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Registration Now Open – Build a Fore Plane Class

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 6:00am

You can now register for the “Build a Traditionally Styled Fore Plane” class via this link.

Note: Registering for the class or the waiting list is free – they won’t ask you for a credit card to register. After the dust settles, Jim McConnell will invoice the six attendees.

If the six slots are filled, please consider signing up for the waiting list. That way, if someone is unable to make it, Jim will have a list of other interested parties – and we’ll know that if the wait list is robust, it might be good to offer the same class again at a later date.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

Categories: Hand Tools

Check out the excellent use of a Japanese saw in the background....

Giant Cypress - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 3:18am


Check out the excellent use of a Japanese saw in the background. I can only imagine what the other guy is hammering.

drawer glued up.......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 12:25am
Got the first drawer glued up and maybe tomorrow I'll be fitting the bottom on or in it. That depends upon how my spatial thinking is working at the time. I used hide glue on the drawer and the temps are cooperating. It's been raining all day but it is a bit on the warm side for this time of the year. It hit 51°F (10.5°C) today and the rest of week is looking to have mild temps in the 40's. Spring isn't too far away now. I have been hearing the birds singing every time I went outside today. That is another good sign for an early spring.

found my braces
I was very disappointed that the Lee Valley brace adapter is toast. It fits in all 6 of the braces I have but none of the hex bits will fit in it.

nice piece of chrome
pretty looking but useless
It is too light weight to repurpose as a paperweight. I'll email LV on this on monday and see what the solution is.

metric ball driver
I thought that since this was metric, the shank was metric too. It isn't (it's a 1/4") and it doesn't fit either.

hex driver fits
Not exactly what I was looking for here but in the interim it will do. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that LV can fix this.

hex adapter from LV fits
the phillips driver that came with the screwdriver
I wasn't sure that LV would have an adapter for this since it is a Craftsman. I measured the shaft of the phillips and it was 7mm. LV sells a 7mm adapter and it fits this perfectly.

drawer glued up
I used clamps on this to draw up the tails and pin tight. I had to fuss with the clamps for a bit to get the drawer square. With a square it looked good but the diagonals were off an 1/8".

diagonals re best
Charles Hayward advises not to use a square to check a carcass. Diagonals aren't influenced by bows and dips in the carcass. Both diagonals are dead nuts on.

front internal corner
the other front corner
I am now convinced that my gappy corners were caused by me moving the knife wall when I chopped the waste. I have done 4-5 dovetails now being careful not to move my knife walls and the results are better.

shined it a bit more
used this wheel
Had no problems with this wheel working. I couldn't stall this one no matter how hard I tried. Both wheels have the same buffing compound on them as I don't think I'll be using two different rouges.

this wheel stalls the motor, why?
I don't understand why one wheel buffs away and the other one will stall. It is the same motor and shaft driving both wheels.

found the problem
This nut was loose. Not fall off loose but a few threads shy of being tight. I tightened it and tried to stall the buffer again.

working now
I couldn't stall the motor after I tightened the nut on the shaft. It looks like I don't have a HF piece of crappola. I know nothing about buffing wheels but I saw a wider one at HF when I bought this. Makes sense to me that a wider wheel would probably buff a wide lever cap better than this thin one does?

thought I had only made one mistake
the first mistake
I sawed the back to width and since I had the front there too, I sawed it to the same width. Except the front did not have to be ripped to the same width as the back. I found both mistakes when I was starting to mark the baselines with my knife.

my second mistake is the pencil line is toast
I cut further down then I should have.

I used the drawer slip to mark the pencil line
but the wrong way
If I make a new back I still have the tails being over cut. Everyone of them is over cut by a 1/4". Using them may make the drawer weaker not to mention it will look like crap.

stopped at home depot
I had to go to BJ's warehouse to get my coffee k-cups but it wasn't open yet so I killed 20 minutes wandering around HD. I went looking for the rem oil again but came up dry on that but I saw this. Bob just blogged about using this on his drill rehab so I grabbed a bottle to try. I like that it is biodegradable and won't make me glow in the dark.

2 points for Krud  Kutter to 1 point for Zep
 It's made by Rustoleum who makes the primer and topcoat paint I use.

new drawer stock
This is the board I bought saturday and I'll be using it to make a new drawer.

I'll make this one wider
I'll let this sticker for a day or two,

fitting the first drawer slip
back end fitted around the back
gluing them in with hide glue
1/4" brass set up bar
Used this to keep the front aligned while I put on the clamps.

used one at the back too
slips glued and clamped
holder prototyping
put it here
or underneath the drawer
drilled some pilot holes
road tested my new hex adapter
sweet action - better then using a drill
this is out
In order for this work I will have to hang it down fairly low so I can take it out and put it back.

this is the winning spot
making dadoes
routed to depth
made a notch for the back brace
glued up
I think I may promote this from prototype to user status. I'll make the final decision on that tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that the Five Kingdoms of Living Things are Animals, Fungi, Monera, Plants, and  Protists?

Blowing Past 800

The Barn on White Run - Sun, 02/11/2018 - 5:51pm

Returning from the regular Bible Study earlier this evening and reviewing the upcoming topics for the blog (I rarely do any work on Sunday, and generally aim for a couple dozen posts in the bullpen in varying states of development) I noticed that the blog had exceeded 800 posts last week without my even noticing.  I guess I must have a lot of verbal effluent in me.

I used to host a regular monthly luncheon for think tank mavens and opinion columnists trying to influence the shenanigans in Mordor, and at one of these off-the-record soirees a columnist wailed about “writer’s block” and the impossibility of having to grind out 300-400 “interesting” words twice a week.  I was unconvinced of the problem, and for the next year as an exercise I wrote that output just to show him it was not that tough.  It really wasn’t.

Admittedly, I was assisted by the fact that was the year the nation’s Commander in Heat was hound-dogging his way through the intern pool and eventually committed perjury to escape accountability, with his political adversaries tripping over themselves like clowns.  So, the 100 short essays almost wrote themselves.

I’m hoping that blogging continues the same easy path.  If I could get the time to easily be at the laptop, I would probably post every day.  When I don’t it just means that I am fully occupied with something, somewhere, or someone else.

Nostalgic Chairmaking: 40 years

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sun, 02/11/2018 - 5:05pm

 

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my start in woodworking. Forty years ago I made my first “real” pieces of furniture; ladderback chairs from John (Jennie) Alexander’s Make a Chair from a Tree. The book came out in 1978, I remember when I first opened that package. The chairs I made then, from that book, would really make me cringe now – but that’s not the point. (thankfully, I have no idea where those chairs are, but I have this drawing of one saved in an old sketchbook. That chair was made before I met Alexander and Drew Langsner in 1980.)

For years, I made these chairs, and then Windsors – before I made any oak furniture. Then once I started on the oak joined furniture, those chairs sort of fell by the wayside. I made a couple kid-sized JA-style chairs when my children were small, but that was it.

Otherwise, large oak carved chairs or turned (also large) chairs – all that 17th-century stuff. We saw one of my wainscot chairs displayed in the Hingham Massachusetts Public Library the other day. I made it based on an original made in Hingham in the 17th century.

But I’ve been planning for a while to “re-learn” how to make JA ladderbacks. These chairs are more demanding than my wainscot chairs – the tolerances are much tighter, less forgiving. I made a couple attempts recently that I wasn’t happy enough with to finish – so today I took the day off from joinery and worked on one of these chairs. First thing I did was to review Jennie’s DVD about making the chair. If you are interested in these chairs, I highly recommend that video. http://www.greenwoodworking.com/MACFATVideo 

(yes, Jennie & Lost Art Press are working towards a new edition of the book – but get the video in the meantime. It covers every detail of making this chair.)

The part I had to re-learn is how to orient the bent rear posts while boring the mortises. That’s what I went to the video for; the rest I still had. Included with the video are drawings for a couple helpful jigs to aid in those tricky bits. This morning I made several of those jigs – but didn’t photograph any of that. I didn’t get the camera out until I was boring mortises…

In this photo, I’m boring the mortises for the side rungs into the rear post. If you get this angle wrong, you might as well quit now. I forget now who came up with this horizontal boring method – but I learned it from Jennie & Drew Langsner. They worked together many summers teaching classes to make this chair. The photo is a bit cluttered (the bench is cluttered really) so it’s hard to see. But the bent rear post needs to be oriented carefully. But once you have it right, then it’s just a matter of keeping the bit extender level and square to the post. there’s a line level taped to the bit extender. Eyeball 90 degrees.

Alexander’s non-traditional assembly sequence is to make the side sections of the chair first. So after boring the rear & front posts for the side rungs, I shaved the tenons in the now-dried rungs. Mostly spokeshave work.

I bored several test holes with the same bit, to gauge the tenons’ size. Chamfer the end of the tenon, try to force it into the hole. Then shave it to just squeeze in there. No measurements.

Once the tenon starts in that hole, you get a burnished bit right at the end. That’s the guideline now. Shave down to it.

Yes, glue. I don’t often use it, but this is a case where I do. The chair would probably be fine without it, but it doesn’t hurt. Belt & suspenders. Knocking the side rungs into the rear post.

Make sure things line up, and the front post is not upside-down.

Then bang it together. Listen for the sound to change when the joints are all the way in.

Then time to bore the front & rear mortises. This little angle-jig has the unpleasant name of “potty seat” – I wish there was another name for it. But there’s a level down on the inside cutout – so I tilt the chair section back & forth until that reads level. Then bore it.

 

It’s hard to see from this angle, but that chair section is tilted away from me, creating the proper angle between the side and rear rungs.

Then re-set for the front mortises.

I was running out of daylight – and any other task, I’d just leave it til tomorrow. But with glue, and the wet/dry joints, I wanted to get this whole frame together this afternoon. Here I’m knocking the rear rungs in place. That’s a glue-spreader (oak shaving) in the front mortise.

Got it.

Expect to hear a lot more from me this year about making these chairs; their relationship to historical chairs, and also about the people who taught me to make them. It’s been a heck of a trip these past 40 years.

Make Your Own ‘Drawing Bow’

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Sun, 02/11/2018 - 11:13am

If you design furniture or work a lot with curved parts, it’s difficult to function without a “drawing bow.” This simple jig – a stick and a string – allows you to lay out precise and large curves with only two hands. Before I could afford a commercial one (Lee Valley Tools makes an excellent one that I recommended in my 2017 Anarchist’s Gift Guide), I made my own. While […]

The post Make Your Own ‘Drawing Bow’ appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Warped Panels

360 WoodWorking - Sun, 02/11/2018 - 8:55am
Warped Panels

I don’t know of many woodworkers who set out to have their glued-up panels warp. Warped panels happen to most of us at one time or another. It is reason to question your procedure and if you did something not quite right. Were your pieces dry? Did you allow the wood to reach equilibrium in your shop before milling? Did the humidity in your shop change between the time you glued your panels to when you got back to working them?

Continue reading Warped Panels at 360 WoodWorking.

first drawer started.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 02/11/2018 - 2:33am
On the way home from OT I stopped at Lowes to pick up some supplies. I like stopping here on saturday because there is zero traffic and almost no one out and about. Lowes is pretty much empty too. The only quibble I have with is this Lowes is laid out differently then the Lowes I usually go to. One of the guys working there said it laid out the same but I beg to differ with him. Maybe the major departments are the same but all the goodies aren't in the same holes.

Lowes goodies
Double balls steel wool for the Tru-oil, 1x12 for drawer fronts, and a 2'x4'x 1/2" piece of plywood for the drawer bottoms.

already cupping
Hasn't been in the shop for an hour yet and it is already doing stupid wood tricks. This was flat at Lowes because I checked it with a framing square.

backup 1x12
This is a sweet piece of EWP that I would rather not use for drawer parts. If I have to I will. It depends on how much wood I have to remove to get the Lowes board flat.

sometimes you get lucky
I got these boards from the same Lowes I got the new 1x12 from. These have been sawn to rough length and width and they are all still flat, straight, and not cupped. Even the squirrely grain one that I thought for sure would head south on me. I will be making drawers today with this stock.

1/2" oak plywood
The drawers will be roughly 2 foot square which means they are big. I think they are too big for 1/4" plywood bottoms. My first choice was 3/8 ply but every single piece at Lowes was bowed or cupped. Oak is cheaper then birch so I bought that. The 1/2" will make for a strong and stiff drawer along with the 3/4" drawer parts.

5 coats
I have one more to spray on and these will be done.

practice tote
The plan is to use this tote that was broken and I screwed up gluing it back together. nhfortyeight sent me a couple of pics of stock finished with Tru-oil. One was a tote and the other a tiger maple frame. Wow is all I can say and I can't wait to see if I can duplicate what he did. I tried to copy and paste the tote pic but I couldn't figure out how to do it. Which is ok because in my haste to do that I didn't get the ok from him to do that.

ratcheting screwdrivers
I think I got all the sizes and they all work flawlessly. Now that I have had them a while I have realized that they aren't a replacement for a drill, powered by batteries or a cord. Now that I know their limitations, I can work around them because I still love using these things.

The smallest one is delicate. It came with 3 flat blades and I got a hex adapter to increase it's versatility. I haven't any problems with driving screws with the flat blades. Go figure on that. I was sure that I would be doing the hop and bounce dance steps with it for sure. Nope. The only problem I have had with driving slotted screws is getting the blade in the slot.

my driver collection
The three bits on the lower left I can't use in any of ratcheting drivers because they have round shanks. All the rest fit in the hex adapters.

the 3 flat blades
I didn't think I would use these but I have several times. I have a boatload of small slotted brass screws - from #3 up to a #6 . I can get one of these to fit well with that screw selection I have.

one hiccup
I got these mostly to drive screws, be it in or out. They all do that but not well. I use spax screws and they don't require a pilot hole to be drilled first. The two biggest drivers struggled to do that sans the pilot hole. The smallest one said no mas, no mas. It wouldn't drive it even with a pilot hole.

With a pilot hole, the two biggest ones work well driving them in but not so well driving them out. That I can understand was there is no pressure exerted on the screw backing them out with these. The small one worked with a pilot hole with #6 and #5 screws. It struggled without success trying a #8 spax screw.

I like using these because in spite of my arthritis, these don't hurt to use. Sometimes I get twinges in my wrist and fingers when I use my battery drills. They are good addition to my shop.

I keep the two small ones in here
The big Stanley won't fit in this drawer. I may revisit the holder idea I had for putting on the front of my drawer. I like having all 3 of these right by the bench.

it's home for now
 Until I think of something else, I'll keep it with my go to herd of bench planes.

drawer stock prep
After I checked and corrected each board for twist, I planed the two faces smooth just removing the machine marks. I didn't go nutso and plane to thickness. I just want to get the boards reasonably flat, twist free, and smooth..

the one board with the squirrely grain
This board had the most twist. Not cupped at all but it took 4 planing trips and checking before I declared it twist free.

squared up one end
I then marked the length on one board and knifed my line. I used that board to mark all the other boards.  Two boards I could plane to the line on the other two I sawed most of the waste off first. Theses are the fronts and backs. I did a wash, rinse, and repeat for the sides.

just fits between the slides
the two drawers are ready for dovetailing
the 4 1/2 spitting out even shavings R/M/L
they all look a wee bit better
#4 needs a home
The 5 1/2, 4 1/2, 10 1/2, and the woodie are my go to planes. I keep them here at the left corner of the bench ready to grab and use. The #4 is the one I'm taking to my class in june and I don't have any other place for it to call home. I'll keep it here for the time being.

marking the pins
Had a choice of doing both drawers at the same time or one at a time. Since I don't a clock to punch on this I went with one at a time.

drawer slips
I am using 3/4" stock for the sides so I could plow grooves in them without any problems but I'm going to use slips. That is why the bottom doesn't have a half pin - so the bottom can be slid in.

this part still revs my motor - will it fit?
yes and no
No it didn't fit off the saw and yes it did after a wee bit of fitting and trimming and cursing and repeating the trimming and fitting. It has been a while since I have dovetailed in 3/4" stock. It seems I've done a boatload of them in 1/2" stock lately. The drawer is a 16th off on the diagonals here.

fits
a frog hair from being tight between the slides
setting the depth
Using the Record 044 to make sure it is still functioning as it should. I set the depth and then checked all the screws were tight and the fence was parallel to the skate. Plowed the groove in the front with no hiccups.

stock for the drawer slips
I used the straightest grained off cut to make the drawer slips. I squared both edges because I will get two slips out of each board.

it's working
I checked the depth shoe after each groove along with all the other thumbscrews. The plow is working and it will be a good plane for Miles to have. I don't think or anticipate any more speed bumps with this plow.

 4 slips
test piece
I made a test piece out of some scrap to ensure that I wouldn't be proud of the bottom. Close, but not proud. If I had been I would plane a bevel and leave a space between the bottom of the top drawer and the top of the second drawer.

a saturday UPS delivery
This was totally unexpected. This is my Lee Valley free shipping order and I have never gotten a saturday UPS delivery from them before. Top left going to the right, a 3/4" cup and washer magnet set. Big stick of brown rouge and another set of 3/4" cup and washer magnets. Bottom left is a 1/4" adapter for a brace, hex adapter for my Craftsmen ratcheting screwdriver, and my Blue Tooth transmitter doggle. The BT was mentioned only because it is in the pic.

I tried the adapter in my brace and got a big disappointment. None of my 1/4" hex stuff will fit in the brace adapter. I'll have to email Lee Valley about that one.

3/4 inch washer and cup magnets
I got these to maybe use on the drawers for the tool cabinet. They are a lot stronger than the 1/2" and 3/8" magnets I used to hold the squares in my square till box. I think that they may be too big to use on the tool cabinet drawers. I'll have to wait and see how that shakes out a bit further on down the line.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that 6 wickets and one wooden stake are used in tournament croquet?

Plane iron adjustment hammer

Heartwood: Woodworking by Rob Porcaro - Sat, 02/10/2018 - 10:58pm
brass plane iron adjustment hammer
This modified brass hammer is superb for adjusting plane blades. It shares the functional advantages of a small Japanese octagonal steel hammer, but the brass is kinder to blades. I created the quasi-octagonal shape from the original cylindrical head of a Grace USA 8-ounce brass hammer using an 80-grit belt on the Ridgid oscillating vertical […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Trash –> Treasure, or New Spoons from Old Furniture

The Literary Workshop Blog - Sat, 02/10/2018 - 2:38pm

When I sell my spoons and spatulas at craft markets, people always ask me, “Where do you get the wood?”  I often laugh because, truth be told, practically ever piece of wood has a story behind it.  More often than not, I don’t really find the wood; the wood finds me.  This is the story of one such wood-finding event, which happened just last month.

We were pulling up to the house when we spotted two old dressers that somebody had dropped off in the neighborhood trash pile across the street.  (It’s the spot where we dump yard waste for weekly pickup by the trash truck.)  They looked pretty rough from a distance, but we decided they might be worth a closer look.

Dressers Salvaged for Woodenware 1-2018

Upon first inspection, the dressers were indeed trash.  The veneer was peeling off of every visible surface, and some of the edges and feet were rotted–evidently from being exposed to standing water.  The hardware was gone, too.  If I were a furniture restoration guy, I probably would have passed these up as lost causes.

However, old furniture often contains good-quality hardwood that is excellent for spoon making, so I put on my work gloves, grabbed my crowbar and claw hammer, and started pulling them apart.

Dressers Salvaged for Woodenware 1-2018

A number of the drawers were stuck, so I began by removing the plywood backs so I could push the drawers out from the back.  What I saw was encouraging.

Dressers Salvaged for Woodenware 1-2018

Although the insides smelled pretty musty, the construction was nearly all solid wood.  The only plywood parts were the backs and the drawer bottoms.  And all the drawer sides and backs were solid mahogany, much of it with very pretty figure.  (More on that below!)

As I took the dressers apart, I began to get a sense of their age.  The machine-cut dovetails and mahogany-veneered case indicates mid-twentieth century construction.  They were nice dressers in their time–not the fanciest you could buy, but well built and attractive.  It’s a shame that they were neglected and allowed to get to this state in the first place.

After about an hour, I had disassembled both dressers entirely, picked out the pieces that might yield useful lumber, and discarded the rest.

Dressers Salvaged for Woodenware 1-2018

I carried home two dresser tops (both laminated oak), four dresser sides (all laminated poplar), a bunch of mahogany-veneered plywood (from the drawer bottoms), and quite a few drawer blades (the horizontal pieces that separate the drawers).

Dressers Salvaged for Woodenware 1-2018

Not to mention a whole pile of pre-finished 1/2″ thick mahogany boards in various lengths and widths.  I think I’ll be making some pencil boxes and jewelry boxes soon!

But I’m mainly here for spoon wood, so on to the less-superficially-attractive stuff!  The sides and drawer blades had the best spoon wood: soft maple and poplar.

Dressers Salvaged for Woodenware 1-2018

But before I could start cutting spoons and spatulas out of this wood, I had to work carefully to remove all the nails and screws I could find.  I also pried off as much of the veneer as possible.

The next step was to bring out my templates and start deciding on the best uses for each piece.  Ideally, I would get a good mix of spoons and spatulas out of this pile of wood, but the nature of the material often dictates what I can and can’t do with it.  Looking at every piece from every side, I had to work around mortises, screw holes, and rot–all the while paying attention to grain direction.

Dressers Salvaged for Woodenware 1-2018

In many cases, I found I could nest different utensils within the same board.  It became a Tetris-like game of optimizing the placement of each utensil on each piece of wood.  Often it took me working through several possible configurations to get the most out of each piece.

Once I had the shapes laid out, I sawed each workpiece to length with a hand saw.  Then I sawed out the rough shape of each utensil on the bandsaw.  With each cut, I was careful to watch for stray hardware like embedded nails and other mortal enemies of saw teeth.

Back at my workbench, I went to work on some of the poplar.  This is tulip poplar, which has a light yellow sapwood but distinctively green heartwood.  The wood was very dry, but poplar works quite easily with hand tools, and in short order I was able to make some spoons and spatulas.

Dressers Salvaged for Woodenware 1-2018

The green color is entirely natural.  I think the shavings look like that vegetable-pasta that we sometimes have for dinner–except this has extra fiber.

Dressers Salvaged for Woodenware 1-2018

I did end up having to discard a few blanks because of flaws that only became apparent once I started carving, but much of the wood has turned out to be very useful.  So while I was sad to witness the end of what was once some nice furniture, I am happy to give some of the wood a new lease on life.

 

Ruler Trick trick

Heartwood: Woodworking by Rob Porcaro - Sat, 02/10/2018 - 2:19pm
ruler trick
A strip of 0.20″-thick plastic shim stock, about 1/2″-wide and the full length of the stone, facilitates the Ruler Trick. The plastic is the same thickness and width as the 6″ steel ruler I had been using, but the blade slides on it more smoothly, and it allows use of the full length of the stone. […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

2 Books in the Birth Canal

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 02/10/2018 - 3:44am

IM_cover_mockup_web

We are in the final stages of editing two books and getting them ready for press by the end of February.

“Ingenious Mechanicks: Early Workbenches & Workholding” is being indexed right now by Suzanne Ellison. Megan Fitzpatrick and Kara Gebhart Uhl are giving it a final edit for typographical problems.

This will be my first book with a dust jacket (see above). I hope this book justifies it. The gorgeous photos from Narayan Nayar and the paintings from the last 2,000 of human history make this book visually interesting – as well as educational (I hope). The book will be 172 pages, hardbound, on heavy and coated 8-1/2” x 11” paper. Full color throughout.

I don’t have any information on pricing, yet. My guess is it will be about $45 retail. This book was crazy expensive to write thanks to all the expense of acquiring permissions to reprint images from all over the world, trips to Italy and Germany to inspect artifacts and the professional illustrations. Heck, the wood to make the workbenches was the cheapest part of the endeavor.

The second book at the ready is “Cut & Dried: A Woodworker’s Guide to Timber Technology” by Richard Jones. I finished my edit of the book this week. Megan, Kara and Suzanne are now making a final sweep through the book for errors and consistency.

We spent a long time coming up with the title for this book and are quite pleased with it. While Richard’s text covers every aspect of how the world of trees and woodworkers intersect, just about every detail that is important to woodworkers is how the wood was cut and how it was dried. This influences its appearance, its stability, the defects and even whether it will be susceptible to attack by pests or mold.

I am working on the cover for this book right now, and it involves a little woodworking, a little fire and some hand-printing. I’ll be covering the process here on the blog in the coming week.

“Cut & Dried” will be a sizable hardbound book at 320 pages on heavy 9” x 12” paper. I suspect the price will be about $50 to $60. We are waiting on quotes from the printer.

We will open the ordering process later this month and both books should ship from the printer in early April. More details on pricing and who will be carrying these books will come soon.

Waiting in the Womb
Soon after the above books go to press, we’ll have two more almost immediately. It’s going to be a busy year. Joshua Klein’s book “With Hands Employed Aright” will be back from the designer shortly. And Jögge Sundqvist’s “Slöjd in Wood” is almost ready to go to press.

And shortly behind those two books are new titles from Christian Becksvoort and Marc Adams. Oh, and Peter Follansbee.

— Christopher Schwarz

Categories: Hand Tools

out for dinner.....

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 02/10/2018 - 12:18am
I didn't have fish n' chips this time. My wife asked me if I was having heart attack when I ordered a steak for dinner. Sometimes you have to throw a curve to keep everyone guessing. I got a baked potato with broccoli and I washed it down with a Sam Adams lager. I don't drink often but I do like a beer now and then, usually with fish n' chips or in this case, a steak.


4 1/2 tote and knob
I nixed the Tru- oil for these two. I read the instructions and it says to wait 24 hours between applications and that would mean 4-5 days before they would be done. Shellac I can spray on a bazillion in a couple of hours. That is why I went with it. I already have two coats sprayed on and I'll be using the 4 1/2 this weekend.

Another point with the Tru-oil is it says to wipe it down between coats with 00 (double zero) steel wool. All I have in the shop is 4-0. That means a trip to Wally World but I don't remember seeing any steel wool my last time in there. Wally World just got done with their *^@((%@!$%&*# lets move and rearrange everything. People have gotten used to where things are so it's time to change stock locations. So I'm not even sure that Wally World still sells it. They don't sell shellac anymore, be it quarts or rattle cans. And they cut way back on the sandpaper they used to sell.

don't like this wild grain
This is from the board that is giving up the two fronts. The other part of this board has straight grain but around the 1/2 way point it went on a bender. It is still flat and straight after almost a week in the shop. And it didn't move when I cut it to width so maybe I'm worrying about it for nothing. If it is still flat tomorrow I'll use it when I make the drawers. If not, I have a 1x12 cutoff that I can get a drawer front from.

the sides
I used the two boards with the straightest grain for the sides. It is important that these boards stay flat and straight.

the drawer slides
The drawer slides drove the side stock selection. I only have a 32nd of leeway with the width. If the stock cups, I'm screwed. If it does that it could stop the slides from opening/closing freely. They could bind and say I ain't opening at all. It isn't much of a problem if I was using plywood but I'm not.

my last time using drawer slides
This is a filing cabinet I made for my wife a few years ago.

the last time I used the Leigh Jig to make dovetails too
These slides have the same 32nd tolerance that the ones I'm using now have. Rather them make myself nutso, I made the drawer width an 1/8 over. If I had made the width too narrow I would have been screwed and had to make a new drawer. Being oversized, I planed the sides until it fit within the 32nd tolerance.

put a pencil drawer in the top one
My wife didn't want both drawers to hold files so I had some freedom here.

bottom drawer
She doesn't use it to keep files anymore. It has become her pocketbook drawer now. Did you notice that I swapped the tails and pins over what I did on the top drawer? I have no finish on any of the three drawers and they are still flat and cup free years later. Putting finish on drawers is another myth I don't buy into.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that the maximum circumference of a standard bowling can not exceed 27.002 inches?

A History of Christmas in Tools.

The Furniture Record - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 11:12pm

We are not the Waltons.

My step-mother believes we are. Or, perhaps, she believes that if she acts like we are the Waltons, we will become the Waltons.

We know better.

We are scattered geographically (Georgia, North Carolina, Missouri X 2 and California) and by age, I am 8, 14 and 16 years older than my siblings. When I left for college in Pittsburgh my family moved Denver. And I never lived with the family again except for four to six days occasionally at Christmas and three weeks when my father died. How the sibs turned out is not my fault.

So, like many other families, I assume, we do a Christmas lottery. Every sibling and spouse participating is assigned another sibling or spouse in an allegedly random draw and given the opportunity to purchase said sibling or spouse a gift from a supplied list not to exceed $100 exclusive of shipping and tax although point has been so subject of some discussion and dispute. Over the years the proffered gift lists have gotten shorter to the point of being only for a gift card or cash.

Annually, I supply my list of 4 of 5 items that actually requires a fair amount or research. Making an Amazon wish list helps. What inevitably happens is that a sibling or spouse would “buy” something my wife had already purchased from the same list. Many of these items were tools. In recent past, there were many tools at the $99 price point. Now, not so much.

These tools have included:

IMG_6214

An 8″ Ryobi bench grinder.

Home Depot now only stocks a 6″ bench grinder for $45. I don’t use this grinder much anymore since like all good Kool-Aid® drinking woodworker, I have replaced it with a slow speed grinder.

This is not the actual grinder I was gifted. My sister gave me one like it the year the family was spending the holiday with her in Los Angeles. Driving to the airport, I was concerned how I was going to check it and how much it would cost for a third checked item. I found a Home Depot en route and returned that one for cash. I bought this one at a local Home Depot the next day.

Then there was:

IMG_6213

The current version is green, $129 and has a laser.

Still used for the annual Toys for Tots build. This year I had three drill presses for the build. I could have used a fourth but space is not infinite.

IMG_6216

More Ryobi. Current one is green and $129.

In a break from Ryobi, there was this:

IMG_6223

The Delta tenoning jig. The box had a picture of Norm Abram on it.

This is now the Rockler Heavy-Duty Tenoning Jig, Item #: 29840 for $129.

Moving away from woodworking:

IMG_6222

A ubiquitous Craftsman n+1 piece 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″ socket set.

The missing sockets and drive live in the bandsaw now.

IMG_6215

I thought Woodcraft was selling a rebranded version of this one but I can’t prove it.

Home Depot is now selling a Wen that looks a lot like a Rockwell that looks like a Triton that looks like a Grizzly that looks like a Scheppach. Then I stopped looking.

The last tool I mention in this walk down memory tool lane is this classic:

IMG_6212

The low-end 12″ dovetail machine. A tool I never thought I’d use.

I did buy an additional template and use it to make box joints.

Discontinued by Porter+Cable, this machine next spent time as Woodcraft’s WoodRiver 12″ Half Blind Dovetail Jig. It is now the MLCS Dovetail Jig. Old tools never die, they just get new boxes.

I thought I would never use this dovetail jig because I don’t like the aesthetics of machine cut dovetails. Maybe if I had one of those $500 dovetail jigs I might feel differently but I don’t and I don’t. I’m not one of those dovetail purists/fetishist that rejects the existence of machine cut dovetails on philosophical grounds. They are a valid method of joinery. I just don’t like the look.

I never thought I would use the jig until I found this on eBay:

P1020177

Seems to be a variation on the J. V. Hammond dynamite box for use in mining.

But this one is different:

P1020178

The bottom is attached with half-blind dovetails.

I was bothered by this in that is not like the others in the collection:

P1020186

Typical of others in the collection.

The typical box has a bottom attached with a sliding dovetail creating feet to keep the contents away from damp mine floors.

I was also bothered by the fact that a design feature of the boxes was that the were assembled without any glue. The joinery hold the box together. No glue required. Half-blind dovetails cannot rely on friction to maintain joint integrity. What keeps the box together?

P1020179

Turns out the dovetails are pinned in all four corners.

Having bought one, I had to build one:

P1020183

And I did.

P1020184

Right down to the half-blind dovetails.

Not pinned yet.

Many blogs about these boxes if you care. Just search for blasting or Hammond.

The family took a vote this year on the Christmas lottery. Some of us felt it had become functionally like taking $100 from the left pocket and putting it in the right pocket. Less tax and shipping. The vote was two to discontinue, one to continue and one abstention. Maybe not a principled abstention, more like disdain or disinterest. Only siblings were polled. We didn’t think it fair to get spouses involved in such an emotionally charged issue.

A white elephant exchange was suggested. (Everyone provides wrapped, low value gift. The first person selects a wrapped gift. The next person can either select a wrapped present or take the first person’s gift. If a gift is stolen, the victim can select a wrapped gift or a previously selected gift. You cannot immediately steal back a stolen gift. And so it goes.)

This did not happen because one sibling was very seriously concerned about ending up with a $25 tchotchke they didn’t want. Apparently they never heard of regifting…

We all just donated $100 to a charity of our choice.

New M&T Shirt & Sticker: “Cutting Edge Technology”

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 9:06am

For those of you that have been despairingly watching our dwindling shirt inventory, we have good news: our new shirts just arrived from the printer yesterday.

For this new design, we commissioned an illustration from Jessica Roux, the same artist that drew Jonathan Fisher at work in his workshop for my upcoming book. Mike and I had Jessica draw the irons and wedges from my three bench planes in her whimsical folksy style. Jessica’s mentioned more than once that she loves drawing these old tools, working out the textures and layers of color.

Besides “MORTISE & TENON magazine”, the front of the shirt has “FORE” “TRYING” and “SMOOTHING” labeled beneath the irons. The shirt’s back says, “Cutting Edge Technology” with the M&T pyramidal logo beneath.

To print something this detailed, we turned to Triple Stamp Press in Atlanta, Georgia. Triple Stamp does incredibly fine water-based screen printing that captures the fine details of Jessica’s drawings.

 

These indigo-colored shirts are of the same premium 100% combed cotton jersey we’ve always used. We love these shirts and often get compliments on their soft, vintage feel.

You can purchase one of these shirts here. We do not print second runs of our shirts. If you know you want one, I would recommend getting one now.

We also have stickers with the fore plane iron and its wedge for $3 each. The stickers can be purchased here.

- Joshua

 

Categories: Hand Tools

Giant Live-edge Walnut Slabs for Sale

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 6:47am

slab3_IMG_0455

If you are in the market for live-edge slabs that are dry and ready to go, read on.

The tree service I use outside Cincinnati has seven beautiful walnut slabs available that they have cut, dried in a vacuum kiln and are stacked and ready to go. I got to inspect the slabs last week during a visit and they are sweet. I didn’t have my moisture meter with me, but they felt dry and ready to use.

Here are some details:

  • They have two slabs that measure 3” thick and 12’2” long. These are 45” wide (!!) at the crotch end and 27” to 34” wide on the bole.
  • They have four slabs that measure 3” thick and 12’2” long. These are 47” wide at the crotch end and 34” wide on the bole.
  • They have one slab with bark on one face that is 136” long at the crotch end and 20” at the bole end. The thickness varies because of the bark surface, but the middle bit is almost 6” thick.

I’m listing these here as a favor to the seller and you. I don’t get a commission and have no interest in the deal.

This was one impressive walnut tree, and I’m happy these guys were able to save it from the chipper so it can live on.

For information on pricing and availability, contact Jay Butcher at 513-616-8873 (voice or text) or via email.

— Christopher Schwarz

Categories: Hand Tools

How to Cut a Dado on an Assembled Case

The Renaissance Woodworker - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 6:17am

Cut the Dado the Same Way You Would if the Case Weren’t Assembled

Yep, its that simple. There is no special technique for adding a shelf into a case you stupidly already assembled because the hand tool approach is to take the tool to the wood. This means you just need a way to hold the case while you saw and chop away the dado. So really this video should be titled, “How to Cut a Dado”.

Lots of Ways to Cut Dados

The method shown above is probably my go to, most common method. But there are always other ways to get to the same place. Have you seen a dado or stair saw in action? You might want to these out:




Categories: Hand Tools

Upcoming Fore Plane Class at the Storefront

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 5:54am

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 8.18.25 AM

James McConnell, of The Daily Skep, will teach a weekend class on making a fore plane July 21-22 at the storefront in Covington, Ky. Registration opens at 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 12.

Just like the other classes at Lost Art Press, it is limited to six students, and proceeds go directly to the instructor; they are not a money-making enterprise for Christopher Schwarz or Lost Art Press. He’s let those of us who are teaching use the space for free (he’ll likely edit this out, but: Chris is incredibly generous and kind) as a way to help build and get the word out on the local woodworking community in Covington. (And to help feed the cats/children/iguanas of the instructors.)

Here are the details:

Build a Traditionally Styled Laminated Fore Plane with James McConnell
July 21-22, 2018
Cost: $250, plus a $115 materials fee for the wood & iron

Build your own a traditionally styled wooden fore plane in a weekend with Jim McConnell. Using simple laminated construction, this wedge-and-pin-style plane works, looks and feels like a traditional fore plane, but it requires no specialized planemaking tools. This is a great way to get into the world of wooden handplanes – and the skills you learn in this class can be applied across the board to build planes of other sizes as well. We’ll focus on getting the bed angles right and fitting each plane to the user, so the plane you take home will be as individual as you are.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

 

Categories: Hand Tools

Desk Prototype III

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 5:07am

 

With the legs and writing box done it as time to assemble them and make the shelf that had to be fitted to them precisely not only for the structure as a whole but to provide the specs for the spindles that held them together.

Not a whole lot of descriptive detail required here, the individual components were simply screwed together to make sure the pieces fit and allow for the layout of any remaining components.

It was certainly not a wasted effort as it allowed me to work out some of the minute details that could not be spatially resolved any other way.

It was finally time to move on to my pile of vintage true mahogany.

How I rehab planes......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 12:47am
I got a comment from Andrew about my painting technique so I decided to expand on it. I will give a brief overview of how I rehab a plane. I am not a purist, or a collector. Any planes that I rehab are done with respect to get that plane to user status first and foremost. Lately my anal side took over and I've been going nutso getting the planes to look as good and shiny as possible. If you are interested in keeping patina then don't read any further.  I will take shiny and good looking over patina everyday of the week 24/365.

still straight and cup free
I will let this sticker for one more day.

primer I use
The steps I do now are the level of rehabbing I have grow to. I have learned and improved a bit more with each plane I've done but I think I have finally reached the top of things that can be done. I use spray primer only because I haven't found a can of it yet. I would rather brush this on vice spraying. I use this primer because I use Rustoleum enamel paint as my topcoat.

the plane interior
This is the only area I spray primer on. I tape off the sides and bottom and spray away. Another reason I chose this spray primer is that I can spray at any angle. That helps when trying to spray into the corners of the vertical surfaces.

Before I spray the primer I scrape and clean the body with degreaser. I then apply the stripper. After I strip the interior I scrape and sand it as best I can. Sandblasting it would be the best choice here.  Before I spray on the primer, I clean the body one last time with acetone.

Rustoleum oil based black enamel
I put on two coats of black enamel and I haven't had to use more than two on any plane I've done so far. I have used this brush on every rehab that I have painted and it is still working ok. I use oil based enamel because one it is shiny and will stay this way. And two, this is a durable paint that once it has set shouldn't chip readily. It should provide protection and shine for this plane for a whole lot of years.

sole
My reasoning for going nutso on the sole is that doing it this way will make it slick and easier to push. There should be less friction between the stock and the sole. I sand starting with 80 grit but that depends on the condition of the sole and I may jump up to a higher grit to start with. After 80 I use 120, 180, 220, 320, 400, and finish with 600. I could go further but this is shiny enough for me here. The last step for the sole and the cheeks is to apply Autosol. The Autosol imparts a little more shine but it protects the plane for several months.

you decide
Patina from age or shine from a little time and muscle?

made big improvements with the frogs
When I first started rehabbing I avoided the frog because I was intimidated by it. I was fearful of breaking something so I basically left them alone. I don't prime them before painting them but I do remove as much japanning as I can. I follow that up with a good cleaning with acetone and then two topcoats.

One thing I do now is remove the yoke. It is a simple matter of punching out the pin that holds it. It's just as easy to replace. I haven't gotten up the courage to try and remove the lateral adjust lever. I read a couple of blogs where they remove the lateral adjust and pin it again and peen it over. I may buy a frog to practice on because that would make painting the frog even easier to do.

frog face
 I was just sanding this until it was flat. If it got smooth that was bonus but getting it flat was the number one reason for sanding it. Now I'm getting it flat and then shining it up to 600 grit and I like that look.. I start with 150, then 220, 320, 400, and stop at 600. I use Autosol on the face only as my final step.

lever caps
The left cap is from a #4 I rehabbed several years ago. I concentrated my efforts then mostly to remove rust and I didn't try shining this up. I only discovered that I could shine these up by accident. One cap had a scratch on the face and I tried to sand it out and noticed that it was getting shiny. I am sanding the lever caps with the same grits as the frog faces.

frog from a rehabbed #4
Usually the sides of the sides are rough and bumpy. I'm sure that this is the way they came from being cast and this surface didn't get any love. Filing the sides of the frog I found is very easy to do. I now file the frog sides smooth removing the bumps and rough casting marks.

4 1/2 frog
This was rougher than the #4 frog up above before I filed and painted it.

spray painted on the left  and brushed on the right
I no longer spray the topcoat because it is a PITA. I like brushing. I am a good painter and I enjoy painting the top coat. More importantly I think the results are better than what I got spraying it. The sprayed coat is an Engine paint if I remember. That is what was recommended but it is dull and listless looking. When I go back and rehab this #3 again, painting it and the frog with the enamel paint will perk it up a lot.

4 1/2 on up have toe screws on the totes
I replace the steel toe screws with a brass ones. I get them from Bill Rittner here. He also makes replacement totes and knobs. I have been finishing the knobs and totes with shellac but I am going to try using Tru-oil instead.

Stanley barrel nuts
The ones on the left were used first by Stanley and then switched to the style on the left. Or maybe it was the other way around. Here's my take on them - the ones on the left I don't like and I don't use. I like the solid barrel nuts but these being brass they usually have the snot beat out of the slot. Bill Rittner sells replacements.

These are Bill Rittner replacement nuts
I can't tell the difference between Bill's barrel nuts and the original ones. Like all brass, the shine doesn't last.

the small parts
I remove all loose rust, clean, and degrease all the small parts first. I clean the threads with the wire brush and the dental pick. I then give them an EvapoRust bath. Out of the bath I'll sand the flats where I can and the stud barrels.

oiling the small parts is next
I only use the oil on the steel parts. No oil on any of the brass parts.

almost forgot about the adjuster knob
I've been cleaning and shining up the knob with this. You can get this at any grocery store or Wally World. This is the best stuff I've used to clean up the adjuster knobs. Even the filthy, grungy, dirty ones too.

tale of two knobs
The knob on the bottom left was cleaned and shined with Bar Keeps and then I used Autosol on it. The knob on the right is from the #4 I just got done rehabbing. That knob was only done with Bar Keeps and it is shiny but the Autosol knob is 3 frog hairs shinier. And it has a nice soft luster to it that the Bar Keeps one doesn't have.  I'll keep using the Bar Keeps and finishing them with Autosol. I can see a difference in the two that I couldn't capture with this pic.

this is a must
You will need a container of some kind to keep the parts together after you take the plane down to parade rest. This is a cereal container and I have boatload of them. Another choice would a chinese take out container. Always a good thing to have a few of them in the shop.

finger sanders
I got these from Lowes and if I remember correctly they are made by Shop Smith? They are flexible and conform nicely to the shape of the lever cap. Huge improvement in sanding with these over holding the sandpaper in your fingers. I'll be buying another set just for woodworking and I'll keep these dirty ones for metal work.

sanding blocks
I don't know how I did all the sanding before without these. They are various sized blocks of wood that I glued 1/4" thick cork to. I was doing the sanding by hand but no more - these sanding blocks are worth their weight in gold as far as I'm concerned..

needs some wood
This is basically how I now rehab a plane. This 4 1/2 is a daily user for  me and one that I am doing the rehab over on. I painted the body and the frog. I shined the lever cap and frog and once the tote and knob get some finish, this will take it's place at the top left corner of my bench.

I haven't given up on this yet
Lee Valley started their free shipping for orders over $40 and my order this morning came to $40.60. I bought some brown rouge that I hope will work on these wheels. I want to try them with the LV rouge before I buy another buffing wheel.

bought an adapter for the Craftsman ratcheting screwdriver
I bought the hex adapter for this and one for my braces. I am looking to get a 5 or 6 inch sweep brace that I can use to drive big blots or screws. I rounded out my order from LV with a set of cup and washer magnet sets that I might use on the rolling tool cabinet.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that the Japanese Nintendo Company made playing cards before it made computer games?

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