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The Slöjd Tradition with Jögge Sundqvist 

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - 3 hours 44 min ago

Well, this has nothing to do with me, other than I was there to watch it happen. Now I get to see it again, from the comfort of my own home.

Here’s the blurb:

The Slöjd Tradition

with Jögge Sundqvist 

Learn some of the methods and techniques behind Slöjd, the self sufficient tradition from Sweden that emphasizes hand work and handicraft. Jögge Sundqvist walks you through the process of making a spatula and a cheese board from green wood. He also demonstrates different types of letter carving and decorative carving.

Jögge Sundqvist is a Swedish woodworker and carver who started learning knife and axe work at the age of four, at the side of his father, Wille Sundqvist. Jögge works in the Slöjd fine craft tradition making stools, chairs, knives, spoons, and sculptures painted with artists’ oil color. Jögge is also a teacher, writer, and gives lectures about Slöjd tradition and techniques.

And the preview:



Goatboy’s Leatherworks

goatboy's woodshop - 5 hours 26 min ago

I’ve never been what you might call a frequent poster, but since I started this blog I don’t think I’ve gone this long without offering up content before. It’s been over six months since I last posted, so I guess it’s about time I remedied that.

In fairness, I should point out that since the beginning of the summer, our little family has been going through some difficult times. One of our number has had some fairly serious health issues to contend with, and for a while all our time was taken up with hospital visits and suchlike. For a few weeks there wasn’t a great deal of time for fun in the workshop.


The long road to recovery still stretches out before us but things are slowly getting back on an even keel. A few weeks ago I started a little line of Snowpeople on the lathe, to be ready in time to sell around Christmas time. I have made a separate blog (link on the side bar) to showcase them for friends and family, but most of them are on sale now at a local shop.


Before I started on them, however, I did manage to finish a project that I had begun before our troubles kicked off in the summer, and this is the main subject of this post.

Working with wood is my main pastime, but I have always thought that leather can greatly enhance a project, and so I try to incorporate it wherever I can. I have amassed a few rudimentary leather working tools over the past few months, as well as leather related paraphernalia (eyelets, rivets, press-studs, needles and thread and the like)  and I needed to build a dedicated box to house them. So, inspired by this video, I have done just that.

The box is made from cherry and walnut and incorporates hand cut dovetails and housing joints. The main box has two dividers, a lift out tote and storage in the lid. There is also a drawer for some of the smaller components. This drawer showcases my very first attempt at half lap dovetails, and is subdivided into 12 compartments.

Obviously, since this is a box for leather working tools, I needed to incorporate some leather into the design. This comes in form of leather handles stitched to the wood, as well as a leather clasp to hold the drawer closed. I also made a leather decal for the top with a modified version of my logo burned into it. The box was finished with my oil/varnish/turps home brew.

All in all, I am very pleased with the results, and the box has been of great use to me in the production of my little Snowpunks. I’ll be up to my eyes in them for a while yet, but I must try to post more often in future. I feel a New Year’s Resolution coming on…


Filed under: Joinery, Projects, Pyrography, Tools Tagged: cherry, leather, walnut

Hazard A Guess – Evolve Your Skills

The English Woodworker - 6 hours 42 min ago
Hazard A Guess – Evolve Your Skills

If you’ve seen anything from us then you’ll know it’s not exactly text book stuff.

Our approach comes from a heap of passed down knowledge finely blended with many hours of doing at the bench.

Then there’s the dash of weirdness that my mind adds in.

I like to understand stuff. How it works.
I’m obsessive like that.

But it’s a simpleton’s way of thinking.

I don’t pour over books or know fancy words.

Continue reading at The English Woodworker.

Categories: Hand Tools

Washington Desk Day 5

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - 7 hours 40 min ago

This past weekend I began the scary phase of every one of my woodworking projects, and that is the time when there are a lot of almost finished, unassembled parts lying around waiting to be destroyed.

First things first, on Saturday afternoon/evening I spent two hours milling up the final two boards needed to complete the project. Well, it was about an hour milling up and an hour cleaning up. Rather than calling it a night, I wanted to get in a little actual woodworking, so I attached the cross brace to the back legs. I did not want to mortise out the legs because they are thin to begin with, so instead I dadoed the brace, 3/8 of an inch, planed it down, chamfered the edges, and sanded it smooth. I was satisfied with the appearance, so I attached it with some decorative brass screws. Thankfully, it added some much needed stability to the legs. Admittedly it took longer than it should have to lay out the dadoes, but I wanted the fit to be dead accurate, and I really didn’t want to waste a perfectly good board just by being careless.

Overnight Saturday we had a wind storm, so I spent a portion of the morning and early afternoon cleaning up the back yard, which really ate up the prime hours of the day. But I soldiered on and decided to get as much of the drawer unit finished as possible.

I took my sweet time with those dadoes, because I only had one crack at it, and once the kerfs were all sawn I used a chisel and router plane to get to finished depth. The fit was nice, so I moved on to what I believe is the most challenging part of this project, the ogees on the drawer compartment sides.

Considering that nearly all of the furniture I’ve built to date has been in the Arts & Crafts style (as well as some Shaker pieces), laying out and sawing an ogee with a coping saw is not my strong suit, but I decided to give it a try regardless. I used a compass and my limited artistic ability to lay out the ogee on one of the drawer unit ends, clamped both together, and started sawing. The results were mixed; I should have stuck closer to the line, but in the end it was done. Afterwards, I spent a good hour using a spoke shave, chisel, and rasp to get the pieces in shape. In the end, I wound up with more of a sloping cove than a true ogee, but I am not unhappy with it, and once it is sanded down I think it will look pretty good.

The last task of the day was adding rabbets to the side pieces of the drawer unit, which I did with a moving fillister plane. I could have pushed it and fitted the drawer dividers as well, but that part should be simple, and I didn’t want to push it, as it was getting late and I had a lot of clean up to do.

IMG_2931 (002)

At the home stretch. Once the drawer dividers are installed I can fit the drawer fronts and make the drawers.

After clean up, I once again brought all of the parts into my family room for safe keeping. I attached the “ogeed” ends to the drawer unit top and placed it on top of the desk. I liked the open appearance, so I think what I may do is leave the space in between the two drawers without a back, just to see how it looks. If I don’t like it, I will simply add the filler piece, but I think that open area may add some lightness to the desk, and I could always bore out a space for an inkwell cup there.

Happily, so far none of the pieces have been damaged in any way. By the end of next week the desk should be ready for finish, as the only thing really left to do is make the drawers along with finishing up some light sanding. I’m hoping that my lovely wife steps in and does the finishing for me, as she is much more patient than I am when it comes to stuff like this. Otherwise, I am in the home stretch. And for those of you who celebrate the holiday, have a Happy Thanksgiving.


Categories: General Woodworking

How to Cut Dovetails with a Keller Jig

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - 8 hours 21 min ago

There are numerous jigs for cutting dovetails with a router. My go-to is the Keller pro series model 1601. It’s simple to use, though unlike jigs that cut pins and tails in one fell swoop, it takes two operations (and two different cutters) — one for tails, another for pins. The resulting joint is so attractive, with wide tails reminiscent of hand-cut joints, that I think it’s worth the extra time. […]

The post How to Cut Dovetails with a Keller Jig appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Using My Jack Planes As Smoothing Planes

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - 10 hours 3 min ago
The earliest known plane was a flat-bottomed tool for smoothing wood and nothing more.

Aldren A. Watson, Hand Tools, Their Ways and Workings, 1982

The only plane I owned when I started working with wood was a Stanley No.5, Type 4 plane. It wasn't tuned properly, the tote was a replacement my grandfather had made from a walnut board that never did fit the plane quite right, and because it was a Type 4 the depth adjuster knob turned the opposite direction from the later Stanley. It had most of its japanning and the sides had a wonderful patina on them that I later discovered was really rust. The iron was not original to the plane, the original iron mostly likely got worn down to nothing or was stolen from the plane while it was at a job site. I have no idea when my grandfather acquired this plane, perhaps he got it through a trade or barter for some carpentry job he did in the early part of the 20th century. I know he didn't buy it brand new, if I remember correctly, Type 4 Stanley planes were manufactured between 1874-88, my grandfather was born in 1881!

It was my smoothing plane, jointer plane and when pressed into service it was a really big block plane. I remember at the time I read in some woodworking book that No.5's were called "jack" planes because, as the author stated, you could use them for just about anything - dimensioning stock, smoothing stock and jointing edges, it was a "the jack of all trades" kind of plane. It was all that I needed, I didn't have much money back then, new tools were a luxury, I got by with what I had.

As time went on and I gained more experience in wood working,  I purchased several Stanley No.4 smoothing planes because books and magazines stated those were "the planes" a woodworker should own and use.  I spent quite a bit of time and effort to "tune" those planes, again, according to the information found woodworking books and magazines. Which each new plane I flatten the sole, I sharpened the edge of the chip breaker so it mated perfectly with the back of the iron, the iron was regulation shaped and sharpened and you know what? I never could get those planes to work the way I wanted them to. The iron would chatter or dig in at the wrong place, there was always something about those planes that fought me at every turn.

Whenever frustration would set in with a No.4 plane I turned to my faithful No.5. If I kept the iron of the No.5 sharp the plane always worked when I needed it to. Maybe it worked well for me because of the longer length or that it was the first plane I learned to use. The only other size plane that works well for me as a smoothing plane is a No.3 plane, we all know a No.3 is a smoothing plane.

Today, I use the No.5 to thin down classical guitar tops, backs and sides, I need to be fairly precise when doing this activity. Tops and backs need to be within the 1.8mm-2.3mm range, sides a little less than 2mm, I find that the the added weigh of the plane helps it go through the wood better, thus easier for me to control;  the extra length takes care of the high spots on the wood better than a regular smoothing plane and it is much lighter and more wildly than a No.7. I have never set up a No.5 plane to be a scrub plane, I have a No.40 Stanley scrub plane for that, one of the No.5's has an iron set up for smoothing, the other No.5 has a toothing plane which is used to help dimension guitar parts.

I sold the No.4 smoothing planes and an extra No.7 jointer plane last year in an effort to downsize my tool collection. I don't miss the No.4's and I tend not to recommend them to people just getting into woodworking, I suggest it may be better for them to start with a No.3 smoothing plane and I tell them that Alan Peters thought a No.7 was the best one to use.

Once you have decided what your focus is in woodworking, be it making Federal style furniture, Welsh stick chairs or classical guitars, you will discover what tools work best for you and when you do, stick with them!
Categories: Luthiery

Update on the Crucible Lump Hammer

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - 11 hours 43 min ago


You can read all about it on the Crucible blog if you like.

Filed under: Crucible Tool, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

good sunday production.......

Accidental Woodworker - 15 hours 28 min ago
Got a lot accomplished today and that went hand in hand with the weather. This morning was raining with a strong wind blowing. By the time the afternoon came, the sun was out, the winds are died down some, it was kind of warm. My day started with me still having no direction on how to secure the squares in the square till but come 1500, I had a plan. We'll have to see if it works or not.

I have a new obsession
Got two new squares for me and 4" round leg dividers for Miles. The 6" square is square but the 10" I'm not sure of. The outside checks ok but the inside is off out at the toe. I ran out of plywood to check it on so it'll have to wait before I know for sure.

I like the round leg a lot more than flat ones
I use my round leg for dovetail layout I got these for Miles to use for that too.

Miles's dividers
The ones at the top are 4" dividers too but they are square legged with the tips being round. I'm going to take this one back and give Miles a 6" flat leg divider as a substitute. That will increase his range of what he can divide with them.

my square herd
Top to bottom, 12", 10", and 6". I am looking to add a 15", 8", and either a 3" or 4".

saws are done
Last night before I went to bed, I steel wooled both handles and put on another coat of shellac.  I put the final one on at oh dark 45 this AM. Done. Both handles appear to be beech but I wouldn't bet any body organs on that. They look a 100% better now than what they looked like when I got them.

other side
I think the both of these saws will serve Miles well.

Stanley 78 rabbet plane for Miles
It's complete and has seen a lot of use but is in pretty good shape.

original blade on the bottom
I had a 78 rabbet plane but I dropped it and it broke into 3 pieces. That was about 35 years ago and the only thing I kept from it was the iron.

the only problem
The fence rod is bent and not square to the body. Patrick Leach said in his Blood and Gore that this is a common problem with these planes. I have been trying to get in touch with St James Bay Tool because he makes and sells replacement fence rods and the cross grain spurs. No luck there yet.

I have found several rods on ebay but I am reluctant to buy because I don't want to get a bent one. Stanley still makes replacement fence rods (along with other parts) for the 78 but they are out of stock right now. St James Bay ebay store doesn't have the fence rod for sale but he does have the cross grain spur. I will wait and keep checking for the rod. I still have to rehab it so I have plenty of time.

nice feature of the 78
That plugged up screw hole behind the mouth is for the fence rod. You can use the fence on the right and left side of this plane. What you can't do is use the depth stop on the left side so you have to plane to a line. Still a handy feature that allows you to attack the grain from either direction.

this one is full of ????
slightly out of square on the left
I got the hole cleaned out and it appears that is was some kind of rubbery crap. It wasn't glue because it was soft and squishy and stretched as I pulled it.

seems to be out of square more on the right side
starting with 80 grit
Got the sole marked up so I can get an idea of the condition of the sole.

got my idea after 10 strokes
thanx for the tip Walter
It worked. The epoxy I applied to the inside of the lid built it up enough that lid fits snug now. It is upside down here and laughing at gravity.

fits just as good with the lid flipped 180
the shiny look is the epoxy
If this had been too tight I would have scraped the epoxy with a scraper. One other thing I thought of after the fact was I could have put some sawdust in the epoxy. That would have lent some roughness and friction to the lid. I didn't need it here but something to stow in the brain bucket for the next time.
Thanx again for the great tip Walter.

the saw glue up went south
It doesn't even look like I glued this at all.

I can still open the crack
round 2
I used the dental pick to keep the crack open as I poured glue into it. I got squeeze out along the entire crack line on the outside and the inside this time. So maybe this one will work now.

back to sanding the #6
My wife had woke up by now so I could use the vacuum cleaner. This is after about 10 minutes. I have a low spot forward of the mouth and for a bit aft of it.

ten minutes later
I am slowly getting there with removing all traces of the sharpie marks. The 80 grit belt is usually the one that takes the most time to get through. The other grits basically remove scratches and shine things up. And I won't be using woodworking sanding belts anymore. I can tell a big difference in using the metal sanding belt vice the woodworking ones. The biggest one is the grit lasts a lot longer with the metal sanding belts.

I thought they were clean
Look at the crud that is coming out of the corrugation slots. I had scraped them all with a sheet rock knife too and I thought they were cleaned out.

last run with the 80 grit
It took me about 30 minutes to remove all the sharpie marks with the 80 grit belt. I'm going to do it one more time and check that the sharpie marks disappear uniformly. They did and I moved on to 120 grit.

more crud coming out
I did this to remove what looked like a white paint drop and I got this. There is some grunge there but there is also rust dust too. It took me only 5 minutes or so to sand out all the slots .

this sucks
I didn't like wearing this but I didn't want to breathe in all the crappola I was sanding neither. It reminds of wearing an EAB from the Navy (emergency air breathing mask). It was called sucking rubber then and I once had to wear one for 3 hours. I took a lot of breaks doing the sanding but I made sure to wear it while sanding.

80 grit done, on to 120
nice shine off of the 120
Going up the grits after 80 goes pretty quick. I could have quit here but I went all the way to 600.

done up to 400
I don't bother buying any belts above 400. I hand sanded the plane with 600 grit with a sanding block.

streaks at the top of the cheek
I had to sand that area by hand with 400 grit in a sanding block. I don't know why the belt wasn't doing it but it only took a few minutes to shine it by hand sanding.

ready for paint
Frog seat scraped and then lightly sanded smooth.

the only tricky spots to paint
If I get any black paint on the frog seats, I'll scrape it off. I have taped the seats off but it isn't necessary. It is very easy to scrape any errant paint on them off. I'll let this first coat set up and cure for a couple of days. Then I'll put on the final and second coat.

30" piano hinge
Lowes didn't have any brass piano hinges so I had to settle for silver. FYI - hack sawing a 30" piano hinge down to 18" sucks.  I have 3 screws in each leaf so I can check the fit. This is one part of installing hinges that gives me the heebie jeebies. Installing hinges is getting better but the feeling isn't.

I marked and planed the hinge recess with the 140 skew block plane. I am really liking this plane for doing rabbets. It is a sweet tool to use.

I'm happy with this
The ends are flush and I'm off about a 32nd on the front. I can plane this flush once the box is done.

this sucks
All the screws are in and the box is hinge bound.

the hinge rabbet is too deep
I set the marking gauge to the middle of the hinge pin and I left the line when I planed the rabbet. having all the screws must have pulled the hinge leaf down tighter into the rabbet. I'll have to add wood now to make up for it.

shaving from making the panel grooves
I used this under the hinge to shim it up. I would rather use wood than paper here because this will be visible after the fix.

no longer hinge bound
It took two tries before I had joy in Mudville. The first time I only put shims under one leaf and some of the problem went away but not all. I had to shim under both leaves to order to eliminate the problem.  I glued the shims in the rabbets with the rapid fuse glue and I aligned them with the outside edge of the box.

trying to get some inspiration
It's not working. I kind of got an idea for the big squares, but with the two combination squares I was still in the dark here.

hiding my lines.
The spacers on both of the big squares will hide 90% of these lines.

rounded the ends
I think this will look better than having the end square cut.

holder for the combination square
The idea for this is to put a turn button at the top that will close on the top of the blade holding it in place.

the parts of the holder
change #2
I had gotten an email about rare earth magnets and I just happened to be thinking of them. This is part one of a two part door set up. Instead of using turn buttons, I can use magnets to hold the squares in place.

bonus - it isn't as thick as the spacer
this is magnetic too
I didn't think this would be magnetic. I thought it was stainless steel and not magnetic.

this may change now
Since I'm switching to magnets, I don't need some parts of this holder. After the glue has set I'll look it over and see if I can use some of it. Maybe I can adapt this somehow to use with the magnets?

holders glued in with hide glue
I'm pretty certain that I will go with this layout but if I want to change it down the road I can.

wasn't what I was looking for
I found my stash of magnets. I was looking for some box latches but this was nice to find.

got lucky twice today
Found the box latches I was looking for and it was a bust. Neither one of them will fit on the box.  They are too tall for the box. I'm pretty sure that these are big size and the next one down might fit. I'll have to spend some time on the Lee Valley's site.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who invented the combination square?
answer - Laroy S Starrett did in 1877

My First Woodworking Project (I think)

The Literary Workshop Blog - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 6:45pm

The other day I was rummaging around in an old box of scraps, and I pulled out a chunk of wood that I had completely forgotten about.

Doorstop 1996

It doesn’t look like much, but I’m pretty sure it’s my first woodworking project (not counting the tree forts I built with my brothers when I was a kid).  It’s a doorstop cut out of a 2X4.

I vaguely recall making this to prop a door open at a local church fellowship hall.  I used only one tool to make it: a circular saw.  Looking at the uneven surface, I recall that the sawblade was small (or I didn’t know how to adjust the depth), so it didn’t cut all the way through the 2X4.  So I cut part the way through it, flipped the workpiece over, and finished the cut from the other side–very unevenly.  I can’t believe I was happy enough with my work to put my name on it, but I must have been.

Doorstop 1996

The only reason I share it here is that it’s the first project I signed and dated.  I was a teenager back then.  I’m pretty sure I “carved” my initials and the year with a flathead screwdriver and a hammer.

It was not exactly an auspicious beginning to my woodworking avocation, but in one respect it was a telling start.  I represents a moment in my life when I looked at problem and came up with a solution that required only the tools and materials I had on hand.  And while I now have a lot more tools and a lot more materials on hand than I used to, this is still the approach that defines much of my work.  Whether it’s a need for a storage crate or a small table or a wooden spoon, I still delight in making what I need with my own hands.

Tagged: door stop, doorstop, signature

St. Andrews Dinner & Dance

Owyhee Mountain Fiddle Shop - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 12:21pm
We make fiddles so we can make music.  And often we make music so folks can dance.

Our local Scottish Country Dance club, the Thistle & Ghillies, had our annual St. Andrews Day dinner & ball last night.  Good times.  And while most of the dance was done to recorded music, my wife Monica, on piano, and I on one of my fiddles, did play for the waltz at the end of the evening.  We're not a big enough group to have live music all the time.

We do, though, regularly play for the Boise Contra Dance Society dances, on the second Saturdays September through May.  If you're in town, come on by and dance with us.

Here's another shot of last night's St. Andrews Day dance.

Categories: Hand Tools, Luthiery

two recent herons

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 10:39am

Fall is maybe my favorite time around here. Great Blue Herons are a daily occurence lately. This first one Rose found on a walk we took recently.

The other morning I went out to start the fire in the shop, and spooked three of them before I knew it. So the next day, I looked before barging out the door. Wouldn’t have seen this one, but for the reflection in the river:



And of course, turkeys.

Back to work for me now. Too many distractions…

Friends in high places

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 8:36am


Handmade bespoke artisanal kitchen cabinet exquisitely curated by Kim F
Hashtag intertextuality

A delivery arrived yesterday from our friend Kim, who lives just outside our nation’s capital. As a source of cultural information relevant to my research, Kim is my version of Chris’s Saucy Indexer (though Saucy’s finds, encompassing everything from erotic Roman cow costumes to the hurricane-shaped vise nuts on Saint Joseph’s workbench as portrayed in Peruvian art, are arguably a few notches up the cultural scale from our quotidian pursuits). A few weeks earlier she’d sent a snapshot of a Hoosier-type cabinet she recently acquired and asked whether I’d like to have it. Of course! I wrote back. I will gladly reimburse you for the cost of shipping. The cabinet is shown above.

At this point you may be wondering why Lost Art Press would ever have invited me to write a book about kitchens. This cabinet is a monstrosity: a plywood base without so much as a counter overhang, its floor-scraping doors hung on surface-mounted butt hinges and adorned with giant cherry decals…topped by an upper section that not only doesn’t match (to put it mildly), but offers a textbook example of the need to gauge shelf thickness according to depth, load, and span.

So let me assure you that I do not consider this cabinet an exemplar of the kitchen furnisher’s art. The key to its value (at least, to me) is its size: It’s only 18″ high — a toy, apparently made by someone of modest means for the delight of someone he or she loved. It is a perfect illustration of the kitchen’s magnetic appeal.


This one, which I keep in my shop, has proved irresistible to children, perhaps because of the peek-a-boo “TRY ME” window.

This is not the first toy kitchen cabinet I’ve been fortunate to have been given by Kim. The first was the colorful “Just Kidz” playset from 11 years ago; Kim made sure that I was the winner of this particular prize in a Thanksgiving parlor game played at a condo on the Delaware beach during a Nor’easter. I was charmed by the tiny plastic version of the kitchen-in-one promoted by the Hoosier Manufacturing Company in the 1930s that incorporated storage, cooking, prep space, and a sink.


Illustration from my 2009 book The Hoosier Cabinet in Kitchen History, published by the Indiana University Press

You can dismiss these toys as gender-role enforcers along the lines of the Suzy Homemaker appliances my childhood friend Faye got on birthdays and holidays (kudos to my parents for agreeing to my requests for such gender-bending gems as Tonka Toys and a Thingmaker), but I’ve found that boys who visit my shop are just as intrigued as girls by the “housekeeping playhouse.” Such is the draw of the kitchen.


Image from clickamericana.com

As for Kim, my friend in a high place, she’s also the one who hooked me up with a treasure trove of information about post-war construction, remodeling, and design published by the United States Gypsum Company (who knew?) that I’ve mined for info to use in articles and books.


Thanks, Kim!


Here’s a recipe I made last weekend in my own kitchen: my favorite pound cake, made in this case with dried Montmorency cherries that Mark brought back from a recent trip to northern Michigan. The recipe is adapted from one for pound cake in New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant. Those hippies knew their dairy products.–Nancy R. Hiller, author of Making Things Work


Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Axe handles and children

Mulesaw - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 7:37am
I was looking at some old posts on my blog, and ended up looking a one where Olav had made a new handle for a hatchet. 

One of the comments was from Suzanne Deslauriers. She suggested to read the poem called "Axe handles" by Gary Snyder. 
(I haven't got the permission to print the poem, and I don't want to mess up with any copyrights to it, so I have simply linked to the poem instead. And that site states that it has got a permission.)

It is a delight to get such comments to the blog, because the poem is really well written and spot on for me. I guess that a lot of people into woodworking feels it the same way. If Suzanne hadn't commented on the post, I would never have known about its existence. So thanks a lot for bringing it to my attention.

I once made an axe handle too - together with Gustav when he was a lot younger, and I remember it being a good experience. But that was before I knew about the poem. And I also think it was before I wrote a blog, at least I haven't got any pictures of it. But the axe still hangs in its place in the shop - ready to be used. I will have to ask Gustav if he remembers making it, but I am pretty sure that he does.

I have let my children use an axe since they were very small. At first they used one together with me, so we helped each other to hold it correctly and stand in the correct position, legs lightly spread to give a good stability and to avoid hitting the shins if the axe should slip. Later when they turned a bit older they would split small scraps of wood on their own while in the shop with me, and proudly carry the tiny pieces into the house and present them as kindling to Mette.

Even today, if we go the the summerhouse, one of the first things they help find are a couple of axes, so they can trim some of the wild saplings and split firewood. I am totally confident in that they use the tool with the necessary respect, and I have never had the reason to remind them about how to use it safely. So I guess that all the education and practice has paid off.

I think that an axe has a strong appeal to a child, because it is a real tool, and a smaller model is not just designed to be a toy, but it is really a smaller version that is fully capable of doing the same type of work as a large axe can do.

Categories: Hand Tools

a few things almost done......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 2:51am
It's been a while since I've had so many irons in the fire. I took all seven of them as far as I could today but only one was completed. One is waiting on parts, others I'm waiting on something to dry/cure, and the last one I have to think about. I'll be busy for a while.

filler pieces sawn out and fitted
This was the easy part. The hard part is going to be figuring out a way to secure it. I want it to be painless, easy, and tool less.

looks good
This is way to proud of the square body. My initial thoughts are proving to be OTL (out to lunch). Time to try something else.

left over from making the spacers for the squares
It had a rough sawn face that was also tapered side to side. I took a few minutes to even it out with the 4 1/2.

better but still stymied on how to secure it
out of the clamps
This is the only corner that looks like crap. The lower third of this is off.

still square
layout for the splines
From the left to the center - the first line is the top of the 6mm panel. The second line is where the spline will go and the center double line is where I will saw the box in two. I tried to place the spline equidistant from the panel and top of half of the box.  The spline will be all that holds the top together along with the miter. The right is the same as the left.

whacked a quick spline jig
I had one of these but it was too small for box. This one is twice that size and could have been bigger. I went with this because this was the size of the scraps I had.

spline slots sawn
I made these as deep as I could without having them show on the inside.

one frog hair wider than an 8th
found some walnut to use for the splines
Both pieces were too tight for the slots so I had to plane them to fit. I used the shooting boards to hold the stock while I planed it. It took 3 before I found one that worked. The stop at the back was too high on the first two and I couldn't plane the walnut.

I only needed 8 and I got 14 total from two pieces
splines all glued in
I set this aside by the furnace for a few hours and started on another project.

I can open up the crack easily - saw handle from latest buy
It goes all the back
glued up with Old Brown Glue
I now understand why the saw is loose in this area. I tried to glue this up without the saw plate but I got some OBG in the slot for the saw plate. I didn't want to glue that shut so I put the saw plate in. Having it in place made it easier to clamp the break. This will be camping out by the furnace until tomorrow.

working on Miles's saws
The plan is to clean the saw plates on both saws, strip the finish off of the handles, and put on a couple coats of shellac. I cleaned the saw plates with degreaser and 320 grit sandpaper. After this I rinsed it off with water and blew it dry with the hair dryer. I followed this up by using 400 and 600 grit paper on the plates to shine them up a bit. I spritzed them with degreaser to clean them one last time.

cleaned and shined up
final step
Wiped the saw plate with oil all over. Saw plates are done and just need the handles to be 100%.

repeated for the second saw
second saw handle
Completely stripped off the original finish. I thought I had taken a before pic but I didn't. I scraped the finish off with that small scraper in front of the handle. I followed that up with 120 and 220 sandpaper. After 4-6 coats of shellac it will be done.

rip saw handle with 2 coats of shellac

3 hours later I sawed off the proud on the splines
flushed the splines
the last two to be done
Before I flushed these two, I transferred my lines onto the side I already had done.

sawing it apart on the saw
I have an LED light above the tablesaw but I can't see where the saw blade is with my pencil lines on the box. A portable, hand held, self generating, photon emission device helped here.

it's still together
I did this on purpose. I set the height of the saw blade to be just under the thickness of the stock. This way a thin web of wood remains and it keeps the kerf from being pinched in. It especially helps when sawing the last cut because you don't have to put spacers in the previous kerfs.

I used a saw to break the thin web of wood holding it together.

it is safer doing it this way
On thinner stock I would use a sheetrock knife to cut the web.

the web
I cleaned this up with a sheetrock knife first to remove most of it and flushed it with a block plane.

two sides are off
The left side is a 16th strong over the right side.

a few round trips later
Knocked off most of it on the tablesaw. The blockplane made it sweet all over.

cleaning up the corners
I didn't get as much glue on the inside as I thought I would. What I did get was cleaned up and removed with a chisel.

this piano hinge is too small
With the hinge in place on the stock, the screw holes re too close to the edge. I can't use this and I'll have to make a road trip to Lowes.

back up hinges in case I don't get a piano hinge
sawing out a base for the japanese square
still zero ideas on how to secure it
general layout
The only thing carved in stone on this so far is the 12 and 15 inch squares. One will be on the left side and the other on the right. Everything else is subject to change.

trying a tip from Walter
I would not never have thought up this tip Walter left me as a comment. He said to use epoxy to build up a bit on the inside of the top. I was going to try and use veneer to make up for the looseness in the lid. I put some epoxy on one side of the inside of the lid and put it by the furnace. It'll keep the saw company until tomorrow.

working on Miles's #6 is batting next
painted the frog seat
scrapes off easily
When it comes time to do this I will roll a hook on this. Having that will scrape this off lickety split. It will work without it but it is much quicker and cleaner with a hook.

the top of the side wall got painted too
I can scrape it
or use sandpaper (this is 220)
I prefer to scrape here. The scraper removes the paint and shines the edge in one step. It takes time and muscle to do the same with sandpaper.

5 swipes
I think it is high at the toe and the heel but I'm not sure. The corrugations hide a lot of the scratches. I'll have to mark up the sole with a sharpie before I start this so I can get an idea of where I stand with it.

one is nice to have and the other is a must
The vacuum is nice and the dust mask is a must have to use when sanding metal planes.

see the black stripe
That is the metal dust, grease, and grunge from sanding the plane. This gets airborne and fills your snot locker. You will be picking and blowing this stuff out for a week. Not to mention that this will also get into your lungs. Did I say that it stinks and once it gets into the nose, you get to have a whiff of it 24/7.

This was my saturday in the shop. Worked on a lot of different things but nothing to show for my efforts to say ah about. Maybe I'll get to do that tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who made their debut in detective comics #27 in 1939?
answer - the caped crusader called Batman

Shop Tour with Kerry Pierce: Part 1 – Handplanes

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 2:00am

We are featuring a set of tables by Kerry Pierce in an upcoming issue of PWM and we needed to ship them back to his home in Lancaster, Ohio. So instead of paying over $100 for shipping, we jumped in the car to make the delivery. Kerry repaid us with a shop tour and we spent some time in his home talking about what he likes in furniture style. It was a great […]

The post Shop Tour with Kerry Pierce: Part 1 – Handplanes appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

And the music was good and the music was loud.Malcom Young gives...

Giant Cypress - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 3:38pm

And the music was good and the music was loud.

Malcom Young gives an eight minute clinic on rhythm guitar.

New Face Vises; New Title for a Book

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 7:31am


Before heading out for Charleston, S.C., to visit my dad, I added a couple face vises to my circa 1505 Holy Roman Workbench. These vises have no screws and no real jaws. Instead they clamp the work with a wedge.

The vises are merely large notches in the benchtop, so “installing” them took about an hour of time.

These “vises” – if you can call them that – are based on paintings and drawings of workbenches that Suzanne “Saucy Indexer” Ellison and I have dug up during the last 18 months for my next book. In this case, I’ve made a notch in the end grain of the benchtop and in the edge of the benchtop. Both sorts of notches are shown in paintings and I want to sort out if there’s any difference between them.


I cannot say yet if they work differently, but I can say the notch on the edge grain was much easier to saw and bash out. When I return home on Sunday, I’ll get to work installing a wide variety of other long-forgotten bench accessories that Suzanne and I have unearthed.

As I mentioned earlier, the scope of this book has expanded far beyond where it began, with Roman workbenches. The workholding schemes we have found are ideal for both low benches and high benches. And both sorts of benches – high and low – have always existed side-by-side, as they do today.

I’m also exploring how low benches developed lots of accessories for building chairs (both shaved and turned), boats, baskets and all sorts of items that require steam-bent wood. I think I’ve also convinced Suzanne to write a chapter of the book that will detail the paintings we’re exploring and the socio-economic conditions in which they were made.


Oh, and the book is also part travelogue. It begins at the summit of Mount Vesuvius and ends below the ground in a German forest.

Believe it or not, all these disparate elements are stitched together without any Kierkegaardian leaps.

So, after a lot of thought, I’ve decided to title the book: “Ingenious Mechanicks: Early Workbenches & Workholding.” We’re on track to finish writing it by the end of 2017. So we should have it released by March 2018.

— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com

Filed under: Roman Workbenches, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Repairing a Saw Handle Horn

Paul Sellers - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 6:51am

The saw handle on my R Groves rip had been damaged and poorly repaired. It happens and it’s not uncommon at all to find a saw horn damaged. The repair popped off at some time and I have put off the repair proper until I found the right time; that’s something I rarely do because […]

Read the full post Repairing a Saw Handle Horn on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Making a set of eccentric drawbore pins.

Mulesaw - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 6:44am
I like to drawbore. But I haven't got any drawbore pins. This hasn't stopped me in any way, but once in a while I have thought that it might not be a bad idea to have some, so that I could test fit the joint before gluing and inserting the pegs.

I read a bit up on the various ideas behind it on the Internet, and it seems as there are a two models normally employed, both tapered along the length of the protruding part of the steel:
One version has a cylindrical shape of the tapered part  all the way.
The other version has got a not completely rounded shape of the tapered part. (popular called eccentric)

I guess that the eccentric model can either be of an elliptic shape, or it could just be a circular shape with part of the perimeter moved inwards.

I am going to try to make a set of drawbore pins based on the last idea. I can't really see any advantages of a pure elliptical shape over the flattened circular shape, but there is a lot more work involved in making a tapered elliptic piece of steel compared to the flattened model.

After a bit of testing to try our some ideas I had regarding how to do it, I ended up with this way of getting the wanted result:

First a piece of steel is mounted as usual in the 3 jaw chuck, and the far end is supported by the live center.
I adjust the compound rest to a 1 degree taper, meaning that the including taper will be 2 degrees.
I then take some passes only using the compound rest, to make a tapered section. I stop when the thin end is approximately half the diameter of the steel rod.
I then have to move the main apron to continue the taper. That is because the travel distance of the compound rest is only 2.75".  Once I have completed the taper to its final length, I stop.

The next step is to remove the old hole for the live center, so I can make a new one.
The new hole is made eccentric by adding a distance piece under one of the jaws in the chuck. In this case the distance  piece is an old washer.
I leave the washer in place and make sure to orient the steel bar in the same way, and again use the chuck and the live center.
The eccentric mounting of the live center and the washer between the steel bar and the jaw now causes the entire piece to be wobbling in the lathe. Or more correctly it is eccentric mounted with a throw equal to the thickness of the washer.

I bring the turning tool into contact with the piece and repeat the process of making a small taper. I removed 0.6 mm (3/128") while making this second taper.

The result is a nice and shallow taper and if the piece is rotated there is a slight difference of the aforementioned 3/128".
As far as I have understood the idea of this is that you insert the flattened part into the drawbored holes, and then you twist the tool to tighten up the joint.

I am going to try to  harden the drawbore pins before making some octagonal handles for them.

So far I have made two sets, 4 - 8 mm (5/32" - 5/16") and 5 - 10 mm(25/128" - 25/64")

Eccentric drawbore pins

Turning the taper

Getting ready for making the pin eccentric.
Note the washer between the left jaw and the workpiece.

This should show that there is a flattened ace on the pin.

Categories: Hand Tools

7 Tips for Tricky Glue-ups

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 2:00am

Glue-ups are always a stressful moment – you have a short timeframe to correctly align the parts you’ve been working on for some time, and failure to do so can compromise your results. So, I figured I’d share some tips that I’ve learned over time, through many a stressful and suspenseful glue-up. 1. Do a dry-run. You can set aside all the clamps, look at your project and feel good […]

The post 7 Tips for Tricky Glue-ups appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking


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