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First of all, thanks to everyone who met us in Amana for Handworks 2017, and to Jameel and Father John of Benchcrafted for putting on another great event.
Thanks as well for the great reception our poster has gotten. For it I have to thank Tim, TFWW's designer, and Kate, our poster designer. And I want to thank our favorite woodwright for this photo.
I constantly get asked which plane is which, and while our limited edition poster on plane spotting has some basic profiles (and get the poster while we still have some - it's a limited edition and we are almost out), I thought it might be worthwhile to give you some links on how to do serious plane spotting.
Most of these sites don't go into the minutia of different versions of the same tool, but some sites do. If you're spotting planes because you want to use them, the most important aspect of plane spotting is figuring out if the version of an old tool you are about to get has the right features.
For Stanley planes, Patrick Leach's Blood and Gore is the gold standard on the web.
For the anti-Stanley folks, here is a link to Miller's Falls plane info.
For Record planes, try these two sites: record-planes.com and recordhandplanes.com.
For an overview of wooden planes, including illustrations of just about every permutation of wooden planes, John Whelan's book is the way to go. If on the other hand, you want to get more information on the dates and manufacturer of a wooden plane you already own, then Guide To The Makers of American Wooden Planes (temporarily sold out) is the way to go.
We stock a reprint of several Norris Catalogs with come commentary by yours truly. On the web norrisplanes.com has loads of info.
This site, which has a ways to go, is a good place to start learning about Spiers models and planes.
I know I have missed a fair number of great sites, so let me know about any omissions and I will add them to the list.
|I'm so happy with this I could wet myself|
|last rub down with 4-0 steel wool|
|got my two inch hake brush|
|the proposed home of said cabinet|
|1/2 x 6 x24 poplar|
|first piece of scrap white oak|
|found a bigger piece|
|squared a reference edge with my new 5 1/2|
|I'll use the off cut to make the wedges|
|this end will get a dado for the two wedges|
|sawed the two walls for the bottom dado|
|did pretty good this time|
|wee bit tight|
|using the 4 1/2 to thin it|
|fits snugly here but too tight on the near side|
|snug fit side to side|
|it is not rocking|
|the offending end|
|glued and cooking|
What does the word "amen" mean?
answer - so be it or let it be
Several years ago I picked up this little tool at an antique store. It works great for tracing shapes accurately. I had quite a few questions today about it, and I don’t know what it is called or if it can still be purchased. If anyone can identify this thing or where one could be bought please comment.
— Will Myers
Filed under: Uncategorized
Biting Back The yellow duster is unbeatable for trapping dust, taking it outdoors safely and shaking it out to the four winds. Its fibrous soft fibres are the very thing that make it work the best. I am guessing that these National Trust leaders and advisers are not of the generation that actually dusted much of anything …
The last several months have been taxing on both a personal and business level; the death of my brother, an unexpected surge in orders, developing a saw sharpening class for Lie-Nielsen, and outfitting myself for upcoming woodworking shows all met in one great confluence.
Over the last several years, I’ve tried my best to turn most orders around in a week or so. The events of the last few months have stretched that turnaround time to an uncomfortable level. Now, with Handworks done, and the summer looking relatively calm, I look forward to tackling the backlog and reducing turnaround time once again (I hate running behind just as much as my customers!).
I’ll also be working to catch up on emails. If you haven’t heard from me in the next week or so, feel free to send another one. I try my best to respond to everyone, but despite spending an hour or two each day answering them, some still slip through.
Finally, I have some great news for my European customers: Dieter Schmid Fine Tools is now carrying my Roubo frame saw kits. Shipping, import fees, and VAT on these saws has always been a sticking point, so this partnership should work well for everyone. Kits are available in all three sizes (2×32, 3×36, and 4×48); all come with sharpened blades. As always, plans and instructions/tips for use are available on my website and free for all to use.
Look for new videos from Popular Woodworking every Tuesday on our YouTube channel and Thursday. Cutting dovetails is a skill that many strive to master. It has become a right of passage for many woodworkers who are developing their hand tool skills. In their eagerness to get to the sawing, many beginning woodworkers rush through the layout process. Christopher Schwarz makes this often complicated process simple, using basic layout tools. Follow along […]
In the May 2017 issue of Festool Heaven, Jim Randolph shares a quick story on how his first use of the Festool Vecturo oscillating tool helped finish a challenging job quickly and easily.
I’d had my new Festool Vecturo for only 24 hours before I had a job for it…After several hours of clerical work, I was ready for some woodworking. A DIY job would be as close as I could get. When our plumber Terry assessed a job we asked him to do at the office, his first lament was that one of the framing members for this AC air-handler platform was right in the way of reaching the bathtub faucet inside this wall.
Our answer? “We can fix that!”
Click to read how Jim used his new Festool Vecturo for a quick and easy fix.
Suzanne Ellison, on the lengths folks will go to in the pursuit of figuring out how furniture was made:
We still need those curious and intrepid souls who enjoy exploring out-of-the-way shops and regional museums and know how to charm their way into taking a closer look at that one piece that has caught their eye. If need be, they are perfectly willing to sprawl on the floor and get a bit dusty.
I completely understand. In the course of visiting the Chinese furniture collection at the National Museum Of China in Beijing, I managed to come away with this photo of a Ming Dynasty table.
|time to see if anything stuck together|
|same thing on this side|
|passed the tap test|
|trying it again|
For the rest of the week the frame and bookshelf will be sharing the #1 spot on the Workshop hit parade. I will slip in making a new stone holder sometime this week too. I've been thinking of something new with that.
|step one with the bookshelf|
|small card scraper on the long grain edges|
|gave the 4-0 a good workout|
|this looks good|
|I love the look of the back slats|
|my hake brushes|
|solid wood is my first choice|
What do J.C. Penny's initials stand for?
answer - James Cash
Thursday was the time or setting up at Handworks, and we were one of the first arrivals at the site. That let me get set up and explore the five venues for this bestest toolapalooza ever.
Slowly but surely the exhibitors began rolling in, beginning with my immediate neighbors Jeff Hamilton, maker of marking gauges whose spot was in between me and Lie-Nielson, and planemaker Gary Blum.
Directly adjacent to me across he aisle on one side were plane maker Matt Bickford and the Tools for Working Woods folks.
Across the other aisle was the temptation provided by vintage tool maven Patrick Leach. Much to my own astonishment I managed to avoid the siren song from this booth the entire weekend (admittedly at this point in life my tool needs are modest.)
Directly further up the Festhalle center row was printer and designer Wesley Tanner, the award winning collaborator for both Roubo books and the Studley book.
Along the barn side with Matt Bickford was a booth shared by Konrad Sauer and Raney Nelson, and immediately past them was Lost Art Press/Crucible Tools.
Then came our hosts, Benchcrafted vises and such.
Up in the far corner was designer and furniture maker Jeff Miller, who unfortunately occupied the coldest space in the building. I know, because it is where I was four years ago.
Working down the other outside wall we have Hock blades and precision maven Chris Vesper from Australia, followed by Blue Spruce Tools and David Barron.
The other end of the center row from me included plane maker Ron Brese, tuning up a tool for the masses tomorrow, jig maestro Tico Vogt, and Czeck Edge Tools.
At either end of the hall were the large footprints of Lee Valley Tools and Lie-Nielson Tools. These anchors to the tool-mall guaranteed a spectacular experience for the hordes on Friday and Saturday.
By the end of the day we were all set up, ready for the onslaught in the morning.
Dreary days tend to make me dreary; it’s like I never fully wake up. Today has been one of the best rainy days I have ever had, fully awake and hitting on all cylinders.
I am visiting Hancock Shaker Village working on documenting several more pieces in their collection. Since my last visit, about 200 items that had been in a traveling exhibit the past few years have returned.
So, I have spent the entire day hidden away in the Brick Dwelling measuring and photographing some of my favorite furniture. It has been absolutely wonderful.
— Will Myers
Filed under: Uncategorized
Here is a glue application chart I obtained from woodsmith for your convenience to download. I can’t deny it’s accuracy, it’s pretty much spot on. You can also download my own chart I have compiled in my previous post.
I don’t claim I have all the answers and I don’t claim to be a teacher of any sort, my aim is only to pass on information I know and learn along the way. If it is of any benefit to you, then I have achieved my objective, but ultimately what you do with it is up to you.
That's right, the time has come, I am beginning to scout out locations and facilities in southern Maine for a school. After a couple of years of transition and quiet following my move and book release, I am ready to put together a school dedicated to teaching small groups of people chair making and also roping in some of my most gifted friends to share their talent and energy as well. My goal is to keep things intimate and relaxed, just a great place, in a great place to do what we all love.
I welcome any input and advice as I enter this endeavor as well as any tips from folks who know the area that I'm considering. I want to be within a couple hours of Boston (I still have my roots there) and also close enough to some great towns and sights that can be a part of the experience. I've learned a lot from my friend Kelly Mehler and the good folks at The Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Highland Woodworking about how to create an environment that puts the craft and the students first and I look forward to seeing you there!
I will be posting progress reports as things develop and a schedule at the earliest possible date. I hope to start in the spring of 2018 and offer classes through the fall.
I just got back from a great trip to Iowa for the third Handworks, and I assume, like many of the exhibitors, I've spent most of the day asleep on the floor with my dogs. I find that following their nap rhythm is the only plan that makes sense after such and active and exciting few days.
Dear Drivel starved Nation!
As mentioned earlier in the year, I have to go to China in October and thought it would be fun to invite members of the Drivel Starved Nation to tag along for a couple of days to see China and meet China’s most famous woodworker. It will be a trip you will not soon forget.
Here are some important details for those who have never traveled abroad and are considering this trip;
1) You will need a passport. Everything you need to know about obtaining a USA passport can be found here.
2) AFTER your passport arrives, you will need to apply for a Chinese Visa. The type of China visa for a tourist is “L”. Here is the link for the application process. The visa is good for 10 years.
3) We will be visiting both Shanghai and Nanjing. I am recommending that you fly in and out of Shanghai. We will all take the bullet train from Shanghai to Nanjing and return to Shanghai from Nanjing.
4) Here is the itinerary;
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27: Bridge City will host a dinner in Shanghai. This will be really fun evening as we mingle and you will get to meet some of the team members from Harvey Industries. The location will likely be our hotel, but that could change.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28: We will visit some of the major Shanghai tourist attractions. We will be accompanied by Jack Xu, the president of Harvey Industries who is also a great tour guide! Saturday evening you will be free to explore the Bund area on your own or with fellow DSN members.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29: We will visit a couple more attractions in Shanghai prior to taking the bullet train to Nanjing. The cost each way runs from $20 USD to $60 USD. You will be on your own for dinner but I suspect we will all travel in a pack and find a great place to eat.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 30: We will be on a privately guided tour of parts of Nanjing, the old Chinese capital.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31: We will visit Harvey Industries and you will learn all about their rich history of making tools for the world woodworking market. In the afternoon, we will visit Mr.Yang Jin Rong, China’s HongMu Master. He is considered the most important woodworker in China. His showroom is literally unbelievable. Lastly, Bridge City will host a farewell dinner in Nanjing and both Jack Xu and Mr. Yang Jin Rong will be in attendance to talk shop with the DSN.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1: Nothing on the schedule, you can take the bullet train back to Shanghai and fly home, or continue to explore China. You can research flying home out of Nanjing as well.
5) Prior to researching your airfare, you need to understand that you likely cannot fly in on the 27th and make it to dinner. The latest you should arrive in Shanghai is Thursday, October 26th. You will likely not get to the hotel before 10PM. Regarding airfare, coach airfare can run from $400-$800. Business class is typically around $4,000. For those DSN members in the USA, it is approximately a 13 hour non-stop trip from the west coast.
6) You are certainly welcome to make your own hotel arrangements but we recommend staying at the Westin Bund Center, Shanghai. If you choose to stay with us here, we will make the reservations for you. The cost will be around $200/night. The hotel in Nanjing is the Crowne Plaza Nanjing. We will also make all reservations for this hotel. Cost is under $200/night. Every effort will be made to get a lower group rate at both hotels once we know the final count of those planning on this trip.
7) About the food. Simply, it is off the charts INCREDIBLE. This is a cooking culture with over 5,000 years of culinary history. Each day you will start off with the hotel breakfast buffet which is free. For those of you who refuse to sway from western food, you do not need to worry, western tastes are not ignored. The two dinners that BCTW is hosting will be typical Chinese style dinners where dishes are prepared and brought tableside and placed on a large lazy Susan. You pick and choose what you want to eat. Practice your chopstick skills! And regardless of how picky you are as an eater, you will not go to bed hungry.
8) A word about Baijiu. This is a traditional Chinese beverage that is definitely an acquired taste. It is served at dinner and all I can say is I thought it tasted like transformer fluid and I have never tasted transformer fluid. Beer and wine are both options as are all the non-alcoholic options. Lastly, DO NOT BRING marijuana into China. This would be really STUPID.
9) A word about safety. Last year I visited China five times, and went on self-guided walking tours whenever I was in the mood to walk. I think China is one of the safest tourist spots in the world if you follow a couple of simple rules. 1) Ask the concierge to write in Chinese your destination if you are taking a cab. Always carry the hotel business card with you for a taxi ride home. 2) Do not talk to strangers trying to sell you things. 3) Take a copy of your passport and Visa. That’s about it.
10) A word about money. I recommend you convert a couple hundred dollars at the Shanghai airport when you arrive. This is a much better exchange rate than what you can get stateside. The taxi fare from the Shanghai airport to the hotel will be around $70. AND, DO NOT accept a taxi ride from people inside the airport, simply head to the taxi line. The people in the airport charge double or triple. Lastly, if you run out of Chinese RMB, you can always exchange for more at the hotel. You can convert all of the excess RMB back to dollars at your departing airport. Credit cards are accepted just about everywhere.
11) We hope you bring your spouse or significant other. Shanghai is the largest city on the planet and if shopping is your thing, you will be a happy camper.
12) Depending on the size of the group, we all may end up sharing the expense for a private bus. Just sayin’…
So, what is left to discuss? WE NEED TO KNOW IF YOU WILL BE JOINING US! If so, please following these instructions!
1) RSVP with CHINA in the subject field of an email addressed to email@example.com.
2) In this email, please provide the full names of the attendees.
3) IF you are going to stay at the recommended hotels in Shanghai and Nanjing, please let us know what days you would like reserved.
4) WE NEED TO KNOW THIS INFORMATION BEFORE JULY 1st PLEASE! The sooner the better.
5) If you have contacted me directly, you STILL need to formally RSVP. I have a crappy memory.
If you have never been to China, I highly recommend this trip. It will change just about every preconceived notion you have about China. This is what happened to me. The people, the food, the architecture, the history… all are simply amazing.
I hope you join us!
So that's it, the show is over! I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Jameel, Father John and all at Benchcrafted for organising this great show. They are very modest about the whole thing but there is an enormous amount of work goes into staging such an event and it was great to see it so well supported both by makers and woodworkers alike.
Above is a glimpse of my stand, I cut 40 of these joints (200 dovetails) over the two days and most were given away, signed if requested.
I must also give thanks to Mark Hicks from Plate 11 who kindly lent me one of his fantastic benches (again!) for the show. The finish of his benches is superb and it wasn't until we were dismantling it that the true quality and ethos of his work shone through. The hardware was top notch and beautifully installed and even parts of the bench unseen in its assembled state, were neatly chamfered. If you are looking to buy a bench just once, this is the one get.
Benchcrafted had a fine selection of their wonderful vices on show and this neat little High Vice was a beauty (as in I want one!)
Ryan was the only other Brit demonstrating at the show (Lie Nielsen), with never ending enthusiasm and a permanent smile.
Ron Underhill delivered a fine show as usual and was a great way to start day 2.
I was sharing an alcove with Dave Jeske from Blue Spruce and he had a fine range of mouth watering tools on display as usual. I had Chris Vesper on the other side but I didn't manage to get a shot of his stand as there were always customers in the way! Any thoughts of my long journey home were dismissed when I thought of his trek back to Australia. Chris (as well as Dave Jeske) will be over for the European Woodworking Show in the UK in September, a great opportunity to see his full range of wonderful tools.
Blue Spruce brought a couple of prototype fret saws which were very interesting. They had a beautiful blade tightening design and they could be swivelled easily to any angle. The fit and finish was superb (of course) and I would have bought one straight away if they had been available. One to watch for.
What I did come away with was a lovely adjustable square as well as sliding bevel, which will join my two Vesper bevels. It's a funny thing with sliding bevels, I don't use them that often but when I do (eg plane making) I never seem to have enough. Well that's my excuse for buying it and I'm sticking to it!
I'll leave you with a selection of other exhibitors from the Festahlle Barn. I'm sorry for not including makers from the others four venues but I didn't get a chance to get round once the doors opened.
Until next time..............
We will have both Improved Pattern Dividers and Design Curves for sale in Crucible’s online store at noon Eastern time on Thursday, May 25.
Why are we waiting until Thursday? I’m still traveling after Handworks in Amana, Iowa. I decided to take a couple days off to see friends and clear my head after the last few months of grinding work to prepare for this fantastic show.
All of the tools are in the back of the trailer, which is parked on the prairie somewhere.
On Tuesday, I will drop these tools off at our warehouse in Indianapolis in the late afternoon. The warehouse employees will make a final count and return them to stock on Wednesday. So Thursday is the earliest we can make them available to you.
Thanks for your patience, and I hope everybody who wants one of these tools will be able to purchase them on Thursday.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Crucible Tool, Uncategorized