Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway! Enjoy!
Do you have a suggestion for a hand-tool woodworking blog you would like to see here? Tell me via the CONTACT page. Thanks!
This shelf is a very simply designed and built project for a customer. When I started it I’ll be honest that I thought it to be an easy one that I could just knock out quickly and I have allotted 5 hours total to build it. What I discovered was that it wasn’t difficult to build but the simplicity of it allows me to really focus on getting it done perfectly and that has been a whole new exciting learning experience.
In this first part I focus on the legs. Milling, sizing, dado joinery, and finishing touches like tapers and chamfers. I also bring out my adjustable dado plane technique that I wrote about several years ago.
Here is the SketchUp model of this design for anyone who is interested
I've been spending time getting ready for my trip around the country. I will be in South Carolina teaching at Caleb James' shop and then on to Iowa for Handworks and then to University of the Rio Grande in Ohio to teach a class to a Sapfm chapter. There are a couple of spots that have opened in the class in Ohio that are available if you are interested. You can contact me and I'll forward your email to Eric Matson who will give you the lowdown.
I have managed to sneak away for a proper vacation, which was a welcome and needed break. I was in Costa Rica with my lovely companion Stephanie Hubbard. Here we are in La Amistad International Park. It's the largest protected area in Central America.
Here is a quick plug for the lodge we stayed at. It's called Selva Bananito and is off the grid and nestled in the rainforest. The owner was very generous with us and is obsessive about keeping his land as habitat for all the pumas, jaguars and other large cats and wildlife that roam around. Knowing that our vacation dollars were going to help made a beautiful place all the better.
Hi, Wilbur. Do you mind going into your process for miters with pullsaws? Do you use a bespoke miter box; miter guide; chisels; miter shooting board; or sheer, brute will? I tried sheer, brute will this weekend and it didn't work out. Thanks!
I usually try to saw to the line. Most times that works, sometimes not. The good news is that there is a method of dealing with this that doesn’t depend so much on good sawing technique as long as your layout is accurate. Here’s how you can do this.
Make sure that your layout for the miter is as accurate as you can make it. Make your saw cut as close to the line as you can without touching the line. The good thing about miters is that since the miter goes diagonally across the grain, it is really easy to plane as long as you plane downhill. Use a plane set to take a very fine shaving to plane down to your line. As long as you’re keeping an eye on your line, you won’t even need a shooting board to do this step. All you will need is a way to secure the board.
|knot right in the middle|
|sawed off the knot but this isn't ideal|
|it's being fussy|
I was tempted to expend the calories and hone this iron here and now. But in order to do that I would have had to cleared the bench of the crappola I had all over it for making the squares. And then I would have had to find a horizontal surface to put it all on. I'll come back to this later on this week or this weekend.
|pine square is done|
|first pattern - incomplete|
|used the end of the arm pattern|
|doing the half laps on the arms|
|not quite flush|
|not quite all the way|
On the pine one I tried to use a 6" metal rule as a guide for my marking knife to deepen the gauge line. Doing that didn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. It wasn't easy to do and it took me a while to do it. On the oak one I used the chisel to deepen the line. I very lightly tapped it on the first run and made a wall. I did this 3 more times and I then I sawed the wall with my zona saw. Then I chiseled out most of the waste between the walls.
I didn't get this one done and glued up tonight like I thought I would. Even accounting for my trip to La-La land and back I should have been able to achieve this. Taking my time making my half laps did pay off. I got nice tight fitting joints with no blowouts. All that ate up a lot of time and before I knew it Mickey's big hand was on 12 and the other was on five. Time to quit. I'll finish the half lapping tomorrow.
Jupiter has the most known satellites with 63. Which planet is in second place?
answer - Saturn with 61 (as of 2009)
I’m soooooo excited to announce that with the next issue, you’ll see a change in editorial direction! We’re going to brighten things up with lots of happy colors – and show you how to choose wood to match your aura for when a natural look is your goal!! You’ll find new ideas for yard-art!!! Get bunches of birdhouses ideas sure to attract the most discerning of avian friends!!!! Read important […]
The post Don’t Miss Our Exciting New Direction – Subscribe Now! appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
Interesting that the week in which I had no new posts, the number of followers went up. Views and visitors were down but one would expect that.
When I issue a new blog post, the number of views and visitors goes up. This makes sense. Occasionally, the follower count goes down. I try not to think about it.
I am not all that concerned about numbers, however. With the new grant, I am good for at least another three years. By then I should really be out of things to write about. Some argue that happened two years ago but I choose to ignore them.
The blog was down for a few days while we were on shoring production. As most of you know, since the beginning of the blog it has been written and edited by the staff in Bangalore. I found that most Indian editors had a better understanding of grammar and spelling that I ever hope to have. With the new grant, I had the money to bring all this back to the US. OK, most of the work is done in the break room at the Hyundai factory in Marshall, Alabama. Hey, I’m trying.
Now that the staff has been selected and trained, blogs should be coming more regularly. Whether of not that is a good thing is not for me to say.
As a follow-up to yesterday’s blog, It’s Just Wrong…, I would like to thank all of you who have commented. There were many interesting origin myths and stories. What I was looking for, though, was an explanation of why it’s wrong. I want people who shop at Restoration Elm Barn to understand why this table is an un-good thing. Why some of us are amused and/or annoyed.
The table, in case you have forgotten:
I approved all comments but one. A reader called “Jeremy” seems to have submitted a no-comment comment. There was nothing there that I could find. Nothing to approve. He either forgot to include the comment or is a genius and is making the statement that there is no suitable comment to be made. Or, that needs to be made. Or, res ipsa loquitur, the thing speaks for itself.
My readers are just that brilliant.
A while back. during a family vacation, I visited the Indianapolis Museum of Art. In one of the first galleries I found an original Greene and Greene dining set designed for the Charles Millard Pratt House. Darlings of the Arts and Crafts style, G&G furniture always grabs my attention. I own several books about them and have read many, many magazine articles written about original pieces, reproductions, and “inspired by” work. I have never had the opportunity to see any original in the flesh.
I hovered and studied the table and six chairs for more than a half hour. Moving around the peninsula dias to see all the angles and even setting off the proximity sensor alarms.
I’m not really interested in building a reproduction or “inspired by” piece, maybe I was once, but those days have passed. so that wasn't the intent of my scrutiny. I was trying to decipher the mystery of my attraction to the Greene brother’s designs and I found it in the subtle details I could never quite pick up on in photographs.
Whether it’s a Greene and Greene dining set or a Philadelphia Highboy, many woodworkers experience these pieces only through measured drawings, cut lists, or a Sketchup models. Isn’t it odd that in a three dimensional medium like furniture making, the majority of our knowledge is transferred in two measly dimensions? Catalogues that come full of pictures of fantastic furniture, isolated against sterile drop cloth backgrounds only tell, at best, half the story. These photos hold no regard for how a piece lives in space, how it can command or deflect attention in a room, or truly convey the subtle details and textures that act like punctuation in a well written sentence.
Museums are the flagships of the art world because they allow people to experience a masterpiece in person. As an art student years ago, I was encouraged to imitate the styles of the masters to learn from them and better imitation sprang from time put in studying a master’s work. It was a given that seeing a masterwork in person was a superior experience. Photos in books will never really show the texture and color found in a Van Gogh painting. The way a Rembrandt changes subtly depending on the angle you view from. Or the way a Picasso draws a visceral feeling from you as your mind takes in everything both familiar and alien.
Translating that experience into broadening your woodworking horizons is easy. All it requires is that you step out of the shop for a while and look for opportunities. Visit an antique dealer and open some drawers to look at the hand cut dovetails. Find a museum or historical home in your area and see what they have to offer, you may be surprised at the cross contamination of ideas that comes from looking at great works other than furniture. Better yet, volunteer and get the chance to spend extra quality time around those pieces. Make a pilgrimage to see great works: The Gamble House in Pasadena, Winterthur Museum in Delaware, The Museum of Southern Decorative Arts in North Carolina.
Get out and see the work that inspires you in person. I promise it will only inspire you more.
Ratione et Passionis
Recently I had the chance to work on a fairly snazzy roll-top writing desk, which needed a bit of conservation. It was built around 1770 by arguably the greatest furniture makers who ever lived, and is prominent in the collection of the elegant museum dedicated to European fine and decorative arts.
A short section of cross-grain molding had become detached, and part of my charge was to examine the desk from top to bottom to assess its overall condition. I did, and it is in fine shape.
As was clear from the back of the moldings and the ground under them, this was not the first time these pieces had separated from the mother ship. I counted three distinct campaigns of glue, and there could have been many more.
The pieces fit their place nearly perfectly even dry, with only the tiniest bit of rocking due to the excess glue under them.
My strategy was to soften the extant glue and remove only a bit of it, so I poulticed the glue line on the desk with some blue paper towel, cut to fit the space precisely and moistened with water.
I did the same to the backs of the detached pieces.
After a quarter hour or so the glue had softened and swelled to the point I wanted, and I removed the worst of the clumps and left the remainder in place. For adhesive I turned to my long time fave, Milligan and Higgins 192 Special grade hot animal hide glue. I had prepared this the days before the treatment, soaking it first in water overnight, then cooking it twice the day before I went. A little dab of that, a minute of holding them in place with my infertips to gel, and I was done.
I packed up and left, reflecting on the fact that the opportunity to care for furniture from the greatest menuisiers of all time is exactly the reason I started down this path 43 years ago.
Here I am in La Amistad International Park in Costa Rica with the lovely Stephanie Hubbard. The Park is in both Panama and Costa Rica and is a Unesco World Heritage Site. This shot is near a waterfall in the primary rainforest that we hiked 3 hours in a riverbed to get to. Wet feet, a deadly bushmaster snake, bullet ants and poisonous spiders the size of your face made it a day that I'll never forget.
We stayed at an eco lodge (no non solar power and gravity fed water) called Selva Bananito which was way off the beaten path in the rain forest. The owner is obsessed with preserving the lands and habitat for the jaguars, pumas, ocelots and other large cats. His dedication and efforts were inspiring and it was a pleasure knowing that our vacation dollars were keeping his land from becoming another Chiquita style plantation.
But beyond all that, it was the much needed rest and recharge. Now with the book done and a decent rest, I'm ready for my next project...whatever that may be!
Saw a book at the library the other day – Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do – but I didn’t take it home. I already know I like living within sight of the water.Looking down the Jones River
As an added bonus, the borrowed shop I’m using has a water view as well. As you might know, I had a great time this winter. But…I’m not sad to see it going away now…today was the first day I could sit outside and feel warm enough in just a sweater. So I sat by the edge of Town Brook and ate my lunch. And watched the water.Up the Town Brook
For ten minutes, I was transported. I was Huck Finn, drifting down his Mississippi. Then I was Henry David Thoreau, philosophizing beside Walden Pond. I heard Garcia singing Brokedown Palace. I was that red-tail hawk, floating above the Brook…then I was me, thinking of the Jones River at home…was the tide low or high?that way to the sea
Then an emergency vehicle came screaming down the road, my reverie was snapped. Water view or not, it was time to go back to work. But it sure was a great ten minutes.
I’ve had a knife in my pocket since I was 11 and couldn’t imagine working in the shop without one. My problem is that the beautiful French knife my wife gave me in 1998 doesn’t have a locking blade. After a couple close calls with the French knife, I decided to get a folding lockback for the shop. Of course, I wanted to buy a domestic knife, but I didn’t […]
The snow pack is largely melted by the house and no precipitation of any kind is falling at the moment. Rays of sun poke through from time to time and the squawk of Red Wing Blackbirds carries on the wind.
It begins to feel, finally, a little bit like spring when the sawhorses can go outside.
At 5 p.m. EST on Wednesday, April 1, we will begin taking pre-publication orders for the long-awaited book “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley” by Don Williams with photographs by Narayan Nayar.
The book will be $49 with free shipping for domestic customers if ordered before May 13, 2015. That is the day the book will be released and shipped.
Also, the first 1,000 orders will receive a commemorative full-color postcard that’s perfect for pinning up in your shop. The front of the postcard will show the tool chest in all its glory; the rear face will have a short biography of Studley and note that you were one of the first 1,000 people to purchase “Virtuoso.”
The book is being released at the same time as the opening of the exhibit of the Studley tool cabinet and workbench in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on May 15-17. Information and tickets are available here.
Those who order the book before its release date will have the option of either getting it shipped to them (arriving after Handworks) or picking it up at Handworks, which runs May 15-16 in Amana, Iowa. If you plan to pick up your book at Handworks, please read the following paragraph with care. It is important.
You will need to pick up your book at the Lost Art Press booth in the Festhalle Barn in Amana, Iowa. While we will be selling copies of “Virtuoso” at the exhibit, the sales staff there will not have access to the list of people who pre-ordered the book. So to repeat (using slightly different words): You will pick up your pre-ordered book at Handworks.
So we recommend you come to Handworks first, pick up your book and then take it to the exhibit where you can get it signed by the people involved in the project.
Pre-ordering the book and picking it up in Amana will guarantee that you get your book there. We can bring only so many books to Handworks.
So spread the word to your woodworking friends: Studley is coming.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Virtuoso: The Toolbox of Henry O. Studley
Some folks have requested more details on what size to make their dogs for the Benchcrafted Tail Vise. Here they are, directly from our Split Top Roubo plans.
No, this is not an April Fools’ joke posted a day early. It’s a poem from one of my favorite writers, John Donne, who died on this date in 1631. Why this poem (or any poem)? The central conceit is the compass – a powerful tool in woodworking. After the poem (yes, yes; I know many will skip it), I’ve posted links to just some of the compass techniques and […]