Jump to Navigation

Hand Tool Headlines

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

You’re gonna lose that girl

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 9:31am

The following is a true story:

I think just about everybody claims to “never watch TV!” There seems to be a stigma associated with watching TV too much. But I can honestly say that I don’t watch much television. I should probably rephrase that: I don’t watch much of what I want to watch on television. I have a daughter, and the television watching hours of 7pm-9pm are dominated by her and the Disney Channel. Usually during that time I will read, or sometimes use the computer, or whatever. Of course, I could go into another room to watch television, but that usually only lasts just a few minutes, because soon enough I will hear my daughters little footsteps, and sure as the sun will rise she is next to me and the television has magically changed channels to one of her shows. I probably should take that as a compliment.

In actuality, this little arrangement doesn’t really bother me all that much. There really isn’t a whole lot on TV that interests me at that time of the night anyway, in particular this time of the year, and with the Phillies being horrible for the past three seasons that pretty much takes baseball out of the equation. But there is one show that I do enjoy watching.

Every Tuesday night at 10pm the Woodwright’s Shop is on in my area, and I always try to watch it. There usually isn’t a problem; my daughter is generally sleeping and my wife is at the point in the day where she really doesn’t care regardless. Last night, however, was a little bit of a different story. Both my wife and daughter were awake, and both were vehemently opposed to my watching Roy Underhill for 23 minutes. Last night’s episode featured Christopher Schwarz constructing a try square modeled after one found in the Benjamin Seaton tool chest. Being that I had never seen it before, I kind of wanted to watch it.

Before I go on, I will say that my wife not wanting to watch the Woodwright’s Shop is really nothing new; she thinks it’s boring, and it probably is to her, but this was something more. I asked her, half-jokingly, what she had against poor Roy Underhill. She proceeded to tell me that not only was the show boring, but that Roy was also annoying. In fact, my lovely wife had a laundry list of complaints, ending with “everything he does is sloppy and rushed”. I’m not even going get into what she said about Christopher Schwarz. I tried to briefly explain to her the premise of the show, but at that point she couldn’t have cared less. Needless to say I watched the last 15 minutes in another room, alone.

I haven’t been watching the Woodwright’s Shop for more than a few years, but I’ve come to enjoy it. I’ve felt before that the show could use some tasteful editing, but yet part of the show’s charm is it’s single-take method. I like how Roy tells a story, not only with words, but with woodworking. Chopping up the show and editing it would really hurt the continuity in my opinion, and take away from that charm. Not that it really matters, the show has been on for 30 years and it’s format has proven to work, but I was a little disappointed in my wife’s attitude towards it.

Like I said earlier, The Woodwright’s Shop is the one TV show I look forward to watching during the week. It’s roughly 23 minutes every Tuesday evening at 10pm. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that I can watch it without criticism from the misses and my daughter, but it seems like it might be. It just never occurred to me that The Woodwright’s Shop could be such a controversial topic in my house.


Categories: General Woodworking

Gallery 774 – Luce Center Visible Storage

The Furniture Record - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 10:37pm

Much to my surprise, most people have not been to New York City. I think a lot of people (me) just assume that others have had similar life experiences, been where we’ve been and know what we know. I am finding out that this is not true. Most people have not been to New York City. Or Saint Petersburg. Or Singapore. Or South Padre Island.

Knowing this, it is incumbent upon me to share what I have seen and learned. Noblesse oblige.

Gallery 774 – Luce Center Visible Storage
at The Metropolitan Museum of Art is an amazing place. To cut and paste from their site: The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art is a visible-storage facility that displays more than ten thousand works of American fine and decorative art.

It is a large gallery with row after row of display cases filled with treasures in a rather high density display setting. And everything is under glass. Or behind it. Like most museums, The Met (we sophisticates call it “The Met”) has more in it’s collections than it can display. Even a place as big as The Met. Visible Storage gives us a chance to see another 10,000 items from their American fine and decorative arts collection. And that ain’t bad.

Being as my time was not infinite, I focused mainly on the furniture. There is an amazing assortment of furniture in there. From the fancy:

Fancy enough for you, Chuck?

Fancy enough for you, Chuck?

to some primitives:

A nice wall box.

A nice wall box.

And they have clocks:

These are just some of the case clocks.

These are just some of the case clocks.

A piece I stared at for quite a while was this exploded chest:

Exploded to allow you study the joinery.

Exploded to allow you study the joinery.

And that's how you make a blind dovetail.

And that’s how you make a blind dovetail.

Click HERE to see the Visible Storage.

The one annoying thing was that it was all behind glass. This made photography more challenging, all those reflections and all that glare. I didn’t think to buy a polarizing filter for my Canon G11. I was told that there was a person that opens the display cases for bloggers but she was off Mondays.


I knew I shoulda made 2

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 2:01pm

I haven’t made one of these in over 20 years – a phrase you’ll get sick of hearing here. I’m preparing to head north for the Lie-Nielsen Open House – and have lots to do. On my list was a brief woodworking project. The other day I had shown a shot of me at a shaving horse, making long thin hickory bits.

everything old is new again

Then I bundled up their ends with packing tape, and jammed a piece of scrap wood between them. Let them sit a while.

bound & bending

bound & bending

Then made the tiniest frame; 8 1/2” x 10 1/2” or so. Red oak. Drawbored mortise & tenon.

first joinery I have done in a while

first joinery I have done in a while

Then I kept on going & forgot to shoot the steps. Nothing terribly enlightening anyway. When Maureen came through the work area & asked “what are you making” – when I told her, she said, “No, really, what are you making?”

wood carrier

A Chinese wood carrier. Really. For carrying any kind of wood, though. Doesn’t have to be Chinese. I first learned these in 1986, I know because here is a letter from Daniel O’Hagan showing me how it’s built.

daniels note

 

And he got the idea from the book China at Work, by Rudolf Hommel, (orig 1937, MIT Press 1969.) The text says they used 2 of these, hanging from a pole across their shoulders, to bring fuel to porcelain kilns.

china at work wood carrier

 

I wanted it so I can drag a bunch of spoon blanks up to Maine…right now there’s 18 pieces in it. If I were to fill it higher, it’d be too heavy to be comfortable. This way you can hook your elbow under the top piece & away you go…

18 billets one hand

I knew I should have made 2.

 


Maze Bookcase: Joinery

Nabil Abdo - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 11:49am

I had a few questions posted about how these bookcases came together and decided I would reveal a bit more about what was going on:



These bookcases feature cantilevered shelves from the left and right sides.  Shelves like this are always a challenge because of the physics involved in supporting something from its endpoint. I settled on a tight dado, reinforced with loose tenons to keep the shelf from sagging and prevent it from being levered away from the side.


The central divider with horizontal shelves is assembled with a modified cross lap joint:


you can see the shallow dado that gives the cross lap even more strength and cleans up the intersection of the shelf with the upright.

The top and bottom are all attached to the side and upright with loose tenons.

Categories: General Woodworking

Idea for (yet another) new project

McGlynn On Making - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 7:17am

The floor lamp in our living room is a stainless steel torchiere that has seen better days.  It was an expensive, modern light when it was new – but like a lot of things in our house (occupants included) it’s getting old.  A recent jostling left the lamp listing slightly to port, so I’ve been pondering what to do to replace it with something more in keeping with the overall Greene & Greene aesthetic I’m (slowing) working toward.

My first thought was to build something like this wonderful creation from Grainger Arts & Crafts Studio, which is a rendition of a table lamp  scaled up as a floor lamp.  It’s very nice, although I’m not confident in my ability to pull off the joinery and carving on the lampshade.  I saw an original table lamp with this same base at the Huntington last year.

Grainger Floor Lamp

Grainger Floor Lamp

In browsing though the Greene & Greene Virtual Archives yesterday I came across something interesting, a sketch for a light fixture that I don’t believe was actually built.  This was drawn for the Thorsen House living room, but when I was there I didn’t see it.  I also don’t see it in archival photographs ofd the living room.

title

I read somewhere that Mr. Thorsen wasn’t a fan of lights hanging from leather straps, although there are certainly two light fixtures on leather straps in the entryway of his house.  This fixture looks like it would have been intended to hang from leather straps too.  In the actual living room in the Thorsen house there are recessed light fixtures in the ceiling.

Recent photograph of Thorsen living room ceiling fixtures

Recent photograph of Thorsen living room ceiling fixtures

I’m not “sold” on these recessed fixtures.  Assuming the drawing below was used to make a pair or more hanging fixtures for the room I think it would have been more elegant.

I can imagine this fixture hanging from leather straps, but also used as a lamp shade in either this configuration (as a torchiere) or flipped over in the more traditional orientation.  I’ll put this on the list to draw up soon.  I’d hate to run out of projects…

Sketch for a light fixture for the Thorsen House

Sketch for a light fixture for the Thorsen House


Categories: General Woodworking

Workshop move

Kees - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 1:16am
There is not much woodworking going on in my place at the moment, and the blog suffers. The windows are finished, painted and all. I am now gearing up to replace 8 meters of fencing and much more painting. And in the mean time I am moving my workshop too.

Our property had a stone shed for the bicycles and garden stuff, a wooden shed that was the home of my handtool workshop, and a single car garage where the tablesaw lived, together with a motorbike, my woodstash and loads of junk. I had long since contemplated to change this configuration, but I was dreading the amount of work involved. But I had to replace a few sidings from the wooden shed, which forced me to clear out half of it anyway.

So , the idea is to move the wood stash, plus all the junk that can't be thrown away yet, to the wooden shed, and make a nice workshop in the garage. I'm going to miss my cosy little wooden workshop, but will get loads of space in return.

It is a bit of a logistic nightmare, but slowly I'm getting there. I made a sturdy rack for all the bits of wood I've collected over time. It had to be freestanding, because the walls of the shed are quite flimsy. It is now loaded with a bunch of wood, but I made it large enough for loads more :-)
And yes, that's a motorbike engine in front, A 1951 BMW R25, needing a bit of attention. One day...


The garage is clear on one side now, so I can move the workbench to the new spot. I think I have a lead on some kitchen cabinets, so I can make proper storage and a real sharpening bench in the garage. I am still contemplating to make a wooden floor, at least in part of the garage. A wooden floor is a real asset in a workshop.


Categories: General Woodworking

“I was the victim of a good upbringing” – Q&A with Don Williams (crosspost from PopWood)

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 5:46pm

Don Williams has a new DVD with us. I caught up with him last week to learn as much as I could about the topic – creating historic (and stunning) furniture finishes. We ended up talking even more about Don’s wealth of experience in both building and instructing.

Historic_Finishes_opener

Dan:

The first thing most of us notice when we look at a true historic finish is the sheer beauty of it. Where does that beauty come from? What is it we are actually looking at on the face of the wood?

Don:

I have read a number of studies about brain physiology and the connection between our vision and our psychology. There are certain kinds of images we almost all identify as beautiful. I’m not an expert on that whole topic, but what I have found in finishing is that there is an almost universally accepted definition of beauty. It translates to a finish with low molecular weight, high gloss and high sheen. Think about a traditional French polish versus an epoxied bar top. The French polish has low molecular weight and high gloss and sheen. The bar top finish is too heavy.

This can be a chicken and egg debate. Did we develop the tools to create what we already considered beautiful, or did the definition of beauty come after using the tools for many years? It doesn’t matter very much. Historic finishes are beautiful, and we have all the tools we need to do the work.

Dan:

At what point in your career did you develop your own finishing vision and technique?

Don:

In about 1974 I went to work for a father and son crew – Pop and Fred Schindler. Pop had more or less retired when I arrived, but he still puttered around the shop. He was Swiss, very traditionally trained in Europe and seen as kind of funny here in the U.S. I was the victim of a good upbringing, and did not see Pop as odd, but rather treated him with a lot of respect.

When it came to finishing, we were all just sitting at the bench and doing the work. We were not following aesthetic theory or anything like that. I worked in the Schindler shop for 4 years, and that was when I developed my technique.

Dan:

After 45 years of finishing and teaching, you have boiled the technique down to 6 concise rules that you share with students and woodworkers everywhere. Tell us more about where this list comes from.

Don:

To the extent that I have any native gifts at all, my gift is the ability to organize ideas. I taught off and on for 25 years at the National Institute for Wood Finishing, and throughout that time I was always seeking a more concise way to explain the craft. That’s where the 6 rules came from.

Dan:

Just a few of the hundreds of brushes at Don's home shop.

One of my favorite moments in the new video is when you show viewers the Japanese rasp that has become one of your favorite tools for flattening veneered surfaces. Are there any other modern or non-traditional tools you like to use in your historic finishing process?

Don:

I probably own over 500 brushes, and have used everything from the traditional badger brush to goat hair and even boar bristle. But I use modern synthetic nylon brushes most of all. They work really well.

Dan:

Thanks, Don! Readers – be sure to check out that new DVD. It’s a gem.

Nowhere Man

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 3:05pm

When I returned home from work tonight I checked on the dado I cut for my built in cupboard. I’m not exactly sure why I did it, but I did. It was my first hand-sawn dado in some time, but I managed to get a nice fit. It’s not perfect, there was some tear out which was likely caused by my knife line going astray. You can’t see the tear out, though, which is all that really matters. But I would go as far as saying that the dado was nearly perfect, in that the fit wasn’t too tight, and wasn’t loose, and the dado is perpendicular to the case sides with clean lines. It required some light tapping with a mallet to seat it, which is the fit I was attempting to get. So I call it job well done, maybe.

Tight dado

Tight dado

Right side dado

Right side dado

After 4 plus years of woodworking I can’t say how bad or good of a woodworker I am. The problem is, I’m okay with hand tools, and okay with power tools, but not really great with either. I don’t really own enough power tools to be a “power tool woodworker”, and I am not necessarily skilled enough with hand tools to be a “hand tool only woodworker”. So what am I?

I don’t care for labels, in particular when it comes to a hobby. I don’t like terms like “hybrid woodworker” or “blended woodworker”, but there is a time and place for them. I do have a problem with a “blended” approach, and that is the tendency to not focus enough effort on any one method. For instance, I can use the table saw to make a dado, or a hand saw, or I could use an electric router if I had the correct bit and a jig; I’ve used all three. It may seem that the hand sawn method is the most difficult, but that isn’t always true. Yesterday, the table saw would have been the most difficult way to saw my dado, so I did it with a hand saw instead. The table saw would have required test cuts along with some trial and error. I know there are woodworkers out there that can achieve a tight dado on a table saw in no time flat because they’ve done it so often and they are good at it; they know their equipment inside and out. I don’t practice any one method enough to become really great at it because I’m a home woodworker with limitations in both space, equipment, and certain skills I will reluctantly admit.

There is a part of me that would really like to focus on one style of woodworking, not because of any ideology or to prove a point, but just to become really good at one method. But another part of me knows that it just isn’t possible at the moment. With a little more practice, I know I could easily saw all of my dados by hand. But I also know that if I am building a bookcase with 24 dado cuts then sawing and fitting them each by hand will severely limit the already limited time I have to woodwork with, and I could say the same of power operations that require jig building and use.

So it looks like I am sort of stuck in between at least for the time being. I guess it doesn’t matter all that much. I’ve managed to get by for the past 4 years using my own style and I’ve generally enjoyed it. But being on the fence isn’t always the most comfortable place to sit. Maybe it’s time I chose a side. Maybe I need to get off the fence and get going, somewhere. In any case, being somewhere is better than being nowhere.


Categories: General Woodworking

Nowhere Man

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 3:05pm

When I returned home from work tonight I checked on the dado I cut for my built in cupboard. I’m not exactly sure why I did it, but I did. It was my first hand-sawn dado in some time, but I managed to get a nice fit. It’s not perfect, there was some tear out which was likely caused by my knife line going astray. You can’t see the tear out, though, which is all that really matters. But I would go as far as saying that the dado was nearly perfect, in that the fit wasn’t too tight, and wasn’t loose, and the dado is perpendicular to the case sides with clean lines. It required some light tapping with a mallet to seat it, which is the fit I was attempting to get. So I call it job well done, maybe.

Tight dado

Tight dado

Right side dado

Right side dado

After 4 plus years of woodworking I can’t say how bad or good of a woodworker I am. The problem is, I’m okay with hand tools, and okay with power tools, but not really great with either. I don’t really own enough power tools to be a “power tool woodworker”, and I am not necessarily skilled enough with hand tools to be a “hand tool only woodworker”. So what am I?

I don’t care for labels, in particular when it comes to a hobby. I don’t like terms like “hybrid woodworker” or “blended woodworker”, but there is a time and place for them. I do have a problem with a “blended” approach, and that is the tendency to not focus enough effort on any one method. For instance, I can use the table saw to make a dado, or a hand saw, or I could use an electric router if I had the correct bit and a jig; I’ve used all three. It may seem that the hand sawn method is the most difficult, but that isn’t always true. Yesterday, the table saw would have been the most difficult way to saw my dado, so I did it with a hand saw instead. The table saw would have required test cuts along with some trial and error. I know there are woodworkers out there that can achieve a tight dado on a table saw in no time flat because they’ve done it so often and they are good at it; they know their equipment inside and out. I don’t practice any one method enough to become really great at it because I’m a home woodworker with limitations in both space, equipment, and certain skills I will reluctantly admit.

There is a part of me that would really like to focus on one style of woodworking, not because of any ideology or to prove a point, but just to become really good at one method. But another part of me knows that it just isn’t possible at the moment. With a little more practice, I know I could easily saw all of my dados by hand. But I also know that if I am building a bookcase with 24 dado cuts then sawing and fitting them each by hand will severely limit the already limited time I have to woodwork with, and I could say the same of power operations that require jig building and use.

So it looks like I am sort of stuck in between at least for the time being. I guess it doesn’t matter all that much. I’ve managed to get by for the past 4 years using my own style and I’ve generally enjoyed it. But being on the fence isn’t always the most comfortable place to sit. Maybe it’s time I chose a side. Maybe I need to get off the fence and get going, somewhere. In any case, being somewhere is better than being nowhere.


Categories: General Woodworking

The Leach Factor

Rundell & Rundell - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 12:52pm
A trip to Massachusetts for me now is not going to be complete without visiting the home of Patrick Leach. You may know Patrick from his monthly tool lists which contain a plethora of quality tools, including a couple of special categories for wooden and Stanley planes and the like.

Or possibly from his reproduction of the famous Stanley No.1 under the guise of the The Superior Works.

Then there's Patrick's Blood and Gore, his famous information overload regarding Stanley planes. Or perhaps you just remember the post I wrote about him the last time I was here in 2011. Here it is - Patternmakers Chest.

But which ever is the case, a visit sure makes for a fun afternoon and Patrick did not disappoint this time round either.

I had purchased a few tools here and there from previous tool lists and had asked Patrick to hang on to them rather than send them, as I knew that I would be here to collect them in person and what better excuse for a visit.


On arrival we were greeted with the view of a 'barn fresh' 1922 Buick sitting outside the garage. According to Mr. Leach, he is the second owner and from memory I think he said that it had done less than 25,000 miles. Pretty sweet eh?


The original green paint was terrific. What a great colour.


Got to love that tail light.

So down to business and I had a look over the things Patrick had put aside for me. A hatchet and set of number stencils made from copper sheet, a Millers Falls sharpening jig and a nice old Slick- cranked too!

A quick look around the rest of the tools and Pete asked if Patrick would mind showing Charlie the 'Inner Sanctum' to which Patrick readily obliged.  ( see above post for some insight ) While we were all collectively drooling at the museum quality pieces jammed in like sardines I spied something I hadn't seen last time. A canon.

in situ

Yup, you read it right. A canon. Sitting there, plane as day under the work bench. "What's the go with the canon Patrick?" "Oh that's just a Winchester canon, they made a ton of those things, drag it out."

Although on smallish in size, the little canon was a beautiful bit of work. Apparently they were made primarily as a starters canon to fire blanks and operate with a 10g shotgun shell blank.

" Oh what the hell, we didn't let of any crackers for the 4th, let's go and fire off that little b*#%@d!"




                                      

Need I say more :)










Categories: General Woodworking

Traditional Wooden Boat Builder | Woodworking Tour

Wood and Shop - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 8:04am

In the above video I share my visit to the Vineyard Haven wooden boat workshop of Ted Box on the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard.

Wooden Boat builder

In the video I mentioned that I read a book called “Wooden Boats” which informed me of Ted Box’s boat building. You can find the fascinating book at this link.

If you want to learn more details about Ted’s history and his wooden boat building project, you can read more via this Vineyard Gazette newspaper link.

Ted Box Wooden Boat builder

Ted’s 70-foot scow schooner sat in a temporary workshop next to the Vineyard Haven harbor.

Wooden Boat builder

Because of my love of the traditional trades I was naturally curious about seeing Ted’s wooden boat project.

Wooden Boat Builder

I was surprised to learn that much of the work was done by volunteers. Ted was happy to accept both long-term and short-term volunteers. My cousins and I (above) worked for only a couple hours, but other volunteers (like the young man below) volunteered for the entire summer.

Wooden Boat Builder

This volunteer spent countless hours filling the gaps with cotton:

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

The schooner had become a tourist attraction to the thousands of summer visitors to Martha’s Vineyard:

Wooden Boat builder

Wooden Boat builder
Because I’m a traditional woodworker I was particularly drawn to the construction details on the wooden sail boat:

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

I’m not much of a power tool user anymore, but I loved seeing the vintage power tools (like the below planer) that Ted uses in his boat building:

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

Ted is definitely the real deal:

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

 

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO JOSHUA’S FUTURE ARTICLES & VIDEOS!

banner-10-steps-to-get-started-traditional-woodworking-NEW

banner-woodworking-hand-tools-started-NEW

Have Chisels; Will Travel

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 6:31am

I’ll be at the Lie-Nielsen open house in Warren, Maine this Friday and Saturday (July 11-12) from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. On Friday, I’ll be demonstrating “Five Quick Fixes for Less-than-stellar Dovetails” throughout the day in our booth. On Saturday, I’ll be hanging out in the august company of, among others, Christian Becksvoort, Peter Follansbee, Christopher Schwarz, Matt Bickford, Mary May and Peter Galbert, plus, of course, Thomas Lie-Nielsen, Deneb Puchalski, […]

The post Have Chisels; Will Travel appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Thorsen Table with Waterfall Legs

McGlynn On Making - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 6:29am

I was curious how the Thorsen table (ok, plant stand) would look with the waterfall legs.  I haven’t researched this extensively, but in one of Darrell Peart’s books he mentions that this was a detail first used on the Gamble furniture.  Each step in the waterfall is 1/8″, so I’m stepping from 1 1/4″ down to 1″ in total.  I like it, I’m going to build it this way.

I ran into a weird problem with SolidWorks where the high resolution render will use a different material than what I have in the model — in this case it ends up with this weird, blotchy, swirly grain.  I’ve run into this before and the only way to fix it is to remove all of the materials from the model and then replace them.  So I just grabbed a screen shot of the model instead.

CAD model updated with waterfall legs

CAD model updated with waterfall legs

I also updated the plans with the leg detail, and added in the ebony pegs on the legs where the stretchers meet that I had missed.  I noticed that I omitted the overall length for the leg, I’ll have to correct that later, but it’s 21.5″ long.

Updated Plans

Updated Plans

I didn’t model every detail, in the original pieces I’ve seen all of the edges are eased — rounded or softened in some way.  In the photograph of the original table that John provided a link to take a look at the ends of the breadboard caps on the top.  They are almost “pillowed”.  The edges of the piercings on the skirts are subtly rounded too.  In a lot of G&G reproductions I see on the web this kind of detail is missing, and it’s pretty simple to do.  Another thing that’s interesting about the original is that the color of the lower shelf is significantly different from the rest of the piece.  I don’t know if that’s original or intentional.  The caption on the archive site says that the table is “Teak and Mahogany”, so I’m guessing it’s a difference in woods and it’s intentional, and the table itself is teak while the shelf is Mahogany.  Anyone know for sure?

Original Thorsen Plant Stand

Original Thorsen Plant Stand

 


Categories: General Woodworking

Made a good start…

McGlynn On Making - Sun, 07/06/2014 - 10:30pm

On the new Thorsen side table, that is.  Nothing particularly clever here, just straightforward machine work.

I rough cut the Sapele for the skirts, stretchers and legs.  It’s all oversized at this point of course, I was just breaking it down.  I cut an extra leg, extra skirt and several extra stretchers in case I screw something up.  And I immediately screwed up one of the legs.  *score*

Wood for the legs, stretchers and skirts rough cut.

Wood for the legs, stretchers and skirts rough cut.

I processed everything, and got all the parts cut to size.  It’s good to know I could do the dimensioning by hand, but I have to say it would take me days to get this stuff ready by hand.  Plus it gets really hot in the shop, at least 15 degrees hotter than outside, even with the doors open and a fan running.  I’ll use my #4 LN to smooth all of these before I sand and assemble the table.

Parts milled to final size and length.

Parts milled to final size and length.  In the background is a stained glass “peacock feather” sun catchermy son is doing.

I should have gotten a little further along, but I was hot and took a break for a couple of hours to finish a novel I was reading.  I went back out and did the mortises and started making the holes for the ebony plugs.  I’ll do the tenons on the skirts and stretchers next, then work out the details on the cloud lifts and piercing on the skirts, waterfall steps on the legs and various other things that chew up time.

Mortises done

Mortises done

This should be a fun project, and I can probably finish it and the cabinet at the same time.  I’m asking around for someone who can make a house call on my DoAll bandsaw, I need to get that repaired — I can’t stand tools that don’t work.


Categories: General Woodworking

Kerfing plane done and in action

She Works Wood - Sun, 07/06/2014 - 9:10pm
I was able to finish up my kerfing plane and actually resaw a board.  After kerfing the board, I resawed the board with my panel saw .. which convinced my that I needed to build my frame saw.  My plan is to build Shannon’s frame saw Semester 4 – Roubo Frame Saw. Here are some of […]
Categories: General Woodworking

“Right Sizing” a Table Saw

The Barn on White Run - Sun, 07/06/2014 - 8:06pm

When I began the reconstruction of the Barn I bought a 10-inch contractor’s table saw on Craigslist to use on site, as I did not want then to haul my Jet Unisaw out to work in a pretty wide-open environment.  The contractor’s saw was never anything better than a pile of pelosi, but it got me through the worst of the project.

Now that the outfitting of the interior is drawing to a close, and the Unisaw is ensconced in the basement (admittedly sans 220v electrical circuit and outlet right now, but I could wire it up in an hour or so) it was time to put the pile o’junk saw out to pasture and reconsider what saw I wanted upstairs in my main working area.  Since I mostly use it for making templates and jigs and other light work, something a lot smaller would suffice.

cIMG_6123

My friend Tony gave me a motor-less Rockwell combination platform with a 4-inch jointer and a 9-inch table saw on the same base, with a brand new thin kerf blade.  I did not need the jointer at this time, so I took it off and remounted the table saw.  It had the makings of a fine little machine, everything seemed smooth and tight.   It needed a motor and a motor yoke, so I dug out the former (3/4 horse) from my stash of motors and fabricated the latter from a southern yellow pine board and a long bolt.

cIMG_6088

All hooked up it worked well.  My final dilemma had to do with the mobility of the machine.  I am not one of these guys who wants the table saw plopped in the middle of the work space.  I want to roll it out to use, then put it back when done.  The problem is that casters make the thing unsteady and frankly dangerous unless they are high quality -and pretty expensive – double locking locking casters that lock both the wheel rotation and swivel.

cIMG_6077

While at the hardware store I found the perfect solution for less than 10 dollars.  These plastic sliders for underneath sofas are fabulous.  In addition to allowing the saw to be pulled out and put away easily on the SYP floor, they are not so slick as to let the saw to slide across the floor as I am using it.

cIMG_6076

One unexpected benefit is that the sliders have padded tops, so in fact this reduces any vibration and makes the whole setup steady as a rock.

I am not convinced that this is the ultimate resolution, especially with the ridiculous 24″ outrigger bars for the fence.  I might just cut those off at 16″ or 14″ and see how I like them.

I have two more options at my disposal.  Down in the basement of the barn is a sweet 8-inch Craftsman bench-top table saw almost identical to the one I grew up with, also smooth and tight, and back in my Maryland shed I still have my wonderful 9-inch tilting top Rockwell saw that I absolutely love.

IMG_4748

For now I will try this set-up for a good while to see if it fits my needs.  It saws effortlessly and true, needing only an outfeed crossbar which I will add soon.  If not, I will swap it out for the next option.

Stay tuned

I use scrap wood a lot, Rose uses it better

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sun, 07/06/2014 - 6:10pm

rose's comic block overall

My first week of self-employment is under my belt. It went nothing like what I expected. I carved few new spoons; ( I finished a bunch, but they’re coming with me to the Lie-Nielsen Open House later this week – some hewn bowls too. http://www.lie-nielsen.com/open-house/ I’ll sell what I have when I get back.)

Mostly I turned balusters for Burrey’s project. That’s all right, the other stuff will keep til I get back. Oops, once I get back, I turn around & go back to Maine for a carving class there – so it has to keep even longer.   http://www.lie-nielsen.com/weekend-workshop/ww-pf14

As I stumble around this make-shift shop, I can’t tell you how many times I have instinctively reached for a hunk of scrap wood that isn’t there. I never realized how important that stuff is to my day-to-day working. Shims, wedges, propping stuff this way & that. The piece above however is one large scrap that became too good to toss, or to use.  Ages ago, Rose picked it up in the old shop one day, an oak off-cut of a 3×5. Asked could she have it – I said yes. I’ve saved it for a year or more…

rose's comic block pt 1

rose's comic block pt 2

rose's comic block pt 3

rose's comic block pt 4

 

in the “everything old is new again department” – here’s a preview of an upcoming project. Not furniture is all I’ll say…

everything old is new again

 

Just to keep folks from worrying, proof that I haven’t forgotten oak carvings – two upcoming frame & panel numbers. These were part of two demonstrations I did in June; one for SAPFM and one at Historic New England. Warm-ups for the LN carving class mentioned above.

oak 1

oak 2

While cleaning and sorting, I found this old newspaper photo of my last private shop – a 2nd floor of a chicken coop – me using an old Delta lathe. Threw away the motor, but the lathe was right above the stairs, so the treadle had to be pumped backwards! 1992 this was…

1992 lathe

 

Someone asked, did we see whales? Yup, low numbers, but good views. Perfect weather.

fluke

 

 


It's a Chinook Salmon!

Rundell & Rundell - Sun, 07/06/2014 - 5:15pm
The East coast of the United States, for those of you who haven't ventured there, is a pretty green sort of place. Sterling Massachusetts is no different. Sure we have 'green' at home, but a more drab eucalyptus sort of green. Here it's lush, vivid green, made up of a dense canopy and undergrowth of Maple, Oak, Hickory, Pine, Birch and a whole stack of other stuff. And it's no wonder when you experience the humidity from heavy showers and healthy sun like we have the past few days here.  It's  a recipe for growing trees. Good straight ones.

So on the first day out of the blocks at Pete's I weighed in for an hour or so…….splitting blocks. Or logs really, with Charlie in the front yard of Pete's place. Charlie is one of a talented pair ( Claire being the other ) of young furniture makers currently staying with Pete.


Under a tarp in the front yard is a pile of Oak and Maple logs. "30 bucks a log for the maple," said Pete with a grin, as I muttered something under my breath. I don't think the White Oak was any more expensive. Now a couple of the logs had a bit of wind to them, but compared to our White Oak and Hard Maple logs back home……..oh yeah, that's right, we don't have them do we.

So as Charlie busted open the Oak log I measured out 2 foot lengths around knots and the like on the maple flitches, then docked them to length with the chainsaw.


I then started to break those respective quarters down with the wedges and froe into 2 1/4" slabs, then
2 1/4 " square blanks.


Said slab.


And Leg blanks

But as I began to split those parts out, I noticed one big problem. The rotten things were all figured. Damn, talk about all the bad luck eh?


You can see it more readily in the bottom block.


And here in the ones I rounded down and the double bobbin leg I turned. Bummer eh?

So of course when you have such bad luck with rubbish maple, then what's there left to do but split Oak. The following day, amongst other stuff, I went down, cut a another couple of lengths off the Oak flitches Charlie had split out, marked them and started splitting some spindle stock.



Well that's a bit more like it. Nice even growth rings and straight long grain


Well, I guess you might call that split 'ok?' You know, if that's as good as you can get it. So I started splitting a bit more out.


Mmmm, not bad. 1 inch square and straight for about 2 foot ( 600mm )…..


Now that's a fairly good pile. enough for a couple of side chairs. And so about that time I showed Pete. "Oh, that's kinda curly which is not ideal for spindles, I'll go and ring the guy I get my logs from and see if I can't get another log."

It immediately took me back to those 1980's John West salmon and tuna adds. You know where the Aussie guy is in Canada and is blown away by a big Salmon a Canadian fisherman is holding. The Canadian proceeds to tell him it's rubbish. "it's a Chinook! Chinook salmon, flesh is too course, colour's all over the place, not enough oil. John West buy all our best salmon." "Ahhh" says the Aussie. "So this is fish John West reject?" "Riiiight." says the Canadian. Then blazed on the screen. It's the fish John West reject that make them the best……..

And so, the figured spindle stock was rejected……And that's why Pete is making the best chairs going around.


 But to hell with that!  So I made them into spindles :) I'm comfortable being that other guy, when it comes to that wood. Chinook or not.
And I have to say, curl or no curl, they were pretty damn fine to shave down. I even made a few spares. I think a little bow back side chair when I get home might just be the place for those horrible curly spindles.

Amongst other things it's just been nice to have the time to chat with Pete about all things chair related and his latest work. And to delve in deeper about green wood to.



Here's the blanks I rounded down, turned by Pete into Baluster legs. (yup, there's that nasty fiddleback again) These things are that green that not only are the tools wet afterwards, but look at the moisture contained below those bulbous sections. Makes you want to grab them and wring them dry.

Pete's workshop, no matter what is going on in there, is a great inspiration for anyone being there, whether taking a workshop or not. Stay tuned for more….and less about salmon.

Categories: General Woodworking

Summer Reading: Kid-Friendly Woodworking Books

The Literary Workshop Blog - Sun, 07/06/2014 - 2:18pm

Summer reading isn’t just for grown-ups.  With the kids out of school, it’s just the time for everybody, young and old, to do some reading for fun.  As a woodworking father of four young children, I’m always on the lookout for good children’s books that relate to woodworking.   Here are a few good ones I’ve found.  These are not how-to books, but rather books that offer children a positive depiction of the craft.  (Click on the publisher’s name to get your own copy.)

Grandpa’s Workshop by Maurice Pommier–from Lost Art Press

If you haven’t yet seen this gem, you really must buy it, even if you don’t have kids.  It is the story of a little boy, Sylvain, awakening tools that have long lain asleep in an old chest in his grandfather’s shop. It is also the story of Sylvain discovering his family’s long history, as well as his own vocation as a woodworker.  There are tails of travels and fights and wars, and even a dragon!

The book is lavishly illustrated in full color, and both text and illustrations are absolutely accurate depictions of woodworking tools and practices.  (I reviewed the book on this blog awhile back.)

 

The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean–from Eerdmans

Although this is a Christmas-themed book,  you can read it any time.  A crotchety old woodcarver is hard at work in a church, carving out a Jesse Tree, and every day he is pestered by an inquisitive little urchin.  Reluctantly, the woodcarver tells the Bible story represented by each of his carvings.  In the process, we learn a little about the boy, a little about the woodcarver, and a lot about how Bible stories build on each other.

The woodworking content is not strongly developed–it is mainly a frame for the Bible stories that the old man retells.  Overall, though, I am impressed with the quality of these retellings.  The stories are recast imaginatively, but they retain many the originals’ essential details.  Plus, woodworkers who get interrupted frequently in the shop will come to sympathize deeply with the frustrated narrator who just wants to go on carving.

The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli–from Scholastic

Winner of the 1950 Newbery Medal, this charming novel tells the story of young Robin, a 14th-century nobleman’s child.  When Robin’s legs become useless, he falls in with a kindly friar who teaches him to use his hands to carve wood.  Through a series of harrowing adventures, Robin comes to understand the value of persistence, fidelity, and courage.

I am impressed with how faithful the story is to its Medieval setting.  While the depictions of Medieval crafts are not highly detailed, they are certainly believable.  The story and characters are themselves well-crafted.  Children as young as first grade will enjoy hearing this story read aloud, though older children will probably get more out of it.

Early American Trades and Early American Crafts and Occupationsfrom Dover (here and here, respectively)

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Who doesn’t like a really good coloring book?  These two coloring books include detailed illustrations of many wood-related crafts, including pit sawing, carpentry, coopering, and furniture making. The illustrators have taken pains to make each detail in the pictures historically accurate, and each book covers a wide variety of trades and crafts.  (For readers who would like a little more explanatory text to go with the pictures, I think that A Reverence for Wood by Eric Sloane and Country Furniture by Aldren Watson are excellent counterparts to the images in these books.)   If you have children, get two copies of each–one for the kids to color and one for yourself.  Then get yourself a good set of colored pencils and get started!


Tagged: children, children's woodworking books, good children's books, summer reading

I’m looking through you.

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Sun, 07/06/2014 - 1:36pm

My vacation is sadly coming to a close. I hadn’t been at the house very often this week, but I did want to dedicate a few hours to woodwork before I went back to real work. So today I decided to start the built in cupboard I had planned for my garage.

For this project I am using home center pine. I don’t plan on painting or staining it, though once the door is finished I may put a coat of linseed oil on it. But as far as material is concerned it is not the best. I had originally planned on making the cupboard around six feet tall and 16 inches wide. It dawned on me this morning that if I make it six feet tall I will have to remove my dart board, which I’ve kind of grown attached to in its current location. So instead I settled on a height of 42 inches. In truth I’m not actually all that worried about dimensions and storage capacity; this is more of an experiment in both woodworking and carpentry.

The first task of the day was ripping a board to 10 1/2″ wide and then cross-cutting it to finished length, which I did on my table saw. I then laid out a dado in the middle of that board. Instead of setting up the dado stack on the table saw, I decided to make the dado with a hand saw, as I felt it a waste of time to go through the trouble of installing and setting up a dado stack to make one cut. I clamped the board to my workbench and used a marking knife and the board I had planned on making the shelf with to mark the dado width. To get the cut started I used the keeper from the Dutch Tool chest as a sawing guide. Once the defining cuts were made I first used a basic hand saw to add more kerfs, but that was tedious, so I used a chisel instead. I then cleaned it out with the same chisel and used the router plane to smooth out the bottom. After I was satisfied with the dado I ripped the board to width, 5 1/4″, on the table saw. It probably would have been a little easier to make the dados after I had ripped it to width, but this method assured that both dados would be perfectly aligned.

Striking a line

Striking a line

sawing guide

sawing guide

Sawing a dado

Sawing a dado

trying to saw accurately

trying to saw accurately

Chopping out a dado

Chopping out a dado

Before I went any further, I pre-drilled some holes in the dado to fasten the shelf. I had planned on using just nails to put the box together, but instead I went with pocket screws. Pocket screws don’t work so well for ninety degree assemblies; they do much better for face frames. I wish I had just used nails, but in the end it was done, though I made it more complicated than it had to be. I also used the liquid hide glue for the first time, and it worked just fine. I liked that it was tacky without being slippery. I then attached the middle shelf to the dado with cut nails, no glue. Before I called it a morning I drilled some holes for adjustable shelves and then cross cut the two shelves to width.

Drilling pilot holes

Drilling pilot holes

I can make a see-through box.

I can make a see-through box.

After I cleaned up I did something that I should have done before anything else, and that was make sure that the box fit between the studs. Happily, it fit perfectly. I only need to add the plywood back to finish the interior of the cupboard. Hopefully next week I will cut out the drywall and install the cupboard in the wall. I will then proceed to the real woodworking portion of this project, and that is making a face frame and a door.

It felt good to get in a little time at the workbench today. If the weather cooperates next weekend, I should have my first project of the summer finished. Most importantly, I will have gotten in some good practice on fitting a door and a face-frame when it comes time to do it for real on the Shaker Enfield Cupboard I plan on making for my next furniture project.


Categories: General Woodworking

Pages

Subscribe to Norse Woodsmith aggregator - General Woodworking


by Dr. Radut