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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!

Thank you to everyone who contributed towards Walt Quadrato's battle against cancer!  Their fundraising goal was met.  Our prayers are with you, Walt!  


Ramon's Roubo

Benchcrafted - Sat, 01/17/2015 - 7:19am

Hey Benchcrafted......I discovered your amazing vises (after very little searching actually) and ordered sometime in February 2014. What an incredible build....I am in love with this workbench....truly a fantastic design with the best-in-the-world hardware.

I just wanted to thank you and your team for all the effort and hard work that you all obviously put into creating the ultimate workbench.  I've sent some pics of mine.....completed in 74 hours (literally a few here and there,
six hours at the most at one time)  The bench is made of Wormy Maple and Bubinga with an Ash and Bubinga tool chest (not part of the 74 hours)

Thanks again....I could not be more pleased with a company like
Benchcrafted.....simply,  extraordinary......ciao, Ramon.

You can see more of Ramon's work at his website: www.ramonvaldezfinefurniture.com

Categories: Hand Tools

An End to Public E-mail

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 6:26pm

Since 1996 I have had a public e-mail address for all things woodworking. I have – to the best of my knowledge – answered every e-mail people have sent me (except a few from Nigerian princes).

Today I shut down my public e-mail address: chris@lostartpress.com. Here’s why.

During the last few years, my e-mail volume has ballooned to the point where I spend two to four hours every day answering mail. This is interfering with my writing, editing, building and (apologies) sanity.

If you have a question related to my writing, I encourage you to search my two blogs, which have more than 4,000 articles on all-things woodworking, plus jokes about animal flatulence.

On this blog, use the search box at the top right of the page. On my Popular Woodworking Magazine blog, the search function is right above the most recent entry.

Plus, you can always query me by leaving a comment on my blog that relates to a recent entry.

I ask that you do not bombard John with questions related to woodworking or about getting in touch with me. He has his hands full with customer service for Lost Art Press and keeping fulfillment running smoothly.

I have enjoyed corresponding with readers during the last 19 years. But I have reached a point where I need more time to think, build, read, research, edit and write.

Thank you all for your understanding in this matter.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Report on Forest Trees of North America

Pegs and 'Tails - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 2:32pm
North America is vast and by North Americans’ own frequent admission, everything there is bigger and more profuse than anywhere else. We’re all vaguely aware of the prodigious amounts of oak, pine, walnut and ash grown in, and which has … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

To Make Tortoise Shell Japan

Pegs and 'Tails - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 1:54pm
Talking – as I was, with someone the other day – about the various methods I employed to simulate tortoise shell (and indeed, ‘tortoise shell’) on an earlier girandole and chest of drawers I made; I herewith append (as promised) William … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

A trip to the museum

A Woodworker's Musings - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 1:53pm

I rarely have seen a museum that I didn’t enjoy.  And, if you live in the Toledo Ohio area, or will be visiting, you are very fortunate, indeed.  Toledo, small Midwestern city that it is, is blessed with a world class art museum.  Stroll through any of it’s many galleries and you’ll find yourself “eye to eye” with recognizable masterpieces from around the world.  But along with masterpieces of painting and sculpture, the Toledo Museum of Art possesses some of the most beautiful pieces of furniture ever made.

Fine examples of the work of the French Ebenistes are there for the viewing:




Craftsmen from the Netherlands are well represented:

China cabinet 18th century Dutch - an incredible example of expert veneer work

China cabinet 18th century Dutch – an incredible example of expert veneer work

Walnut and Ebony cupboard - southern Netherlands - 1600-1650

Walnut and Ebony cupboard – southern Netherlands – 1600-1650

And a Dutch “tour de force”:

Chest on Stand – Netherlands 1690 – Ebony, tortoiseshell, ivory, mixed woods and gilded bronze

If English Oak draw leaf tables are “your thing”, here’s a wonderful example from 1600:


Around every corner is a new treasure.  In fact, in an out-of-the-way area are two building interiors that could make you believe that you’re standing in the drawing room of a great Continental house of the 17th century or a sanctuary in 18th century Switzerland.



Whether your interest is woodworking, history or art, the Toledo Museum has something for you.  If you can visit, please do.  You won’t be disappointed.


Categories: Hand Tools

Pinch dogs

Woodworking By Hand - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 12:12pm

In the pic above (1933), an odd double nail is described and intended for joining wood elements for which a classic clamp would be inapropriate. Its name is pinch dog. They have a squared section and a shape with two parallel tips; each tip has a chisel shape, the bevel being toward the internal side. When the pinch dog is driven in the wood, across two parts to be joined, the opposite bevels push them one against the other.    
The dark side are the holes they leave on the wood, so can be better used on surfaces not shown or those to be painted.The pinch dogs are available on online sites and their price is around 3-4 $ each (depending on dimensions)
 So, I tried to build some home made pinch dog, using iron fence staples I took (for free) at my hardware store.
Differently from pinch dogs these nails had not parallel sides, but they work.
The first job was to cut the tips and grind two new inner bevels by a file for obtaining the shape you can  see in the pic above on the right. 
A dozen of home made pinch dogs required half an hour ca.

I had my first try for gluing up a panel.
It will be painted, so no matter for holes.
Being its thickness only 10 mm, this is a case where metal clamps do not work well: the grip surface on the edges is restricted and it is easy to cause distorsions when the clamps are tight; sometimes the panel needs a new flattening job when the glue dries.

One main advantage of pinch dogs is that the elements to be glued, stay simply on the bench; it offers a solid and flat surface for a good gluing up (only you have to protect the bench with papers).

A necessary condition to permit to the nails of working properly is to have perfectly jointed edges, so the planing job must be done carefully. In this case I used my type 7 Stanley #8 (1893-1899), a fast and accurate workhorse.

 Glue up.

When the "pinch dogs" are nailed across two panel elements, the glue squeeze out is evident.

The result is definitely great, the job really easy.

When the glue dries, remove our home made "pinch dogs".

The panel is ready for the next steps.

Categories: Hand Tools

Jack Royale

Daedworks Blog - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 12:00pm
The beginning of most years, I take a week or two to do some shop reorganization and try to get some of the projects on my ‘want to do’ list crossed off.  This year, as a break from labeling my hardware jars (really small screws, really really small screws, shoot me please) I took a break […]
Categories: Hand Tools

Tool Chest Article in F&C Magazine.

David Barron Furniture - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 11:45am

The latest edition of F&C magazine has just come out. It has a nice 5 page article on the making of my latest tool chest, complete with drawings and dimensions.

This is the chest we will be making on the five day course I'll be teaching in the summer. At the last count 12 of the 16 places are already booked, so don't leave it too late if you want to come!

There are five other courses being organised at the same time with some famous names coming over from the US including Chris Schwarz, Peter Follansbee and Roy Underhill. For more details on all the courses http://www.newenglishworkshop.co.uk/

In its making the tool chest is really more of a large jewelry box than a small tool chest. Techniques include accurate hinge fitting, piston fit tray, dovetails (of course!) and a soft closing lid. Accuracy and attention to detail are the order of the day (or week) and everyone should go home with a completed chest made entirely by their own hand.

Categories: Hand Tools

Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools – Part 5: Layout Tenons

Wood and Shop - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 9:03am


In part 5 of this series of videos, I show how I layout the tenons on the desk’s apron.

Click here to go back to part 1, if you want to follow me as I build a historic hinged-top desk for my sons. Below you’ll find photos and the list of tools that I used to build this desk.








Even though I have a helpful hand tool buying guide (here), I’m still often asked for a list of and links to the tools that I use in my videos, so here is a list of tools that I used in this series of video on desk building (I also included tools that I used in construction that wasn’t in the video):










Window to my Workshop 83

Karl Holtey - From the Workshop - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 7:12am
Progress on my A28 Chariot Plane This picture shows some idea of all the work that goes into this plane. Unless you have done it yourself you can never imagine the effort and thought that goes into making this Chariot. This plane is made to a standard light years beyond its original counterpart made by [...]
Categories: Hand Tools


FABULA LIGNARIUS - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 5:11am
One of my goals this year is to shoot better pictures of our work. Those below are not all that great, they required some work to make them somewhat presentable. Looking back at last years work one last time before we continue with all the great opportunities ahead.
Categories: Hand Tools

Today’s New Article: Fundamentals of Fearless Finishing

360 WoodWorking - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 4:10am

highboyFor me, finishing has always begun long before opening a can of stain or dissolving flakes of shellac in alcohol. I’ve always tried to teach students and apprentices a more holistic approach to making furniture.

Although the finish happens at the end, it starts at the very beginning of a project – in the planning stage. And it carries through every step of the project. The best way to end up with a great finish is to envision what you want the piece to look like from the beginning and develop a plan to get you there.

In today’s article, 360 WoodWorking subscribers discover the beginnings of the process I’ve used for decades to produce furniture for myself, my family and friends and customers across the country. If you’re a subscriber, click here to read the article (you need to be logged in to your account).

And, if you’re not a 360 WoodWorking subscriber, what are you waiting for? Subscribing is easy and costs about the same as two cups of coffee each month at your favorite coffee shop. And it lasts a whole lot longer.

— Chuck Bender

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Monthly Plan


WORK No. 148 - Published January 16, 1892

Work Magazine Reprint Project - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 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. 148 •

Categories: Hand Tools

Evenfall Studios Toolmakers News

Evenfall Studios - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 3:00am

I have been considering an occasional column on our blog, just for sharing some various thoughts and news with you, so welcome to Volume One, 2015.

For small businesses, it is often challenging getting the word out. I want to touch on the scope of our blog. It wears several hats. We are a small family business, a one man custom tool making shop. I make precision tools for woodworkers and makers. Some of the ways we use the blog is to provide methods for working that have a lot of application on any project. We also use it to help teach and inform about our tools and methods that can help woodworking become easier and more accurate for you.

Getting the word out to woodworkers all over the world about what we do and what we may be able to help you do in making is a big part of our blog. I’m remiss about not blogging more often and I do try, but it happens. Client work in the shop and the matters of life are something we all can understand in our own way. We appreciate all our subscribers and readers. Our blog is aggregated by Leif at the Norse Woodsmith Aggregator and has been for years. Recently our blog has been aggregated by Siavosh over at woodspotting.com, which is a new form of Aggregator that is growing fast and allows people to submit blogs to it. We really appreciate both of them for their their support in helping us network and get the word out. If you enjoy our blog or use it as a reference, please feel free to bookmark, subscribe directly via RSS or email as well. This helps us stay in touch and we appreciate your support.

As a side note regarding our blog, I want to remind you that many of the articles I’ve written here are meant to work as reference material resources, and I have made it as easy as I can to help you to refer back to any of them by using the “Blog Index” in the top menu at the top of the page here.

We are also using Twitter and you can find us there as @evenfallstudios. We welcome you to follow us there. Its short and to the point, and we can share links and information with you pretty easy from there, and it helps keep you up on what’s new or news from us! There is a link below and in the sidebar on this page that you can click, and it should hook you right up.

We are also working on developing a subscription email list to help us keep in touch with you directly if you like. It isn’t something we intend to use too often so don’t worry, we won’t fill your inbox, but the scope of some of what we share on the email list will be exclusive to list members only. We hope to have something ready to go in the not too distant future, please stay tuned and I’ll announce when we roll it out here on the blog.

We are here in support of woodworking and making all over the world. Our website has a lot of different woodworking resources including a well rounded library, Data and references which are very useful, and a store for ordering the tools we offer and custom make, open 24/7/365. We appreciate your support and business! Please let us know if there is something we can make for you.

I’m interested in some feedback. I have some Donkey Ear designs I am developing here, some that work as a companion to our shooting boards and others which stand alone, and I thought while I am in the R&D stages that I would ask your thoughts on how you see the use of this tool in your shops. I can’t say yet how this all will evolve, but I am hoping that this will evolve to become part of our line of very helpful shooting appliances for everyone. If you would like to share your thoughts, or show interest in donkey ears please Contact Us!

I also wanted to touch on woodworking and making – on the whole. There has been some long running theories on tooling, both electrical and hand powered. I’ve even heard from some internet sources that certain kinds of tools – hand tools only – are required, or are the gateway for true craftsmanship. I’m afraid I can’t agree. After 30 years as a professional in the trades, I feel I have worked along side plenty of skillful craftsman (while striving for my best work, myself) and they were much more than the sum of their tools.

All tools are useful to us in some application. Some are meant for speed, others for accuracy and finesse. Craftsmanship is in the wisdom to choose and wield tooling of any kind artfully, productively and wisely. Truly, craft embodies all of making in all materials, using the tooling that accomplishes it, both powered and by hand, and the mind behind the tool that is it’s guide. Craftsmanship is in the hand and eye, guiding those tools from a developed practice. Any craftsman is free to choose their own tools. I think anyone who wants to be a craftsman can be a craftsman. Craftsmanship is all about developed practice. Your personal practice, there is no substitute, it is an experiential understanding and beyond the reach of written words.

The best craftsmen keep focused on learning something new everyday. The picture is big and it’s good to try to keep our focus open wide. They use what they have done in the past as a guide to help them make in the present and future. It’s a great way to look at making. Be careful not to fall into the trap of listening too intently to someone tell you that hand tools are the only truly craftsman way. There is only so much time and energy in life, so we must choose battles carefully. Tools are part of the battle armor. Some tools are for speed, and others for accuracy and finesse. To become accomplished, the right tool at the right time in skilled hands is right. If you fully inherit the fundamentals, then your imagination is the limit. The race is long. In the end it is mostly with yourself.

We offer some very nice tools that allow you to go directly to quality results without wasting a lot of money on wasting wood, or on tools that wont quite get you there. In fact, many of the tools we offer are meant to help tools you may already own work better and more accurately. We make tools that help you with your craftsmanship. We hope as you continue to advance your craft, you’ll choose some of your tools from us! Thank you for your continued support and readership!

We are rolling into year seven as toolmakers and we are “shooting” for many more. Again, thank you all for your support and we hope you’ll consider us for helping tool your shop with tools of craftsmanship for fine woodworking.

As promised above, here’s the link to follow our Twitter Feed:

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We enjoy your questions, comments, ideas and suggestions! Please Contact Us.

Thanks for visiting Evenfall Studios!

© Copyright 2015 by Rob Hanson for evenfallstudios.com All Rights Reserved.

Categories: Hand Tools

Carving Tool Box – by David Piazzo

Mary May, Woodcarver - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 7:05pm

Mary May - Woodcarver

David Piazzo is one of the active members at my online carving school. We frequently see comments from him on lessons at the school. He seems to be very engaged and enthusiastic. The following is from a recent email from David, describing how he safeguards his tools for convenient storage and travel. David agreed to this guest post to share the idea with other carvers. Thanks David and nice work!

Photo of David's toolbox

If you take a class from her, or join Mary May’s online school, one of many things you will learn is to love your tools.  (“You can never have enough”)  As my collection of quality tools has grown, I wanted a way to store and transport them safely, but still wanted to be able to get to all of them quickly when ready to carve.  With this system, they are all secure in the case, but when the top comes off and you pull out the top tray, set it on the bench in front of the bottom box… you have easy access to 40 full size tools.  Yes tool rolls are easy, but 12 or 18 tools is all you’re getting in, unless they become so big you worry about so many tools in a clump. Also if you have L series gouges or bent backs, they do not fit into nice straight spaces and they push and protrude into other spaces.

Mary has also taught how to get them SHARP so I wanted to make sure there were no metal hinges or clasps any place an accidental bump could dull a tool. So, the top has dowels along one side that fit into holes in the case and a couple rare earth magnets inlaid on the opposite side. They do not stick out and even then, NdFeB or Neodymium Iron Boron is softer than steel.

I started with 3/4 pine. But did not want the weight and bulk of 3/4 pine so I ripped it in half on the table saw to 5/16. I wanted the box small enough to carry under one arm so I worked out the dimensions by lining tools up on my bench. I dovetailed the 5/16 pine in the corners for strength and dadoed a groove around the inside for the bottom piece of 3/8 ply to hold down weight. I knew I would strengthen this bottom with the tool holder strips – see next picture.

First I made the main box with the bottom holder. After laying tools out on my bench I knew how far apart to space the half rounds for holding the handles in place. I made the frame for the top tray and strips for the bottom tool holders and clamped them together and drilled 1” holes for handles to fit into between the two strips. This gave me half rounds on both that lined up perfectly.

photo of bottom trayAfter drilling those holes, I added another row of tool holder holes above for the top tray and dadoed a groove for the top tray’s bottom.

Here you can see that the top tray is also dovetailed for strength out of 3/4 pine. I drilled holes through sides rather than making the case 1-1/2” wider. So all tools fit in same footprint. Also the bottom of the top tray, and the inside of the cover both have a 3/8” x 2” x 18” strip of temper foam glued along the center line. When the tray and the lid are in place, the foam holds down the tools to keep them from shifting or rattling.

Center bar on underside of lid  Center bar press down on the tools.
The center bar is floating. If I change tools it can move up or down to accommodate them, it moves easily. I also toss in a couple dessicant packs that come with electronics to control any moisture inside.

photo of both trays

Next, the lid and how to attach it. The lid is rabbeted like a drawer front would be. Then 5 dowels inset into the lid, and matching holes in the case side.

photo of holes and pins  photo of magnets in lid edge
Two rare earth magnets are inlaid into the lid and case side on the opposite side.

photo of sunburst carvingFinally, inspired by Mary’s fireplace Sunburst, I decided to carve that lesson into my lid. I used high gloss lacquer finish because sometimes when I sharpen, I have iron filings on my fingers and did not want that to dull the bright pine lid.  With this finish, it cleans up with windex and paper towels.  I turned a button for the center out of rosewood on the lathe.  I do love my tools and want to take the best care of them.  Now they are safely stored and easy to transport.  I have an old Coleman stove nylon carrying case they fit into perfectly for taking to a class or friends shop.

photo of case and lid together

Building The La Forge Royale Miter Jack- Part 7

Benchcrafted - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 4:19pm

The screw handle gets made from a chunk of hard maple. The original looks like oak to me, so make your's from oak if you want. This doesn't get a ton of stress, so maple is fine. The orginal octagonal mortise was cut with a large drill, then pared. I cut mine on my scroll saw (since it was handy) and only had to do a little paring for a sweet fit on the screw's octagonal shaft. 

Cut out the handle on the bandsaw, refine the surfaces, then round the arrises. I used a belt sander, and a trim router with a bearing guided roundover bit. The original handle has more of a bullnose profile around the edge, but I was itching to finish this today, so I took the lazy way out.

It doesn't much matter if you fit the handle perfectly, it won't stay perfect unless your shop is the same humidity year round.

 Now is a good time to drill and install the 3/8" dowel on the end of the fixed jaw. This allows you to store the jack on its end without it tipping over.

Okay. The base. This is a tricky piece. But I think I've got a decent sequence here to make it relatively painless. I don't think he has a blog post up yet, but Raney Nelson of Daed Toolworks just finished his jack earlier this week, and he opted for a different style base. Check his blog in the near future.

I'm calling this the "square" pocket since it's made while the base is still square. I set up the drill press with a fence and forstner bit to get rid of most the waste.

Then I came in from the other side with the same setup to get rid of even more waste. I overlap my plunges to get as flat a wall as possible.

Cut the blocky waste piece as much as possible with a backsaw.

Then pop out the waste piece with a mallet whack. The little web that remains gets chopped out.

The square pocket is then chopped and pared to the layout lines. The original base was made pretty quickly, so I didn't fuss here trying to get perfect surfaces. 

Next, cut the big ogee on the bandsaw. Yes, I still need to change my blade.

Then refine the surfaces. I used a spindle sander, a round plane, scraper, and sandpaper.

With all those steps done, you can cut the miter. A 10" table saw won't be able to do it in one pass. I wouldn't do it that way anyway, for safety reasons.

Saw the rest of the miter off by hand, staying away from the finished surface.

Refine the surface with a long plane. I so love having a row of dogs on my bench. Makes holding stuff like this child's play.

Then I chamfer the edges of the square pocket.

Set the base down on the mitered edge. The angled pocket is now in the perfect position for drilling out the waste, just like in the square pocket.

 I set the fence and start drilling right on the arris. If you do this, go slow at first until the bit makes enough of a hole to keep itself jigged in place. I use overlapping holes, and reset the fence once.

 Don't drill to full depth unless you don't mind seeing the holes left from the center spur.

If that bothers you, stop short, saw some kerfs at an angle, bang out the waste and pare the pocket to final shape. It's going to be tricky holding onto the base as you chop. Just slog through.

 With the pocket pared to shape (again, I didn't waste any time making it pretty, but just chopped as aggressively as I could to get it done quick) round the arrises of the pocket with slicing cuts from a long paring chisel. The original has distinct facets here, so I made mine the same way.

The groove pin can finally be driven into place. I used the same support block as before.

Before screwing the base to the body, I made the little half-moon cutout in the end of the base. This helps you gain access to the hook when engaging the half-miter jaw.

I would recommend you finish your jack with a coat or two of tung oil, BLO, or my favorite Minwax Antique Oil. The runners and moving parts should also get a light of wax to keep them running smoothly. 

After the finish on mine dries, I'll do a post on the different ways the jack can be used. 

Once again, we still have a few jack kits left if you'd like to build one. Price is $198. Details on our store page.
Categories: Hand Tools

Learn to Stitch the Arms of a Roorkee Chair

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 2:25pm

T7139The leather arms of Roorkee chairs will sag if you use only one layer of leather. Historical Roorkees tended to use only one layer, so I’ve seen a lot of low-slung arms.

If you don’t want your arms to sag, there are several solutions. A quick solution is to glue a strip of polyester to the underside of each arm, which will prevent the arms from stretching. This works, but the polyester can show and can be ugly.

I prefer to double up the thickness of the leather to prevent stretching. To do this, you need to glue and stitch the two layers together. While I’ve stitched some leather seats for folding stools, I haven’t been brave enough to do the arms of a Roorkee, especially one that will go to a client.

(I am almost over this timidity, however.)

This fall I made a matching pair of Roorkees for a client and also worked with Popular Woodworking Magazine to produce a DVD on the construction process I used for the chairs. You can pre-order the DVD here. Or buy the download here.

To get the arms of these chairs just right, I hired Jason Thigpen of Texas Heritage Woodworkers to glue and stitch the arms for me. He did a fantastic job. That shouldn’t be a surprise if you’ve seen his shop aprons or tool rolls. He does all the work in-house and is both a maker and a user – my kind of guy.

Today Jason posted a great blog entry on the tools and processes he used to stitch the Roorkee arms, with text, photos and a video. Check out the entry here. And if you need a tool roll, shop apron and/or leather-clad coffee mug, Jason is your guy.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Campaign Furniture
Categories: Hand Tools

Reason #1 Why You Should Come To Handworks 2015

Benchcrafted - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 11:36am


After working for the better part of the last two months on my own case for sharp tools, I have a completely different view of Studley's chest. The man was an animal. I don't mean a lion, or a tiger, or even a Tasmanian devil of woodworking. He was a mythological woodworking beast. If Studley was Greek, and ancient, he would be Daedalus, or a Cockatrice. Or both. A god of skillful craftsmanship that can kill you with a look.

I saw Studley's chest and bench. And I lived.

As I worked the lid of my case for sharp tools, I tasted, albeit briefly, of Studley's obsession with perfection, both in design and execution. Although not built in the same style, or using the same materials, I constantly was called back to the gothic arches, the flawlessly inlaid pearl, the crisp fair chamfers, the silver retaining levers, the subtle fluting of ebony spheres. And I realized that no one, to my knowledge, has reached the level of Studley's tool chest in over a century since Studley's passing. If you're out there, and have somehow completely squashed your ego, let us know. Both about your work, and your incredible self-control.

I've made difficult projects before. Three-dimensional stuff with inlay, incredibly fine fretwork in bone and ivory, geometric parquetry, chicken ala king. But something about this chest lid gave me a new found respect and admiration for Studley. His chest isn't simply an incredible piece of woodworking. Its a look into the human mind. A glimpse of the creative energy that has its origins in something beyond this world, beyond science, beyond a lump of fat between our ears, beyond our capacity for explanation.

I realized that the Studley chest isn't about woodworking. It isn't about Henry Studley. It's not even about the tools. It's about us. People. About the incredible capabilities that lie deep within us, that we're only just slightly aware of. Studley's chest is a germ of creativity that sprouted into something that we can all participate in.

If you want to harvest a seed from Studley's garden, I suggest you do everything humanly possible to get yourself to Cedar Rapids on the weekend of May 16, where the Studley tool chest and workbench will be on display, likely for the last time in all our lives.

Categories: Hand Tools

‘Arts & Crafts Furniture Projects’ 2nd Edition

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 10:44am

We’ve just released an updated edition (as both a paperback and a PDF download) of our best-selling “Popular Woodworking’s Arts & Crafts Furniture Projects,” with 17 new step-by-step project builds (42 in all). And I have a copy to give away, free. To enter the drawing, simply leave a comment below by Friday, Jan. 23. I’ll announce the winner on Monday, Jan. 26. Inside this 2nd edition of “Arts & […]

The post ‘Arts & Crafts Furniture Projects’ 2nd Edition appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Classes With Bob Lang at Marc Adams School

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 10:35am


In August 1 & 2, 2015 class, we’ll be carving (and coloring) the three panels of the “Iris Desk”

This year I’ll be making at least four trips to Indianapolis, Indiana. The first is for the Woodworking Show this weekend, and the other three times will be to teach at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. Marc sets the standard for woodworking schools with a great facility, helpful and knowledgeable staff, and a soft serve machine in the lunch room. Every year he brings in the best instructors around for classes in just about anything related to woodworking.

On August 1 & 2, 2015, I’ll be conducting a “weekend workshop” on carving and coloring the panels from my reproduction of the Byrdcliffe Iris Desk. You can read about my trip to visit the original desk in the Free Premier Issue of 360 WoodWorking. If you’re a subscriber to 360 Woodworking, you’ll be able to follow along in the next few issues as I create a set of working drawings and build a reproduction of this iconic piece. If you’re not a subscriber, you can fix that by clicking here.

In this class, participants will carve their choice of one of the three panels from the desk. The panels will be contained in a frame (which we’ll also make) and we’ll also recreate the colors applied to the carving. Participants will receive full size patterns for all three panels, and this is a great introduction to relief carving. During the class, I’ll be showing slides of the original desk and I’ll bring along my reproduction.

Click here to read or download the free article “Chasing the Byrdcliffe Iris Desk.”

Space is still available for this class and you can register by clicking on this link to the MASW website.

MASW2012_0246On May 2 & 3, 2015, I’ll be conducting a two-day workshop on “SketchUp for Today’s Woodworker”. I’ve been teaching SketchUp at MASW since 2009, and this class will get you started on the right foot if you’re new to SketchUp, or it will take your skills to the next level if you have some experience with this 3D modeling program. Bring your lap top (or haul in your desktop if you’re so inclined) and come prepared for a fast-paced, fun-filled weekend.

This class is filling fast, so if you want to attend, click this link to enroll at the Marc Adams School website.

BobLang-SKPBLGIn a few short weeks, April 7-11, 2015 we’ll be building the iconic “Gustav Stickley Morris Chair”. This chair (model #369, shown in the photo at right) is my favorite Morris chair, with arms that slope to the back and take a sharp turn at the front leg. This class runs Tuesday through Saturday, the week following Easter Sunday. You’ll go home with a wonderful place to rest after a week’s hard work. We need a second one at my house to keep the cats from fighting over the one I made a few years ago.

The bad news is that this class is nearly full (one opening available as I write this). Click this link to claim your spot (or to get on the wait list) and join me for a week of sound joinery made efficiently.

Click Here to sign up for your space in  “Carve a Colorful Byrdcliffe Panel” August 1 & 2, 2015

Click Here to sign up for your space in “SketchUp for Today’s Woodworker” May 2 & 3, 2015

Click Here to sign up for your space (or get on the wait list) in “Gustav Stickley: the Morris Chair with Bob Lang” April 7-11, 2015

–Bob Lang


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by Dr. Radut