This void is about a 3/8" deep and I'll have to fill with something. Because of where it is I'm leaning towards filling it with epoxy and filler.

change 2 to the bottom
Actually I made more than 2 changes to the bottom. The first one was to add a third brace to the bottom. After I ripped the banding to the width for the first two, the piece left over I used to put in the middle.

The second change was gluing the braces down. At first I was going to glue and screw them and changed that to just screwing them. My reasoning was it would easier to replace any one of them if needed. On change 3 I went back to glue and screwing them due to the increased strength. Replacing them is still doable but it will involve some chisel and planing I'm sure.

made the screw holes before gluing the braces on
 I glued and pressed the braces in place and let them set for a few minutes before putting in the screws.

5 screws per brace, all of them clocked
the braces
The braces stiffened up the bottom quite a bit. I have a warm and fuzzy about the strength of this holding up to a load of tools now.

Miles's Stanley 71 box
 I got this positioned so the box is below the center and right side brace. It's time to see if the braces will hit it.

braces are fine
If I measured them correctly, the extend past the bearers on the ends about 3/8" down into the interior of the toolbox. I don't see this small protrusion causing any hiccups down the road.

figuring the size of the tills
Neither till is going to be the size I want them. The marking gauges need almost 3" of height and making a till that size eats up 71% of the allotted space. I compromised and made the bottom till the larger space and the two top ones smaller.

stock for the two tills
I briefly entertained making 3 tills. One would be for measuring stuff, ie rulers, tapes etc, a 2nd one for miscellaneous crappola, and a third one for chisels. That idea frizzled out real quick. The measuring till needs to be 13" so I can fit the 12" steel ruler in it. That left roughly 10" for two more tills. I decided to go with 2 rather than one large and two smaller ones.

roughly 3/8" above the till
That space above the big till isn't going to be wasted. I plan on using that by extending the top tills to occupy it.

till side and bottom
Making sure that I am below the top of the toolbox. If I went with 1/8" plywood for the bottoms of the top tills I would have more breathing room here. I'm using 1/4" plywood for strength and that gives me a wee bit less than 1/8" of space here.

single tail tills
I recently saw using blue tape to hold the stock as a tip (Saw Mill Creek ?) and I like it. The tape kept the stock from shifting as I tightened the vise on it.

kept them together
I kept the stock taped and sawed for the half pin. This didn't work that well on a couple of these. The front ones came out ok but on some of the back ones I sawed off the line. On the ones that I did that I on, all errant saw cuts were on the waste side.

chopped the pins
I did these one till at a time. I laid them all out the same but I didn't want to chance mixing the parts up.

done
Just when you think you have mastered something, you do this. These are the loosest fitting dovetails I've done in a very long time. Eight corners -1 done snug, 1 done kind of snug, 4 loose, and the last two looser. These two I will have to shim after they have set up.

nutso glue up
Because of the loose fit of the dovetails I couldn't glue it and set it aside. I tried clamping it without the squares and got nowhere with that. I couldn't clamp the till square so I resorted to this. This is the larger of the two tills and I was able to get a square on the four corners. I'm hoping that this works and I'll know if there is any joy in Mudville tomorrow.

the smaller till
These dovetails were a bit better fitting but still not good enough to glue and set aside. I could only get two squares for this one.

accidental woodworker

trivia
How much does a ten pin bowling pin weigh?
answer - 3 pounds 6 ounces

Week in Review: September 11-16

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 2:16am

I have to admit, it was an interesting week on popularwoodworking.com. The contributors to the Shop Blog brought up a few topics that typically stir conversation. On Monday, Nancy Hiller started a three part series on Linoleum countertops. We had at least one commenter ask, “why?”. Nancy shared her point of view about the historical precedent and the vintage style that many seek in remodeling. I have been eyeing Linoleum as […]

The post Week in Review: September 11-16 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

New M&T Shop Building: The Deck

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 4:59pm

After Mike and I got all the granite blocks squared and leveled on the gravel pad, we fit hardware cloth over the ventilation spacing between the blocks to keep critters out. This cloth was bent around top and bottom of the blocks and glued in place with construction adhesive to ensure there was no way anything was getting under there.

We laid six-mil plastic over the gravel inside the foundation to seal off future moisture release. Then, on top of the granite we half lapped a pressure-treated 2x6 to overhang the blocks by 1” on all sides. The conventional TJI deck was then constructed on top of that. These man-made joists are unpleasant to work with but are functional and quick to assemble. With the I-beams in place, we cut ½” plywood to lay between them. These were then screwed to the beams. On top of that, we laid 2” blue foam that we then sealed with Great Stuff spray foam to close up air gaps. I’ve seen this blue foam/Great Stuff method called “poor man’s spray foam”.

With the blue foam installed, we laid the subfloor. After applying a bead of construction adhesive, we screwed 3/4” Advantech down to the framing. We were happy to find that at every stage of the process things turned out square. We joked that all our mistakes must have compounded to cancel each other out.

Despite the purist strain some of us may have, I think we made the right choice. With this floating block foundation, it seemed best to avoid a central support point and so, to be able to span the 25’ of the deck without sagging, TJI joists made the most sense. Although not particularly fun to do or interesting to discuss at length, this deck system will give us a solid, draft-free floor. Once it’s buried in top floor and exterior sheathing I’ll never have to look at it again. I’ll just enjoy the benefits of its performance for the rest of my life. 

Luke and part of his crew arrived from Vermont this afternoon with the final trailer loads of the frame. We spent time getting to know each other and they looked over the site before heading off to their rental house. They’ll be spending tomorrow putting a few finishing touches on the frame’s sills in preparation for Monday. Then, over the following few days, it all goes up.

- Joshua

 

Categories: Hand Tools

A message to blog site owners

Journeyman's Journal - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 2:41pm

Our lives are hectic enough without to need to filter through fake comments from spammers. If you’re not already moderating your comments you need to start. These idiots use a program that’s getting better and better at mimicking human replies or what a person would say.  None the less they’re still robots and can’t get it right all the time, but sometimes they do and when you let one in they just flood your message board with fake comments.

WordPress has caught 200 spams this month, this is an increase of 100% from the last month.  This increase of spams is due to a word I used “women” in my last post.  Fake commentators were with female names.

Thought I would make this post to give you a heads up if you haven’t already been made aware of it.


Categories: Hand Tools

Dulcimer Sound Holes And Sound Ports

Doug Berch - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 12:35pm

Dulcimer with sound ports in the side.

I have put sound ports in the sides of my dulcimers for a few years and have been very pleased with the results.

Sound ports are nothing new in the guitar world but I had not seen them used on dulcimers though perhaps someone has thought of this before.

There is no standardization of dulcimer design or “right way” to go about getting the results one wants. Dulcimer builders whose work I admire each have a unique way of getting the sound they want. Materials and design elements that work on one maker’s design may or may not work well on another builder’s dulcimers. This is part of the adventure and part of the fun!

My dulcimer design is in a state of constant evolution. Over the last few years I was looking for ways to increase the volume without losing tonal quality and even response along the fingerboard.

It is easy to make a loud dulcimer but I do not find it easy to listen to many loud dulcimers I have heard. Many loud dulcimers  have little sustain and/or often have uneven volume and response along the fingerboard.

The tone I prefer is somewhat traditional; long sustain and a slightly nasal quality with warmth and even response. I did not want to trade that sound for volume.

As I made design changes to make my dulcimers louder I was on the edge of losing the tone I prefer. It became clear that if I made louder dulcimers and wanted to keep the tone and responsiveness I prefer I would also need to give the dulcimers larger sound holes.

The size of the sound hole(s) on a stringed instrument play an important role in which frequencies get emphasized or minimized. The most critical element is the total size of all openings on the instrument. One large hole will produce sound like two holes that are each half the diameter of the large hole, etc.

Dulcimers have relatively little soundboard as they are long and thin instruments. I wanted the effect of larger sound holes but I did not want to lose any more of the wood that makes up the soundboard. The obvious choice was to put added sound holes somewhere other than on the soundboard. The sides were the obvious choice.

And it worked! I got more volume, balanced tone, birds were singing, flowers smiled, and all was well with the world.

 

 

Doug Berch - Dulcimer Maker And Musician

Categories: Luthiery

The Workbench X-Files

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 7:08am

During the last decade I’ve amassed hundreds of images of early workbenches as part of my research into pre-industrial woodworking. Inevitably, some of the images don’t make a lot of sense and now populate a folder named: X-Files. These workbenches are from paintings and their features might be the result of a painter who doesn’t know much about woodworking. Or they could be a clue to a simple and neglected […]

The post The Workbench X-Files appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Dutch Resistance

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 7:03am

Like nearly every other woodworker on the planet, I built a “Dutch” tool chest a few years back; in fact, I built two. I enjoyed both projects, and it was a good chance to work on several different skills: dovetail joinery, dado joinery, mortise and tenon joinery, joinery, joinery, joinery.

One of those chests I gave to my dad, the other I kept. For quite a while my chest was in my garage with most of my woodworking tools placed inside it. It sometimes sat on my bench, or under it, or under my feet. I bumped into it quite often, every now and again I would trip over it; I bent over countless times to get stuff out of it. Eventually, I smartened up, hung a cabinet and some tool racks on the walls near my work area, and put my Dutch tool chest in the attic.

Here is the plain truth that nobody wants to hear: working out of that chests sucked. It wasn’t a size issue; the chest was easily large enough to hold the bulk of my woodworking tools. It is a simple matter of logistics, too much bending over, reaching, stretching, dropping, knuckle banging nonsense.

I found the best way to work out of the chest was to put it on my workbench so that everything was at eye level. The problem there was it got in the way too much. Of course, I could put it back on the floor after I got everything out, but then all of that stuff was on the bench too. And who feels like picking up and putting down a 100 pound + tool chest four or five times? Not me.

I’ve seen videos where the woodworker removed all of the tools he/or she needed at the beginning of the project and put them on the bench. I suppose that works, but then all of the stuff is on the bench and in the way (unless you have a recessed tool tray, but they are bad news, right?)

Okay, I’m complaining, so what solution am I offering? The same one that has been around forever: mount your tools on a wall rack and store them in a wall hung cabinet.
Everything is at eye level, out of the way, easy to see and easy to reach. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: since I’ve mounted my tools on the wall I’ve become a more efficient woodworker. AND, my back feels a whole lot better.

So here is my expert advice: If, for some reason, you travel a lot with your woodworking tools, make a tool chest for transportation. And if you are like the overwhelming majority of amateur woodworkers with tools that very rarely leave your work area, mount your stuff on the wall over your bench. Nothing bad is going to happen to your stuff if it’s out in the open. I live in a high humidity area and I’ve had very few rust issues. Keep your tools oiled (as you should be doing anyway) and they’ll be just fine.

So why rehash a topic I know I’ve already covered? Well, a few weeks ago I was getting some things out of the attic and I saw my tool chest sitting on the floor. It still looked pretty good, and it will certainly still hold tools, so I brought it down the stairs, dusted it off, and sold it for a few bucks.

I mentioned a few posts back that I had sold off some tools (mostly duplicates) and how I surprisingly had no sentimental attachment to any of them. But when I sold my Dutch tool chest I very nearly backed out of the deal. My second thoughts didn’t stem from the sell cost, I was just very reluctant to let go of something I had built myself.

I’m hardly a great woodworker, but I put a lot of time and effort into my projects. For whatever it’s worth, and for all of it’s shortcomings, I thought that my tool chest looked great when I finished it. When I brought it down the attic stairs and briefly back into my garage, it seemed to “fit the scene”. But then I remembered why I put it into the attic in the first place, so I put sentimentality aside and did what I know was the right thing to do. And though I pride myself on being a person who makes the right decisions, the right decision in this instance wasn’t an easy one to make.

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Dutch Tool Box


Categories: General Woodworking

The Desk Project – The Wood

The Barn on White Run - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 6:27am

This post is in great part my celebration of a grand circle of friends who provided me with the wood I needed for the project.

In correspondence with the client for interpreting the c.1820 writing desk, it was clear that he wanted something made in the manner of craft technology of the period, and if at all possible, using wood of the period, or at least very old wood.  Since the task of acquiring verifiable 200 year-old mahogany was at best an iffy proposition I simply determined to find the oldest, best wood I could find.  In fact I already owned about half the wood necessary for the project thanks to my own acquisitional proclivities.

Among my inventory was a superb piece of dense, lightly figured mahogany I needed for the veneers that would wrap the box of  the desk.  It was one of the three critical pieces I needed.

The desk writing surface was a second vital component and I sent out requests to everyone I knew who might be able to supply my needs.   Before long a UPS truck bearing the piece I needed showed up in the driveway.  Then a second.  And a third.  And a fourth.  Sean, Ben, and Alf all contributed spectacular pieces to the venture.

One last look through my inventory uncovered the final piece of this particular puzzle, a wildly figure slab of flame crotch that was needed for the veneers on the outer leg elements.

But that was not the end of it.  My friend John brought  a small pile of vintage mahogany with him to the next MWTCA gathering, and I took it off his hands.  Josh emailed me about a stash he had, and delivered it to me.

Then my orthopedic surgeon told me he had a storage unit full of pre-WWI era lumber including some prized mahogany.  I loaded all that was there and headed for home.

In the end I would up with enough vintage, unused dense swietenia to make at least two additional desks and, thanks to the willingness to part with some of their holdings by my circle of friends, I probably will.

Plans done?  Check.  Wood in-hand?  Check.  Ready to dive in?  Uh-h-h-h-h.

Stay tuned.

Debunking the Myth at Yale

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 5:09am

All photographs by Jessica Smolinksi. Courtesy Yale University Art Gallery.

Last Friday’s visit to the Yale Furniture Study went off without a hitch. The seven-hour drive was pleasant and quiet, bringing me into New Haven 45 minutes ahead of schedule. I hauled my tools and sample table parts down into the Study’s workshop and got things set up.

I began the presentation by exploring three table examples from Yale’s collection. We had the tables upside down so that everyone could take a turn looking at the joinery under the table. I had the attendees specifically examine the tenon layout lines and the tenons’ pins protruding to the inside. To illustrate that these tables are constructed in the same way, we chose two vernacular painted tavern tables as early as 1730 to compare to a mahogany inlaid drop-leaf table made somewhere around 1810. The construction was the same: drawbored rails into four legs with a top.

Then we went into the shop and I showed them how that is done.  I had a small table under construction and demonstrated each stage of preparing legs, chopping a mortise, planing the taper, prepping the rails, cutting the tenons, fitting the joint, and drawboring it together.

It was fun to hear feedback after it was over (I went well beyond the allotted time). The attendees expressed how seeing these originals and then watching the process was eye-opening for them. I trust that the speed of this handwork was conveyed. One of the biggest disservices these kinds of presentations can give is to feed the myth that craftsmen were slow and careful artists or that hand tools are slow. Nothing could be further from the truth and so I think it’s important that anyone demonstrating these skills should have sweat on their brow. It’s only when people see this kind of hustling shop practice that they can begin to get a picture of how period artisans worked.

I was honored to be invited back to this place for demonstration and look forward to next time. If you haven’t been to the study yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. Prioritize a visit. My interview with museum assistant, Eric Litke, in Issue One discusses this place in depth. 800 items of furniture all arranged by form chronologically. You’ve never seen anything quite like it. 

- Joshua 

 

Categories: Hand Tools

Taking Refuge in Geometry

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 4:41am

Image.ashx

Over the recent season of political and social angst I’ve been finding solace in research and development work with my co-author George Walker. While our fellow countrymen argue the gray areas of morality and policy, George and I have immersed ourselves in the immutable truths that underlie the first principles of geometry.  While there might be some gray areas in a few of the tradesmens’ layout shortcuts (which we explore at length along with the fundamentals in our forthcoming book “From Truths to Tools”), the core geometric constructions of reality that flow from the intersection of line and circle not only represent perfection – they are perfection.

Scan 6Scan 11

 

For example, two intersecting circles that share a common radius will present us with two rim intersection points to which we can connect a line that automatically – and unequivocally – “bi secare” (cuts in two) the shared radius line.

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The intersection of the lines at the bisection point form a “rectus” (right) angle with the radius line. We know it’s a right angle because the other angles are “co-rectus” with one another and any two of them form a straight line.

Scan_20170914

A further “proof” of the correctness of the four angles can be had by using dividers to “demetiri” (measure-out) between one circle’s focal point and a rim intersection point. This dimension will be exactly, precisely, perfectly the same at each of the other three point spans. This immutable truth provides us with the geometric construction we need to make a try square as well as the key to testing the tool for true. We now have in hand the ability to accurately lay out everything from a cradle to a coffer to a cathedral with little more than a bunch of sticks.

— Jim Tolpin, ByHandandEye.com


Filed under: From Truths to Tools, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

How to Carve Drawer Pulls by Hand

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 3:00am

There comes a time in every project with doors and drawers called “pull-gatory,” when the struggle of sticking something onto the front of the beautiful piece you’ve just made grinds progress to a halt. I’ve been there a few times, and I’m there now with a little wall cabinet that I’m in the process of finishing. Time to think about drawer pulls. When I get to this point, I try […]

The post How to Carve Drawer Pulls by Hand appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

till fitted......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 1:04am
The last two days have seen a return of some humidity. Today was a little higher than yesterday was. I know this because tonight I sweated up a storm and last night I didn't. We are entering my second favorite part of the year. Nice crisp days and cool nights are coming soon. This part of the year everything is getting ready to go to sleep until my absolute favorite season, spring returns. I bitch about the changing seasons but I know I would miss them if I moved to Hawaii or some other place like that.

The fitting of the till went off without any hiccups in spite of me soaking my T-shirt. I'm regretting now that I didn't stop and get the 1/4" birch plywood for the bottom. I could have glued it on tonight and moved on to making the moving tills to put into it. I'll get the plywood first thing in the AM. What kind of sucks is I have three 4' x 4' pieces of underlayment plywood. But this stuff isn't meant to be used for drawer/box bottoms. They will do for cabinet backs but not for my till bottom.


solid wood bottom
There are too many pieces to this. I am not a fan of multiple boards for a bottom or for any other kind of glued up 'panel'. One way to do this is to use three equal width boards and ship lap them to form the bottom. The bottom is roughly 12" so I would have to account for some expansion. Since the till is a tight fit, I don't have the wiggle room to allow a solid wood bottom.


tantalizing close
The 3 small pieces on the right are all about an inch too narrow. In spite of the expansion hiccup, I tried to get this to work. I put the wide boards on each long side and the smaller piece in the middle. Without the rabbets for the ship laps, it was a 1/2" too short. Plywood wins because I don't have to allow for expansion/contraction.


idea #1
This was the forerunner for me but now that I can see it, I'm not liking it as much. Use your imagination and see plywood filling the whole bottom. The piece of pine is 1/2" thick and 3/4" wide. The idea was to 1/2 lap a notch into the two sides. Then glue and screw it to the plywood bottom. That would split the bottom span in half and make it better able to handle the load of tools in it. What I don't like about it is division it makes. Doing this divides the bottom of the till into two 12" x 12" plats of real estate.

idea #2
Again you'll have to use your imagination to see the plywood covering the bottom. The braces will be a 1/2" thick and about 3/4" wide. I will glue these to the plywood and screw them to it from the inside. I think breaking up the bottom into thirds will be stronger than halving it. These strong backs will project only a little way into the toolbox. These will only stick past the bearers on the ends by a 1/4" or so. I don't think it will be a problem with the contents. And the two pieces will allow the till to be set down on the workbench without rocking. This is the way I'm going to further support the bottom.


cleaning the long sides
I clamped this plywood between the dogs and clamped the opposite end with a couple of clamps. I lightly planed the long edge and spent more time flushing and cleaning the tails/pins.

too tight
I only made one planing run on the two long sides only. I did one more planing run taking light shavings and checked it again.

it fits
I was surprised to see that this fit the length. The left side (front to back) is a little too snug for me but the length dropped in squarely inbetween the bearers.

new piece of plywood
I took the minimal amount off I could. I flushed and cleaned the tails/pins and took just a few shavings between them. This already fits in the bearers so I didn't have to plane to fit it, just clean it up.


left side of the toolbox
This side is still snug and I don't want to plane anymore off of the till. I am going to do all the remaining fitting and planing on the toolbox until I get the fit I like. I started by planing this end on both sides.

used my grandson's #3
I was too lazy to stop and sharpen the iron in my #3 so I used Miles. He said it was ok as long as I sharpened it again.

labeled the bottom
I labeled this so as I planed the box I would be checking the fit with the same orientation of the till. I got a slip in and drop in fit that I was happy with. I turned the till 180 and the fit was snug again. So I will be able to drop the till into the box without checking to see if I'm putting it in the 'right' way, I kept on planing.

I planed both sides of the long sides of the toolbox
I just planed down to the level of the bearers. I went end to end but concentrated the bulk of the shavings on the left side ends.

got it fitted
I got a slip, drop in fit no matter which I put the till in. I switched it 180 the long way and I also tried with the bottom (which I marked) facing up. I'm done with the till and I'm happy with the fit. The plywood bottom isn't going to change the fit.

confirmed
I opened and closed the lid a whole bunch of times. Some fast and some slow, opening and closing it by holding the lid in different spots. The chain fell into the space and didn't interfere with the lid  closing not even once. I also dropped the lid and the chain still fell into the space. I didn't lose too much in the length doing this, maybe an inch all together.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
The size of an egg tells you the minimum required net weight per dozen eggs. It does not refer to the dimensions of an egg or how big it looks. How much does a dozen large eggs weigh?
answer - 24 ounces

Yet More of the Same only Different

The Furniture Record - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 10:23pm

I’ve recently come across some more furniture that is similar/the same as in some previous blogs. No one piece is worthy of its own blog but taken as a whole, it’ll do.

In April in There are No Rules, I wrote of this chair with this unique leg layout:

IMG_5447

Four legs, just not where you expected.

In the past two weeks, I have come across the following:

IMG_2424

Four legs just rotated 45°.

IMG_2422

In this configuration, the arms supports are carried by legs.

And in Georgia, I found:

IMG_2799

A totally different feel.

IMG_2800

This one is a bit rough, missing a few parts.

IMG_2801

Maybe not even an antique.

In the metal-for-wood category we have:

IMG_2461

Looks like wood, welds like metal.

Two more Wooton rotary desks:

IMG_9487

One in Chapel Hill,

IMG_9508

Looks nice from the client’s side as well.

Another in Monroe, Georgia:

IMG_2655

Looks like the one on Chapel Hill.

IMG_2662

Like this closed.

IMG_2661

Opens to this.

A Hitchcock chair:

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Well, not a real one.

A Hitchcock settee?

DSC_8958

Probably not.

And a gout rocker:

IMG_2452

And now, a word from our sponsor…

 


Down the rabbit hole

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 3:21pm

or…watch Nancy Hiller morph into Basil Fawlty

IMG_0503

A peaceful view over the hills from the garden at Standen, just the kind of thing you need when you’re ready to tear your hair out

I take copyright and permissions protocols seriously. It’s a simple matter of the Golden Rule: I write and design stuff, and if someone’s going to use my words or designs, I’d like my part in the process to be acknowledged. I have no right to expect this consideration from others if I’m not willing to give it myself.

So I paid attention to what the museum staff told me when I visited the marvelous Wilson Museum in Cheltenham last winter to measure one of their Voysey chairs. I signed a bunch of forms agreeing to their terms, which require written permission to publish photographs of their holdings, even in a blog post.

In early July, as I neared completion of my manuscript for a book on English Arts and Crafts furniture*, I thought readers might be interested in seeing some of the details I found while peering under aprons, stretchers, and such in the course of my research – you know, stuff like through tenons, decorative gouging, and artfully chamfered rails…but also the occasional cupped table top, gap at a tenon shoulder, or split stile. It’s tempting to attribute perfection to our craftsperson-heroes, but one of the things I love most about furniture is its decidedly human imperfection; I’m intrigued by the question of what we’re willing (or not) to live with.

So I dutifully wrote to my museum contact, requesting the necessary permission.

“Dear Nancy,” he wrote back. “Thank you for your email. Permission would need to come from our decorative arts curator, however she is currently away from the office until [a date ten days later], so I will be unable to get a response to you before then. I shall pass your message on to [her] and bring it to her attention when she returns. I hope that this helps.

Best wishes,
B.”

Ten days later I received another missive. “Hi Nancy,” he wrote. “Thank you for your patience whilst the decorative arts curator was away. For using images of our collections in blog posts there is a small charge of £16.70 per article/blog post. We also request that you would send us a link to the blog post so we can have a record of how the collections are being used.

Please let me know if you are still interested in proceeding. If you are interested in proceeding please let me know and I will send the relevant forms and arrange payment.

I hope that this helps.
Best wishes,
B.”

I wrote back immediately. Of course I was happy to pay to use the images. Museums — especially those, such as The Wilson, which don’t charge visitors an entrance fee — depend on this kind of revenue. A few days later I received the form by email, which I completed and signed. A week went by. Then:

“Dear Nancy,

Apologies for not getting back to you… We are currently experiencing issues with our payment facilities so we cannot accept payment just yet. How soon do you need to use the images?

Many thanks for your patience whilst we are working on resolving the payment issues.

B.”

I told him that I wouldn’t need to use the images for at least the next three weeks. “Hopefully we shall have this rectified before 31st August,” he wrote back. I hated to think of a museum not being able to take credit card payments over the phone in this day when plastic is the coin of the realm.

A month later B wrote back. The problems were ongoing. “We can accept cheques if all else [should] fail, although I understand the postage from America would inflate the real price at your end.” It wasn’t the postage that troubled me, but the fee a bank would charge for any form of payment other than a credit card. I’d already called my bank. They no longer issue checks in foreign currency but said they could wire the money for a $50 fee. Screw that.

The next week the ever-charming (truly) B wrote again.

“Dear Nancy,

The cost…was £16.70 plus VAT so that would be £20.04 overall [about $27]. I have been talking to the finance department and they believe[] they have resolved the issue, they are checking one final thing and have assured me that we should be able to take card payment over the phone by Monday. I shall email you again on Monday with the hopefully happy news. Again, please accept my apologies for the ongoing delays.

Best wishes,
B.”

Just to be on the safe side I gave it a few more days. On Thursday morning I was ready to call. The landline seemed a better bet than a cell phone. I dialed the number but got a sound that clearly signified a problem. I repeated the process several times, omitting various prefix digits in case they were unnecessary. Still no joy. I called the phone company again.

“All calls to international numbers are blocked at present,” the clerk informed me. Can this really be happening? I wondered. It seems that fraudsters overseas have been calling US households and threatening the vulnerable among us with harm to their relatives if they don’t return the call and fork over thousands of dollars. “So you’re blocking ALL international calls because a few people have fallen for this kind of scam?” I asked. Apparently so. “Is this just you, or all phone companies? Because this seems like serious overkill. I am just trying to make a business call to England.” She couldn’t say whether our phone company was alone in taking this paternalistic tack.

“You can bypass the call block by using this code,” said the clerk, reading out a symbol and three numbers. I thanked her and tried the call again, this time with the code. The call dropped as soon as I dialed. I tried again. Same thing.

I called the phone company back. Another clerk this time; he said I’d have to make some kind of different arrangement, aside from the code, to call overseas. “I am trying really hard not to pepper your eardrum with expletives,” I answered, taking a deep breath. “I just want to make a simple business call to England. England! Not Nigeria. Not Myanmar. I just need to make a credit card payment to a museum. In the past, all I had to do was dial the number. I’m not willing to go through yet more steps. I’ll use my cell phone.”

So I dialed the museum’s number on my cell. The call was answered by a woman whose first language was clearly not English. “I need your name,” she said after the usual pleasantries. I stated my first name and she proceeded to type, reading the letters back – incorrectly. I corrected her, knowing that the charge would be declined by the credit company, were the merest detail garbled. Then we got to the address. Between the spotty quality of the audio (even with Wi Fi calling) and our linguistic disjunct, it was taking forever. We got through the four digits of the street address, but the word “South” caused a problem. “Was that ‘ah‘?” she checked. “No, SOUTH,” I said. At this point I was not prepared to attempt the Himalayan peak of the next word, “Garrison.”

“Can I just email you this information, then call back?” I asked.

“Sure. That would be good. Thank you.”

So I sent the email, and she replied that she was ready to take my credit card information in a second call. I called her back at once. The phone was answered by a machine informing me that no one was available but I could leave a message if I would like.

I checked the time. 4 p.m. GMT. Perhaps they had just closed? I wrote back to her straight away, dreading the prospect of having to repeat the process with someone new the next day. But lo! Five minutes later I got a reply. The long-suffering staff person had been busy with a visitor, and so, unable to take my call. I called back.

Miraculously, we get the job done. I have the receipt to prove it:

img_21751.jpg

The receipt really does say JOY. Perhaps the name of a current exhibition?

All of which is to request that you refrain from blithely copying and reusing the images you will find in my post about the museum visit, which will arrive in your inbox a few days from now.

Please note: Although this post concerns one particular institution, I have enjoyed remarkably similar experiences with several others. I am a huge fan of The Wilson and highly recommend a visit. 

*scheduled for publication by Popular Woodworking in May 2018. In the meantime, you can read Making Things Work


Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

This Week

Paul Sellers - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 12:43pm

I am building both the prototype and the first edition bedside nightstand for our next new masterclasses project. This one follows the stepladders and the fly swatter. It’s been a busy enough week with developing the idea and then the construction of both the prototype and building the piece for filming. Hannah went with me …

Read the full post This Week on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

A Visit to Takuji Matsuda’s Kiribako Shop: Part 2 – Planing and Shooting Platform for Japanese Planes

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 7:56am

My friend and neighbor, Takuji Matsuda, enjoys the advantages of a western workbench. You read part one of my workshop tour here. But when it comes to planes, Takuji prefers traditional Japanese planes which are pulled towards the body, whereas the Western plane is pushed away from the user. To help Takuji plane surfaces and true up crosscut end grain while working on a simple table that is devoid of a vise, Mr. […]

The post A Visit to Takuji Matsuda’s Kiribako Shop: Part 2 – Planing and Shooting Platform for Japanese Planes appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Book Giveaway: Furniture Fundamentals

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 7:48am
Furniture Fundamentals

When I joined the woodworking team a few of years ago I found myself thumbing through a couple of books in the Furniture Fundamentals series. Exploring those two books,“Chairs & Benches” and “Tables,” – as well as a book that I edited as an addition to the series, “Casework” – made for a great jumping off point for my work with Popular Woodworking. The series offers a lot of great information on how to build some of […]

The post Book Giveaway: Furniture Fundamentals appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Man-Week at the Man Cave, er, Barn

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 7:45am

My recently scheduled barn workshop, “Make A Traditional Workbench,” was mercifully “cancelled” due to the fact that all four of the scheduled registrants notified me they were not coming.  No students, no workshop.  I say “mercifully” because it would have started the day after Barndaughter’s wedding weekend, and I was already worn to a nub.  Nevertheless, my friend John, who participated in the workshop last year and was scheduled to be my teaching assistant for the week, decided to join me anyway for a grand week of man-time in the man cave, a/k/a The Barn.

We had a delightful week of fellowship and working on projects; John concentrated on modifying and tuning up the Moxon-style ripple molding cutting machine while I emphasized bringing my FORP workbench from many years ago closer to completion.  In addition, John being a trained theologian and well-engaged citizen of The Republic, our conversations were vibrant and varied, and by the end of the week we were almost sentimental about our shared experiences.

The success of the week can be summarized in the observation that by Friday afternoon it looked like a tool-and-shavings bomb had been detonated there.  I’ll recount our adventures in greater detail in coming posts.  Stay tuned.

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