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Being old fashioned, the cool way.
Updated: 26 min 57 sec ago

A plane for Asger

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 12:36pm
I made it home despite a cancelled flight due to snowy conditions in Bergen airport, and Thursday morning I found two packages waiting for me. the one of the I had ordered myself, so that wasn't any surprise. But the other package was a complete mystery, It had clearly originated in USA according to the postal logo on the label.

Curious as to what it could be I opened it and found a letter from Saint Ralph. Ralph explained that he and Ken  had collaborated on sending me a Bailey No 3 hand plane.

The plane was securely wrapped in cardboard and bubble wrap, and was disassembled.

When I started unwrapping the plane my heart sank. Ralph had mentioned in the letter that he had rehabbed the plane, and upon seeing the individual parts I became painfully aware how far from my own pitiful rehabbing efforts the job that Ralph had done was!
Ralph's rehabbing is nothing short of immaculate.

Ken had sharpened the blade, so all I had to do was to assemble the plane, and what a joy it was, to assemble a plane that was already rehabbed.

Right now the kids have a winter vacation, so I plan on giving Asger some instructions in how to adjust the plane, and then I will let him bring the plane with him to school, so he can show his teacher what a sharp plane looks like and feels like.

Thank you very much, Ralph and Ken for this very thoughtful present. It is deeply appreciated, and I am certain that the plane will see a lot of work in the future.


Rehabbed Stanley No 3.

When mirror finish is more than a word!

This is how you wrap a plane for shipping.



Categories: Hand Tools

No loitering!

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 4:41pm
I got inspired by this post by Bob the Valley woodworker who is organizing his shop.


At a point in my life I would actually feel kind of frustrated after being in the shop, because I felt I didn't get anything done at all.
I would go out there, look a bit around, maybe try to take a couple of stokes with a plane, perhaps move some tools away and try something else etc. But I rarely started a new regular project, and I never completed anything.

After being unproductive in the shop for some time, I would go inside the house disillusioned, and have a cup of tea and feel sorry for myself.

I wasn't getting anywhere at all.

Someplace I then read about another guy who had experienced the same thing, and his mean to  overcome it was that he could only stay in the shop, if he did some actual work or actual cleaning of the place.

I decided to try out that approach. So I put a mental sign up in my head when I entered the shop where it said:
NO LOITERING!

The minute that I started procrastinating or dreaming about future projects or looking at this and that, I had to leave the shop.
It worked great!

Clearing out the shop and organizing all the tools suddenly went really fast, because I would not loaf around - wasting my own time.
When all the tools were in place, I swept the floor and vacuum cleaned the machines. Then stopped for the day, leaving the shop with a feeling of accomplishment instead of frustration.

The next day I opened the door and looked inside. the shop was inviting. But I didn't have any actual plan for what I wanted to do in there, so I remember just looking around and then leaving again.

I can't remember what my first actual project was after my new shop practice, but I remember that it went a lot faster than normally, because I stayed focused all the way.
And due to being focused, I never have the same feeling that I "waste" my time by being in the shop, because I try my best to always be productive out there.

Despite my best efforts, I still experience that horizontal flats will eventually become crowded with stuff, and suddenly there are old pieces of glass in a corner of the shop, scraps on the floor and some surplus wood from the last five or six projects occupying space along one wall. But it doesn't scare me anymore, or get me in a bad mood, because I still keep my imaginary sign hanging in the shop, so as soon as I am out there, I try my best to be efficient, either in building or in cleaning.
Categories: Hand Tools

Danish Chairbuilding Extravaganza 2018, what to build.

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 6:46pm
There are approximately 9 months left before the third bi-annual DCBE is scheduled to take place.

While it is still a bit too soon to start clearing out the shop and make ready for the event, it is by no means too early to start contemplating on what we should build this time.

The first DCBE was aimed at Welsh stick chairs, and the second event saw all of us making Roorkhee chairs.

All making the same kind of chair gives a possibility to make some sort of stock ready, and it is easy to help each other on the way, since all have to do the same things.
The other approach, where only the general guideline is suggested, is interesting in another way, because there are so many different ways to do things, and it will be much more up to the individual participants, what they would like to build and how to do it.
We have also discussed the option of employing steam bending as a theme, so that we could all get bit of experience in that. Then it would be up to each person if they wanted to utilize that in their design.

I think that I will try to suggest that the DCBE 2018 will be an event in which each participant can build whatever he desires. As long as it is some sort of furniture aimed at being used for sitting on.
I will try to make some chair blanks etc. made ready, so that anyone wishing to make a Windsor or welsh stick chair can do that.

A rocking chair could be fun to make, either a classic model using rockers made out of wood, or experimenting with a renewal of the platform rocker design using springs.

Ever since I saw a picture of Ray Schwanenbergers immaculate sack back nanny rocker, I have wanted to build one.
We aren't planning on getting anymore children, and given the age of our own children, grand children are still a long long way out in the future. But that would potentially give me the time to complete the piece before it is needed.

So as you can see, there are still some things that aren't quite decided yet.

I am certain however, that we will organize the food the same way as we did last time, with a catering company, as that was a great help.
We will probably have to increase the intake of pastry by visiting the local bakery a bit more, but that shouldn't be a problem given that we all work very hard - so the extra energy is needed..

Pastries named after a famous Danish children's television frog (Kaj)
Picture courtesy of Toolerable.

Categories: Hand Tools

Tools for Asgers sloyd class

Tue, 01/23/2018 - 5:07pm
I talked to Asger on the phone today, and he told me enthusiastic that he had had his first lessons in sloyd.
He told me that they had to choose between 3 different projects which was OK, but what he didn't think was OK was the tools that were available to them.

It is not that Asger is a tool snob who can only use a Lie Nielsen plane or a Two Lawyers backsaw etc.
But he expects that a chisel is sharp, a plane is sharp and a saw should surprisingly also be sharp in his opinion.
He was really frustrated discovering that the tools were all dull.

I know that the budget for classes such as sloyd is so limited that it is hard to do anything. The allowance per student doesn't really leave room for investment in any new tools.
And the teachers are only given a bare minimum of hours for preparation, and those are not nearly enough to cover a sharpening of all the chisels or planes etc.
It annoys me, because I know that most schools will still spend an enormous amount of money each year on IT equipment such as new computers or printers etc. And no one expect a computer to hold up for as long as a chisel in matter of years.

I told Asger that if he wanted to, I would be happy to find some tools that he could bring with him to use in the sloyd class. A couple of chisels, a small plane and a saw that actually is sharp.
He wasn't sure about it, but he thought that he would ask the teacher if she was OK with it.

He was worried that the other kids might suddenly become aware of how crappy the tools of the school were, if they suddenly tried a sharp chisel, and then they would perhaps prefer to borrow his tools instead.
A sad thing about crappy tools in such a place is that it might cause some of the kids to become disappointed with woodworking, because the result in no way resembles the effort put into the project by them.
If they try really hard, but are held back due to dull tools, the final result might not be as fine as they would have liked it to be, and that could potentially keep them from thinking that woodworking or any other handmade activity is fun.

I would hate if the teacher felt that sending tools with Asger was a critique of her job, because that is not my intention.

I know that in regular class each kid is expected to bring his/her own tools like pencils and rulers etc. And in physical education it is the same, each kid brings their own clothes and shoes etc.
But could it be viewed upon as being the same for sloyd? and how about needlework or home economics etc.?

So what do you think, would it be OK to bring your own tools to school, or is it a bad idea?




Categories: Hand Tools

What is this tool?

Sun, 01/21/2018 - 6:13am
This is not a quiz - since I don't know the answer.

But does anyone out there have any idea about what this tool is?

I got the pictures from Olav who was asked by his cousin about it. So the pictures are courtesy of Olav and his cousin.

Based on the method of hanging the tools, I assume the pictures are from some sort of restaurant, or at least someone who doesn't mind being questioned by Saint Peter on the day of his judgement regarding why he/she thought that it was OK to mount a nice looking socket gouge with a Torx screw through the handle.

I don't know where the pictures were taken, if it is in Denmark or somewhere else.

Mystery tool.

Mystery tool with one blade inverted.

Categories: Hand Tools

A bit of activity in the workshop in the last period.

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 5:29am
This last home period happened to be during Christmas and New Years eve time, so I hadn't planned any major projects in the shop.

I did do a bit though, some leather working with Laura, where we made a couple of belts for some of her friends as Christmas presents, and I started clearing out a bit too, but that is an ongoing project.
During this clearing out, I found the base of a model ship that my dad had found some years ago. I initially wanted to throw it out, but I decided to ask Asger if he would like to make a project out of it.

He wanted to paint it, and then later the plan is to install a mast and a boom and probably make a sail to go with it too.
He settled for some dark blue paint, and due to the low temperatures in the shop, we just gave int one coat and then left it to dry for the rest of the home period.

Suddenly one day, he asked if he was old enough now, to cast tin soldiers on his own?
I said that I thought he was, and helped him to fire up the propane torch (which is technically more butane than propane in Denmark).
I have kept all my molds for making tin soldiers from when I was a child. And we purchased some new molds when the kids were younger. Those new molds were mostly for casting fantasy creatures like orcs, elvers and goblins etc.

Asger cast a bit of everything from cannons to horses and soldiers to some orcs, and he had a great time doing it. There are plenty of ways that you can hurt yourself while doing it, but it is also a way that you can show you child that you really trust him/her, and allow them the thrill of doing something that is exiting for them knowing that it is a bit dangerous.
And it is a thrill to open op a mold and see a perfect figure emerge that has until now only existed as some molten metal in a ladle.
Something that is very important to the children is the fact that the figures they cast look exactly like the ones that I can cast. Despite all my years of skill and knowledge (there isn't much of that btw..)
this is one place where they can make a product just as well as I can.

Painting the hull of a model ship.

Concentration.

Casting tin soldiers is exiting and fun.

An officer emerges from inside the mold.


Categories: Hand Tools

Categories of projects

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 4:46pm
A comment on my recent post by Jeremy of JMAW Works gave me the idea for this post.

I have for a long time been following some general rules of how to categorize a project. These categories help me decide what to do and when.

This is the first time I have tried to write them down and put actual words on the categories, but I have more or less followed them for a long time.
They are all aimed at projects I do at home.

Instead of categories based on form or building method such as chairs, cupboards, chests, turnings, dovetails etc. my categories are primarily based on the weather and secondly the time of day.

Main categories are:
1) Nice dry weather .
2) Light rain or grey weather.
3) Rain.

Off course if a job can be handled in rainy weather, it can technically be handled in fine weather as well, but not necessarily the other way around.

Sub categories:
A) Day.
B) Afternoon.
C) Evening.

Day jobs are jobs that require natural light, and perhaps other shops to be open, and also the longest continuous stretch without disturbances.
Afternoon jobs are jobs that can be done when the boys are home from school, they might like to participate in the job, or I have to be able to leave the project at very short notice to help them or to drive them to soccer practice etc.
Evening jobs are jobs are for the time left after eating supper. During the weekdays our family normally eat supper at 5:30 in the afternoon, but it can be as early as 5 PM or as late as 6:30 too.
So a couple of hours in the shop is not unheard of until our youngest needs to be tucked in.

Whenever I have something that I would like to get done while at home, I place that project into one main category and into one or more of the sub categories.

This approach has helped me to work efficiently on multiple projects, and I like being efficient while I am at home.
Ever since I adopted the idea, I have been a lot better at not getting angry that I had to stop one project due to weather issues, because I would know exactly what other project I could switch over to.

My list of projects that I would like to get done while at home this time will get assigned to the following categories:

Bi-annular control of cars: 3)-A
This is a job that I don't plan on doing myself, and the mechanic can work on the cars inside. I just have to drive the cars to him and also later to the actual control.

Repair Volvo Valps: 2)-A
I have a machinery shed in which the Valps are parked. There is a concrete floor, so even with a bit of water I can lay on my back and work on them from beneath.
These jobs are best done without getting too distracted or disturbed.

Install panels and handrail in the small barn: 2)-A
I need to move in and out of the barn a bit with all the boards for the panels, so full rain is not nice for this job.

Make leather belts with Laura: 3)-C
This is a typical evening project. Something to be done in the shop and easy to go to and from during the process. It will most likely be a Friday or Saturday project.

Run the sawmill: 2)-AB
Dry weather is nice but not a complete requirement for running the sawmill. If it is too wet, it is simply unpleasant to go outside all the time with off-cuts and getting a new log etc. The boys like to help sawing with the sawmill, and I can stop anytime to drive and pick them up etc.

Empty the horses boxes and whitewash of  the stable: 3)-A
This is a large project,  inside save for emptying the wheelbarrow into the trailer.

In addition to these projects that were mentioned in my last post, there is also the ongoing list of perpetual projects, like:
Making and stacking firewood: 1)-AB
Cleaning and organizing the barn: 3)-ABC
Building stuff in the workshop: 3)-ABC
Garden/yard work: 1)-AB

Since the weather is generally bad From October to April, in those months it is especially important for me to have a few projects of each main category, so I won't risk wasting the single day of December without rain on doing indoor stuff.

Does anybody else categorize projects something like this?


Categories: Hand Tools

Thoughts about what to build when I get home.

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 8:25am
I  haven't been very productive this time on board, mostly because the weather has been miserable, so as soon as you get off the shift you had better try to get some sleep, because no one knows when the ship will be moving so much that sleeping is impossible, and holding on to something is the best solution for staying in the same spot.

But I am looking forward to signing off in a weeks time, and I have been thinking a bot about projects that I would like to complete the next home period:

Both our regular cars will have to go through the bi-annular inspection in the beginning of 2018, so I'd better make sure they are OK.

Both Volvo Valps are down at the moment. The black one needs a new set of points and a new capacitor, possibly a new fuel hose from the tank to the pump and a new muffler. The green one needs a new set of timing gears.
These cars are "essential" to my well being. I really like to drive them, and getting one of them back in business will get a high priority.

I would like to complete the interior of the small barn, and perhaps install a hand rail for the staircase as well. But apart from that I don't think I'll work much out there this time.

Our daughter would like to make some leather belts for her friends as Christmas presents, and I am looking forward to helping her with that project. The plan is to make one belt that will look like a saddle girth for the horse interested friend, and the other friend would apparently love to get a bright red semi wide belt. As luck would have it, I have some bright cherry red shiny leather that I haven't been able to use in any project, so making a belt of some of it would be great.

I need to work the sawmill a bit too, so we can get a new load of sawdust for the horses. I am also starting to run low on regular boards, so a day or two spent re-stocking the barn at home is also pretty high up on the list.
If I manage to produce a lot of sawdust, I would like to empty the boxes of the horses for the old sawdust that has been there during the last year, and at the same time give the stable a coat of whitewash. But for that project to work out, I'll need at least one Volvo Valp to be running. I need the 4WD to haul the laden trailer onto a wet field and unload the old sawdust.

It might sound like a lot, but my experience is that I can be fairly efficient when I am at home, given that I can devote the entire day to a project. So there should hopefully still be plenty of time to enjoy the holiday season with the family and take the dog for long walks and perhaps even ride the horses if the weather permits it.

And who knows, perhaps some last minute projects will suddenly find their way onto the list.




Categories: Hand Tools

Another Danish blog on traditional woodworking

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 6:19pm
One of the kind people who has commented on my blog is Mikkel from Denmark.
We have a couple of times touched upon the subject that there wasn't any woodworking blogs written in Danish.
As a result I started the bloksav blog (which is the Danish name of a mulesaw).

And behold!
Mikkel has resurrected his old blog called Haandkraft. He writes in a very informative language about the projects that he makes. He uses hand tools (though he admits having a chain saw)

I really hope that it will be possible to get just a tiny bit more people engaged in some sort of woodworking, now that it is possible to read about in Danish.
However International the woodworking community may be, there may still be someone out there who find it easier to read a blog in their native language.


Categories: Hand Tools

Drawbore pins completed

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 7:36pm
I made the remaining handles the same ways as the first handle, and It went according to the plan.
The tangs or shafts of the drawbore pins were a bit over sized compared to the hole that I had drilled in the handles. Just a little bit, but when I first tried to mount the handle I got afraid that they might split, after all bubinga isn't a soft wood.
So I mounted the drawbore pins in the lathe and turned down the shafts to the exact diameter of the holes that I had drilled.

I still had to use a large hammer to mount the handles, but none of the handles split, and everything was really tight once seated.

For a finish I decided to use some old floor varnish that we have on board.
I simply dipped the end of a handle into the can and smeared the varnish over the rest of the surface. Once the entire handle was covered in varnish, I rubbed the handle a couple of times with an abrasive pad, and then I wiped off the excess varnish.
The idea is that it should provide a bit of protection against grime without being a super shiny and slippery surface.

Conclusion of the project:

Making a set of eccentric drawbore pins is relatively easy if you have access to a metal working lathe, or know someone who does.
The actual turning process is very simple and the material is inexpensive.

I am not sure if it was necessary to harden the drawbore pins, but I figure that it can't hurt to do it. But if you don't have the equipment for it, I am convinced that a set of homemade drawbore pins will still work perfectly.

Making tapered octagonal handles is easy, and you don't have to despair if they are not exactly square or if the taper is not identical on all sides, They are comfortable to use and a huge advantage is that they roll very poorly, so if you work on a ship there is a possibility that they might actually stay where you put them on the bench. I guess that the non rolling function also applies to shop ashore, so if you haven't got a tool tray - it could be a pattern worth considering.
Joshua Klein made an entry about the subject a couple of years back.
He was inspired by Zach Dillingers blogpost which provides a very thorough step by step guide to making those handles for a chisel.
A really fine thing about this pattern in my point of view is that it is possible to make it without a lathe.

All there is left for me now,  is to see if having some drawbore pins will make my work easier when using that joint. But I kind of expect that I will be the case.

Completed and finished drawbore pins.

Handles while drying.
Categories: Hand Tools

Podgers or framing pins, a blog about timber framing and a place for handmade tools.

Sat, 11/25/2017 - 4:10am
First of all, thank you to Sylvain for providing me with a link to a blog where you could see a drawbore pin for timber framing in use (a podger).

Second, I am sorry for the long headline, but I couldn't really sum up all this information in a shorter sentence.

Now back to some meaningful writing:

The link that Sylvain kindly found for me is for a blog of a company called Castle Ring Oak Frame. In one of their posts they had pictures where you could see the large drawbore pins that they call podgers. I instantly got exited and wanted to get some of those so I can start a new timber frame project at home.
Before going all wild in searching for those podgers, I thought that I'd take some time and browse through the blog.
I often find that when a company has got a blog it is mostly advertising in a poorly written form. This blog was completely different though. It is written in a cheerful way and to me it feels a lot more like someone who are so proud of their job that they would like to say: I might not be a self-made millionaire or a sports star, but I make timber frames that can last for hundreds of years - and I am having a great time doing it.
Oh - and they are using Roman numerals to mark the joints :-)

I doubt that I will be using their services to erect a timber frame, because I would like to do that myself, but I am pretty sure that I will read their blog and continue to be inspired by someone making timber frames for a living.

The name podger was new to me, and given that all the podgers used by the timber framing company looked the same, I thought that maybe they were available from new somewhere.
A quick search on Google, and I landed on another dangerous site.
Not the kind of site that will get you in trouble with the police mind you, but one of those sites that could potentially be the source of birthday and Christmas presents for years to come.

There I discovered the podgers (or framing pins) I was looking for, offset prickers, froes axes etc. all handmade.
The offset prickers I can make myself on the lathe, but I think that I will order a couple of podgers for Christmas.

For sake of good order, I am not affiliated with any of the companies, they don't know me and I don't know them, so I don't get any discounts or free stuff etc from them for this blog post.
But I like a well written blog as much as the next person, and I would think that there might be a person or two reading this blog that are willing to admit that they don't mind looking at a homepage with nice tools on it.


Categories: Hand Tools

Octagonal handles for the drawbore pins

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 5:57pm
Tonight I pulled myself together and started on making some handles for the drawbore pins.
The weather is incredibly bad at the moment, with forecasts of a hurricane (named Ylva) coming sometime tomorrow on the Norwegian west coast. Wind speeds are predicted to be around 50 m/s (112 mph).
At the moment we are a bit south of the places that are expected to be hit the worst, but guess who is scheduled for sailing north this morning?..

We have already strong winds and high waves, but making a handle isn't the project that requires the biggest amount of accuracy.

I wanted to use a bit of my bubinga, and There was a part left on one of the large pieces that was just the right size for my purpose.
My initial idea was to saw of this end and then rip it to make the handles, but I decided that it was probably going to be a lot easier to rip the part first, and then saw it off. I had decided on a length of 11 cm which is something like 4 and 3/8".

Once I had four small pieces all approximately the same size, I squared one of them up a bit using a plane. two of the sides plane nicely and two sides don't. It is really some strange grain, and I had a bit of tear out. It isn't a plane tote, so I can live with a less than perfect surface, because it is not a tool that will be handled over a long period of time, so the chances of getting blisters by it are close to non existing.

I eyeballed a pleasing taper and planed it without too much trouble. The fat end of the handle is something like 1 1/8" and the thin end is approximately 13/16"

With a square tapered shape, I drew some lines with a pencil on each corner to define the octagonal shape. It is not an equal sided octagonal, but It doesn't have to be.

I planed down the corners and once I was happy with the result, I flattened the end with a file, so the piece stood up straight.
I marked out the center in the thin end and drilled a hole the size of the tang of the drawbore pin.

The edges of the fat end were then chamfered using a chisel, and finally the handle was sanded. When I used my fingers as backing for the sand paper, I was able to smooth down the small pieces of tear out that were left on the sides.

I only made one handle today, but since I didn't find any major obstacles in my course of action, I think that I can make the remaining 3 tomorrow if the weather permits it.

The drawbore pin has not been hardened yet, so I didn't mount the handle.

Octagonal handle next to drawbore pin.

Ripping.

Removing the corners.

Octagonal handle. 

Chamfered end.


Categories: Hand Tools

A new woodworking blog in Danish

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 8:26am
I have once in a while tried to search for Danish woodworking blogs, but the few ones that I have found all seem to have gone dead very quickly.

Woodworking doesn't seem to be big as a hobby in Denmark, but who knows, perhaps there are someone out there who would like to read about it in Danish instead of English.

So for once I did something highly unusual for my part. Instead of just bitching about it and getting annoyed, I actually took action myself!

I have started a Danish woodworking blog.

The name is bloksav, which is the meaning of mulesaw.

The address is bloksav.blogspot.dk

Quite often it will be duplicate posts from this blog, but I have actually posted about making a cutting board on the Danish blog that is not featured here.

I can see from my stat's that I do have some readers from Denmark, so maybe someone will read the new blog.

So far I am up to an impressive 33 visitors, so it is heading the right way.


Categories: Hand Tools

Axe handles and children

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

Making a set of eccentric drawbore pins.

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

Getting off the couch (chimney cupboard)

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 7:56am
One of my long time couch builds has been a chimney cupboard as built by Bob Roziaeski for Popular Woodworking Magazine some years ago.
I think that it is fair to say that the greatest obstacle for me when it comes to such a build, is to glue up some boards to the correct width for me to use. I don't know why I have such a hard time pulling myself together to glue up some wide panels, but it is just the way it is.

Anyway, this Saturday evening, I started the project, determined to finish the cupboard before going back to sea. The idea was to put the cupboard into the saddle room, to help organize some of the smaller stuff used for the horses, so it wouldn't be a deal breaker if the surfaces weren't super smooth which can be hard to obtain with larch sometimes.

Saturday and Sunday was spent gluing up stock and dressing it to the correct thickness by means of the jointer/planer.
I wanted to prove to myself that I was able to make a speedy build without too much fussing over details. I decided that I could use my router instead of a dado plane, since I haven't got one of those, and I think that a router is a bit faster.
The rabbet along the back edge of the sides were made with a moving filister plane.

I pretty much followed the descriptions from the magazine, but instead of making a groove for the floating panels for the doors, I made a rabbet with the router and squared up the corners using a chisel. Then I sawed some thin strips to hold the panels in place.
An advantage with this approach compared to a groove is that it is very easy to assemble the door frame at first, and then fitting the panel to the hole. The downside is that it doesn't look quite as nice. But the ease and speed of this construction method trumped.
The raised panels were also made on the table saw instead of using the moving filister plane. That worked really well and was very fast.

For the hinges I used some that I had purchased from Lidl. they are very coarse compared to the hinges that I regularly use, but they fitted the project quite nicely.

Two small porcelain knobs and a couple of toggles to keep the doors closed made up the rest of the build.

While visiting Brian Eve in Garmisch a couple of years ago, I bought some "old fashioned milk paint" from a local dealer in the town.
I have never seen it for sale in Denmark, and I have been hoarding the paint ever since - waiting for just the right project.
I decided that this cupboard would look just fine in Lexington green, so I mixed the small bag of powder and started painting.
The paint was very interesting to use, it dries quickly and covers really well. I like the chalky texture and colour of the finished surface too, so I am tempted to try to make some experiments with milk paint at some point.

Once the paint had dried, the toggles and knobs were mounted back in place again, and Asger helped installing the cupboard in the saddle room, and he also helped organize the various small pieces of equipment so the shelves were soon filled.

Mette really likes the cupboard and she thinks that it is almost too nice to keep in the saddle room. So with a bit of luck I might be "allowed" to make another one at some point.

Chimney cupboard, Lexington green

Mounting the panels with strips, "horns" not trimmed yet.

Completed cupboard.

After first coat of paint.


Chimney cupboard with open doors.

Categories: Hand Tools

A small barn for the summer house 16, staircase installed.

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 9:15am
After preparing all the individual steps of the staircase, I hand planed them front and back plus the upside before mounting them in the stringers.
I had to keep reminding myself that it is for a barn, so I shouldn't go all wild in trying to achieve some show surface on the underside.
Mounting the steps was straight forward. But as I discovered, doing this on top of the workbench wasn't a smart idea.
I had to apply a couple of clamps to keep everything together so I could lift it down to the ground where I would be able to hammer in some nails.
A little bit of forward thinking would have been nice here.. (but that is not my strongest card).

I hammered in one nail per step, and then turned the assembly over so I could square it up before pounding in the nails from the other side.
When I had bashed in all the nails on that side I again flipped it over and hammered in the last set of nails on the first side. My idea was that if I had put in both nails in the first side straight away, it might have been more difficult to square it up.

The individual steps were sawed flush to the side that will be facing the wall, and sawed at an angle to the side facing the room. This is something I have seen on most old stairs, and I like the subtle elegance of this ornamentation.

The completed staircase was loaded into my trailer and I drove it to the summerhouse.
While maneuvering the assembly out of the shop I became aware that it wasn't very easy to move around single handed. But I managed in the end.

At the small barn, I mounted the assembly by means of a bit of ingenuity, a cargo securing strap and a couple of clamps.

As per Mettes suggestion, I have wrapped up the barn project for this time, since I'll be heading back to work in a weeks time.


The installed staircase.

Mounting the steps in a stringer.

This would have been smarter to do at the floor.

Flipping over the assembly.

The only decorative elements of the staircase.


Progress on the attic.

Categories: Hand Tools

A small barn for the summer house 15, work on the staircase and a small setback.

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:57pm
There isn't much to be said about the work progress at the small barn, installing all those boards takes a longer time than I anticipated while sitting on the ship. I had the unrealistic idea that I could install them all in a matter of a couple of days. That has not been the case. I'll admit that I haven't worked exceptionally long hours out there.
Instead I have taken my time in the morning, driven out there slowly. Taken Bertha for a long walk along the shore before making a pot of tea. And then I have started on the actual work. I have generally tried to stop around 2-3 P.M. to be home in the afternoon with the children.
Today I hope to be able to install some of the last boards, and then I'll see if I can complete the staircase.

The small setback occurred Sunday afternoon. I was supposed to drive to Viborg to pick up Asger from a goalkeeper camp, and I decided to take the green Volvo Valp. I had to bring some large boxes for my older brother, and Mette wanted to use the regular Volvo to pull the horse trailer so she could ride in the forest with a friend.
I have changed the ignition coil, the points and the capacitor on the green Valp, and it ran like a sewing machine. All the way till I reached the middle of Sallingsundbroen (the main bridge leading to our island). At that point the engine suddenly died completely.
After testing the starter button, I found that the engine could turn, but it turned much faster than normally. I then tried to look into the rocker arm cover by removing the oil filler cap - and nothing moved at all in there.
These old Volvo engines haven't got a timing chain or a timing belt. Instead they operate with timing gears. The middle gear is made out of some sort of fiber and does not last forever...
After checking with an old mechanic who's a friend of mine, he said that nothing is damaged inside the engine when this occurs. So I just have to order a new set of timing gears and replace them. I think that might be a job for the next time I am home.

Following the advice of Nathan Simon, I used a framing square for the lay out.

View from the bridge (to the North).

View to the East.

Categories: Hand Tools

A small barn for the summer house 14, starting on the staircase.

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 12:27pm
In the evenings I have tried to start out on the staircase for the  small barn. The work is not very efficient, since both Gustav and Asger have started some projects in the shop too. I try to help them out, and once they are tucked into bed, I'll have something like an hour where I can use the shop by myself.
I have milled the steps, and they are pretty close to the thickness of the floor boards (1.75"). The two longitudinal parts of the staircase (I have no idea what the correct English word is?) Are a bit thinner. I would have liked them to be the same size, but the two boards that I had of the correct width were fairly twisted, so it took some thickness to get them flat and level. I suppose that I could have milled some new boards, but they would not have been as dry as those, and they finally ended up something like 1 3/8" which I think will be strong enough.

I have been looking as Das Zimmermannsbuch  for some inspiration, and they suggest that for the more modern approach you should attache the steps by means of sliding dovetails.
An older and simpler method is to just use a groove and either make a tenon on half of the steps or secure the steps by means of nails. I think that I'll go with the groove and nails model. Because the barn is supposed to be kept a bit simple.

Right now I have had to devise some special workholding, in order to be able to joint the edges of the longitudinal parts.
10' is a bit too long for my workbench, but perhaps that could justify building another and larger one?

There will be very 8" in height difference between each step, and the angle of the stairs will be 58 degrees. So it will be a fairly steep staircase, but this is to avoid that it will take up too much space in the relatively small room of the barn.

Asger sanding a cutting board. Gustav's apple crates are in the background-

My co-driver Bertha sniffing the fresh autumn air.


Workholding of the long parts of the staircase.


Categories: Hand Tools

A small barn for the summer house 13, internal boards.

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 2:12pm
I have been making some progress on the internal boards for the small barn.
Those were the boards that I had to shift inside as I was called to work a week earlier than anticipated.
So the first task was to shift all of them out again. I decided that I could work around the table that was inside, but I still needed to move the chairs and a bit of other stuff outside before starting the actual work.

The boards are the same type as those that were put on the sub roof. It is not a typical type of boards to use for internal paneling/boards, but it is of a much better quality than the regular type used. In Denmark the usual boards to be used would be something called "rustic boards". They are made out of the surplus Christmas trees that grew to fast so they were too large to sell. The distance between the growth rings is typical 3/8" or thereabouts, so the wood is of an exceptionally poor quality. The shape is like a tongue and groove board with the tongue something like 1/2" too long. So once the boards are mounted, there is a trench between each board. They are available in various widths and either nature, or artificially whitened, smooth or rough sawn.
But that aside - I chose the other type because I think they look better in a classic barn, and they were actually cheaper per square meter (or square foot if you like).

I mount the boards using regular nails. I know that a pneumatic nail gun is faster, but I actually like to hammer in nails, so I go for the slow and old fashioned way.

Once all the boards are mounted, I plan on putting some strips of wood in the corners and around the window sills, to cover the gaps.


Internal boards mounted.

The "famous" stack..



Categories: Hand Tools