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Wood, What is it Good For?
At last I’m finally getting around to releasing the second class I recorded at Woodworking in America in 2016. This was a 2 hour class that I really enjoyed teaching. I had a great group (full house actually) who really participated and asked great questions. It turns out woodworkers want to know more about wood. Who knew?!
This class isn’t about identifying unknown wood species, it is about using your existing species knowledge to identify the working properties of other woods. It allows you to branch out (hah, branch!) and use different woods while not walking into the purchase and ensuing project totally blind on how that wood will work. It all comes down to understanding the technical specifications that can be found on just about any species over the Internet. But really focusing on 3 specifications can get you really close to understanding a wood you have never worked.
I hope you enjoy, Wood, (good God) What is it Good For? I had a blast teaching it.
I am making one big till that won't slide even a frog hair. In that big till I am thinking of putting two sliding tills. These will both be about 1/3 the size of the big one. I will experiment with this build as it is virgin territory for me. I can't do anything wrong because it is for my grandson and it will be his first exposure to it.
|my two dovetail saws|
|not a good choice|
Another point I point I thought about was the size of the plate. Most dovetail saws I see have much smaller plates. This was originally a crosscut tenon saw I got in my late 20's that sat around unloved. Turning it into a dovetail saw to use on small stock didn't up it getting more love. Maybe I'll try it to saw a tenon with it which I've not done yet.
I've read that the thinner the stock, one should use a smaller saw with finer teeth. What I found is that I can at least saw dovetails with stock down to 3/8" thick with the LN saw. These aren't the thinnest dovetails I've done neither. That honor goes to a 1/4" thick box that I sawed the dovetails with a Zona saw. Another point I learned is that dovetails are dovetails and the size of them doesn't matter. You still do them all the same way regardless of the size.
|dry looks good|
I got two choices on that. The first is to put it in the interior or apply it to the plywood bottom. If I put it on the bottom I'll have to put at least two so the till won't rock when it is taken out. If it is in the interior it will divide the big till in two. I'm not fond of either choice but I'm not liking the size of that bottom being unsupported further somehow.
|two hairs too long|
|glued up with hide glue|
|this was a PITA|
In target archery, what is the bull's eye worth?
answer - 10 points
The heading is a little misleading as I don’t know the correct word for it, but the picture will put you in the know as to what I’m referring too.
I’ve been cleaning up my bench top, you know flattening it and taking out as many scores as I could. This morning I decided to replace the timber on my vice and locating the holes with the vice installed got me stumped for a good 5 mins. Measuring in from the side and top was an option, but then I remembered I had these dowel centre finders, but they were a little too small and kept falling out. So I used masking tape to temporarily hold them in place while I pricked the board. It takes the guess work out of locating the holes which may lead to potential misalignment.
Now isn’t she pretty. I couldn’t take out all the knife marks, chisel marks and drill holes and but she looks better than what she was before. I’m such a pig of a woodworker.
Time for a new decent workbench is long overdue and I’m going to start saving up for it. I know it’s going to be close to 2 metres long, space permitting. I also know I want a tail vice and since I’ve never built one I rightly don’t know if I should attempt it or just buy this neat little one from HNT Gordon.
It looks OK and I reckon it will do the trick, but I think a traditional vice would suit me better. To make moulding planes I can clamp them them vertically, also if I needed to bore a hole in the end grain I can clamp them vertically. For carving they also work like a dream and I’m sure I would find many more uses for it. But there’s a catch I won’t be able to install another face vice as the tail vice will be in the way for re sawing or clamping large panels. Having a bandsaw suffices 99% of my re sawing needs, but what about those wide panels where it’s too wide for a bandsaw? I may have to make a small bench just for that like the one Roubo shows, but that also means eating up precious shop space for something that won’t be used on a regular basis unless I sell my bandsaw which I don’t foresee that happening in this life or the next. In fact, I’ll take it with me to the afterlife, that’s how useful that machine is. The only two useful machines I have in my shop is my lathe and bandsaw. I don’t ever use my portable thicknesser and I don’t know why I still have it.
I will keep the current going through the lathe until I can figure out how to make a treadle lathe spin 2000 rpm. I’ve seen many foot powered lathes work and I don’t how people are not frustrated with it. Greg Merritt recently built his and he’s having a ball with it, but who knows maybe if I tried one I too would like it.
Here is a picture of a model bench I found on the net I would like to base mine on.
Lastly on vices, I still haven’t decided if I should make one or buy one with a quick release. My current vice is a quick release dawn, but it’s making a clicking sound since I did that glue test of trying to snap the board with it. Amazing isn’t it how strong this glue is. Ever since I figured out that it needs thinning it’s been my go to glue.
I’ve been blogging a lot lately and that’s because I’ve had three weeks off work. Sadly I haven’t won the lottery to make it permanent so I’m back on this weekend. I won’t be as active as I was but that’s life ain’t it.
Just to let you know I still have a fair way to go in finishing Issue III. I’m going to include the moulding planes build which I hope you will enjoy. I’ve been reading some of the comments people are writing about the magazine on other forums. Many people like it, but there are some who want a magazine that’s written for advanced woodworkers. I have always stated from the very beginning at opening this blog that I’m not catering towards the beginners. However, I do realize that we were all beginners at one stage and I should and will cater for all. In truth, there is only so much one can write about the craft before you end up repeating yourself. What I don’t want to do is write about how to saw, or using reference edges for your squares.
I have included many useful articles in the magazine about various topics. I understand not every topic would be of interest to everyone and advanced or not you will learn something new. I know I have and still do everyday. The topics written by me are my own experiences and findings I have learned and discovered over the years through use, the topics written by others are their own and the topics written by our ancients are the most experienced and most beneficial to us. I have said this in the past, who can know more about working with their hands than those guys who worked it everyday 150 years and more ago. That’s why I put them in and will continue to do so as long as this magazine is active.
I will include many projects from clock making to building furniture. I’m not a wonder boy but I will do the best I can. However, finding new contributing authors has proven to be more difficult than I had previously thought. I thank Greg, Brian and Josh for their contributions and I also thank Matt for his contributions. These guys really gave it all they had for the love of the craft. “Give and you shall receive.” I would love women to also contribute articles, I know according to the statistics on this blog and my YouTube account that it’s only 3% that are actively viewing. I’m sure this percentage is probably larger elsewhere and if it is why not showoff your skills and contribute.
One last final point I really need to make clear. I’m not interested in portraying myself as a know it all. I know people on YouTube and other blogs where they are deriving an income from it, have to make themselves appear that they are flawless and a walking encyclopedia of woodworking knowledge. I never want to head down that road irrespective I’m making money from the craft or not. I think that image portrayal is bullshit, it’s the biggest load of crock and I don’t want it. I’m me, I’m down to earth, I’m honest, hard working and fallible. I make mistakes like everyone else and I certainly don’t know everything, but I learn something new everyday. I want to be the best I can be and genuinely want the same for you.
So there it is in a nutshell, nothing is perfect, no one is perfect and this magazine is not perfect, but I did pour my heart and soul into it. If given the financial resources and time to put into it, I know I could make it better.
Is that wishful thinking, I wonder.
Our warehouse has almost finished packing up all the domestic pre-publication orders for the deluxe version of “With All the Precision Possible: Roubo on Furniture Making.” The packaged books should be picked up and head out to their final destinations in the United States tomorrow.
For international customers, you should have received an email that indicates the extra amount of money we require in order to ship your book. This book weighs 17 lbs. – two healthy infants. Once you pay the invoice, we’ll ship your book to you.
The book is extraordinary. I have my copy exactly 6” away from me and marvel at its beauty, heft and readability. I hope you will be pleased.
I expect this will be our last deluxe edition until we dig up Noah’s treatise on ark-building. The press run for this deluxe book cost more than $170,000. So this is going to be a lean year for us as we work to rebuild our bank account.
Of course, I’m not supposed to talk about things like this – it makes us seem weak. But so be it. We are two guys with laptops running a publishing company. So this stuff is going to happen sometimes.
But even if we take a bath on this book in the end – even if we end up stuffing pages from it in our sweatshirts under the highway overpass – it was worth it. Roubo is bloody awesome. His books were a labor of love and they deserve this sort of insane risk.
So a toast to you, M. Roubo.
— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com
Filed under: Roubo Translation
This is an excerpt from “The Woodworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years: Volume I” published by Lost Art Press.
One sometimes gets in an indirect sort of way, a remarkable light on the things that people used to make and use. A man may explore all the usual channels in an endeavour to investigate a subject with little result, and then tumble across a piece of information entirely by accident.
The writer recently experienced something of the sort when visiting the Royal Academy Exhibition of 17th century art still on view at Burlington House. One of the pictures is the famous “Christ in the Carpenter’s shop,’’ by Carracci, and it shows Christ as a boy watching Joseph at work at his bench.
The point of interest is that Carracci painted in his picture the sort of bench and tools with which he himself was familiar in his age. In other words, the tools shown are the sort that carpenters used during the 17th century in Italy.
Some of them are extraordinarily like the tools we have in use at the present time. There is a frame saw identical with the kind still used by German woodworkers to-day. It is rather like a large bowsaw, but has a much wider blade. It is used for much the same purpose as the handsaw with which we are familiar. Then there is a claw hammer that might have been bought at a modem tool store, except that the head is square instead of rounded; also the handle. Passing through the bench is a holdfast, similar in principle to the modern type but without the screw arrangement. The carpenter placed the end over the wood to be held, and struck the pillar passing through the bench, so that it wedged itself in. A sort of small adze intended for use with one hand is interesting. It is rather like a small axe, but with the blade turned at right angles with the shaft. The latter is curved, and finishes with a curved scroll which would prevent it from flying out of the hand. Joseph himself is engaged in marking out a board, and is using a chalked line to mark a straight line.
Most interesting of all, however, is a trying plane which lies propped up on a box beneath the bench. It would be about 22 ins. long with a cutter of, say, 2-1∕ 2 ins. Its depth appears to be certainly no more than 2-1∕4 ins. Probably it may have been deeper originally, and became thinner from having been planed true many times.
One feature that immediately arrests the attention is the pitch of the cutter. It is extremely high; so much so that its action must have been almost that of a scraper. Yet there are scrolled shavings lying on the ground such as one might expect to take off with a plane of normal pitch. It is, of course, possible that the artist has gone astray in this respect, and that the cutter was set lower, but, as shown, it is not more than 15 degrees out of the vertical. It must have been extremely hard work using such a plane, and the shaving can only have been thin.
There is just this in it; planes in those days had no back irons, and the tendency would be to make the pitch as high as would be practical to minimise any tendency to tear out. So high an angle, however, seems an exaggeration.
There is one point which has puzzled us a good deal; that is the rounded piece immediately in front of the cutter. When, in the first place, we saw a black and white photograph of the picture, we immediately assumed it to be a shaving. On examining the actual picture, however, there were several things to suggest that this was not the case, but that it was in reality a handle formed out of the wedge. The detail is admittedly not clear, but whereas all the shavings on the floor are light, the detail in question is of the same colour as the rest of the plane. Many old trying planes had handles at the front, though in front of the escapement. One would imagine that a handle just in front of the wedge would be liable to cause the shavings to choke, but, there it is. Readers may like to consider the matter for themselves and draw their own conclusions.
— Meghan Bates
Filed under: Charles H. Hayward at The Woodworker
My last several posts have been about how the BARN workbench vise chops were designed. In this post, I’ll show you how the CNC was programmed for machining with CAM software. I use RhinoCAM software from MecSoft, but most CAM software programs that can handle basic 3D milling will have similar machining operations. This post is not a primary on CAM or a full explanation of all the settings that […]
The post CAD to CAM to CNC: Part Seven — Programming a CNC for 3D Carving appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
Push sticks? Yes, that is the topic of today’s blog, and it’s also the answer – Yes! Every woodworker has had a close call (or worse) or knows someone who has. Table saws are dangerous and even the experienced get hurt. But before this devolves into a diatribe about table saw injuries, let’s just agree that it’s better and safer to use push sticks when using a table saw. Two […]
The post Video: How to Choose a Push Stick – Table Saw Safety appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
As an Atlanta resident and associate at Highland Woodworking, I have the privilege of meeting a lot of woodworker-customer-friends, both hobbyist and professional alike, who are making wonderful things. I’m pleased to introduce you to some of our fellow enthusiasts through this semi-regular dispatch of who’s who in the Highland community. -AH
I met Char in the store when she was signing up for Sabiha Mujtaba’s Fundamentals of Woodworking class, a perennial favorite among woodworkers of all stripes. She told me about some of the projects she had finished for her family and fitting in her woodworking into an already full schedule. She invited me to check out her blog, the Wooden Maven, where I encountered not only an avid woodworker, but an inspiration.
How did you get into woodworking?
I began woodworking soon after undergrad when I moved into my first apartment. There was a platform bed I was interested in purchasing, at the time I could not afford it. I thought, perhaps I could build it. I didn’t have much direction to go on, YouTube was still in its developmental stage. After a few trips back to the furniture store to further inspect the bed, I drew my own plans, borrowed a drill, and purchased a ten dollar battery-powered screwdriver. It took me approximately three months to complete the bed… I believe that experience was the beginning of my love for building furniture. The gratification that came from producing something with my own hands was invigorating. That was back in 2003, since then I’ve been learning everything I can about my hobby-turned-passion.
What are you working on now?
I always like to keep a few projects going at once. Right now I am working on two identical beds. They are twin beds that extend to king size beds. In addition [they have] accessible storage and non-accessible storage underneath. I needed the beds to serve several purposes: a place for my children, room for guests, toy storage, and of course storage for toys that shouldn’t be brought out every day. This was the largest project I constructed from only plywood. I used three-quarter inch PureBond plywood and a Kreg circular saw jig for rip and cross cuts. To give the bed a modern look, I used beadboard wallpaper on the headboard and footboard. To keep the beds as low as possible, I opted for furniture movers strategically placed on the bottom for easy gliding.
Along with the beds, I am putting the finishing touches on a matching children’s fold down desk. I chose pine for this project since it is lighter in weight and an affordable option for a place that will see a lot of use. The tabletop of the desk is covered with a thin polyethylene sheet to make for easy clean-up of paint, markers, or pencil marks. Both projects are paint sprayed with semi-gloss paint and a coat of polyacrylic, a touch of blue paint is used to accent the desk and tie in the bedding colors.
Lastly, I am working on a display case, in which I am using all the skills I learned in Sabiha’s woodworking fundamentals class. The case includes dadoes and the use of an ogee bit. It is made from oak and instead of glass to enclose any special object, I am using plexiglass. It will sit nicely on a mantle for many years to come.
What are your favorite tools? (do you prefer hand tools over power tools, or Japanese saws vs. Western style saws, or an old drill that has been passed down, or a brad nailer that’s just super handy)
I know that I truly enjoy woodworking because I fall in love with almost every new tool I experience. The versatility of each of them and the possibilities are all endless. I recently took a hand plane class at Highland after purchasing my first block plane. I never knew that hand tools could be so involved, it was an eye-opening experience. Hand tools allow you to interact with the wood and have a closeness to it, that you don’t get with power tools. I have to say that hand planes are my favorite for now.
Recently, I started turning and for someone who wants a finished project quickly, turning pens [is] the perfect answer. I do enjoy working with lathes and hope to get more involved in the world of woodturning.
For sentiment’s sake, I still have the little Black+Decker screwdriver I built my very first project with, it no longer works. It is a small reminder from whence I came and a nod to staying humble in my craft.
Amy received her MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She is the staff writer at Highland Woodworking. In 2015 she and her dad co-founded Coywolf Woodworks, their hobby shop in North Florida.
In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking woodworker, author and woodworking instructor, Dale Barnard, talks about his path to woodworking, his early education and the many ways he’s attempted to schedule classes for his woodworking school in southern Indiana.
Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Glen talks with various guests about all things woodworking and some things that are slightly off topic.
Barry Lynch does a terrific job building a kerfing plane based on Japanese plane design.
|the till stock|
|Stanley 71 box done|
|it fits beneath the bearer for the till.|
|squared one end of the till pieces|
|squared the other end|
And that is the way it was, Wednesday, September 13, 2017.
45 rpm vinyl records when first made in 1949 and came in various colors. What did the color green mean?
answer - that it was a country record - Eddie Arnold had the first song on the first 45 made by RCA
This afternoon I was gluing a part of the grip I sawed off back on the moulding plane. While I was gluing up I thought to myself, how much simpler it is to use these small dispensable bottles than it would be using those large ones that come with the glue.
It’s easier to hold in my hand and I actually use less. Old Brown Glue on the right will expire on 17th of this month, however it doesn’t mean that it will go off in three days. I’ve kept in a cool dark place for the last 12 months. If it’s runny out of the bottle and it isn’t a hot day then it’s probably gone off, but that still isn’t a good indication if it has. I usually go by smell and hide glue if gone off has the smell of a dead carcass.
I buy 50 ml (1.75 ounces) bottles from a $2 store, not sure what you would call it overseas. For hide glue, heating it up in a small bottle is quicker than it is in the large standard bottle. It’s also cheaper to buy the large 20 oz bottle than it is to buy their smaller ones. I know people prefer to buy small bottles of the stuff but it’s not good economics to do so. If you use the stuff regularly then you will have many refills at a fraction of the price and your not throwing your money on what costs a lot and that is shipping fees.
Once the bottle empties don’t throw it in the bin, unless you’ve emptied the large ones. If you have, don’t refill the smaller bottles with newer fresh glue because these glues are organic and you don’t want to contaminate fresh glue with old glue.
Here’s something that’s going to blow your socks off. I just had a delivery from Star Track. The driver is an owner driver (contractor), he told me that a small parcel costs $1.40 to deliver in my case it was a DVD. I paid $12 for this delivery! So think about it, I pay $40 for shipping for the fish glue and $20 for OBG because it was within Australia. Imagine how much I save because I buy the larger bottles than if I had of purchased the smaller one several times in a year.
I made this adapter to hook up dust collection to the odd-size fitting (2″) on my oscillating sander. Start with a hardwood block that is (in my case) is 3″ x 4″ x 11⁄4” thick. I required a 2″ hole, so I used a 2″ hole saw to drill in the middle of the block. The next thing is to drill the holes for the split-block-clamping and block-attachment holes. I drilled […]
The post Tricks of the Trade: Dust Collection for Ports of All Sizes appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
Recently I was a presenter at the SAPFM Blue Ridge Chapter on the topic of saw sharpening. I would not call myself an accomplished saw sharpener mostly because my results are inconsistent, generally due to the lack of hours at the task. But there are times when the result is excellent, for example my favorite old back saw that I last sharpened sometime in the 1980s and has cut hundreds of joints since, and remains sharp and the cuts crisp and clean.
Using some oversized props I reviewed the notions of tooth spacing and shape (rake, and fleam), and how these come into play for crosscutting and ripping at varying degrees of scale, precision and effectiveness.
I the moved through the nearly unlimited options for holding the saw during sharpening, and finally set up to actually doing some sharpening under less-than-ideal conditions of a large lumber warehouse with diffuse illumination. I find that getting the lighting correct is perhaps the most important thing when sharpening a saw, and this setting wasn’t it.
My explanation of the process was certainly better than the actual sharpening during the demo, but I think the attendees got the idea.
As an aside, I was delighted I had my petite Roubo bench with me and realize that it has become a treasured part of my traveling side-show kit, as it fits neatly into the back of my S-10, is moved easily with a hand truck, and performs most excellently.
I've been working with wood since I was a kid. I took my first woodworking class at the 92nd Street Y when I was 6 years old. I've been taking classes and building stuff for over 35 years. For the last 17 I have been working at Tools for Working Wood. In that time, new tools and new techniques have come on the market. By and large I have ignored them in my personal work. However, I haven't ignored everything, and my methods of work have in certain areas changed dramatically for the better. I'll break up my list of ten things into three posts so I don't drone on and on here.
I learned on Arkansas stones and I still use them for sharpening carving tools. I really love the feel of the stones. But during the 1990 - 2010 era, I mostly used water stones. Over the years I used many different brands, but nonetheless all water stones. I still use water stones in the kitchen for sharpening knives, but for woodworking tools and when I teach sharpening I use diamond stones do all the rough work. I use an 8000 grit finishing stone at the end because I don't think the 8000 grit diamond stones are nearly as fine, but diamonds do everything else. You can read about my experiments here.
Diamond paste works well but it's too messy for me, and I worry about getting it into my eye. I don't use lapping film, although it's great and popular. For the amount of sharpening I do, it's not practical: I would just blow through too much film. I think lapping film is best for low cost-of-entry on a professional system and for traveling. Some people love lapping film because it's largely maintenance free. It also works well for odd profiles, but it's not for me. The major problem I used to have with diamond stones is that they would wear out quickly and weren't flat. The DMT Dia-Sharp stones solve the latter problem, and by not using them to flatten water stones I solve the former problem. DMT makes lapping plates for flattening water stones, but currently I don't have one (I should but I don't).
The main reason for the switch to diamonds is that I am a lazy sod who is always in a rush. My water stones got out of flat. Water was sloshing everywhere - I didn't do the needed regular flattening and I didn't have a good place for a bucket of water stones. I love Arkansas stones a lot, but for regular chisels and plane blades, I find them slow. For carving tools, diamonds can replace a medium India stone, but diamonds, while cutting fast, leave scratches which would add in a step or two.
I grew up on Titebond. Back in the 1980's we all felt so superior to those DIYers who still used - horrors! - Elmer's glue, while, we used real wood glue for gluing up our projects. And it was yellow too! What I hated then, and now, about Titebond is that if you ever got it on the wrong spot, you'd have the big hassle of cleaning the wood so that it could take finish. I still use Titebond for gluing Dominos and some other general tasks. But if there is any risk of surface contamination, I much prefer hide glue. Being mostly transparent to finishes = a massive time-saver for me. I don't use hot glue. I suppose I should, but I don't have a place to put the glue pot. I do most of my woodworking snatching odd moments and I just can't think ahead to soak glue pellets. (Why is it that every time I think of the word "pellets," I think of hamsters?) But Old Brown Glue is great stuff, is real hide glue, and put putting it out in the sun or on a radiator for a minute makes it perfect to use. So that's what I do.
When I first studied woodworking, it was generally accepted that sawing dovetails by hand was perfectly acceptable, but milling timber and cutting it by hand was a waste of time -- and really impossible to do well. However, in the early days of TFWW, I needed to build a couple of projects and for the first time I didn't have access to a table saw. At the same time, there was a major revival in backsaw manufacture, and a real re-evaluation of handsaws in general. On those early projects I ended up sawing lots and lots of maple by hand, and by the end of the project I was reasonably good at it. These days, I am much more likely to grab a handsaw than to wander back to see if the bandsaw is free. For plywood, I use a Festool plunge saw, but for everything else, I pretty much use our Hardware Store Saw. (I have wonderful Disston saws in my toolbox, but the display Hardware Store saw is physically closer and cuts faster). These days I expect myself to cut square by eye. Then normal procedure is to use a shooting board to complete the job (if real accuracy is needed).
I'll continue my list next time. What's on your list? I love traditional methods for doing stuff. I love history and the feeling that I am walking in the footsteps of those who went before us. On the other hand, I have limited time do build anything. and I value efficiency. I personally like developing hand skills rather than getting single purpose tools, and I am continually learning. So that's why I've change the way I work, and I will continue to change (I hope).
Pete Wells, in the New York Times:
Ed and I, having eaten a pizza and a half each, shared a single panna cotta. Then he asked me again: “Are you going to say that the best pizza in New York is in New Jersey?”
I am, Ed. I am.
Reason #62 why New Jersey is better than New York.
|not the title senior moment|
|it's a snug fit side to side|
|top of the scrap is the bottom of the bearer|
|getting the length of till|
|sawing the till parts to rough length|
|long side is about 3/16 too long|
|the same with the ends|
|choices for the bottom|
|first handle idea|
|the blog title senior moment|
|almost bottomed out|
|cutting it down|
|enough room to screw this in/out with my ham hock fingers|
|I would need a stubby|
|glued with hide glue - this will be done tomorrow|
|the man in brown came|
What is the birthday flower for November?
answer - chrysanthemum
Periodically, not too often enough to be overly concerned, someone makes a statement about this or that, types in IMHO and moves on. You know that there is nothing humble about it really, just a comment tossed over the shoulder as they walk away from any kind of accountability for it. “Too much glue!”, one …