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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway!  Enjoy!

Thank you to everyone who contributed towards Walt Quadrato's battle against cancer!  Their fundraising goal was met.  Our prayers are with you, Walt!  


Spoons & more, December 2014

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 7:35am


The other day I wrote about links, to Maureen’s site, Plymouth CRAFT, etc. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/links/ – and plum forgot to plug my own stuff! Someone wrote recently asking if I had boxes for sale – they said my etsy site was empty. I had no idea those things expired. So I renewed that, though as you can tell – I don’t watch it very closely. Here’s that link – for what it’s worth. https://www.etsy.com/shop/PeterFollansbee

But I’ve kept the spoons here on the blog. that way, I only really have to watch one place. “Keep all your eggs in one basket, and watch that basket” said Twain. I’ll have lots to get back to in the next week or so, but for right now – some more spoons for sale. This is the last (though small) batch for the season…the link will take you to them, or the menu at the top of the blog. As always, thanks to everyone who has made this work possible – I truly appreciate all the support from the readers of this blog. Can’t thank you enough. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-more-december-2014/


The NEW MBW t-shirts are here!

Matt's Basement Workshop - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 7:00am

The jury is in, and the MBW Classic Logo is hands down the favorite design in the MBW t-shirt line-up!

tshirts only

And to ensure I can keep them in stock, and reordered in a timely manner, I found a new local printer (Citizenshirt.com) who’s in-house designer did a fantastic job of cleaning up the logo and text, then adjusted it’s size and positioning, and completed the new look by showing me some great color options to make the logo look even better than before.

new MBW tshirts

MBW Classic logo t-shirts

The new version of the short-sleeved t-shirt is printed on an 100% cotton “Fruit of the Loom” shirt, with an antique white logo. The shirt is roomy, very comfortable, and available right now in sizes M-XL & 3XL (no 2XLs currently available in the new design yet…coming very soon.)

sam alone

Plus, we’re offering a new long-sleeve version that’s a little more understated with it’s smaller logo, but equally amazing looking!

matt closeup

The long-sleeved version is a Gildan 100% cotton shirt that’s also roomy, and comfortable with a smaller antique white logo over the left pocket region, and it’s ready to order right now in sizes L-2XL.

To order yours today, visit the MBW t-shirt page by clicking here.

Help support the show – please visit our advertisers

Categories: Hand Tools

How To Glue In Boxing On Moulding Planes

Caleb James Chairmaker Planemaker - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 6:25am
When it comes to making certain moulding profiles you have to take into consideration how the sole of the plane will hold up to heavy wear. If the profile focuses a lot of friction on a relatively small area then it will likely not hold up very long.

A very good example is the quirk of a beading plane. You simple don't see beading planes without boxing. The quirk would very quickly wear away without it. 

There are other places that you would see boxing used in profiles and even boxing for fences. I talk more in-depth about boxing in a post here.

I thought it would be interesting to share my approach to installing boxing via a video. The process is essentially to make strips of boxing. It is not easily described how I rough out the boxing strips but it involves a slot cutter. All the strips are roughed out over size and then individually fitted to the groove cut in the plane body. I cut this groove at the table saw. 

The process is involved but when done right it can be glued in with hide glue and just tapped into place with a hammer and that is it. I do not use any clamps to secure the boxing while it drys. Even without the glue the boxing would be difficult to remove just on the friction needed to tap it into place. 

This is an approach I learned while fitting mortice and tenon joints in chairmaking. If you could push the tenon in about half way and it stops without using more force (hammer) then you have a perfect fit that glue only adds a bit more confidence in the joint withstanding stresses in use. The hide glue also acts as a lubricant to make tight joints slide together, unlike a PVA which would bind and lock up in this situation.

You'll notice that the video ends suddenly since my memory ran out right at the end but you get the gist of the process from this video. :) 

I hope you enjoy!

Categories: Hand Tools

The History of Wood, Part 32

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 6:00am


Filed under: Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

A Kind of Blue

The Unplugged Woodshop - Tom Fidgen - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 4:03am
  I received a letter from Dyami Plotke, a well known woodworking blogger in Long Island this week. ( Check out his blog at The Penultimate Woodshop. ) Dyami recently finished making some Funeral Chairs following plans in my book The Unplugged Woodshop. I was...
Categories: Hand Tools

Hi Wilbur. My wife and I will be in Japan for two weeks over the winter holiday. We have a tour of tsunesaburo factory and a visit to the relocated takanaka carpentry museum lined up. Do you have any suggestions of other places to visit with our...

Giant Cypress - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 3:18am

Please take me with you.

Seriously, it looks like you have a good handle on your trip. Miki City and Sanjo appear to be the tool making centers, but I don’t have good information on contacts in either place. Maybe the folks at the Takanaka Carpentry Museum can help with that when you get there.

A couple of other sources might be Tomohito Iida, who runs the Iida Tool website, and Stuart Tierney, who runs the Tools From Japan website. I know that they are in contact with a number of toolmakers as well.

And thanks for reading. I really appreciate it. Have a great time on your trip, and I hope to see some updates on what you learn.

Out Into The Open

The Workbench Diary - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 9:30pm

If you’ve been following along here for any length of time, you are well aware of my interest in the furniture making of Jonathan Fisher. I’ve written about him here and here on the blog, I have given lectures on the man’s work, and I have told and retold the story many times to folks I meet. This past year I’ve gotten a variety of opportunities to share his story but in the next week or so the story will receive a broader audience. The Society of American Period Furniture Makers is publishing my first article on the Fisher story in their annual journal. If you are not yet a member, click here to find out more. There are, as always, some real heavy-hitters writing this year so I feel honored to be included in the 2015 American Period Furniture lineup.

I see my article, From Head, Heart, and Hand: The Furniture Making of Jonathan Fisher, as an introduction to Fisher’s productive efforts by highlighting some of the main themes of his story. In the article, I discuss his background, tool acquisition, shop setup, a few examples of pieces he made, and I begin to touch on how his view of manual skills related to his intellectual studies and religious devotion. Basically, this article is the seed form of the book I am writing. I look forward to exploring in the book all of these aspects in much more thorough detail. I’ll also have room to touch on so many other things I hoped to discuss in the SAPFM article.

If you read the article, drop me a line. I look forward to your feedback as it will help me construct my book manuscript into something fascinating and intelligible... it’s always good to bounce your work off someone else. It makes me think of the words of the 20th century poet-philosopher, W.T. Pooh, when he said, “When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”

So check it out and let me know if it seems "Thingish" to you.
Categories: Hand Tools

Christmas Stars

The Alaska Woodworker - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 9:13pm
These seem to be a popular project this year.  The Paul Sellers faceted stars.  It’s a fun project, and only takes a few tools to accomplish.  Give them a try, you still have time before Christmas.  Mine are mahogany & sycamore, curly maple & sycamore, and curly maple and walnut.  I think the maple and […]
Categories: Hand Tools

But, Is It Art?

The Furniture Record - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 7:43pm
Ages old question, is it Art?

Ages old question, is it Art?

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader'));

Maritime woodworking tools.

Mulesaw - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 3:42pm
The title may be a bit misleading, because it is not about tools used to build maritime stuff, rather than tools I have used the past year for hobby woodworking on a ship.

As some of you may remember, I made a tool chest for the sea last year. During the last year I have built a couple of projects using the tool kit, so I feel that I can give an honest review of it.

The projects I have built have all been limited in size to something that could be transported as luggage on an air plane. The following is a list of the projects I have made on board. Some of them I finished at home, because I don't like to leave a project on board when I go home.

Seaborne chest
Cabinet with many drawers
A carved name sign
Fairy tale princess bed
Tumblehome sea chest.
The recent carved sign for Aslan Fenix
A Gerstner inspired tool chest.

We are only signed on for 4 weeks at the time, and things really have to go smooth for me to be able to finish a project in that time. sometimes we are prevented by the weather or fatigue, so woodworking out here for me is something I do to relax and get my mind to slow down. The process out here really is more important than the result.

The tool set I bring with me is stored in a home made tool chest. Due to the fact that it needs to go in my suitcase on the air plane, this chest had to be light and not too big.
I made it out of 5/16" thick larch that was dovetailed together. The top and bottom are made from 6mm birch plywood.
The chest has been damaged by luggage handlers throwing my bag around, but it still holds up. I have re glued it a couple of places earlier, and I can see that it is time for me to do it again.
I guess that I should have glued in some triangular reinforcements in all corners.

These are the tools of the ship that I use for my woodworking:

Multi purpose wood saw (Fuchsschwanz), doubles as a straight edge for marking lines.
Try square.
Hack saw which I normally use as a dovetail saw.
Measuring tape or folding rule.

Once in a while I use a drilling machine, but that is not very often, but those are on board as well.

My own tool set can be seen on one of the pictures below, and consists of:

3 chisels, 1/4", 1/2" & 1"
A small dozuki saw
2 brushes for glue
A jar of white glue
Smoothing iron for the plane
Scrub iron for the plane
Grooving plane
Marking gauge
Sanding block
Home made router plane with an extra narrow iron.
Oil stone for polishing
Linoleum carving chisels (the newest addition to the chest)
Sandpaper grade 80 and 150 (as far as I remember)
Shooting board which is incorporated in the lid of the tool chest

I also bring a bit of hardware, all of it is in the small size:
Brass screws
Brass nails
Finishing nails.
Brass hinges (3 pairs)
An inset lock
Galvanized hinges (1 pair)
Turned drawer pulls (the dark stuff in a bag, they are very small)
A piece of a bone.
Some small pieces of cardboard to use for dovetail gauges.
A bit of emery cloth.

The only thing I have sometimes felt that I was missing is a jointer plane. But that has mostly been an issue if I had to glue up some sort of panels. Jointing two edges are not what a smoothing plane is designed to do.
Apart from that it is a pretty powerful tool kit when combined with the few items I need from the ship.
You can theoretically get by with only one clamp for work holding, but having more is advantageous in case you need to glue up something.

The tool I use the least is the 1" chisel, but I still like to use it for paring and if I make large dovetails.

The tool that makes the biggest difference is the scrub plane, or in my case the scrub iron for the smoothing plane. Being able to quickly process stock makes a huge difference.

Second on the list of tools that make a difference is the grooving plane. Because this enables you to make a wide variety of things: Tongue and groove boards, Grooves and dados, I even used it when I made a raised panel. The great thing with the grooving plane compared to a real plough plane is that at least the Stanley No 248 is so small that it will easily fit in a small tool set like this. I only have 1 iron for it (5/32"), but if I make multiple passes that doesn't pose a problem.

My conclusion is that the set is working pretty good for the type of projects that I do while on the water. But the tool chest itself should probably have been a bit sturdier made in the first place.

Damaged lid.
Lower chest cracked along the groove for the bottom.

Tools of the ship.

The line up of my own tools.

The shooting board.

Hardware assortment.

The tools neatly tucked in the chest.

Categories: Hand Tools

Curly Maple Windsor Chair Reamers

Tim Manney Chairmaker - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 3:37pm

I'm just finishing up a batch of curly maple reamers.  The wood is rejected leg blanks from Curtis Buchanan's windsor chair shop in Jonesborough, Tennessee.  Ideal chair wood is dead straight grained and boring, boring, boring.  Curtis rejected these blanks because dealing with the curly grain is more hassle than he was interested in, and the best log yard in the country is a fifteen minute drive from his house.

Fortunately for me, that curly grain makes for some very nice reamers.  I have seven of these reamers available for $130 each plus shipping.  I can bill through Paypal and have them shipped in time for the holidays.  Leave a comment or email me if interested.

Categories: Hand Tools

Lingerie chest: Base and legs

Trial and Error - Woodworker - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 1:03pm
base legs holes for screws legs for base of chest

The legs of the lingerie chest to be made of walnut to match the drawer fronts. They are simply two pairs of legs mortise and tenoned to a connecting rail. The legs are the height of the bottom drawer. Hole were drilled into the rails so that they can be screwed into the base of the chest. I wanted them to be removable so that I could take them off if we ever move house so prevent the legs from getting damaged.

Filed under: Drawers & dressers, Projects Tagged: screws, walnut
Categories: Hand Tools

The Aumbry Makes the Cover

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 12:31pm


The aumbry from the upcoming “Furniture of Necessity” book is featured on the cover of the February 2015 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, which will mail to subscribers later this month.

My article discusses the history of the aumbry and how to build it. The book version will be much expanded and more detailed, as I’ll have about 10 times the space. Still – I think it’s a good magazine article; even beginners will be able to tackle the project with the magazine article.

I have to thank Editor Megan Fitzpatrick personally for taking a gamble on this project. Few people have ever heard of an aumbry, and fewer people would tell you they love Gothic furniture. I think the stuff is the cat’s meow. It’s fun to build and uses simple geometry and basic tools to design and construct.

I was allowed to read over the entire February issue before it went to press and was quite impressed (perhaps a bit professionally jealous). There’s a fantastic myth-busting article on teak oil, an excellent piece on making your own copper hardware with simple tools and Peter Follansbee shows you how to build his cool Chinese firewood carrier.

If you don’t subscribe, or if you have let your subscription lapse, this is the time to rectify that. Megan is steering the magazine to explore areas outside the traditional Shaker, Arts & Crafts and Period styles (though those will always be part of the magazine’s fabric). Look for some Japanese, Mid-century Modern and Ruhlmann stuff in forthcoming issues.

OK, back to the shop. I’ve got another project to build for Popular Woodworking.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Furniture of Necessity
Categories: Hand Tools

The 2014 Would-be Sybarite’s Gift Guide: Day 4

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 12:22pm

Today’s pick is one I actually have. Books are my first love, and from a very young age. (In fact, years ago I camethisclose to pursuing a graduate degree in the history of books and book making.) Woodworking came later in life, but is now equally important to me. So something that combines both these interests? Perfect! (And to me, worth saving my pennies to purchase.) The limited-edition deluxe version […]

The post The 2014 Would-be Sybarite’s Gift Guide: Day 4 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

When Your Tool Chest Needs to Be a Tank (or a Boat)

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 12:05pm

When tool chests suffer damage, it’s usually in three places: the top rim of the lid, the lower skirt around the carcase and the bottom boards, which are rotted. The rim of the lid gets dented by falling objects, such as clamps, heavy boards and other things in the truck when you move the chest. The lower skirt gets rammed by other shop stuff, including rolling machinery, work boots, rough […]

The post When Your Tool Chest Needs to Be a Tank (or a Boat) appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Great Moxon Vices!

David Barron Furniture - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 11:13am

On last weekends dovetailing course there were a couple of fine Moxon vices brought along. This is Simon looking very pleased with himself and for good reason, his vice was superbly made. Below is a close up of one of the beautiful lambs tongues.
He also surprised himself (and his wife!) with the quality of his dovetailed box.

Below is Normans vice which has some interesting features. He made the mechanisms himself, milling the mild steel to fit the threaded rod. The screws move in and out rather than the wheels which prevents any annoying protrusions, a very good idea.

  The other really clever addition was these two pieces which slide into position and can be used to prevent vertical racking when clamping a small depth such as the shoulders of these dovetails. They work by dropping in the other side of the box which is the same thickness enabling the vice to clamp without a hint of racking.

Here's a shot of one of the pieces from above, ingenious!

Categories: Hand Tools

Installing my New Benchcrafted Leg Vise, Part 1

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 11:09am

I just bought the hardware for a new Benchcrafted Glide Leg Vise from Highland and I am working on getting it installed in my workbench. I have a workbench which I made myself out of rock maple about 30 years ago. The plans came from Tage Frid’s books on woodworking and the design is Danish or European style with an L-shaped vise on the right front and a shoulder vise on the left front.

Benchcrafted Leg Vise (With Classic Handle)

Benchcrafted Leg Vise (With Classic Handle)

When I read up on the Benchcrafted Leg Vise and looked at the installation instructions, at first I was going to put it on the right front leg of my bench. I then realized if I put it there, it would always be in the way because that is where I stand about 90% of the time when using the bench. Because of where my bench is located in the shop, I don’t have a lot of flexibility on moving the bench. Note in the pictures the bench is up against the wall at its left end and fairly close to the table saw on the right end. If I move the bench, I will have to rearrange almost the whole shop, and that seems a bit like the tail wagging the dog.

My Existing Workbench

My Existing Workbench

I got to looking at all the mounting options and decided I would mount it on the “rear” of the right end of the bench. That means the vise will be on the outside of the tool tray with an auxiliary leg to allow for the size and thickness requirements of mounting the vise.

As I thought about the vise and searched for information, I began to realize that to call it a bench leg vise is a bit of a misnomer. It could be mounted on a post in the middle of the shop since the only role of the workbench is to keep the vise from falling over. All the clamping is between the back piece (usually the bench leg) and the chop.

I think a little vocabulary lesson is in order here cause I know I struggled with the terminology. Am I the only one who did not know what a “chop” is? What the heck is a chop?! And why do they call it that?

Benchcrafted sells several different vises. Our topic is Leg Vises and there are several options for Leg Vise Hardware.  There is the Classic, the Crisscross where you can get a Classic Crisscross Solo, a Classic Crisscross Retro, or you can buy the Classic Hardware Only. Then there is the Glide M and the Glide C. I almost needed a decision flow chart to figure out which one to buy, but when I went to Highland, they pulled out the one they said I needed and it turned out to be the right one.

Glide C

Glide C

Let me see if I can simplify for you. The “chop” is the tall outside piece that moves when you clamp something in the leg vise. The chop does not rest on the floor so the weight of the chop is carried by the Crisscross, which is two cast iron pieces hinged in the center like an “X”. There is a Crisscross Solo and a Crisscross Retro. The Solo is generally mounted on a new bench because it has pins at the top which need to be drilled precisely for smooth action and is best done with a drill press. The Retro is more forgiving since it is mounted on two cast brackets set in a mortise in an existing bench leg.

The other part of the leg vise is the screw which moves the chop. You can make your own, buy someone else’s screw, make or buy a wooden screw, or you can buy the one from Benchcrafted. The traditional one from Benchcrafted is the Classic, a fast action screw with a straight bar handle. Old school.

There are two other screw handles besides the straight handle Classic. They are the Glide M and the Glide C, both shaped like a ship’s wheel. The only difference is the “M” is machined and polished with rosewood cocobolo knobs on the outside and the “C” is cast but not polished and has beech knobs. You pay about $70 additional for the polished wheel and rosewood knobs.

Click to see a larger version

So here is the flow chart: Decide if you are mounting to a new or existing bench. If it is a new bench and you can put the leg in a drill press, then get the Solo Crisscross. If it is going in an existing bench, get the Retro Crisscross and cut the mortise in the leg and the chop.

Then decide if you want a Classic straight bar handle or if you want a Glide wheel. If you want a wheel, decide if you want to pay $70 additional for polish and rosewood.

So there, it sounds so simple once you figure it out, but it took me a few days even with the information on the Benchcrafted Web site, to get it in my head.

We will continue next time as I mount the vise to my bench. There are no directions in the box when you buy the hardware, so you will need to go to their Web site to download the instructions. There are a lot of instructions, they go back and forth and you will need to read them several times to get what is needed to mount your vise. When you do get it mounted, it should be a real joy.

Autographed copies of my flow chart are available.

The post Installing my New Benchcrafted Leg Vise, Part 1 appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking


WPatrickEdwards - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 10:12am

This year has been a good year for me, personally.  In January I attended the SAPFM Conference in Williamsburg where I received the Cartouche Award, with as much humility as I could muster.

Then I was invited to speak at the Woodworking in America Show in Winston Salem and had a great time with all those woodworking professionals and enthusiasts.  I am always excited to spend any time with Roy Underhill, who is a hero to all of us.

Business has picked up quite a bit here and some really nice pieces are showing up in the shop for work.  I look back on my career and realize that I have been fortunate indeed to have touched so many great objects and satisfied the needs and expectations of so many clients.  Work is rewarding when it is so satisfying.

I look forward to my birthday next week, and turning 66.  It seems like such a nice round number.  I wonder what next year will bring?  Always the optimist.  I am excited to return to Marc Adam's School next year, and look forward to making another clock among other things.

In any event, last night I received the pdf files for the 2014 SAPFM Journal, which is now in the mail, and I would like to thank Carl Voss and others for their professional assistance.  I realize not all the people who read this blog are members of SAPFM or perhaps even know about the group.  It is a fantastic group of dedicated and highly skillful woodworkers, which was created in 2000.  I joined immediately and have participated in past events with pleasure, contributing articles to the first three Journals.  If you want more information or wish to join or purchase a copy of the Journal, here is the link: Society of American Period Furniture Makers

In the past decade the Journal has become one of the most important publications in the field of American furniture.  However, there have also been some articles which included European furniture influences and these are important.  That is why I wrote an article for this issue focusing on the diversity and importance of European furniture designs, "European Influences on American and Colonial Designs."

My goal with this article was to encourage more research into the wonderful ethnic contributions to style and construction which evolved into the American form of furniture.  With all the news today about immigration we tend to forget that we are all immigrants and that is what is great about this country.

I am deeply honored to be recognized by this group and want to thank them for their tribute.

Categories: Hand Tools

Ives, Diall’s & Co. Oil and Spirit Varnish Manufactory

Pegs and 'Tails - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 10:08am
Before the process of ‘French polishing’ was broadly adopted for finishing woodwork, a great deal of eighteenth-century furniture was simply, but skilfully polished with spirit varnish, laid on with a brush and then flattened. Colophony, copal, sandarac and shellac were … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

Alf Sharp – Cartouche Winner & ‘Words with Friends’ Dynamo

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 9:17am

Alf Sharp has an almost unparalleled woodworking resume. Like many of us, his first woodworking involved home repairs and remodeling, and he soon began doing more trim work and carpentry (with the occasional furniture commission). And, like many of us, he’s in large part self taught; he learned by doing, reading and asking questions. But unlike most of us, he developed his skills over the years to such an astounding […]

The post Alf Sharp – Cartouche Winner & ‘Words with Friends’ Dynamo appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking


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