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Making a small barrel 2, getting by using standard tools.

Mulesaw - Sun, 02/05/2017 - 8:12am
It seems natural that since coopering is a trade of its own, there are some special tools that goes along with that trade.
I haven't got any of those tools. But I have a lot of different tools and spare parts that can be used on board a ship. Some of those can often be used for other things.
Today I tried to use hose clamps for holding the barrel together before making the hoops.

Before I got to that part, I had made the last staves, and they were planed on the outside.
I planed the edges to an 18 degrees angle, so I would end up having 10 staves each with a total angle of 36 degrees.

This is where the challenges started.
At first I tried to hold the staves by hand inserting them in a ring that I had made from some old copper strands from an old electrical cable.
That didn't work.

The next attempt I tried to hold each stave in place using blue masking tape attached to the middle of the staves but with sufficient space between each so they could touch in the ends.
That wasn't a success.

Third attempt was to lay the staves closely together, so they touched at one end. Each stave was taped to its neighbour and finally put on an end and the last piece of tape held the stack together.
This seemed like the way to go.
I attached the copper wire ring, and made another one a bit smaller.

The assembly was rather flimsy, so I added another copper ring on the middle. That made it a bit more solid.
I found a couple of plastic cable tied and added those too. Then I removed the masking tape.

Getting the other end of the barrel closer together wasn't that easy. I was afraid to break the copper wire, and the cable ties weren't easy to tighten either.
That is when I decided to find some hose clamps.

At first I attached the hose clamps on the ends and tightened them up a bit. Then cam a larger model for the fat part of the barrel.
It started to look more like a barrel and less like a bunch of sticks held together with masking tape.

A thing that I noticed was that the individual staves didn't bend the same. I knew what the problem was, so there was no point in continuing with the hose clamps before I had fixed it.
The staves are not the same thickness.
I had gambled a bit that it probably wouldn't matter, but apparently it does matter.
Now I just have to find a way to make them a bit more uniform in thickness and then I can continue with the hose clamps.

The end result of the experiments so far.

Staves and copper wire.

This didn't work.

This helped.

Success is just around the corner.

Clamping using copper wire.

Moving into the plastic age using cable ties.

Hose clamps work great for this.



Categories: Hand Tools

Tips from Sticks in the Mud – February 2017 – Tip #2– Cheaply Putting Together a Mobile Grinding Station

Highland Woodworking - Sun, 02/05/2017 - 7:00am

No Southern-fried Southern boy wants to be called a Yankee, but we share the characteristics of shrewdness and thrift. Thus, each month we include a money-saving tip. It’s OK if you call me “cheap.

How cheap can a project get? Let’s look at the mobile grinding station featured in this month’s 1st tip. It starts with a free Craftsman tool stand from a Sears dumpster. Then, use some 2x2s salvaged from a friend’s trash down the street.

All of these 2x2s were already cut and painted, sitting by the side of the road for someone to pick up and give them a home. I was happy to oblige. To boot, I got them on my predawn walk; no pride was sacrificed in the making of this project.

All of these 2x2s were already cut and painted, sitting by the side of the road for someone to pick up and give them a home. I was happy to oblige. To boot, I got them on my predawn walk; no pride was sacrificed in the making of this project.

Add a scrap piece of plywood for the top.

Some of my best finds occur in the dark. I toted this back home one morning, adding calorie burn to my walk and a beautiful half-sheet of CDX plywood to my stores.

Some of my best finds occur in the dark. I toted this back home one morning, adding calorie burn to my walk and a beautiful half-sheet of CDX plywood to my collection.

A half-price grinder, a full-price mobile base, a few bolts and the rest was free. Not a bad deal for a mobile grinding station.

A half-price grinder, a full-price mobile base, a few bolts and the rest was free. Not a bad deal for a mobile grinding station.

Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home.Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

The post Tips from Sticks in the Mud – February 2017 – Tip #2– Cheaply Putting Together a Mobile Grinding Station appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

A Great Way to Reinforce Mitred Corners

David Barron Furniture - Sun, 02/05/2017 - 4:39am

A little while ago an Article by Neil Erasmus in the very good Australian Wood Review (AWR) magazine, showed an ingenious method of reinforcing mitred corners. I can't find my copy but I'm sure this is the cabinet he used them on, please correct me if I've got any of that wrong!
You can see some of Neil and Pam's great work here http://erasmusdesigns.com/index.php/furniture-all

His method involved joining two Dominoes at right angled which allowed the splines to be inserted in line with each board. I'm sure he used finger joints but I dovetailed mine.


The four sides of my box were cut square and the dominoes cut at the maximum depth the machine would allow.

They were then mitred on the table saw. The twelve Domino joints took just under an hour to do. They were then trimmed to length leaving a small glue gap at the bottom of the mortise.


The splines were glued into the two opposite sides making sure they went in all the way and then the other two sides were glued on.

This meant everything could be glued up at 90 degrees instead of being pulled together with band clamps, so avoiding the struggle of stopping the parts slipping or opening at the corners. It went together like a dream and the corners all lined up perfectly. I'll be doing an article for F&C on this box in the coming months with a few other good tips as well.


Categories: Hand Tools

shop towel holder......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 02/05/2017 - 2:12am
This is something that I have wanted to make for quite a while. I first thought of this when I made my sharpening bench but I always put it off. The urge to make it was ramped up again this week and today I decided to make it. Why make excuses as to why I can't do it?  How long can it take take to make something as easy as this? A couple of pieces of wood and a wooden dowel is all that is needed. A one hour job to complete, or so I thought.

my ugly but functional shop towel holder
This holder is above and slightly behind my workbench. It is within arms' reach and still out of the way. This took me about 15 minutes to put together with the premise I would replace it later with a better looking one. It is now about 5 or so years later and I'm still waiting to replace it.

where the new holder is going
The holder will be screwed to the outside of the water bottle tray. I will also be moving that up closer to the top of the bench to make it easier to grab the towels.

the stock for the new holder
This isn't going to be a full blown nutso, take my time build. I just want a functional towel holder and looks are secondary.

the body of the towel holder
The two ends are 4" high and 6/1/2" long. On my existing towel holder I made it to fit the 'blue' shop towels which have a small diameter. Regular paper towels (larger diameter) will fit but it is a tight fit. I shouldn't have that problem with this one. The back board is the same height as the ends and has a length of 13 1/2". The blue shop towels are 11" long and the 2 different brands of paper towels I have are both 11" too. I made the distance inbetween the inside of the end caps 12" - 11" for the roll and 1" for wiggle room.

dovetailed the ends on
I could have used a simple butt joint or a rabbet but I opted for dovetails. These will be stronger and only take a few extra minutes to do. I put the pins on the back board and the tails on the end caps. My reasoning for that was the caps will need to resist the pulling of the towels off of the dowel.

done
Not too bad considering it's been quite a while since I've done tails and pins this thick (3/4"). I had one tail that I moved the baseline on but I wasn't shooting for gnats' ass tight joints. In spite of just sawing away I still got snug joints. I didn't drive this home because I still have more work to do on the end caps.

eyeballing the hole for the dowel
I positioned the hole for the dowel forward of the center toward the front edge. This way if I put a fat roll of paper towels in this it will still spin freely.

drilling the first hole
Set up a stop so that the two holes will line up with each other. The dowel has a 1 1/4" diameter and the hole I'm drilling is 1 3/8".

double triple checking myself
I took my time here and walked away from it twice and came back. I get confused very easily trying to picture which way this opposite one has to go down on the table to be drilled. It was made easier for me because both the holes go right through. This stop system wouldn't work if the holes weren't being drilled straight through.

rounding over the top edge
I marked a 2" radius on the top front edge and I sawed off as much as I could. Then I made myself feel stupid trying to use a spokeshave to clean it up. This is one tool that still kicks my butt when I try to use it on or near end grain. I got nowhere on the first one but I did make some progress on this one. I used the rasp to fair it out down to the pencil line.

glued and end checked for square
repeated on the other end
The pins and tails were snug so I didn't need clamps, I made the ends square to the back and set it aside to cook. I took a break here and went and got chinese for lunch.

almost 3 hours later
 I told myself that I had to wait for the tails and pins to set some before I played with it again. What really happened was I was checking the inside of my eyelids for light leaks for a couple of hours. Good news to report, there weren't any light leaks.

When I did make it back to the shop, I cleaned up the back of the towel holder. The tails were a few frog hairs proud and I wanted this to lay up flat on the water bottle tray.

keeper for the right side
I thought of drilling a stopped hole but I went for straight through. This small block of wood I beveled the top four edges to make it look not so blocky.  It will stop the dowel on the right hand end cap.

brass screws for the stop
This won't be seen on the right side but if I rearrange the shop it might.

chamfered the back side holes
keeper for the right side
I hack sawed off one of legs to be the keeper for this side. I will be able to swing this out of the way and withdraw the dowel so I can put a new roll of towels on.

need a slot
I need a slot on this end of the keeper to slide over the screw. It only took about 3-4 minutes to open this up with the rat tail file.

almost ready
I put two 8-32, threaded inserts in the end cap because this is pine and it is soft. I don't think wood screws would last here. I epoxied the inserts in so I'll have to wait until tomorrow before I can finish this.

what the slot will fall on
The screw head wasn't that much larger than the slot. It would have worked because the keeper isn't going to move outwards.  I epoxied a washer to increase the diameter at the top so it will be beyond the width of the slot. I'll cut this screw to the correct length tomorrow.

it fits
I had a few more things I wanted to do but those didn't happen. The light leak test ate up a lot of my shop time today. If I keep up the OT on saturdays it will probably continue like this and I may have to repeat the light leak test again.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What was on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel before Michelangelo painted it?
answer - a plain blue field with silver stars

Her First Masakari

FABULA LIGNARIUS - Sun, 02/05/2017 - 1:56am
As you may have noticed there has been little going on my blog. I have remained quite busy in the background but don’t find the time to keep up with my carpentry adventures here on the blog. Don’t worry I am sure I will get back to it soon enough, I have been working on […]
Categories: Hand Tools

Letterpress Book a Marriage of High and Low Tech

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 02/04/2017 - 8:38pm

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When I was in college, my favorite place to study was the Deering Library. At the time it was a tricky place to access, filled with odd spaces – beware the moat! – and made me feel like I was at some Gothic institution.

Whenever my head became too full of academics, I’d retreat to the large open chamber in the center of the library. It had an 18th century press there. Full cases of type. No ropes protecting it.

At the time I was working as a production assistant at night dealing with cold type, so I was fascinated by the old press. I spent hours puzzling out how it worked, and no one ever stopped me. After four years, I knew the press pretty well and I took a souvenir when I graduated: My name’s initials in 36 point Caslon.

Letterpress has always fascinated me.

Tomorrow at noon Eastern time the letterpress version of “Roman Workbenches” goes on sale. It is a bit of a throwback to print a letterpress book in this era of offset and digital printing. But the letterpress process produces a physical artifact that no laser writer or offset press can provide.

That’s not to say it’s low technology. Modern letterpress printing is an odd marriage of digital and physical. Here’s a brief overview.

Like all Lost Art Press books, “Roman Workbenches” was laid out in InDesign, an Adobe program that is the industry standard. InDesign works a lot like the manual paste-up days of my years as a production assistant. Minus the smell of hot wax, InDesign has always felt like the digital embodiment of my layout training.

After laying out the book in InDesign, the next step is to make plates for the press. Normally we would send the file to a service bureau to make an aluminum plate for the offset press. But because this is a letterpress book, the process takes a different turn.

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In this case the file will go to Boxcar, a service bureau that makes polymer plates for letterpress. What the heck does that sentence mean?

OK, think of it this way. Traditional letterpress consists of taking a bunch of pieces of metal or wood type and clamping them together to make a page of a book. You ink the high spots and press the paper onto the type.

Polymer plates mimic this process. Boxcar will make 64 separate plates for this book. The type and images will be raised above the background and receive ink. And then the inked areas will be pressed into the paper, producing the final image with incredible clarity and texture.

This is all grossly simplified. So if you are a press nerd we ask that you simply acknowledge that we’re explaining this to people who don’t have ink in their veins.

We used this same process to print the tool chest posters for “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” and were really pleased with the results. It’s not quite like the fantasy I had of printing a book using the press in the Deering Library. But it is as close as I think I’ll ever come.

See you tomorrow at noon.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Roman Workbenches
Categories: Hand Tools

Making a small barrel.

Mulesaw - Sat, 02/04/2017 - 1:00pm
The other day we received some stores for our main engines. The stores were delivered on a single use pallet.
On this pallet the two lower stretchers were made out of oak. The top of the pallet was some other type of hardwood that I haven't been able to identify yet.

Not surprisingly, I disassembled the pallet to save the wood.
The problem with the oak is that the nails had penetrated rather deeply into the wood.
There was something like 8" between the nail holes, so I tried to think of a small thing that could be made out of short pieces of oak.
There are of course many things that would fit in this category, but I decided that a small barrel similar to those depicted around the neck of a saint Bernard dog would be interesting to make.
Bertha will end up having the same size as a saint Bernard, so I see no reason why she shouldn't be able to have a small barrel of brandy fixed to her collar for taking a photo.

I have never tried my hands out on coopering, so this will be a journey into the unknown in that respect.
The diameter of the barrel will be such that I can make the ends from the oak as well, I am able to make a circular piece of 2.75"" in diameter. The barrel will be 7.25" in length and probably end up having a diameter on the middle of 3.75" That is if everything goes as planned.

I have read somewhere that if you split the wood for the staves, you can reduce the risk of the barrel starting to leak. This makes sense if you use some sort of ring porous wood. I think that oak is ring porous, so I am going to try to follow that advice.

After sawing my piece of oak into the lengths between the nail holes, I split the pieces using an axe.

After splitting I used my plane to flatten the individual staves a bit on the outside.
My first idea was to make them exactly the same thickness from the start, but I changed the approach and only flattened the outside and then I marked out the shape and used a hack saw to make the curved shape.

Once all the staves are done I'll try to plane them all to the same thickness.

So far I have experienced that splitting stock is not a guarantee for a flat piece of wood.
It might have something to do with the fact that the grain isn't the straightest on the wood that I have at hand.
Some of the staves that I had split also had cracks running the entire length down the middle, so far from all my staves could be used.
I am also beginning to suspect that there might be a reason for coopers to use special tools for their job, cause a regular smoothing plane with a scrub iron doesn't seem to be the most efficient tool so far for this project. (Not that such a thing has ever held me back)


Split staves before sorting.

Flattish and shaped staves.

The selection of stock.


Categories: Hand Tools

Coming Soon: Revised & Expanded ‘Handplane Essentials’

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Sat, 02/04/2017 - 11:03am

Anyone who knows me personally has probably noticed the the last 12 months have been a struggle. I have been months behind on everything: delivering furniture commissions, restoring my workshop, writing magazine articles and even posting to this blog. The reason: the revised and expanded edition of “Handplane Essentials.” When I agreed to revise the 2009 book I expected it would take a couple weeks of intense work. I was […]

The post Coming Soon: Revised & Expanded ‘Handplane Essentials’ appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Tips from Sticks in the Mud – February 2017 – Tip #1 – Benefits of a Mobile Grinding Station

Highland Woodworking - Sat, 02/04/2017 - 7:00am

Welcome to “Tips From Sticks-In-The-Mud Woodshop.” I am a hobbyist who loves woodworking and writing for those who also love the craft. I have found some ways to accomplish tasks in the workshop that might be helpful to you, and I enjoy hearing your own problem-solving ideasPlease share them in the COMMENTS section of each tip.  If, in the process, I can also make you laugh, I have achieved 100% of my goals.

Mobile bases are terrific. I like being able to move a tool to the location of the work, or, sometimes, just move it in order to clean.

Last month I posted about the new sharpening center. This month, I finalized something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. In the sharpening center post, I mentioned that I’d considered putting a low-speed grinder on the deck, but worried that it might be crowded, as well as the risk of mixing water and electricity. Still, I wanted to have the grinder close by when it was needed, and this is how I fixed it…

When our Sears store had a local repair center, their dumpster was sometimes a gold mine. They would throw out things that seemed to be perfectly useful. One day I’d been there to drop off my dehumidifier for annual maintenance, when a grey object caught my eye. I wheeled around to check and, sure enough, a Craftsman tool stand was just outside the dumpster. As the proud owner of a Craftsman radial arm saw, I thought I’d pick it up in case I wanted to mount the saw on it. I’d already built the saw into my “saw table,” but it was a prize too good to pass up.

Over time, the stand was in my way, and I was happy with the saw table setup, so I started looking for other uses. It seemed ideally suited for a grinder, so I took a scrap of plywood and bolted it securely. To the plywood I attached my little Craftsman grinder. It was a good working height as- is.

For many years after I started woodworking, I was a terrible sharpener. In an effort to improve, I looked at a Work Sharp 3000 Sharpening Center, Scary Sharp sandpaper and several Tormek sharpening options. While I’m convinced that Tormek is worth every penny, I just couldn’t quite convince myself to drop the necessary coin. Since Steven Johnson’s excellent video on the Tormek T-4 Sharpening System, I’m now a believer, but I was already committed to a slow-speed grinder.

When my Steel City slow-speed grinder arrived, I was at first elated, then deflated. During shipping, the grinder must have fallen on its left side, because there were several parts bent. I called the company, and they were glad to take care of the problem. In fact, they sent me an entirely new grinder, and didn’t even want the old one back! I couldn’t be happier with the replacement. It was easy to unbolt the Craftsman, move it 90i, and have grinders back-to-back.

As Christmas approached, my wife asked me repeatedly what I wanted. Since I didn’t need anything, it was hard for me to produce ideas, but I settled on a DMT diamond plate and a universal mobile base. In no time I had a moveable grinder setup that could follow my wet sharpening system around the shop whenever and wherever they were needed.

Mounted on a mobile base, this grinder setup is ready to go wherever the work is, or just get out of the way of an oncoming vacuum cleaner.

Mounted on a mobile base, this grinder setup is ready to go wherever the work is, or just get out of the way of an oncoming vacuum cleaner.

Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home.Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

The post Tips from Sticks in the Mud – February 2017 – Tip #1 – Benefits of a Mobile Grinding Station appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Boycott?

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Sat, 02/04/2017 - 6:21am

***NOTE*** I slightly altered the title of this post to reflect what a commenter pointed out to me…

I try to never interject politics with woodworking. Why in the world would you need to attach a political ideology to the hobby of woodworking? Nonetheless, this post is about politics, so I urge you to please not read it if you would rather be reading about dovetails and tool restoration (I mean this sincerely, not as a half-assed attempt at reverse psychology)

Anyway, if you are following American politics lately, you are likely noticing a lot of division, protests, and in some cases, out right anarchy. As far as protests are concerned, I will only say that they almost never work. They are generally poorly organized and incoherent acts of aggression that ultimately degrade into physical violence and destruction. And almost always protests do little more than further anger their target audience, which is maybe what they set out to do in the first place. If you want to tell me that protests change the world I will disagree and tell you that you are wrong. And if you believe in psychology, which I do, I will tell you to research the psychology of protests/protesters (which is easy to do especially with the internet) and you will read that at their core all public protests violent outbursts that nearly always further alienate the protesters with those who do not agree with them. Even more so, public protests often tend to push people away who may have been “on the fence” when it came to the cause being protested. And the psychological make-up of protesters is even more disturbing, but I’ll leave that to anybody reading this post to research on their own if they care to do so.

Boycotts, however, are something I can get behind. Boycotts are personal, they can make a difference (hurting a company’s bottom line always seems to open up some eyes), and they can be facilitated without breaking windows and physically assaulting old people. There are some companies I have boycotted for a long time, and others more recently. For instance, after some of the events which unfolded last summer, I no longer watch or attend professional sports, and that was something I had done for my entire life.

Boycotts seem to be all the rage right now, but just like freedom of speech, a boycott swings both ways. Less than a week ago I was about to take some of my hard-earned money and purchase a woodworking product when I happened to read something disturbing on the company web page. I am not going to name that company (yet) but I will only say that it was a thinly veiled attack of not only our current President, but far more importantly, our political system. I have had my issues with every single person who has held the office of President (including the current one) since I’ve been old enough to understand how the American political system operates. But I’ve always respected the office and our government. Even more to the point, whoever wrote what they did seems to have very little understanding of how a Republic functions, which really makes me question their intelligence. And I certainly don’t want to give my hard-earned money to stupid people whenever I can help it.

Sadly, another company that I’ve dealt with since I’ve made woodworking my hobby has also used their influence as a forum to push their own political agenda. Once again, what they are doing is perfectly within their rights, but I don’t want to see or hear a political diatribe, subtle or no, when I’m trying to purchase a woodworking item. So from now on both of those companies will no longer see a penny of my business. Attacking a politician is one thing-though it should not be done on a retail company’s webpage IMO-but attacking the American political system and questioning its validity is something I will not tolerate, because I believe our system is still the best option when considering the thousands of years worth of failures of countless other political systems.

You may have noticed that I have not named those companies, and that is because I believe that boycotts are a personal thing, and I am not trying to influence anybody one way or the other. BUT….I wrote this post for a reason. If I do happen to see another woodworking company attempt to use their business to influence the political decisions of their customers, or undermine the American political system in general, I will do anything in my power to encourage others to not purchase their products, and at that I will be naming names. That “power” may not add up to much, but if a bunch of morons blocking traffic and setting fires can supposedly change the world, I’m more than confident that I can as well.


Categories: General Woodworking

What Joints Should I Use in Furniture? - Ask M&T

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Sat, 02/04/2017 - 3:53am

 

We’ve just posted our first “Ask M&T” video on our YouTube channel. We had a reader ask us, “As a novice woodworker, I struggle to determine the best joints for my projects. What’s the best method of determining the most appropriate joint for any given project?” 

The above is our “Ask M&T” answer to that very question. 

We’re excited about this new series because it enables us to give time to give full answers to our readers’ questions. Since our number one goal with M&T is to celebrate historic craftsmanship by empowering readers to work efficiently with plane and saw, we thought it would be a good idea to film our answers for you.

So consider this a start. Not sure how often we’ll do this. Hopefully on a regular schedule. Got a question? Wonder what our opinion is on a topic? Ask away. We’ll do our best to give whatever answer we can.

 

Categories: Hand Tools

What Joints Should I Use in Furniture? - Ask M&T

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Sat, 02/04/2017 - 3:53am

 

We’ve just posted our first “Ask M&T” video on our YouTube channel. We had a reader ask us, “As a novice woodworker, I struggle to determine the best joints for my projects. What’s the best method of determining the most appropriate joint for any given project?” 

The above is our “Ask M&T” answer to that very question. 

We’re excited about this new series because it enables us to give time to give full answers to our readers’ questions. Since our number one goal with M&T is to celebrate historic craftsmanship by empowering readers to work efficiently with plane and saw, we thought it would be a good idea to film our answers for you.

So consider this a start. Not sure how often we’ll do this. Hopefully on a regular schedule. Got a question? Wonder what our opinion is on a topic? Ask away. We’ll do our best to give whatever answer we can.

 

Categories: Hand Tools

My Encounter With Future Woodworking

Paul Sellers - Sat, 02/04/2017 - 1:26am

I’ve learned many things through my encounters with woodworkers through the decades. Amateurs have many characteristics the more notable is their willingness to talk about their aspirations to improve their skill levels and their knowledge and then their willingness to share their gain with others whether likeminded or perhaps just interested but more remotely. So I listen …

Read the full post My Encounter With Future Woodworking on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

workbench update......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 02/04/2017 - 12:53am

My new workbench isn't going to be a Roubo nor a traditional english joiners bench (Paul Sellers design) or the 12 footer that Richard Maguire did on his workbench build video. Instead I plan on making the same bench I have now and making it look pretty. The bench I have now has endured me beating the snot out of it for over twenty years and it has served me well. Now that I am approaching retirement age and I have the resources, I want a new workbench.

The cost of this bench so far has been shock to my system. It is way, way, too much money for the faint hearted. I bought a Record 53E a few weeks ago that is still waiting for me to clean it up. I have taken it down to parade rest but that is all I've done with it. I bought a pound of citric acid to clean the rust on it and I misplaced it. It sucks to get old and forget what you ate for breakfast at lunchtime.

I pulled the trigger on the Benchcrafted tail vise the other day and I'm still waiting for that to come in. I also added the Benchcrafted rail and tail vise end cap bolts and nuts to the order. I was going to wait on them but I ordered them at the same time. I was going to get the clubber stuff but it is/was out of stock. An email today from Benchcrafted advised ordering the clubber separately so I may do that.

I now have all the vises and hardware needed for the bench. I plan on making my own dogs out of wood so I don't need to buy them. I could reuse the metal ones from my existing bench but I plan on giving that away. I'm pretty sure someone else will get another twenty plus years out of it and be able to pass it on from themselves too.

As it stands now, without having bought one stick of wood, I am out of pocket almost $700 for the two vises. I've been searching the internet for wood and there is no good news. Initially I was hoping to get a slab of maple and put a dog block on the front edge of it. But the prices on slabs are orbiting around Jupiter. I found one -3 1/2" thick, 18" wide before the live edge, and a little over 8 feet long. It was figured hard maple, and it was mine was the low price of $2,200.00. It seems these slabs are in high demand for coffee tables, etc, and because they are  artsy fartsy, I have to pay a premium for them.

Changed lanes on the slab and I'm going with Highlands Hardwoods for everything. The base will be red oak and the top all maple. I'm estimating about $350 for the base and $400 to $500 for the top. With Trump freezing federal hiring, I think my OT is going to last for a while and the positions aren't going to be filled for quite a while.

The workbench plan which is now about as firm as unset jello, has me buying the base and making that first and then buying the top and making that. I'm looking at august or september before I'll be working on the new bench.

handle came
I took a chance on buying this handle. I did it based on a picture of it and a measurement I took on the broken one. I got lucky because it matched up perfectly with the broken one.

I have gotten a few comments on repairing the old handle with heat. Mathias Wandel did a you tube on fixing broken plastic with heat. I had nothing to lose trying the heat thing on my broken handle but I'm not going to do it now. My son-in-law told me that the epoxy and the plastic together when heated may give off toxic fumes. I don't want to chance sniffing anything that might even be remotely harmful so I tossed the broken one in the shitcan.

installed
Putting this on made me feel stupid for a few minutes. At the bottom there is a 'U' shaped channel that slips over a screw on the refrigerator at the bottom of the handle. I didn't look at it closely and I tried to put it on the screw by dropping it straight down onto it. After several tries of that not happening, I looked at it closely. It slips over the screw by coming up straight from the bottom. Two screws at the top and my wife has a happy face on now.

#3 low know in rosewood
I got this from Drozs Olde Tyme Stanley knobs and totes. This knob is drop dead gorgeous. I had heard good things about Drozs stuff but this was something I wasn't expecting. This knob is a work of art and will look fantastic on my #3.

the other side of the knob

big difference in the sizes
I like the smaller dimensions of the Drozs knob. I think it fits the size of the #3 much better than the mushroom knob that is on it now. This one will go on the current #3 and I ordered another one of these knobs for the other #3.

low knobs on both the #3's
Even between the two #3 mushroom knobs there is a difference. Both are larger than the Drozs knob and I think both of these are off #4's.

it doesn't fit
The stud is too long. I can't tighten down the barrel nut and secure the knob. I could cut down the stud or buy a couple more from Bill Rittner and wait. I do have patience for some things and I'll order and wait.

it's about a 1/4" too high
stripped out the slot of this barrel nut
I have a lot of spares so I can replace this.

tried two different barrel nuts
I tried one of the Bill Rittner nuts and a older one and neither worked. The older screwed down a wee bit more but still not enough to secure the knob.

the knob on my 10 1/2
The Drozs knob fits on the 10 1/2 stud and can be secured without spinning etc etc. The 10 1/2 knob is squatter and fatter, but both are the same height.

I rounded the lid entry ends
I like this rounded look more than the mitered one. But either one is a better choice than leaving it squared off.

head on
the opposite side
I think I'll be adding this detail to box #2 and all future boxes I make in this style.

remembered I had these
I bought these two from Highlands Hardware 6-7 years ago? At the time I bought these, I had no idea about eBay or any other source for plane parts. I think I used the barrel nuts and nothing else.

plastic knob and tote
To me these look ugly, feel ugly, and they will probably still be in this box a 100 years from now.

two bags of plane hardware parts
no joy in Mudville
The stud on the right is the from the #3. The stud on the left is the smallest one in either bag. It looks like all the studs are for high knobs only. I do have a complete set of screws etc for one plane plus a few extras. I'll have to wait until Bill sends me a PayPal for new studs and then I should have them by the middle of next week.

I didn't get to sharpen and hone my torus bead plane iron so I'll be doing that tomorrow. I did check the boxing I glued yesterday and that set up fine. I want to try the plane out again after I sharpen the iron to see how it performs then.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is misphonia?
answer - Selective  Sound Sensitivity Syndrome where certain sounds can trigger a panic attack or enrage you

Side Clamps Revisited…Already

Rainford Restorations - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 6:24am

Workbench side clamps are not something I think anyone would generally use on a daily basis, but when the job calls for the sort of clamping they provide, they do a great job. I think one of the reasons they were not used often is the time it takes to affix them to the workbench — usually requires the use of nuts and wrenches.

How can I improve the likelihood I will use my new side clamps? 

The 3/8″  5 star knobs I ordered from Rockler for my side clamps arrived yesterday and I gave them a shot.

Side clamps with 5 star knobsSide clamps with 5 star knobs

On the left you can see both knobs on the same side of the clamping block and on the right you can see one knob on the top and one knob on the bottom. Either configuration works well. With a 5 star knob you can easily loosen both knobs and remove one knob to move the block around.

The verdict?

The above tweak is not an earth shattering change but it does remove the need for a wrench and make it a little more likely I’ll break out the side clamps with the need comes up.

Take care,
-Bill
@TheRainford

P.S. If you’d like to read up on how to build your own pair of side clamps you can read my earlier post on that topic here.


Filed under: Popular Woodworking, Portfolio, Workshop Projects, Writing Tagged: Rainford Workbench, Rockler, Side Clamps, Tage Frid, Tage Frid Workbench
Categories: General Woodworking

Deadman With a Tale

Rainford Restorations - Wed, 12/28/2016 - 4:54am

In building my workbench I also built a simple traditional deadman to help support long boards at the bench.

Workbench DeadmanWorkbench Deadman

This simple to build workbench accessory is as a great addition to any bench with a tail vise.

Bill demonstrating the use of his deadmanBill demonstrating the use of his deadman

If you’d like to learn more about this bench and how to build one for yourself, please check out my blog post on this topic over on the Popular Woodworking site here.

Take care,
-Bill
@The Rainford


Filed under: Lost Art Press, Popular Woodworking, Portfolio, Workshop Projects, Writing Tagged: Bill Rainford, Continental Workbench, Danish Workbench, Deadman, Lost Art Press, Popular Woodworking, Tage Frid, Tage Frid Workbench
Categories: General Woodworking

A little clamping on the side

Rainford Restorations - Mon, 12/26/2016 - 5:58am

Have you used your side clamps lately?  Wait, what are side clamps?

Close up of the side clampsClose up of the side clamps

Side clamps are a pair of adjustable wooden blocks that mount on the outside of a traditional continental workbench with one block mounted to the tail vise and one mounted to the fixed portion of the bench top. In this experiment the blocks are mounted to the bench via 3/8″ diameter, 6″ long threaded bolts and some shop made metal plates.

Background: 

When building my Tage Frid inspired Scandinavian workbench I spent a lot of time looking at examples of Frid’s benches — some early extant examples in person, his Fine Woodworking article on his bench (FWW Issue #4, October 1975), the chapter in Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking Volume 3 and various online searches.

In the FWW issue #4 diagrams and text there was a very brief mention of a set of ‘side clamps’. I couldn’t find any photos of these clamps online and they didn’t seem to make it into the book version of the bench. I was curious if they were cut to save space or if in fact they didn’t turn out to be useful.

I decided to build my own version of these clamps based on that lone diagram and experiment with them.

Building a pair of side clamps:

Using some scrap hard maple left over from the workbench I made two 1.75″ thick, 3″ wide and 4.5″ long blocks. I planed them and rounded over the edges with a 1/8″ radius router bit.

Use a self centering doweling jig to start the 3/8" holesUse a self centering doweling jig to start the 3/8″ holes

Next up was drilling a 3/8″ diameter hole through the center of the block, the long way. I started off the drilling by using a self-centering doweling jig (see photo above), and went as far as the bit would let me drill into the block.  Then using that first hole as a guide I used a longer electrician’s style 3/8″ drill bit to drill the rest of they way through the block. (see photo below)

Use a long electrician's style 3/8" drill bit to finish the centered hole. Use a long electrician’s style 3/8″ drill bit to finish the centered hole.

With the woodworking complete, it was time do to some metal working to make a series of small plates that are used to affix the clamp blocks to the dog holes in the bench by way of the 3/8″ bolts. I bought some 1/8″ thick x 1″ wide zinc’ed steel bar at my local hardware store and cut them to 2-7/8″ long. (Note this is 1/2″ shorter than what Frid called for as I as felt 3-3/8″ would have too much slop/space. I also could not find 1/4″ thick bar stock, but think 1/8″ thick is still plenty strong for anything I plan to do with these clamps. Make sure to leave at least 1/4″ of metal on all side around the holes).  I cut the pieces to length using an abrasive cut off chop saw, but a hack saw could also get the job done.

Zinc'ed steel bar, cut to size, corners ground round and edge burs removedZinc’ed steel bar, cut to size, corners ground round and edge burs removed

I took the metal blanks over to the slow speed grinder and rounded over the corners and chamfered the edges a bit to remove any burs.

Drilling all four blanks at once. Drilling all four blanks at once.

Next up I stacked/ganged up all 4 pieces and drilled 3/8″ diameter holes at the drill press. The pieces were held together with some strong tape and held in place against my makeshift fence via the scrap block in the foreground of the above picture. Make sure to use some cutting oil and make sure you don’t overheat the metal nor your drill bit. Also use some scrap underneath the blanks to protect your drill press table.

Using a file to clean up and remaining burs and fine tune the work you did on the grinder Using a file to clean up and remaining burs and fine tune the work you did on the grinder

With the holes drilled out I took the metal blanks over to a vise wherein I made sure the bolts fit through the holes, cleaning things up with a rat-tail (round) file. I then used a flat mill file to clean up any roughness on the outside edges left from the work at the grinder.

Given my background as an engineer, and touch of OCD I decided to add some self adhesive cork to the sides of these metal plates that might come in contact with my bench top

Self-adhesive cork sheetsSelf-adhesive cork sheets

I cut the cork to rough size, affixed it to the plate and used a utility knife to cut off any excess around the edge and a 3/8″ drill bit to remove any waste inside the drilled out holes.

Use a utility knife to clean up the cork around the edges of the plate and the 3/8' drill bit to clean up and cork in the holesUse a utility knife to clean up the cork around the edges of the plate and the 3/8′ drill bit to clean up and cork in the holes

With the metalworking completed, it was time to install the nuts and bolts and try out the clamping blocks. One bolt goes through the top plate, the wood block, the bottom plate and is secured with a nut or five star knob. (I ordered some knobs from Rockler but at the time of this writing they’d didn’t arrive yet, once they come I’ll add some post script to show the clamps with easier to use knobs in place.) The other bolt goes through the top plate, the dog hole, the bottom plate and is secured with another nut.

Assembling a side clampAssembling a side clamp

Given the use of square dog holes on this bench, and the fact that that blocks are 1/2″ longer than the bench is thick, this allows the side clamps to pivot a few degrees in either direction. This gives you the ability to securely clamp some tapered or irregularly shaped pieces.

The blocks can be moved to different dog holes as needed or removed from the bench altogether. In testing these clamps on a few different items and shapes I found the blocks were surprisingly easy to use and held oversized items with ease.

Large objects are easily held between these side clampsLarge objects are easily held between these side clamps

The Verdict: (So far…)

It was a fun project to build and experiment with. These clamps are useful for specialized clamping needs, such as large items, re-working the edges of a drawer box, planing dovetails flush, and similar operations.

Do I think they will get used every day? No. Do I think they can do a few jobs that would be tougher to do on the bench-top secured via bench dog, hold fast, face or shoulder vise? Yes.

For the small amount of wood, metal and time it took to make these side clamps I think they were a nice addition to my workbench.

If you build some side clamps for your workbench, please share what you thought of them in the comments below.

Take care,
-Bill Rainford
@TheRainford

P.S. If you’d liked to learn about the workbench featured in this post, please check out my related article in the February 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine which can be found here.

Popular Woodworking February 2017 CoverPopular Woodworking February 2017 Cover

 


Filed under: featured, Lost Art Press, Popular Woodworking, Portfolio, Workshop Projects, Writing Tagged: Go Go Go, Rainford Workbench, Side Clamps, Tage Frid, Tage Frid Workbench
Categories: General Woodworking

Go, Go, Go: The Life, Influence and Woodworking of Tage Frid

Rainford Restorations - Fri, 12/02/2016 - 5:42am

I have some big news to share with everyone today, I’m proud to say that I am the process of writing a book for the Lost Art Press tentatively titled “Go, Go, Go: The Life, Influence and Woodworking of Tage Frid

//douglaslevyphotography.com )Bill Rainford with his felling ax. (Photo by Doug Levy, 2016 http://douglaslevyphotography.com )

You can read more about my background and the premise of the book in this post I made on the Lost Art Press Blog here.  It’s an exciting opportunity and look forward to sharing my passion for Frid’s work and Danish Modern furniture design.

//douglaslevyphotography.com )Bill standing next to his Tage Frid inspired workbench. (Photo by Doug Levy, 2016 http://douglaslevyphotography.com )

Related to the above book I’ve also written an article for Popular Woodworking Magazine on my Tage Frid inspired workbench which will be the cover story for the February 2017 issue which is coming out later this month.  Once it is published I’ll be sure to share more related links and details.

UPDATE: The February 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking is now out and you can read more about it or purchase it here on PopularWoodworking.com

–Bill Rainford
@TheRainford

P.S. A big thank you to Doug Levy for allowing me to share two of the excellent photos he took for the upcoming article. You can check out Doug’s photography work here. He also has a great series on New England Craftsmen here.


Filed under: Lost Art Press, Writing Tagged: Bill Rainford, Go Go Go, LAP, Lost Art Press, Rainford Workbench, Tage Frid
Categories: General Woodworking

Measuring from a common reference point…

Rainford Restorations - Sun, 11/13/2016 - 6:58am

An early lesson in carpentry or woodworking in general is to take all of your measurements from a single reference face — this way you don’t get a bunch of accumulated errors that will throw everything off.  It makes sense, but what do you do when measuring long distances? or uneven surfaces?

Let’s take a look at this 30 foot long foundation wall I am working on:

A view of the tiered foundationA view of the tiered foundation

In order to lay out the mortises in the sills for the posts I needed to make sure they are in the correct location which was a bit of a challenge.

First off I had to go out and get a 35′ long tape measure. I bought a Milwaukee 35′ Magnetic Tape Measure from Home Depot.

35 Foot Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure35 Foot Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure

Beyond the length this model has a few nice features I really liked. First and foremost it has a finger protecting stop which is great for people like me that tend to use a thumb as the brake and occasionally get pinched by the end of the tape slamming back into the case. It also has an 8-9′ standoff (distance tape can hold itself out before it bends), a magnet in the end, large hooks and an architect scale (total inches rather than feet) on the bottom of the tape and a supposedly limited lifetime warranty.

Love that metal finger protectorLove that metal finger protector

I liked it so much I hope to get the 25′ model soon and will retire my Stanley and Stanley Bostitch tapes. You can find the 35′ model here.  It’s a bit of a beast, so for everyday use I think the 25′ model will fit better in my tool belt.

In measuring the foundation I found out that its about 1/2″ shy of 30 feet. Other than that I’ve been very happy with how the foundation came out and across its width its consistently 24′ wide as expected.

Laying out the first two sets of mortises from the front of the building was easy and straight forward. The 3rd set is where it got tough as I’d have to bridge the vertical step in the foundation. In order to make that jump I cut a piece of scrap 2×8 and using a level and a square set it exactly on top of the center line for the 2nd set of mortises and clamped it firmly to the cast in place straps.

Measuring and compensating for the different levels of the foundationMeasuring and compensating for the different levels of the foundation

I could then pull the tape and lay out where that third set of mortises  should be and also measure to the end of the building to confirm it matched what I got when just measuring the side of the foundation in a single pull. All the measurements lined up with what I expected, so that was good.

Figuring our the difference between measuring off the common reference face vs from each end of the foundationFiguring our the difference between measuring off the common reference face vs from each end of the foundation

It looks like when the straps were cast in place the concrete contractor measured from the back wall of the building rather than a single reference face and I could see the 1/2″ off they were due to the overall length of the building being off.  Thankfully the posts are sufficiently large (6×6) that this won’t be a visible issue.

This all goes to show the value of taking your time and measuring as described above, for if I didn’t do this and laid out the top plates as if the building was an even 30′ long and if I laid out that 3rd set of posts 10′ off the back wall there would be some major problems during the barn raising.

Take care and Happy Measuring,
-Bill
@TheRainford


Filed under: Timber Framing, Woodworking 101, Woodworking Techniques Tagged: Measuring, Reference Face, Timber Framing
Categories: General Woodworking

My Favorite Use for a Transitional Plane

Rainford Restorations - Sun, 11/06/2016 - 6:01am

Transitional planes are the pariahs of the woodworking world. The tool collectors don’t want them. Patrick Leach burns them in a funeral pyre.  I’ve had a few over the years I got for a song and kept in the shop mostly for decoration.

Cleaned up timber frame postCleaned up timber frame post

As I got more into timber framing and working with green timbers it dawned on me that these transitional planes — at least in the jack and jointer sizes might be useful for cleaning up timbers. The large wooden sole doesn’t rust the way a metal plane would when exposed to wet wood for long periods of time and you have a more or less modern Bailey style mechanism. The one annoying thing about the mechanism on a transitional plane is the blade advancement wheel spins the opposite way a metal plane works, but after a few minutes you get used to it.

 Bill using a traditional jack plane to clean up timberBill using a traditional jack plane to clean up timber

For some timber frames I need to clean up and remove all the large circular saw or bandsaw marks. In a workshop or outbuilding being fresh from the mill is fine, but in a house all those rough surfaces can be a dust magnet or source of splinters.

With a nice camber it makes quick work of dressing a green eastern white pine timberWith a nice camber it makes quick work of dressing a green eastern white pine timber

On my jack plane I’ve ground a camber appropriate to a jack plane and take a reasonably heavy shaving. The work goes fast and I admit its fun to make a 25′ foot long shaving on some of the largest timbers.

At first I felt bad about using a plane from the 1870s for this sort of work, but if properly maintained it will have a surprisingly long life and I’d rather see this plane get used as opposed to being  in a pyre or on a shelf.

At the end of the day I make sure to remove the iron and wipe it down with oil so it does not rust and I’ll usually give the sole a little more wax.

Transitional Jack Plane in its new habitatTransitional Jack Plane in its new habitat

I can usually find these planes in surprisingly good shape for $10-35. If you’re willing to take one with more rust on the mechanism or a replacement sole you can likely get it for even less or even free from some dealers if you buy a few other items. The next time you are at a tool swap you may want to take a second look at a transitional plane and score yourself a good deal on a solid workhorse for your own timber framing or green woodworking projects.

-Bill
@TheRainford


Filed under: Portfolio, Timber Framing, Timber Framing, Tool Reviews Tagged: Rainford Barn, Stanley, Timber Framed Barn, Timber Framing, Transitional Jack Plane, Transitional Plane
Categories: General Woodworking

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