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With apologies, Norse Woodsmith articles and blog entries are not available online pending some work on the website. The feeds from other sites are all still available.  Also, there may be some graphic issues while I migrate the site to a new host, please bear with me.  Thanks!

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Top Twenty (Teisco) Bass Restoration: 4

A Luthiers Blog - Sat, 04/06/2024 - 8:20am

The restoration is now complete and in this video, I give you a demo of what this vintage bass sounds like. The bass is played with the tone knob set at its two extremes and using fingers and then a pick.

Latest Standard mandolin

A Luthiers Blog - Sat, 04/06/2024 - 8:09am

Here’s the latest Standard mandolin, complete and now safely with its new owner and also with its sibling (a Nava e-mando). I always love the elegant simplicity of my Standard’s design.







herd of Woodies......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 04/06/2024 - 3:27am

 I have sold 4 planes so far and the next batch is a tame herd of woodie transitionals. I went nutso into woodies and never really used them. I always ended up reaching for a metal plane. I did use them to thickness several pieces of stock with the #5 and the #7 getting the lion's share of the workout. They have been collecting dust and it is time to put them up for adoption. 

 everything you need to get going

From the top to the bottom - #7, #5, # 4 1/2, and a #3 smoother. I am offering these up as a set for $225 plus shipping. All have been rehabbed and work as well as their metal siblings.

 everything works as it should

I stripped and derusted all the metal parts. I painted them with a primer and two coats of Rustoleum oil based gloss black enamel. All of the irons are correct for these planes. Irons from the metal siblings won't fit and function properly with transitional planes. The slot for the yoke is in a different spot.

 hmm....

I don't know how this pic came out like this. I am not a a photography savant by any stretch of the imagination. The top pic is from the #7. I got a cherry replacement knob and handle from Bill Rittner. I had to send him the plate so he could custom machine the handle to fit it. A piece of it chipped off and I never got around to gluing it back. That will be done before I ship them out.

 ditto for the jack

I had to get replacements for the jack too. Both of the knobs and handles were too far gone to save. The jack has a something amiss with the plate. I had to put a shim under the frog on the left side to get the iron parallel with the mouth.

 ready for adoption (almost)

The planes are a bit dusty and dirty from hanging out in the shop not getting any love from me. The will get cleaned up and looking real spiffy  to whoever adopts them.

I think the price for the four of them is fair. I am selling them at a big loss to me. The two sets of handles and knobs alone were about $150. I also had to buy two irons because they were from metal planes. Finding transitional irons that were usable was a PITA. Offering them up first to the readers of my keyboard diarrhea.

To the Canadian readers be forewarned shipping from the lower 48 north is expensive. Weight plays a big part along with the size of the box. Shipping a #5 to the northwest territories was estimated at a low of about $60 (US dollars) for normal delivery to $180 (US dollars) for I still don't know what. I couldn't get an answer on guaranteed delivery within a specified time for this cost. At the current exchange rates this is about $82 to $250 Canadian. Shipping the herd would be painful.

accidental woodworker

shaker drawers are done.....

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 04/06/2024 - 3:17am

Still not sure what to call this. The author says it is a portable chest of drawers. Another author said it was a tool chest made by a father for his son. I do know it is shaker and I have seen several pics of it. Regardless of what it is called it certainly could have more than one use. I'm not sure how I'll use it now. Originally I thought to use it as toolchest too but I changed my mind now that it is done. Six of the drawers are too small IMO for woodworking tools. 

no stupid wood tricks

No surprises this AM with the drawer stock. I wasn't expecting any and I'll leave it here until I start on the carcass. BTW this drawer unit supposedly was dual purposed. It can hung on a wall or set on a table.

one more

I came back to the shop last night and did what I thought would be the last coat of shellac. However, this AM I decided to add another one for more protection. More than likely the top will be used as a horizontal storage area. 

33/64ths thick

The sun was out so I ran the boards through the lunchbox planer. 33/64ths was close enough to a 1/2" for me. The 64th over will disappear when I smooth plane these.

 smaller pile

This time I didn't generate as many chips even though I planed roughly the same amount of wood as I did last week. The wind was blowing and that helped with how much I had to sweep up and dump.

hmm......

Just realized that I could have gotten some drawer stock from these boards. The widest piece I need is about 9" and these are 1x12's.

 glamour shot #1

I usually pick out all the me-steaks I made making this but not today. I am happy with what I did and how this turned out. I am even warming up to the cherry knobs on the middle drawer.

port side glamour shot

The drawers aren't a piston fit but that is ok too. I doubt that my drawers will bind come summer. (fingers and toes crossed on that)

 starboard side glamour shot

I will ask daughter #1 if she wants this one to go along with the first one I made for her.

 still green

It doesn't look that bad - it has the two panels on either side that are paler and not as green. The right one looks like it is starting to get a greenish tinge to it though.

 the first one

I took some liberties with the first one I made. I didn't have the skill set to do the layout and dado work for the vertical and horizontal dividers for the bottom 5 drawers.

 not dovetails

I didn't know how to do hand dovetails when I made this. These are finger joints but it looks like they were only at the top. Couldn't see how the drawers were joined at the corners neither.

 little gappy

Overall not that shabby as the gap is at the top and it doesn't shout out at me. But then again I'm a wee bit biased. I used 3/4" thick stock for the carcass and I don't remember what I used for the drawers. It is nice to see what I was capable of 15 years ago and what I can do now.

 crappy 1/4" plywood

The tag at Lowes said that this plywood is 0.20 thick. The orange spot is where the birch veneer left on the express south. 

 can you see it?

Lost the piece of veneer from handling this 1/4 sheet. It is thinner than a piece of paper. I won't use this for drawer bottoms. I'll be making another road trip to Lowes and I'll a 1/4 sheet of the 5.2mm luan plywood. They didn't have any when I bought this sheet.

accidental woodworker

Glimpse Of A Master

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 04/05/2024 - 9:13am

Again, one of the beauties of youtubeworld is the sheer quantity of vintage video on almost any topic you want.  Finding it can be a challenge, especially when the titles are in other languages and “alphabets” but lately I’ve ben coming across some jewels from 40, 50, or even 60 years ago.

Here’s a glimpse of the modern master of lacquerwork, Gonroku Matsuda.  Enjoy.

Categories: Hand Tools

Into the gap

Giant Cypress - Fri, 04/05/2024 - 5:08am

One of the things that resulted from the COVID pandemic was that I wound up teaching the OCIA course for our church (long story). The students got their sacraments at the Easter Vigil Mass, and I decided to make crucifixes for them as a gift. This should be a pretty straightforward project — mill out pieces of wood for the upright and crosspiece portions of the cross, cut a lap joint, glue, finish, and attach the corpus and INRI plaque.

But it is a truism in woodworking that the smaller projects are the hardest to do, because you see every detail. And for this crucifix, there was a detail that bugged me.

On the lower part of the bridle joint to the left, there’s a bit of a gap. That’s where I went a little off my line. It happens. Structurally, this joint would be fine, but visually this stuck out to me like a sore thumb. The good thing is that this is pretty easy to mitigate.

The way I fix small gaps in joinery like this is to use plane shavings to fill in the void. The first thing is to figure out the best orientation for that shaving. You want the shaving to go with the grain of one of the two parts of the joint. In this case, it would be along the grain of the crosspiece.

Then make some shavings from another piece of wood that’s the same species as the piece. (It does occur to me that if you use a contrasting piece of wood for this, you’ve moved from fixing a gap in a joint to making inlay.)

Japanese planes are well known for their ability to make gossamer-thin shavings less than 0.001" thick. That’s not what we want here.

I test fit the shaving until I find the section that fits well, and then trim down the shaving with a pair of scissors.

Then glue up and clamp the joint. I’m a big fan of liquid hide glue overall, but it’s especially good in this situation because it makes the shavings slippery enough so that everything fits together. Don’t worry that the joint will look like one of Phyllis Diller’s outfits. We’ll fix that later.

After the glue dries, the joint will look like a mess. Again, don’t worry.

Now I use a chisel to get rid of most of the shavings hanging off the joint as well as the dried glue squeeze out, and a plane to bring everything flush. The joint looks much better now.

As it turned out, I was also making a small divider for a container that sits in one of our kitchen drawers, and left a little gap in that joint as well. I used the same technique to fix that, even though it will sit in a drawer, and will never see the light of day, because that’s what woodworking has done to me.

For the crucifix, I used shellac and wax for the finish, and attached the corpus and INRI plaque. It turned out pretty nice.

And that’s when I noticed that Jesus’s head would have covered up that gap anyway. I guess Jesus really does save.

2nd day with CPAP

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 04/05/2024 - 3:30am

 After two nights attached to a 5 foot hose, I had no hiccups with it. I had to do the toilet trot races 3 times and no problems taking the mask off and putting it back on. I woke up feeling better than I have in a long time. It was a only a subtle difference but I'll take it. I had 4 incidents/hour  where I stopped breathing whereas on the sleep study I was avg 13 incidents per hour. The tech who showed me the in/outs of the machine told me the goal is get the incidents/hour down to 5 or less.

 running low

I have a coat on the drawer fronts and none on the top. I wasn't sure that I would have enough lemon shellac to finish this. The drawers that aren't fully seated are the ones that need some help after applying shellac.

 fitting the drawers

I was able to use the sanding block on all the thin height drawers and I had to use the block plane on the center big one. Just two wispy shaving runs did the the trick.

 two more shellac coats

It was looking like I would be putting a check mark in the done column with this today in the PM session. The ends have 3 or 4 coats of the lemon shellac where the top has two as does the drawer fronts. There is a difference in the color between them.

 next project

I plan to follow the dimensions for the carcass and drawer openings. I am also using the drawer and divider dimensions. This has 3/8 and 1/4 inch thickness and I don't want something that delicate. I'm using 1/2" for the carcass and drawer fronts. The sides and back of the drawers will be 3/8".

 stock for the 3 small drawers

I still have a pile of stock left over from over projects to use up. 

 the two large drawers

None of the leftover stock was wide enough to get the large drawer parts from. I had to use some from last haul I got from Gurney Saw Mill.

1/2"  drawer fronts

The bandsaw performed well and I was happy with the results. The first run I did was 3/8" for the sides and backs. I didn't get a perfect 1/2 split but that is ok. I mark the tails and pins using the stock so any minor difference won't matter.

 2 big drawers

All of the this stock is oversized, especially on the length.

 3 small drawers

Did better with the small drawers. All five have the same depth and side lengths except for the heights.

 lots of oops stock

I had a senior moment doing this resawing. Failed to register in the dim light of the brain bucket that I was getting two pieces from one. It won't go to waste in my shop. It will used as a rainy day or '...what will I do now.....' project.

 big drawers

Got an extra drawer front for the each of the big drawers. I am not sure if I'll make any extras for the sides/backs. The shorter pile on the right are extra drawer fronts for the smaller drawers. I have a boatload of oops stock for the small sides/backs.

 prep work

Planed the bandsawn face for all of the drawer parts. I didn't do any of the extras because I am saying I won't need them.

1/4" plywood

The smaller piece is 1/4" birch plywood I got before the pandemic from Lowes. It is the good stuff. Thick, stiff, and usually both faces were a one piece birch veneer without patches. The one in the back is the crap Lowes is now selling. The sticker says 1/4" Birch but I thought it was luan at first.

 two huge differences

The stiffness aside, the good 1/4" plywood is thicker than the crappy one. The plies are thicker and appear to be better quality. The 2nd difference is the thickness of the face veneers. You can see them on the good one but not on the crappy one. They are incredibly thin and the chip like crazy when you saw it. Barely above garbage status IMO and for the privilege of buying it, it only cost $24 for a 1/4 sheet.

 sticker says 5.2 mm

I measured this around the edge 360 and the calipers were spitting out numbers all over the dial. The avg was about 5.4mm and not once did I read 5.2mm. I use a lot of this plywood because it is 6-7 dollars cheaper than the crappy 1/4" birch.

 crappy 1/4" birch

This one avg about 65 to 70 thousands less then a 1/4". The avg was roughly 0.185 and none of them were even close to approaching 0.250 inches.

The good 1/4" birch avg 0.204 all around it. (forgot to snap a pic of it). Both of them are labeled as 1/4" but differ in how much they are off from the nominal.

one more coat

This will definitely be done today with glamour shots in the AM tomorrow. As you can see in the pic the center panel on the back is turning green. It is 1/8" plywood from China and I had to use it because it was all I had. Glad it is on the back and hopefully it will spend its life facing a wall.

just in case

I doubt that I will be surprised with any stupid wood tricks in the AM. All of this stock has been in the shop for months and should be acclimated. However, you never know what it will do when you resaw it.

 3 for the carcass

I think I got everything I need laid out on the boards. Since I am using 1/2" thickness on everything I can run the boards through full length. Hopefully that will be done tomorrow. The last four days have been cloudy and raining off and on. Tomorrow is forecasted to be partly sunny. If it is I'll take the lunch box planer to the driveway and make a boatload of shavings.

accidental woodworker

Estate Sales & Thrift Stores & Sharpening

JKM Woodworking - Thu, 04/04/2024 - 9:31am

I recently moved and the old tools are better up here.

I bid on and won a lot from an estate auction. There were several lots and each included some molding planes or uncommon tools like drawknives. Whoever left this estate did some oldtimey woodworking.

online picture

This was my lot for $10-15. I regret not bidding on the others. At the time I was new to estate auctions and thought there would be sniping or shilling or a runup at the end like there is on ebay.

The plow plane has a mark on the top which looks like a gear or a circular saw with a few indistinct letters. I searched ebay and saw a similar one but no information. If anyone knows the type I’d be happy to hear it. The blade is made out of an old file.

plow plane w blade
plow stamp

The longer plane I thought was a jointer but I guess is not long enough. It is about 21″ long. Maybe it’s a try or fore plane? The blade is very thick and tapered and has a beehive symbol. I can’t find any stamps on the plane.

fore? plane
fore plane blade
thick tapered blade

The smaller plane I assume is a smoother. There is a stanley blade which is almost worn away. The front says SANDUSKY 3.

smoother plane
smoother blade

These are my first wooden planes. I’ve heard good things and have been wanting to try some. For now I only plan on sharpening the blades and seeing if they work.

After that the pickings have been slimmer. I haven’t seen any molding planes or drawknives since. I often see useable old bench planes but don’t get them because I don’t need them and/or the price is too high.

As for thrift stores, my favorite has been the Habitat for Humanity Restore. Each place I’ve lived has had at least one, and they are all different. Until now I’ve rarely seen decent handtools, although I once found a sawset that the lady asked me if it was a dental tool.

hfh handsaws
hfh braces

At my newest stop I was surprised to see not only handsaws, but braces. Most of them were newer and plastic-y, but a couple of the older ones came home with me. I will probably keep a couple set up with my most common bits, like some people change routers rather than change bits.

old braces, $5 each

Some people online act like acquiring an old brace or handplane is no big deal, but I think that’s only true in some locations. Where I’m from “old handtools” for sale means black & decker drills and skilsaws.

The last couple days I have been grinding and sharpening. For a long time I used sandpaper on glass plates, but mostly didn’t sharpen. In the last few years I got diamond plates, Sharpen This by Christopher Schwarz, and am now feeling more comfortable. I’ve considered building holders for the plates but also like the versatility of putting them in different orientations.

diamond plates

I previously turned a couple of old screwdrivers into awls. One of the screwdrivers had a square shank so it was turned into a birdcage awl. This time I touched up those awls, made a new one, and tried to make a fishtail chisel, which doesn’t look very promising. I don’t expect much from screwdriver shanks but they repurpose trash tools and are good practice. If I get happy with a technique or profile I can use better steel.

grinder experiments
birdcage awl and 3/16 hole it makes

This sharpening session I started with the low value items like lawnmower blade, hatchets, and scrap screwdrivers. Then I work up to the high value items like plane blades, chisels, and gouges.

It takes me several days from setting this stuff up to taking it down. I would probably do it more frequently if these sharpening supplies were not in three separate locations under and behind other things. Next I’ll set the ‘portable’ planer on the bench and take a few days to plane a couple pieces of wood.

Categories: General Woodworking

CPAP machine......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 04/04/2024 - 3:37am

 The only CPAP machine I had ever seen was about the size of baby volkswagen beetle. It was loud and I remember him having respiratory issues with it. Most likely due him not cleaning the machine. Well boys and girls I got my CPAP machine late last night and I used it for the first time last night.

 smaller than a breadbox

This machine is amazing. I'm blown away by science and medicine coming together to make something like this. It is bluetooth and WiFi capable and it even has a SD card as back up. It is very quiet and my wife said she didn't hear it all last night. Me, I slept like I was dead. It was the best nights sleep I've had since I don't know when.

I was concerned that the hose would get in the way but it didn't. The under the nose thing stayed on all night (wow) and I was able to sleep on my side with it. My first night score was a 95 and I only had 1.4 incidents of sleep apnea. I have an appointment with the VA sleep clinic on the 25th and I hope this gizmo continues to shine on for me. I can't see tonight or any other night being any different than last night. Fingers crossed along with all the toes.

 I behaved

I wanted so badly to fit this drawer after dinner but I was a good boy and let it be. The joint line looked good at the front with zero gaps. That will help with it blending it in with the drawer front.

 first look see

The far right had a gap that I wasn't expecting to see. 

 3/4 in

I'm slowly working it in the opening. This is after 5 dance steps. I am purposely taking wispy shavings so I don't plane too deeply. The gap on the right disappeared and now popped up on the left.

 9th one was the charm

Drawer is fitted and sliding in/out without binding or hanging up. I like the knob layout - I copied what was in the pic. In hindsight I should have used the same knob on all the drawings. The cherry ones on the middle center drawer ain't smiling back at me.

 new one

I lost the one I had sawn and fitted yesterday so I whacked out #2.

 just a dab of super glue

I only put glue on the outside edge of the shim. It is a tight fit that I had to use a hammer to seat it. That should be enough to keep it in place.

not too shabby

This shim blended in rather nicely. I didn't bother to try to match the color at all. At least it closed up the gap.

 the other side

Another gap that slipped by me on the build. Washed, rinsed, and repeated the same here with another shim. I didn't bother to fill in the thin, tapered gap below it. 

first coat of shellac

The carcass is going to be the easiest to do. I will first get 3 coats on the bottom, front, back, and ends and flip it and put 3 on the top. After that I will apply 3 coats of blonde shellac.

 color difference

I am using up the lemon shellac I mixed up a month or so ago. I want to use it up before it goes south on me. I think this color is a good choice for a shaker piece.

 shellac in/on the drawers

Decided to apply 3 coats of shellac to the drawers too. I might have to plane them to fit again but I'll deal with that after the drawers are done.

No more Inspector Morse. I watched the final episode and spoiler alert, he dies. I bought the first season of Spiral for $19 which has 8 episodes. If I like it I'll buy the other seasons which I think number 18.

accidental woodworker

Drying Revisited

David Fisher - Carving Explorations - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 6:11pm
Several years ago, I wrote a post outlining my approach to keeping wood green, handling it during the carving process, then letting it dry and so on. As I was carving this bowl recently, I read back through that post. … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

Weekend SketchUp Class April 27-28 at SBWI

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 2:00pm
I will be returning to the campus of the Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute the weekend of April 27-28, 2024 to teach a two-day class on 3D Modeling with SketchUp. This is a great facility with wonderful folks and if learning Continue reading →
Categories: General Woodworking

thought I was done.....

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 3:42am

 Today I was supposed to get my CPAP machine or have a mask fitted. I don't know because neither event happened as of typing this blog. I thought it was happening at 0900 this AM but that was to tell me it would happen later in the afternoon. Well boys and girls I am still waiting. This drama drove what I did in the shop today. I hate getting deep into something and then having to stop.

 didn't fit

This took way longer than expected. Got the trio wrapped up and then found out that it didn't fit in the box. This will be perfect for a single #5 but not 3 planes.

 original box

Everything fit in the box I had bought and thought was too big. The trio of planes barely fit in the box. I got everything in it and I felt good about all the parts being protected. The shipping wasn't as horrible as I thought it was going to be. $20 for 2 day priority shipping! I think the fact the box is only going to Ct helped keeping the cost low.

 wee bit too high

Both of the vertical dividers had a bump at the bottom that I had to shave. Had to because the back was proud of the bottom of the carcass.

 flush

It took a few dance steps before I got the back laying flush 360. The end with my finger was high too and I had to bring down the horizontal dividers by almost a 1/8".

 drawer knob holes drilled

I checked all the knobs before I drilled the holes to make sure that the tenons weren't over or under sized.

 seven holes to fill

I don't like the look of leaving the ends of the dadoes open so I'm going to fill them in. 

 filling it in

This bugged me from the git go and filling it in ain't going to be so easy. I can't glue it in because the back is screwed on to be removable. I think I'll try super glue on one side of the shim only. 

 about the same size

I opted to change the knobs on the large center drawer. They will be cherry and the other six drawers will be maple (or birch).

 nickel screws

I wanted to use brass but I didn't have any small ones. This will be ok because I doubt that the back will be visible.

almost

All the woodworking was done (or so I thought) and all that was left was a final planing and follow up sanding. I should be done with it by friday.

 Yikes!

How did this pop out now and slap me upside the head? It would appear I went 6 for 7. It is a huge improvement over my last attempt but I'll have to wait to do a clean sweep. Maybe I'll get it when I do the next drawer unit.

 glued and cooking

I don't know if the pine I glued on came from this but it sure looked the same. The color and grain looked to be a perfect match. Tomorrow I'll flush it to the drawer front and start dancing to the tune of "....fitting my drawers...".

accidental woodworker

Top Twenty (Teisco) Bass Restoration: 3

A Luthiers Blog - Tue, 04/02/2024 - 8:00am

All the of the bass’s components get a good clean-up and the Top Twenty gets put back together again.

It Was 25 Years Ago Today! →

Giant Cypress - Tue, 04/02/2024 - 7:38am

It Was 25 Years Ago Today!

Joel Moskowitz celebrates the 25th anniversary of Tools For Working Wood.

Congratulations! Joel’s one of the good guys.

drawers are done.......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 04/02/2024 - 3:28am

 Just before lunch today I got the last one done. All of them are fitted and slide in/out. All the gaps have been shimmed and filled. There was dancing in the streets of Mudville with much rejoicing. All that is left to do is attach the knobs and apply the shellac. I should be done with it by the weekend - toes and fingers are all crossed.

 one left

This was work after dinner last night. I got the me-steak drawer fitted and it needs to have the front veneered to cover the through dovetails. Before I did that I applied glue to end grain of the tails. That is a problematic area because there isn't a lot of long grain to long grain glue area at the ends.

 front veneered

This stayed here undisturbed until the lights came on in the AM. The veneer was proud on the top and bottom and just a few frog hairs R/L. More than enough wiggle room as long as nothing shifted on me overnight.

 last drawer

Another after dinner doing. Got the front slip glued in and after an hour or so I thought I would come back and glue the sides on.

 side slips

Dry fitted the side slips and they were ready to be glued in place.

 lights on in the shop

I wanted to fill this in because I will be nailing the back on with nails. I don't want to nail in a void and risk blowing it out with a rosebud.

 first things first

Time to unclamp the veneered drawer and hope that it hadn't shifted on me. Spoiler alert - it didn't.

 last two drawers

The bottom was fitted before I veneered it and it still fits. It doesn't close flush because I hadn't trimmed the veneer yet. The top drawer doesn't fit and I hadn't done any work with a plane on it yet.

 gaps are gone

The left one I had to clamp from the front to back to close up the tail. I still haven't been able to wrap my limited brain power on the how and why but I'll take that the gaps are gone. The drawer is square within less than a 32nd still. 

The right one has the veneered front. I had to blow it up to see the joint line. I didn't try to get a grain/color match but I seemed to have fallen into it.

 done

Flushed the veneered the 360 and the drawer closes up flush with the front.

 gluing them up

I found an off cut that was a friction fit in the slots. I cut out a strip with the slicing gauge. Now I don't have to worry about nailing through solid wood wherever.

 drawer stops

Another off cut being used to make the drawer stop blocks. I clamped a piece of stock across the drawer fronts and pushed the drawers up tight against it. Glued the blocks at the back end and Bob's your Uncle.

 last drawer

I didn't get the side slips glued in until this morning. I did that first thing and set it aside to set up. An hour or so later and it was drawer fitting time. 

 drawers all fitted

I didn't try to get a consistent grain flow R/L and top/bottom. I used left over stock that I had accumulated from past projects for the drawer fronts. I did get a match on the top two drawers but none of the others.

they've been adopted

These three planes are Rockford planes - R/L a R3, R5C, and a R 5 1/2C. I finally found a box that I can ship all three of them in. I'll have to cut it in half length wise but the off cut can be used to ship another #5 easily.

The plan was to clean up the trio, get them packed in the box, and get a cost for S/H. That didn't happen boys and girls as I badly under estimated how long it would take to clean up these 3 for shipping.

R3  broke down to parade rest

I am shipping all 3 broken down like this. I received a broken plane once because it was packed together and the lateral adjust got bent. The baby of the trio was first in the clean up queue.

 hmmm......

I thought I had the #3 done but I forgot to apply Autosol to the plane body. I had to unwrap it, Autosol it, and rewrap it. This is where I realized getting #2 and #3 plane done today wasn't happening.

 always surprises me

Little things amuse little minds and mine must be tiny. This is just part of the wood shavings that were in the frog seat. This is the R5C and it was/is in better 'clean' shape than the R3.

Rockford frog

This is the only real difference between a Rockford plane and a Stanley plane. The Rockford frogs have these 'tabs' on both sides of it that stop it from moving laterally. 

 mostly at the toe

The top 'tabs' up near the top of the cheeks don't touch them nor do they touch at the bottom of the frog neither. There is a little bit of movement but not a lot. Stanley used the slot in the middle of the frog at the toe to minimize lateral movement of the frog. I think Rockford's method is better than Stanley's.


 

 swapping the toe screw

The slot in the left screw isn't that deep and I had a hard time unscrewing it. Another good thing about other plane makers is I haven't found any of them that used different screws for the handle's toe screw, the lever cap, or the frog seat screws. 

 stopped here

I came close to finishing the R5C and I knew I wouldn't get to the 5 1/2. This is something I can do early in the AM when the wife is still sleeping. I want to finish the cleaning, get them packed and bring it to the post office and get a shipping cost.

 holes were rusty

It is hit or miss with this. None of the holes in the R3 were rusty but all 5 in the R5 were. I filled them with EvapoRust and let it sit for a couple of hours. After dinner I went back and blew them out with canned air.

 quit early

I was listening to a Wood Whisperer YouTube and he used a different version of a figure eight fastener for a table top. The one he used allowed for movement and I ordered a 100 of them - it was cheaper per each then ordering 10 at a time. I had an involuntary bowel movement when I saw the shipping cost - $31 and change. One third of the total cost was shipping. I canceled it because I ain't paying that much. It also didn't change when I changed the order removing a couple of items. It still was a flat $31. Pity because I would really like to try out those new table top clips.

accidental woodworker

It Was 25 Years Ago Today!

Tools For Working Wood - Mon, 04/01/2024 - 4:00am
It Was 25 Years Ago Today! 1

In 1996, I quit my job and with a partner started a computer consulting company. In 1997 we set up the Museum of Woodworking Tools as a demonstration of the websites we could build for clients. We picked tools because we needed content for our demonstration site, and this was a subject for which I could do a deep, deep dive.

In 1998 we added a very primitive e-commerce portion to the site to show that we could also sell stuff, aka the Museum's gift shop. By the end of 1998, my business partner and I decided to split up the business. I took full custody of the museum in the breakup. In January 1999, my girlfriend (now wife) Sally talked me into a trip to Vietnam, and that was pretty exciting. When we got back in early February, I knuckled down and redid the primitive store to something professional (including a museum exhibit about Vietnamese woodworking). And 25 years ago today, April 1st 1999, Tools For Working Wood went live.

Initially we mostly sold books about tools and a few brands of quality traditional tools. Above is a snapshot of our first page courtesy of the Wayback Machine. By today's standards, it's pretty primitive, but to be fair, back in 1999 most websites were pretty primitive. The fact it worked at all was pretty amazing. The first order for which I have a record for came in on April 6th for four books. The second order came in the next day, April 7th, also for books. Then it was two days more before another order came in. At that point we just didn't have that many tools. I still had a regular computer job, so I would go to work during the day and then in the evening I would work on the website and then pack the occasional order. Once in awhile I would have to go the next day to the post office. As the business expanded throughout 1999, more tools arrived. Some were stored the bedroom closet, some went under the sofa in the living room, some just got piled in the corner (hopefully no one would notice them). Sally and I moved to our current apartment and got married in early 2001 and I started working full time for Tools for Working Wood. By summer of 2001 I was basically making a daily trip to the post office with a little shopping cart full of packages. But I also finally had a deal and FedEx came to my apartment to pick up more packages. We had no venture capital. Sally kept her day job and without this financial support and emotional encouragement I would never been able to get out of the starting gate.
In 2002 we moved to our first real location, an office on 20th street not far from Gramercy Park (memorialized in our the name Gramercy Tools). The place had shelving left over from the previous tenant. Over a weekend or two we moved all the tools to the new place using a big shopping cart and many trips. It was great to get our home back to being our home. The next few years were ones of intensive growth, and the beginnings of making tools. We outgrew our Manhattan office by 2007 and found affordable space in Brooklyn. The move to Brooklyn was when I started this very blog. Here is the first entry about the move. I am happy to say that a quarter century after we started, we are older but still going strong. I can't tell you what the future will bring. I know that woodworking has changed over the years. Certainly activities like spoon-carving and chairmaking are more popular than ever. Our customers are increasingly building modern furniture, but the talent we see in traditional skills continues to amaze me.

Manufacturing tools was always my dream, and we started with our holdfasts, which had to outsource because of the size of the press needed. But even in Manhattan in our tiny little space, we started making our first tools. And that's always been exciting. I've seen our customer base grow up, retire, change, and new people come into the business. It's all exciting. I don't think I'm ever be tired of seeing new people start making things. Or the excitement people get when they get some new tool or toy. It's been 25 years. We owe a lot of debt to friends of ours who helped us in the early days and vendors who sold to us for no reason other than we seemed reasonable. Also we have a great debt to the staff members here, who make the tools, design the tools and packaging, pack the tools, sell the tools. Many of our the employees have been here for years. Without their efforts we would have a fallen apart years ago. And finally I've got to thank our customers. Customers who have the faith that we would follow through. Loyal customers come back again and again and again. Without customers we wouldn't have anything.
Happy anniversary!

It Was 25 Years Today!

Tools For Working Wood - Mon, 04/01/2024 - 4:00am
It Was 25 Years Today! 1

In 1996, I quit my job and with a partner started a computer consulting company. In 1997 we set up the Museum of Woodworking Tools as a demonstration of the websites we could build for clients. We picked tools because we needed content for our demonstration site, and this was a subject for which I could do a deep, deep dive.

In 1998 we added a very primitive e-commerce portion to the site to show that we could also sell stuff, aka the Museum's gift shop. By the end of 1998, my business partner and I decided to split up the business. I took full custody of the museum in the breakup. In January 1999, my girlfriend (now wife) Sally talked me into a trip to Vietnam, and that was pretty exciting. When we got back in early February, I knuckled down and redid the primitive store to something professional (including a museum exhibit about Vietnamese woodworking). And 25 years ago today, April 1st 1999, Tools For Working Wood went live.

Initially we mostly sold books about tools and a few brands of quality traditional tools. Above is a snapshot of our first page courtesy of the Wayback Machine. By today's standards, it's pretty primitive, but to be fair, back in 1999 most websites were pretty primitive. The fact it worked at all was pretty amazing. The first order for which I have a record for came in on April 6th for four books. The second order came in the next day, April 7th, also for books. Then it was two days more before another order came in. At that point we just didn't have that many tools. I still had a regular computer job, so I would go to work during the day and then in the evening I would work on the website and then pack the occasional order. Once in awhile I would have to go the next day to the post office. As the business expanded throughout 1999, more tools arrived. Some were stored the bedroom closet, some went under the sofa in the living room, some just got piled in the corner (hopefully no one would notice them). Sally and I moved to our current apartment and got married in early 2001 and I started working full time for Tools for Working Wood. By summer of 2001 I was basically making a daily trip to the post office with a little shopping cart full of packages. But I also finally had a deal and FedEx came to my apartment to pick up more packages. We had no venture capital. Sally kept her day job and without this financial support and emotional encouragement I would never been able to get out of the starting gate.
In 2002 we moved to our first real location, an office on 20th street not far from Gramercy Park (memorialized in our the name Gramercy Tools). The place had shelving left over from the previous tenant. Over a weekend or two we moved all the tools to the new place using a big shopping cart and many trips. It was great to get our home back to being our home. The next few years were ones of intensive growth, and the beginnings of making tools. We outgrew our Manhattan office by 2007 and found affordable space in Brooklyn. The move to Brooklyn was when I started this very blog. Here is the first entry about the move. I am happy to say that a quarter century after we started, we are older but still going strong. I can't tell you what the future will bring. I know that woodworking has changed over the years. Certainly activities like spoon-carving and chairmaking are more popular than ever. Our customers are increasingly building modern furniture, but the talent we see in traditional skills continues to amaze me.

Manufacturing tools was always my dream, and we started with our holdfasts, which had to outsource because of the size of the press needed. But even in Manhattan in our tiny little space, we started making our first tools. And that's always been exciting. I've seen our customer base grow up, retire, change, and new people come into the business. It's all exciting. I don't think I'm ever be tired of seeing new people start making things. Or the excitement people get when they get some new tool or toy. It's been 25 years. We owe a lot of debt to friends of ours who helped us in the early days and vendors who sold to us for no reason other than we seemed reasonable. Also we have a great debt to the staff members here, who make the tools, design the tools and packaging, pack the tools, sell the tools. Many of our the employees have been here for years. Without their efforts we would have a fallen apart years ago. And finally I've got to thank our customers. Customers who have the faith that we would follow through. Loyal customers come back again and again and again. Without customers we wouldn't have anything.
Happy anniversary!

sunday's goal.......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 04/01/2024 - 3:37am

 I got asked why I have so many planes I'm now trying to sell. I got stung with the rehab bug and as is my fashion I went nutso with it. I can put my finger on 89 planes that I have bought, rehabbed, used, sold, or given away and now collect dust. Will I do another rehab? Probably because I can't resist a sad looking handplane for a good price. For now I'm cutting out all the extras planes in the shop. I and my grandsons have a full complement of them. What they don't have and I do, they will inherit someday.

major jerk around

I ordered this the friday before last on Amazon with next day delivery. That changed the next day with Amazon telling me delivery would be on monday. Monday through thursday I received from UPS a notice saying delivery would that day and then later another notice saying it would be the following day. A week after I ordered 12 sheets of 1/8" plywood I finally got it in the PM on saturday. One reason why I decided to go with 1/4" plywood in all the drawers.

 gaps and more gaps

Doing half blinds is reminding me of when I started doing dovetails. I made a boatload of gappy dovetails slowing closing the gaps as did them more and more. The front tail has gap on the bottom half pin and back bottom half tail has a gap big enough to throw a dog through.

 the other side

The front tail is not perfect but around 95%. I have a big gap on the half pin on the back. I wasn't expecting them as these are through dovetails. I'll glue some shims to fill them in.

 yikes?

I think I got bit on the arse using the wrong marking gauge again. If that wasn't the cause then I'm clueless as to why this fit sucks pond scum.

 drawer and front slip glued and cooking

I got the side slips fitted and in place dry. I'd waited a half hour or so and then glued the sides.

 shims glued and cooking

Not thrilled that I had to shim this but it is way better IMO than showing the daylight through the gaps. My wife couldn't see the shims after I had trimmed them.

 bottom fitted

I got the side to side and I did the front to back after the slips had set up.

2 left

The goal was to get the last two drawers done. Fitting them would be the whipped cream on the ice cream but neither happened. I asked daughter #1 to send me a pic of the first one of these I made for her.  I can already see a difference in my skill set now as then.

I made the first one before I started following Paul Sellers. I'm pretty sure I used through dovetails or (gasp) rabbet joints. It was made over 14-15 years ago and I'm rusty on the details hence why I want a before pic and a soon to be after pic.

lunch time

I did the layout on both of the remaining drawers. I didn't go for a walk today deciding to take the day off from it. I am finally below 200 on my tonnage. The scale said I weigh 199.6. Used that as my excuse not to stroll today. 15 more pounds to go to get to my target weight of 185 which is roughly 13 stone.

 brain fart extraordinary

Sigh. The front tail is supposed to be half lapped or blind in one eye. FYI boys and girls this ain't neither.

 sigh again

This one I know I used the wrong marking gauge. The same gauge that laid down the line on the front should have been used to do the baseline of the tail. Sigh. 

 dry fitted and square

Wee bit of a difference and no chance this won't stick out like a blinking neon light on a foggy night. I have some 1/2" stock that I could have used for new sides but nixed it. Instead I opted to glue the drawer up as is.

hmm......

Big pile of thick pine veneers. Maybe I can work out a deal with it somehow.

 no more through dovetails

I have some wiggle room in the depth of the drawer openings. I have about 5/8" that the drawer could go back into. The veneer is about an 1/8" thick so there is room to spare.

 last drawer bottom

I thought I had no more scrap plywood but I got lucky. This piece was just big enough to get this last one.

 closed up

Both sides were gappy - on the sides and at the top. I was surprised that the clamps closed the gaps up. The other side closed up too except for the bottom half pin on the other side. I'm going to let this one stay in the clamps until tomorrow. I'll shim the one gap on the other side then.

The plan for tonight is to finishing watching an Inspector Morse episode I started yesterday. I only have one more season to watch (5 episodes). After that I will try to go to the shop and finish one of the last two drawers. I'm getting closer to starting the second drawer unit, maybe by this week end.

accidental woodworker

Woodworking in Ancient Arabia

Journeyman's Journal - Sun, 03/31/2024 - 5:21pm

In the heart of ancient Arabia, where the sun kissed the desert sands and time flowed like the winding rivers, there existed a humble woodworker. His workshop was a sanctuary of craftsmanship—a place where the echoes of chisels and the scent of freshly hewn wood danced in harmony.

The walls of his workshop bore witness to countless stories. Tools, aged and worn, hung with purpose—a testament to years of dedication. Each chisel, saw, and plane had etched its mark into the very fabric of the room. The woodworker himself, weathered by the sun and life’s trials, moved with a grace that only experience could bestow.

The air was thick with the aroma of sandalwood and pine. Carpets adorned the floor, their intricate patterns telling tales of forgotten poets and whispered secrets. The calligraphy on these carpets was no ordinary writing; it was artistry in ink—a dance of curves and loops that spoke of love, wisdom, and the divine.

And there, in the centre of it all, stood the woodworker. His hands, rough and skilled, guided the plane across a plank of cedar. The wood surrendered willingly, revealing its hidden beauty—a grain that seemed to hold the memories of ancient caravans and starlit nights.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting warm hues upon the workshop, the woodworker paused. His gaze shifted to the corner, where a small alcove held a single piece of unfinished work—a wooden box. Its lid bore a delicate inscription, a promise to a lover lost in time.

And then, as if summoned by fate, you stepped into the scene. Your face, illuminated by the soft glow of lanterns, mirrored the woodworker’s determination. With a smile, you handed him a small vial of fragrant oil—an elixir to preserve the wood and memories alike.

He nodded in gratitude, recognising a kindred spirit. Together, you sat cross-legged on the carpet, sharing stories of distant lands, forgotten legends, and the magic that flowed through your veins. The calligraphy seemed to come alive, weaving your tales into its intricate patterns.

And so, in that ancient workshop, you became part of the woodworker’s legacy. The tools whispered your name, the carpets cradled your dreams, and the caligraphy immortalised your essence. As the stars blinked into existence, you knew that this moment transcended time—a meeting of souls across centuries.

And there, under the watchful eyes of the desert moon, you carved your own mark—a promise to return, to create, and to find solace in the artistry of wood and words.

May this vision linger in your mind, a tapestry woven from threads of imagination.

Categories: Hand Tools

Happy Easter from the King of the Monsters and Giant Cypress!

Giant Cypress - Sun, 03/31/2024 - 5:08am

Happy Easter from the King of the Monsters and Giant Cypress!

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