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Antique Food. Really.

The Furniture Record - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 9:15pm

For me, one of the highlights of the auction season is the Country Store Auction in Mebane, NC. Not much in the way of furniture but tons of interesting stuff. The focus of the auction is things found in a country store, the merchandise found there-in and advertising of all sorts.


Need a thermometer?


Does anybody know what time it is?


Lots of stuff of all varieties.


And tobacciana. Those were different times.

My favorites of favorites continues to be the foods or nominally edible products. Many unfamiliar products or familiar products in unfamiliar formats. Like soft drinks:


When you say NEHI, I think quality.


Orange flavored, yum!


A more familiar name.

IMG_1070 - Version 2

Possibly more information than you wanted.

Then the are some adult drinks (non-alcoholic):


Before there was Starbucks…


Chicory, the greatest coffee extender. And this from Josephine Cambre, Expert Home Economist.

There was also other the counter remedies:


No trip to the store would be complete without your gallon of Lucky Tiger, For Dandruff.

But, by far the largest category is something you don’t eat. Directly. I hope.


110 pounds of heavy-duty lard.


Quality lard.


Stabilized lard.


Cold lard.


Also available in smaller sizes for home use.


And seafood. Love them canned oysters. And lard.

One thing this display points out is that there are no longer local brand in the number there once were. Consolidation has killed off local and regional brands. That and people used to buy a lot of lard.

You would need to buy one of these:


Several to choose from.






A Walk in the Woods in August

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 6:15pm

Meanwhile, back in Ohio…

I was walking in the woods one day, as I am wont to do, when I came across this fruit on the ground:


I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve never seen a butternut tree around here, but this looks suspiciously like a butternut (Juglans cinerea). I looked up at the trees over the spot where I found the nut, but there were definitely no butternuts (or black walnuts, either), although there were several hickories.

A typical hickory fruit is more spherical, such as this shagbark hickory (Carya ovata):


Mockernut (C. tomentosa) fruit are similar, but they’re distinguishable when you open them up:


The mockernut, on the left, has a large kernel surrounded by thin flesh, while the shagbark on the right has a small kernel and very thick flesh.

I opened up the mystery nut, and on the inside it looks very much like a mockernut, albeit aberrantly shaped:


It’s definitely not a butternut, as the shell of a butternut is deeply grooved, much like this black walnut (J. nigra):



Here’s another hickory; I believe that it is a bitternut (C. cordiformis), but I can’t get near enough to the tree to pick one off and look at it closely:


There’s another kind of hickory around here that I didn’t mention back in the June installment, because I hadn’t come across an example. But now I have:


The shellbark hickory (C. laciniosa) has bark that’s peely like shagbark, but in smaller pieces. I probably would have passed right by this tree had I not noticed the fruit. The fruit of the shellbark is round and huge, almost the size of a tennis ball. Unfortunately, this one was standing in a swamp, and I was not willing to search for a fallen nut in the fetid water. (I will only go so far for you, dear reader.)

Other trees setting fruit in August are black cherries (Prunus serotina):


And yellow buckeye (Aesculus flava):


The fruit of Ohio buckeye (A. glabra) is more spherical, and sparsely covered with short spines.

Late summer is mushroom season in the Appalachian forests. There are mushrooms at other times of year, too, but the peak is in July and August. One of the most sought after is the golden chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius):


This is one of the few wild mushrooms that I’m willing to pick and eat. There are a few inedible and even poisonous species that are vaguely similar, but a telltale identifying characteristic of the chanterelle is the presence of small ridges, in place of true gills, on the underside of the cap:


This is a destroying angel (Amanita virosa):


You can probably guess from the name that it’s one you shouldn’t eat. It and its close relatives are the species most often responsible for mushroom-related fatalities. Its toxicity is especially insidious because by the time you experience any symptoms, your liver and kidneys are pretty much gone.

The destroying angel is pure white, but other Amanita mushrooms are not. Like the other members of its genus, there is a distinct “veil” on the stem, and the base of the mushroom appears to emerge from an egg:


Here’s another veiled mushroom:


I wasn’t able to figure this one out; maybe Amanita or Lepiota. I don’t think I’ll eat it.

This one is a bolete; I believe that it is Gyroporus castaneus, the chestnut bolete, but I’m not 100% sure:


I didn’t get a good photo of the underside, but in place of gills, boletes are covered with tiny, close-packed pores.

Many Russula mushrooms, such as this short-stemmed russula (R. brevipes), won’t kill you but are not particularly good to eat:


Interestingly, they can become infected by a parasitic fungus, Hypomyces lactifluorum, which causes them to turn bright red, whereupon they’re known as lobster mushrooms. Apparently, in this form they are much better tasting (I’ve never tried), with a seafood-like taste (appropriately enough). I’ve seen lobster mushrooms in these woods before, but couldn’t find any this year.

The stalked scarlet cup (Sarcoscypha occidentalis) is tiny, but is so brightly colored that it’s easy to pick out, growing on fallen twigs on the forest floor:


Not all mushrooms look like mushrooms. The jellied false coral (Tremellodendron pallidum) is closely associated with oak trees:


We can’t have a false coral mushroom without also having a true coral mushroom, so here’s a crested coral (Clavulina cristata):


I found these mushrooms growing on some hardwood mulch in my front yard:


It took quite a bit of research, but I think I’ve correctly identified them as Hohenbuehelia mastrucata, the wooly oyster mushroom.

I’ve avoided writing about grasses, mostly because there just aren’t that many that grow in the woods. They’re also usually pretty hard to tell apart. But one common grass that grows deep in the shade and is easy to identify is eastern bottlebrush grass (Elymus hystrix):


I found this flower growing in my yard:


It’s an orchid, spring lady’s tresses (Spiranthes vernalis). Despite the name, it often blooms in late summer. While researching it online, I discovered that there was no record for this species for Athens County in the USDA PLANTS database, so I submitted photos and other documentation, and now there is.

I took the above photo ten years ago, and I haven’t seen it blooming since. I don’t know if the plant is still around or not. It’s very inconspicuous when it’s not blooming.

After a couple of slow wildflower months, activity begins to pick up again in August. Because it’s still pretty dark in the woods, most woodland-associated wildflowers are found either in open spaces within the woods, or along the margins.

There are many, many species of goldenrod (Solidago), and they can be very tricky to tell apart. One of the earliest to bloom is the aptly-named early goldenrod (S. juncea):


It’s hard to tell from the photo, but this one is easy to identify by its narrow leaves without toothed margins, along with small offshoot leaves that grow out from the bases of the main leaves.

The widespread goldenrod that we see along roadsides and in open fields is tall goldenrod (S. altissima). It’s sometimes called Canada goldenrod, but that name is also used for S. canadensis. You’re probably aware that there are many plants that have been imported from elsewhere into North America, and that have turned out to be extremely invasive. It works both ways, as Canada goldenrod has wreaked havoc in Europe and Asia, even leading to the extinction of several species in China.

The common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) grows in grassy openings in the woods:


The Carolina horsenettle (Solanum carolinense) is a member of the nightshade family, and shares the same five-petaled “beaked” flowers that all nightshades have:


Look closely, and you can see the thorns covering its stems and the undersides of its leaves. All parts of the plant are poisonous, but the tomato-like fruits are the only part that might kill you.

I’ve mostly let nature take over the yard, and as a result, tall ironweed (Vernonia altissima) has started showing up:


At first, the deer would munch off the leaves before the plants got very far along, but now there are enough of the plants that I get lots of flowers. And it really is tall; this particular plant reaches well above my head.

It’s a stretch to call butterfly milkweed (Aclepias tuberosa) a woodland wildflower, but it’s one of my favorites, so you get a photo anyway:


– Steve Schafer

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Quitting time

Owyhee Mountain Fiddle Shop - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 3:40pm

I spend most of my time in the house, where my shop is, hunched over the bench, worried about bumps or awkward curves in my carving, thinking this new batch of varnish really isn't the right color.  Sometimes I'm practicing tunes, wondering if I'll ever learn how to play the fiddle.

It's nice to quit for the day, step outside, and see something that just is what it is.  Knocks me down a gear or two, and that's a good thing.

Categories: Hand Tools, Luthiery

Collapsible Trestle Table

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 1:03pm

About two years ago, my wife was planning a family get together at our home. She asked me if I had anything to use as a table for extra seating. I mentioned we could get two sawhorses, a sheet of plywood and throw a table cloth on it. I am from rural North Carolina so this is a more than adequate type of table. Of course if you have any faith in Mr. Schwarz’s research, it has been an acceptable form of table for may other folks as well for centuries.

My wife would have none of it; a couple days later she came in with a blow-molded plastic table with metal legs from one of the big box stores. It was an abomination. The folding legs worked OK, it was not terribly heavy, but it was just wrong. It looked like very-near future landfill material. It made it through the family gathering but did get me to thinking about something that would serve the same purpose but made of wood.


After after some thought, I came up with a trestle table that is assembled with wedges. The base is held together with four wedged tusk tenons and the top is attached to the base with four tapered dowels that work like removable drawbores. It can be assemble or broken down in a minute or so, with no tools other than a mallet or hammer and can be stored in a closet.



The base is made of yellow pine construction lumber with oak feet. The top is of white pine with breadboard ends. It’s strong, stable, not too heavy and can be set up quickly when needed. Or, it can be left assembled and used daily as this one is.



I filmed a video on making this table, “Building the Collapsible Trestle Table” that is available at Wood and Shop’s store (here) as a digital download or DVD, preview (here). The video was filmed and edited by Joshua Farnsworth (considering the substandard talent he had to work with on these projects, he works miracles with video) who I also filmed two previous projects, “Building the Portable Moravian Workbench” and “Building the Shaker Candle Stand”.

— Will Myers





Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

The Secrets of the Back Iron

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 12:14pm


This is an excerpt from “The Wordworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years: Volume I” published by Lost Art Press.

The back iron of the plane is of the utmost importance. It will often happen that, because it has not been given proper attention, the plane will not work properly, or possibly not work at all.



The function of the back iron is to control the condition of the shaving that the plane makes. Not that one minds what happens to the shavings, but that, in being removed, they have their effect on the surface of the wood. The power of the arms expended in making shavings is shared between cleaving off the part of the wood from the solid mass and in destroying its stiffness as it passes up into the mouth of the plane. A shaving would not pass comfortably up into the mouth of the plane if it were not fractured on its outside at fairly regular intervals, and it is the function of the back iron to do the fracturing.


If all grain were parallel with the surface a back iron would never be needed (see Fig. 2). It is its slope that causes it to tear out

The breaking off of the shaving not only facilitates the removal of the shaving from the plane, but it does something that is even more important; it destroys the strength of the grain of the shaving, so that the natural tendency for the part that is removed to split off cleanly is checked.

To explain this by analogy, if a slice of a length of deal were chopped with an axe, the fact of the axe acting as a wedge would largely cleave off the piece as at A, Fig. 1. If the part already separated were snapped across by the introduction of a sort of back iron, the liability to split would be greatly lessened, as at B, Fig. 1. If we apply this illustration to the cutting iron and back iron of a plane, we shall see that the work of the back iron is to reduce the tendency to split.


This fracturing takes up a larger percentage of the energy expended than will at first be appreciated. As a consequence, the back iron is set close to the cutting edge only when the mixed nature of the grain renders it specially liable to tear out. Thus, quite a lot depends upon so arranging the back iron that it will give the results required with the most economical expenditure of time and labour. Time spent in planing can be very wasteful.

In planing off stout shavings of deal, the back iron is set well back, say, a full 1∕16 in. If the back iron were 1∕4 in. up, the curl in the shaving would not be sufficient and the grain might split out; probably a bare 1∕8 in. will be the utmost at any time that it will pay to keep the back iron up. One-sixteenth in. will, in practice, be satisfactory for an average run of work, especially so far as the jack plane is concerned. This distance will, however, be too much for material that is inclined to tear out, especially as the finishing stages are approaching. In fact, for a piece of curly grained mahogany, the back iron should be about 1∕64 in. only from the cutting edge.

A further important point regarding the back iron will be that there must be no flaws in it, for in the course of time the impact of the shavings against it is liable to cause this defect. With planes that are finely set, a certain slight jaggedness will at length appear along the edge of the back iron. This should be corrected with a fine file.

The back iron must also fit close down to its cutting iron when it is screwed in place; if there is the slightest space anywhere shavings will clog so that the plane will work both slowly and badly. Another point to remember is that the back iron should be a trifle round, so that the distance back from the cutting edge is parallel (for the edges of all cutting irons must also be slightly round).

Meghan Bates

Filed under: Charles H. Hayward at The Woodworker
Categories: Hand Tools

3 Campaign Pieces for Sale

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 10:53am

I’ve recently completed a handful of campaign pieces and have some extras I can sell. All three pieces were built as part of articles I wrote for Popular Woodworking Magazine, and so I am selling them at a discount. I don’t want these sitting around.

As always, all pieces are made and finished entirely by me. No subcontractors. Even the leatherwork. All prices include shipping in the United States. International customers are welcome, but shipping will be quite expensive.

All pieces are first-come. If you want one, send me a message through my personal site. Ask all the questions you like. But the first person to say “I want it,” gets it. I take PayPal, checks and mutant chickens as payment.


Walnut Campaign Stool, SOLD
This is about as nice a campaign stool as I’ve made. The legs are turned from air-dried Tennessee walnut. The black leather is English-made bridle leather. The tri-bolt is from Lee Valley. This stool includes a black leather carrying strap, which cinches the legs when the stool is folded up. Approximately 17” high. Shellac finish.


Maple Campaign Stool, PENDING
This campaign stool was made in the flavor of my pieces from “The Anarchist’s Design Book.” It features hard maple legs that are tapered octagons. The black leather is English-made bridle leather. The tri-bolt is raw steel made from off-the-rack components. Approximately 17” high. Shellac finish.


Curly Oak Bookstand, PENDING
This clever campaign bookstand fold flat and telescopes open. It features solid brass hand-filed hinges and locks. The leather is brown latigo from Pennsylvania. This is based on an original 19th century piece from Mascart & Cie in England. The piece folds from about 14” wide to more than 20”. Height (unfolded) is 14”. Finish is shellac.


You can complain about my prices (too high/too low), using this link.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Campaign Furniture, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

The Glues That I Use

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 10:25am
While the most visible features of a fine quality guitar are the materials and craftsmanship used in conjunction, another factor that contributes to quality are the adhesives used to hold it all together.

Jose Oribe, The Fine Guitar, 1985

I want everyone to know that I am not receiving any money from any of the glue manufacturers that I will talk about in this post. These are the glues I use when I make a classical guitar or on other shop projects.

Here are my go-to glues.

Titebond and Titebond II are PVA glues that I use for glueing the scarf joint on a guitar neck and the heel block to the neck shaft. Titebond sets quickly, has gap filling properties and when I do my part on making a good joint, the glue line is almost invisible. Fish and hide glues tend to absorb the water present in shellac and can become dark making the glue line more pronounced.

I also use Titebond to glue the joints for the tops and backs for the same reason. I don't want the glue line to stand out.

LMI yellow glue is pretty amazing in how quickly it sets, you can mill parts glued with this within 90 minutes after clamping. It dries very hard, almost as hard as hide glue, a big consideration for string instrument makers. It is believed that hard glue joints make the transmission of energy easier and quicker, this helps that instrument sound better.

The only drawback about the LMI glue is if the glue is too cold, it becomes chalky. I have found that if I use this glue when it is below 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% humidity, it will leave a white residue in wood pores. That makes for more work especially when using this glue on walnut or East Indian rosewood, I spend more time washing out the glue than working on the guitar.

That said, it is great glue.

I can't say enough good things about fish glue. I usually purchase fish glue from Lee Valley which is a high quality glue that I like very much, however, the smallest bottle is 16oz. in size and it takes me almost two years to use an entire bottle. I bought this small bottle from LMI and wow! this stuff will glue your fingers together!

I use this high tack glue to glue on binding strips and sometimes, if I am not in a hurry, I use it to glue the braces onto guitar backs.

This is the stuff!

Granular hide glue is simply amazing! It has a much and sometimes more shear strength that "modern" glues and dries glass hard, again, that is better fro energy transference.

I use hide glue where it really matters in guitar making - glueing the braces onto the top and back, the linings to the sides and glueing the back onto the guitar.

Every wood worker should try hide glue at least once on a project. Just make sure you have a heat gun handy to warm up all the parts that will be glue together.

Adhesives are what you make of them, each has their advantages and disadvantages, you need to experiment to find what works best for you and your projects.

Now, turn off your computer and get out into the shop!

Categories: Luthiery

No Cell Phones!

Paul Sellers - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 3:27am

This past Friday it seemed, immersed in a unique silence of sorts that slowly descended on the workshop, men and women gathered around my workbench. My tools were sharp and ready to task and I watched the gathering shuffle onto their stools to find comfortable positions. To describe this sense of remarkable quiet would be […]

Read the full post No Cell Phones! on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Machine Manuals and Old Tools

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 2:00am

This past week I’ve been out in the Popular Woodworking shop, doing a bit of maintenance. Many of our machines were bought many years ago – while they’ve been maintained well and used by careful workers, every machine needs a bit of TLC every once in a while. The biggest hurdle in adjusting and maintaining machines is often figuring out the various set screws, rollers and shrouds, and finding the […]

The post Machine Manuals and Old Tools appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

a puttering saturday......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 1:59am
My day started early in the shop this saturday. My wife had gone off to one of her dead people meetings so the day was mine to do as I pleased. On the way home from OT I made a pit stop at the store for cat food. I give the cats canned food every saturday morning and no one will ever convince me other wise that they don't know what day of the week it is. Saturday is the only day that they follow me around everywhere until I feed them.

Before I went to the shop I balanced my check book and tried to think of what I wanted to get accomplished today. When I got to the workbench I still had not made up my mind on what to do. So I puttered and doodled and wandered aimlessly around the shop. I got a few little things done but still no focus of what is the next project.

finished the libella first
There wasn't any spring back when I removed the clamps so I thought I was golden. The inside was still square but the outside wanders off and up the further it got from the half lap. I don't think it will be a problem but I'll have to wait and see.

I concentrated on keeping the inside square but I ended up with this gap. I chopped the 1/2 lap on the legs first and laid the brace in them. I then marked the brace directly off the junction between the two. That didn't seem to mean diddly squat because I still got a gap.

inside corner is still 90 - glued it up and set it aside
working on Miles's #6
This is the first frog I've rehabbed that didn't need a ton of work to flatten and raise a bit of shine on. After a few strokes I checked it and I had consistent scratches top to bottom. This is done after one grit and ready for paint.

prepping the plane body for paint
Since this plane isn't going to be used for a while and will be sitting idle in a toolbox, I'm going to put on a primer coat first. I'll spray the primer on but I will brush the top coats on. The first step, besides shaking the rattle can for a while, is to clean the body with acetone. I filled all the screw holes with extra parts so I don't get paint in them.

taping off the sides and bottom
This is blue painters tape. You don't want to use masking tape for this and especially so if you leave it on for a while. I plan on keeping the blue tape on for a while and when I do take it off it will easily peel off. And it won't leave behind a ton of tape adhesive residue like masking tape.

strops ready to be glued
Almost all of the curl in these has gone away.

could have used this
This has my friend Roger's number on it. He was a fellow vet who passed away a couple of years ago. I still can't bring myself to use it and I could have gotten all three backers out of this. I'll leave here for few days and put it back by the tablesaw.

I'm using hide glue
my current strops
I used hide glue on these and they have held up for the last 4+ years. One is glued to 3/4" plywood and the bottom one is MDF. I have been using and abusing these without any problems with the strops staying in place. The corners are still down and tight so I'm using hide glue again.

3 strops cooking away until tomorrow
painted the frog
I cleaned this with acetone first and no primer on this. I brushed on one coat of black and I will put on another coat tomorrow. I painted the yoke too and put a nail where the pin goes and nailed it a joist to dry.

looks better doesn't it?
The sides definitely will need a second coat but the back looks good with just one.

good even coat from toe to heel
 The top coat will come after I have sanded and cleaned up the cheeks and the sole.

original plastic bag and rust paper
this partial sticker isn't going to survive this clean up
I am not a collector and I really don't care one way or the other about this sticker. I want a user plane once I get the oily goop off of this. There isn't any way I can save the sticker so it's history. I feel the same way about the box but I'll hang on to it. I will put it with the box that my Record 043 small plow plane came in.

sandpaper did diddly
Before I can try and shine up the body, I am going to have to remove the oily crap on the plane. 220 sandpaper just gunked up on me sanding this dry.

mineral spirits bath time
I am going to soak the entire plane overnight and tomorrow I'll try and clean it up.

time to try something new
 I broke this hammer about 10 years ago and bought a new one. The both of these are Craftsman brand 8 ounce rip claw hammers. I think that this would be a good first hammer for Miles. It just needs a new handle and replacing one is something I've never done before.

drilling out the wood that is left
it's tapered
The top of the head is slightly larger then the bottom. I removed out the remaining wood with a metal punch.

the two wedges
I am not sure if these reusable or not. I am going to do a search for a handle and I'll see if there are wedges for sale.

traced the outline
The left one is the bottom opening and the right is the top. There is a small difference and I can see a taper from top to bottom by looking down through the top.

my plumb bob string options
Fish line, twine, and cotton thread. I don't like the any of these choices. I would use the twine but it's a braided, fall apart twine.  It was proving to be impossible to keep it together to thread through the hole in the plumb bob.

clever idea
The previous owner of this used a small piece of what looks like a pipe cleaner to act as a stop. This orange line doesn't feel like thread and it isn't braided. I tried twirling to see if I could do that and couldn't. I'll make a run to Home Depot tomorrow and see what they have in the way of mason's line.

Did anyone forget to turn the clocks back for the idiotic DST shift?

Accidental woodworker

trivia corner
He died at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in Feb 1909. Who was he?
answer - the great Apache leader, Geronimo

Check Another Bucket List Box

Inside the Oldwolf Workshop - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 10:08pm
A while back I had the opportunity to do some of the work I've dreamed of. I built a couple commissions for my favorite museum. The Castlerock Museum of Arms and Armor. In an alcove of the basement level there are a few fantastic 17th century great chairs (and one suspicious cabinet) alongside a great display of silver serving platters.

The museums owner wanted three items made. A small pedestal box to raise a very ornate jewelry box up off the carpet. A board he could attach and display several period silver and tin spoons. And a small shelf to display three rare ornate period plates.

There was a little back and forth on the design and getting the color dark enough so he was happy took several tries. But in the end he was very pleased and I have a little feather for my hat. Some of my work is on display in a museum.

The pedestal was designed to be very understated so not to battle with the delicate ornament of the jewelry box. A short dovetailed box with a lid made of four rails and a floating panel so no warping or cleats should be needed with seasonal movement.

This is a good example of the debate I went through on every piece here. In particular I decided to use a electric router to cut the moulding edge around the top. I figure even on a subconscious level the modern execution will set the pedestal apart from the piece it's meant to display.

The spoon board was a different design issue. I worked with the director over several designs I wanted to add a little ornament to help offset the spoons, maybe even draw some attention to them. I traced out the mock up fan display they'd done on foam board and stepped off the arches to correlate to each spoon.

After sawing everything out with a coping saw and refining with rasps and a card scraper I went back in with a scratch stock and cut in the shadow line finishing the points with a V carving chisel.

The plate shelf was the most fun. We wanted something that definitely wasn't modern looking. I started this design based on the corbels, (which are difficult to see in these photos) I took theri design from an engraving of a 17th century kitchen scene.

From there I worked out the gothic arch back board with a handcut moulding on the underside of the shelf itself. The whole thing was pretty successful, I wouldn't mind having a shelf or two like this in my own home.

The finish ended up a little complicated. First I layered on some iron buff to react with the tannins in the wood and darken the grain significantly, then went two coats of an "Ebony" oil based stain. I followed this with a half dozen coats of Garnet Shellac which was rubbed down with 0000 steel wool to cut the glossiness. Then a application and buff of dark colored paste wax and I was done. Just finishing these pieces took two weeks and with the exception of the spoon board I got the coloring pretty well on (The spoon board was already edge joined and cut for the museum by another cabinet maker and given to me. Not wood I chose, nor done really to my standards, but you work with what you get sometimes)

All in all a ridiculously gratifying experience I hope to repeat several times more in my career.

Ratione et Passionis
Categories: General Woodworking

‘Carving the Acanthus’ Will Ship Early

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 5:41am

CTA_mockup_1000We just received word from our printer that “Carving the Acanthus Leaf” by Mary May shipped to our warehouse yesterday, two weeks ahead of schedule.

That means our warehouse will receive the books next week and we should be able to start shipping out pre-publication orders at the end of next week or so. As a result, the special pre-publication offer will end on Nov. 13. So if you want a free pdf of the book in addition to the hardcover copy, order before then. After Nov. 13, the pdf will cost extra.

Double Book-release Party
We are holding a special book-release party for “Carving the Acanthus” and “From Truths to Tools” on Dec. 9 at the Lost Art Press storefront in Covington, Ky. Mary May and George Walker will be there to sign books, give presentations on their work and answer your questions. We’ll post details on this free and fun event in the next couple weeks. So save the date.

Next up for Lost Art Press
We have two books that are now being designed: Richard Jones’s opus on wood technology (still wrestling with the title on that one) and Joshua Klein’s book on Jonathan Fisher, “With Hands Employed Aright.” We hope to have both of these books sent to the printer by the end of the year.

A little farther down the pipeline: Jögge Sundqvist’s “Sloyd in Wood” and my greatly expanded edition of “Roman Workbenches.” Both are almost ready for the designer. It looks like 2018 is going to be busy.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Carve the Acanthus with Mary May, From Truths to Tools, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Tackling the Houndstooth Dovetail: An Engineer’s Approach to Form and Function

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 2:00am

As an aerospace engineer I don’t often get the opportunity to sprinkle snippets of beauty into my day job – “I mean, isn’t a missile going super-sonic beautiful enough?” Definitely not when it comes to woodworking!  I’m starting to realize that one of my weaknesses is my inability to interject design aspects into my woodworking while maintaining structural integrity.  But truthfully, these two things don’t need to be separate and […]

The post Tackling the Houndstooth Dovetail: An Engineer’s Approach to Form and Function appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

is winter coming........

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 12:35am
It was a wonderful day in the neighborhood. Clear blue skies with a few high wispy clouds and just a hint of a breeze. It is November 3, 2017 and the temperature today hit 73°F (23°C). The nights for the next few days will be in the low 50's and the T-shirt weather is forecasted to go into next week. I'm happier about this than a clam at low tide.

new sash lift came in
I should have gotten this one in the first place.

shiny brass
This is a substantial improvement over the the piece of crap that it replaces. How can you go wrong with shiny brass?

crap on the right
I glued a piece of wood on the back of this to act as a spacer. Sometimes these stamped pieces of crappola tend to dish in when the screws are tightened down.

much better looking now
It's a match with the lid lift and the handles on the ends.

for Miles toolbox
I think a bullnose plane is a useful plane to have. I bought this as soon as I saw on Jim Bode's tool site. I didn't pay what was written on the box. I know it isn't shillings because 20 shillings is equal to one pound so that dates this box to when the pound converted to the decimal system (100 pence = 1 pound). At today's exchange rate this would cost $3.47 american. Adjusted for inflation it would be about $26.  I wish I had paid that but I didn't.

Record 077
 I don't think that this was ever used even once. The entire plane is still covered in a protective film that has hardened and thinned out a bit. I thought the plane was covered with rust blooms in the pic I saw but there aren't any. I mistook the protective film covering the plane for rust.

out of the box
I advanced the iron and planed a rabbet. Other than trying to do it a straight line, I had no hiccups.

can't get a  fresher or newer iron than this
This is still covered with the oily film too. And it still has the original factory grind marks.

back side of the iron
I'm not sure what the spots are and my first step with this will be to remove the oily sticky crap all over it. I'll try a bath in mineral spirits first.

converts to a chisel plane - the only spot on the plane with rust
is that a shim?
I seem to remember that the thin shiny piece of metal is a removable shim. Taking it off closes up the mouth more. I couldn't get it off tonight but maybe after it is cleaned up I might be able to.

12" square
This square is 12" on the inside and 14" on the outside. The blade is 2" wide and straight. No bends or wiggles along the whole length.

outside edge is square
From what I just learned this plane is meant to be used on the inside and outside checking for square.

what wood is it?

From looking at this I would guess it is ebony. If it isn't ebony than it is some dark rosewood with no figure at all.

15" on the left, 12" on the right
The brass plates are very similar but I am not familiar with these types of plates that I could date them or figure out the manufacturer. The 15" square has no maker mark at all except one side has an owner 'X' carved in it.

maker of the 12" square
inside brass plates
These plates are different. The 15" one is screwed on and I can't see any screws or other type of fasteners on the 12" one.

not square on the in or out side edges
checking the outside edge - the bottom
the top runs out
the inside bottom - this looks promising here
runs in at the top
It looks like I'll be doing some filing on both of the edges to bring them into square.

6mm iron holder
a little more than half the iron is in the holder
I'm going to glue it here
labeled it before I glued it in the box
carefully laid out my half laps this time
much better
I am dead nuts flush on the two but I'm slightly off on the ends.

wee bit of crap at the bottom
I have two choices to clean this up. A chisel or a tenon plane.

cleaned both of them with two swipes of the tenon plane
my leg spread
This is going to be a big ass libella.

nutso glue up with hide glue
My half laps are dead on square and I wanted the glue up to be dead on too. There isn't much more to do to complete this. Install the horizontal brace and saw the bottom of the legs off at a 45 will complete libella #2.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What US college has the oldest medical school?
answer - Univ of Pennsylvania

Issue III link now available

Journeyman's Journal - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 2:46pm

Guys, I’m really sorry, but wordpress didn’t publish the link.  I set it to auto schedule publish, but I learned now that it needs to be manually linked under the category.

Just in case it disappears here is the download link

Issue III

Categories: Hand Tools

Light, and sympathetic strings (in the future)

Owyhee Mountain Fiddle Shop - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 12:37pm

Glancing light is a great tool for violin making.  With it, you can see how many (many, many) bumps one has on a surface, and it can even direct you towards how to remove them.  As I stepped outside the other evening, near sunset, I noticed these autumn leaves on our carport floor.  Note the shadows cast by these not-quite-flat leaves.

I decided to try my hand at making a Hardanger fiddle.  With some online research over the years, a plan from the Guild of American Luthiers, and a photocopy of the English translation of Sverre Sandvik's "Vi byggjer hardingfele", I decided to plunge in.  Since I expect I'll have enough problems with the basic mechanics, I decided to simplify some of the decorative details, such as the scroll. Instead of the traditional dragon, I wanted something like a canoe prow.  To get things uniform, I followed the Lancet arc, here described in "By Hand & Eye" by Geo. R. Walker and Jim Toplin.

It's a decent book, with practical methods for creating shapes in spaces.  My one quibble with the book is that the authors imply, maybe even state, they are not measuring when using a divider or a compass.  While it's true they are not reading a number off a ruler or tape measure, and then not using written math to divide or multiply, a divider is a elegant and exacting way to lay out work.  It is measuring, with extreme accuracy and precision -- assuming your divider or compass stays tight.

Their book is worth having.

Categories: Hand Tools, Luthiery

Vol.1 Issue III Out Now

Journeyman's Journal - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 7:00am


In the top right hand corner you will see a tab called “HANDWORK Magazine” Don’t click on it just over your mouse over it and a drop down menu will appear. Choose whichever issue you wish to download.


Categories: Hand Tools

POLL: Do You Use the Built-In Ruler On Your Saw Fences?

Highland Woodworking - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 7:00am


Do you use the built-in ruler on your saw fences?

Many people don’t trust them, especially when they need a super-accurate cut.

Whether on the table saw or miter saw, some use a rule to measure the distance between the blade and fence.

And, certainly, that’s the way to get the best-fitting parts.

I spent a lot of time calibrating the scale on my Delta cabinet saw, and it’s quite accurate, but it’s set for my Forrest Woodworker II. If I use my thin-kerf, coarse-tooth Craftsman blade, that measurement changes. I use the scale only when the cut doesn’t have to be perfect.

It takes little time to make that measurement, and, if you’re batching parts, you need measure only once.

It would take a lot longer to make all those pieces a second time.

I’ve fine-tuned the scale on the Delta cabinet saw to its best accuracy, but I still measure the distance between the blade and the fence when cutting furniture parts.

I put a scale on my Norm Abram miter saw stand, but I don’t use it. The plans included instructions for a movable stop, but, when I got through with the project I was out of time and never got around to making that clamp.

I would use the stop, if I ever got around to making one, because I perform a lot of repetitive cuts. However, I still measure the distance between the blade and the stop, despite the fact that I’ve checked the tape repeatedly, and it’s always right on the money.

The tape on this Norm Abram-style miter stand is very, very accurate, but I still don’t use it.

One day I’ll make Norm’s movable stop, but, in the meantime, this setup works quite well.

And, what do you use to measure? I’m not trusting of tapes when perfection is on the line. After all, a movable hook is the antithesis of accuracy. I will use a tape and start at the 1″ mark sometimes, but that doesn’t work when measuring against a blade or fence.

That’s when I drag out my father’s old folding rule. There’s no disputing the meaningfulness of a measurement from one of those!

I often keep a folding rule in my pocket when building furniture. Their accuracy is without peer. The bottom four were Daddy’s. He’s 95 and still very spry, but no longer needs his measuring tools. We are blessed.

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The post POLL: Do You Use the Built-In Ruler On Your Saw Fences? appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

The Mortise & Tenon Podcast: Episode 01

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 6:51am

Mike and I have resisted for a while now (too many commitments already) but finally feel able to commit to periodic podcasting. You can listen to the first episode above and look for future installments here on the blog or at our SoundCloud page. Feel free to offer your feedback below. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

In this episode, we talk about the shipping out of our new Issue (#3) as well as the new book in our store: Zachary Dillinger’s With Saw, Plane & Chisel as well as two new stickers (one of which is soon to be revealed).

We then discuss the progress on our new timber frame workshop.

Links mentioned:
Books mentioned:

There is also an excerpt of our recent Ask M&T YouTube video “What is a Fore Plane?”


Categories: Hand Tools

Divide This!

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 4:03am


…says the Italian renaissance astronomer Galileo Galilei to a young student as he demonstrates a pair of proportional dividers. So how do these ingenious scaling devices work? The answer is embedded in the geometry of the sectioning of a circle. Here’s an excerpt from “From Truths to Tools” (shipping now) that presents an intuitive understanding:

Dividers 1

Dividers 2

Dividers 3


Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools


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