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Hand Tools

A Long Post On My Feelings—Part II

Paul Sellers - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 8:40am

A long post  continued: The evolution of hand tools in my personal work life fascinated me only in the development of metal being mated to wood in the making of tools. Finding my first genuine Indian arrowhead lost in the wildness of the Texas Hill Country made me aware that the arrowhead wasn’t lost but […]

Read the full post A Long Post On My Feelings—Part II on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Gonna Buy Five Copies For My Mother

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 6:54am

About eighteen months ago I contracted with Popular Woodworking magazine to write a pile of articles, and the final one of that batch was featured on the cover of the current issue.

This article was the feature on Jim Moon’s recreation of the HO Studley tool cabinet and workbench, which was indeed masterful.

The image of that new treasure has been popping up in disparate places.  It deserves the widest possible dissemination.

Saturday: A Book-release Party & an Open Storefront

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 6:43am


This Saturday, Dec. 9, will be the last day the Lost Art Press storefront will be open for 2017 (our next open day will be Jan. 13, 2018). So if you need holiday gifts or something with a personal signature, this is the best and last day to get them.

That same evening, Dec. 9, we’re throwing a book release party for Mary May, author of “Carving the Acanthus Leaf” and George Walker, one of the authors of “From Truths to Tools.” Both authors will give brief presentations, and then they’ll be happy to answer your questions and sign books. Lost Art Press will supply drinks and light snacks. The free event is 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and is just about filled up. We still have a few places left – you can register here.

If you haven’t been to the storefront in a while, there is a lot of progress to see. The Horse Garage is nearing completion, and we’re setting up the Covington Mechanical Library in the back room for reading and research.

We’ll also have lots of blemished books and tools for sale at 50 percent of retail (cash only). We also have the “Big Bag of Free T-shirts” for you to dive into. Recently I culled my collection of woodworking T-shirts (from all over the world). Come and get as many as you like to wear or to cut them up for rags.

As always, we are happy to answer any of your woodworking questions during these events. Megan Fitzpatrick and Brendan Gaffney (from Popular Woodworking Magazine) will also be there to help out. Here’s a map to the storefront:

Hope to see you there.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Lost Art Press Storefront, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

The Rabbit Hutch – Part 7

The Bench Blog - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 1:00am

Sigh…. It seems that anytime I write a post this year, I have to start with the disclaimer of why I haven’t posted for X number of months.  Life gets busy.  I finished this rabbit hutch project in April, but still haven’t managed to put the final few posts together.  I think I need to just buckle down and write a couple of posts.

I spent the summer restoring an old fishing boat and an RV that I bought at the beginning of 2017.  It was a lot of work (cleaning, polishing, caulking), but nothing really woodworking related other than a RV dining table that had to be rebuilt.  Even if I had photographed the process, its clear from my inability to finish the rabbit hutch series, that I would now be sitting on a bunch of images that would also not be in blog post form.

My last post was in July, so I fully understand if you had completely forgotten that I ever started a rabbit hutch series.  In fact, It would be far more surprising if you actually remembered.  In any case, let’s get back to where I left off….

The rabbit hutch project is finally looking like a rabbit hutch.  I got a lot done in the last post, but the hutch still doesn’t have a roof.  Time to remedy that.

You can see the earlier posts in this series here:

In the last post, I made the pull out drawers that I hope will make cleaning out the hutch easier. Now the hutch needs a roof.  This thing is getting heavy, so the roof needs to be removable.  Lets get started:

I milled some Douglas fir and cut it into a trapezoidal shape.  I can’t remember the exact angle (it’s been nearly a year), but lets estimate 10-15°.  Either way, the angle here needs to match the pitch of the roof.  The front and back pieces are trapezoidal, the sides are square.

I milled some stock to make the roof.

I milled some stock to make the roof.

I figured that I would join the pieces with some chunky dovetails.  Overkill?  Sure, but what about this rabbit hutch hasn’t been?

All of the parts were beveled to match the slope of the roof.

All of the parts were beveled to match the slope of the roof.

I used some cardboard to design a template for the dovetails.

I used some cardboard to design a template for the dovetails.

I traced the template onto the workpiece and cut the dovetails.

I traced the template onto the workpiece and cut the dovetails.

Not perfect, but close enough for a rabbit hutch.

Not perfect, but close enough for a rabbit hutch.

I used my twin tail vises and bench dogs as clamps for the glue-up.

The assembly was glued up and left to dry.

The assembly was glued up and left to dry.

I then planed all of the surfaces flush.

I then planed all of the surfaces flush.

The main part of the roof is made of ⅝” plywood.  The Doug Fir frame that I just made is to stiffen the plywood and to serve as a fascia.  I suppose the plywood could have been attached directly to the top of the Doug Fir, but I thought it better if it were installed with screws and glue in a rabbet.  Nice and neat.

I used to my laminate router to cut a rabbet on the inside of the roof assembly.

I used to my laminate router to cut a rabbet on the inside of the roof assembly.

I had to make multiple passes with the trim router to remove such a large rabbet.

I cut a piece of ⅝-inch plywood to fit inside the rabbet.

I cut a piece of ⅝-inch plywood to fit inside the rabbet.

The plywood was attached to the frame with glue and screws.  After that, it was time for a quick test fit.

That should be big enough to keep the rain off most of the hutch.

That should be big enough to keep the rain off most of the hutch.

A quick test fit before proceeding any further.

A quick test fit before proceeding any further.

I gave the roof several coats of good exterior paint and then the next step was to install some 30 lb roofing felt (tar paper) and a meal drip edge.

I installed drip edge and roofing felt.

I installed drip edge and roofing felt.

I painted the roof assembly.

I painted the roof assembly.

Roofing indoors was a wholly new experience .  I never thought I’d be using my bench like this when I built it.

Installing the shingles.

Installing the shingles.

The last strip will be glued on to cover the nailheads.

The last strip will be glued on to cover the nailheads.

Wow… I found that this thing was really heavy when I went to remove it from the bench.  I had to get a neighbor to help me move it.  I set it outside where it can wait for final installation.

Time to turn my attention to building a ramp that the rabbits will be able to use to go from the lower to upper sections of the hutch.

Starting to layout the parts for the ramp.

Starting to layout the parts for the ramp.

Cutting into the line was quicker than setting up the miter saw.

Cutting into the line was quicker than setting up the miter saw.

The ramp was really simple.  Two rails made from Doug Fir and rabbeted to receive a ¼” plywood surface.  I added glue and brad nails, and then used my holdfasts and cauls to apply clamping pressure.

I'm glued up the ramp assembly and used my holdfasts as clamps.

I’m glued up the ramp assembly and used my holdfasts as clamps.

When I made the upper poop drawer, I mis-measured where the opening for the ramp sat.  This meant that I had to notch the edge of the ramp to allow the drawer to fully close.

I had to notch the side of the ramp to allow the drawer to fully close.

I had to notch the side of the ramp to allow the drawer to fully close.

I screwed up a little here we're making the drawer. It should not have extended past the edge of the frame.

As seen from above: I screwed up a little here we’re making the drawer. It should not have extended past the edge of the frame.

The critters will need something for their feet to grip when using the ramp so that I doesn’t become a slide.  I accomplished this by cutting a ton of little pieces and gluing them on.

Chamfering the small traction pieces.

Chamfering the small traction pieces.

Glueing on some traction.

Glueing on some traction.

Painted and installed.

Painted and installed.

I just hope they'll use it. It is a rather long climb.

I just hope they’ll use it. It is a rather long climb.

Fantastic, we’re nearly there.  The last part of my plan was to make a small insulated box that the critters can go inside of in the worst of the cold weather.  In the wild, they’d be able to burrow underground to escape the worst of the cold and wind, so it seems only fair that I give them something similar in this hutch.

In the next post, I’ll make the insulated box.

Stay tuned.


– Jonathan White


getting better.......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 12:56am
My eye is getting better and I have seen a big improvement in only one day. I woke up this morning and it wasn't glued shut which was a good sign. And other  than having to deal with putting the medicine in my eye and waiting, I didn't have problems in the shop. In spite of the eye feeling better I decided to take it easy today and just go slow in everything I did.

Quiet work
It was almost 0730 by the time I started on this box. This has to be done for xmas and the wife was still sleeping. It's been over an hour since I put the medicine in my eye and my vision was no longer blurry. There is a plastic,rubbery washer thing underneath the knob and that is what the shallow hole is for.

I would have prefer making one but I have time constraints
There is a greenish  grain splash on the poplar lid that matches the greenish tint to the knob. This box is for stuffing xmas candy in.

too short
If I wanted the bottom of the stud to be flush with the bottom of the lid I did a great job.  I forgot to allow for the washer and the nut. This won't be wasted as I will epoxy this into a hole on something else. I have 3 more of them that I can cut the stud to the correct length.

I'm going to finish this
I wasn't going to use this but I changed my mind. If it works for the box ok. If not I'll use it in the shop somewhere. I sawed the pins with my LN dovetail saw without any hiccups. I think I was able to do that because this stock is maple. Usually I can't saw stock this thin with the LN saw.

can't chop them yet
My curiosity has been aroused as to how well these tails and pins will mate.

#6 is done - port side glamour shot
bow shot
starboard side shot
stern shot
Put on some Autosol and buffed it out. I do like shiny, brass first and then anything else.

the before pic

stopped when I got an end to end shaving
I was curious and concerned about the slots in the sole and if they might interfere with making shavings. Especially so planing on the corner but it doesn't. Granted the corner is rounded but I didn't detect the slightest hint of the plane catching on any of the slots. As for it being easier to plane, I didn't feel any appreciable difference. When I do my #6 which isn't corrugated, I'll do a side by side. For now this is going in Miles's toolbox.

one corner fitted but it's looser than what I would like
I don't have a lot of experience with maple. It is a wood that I haven't used much over my years of woodworking so I'm not sure how much the glue will swell the joint.

dry fit is a frog hair too big
If I do use it, I'll have to sand it to fit. I don't think that this will hold up to being planed to fit.

biggest gaps
All the corners came out with varying degrees of loose. The pin saw cuts were much better then the tail cuts that I did with the Zona saw. But they didn't eliminate the fit errors.

glued with the rapid fuse
I got blue tape on the corners and have it very lightly clamped against the 12" square. This glue sets in 30 minutes and I'll check it again then.

got the last of the pins chopped
It had to stay this way for a few hours while the medicine induced blurriness went away.

been over an hour
A quick check of the diagonals and they are both the same. I set this aside by the furnace for it to fully set. I will glue a 1/8" plywood bottom onto this tomorrow.

checking the fit off the saw
I didn't get bit on the arse here. I was expecting the pins and tails to be loose but instead they are too tight to go together.

this is what happens when you saw with one eye
I usually split the line but I left the entire line this time. I don't mind trimming the pins to fit. I find it relaxing watching how little shavings removed make room for the pins and tails to mesh.

first corner dry fitted
I was moving the knife wall
I was very careful chopping this time and the left side is gap free but the right isn't.

tails aren't fully seated
It looks like the bottom corners of the pins are pinching the tails. I will have to do a bit more trimming.

other end of the board is cupped
got 99% of it clamped out
this one is tight too and will get a shave job

it will be a pain in the arse
I have to clamp this together, square it up, and then flush the top and the bottom. I need to do that so I can plow a 6mm groove on the top and bottom for the plywood panels. Clamping it so the pins and tails are fully seated and it is square, is going to be a challenge.

the cupping is working against me here
I will need clamping cauls at all the corners to flatten the cup out that goes in two different directions.

the saws fit
One point for me. I have enough room at one end for some files and maybe a saw set.

6mm plywood
I will need to make a stopped groove in the long sides, on the top and bottom.

A good day in the shop spite of the peeper hiccups.

accidental woodworker

Trivia corner
Did you know it takes about 8 minutes for light from the sun to reach the earth?

Skottbenken på Egge

Norsk Skottbenk Union - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 11:30pm
img_9498.jpgSkottbenk på masstuloftet på Egge museum

Student i Tradisjonelt bygghandverk; Kai Johansen på Stiklestad har i starten hatt litt problem med å finne skottbenkar for registrering i Nord-Trøndelag. Det viste seg snart at dei har berre gått litt under radaren til studentane og Egge museum har minst tre skottbenkar i samlinga. Her følgjer tekst og bilete frå Kai:

Da vi skal fokusere på høvler, høvelbenker og skottbenker tredje året av studiet, sendte jeg ut en forespørsel til museene som er konsolidert med Stiklestad om skottbenker. Det gikk ikke lange tiden før Bodil Østerås på Egge museum kunne fortelle at de hadde en skottbenk stående oppe i utstillingen i masstua. Jeg ble svært interessert, og spurte litt nærmere om hun var sikker? Bodil hadde full oversikt over, både hvordan skottbenken så ut, og hvordan den skulle brukes. Dette er ikke vanlig kost i museumsverden, men det store opplysningsarbeidet som Norsk Skottbenk Union har drevet de siste årene har kanskje virka også på museene? Jeg tok først en tur i magasinet og kikket etter høvler som kunne ha vært i bruk sammen med skottbenker. Der fant jeg noen not- og fjærhøvler, men ingen skottokser.

Da jeg kom på Masstuloftet var det ikke mindre enn 3 skottbenker, en ferdig oppsatt klar til bruk, en med bare bukkene og en til å skyte tønnestaver. Bodil kunne fortelle at det var 4 treff i primus hos dem på skottbenk, men ingen foto kom opp på datamaskinen. Så her er helt klart mer å hente for dokumentasjon og oppmåling, man må bare lete litt.

Jeg vil foreløpig konsentrere meg om skottbenken som var ferdig oppsatt. Den er laget av tre ulike treslag, bjørk, furu, og gran. Bjørk i skruen (2 tomms), tappen som holder bena sammen og kilen, og en sliteplate som skruen presser mot når skruen strammes til. Det er furu i føttene og gran i langbordene. Lengden på benken er 381 cm eller 146,5 tommer, bredden på langborden e er 7 tommer, tykkelsen er 1 3/4tommer. Disse to plankene er i gran. Høyden på føttene er 75,5 cm eller 29″ tommer.

Her er det som museet har skrevet om skottbenken:

«Magasin nr: STM 04036


Redskap for å feste panelet i, ved høvling. Den har to kraftige treskruer for å presse sammen/ feste gulv (bord) plankene under høvling. Denne skottbenken stod tidligere i Beitstad, Moen. Tidligere eier er Mikal Opdal. Han hadde benken da han begynte som husmann under Opdal i Beitstad. Husmannskontrakten ble skrevet under i 1877.»

En del av sporene etter oppmerking er bevart flere steder på skottbenken, og all oppmerking er gjort med blyant. Det er boret et hull i ene langbordet ca 1″ tomme i diameter, ca 60 cm fra ene foten, men ikke gjennom planken ca 1″ tomme inn i planken. Det var også noen spiker oppå plankene usikker på hvilken funksjon de har hatt.

Jeg har nå vært en tur tilbake på Egge og kikket nærmere på skottbenken da det var noen mål og detaljer som var litt uklar. Første erfaring jeg vil kommentere er at hvis man jobber på millimeter papir og tegner i målestokk så er det mye enklere å ta alle mål i millimeter, nå prøvde jeg å kombinere oppmålingen med norske tommer og så overføre det til millimeter for så å gjøre det om til rett målestokk, det var tungvint. Hvis man tegner uten mm papir kan man godt jobbe i norske tommer. Her er oppdatert tegning av skottbenke n med litt fler detaljer rundt det faste bordet .

Det var særlig detaljer rundt innfestningen av det faste bordet som var interessant. Den var lagd på en helt annen måte enn den andre skottbenken hvor al l innfestning var gjort med mye spiker og en tapping i bordet. Her var det lagt en lask på baksiden og tappet både i bordet, foten og i lasken, hver lask hadde i tillegg til fire spiker en tre plugg og merket med X og / . jeg tolket disse symbolene som merking i byggeprosessen.

Jeg hadde en avtale med Bodil Østerås om å låne benken til studiesamlingen i desember og lurte litt på hvordan jeg skulle få den ned den smale loftstrappa, eller hvordan hadde snekkeren fått opp all materialene han skulle høvle, det hele virket litt tungvint. Det var ikke her skottbenken hadde stått når den hadde vært i bruk, men den virket jo litt tungvint å flytte på samtidig.

Det var først når jeg var ferdig med å dokumentere at skottbenken åpenbarte en vel gjennomtenkt finesse. Det løse bordet løftet jeg av og fikk ned, men s å var det det faste og to føtter, når Per Steinar tok i benken løftet bordet seg litt og vi skjønte at det ikke var så fast som vi trodde. Den lille trepluggen kunne dras ut og bordet var helt løst fra føttene, noe som gjorde flyttingen svært enkel, «satan de tænkt nu på aillt».

Så konklusjonen må vel være at det er viktig å komme tilbake til åstedet og ta en ekstra kikk og tenke litt gjennom hvordan har dette objektet vært i bruk hvordan har de som brukte det transportert det.

Categories: Hand Tools

The hypocrisy of a cheapskate woody

Journeyman's Journal - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 6:00pm

This is hilarious, please watch it till the end, but it’s also true. This isn’t a Lie Nielsen promotion just try to see the bigger picture.



Categories: Hand Tools

The Mousieleum

Tico Vogt - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 5:32pm

Got pets and need to trap mice in your house? 

Dog-friendly, less mess and cleanup, more efficient, the Mousieleum is a better mouse trapping environment. Read about it here.

The Year of the Covington Mechanical Library

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 4:17pm


This calendar year has been all about gutting, rebuilding and setting up the Horse Garage, which will store wood and a few machines that I use for processing stock. For 2018, the major project will be setting up a mechanical library in the area formerly known as the storeroom.

Today, Brendan Gaffney and I took the first step on this project by moving all of the book inventory, furniture parts and shelving to the basement below the shop.

I’ve been waiting months for the humidity level in the basement to reach a tolerable level for books and furniture parts. Earlier this year, we dug out the basement floor about 18”, installed French drains and a sump pump and concreted the place. At the time, the humidity levels down there matched the outdoors (or a little higher).

About two weeks ago, the humidity level in the basement began to match the humidity in my shop upstairs.

Tomorrow, I’ll start moving the bulk of my woodworking book collection to our library area. When I run out of shelf space, my plan is to build an entire floor-to-ceiling bank of bookshelves on the blank north wall of the building.

I hope that task will be easier than gutting a building and rebuilding the Horse Garage. But I’ve been wrong before.

The goal of the mechanical library is amorphous for now. There are plenty of excellent mechanical libraries out there (Winterthur and American College of the Building Arts are two wonderful ones that I have visited). But the mechanical societies of the 18th and 19th centuries had other functions that were social and educational. So I’m letting things fall into shape as the community of Covington and our storefront get on their feet.

— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com

Filed under: Lost Art Press Storefront, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools


Oregon Woodworker - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 7:59am
Now that I have finished making Christmas gifts I have started thinking about new year's resolutions, which I do annually.  Though it's fair to be skeptical about their value, I think making resolutions is a useful exercise which, at the least, can do no harm.

I think there are three criteria for judging your woodworking as an amateur:

  1. enjoyment experienced
  2. projects completed
  3. skills developed or improved
I did well on 1 and 2 last year but 3, not so much.  I enjoyed building a number of projects but I mostly relied on skills I already had.  I can't say that I really developed or improved my skills significantly, even though there is lots and lots of room for me to get better.  Here is what I propose to do about this during 2018.

  1. Stop buying tools and spend more time developing skills with the ones I already have.  I am sometimes like the golfer who thinks he is one club away from being really good.  It would be better for him to work on his swing.  I have more than enough tools and really should go a year without buying any, not even one.  Just like the golfer who should spend less time playing and more time on the practice tee, I need to step away from projects more and just work on skills.
  2. Focus on my weakness.  Here in Portland, we are soccer crazy and we have a superb player whose glaring weakness is his left foot.  It makes him much easier to defend and sometimes keeps him from making the most of opportunities.  Why doesn't he spend the offseason focusing on it?  Because it isn't a lot of fun to work on your weakness and he has learned to compensate with acceptable results.  Same thing in woodworking.  My worst weakness is finishing and it shows.  The fact that I dislike it a lot is both cause and effect.
  3. When something is almost but not quite right, stop and figure out why.  To continue with the soccer analogy, some players make good entry passes that sometimes work out but great passes would unzip the defense and make a huge difference.  Good enough is not good enough.  A clear example from my woodworking is a mortise and tenon joint that almost but doesn't quite fit.  I tell myself I can close it up with a clamp or by drawboring.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it almost works.
I actually think that when you reach what I'll call the journeyman stage, 3 is the most important and more or less incorporates the other two.  If I would do this consistently, I would enjoy woodworking more, build better projects and develop my skills.  This isn't complicated so it's just a matter of forcing myself to do it.  Just like losing those holiday pounds!

There is, of course, no reason that you should care about my resolutions, but maybe they will get you started thinking about yours.  Maybe we should have a contest and give away a nice tool for the best resolutions.
Categories: Hand Tools

Just sawmaking

Old Ladies - Pedder's blog - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 6:34am
Mein Beiträge sind zur Zeit eher spärlich. Weil ich im Wesentlichen Sägen baue. Und darüber habe ich hier oder auf dem TLT Blog schon alles geschrieben, was ich weiß. Auf Instagram zeige ich immer Mal Handyschnappschüsse (oft mieser Qualität). Wer Lust hat, sieht sie oben rechts. Hier mal ein Schnappschuss mit der Kamera, die Bilder werden doch besser. It's become slow on this blog. This is mainly all I do in my spare time is sawmaking. And all I've to say about saw making is already written here or on the TLT Blog. If you like you can see casual crappy Mobil pictures on instagram.
Categories: Hand Tools

wonderful day in the neighborhood......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 1:51am
My day did not start on a good note. My right eye had been bothering me for a few days but I thought it was due to dry eye. I get it in both peepers in the winter time so I didn't pay attention to it other then putting in eye drops. This morning when I woke up, my right eye was glued shut. I had to pull it apart to open it. I had already committed to OT so I decided to do that and then go to the ER.

After I got to the ER the nurse took my vitals and listened to me babble about my eye problem. She did a visual acuity test with one eye covered and I could barely read the 3rd line with either eye. With both eyes I could make out 5 of the six blurry letters on the 4th line. The doc put some dye in my eye and checked for a corneal abrasions and found none. He seemed to think that I had sawdust in it. But I told him that I didn't feel anything foreign in my eyes.

 I was lucky in that no one came to the ER with a problem worse than mine. It still took over 3 hours before I was able to go home with a diagnosis of pink eye. The doc said I should see an improvement in my eye come monday and if not to go to the eye clinic. I know that my eye felt a lot better after the first warm face cloth I put on it.

A quick update on Miles's toolbox. I was shooting to get everything for it by his birthday (Dec 9th) but that is not going to happen. I have all the major tools except for a 10" brace and a set of bits. I also need a #1 and #2 square drive screwdriver and a 4" sliding square. One last optional tool I'm thinking of getting is a fractional dial caliper which I find handy to have.

I found the brace (several) but the set of jennings is proving harder to find. They are not that plentiful now that I'm looking for a set. Does anyone know of anyone that makes/sells a set today? (Note:Checked the WWW and to my surprise found a few sites that sell new and vintage ones.)

started this friday night
 Couldn't understand why this lacquer wasn't imparting a shine to this knob. Then I looked at the can and saw that instead of clear gloss, this rattle is satin. I put 3 coats of this on the knob and I'll follow that up with 3 gloss coats. The #6 will be done come sunday.

The saw till box won't be done this weekend along with any of the tool rehabs. When I put the medicine in my eye, I'm basically blind for a while. I can't see well enough with one eye to do anything that requires sight. I can still pick my nose and scratch my butt and my goofy looks don't seem to be effected. Needless to say a lot didn't get a lot done in the shop in today.

I did saw my pins but I'll have to wait to see if I bit myself on the arse with that. The first board went off ok but I did saw off my vertical lines on the left side. That is something I do good on with the peepers working.  At least I went off the line into the waste side. This is the second board and my small moxon won't clamp out this bow.

this didn't work
I thought I would be able to straighten it by putting this piece of scrap in the front of the board. I think the gap is a bit bigger here than without it.

got my big MOXON
doesn't look any better in the bigger moxon
I was not expecting this result. I have flattened worse bows than this board has in this vise. I sawed them and the center one moved as I sawed it. My thoughts on this are I'm sawing on my lines but the board is bowed here. Will that result in my saw cuts being off?  Will the saw cuts go off square as the board is flattened? I will find out when I try to fit the tails and pins.

3 gold stars for both
The more I use this old 12" square, the less I want to use my red woodpecker squares. I can't quite put my finger on why but that is ok.  I also think I made the leap and found my new marking knife. I have never made such a deep knife line with any other marking knife I've used. I saw a huge difference in the size of knife wall after removing the first chip. I think that is going to pay off with keeping me from moving the knife wall backwards. I am going to buy one more of these so I have a spare.

This was it for today. It was real strain doing what little work I got done today. I knew I was going to fall behind so I did what I could. Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to do a bit more.

accidental woodworker

Did you know that Walt Disney provided the voice for Mickey Mouse?

What Would happen if a Roorkee Chair Met a French Curve in a Dark Alley? Nothing Good.

The Furniture Record - Sat, 12/02/2017 - 10:58pm

I took an hour off of my busy schedule on Friday to spend time at an auction preview. It was there that this question came to mind.

Many of you know and understand the question but for those who might not, let me provide some background information.


This is a Roorkee chair available from many vendors. There is also a fair amount of information available for the do-it-yourselfers amongst you.


French curves used in drafting, an early, manual version of CAD (computer aided design.

The product of this imagined unholy coupling is below:


The Hoop Chair – Børge Mogensen (Denmark, 1914-1972)

Description: 1950s, bentwood beech frame, stitched leather back and seat with underside straps, unmarked.

This lot has sold for $1,600.


A side view provides no further answers.


A rear view illustrates some adjustments but no rationale for its existence.

This auction featured more of what many call Modern Furniture or, in New York, Mid-Century Modern.


Søren Georg Jensen (Danish, 1917-1982), Set of Six Teak Dining Chairs and Niels Otto Møller (Denmark, 1920-1982), Model 12 Teak Dining Table

Description: 1960s, Norway, manufactured by Nesjestranda Mobelfabrik, teak crest rail/arms with finger joint, ‘Y’ formed back splay tapers into the turned rear spindle, black naugahyde seats on rounded tapered legs.

This lot has sold for $4,400.

Description: For J.L. Moller Mobelfabrik, Denmark, 1960s, top with banded edge and two pull-out extension leaves, on rounded tapered legs, labeled.

This lot has sold for $2,200.


Charles and Ray Eames, Rosewood Lounge Chair and Ottoman.

Description: Herman Miller, Zeeland, Michigan, models 670 and 671 in black leather with black painted steel and aluminum swivel bases, labeled.

This lot has sold for $3,600.


Herman Miller, Goetz Leather Sofa

Description: Designed by Mark Goetz circa 2000, molded walnut veneer frame with black leather upholstery, loose cushions raised on aluminum legs, unmarked.

This lot has sold for $2,600


Jens Quistgaard (Danish, 1919-2008), Flip-Top Executive Desk for Løvig

Description:  1970s, teak, rectangular form with four drawers and hinged bookcase to back edge raised on four straight legs with stretcher.
This lot has sold for $1,500.

Joseph Hoffman (Austrian, 1870-1956), Fledermaus Table and Four Chairs

DescriptionEarly 20th century, beech, including a circular table with eight turned legs, ball finials, circular stretcher, and four arm chairs with flat single piece bent crest rail/arm, triple bent-rail back support, oval bent wood arm supports on eight turned legs with repeating bent wood stretcher, later velvet upholstery.

This lot has sold for $2,000.


Jacques Garcia (French, b.1947), Auguste Lounge Chair

Description: Baker, contemporary, hammered and patinated iron frame with stitched black leather upholstery, labeled.

This lot has sold for $550.

and finally:


Alvar Aalto (Finnish, 1898-1976), Artek Tank Chair and Side Table

Description: Finland, 2003, model 400 chair in bentwood birch with Zebra style upholstery, together with an Artek circular side table, labeled.

This lot has sold for $2,300.



Workbench Personality No. 4: The Best of Everything

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 12/02/2017 - 7:50pm


The Best of Everything calls to ask if he can hire me to consult on his workbench build. And, if we get along personally, he would like to fly me to his shop so we can build the bench together.

Me: I have young children and a day job with little vacation. I can’t really do that, but I’ll be happy to help you (for free) like I do all our readers via email.

The Best of Everything decides to fly to Cincinnati, meet me for lunch, look over my workbenches and pick my brain about his design ideas.

Question No. 1, of course, is wood selection. His first choice: tiger maple from Irion Lumber Co. He shows me some photos from the website. I tell him it’s beautiful stuff, but that he might get a little nauseated staring at it all day. And it’s a bench. It’s going to get beat up and dirty. I recommend plain rock maple.

His second choice: purpleheart. My response: It’s dark and difficult to work – it’ll be hell on your tools. Plus, a light-colored workbench (such as rock maple) is much easier to work at in my experience. Setting your tools against the light background of a benchtop is much easier than against a dark wood.

Choice No. 3: Ipe.

Me: Really? Ipe? That’s not a wood. That a metal that once fondled some wood grain. And it’s dark. And it’s a pain in the butt to work – like purpleheart, but worse.

His final choice: Cuban mahogany – an old stash he’s located at a lumberyard. It’s the least objectionable of his other choices, so I say: OK, kinda?

Next up are the vises. He wants a vise for every corner of the bench: A Benchcrafted Glide on one corner, a Lie-Nielsen tail vise on one end, an Emmert patternmaker’s vise on one back corner and a Benchcrafted end vise on the final corner.

Me: May I ask why?

The Best of Everything: I can’t make up my mind about which vises are better, so I decided to get them all. I do have one question, however: Is there any brand that’s better than Benchcrafted that I should be considering instead? Something from Germany or Japan perhaps?

Me: No, there’s nothing better in my experience.


The Best of Everything: I also want six rows of dog holes on 3” centers all along the length of the benchtop.

Me: May I ask why?

The Best of Everything: I’ll be able to hold anything then, no matter its size or shape.

Me: No one needs that many dog holes.

The Best of Everything: I think it will also reduce wood movement in the bench because all areas of the bench will be exposed to the atmosphere.

Me: Aren’t you worried that dust, tools, screws and the like will fall into these holes?

The Best of Everything: Not at all. Every hole will have its own dog.

The discussion turns to the cabinet he’s going to build below the bench. (“I don’t recommend those,” I say.) The drawers will have Blumotion slides, and all the tools will be French-fitted with custom-cut foam. Do I have any recommendations on foam?

“Kaizen Foam,” he says, “is so coarse.”

I look up Kaizen Foam on my phone to see what the hell it is. He starts talking about getting his Benchcrafted vises chrome-plated. Oh look, I find a cat video on my phone….

— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com

Next up: Workbench Personality No. 5: Frank Sinatra

Filed under: Uncategorized, Workbenches
Categories: Hand Tools

You can’t rush experience

Journeyman's Journal - Sat, 12/02/2017 - 7:38pm

I’ve been quiet for a while, enjoying the serenity of the craft. It’s difficult taking photos and then trying to figure out how to put them into words that will be easy to understand.  I know this will fall into place only after several years of continuous writing.

You can’t rush knowledge to gain experience and I was reminded today when I returned to the moulding plane build. I took out the no.4’s I wrote about in Issue III.

I didn’t notice it earlier and I guess that’s the curse of distraction that the body of the round was thicker than a 1/4″. It being thicker, it planed a hollow that was all wonky looking, out of shape.  To fix it all I did was plane down the chamfer on the blindside. Without a chamfer the plane could not reach into the corner of a moulding.


Now it’s planed to the correct thickness, both planes now mate perfectly together.


Skill is the final frontier we are trying to reach, but without knowledge you’ll never put it into practice to gain the experience and experience comes only through repetition followed by skill.  This is not an overnight process, it takes years to gain true knowledge, experience and skill.  So if you’re frustrated with joints not being gap free or sawing not perfectly plumb, don’t be. It’s normal and part of the learning process.  Remember, you first crawled before you walked and then finally ran. Give it time and allow nature to run its course. Don’t give up and don’t be like that stingy guy Christopher Schwarz wrote about on his blog. 

Take care. Peace


Categories: Hand Tools

North Bros. Mfg. Co. Manufacturers Of Hardware Specialities, Yankee Tools, Ice Cream Freezers, Etc. 1914

Toolemera - Sat, 12/02/2017 - 4:40pm

Letterhead: NORTH BROS. MFG. CO., MANUFACTURERS OF HARDWARE SPECIALITIES, "YANKEE" TOOLS, ICE CREAM FREEZERS, ETC. , Office & Works, N. E. Cor. American st. & Lehigh Ave., Philadelphia, PA. December 1st, 1914.

An unusual full width graphic letterhead. With this modern letterhead, North Bros. was intent on showing that they had moved on from 19th C influences. Even so, they retained a vignette of a factory with tall chimneys billowing smoke. Sold to Myers Hdwe, Col, Lexington, Va. R. Carter & Co. of New York, as the wholesaler, arranged for replacement steel balls for a Yankee #41 Drill, supplied free of charge


Categories: Hand Tools

Nicholson File Company. Billhead, Price List and Toolemera Press Trade Catalog Reprint of the 1878 Full Line Catalog

Toolemera - Sat, 12/02/2017 - 4:38pm

Letterhead: NICHOLSON FILE COMPANY. OPERATING FOUR DISTINCT PLANTS. Providence, R.I., U.S.A., March 9, 1896. Letterhead to Messrs. Henry H. Myers & Sons, Lexington, Va. Graphics of all four plants in all their smoking glory


Price Lists: Nicholson Swiss Pattern Files, also Tools and Specialities. Nicholson File Company, Providence, R.I., U.S.A. Nicholson Files, Increment Cut... Nicholson File Company, Providence, R.I., U.S.A.
both, 1889. 
Files and rasps get a bad rap. People think of them as poor seconds for shaping stuff. They're seen as 'cheaters' for when you can't get a joint right, or make a mistake that needs to be corrected. Files and rasps are anything but. Essential tools that should be in every mechanicks tool chest, they are the intermediate step in shaping wood, plastic or metal. Don't leave home without them.

Download NicholsonFiles1889Cat



Toolemera Press Reprint - History Preserved

Purchase the print edition from Amazon.com. $13.00

A Treatise On Files And Rasps, Descriptive And Illustrated: For The Use of Master Mechanics, Dealers, &c.; In Which The Kinds Of Files In Most Common Use, And The Newest And Most Approved Special Tools Connected Therewith Are Described - Giving Some Of Their Principle Uses. With A Description Of The Process Of Manufacture, And A Few Hints On The Use And Care of The File. The Nicholson File Company, Providence, Rhode, Island U.S.A. 1878

"The Nicholson File Company has now been in existence for upwards of fourteen years, during which time they have permanently introduced their goods into every section of this, and to some extent into other countries, against the strongest possible prejudice in favor of hand made files; their product being now double that of the entire imports of foreign files into this country." The Toolemera Press re-publishes classic books and trade catalogs on early crafts, trades and industries, from our personal library. 



Categories: Hand Tools

New York Mallet & Handle Works Trade Catalog 1877

Toolemera - Sat, 12/02/2017 - 4:19pm

Trade Catalog: New York Mallet & Handle Works. 1877. Some one had to make the mallets and the handles to be used to make the tools that made the tools. Lots of fascinating tools in here we tend to take for granted. An early catalog in surpringingly good condition.

Download NYMalletWorksCat1877


Categories: Hand Tools

The New London Vise Works. Billhead 1897

Toolemera - Sat, 12/02/2017 - 4:07pm

Billhead: THE NEW LONDON VISE WORKS, MANUFACTURERS OF SOLD BOX VISES AND HEAVY HARDWARE. Joseph Hyde, Sons & Co., Proprietors. New Londgon, Conn. June 15, 1897

Sold to H. H. Myers. Lexington, VA. Very interesting graphic of a so-called blacksmith leg vise which has a provision for a foot actuated tightening mechanism.


Categories: Hand Tools

Chas. Morrill Manufacturers Of Liquid Soap Dispensers, Nail Pullers, Box Openers, Seal Presses, Bench Stops, Saw Sets, Punches. Trade Catalog and Billhead

Toolemera - Sat, 12/02/2017 - 4:06pm

Billhead: CHAS. MORRILL, MANUFACTURER OF LIQUID SOAP DISPENSERS, NAIL PULLERS, BOX OPENERS, SEAL PRESSES, BENCH STOPS, SAW SETS, PUNCHES. 100 Lafayette St. New York. Oct. 8, 1913. How's that for variety in manufacturing? Perhaps best known for his saw sets, Mr. Morrill obviously believed in diversification of his product line. Sold to Myers Hardware, Lexington, Va.


Trade Catalog: Morrill Product line,c1912 including saw sets and soap dispensers.

Download MorillCat1917


Categories: Hand Tools


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