Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway! Enjoy!
I know someone who loves the colour black. His kitchen has a black granite work surface and black floor tiles. To finish it off he really wanted a black chopping board but was having no luck finding one. It had to be jet black with no frills except for a groove to catch juices and crumbs. In terms of colour, I suggested Ebony would be a good choice but a very expensive one. Rightfully so, as it is becoming increasingly rare. Ebony is also very hard but brittle. It is also heavy, so perhaps not that practical for a chopping board.
I tried to find alternatives to ebony. I found out that a solution of steel wool soaked in vinegar was excellent at blackening oak (do a search on ‘ebonising wood’ and you’ll find all kinds of information). This created a deep black colour, but it didn’t penetrate deep enough for a chopping board. Even after soaking for a few days, the black only went down half a millimetre at most. A few chopped tomatoes and the unblackened oak would be exposed.
So I decided to take the plunge and go for ebony, but only if I could get it ethically. The most ethical source of ebony I found was a shop in Spain that is involved in a partnership with Taylor Guitars. Together, they’ve purchased a saw mill in Cameroon, through which they are promoting the ethical sourcing and use of ebony. Apparently most ebony isn’t black. Only after chopping down a tree does it become visible how much black wood there is. Since the non-black ebony had little value, only the black ebony logs were taken to the mill. The rest was left to rot. One benefit of this project is that they promise a good price for the non-black ebony and Taylor uses this in their guitars, thus reducing waste. As Taylor says “We need to use the ebony that the forest gives us”.
I agreed on using ebony on two conditions: the first was that I get the wood from the Cameroon project and the second was that I would make something else from the wood if the board was to fail for some reason.
The project got a “go” and I bought the ebony. The most suitably sized blanks were 30mm x 15mm. My plan was to glue these together to create a 30 mm thick board, about 500mm long and 300mm wide. I ordered the ebony and it arrived a week or so later:
The ebony has arrived
It was a heavy pile of wood! Next: how I created the board.
Researchers also have found a peculiar pattern in non-Africans: People in China, Japan and other East Asian countries have about 20 percent more Neanderthal DNA than do Europeans.
I’m 20 percent more Neanderthal! That explains my interest in hand tools.
I didn't think that I would be posting a double blog again but this post is a different subject than the first one. Maybe there are few others out there that have the same relationship with this joint that I do. I would hate to think that I am alone in the universe with this.
It's time to figure out what I am doing wrong, what I can do it make it work, and if that fails, find a big hammer and beat the snot out of this frame.
|first miter on a test piece|
|the 45 is open at the toe - adjusted the arm and shot it again|
|ready for the moment of truth|
|proof - not square|
|second round and I got the same results|
|square but open at the toe|
|more shims but too many|
|close but no cigar yet - still open at the toe|
|gap on the fourth miter is getting smaller|
|first test piece has a big gap at the toe|
|a lot closer to 90 here|
|finally a tight dry fitted miter that is 90 degrees|
|quick check for 45 and it's dead nuts|
|shot the frame parts again|
|see the nice pile of chips|
The problem was the iron was set too deep. I was being fooled by my nice curly shavings rather than looking at and feeling for what the plane was doing. I had to put a lot of oomph behind the plane stroke and I wasn't doing a stellar job of keeping it on tract. I backed down on the iron and a couple of things happened. One was I was got a wispy shaving vice a curly chip. More importantly, I was keeping the plane straight on and through the miter. The plane wasn't wandering off to the right and then back to the left. It was taking a lot less effort on my part to push the plane through the miter.
It was this movement that was causing my heel and toe openings. It was why I wasn't consistently getting the same open error each time. Hopefully I have taken my head out of my ass and 45's will become a joint I use more often
|dry laid frame|
What were the names of President Lincoln's four sons?
answer - Willie, Eddie, Tad, and Robert Only Robert lived to maturity.
|where the clamp would be put|
|ready to use|
|this is better|
|time to unclamp the mitered bridle frame|
|back of the frame|
|cleaning up the edges|
|too big for the box|
|Dunham's putty will fill these gaps|
|new frame coming for the box|
|the half way of doing it|
|going the long way|
|most of the bow is gone with these thinner width pieces|
|very little twist|
|I want the frame at least as thick as the box is|
|flattening it in two steps|
|first half done second half next|
|I'm getting better at this|
|this way it's flat|
|this way shows a hollow|
|rough cut the miters on the poor man's miter box|
|sloppy dry fit|
|one rough miter is spot on|
|the other 7 look similar to this|
|45's done on the shooting board|
|dry clamp looks ok - top right is a bit iffy|
|need a rabbet here|
|too many clamps|
|made a bridle frame|
|first insert panel|
|this piece of cherry is big enough|
|cherry panel fitted|
|the first insert panel will fit the mitered frame|
|I'm going to round over the panel|
|round over done and got to deal with some blow out|
|dry fir is ok - ready to glue it up|
Who was president of the United States when the greatest number of states were admitted to the Union?
answer - Benjamin Harrison - 6 states were admitted during his presidency
The past couple of weeks I’ve been stalled in the shop, I’m happy to report I was able to move past it this weekend and finally make some progress.
Rewinding, I decided that I wanted to incorporate marquetry into a real project. Not just little practice panels, but a small cabinet or something. Maybe a tool chest with marquetry inside the lid. But before I could do that I needed a way to press larger marquetry panels.
The process I’ve been using involved first laminating newsprint onto the show face of the veneer to reinforce it. Then assembling a packet of six or more layers of veneer and backer materials and sawing out the design. The parts are assembled face down onto a kraft paper covered board, then flipped and glued to the final substrate. A lot of manipulation and clamp juggling, more than is good for my blood pressure.
So this project, building a press, is a necessary step for me. Or so I’ve convinced myself. Last weekend I got the reclaimed fir rough machined, at the expense of two bandsaw blades ruined on embedded nails. Out of two 14′ long 4″ x 6″ reclaimed beams I still ended up short on materials due to nails and cracks and rot. I had enough offcuts that I was able to laminate some of them to make up the shortage.
Once the scraps were laminated, I machined everything to the final size, about 3″ x 4″. I still have the two “green” replacement posts in this stack…just in case something was wrong with one of the other parts. I’m happy to report I won’t be needing them.
This was intended to be a quick and dirty project. I laid out the mortises and cut them, then rough cut the tenons, with the intention of doing a little fine tuning to get the final fit. The very first mortise/tenon fit up was a struggle, and ended up having a snug but gappy fit. All of the rest of the joints went together smoothly. Not big gaps, with a snug fit that required a hammer to assemble.
I used my power tools on the joinery, because it’s quick and consistent. But it always feels like cheating. In retrospect this probably would have been a good time to practice sawing tenons by hand. Chopping mortises in fir is not my idea of fun. The Sapele I used on the Marquetry Chevalet cut really nicely with a chisel, but my experience with fir is that it dulls tools and doesn’t shop across the grain well at all.
I dry fit all three frames for the press, drilled the holes for the press screws, and disassembled the frames so I could sand the inside faces. Then I glued the joints and cinched up the clamps to draw everything tight. I’ll pull the clamps this week and do the final cleanup so I can check this one off. I think the fir will look good with some oil/varnish applied.
I did a total re-arrange of the machine area of the shop today. Bottom line there is too much stuff in not enough space and no amount of moving it around will change that fact by much but today's changes did give the machine area or at least the area between the machines and the bench area a more open feel. That's about all I can hope for.
Here's a bad photo looking into the shop.
I picked up today where I left off yesterday by profiling the remaining three legs. I followed this by adding an edge detail to the long edges of the seat board. Again I pressed my single moulding plane into service. Then using my #4 to round over the remaining bits. A little sanding here and there and I was ready for the final assembly. This bench must be assembled in a particular way. I described this procedure in an earlier post and had a request for a video to clarify my description. Making a video is not something I’ve done very much. Nor do I understand the ins and outs, but I took a stab at it. At the very least, it does show the sequence.
With the assembly together all that remained was to wedge each joint and peg the end stiffeners in place. Once the wedges were installed I needed to trim them flush. This was a simple affair on the seat but the legs took a little more effort. On the legs the short rail tenons intersect with the profiling. To trim the tenons flush required the use of a gouge. I trimmed the bulk out-of-the-way with the gouge and followed with the moulding plane. With that the assembly of the Chinese Gate bench was complete.
I spent several minutes inspecting the bench and touching up any blemishes that I found. Then I applied the first of what will be several coats of BLO.
I’ll spend this week applying a coat of Tried & True oil every day. Next weekend will see this project completed. I’ll take a few dog & pony photos and then call it done.
It’s nearly the end of the month and I just realized I forgot to mention that this month’s Shop Woodworking Value Pack is the “Arts & Crafts Ultimate Collection”
According to the description on Shop Woodworking’s website:
“Get 110+ Arts & Crafts furniture projects in this ultimate collection!
Start off with basic, easy-to-build pieces in Arts & Crafts Furniture Anyone Can Make, then move up with tons of projects in Arts & Crafts Inspirations and the brand-new book Popular Woodworking’s Arts & Crafts Furniture 2nd Edition. Then, you can learn from one of the leading Arts & Crafts designers, Charles Limbert in the first book to detail 33 of his designs. And last (but not least) watch-and-learn with a fun mantel clock project with Robert Lang!
Discover this must-have bundle including 800 pages and 130+ minutes of instruction, tips, techniques and PROJECTS! If you have a liking for Arts & Crafts furniture, you will love this bundle of unique, inspiring projects.”
The collection consists of the following titles:
- Popular Woodworking’s Arts & Crafts Furniture 2nd Edition “42 outstanding designs for every room in your home! This expertly selected collection represents some of the most visually appealing pieces of furniture ever created. The 2nd edition of Arts & Crafts Furniture contains 304 pages of woodworking advice, how-tos and design inspiration….”
- Building Classic Arts & Crafts Furniture “Charles Limbert was one of the leading figures in the Arts & Crafts furniture movement, and also one of the most unique. His beautiful pieces combined curves, splayed sides and negative space with the more common straight lines of Arts & Crafts furniture, producing designs that were highly prized. Both the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park and the Mission Inn in Riverside, California, feature his work…”
- Arts & Crafts Furniture Anyone Can Make “Furniture doesn’t have to be complicated to be good looking. By reducing classic Arts & Crafts furniture designs to their basics, then adding simple, screw-together joinery, anyone can build great-looking furniture. Using basic tools (jigsaw, miter saw or circular saw and a cordless drill) even as a first-time woodworker you can successfully create a piece of furniture in a weekend that you’ll proudly display for years.
- Arts & Crafts Inspirations “You don’t need to be a purist or an expert woodworker to build the projects in Arts & Crafts Inspirations. Each project is adapted from an original furniture design to blend more with a contemporary household. In addition, much of the construction details have been simplified where appropriate to make the projects more approachable and successful. The projects range from a simple desktop book shelf to a glass-door bookcase and a traditional rocker.”
- Build an Arts & Crafts Mantel Clock with Robert W. Lang “Expand your skills while making a clock you’ll be proud to display. Though it was designed in 1895 by British architect and designer C. F. A. Voysey, this attractive mantel clock will look at home in just about any setting…”
Hurry, the last time I checked the inventory for this collection was getting low and the month of February is almost over! Don’t miss out on this collection. Click on the image above or on this link to visit and purchase your value pack before they’re gone.
Help support the show – please visit our advertisers
If you are semi-aware of the woodworking tool industry you know there are several classes of toolmakers.
- People who try to make new tool designs that have never been seen before.
- People who improve old designs that are no longer in production and are no longer patented – they are in the public domain.
- People who copy successful tools, lower the price and put the original maker out of business.
The makers in category No. 3 will never get any good ink from me – only grief. We won’t sell our books through their catalogs. We won’t even mention their names (if we can help it). Until they stop stealing – and that is the only word for it – they are dead to us.
Want to read more? Check out this post from Kevin Drake of Glen-Drake Toolworks, who has been ripped off more than anyone I know.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Personal Favorites
He wanted to try his hands out on dovetailing, so the design is like a small dovetailed chest with a skirt and there will be a hinged lid.
We wanted to keep the weight as low as possible, so I found some of boards I made out of Sitka spruce a some years ago. I had a single 12" board left, so we used that for the sides.
The bottom is made out of ship-lapped larch boards, since larch is harder and more rot resistant than spruce. I figured that since the box will sit on the floor in a stable for most of the time, this was a sensible choice.
I showed Gustav how to make the dovetails, and the sides were made with tails first, and a small rabbet on the inside.
It was nice to see him being so serious about it, and he quickly became used to using the dovetail saw and a chisel.
Today we helped each other making the skirt, but due to the temperature in the workshop we moved it inside for the glue up.
Gustav still has to decide on the design of the interior of the box. he has talked about some tills for the smaller stuff, so that will probably be the way we go.
I was too busy prepping the panels to take many photos, but it is rather straightforward construction. Loosely based on the Japanese tool box , but with a groove to hold the floor. Material is cheap cedar fence board that I picked the clearest sections from, so it is fairly clear and straight-grained. Cleans up very nicely once planed. The plow plane made a nice crisp groove with just a couple strokes. The bottom is just a panel beveled to enough of a taper to slip right into the groove.
She excitedly arranged the contents of the kit (measuring tape, little hammer, stubby screwdrivers, bag of nuts and bolts) and admired the fit. She wants to add a wrench soon. I want to get her onto dividers and Sloyd knife ASAP but all things in time...
We still need to work on the handle, but the shop was cold and she wanted to go back inside. She surprised me by nailing the sides quite well. I even trusted her as I held the nails and she started them. She sank them nicely using a nail set, the soft cedar made this pretty forgiving work.
She said a couple days ago when we were planning it that she wants to paint it purple, which of course is not what I would do. It is her box, though, so I'm already resigned to seeing it covered with Disney Princess stickers. As we were working, she surprised me by saying "Would it be ok if we just oil it and see what the wood looks like?"
"Of course. We can do that."
That's my kid!
Several readers have reported some difficulty in manually adding pdfs of our books to their iPads. Here is a short tutorial on several ways to do it. As always, technology changes so fast that we recommend searching the web for alternative solutions if you hit a rough patch.
Use the iPad to Fetch the pdf
The easiest way (I think) to get a pdf on your iPad is to download it directly to your iPad – skip your desktop machine or laptop entirely. Once you receive your download e-mail from use with the download link, e-mail it to yourself on your iPad. Click on the link on your iPad and the book will download to your iPad and put itself in your iBooks app.
Another option is to purchase the pdf using the iPad. The Lost Art Press store is friendly to mobile devices.
Once you make your purchase, you’ll receive a link like this in your e-mail. Click it.
It will open a page that looks like this in your browser. Click it and be patient. Some of our books take a long time to download and some mobile browsers do not show you a progress bar.
After the book downloads the browser will prompt you to open it in iBooks. Click the link and you are done.
Use a Third-party App
If you use Dropbox or another free pdf reader on your iPad there are a variety of ways to fetch the pdf from a desktop or laptop computer. There are also a variety of ways to share files between your iPad and computer – too many to explore here.
Transfer via iBooks
If you downloaded the pdf on your desktop machine or laptop, you can easily move it to your iPad using the iBooks app on your Macintosh. Launch iBooks on your desktop machine (it’s in your Applications folder).
Go to File/Add to Library
Navigate to the book (it’s probably in your Downloads folder).
Add it to your library and then open iTunes. Connect your iPad to your desktop machine and sync the iPad. When the sync is complete, the book will be on your iPad.
Filed under: Downloads
These visions were further reinforced by all the original Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Lost in Space (we all knew who the villain was), Star Trek, Time Tunnel, and even the Jetsons, who combined to provide a weekly dose of extra terrestial reality.
The movies were even better and Robbie the Robot became my iconic friend. Forbidden Planet is still one of the most important movies I have ever seen, as it deals with the essential struggle between the ego and the id. I must admit that when I see Robbie I see Freud. What does that say about my early years?
My passion for science was fed directly by The Day the Earth Stood Still, the Blob, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the Fly, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing, and most significantly, the Incredible Shrinking Man. After all, didn't the exposure to radiation cause him to continue to shrink to the size of an atom? Of course I would study particle physics!
However, the more I studied physics and worked in the highly specialized field of technology the more I wondered about my place in the universe. In college I spend a lot of time in philosophy classes trying to determine my cosmology and the "meaning of life." Fortunately, that was in the 60's and there was a wide selection of "stimulants" which could be used to test reality.
At some point, a few years out of college, I decided to abandon my chosen career and consciously turn away from technology. Instead of working to smash atoms and search for "strange" particles (pun intended), I looked to history to understand how we ended up in this situation.
I became a modern Luddite.
Furniture and craft provided me with the tangible objects of that search. I wondered what furniture Jefferson used tin his daily life, how the Kings of Europe lived, how Napoleon influenced a global style of design and what emerging technology did to the Victorians and their furniture.
These were the thoughts in my head as I walked to work, inspired by the movie this morning. What would I do if I had a time machine? Backward or Forward?
(Did I mention how I loved Dr. Who??) "It's bigger on the inside!"
Tonight is Oscar Night and last night CNN ran a long special on the history of the Academy. During that show I saw Charlie Chaplin as he was awarded honors for his contribution to film. Thinking about his generation and what technology has changed during the 20th century, I did some searching on the computer and found this clip.
It summarizes perfectly my belief that technology for technologies' sake is a troubling waste of time and intellect. We need solutions to serious global issues, starting with clean water and air. We need to focus on easing human suffering and natural food. The time and money the world spends on weapons of destruction is about as necessary as this machine which "feeds men".
As they said in the Twilight Zone episode, "To Serve Man", it's a recipe book!
This is a fantastic Norwegian bench for truing long boards. I could use one of these when squaring 2 x 10’s. Quite impressive!
Originally posted on Norsk Skottbenk Union:
When I started this blog I wanted to get some focus on a type of workbench that where almost forgotten in Norway. I wanted to engage other craftsmen in Norway to search for old workbenches and to make their own and start to use them. I did not believe that this would gain interest among woodworkers in other parts of the world. About a year ago Dennis Laney wrote a post about the skottbenk on his blog: If you don’t know your hyvelbenk from a skottbenk – you should. It is not easy to explain the use of the bench and to translate Norwegian terms to English. Dennis wrote a new entry on his blog to explain how this skottbenk works: Skottbenk equals sticking board – Big sticking board. He has also made a later post: Murphy’s law, spring joints and skottbenks.
I have made a small Youtube video to…
View original 316 more words
|sawed to rough length|
|test panel and the first panel I made|
The first experiment is using my ogee plane on the end grain. This will be my first attempt at using any molding plane on end grain. This plane is a good choice because I just got done tuning it up and sharpening the iron.
|profile against the long grain|
|end grain done first|
|cleaned up the 'S' curve with my small rasps|
|cleaned up the shoulder with my tenon plane|
|ends done and ready to smooth the top|
|#3 action is last|
|gluing in two ?|
|back to the mitered frame|
|width is less then I need|
|flattening panel #3|
|too much to plane off - I'll saw off what I can|
|scoring the end grain|
|knocked down the corners|
|setting the shoe to the depth of the groove|
|first end grain groove done|
|the other side|
|sawing the other end grain|
|used a chisel to knock the waste out below the depth of the groove|
|grooves done - the end grain grooves are almost as good as the long grain ones|
|fitting the frame is the next batter|
|take a few swipes and then checked the fit|
|plane till the step is gone|
|these miters won't close up|
|the groove of the panel is above the bottom of the bridle mortise slot|
|panel dry fit is done|
|waxing the grooves|
|using hide glue - warming it up before I can use it|
|glued and cooking away|
|now that the panel is glued and cooking I can break down the plane|
|what that 'U' thing is for|
The 'U' pieces are just glued to the bottom and I'll stick with this for now. I might put some screws in it later after it has been used for a while and I can gauge how well it's holding up. I don't anticipate my wife having or causing any problems with this.
|covering the end grain of the plywood|
|making some more moldings|
|I got two moldings out of this|
|one molding cleaned up and ready to use|
|I like this look|
|used the pin nailer to secure the moldings|
|making nail hole filler|
|this was no help|
|sawdust from the tablesaw|
|five minutes later|
|mix it up and apply it with your finger tips|
|just add a little more hide glue|
|brush the leftover bits off before they hardens|
|clean up with water|
|20 minutes later sand it and apply the shellac|
|I've got 3 coats on this already|
What recipe is recited in the play Cyrano de Bergerac?
answer - the recipe for tart almondine
Dei som har vore med oss over tid her på bloggen har fått med seg at eg har funne ein gamal høvelbenk på garden Helberg i Bardu. Denne har eg laga ein kopi av for å prøve ut i min eige verkstad. Her kan du lese om benken frå Helberg og mitt arbeid med å snikre ein kopi: Roald snikrar kopi av høvelbenken frå Helberg. I den siste årboka til Bardu Historielag har eg skrive ein liten artikkel om høvelbenken frå Helberg og om datering av denne benken. Artikkelen er tilgjengeleg for lesing og nedlasting på nett: Høvelbenken frå Helberg. Benken frå Helberg har ei bordklipe som er spikra på sida og som er eit tydeleg teikn på at det dreiar seg om ein høvelbenk. I tillegg er det ei lekt som er spikra på som høvelstopp. Her er det liten tvil om det er ein høvelbenk. På mi profilside på bloggen har eg fått ein kommentar frå Øyvind Alstad i Bardu. Han skriv at han har hatt ein liknande benk som den på Helberg, ein benk med dei same kjenneteikna. Den benken har vore i bruk i omtrent same område som benken frå Helberg.Skjermdump frå filmen “Från vrång til sjösättning” som viser båtbyggarfamilien Holmström i Klungsten i Sverige. Her har dei lagt ein grov planke på to bukkar og brukar det som benk for å høvle emne til kjølen..
Grove plankar kan gjere nytte som høvelbenk eller universalarbeidsbenk utan at det treng å ha sett tydelege spor. I filmen “Från vrång til sjösättning” som er tilgjengeleg på YouTube kan vi følgje ein båtbyggarfamilie i Sverige som byggar båt. Gjennom filmen får vi stadige glimt av nokre grove plankar som vert brukt som arbeidsbenk for det meste av arbeidet. Plankane vert gjerne lagt på to låge bukkar som gir høveleg arbeidshøgd for mykje av arbeidet. I filmen kan eg ikkje sjå at det er høvelstopp eller bordklipe på dei plankane dei brukar. Når båten er ferdig vert plankane og bukkane rydda bort. Ein må då ha kjennskap til arbeidet for å kunne tolke plankane som ein slags høvelbenk.Den grove planken på låge bukkar har mange ulike bruksområde i arbeidet. Her er den brukt til å legge frå seg material.
Den store fordelen med slike lause plankar som arbeidsbenk er at dei er lette å rigge til og rydde unna ettersom det er bruk for dei i arbeidet. Spesielt når ein har lange høvelbenkar merkar ein at dei ikkje er spesielt lette å flytte med seg. Ved å ha ulike høgder på bukkane ein brukar kan ein både nytte plankane i sitjehøgd og i ståhøgd. Om ein vil ha planken i ståhøgd så vil det vere naturleg å ha ein høvelstopp på benken. I sitjehøgd er ikkje det nødvendig, då sit ein på emnet for å halde det fast. Med det utgangspunktet tolkar eg det slik at benken frå Helberg har vore brukt med bukkar eller ei anna form for understell som har vore i ståhøgd, i alle fall så høgt at ein ikkje sat på emnet.
Arkivert under:1900-tal, Bruk av høvelbenk, Høvelbenk utan fast understell