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Coming back

orepass: Woodworking to Pass the Time - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 6:43pm

As you already know my posts over the last few months have been no existent. Those of you who follow orepass on instagram already know that I had surgery on my hip at the end of the year. The recovery has gone well. In fact I began running again this week, although one minute at a time. Woodworking has taken longer and the little bit of aggravation created in my hip when sharpening and planing has faded.

The tools have sat long enough and I have been cleaning, sharpening and thinking. After six months a simple project that encompasses several joints will bring me back. Looking through magazines and blogs and finding my saw bench buried under a pile of boxes, bags and family ‘items’ a new saw bench is in order. From all the items piled on and around my bench it appears that others may have been moving into the shop area!
A bench that has caught my eye several times is the split saw bench, several people have blogged with their own version and I’ve had trouble identifying the original designer, although many people point to Billy’s Little Bench. It’s important to give credit where it’s due, but in this case I can only point you to the web. Look up split top saw bench and tell me which ones you prefer.

My original saw bench was built many years ago as a a project from Shannon Rogers’ Hand Tool School. It has served its time well but certainly is showing its age and a couple of repairs have failed to keep it rigid. The split bench should be more rigid and I like the concept of being able to saw boards down the center. Additionally, the dovetails and  mortise and tenon joints will help tune skills that have been resting.

Looking forward to hearing from all of you and thanks for all the support over the last few months.

Categories: Hand Tools

Virtual Community

The Barn on White Run - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 6:32pm

Many years ago, and for many years, I used to host a monthly lunch meeting of like-minded observers of things economic, political, and philosophical, for a no-holds-barred off the record 90 minutes of spirited discussion over scrumptious food.   The crew was heavily weighted towards minarchist thinkers, mostly of the Hayekian economist model.  One of my stalwart participants was MarkM, who for decades was a policy analyst for international brokerage firms, and one of the most insightful men I have ever met.  To this day, and I still receive his weekly newsletter, if he says something I pay very close attention.

At one point (1990?) he was musing about the coming schisms and reorganization of the culture, eventually breaking apart and reforming into what he called “gated communities of interest.”  In his thesis, people would use the internet and other vehicles to find fellow travelers for whatever the interest in question was, and these new virtual communities would in great part supersede our physical neighborhoods.  Notwithstanding this was more than a quarter century ago, as I live in the least populous county east of the Mississippi I find his words to have been prescient.

I’ve been thinking about Mark’s comments recently as I reflect on my circle of correspondence, spanning multiple topics and including many people I have never met in person.  In some cases the interactions do develop a physical manifestation as we “strangers” send items to each other.

Recently one of my correspondents demonstrated a profound understanding of both me and my philosophical heritage when this item arrived in the mail from him.  I cannot say I was truly surprised at one level, as our emails have revealed that he has a better understanding of US history and perspectives than almost any US citizens, despite the fact that this man has never set foot on our soil (although I am encouraging him to emigrate to the Virginia Highlands).  Further, I already knew him to be immensely talented and highly skilled, and this panel of copper punch-work bears that out.

With that, I give you the new and treasured accouterment for my shop, and the honored location for this artwork in The Barn.  Every time I gaze out on the mountains, which is pretty often, my eye is taken to this symbol of my own political inclinations.

And I think of a friend I have never met in person, an esteemed citizen of my own Virtual Community.

Bowling Alley Bench

360 WoodWorking - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 3:57pm
Bowling Alley Bench

Last year sometime, 360 Woodworking purchased a few slabs of bowling alley with the idea to turn them into workbenches. If you’re not familiar with bowling allies, which I was not, you may be in for a couple of surprises.

Surprise #1 is that a bowling alley is not solid, as in one big-ass piece or block. These lanes were like accordions; they bowed in and out depending on where you applied pressure.

Continue reading Bowling Alley Bench at 360 WoodWorking.

Stickers to Survive the Summer

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 1:20pm


With school out, our sticker heiress (Maddy) is hunkering down for a long summer of lab work and unpaid research assisting a PhD candidate in Columbus. The good news: the lab work and research helps her as an animal science major. The bad news: The two jobs pay less than working the counter at a pizza restaurant (one of her many other jobs at college).

Thanks to sticker sales, Maddy has saved enough money to scrape by without having to sell any organ meat attached to her skeleton.

She’s home this weekend so we can feed her, replenish her toilet paper supply and help with her laundry. Oh, and so she can abuse/love our cats. Shown is Wally, who is up for anything. Want to see him in a tuxedo? We can probably arrange that.

Maddy reports that she is down to the last 150 copies of the current set of stickers. So if you want an engraving of A.J. Roubo to adorn your band saw, laptop or cat, don’t tarry.

You can order a set of three stickers from her etsy store here. Yes, she accepts international orders.

Or, for customers in the United States, you can send a $5 bill and a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) to Maddy at:

Stick it to the Man
P.O. Box 3284
Columbus, OH 43210

She’ll put the three current sticker designs in your envelope and mail them back to you. These are nice, 100-percent vinyl weatherproof and cat-proof stickers.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Ratcheting Book Stand-Lathe Project

Hillbilly Daiku - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 1:06pm

One of the projects high on my list,  in the event that I ever had a lathe, is a 17th Century turned book stand that Peter Follansbee reintroduced.  It’s a nifty design with a ratcheting mechanism to adjust the angle of display and a wide shelf on which to seat the book.  Now that I have a lathe and trying to learn to turn, the book stand seemed like a perfect project to aid me along.  Plus, I simply really want to make one!

In a previous post I discussed that these beginning lathe projects needed to have a high probability of success.  This book stand meets that requirement while also challenging me to improve my skills.  One challenge is the need to replicate identical parts.  The posts should be turned to look identical and need to be the same length.  The spindles need to all be the same length, but don’t necessarily need to be turned identically.  So not as much pressure there.  There is also the added challenge of laying out and drilling for the spindles.  Another skill builder in this project is creating and sizing tenons.  Plus there is a lot of practice in turning a uniform cylinder.

Peter Follansbee is not known for using plans and, true to form, I couldn’t find any existing plans for this book stand.  There are several photos on his website and there is an episode of The Woodwright’s Shop where he and Roy build the book stand, sans any mention of sizes or measurements.  He did post photographs of a book stand with a known book resting on it and another set of photos with overall dimensions.  So, using my best reverse engineering skills, I looked up the dimensions of the book and extrapolated from there.  I took all of that information and made my best guess as to the size of the parts and the for layout.  I used that information to build a prototype.  I knew I could refine that guess and develop a proportional design drawing once I had prototype in hand.  

Using my rough sketch I began fabricating parts.  Replication of identical parts was more challenging than I had anticipated, but I made a decent showing.  The spindles were fairly easy, but getting the finials of the post to look the same involved a lot of fiddling and remounting before I was satisfied with the results.  Soon enough I had a dry fit of the basic parts.

One element that I guessed wrong on was the ratchet “leg”.  My first attempt was far too long.  This caused the book stand to have too large of a footprint and it looked clunky.  I simply made another shorter version.

I soon had my prototype complete with the first coat of Tried & True applied.  Maple posts, white oak spindles and red oak shelf.

Now I could work out the proportions, make corrections and generate a proportional design drawing.  My initial guess work proved to be pretty close.  One thing that needed to be corrected was the locations of the spindles.  I had noted, but chose to ignore, the asymmetric layout of the spindles on Follansbee’s examples.  The spindle that houses the “kickstand” is offset towards the top spindle on his examples.  I work with CAD every day, so I ran the layout on CAD to check as to if this offset is needed or is just an aesthetic choice.  Turns out it can be beneficial.  It allows the ratchet leg and kickstand to be the same length.  Both spindle layouts work, but the asymmetrical layout does offer a functional edge and a bit of visual interest.  I made a few other proportional corrections and then generated a final drawing to work from.

As with the lathe, I’ll not be posting my design drawing for the book stand.  This is Peter Follonsbee’s work, not mine.  He makes his living making, teaching and writing.  I’m just some guy banging together stuff in my garage and my family eats the same regardless.  Besides, rumor has it that he has a book in the works that may contain a certain book stand, so keep an eye out for that.  I will post these drawings of ideas for finials, feet and spindles that I worked up.


The full-size book stand is large and perfectly sized for larger books such as those produced by Lost Art Press.  However, most people don’t have need of a book stand this large.  Tablets have replaced books for most people these days.  So I decided to build a 2/3 scale example that would function as a tablet stand and be more useful to most people.  This scaled down version would also serve verify if I had the proportions correct.

To scale the book stand down from the drawing I simply substituted a smaller dimension for the module (controlling dimension).  The full-size version is based on a Module of 300mm.  I altered this by using a dimension of 200mm (2/3 of 300 is 200) and worked out all of the rest with a pair of dividers.

Just about all of the material for this version came from the offcut bin.  The posts are white oak, the spindles are black walnut and the shelf is white oak from a particularly unruly piece (I had to break out the card scraper) salvaged from a pallet.


This 2/3 scale version is perfect as a tablet stand, but is bit too small to be functional as a book stand.  Since I was on a roll, I decided to build a 3/4 scale version.  Again, all parts were culled from the scrap pile, save one.  I had to buy a piece of oak for the shelf.  This one has white oak posts and red oak for the spindles and shelf.  I also ran with the oak theme and tried my hand at creating finials and feet that had an acorn motif.

I think the 3/4 scale is a good compromise and will be the perfect size for most people.  It will easily hold most books as well as the popular tablets of the day.

I still needed to build another full-scale version that is based upon my design drawing to round out the set.  So I rummaged around in my magic attic (previous owner left a lot of scrap wood up there) and culled out enough walnut and mahogany to build a full-scale version.  The walnut is a little gnarly and has a big knot running through it and contains a little sap wood, but is fine for this.  The shelf is from some unknown stuff that I have had for quite a while.


Quick tip: To locate the holes in the shelf for installing the feet install a finish nail in the post and clip it short.  Then assemble the frame and press it down onto the shelf in the desired location.  The finish nail will mark the location on the shelf for the hole.

The following shows exactly why I like designing with proportions.  A piece can be scaled up or down and retain the same visual look.  I can plug any distance into the Module (within practical reason) and produce a version to suit the need without altering the overall appearance.

For an idea of scale: LAP “Book of Plates“, LAP “The Anarchist’s Design Book” and an iPad Mini.

These book stands are a lot of fun to build and are a great skill builder for learning to turn.  They are also a great way to shrink the offcut pile.

Greg Merritt

Categories: Hand Tools

New Smoothing Plane for Handworks, 12 days to go!

David Barron Furniture - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 8:47am

As well as making some jack planes I've also made a small batch of matching smoothers. They are all in highly figured ash and brown oak.

The iron is 1 1/2" wide and a massive 1/4" thick and hardened to 62 Rc.

Like the jack plane, these will only be for sale at Handworks.

Categories: Hand Tools

still some room in Pre-Fest courses at Greenwood Fest

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 7:56am

The Greenwood Fest is long-sold out, with a waiting list. I heard from Paula Marcoux last night that someone had to cancel, and the next name on the waiting list flipped out –

But there’s still a way to get a big hit of greenwood fun in Plymouth next month. The pre-fest courses are running Tuesday afternoon June 6th to Thursday mid-day June 8th. Due to a cancellation, there’s a space in Jögge Sundqvist’s class “Swedish Slöjd Knife with Birchbark Sheath.”  If you’ve not been around Jögge, I can tell you, this class is about much more than making a knife handle & sheath. Working with him is a life-changing experience.

There’s room too in Tim Manney’s Sharpening class – a deceptive class. When we ran it the first time, people were clamoring for more tools to sharpen. It’s a tricky class to convince your family to let you go for a few days, you come home with a bunch of sharp tools – not some flashy woodsy object d’art. BUT…it’s an eye-opener, and forevermore your tools will be honed to a crazy keen edge. Tim is a great, great teacher.

Jane Mickelborough’s Folding Spoon class is the one I would take if I had the time. Jane’s work studying and learning about these historic spoons from Brittany is really inspiring. It’s so different from most of what we see about spoons, but rooted in tradition.

So if you missed out on the festival itself, this is a chance for a 3/4 festival experience There will be 7 classes running at the same time – just like the fest, you stay on site in cabins, all meals included from lunch Tuesday to lunch Thursday. So I think it’s close to 80 people in camp, counting attendees and instructors. That means all the “down” times; before class, during meals, after class in the evenings, you’re part of a huge contingent of like-minded greenwood-ers.

After class on Thursday, you go find some quiet place to digest what you’ve just been through, then that evening make your way to Fuller Craft Museum for the mind-blowing Rhythym & Slöjd performance by Jögge Sundqvist. http://fullercraft.org/event/rhythm-and-slojd/ – the Fuller evening is part of the pre-Fest tuition.

Come join us for the early festival experience.

course descriptions:    https://www.greenwoodfest.org/course-details

registration:   https://www.plymouthcraft.org/greenwood-fest-courses



Nybygde skottbenkar i Mariestad i Sverige

Norsk Skottbenk Union - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 5:52am

Min kollega Tomas Karlsson underviser i snikring på bygghantverksprogrammet på Göteborgs universitet. Vi to har i fellesskap utvikla og drive bloggen Høvelbenk der vi har leita fram eldre høvelbenkar i Norden og arbeidd for å spreie den glade bodskapen til våre nordiske snikkarvener og andre interesserte. Tomas har forsvart si licentiatavhandling på Göteborgs universitet om snikring av fyllingsdører; Ramverksdörr – en studie i bänksnickeri. Der har han eit spesielt fokus på tradisjonelle arbeidsmåtar og korleis ein brukar arbeidsbenken i arbeidet. Tomas er såleis av dei fremste i Norden når det gjeld fagkunnskap om arbeidsbenkar i snikkarhandverket. Det er difor ekstra gledeleg at Tomas har teke initiativ til at studentane på bygghantverksprogrammet i Mariestad har bygd nye skottbenkar som skal nyttast i undervisninga i tida framover.

Studentane på bygghantverksprogrammet i Mariestad snikrar skottbenk under leiing av Tomas Karlsson og Patrik Jarefjäll. Foto: Tomas Karlsson

Eg har ikkje opplysningar om kva dei har teke utgangspunkt i for utforminga av benkane. Det finnast noko dokumentasjon på skottbenkar i Sverige, men ikkje på langt nær så mykje som det vi har i Noreg. Ut frå biletet over kan det sjå ut som om det er henta inspirasjon frå skottbenkbukkane dei har hatt frå før i Mariestad og også henta inspirasjon frå ulike norske benkar?

Categories: Hand Tools

a day from hell........

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 2:53am
Today didn't start with a lot of promise. I didn't want to get out of bed this morning to do my OT but I had signed on for 4 hours, so I had to go. It was drizzling when I went in which was better than the downpour that went on all day long on friday. When I came home it was still drizzling but the promise had been made for sunshine in the afternoon. I went to the shop and starting to work on finishing the rehab on my Stanley #2. This is where the fecal matter and the rotating wind generation machine met and shook hands.

first hiccup and it's a doozy
Look carefully at the two screw holes. The top one is wider than the bottom one. The top screw hole is wallowed out at the top. I found this after cussing up a storm trying to get that screw to turn in the hole with the frog on the bed.

frog screws
The left screw is just caught on the threads at the top. This hole is threaded ok and doesn't appear to have any damage to it. The right screw is just caught on the threads but it is almost down to the bottom. It is down over an 1/8" from the right one. Metal working is not my forte and I don't know if this is something that can even be fixed.

found a longer screw
The head on this screw isn't as big as the original but it is all that I could find in my goodie box of plane parts. I plan on filing the longer screw down a tad. The threads match but with the frog installed on the bed, this screw is too long.

filed away
I locked the screw in the jaws of vise grip pliers and filed the threads. It took two attempts before I got the fit ok.

this is a temporary fix
There is no way I can depend upon this holding up and lasting. I don't think I have one full turn worth of thread engagement. At best it will hold for while but if this is to be a daily user, it won't be able to handle the daily stress put on it.

If any metal workers out there have a fix, give a shout and leave a comment. My thought is that it should be re-threaded for the next size screw up but I don't know how to do that.

it feels secure
I have two screws in it and I'm hoping it will hold up and I can get the iron set and make some shavings with it.

my best fix
I got a full width shaving on both sides of the mouth but the right side is much thicker.  The middle shaving came out streaky and full of holes. Not like the intact full width shavings I got on the right and left. Things went south so quick from here I got blown over by the breeze.

I've already done 3
This is my fourth attempt at adjusting the frog to minimize the heaviness of the shavings on the right side. The lateral adjust did absolutely nothing to knock it down. The problem I'm having is I can't eliminate the right side shaving at all. No problems making the left side disappear, but the right side still spits out a shaving no matter where the frog is skewed in the mouth and where the lateral adjust is moved to.

right side shaving
I can get a wispy thin shaving on the right but I want the same thing on the left but it isn't happening.
hiccup #3
To get the iron to barely peek out past the mouth, I have to run the adjuster nut all they out. I don't think that the chipbreaker is the one that originally came with this plane.

&^$#@%*()(*^%#^*( plane
I skewed the frog,  incrementally right and left and I couldn't not even out the shavings coming out of the mouth. The right side spit out shavings no matter where the frog was positioned. I also could not get the left side to match what the right did.

I flipped the plane over and adjusted the iron parallel to the front of the mouth and I got the same results. The right side would always make a shaving and the left would/wouldn't. This is one series of speed bumps I have never encountered in all the planes I have rehabbed and set up for use.

my last try
I centered the frog between the two walls of the base. I adjusted the  iron parallel in the mouth by sighting it. I advanced the iron until I just saw it peeking out and I tried it. I got a teeny shaving in the middle, nothing on the left and nothing on the right. I advanced the iron a few frog hairs and I got a shaving on the right, a little in the middle and nothing on the left. By the time I advanced the iron to get a shaving on the left, the right side one was an inch thick. Well maybe not an inch thick but it was easily 3-4 times thicker than the left.

thin shaving on the right
a little from the middle
get thicker on the right and still nothing on the left
is the sole twisted?
I eyeballed this and there appeared to be a small amount of twist to the sole. Sighting down it from the heel, the heel right and the toe left were 1 frog hair high. Is this enough to cause my problem?

what does the 80 grit runway say?
I took 6 strokes back and forth on the sandpaper and stopped to look at my lines.

I'd say there isn't any twist
I seem to have a slight low spot behind the mouth on the right side.

ten strokes
All the the lines are gone and the scratch pattern is even and consistent end to end and side to side.

double triple checking myself again
 Made some lines to do one more run and see if I can repeat.

same pattern
Tried the dance steps with the shavings again and got the exact same crappola.  There is something obvious here that I must be missing. I have tried everything that I know and have used on previous planes but none of that is working.

it's a helicopter blade
I broke out my 12" precision straight edge to check the diagonals and I found this. According to this, I have a hump and I can see daylight at the heel and toe.

it isn't rocking no matter where I try it
I usually don't get discouraged much. In fact I usually get pissed and turn into a raging nut job who would make someone going postal looking like they were Mickey Mouse. Here I got discouraged. I spent a lot of my OT dollars on this plane and it so far, it is a piece of crap. The wallowed out screw hole in the frog really pisses me off and now that I can't adjust the plane to take an even shaving pushed me over the edge. Just had a thought - maybe having only that one screw really holding the frog is the cause of misery. Maybe that extra long one is exerting too much force on the that side? Something to check out tomorrow.

The last tool I bought from Patrick Leach was a Stanley 10 1/2 and that had a broken cheek that had been repaired (not mentioned in the write up). Now I have this #2 that can only be used for a paperweight. And an expensive paper weight at that.

I quit the shop after this. I was so damn bummed out by this experience that I didn't belong in it. I know I would have made one mistake after another all day long if I worked on something else. I thought I would finish up watching Richard Maguire's sharpening videos but I fell asleep at my desk. The video played but I don't even remember the opening credits.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
How many flowers are stamped on each side of an OREO cookie?
answer - 12 and each one has 4 petals

5 Reasons to be at Handworks 2017

Billy's Little Bench - Sat, 05/06/2017 - 5:04pm
As Handworks 2017 in Amana Iowa quickly approaches I thought I would share/promote why I think people need to go. Handworks is a two day event that takes place this year on Friday May 19 and Saturday May 20 from 10am to 5pm each day.

There are so many more reasons than those I list in this little video. It is THE premier event for Handtool woodworking in the US. If you can get there, get there. You won't be disappointed. 

And visit their website for more information www.handworks.co 

Don't forget to register online to be eligible for door prizes at the event. You must register before the even and no registration is available at the event. Register on the website. 

If you see me there please stop and say hi. I would like to see as many of you there as possible. 

Categories: Hand Tools

Roman Workbenches, in France, for Chairmaking

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 05/06/2017 - 4:33pm


One of the primary reasons I decided to expand the book “Roman Workbenches” into a larger text was an unexpected gift from Jennie Alexander that was courtesy of John and Eleanor Kebabian.

The story starts some months ago when Jennie sent me photocopies of some old drawings and asked if I saw anything of interest. After about two seconds I wrote her back with an emphatic “yes.” The photocopies had sent my head reeling.

A few weeks later Jennie sent me a box. I was in Italy at the time, and the delivery person was not too bright. So he left it on top of the air conditioning unit, where it was rained on for several days until I returned.

I found the box in tatters and took it inside the shop, expecting the worst. The box fell apart on the bench and inside was a no-worse-for-the-wear copy of  “L’Art du Tourneur Mécanicien” by M. Hulot. It’s a 1775 book about turning and many other aspects of woodworking.

Written about the same time as A.J. Roubo’s “l’Art du menuisier,” it’s in a similar format: giant pages of text followed by gorgeous plates. After browsing through the plates, many looked similar to Roubo’s, but others didn’t. I’ve spent several hours studying the plates and am convinced this book deserves my undivided attention.

Of particular interest are plates 13 and 31, which depict a low staked workbench that is outfitted with a variety of appliances for chairmaking.

So I started isolating all the text that relates to these two plates so I could translate it. (And here I thought my meager French skills would get a rest.) Unlike Roubo, Hulot discusses these two plates in more than a dozen places in the text. This is not going to be easy. But you have to start somewhere.

During one long evening, I translated the section that introduces the bench, which Hulot calls appropriately “a saddle.” Take a look:

IV Description of the Saddle for Planing & Boring & Assembling the Work

FIG. 4, Plate 13, shows a bench type which is called a Saddle for planing/flattening and assembly; That is a piece of oak wood 5 feet long, about 12 to 14 inches wide, and very thick, carried on four feet, R, Y, X, Z, which enter into as many Round holes which have been pierced in the whole of the Saddle AB. The workman has the face, turned towards the head, B, which is a large piece of soft wood, such as alder, and the tail of which forms a flat tenon which passes into a mortise through the saddle; The top [of the head] forms a kind of step, the steps of which are cut into different fences, some at right angles and shallow, to receive the ends of the flat workpieces for planing its sides/edges; The flat stage receives the pieces that are to be planed flat. Other stepped [heads] are horizontally and vertically notched with the shape of a teaspoon to receive the tip of a stick. There are small cuts [or kerfs] that are perpendicular to the round hole [in the head], as seen in the figure. Independent of the tenon which fixes the head H, it rests against the support K, which is also called the crossbar or buttress of the head, and which is a stop at the end and is across the saddle. [It is secured] by two strong wooden dowel pins, [made of a wood] such as ash or dogwood, which pass perpendicularly through the saddle.

When the wood that is to be worked is large and long, we do not rely on the saddle, but we stand it upright. Place the end of the wood in the recess HK formed by the crossbar and the side of the head of the saddle.

I see many long nights of (exciting) translating ahead. I’m fairly certain this bench is another important piece of the puzzle in understanding the low workbench and all the ways it can be used.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Roman Workbenches
Categories: Hand Tools

@Handworks 2107 – Original Roubo Print #260

The Barn on White Run - Sat, 05/06/2017 - 3:56pm

One of the hallmarks of Roubo’s images in L’art du Menuisier was a series of preposterously intricate elevations and schematics for complex pieces of furniture.  Both the article of furntiure and its representation are works of art.  Such is certainly the case with Plate 260, “Diagrams and Elevations of a Desk With Its Developments.”

Overall the print is in excellent condition, with there being one small crease in one corner and some of the usual oxidation discoloration at the perimeter of the page.

The original illustration and the plate engraving were done by Roubo himself.

If you have ever wanted to own a genuine piece of Rouboiana, this is your chance.   I will be selling this print at Handworks on a first-come basis, with terms being cash, check, or Paypal if you have a smart phone and can do that at the time of the transaction.



Second Chance for ‘Roman Workbenches’

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 05/06/2017 - 9:05am


Thanks to the good work on the press and the bindery, we are going to have about 150 copies of the letterpress version of “Roman Workbenches” to sell in our online store at the end of May 2017.

Yesterday, Megan Fitzpatrick and I repaired all these excess copies, pasting in the two missing lines that were snipped off during the plate-making process. All these copies now need to return to our warehouse in Indianapolis and we need to take care of a few customers who received severely damaged copies.


Then, after we take care of all those details, we will put up the remaining stock for sale in our store at noon Eastern time on Friday, May 26, 2017. The price will be the same as it was for the first batch of books and it will be available for international customers.

We will not have any of these books at Handworks later this month, I’m afraid.

After these books sell out, they are gone. We will not do another run of letterpress copies of this book. So you have 20 days to sell your plasma, etc. I am, however, working on a greatly expanded book on this topic that we will print on our usual offset presses and will include photos and additional research I’ve conducted this year.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. Several customers have asked if we will print any books in the future using letterpress. The answer is: I hope so. It has to be the right sort of book, and we’ll have to marshal all the people involved in this project and hope they’ve forgotten what a pain in the crotch mahogany it was.

Filed under: Roman Workbenches
Categories: Hand Tools

The One-Day Storage Cabinet - Part I: the Plan

Toolerable - Sat, 05/06/2017 - 7:37am
Today the Frau mentioned we should get another small storage cabinet for the office.


This means one of two things: Either she wants to buy a crappy disposable cabinet made of termite poop, or I get nagged at until I come up with something.

Fortunately, I would like to build a piece like this using some of the techniques in The Anarchist's Design Book by Christopher Schwarz. That means I just move it up in the queue and get it over with.

It's not often that the Frau asks me to build anything that we need anymore. She learned long ago that it could take months, and in the meantime what she wants to store in it lays on the floor driving her nuts. It would be a nice surprise if this was complete by the time she got home from work on Monday.

In order to make this happen, I am going to cheat. I know, I can here you: "There is no cheating in woodworking." Well, there is if you use Leimholz.

She said it doesn't need to be any kind of fine furniture. I even suggested adding a mahogany top, but she thankfully said, "No." Just a plain-Jane basic bookshelf with doors.

I thought out the design in my head in about seven seconds, and did something I rarely do: I drew the cabinet and wrote down a cut list!


So here is my plan:

Get to the Borg on Monday as soon as they open at 9:00 a.m. (Early for Spain), buy everything I need and rush home with the materials in my carrito de la abuelita and knock it together.
High capacity lumber transport.
To give myself a head start, I am going to use only nails and rabbets for construction. Maybe some screws to secure the top panel. I also plan on using the plastic-wrapped laminated wood panels in the final dimensions, so there shouldn't be much in the way of dimensioning the wood.
Front view.
Click on the photos for a better view.
Side view.
Yeah, I know I drew it wrong, it should show the right hand view. I almost never make drawings before I build anything.

It turns out I have some leftover laminated wood already laying around, so I'll use that. There should be no problem with getting the rest home on the bus.

The idea is that the doors will cover the front of the cabinet, coming even with the top. I haven't decided yet if I will add any molding profiles other than just a small chamfer or roundover to soften the sharp corners. What do you think? Any suggestions?

The Frau said she wants this piece painted, and SHE gets to pick the color. I gues that means no experiments with home made milk paint (thank God!). My plan is for the cabinet to be complete except for paint after one day.

Now that I think about it, I might have time to run to the Borg now, so I can start right away on Monday.
Categories: Hand Tools

Beer as a Furniture Stain

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Sat, 05/06/2017 - 5:54am

Beer shows up in many accounts of early workshop life. Not only was it an important source of nutrition, it also served as payment for trespasses and a way to mark important days in the shop, such as when an apprentice was promoted to journeyman. Beer also shows up in workshop recipes and for diluting glue. Recently Thomas Lie-Nielsen encountered a use for beer that I hadn’t heard in the […]

The post Beer as a Furniture Stain appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Art of Concealment – A Table With Hidden Compartments

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sat, 05/06/2017 - 4:00am

by Matthew Dworman pages 32-39 From the November 2016 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine Hidden compartments – just saying those words puts a smile on the face of most woodworkers. There is something magical about a secret space that reveals itself to only the person who knows about it. Since the origins of furniture, hidden compartments have been used for storing valuables, documents and other important belongings. With modern safes, security […]

The post Art of Concealment – A Table With Hidden Compartments appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

3 thread post......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 05/06/2017 - 1:19am
I had to slim this post down picture wise. I got three different topics and each ate up a lot of space on the memory card. I thought of putting it out as two posts but I thinned the pic count instead. This is what I did tonight in the shop and when I'm in my rocking chair I'm going to need all memory refreshers I can get.

I am little flush right now
My bills are all way ahead now and I got a pocketful of OT dollars waiting to be spent. I had ordered these two from LV last week and they came today. This morning while surfing my usual tool sites I came across a Stanley 5 1/2, type 11, for a C-note. I had the money so I pulled the trigger on it. I should get that next week.

not a toy - this is a fully functional teeny router plane
closed and open throat
Haven't tried it yet but it looked like I can put the iron 180 and use as an open throat router.

why I got it
I want to start using stopped dadoes for my box bottoms. The router iron is the same size as the 1/8" iron in the Record 043. It's a good match and I'll be able to get consistent groove depths with it.

LV tool buy #2

cabinetmakers screwdrivers for screw sizes #4 to #10
small Grace screwdrivers
These two have broken tips. The other Grace screwdrivers I have I don't have any complaints with. These I do. The tips broke off with very little force. I will use the other Grace screwdrivers for other things and I'll use the Chestnut ones for driving screws only.

tapered bulb shape
Good shape that fits the hand well and it has a presence. Even the smallest driver has some heft to it.. These won't be rolling off the bench on me.

U shaped tips
comes with a burnisher
The instructions show how to use this to roll a burr on the tip of the U. This increases the grip of it in the slot of the screw.

bottom to top #4, #6, and a #8vscrew
Perfect fit of the U tip in each screw. The last driver is for #10 screws of which I have none. And the number 10 driver won't fit in the #8 screw slot. I bought this mostly because 99.9% of screws I use are #4 to #8.

#2 plane parts out of the citrus bath
Both sides of the iron have a black spot that didn't rinse off nor could I rub it off with my finger.

found the S casting Pat mentioned
I was looking for this on the plane body. That has no markings at all.

holding the screws while I wire brushed them
the black spots sanded off easily
flattening the back
I rounded the corners on the coarsest diamond and went to the next one after I felt a burr.

back done up to 8K and I still have a burr

burr is gone
When I first read of this stropping of an iron on your palm, I thought it was a ludicrous idea. My opinion of that has changed and I strop on my palm all the time now.

prepping the chipbreaker
 I stoned the leading edge and then stropped it.

even side to side
needs a bit of shine
I forgot to take this off and clean it last night. This is the before pic.

tote and knob brass caps
I do like my brass to be shiny so I'll do these when I do the brass adjuster nob. This is the before pic.

These are the first tote and knob studs that I have seen this clean. I have a boatload of plane rehabs under my belt and these are the first that have not been rusted threaded end to threaded end.

had to stop here
I need the brass bits before I can put the plane back together. While those were soaking I oiled all the parts down.

the after pic
the brass cleaner
used this for years in the kitchen
Jonathan (benchblog.com//) blogged about cleaning brass with this and it does an awesome job. I put some water and Bar Keeps in the container and let the parts soak for about ten minutes. Pulled them out and scrubbed them with an old toothbrush.

the after pic
I have never gotten any brass adjuster knobs this clean with any other method. I used a bazillion different ones and none match the cleaning and shining power of Bar Keeps Best Friend .

plane #1 (last thread)
This is the shaving jam left over from the last tryout.

leading edge looks like crap
Right around where the greatest jamming occurs, is where the most damage to the mouth is. Not big chips missing but the edge is rough and not smooth like the sole is.

checking the  iron for twist
I don't see any twist in the back of the iron.

this tip is not sharpened and is misshaped
I looked at this with a magnifying glass and it needs some work to reshape and sharpen it.

another problem area
Where the pine build up is on the bevel, there is a burr. There shouldn't be one there and the rest of the profile is burr free too.

marked the area where I can feel a burr
I am going to sharpen this again and concentrate on the bottom bevel and the circular one.

sharpened up to 1200 and stropped
I did the small left side bevel by hand on the stones.

ready to road test again
felt a difference
The plane was easier to push and my shavings looked better this time. Thin and almost continuous end to end. It still jammed but I was able to make shavings for a longer time than I did yesterday. The profile looks pretty good for what I was able to do before the jam shut me down.

profile turned to liquid fecal matter
I started doing my tap and try dance steps and I ended up with this. The profile went south because I think I was taking a heavier shaving and I did not keep my original plane orientation on the last 4 end to end runs I did. The cutter seems to be taking a shaving on the front edge which it wasn't doing yesterday.

This is as far as I can go with this test piece of wood. I also think that this plane isn't made for 3/4" stock neither.  I got the sharp part of the iron figured out and the jamming has me stymied big time. I don't have more stock to sacrifice for testing for I'll put this aside for now. I'll pick this back up later and put a win in my column.

Tomorrow the plan is to finish rehabbing the #2, make a frame for my wife's newly awarded genealogy certificate, and do some work on the bookcase.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Which US President served as a hangman twice?
answer - Grover Cleveland while serving as a sheriff in Buffalo NY in the 1870's

I did it!!!!!!!!!!!

Journeyman's Journal - Fri, 05/05/2017 - 8:56pm

Where’s there’s a will there’s a way and these pictures simply proves it.  When you set your mind on a task you can achieve whatever you want.


I hope these pictures bring clarification to my previous post, you can see by removing metal from the top and bottom I was able to bend it without any bulge on the back.  The iron now goes all the way into the body of the plane and when extended almost reaches 2″ without flex.  This length like I said before will be rarely needed in your normal joinery but if you’re going to produce a moulding plane with 2″ wide sole and you’re going to employ this French build method then you will need an iron of this length.

Next Thursday is my day off work again and I will be heat treating this iron, I am making recordings of the build so stay tuned for those.  I think I will replace my own 1/8″ width blade with this one but so far it hasn’t really caused me any concerns and I have dedicated too much time to this build.  I really want to get to building these moulding planes so I can move on to building myself a bench.  Would you believe it I still haven’t decided on the type of vices I’m going to use.  Unbelievable, there is just so many to choose from and I want this bench to be the last bench I’ll ever build so it must do everything I want it to do.


Categories: Hand Tools

One-day Workshop at Haystack Tomorrow

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Fri, 05/05/2017 - 2:13pm

I will be spending all of tomorrow at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine teaching a one-day workshop. The class is an intro to hand tools class in which we will be building a small pine box. Depending on experience and comfort level, the students will be joining it with either rabbets and nails or dovetails. 

I truly believe that taking on small projects in inexpensive wood is the best way to learn. I’ve probably only ever made a dozen “practice” joints in my life. It always seemed like a better use of my time to make a “practice” project. Small boxes and tables are great for developing your marking, sawing, and planing skills in the context of an actual build.

As a one-day class, it’ll be interested to see how it goes. It’ll be crash course, for sure. 


Categories: Hand Tools


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