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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...
I emailed them to inquire about purchasing a replacement handle – I assumed they would be willing to sell me a handle to get my saw working again. I was wrong.
Instead they sent me a replacement, gratis. Wow, right? I certainly didn’t expect that, but it really made my day. The handle showed up in Wednesday’s mail (having shipped Monday from Maine to California). I installed it last night and I’m back in business.
This weekend I’ll finish the details on the base of the little Greene & Greene table I’m building. I hope. I’d like to see it glued up and done soon.
For 20 years, I talked for a living. All day, every day. Spent two weeks working by myself; then went up to the Lie-Nielsen Open House. Someone stuck a camera in my face & I wouldn’t shut up. (the youtube video done by Harry Kavouksorian, posted on Lie-Nielsen’s website) :
Here’s some photo views of the open house. it was a great one. See their facebook photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152214121253016.1073741897.100708343015&type=1
A few months back I had one of those very long antiquing days. When I am driving somewhere, I try to plans the drive to maximize the number of antique shops and museums. I started the day with a 90 minute drive to my favorite four acre antique shop. Many of the painted chests from this shop were covered in the 172 pictures in a PREVIOUS BLOG.
Then a mile down to an always interesting auction house. And a drive to Stantonsburg only to discover most of the good shops are closed on Wednesday. Who knew? Next was a drive south hitting every promising antiques shop until I ran out of time in Lumberton, NC at 6:00 PM. I did visit lots of dealers and took too many pictures.
And now I’m going to share.
First amazing piece it this attractive chest of drawers:
that doesn’t have any drawers.
Ever see a chest you really like but aren’t sure what the primary wood is?
Just look in the drawers.
I do have a fondness for painted armoires. This one is no exception.
It has some very nice details on the door.
I really liked this piece but no place to put it and no patience for sitting through an auction watching people buying stuff I don’t care about.
And the last preview is my favorite lock.
For those new to this lock, the lock has two bolts. One is high and goes to the right. The other bolt is low and goes to the left. Both drawers have appropriate mortises for the bolts. This lets you lock two drawers with one lock.
I really want one of those locks. If anyone knows the name of this lock or where to buy one, I would be forever in your debt if you shared.
To see more of these and lots of interesting things (bellflowers), click HERE.
A few weeks back I posted about router bit storage. At the end of the post I suggested that readers send me photos of their storage solutions and I would write a follow-up post showing those photos. Many readers shared photos of how they store router bits. I must say that the solutions were innovative and creative. But I was a bit disappointed that no one shared any of the […]
I was looking for one thing & found another. Last week when I wrote about the wood carrier that I learned from Daniel O’Hagan, I knew I had a shot that I took very quickly one of the last times I was down there. Couldn’t find it so I gave up. Today I found it while looking for some other photograph that is now more pressing.
Glad I didn’t see Daniel’s when I made mine – that way we get 2 interpretations of one form. 3 if we count the published one. Daniel’s versions worked for many many years.
Here’s mine from last week. I have more of this sort of thing to make in late August/early September.
For review, here’s the one from China at Work
I’ve gotta say this about old Andre, he never stops larnin’ me. Over the weekend I built another set of his winding-sticks-on-stilts as I call them, so that I could photograph them for an essay in the book. I have been trying to incorporate them into my own work practices for the past several months, and doggone if I can’t already see how they will make my work so much more efficient than it was previously. His approach to flattening rough stock is insidiously ingenious.
You can read more about these gems and how they are used in the upcoming To Make As Perfectly as Possible: Roubo On Furniture Making (Lost art Press, 2014?)
I have a few things to write about tonight. First, welcome to the scads of folks who showed up here after Chris wrote his piece about my new career. http://blog.lostartpress.com/2014/07/14/peter-follansbee-has-left-the-building/
Just to give you an inkling of what you might find here, my first & foremost specialty is 17th-century carved oak furniture. Like this:
But for quite a few years, I have carved spoons that I learned through Drew Langsner, Jogge & Wille Sundqvist. In recent years, the spoons have taken off – for which I am quite grateful. Expect many spoon posts here; and a DVD soon.
And then there’s the new/old directions; the wood carrier posted recently is a good example of the sort of thing I hope to be making from time to time that has been on a back burner for 20 years! http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/i-knew-i-shoulda-made-2/
And baskets like this too:
Soon, I will build a dedicated bowl lathe – similar to what we used at the North House Folk School where I was recently a student of Robin Wood’s. I have some cherry bolts just waiting to be turned into bowls. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/bowl-class-tip-of-the-iceberg/
As I said the other day, I’m just back from Lie-Nielsen, and just about to go back up there for 17th-century style carving. If you want to see where else I’m teaching this year: Lie-Nielsen this weekend, then Roy’s place (that one’s full, I think.) Heartwood in Massachusetts, and Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. here’s the link - http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014-workshop-schedule/
But today it rained, so stupid me thought I’d get the “making a living” bit rolling. So I spent an inordinate amount of time fiddling around with creating an Etsy site. I’m not completely sold on the idea, but will try it a while. When I have sold spoons here on the blog, the clunky way I set it up resulted in me spending more time at the desk & computer than hewing & carving. So this is my first attempt to change that. Right now, it’s just what boxes and stools I have left around the house. I’ll add spoons and hewn bowls next week. So if you’ve been waiting for the spoons, here’s your notice – say Monday afternoon. Here’s what I got with making the site – how come 10-yr olds can do this & I struggled with it?
At the Lie-Nielsen open house last weekend, luthier Patrick Sebrey, of Union, Maine, brought along a clever maple guitar stand on which he put the finishing touches during the two days of technique and tool demos. At first glance, I thought the piece was a musical instrument — perhaps a variation on a harp — thanks to the tuning keys and strings. But Patrick showed me how the thin, curve […]
"Between 2001 and 2012, 63,300 American factories closed their door and five million American factory jobs went away. During the same time, China's manufacturing base ballooned to the tune of 14.1 million new jobs." Beth Macy - "Factory Man"
I was really excited to get my hands on a copy of Beth Macy's new book "Factory Man". It's a compelling read about how the American furniture industry developed in the twentienth century only to collapse in the face of Asian imports.
The first half of the book is about the rise of the Southern furniture industry, and how, beginning in 1902, the Bassett family turned forests of Southern trees into the largest furniture company in the country, decimating the Great Lakes manufacturers of the 19th century in the process. We read about John Bassett, his family, his factory town, Southern class structure, the ins and outs of "good ol' boy" competition, and of course some family scandals. It's absorbing, wonderfully researched, and a great read. Beth Macy really knows how to write.
It's the second part of the book where things get ugly. Beginning in the 1990's Asian imports decimated the American furniture industry and company after company either folded, or closed their factories in favor of importing. At this time retailers, especially the big ones, dropped American makers and started buying directly from Asia, mostly China. By this time John Bassett III, had parted ways with the original family firm and went on to head Vaughan Bassett, a company founded by relatives back in 1919.
JBIII as he is called in the book, realized that if retailers imported directly, being middleman had no future, and at least some of the Chinese furniture was being sold as such a cheap price that, even taking into account the low wages in China, prices were below cost and the Chinese companies were dumping goods to destroy the American furniture industry (which they largely did). JBII did four things: He was forced to close a lot of his factories, He modernized the factories remaining with the latest equipment, He began offering faster delivery and more customization, and finally, sought protection from the ITC from the dumping. The details of what he did and the opposition and challenges he ran into make for riveting reading. It was clear from the start that the Chinese makers were dumping, but opposition by lobbyists on their payroll, retailers who liked the cheaper stuff, and pundits who deemed globalization inevitable was fierce and not necessarily wrong. It's even a fair question to ask at the end of the book: What was more important to the survival of the company? Government tariffs, or changing the way the company did business. Macy has the knack of showing how a personal story with real people fits into the larger picture of a company and an industry.
This book is not about furniture - it's about the furniture industry. It's about business and very much so how business decisions and trends effect the lives of actual people. Whether you are JBIII trying to protect both the livelihoods of others and your personal fortune, or one of the many employees of Bassett that are profiled in the book and lost their jobs in one factory closing or another, this book is about globalization from a actual people standpoint.
If you run a custom cabinet shop you will be interested to know that the trend of these large companies is to use their close proximity to customers and advanced machinery to become more and more like a custom manufacturer. As an aside Macy mentions one furniture factory that, not being able to complete in furniture, began selling custom drawers to custom cabinet shops. Sound familiar? I know many cabinet shops that outsource drawers and other assemblies to companies like that.
The one flaw in the book is that Macy doesn't include any pictures of the furniture that Bassett and Vaughn Bassett made. These days Vaughan Bassett sell only American made furniture, and you can check out their website here.
As for the book we don't stock it - but Barnes and Nobles does. Even better buy it from your local independent bookseller. This is a Hachette book so Amazon promises delivery in 3-6 weeks so don't get it from them.
Even my little niche of a “hardware store” the barn is beginning to look like there is a guiding organization involved. As a huge fan of Friederich Hayek and his mentor, Ludwig von Mises, it delights me any time order is emergent!
I have a few more parts cabinets to place there in the coming days, but I am not displeased at the progress thus far.
A few days ago I purchased a ½” wood rabbeting plane from Ebay. The item looked to be in good condition from the photos, the seller had an excellent reputation as far as Ebay is concerned, and the offer of $45.00 and free shipping I felt was very reasonable, so I took a chance and ordered it. The plane arrived last night-FYI in just 2 days-and has thus far exceeded my expectations. The plane is clean with no rust, the depth stop works smoothly, and most importantly, the iron is in fantastic shape at first glance. Though the iron looks like it hasn’t been sharpened in some time, it is clean and the edge is very straight. I am just guessing, but I think that whomever originally owned the plane only sharpened using a stone and not a grinding wheel of any kind. I’m not a fan of grinding wheels for sharpening, so to me that is a big plus.
I don’t know much about wood plane rehab, but I plan on giving the iron a good honing, removing the depth stop and cleaning it with Brasso, and giving the body a light cleaning with mineral spirits, followed by a coat of linseed oil and a few coats of wax. I checked the sole and found it very flat, so I will not touch it unless I notice a problem during use.
I purchased the plane because I like wooden planes, and because I would like to start making rabbets by hand when possible, in particular when it is only a small section. So this is basically just an experiment, and one I don’t feel badly in attempting because at worst it will only have cost me $45.00. I saw some nice deals on other planes as well and if all goes well I’ll order another. Funny, though I am hardly a traditionalist I seem to like wood planes better. I have no explanation, other than the fact that I like them. Who knew?
I’m just back from Maine, where I shot no photographs that we need here! (swiped this one) Too busy carving spoons & bowls. Had an all-out great time at Lie-Nielsen’s Open House. Because I shot nothing, you can read about it elsewhere -
http://www.marymaycarving.com/blog/ ( I got to tell Mary my “Mary May” story! – what fun)
So now it’s time to unpack my carving tools and wood, and then pack my other carving tools and other wood & head right back this Friday for a weekend class in 17th-century style carvings. Like these:
Last I knew, there was still some space left, so if you need to have a great experience, come take a class at Lie-Nielsen Toolworks – how can you go wrong with a weekend in Maine?
I recently hung a couple of banners in The Barn, just because they make me smile.
First was the original Barn On White Run banner we had last year at Handworks in Amana IA. I hung it off the bridge that connects the north and south balconies, and it is an immediate greeting once you enter the door.
As a total whim I ordered a 4-foot by 6-foot version of an image I am using to promote the Studley Tool Cabinet exhibit (tickets are still available), and hung it just opposite the door to my workshop.
At that size it is an unavoidable reminder of 1) how cool the Studley cabinet and workbench are, 2) how great the exhibit is going to be, 3) how great the upcoming book is going to be, and 4) that I should be scared out of my mind with all the work (and expense) still awaiting me in order to make #s 2&3 a reality.
Just a little something to drool over — the holly knob and tote are by Bill Rittner; the engraving is by Catharine Kennedy. – Megan Fitzpatrick p.s. I’m out of the office this week…and can’t seem to turn the pic on my phone. Sorry.
However, I spent about an hour Sunday night reading woodworking blogs. I would say that between 15 and 20 of those blogs were fairly new (all amateur) and many featured a woodworker about to sell his table saw. Now it’s not my place, but I am wondering why.
Don’t misunderstand me, if another woodworker doesn’t want to use a table saw it means little to me. The way I see it, there are a handful of really good reasons to stay away from a table saw: Safety, dusty, noisy (not always, depends on the saw), and they can take up a lot of space. But most of the blogs I read last night seemed to imply that the table saw was keeping them from doing good work. I’m wondering how that conclusion was reached.
It’s been my experience that having a poor tool isn’t all that helpful, but never has one caused me to do bad work. If my work is bad, and sometimes it is, I can’t really ever recall the tool being the blame, in particular if the tool was in working order. Maybe how I used the tool caused some problems, but that is another matter. A dull chisel will do poor work, or a table saw with a defective motor or rip fence, but that isn’t necessarily the fault of the tool.
So I’m hoping that if a woodworker out there reading this blog is also considering selling his table saw because he or she feels it hurts the work being performed, if you don’t mind I would like to hear your thoughts on why. Thanks.
Yesterday wasn’t terribly productive in terms of how much I got done, perhaps just slightly ahead of “watching paint dry”, but I’m happy with how things are coming out. It was about 85 degrees outside, and my wood shop feels like it’s ten degrees hotter than outside. It’s weird, because the other building where I have my metalworking junk is probably 10 degrees cooler than outside. Maybe I should only do metalwork in the summer…
I decided to do a little more scroll saw practice, but after a couple of cuts I decided that I was good enough on the shallow curves, and that the tight curves were too unpredictable. The really tight turns also seemed to show up mistakes more, and if I got off the mark it was harder to correct. So I did the only reasonable thing — I changed my design to avoid the tight turns.
Not by much, mind you. I just changed the radius on the really tight turns to be a standard fractional drill size so I could drill out the ends and concentrate on connecting the lines in between. I had to scale up the piercing a bit to make it look right, but I think it’s good. I printed out my templates, and headed out to the shop. Here’s how it went down:
First, I laid down blue tape on the wood. I discovered that the “Super 77″ spray adhesive I’m using is just too sticky and it makes a mess getting it off of the wood. This way the pattern sticks to the tape instead and the whole mess just peels right off when I’m done.
You can just see the centerline I laid out on the tape, I carried this over the top edge of the wood so I could use it to align the pattern with a “tape hinge”.
I included center marks on the new pattern so I could accurately drop in the drill locations. This is going to be like shooting fish in a barrel.
Then I drilled the holes for the ends of the design elements. For the “Star Trek Communicator” shapes I just drilled a 1/8″ pilot hole, far enough away from the line so I could nibble away the waste and start exactly on the line. I thought about dropping in a tangent circle at the tightest point in the arc for another drill but decided I could cut that without panicking. I think I will do that for the other skirt though.
I’m using a “#5 Flying Dutchman Ultra Reverse” blade, high enough blade tension that the blade makes a nice high pitched “twang” when plucked and a relatively low blade speed — maybe 1/3 of the maximum speed. I’m also wearing a #5 Optivisor so I can see the line and going relatively slowly, maybe half the speed I could theoretically push the board through the saw. Seems to work.
The cuts aren’t perfect but they aren’t far off either. There are a couple of little burs where I transitioned between the drilled holes and the sawn areas, but they are all undercuts (e.g. I left a little extra material instead of cutting outside of the line, or over cutting). There are a couple of little undulations as I sawed slightly to one side of the line — I tried to split the line, or cut to the inside of it, but this difference is just barely visible. I can clean all of this up with just a little sanding.
I’ll see if I can get an hour in the shop tonight and saw the matching skirt like this one. I already updated the pattern for the other skirt to add the tangent holes for the ends of the design. That design is significantly simpler too, it should be less challenging to cut. A little file and sandpaper should smooth out the piercings nicely, then I need to figure out how to round over the edges. I can do it with sandpaper I know — and probably will, as I want sort of an organic rounded shape anyway.