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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...

Be sure to visit the Hand Tool Headlines section - scores of my favorite woodworking blogs in one place.  Also, take note of Norse Woodsmith's latest feature, an Online Store, which contains only products I personally recommend.  It is secure and safe, and is powered by Amazon.

General Woodworking

When Good Tools Go Bad.

Inside the Oldwolf Workshop - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:13pm
I get the idea that for some woodworking is mostly about accuracy. Accuracy is important but it has it's place. I have never worried about how infinitesimally thin I can get my #4 to take shavings, There are times and places I take thick groatish shavings, even with my #4. Instead I worry about the line I'm shaving to and the surface left behind. Who cares how gossamer the shavings are on my shop floor and under my feet.


I bought my first marking knife in 2010. Up to that point a pencil had always worked well for me. I bought it because I'd read it was something essential for a hand tool woodworker to have and to use. I knew it was indispensable to improving my dovetail layouts. I knew it because the internet had told me so, and the internet never lies. Abraham Lincoln wrote that and I know because Facebook told me so. Facebook is also on the internet.

I bought that marking knife and tried to use it. I tried to use it just like I'd read about.


I bought that knife. I tried to use it, and it was horrible. I hated it. It stuck in the grain, It took a slice off the blade of my wooden square. It wiggled and pushed the square out of line. It slipped and cut my finger. It cut into the dovetails I was trying to trace. The damned thing was defective.

I put it back into it's plastic sheath and threw it into the drawer of a tool cabinet. The controversy was settled, I was a graphite man.


A while later I built a traditional tool chest and started to work out of it. I emptied the drawers of my tool cabinet into the tills of my chest. The Damned Marking Knife ended up with my measuring and layout tools in the top till. I spent a while moving it out of the way to grab a pencil. Then I started to pull it out of the chest every once in a while to see if it was still defective.

Once in a while grew to more often, which grew into fairly frequently.

Then I impulse bought a second marking knife at a woodworking show in Milwaukee.

That one seemed to follow the example of the first, It worked as well.


I'm proud to announce the Damned Marking Knife has learned it's lesson. It understands if it stops working again I will be forced to return it to exile. I consider this another bad tool reformed.

Now where did I put my pencil?

Ratione et Passionis
Oldwolf
Categories: General Woodworking

A use for young beech leaves

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 11:32am
beech leaves There's more to trees than just wood - the bark, sap, fruit, seeds and roots are all useful. Yesterday I was out collecting leaves for a project I've been wanting to do for a few years. Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

‘The Shellac Archive’ from Don Williams

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 11:19am

'The Shellac Archive' from Don Williams

Don Williams – conservator, historian and woodworker extraordinaire – was in town a couple weeks ago to shoot a video on historic transparent furniture finishes, for which he brought a truckload of examples and props (the video will be available in mid-August). He was kind enough to leave some of his stuff behind for us to try out, including the “lemon shellac flour” pictured above. Now Don cares about shellac […]

The post ‘The Shellac Archive’ from Don Williams appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

English Mortise Chisels - Mid-18th Century to Now - Part 5 - How to Handle a Chisel

Tools For Working Wood - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 4:00am
Click here for the start of this series. In the nineteenth century (and less so the twentieth) you could purchase edge tools with or without a handle. Especially in the era before 1850, when ferruled tools became common, handling was a labor intensive job. In Sheffield the job of handling was and still is done by the Cutler.

The complex shape of a mortise chisel make is seem like a daunting task to re-handle but it's not.

I'm going to repeat a paragraph from the previous blog in this series because it is so important:"

"A point to understand is that the handles are held on the tang by compression. It's exactly like driving a nail into end grain, only bigger. Like a nail or a Japanese plane iron what holds the tang in the wood is pressure from the compression, and just as if not more important, the fibers of the wood getting bent back and resisting the tang being pulled out. In theory at least one might strive for a hole for the tang that is just a tad smaller than the tang is and fits it like a glove. In reality that's impossible to do and doesn't matter anyway. The compression forces are so high that as long as there is reasonable engagement we will be able to stick a tang in the handle and even before it's driven completely home - it will be impossible to remove. "

The other thing to consider is the condition of the chisel bolster where the handle has to butt up flush against. In theory the bolster should be reasonably flat but in this particular case the bolster is uneven from a crude forging process. If the handle doesn't fit flush against the bolster it won't transfer forces from the handle to the chisel evenly and will crack. I have two solutions to this. Grind the bolsters flat. On a high speed grinder this is pretty easy to do and takes minutes. If this chisel wasn't a sample from my collection that's what I would do. The other solution, which is found on so many old mortise chisels is a leather washer. The leather compresses and takes up any gaps. But because of the uneveness in the first place the leather won't compress evenly and you will have uneven handle pressure and eventually the handle will crack. This solution is better than doing nothing, and helps the forces a little, but I hate it. But since I don't want to grind this chisel, and it gives me one more operation to show off, leather washer it is. But I hate it. As it turned out at the end if it all we ground the bolster sides a little as when we flushed up the handle. You can see uneven bumps in the bolster and when the handle breaks I expect to just grind the bolster flat and do a proper job. This particular tang also had barbs on it from a past repair. The barbs screwed up the fit on the first handle I made (too loose) so I ground them off for the second one and that worked much better.

1 - Find a square scrap of wood the right size. The average mortise chisel handle is about 5 1/2" long. It should be the same proportion as your bolster on the chisel but since we want the handle to taper made it bigger. 1/8" to 1/4" seems about right. But don't taper it yet. The most important characteristic the wood must have is that it should not be brittle and it should be bone dry. Brittle wood won't compress and will split. And wood that isn't dry will shrink both inside and out and shrink away from the tang, making it loose. This handle was pretty long. We trimmed it down after we were all done.


2 - Drill the handle for the tang. On a modern tool with square, non-tapered tags one drill bit a touch bigger than the width of the tang but less than the diagonal width should work fine. For a tapered tang like I am handling in the pictures you want two bits or three. I used four because I had them handy. The big thing to check for is making sure you can get the depth you need without moving the drill press table for all the bits you are using. Starting with the largest bit, drill successively. In both tapered and non-tapered tang situations you want to drill at least 1/8" past the length of the tang. Since I am drilling into end grain I find using regular twist bits seems to track better than brad points. The reason we start with the biggest bit is to help keep the bits tracking straight.

The instructions in the AQ-1135.XX,Joiner & Cabinetmaker) call for a single bit - which was a lot more work and hard to chisel accurately and the drill bit didn't track well.

3 - Layout and then chop a rough square taper that follows the profile of the tang using the tapered hole as a guide for the square hole. You want the chisel to seat to about 1/4-1/2" in the handle. Don't worry about engagement - the compression that holds the handle is is massively strong so if your chopping isn't perfect it will still work fine. The easiest way I know of to clear the chips from the hole is to keep a drill handy with the smallest bit you used and just redrill the hole when it's clogged and then shake it out.


4 - Chamfer out the hole at the base so the radius at the corner where the bolster meets the tang has a place to go.

5 - Do any rough shaping you need on the handle. (which I didn't do).

5A - If you are using a leather washer cut a scrap of leather oversize and cut a hole for the tang big enough so when the leather is against the bolster it lies flat.

6 - Bang the handle onto the tang. If you got the drill depths right it will compress all the wood fiber it needs to to hold on for dear life. If you got it wrong the handle either won't go on, fall off, or split the wood.
6A - If you are using a leather washer trim the excess leather away so the washer is flush with the bolster.

7 - Do a little more shaping of the handle. Rasps work great. Blend the handle into the bolster using files or a belt sander. While the wood might shrink or expand over time, having a flush fit is the way to go. The whole process took under under two hours. It would have taken less time if I didn't have to scout around for drill bits and if I didn't screw up the first handle. I doubt there is more than 1/2 hour of actual work in it. Most of the time was just fru-fooing around.


8- If you did NOT use a leather washer you might have a gap or two between handle and bolster. A small gap doesn't mean much but you really want the bolster to support the handle all way around. So what you do is take a hacksaw and saw all around the wood at the base of the handle next to the bolster. Then drive the handle a little deeper. If that doesn't fix it repeat until the gap is gone.

9 - Finish with linseed oil, or some other oil finish that doesn't make the handle slippery.

10 - Use your newly handled chisel on a project.

If you look on the Internet there are some people who suggest enlarging the hole for the tang by burning in the tang. While we see broken handles where this was done this was NEVER done professionally for three reasons: It's way to easy to set a handle without doing this. It's extra unnecessary work. Most importantly, the layer of soft charcoal in the handle will make the chisel easy to bed but also make the chisel easy to loosen and fail. The technique described here works by compression and even with a minimal interference fit the compression forces are huge. After I finished Ben and Tim played Tug-of-war with the chisel and as expected the handle was fine. It's not coming off anytime soon. The method works with all tanged tools. One advantage of using a ferrule on a tanged chisel is that the wood can take a lot more compression than an unferruled handle can, but in either case the wood compresses around the tang, and the exposed ends of grain keep the chisel from pulling out.

Occasionally you will run across old tangs with barbs cut into them. I'm guessing this is also an amateur repair, you don't need it and I ended up filing my barbs off.

I think the real message of this blog is not how easy it is to replace a chisel handle. But how little expertise and equipment is actually needed, and how fast the job goes. And the handle works. It's poplar - which is what I had lying around - and that uneven bolster might even be the reason why is was unhandled when I bought it. If my handle stock was a little thicker the final handle would have been more oval, but we were just following the bolster profile which is rectangle-ish. On another chisel I handled last week, not a mortise chisel, I had to use a hacksaw to get the handle flush (see above) that took a few minutes but again this isn't complicated and nothing to be scared of.

Note: Ray Ile's 1/4" and 5/16" Mortise chisels will be back in stock by the end of next week (April 23th or so)

This post draws to the end the series on mortise chisels. I know I left some topics out such as how to chop a mortise, why the grind angles, and other stuff. I'll cover that in the future.
I also must mention that as a professional iron monger I occasionally feel the need to mention new or interesting products that we stock in my shop. With Spring coming I feel the need to mention our Rivendell Mountain Works Back Packs before I forget and you are already set for summer. The Lupine day-pack is the best bag I have every used, and in a year's work of daily use mine shows no wear. The Mariposa Deluxe is bigger, and for actual hikes and trips it carries a lot more stuff.







VIDEO: Hand Cut Dovetails Part 10: Layout the Pins

Wood and Shop - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 3:05am

VIDEO 10/15 of Joshua Farnsworth’s free hand cut dovetail video series shows how to layout the pins using the previously cut tails as a template.

This is a very detailed tutorial designed to teach beginners how to become expert at dovetailing by hand. It is offered as a free resource to encourage the revival of traditional woodworking.

hand-cut-dovetails

This detailed video series was inspired by a 5 day class that I took from Roy Underhill and Bill Anderson: world-renowned experts on traditional woodworking with hand tools.

Which traditional hand tools should you buy?

If you need advice on which hand tools to buy (and not buy), then definitely read my 13 category buying guide article: “Which Hand Tools Do You need for Traditional Woodworking?”

Shortcuts to Dovetail Videos 1-15:

Back to Furniture Stuff. For the Time Being.

The Furniture Record - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 9:38pm

Enough with the attempts at humor, the hysteria, the mystery. Time to get back to the serious business of documenting furniture. My life’s work and passion. It’s something I do to kill time.

This is a set of pictures I took in driving back from Winston-Salem with a stop in Greensboro. Nothing too fancy but a lot of mid-level stuff and primitives. No pontificating. No analysis. No brilliant stories. No life lessons. Just furniture.

(Click HERE to see the 125 photo set.)

First highlight piece is a blanket chest with drawer and a till on top of the drawer. It must have been interesting to layout and construct. The drawer is useful to retrieve stored things when the chest is under 200 pounds of stuff.

Blanket chest with drawer. Click to see the interior with a till atop the drawer.

Blanket chest with drawer. Click to see the interior with a till atop the drawer.

The other variation on what we have come to expect is this dovetailed drawer. The dovetails are of the sliding variety and run vertically. One way to put a narrower drawer on a wider drawer front.

Vertical sliding dovetails. Click to see the corner cabinet in which the drawer dwells.

Vertical sliding dovetails. Click to see the corner cabinet in which the drawer dwells.

Many of us believe that the base is not original to the corner cabinet but a later addition. We could be wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time.

And there are quite a few interesting pieces of attractive hardware.

A bail.

A bail.

And another bail.

And another bail.

A third bail.

A third bail.

Yet another bail!

Yet another bail!

But, wait!. There's more...  Click to see the entire 125 picture set again.

But, wait!. There’s more… Click to see the entire 125 picture set again.


Senco Turns 21

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 2:30pm

Senco Turns 21

Last September the Senco representative stopped by the PWM shop and offices to drop off the new 23-gauge pinners (read Glen D. Huey’s post about it). What we couldn’t tell you then was they also brought a brand new product with them that we got to play with briefly before they whisked it away – the new 21-gauge pinner. You might ask why Senco would make a 21-gauge pinner when […]

The post Senco Turns 21 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Design in Practice: Negative Spaces

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 6:47am

 Negative Spaces

Continuing last week’s post (read it here) on comparative design, I thought it might be fun to move to Chippendale style chairs. The great thing about American Chippendale chairs is there’s tremendous variety, yet few are direct translations of Chippendale’s designs. The chair to the left is a perfect example. Chippendale’s “The Gentleman’s and Cabinetmaker’s Director” features no ball and claw feet in the book, but they remained popular in […]

The post Design in Practice: Negative Spaces appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

VIDEO: Hand Cut Dovetails Part 9: Clean the Tails

Wood and Shop - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 3:15am

VIDEO 9/15 of Joshua Farnsworth’s free hand cut dovetail video series shows how to clean up the tails with a chisel.

This is a very detailed tutorial designed to teach beginners how to become expert at dovetailing by hand. It is offered as a free resource to encourage the revival of traditional woodworking.

hand-cut-dovetails

This detailed video series was inspired by a 5 day class that I took from Roy Underhill and Bill Anderson: world-renowned experts on traditional woodworking with hand tools.

Which traditional hand tools should you buy?

If you need advice on which hand tools to buy (and not buy), then definitely read my 13 category buying guide article: “Which Hand Tools Do You need for Traditional Woodworking?”

Shortcuts to Dovetail Videos 1-15:

Our Favorite Small Publisher is Going POD (Printing On Demand)

The Furniture Record - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 9:35pm

Let’s say you have just finished a book on Latvian linden ((Tilia cordata) campaign furniture. You believe in the book but marketing tells you you might only sell 25 to 30 books. Using the traditional printing model, you can’t make money printing 30 books. Shipping alone eats up all your profits. Using their new specialty printer, our friends will be able to quickly print limited interest books in a cost effective manner.

Their new, short run printer.

Their new, short run printer.

I am personally looking forward to the possibility of a greatly expanded, limited interest catalog. Those of us interested in truly obscure topics will no longer have to depend on hastily written, inaccurate Wikipedia articles. We can now have hastily written and inaccurate books as well.

If it’s in print, it must be true.


Tool Storage Solutions

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 5:37pm

Tool Storage Solutions

I’m yearning for the day I will have a space at home that is dedicated to woodworking. Right now, as many of you know, my “shop” shares space with books and my computer in my study. It’s a small room, and I have scads of books…and scads of tools. The books – most of which in said room are literary criticism and drama – are arranged by subject area (and […]

The post Tool Storage Solutions appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Techniques for Gluing

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 8:43am

Techniques for Gluing

For the last few decades, I’ve kept one indispensable tool readily available in my shop – glue sticks. Basically, they are milled material about 2″ thick and around 4″ wide (in my shop they were always made from hardwood because there was always plenty of scrap) that is cut to approximately 3′ in length. The idea is to elevate the material you are gluing up in order to be able […]

The post Techniques for Gluing appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Thought For The Day

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 4:56am

As we commemorate the national day of funding government(s), generally argued as a “necessary evil,” it is worth reflecting on the thoughts on the matter from the First Founding Dad.

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. — attributed to George Washington

As someone who unleashed deadly force against American citizens in The Whiskey Rebellion, I’d guess old George knew exactly what he was talking about.

English Mortise Chisels - Mid-18th Century to Now - Part 4 - Chisel handles

Tools For Working Wood - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 4:00am
Click here for the start of this series. Up until the middle of the nineteenth century brass pipe was hard to make so ferrules, the brass ring at the base of most tools weren't used. Tool handles as a result had to be fairly thick so if you tried to lever the tool, the handle wouldn't split. Also the tool needed a wide bolster so that the force of the chisel would not drive into the handle and split it, and also keep the handle from splitting when levering. The oval handles of a mortise chisels not only give a certain direction to the user, more importantly they give a long more handle thickness and bolster thickness in the dimension where all the levering happens. A round handle of adequate size is just too big all round to be comfortable.

By the 1840's or 50's continuous brass and copper pipe became commercially available, and ferrules, really just a section of pipe added to the handle to keep it from splitting, became common. Every style of chisel, except for mortise chisels adapted to ferrules, and the handles got smaller, the bolsters got tiny, and since there was no danger of splitting a handle, fitting a handle became considerably easier. Round handles made by power lathes became the norm, and buying handled tools became common.
Except for mortise chisels. You still needed the big handle for leverage, but fitting an oval ferrule to handle is really hard. So the design remained the same. The only exception was that handle makers invented machines that could make oval handles, the problem was that they didn't always fit their bolsters.
Up until about 1880 or so, The handles on professionally fitted mortise chisels were fitted flush with the bolster, this gives you the smallest, most comfortable handle for the size of chisel. After that makers started just using stock handles that were oversize and leaving it at that. It's not as nice but a lot less expensive. Ray Iles, who has a machine set up for making oval handles, makes them oversize as was done, and then sands them to fit flush. This gives us the best possible handle but this type of sanding operation wasn't really available back in the late 19th century.
In the picture, starting from the bottom, we first have two typical early 19th century mortise chisels. The one at the bottom having a thin leather washer to take up the gap between bolster and handle, the second one being flush fit. Either handle could be original, user installed, or a replacement. I can't tell you for certain, other than the second one is flush fitted and is of Beech so it might be original. The third chisel from the bottom is the later style - with a stock, over-sized machine made handle that is too big for the bolster. This particular chisel has British Army markings so it must date from the First World War.
The final chisel at the top is current production by Ray Iles. The handle is flush fitted of beech and also have the thinnest most elegant bolster of the lot. Ray's design of course was a purposeful throwback to the best of the early 19th century so while it belongs to the same tradition it reflects a conscious effort to avoid any dumbing down of the style.

According to "The Joiner and Cabinetmakers" (pages 107 and 108) when end users would keep a stock of scraps for the fitting handles. Beech, a common secondary wood was very popular but ash is also pretty common.

Most tools before the introduction of the ferrule were sold unhandled. Once tools were typically sold handled the selection of wood became more regular. In England beech was the overwhelming favorite. It was cheap, compressed easily, and while prone to checks, once installed on a tool it didn't split. Ash was also used, but not as frequently.

In the United States hickory was the favorite, and ash a close second. In Europe hornbeam is far and away the most common choice. Hornbeam is harder than either beech or hickory and less easy to compress, but it still works excellently. In Japan, red and white oak are the most common choices.

The reason these woods were all so popular is because handles were installed by just banging them on and to have them stay on via a compression fit, you needed a wood that would compress without cracking. Beech and hickory and the other favorites do this to a tee.

For tools that were not stuck, such as paring chisels, or tools meant mostly for show, expensive decorative woods were used. Boxwood, rosewood, Ebony, and ivory were the preferred choices, although boxwood, rosewood, and occasionally ebony were actually used on tools meant to be used. In general you don't find much ebony or ivory on edge tools, except those meant for show. These materials do not compress and fitting them is a far trickier job. Ray Iles told me that in the old days when installing boxwood handles on paring chisels the cutler would keep a little ladle of molten rosin to pour in the hole for the tang. I suppose these days any modern epoxy would work fine.

According to Toshio Odate handles should be left unfinished so that they surface will absorb sweat and stain so that your hands will not transfer the discoloration to your work. Unfinished wood is also a lot more grippy than finished wood and the handles will work better. That being said I don't know of any manufacturer who doesn't finish their handles with something. Shellac and lacquer being the most popular choices. Ray Iles uses linseed oil on all his handles so that he can maintain a grippy surface. Manufactures do this because when you sell new edge tools the one thing you don't want the handles to do is absorb sweat and look dirty from casual handling in a store.

The most important thing is that the wood must be DRY. Otherwise as it dries it will shrink away from the tang and no amount of initial compression force or epoxy will keep it on the tool.

Another point to understand is that the handles are held on the tang by compression. it's exactly like driving a nail into end grain, only bigger. Like a nail or a Japanese plane iron what holds the tang in the wood is pressure from the compression, and just as, if not more important, the fibers of the wood getting bent back and resisting the tang being pulled out. In theory at least one would might strive for a hole for the tang that is just a tad smaller than the tang is and fits it like a glove. In reality that's impossible to do and doesn't matter anyway. The compression forces are so high that as long as there is reasonable engagement we will be able to stick a tang in the handle and even before it's driven completely home - it will be impossible to remove.

In Part 5 we will demonstrate how a to handle a mortise chisel or in fact any tool with a tang.

PS - if you are a member of TATHS you will have just gotten their yearly journal which has two killer articles, one on "The English Handsaw Before the Industrial Revolution" and "The Sheffield Saw Industry". If you aren't a member you can learn more and join here.

VIDEO: Hand Cut Dovetails Part 8: Remove the Tail Waste

Wood and Shop - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 3:05am

VIDEO 8/15 of Joshua Farnsworth’s free hand cut dovetail video series shows how to remove the tail waste with a coping saw and chisel.

This is a very detailed tutorial designed to teach beginners how to become expert at dovetailing by hand. It is offered as a free resource to encourage the revival of traditional woodworking.

hand-cut-dovetails

This detailed video series was inspired by a 5 day class that I took from Roy Underhill and Bill Anderson: world-renowned experts on traditional woodworking with hand tools.

Which traditional hand tools should you buy?

If you need advice on which hand tools to buy (and not buy), then definitely read my 13 category buying guide article: “Which Hand Tools Do You need for Traditional Woodworking?”

Shortcuts to Dovetail Videos 1-15:

What is Going on at WunderWoods?

Wunder Woods - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 10:22pm

On a semi-regular basis I talk to someone who would have used me for their last project, but they didn’t because they didn’t know everything I do. My woodworking customers don’t know I mill lumber, my milling customers don’t know I sell lumber, my lumber customers don’t know I do custom woodworking, and I blame it all on my inept advertising department.

I am here to change all of that with a new video that shows what is really happening at WunderWoods (when I am working). With the help of a few of my customers, I have put together a montage of the goings on in a three-week span of my daily work life. The clips are chronological in order, but random in their approach. One day I cut a tree, the next day I finish a piece of furniture – just like real life.

The bottom line is that if it involves wood there is a good chance I do it.

About WunderWoods cover photo

Click to watch a short video and see what really happens at WunderWoods.

Thanks to Dwayne Tiggs from Crafty Naturals, Jermain Todd from Mwanzi, and Martin Goebel from Goebel and Company Furniture for starring in the video.

The following photos are of the finished products shown in progress in the video:

Elm is one of my favorite woods. In this case, we used all of the tree, including some big knots with lots of spunk.

Elm is one of my favorite woods. In this case, we used all of the tree, including some big knots with lots of spunk.

After seeing other cricket tables that the customer liked, she ordered this one in a bit smaller size. The top is 23" in diameter.

After seeing other cricket tables that the customer liked, she ordered this walnut version in a bit smaller size. The top is 23″ in diameter.

 

 

 


Categories: General Woodworking

A Banner Day

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 6:54pm

It’s a big day around here as the first sections of the Roubo 2 manuscript were submitted for editorial review by the magicians at Lost Art Press.  It is worth noting that after reading this material perhaps a dozen times, I still find it engages, educates, and interests me.  This is a work about which we are very pleased.  I think you will be pleased too.

004

Thanks to things we learned during the creation of the first volume, To Make As Perfectly As Possible: Roubo On Marquetry, our working pattern is fundamentally different from a document traffic flow plan.  This manuscript, while almost twice as long as the first one, is taking less than half the time.

Now we treat each Plate and its accompanying text as a stand-alone document.  So in the end I will not be submitting one big book manuscript; I will instead be submitting 99 documents.  I’ll let Chris and Wesley melt them together into the whole.  Some of these sections are brief – the shortest is two pages – while others are several dozen pages.  On average they are about 10 pages long, so yes indeed, the working manuscript is more than 900 pages long.

010

I will sit down with Michele next week for our penultimate oral reading session, with the final one probably in a fortnight.  I am also laboring on the essays and photographic enhancements for the book, but as of right now Chris has something to sink his teeth, er, red pen, into.

Watch out Henry O. Studley, I’m coming for you!

Which is more difficult: Being a great musician or being a great woodworker?

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 3:37pm
Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader'));

Because I spent many years studying, practicing, and playing music I’ve always compared it to other hobbies and professions on a scale of difficulty. Now that I am a hobby woodworker, I naturally compare woodworking to music. I spent many years playing in working bands, I took many lessons, and many college courses and even with all of my knowledge and experience I know that had I continued on with music I would still have a life time of learning and practicing to go before I could call myself a “master”. I don’t know how good I was honestly. I was good enough to play in bands, to record, and to play at most of the bars and clubs in the Philadelphia area. I was good enough to get paid for what I did, and I was good enough to teach it. Yet, I also know that there were countless thousands who were/are better than I ever was or would be. That fact never bothered me much, as I can say the same about woodworkers.

As far as the poll is concerned, I’m not looking for any one particular answer because I don’t have one myself. I honestly don’t know if music is more difficult than woodworking. This I can say, at my musical height, I practiced nearly every day at least a few hours, I took two lessons per week, and I generally practiced with one band or another two or three times a week. If I woodworked now as much as I practiced and played music then I would be a far, far better woodworker than I ever was a musician. Yet there may be woodworkers out there who are fantastic without having to work at it just like there are some musicians who are so naturally gifted that it comes easily to them without much work. I don’t believe it-music and woodworking both require muscle memory, which is something that requires practice no matter what your natural talents- but it could be true.

So if I had to choose I would say that being a great musician is more difficult than being a great woodworker. The reason I say that is because I know there are thousands of “weekend warrior” woodworkers who make world-class, professional level furniture. I don’t believe there are thousands of hobby musicians who are making world class music in their basements on the weekends. I’m sure there are exceptions to that, but I personally believe the ratio by-far favors hobby woodworkers. Still, that’s just the opinion of one person, and if anybody out there has any feedback I’d appreciate it. Thanks.


Categories: General Woodworking

Which is more difficult: Being a great musician or being a great woodworker?

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 3:37pm
Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='https://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader'));

Because I spent many years studying, practicing, and playing music I’ve always compared it to other hobbies and professions on a scale of difficulty. Now that I am a hobby woodworker, I naturally compare woodworking to music. I spent many years playing in working bands, I took many lessons, and many college courses and even with all of my knowledge and experience I know that had I continued on with music I would still have a life time of learning and practicing to go before I could call myself a “master”. I don’t know how good I was honestly. I was good enough to play in bands, to record, and to play at most of the bars and clubs in the Philadelphia area. I was good enough to get paid for what I did, and I was good enough to teach it. Yet, I also know that there were countless thousands who were/are better than I ever was or would be. That fact never bothered me much, as I can say the same about woodworkers.

As far as the poll is concerned, I’m not looking for any one particular answer because I don’t have one myself. I honestly don’t know if music is more difficult than woodworking. This I can say, at my musical height, I practiced nearly every day at least a few hours, I took two lessons per week, and I generally practiced with one band or another two or three times a week. If I woodworked now as much as I practiced and played music then I would be a far, far better woodworker than I ever was a musician. Yet there may be woodworkers out there who are fantastic without having to work at it just like there are some musicians who are so naturally gifted that it comes easily to them without much work. I don’t believe it-music and woodworking both require muscle memory, which is something that requires practice no matter what your natural talents- but it could be true.

So if I had to choose I would say that being a great musician is more difficult than being a great woodworker. The reason I say that is because I know there are thousands of “weekend warrior” woodworkers who make world-class, professional level furniture. I don’t believe there are thousands of hobby musicians who are making world class music in their basements on the weekends. I’m sure there are exceptions to that, but I personally believe the ratio by-far favors hobby woodworkers. Still, that’s just the opinion of one person, and if anybody out there has any feedback I’d appreciate it. Thanks.


Categories: General Woodworking

What Do You Think of this Style of Furniture?

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 2:09pm

Having a woodworking blog, I know that a lot of people who follow my blog are also woodworkers. And if I know woodworkers, it is that they love wood grain. So much so, that the whole idea of painting a piece of furniture that they make is often considered sacrilegious. However, I also know that many women who usually buy furniture for their home would rather have a piece of furniture that goes with their décor. Beautiful wood grain is something many of them don’t even think about when picking out a piece for their home. So I decided to do a little nonscientific poll to see what people think of the following piece of furniture.

This is a buffet my wife bought at an auction. She wanted to paint the base, but leave the top a natural wood tone. She sanded the top and oiled it with hemp oil. Some people call this type of furniture restyle Shabby Chic. I’m not sure if this is technically Shabby Chic or French Country or whatever. My wife calls it Elegant Farm House style.

Below you can see some of the detail of the wood after it’s been painted. To me, the architectural details of the moldings stick out a little more and are not muddled in the wood grain when the piece has been distressed. But what do you think?

buffet

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by Dr. Radut