On today’s show, we’re talking about sharpening a Benchcrafted Skraper, purchasing the right rip blade, Sweetheart vs Bailey planes, “correct” way to store bench planes, upgrading a random orbital sander, coverings on assembly tables, & outdoor finish or pressure treated wood?
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I have notice a topic that comes up often, and it came up again in last weeks show. That is to finish the bottom or not to finish the bottom, or inside of drawers or boxes. The callers are always worried about warping or some kind of wood movement. Yet I have not heard anybody talk about the WOW factor. When I deliver a table top to a customer and I’m unwrapping the top they often see the back first, and say wow look at that beautiful grain, and are even more thrilled when I turn it over to show them the top.
Having the bottom finished shows that you payed special attention to all details of your customers project, and customer are always very appreciative of your efforts. They will be reminded of them every time they feel the underside of the table as the pull up a chair for dinner. As a side benefit hopefully your extra effort will make someone think twice before sticking the gum to the underside of that table.
Mike from LA – Sharpening a Benchcrafted Skraper
Hey guys,I’m about to start my end grain cutting board project and I wanted to get your opinion on a blade. I have a brand new 24 tooth marples blade, but i’m wondering if this will give me a clean enough cut for lamination. Should i buy a glue line rip blade or do you think the standard rip blade will suffice. I’m making it out of 8/4 maple and 8/4 purpleheart. Thanks. You guys are the best. — Greg
I am looking to buy a smoothing plane and was thinking of getting an older Stanley. What is the difference between the Sweetheart and the Bailey is one better than the other? Thanks for the help. —- Glen
I have a question concerning bench planes. Is there a “correct” way to store them between uses? I’m in the habit of cleaning up my planes and wiping them down at the end of each session. I attach the chipbreaker to the iron with finger tightness and lie the assembly in the body of the plane with the cap loosely resting on top. The idea of leaving them set up under tension for long periods of time doesn’t seem right to me. Is there any danger of warping the irons or damaging the planes by storing them under tension? How are planes traditionally stored? Thanks. —- Todd
Hey guys, I am looking at upgrading my Random Orbital Sander, and I was wondering what your opinions where. I have yet to pony up the cash to buy into the festool universe but for this I would be willing. I doing woodworking full time and mainly making furniture. But the styles range from maloof to antique, to Shaker.
I have been mainly looking at three sanders Festool Rotex 125, Festool EST125, and the Mirka Ceros. What are your thoughts between those three? Or am I completely missing the boat and should get some other sander. (I don’t have the compressor to use air sanders so that option is out.) — Jens
I have a question about using coverings on the assembly table. I was watching some old episodes of Woodworks and noticed that David Marks used what looks like brown craft paper or something very similar to cover the table during glue-ups. It seems like this should stick to the project like crazy but I never see him have a problem on the show. What’s the secret? —- Jim
I am planning to build an outdoor play tower for my kids. I thought dimensional lumber will do the trick for a fair price. It needs to withstand the elements (Vancouver, BC) I am wondering if I should go with an outdoor finish or better go with pressure treated wood? As I have no idea what is used for pressure treatment I am skeptical if it is good and safe for kids to play with. The alternative is to apply an outdoor type finish and luckily there are several options on the market. The question for me is, will an outdoor type finish last as long as the description promises or are there alternative products that will do the trick and make the play tower outlast the time my kids will play on it? I guess another option is to refinish the wood every other year or so but that is surely not too easy to do and I would prefer to not touch the finish for the years to come. —Tobias
Comments, questions or topic suggestions?
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When looking at a used/vintage fiddle with the idea of purchase, this is a good area to examine closely.
Note the little bent "line" near the far-right peg hole. Look closer.
This is a crack, and it's a crack that would put me off purchasing the instrument unless there were some other highly attractive parts that would make the cost of repair worth it. This type of crack needs serious repair, not just a simple glueing.
It's probably the most common location for a peg-box crack, on the A-peg of a violin (or the D-peg of a viola or cello), because often the grain runs out towards the carved edge. This one is a bit unusual, in that the grain is twisty here and the crack follows that twisty grain. Often, it is a straight crack, following the straight-grain of the pegbox.
I'll have to talk to the customer to see what they want to do with this. It can be repaired. Simply a matter of worth and value, which needs some thought.
Two months ago we blogged about The Little Free Library, a nationwide community movement project that involves the creation of a birdhouse-sized structure that is placed in your front yard and then filled with books that can be shared with others in your neighborhood. Over the past few weeks Highland Woodworking owner, Chris Bagby, and his wife Sanne have been putting together their own Little Free Library for their front yard. Sanne has been keeping track of their progress and we wanted to share their process of building a Little Free Library.
There are two Little Free Libraries in our neighborhood. I recall my delight when I “discovered” the first one. Just across the street from a little park, I spied a curious white box. I crossed the street to investigate, and much to my surprise, it was a “Little Free Library.” I selected a book and took it home with me. When I got home, I searched the internet to learn more. What a marvelous not-so-little movement! Weeks later, I discovered the second one – a bit further away but was no less delighted with it. Right then and there, I vowed to join the effort. Our block is filled with children and lots of adults who read, as well. We even have several authors!
Knife Work in the School-Room
By George Baldwin Kilbon
Milton Bradley Company, 1890, (Revised Edition 1891)
- Jeff Burks
Filed under: Historical Images
Firstly, assemble all the bits and pieces that are needed. A bending jig (left) and a heating mask (right) with cramps set to the right opening, together with a chinagraph pencil (excellent for marking plastic).
If it's too hot, the acrylic will start to bubble (bad) and if it's too cold it will crack (even badder) when it's bent, so a little practice enabled me to find the 'Goldilocks' temperature when it was just right.
Once everything had cooled down and had been cleaned up, drilling the holes for the nuts and bolts was easy...no more than a couple of hours work all told for the whole exercise.
Shoji panels next...
I previously posted links to two videos about making half-blind dovetails that contain a number of tips I hadn't seen before and I decided to try one of them. I cut the pins first and then marked out the drawer front to receive them. After I made the diagonal saw cuts in the usual manner, I used my drill press to drill a row of holes just shy of the baseline and just a little shallower than the length of the tail. I split out the waste from the end of the drawer front, then removed the final sliver by registering the chisel in the marking gauge line. The final step is to pare down to the marking gauge line to the baseline from the row of holes. I hope my description is clear as I forgot to take pictures, but you can look at the video if you are interested. It is similar to creating a tenon by sawing the shoulder and then splitting it out from the end. This method is very fast and seemingly foolproof, though I realize it is "cheating." You could do essentially the same thing with a hand drill though. I was really surprised by how quickly this went and how accurate it is. I am very slow at chopping out dovetail waste with a chisel and this tip really speeded things up.
Here's the result:
There is absolutely no place to hide with drawer construction like this. I'd like to tell you the drawers came out this way on the first try but the truth is it took some adjusting with a plane to get the spacing looking this good. I do regret the mismatched grain in the one drawer front, but these were scraps and I didn't have any more like the others. It would have looked better on the bottom I think, but the scrap wasn't wide enough for that (there are three drawer widths).
I hope my wife doesn't find out I am using her granite counter as a flat and warm place for these to dry. Since the back will be pinned in the rabbet, my idea is to glue in the slips, slide in the bottom and install the back as a second step. We'll see. Perhaps I'll get a lesson in reversing hide glue. :(
Bob Lang goes over the details of the new release of Sketch 2013, shows the new features and explains the difference between the free SketchUp Make and SketchUp Pro Read more
Marc was teaching a number of courses varying from veneering and marquetry all the way to using routers. I had a chance to sneak into his “Getting the most from your router” class on Sunday morning and film this quick little snippet which I think is a great example of the kind of information any woodworker who uses routers would benefit from…
There is now a kickstarter fundraising site set up to help get the film about Wille Sundqvist underway. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/761142325/the-spoon-the-bowl-and-the-knife-craftsman-wille-s?ref=recently_launched
I’m in a rush right now (clean up shavings in the kitchen from last night’s spoons, help get the kids off to school, me to work, etc) – so I will write at length about this later. But let’s get it together to raise this money pronto. Shouldn’t be hard. When you get to watch this video, you will be amazed. Here’s a snippet from the kickstarter blurb
“The biggest risk this project is that Wille Sundqvist is 87 years old. He is getting tired of age but still he is working with craft everyday. Last week when I talked to Wille he said he was in good shape and that he was eager to start with recording the film in June. He told me he is refusing all orders just to make bowls and spoons for the most generous donors. This tells us how he looks upon his own status. But of course everything can happen with a man at his age.”
If you are leery of using kickstarter, you can send a check to Drew Langsner.
Make it out to:
Country Workshops – Sundqvist video project
990 Black Pine Ridge Road
Marshall, NC 28753
Thanks for this blog! My question, as far as you know, is there much of a "hobbyist" woodworking community IN Japan? As in, people who do one thing for a living and then dabble in traditional crafts? Are there any enthusiast-type magazines akin to Pop...
Thanks for reading! I really appreciate it.
I don’t have a lot of information on what the woodworking community in Japan is like. Most of what I’ve seen is from running across Japanese woodworking websites that individual woodworkers have set up. From looking at those websites, those woodworkers have shops that would be recognizable to woodworkers in the U.S. — the usual assortment of machinery, with hand tools being used mainly for detail work like tweaking joints to fit.
I have also seen websites of Japanese woodworkers that are involved in planing contests, and others that are involved in timber framing. And I’m sure there are Japanese woodworking forums where they argue endlessly about whether western woodworking tools are suitable for softwoods.
An extremely unusual and oversize walnut armchair with concave-vase-shaped splat and broad sloping shoulders ornamented with carved and gilt acanthus and volute terminals. The central splat inlaid with floral marquetry and motto, “FOR OUR COUNTRY,” the side rails further inlaid with husk pendants. The arms terminate in finely carved lions’ masks, above compass seat supported by cabriole legs ending in pad feet.
Possibly by Francis Brodie of Edinburgh, c. 1745–60
Bought from a Scottish source by Aldric Young (Antiques), Edinburgh, 1974
Private American Collection
LITERATURE Christopher Gilbert, Furniture at Temple Newsam House and Lotherton Hall, Vol. I (1978), p. 76, no. 58; Vol. III (1998), p. 720 (ill.) Sebastian Pryke, ‘The extraordinary billhead of Francis Brodie’, Regional Furniture, Vol. 4 (1990), pp. 81–99 (pp. 87–98 and fig. 16) Height: 70 in (175 cm) Width: 33 in (84 cm) Depth: 30 in (76 cm) This remarkable armchair is likely to have been made for use in a dining club of members of the Anti-Gallican Society, whose motto, ‘FOR OUR COUNTRY’, is inlaid at the top of the splat.
The Anti-Gallican Society was founded in the resonant year of 1745, to promote British arts and manufactures as against those of France. The chair was sold in 1974 in Edinburgh, apparently with a Scottish history of ownership, which has given rise to the suggestion that it was produced in the workshop of the Edinburgh wright Francis Brodie. His billhead features an armchair of somewhat similar profile (though more domestic proportions). A closely related ceremonial armchair, retaining its original carved cresting, was formerly in the collection of Percival Griffiths and is now at Temple Newsam House, Leeds. The Temple Newsam chair is cut from slightly different templates (notably in the outline of the splat) and has different marquetry in the back, so it was not necessarily a companion chair to the present one. However, it was undoubtedly made in the same workshop; and it conceivably also has Anti-Gallican symbolism, in the large eagle that surmounts the cresting, for one of the Society’s armorial supporters was an eagle – though a double-headed one. The Temple Newsam chair is also made partly of elm, which would be consistent with a Scottish origin. How far the Anti-Gallican Society was active in Scotland in its early years is uncertain, but a likely promoter would have been Lord Blakeney, who vigorously defended Stirling Castle, of which he was Governor, under siege during the ’45 Rebellion. Another Scottish connection is attested by a silver-gilt badge of the Society in the Victoria and Albert Museum, which is engraved on the back with the MacKay arms; its Rococo style suggests a mid-eighteenth-century date.
Filed under: Antiques, Distractions Tagged: Anti-Gallican Society, Francis Brodie
Thanks to Jim Heavey’s class on Spray Finishing at Weekend with WOOD this past weekend, I’m really looking forward to breaking out my Earlex Spray Station and finally letting it do what it does best…allow me to spray on a finish in half the time it would normally take by hand.
If you’ve ever thought about getting into spray finishing for your projects and wondered where to get started without breaking the bank or having to buy a lot of equipment and piece it together yourself, a system like the Earlex 5500 HVLP Spray Station is a nice way to go because everything you need is pretty much included.
You’ll need to provide your own finish, but at the current sale price for this Earlex model at Highland Woodworking (please check availability and dates) you’ll be able to afford MORE of it.
Purchase an Earlex 5500 HVLP Spray Station by clicking on this link and help support the show!
It's run by several of the nicest little old ladies you'll ever meet. One of them asked if we needed any help, so I asked if they had any tools (I always ask, they never do, and we have a nice chat about some obtuse antique item, say, the rare victorian carved cigars or whatever, and I go on my way).
But this time she got a funny look on her face and said, "Well, we don't understand tools at all, you see, but there is this....thing, I think it's a miter saw, back over there in the corner."
So I went to inspect the thing. It was indeed a saw in a crude miter box made of recently processed pine such as the local lumber yard carries. A small saw sat cradled in the kerfs cut in the box, barely spanning the width of the box, about 12" long. The blade was black with something like tallow, the handle was worn and dark with scars and the upper horn was damaged. It was straight, but could use a sharpening. The saw back was beginning to separate from the blade near the handle, which was apple. H. DISSTON & SONS * PHILADA was stamped on the medallian and the brass nuts were domed.
All the above at a price less than $10 made it a pretty easy decision to give this saw a new home in my shop. My preliminary assessment is a Disston #4 backsaw, dating to approximately 1878 -'88. The handle shape is a closer likeness to the #4 rather than the #77.
When I fetched the saw to the cashier to pay, she asked if I didn't want the miter box that came with it. "No, you can keep it", I said. "I don't think it's original equipment, and this little saw will stand on its own merits, but thank you anyway".
If you read Chris Schwarz’ recent post about a possible 17th-century image of a shaving horse http://blog.lostartpress.com/2013/05/21/a-17th-century-shavehorse/
Here’s how it came about. When talking with the EAIA crowd last week at Plimoth, part of what I discussed was our research over the years. Way back when, Plimoth had many shaving horses in the 1627 village. I first visited there in 1989 or so, and it looked like they all rode in on them.
By the time I got to working there (1994) they were gone. All gone. They had done some re-evaluation of the research behind that, and came up empty with 17th-century references. The best-known early images are the 15th-century German ones from the Mendel Hausbuch, etc. (these portraits are now online, Chris Schwarz recently posted the link to them, here it is again: http://www.nuernberger-hausbuecher.de/
There is a well-known 16th century one, also German, from a book on mining, De Re Metallica. (the only time you will see the word “Metallica” on my blog) – I think 1566 is the date, or thereabouts.
18th-century versions are well represented; Roubo, (copied here from one of Roy Underhill’s books) and Hulot…maybe even Plummier. Hulot as I recall isn’t properly a horse/vise arrangement, but a low bench with a notch to brace the far end of the workpiece against, and the near end bumps into a breast bib. ( I can’t find my picture of that right now…)
For the 17th century, what do we have? Moxon’s uncomfortable description of how to use a drawknife:
“…When they use it, they set one end of their Work against their Breast, and the other end against their Work-Bench, or some hollow Angle that may keep it from slipping, and so pressing the Work a little hard with their Breast against the Bench, to keep it steddy in its Position, they with the handles of the Draw knife in both their Hands, enter the edge of the Draw-knife into their work, and draw Chips almost the length of their Work, and so smoothen it quickly. “
Years later, I found an Essex County, Massachusetts court record that mentions an accident in which a ship’s mate injures himself while shaving or drawing hoops.
“Unice Maverick, aged about forty‑three years, deposed that riding to Boston with her son Timothy Roberts, they met with Richard Hollingworth upon the road, who inquired for a man to go to sea with him. Her son told him he would go and thereupon Hollingsworth shipped him at 35s per month. The voyage was to Barbados, thence to Virginea, thence to England and home to New England, and in case he received any of his wages in England, then he was to be allowed part of his wages for his payment there. He was upon the voyage about eleven months. She further testified that Hollingsworth only desired him to carry his adze with him, which he yielded to, but utterly refused to be shipped cooper. Sworn in court.
Moses Maverick, aged about sixty years, deposed that upon Hollingsworth’s return from Barbados, he met him at Boston and told him he was sorry for what had befallen Timothy Roberts on his voyage…
John Cromwell, aged about thirty‑five years, deposed that on the voyage “one morning Timothy Roberts comeing Auft upon the house Mr Hollingsworth asked him why he did not draw the hoops or shaue some hoops. Timothy told him he could not the vessel did roule soe. Mr Hollingsworth spoke Angerly to him and bid him make a horke or a galloss or some such like word he spake and timothy went forward againe and a little while after came Auft upon the house crying and sed O lord I am undone I have cutt my kne.” Sworn, 24:4:1671″
So the boy tore open his knee. If only he had a “horke or galloss or some such word” – so not only do we have what might be a weird case of transcription, but even the man making the deposition says “some such word” – so not a term known to him. Ahh, well.
Randle Holme discussed a wooden rig for coopers to shave stock with, the paring ladder. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/?s=paring+ladder
1688 or so:
Early 20th century:
a couple of years ago, Plimoth
I know of one documentary reference from the 18th century, there must be many more. “a coopers horse” is listed in a 1773 inventory from New York. No drawknife interestingly. I saw this in New World Dutch Studies: Dutch Arts and Culture in Colonial America, 1609-1776 (Albany Institute of Art, 1987)
Nineteenth century is beyond me, but there are images and documentary references. This one’s from Nancy Goyne Evans’ book Windsor Chair Making in America: From Craft Shop to Consumer
So there’s the background. Jeff Burks came up with a possible 1690s French one, but it might be 1720s too. So if anybody can find it, Jeff can. We’ll see.
Then, when did the English style come in? The only images I know of this one historically are photographs, not very old then! Here’s Daniel years ago using mine…
When reading up on species of wood, have you ever wondered what the ‘L’ signifies following a tree’s binomial name? Take that of English walnut for example – Juglans regia L. – the ‘L’ signifies the tree was classified by Linnaeus.
The great naturalist Carl Linnaeus was born in Råshult, Smâland, Sweden on the 23rd of May, 1707, the eldest son of a Lutheran pastor, and amateur botanist, Nils Linnaeus. Linnaeus developed the binomial system of nomenclature, systematising the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms. Linnaeus received a title in 1761 and took the name Carl von Linné.
Strangely (for someone of Linnaeus’ enlightenment), Linnaeus was not conversant in our language, though his Systema Naturae (1735), Fundamenta Botanica (1736), and Species Plantarum (1753) were published in English.
Following his death in 1778, Linnaeus’ library formed the heart of the Linnaean Society of London , founded on the 26th of February 1788 at the Marlborough Coffee House.
Filed under: Distractions Tagged: A General System of Nature, binomial name, binomial system of nomenclature, Carl Linnaeus, Linnaean Society of London
When I teach a woodworking class, I give my students free reign with my tools. It’s a great way for them to get a feel for tools that are sharp and in order. It’s also a great way to get a broken turning saw. During the last few years, students have destroyed my turning saws … Read more