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carrying saw till started.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 1:44am
The cart may have been put in front of the horse but it actually helped this time. I got some stock to make the saw till and instead of making the box first, I decided to mock up the holders for the saws. Doing the mock up helped me to discard my original rough till measurements. I would have been a very unhappy ex sailor boy if I had made the till first. The holders are going to require a bigger till to hold them in it. I'm glad I thought of doing a mock up first.

dry fit of the base before the till starts
The corners look good. They are even on the top and one is off on the bottom. I'll plane the bottom after the glue has set. I can't see the outside face but the tops and inside all look consistent.

the box fits
I'll take this because I thought I was going to glue the base around the box. This end here has a slight gap. I can clamp it out but it bows this and I don't want it pulling the miters apart.

turned the box 180
Another surprise with the box fitting in the base both ways. The gap is gone on the right and now it's on the left which means it's the box and not the base. I'll live with it as is and put it with the gap on the right.

sized the joints
While the glue was soaking in I went upstairs and balanced my check book.

box and base glued up
It's a wee bit on the warm side today and the furnace hasn't kicked in yet. It's supposed to get cold tonight so I will leave this be until tomorrow.

stock for the saw till
I still think I can get one side and one end out one board. That leaves the last one for the lid or an  extra if I use the 6mm plywood for the top and bottom.

something is wrong
I have both of the bench saws handles together. I want them to be on opposite ends. That way I don't need as much width and I can better take the saws in and out.

I made all the kerfs for the saws on the bandsaw with a fence. The only one that would not fit in it was the crosscut panel saw. I had to widen the kerf for that saw.

the holder mock up done
The width of the holders is about 7 1/2" and it was because of the unknown width that I decided to make the mock first. My rough measurement I guess-ta-mated was 5" for the saws with a couple more for the holders. I could make this thinner but I would rather have more room between the saws then less.

I've got to work on lowering the height
I can make a notch for the spines in the holder and that will drop it down some.

the dovetail saw is way too high
dropped over an inch
I can drop this one some more
the final layout
I need to get the handles for the panel saws done and back on before I do anything else. I need them to get a final height and length. The length is going to drive how far apart the two outside holders will be.

I was going to make another set of holders out of 3/4" plywood but I am going to use these. I plan on cutting some off the bottom to further drop the height more. Before I do that I have to beef up the holders because of the grain direction.

happy with this height
I can lower this another 1/2" to 3/4"
plan the same drop with this one too
back holder
One of the slots broke off and the other 3 are ready to do too. This wood is what is left from my old kitchen cabinets. I am going to glue a piece of 1/4" plywood to this to stiffen it and keep it from breaking off.

the last slot is cracked too
I'll glue the plywood on and cut the slots after it has set
I glued a piece of oak at the bottom where I plan on shortening the height. The slot cut will extend about a 1/4" into the oak. The front holder with a lot of kerfs will get oak glued on both sides and the back holder I think will be ok with one along with the plywood.

the base isn't long enough in the length
I cut a piece of 1/4" plywood oversized and I'll get the final length tomorrow. I will screw the base to the bottom of the holders. I don't want to glue it in case I change the number of saws or I have to fix it.

one coat of clear shellac
the walnut handle
This finish is coming off with hardly any effort at all. The scrapings are turning to dust and nothing is being stubborn.

ready for finish
Scraped and sanded with 80, 120, and 220.

switched
I was going to finish both handles with lacquer but I switched to shellac. The lacquer was stinking up the whole shop. I had to open a window and use a fan to remove the odor. Shellac doesn't stink or at least not like the lacquer does.

keepers are ready to fit
I found a chewed up and gnarly looking piece of walnut to use as the keepers. A few minutes with a plane and they were done. There isn't any need for high precision on these two so I didn't go nutso on them. I'll try and get to this tomorrow.

fingers crossed - looks like someone flattened the back already
looked promising
I have a high spot in the middle to remove.

15 minutes later
I'm getting there and I just have to get the upper left corner. There is some pitting there and I'm hoping that it'll lap out as I finish flattening the back.

road testing my my new strops
The new strop is 12" long and the old ones are 8" long. The longer length helped with me not digging in on the return when stropping. I stropped a chisel, an iron, and a chipbreaker on this new strop and I like it.

needs a clamping strip
My old short strops have a rabbet on both long edges and that allowed me to set them in the vise level. This strip will be held in the vise and the wings will rest on top to the vise jaws, level and ready to use.

exaggerated
The strop was in the vise at a slight angle. I could tell because one corner of the plane iron was digging in more on one side than the other.

Called it a day here and shut the lights out. But before I left, I put another of shellac on the handles.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is the official 'bug' of the state of Delaware?
answer - the ladybug

Irwin Auger Bit Company How To Select, Use, And Care For Bits 1939

Toolemera - Sat, 11/25/2017 - 10:09pm

Booklet: HOW TO SELECT, USE AND CARE FOR BITS. 1939. The Irwin Auger Bit Company. Excellent coverage of the Irwin line plus tips on care. Check out a few of the lesser known types of auger bits.

Download IrwinhowtoPAM

Irwinhowtobits0 copy

Categories: Hand Tools

W. O. Hickok Manufacturers of Book Binding Tools and Machinery. Trade catalog and Letterhead

Toolemera - Sat, 11/25/2017 - 10:03pm

Hickok Bookbinders' Machinery: Bookbinders' Tools. Catalogue No. 88. The W. O. Hickock Manufacturing Company, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. c1920. From the famous Hickok Mfg. company, makers of bookbinding equpment since 1844, comes a rare catalog. Judging by the early electric tools, I'm guessing at a c1920 date, but it could be a bit earlier. Nearly out of business at this point, their products remain sought after by bookbinders.

Download HickokCatc1920 (1)

Hickokcvr

Letterhead: W. O. HICKOCK. Eagle Works, Improved Book Binders Machinery, iron and Brass Foundries, Wood Turning, Ruling Machines, Steam and Gas Fitters Supplies, General Machine Works, Keystone Cider Mills, Keystone Feed Cutters. Harrisburg, Pa, U. S. A., April 16, 1886.

To: New Urbana Wine Co... "Gentlemen: Have you old Dry Catawba wines and at what price per two or three dozen quarts." Apparently this was a thirsty bunch. W.O. Hickock is still in business as a machinery manufacturer.

Wohickok1886LH

Categories: Hand Tools

S. Hills and F. Richards, Planemakers of Norwich, Massachusetts. 1833 Price List

Toolemera - Sat, 11/25/2017 - 9:53pm

Price List : Catalogue and Invoice Prices of Carpenters' Bench, and Moulding Planes, Manufactured by S. Hills, and F. Richards, Norwich, Mass. Jan. 23, 1833. Before there were bound trade catalogs, the typical catalog was a single sheet price list of goods offered. Before the single sheet price list, the trade card often served... but I don't have one of those early ones to show you. Yet.

This is the earliest price list/catalog in my personal collection. It's of particular interest in that it's a plane makers price list from a lesser known maker of Massachusetts. To add to the interest, it was sent not in an envelope, but by itself. Before postage stamps were the norm, the sender folded up a piece of paper to a given size, wrote the 'To' and 'From' on the outside and paid for the service. In some cases, the recipient had to pay for the service.

This price list/catalog was issued by Hills & Richards, one of the many partnerships of the Hills bros', Samuel and Hervey of Amherst, Springfield and Norwich, Massachusetts. The Hills worked during the early part of the 19th C. Frederick Richards has been listed as a planemaker, toolmaker and hardware dealer. In the 1850 Census, he was listed as employed by H. Chapin as a toolmaker.

From the primary resource for wooden planes of the United States, A Guide to the Makers of American Wooden Planes, we have a brief review of these makers:

  • Samuel Hills: Amherst & Springfield, MA: 1830
  • Samuel and Hervey Hills, succeeding Hills & Wolcott: Amherst, MA: 1829-1830
  • Hills & Richards: Norwich, MA: 1833 (date now known from this catalog)
  • Hills & Winship (William Winship worked for H. Chapin, 1826-1832): Springfield, MA: 1832
  • Hills & Wolcott (possibly Gideon Wolcott, a planemaker who worked for Leonard Kennedy): So. Amherst, MA: 1829
  • Frederick Richards: Springfield, MA: 1833-1850

HillsrichardsCatweb

HillsrichardsCat1833back

Categories: Hand Tools

Countdown on the Horse Garage

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 11/25/2017 - 5:39pm

door_IMG_9782

Thanks entirely to Megan Fitzpatrick and Brendan Gaffney, the machine room for my workshop is on schedule to be complete by the end of the year.

It feels incredibly good to be typing those words.

When we bought the storefront 26 months ago, I almost lost heart at the closing. Lucy and I had fought like hell to buy the property – it took six months of wrangling with real estate agents and lawyers to simply pay the asking price for the property and be done with it.

Anyway, on the day of the closing, Lucy and I went to Left Bank Coffeehouse before signing the papers, and I went completely numb. Suddenly it seemed like buying a half-derelict lesbian bar in downtown Covington wasn’t such a good idea. Perhaps the building was even worse than the inspection had revealed (it was). Perhaps we would have to spend tens of thousands of dollars more to get it livable (we did).

willard_front_room_121215_IMG_4174

Despite my sudden malaise, Lucy pushed me forward through the closing. At the end, I received a Captain Morgan’s Rum necklace filled with keys to the bar. Lucy went off to work, and I went to the bar.

I unlocked the front door and walked around, convinced I had made a huge mistake. There was so much work to do, I didn’t even know where to start. So I left the bar, locked the front door and went home for two weeks, refusing to even drive by the place or think about it.

When I finally came to my senses, I decided to measure the bar’s rooms so I could create a floorplan. I walked up to the front door of the bar to unlock it.

The door was unlocked and swung open.

Suspicious, I tiptoed into the bar and looked around. No one was in the bar. Nothing had been stolen or disturbed.

Curious, I began fiddling with the lock to the front door and realized that I had left it sitting unlocked and wide open for two whole weeks.

At that moment, for some reason, I fell in love with the neighborhood and the building. Since then I have been helped by old friends and new to demolish the beer-soaked interior and create a beautiful and traditional working space.

2doors_IMG_9789

It’s been a hell of a lot harder than I thought it would be. But today, as we hung the first two doors to the machine room, I felt like maybe buying the lesbian bar wasn’t such a bad idea. With good friends and the neighborly people of Covington, it was starting to feel like home.

— Christopher Schwarz


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

Moving Out, Moving On!

Paul Sellers - Sat, 11/25/2017 - 6:07am

It seemed a little strange this past week or two but progress is after all progress. I’ve spent last few weeks dismantling nearly two year’s of work with the woodworking school and then the garage workshop experiment too. Both have been part of our ongoing success in that for every hammer blow striking the nail […]

Read the full post Moving Out, Moving On! on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Thank-full

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sat, 11/25/2017 - 5:05am
red oak

Here in America, we just celebrated a holiday called Thanksgiving. It used to be about over-eating, now it’s mostly about shopping for mass-produced stuff. I try to stay out of it. The other day I was reading the blog from Mortise & Tenon magazine, in which they asked the rhetorical question “Why would you labor at something you don’t love?” – I realize there are many of us who do just that, for various reasons….I’ve done it myself. Making a living sometimes requires that we spend time doing things we’d rather not do…

shop doors

 

above the bench

I am especially aware how lucky I am to work the way I do & make my living that way. I have great friends who have helped me along the way, a wife who doesn’t need all the latest gadgets and baubles (my kids would like them, though!), readers of this blog & IG, clients, and students in my classes who all help support my work. I appreciate it all, and am eternally thankful. I am unbelievably lucky to spend my days the way I do. Thanks, all.

I went out this morning, lit the fire, filled the bird feeders and took some photos. Now for breakfast, then I get to go to work.

“WS”chest frame test fitted

 

“WS” chest frame, mitered M&T shop from the riverbank

 

down river

 

from the riverbank light frost

 


Podgers or framing pins, a blog about timber framing and a place for handmade tools.

Mulesaw - Sat, 11/25/2017 - 4:10am
First of all, thank you to Sylvain for providing me with a link to a blog where you could see a drawbore pin for timber framing in use (a podger).

Second, I am sorry for the long headline, but I couldn't really sum up all this information in a shorter sentence.

Now back to some meaningful writing:

The link that Sylvain kindly found for me is for a blog of a company called Castle Ring Oak Frame. In one of their posts they had pictures where you could see the large drawbore pins that they call podgers. I instantly got exited and wanted to get some of those so I can start a new timber frame project at home.
Before going all wild in searching for those podgers, I thought that I'd take some time and browse through the blog.
I often find that when a company has got a blog it is mostly advertising in a poorly written form. This blog was completely different though. It is written in a cheerful way and to me it feels a lot more like someone who are so proud of their job that they would like to say: I might not be a self-made millionaire or a sports star, but I make timber frames that can last for hundreds of years - and I am having a great time doing it.
Oh - and they are using Roman numerals to mark the joints :-)

I doubt that I will be using their services to erect a timber frame, because I would like to do that myself, but I am pretty sure that I will read their blog and continue to be inspired by someone making timber frames for a living.

The name podger was new to me, and given that all the podgers used by the timber framing company looked the same, I thought that maybe they were available from new somewhere.
A quick search on Google, and I landed on another dangerous site.
Not the kind of site that will get you in trouble with the police mind you, but one of those sites that could potentially be the source of birthday and Christmas presents for years to come.

There I discovered the podgers (or framing pins) I was looking for, offset prickers, froes axes etc. all handmade.
The offset prickers I can make myself on the lathe, but I think that I will order a couple of podgers for Christmas.

For sake of good order, I am not affiliated with any of the companies, they don't know me and I don't know them, so I don't get any discounts or free stuff etc from them for this blog post.
But I like a well written blog as much as the next person, and I would think that there might be a person or two reading this blog that are willing to admit that they don't mind looking at a homepage with nice tools on it.


Categories: Hand Tools

xmas madness has commenced.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 11/25/2017 - 12:32am

The radio station I listen to in the shop started playing  xmas songs 24/7 starting on T-day. Less then 2 hours after I got to the shop I shut the radio off. I must have heard the Christmas song 35 times in the period. I like that song a lot but playing the same song that many times by different artists is too much. And they never seem to play what I consider the more 'holy' songs. Such as Silent Night or Oh Holy Night and my favorite xmas song, The Little Drummer Boy. It seems like their song list only has 10-12 songs and I get tired of them after an hour or so.

I like listening to songs from the 60's and early 70's but those play stations are getting hard to find now. My favorite station recently shifted from these decades to the 80's. It is ok but some of the songs I don't like mostly because I can't understand the words. That is what I like about the 60's music, I can understand 99% of it. I'll have to find my CD player and play CDs until xmas has passed.

part of my Geek stash
I got two comments about salvaging the magnets from hard drives so I'm giving it a go. I have no shortage of them and this is just one pile of many. I am going to try and get the magnets out of the top drive which is a 80G Western Digital.


really teeny torx bit
I don't know the size of this but it is small. So small I can't read the size on the bit. The toolchest in the background is my electronics kit. This is what I used when I was fixing blood chemistry medical equipment. Customers were impressed when I came into the lab with it.


the hard drive controller board
I have swapped these boards out before and that was the extent of what I did with repairing hard drives.

lid won't come off
it was screwed onto the read/write arm
I have a lot of Western Digital drives and I'll remember this.

there are two magnets
The shiny half lunar looking things are the magnets. They feel stronger than the 1/2" round ones I used too.

no problem holding a 9oz hammer in the air.
I have the two magnets together and I picked the hammer up with them. I am impressed with the strength of these. Just wish that they weren't lunar shaped.

read/write arm
The Geek in me had to look at this.Those fine lines in the bent 'U' shape get a current induced in them from the two magnets as the arm moves back and forth across the platter. This is the first time I've taken a hard drive apart and looked under the hood.

what I'll use them for now
All these screws go to what is left over from the piano hinge I used on the square till. I stuck this on the hinge to keep it all together. That lunar shape would be hard to recess in wood for the squares.

bottom has set up
The 6mm plywood doesn't look that bad. If this was going to stay in the shop I would stop here and use it. Instead I'll use the standard angle block plane to hog most of the proud off and flush it with the low angle block plane.

how the lid will go on
I will put two pieces of wood (what I'm calling keepers and not these) on either end. They will be slightly less then the width and close to the ends. The lid has a 1/4" overhang all around so I have a bit of room to fudge with the lid fit.

mitering the base pieces

rabbet pieces
I found some scraps and I ran them through the table saw so that they were square. Due to the small size I didn't want to waste time scratching my butt figuring out which side fit where.

two in each corner and one in the middle on each side
this is a wonderful tool
This is so nice having a tool that saws a perfect 45 (on either side). The only gripe I have with it is the roughness of the face after it has been cut.

it is not happening

This appeared to be a good idea yesterday but in execution it was turning out to be a royal PITA. I've got 3 of the pieces mitered and fitted and I just needed to fit the last one. That requires gluing the blocks in the rabbets and waiting for it to set up first. I'm not happy with the fit of the blocks in the rabbets so I'm tossing this and starting over. It is doable but I don't want to expend the calories on it right now. I have to get this done sooner than later.

this is the way I should have done it
I have a lot of scraps  and this is 3/4" thick pine that I used. I ripped it to width and then made the rabbet. The last step was to run the molding plane on the edge.

easier to miter and fit this way
layout for a cutout on the base to lighten it up
lots of circles to pick
I picked the circle that came closest to my layout lines.

got one cleaned up before I had to kill the lights
I'll finish the moldings and the box this weekend and I'll start on the saw till.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was William Henry McCarty, jr?
answer - the birth name of William H Bonney, aka Billy the Kid

18th Century Ligatures: Everything you might possibly have wanted to know. Or not.

Toolemera - Fri, 11/24/2017 - 6:26pm

Ligatures. The word strikes fear in the hearts of authors, proof readers, editors and printers. For those of us whose brains live in the past, ligatures are our daily bread.

Lig12

Luckily for us, David Manthey published an excellent work on 18th century ligatures and fonts: 

https://www.orbitals.com/self/ligature/ligature.htm

The html version is less than satisfactory. Mr. Manthey has generously provided a downloadable pdf on that page. You may also download it from this post:

Download Ligature

If you pass this pdf along to others, please be sure to give David Manthey full credit for his work.

Till next, Gary

Categories: Hand Tools

Workbench Wood

Paul Sellers - Fri, 11/24/2017 - 12:22pm

If you are searching out wood for parts of your workbench build here in the UK I found some very nice dry stock, flat straight and near knot free. Probably cost under £50 for a really nice bench. It was in Home Base, yes, I do mean Home Base (no kickback for me) in Oxford. […]

Read the full post Workbench Wood on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Let’s buy a used Japanese chisel on eBay

Giant Cypress - Fri, 11/24/2017 - 10:28am

I’ve been told by some woodworkers that a turn off to using Japanese tools is the fact that there aren’t a whole lot of Japanese tools showing up at their local flea market means that their itch to find a bargain is somewhat limited. There are certainly a good number of used Japanese tools out there. It’s just that they’re on eBay. Given that today’s Black Friday, I figured it was a good day to talk about shopping. And if you know what to look for, there are good values to be had. 

To this end, I’m going to show how I look for a used Japanese tool on eBay. I’m going to go searching for a used 1/2″ Japanese chisel. Why? Because everyone can use a good 1/2″ Japanese chisel.

But before we go tool hunting, there are a few things that will help with the search.

1. Japanese tools aren’t rare (on eBay, at least).

Many auctions will describe the tool being sold as rare. It’s not. Be patient. If you don’t win an auction, another will come along.

2. Know the market.

Before you start bidding, it’s a good idea to know what the tool you are looking for typically sells for. The best way to do this is look at auctions for a while before starting to bid. I have a saved eBay search that looks for the word “Japanese” in the Collectibles –> Tools, Hardware, and Locks category. I check it every day. Because of that, I have a good idea of what a used chisel in good shape is going for. You can also look at completed listings to see what chisels sold for in the past.

3. Get over not having free shipping.

Shopping on the internet has made us accustomed to the idea of free shipping. If you are beholden to the idea of free shipping, it would be good to let go of that idea. A chisel can be shipped from Japan to your door for around $10-15. That’s a bargain. If you don’t think so, price out an airplane ticket from the U.S. to Japan sometime.

Keeping these things in mind, you can start searching eBay. Here are some things to look for in a listing for a used Japanese chisel.

First, the length of a new Japanese bench chisel is around 8 inches long, with the blade being 2-½ inches. In metric, that’s 210 mm, and the blade being 60 mm. The chisel that you’re looking at will most likely be shorter than these measurements, but this will help determine how used up the chisel you might be interested in is. 

Second, you want good pictures of the front, the back, and the bevel of the chisel. You’re looking to see that there aren’t major pitting problems from rust, especially on the back. Pitting on the bevel might be able to be ground away, but pitting on the back is going to be more problematic. Surface rust or patina is fine. 

Third, the lamination line should be clean, symmetric, and turn up a little at the corners, like a smile. The hollow on the back ideally should be symmetric, but this isn’t a deal breaker if it’s not.

Fourth, if you’re looking for a really high quality chisel, the non-functional parts of the chisel will look as if the blacksmith still paid attention to them. I tend to look at the shoulders of a Japanese chisel. Lower quality chisels will have a rougher appearance, as the blacksmith would not waste extra time on this part of a chisel unless it was of high quality.

Finally, make sure all the parts are there. Sometimes a Japanese chisel on eBay is missing the hoop. Replacement hoops are available, but that’s something else you’ll have to buy, and that takes away the idea of finding a bargain.

With these things in mind, we can now go to eBay to look for a 1/2″ Japanese chisel. Japan, like almost all of the rest of the world, uses metric, so instead of searching for a 1/2″ chisel, looking for a 12mm chisel will be more effective.

Look at the pictures of the chisels that catch your eye. Here are some examples of pictures from eBay Japanese chisel listings, and what I think of them. (All of these pictures are from expired listings, and I don’t have any affiliation with the sellers.)

This chisel’s back has been worked pretty aggressively. You can tell by how large the flat area is at the cutting edge. This isn’t very pretty, but not a dealbreaker. If I had this chisel, I would polish up the back, and not touch it until sharpening the bevel side got closer to the hollow.

You can tell without measurements that this chisel has had a decent amount of use. Not a dealbreaker, but I would take this into consideration as to how much I would bid on this chisel.

This chisel has a lot of rust and scale on it. You can barely make out the hollow. I would take a pass on this one unless it was super cheap. Note that I’m not concerned about the nicks. Those can be taken care of by sharpening.

This is from a listing of a pair of Japanese chisels. The 12 mm chisel is on the right. The lamination line on this one looks good. It’s symmetric, curves up at the sides, and looks tight.

On the other hand, this lamination line from a different chisel, is pretty much straight across. Not the sign of a good quality chisel. If the lamination line was better, I wouldn’t be concerned about the pitting. That will go away with sharpening.

This lamination line is tight, and goes up the sides, but is clearly asymmetric. Not a dealbreaker, because the line is tight, but I would pay less for this one.

This is the back side of the first pair of chisels above. There’s not much hollow left, but I wouldn’t consider this a dealbreaker. I wouldn’t pay very much for this, however. You can reestablish the hollow using the corner of a coarse waterstone, or a Dremel tool, or some similar method.

Sometimes you don’t get a good look at the lamination line. The rest of the photos of this chisel looked really good, however, and I would take a chance on this chisel if it was cheap enough.

Too short.

Sometimes you’ll find groups of chisels for sale. As you might expect, the price per chisel will be cheaper if you buy chisels in a lot.

This is from another lot of chisels. The 12mm chisel is on the left. This chisel has a beveled top. New Japanese bench chisels will have this detail for the most part. I’ve found that smaller used Japanese chisels tend to have straighter sides, as you can see from the previous photos. Theoretically, the bevel will give you clearance when using the chisel, but the sides of non-bevel Japanese chisels are tapered in slightly, like on a mortise chisel. This isn’t a dealbreaker, and is mainly a matter of aesthetics. I’ve found that if you’re looking for this particular shape, you’ll have to be patient when searching eBay.

So these are examples of things I look for when buying a used Japanese chisel on eBay. I’m heading there now, and will report back once I’ve found a 12 mm chisel and it gets shipped to me. Hopefully I won’t be in a bidding war with one of you.

"A Labor of Love"

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Fri, 11/24/2017 - 9:58am

As I guarded our “Apprenticeship : Tables” video while it exported and uploaded (at rural Maine internet speeds, this can take many hours), I reflected on a phrase that Joshua and I have heard quite often as we represent M&T at various woodworking shows and events.

If you’re a hand-tool woodworker, you’ve probably heard it before. I’ll present the scenario: You might be giving a tour of your humble workshop to an acquaintance, or showing a little side table you made to some friends. You get a smile and some complimentary words. Further conversation uncovers the fact that you build using only hand tools. You sheepishly confess that you don’t even own a router.

The whole tone of the encounter changes, as if you’ve admitted to not having indoor plumbing or that you go without shoes during a New England winter. There may be a rueful shake of the head, a low whistle, and then (wait for it) here’s the phrase:

    “That’s a labor of love, for sure.”

We, of course, know what they mean. They mean that we are quaintly idealistic, engaged in this outdated and labor-intensive pursuit – emphasis on “labor”. It is simply romanticism, a thing whose time has come and gone with the advent of the industrial age and, you know, AC power that comes right into your house. Hand-tool woodworkers work harder, not smarter, apparently.

The obvious answer to this statement is always a loaded one. It will either lead to a deep engagement about the whole mindset behind hand tool use, or will just awkwardly end the conversation.

   “Well, it is.”

The last time I heard Joshua use this answer, it accomplished the latter. The man watched a couple more chops with the mortise chisel and sauntered off.

A couple of questions implicit in this statement might be drawn out by a more persistent individual. Questions that can engage our 21st-century culture with both a wide focus, and a narrow one.

(Wide) Is the whole point of technology to make life easier? And, are we better for it?

(Narrow) Why labor at something you don’t love? 

The wide focus is more of a societal soul-searching. I’m not going to begin to tackle that one here.

The narrow one is better fodder for an individual’s rainy day thoughts. That’s where I’m going.

I’ve found myself digging into this one many times over the years. Rather than applying it to a current vocation or life decisions, I’m thinking strictly in terms of woodworking. Frankly, as we’ve said often, using a table saw or router table can be terrifying (and should be) . It wakes my kids up at night. It makes my basement workshop look like the surface of the moon.

Sawing by hand, as Jim eloquently expresses, is work. Rather than using nuclear or coal-plant powered machinery, though, I am cutting boards on pumpkin-pie power (‘tis the season). Those boards are surfaced with a 150-year-old plane that I bought for $9. There is a tactile connection to the work that using old tools (worn down by the hands of the past) and old methods brings. Technology may seek to offer a more precise surface, or make a process certain and predictable with a minimum of skill necessary. But at what cost?

 Working wood with hand tools generates sweat. Sure, there’s labor involved. But we love it.

If you love this kind of work like we do, we think our new "Tables" video will be right up your alley. "Apprenticeship : Tables" is now available for digital streaming and the DVD will be shipping soon. This has been a long time coming, and we're delighted to finally have it out. Hope you enjoy it!

~Mike Updegraff

 

Categories: Hand Tools

turkey day doings........

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 2:55pm
I was checking my LN honing guides blocks to see what I had at oh dark thirty this AM. I have three LN tools that require angled guide blocks, a set of L&R skew chisels and the irons for the 98 & 99 side rabbet planes. I recently got the 140 skew block plane and that requires an 18° angle guide block. Turns out the angled guide blocks I have are 30° and will work fine for the irons in the 98 & 99 but not the 140. I think the 30° will work with the skew chisels too but I will have to check that.

When I was looking the guide blocks up on the LN site I noticed that they don't offer the skew chisels I have anymore. Another LN tool that was dropped that I wasn't aware of.  I also couldn't remember which tool I had bought the angled guides for. I thought it was for the skew chisels but there is no longer any info on them on the LN site. I had to measure the guides I have to see what I had and they are 30°. I will need to get the 18° right hand ones for the 140.

I have to finish this for xmas
I haven't been working on this because I have been thinking about how to best secure the bottom to this. Today I came up with something.

the lid and bottom stock
The stock is the same as what I used to make the box and I'm not liking it for either. The long grain runs at 90° to the long sides which means the expansion and contraction will go against the long sides too. I can't simply glue this onto the box and let it go at that. I couldn't think of way to allow for that and keep it secure in a way I liked.

The lid isn't that big of a problem because I plan on putting keepers at the ends to hold it in place. Expansion and contraction isn't a problem with the lid.

one more consideration
I can easily bend a cup in this about a 1/2" with my fingers. The grain should be running in the long direction, not the short one like I have here. That makes it not too strong and it could easily be split.

the solution
I am going to glue an oversized piece of 6mm plywood to the bottom. Another thing I look at here is the gap at the half pins. The tighter ones become the top. Gappy ones like these, are hidden under the bottom.

switch to poplar for the lid
I like the grain direction of the poplar much more than the pine's direction. This lid will be stronger and better to mold a profile on the edges.

oops
Had a mind fart and forgot to put a backer on the exit side. Poplar likes to blowout without a backer to stop it.

what I should have done first
I am hoping here that when I mold the long grain edge that I will plane away the blowout.

I wasn't lucky this time
That is an ugly, big divot on a visible corner. This is too large to try and blend it by sanding.

lid #2
I had to plane a bit of cup and bow out first.

much better results this time with the backer in place
worth trying
I set the marking gauge to the wall on this first one I molded and then marked this side. In retrospect, I should have done it with the first one by setting it off the first lid. Duh.

it worked
I got a lot less fuzzies on this run. I noticed that my gauge line was too far inboard and the molding plane didn't remove it.

first one is on top
The long grain on both is good but on my second lid the end grain edges came out cleaner. The lid on top I sanded the end grain edges and the second lid is off the plane. The first lid won't go to waste and I'll save it for a workshop box down the line.

stock for the base
I need to hide the plywood bottom and I'll do that by making a base for it. I am using the same molded edge on it that I used on the lid. I'll run the mold on one, cut it off, and repeat.

I was able to get six pieces
made a rabbet on all six
The rabbet will be used to capture the base on the box. It will set it at the same place all the way around it. Eagle eye readers will say it is upside down but it isn't. If I put the rabbet from the top down (where it normally would be) it would have eaten into the molded edge making it too thin.

view down from the top
To my eye it would look like crap if there was a rabbet on the top. I think this molded edge will present better if it is off of the box this amount.

how the rabbet will be used
I will glue a scrap in the rabbet and the box will be glued to that.

worked on my new squares
I tried both ways of squaring the square up. The engineer square is a good standard to check and set the square against. But it has a thin blade and it is difficult to get the two of them aligned to get a reading. I used the tried and true two lines drawn on a board.

fixing the 12" square
It was very tempting to take just one more swipe but I avoided doing that. I am using my 12" Woodpecker square to fix this one and I have the square positioned in the vise so that I can check it without having to remove it.

it took some time to complete
I only took two swipes with the file and checked it. Even though I felt like I could take more than two, I forced myself to stick to two only. After I got done with this using the Woodpecker square, I doubled checked the results by drawing lines.

thought of this too late
This went a long way with stabilizing the toe end of the blade when I filed that area. I fixed 4 squares and I used this on two of them. I thought of another thing that would have helped too. A shallow saw kerf for the blade to sit here would have helped too.

the last &%@&())(^%#@^*$ one
This one kicked my arse and laughed at me the whole time. If I hadn't paid so much for this I would have given it flying lessons during the first 20 minutes I spent I trying to fix it. I see-sawed back and forth with this one. The heel would be high and I would knock it down and the toe would be high. I would knock that down and I would have a hump. I would remove the hump only to start all over again with the heel being high again.

My stubbornness kicked in and I wasn't letting this win. It took me more than 45 minutes to get the inside and outside edges square. The last check I did was to make multiple lines to verify I was square. The upside is I got all of my squares, square now.

got the saw plates cleaned and shiny
I would have started the saw till but I don't have any stock. The saws can be cleaned up at anytime but since I couldn't do the till, I worked on them.

one handle stripped and rough sanded
Quit the shop here because I am the cook for T-day. It will be just my wife and I this year but maybe next year we'll do something with one or both of the girls. It is hard now that they both live several states away from us.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Frank Willis?
answer - the security guard who caught the Watergate burglars

Anarchist’s 2017 Gift Guide, Day 3: No-Kill ‘Mutton’ Tallow

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 1:11pm

Hand-tool woodworkers love mutton tallow as a lubricant for saws, auger bits and the soles of our handplanes. A smidge of the stuff will make your tool slide easier – and your shop will smell like lambchops. But because of animal-rights concerns, mutton tallow is shunned by some woodworkers. (They already shun paraffin because it is made by Big Oil.) In 2016, a start-up corporation tried to make mutton tallow […]

The post Anarchist’s 2017 Gift Guide, Day 3: No-Kill ‘Mutton’ Tallow appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

A Once in a Lifetime Deal

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 10:45am

Every few years I get a deal of a lifetime when buying tools. Many years ago, I bought my 15″ Powermatic planer from a company going out of business for $700. I bought my Contractor SawStop table saw from SawStop corporate through Pop Wood for $1000, and yesterday, I bought a six piece Porter Cable combo kit for $25.00.

20171122_160102.jpg

As you may know, I’m a sales rep for Oldcastle selling patio block, mulch and soon composite decking to Lowe’s and Home Depot. While visiting one of my stores yesterday, I walked in the back of the store by receiving to talk to the RTM clerk to see if there were any credits I needed to give for broken patio block. While back there, I saw a Porter Cable tool bag full of tools lying on the floor and asked the RTM clerk what they were doing back there. She told me that it was a return that the customer said the batteries wouldn’t hold a charge. Knowing that Lowe’s will take back anything no questions asked, the first thing that came to my mind was a customer buying a tool, using it to do a job, then returning it to get his money back.

She asked me if I wanted to buy it so I said “sure”. She asked me what I would give for them so I said $20.00. She said she’ll call the manager to see if that would be okay. I told her before I buy them, I wanted to make sure that my batteries would work on the tools. I’ve been using the same drill and jigsaw from the same set for a few years now, so I was hopeful my batteries would indeed be compatible. I went to my car to grab my tool bag while she called the manager to make the deal happen. When I returned, she said “what about $25.00”. I said fine and hooked up my battery to the all the tools to make sure they functioned. I took the bag and walked up to customer service to buy the tools. I couldn’t believe it. I just bought a $300 combo set for $25.00. I didn’t care that the tools were a little beaten up. Almost all of my hand tools I buy are used. Many from a hundred years ago.

20171122_133927.jpg

When I got home, I laid the tools on my bench to see what I got. A drill, an impact drill, a sawsall, circular saw, multi tool, flashlight, and a battery power checker with USB ports. I took the battery it came with and charged it up. It works perfectly.

20171122_160821.jpg

Why the customer returned the tools is anybody’s guess. There is one battery missing from the set, so it may be the guy wanted a free battery so he simply didn’t put it back in the bag when he returned it. I don’t care. I’m just glad as hell I got the deal of the year. Happy Thanksgiving!

 


Strykebenken på Øystad i Suldal

Norsk Skottbenk Union - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 10:40am

Studentane på tradisjonelt bygghandverk på NTNU har i tradisjonsfaglig fordypning i oppgåve å finne, registrere og måle opp ein lokal skottbenk frå sitt område. Student og medlem i unionen, Sven Hoftun, har posta sitt oppgåvesvar på bloggen med oppmåling av strykebenken i Hoftun. Etter han posta kom det inn spørsmål om korleis kilane kan ha sett ut og Sven svarar at det blir posta om ein tilsvarande benk frå same område som også har kilane bevart. Her følgjer tekst og dokumentasjon frå student Kjell Gunnar Haraldseid på Ryfylkemuseet.

Strykebenken på Øystad i SuldalStrykebenken på Øystad i Suldal. Foto: Kjell Gunnar Haraldseid

På garden Øystad i Suldal, Rogaland hadde de stående en strykebenk, lengde 319 cm, høyde cm 75 med originale kiler. Bukkane er laga av furu og alle delene er grovt tilhogde med øks, det er noe vannkant på enkelte deler. Stavene er 75 cm høye og blir bundet sammen med tverrbord som er felt inn i stavene med svalehale og spikret. Alle fellingene er grovt utført og ingen er helt like. Den ene foten har en tverrfot som har vært spikret i golvet.

StrykebenkStrykebenken sett fra enden med kilen på plass. Det er slått på et bord på begge bukkene for å gjøre kilegangen mindre. Foto: Kjell Gunnar Haraldseid

Langbordene er og laget i furu og har høvlet innside og topp men ellers grov overflate. På enden av langbordene kan man se spor etter bruk av øks. Det faste langbordet har en dimensjon på 3190 mm lengde, høyde 170 mm og tykkelse 25 mm. Det løse langbordet er likt bortsett ifra høyden som er 185 mm.

LangbordSpor etter felling eller kapping med øks. Foto: Kjell Gunnar Haraldseid Fast langbordDet faste langbordet er ikke felt inn i staven men står på fot slik som det løse og er festet i staven med spiker. Foto: Kjell Gunnar Haraldseid FotTverrfot enkelt innfelt og grovt tilhogd mellom stavene. KilerKilene er av furu, grovt laga og har noe vannkant og ulik lengde.

Arbeidshøyden på strykebenken er 75 cm og det er rundt 5 cm lavere enn det som vi finner på de andre benkene her i Suldal. Høyden gjør at man kommer godt over høvelen og får ført kreftene ned i arbeidsstykket. Lengden på benken gjør at man kan høvle 5 alna bord og ha litt lenge igjen på benken.

StrykebenkenStrykebenken montert

Strykebenk


Categories: Hand Tools

Enter Woodworking Here!

Paul Sellers - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 8:27am

You want to start out in woodworking, or you’ve taken the first few steps. Whether that’s with hand tools or machines and you think you must have all things in place before you get started seriously. You know, 20 by 20 workshop, that perfect workbench everyone raves about, shelves and cupboards stuffed and stacked with […]

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

Categories: Hand Tools

Anarchist’s 2017 Gift Guide, Day 2: Tape Dispenser

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 5:39am

You might think I’m kidding. I am absolutely not. This year, a tape dispenser for my blue tape is the nicest thing I’ve added to my shop. Like many woodworkers, I use blue painter’s tape for many tasks, from taping down small repairs to marking out joinery to shimming things square. For years I simply pulled it off the roll. You know the drill: Find the end of the tape, […]

The post Anarchist’s 2017 Gift Guide, Day 2: Tape Dispenser appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

The 2017 Anarchist’s Gift Guide Has Begun

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 5:01am

kershaw_IMG_8966

When my wife asks me what I want for Christmas, I say the same thing every year: Please do not get me anything. Nothing. I do not want a single dang thing.

I know, however, that there are times where you can’t stop your loved ones from getting you something during the holidays. And that is what this “gift guide” is for. It is a list of small things – usually very inexpensive – that will make your shop time a little nicer.

Here is a list of manufacturers who sponsor this gift guide:

1.

2.

3.

Yup. Most “gift guides” are affiliate programs in disguise. Or they are sponsored content that seeks to offload goods that haven’t sold well enough this year.

All the items in this gift guide are things I’ve bought. With my own money.

One more thing: Since we started Crucible Tool, I have stopped writing tool reviews. I know this gift guide blurs the line a bit. I’m sure I could type some rationalization for this, but instead I’ll just ask the naysayers to take up a new hobby instead.

The gift guide begins here.

— Christopher Schwarz


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Categories: Hand Tools

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