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Hand Tools

The Four Types of Differences which Concern the Tints of the Wood

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 11:55am

Plate 277. Different Sorts of Woods and Their Positioning according to Their Hue

This is an excerpt from “To Make as Perfectly as Possible: Roubo on Marquetry” by  André-Jacob Roubo; translation by Donald C. Williams, Michele Pietryka-Pagán & Philippe Lafargue.

If a perfect knowledge of the different colors of wood is essential to a cabinetmaker, he must also distinguish these same woods by means of their nuances, or better said, by the different shapes that the tints of the fibers represent, in order not to use them without choice nor knowledge of their character.

Woods, with regards to the conformation of tints of their fibers, can be considered as making four distinct species, one from the other. They are: those of which the concentric layers are alternately tinted in diverse colors but of a large and irregular manner, as you can see in Figs. 1, 2 and 3. The first one represents a piece of wood of which the concentric layers are tinted at unequal distances, which produces similar stripes on the grain line, Fig. 2, split according to the direction of the stripes of the tree. If on the contrary, one splits them parallel to the concentric layers, like in Fig. 3, this wood is only a single color more or less dark, according to which the split is made in a vein more or less light, which makes these sorts of wood not normally used except on the quarter-round cut, as in Fig. 2, or cut diagonally, as indicated with line A–B, same figure.

The second type of wood, with regard to their grain patterns, are those of which the concentric layers, although distinguished by color at the end grain, like in Fig. 4, produce no stripes along the grain, but simply singed veins or spots, like those in Figs. 5 and 6. These sorts of woods are very nice when they are well chosen and used with discernment, by reason of the size they will occupy and a comparison being made with that of their nuances or their spots, which are always more abundant on the radial cut than on the concentric layer.

The third type of wood is those of which the end is veined irregularly in all ways, like Fig. 7. These species of woods are most likely being used on end grain or diagonally, as I observed in Figs. 8 and 9. As to the grain line, it is hardly an effect except on the quartersawn, where the colors must be vivid, which is quite rare in these sorts of wood.

The fourth type of wood is that where the concentric layers are regular and alternating in various colors, like that of Fig. 10. These sorts of wood are those where one uses with the best advantage, because not only are they beautiful on end grain, but also along the grain line, whether they are split parallel to the concentric layers, as in Fig. 11, or according to the direction of the rays, like in Fig. 12. In the first case, they present a wavy surface, where the spots or singes [area of lightness or of disorder, representing a flame] are more or less large according to the split being made closer to the circumference of the tree. In the second case, that is to say, when the split is made on grain, as in Fig. 12, the wood presents stripes almost regular, which are more or less perfect according to the split being directly made when in the center of the tree.

These four types of differences, which concern the tints of the wood, are those that are the most striking, because there is an infinite number that are but variations between those which they resemble in some areas.

Meghan Bates

Categories: Hand Tools

Experimenting with a new material

Sauer and Steiner - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 6:02am

A friend stopped in a little over a year ago with some show-and-tell... a block of dyed and infused Box Elder burl (more commonly called Manitoba Maple in these parts). He had several pieces - different sizes, different colors, but this one really stuck out for some reason. The price was fair for what it was - and no different than what a good quality piece or Rosewood or Ebony of the same size would sell for. So I bought it - curious to see if this would be a suitable infill material. The color was outlandish - but in a good way, and I figured that if it would work, an all steel plane would be the right way to to. A K6 or a K7 seemed about right - shown above with my K6 prototype. 

The block sat for almost a year. I picked it up every couple weeks or months, rotated it, tapped it, and put it down. Then for some reason I decided to see if I could plane it. I was surprised that perfect little blue shavings came through the plane - and the blade was not destroyed in the process. That was what I needed - some indication that this material would feel and ‘work’ like many of the exotic woods I use. It was a quick trip to the bandsaw to rough out the front pad and rear infill for a K7. It cut on the bandsaw like wood too... another good sign.

The next real test was working with handtools - how would it saw, would chisels work - and would the material kill the edges? Once again, I was pleasantly surprised - felt an awful lot like the materials I was used to. 

Once the rear infill was fit, I knew this was going to work - and was really excited to see the plane to the end. The pace quickened and I was back in the excitement of prototype mode again. It was a great feeling after almost a year off as my shoulder healed.

The inside of the front pad was the first surface that I ‘finished’ - no french polishing required. I sanded to 2000 grit and then buffed with a polishing pad and a quick coat of paste wax. The surface felt and looked wonderful!

The front pad and rear infill installed.

Finalizing the bed and blade fitment. 

I used to think the Pink Ivory K7 prototype was outlandish looking... it looks pretty pedestrian compared to the blue Box Elder.

The top of the front pad roughly shaped on the bandsaw.

The continuous chamfer completed and polished.

And finally the finished plane. 

I could not be happier with how it turned out. The sides and sole are 01 tool steel, the lever cap and screw are stainless steel.

I will continue to experiment with different species and different colors, and am really excited to incorporate this new material into plane making. I know it will not be for everyone, but I for one am really excited about all the possibilities. 

I have decided to offer this plane for sale – $2,950.00 Cdn + actual shipping costs. Roughly $2,415.00 USD based on the current exchange rate. send me an email if you are interested. 
Categories: Hand Tools

WW18thC 2018 – Patrick Edwards

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 5:42am

Like other presenters at this year’s confab Patrick Edwards had two sessions presenting his own topic of specialty, the techniques and compositions of marquetry.  His first session revolved around his replication of the underside of the lid of Jane Rees’ tool chest lid, walking the audience through not only his conceptual approach but the bench-top manifestation of it.  The second continued the theme of marquetry artistry, including making a blade for the chevalet.

Of particular fascination to me were the vintage veneer saw and shooting plane he used.  I took enough of both of them to make versions of them myself, and surely I will.

I’ve known Patrick for more than three decades and seen him present several times, and every instance is a learning experience for me even though I cut my teeth restoring French marquetry in the 1970s.  Patrick’s demonstration of making templates with his vintage pricking machine and transferring the pattern to multiple sheets necessary for the undertaking for sawing on the chevalet was a choreography to be savored.

Enter Title Here!

Paul Sellers - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:55am

It’s often hard to describe the things I see in people when they have worked for a short while using their hands; perhaps it is even the first time they ever did that make the greater difference, makes  it more special. A man in his late thirties, not technical, not an engineer, more a barrister […]

Read the full post Enter Title Here! on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

not myself........

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:34am
I did not want to get out of my bed this morning. Usually as soon as I wake up, I'm out of the rack. I'm rearing and ready to go and I don't need anything else to get my motor warmed up. I felt tired and blah feeling all day at work. I'm glad that I didn't have a lot of work to do, I don't remember feeling this out of it from first colonoscopy.

might as well
I believe I have stepped over the "....you might as well" line in the sand. I cleaned this with Zep and Krud Kutter to compare them and I went a wee bit further. I scraped two rusty spots and then scraped the body. I would estimate I easily removed 85-90% of the japanning. I hadn't planned on rehabbing any more planes until next month but I don't a choice now. This will flash rust in a couple of days without a primer coat on it.

I won't be stripping it today but maybe tomorrow I'll do it. Now that I am doing it I can't wait to see how this one comes out. This plane has some pitting on the cheek walls and I want to see if I can lap them out. This will be my first time doing something like that.

started the rehabbing last night
I am getting rid of the Zep and using Krud Kutter from now on. But I didn't want to shitcan what Zep I had left so I let the parts soak in it overnight. Before I tossed them in this bath I had sanded and wire brushed as much of the crud and grunge off the parts I could.

one last scrubbing
These will be going in EvapoRust next and I want to make I got all of the grime and crud off of them.

they are a lot cleaner
The Zep was a light, see through lime green color before I did the overnight bath trick. I took all the parts upstairs and rinsed them all with hot water.

these parts will be ready tomorrow
the frog
I wasn't going to put the frog in the EvapoRust but I had no choice. It is already flash rusting on the seat that won't be painted.

the frog side
Both sides at the bottom were orange with rust. I sanded these two places to bare metal and a few other rust spots too. After that I tossed them into the EvapoRust.

got a reply from Lee Valley
They are sending me another one and LV said that it had been tested to ensure 1/4" hex bits fit in it. They said I could do what ever I wanted with this one.

metric reading
I don't know what the tolerances for this would be but a 6mm hex bit should fit it this but maybe on the loose side?

undersized for a 1/4" (0.250) hex bit
phillips hex bit
I measured 6 bits and they were all around the same give or take a thousandth or two.

needle files
I didn't have a file that matched the width of the flats but a spear point kind of fit. I tried filing with that but the hex bit still wouldn't fit. It was worth a try now that I have a replacement coming.

finishing screwing the drawer
Last night after dinner I came to the shop looking for drawer slides screws and found a bunch of them. I put some in the slide that attaches to the drawer side and tonight I did the cabinet slides.

needed some help
I used my birdcage awl to make pilot holes before driving them home. I couldn't fully seat the screws with the ratcheting driver. I had to finish them with the hand screwdriver. Driving screws in plywood is never easy due to all the cross banding of the veneers.

marking the bottom
5/16" over
Which is the depth of the groove in the front of the drawer. This should be flush with the back of the drawer or just a hair proud.

1/2 a frog hair wide
This is as far as I dare to take this tonight. I am not 100% mentally with it, and I don't want an oops to happen to me here. If I feel better tomorrow, I'll make my 3 rabbets and fit it.

funny looking counter bore
I am going to try and drill a hole with this.

the other counter bore
Bad pic of this but the cutting edges look to be wicked sharp on this one. This has been recently sharpened too from the looks of it.

it worked
This is a scrap piece of Douglas Fir and it drilled the hole. No burning, no chattering, and it didn't stall as I applied even downward pressure. This wasn't what I expecting. I thought it wouldn't cut wet paper.

1" diameter
This counter bore drilled a very clean hole in this DF. It hard to get cleanly drilled holes in this wood but this did it. The circumference is very smooth and clean except for one small spot and the bottom is smooth and even. I don't need or use these very often but they are handy when you do need them.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that mendacious means not telling the truth, lying?

Why the %$#@ is Your Shop so Clean?

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 5:00pm


When I post photos of my work, a frequent comment is about how my shop is clean. “Sterile,” some might say. “Unrealistic,” others have said. But a few people like it that way, I guess.

The implication is that I don’t do any real work. Or that I stage photos like a magazine art director – arranging the few shavings and dust on the floor with artistry.

A real shop is supposed to be chaotic and messy. A beehive of activity with projects, parts, clamps and tools everywhere. Messy people are the people who do real work.

I’ve worked in messy shops, and I’ve worked in tidy shops. Both have their own twisted logic that works. I cannot fathom the mindset of the person who runs a cluttered shop. I might as well try to imagine what it’s like to be a single-celled organism. It’s just not in my nature.

Every place I’ve worked since age 11 has had strict rules that prevented bad consequences.

The Anal Slog (Can I Say That?)
At This Can’t Be Yogurt (TCBY), we had hygiene protocols so customers didn’t get sick and we didn’t get shut down. Every machine had to be broken down, scrubbed and lubricated nightly. Temperatures had to be monitored. Floors had to be scrubbed. Leaving a cleaning supply in the wrong area of the shop could get you dinged by the health department.

At the Great San Francisco Seafood Co. (where I worked for four years), we had even stricter rules. Fish loves to go bad. Selling your customer a dead oyster or mussel will make her very sick. And washing your hands 20 times in a shift was typical.

As a production assistant at a publishing company (for four years), health and safety wasn’t an issue – time was. That publishing shop was like a submarine. Every object had a place. When you needed 2-point. tape at 2 a.m. to get a newspaper to the printer, you could find it – even if the lights were out.

I worked a series of factory furniture jobs. At one table-making company, everything was chaos. Even after working there a week I didn’t know who was in charge or what my job was. Table parts came flying out. You put them together. Lots of yelling.

At a door factory, things were different. Every operation had a procedure to follow. The stain sat for this long. You rubbed it with this rag. You monitored humidity ever 30 minutes. And on and on.

By the time I was 21, I knew what kind of worker I was. And I have fought chaos ever since.

You might say that I’m a neat-nick or anal retentive. I don’t care. All I know is that I know where every tool is. I know where all the hardware is. And it’s arranged by size. When I need a hammer or a 1/2” chisel I don’t even need to look in my tool chest to get it.

And when I take a moment to ponder my next step in a project, I do it with a broom in my hand. I pick up shavings on the ground when I pass through the bench room. I impulsively put away tools, even if I know I’ll need them in the next day or so.

This level of organization allows me to work like a demon without any pauses. I don’t need to think about where I left a part or a tool. They are where they are supposed to be. All I have to do is put things back where they belong and I can move on to the next task.

I do not encourage you to do this in your own shop. I have precisely zero emotions whatsoever about other people’s workshops. I just care about my own.

— Christopher Schwarz

Categories: Hand Tools

Writing Desk – Moving to Mahogany

The Barn on White Run - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 6:55am

I’ll get back to my recounting of WW18thC 2018 tomorrow, but for today I wanted to pick up the thread of the project to interpret an early 19th century mahogany writing desk.

With the full-size prototype built in southern yellow pine from my pile of bench-building stock it was time to move on to the real thing in mahogany.

But first I had to break my hip and lose more than half a year of shop time.  One of my favorite jokes of all time involves a Calvinist who trips and breaks his ankle.  “Finally,” he says, “I am glad to get that over with.”  There’s nothing like some predestination humor to get the day started right.

As I wrote many moons ago I wanted to not only build the early-19th century desk with period appropriate technology, using power equipment only for “apprentice work,” I also wanted to use the best vintage lumber I could find.  Casting my net as widely as possible among my circle of woodworking friends I was able to acquire small amounts of spectacular sweitenia from more than a half dozen sources.   No single source was enough to accomplish the project, but en toto I obtained enough to build several desks, which I eventually will in hopes there are clients out there who want one.

The most difficult piece to find was the single slab of 30″x 20″ 5/4 mahogany for the desk top.  Three stalwart friends responded and soon I was getting quizzical looks from Rich the UPS driver as he pulled up with securely swathed slabs of wood.  You can get a sense of the scale as I believe that is my #8 in the frame.

Perhaps the most surprising source for lumber was the orthopedic surgeon who repaired my hip.  As we were meeting for my final “turn me loose” appointment he asked me what I was working on, and I told him about this desk project.  Although I knew he was a decorative turner I had not known he was an enthusiastic furniture maker in years past, and he told me he had a storage unit filled with vintage lumber he had acquired over the years.  A couple months later we got our calendars to intersect and I went to meet him there, and wound up buying all the mahogany he had.  He told me that this stash could be traced back to pre-WWI sources and based on the quality of the lumber I believe it.  Similar stories accompanied the rest of the acquisitions as the lineage of mahogany inventories lives on in perpetuity, it seems.

Since the writing box of the desk was veneered, having just the right board for for making those veneers was crucial.  Fortunately that was one piece I had in-hand already, having acquired it perhaps forty years earlier at an estate sale for a woodworker who had no end of fabulous lumber.  Alas I did not have the money to buy more than a few pieces, and this was one of them.  I was saving it for just the right project, and this was it.  This dense, hard, and spectacular Cuban mahogany was nothing but delightful to work with.

Ditto the flame veneers needed for the outside surfaces of the legs.  I cannot even recall when I bought four slabs of crotch lumber, but they too were waiting for just the right project.

The structure of the desk was simple enough and I soon had all the pieces cut and ready for fitting assembling.  But before final assembly could happen I needed to address all the hand-cut curvilinear moldings on the edges of the legs.

Stay tuned.

Drawer Stops – Several Approaches

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 5:39am

The text and images below are excerpted from Christian Becksvoort’s forthcoming book…for which we don’t yet have a title. So for now, I’m thinking of it as “Becksvoort’s Builds, Business & Inspiration” – until something catchier comes to mind. Consider this an amuse-bouche; the main meal will arrive probably in the late spring/early summer.
— Megan Fitzpatrick

There are several options when it comes to stopping drawers. If you’re making lipped drawers, your problem is solved. The lips (usually only on three sides – the bottom will have the moulding profile, but no lip) not only stop the drawer, but also cover the small gap on the sides and the somewhat larger gap on top.

Flush drawers, sans lips, are another story. My favorite method is the front underside stop. It keeps the drawer front flush with the cabinet, no matter how the cabinet side moves. In order for the drawer bottom not to get hung up on any part of the web frame, there is usually about 1/4″ to 5/16″ (6.4 to 7.9 mm) clearance below the underside of the drawer bottom. Obviously, that wood under the groove is what supports the drawer bottom. That space allows for 1/4″ (6.4 mm) stops to be routed and glued into the divider (one for small drawers and two stops for wider drawers). I usually rout a groove into the divider, close to both sides, but with enough clearance to allow the drawer side to pass. The groove is a bit more than the thickness of the drawer front away from the front of the divider. Once the stop is glued into the groove, I like to add a finishing touch. On all my flush drawers and doors, I add a leather bumper to quiet the sound of the drawer or door closing. That’s the sound of quality.


A lipped drawer.


Underside front stop in web frame or bottom, mortised directly into the front of the web frame.

If, instead of using web frames, you’re making side-hung drawers, the slot on which the drawer rides acts as a stop. Here, too, you can add a bit of leather or even a self-adhesive rubber or silicone bumper.


Side-hung drawer. No dividers or web frames necessary.

Another, more traditional, method is to let the drawer bottom protrude beyond the drawer back. This works best if your primary and secondary wood is of the same species. Because solid-wood drawer bottoms have the grain running side to side, the drawer bottom will move in conjunction with the cabinet side. The drawer stays close to flush year-round. Obviously this doesn’t work with a plywood bottom.


A protruding drawer bottom acts as a stop. Assuming the primary and secondary wood is the same, the case side and drawer bottom will move similarly, keeping the drawer front flush.

What about drawers in a frame-and-panel cabinet? Because those cabinets don’t change in depth, that’s pretty easy and straightforward. The drawer can butt right up against the back. However, when I make frame-and-panel cabinets, I like to make the drawers a bit shorter than the inside front-to-back opening. That allows me to add a small block or a thick bumper to the back of the drawer for a perfectly flush front, as well as a quiet closing drawer.


Drawer stop on a case back for frame-and-panel construction. This can be a wood block or a nylon bumper.

On a few antiques, I’ve seen flathead screws driven into the drawer back as adjustable stops. Not all that classy, but it works.

— Christian Becksvoort

Categories: Hand Tools

When the Machine’s Guard Becomes Dangerous

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 5:33am

Machine guards are supposed to protect us from harm, but there are times when they can turn against you. The worst injury I’ve ever received from a machine was cutting my hands on the anti-kickback pawls while installing my table saw’s guard. Yesterday I ran into trouble on my jointer with disastrous results. The collar that controls the height of the guard vibrated loose. The tip of the guard contacted […]

The post When the Machine’s Guard Becomes Dangerous appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Sjobergs Bench on E Bay, Excellent Condition

David Barron Furniture - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 1:55am

Here is a classic cabinet makers work bench made a few years but in 'as new' condition, you can still see the factory planer marks on the top. This is not the lightweight 3' 6" version but their full sized model . The top (excluding vices) is 1500 mm long x 435 wide (655 at the vice end). In my view this is a much better bench than their current Elite model and offered at a fraction of the price, offers on £450.
The E Bay listing is poor with pictures upside down and very little detail on the description, I gained this info from corresponding with the seller, who seemed very genuine. It's located in SW London.
If you need a bench of this size it's one not to be missed!

Categories: Hand Tools

drawer fitted.......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 12:34am
I did some work last night after dinner because I had to stay up due to the toilet trot races.  I also got some work done before I left to go to the hospital. I knew that once I got home from that I would be restricted in what I could do. Anesthesia does funny things to you for hours after it is stopped. I tried a few things that I thought didn't require any undue dexterity or overtaxing my limited mental faculties.

last night
After supper I rasped this cutout to the line and sanded it smooth. I glued 3 toothpicks into the bottom to help hold it together. The bottom is 5/16" thick and I don't have any screws small enough for this. The toothpicks should be more adequate for holding it together. I couldn't do the other side because I just epoxied it together before supper.

the following morning at oh dark thirty five
This is what the inside of the repair on this end looked like after I removed the tape.

curve rasped and the end cap sanded smooth
front of the curve
I can see where the break is at the top and bottom of the curve. A quick glance brings nothing and I'll leave this as is and call it a pitch pocket.

inside sanded smooth
The dark streak is from me sanding this with a finger sander that I had used previously to sand lever caps. This is why I want a set for woodworking and a set for metal. I had to sand this again with some clean 150 grit paper.

toothpick nails
I can get all 3 'nails' out of one toothpick. I chiseled off the pointed end and then divided what was left roughly in three. The toothpick is very close to a 1/16" diameter.

angled the two end 'nails' and the middle one went in at 90°
drilling pilot holes for a #6 screw
smallest driver
This one works well with #6 on down screws. I'm still having luck with keeping the blade in the slot as I drive them.

I am not going to put a clear finish on this nor am I going to paint it. The other tool cabinets and drawers don't have a finish so I'll keep this the same as them.

I can use the driver to open and close the drawer
It doesn't stick out that far and the brief time I worked at the bench, it wasn't a problem.

I will have to rehab this now (back from the hospital)
this part was easy
The gears look good with no chips, breaks, cracks, or missing teeth. It is dirty but I can clean it and paint it.

I'll need a spanner wrench
I have a lot of tools but I don't have even one spanner wrench. I have 3 different sized snap ring pliers but they won't work for this.

This pin is for the bottom bevel gear and the shaft that the drill chuck threads on.

had to search for the top pin
I saw this pin on the handle's ferrule but I thought it was a dimple for holding it on. I was looking for a pin around the bevel gear itself. I still don't understand how the shaft for the top bevel gear works. The top of the shaft, at the handle, is pinned but what is keeping the bottom of the shaft, below the bevel gear, in place?

installing the drawer slides
 I don't know if this is right or wrong, but it is the way I do them. I like to put the drawer slides down close to the bottom edge. It makes sense to me that this would be the obvious place to put them.

I have both parts of slide together. The spacer will leave a 1/4" above the top of the drawer.

left side slide going in

I'm glad that I got a hex adapter for the Craftsman driver because the Stanley 131 is too long to fit inside the cabinet. I set the front end of the slide a 1/4" from the front of the cabinet.

it was the anesthesia that made me do this
I put the drawer side slides on backwards. On good point is the front is flush with the sides of the cabinet.

The closed end of the drawer side slide should be at the front of the drawer, not the back like I did it here.

the anesthesia is still playing with my head
I got the drawer slides swapped the correct way but now the drawer is proud.

why it is proud
I put the 1/4" from the end at the back of the drawer when it should have been at the front.

got my 1/4" clearance at the top of the drawer
I will duplicate this clearance between the two drawers.

it is working both ways
It is driving the screws into the pine like a dream. What I found surprising is it is also driving the screws out too and all the way.

The drawers only come with 8 screws. That means only two screws for each part of the drawer slides. I will be adding at least 2 more for each slide part. If I don't have any screws I think Lowes sells them.

I think I got it right this time
Three times is the charm for drawer slides too.

drawer closed and it is flush
The stock for the new drawer has stickered for a few days. I will rough cut the new drawer parts tomorrow and let them sticker for a day before dovetailing them. I stopped working on anything involving woodworking here. I invoked my two mistake rule and stopped any further woodworking.

one of the hardest spots to clean and degrease
the back of the frog is another spot
using Zep on the front and Krud Kutter at the back
the Zep is filthy
I cleaned this first with a nylon brush (at the top right) and then scrubbed it with the wire brush.

Krudd Kutter did better at the back
Both of these worked in cleaning but I think the Krud Kutter was several frog hairs better than the Zep at it. And the Krud Kutter is biodegradable while the Zep isn't.

Krud Kutter gets the brass ring
 I noticed that the rag for the Krud Kutter was noticeably more dirty and darker than the Zep one.  I'm liking the Krud stuff a lot more than the Zep.

got some new toys
All I wanted was the countersink for the brace but the S/H for it was more than the brace. I saw the two counter bores being offered for $10 each so I got them. Brand new they are a lot more then the price I paid. The top one will work in wood but the bottom one I'm not sure. The wings are flat with a slight bevel to them. I think this one was made to counter bore in metal. I'll try it on wood to see if I'm right or not.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that a UK Duke or Duchess is addressed as "your grace"?

Tool marks

Owyhee Mountain Fiddle Shop - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 1:29pm
Purfling installed on 4 plates (2 fronts, 2 backs) and now working down the arching.  Here is a spruce viola top.  Parallel gouge marks from the rough arching.  Smaller (aka smoother) tool marks around the purfling now, smoothing out the perimeter.  Starting to take the gouge marks along the spine out with finger planes. Then onto scrapers.  Then onto horsetail.  Smaller shavings with each successive tool.
Categories: Hand Tools, Luthiery

WW18thC 2018 – Peter Follansbee

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 5:24am

Renowned furniture maker Peter Follansbee presented two sessions at WW18thC, the first concentrating on the making of 17th century carved frame-and-panel chests, the second on making chairs.  Peter looks like someone who planned on attending a Dead concert and found out he wandered into a woodworking shindig.

His comfort in front of an audience and well-deserved confidence in his ability is heartening.  And his artistry with carving flows from his hands naturally, seemingly effortless.

His second session was an ambitious attempt to make a green-wood chair in 90 minutes.  He got close.

How Do Suppliers Do It…

Paul Sellers - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 4:57am

…I mean, how can they get it so wrong? There I was, prepping a chisel, brand new, straight from the box, about to tell people you won’t go far wrong with a set of Faithfull (UK), blue plastic-handled bevel-edged chisels. I don’t vouch for all of their tools because they tend to be more an […]

Read the full post How Do Suppliers Do It… on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

it is my turn........

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 2:19am
This morning when I left for work it was 55°F (13°C) and when I got to work it was almost 58°F (14.4°C). T shirt weather but wait, there is more. About 90 minutes later I had to go to my truck to get my k-cups and the temp had dropped to 47°F (8.3°C). Still not to bad of a temp for the second week of February, but a wee bit on the screwy side. Tonight it will dip into the low 20's F (-6.6°C). The temps will be on a roller coaster until later on in the week.

can we guess what this is?
Tomorrow morning I will have a colonoscopy. These pills and the Gatorade are the prep work I have to do tonight. At 2000, I have to drink another bottle of this stuff mixed with some powder. I'm glad all this only happens on one day.

holder set up
According the instructions I got from the hospital, I could have anywhere from 20 minutes to hours before I start the toilet trots. I tried to squeeze in what I could before that race started.

it is nose heavy
I think this is ok as is but if not I can add a circular holder at the nose later.

why it is nose heavy
There are two 'stops' on the screwdriver that these supports are on. They keep the screwdriver from shifting left/right.

flushed the back brace
I had to do something with the square look of this. A circular cutout will look better.

piece of cardboard
I used this to make a template so the two ends would be the same.

should have done this before I glued them on
But I didn't so I had to use the coping saw. This didn't go off so well because the saw is big, this is small, I had a hell of time clamping it so I could saw it, and one of the holders was in the way. Did I mention that I don't have a lot of practice with a coping saw? After the fact I realized that I should have turned the blade away from 90.

I had to use very short strokes
This side didn't come out that bad. I was off the line on top half of it and removed it on the bottom half.

It was very awkward sawing this end as it shows. Being in a hurry was a major contributor to this boo -boo also. Since I don't want to make another one, I'll fix this somehow.

flushed the drawer slips
Worked on this while I thought of how to fix the screw up I did with the coping saw.

epoxy and sawdust to the rescue
blue tape
This piece of tape will keep the epoxy and sawdust from oozing on through.

packed it with epoxy/sawdust mixture
I will let this set up and tomorrow I'll evaluate it as to whether or not I'll leave it as is and apply a clear finish. If it looks like crap, I'll paint it. I had to quit here because the race started.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know in liquid beer measures that a firkin equals 9.8 gallons?

Changes (Good Ones) at Lost Art Press

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 6:54pm


Thanks/no thanks to the turmoil in the world of woodworking publishing, we have acquired another editor to work on our books, blogs, videos and other projects.

This announcement should be no surprise.

All of you know Megan Fitzpatrick, the former editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine. During the last 11 years, she’s always been happy to help Lost Art Press with editing, which she did on the side whenever she could spare the time.

Today, Megan joins Lost Art Press as a managing editor. Like Kara Gebhart Uhl, Megan will work on all of our titles on a daily basis. This addition to our staff will have profound implications for you, the reader.

Here’s why. Kara and Megan can already read my mind, and they were both an important part of creating the ethos that guides Lost Art Press: 1) Treat everyone with the same respect. 2) Give away as much content as possible.

With both of them on board, I can step away from doing every single task involved with publishing our books. Kara and Megan will manage the day-to-day tasks of book publishing. This frees me to research and write more books for Lost Art Press. This has always been my greatest (and perhaps only) strength.

Please don’t think that this means that I am stepping away from Lost Art Press. I work seven days a week (by choice and by joy), and Lost Art Press is my baby. Bringing Megan on as a regular ensures that I can continue to explore the unknown, while she and Kara ensure our books are of the highest editorial quality.

Don’t believe me? Just wait.

— Christopher Schwarz

Categories: Hand Tools

Winter Wonderland

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 5:44pm

It took until the first weekend in February for us to get any decent snowfall, and it did look lovely here in Shangri-La.  It closed everything down for a couple days, but we were snug as a bug in a rug.  We’ve had plenty of frigid weather (coldest temp this winter thus far was about -15F, wind chills to about -40F) but only a few light snow falls up to now.

Int’ Oslög – Not Uncrafty

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 3:12pm

frontcoverJögge Sundqvist’s “Slöjd in Wood” is in the final editing/design stages, and will be off to Suzanne Ellison in the next day or two for the index, and to Kara Uhl for a copy edit. In other words, it’s just a couple weeks away from going to the printer. (Look for another post when it does.)

As I was editing the translation, I was charmed by almost every project – but what I find most intriguing about slöjd is its bedrock foundation in self-sufficiency and using the materials at hand.

But Jogge says it much better than can I, so I’ve shared part of his introduction below. The images at the top and bottom here are the end papers of the sumptuously photographed and illustrated book, and show the tools and supplies he uses throughout.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

There are many different ways of working and joining wood. In this book I will tell you how to work wood using hand tools. I’m dedicated to slöjd because of the tool marks and carved bevels, the worn colors, the idiosyncratic design and the self-confidence of the unschooled folk art expression.

Slöjd is part of the self-sufficient household, how people survived before industrialization. Slöjd is the work method farmers used when they made tools for house building, farming and fishing, and objects for their household needs. For thousands of years, the knowledge of the material has deepened, and the use of the tools has evolved along with the understanding of how function, composition and form combine to make objects strong and useful.

The word slöjd derives from the word stem slog, which dates to the 9th century. Slög means ingenious, clever and artful. It reflects the farmers’ struggle for survival and how it made them skilled in using the natural materials surrounding the farm: wood, flax, hide, fur, horn and metal. I have picked up a dialect expression from my home county, Västerbotten, that has become a personal motto. We say Int’ oslög, “not uncrafty,” about a person who is handy and practical.

In slöjd, choice of material and work methods are deeply connected to quality and expression. To get strong, durable objects, the material must be carefully chosen so the fiber direction follows the form. This traditional knowledge makes it easy to split and work the wood with edge tools. Slöjd also gives you the satisfaction of making functional objects with simple tools. When a wooden spoon you made yourself feels smooth in your mouth, you have completed the circle of being both producer and consumer.

My intention with this book is to give an inspiring and instructive introduction to working with wood the slöjd way: using a simple set of tools without electricity. There are many advantages to this. You can make the most wonderful slöjd in the kitchen, on the train or in your summer cottage. Simple hand tools make you flexible, free and versatile. And the financial investment compared to power tools is very low!

Traditional slöjd knowledge is vast, and requires many years of experience before you can easily make your ideas come to life. It also takes time to master the knife grips, essentials of sharpening and specific working knowledge of individual wood species.
As you work with slöjd, the learning enters your body. Through repetition, you will gain muscle memory for different tool grips. The ergonomic relationship between your body and the power needed for efficient use emerges over time. “Making is thinking,” said Richard Sennet, professor of sociology. In slöjd, the process never ends.

Because slöjd is inherently sustainable, it feels genuine and authentic. In an increasingly complex and global society, it is important for an individual to experience an integrated work process from raw material to finished product.

People from all walks of life benefit from the interaction between mind and hand. Slöjd affects us by satisfying the body and in turn, the soul. There is a kind of practical contemplation where there is time for thought – a certain focused calm, which is an antidote to today’s media-centered society.

I think we can use the knowledge of slöjd to find that brilliant combination of a small-scale approach to a sustainable society that doesn’t exclude the necessities of modern technology. Traditional slöjd is a survival kit for the future.

— Jögge Sundqvist, August 2017


Categories: Hand Tools

A plane for Asger

Mulesaw - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 12:36pm
I made it home despite a cancelled flight due to snowy conditions in Bergen airport, and Thursday morning I found two packages waiting for me. the one of the I had ordered myself, so that wasn't any surprise. But the other package was a complete mystery, It had clearly originated in USA according to the postal logo on the label.

Curious as to what it could be I opened it and found a letter from Saint Ralph. Ralph explained that he and Ken  had collaborated on sending me a Bailey No 3 hand plane.

The plane was securely wrapped in cardboard and bubble wrap, and was disassembled.

When I started unwrapping the plane my heart sank. Ralph had mentioned in the letter that he had rehabbed the plane, and upon seeing the individual parts I became painfully aware how far from my own pitiful rehabbing efforts the job that Ralph had done was!
Ralph's rehabbing is nothing short of immaculate.

Ken had sharpened the blade, so all I had to do was to assemble the plane, and what a joy it was, to assemble a plane that was already rehabbed.

Right now the kids have a winter vacation, so I plan on giving Asger some instructions in how to adjust the plane, and then I will let him bring the plane with him to school, so he can show his teacher what a sharp plane looks like and feels like.

Thank you very much, Ralph and Ken for this very thoughtful present. It is deeply appreciated, and I am certain that the plane will see a lot of work in the future.

Rehabbed Stanley No 3.

When mirror finish is more than a word!

This is how you wrap a plane for shipping.

Categories: Hand Tools

WW18thC 2018 – Overview and Opening

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 7:15am

I’ve been to several of Colonial Williamsburg’s annual confab Working Wood in the 18th Century (WW18thC), a gathering that always has a central theme of some sort.  This year’s organizing topic was “Workmanship of Risk: Exploring Period Tools and Shops,” and it was my favorite of these conferences (although previous topics of “Surface Decoration” and “Oriental Influences” come in a close second tie).  And not just because I was a speaker; that actually makes the experience less for me because of all the preparation work that consumes crazy amount of time and energy for me.

The presenters for this year included the crew from the Anthony Hay Shop, and their interpretation of a decorated tool chest; the Colonial Williamsburg joiners, demonstrating the consruction of monumental/architectural moldings; Jane Rees, the scholar behind the magnificent decorated lid of said tool chest; Peter Follansbee, recounting the processes of his work in carved 17th century oak furniture; Patrick Edwards, demonstrating classical marquetry techniques; and the inestimable Roy Underhill, with his keynote lecture and moderation of a panel discussion on historical primary sources; and me (more about that in subsequent posts).

There is no way to summarize the richness of the conference content without re-living it with verisimilitude, which could be accomplished only with a literal transcript and live video feed.  But the next few posts will encompass my compressed take on the event.

As is the norm for this event, which normally sells every seat within the first few hours of opening the registration, every seat in the house was filled plus perhaps a few more.  I know that often the deciding factor of whether or not some guest may attend a particular presentation is the occupancy limit established by the Fire Marshall.  All the presentations are in the front of the auditorium on a small theatrical stage, making it difficult if not impossible for anyone beyond the front few rows to see the details of the proceedings.  To alleviate that hurdle and enhance the learning experience for the attendees the entire performance is projected onto a giant screen behind the stage.  It sometimes sets up the weird dynamic of us performing for the cameras, turning away from the audience.

Our start on the first evening was RoyUnderhill, undertaking the unenviable task of decoding philosopher/craftsman David Pye’s influential book The Art and Nature of Workmanship, a book, which Roy avers, has been read by few if any artisans (I think he is correct in this; I ground my way through it some 40+ years ago and never felt the desire to return to it.  It’s on my shelf if the impulse ever emerges).


As always Roy was an engaging speaker even given the difficulty of the topic, and demonstrated some of the concepts contained within the risk vs. certainty discussion.  Beginning with a mallet and froe to rive out some lumber workpieces, moving then to a hatchet, and finally to a sabot’s shave, he began the steps of workmanship that might not be “risky” in the hands of a skilled craftsman but certainly have a component of “uncertainty” to them, that uncertainly diminishing with each incremental step.

Roy ended up with an inventory of a complete tool box from ages past, using it and its contents as focal points for the soliloquy.


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