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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway!  Enjoy!


WORK No. 152 - Published February 13, 1892

Work Magazine Reprint Project - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 4:00am












Disclaimer: Articles in Work describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.
The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.
The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.
You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.

• Click to Download Vol.3 - No. 152 •

Categories: Hand Tools

final fitting.......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 1:27am
Miters are a woodworking joint that I tend to avoid using. I haven't had much success with the fit and the glue ups in the past. That has been slowly changing for the better. First, my glue ups got easier due to me using splines. That was a boon with clamping it up and not having it explode and fall apart on me. The miter fit themselves have tightened up and I've seen a big improvement there. That kicked in when I started using a shooting board. do them. I'm still not perfect but I am thinking of using them more now.

round 3 on fitting
I can get the frame to be ok with clamp pressure.  A loose dry fit gives gappy and uneven miters on two corners. The four corners should come together and fit up dry with no clamp pressure. That is my goal with this and it starts here. I am checking to make sure that the two opposing frame parts are equal.

The top miter D is a hair longer then it's opposite mate. With miters, it doesn't take much to throw the frame OTL. And of course the longer part is on the the miter with the tenon. Which is a royal PITA to trim.

the two miters I have to trim - one easy and one to pull my hair out with

lined up the inside corner
From Paul Sellers I learned that when doing miters it is important to line up the inside corners. The outside one doesn't matter here. I can't plane or trim the inside corner but I can do the outside one.

kerfing the miter
my 30 year old craftsman miter clamp
There was a part that went where the screws are that held a couple of plates that guided the saw. I never used it and I don't have it now. At least I know what it was supposed to be used for.

closed up dry - this is what I was shooting for
back side has a gap
The front side of the miter is closed up tight with no gap. To close up this gap I have to make a kerf on the other face miter. That will close up this side. This operation took a few cycles of clamp, look, unclamp, trim, and repeat. I also had to balance not taking too much off and making it shorter than its mate.

much better
I like the look of this dry clamp of the frame. The corners aren't perfect but I won't have to exert a great deal of pressure on the clamps to close this up. Miter D on the back side is being a problem child. I couldn't close it up and make it gap free. I don't think that I will be able to close it up anymore than what it is without screwing up the rest of the frame. It's on the bottom and I'm leaving it as is.

another problem area
I over cut this end of the bottom of the mortise. I noticed that miter C tenon was bottoming out on this.  It is on the inside of the frame and won't be see once the panel is fitted. I did all four of them to eliminate this as a potential hang up.

The clamps are in the way and I can't plane out all of the unevenness. I even tried to do it with the violin plane but that didn't pan out neither. Moving the quick grip clamps, which were the ones in the way, loosened the frame too much so I couldn't plane it.

sander worked perfectly
 I was able to use this sanding block and flushed and got all the corners even.  I also decided that I am going to paint this frame. I prefer leaving the wood natural but paint hides a multitude of sins.

ready for the panel
I only have to flush and even the top of the frame. The panel doesn't come out to the back side. Once this is glued and cooked I can plane the back  and I won't have clamps in the way then.

panel stock
The width of the board is almost exactly what the width of the panel needs to be before I trim it to allow for expansion and contraction.

saw benches are spoken for

cross cutting is next
I have used this flip stop to cross cut before. It can be a huge PITA on long wide boards like this one. It's difficult to hold the board up against the stop and saw on the line because I'm just a wee bit too far away from the action.

new way to cross cut at the workbench
On a recent episode of the Woodwright's Shop I saw Roy use this setup to cross cut a board like mine.  I've probably seen this before but this time I was paying attention.  This worked much better than I thought it would. The board didn't move at all on me when I did the crosscut. I was able to concentrate on the line and not worry about holding the board and keep it from shifting or moving on me.

you can drive a truck under this
This is going to be a thin board when I get done with it. I don't need a thick panel and something from 1/2" to 5/8" will work here.

planed the wings off first
bottom is flat and the top has a belly
hump and hollow removed
One side of this is flat and twist free. Or I should say it was flat and twist free. The board is already moving on me and the thinnest part is a hair over a 1/2". I don't think that I will be getting a board in my target range.  We'll have to see. I'll set this aside and I'll check it tomorrow. If it has played stupid wood tricks, I'll making another panel.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
How many islands are there in the Hawaiian Islands?
answer - 8 major islands and 137 small islands (as counted by the State of Hawaii)

Snekkerverksted og høvling av kledning

Høvelbenk - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 1:05am

Roald Renmælmo:

Snikkarverkstaden på Bryggen i Bergen har fått sin eige blogg der dei vil presentere stoff frå verksemda si. Dei arbeider med restaurering av bygningane på Bryggen og kjem borti mykje spennande i samband med det. Det er også stort at dei har fått innreidd ein verkstad med tradisjonelle verktøy og arbeidsbenkar. Dette er ein blogg vi vil følgje i tida framover.

Fyrst posta Bryggen Handverk :

Velkommen til vår ferske blogg fra Bryggen i Bergen!

De siste ukene har vi gjennomgått en liten snekker revolusjon på Bryggen. Det gamle tømrerverksted er omgjort til benkeveksted for tradisjonell snekring.

Gjerdesagen er ute, og handhøvlene er inne. Her skal det foregå restaurering av gamle vinduer, snekring av nye vinduer og dører, handhøvling av kledning, gulv, paneler og listverk;- alt på gamlemåten ved bruk av handverktøy!

På Bryggen trenger vi et verksted som er optimaliser i forhold til prosessene som kreves ved førindustriell snekring. I dette verkstedet vil rettebenken alltid stå klar til bruk. Det samme vil forsetet. Her står to høvelbenker uten forstyrrende elektrisk verktøy tett ved. Kvasse høvler, sag og beitel er innen rekkevidde når vi trenger det.

Slik kan vi enkelt dra i gang produksjonen uten å måtte tilrettelegge og rigge til verktøy og utstyr hver gang vi skal bruke det.

Det er et mål å lage…

View original 279 fleire ord

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Categories: Hand Tools

Hand Forged Holdfasts - In Stock

Benchcrafted - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 8:10pm

Our hand-forged holdfasts are once again in stock. If you'd like one, or many, the only way to order is to send us an email info@benchcrafted.com. State how many you'd like, and provide your full shipping address, and we'll send you a bill. Price is $185 per. 

These are made entirely by hand, using traditional methods. 

For video, and more info, click me

Categories: Hand Tools

Upcoming Presentation

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 5:57pm


March 14 I will be presenting “Historical Finishes” to the Tidewater Chapter of the SAPFM.  The meeting will take place at Somerton Ridge Hardwoods (http://somertonridgehardwoods.com) in Suffolk, VA.

Hope to see you there.

Marking in the Waste

Greg Merritt - By My Own Hands - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 4:17pm

I’ve been working with wood for a lot of years.  Most of those years consisted of fits and starts with no real skill building taking place.  There were several reasons, but past is past.  This all changed a few years ago when several things came together for me.  I built a small shed in which to work, Paul Sellers started Masterclasses and I could afford to purchase some hand tools.  Once I could put serious focus on woodworking I knew that, beyond developing the basic skills, joinery was of primary importance.

As I began to build projects with more and more joinery one thing became obvious.  I needed a way to keep track of what went where.  A good deal of woodworking articles and videos make mention of using a lower case cursive “f” for marking the face side of a board in conjunction with a “v” to indicate the face edge.  Most woodworkers are also aware of using an indexing triangle to keep pieces oriented for assembly.  Laying out of joinery is pretty well covered too.  What is rarely discussed is how to mark the waste. An “X” or a quick scribble or, more often than not, no mark at all.  If you are cutting your joinery shortly after marking it out than this may not be that big of a deal.  If, like me, hours or days may pass between the marking out and the cutting than problems start to crop up.  I was spending a good bit of time reorienting myself with what was what.  Another issue was that I would occasionally cut on the wrong side of the line.

If you’ve visited here before you know that I have a deep-seated, obsessive has a negative connotation, interest in Japanese and Chinese woodworking.  There are a multitude of reasons but their use of joinery is what keeps me hooked.  As a result of this interest I purchased a video by Jay van Arsdale titled “Japanese Hand Tools & Techniques“.  In that video he touches on how Japanese carpenters mark in the waste to communicate what is to be removed.  They use these methods because the master carpenter is the one doing the layout.  However, he is rarely the one who actually cuts the joinery.  So a system was developed to readily and clearly communicate where and how the joinery was to be cut.  This method seemed like it would be worth a try.

sumi_pot-19After sketching ideas on paper I devised a basic system that I could put to the test in the shop.  The first trials were using a pencil to create the tick marks.  This worked but were simply not bold enough to give the visual contrast needed.  I then tried a Sharpie marker.  This worked fairly well.  I also ordered and tried a brush tip pen.  This worked great.  The tick marks took on a tapered form.  Fat at the beginning and thinner at the end.  They looked like, well, brush strokes pointing to the center area of the waste.  In the video, van Arsdale used the traditional sumisashi and ink pot to create the marks.  I like this method too.  So much that I made my own ink(sumi) pot.  It’s more work to get the equipment ready but is fun to use.

Since I began using this marking system confusion and errors have dropped dramatically.  I can still produce some bone-head moments but they are coming with far less frequency. By taking the time to mark the waste my focus on what I’m doing increases and I, by default, recheck my layouts.  I’ve discovered caught potential errors this way.  I’m also able to pick up a piece and quickly understand what joinery needs to be executed.  No matter the how long the delay between the marking out and the cutting.

Below is an example of a project piece with the joinery marked using my system.  Note the visual contrast between the pencil lines and the ink.


Here is a quick reference drawing that I put together to help illustrate the system I use.


I don’t expect anyone to adopt my system.  If you do however, let me know how it works out for you.  What I do want is for you to consider at least how you currently keep track of your joinery layouts.  Maybe you could benefit from creating your own system as well.  I can attest that using a system to mark my joinery waste has benefited me greatly in my own work.  Something for you to ponder on at least.

Instructional Drawing PDF:Marking Joinery Waste

Greg Merritt

‘The Best of Christopher Schwarz’ e-mag

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 3:00pm

Christopher Schwarz sincerely hopes that the projects, tips and tricks in this new digital magazine are not his best work – the best, he explained, is always yet to come. “I really hope my best stuff is in the pipeline,” Schwarz noted when I sought his help identifying articles to include in this collection. It was tough deciding what to include in this collection. His dedication to the traditions of […]

The post ‘The Best of Christopher Schwarz’ e-mag appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Thoughts on Peace and Safe Working Environs

Paul Sellers - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 12:42pm

Thanks for your response to the previous post

It was refreshing to see the response to the blog post on Lifting Your Spirits, here and on Facebook too. I can see why people have such a mix of feelings and passions about issues regarding machines versus hand tools and so on. I’m certain it’s because many of us feel defensive of whichever path we’re on and I think I see much of the dilemma too. Woodworking has changed in the last half century and I’ve been a part of watching the changes that transformed it from being a man’s occupation to perhaps more a pastime, an interest and a hobby.  I have never liked the terms like these particularly, primarily because I have always thought they somehow diminish the significance they actually have for people. Aside from that, I, like most people I know, never had time to pass nor time for a hobby. I have always considered woodworking to be a more serious issue and that’s because it has been the way I earn my living.PICT0037

Over the more recent decades I have seen that woodworking can hardly be distilled into any particular camp and all the more so since the online presence of forums bringing every blend and hybrid to the table for sampling. New terms are used many of which are terms only but the practices are the same; a bit like the outer casing of a DeWalt drill changes but the gubbins inside remains principally the same. We’re forced to buy a new one every year not because the drill driver is worn out but the battery stops charging and the battery costs almost as much as a new drill driver. It’s a funny thing how fashion has invaded my craft. Ten years ago we had 12-volt drill drivers. Turn up on the job site today with any thing less than 18-volts and you’d likely be laughed off the site. I’m glad I left that world behind by choice and remained true to my goal in pursuing craft and skill. I changed the bandsaw blade on my 40 year old bandsaw today and enjoyed seeing the tension tighten the band to the wheels for some strange reasoning. just rambling again.PICT0082_2

Machine woodworking—a highly charged situation

I do see what tugs at people working outside of the craft to earn their corn and feed their families but wanting leisure time to be filled with wood and working it. Not many readers here are woodworkers earning their living from their work. They have scant time at weekends to be creative and like to accomplish what they make as quickly as possible. The machine reduces labour time drastically for them and enables them to maximise the levels of accomplishment they want to within the allocated space we call recreation time. Slicing up the pie of time a weekend gives them between weekend chores around the house, car washing, mowing grass, cleaning house, time with family and some rest and relaxation too means woodworking (or any other craft creativity) is slotted in as best it can be. Machines do cut wood fast and minimise what many would refer to as wasted time. Many say it also drastically reduces the skill levels you need too. Here in is the rub for many. Machines do cut time costs down, but then you must figure some other cost thingies into the equation. Machines themselves don’t come cheap and it’s not just the cost of the machines themselves that I mean. Yes, there will not be too much change from £2,500 for four or five half decent machines whether you buy new or secondhand. But machines cost much in space too and boy do they quickly eat that up; I mean they do take up a lot of dedicated space; like a massive footprint of occupation around which you must constantly trip and tiptoe. Then there is what I call the hidden occupation. This is the one where the atmosphere you live and breath is totally charged; occupied if you will by a fine filtering extraction doesn’t quite grab. PICT0150This becomes all the more consuming in confined spaces. After just one hour a filter of fine dust starts coating your glasses and the surface of your skin, your clothes and your hair. The walls gradually develop a layer and thin cobwebs hitherto unseen start taking on their own external levels of dust-cholesterol. Your longs and bronchi too no doubt if you’re not very careful. The invasion of noise from one machine then synchronises the extractor (collector) and before you know it therein is yet another invader of precious space so there is no place for others to occupy your creative space with you either. I mean who wants to stand in a shop with a dust mask on and hearing protectors and such like that. These are all things by which I start to examine something we call quality of life.PICT0145

The competition between hand methods and machines

My US cousins might be surprised by the fact that here in the UK very few woodworkers have a machine shop. Many if not most have no machines at all. They just can’t give up the all too valuable space. Actually, I know a lot of US friends in woodworking that have no machines either, mostly because they live in an apartment or a rental house though. Mainland Europe is the same as the UK I think. I’d be interested to hear from 100 Europeans to see how many have a machine shop. Personally, I do own machines. I have a chopsaw, tablesaw, planer/jointer, drill press and three bandsaws. Most of my machines are old models, maybe 50 years old. They are not what we might call heavy industrial models, but they are for serious professional use say in a small one- or two-man shop. I can’t recall the last time I used the mortiser even though it is a very nice one, but the other machines I use every other week or so I suppose. I can go a month and not turn any of them on. Some of this is probably due to lack of space, but mostly it’s personal preference. The big questioning for me has and always will be why do people feel that there is a competition between hand methods and machines? Why do people think machines are always so much more efficient for everything when that’s not always the case? Why do people feel hand tools are old fashioned, highly demanding and slow… so very slow? You see you have to consider other factors when you use one method over another. Hand tools do demand skills and many woodworkers, amateurs and professionals (professional meaning they earn their living from carpentry of some type) no longer have these skills to rely on. I think that that’s why they tend to avoid them and use machines. PICT0048It’s not generally the case that they use the machines because they couldn’t survive using hand methods, that’s been my experience, but that they just never developed any sort of hand skills at all. They mostly never had the opportunity. I think that it’s true to say that machines need more a level of confidence and less so skill as such. Of course they cut wood into sections super fast. No one denies that at all, but then there is the constant concern for noise, dust, personal health and the health of others and the safety and wellbeing of user and materials. I have talked to many part-time woodworkers, male, female, young old, and in most cases they feel ill-equipped to work with machines. “Very intimidated”, is a common phrase as to how they feel about them, and rightly so. They feel highly challenged by them and I understand that because they are dangerous. It takes a long time to feel truly competent and thereby comfortable with using machines. They do demand a high price when it comes to peace and wellbeing.PICT0027

Oh, the black and whites? All hand work!

The post Thoughts on Peace and Safe Working Environs appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

With Hammer in Hand - Free Download

The Workbench Diary - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 12:30pm

The Dominy family’s Long Island workshop, on display at Winterthur, is the most complete example of an 18th/19th century American cabinet and chair maker’s shop. That corner of the second floor at Winterthur’s museum gallery building is mecca for period furniture makers.

As helpful as the exhibit, Charles Hummel’s With Hammer in Hand, first published in 1968, documents the collection of tools and furniture from the shop. In comprehensive catalog format, each object is depicted and briefly described. I have found this book very useful as a reference tool. On the used market, this out-of-print book currently goes for around $90. Though not as lushly photographed as modern exhibition books, the book’s utility is worth its weight in gold.

If you couldn’t or didn’t purchase a copy yet, don’t fret. Recently, the entire book was digitized and added to the University of Wisconsin’s Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture. All of the book’s content is downloadable and the pictures can even be viewed larger than in the printed book.

I highly recommend you look through this book. There are few tool collections as valuable to our understanding of period furniture makers. 

Without further ado here’s … With Hammer in Hand.
Categories: Hand Tools

Traveling Tool Chest with a Mind-blowing Surprise

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 10:55am

Christopher Schwarz and Jameel Abraham are working together on a tool chest article for the August and October issues of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Chris built the box; Jameel created a carved marquetry panel for the lid. Yes – a carved marquetry panel. The chest is built to travel, is based on the many vintage examples that Chris has studied and measured, and holds a full complement of furniture making tools, […]

The post Traveling Tool Chest with a Mind-blowing Surprise appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

He Thumbs a Book of Photographs and Says,

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 8:57am


“Fast modern contemporary furniture, I want no part of it. People wanting to express themselves, it’s just simply crap. That’s what’s causing all the ills of our society, individualism with nothing to express. You tear your guts out to express yourself and it ends up in frustration and a terrible environment…. (Wood is) a gift we should treasure and use in the most logical and beautiful way, and personal expression is quite illegitimate. It’s an arrogant conceit, and we have too much conceit in our society.”

— George Nakashima interviewed by John Kelsey for the January/February 1979 issue of Fine Woodworking (Issue No. 14).

Filed under: Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

The Norsk Skottbenk Union

The Norse Woodsmith Blog - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 8:11am

Hi everyone!

I'm poking my head out of the rabbit hole just to send out notice of a new blog I've added to the Norse Woodsmith aggregator, called the Norsk Skottbenk Union. 

A "skottbenk" is an interesting bench/wood holding design (image courtesy of Norsk Skottbenk Union):

Dennis Laney had mentioned it in his blog earlier this month, and Roald Renmælmo, the owner of the blog, contacted me about adding it just this morning.   Being this is the "Norse" Woodsmith site, it seemed a great fit.

Much of it is in Norwegian, but Roald has added some english translations.  He voiced surpise that there would be interest in such woodworking in other parts of the world, but I've found quite the opposite - I think the global reach of the internet brings the most fascinating things to your doorstep, and this is one.   I personally know several who work in timber framing that would love to have one of these at the ready.





Turning Inspiration Into Your Own Design

Highland Woodworking - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 7:00am

brynns-desk-accent-woodMy 7-year-old daughter has an art supply collection to rival most craft stores.  She decided to use these supplies to make me something for my birthday.  That morning she came into my office and asked if she could borrow one of my furniture books to get some ideas.  I gave her Great Designs from Fine Woodworking and off she went.

A few hours later, she brought back my book and her creation.  It was a desk/table thing, and most importantly, a sweet thought my little girl was proud of.  It of course didn’t look anything like one of the pieces of furniture in the book, but it did have many elements.  There where curved rails on the sides, and she even took the time to color in what I think are dovetails.

When it comes to my own designs, I go through a similar process to help me get to my end result and make it as original as I can.  I look through tons of Google images and design books, looking for elements to incorporate into my design.

When I find a piece of furniture that really speaks to me and I want to use for inspiration, I study the design.  I try to determine what parts I like and are drawn to and what parts I am not drawn to.  I keep those in mind as I work towards my final design.

Next, I go to the drawing phase. After I have studied the inspiration piece or pieces for a while, I cover up the photo and redraw it without looking at.  Several things happen as I do this.

First, I have no idea what size the piece is in the photo so I have to decide for myself what size it needs to be.  To come up with the right size for the piece, I think about where I would put it.  If it is for a client, I ask them where they plan to put it.  Often times their needs will dictate the overall size it needs to be.  Just changing the size can change the look and feel of a piece of furniture because all the proportions will end up different from the original.  Defining the overall size is the first step into making it my own style.

Second, is to change the details of the piece.  I can’t remember every aspect of the piece as it appeared in the photo.  This is when the piece really starts to take on a life of its own.  I have to fill in the blanks in my memory using my own experience of how I think things should look.  For example, if it‘s a table I am working on I most likely won’t remember what the original apron looked like.  I will have to decide how far to set the apron back from the edge.  I would have to remember if the apron was set back from the legs creating a reveal or if it was flush with the legs.  Then I have to decide how to join the legs to the apron.  Do I want to use standard mortise and tenons, or add some visual interest by using through mortise and tenon joints?

Then I would have to try to remember the shape of the legs, where they curved at the end, did they start out thick at the top and get thinner as they went to the bottom?  If the legs are one of the elements that  I didn’t like in the original photo because they were too thick, then this is the time to change them by thinning them down or by making it a more gradual curve.

This list of things to remember from the original will continue as I redraw the piece.  There are several things you can change from the original that will change the overall look and feel of a piece of furniture.  Even as simple as using different wood spices or throwing in an accent wood to add visual interest.

By deciding on how to handle all those subtle differences, and by using my own preferences and not referencing back to the original, I come up with something that is inspired by but different from the original.  All those design and construction details, as small as they are individually, add up to big changes.  I had to decide on each of them as I redrew the piece, bringing in my own design tastes and personality.

Many times, I am not 100 percent satisfied with my first redraw.  From that point, I will repeat the process and redraw it several times, tweaking this, that, and the other thing.  Each time asking myself what it is that is not speaking to me, and then changing that until I have come up with a design I am excited to build.

However, it doesn’t stop there.  Once I am in the shop, I may redraw elements of the design full size to get a feel for how the finished product is going to look.  Alternatively, if I can’t decide for sure whether or not the leg should be 2-1/2” or 3” wide, I will mill an extra leg at 2-1/2″ to get a feel for what it is going to look like.  If I like it, I will adjust the design on the fly.  When I am finished, I am always satisfied with my design that is inspired by, but not a direct copy of the original piece.


Brian Benham has made his lifelong passion for woodworking his profession. He enjoys taking his clients ideas and combining them with traditional woodworking techniques to create a unique piece of furniture.

You can find more about his furniture at http://www.benhamdesignconcepts.com/

You can Follow Brian on Google Plus


The post Turning Inspiration Into Your Own Design appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Chips ‘n Tips 9 Choosing the Best Grain

The Renaissance Woodworker - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 6:25am

Win woodworking prizesI get a lot of questions along the line of “why doesn’t my furniture look as good as…”. Even with flawless execution and even attention to form a piece can fall short without attention paid to the wood grain. Imagine a frame and panel door with cathedral patterns in the rails and stiles and a non centered glue line on the panel with contrasting grain patterns and you will quickly see what I mean. Selecting the right grain for the statement you want to make takes time and definitely takes more wood and more work, but ideally it will turn your good piece into a masterpiece.

Today’s Chips ‘n Tips Winner

12 hollow round pairI drew Mickey Jones’ name from the hat and he has a pair of No 12 Hollows and Rounds on his way to him. I’ve fettle these planes and did some initial grinding and lapping of the blades. He’ll just need to do a final hone and will be making curly shavings in minutes. If you haven’t registered for your chance to win prizes, just visit the Chips ‘n Tips page to do so.

Congratulations to Mickey and thanks to everyone for the great feedback on this series. Lots more stuff to give away with new things being added daily.

Categories: Hand Tools

Building Bradley’s Crib Part 3 – Stopped Drilling and Hardware Finish Modification

Rainford Restorations - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 5:39am

When we last left our woodworking hero he completed the legs and was heading into the home stretch — installing the hardware. But wait….some of these things are not like the others. The bed bolts in the hardware kit were ordered in a nice antique bronze finish. The bed frame has a nice enameled finish in a similar dark brown metallic color. The threaded inserts and bolts that hold up the bed frame were a bright silver zinc finish. I worried these shiny bits would stand out like a sore thumb.

Then I remembered a trick I learned from my friend Chris Schwarz that he used on his Anarchist’s Tool Chest. I soaked the zinced hardware in a bath of citric acid for a couple hours, then brushed them off with a brass bristle brush, rinsed them in water and dried them off. I then applied some ‘Super Blue Liquid Gun Blue’ to the hardware with a Q-tip and rinsed the hardware in water and dried it off to complete the process. The Super Blue creates a chemical reaction that creates a nice patina on metals. In this case it made a dark brownish color that gets the threaded inserts into a color spectrum very close to the rest of the hardware. (Check out the photo below to see the before and after). I’m very happy with how that color treatment went.

Modifying the hardware's finish

Modifying the hardware’s finish

Next up I had to drill a large number of stopped holes for the various bits of hardware this project included — threaded inserts, bolts and barrel nuts. To accomplish this I made use of some of my favorite methods for drilling a fixed depth hole. The quickest and dirtiest way to drill a hole to a consistent depth out in the field is with some blue tape wrapped around your drill bit. When the excess tape wipes away all your shavings you know you reached the depth you set out to drill.

Blue tape depth stop

Blue tape depth stop

Next up is using a fixed metal stop collar. This gives a more precise stop, but if you press too hard the collar can mar the surface of the wood, so I mainly use the collar with a dowel centering jig (As the collar stops when it hits the jig) or in places where the wood rubbed by the collar will not be seen.

Metal Collar Depth Stop

Metal Collar Depth Stop

When I have the luxury of a drill press at hand I can make use of the built in quill depth stop (left side of drill press in photo below). When buying a drill press make sure you get a heavy duty depth stop and easy to use depth setting mechanism. Even with a nice stop I don’t trust the scale on it other than for macro level adjustments. For checking hold depth with a higher level of accuracy I use a depth gauge.

Drill press depth stop

Drill press depth stop

A depth gauge can be as simple as using your combo square with large holes, or a piece of dowel in smaller holes used to determine how deep the hole has been drilled. For real tiny holes or times I want a very high level of precision I use an old Starrett Machinist Depth Gauge I got at a tool show years ago. I like this gauge as it has its own macro and micro adjustment which is a very nice and completely overkill feature. :-)

Old Starrett Depth Gauge with Micro-Adjustment

Old Starrett Depth Gauge with Micro-Adjustment

I set the gauge to the depth I want as shown above. I then place the gauge in the hole, as shown below, and tweak my drilling until I reach the depth I am going for. It’s a quick and easy process.

Depth Gauge In Use

Depth Gauge In Use

With all the holes drilled I was able to install all of the threaded inserts into the posts. As the natural cherry ages it will become a golden brown color that will blend in with the brown colored hardware.

Completed Legs With Hardware Installed

Completed Legs With Hardware Installed

I’m very happy with how the hardware came out, and as you can see in the photo below, even on this freshly completed piece the hardware, and the threaded inserts and bolts in particular blend in quite well.

Mattress frame installed

Mattress frame installed

Next up in this series I’ll be talking about final assembly and finishing.

If you’d like to read some other posts related to this project as they get posted please check out this link here.

Take care,

Filed under: Children's Projects, Made In The USA, Traditional Woodworking, Woodworking Techniques Tagged: Bradley's Crib, Cherry, Cherry Crib, Crib, Full Size Bed, Toddler Bed, Wood Magazine, Wood Magazine 3 in 1 Bed
Categories: General Woodworking

新年快樂!Happy Chinese New Year from Hello Kitty and giant Cypress,...

Giant Cypress - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 4:18am

新年快樂!Happy Chinese New Year from Hello Kitty and giant Cypress, and may you have good fortune in the Year of the Sheep.

The international launch of the Skottbenk

Norsk Skottbenk Union - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 2:01am
 Roald RenmælmoThis is a typical situation with a “skottbenk” used with at “skottokse” (the handplane) for shooting the edgde of a long board. Photo: Roald Renmælmo

When I started this blog I wanted to get some focus on a type of workbench that where almost forgotten in Norway. I wanted to engage other craftsmen in Norway to search for old workbenches and to make their own and start to use them. I did not believe that this would gain interest among woodworkers in other parts of the world. About a year ago Dennis Laney wrote a post about the skottbenk on his blog: If you don’t know your hyvelbenk from a skottbenk – you should. It is not easy to explain the use of the bench and to translate Norwegian terms to English. Dennis wrote a new entry on his blog to explain how this skottbenk works: Skottbenk equals sticking board – Big sticking board. He has also made a later post: Murphy’s law, spring joints and skottbenks.

I have made a small Youtube video to show how I use the skottbenk to make floor boards with tongue and groove. It has some Norwegian text to explain the details but you will get the idea. I have also made a post in Norwegian that explains how to use and maintain the skottbenk. I have also an earlier entry in English on the blog: Jointing bench or shooting bench as English translation of skottbenk?

Some weeks ago I got an e-mail from James Groover, an American that where interested in the skottbenk and wanted to make a 3D model of one in Google SketchUp to help people to make their own skottbenk. We have been working on this model for some time and had some problems with the conversion from metric to inches and even from the Norwegian “tomme”, a slightly longer inch. After some e-mails to solve theese problems, James has come up with a 3D model of a skottbenk. That might be the first in history? The model are based on the skottbenk I use in the YouTube video, that again are based on an original from Kverndal in Målselv. James has made his 3D model available for you all from 3D warehouse. You can download the file and use Google SketchUp to wiev the model in 3D.

Screenshot of the 3D model of the Skottbenk made by James Groover.Screenshot of the 3D model of the Skottbenk made by James Groover.

I do hope that this will help you to make your own skottbenk even if you cant read Norwegian. There should be possible to find similar workbenches as the skottbenk in other parts of the world. Leonardo da Vinci did make a drawing of a skottbenk and I have found several American patents on workbenches that works like a skottbenk. That would indicate that it should be possible to discover a skottbenk outside of Norway. Thank you Dennis and James to help me to introduce the skottbenk in your part of the world.

Adress to the 3D model made by James Groover:


Categories: Hand Tools

539 Madison’s Dresser Pt 3 “Sides, sides, everywhere are sides”

Matt's Basement Workshop - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 1:45am

It’s time to get started with the actual building of Madison’s tall dresser, and the first steps in the process is making the sides for the body.

sides with dados

Parallel dados for the win

These consist of two wide, solid-wood panels just over 49 inches in length and 19 inches in width.

In order for us to attach the drawer frames (which not only support the drawers but are an important part of the overall structural framework of the dresser,) we need to plow out a few dados across the width of the sides and cut rabbets at the top/bottom and also on the back edge to eventually receive the back panel.

For the side panels I got really lucky and chose two extra-wide boards (approximately 12+ inches in width each) to make up the majority of the width, and then eventually glued them together with some not so extra-wide 8 inch boards to give me a rough dimension I could start working with.

To mill the extra-wide boards I decided against ripping them to widths that would fit on my 8 inch jointer, and instead built a very simple thickness planer sled that would allow me to flatten one face as if I had ran it over the cutter head of a monster-sized jointer.

Then after the glue-up was completed it was over to the table saw to crosscut and rip the panels to size, followed by installing my dado blade and getting to work on those dados and rabbets.

I’d love to tell you there weren’t any complications along the way…but that would be a lie! So we’ll discuss what happened and how I fixed those mistakes in today’s episode.

A full set of detailed plans are available for sale on my website, thanks to Brian Benham of Benham Design Concepts.

You can find them by visiting our new “Digital Downloads Store” by clicking here.

Episode available for download in the following formats:
|SD Video||720HD Video||Audio only|

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Categories: Hand Tools


Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 1:13am
Before I went into the Navy in October of 1974, I wanted to be a carpenter. I wanted to build houses. I had a burning desire to learn anything and everything there was to know about the craft. At that time apprenticeship programs were non existent. The carpenter's union had a journey man program but there was a catch to it.

The catch was I had to pony up $250 to join the union and get a union card. Then I had pay my first years dues and wait. Ponying up all those dollars (that I didn't have) was no guarantee that I would get into the program. Paying out all those dollars didn't even guarantee me a go-fer job neither. But I would be a dues paying, card carrying union man he said. Just show up at the union hall and ......

I decided to go into the US Marines and learn to be a jet engine mechanic but my cousin talked me out of the Marines (he was a Vietnam era Marine). I looked into the See Bees in the Navy but that was closed with nobody being offered admission. It never occurred to me that a 'builders' rating was offered in the army or the air force. I could have also gone into the navy and learned to be a pattern maker which was another rate I didn't know existed.  Instead I went into electronics because that is what the recruiter said I was qualified to do.

It's now been over 40 years since I first had the itch to be an apprentice. I guess you could say that I have been an apprentice the last 3 years with Paul Sellers being my You Tube master. That aside, where would someone young today go to learn woodworking? Schools have abandoned teaching woodshop or just about any other non academic class.  The trade schools in my area don't teach any hand skills at all. Everything is geared to a machine and if there isn't one, the requisite hand skill isn't taught. There are woodworking schools scattered about the country but they cost dollars. And the tuition doesn't include food or shelter, that is an another cost to be factored in.

I am not sure of this, but I think Germany is the only country that has anything even remotely resembling an apprenticeship. I read of several of their larger industries having manufacturing skill programs(machinists, etc) but I am not sure if there is a woodworking program. I am sure that in undeveloped countries, skills are still passed down father to son and mother to daughter. What skills are we passing down here in the land of milk and honey? I read the news(want ads) all the time about manufacturers lamenting there are no skilled workers but there are also no apprenticeship programs to teach them. I'm not sure the youth of today would even be interested in learning this way.

manual training arts book
I've read this book a couple of times and I mostly look through it now because of the plans it. It is a vocational training book printed in 1918 for elementary to college level training of students. What dumb founds me is what the students were expected to do. Some the joinery exercises therein I know I would have trouble executing today. 10 year olds were expected to do these without any help and on their own initiative.

This is one line from the book that stuck with me, "...at the same time the student is given no aid which will rob him of his own initiative in making......". This is from an exercise where the student is given a drawing of a piece of furniture and nothing else. It has just OAL measurements. He then has to make up his own drawings, a bill of materials, and a cost projection. He was then expected to make it in accordance with his drawn plans, on cost, and on time.

I think I was born in the wrong century. What would I have had been able to become if I had the opportunity of a formal apprenticeship?  Where would I be today if  Paul Sellers hadn't decided to teach as he does. I would probably be still experimenting and learning as I tried instead of being shown how to. It is easier to practice doing it the correct way vice guessing and learning by trial and error.

Is hand tool woodworking to die out? Who will come after Paul Sellers or Tom Fidgen to teach the younger generation?  I don't think it will ever die out but the 'old' tools available now (limited) won't be around then for them.  There aren't any manufacturers producing quality hand tools in the quantities like they were during the late 1800's to early 1900's.  There has been too much change with no respect or acknowledgment of the past. My nephews and nieces have no interest in woodworking at all. I'm holding out for the grandkids wanting to learn from a grumpy old man.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Which is the only US state that grows coffee beans?
answer - Hawaii

Dovetail Video – The Basics of the Common Dovetail

Paul Sellers - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 1:11am

We made a video last year on how I cut the common dovetail by hand. It’s simple and easy enough using oak so here is the link.PICT0145

The post Dovetail Video – The Basics of the Common Dovetail appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools


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