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Hand Tools

A New Discovery!

Journeyman's Journal - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 1:00pm

A small tin of Prooftint Stain sprung a leak and coloured a portion of my shelf, awe how considerate. The little bugger over the years slowly ate its way through the bottom of the can. Not really sure how though as it’s not possible, but the evidence is in the pudding.

As I was cleaning and cursing away, you know the usual shop talk with yourself, I noticed this beautiful brass or bronze like patina on another tin the stain leaked on.


Once more poor photographic skills have let me down, I wish you could see what I see. It reminds of the old infill planes Bill Carter still makes by hand.  BTW, it was Elm that leaked. I did try another stain on another can to see if I could replicate it but no go.  I guess a particular metal type matter, but I’m unsure about this. What type of metal is the can made of? Probably tin, but I’m not a metallurgist to say for sure. Either way it works and looks great. You could probably do this to screws to give it an antique look.  Just so you know that methylated spirits will wash 90% of it off. But I think a little bit of lacquer will protect it for many years.

Categories: Hand Tools

#3 rehabbed.....

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 2:10am
winter wonderland at1500
My wife and I were talking about the white stuff today. Neither one of us could recall the last time snow was on the ground before xmas. I remember a much different climate and time when I was a young boy compared to now. Back then there was usually snow before thanksgiving and it was unheard of not to have lots of snow on xmas day. Everything changes, including the weather.

Fiskar paper cutter
I got this from amazon earlier this year. I use it at work to trim and cut paper down to 8 1/2 x 11. It didn't have any problems cutting the cardboard inserts for the box and tray. It wasn't as easy as cutting paper but it did it. It didn't stall in the cut but it did take a bit of oomph to push the cutter through it. All the cuts were came out smooth with no ragged out edges.

working the #3
Since I had the 80 grit runway out, I decided to finish the #3 I got from Ken Hatch. It is in pretty good shape as is and shouldn't take long to get it to the ooh and ah stage.

slight hollow at the heel
 This hollow runs from the heel, almost down the center of the sole up to the toe. It doesn't show up that well in this pic but I can see it. The hollow at the heel is proving to be a PITA to remove. This is considerably smaller than what I first saw almost an hour ago. I want it gone and have the sole dead nuts flat from toe to heel.

an hour later
I finally got it. I didn't work on this for an hour straight but in 10 minutes bursts followed by 10 minutes (or more) of rest. When I got consistent scratches from toe to heel and from side to side, I went on to 120 grit.

the sides need work
 Both sides are going to need a bit of time to flatten out based on the scratch patterns I see in them.

metric plywood from Woodcraft
UPS said that this was on the truck for delivery on friday by 2000. 2000 came and went and I didn't have my plywood. This morning when I checked the UPS site, it said it would be delivered on monday by 2000.  When I left to get chinese for lunch I saw the package on the front steps. I'll be working on the saw till tomorrow.

120 grit batting next
After 80 grit, going up through the other grits doesn't take much time. The 80 grit is for removing metal and making things flat. It takes a while to get through it. The successive grits are mostly for scratch removal and it takes very little time on each one.

done up to 400 grit - it's shiny
I go up to 600 grit and stop there. I don't have a 600 grit belt and I do it wrapped around a block of wood.

degreasing and cleaning the interior
Cleaned and degreased.  The japanning looks to be 99% intact. What I am not sure of is whether or not this is the original japanning. Either way this is the best japanning I've seen on any plane that I have rehabbed to date.

sharpened by Ken Hatch
I will leave this as is. I would normally round the corners of the iron because this is a smoother. I do that so I won't leave tracks in the wood. Since I am passing this on to someone else I'll forgo that. Whoever gets this can do that if they desire to and they can touch up the iron if they want to also.

fettling the chipbreaker
I stone the inside bottom edge of the chipbreaker. This allows the chipbreaker to lay on the back of the iron with no gaps between them. This way no shavings can get underneath the chipbreaker. This doesn't have to be overly large and I strive to get it gap free first.

leading edge
I stone this up to the 1200 stone and then I strop it. I do this so the shavings will readily pass up and over this.

brass is shiny and the small parts are cleaned and oiled
600 grit
This is the last step to be done before I put the plane back together.

the last step in the rehab
I love this stuff. Not only does it shine up the planes, it protects them too. The shine does fade a bit, but not much, over time. But what I am really liking more is this will keep the planes clean looking for 3-4 months depending upon how much I use them.

this took a while
Getting even shavings from both sides kicked my butt this time. The hardest part was setting the iron/chipbreaker so the lateral adjust wasn't shoved all the way over to one side. I finally sorted that out and the reward was this.

it's ready to go to work
I thought I had a before pic of the #3 but I couldn't find one. Ken Hatch had given it to me and it had a broken lever cap. I had one in my spare parts and that is the only part I had to replace. Now it's ready to start another chapter in it's woodworking life with a new owner.

glamour shot #1
If I was keeping this plane I wouldn't do anything else to it (other then touch up the iron and round the corners) and would put it to work. I didn't type it but I will bet donut holes against dollars that it is a WWII vintage plane. I'm basing that on the one piece studs holding the tote and knob in and the thick walls of the plane.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that Gene Autry is the only person to have 5 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?

Manmeet "Lucky" Singh Guitar maker

The Indian DIY & Woodworker - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 1:50am
Manmeet "Lucky" Singh, Luthier

Shadipur is a crowded, largely working class, locality in west Delhi adjoining the industrial districts of Naraina and Kirti Nagar. Its narrow streets perpetually crowded with autos, two-wheelers and rickshaws are lined with endless shops, eateries and hawkers. Down its narrow alleys are houses that seem to touch each other and allow nothing wider than a scooter or motorbike to pass through.

Manmeet Singh, better known as "Lucky", leads me down one of these alleys where the noise of the street recedes and sunlight is cut off by the overhang of closely built brick and cement houses. He unlocks a steel door and ushers me into his 10 by 20 feet workshop.

The little windowless workshop is crammed with carefully bundled stacks of wood of various species. He collects different types of wood, and lots of it. For, Lucky is a luthier; at 23, he is perhaps one of the country's youngest and already a pro known for his finishing skills.

Measuring a pattern for a guitar body

He got into guitar making after his mother accidentally broke his guitar. "I repaired the guitar and liked the process", recalls Lucky. "I first began to repair guitars for local music shops and then started making them."

He has been making guitars for just 3 years and already his basic models of acoustic guitars sell for Rs 25,000. He makes one or two guitars a month and supplements his income by taking up spray finishing work and procuring exotic local varieties of wood for guitar makers and wood suppliers.

Ukulele with Cocobolo back

The first part of the process is to acquire great wood, he explains. "You cannot finish something that is not great in the first place", he explains in Hindi.

This is one reason why he spends a lot of his time - an average of three days a week- at the city timber markets. At Kirti Nagar timber market near where he lives, everyone seems to know Lucky. He dives into the shops to quickly inspect what is available. If something catches his eye, he is instantly on to it.

Bookmatched Babool

At one shop, we came across a couple of logs of a local timber called Jungle Jalebi. I later learnt this wood is Pithecellobium dulce also known as Monkeypod. It is dense and difficult to saw. Lucky thought one of the logs would produce some great burl.

He snapped a few photographs of the log and sent it to one his mates in Mumbai who exports exotic Indian woods for guitar makers around the world. The reply came back almost instantly and in the affirmative. The next thing I know Lucky was fishing out money to reserve the log for re-sawing later.

Lucky's little workshop stashed with wood

"Two or three of us share the wood I find", Lucky explained. "That way I can get what I want without having to block a lot of money for an entire log."

This way, he has managed to build up a small but impressive collection of a wide variety of wood, including Purpleheart, Cocobolo, Black Siris, Mango, Indian Mahogany, Sapele, Bubinga, Spanish Cedar and so on.

A beautiful local species called Siris

He gets the wood cut into quarter inch thick pieces and brings them back to his workshop where he uses a shop made drum sander to bring them down further to a final of 2 to 3 millimetres.

The pieces are cut into various shapes and joined together with thin splines. The sides are moulded in forms of various shapes and sizes made of MDF. The neck is made separately and later attached to the body.

Mango wood guitar finished with lacquer

Where he excels is in the finishing. He has an air compressor spray system at home and does the finishing there in a veranda as his workshop is too tiny and enclosed for spraying. He also has a shop made buffing machine which uses various types of cloth wheels.

"The glow in the finish comes from depth", he says. "The only way you can know it has worked is from seeing the final product. If there isn't enough depth in the finish, then it isn't done."

An accoustic guitar made of Indian Mahogany by Lucky

The best thing I liked about Lucky was his insatiable curiosity about different kinds of wood, finishes and work methods. He keeps visiting the larger paint dealers to know about the latest kinds of finishes, paints, fillers and so on. He seems to be constantly absorbing information.

A self-taught guitar maker, Lucky Singh seems to be vastly enjoying the learning curve he is on. His insatiable curiosity about everything involving his art will ensure that he grows to be a great craftsman someday soon.

Indranil Banerjie
10 December 2017
Categories: Hand Tools

Exotic Woods to Try with Your Next Project

Journeyman's Journal - Sat, 12/09/2017 - 4:16pm

I received an email this morning randomly from Lord knows who. The Woodworking forum advertised doesn’t appear in the search list. The business address advertised also is non existent, so I’m just taking it as spam.  However, it’s not useless information and I thought I’d share it with you. I’ve also provided a link to a website I discovered this morning who sells exotic species in the US.  I thought Australia was the only country with high priced timber, I guess the US has decided to follow our poor example.


Pine, oak, and maple are perfectly serviceable woods for most woodworking projects, but sometimes you want to create something a little special. Even the most basic design can be transformed into high-end pieces with the right kind of wood.

Most exotic woods are harder and denser than basic pine or maple and they contain more natural oils, which allows you to create beautiful glassy finishes on most exotics. Exotic woods are generally heavier than basic woods and can be much pricier, but they make great choices for smaller pieces and accent or inlay work. One thing to keep in mind while working with exotic woods is that the dust from sanding many of them can be hazardous to your health. It can cause rashes to your skin or problems when inhaled, so wear protective clothing and eyewear when working with it.

Brazil Nut Wood

Made from the tree that produces the food of the same name, Brazil nut wood is very dense. Best used for projects such as furniture making, boxes and musical instruments, its beautiful reddish tint is lightly striped with golden orange. The wood is moderately smooth-grained and can take a very high polish, making it a great wood for showpieces.

Asian Satinwood

This exotic hardwood has a deep curl that penetrates through the wood. The reddish-orange color combined with the curl creates a board that looks like it has enclosed flames. Popular in Southeast Asia for floors and cabinets, it’s also a beautiful choice for smaller projects such as pool cues, duck calls or knife handles.

Black Limba

This west African species is a wonderful wood to work with, being slightly less dense than American walnut. The warm brown background has prominent black stripes throughout, making it a striking choice for larger pieces. Use this wood for guitar bodies, fancy boxes or turned pieces.


Also known as Pacific Koa, Monkeypod wood is an excellent choice for furniture and turned pieces. Warm gold and dark chocolate brown swirl together with black stripes to create a beautiful design. Pacific Koa is light in weight, relatively hard and very strong. It finishes absolutely beautifully, making it the exotic choice for many who love woodturning projects.


Pernambuco is also known as Brazil wood. This rare, exotic hardwood is burnt reddish brown in color. The name is significant because the burnt red and vivid orange colors of the wood resemble the colors of Brazilian soil. This is a very stiff wood that works well in box making, but its primary use is for instrument bows. You can create a glass-like finish on this wood, making for some absolutely striking projects.

Australian Murray Red River Gum

Truly an extraordinary wood for extraordinary projects. This hard, dense wood ranges in color from creamy white to a brilliant, deep red. It glues and works well, but its figural inclusions are what makes it really special. Black swirls and random shapes show up throughout the pieces and occasionally even a checkerboard design will occur. This wood has a silky smooth grain, giving you the opportunity to craft some very special pieces.

Brazilian Tigerwood

This wood grows on the east coast of Brazil. The color is light gold fading into a red, with dark streaks that resemble a tiger’s stripes. Tigerwood is naturally oily and dense, which means it can take an incredible polish. This wood is great for smaller pieces and fancier applications such as pepper mills, knife handles. inlay work or bowls.


A gorgeous wood that’s ideal for stringed instruments as well as smaller pieces. Movingui is so sought-after than most great pieces are cut into veneer, but occasionally you’ll find some sawed into lumber. It has a medium to fine grain and is a soft golden yellow with a darker golden grain that can look like stripes, mottling and even bees’ wings.


The problem with many exotic woods is that they’re rated as vulnerable or endangered. Legitimate dealers collect their wood from naturally dead trees. The sale of exotic woods creates strong feelings on both sides of the issue. Whether you feel uncomfortable dealing in exotic and rare woods or you love the unique features they bring to your projects, you should always support dealers who follow import laws and practice sustainable customs.

Cook Woods-Exotic Species

Categories: Hand Tools

16 days to go......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 12/09/2017 - 12:37am
It's official now and proof that winter has arrived is on the ground. My daughter in North Carolina sent me a pic of it snowing there. She said that they are expecting 4-6 inches of the white stuff. I think the last time it snowed in NC, George Washington was president. We are supposed to get the same treatment here overnight going into tomorrow. I'll keep happy thoughts and wait and see what unfolds.

I did this last night before I went to bed. I wasn't sure what the results would be.

glued the felt to the plywood
I was pretty sure that I could glue the felt to the cardboard. What I wasn't sure of was how it would turn out. Would the felt be hard and brittle, or would the glue have bled through it?

it looks pretty good
The felt isn't stiff and hard nor did the glue bleed through to the top. It isn't as soft as it is without being glued, but it is fine for this application. I just want this to dress up the bottom. The red felt looks way better than plywood.

two pieces for the bottom of the box
Now that I know gluing the felt works, I'll repeat it on the bottom. I cut these out with a small cutting board that I have at work.

how I did it
Here is how I did it Frank. Step one is to draw lines from each diagonal to mark the center of the cardboard.

where they cross is the center
squaring a line across the width
Since I cut this on my paper cutter, it has four square corners. I checked them to make sure.

need a bigger square to make this line
got my two 90° square lines
line up the center line of the handle on the short 90°
eyeball the handle centered on the long square line
trace the outline of the handle
get a brand new razor blade
Resist the urge to use the razor that you opened up two days ago. In fact be ready to open up another one after doing only one cut. You are cutting through the cardboard and the felt and the blade could dull quickly. If you feel any drag at all stop and start again with a fresh razor. I was lucky and was  able to cut this out with one blade.

clean edges all around
I like this a lot
got  two more Howard adjusters
I broke down and got one for the LN 103 which LN no longer makes. The other one is for the 140.

the only one without a Howard adjuster

I will have to check the Howard adjuster site and see if they sell one for this block plane. If they don't it will be the only blockplane that I don't have one for.

not needed anymore

I'll stick these in a drawer somewhere, I'll forget where I stuck them, and I'll be scratching the bald spot trying to remember where someday. The offer still holds if anyone needs one. Drop me an email and I'll send it out to you. My short term memory should recall where I have them for about a week or so.

got another coat on the box - at least one more to go

I got one coat on the tray and I'm going to put 2-3 more there and call it done. It doesn't need as many as the outside of the box is getting.

going to sharpen my 6mm chisel
I need this to finish the grooves on the saw till. I am supposed to get the 6mm plywood on monday so I'll have the weekend to do them.
it's not too bad
After 5 strokes on the 80 grit runway, this is what I got. I have a tiny bit at the toe to remove and doing that didn't take too long.

the best I ever remember seeing this chisel
the back just needed a touch up
I was surprised by the flatness of the back. I don't remember doing it back then and even if I did, it probably was barely adequate. My sharpening skills back then on scale of 1 to 10 was a -35.

I'll sharpen and hone up the rest of the herd
these two have chips
The last time I sharpened these was on the Sharp 3000 gizmo. It used sandpaper on glass discs. It worked ok but I went through a lot of sandpaper and I found it to be very wasteful. It only used one small band on the sandpaper. I sold that on ebay about 8-9 years ago. That is how long it's been since I used these chisels.

the biggest chisel has a big chip missing
Removing this chip is going to eat up about a 1/4" of the length of the chisel. I have never had to remove this much metal to establish a new bevel. I'll start with my hand cranked grinding wheel first and see how it goes on that.

my new 1 1/2" AI chisel
This is the back after dancing down the length of the 80 grit runway. I had two high spots when I checked it about a quarter of the way down and by end I had this. Another thing to add to the A-list.

1700 already
It seemed like I just got to the shop and it's time to leave.  Leaving at 1700 is one rule I try not to break.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know insecticides were the first products marketed in aerosol containers?

Unsquare Dance

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 4:29pm


Back in the mezozoic era when I was in college, I hosted a late night jazz show on the college station.  My theme song was a Dave Brubeck piece (as would be the case with any civilized person in that situation), in this case Unsquare Dance.  For whatever reason this tune, or more precisely the title, leaped into my head when I first saw the juxtaposition of the new and magnificent stone wall with the whomperjawed lean-to attached to the ancient log barn behind the root cellar/granary.  I’d always recognized it was a bit off-plumb, but goodness the comparison was sobering.  My desire to get it straightened out needed to become action.

About that time my younger brother came for a week-long visit.  We are pretty much two peas in a pod, although he is a better marksman than am I.  He is an excellent carpenter and builder, so once I knew his schedule I ordered some 2x8x8′ pressure treated SYP to use in building the new wall structure.

The strategy was to assemble  stick-built laminated beam to serve as the top plate for a post-and-beam configuration, about a foot inside the original wall.  But first we had to jack up the roof to some semblance of planarity, which we accomplished with hydraulic bottle jacks and extra 2x8s to wedge the roof to the height we wanted.  It took a day of gradual lifting, but we finally had it ready to work on.  The foot worth of swale was as gone as we could get it, and it was time for the hard work to begin.


New Stickers Available my Fancy Lads (and Lasses)

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 1:03pm


Perchance would you care to procure a new sticker set for your divan, boudoir or your dearest fainting couch? (Translation: Want some stickers for your pie hole?) We have a new set of three stickers available now from my daughter Maddy the sticker princess (not be confused with Katy the wax princess).

This set features a 3”-diameter sticker from the Fancy Lad Academy of Woodworking & Charcuterie. Click here if that doesn’t mean anything to you. The second sticker is 4” wide and is an original piece of art from Suzanne Ellison – a crow made from tools from A.J. Roubo’s “l’Art du menuisier.” The third sticker is the gorgeous cover from “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!” by Roy Underhill.

These are quality 100 percent vinyl stickers. They will survive the outdoors – heck you could put one on your car. Want a set? You can order them from Maddy’s etsy store here. They are $6 delivered ($10 for international orders).

Or, for customers in the United States, you can send a $5 bill and a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) to by daughter Maddy at:

Stick it to the Man
P.O. Box 3284
Columbus, OH 43210

As always, this is not a money-making venture for me or Lost Art Press. All profits help Maddy escape her undergraduate education with both kidneys.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Stickers, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Learning from the Humble

Owyhee Mountain Fiddle Shop - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 1:01pm

 A call from a local middle-school orchestra teacher.  "One of my students broke the scroll off a viola, and I need it repaired.  It's borrowed from another school!"  So, here it is.  Not just the scroll, but the entire pegbox.  A really bad break.  Financially not worth repairing.  It is, at first glance, an older 15" student viola, which has put in plenty of years work.  Just replace it.

"Can't do that.  It's borrowed.  I can't say her viola is broken."

It will cost _________.

 Pause.  "I don't have that much money in my budget."

So here it is.  I'm trying to figure something to do, and I think I have.  Not charging enough.  Hoping  the work also serves as pennance for some sin, past or future. 

But the back --

It just amazed me.  It has long been proven beyond any reasonable doubt that it is impossible to photograph varnish.  Photos, even video, can not catch the reflections as you or the instrument move through the light.  Even with a camera as nice as a cell-phone.  But here are some photos.

A one-piece back, with great clarity and motion.  It could be as simple as amber shellac and clear spirit varnish.  The wood, underneath, is aging to something of a grey-green.  It's a great combination.

So, even if I don't gain any pennance from it, at least this one may have a chance to make music again. 

And I have a new conceptual model for varnish color.
Categories: Hand Tools, Luthiery

Efficiency In Marking

The English Woodworker - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 9:58am
Efficiency In Marking

I’ve said it many times (though I’m sure I’m on the wrong page).

I believe that hand tools are the most efficient set up for the individual maker.

And not just the hobbiest.
If you’re building one-off pieces for clients then hand tools are still where it’s at.
Most that would disagree lack a thorough knowledge of using hand tools.

I have various reasons, and many exceptions.

Continue reading at The English Woodworker.

Categories: Hand Tools

Catching Up With This And That...

The Part-Time Woodworker - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 9:45am
Just a few quick thoughts...

Someone, I think on Google, asked me to post drawings for the little portable vise I posted about on November 11th. I have been working on them and should have them done relatively soon.

Also, I was asked about the knicker blade for the Filletster Plane I posted about back in February of this year. I did get a replacement blade from Bob's Tool Box in the UK, but it was a tad too wide so I plan to do the slight modification it needs right after I finish veneering my bondo-trued fir plywood (I love typing that because I know it makes some cringe). I will be videoing the process and I will post the results here.

And speaking of veneering...all I can say is...what a pain in the ass that job is.

The only bit of advice I can give anyone who hasn't tried veneering yet is; don't do it unless you have the proper set-up for it. I will never veneer anything this large again, so I think spending a few hundred or so on a couple of dozen clamps and cauls, or better yet, spending the time and the money to build a 40" x 50" (the size of the largest piece) multi-screw press is crazy. As a result, I have jury-rigged the weirdest set-ups to get the job done.

I have been getting the job done slowly, doing it in a way that is either gutsy, or just damned stupid.

While clamps are one major requirement, the other is "plates". These are dead-flat pieces of material that are at least the same size as the piece you are veneering, or better yet, slightly larger. Again, I'll never use them again so instead of buying material to make them, I bought a couple of pieces of 18-gauge sheet metal. I am using the actual substrate pieces I made for the cabinet as the plates, stacking them with two, already veneered or not, on the bottom, covering it with a piece of sheet metal, then the piece of substrate I am veneering on top of it, then the second piece of sheet metal, then two more pieces of substrate, again veneered or not, on top. I then use strips of 11mm plywood (leftovers from the substrate) and some 2x4 cauls I made to clamp them all together. Because the substrate pieces are made from two pieces of 11mm ply glued together, giving a finished thickness of a hair under 1", there is relatively no give to them, and with five of them clamped together, there is zero chance of any twisting. They have also been flattened beyond an inch of their lives (remember the bondo), so they actually do the job very well. I did have one veneered piece I was using as a plate that came out with a 3" long by 1/8" wide dent in it. I don't know what caused it, probably a stray, missed sliver of veneer, but I took my wife's really expensive, and very hot, steam iron to it and it just disappear.


Categories: Hand Tools

Door Types

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 4:07am


This is an excerpt from “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing. 

In making plain or flush doors the obvious choice of material appears to be a well-chosen board of solid wood (Fig 353). However this is no solution since the wood may swell or shrink, spoiling the fit, or warp, making any fit impossible. A stable, light door suitable for painting or lower-quality work can be made from a mitred frame to which are glued two sheets of thin ply (Fig 354).

A heavier and more robust door is shown in Fig 355. Here a stronger frame is dowelled or tenoned together with two ply skins. Extra cross members are added to stiffen the door. Air holes are drilled in the cross members and in the bottom rail to equalize air pressure inside and outside. Such cross members must not be too far apart, nor should the ply be too thin (minimum 6mm (1/4in.)), otherwise an impression of the framing may show through.



A door from multi-ply or blockboard is extremely stable, but the edges are unattractive and do not take the hinge screws well. Such a door is generally lipped (Fig 356). The lipping may be butted or mitred at the corners. The tongue is essential for good adhesion, particularly on the end grain of blockboard. The lipping may be applied to veneered material but for better work the lipping is concealed by veneering the whole face after the lippings have been glued and planed flush. Lippings must be made from thoroughly dry material, otherwise shrinkage will take place and the lipping will show through the veneer.


Good-quality handwork makes frequent use of the framed and panelled door (Fig 357), the inner edge of which is moulded or chamfered. The following illustrations show some of the possible combinations of frame and panel.







Meghan Bates

Filed under: The Essential Woodworker
Categories: Hand Tools

The Times, They Are A-Changin’*

Giant Cypress - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 3:08am
The Times, They Are A-Changin’*:

Megan Fitzpatrick:

Just a quick post to say that, as of today, I am no longer with Popular Woodworking.

But that doesn’t mean I’m leaving woodworking – far from it. I’m looking forward to lots more time in the shop as I build some commission pieces, and I’m working on a number of woodworking writing and editing projects. Plus, I’ve a couple classes already lined up for 2018, and am working on a few more. In short, this is nothing but a positive change.

Megan brought a breath of fresh air to the woodworking world during her tenure as editor of Popular Woodworking. I’m honored to have been a small part of her time at the magazine. Best wishes for her future projects and endeavors. I’m looking forward to see what she has in store.

fretting for nothing......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 12:52am
Three orders were supposed to have been delivered by Amazon already. I'm ready to have a myocardial infarction wondering who got my stuff. I couldn't check on the status of my order at work because you have to sign into amazon. I didn't have my password with me so I had to fret and worry and stew about until I got home.

When I got home from work the first thing I did was to sign into amazon and bring up my order status. I was expecting  to see 5 outstanding orders and there were only two. According to amazon, I never placed 3 of the orders. My wife would have been the recipient of the short end of this stick.  After checking the order history again, I placed the orders and signed out. I signed back in to amazon to ensure the orders had gone through and they had.

I found a problem with the blog today. I don't know how it is happening but some of my blog posts are being doubled up on one date. The hiccup started on the 23rd of november with several posts being dated for the same day after that up to dec 5th. That isn't right because I have posted a new blog entry every day for the past several years.

I corrected the nov and dec double postings with what I think are the correct dates. I noticed some doubled up dates for sept but I didn't change them (I'll check them out this weekend). I think I updated the nov-dec problems so that they weren't posted again. I'll check the date when I post in the future to ensure it is the correct day.

calling them done
I made these back in feb but I didn't put any finish on them. Both of them still have stains on them that I couldn't sand out neither. A couple of coats of shellac made them shiny and a bit more presentable.

1 1/2" Ashley Iles chisel
Someone was offering this up on the Creek for $55, shipped, so I got it. It doesn't even look like it has been sharpened. In fact the previous owner said he didn't think he had. This will be put in Miles's chisel roll with the other AI chisels.

Honduran rosewood
My new knob and tote for my #6 came in from Doz. He does a damn fine job on these.

for Frank
I cut out two cardboard inserts for the tray bottom. One is a snug fit and the other is loose. I'm undecided on how I want the cardboard to be secured in the tray. If I wrap the cardboard cloth underneath it, I'll use the loose fitting one. If I trim the cloth even with cardboard edges, I'll use the snug fitting one.

the snug fitting one is the lead off batter
I need to make a cutout for the handle in the cardboard so I can glue it to the bottom plywood of the tray.

lots of red felt
I thought I had some adhesive backed blue felt but I can't find it. But this is also one time where I think that I used it all so that is why I can't find it. I don't want to chance ordering more of it and not having it come in on time so I'm using the red felt.

found the center of the handle
handle position marked and ready to cut out
I found the center by drawing diagonals and then making 90° square lines to the center point. I eyeballed the handle centered the long way and lined up the center of the handle with the center of the cardboard. I penciled the outline and it didn't have to be super duper precise. There will be red felt all around the handle that should cover any gaps.

it isn't laying flat on the bench
It looks like it is but the handle is self supporting in the cardboard. After I fix the felt to the cardboard, I'll cut out the felt in the area of the handle hole.

felt has a crease in it
I'll have to ask my wife about ironing this crease out. Even when I stretched the felt, I could still see it. If the ironing doesn't work I'll cut out another piece.

Got all of 23 minutes of play time in the shop tonight. That is ok as it was much more important that I sorted out my order problems.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that Lucy Hayes, the wife of President Rutherford Hayes, was the first presidential wife to be referred to as the First Lady?

Reading the grain

Journeyman's Journal - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 11:18pm

Having the ability to read grain on wood is one of the many most fundamental critical tasks a woodworker should have competency in. Some timbers are easy to read while others are not.  Let’s look at this African Tulip I’m working with to have a better understanding on the subject.


If we look at the board, you’ll see the grain is a cathedral or one could even describe it as a ripple in a pond. It appears to our eyes the grain is pointing from left to right, so if planed from left to right, you’d be planing against the grain or is it.  If we inspect, you’ll notice the grain is layered from right to left so, our planing direction is right to left.



I know it looks deceptive. Another way of reading the grain if it’s difficult to read on the surface is by feel.


Running your finger along the edge of a board in both directions will most of the time give you a clear sign of where the grain is running. Press lightly when you do it and be careful of splinters.

Most grains can be read, but some just can’t and when you run into the one that can’t, set your plane to take a light shaving. If you feel it snag then stop, even with a plane set to take a little more than a 32nd you can still feel your planing with or against the grain.  If it’s tearing on both sides of the board, then hone a higher bevel angle.

The more you work with various species the more you’ll learn what to look out for.

Take care and enjoy your craft


Categories: Hand Tools

Opptak av nytt medlem, Kai Johansen med nybygd kopi av skottbenken på Egge museum

Norsk Skottbenk Union - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 1:18pm

Kai Johansen har nyleg presentert dokumentasjon av skottbenken på Egge museum. Ein veldig interessant Skottbenk med mange fine detaljar. I dag har han gjort ferdig arbeidet med å snikre kopi av denne benken. Han har også laga ferdig okshøvel og skottokse og viser at benken og høvlane fungerer. Vi kan med dette ynskje velkommen som medlem i vår union.

Categories: Hand Tools

Workbench personalities

Oregon Woodworker - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 9:01am
Many of you will have seen this series by Christopher Schwarz.  It is amusing and perhaps of some value as a cautionary tale for those about to build a bench.  I have a different take on this subject though.

Woodworkers have explored the design of workbenches exhaustively over the centuries.  Like the foods of different cultures, they all have something to offer and, based on personal preference, each of us likes some more than others.  Some of this has to do with the tools we use, the projects we build, the space we have ... but personal taste plays a big role.

I chose to build a traditional Nicholson workbench and I couldn't be happier with it.  I like it for its historical significance, its ingenious design and its solid functionality, and I also like the look of it.  Roubo?  No question it's a great bench with a lot of advantages, but I don't like it.  Mostly, I am put off by some of its proponents.  A workbench is not a piece of furniture.  This is not a lot different from the fact that I prefer London to Paris.  Scandinavian benches?  Haven't used them, don't know.  I like the food though.  Moravian?  Ditto, although I haven't had the food (but I'd like to try it).

When I try to look at the subject objectively, I think it comes down to this.  A good hand tool workbench is really really solid, has the right dimensions and is good at workholding.  It's made from readily available materials that are reasonably priced.  Most of the rest is taste.

Not much to say about solid.  My bench goes thump and it does not slide.  So will others of many different designs.  The heavier the better.  Workholding?  Good ones of many different designs are just fine.  I'm an outlier, but I wouldn't have a bench vise again.  I like the Moxon.  I like the Nicholson skirts for vertical workholding but I am sure a sliding deadman works fine.  Dimensions?  It's got to be a good fit for you and some of us are pretty sensitive to them.  For me, 22 inches wide, 8 feet long and palm height is just right.  Materials?  Oregonians should make theirs from douglas-fir.  Buy local if you can.

I think I could be happy with any bench that satisfied these criteria.

I am about to build a basic workbench for my son, who doesn't have time to do a lot of woodworking right now but has an interest.  It will be one of two designs.  My first choice is the basic Nicholson bench designed by Mike Siemsen.  I can't say enough good about this.  It's cheap, easy and highly functional, a really great first bench.  You won't like the other one, which is based on the first bench I ever built.  I would construct a base from douglas-fir 4x4s mortised together (though you can use Simpson brackets like I did years ago) and put a top on it made from three layers of 3/4" baltic birch plywood.  Five feet long is all he has room for.  It would stay dead flat forever.  This is a much better bench than you might think.  You can make either of these benches in a weekend.

So, I guess I have revealed my workbench personality:  unpretentious, plain, functional, solid. dependable.  Whole grain wheat bread, not croissants and not Danish rye.
Categories: Hand Tools

Hand Tool Q&A Live: Shoulder Planes, Lathes, and Tool Cabinets

The Renaissance Woodworker - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 7:54am

Live Hand Tool Q&A

Thanks to everyone who came out and asked questions. Its always a lot of fun. Mostly I get questions about tools so I’m still waiting on someone to ask about a technique so I can actually do some woodworking in these events instead of just talking the whole time! I guess we all love tools right?

Lots of topics covered in this session from types of chisels, to tool chests, to pole lathes, and shoulder planes. I even spent some time talking about my experience working at a living history museum.

The Questions You Asked

  • 1:00 What I’m working on now in my shop
  • 7:05 How big can a panel be before warping is an issue?
  • 11:40 Halfback Saws
  • 15:20 What Screwdrivers do you use?
  • 16:00 Have you used a spring pole lathe?
  • 19:12 How did you come up with the slope of the Perch seat
  • 24:40 Tool chest vs tool cabinet?
  • 29:14 Socket chisels vs tang chisels?
  • 35:20 What is working at a living history museum like?
  • 42:20 Where to find good chisels larger than 1″?
  • 45:25 What is a Firmer chisel?
  • 48:08 Used a Hovarter vise?
  • 50:10 Spill planes?
  • 54:45 Use for a Skew Block plane?
  • 59:40 Advice on a small shop bench set up?
  • 1:07:06 Dust collection for the hand tool shop?
  • 1:10:00 Is space isn’t an issue how big would you make your workbench?
  • 1:13:29 Budget clamp recommendations?
  • 1:18:50 Most useful router plane blade size?
  • 1:20:22 Which size shoulder plane do I need?

Categories: Hand Tools

The 6 Personalities of Workbench Builders

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 5:47am


This post is by request. Several people have asked me to assemble all the links to the stories in this series in one posting so it would be easy to share or to find in the future.

Workbench Personality No. 1: The Engineer

Workbench Personality No. 2: The Traditionalist

Workbench Personality No. 3: The Cheapskate

Workbench Personality No. 4: The Best of Everything

Workbench Personality No. 5: Frank Sinatra

Workbench Personality No. 6: The Undecider

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Workbenches
Categories: Hand Tools

Arched Bridge – Finis

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 5:02am

The final day of bridge building involved cutting, painting, and installing the decking, which was made from the same 1×6 material used for the beams.  Prior to installing the decking I mounted electrical wires to the underside of the structure.  These are the wires that 1) carry electrons from the solar panels on the cabin to the power system, and 2) will eventually carry electrons back to the cabin from the system.



A little debris clearing, including the old plank walkways, and the job was done for now.  I’ll let the paint weather a bit, then wait for a warmer sunny day to sand it and apply another coat of paint, sprinkling the sticky paint with play sand to give it better traction.

Between the new stone wall, arched bridge, and new wall on the lean-to on the old barn (more about that later), the vista from the side deck has been transformed.

The Rabbit Hutch – Part 8

The Bench Blog - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 1:00am

The rabbit hutch project is just about complete, but before I wrap things up there is one last element that I want to add.  I decided as part of my design to include an insulated box that the rabbits could go into in the worst of the cold weather.  In the wild, they’d be able to go underground to escape the worst of winter’s bite and it doesn’t seem fair to stick them in a wire cage above ground without adding a little extra protection from the elements.  I wanted to make a small box that was somewhat insulated and that their body heat will keep the box warm.  Sort of a hutch within a hutch.

Before I get any further, if you are so inclined, you can see the earlier posts in this series here:

With the roof made, I started on the insulated box.  I’ll make a frame from 1-inch square Douglas fir and skin it inside and out with ¼-inch ply.

Starting to cut the pieces to make the insulated box.

Starting to cut the pieces to make the insulated box.

I milled up some stock, cut it to length, and then cut bridal joints to fit the frames together.

All the stock, ready to go.

All the stock, ready to go.

Bridal joints, cut at the table-saw.

Bridal joints, cut at the table-saw.

When assembled, the parts make three rectangles.

When assembled, the parts make three rectangles.

Each was glued and clamped.

Each was glued and clamped.

One end will be a solid wall, but the other needs to have an opening for the rabbits to get in and out.  Since the opening will always be open, I’m not sure quite how effective the insulation will be, but it can’t hurt.

I added some dividers to frame the will become the entrance.

I added some dividers to frame that will become the entrance.

Starting to cut the quarter-inch ply that will become the walls of the box.

Starting to cut the quarter-inch ply that will become the walls of the box.

The plywood gets glued and nailed on, and some spacers were installed with pocket hole screws.

The plywood gets glued and nailed on, and some spacers were installed with pocket hole screws.

I added some isolation from left over batting from my chicken coop project.  I realized that there wasn’t very many points to attach the floor, so I added some scrap blocks with glue.

Preparing to install the floor.

Preparing to install the floor.


After the floor, was the panel for the inside roof.

A piece of plywood added the inside roof.

A piece of plywood added to the inside roof.

Followed by the inside back wall.

More insulation into the back of the box.

More insulation into the back of the box.

Covering the inside end.

Covering the inside end.

Now it's starting to look like a box.

Now it’s starting to look like a box.

Installing some scrap pieces to support the inside end plywood.

Installing some scrap pieces to support the inside end plywood.

More insulation.

More insulation.

The end piece of plywood gets glued and nailed on.

The end piece of plywood gets glued and nailed on.

I’m not sure if the insulation will help, but it is easy to add.

Now for the other end.

Now for the other end.

I added the left end, which covers the door opening.

I added the left end, which covers the door opening.

You can see where the plywood covers the door.

You can see where the plywood covers the door.

I added the outside roof panel.

Things are progressing nicely.

Things are progressing nicely.

Cutting out the excess plywood from the door opening.

Cutting out the excess plywood from the door opening.

With everything assembled, I rounded over all the edges with a trim router then spackled and sanded the whole box.

I used a round over bit in the palm router to soften all the edges of the box.

I used a round over bit in the palm router to soften all the edges of the box.

After some spackle and sanding.

After some spackle and sanding.

I decided that since the end would be open all the time, I should add a small divider to the inside of the box.

I installed a removable divider.

I installed a removable divider.

The divider is held in place by some wooden strips that are glued to the inside of the box.

The divider is held in place by some wooden strips that are glued to the inside of the box.

I didn’t have enough 1″ Doug fir stock to make the doors, but I did have some appropriately sized Cedar in the lumber rack, and used that for some of the pieces.

Time to make some doors for the box. Bridal joints again.

Time to make some doors for the box. Bridal joints again.

Glued and clamped.

Glued and clamped.

These will get plywood door skins.

These will get plywood door skins.

Here's where they will fit.

Here’s where they will fit.

The inside plywood skin is installed flush with the frame.

The inside plywood skin is installed flush with the frame.

These doors are also skinned with plywood.  On the inside of the door, the plywood is flush with the frame.  However, on the outside, the skin overlaps the edge of the frame.  This meant of the outside skin had to be quite accurately positioned.

Glueing on the plywood skins.

Glueing on the plywood skins.

I’m really starting to like the technique of using your bench and holdfasts as a giant clamp.  It works great.

Holdfasts provide great even clamping pressure.

Holdfasts provide great even clamping pressure.

Laying out the hinges.

Laying out the hinges.

Since this is an outdoor project, I used galvanized hinges with brass pins.

Hinge mortises cut.

Hinge mortises cut.

First door installed.

First door installed.

Chopping more hinge mortises.

Chopping more hinge mortises.

Insulated doors installed.

Insulated doors installed.

They just need a bid of paint.

They just need a bid of paint.

A wooden spacer on which to mount the catch.

A wooden spacer on which to mount the catch.

Installing some door latches.

Installing some door latches.

That’s about it for the insulated box, but before I install it, I decided to make a barrier for the ramp opening on the upper level.  This was quick and simple from a couple of pieces of ply and Doug Fir.

A quick barrier to go around the ramp opening.

A quick barrier to go around the ramp opening.

A lick of paint.

A lick of paint.

Ready to install.

Ready to install.

Nailed in place.

Nailed in place.

With that done, I can install the insulated box that sits above it.  In the below image you might just make out my pencil marks.

Marking screw locations on the inside back wall of the hutch.

Marking screw locations on the inside back wall of the hutch.

Drilling a quick pilot hole from the inside.

Drilling a quick pilot hole from the inside.

And then a countersunk hole from the backside.

And then a countersunk hole from the backside.

Installed on the back wall. Now it just needs a ramp.

Installed on the back wall. Now it just needs a ramp.

All the screws installed. That box isn't going anywhere!

All the screws installed. That box isn’t going anywhere!

As the box sits up above the main floor, the rabbits will need another ramp to get into it.  I used the same method as on the earlier ramp.

Time to make another ramp.

Time to make another ramp.

Nothing fancy, just side rails and plywood.

Nothing fancy, just side rails and plywood.

And some glued on bits for traction.

And some glued on bits for traction.

The ramp was screwed to the side of the box.

The ramp was screwed to the side of the box.

Here's where it sits.

Here’s where it sits.

And some guide rails.

And some guide rails.

And that’s all folks!  The rabbit hutch is done.

In the next post, I’ll clear and level a spot of ground to install the hutch and show all the final reveal photos.

More soon.


– Jonathan White


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