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General Woodworking

What Furniture Tells

360 WoodWorking - Sun, 10/29/2017 - 6:04am
What Furniture Tells

Many woodworkers who focus attention on period reproductions “read” the images in books and pieces in museums to discover to what furniture tells them. Designs sometimes clue them in as to what period of furniture history the pieces were built. (It’s not always clear-cut because no furniture periods ended exactly on a Tuesday with a new period beginning on Wednesday.) It’s possible to learn in what area of the country pieces were built if they read the materials used in construction.

Continue reading What Furniture Tells at 360 WoodWorking.

saturday doldrums.....

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 10/29/2017 - 3:12am
It seems I've fallen into a rut on getting my butt into the shop on saturdays. I'm sucking up OT on saturday mornings at least for the next couple of months. I will have Lowes paid off by the first payday in November. After that I will start feeding the workbench build kitty again and whatever is left will go to heating the house. And I can't forget that xmas is less than two months away.

But getting back to the rut I seem to have fallen into with saturday shop days. Maybe I should just go with the flow on this and just accept getting to the shop after lunch isn't too bad. I can be a wee bit nutso and OCD rolled together with this being on a time schedule. Coming home and vegging after OT and hitting the shop after lunch isn't going to stop the sun from rising or setting. Once got to the shop and started working on the walnut banding on the lid, the juices started to warm up and I started a left field project.

mitering the lid
The quick way of doing this would be to make butt joints at the corners. To me that would look like crap so I'm mitering the corners. I've settled into a way of doing them that I like and also yields good results. Before I started doing my mitering this way I usually always ended up with the last miter being open.

Now I start by clamping one piece in place. The fit on that side doesn't matter. This first piece is only used to set and mark the second one.

first piece
I fuss with this until I get the heel of the miter dead nuts on the corner. I clamp it and make sure it didn't move and that it can't move.

my setting line
This pencil is the top of the banding. I will set the walnut so that I cover this when I glue them in place.

marking the first piece to be glued down
I hold the right end up tight against the first piece and mark the left end. Rough saw it and then use the donkey ear jig to shave it to the knife line.

I'll shave this until the knife line is barely visible.
I'm going to try this glue
This glue sets up in about 30 minutes and the final cure is 24 hours later. I haven't tried using it for anything other then gluing chips and blowouts back down. If it doesn't work, I'll remove the walnut and try something else.

two sides glued on
I have to wait at least 30 minutes for this to set up so I can put on the last two.

one of my left field projects
I got this bug up my butt from this guy on Saw Mill Creek. I've been following him and these gizmos got a hold of my limited attention span. I have seen the one above that he has in this 3rd post being used but at the time I had no idea of what it's purpose or use was.  I don't know what I'll use it for or that I even have a need for it. But that has never stopped me before with making something. I have piece of 5/4 pine that I'm using to make it.

I got the back long piece cut out and I had to stop. The workbench is being use to do the lid so I couldn't plane and work the 5/4 stock. I'll pick this one back up tomorrow.

it's been an hour
I got the final two pieces on without any hiccups and I'll let it set up until tomorrow.

gizmo #2
I did a bit of reading on this and I was surprised about how accurate it really is. The construction of it doesn't matter. The joints don't have to be dead nuts because of the principle of the plumb bob. The legs don't have to be the same length neither. You just have to split the difference with the plumb bob reading taken from both sides.

I already bought a plumb bob that looks a lot like the one in my drawing. It is very difficult to find one of these that don't cost a boatload of dollars. Since plumb bobs were replaced with lasers and other electronic gadgets they have become collectibles.

a scrap of pine saw in two for the legs
a piece of pine from this board will be the horizontal leg
eyeballed an angle
I used the dividers to find the half way point on the width. I set my marking gauge to that. It is these dividers that I want to get for Miles. I like and prefer the round leg vs the square ones.

the more I use this saw, the more I'm liking it
I sawed the shoulders and cheeks with this saw. I did better and felt more in control of it than with the thin plate LN saws. I was able to saw closer and truer to my lines too.

didn't have much to true up
less than one frog hair proud
ubiquitous blurry pic
I marked both sides off each piece and I don't understand how I am off this much. The only thing I can think of is that I sawed on the wrong side of the top knife line. But I would have had to have done that on both of them. This is too much to leave as is and too much to plane flush.

tenon plane to the rescue
I planed the shoulders on both legs, taking more off of this one. This leg seemed to be a bit shorter than the other.

closed it up a lot
This I will plane out flush once it is done.

ancient tools deserve to be glued with an ancient glue
that is a good joint line

did just as well on this side too
last strip glued on
I only glued on one strip before and started to work on the 2nd plumb bob tool. That one was glued and setting up so I finished this. Over 30 minutes had gone by so I didn't have to worry about the last piece I glued moving on me.

a hasp or a handle
Since I put the dust shield banding on this toolbox, it is not easy to open. It needs something to help with lifting the lid. I thought of putting on a handle but I think the hasp is going to be the winner. My first choice was a snap catch but the dust shield banding isn't wide enough to fit one of them here.

it fits
I am not going to lock this. The hasp is just to help lifting the lid more easily. I think a handle would look out of place but this will look like it belongs. I'm still undecided about this and I have plenty of time to make my mind up on it.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What do the letters in CAPTCHA stand for?
answer - completely automated public truing test to tell computers and humans apart

Live Edge Class at Snow Farm, Massachusetts – Part 2 Ben’s Table

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sun, 10/29/2017 - 2:00am

Ben was one of the six students who took my live-edge Columbus day weekend class at Snow Farm. A newcomer into woodworking, motivated and eager to learn, he asked me to help him design and build a side table for his Boston apartment. Feeling that woodworking is going to be more than just a weekend workshop experience, but rather a long-lasting hobby, he invested in a good quality hand plane […]

The post Live Edge Class at Snow Farm, Massachusetts – Part 2 Ben’s Table appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Getting Started with Digital Woodworking — Part One

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sat, 10/28/2017 - 2:00am

It always starts with a design Digital woodworking uses digitally controlled tools in your workshop as an addition to hybrid and handtools. Most often this means owning and operating a CNC and learning to use CAD programs. For many, committing to a CNC is a big step financially, so here are some thoughts on how to get started with digital woodworking. Here’s the thing, you can mine a nice chunk […]

The post Getting Started with Digital Woodworking — Part One appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

lid fitted........

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 10/28/2017 - 12:47am
The folding caliper rule I ordered from Hyperkitten was waiting for me when I got home. A nice 6' clean and functional specimen that doesn't look like it was used much. No dings, the leaves all opened and closed freely, and all the numbers and divisions are still clear and crisp looking.  I definitely think it was worth the $15 I paid for it.

got surprise here - Miles's ruler is on top and mine is on the bottom
I would have bet a lung that I owned a Stanley folding caliper rule. Not only do I own a Lufkin, it is a #46 just like the one I got for Miles.  Although they are the same model # there are a few differences between them. I have some extra markings that the top one doesn't have. Or I could have a #46 that is an  older model. One big difference is my numbers are slightly larger.

another difference in the size (width)
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that my Lufkin is the older one. I'm basing that on bigger numbers, more Lufkin ID stuff between the numbers 1 to 6, and my rule appears to have bigger metal pieces for the folding leaves. Manufacturers usually dumb down to save money. Anyways, Miles still has a decent folding caliper rule for his toolbox.

some screwdrivers for Miles
I am going to soldier on with the two sets I have and give this one to him. I will add a #1 and a #2 square drive to complete this. Most of the screws I use are square drive and I want Miles to have the capability to use them too.

lid fitted
I left the fit a bit on the snug side because I still have to even out the rim and round over the top of the banding.

cocked upwards on the right
flipped the lid 180 and still higher on the right
The important thing is it fits and it fits when the lid is flipped 180. Now I have to figure out why the lid  is higher on the right.

I don't think it's the lid
If the lid was the culprit I would have expected the lid cocking to switch when I flipped the lid 180. But with the lid flipped, the high end stayed on the right.

right end of the banding is higher than the left
my lowest spot
The left corner is the lowest spot on the banding so I'll straighten out the banding to this point.

I planed the high corners first and when I eyeballed them close to the low spot, I started to flush all around.

little bit of a gap on the right
This isn't too big of a worry for me. This will be covered with the walnut banding and never be seen. I am more concerned with it being level and even at this point.

lid flipped 180
It still fits but I didn't make the gap go away.

four sides and lid planed and cleaned up
flushed the top and bottom
After I get the walnut banding on the lid done, I can start putting the shellac on.

trying out my miter guide
This worked ok. No problems with the left one but the right one makes a slanted miter. I knew that because the vertical part of the guide is not plumb.

slanted miter
I didn't leave enough to trim on the pieces I cut. I thought I add left an 1/8" but the length of the four parts is almost perfect.

beveled 3 sides
The  side without a bevel will be up against the right side of the box.

small detail
I think this looks better than just a plain rectangular block in the bottom. This will get screwed to the bottom of the box with no glue. This way I can repurpose this box if I decide to.

won't make it
3 of the miters have a slant to them. If I didn't have those slanted miters, I would have been able to use these. The slants leave the miters open and that makes it look like crap.

sawed and planed a backing strip for the miters
the original long strips
I can reuse these to make a new set of short ones for the ends.

my last two
I rooted around my small scrap box and found these two. I will use them to make two new long pieces. I'll make sure that I leave some meat for trimming and fitting.

I'll do the lid banding tomorrow
My wife has been in "I hate my job" mood all week. Just in case, I want to be ready to go out to eat when she gets home. So I shut off the lights here and headed upstairs.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What was the number of the last Apollo mission to the moon in 1972?
answer - Apollo 17

Book Giveaway: Small-scale Woodworking Projects

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 5:38am
Simple & Stylish Woodworking

Continuing our “looking ahead to the holidays” theme for our weekly giveaway, this week’s featured book is “Simple & Stylish Woodworking.” The book provides 20 small-scale woodworking projects that can add a touch of style to any home and make perfect gifts. Projects include wall clocks, mantel clocks, lamps, frames, mirrors and more. Why not use your  holiday gift giving as an opportunity to practice a wide range of woodworking techniques […]

The post Book Giveaway: Small-scale Woodworking Projects appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

finishing steps......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 1:19am
Ran into another problem at work with my blog. I have been getting certificate errors on my blog and a few other internet sites I look at. Certificate errors are sometimes caused by timing problems - your computer clock may be off from the master internet clock. With my work computer I'm not so sure. It could be a server algorithm that is targeting my IP because I visit certain sites everyday. I say that because I only have certificate error problems with the sites I visit a lot.  Unplugged shop and the BBC news are two other problem sites. I'll have to ask Robin about it the next time I see her in the office.

I my have to revise my blogging and  posting schedule. So far when I go in the morning before work starts I've been able to log into my blog. This is when I do my final proof read of the blog before I post it. If I can't do that I'll have write and proof read at night. I can then post from my phone - or at least I think I can - in the morning as I usually do.

sometimes you get a break
There is a slight cup to both but not a deal breaker. I really only have to plane the cup out of the lid. The bottom one will be glued to the box and that will eliminate that.

time to saw the splines
I don't have good luck scoring splines with a knife and snapping them off. I do better with a saw so that is what I used.

exactly what I didn't want to happen
The splines are thin and fragile. What I don't want is to have one snap off beneath the sides. I breathed a sigh of relief here.

no more hiccups with the rest of the splines
Comparison time. The lid splines were done with yellow glue and the box with hide glue. I can't see a difference between them.

opposite end of the lid
Other than the lid splines being thinner, all the glue lines are tight and gap free.

lip banding glued in place
I almost didn't get this glued up. The glue swelled the joints enough that the last piece I glued in I thought I would have to beat it in place with a mallet. I was able to put my tonnage on top of it and push it down into place. The joints are all snug and I didn't need to clamp it.

hard to see the filler strip I glued on this side

you can make it out on this long side
I got a pretty good match on 3 sides but I don't like seeing this.

walnut banding
After I get the lid fitted and the box cleaned up I'll wrap the bottom edge of the lid with this walnut. That will hide the strips I glued on and provide another positive grab of the lid on the bottom.

here's the pics Bob - Miles's saw herd

A crosscut and rip panel saw and a carcass saw. I think I will keep this carcass saw and give Miles my LN carcass saw. That one is lighter and has a thinner plate and might be a better choice for him to learn on. I have a rip tenon saw being sharpened that I am keeping also so I'll have to get Miles a tenon saw.

coping saw
This is an Olsen coping saw and it was mine until I got a Knew Concept coping saw.  Miles may end up with one them too because I'm not particularly fond of this one.

the plane herd
 A #9 and #60 1/2 blockplane in the foreground. At the rear from L to R, a #2, #3, #4, and a #5 1/4. Missing from the pic is a #6 that I am in the process of rehabbing.

Stanley 71
big till tray has only two marking gauges
A Stanley #71 that can do double duty as a mortising gauge and a marking gauge. The right one is a Stanley #56 with the oval/triangular head.

smallest till tray
 A couple of bevel gauges and one divider. I'll be adding at least one more divider - I am looking for a small one to layout dovetails with. I have grown rather fond of my 3" machinist dividers with round legs and I want one for Miles.

middle  tray
I have a 6' folding Lufkin rule coming that will complete the measuring tools. I have to file the 6" square on the inside to get that to be 100% and I want to get a 12" square.  On last square I want to get him is a 4" sliding one, preferably a Starrett.

can't forget this
The toolbox is an important tool also. This one also has a rolling dolly that is and will be a must have for any other toolbox I make. As I fill this up I'll post what goodies are going in it.

planed the hump and wings off
The bottom is ok but the top needs more work. I still haven't decided how the top will be attached so the planing of it can wait on that. The bottom will be glued on and I'll add some kind of feet to it.

thumbnail plane for  1/2" stock
This is the profile I'm thinking of using on the bottom and I planed a piece of scrap to get an idea of how far from the edge the profile is.

not sure I like that look for the bottom
found another choice
I have another plane made for 1/2" stock that will do the profile on the right. This will look good for the lid and I think it wouldn't look too bad on the bottom neither.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Paul Weitz?
answer - he commanded the first flight of the space shuttle Challenger - he passed away on monday

The Down to Earth Woodworker: Quick Cabinet Drawers Video

Highland Woodworking - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 8:00am

Looking for a new way to construct cabinet drawers for a project? In this video series by The Down to Earth Woodworker, Steve Johnson, you’ll learn his process for building drawer boxes, mounting drawer slides, and more.

Take a look at the first video below and then get started on your own cabinet drawers!

The post The Down to Earth Woodworker: Quick Cabinet Drawers Video appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Jennie Alexander’s Riving Stump

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 4:54am

As I mentioned a few days ago, I’m in greater Baltimore for a chairmaking class with Larry Barrett, a student of Jennie Alexander’s (author of the seminal greenwood book “Make a Chair From a Tree”). Yesterday, we took a field trip to downtown Baltimore to visit with Alexander, who gave us a whirlwind tour of how to make one of her chairs. Above, I’m testing out the comfort of one […]

The post Jennie Alexander’s Riving Stump appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Gary Rogowski Talks About His New Book & More. – 360w360 E.255

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 4:10am
Gary Rogowski Talks About His New Book & More. – 360w360 E.255

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, we spend time with the owner of The Northwest Woodworking Studio and author, Gary Rogowski. Gary shares some of the fascinating stories from his new book, “Handmade, Creative Focus in the Age of Distraction” (Linden Publishing, Inc.). Plus, you’ll hear what he feels is the most vital woodworking machine, especially for a West-Coast woodworker. And he shares his thoughts about the importance to all of hand work.

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

Continue reading Gary Rogowski Talks About His New Book & More. – 360w360 E.255 at 360 WoodWorking.

Mile's tool kit.....

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 1:43am
It may seem that I am putting the cart before the horse getting Mile's tool kit built up now. After all he still hasn't had his first birthday on planet earth yet. That will come in December along with mine but I will continue gathering regardless. I am going to buy a book on woodworking with children from an author who says he has 20+ years experience doing it. The book I'm eyeballing he has projects starting with 4 year olds. So I'll only have to wait 3 more years

I've been gathering tools and I have a good head start so far. I have all the handplanes I am going to give him except for a plow, bullnose, and a rabbet plane. Getting what I have now was easy and most of it I already had. I was looking in the toolbox the other day deciding on what to get next and I wasn't sure. So I printed out Paul Seller's essential tool list.

I looked over the list and I crossed out a lot of what was on there as I already had it. After reading what was left and comparing it to what I had, I don't have much further to go. I was surprised that I had added tools that I consider essential that Paul didn't.

Handsaws were the first item. I put a crosscut and rip panel saw in Miles's toolbox and Paul excludes them. Along with the panel saws, I am going to give him a tenon, carcass, and dovetail saw. Paul's list has the tenon and dovetail saw. And one saw I hadn't considered from Paul's list was the coping saw. A coping saw isn't one that I use frequently and I tend to avoid it's use if I can. I'm not sure about that one although I do think it is an important saw to have.

Block planes were another absent tool. I use block planes all the time and I added the Stanley #9 and #60 1/2 to his kit. I use my block planes a lot and at times more than I use my bench planes. But that is me and how I work wood. I learned my woodworking with block planes from the git go. Paul has said that block planes weren't used during his apprenticeship training. I can see why they weren't on his hit parade of tools.

There were a few other tools I like and think should be in Miles's toolbox that aren't on Paul's list. Since I am going to be hopefully teaching him how to hand tool woodwork he should have the tools that I use now. So instead of using Paul's list verbatim, it'll be a guide list for me. I'll be fleshing out his toolbox with my essential tool list.

One other point I want to make with Miles's toolbox. These tools will be his to use and care for. He will responsible for them. I think it will teach him something beyond just woodworking. I think the principles of caring for and maintaining tools is much better if it is something that you own and isn't a borrowed tool.

I saw a Lufkin folding ruler with a caliper on the Hyperkitten site yesterday that I bought for Miles. I have one of these rulers (not a Lufkin) and it is the first ruler I bought when I was 21. I still have it and I still use it.

If and when I get done with Miles's tool kit I'll post a list of the tools. But first I'll compare it to Paul Seller's list.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What will get if someone pelfs you?
answer - money

17th-century carved oak from Braintree, Massachusetts

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 7:00pm

I have a student here this week, we’re studying period carving while making an oak box. Scattered all over this blog (10 years’ worth, over 1,000 posts) are photos of period work. Carving, turning, moldings, mess-ups, etc. But I never knew when I started what a potential resource this could be. And now I’m too busy to organize it. But if you want to see some oak carvings…they’re in here! I’ll stick a few here, some of what Nathan & I are using for reference this week.

This one from a private collection; lots of gloppy finish on it, making it hard to see exact details. But one of my favorites over the years. My notes said that Bob Trent & I examined this back in 1998.

carved box, William Savell, 1590s-1669

Related to the above is this one, another I’ve copied many times over. Carved by the eldest son of William Savell above, John Savell, 1642-1687 or so.

Jn Savell box, side carving

This lunette, (this one’s on the top rail of a chest) is also by John Savell. To carve these, you need to practice your V-tool work. Lots of concentric arcs.

carved lunette, attr John Savell

One of my boxes, “made up” in the sense that it’s not copied from a period piece. But the box front is a direct copy of a drawer front by the Savells. As is the construction – pegged & glued rabbets instead of the typical nailed rabbets for joining the box parts.

PF box

Here’s one of the chests with two drawers. This one was from an auction website. I’ve lost track of where it went. Although I’ve made chests with two drawers, I never made one in this style…maybe 2018. 

The elder William Savell came to Braintree, Massachusetts by the late 1630s. He was first in Cambridge, working on the “college” that became Harvard. In his will dated 1669, he leaves to his wife a “chest with drawers” – with, not of, and drawers plural. There are at least three we’ve seen with 2 drawers. Most have just one. Only a couple were chests – no drawers.

I discovered this one in research done for a 1996 article about these objects. All I had to go by was this 1930s photograph and the owner’s name & hometown. Lots of dead ends, but I found it in the long run.

The article from 1996, but if you track down the volume itself, you get all the pictures


Earlier looks at this work from the blog:



splines done.......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 3:19pm
I'm glad I was able to save my new 140 box. I had a lot of calories invested in it and I have few more to expend before I can call it done. I got the splines done tonight and I should have the box 100% by the weekend's end. I added extra time because I am going to finish this with shellac.

out of the clamps
This miter is still slightly opened. The top closed up and stayed that way when I removed the clamps. I'll evaluate this again after I have planed the sides. If need be I can use a trick I used when installing baseboards. On miters like this, I would roll the shaft of a screwdriver up and down the toes closing it onto itself.

still fits
I wasn't expecting this to fit. I was expecting one short leg or one long leg coming into the corner I glued to be a few frog hairs too long. The corner at the front left is the one I glued. I'll glue the banding in after the splines have been installed and set up.

layout for the splines
I laid out these lines to be just to the inside of the thickness of the stock which is a 1/2". I will saw down to these leaving them.

this worked well
I came up and down a 1/2" from the top/bottom and split the distance between them for the third spline.

sawing my splines out

practiced sawing right hand splines too
Not as straight or even as my left hand offerings, but they are thinner.

checking the fit in a test kerf
I was shooting for the splines to be a frog hair over being snug. I want a good fit with the spline and the kerf.

doing the splines in the lid first
making the splines fit
I was beating on the splines, not like a madman, but I was splitting them. Instead of hitting them close to edge straight down, I switched to a glancing blow. That worked at compressing and the flattening the spines without splitting them.

one miter done on the box
interior is clean
I did not saw through into the interior on any of the splines, in the bottom or the lid.

glued and cooking
I used yellow glue on the lid splines. The yellow glue will swell the kerf and the splines and lock them in tight. On the bottom I used hide glue. There the hide glue will dry and pull the kerf and spline together. Which one will do a better job? I'll find out tomorrow.

original 140 box
The 1/2" thick board underneath it will give up the lid and the bottom.

stickered until tomorrow
I may have toast then with at least one board. The left one has already started to cup and if it isn't too bad and I can get a 3/8 thickness out of it, I'll be happy. If not I will saw off another one and see what shakes out with that one.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is samhainophobia?
answer - a fear of Halloween

SketchUp Makes Good Woodworkers Better Woodworkers

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 10:52am
The most important skill in woodworking isn’t what you might think it is. It isn’t the ability to master a specific tool or technique. The things that look impossible become approachable, and picking up new tools and methods isn’t a Continue reading →
Categories: General Woodworking

Goodbye to Finish Build-Up

360 WoodWorking - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 5:45am
Goodbye to Finish Build-Up

When using my revolving finishing jig I apply finish as the turntable rotates. My projects move by finish spewing from my spray gun. That results in finish build-up.

It’s not noticed at the time, but finish build-up begins to layer on the turntable with each project. After 25 years of finishing an estimated 30 to 50 pieces per year (at least in my earlier days of woodworking), it’s necessary to replace the turntable.

Continue reading Goodbye to Finish Build-Up at 360 WoodWorking.

Turning Socket Chisel Handles for Lie-Nielson and Stanley Sweatheart Chisels

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 5:10am

Editor’s note: I am resurfacing this article from American Woodworker because I am in the process of turning new handles for my Lie-Nielson and Stanley Sweetheart chisels. Tim Heil presents an interesting take on obtaining the taper for the socket with a folded piece of paper. I’ll share my version on YouTube later this week.  – David Lyell  Turning Wood: Socket Chisel Handles Here’s a 1-2-3 system for getting a […]

The post Turning Socket Chisel Handles for Lie-Nielson and Stanley Sweatheart Chisels appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Industry City Wants a Handout as it Kills Woodworking Jobs

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 4:00am

I spent this morning at NYC's Department of City Planning exercising some civic duty - participating in a rezoning meeting. Industry City, my former landlord, wants to get a zoning change for its large Brooklyn complex which is currently zoned for industry and manufacturing, enabling it to have more retail, commercial and office space, and a hotel.

Their main public argument is that they have pumped millions into the complex, which has about 6.5 million square feet of space, and have increased the number of tenant businesses from a hundred or so to over 450 tenants, and they want to continue expanding.

I decided to testify because Industry City is extremely savvy and great at public presentations. They typically frame their approach as that of job creation and opportunity. Very clever! Who would be against this? Politicians and other civic leaders generally don't hear from people like me (and meetings that take up hours in the middle of the day are not going to attract many small business owners). My main point was that you can build commercial and retail space almost anywhere else in the city, but there is a real shortage of industrial spaces. Industry City in general doesn't like real industrial companies. When I moved to the complex in 2007, there were - by their count - over 60 cabinet shops. That's a lot of woodworkers and for us, potential customers. Now there are way fewer, and my customers are disappearing to places outside of NYC. Slowly but surely the infrastructure that makes our business, and in fact any hardware or lumber business viable, is vanishing. At some point critical mass will be gone.

Industry City was acquired by new owners a few years ago, and to their credit they did invest money in the buildings. As folks who visited us back in the old space might remember, we had only a freight elevator, and if you came when the operator was on lunch, you earned bragging rights to the 5 story stair climb. Our wires were all exposed. The new owners put in an elevator, improved the wiring and made many cosmetic improvements. These improvements warrant rental increases, but that is not what animated the sale.

Instead, it was the hope of a handout. In NYC, zoning restrictions mean that landlords and property owners cannot do whatever they wish with a property. Industrially zoned land is the cheapest kind of land in the city, relative to other uses (residential, commercial, mixed). The restrictions depressed the valued of the complex, which was reflected of course in the sales price. As new owners, the new Industry City team spent millions not only on building improvements, but also on lobbying to get pesky rules - their zoning restrictions - waived.

I thought it was important to remind the City Planning Commission about a few salient points. Industry City might brag about jobs that they say they "created," but they aren't actual job creators. The jobs that are now in Industry City now were mostly moved from other parts of the city, or would have been created in other parts of the city. This is not true of the manufacturing jobs. Losing industrial space means losing industrial jobs like cabinetmaking and set building, both of which have made a steady march upstate or out of state. Creating more commercial and retail space, which could go almost anywhere, out of rare industrial space seems like a bizarre goal given the large number of vacant storefronts NYC now has because of on-line shopping.

Another important point for the City to consider. Most of the investment money for IC and other large developments comes from international sources. The results of their hoped-for windfall resulting from a rules change won't even stay local. The billionaire that makes the huge return isn't living in NYC, their taxes and donations will end up supporting some other place somewhere.

Did my comments make a difference? It's hard to know. Sometimes these public presentations are window dressing on decisions made long ago. But I don't regret speaking up on behalf of woodworkers and other industrial workers. If I don't, who will?

People all over the country read this blog and many of you will think - why don't you just move here - rent's cheap. But we like it here and if the Government would just enforce the zoning laws we have and not let any big company with a pile of dough for lobbyists challenge the law - we would be fine. All the industrial space in NYC is under constant attack from big investors and foreign money who know with a stoke of the pen they can make a killing.

Our jobs are at stake.

I won......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 1:02am
This morning after I had posted my blog I was scrolling down my past  postings and I saw a grammatical error in the 09/13 post. So I decided to fix it. I had left out a word in a sentence which is the biggest sin I make in my postings. I still can't type as fast as I can mentally verbalize. Anyways, the upswing of me fixing that mistake was the blog got posted again. Why? I don't know as all I was doing was editing and fixing a mistake.  I wasn't trying to do a double post or increase anything in the count column. Sorry that it happened and if you were wondering if you had already read it, you had.

On much brighter note, I won the fix with the lid. I had my doubts yesterday that I would be able to do it but I did. Results came out rather well and I'm pleased with them. The next pic is what I started the fix with.

I got all the  filler strips glued on last night
sawed my 45 guides
I did good on the left miter but the right one is slightly off on the vertical. Sawing on my right has always been problematic for me. It is much better than what I was doing a few years back but I still experience sawing off the line. These guides are for rough sawing miters so it being off doesn't matter too much. I planned on using these later on with the fix but I didn't.

sawing off the proud batted next
sawed the corners at an angle
I did this so I could plane the overhang without having to worry about blowing out the corners due to the grain direction on the miters.

rough planed
I will do the clean up and flushing after I fix the bottom of the lid. If that doesn't pan out, there isn't any need to do this.

checking the fit of the base
I knew it was bigger and I factored that in when I made the box. I can lose an inch on the width and a 1/4" on the length.

width is a slip fit and a no go on the length
I'm going to lose a half inch
By taking off a 1/2" on the width I won't have to be concerned about expansion and contraction of the base.

knocked down all the high spots and flushed the corners.
first flushing down
It took me 6 laps before I got a continuous shaving.

front left and back right are way high
I didn't need the sticks to see this. I could tell by looking at this end of the lid that the left side was high.

still a wee bit of twist to remove

got it - flat, straight, and twist free

flat on the bottom all around

flushed the strips to the outside
poplar for the lid banding
I wanted to use walnut for this but I didn't have enough scraps. This will do the job but it won't look as nice as walnut would.

lid banding sawn,trimmed, and fitted
doesn't fit
It fits the width (long sides) a bit snug but it won't fit over the ends.

won't fit on the ends and iffy on the long sides
There is glue squeeze out and one spot where the strip overhangs the dado. Both of them have to be cleaned up.

used the chisel as scraper to clean and flush it
It didn't change the fit of the lid, it still wouldn't go over the ends.

miter opened when I fitted the lid banding
 This was the miter that I thought was opened a little.

glued and clamped
I'll find out tomorrow if this is holding. I think it would behoove me to get some splines in these miters to help strengthen them.

the base was rocking
I planed the high corners until it stopped rocking. There isn't any need to check this with the sticks.

I had to plane an 1/8" off the ends to get it to fit in the box

almost done
I like having my tools in their own boxes, snug as bug in a rug. The front knob is about a 1/4" below the top of the box. There isn't too much wasted real estate in here.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who is the only member of the 1992 Olympic basketball team not in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame?
answer - Christian Laettner

Cut Flat Dados on a Round Surface: Tricks of the Trade

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 1:00pm

I needed to cut stopped grooves on a round surface – and while I could have cut them on the stock while it was square, then proceed to turn it on the lathe, I didn’t want to worry about catching my turning gouge on a groove and causing tearing out (or worse). So, after considering (then rejecting) some kind of router jig, I figured out a way to use my […]

The post Cut Flat Dados on a Round Surface: Tricks of the Trade appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Book Review: Mortise & Tenon, Issue #3

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 8:00am

We are excited to present the highly anticipated third issue of Mortise & Tenon Magazine! Here’s a snippet of what Norm Reid had to say about it:

As with the previous two issues, I was thrilled when Issue No. 3 of Mortise & Tenon Magazine recently arrived in my mailbox. In part, my delight was due to the intriguing photo of a handheld drawknife on the cover. But even more, it was from anticipating the 10 articles that lay within. Enhanced by a wealth of beautiful photography and drawings and delightfully laid out, the issue promised a feast for the eyes as well as for the mind. It did not disappoint.

Click here to read the rest of Norm’s review

Click here to purchase your own copy of Mortise & Tenon

The post Book Review: Mortise & Tenon, Issue #3 appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking


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