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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!

Do you have a suggestion for a hand-tool woodworking blog you would like to see here?  Tell me via the CONTACT page.  Thanks!


Call for Submissions: Treehouse Projects

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 8:36am

Calling all woodworkers and Weekend Warriors! Have you designed and built a treehouse you’re proud of (either as a fun playhouse for your kid or something more elaborate such as a vacation home or woodland retreat)? Popular Woodworking Books is looking for fantastic treehouse projects to be part of an inspirational book for builders and treehouse fans alike. And your project could be featured in the book! SUBMISSION DETAILS How […]

The post Call for Submissions: Treehouse Projects appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking


A Woodworker's Musings - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 8:02am

For most hand plane aficionados, the tool’s value is best determined by the thinness of the shaving it can remove.  Many’s the man who swells with pride when he says, “I’ve got this baby set up so I can take ‘half a thou’ consistently.”

“Half a thou” is fine for a polishing plane.  But I’ve had people tell me that they’ve got their old No. 6 set up to take a “half a thou.”  My immediate thought is that this statement is coming from the mouth of someone who likes to “tinker” with tools but probably doesn’t do a lot of hand planing.  My opinion is based on simple math.  Let’s say I have to remove an 1/8″ from a board I’m jointing.  If I take that 1/8″ off by a “half a thou” at a time, it will take me 250 strokes to complete the task.  If I have my No. 6 set up to take a 1/64″ chip, I’ll do the job in 8 strokes.  I love to work with my planes.  But there is such a thing as “too much love”.

Old timers would tell you that when planing, you want to be able to remove the maximum amount required, while maintaining a surface finish that is appropriate to the task.  So remember that adjustable mouths and movable frogs are designed to allow for maximum shaving thickness, as well as minimum.

Back to work!


Categories: Hand Tools

The History of Wood, Part 46

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 6:00am


Filed under: Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

This came in the mail yesterday. I told my wife, “I finally...

Giant Cypress - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 5:08am

This came in the mail yesterday. I told my wife, “I finally figured out what my mid-life crisis is going to be.”

She said, “You already had your mid-life crisis.”

I said, “What do you mean?”

She said, “Look at that shop of yours in the basement.”

A mid-life crisis isn’t supposed to be practical. I’m doing this wrong.

A Fun Story

Musings from Big Pink - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 4:39am
I was reminded of a fun story while making the two plaques in my previous post:

The last time I made a sign like that was 5 years ago. I had recently moved to CT after leaving my previous job and was trying to figure out what I wanted to do next.

Stanley (Yes, that Stanley) was advertising a job in marketing to help introduce their new line of high-end woodworking tools to woodworkers. I had no way to relate my previous experience on a resume. I tried to explain the reasons on paper but they didn’t call me back. I thought that if I could just speak to somebody I could tell him how I’m perfect because I have a genuine interest in their industry and direction. All of my free time was spent in research, after all. I called and nobody called me back.

I had the perfect plan. Using that 'print it, tape it, trace it' method I carved a ‘Stanley’ sign with my uncle’s 720s. I took a couple pictures of the process and brought them all up to the Stanley main building. After nearly getting thrown out by security for not having an appointment I finally spoke to somebody in human resources long enough for her to take my resume, pictures and plaque. No call. Ever.

This month marks my fifth year in business pursuing customers. I’ll be at Handworks in May with just about every high-end hand tool manufacturer.


Just send my work back.
Categories: Hand Tools

The Architect’s Chair – Part Four

The Unplugged Woodshop - Tom Fidgen - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 4:16am
  Continuing along with the Architect’s Chair, the four legs will eventually get dovetailed into a center hub made from the same 8/4 walnut. The hub will be drilled and tapped to receive a threaded dowel that will serve as the main post for the...
Categories: Hand Tools

Speed pump

ZK Project Notebook - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 1:06am
After 104 dovetails, I figured I have the Leigh jig wired; I’d written various settings in the handy notes section of the manual, I’d finally memorized them. I had some time so I wanted to whip out a couple of … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

phone cradle pt II.......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 1:02am
The saying is if March starts like a lion, it ends like a lamb. The first of March was definitely entered by a lion. Now exactly when is the lamb coming on center stage to exit the month? Today was in the upper 50's and tomorrow's high is predicted to be in  the low 40's with temps in the 20's overnight. The first day of spring is the 20th. I am tired of the seesawing temps but I guess it's better then snow. But I may be premature here because snow is predicted for friday.

sides are cooked
I checked both sides for twist and there was none. I had done an anal retentive nut job glue up of the walnut and maple sides last night. All that fussing paid off as the two are almost dead flush on both sides.

few swipes with the #3
I set the iron very shallow and took a few swipes at a skew. I did it this way because the grain on the walnut was reversed from the maple. I got all four sides done with no tear out.

figuring and layout is next
Working on small details like this isn't going that fast. I'm finding the smaller I go with details, the more time I have to spend fussing with it. This is the basic layout I had been thinking about most of the day. One 1/2 x 1/2 piece running on the outside edge on both sides, with 3 shelves. The internal layout is what I'll be fussing with now.

prototype bottom
This is the first detail I'm fussing with. I have a vague idea of running the bottom into the back of the sound hole board into a groove. I also want the sound board on #2 to be about the same - on the prototype the bottom of the sound board is fairly close to the bottom edge of the sides.

it's too high
The vertical flat on the prototype is 3/8" and on this one here is 5/8". I'll have to saw the angle again as I purposely left it long to make sure I had some to trim and fit.

matches the prototype now
I cut the angle on the sides with my tablesaw. I thought of doing it by hand but opted to get the precision from the tablesaw and my miter gauge.

this is working out in my favor
I sawed the angled cutoff into 1/2 x 1/2 pieces. I will use these as ribs to glue the bottom, middle shelf, and the top pieces to.

almost perfect
Since this cutoff is from the sides, the angle on the end matches it. It is off just a bit but that doesn't matter here as the joint will not be readily seen in the finished product. However, I am going to try and get the angle perfect. When it is butted up against the walnut strip it is off the square line the width of the pencil line at the back.  And I need the practice.

walnut strip cut to length
I have to make a notch in the sound board at the bottom back and I will have to notch the middle shelf to fit over/around the walnut strip. I think that I am going to stay with using 1/8" plywood for the back and the bottom. This will mean making another groove in the bottom back of the top.

one improvement
Using the 1/2 x 1/2 walnut on the outside from the top to the bottom makes closing off the sound chamber easier. In the prototype it wasn't a continuous run. The phone was used to close it off and that wasn't ideal. With the improved version the 'seal' around the sound chamber should be a lot tighter.

planing the angle
I knifed the angle I needed on both ends and knifed the line across the top. I planed it until I was even with the knife line on the top and the bottom edge. I am almost there with just a bit more to go. I don't have to worry that much about blowout on the ends because I'll be sawing a 1/2" notch there to fit over the walnut edging.

it can be done
This is almost a perfect fit. Some things I do amaze me and this is one of them. Planing this angle by hand with a block plane, is something that I didn't think I could do as well as a tablesaw. Take your time and plane to the knife line and the edge and voila. (I don't know how to put the little curly thing over the "a")

the hat
I didn't have to make the hat as big as this. I still have to plane an angle on this one too and having this a bit bigger will definitely help.

I was expecting to at least get this glued up tonight but no cigar for me. It took me way longer than I thought it would to get the layout for the shelves done. I still have to figure out a way to saw them all to the same length.  I was thinking of making a gauge line off the back edge and marking each rib piece off of that. That is what I'm going to try and do tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner

In what country was the first English language newspaper published?
answer -  Holland in 1620

The Finished Panel Saw

The Alaska Woodworker - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 10:14pm
I finished it up a while back, but just got it sharpened last weekend.  It has a 24″ .032″ thick plate toothed at 8ppi.  The handle is based on a Disston #16 in Honduran Mahogany that I scaled down a bit.  The saw nuts are salvaged from a junker.  I sharpened it with 12 degrees […]
Categories: Hand Tools

Windsor Chair Class in Progress

Heritage School of Woodworking Blog - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 9:36pm

    Today was day 2 of our six day windsor chair class. This is always an exciting class to teach, starting off with a few logs and splitting all the wood down. Bending all these straight pieces for bows and arms always excites the students. Needless to say it also tires them out!   […]

The post Windsor Chair Class in Progress appeared first on Heritage School of Woodworking Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

A Thank You Card From Scout

The Alaska Woodworker - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 9:21pm
Last week I mentioned giving a Post Office box door coin bank to a little girl named Scout.  I met Scout at the 2015 Artistry In Wood Show last month.  I was building the banks and she came and sat down to watch.  Here is a photo of the bank. A received a thank you […]
Categories: Hand Tools

We Interrupt this Blog for a Kitchen Remodel

She Works Wood - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 8:57pm
Woodworking and blog posts will resume once the kitchen remodel is complete.  In the meantime, here’s a glimpse of what I’ve gotten myself into.
Categories: General Woodworking

Weathering Pine, 2nd Attempt

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 7:54pm

Several months ago I wrote a blog about weathering pine with little success. Well, I decided to give it another try. My wife had heard of using a mixture of apple cider vinegar and steel wool to coat the wood to give it a grey finish. I had heard of using regular vinegar and steel wool, but apparently, the tannins of the apple cider penetrates the fibers of the wood to give it a richer older look.

 photo 20150222_173633.jpg

I gave the mixture a shot on a piece of southern yellow pine and poplar to see how it would turn out. At first, the wood hardly changed at all.

 photo 20150222_173642.jpg

However, after twenty-four hours, you can see how the mixture turned the wood dark on both the poplar and southern yellow pine. However, even though the wood did react, my wife was looking for something that looked more grey and less muddy brown.

 photo blog 001_2.jpg

I tried applying some ebony paste wax to the wood, but that didn’t turn out well at all. It just made the wood look more muddy.

 photo blog 002_2.jpg

I then decided to do something a little different and burn the wood with a propane torch.

 photo blog 003_3.jpg

After the wood was burnt, I used a piece of steel wool to remove the charcoal from the surface. This left the board with a texture where the early wood and late wood were at different levels.

 photo blog 004_3.jpg

I was impressed by the way the wood looked and felt that I applied clear and ebony paste wax on the sample to see how each half turned out.

 photo blog 005_3.jpg

I was so intrigued by this method that I flipped over the board and tried this technique on the whole board and applied the clear and ebony paste wax on each half.

 photo blog 002_3.jpg

Even though I didn’t create the look my wife was looking for, I really like how the wood looks after trying this technique, especially with the clear wax top coat. I’ll have to try it out on a completed project sometime. Now only if I could figure out how to make new pine look old without leaving it outside for six months.

eBay and Sotheby’s play nicely together

Pegs and 'Tails - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 7:39pm
Today, eBay and Sotheby’s jointly announced the launch of the Sotheby’s live auctions experience on eBay. Part of eBay’s new live auctions platform, ebay.com/sothebys is now available for browsing and advance bidding on Sotheby’s unique items leading up to the … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

Current Conservation Treatment — c. 1720 Italian Tortoiseshell Mirror Frames

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 6:16pm


I’m currently working on the first of a pair of matching 5-1/2 foot tall mirrors which have suffered some pretty extensive delamination of the tortoiseshell veneer.


One of the most critical issues for artifacts like this is to get them safely from Point A (the client’s home) to Point B (my studio).  For large planar artifacts like this I always construct a litter to which the artifact will be lashed so 1) I don’t have to handle the big clumsy thing any more than necessary, and 2) provide a safe housing for the artifact in transit.


My long time woodworking pal Tom was able to help me get the mirror down off the wall and into the litter easily.  The litter had clean foam pad/slats onto which the mirror was laid, and once in place blocking was glued to the slats to lock the mirror in place.


Once the blocks were set (I used hot melt glue) I added loose battens to the top of the mirror, directly in line with the slats underneath it.  This allowed for gentle restraints without adding any undue stress to the 300-year old engraved glass.

mirror frame

Using some upholstery webbing I had, I draped it over the battens and screwed it to the frame of the litter, snug but not tight.

c IMG_8238

One the packing was complete, we went straight out the front door and into the rear of the van  and a half hour later it was resting comfortably in my basement studio at my daughter’s house.

Stat tuned.


The Best Beekeepers…

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 6:11pm


The best words of advice I’ve heard sound simple until you give them some thought. Here are three things to consider.

“Good beekeepers have to figure some things out for themselves.”

This was a simple statement made by a beekeeper and mother to her teenaged woodworker who was struggling with sharpening, setting up a handplane and producing a nice surface.

She didn’t know about woodworking, but she knew about farming and bees. And when her young son despaired that he could not get his plane to work, she spoke those 10 fantastic words:

“Good beekeepers have to figure some things out for themselves.”

A couple years ago I heard Mike Siemsen of “The Naked Woodworker” DVD fame discussing workbenches with a new woodworker.

Question: What about moisture content blah, blah, blah?

Siemsen: Don’t worry about it. It will work out fine.

Question: But the wood species yadda yadda annular rings shinka shinka gymnosperms?

Siemsen: It will all work out fine. I wouldn’t worry about it.

Question: So E-value, Janka rating and tangent grain? Roubo, Nicholson and Klausz?

Yoda: Fine it will all work out. Worry not.

…this conversation continued for another 30 minutes in the same format.

Third vignette. Matthew Sheldon Bickford, author of “Mouldings in Practice,” ends his book with the best single-word ending sentence in the history of woodworking writing. Stick with me here.

“Be willing to succeed by being willing to fail,” he writes on page 241. “Tie yourself to your actions. Stop reading. Err!”

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Mouldings in Practice, The Naked Woodworker DVD
Categories: Hand Tools

A Sunday Afternoon, A Tuesday Evening and 10 Minutes Between.

Musings from Big Pink - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 5:30pm
I quickly made a sign as a gift for a friend, Kate Jones. She originally built my website and just recently transformed it into something that I will be able to manage completely. (Much of the information on my website is quite outdated and will be changed in short order.)

The final product is awesome. I know this because Kate asked about the machine I used to make it.

The process of making something so exact attracted the attention of one of my children. I insisted it was something that he could do. Yesterday we set out to again prove that his father is always correct. I took a couple minutes to start the process with him. His lines became much crisper by the time he got to the 6th letter. (I did the 'B' and the 'K'.)

This, of course, led to making another gift, a cleaner workbench and a wish that I made the original plaque in reverse.

As you become immersed in this craft you find tools whose capabilities truly fascinate. I appreciate my gouges (I used a total of three for the two plaques). The options they afford me are relieving (get it?). 2-3 hours and I have exactly what I want.

My next post, which will come much sooner than this one did, will showcase another series of tools that will afford me the opportunity to make exactly what I want, not limited by what bits or blades I may have. Any guesses?

Pick up a couple gouges. Play around with them. Are there other tools that encourage you to make a small project in a single evening? 
Categories: Hand Tools

Vitrine Progress - Paint and Glass

Toolerable - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 3:20pm
One can be forgiven if they haven't really been able to figure out what I am thinking with this nailed vitrine.  Hopefully it is starting to look like a proper piece, now.

I picked up the glass from the glazer yesterday.  The tint is a bit darker than I expected, but I think it will look fantastic when done.
It looks even darker here, because all three glass plates are stacked on each other.
Here is where I started after collecting the glass.  I removed the doors and hardware for paint.
A coat of paint really is making this spruce look better.  The only problem is that any defect in the wood shows through when you get close.  Knots, resin pockets, and filled nail holes all stick out, but the over all effect is rather pleasant.
with a coat of paint.
To install the glass, I had to remove the plywood spacers.  Theoretically they slide out, but I first had to cut them free with a knife, as the paint had got them nice and stuck.
Trying to protect the paint with whatever was at hand.  The clamps are there because once the plywood spacers come out, there is nothing supporting the front of the upper cabinet.
Interesting news is I finally got to use these clamps in spreading mode.  Clamps always advertise this as a feature of versatility.  I think in ten years of having these clamps, this is the first time I really needed to do this.

The final result is rather striking.  I think the cabinet no longer looks like a cheap nailed piece, but a rather swanky looking piece. 
Now we are talking.
The last bit to do is finish painting the doors and moveable shelves, and we are done. 

A note about the stability of this piece:  I can't imagine that this piece ever would be totally rock solid, unless the two cabinets were screwed directly to the wall.  However, the back of this one is two shiplapped two-meter long boards, full 18mm (3/4") thick.  I nailed them in from the back and the sides for strength.  These boards give this cabinet the strength that it has.  I imagine stronger than the original.  The top cabinet is mostly held by the back, and it also rests on the glass. 

I think that if this cabinet took a blow, the glass might break, but the glass stiffens the piece considerably over the plywood spacers.  I think as long as one is careful, there is no reason to think the glass will ever break.

Well, there is only one way to find out!
Categories: Hand Tools

Finished Flower

McGlynn On Making - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 1:58pm

Not much to write about this, just a picture of the finished marquetry picture.

After taking the finished part out of the press it’s pretty uninspiring.  All of the work to date has been on the glue face.  The marquetry was assembled face-down onto a kraft paper covered board.  I actually made a mistake when assembling it and covered the paper face with hot hide glue, and nearly glued it upside down.

Not much to look at, is it?

Not much to look at, is it?

I used plastic cauls to face this in the press, so it didn’t stick.  So the clean up routine was to first sand it with 120 grit to remove the glue and then spray it with water and start scraping the paper off.  Not my favorite job, you end up with a sticky mess.  I was careful about how I applied water so it wouldn’t get under the veneer or soak into the MDF core.

After the cleanup I gave it two coats of shellac, sanded with 180, then repeated the shellac and sanding with 220.  At that point the surface was smooth and I shot it with two coats of lacquer.  Fin.

In the final grading, I’d give it a “B”.  There are a couple of technical mistakes, and some compositional problems with shading and color, and there are some details of the sawing that I don’t like, where the contours are not right for the part.  But it’s also the largest panel I’ve done, and the first time I’ve done a border like this.  I’m going to set up another packet for a different design while I’m working on the Moxon vise and see where that goes.  Then maybe, the Griffin.  Maybe.

Completed marquetry picture

Completed marquetry picture


Categories: General Woodworking

The March 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 9:16am

hwtmarch2015If you’ve just started woodturning or you’ve been turning for most of your life, our March 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner has a variety of projects, tips, and stories to motivate your craft.

This month’s issue includes:

My Favorite Tools and Accessories: Curtis Turner has been contributing to The Highland Woodturner for several years and this month he is sharing his favorite woodturning tools and accessories that he uses in his shop.

Porch Column Repairs: Temple has been turning porch columns for several years and is often called upon to make or repair columns for local businesses in Maine. This month he discusses how he makes those repairs and the tools and products he uses to help him.

Repurposing a Hock Spokeshave Blade: Our blogger, Lee Laird, recently turned new handles for his Hock Spokeshave that allow him to make controlled cuts during his frequent instrument builds.

Show Us Your Woodturning: This month we’re sharing the woodturning projects of William Kaufman who uses a variety of woods and incorporates carving techniques within his turnings.

Phil’s Tip: This month we’re sharing an oldie but a goodie with some of Phil’s safety tips when it comes to woodturning. If you’re new to turning, make sure you read through these tips before you get started!

All of this and more in this month’s issue of The Highland Woodturner.

The post The March 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking


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