Rob Cosman showed me how to lay out dovetails using dividers about 12 or 13 years ago, and I have never looked back. I’ve caught a lot of crap for using the divider method from fellow hand-tool woodworkers who say that laying them out by eye is much faster. I don’t disagree. However, there are some advantages to taking the extra time and use dividers. 1. My work looks more […]
|This is a detail shot of the Fisher property from an 1824 landscape. His yellow 1814 house is on the far right. Photo: Brad Emerson|
"On Saturday, July 26th Joshua Klein of Klein Furniture Restoration will present his research on the furniture produced by Jonathan Fisher (1768 – 1847) of Blue Hill. The talk titled, “The Fashioning Hand of Jonathan Fisher: An Inside Look at the Parson’s Furniture” will begin at 1:00 pm and will be followed by a guided tour of the collection.This exciting new research has uncovered a rare look into the productive life and mind of this farmer-artisan of 19th century Maine. The surviving body of furniture, tools used to produce them, and diary entries recording their creation are a uniquely comprehensive record unparalleled by any other chair or cabinet maker of preindustrial Maine. Klein will discuss how a close investigation of Fisher’s furniture reveals to us insights into the complex relationship between the parson’s religious devotion, intellectual pursuits, and craft skills."
As an aside, I’ve made a little bit more progress on my tool chest… Bottom boards, plinth, and becket cleats. Next up is the interior storage. Oh and I was playing around with some paint yesterday. I decided to grain paint this chest like the mahogany graining so common in Maine in the early 1800s. I’ve not done that before so I am making up some sample boards.
|The Chest in the white|
|The dovetails are reversed on the plinth (for added strength)|
|Becket cleats of poplar I had laying around|
|This is the 'mahoganized' sample board sitting against the chest.|
Part of my job at Popular Woodworking Magazine is to talk with tool manufacturers and get their newest innovations into the PWM shop to test and review. I tend to do things in a big way, which means I have a small mountain of things to review crowding the shop, my cubicle and the storage area in the front of the PWM offices – it’s a big pile. And with […]
If you hunt for the older generation of tools from quality makers, as I do, you’ll know how excited I am to have found these yesterday. A Mathieson Sash Fillister (No.14) and Mathieson Plough Plane (No.12). If anyone has a suitable (grooved set) of Mathieson plough plane blades, please let me know, I need to locate a set as the plane has none.
I’ll shoot some pics of the planes in use soon.
Fixtures really make this chest an excellent storage space. And since I intend to travel with my chest, I want it to travel well. By “well” I mean that I don’t want tools to be damaged in transit. As is, the virgin top space doesn’t meet that standard.
So to ensure that things stay put during the rigors of a “Florida or Bust” road trip I created a number of fixtures.
Top-section Fixture: plane dividers lattice
One of the reasons that my fixture layout worked out so well was because I started with the ones that “fixed” the dimensions of the others. That meant installing the plane lattice dividers first to house the jointer, jack and smoother.
Now, keeping in mind that I often change up my peg-board tool storage layout, I wanted to give myself the flexibility to do that in my chest. So I chose to install free-standing lattice dividers. No glue or screws.
The divider lattice consists of five parts:
(2) runners: poplar-1/2” x 1 ½”
(2) divider slats: poplar-1/4” x 1 ½”
(1) jack/smoother divider: poplar-1/2” x 1 ½”
The lattice joinery is simple. The lateral divider slats have tabs at each end which seat in slots cut into the vertical runners.
I started by cutting the lattice side runners a bit long and then dialed in a snug fit using a shooting board. After that, I sized the slats to create the divided storage areas.
To determine the position of the jointer slat, I measured from the backside of the front, added 3/16” (to allow for the ¼’ thick fall front locks, plus 1/16” clearance from them), added the width of my woodie jointer, plus 1/16” clearance on the back side.
That gave me the inside dimensions of the jointer storage area.
I marked this on the lattice side runners and routed notches for the jointer slat. The notch depth is ½ the width of the runner and the notch width is equal to the width of the slat. With the notches cut, I sawed the jointer slat to length, tweaked it for a snug fit, and routed a “tab” onto each end to fit into the runner notches. The tab depth equals the depth of the notch and the tab length equals the thickness of the side runner.
The next area houses both the jack and the smoother. To complete the lattice for these I repeated the process. The only difference was the addition of a dado in both the jointer and jack slats to accept a ½” thick divider between the jack and smoother.
The completed lattice looks like this.
After the shellac dried, I installed the lattice and turned my attention to the backsaw till. And that is the subject of my next post.
© 2014, Brad Chittim, all rights reserved.
We are now offering a shooting board that balances the need to shoot wide boards for casework and such, with good ergonomics for doing your best work.
Introducing the Wide Board Shooter™:
The Wide Board Shooter is based on our original shooting board designs, with all the same attention to details and high accuracy that comes with them. These boards are 1.5 times (50%) longer with an overall length of 22-1/8th inches that provides shooting usability in the 18 inch width range.
We offer three versions in the Single Chute Models; Basic which has two angle positions at 45 and 90 degrees, Basic Plus which adds a third mounting point for the fence at 22.5 degrees, and the new Multi configuration which adds the 15 and 30 degree mount points for a total of five positions.
There are also three versions of the Wide Board Shooter in our Double Chute shooting board line, and it is available in the Picture Frame, Casework Molding, and Master Miter Shooter Configurations.
We offer these boards in Chute Board configurations for use with the Veritas Shooting Plane and LN-51, as well as the Veritas LA Jack, the 62 LA Jack and the LN-9 Iron Miter plane, and on the boards meant for use with the planes that work ambidextrously this means Left or Right Handed and both at the same time on the Double Chute Models.
All our shooting boards come standard with the chutes drilled and tapped for upgrade chute adapters whenever you’re ready! You are never locked into one style of plane. You can run nearly any bench style plane made on our shooting boards from block to jointer. You can upgrade to a chute board with our various adapters using any of all five planes mentioned above and interchange them all. If you aren’t ready to go with a Chute Board style board at first, you can always upgrade it to one anytime, because our boards will swap Chute Adapters interchangeably.
The overall length of the Wide Board Shooter is about the same as the average workbench. We offer many Accessory Upgrades for our shooting boards that include fences for each angle the board can shoot in both standard and Double High versions, and our Any Angle Fence that can be clamped to fixture at nearly any angle.
Other accessories include a cleat for the bottom that converts our boards for easy use with the Festool MFT/3 Workstation, and a Planing Stop that can convert the shooting board into a Planing Board capable of thicknessing to 1/4 inch with ease, and to around 1/8th inch with a sheet of 1/8 masonite laid under the work. It’s handy for safely dimensioning all sides and ends of shorter, thinner boards.
In all it is a very well rounded, versatile shooting board system and a great choice for general shooting, joinery, boxes, casework like bookcases, blanket chests and tool boxes. As always a necessary tool for assuring the most accurate work in veneering and some lutherie applications. An excellent choice whether you work wood hybrid style or hand tools only, and remember that Shooting Board Planes, LA Jacks and Miter Planes can truly run as Chute Board Planes, and interchangeably in all our boards.
As always, it is available for ordering from our Woodworks Store where you’ll find these and all the other Custom Shooting Boards and Woodworking Tools we offer. Please remember, 10% off for Veterans, and 5% off for Paper Transactions.
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© Copyright 2014 by Rob Hanson for evenfallstudios.com All Rights Reserved.
Among the many great people I’ve met while on staff at Popular Woodworking Magazine (PWM), one of my favorites is Carl Bilderback. Carl is a retired carpenter who has extraordinary skills with both hand and power tools (and he has vast collections of both), and a deep and abiding passion for the craft. He’s an active member of the Mid-West Tool Collectors Assn., and spends a lot of time driving […]
After doing the initial fitting, it was time to get the neck down to a little more hand friendly shape. Before I can do that, I want to get the fingerboard cut to size and bound, using some more of the bloodwood binding. In order to get the correct nut spacing and angles, the width of the binding has to be subtracted from the desired width of the neck. Then the fingerboard is cut on the table saw and the arc at the bottom shaped at the sander. The binding is glued on and, after curing, the fingerboard is surfaced on the bottom. Now it can be glued to the neck blank. (I’m glueing it at this stage, so that the water content in the glue doesn’t cause any warping, which sometimes occurs in a thinner neck blank. After the glue has fully cured, the neck blank can be rough sawn for thickness at the bandsaw. Then the width is routed using the fingerboard as a guide.
Then its time to break out the spokeshaves, rasps, and files and shape the neck and heel. Then, with the neck shaped, the final fitting of the dovetail can begin. I did need to add shims on the dovetail (next one, I shouldn’t try to fine tune the fit until AFTER the neck shaping is done,) but, with it loose, its perfect for dialing in the fit of the heel to the body.
A final overall sanding to everything, and the neck can be glued to the body. With the dovetail joint carefully fitted (after a LOT of checking, tweaking, checking, tweaking, etc.) so that it tightens up just as its seated, it goes together very quickly. Heat the glue, brush it on, slide it together, two clamps, and you’re done!
Then, after making the bridge, and masking it off, I can begin the finishing. I began with a few coats of very thin shellac, sanding between coats. The gold color of the loa really comes out now.
After sanding all of the shellac coats down with 400 grit sandpaper, and masking off the fingerboard, its time to put on the first finish coat of oil/varnish. Now the color just becomes deeper and richer. (I brought it inside to do the bulk of the drying to control the humidity a bit more than the garage. 90% humidity just isn’t good for finishing!)
A few more coats, and it’ll be ready for the final assembly.
The No. 1 question I get from students in my tool chest classes: “Aren’t you tired of building tool chests?”
That’s like asking a delivery-room doctor: “Aren’t you tired of delivering babies?”
Helping woodworkers build a tool chest and workbench that will set them on a life of making things never gets old. Building a chest or a workbench in a classroom with 18 other people is a sometimes-grueling way learn the basic joints of the craft and make mistakes in a place where they can easily be fixed.
And in only five days, it’s all over. You have a place for your tools and you know how to use them.
This week I’m teaching a particularly special Anarchist’s Tool Chest class at Warwickshire College in England. It’s a big deal for me for two reasons. First, it’s the first time I’ve ever taught in England. Second, I am the first instructor hired by The New English Workshop, a small company that has a lot of the same fundamental principles as Lost Art Press.
The two founders, Paul Mayon and Derek Jones, are committed to growing the hand-tool craft in England and supporting the existing structure of craft education in this country (more on that later in the week). They have a lot of interesting classes and events planned for 2015, so do sign up updates from their their blog.
We are three days into the class right now, and things are going well. Except for the fact that I am having the occasional and strange attack of deja-vu. Here’s why: We are building these chests from yellow pine, which is almost certainly from the United States. So as I am surrounded by these tea-sipping, warm-beer-loving English woodworkers, I am occasionally overwhelmed by the familiar turpentine odor of yellow pine. It makes me feel like I’m back in Arkansas and in one of our unfinished houses on the farm. And all the turkeys and armadillos have English accents.
So yeah, it’s a bit weird.
But I love the weird, and so I’m off to a sports bar with the students in a few minutes. I wonder if Bud Light sponsors the local cricket league. I hope not.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: The Anarchist's Tool Chest, Woodworking Classes
The fact that Peter is leaving isn't news. There are rumors that Plimoth Plantation didn't plan to replace him, Chris wrote about this in a post on his blog, but down at the bottom of the comments in that post is a comment by a Sarah MacDonald, that states the organization is updating the job description and expanding the diversity of its craftspeople. (There is no updated job posting for a joiner as of today)
This all gives me pause for thought. What if I were to be hired for the job? I certainly would meet some of the qualifications
I have spent several years developing competency with hand tools in woodworking in general and with working freshly riven, green wood more recently. I can take a fallen tree and turn it into a finished piece of furniture.
I have developed a love for the furniture and construction styles of the 17th century. I have been working on the carving aspect of the craft for several years and it's a very comfortable, natural style for me now.
|My most recent carved interpretation. Walnut carved box sides. I haven't finished the till, lid, or bottom yet.|
And I have experience as an lecturer and educator, I spent two years teaching Surgical Technology and Central Service Technology at Western Technical College, before deciding to return to the field. And my work has been published in a major woodworking publication.
Ok . . . so do I have the job?
Several things will keep me from even applying if the job is posted. Not the least of which is the need to relocate. It is definitely not the right time in our lives to take on another adventure like that. Not for a while.
But the job is still fun to think about, like the "What would I do if I won the lottery?" question. Though the approach that comes across my mind is "What would I do differently?"
Peter is am inspiration to me, I've never managed to come up with a good reason to correspond with him outside of the abject hero workshop and fawning praise of an unapologetic fan boy. But if I were to trip, fall, and land in the job, I would want to make it my own. Standing on the shoulders of giants to see further is more noble than repeating what has been done before in a cookie cutter fashion.
I would certainly have a lot to learn in the job, that would be most of the fun.
Ratione et Passionis
Coming up on August 2nd 2014 the folks over at CU WoodShop Supply in Champaign IL are hosting their first annual Tool Sale & Swap along with their co-sponsors, Champaign County Habitat for Humanity and the Preservation and Conservation Association (PACA).
According to the staff at CU WoodShop Supply “We’re working hard to make this the largest assembly of used tools and hardware for sale or swap in Central Illinois…EVER! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”
There are three different ways to participate:
1. Set up a booth at the Sale & Swap. This provides you with an opportunity to sell or trade tools yourself. By purchasing a $50 gift certificate from CU Woodshop, you’ll be able to reserve a 10’x10’ space in our parking lot or yard to set up your booth. At the end of the sale, if your space is left clean, you can use that gift certificate to purchase anything in the store, or you can gift it to someone else…making your booth rental FREE!
2. If you have items you want to get rid of, but would rather not reserve a space or sell them yourself, you can make a tax-deductible donation on-site to one or both of our partners. Habitat for Humanity is happy to accept any items that can be resold at their ReStore location. If what you have doesn’t sell, or Habitat can’t use it, then donate it to PACA for recycling! Another great opportunity for a tax-deductible donation!
3. If you have nothing to sell or donate, but want to pick up quality used tools for your own shop or antique collection, come see what’s available!
For more information including directions, hours, and contact information visit CU WoodShop Supply’s Tool Sale & Swap webpage by clicking here!
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Shawn Graham, of San Marco, Texas had a dream of opening a school focusing on traditional woodworking skills – Wortheffort Woodworking. He used to be an Industrial Art’s teacher (if that’s what they are called these days – those that are left), so he has a heart for young people. He has had a passion to share the creative knowledge of woodworking to young and old to discover that joy and accomplishment of making something with your own hands.
The school has been open for over a year, but Shawn has discovered the struggles that come along with starting a new venture – mostly financial, proper and convenient location, and the ability to get the word out.
The current school located in San Marco has closed, but he is wanting to open again within the next few months at a location in Austin, TX – much more centrally located so he can focus on the local population and also homeschoolers in the area.
Please check out his website to learn more about his dream – and if you feel so inclined, please do what you can to help get the word out about his school or contribute to his fundraising efforts to relocate in Austin.
Thanks so much for your support!
Anyway, Glen was in Virginia taking a class with Jeff Lefkowitz, who teaches the chairmaking courses for Brian Boggs and after the class they loaded up and came down for a visit to the shop. It was a very pleasant surprise.
Truthfully, he gave me a day or so notice, so I had good motivation to clean up the shop. I am in the middle of paneling the walls. More on that later. And my wife made some enchiladas verdes as a special treat for lunch. Handmade corn tortillas, umm. She's a Canadian that cooks some good Tex-Mex. Got to love it! (I am really getting off track here)
As I filled them in on the goings on around here I realized I haven't been blogging much lately. I am not one for fluff or filler on the blog but I think maybe I should share with everyone else as well. As I was telling Glen and Jeff, I am planning on taking one half of my shop and dedicating it to a classroom and am almost halfway there. I get pushed by just about every craftsman I know, that I should be teaching classes. I get requests on an ongoing basis as well. I am finally coming around to the idea.
I am looking at, of course, teaching some planemaking classes. Possibly a four day class on making a pair of hollows and rounds and a rabbet plane. I may split these up as two different classes. These would be a really good start and you can make the majority of planes based on those two formats.
The other classes would be some introductory classes on chairmaking. One will be on making a Danish modern stool which will include lathe work, joinery and danish cord weaving. A two or three day class depending on size. The other will be a three leg windsor stool that will have lathe work, hand drilling, reaming and seat carving. Probably a three day class as well depending on size.
I am up in the air about prices as of yet. It has a lot to do with class size and demand. I have room for about six students at a time though I would tend to want the class sizes a bit smaller. We will see.
Send me any suggestions or classes you would prefer to see available so that I can plan accordingly. I am not asking for a commitment but if you are a reader of this blog and see a class here or something related to what I do that you would like to take at some point, then let me know. Your feedback will make a difference.
Thanks and I hope you are enjoying your summer!
Rob Hanson of Evenfall Studios dropped me a line to tell me that he has added three new shooting board layouts for his single chute shooting boards. The Multi is a five fence position board: 15, 22.5, 30, 45 and 90 degrees. The Ultra is a seven position board adding 60 and 75 beyond the Multi. The Ultra Plus is eight positions, adding 67.5 beyond the Ultra.
The shooting board I have and use with my Japanese planes is the same as the multi, plus a 60 degree position. Over four years later, and it’s still a terrific tool. His shooting boards can be configured for western planes as well, of course. Highly recommended.
Rob also mentioned that he recently joined Twitter: @evenfallstudios
(I don’t get any kickback for this. The Christopher Schwarz ethics policy is in effect.)
I will be teaching a week-long SketchUp class September 8-12, 2014 at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine. If you want to get a better understanding of the 3D modeling program we use here at Popular Woodworking Magazine, this is your opportunity. As in all my SketchUp classes, we start with a thorough understanding of the basics of how the program works, and by the end of the […]
“Furniture, created for utilitarian purposes in a living environment, predictably undergoes strains, dents, burns, and assorted abrasions, and each such occurrence is a record of the object’s use. The eighteenth-century infant who pounds his spoon on a tabletop and the mother who, trying to keep warm, moves her chair too close to the fireplace are adding to the surface of that furniture an interpretable record of its use. I believe that sanding or scraping away such dents and burns destroys forever an important part of any wooden artifact; and from a baldly economic point of view, a zealous finisher intent on removing clear evidence of a family's usage is also reducing the monetary value of the object, as well as destroying palpable history.”
- Robert F McGiffin, Furniture Care and Conservation p.6