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Hand Tools

Update on Hannah’s Progress

Paul Sellers - Sat, 08/19/2017 - 11:56am

Hannah has been working with me since December for a day or two a week and then working in the classes we have too. She has just finished the construction of her home workbench, which she started two weeks ago. This one flows my latest pattern and dismantles for her to transport it as she …

Read the full post Update on Hannah’s Progress on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Deluxe ‘Roubo on Furniture’ Headed Our Way

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 08/19/2017 - 6:43am

lap-roubo-pressmark-1We’ve just received word from the bindery that the deluxe edition of “With All the Precision Possible: Roubo on Furniture Making” will leave New Mexico on Monday morning and should arrive in our warehouse on Tuesday.

Once it arrives, we still have to manufacture a custom shipping box for the book, which should take only a few days, and then start boxing up all the pre-ordered copies. As soon as we have a shipping date, I will announce it here.

I know this has been a long wait for everyone who plunked down the serious wad of cash for the book. We are deeply grateful for your support – your faith in us is what allows us to bring mad projects like this into the world. This press run cost more than our storefront and more than my house.

Personally, I cannot wait to see it. We haven’t released a book in many months. And even though we are all working hard on multiple titles (more on that in a moment), nothing feels like progress more than cracking open a new book.

So what’s in the works right now? Plenty. Here’s a quick list of the books in our immediate orbit (all other titles are still in the hands of the authors so you’ll have to ask them where they are).

“Carving the Acanthus Leaf” by Mary May. The book is edited and designed. We’re just waiting for Mary’s final corrections. This book is not only a spectacular brain dump on carving, it also is enormous.

“Hands Employed Aright” by Joshua Klein. The editing is complete. We are just waiting for Joshua to sign off on our changes so we can begin designing the book.

“Sloyd in Wood” by Jogge Sundqvist. The translation is complete. We are just waiting for Jogge and his editorial assistant to approve it so we can move forward on the design.

“Joiner’s Work” by Peter Follansbee. Megan Fitzpatrick has finished her initial edit of the book and Peter is working on writing captions and tidying things up before we select a designer.

“Trees, Wood & Woodworking” (tentative title) by Richard Jones. This is a book we haven’t had any time to write about. This book is an incredibly detailed look at trees and how their structure affects the furniture maker. It is written by a craftsman for woodworkers. No scientific background required. Kara is getting this book ready for the designer.

“The Difference Makers: The Fourth Generation” by Marc Adams. This is another new book we haven’t discussed. Marc is profiling the 30 or so best craftsmen he’s worked with during the last 25 years. It’s an impressive work. I am editing the book now.

“Roman Workbenches: Expanded Edition” by me. I’m still writing and building. I hope to be done by the end of 2017.

I think that’s a complete list of current projects. Whew.

— Christopher Schwarz, christophermschwarz.com

Filed under: Roubo Translation
Categories: Hand Tools

binder box lid work.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 08/19/2017 - 1:12am
I spent some time thinking about the box and how clever I was when I came across a potential problem. I had drilled a 5/32 hole through the hinge arm and into the box for the tube. This way I wouldn't have to drill another 1/8" hole and possibly do that off center from the tube. The problem I saw was that I had to saw the tube into two pieces. One for the inside of the box and another for the hinge arm. The brass rod will turn on the inside of these and not touch the wood at all. I  would need the tube to be in two pieces in order for this to happen because the tube will be epoxied to the to box and the hinge arm. Even I could see that the tube being one piece that the hinge would not work that way.

last hinge option came in
This is a shutter latch I got from Lee Valley. I had trouble trying to visualize it's size from the write up (I wanted the keeper disc size - not given) but I bought it anyways. I figured if I didn't use it for this I would toss it in the hardware bin for something else.

it would have been a coin toss
If I had gotten all the door latches at the same time I would have been hard pressed to pick between this and the hook and eye. The latching post fits on the edge of the door as well as the eye plate did.

these #6  screws are too short
On my next Lee Valley order I'll add a package of the #8 screws and see if they are a better fit.

bought some metal cutting countersinks
This are for making countersinks in brass and steel (but not aluminum?). I needed to make some countersinks larger in a metal hinge a few weeks back but I didn't have any. Now I got 3 for a #4 screw up to a #8.

got a small and large 82° countersink for wood too
these are toast
Supposedly these countersinks (first two from the left) are for wood and metal. They didn't work too good in wood and they absolutely sucked at countersinking a metal hinge. I think I got these at Lowes and the big one (3rd from the left) is just for wood and isn't much better neither.

chewed up the big one and it's toast
the small one
This has a few chips on the flutes and I might be able file but I'm not. It's crap and it's going in the circular file can. I have to drill a larger hole for the larger countersink because it won't fit in the hole in the holder.

mangled it
What I thought would happen sawing this happened. I used a fine tooth hacksaw blade and it didn't go through this tubing easily at all. First it was hard to apply pressure to keep it against the stop to keep it in place. Secondly, as I pulled the saw back and tried to go forward, the tube danced all over the bench hook. I didn't completely cut through this but snapped it off after making a partial cut.

this worked and didn't work
I used a piece of brass rod to hammer the brass rod through the tubing to un-deform the mangled end. It worked until the brass rod tried to go through the 1/8" hole in the dowel maker. It didn't have the clearance for it. It did go through enough to clear up the mangled end and make it round again.

got the box ones done
I sawed these differently then my first try. With these two I inserted the brass rod in the tubing and then sawed them off. I sawed the tubing off about an 1/8"shorter than the depth of the hole. This way when I epoxy them in place, I can tap it home until it is flush. I won't have to file it flush and scrape the box and have to refinish that too.

cutting this one isn't going to be easy
worked better this way
I still had problems keeping it up against the fence as I sawed it. I used a piece of 1/4" plywood to do that and that worked marginally better then my fingers did. I was able to saw completely through the tubing and the brass rod this way.

much better looking end on this one
This sawing raised a big burr on the outside but the end isn't all mangled up. It is reasonably round and it should be that way once I punch the brass rod through.

cleaning the burr
The 100 grit sandpaper was useless on the knocking the burr off. I had to use a file for all the deburring action.

trying another way to cut the tubing and rod
I need two more pieces of tubing both a 1/2" long. I don't see myself being able to do that on the bench hook. I drilled a 5/32" hole in this scrap of wood to see how the bandsaw would do on this. No problems and the bandsaw went through it without a hiccup. The end was cleaner and had less of a burr than sawing it by hand.

the best looking end cut so far
I used this metod to saw off my two 1/2" pieces. I drilled two holes in another scrap piece and marked a line a 1/2" from the end to bandsaw on.

two half inch pieces
sawed off the captive pieces
I used a piece of brass rod to punch out the two pieces I need. I forgot to snap a pic of the finished pieces of tubing but on good authority, it wasn't as exciting as it sounds.

epoxying the tubing is batting next and I'm not using the 5 minute stuff
epoxy applicators
The nail is almost as big as the hole with some epoxy on it. I used these extra long toothpicks to apply the epoxy at the bottom of the hole.

tubing epoxied in place
I applied epoxy on the bottom of the tubing on the box and some on the top 1/4" too. On the tubing in the hinge arm I applied epoxy only on the inside top before pushing it all the way home.

both rods are square to the box.

the final steps tomorrow
The first step then will be a dry fit to verify the operation of the lid. Once I know that works and I still have clearance for the lid to go pass 90 and stay there, I'll epoxy the rod in the bottom of the tube in the box. If I have to fix the lid in the future I have enough room between the box and hinge arms to saw the rods off.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is the relationship of the man and woman in Grant Wood's painting "American Gothic"?
answer - according to the painter it is father and daughter, not man and wife

Crucible Dividers: a Tool and Totem

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 10:43am


During the day, I hold a pair of our Crucible dividers and rub them like a worry stone or a rosary as I write, think or ponder my path forward at my workbench or my laptop.

The curves and chamfers of my dividers – I own only one pair – are as familiar to me as my wife’s hands or the tote of my Lie-Nielsen No. 3. The weight is reassuring. The stiffness of its hinge is something I measure every time I pick them up.

And when my mind runs out of ideas, I look down at the dividers in my hand and marvel at how difficult it has been for us to get these five pieces of steel to fit together and move deliberately.

During the last two years Raney, John and I have had to learn a lot about metal, casting, machining, laser-cutting and a host of other allied skills to keep Crucible Tool afloat, making tools and growing. Despite all this effort (and sometime anguish), these dividers remain a true wonder to me.


Raney began his design with an Art Deco pair my mother found in an antique stall. That vintage pair was an interesting design, and Raney and I stared at them for a long time, knowing they contained the kernel of a good idea.

But the tension in its hinge wasn’t adjustable. It was difficult to pull the legs apart. They had unnecessary bulk.

After weeks (months?) in his lab, Raney emerged with this tool. And it has replaced my pocketknife as “the thing” that is always in my hand.

Truth: They are a total b&^%h to manufacture. The fit between the sex nuts and the two legs has to be within a half of a thousandth of an inch. If we miss that specification, the legs have a bit of slop in them that we consider unacceptable. Many dividers have this slop, which can make your layouts a bit cattywumpus (though not disastrous).

John, who does our quality control, puts it this way: “That slop would be fine if these dividers were $50. But for $187? They have to be better than that.”

They are. Thanks to Raney and John, these are the best pair of dividers I’ve ever owned. I know this sounds like bullcrap coming from someone who is part of Crucible, but so be it. I am unashamed at my love for this tool. It is the result of hundreds of hours of grief and inspiration.

Every day, dozens of times I day, I test them. They open smoothly. They close the same (and without slipping). And so I test them again and stare at the work on my bench.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. We have 30 dividers in stock today with another 30 about to go to the warehouse and another 100 in the CNC mill. You can order a pair here.

Filed under: Crucible Tool, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Dugout Chair Step 2: Lose 200 Ugly Pounds

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 9:02am

I can roll this rotted log around my driveway for the dugout chair. But danged if I can lift it by myself. So the next step is to start chainsawing away the majority of the bulk that is not part of the finished chair. With my tiny 16” electric chainsaw I spent a good hour wasting away the first two kerfs on this chair. This activity attracted the attention of […]

The post Dugout Chair Step 2: Lose 200 Ugly Pounds appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

5 Questions on Vintage Saws with Niles Krech of Kennebec Saws

The Renaissance Woodworker - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 8:52am

Restoring a Vintage Hand Saw Starts with a Straight Saw

kennebecsaws.comWhile I was filming some lessons for my soon to be released Orientation semester at The Hand Tool School, I took a break to work with Niles Krech of Kennebec Saws to film a saw sharpening video. Niles has been sharpening saws for a while and learned under Matt Cianci. For the past year he has been restoring hand saws almost exclusively for Hand Tool School members and he has become THE expert on the subject in our community. It seemed only appropriate that while I had him in the shop to take a few minutes to ask him some questions about saw sharpening and restoring some of these great old saws back to life.

Make sure you visit Niles’ website at www.kennebecsaws.com and talk to him about getting your own saw or saw sharpening supplies.
Categories: Hand Tools

HANDWORK Vol.1 Issue II Out Now

Journeyman's Journal - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 7:00am

HANDWORK is an amatuer woodworking magazine written for all amateurs and professionals alike.  It focuses on handwork and not machine work.  Its filled with modern and historical articles dating back as far as 1889.

Free to download from megasync Vol.1 Issue II

Categories: Hand Tools

An Exciting H.O. Studley Discovery

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 5:28am

Last week I got a note from “Mister Stewart” that the original tool shelf from the back of the H.O. Studley workbench had been found, shipped to him, and installed on the bench.

Way cool.

Piece by tiny piece the puzzle is filling in.


Giant Cypress - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 3:28am

Peter Follansbee, saying this better than I ever could:

Like I said, I can get past a lot of stuff. But…not racism. Not Nazis marching in the streets of 21st-century America. That shit doesn’t fly. Everyone should be against that…none of this “many sides” crap.

So…in the hopefully unlikely event that some of my readers are sympathetic with the KKK, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, etc that were on display down in Charlottesville this past weekend, – if that’s you – please un-subscribe to my blog. Please stop following me on Instagram, FB…please don’t come to my classes. Please don’t buy my book, videos, spoons, etc.

binder box......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 1:38am
Tonight I worked on finishing up the binder box. It wasn't the scheduled lead off batter but my order from McMaster-Carr was waiting for me when I got home. UPS usually comes closer to 1700 or later. I'll take the early delivery as it means I'm one step closer to have this box done. Tomorrow I should be able to finish it and bring it to work for monday.

 I noticed this last night just before I left the shop. I thought the insert had fallen out due to me installing the hook and eye. I thought it was due to vibration etc but it was a screw job.

the top screw is on the outside edge of the insert
When I installed this yesterday I didn't check to see if the inserts on the interior might be a problem. All I checked was the screw being short enough not to poke through into the interior.

swapped out the hooks
The eye plate for both of these is the same so I just had to swap the hooks. I will fill the first screw holes with putty and paint them.

McMaster-Carr order
Nothing to get excited about just looking at it. I should have taken a pic of the cardboard tube the the 3 foot long 1/8" brass rod came in. The wall on the tube was at least 3/8" thick or thicker. All that for one piece of brass rod. The tubing came in a separate box. I wonder why it wasn't shipped in the cardboard tube with the rod?

brass tube
The tube has a 5/32" OD and the ID is a bit bigger than an 1/8".

the 1/8" brass rod will be inserted into the brass tubing
slips over it very easily
for the lid
I will drill a 5/32" hole through the hinge and into the box. The brass tube will be epoxied into the hole and the 1/8" brass will be inserted into that. The lid will pivot and turn on this pairing and not touch the soft pine at all. I am hoping that this will last a fair amount of time.

hinge holes laid out
I am sure that there is a formula or something for this where you find the radius of the hinge pin on the back, but I just eyeballed it. This is my first time doing this so I'm sure I'll have a bit of tweaking to do on it.

for drilling square holes
got lucky
I can easily push the tubing into the 5/32" hole I drilled. I was not looking forward to hitting it with a hammer to drive it home and deforming one end of it. And then dealing with getting it round again.

one hiccup
The hole above was square and this one was a few degrees off. I drilled the hole again and I was able to get the tubing in the hole square.

filed a vee groove in the tubing and snapped off my pieces

rounded over the back of the lid.
first check
The lid is just shy of 90 and it won't stay open on it's own. I planed and sanded the back edge one more time and checked it again. I got the same result with minimal improvement.

chamfered this edge
I planed what I could get with a small block plane and finished it with a chisel going up to the hinge arms.

The lid is a hair past 90 and staying up and open on it's own. It took 3 trim and fit cycles before I got this.

chamfer is now twice as large
My first chamfer concentrated on the edge but I had to bring up more into the bottom of the lid. I ended up with this shallow chamfer which allows the lid to be upright.

couple of more coats on the bottom and it'll be done
I already had 4 coats on the bottom and a few more and I'll be calling it done. The back round over is only getting two coats so I don't want to build up the shellac too much and cause the lid not to fall back past 90.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
This had it's debut this month in 1930. What was it?
answer - the first animated cartoon with audio

Welcomed into Their World

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 6:23pm

 Editor’s Note: Robell wrote this post several weeks ago, soon after he came up to help with the Nicholson bench build. Because I’ve been out straight getting Issue Three ready, I haven’t had a moment to put this up on the blog until now. Mike and I loved having Robell in the shop with us and we look forward to the next time he can come up. The following are Robell’s reflections on his time working with us.


It is often intimidating meeting people you admire from afar. That was the case for me when I met Joshua and Mike. Having been a reader of M&T since the first issue, I reached out and asked if I could spend some time working with them. Even though they didn’t know me besides from a few photographs of my work, they said yes. As I biked down the craggy Maine coast to meet them at the shop on the first day, I was nervous. Would I be taken seriously? Would our personalities vibe?


These worries can be heightened for me because there are exceptionally few people of color represented in the world of fine furniture. As the son of immigrants from Africa, which has its own amazing but different woodworking tradition, I sometimes feel like an outsider.


My nerves quickly dissipated after I pulled into the driveway and saw 12-foot boards hanging out the back of Joshua’s minivan. Conversation came easy and authentically over the days we worked together. We discussed New England’s Whoopie Pie rivalries, the enormous amount of labor that goes into pre-industrial furniture making, and the work songs that woodwrights would sing together on the job. We even tried to come up with a song of our own - a futile but hilarious exercise. But most of the time we spoke in saw strokes and mallet blows, allowing the language of shared physical effort to connect us.


The kindness and warmth that I experienced with Joshua and Mike echoed throughout Maine’s woodworking community. From Skip Brack at the legendary Hulls Cove Tool Barn, to employees and vendors at the Lie-Nielsen Open House, graciousness abounded. Folks were eager to share their woodworking knowledge and experiences, enthusiastically welcoming me into their world. One would think that in a place like Maine where woodworkers are plentiful, they would be at each other’s throats competing for work. Maybe some are. But for me, it felt as if the dominant culture was one of teaching, learning, and sharing. It was truly and deeply inspiring.


In the weeks since my visit, I have been thinking about what it means to build a vibrant woodworking community in Atlanta. I’ve come away more convinced than ever that supporting each other is the key to our success. I’m fortunate to work out of Mass Collective, a maker’s cooperative where I get to interact and connect with various craft people. Spaces like these are critical in fostering inclusive and collaborative work environments, and because, as we all know, gluing up sometimes requires more than just two hands. My experience in Maine strengthened my commitment to helping build a stronger woodworking community here in Atlanta, a community where all people can take part in and have access to this incredible craft.

-Robell Awake (@robellawake)


Categories: Hand Tools

Repairing Drawers

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 5:55pm


This is an excerpt from “The Woodworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years: Volume II” published by Lost Art Press.

Runners. Generally the remedy is fairly obvious for worn runners—they are just replaced. It is merely a matter of removing the old ones, cleaning off any dried glue, and fitting fresh ones. There is one snag to look out for when there is no groove into which they fit. This absence of groove means that the exact position has to be measured, and there is the danger that the runners may be in winding.

The best plan is to use parallel strips as in Fig. 6. Cut a piece of wood A to a length exactly equal to the distance between the drawer rails. Place it at the rear and fix the runner with nails or screws as the case may be. Put the one strip on the front rail, and the other on a waste piece reaching between the runners.

Obviously the sides of the waste piece must be parallel. It need not be used of course when the strips are long enough to reach to the runners. Sighting across the strips ensures the runners being free from winding (it is clear that the drawer could not run properly if the runners were in winding).

To make good any wear at the front drawer rails the best plan is that in Fig. 7. A small notch or groove is cut right across and a new piece of hardwood let in.



The Drawers. It is clear that it is impossible to add new strips to the bottom edges of the drawer sides as they are. They would be too rounded over and out of shape to make a joint. The only plan is to cut them back to form a straight edge and glue in new pieces. It may be necessary to vary the method slightly in accordance with the construction. For instance, most Victorian and later furniture will be found to be fitted with drawer slips as at A, Fig. 8, whereas older pieces were made as at B.

Generally, however, it is a case of cutting back the old wood as given in Fig. 8. Little need be removed at the back; it is at the front that most attention is needed. Mark a straight line along the side in pencil and ease away the wood with the chisel. When practically down and smooth as far as possible with the smoothing or block plane, finish off close up to the corner at the front with the bullnose.



Test the new piece to see that it beds down everywhere and glue down. There is no harm in using nails to hold the strip in position whilst the glue sets, providing they are pulled out later. Allow them to stand up for the purpose. The new strip should be full all round to allow for fitting. Test the drawer in position and trim where necessary. Do not lubricate the edges until after the new piece has been stained to match the surrounding wood.

Drawer Bottoms. These often need attention, especially if in solid wood rather than ply. In most cases the grain runs from side to side, and, since in a deep drawer the shrinkage may be considerable, it is usual to allow the bottom to project at the back 1∕4 in. to 1∕2 in. This enables it to be pushed forwards into the front groove and be screwed again as in Fig. 9. A in this same illustration shows how the bottom is liable to sag at the front owing to its having pulled out of its groove. It is an annoying fault leading to papers and small items being lost. In bad cases it may sag so that it scrapes the drawer rail beneath.



In older pieces of the 18th century the grain of drawer bottoms frequently ran from back to front, and the whole was jointed up to width and fixed in rebates worked in the sides (see B, Fig. 8). Being held rigidly they invariably split in course of time, especially along joints. In really bad cases the only remedy is to remove the whole, reshoot the joints, make up to width, and replace. In a slight opening, however, the simplest plan is to glue strips of fine canvas over the joints at the underside. Sometimes slivers can be inserted in the openings from above. These are levelled down after the glue has set and strengthened with canvas beneath as before. This is shown in Fig. 10.



It sometimes happens that in these front-to-back drawer bottoms all the pieces can be removed except the two side ones which are glued and nailed in rebates and have bearing fillets below (B, Fig. 8). If the joints are good you can replace the parts straightway, gluing and nailing as you go. When you come to the last piece there will necessarily be a large gap, possibly 1∕2 in. wide. This will require filling. An excellent plan is to plane the edge so that the gap is about 1∕2 in. wider at back than at front. Then, when the last piece has been fixed, a tapered filling can be slid in from the rear. This is shown in Fig. 11.



If the main dovetails of the drawer are loose, the only plan is to knock the whole thing apart and re-glue. Mark the parts so that they can be replaced in the same positions, and scrape away all dried-up glue. Don’t drive nails into the joints, they look dreadful.

Meghan Bates


Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Dugout Chair Step 1: Get it Out of the Truck

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 5:37pm

After picking up the rotted stump for my dugout chair, I parked my truck in front of my shop and then went inside to ponder: How do I get it out of the truck? Sure, there are lots of redneck methods involving wax paper, Wesson oil and chains. But I wanted to avoid damaging myself and trashing my truck. I could rent a forklift or other machine to make it […]

The post Dugout Chair Step 1: Get it Out of the Truck appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools


Journeyman's Journal - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 4:42pm

THE LOST SCROLLS OF HANDWORK will be the new title for our magazine. I paid for it this morning.

All the words won’t fit in one line and would look silly if it did. So I will break it up and have “The lost scrolls of” on top of “HANDWORK.” So HANDWORK name lives on!

Where there is a will, there is always a way.

Tomorrow at midnight the second Issue will be available for download.  You may find grammar errors I may have overlooked, but I’ll get better at it as time goes by.

With any new venture there are always teething problems at first, but my aim is to evolve and mould it to be up there with the best.

I’m always on the hunt for contributing authors. Guys and gals don’t be shy. You may think you have nothing to offer but you’re wrong.  As of late, more and more hand tool blogs have come to life.  Only a few months ago blogs were diminishing and all the marketing gurus had their say about it, but much to their surprise the tide has changed.

Hand tool woodworking has become more popular than machine based woodworking.

The movement for a change of lifestyle and pace has begun.

This revitalisation of hand tools was first introduced by Roy Underhill over 30 years ago, and from it, sprung a variety of craftsmen and women like Mary May, Peter Follansbee, Christopher Schwartz, Paul Sellers and way too many other names to list.

Can I mention little old me with HANDWORK oops, The lost scrolls of HANDWORK.

We’re all playing a part in this revitalisation of hand tool woodworking.

It’s not just a revitalisation but a stance against all the corporate thuggery of so called modernisation and monopolisation of and through mass production.

If they want to title us as tree loving, hugging hippies then so be it. It’s better than the title they carry of cheap plastic loving, hugging, quick buck salesman “Made in China.” tag.

I hope you all like Issue II. A lot of work and many sleepless hours went into it, and I thank again all of our contributors for their hard work, expertise, tenacity, just pure relentless effort and diligence in their contribution towards HANDWORK.  You have not gone unnoticed.

Categories: Hand Tools

There Might Be a Down Side To Hermitude

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 3:50pm

So what cave have I been living in that I never heard of Beth Hart (and Joe Bonarossa) until this week?

My pantheon of Jennifer Warnes, Eva Cassidy, and Deborah Holland may be getting a new member

Learn to ‘Sharpen This’ – or Any Other Tool

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 1:47pm


Lie-Nielsen Toolworks has just posted its fall schedule of Hand Tool Events – eight free events held all over the country where you can learn to sharpen any woodworking tool from people who are eager to teach you.

The Lie-Nielsen crew won’t try to sell you anything – this is not like going for a test drive at a car dealership. Instead, they will take as much time as necessary to show you the basic principles of sharpening and coach you on the process.

All you have to do is show up and admit to yourself that you could use the help. I promise that one free lesson it will make a huge difference in your woodworking.

Also, if you are in the Midwest, feel free to come get a free sharpening lesson at our Lost Art Press storefront in Covington, Ky., during our open days this fall. We’re open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 9, Oct. 14, Nov. 11 and Dec. 9.

Again, I won’t try to sell you anything (I don’t sell sharpening equipment and we don’t publish a book on sharpening). But I’ll be happy to give you a personal lesson for free.

— Christopher Schwarz

Want to read my “Sharpen This” series? Check it out here.

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Critiquing the UG-1 Universal Gauge…

Bridge City Tools - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 10:41am

Drivel Starved Nation!

In my previous post I mentioned that I would “grade” the functionality of our new UG-1 Universal Gauge pictured below.
UG_R.8 700

The reason for this self-critique is twofold: I am typically not fond of multi-purpose tools. Too often the compromises are just to hard to deal with. Hopefully we have not fallen into that trap and I want to share why by grading all the functions. Secondly, as painful as they can be, critiques are crucial to understanding both the design and functional aspects of the things we make.

Prior to beginning, and as a reference point, I am using the following criteria for my grades;

1) Scale. My comments will address the functionality at scale. For example, I will not degrade the centering rule because it is NOT 400 mm long. I want to grade the tool for what it is at scale. Make sense?

2) Woodworking knowledge. I’ve been making things from wood since the mid 1960′s, and most of you know of my furniture making history. I will, to the best of my ability, issue grades based on the reality of a real woodworker’s perspective, and one who values time. If any bias telegraphs through this review, feel free to call me out on it.

3) Limitations. Since I designed the UG-1, I will, to the best of my ability, candidly share the limitations. And if I miss something, feel free to chime in!

The copy below is from our website. My comments and grade follows. Let’s have some fun!

The UG-1 Universal Guage is a tool designed for makers who work in a confined space, or, for those who understand the value of their time. It is also a killer accessory for JMP owners. Made in the USA, the UG-1 comes in either a right, or left-hand versions. Here are the major talking points;

There are two 90-degree references within the functionality of the UG-1, one fixed and one utilizing the protractor arm. In use, both utilize the reference hook on the back of the tool or the parallel magnetic reference base. Accuracy of the fixed square is plus or minus 0.002” over the length of the 90mm leg (3.5”).

The 144.5mm (5-5/8”) long protractor leg can be set to 90 degrees and features an offset which serves two purposes, the first allows the 2mm (0.079”) thin blade edge to fit between the teeth of a circular saw blade and the second function facilitates the tilting of drill press tables. By chucking a drill rod blank in the drill press, you have two surfaces on the arm to help precisely set the drill press table to either square or any angle up to 45 degrees.
In summary, the square aspects of the UG-1 are best compared to a “speed square” on steroids. For a small square, you cannot beat a milled, non-adjustable reference. It’s accurate to within 0.002″.  If I were to align the adjustable arm to 90 degrees, it would be against a reference line made with the fixed square. Even though the laser grads are 0.005″ in width, and setting it to 90 degrees is easy and fast, furniture grade work requires the double check. Fixed square Grade = “A”. Because the adjustable reference requires two steps to be dead on Grade = “B-”

Utilizing a laser etched 45-degree quadrant, (.5mm etched resolution, it is easy to visually reference a quarter of a degree), the UG-1 is one of the handiest protractors we have ever seen. Combining this adjustability with the reference hook of the body creates an efficient layout tool or as a set-up tool. It also features quick reference icons for the common angles needed to make polyangular forms. Locking ability Grade = “A”.  This protractor gets an “A” for locking ability, it is best-in-class awesome. .Accuracy Grade = “B”  If there was room to fit in a Vernier scale I would give it an “A”

For those who make hand-cut dovetails, it is easy and fast to quickly set the protractor arm to either 6:1 or 8:1 ratios using the quick set icons as a reference.  Yes, setting the dovetail angle is easy but impossible to layout both halves in less you have both the left and right hand versions of the UG-1 so this would require you to use the UG-1 to set-up a “t”-bevel. Grade = “D+”

The UG-1 is an effective layout tool substitute for the standard “T”-Bevel. The blade sits flat on your work piece which allows for precise transfers of angularity between the tool to your stock. It feature a two point locking system, and the only way you can budge your intended setting is to damage the tool. And, the locking lever facilitates those with hand strength constraints. This is a solid small bevel that does not slide. Grade = “B-”

The depth gage function of the UG-1 will measure depths in cavities as small as 6mm in diameter and up. Depth capacity is 76mm (3”). Use this to determine the depth of mortises, dado’s, rabbets, holes and other assorted recesses. It is fast, and locks via a jammed dovetail slide. It is particularly useful in conjunction with measuring depths when cut by a router. In addition, this is the tool to use when you need to precisely offset a split fence on a router table or shaper. This gage works as promised, it is limited to a minimum hole size of 6mm. Grade = “B+”

Often overlooked as a valuable shop aid, a good height gage can save a lot of time. It is primarily used as a static way to set the height of circular saw blades, JMP blades, router bits and shaper cutters. It positively locks via a jammed dovetail slide. Combined with the magnetic base, this height gage simply works. Grade = “B+”

The marking gage on the UG-1 is a quick way to layout lines a specific distance from the hook reference. It is not as efficient, or as versatile as a stand-alone marking gage but works well for tenon layout and other smaller scale applications where parallel lines of a known distance are required. Simply set the red indicator at the desired distance and mark along the bottom edge of the indicator. No question about it, this is not a replacement for a serious marking gage. Grade = “C-”.

The UG-1 can be used to quickly find dead center of stock up to 140mm (5.5”) in width. The scale is metric which is ideal for a centering rule, all you need to do is align the two same numbers on the right and left of the stock, and rule will indicate center at the 0 mark.  Really nothing to talk about here. It is elegantly simple and a nice feature. Grade “A”

The back of the purple depth gage arm is laser etched with a 76mm or 3” rule. Simply slide it out and use as a rule or a hook rule and replace. OK, this is a bit gimmicky, but I bet you will find it handy at times. Grade = “B-

One of the difficulties with Americans switching from the archaic imperial measuring system is that it is not easy for our old brains to estimate comparable distances in millimeters. The marking gage of the UG-1 features opposing scales, one imperial, one metric. Sooner than you think possible, you will learn that 25mm is about an inch, 12mm is about ½” and so on.  It’s a benefit for those that need it and any feature that educates is good in my book. Grade =”A”

If you are contemplating one or the other, we recommend you add the version that matches the direction your table saw tilts. For example, if your table saw blade tilts to the right (as viewed from the front of the saw) select the UG-1R, and the UG-1L if it tilts to the left.  If it wasn’t so damn awkward, I would have made a universal version, but I would have hated it.  If you do not have a table saw, pick the version that is opposite of your handedness. For example, if you are right-handed, we recommend the UG-1L (left version) Grade = “C+”

There are times where a magnetic base is ideal when you need both hands for other tasks. I love this. Grade = “A”

The UG-1, both left and right versions, are the ideal JMP accessory. Precisely controlling blade height, tilt and fence angles has never been easier. And since most JMP owners have the metal stand, the UG-1 magnetically attaches to any part of the stand. It is fast, convenient and accurate. NOTE: When using the UG-1 flat for miter gage and fence angle settings, a flip stop built into the marking gage indicator will keep the face parallel with the table.  There is still much to explore using the JMP. And yes, this is a totally biased grade, but this may be the best accessory for the JMP since the Precision Fence. It is compact, efficient and saves time and space. Grade = “A”

The specifications for each version are identical and are listed below;
Material: 6061 T6 Anodized Aluminum
OAL with blade @90 degrees = 185.6mm
OAH with blade @90 degrees = 153.2mm
Body Height Only = 100mm
Magnetic Sole Width = 16mm
Mass = 560 grams (exclusive of packaging)
Depth Gage Capacity = 3 in/76.2mm
Depth Gage Minimum Hole Capacity = 6mm
Height Gage Capacity = 3 in/76.2mm
Marking Gage Capacity = 2.75 in/70mm
Protractor Resolution = 0.5 Degree
Center Rule Capacity = 140mm
Rule Units = .5mm or 1/16”

Never in our history have we made a tool that addresses the needs of the confined-space shop and we are thrilled with the results. For those who would enjoy working on a bench with the fewest number of tools laying around, the UG-1 is for you. This is the most bang for the buck tool to ever leave this company and we are certain you will be thrilled with the way it improves your productivity. I give this comment an “A” for honesty. I believe it and I also believe you will too once in use.  This tool is the result of over 30 years of tool making and my only regret is it did not occur much earlier in my career and for that I give myself an “F”.

There you go DSN! Your thoughts?




The post Critiquing the UG-1 Universal Gauge… appeared first on John's Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Disposabilty, the Culture of Uncare and Uncraftsmanship

Paul Sellers - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 9:55am

Of course you can’t uncare because  ‘uncare’ is not a verb, and generally we use ‘uncaring’ as the typical adjective. But I used uncare to encourage you to think about something that has increasingly troubled me and it ties in I think with the loss of crafts posts I posted on recently. Uncraftsmanship is not …

Read the full post Disposabilty, the Culture of Uncare and Uncraftsmanship on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Success Isn’t at the Bookstore or the Museum

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 7:42am

When my first book, “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use,” was released, I played a game that many first-time authors play. I looked for my book on the shelves of any bookstore I visited. After a few years I gave up. I’ve never seen the book for sale anywhere except online. But I do have something else that I’ve decided is better: Hundreds (maybe thousands) of photos […]

The post Success Isn’t at the Bookstore or the Museum appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Shop Tune-up

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 5:49am

With the long-term desk and workbench projects finished, I took a few hours to do what I normally do after finishing big projects; clean the shop a bunch, and bring more assets on-line.  One of the prominent additions was my mondo water wheel for grinding and sharpening.

Since moving one of the tools whose inactivity I noticed the most was my 16″ water wheel, given to me by a farrier friend who had no use for it.  It had been set up in my basement shop of the old house but I just never took the time to do any more than get it moved and in place in the barn.  I was always so busy that I never set aside time to get it working again.

Part of this procrastination was that I had mis-placed the gearing sheaves to bring the wheel speed down to my preferred 100 rpm with the wheel turning away from me.  As you can see from the picture, I did find that rig and dug out the motor so now it is up and running perfectly.

In the picture you can also see the rod with the diamond dressing stone for surfacing the wheel when necessary (attached to a jig, laying under the machine).

One pretty remarkable feature of the wheel is that the axle is linked to an arm-and-cam assembly that moves the wheel about 1″ from side to side when in use.  Sometimes I have this hooked up, sometimes not.  I just depends on the task at hand.

Obviously I did survive without this machine for three years, but I must say that since getting it back up and running I seem to use it at least once a day.  Since I mostly camber my plane irons by hand on a 220 diamond stone I thought I could do without it, but I might have been wrong.  I still camber my irons by hand, but there seem to be a multitude of tasks requiring a slow turning giant water wheel that hogs off material in a hurry.



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