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This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway!  Enjoy!

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General Woodworking

Angry Eyes

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 11:28am

There is a common misconception that words, whether spoken or written, are meaningless, and that we should just ignore the insensitive, rude, or stupid comment and chalk it up to “trolling”. Well, I write a publicly open internet blog mostly concerning woodworking, including my projects, and my opinions on the topic. This entire blog is “word based”, as are most blogs. As far as I am concerned, words are pretty important. Words have forged nations, toppled empires, and started wars. Words have recorded world history. Words have moved people to great deeds, and brought ruin to others. Nearly every person on the planet communicates with words, both spoken and written, so yeah, I don’t think words are meaningless by any stretch.

There may be another misconception that I am paid or sponsored to write this blog. For the record, I am not. I receive absolutely nothing in terms of money, goods, or services. I am not a professional writer and I am not a professional woodworker, not even close on both counts. I do not sell anything here. I have done my best to support woodworking products such as books, videos, tools, and magazines that I have enjoyed and thought that others may enjoy. I have done my best to write honest reviews of those things (when I happen to write a review). Once again, I receive no compensation for those reviews, not in the least. In fact, I would go as far as to say that there are reviews that I have written, even though they were favorable, that the individual or company who distributes the product may not care for all that much. To that I say: If that is the case, please feel free to contact me and I will gladly remove the post with no hard feelings whatsoever. I’m not here to generate hard feelings. That being said, sometimes I do generate hard feelings, and sometimes I have them myself.

I’ll say this again because it is worth repeating: I have NEVER gone on another person’s blog or forum, in particular with regards to woodworking, and deliberately insulted somebody in the comment section. I have left comments, and almost always those comments were very innocuous, that were responded to by others in a sometimes not so friendly way. When that happens, and I see it, I will and have responded. Because the internet is filled with “Jack Wagons” as Greg Merritt so eloquently put it, a comment regarding something as simple as a hand plane you happen to like can easily turn into a name-calling, insult fest. If you are one of those people who think that woodworking blogs and forums are immune to that behavior you are woefully misinformed.

For my own part, if I feel the need to say something that may be considered “controversial” I do it on my own blog. The way I see it, another person’s blog is not the place to rant; there may be people who happen to read that blog who don’t particularly want to read somebody else’s ramblings. That is why I do it here, because there is no chance that somebody will accidentally read something they do not want to read. Otherwise, I freely admit that on my own blog I may say some things that other people don’t care for, or I may have an opinion that is not popular. Because I read a fair amount of blogs on woodworking and other topics, I sometimes read things that I don’t agree with. If I read something that is open to debate that I happen to disagree with, there are times I will comment. Once again, I do my very best to keep my comment civil and fair. If I read something that I completely disagree with, to the point that I may even become angry with it, I do the smart thing and leave no comment at all. There are some blog writers out there who want to generate controversy and a heated discussion on the comment board. They generally aren’t the problem, it’s the other commenters who are. So, rather than get into what I know will be a long, drawn out war of words, I avoid it completely.

The other day, I wrote a post about an exchange I had with a commenter on Popular Woodworking Magazine’s web page. There are people who didn’t agree with my handling of the situation, which is fine. I handled it in what I felt was an appropriate manner. Maybe the problem wasn’t with how the situation was handled, but the fact that I discussed it on the blog. Once again, I have no problem with that. But I do have a problem with explaining myself. As I said to a commenter the other day, there are things I write on this blog that I am serious about, and others that I am not. I leave it up to the people who read the blog to figure out the difference. That may confuse some people, and rightly so, but “it is what it is” as the cliché goes. A while back I wrote a post about the “Paul Sellers Controversy”, where he made a statement concerning woodworkers who use power tools. Was I really “outraged” at Paul Sellers? The answer is: “no, not even the tiniest atom sized bit of outrage”. But I will tell you what did bother me; afterwards, when the woodworking forums turned into an insult-filled, name-calling festival among those who both agreed and disagreed with Sellers. I took a lot of flak for that post, not only in the comment section, but much more so in emails. I spent far too much time explaining the point I was trying to make: I had nothing against Sellers one way or the other. At the time, I was only vaguely aware of him, and I read his comments second hand on another forum. I had a huge problem in that every “Jack Wagon” who read Seller’s post used it as an excuse to be a “Jack Wagon”.

We all have a right to an opinion, and he has a right to say what he likes on his on forum, just as I have the same rights on mine. I like to say that any opinion should at least be an informed opinion, but sometimes that isn’t the case. Either way, had myself or Sellers charged a fee to read our respective blogs because they contained a specific content that was expected with each entry, and then decided to change the format, then complaints would be warranted. But that is not the case with my blog, Sellers blog, or many, many others. However, it’s one thing to say on your blog or forum that you don’t like cheaply made tools or furniture; it’s another thing to tell people not to buy them, and it goes even farther when you make statements such as “The people who buy cheap tools and furniture are ruining woodworking!”. Your typical “Jack Wagon” who reads statements such as that suddenly has a whole lot of ammo to fire around the nasty comments and more importantly, they feel that their nasty comments have been validated.

So when it comes down to it, if you think I’m the “bad guy”, I don’t care. I’m finished with explaining myself or my style of writing. If you get it, and get what I am trying to say, I’m happy to interact with you even if you may not always agree. If you don’t get it, I can’t help you and I’m done trying. If that makes you angry then tough shit. I know who the “bad guys” are, and there are times I’ve pointed them out subtly and not so subtly. I’m not trying to sway anybody’s opinion one way or the other. I’m just putting my opinion out there. I am not leading the horse to water and asking it to drink; that is not why I’m here. I don’t want a flock; I want to interact with people who can think for themselves. Hopefully, there are still a few of you left out there.

Categories: General Woodworking

Our April 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner

Highland Woodworking - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 10:01am

hwt49frontHappy Spring! We’ve got a great project-filled April 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner.

This month’s issue includes:

Turning a Garden Dibbler- In this article, Curtis discusses his process for turning a Garden Dibbler, which is used for making perfect holes in the soil to plant seedlings. This makes a great spring project and can be used by kids of all ages!

An Improved Knockout Bar for the Lathe- A knockout bar is a very important accessory for your lathe and in this article, Rick Morris discusses how you can make your own. This design specifically incorporates a slide-hammer into the handle and a brass tip on the striking end for easy and effective use.

When Ordinary Won’t Do- Terry Chapman recently connected with Clark McMullen, a woodturner who makes a living out of turning urns. But his urns are no ordinary urns and they incorporate a variety of design elements that “turn” them into beautiful pieces of art.

Show Us Your Woodturning- This month we are featuring several bowls turned by John F. Hayes Jr, who enjoys using “gnarly” wood that adds a unique design to each of his bowls.

Phil’s Tip- Phil’s April tip is a great one for those who have found it hard to keep their turning wood from drying too quickly while turning over the course of a few days.

All of these stories plus some great product deals and discounts in our April 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner.

The post Our April 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Shooting board

goatboy's woodshop - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 8:32am

small_logo1-80x80 (1)My next main project will be a Sawyer’s Bench, designed by Tom Fidgen and featured in his book The Unplugged Woodshop. He hasn’t done a tutorial on the bench yet, but here is a video where he goes through the design of the bench.

The Sawyer’s Bench is basically a glorified saw-horse. It has a split top for rip cutting, a removable fence for cross cutting, and the configuration of the legs is slightly unorthodox in that two are set at 100° and the other two at 90º. This helps with rip cutting, as it not only provides a visual guide for a square cut, it also ensures that you won’t hit the legs with the saw. If my description is confusing, the video will clear things up.


Anyway, all of this throat clearing brings me to the point of this post. I have already rough dimensioned the cherry I will be using for the project, and I am shortly going to break out the marking gauge and planes to establish my final dimensions, before tackling the joinery. Since I want this project to be 100% unplugged, it occurred to me that I might need some kind of jig or guide when cross cutting for length.


So, from scraps of plywood I found around the shop, I have knocked together a reasonable attempt at a bench hook / shooting board combo.


I began by laminating two boards together for the base, one smaller than the other so that the plane will have something to run up against.



Then I glued on the ‘hook’ to the underside of the base, and laminated two pieces of ply together to make the fence.



Finally I glued the fence to the base assembly, ensuring that it  was perfectly square with the plane guide.





Now I can use it as a bench hook for cross cutting…






…and as a shooting board to ensure perfect squareness.


I might make a mitre block in the future, so that I can shoot 45° as well, but this will do for now.

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Tom Fidgen

ESL Students as Woodworking Role Models

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 6:51am

Don’t ya just hate those woodworkers who seemingly pick up and master new skills effortlessly? (A certain Village Carpenter and Heritage Woodworker come to my mind.) This type of person is truly accomplished in a certain area of the craft then one day decides – seemingly on a whim –  they’re going to learn a whole different branch of it. Next thing you know, they’re incorporating master-level carvings, intarsia, inlays […]

The post ESL Students as Woodworking Role Models appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

With Studley, the Sculptural Details Are Sublime

The Barn on White Run - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 5:15am

You might be getting tired of HO Studley posts, but it is all I am working o these days so it’s pretty much all I have to talk about.  It will all be over soon.

On my final visit to the Studley tool cabinet last October, with the owner’s permission I made a number of silicone rubber molds from the details Studley created and integrated into his masterpiece.  My access to the elements was not perfect, it was an intact artifact hanging on the wall after all, so I chose two part silicone molding putty from Hobby Lobby.  In the past I have used food grade molding putty by the bucketful, but for this project I needed just a bit and the hobby store package was just fine.


Using it is simple, just take equal parts of the two putties and knead them together until the color is uniform.  Then, in the next 15-20 seconds press the wad against the surface you are trying to mold, sit back, and remove a finished and cured mold in a few minutes.


Given the spatial logistics of taking impressions from the tool cabinet, the molds were not perfect but they were useful.  Once I got into the swing of producing the elements for the exhibit  “The Henry O. Studley Tool Cabinet and Workbench” (tickets still  available) I made some first generation beeswax castings from those molds just to see what was needed to come up with something exhibit worthy.




It’s fair to say that all of the castings in the upcoming exhibit were the result of several generations of molds and castings, with many hours spent in refining the representations of the elements under the microscope.  On a project with more available time I might spend a week per element, but in this case I was lucky to carve out a day per element.


Much like picture from the Mars Rover, the whole is often a composite assembled from the disparate pieces.  Even so, these are not perfect but they will allow the exhibit visitors to get a better sense of what Studley made to embellish his masterpiece.




In the end, using the molds for casting some pigmented West System epoxy  and some mother-of-pearl I got results that will convey the grandeur of these elements up-close-and-personal for the exhibit patrons as this panel will be sitting on the replica workbench for touching and examining closely.


As time allows I will detail the process of refining specific elements, with observations about both moldmaking and casting materials useful to the decorative artisan.

Mitered Tenons

360 WoodWorking - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 4:30am
Quite often mortises are cut deep enough in small legs that they overlap. This means that the tenons are going to bump into one another when the piece is assembled. If you don’t bevel, or miter, the ends of the tenons you’ll end up with open joints – and that’s not a good thing. I […]

Scything for breakfast with Chris Evans

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 3:41am
even more scything on the radio! Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

molding iron jig specs.......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 1:17am
Bob and a couple of people expressed an interest in making my molding iron jig. Have at it and maybe you can kick the tires and make it better. I got the idea for it from I picture I saw in one of my books. That picture had the molding iron on a board and both were clamped down to the bench.

Before I saw this I was trying to sharpen and hone my molding irons by holding it with one hand and trying to do the business work with my other hand. Not a good way to hone molding irons. I then started to clamp the irons directly to my work bench. There had to be a better way to do this.

Since I have now acquired a boatload of molding planes and none of the irons were sharp and honed, I needed something to help me out. Having both hands free to manipulate the sharpening medium while the iron is secured is an absolute must.  And this jig will continued to be used to maintain the irons once (if I ever) I get them all done.

Most of the jig measurements were driven by the molding irons and the scrap wood I had on hand. I wouldn't use plywood for this because it splinters and the grooves and the platform edges won't keep their shapes over time. I wanted to use white oak but I didn't have any scrap large enough. I did have a piece of quartersawn red oak so that is what I used. These measurements are by no means carved in stone but they are what I thought would work for me.

not my favorite spot
When I work at my bench I tend to work mostly in the middle going to the right by the wagon vise. This jig will work in here but it is better secured in the wagon vise.

just fits inside of the wagon vise dog block runners
Got lucky with this and I didn't have cut this 2x4 down to get it to fit in the wagon vise.

10 3/4" long and 3/4" thick by about 3 3/8" wide
This jig is longer than my longest molding iron. This keeps the tang captured in the 'tang slot' no matter how much is sticking out on the platform. All of my moldings irons are within a 1/4" of being the same OAL (over all length).

1/4-20 threaded insert
I used this size because I had a 1" long 1/4-20 PH bolt. You could go smaller here too. You don't need a lot of torque on this screw. An alternative would be to use a jig knob and I thought of that. But in the end I nixed because I didn't want it to get in the way of what I used to sharpen the molding iron.

my lateral stop
This I am going to change. I have 3 beading irons that aren't that wide and with the lateral stop all the way over there is a gap. If I cut the slot all the way to end I would have enough but the back end would now be open. I don't like that idea so I'll make another lateral stop that is enclosed like this but at least a 1/2" longer.

I eyeballed the position of the threaded insert after I had made the lateral stop. I set it with my widest molding plane iron in the jig. At that time it didn't occur to me to check it with my smallest iron in place too.

Another thing I did with the lateral stop was to position it so that inboard edge was up against the back edge of the platform. I didn't want this to be flopping around and moving on me. This way the lateral stop is restricted to a left and right movement.

lateral stop at the extreme left
It doesn't quite make it to the edge of the tang slot. I didn't think that it would be necessary for this to go any further.

panel raising plane iron
I would not sharpen this iron in this jig. It's just to show the positive stop that the lateral stop gives.

lateral stop won't work on this iron
This works somewhat but not totally. The profile of this iron would be off the platform to get to the right upper edge. This is something I just saw tonight when I grabbed this plane and pulled the iron out.. The thin scrap of wood and the clamp is the alternative lateral stop I wanted to show.  My original plan called for this to be up on the body and you would use it to provide a clamp for the business end of the iron.

You can also see the bulk of the clamp may get in the way when sharpening. This is another point for why I like the small profile of the PH screw holding the lateral support. I'll have to revisit this iron and figure a work around for it.

toggle clamp
I have a lot of these clamps leftover from a bunch of table saw jigs I had made years ago. The jigs are history but I saved the clamps. It works very well holding the tang down. I am tugging on the business end of iron and it isn't budging at all.

The tang slot is sized for my largest width tang which is a little over 3/8". The tangs on the molding irons are all over the dial. Some are thin, some are fat, and a few are tapered. Mostly they look like 10 miles of a dirt country road after a rain storm. I made the tang slot a few hairs less than 1/8" deep. I haven't experienced any problems with this slot or the tangs being smaller than it. And I have sharpened and honed about 15 irons in it so far.

an alternative hold down option
This was my first choice for a hold down. Instead of the screw I was going to use a threaded insert and a jig knob. The knob would be far enough away from the business end where it wouldn't get in the way. I saw the toggle clamp when I went searching for threaded inserts and used it instead. The same idea was going to used to hold the business end of the irons instead of the lateral stop I did make.

1/8" set up bar is proud in the slot and on the platform
I left 5/8" on the outboard side of the tang slot. That was to leave some meat that the whole left side of the tang could bear against. I screwed the jig to the 2x4 with coated deck screws. The platform area I removed with a butt mortise plane. You could the same with a chisel or a router plane.

the platform
This measurement is based on my biggest molding iron. I didn't measure it, I just eyeballed it. On my jig I made it 1 1/2". The clamp hold down and the lateral stop are what secure the iron in place. The back of the iron not touching the back of the platform didn't matter at all. With my sharpening and honing I wasn't exerting that much force on the iron to move it backwards (or side ways) at all.

about 2 1/2"
this I'm changing
The jig will drop down in the vise and I get a good range of vertical adjustment that way. I would rather have it tilted a bit towards me and that I can do but only with the very end in the wagon vise up above the runners for the dog block. I'll thin about the bottom 6-8" from 3 1/2" wide down to about 2" wide and see how that works before I trim it again.

I would have done this tonight but I have to go fight the traffic and pick up a package for my wife at FedEx. Maybe I'll do it tomorrow if I think of it. As you can see the jig is easy to make and can be customized to your liking even easier. Re-invent the wheel and if you come up with a better way post it and spread it around.

accidental woodworker who took a table building day off

trivia corner
Of the four Grand Slam tennis trophies, how many are gold and how many are silver?
answer - Wimbledon is the only gold one - the US, French, and Australian Opens are all silver

The Ambidextrous Grizz-ubo Workbench – The Unveiling

The Bench Blog - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 1:00am

My lords, ladies and gentlemen, after much ado, I present the Ambidextrous Grizz-ubo Workbench. (A Roubo inspired workbench with four Grizzly vises)

The Ambidextrous Grizz-ubo Workbench.

The Ambidextrous Grizz-ubo Workbench.

The tree that was used to make this bench, was felled in October 2012.  It was sawn into lumber and stacked to dry the same day.

I first started work on the bench by milling the lumber on March 8, 2014.  The bench was finished on April 17, 2015.

I wanted to take some pictures of the finished bench, so I put it on moving dollies and managed to get it out onto the driveway.

I wonder how long it will stay looking like this?

I’m pleased with the overall design and proportions of the various elements.

Ignore the giant mess in the background.

Ignore the giant mess in the background.

The sapele "pin striping" adds some character to the benchtop.

The sapele “pin striping” adds some character to the benchtop.

This side is technically the front, and the side I'll most often work from.

This side is technically the front, and the side I’ll most often work from.

I love the wavy grain in the sapele.

I love the wavy grain in the sapele.

OK, who want's to lift this back into my shop?

OK, who want’s to lift this back into my shop?

The oak drawbore pegs have darkened up nicely with the finish and add an interesting visual element.

The oak drawbore pegs have darkened up nicely with the finish and add an interesting visual element.

I bought two Veritas planing stops and a vise rack stop from Lee Valley.

Some Veritas goodies that I bought to outfit the bench.

Some Veritas goodies that I bought to outfit the bench.


Some Stats:

I thought I would pull some interesting statistics from my blog over the past year.  If I restrict my search to only posts concerning the workbench build (and not including this post), here are the numbers:

  • Total number of posts – 62
  • Total number of images – 1,058
  • Words written – 69,694  (wow… that’s a novel)
  • Time spent building the bench – 1 year, 1 month, and 9 days.
  • Tools broken – 1 (and I really liked that router)
  • Tools lost – 1 (I still can’t find that stanley folding knife)
  • Dog holes drilled – 84 (132, if you count the holes in the deadmen)
  • Christopher Schwarz’ workbench rules broken – all of them.


More Gratuitous Images:

Here are some more photos showing some of the details of the bench.

The wedged through tenons.

The wedged through tenons.

The tail vise mating up with the dovetailed breadboard end.

The tail vise mating up with the dovetailed breadboard end.

The wavy grain in the Sapele edge.

The wavy grain in the Sapele edge.

The sliding deadman with V-notch that rides on the stretcher.

The sliding deadman with V-notch that rides on the stretcher.

The re-finished Grizzly H7788 vise hardware.

The re-finished Grizzly H7788 vise hardware.

A Lee Valley Vise Rack Stop.

A Lee Valley Vise Rack Stop.

After the bench’s glamour shots, I put it back on the moving dollies and wrestled it back into the workshop.  So here it sits in its final home:

I moved the workbench back into the shop.

I moved the workbench back into the shop.

I feel as though I should mark the bench some how with a makers mark.  I don’t have a brand yet.  A small brass plate engraved with name and dates made might be a good thing to add (so long as I install it somewhere inconspicuous).  I’ll have to look into where I could get one made.

Ready for 100 years of service?

Ready for 100 years of service?


I would like to thank all of you who have commented on my posts over the past year and shared your thoughts, suggestions, and opinions.  Many of them have made me reconsider ideas that I was planning and several of them sent me in wholly new directions.  My bench, and my skill set are undoubtedly better off for your assistance.


Where Next:

Well, I really want to set up my dust collection system properly with rigid ducting;  I have some bench planes that still need restoring; And, I still need to make a shooting board and bench hook for the bench.  Also, the kids want a tree house and the wife wants a chicken coop.  So much for making furniture!

Stay tuned.


– Jonathan White

Shop made Roubo-esque crosscut bow saw

Je ne sai quoi Woodworking - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 11:57pm


This is the second of a working set of bow saws that I am building at present. I decided to use Andre Roubo’s plates as inspiration for this one. If you are interested in this brilliant book by Lost Art Press, check it out here. The final picture in the series below is what I was aiming for.


My bench while all this was going on.


In terms of wood, I thought Assegaai (Curtisia dentata) would be perfect given it’s strength and resistance to splitting when flexed. In the pictures below you can see the pieces I selected. You might be able to see how the grain is running off to the side at one end of both pieces destined for the cheeks. I specifically chose it like this to follow the curve of the top end of the cheek, hence improving the strength.


I used dividers to get a sense of the proportions of Roubo’s saw. One fixed measurement was the length of the saw blade (700 mm) as bought from Dieter Schmidt. I applied the proportions to this starting point to establish the length and width of the cheeks. In terms of the shape I simply drew something that followed the grain and added some artistic je ne sais quoi.


I drilled and chopped the mortises in the cheeks prior to shaping.


With the stretcher in position I marked out the correct location of the holes for the cross pin (6 mm or ¼” steel bolt in this case)




These holes were tapped and countersunk.


Next step was to cut the kerf for the blade.


I used the bandsaw to do the rough shaping.


The lines to guide the next phase of shaping were drawn as shown, using my finger as a fence. It is quick and easy.


The rest of the shaping were accomplished with spokeshaves, files and a card scraper.


I used the same piece of Tamboti as mentioned in my previous post for the spindle of this saw. It was simply a bit bigger.


A quick test fit. I really hope Brian Eve (Toolerable) does not get on my case again with regards to the string I used. I do not even know what this stuff is called, but it is cheap and available so that is what I went for.


Tung oil treatment.


Don’t you think Assegaai is exceptionally beautiful? I do. This saw hums through African hardwood. Viva Monsieur Roubo!!


My next project will be a Fidgenian frame saw. The other saw I have built already is a 12″ bow saw. Go here if you want to take a look.

Scything on Radio Lancashire

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 12:03pm
The whole of the BBC has gone a bit scythe crazy! At least the goats are happy... Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Sweet Music in the Woodshop

360 WoodWorking - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 11:18am
This past Saturday, I taught a one-day workshop for the Central Indiana Woodworkers. The shop was relatively quite in the morning, but after lunch the shop filled with sweet music that told me work was getting done. But this is sure to drive the “hand-tool-only” crowd over the edge. Enjoy. — Glen D. Huey

Proud Papa

McGlynn On Making - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 8:15am

My son has taken to building “Rolling Ball Sculptures”, also known as marble mazes in the last couple of months.  He built one or two of these several years ago on a lark, and lately he’s revisited it with a passion.  He will go out in the shop any chance he gets, bending and twisting bits of 6 gauge copper wire to create complex runs.

His early projects were simple downhills, and with each one he’s added more interesting ball movements, gates and drops.  On this one he formed two copper pans from sheet — all without any coaching or guidance from me.  Everything is soldered together with common lead-free plumbers solder, which makes complex joints tricky without un-soldering something he’s done previously.  But he keeps at it, revising and modifying until he’s happy with it.

This track includes two completely separate runs, a ball switcher to toggle between two paths, and a ball lowering device he designed in addition to the two copper drop pans.  Pretty cool stuff.

Next he wants to incorporate a ball lift so it can continuously cycle marbles.  He’s started building a prototype lift, and it’s kind of challenging — but I expect he will figure it out before long.  I’m really proud of what he’s done all by himself.

Categories: General Woodworking

‘Time, Taste and Furniture,’ by John Gloag – a 1925 Gem

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 7:00am

The last woodworking book that had me reading cover to cover was “Is it Genuine.” Here’s another that had me doing the same: “Time, Taste and Furniture,” by John Gloag. I love discovering a good book as much as finding a unique piece of woodwork. I found this one in a local antiques store. I had no prior knowledge of the author, so I had to judge the book by […]

The post ‘Time, Taste and Furniture,’ by John Gloag – a 1925 Gem appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Shaker End Table Redux

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 7:00am

One of the joys of taking a woodworking class is getting to do or see some technique you have read about and think you know, but have never actually done.

A good example was in the class I took at Highland a few weeks ago to build a Shaker Style End Table with instructor Jim Dillon.  Jim works at the carpentry shop at Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta and teaches classes in the evenings at Highland.  I don’t know if they let him work on the dinosaurs at Fernbank, but they probably should.

Stock Preparation

Stock Preparation

There are three big things I learned at the class with Jim :

The first is the hand planes.  Now intellectually, I am very familiar with hand planes.  You may think the same thing, in that you have read lots of books, and seen lots of videos, and watched Roy Underhill for years, but until you have seen and HEARD! someone use a sharp plane on a piece of wood, let me tell you, Buford, you have no idea.  Most of us think the way you get a good finish on a piece of wood is to feed it through the electric thickness planer and then hit it with 320 sandpaper in the random orbit sander.  You really need to get in a class with someone who has a properly sharpened hand plane and see the shimmering sheen left by a hand plane and those read-a-newspaper-through-it shavings.  Once you can do that, there will be no sandpaper on your projects.  One and done as they say.

Tapering Jig at Work

Tapering Jig at Work

The second thing was the tapering jig we used to taper the table legs.  I have tapered legs before on the table saw with a tapering jig and it is not a comfortable situation.  My hands are a little too close to the blade and I always felt like it was one step from total disaster.  I wanted to call someone and say if you don’t get a call back from me in ten minutes, send the ambulance and the PortaJohn.  As you can see in the photo, we had a tapering platform we ran through the thickness planer.  It worked beautifully and is easily made.  Simply double sticky tape the legs to the jig and keep running the jig through until the cutter head reaches the flat where the side aprons land.  I think I remember it being 7/16” per foot taper.  I like this tapering jig.  No ambulance.  No PortaJohn.

Bevel Edge on the SawStop

Bevel Edge on the SawStop

The third thing was the bevel on the edge of the table.  We set this up so that the remainder edge on the table top was a quarter of an inch and then we wanted the bevel to be four inches wide.  Since we had all planed our table tops by hand, none of them were the same thickness.  There followed a pretty good discussion of how to make that work and the answer is the angle of the saw blade has to change slightly.  If you hold the quarter inch remainder plus the four inch bevel on different thicknesses, then the angle is the only variable.  You can see in the pictures that we set the table top on edge and clamped it to a fence riding jig for safety.  (And I am truly deeply sorry for that fleeting one hundredth of a second when I thought what a great blog entry if someone tripped the SawStop.)

Festool Domino Joiner

Festool Domino Joiner

It was a real pleasure to use the SawStop Table Saw and the Festool DF 500 Q Domino Joiner, neither one of which I own or use.  If I ever trade my table saw, the SawStop is top of my list.  The Festool Joiner is more tool than I need in my little shop, but what a well-thought out, professional quality tool.  It has every adjustment you could ever need and the Dominos were almost a drive fit when we installed them.  The eighth inch reveal at the legs where the apron meets was a dial-in on the Festool and it worked perfectly.

Good class, well taught with good tools and techniques and well worth your money.  Watch the class schedule for the next one and join in.


The post Shaker End Table Redux appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

A woodworker’s birthday

Je ne sai quoi Woodworking - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 3:29am


Check out what my staff came up with this morning. Pretty impressive hey! A birthday cake for a Psychiatrist (note the pictures of brain matter in the background) who works wood. I think those nails look very traditional, don’t you?


some good and some bad......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 1:16am
Haste makes waste and don't count your chickens before they hatch and all that other cutesy saying crappola.  Bottom line, I mind farted again sometime last week and I smelled it tonight. Oh well, fecal matter is happen stance, isn't it?

The plan tonight was to dry clamp the base, get my shoulder length measurement, and bang out some tenons. The dry clamp of the base was ok, check mark #1. I got my shoulder length measurement, check #2. Check #3 for making tenons didn't happen.

almost dry clamped
Doing this by myself was a fun adventure in hell. I felt like I was rehearsing a 3 Stooges routine. I finally got it done and I don't think my heart rate got much over bazillion beats a second. I can't imagine what it's going to be like when it comes time to glue all the interior rails at the same time too. I may have to enlist the help of my wife when that time comes.

the haste and waste part
For the eagle eyed readers, I'm sure you see the two errors. Numero uno are the smelly button mortises on the wrong side of the apron. #2 is the tenon not in the mortise on the right. That is because when I glued up the long apron I put hide glue in the wrong mortise the first time. I have a couple of hiccups to scare off first.

it's a bit snug
I'm sure that I could tap this in with my mallet but I don't want to risk splitting the right side mortise wall.

quick work with a chisel and the tenon slid into the mortise
rearranged the shop
I moved the drill press over here and pulled the table saw up closer to the knee wall. This table is taking up a lot real estate.

dry clamp looks good - all the shoulders have closed up
I'm square
I got the diagonals within a hair of a 1/16". This one is 76 5/16" and the other one is a hair over 76 1/4". I think that is pretty good for something this big.

my shoulder length stick
This is the point that I picked to make my measurement stick. The frame is almost dead nuts square and at this point here it is closest to the legs. I measured the location of the drawer runners on the right and that was 29 5/16". The center rails come in at 29 and not quite 3/16". The left side drawer runners are 29 3/16". The stick reads the same here and at the bottom of the apron and also on the same on the other end of the base.

Both the front and rear aprons have a bit of dip and doodle in them that makes the measurements different up and down the length. But at the ends where the go into the legs there are no humps or hollows. I'll use that measurement and that should straighten out the aprons and help to square up the whole base.

L to R - center rails, drawer runner rails, and the tilt rails
double triple checking my mortise gauges
I left my gauge lines running long just in case I had to reset one or all of the gauges. All 3 fell right into the lines.

I did something right - one point for me
marking the shoulder length
I clamped each of rail groups together and knifed a line across all of them at once. This is as far as I got tonight. I got the mortises for the buttons done and I'll have to plug them. But that is something I can do later. I think that is something I don't have to practice doing first.

Mike left me a comment about getting the table out of the cellar and it got me thinking about it again. I had already measured all the doorways I have to maneuver the table through and I did it again. The table will be leaving the cellar in two pieces. The base and the top will exit separately.

The base is 29 1/4" high and all the door and openings (4 of them) are 31" or 32" wide. I think it's doable and if not I'll have a sharpening station bench.

accidental woodworker    day 11 done 25 more to finish the table

trivia corner
What was the first name of Lt Colombo from the TV series Colombo starring Peter Falk?
answer - Phillip

Lining the Vise Chops with Leather

The Bench Blog - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 1:00am

The last step in my work bench build has finally arrived.  It has been quite a journey, and I can certainly say that I never thought it would take me this long.  But I have greatly enjoyed the process and have learned much along the way.

The last remaining part of the project is to line the vise chops with leather.  I mentioned in an earlier post, How to Make Round Benchdogs – A Pictorial, that I had purchased a half hide of leather from Brettun’s Village.   My original plan was to line both the vise chop and the inner jaw (edge of the bench).  After some consideration, I revised that plan to only line the vise chop.  This will keep the edge of the bench in a single plane a not have a piece of leather glued to it.

A half hide of "book-binders" leather.

A half hide of “book-binders” leather.

To get started, I removed the chops from all four vises and placed them on the leather.  I spent a little time trying to find an arrangement that would waste the least amount of leather.

Arranging the vise chops for the most economical use of leather.

Arranging the vise chops for the most economical use of leather.

This should minimize the waste.

This should minimize the waste.

Once I had the layout that I wanted, I went in search of my white china marker.  No luck, it must have grown legs and walked out of the shop.  Or more likely, the kids took it.  So, I went a raided the kids crayons.  No white, but I did find a yellow.  It’s not ideal, but it does show up on the dark brown leather… just.

I couldn't find my white china marker, so I grabbed one of my kid's crayons.

I couldn’t find my white china marker, so I grabbed one of my kid’s crayons.

I drew around all the vise chops and then cut the leather out with some scissors.

I drew around all the vise chops and then cut the leather out with some scissors.

I cut out the leather with scissors and placed each piece over the vise chops to confirm they were the right size.

The four pieces of leather cut out.

The four pieces of leather cut out.

The next step was to glue the leather to the vise chop.  I  have read a few online opinions about what glue to use for this task and either hide glue or common PVA seems to be the most frequently mentioned.  I had planned to use one of these myself, but my recent success using contact adhesive while making my benchdogs had me rethinking this plan. I decided to try attaching leather to just one of the vise chops to see how well it worked.  I applied the glue to both surfaces and waited for it to start drying.

I coated both surfaces with contact adhesive and waited for it to dry.

I coated both surfaces with contact adhesive and waited for it to dry.

The leather absorbed quite a lot.

The leather absorbed quite a lot.

Once the glue had just turned dry to a light touch, I attached the leather and went over it with a pressure roller to make sure I got a good bond.  I then trimmed the leather flush with the wooden chop and from the holes.

I cut out the holes with a scalpel.

I cut out the holes with a scalpel.

I also used the scalpel to trim around the edge.

I also used the scalpel to trim around the edge.

I was very happy with the bond and repeated the process for the other three vise chops.

And reassembled the vise.

And reassembled the vise.

The holdfasts also got some contact adhesive and leather.

I also put two layers of leather on each of my holdfasts.

I also put two layers of leather on each of my holdfasts.

After gluing the leather to all four chops, I reassembled the vise hardware.  Up until this point, I have never installed the screws that hold the vise face plate tight against the chop.  This is mainly due to the way I drilled the holes for the main screw and guide rods. There is no slop in these holes and they fit the metal parts with very tight tolerances. When you unscrew the vise, the chop stays against the face plate and doesn’t sag or move. This is caused by the thickness of the chop and these tight tolerances.  I have had to assemble, disassemble,  and reassemble the vises several times in the building of this bench, and saw no need to install the face plate screws until the very end.

Now that I see no further need to disassemble the vises, it is time for the screws to be installed.

The vise face plate has holes for three screws.

The vise face plate has holes for three screws.

I mounted a center finding bit in my drill and drilled pilot holes in the three holes in the face plate.

Brass screws to finish the vise installation (and a steel screw to pilot the holes).

Brass screws to finish the vise installation (and a steel screw to pilot the holes).

I bought some brass screws (to match the gold paint on vise hardware) but these can be softer than you might be expecting depending upon the alloy blend used in the particular batch of screws you bought.  When using brass screws, it is advisable to first install a steel screw that is the same size, length, and pitch.  This will cut threads into the wood that the brass screw will then follow.

After drilling with the center-finding bit, I installed a steel screw.

After drilling with the center-finding bit, I installed a steel screw.

I removed the steel screw and installed the brass ones.

I removed the steel screw and installed the brass ones.

My son came out to the shop and installed the last screw.

So….  That’s it…  It’s done.  One year and one month from start to finish.

It feels a little anti-climatic actually.  Not that I was expecting the heavens to open or a fireworks show to ensue, but  I sat back and thought, “Wow, it’s done!”

I took a load of pictures of the finished bench and I’ll try to publish that post in the next day or two.

More soon.


– Jonathan White

Pressing Lard From Cracklings: More Oddities and Amusements

The Furniture Record - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 9:43pm

Keeping up my routine, I visited the two local auction houses at the end of last week. Nothing spectacular but a reasonable assortment of interesting inventory. Like this item billed as a “campaign bed”:

Looks like a bench.

Looks like a bench.

but unfolds into a bed.

but unfolds into a bed.

This brass medallion identifies this as being made by W & S Wales of the UK:

IMG_9721The sign of the wale.

I found this bit of information on several web sites:

“Cabinetta” campaign bed by maker W & S Wales. Used by high-ranking British officers in WWI and the Boer War. Solid mahogany bench and frame easily converts to canvas cot and includes cotton batting sleeping pad. Sturdy and easily transportable, has canvas carrying handles & folds down to form a small seat or table.

If it’s on the internet, it must be true…

I heard some other blog out there has been all about three legged furniture. I found this “Spanish” birthing chair at the same auction:

Three legs and Spanish.

Three legs and Spanish.

Yet another view.

Yet another view. Looks hand made.

The cross-town auction house had stuff, too. This one confused me a bit. Is it a piano converted into a desk  or a slant front desk built to look like an Eastlake, upright piano?

Piano to desk or purpose built piano desk?

Piano to desk or purpose built piano desk?

Interesting gallery:

IMG_9675Pianos don’t generally have one of these.

Drawers are NOT dovetailed.

Lock rabbet joint.

Lock rabbet joint.

Sure looks like it was a piano:

Maybe not.

Maybe not.

Another great old tube radio:

Streaming audio player without local storage.

Streaming audio player without local storage.

This last piece gives the column its name:

The Enterprise Sausage-Stuffer - Lard - Fruit Press.

The Enterprise Sausage-Stuffer – Lard – Fruit Press.

by the Enterprise Mfg. Co. of Philadelphia, PA, USA.

It was a multiuse device before Ron Popeil or Ronco.

Three machines in one. Fast and Easy to Use For…

Stuffing Sausage or other Meats into Casings

Pressing Lard from Cracklings

Pressing Juice from Grapes, Berries, Tomatoes and other Fruits  and Vegetables.

To see more pictures of these items and the rest of the auctions, click HERE.

PopWood Twofer — Blessing and Curse

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 5:46pm

I’ve been a reader of Popular Woodworking for several years, and in recent times have enjoyed a very congenial working relationship with them.  I just got the latest PW Issue 218, which is a terrific and not just because I have two things in it.  There are several great articles including the cover project and a long insert.


The magazine features my article on decorative wire inlay (bisected by the aforementioned insert) and the End Grain column about the Studley Tool Cabinet that ran on the Popular Woodworking web site a few days ago.


Mrs. Barn glanced through the issue and said, “Very nice article. (I think she was talking about the Studley piece — DCW)  But when are you going to start making furniture for me?”

Ouch.  I guess I know what I’m doing after the Studley exhibit.


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by Dr. Radut