Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
This is a collection of all the different blogs I (try to) read. A whole bunch! If you have any comments or suggestions feel free to use the CONTACT page to get a hold of me. Thanks!
I think I might have mentioned that I recently picked up my fourth Thomas Day game table. Or, at least, what I believe is a Thomas Day game table. Lacking manufacturer’s markings or any direct link back to the original owner, it can only be said it is consistent with his designs, techniques, materials and geography.
To recap, his is the first one I came across a little over a year ago:
Then, two and three:
Here is number four found at a local antiques mall for which I either paid too little or too much:
The now familiar foot:
Same transitional molding:
Nice veneer on the top:
Less interesting on the inside:
Looking at the feet from below, one of these is not like the others:
This is the only of the four tables that is held together with a bed bolt:
There is one troubling repair that jumps right out and annoys me. Fortunately it is only visible from the bottom.
We all know that the Phillips Screw Company was not formed until 1934, one hundred years after this table was made. (One of the first commercial uses or the Phillips screws was by General Motors for the Cadillac in 1936. The more you know…)
Maybe cut nails…
Remember the other night when I showed some drawings and carvings, I included this one that I was working for the frame I’m cutting.
Here is the brace with that design on it – done in pine, frustrating carving softwood. It’s not like carving oak.
I know this pattern from surviving carvings on oak furniture made in Devon in the 2nd half of the seventeenth century. I have a fair number of reference photographs of works I studied over there, and related ones made here in Massachusetts. But by far, the best on-line reference for Devon oak furniture is Paul Fitzsimmons’ Marhamchurch Antiques website. I always open his emails, and always take the time to look at his newest offerings. They never disappoint. http://www.marhamchurchantiques.com/current-stock/all/
Here’s that motif from a chest Paul posted some time back:
The bottom rail is the one I’m thinking of, the top rail is related, but a variation. Here’s another, I forget where this photo came from, the chest is Devon, c. 1660-1700.
While scrolling through some reference materials here at home the other day, I remembered Thomas Trevelyon. His story is complicated, but he produced perhaps 3 manuscripts, c. 1608-1616 of various subjects. Astounding stuff. In some of my last years at the museum, our reference library received a facsimile copy of one of these, I think I might have been one of only two people to even look at it. These aren’t pattern books, because they were never printed – they’re manuscripts. I never got straight what the purpose was. BUT – purpose or not, here, the border of this illustration is what I was remembering:
This one’s from University College, London – I got it from here, http://collation.folger.edu/2012/12/a-third-manuscript-by-thomas-trevelyontrevelian/
where you can read much of the story about Trevelyon. One of his manuscripts is now digitized & available here: http://folgerpedia.folger.edu/Word_%26_Image:_The_Trevelyon_Miscellany_of_1608
He uses this border a lot in the UCL manuscript. Sometimes there’s a flower between the S-scrolls. This pattern will make its way into all of my furniture-carving classes this year. It’s great fun to connect the dots like this.
Peter Brennvik som tidlegare har bidratt med oppmåling og registrering av skottbenk i Surnadal har også bygd sin eige skottbenk. Benken er basert på skottbenkar frå Romsdalen. Vi kan gratulere Peter som medlem i Norsk Skottbenk Union og ser fram til hans framtidige bidrag til vårt fagmiljø. Peter har også brukt bloggen som ressurs for sitt arbeid med å byggje skottbenken. Då er det ekstra artig å kunne legge ut tekst og bilete som Peter har publisert på sin eige blogg, Verktøykista. Her kjem teksten til Peter:
I 2014 var det høvelmakarkurs på Romsdalsmuseet. I det høve fikk vi kikke på nokre gamle skottbenkar frå Romsmuseet si samling. Sidan eg er Romsdaling lyt eg nesten skaffe meg ein slik Romsdalsk-skottbenk.
Eg fann bilete, mål og inspirasjon på Skottbenkbloggen, medan Øyvind Vestad frå Romsdalsmuseet suplerte med fleire viktige bilete og mål.
Her kjem nokre bilete frå bygginga av føttene til benken.
Sometimes I think this is important to say so that beginners can hear: It does not take much natural talent to become a highly skilled woodworker.
During the last 10 years I’ve taught a lot of students all over the world, and in almost every class there was at least one person who had more natural dexterity than I do. Though these particular students were all at the beginning of their journey in the craft, I could see that they could eclipse me in time if they simply stuck to it.
Likewise, there have only been two students I’d classify as hopeless. One in Connecticut; the other in Maine. That’s only two out of hundreds and hundreds.
Making stuff, really nice stuff, doesn’t require as much nimbleness as it does patience and perseverance. The basics – sharpening, sawing to a line, planing to a line and chopping – take time to seep into your hands. Once the basics are there, everything else gets easier. Turning, veneering, carving, hardware installation and fitting doors and drawers are all skills that build upon the basic set.
But mostly is has to do with the most profound and important piece of advice I ever heard from a student.
During a class in Texas, one of the students recounted how he made his workbench entirely by hand, including ripping 8’ planks for days and days to make the top lamination. One of the other students was simply amazed and asked him: “How did you do that?”
The student answered: “I just decided to commit to it. Once I committed, it was easy.”
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Personal Favorites, The Anarchist's Design Book, The Anarchist's Tool Chest, Uncategorized
In your article: 29 JUNE 2013 – Which plane–Bevel-up First or Bevel-down? You stated:
“It’s no secret that I do not like heavy bench planes of the #4, 4 1/2, 5 and 5 1/2 sizes. I feel that they are generally excessive and costly and especially is this so for new woodworkers. I believe I speak truthfully on this issue and even after fifty years of working wood I still rely almost solely on the the planes numbered above for my daily work. With these four planes I can do anything I can with other planes.”
I am not sure I follow what you are saying. Are you saying you do not like the Lie-Neilsen “heavy” planes but do like the old Stanley Bailey planes of the #4 to #5 1/2’s? I have never held a Stanley Bailey, are they lighter than the LN’s? I thought the LN’s were patterned on the Bailey’s. Am I missing something?
Another question. I inherited three saws from my uncle that he purchased around 1980 and have hardly been used. Tyzack-Turner – Excalibur No. 1, Nonpareil:
1) Dovetail Saw – 8-inch, 20 teeth/inch
2) Rip Saw – #154 4 ½ teeth/inch
3) Crosscut Saw – #154 12 teeth/inch
What is your opinion of this line of saws? I know of nobody who has an opinion.
I am a beginning woodworker using a mix of power and hand tools but trying to slowly wean myself from most, or all, of the power tools. I am learning a lot from your YouTube videos. Thank you for providing them.
Whereas Lie Nielsen, WoodRiver, Jumma, Quang Sheng, Clifton and others are all copies patterned from Leonard Bailey’s formidable plane range, these planes have indeed gained weight (physical) over the years too. It is also true that the standards on all of them are pretty high but that they are all very much the same plane. Wouldn’t you think that just one of them could give us something new and innovative. It is pretty boring when you go from one to the other and then another and you say to yourself they are all the same. None of these makers invented anything but copied what was already in existence in the same way many makers copied most of the Stanley planes when the patents ran out. In the case of the heavyweights it just happened that they all plumbed for the Bed Rock pattern but not because it was the best but that no one was making them. Lie Nielsen was the first and then the others wanted a slice of that pie too hence the birth of Clifton planes in the UK, WoodRiver (crummy name) and subsequent to that we saw the Chinese move in because this great North American chain store retail franchiser needed their own model and couldn’t find a maker to supply them. Most of the commonly known plane makers were actually gone or on their way out with the advent of scaled down industrial machines designed for the home user but then people started to investigate hand tools as an alternative to the machines and a niche market opened up whereby so-called high end planes came to be.
I don’t think that this was in answer to a need so much as a lack of working knowledge of the planes. There was a long period when planes like the Bailey-pattern were considered inferior to what was emerging but the reality was they had no champion to fight Leonard Bailey’s corner. In the hands of inexperienced users the old ones you list seemed to jump around and then someone said that heavy planes with thick irons solved the problems. Of course they didn’t at all, they had the same issues. What was different though was that they arrived sharp and set in the box so at least they would work for a few weeks if taken care of and not reset. Of course this only postponed what has to happen eventually and that is to understand the plane, any plane, the best thing is to take it apart and put it back together time and time again as you would a hand gun or a rifle. Do it in your sleep so that you are always ready for action even in adverse conditions.
I say all of that to say that the engineering fraternity have as yet to come up with one that weighs in the same as the Bailey pattern planes. You are right, Leonard Bailey did indeed invent the planes we are speaking of with the only difference between a full-blown pure-bred Leonard Bailey plane being a minor introduction called the Bed Rock pattern frog. Whereas people selling Bed Rocks extol the virtue of the sliding incline where the two chunks of metal slide against one another with an awkward mechanism inside for adjusting the planes mouth, what no one talks about is that this automatically alters the depth of cut to a miss-set position. The reality is that we woodworkers hardly ever need to adjust the throat opening in the first place. In fact, in my 50 years I have only altered the throat opening half a dozen times and it made little if any difference to the awkward grain I was trying to work on those different occasions. Add to this the fact that such an adjustment ALWAYS alters the depth of cut and you face even more adverse reality than any problem you might be trying to resolve in the first place. The fact is that the Leonard Bailey plane CAN be adjusted without removing the plane cutting iron assembly, if you know how, when everyone tells you it can’t. Another plus for the Bailey is that resetting the frog to change the mouth does not alter the depth of cut; that is no small thing and indeed is another plus.
Now as to your saws. Truth is that there are really only two saw makers from Britain these days. One of them, Spear and Jackson, don’t really have much of a clue about saws these days. Certainly nothing like the original owners of the company. They are marketing strategists relying as many such companies do on their daddy’s reputation. The old name still counts for something. All of S&J saw are made in Taiwan so they are not a British made saw. Then on the other hand you have Thomas Flinn. No one connected to Thomas Flinn has any connection to the maker Thomas Flinn as in the man Thomas Flinn. Nor do they know Roberts or Lee of Roberts and Lee or Pax or Crown or William Greaves. What the owners of Thomas Flinn did over the years was buy the names of these saw makers when they went out of business and applied them to their saws. Until the internet developed its fully orbed probe to provide its unending supply of information everyone thought these saws were different makers in Sheffield. The reality is they all come from the Flinn stable.
As to your Tyzack Turner saws. I am afraid it is unlikely that these were produced by Tyzack and Turner as such but by some other saw maker putting their names on the saws. That said, there is nothing wrong with the saws. They are good saws and I own some of them too. I am afraid you have look a little deeper beyond the labelling with some, not all, UK makers. Not much is truly made in the UK if you start digging around. There are some that try to keep the standards and I hope we will see more tool makers emerge in the coming years.
Just a small in between project, a beech jack plane. I allready made at least two stupid mistakes, but I keep telling myself, it is just a jack plane...
If you resided in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the 17th century, you were forbidden to wear furs. You were forbidden to wear lace. You were forbidden to wear any gold or silver decoration and you were never to “dress above your station.” This was a matter of law. You were expected to be concerned with your “spiritual estate” not your worldly one. You were, very likely, a member of the English Reformed religious movement, referred to by those outside of your community as Puritans. You lived in a community that kept no holidays, including Christmas. The work week was six days long and you were expected to be present in Church for the entire day, on the seventh. Fortunately, the consumption of alcohol was acceptable. Drunkenness, however, was not.
You probably lived in a large, framed house. The exterior was left to “weather” grey or painted using colors found in the earth or on the farm (iron oxides or blood). The interior was somewhat somber, done up in earth tones and in general was utilitarian, not highly decorative.
While life in “The City on the Hill” was supposed to give the appearance of being plain and pius, it was a commonly held belief that wealth and success were a sign of God’s favor. It’s probably fair to say that the system of governance was a theocratic plutocracy, dominated by wealthy churchmen, merchants, large landowners and the occasional aristocrat who had opted for a life “on the frontier.” These were “The Elect”, members of their church in good standing and “pillars” of the greater community. And for “The Elect” it was considered altogether appropriate to demonstrate their exceptional status in the furniture they placed in their own homes. This was not the furniture that was found in the common farmhouse. Ornate carving decorated many pieces such as chairs, joint stools, forms, tables and chests. Turned appliques were used to decorate pieces like Court cupboards. Many pieces were painted. Painting might be used to highlight carved areas or could, indeed, by the main focal point of a design.
Much of this furniture was brought from Great Britain and the Low Countries, either as imported wares or the personal belongings of wealthier members of the community. There were skilled craftsmen residing in the Massachusetts Bay Colony who provided excellent quality goods, but the desire for bespoke furniture, to impress the neighbors, has been present since the arrival of the first European settlers.
These examples from the later part of the 17th century express the skill of European craftsmen of the period:
If you’d like to know more about the history and manufacture of 17th century American Furniture, you should be following Peter Follansbee’s Blog. Peter is rightly considered as a leading expert on this period and, as many of you already know, is a gifted craftsman.
For more about the “bespoke” furniture of Great Britain and Ireland during the 17th and 18th Centuries, go to Jack Plane’s Blog, www.pegsandtails.wordpress.com. Jack’s blog is an incredible repository of information. Plus you’ll have the opportunity to see Jack replicate some of the most sophisticated furniture ever constructed. Prepare to spend hours.
Len, a good customer sent me these pictures of his new work bench made by Richard Maguire's and the last one he is going to make (for now!)
It's certainly a fine one to go out on, in olive ash, one of my favourite woods.
There’s some mighty fine blogs listed there, and right smack in the middle is Matt’s Basement Workshop.
A huge thanks to the staff for including me!
Take a moment and checkout the list by clicking here to see if there’s some new ones on there you’ll enjoy following.
Help support the show – please visit our advertisers
We’ve had several readers inquire about getting a T-shirt with “The Anarchist’s Design Book” logo on a long-sleeve shirt, in a particular large or small size that we don’t carry, or on a thong (I made that one up).
As I mentioned, we don’t make butkus on these shirts. We just think they’re fun.
So here’s the deal. Here are the two source files for printing your own version. One logo is white. The other is black. You have our explicit permission to take these files and make sweatshirts, T-shirts, whatever for your personal use.
Download these files and make your own shirt using an inkjet printer or through a print-on-demand place such as CafePress.
Both files are .png with transparent backgrounds and are sized for 10” x 12” at 300 dpi. Have fun!
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Uncategorized
Today started out a little rough…too much work to think about. As the temperature in the shop began to warm I found myself cleaning the rust inhibitor off the band saw table, in hopes that I would be able to sell it today. Since posting my desire to sell I’ve had a few inquiries for more information, details etc., and a couple of serious conversations about location. Also had the one guy (you know the one) that came in at half my asking price and kept trying to come up in $25 increments. Needless to say that one guy did not get the saw.
Right on time my potential buyer showed up. He obviously had done his homework, asked great questions checked the saw out and had even looked into what needed to be disassembled to safely move it (along with his own tools!). We decided on a fair price some paper changed hands and we loaded it up. I don’t regret selling the saw, it was not used and I feel that it will have a much better home now. What was really great was the passion of the buyer! It’s fun seeing the excitement in someones eyes and since he brought his wife along, her support of his hobby. I was also asked some great questions about my hand tool work, how do I sharpen, what do I do if I need to re-saw (without the bandsaw) what’s my favorite project. The one question that struck me most was what forums do I go to……..not sure I provided a good answer. If forced to give an answer it would be WoodTalk, but I really don’t spend time there unless I have a specific question. So where do I go for help, support, fellowship? The Hand Tool School, Unplugged shop, your blogs, and Instagram. Seems that I have built up quite a network of people that I interact with on a regular basis that are always willing to offer a hand, show their successes and mistakes and throw in a picture of their dog or last walk.
Hopefully Daniel will read this post, I’d love to introduce him to all the great people out there. Oh and if I want to build a frame saw for re-sawing, who’s got the best kits? What blade size do you recommend?
Pictures of a Stairsaw i found in Bornholm in Summer and the one I made today.
Bilder einer ratsäe, die ich im Somme auf Bornholm gefunden habe und einer, die ich heute gemacht habe.
There has been a while since our last post in English and I might inform new readers that our blog has a category for English posts. Some of you might have tryed to use Google translate to read our Norwegian or Swedish language posts? Then you know that there is some problems with the translation of the woodworking terminology from our Scandinavian languages to English. I frequently use the word “snikkar” that could translate to woodworker. In definite form plural i would write “snikkarane” that means the woodworkers. This was translated by Google translate to “sneaky guys” which have a very different meaning. Recently there have been an update to google translate and “snikkarane” are now translated to carpenters. Despite theese problems I do hope that you non Scandinavian readers are still with us.
The term “snikkar” could be used in several different ways. It could mean a woodworker in general. It could also mean a person with certificate of apprenticeship in the sorts of woodworking that compares to both joinery and cabinetmaking as theese two woodworking diciplines are regarded as one and are both included in the term “snikkar” or “snikring”. To make the confusion total, the term “snikkar” are commonly used to describe the modern day carpenter, however this should be called “tømrar” as this was the traditional Norwegian term for a carpenter. The etymolgy of the word “snikkar” might be from the low German “sniddeker” that means a person who cut (whittle) wood.Ripsawing the front of a smoothing plane with a frame saw. Photo from the blog Strilamaksel by Trond Oalann
We also have the term “sløyd” in Norwegian. That could mean woodworking in general and have also been used in that way. We have the modern use of this term from Swedish “slöjd” that are used as a word that could be translated to handicraft. In Norway is Eilert Sundt considered to be the first ethnologist and started to focus on craft and training in craft as an important part of the upbringing of children. This was around 1850-60 and it seems like it was a corresponding conception in the other Nordic countries. This was the basis for the introduction of sløyd as a school subject and also the Swedish school for teachers at Nääs in about 1870. This school was started by Otto Salomon with the financial support by his uncle. Otto Salomon published the important book “The teacher’s hand-book of slöjd, as practised and taught at Nääs; containing explanations and details of each exercise” in 1891. According to Wikipedia: Sloyd (Slöjd), also known as Educational sloyd, is a system of handicraft-based education started by Uno Cygnaeus in Finland in 1865. In Denmark we had a similar way of thinking that resulted in a educatonal system called Dansk Skolesløjd that was established in 1886.Trond Oalann are making a dovetailed tool chest based on intstructions in the book “Sløidlære” by Kjennerud-Løvdal, 1922. Photo from the blog Strilamaksel.
In Norway we had Hans Konrad Kjennerud (1837-1921) who is known to have introduced the subject sløyd in the Norwegian schools. He was educated from Nääs in 1880 and was the driving force to introduce sløyd as a subject in the education of teachers. There have been many following Kjennerud and the subject sløyd have been very important for many generations pupils since. This has also resulted in a lot of interesting litterature. When I search for litterature in the subject “snikring” I find that most of the Scandinavian books seems to be written with at theoretical focus more than practical. There are very few instructions in how to do the practical work. I believe this is because of that most of the apprentices in “snikring” had done their training in the “basic skills” in their sløyd lessons in primary school. When I read some of the older sløyd books I am suprised by the level of the work the pupils where supposed to to in primary school. I have come to that we have to search books for both “snikring” and sløyd to find information in writing about the traditional Norwegian woodworking. I have in my last post written about how the autor A. Kjenhaug explains ways of working wood in his book: Arbeidsteknikker i tresløyd. (This link might be only for Norwegian IP adressses?)Trond Oalann working in his workshop. Photo from his blog Strilamaksel.
A fellow woodworker and blogger, Trond Oalann, has also got interested in the early Norwegian sløyd books. He has written several blog posts of his woodworking projects based on the instructions in the four books “Sløidlære” av Hans Konrad Kjennerud and Karl Løvdal. The books where probably published in 1922. He posts about making his own horn handeled smoothing plane based on drawings and instructions from the book. He write about how to adjust the sole of your wooden plane. He write about how to flatten and dimension a board with handplanes and a lot more from theese important four books. You should follow his blog Strilamaksel to read his interesting and well illustrated posts about his work.
Arkivert under:Høvelmaking, Snikkarverktøy, Tilbehør høvelbenk
I stopped and bought some wood on the way home from OT so I would have something to keep me busy. I don't care about the snow and I'm only concerned about losing power. If I lose power, I lose lights in the shop. As far as I know, there isn't anyone teaching how to work wood blind.
|new book shelf|
I had resisted buying any of these 1x10x8 pine boards at Lowes up to now but I had no choice today. This board is Radiata pine from New Zealand. It is a lot harder than EWP and it looks nothing like EWP neither. The board is just shy of 7 BF (board feet) and I had to pony up $25 for it. Cost wise it is cheaper than #1 EWP which in my area goes for a lot more a BF.
|difference in grain|
|this may work|
|Radiata pine board|
|put the saw donkeys to work|
I think the height of these are just right. They are about 5 inches lower than my workbench and afford a good look at the saw line and I'm not hunched over to point of pain in my back as I saw. I'll get used to these the more I use them and learn how to work with them.
|bowed and cupped|
I did the same with these ends too. I set the iron for a shallow cut and I flattened the side with the hump first. I then flipped the board and planed the outside wings on that side. Once it looked flat to my eye and the jack, I stopped.
|parts all prepped|
|I'm getting quicker|
|dry fit is good|
Who was William Herschel?
answer - A self taught astronomer who discovered the planet Uranus in 1781
” One basic quality unites all the works of mankind that speak to us in human, recognizable voices across the barriers of time, culture, and space: the simple quality of being well made.” – Bill Reid
På bloggen Verktøykista har Peter Brennvik skrive om ein skottbenk han har kome over i Surnadal på Nordmøre. Skrivemåten på garden kan og vere “Aaskard” og det er det døme på i eldre skriftlege kjelder. I kartverket til Skogoglandskap.no er det brukt skrivemåten Åsskard og eg har brukt denne her etter råd frå lesarane. Eg har fått kopiere bilete og tekst som han har posta på sin blogg. Under kjem hans tekst og bilete:
På Husasnotra dreiv me for ei tid sia med noko istandsettingsarbeid på eit stabbur i Surnadal Kommune. Stabburet står på Åsskard i Surnadal Kommune og er truleg frå tidleg 1800 tall.
Langborda er 4,35 meter lang. Plasering av føttene på langborda er 1/5 – 3/5 – 1/5. (Det var det Roald Renmælmo som gjorde meg oppmerksom på) Beina på skottbenken er 73 cm høg. Når langborda blir lagt i, blir arbeidshøgda 76 cm.