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Book Giveaway: Contemporary Furniture

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 9:00am
Contemporary Furniture

When I think about the furniture in my own house, I guess the best word to describe the mix of stuff we own is eclectic.  We’ve inherited period furniture from grandparents, picked up interesting pieces at odd home emporiums and have our share of IKEA stuff. So when adding a piece of furniture my wife and I often lean toward contemporary furniture – something simple in design that could go with […]

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

Categories: General Woodworking

@joshvillegas94 in action at #nyckez .

Giant Cypress - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 8:11am

A post shared by Wilbur Pan (@wilburpan) on Aug 4, 2017 at 8:11am PDT

@joshvillegas94 in action at #nyckez .

Plane making tools that @joshvillegas94 uses.

Giant Cypress - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 7:55am

Plane making tools that @joshvillegas94 uses.

@joshvillegas94 demonstrating how to make a Japanese plane body...

Giant Cypress - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 7:54am

@joshvillegas94 demonstrating how to make a Japanese plane body at #NYCKez

Bandsaw Jigs for Better Resawing

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 7:01am

A well-tuned bandsaw is a perfect tool for resawing. Adding a few jigs to the process makes resawing better, safer and easier. The thin blade on a bandsaw doesn’t waste much wood, eliminates kickback and is very stable. By adding jigs such as a tall fence, a stabilizing block and some infeed and outfeed supports for even more stability, you can get a smooth resawn board that won’t require very much […]

The post Bandsaw Jigs for Better Resawing appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Oppmåling av Amana-skottbenken Measures of the Amana-skottbenk

Norsk Skottbenk Union - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 4:31am

I mai 2017 var en gruppe norske tømrere, snekkere og en smed på USA-tur blant annet for å besøke arrangementet HANDWORKS 2017. HANDWORKS er en håndverks- og håndverkermesse der produsenter av håndverktøy, forhandlere av gammelt verktøy, produsenter av håndlagde tregjenstander, håndverkere og entusiaster møtes.
Arrangementet gikk av stabelen for tredje gang i år, og for om lag ett år siden hadde Roald Renmælmo fått melding om at det sto en gammel skottbenk som utstillingsbukk for tekstiler på Amana Woolen Mill. Arrangøren var blitt oppmerksom på hva det kunne være etter å ha lest om skottbenker på bloggen http://www.skottbenk.com. Tanken bak besøket på messa var å ta benken nærmere i ettersyn, vi skulle lage en ny benk og vise hvordan skottbenker brukes, og vi ville selvfølgelig se på alt det spennende de andre drev med og solgte.

Vi var spent på hvilke mål benken hadde, først og fremst med tanke på om det kunne være brukt norske tommer. Amana var en tysk bosetting fra 1850-tallet, men kanskje kunne noe knyttes til norsk eller dansk tradisjon. Men norske tommer stemte dårlig, så med tanke på at det kanskje er noen i USA som vil lage en kopi er måla oppgitt i engelske tommer/inch.

Skottbenken er i sin helhet bygget av eik, med unntak av lektene som er festa oversida av langborda. Hva årsaken til at det er lagt på lekter fant vi ikke noe godt svar på, kanskje de som brukte den ønska en høyere benk.

Click to view slideshow.

Gjennom beina i bukkene går det lange bolter med firkant-hode og skive for å holde dem stabile. Ellers er et av beina reparert med skrue og bolt der skruen går gjennom. Langborda er festa med blanke treskruer med spor.

Categories: Hand Tools

door prep pt 1........

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 1:27am
This past weekend I broke the tip off one of my Chestnut Tools screwdrivers. Bummer. I emailed Lee Valley and at my option, I could return the set for a refund, return the set for another one, or I could swap out the bad screwdriver. I opted for the last one and I should get it next week. I am hoping that this was one that fell through the cracks and didn't get hardened properly.

fingers crossed (I don't normally save boxes)
they are beautiful looking screwdrivers
I am going to hang on to the broken one (#6 screwdriver) and turn it into an awl.

came today
I just finished reading her Hoosier Cabinet book and I have one more to go.  I got this from her because Popular Woodworking doesn't sell this as a DVD anymore.

big surprise, I wasn't expecting a two disc set
She is giving a reading from her book Making Things Work at the Lost Art Press store on the 12th but I won't be able to attend.  I'll have to be content with meeting her in the DVD.

I gave into my sickness and bought another molder
it's an astragal and Josh says it's a 1/8" one
there will be a lot of rust under this black grunge but the business end looks good
before I  could road test it I had to clear off the workbench
I came back to the shop after dinner last night and put some more epoxy on this end of the strip. I had a similar problem with my xmas gifts with gluing end grain to long grain. I got a comment on that to size it first and then glue it up. It worked here so this is now good to go.

solid and secure now
Yesterday I could lift almost the entire part of the strip off the end grain top of the stile.

my hinge binding spot

The door is laying too tight on the carcass and not allowing the top hinge leaf to lay parallel to the bottom one. And I thought that I had made the hinge mortises too deep.

pre road test work
I need a rabbet to run the astragal in and I haven't used this wooden plane to successful make one yet. Tonight was the first time.

almost there
Making a rabbet with a wooden rabbet plane, without a fence, and getting a straight rabbet, is doable. I didn't make a knife or pencil line, I just starting planing away.

It is a good match between the iron and the sole but I had it set a bit too deep for this at first.  Ran into some squirrely grain on the left exit side. It also isn't a 1/8" astragal. It is marked 4/8 on the heel which makes it a 1/4" astragal. And I already have one and now I have two.

my astragal herd
From the right going left, 1/2", 3/8", and two quarter inchers. The 1/4" one I got tonight is the better of the two I have so I'll keep it and I'll pass the other on to someone else.

needs a shave
The hinge sticks out into the drawer cavity so I'll have to flush this with the side of the cabinet.

took less than 5 minutes to do it
shim material for the bottom hinge
I cut out 3 pieces and I started with two. I got this from a cardboard box so it's a little thicker than a sheet of paper.

two of them did the trick
door is closed and it stayed closed
epoxy work
I used West System epoxy with a filler and crammed as much of it as I could in all the gaps of the mortise and tenons.

didn't have to do the center on this side because it's covered by the squaring strip I glued on
haunch repair
This divot was too big for epoxy even with filler added. I epoxied in a scrap piece of 1/4" pine to fill it up. I'll trim and flush it tomorrow.

I fill have to use some Durham's Putty on the shoulder/rail lines. I made my knife wall on the wrong side and there is a vee groove there now. I should be able to have this painted and hung this weekend.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Which state was the first to be readmitted to the Union after the Civil war?
answer - Tennessee was in july of 1866 

Have You Even Seen Period Furniture?

The Furniture Record - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 10:31pm

Some of the best furniture ever made is being made today.
Steve Latta,  6/24/2017

Steve Latta actually said that. Or something real close to that. That certainly is the gist of what he said. Might even be the exact words. I can’t remember.

Steve Latta is a professional furniture maker, teacher, scholar, author and star of several Lie-Nielsen instructional videos. He teaches full-time in the furniture making program at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Lancaster, Pa. He also teaches at nearby Millersville University and conducts workshops at woodworking schools across the country.

He made this statement at the beginning of a breakout session on Rustic Inlay he was giving at the Mid-Year Conference of SAPFM (Society of American Period Furniture Makers) in Winston Salem, NC this past June.

On the drive home, I thought about what he said and decided he might be right. I have been to three SAPFM events where members displayed and explained their creations. Most were not professional furniture makers but highly skilled and motivated other-than-professional furniture makers. (I couldn’t come up with another descriptor that wouldn’t alienate someone.)

These people do have some advantages over those working in the past. A few members went on for a bit about procuring just the right wood. Checking with all the hardwood dealers with an email address looking for just the right pair of matching 14 inch wide by 11 foot mahogany boards for a secretary for their niece as a wedding present. This is a luxury not enjoyed by those working in the past. You can argue that they might have had better wood but I believe they didn’t have the access to any and all wood that we have today.

Information. You can learn how to do anything you can imagine by watching a video, reading a book or magazine, taking a class, or asking your local neighborhood expert. This might not be equivalent of an apprenticeship but we have the advantage of only building what we want to and not having to learn things we don’t care about.

Controversially, tools, both power and hand. Many of the presenting SAPFM members use power tools. Past furniture makers did make fabulous furniture using hand tools alone but there are advantages to power tools. Starting the annual Toys for Tots build, I have to process a few hundred board feet of 4/4 poplar into 1/2″ stock which will then be cut to size, rabbeted, have sliding dovetails installed, drilled and rounded. I can and have done all this with hand tools but am grateful for things that plug in.

Good furniture can be built with either type of tool. On some level it has become a religious discussion. No right answers. Whatever works for you and is within your comfort level.

I do cut dovetails by hand for reasons of aesthetics. Those machine cut dovetails look too industrial and I can’t afford the Leigh jigs. (I can, I choose not to.)

The biggest advantage some have is time.

If you’re not getting paid, it’s practice.
Chuck Bender, Some time in the recent past.

When I heard this, I made Mr. Bender repeat it. It was a bit of a slap in the face but I got his point.

We were taking one of his classes. Some members of the class were not happy with the quality of their work. (My standard line from any class is alway: Not my best work.) Frustrated, Chuck was trying to make the point that it really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. We are there learning new skills and attempting techniques for the first time. There should be no expectation of perfection. However, regardless of how badly things work out, we will probably still be able to make our mortgage payment. Our livelihood is not dependent making a salable piece of furniture. Furniture makers in the past  needed to produce to pay for food, supplies, employees and apprentices. We have the luxury of time. It would be interesting to discover when in time did the hobbyist woodworker become a possibility.

Your niece’s wedding date is important but if you miss is but a week or so, you might be embarrassed but no long-term repercussions. Your spouse already knows better than to take any promised delivery date too seriously. Career furniture makers actually have to deliver. For the rest of us, it’s a matter of pride, self-esteem and perceived worth as a human being. That and we just invested a great deal money and time in a another pile of firewood.

Having delivered the sermon, I will now show an actual piece of period furniture. If you only see period furniture at museums and historic house museums, you are not getting to see the full range what was made. More and more, museums are thinning their collections so they just contain the best of the best. A few organizations, like MESDA (Museum of Southern Decorative Arts), do have some vernacular furniture, but that is an exception.

Let’s look at this piece from a recent auction:

Pennsylvania Chippendale Walnut Chest on Frame
Description :  Circa 1770, poplar and white pine secondry, later applied cove molded cornice to the dovetailed case, three upper side by side lipped drawers above four graduated lipped long drawers, on a later but appropriate styled frame with a scalloped skirt, cabriole legs and trifid feet.


This lot has sold for $900.

Embarrassingly, in my zeal to get lots of pictures of construction details, i neglected to take a picture of the whole piece. This is their picture.

A look at the top reveals they only used the finest of hardwoods in the case construction:


A few knots but it looks flat. Made from a traditional Pennsylvania hardwood, pine.

Their picture shows the attention to detail given to the back of furiture:


No finish and only roughly planed.


The back of another chest shows rotary planer marks. Power tools were in use way back when.

In a previous blog, I asked the question:  Would Duncan Phyfe have used Masonite® or Luan? Maybe not Duncan Phyfe but certainly some lesser makers might have. The function of the back is to provide structure and to keep dust out. Plywood would have worked as well as some of the wood actually used.


The trifid feet are nice.

The drawers are..


Dovetailed but overcut. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…


Drawer interiors have not been introduced to a smoothing plane.


Drawers bottoms, only a scrub plane.


And the not-veneered drawers fronts, gasp, a knot. Looks to be a stable knot.


Another drawer, another knot.


And the same care and attention to detail was followed on crafting the interior of the chest.

Furniture from the past might not be as finely built as the best furniture being built today but there were different expectations and different pressures on the furniture makers. Modern customers also have different expectations. For the money they are paying for period furniture, I do not think they would accept the furniture as it was built back then although some of them might also buy IKEA furniture.







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