Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
An aggregate of many different woodworking blog feeds from across the 'net all in one place! These are my favorite blogs that I read everyday...
Just a shame mine has probably been dropped to the floor. The handle was bend to the left and the sawblade wasn't perpendicular to the table anymore.
Luckily only the long tube was bend and crumpled at the handle end. It wasn't difficult to straighten it again with a hammer and an machinst vise. I wasn't really happy with the sawblades that came with this saw. Most of them were dull, and then there was a laser hardened one with very agressive teeth. Sawing with these was very jerky, as if the teeth would bite at random in the wood. So today I sharpened the unhardened 10 tpi blade. Originally it came with a rip tooth configuration which isn't optimal for a crosscut saw. So I filed the saw crosscut with about 15 degrees rake and 20 degrees fleam. Then set the teeth about 0.15 mm.
Now the saw works like it should be! It is absolutely square in the horizontal direction and 99% in the vertical direction. Good enough for woodworking and better then I can saw with a handsaw. There is also minimal splintering at the far side of the cut. I made a short video to show how a saw like this works and should work.
I’ve had a brilliant day teaching a group how to make fan birds. This is the third time I’ve taught fan bird carving at my workshop in Cumbria and I’ve made some modifications to the way I teach which really paid off.
The course was full which meant stocking up on extra tools for everyone and gave me the opportunity to make some new knives for splitting the feathers which worked really well. Extra wide chisels also made cutting the notches easier while the piece of larch I bought for the course was a dream, splitting almost on its own into billets.
Half of the group were complete beginners to woodworking which I really like as they can learn to work wood without dust or the use of machine tools. Jim, a forester from Perth, came especially to get away from the usual noise of his work.
With this course we work through each of the stages together and I demonstrate the cuts along with the important features of the finished shape. By the afternoon we were splitting feathers and, once the body was carved it was time to spread the wings. After making so many fan birds, I’ve got a lot of confidence in how far the feathers will bend but for beginners it’s a nervous time as the culmination of their work. This is the magic of fan birds and the thing that made me want to make them myself so it’s a great reminder for me of that trepidation and wonder.
We ended up with some terrific birds, a testimony to good work from the group and I got some new ideas of ways to make the course even better for next time.
Apparently, Mr. Lowe has a bit of an aversion to block planes. He believes - and I'm sure with some significant knowledge of his craft and the tools used - that block plane origins were primarily designed for carpenters to do light trimming on the job site. They were especially useful for when you only had one hand free, such as when standing on a ladder. He also feels that since the furniture maker has a bench and vise (or "vice", if the alternative spelling offends you) that a bench plane is better suited for the work they do because they can use both hands on the plane. It was stated that Mr. Lowe makes this point in his classes by insisting that if anyone wants to use a block plane in his class, then they should use it one handed while standing on a ladder. I know you can see the horror inherent, in such a teaching technique.
Now, you may think I'm full of sympathy for the poor students that must endure such block plane oppression. On the contrary, I feel sympathy for Mr. Lowe and am embarrassed for the internet woodworking community. Here you have a master craftsman and teacher being ridiculed by what is obviously a bunch of armchair, weekend woodworkers who think they know better. I personally use a block plane on occasion, but, I did see a video of Phil a few years ago showing him using a #4 smoother to flush up dovetails and dados in a fashion that many would use a block plane for. Well, I tried it out myself, and found that having the extra mass of a bench plane made the cuts I was attempting much easier and potentially more stable. It gave me a new perspective on how to use some of my planes and I was thankful for Phil's video. The same can be said for Frank Klausz's "3 minute dovetail" video where he bangs out some decent, workable dovetails quickly with two rather large frame saws. His statement " if they don't fit right away, get a bigger hammer" was funny, but it also disarmed the notion that dovetails HAVE to be so exact in every situation. I believe with that statement, he was trying to lessen the mystique and level of "expertise" of hand cutting dovetails that typically hinders amateur woodworkers from trying to make them when they first start out.
Woodworking was a relatively untouchable hobby for most people not that long ago. To truly learn the craft, most had to rely on previous generations or, if they were lucky, be able to spend time in a cabinet shop as an apprentice. Now we have this huge internet woodworking community that allows the average hobbyist to learn from masters of the craft, free of charge. The problem with the internet is that the anonymity it affords sometimes breeds a false sense of expertise and lack of respect for our teachers and each other. My point that I have been fumbling around trying to make is that we should be thankful for masters like James Krenov, Sam Maloof, Frank Klauz, and yes, Phil Lowe for taking the time to share their knowledge, often free to thousands on the internet. When those masters share that knowledge, we should give them the respect they have earned through years of the craft. Then, filter the info for ourselves, give their suggestions a try and see if they work for us. Finally, we need to stop taking ourselves and the craft so seriously. Most of us are simply hobbyists and we are all taking this journey together. Share your knowledge freely, but remember that everyone has different experiences to contribute and your opinion isn't the only one that matters. True craftsmanship is a blend of technical skill and art, and you can't be successful without balancing daring ingenuity with time honored techniques.
Many of us grew up with the desire to work wood but thought it would never be accessible to the average Joe. Thanks to Phil and other true masters of woodworking for sharing their knowledge and time honored techniques so freely, enabling us to be successful in our woodworking pursuits.
I got an email today from Brock Jobe at Winterthur about the website for a very involved project that is a collaboration between several museums. It’s called “Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture”. Here’s the link: http://www.fourcenturies.org/
The Winterthur Forum that I was part of in March was the inaugural event – but there will be more exhibitions, lots of web content and more.
It’s very much worth the time to explore the website, and come back to it for additional content as it expands.
If you’re at all into hand tools, the place to be next Friday and Saturday (May 24th – 26h) is HandWorks, taking place in Amana, Iowa. Many of the country’s major hand tool makers will be there, along with some prominent teachers, writers, and hand tool authorities. Check out the schedule on the Handworks web site!
Me? I’m along for the ride to promote my school and my books, and to demo some cool hand-tool techniques. Mostly, I’m looking forward to great interactions you all, and with some of the finest proponents of hand tool woodworking anywhere.
I hope to see you there!
On today’s Follow Friday we have the work of Denis Hermecz, a woodworker from Silverhill, AL, who we featured in our Show Us Your Woodcarving column in the May 2013 Issue of Wood News. Throughout his woodworking years, Denis has created a variety of pieces including cabinets, nightstands, and bookshelves, and lately he has been focusing on woodcarving.
In an interview he did with Woodworking Network, Denis discussed how he started his career in woodworking. In order to earn money for school, he worked as an apprentice boat builder, where he was able to find a passion for the craft. In college, he majored in English and like a lot of people do when they graduate, he focused in getting a career where he could use his major whether it be as a Writer or English Teacher. He didn’t realize it right away, but once he figured out he could make woodworking into his career, he was set on his path.
My favorite piece that Denis shared with us is the mirror frame that he custom made for a client who had already installed the mirror that she wanted the frame to fit. The process that Denis used to carve this piece is also very interesting:
“I drew the vines directly on the assembled rectangular frame. I cut out the shapes with a Bosch sabre saw and I carved most of the shapes with a Bosch 12000 rpm side grinder–an extremely versatile tool. There is some carving done with hand held chisels out of my mixed bag of old chisels, but I try to design a big piece like this one so that hand carving is minimized. I sand a lot of the pieces like this one with Festool random orbit sanders and some with a Fein multitool sander.”
The frame takes up an entire wall at 54″x103″, and a lot of the vine work that Denis put into this piece was freestyle form, which is what I think makes this piece stand out to me.
Below are a few more pieces that Denis has made. If you would like to see more of his work, you can visit his website HERE.
Fridays on the Highland Woodworking Blog are dedicated to #Follow Friday, where we use this space to further highlight a woodworker or turner who we have featured in our monthly e-publications Wood News or The Highland Woodturner. Would you like for your shop to appear in our publications? We invite you to SEND US PHOTOS of your woodworking shop along with captions and a brief history and description of your woodworking. (Email photos at 800×600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store credit redeemable towards merchandise if we show your shop in a future issue.
I am beyond delighted to announce that Charles “Chuck” Bender is Popular Woodworking Magazine’s new senior editor. He’ll be writing project and technique articles (lots of articles) for the magazine and web site, serving as one of our a technical editors, handling tool reviews and Tricks of the Trade, answering e-mails from you on all … Read more
The post Chuck Bender, Senior Editor, Popular Woodworking Magazine appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
well. I’ve been swamped lately. Just back last Sunday night from a week in Maine at Lie-Nielsen,
Here’s their tiny blurb about it:
“Just finished shooting our fourth DVD with Peter Follansbee, “17th Century Great Chair.” Details coming soon…”
Because it is May, I got some osprey shots in Damariscotta.
Then finished up there with a two-day class in riving, planing & carving. First thing Monday morning it was off to work, trying to get the shop organized, then jumped right into prepping for a talk I gave today to EAIA whose annual meeting was at Plimoth. It was simple enough to do the lecture; but then all day in the shop there were toolies who stuck around and asked questions that were more in-depth than some of my usual fare. It was great, but now the lawn needs mowing, we’re trying to fence out some groundhogs; the kids’ weekend activities – (horse-back riding & baseball) are coming up and the ordinary dump run, etc.
Oh, and it’s been still almost sweater weather at some recent points, but now it’s hot. so out with the woolens, find the window screens, etc.
so that’s why no blog lately. I hope to get back to it pronto.
here’s photos from the class at Lie-Nielsen, it was a great group of people – I always have a good time there. Also a link to their facebook page about it. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151424181563016.1073741844.100708343015&type=1
Here is a sneak peak at the cover project for the August 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. This project is also the subject of a video from Robert W. Lang that will be available soon. Subscribe now, and you won't miss out. Read more
The post Sneak Peek at August Popular Woodworking Magazine Cover Project appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
There are certainly more than just two types of classes, but the two most common are “project classes” (build a chair, table, etc.) , and “technique classes” (learn to cut dovetails, etc.). Many classes combine a bit of each, and you learn some techniques as you build your project.
I’m teaching a class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking (www.marcadams.com) this July 8-12 called “From Woodworker to Craftsman” that may fit into a different category. It’s a class I’m pretty excited about, although it may not be immediately obvious why. There’s a fun project to build (a tool tote), but that isn’t really the focus of the class. And it’s not really a techniques class, either, although it’s got plenty of that as well (we’ll hand cut dovetails and mortise and tenon joints, deal with some curves, and more.
So what’s different about this class? I wanted to design a class where there was a little more emphasis on really improving skills, and developing a better sense of how to get the most out of your tools (and your body). This is obviously something I’ve been working on for quite some time now, and my most recent book – The Foundations of Better Woodworking – was a close look at this topic. This class puts it all into practice.
If you’re looking for more of a project based class, I’m also teaching a Slat-Back Chair class at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking (www.schoolofwoodworking.com). This is a pretty intense week of building an exceptionally comfortable dining chair, and learning about chairs and how to make them. We’ll cover all kinds of chair related issues: curves, joinery with curves, angles and angled chair joinery, bent lamination, and much, much more.
My trip to Winterthur greatly impacted my knowledge of Hannah’s Inlaid Chest (what others may know as the Darlington Chest) I built for the June 2013 issue (#204). I posted a few things that would tilt the chest toward being a closer reproduction. I also promised I would point out which drawer was the imposter … Read more
Did you see the cameo by my oldest daughter/director/producer/video task-master? If you missed it try again.
Ratione et Passionis
My trip to Winterthur greatly impacted my knowledge of the Hannah’s Inlaid Chest (what others may know as the Darlington Chest) I built in the June 2013 magazine (issue #204). I posted a few things that would tilt the chest toward being a closer reproduction. I also promised I would point out which drawer was … Read more
ON A BRIGHT SPRING MORNING in the spring of 1978, Chris and Sharon Bagby opened the doors at Highland Hardware for the first time. Now 35 years later, they’re still in business operating the store that grew to become Highland Woodworking as we know it today. It’s been a long journey that could not have been accomplished without the support of countless thousands of loyal customers, many of whom have shopped here almost from the beginning.
Throughout these 35 years there have been many exciting additions and changes, but one thing has always remained the same and is our mission to deliver fine tools to your door.
Here is a timeline history of some milestone events that have happened over the past 35 years!
May 15th, 1978: Owners Chris and Sharon Bagby open Highland Hardware at 1034 North Highland Ave (across the street from its current location), an ordinary hardware store in Midtown Atlanta.
1980: The company begins to offer a weekend seminar program in their basement, bringing in woodworking masters like Tage Frid, Sam Maloof, and Roy Underhill.
1984: The store moves to a larger retail space across the street at 1045 North Highland Ave (and its current home today). The seminar program moves to a warehouse located behind.
1992: Our product-oriented newsletter, Wood News, merges with our woodworking tool catalog, and comes out 2-3 times per year as a physical publication. Our catalog is still published to this day, which you can subscribe to receive by mail HERE.
1995: The building is renovated to add 8,000 square feet to the store, which includes a brand new seminar/classroom space, a larger shipping/receiving area including a loading dock, a larger back office space, and additional floor space for retail sales.
1996: Highland Hardware launches into the World Wide Web at www.highlandhardware.com.
2005: Wood News begins as a monthly email newsletter with tools, tips, and monthly features highlighting woodworkers from around the world. Subscribe to Wood News HERE.
2006: Highland Hardware becomes Highland Woodworking. Still under the same ownership and still offering the same great service, we wanted to present a truer reflection of the nature of our tool offering and our position in the woodworking industry.
2013 (Present Day): Chris and Sharon are still involved in the everyday operation of our store and with a highly knowledgeable staff we are continuing to deliver fine, quality tools to your door.
As always, with passing years comes even more additions and technology. We invite you to continue checking out all of our new and exciting offerings by continuing to follow our Blog, like us on Facebook, tweet us at Twitter, hang out with us on Google+, or pin your favorite tips and tools on Pinterest.
From the entire Highland Woodworking family, we thank you for your continued support!
Chris Bagby, Owner
A happy 35th anniversary to Highland Woodworking (nee Highland Hardware) in Atlanta, Ga., and congratulations to its founders, Chris and Sharon Bagby, for offering the best tool selection in the South for three+ decades. To celebrate, they’re offering special 1-day deals (May 15 only) both in the store and on the web; click here to … Read more
When it comes time to make moldings with SketchUp, many woodworkers struggle. They get the hang of making each piece a component, and figure out that a molding is simply an extruded face. Where things go south is when it comes time to turn a corner; how can that be accomplished with as little blood, … Read more