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General Woodworking

doo-dads........

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 09/02/2017 - 3:00am
Before I started working on the doo-dads for the plow plane box, I checked the lid in the box first. I got a wee bit of surprise with it in that it was hard to push it all the way home. The lid had bowed slightly across it's width and I had to plane the back corners to get it to slide smoothly again. I also noticed that the back wasn't square and tight there neither. I'll play with that before I applied the finish.

oops
This is what I did thursday night after dinner. I drilled the hole on the right on the wrong side of the layout line.

drilled a practice one first
This is what I should have done last night but I thought I could eyeball the layout lines and get away with that. I think that if I had drilled the hole on the correct side of the line, it would have worked.


fits the fence rods
The rods are 5/16" and the holes I drilled are 11/32 which gives me some wiggle room.

clamped it to the doo-dad
I flushed the backs and marked the holes by tapping on the drill. I drilled the holes on the drill press.

everything fits with room to spare
I had to thin the holder for the plane
I had to saw off a little more than 5/8". If I had put the slot on the other face I wouldn't have had to saw it. I put the plane in the thinnest face because I thought it looked better and it also made things not quite as tight.

the doo-dads aren't quite done
I made the slots for the conversion fence and the plane about a 1/4" longer than the parts. The ends are open and won't work well with keeping the two of them contained. I'm going to epoxy caps on the ends to keep them in place.

using the good stuff
sized the ends
I want the end caps to be secure and this is an end grain to long grain connection. I know that this epoxy will not hold if I attach the caps to the ends now. Sizing the ends and then epoxying the caps on will be a very strong joint. I did this same thing on my xmas present stands. As far as I know they are all still together(all 5 of mine are). This will add a couple of more days to the completion but in the interim I can complete the finishing.

metric drill caddy box
 The 3 and 4 mm bits are in holes a lot looser than the others. These two fall out if I turn the box upside down and fall out through this gap. I am going to glue a strip to the box to close this gap off. This is a piece of ash cutoff from the doo-dads that is a perfect fit.

it's almost 1700
I'll let this set up until tomorrow. The last thing I did before I left the shop was to apply a second coat of oil to the drill caddy. Tomorrow I'll put the second and final coat on the box.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What was the only state (colony) not invaded by the British during the Revolutionary War?
answer - New Hampshire


birds not woodworking

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Fri, 09/01/2017 - 7:19pm

I recently spent a great day with our friend Marie Pelletier up in Newbury, Massachusetts at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, aka Plum Island. She got great shots of many of the birds we saw… maybe this will take you to her shots – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10213122359110858&set=pcb.10213122371511168&type=3&theater 

It was not the best light for me, my camera shoots kinda dark. But here’s some of what I got that day:
Egrets were the bird of the day; both snowy (Egretta thula) and great (Ardea alba)  – here’s one of the great egrets:

 

a bunch of the snowies:

great again

snowies again

They weren’t the only long-legged waders around though – we saw Great Blue Herons now and then (Ardea herodias)

A juvenile Northern Harrier – (Circus cyaneus )

The swallows were really the most impressive sight. Their numbers were out of this world. They’re “staging” – stopping here to feed and gather in huge flocks for migration. Many (most/all?) of these are tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) – there’s no way this photo or any photo captures the impact of seeing this many birds. they were in constant motion, and the sound of them hitting the water to feed on insects was LOUD. 

Here they are streaming through a gap in some trees, just an amazing sight. 

I never skip a chance to watch cedar waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) this one was very cooperative

A couple of days later, at Pret & Paula’s house, an eastern screech owl (Megascops asio). Too distant for my camera, but such a treat to see it poking out of this dead tree:

Then this morning, the flock of common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula) with some other blackbirds mixed in, come streaming up from the marsh just around sunrise:


Making a Handy Sandpaper Tote – Tips from Sticks in the Mud – September 2017 – Tip #1

Highland Woodworking - Fri, 09/01/2017 - 7:00am

Welcome to “Tips From Sticks-In-The-Mud Woodshop.” I am a hobbyist who loves woodworking and writing for those who also love the craft. I have found some ways to accomplish tasks in the workshop that might be helpful to you, and I enjoy hearing your own problem-solving ideasPlease share them in the COMMENTS section of each tip.  If, in the process, I can also make you laugh, I have achieved 100% of my goals.

I suppose you could say I have two sanding centers. One holds the oscillating spindle sander and, because it has drawers, stores all of the disks for various Festool Sanders, too. It may be too fancy for some folks’ taste, being made from “real wood.”

This “sanding center” is on a universal wheeled base and can be rolled almost anyplace. The dust collection can connect to the cyclone or a shop vacuum, and the assortment of sanding disks can be close by wherever the sanding is taking place. If you’re constantly changing grits, that’s a really handy feature.

Mechanization is fine, as far as it goes. Sometimes, though, a job calls for hand sanding. Because we don’t want to be walking back and forth to our sandpaper supply, I made a sandpaper tote.

Our dear friends at the local Mexican restaurant saved some big steel cans for us. I spent about a million dollars (sorry, Steve) on Rust-OLeum rusty metal primer and Rust-OLeum flat black to coat the cans well before putting them to use. After all, they were going to be holding abrasives.

I attached the cans to a scrap piece of treated pine, and used the handle from an old Stihl string trimmer to complete the tote.

Fortunately, the old Stihl string trimmer handle was black, so the whole project was color-coordinated.

In the cans I put 1/3-sheet sanding blocks, scraps of sandpaper in Ziploc bags and a variety of other items that are used in sanding. Each can has a grit number assigned, with the appropriate Ziploc of scraps and a sanding block with that grit installed. The scraps all have their grit marked.

The cans are marked with Post-It Notes, just in case I want them to hold different grits in the future. One can holds a miscellany of sanding-related aids. For example, the rod can be slipped into the sanding block to lift the “lid” without ruining the ends of the paper. That way, they can go into the scrap Ziploc assigned to its grit, and not be wasted. Old scissors are handy for cutting sandpaper, or anything else that gets in your way. There’s an air blower for cleaning the paper when it clogs.

Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home.Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

The post Making a Handy Sandpaper Tote – Tips from Sticks in the Mud – September 2017 – Tip #1 appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

plow plane box pt V.......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 09/01/2017 - 1:13am
I didn't get to finish the doo-dads for the box. I thought it would have been a done deal but it didn't happen. Sometimes things take way longer than I think they will. Tonight cutting and fitting the plugs for the box took most of my shop time to get done. I'm not a slow worker and I got into a groove doing these and lost all track of time. I'll still get this done before the weekend.


another first for me
I used the 5 1/2 to clean and flush the tails and pins on the box. Using that plane left ridges even though my corners on the plane are rounded off. I smoothed everything with the #3. I need it smooth because I'm going to wax the box instead of shellacing it.


enough walnut for a hundred boxes
I saved these pieces from something else(?) for just this purpose.

back is done
I tried to make sure that the plug end showing was face grain. I want these pop and be an eye catcher and face grain will do that better than end grain.

1645 and I'm finishing up the last plug
conversion fence
I was expecting this to be metric but it is measuring a frog hair under 1/8". I have them squeezed on the fence here to snap the pic.

the plane body measures the same
slot for the fence
I was going to make this groove with my record plow plane but it's maximum depth is only 1/2 of this. I made this one on the tablesaw. The fit of the fence in the slot is perfect. It isn't too tight nor too loose.

the planned spot for the fence
Getting to the conversion fence won't be a problem. This fence will still be needed so it'll come off first regardless and then I can grab the conversion fence. The brass screw will go in a hole inbetween the fence rods.

I measured the rods and they are 5/16" diameter. Again I was expecting metric but I'm happy with the imperial.  Tomorrow I'll make a drilling guide for the rods and make some practice holes before I drill the holes in the box doo-dad.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is the longest running scripted TV show in the US?
answer - The Simpsons at 29 seasons (Gunsmoke and Law & Order both had 20 yrs)

Different Curves.

The Furniture Record - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 9:52pm

The auction from the last post was not a great auction, there were no wonderous pieces of furniture. Many nice ones but nothing that jumped out and screamed “Take me to the Met.”

In the absence of greatness, I look for interesting details. Things done differently or things not typically done. I always wonder if these different approaches are naive or brilliant. Did they not know how things were done or not care how others did it. No clue or different inspiration

There were a few items that had a unique approach to curves. First up is this:

Chippendale Style Dressing Table

Description:  19th century, oak, shaped dish top, single serpentine drawer, cabriole legs with ball and claw feet.

Size: 29 x 30 x 18 in.

Condition: Restoration including the drawer being reworked, later glue blocks, break and repair to back right leg; insect damage; surface stains.

DSC_7899

This lot has sold for $110.

To start things off, the ball and claw feet are a bit different:

DSC_7905

That’s not how they did it in Newport.

The drawer has been reworked?

DSC_7907

How was it before the reworking. No dovetails yet I took a picture of it.

The serpentine drawer front caught my eye:

DSC_7908

A drawer front you don’t see everyday.

A sawn serpentine drawer front is not unique. What is unique is how thin the drawer front gets:

DSC_7909

it gets down to below 1/2″.

I do like the bail pulls:

DSC_7911

Seems to be original.

Next specimen is quite a bit taller:

William IV Mahogany Bookcase

Description:19th century, two-part form, mahogany, mahogany veneer, oak and pine secondary, applied cove molded cornice, two hinged glazed doors with original wavy glass open to two louvered shelves, over an ogee drawer, two paneled doors with flush base.

Size   94 x 43 x 18 in

Condition: No key; surface wear; top surface to base with looseness.

DSC_7920

Taller than your average bookcase.

The only curved thing on it is the, as they call it, ogee drawer. Looking at is in profile you see:

DSC_7921

Dovetails look kinda funny.

It looks like it started life as a squared drawer to which bits have been added and removed:

DSC_7932

Used to be square.

Staring at it for a while, I think I might have figured out how they did it. It started out as a drawer with a square profile. The baseline looks like it was made by a marking gauge which would require a flat front. Moldings and fillets were attached and the drawer front was then given the ogee profile. The through dovetails were hidden behind a thick veneer on the concave surface.

The third curve is the first kidney-shaped server I’ve ever seen.

English Regency Concave Mahogany Server

Description: 19th century, mahogany, oak secondary, top with applied gallery, two drawers over two tambour doors, shelved interior, on flush base.

Size: 39 x 50 x 22 in.

Condition: Right tambour door with loose panels; surface scratches; shrinkage crack to top; other wear.

DSC_7935

This lot has sold for $400. The figural humidors not included. They sold for $310.

The tambour doors were a bit stiff. Now knowing how the non-existent Pottery Barn Rule (You break it, you bought it)  applies at an auction, I wimped out and chose to use their picture to show it closed:

ConcaveServer

Tambour doors closed.

The joinery might be a bit coarse but it has lasted for 200 years:

DSC_7934

Not perfect nut good enough.

Interesting way that the lower shelf boards installed on a bias:

DSC_7937

Nothing straight about this server.


Easy Wooden Pants Hanger

The Literary Workshop Blog - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 1:33pm

As a professional teacher, I own a lot of dress slacks.  Until recently, I had them hanging on a variety of different hangers, most of which sagged and left unsightly wrinkles on each leg.  There are a lot of effective ways to hang up a pair of slacks without wrinkling them, but most good hangers are expensive and hog valuable space on the rack.  My new pants hangers each cost approximately 75 cents took under five minutes to make.

Making them requires only a few simple woodworking tools and almost no skill.  Here’s how I did it.

I began with some old wire hangers that came from the dry cleaner.  Such hangers are easy to find.  These are have a cardboard tube that each end of the wire sticks into.

Wooden Pants Hanger 2017

I had most of my slacks hanging on hangers like these.  They worked for a while, until the cardboard began to sag and finally break in the middle.

Wooden Pants Hanger 2017

I had a lot of them.

You could use regular wire coat hangers for this project just as easily, but I had these ready to hand.

Wooden Pants Hanger 2017

The first step is to use wire cutters to snip off the lower wire close to each end.  I cut the wire about 3/4″ from each end, but the exact length isn’t critical.

Wooden Pants Hanger 2017

I also clipped the wire at an angle so as to leave a sharp point.  That will be very helpful later when it comes time to assemble these.  Be careful, though, as cut wire IS very sharp.

Wooden Pants Hanger 2017

The next step is to cut the new wooden rod to length.  I used 1/2″ diameter poplar dowels from the home center.  They’re often labeled “hardwood dowels,” and the wood often has a slightly green color.  They should run you less than $2 apiece.  I got mine for $1.69 each.

At the store, take some time selecting the straightest dowels you can find.  To test straightness, just sight down the length of each dowel rod.  If they look straight, they are straight enough.  But if you don’t trust your eye, roll them on the floor.  A bent dowel will wobble a lot.  A straight one will roll pretty evenly.

Cut your dowels to 16 inches long.  If you bought 48-inch dowels, you can get exactly three hangers out of each dowel with no waste!  I cut them with a small hand saw and a bench hook–that’s the handy holding device pictured above.  (See the end of this post for more details on making a bench hook.)

Wooden Pants Hanger 2017

Next, drill a small hole into each end of the dowel.  You can eyeball the approximate center.  Go as straight as you can, but don’t sweat a crooked or off-center hole.  The hanger will work fine even if your drilling is off a little bit.

I like to stand my stock up in a bench vise, but if you don’t have a vise, you can brace one end of the dowel on something solid, hold the dowel in your hand, and carefully drill the end.  I braced mine onto my bench hook, and it worked great.  Just don’t slip!

Poplar is a fairly soft wood, so use a smaller diameter drill bit than your hanger wire.  I used a 1/16″ bit, but you could go one size bigger without trouble.  The exact depth of the hole is not crucial.  I just drilled to the depth of the drill bit’s flutes.

Wooden Pants Hanger 2017

The dowels come from the store sanded smooth–which is great if you want them like that.  However, I don’t like my slacks slipping off the hanger and onto the floor at the slightest touch–as they will if the rod is too slick.  So I used a piece of 80-grit sandpaper to roughen the rods a little.  I just swiped the sandpaper down the length of the rod once, turned it slightly, and did it again, until the whole rod was just a little coarse.  Just remember to clean off any sawdust before you hang your slacks on these things.

While you’ve got the sandpaper in your hand, also sand off any ragged fibers that the saw left at each end.

Wooden Pants Hanger 2017

Now it’s time to assemble your new hanger.  With your fingers, press each cut end of the wire into the holes in each end of the dowel rod as far as you can.

Wooden Pants Hanger 2017

If you feel they haven’t gone in far enough, a few taps on each end with a hammer will seat the wire firmly.  If the wire doesn’t seem secure, you can always add a dab of strong glue, such as E6000 glue or even hot glue, to each hole.  But that probably won’t be necessary.

Wooden Pants Hanger 2017

And that’s all there is to it!  Hang up your slacks on your new hanger.

I didn’t use any kind of stain or finish on the wood because (a) I didn’t want to wait for a finish to cure, and (b) I don’t want any smelly or sticky stuff on my clothes.  These are going in my closet anyway, and I really don’t care what color they are.

Wooden Pants Hanger 2017

I made up a dozen of these in under an hour.  It’s probably the easiest woodworking project I’ve done in years–and I’ll use the hangers I made for years to come.

Bonus: The Bench Hook

I use my bench hook all the time.  I actually have two of them, and for cutting up long stock it’s nice to have a pair.  But for small stock, one works just fine all by itself.

A bench hook is simple to make, and almost as simple to use.  Each one consists of three pieces of wood.  The base is a wide-ish board 3/4″ thick.  Mine is about 8″ wide and 12″ long, but exact dimensions aren’t critical.  You could easily build this with smaller pieces–whatever you have on hand.

 

Bench Hook 2017

The other two pieces are they cleats.  They are narrower bits of wood, almost as long as the base.  They can be screwed, nailed, or glued to the base, as you see above.  Mine are glued on.  If you’re right-handed, the smaller piece should go almost to the right-hand end of the base but not quite.  Leave between 1″ and 1/2″ of the base protruding past the cleats.

To use the bench hook, the lower cleat hooks over the top of a workbench or table.  You hold your stock against the upper cleat with your off-hand, and you saw with your dominant hand.  I have two sawing spots in this bench hook–one on the end and the other in the middle.  The one in the middle is best for very small pieces that need to be supported on both sides of the saw.  I use the spot on the end for everything else.

Bench Hook 2017

When one side of the bench hook gets too chewed up to use–which will take quite a long time–you can flip the whole bench hook over and use the other side.  This essentially doubles the working life if the jig.

The saw I’m using is a cheap dovetail saw made by crown, which I think retails for about $25.  But any normal, sharp saw with relatively small teeth can be used effectively on a bench hook.  With practice, you can hold a workpiece firmly and saw a clean, straight line with ease–no clamping required.

If you do much craft work at all, I highly recommend investing the fifteen minutes it will take you to make one or two bench hooks.


It’s All About Backboards – 360w360 E.247

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 4:44am
It’s All About Backboards – 360w360 E.247

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking as the Labor Day Weekend holiday approaches and we plan time with our families, I decided to revisit an “Around the Shop” podcast that discussed backboards. It’s solid woodworking information with an eye toward historically accurate work.

Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Glen talks with various guests about all things woodworking and some things that are slightly off topic.

Continue reading It’s All About Backboards – 360w360 E.247 at 360 WoodWorking.

plow plane box pt IV.......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 1:27am
There is an old adage that says haste makes waste. That is true most of the time but I would add that mistakes are usually tagging along behind the waste. I accomplished all three tonight. I worked in haste initially, made a mistake, and ended up with some waste. I was trying to get too much done in too short of the time allotted and I paid the price. Oh well, I have suffered worse intracranial flatulence attacks and survived.

lid choices
 I went with the smaller board because it would have less waste.

both have cathedral grain I will use
sawn to rough length but not the width
I want to center the width on the point of the cathedral between the sides of the box
the haste, waste, and mistake part
I did get the width centered on the cathedral and I got a snug fit between the sides. But I forgot to add the rabbet that goes in the groove.

repeated the cathedral thing with the second lid
This time I did include the rabbet for the lid and it is 2 frog hairs too wide, groove to groove.

labeled the front so I won't get it mixed up(on both faces)
I have the point of the cathedral pointing to the front of the box. I squared the back end to fit up against the back.

left the front long
Once I had the rabbets made and fitted, I trimmed the front end flush.

planing the rabbets
These rabbets were a bit on the large size and I could have sawn them out and saved some time but I opted to plane them. I need the practice and so far I'm doing good.

a teeny bit of a slope on the entry end
none on the exit end
pretty even on the gauge line too
I don't have my usual 'ramped' in/out planing nor a hump in the middle. I got the same results on the opposite side when I planed it. I am slowly getting better with making rabbets by hand.

I'll plane to this gauge line after I fit the rabbets
about 80% on the second try
This is one area where I don't haste at all. I've learned my lesson here from past fittings and I go slowly, like molasses flowing in the winter. I look at the lid front and back frequently as I fit it.

right front - loose on the side and at the top
left front - loose on the side and tight at the top
the back right
This is a little harder to see what is what but it appears the top of the rabbet is tight to the top. I can see a bit of a gap on the side.

the left side is a close repeat of the right
This is where I take thin wispy shavings and do frequent checks. I gradually snuck up on getting the lid fitted.

I could probably close it but I' wasn't sure that I could open it again
finally got it
I can open and close the lid without a finger grab. I may have to plane the rabbets deeper because I want to put some shellac on this box. The shellac build up will cause the lid to bind.


marked the lid and planed it to the line - left it a frog hair proud
planing a chamfer on the front end
I am doing the chamfer first because an astragal is next. If I do the astragal first I will get blowout when I do the chamfer. It took me two lids done that way before I started doing it this way.


done

I don't like the knife point edge so I do it this way. I think the flat not only is a better visual presentation, it is stronger and less prone to chipping or breaking on the edge.

1/2" astragal batted next
grain reversed on this end
I got a little chipping and few divots on the bead on this side but there wasn't much I could have done to avoid it. I went at it as slow as could to minimize it.

layout for the thumb catch
I should have done the layout for this before I did the front chamfer and the astragals. I had a hard time getting a square on this because of the chamfer and astragals being in the way.   I did most it of by eye.

don't know what I want here
I am not sure if I want a bevel on this or a round over. I like the round over and I think it will hold up better than a bevel. I'll have to wait and see what shakes out with this tomorrow.

it's 1700 and quitting time
I'll finish the cleanup of the exterior tomorrow and start making the doo-dads for the plane and the other parts.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is an anglophone?
answer - someone who speaks english

Show Us Your Shop: Peek Inside These Woodworkers’ Shops!

Highland Woodworking - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 8:00am

Over the last year, we have featured a wide variety shops in Wood News. We recently collected a few from the archives, including Scott Wilson’s spacious home shop, Tony Rumball’s shop options (he has access to 3 different woodworking shops!) and more.

Take a look at these workshops for ideas and inspiration, or just for fun.

And to read about even more shops, click to check out our Shops Gallery.

If you would like to submit your shop, just SEND US PHOTOS of your woodworking shop along with captions and a brief history and description of your woodworking. (Email photos at 800 x 600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store credit redeemable towards merchandise if we show your shop in a future issue.

The post Show Us Your Shop: Peek Inside These Woodworkers’ Shops! appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Carved panel designs

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 7:52am
final panel for bedstead

I just finished carving the 8th & final panel for the bedstead I have underway. There’s 4 patterns I used, each one repeats twice. most of them are patterns I made up, but drawn from a large body of work I have covered here a few times. The carvings that are the inspiration come from Devon, England and Ipswich, Massachusetts. I love these designs because they are so lively, and have so much variety.

Lately I’ve been trying to draw the designs – to try to learn how to talk about them – the parts, components and how they get combined. When I first saw these panels, I thought they must be the most involved carvings – but really they’re just busy…there’s very little background removed. Most of the impact is from the “horror vacuui” effect of covering every blessed surface with something. (This next one was a mistake – the board was 10″ wide, too narrow for the bedstead.)

Narrow panel

These patterns have a few common elements/motifs – most have an arch across the top of the panel. there are a few exceptions, but generally I carve the arch-top versions. All of these have an urn/vase/flowerpot just above the bottom/center of the panel. Then some leafy bits/leaves/flowers coming up and spreading out from this urn.   I tend to think of the designs being broken into thirds – though not necessarily even thirds.

Some wind up from the urn through the middle of the panel, then wind outward and reverse direction into the arch. Mostly these also bend downward, looping back toward the middle of the panel. In this case, there’s 3 tulip shapes inside this arc, then the big leafy bit that fills the bottom corner:

This pattern is easiest on wide stock, at least 10″ of carving space-width. This one, a chest I have copied a few times, the panel is 12 3/4″  wide x 15″ tall. Compare it to the narrow version above – I think it works better on the wide stock.

On this panel from the bedstead a single flower replaces the 3 tulips, same leaf at the bottom though:

Sometimes from the urn you get large shapes flowing almost horizontally out from the middle. these often have double-volute-ish scrolls where they hit the edges of the panel The one heading down then flows into a leaf shape that bends right against the bottom of the urn. This one is from the extra-wide muntin of the same chest –

Here’s the front of that chest – I copied the proportions and all the vertical bits from 2 examples I’ve seen in person, one other I know from a photograph. All were initialed & dated on the muntin; 1666, 1669 & 1682 for the dates. I substituted different (related) designs on the horizontal rails; and in this case added brackets underneath the bottom rail.

 

These carving often employ a three-part leaf, which is standard in the related S-scrolls – (seen here on a period box from Ipswich)

 

 

and on the panels this form is used again & again, inside spaces, between elements – it can be like this:

or like this part, just before it winds into the bottom of the arch:

 

Or along the side of the panel:

Hard to see it upside down, here it is from a period piece, the shape I’m thinking of is between the bottom of the arch and blends into the margin just above the large bottom leaves:

The bits flowing up from the urn that then turn down to the bottom corners can take several forms as well. The one I used at the top of this post is simple, big fat leafy shapes bending up then down. They split into three parts at the bottom – one to the corner, one to the feet/urn junction, and one between. Fill the spaces with gouge-cuts, and call it done.

as a drawing:

And carved:

I could go on forever, but this post has taken long enough. A few more panels of my work:

This one hangs in our kitchen, done in Alaska yellow cedar:

This oak panel was an experiment, I mostly like it, but rejected it for the bedstead:

This one took its place:

Here’s an example (a combination of 2 period carvings) of one of these panels without an arch:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


To Mordor and Back

The Barn on White Run - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 5:32am

A couple weeks ago I ventured into the barbarous climes of Mordor to deliver the workbench to the Library of Congress Book Conservation group.  If the traffic and multitude of high-dollar construction projects are any indication, the travails of the provinces are not being felt in the capital city.  In fact it looks like a boom town that has four trillion of our dollars at its disposal every year.  And since we apparently are not motivated enough to demand that they stop spending those four trillion dollars every year on us, that trend line will remain unchanged.

The logistics of getting into a secured facility (and in Mordor virtually every facility is secured) is a challenge.  It turned out that the most efficient way to get the workbench into LC was for me to drop it off at the curb in front, with LC staff taking delivery of it there.  Once I parked and rejoined them we were able to get through the security checkpoint and proceed to the conservation lab.  Admittedly, I felt under dressed with my Victorinox Spirit muti-tool sitting in the van outside.

The path to the final home for the workbench was uneventful, and the crew there was delighted to get their new tool.  Particularly pleased were the petite members of the staff, many of whom wrote me a “Thank You” note for taking their physiques into consideration when fabricating the variable height configuration of the bench.

The bench fit perfectly into the tiny Tool Room space they have, and after I spent a little time explaining its features it was given some tryouts almost immediately.

And then I escaped before the Dark Eye poisoned my heart any more.

plow plane box pt III.......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 1:57am
I'm making good progress with the plow plane box. After what I got done tonight, I know that this will done before the weekend. All that is left is making the lid and the doo-dads for holding the parts in the box. This will join the herd of the other boxes I have made for tools. Each one is different and that is how I can tell what tool is in what box. At least for now as my memory is still pretty much intact.

cut the bottom to width on the tablesaw
sawed the length by hand and squared it up
set my rabbet plane for the width
practice groove from yesterday
I can use this same board to check the rabbet on the bottom.

snug fit
I have taken this as far as I want to with the rabbet plane. Overall I did ok with it. My corners didn't come out flush but the fit in the groove was consistent all the way around. From eyeballing down them they also appeared to be square with no obvious slope at the edge up or down.

I'm going to sweeten the fit with the tenon plane

self supporting on all four sides
This is a good fit but I will take a few more shavings to loosen it just a bit. I don't want it to bind when I put the box together.

self supporting with the box too
I am shooting for a fit that is self supporting but slowly will let gravity pull it apart.

Houston, we had a brain fart somehow
 This is not short. That would be like saying the Grand Canyon is a small ditch.

5/16" short
The far right mark is what it should be and the one to the left is what I measured last night. This first bottom is right on that measurement. I don't have a clue as to how I did this. This is the method I use to make all my bottoms that are captive in a groove. A minor set back and easy to recover from but it still sucks.

get this width right on the money
the first one fits on the length
I measured for the length and the width the same way. Why did one come out and other come up 5/16" short?

sawed and squared the new bottom
ran my gauge lines
I didn't need to run the depth line because the rabbet plane was still set to depth.


new bottom done

fitted
a look at the bottom - rabbet is 3/8 wide to minimize how much shows
getting ready to glue it up
Cleaning up the interior is a step that I sometimes forget to do.

used the ready made stuff
I like using this type of hide glue for dovetails. It gives me enough time to work slowly and get glue applied to everything. And still have time to reposition if necessary.

had it square
I squared the box and started to apply clamps to the front. After two clamps were on, the box went out of square. The joints are tight and I don't see any gaps so I squared the box again and left it as is till it sets.

has to be square
If this isn't square, fitting the sliding lid will be a lot of fun.

gaps on the dovetails on the interior
This is one aspect of dovetailing I seem to be going backwards on.


I can't complain about this fit
the difference in 6 years
The box on the right I sawed with a 14° Lee Valley dovetail sawing guide and a japanese style saw. The left one has dovetails at a ? angle that I sawed by hand with no guide. Both were chopped out with chisels. Practice makes a big difference in attaining any skill and I think I paid my dues.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is a hesperidium?
answer - the fruit of a citrus tree (lemon,oranges,limes....)

The Importance of Ignoring Cutting Diagrams

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 9:27am
Early in my career I was told by the man who hired me “we’ll teach you to think like a cabinetmaker”. Apparently that worked, and since I’ve transitioned from full time woodworking to writing about woodworking, I feel compelled to Continue reading →
Categories: General Woodworking

The Highland Woodturner: Woodturning Finishes

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 8:00am

In the August 2017 issue of The Highland Woodturner, Curtis addresses a regular topic of discussion among his woodturning students: What kind of finish should they use?

As a new woodturner, I gravitated to products marketed to turners. These were generally shellac and wax based products blended with other chemicals to aid with application and drying. These were very easy to apply with almost instant results. The sheen or polish was dazzling to my eye. I soon learned these were not the best finishes for everything.

Click to read more of Curtis’s thoughts on finishing options for woodturners.

The post The Highland Woodturner: Woodturning Finishes appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

My Latest

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 6:01am

The newest PopWood arrived int he mail recently and it contains my latest article for them.  If the topic interests you, I hope you will join me at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking where my workshop on parquetry will revolve around making and using these jigs.

plow plane box pt II........

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 1:34am
In april of 2011 I finally made my first dovetail box. I had started to teach myself how to do dovetails in feb of 2011 by making boxes. One crappy box after another. But one thing I noticed was that each one was a little less crappy then the preceding one. I still wasn't getting a complete box but I was closing in on it.  Tonight I dry fitted my umpteenth box and I thought back to the first one and how it made me feel.

I still have that box and every so often I take it out to look at and compare it to my latest one. I did that tonight. The joints on my first one look like the ones I did tonight. My confidence in myself to whack out a set of dovetails is way higher than then. I saw faster without hesitating and I  chop the pin/tail waste out almost nonchalantly now. I'm comfortable doing dovetails whether they are through or half blinds. I still get that feeling now everytime I put a box together off the saw.

prepping my chisels
When I layout my dovetails, I do them without checking to make sure a chisel mates up perfectly for chopping the pin and tails.  These 3 chisels will fit in all the pins and tails. I did a quick hone and a strop of them before chopping them out.

dry fitted
I didn't get it off the saw. I had to trim 4 pins before I got the corners home.

quick check on the contents fitting
I made this box a little tighter on the interior than I normally do. Everything fits without rubbing against it's neighbor and I don't see any problems with putting things in or taking them out.

one block doing triple duty
I plan on making a slot to hold the conversion fence (for irons larger then 3/8").  One hole for the brass screw and two holes for the fence rods to sit in. I'm thinking of using a block with a slot in it to hold the plane too. The box with the irons will probably hang out loose up against the back wall.

this is getting better too
One of first things I improved on was closing the gap on the half pins and I'm improving on my corners lining up. This is the top and it's about a 32nd shy? The other side is flush.

3 flush and 1 shy on the bottom
bottom
I flushed the bottom and checked it for twist. I left it in the clamps so I wouldn't have to take it out of them and put it back. No twist on the bottom.

top
I was having trouble seeing any twist by sighting over the sticks from the end of the bench.

there was a tiny bit of twist
The far left corner and the right front one are high. I took a couple of very thin see through shavings and checked it again. It took 3 dance steps before there was any joy and no twist.

set my distance from the edge and the depth
This plow plane is an absolute joy to use. After using the Record 405 (Stanley 45 equivalent) it's like going from riding a bike to driving a car. It is nimble, light, easier to set and change over and I find it so much easier to plow a groove with it.

plowed my grooves
I went with the grooves plowed straight on through. I like stopped grooves but I also like plugging the holes with a dark wood. The contrast between the white pine and walnut (if I have any) will look good. If I don't have walnut, I have some padauk I can use.

length for the bottom stick
I had the other side installed and I squared the both of them before I cut this stick to fit inbetween the grooves.

repeat for the short dimension
Tomorrow I'll make the bottom and hopefully get this glued up. I should have this done by the weekend at the latest.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is the country once known as Burma now called?
answer - Myanmar

Precious Time

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 5:19am

As we run-up this week to nuptials for Younger Daughter we were blessed with a visit from her last weekend. Much of the time she spent with Mrs. Barn doing wedding-y stuff, but she spent a few hours in the shop with me turning a bowl.  The wood for this bowl came from a plum tree in the Maryland house yard that died of natural causes some years ago (she remembers climbing the tree as a tyke), and I harvested the wood and set it aside for something special.  This definitely fits the description.

I had in recent months found the faceplate for the lathe and ordered a threaded insert from Woodcraft so it could be put to work.  Before she arrived I mounted the piece on the faceplate and roughed it round (she is not yet experienced enough to bring a really rough piece to round comfortably).  The lathe is a bit high for her, so in the early stages she was most comfortable with the scraper tucked in the armpit.  I will be building a lower base in the coming weeks.

I gave her only a few pointers as she developed the outer shape she wanted.

Before long she had the outer surface defined and embarked on an initial sanding and polishing.

With the base established and the shape determined it was time to remove the faceplate in favor of the small bowl chuck and get started excavating the interior.

Soon she was in pretty deep.

We stopped for the night, but on returning the next day she refined the shape and surface.

To be sure the watchful papa bear was never far from the action.  The working height was just plain awkward for her but she hung in there without complaint.

After the final shaping she moved to sanding and then polishing with beeswax melted into the surface, buffed with a linen rag while turning.  She particularly liked my method of placing a dry sponge between the hand and the sandpaper, it allows greater vigor with less heat.

And here it is, an heirloom with a priceless memory attached.  In all likelihood it was our final private time together with her as Miss Barndaughter until those moments just before I walk her down the aisle, and it was a precious treasure.

Doggone, something must’ve flown into my eye…

 

sunday shop work.......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 1:34am
It was a beautiful day in my part of the universe. Bright sunshine, blue skies with fluffy clouds, and temps in the 70's with no humidity. I could take days like this 365 without any whimpering at all. But it won't last as fall is upcoming and than my 63rd winter. I'm getting old now that I can say, ".....55 years ago, I was ......" but I guess I'm lucky that I can still remember it too.

trying a bigger starter hole
 I tried one size up from 5/32 to see if a slightly larger starter hole would make a difference. I got the 12v cordless to work on tapping the hole. The key is to not go too long in one direction. Go down a little and back it off and repeat. Kind of like tapping metal and reversing to clear chips.

only got about an extra 1/8" with just my fingers
went up to the next sized hole
 Continuing with the wood tap and in an identical sized hole I will try a metal, 1/4-20 tap.

roughly half way but still not deep enough for finger work
the 1/4-20 wins
I can screw this all the way down and all the way out with just finger pressure.

this is still a good tap
This is a good tool but it won't work in the way I want it too. For making jigs and making a secure wood to wood connection with a metal screw or bolt, this wins over the 1/4-20 tap. Both have a place in my shop. I'll be using these taps when I install my hardware on the new workbench.


gaps to fill
 I am going to add a filler in the gap on the side that the 1/4-20 thumbscrew is. If not I could dish the 1/8" panel and possibly damage it. Up in the air as to whether or not the other one will be done.

sawing out a filler piece
flushed the plywood panels to the bottom
sized the filler side to side

set the marking gauge off the pencil line on the block of wood
ran my gauge line and I'm going to try and split off the waste
it worked much better that I expected it
I had to split off the waste by chopping it 1/2 way from the top and then the bottom.

planed it down to the gauge lines
it fits but it is too snug
I want a bit of daylight between the filler and the drill caddy block so it will slip in and out easily.

planed a bit more and glued it in place
slight round over on the top
finished it with some 100 grit sandpaper
much nicer feeling now
layout for the 1/4-20 and drilled a pilot hole through both
two different sized holes drilled next
A 17/64" hole for the thumbscrew in the cover and a 7/32 hole in the drill caddy for tapping it.

hole tapped
I started the tapping of the hole with the tap in the drill press. I went down just far enough to get it going straight and square and finished it by hand.

will they line up?
yes they did
this is going to work good for this
a coat of poly
I would have used shellac on this but the numbers on the drill caddy were done with a sharpie. Sharpie's ink is alcohol based and shellac smears it. After this first coat has dried overnight, I'll put on a few coats of shellac and this will be done.

new shelf for the finishing cabinet
It is just shy on the width of the cabinet and it is 2" longer than needed. I planed this top edge flat and square.

neither end is square
I sawed it to length about a 1/8" strong.

squared up the ends
It took a few dance steps involving plane and check the fit before it did.

new shelf done
I stuck the smaller width one that was here up behind the cabinet at the top. See the end sticking out?

sanded and planed the aris off
I am thinking of painting this the same color as the finishing cabinet but I'm going to hold off on it.  I don't know if the paint color will interfere with my sighting over the winding sticks.

lost the measurements for the box - height redone
length done
width done
double check on the width
height laid out
waste sawn off
4 box parts sawn
ran into a hiccup
I was having a few problems squaring the ends up on the box parts. The height wasn't parallel so I couldn't square the ends up and have the two match. Planing multiple parts to be the same width continues to slap me upside the head. Sometimes I nail it but most of the time I get a mismatch.

I ran all the box parts through the tablesaw to get them parallel. I was then able to square the ends and have them all match up and be flush with each other.

got my continuous grain flow around the box
The grain on this wood is not that pronounced but you can see it. Maybe it will pop a bit more when a finish is applied.

my first one
used it to check where the tails and pins go
prepping my chisels for the dovetailing
stopped here
Tails are chopped and the pins are sawn and the baselines have been knifed. All I have to do is chop them out. That will happen tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is boustrophedon?
answer - writing in alternate directions one line to the next (ie one line R to L and the next L to R)

Historic Finishing Workshop – Part 2

The Barn on White Run - Sun, 08/27/2017 - 1:39pm

With the foundation laid for good finishing it was time to move on to undulating surfaces, the kind of finishing that gives many woodworkers fits and nightmares.  Fortunately it is no more complicated or straightforward than finishing plain flat surfaces.  It’s all about surface prep, varnish prep, and tool selection.

Switching to the “carver’s model” polissoir the surfaces were burnished in preparation for varnishing.

Then, on to applying the varnish.  The true key to success is the right brush, a fine bristle watercolor “Filbert” with a rounded tip.

The Filbert allows for tremendously good “drape” of the bristles around the surface, not sqeegeing off varnish with the resulting runs like you might get with a square tip brush.

A few applications of the shellac varnish to these surfaces and they were ready to set aside, to be burnished with steel wool and waxed later on.

Next we revisited the luan panels we had started the day before, undertaking a light scraping with disposable razor blades followed by a brief but vigorous rubbing with 0000 steel wool.  I have found scraping to be not only historically accurate (obviously not with modern disposable razor blades, but the concept and practice are still the same) but now to be an integral component in my finishing process.

Then another inning of shellac application, followed at the end of the day by the third and final inning.  By then the surface was beginning to get some sparkle.

One last exercise was to finish a raised panel door.  I do not recall where these came from but they have served me well in this regard for many moons.  Again, a few applications of shellac followed by rubbing out with steel wool and paste wax yielded a luxuriant surface.

The large panels were rubbed out the third morning with steel wool and wax, and buffed with soft cloth.  The result was, as one participant said, “The best looking piece of luan ever!”

By mid-day on Sunday the party started breaking up, but the students left with a new confidence and a sharpened set of skills.  Folks may be reluctant to come to The Barn on White Run because of its remote location, but once here they always love it and go home with more knowledge and skill than they arrived with.  That’s not a bad outcome.

Learning to scythe a wildflower meadow in Manchester

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Sun, 08/27/2017 - 7:48am
What am I doing in Manchester on matchday with a car full of scythes? Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

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