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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

An aggregate of many different woodworking blog feeds from across the 'net all in one place!  These are my favorite blogs that I read everyday...


baskets continued

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 8:01pm

Basket bottoms. Two of our household baskests; c. 1987-90. The one on the left is a standard item; square bottom, round top. Ash with hickory rims; hickory bark lashing. The one on the right is our colored-pencil basket. Gets lots of use. A rectangular basket, all ash, rims either oak or hickory.

2 baskets

Here’s the bottom of the square one. Typical weave, resulting in openings between the uprights. Probably most splint baskets are like this.

open bottom

Here’s what I call a “filled” bottom – thin and narrow filler strips woven between the uprights.

filled bottom


The filled bottoms of baskets are made a few different ways. One is to make a round basket, with “spokes” laid out to form the bottom and sides. I do these with 16 uprights; laid out in 2 batches of 8 spokes. Here’s the underside of our laundry basket; showing this spoke bottom from below.

ash basket detail 2

Each upright, or spoke, is cut into an hourglass shape; so its middle section is narrower than its ends. This makes it easier to weave these things all close together. One spoke is cut in 2, down to the middle. This photo shows these first 8 pieces; the one my left hand is on has been cut down the middle to make an odd number of uprights.

first 8

I then take a thin, narrow weaver and start to weave these 8 pieces (9 really…) together.



Once the weaver makes a few trips around you get out to the point at which you can add in the next 8 pieces. I add these pieces one at a time, the weaver catches each one in turn and binds it to the section already woven. No need now to split one of these; things are up & running now. Around & around this goes, and you bend things upright after a certain point, to begin to form the basket’s shape.


setting in 2nd bottom


The other filled bottom is a rectangular (I guess it could be square too, but I always made then rectangles) bottom, with filler strips laid in between the uprights. In this case, there’s 3 different pieces to deal with – the short uprights, the long dittos, and the thinner filler strips. These are just a bit longer than the finished bottom of the basket. So I start with laying the long uprights down, with filler strips between them. Then alternate in the short uprights over & under the previous bits. It gets a little complictated – it’s like when I teach joinery and carving – now for 2 consecutive thoughts, and sometimes 3.

This photo shows the first 3 of each upright, with 2 narrow thin fillers between the long uprights (those that run across this photo horizontally) Then I add in each kind of splint in pairs, the longs/shorts/fillers- as the case might be. I always work out from the center. Easier to keep things even that way. Usually.



filled bottom

I’ve got the polished satin-y finish of the fillers inside the basket – they appear bright white in the photo. Remember, all this stuff is very wet as I weave it.

filled bottom 2

This is the finished laid-up bottom. Next is to tuck the filler strips in.

filled bottom before turning fillers up

I bend them back on themselves, and tuck them under the the 3rd upright -they have to go over the first two because of the weaving pattern. It just is. Then pull it tight, and trim it off just under the upright.

weaving fillers in

snipping fillers

I wove two bottoms like this, then piled up some weaving material; and will re-soak these and weave up the bodies next time I get the basket stuff out. Maybe tomorrow, it’s nice work for a hot day.


ready to weave filled bottom baskets

Verifying the alignment of jointer knives

Heartwood: Woodworking by Rob Porcaro - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 4:55pm
Let’s explore a simple method to verify the alignment of jointer knives, which is necessary when changing or adjusting them. The first goal is to have all of the knife edges across their full widths in a consistent relationship to the outfeed table. The top of the arc of the knife edge should be very […]
Categories: Hand Tools

Roorkee No. 24. Same, But Not

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 12:35pm


One of the things I enjoy about this chair form is that it never gets boring for me (but I don’t think I’ve been bored since age 11). Though this is the 24th Roorkee I’ve built during the last three years, it was still just as fun, thanks to the details I get to experiment with.

I’m on a never-ending quest to improve the hardware kit for this chair, which is featured in “Campaign Furniture,” and this Roorkee shows some of those new bits. I started using knurled brass thumbscrews to hold the arms straps to the back legs (the thumbscrews thread into brass threaded inserts). This allows you to easily take up any slack in the leather arms should you get bovine stretch marks.

roorkee_brass_locknut_IMG_0230 Roorkee_thumbscrew_IMG_0228

I also found a good source for bronze bolts for the chair’s back, plus brass washers and brass nuts with a locking nylon insert. This makes the back bits less likely to loosen up.

Elsewhere, I’ve switched to using antiqued brass roller buckles, which recede into the leather instead of jumping out at you like the bright brass ones I used before.

All the other changes are things that are difficult to notice if you aren’t me. The foot shape is just a little different. And the ends of the tenons are flush with the legs instead of protruding a tad.

But just like the first Roorkee chairs I made, this one sits really well. So it might be time for a beer.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. The complete hardware list for this chair is here.

Filed under: Campaign Furniture
Categories: Hand Tools

Inlay, Again

McGlynn On Making - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 11:34am

So I decided to try doing some simple inlay, I ordered the micro router base for the Foredom tool from William Ng today, and a couple of micro router bits.  Now I’ve done it.  I’ll probably start with some flush inlay first for practice before attempting to do the bolection style.  I wish there was a course where someone would walk me through the process to get me jump started, I’m finding it a little intimidating frankly.

I did find a set of DVDs on inlay by Larry Robinson, who does some amazing work, primarily on guitars, in shell and metal.  I don’t care for his “meet the beetles” guitar in this video, but the other work is pretty stunning.  The DVDs are available from Stewart MacDonald, they are a little spendy so I just got the first one to check it out for now.  I’ll post a review after I watch it.


Categories: General Woodworking


FABULA LIGNARIUS - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 11:31am
I look up from the daimyo-tsugi joint I am cutting, my wrist needs a break for a second, 200 monme is heavy. We have been pounding on our chisels with heavy genno since several weeks now, working reclaimed Oak beams bone dry, rock hard. Nobody says anything, conversations are sparse and if they occur at […]
Categories: Hand Tools

Dread Scrolls See?

The Cornish Workshop - Alf's blog - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 10:57am
Categories: Hand Tools

Wood Finishing Tips: Finishing my Bottom

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 10:10am

benhamtableMany times as furniture makers, we will put a finish on the underside of a tabletop to prevent it from warping or cupping. The theory being, if you put the same finish on the top as you do the bottom the moisture transfer will be equalized on all sides, helping to prevent wood movement. Regardless whether or not this theory is true, there are other reasons to finish the bottom of your tabletop.

I am often asked to match a stain color and in doing so I end up mixing different colors together in an attempt to get the color just right. The underside of the tabletop gives me a blank canvas and plenty of room to dial in the color. This also adds extra reassurance that the stain will react the same on the top as it did on the bottom because I am staining the same piece of wood. If the bottom blotched badly I know the top most likely will too. I can then adjust my application method before applying the finish to the show side.

Staining the bottom also give me an opportunity to see what the color will look like on a larger scale, to be sure I like the final color. This is especially helpful if you have a customer or spouse that has a hard time visualizing what the entire piece will look like from a little stain sample. It is much easier to strip the finish off the bottom to try a different color opposed to the whole piece.

Having the blank canvas on the bottom also allows me a risk free area to practice a new application technique. When I first started using water based gel stains, I found the application method I typically used for oil based stains left streaks and overlap marks. The water base finish dried much faster than an oil finish. Without using the right application technique, I found the water based stain would dry before I had a chance to come back and wipe up the excess, leaving overlap marks. That is something I would have never discovered on a small test board, and would have been devastating to discover when staining the show side of the tabletop.

However, practicing my application technique has saved me from many tabletop do overs; it is not the main reason for finishing the underside of a table. When I build any piece of furniture, I want people to be drawn to it. I want them to reach out and feel how smooth the finish is by running their hand across the top. I think we both would be disappointed, if as there hand glides across the smooth top, wrapping around to the underside of the table, only to discover a rough unfinished piece of wood. When someone buys custom furniture, I believe part of what they are paying for is for the craftsman to pay attention to the details. I think finishing the underside of a table adds a nice detail.

About the author:

Brian Benham has made his lifelong passion for woodworking his profession. He enjoys taking his clients’ ideas and combing them with traditional woodworking techniques to create a unique piece of furniture. You can find more about his furniture at http://www.benhamdesignconcepts.com/

The post Wood Finishing Tips: Finishing my Bottom appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Getting Better

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 9:04am

I have to admit, I managed to get in almost two hours of woodworking on Sunday without my wife going cray cray and getting all up in my grill about it. We spent a nice afternoon at Valley Forge National Park, which we visit frequently, and maybe that had something to do with the new recognition that her husband is a sovereign person who has been endowed by his Creator with certain Inalienable Rights. I just so happened to be inspired by the beautiful furniture in General Washington’s headquarters, so I felt the need to declare my independence from tyranny, oppression, and absolute despotism. Don’t misunderstand me; I only woodworked for about 90 minutes. If I had planned on starting a large project that would require 8 hours every weekend for the next 3 months I’m sure my proverbial King George III would have declared woodworking an act of treason and stationed his (her) proverbial troops at every corner of my garage.

Among all of this, I managed to get a decent amount of work finished on the wood smooth plane I am attempting to make. I started by laying out and routing the recess for the cap iron nut. I used a chisel to define the cut, an electric router to remove the bulk of the waste, and then a chisel again to finish it off. It didn’t turn out perfectly, but it is certainly good enough. With that finished I drilled out the holes for the dowel pin to hold the wedge using a ½ forstner bit, and then marked the cheeks of the plane for glue up, applying wax to all the areas of the plane I did not want to glue. To keep the cheeks in place and aligned during glue-up I drilled four ¼ inch holes for dowels.

I let the glue dry over-night, and when I got home from work I removed the clamps and sawed off the ends to remove the alignment dowels. Currently the plane is just about 11 inches in length. I’m looking for a finished length of roughly 9 ½ inches. I’ve noticed that wood smoothing planes often have a longer distance from the mouth to the front of the sole than a metal plane, at least in the examples I’ve seen. My plane will have 3 inches from front to mouth, which is very similar to the Stanley smooth plane. I’ll be honest and say that I’m not sure why wooden smooth planes tend to have a different set-up. I would think that a shorter distance from front to mouth would allow the plane to catch and remove more of the high spots on the board. I could be wrong; I’m learning as I go.

The next step will be cleaning off the wax with mineral spirits and the initial flattening of the sole. I will then make a wedge, give the plane a test run, and shape the plane to something that I hope looks nice. After I will give the plane a final true-up, and coat it with a few coats of linseed oil and wax. I’m thinking I have 2-3 hours more work left to finish it up, which should happen this coming weekend with a little luck.
So at least for the time being I managed to get in a little woodworking as well as write a few blog posts about it. While I would like to be doing much more, it’s better than the alternative. Hopefully, this means that my situation on the woodworking front is looking a little better.





Categories: General Woodworking

2 Weeks, 2 shows & 1 Awesome Store

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 8:07am

I’ve been on the road quite a bit the last couple of weeks. It all started with a 48 hour trip (72 of which was spent in the Milwaukee airport) to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the New Product Symposium at Milwaukee Tools. That trip was immediately (it felt fairly immediate anyway) followed up with four days in Atlanta for the International Woodworking Fair. From those two shows, I have tons of new tools coming […]

The post 2 Weeks, 2 shows & 1 Awesome Store appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Something Interesting Wherever You Look

The Furniture Record - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 7:15am

The preview pictures of the auction did not look promising but I went anyway. It’s what I do. And I’m seeking treatment.

I looked around and saw that what seemed mundane at first was actually fairly interesting when you looked at the details. I’ve recently seen two benches with unique systems of folding. At least I hadn’t seen them before. Both are actually the same principle, legs that folds to the center locked in place by cross brace supports that also fold up. Only the details vary.

The first one has tubular cast legs:

Long view of the be bench.

Long view of the be bench.

The hook on the cross brace locks the legs in place.

Hook locks the legs.

Hook locks the legs.

To fold the bench, unhook the cross brace, fold the leg up under the cross brace and latch the hook onto the provided post. The cross brace holds the folded leg in place.

I couldn't actually fold the leg. Use your imagination. Click for an alternate view of the latched cross brace.

I couldn’t actually fold the leg. Use your imagination. Click for an alternate view of the latched cross brace.

The other bench uses similar mechanism but in wood.

Another folding wooden bench.

Another folding wooden bench.

Cross brace locks the leg down. To fold, lift the cross brace and the leg is able to fold toward the center.

Leg folds to the center. I'm not sure what locks the legs up. Click for an alternate view.

Leg folds to the center. I’m not sure what locks the legs up. Click for an alternate view.

I was intrigued by this antique exam table:

They don't make them like this anymore. Health codes.

They don’t make them like this anymore. Health codes.

especially when I saw the leg.

High style for an exam table. Look around on your next doctor visit.

High style for an exam table. Look around on your next doctor visit.

Then there is the matching waste receptacle:

A waste receptacle. Too nice to be a trash can.

A waste receptacle. Too nice to be a trash can.

This book shelf on secretary is not as old as some furniture:

Not the oldest piece in the auction.

Not the oldest piece in the auction.

but is has a rather interesting apparatus for supporting the slant front in the open position:

No lopers below. Just brass from above.

No lopers below. Just brass from above.

And this chest with a wooden pintle hinge:


There is a pintle screwed to the back of the chest that passes through a hole in the end of the batten attached to the lid.

Side view

Side view

Top view.

Top view.

I wrote about this pintle hinge in the older blog: March, Orange County.

Click HERE to see the rest of the pictures from this auction.

Buy Winthorpe, Buy!

Benchcrafted - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 7:08am

Miter Jack Hardware is live on our store page!
Categories: Hand Tools

Now Taking Orders on Side Beading Planes!

Caleb James Chairmaker Planemaker - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 6:36am
It is official. I am finally getting around to straightening out my schedule enough to open up to new orders again. As some of you know I stopped taking orders on planes back in the spring to catch up on work and to take an inventory of my beech stock.

In an effort to manage my time as efficiently as possible I am producing planes in batches that align with my carefully dried beech plane stock. I am opening up to beading planes as the first phase and will open up to other planes in the coming weeks and months.

3/16" side beading plane

For the sake of new readers... My planes are made from stock that I cut, dry and season. It is american beech and the planes are made in a traditional 18th century style and construction. These are not four piece planes glued together here. They are solid one piece construction that will last a couple hundred years if you and your grandchildren store them properly. Once the stock is roughed out on the table saw, the making process is done entirely with hand tools. The blades are Lie-Nielsen tapered moulding blanks that I profile and heat treat in house.

Side bead plane

OK, on to the bead planes. I am offering 1/8", 3/16" and 1/4" sizes. These are sizes appropriate for furniture size work. If you have no beading planes then definitely start with the 3/16". It is very versatile. The 1/4" is good for larger scale pieces. Think bead on the apron of a table. 1/8" is good for small scale pieces possibly like a spice or jewelry box.

Here is a short video of the 3/16" plane in use.

As of this post, all these sizes are $285 US + $10 shipping. International customers please send me your address and I will calculate exact shipping for you.

I hope to get my but in gear so that my web designer can finish up my new website and store so that you can purchase directly but for now you will need to email me at calebjames(at)me(dot)com. I will respond with an emailed invoice that you can pay through and that will include a window of completion date.

I appreciate your interest and patience!
Categories: Hand Tools

Beading Planes? Talk to Caleb

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 5:06am


The most infectious hand tool I own is a 3/16” beading plane that has a permanent space in my traveling tool chest. Nearly every woodworker who uses it becomes possessed by the entirely sane desire to own one (or three) for their work.

cj_beading_plane_DSC01093However, finding a functional antique beading plane in the wild is difficult. While they are common planes, they commonly have a lot of problems. The body (also called the stock) is warped. The iron is a mess. The mouth has been opened too far. The wedge doesn’t fit.

And those are for starters.

When I was at Hulls Cove Tool Barn this summer I inspected at least 20 beading planes. None was worth buying.

If you are interested in getting a new beading plane, I’d talk to planemaker Caleb James right quick. He has been working on batches of beading planes in 1/8”, 3/16” and 1/4” sizes – the most useful sizes for furniture-making. I have two planes on order from him myself.

I got to use his planes while at a Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event and am totally sold. Caleb is a very talented planemaker (and furniture maker). So place your order now before he gets swamped. His e-mail is calebjames@me.com.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Handplanes, Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

Hi Wilbur! Does one use a bench hook in Japanese traditional woodworking? Have you seen one being used or do you use one? If so would its design be something like the reverse of a typical bench hook design? Do Japanese traditional woodworkers rely on...

Giant Cypress - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 3:08am

There are methods of setting up what effectively is a bench hook for shooting the end of a board or for jointing an edge so that it is square to your reference face. Stay tuned for more information.

I do have a more traditional-looking bench hook with an adjustable fence that I use for shooting the ends of a board with a Japanese plane. It’s made by Rob Hanson of Evenfall Studios, and it’s terrific.

Dovetailing Course, Only two Spaces Left

David Barron Furniture - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 12:35am

Now I know we're still in August (although looking outside you wouldn't guess!) and the next dovetailing course is not until December, but if you were thinking of booking don't wait too long there are only 2 places left.

Here's the class from earlier this year, everyone finished their boxes in the two days and we had a great time!

The course runs form 5-7th December at the picturesque West Dean College and you can book on their website https://www.westdean.org.uk/CollegeChannel/ShortCourses/Courses/CourseSubCat.aspx?group=wcm

Categories: Hand Tools

Building Two Saws: Part 2

The Literary Workshop Blog - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 7:47pm

There’s a certain irony in the fact that people who blog about woodworking don’t spend much time writing about sanding, since sanding takes up a large part of most woodworker’s time.   So this is a blog post about sanding.

Once I discovered card scrapers, I spent a lot less time with sandpaper.  Even so, some projects just require a lot of sanding.  These saw handles are examples of projects on which I am spending some quality sanding time.

Two Saw Handles 8-2014 - - 8

Shaping the handles is not terribly difficult, and it didn’t take me long to do it.  I followed up the rasps and files with small card scrapers, and that probably saved me a lot of sanding time.  (The picture above shows the handles after scraping, but before sanding.)  While the scrapers can’t get into all the little nooks and crannies, they do an excellent job following contours and keeping flat surfaces flat, depending on how I hold them.  I use the credit-card scrapers from TGIAG, which are perfect for one-handed use on small projects like this.

I began sanding at 220-grit.  I seldom hold the sandpaper in my hand alone.  On the few flat surfaces, I used a sanding block.  On the curved surfaces, I used a couple of emery boards.  It’s a trick I picked up from pipe makers, who spend a LOT of time sanding contoured surfaces.  The regular emery boards are good for getting into crevices, while the foam-backed emery boards are excellent for contoured surfaces.  They come in different grits, though I usually just get the lowest grit available and wrap sandpaper around them.

Two Saw Handles 8-2014 - - 9

Using a backer for the sandpaper allows for much better control than simply holding the sandpaper in my hand, though there’s a time and place for that, too.  Control is crucial on a project like this, when the shape and feel of the handle is every bit as important as how it looks.

And speaking of shaping handles, I was reading an article by Willard Anderson on hand plane repair in the October 2014 issue of Popular Woodworking.  The author points out that a good tote should not have the same cross-section throughout the grip.  Rather, the middle should be close to half-round inside and out, but at the top it should be an ellipse so as to fit the web between the thumb and forefinger.  I followed this bit of advice, and the result is a very comfortable handle.

But back to sanding.  Some woods are well-behaved when being finished, but the grain of pecan tends to rise significantly when moistened, so I had to rinse the handles in water and let them dry in between grits.  Placing them in front of a high-velocity fan dried them quickly.  Then I sanded the raised grain back with the next grit.  Actually, I only used two grits: 220 and 320.  I could go to higher grits, but I don’t need these handles any smoother than that.

Also, when applying an oil finish to open-pored wood like pecan and black walnut, I have found it advantageous to leave the sanding dust on the wood when applying the finish.  The dust clogs the pores and makes for a much smoother finish, making a top coat unnecessary.

The next step will be cutting the saw plates to fit the handles, and then drilling out the holes for the saw nuts.


I’m just so gosh darned busy!

A Woodworker's Musings - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 6:19pm

Years ago a friend of mine told me that he never knew what “busy” was until he retired.  I thought he was nuts when he said that, a complete idiot.  But, it turns out, he was absolutely right.

I just realized that it’s nearly a month since I posted anything.  I was shocked.  Haven’t I done any woodworking for a month?  Well, of course I have.  But much of this summer has been spent with two little grandchildren and the occasional game of golf.  Sometimes, woodworking can and should take a backseat to other and more important things in your life.

But the tools haven’t rusted away.  In fact, they’ve been being put to good use in the construction of a rather large dining room table for my daughter and son-in-law.  It’s been slow going.  Some time ago I did a post about turning and carving the legs. But, I have to admit that it’s taken an unusually long time to get to this point.  But we’re making progress and I feel that I’m about to be “carried away” on a wave of productivity.

Here’s the “dry” fit up of the base:


Truth be told, I “borrowed” the details of the legs from Matthew Burak’s excellent site, www.tablelegs.com.  As this was for family, I turned and carved the legs myself.  If I were still working, I, very likely, would have bought the legs from Mr. Burak.  Extraordinary quality, fair prices, no headaches.  But, hey!  This is heirloom stuff, the kid’s legacy.  Who knows, in a few years, someone can put a vise on it or use it as a glue-up table.  I am nothing, if not realistic.

The toughest, single task on the base is the letting in of the center stretcher to the end stretchers.  I elected to use a simple bead detail, which requires the establishment of a secondary datum so the beads can be beveled.  This allows the detail line to be continuous from center to end stretchers.  When laying out these data, it’s a good idea to be in a state of complete sobriety, one little misstep…




These joints are just “dry fit”, so they’ll need a little more trimming, but, I believe you get the point.  Something as simple as a bead can be quite elegant, if done correctly.  The through tenons will be wedged and made flush.  Dismantling will require the use of a “Sawzall”, or some similar device.

Before anyone asks, I’m not quite sure about the style of the legs.  Regency, Georgian, Red Oak… it escapes me.  Perhaps my friend, Mr. Jack Plane could weigh in and give us a little direction here.  No one is more qualified than Jack.  And, I’d just like to take a moment to say that I’m “pleased as punch” that Jack is back.  And it sounds as if Jack is getting serious about putting a book together.  It should sell very, very well.  If you don’t know Jack, you should.  Visit him at www.pegsandtails.wordpress.com.

Categories: Hand Tools

Making a Bench from Dimensional Store Bought Lumber

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 5:43pm

When my wife Anita does shows, I’m always looking for something that I can make fairly quickly that she can sell in her booth to help pay for some of her fees. After helping her do shows over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed that small benches are quite popular. They’re nice to stick out on front porches or foyers or even mud rooms. In fact, some people even use benches as the seating for one side of their kitchen table.

 photo 20140825_201344.jpg

I designed this bench to be made from a 2″ x 12″ and a 2″ x 8″ that are eight feet long. However, if you change the dimension of the stretcher a little bit, it could be made form a 2″ x 12″ x 10′. The only issue doing that is you need to make sure your 2″ x 12″ x 10′ is choice wood with no splits at the end of the board because you’ll need nearly every inch of it. It doesn’t matter to me because I can’t fit a ten foot board in my car anyway, so I bought a 2″ x 12″ x 8′ and 2″ x 8″ x 8′ for under $20.00.

 photo 20140812_135141.jpg

When I scrimmage through the wood pile at Lowe’s, I always take the time to pick out a nice 2 x 12 with nice grain and very little knots. However, most of the time the board is a little cupped, so I whip out my Stanley No 40 scrub plane and plane the top flat. I plane the wood near a 45 degree angle and scoop out nice little shavings from the board until the board is fairly flat. When I was satisfied with the result, I brought the board over to my planer and planed the underside of the board taking away the cupping from that side. I didn’t take anything from the side I hand planed, I left the plane marks to give the top of the bench a bit of detail.

 photo 20140817_141528_1.jpg

The construction of the bench is super simple. I make the legs 9″ wide x 16″ long. I measure down 2 1/2″ from top and bottom on each side and use the lid from my garbage can to draw an arch connecting the two marks. Then I cut it off the arches on my band saw. Simple!

 photo 20140817_144004.jpg

The feet are 5″ wide x 10 3/4″ long. I draw a 1″ radius on both sides and remove the material with chisels, planes and files.

 photo 20140817_171557.jpg

I want the bench to have four feet so I take two of the pads and cut grooves in them on my table saw. Once all the grooves are cut, I remove the waste with my bench router and plane everything smooth.

 photo 20140817_174116_1.jpg

When designing the stretcher, I did nearly the same thing as the legs. I measured 2 1/2″ from each side and make a mark. Then I find the stretcher center and mark 2 1/2″ off each side of the center. I swing a compass set at a 12″ radius connecting the marks creating the arches for the stretcher.

 photo 20140818_164435.jpg

In order for the legs to attach tot the stretcher, I bored a 1″ x 4″ mortise through the legs with a 1″ forstner bit and cleaned it up with chisels. The tenons I cut on the table saw and band saw and cleaned them up with my rabbet plane.

 photo 20140819_170421.jpg

After all the parts are sanded, I dry fitted everything together to make sure the bench looked right. I wanted the tenons to have a mechanical fastener along with the glue, so I drilled two 1/4″ holes through the side of the legs going through the tenons.

 photo 20140820_073425.jpg

I grabbed some scrap oak and split a few splitters of wood with a chisel. The pins run down the grain making them exceptionally stronger since the grain follows the strength of the wood.

 photo 20140823_123357.jpg

I sized the pins by punching them through my Lie-Nielsen dowel plate. I shaved the pins a little bit with my spoke shave so they would start to fit through the 1/4″ hole of the dowel plate. Once the pin starts to fit in the hole, I pound the hell out of it.

 photo 20140819_180909.jpg

After I was satisfied with the way the bench stretcher fitted to the legs, I started gluing and screwing everything together, I placed glue of the pins and inserted them into the tenons of the bench. I didn’t bother draw boring the holes of the tenon. I was already satisfied with the tightness of the joint.

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The bench was painted a duck egg blue and waxed over top. The next bench I make will probably be a different color. Maybe a black or grey as neutrals are always popular.

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You can see the detail of the top where the scrub plane left little ridges in the wood giving the bench a bit of detail. It definitely looks better than having a plain board for the seat of the bench. Now I need to make ten more of these babies.

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McGlynn On Making - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 4:12pm

I’ve been really fascinated on inlay lately.  Well, more correctly, I’ve been obsessing over inlay.  I’ve wanted to try doing “Bolection Inlay” as seen on a number of Greene & Greene pieces for a while.  I almost went to the G&G inlay class at the William Ng school this past year, but it just wasn’t in the budget at the time.  Now it looks like he’s not offering it again this year, instead he has a regular inlay class planned. R A T S,

The Greene & Greene I’ve seen is mostly (all?) raised above the surface, and subtly carved / shaped.  I’ve never done anything like this, but mu understanding of the process is that the individual pieces of inlay are sawn out and fit together on top of the paper pattern, then super glued together into one unit.  The outline is then scribed onto the surface of the wood and a cavity is excavated using a tiny router bit.  The neatest setup I’ve seen is this router base from William Ng that uses a Foredom flex shaft tool for power.

William Ng micro router base with Foredom hand piece

William Ng micro router base with Foredom hand piece

It’s not clear to me if the individual pieces are “carved” or shaped first — since they are being drizzled with super glue I can see some problem here.  With metal and shell inlay pieces they are nonporous and the glue won’t affect things.  In fact, with any inlay that will be flushed up after inletting it’s probably not a concern as the first step after gluing it in is to flatten it with coarse sandpaper.  But with inlay that is carved first ant then wet with superglue it seems like it could interfere with the finishing.  I can see two options (I’m just thinking out loud, I have yet to try this myself):  Either glue in the uncarved inlay pieces, and shape them after gluing into the substrate, of apply an even coat of super glue so that becomes the base for the final finish.

I’m on the cusp of convincing myself to buy a few inlay tools (not much is required, mostly the base above) and giving this a try.

I’ve collected bunches of pictures from the internet to augment what I have in my books.  Just recently I came across Jonathan W. McLean’s website, which shows some outstanding G&G inlay work.  Well, all of the work looks spectacular, but the G&G inlay is what caught my eye.  I’m only going to post pictures on one example, you should check out his site for more.

Reproduction of a table from the Thorsen house by Jonathan McLean

Reproduction of a table from the Thorsen house by Jonathan McLean

Detail of inlay work by Jonathan McLean.  Koa stems, Vermillion flowers and thorns, leaves inlayed with ebony veins, and semi precious stone accents.

Detail of inlay work by Jonathan McLean. Koa stems, Vermillion flowers and thorns, leaves inlayed with ebony veins, and semi precious stone accents.

Top view

Top view




Categories: General Woodworking

Clean Up

Northwest Woodworking - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 3:36pm

Wait five or ten minutes to clean up your glue squeeze-out from a joint glue-up or lamination. It should be almost plastic and then it will peel right off. On a table top you can use a putty knife or my new discovery, an old chip breaker off a hand plane. It works great. For insides of boxes or cabinets, I use my sharpest chisel. That way if I cut into the wood, it will be a good clean cut. Also the color of the cut will match the wood inside which is always hand planed.

Patience is a virtue here. Let the glue skin over and almost set, but not quite. It will come off easily and there will be no smearing into cracks, corners or pores. This smeared glue will then only become visible when you put on finish.


Cafe chair rail detail Gary







Categories: Hand Tools


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