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General Woodworking

George’s Faux Drawers

360 WoodWorking - 8 hours 19 min ago
George’s Faux Drawers

I’ve gotten back working on my version of George Washington’s partner’s desk. (I posted about scratch-stocks used on the legs and other inexpensive shop-made tools I’ve used.) Today, take a look at the setup and process to make George’s faux drawers, which are found on the ends of the original desk. In my version the back sections are also faux – if it were a true partner’s desk it would have functioning drawers on both sides.

Continue reading George’s Faux Drawers at 360 WoodWorking.

Miles's toolbox pt II........

Accidental Woodworker - 12 hours 9 min ago
Today's part is all about measuring and layout tools. I lumped these together because they go hand in hand. You use the two of  them together just as much as you would use them separately. This part of the herd is pretty much done but if something catches my eye I'll snag it for Miles.

square till
The toolbox, the saw, and square tills, all were painted with an exterior paint. After that I applied 4 coats of shellac. The shellac allows me to brush the boxes clean when they get covered with shop dust. If they were just painted, I would have to wash them to clean them.

good selection of squares
The big square on the left is 15" on the inside and 17" on the outside. The right one is 12" on the inside and 14" on the outside. The only quibble I have with them is they were made to be square on the inside only from the manufacturer.  The inside part of the wooden leg has a brass strip but not on the outside. However, I played with these until I got the outside to be square also. Just my opinion, but a square that only reads it on the inside is limited.

What I want to add to the square till
I've been looking for a 4" Starrett but I have only come across one in my hunting. I saw it on one of my tool sites but I lost that to someone else. Lee Valley has free shipping until Wednesday so I might buy their 4" combo square. A brand new Starrett is $74.

most of the layout/measuring stuff is in the top two tills

measuring stuff
I got him Paul Seller's marking knife of which I am a recent convert to. Other then the knife, everything else measures in imperial. The hook rule at the bottom left is imperial and metric. The black box at the top is a fractional reading caliper. I got one for him because I found mine to be a handy tool to have. It will also read decimal but I don't use that.

I got hooked on the Lee Valley sliding square and it gets a lot of use in my shop. I traded a 6" Delta jointer for it. I think I got the better part of that deal. The only thing I gave him that I don't use much myself anymore is the 24" centering rule.

6" rule
This size is handy and I use mine mostly in laying out dovetails.

3 marking gauges
I am hunting for a couple of more but Miles will be able to get by with these even if I don't add anymore to his herd. From the top to the bottom - Stanley 65 oval head, single pin marking gauge. The other two are the same style gauge - the middle one is a Stanley #72 and the bottom one is a Stanley #71.

both are single pin with dual beams
I gave him these because they can serve a dual purpose. Between the two of them they can hold 4 different settings. Or they can be used as a mortise gauge. One thing I've found with the Stanley marking gauges are the scales are dead nuts on.

the only difference
The Stanley #72 has a brass wear plate under the marking pins where the #71 doesn't.

he'll be getting one of these for sure
This marking gauge can be used to gauge a line on curved work. These have suddenly become scarcer than frog hair blankets. I used to see these offered up all the time when I didn't want one and now I can't remember the last time I saw one for sale.

3" mortise gauge
This is a Stanley #73 and I love the size of this mortise gauge. This is another gauge that I want to add to Miles's herd. This one is even scarcer then the Stanley round work gauge ( mine is marked Stanley but it has no model number).

has long length, sharp pins
If I can't find another one of these I will probably buy or give him one my mortise gauges. He will probably inherit this one.

the final part of the layout and measuring herd
Pencils and magic markers are usually overlooked but they are essential parts of a tool kit. I am not that anal to include them now but I can supply them when they are actually needed.

first drawer bottom installed
I glued it in the front groove with hide glue and screwed it to the back with 3 screws, no glue. I did this with a rabbet bit in my electric router. Plywood is too hard on plane irons. I still had to plane it to fit the groove and the slips.

#5 primed
I removed 99.99% of the japanning from the frog so I opted to prime it. I got the sole of the plane sanded to 80 grit but I still have to do the sides.

The previous owner of this saw fit to put a big back bevel on this iron. It looks like a knife edge and not a plane iron edge. It is almost a 1/16th of inch from the edge so I'll lose a lot grinding it off. I'm not sure that I'll be able to sharpen this as I have zero experience with a back bevels - ala 'ruler trick'. It is hard trying to flatten the back because of it.

another problem
The business end of the iron is flat but the back end is drunk. I'm pushing down there and the bevel is over a 1/8" off the plywood.

it's now a C bend
It was bent in a S shape at this end. I was able to kind of beat the S into a C but not flatten it. I'm not sure if the lever cap and chipbreaker will be able to flatten this out. I didn't road test it before I started rehabbing it so I don't know how or if it made shavings.

prepping the stock for the second drawer
I need to find a home for this
I have only used brown rouge on both wheels and they blacker than the edge of space. Why?

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that a qubit in Quantum Computing is a two state unit of quantum information?

WW18thC 2018 – The Joiner’s Gang

The Barn on White Run - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 7:05am

One of the more recent additions to the WW18thC conference has been Ted Boscana’s crew from the CW housewright shop.   I never fail to learn a lot from these presentation/demonstrations and find Ted to be enjoyable company when we are together.  This year the Joiner’s Gang was reproducing some architectural-scale cornice moldings and I found their approach to be immensely engaging.

Ted divvied up the sections of the molding profile among his posse of Amanda, Peter, and Scott and they set to work.

Although the scale at which they were working lends itself to segmented work, they were also demonstrating some of the complex planes in the CW collection.

As a finale, with one of the large complex molding planes, Ted placed his full weight over the plane body and the posse pulled him along on top of the workpiece with a rope.

PopWood Playback #7 | Top Woodworking Videos of the Week

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 2:03am

PopWood Playback is a series we started on YouTube at the beginning of the year where we share the best woodworking videos of the week. If you have a video that you made or a video that you are in to, leave a link in the comment section and we’ll consider it for next week! Congrats to the winner of the Bora Roller Stands – Douglas D. of Evansville, MN! Top […]

The post PopWood Playback #7 | Top Woodworking Videos of the Week appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Miles's toolbox......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 11:44pm
This is an update on my grandson's toolbox. I think I am pretty close to being done with it. I know of a couple more toys I want to add to the herd before I call it done. This will be the first of 4 or maybe 5 posts I'll do on this. This one is on the toolbox and the saw till. The others will follow suit. While this is going on I'll be working on the tool cabinet and finishing the rehabbing of the #5.

Feel free to chime in on anything you think I need to add or maybe take away. I am not shooting for getting every toy available but a decent starting set for him to learn and grow with. He can add/subtract as he wants if it keeps up with it.

Miles's toolbox and tills
The big toolbox wasn't big enough to put all the tools in it. The long rectangular box is the saw till and the box on top is the till for his squares. I definitely did not want the squares to be banging around loose in the toolbox.

the big toolbox
I had made this a few years ago and I added one big till and two smaller ones. I thought of making a bigger toolbox but I am staying with this. That will keep my purchases to a minimum and hopefully just what is needed.

it's on a rolling dolly
My thanx to the Valley Woodworker (Bob) for making this suggestion. It is a huge back saver and something I will do again.

the saw till
I'll be putting the coping saw in the lid
the backsaws
From the top on down - rip tenon saw, crosscut carcass saw, and a dovetail saw. These should do for any joinery he'll do. He may have to wait a while to grow into them though.

rip and crosscut panel saws
All of these saws have been cleaned, the totes refinished, and all have been sharpened. The coping saw did not need any of this but I do have to fix the handle on it. It is loose and has an annoying habit of separating itself from the saw frame while using it. I'll epoxy it as a first fix.

I think I'm set on saws for Miles. He should be able to build whatever he wants with this set. A couple of things I want to add to the saw till is a saw set and some files so he can sharpen these. He can make his own saw vise as a shop project.

tote screw and a carbide bit to drill holes
One of the totes was loose and I was going to replace one of the saw nuts but both totes are now tight. And I don't remember which one was loose. There is absolutely nothing loose on either of them. I will keep these in this saw till for just in case.

the coping saw holder from my saw till
I am going to reuse this to hold the coping saw in Miles's saw till box.

corners were too tight
I had to rasp the corners back some to give a wee bit more to slip the coping on and off of this.

screws punched through
The lid panel is only 6mm plywood which is less than a 1/4" thick. I didn't want to glue the holder on to the inside of the lid but I may not have a choice. I'll leave it screwed on for now but if I have to I'll glue in on with hide glue.

room for another saw
The coping saw stayed in the holder through several open and close cycles of the lid which surprised me. I was going to put a toggle stick on the holder but I don't think I need to now.

Tomorrow I'll post about the measuring do-dads I stuffed in the toolbox.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that the Great White Shark is the largest predatory fish in the world?

Ailsa Craig Box Update…

The Kilted Woodworker - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 3:48pm
(And now for a long overdue update on the Ailsa Craig box…) After letting the boards I’d ripped down rest for a bit in the shop, I cut them to length and width and squared the ends in preparation for dovetails. Because it’s been so long since I’ve cut dovetails, and because marks are hard […]
Categories: General Woodworking

Installing a lock on a joined chest

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 7:31am

I installed the 2nd lock the other day. The first one was here – https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/locks

This one was easier because I was fitting it in a chest, not a box. I don’t often do these so I cut an entire housing in a piece of scrap first.

After taking some measurements from the lock, I scribed a centerline and then located the keyhole. When I bored it, I used a square to help align the bit.

One step I forgot on the box lock the other day was the housing on the top edge of the rail/box front. Here I marked it out with a chisel, then chopped & pared it. This notch is quite shallow, but helps snug the lock down into place.

Next comes sawing, chopping and paring to cut the multi-tiered housing for the lock and its moving parts. I scribed the limits with an awl & square, and marking gauge.

When chopping, I braced my hip/gut against the chest front to support it while knocking against it. I wish I had cut this when the parts were un-assembled…but if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

It’s easy to cut the depth of this housing un-even. I kept chopping and then paring across the grain.

This is the housing just about done – it needs to go lower to reach down to the scribed line.

At this point, I got the lock ready to install, but first had to extend the keyhole. I scribed about the bottom of the key, and bored & chopped the rest.

Still not installed; I get it this far – then scribe the rectangle where the staple from the lid will fall into the lock. That wood needs to be cut away.

At this stage, I’ve nailed the lock in place, and added the escutcheon too. Its nails are quite short, if they are too long, they can interfere with the lock. Once it’s done, I lock the staple in place and mark the underside of its plate with a Sharpie/felt marker – then close the chest lid. And lean on it.

That leaves some impressions in the underside of the chest lid. Two divots from the feet of the staple. And a smudgy black rectangle showing where to pare the lid to engage the plate. I took a small carving gouge to hollow out a spot for the staple’s feet.

A benefit of a pine lid is that this operation is easily done. Well, still awkward up in the air, but it’s not oak at least.

Once I had it where I wanted it, I bored pilot holes for the nails. Reamed those holes, and drove the nails.

Then, test the lock & key. If all goes well, then you clinch those nails on top of the lid.

I wanted to see how the lock worked from the inside. But it’s very dark in there. If you’re going to be locked inside for any duration, I suggest bringing a light.


WW18thC 2018 – Kaare and the Haymakers

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 5:30am

With the challenge of interpreting a decorated 18th century tool chest, the three maestros from the Anthony Hay Shop – Kaare Loftheim, Brian Weldy, and Bill Pavlak – took stage to discuss and demonstrate the paths that they had taken individually to fulfill the task.  Soon the small stage was filled with tool chests old and new.

I found this to be a fascinating discourse on not only the organization of tools within the chest but the selection and availability of the tools themselves.  Three makers, three approaches to the problem.

I think this was Kaare’s earlier replica of the Seaton tool chest.


How to Flatten Large Boards in a Planer

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 2:00am

I grew up working in my dad’s custom woodworking shop standing in a pile of shavings on the outfeed side of a 24″ planer. Oh sure, we had dust collection, but we (me) frequently got too lazy to go empty the ten-foot-cubed collector into fifty-five gallon drums and drag them to the dumpster. So frequently I stood in a pile of shavings. Ah, the luxury of the good old days! […]

The post How to Flatten Large Boards in a Planer appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

jack rehab.......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 12:40am
I did quick look up for the type of jack I have. It has a corrugated sole but that really doesn't have anything to do with the type. It has two patent dates in front of the tote but not the arched doo hickey thing between the two circular screw holes for the frog. The type ten ushered in the adjustable frog and the screw which is absent from my plane. I think it is a type 9 or maybe a type ten that didn't get the frog adjustment treatment. I read Patrick's plane study and it kind of fits inbetween the 9 and 10. It has some of the DNA from both. No matter, I'm rehabbing a corrugated sole #5.

starting to rust on the back

two patent dates and a rusting frog area
I will wire brush this tomorrow and clean it with acetone. Once I'm satisfied the rust is gone I'll apply the stripper.

small parts out of the EvapoRust
rinsed and blown dry
I have done my derusting with a few different agents. The last one I tried was citric acid and I've made the circle back to EvapoRust. This stuff works the best. It is safe to touch and dump down the household drain and it works at derusting.  I also like the finish on the parts after they come out of the bath. It is also reusable a boatload of times. What's not to like about it?

buffer work
 I was able to raise a decent shine on the barrel nuts. I was going to buy a replacement set but I think I'll use these. The slots aren't chewed up and I do like shiny things.

came pretty clean with Krud Kutter and a blue scrubbie
inside doesn't look the same
I haven't been able to clean the inside of any knob I've done with any cleaner. Even Bar Keeps needs help with a wire brush to get clean and shiny.

sandpaper always works
Even using sandpaper is still tough, especially getting my fat fingers in there to work it.

this knob has had the snot beat out of it
I had a hard time turning this off of the stud around the half way point. Maybe the previous owner didn't think to clean the threads and instead used a pipe wrench to turn it.

shined on the buffer
It didn't look like this when I got done buffing it. It was black and I had to wipe the knob with a rag to get the shine. The buffing wheel is black too but I had cleaned the knob before I buffed it. I'll have to read up on this and see if there is something I'm doing wrong.

Lee Valley sent another one
fits, but.......
I don't want to sound ungrateful but I think that this should sit down a wee bit more. It works and holds the bit securely so maybe I'm quibbling about nothing.

road tested my chamfer brace bit
I could only get the chamfer to work to about the 1/3 point. I leaned on the brace and pressed down on it but I could not get the chamfer any larger than this.

filed it some

easier to make the chamfers
 Still couldn't go past the half way point but they appear to be a bit cleaner looking.

did a better job of filing it
far left hole is toast
The bit didn't want to make the left one any larger than what it is. The other two holes weren't a problem. What I can't understand is why it won't go any deeper. The cutting edge is sharp and shiny from the top to the bottom so it should a make a chamfer right up to the top.

tried it in pine
Easier to do than the DF but still only to about half way. It looks like this will be good for #6 screws and maybe #8's.

sticky 80 grit
It is wide enough to do the jack and I don't have any clamps to get in the way.

it's pretty close to flat
I like using the PSA sandpaper over the 6x48 sanding belts. The biggie is no clamps in the way leaving the whole runway open. I can go from one end to the other and overshoot .

Krud Kutter cut the crud
that is some nasty looking grunge
This is ten strokes on 80 grit. This side was pitted, not deeply, but still pitted. This quick dance step removed most of them. I don't think I'll have any problems getting the cheeks shiny.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that a kazoo is classified as a membranophone?


Inside the Oldwolf Workshop - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 8:06pm
I hereby call this officially unofficial meeting of the International Association of Moxon Vise Owners (IAMVO) to disorder. Before we begin with the important nonsense let us say the customary pledge of the organization. Please rise, hold your dovetail saws over your heart, cross your fingers behind your back and repeat the sacred words.

We who were once hunched in joinery
Can now stand tall in victory
We who were once bound to the bench 
Can now cut dovetails anywhere
We have been liberated by Moxon
Lead by the prophet Schwarz
To the holiest of all workholding wonders.
Whether atop our Roubo or on the shelf beneath
Let us never wish for a Leigh Jig again. 

Thank you brothers and sisters, before you find your seats please greet one another with the secret handshake.

Ahem . . . Norm . . .Mr. Abram. . . It's ok you can shake Mr. Underhill's hands. Well he's a little intense but he is a nice guy. 

What? No you can't catch "Brace And Bit Fever" from a simple handshake, that's a nasty myth. Besides Mr. Abram I'm certain your electron shots are all fully up to date and you're in no danger.

See, we can all get along and play nice. Oops, it seems Roy has managed to cut himself on your beard, well that's never stopped Roy from going on with the show and I suppose we should follow his example. 

To the reason I've called you all here. I want to announce we have acquired a new member! Several evenings ago I had the young James Martens to the shop. He'd found a lonely pile of maple alongside a back country highway, oddly already glued up into turning blanks. The maple was cold so he invited it into his warm cargo van, the one with the blacked out windows, and offered it a job in his shop.

Mr. Martens knew I had a lathe and the threading box and tap needed to make a moxon, (Though we all agree how elegant the less folksy options are hailing from Iowa and Texas) and he asked my assistance and I was happy to give it.

I set him up on the lathe and let him go to town and before the evening was over another glorious miracle of wood mashing mastery was brought into this world and I congratulated Mr. Martens on his new membership to our exclusive club.

We both held back tears as the vise attempted it's maiden clamping. I am happy to report it was a success.

So, fellow members of the IAMVO, when you spy the young James, whether in the wild shopping for major appliances or at his usual station sharpening and building saws for Bad Axe Tool Works greet him warmly, offer him the secret handshake, and ask how his vise is doing.

I hereby declare this meeting at an end. All in favor?

Ratione et Passionis
Categories: General Woodworking

Festool Domino Comparison

Highland Woodworking - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 8:00am

In the February issue of Festool Heaven, Morton compares the Festool DF500 with the Festool XL DF700, to help you understand which tool is right for which job.

Watch the video below and figure out which Festool Domino is right for your shop. And check out Festool Heaven for more details on these fine tools.

The post Festool Domino Comparison appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

WW18thC 2018 – Patrick Edwards

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 5:42am

Like other presenters at this year’s confab Patrick Edwards had two sessions presenting his own topic of specialty, the techniques and compositions of marquetry.  His first session revolved around his replication of the underside of the lid of Jane Rees’ tool chest lid, walking the audience through not only his conceptual approach but the bench-top manifestation of it.  The second continued the theme of marquetry artistry, including making a blade for the chevalet.

Of particular fascination to me were the vintage veneer saw and shooting plane he used.  I took enough of both of them to make versions of them myself, and surely I will.

I’ve known Patrick for more than three decades and seen him present several times, and every instance is a learning experience for me even though I cut my teeth restoring French marquetry in the 1970s.  Patrick’s demonstration of making templates with his vintage pricking machine and transferring the pattern to multiple sheets necessary for the undertaking for sawing on the chevalet was a choreography to be savored.

Woodworking for the Impatient – How to Make a Windsor Rocking Chair and More

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 2:34am

I’ve always had an appreciation for green woodworking. Not that I’ve done as much of it as I would like, but the idea of being able to walk into a forest, harvest some wood, then walk back into the shop and go to work … well, it’s getting in touch with our pre-industrial DNA. Oh, and it feels pretty good not to pay lumber yard prices for air-dried birch! Green […]

The post Woodworking for the Impatient – How to Make a Windsor Rocking Chair and More appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

not myself........

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:34am
I did not want to get out of my bed this morning. Usually as soon as I wake up, I'm out of the rack. I'm rearing and ready to go and I don't need anything else to get my motor warmed up. I felt tired and blah feeling all day at work. I'm glad that I didn't have a lot of work to do, I don't remember feeling this out of it from first colonoscopy.

might as well
I believe I have stepped over the "....you might as well" line in the sand. I cleaned this with Zep and Krud Kutter to compare them and I went a wee bit further. I scraped two rusty spots and then scraped the body. I would estimate I easily removed 85-90% of the japanning. I hadn't planned on rehabbing any more planes until next month but I don't a choice now. This will flash rust in a couple of days without a primer coat on it.

I won't be stripping it today but maybe tomorrow I'll do it. Now that I am doing it I can't wait to see how this one comes out. This plane has some pitting on the cheek walls and I want to see if I can lap them out. This will be my first time doing something like that.

started the rehabbing last night
I am getting rid of the Zep and using Krud Kutter from now on. But I didn't want to shitcan what Zep I had left so I let the parts soak in it overnight. Before I tossed them in this bath I had sanded and wire brushed as much of the crud and grunge off the parts I could.

one last scrubbing
These will be going in EvapoRust next and I want to make I got all of the grime and crud off of them.

they are a lot cleaner
The Zep was a light, see through lime green color before I did the overnight bath trick. I took all the parts upstairs and rinsed them all with hot water.

these parts will be ready tomorrow
the frog
I wasn't going to put the frog in the EvapoRust but I had no choice. It is already flash rusting on the seat that won't be painted.

the frog side
Both sides at the bottom were orange with rust. I sanded these two places to bare metal and a few other rust spots too. After that I tossed them into the EvapoRust.

got a reply from Lee Valley
They are sending me another one and LV said that it had been tested to ensure 1/4" hex bits fit in it. They said I could do what ever I wanted with this one.

metric reading
I don't know what the tolerances for this would be but a 6mm hex bit should fit it this but maybe on the loose side?

undersized for a 1/4" (0.250) hex bit
phillips hex bit
I measured 6 bits and they were all around the same give or take a thousandth or two.

needle files
I didn't have a file that matched the width of the flats but a spear point kind of fit. I tried filing with that but the hex bit still wouldn't fit. It was worth a try now that I have a replacement coming.

finishing screwing the drawer
Last night after dinner I came to the shop looking for drawer slides screws and found a bunch of them. I put some in the slide that attaches to the drawer side and tonight I did the cabinet slides.

needed some help
I used my birdcage awl to make pilot holes before driving them home. I couldn't fully seat the screws with the ratcheting driver. I had to finish them with the hand screwdriver. Driving screws in plywood is never easy due to all the cross banding of the veneers.

marking the bottom
5/16" over
Which is the depth of the groove in the front of the drawer. This should be flush with the back of the drawer or just a hair proud.

1/2 a frog hair wide
This is as far as I dare to take this tonight. I am not 100% mentally with it, and I don't want an oops to happen to me here. If I feel better tomorrow, I'll make my 3 rabbets and fit it.

funny looking counter bore
I am going to try and drill a hole with this.

the other counter bore
Bad pic of this but the cutting edges look to be wicked sharp on this one. This has been recently sharpened too from the looks of it.

it worked
This is a scrap piece of Douglas Fir and it drilled the hole. No burning, no chattering, and it didn't stall as I applied even downward pressure. This wasn't what I expecting. I thought it wouldn't cut wet paper.

1" diameter
This counter bore drilled a very clean hole in this DF. It hard to get cleanly drilled holes in this wood but this did it. The circumference is very smooth and clean except for one small spot and the bottom is smooth and even. I don't need or use these very often but they are handy when you do need them.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that mendacious means not telling the truth, lying?

How to Remove and Fix White Rings from the Apple HomePod

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 1:09pm

Editor’s note: This article was excerpted from Bob Flexner’s article “How to Remove Watermarks“ Photo: Jon Chase (The Wirecutter) Light marks are milky-white and are caused by moisture getting into the finish and creating voids that interfere with the finish’s transparency. To remove milky-white watermarks, you need either to consolidate the finish (eliminate the voids) to the point that the transparency is reestablished or cut the film back to below […]

The post How to Remove and Fix White Rings from the Apple HomePod appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Writing Desk – Moving to Mahogany

The Barn on White Run - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 6:55am

I’ll get back to my recounting of WW18thC 2018 tomorrow, but for today I wanted to pick up the thread of the project to interpret an early 19th century mahogany writing desk.

With the full-size prototype built in southern yellow pine from my pile of bench-building stock it was time to move on to the real thing in mahogany.

But first I had to break my hip and lose more than half a year of shop time.  One of my favorite jokes of all time involves a Calvinist who trips and breaks his ankle.  “Finally,” he says, “I am glad to get that over with.”  There’s nothing like some predestination humor to get the day started right.

As I wrote many moons ago I wanted to not only build the early-19th century desk with period appropriate technology, using power equipment only for “apprentice work,” I also wanted to use the best vintage lumber I could find.  Casting my net as widely as possible among my circle of woodworking friends I was able to acquire small amounts of spectacular sweitenia from more than a half dozen sources.   No single source was enough to accomplish the project, but en toto I obtained enough to build several desks, which I eventually will in hopes there are clients out there who want one.

The most difficult piece to find was the single slab of 30″x 20″ 5/4 mahogany for the desk top.  Three stalwart friends responded and soon I was getting quizzical looks from Rich the UPS driver as he pulled up with securely swathed slabs of wood.  You can get a sense of the scale as I believe that is my #8 in the frame.

Perhaps the most surprising source for lumber was the orthopedic surgeon who repaired my hip.  As we were meeting for my final “turn me loose” appointment he asked me what I was working on, and I told him about this desk project.  Although I knew he was a decorative turner I had not known he was an enthusiastic furniture maker in years past, and he told me he had a storage unit filled with vintage lumber he had acquired over the years.  A couple months later we got our calendars to intersect and I went to meet him there, and wound up buying all the mahogany he had.  He told me that this stash could be traced back to pre-WWI sources and based on the quality of the lumber I believe it.  Similar stories accompanied the rest of the acquisitions as the lineage of mahogany inventories lives on in perpetuity, it seems.

Since the writing box of the desk was veneered, having just the right board for for making those veneers was crucial.  Fortunately that was one piece I had in-hand already, having acquired it perhaps forty years earlier at an estate sale for a woodworker who had no end of fabulous lumber.  Alas I did not have the money to buy more than a few pieces, and this was one of them.  I was saving it for just the right project, and this was it.  This dense, hard, and spectacular Cuban mahogany was nothing but delightful to work with.

Ditto the flame veneers needed for the outside surfaces of the legs.  I cannot even recall when I bought four slabs of crotch lumber, but they too were waiting for just the right project.

The structure of the desk was simple enough and I soon had all the pieces cut and ready for fitting assembling.  But before final assembly could happen I needed to address all the hand-cut curvilinear moldings on the edges of the legs.

Stay tuned.

Precision Instruments for Woodworkers – Part Three: Tools for Precision

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 5:51am

In part one we introduced tools for standardization. These are the measuring tools that you also use to verify and quality your other tools. Every woodworker should have a high-quality combination square at the very least. In part two, I covered basic measuring tools: rules, tapes, and squares. Certainly, these are the tools that get the biggest work out in woodworkers’ shops. And, now it’s time to dial it up a […]

The post Precision Instruments for Woodworkers – Part Three: Tools for Precision appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Tricks of the Trade: How to Cut Curves on the Bandsaw

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 4:52am
Make relief cuts when cutting curves on the band saw

Here’s a tip on how to cut curves on the bandsaw. When cutting a circle or an odd shape from a square piece of lumber on a bandsaw, you’ve probably dealt with the annoying corners that try to pull the material out of your hands as they catch on the bandsaw’s table. Then there’s the additional annoyance of the blade binding in a weird curve. A few extra cuts on […]

The post Tricks of the Trade: How to Cut Curves on the Bandsaw appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

drawer fitted.......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 12:34am
I did some work last night after dinner because I had to stay up due to the toilet trot races.  I also got some work done before I left to go to the hospital. I knew that once I got home from that I would be restricted in what I could do. Anesthesia does funny things to you for hours after it is stopped. I tried a few things that I thought didn't require any undue dexterity or overtaxing my limited mental faculties.

last night
After supper I rasped this cutout to the line and sanded it smooth. I glued 3 toothpicks into the bottom to help hold it together. The bottom is 5/16" thick and I don't have any screws small enough for this. The toothpicks should be more adequate for holding it together. I couldn't do the other side because I just epoxied it together before supper.

the following morning at oh dark thirty five
This is what the inside of the repair on this end looked like after I removed the tape.

curve rasped and the end cap sanded smooth
front of the curve
I can see where the break is at the top and bottom of the curve. A quick glance brings nothing and I'll leave this as is and call it a pitch pocket.

inside sanded smooth
The dark streak is from me sanding this with a finger sander that I had used previously to sand lever caps. This is why I want a set for woodworking and a set for metal. I had to sand this again with some clean 150 grit paper.

toothpick nails
I can get all 3 'nails' out of one toothpick. I chiseled off the pointed end and then divided what was left roughly in three. The toothpick is very close to a 1/16" diameter.

angled the two end 'nails' and the middle one went in at 90°
drilling pilot holes for a #6 screw
smallest driver
This one works well with #6 on down screws. I'm still having luck with keeping the blade in the slot as I drive them.

I am not going to put a clear finish on this nor am I going to paint it. The other tool cabinets and drawers don't have a finish so I'll keep this the same as them.

I can use the driver to open and close the drawer
It doesn't stick out that far and the brief time I worked at the bench, it wasn't a problem.

I will have to rehab this now (back from the hospital)
this part was easy
The gears look good with no chips, breaks, cracks, or missing teeth. It is dirty but I can clean it and paint it.

I'll need a spanner wrench
I have a lot of tools but I don't have even one spanner wrench. I have 3 different sized snap ring pliers but they won't work for this.

This pin is for the bottom bevel gear and the shaft that the drill chuck threads on.

had to search for the top pin
I saw this pin on the handle's ferrule but I thought it was a dimple for holding it on. I was looking for a pin around the bevel gear itself. I still don't understand how the shaft for the top bevel gear works. The top of the shaft, at the handle, is pinned but what is keeping the bottom of the shaft, below the bevel gear, in place?

installing the drawer slides
 I don't know if this is right or wrong, but it is the way I do them. I like to put the drawer slides down close to the bottom edge. It makes sense to me that this would be the obvious place to put them.

I have both parts of slide together. The spacer will leave a 1/4" above the top of the drawer.

left side slide going in

I'm glad that I got a hex adapter for the Craftsman driver because the Stanley 131 is too long to fit inside the cabinet. I set the front end of the slide a 1/4" from the front of the cabinet.

it was the anesthesia that made me do this
I put the drawer side slides on backwards. On good point is the front is flush with the sides of the cabinet.

The closed end of the drawer side slide should be at the front of the drawer, not the back like I did it here.

the anesthesia is still playing with my head
I got the drawer slides swapped the correct way but now the drawer is proud.

why it is proud
I put the 1/4" from the end at the back of the drawer when it should have been at the front.

got my 1/4" clearance at the top of the drawer
I will duplicate this clearance between the two drawers.

it is working both ways
It is driving the screws into the pine like a dream. What I found surprising is it is also driving the screws out too and all the way.

The drawers only come with 8 screws. That means only two screws for each part of the drawer slides. I will be adding at least 2 more for each slide part. If I don't have any screws I think Lowes sells them.

I think I got it right this time
Three times is the charm for drawer slides too.

drawer closed and it is flush
The stock for the new drawer has stickered for a few days. I will rough cut the new drawer parts tomorrow and let them sticker for a day before dovetailing them. I stopped working on anything involving woodworking here. I invoked my two mistake rule and stopped any further woodworking.

one of the hardest spots to clean and degrease
the back of the frog is another spot
using Zep on the front and Krud Kutter at the back
the Zep is filthy
I cleaned this first with a nylon brush (at the top right) and then scrubbed it with the wire brush.

Krudd Kutter did better at the back
Both of these worked in cleaning but I think the Krud Kutter was several frog hairs better than the Zep at it. And the Krud Kutter is biodegradable while the Zep isn't.

Krud Kutter gets the brass ring
 I noticed that the rag for the Krud Kutter was noticeably more dirty and darker than the Zep one.  I'm liking the Krud stuff a lot more than the Zep.

got some new toys
All I wanted was the countersink for the brace but the S/H for it was more than the brace. I saw the two counter bores being offered for $10 each so I got them. Brand new they are a lot more then the price I paid. The top one will work in wood but the bottom one I'm not sure. The wings are flat with a slight bevel to them. I think this one was made to counter bore in metal. I'll try it on wood to see if I'm right or not.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that a UK Duke or Duchess is addressed as "your grace"?


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