Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
Chests, cupboards, boxes, cabinets – most any wooden furniture that opened and closed had an iron lock in 17th-century New England (& old England for that matter). It’s rare that they survive, even more unusual is a customer who wants to pay what it takes to get locks on their custom furniture. I have such a client right now, for 2 boxes and a chest. So I get to a.) show how I install a handmade lock, and b.) first, re-learn how I install a handmade lock. I do them so rarely that each time is like doing it for the first time. The lock above was made by Peter Ross, blacksmith. http://peterrossblacksmith.com/ His website is perpetually under construction. His iron work is top flight. We’ll get the tacky stuff out of the way first – if you want locks that are so-called “museum-quality/period-correct”, expect to pay for them. This lock, with escutcheon and 2 keys was $650. I suspect Peter still undercharged me, given the amount of work that goes into these. OK. Now to install it.
I cut a test-mortise in a piece of scrap to make sure I was on the right track. Then proceeded to the box. First, bore the main part of the keyhole.
The real dumb thing was to build the box, then decide it wanted a lock. So now, how to hold it for all the chopping, paring, etc? Because of the overhang of the bottom/front, I had to prop the box up on a piece of 7/8″ thick pine. I put some bubblewrap between them so as to not mess up the carved front too much. Then to hold the lid open with something other than my forehead, I cut an angle on a piece of scrap, and clamped it with a spring clamp. Not traditional, but worked well.
After scribing the layout based on the lock, I sawed two ends as deeply as I could.
After chopping some of that waste out, I had to re-score the end grain. I switched to a very sharp knife for this part. worked great.
Alternated scoring with the knife and paring with this long-bladed paring chisel.
Once I got to the stage for testing the fit, I realized I needed a hole bored in the scrap below for the sleeve to fit through. Once that was in place, I swiped a black sharpie over the lock, and then tested it. Left black marks where I needed to adjust things.
Some back & forth til it fit the way I wanted it. The slot on the top edge of the lock is for the staple from the lid to engage the bolt. So I needed to get the wood out of that slot.
Ready to be nailed in place. I bored pilot holes, and drove the nails in. I backed them up out front, thinking some might poke through. As it happened only one did, in a low point in the carving. So no trouble at all.
Then needed to open up the keyhole a bit. A rare appearance of a file in my woodworking. I bored a small hole first, then opened it up with the file.
The escutcheon, nailed in place. I had to snip the ends of these nails off, so they wouldn’t mess up the lock. In this application, they are as short as a wrought nail can be just about.
Then, some fussing to locate and excavate the housing for the staple. Here, I locked the staple to the lock and impressed its position by using the sharpie, and closing the lid & leaning on it. That left a mark so I could see where to cut into the lid.
Knife and chisel work again.
I got this part done, then had to pick up speed because it was getting dark. So the final photos will be another day. It’s 99.9% done. An adjustment is all that’s left.
This is a video on blade calibration to make it run true and vibration free. I was very nervous in the video and when I’m nervous my mind usually goes blank. Hope the video is beneficial to you.
This is an excerpt from “The Woodworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years” published by Lost Art Press.
Of course, you realize that the feature that makes this work awkward is the fact that the moulding which forms the pediment slopes upwards towards the middle. It necessitates a different section from that at the sides, and introduces an interesting problem in mitreing. The pediments of doorways, windows, and mantelpieces often had this feature.
A little reflection will show you that the moulding which runs around the side of the cabinet, the return mould as it is called, must necessarily be different in section from the sloping mould at the front (raking mould, to give it its technical title). Apart from anything else, the top surface cannot be square but must obviously slope to agree with the raking mould, and its top square member must be vertical. The whole contour, however, is quite different because it would otherwise be impossible to make the members meet on a true mitre line. These points are at once clear from a glance at Fig. 2 (A and B).
Before proceeding farther, it will be as well to explain that so far as the centres of these broken pediments* are concerned there are two distinct methods that can be employed. In the one the same section is used for the return as the raking mould, so that the square members of the moulding which would normally be vertical lean over at right angles with the raking mould. The pediment in Fig. 1 is of this kind; also that shown at C in Fig. 2. In the second method the section of the return is different, and is arranged so that all normally vertical members remain vertical as at D, Fig. 2. This latter method naturally involves considerably more work but has a better appearance. Both methods were used in old woodwork.
To return to the outer corners, the first step is to fix the contour of the return moulding since this is the one which is seen the more when the cabinet is viewed from the front. Draw in this as shown at A, Fig. 2, and along the length of the raking mould draw in any convenient number of parallel lines, a, b, c, d, e. Where these cross the line of the moulding erect the perpendicular lines 1-7. From the point x draw a horizontal line. With centre x draw in the series of semicircles to strike the top line of the raking moulding, and then continue them right across the latter in straight lines at right angles with it. The points at which they cut the lines a-e are points marking the correct section of the raking mould, and it is only necessary to sketch in a curve which will join them (see B). The same principle is followed in marking the centre return D, but, instead of drawing the semi-circles, the vertical lines 1-7 are drawn in the same spacing as at A (the reverse way round, of course).
Having worked the sections the problem arises of finding and cutting the mitre. This is explained in Fig. 3. The return mould presents no difficulty, and it is usual to cut and fit this first. It is just cut in the mitre box using the 45 deg. cut. Note that the back of the moulding is kept flat up against the side of the mitre box, the sloping top edge being ignored. Now for the raking mould. Square a line across the top edge far enough from the end to allow for the mitre, and from it mark the distance T R along the outer edge. This T R distance, of course, is the width of the return moulding measured square across the sloping top edge. This enables the top mitre line to be drawn in. The depth line is naturally vertical when the raking mould is in position. You can therefore set the adjustable bevel to the angle indicated at U and mark the moulding accordingly.
Worked and cut in this way the mouldings should fit perfectly. We may mention, however, that you can get out of the trouble of having different sections by allowing a break in the raking mould as at Z, Fig. 2. The mitre at the break runs across the width, and the one at the corner across the thickness.
The method of ascertaining the sections of mouldings should be used for all large, important work. If, however, you have a simple job to do requiring just one small length you can eliminate the setting out altogether. First work the return mould and cut its mitre. As already mentioned this is at 45 deg. and is cut straight down square. Fix it in position temporarily and prepare a piece of stuff for the raking mould. Its thickness will be the same as that of the return mould, but it will be rather narrower. Mark out and cut the mitre as described in Fig. 3. If preferred the adjustable bevel can be used entirely as in Fig. 4. The tool is placed so that it lines up with the slope of the raking mould, and the blade adjusted to line up with the mitre (see A). This gives the top marking.
Now set the bevel to the slope of the raking mould as at B. Mark the back of the mould and cut the mitre. Offer it up in position and with a pencil draw a line around the profile of the return mould as in Fig. 4. Work the moulding to the section thus produced.
— Meghan Bates
*A broken pediment is one in which the raking moulds, instead of meeting at the centre, are stopped short and are returned as in Fig. 1.
This week I posted a new online course to which all current members have free access. The project is a Chippendale Fretwork Looking Glass. (If you are a current member, and please make sure that you are logged in, click here to jump to the article, which includes information at the bottom on how to download your course.)
If you’re interested in what this online course is all about, plus learn a bit about the project itself, take a look at the course in the 360Woodworking.com store (go here).
And speaking of workbenches, you’ll have the opportunity to work with me at The Barn building your own version of either a basic Roubo or Nicholson bench in Southern Yellow Pine. Thanks to my adapting David Barron’s innovative system for building laminated Roubo benches, and the elegant simplicity of the Nicholson bench, you can arrive empty handed (except for your tools) on Monday and depart at the end of the week with a bench fully ready to go. The only likely hindrance to this outcome is if you spend too much time simply looking at the mountain vista on the horizon.
The finished bench does not include holdfasts or vise mechanisms; if you want those you can supply your own or I can order them for you separately. And if you prefer a 5-1/2″ slab for the Roubo bench rather than the 3-3/4″ slab, there will be an additional $100 materials fee.
The complete 2018 Barn workshop schedule:
Historic Finishing April 26-28, $375
Making A Petite Dovetail Saw June 8-10, $400
Boullework Marquetry July 13-15, $375
Knotwork Banding Inlay August 10-12, $375
Build A Classic Workbench September 3-7, $950
contact me here if you are interested in any of these workshops.
|came in today|
|600 grit shine|
|the paint boo boo|
|drawer stock 1x8 - actually 7 1/2"|
|48 inches long|
I bought 4 boards because my original intent was to use two boards to make one drawer. I am going to stick to that because I want the drawers to be 4 1/2 inches deep. Allowing for the groove and bottom will give an interior drawer depth of 4".
|brown and red knot|
|this brown knot fell out|
|the knot board will give up the two backs|
|some weird grain about 2/3 of the way down|
|reference edge and face|
|they are pretty straight and flat|
|scraped the front knob|
|filed a fresh burr|
|ready for sanding|
My father-in-law is out the ICU and on the regular ward. He may be discharged tomorrow to the rehab unit which is next door to the hospital. It doesn't look like he'll be going home but to a nursing home after rehab.
Did you know that Henry Stanley of "Dr Livingston, I presume....." fame fought for both the south and the north in the American Civil War?
I did ask Bob about it and he responded at some length on a subsequent podcast (beginning at about 10:30) with a number of good ideas that are worth your while. Nevertheless, there is just no getting around the fact that white oak is difficult to work with hand tools.
This is only speculation, but I wonder if this last issue is one reason arts and crafts furniture is traditionally made with quartersawn white oak. My experience is that it is a lot easier to work with than flatsawn material.
I like Greene and Greene style box joints a lot and that keeps you from using secondary woods for drawer sides. Recently, I used vertical grain douglas-fir for half-blind dovetails, which I like a lot, but it splits very easily. I dislike poplar because of the greenish cast in what I see at my supplier. Alder is plentiful and inexpensive here and I think that will become my secondary wood. It's hardness is comparable to poplar.
Gluing up can be a frantic time.
And if you’re like me, it’ll be messy too.
But how much should we be planning ahead, before we get it all stuck together?
When we glued up the top for our Hall Table build, we received a few questions on this topic.
They were good queries, pondering over grain direction and alternating growth rings.
So I thought we’d cover this in a little bit of detail.
The arrival of Issue Four is right around the corner – and with each new issue of M&T comes the fine, established tradition of the Mortise & Tenon Packing Party! Now that we’re publishing twice per year, we’re doubling up on these tremendously fun events. We’ve had folks travel from all over to help wrap each new issue in brown paper, affix a special trade card with wax seal, and place it in a mailer with a handful of pine plane shavings.
Everyone shares good food (wood-fired pizza, home-baked goodies, and more), locally-roasted coffee, excellent conversation, and an overall fantastic time. We don’t send anyone home empty-handed - we've got plenty of M&T goodies to go around. The “show and tell” opportunity is my favorite part, as everyone pulls recent projects, old tools, and books out of trunks and backseats to get passed around and discussed.
The dates for our Issue Four Packing Party are March 23-24, Friday and Saturday, in Blue Hill, Maine. We’re looking again to rent a house for those who will need accommodations, so please let us know if that is important to you!
If you are interested in signing up to join us, please send us an email right away at email@example.com. We can’t guarantee anyone a slot just yet, but we will be operating on a first come, first served basis. Our Issue Three party was a blast, and we look forward to seeing new faces and old friends again as we launch Issue Four!
Looking back over 2017’s activity, I see that I posted only four times. Four posts! Not too long ago I’d post four times a week. So what’s happened? After nearly sixty years of woodworking have I had enough? Has “the muse” deserted me? Perhaps. But I doubt it.
The last twelve months have included a fair amount of travel and a move. Yes, a move. Gone are the days of being confined in my “little shed”, tripping over lumber, blowing fuses, etc. The new abode includes a 2 1/2 car garage that will become the shop. Of course there’s a fair amount of preparatory work to be done; insulating, heating, painting (white, white, white). Then there’ll be new tills and racks to build, getting the lighting just right, sorting through boxes. All that has to be complete before I can start back to work on a number of projects that remain unfinished.
While attempting to relocate the muse, I have made a few notes to myself:
1. Running out of room for furniture – Hmm – What to do?
2. Explore some areas of the craft that you’ve been away from for a while.
3. Share as much information about “trade” geometry as possible.
Wherever the road takes me…
With the bench “assembled” I turned it over halfway and rough trimmed the bottoms of the legs. Even though I was handling it by myself, wrestling with a 350-pound behemoth is fairly straightforward if I am careful and make sure I am actually handling half or less of the total weight, which is the case if I am rolling or spinning it. With the legs cut to rough length I rolled it the rest of the way over so I could work on flattening the top for a couple of hours.
With the bench on its feet, but on a rolling cart so I could move it easily, I set about to installing the planing stop I had already glued up. I planed it such that the fit was very tight, counting on a few humidity cycles to induce ccompression fit on both the stop and the mortise in which it resides in the hopes of establishing a nice firm fit in the end. I’d wanted to put a full width (of the block) toothed tip on the stop but I did not have the piece of scrap steel in the drawer that could suffice so I just used what I had. I filed the teeth, drilled and countersunk the holes for some honkin’ big screws and assembled the stop. I also excavated the top of the bench so the entire assembly is flush.
With that I cut and affixed temporary(?) stretchers to the legs to support the shelf, Kreg screw style (without the Kreg jig), which on a decently built Roubo or Nicholson bench is the only functional purpose for stretchers. If mortised stretchers are needed to stabilize the bench structure, it wasn’t built well enough. Using scraps from the pile I cut and laid the shelf boards and attached the vise and for now, it was done. Come summer I will flatten the top again and call it quits. As it was the bench served my needs perfectly in Williamsburg to give me both a perfectly functioning work station and a focus for my sermon on workbenches and holdfasts,
Craft Can Have Different Meaning Some times we lose sight of the meaning of craft. To some, perhaps most, it’s now become more a pastime—something you do when there is nothing to watch or you have nothing else to do. Schools have also succumbed to become somewhat dismissive of true craft to substitute what we […]
Read the full post Woodworking Is The Sport—Practice, Practise, Practice on Paul Sellers' Blog.
When I got home I could have spent more time in the shop but I didn't. I was thinking of my wife's father and my father. He passed on when he was 69. I could have gone and seen him at the hospital the night he was admitted but my wife's best friend was his nurse and she said he needed to rest and I should come see him the following day. He died the next morning at 0625 and I never got to see him. Not going to see him when I could have is a regret that I still feel over 20 years later.
|frog is done|
|been a while since I posted a blurry pic|
|Autosol on the frog|
|rough looking heel ends|
|less then a minute on each side|
|tote 80% ready, knob 0%|
Did you know that Brazilian jockey Jorge Ricardo recently tied record holder Canadian jockey Russell Blaze with 12,488 wins?
The Lost Art Press storefront in Covington, Ky., will be open this Saturday with lots of interesting stuff to try and to see. Here’s what you’ll find if you pay us a visit.
- An authentic Douro chair. I’m studying this chair and its transit case for an upcoming commission. This chair is great fun. It fits inside its case. The case turns into a side table.
- Lots of blemished books for 50 percent off retail. (Cash only, on these, please.) I’m picking up a sizable load of returned orders and books with dinged corners from our warehouse for the Saturday event.
- Megan Fitzpatrick is finishing up a Dutch tool chest.
- Brendan Gaffney is building a beguiling bookcase using persimmon panels that use “recording.”
- The Electric Horse Garage is complete. We have HVAC, electricity, machines and no leaks. Our machine room is simple, but if you saw what we started with in September you might be impressed.
The storefront is at 837 Willard St. in Covington, Ky., and our hours Saturday are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you are looking for other fun stuff to do in the area this weekend.
- Go on a tour of the New Riff Distillery (in Newport next door to Covington). It’s a gorgeous facility. Plus you should stop at Braxton Labs, next door to the distillery, and try some of the unusual beers they are cooking up.
- Sunday is the final day for the Durer exhibit at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Totally free and totally awesome.
- Get a cinnamon roll or brioche tart at Brown Bear Bakery in Over the Rhine, my new obsession.
- Lil’s Bagels (the best bagels I’ve had outside New York) have opened a window on Greenup Street in Covington. Get there early because they sell out almost every day.
— Christopher Schwarz
I've been able to spend a little more time on the walnut chest and with the drawers glued up it was time to carefully fit each drawer. I made a nice tight drawer support from 1" ply, to ensure the thin sides were fully supported and didn't flex during planning, higher angle planes with a super tight mouth were needed to avoid tear out on the highly figured sides.
When I get close to the required fit I use sandpaper for final tuning, it's amazing how easy it is to go too far!
The drawers are fitted from the rear, this should enter quite easily as the rear is a shade wider than the front, see previous posts for the process.
The fit at this stage makes sure the drawer can come out of the front but still binds a little at the rear. Final fitting will be done with the drawer bottoms in place.
The walnut is looking gorgeous, I can't wait to get some finish on!
While the glue for the laminated slab was setting I turned my attention to the legs and their integral tenons. As in previous efforts the three laminae of the leg are glued up with the center lamina off-set from the outer two by a distance equal to the thickness of the slab plus a smidge, using decking screws and fender washers as the clamping mechanism. These are removed after they have done their duty.
If I did my layout and glue-up of the top slab correctly, and cut the dovetail pins accurately on the tops of the legs, the double tenons are a perfect fit for the mortises already created in the top slab so all that is needed to put them together is a gentle tap to drive them home. Since the bottoms of the legs need to be trimmed to matching lengths ex poste the protruding excess is no bother to me.
Before I do that, however, I de-clamp the slab after letting it sit overnight and spend an hour or so getting the underside flat enough to seat the legs evenly. I do not care about the underside being smooth, merely flat. A sharp scrub plane and fore plane make short work of it, as I said it was a little over an hour to get it to an acceptable point.
For this bench I did something I had not done before and remain unsure as to whether I would do it again. Since I was installing a vintage screw and nut from my stash I decided to inset the nut into the back side of the front left leg, where the leg vise would be installed since I am right handed (if you are left handed it goes at the other end). Doing this was no particular bother but I am unconvinced of its efficacy or necessity. I also cut the through-mortise on the lower leg for the pin bar of the movable chop/jaw.
Before long I was assembling the bench and as you can see the space was ridiculously tight with not only this bench but two ripple molding machines being tuned up for the conference. Since this is the only heated working space I have, everything that needed to be worked on for WW18thC was there. It got to be pretty chaotic for a while. I am not particularly tidy as a workman and that shortcoming becomes really evident at times like this.
At this point the bench was assembled and I was at the 12-hour mark for the project.
|from coat #1|
|ten seconds with 400 grit - you don't need a heavy grit|
|the body will be ready tomorrow|
|the frog is 99% done|
|I don't see an improvement|
|tote scraped and sanded to 120 grit|
Stopped here because I got an email from my wife telling me that her father is in the ICU. The doctors said he had a stroke and has bleeding on the brain. We won't know anything for few days but it seems things aren't as serious as it seems. My fingers on crossed on this.
Did you know that baseball pitching great Sandy Koufax won a college athletic scholarship for basketball?
A few weeks ago, my wife and I, were visiting thrift shops in Cincinnati when we ran across a round walnut table for $20.00 at Goodwill. There was nothing special about it. It had a dull flat finish and was missing the extension wings that go in the middle. It even had two feet that were broken. Anita asked me if I could remake them and I told her I could, so we took it home.
In order to fix the feet, I grabbed some scrap walnut and glued pieces to them to re-sculpt the feet.
Once the glue dried, I cut the arch of the foot with my band saw, then I sawed off the sides with a hand saw.
Next, I stuck the leg on the lathe and turned the pad of the foot.
I then brought the foot over to my workbench and carved the rest of the foot by hand using chisels and rasps.
After shaping the foot was complete, I started to sand the leg with 80 grit sand paper working down to 220 grit.
With the foot finished, I was happy with the way it turned out as it matched the other two. I then repeated the same steps for the other broken foot.
Noticing the top was solid walnut, I decided to sand off the dull stained finish. You can see how bland the table was when we bought it.
A few minutes of sanding, the table was really starting to shine again.
After applying three coats of hemp oil, you can see how the table has been brought back to life having much more character between the sap and heart wood of the walnut. Looks much nicer than the boring spray toner stain that was on it before. This piece will be a nice addition in my wife’s booth as a display table.
Lee Carmichael of Chattanooga, Tenn., sent me a link to a video yesterday. Lee purchased the Hancock Candle Stand video I did last year and has built several of these tables since.
Lee has been woodworking as a hobby for the past fives years with the goal of building all of the furniture in his home. He and a friend made a short video of one of his table builds; it’s way cool.
— Will Myers