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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway! Enjoy!
Thank you to everyone who contributed towards Walt Quadrato's battle against cancer! Their fundraising goal was met. Our prayers are with you, Walt!
I thought that this might pique your interest no matter where you are in the world. Small businesses are important to every economy and we should keep pursuing a return of craft education into schools, alongside design and technology, but encourage educators and politicians to consider craft and art more deeply than ever before. I say this because these two spheres usually only respond to economic statistics and not the other aspects art and craft have on our wellbeing and welfare.
The post Oh My! Who Can Deny Small Businesses Are Highly Potent?? appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.
I have the Veritas dowel former, which is easy enough to use but the instructions blithely describe how to prepare the stock, which isn't so easy for quarter inch pegs. Especially in such thin pegs, it is extremely important to rive the stock so that the fibers are continuous through the length of the peg. As I learned by experiment, the strength difference between a commercial dowel and a riven peg is enormous. If the grain in your scrap is very straight and parallel to an edge, I suppose you could saw them out but I didn't have any like that. So, I would hold a piece of scrap about two inches long on the bench with one hand, set a chisel on top of it with the other hand, move my first hand away and split it. Kind of like splitting kindling. Obviously, things can get rickety and here was the result on the very last one:
I wasn't applying any force and just the weight of the sharp chisel did this when the little piece tipped over. Fortunately, nothing that CA glue couldn't fix. There are forty-eight pegs in this desk so riving the stock got boring and that probably contributed to the accident happening. Long story short, I was an idiot.
Having learned this completely unnecessary lesson, I was a little bit smarter this time. I just put a wooden handscrew on the bench and used it to hold the stock as I split out the pegs. Duh. Maybe there is a better way, but this prevented any further injuries.
Here is an excerpt from the Veritas instructions:
Take the time to hand plane the blank down to just slightly over the final diameter and then knock off the corners to form an octagon. To facilitate starting the blank in the plate, taper one end of the blank...OK, but this is a quarter of an inch. This time, after I split out the pieces, I just roughly whittled them to size and tapered an end. It worked fairly well, but I'd be really interested to know if any of you have a better approach. Too late, I recalled that Paul Sellers made an easy little jig to plane pieces of thin stock to a uniform thickness (basically runners on the sides for the plane with an indent in the middle the correct depth in which you place the stock) and, if I was going to make this many riven pegs again, I think that is what I would try.
Do you have a great woodworking story to tell? Do you like having a chance to get free stuff? I’m guessing the answer is “yes” to both questions. Your writing about woodworking could win you a copy of the four-volume set of “The Practical Woodworker” (a must-have foundation set of books for the woodworker interested in early 20th-century woodworking techniques, edited by Bernard Jones.) For the storytelling part, I am seeking submissions for our “End Grain” […]
ARTICLES FOUND IN THIS ISSUE:
AN ATMOSPHERIC INCUBATOR: HOW TO MAKE AND WORK IT
SHORT LESSONS IN WOOD-WORKING FOR AMATEURS
KNOTTING, SPLICING, AND WORKING CORDAGE
AN ARTISTS SKETCHING EASEL
THE WINTER CARE OF CYCLES
TRAMMELS: THEIR USES, AND HOW TO MAKE THEM
MAKING THE BEST OF A BAD HOUSE
OUR GUIDE TO GOOD THINGS
Disclaimer: Articles in Work describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.
The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.
The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.
You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.
Mornings can be rough for me, but a good cup of coffee can make all the difference. Over the years we’ve tried several different coffee makers, including the K-cups, but in the end we always come back to our good old Mr. Coffee coffee maker. As a result it’s important to make sure I get the right amount of coffee grounds in the filter every time for the perfect cup. This doesn’t sound like it should be a big deal, but when I’m doing it with one eye open (and that one eye is unfocused and sleepy) it can be a challenge.
For years we’ve used an old measuring scoop that I’ve never been convinced was giving us the right measurements (or at least for me it hasn’t,) so I decided to do something about it. And that something is to make my own coffee scoop from scrap maple I have laying around. Okay, that’s not completely true, part of the reason I want to make the new coffee scoop is that I want an excuse to keep honing my woodturning skills and this seemed like the perfect project.
So on today’s episode, we’re turning a maple bodied coffee scoop on the lathe. It’s surprisingly simple, and can be knocked out in less than an hour (if you’re not filming it to share with friends.) Perhaps the hardest part about the project is deciding how big of a scoop you’ll need, or even what species of wood to use. This one ended up being just deep enough to equal one cup of coffee per scoop, which is perfect for me, because the only math I have to do when I’m waking up is adding up the number of cups I think I’ll need to figure out which pair of pants to wear.
A little over a year ago, there was an exceptional auction in town. From this auction, I have blogged about:
The Rotary Wooten Desk
End Grain Veneers
Thomas Day Chests
Kaare Klint ‘Safari Chairs’ (Chris Schwarz and Lost Art Press, actually)
I have just never gotten around to posting the entire set. And the set is about to expire. They don’t last forever. Under ideal conditions, you can get about 13 months. I have been taking this set out looking at it regularly and allowing it to come to room temperature before returning it to storage.
But before I do, a few more highlights. Like this mundane tilt-top table:
And these stands:
And the other:
Go see the entire set (184 pictures) HERE.
Selling my work–mostly wooden spoons–at craft shows has been hit-or-miss for me. But recently I found out that our local art museum, the Mobile Museum of Art, hosts a regular craft show, and I thought that venue might bring in the clientele I’m looking for. So I plopped down the small table fee and set up a booth.
I didn’t have a lot of spoons to sell, but I had enough to make it worth my time being there. I got a good table right in the middle of the venue, and I had a good flow of traffic. And sales were good. I sold nearly half my stock in about three hours.
It really helped that I was able to process credit card payments with my smartphone. That accounted for almost two-thirds of my sales tonight.
Next time around, I want to have a wider variety of shapes and sizes to offer–especially spatulas. But mostly I just need to make more spoons.
Tagged: art museum, craft show
Design workshops are a horse of a different color. The focus isn’t on a single project, but instead on every project you build going forward. OK – if you must have a clear idea of a project before signing on, my design workshops project involves a bit of demolition, setting a foundation, erecting walls, staircases, installing windows, running miles of new wiring, and it all takes place inside your head. Oh, and we accomplish all of this with a pair of dividers, a stick, and a pencil.
Students run the gamut from beginning woodworkers, to professional carpenters, graphic designers, engineers, free thinking artistic spirits, to the average Joe who just wants to take his or her work to another level.
Some common themes resonate with all. Everyone senses when a design looks right, but most can’t go much past just a vague feeling. After a workshop, that inner sense is decidedly stronger and students can begin to pinpoint why a design works or fails. Much of this progress results from getting a firm grip on what you already know intuitively.
That simmering doubt surrounding proportions evaporates. Yet, this is not about recipes or formulas. Students get the opportunity play and experiment with proportions, much like learning how spices combine to create depth of flavor in a good chili. This quickly leads to the ability to unpack proportions in the wild. Great buildings, furniture, and works of art reveal their secrets and become a practical source of inspiration.
Most notice a marked improvement in the designs coming off their pencil by day two, and the ability to execute and self critique takes a dramatic step forward. Treat yourself to a weekend in 2015 that will change every aspect of your woodworking by attending a By Hand & Eye Design Workshop. Here’s a list of dates and locations for the coming year.
January 24 – 25, 2015 Hudson Ohio, R. Grell Fine Woodworking Workshops
February 20 -22 Phoenix, Southwest School of Woodworking
August 8 – 9 Warren Maine, Lie-Nielsen Toolworks
Oct 17 – 18, Franklin IN, Marc Adams
George R. Walker
All Lost Art Press books now ship via USPS Priority Mail, which arrives anywhere in the United States in one to three business days.
From a practical standpoint, this means you can order Lost Art Press books up until Dec. 19 and be confident they will show up by Christmas.
Until today, we have shipped book orders via Media Mail, a less-expensive shipping method for books that is supposed to take eight business days for delivery. During the last seven years and 100,000 packages, we have seen slower and slower delivery times (up to 15 business days) for Media Mail and seen more lost and damaged packages.
So today we switched to priority mail for books and have raised some rates (but not all) by $1. Shirts and hats will, as always, will continue to be shipped by first-class mail or priority mail, whichever is less expensive for you.
In 2015 we will offer other shipping options and have opened negotiations with other shipping services. Our goal is to get your order to you as quickly as possible without damage or excess expense.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Products We Sell
Every newcomer to woodworking soon begins to see that there are tools used for working the wood and then there are tools and related pieces of equipment for working the cutting edges of the tools themselves. This equipment makes them cut the wood to greater and lesser degrees of effectiveness. Whereas it’s all to easy to diss the past to say we are now the best, you cannot dismiss past quality and say we are better today than ever because few examples of modern work come near in matching the regular works of craftsmen past.
In recent decades I have seen some developments that many of you will know nothing of but I think is important enough to write of periodically regarding sharpening edge tools. By edge tools I mean every plane iron type, chisels and spokeshaves. Edge tools with single-sided bevels. Sharpening such tools of course predates our modern-day internet world by hundreds of years, even to earlier millennia when iron sharpened iron all the more. Through the centuries past I see woodwork of every type that ranges from simple carved effigies to complex carvings, complex inlays to simple ones. Creating edges that mate gapless along entire lengths with such tight preciseness no air or glue lines existed takes skill in using the tools and skilled sensitivity to achieve the sharpness it takes to cut wood so flawlessly. This is of course in no way new and has nothing to do with the specialist equipment we have and enjoy today.
This week I bought a range of western oilstones on eBay. Some were more expensive than others but mostly they were inexpensive and all were secondhand. They all had something in common that it would indeed be easy for woodworkers to see as seriously flawed and something that needs a mega-amount of attention. I want to look at them and try them and show the results on different woods. The stones I bought are all 60 years old or more.
Growing up I worked with men who all had different oilstones. I mean different in levels of fineness, in stone types and such like that. None of them used water stones and as far as I knew back then they didn’t exist in the UK. Every stone back then and throughout the ensuing years from 1960 to 1985 were well hollowed out and by that I mean utterly dished to an even curve the full length of the stones anywhere between 1/8” to 1/4” deep. Now the question for me as an ordinary, unrefined working man wanting to help my fellow man is did it matter that every stone I ever saw except new ones were indeed hollowed? I feel sort f glad to be able to say with all honesty that it was very apparent that it did not. Why was that? Why for centuries were stones hollowed out along their length and yet standards of workmanship remained exemplary of the very highest standards? For me, the question keeps coming back to me; where, why, when and how did we start along the path of micro-bevels, water stones, diamond plates, dead flatness within thousandths of an inch and other such minutia? I’ll let you know how it goes.
I intended to do this, but there was something on the menu called 'Gentleman's Tea,' and I felt morally obligated to order it. Turns out this version of afternoon tea came with beer and meat. Perfect!
|Afternoon tea at the Kensington Close Hotel.|
What I did find on my camera on my way home was a bunch of pics of furniture from one of the museums we went to: the Victoria and Albert Museum. Technically this museum is free, but they do a good job of guilting you into donating a few bucks to see the displays.
There was a lot of cool future in this place. I saw a couple pieces of note that I will share here.
The first is a sideboard designed by E.W. Godwin around 1870. I can't see myself building either of these two pieces, but of the two I can see including some elements from this piece on a future project.
|Designed by E.W. Godwin|
|Here's the placard describing the piece.|
|Close up of some details.|
|This piece is even more incredible in person. Designed by Bruce James Talbert.|
|The museum's blurb.|
|Close up of the detail. It is amazingly clean and crisp, and there is a LOT of it.|
|Me and the Highlander.|
I freely admit that I use a honing guide when sharpening.
That wasn’t always the case, however. When I first became an electrician I picked up a block plane and a set of Stanley butt chisels which I used mainly for notching out framing lumber to run wire etc. Chisels don’t necessarily need to be razor sharp for notching 2×4’s, but I did purchase a basic oil stone for the chisels, as well as my block plane(which I still have), and usually if I got bored I would sharpen the chisels, freehand. I can’t tell you how well I did because I’m not all that sure. I remember getting the chisels sharp enough to work, and that’s all I was really concerned with at the time. Sadly, I don’t have those chisels anymore(I haven’t seen them in at least ten years), so I have no frame of reference to how well the edges look to my more refined eye.
When I started woodworking and finally purchased a decent set of chisels, I read dozens, if not hundreds of articles on how to sharpen both chisels and plane irons. They went in depth concerning consistency and bevel angles. Many of the articles made mention of the ease at which a chisel or plane iron could be ruined, or at least badly damaged, by inconsistent methods of sharpening, and most recommended using a honing guide to produce the needed consistent results to obtain a tool sharp enough for woodworking. That all seemed to make sense, and as most honing guides are relatively inexpensive, I purchased one and haven’t looked back.
For the past few months, I’ve been volunteering at Valley Forge National Park with a group that builds and maintains the replica log huts that the Continental Army used as living and working quarters during the winter of 1777-1778. It’s been fun and rewarding work. Generally, the Park Service provides us with all of the tools and equipment needed for the job, but being familiar with my own tools, I often bring a small set of my own carpentry tools, including chisels(not my woodworking chisels), block plane, my own homemade jointer plane, and saws. Because the sessions start early on Saturday morning, and because I usually work late on Fridays, I would often throw my tools in the tool box on Friday night after work and leave them at the front door so I can grab them and go on Saturday.
After my first session of volunteering, I noticed that my carpentry chisels and old Stanley block plane needed to be sharpened. The chisels are new in the sense that though they are roughly 8 years old, they’ve been used very little and I do not remember ever having sharpened them. The block plane, my first block plane, actually held up well. It is at least 12 years old, any my original hand honed edge didn’t look so bad. Usually my problem is time, as in I just don’t have all day to spend honing and sharpening tools, so for the past three volunteer sessions I would grab the tools I was planning to use, give them a quick honing free-hand, and use them at the park. I didn’t think anything of this until last weekend when I free-hand honed the Hock plane iron that I use in my homemade jointer. I spent roughly 3 minutes on it, and it honestly produced the best, most consistent shavings I’ve ever seen.
When I sharpened the jointer iron, I placed the bevel flat on a 1000 grit stone, honed it for roughly a minute, switched to the 8000 grit stone and did the same. I then added a micro-bevel and honed off the burr. At first glance, the edge did not appear as crisp as an edge produced with the honing guide, but that hardly mattered; the iron was razor sharp. I took a few practice swipes and it confirmed what I could feel. I then honed the irons for my jack plane and little wood bodied block plane using the same technique. Both performed beautifully, they just didn’t look as nice as the edge that a honing guide produces, and I think that the nice edge was part of the problem; I was more concerned with the look of the edge than the actual feel of it.
When I sharpen with a honing guide, I check for an even appearance at the edge, as well as feel with my fingers for “sharp”. By hand, I go by the feel of the iron alone. At that, I do look at the iron to make sure it is wearing evenly, but I don’t overly concern myself with it. I also slightly camber each side. I’ve found it very easy, and my conclusion is that free hand honing plane irons is for the most part easier and quicker than using a guide. It’s my opinion that bench plane irons work better with a slightly uneven edge (when I say ‘slightly uneven’ I do mean slight). Chisels, are a bit of a different matter.
I’ve been able to get a pretty good edge on my chisels sharpening free hand, but they seem to sharpen better with a guide. That could just be the result of my sharpening technique, as well as the fact that the longer, thinner iron of a chisel is not as easy to balance on a sharpening stone as a bench plane iron. Whatever the case, I will likely continue to sharpen most of my chisels using a honing guide, as it’s always done a nice job and there is really not much of a need to change.
On the other hand, I think I will sharpen my bench plane irons free hand (for the most part) from now on. I think the results are better, and it is somewhat easier than using a guide. It seems to me that having an edge that isn’t perfectly square across works better for a bench plane. There could be a scientific explanation for why this is the case; I don’t really need to know why, though, I’ll let the woodworking geniuses worry about it. The results are all I care about.
Hand-forged hardware is a great way to make your projects that much more hand made – and if you can work with a blacksmith to “personalize” the hardware, so much the better (in the right circumstances, of course – cat heads might look a bit silly on a Stickley cellarette). The cat-head iron lifts above are on my tool chest. I’d asked John Switzer of Black Bear Forge to make […]
The other day I went to ask Glen Huey a question. He was out in the shop, working on his project for the first issue of 360 WoodWorking, and he kept going as we talked. I couldn’t help but notice that he had three different types of mallets on his bench, and he was using all of them at different times. There was one with a rubber face for gently persuading things, a traditional wooden mallet, and one of the ones that Glen makes that no self-respecting woodworker should be without. I mentioned that I found it interesting that there were so many specialized tools for as mundane a task as smacking things. Like Glen, I have a variety of devices for persuading, tapping, driving, pounding and smashing in a range of sizes, shapes and materials. An alternate definition of woodworker could well be “easy mark for a tool seller.”
Woodworkers tend to think of tools as possessing magical qualities, “if I only had “X” I’d be able to do “Y” as well as anybody.” That is most often not the case as there is a distinction between tools that are perfectly suited for a specific task and tools that will actually enable you to do something you couldn’t before. Most of the cool tools have evolved to meet the needs of somebody who does the same thing all the time and is trying to make a living. The danger is seeing a photo like the one at left and thinking you won’t be able to do anything unless you have this many measuring and marking tools. There is a lot of difference between “essential”, “nice to have” and “that might come in handy if I ever do . . .” The essential list is surprisingly small and getting good with the essential tools makes it easier to decide what to get next, and it also makes that next tool easier to learn. We have to watch out for our own weaknesses and be careful that tool sellers (and authors) don’t take advantage of us.
Over in my little corner of the shop I’m still settling in and unpacking things. In doing so I realized that I may have a “problem” with marking, measuring and layout tools. It’s not the only area I have a problem with, I might also have a chisel “problem” and I could be on the verge of a knife “problem”. I suspect that Glen may have a Unisaw “problem”. I’m defining “problem” here as being at the point where it becomes an effort to get at the tools you really need because all of the “nice to have” and “might come in handy” tools are in the way. Fortunately, as you work the essentials will rise to the top of the heap.
They say that confession is good for the soul and that admitting a problem exists is the first step to getting past it. I feel better, and I’m probably safe until the next time I visit the Lee Valley website and click on “What’s New”. So how about you? Is there a particular type of tool that you always spring for, or are you a general tool addict? Any tools you bought that have barely been used? What are your “essentials? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.
This is a lovely Krenov inspired cabinet made by Matt from Indiana USA.
The Macassar ebony is a combination of solid and veneer. I love the way he turned a simple rectangle into a very pleasing delicate piece by adding a little drawer box in the corner. A reminder that sometimes less is more.
Hello my name is Jim Chrisawn and I am a fourth generation woodworker and have been a woodworker for the past 40 plus years. I have built everything from custom homes to custom furniture during this time.
I moved to Wyoming in 2012 and gave away my workbench to a dear friend and woodworker before moving so one of the first things that I needed to do after settling in was to build a new work bench. In this I needed a new vise. I love the old Record 52 vises and found that they were now very expensive and hard to come by as well. I did a lot of research and decided to try the Eclipse 10″ Quick Release Vise from Highland. I ordered the vise and it arrived promptly and well-packaged. Once unpacked, cleaned, and lubricated I set about installing it on my bench. The installation was straight forward, however be warned this is a heavy vise! Once installed I made vise jaw inserts out of some scrap hickory that I had in the shop.
With the 3/4″ inserts installed, the vise opens to a generous 13-1/2″. The quick release lever tension is easily adjusted to suit the user and works great! The jaws close square and secure. Please note that the jaws close at the top first by design. I really like this design feature as it allows me to place the object in the vise, close it, and then make easy adjustments before fully tightening the vise. Once tightened the vise holds the work very securely and squarely. The vise comes with a metal dog that can be lifted into position and held securely with the thumb screw. This is a great addition if you installed bench dogs.
I have found the vise a very well made copy of the Record 52D in almost every way. I have been using the vise now daily for nearly a year with no problems or issues. I did make a modification after reading one of Paul Sellers blogs by adding two o-rings to the ends of the tommy bar so it dampens the metal to metal noise you get using the vise. Overall, I am very pleased with this vise and feel it is a quality product even if it isn’t built in the USA.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the vise and purchase your own.
It seems like everybody has at least one of these little twisted and sharpened pieces of wire floating around the shop. They are called Gimlets and can save your but in a tight situation. Not only do I keep some of these in my bit roll in the tool cabinet, but I have several of them in my tool tote and toolboxes for whenever I’m working outside the shop. they are indispensable when working with cut nails or screws or anything that requires a pilot hole. And they can go where drills fear to tread into the deepest, darkest recesses of dusty inside corners!
This Episode’s Winner is Jeremy Johnson
Jeremy chose a Veritas Saw File Guide from the prize list. Congratuations Jeremy and make sure you check out the video I did on this great little tool for aiding in saw sharpening.
To register to win prizes with each Chips ‘n Tips episode, visit http://renaissancewoodworker.com/chipsntips