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troubles come in threes.......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 12:23am
Maybe it is an old wives tale and maybe it's just total crappola. But I have had two troubles with the third happening today. When I left work to come home, I had the fun of having a flat tire to deal with. There was no mistaking the tire was flat and sitting on the rim and I wasn't going home right then and there. I have AAA and they responded to my service call in a little over a half an hour. I was thinking maybe the Tire Gods were smiling down at me.

The service guy filled the tire up and he could hear a low hiss of air once he was done. He ran his hand over the tire and found a bolt stuck in it. Cause of the flat found and then I got a real pleasant surprise. My pickup truck had a full sized spare tire. AAA changed the tire and I got the joy of  driving home in the rush hour traffic. Will the fun just stop now and let me off the merry go round?

The tire problems started this morning when I left for work. All four tires were stuck and frozen to the driveway and I had to do some rocking back and forth to break them free. The skid indication on the dashboard went into overdrive and wouldn't shut off until I got to Warwick Ave. The truck was also making a funny noise and was pulling to the right. That was the tire that went flat - right front passenger side.

I thought I had thrown the truck's front alignment off breaking free of the ice. When I got to work I looked at all four tires and they looked ok so I went into work. I figured if I had the same problems going home, I would make an appointment and have the front end checked. With the spare tire on, the pulling to the right disappeared and the rubbing noise was gone too. I'll get the tire plugged and put back on the truck this weekend.

the 10 1/2 frog
It was 1645 before I got down to the shop. I didn't have any time to do anything but check on what I had done last night. I hit this with a couple swipes of 320 grit and the bottom where the iron sits is high on the left and low on the right. It looks like I'll be adding a few days to getting the 10 1/2 up to the standards of my recent rehabs.

tarnished and not so shiny
I expect this with the brass and I'll hit the both of them again with Bar Keeps Best Friend. I remember in metal shop in Junior High School that anything brass, that was meant to be shiny, we dipped in lacquer to keep it that way. I am thinking of spraying one of them with lacquer to see how it holds up to it.

kind of shiny
I hit this with the HF buffer and it doesn't look that bad. It still didn't make me say wow but maybe with the right rouge it will.

it's in there somewhere
I didn't have a good grip on the brown rouge and the buffer wheel caught it and flung it in here somewhere. I couldn't put more rouge on the wheel to see if it would make me say wow.

5 1/2 frog is done
All I had to do to finish this was sand the face to remove the paint spills.

the backside
I sanded the frog seat and the bottom pads that contact by the mouth. Tomorrow I'll touch up the plane body with 400 and 600 grit and put some Autosol on it. If I get the adjuster knob shiny, I'll put it together and it will be done.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that a 6 foot wide shuffleboard court is 52 feet long?

Seating of Distinction (Part One)

The Furniture Record - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 10:58pm

At a recent auction there was an unusually large number interesting seating units. There’s always a lot of chairs at an auction but this was the most interesting assortment I have seen locally. Too many for one blog so I will just start with the multi-user seats.

First up:

Large Antique Continental Paint Decorated Storage Bench


This lot has sold for $1,550.

Description19th century, pine, two hinged seats, with bootjack feet, the whole retaining old painted surface featuring floral sprays.

Size: 28 x 118.5 x 18 in.

ConditionInsect damage; surface wear; paint loss; signs of outdoor use; shrinkage crack to one seat and left side.


When they say “decorated”, they mean this.


This view show construction details and the extant of the damage both weather and insect. Also, note the bootjack feet.

Up next:

French Provincial Style Double Back Settee


This lot has sold for $140.

Description: Late 20th century, mahogany, shaped ladder backs , rush seat, curved arms, raised on six cabriole legs with turned stretcher base.

Size : 41 x 48 x 22 in.

Condition: Light surface wear; overall good estate condition.

Not much to say here so we move on to:

Dutch Marquetry Inlaid Double Back Settee


This lot has sold for $825.

Description: Early 20th century, mahogany, mixed light wood inlays, shaped crest rail, upholstered back and seats, reticulated arm supports on a curule form base, the frame with barber pole and flowering vine inlays throughout.

Size36 x 41 x 18 in.

Condition: Later upholstery; some shrinkage cracks at base.


This give you a feel for the fabric and marquetry.


Marquetry continues on the arms and frame.

And finally, this is a single-seater but it is similar in nature to the above settee:

Dutch Marquetry Inlaid Arm Chair


This lot has sold for $460.

Description: Early 20th century, mahogany, light and dark wood vine and floral inlays throughout, shaped crest rail, rolled arms, on paw feet.

Size: 35 x 30 x 25.5 in.

Condition: Later velvet upholstery; expected wear especially at feet


Less frame but similar marquetry.


A better view of the craft.




Issue Four T.O.C. – “In Pursuit of the Handmade Aesthetic” by Michael Updegraff

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 1:20pm

This is the last article of the Issue Four table of contents to be announced. Every weekday until the February 1st at 8 a.m. Eastern time (tomorrow!) opening of Issue Four pre-orders, we've been announcing one article from the table of contents here on the blog. If you have yet to sign up for a yearly subscription, you can do so here. 

We all know there’s something special about handmade furniture. But how can we put it into words? To try to find an answer, Joshua Klein and I set out to study and measure a wide assortment of period pieces, made both by hand (pre-industrial) and by machine (Victorian), in the hopes of better understanding what makes them distinct from one another.

Handmade furniture is often characterized by a variety of textures and irregularities, which were completely determined by period sensibilities. In this article, I attempt to unpack the tolerances acceptable in the 18th and early 19th centuries. I examine the factors that might have affected the precision achieved by the furniture maker, why the ideas of “flat” and “smooth” have changed over time, and how the Industrial Revolution brought about greater exactness in furniture tolerances than ever before, but led to the near-demise of the handcraft signature of the individual maker.

This article took on a life of its own during our research. What seemed at first to be a simple compilation of facts and numbers, seeking trends and looking for averages, evolved into a challenging digression into what constitutes such abstract ideas as “grace” and “beauty” in handmade furniture. From learning how to better understand the pre-industrial artisan’s thought process, to being awed by the precise level of detail that a skilled craftsman can perceive by hand and eye, putting this piece together was a mind-blowing endeavor.


- Mike Updegraff


Editor’s Note: Pre-orders for Issue Four open tomorrow at 8 a.m. Eastern Time. If you’ve already signed up as an M&T subscriber, you don’t need to do a thing – you are all set to receive the new issue when it ships! If you’re not a subscriber, tomorrow is the time to place your order to receive Issue Four (with free U.S. shipping). Late March, we’ll be sending out all pre-order and subscription copies wrapped in brown paper, affixed with a special trade card and wax seal, and placed in a mailer with a handful of pine plane shavings. After pre-orders close on March 21st, the special wrapping for Issue Four will no longer be available. Don’t miss out! You can sign up for a subscription here.


Categories: Hand Tools

Stephen Shepherd Obituary

Owyhee Mountain Fiddle Shop - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 12:06pm

Stephen in his Salt Lake shop, 1978.  Photo courtesy of George Stapleford.

Stephen's obituary can be found at this location -- http://www.premierfuneral.com/obituaries/Stephen-Shepherd/#!/Obituary

The text of his obituary --

Stephen Arden Shepherd

Stephen Shepherd, was born April 20, 1948 in Salt Lake City, UT, to Arden Warren and Vida Johnson Shepherd. He passed away January 24, 2018, a kind release from the debilitating effects of a stroke. He leaves a sister Merrily Runyan, Clovis, CA, and nieces and nephews.

Stephen Shepherd was a unique individual. Whether known as Stephen Shepherd the author, lecturer, and expert in 19th-Century Woodworking, or as “Tater”, the Mountain Man and adventurer, he influenced many people and sometimes irritated others with his infallible knowledge. Arguing historic technology with Stephen was frustrating and pointless – his knowledge was vast. And he shared that knowledge with anyone genuinely interested.

He was always building, repairing, tinkering and inventing, very often simply to see if he could do it – if it could even be done. Many of his friends are proud owners of a “Tater-made” item, from furniture to walking-sticks to quill pens. He shared his knowledge by writing four authoritative books on woodworking, and re-published two more “rescued” books of great value to historians of 19th-Century crafts.

For the most part he lived a 19th-Century life. Almost all his furniture and re-created items were made and restored using only hand tools. He had no power tools in his shop. His careful craftsmanship, restoration and renown finishing techniques, including gorgeous “painting and graining”, gained him world-wide recognition. His clients over the years included many wealthy collectors and The LDS Church Historic Collections.

He dressed for most of his adult life in 19th-Century-style clothing, including when traveling to other states. In 1976, during the bicentennial re-tracing of the Domingues/Escalante journey to Utah, Stephen and companions met the party in the desert, dressed authentically as fur-traders. Their clothing and accoutrement authenticity far outshone that of the re-creators! For decades he attended Mountain Man rendezvous all over the west, and was always welcomed by everyone.

People loved Stephen Shepherd, and were proud to know him. Sometimes they were friends of Stephen, sometimes friends of Tater, some not even knowing they were one and the same! His cheerful demeanor, his willingness to laugh at society’s faults, and his dedication to his friends make the memory of Stephen “Tater” Shepherd precious to all of us who were close to him.

Per Stephen’s wishes, no services will be held, donations may be made to This Is the Place Heritage Park in his memory.


Stephen (left) and myself (right), Mill Creek Canyon, February 1975.  We camped this way.  We were much younger then.

George Stapleford (left) and Stephen (right) near Moab, Utah, March 1975.  Better camping conditions, still cold.

L to R, myself, Stephen, LaMar Higbee, Taos, New Mexico, May 1975.  Yet better camping conditions.

George, Stephen, and I, September 2016.

Categories: Hand Tools, Luthiery

Stacking Tool Caddy – Adapt a Project to Make it Yours!

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 7:01am

Once in a while I come across a Popular Woodworking inspired project on Reddit. It’s really interesting to see how people use the pages of our magazine to bring an idea to life. The user, bityard, came across Chad Stanton’s build article, Stacking Tool Caddy, from the December 2017 issue, while at his parent’s house. It sparked an idea for storing his rachets and sockets. The stacking caddy is an […]

The post Stacking Tool Caddy – Adapt a Project to Make it Yours! appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Desk Prototype – II

The Barn on White Run - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 5:20am

With the legs in-hand it was time to build the writing box that went on top of them.  Again using mostly southern yellow pine from my pile I set to work.  It was straightforward but had to fit the legs precisely.  I dispensed with making the bow-front drawer for the box as it would be predetermined by the box itself.

To get practice for the re-sawing that would come soon in prized vintage mahogany I did that with this tulip poplar stock.

The joinery for the box was mundane but a necessary exercise.

I established the curve of the drawer frame and the top with drawknife and spokeshave.

And put it together.  The writing surface was simply tacked in place with finishing nails as I would need to remove it to check the internals once the real project was underway.  On that version the top would be glued in place with glue blocks.

Up next: joining the legs, box and shelf to finish the prototype.

Ash splint basket making film – My father’s tools

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 4:37am
A beautiful short film about ash splint basket making. Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Safety Last

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 4:00am

I'm old enough to remember when people didn't routinely buckle up when they got into cars. Years of laws, enforcement of laws, knowing people who were maimed or killed in car crashes and probably millions of dollars of advertising later, most people I know wear seat belts every time they get into a car. We wear seat belts and accept that that the chance of an accident might be small but it isn't zero. We know that the seat belts will offer a lot of protection relative to the inconvenience of using them. We generally don't think, "Hmmm, I'm drunk so I had better buckle up" or "Taylor just passed his road test so guess I'll wear the seat belt" or "Only in bad weather" or "Only with my parents/kids in the back seat" or "Only on New Year's Eve." The practice most people have is protecting themselves every time.

So why is it in a workshop - especially a home shop - do so many people only put on safety glasses only before a potentially hazardous operation, not wear them all the time?

It's true that when working with hand tools there is less chance of kickback from a saw, but there are plenty of other hazards - sawdust in the air, sharp edges, splinters, etc. - all of which can fly into your eye when you least expect it.

Here is what I insist upon with all my students and strongly recommend to all woodworkers: when you enter the workshop, get into the habit of putting on safety glasses right way. Any kind would work as long as they are comfortable enough so that you actually wear them. Get into the habit. You will be glad you did.

In the picture above we have four forms of eye protection. The ones in the lower right with the black frames are prescription safety classes. You get them from an optician. I like them because up until recently we didn't have any glasses that worked with googles (see below), and by using these glasses I save wear and tear on my regular glasses.

I also have an oversize pair of glasses OTS XL that fit over my regular glasses, seen here over my glasses on the upper right mannequin head. For people who truly need their glasses, this is a godsend. These are the only style of safety glasses that I have seen that really work well over a pair of eyeglasses. Highly recommended.

If you don't wear prescription glasses, you have a range of options that are comfortable and inexpensive. The pair with the black nose piece (lower left) fits almost all faces. You can also get safety glasses for kids and adults with small faces. We know adult woodworkers who have complained that nothing fits them -- until they tried the glasses worn by the picture's upper left mannequin. This is great for instilling good work habits if you kids hang out in the workshop with you (and we hope they do), and for giving small adults the routine protection others take for granted. Click here for more info.

The Capstone shield is great when you need more protection and don't want to swallow wood chips being thrown at you. Great for yard work too. The Shield opens and closes

With the exception of prescription glasses, safety glasses are also remarkably inexpensive, as a matter of fact if you click on the links and want to order one pair of glasses the shipping will be more than the glasses - so you might just want to add a pair to your next order and save shipping.

The title of this blog post comes from Harold Llyod's great film. The scene below is amazing - even with camera magic. Lloyd did his own stunt work, which is remarkable especially considering that his right hand was missing fingers due to an accident several years earlier. In the film he is wearing a glove designed by Hal Roach and movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn, a former glove salesman.

An Interview with Core77

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 3:49am


Core77, a website for industrial designers, just published the first part of an interview with me on my research methods for my designs plus about 100 other little topics.

If you’re wondering what the next book in the “Anarchist” series is, that’s in the interview. My favorite museum? Yup. What breed of goat I prefer….

The interview was conducted by Senior Editor N. Rain Noe, and in the second half of the interview we’ll dive into the questions of anarchism, consumerism and the designer.

Core77 is a great place for woodworkers to wander about because it’s about the built world and filled with little tidbits such as this piece on vault lights. Definitely a better place to spend your lunch hour than that blog on sausage-making you’ve been reading.

— Christopher Schwarz

Categories: Hand Tools

snow et al things.......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 12:27am
The weather seers were predicting 0-1 inch of snow falling overnight into the morning commute and stopping around noon. They were wrong on both counts. About 2-3 inches fell and it stopped around 0900. The drive into work was an adventure because almost nothing was plowed. All the side streets to Rte 10 were a complete mess and Rte 10 only had one lane clear. Not a problem because once I got on it, I was all alone all the way to work.

Had another problem that came up yesterday. My father-in-law slipped and fell in his kitchen and broke a vertebrae. He went to the ER(?) where an x-ray showed the break and he was sent home. I don't know anymore than that about it. Today he can't get out of bed so my wife is going there to have medicare get a home health aide to come in to help with his daily needs.

Normally my wife's sister, who lives down the street from her parents, would be doing it. But she has the flu and can't be around them. So my wife is leaving tomorrow to get the paperwork started but I think she is in for a surprise because she has never dealt with something like this before.

changed lanes on the 10 1/2
It is illuminating to look at this plane that I already rehabbed and compare it to what I am doing now.  I can see a few differences and this paint job is first. I was surprised by some things I did on this plane that I left as being done as being good also. It seems as my rehab experience has increased, my skill set it doing individual items in the rehab have increased too.

I do like shiny
I don't think that I spray painted too many planes. Maybe 2 or 3 at the most. I like the look of this enamel paint applied by hand. I am going to repaint the 10 1/2 and I won't be doing the wax on and off dance steps.

I think I can get away with one coat
The 5 1/2 should be ready to be put back together tomorrow. The 10 1/2 may take another day as I found a couple of things that needed attention. The frog had to be touched up with paint in few areas. I don't remember painting it back then, It may need a second coat tomorrow. I also will have to sand the frog face because it looks like I never did it.

typical Harbor Freight crappola
The manual says that this can not be stalled. That is total BS. I can not only stall it, I can stop it dead with very little effort. I slowed it down to nothing applying the brown rouge and did the same buffing a lever cap. As long as I keep this in mind, this will work. I don't anticipate this getting a lot of long term work anyway.

10 1/2 lever cap
I sanded it with 120 and then buffed it with the brown rouge. This is the level of shine that I got.

sanded with 220
I got a better shine with the sandpaper than I did with the buffer. Maybe this is a metal that doesn't like to be worked on a buffer.  I will continue my shining efforts with sandpaper and I'll go up to 400 and call it done with that.

casting pits on this flat
got a bigger one on the opposite flat
I won't be able to sand and feather these out. I'll sand and shine them the best I can and I'll have to live with it.

another comparison
10 1/2 tote and knob compared to my just finished 5 1/2 tote and knob. The 10 1/2 is a light colored rosewood which I like. I will spray a couple of coats of shellac on it and see how it compares then.

Another short night in the shop but I have to help my wife get ready for going to upstate New York tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know the standard width of a bowling alley is 41 1/2 inches plus or minus a 1/2 inch, excluding the gutters?

What’s in a Name?

The Furniture Record - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 10:01pm
mule chestnoun                                                              (from various sources) 
low chest with drawers, mounted on a low frame.
A hybrid form of chest, intermediate between a simple chest and a chest of drawers
A chest commonly wider than it is high and deep. A mule chest has drawers in its base and a hinged top, beneath which there are either two short drawers or one long one.
1 – Although strictly speaking a horse/donkey hybrid, the term ‘mule’ is commonly used to designate many hybrids. The term mule chest arose because it is a hybrid with a combination of drawers and a top-flap compartment.
2 – This design of chest was used by peddlers to transport their goods on a mule. The chests were often used in pairs, one on each side of the mule, and the drawers were used for smaller items, while the trunks held cloth and larger items. The peddler could easily gain access to goods in the drawers without unloading the mule, and could thus accost potential customers even when on the move.
There are as many types of mule chests as there are definitions/explanations. Take these two examples from a recent auction.
First, the fancy:

George III Oak Mule Chest


This lot has sold for $420.

Description: Late 18th century, two-part form, top with hinged lid and applied molded edge, interior with two drawers and secret compartment, upper cabinet with two lipped drawers, lower chest with two cock beaded drawers, on straight bracket feet.

Size: 45 x 44 x 22 in.

Condition: Shrinkage cracks and staining to lid; no key; missing locks; later pulls; shrinkage crack to right side of lower case and small chip near waist drawer.

Kinda a mule chest on chest with bracket feet. The upper three drawers are just applied molding and pulls:


Inside, space, not drawers. There are drawers in the till, but they don’t count.

The drawers in the till were a bit stiff so I did not pursue the search for the hidden compartment as aggressively as I might have.


The drawers are dovetailed so it is truly a quality piece.

Then, there is the primitve nailed version:

New England Painted Mule Chest


This lot has sold for $250.

Description19th century, white pine, red wash, remnants of old blue paint to molded lid, two lipped drawers, raised on bootjack feet.

Size: 37 x 37 x 18.5 in.

Condition: Later red wash; top missing hinges; later foot facing to front.

I would show you the inside but there are no hinges and the lid kept falling off. No till. I can show you this ingenious repair of a sort:


Rodent damage a notch for a power cord? You decide.

And the back:


37″ covered by two boards. And the patch.

Notice, as I have pointed out before, the back is unpainted. They really didn’t care what the wall saw. Of course, it could have been dipped, stripped and repainted.


The pulls seem original but I’m no expert.


And, of course, the drawers are dovetailed.

Tenon shoulder jig for the table saw

Heartwood: Woodworking by Rob Porcaro - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 9:47pm
tenon shoulder jig
This simple jig makes it easy to produce highly accurate tenon shoulders on the table saw. Admittedly, it is a nicety, not a necessity, but I have been delighted with the consistently excellent results from it. The special feature is that both edges of the fence are used, in turn, to register the work piece. […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Issue Four T.O.C. – “Entrusted to Our Care: An Interview with Furniture Conservator Christine Thomson”

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 2:53pm

Tomorrow the last article of the Issue Four table of contents will be announced. Every weekday until the February 1st opening of Issue Four pre-orders, we've been announcing one article from the table of contents here on the blog. If you have yet to sign up for a yearly subscription, you can do so here. 

In producing Issue Four, we were privileged to sit down with furniture conservator Christine Thomson to discuss how conservation theory intersects with her daily shop practice. Christine has been involved in the conservation of historic furniture since her days in college. Her background working for the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (Now Historic New England) and Robert Mussey Associates, Inc. prepared her open her own private practice conservation studio in Salem, Mass. Today, Christine and her assistant, Wenda, focus on finish treatments for historically significant objects and collaborate with woodworkers, upholsterers, and metals specialists to offer comprehensive conservation treatments.

Christine’s also very involved in research into period craft methodology. Her fascination with American “japanned” decoration led her to analyze, document, and catalogue every single known surviving example of “japanned” work made in Boston.


In this in-depth interview, Christine discusses some of the ins and outs of conservation principals such as “reversibility” and “minimally invasive treatment”. It is fascinating to see how these lofty ideals play out in the real world of her private practice studio work. In her microscopic analysis of historic surfaces over the years, Christine has discovered original layers of wax finishes, surprisingly brilliant pigments, and early natural resin varnishes. These findings have led her to experiment with wild period varnish recipes – so wild, in fact, that they are too dangerous to mix indoors.

Christine is one fascinating lady. Her winsome articulations of the conservation profession are well worth hearing out.

You can reserve your copy of Issue Four here.


Categories: Hand Tools

Colonial Williamsburg Working Wood conference

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 8:50am

I got home yesterday from my trip to Colonial Williamsburg’s Working Wood in the 18th Century conference. Or was it a symposium? This was the 20th year, quite an accomplishment. I had previously attended in 2007; I was especially pleased to be back. Lots of old friends, lots of familiar faces both on stage and in the audience. I took a few lousy photos, but found many on the facebook site from https://www.facebook.com/CWhistorictrades/ – so I “borrowed” many from them. Go to the link to see their whole pile of photos; they got good ones.

First thing I noticed upon loading my gear into the auditorium was that I had left my green wood billets at home. If there is anyplace you can go & expect to get green wood upon asking, Williamsburg is it. One of the carpenters’ crew found me some white oak that was so good that it needed no hewing when I split it. So I showed the camera just how flat the good stuff is when it splits:



The Williamsburg woodworking crowd; Kaare Loftheim, Bill Pavlak, Ted Boscana, Garland Wood, and my old cohort Brian Weldy all had presentations. Here’s Brian & Bill during the tool chest presentation…

And Kaare Loftheim showing the saw till under the lid of a tool chest the crew worked on several years back:

Ted Boscana and his crew of apprentices went through the steps to make some architectural moldings, including some crown/cornice molding. I didn’t get a shot of it, but there was a great demo of the apprentices pulling Ted through the air as he provided the weight to push down on the plane.

Ken Schwartz, the master blacksmith, led a presentation showing through slides and video how a drawknife and axe were made, then he had members of the coopers’ and wheelwrights’ shops briefly show the tools in use. Here’s a shot showing the axe “bit” and the eye/head:

For me, one great highlight was seeing W. Patrick Edwards’ presentation on Sunday morning.

His introductory story about an abrupt change of career early on in his life made me grin from ear to ear. If you get a chance to see Patrick as a presenter, jump. http://wpatrickedwards.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-risk-of-living-as-process-of-life.html

Don Williams de-mystified finishing on Sunday – (yes, it finished with finishing) – Don made it so accessible that I wanted to try some, instead of my usual cop-out linseed oil. http://donsbarn.com/the-barn/  His demonstration of the winding sticks-with-feet was especially good.


Jane Rees is often a fixture at the Williamsburg conference,and it was great to catch up with her again. So many historic tool questions were diverted from the audience to the stage, then down to the front row with “I don’t know, let’s ask Jane”  http://www.reestools.co.uk/books/

Jane understood when she heard I ducked out for half a day to go see eagles on the James River.

and then there was Roy Underhill. Do I have to say anything? Keynote speaker, moderator of a discussion panel, all around helpful schlepping on & off stage, native guide around CW; and poker-of-sacred-cows. When Roy is around, I stick close, because something worth seeing is going to happen.

My presentation was sponsored by EAIA; other sponsors were SAPFM and Fine Woodworking. My thanks to them for helping make it happen.

On any of my southerly trips, I try to get over to see my greatest friends; Heather Neill and her wife Pat. It’s always too much fun in too short a time when we visit. Here’s a sampling of Heather’s work, both painting & writing:  http://heatherneill.com/studio-blog/2017/07/18/in-my-element/ 

Her Instragram is here https://www.instagram.com/hnartisan/

I woke up to this idyllic sight today. Won’t make it to working in the shop today…but tomorrow I will.

How to Build an Inexpensive Steam Box for Bending Wood

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 8:42am

Have you ever considered bending wood for a woodworking project? The technique can really add interest to a piece, and is easier than you might think! Click below to find an article and a video on building an inexpensive steam box for bending wood as well as some tips for how to use the steam box.

Click here to learn more about how to bend wood

The post How to Build an Inexpensive Steam Box for Bending Wood appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Barn Workshop – Make A Petite Dovetail Saw

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 6:03am

In recent years my projects and inclinations have guided me towards more diminutive work in thinner stock.  This makes cutting dovetails somewhat of a challenge when using a standard saw, which is often too aggressive and thus harder to control effortlessly.  As a result of that I began exploring the prospect of fabricating my own petite dovetail saw.  I wound up making several with good-to-excellent results.  We will replicate that process and send you home with your own.

If you have a particular piece of wood to use for the handle (tote) feel free to bring it to work with.  Otherwise I will provide all the materials for this workshop.  We’ll aim to fold and finish the back, taper and insert the plate/blade, fit and fashion the handle to your hand, and file the teeth.

The tool list for the workshop is a short one and will be sent to attendees well before the event.


The complete 2018 Barn workshop schedule:

Historic Finishing  April 26-28, $375

Making A Petite Dovetail Saw June 8-10, $400

Boullework Marquetry  July 13-15, $375

Knotwork Banding Inlay  August 10-12, $375

Build A Classic Workbench  September 3-7, $950

Precision Instruments for Woodworkers — Part One: Standardization

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 5:23am

Tools for measuring. Tools for Accuracy. ACCURACY IS IMPORTANT PART OF WOODWORKING I’ve been working as a furniture maker for quite a while, now. Along the way, you refine your processes, develop techniques and create a lot of habits over time. Certainly, an important part of working professionally is to work efficiently —you learn very quickly that time is a fixed asset. You also learn that you have to work […]

The post Precision Instruments for Woodworkers — Part One: Standardization appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Noch eine Zinkensäge - Another Dovetail Saw

Two Lawyers Toolworks - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 4:47am
Ebenholzgriff, Neusilberrücken Blatt: 0,4 mm stark, 254 mm lang, 43 mm tief, 17 tpi Längsschnitt Ebony handle, German silver spine Blade: 0.0016" thick, 10" long, 1-3/4" deep, toothed at 17 tpi rip   Klaus Kretschmarhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02622505818172828845noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Hand Tools

Hey Schwarz, Are You Chinese? | Lost Art Press

Giant Cypress - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 3:08am
Hey Schwarz, Are You Chinese? | Lost Art Press:

Christopher Schwarz:

When I entered fifth grade at Woods Elementary, my teacher asked me in front of the class if I was Chinese. When I replied, “I don’t think so,” Mr. Williams shrugged his shoulders.

“Dark hair, dark eyes, dark skin and good at math,” he said. “Seems like Chinese.”

Terrible thing to say, especially coming from a teacher. But for the record, I think being Chinese is pretty awesome.

feeling like crap......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 12:27am
I started to get a headache round about noon-ish today. It is one of those annoying ones that hovers on the periphery deciding what it wants to be when it grows up. It would throb a little for a while and then fade away. Off and on all afternoon and when I got home it settled behind my eyes. It almost kept me out of the shop and it did shorten the to do list significantly.

left over 044 parts
I picked out the best ones and put them on the plow I'm giving to Miles.

I had buffed the nickel plating on the fence and the top of the plane yesterday. I didn't make me say wow.  It was more of a humph. The rods I wiped down with 4-0 steel wool and the nickel on the screws and such I'm leaving as is. I don't think I would raise any appreciable shine with the rouge I have. I will make a pit stop at Harbor Freight this weekend and get some rouge and a new buffing wheel.

had to do some rearranging
My submarine training paid off again. I haven't lost my touch with putting 20 pounds of crap into a 5 pound test bag. I don't have any more toolboxes or planes to put in here so this is pretty much carved in stone.

giving both of these to Miles
I was thinking of making holders for the both of these and attaching them to walls in the bottom above the planes. I'm not sure I have the room for that now that I have rearranged things. I will check it out this weekend if I remember it.

the final resting places of all the toys
6 coats of shellac
It darkened up like I expected and obscures most of the grain on the tote (except at the top) and all of the knob.

scraped the primer off the frog seat
bottom came off pretty easy too
I used the Harbor Freight heavy duty scrapper at the bottom.

painting the lettering and numbers
I don't want to have any paint pool in the letters/numbers so I over brushed this area checking for that. I came back and stroked it a bit more with a dry brush after the paint had set up for a few minutes or so.

This will need coat #2 tomorrow but the frog and the yoke will be done. I put the second coat of black on them tonight.

10 1/2
I did a full blown, sand, strip, and paint rehab of this last year or was it the year before? I didn't hand paint the plane, instead I had prayed it. It is has a dull matte look and it needs some shine there. I am not going to repaint and the first step towards shiny will be cleaning it first.

then I'll wax it
I will take the knob and tote off to apply the wax and get rid of the interference when I buff it out. I think this paint has had plenty of time to cure. I shouldn't have any problems applying wax to it now.

another plug for Autosol
I used Autosol on this way back when I finished the rehab. I haven't applied any since and I have used this several times to make rabbets. It still looks good and this is where I ran out of gas for the night.

The plan was to get this waxed and buffed tonight and call it done. The #3 might need some painting. I can't remember how far I went with the rehab on that one. I did it several years ago so I probably didn't strip and paint it. Checking that one out will have to wait until tomorrow or possibly the day after.

Blogger bit me on the arse again. I published two comments, one from Sparks, and another from Steve, and both ended up in a black hole somewhere. I can't access the comments for this blog post at all. It's annoying to me that I don't know what causes the comments to freeze like this and lock me out of them. So my apologies Sparks and Steve, I think they got published but I can't respond to them

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that Mort Walker drew the Beetle Bailey comic strip for over 50 years? (he passed away today at age 94)


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