Today I came to the unfortunate conclusion that I probably will not be starting any new projects until the New Year. Firstly, with Christmas approaching money will be a little tight, and that means no stock, and no stock means no new projects. Secondly, it is unseasonably cold and it is supposed to remain that way for the foreseeable future. I’ve learned the hard way that woodworking in a cold garage is nothing more than tempting fate, with yourself and with your project. The silver lining of this cold, dark cloud is that I already know what I want to build in the coming months. Considering the fact that at the end of last year I was mired in woodworking doldrums, this could be a good sign.
My first project of the new year will probably be my wife’s blanket chest for the living room. Though I just completed a chest, it is far too big to work where my wife wanted it, so we will use it as a toy chest for my daughter. Though I kid around about it sometimes, I really do want to make my wife happy, and this chest is something she has wanted for quite some time. For the chest design, I will go the more traditional, floor chest route. I’m thinking of basing my chest on the classic six-board designs seen in The Pine Furniture of Early New England. I will use traditional cut nails for the joinery, and it will also be a very good excuse to use my new Lie Nielsen tongue and groove plane.
Though I’m not sure what the building order may be, I would like my next furniture project to be the Stickley #802 that I’ve been wanting to make for months. I’ve been searching the internet for real world examples of the table and after seeing several woodworkers build some really nice examples, I am even more excited to get the table made. As I was saying in my last post, all nice furniture has a place in your home, and it’s up for us as woodworkers to determine that place. As far as the #802 is concerned, I know of at least three spots in my house right now where the table would look great, and if that’s not enough of a reason to make it then I don’t know what is.
The other project I want to build I’ve been considering for some time, and I finally found the inspiration to start planning it. A few weeks back I happened to watch an episode of The New Yankee Workshop online. The project Norm build was an Arts & Crafts style entryway mirror. Though there a few minor details I would change about the design, overall I think it would work well in our entryway. For months I had been considering making an entry mirror, but I could never find a design that really caught my eye. I’m happy to say that I finally found one that I like.
What else would I like to build next year? Furniture wise that is it. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but for the time being we are really not in need of any more furniture. Well, I would love to make a bedroom set but a project like that is way out of my budget. So with only two or three projects in the hopper for next year it sounds like a dull new year on the way…Not really.
In my last few posts, I’ve been writing about tools and my workbench, among other things. I had mentioned that there really are only a few more woodworking tools that I am interested in purchasing. That is true, I can really only name a handful of tools that I would like to buy, but there are also several that I would like to make. I think I’ve found a way to bridge the gap between larger furniture builds and the cold winter, and that is making some woodworking tools. For instance, last year I made a block plane in our spare bedroom; I only needed a flat sheet of plywood and a few hand tools. Though it was cold both outside and in the garage at the time, I hardly knew it. A few years ago I wouldn’t have considered making my own tools. I was still a rookie then, and in retrospect that was probably a good idea, because to make nice tools you already need to have a few nice tools, not only to build with, but as an example of what you are striving to make. Since then, I’ve found that you have to be really talented to make a world class tool, but making a serviceable tool isn’t as difficult to do, and is also good practice. The little refinements in a shop made tool: shaping a handle, flattening a plane sole, aligning a dowel, etc. are all great practice for making furniture, and for practicing design. Best of all, you can make your own tools generally much cheaper than purchasing them.
I am hoping to complete four tools next year: a smooth plane, a shoulder plane, a mid-sized carpenters mallet, and a brass hammer for setting plane irons. The good news is that I already know exactly what designs I want to make. Unlike my jointer plane, which I made on a wing and a prayer, I have plans ready to go for each one of these tools, though that doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t modify those plans; that is part of the fun.
So those are my goals for next year. I’m not sure if I will accomplish them all or not, but I feel better for having set them. Whatever happens, if I do accomplish all I want to accomplish, I think it will be quite a feat. I believe I am up to the challenge, but we’ll see. A lot can happen in a year, and it is my hope that a lot does happen in my little garage workshop.
I saw from Drew Langsner’s newsletter today that Country Workshops has the reprint version of Wille Sunqvist’s book now available for sale. Here’s what Drew wrote about it:
“Carving spoons and bowls continues to be an area where more and more woodworkers find their special niche. The English version of Wille Sundqvist’s book “Swedish Carving Techniques” was published by Fine Woodworking in 1990. Perhaps 10 years later it was discontinued. Used copies became expensive, if you could find one.
We are pleased to announce that this classic book is available once again. Nothing has been changed, except for the inevitable price increase. Now available from the CW Store. You can purchase a copy by phone (828- 656- 2280) or e-mail.”
It’s a great book – I refer to mine continually. Here’s their website, http://www.countryworkshops.org/index.html you can contact them through there. The book is not yet on their website, but the newsletter says it’s available. I think it said $25 plus shipping…you can buy it elsewhere, but why not get it from the folks who brought Wille’s work to the forefront here in the US? While you’re at it, the video Jogge Sundqvist shot that was a companion to the book is available as well.
Thought you’d like to know.
This summer I swallowed hard and praised an inexpensive IKEA light that I used while teaching at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking. When I returned home, I was going to buy one. But then I found that one of my kids had purchased one and had it in her room. So I pinched it. … Read more
Joseph Moxon, Mechanick Exercises, 1677
I made my first bow saw over twenty years ago using an idea from Roy Underhill and Drew Langsner. I still use that saw, I made the frame from some black oak (quercus kellogii) that I had harvested from my Paynes Creek, California property and the handles are mulberry that were turned on a spring pole lathe. The blade is made from a band saw blade.
Like many wood workers, I have longed to have a sexy curvy bow saw just like those joiners of old, so last night and most of this morning I made a nice bow saw from some black walnut.
It was over six months ago when I purchased handles, pins and blades from Tools For Working Wood and I had this crazy idea that I was going to convert a couple of hickory pick handles into sticks to make this bow saw. Those pick handles are still in the other workshop and last night I dimensioned some walnut that I had on hand. This morning I made a template from the Gramercy plans, which are available at Tools For Working Wood website, and started in on work.
I made sure that I got the mortices and tenons completed before I started shaping the uprights!
Then came the shaping work. I used a draw knife, a sloyd knife, several wood rasps, a coping saw and some spokeshaves.
The finished product.
This isn't an exact copy of a Gramercy saw, I didn't want to spend a lot of time shaping the wood where the handles enter the uprights, I need a basic saw to get the job done. I used some 20lb. fly line backing for the cordage and made a very simple tongue, or toggle, to tighten the cord. This saw is amazingly light, I can't wait to use it!
|A neat vintage panel gauge.|
|Interesting form. It even has the oval shaped beam.|
|The cutter leaves a bit to be desired.|
I decided to start with a test piece to see if a wedge will hold this blade tight in a little piece of beech. Luckily, I have a 1/10" chisel that worked perfect.
|This will work fine. The wedge is a template for a H&R project.|
I say scrap because years ago I bought a whole bunch of neat figured pieces, but have yet to find a project to use them on. I found out that if I consider this wood to be scrap, I am more likely to use it. It was just very expensive scrap. I found a really nice pair of bookmatched figured maple boards. I haven't built anything that needed this bookmatched pair yet, so I guess I never will. One of them is going to sacrifice itself to this project.
I wanted the grain for the beam to be as straight as possible, so I layed out a line that followed the grain as best I could and cut out the beam.
|This should work out beautifully.|
|My saw bench is on a job site, so I'll use my 'plan B' Ryoba saw.|
The next stop is to join the boxing insert at the cutting end. I don't have any more boxwood, but I do have a couple of tiny offcuts of ebony that should make a nice insert and wedges. After careful consideration, I decided to disassemble the old one to see how this sliding dovetail was done. It also made it easier to transfer measurements from the original.
|disassembled I discovered the shoulder was angled.|
Fitting the insert was much simplified by doing it while the beam was still square. After some fiddling, I got it to fit, although a bit sloppy.
|A decent fit, it will look good.|
The only problem: it must have slid out a bit when I turned it over.
What would you do to recover from this mistake?
A friend of mine picked this up at a local swap meet and I don’t think he gave too much for this Brazilian Rosewood 3 beam marking/mortice/tenon gauge. Here is a link to Christian Sholl’s Patent. It is American made and Sholl also patented a 4 beam marking/mortice gauge and some of these are actually made and judging from the prices are quite rare.
I have seen a lot of marking gauges in my time, this one is up there in curious designs. I fiddled with this for a while and it is most difficult to set, the mortice slide adjusts easy enough but getting all three sides in the correct position is a handful.
This view shows the triple beams and the pentagonal shape.
It has several round brass discs on the opposite side of the fence for wear, two are missing. It is brass mounted with iron screws and iron/steel scribing pins.
If you read my personal blog, you know I’m in the midst of deciding what to do with my kitchen (so I can sell my house). I have a “kitchen file” (read: a boot box overflowing with unorganized pages ripped from magazines, print outs from web sites and sample materials) that I began putting together … Read more
Between the larger planes of the last post, I took some time to make 2 ‘spare’ XSNo.4’s - also in Desert Ironwood. These were 2 orphaned sets roughed out of from other larger pieces and have been sitting on the shelf for years. It was time to give them a home.
The first plane is an XSNo.4ss - with a stainless steel lever cap and screw. The plane is 5-1/2" long, has a 1-1/2" wide, high carbon steel blade and a 52.5 degree bed angle.
This plane is $2,050.00 Cdn + the actual shipping costs.
The second plane is an XSNo.4- with bronze sides, lever cap and screw. This one is also 5-1/2" long, with a 1-1/2" wide, high carbon steel blade and with a 52.5 degree bed angle.
This plane is $1,750.00 Cdn + the actual shipping costs.
This video, with a much higher production value, tells the story of Eric and what he has done with his life, and how he is changing the future.
Eric, George and I are all from the same generation. They are my brothers.
This film should inspire you!
Blue Ox Woodworks
On Sale: The New-England Farrier; Or, A Compendium Of Farriery, In Four Parts by Paul Jewett of Rowley, MA 1826
"Moving On" Completed 11/13.
Built with knotty pines and black cherry for the case, doors, and back. Rosewood and Bloodwood exotics trim out the details. The interior drawer fronts are spalted maple.
The wall cabinet is 31 1/2" tall, 17 1/2" wide and 8 1/2" deep.
The exterior is finished with two coats of Watco Natural Danish Oil followed by a hand buffed paste wax top coat.
The interior is finished with burnished in beeswax using the polissoir method rediscovered by Don Williams. With the exception of the drawer fronts which received the same Danish Oil and Wax treatment as the exterior.
Though the piece was inspired by the work of James Krenov. I was compelled to add some of my own flair. Lately I have been experimenting with the linings of boxes, particularly with paper. I will hand marble my own paper, and infact I did so for the interiors of the drawers, but the doors required larger pieces of paper than I have been able to turn out.
I found the lining for the doors at an area art supply store.
It's difficult to be objective about a piece when you've finished it so recently. I would call this the most ambitious and challenging thing I've produced, and then there is little wonder why I feel the near insatiable desire to nit pick the whole thing to death. As I look at it I can see every detail I missed, see different design decisions I should have made, and see every wayward straying of both hands and tools.
Still, I believe it has accomplished the overall goals I set out for myself in the beginning.
1) To build a case piece ala Krenov that would push the boundaries of my abilities in design and execution by stepping outside my comfort zone. .
2) To use materials I had been "saving" for a long while.
3) To build without a measured drawing or even a completed plan in place from the start and complete the process from "The Point Of The Tool" with minimal use of a linear measuring device. Instead I tried to let the material help dictate the outcome of the piece.
I titled the piece "Moving On" because that is an apt interpretation of what the work here really means to me. For one, it's deciding to be done with this piece that has haunted me, for years in my imagination and for months on my workbench. For another it's road marker that breaks from my focus on the techniques of "How" I make something and just dives deeper into the making.
I used to build pieces and break them down on the "How" It was important to me "How" I flattened my stock, or "How" I cut my joinery, The handwork I focused on was my personal badge of honor and the chip on my shoulder. Since starting work in my new shop I've had the space, power, and convenience to rediscover a lot of my old shop machines that spent most of their time covered in tarps in the old shop. This cabinet saw more time on the table saw than any project I've built in the last three years. The way I use my table saw is markedly different than how I used to, but I am using it again. Who knows, at this rate I may even shake hands with my router table again.
It's become less about "how" I make something, and more about "what" I make. And in my mind that's opening the doors to many other areas of the craft I've found fascinating from a distance, but have never been able to muster up the confidence to move into. Veneer work is one of the next things in my sights and not just thanks to the recent "Roubo on Marquetry" book I've come to adore. I'd collected half a dozen books on veneering before I managed to get my hands of Roubo's tome, but I was reading them and saying "someday." Now I'm ready to revisit them, move on, and say tomorrow.
I'm ready for the next step in my evolution.
Ratione et Passionis
While you can place orders on our web site 365 days a year, we will not be shipping orders between Wednesday, Nov. 27, and Sunday, Dec. 1. Any orders received during that time will be mailed on Monday, Dec. 2.
So if you need something lickety split, I recommend you order it today or tomorrow.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Uncategorized
is for urn. This is an example of cross pollination between furniture, architecture, and related decorative arts. The urn or vase form goes far back into pre-history in the ancient world from the clay vessels used for the for a wide range of uses from the utilitarian to the ceremonial. The variety of urn shapes is uncountable and were perhaps the first craft medium to explore graceful curved lines. Urn’s show up in many furniture designs both as turned objects like decorative finials, but also expressed as a
profile like this vase shaped back splat on a Queen Anne Chair. If you have a nice example of an urn form integrated into a furniture design, send along a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org I’ll add it to this post.
George R. Walker
Refining and fitting next.
Please don’t think that this plane is difficult and complicated to make. It’s not. Curve-soled, round-soled, straight-soled and hollow-soled planes all come via the same patterns for making and so too low-angled planes, high-angled planes and even toothing planes. I think that you could make about ten different planes using these methods and the cost would be under £50 max. I am not saying these will replace the metal-cast bench planes, and of course they could, but that they will give anyone the low-use specialist planes we use from time to time. Making the planes for a special task is quick, effective and simple. You can of course make the plane to the width of an existing plane iron and borrow the iron for a task. This works with any of the planes that don’t need the curved sole. Spokeshave irons can work for this. If you are making a special-task plane for a one-shot shaved area, screwing through a non-fitted wedge into the main body will work just fine.
Because you cut the channels to the wedge and the blade, there should be little fitting to the actual grooves you formed in the sides of the plane body. But these can of course be tweaked with a a sharp chisel if or as needed.
The wedge is more critical than you might think and of course it’s purpose is to allow plane iron adjustment to the sole of the pane and also lock the plane iron to depth of thickness. The complexities occur when you arrange the cuts on the wedge to remove material in such a way as to hold the blade all the way along the side edges of the plane iron, down and near to either side of the throat opening. The wedge should in no way obstruct even the smallest aspect or area of a shaving and is made so as to ‘direct’ shavings into and up through the throat so that it exits freely in the upper cavity of the plane body.
Now that I have made that sound truly complicated and even impossible, lets tackle the task and do it as simply as possible.
As we are making the curve-soled plane we have two radii to consider. The long axis along the length of the plane, and the short axis across the sole width. The radius for the long arc is 175mm (7″) and the shorter radius will be 75″ (3″). You can of course change both of these as you can change the overall width of the plane body itself if you wish. I would not go too wide, 50mm (2”) maybe. After 50mm we tend to shift to a travisher because a bent blade give added strength to the cutting edge through its curve and this means no chatter or skudding.
Best to start on the long curve as this may affect the wedge position and length in the throat. You can of course use a compass to describe the arc, but I think it easier and quicker to guesstimate the curve and use a bent steel rule to eyeball the shape you want. I used a thin scraper plate because I can flex with one hand and mark with the other. For the technophiles the compass gives guaranteed results and they may prefer this.
With the shape marked, remove the waste with a 1” chisel and then use a rasp to refine the curve.
The across-the-sole-curve simply follows the arc and I use a flat-bottomed spokeshave followed by a rasp for this.
After the shape is fully formed I found a thin plate card scraper works really well for removing any hard edges. Simply flex the scraper to conform to the shape and pull or push until fully fared.
Next comes the wedge
The wedge has a channel down its centre that allows the free passage of the shaving to exit the plane. The channel is of little consequence in terms of functionality but using it helps unite the wedges to each side and at the same time allows the main body of the wedges to dampen vibration.
Insert the blade and wedge to see how the wedge fits through or into the mouth. Sometimes this protrudes and sometimes not. If it protrudes, mark the length and trim off. This is a start point and will be altered and refined more shortly.
I made the plane taller because you have a longer wedge and a longer iron, but I decided to cut my plane down to a lower profile and so took 10mm off the top.
Inside the chamber from the top side, mark the sides of the channel onto the wedge on both sides. the wedge and start to lay out as per the markings shown on this image.
There is no exacting detail to this so the details given here are the PS outline.
I then cut the longer angles that form the built-in wedges and it’s these that really hold the cutting iron whilst continuing to direct the savings up through the chamber and away from the cutting edge.
I scalloped the top corners of the plane to make the chamber neater. This is a comfort and appearance issue. The plane performs as well with or without this detail. Work from both ends of the scallop with a chisel, bevel down.
…make sure that the angle starts above the sidewall of the plane by marking a start point.
The post Making a Curve-soled Plane – Refinements and Fitting appeared first on Paul Sellers.
He’s not the beſt Carpenter, that makes the moſt Chips.
No Good workman without good Tools.
No Glew will hold, when the Joint is bad.
A blunt Wedge will do it, where ſometimes a ſharp ax will not.
A wiſe man will make Tools of what comes to Hand.
All ill workmen quarrel with their Tools.
Meaſure thrice, and cut once.
The axe goes to that Wood, where it borrow’d its Helve.
Willows are weak, yet they bind other Wood.
You ſaw out your Tree, before you cut it down.
A good Edge is good for nothing, if it has nothing to cut.
Two of a Trade ſeldom agree.
A ſmall Shop may have a good Trade.
Keep your Shop, and your Shop will keep you.
It is working, that makes Workman.
As is the Workman, ſo is the Work.
At the End of the Work, you may judge of the Workman.
The better Workman, the worſe Husband.
What is a Work-man without Tools?
A good Paymaſter never wants Workmen.
Not to overſee Workmen, is to leave them your Purſe open.
Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs; Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British – Collected by Thomas Fuller M.D. (London) – 1732
The Hand Book of Illustrated Proverbs By John Warner Barber – 1855
Filed under: Historical Images
I’ve had an opportunity over the years to tryout a few versions of the Kreg pocket hole jig and I’ve always been impressed with their ease of use, repeatability and accuracy.
It’s not that Kreg radically redesigns the jigs each time, but instead they make small improvements to their look and feel that make them more user friendly while still working exactly the same way.
A little while ago Kreg sent us a new K5 Pocket-Hole Jig to use in the basement workshop. Considering I’ve always been happy with the K4 I was a little skeptical that I would see any significant difference between them.
As I suspected, the results were the same when it came to accuracy and repeatability but the big difference, as far as I’m concerned, is in its easier to use clamping system and its support wings. Both a very nice touch!
Considering purchasing a Kreg pocket hole joinery system? The K5 is a very nice model to add to your shop.
Also available at Highland Woodworking