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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!



Studio D Conference Table, Part 4 – Butterfly Inlays

The Kilted Woodworker - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 10:53am
The joinery is tight and I know I used enough glue and clamping pressure, but… it never hurts to add a little extra insurance. So before I moved on to preparing the top for finish, I added five more bog oak butterfly inlays along the seam where I joined the two planks. Normally, I do […]
Categories: General Woodworking

Studio D Conference Table, Part 3

The Kilted Woodworker - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 9:39am
Before I glued up the top, there were a few things I wanted to do first – fill in large voids with epoxy, add some butterfly inlays or keys to two knots and a split, even out any discrepancies in the thickness of the two planks, and then get a few coats of finish on […]
Categories: General Woodworking

Set of 4 Burr Boxes Complete

David Barron Furniture - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 9:39am

I've just completed a set of four dovetailed boxes which have been on and off my bench for a while.
They are what I would class as a desk box about 14" wide. This is an ideal size for jewellery, remote controls, stationary, pens, glasses, mobiles etc, a great all rounder.
I decided to use a single wood for the sides along with the burr of the same wood for the solid panel.
The first one shown here is brown oak, a favourite wood of mine.

All the boxes bottoms were fitted with padded pig suede and then lined in wood to gives a soft close to the lid. The two oak boxes were in bottle green with aromatic cedar of Lebanon linings.

The oak box, which all along I thought was going to be my favourite, now I'm not sure!

Below is in American walnut with a lovely claro walnut panel.

The final box is English walnut with some fantastic grain in the burr panel.

I seem to sell a lot of my boxes to woodworkers, so if anyone wants one they are £475 ($715) plus shipping each.

Cedar of Lebanon lining with a padded burgundy pig suede base.

Categories: Hand Tools

A Reminder About Studley Tickets

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 9:17am


With the exhibit of the Studley tool cabinet and workbench only days away (May 15-17, 2015, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Don Williams is fielding a lot of questions about tickets. Here are some frequently asked questions about tickets, books and art prints:

Will you be mailing my tickets?
No. The ticket purchases are recorded electronically. Don will print the entire list out, then check you off the list and hand you your timed ticket when you check in at the Scottish Rite Temple. You will show it at the door of the exhibit hall and be ushered in. Just to make sure, it would be a good idea to bring your PayPal receipt with you just in case something gets missed.

I ordered my copy of ‘Virtuoso’ to be picked up in Amana, can I pick it up at the exhibit?
No. You need to pick up your copy at the Lost Art Press booth in the Festhalle Barn. John will have a list of everyone who ordered a book and asked to pick it up in Amana. It would be a good idea if you brought your receipt with you, but if you don’t have it, we’ll work with you.

How can I get my book signed by the author and photographer?
There are three book signings scheduled at the exhibit in Cedar Rapids:

Friday at 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday at 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday at noon to 1 p.m.

More details are here.

If I ordered ‘Virtuoso’ before Handworks, will I receive a commemorative postcard?
Yes, you will.

Where can I get a Studley poster?
There will be 100 commemorative art prints for sale at the exhibit only. None at Handworks. Details here.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley
Categories: Hand Tools

Craft Plywood, Scrap Wood, and a Few Hours Equals Happy Kids

The Renaissance Woodworker - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 9:08am

plywood chariotI often have small projects that land on my workbench that provide fun little diversions from my routine. Over the years working with my mother-in-law for her Sunday school class we have produced several rounds of 3 legged stools, sailboats, chariots, and even the Ark of the Covenant! Enough time has passed that we felt we could pull the chariots out of the vault and make these again for the kids. But this time I improved on the design with the help of some 3/32″ craft ply found at Michaels.

Each week I share a short video with my Hand Tool School members and I featured this project in one of these recent emails. In this case I thought my wider audience might enjoy this as well. Plus this video features the custom written song for me by Underhill Rose that was one of my Kickstarter rewards on their last campaign. This was a fun project and making 12 of them (15 actually with my prototypes) was a nicer refresher on mass production in a hand tool shop.

The chariots were a huge hit with the kids. They assembled them and made clothespin horses to pull them. I gotta say we keep setting the bar higher for these projects and I look forward to the next challenge.

Your Turn

What simple and small projects have you built where you have to slip into mass production mode? Please share in the comments below, I’m always looking for new ideas.

Categories: Hand Tools

Where Are My Studley Exhibit Tickets? (modified FAQ re-post from Lost Art Press blog 8/10/14)

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 8:43am

With the exhibit of the Studley Tool Chest and Workbench only days away (May 15-17, 2015, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa), I find myself fielding a lot of similar questions (especially about tickets – if this is your inquiry READ THE LAST QUESTION) in email and conversations. So I took the time to create a Frequently Asked Questions compilation for the LAP blog, from which this was adapted..

How did the exhibit for the Studley Tool Chest come about?

Three years ago while studying the chest in person for the forthcoming book “Virtuoso,” I interviewed the owner for background material for the manuscript. At one point I asked, “Do you ever think about exhibiting the chest?” He smiled and just said, “I probably should, shouldn’t I?” A year later we spoke again and he agreed for me to do it.

Why is the exhibit in Cedar Rapids, Iowa?

For starters, one of the requirements by the owner was that the exhibit, “Be nowhere close to where I live.” Cedar Rapids fits that description pretty well. Plus, when I visited Jameel and Father John Abraham after Handworks in May 2013, we were just brainstorming and agreed that they needed to organize Handworks II, and having a Studley Exhibit in Cedar Rapids concurrent with Handworks II (only 20 miles away in the Amana Colonies) would be a great idea.

studley_calipers_IMG_0136 2

Did you consider any other site for the exhibit? I mean, I’d never even heard of Cedar Rapids before.

Originally I scouted out the Rural Masonic Lodge in Quincy, Mass., because it was the home Lodge to Henry O. Studley. I even visited there to explore the possibility. Four days later a catastrophic fire gutted the building, so that option was no longer on the table. The Scottish Rite Temple in Cedar Rapids is a spectacular site, and it will be the perfect venue. It was important to my vision to place the exhibit in an elegant Masonic building and one where the exhibit could be featured, not simply lost into a maze of a mega-programming institution. In the end I did not consider a huge city because I dislike cities. Well, I did think about Cincinnati, but is it really a city? Isn’t it more like a big town?

Why is the exhibit only three days long?

Much of that is simple practicality. My agreement with the chest’s owner requires me to be on-site with the exhibit all the time it is open to the public. Three days of the exhibit (plus at least three days of packing, shipping and installation on either side) was about all I think I could take. Besides, the host site is a busy place and I did not want to take a chance on not being able to have the exhibit there.

Are there any plans to extend the exhibit, or put it someplace closer to civilization if I can’t make it to Cedar Rapids for those three days?


Why are tickets so expensive?

The answer is fairly straightforward. First, if you think the ticket price ($25) is high I guess you have never been to a good play or the ballet, or a ballgame (even minor league games cost more, once you factor in everything). Second, the ticket price is in fact a bare-bones reflection of the project’s budget. Feel free to price out the cost of a secured transport service to move around a collection like this, or the cost of insuring The Studley Tool Chest, or the fabrication of exhibit cases and platforms, or the rental and security of a prominent public building, or the theatrical lighting necessary… Best outcome? Every single ticket sells, and I will only be out almost a thousand hours donated for this labor of love. I would do this again in a heartbeat.  Third, I wanted to make sure the visitor’s experience was amazing. Hence, the very few number of visitor slots.

studley_overall_IMG_0132 2

 What do you mean, “visitor experience” and “low visitor slots?”

My concept for this was to allow each visitor to get an in-depth exposure to the chest. So the exhibit will be quite spare, only four or five artifact stations, and each visitor will be in a 50-person group and spend 50 uninterrupted minutes with the exhibit. The docents and I will make sure everyone gets their turn to get as close as possible to the cabinet (about 4” to 6”). At the end of the 50 minutes each group will be ushered out and the Plexiglas vitrine housing the tool cabinet will be cleaned to remove any fingerprints, nose imprints and drool, so everything will be perfect for the next group.

Couldn’t you get some corporate sponsors to help cut the costs?

I did check into that, but the initial inquiries and responses led me to believe it was not a fruitful path. So I decided to take personal financial risk and pay for it entirely out of my own pocket.

So nobody is helping you?

A great many people have volunteered to help in ways large and small, serving as docents, packing and setup/take-down crews, etc. All tolled there are more than two dozen people involved, and are donating their time and (for the most part) their out-of-pocket expenses.

Will you be mailing me my tickets?

No. The ticket purchases are recorded electronically. I will print the entire list out, then check you off the list and hand you your timed ticket when you check in at the Scottish Rite Temple. You will show it at the door of the exhibit hall and be ushered in. Just to make sure, it would be a good idea to bring your PayPal receipt with you just in case we miss something.


Student Becomes Teacher

WPatrickEdwards - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 8:43am

Paul Miller and his Work

I look back on my career and realize how fortunate I have been to have met and studied under great teachers.  Not only in my physics career at UCSD but in my other studies in American Decorative Arts and related European Decorative Arts.  On both sides of the country and both sides of the ocean I have spent time with great scholars, many of whom are no longer with us.

Pierre Ramond, in particular, realized that even though I was an average worker in the field of marquetry, I had a certain talent to communicate ideas and concepts which gave me the ability to educate others.  That is why he pushed me into getting my workshop accredited by ecole Boulle and positioned to receive his students as interns for different stages of work.

Fortunately, Pierre gave me the idea to create the American School of French Marquetry so that when he retired from ecole Boulle I was able to offer his teaching process to the public.  This is significant, since as far as I can determine, there is no other school where historic French marquetry methods are taught using the "chevalet de marqueterie."

In the last 15 years, since ASFM has been operating, we have seen an amazing number of talented students pass through our doors.  Professionals and amateurs of all ages show up and spend time cutting small pieces of woods on the chevalets.  It is always a pleasure to see the results at the end of the week, when the paper is removed and the work is finally exposed.

I really enjoy teaching.  It is exciting to meet new people and be able to answer their questions.  I feel that my years of stuffing information into my brain is worth while when I can then "download" it into other inquisitive minds.  The popular idea of "play it forward" is how I perceive my job as teacher.

Thus, it is very satisfying when I hear from a person who I might have influenced in some positive way.  A good example of this is Paul Miller, who lives in the North West corner of the states.

There are a lot of professions which use wood as a medium.  People build houses, furniture, instruments, airplanes, boats, cars, tools and sculpture, to name the most obvious.  Each of these trades requires study, skill and experience to do properly.  It is not common for a specialist in one field to be able to transfer to another, but it does happen.

Paul Miller builds boats.  That is a simple statement of fact.  However, it is safe to say he is a master of boat building, judging from what I saw on his videos.  Some of you will appreciate the skill and technical difficulties involved in making a boat not only functional but at the same time a thing of beauty.  This is what Paul does.

When he came to my school just a few years ago he wanted to learn how to make marquetry.  He had never seen the tools or the French process or heard of sawn veneers.  I introduced him to the methods, showed him some books and told him to buy as much sawn veneers as he could afford, before they disappeared.

He went to Paris and broke the bank.  He set up a chevalet in both his homes and started cutting.  He created a web page on Lumberjocks called the "Chevy Club" and attracted a large following of woodworkers who were new to the "sport."  As much as I have worked to introduce the tool to Americans, he has done more.

He was fascinated with the jewel cabinet I post as the masthead of this blog.  He decided to make a version of his own and communicated on a regular basis with my partner, Patrice Lejeune, to work out the issues.  His efforts were also well documented on the Lumberjocks page.  You need to check it out.

When he finished, he hired a photographer to take his photo with the box, in exactly the same pose as I did with my work.  This photo he sent to me in a private email message, with the subject "For your eyes only."  Apparently he was not sure how I would react.  His concern was that I would somehow be insulted that he had copied me?  I am the last person on earth who wants to be placed on a pedestal.  I am just a guy who loves what he does.  That's it.  I am not even the best at what I do.  I know many others who are more skillful in this trade.  I just have a lot of passion for marquetry and furniture, good wood and old tools.  It keeps me going.

I am very flattered by his photo.  I am pleased that he has taken my advice and followed his muse.

It validates my life.

Patrick Edwards and his Work

Categories: Hand Tools

Adventures From The Shellac Archive — Lost Treasures, Part 2

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 8:17am

I think my tracking down of literary shellac treasures is just like Indiana Jones’ quests for ancient artifactual treasures. Except without the alien and dangerous locales. Or the mega villains and the life threatening predicaments they inflict on the heroes. Or the femmes fatale.

Okay, it’s nothing like Indiana Jones. Well…, maybe a little like Indy’s adventures as this episode did involve traveling to a terrifying place, Hades-On-The-Hudson (cities absolutely creep me out, my temperament is much more suited to life in the boonies where my nearest permanent neighbor is a thousand yards away) and two lovely ladies instrumental in the discoveries. And there wasn’t really a mega villain, just a knuckleheaded academic, but then I repeat myself.

As my Shellac Archive grew into the thousands of pages it is now, it became clear that one of the brightest lights in the historic shellac research firmament was the Shellac Research Bureau of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, New York. In the 1930s, as the winds of war for the survival of civilization began blowing, much of the research function of the venerable London Shellac Research Bureau migrated across the pond to our shores, to Brooklyn Poly. As a result, perhaps the golden-est epoch of subject research emerged as the research output of the SRB-PIB soon overshadowed the breadth and quality of almost anything ever produced by the LSRB or their Indian counterpart. As both of these enterprises were part and parcel of an imperial, ossified mercantilist/socialist system, when SRB relocated to a new culture – albeit struggling mostly due to the collectivist FDR regime in Washington – of innovation, risk, and accomplishment, perhaps the outcome was predictable.

At its peak just before and during the war, SRB’s group consisted of several faculty and several dozen students, all working on original basic and applied research under the direction of the renowned William Howlett Garner (let us pause for a moment of respectful silence. Okay, we can move on.)

Over the years I had acquired a number of the literary products from the group, mostly research monographs, but I knew from the few Annual Reports I had that my holdings that these monographs were but the tip of the iceberg. I could not help but wonder how much more there was, and began to follow up on this speculation. About 15 years ago I contacted Brooklyn Poly to see how much of the shellac research archive remained. It took many, many phone calls before I finally spoke with Heather, the research archive librarian for the university. And what an enriching experience our interactions were!

Heather was one of these classic cataloguers and retrievers of knowledge, and my inquiries into scholarship from three generations ago simply raised her estimation of me. Enthusiastically she embarked on her own journey of exploration with a promise to call me back.

And she did.

I knew immediately from the tone of her voice that the news was not promising. Deeply apologetic, she informed me the Shellac Research Bureau’s records were gone. All of them.

All of them.

Assembling the pieces of the story in retrospect revealed the utter shortsightedness of even institutions of scholarship in a culture with the attention span of a fruit fly. In the third and final installment of this tale of woe and reclamation, of knowledge lost, found, and shared, I reflect on the sentiments of the university’s Chemistry Department Chair (or perhaps it was Chemical Engineering) from the 1970s as the Institute was forming its new strategic vision, “Shellac? Who cares about that? The future is all about polymer synthesis!  Throw all that old stuff away.”

Free Shipping for ‘Virtuoso’ Ends Tomorrow

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 6:48am
John snapped this phone photo of the first copy off the dock.

John snapped this photo photo of the first copy off the dock.

Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley” has just arrived in our Indianapolis warehouse, and all the pre-publication orders will begin shipping soon.

Our offer for free domestic shipping ends May 13 at midnight. After tomorrow, the book will cost $8 or more to ship, depending on where you live in the United States. If you have been a customer of ours before, then you know that this free shipping is the only discount we will ever offer on a book. Our books do not go on sale.

On Thursday we load up a trailer with 3,013 lbs. of books and head to Handworks in Amana, Iowa. We are bringing as many books as our towing and payload capacity will allow. But because books are heavy, we might run out of some titles during the show. So stop by our booth early to avoid disappointment.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley
Categories: Hand Tools

Darrell Peart’s ‘Arched Aurora Nightstand’

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 6:15am

In “Gravity by Design” (June 2015, Issue 218), Darrell Peart shares his thought on how the bottom of a piece is the most interesting and telling – how what’s at the ground level (or close to it) has a significant effect on the design as a whole. One of the furniture pieces Darrell employs to illustrate his theory is the Aurora Desk – a pedestal desk of his own design […]

The post Darrell Peart’s ‘Arched Aurora Nightstand’ appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

The land of the Kavango

Je ne sai quoi Woodworking - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 4:17am


This is the next installment of my posts on my Namibian perambulations aimed at woodworking troglodytes (which I am one of to be honest). During the first days of May we usually head up to the mystical and magical land of the Kavango. It is nestled in the north east of the country in a cosy “little” corner south of Angola and west of Botswana. It forms the placenta to which the Caprivi strip is attached.

The reason for our annual safari is the waters of the ancient Okavango River. It originates on the eastern escarpment of the Angolan highlands before bisecting Namibia and Angola. A few kilometers from our camp it switches across the implantation of the Caprivian umbilical cord into Botswana to quench the eternal thirst of the Okavango Delta.

Get the picture? OK, let’s go.

This is a picture of a modern ossewa. The boat behind it is a new addition to our trekking equipment.


A few of the hooligans in action.


The first night we sayed at Taranga Safari Lodge. It belongs to a friend and is highly recommended.


An Okavango Moon.


Dinner under an African sky.


Same dinner, just later under the stars.


The view across the river the next morning with Angola in the distance.


Breakfast under an African sky.


Trying to drown my Cruiser in order to launch the boat. After carrying a massive amount of gear to the boat through the water of this side channel, a local came to warm us that there is a massive croc lurking around there for quite a while. Gee thanks mate!


One of the best things to do on this planet (in my humble experience) is to find a sandbank on the Okavango, light a fire for a braai and swim while being somewhat vigilant for the ever present hippos and crocs.


This is the famous Jacana Junction, our camp on the Okavango.


One of the most celebrated inhabitants of the river, the Tiger fish.


At the nearby Mahango Park we saw this interesting interaction. A few Letchwe with front row seats to the biggest rumble in the jungle since Ali-Foreman. I think these fighters are called water monitors in English (but not sure).


A giant Baobab.


Of course the boys needed to climb it …


… and the ant hill next to it.


Nothing beats a braai in a game reserve without the constraints of a fence.


My usual highlight is without a doubt, a visit to the local shebeen. We drink Windhoek Lager (the best in Africa) with the locals while the children try to settle the outcome of the Pan-African Soccer Cup of Nations.


These hippos live less than 300 meters from our camp.


My friend Siegmund Mengersson and I built this bar in an area we call the Sunset Beach.


The so called Jacana Jakutz were also erected on the mentioned beach. A warm bath under the stars or at sunset can’t be beat.


Dr Livingstone and compatriots fishing the great river.


A local fisherman.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this installment of “The Land of …”

Tools for the Carpenter, by Ryūryūkyo Shinsai, 19th century,...

Giant Cypress - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 3:38am

Tools for the Carpenter, by Ryūryūkyo Shinsai, 19th century, showing a chouna (adze) and a sumitsubo (marking line).

(From the Metropolitan Museum of Art.)

Not dead yet…

Blackburn Tools - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 3:30am

I haven’t had much time to work on the blog lately. Between working on orders and attending LN Hand Tool Events, time to write has been scarce.

I have also been up to my eyeballs in work as I try to prepare myself for the Handworks Show this weekend. I have a few more tools to make and pack before leaving tomorrow morning for Amana. If you’re going, stop by the Furniture Shop and say hello.

Categories: Hand Tools

The Joiner’s axe—Part II

Paul Sellers - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 7:24pm

DSC_0138Most axes I’ve seen others use and picked up have rarely been sharp. Do I judge by this? I suppose I do if it’s a joiner’s axe and not a kindling axe or a felling axe. Joiner’s axes are working edges mostly and sharpened to the same level as a chisel or a plane. I do keep a couple for wedges though and these can be dull because they continue the start work of the splitting axe if say you are parting wood.


An axe splits straight grained tenons and housings quickly and can be used for paring when used two-handedly like this, to pare down to the lines. DSC_0101As a young man site work relied on the axe for much work including the removal of half an inch from an odd sized refit door. I made many a tenon for a large door frame this way too; cut the shoulders with the handsaw and then spit cut and pare. It was fast and effective in woods like redwood pine and oak. Woods we used a lot.


Here a recessed housing is shoulder cut and then chopped to remove the bulk of the waste in a matter of a minute or so. DSC_0109Today’s carpenter makes a few cuts side by side across the grain and to depth with a skilsaw and then switches to the ripping claw of a claw hammer to rough down close before paring with a stubby chisel. It takes about the same time, but it’s funny how the latter still seems excessive and cruder to me than the well-tuned axe. Perhaps it’s the screams of the skilsaw, the need for electricity and the excess of all of that somehow.

DSC_0118 DSC_0120 DSC_0121

Here is how a plug is cut. Notice the thumb is not hooked and hanging over the top of the plug piece but tucked out of the way. First I chop one corner section of the ‘propellor’ as shown…

DSC_0123Thumbs wrong here!


… and then I turn it around and chop the opposite side.


I then turn it end for end and so do the same. This makes two plugs  in each length of pine. The plug is generally driven between the bricks, left shy of full depth, cut off with the panel saw, and then hammered home with the back of the axe.

DSC_0201Woodworking is as much about texture and life recorded in the wood as it is about speed and efficiency. It’s lifestyle.

In restoration of the old Victorian houses I always cut a hundred rough-cut plugs at a time and then fitted each one on my knees to the relevant opening for a perfect tailored fit. We only used dry wood left by the pot bellied stove for a day to make sure there was no shrinkage once driven.

Here is how the plug looks from the end. They are generally custom sized according to the gap in the bricks.DSC_0197

These plugs were more than a mere friction fit or a beaten in wedge. They were well thought through and strategised by men who cared about life and longevity. We can look at how these work next.

The post The Joiner’s axe—Part II appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

hot and sticky already.........

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 1:42pm
Yesterday was a bit humid. If I wasn't so tired and sore, I would have put the AC in the bedroom window.  And temp wise it wasn't to to bad considering the humidity. I barely broke out in a sweat in the shop yesterday. Tonight after work, the flood gates were opened to let the overflow sweat pour out like a raging river. The porch temperature was 85.2 F (29.5C) and the house temperature was a cool  84.1F (28.9C). This is only May and we have high humidity days already. Is this summer going to be the reverse of how this past winter ended?

I wanted to get the middle board on the table glued up tonight but I nixed it. I had been thinking of it off and on today and I couldn't think of a way to do it that I liked. I don't want to glue on one set of two and then glue the last set of two on to that. I want to glue it to both sets at the same time. That's why I made the 4' long clamping cauls.

I have a set of plywood standoffs- risers (what do you call these?) that I use to elevate what I am gluing up off the bench so I can slide clamps underneath it. It also works from the top allowing screw handles to turn without hitting the bench.

I've had these for over 25 years
I think they are too short to use for the table
I'll have about 6-7" overhang on both sides if I use what I have now
This would be a big, unyielding, tippy, table on the risers and I don't want to say "aw sh.....t, it fell". I want to glue this up on the workbench and not have to use the table. With some longer gluing risers I think I can do that.  I can clamp them to bench and eliminate the tip factor from them. It looks like I'll be making a pit stop at the one of the Borg stores after work tomorrow.

time to take off the clamps
When ever I take the clamps off a glue up I pay attention to to object they are being removed from. I listen for any noises, especially creaking ones. And I look for any relaxing or moving of the object. If it moves, and or, creaks, that means I applied too much pressure, the joinery was less than stellar, and I'm looking at glue failure in the not to distant future. I got no noises or movement tonight with either glue up. Two points for the home team.

first board look over
This end of this glue up has a slight hump in the middle. The rest of the board is relatively flat. Since this is going to be a big table I think I'll be able to fair out a bump and hump or two.

the other board is flat too
Both of the boards are flat and the lay up close to each end to end. I don't have to deal with any end to end bows and cups. One more point for the home team.

cleaning up the first set
I am going to plane the boards just removing the machine ripple planer marks and the dressing the glue line.

right side board done
Cherry planes and clean up beautifully. You can see the color difference in the fresh planed board and the left unplanned board. I wish I could afford to make everything with cherry.

second set of boards has a gappy glue line
The glue line on these two boards isn't as tight and nice as the first set of boards were. I paid a little more attention and care to planing this glue line to see if I could close it up.

after the #4 and #80, I finished up with the #12
It's closing up and looking tight in some spots and others it isn't.

I can see why this was used and made for a hundred years or so
I found that if I pulled this I had better control vice pushing it. I had less of a tendency to get chatter pulling it. Either way, it gives up wispy and fluffy shavings no matter which way I push/pull in regards to the grain. I don't think I'll have to use any sandpaper as long I use this last.

the bad spots
The area in the chalk lines are where the glue line hasn't closed up to my satisfaction. I have the rest of the board lightly planed and these two areas will be getting round II with the toys.

I got 90%
There are two small areas that still didn't close up. I'm not sure if I just obsessing about this or just being too anal about how tight the glue line is. My wife asked what gap was I referring to. Even when I pointed it out, she still asked what the problem was.

The other side of this glue up has a nice tight glue line end to end. If I still need to obsess about this I'll flip the board over and use that as my 'A' side.

ready to glue up as one
All five boards have been lightly planed and all the ripples from the planer have been removed. I also planed this enough so that I had a freshly planed surface end to end. This should make it easier for me when I have to do the final flattening.

I overslept yesterday morning and I was running around in nutso mode trying to get everything done before I left for work. I didn't have the time to read over and really proof read the posts. Next time I'll wait and post them after I get to work. And I won't obsess about not doing it before 0600. Maybe.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What was the last act performed at the Woodstock Festival in 1969?
answer - Jimi Hendrix playing the Star Spangled Banner

Stop Splits with a Wooden Key

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 1:06pm

Most repairs to furniture during the construction process are a drag because I am kicking myself for making an error in the first place. Not so when adding wooden keys to a slab tabletop. Big wood tends to split. And left unchecked, the split can continue to open during the seasonal expansion and contraction cycle. The traditional fix is a wooden key that looks like two dovetails kissing. Or a […]

The post Stop Splits with a Wooden Key appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

A Custom Coffee Table with Chatoyance.

Tico Vogt - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 11:04am

R S First View

My customers sketched a top for their coffee table. I drew it out full scale for one half of the mirrored design and determined that the miter angle was 62 degrees.

R S L and M Table Top Pattern

An auxiliary jig platform for the Vogt Shooting Board was indispensable in fitting all the pieces.

R S 62 degree shooting fence

The veneers were bandsawn and planed to 5/32”.

R S Shop sawn veneers

That’s not actually a veneer thickness. The mitered pieces were treated as blocks and glued on two or three at a time. After a couple of days of curing the whole top was thickness sanded with the veneers, top and bottom, ending up at 1/16” thick.

What creates the chatoyance is the sequence of laying the veneers in the rows across the width of the top.

R S Veneer Sheet

Moving your head a few inches while gazing “into” it creates strikingly different views of the grain- what was rich brown becomes a smoky gray, the columns of darker veneers trade places with the lighter ones, and different three dimensional shapes suggest themselves.

R S Multiple View

R S Geometrical Shapes

Yellow glue was the adhesive. It’s to be expected that there will be some “creep” and the molding that wraps the perimeter is designed to allow for it.

R S Veneer and Molding

The shelf is made of solid wood, 1” thick, and is treated like a panel within the rails that has plywood splines glued into grooves on the inner edges.

R S Shelf Panel

A 3/32” space on each side of the shelf allows for expansion across its width. The ends are pinned from the underside at their centers.

A bevel was planed along the inner edges of the legs as viewed from the sides… at 62 degrees, of course.

R S Leg Bevel

What follows is a long series of construction pictures.

R S Outdoor board breakdown

R S Ripping parts from board

Scrub planing shelf.

R S Scrub planing

Finish planing and using winding sticks.

R S Finish planing

R S Planing Edges

Ripping leg taper.

R S Ripping leg taper

R S Planing taper

Planing bevel.

R S Planing leg bevel

I plowed the shelf panel grooves on the table saw, registering the rails and the shelf against the blue tape strips on the rip fence. The grooves were a tight fit for the plywood splines that glued into the rails. I removed the tape and ran the shelf against the fence. The tape thickness created the tolerance for the shelf to slide and not stick on the splines.

R S Shelf and rail groove

End frame glue up.

R S End frame glue up

Shooting the veneers was a pleasure.

R S Shooting veneers

R S Venner groups

A stack of veneers shot exactly right.

R S Stack of veneers shot

To press the individual veneer blocks down I enlisted the weight of some saps who were hanging around and drying out after a tough winter. Their job was just to stand on sandpaper-faced blocks that were slightly smaller than the veneers.

R S Glueing first two veneers

First column done.

R S First course of veneers

Nearing the end.

R S Last course of veneers

The veneers overhung the edges and were scored with an offset cutting gauge prior to trimming with the saw.

R S Offset cutting gauge

R S Offset cutting gauge 2

Finishing was a long process: shellac, oil/varnish, then coats of Waterlox brushed on full strength. Three weeks of curing before rubbing out.

R S Finishing 1

R S Finishing 2

The edge molding was the final task. The Donkey Ear allowed a perfect fit.

R S shooting moldings

R S Gluing Molding

Corner Detail

The new plane for Handworks

Sauer and Steiner - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 10:53am

This new plane did not come about exactly like the K13... but very close. It started with a conversation and then a question, “have you ever thought about approaching a shoulder plane the way you did the K-series of planes?”

It was a great question and one I had not considered. The last 8 months have been filled with drawings, further conversations, and a whole lot of fun and tomfoolery. And it has been as much fun as developing the K13. 

It started with lots of sketches until something looked right, and then progressed to a full sized mock-up.

The first mock-up was made from 1-1/4" wide Walnut and was a pretty quick exercise. There were curves and radius’s everywhere, so the real reason for this mock-up was to see if what I had envisioned would translate into a 3D form. There comes a point where it is easier to make a scale model than to try and draw something... so I ‘drew’ in 3D. Working like this is always fun, and things come together very quickly (I wish planemaking was this easy!).

This was the first mock-up, and was pretty close to what I had envisioned. The scoop at the front was not right though, nor was the radius at the top of the nose.

It is very similar in size to a Norris No.7 shoulder plane.

I spent quite a bit more time on the second mock-up, going so far as to make Mahogany sidewalls and a sole - with Walnut infill. The curves are fairly complicated, and I wanted to simulate what would happen to them with 1/8" steel sidewalls. I did not want any surprised when I made the prototype.

I am glad I put in the extra effort - it gave me a much better picture of what it would look like and gave me the last little bits of information I needed before starting the prototype.

The most significant change was to the nose of the plane. The scoop at the front is curved on the inside and is very comfortable for ones thumb.  You can also rest the thick padded area below your thumb on the chamfered edge - just like on the K13. The top radius changed too, and provided the visual curve across the front that I was looking for (and is on all the K-series of planes).

The second mock-up is also wider - 1-1/2". I figured it would be the most challenging width to keep the curves looking and feeling right. A narrower plane should be easier to maintain because the curves are not as stretched out side to side. 

I had several opportunities to show the second mock-up to a few people. I was very pleased to see everyone go through most of the different hand positions I had imagined. It was time to make the real plane. 

The prototyping process was wonderful - it reminded me of the K13 all over again. I found myself in the shop late at night ‘in my spare time’, and stealing a few minutes here and there between other planes. I am very pleased with how it has turned out, both in the way it feels and the way it looks.

... and in the way it works. 

I am really looking forward to bringing it to HandWorks this coming weekend, and for lots of people to try it out and provide feedback. I am particularly interested in how people find its ergonomics, so if you are attending, please stop by and let me know what you think.

In keeping with the naming/numbering system started with the K13 (13 because it is 13" long), this new plane will be a KS-1.5. The ‘S’ for shoulder, and the 1.5 because of the width. I am somewhat embarrassed about how much time I have spent stressing about what to call this thing... but then I remember that I spent even more time stressing about what infill to use... so I feel a little better about it then. The sides and sole are 01 tool steel and the infill is African Blackwood.


Safe travels everyone!
Categories: Hand Tools

Inspiration is Everywhere: This Video is Fascinating!

Bridge City Tools - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 9:51am

Dear Drive Starved Nation:

I just discovered this video and thought it worth sharing. It’s about making. So don’t freak out when you don’t see any wood.

There is another version where he makes a similar project from wood, but it’s nowhere near as interesting as what he does here. It is particularly fascinating how he uses a three jawed chuck and the proper geometry to make a cube on a metal lathe. This is a perfect example of how math can be taught using a real, mind bending idea. I hope you like it-


PS: His choice of music had me reaching for the mute key.

The post Inspiration is Everywhere: This Video is Fascinating! appeared first on John's Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Bench Top Lathe – The Plan

The English Woodworker - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 9:47am

As I mentioned last week this lathe is very quick to build, don’t make it anything other. I’ve stripped it back to nothing but the essentials and then used screws to fix it all together. The design could be improved to make it more attractive, or maybe a bit more user friendly, but I have decided to share the plans in the form of what I’ve built; it works and will give you a very good starting point.
Before you knock one up I want to emphasise the importance of having a stable bench to work off.
Bench top Lathe Plan
The plans are as basic as the design. They show the overall dimensions as what I’ve used and how things are laid out. There isn’t a lot of detailing here and that’s because it’s intended that you can adjust things to suit the materials you have to hand. The main body of lathe has ‘feet’ beneath it so you can hold it down in your vice. Cick on the plan images to see larger versions.
Lathe tail pieceThe central section of the tail piece will need a few extra shavings taking off the thickness to allow it to slide within the body. The tail piece extends below so once in place I secure it to the face of the bench with a holdfast, if that’s not an option for you then just clamp it to the bed. I then give the back of the tail a thump with a hammer to ensure it’s knocked tightly to the work piece. For the two centres I’ve simply used a couple of lag screws.
Tool rest If I w
ere building it again I would beef up the tool rest as currently it’s a little flimsy under heavy cuts. This is left loose to keep the tail piece adjustable and allow everything to be dismantled quickly. Lathe BungeeI haven’t included any drawings of the treadle or bungie. Mine are currently extremely primitive; it’s a stick for the peddle, around 32″ long with an over sized hole that sits over a nail in the floor. If you plan to use this a lot then I would recommend improving it with a common A-frame design.
My bung
ee – which is just a bungee strap with the little metal hooks on the ends, has it’s two ends secured to the ceiling with a length of rope tied to it at the centre. The ceiling here is 7′ and I’m managing to get about three revolutions of the work piece. I could get more if I set the bungee back from the lathe so there’s a bit of experimentation possible there.

Read more about the bench top lathe.

Categories: Hand Tools


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