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For an upcoming “Tool Test” in the February 2018 (#237) issue of the magazine, I reviewed the Lixie Dead Blow Mallet. While we’ll post the full mallet test when the magazine hits newsstands, we wanted to take the time first (before writing the review) to put the mallet to work out in the shop. Testing tools like this is one of the most enjoyable and valuable (to our readers) exercises […]
The post Lixie Dead Blow Mallet Test – Some Fun in the Shop appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
As the Chinese curse goes, “may you live in interesting times.” Sometimes, “interesting times” is actually a good thing. In the case of CNCs, there are a lot of new ideas, methods and designs appearing for those interested in digital woodworking. In a short amount of time, we’ve seen several remarkable alternative CNC machines emerge. The Maslow CNC, a hanging CNC based on the design of wall plotters. The amazing […]
In Febuary 2010 I wrote a three-part blog entry showing that the earliest illustrations and texts about the planes we call "mitre planes" were in the marquetry sections of various books. My theory was that these planes were most likely used for leveling and planing the surfaces of marquetry panels and materials. The exotic woods used in marquetry are sometimes very hard and can easily tear up the soles of any wooden plane. You can read my blog here, here, and here.
David Lundqvist, a woodworker who lives in Sweden, just sent me a "missing link" in support of my thinking. The painting above, called "Die Ebenisten" [The Marqueters], was painted by Elias Martin in England between 1768-80. The painting shows two marquetry journeymen, George Haupt and Christopher Frloh (anglicised as Furlong), working for John Linell in London. I'll talk in a moment about why two Swedish journeyman were in London, but first focus your eyes on the metal plane located pretty much in the middle of the painting.
I think this is the earliest contemporary image of what we now call a mitre plane in England, and it comes just before the period when plane makers such as Gabriel and Moon were entering the metal plane market. The plane itself doesn't look dovetailed and seems to follow the European technique of brazing the body to the sole; admittedly the scan I have isn't perfectly clear, so I am not positive about this. David's research on Swedish cabinet makers led him to this painting. David also found two contemporary citations of the phrase "Rabot du Ebniste," or "Marqueter's plane" -- not "plane of iron," the term that the few earlier references in marquetry tool pages use for these planes, nor "mitre plane," a later term that shows up around 1820. We finally have both visual proof and documentation that the plane was recognized as a marquetry plane, not a mitre plane. Well done, David!!!
Another interesting question is why two Swedish marquetry journeyman were in England in the first place. My assumption was that England at the time was starting its rapid economic expansion with the advent of the Empire and the Industrial Revolution. The country was growing in wealth and an attendant demand for European-trained craftsman to create fancy furniture for the country's nouveau riche. David took a different approach in answering this question. David observed that by the middle of the eighteenth century the closed guild system of crafts, which was still thriving in Continental Europe, was starting to vanish in England. The craft guilds - groups of master craftsman in England - still certified new masters and still gave a seal of approval, but no longer had the power, legal or otherwise, to restrict trade. They were mostly social societies for the richer craft classes. Anyone could be a cabinetmaker, and a cabinetmaker could set up shop and hire apprentices. The loosening of the guild restrictions allowed new ideas to mature, which attracted talented immigrants. New blood and ideas became established in England, along with employment and training for immigrants. Trained Swedish craftsman could find good work and advancement in England, and not have to fight to get guild permission back home.
The painting currently hangs in the National Museum in Stockholm.
|frog is almost done|
|I have gloves|
|this doesn't have to be perfect|
|the weight of the planes should apply sufficient pressure for this to set up|
|back to the nail set box|
|sawed at an angle|
|I can feel it sticking proud by a frog hair on both sides|
|cooking by the furnace|
|adding a couple of more|
|plowed all my grooves|
|used it out of the box|
|sawing my last miter|
|donkey ear jig|
|1950's vintage 1/4" plywood (it is a true 1/4" thick)|
|got two coats on this today|
What is the russian village of Verkhoyansk noted for?
answer - for having the widest temperature swing on earth, -68°C/-90°F in the winter to 37°C/99°F in the summer
I’m a “behind-the-scenes” junkie – any chance I get to see the inner workings of manufacturing or industrial spaces, I jump at the opportunity. So, I was especially thrilled to take a tour of M. Bohlke Veneer, a lumberyard and veneer mill in nearby Fairfield, Ohio (a 15 minute drive from the PopWood office) last week with Christopher Schwarz, Megan Fitzpatrick and Andy Brownell. M. Bohlke Veneer was founded in […]
The interview focuses on the evolution of Highland Woodworking, started by Chris and Sharon Bagby, who have been joined by their daughters, Kelley and Molly, in helping to run the family business.
We are honored to have been featured and we thrive to continue supporting our Atlanta community and the woodworking community throughout the world by providing quality woodworking education and customer service.
The post Highland Woodworking Featured in Voyage ATL Online Magazine appeared first on Woodworking Blog.
|I'll have to remember about the pullout|
|epoxy has set up|
|sawed it apart|
|flushing the proud on the ends|
|I'll be able to do lid banding tomorrow|
|hammer is done|
|continuous grain flow|
|the opposite corner|
This has four coats of shellac and I will put on about 3-5 more before I wax it and call it done. I'll fill this with candy and give it as a xmas present. I will have to make one more for xmas and fill with a different candy.
|layout for the square till box|
|ready for grooving almost|
What is an Aulos?
answer - an ancient Greek single or double reed wind instrument usually played in pairs
My favorite part of any furniture project is the point when a solution has been found to a challenge. It’s a figurative crossing of the “hump” which then signifies hopefully smooth sailing moving forward. This past Saturday I crossed that hump.
The bad news first. The temperatures in the area dropped well below freezing, and though that is not unheard of in my neck of the woods, it is uncommon for this time of year. So after I returned home from work on Saturday the first thing I did was check on the desk top panel. The panel is just fine, but the breadboard end with the issue was not looking so good. The underside developed a split that was instantly noticeable. Maybe the cold exaggerated it, but at that point I didn’t care, so the instant decision was made to saw off both of those bread board ends, which I did using the table saw and a cross-cut sled. I understood it meant losing a few hours of work, but I know the decision was the correct one because I felt no real remorse then or now, and rather than dwelling on it, I moved on to putting together the leg assemblies.
The leg assemblies posed a bit of a challenge, at least to me they did. Firstly, I wanted them to appear as if they could fold up, so I could not ship lap them together, though that in some ways may have been easier. The dilemma was attaching them to the cross cleats, which sounds simple but was a bit complicated.
The issue was the offset of the legs. Because the legs were not ship-lapped, one side of the leg would obviously offset, in this case ¾ of an inch. So my solution was to make a filler board to make up the gap made by the offset. At that, I wanted the board to match the angles and width of the cleat board as closely as possible, so I spent a good deal of time clamping and measuring. Once I was as sure of myself as I was going to get, I made the cuts, planed it to final size and started drilling holes for the quarter inch hardware I purchased for the project. I won’t lie, those first couple of holes were nerve-wracking, because a mistake would cost me several more hours of work, but once I got moving things went relatively smoothly. It took more than two hours, but in the end I had a finished leg assembly.
Sunday morning I started on the second assembly, and using lessons learned from the previous night’s experience, I had it finished and ready to attach in under an hour, so rather than leaving those two assemblies on top of the workbench, I did just that attached them to the desktop using some angle brackets. I hadn’t planned to do an assembly to be honest, but curiosity got the best of me. The good news is that so far it looks pretty good. Admittedly, I was a little disappointed that the breadboard ends needed to be removed, but it doesn’t look bad in my opinion. But the better news is the fact that the legs all sit level with the ground. Generally, when making a table, there is usually a bit of wobble. As of right now the table sits nicely, and when I placed a level on the top I found it dead flat. At that, the table does rock a bit back and forth, but considering it is not permanently attached to the top yet, and considering the leg assemblies haven’t been joined together yet with any cross bracing, that was to be expected.
Lastly, I removed the assembled table from my garage and placed it in the family room, where I think it will be much safer. Over the years, I’ve found out the hard way that leaving unassembled furniture projects in my garage is a recipe for disaster. Maybe it’s gremlins; I don’t know, but whatever it is my projects seem to take a beating if they sit in the garage for too long, so I was taking absolutely no chances. In any event, the cat seems to like it, because as soon as I brought it inside the house she promptly hopped onto it, sprawled out, and took a nap.
Next weekend I will mill down another board to use for the cross bracing as well as the desktop drawer unit. Thankfully, I already have the drawer unit finalized in my mind, so the construction should have no unwanted surprises. So with a little luck I could quite possibly have a desk ready for finish a week from now.
On another note, some of you (or none of you) may be wondering why I did not post last week. Well, I had the very good fortune to go to Washington DC and not only take a tour of the White House, but to visit Mount Vernon as well. The Mount Vernon trip was not planned, it just happened to fall into place, and because I had not been able to go there last time I was in DC, I made it a priority. I will only say of the trip that I was completely blown away. The furniture examples in Mount Vernon alone are beyond description, and I would have taken photos, but they are not allowed inside the house itself. And because I believe that rules are a good thing (they are hardly “for fools” as some in the woodworking world would claim) I did not attempt any, and instead purchased a very nice book with photos that are much better than those I would have taken anyway.
My family, who was skeptical about the Mount Vernon visit in part because the day was cool, cloudy, and damp, was nonetheless blown away. My daughter in particular was completely awestruck. But the highlight, for all of us, was visiting the final resting place of George and Martha Washington and paying our respects. When I say that this trip was beyond inspirational and much more of a spiritual experience, I am understating to the highest degree. Upon leaving Mount Vernon, my admiration of George Washington, which was already immense, grew even greater. And more than ever I am committed to making this desk to the highest level I possibly can.
We are not the first woodworkers who ever wanted to tweak the coloration of our pieces; the ancients routinely augmented their work with the addition of colorants to both unify overall tonality and accentuate details. Among the most common colorants of the past were asphalt, that useless contaminate that percolated up from the ground, and pitch, which is the residue from the fractional distillation of pine sap into turpentine solvent and colophony resin.
For this workshop I showed and the CW crew used asphalt as a toning glaze. My source for this was some non-fibered parging tar left over from the barn basement construction. The three gallons I have left are all I and a thousand friends need for decades. I thin the asphalt with mineral spirits, and occasionally add a bit of boiled linseed oil.
The asphalt glaze can be applied to the surface and manipulated with bristle brushes to achieve an overall uniform appearance. For carved surfaces it could be applied the same way with the highest points rubbed with rags to remove the colorant and emphasize the three-dimensionality of the surface.
Asphalt can be overcoated with shellac as soon as it is dry to the touch.
The beloved backyard tree No store-bought lumber’s story can compete with that of boards from your own backyard. It can be wrenching to fell a beloved tree, but transforming it into a piece of furniture helps dull the pain by giving an old friend new life. Working with lumber from backyard trees tends to be far more labor-intensive than with wood that was commercially grown. Commercial lumber comes from forest […]
|removed a stop|
|nail set box|
|what's left to do|
|the epoxy comes first|
|back to working the stops|
After I got this fixed I ran into two more hiccups with the 073 holder. The first was I initially screwed the holder too close to the edge plane holder. I had done that without the edge plane in the holder. Once the plane was in it I saw I was up too close to it with the 073.
So I moved the holder and I hit snag #3. The screws were sticking out of the bottom of the shelf and hitting the front brace. I could open and close it but I could feel the screws dragging on the front cross brace. I left the screws in place and filed the points off with a file.
|#5 - making a relief for the handle to clear the side|
|#6 - the pic says it all|
|3 frog hairs of clearance|
|no knob or handle|
|took the easy way out|
|Houston we are almost in double digit problem land|
The final hiccup, #9, is I had to take out the stops. With them gone I can pull the drawer out far enough and get access to the edge plane. The downside is there is nothing to stop the shelf and the tools on it from playing the bounce test with Mr Concrete Floor. I tried to place the stops closer to the opening but it wasn't helpful at all. If I place the stops as far forward as I can I still don't have access to the edge plane. I will have to live with this as is and try to remember I can't pull it out all the way.
|block plane storage idea|
|road testing Miles's hammer|
|made dividers for the block planes|
|dry fit looks and felt good|
|last divider dado needed some help|
|dividers glued, clamped, and cooking|
|first coat of shellac on Miles's hammer|
|plane stop for the violin plane|
|I'll glue these two together|
|then I'll glue it here|
|the 103 is longer|
|my OCD kicked in here|
|laid out a rabbet and chiseled it out|
|doing a small one is just like doing a big one|
|the 103 toe is buried a bit|
|cleaned and squared up|
|I'll wait for this|
|3 coats of shellac on the box|
What is nikhedonia?
answer - the pleasure from anticipating success or a victory (or finally finishing a project from hell)
Things were going so well in the shop today that something had to go wrong it seemed. I was motoring along and things were looking good until I went to get chinese for lunch. The battery in the truck went south when I tried to go home. So what could I do? I went back into the chinese place and ate my lunch. They have a couple of tables there but I have never seen anyone eating in there before.
FYI - batteries ain't cheap. The last battery I remember buying was a Sears diehard and I think I ponied up $50 for it. I was looking on line to see what the prices were and I almost had an involuntary bowel movement. Let's just say batteries don't sell in the $50 range anymore. Starting prices for my truck are $140 and go up from there. One thing I noticed was that no matter the price the warranty on them was still only 3 years.
Got my replacement battery ($173) swapped out without any problems. I think I was heading for a battery explosion with the old one. It had bulged out on all 4 sides with ends being the worse. The car parts store gave me back $18 when I gave them the old battery. Don't remember getting $$$$ from the last time.
|this has cured|
|Amazon prime isn't two day|
|bought a piece of crap|
|kind of worked|
|this 4-in-one is mine|
|nail sets and a center punch for Miles's toolbox|
|I was hoping that I would get to this today|
|figured out my drawer stop problem and it starts with these two pieces of oak|
|screwed in place and the shelf is extended|
|first part of the drawer stop system|
|Miles's hammer almost done|
|this side doesn't have the grain of the opposite side|
|needs to stowed better than this|
|what I came up with|
|1/2" pigsticker fixed it|
|I barely touched this|
|fits now, both ways|
|glued it with rapid fuse|
|got to use my big chamfer bit|
|ripped up some oak veneer|
|I am applying the oak veneer to all of them thin sides|
|part two of the shelf stop system|
|how it will work|
|a backer so I can saw off my individual stops|
|mistake - replaced the 1" brass screws with 1 1/4" screws|
|all five the screws came through|
|had to do it|
|need a shallow rabbet - made it with the 140|
|didn't forget this time|
|while the molding glue sets up|
|6 tries and I'm getting close|
|the outside edge|
|same here as the inside|
In spite of my care and going slow I did switch the error on the lines. After the 3rd filing, the lines were going away from each other outwards at the top. I had to file a bit at the toe before I got my two parallel lines. I didn't check or try to make the inside and outside of the blade parallel.
|layout for the square till|
|pretty close to my lunchtime doodle|
I am also making it out of 3/4" thick pine. I am going with 3/4" because I can't find a decent hinge for 1/2" stock that is worth more than a thimble full of belly button lint.
|stock for the square till|
|the next to last operation for today|
|glued and cooking|
|the last thing I did before the lights were shut off|
Where is the US Air Force Academy located?
answer - Colorado Springs, Colorado
How five masterful makers integrate CNC and CAD technology into their woodworking In the December 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking magazine, the article, Digital Artistry is a peek at what five professional woodworkers are doing with digital tools in their shops. Each maker has an extensive traditional woodworking background and many years of experience before they began to use digital tools like CAD software and CNC machines. As I pointed out […]
The post Digital Artistry — Meet the Artists from the December 2017 Issue appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
|back clamped dry and square|
|Houston, we have a problem|
|checked the back for squareness|
|the front is off 3/8" from the back|
|now it's the same|
|my notches need some help|
|cut out all the veneer with the new marking knife|
|glued, nailed and screwed together|
|good on the F/B and S/S|
|cut and fitted the shelf gliders (?)|
|top shelf layout|
|a slight PITA|
|screwed the top onto the sides|
|have some flushing to do|
|making a holder for the edge plane|
|drilled out most of the waste|
|the top I evened out with the chisel|
|hadn't thought this far ahead|
|I have extra|
|I still have it|
|exploded view of the bullnose holder|
|same holder design for the 073|
How many US Presidents had no children of their own?
answer - five Washington, Polk, Harding, Buchanan, and Jackson
Time served funds a maker’s pursuit of woodworking happiness. With most things in life, you either pay with your time or your money. Say you want to build a box using 3/4 black walnut. You have three options: Buy boards milled to fi nal thickness from a lumberyard (least time, most money); purchase rough-sawn 4/4 boards to mill yourself (more time, less money); or fell a walnut tree, have a […]
I recently received advance copies of “Hand Tool Basics,” a new book by Steve Branam, hand tool instructor and author of the Close Grain blog. If you’re interested in incorporating more hand tools into your woodworking, but have felt overwhelmed by the prospect of learning how to use them, this book is a great visual guide to get you started. Step-by-step photos and instructions guide you through everything from sharpening tools to […]
|shiny brass - what could be better than this|
|up for grabs|
|replacing the LN 102 adjuster knob|
I didn't get one for the LN 103 which is the standard angle small block plane. I don't use it much and it has gotten even less use since I bought the LN 102.
|it is hard to see the split on the right|
|not happy with the gaps|
|metal wedges are next|
|metal wedges installed|
|sealing the top of the eye with some lacquer|
|can you hand plane rabbets in plywood?|
|picked the 140|
|pretty good for plywood|
|this didn't skim over it.|
|sometimes you get lucky|
|no problems sawing this|
|you can chop plywood cleanly|
|left notch is snug and this one is loose|
|I will be sawing excess off the cross braces|
What was the first railroad in the United States?
answer - the Baltimore and Ohio was the first railroad to transport freight and passengers in 1827
Curvy furniture is great to look at and usually offers a tactile aesthetic that makes it appealing. Holding it all together is the joinery – and whether it’s dovetails, tenons or lap joinery, creating that joinery on a curve adds a new level of complication. Whether made by hand or by machine, most of our training on making joinery starts with having flat and square stock to start with. We use reference […]
In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, Roger Benton, co-owner of Re-Co BKLYN (recobklyn.com), spends more time with us. During the discussion, he talks more about his design ideas and what jazzes him about his work. We also hear a great story about an incident about which many of us could relate.
Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Glen talks with various guests about all things woodworking and some things that are slightly off topic.