In the review, Deutsch writes:
“The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” is not your average beginner’s book, and its author is not your average seasoned woodworker…. Schwarz’s writing style is unlike what you’ll find in any other woodworking reference. He speaks to you in a friendly and frank nature. It’s as if this book is his diary or a long correspondence to a personal friend.
While I don’t always agree with Schwarz’s approach, I feel this book should be standard reading for anyone who hopes to one day to call themselves a woodworker.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: The Anarchist's Tool Chest
I'm just starting to make a small coffee / side table from some lovely English Walnut. After trimming and flattening the board ended up 42" x 16" x 1 1/2" thick. There were knots and cracks on both sides which I filled and stabilised with a fair amount of Epoxy resin.
The shot below shows the first flood coat of oil which shows the beauty of this fine board. It would be nice to continue the hand rubbed oil finish but the epoxy will stand out as a shiny patch. So it will be finished with three coats of matt Osmo Hardwax oil which will build up and harmonise the sheen as well as providing good protection.
All month long the folks at Shop Woodworking have a fantastic deal on a value pack filled with tons of great information for the hand tool user looking to further expand their knowledge of how to get the best results from their tools with the “Hand Tool Builder’s Collection”.
According to the description, you’ll save up to 64% on this collection:
“Using hand tools in your woodshop is a fun and traditional way to make interesting projects. The pride that comes with making your own tools is something that can’t be explained. This collection comes with instructional videos, downloads and books to help you complete your collection of tools and set you on your way to making new and interesting projects. This collection contains 14 of our best hand tool guides to teach you to build a multitude of tools; a custom backsaw, a wooden smoothing plane, work benches of varying styles, tool cabinet, bench hook, and so much more!”
From DVDs like “Build a Custom Backsaw DVD with Matt Cianci” to “Build a Sturdy Workbench in Two Days with Christopher Schwarz” all the way to Jim Tolpins’ book “New Traditional Woodworker.”
This is a great opportunity to add some of the best titles in this genre of woodworking to your library, don’t miss out on the savings!
I emailed them to inquire about purchasing a replacement handle – I assumed they would be willing to sell me a handle to get my saw working again. I was wrong.
Instead they sent me a replacement, gratis. Wow, right? I certainly didn’t expect that, but it really made my day. The handle showed up in Wednesday’s mail (having shipped Monday from Maine to California). I installed it last night and I’m back in business.
This weekend I’ll finish the details on the base of the little Greene & Greene table I’m building. I hope. I’d like to see it glued up and done soon.
“The Naked Woodworker” DVD is off to the pressing plant in Virginia, and I am uploading the massive movie files to our store’s servers as I type. So here are details on the project, when it will be available and pricing.
“The Naked Woodworker” is unlike any woodworking product I’ve worked on. It started last May when Mike Siemsen and I were talking at Handworks in Amana, Iowa. While examining his workbench there, we began throwing ideas back and forth about how to capture his bootstrapping methods and bring them to a wide audience.
The core principle: Buy a few good vintage tools, fix them up, build a sawbench and a workbench. Do it fast, well and with no machinery or woodworking power tools.
In February, John Hoffman and I drove up to Siemsen’s shop in Minnesota to film the DVD, the first for Lost Art Press. On Saturday morning we hit the Mid-West Tool Collectors Association’s regional meeting where we filmed Mike sifting through, evaluating, haggling and buying the tools we’d need. (Personal note: If you like handwork, join MWTCA. It’s inexpensive to join, and the rewards are extraordinary.)
On the second day, Mike built a sawbench and a fully functional workbench using home-center materials. Both the sawbench and workbench are amazingly clever. You don’t need a single machine or power tool to make them. And they work incredibly well.
Mike finished up work on the bench just as his friends were showing up for his birthday party (hence the beers in the background during the final shots of the DVD). Everyone ate chili (at least, that’s what they were calling it) while sitting on the new bench and playing with the tools.
This spring, I edited the footage down to two short DVDs. One on buying and fixing tools. The other on building the sawbench and workbench. We also commissioned a very nice SketchUp drawing of the bench. And, most telling, we made a spreadsheet that details every tool, screw and stick of lumber we bought for the project. Both the SketchUp drawing and spreadsheet come with the DVDs.
We spent $571.40 for everything. Then Mike sat down and figured out what the prices would be if you paid for your tools more on the high side of things. That price: $769.40.
We hope this project will inspire new woodworkers to just dive into handwork and get started. I talked to too many people who are hesitant about where to begin, how to begin or think they have to buy every tool in the catalogs to begin. You don’t.
We also think “The Naked Woodworker” will be a great thing for experienced woodworkers who need a quick workbench and some sawbenches.
“The Naked Woodworker” will be available in August in two forms: A DVD set for $22, or a download for $20. The download will be available for international customers. We don’t know if any of our retailers will carry this product as of yet. If they pick it up for their catalogs, we’ll let you know.
Next month I’ll post some video samples from “The Naked Woodworker” so you can get a taste of the project.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. There is no nudity in “The Naked Woodworker.” Thank goodness.
Filed under: The Naked Woodworker DVD
These pieces are often cut using a jigsaw, bandsaw or fretsaw but most home woodworkers in India are unlikely to have a bandsaw or a jigsaw. Although jigsaws and bandsaws do cut quickly they are not essential tools.
Cutting shapes by hand with a fretsaw can be a tedious process. Fortunately there is a much simpler process which only requires a few cheap hand tools.
Tools required: hand saw, chisel and mallet, rasp and sandpaper.
Step 1: Draw the profile or shape that needs to be cut.
Step 2: With a hand saw make straight cuts across the part that needs to be removed.
These cuts need to be made along the entire length of the portion to be cut out.
Step 3: Using a chisel and a mallet knock off the waste portion. The cut parts chips off easily.
Step 4: Use a rasp to clean the shape.
Step 5; Finish the shape with sandpaper.
This is a quick method which has been advocated by great woodworkers such as Paul Sellers and can easily be mastered by the novice woodworker.
18 July 2014
I got my seedlac from shellac.net. On their website, they say that they ship internationally.
Restoring and preparing the cutting iron and the cap iron The #151 flat-bottomed spokeshave is now the commonest of all spokeshaves in use for general woodworking and the traditional wooden pattern from 17th century origins is no longer a production model because it generally ceased being produced in the 1920s because of the #151 success. Buying them new or secondhand usually requires some remedial work to different parts of the tool. The following will show you the important steps to making any #151 spokeshave work beautifully regardless of the work you do with it. It’s almost always best to dismantle all of the parts of any tool and remove all of the components. This is good advice provided you know how to reverse the steps and put it all back in the right way. A problem occurs if the seller puts the parts together without actually knowing which things should be where. The most common problem I encounter with the #151 is that the blade almost always arrives with the cutting iron the wrong way round. No matter what you do with the spokeshave assembled incorrectly it will never take a shaving. The photos given here show the different parts assembled correctly. Study them and keep them close to hand when your spokeshave arrives to compare what you have. It’s not a bad idea to still take a picture to recall how things arrived anyway regardless of right or wrong. Degrease and derust the blade and cap as necessary using the same tools we used in the previous blog post for restoring the body of the spokeshave. The blade will flex to flatness in the extender holder when you cinch down the cap iron but flipping the bade over to remove the burr and polish the flat face cannot usually be flexed to flatness by hand and so hopefully the blade is indeed close to flatness. We will assume it is flat as in 99% of cases that are indeed flat. If yours is not flat and you are using the extender holder you should flatten both sides of the blade so that it is not flexed in the holder when holding the bevel to the abrasive otherwise the bevel can be curved along its length when removed from the holder. Establishing the bevel at 25-degrees begins with the coarsest abrasive at 250-grit. One advantage of installing the blade in the extender is you can use the 25-degree angle of the extender to guide you for the bevel angle if you are sharpening freehand. You can also use this extender in a honing guide of you prefer. I find one important advantage of using the guide and extender in tandem with one another is one, the amount of pressure you can apply and two, it virtually guarantees a square result almost without thinking. With the bevel established at 25-degree we can further hone with a few strokes at a slightly elevated angle, usually up to but never more than 30-degrees. The 30-degree cutting edge is now refined on a 600-grit and then a 1200-grit abrasive. Doing this effectively ‘thickens’ the cutting edge to an acceptable and effective working cutting edge. The band width width of this 30-degree secondary angle or bevel is best around 2-3mm only. This creates a strong enough edge to maximise resistance against edge fracture. Finishing at 1200 is usually a fine enough cutting edge for 95% of work. Removing the extender from the honing guide allows you to draw the bevel in the extender on a strop charged with abrasive chromium oxide. Working the flat face is the same as a plane iron except it is not as essential to create a dead flat face unless you want to. You should remember that polishing the bevel is only half the sharpening. The flat face should always be finished to the same level as the bevel, so if you went to chromium oxide abrasive, which is around say 15,000, then the large flat face should be the same. The extender does not allow work on the flat face but it’s not necessary anyway. Abrade, hone and strop the flat face. The flat face is best polished out on a flat piece of hardwood such as maple or beech. Apply the abrasive compound directly to the wood and trail the cutting away from the abrasive rather than pushing the edge into the abrasive and the wood. Now the cutting iron is ready for installing and using. Its important to check the inside face of the cap iron. The above two pictures show the result of introducing the cap to the coarse plate and then further abrading until the whole edge is flattened. It must be flat or flattened along the very edge where it will meet the large flat face of the cutting iron. Flatten it on the coarse abrasive only. It’s not the whole face that needs to be flat, just along the cutting edge. Along the end edge of the lever cap, the face-edge that leads and faces into the throat of the spokeshave, file a straight edge with an 80-degree (or thereabouts) back bevel along it. You can soften this rake with abrasive 250-grit abrasive taking care not to round the underside of the edge formed as an gap will provide a leading edge for shavings to lodge and cause clogging in the throat. With the blade in the spokeshave and registered on the adjusters feel in the mouth (carefully) for the cutting edge and advance or withdraw the iron unit it feels somewhat even or flush with the rims of the throat. Now install the cap on the centre setscrew and advance the adjustment screw at the top of the cap until it feels relatively tight but not fully cinched. Often times you will find the setscrew in the centre cinched down, which people feel is the way to lock the blade in place and that can easily seem right because the blade is indeed tight and immoveable. Cinching the cap onto the cutting iron this way negates the ability to adjust the blade but also causes other important elements to be non functional too. The centre setscrew is there to use as a fulcrum point to transfer pressure to right behind and along the cutting edge with the lever cap. Adjusting the setscrew so that a reverse fulcrum takes effect necessitates a precise setting of this setscrew. We work both the centre setscrew and the cap setscrew in unison until the proper distance is set for the centre setscrew. To establish this we look at the gap at the top of the cap. That’s the red component. Look at the gap . The larger the gap without bottoming out the adjustment screw at the top of the cap, the nearer the cap iron marries to the blade at the cutting edge and the greater the pressure where it’s really needed. This translates into a vibration-free assembly capably engaging the work.
The post Final on #151 Spokeshave Restorative Work Series – Maybe!!! appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.
For 20 years, I talked for a living. All day, every day. Spent two weeks working by myself; then went up to the Lie-Nielsen Open House. Someone stuck a camera in my face & I wouldn’t shut up. (the youtube video done by Harry Kavouksorian, posted on Lie-Nielsen’s website) :
Here’s some photo views of the open house. it was a great one. See their facebook photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152214121253016.1073741897.100708343015&type=1
A few months back I had one of those very long antiquing days. When I am driving somewhere, I try to plans the drive to maximize the number of antique shops and museums. I started the day with a 90 minute drive to my favorite four acre antique shop. Many of the painted chests from this shop were covered in the 172 pictures in a PREVIOUS BLOG.
Then a mile down to an always interesting auction house. And a drive to Stantonsburg only to discover most of the good shops are closed on Wednesday. Who knew? Next was a drive south hitting every promising antiques shop until I ran out of time in Lumberton, NC at 6:00 PM. I did visit lots of dealers and took too many pictures.
And now I’m going to share.
First amazing piece it this attractive chest of drawers:
that doesn’t have any drawers.
Ever see a chest you really like but aren’t sure what the primary wood is?
Just look in the drawers.
I do have a fondness for painted armoires. This one is no exception.
It has some very nice details on the door.
I really liked this piece but no place to put it and no patience for sitting through an auction watching people buying stuff I don’t care about.
And the last preview is my favorite lock.
For those new to this lock, the lock has two bolts. One is high and goes to the right. The other bolt is low and goes to the left. Both drawers have appropriate mortises for the bolts. This lets you lock two drawers with one lock.
I really want one of those locks. If anyone knows the name of this lock or where to buy one, I would be forever in your debt if you shared.
To see more of these and lots of interesting things (bellflowers), click HERE.
This violin back plate is still several millimeters away from its final surface. The outside shape is not finished, the corners overgrown clumps that will slowly evolve. In the meantime, I like seeing the steps before the end, before the completion. At this stage, I am flailing away, taking off as much wood as I dare. I like seeing the leftovers, the curls of wood that will be swept up, destined for the fireplace, the compost heap, or the trash, depending on my whim at the time.
With luck, it will live a long life as part of a violin, making music, interacting with the human world. With more luck, someone will really enjoy its shape, its existence.
The scene here is obviously only potential. What will it look like? What will it sound like?
Permance, though, is perhaps nearly as fleeting.
I leave for England Saturday to teach two classes for the New English Workshop at Warwickshire College, but before that English experience, I have to tend to another.
Today I started roughing out the parts for two more Roorkee chairs in sapele that will incorporate some interesting details. One of the details will be this little piece of brass awesomeness.
If life doesn’t go off the rails I hope to get the legs turned tomorrow.
While in England, I’ll mostly be teaching and sleeping. I’m teaching two tool chest classes, which are about as grueling to teach as they are to take. But I am going to get to meet David Savage on Tuesday, which I am greatly looking forward to.
And I know some of the students in the class, so I’m packing extra ibuprofen for the inevitable hangover(s).
This is my first teaching assignment in England, and I hope it’s not my last. The Germans didn’t seem to mind my occasional nudity. I wonder if how the Brits will?
Better yet, perhaps I should pack one of my wife’s dresses….
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Campaign Furniture, Woodworking Classes
A few weeks back I posted about router bit storage. At the end of the post I suggested that readers send me photos of their storage solutions and I would write a follow-up post showing those photos. Many readers shared photos of how they store router bits. I must say that the solutions were innovative and creative. But I was a bit disappointed that no one shared any of the […]
I was looking for one thing & found another. Last week when I wrote about the wood carrier that I learned from Daniel O’Hagan, I knew I had a shot that I took very quickly one of the last times I was down there. Couldn’t find it so I gave up. Today I found it while looking for some other photograph that is now more pressing.
Glad I didn’t see Daniel’s when I made mine – that way we get 2 interpretations of one form. 3 if we count the published one. Daniel’s versions worked for many many years.
Here’s mine from last week. I have more of this sort of thing to make in late August/early September.
For review, here’s the one from China at Work
Len Hovarter of Hovarter Custom Vise has developed a simple and inexpensive quick-release leg vise mechanism that looks quite ingenious. Like all of Hoverter’s vises, they work on the age-old principle of unicorn magic. They slide in and out smoothly without a threaded rod. Then they engage the work with a short turn of the handle. Kelly Mehler has a twin-screw vise with a Hovarter on it and I can […]
During my early research into Roorkee chairs I received at least a dozen e-mails from chairmakers and fellow woodworkers with this simple message: Turn back; the Roorkee is a bad design.
Many of these woodworkers had sat in mid-20th century versions and reported that it was like falling into in gunny sack with an anaconda. There was no support for your lower back (or any other part). And after a few minutes you lost blood circulation to your legs.
The Roorkee chairs I had built to that point weren’t like that at all. So I persisted in refining my chairs based on what I’ve learned about building Windsor-style chairs during the last 10 years. The result is a chair that I can sit in for hours at a time. Others agree with my assessment. Last weekend I took one of my Roorkees to the Lie-Nielsen Open House where people lined up to sit in it all weekend.
So what’s the difference between the chair in “Campaign Furniture” and the killer gunny sacks? Take a look at the chair above.
This is a mid-20th century copy of a copy of a copy of a Kaare Klint chair that was made to maim you. Mark Firley of The Furniture Record blog bought a pair of these chairs on my behalf so I could study some of their details.
There are several things that make this chair somewhat uncomfortable. Here is a short list.
1. The material is a flimsy vinyl backed by jute. So it actually is a vinyl-covered gunny sack. You might be able to get away with a thin material in the seat, but not for the back. The back offers no support.
2. The back is too short. This short chir back presses your flesh back above your lumbar. A thick material (such as 8 oz. leather) that reaches to your lower back supports the lumbar region quite well.
3. The thigh straps are flimsy and narrow. Out of the four thigh straps that came with the chairs, three were broken. Without these straps, which run under the seat from left to right, your legs get pinched on the front rail and go numb. I’m going to make a wide, leather thigh strap for this chair and see if it helps.
4. The rails directly under the arms. These prevent the arm straps from stretching too much (a good thing), but they are uncomfortable after a short while. Imagine relaxing your arms on dowels; that’s what it feels like.
To be fair, this chair has its charms. The tapered tenons fit into their mortises with a slight compression fit. This makes the chair feel stable and still allow it to move to adjust to an uneven floor. I’m going to have to play with this idea in my own chairs.
The other charming thing about it is its overall look. I can only imagine how many wife-swapping parties this chair saw.
Speaking of that, I had better burn the vinyl upholstery.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Campaign Furniture
I’ve gotta say this about old Andre, he never stops larnin’ me. Over the weekend I built another set of his winding-sticks-on-stilts as I call them, so that I could photograph them for an essay in the book. I have been trying to incorporate them into my own work practices for the past several months, and doggone if I can’t already see how they will make my work so much more efficient than it was previously. His approach to flattening rough stock is insidiously ingenious.
You can read more about these gems and how they are used in the upcoming To Make As Perfectly as Possible: Roubo On Furniture Making (Lost art Press, 2014?)