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General Woodworking

The Last of the Bench Planes

I'm a OK guy - Sun, 03/15/2015 - 8:44am
This is the last of the bench planes, again I'm mostly doing this to have a record of my tools stored somewhere other than my home computer. I figure if there is a fire the computer record will be gone as well as the tools.  There are three #8 sized planes, in the foreground is a LN #8, next is a type 9 Stanley #8, and the ECE Jointer. While the LN is a beautiful well made plane and is a joy to hold and use for a short period of time, the Stanley and the ECE get most of the work because they are light and much less tiring to use.

BTW, I added some rare earth magnets to the plane till. Photos when I have time. 

at least it didn't snow.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 03/15/2015 - 2:20am
Saturday was a raw, cold, and rainy day. Although we didn't get the monsoon rains the weatherman predicted, it didn't snow neither. Yeah, one point for home team.. In spite of it being a bit chilly the snow mountains have continued to dwindle down to molehills. There has been some significant shrinkage but I don't think the snow will be gone before the first day of spring.
my hope for spring time
Over a week ago this area here was covered with snow almost up to the bottom of the shingles. 4 days ago these green shoots were kind of sickly looking and they were more yellow than green. It is kind of late for these crocus plants to be sprouting but they are all green now.

what I did before breakfast
I did have a 2x4 out in the garden shed and I sawed a piece off this morning at oh dark 45. A lot of things are falling into place for me and definitely getting easier. Sawing square and planing square are two of them. I am still amazed at how Paul Sellers seems to plane just enough and get perfect results each and every time. I am not in the major leagues like Paul but I do feel like I'm no longer a little leaguer anymore. Maybe I'm more like AA now.

douglas fir 2x4 - my preferred stud material
I don't see this in the Lowes and Home Depot in my neck of the woods that often. When I was a wanna be carpenter 35-40 years ago I remember it being the main 2x stock with the white stuff in the minority.

ready to glue and screw
I sawed and planed this so that it would be just inside the plywood. I did this just for practice to see how well I could do with getting it a 1/16" less. I did pretty good and I took an atta boy out of petty cash.

new home for some toys
my spokeshave herd
I got this bug from Bob who is doing a workshop reorganization. He did the math for me already on the holder layout but I am reluctant to pull the trigger yet. I don't want to keep the LN and the Lovejoy spokeshave out exposed here and I'm thinking of buying a few more stanley spokeshaves. I don't want to do this and then have to redo because of new acquisitions. I might put the ledger board up and wait on the rest.

marked the plane till door arc on the wall
I wanted to run the ledger long but the door is in the way.  I could do and the door would lay on the ledger at 90 degrees. I could access the till but I would be the door's length away.

spokeshave and #80 scrapers home
This is the home for these toys now. I can't tell you how many times I've knocked them down working on something at the bench. It's why I'm thinking of putting them underneath the screwdrivers.

Knocked off to run some errands here. I only expected to be gone for an hour or so but I didn't get back to the house until almost 5 hours later. One of my stops was at my credit union and I found out that they had shut down that branch almost 3 years ago. I couldn't believe it had been that long since I had been there last. I had to go to the Wakefield branch which I hadn't planned on. This set the tone for the rest of the day for me and I didn't get anything done.

4 big box stores and one little one
All five of them didn't have any brass corner braces. I went to two Lowes, two Home Depots , and an Ace Hardware, and this is what I had to settle for. I could have ordered it on the WWW but I don't want to wait.

first coat of poly
I had a real adventure trying to get the can of poly open. I had to drive my 5-in-1 tool into the lid with a hammer to get it open. It had been sitting on the burner cover for the furnace for a couple of weeks, maybe it was too close to the heat? I am going to try and get two coats of poly on this before I call it quits for today.

had to do this too
Since the can is screwed up and the poly inside may go bad, I put a coat on the shaker drying rack.

made it symmetrical
I found that for me the key to getting a good fit isn't going nutso getting the slots lined up. Those are easy to do by cutting them on all the pieces at the same time. For me, I got the results I have here by getting the L/R and top/bottom dividers to fit snugly. Once I got that, I then sawed the half lap crossing joints. I am getting more accurate with my layout and cuts and it's paying off.
left over banding
I was searching for some 1/8" thick wood and I thought of this banding. This is left over from a dresser mirror project I did a few years back.

covers the plywood edge
This will work for me. I would rather use 1/8" plywood over solid wood as the ply is more stable. But I didn't like the exposed plywood edge. I have four 36" lengths and that should be enough for me, even allowing for a few hiccups. I am thinking of securing it with super glue or epoxy.

trinket tray and phone holder stock
The first Lowes I went to had nothing but pretzels to pick from in the maple bins. If Home Depot sells thin wood stock I don't know where they hide it. The second Lowes I stopped at I was able to get two boards. I can get the phone speaker out of one of these but I bought two just to be safe. I'll let these sit in the shop overnight and see if they do any stupid wood tricks.

new trinket tray
I got the carcass parts sawed out for the trinket tray. I'll do the dovetails on them tomorrow.  That will give me something to do at oh dark thirty.
This was it for me today. I had bought an AM/FM radio for my wife for xmas and she told me that it's toast. The AM side works fine which my wife doesn't use. The FM only plays one station no matter where the dial indicator goes. And FM is what she wants to listen to. I have no prints, no model numbers, and no help from the WWW.  The radio was made in 1947 and was one of the first FM sets that RCA made but that is all I really know about this set.

I'm going to try and look on the antique radio site that I bought this from and see if there is anything of help to me.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
How many nations made up NATO when it was formed in 1949?
answer - 12

Moxon Vise 1 (or, LA via Omaha)

McGlynn On Making - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 9:33pm

My brain works in funny ways.  Adult ADHD perhaps.

I’ve been fooling around with marquetry for maybe two months, since I finished building a Marquetry Chevalet, which I had to build after taking a marquetry class at the American School of French Marquetry.  That in itself was supposed to be a lark, a fun thing to do to distract myself from work pressures.  Little did I know I’d get sucked in and end up tooling up to make jigsaw puzzles out of paper thin wood.

OK, to be fair, everyone who knows me would have made that prediction.

So I’ve done a few practice marquetry projects, and I want to do a simple vanilla woodworking build to loosen up.  Maybe build a small tool chest?  In fact, A Dutch chest would be a reasonable project.  Not too big of an undertaking.  But wait, I need to incorporate some marquetry into it right?

How about a Griffin attacking a Lizard, surrounded by scrolls for a tool chest?

How about a Griffin attacking a Lizard, surrounded by scrolls for a tool chest?

Yeaaaah, that’ll work.  Maybe.  We’ll see.

But first I need to build the carcase.  But before I do that I should probably knock out that Moxon vise I’ve been planning.  I know I can cut dovetails on a wide board without it, but I want one.

This should be a simple thing, even for me. (Fingers crossed).  A couple of bits of threaded rod, nuts, wood.  I found some 1″-5tpi Acme rod and nuts on eBay to get started.  It was fairly inexpensive, about $60 plus shipping for 36″ of rod and six nuts.  It’s awesome stuff, beautifully smooth threads.

1" Acme thread, this is really nice smooth running stuff.

1″ Acme thread, this is really nice smooth running stuff.

Then wood.  I have some 8/4 Eastern Walnut that should be good for this.  If I can would around the knot and waney edges.

Then I need a plan.  Two boards, two holes in each.  Easy Peasy.  Well, maybe I should draw up some simple plans.  This should be good.  I can clamp up to 24″ wide boards in this, and I allowed for 4″ of clamping width – which should be more than enough.  Maybe too much, the tradeoff is the screws stick out on the front of the vise.  I’ll have to see what it looks like in real life.

Click to download the plans

Click to download the plans

I milled up the lumber from rough stock this afternoon, and should be able to build the wood part tomorrow.  I need my welder to make the handles, and it’s DOA – but parts are on order and I’ll have it up next week I expect.

CAD Moxon Model

CAD Moxon Model

Categories: General Woodworking

Just a quickie

McGlynn On Making - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 6:43pm

I moved the Mallow flower picture along to the next phase today, which mostly involved a short burst of frenzied work and then a lot of nothing while the glue dries.  I love the sound of glue drying, it’s my favorite shop sound.


Assembled mallow flower picture, just needing a couple of tiny repairs, and mastic.

Here is where we left off, the glue face of the picture facing up.  At this point I have it glued face down to the assembly board.  I patched a couple of spots where the banding was wonky, then I mixed up some “mastic”, which is Walnut sanding dust, black tempra powdered paint, hot hide glue and hot water.  Then I spackled the back of the picture, to fill any saw kerfs and gaps.  The Wenge on the border was also super thin, so I filled the height difference.

This looks like butt, right?

This looks like butt, right?

I block sanded the mastic to make sure it was flat and smooth after it dried.  I also cut a piece of Cherry veneer for the back of the panel.  I’m still undecided about whether this is a sample for the shop wall, or the start of a small cabinet.  To keep my options open I’m veneering both sides of a 1/4″ MDF panel.

Cherry backer veneer -- this is what you'll see on the inside of the door, if in fact this ever becomes a door.

Cherry backer veneer — this is what you’ll see on the inside of the door, if in fact this ever becomes a door.

The glue up is always a little frantic.  I NEARLY GLUED IT FACE DOWN.  Whoops, that would have sucked.  Instead it’s just extra glue on the show face to scrape off.  That’s it, glue is drying and I’ve started another project, sans marquetry.  How that project came to be will be a funny, or maybe telling, story.


Categories: General Woodworking

The #7 planes

I'm a OK guy - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 3:58pm
I have few of the longer planes, mostly because the machines do most of my scut work. As much as I would love to re-claim the square footage used by the table saw, planer, jointer, and dust collection, my occasional four square of rough lumber nips that wish while it's still forming. Long live the iron apprentices.

Here are the #7s:

The shop made wood stock wasn't meant to stay that long, I had planed to cut it off to no more than "Jack" length but it works pretty good at the current size and I never got around to cutting it shorter. The Record next to it was one of the first "good" planes I acquired, mail order from Garrett Wade IIRC back in the 70's or early 80's, at about the same time the ECE in the #8 group followed me home. The type 9 Stanley in the background is the one of this group that is used the most.

How to Make Pegs for Drawboring Mortise & Tenon {Part 11 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}

Wood and Shop - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 1:04pm


By Joshua Farnsworth

In the above video, I show the second of two steps in drawboring a mortise and tenon joint to snug a tenon inside a mortise (in this case, tightening the desk apron’s tenon against the desk leg’s mortise). In this video I show how to make the pegs (or pins) and how to drive them into the holes to tighten the tenon.


Click here to go back to part 1, if you want to follow me as I build a historic hinged-top desk. Below you’ll find photos and the list of tools that I used to build this desk.



Even though I have a helpful hand tool buying guide (here), I’m still often asked for a list of and links to the tools that I use in my videos, so here is a list of tools that I used in this series of video on desk building (I also included tools that I used in construction that wasn’t in the video):










Here are some photos from the previous steps:















Stained glass scythe

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 8:05am
Two lovely photos sent to me of the scythesman featuring in the stained glass window at Two Temple Place in London.
Categories: General Woodworking

prototype done.....

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 2:10am
Getting the prototype done and working in a couple of hours today surprised me. I wasn't expecting this to go this smoothly nor function as intended when done. Most of the time when I prototype, it takes me at least two tries before I get it to be somewhat ok. You can't anticipate every twist and turn and problems usually occur as you go. You find out you went down a wrong street or two.

prototype material
This time around I'm trying something different for me.  Rather waste my scrap pile of wood making a prototype, I'm going to use cardboard first. I had a hot melt glue gun but daughter #1 borrowed it so I'll have to think of some other way to hold this together.

There wasn't a need for the hot glue gun. I have enough to go with what is here. This gives me the angles, rough lengths, and widths. I'll use the wooden phone model to fine tune the exact measurements.

cutoff can be used too
Prototype I is going to be 1/2" scrap oak plywood. I could have made this so the phone was straight up and down but I like the sloped look. The cutoffs from the front I can use as the back rest for the phone.

acute angle
I can't get this angle on my tablesaw because the blade doesn't tilt far enough. This angle is for the passive sound board at the bottom. I'll have to do it with hand tools.

hogged most of the waste with the chisel
Once I got most of the waste removed I started to hand plane it down to the lines. Holding this in my left hand and trying to plane it with my right wasn't the smartest thing I ever did. The plane slipped off the wood and skimmed the nail on my middle finger.  The plane iron was sharp and it took a divot out of the nail down to the bed. I'll be wearing a band aid for a while. I didn't even have a chance to get an aw sh... out.

you can plane angles on plywood
Didn't think this all the way through before I planed this angle. I should have planed the complimentary angle rather than the one I did. On the bright side, I did get a good looking, consistent angle with almost no blowout. A minor hiccup and maybe I can use this for something else in the build.

partial glue up
I glued and nailed this together. I added the clamps for insurance while I let this cook for a while and I think about what my next step with this is.

just needs a bottom
The angled piece that I gave up a piece of my finger nail to, I didn't use. I decided to have the front piece with the sound hole lay in the same plane as the back rests. This way the bottom of the phone lays flat on the top of it and I don't have to plane any angles for it.

bottom is a snug fit
The fit of the plywood is what is holding the bottom in place. I still may have to play with this a bit more and I'll need to have access to the bottom.

it works
My wife says that the phone is louder in it then out of it. I can hear a little difference in loudness but with my hearing, I have to depend upon her for what she hears.  It looks like prototype II is a winner.

one hiccup to fix
When the phone is in the cradle position it can fall down into the cavity. My wife caught this hiccup and let me know it was very annoying. She also stated that this wasn't very good looking wood. She didn't buy it was just a prototype to work out the bugs. I swear I didn't tell her I was thinking of covering the edges with solid oak.

hiccup fixed
I glued a couple of pieces of wood on the sides. They are in line with the back rest and the phone can't tip into the cavity now. This has given me an improvement idea for the real wood one. I'll make the inside phone back rest go from the top to the bottom. This way I'll have a continuous bearer not only for the phone, but the sound hole board too.  I won't have to glue any strips in to keep the phone from tipping in.

I was planning on putting a base on this but that changed too. When I sawed this I had the slope going right to the corner. When I sawed it on the tablesaw I ended up shy of the corner by about 1/4". I like this accidental detail and I'll use it on the wooden one but I'll make it 1/2". This detail is what made me go with no base. If I do the sound hole board as it is here with a slight reveal at the bottom, I don't need a base. 

The top will probably change too. I am leaning in the direction of rounded the top instead of leaving it squared off. I will also round over the outside edges on the front. I think I'll be able to use less wood on the real one to come.

As for the wood, I don't know what I'll use. My wife doesn't like the figure in wood and likes light woods with no grain at all. I think my best choice is to use maple. I have to go to Lowes tomorrow to get some braces and I'll add getting some maple to the list.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
How many stone monoliths are there on Easter Island?
answer - 887

Bath Vanity

I'm a OK guy - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 10:46pm
Not a lot of progress on the vanity but some, spent most of the day at the dentist getting a crown replaced and then running the streets. Also did a little shop maintenance, more about that once finished and I have photos.

The other day I rough dimensioned the legs and they have been sitting long enough to have finished stress movement. They are now, other than length, to finished size and I did the rough marking out. Tomorrow I'll take them to finished length and do the final marking of the mortices....Maybe even chop a couple.

Here is the basic plan for the vanity:

A really rough drawing:

And the legs marked out:

I expect the vanity construction will follow my usual draw bored M&T joints where able, dovetails and housed dado's for the other joinery. In other words KISS but strong.

Back Before There Were Apps…

The Furniture Record - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 9:37pm

Stopped by for the preview at a now familiar auction house. Not much in the way of furniture this week. There were a few things that did make me stop and reflect on changing times.

We are so used to technology that I think we at times tend to forget that engineering and science were practiced in times before the era of programmable devices. Back then, there were computational devices in wide use and I found an interesting and specialized one in this slide rule:

A 6" Keuffel & Esser slide rule form the early 20th century.

A 6″ Keuffel & Esser slide rule from the early 20th century. Billed as a “Power Computer”.

This is a specialized slide rule that was used in the design of steam engines.

A 6" Keuffel & Esser slide rule form the early 20th century.

Steam engines and slide rules are not as common as they once were.

Doing some looking about, there were many specialized slide rules. Merchants, mechanics, engineers, architects and others had their own specialized slide rules. Where smart phone apps might cost $6.00 or more, this slide rule sold for the modest price of $1.20 in 1923. A bargain.

It comes along with friends:

All things I have used.

All things I have used.

Back in college, I worked summers at the front desk in one of the dorms. There was a program for gifted, financially disadvantage high school students. It was interesting to see the kids walking around with their new, encased 14″ Pickett slide rules hanging on their belts. The next summer’s batch had large Sharp, four-function calculators hanging on their belt. Times change.

There was more in the way of specialized vintage tools such as this shaving horse:

Not new but serviceable.

Not new but serviceable.

A view of the business end.

A view of the business end.

And a view of the jaws.

And a view of the jaws.

Yet more:

Two planes and a slick.

Two planes and a slick.

Some froes and other useful things.

Some froes and other useful things.

Note to Hummel collectors, your kids probably don’t want them.

Prices aren't what they used to be.

Prices aren’t what they used to be.

My father had a major Hummel collection. He passed on and now my mother has a major Hummel collection. The prices have dropped dramatically. The original manufacturer dropped the line. The next manufacturer went bankrupt and another company is making them now. None of us youngsters have any interest in the collection.

If you’re not sure what Hummels are, consider yourself lucky. I gained knowledge through osmosis by hanging around with my father. Not all life lessons are useful.

And some different kinds of tools, these plug in:

They are tools that plug in and don't spin or cut.

They are tools that plug in and don’t spin or cut.

Many are handmade. Well, Heathkits. Look it up. I built a few in my time. None of these are mine.

A really nice radio:

They don't make 'em like this anymore.

They don’t make ‘em like this anymore.

Old radios, like old upright pianos, can be true works of art, only industrial. If I had infinite space and money, I would collect both.

There was one dovetailed piece there and I had to document it. It is in my nature.

It has hand-cut dovetails, I'm excited.

It has hand-cut dovetails, I’m excited.

And here they are:

Dovetails and beads.

Dovetails and beads. Who could ask for anything more?

Once again you see that furniture makers really did not want to do anymore work than they needed to. Who cares about the back of a dresser?

Doesn't have to be pretty to keep out dust and provide stability.

Doesn’t have to be pretty to keep out dust and provide stability.

Well, that’s a wrap. Not the entire auction, just the interesting bits.

Knifing in Details and Making Borders

McGlynn On Making - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 4:35pm

I snuck out to the shop for a bit today and filled in the rest of the details on my little marquetry picture.  There are problem spots, but I’m not going to sweat it.  I think the overall effect will be nice, and I’m not going to make myself crazy over it. (I’m trying to convince myself here, not you!).

So, two goals.  Fill in the missing pieces, and add a border.

The missing pieces was maybe three steps.  First sorting through a big pile of “extra” parts.  Six layers of veneer, plus two backer boards, I’m only using one piece out of each layer, so there are 5 pieces in miscellaneous veneer left.  This is the main reason for wanting to learn piece-by-piece, less waste.  More sawing though.  Once I’d found each part I had to sand shade, and then came the hard part.

I’d lost several tiny parts, so I had to re-make them.  There were also some details in the picture that I couldn’t say out because I was sure I’d lose them.  So I cut all of this out of scrap bits.  For example, this area had uncut details, pretty boring visually.

This area was supossed to have green buds that had a hint of white flower petal showing through as they were starting to open.  Too small to saw out (for ME to saw out), so I sawed out the buds, then knifed the green and white bud parts to make what I wanted.

This area was supossed to have green buds that had a hint of white flower petal showing through as they were starting to open. Too small to saw out (for ME to saw out), so I sawed out the buds, then knifed the green and white bud parts to make what I wanted.

After cutting out some pie-wedges from the green and filling in with white, and doing a little sand shading, it looks a lot more interesting visually.

This area is done, details added to the buds.

This area is done, details added to the buds.

The other thing I wanted to do was try adding a border.  I recently bought a pair of DVDs on Marquetry and Veneering by Paul Schurch.  I wanted to see how his approach to marquetry worked, and I wanted to see if I could pick up any general veneer tricks.  On his approach to marquetry, it’s very similar to what Patrick Edwards teaches, but I don’t like Paul’s approach as well.  There was a lot of good info in the videos, and the technique for the border comes right from there.

First I made a “filletti tool”, which is a fancy name for a strip of wood with a spacer on it.  With this an a straightedge and a veneer saw you can cut any width of banding.  Slide the veneer against the spacer block, the veneer goes under the spacer and against the body of the tool.  Slide a straightedge against the tool and remove it.  Now cut the strip that protrudes.

Fillette Tool, just a strip of plywood with a 1.8" and 1/4" spacer on opposite sides.

Fillette Tool, just a strip of plywood with a 1.8″ and 1/4″ spacer on opposite sides.

Slide the veneer under the tool's spacer, then put the straightedge against the tool, and remove the filletti tool.

Slide the veneer under the tool’s spacer, then put the straightedge against the tool, and remove the filletti tool.

Next saw off the strip of veneer that is sticking out.

Here is the result, a perfect 1/8" of veneer sticking out.

Here is the result, a perfect 1/8″ of veneer sticking out.

I made enough 1/8″ banding for two strips around the picture from a tiny piece of Wenge.  I made a strip of crossgrain Padauk banding too.

Banding ready

Banding ready

Banding with Wenge, then cross-grain Padauk, then Wenge, then diagonally oriented Cherry.So far, everything is being done from the glue face.  I sawed using a reversed pattern.  Assembled it onto shelf paper using the same orientation as sawing, then applied a border.  I used blue tape for this step of the assembly.

Glue face with the banding applied

Glue face with the banding applied

Once the banding was taped to the picture I glued the whole stinking mess down to my kraft-paper-covered pattern board.  Patrick and Patrice at the ASFM would probably yell at me for all of the extra steps with shelf paper and blue tape, but I’m not ready to take the training wheels off yet.

Tomorrow I’ll fill the gaps with mastic and glue this down to an MDF backer in the correct orientation.  I’m on the fence if I’ll leave it at that, or build a small cabinet around it.  In the meantime I’m listening to the sounds of glue drying and trying to figure out what to make next.


Categories: General Woodworking

A Special Pair of Saws

The Logan Cabinet Shoppe - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 2:20pm
A couple of months ago, I saw the very saddening news that Stephen Shepherd, proprietor of the Full Chisel Blog, had suffered a serious stroke. I have been a follower of Stephen’s site since its very early days and had communicated with Stephen somewhat regularly through email and our two blogs over the years. While […]

Today’s Article – Set The Record Straight: Just Plane History

360 WoodWorking - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 4:26am
If you’re just beginning to build or you’re looking to increase your woodworking skills, you’re inundated with a lot of information and opinion, some of which is malarkey and some is not. The idea that you have to work only with hand tools from years ago to be classified as a true woodworker is something […]

new project.....

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 1:14am
The new project upcoming is something I saw on the PW site and it intrigued me. Like I don't have nothing to do in the shop. I have my daughter's dinning room table, the 2nd stone holder, and a bunch of spokeshaves to rehab. And that is just what is on the A+ list. The B list goes from the moon and back. I have way too things I want to make and not enough time to do them.

corner brace choices
The corner brace I'm holding in my hand I got off of a desk I took apart. I have 12 of these and they are too big. I could hacksaw them or use my dremel to cut them shorter but that is too much work. The other silver looking brace is the only one I have of them. The brass ones I only have 3 and those are what I'm going to use. I'll buy some more at Lowes this weekend.

use my zona saw to remove the bulk of the proud
small block plane flushed up the corners
same plane flushed the bottom
#4 flushed the top
braces are meant to be used on the inside of a corner
brass is soft to and can be countersunk
screw is too small
When I tightened the screw down the head went right through the hole. Maybe I should have looked at what screws I had before I made the countersink.

being a pack pays off here
I found 8 screws to use on the braces. Negates the countersink but the head is larger then the hole for it.

got a medieval look to it
thinking of adding this
to give some knuckle clearance
I'm not 100% sure that I need to do this but I am liking the idea of the extra clearance. I also like being able to clamp the dogs on the base and not the holder itself.  The snow has melted a lot around the garden shed and I'll check it tomorrow for the 2x4.

got my new old spokeshave today
got some work ahead for me here
I have 4 metal ones now - 2 flat and 2 round bottom -I have to sharpen and hone the irons on. I will probably do that on saturday. I'll get to try out the spokeshave iron holder that I made.

the new old one is a stanley
It's in pretty good shape but there isn't much life left to this iron. Lee Valley sells replacement irons for this as does Ron Hock. LV is $18 and Ron Hock is $33 but I'm not sure if the Hock one is O1. I suspect that at that price it is for A2.  And I don't want an A2 iron for this.

the back of the spokeshave
 I checked the area around the screw posts for checks or splits. I didn't see any but one post has a nub of metal on it but it doesn't appear to be from a repair. This spokeshave has more meat around the posts then the one I had that split here. I have two of them now but if I see another one for the same price I'll buy it.

the new project
When I showed this to my wife she said she was interested in it and wanted one. I planned to make one to satisfy my curiosity about them. I've lost 60% of my hearing and I can hear a difference in the phone "loudness" when it is in and out of this. That was listening to the difference in a video.

Unfortunately this plan won't work for my wife's phone. These plans are for a phone with their speaker(s) on the bottom of the phone. My wife's speaker is on the back of her phone.

the speaker
It's the white rectangle on the bottom left at the top right. My daughter has an Apple phone that this plan will work on hers so this may be her birthday present. My wife's phone is going to take a bit of head scratching to figure out first.

measured it up
My wife wanted her phone back so I had to take measurements of it. I would rather have it do the planning with but that isn't happening.

head scratching time
 This piece of 1/2" maple is almost the exact size of the phone. I made it 1/4" wider but the thickness and the length is the same as her phone. My initial thought is to make two stands. The first one with the passive speaker hole on the rear where the speaker is and see how that sounds/works.  I can't understand why the speaker is on the back right where your hand covers it as you talk on it.  Plan #2 is to have the passive speaker hole facing the front.

I think it's best to tilt it like I have it here. That will move the phone speaker away from the back edge. It will also allow me to not hide any of the screen. The line on the front here is 3/8" above the top of the speaker at the back. The back of the phone holder has to be at least that high so it covers the speaker. The front bottom edge of the phone will need to sit in an angled notch of some kind.  It looks like this holder is going to have a few angles and dangles to it.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is a triolet?
answer - An eight line poem

Saturday’s Presentation at SAPFM Tidewater Chapter

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 03/12/2015 - 8:57pm

Saturday I will be heading down to the Virginia Tidewater Chapter of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers.  My topic(s) for the day will revolve around my ongoing curiosity about historic finishes, including a trial run of a session on making a new finish look old.  This will also be the theme of my demonstrations at the SAPFM mid-year meeting in Knoxville in June.

Hope to see you there.

Here’s the announcement on the Saturday shindig.


We are looking forward to a great SAPFM Tidewater chapter meeting on March 14th at Somerton Ridge Hardwoods, near Suffolk. The Highlights are:
DON WILLIAMS  –The authority on period furniture finishes.
WILLIAM DUFFIELD — Presenting his “Bench top bench” –( you’ll all want to make one)
CHRIS VICKERS — Hardwood lumber inventory and specials — ALSO Lunch!
So that Chris, our host, can make plans for our BBQ lunch, he needs to know how many people will be attending. So please respond ASAP, if you haven’t,  so we can give him a head count. Also, Chris has 2  Specials available and needs to know how many might be interested—4/4 curly maple packs,100-200 bf @ $3.70/ bf; and African Mahogany in 100-150 bf bundles — $4.85 for 4/4 and $5.00 for 8/4. Let us know of your interest in these as well.
Please arrive between 8:30 and 8:45 as we will start promptly at 9:00 am.
                                        THE AGENDA
9:00    Welcome and housekeeping notes
9:15   Finishes used in the period
9:45   Level of build and gloss desired in the period on different types of pieces

10:30           Break
10:45  How period finishes were applied on different surfaces (brushed/padded/rubbed?)
11:15  New discoveries about period use of waxes — applied under or over finishes? How applied?
12:00       BBQ Lunch
1:00   The Bench top bench –it’s evolution and improvements — how to build
2:30   How to recreate a 200 year old looking  finish today?
3:00   DEMO of same
4:00   Tour Somerton Ridges Hardwood inventory
4:30 – 5:30  Lumber and finishing supply sales
This will be a great learning opportunity for us all!!  We are looking forward to seeing everyone there,

Campfire Spoon Carving

The Literary Workshop Blog - Thu, 03/12/2015 - 8:22pm

I’m not much of an outdoorsman, but when I go camping, I bring my Sloyd bag–a satchel that holds a few knives, sharpening equipment, and some small pieces of wood to carve.

I was camping with my family not long ago, and between hikes and food prep, I found some time to whittle out a couple of spoons while sitting at the campfire.

Sloyd Spoons in Walnut 3-2015 - - 1

The wood is black walnut, which cuts nicely with a knife even when bone-dry, as this stock is.  Only you have to keep your knife extremely sharp.  I stopped to strop often.

I began with this little eating spoon and finished it off before starting on its big brother, a stirring spoon from the same wood.

Sloyd Spoons in Walnut 3-2015 - - 3

My Sloyd bag includes some card scrapers and a bit of sandpaper.  When I was finished sanding the spoons, I oiled them with the only thing I had on hand–nonstick cooking spray.  I’ll give them a proper finish later, but I wanted to see what they would look like with a bit of finish on them.

The shapes are a little unconventional, but in principle I like them.  I call them Gothic spoons, after the pointed arches of Medieval cathedrals.  I have been looking for a distinctive design for my lap-carved spoons, and I think I’ve found it.

Mouldings in Practice

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Thu, 03/12/2015 - 4:54pm

For the past six months or so I’ve been exploring the use of traditional wood moulding and joinery planes. I hate to use the word “traditional” because I’m not really  a traditionalist, but being that these tools are often described with the word, I will do the same. In any event, I use these tools not necessarily for traditions sake, but because I have very little room for larger equipment. I would love to have a giant SawStop cabinet saw sitting smack-dab in the center of a dedicated workshop; I don’t. When I needed to accurately make a couple of dados or ‘fillisters’, my best choice was to back my wife’s car out of the garage, roll the table saw out, attach the dado stack (or what have you) and make the cuts. If I were making twelve grooves or dados for a cabinet or bookcase I would have no issue in going through the set-up, but if I need to make just one or two joints it makes much more sense to do it with a hand plane. To put it another way: I just got tired of going through a bunch of nonsense to accomplish something that could be done much more simply. Now, I use a moving fillister plane whenever applicable.


Once I purchased a moving fillister and began to incorporate into my furniture making, I began to explore the use of other “traditional” planes, beading planes to be precise. Because I don’t really enjoy using electric routers and never have, moulding planes were the logical next step. Yesterday, I received my first set of hollow and round planes, #10’s actually.  I’ve even started to take the first steps of constructing my own small set, which is a real possibility. I like the idea that with hollow and round planes, and some practice, I can theoretically make many different mouldings. And because I have very little practical knowledge of these planes, I ordered ‘Mouldings in Practice’ by Matt Bickford. The book arrived on Tuesday, and last night I finished reading it.


Just as the title suggests, the book is a practical guide for using moulding planes, in particular hollows and rounds, to make many different profiles. The book is surprisingly fast to read; I finished it basically in one sitting. The step by step drawings are clear and color-coded to illustrate Bickford’s step by step process of creating different profiles, consisting of a series of rabbets and corresponding hollows and rounds. Using the drawings as lay-out tools, you could probably use machinery to create a fair portion of the mouldings as well, though to my mind it would actually be more difficult than using hand planes, but it should be possible. Of course, the book has a chapter on sharpening and maintenance which is well done. However, as far as sharpening is concerned, I stopped worrying about it and conversely improved immensely. In fact, I don’t want to read another article or book about sharpening ever again.

One thing that Bickford points out, and one thing that I had suspected from the get-go is that most woodworkers do not need a full-set, or even a half-set of hollows and rounds. In general, the majority of woodworkers can make a vast amount of profiles with just a set of #6 and #10 planes(as well as a rabbet plane). That is a good thing, because a new half-set of hollows and rounds costs a small fortune, and a decent vintage set isn’t cheap, either. Surprisingly, Bickford is not too keen on the purchasing and refurbishing of vintage planes; his theory being that the time spent rehabbing these planes, which often need a lot of work, could be spent making new ones, and that someone new to moulding planes can spend a lot of time and money trying to repair old tools that maybe are irreparable.  I can agree with that to an extent, but it does lead back to my argument concerning the need for mass produced tools, but that is (was) another blog.

One place where we differ, and maybe where I differ with a lot of woodworkers, is the “level of tuning” that wood planes need. Bickford states that vintage planes need to be tuned to an extremely high level in order to perform properly, to the point that it led him to stop even trying and build his own. Though I can understand his want to make his own tools, I disagree that wood planes need massive tune-ups to work. I’m not saying that a plane shouldn’t be tuned to a high level, but I am saying that you shouldn’t purchase a 200 year old plane and expect it to work “like new”. These planes are going to have dings, minor variances, etc. I feel that as long as you get the iron sharp and the soles reasonably clean and shaped then that is enough for woodworking. I have a strong feeling that old-time woodworkers didn’t keep their tools insanely tuned, rather, I think they were very familiar with their tools and used them accordingly, understanding that some of their planes were not perfectly profiled; a sharp iron fixes a lot of minor problems, and it’s my guess that these guys simply kept their tools very sharp.

While I don’t necessarily use hand tools in order to “be unplugged” or to keep machines from taking the “soul” out of my work, I have heard, meaning read, many woodworkers say that they do. I do like hand tools because they offer a different, not necessarily better, level of control that power tools do. “A plane is just a jig for a chisel.” That is a favorite phrase of some hand tool woodworkers. If that is the case, and you are tuning that “jig” to a machine-like level of tolerance often times using machines to do it, aren’t you really just using a power tool in a different capacity? If you are, that is fine with me, but I think you lose the right to preach if you do it. That being said, I don’t believe that Bickford is preaching; I’m just making a general statement.

If I have just one minor quibble with the book it would be with the black and white photos. While this book isn’t photocentric, it does include some pictures of moulding planes in use, as well as furniture to illustrate some of the complex mouldings made with planes. I have nothing against black and white photographs, but I think that color photographs would have shown more detail. To take it a step further, I believe that sketches of the planes, furniture, and completed mouldings, a la Eric Sloane, may have worked even better. Even so, my complaint is very minor, and does not detract from the book in any way.

While I can’t say that every woodworker will enjoy this book, I highly recommend it to those interested in using moulding planes. It is hard for me to say if woodworkers everywhere would be interested in this topic as esoteric as moulding planes; this book is about as niche as it gets, then again, woodworking in general seems to be a niche topic. I do believe that this book could be beneficial to woodworkers looking to expand their knowledge of furniture construction, even if they never plan to pick up a moulding plane. But that is strictly an opinion. I can honestly say that even if I never decided to pick up a moulding plane I would still have been happy to have purchased and read this book. Why? Because I believe that reading it made me a better and more knowledgeable woodworker, and that’s about all I can ask a woodworking book to do.

Categories: General Woodworking

The #6 sized planes

I'm a OK guy - Thu, 03/12/2015 - 10:46am
I have very few #6's.

From left to right a shop made with a Hock O1 iron, a type 9 Stanley #6C with a Hock O1 iron and chip breaker, and last a Woodriver #6 with a Vertias O1 iron. They are all good planes but I would guess the least used of my planes.

I need to do the first day off of the week street running this AM, the usual stop for gas, pick up the cleaning, go to the wood store and Home depot, pick up my meds, then Costco for everything else. I hope there is a little time and energy left for shop time before beer-thirty this afternoon. Oh, one other thing...I'm expecting the UPS girl to stop by sometime today with some goodies, pics if she makes it (of the goodies not the UPS girl :-)). 

I Cost Somebody a Lot of Money. I Hope…

The Furniture Record - Thu, 03/12/2015 - 7:37am

Back in December, one of the local auction houses had their big, classy auction. Not the auction house that has the fancy, quarterly catalog sales but another one. It was a very good auction, however. There were several pieces there that were purported to be by Thomas Day,  (c. 1801 – 1861), a free black American furniture designer and cabinetmaker in Caswell County, North Carolina. I say purported only because it is hard to say definitively if they are by Thomas Day, he didn’t sign his work, no labels, no catalog. There is much out there that is in the style of or from the Thomas Day school. Many of us believe that these are.

A nice dresser with mirror.

A nice dresser with mirror.

Pocket screws were being used in the 1850's.

Pocket screws were being used in the 1850’s.

And another example:

Dresser with no mirror.

Dresser with no mirror.

And a table:

I wouldn't mind owning this one whoever made it.

I wouldn’t mind owning this one whoever made it.

Then there was this miniature chest:

Unknown ancestry but nicely made.

Unknown ancestry but nicely made.

Many great pieces but there was one I became infatuated with. I don’t know why but I have a fascination with primitive boxes like this one:

I lusted after this box.

I lusted after this box.

And equally the contents:

Pictures would be nice but I wanted the cigars.

Pictures would be nice but I wanted the cigars.

Unfortunately, the auction was the Friday night in December when I had cleverly avoided a Carolina beach weekend by fleeing to the Boston area. Rather than leaving a absentee bid (which I always lose), I tried bidding live on-line. I sat there in my hotel room on a Friday night waiting patiently for the box to surface. Then my turn came and I sprang into action getting caught up in the bidding frenzy. I suddenly was $350 over where reason told me I should stop and about $450 over what I thought I could afford. I paused briefly and the auction mercifully ended. I lost but I like to believe that I cost the winning bidder some money. It’s not much but it’s all I have. Winning would have been nice but I would have had to pay too much plus the 15% buyers premium. And explained to my wife and the cats where it came from. It would have been a lasting reminder of my lack of self control and discipline. Cool box, though. There were a few other items I placed bids on but my heart wasn’t in it. They were pro forma bids just served to further depress me when I didn’t win. Like this other box:

It's also blue and primitive. Just like me.

It’s also blue and primitive. Just like me.

Click HERE to see the other worthy items in the auction. I didn’t win them either. Two auctions of note this weekend. We’ll see…


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by Dr. Radut