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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!


A solid ebony chopping board?

Guitar Building By Hand - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 3:46am

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

The ebony has arrived

The ebony blanks

The ebony blanks


It was a heavy pile of wood! Next: how I created the board.


Categories: Hand Tools, Luthiery

A New Theory on How Neanderthal DNA Spread in Asia

Giant Cypress - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 3:08am
A New Theory on How Neanderthal DNA Spread in Asia:

Carl Zimmer:

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. 

declared war on miters......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 1:25am
Miters and me aren't friends. Miters are something that I don't like doing but today they just pissed me off. I did two mitered bridle joint frames where one is toast and the other is barely something I would acknowledge as mine. I then decided to make a simple mitered frame that I would add splines to after it cooked. That didn't happen. I never got past the dry fit. Time to stop playing peace maker and load all 4 tubes and launch.

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.

woodpecker clamps
These red clamps are dead nuts square and they should be able to clamp this frame up with no problems. However, that is only going to work if the miters are 45 degrees. If they are off even a little the last one won't close up. As you can see in this pic I have a perfect example of what crap is. This is the mitered frame I started and put aside and made the bridle joint frame.

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 check
I don't know what the angle is but what I am checking here is if the frame parts are the same. Even is the angle is OTL, the parts should be even and flush. They are as I can not feel any difference in the angles or the length of the pieces. I can get the two parts of the frames the same angle and length. One point in my favor.

second check
Use the combo square to check each miter to ensure it is 45 degrees. Out of 8 only two were 45 with the rest out a little on the heel or at the toe. All these errors added up giving me the 3/8" gap on the 4th miter joint.

third check
I checked the lengths again this time by flipping them and lining them up on their inside and outside edges. I had some blow outs on the toes so that made it a bit difficult to check that but it appears that I did good on this. I still have one point in my favor.

fourth check
I went over my shooting board. I checked the angles to make sure they were 90 were they were supposed to be and 45 on the arm. Everything is square were needed and the arm is set at 45 degrees to the edge.

fifth check
I set the angle with my 12" combo square and checked it with this japanese square. It's 45 degrees. The arm is straight and flat with no twist or bow in it.

sixth check
This is not really a check but an addition. I'm adding a backer to the piece being mitered. This will support the exit of the miter at the toe and should eliminate the annoying blowout.

seventh check
This involves the plane. I have a sharp iron and it is set correctly. I checked to make sure it's parallel and that I have a tight mouth. I also paid attention to my planing making sure that I kept the plane flat and up against the left as I pushed it into the miter. There is a tendency for the plane to want to go to my right as I push it into the miter.

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
This turned out to be toast. 3 of the corners closed up with a big gap on the 4th one. Just by this I know that my miters can't be forming 90 degrees at the corners.

proof - not square
second round and I got the same results
I checked my 45 and fiddled with that a bit and re-shot the frame again. Still getting garbage.

paper shims
I checked the miters with my combo square and they are open at the heel. I can't adjust the arm in that direction anymore so I had to resort to paper shims.

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
I decided here to forgo trying to set the arm at 45 and plane the miters. Since both miters add up to 90 degrees I am going to plane two miters until they fit my square.

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
The frame is toast. The 4th miter gap is getting smaller but this should lay up dry with no gaps if I did this correctly.  A check of the miters with the combo square showed that they weren't 45. They had varying degrees of being off. I had a mixture of open toes and heels.

see the nice pile of chips
I finally figured out what I am doing wrong here. It starts with the chips. This jack plane iron is very sharp and is slicing through this pine very easily. I am getting through it but I noticed that I wasn't always getting through in one push. The plane was moving off from a straight line slightly. But I was slicing through the pine so what is the problem?

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
I shot the frame again after I reset the iron and this is what I got. This is what I expect after making a miter frame that is not glued up. It should come together dry, fairly tight, and close up without clamps.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What were the names of President Lincoln's  four sons?
answer - Willie, Eddie, Tad, and Robert  Only Robert lived to maturity.

new bridle joint frame......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 1:15am
This morning it was snowing again. Nice big fluffy white flakes that were sticking and adding up.  By lunchtime the sun came out and by 1630 the temp had risen to 53F. The first day it got warm enough to melt some of this white crap. I spent a couple of hours in the afternoon shoveling and chipping up what I could and throwing it over the mountains. I did that because the temps are forecasted to nose dive overnight into the low single digits and tomorrow is only supposed to warm up into the low 20's. So everything that has started to melt can now freeze solid.

hidden detail
where the clamp would be put
My wife nixed the clamp idea. She thought she might hit it with her knees.

ready to use
I got 7 coats of shellac on this which should be more than enough protection.  I put this in place this way and I didn't like the short projection on the front.

this is better
I like it this way and she does too. I told her that this was just a test piece and that if she thought it should be wider, longer, or smaller, let me know. I know someone who can make another one with the improvements.

time to unclamp the mitered bridle frame
Nothing moved once the clamps were removed nor did it fall apart. That was a good sign.

back of the frame
The two opposite side miters didn't close up. If this was just a glued miter I would break this and start over again. I have the tenon and the bridle mortise that makes up for the gap and provides a lot of strength to the joint.

the top
These miters came out a bit better, but still not up to what I would consider a good joint. Miters are a PITA and I find them very frustrating to do. And that is whether I do it by hand or by machine.

cleaning up the edges
too big for the box
I knew this but I didn't know how much bigger than the box it was. Besides I want this lid to go on a much taller box. I'll be adding that to the list to be done.

brown knot
These knots tend to dry, shrink, and fall out. Red ones I coat with shellac to seal them as they don't act like brown ones. Brown knots I seal with epoxy mostly to keep them in place. These will get epoxy first, a seal coat of shellac, and then the paint.

Dunham's putty will fill these gaps
new frame coming for the box
I am going to make another mitered frame for this box. It isn't going to be a mitered bridle frame again. It will be mitered and splined this time. It will have a panel inserted into an inside groove.

bowed board
This is what is left from the board I got the mitered bridle frame and panel from. There is sufficient stock here to make two frames with it. I can get the stock from this two ways. The first is in a strip that goes end to end or saw the board in half and get the 4 frame pieces out of that.

the half way of doing it
If I do it this way I can only get one set of frame parts out of it. The piece left over is too short for the longest frame part.

going the long way
Doing it this way I can get the 2 long and 2 short frame pieces out of each long strip.

most of the bow is gone with these thinner width pieces
very little twist
I decided to flatten the whole board first rather then doing each frame piece individually.

I want the frame at least as thick as the box is
flattening it in two steps
first half done second half next
 I love the bevel trick a lot. I can't see them most of the time but I have no problem feeling them.

I'm getting better at this
I wrote the time on this so I would remember it for the post.

this way it's flat
this way shows a hollow
I have started to read this flat by tilting the bar back and checking for light at the bottom. With the bar laying flat no light comes through unless there is a huge hollow.

rough cut the miters on the poor man's miter box
sloppy dry fit
The rough cut miters are real crappy. Good thing that I'm using the shooting board to do them.

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
The plan was to make a rabbet on the inside top edge. Into that I would put a panel that I would hold in place with a molding. I changed my mind on doing this miter frame here.

too many clamps
 The face side of the frame is ok but the back side had two miters that had gaps. I did something wrong because I shouldn't have to clamp this up this way to close them up.  These miters won't be able to handle any stress and will likely fall apart. On to plan #2 and make another frame.

made a bridle frame
I used the other long strip to make the parts for this bridle frame. The groove on the inside of the frame will be for a insert panel. I really do like the look of these panel inserts.

first insert panel
This panel is about a 1/4" too small to be used here. I still haven't found another use for this.

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
I made this groove this way to make the top portion larger so I could do a round over to it.

round over done and got to deal with some blow out
I had to take one more swipe. I super glued this blowout back together as best I could.

dry fir is ok - ready to glue it up
I planed the bridle frame flush all around on the top only. The blue tape is my visual that this is the face side of the frame. The bottom of the frame I can do after this has cooked.

it's sunday
So I clamped this every which till sunday. I used hide glue on this and it'll cook overnight by the furnace. I finally have a lid for the box - almost.

accidental woodworker

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

Pressing Affairs

McGlynn On Making - Sun, 02/22/2015 - 9:17pm

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.

I was short two of the 19" long vertical posts, so I laminated some scraps from the reclaimed wood.

I was short two of the 19″ long vertical posts, so I laminated some scraps from the reclaimed wood.

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.

Parts all machined to the final dimensions and cut to the final length.

Parts all machined to the final dimensions and cut to the final length.

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.

Mortises done

Mortises done



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.

All three frames dry assembled

All three frames dry assembled

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.

It's like watching glue dry around here...

It’s like watching glue dry around here…

Categories: General Woodworking

16 Months Later……

The Alaska Woodworker - Sun, 02/22/2015 - 9:09pm
Sixteen months later and I finally finished the Chippendale style drop leaf table.  It actually seems like longer than 15 months, but I started this thing back in October 2013. Here is the original blog post, which shows pictures of the original table that I used for inspiration.  I left the shells off of the […]
Categories: Hand Tools

Number 4 Sized Planes

I'm a OK guy - Sun, 02/22/2015 - 8:21pm
Damn there is a herd of those suckers.

From left to right:LN #4 with LV PM-V11 iron, LN 41/2 with Veritas O-1iron, Type 9 Stanley with Hock O-1, Veritas Smoother with PM-V11, shop made Beech stock with Veritas tapered single iron, a type 13 Stanley with Hock O-1, a Record #4 with Hock O-1, The Record #4 was the first "good' plane I acquired back in the mid 70's, then a type 13 Stanley's with a PM-V11 iron, and last a early (could be a type 9) Stanley Frankenplane with a small adjustment knob and Woodriver iron.


I'm a OK guy - Sun, 02/22/2015 - 8:04pm
It, insanity, happens when I have more than two days off in a row with nothing but shop time planned. For some reason I think if I just stir it around some more I can fit ten pounds of poop into that metaphorical five pound bag. I keep trying but the results are mostly the same.

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.

Along the east wall, to the right side of the table saw, is a walk way and wood storage. the good news most of the machine work is with the jointer and planer and they have more space for working than they had with the old arrangement.

I've been thinking about this change for several months and while not a big improvement I think it will make for an easier work flow.

Chinese Gate Bench-Progress 6

Greg Merritt - By My Own Hands - Sun, 02/22/2015 - 6:52pm

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.

Greg Merritt

Shop Woodworking’s “Arts & Crafts Ultimate Collection”

Matt's Basement Workshop - Sun, 02/22/2015 - 5:59pm

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”

Arts and crafts value pack

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

Categories: Hand Tools

On Rip-off Artists

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 02/22/2015 - 2:17pm


If you are semi-aware of the woodworking tool industry you know there are several classes of toolmakers.

  1. People who try to make new tool designs that have never been seen before.
  2. People who improve old designs that are no longer in production and are no longer patented – they are in the public domain.
  3. 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
Categories: Hand Tools

Portable wooden tack box

Mulesaw - Sun, 02/22/2015 - 11:10am
Before leaving for the sea last time, Gustav started making a tack box for his grooming supplies for the horse.
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.

boards for the sides and ends.


Chopping out waste.

More chopping. 

End view.

Tack box before mounting the skirt.

Sawing a part for the skirt to the correct length.

Categories: Hand Tools

Apprentice's Apprentice's Toolbox

The Joiner's Apprentice - Sun, 02/22/2015 - 10:49am
When my daughter turned five, I told her she was ready for a real toolkit. She had already used some of my smaller planes to make "chocolate noodles" (walnut shavings) and she's had a pretty good command of righty-tighty lefty-loosey since the age of 2.5. I'm not quite ready to give her chisels, but it is time for her to have her own measuring tape since she has a habit of making off with mine. When she received the tools, she put them in a metal box, and I promised her we'd make one soon.

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.

I did some quick curves on the sides while she was playing with a friend. I don't know if I even want her to know the drawknife exists yet. The curve is just a traced metal tin that I had laying around and happened to fit nicely.

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!
Categories: Hand Tools

A Simple Plank Bench

Toolemera - Sun, 02/22/2015 - 9:32am
It's not in English and I don't care. This is one of the most fascinating blogs that you should be following. Sometimes the content is translated into English, sometimes not but in all cases, the photos tell the story. A crazy simple plank top work bench set on two horses and with a side mounted Roubo style holding clamp. How not to overthink the process, in a handful of images. https://hyvelbenk.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/grov-planke-som-hovelbenk/ Till next, Gary
Categories: Hand Tools

Adding a pdf to Your iPad

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 02/22/2015 - 9:18am

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
Categories: Hand Tools

Modern Times

WPatrickEdwards - Sun, 02/22/2015 - 8:40am
This morning as I was drinking my coffee and finishing my oatmeal (before the sun gets up),  I turned on the TV for a few minutes.  The movie channel was showing the classic "Time Machine" by H.G. Wells.  As a small boy I read every book I could find about science fiction.  My imagination was fed enormous amounts of fantastic visions of the future.  I easily anticipated flying cars, space travel, living in giant underwater cities, and time travel.

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!

Categories: Hand Tools

The international launch of the Skottbenk

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Sun, 02/22/2015 - 8:33am

MVFlaim Furnituremaker:

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

frame glued and a new project......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 02/22/2015 - 2:25am
The mitered bridle frame is glued and cooking by the furnace. Once that was done I started on a new project.  This one is for my wife and it is something I think that she will like a lot and use.  Working on these two was all I did today. I was going to work on the Shaker drying rack but it was on the cold side in the shop so I knocked off early. I spent the afternoon reading and watching DIY on PBS.

sawed to rough length
Before I went to bed last night I went down to the shop and sawed this off. This was a stupid rookie mistake on my part. I've used story poles for layouts for years. Noah showed me this trick when I helped him build that big boat thing. For some reason I didn't saw this to rough length even though I knew it was way to long. Stercus accidit (latin for shit happens).

test panel and the first panel I made
 After looking at the test panel I made I decided that it was ok on the thickness. It is a bit thicker than the first panel I made. This first panel would have had one groove wall that would have been too thin for my liking. I won't be using this panel for the frame.

wife's project
What do you do when your interest wanes on the current project? You start a new one of course. On this one I will be doing some experimenting and getting some OJT (on the job training) with my molding planes.

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
This long grain side I was going against the grain and I still got a very good profile. There is no tear out or divots anywhere along the length. I could tell as I planed this I was going against the grain but it still made the profile ok.

end grain done first
I don't see that much of a difference in this being done with a hand plane or a corded router.  My way was quieter and I could watch the profile coming alive as I planed.

close up
There isn't a lot literature on using a molding plane on end grain. My cross grain shoulder at the top is a bit ragged out and a couple of spots on the 'S' curve of the molding are rough. After the fact I thought of running a gauge line to define the shoulder and give me a cleaner cut there.

cleaned up the 'S' curve with my small rasps
I didn't need the rat tail rasp at all. I was able to do all the clean up with the modelers rasp.

cleaned up the shoulder with my tenon plane
ends done and ready to smooth the top
#3 action is last
Smoothing out the top with the #3 helped clean up a lot of the shoulder tear out and ragged look I had there. It isn't perfect but I know now what to avoid and what to do for the next time.

gluing in two ?
I have no idea what to call these. They are 2 pieces of 3/4" plywood and they form a 'U' channel off center on the bottom of the board. I set this by the furnace to cook for an hour or so.

back to the mitered frame
This board is getting smaller and it's giving up the third panel for the frame. Hopefully this will be the last one.

width is less then I need
I got lucky and the width is 1/8" less then the width of the panel grooves (this will be my expand/contract part of the panel). I won't have to saw this to width, just to length.

flattening panel #3
Each time I do this, I do it differently. Each board is unique and each one presents it's own set of problems. I think I'm getting better at reading the boards and what to do first, and what will speed this operation up. On this board I decided to remove the hump and make this side flat-ish. I then flipped it over and flattened that side and made it my reference face. Doing it this way I was able to quickly get the board roughly flat and parallel. I could then guess at whether it was thick enough to continue- it was.

no hump
I've noticed that when I parallel plane a board I tend to leave a hump. I think I'm doing this because I concentrate on planing down to my gauge lines on the 4 edges and I wasn't paying much attention to the middle of the board. I am still doing the edge thing but I am also checking across the face to make sure I don't leave a hump. I'm also trying to plane across the board consistently.  I'll be darned if this isn't speeding this up and making it easier to do.

too much to plane off - I'll saw off what I can

I could have gone all the way to the end but I stopped sawing here. I did the sawing on the waste side, leaving the line. I wanted to make sure I didn't go over the line. This I can easily plane off now.

scoring the end grain
Scoring the end grain with the mortise gauge worked well on the test panel and I'm repeating that here. I took my time and got down as deep as the pins would go in multiple passes. I didn't count them but it was probably about 6 or 7.

knocked down the corners
By knocking the waste out down below the gauge lines, it will help with blow out. On the test panel I didn't do this and the long grain edge blew out. It blew out bad enough that when I did the long grain  groove I couldn't hide it. It blew out past the groove.

setting the shoe to the depth of the groove
first end grain groove done
The blow out looks to be within the groove on this side.

the other side
I am very surprised at how well the 043 plowed this end grain groove. It is relatively clean end to end. I thought this would be a real nightmare to do but it wasn't.

sawing the other end grain
I used my smallest back saw to saw on the ends deeper than what the depth of the groove is.

used a chisel to knock the waste out below the depth of the groove
This method worked very well controlling the amount of blowout. Sawing and chiseling below the depth of the grain eliminated all of it.

grooves done - the end grain grooves are almost as good as the long grain ones
fitting the frame is the next batter
The fit of the groove in the frame is too snug. I don't want to risk cracking/breaking a groove wall on the panel or the frame. I used the Stanley 79 to trim the fatter wall until I got a slip fit.

take a few swipes and then checked the fit
I forced myself to stop and check the fit after I did the first 2 swipes. I then did it after every one until I got a slip fit. I repeated this for each side.

plane till the step is gone
I did the the two end grain fits first. That left a 'step' on the long grain groove that I was able to plane to with the 79. Made fitting the long grain sides of the groove quicker.

these miters won't close up
The panel is too long in this dimension and I'll have to trim the panel.

the groove of the panel is above the bottom of the bridle mortise slot
I left the panel OAL length as is and made the groove in the panel deeper. I did both grooves just to give me some fudge room.

panel dry fit is done
I did shave a bit off of the length of the panel on the shooting board. I did that because the corners of the panel didn't line up with the miters.

waxing the grooves
I applied some paste wax on the internal corners of the groove. I don't want any glue squeezing out of the miters and gluing the panel to them. That won't allow the panel to expand and contract and it will crack.

using hide glue - warming it up before I can use it
glued and cooking away
I'll play with this again tomorrow after it has cooked overnight.

now that the panel is glued and cooking I can break down the plane
the problem
I noticed that my wife uses this end of the bed as a book rest. In the morning when I get ready for work the cats try to sit on the books and they end up on the floor. I had been thinking of something I could do to give my wife a larger work area for her books and maybe stop the cats from dumping them on the deck.

what that 'U' thing is for
I made these two uneven so that if it is necessary I can make/put on a clamp of some kind in the wider of the 'U' pieces. My initial thoughts on that is for using a 1/4-20 T-nut and a bolt that I could use to apply pressure against the bed to hold this in place. However, when I dropped this down it was pretty secure. Not tippy in any way so I'm leaving it as is for now.

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
This won't be readily seen but I want to use this opportunity to  practice.

I got two moldings out of this
I did much better making these then I did on my first outing. I was able to correct for the tapering I did - I was aware of it but still did it. I ripped these out on the tablesaw but I think the next time I'll try to hand saw rip them.

one molding cleaned up and ready to use
There is a slight taper in this molding. Even though I went back over it a couple times I still wasn't able to get even end to end. The plane bottomed out and wouldn't make shavings anymore.

3 choices
I can leave the ends of the molding at 90 or put a 45 on it in one of these two ways. I picked the one in the front to use on this.

I like this look
This gives the molding a finished look to my eye. I thought of returning the miter but it is only 3/4" and that is a awfully small piece of molding to trim and fit. And I don't have enough stock to do that safely.

used the pin nailer to secure the moldings
making nail hole filler
Hide glue and sawdust from the wood I'll be filling is all I need.

this was no help
I usually get my sawdust from here. But today it wasn't to be as this has some dark, crappy looking sawdust in it.

sawdust from the tablesaw
Sanding a piece of pine was taking too long and it wasn't yielding a lot of sawdust. This is from the tablesaw and if I crumble it with my fingers I can get enough fine sawdust out of this. It's like cutting in shortening for making biscuits.

five minutes later
The pile on the left is the sawdust I made and the one on the right is what I started with. I have thought of getting a small coffee grinder to do this but I haven't found one cheap enough to justify it's cost.

mix it up and apply it with your finger tips
I use the putty knife to put it in place and my fingers to work it into the nail holes.

too dry
just add a little more hide glue
brush the leftover bits off before they hardens
If you don't do this they will harden and stick. Then you have to scrape and sand them off. Not that I have done that but I have heard about it.

clean up with water
20 minutes later sand it and apply the shellac
I've got 3 coats on this already
That is all I am putting on the bottom of this. The top will get a couple of more and I'll be done with this. Tomorrow I'll be able to give this to my wife and await the oohs and aahs which make this so rewarding. Making her smile this way lights up my day.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What recipe is recited in the play Cyrano de Bergerac?
answer - the recipe for tart almondine

Grov planke som høvelbenk

Høvelbenk - Sun, 02/22/2015 - 12:45am
 Roald RenmælmoEin planke som er 3-4″ tjukk og 30-40 cm brei kan lett gjerast til ein praktisk høvelbenk. Planken blir så tung i seg sjølv at han kan lett bli stødig. Han er så tjukk at han vert stiv nok til å ikkje svikte for mykje under høvling. Ved å spikre på ei lekt som høvelstopp og bordklipe på sida kan ein høvle både flask og kant på emna. Benken er laga med ein gamal original høvelbenk frå Helberg i Bardu som førebilete. Foto: Roald Renmælmo

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 mykje av arbeidet dei gjer på båten. 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 både brukt til å legge frå seg material på og som stillas til å stå på.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
Categories: Hand Tools


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by Dr. Radut