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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...

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General Woodworking

Limbert 305 1/2 CAD Renderings

McGlynn On Making - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 2:03pm

I’m sorry, I can’t help it.  Having drawn out the front and rear view of the Limbert 305 1/2 cabinet the other day I really wanted to see what it might look like if I built it.

 

Limbert 305 1/2 Cabinet Detail

Limbert 305 1/2 Cabinet Detail

I decided that the proportions of the various parts in my initial drawing were close enough.  I settled on a series of 1/8″ set backs — the  edges of the top and sub-top are are in 1/8″ from the legs, the rails are set back 1/8″ from the top, the door is set in 1/8″ from the rails, etc.  In the drawing from the catalog the panels in the front and sides look to be either ship-laped or tongue-and-groove construction, so that’s how I set up the model.  I did do some of the joinery in the CAD model (for example, the mortise and tenon construction) but I didn’t model all of the joinery.  I just wanted to see what it looks like, if I decide to make it some day I’ll sort out the rest of the construction details that I glossed over.

The glass panel in the catalog drawing is hard to make out, but looking at other drawings from the catalog I think that is suppossed to be a branch with a couple of leaves.  If I make this I’d probably do some sort of Oak leaf pattern like the drawing below.  For this rendering I just used a plain piece of opalescent glass.  The mission style pull is just a quick model that I did, but it works OK, the pull in the catalog drawing is different. but hard to see enough detail to make it.  (What am I saying, I’m not actually going to build this am I?)

Possible layout for the  stained glass panel

Possible layout for the stained glass panel

So here is what I came up with.  There are a few construction details to sort out, but it should be pretty straightforward to build if someone wants to do it.  I think the slats fir the panels make it a little more interesting.  The finish needs to be darker, but getting a truly realistic wood rendering in SolidWorks is something I’m still playing with.  It takes a lot experimentation and fussing around, at least it takes that for me to do it.  This is just a standard 2D oak from the materials library.  The glass is an actual photograph of the glass applied as a “decal” to the surface with some luminescence to make it pop a little more.

Limbert 305 1/2 Rendering

Limbert 305 1/2 Rendering

 


Categories: General Woodworking

Limbert 305 1/2 CAD Renderings

McGlynn On Making - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 2:03pm

I’m sorry, I can’t help it.  Having drawn out the front and rear view of the Limbert 305 1/2 cabinet the other day I really wanted to see what it might look like if I built it.

 

Limbert 305 1/2 Cabinet Detail

Limbert 305 1/2 Cabinet Detail

I decided that the proportions of the various parts in my initial drawing were close enough.  I settled on a series of 1/8″ set backs — the  edges of the top and sub-top are are in 1/8″ from the legs, the rails are set back 1/8″ from the top, the door is set in 1/8″ from the rails, etc.  In the drawing from the catalog the panels in the front and sides look to be either ship-laped or tongue-and-groove construction, so that’s how I set up the model.  I did do some of the joinery in the CAD model (for example, the mortise and tenon construction) but I didn’t model all of the joinery.  I just wanted to see what it looks like, if I decide to make it some day I’ll sort out the rest of the construction details that I glossed over.

The glass panel in the catalog drawing is hard to make out, but looking at other drawings from the catalog I think that is suppossed to be a branch with a couple of leaves.  If I make this I’d probably do some sort of Oak leaf pattern like the drawing below.  For this rendering I just used a plain piece of opalescent glass.  The mission style pull is just a quick model that I did, but it works OK, the pull in the catalog drawing is different. but hard to see enough detail to make it.  (What am I saying, I’m not actually going to build this am I?)

Possible layout for the  stained glass panel

Possible layout for the stained glass panel

So here is what I came up with.  There are a few construction details to sort out, but it should be pretty straightforward to build if someone wants to do it.  I think the slats fir the panels make it a little more interesting.  The finish needs to be darker, but getting a truly realistic wood rendering in SolidWorks is something I’m still playing with.  It takes a lot experimentation and fussing around, at least it takes that for me to do it.  This is just a standard 2D oak from the materials library.  The glass is an actual photograph of the glass applied as a “decal” to the surface with some luminescence to make it pop a little more.

Limbert 305 1/2 Rendering

Limbert 305 1/2 Rendering

 


Categories: General Woodworking

19th century guitars

Finely Strung - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 9:09am

Lars Hedelius-Strikkertsen is a Danish guitarist, who plays a 19th century guitar and specialises in the music of that time. Here he is playing a piece by Fernando Sor.

 

 

If you go to his website, you’ll see that he sometimes takes the trouble to dress the part when he gives concerts. Not surprisingly, in view of this attention to authentic period detail, he didn’t like the idea of using an anachronistic metal contraption as a capo d’astro and asked me to make him a cejilla.

 

DSC_1861

DSC_1856

 

I’ve written about these devices before so I won’t repeat myself. But the commission reminded me of what delightful instruments these early romantic guitars are. Anyone interested in finding out more about them might like to take a a look at this excellent online gallery.

A few years ago, I made one of these guitars, which is now owned by the artist, Gill Robinson. The instrument that I copied was made by Louis Panormo around 1840, and it’s now in the Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments.

 

DSC_0002

 

There’s a photograph of my guitar above, and a video of Rob MacKillop playing the original instrument below.

 

Moulding Planes

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 8:03am

I like moulding planes-I even used the British English spelling. Believe it or not I have two, both beading planes, neither of them work all that well. One of those planes I picked up at a flea market, the other was given to me years ago before I started woodworking. At the moment, they are both sitting in a cabinet in my garage. Both are beyond my skill to repair (and maybe beyond repair, period), but that doesn’t stop me from keeping them around.

So if and when I need to add decorative details to furniture, I generally use an electric router. I’ve said before that the router is my least favorite power tool. They are loud, very messy, and quite frankly they can be dangerous. BUT, I can pick up a high quality profile router bit for less than a fifth of the cost of a moulding plane. Am I making this a power tool vs hand tool post? Not at all. I am making this a cost of tools post, because a set of moulding planes costs about as much as decent used car. A woodworker can purchase a good router and a smattering of common profiles for under $500.

What is my point? Good question. I think you should use whichever tool you like. If you like moulding planes and you can afford a set then more power to you. I would love to own a set, myself. In fact, I was just about to purchase a book on them just because I’m the type of guy that enjoys being filled with somewhat useless general knowledge. But for the foreseeable future I will continue using an electric router, which is why I went out of my way to refurbish my old router table. Yet, I’m still disappointed with a few things I read just last night as I was looking to order my book. It seems that using an electric router rather than moulding planes is detrimental to fine woodworking according to more than a few influential people.

I’m not angry; I’m not raving mad; I’m not ready to go on a tirade; I don’t need to pound my heavy bag for twenty minutes to release my aggression. I’m just disappointed. I’m not disappointed in the opinion, as it were, but in that some people don’t get what I’ve been saying for the past two years. These people continue to wonder why I write what I do even after writing an article or post that excludes the vast majority of woodworkers. I’ll be the first to admit that maybe the vast majority of woodworkers don’t even care, but I do. At the same time, I’m not trying to censor anybody-write whatever you like, that’s why the internet exists. But I am going to offer a rebuttal, because I think that what you think is wrong, and I think that your opinions are what is “detrimental to woodworking” and not the fact that woodworkers are using electric routers.


Categories: General Woodworking

Moulding Planes

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 8:03am

I like moulding planes-I even used the British English spelling. Believe it or not I have two, both beading planes, neither of them work all that well. One of those planes I picked up at a flea market, the other was given to me years ago before I started woodworking. At the moment, they are both sitting in a cabinet in my garage. Both are beyond my skill to repair (and maybe beyond repair, period), but that doesn’t stop me from keeping them around.

So if and when I need to add decorative details to furniture, I generally use an electric router. I’ve said before that the router is my least favorite power tool. They are loud, very messy, and quite frankly they can be dangerous. BUT, I can pick up a high quality profile router bit for less than a fifth of the cost of a moulding plane. Am I making this a power tool vs hand tool post? Not at all. I am making this a cost of tools post, because a set of moulding planes costs about as much as decent used car. A woodworker can purchase a good router and a smattering of common profiles for under $500.

What is my point? Good question. I think you should use whichever tool you like. If you like moulding planes and you can afford a set then more power to you. I would love to own a set, myself. In fact, I was just about to purchase a book on them just because I’m the type of guy that enjoys being filled with somewhat useless general knowledge. But for the foreseeable future I will continue using an electric router, which is why I went out of my way to refurbish my old router table. Yet, I’m still disappointed with a few things I read just last night as I was looking to order my book. It seems that using an electric router rather than moulding planes is detrimental to fine woodworking according to more than a few influential people.

I’m not angry; I’m not raving mad; I’m not ready to go on a tirade; I don’t need to pound my heavy bag for twenty minutes to release my aggression. I’m just disappointed. I’m not disappointed in the opinion, as it were, but in that some people don’t get what I’ve been saying for the past two years. These people continue to wonder why I write what I do even after writing an article or post that excludes the vast majority of woodworkers. I’ll be the first to admit that maybe the vast majority of woodworkers don’t even care, but I do. At the same time, I’m not trying to censor anybody-write whatever you like, that’s why the internet exists. But I am going to offer a rebuttal, because I think that what you think is wrong, and I think that your opinions are what is “detrimental to woodworking” and not the fact that woodworkers are using electric routers.


Categories: General Woodworking

VIDEO: Hand Cut Dovetails Part 5: Layout the Tails

Wood and Shop - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 3:02am

VIDEO 5/15 of Joshua Farnsworth’s free hand cut dovetail video series shows how to Lay out the Tails.

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

hand-cut-dovetails

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

Which traditional hand tools should you buy?

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

Shortcuts to Dovetail Videos 1-15:

Finally, I can make a decent cut with a Western Saw!

Toolmaking Art - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:07am

I took the day off to get dental work and found that my dental issues were not as bad as I feared.  So there was nothing for it, I went to the Dallas Lie Neilsen Tool Event.

It was a very important day for me.  As a woodworker, I have suffered from the inability to make anything like a reliable cut with a Western Style Saw.   Not the worst handicap, since I have no issue when using a Razorsaw(Gyokucho) 650 Royoba.   Sometimes however it would be nice to push a blade and not have sawdust covering the line.

At this event I met Frank Strazza, from the Heritage School of Woodworking.

Frank Strazza

Frank managed to teach this old dog a new trick.

Cuts

I was missing four things.  The first clue is the sound of the saw.   I can’t really show that.

The second is the grip, solidly held with absolutely no pressure or tension.

Grip

The third was the stance.

Stance

The fourth thing I was missing was how to hold my other thumb when starting the cut.  When drawing a Japanese saw, I am pulling, and I guide with the side of my hand.  For starting a push cut I needed to see the other side of the saw clearly.  By using the tip of my thumb as a guide I was able to manage a decent guide when I needed it.   I practiced without my thumb to get the method clearly, but I can assure you when I cut a line that matters, I will be using Frank’s method from here on out.

Frank is a brilliant teacher with the ability to watch for a while and figure out better approaches for a task.  I would love to take several of his classes.

Lie Neilsen’s crew was wonderful as always, and I had the pleasure of meeting Lynn Dowd!
Dowd's Tools
Lynn Dowd is the person to contact if you are looking for fine vintage tools in Texas.

Dallas is quite a bit out of my way, but getting to go to this event really helped justify the time and expense.

Bob

Furniture Details: Feet

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 8:05am

Blocked foot

I’m often asked about blocking on feet (sad, but true). Woodworkers want to know how bracket and ogee feet were attached and how to deal with cross-grain gluing. The answers to these questions are: lots of ways, and you don’t necessarily have to because they didn’t. Cross-grain gluing and consideration of expansion and contraction wasn’t a universal primary concern. Now, I know the first photo isn’t of feet, but it […]

The post Furniture Details: Feet appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Asking for a Re-Blog

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 8:03am

Originally posted on HarsH ReaLiTy:

I have never asked for a reblog before, but if you have the time and wouldn’t mind reblogging or sharing this I would personally appreciate it. I have decided to really go for this and try to provide some sort of marketing/blogging consulting to those wanting the help and willing to pay. It might sound silly, but there are plenty of authors, photographers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs that are horrible at marketing themselves.

I cannot guarantee views, comments, or sales. I can guarantee for a contract a subscriber number increase. The rest is really up to you. I follow a business model which I have shared HERE which shows that I use 33.3% of my time gathering followers, 33.3% of my time writing, and 33.3% of my time interacting and socializing. That is how I blog. Many people can’t afford the time to “gather followers” or don’t know how. That is…

View original 32 more words


Categories: General Woodworking

Asking for a Re-Blog

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 8:03am

Originally posted on HarsH ReaLiTy:

I have never asked for a reblog before, but if you have the time and wouldn’t mind reblogging or sharing this I would personally appreciate it. I have decided to really go for this and try to provide some sort of marketing/blogging consulting to those wanting the help and willing to pay. It might sound silly, but there are plenty of authors, photographers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs that are horrible at marketing themselves.

I cannot guarantee views, comments, or sales. I can guarantee for a contract a subscriber number increase. The rest is really up to you. I follow a business model which I have shared HERE which shows that I use 33.3% of my time gathering followers, 33.3% of my time writing, and 33.3% of my time interacting and socializing. That is how I blog. Many people can’t afford the time to “gather followers” or don’t know how. That is…

View original 32 more words


Categories: General Woodworking

VIDEO: Hand Cut Dovetails Part 4: Layout the Half Pins

Wood and Shop - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 7:00am

VIDEO 4/15 of Joshua Farnsworth’s free hand cut dovetail video series shows how to lay out the half pins on the edges of the front and rear board.

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

hand-cut-dovetails

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

Which traditional hand tools should you buy?

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

Shortcuts to Dovetail Videos 1-15:

Lights, Camera …

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 5:21am

At the clap of the audio/video synchronizer we were off and running.

IMG_5466

With director David Thiel, videographers Ric and Al behind the cameras we maintained a breakneck pace for two days in filming the video “Historic Transparent Finishes” for the multimedia division of Popular Woodworking.  Thanks to their professionalism and some preparations by me we had only two “second takes” in the two days; one of them was to fix a wiggling work bench on the very first segment.

The world of finishing, even transparent finishing, even historic transparent finishing, is simply too big to cover in a single video.  My first proposal was for an eight-hour video, which caused David to take a big gulp until he saw that I was actually projecting a two-hour video for a small section of the larger body of material.

PW_Williams_001

The video is actually a fairly narrow scope as I focused by discussing and demonstrating only wax and shellac finishes over hand planed wood.  Starting with rough sawn lumber and finishing with glistening, shimmering, and tactile delights possible with planes, scrapers, polissoirs, brushes, and pads.  No oil/resin varnishes, no coloration, no paints, no gilding.  Just simple  and easy (? straightforward at least).IMG_5464

We worked from a detailed outline I had prepared for David, and we did very little out-of-sequence shooting, and then only when it was the only way to get everything done in a timely manner.  We were even so efficient that we added three or four vignettes that I had not included in the outline.

PW_Williams_002

One involved the burnishing and varnishing a ball-and-claw leg (thanks Glen Huey for letting me work on one you had laying around) exploring the magic of polished cow horn and filbert mop brushes, which make the finish application so easy it is almost embarrassing.  Add an opening, a closing, and some PR snippets and we were done by suppertime of the second day.

As we wrapped up I think it was Ric who said, “Good job.  And it was even interesting.” (Did I detect a hint of surprise in his voice?)  Of course it was interesting.  It was wood finishing!

I was a bit of a zombie the next two days as my wife and I toured Cincinnati and then drove back home to the mountains of the Allegheny Highlands.  She says I was just recovering from an adrenalin rush from being “on” for two straight days, and she might be right.  I don’t particularly like excitement.

I hope to see a rough cut this week, as Ric said editing it was a piece of cake since the initial work was so clean and linear.  I understand the release is sometime around August, so stay tuned.  I’m sure it would make a great Christmas gift for your thirty or forty closest friends.

Not Much of an Auction

The Furniture Record - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 10:19pm

At least not for me.

Every Friday (mostly, kinda, sorta) there is an auction at a local auction house. On Thursday, I have lunch nearby with a friend and wander over to the auction house for their preview. While not all high-end stuff, there are usually a few things of interest. This week, not so much. At least not for me.

They had dolls, some tools, smalls. All the usual auction stuff, just no old furniture. I am getting desperate. My Flickr inventory of un-blogged photos is down to around 5,000. One or two productive weeks and I will be caught up. Then what will I do?

Against my better judgement, I am going to blog about the few interesting pieces in the building. Two of them are actually for next week’s auction. The first is this cylinder desk with bookshelf. Not that old. Machine cut dovetails but solid wood, rabbeted drawers bottoms.

Cylinder desk with bookshelf.  Could it be considered Eastlake?

Cylinder desk with bookshelf. Could it be considered Eastlake?

Bookshelf with unique shelf support system.

Bookshelf with unique shelf support system.

I think this is the cylinder of the cylinder desk. Click to see the the desk open.

I think this is the cylinder of the cylinder desk. Click to see the the desk open.

And this is the support system for the moving cylinder.

And this is the support system for the moving cylinder.

I like the ring pull.

They don't make ring pulls like this anymore. Ring doesn't seem to have a constant cross section.

They don’t make ring pulls like this anymore. Ring doesn’t seem to have a constant cross section.

And interesting carvings.

Nice carvings but a manufactured product.

Nice carvings but a manufactured product.

Here is a faux grained, painted chest. Not in this week’s auction.

Painted chest. Click to see an unusually small till.

Painted chest. Click to see an unusually small till.

And finally, a carved table with drawer. Not from this week’s auction.

Carved table with barley twist legs and stretcher.

Carved table with barley twist legs and stretcher.

I like the carved drawer pull.

Another pull they don't make anymore. Click to see an alternate view.

Another pull they don’t make anymore. Click to see an alternate view.

And it wouldn’t be my blog without dovetails.

Dovetails. My job here is done.

Dovetails. My job here is done.


Limbert 305 1/2

McGlynn On Making - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 4:48pm

Sometimes I think CAD should stand for “Computer Aided Distraction”, but I suspect the real flaw lies somewhere deep in my psyche.

This weekend I hope to crank on the stained glass for the door in the cabinet I’m making, but I’m already thinking ahead to the next project.  I want to make a clone of the Limbert 355 or 356 bookcase.  They are the same except one is wider by the addition of a second door, which is probably the version I’d make as we always need more storage space for books.  I think the 355 single door version is a little more elegant though.

Limbert 356 Bookcase

Limbert 356 Bookcase

Well, one thing leads to another, as it often does, and I bought a reprint of the 1903 Limbert catalog hoping to find more information on this bookcase.  Turns out it doesn’t show up until the 1904 catalog.  But…there was this interesting “cabinet” in the 1903 catalog.

I’m not sure whether it’s a table, a stand or a cabinet, but the catalog calls it a cabinet so I’ll do the same.  Here is what it says:

No. 305 1/2. Cabinet. 12″ deep, 16″ wide, 41″ high, oak, opalescent art leaded glass in upper panel of door, finished in any color.  Price, $17,00.

It struck me as an odd piece, and since the catalog only shows a simple line drawing I was curious.  I googled for extant example, but came up empty.  So I decided to model it in CAD to see what it might look like.

Limbert 305 1/2 from the 1903 catalog

Limbert 305 1/2 from the 1903 catalog

Starting from the overall dimensions I started setting the sizes for various parts by eye.  I think I’m pretty close, although line drawings like this are inherently inaccurate.  Think about building something from an Escher drawing.

Before I actually model it in 3D I need to think about material thicknesses, joinery and setbacks.

Rough dimensions for the front

Rough dimensions for the front

Rough dimensions for the side

Rough dimensions for the side


Categories: General Woodworking

Limbert 305 1/2

McGlynn On Making - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 4:48pm

Sometimes I think CAD should stand for “Computer Aided Distraction”, but I suspect the real flaw lies somewhere deep in my psyche.

This weekend I hope to crank on the stained glass for the door in the cabinet I’m making, but I’m already thinking ahead to the next project.  I want to make a clone of the Limbert 355 or 356 bookcase.  They are the same except one is wider by the addition of a second door, which is probably the version I’d make as we always need more storage space for books.  I think the 355 single door version is a little more elegant though.

Limbert 356 Bookcase

Limbert 356 Bookcase

Well, one thing leads to another, as it often does, and I bought a reprint of the 1903 Limbert catalog hoping to find more information on this bookcase.  Turns out it doesn’t show up until the 1904 catalog.  But…there was this interesting “cabinet” in the 1903 catalog.

I’m not sure whether it’s a table, a stand or a cabinet, but the catalog calls it a cabinet so I’ll do the same.  Here is what it says:

No. 305 1/2. Cabinet. 12″ deep, 16″ wide, 41″ high, oak, opalescent art leaded glass in upper panel of door, finished in any color.  Price, $17,00.

It struck me as an odd piece, and since the catalog only shows a simple line drawing I was curious.  I googled for extant example, but came up empty.  So I decided to model it in CAD to see what it might look like.

Limbert 305 1/2 from the 1903 catalog

Limbert 305 1/2 from the 1903 catalog

Starting from the overall dimensions I started setting the sizes for various parts by eye.  I think I’m pretty close, although line drawings like this are inherently inaccurate.  Think about building something from an Escher drawing.

Before I actually model it in 3D I need to think about material thicknesses, joinery and setbacks.

Rough dimensions for the front

Rough dimensions for the front

Rough dimensions for the side

Rough dimensions for the side


Categories: General Woodworking

Bone-Headed Woodturning Tips, by Daniel A. Metzler

Highland Woodworking - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 3:37pm

metzler1About 30 years ago, I was very new to woodturning. A friend was moving out of town and wanted to leave his old 12″ Delta lathe in my garage. I had an extra few feet of space between the front of the cars. He gave me a one hour lesson on how to use it, as well as some tools. They were all scrapers.

I turned a few small bowls and in spite of a good amount of catches with the scrapers, I thought I needed a bigger challenge. Living in Atlanta at the time, I had seen a number of Ed Moulthrop’s bowls and admired them greatly. That had to be my next bigger challenge. I soon found a “how to” article in Fine Woodworking on Moulthrop as well as  an 18″ diameter piece of poplar or “Tulip Wood” as Moulthrop called it. The poplar had a purple streak in it caused by a lightning strike just like Ed’s. All was perfect to go.

Luckily, I had a large face plate. I attached it to the end grain of the log just like the pictures in the article showed. I heaved it onto the lathe bed, cantilevered it from the spindle and turned on the lathe…. The big piece of wood went flying off the face plate, screws at great speed, spinning wildly between our two cars and slammed into the post between the two garage doors. Still spinning, it stood itself up like a top in place and finally came to rest!  Maybe the screws were too short or too thin? Or maybe I needed to set the lathe belts at a slower speed?

Thicker screws and slower speed and it ran fairly smoothly. Unaware of potential bearing damage, I even added bags of sand on the lathe stand to dampen any wobble. All was good. The outside turned easily but slowly. The form was off some, but never mind that, I had to keep going.

The inside proved to be more challenging especially with a dull 1″ scraper. Once I was well into it, I had to move the tool rest inside the bowl as the scraper was too short to meet the interior. I got a few catches and bangs, hurting the back of my hand each time. Who knew you had to hold the scraper tip at a slight downward angle as well as keep it sharp?

metzler2Now hot, shirtless and almost cutting the back of my hand wide open on the next catch, I wisely devised a scheme of a cloth glove with several layers of aluminum flashing over the back of it to absorb the shock to my hand. The flashing was held in place with, of course, duct tape. It worked! Catch, bang, no pain. Wow! What a great idea.

Luckily, I finally finished the piece with my hand still a part of my body. The cloth part of the glove never caught on the bowl rim and ripped my hand off. My hand just had a few deep bruises on the back. Also, miraculously no damage was done to my wife”s car, nor mine. All was good, right?

The purple streak in the wood turned out to be from a big poison ivy vine that had been on the tree, not from lightning. Deep poison ivy all over my chest and arms. Apparently it is true, you have to suffer for art-even when it is mediocre.

I have since learned many things about woodturning, especially about safety. Being young, inexperienced and stupid is no way to be a woodturner. Go get some help!

The post Bone-Headed Woodturning Tips, by Daniel A. Metzler appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

What Hand Planes are Good For

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 9:28am

What Hand Planes are Good For

The difference between school and real life is that in real life the tests come first and then the lessons. This is especially true of woodworking; you never know how far you should take one step of a project until you are knee-deep in the next step. That’s when you realize you didn’t fuss enough and now have a painful correction to make, or that you fussed too much and […]

The post What Hand Planes are Good For appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Two Parts Roubo, One Part Moxon?

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 8:01am

It was more than a week into Spring, and being this Spring the sun rose to reveal an inch of icy snow coating everything the morning we were to visit the incomparable Conner Prairie historic complex, one of the nation’s premier enterprises of historic reenacting and interpretation.   Once the slop was scraped from my truck we were on our way; one advantage was that the bitter cold kept the crowd small and we had the place nearly to ourselves.

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One of the highlights was the timber frame barn in the Conner homestead.  The main cross-beam is a gargantuan oak timber more than 12” x 24” x 40 feet long (the historic carpenters there figure the tree trunk was more than eight feet in girth) and the longitudinal mid-rafter beam was an 8×8 perhaps 70 feet long.

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I especially enjoyed our time in the carpenter’s shop, where my wife and I were the only visitors.  This allowed for a lengthy conversation with the proprietor about tools, wood, and their lathe.  He showed it to me and allowed me a turn.

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It is a magnificent shop-built machine with a 300-pound flywheel that can get away from you fast!  Since I am a head taller than “Mr. McLure” it was very awkward for me, but I could see one of these fitting into the fabric of The Barn.

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In the center of the one end was the impressive work bench, which had been built in the shop in years past.  A copy of no specific documented model, it is instead a combination from a historically accurate vocabulary. 

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It seems to be about two parts Roubo with one part of Moxon and a dash of Nicholson.  The six-inch-square oak legs are capped by a four-inch slab top, and the fixed deadman is stout as well.  There is no real woodworker in America who would not be delighted to have this beast in their workspace.  I know I would.

If you are going near the Indianapolis area, take a peek.

VIDEO: Hand Cut Dovetails Part 3: Prepare the Layout

Wood and Shop - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 7:34am

VIDEO 3/15 of Joshua Farnsworth’s free hand cut dovetail video series shows how to prepare your squared boards in preparation for marking and laying out the pins and tails.

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

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

Which traditional hand tools should you buy?

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

Shortcuts to Dovetail Videos 1-15:

English Mortise Chisels - Mid-18th Century to Now - Part 3 - The Body of The Tool

Tools For Working Wood - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 4:00am
Click here for the start of this series. The mortise chisel illustrated in Moxon's 1678 "Mechanicks Exercises" (c5) was in all probability made by a London smith who specialized in tools, but otherwise had a blacksmith shop pretty much the same as any other blacksmith. A waterwheel to power a trip hammer and bellows would be a wonderful thing, but at that time it wasn't obvious that he would have one. The tool would have been forged from wrought iron and a tiny piece of blister steel would have been welded onto the top for the cutting edge. At this time it would have been cost prohibitive to put a section of brass pipe around the base of the tool (continuous brass pipe wasn't available on the market yet), a ferrule as they would be called later, to keep the handle from splitting when you put a lot of lateral force on the tool. The solution to all of this for mortise chisels, and in fact all the chisels of the time as seen in the engraving, were wide, thick handles that would bear down and spread the force of the blow on a wide flange called a "bolster" that was placed below the tang.

While the engraving in Moxon isn't to scale, we can see the basic shape of a 19th century mortise chisel start to emerge and both the bolster and handle of the mortise, along with all the other chisels illustrated are faceted. Octagonal bolsters and handles were pretty common on all types early 19th century chisels but as the century wore down round or oval handles - which are easier to make, became more usual, and the bolsters on mortise chisels become oval.

Three very important events happen in the century after Moxon. An industrial revolution massively lowered the price and availability of iron and steel, and by 1800 very high quality crucible steel (invented in 1740) was inexpensive enough to use on things other than watch springs and razors. "Cast Steel" was the trade name that was stamped on tools when they were made of crucible steel or other high carbon steels that were melted to absorb carbon, not beaten like blister steel. The second thing that happened was a network of canals sprang up all over England so it was possible for a manufacturer in for example Sheffield to find a ready market for goods in London and other commercial centers. Like today, a well capitalized business, with modern machinery, a ready source of power (water then steam), and easy distribution could decimate local smaller manufacturers. The Sheffield makers did just that. The lovely set of mortise chisels (along with all the chisels) in the 1797 Seaton chest were bought from a high end London merchant but were made by Phillip Law, a large Sheffield edge tool maker.

Law's operation would have employed dozens of men, almost all on piecework, each specializing on one operation or another. Individual craftsmen would essentially rent from Law the use of a trip hammer, forge, or grinding wheel, for the purpose of manufacture. They would probably buy their materials from Law, and then sell back the finished goods, advanced to the next stage of operation.
Blacksmiths using trip hammers would first take a blank of wrought iron and draw out a tapered tang. Then the other side of the tool would be shaped, and a steel blank for the cutting edge welded in. The bolsters on Mortise chisels are too big to easily forge in and on most of the ones Ray Iles has examined the bolster is shrunk on. This is done by punching out a ring of iron, then heating it way hot. Then you pop it on the cold tang. As it cools it shrinks down and grabs the tang, never to let go. Then you can do any final forging. Finally the grinders, using big four foot wheels, clean up all the surfaces, make sure everything is tapered correctly and then you are done.

All that's needed is a handle.

The catalog illustration in the middle of this entry is from the 1845 Timmins & Sons' tools pattern book (reprinted by Phillip Walker 1994). (The curvature in the picture is because of my bad photography.) The bolster of the common mortise chisel is thin and while not octagonal is also not perfectly oval either. It's more like the rounded rectangular bolsters I have seen. The best mortise chisel has an oval bolster that is thick and chunky by comparision.

Click here for Part 1 and the introduction to this series.
Click here for Part 2 - What the Catalogs Tell Us.
In the part four we will look at handle styles and materials, and finally in part five we will handle a mortise chisel.

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by Dr. Radut