Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway! Enjoy!
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Calling all woodworkers and Weekend Warriors! Have you designed and built a treehouse you’re proud of (either as a fun playhouse for your kid or something more elaborate such as a vacation home or woodland retreat)? Popular Woodworking Books is looking for fantastic treehouse projects to be part of an inspirational book for builders and treehouse fans alike. And your project could be featured in the book! SUBMISSION DETAILS How […]
For most hand plane aficionados, the tool’s value is best determined by the thinness of the shaving it can remove. Many’s the man who swells with pride when he says, “I’ve got this baby set up so I can take ‘half a thou’ consistently.”
“Half a thou” is fine for a polishing plane. But I’ve had people tell me that they’ve got their old No. 6 set up to take a “half a thou.” My immediate thought is that this statement is coming from the mouth of someone who likes to “tinker” with tools but probably doesn’t do a lot of hand planing. My opinion is based on simple math. Let’s say I have to remove an 1/8″ from a board I’m jointing. If I take that 1/8″ off by a “half a thou” at a time, it will take me 250 strokes to complete the task. If I have my No. 6 set up to take a 1/64″ chip, I’ll do the job in 8 strokes. I love to work with my planes. But there is such a thing as “too much love”.
Old timers would tell you that when planing, you want to be able to remove the maximum amount required, while maintaining a surface finish that is appropriate to the task. So remember that adjustable mouths and movable frogs are designed to allow for maximum shaving thickness, as well as minimum.
Back to work!
This came in the mail yesterday. I told my wife, “I finally figured out what my mid-life crisis is going to be.”
She said, “You already had your mid-life crisis.”
I said, “What do you mean?”
She said, “Look at that shop of yours in the basement.”
A mid-life crisis isn’t supposed to be practical. I’m doing this wrong.
The last time I made a sign like that was 5 years ago. I had recently moved to CT after leaving my previous job and was trying to figure out what I wanted to do next.
|sides are cooked|
|few swipes with the #3|
|figuring and layout is next|
|it's too high|
|matches the prototype now|
|this is working out in my favor|
|walnut strip cut to length|
|planing the angle|
|it can be done|
I was expecting to at least get this glued up tonight but no cigar for me. It took me way longer than I thought it would to get the layout for the shelves done. I still have to figure out a way to saw them all to the same length. I was thinking of making a gauge line off the back edge and marking each rib piece off of that. That is what I'm going to try and do tomorrow.
In what country was the first English language newspaper published?
answer - Holland in 1620
Today was day 2 of our six day windsor chair class. This is always an exciting class to teach, starting off with a few logs and splitting all the wood down. Bending all these straight pieces for bows and arms always excites the students. Needless to say it also tires them out! […]
Several months ago I wrote a blog about weathering pine with little success. Well, I decided to give it another try. My wife had heard of using a mixture of apple cider vinegar and steel wool to coat the wood to give it a grey finish. I had heard of using regular vinegar and steel wool, but apparently, the tannins of the apple cider penetrates the fibers of the wood to give it a richer older look.
I gave the mixture a shot on a piece of southern yellow pine and poplar to see how it would turn out. At first, the wood hardly changed at all.
However, after twenty-four hours, you can see how the mixture turned the wood dark on both the poplar and southern yellow pine. However, even though the wood did react, my wife was looking for something that looked more grey and less muddy brown.
I tried applying some ebony paste wax to the wood, but that didn’t turn out well at all. It just made the wood look more muddy.
I then decided to do something a little different and burn the wood with a propane torch.
After the wood was burnt, I used a piece of steel wool to remove the charcoal from the surface. This left the board with a texture where the early wood and late wood were at different levels.
I was impressed by the way the wood looked and felt that I applied clear and ebony paste wax on the sample to see how each half turned out.
I was so intrigued by this method that I flipped over the board and tried this technique on the whole board and applied the clear and ebony paste wax on each half.
Even though I didn’t create the look my wife was looking for, I really like how the wood looks after trying this technique, especially with the clear wax top coat. I’ll have to try it out on a completed project sometime. Now only if I could figure out how to make new pine look old without leaving it outside for six months.
I’m currently working on the first of a pair of matching 5-1/2 foot tall mirrors which have suffered some pretty extensive delamination of the tortoiseshell veneer.
One of the most critical issues for artifacts like this is to get them safely from Point A (the client’s home) to Point B (my studio). For large planar artifacts like this I always construct a litter to which the artifact will be lashed so 1) I don’t have to handle the big clumsy thing any more than necessary, and 2) provide a safe housing for the artifact in transit.
My long time woodworking pal Tom was able to help me get the mirror down off the wall and into the litter easily. The litter had clean foam pad/slats onto which the mirror was laid, and once in place blocking was glued to the slats to lock the mirror in place.
Once the blocks were set (I used hot melt glue) I added loose battens to the top of the mirror, directly in line with the slats underneath it. This allowed for gentle restraints without adding any undue stress to the 300-year old engraved glass.
Using some upholstery webbing I had, I draped it over the battens and screwed it to the frame of the litter, snug but not tight.
One the packing was complete, we went straight out the front door and into the rear of the van and a half hour later it was resting comfortably in my basement studio at my daughter’s house.
The best words of advice I’ve heard sound simple until you give them some thought. Here are three things to consider.
“Good beekeepers have to figure some things out for themselves.”
This was a simple statement made by a beekeeper and mother to her teenaged woodworker who was struggling with sharpening, setting up a handplane and producing a nice surface.
She didn’t know about woodworking, but she knew about farming and bees. And when her young son despaired that he could not get his plane to work, she spoke those 10 fantastic words:
“Good beekeepers have to figure some things out for themselves.”
A couple years ago I heard Mike Siemsen of “The Naked Woodworker” DVD fame discussing workbenches with a new woodworker.
Question: What about moisture content blah, blah, blah?
Siemsen: Don’t worry about it. It will work out fine.
Question: But the wood species yadda yadda annular rings shinka shinka gymnosperms?
Siemsen: It will all work out fine. I wouldn’t worry about it.
Question: So E-value, Janka rating and tangent grain? Roubo, Nicholson and Klausz?
Yoda: Fine it will all work out. Worry not.
…this conversation continued for another 30 minutes in the same format.
Third vignette. Matthew Sheldon Bickford, author of “Mouldings in Practice,” ends his book with the best single-word ending sentence in the history of woodworking writing. Stick with me here.
“Be willing to succeed by being willing to fail,” he writes on page 241. “Tie yourself to your actions. Stop reading. Err!”
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Mouldings in Practice, The Naked Woodworker DVD
I picked up the glass from the glazer yesterday. The tint is a bit darker than I expected, but I think it will look fantastic when done.
|It looks even darker here, because all three glass plates are stacked on each other.|
|with a coat of paint.|
|Trying to protect the paint with whatever was at hand. The clamps are there because once the plywood spacers come out, there is nothing supporting the front of the upper cabinet.|
The final result is rather striking. I think the cabinet no longer looks like a cheap nailed piece, but a rather swanky looking piece.
|Now we are talking.|
A note about the stability of this piece: I can't imagine that this piece ever would be totally rock solid, unless the two cabinets were screwed directly to the wall. However, the back of this one is two shiplapped two-meter long boards, full 18mm (3/4") thick. I nailed them in from the back and the sides for strength. These boards give this cabinet the strength that it has. I imagine stronger than the original. The top cabinet is mostly held by the back, and it also rests on the glass.
I think that if this cabinet took a blow, the glass might break, but the glass stiffens the piece considerably over the plywood spacers. I think as long as one is careful, there is no reason to think the glass will ever break.
Well, there is only one way to find out!
Not much to write about this, just a picture of the finished marquetry picture.
After taking the finished part out of the press it’s pretty uninspiring. All of the work to date has been on the glue face. The marquetry was assembled face-down onto a kraft paper covered board. I actually made a mistake when assembling it and covered the paper face with hot hide glue, and nearly glued it upside down.
I used plastic cauls to face this in the press, so it didn’t stick. So the clean up routine was to first sand it with 120 grit to remove the glue and then spray it with water and start scraping the paper off. Not my favorite job, you end up with a sticky mess. I was careful about how I applied water so it wouldn’t get under the veneer or soak into the MDF core.
After the cleanup I gave it two coats of shellac, sanded with 180, then repeated the shellac and sanding with 220. At that point the surface was smooth and I shot it with two coats of lacquer. Fin.
In the final grading, I’d give it a “B”. There are a couple of technical mistakes, and some compositional problems with shading and color, and there are some details of the sawing that I don’t like, where the contours are not right for the part. But it’s also the largest panel I’ve done, and the first time I’ve done a border like this. I’m going to set up another packet for a different design while I’m working on the Moxon vise and see where that goes. Then maybe, the Griffin. Maybe.
If you’ve just started woodturning or you’ve been turning for most of your life, our March 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner has a variety of projects, tips, and stories to motivate your craft.
This month’s issue includes:
My Favorite Tools and Accessories: Curtis Turner has been contributing to The Highland Woodturner for several years and this month he is sharing his favorite woodturning tools and accessories that he uses in his shop.
Porch Column Repairs: Temple has been turning porch columns for several years and is often called upon to make or repair columns for local businesses in Maine. This month he discusses how he makes those repairs and the tools and products he uses to help him.
Repurposing a Hock Spokeshave Blade: Our blogger, Lee Laird, recently turned new handles for his Hock Spokeshave that allow him to make controlled cuts during his frequent instrument builds.
Show Us Your Woodturning: This month we’re sharing the woodturning projects of William Kaufman who uses a variety of woods and incorporates carving techniques within his turnings.
Phil’s Tip: This month we’re sharing an oldie but a goodie with some of Phil’s safety tips when it comes to woodturning. If you’re new to turning, make sure you read through these tips before you get started!
All of this and more in this month’s issue of The Highland Woodturner.