Hand Tool Headlines

The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator


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

Meet Our ‘Young Makers’

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 4:33am

In “Young Makers’ Bookshelves” (coming in the October 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine), Rodney Wilson offers a brief profile on 10 of today’s rising woodworking stars, then asks them about the books that have influenced their lives and work. Below, you’ll find links to their personal websites and Intagrams accounts (where applicable.) – I encourage you to check out their work! Laura Zahn Personal website: http://offthesaw.com/ Allied Workshop website: https://alliedwoodshop.com/ Instagram: @alliedwoodshop Joshua Klein Personal […]

The post Meet Our ‘Young Makers’ appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

a day of mourning......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 3:08am
I took today off to buy some wood but the place I was going to go to closed their doors. So I thought I would go to Pepin Lumber and buy 5/4 pine there. I got another disappointment there too. Their supplier for 5/4 stock shut down and they had none when I looked today. Not only didn't they have any 5/4 pine but their supply of 1x pine was a sad pile to look at.

They used to sell 1x 12, 1x10, etc etc down to 1x4 clear pine in 6' lengths. That supplier went south and shut down too. The pickings were awfully slim today. 1x8, 1x6, and 1x4 was all they had for sale. The piles they had were the last of it and it looks like I won't be going to Pepin for 1x pine any more.

More and more sawmills are closing down and shutting their doors. A pallet sawmill where I used to live in Westerly shut down a few years ago. A sawmill I went to a few times in Griswold Ct went bankrupt. Parlee sawmill recently went out of business and the one reply I got from sawmill sawing 5/4 pine was one in north western Mass. He only has 5/4 in 6" widths but he is a lot closer than driving up to New Hampshire or Maine. I really don't want to buy my 1x or 5/4 lumber from a big box store.

got some parts in
If you ever have a tote or a knob that has a stud that is neither too short or too long, Bill Rittner is your man. He will make studs to fit your knobs. All you have to do is give him the height of the knob. This is the stud for my replacement low knob and two new 'old style' barrel nuts.

knob and tote done
I ordered some frog washers and a frog adjuster screw today. I should have them next week sometime and once they are installed I can road test this plane and finally call it done.

panel glued back together
This came out pretty good and I can hardly feel the joint line anywhere along it's length.

had to scrape some glue off this side
That dark line at bottom is a gap caused by the split and it will be on inside of the cabinet.  Other than this, this side felt as good as the other side did.

checking my back panel again
I think the reason why I am not getting a square cabinet has to do with this panel. I know the side to side is a bit short and the top to bottom is snug.

slightly off
One side is square at both corners and this side it is slightly off on both.

problem #2
The back panel is too long top to bottom. It is about an 1/8" too long. I think as I applied the clamps this extra length was causing it to bow and throwing off the square on the cabinet.

top to bottom is parallel along it's length
This works in my favor as I have to trim an 1/8" off of the panel. I shot all four corners on my big ass shooting board.

all four corners are dead nuts square now
did a dry fit and I had to shave a wee bit more
too tight
I had to glue this groove back because it split when I dropped it. The last 3" or so are too tight for the panel back to fit in it.

a little work with a Japanese rasp fixed it
dry fitted and it's square
two more clamps and it's no longer square
I put the two top clamps on loosely and it was square. As I tightened down on them, it went out of square. I took them off and checked for square again with just the middle clamps and there was no joy. It was out of square this way too. I started over again.

aggravation setting in
I could square this up and maintain it if I applied the clamps in a certain sequence. I put the middle ones on first and checked for square. Put on the top clamp on next. I couldn't go Cro Magnon on this because it would throw it out of square. I had to use just enough oomph to close the joint. The final clamp went on the bottom. I was able to maintain square with this if I checked for it after each clamp was applied.

Tried a different 3 clamp set up on both ends and it threw the cabinet out of square by a 1/2". I tried everything I could think of to square it up and got nowhere. I could only square it up by applying a clamp across the corners. That squared it up but it also introduced twist to the cabinet. I had to go back to the first dry clamping sequence to order to get square after all the clamps were on. Two more practice runs and I felt comfortable about how to clamp it up square.

ready to strip the the body and the frog
I'll let the stripper work while I made the dadoes for the bottom shelf in the cabinet.

marking for the bottom of the dado
This will be used to make the two drawers going in this space.

my haul from Pepin Lumber today
Not much here - two 1x4's, one 1x8, and three 1/2" x 6" x 4' pine boards. The 1/2" stock is for the drawers, the 1x4 is for the door frame and the 1x8 for the panels.

In case the 1x8 is too small to use for panels, I can fall back on this.

ready to chop out the waste
I am going to put the bottom shelf in after the cabinet is glued up. I don't want to risk trying to get this and the rest of the cabinet together when I glue it up and end up with kindling.

wee bit too tight
 I was shooting for a loose fit because I will slide this in after the cabinet is glued up. I don't want to have to beat it in place and risk breaking one or more of the rabbeted tongue joints. I don't have a warm and fuzzy that this dry wood can withstand that punishment.

snug but not too snug
I used the LN side rabbet planes to shave the top wall until the board fit in the dado.

3 applications of stripper
It doesn't even look like I used stripper once on this. I tried using one of my old chisels as a scraper but that wasn't working on this plane.

nothing touched this back
The stripper didn't remove anything nor did a chisel or a sheetrock knife used as scrapers. I'm going to try another stripper and see what shakes out with that. If that doesn't work I'll start looking around for someone who does sand blasting.

the frog wasn't much better
Just about all of the missing paint on the frog I removed with 100 grit sandpaper.

glue up time
Things went south on me as soon as I applied the second clamp. Even loosely applied it pulled the cabinet out of square. I didn't go into nutso mode or panic but I looked at the cabinet to see what was off. I had rehearsed dry clamping this and applying the clamps in a specific sequence 3 times while maintaining square. I just had to see quickly what was holding things up.

the problem
The side to side is short and I knew that. When I flipped the cabinet over I saw that the panel was not in the groove on this side at all by looking here. This is after I fixed the problem.

the problem
A piece of the panel ply had lifted up and was keeping this side of the panel from seating in the groove. I used a block of wood to push that flat and get the panel seated in the groove.

I didn't panic

I tried to clamp up the cabinet the way I rehearsed it dry but it wasn't square. Since I used yellow glue on this my window for getting this clamped  was rapidly closing. And it was happening much faster because of the heat and humidity levels. I clamped some home made and store bought 90° corner helpers to square up the cabinet. I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if there will be any joy in Mudville. I've used these before and they don't always work 100%.

I used the black 90° first in opposing corners and checked the other two for square and they were.  I checked for square in the middle of the cabinet with the pinch rods and they said the cabinet was square also. I put on the last two plywood corner clamps and called it done for now.

squared up the bottom shelf

one end of the bottom shelf
This used to be a cabinet door in the old kitchen and I recycled it to be the bottom shelf.

the other end
This is why I didn't plane the shelf to fit the dado. This is a lumber core door. Several random width boards glued together and covered with a veneer top and bottom. Basically a form of plywood.  Any wood movement should be side to side as it is installed in the cabinet.  I think and hope that there will be no movement and there shouldn't be. This door is at least 40+ years old and should be done with all it's stupid wood tricks.

getting some poly
I've had it with the bookcase shelves waiting for them to feel dry. The bookcase feels dry and it will get two coats of water based poly on the exterior. I did the interior last week and it feels dry.

these are getting poly today too
I would guess that there was a 70% change in these feeling drier from their time on the porch. They feel much drier than the interior of the bookcase felt when I put poly on that. Putting poly on the shelf fronts was the last thing I did today.

In spite of taking the day off I didn't get much accomplished. I had a bit of a struggle in the morning getting my butt out of my chair to get doing anything. I felt so tired that I just sat and vegged for two hours. I did the same thing after lunch except then I nodded off for an hour.  Tomorrow I plan on getting the drawers and door started on the cabinet.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927 and it took him 33 1/2 hours. Amelia Earhart flew across the Atlantic Ocean exactly 5 years later. How long did it take her?
answer - 15 hours and 56 minutes

CNC Mills for 3D Carving

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 7:04am

Cutting parts with a CNC is a 2.5D process. It’s not quite 3D and a bit more than 2D. When you’re cutting parts, the third axis on a CNC —the Z axis, just needs to cut at selected depths. You can start with two-dimensional drawings and add tool path instructions for how deep the router or spindle needs to cut. After cutting parts on a CNC, nearly everyone interested in […]

The post CNC Mills for 3D Carving appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Scything in North Cumbria

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 4:40am
Scything, sunshine, smallholder. Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Simple Lathe Tool Cart

360 WoodWorking - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 4:10am
Simple Lathe Tool Cart

I’m at the beginning of a project that has turning work out the wazoo. Eight legs that are turned, with stop-flutes, too. My lathe and its tools were my Dad’s at one time. His lathe tools hung on a wall behind the lathe – he had easy access. Where the lathe is in my shop, there are no accessible walls close by. In fact for the past five or more years, the lathe tools sat on the floor in the wall mount from my Dad’s shop.

Continue reading Simple Lathe Tool Cart at 360 WoodWorking.

Tool Giveaway: OmniSquare

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 3:00am

In the August 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine we reviewed the OmniSquare Multi-function Layout Tool, a clever tool made from lightweight aluminum. It functions as a try square, miter square, bevel square, T-square, combination square and (in a pinch) a compass. You can read our full review here, and visit the company’s website here. Well, we have one, lightly used OmniSquare to give away (pictured above, and in the magazine!). […]

The post Tool Giveaway: OmniSquare appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

back dry fitted.......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 2:48am
The weather lately has been a bit on the hot and sticky side and it tends to saps my desire to work. Without AC it isn't that comfortable but strangely, I didn't sweat up a river tonight. It is certainly hot and humid enough where blinking can cause the sweat faucet to open full. Maybe I'm going slow enough to be under the sweat threshold.

On the flip side, the temps on my porch the past few days have been in the middle 90's F (35C) and did that help the shelves to dry? Nay, nay moose breath, they are still clammy/tacky. This is un-f'ing'-believable. It has gotten less clammy/tacky but still has not gotten to that dry feeling to the touch. It has one more day to roast out there and then I'm covering it with poly.

the ugly back
This is a piece of underlayment leftover from my kitchen floor. This side will be up against the wall and of course that depends upon me not having my head in my ass when I put it in the cabinet during glue up. The other side is relatively clean and has two manufacturers stickers that I will have to remove. This piece is pretty tight top to bottom and there isn't a lot of extra meat. The side to side I have more than 6" extra to play with.

groove done on the tablesaw
I don't have a plow plane iron that even closely matches the thickness of the plywood. I made the groove on the tablesaw with two passes.

I could have done it with the plow plane but that would mean moving the fence and trying to widen an existing groove. I had tried doing something that many, many moons ago and that was dismal failure. When I got done it looked like I had hacked at the groove with a dull butter knife. I don't ever recall reading or seeing a you tube where someone tried to make and existing groove a wee bit wider in this manner.

failed the bounce test
This fell off the bench and lost. Mr Concrete Floor leads the bounce test score by a very comfortable margin. It was a clean break and I'll glue it back together. I was planning on gluing the carcass up tonight but that isn't happening sports fans.

back fitted
No problems putting the broken piece in place to check this.

carcass isn't square
I was hoping that the back would square the carcass but it didn't. I know the back is square because I checked it with my big red square.

now it's square
I've been paying attention to where I place the clamps. In order to bring this into square, the clamp goes on the long leg and you slowly pull the carcass into square.

got the cabinet square
something is wrong
I got the cabinet square on what will be the front, but I also introduced some twist in doing that.  I will have to think about this one for a bit before I attempt a glue up.

dropped it again
Same board that I lost the first bounce test on, was dropped again and I lost this bounce test too. At least I'll be able to glue this at the same time as the other piece.

added some helpers
Where I had a clamp bearing on the groove for the back, I put in a piece of the same plywood. This way I won't crush or break the groove. Hopefully, that won't happen now.

Turned the lights out and headed upstairs to the AC.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
This event was held for the first time at Soldiers Field in Chicago  on July 20, 1968. What was it?
answer - the first Special Olympics

Bedstead panels

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 2:46pm

The bedstead’s headboard is moving along. Once I had the first free-hand panel carved, it was easy to carve the 2nd one. After marking out the margins and a vertical centerline, I used a compass to take a few markers – here noting where the S-scrolls at the bottom corner hit the vertical margins.

Then I chalked in a rough outline for that shape. This panel, like many from this grouping (and all 4 in this headboard) have a stylized urn at the bottom center of the panel. That shape I marked out with a square & awl to locate its top & bottom, and marked its width from the vertical centerline. The S-scrolls then fit between the urn and the bottom corner/margin.

My camera-boy (Daniel, 11 yrs old) came by & used the Ipad to shoot some Instragram stuff…here’s some leftovers. Carving this bottom corner S-scroll, in two snippets. (home-video caliber – no edits, shaky, etc – but worth a look.)




there are related S-scrolls across the top section of the panel. These reach from the corners to the vertical centerline. These top and bottom sections are the first things I block in with the V-tool.


then comes the stuff between. I sketch the vein in the larger leaf, it reaches from the centerline to the margin.



Then I carry on, doing first one side, then the other.

The whole thing is about filling in the spaces, and in this case, blending one shape to lay against another.

Here’s the V-tool outline almost all done.

Next I take a #5 gouge, in this case about 1″ wide or slightly less, and chop out between the V-tool lines, to begin removing the background.


Some beveling, some shaping. With a narrow #5.

People ask about the background punch. Mild steel, filed to leave these pyramidal points.

accents with a few #7 gouges.

And a narrow chisel. Bevel towards the waste when chopping like this.

Then pare down to the chopped mark.

Trim to length. 

Bevel the back, first with a hatchet.

Then 2 planes. Feather down to nothing.

Here’s the headboard thus far. There will be plain panels below this, and a carved crest rail above. And of course, two vertical posts.




Proposed Safety Rules for Table Saws – Your Comments Requested

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 10:03am

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is currently considering requiring “active injury mitigation” (AIM) technology on all table saws that, writes the Power Tool Institute (PTI) in a press release, would more than double the costs of these products. PTI is concerned that the price increase would make a table saw out of reach for many consumers, and contribute to job losses if makers are as a result able […]

The post Proposed Safety Rules for Table Saws – Your Comments Requested appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Chad Stanton, Not Just a Pretty Face

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 8:30am
chad stanton

Flemish? Jacobean? Nope, Chad Stanton. To many, that name might mean making simple (but handsome) I Can Do That!  projects from home-center lumber and tools as showcased in his video series – it’s a great way to get started in the craft…but it’s often a gateway to specialty woodworking tools and lumberyard stock. Turns out that if we give him more than 30 minutes to build and a full set of woodworking […]

The post Chad Stanton, Not Just a Pretty Face appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

The Best Woods for Upholstery – 360w360 E.241

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 4:10am
The Best Woods for Upholstery – 360w360 E.241

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, Mike Mascelli is back to talk more on upholstery. Along with the longevity of good-quality furniture and upholstery work, Mike talks about the best woods to use for frames that are to be upholstered – it’s all about lumber that allows and holds tacks and staples. But you’re not giving up any structural integrity.

Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more).

Continue reading The Best Woods for Upholstery – 360w360 E.241 at 360 WoodWorking.

Low Stakes Coffee Table

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 3:00am

When I lived in Maine, I had a wide array of projects and furniture that I wanted to build for our house. When it became clear, however, that we were going to move down here to Covington, Ky., I put the designs and wood aside, not wanting to build a bunch of furniture only to pack it into a van and move it – lumber is easy to move, furniture […]

The post Low Stakes Coffee Table appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

carcass fitted.......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 1:22am
I'm moving right along with the finishing cabinet. I got the carcass dry fitted and I'm rethinking the interior. I'm not liking the off center divider that much anymore. I do want to maximize my storage because I am an expert at stuffing 10 lbs of crap into a 5 lb test brown paper bag. Ask any submarine sailor to help rearrange things and you'll be amazed at the space we can save. Of course this all subject to change on the fly too.

fitting my second tongue
This edge is square across the face and I checked it from both edges.

slightly out of square
 It goes out of square down from the face over to the right at the bottom. It isn't much, but it isn't 90°.

some crud in the 90 to clean out
flat and straight
I checked this to make sure I was flat. The first one I fitted had a hump in it. I ran a few strokes down the length with a tenon plane before I checked it for flat.

square to the face
I'll square the tongue up with the hand router.

marked and sawed it on the pencil line
Sawing this off will give me less to lean up with the router. I trimmed a bit and checked the fit and I kept at it that way until I had a snug fit.

the last one to be fitted
This is the one I had to saw a bit deeper on this end as I was splitting out the tongue. I didn't get as clean of a split as I did on the other 3. I had to clean this up so I could mark for the length of the the tongue. I got most of it cleaned out when I ran the tenon plane down the cheek.

checking for square
The first tongue I fitted is the snuggest fitting one I did. Of the remaining 3, one is a little loose, and the other two are snug. All four will hold except for the one loose one. There gravity eventually wins but it is self supporting for a second or two.

off by a least a quarter of inch this way
cocked the clamps on one end
This was the second way I tried this. My first time in the opposite direction just made it worse.

it fits both ways so I'm square
This is something I am not good at looking at and figuring out which way to move the clamps. It is usually a bit of trial and error for me until I get it.

thinking of cutting this brush handle down
 I lost more interior width than I thought I had.

tighter squeeze for the spray cans side by side
There is not a lot of room to get my fat fingers in here to grab a can. This is where I started to rethink the off center divider.

this yields a bit more room
If I cut the other two brushes down to the length of this one, this is doable. The monkey wrench in the gears comes from the spray cans being twice the height of the quart cans of finish.

this was thought
How about I put the spray cans horizontal like I was storing wine bottles? Maybe I could even put a 'wine rack' in this space and skip the divider.

I am aware of this and I think about it as I plane and approach an end. For some reason it doesn't always register in the brain bucket. I'll tape this to the side so I don't lose it and I can glue it back on later.

this is a good sized cabinet for the shop and my finishing supplies
I think the center divider is history. Instead of the center divider I am going to install a horizontal shelf/drawer space at the bottom. I'll be able to put in two drawers and one will be large enough to hold my shellac brushes without cutting them down.

this is where it is going
I won't clear out this spot until the cabinet is done. The shelf is screwed to a board that is screwed to the foundation. I'll reuse that and put a french cleat on it. The other important point is the top of the cabinet is wider and longer than this shelf. The radio and everything else on the shelf will live on the cabinet top.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What does the latin phrase ex post mean?
answer -  from behind, after the fact

Photobucket Ruined my Blog

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 5:10pm

For several years, I’ve been storing my photos on Photobucket.com. I never paid for it so I was willing to deal with the endless pop up ads every time I wanted to upload some of my photos for my blog. All was well until a few days ago when I noticed that the photos in my blog postings were being blocked. Apparently, Photobucket changed their user agreement and they will no longer support third-party hosting of any of the photos in their site. The only way to get the photos back is to pay a monthly subscription fee. Fat chance of that.

I was using Flickr several years before I switched to Photobucket because I ran out of free space. So, the very early blog posts should be fine for now until Flickr does the same thing. I liked Photobucket because even though I had 300 pictures stored on their site, I was only using 3% of free space on my account. Now I’m in a pickle. I assume I could download all my Photobucket photos onto a hard drive and import them back into blog posts, but that is a lot of work.

I noticed a few months ago that WordPress wouldn’t allow me to cut and paste directly from Photobucket onto my blog page. I had to start loading the image onto WordPress first. Now I know why, which is why my most recent posts are fine. The last working post is from four months ago when I smashed my finger. Every post after that until three years ago is blocked.

Thank God I don’t do this for a living! What a nightmare this must be for professional bloggers who blog two or three times a day. I read on Reddit about people who are in dire straits because of this.

For now, I’m going to start using Imgur.com for storing my photos. Maybe I’ll even buy an external hard drive and store my photos on that so this never happens again.

Ridgid’s Brushless, Cordless Trim Router

360 WoodWorking - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 12:33pm
Ridgid’s Brushless, Cordless Trim Router

I’ve been busy with 360Woodworking. With my head down giving it what for, I didn’t see that Ridgid came out with a trim router powered by a battery until one of our members – thanks, Eric – brought it to my attention. My reaction was, “You Betcha.” I enjoy using the corded Ridgid trim router and to not have to pull electric cords around the shop sounded good, so I set about getting my hands on the new R86044B.

Continue reading Ridgid’s Brushless, Cordless Trim Router at 360 WoodWorking.

Never mind the machine

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 12:26pm
A wonderful poem with a mention of scything and a strong message for the modern world. Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Enhanced PDF Books in Windows 10

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:34am
When “Woodworker’s Guide to SketchUp” was first published in 2010, it was the first book of any kind about using SketchUp specifically for woodworking. It was also my first publication in PDF format with embedded videos. It was sometimes a Continue reading →
Categories: General Woodworking

Treasure Hunting & the Restoration of a Starrett Sliding Bevel – Part 1

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 7:14am

If you happened to see a pile of free stuff outside of a neighbor’s house, or on the side of the road, or on the sidewalk of a busy street, would you stop by and sort through it? If it were me, the answer would most likely be YES!  And, I hope that by the time you finish reading this story you will join me in this mindset. It is […]

The post Treasure Hunting & the Restoration of a Starrett Sliding Bevel – Part 1 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

The Importance of Sharpening – Center for Furniture Craftsmanship

Highland Woodworking - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 7:00am

Molly Bagby is an employee at Highland Woodworking who recently finished up a 2 Week Basic Woodworking course at Center for Furniture Furniture Craftsmanship (CFC). Although she grew up at Highland Woodworking from a mere 1 week old, her knowledge of woodworking skills is limited. With this class, she intends to change that.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, we delved right into Sharpening on Day 1. I quickly learned why Highland Woodworking has an entire section of the store dedicated to sharpening supplies. A lot of work goes into getting tools sharp, but a sharp tool really makes all the difference, especially when making joinery.

Peter Korn has an entire section on Sharpening in his book Woodworking Basicswhich discusses each step of the process in detail. What he taught us in class are the same methods he discusses in his book, but here are the main steps I picked up from the process (as a side note, I had brought up a brand new set of 6 Narex Chisels, which in their description say “like most edge tools, they’ll need sharpening before use”…they forgot to mention the words “A LOT” but apparently that is the case for almost all new chisels, and even if they do come “pre-sharpened” you’ll still want to do a little bit more yourself to get them in “perfect” working condition.

Flattening the Back – Your goal in this part of the process is to flatten the back of the chisel.

  1. On the two sides of a 5×12 piece of glass, stick a long piece of 220 grit adhesive sandpaper.
  2. Rub the back of the chisel flat on the sandpaper by holding it down at a slight angle and move it back and forth to remove the factory marks from the top 1-2 inches of the chisel (I found that I had a hard time keeping the chisel flat…this necessity was stressed time and time again).
  3. Switch to a 1000 grit waterstone and continue flattening the back of the chisel, taking out the 220 sandpaper scratches.
  4. Switch to a 6000 grit waterstone and continue flattening until the back of the chisel has a shiny, mirror finish to it (i.e. once you can see your reflection in the back of the chisel).

One of these chisels has been sharpened and one of them hasn’t…can you tell which is which?

-When sharpening on stones make sure you are using the whole length of the stone and are holding the chisel on the steel portion of it so that you are less likely to lift the handle and round the chisel back.

-Once you have flattened the back, you will no longer need to use the sandpaper or 1000 grit waterstone on the back of your chisel.

Honing the Front 

Once the back is flat, it is time to hone the front of the chisel. First you want to make sure your chisel is ground down to a 26-30 degree bevel angle. Anything less than 25 degrees will fail. I found the grinding process on the electric grinder to be very technical and won’t go into the details of the grinding process, but there are some great YouTube videos that show this process.

After you have the proper angle from grinding, go back to the waterstones to get the perfect edge:

  1. Start on the 1000 grit waterstone and make sure the bevel edge is flat on the stone, with only the front edge making contact with the stone.
  2. Again, keeping the chisel as flat as possible on the stone is key in order to keep from misshaping the edge.
  3. Move the chisel back and forth on the stone (making sure to use the entire surface of the stone), applying downward pressure when pushing it forward and no pressure on the return back. I found that I had to go back and forth for several minutes and sometimes counted my strokes to help pass the time (I think I got to over 100 one time).
  4. Remove the burr that has been created on the back of the chisel on the 6000 grit stone.
  5. Repeat Steps 1-4 on the 6000 grit stone.
  6. Once your chisel is sharp enough to remove hair from your skin, it’s sharpened.

Congratulations! You now have a sharp chisel….maybe. Unfortunately, this was not the case the first few times I was going through the sharpening process and I found the entire process to be very frustrating, detail-specific, and I felt like I had no idea what the perfectly sharpened chisel was supposed to look like.

I was so frustrated by sharpening that I tried to stab my benchmate’s mascot with my “sharpened” chisel…it clearly wasn’t sharp enough

I compared the process to making a magic wand work. If it wasn’t perfect made, no magic would come out of it. If the chisel wasn’t sharp, it was not going to cut wood the way you wanted it to. I don’t actually believe in magic, which is why I found this comparison to be true…a magic wand will never actually work, and the sharpening process was so arduous that at times I felt like I was never going to get my chisel sharp enough.

But with a little lot of patience, time, and wet/flattened waterstones, eventually you will get your chisels sharp enough to start making joinery. Keyword=eventually. It wasn’t until midway through week 2 that I handed one of my chisels to Peter who was showing me a dovetail technique and he specifically said “wow, you’ve actually got a really sharp chisel!” That was probably one of the highlights of my time at CFC.

The post The Importance of Sharpening – Center for Furniture Craftsmanship appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Veneer Repair Workshop at CVSW

The Barn on White Run - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 6:33am

Following the recent Groopshop gathering at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking I stuck around to teach a couple of one-day workshops.  The first was “Veneer Repair” wherein I presented a group of techniques I’ve learned or created over the years.  Having looked at an awful lot of historic furniture in my career, I think it is safe to say that the challenge of dealing with veneer damage and loss has been beyond the skill-set of a great many folks in the business.  This is a topic of great interest to me, and since I’ve taught it many, many times, including last week, there seems to be interest in it.  I am currently scripting out a video to shoot here in the coming winter with a young videographer living nearby.

My first order of business, a month before the class, was to make a set of near-identical “problem” boards for the students to work on.  These were fairly good representations of the types of problems they will encounter.

For most losses a technique I created involves tracing  precisely the damaged area onto a small piece of mylar or acetate that is taped to the adjacent background.  Then I select and locate a piece of veneer that matches the surrounding background as best as possible.  (I apologize for many of these pictures, I discovered ex poste that the camera was having a bad day, or perhaps it was the camera operator…)

The outline is transferred to the veneer via a piece of carbon paper (these are obviously not the same problem piece, but I think you get the idea)

The marked veneer is then mounted on a backing board with stick glue, and cut out with a jeweler’s saw.

If all goes well you get a perfect fit from the git go.

But sometimes the back side of the joint edge needs to be feathered with a small gouge to make it fit perfectly.

Once you have the grain and fit correct, you slather on some glue, overlay with a piece of cling wrap or mylar, and clamp with a plexi caul and the veneer repair is pretty much done.  There is finish work yet to come, but that is another subject for another time.

A number of other techniques were taught, but I was so busy teaching that I forgot to take pictures of them.  You’ll have to wait for the video, I guess.


Subscribe to Norse Woodsmith aggregator - General Woodworking